Saturday, May 19, 2007
Israel desperately wants not to invade Gaza. Over the past year, Hamas has fortified the region: building bunkers, digging ditches, planting mines. Israelis can recognize a military trap when they see one.
Israelis can also recognize a political trap. For months, Gaza's political factions have waged war on each other. Some 45 Palestinians have died in the fighting in just the past week. Hamas hopes that an Israeli invasion would unite the Gazans against Israel--and under Hamas.
In hope of avoiding the trap, Israel has relied on indirect tactics. This week, for example, Israel allowed 500 U.S.- trained Palestinian militiamen to enter Gaza from Egypt, to reinforce Fatah against Hamas. Israeli intelligence may also have helped foil a Hamas assassination plot against Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, although details on that story remain murky and not entirely convincing.The question is how long can Israel avoid another war with a neighbour that is chomping at the bit.
The worrisome part is that school boards around the world are mandating teachers to show the film in classrooms without providing a proper balance and ensuring that some of the more contentious theories are properly debated. In England, the government has made the movie part of the public curriculum. In Spain, the government is buying copies of the movie for all of its schools. In Australia, private donors are buying copies for schools. But in some jurisdictions a more balanced approach is being taken. A Washington-state school board now requires that any teacher showing the film must ensure a "credible, legitimate opposing view will be presented" as well.
But at the end of the day, students need to also told what facts of the film cannot be disputed. Because when the debating has ended, we still need to act to protect the environment.
Friday, May 18, 2007
"He is running a great campaign. It's just not a declared campaign. It's a guerrilla campaign whose informality is meant to obscure his intent. It has been going on for months and is aimed at the major pleasure zones of the Republican brain."
Of course the same can be said about Al Gore who criss crosses the globe talking about the environment and not talking about Iraq, abortion, homeland security, Social Security, etc.
A one-day boycott is silly because it would have no impact on consumption or price. People would buy gas either the day before or after and only inconvenience themselves because it would likely cause line ups at gas pumps.
Now a 30-day boycott would bring down prices. That's because price is largely a product of demand. Higher consumption leads to higher prices since the supply of oil in this planet is not unlimited.
In fact, an article in USA Today, suggests that high prices are affecting consumption. The average American motorist is driving substantially fewer miles for the first time in 26 years because of high gas prices and demographic shifts. The last time American cut back on driving was in 1981 when there was a shortage of gas and a recession. Gas prices reached an all-time high of $3.223 in March 1981 when adjusted for inflation in today's dollars. If this trend continues, there will be an impact at the pumps.
The point is, you can do a lot more than signing up for a Facebook group or participating in a useless boycott if you are upset at paying too much for gas.
Running some 200 pages including background material, the document -- given only to Conservative chairmen -- tells them how to favour government agendas, select party-friendly witnesses, coach favourable testimony, set in motion debate-obstructing delays and, if necessary, storm out of meetings to grind parliamentary business to a halt. The manual even offers up speeches for a chairman under attack.
All this might lead one to think that Stephen Harper was being somewhat less than forthright when he contended the other day that opposition parties are solely responsible for the recent committee paralysis in parliament. I wonder what other helpful little guidebooks the PMO has given to Conservative ministers and MPs. The way the government is leaking these days, it’s only a matter of time before we find out.
Allison Stokke, is a California high school senior, pole vault extraordinaire. Never had interest in pole vaulting whatsoever, but take one look at this girl, and I think you’ll understand my willingness to get a better appreciation for it.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
click to enlargen
Hilton will serve her time separated from the general inmate population in a "special needs housing unit" at the Century Regional Detention Center in Lynwood, California, The Associated Press reported. These cells are specifically reserved for high-profile inmates — including celebrities, police officers and prison guards — who might otherwise be targeted by fellow prisoners.
I'm going out on a limb here and predicting she doesn't stay in the slammer for even a week. How's that for justice?
They went to a nearby park for a picnic where their 8-year-old daughter noticed a few odd things in her package.
First she found a lighter. Then she found a pipe and a bag of marijuana. The Irelans immediately took it to police, who determined that it belonged to a 17 year-old high school senior who worked at the McDonald's.
He's been charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. He's also been fired. McDonald's has apologized to the Irelans.
But consistent with mindset that you try to capitalize on someone else's mistake, they say they might sue despite no harm being done.
In videotaped police statements already played to the jury at his trial, the admitted killer acknowledged slapping Ms. Ross's cheek and inflicting a bloody gash in the back of her head during a late-night brawl in the walkway dividing their adjacent Markham homes.
But nowhere in his reconstruction of events did he tell of hitting his neighbour in the face with sufficient force to break her nose. Yesterday's testimony came from forensic anthropologist Katherine Gruspier, a consultant to the provincial coroner's office with wide experience in former war zones.
