Thursday, February 24, 2005
Quote of the Day:
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
- Hunter S. Thompson 1939-2005
Cricket Maxima 1
Same cricket photo after I put it through the ringer in Adobe Photoshop some more.
Cricket Maxima 2
Same cricket photo after I put it through the ringer in Adobe Photoshop.
Original Cricket Photo w/ a artificial sun flare added.
3M Security Glass Ad
21 Feb 2005 by Jason Fried
3M puts its money where its mouth is.
Thats great advertising (yes, it's real).
Republicans, bloggers and gays, oh my!Ann Coulter (archive)
February 24, 2005 | Print | Send
In response to the public disgrace and ruin of New York Times editor Howell Raines, CBS anchor Dan Rather and CNN news director Eason Jordan, liberals are directing their fury at the blogs. Once derided as people sitting around their living rooms in pajamas, now obscure writers for unknown websites are coming under more intensive background checks than CIA agents.
The heretofore-unknown Jeff Gannon of the heretofore-unknown "Talon News" service was caught red-handed asking friendly questions at a White House press briefing. Now the media is hot on the trail of a gay escort service that Gannon may have run some years ago. Are we supposed to like gay people now, or hate them? Is there a website where I can go to and find out how the Democrats want me to feel about gay people on a moment-to-moment basis?
Liberals keep rolling out a scrolling series of attacks on Gannon for their Two Minutes Hate, but all their other charges against him fall apart after three seconds of scrutiny. Gannon's only offense is that he may be gay. read more...
With a Hush and a Whisper, Bush Drops Town Hall Meeting with Germans
February 23, 2005
During his trip to Germany on Wednesday, the main highlight of George W. Bush's trip was meant to be a "town hall"-style meeting with average Germans. But with the German government unwilling to permit a scripted event with questions approved in advance, the White House has quietly put the event on ice. Was Bush afraid the event might focus on prickly questions about Iraq and Iran rather than the rosy future he's been touting in Europe this week?
The much-touted American-style "town hall" meeting the White House has been planning with "normal Germans" of everyday walks of life will be missing during his visit to the Rhine River hamlet of Mainz this afternoon. A few weeks ago, the Bush administration had declared that the chat -- which could have brought together tradesmen, butchers, bank employees, students and all other types to discuss trans-Atlantic relations -- would be the cornerstone of President George W. Bush's brief trip to Germany. read more...
US President George W. Bush arrived in Frankfurt on Wednesday morning. He won't be meeting with the people here, but he will be meeting with a handpicked bunch of Germany's future business and political leaders.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
A Belgian novelty shows what the good people of Brussels really think about George W. Bush.
by Paul Belien
02/22/2005 8:40:00 AM
The newest Belgian fad--a Bush urinal sticker.
WHEN JOHAN VANDE LANOTTE, Belgium's Vice Prime Minister, goes to the toilets today, he finds the urinals in the offices of his ministry decorated with stickers. They show an American flag and the head of George W. Bush. "Go ahead. Piss on me," the caption says. Vande Lanotte is one of Bush's hosts in Brussels. Is peeing on your guest's head appropriate? In Belgium it is. After all, Brussels' best known statue is that of "Manneken Pis," a peeing boy.
The piss stickers, specially made to be used in urinals, can be seen these days in the public toilets of Belgian schools, youth clubs, and pubs. They were designed by Laurent Winnock, president of the Young Socialists, the youth branch of Vande Lanotte's Socialist party. Winnock did his creative work during his office hours, which would not be worth mentioning if Winnock did not work in the offices of Vice Prime Minister Vande Lanotte, as one of his press spokesmen.
Last Friday, Belgian television asked Robert "Steve" Stevaert, the Socialist party leader, what he thought of the stickers. It had not been his idea, he stressed, but he refused to distance himself from it. He hardly could, seeing as the stickers can be ordered for free through the party's official website. For Belgian television viewers the message was clear: Bush may be our government's guest, the ministers will greet him, smile and tell him that he is most welcome, but we all know what they think of the bastard. read more..
