Completely safe? Lab Tested for Your Safety On Mice!
Condoms aren't that hard to use; any flight attendant would be happy to demonstrate. But for men who just can't seem to learn, here's an infomercial for the Condom-On.
"Using technology developed by NASA for the Mars Lander, the Condom-On
has been aerodynamically optimized in wind tunnels to prevent air drag
and ensure that your condom arrives at its destination ASAP," says the Web site. There. Problem solved.
The best thing about Global Warming is it's one beautiful day followed by another, until you die of thirst, (or the poisons that are causing the problem).
WASHINGTON - The nation's top climate scientists are giving "An Inconvenient Truth," Al Gore's documentary on global warming, 5 stars for accuracy.
former vice president's movie — replete with the prospect of a flooded
New York City, an inundated Florida, more and nastier hurricanes,
worsening droughts, retreating glaciers and disappearing ice sheets —
mostly got the science right, said all 19 climate scientists who had
seen the movie or read the book and answered questions from The
The AP contacted more than 100 top climate researchers by e-mail and
phone for their opinion. Among those contacted were vocal skeptics of
climate change theory. Most scientists had not seen the movie, which is
in limited release, or read the book.
But those who have seen it had the same general impression: Gore
conveyed the science correctly; the world is getting hotter and it is a
manmade catastrophe-in-the-making caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
"Excellent," said William Schlesinger, dean of the Nicholas School
of Environment and Earth Sciences at Duke University. "He got all the
important material and got it right."
Robert Corell, chairman of the worldwide Arctic Climate Impact
Assessment group of scientists, read the book and saw Gore give the
slideshow presentation that is woven throughout the documentary.
"I sat there and I'm amazed at how thorough and accurate," Corell
said. "After the presentation I said, `Al, I'm absolutely blown away.
There's a lot of details you could get wrong.' ... I could find no
Gore, in an interview with the AP, said he wasn't surprised "because
I took a lot of care to try to make sure the science was right."
The tiny errors scientists found weren't a big deal, "far, far fewer
and less significant than the shortcoming in speeches by the typical
politician explaining an issue," said Michael MacCracken, who used to
be in charge of the nation's global warming effects program and is now
chief scientist at the Climate Institute in Washington.
One concern was about the connection between hurricanes and global
warming. That is a subject of a heated debate in the science community.
Gore cited five recent scientific studies to support his view.
"I thought the use of imagery from Hurricane Katrina was
inappropriate and unnecessary in this regard, as there are plenty of
disturbing impacts associated with global warming for which there is
much greater scientific consensus," said Brian Soden, a University of
Miami professor of meteorology and oceanography.
Some scientists said Gore confused his ice sheets when he said the
effect of the Clean Air Act is noticeable in the Antarctic ice core; it
is the Greenland ice core. Others thought Gore oversimplified the
causal-link between the key greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and rising
While some nonscientists could be depressed by the dire
disaster-laden warmer world scenario that Gore laid out, one top
researcher thought it was too optimistic. Tom Wigley, senior scientist
at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, thought the former
vice president sugarcoated the problem by saying that with
already-available technologies and changes in habit — such as changing
light bulbs — the world could help slow or stop global warming.
While more than 1 million people have seen the movie since it opened
in May, that does not include Washington's top science decision makers.
President Bush said he won't see it. The heads of the Environmental Protection Agency and NASA haven't seen it, and the president's science adviser said the movie is on his to-see list.
"They are quite literally afraid to know the truth," Gore said.
"Because if you accept the truth of what the scientific community is
saying, it gives you a moral imperative to start to rein in the 70
million tons of global warming pollution that human civilization is
putting into the atmosphere every day."
As far as the movie's entertainment value, Scripps Institution
geosciences professor Jeff Severinghaus summed it up: "My wife fell
asleep. Of course, I was on the edge of my chair."
new Website devoted to the "lies" of Pennsylvania Democratic
Congressman Jack Murtha went live a few days early in order to post
"hateful" emails sent by readers of liberal blogs that were tipped off
early and had already begun digging into the site's background.
Although the original url for the Website was to be www.murthalied.com, a few days ago, one of the site's founders, retired Navy Captain Larry Bailey, purchased a new url at BootMurtha.com.
Bailey served as president of Vietnam Veterans For The Truth, which
attacked 2004 Democratic Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry's
military record, on the heels of the more well-known Swift Boat
Veterans For Truth.
In 2004, the term "swift boating" entered the modern lexicon, which the online community encyclopedia Wikipedia
defines as "an ad hominem attack against a public figure, coordinated
by an independent or pseudo-independent group, usually resulting in a
benefit to an established political force."
"Specifically, this form of attack is controversial, easily
repeatable, and difficult to verify or disprove because it is generally
based on personal feelings or recollections," Wikipedia continues.
Last November, Murtha authored a resolution to pull the troops out
of Iraq, and the Republican Party quickly turned on the conservative
pro-military Democrat, who retired as a decorated colonel in the
Marines. The Republicans put together their own resolution, which
varied from Murtha's, in order to "embarrass" Democrats into voting for
At the time, Kerry warned those on the right not to attempt to "swift boat" Murtha.
"I won't stand for the swift-boating of Jack Murtha," said Kerry. "There is no sterner stuff than the backbone and courage that defines Jack Murtha's character and conscience."
According to Bailey, "Murtha Lied" will be devoted to recent
statements made by the Congressman regarding Iraq, and, in particular,
the alleged massacre at Haditha.
"At the moment we don't know enough about Murtha's service record to say much of anything about it," Bailey said.
