Ckeck it out! A Guy Witnesses A Car Accident
Heads_Up Diary of the Mad Pigeon
Fri 29 Feb 2008 14:42
Fri 29 Feb 2008 14:17
A group of drunken British soldiers went amok in a bar in northern Norway earlier this week, stripping off their clothes and…
Winter military exercises take place in northern Norway every year, to prepare troops for service in Afghanistan and other areas.
The decidedly un-gentlemanly like behaviour shocked other bar patrons, many of whom had been harassed by the soldiers before they launched into their striptease.
Cecilie Kleppe, age 29, told newspaper VG that the soldiers had been bothering several of the female patrons in the bar before they suddenly shouted "naked bar" and stripped off all their clothes.
"Some of them even started waving their private parts at the other guests," Kleppe told VG. "Two of the Englishmen urinated on a fellow soldier who was lying on the floor. It was disgusting."
At one point, around seven naked soldiers were sitting around the bar in Harstad, which is the main city near the area where British troops take part in winter military exercises. Thousands of soldiers from several countries are in northern Norway for the annual exercises.
The British participation won’t be quickly forgotten. Even though the presence of so many soldiers provides a boost to the local economy, it also has its disadvantages. Some residents say the rowdiness that can come along makes them feel insecure.
The manager of the Sfinx Bar, where the British soldiers went amok late Wednesday night, said he’s never seen anything like it. "I hope it never happens again," he said. No police reports were filed, but military officials claimed such "bad behaviour" would be punished.
The British soldiers’ behaviour at the bar "made everybody react," said Petter Holmbakken, who was in the bar when the stripping and urinating took place. "I can understand that the women were offended. It’s no fun to be plagued by lots of nasty comments.
"To be perfectly honest, I and a lot of other Harstad residents are fed up with the Englishmen."
Fri 29 Feb 2008 14:04
Channel 4 news presenter Jon Snow was at the centre of a huge row today after praising the American website that revealed Prince Harry’s deployment in Afghanistan.
The British media and the Ministry of Defence had agreed to a voluntary news blackout for fear of increasing the risk to Harry’s life and to the other soldiers serving with him.
But Drudge, which first became famous after revealing Bill Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, ignored the deal and ran the story yesterday afternoon.
Snow, writing in his blog, then thanked the Report for breaking the "British media’s conspiracy of silence" about Harry serving in the front line in Helmand Province.
And he repeated the comments again on Channel 4 last night, sparking fury among viewers – several of whom pledged not to watch its news programme again.
He may be relaxed here but Jon Snow is unlikely to be sitting so easily today after provoking fury by praising the Drudge Report for revealing Harry’s deployment in Helmand
The almost unprecedented media blackout had largely held bar an unnoticed report in Australian women’s magazine, New Idea, in January.
But it collapsed when Drudge went ahead and published its story yesterday afternoon, forcing the Ministry of Defence to issue an official confirmation.
Snow then praised the Report, a largely right-wing political gossip website, in the regular e-mail he sends out to subcribers and publishes online.
He declared: "I never thought I’d find myself saying thank God for Drudge.
"Editors have been sworn to secrecy over Prince Harry being sent to fight in Afghanistan …
"Drudge has blown their cover. One wonders whether viewers, readers and listeners will ever want to trust the media again?"
In a debate on the evening news, Snow asked: "Can you think of another country where this could ever happen other than in a totalitarian state?"
A British paper that did break the story and had not been party to the news black-out could have had "a real scoop", he said.
His stance set him against top brass in the army and in politics, who expressed their disappointment that the embargo had not been respected.
And viewers reacted with a storm of protest, branding him "shameful", "idiotic" and "disgraceful". Channel 4 later revealed that it had 91 phone complaints and watchdog Ofcom a further four.
Matt Drudge broke a deal keeping Harry’s deployment to Helmand a secret
Sue Smith wrote in an e-mail: "Tonight’s show talking about a ‘conspiracy of silence’ and the email from Jon … is so far beyond the pale I will never watch Channel 4 News again.
"By these standards you would have been notifying Hitler of all our secrets. Shameful. Utterly utterly shameful."