Monday, February 21, 2005
Evolving Bush Billboard in Hollywood
The Neo-con death cult of Citizens Blighted has decided to bring their partisan message to Hollywood in the form of Billboards. With your help I would like to document how these boards change in the weeks before the Oscars.
Whoops, this will take longer to fix. The artist seems to be inspired by Charlie Chaplin's movie The Great Dictator and the recent prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq.
This week someone gave the Hollywood Blvd. Bush a Swastika and black eyes.
CB has arranged with the Billboard company to repair the Billboards with paint. However now the Prez is looking a bit alien. They also didn't do anything about the bird doo doo.
A popular poster image of President Bush as Uncle Sam that was for sale at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Among the believers
At the Conservative Political Action Conference, where rabid Bush-worshippers learn that liberals hate America and that we really did find WMD in Iraq.
By Michelle Goldberg
Feb. 19, 2005 | WASHINGTON -- It's a good thing I went to the Conservative Political Action Conference this year. Otherwise I never would have known that, despite the findings of the authoritative David Kay report and every reputable media outlet on earth, the United States actually discovered weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, vindicating all of George W. Bush's pre-war predictions. The revelation came not from some crank at Free Republic or hustler from Talon News, but from a congressman surrounded by men from the highest echelons of American government. No wonder the attendees all seemed to believe him.
The crowd at CPAC's Thursday night banquet, held at D.C.'s Ronald Reagan Building, was full of right-wing stars. Among those seated at the long presidential table at the head of the room were Henry Hyde, chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, Dore Gold, foreign policy advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and NRA president Kayne Robinson. Vice President Dick Cheney, a regular CPAC speaker, gave the keynote address. California Rep. Chris Cox had the honor of introducing him, and he took the opportunity to mock the Democrats whose hatred of America led them to get Iraq so horribly wrong.
"America's Operation Iraqi Freedom is still producing shock and awe, this time among the blame-America-first crowd," he crowed. Then he said, "We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons and facilities to make them inside Iraq." Apparently, most of the hundreds of people in attendance already knew about these remarkable, hitherto-unreported discoveries, because no one gasped at this startling revelation. read more...
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Baby stable after second head removed
10-month-old girl suffered from 'parasitic' twin birth defec
A nurse holds an Egyptian baby named Manar Maged in a hospital in the city of Banha, 25 miles north of Cairo, on Friday. Egyptian doctors said they removed the second
head from the 10-month-old girl on Saturday.
CAIRO, Egypt - An Egyptian baby born with two heads was in stable condition on Sunday after doctors at a provincial hospital removed one of the heads in a 13-hour operation, the doctors said.
Nasif Hifnawy, head of pediatrics at Benha Childrenâs Hospital, told Reuters that 10-month-old Manar Maged could move all four limbs and showed no signs of paralysis.
âManar is now breathing normally and has a normal heartbeat and blood pressure,â he added. The baby remains in intensive care at the hospital, 25 miles north of Cairo, and doctors expect her to stay there for at least seven days. read more...
|Labor Dept. to Investigate Its Treatment of Wal-Mart
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE
Published: February 21, 2005
he inspector general of the Labor Department has decided to investigate its agreement to give Wal-Mart Stores 15 days' notice before investigating any stores facing complaints of child labor violations, according to department officials.
The inspector general's decision comes after lawmakers and children's advocacy groups criticized the department's settlement of child labor complaints against 24 Wal-Mart stores in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Arkansas. Without admitting any wrongdoing, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $135,540 to settle complaints involving 85 youths.
Representative George Miller of California, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, asked the inspector general to intervene, saying that the department was wrong to give Wal-Mart advance notice before investigating complaints. Noting that Wal-Mart executives had contributed heavily to President Bush's re-election, Mr. Miller said that Wal-Mart had received special treatment and that the department had acted suspiciously in not making the settlement public for more than a month. read more...