Murtha and Haditha
Murtha upset many on the right when he claimed that there was a
Haditha "cover-up," and some called him a liar since there was an
ongoing investigation. However, a formal military investigation wasn't
launched until March after Time magazine had begun investigating it.
"There was no firefight," Murtha said in a televised news conference
back in May. "There was no IED that killed these innocent people. Our
troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed
innocent civilians in cold blood."
To this day, the official Marine statement on the killings still claims
that a Marine and fifteen civilians were killed by a roadside bomb
blast, even though death certificates, leaked reports and pictures
indicate that most of the victims - close to two dozen and some just
young children - were shot at close range in the head.
Expose those involved
Sean-Paul Kelley, editor of The Agonist, a community blog online
since September of 2002, was one of the first to "track down and
investigate and expose those involved in this enterprise," with the
help of his readers and fellow bloggers.
Kelley's post They're Gonna Swiftboat Murtha
contained an email address and picture for Amanda P. Doss, the site's
manager, along with information about her past work and connections.
"The person who set up the site is one Amanda P. Doss, and a quick google search turns up this site: www.operationstreetcorner.com, which is a wonderful site, as Billy found out, dedicated to: 'The Vietnam Veterans' Grassroots Campaign Against John Kerry and Jane Fonda, traitors to our country,'" wrote Kelley.
Earlier today, Doss fired back by posting some of the emails she
received which she characterized as "hateful and even threatening."
"I would like to share some of hateful and even threatening emails I
have recently received due to these blogs, before this website was even
created," Doss wrote. "Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican,
please feel free to email these 'sweethearts' and let them know how
proud of them you are for the way they represent the Democratic party."
"Interesting that a political whore would pick a name like
streetcorner'. I've wonder who you'll be doing on the corner," wrote
"You vile 'swiftboaters' (translation: idiot cowards and despicable
liars) will get your asses kicked all over the media this time, you are
the lowest form of human beings there could possibly be, and on top of
that YOU are just plain ugly," wrote another. "Please crawl under a
rock and die."
Liberal bloggers respond
"I don't regret putting her email address in my post because her email address was widely available," Sean-Paul Kelley said.
"What I regret was that people used her email to send her nasty
comments instead of trying to engage her in a substantive debate."
In fact, personal information about someone connected to Doss was
posted by one Agonist reader, and Kelley immediately deleted it.
Taylor Marsh, a blogger and author who hosted a radio show called
"The Antidote to Right Wing Talk" ("now on hiatus" according to Marsh's
Website bio), also has done some digging into "Murtha Lied."
"...Republicans like their soldiers serving, silent and standing for photo ops, not talking back," Marsh wrote at her blog. "When a vet speaks out he's targeted. Murtha is just the latest."
Jack Murtha is asking for an exit strategy from this administration.
Something that should have been done *before* we invaded Iraq. Jack
Murtha wants our troops equipped with the best body armor. Jack Murtha
visits the soldiers at Walter Reed every week. The people attacking
this man of honor are fools.
Bring 'em Home! Bruce Springsteen & The Seeger Sessions Band Bring 'em Home
Bush says Bring 'em ON, but we say Bring 'em Home NOW
Giving voice to the majority of Americans who
now support the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, "Bring Them Home
Now!" has created a $.39 cent postage (Real US Postage!).
features the symbol of the growing "Bring 'Em Home Now!" movement - a
yellow ribbon transposed over a peace sign - providing millions of
Americans with a unique way to let everyone know where they stand: Love
the troops. Hate the war.
Use the "Bring 'Em Home Now!"stamp to
both mourn the loss of over 2500 US soldiers and help spread the word
that supporting our troops and fighting to bring them home are one and
the same. At the same time you'll be raising money for veterans groups.
The new policy says that AT&T -- not customers -- owns
customers' confidential info and can use it "to protect its legitimate
business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process."
The policy also indicates that AT&T will track the viewing
habits of customers of its new video service -- something that cable
and satellite providers are prohibited from doing.
Moreover, AT&T (formerly known as SBC) is requiring customers to
move that legal experts say will reduce customers' recourse for any
future data sharing with government authorities or others.
All personal data is valuable and routinely sold for marketing
purposes. This just looks like AT&T finally caught on to that fact
and wants to be the one making the money from it. I doubt there's
anything anyone can do to make them stop doing this. It's just too
The annoying part about this is it's hard to poison their database.
I routinely misstate my income in various places where it's requested.
Declining to give information isn't as effective as giving corrupt
information. However, if they're tracking what you're watching, it's
hard to have it register something else and not register what you're
The interesting part is that they're doing something that cable and
satellite companies aren't allowed to do. I have to wonder if there's
some regulatory agency that should be pressured into reviewing
AT&T's circumvention of their rules.
UPDATE:We hear all the time about Hillary's stand on the War. Last week Hillary introduced what I think should be a primary plank of the the Democratic Party: A Privacy Bill Of Rights.
Indeed, I think this is the most fertile territory out there to gain
some disaffected Republican voters and put some of the mountain west in
our electoral quiver. It’s smart politics. We are building a police state and I firmly believe that, politics aside, if you build it they will use it.
That all this has been done by the alleged libertarian small government
Republicans is no surprise to me. They have always been about big bucks
and authoritarianism over all else. Democrats have an opportunity to craft a real message of American
independence if they choose to take it - and it might just be the way
to beat back the fear factor a little bit, which I think people are
getting tired of.
The most terrifying movie of the summer. You owe it to the planet to see the truth. Yes! The most important action we can take to slow
global warming is to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases.
Governments, individuals, and businesses can all help.