Another said: "Jon Snow, in one absolutely idiotic, thoughtless stupid statement, has just lost Channel 4 News one viewer."
Meanwhile, Caroline McNicholas declared: "Jon Snow’s petulant reporting of Prince Harry’s deployment to Afghanistan was television at its worst."
Alan Thomas described Snow’s comments as "absolutely disgraceful" and praised the British media for keeping quiet.
Relatives of soldiers currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan were also unequivocal in their condemnation of the veteran presenter.
Sharon Murphy said: "You have put lives at risk in Afghanistan, one of which is my husband. I hope you can live with the repercussions.
Karen Bojanowski added: "Are you insane? "Thank God for the Drudge Report"???? I am the mother of an American soldier deployed in Iraq.
"Were he famous or a high profile target like the prince, I would consider it an act of treason, lunacy, or fatal stupidity to publish his whereabouts.
"And what of the other fine men, serving with the prince? Are their lives so unimportant to you media scum that you would see them overrun and murdered so that you could print a few pictures of the prince?"
Others simply said that if Jon Snow had not agreed with the media blackout, he should have urged Channel 4 to run the story earlier instead of lambasting the British media after the event.
William Scott wrote: "Shame on you! Here you are, part of a TV station that connived at keeping this story quiet, and yet when it breaks you’ve not got the courage or integrity to face your own organisation with the questions you’re only too happy to ask, very condescendingly, of other people.
"Such nauseating hypocrisy. Almost enough to drive me back to the BBC – but not quite. Just do better next time please."
Mail Online readers also expressed their outrage, branding Snow an "idiot", "twit" and a "studio coward". Several called for him to resign.
Jeanette Franklin, from Dudley, wrote: "I take my hat off to the British media! Jon Snow should be made to eat his!"
Ian Turner, from Aberdeen, added: "Self opinionated, pumped up idiot, he should be sacked immediately!"
And Sandi, from Edinburgh, said: "Jon Snow is a left wing, tantrum throwing embarrassment to journalism."
Evan Jones, from Cardiff, wrote: "John Snow is a fool. I’ve always felt he was arrogant, highly opinionated and truculent. Snow should be booted out, he’s a disgrace.
There was no word from the presenter today on his blog, although an article on the site did discuss his controversial comments.
It said: "This story – potent mix of royalty, politics and the media – will go on.
"One newsroom voice even suggests that UK editors have collectively "nailed their colours to the mast", tacitly supporting the war by agreeing to the blackout."
A Channel 4 News spokeswoman said that, as part of ITN, it had backed the deal with the MoD but that it also stood by Snow despite his criticism of the embargo.
A spokeswoman said: "Of course we stand by Jon Snow as our presenter. ITN did agree with the media blackout. They did not agree that it was wrong.
"Jon Snow was not aware of the blackout in advance of the story breaking."
The broadcaster added: "The studio guests all broadly held the view that the media blackout was the right thing to do and so it was vital that Jon expressed clearly that there was an alternative view."
Controversial MP George Galloway, who was expelled from the Labour Party over comments he made while opposing the war in Iraq, was yesterday one of the few other voices to criticise the bargain struck with the MoD.
The Bethnal Green and Bow MP, speaking on BBC1’s Question Time, said that he did not like the British media, particularly the BBC, becoming "part of the war effort".
He added: "Prince Harry was saying on TV that he was engaging the enemy. I don’t know about you, but I have no enemies in Afghanistan."
When challenged by host David Dimbleby over whether the Taliban were the enemy, he replied: "The Taliban are not the enemy for me."
The Drudge Report has so far shown no signs of regret for its "world exclusive" but it too has received a flood of e-mails from readers criticising its decision to go public.
Practically every comment made on the story on its website today was critical, dubbing it "totally irresponsible", "disrespectful" and "disgusting".
Dianne1 wrote: "As somebody who has relatives and friends in Afghanistan, I’m disgusted that you and other media sources would release information that will affect the security of the troops there.