Carly's photo from Mrs. Oh's Discovery Science Center fieldtip in Santa Ana.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Brit Hume Must Resign
Submitted by Oliver Willis on Thu, 02/17/2005 - 10:40am.
is the anchor of Fox News Channel's prime time news report, Special Report with Brit Hume
, and he makes things up. On February 3rd, Hume intentionally manipulated
the words of the 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to make it appear as if FDR supported privatization of social security. This is a brazen falsehood. President Roosevelt's grandson, James Roosevelt Jr., describes
Hume's journalistic malfeasance as an "an outrageous distortion". We agree. (read more
To intentionally twist the words of the father of social security in order to support a political plan to destroy it is disgusting. Hume has offered no apology nor explanation for his intentional deception. For this fraudulent act, Hume should resign.
Contact Hume: email@example.com
FOX News Channel
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Sign the petition
Spc. Josh Sanders, then a psychiatric outpatient at Walter Reed, in July 2004.
Behind the walls of Ward 54
They're overmedicated, forced to talk about their mothers instead of Iraq, and have to fight for disability pay. Traumatized combat vets say the Army is failing them, and after a year following more than a dozen soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital, I believe them.
By Mark Benjamin
Feb. 18, 2005 | WASHINGTON -- Before he hanged himself with his bathrobe sash in the psychiatric ward at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Spc. Alexis Soto-Ramirez complained to friends about his medical treatment. Soto-Ramirez, 43, had been flown out of Iraq five months before then because of chronic back pain that became excruciating during the war. But doctors were really worried about his mind. They thought he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving with the 544th Military Police Company, a unit of the Puerto Rico National Guard, the kind of unit that saw dirty, face-to-face combat in Iraq.
A copy of Soto-Ramirez's medical records, reviewed by Salon, show that a doctor who treated him in Puerto Rico upon his return from Iraq believed his mental problems were probably caused by the war and that his future was in the Army's hands. "Clearly, the psychiatric symptoms are combat related," a clinical psychologist at Roosevelt Roads Naval Hospital wrote on Nov. 24, 2003. The entry says, "Outcome will depend on adequacy and appropriateness of treatment." Doctors in Puerto Rico sent Soto-Ramirez to Walter Reed in Washington, D.C., to get the best care the Army had to offer. There, he was put in Ward 54, Walter Reed's "lockdown," or inpatient psychiatric ward, where the most troubled patients are supposed to have constant supervision.
But less than a month after leaving Puerto Rico, on Jan. 12, 2004, Soto-Ramirez was found dead, hanging in Ward 54. Army buddies who visited him in the days before his death said Soto-Ramirez was increasingly angry and despondent. "He was real upset with the treatment he was getting," said RenÃ© Negron, a former Walter Reed psychiatric patient and a friend of Soto-Ramirez's. "He said: 'These people are giving me the runaround ... These people think I'm crazy, and I'm not crazy, Negron. I'm getting more crazy being up here.' read more...
Bush strikes out in N.H. on Social Security
By David R. Guarino
Thursday, February 17, 2005
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - For President Bush Social Security reform tops a busy second-term agenda, but yesterday's stop on his campaign-style reform push brought little more than a collective ho-hum from Granite Staters.
White House aides collected empty chairs in an echoing Pease International Tradeport hangar before Bush took the stage since only about half of the 2,000 free tickets were taken.
And those who did come gave Bush a welcome that paled in comparison to his fall campaign rallies.
Dedicated backers said they liked the president's pitch.
But others left shaking their heads at Bush's controversial gambit.
''Yes, there are problems with Social Security down the road, but where's the immediate problem?'' asked Paul Guercio, a 58-year-old unenrolled research scientist from nearby Lyman, Maine.
''The president tells a good story, but I think this is scare tactics.''
A dogged Bush said he'll be unbowed by criticism.
``I'm going to continue traveling over and over and over again, making it clear to the American people we have a problem,'' the president said.
Bush said his plan would take up to 4 percent of payroll taxes into individual investment accounts and wouldn't touch benefits for retirees or those near retirement.