Governments can adopt a range of options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, including
increasing energy efficiency standards
encouraging the use of renewable energy sources (such as wind and solar power)
eliminating subsidies that encourage the use of coal and oil by making them artificially cheap
protecting and restoring forests, which serve as important storehouses of carbon
Individuals can reduce the need for fossil fuels and often save money by
driving less and driving more fuel-efficient and less-polluting cars
using energy-efficient appliances
using less electricity in general
Businesses can increase efficiency and save
substantial sums by doing the same things on a larger scale. And
utilities can avoid building expensive new power plants by encouraging
and helping customers to adopt efficiency measures. Do your part.
After 9/11, Vice President Richard Cheney seized the initiative. He
pushed to expand executive power, transform America's intelligence
agencies and bring the war on terror to Iraq. But first he had to take
on George Tenet's CIA for control over intelligence.
If you want to know why the Republicans target PBS's funding, last
night's "The Dark Side" is an example. It's the reason Americans should
thank our lucky stars that we have it. Last night's program is just
another reminder of what can happen when mortal men think they are
above the Constitution and are willing to risk it all to control the
government. We know the story, at least most of it, but it's startling
all the same.
The relationship between Cheney and Rumsfeld started in the Ford
administration. It's a fascinating tale I happened to watch and live
through, but suffice it to say that between the two of them they
changed the face of that Administration, while solidifying their own
power, which they re-enacted during George W. Bush's presidency. They
are joined in philosophy by what FRONTLINE calls a belief in the
"primacy of military power." It's what I believe finally morphed into
Bush’s doctrine of preemption after 9/11. That tragedy became their launching pad for a policy dreamed up long ago.
It's called "The Dark Side," and takes its title from a quote by Vice
President Cheney in the wake of 9/11. Cheney said that the CIA, the
Pentagon and other intelligence-gathering U.S. forces would have to
"work from the dark side" to glean information and combat and defeat
The 90-minute "Dark Side" documentary begins grippingly, with
recordings of a 911 call from the World Trade Center. It then shifts
quickly to detail Cheney's actions and orders on that day. For
instance, Cheney ordered that hijacked commercial airliners be shot
down before reaching the terrorists' targets.
The documentary traces Cheney's political history and background, a
record that goes all the way back to the Nixon administration, where
Cheney worked for Rumsfeld as a young intern. Simply by underlining in
red the names of Cheney loyalists on the organizational flow chart of
the George W. Bush administration, "The Dark Side" shows how deep
Cheney's influence stretches.
According to "Frontline," when Cheney and others in the Bush White
House pushed for an early connection between 9/11 and Iraqi leader
Saddam Hussein, they were told bluntly, by the CIA and others, that the
U.S. strike was the work of Afghanistan-based Al Qaeda.
"Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick," says one CIA
official, dismissively. Yet when no link to Hussein could be found,
Cheney established a different intelligence-seeking division, run by
old friends at the Pentagon, to keep looking.
From this point on, "Dark Side" touches on lots of familiar, volatile
subjects and names: weapons of mass destruction and Scooter Libby,
yellowcake and Valerie Plame, Curveball and Mohamed Atta.
It's a complicated narrative, but Kirk tells it clearly. He makes it
seem irrefutable that the battle to link 9/11 with Iraq eventually
pitted Rumsfeld and Cheney, who backed that position, against former
CIA Director George Tenet and others, who found no facts to support it.
The book on this subject continues to be written. With "The Dark Side,"
though, we're treated to the latest, and most impressively thorough,
What is especially upsetting about the omissions by these white male
members of the corporate state's military industrial complex is that it
comes as congressional member after member, newscast after newscast is
detailing the ever-growing, nonstop, needless horrific violence our
citizen soldiers are suffering in Iraq.
Cut and Run - you bet: we're gonna CUT the crap and RUN this operation like it should have been all along.
An Iraqi defense ministry official said that the bodies of Menchaca
and Tucker showed signs of being tortured and that the men were "killed
in a barbaric way." The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella
organization of five insurgent groups led by al-Qaida in Iraq,
suggested in a Web statement that the men had been beheaded. The
statement could not be authenticated.
"It's very upsetting to me
that they would give you details of the torture, of the beheading,"
said Mario Vasquez, Menchaca's uncle.
Menchaca's mother, Maria Vasquez, answered her door in Brownsville
early Tuesday sobbing and unable to speak. She issued a statement
written in Spanish that said, "I am against the war and I feel very
hurt by what has happened to my son."
"The news is going to be heartbreaking for my family," Ken MacKenzie,
uncle of Army Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, told NBC's "Today" show. "Because
the U.S. government did not have a plan in place, my nephew has paid
for it with his life," he said. Missing Soldier's Uncle Criticizes U.S.
President Bush said this on Monday: "There will be no early withdrawal as long as we run the Congress and occupy the White House." Got political ego? At least we know the Republicans' priorities. Saving political face.
Stay the Course, or Cut and run - Why not Change the Course, before this Titanic hits the Iceberg?
Republicans want to sit and watch. That's the Republican plan. Sit
and watch (see update) until 2009, but passing the buck won't get the
"Cut and run" may be cute and catchy, but some slogan to smear Democratic leaders doesn't help our troops or the Iraqi people.
It's time for a referendum on the Republican "leadership" on Iraq. Democratic Senators John Kerry and Russ Feingold have joined together to demand it. Levin and Reed have another way, but all Democrats want a change in course. Even Joe Biden is demanding no permanent bases in Iraq.
Bush and the Republicans say "stay the course," but offer no course
on which we can build. American troops in limbo, living a life of no
way out or through is not a course, it is a suicide mission for
warriors. We've got the dead, the wounded and critically maimed to
Kerry's got it right, "lie and die" is how he described Republicans. If you've got a better one, let's hear it.