"Obviously there is a reason the British press did not report about Prince Harry. Al-Qaeda is interested in such a high-profile target, and consequently those who serve with Prince Harry are put in harm’s way."
Reader, John Boyle, did not mince his words, writing: "By breaking this news you have placed his and the lives of his colleagues in unnecessary danger.
"I hope the fleas of a thousand camels infest your a***holes."
And another wrote: "What a great shame you people just couldn’t leave alone. You could learn something important from this – but I doubt you will. Such stupidity. Yours, disgusted in the UK."
Yet more anger was directed at the Australian magazine New Idea, which originally broke the story back in January.
Its website was flooded with readers who called for a boycott on the magazine and branded its journalists "guttersnipes" and "brain-dead morons".
One e-mail summed up the reaction as: "New Idea? No bloody idea, more like."
Another reader wrote: "Disgraceful, typical of you useless non-thinking ‘chicklit’ journalists to let this news out and compromise Harry’s chance at being able to do his job.
"You should be ashamed of yourselves."
Further comments flooded in on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s news website.
Paul Hannah wrote: "I see no evidence of any care here, unless of course it is for their own circulation."
A spokesman for the magazine said today that it was unaware of the press embargo and would not knowingly have broken it.
He said: "We take these matters very seriously and would never knowingly break an embargo.
"We regret any issues the revelation of this story in America has caused today."
On its website, any reference to Harry’s deployment had been replaced with a biography of the young royal.
Fri 29 Feb 2008 13:20
Dominican native Rafael A. Nunez, left on steps, at Reading High School on Thursday, the day after he gave a motivational speech at an assembly. Seniors Merelyn C. Janse, center, and Denise M. Disla, both Dominicans
Reading, PA – A celebration of the Dominican Republic’s independence day involving as many as 1,500 students outside Reading High School erupted in violence Wednesday afternoon.
A city police captain was injured and at least a half-dozen students were arrested.
An unruly crowd of 1,000 to 1,500 high school students blocked streets around the school and threw rocks and bottles at police when officers tried to disperse them, authorities said.
Deputy Police Chief Mark E. Talbot Sr. said the violent mob was unprecedented and created one of the scariest situations he’s had in his career in Reading.
Some students hit parked cars with baseball bats, and at least one student was reported hurt after someone hit him in the head with a bat, police said.
About 40 police officers — every on-duty officer in the city — responded to the melee, investigators said.
City police Capt. Edward J. Kosmerl Jr. was treated in Reading Hospital after a rock struck him in the head near 13th and Green streets about 4:30, police said.
Kosmerl was standing on the corner with another officer when a crowd of about 100 youths waving Dominican flags passed on the sidewalk, investigators said.
A few seconds later, a golf-ball size rock thrown by someone in the group hit Kosmerl on the side of the head, police said.
Kosmerl, 59, a 34-year veteran of the force, was taken to the hospital by another officer and received several stitches, according to police. He was home Wednesday night but declined comment.
Acting schools Superintendent Anthony A. Georeno said Wednesday night that students of Dominican descent were involved in a variety of celebrations in the school during the day, including an approved assembly with a speaker.
Georeno said he did not know the name of the speaker nor the topic of his presentation.
High school Principal Wynton Butler could not be reached.
Police said they did not know why the students became unruly as they were dismissed from school.
"There was an assembly, and the kids decided to have a big celebration in the streets," said Lt. Albert E. Evans of the patrol division, who was standing beside Kosmerl when he was attacked. "We had police outside the school like we do every day, but it got way out of hand, so we ended up sending every police officer in City Hall up there."
Even with so many officers on hand, police had a difficult time controlling the crowd.
Police were trying only to contain the students and prevent serious violence, Evans said.
Police said school administrators and staff watched as chaos erupted outside the school and did nothing to help police struggling to control the crowd.
Georeno, who did not witness the melee, said his staff told him the gathering was peaceful before police arrived.
Georeno said a group of students he described as jubilant unfurled a Dominican flag as they left the school and held an impromptu parade.
He said school officials did not intervene because the students were orderly and peaceful as they left school property.
The crowd marched through the area for about 90 minutes before breaking up.