``To people who have received a check, or receiving a check, and those near retirement, people born before 1950, nothing changes,'' Bush said. ``It doesn't matter what the rhetoric might be, no matter what the mailers may say, nothing changes for people who have retired or near retirement. And that's really important.''
A University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll released this week shows only 32 percent of residents think private investment of Social Security is a good idea.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
U.S. contractors in Iraq allege abuses
Four men say they witnessed shooting of unarmed civilians
By Lisa Myers & the NBC investigative unit
Updated: 7:43 p.m. ET Feb. 15, 2005
There are new allegations that heavily armed private security contractors in Iraq are brutalizing Iraqi civilians. In an exclusive interview, four former security contractors told NBC News that they watched as innocent Iraqi civilians were fired upon, and one crushed by a truck. The contractors worked for an American company paid by U.S. taxpayers. The Army is looking into the allegations.
The four men are all retired military veterans: Capt. Bill Craun, Army Rangers; Sgt. Jim Errante, military police; Cpl. Ernest Colling, U.S. Army; and Will Hough, U.S. Marines. All went to Iraq months ago as private security contractors.
"I went there for the money," says Hough.
"I'm a patriot," says Craun.
"You can't turn off being a soldier," says Colling.
They worked for an American company named Custer Battles, hired by the Pentagon to conduct dangerous missions guarding supply convoys. They were so upset by what they saw, three quit after only one or two missions.
"What we saw, I know the American population wouldn't stand for," says Craun.
They claim heavily armed security operators on Custer Battles' missions â among them poorly trained young Kurds, who have historical resentments against other Iraqis â terrorized civilians, shooting indiscriminately as they ran for cover, smashing into and shooting up cars.
On a mission on Nov. 8, escorting ammunition and equipment for the Iraqi army, they claim a Kurd guarding the convoy allegedly shot into a passenger car to clear a traffic jam.
"[He] sighted down his AK-47 and started firing," says Colling. "It went through the window. As far as I could see, it hit a passenger. And they didn't even know we were there."
Later, the convoy came upon two teenagers by the road. One allegedly was gunned down.
"The rear gunner in my vehicle shot him," says Colling. "Unarmed, walking kids." read more...
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger during a news conference last week in San Diego.
The truth about Arnold
The movie star poses as a corruption-fighting moderate. But since taking office, he's pursued a blatantly right-wing agenda while raking in big bucks from special interests and ignoring his own financial conflicts.
By Peter Byrne
Feb. 15, 2005 Titillated by the star power of his populist coup in California, the national media has swooned in Arnold Schwarzenegger's muscular embrace for over a year. The New Yorker profiled him as "Supermoderate!" Wired found him to be "surprisingly effective." The editors of the New York Times proclaimed, "The last action hero can seemingly do no wrong." On the cover of its January 2005 issue, Vanity Fair featured the leather-jacketed Schwarzenegger posing atop a Harley with his silken spouse, Maria Shriver. The story, like so many others, portrayed the glam couple as the future of American politics: bipartisan, moderate, effective ... presidential.
At first, the new governor sporadically fit the role of social liberal but fiscal conservative. He endorsed stem cell research, strengthened protections for domestic partners and supported access to public records. Conversely, he campaigned against reforming the penal law, called for setting up a DNA database for felons, and vetoed a bill allowing illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses. But, overall, people bought into his seeming moderation -- fully two-thirds of the state's general public favored his governorship. No California governor in modern times has enjoyed such a broad-based mandate to tinker with the government of the world's fifth-largest economy.
But with his defiantly immoderate State of the State speech in early January, when he proposed to drastically cut back education and social services in lieu of taxing the rich, Schwarzenegger blindsided liberal Californians with his nakedly Republican agenda. This week, the celebrity governor travels to Washington to mine his relationship with President Bush and the GOP-controlled Congress to boost federal spending for California. Since arriving in Sacramento, Schwarzenegger has: Taken governmental actions that benefit his personal finances, in apparent violation of state law. Collected tens of millions of dollars from many of the same "special interests" he had sworn to kick out of town when he was elected. Vetoed bills that would have protected labor, the environment, workplace safety and consumers. Sought to centralize his power by abolishing citizen-run boards that make important regulatory decisions. Advocated for increased deregulation of the electricity market.