In terms of domestic politics, this isn't that complicated. President
Bush wants to stay in Iraq for at least three more years. Members of
his party in Congress agree with him. They don't have a plan. That's
where to make this argument because very few people in this country
think we should keep our troops there for another three years with our
He doesn't have a plan for what to do in Iraq so he wants to keep
troops there for the rest of his presidency. That's his plan: stay long
enough that it becomes someone else's problem.
We have nothing to gain from staying. Saddam is gone and there are no
WMDs in Iraq. All we're doing now is catching bullets as Shi'ites and
Sunnis kill each other. The story of Iraq may one day have a happy
ending, but it doesn't have anything to do with us anymore. Staying is
the only way to guarantee we keep losing and our soldiers keep dying.
Since I was a kid I felt this need to play a role in helping Mother
Earth. At the age of 12, I wrote a 50-page report (that wasn’t supposed
to be more than 5 pages) on threatened wildlife and realized clearly
that my Mother was being continually and forcibly raped by giant
corporations intent on profit.
It’s ironic that the never-ending quest for wealth has brought such
destruction to Mother Nature because the desire for money is basically
a desire for happiness. But true happiness lies in nature we relax and
unwind and finally realize we are just on a hamster wheel. Just walking
down a tree lined street in a busy city immediately calms me. Let’s
face it peace is the key to happiness. I can’t be peaceful unless I’m
relaxed and I can’t do any of it unless I’m doing yoga, but I digress
(I used to want to change my middle name from Tracy to Tangential
because I can never follow a straight line. I prefer to get lost in
getting lost I tend to have the best experiences. But back to the
I see the ongoing destruction of all that is natural and want to make a
difference. Our mission at Voice Yourself is to connect you with
others, to share information about alternatives biodiesel, sustainable
clothing companies (i.e. hemp, organic cotton and bamboo) and to get
clean and natural cleansers into your hands and homes this is only the
beginning. Our small, extended family will spread out across the world
like good music. Thank you for contributing to the dream that we know
exists. Our time is now.
Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the
plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide,
through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican
border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn.
Once complete, the new road will allow containers from the Far East to
enter the United States through the Mexican port of Lazaro Cardenas,
bypassing the Longshoreman’s Union in the process. The Mexican trucks,
without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will
be the nation’s most modern highway straight into the heart of America.
The Mexican trucks will cross border in FAST lanes, checked only
electronically by the new “SENTRI” system. The first customs stop will
be a Mexican customs office in Kansas City, their new Smart Port
complex, a facility being built for Mexico at a cost of $3 million to
the U.S. taxpayers in Kansas City.
As incredible as this
plan may seem to some readers, the first Trans-Texas Corridor segment
of the NAFTA Super Highway is ready to begin construction next year.
Various U.S. government agencies, dozens of state agencies, and scores
of private NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been working
behind the scenes to create the NAFTA Super Highway, despite the lack
of comment on the plan by President Bush. The American public is
largely asleep to this key piece of the coming “North American Union” that government planners in the new trilateral region of United States, Canada and Mexico are about to drive into reality.
Just examine the following websites to get a feel for the magnitude of
NAFTA Super Highway planning that has been going on without any new
congressional legislation directly authorizing the construction of the
planned international corridor through the center of the country.
NASCO, the North America SuperCorridor Coalition Inc.,
is a "non-profit organization dedicated to developing the world's first
international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system
along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor
to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North
America." Where does that sentence say anything about the USA? Still,
NASCO has received $2.5 million in earmarks from the U.S. Department of
Transportation to plan the NAFTA Super Highway as a 10-lane
limited-access road (five lanes in each direction) plus passenger and
freight rail lines running alongside pipelines laid for oil and natural
gas. One glance at the map of the NAFTA Super Highway on the front page
of the NASCO website will make clear that the design is to connect Mexico, Canada, and the U.S. into one transportation system.
Kansas City SmartPort Inc.
is an "investor based organization supported by the public and private
sector" to create the key hub on the NAFTA Super Highway. At the Kansas
City SmartPort, the containers from the Far East can be transferred to
trucks going east and west, dramatically reducing the ground
transportation time dropping the containers off in Los Angeles or Long
Beach involves for most of the country. A brochure on the SmartPort website
describes the plan in glowing terms: "For those who live in Kansas
City, the idea of receiving containers nonstop from the Far East by way
of Mexico may sound unlikely, but later this month that seemingly
far-fetched notion will become a reality."
None of this would be possible without the extensive work being done by the U.S. Department of Commerce working groups
charged with implementing by new regulations the Strategic and
Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP. The SPP agreement was
reached between President Bush, President Vicente Fox and Canadian
Prime Minister Paul Martin during their March 2005 summit meeting in Waco, Texas.
The Bush administration plan is to create a North American Union along
the model of the European Union, put in place by administrative
regulations and departmental working groups under the SPP umbrella.
On June 7, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Department of Transportation v. Public Citizen
ruled in favor of the Bush administration's argument that the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration lacked the authority to exercise
environmental controls to prevent Mexican trucks from openly operating
in the U.S. under NAFTA. This ruling was key in the Bush
administration's determination to open U.S. borders to Mexican trucks
under the trade agreement. Had the Supreme Court decided otherwise, the
NAFTA Super Corridor project would have suffered a setback.
continue to argue that a "follow the money" strategy must be utilized
to understand why President Bush has refused to close our border with
Mexico, pushing instead for "comprehensive immigration reform"
legislation that would allow the vast majority of illegal immigrants
now in the U.S. to remain under a "guest worker" or "pathway to
citizenship" provision. The underlying agenda of the Bush
administration seems to be to create a NAFTA-plus environment in which
workers, trade and capital will be allowed to flow unimpeded within the
trilateral North American community consisting of the United States,
Canada and Mexico.