Kosmerl was injured near the end of the demonstration, which progressed from the school at 13th and Douglass streets, down Douglass to Eighth Street, over to Green Street and up Spring Street to 10th and 11th streets, police said.
Many students waved red, white and blue Dominican flags and wore red shirts as they paraded.
Students shook their fists and yelled as cars passed.
Police said some of them were running onto porches shouting. Neighbors did not know what was going on, and police said they were caught off guard.
Police handcuffed about six students and took them to City Hall to be charged. Further information about them was unavailable.
Police Chief William M. Heim said he called retired state Trooper Raymond J. Albert, the school district’s safety coordinator, and told him the department would like to know before something like the parade happens again.
"He said they had the same thing last year with no trouble," Heim said. "But certainly we cannot have 1,000 kids parading through the city and blocking the streets. You need to get a permit for something like that so that we can block off the route and keep traffic moving."
Ungrateful gawddamn foreign nationals; toss their Dominican flag waving rioting asses out of the U.S. of A.!
Fri 29 Feb 2008 12:53
Feral pigs gather Ft. Benning fence
FORT BENNING, Ga. – Maj. Bobby Toon is known as the Pig Czar at the huge army post on Georgia’s western edge.
He has been assigned to help rid Fort Benning of its unwanted guests: an estimated 6,000 feral pigs that roam the 184,000-acre installation.
The animals, common throughout Georgia, are known for tearing up woodlands and farms. They are aggressive foragers, gobbling up native vegetation and endangered species.
"These pigs feed and breed," Toon said. "That’s all they care about. I’ve been here off and on for 17 years, and I can never remember a pig population as big as it is now."
Since July, more than 900 pigs have been killed.
"These animals can smell a turkey egg three miles away," Toon said. "They’re also a danger to tortoises and woodpeckers."
The former 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment company commander, who now instructs a course at the Maneuver Captains Career Course, has personally brought down 68 pigs in the past year.
He’s not the only pig hunter at work.
About 2,000 people who are authorized to hunt on the post have been encouraged to go after the feral pigs. They must be active-duty, retired military or civilian workers at Benning and must have a license from the base.
The post is offering a $40 bounty for every pig tail that’s brought in.
"We did a cost estimate with civilian contractors, but they wanted way too much money for the job," Toon said.
Toon, Fort Benning’s feral pig czar, displays one of his trophies
Fri 29 Feb 2008 10:51
Ah, irony. Funny how that works.
Anti-US military Marxist Medea Benjamin
Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin, who can turn the air blue when shouting chants against American Marines called out for the Marines in front of Marine Recruiting offices in Berkeley yesterday.
Eamon Kelley, the young Marine who is featured in Move America Forward’s TV commercial that ran on Fox News earlier this week, could hardly believe his own ears when Benjamin called on the Marines for help.
Kelley, who is recovering from back surgery, spent his day in Berkeley, where CodePink continues with Berkeley council’s blessing, to keep a virtual blockade at the recruit center, expanding its efforts to harass American troops and to turn back any young Americans looking to enlist.
City Council stubbornly refuses to apologize and continues to subsidize free parking for CodePink to drive soldiers out of town.
“While we were at the protest in Berkeley from 12 to 4 p.m., a white Volvo drove by and a man spat upon CodePink,” Kelley wrote in an email to MAF’s Melanie Morgan. “They chased him down the street and got into a verbal altercation. The police were NOWHERE in sight.
“That’s not the best part, ready for this?
“Medea Benjamin yelled and I quote “Marines!” She actually yelled for our help because this man had stepped out of his car. I even asked her if she was yelling Police and she told me, “I said Marines” then put her arm around my friend Allen (the Marine Vet). Ironic?”
Fri 29 Feb 2008 10:08
The Billboard Liberation Front today announced a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants.
"This campaign is an extraordinary rendition of a public-private partnership," observed BLF spokesperson Blank DeCoverly. "These two titans of telecom have a long and intimate relationship, dating back to the age of the telegraph. In these dark days of Terrorism, that should be a comfort to every law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide."