Dr. Gruspier is the prosecution's final witness. Tomorrow the defence is expected to present its case. Not sure if the prosecution has presented a strong case pointing to murder as opposed to manslaughter but we shall see how the jury sees it.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Aa man who had been gambling for seven hours at a casino in Biloxi, Miss., called Biloxi police and OnStar to report that his 2006 Chevrolet Silverado pickup had been stolen from the parking lot.
An OnStar operator tracked the vehicle to Pontchartrain Drive in Slidell and notified Slidell police at precisely 12:05:39 a.m. As luck would have it, an officer was in the area and found the pickup parked outside a convenience store at 12:06:35 a.m., just 56 seconds after police learned it had been stolen.
From there things took a decidedly low-tech turn as a police dog tracked a suspect to a nearby used-car lot and latched its jaws onto his arm when he refused to surrender.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
n January, chunks of the Gardiner Expressway came crashing down. In March, it was ice on the CN Tower. Today another dangerous incident took place after a huge slab of marble fell some 60 floors from the tower at First Canadian Place. Incredibly, the huge rock didn't hit anyone, plummeting to the third floor before a precipice broke its fall. But officials have no idea if that's the only piece that's loose.
As a result, police have closed down a section of King Street West and Adelaide Street West, from York to Bay. No pedestrian or vehicular traffic is being allowed through until further notice. It's not clear what caused the mishap.
In 1984, Mr. Falwell sued Hustler for $45-million, charging that he was libelled by a liquor-ad parody that quoted him as saying he lost his virginity to his mother in an outhouse but eventually lost in a landmark 1988 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that even pornographic spoofs about a public figure enjoy First Amendment protection.
In 1999, he told an evangelical conference that the Antichrist was a male Jew who was probably already alive.
Also in 1999 on National Liberty Journal warned parents that Tinky Winky, a purple, purse-toting character on television's Teletubbies show, was a gay role model and morally damaging to children.
Days after Sept. 11, 2001, Falwell essentially blamed feminists, gays, lesbians and liberal groups for bringing on the terrorist attacks.
He used his show to promote a videotape called "The Clinton Chronicles," which alleged that then-President Bill Clinton was at the center of a criminal conspiracy involving drug dealing and murder.
He saw the large truck, preparing to make a right turn onto Division Street. Lipscomb said he could tell the truck wasn't going to stop. So Lipscomb slammed on his brakes, flipping his bike and throwing himself into the street. He landed right at the intersection of Eastwood and Division.
The truck ran over his head.
The helmet is all flattened and mangled and broken, unlike his head.
The night he killed Ross, the jury in his second-degree murder trial has heard he drove more than an hour northeast of his home and hid her body in a wooded area near the small town of Manilla, Ont.
After hiding her body and looking for a spot to deposit garbage bags filled with clothes, Sylvester admitted he then pulled over his car and masturbated. "In order to alleviate the panic I tried to, you know calm down, I masturbated," Sylvester said.
Sylvester said he wiped himself off with a piece of clothing, which he threw into the bag and believed there was a chance that semen might have mixed with the other clothing in the bag, including Ross’s torn t-shirt and a torn dress.
He said her clothes were ripped when he twisted them to get a better grip so he could drag her dead body from the side of his house and into the garage of his Markham home. Sylvester said he removed Ross’s ripped t-shirt and dress and put them into a garbage bag because he knew police would think something sexual happened if they discovered her dead body with torn clothing.
Sly will be sentenced next week and is expected to pay a fine of $36,000 and serve zero jail time.
The previous record of 87mph was set in 1998 by engineer Ed China - the man who built the new wacky machine for company sofa.com.
Freshly out of a California jail having served time on weapons charges, Joey Buttafuoco was long ago dumped by wife Mary Jo -- who survived a gunshot to her head by a then 17-year-old Fisher, and yet defended her erstwhile spouse in spite of the fact he had an affair with the girl.
Mary Jo was even instrumental in the release of Fisher from jail, showing her a great deal of concern and care, which resulted in Fisher being released early.
Fisher shot Buttafuoco’s wife Mary Jo in 1992 and served 7 years in jail, but Buttafuoco was not charged in the shooting.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Matthew Ellinger says the trouble started when the man in front of him wouldn't stop talking during the concert. He says when he asked him to quiet down, the guy threatened to throw him off the balcony. Ellinger called an usher. Witnesses say the man then punched the victim in the face and grabbed him by the hair.
TV video shows the rowdy being escorted out of the balcony, his shirt unbuttoned and hanging off his shoulders. Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart briefly halted the performance, which featured Ben Folds, while the men were escorted out.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Team Canada won an unexpected gold today at the 2007 World Championships. It was a team that it almost seemed like no one wanted to play for as one after another NHL star turned down an invitation to play. The top line of captain Shane Doan, Matthew Lombardi and Rick Nash was its most reliable and carried the team offensively. In addition, the team recieved great goaltending from Cam Ward and Dwayne Roloson who equally shared the goaltending. This was the third world championship title in five years.