Monday, February 14, 2005
Happy Valentines Day!
Looking for something sweet and personalized to give your special someone today? Why not give them candy heart with a personal message on it? Make your own personalized candy with the new and improved ACME Heart Maker. Need some ideas of what to say, why not take a look at recent creations created by other love birds here.
This message was brought to you friends at ACME Labs.
WAL-MART CHILDREN OF THE SAW: In January, Wal-Mart secretly settled federal charges that it violated child labor laws more than 20 times in three states, including allegedly allowing workers under age 18 operate dangerous machinery like cardboard balers and chain saws. It's no wonder the deal was kept under wraps. Wal-Mart was forced to pay just $135,540 about .000055 percent of the retailer's annual revenue to settle the charges. Moreover, the agreement includes a promise by the Labor Department to give Wal-Mart 15 days' notice before the department investigates any other "wage and hour" accusations, like failure to pay minimum wage or overtime. John R. Fraser, the government's top wage official under the first President Bush and President Bill Clinton, told the New York Times the 15-day notice was "very unusual," saying it "appears to put Wal-Mart in a privileged position that to my knowledge no other employer has."
Take action now: Sign the petition to Wal-Mart's CEO
Dear Working Families e-Activist:
The world's largest retailer is choosing to destroy the livelihoods of nearly 200 working families rather than accept a fair and impartial agreement on workers' wages and benefits.
Wal-Mart announced Feb. 9 it will shut down the Canadian store where workers had formed a union six months earlier to have a voice on the job. Workers at the Jonquiere, Quebec, store had been negotiating with Wal-Mart for several months, attempting to reach a fair agreement on wages and benefits. The company pulled the plug when workers appealed to the Quebec Labor Ministry to start a process to establish a wage and benefit settlement.
Please click the following link to sign the petition telling Wal-Mart's CEO: Do the right thing. Reverse plans to close your store. And negotiate in good faith with Wal-Mart workers.
Friday, February 11, 2005
Listen to this story Unions for thousands of Canadian workers have organized a boycott of the world's largest retailer. This week, Wal-Mart announced plans to close its first unionized store in North America, a store in Quebec. Little love is lost between organized labor and Wal-Mart. But at a Wal-Mart in Germany, one might find the love of one's life. Kyle James reports on a strategy to win over folks 'in the market'. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Joke of the Day:
A little Mexican boy goes into the kitchen where his mom is baking. He puts his hand in the flour and wipes it all over his face. "Mom, look, I'm a white boy."
His mom slaps him in the face and says "Go show your father". He goes to his dad in the living room and says "Look dad, I'm a white boy." His dad slaps him hard in the face and says "Go show your grandmother."
The boy goes in his grandmothers room and says "Mira, abuelita, I'm a white boy " His grandmother slaps him in the face and sends him back to his mother.
His mother says "See. Did you learn anything from that?" To which the boy replies, "Sure did. I have only been white for five minutes and I already hate you Mexicans."
School RFID Plan Gets an F
Parents of elementary and middle school students in a small California town are protesting a tracking program their school recently launched, which requires students to wear identification badges embedded with radio frequency, or RFID, chips.
School superintendents struck a deal with a local maker of the technology last year to test the system to track attendance and weed out trespassers.
But students and parents, who weren't told about the RFID chips until they complained, are upset over what they say are surreptitious tactics the school used to implement the program. They also question the ethics of a monetary deal the school made with the company to test and promote its product, using students as guinea pigs.
"This is not right for our kids," said Michele Tatro, whose daughter received a badge. "I'm not willing for anybody to track me and I don't think my children should be tracked, either."