A good reason Bush does not want to secure the border with Mexico may
be that the administration is trying to create express lanes for
Mexican trucks to bring containers with cheap Far East goods into the
heart of the U.S., all without the involvement of any U.S. union
workers on the docks or in the trucks.
"The Internet for the Left of the Democratic Party has
served as a way to mobilize hate and anger — hate and anger, first and
foremost, at this President and Conservatives, but then also at people
within their own party whom they consider to be less than completely
loyal to this very narrow, very out-of-the-mainstream, very far
Left-wing ideology that they tend to represent."
Seems pretty clear to me — Rove thinks it's a travesty that we're
encouraging a challenger to Holy Joe. Lieberman has also agreed to debate Ned Lamont, which seems to indicate he's not planning to bolt the party before July 6 anyway. Since he's collected the prestigious endorsement of Bill O'Reilly you have to wonder at the wisdom of this - what will he do without all his Republican pals to back him up?
from all over this country and all over the world have called on Bush
to end this war in Iraq. We share this sentiment and stand in
solidarity with antiwar activists in this and other countries. We
believe that the war in Iraq is wrong and immoral. We believe that the
war in Irag weakens this country. We cry out against the innocents who
have been slaughtered and the soldiers dead and wounded.
visit the other sites below to see a tour of antiwar photos. This is
the voice and the cry of those who oppose this war, those who stand
against oppression and stand for justice. Please stand with us and call
for an end NOW!
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-IA, was sent home empty-handed today by
federal health officials who refused the powerful Republican access to
information on a controversial drug approved by the FDA.
"I smell a cover-up," Sen. Grassley said as he emerged from the headquarters of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Grassley has been investigating why FDA officials approved the sale
of the antibiotic Ketek even after the government learned safety tests
on the drug had been forged. Grassley wanted to speak with the FDA
investigator who uncovered the fraud.
According to an FDA document obtained by ABC News, there have been
reports of four deaths and 35 liver failures or serious injuries among
people taking the drug, which is used to treat bronchitis and other
"I can say without a doubt that this drug should have been withdrawn," Grassley told ABC News.
The study with the forged test results was conducted at a former
weight loss clinic in Gadsden, Alabama. Dr. Maria Anne
Kirkman-Campbell is serving five years in prison for falsifying safety
test results on Ketek.
A former nurse, Michelle Snedeker, told ABC News she was ordered to
forge documents and report data on people who had not even been given
Ketek. The doctor was paid $400 for each of the 407 subjects that she
enrolled for the study.
The maker of Ketek, Sanofi-Aventis, says "the benefit of Ketek
outweighs any known risk." Along with the FDA, the company insists
Ketek is safe, based on tests that were done in Europe.
The FDA would not comment on Sen. Grassley's investigation but says
there are no plans to take Ketek off the market, despite the recent
death and injury reports.
An FDA spokesman said the agency was considering the addition of a
warning label on the outside package of the prescription drug.
I've always believed that a person should be an active participant in
any healthcare they receive. Understand any illness, and research all
that you can, especially any medications that you might have to take.
also occurs to me what an invaluable tool the internet can be for such
information. A 'google' search and you can find the information on the
doctor who's in prison for falsifying the safety test results on Ketek,
and take any concerns to your doctor.
And it occurs to me as
well that if net neutrality is not protected, will this information
still be available? I certainly don't think the FDA is going to start
labeling certain drugs with the warning that they may cause sudden
irreversible death if taken as directed.
NSA Wiretaps Reveals Most People Pay Too Much For Long Distance From The Onion
FORT MEADE, MDâ€”The director of the National Security Agency announced
at a press conference Tuesday that the ongoing phone surveillance of
Cincinnati resident Greg Wyckham has yielded "overwhelming and
incontrovertible" evidence that the 37-year-old high-school teacher and
married father of three is wasting money on a long-distance plan that
does not suit his calling needs.
According to Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, Wyckham, who caught the
attention of authorities in July 2004 when he placed a call to his
first wife, has spent an average of $75 a month on long distance, "when
he could have been saving as much as $30 per billing period."
Alexander cited additional examples of Wyckham's reckless
long-distance use, which included a late-afternoon call to his mother
in Colorado last spring and several March 2005 calls to old college
friends to plan a summer mini-reunion. In January, a lengthy
conversation with his cousin in California cost nearly $10.
"We have stacks of logs showing phone calls placed on weekdays
before 9 p.m., as well as calls made with flagrant disregard for the
per-minute rate," Alexander said. "In addition, not once did Mr.
Wyckham ask his out-of-state friends and family members with the same
long-distance carrier to join him in a money-saving service plan."
Added Alexander:"Bear in mind that this is a man who earns only
$43,220 a year. Withboth a Dodge minivan in desperate need of repair
and the upcoming vasectomy to pay for, he should be more concerned
about these expenses."
NSA analyst Lawrence Reinhard, who headed the team conducting the
wiretapping, said Wyckham has several cost-cutting plans to choose from.
"If Mr. Wyckham switched to a residential unlimited plan, such as
the AT&T Unlimited Plus Plan, he'd be able to make all his
long-distance calls for one low monthly fee of just $29.95," Reinhard
said. "He'd be able to take $20 off his bill in calls to his
ex-girlfriend in Washington, DC alone."