The InClass RFID system was developed by two local high school teachers in Sutter, California, who helped found the company, InCom, that markets the system. Last year, the company approached the principal and superintendent of Brittan Elementary School District with the idea of testing InClass. The company offered the elementary school a donation of "a couple thousand dollars," according to the school's attorney, Paul Nicholas Boylan, as compensation for possible inconveniences caused by the test.
Boylan said the plan seemed like a good idea at the time and that the outcry was "completely unanticipated." read more...
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Pentagon Wins A Stop Loss Round
United Press International
February 9, 2005
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon easily won the first round of the legal battle over its "stop-loss" policy, which involuntarily extends a service member's military obligation and keeps boots on the ground in Iraq.
Critics call the policy a "back-door draft."
At the same time, the victory for the Pentagon is bad news for the thousands of service members in Iraq and Afghanistan who may be vulnerable to having their military service extended well beyond the time they were supposed to be discharged.
What can't be calculated is the continuing public-relations damage to the services. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Lt. Gen. Steven Blum, chief of the National Guard Bureau, and other officials acknowledged recently that recruitment is getting to be a tougher sell.
Some media reports say recruitment is down by one-third. read more...
More Headlines from Military.com
Ft. Bragg Soldier, Teen Found Dead
Pentagon Drops Toxic Drug Diagnosis
Noam Chomsky: U.S. Might Face "Ultimate Nightmare" in Middle East Where Shiites Control Most of World's Oil
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One of the country's leading dissidents, MIT Professor Noam Chomsky, gives a major new address on the Iraq war, the re-election of President Bush and imperialism. On Iraq's elections, Chomsky predicts what a Shiite-controlled Iraq may look like: "The first thing they'll do is reestablish relations with Iran...The next thing that might happen is that a Shiite-controlled, more or less democratic Iraq might stir up feelings in the Shiite areas of Saudi Arabia, which happen to be right nearby and which happen to be where all the oil is. So you might find what in Washington must be the ultimate nightmare-a Shiite region which controls most of the world's oil and is independent."
Display Stirs Controversy In Land Park
Soldier's Uniform Hangs From Noose In Front Of Home
SACRAMENTO, Calif. --
Nestled in a quiet Sacramento neighborhood is a very loud political statement that is testing the very foundation of the right to free speech.
Hanging from a house in Land Park, a soldier's uniform in a noose dangles from a rooftop. The words "your tax dollars at work" are scrolled across the chest.
In a community full of patriotism, this view of the war in Iraq has not gone unnoticed.
"I think it's the ultimate sign of disrespect. We have troops dying for us," Land Park resident Mark Cohen said.
"(I'm) annoyed and disgusted. I think if this is the way someone feels they can find a better way to vent their opinions," Land Park resident Pete Miles said.
The homeowners behind the controversy are Steve and Virginia Pearcy. They released a statement saying, "There will always be people who are offended by political speech, and the most important forum of all ... is one's own residence. The First Amendment is meaningless unless dissent is allowed."
Some neighbors agree.
"Even if you don't agree with it, he has the right to state his opinion. I don't find it offensive at all," Land Park resident Cece Williams said.
The tension in the neighborhood has escalated into more than just a political feud.
The matter has been reported to the police department and to the city attorney. The city council has even heard about it, but says they can't solve the problem.
"Unfortunately or fortunately this is protected speech by the First Amendment ... so there is nothing we can do about it," Sacramento City Councilman Rob Fong said.
KCRA 3 received a call late Wednesday morning from the homeowner saying that a group of people had torn down the display. He said that what he did was not illegal, but what was done by the people who removed the display was.
HOME AGAIN: On returning from Iraq, Herold Noel faced the challenges of finding a home and tending to his family. He moved to New York with his wife and children, then became homeless. He now has a new apartment.
Social service agencies say the number of homeless vets is rising, in part because of high housing costs and gaps in pay.
| Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor
NEW YORK â Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are now showing up in the nation's homeless shelters.