Reinhard also recommended that Wyckham consider switching his
long-distance service over to Verizon, his cellular phone carrier. "In
addition to their competitive rates, Verizon is now offering a special
discount on long-distance night and weekend calls to their cell-phone
subscribers," Reinhard said. "But only for a limited time."
Although the Wyckham eavesdropping was a closely guarded operation,
Alexander revealed that the NSA considered asking the CIA and British
intelligence to directly intervene in April after Wyckham accepted a
collect call from his 16-year-old son Jeremy, studying in London as
part of a foreign-exchange program.
"The collect call concerned us," Alexander said. "There is no
reason why an American traveling abroad should not be equipped with an
international calling card, which can be purchased cheaply in corner
Added Alexander: "If Wyckham simply joined the Family Share Plan, he
would not only save money himself, but also for his wife Shelly,
Jeremy, the twins, Ashley and Courtney, and, if he were reasonably
discreet, teacher's aide Janet Molina, with whom he's having an
Alexander said it is difficult for the NSA to keep its operations
secret when Wyckham and other Americans do not take advantage of
potentially enormous savings with a good long-distance plan.
"With companies like Skype and Vonage providing inexpensive
Internet phone service, high long-distance bills are a senseless
waste," Alexander said. "Sometimes an agent wishes he could physically
emerge from the phone receiver and shake some sense into these
citizens, but that technology is at least 10 years away."
than fiction, a tale bizarre beyond belief: The Army that helped
conquer Iraq in three weeks doesn't have enough cash to keep the lights
on at Fort Sam Houston.
Last week the Appropriation Committees of the House and Senate
reached a deal on the supplemental appropriations bill to fund the wars
in Iraq and Afghanistan. The new bill is expected to make it to the
floor this week for debate and is expected to pass. Originally there
was a provision in this bill to ban any of the money being spent on
permanent bases in Iraq, a provision which was silently removed by the Republicans.
Congressional Republicans killed a provision in an Iraq
war funding bill that would have put the United States on record
against the permanent basing of U.S. military facilities in that
country, a lawmaker and congressional aides said on Friday.
The $94.5 billion emergency spending bill, which includes $65.8
billion to continue waging wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is expected to
be approved by Congress next week and sent to President George W. Bush
for signing into law.
As originally passed by the House of Representatives, the Pentagon
would have been prohibited from spending any of the funds for entering
into a military basing rights agreement with Iraq.
While this is already a horrible move by Republicans, things get
worse. Today we learn that Bush is planning on keeping a force of about
50,000 troops in Iraq for years to come.
So we are seeing that Bush’s misadventure of removing Saddam is going
to cost us even more money, but what impact will this have on the
US and the Middle East?
Whenever a Democrat speaks out against the Iraq war, the right wing
pundits and politicians are quick to jump on the same talking point of "what kind of message is this sending to our enemies?" Now that
question is more important than ever and must be used against the
Republicans. "What kind of message is building permanent bases in Iraq
and retaining a troop level of 50,000 for years to come going to send?"
This could provide to be a key recruiting tool for al Qaeda and provide
great propaganda. What we have done is made Osama’s preaching’s of Wahhabism (a branch of Sunni beliefs) come to life.
So not only are we facing a new recruiting tool for al Qaeda, handed
to him on a silver platter by the Republicans, but we are also facing a
crisis mode in our military bases here at home. This is beyond belief
that the richest nation in the world can not afford to keep the lights
on at its own military bases. But wait – it gets even worse. That
supplemental appropriations bill I started this article talking about –
well it doesn’t look like that is going to even help out that much:
Fort Sam is grappling with a $26 million budget
shortfall partly because of congressional wrangling over a measure to
fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But problems at Fort Sam and many of
the Army’s 179 posts worldwide won’t be over even if Congress approves
a $94.5 billion supplemental appropriations bill next week as expected.
The war, rising military health care costs and Pentagon efforts to transform the armed services will make sure of that.
He (spokesman Ned Christensen) said the Pentagon is asking Congress
for $722 million in supplemental funding for posts worldwide. Of that,
IMA’s southwest region would get $105 million, Fort Sam spokesman Phil
So that $65.8 billion earmarked for military spending that was past
last week isn’t even enough – now we need more money just to keep the
lights on at our military bases? Now we must ask how much building a
military base in Iraq will cost and if we did not spend money on that
would we be able to keep our bases here at home running.
GOP leaders are putting gay marriage back on the agenda. Will voters respond?
amendment should never be undertaken lightly -- yet to defend marriage,
our nation has no other choice."
--President George W. Bush, radio address, July 10, 2004
"Unfortunately, activist judges and some local officials have made an
aggressive attempt to redefine marriage in recent years."
--President George W. Bush, radio address, June 3, 2006
2006 was supposed to be the election when the Noise Machine trotted out illegal immigration as its new Wedge Issue of the Year. That didn't turn you so well, but you know: The classics never go out of style.
Where would the GOP be if it didn't have gay men to run against?
This is more an attack on the courts than it is anything else. The
whole protection of marriage crap just happens to make a nice little
wedge for these closeted homophobes. Every little thing this group has
done has always had the undertones of seizing the courts. Bring it on
George! Just as much as your ilk have exploited single anti abortion
issue crazies, this too will rally a new Democratic base against
writing descrimination into the Constitution.
Sophisticated political issues are a feeble substitute for the
manufactured decadence of flags, fags and fetuses. It's kinda like
sweeps week, sans the new episodes, series and specials.
Though Bush himself has publicly embraced the amendment, he never
seemed to care enough to press the matter. One of his old friends told
NEWSWEEK that same-sex marriage barely registers on the president's
moral radar. "I think it was purely political. I don't think he gives a
s--t about it. He never talks about this stuff," said the friend, who
requested anonymity to discuss his private conversations with Bush.
White House aides, who also declined to be identified, insist that the
president does care about banning gay marriage. They say Monday's
events with amendment supporters—Bush will also meet privately with a
small group—have been in the works "for weeks" and aren't just a sop to
Whatever the political maneuvering, it's the courts that could make the
next move. Last week New York's highest court heard arguments that the
state must allow gay couples to wed. A similar case in New Jersey was
argued in February. Decisions could come later this summer. At the same
time, judges recently struck down 2004 bans from Georgia, Ohio and
Nebraska. "It's just a matter of time before the other shoe falls,"
says Family Research Council president Tony Perkins. "This is not an
issue you can take a pass on." For politicians and activists, that may
be true. But average voters might do exactly that.
At the close of his commencement speech before 250
graduates (and 4000 others) at tiny Knox College in Galesburg, Ill. on
Saturday, satirist Stephen Colbert left them with a piece of advice:
Get your own TV show. "It pays well," he observed, "the hours are great
and you have fans. Eventually, some nice people will give you an
honorary degree for doing jack squat."
This advice could be crucial, for earlier he had
observed: "I don't know if they've told you what's been happening in
the world while you've been matriculating. The world is waiting for you
people with a club....They are playing for KEEPS out there, folks."
Colbert, who slipped in and out of his rightwing
blowhard TV persona on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” received
an overwhelmingly positive response compared with the mixed reaction at
the recent White House Correspondents Dinner. Afterward, students
presented him with a purple “Veritasiness Tour” t-shirt (which
translates, very roughly, as "truthiness").
He had opened his speech with: "My name is Stephen
Colbert, but I actually play someone on television named Stephen
Colbert, who looks like me, and talks like me, but who says things with
a straight face he doesn't mean."
In that vein, Colbert considered the immigration
debate: "It’s time for illegal immigrants to go — right after they
finish (building) those walls." People keep saying immigrants built
America, "but here's the thing, it's built now. I think it was finished
in the '70s sometime. From this point it's only a touch-up and repair
His suggestions for securing the U.S.-Mexico border
went beyond walls to include moats, fiery moats and fiery moats with
He added that the border with Canada also has to be
secure so Canadians cannot bring their "skunky beer" into the country.
He backed English as the official language of the United States — "God
wrote (the Bible) in English for a reason: So it could be taught in our
Noting the college was founded by abolitionists,
Colbert came out against slavery. "I just hope the mainstream media
gives me credit for the stand I’ve taken today," he said.
Recently picked as one of the 100 Most Influential
People by Time magazine, Colbert quipped: "If you do the math, there
are 6.5 billion people in the world. That means that today I am here
representing 65 million people. That's as big as some countries. What
country has about 65 million people? Iran? Iran has 65 million people.
So, for all intents and purposes, I'm here representing Iran today.
Colbert, 42, graduated from Northwestern University in
Evanston 20 years ago. He said that instead of a diploma on his
commencement day, he got a scrap of paper, which informed him he had an
incomplete in one class. He said he happily waved it in the photos with
his parents that day. At the next graduation, half a year later, he
didn’t receive his diploma because of a library fine, he claimed.
He closed his speech on an apparently semi-serious
note, urging the grads to learn how to say "yes." He noted that saying
yes will sometimes get them in trouble or make them look like a fool.
But he added: "Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young
people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly
cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing
from it. Because cynics don't learn anything. Because cynicism is a
self-imposed blinder, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it
will hurt us or disappoint us.
"Cynics always say no. But saying yes begins things.
Saying yes is how things grow. Saying yes leads to knowledge. Yes is
for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say yes.
Throughout his reaming by the Nigerian scammers, Worley was presented
with reason after reason for flipping off the thieves. He rationalized
bad checks and ignored respelled/misspelled names while constantly
shelling out LOTS of money to an ever changing roster of players. And
he did all of this in the year 2006 when the Nigerian e-mail scam has
been a punch line to jokes for several years.
If you have email, then you've no doubt
seen the spam from some foreign dignitary who needs your help getting
some money out of his country. He'll share it with you, just so long as
you "help" with some upfront costs.
It's a transparent con,
which we've all received far too often, and which we all delete
immediately after it hits our inbox. Well, maybe not all. Meet John Worley — decorated Vietnam veteran, ordained minister, Christian psychotherapist, and in one awful case of misjudgment, mark.
scrolled through his in-box and opened an e-mail, addressed to
"CEO/Owner." The writer said that his name was Captain Joshua Mbote,
and he offered an awkwardly phrased proposition: "With regards to your
trustworthiness and reliability, I decided to seek your assistance in
transferring some money out of South Africa into your country, for
onward dispatch and investment." Mbote explained that he had been chief
of security for the Congolese President Laurent Kabila, who had
secretly sent him to South Africa to buy weapons for a force of elite
bodyguards. But Kabila had been assassinated before Mbote could
complete the mission. "I quickly decided to stop all negotiations and
divert the funds to my personal use, as it was a golden opportunity,
and I could not return to my country due to my loyalty to the
government of Laurent Kabila," Mbote wrote. Now Mbote had fifty-five
million American dollars, in cash, and he needed a discreet partner
with an overseas bank account. That partner, of course, would be richly
Still, Worley, faced with an e-mail that would,
according to federal authorities, eventually lead him to join a gang of
Nigerian criminals seeking to defraud U.S. banks, didn't hesitate. A
few minutes after receiving Mbote's entreaty, he replied, "I can help
and I am interested."