While the numbers are still small, they're steadily rising, and raising alarms in both the homeless and veterans' communities. The concern is that these returning veterans - some of whom can't find jobs after leaving the military, others of whom are still struggling psychologically with the war - may be just the beginning of an influx of new veterans in need. Currently, there are 150,000 troops in Iraq and 16,000 in Afghanistan. More than 130,000 have already served and returned home.
So far, dozens of them, like Herold Noel, a married father of three, have found themselves sleeping on the streets, on friends' couches, or in their cars within weeks of returning home. Two years ago, Black Veterans for Social Justice (BVSJ) in the borough of Brooklyn, saw only a handful of recent returnees. Now the group is aiding more than 100 Iraq veterans, 30 of whom are homeless. read more...
|Wal-Mart Canada to Close Unionized Quebec Store|
Wed February 9, 2005 5:07 PM GMT-05:00
TORONTO (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Canada will close one of its two Quebec stores that won union certification last year after failing to reach a labor agreement, the retailer said on Wednesday.
The Canadian arm of U.S. retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said its store in Jonquiere, Quebec, will close this spring after becoming the first unionized Wal-Mart in North America about six months ago.
Wal-Mart Canada said it advised the union last year when the bargaining process began that the store's financial situation was precarious.
"Despite this fact and nine separate days of meetings over a period of more than three months, the company has been unsuccessful in reaching an agreement with the union that would allow the store to operate efficiently and profitably," the company said in a release.
A spokesperson for the United Food and Commercial Workers union was not immediately available for comment.
The company said the union applied for first contract arbitration on Feb. 2, and in doing so acknowledged the two sides were not likely to reach an agreement.
The roughly 180 employees affected by the closure will receive severance packages, Wal-Mart said.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
San Juan Capistrano Field Trip
Me on the bus back from the fourth-grade fieldtrip to San Juan Capistrano.
Sunday, February 06, 2005
BIG GAME AD
Watch the Anheuser-Busch ad honoring our military that aired during the Big Game.
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Hunger for Dictatorship
War to export democracy may wreck our own.
by Scott McConnell
Students of history inevitably think in terms of periods: the New Deal, McCarthyism, the Sixties (1964-1973), the NEP, the purge trials all have their dates. Weimar, whose cultural excesses made effective propaganda for the Nazis, now seems like the antechamber to Nazism, though surely no Weimar figures perceived their time that way as they were living it. We may pretend to know what lies ahead, feigning certainty to score polemical points, but we never do.
Nonetheless, there are foreshadowings well worth noting. The last weeks of 2004 saw several explicit warnings from the antiwar Right about the coming of an American fascism. Paul Craig Roberts in these pages wrote of the brownshirting of American conservatism a word that might not have surprised had it come from Michael Moore or Michael Lerner. But from a Hoover Institution senior fellow, former assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, and one-time Wall Street Journal editor, it was striking.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
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More gay cartoon characters revealed!
Crazed right-wing moralists, take note: Before SpongeBob, there was Snagglepuss ... and Huckleberry Hound ... and even Popeye.
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By Liz Larocca
Feb. 8, 2005 | Recent events in the world of animated children's shows have caused people to question whether the cartoon industry is promoting a homosexual agenda. Allegations have been directed at SpongeBob SquarePants for participating in a pro-gay video, and at Buster the Bunny for his fraternization with a lesbian couple and their children. While some have dismissed these allegations as the rantings of ultraconservative Christians, gay cartoon characters do in fact exist, and some of them are even politically active. I recently asked some of them to share their stories.
Sitting in the living room of his well-appointed Cape Cod-style home, a cultural icon recalls his heyday with sadness and regret. "I was in constant fear of being found out," says Popeye, sipping herbal tea. "I thought once I cast Olive Oyl, everyone would know. She was so tall and lanky, with that boyish figure ..."
He trails off, shaking his head. "If you want to know the truth, I picked her because she reminded me of someone." He smiles and looks wistful. "Ensign Robert Flynn. Some of my fondest memories of the Navy revolve around him."