Needless to say, this was not the right response.
a remarkable, albeit depressing, story. If you've ever wondered what
happens to the poor victim of one of these cons, you'll have to read this article. It's stunning.
"American culture is uniquely prone to the 'too good to miss' fallacy.
'Opportunity' is our favorite word. What may seem reckless and feckless
and hapless to people in many parts of the world seems a justifiable
risk to Americans."
Electronic Voting Machines are a RED HERRING and "a paper receipt" is
the FAKE solution that they are planning the same way HAVA was the fake
soltion to election fraud.
A PAPER BALLOT, COUNTED BY HAND BY NON-PARTISANS, AND TOTALS TABULATED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL is the only safe solution.
The RFK, Jr. article in Rolling Stone, Was the 2004 Election Stolen? is up in its entirety. It's very long, well-sourced and completely depressing piece on how our democracy has been trashed.
You cannot come away without at seeing how Ohio Secretary of State (and
now gubernatorial candidate) Ken Blackwell is just f*cking evil.
Katherine Harris is small potatoes compared to what Patriot Pastor-sponsoredhomobigot Blackwell did to toss the election to Dear Leader,
disenfranchising thousands upon thousands of voters with registration
hurdles, law-breaking, and simply not putting enough machines to
accommodate voters in select areas. You know, the precincts that wouldn’t swing for the Chimperor. Suburban Gerrilla - How they stole the 2004 election
In its official postmortem report issued two months
after the election, Edison/Mitofsky was unable to identify any flaw in
its methodology — so the pollsters, in essence, invented one for the
electorate. According to Mitofsky, Bush partisans were simply
disinclined to talk to exit pollsters on November 2nd(34) — displaying
a heretofore unknown and undocumented aversion that skewed the polls in
Kerry’s favor by a margin of 6.5 percent nationwide.(35)
Industry peers didn't buy it. John Zogby, one of the nation’s
leading pollsters, told me that Mitofsky's "reluctant responder"
hypothesis is "preposterous."(36) Even Mitofsky, in his official
report, underscored the hollowness of his theory: "It is difficult to
pinpoint precisely the reasons that, in general, Kerry voters were more
likely to participate in the exit polls than Bush voters."(37)
Now, thanks to careful examination of Mitofsky's own data by Freeman
and a team of eight researchers, we can say conclusively that the
theory is dead wrong. In fact it was Democrats, not Republicans, who were more disinclined to answer pollsters' questions on Election Day.
In Bush strongholds, Freeman and the other researchers found that
fifty-six percent of voters completed the exit survey - compared to
only fifty-three percent in Kerry strongholds.(38) "The data presented
to support the claim not only fails to substantiate it," observes
Freeman, "but actually contradicts it."
What's more, Freeman found, the greatest disparities between exit
polls and the official vote count came in Republican strongholds. In
precincts where Bush received at least eighty percent of the vote, the
exit polls were off by an average of ten percent. By contrast,
in precincts where Kerry dominated by eighty percent or more, the exit
polls were accurate to within three tenths of one percent — a pattern
that suggests Republican election officials stuffed the ballot box in
"When you look at the numbers, there is a tremendous amount of data
that supports the supposition of election fraud," concludes Freeman. "The discrepancies are higher in battleground states, higher where
there were Republican governors, higher in states with greater
proportions of African-American communities and higher in states where
there were the most Election Day complaints. All these are
strong indicators of fraud — and yet this supposition has been utterly
ignored by the press and, oddly, by the Democratic Party."
The evidence is especially strong in Ohio. In January, a team of
mathematicians from the National Election Data Archive, a nonpartisan
watchdog group, compared the state's exit polls against the certified
vote count in each of the forty-nine precincts polled by
Edison/Mitofsky. In twenty-two of those precincts - nearly half of
those polled - they discovered results that differed widely from the
official tally. Once again - against all odds - the widespread
discrepancies were stacked massively in Bush's favor: In only two of
the suspect twenty-two precincts did the disparity benefit Kerry.The wildest discrepancy came from the precinct Mitofsky numbered "27," in order to protect the anonymity of those surveyed. According
to the exit poll, Kerry should have received sixty-seven percent of the
vote in this precinct. Yet the certified tally gave him only
thirty-eight percent. The statistical odds against such a variance are
just shy of one in 3 billion.(40)
Such results, according to the archive, provide "virtually
irrefutable evidence of vote miscount." The discrepancies, the experts
add, "are consistent with the hypothesis that Kerry would have won
Ohio's electoral votes if Ohio's official vote counts had accurately
reflected voter intent."(41) According to Ron Baiman, vice
president of the archive and a public policy analyst at Loyola
University in Chicago, "No rigorous statistical explanation" can
explain the "completely nonrandom" disparities that almost uniformly
benefited Bush. The final results, he adds, are "completely consistent
with election fraud - specifically vote shifting."
"Electronic voting machines pose a grave threat to democracy," the
editorial details one confirmed problem after another with Electronic
Voting Machines (most of which we've been reporting here at The BRAD BLOG
for the past two years). Included are details on how Diebold scammed
their way into Ohio and helped push the Help America Vote Act through
congress in 2002 (as we originally reported our own exposé here.)
"Enough." the RS
editorial concludes, "Only a complete investigation by federal
authorities can determine the full extent of any bribery and vote
rigging that has taken place. The public must be assured that the power
to count the votes - and to recount them, if necessary - will not be
ceded to for-profit corporations with a vested interest in superseding
the will of the people. America's elections are the most fundamental
element of our democracy - not a market to be privatized by companies