Thu 28 Feb 2008 13:49
Kathy Strong has worn a bracelet engraved with the name of a young soldier missing in Vietnam — a man she never knew — for more than 35 years.
WALNUT CREEK — She’s never met him, and it’s likely that he’s dead. Yet Kathy Strong feels a powerful bond with James Leslie Moreland.
He was a Green Beret in the Vietnam War who has been Missing in Action since Feb. 7, 1968. Strong has worn a bracelet engraved with Moreland’s name for more than 35 years, fulfilling a promise she made when she received it to keep the simple stainless steel band on her wrist until he returned home.
"I was in seventh grade when I put the bracelet on," said Strong, a 47-year-old Walnut Creek resident who works in Richmond. "He was missing almost five years by the time I got the bracelet."
She received the trinket Christmas Day 1972 in her stocking. It was one of about 5 million bracelets made to remind Americans of the more than 2,500 military personnel who were missing or prisoners during the Vietnam War.
Moreland, who lived in Anaheim, is one of 1,788 troops still missing from that war. Of those, 179 are from California.
Dating back to World War II, there are about 88,000 troops unaccounted for, said Capt. Mary Olsen, spokeswoman for the Defense Department’s Prisoner of War-Missing in Action, or POW-MIA, office. Currently, four soldiers are missing in Iraq.
"I was very young when Vietnam was going on," said Strong, who lived in Southern California when she received the bracelet. "I don’t really understand a lot of the politics behind it. But personally, I don’t believe we should go to any other war until we get our men back from the last war."
As Strong grew into adulthood, she gradually learned more about the man who has been a presence in her life for decades.
Through research in books about Vietnam, Strong found that Moreland was seriously injured and presumed dead at age 22 in the battle at Lang Vei. When she marked the 40th anniversary earlier this month of the last time he was seen alive, Strong decided to make her story public to remind people in Contra Costa County and the country that there are still hundreds of American military personnel missing and that she and others are keeping their memories alive.
"I’ve never been to Vietnam," Strong said. "But I still feel a connection with my MIA as well as the others who were with him the night he died."
Paul Longgrear, Moreland’s commanding officer, survived the battle and now lives near Atlanta. Longgrear shed light on Moreland’s probable death in a phone interview with the Times.
After being attacked, Longgrear, Moreland and a handful of other men retreated into an underground bunker, said Longgrear, 64. Moreland was a medic in the small mobile strike force.
Moreland climbed up to retrieve a machine gun, said Longgrear, who was 25 at the time.
"While he was there," Longgrear said, "a tank shot at him and shattered the back of his head with shrapnel. It was a very devastating wound, but he was a tough kid."
Moreland lived through the night and was injured again when the enemy began blowing up the camp, Longgrear said. The officer and his men decided to make a break for it.
"When we got ready to go," he said, "Moreland was unresponsive. The best we could determine, he was dead or wasn’t going to live. Everybody was wounded, and we were kind of limited in what we could do for each other."
Longgrear and some others were picked up by a special forces helicopter. A few men were captured.
"Moreland’s body was never found," Longgrear said. "He was a great kid. We used to have a lot of fun. He was a good-looking kid, about 6-foot-1, 185 pounds. He had a real cocky attitude. We all did. We were Green Berets — thought we were 10 feet tall and bulletproof."
Longgrear said that he and other veterans are glad that people such as Strong have worn their POW-MIA bracelets for all these years, in honor of their fallen friends.
"It makes me very appreciative of someone who loves America and appreciates a person who would go and sacrifice their life," Longgrear said. "I think it’s wonderful that this young lady cares enough not to give up hope. And that’s what I think the bracelet symbolizes — that we will not forget you."
Strong said she would like to meet Moreland’s family, but Longgrear said he doubted the family would be receptive. Moreland’s sister contacted Longgrear twice to talk about her brother.
"I know his parents are dead," Longgrear said. "It’s very difficult. It’s such an emotional thing. The whole family became a victim because when you’re missing (someone) like that, there’s no closure."
The League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia has continued to pressure the government to bring the remains of their loved ones home. The original group that sold the POW-MIA bracelets disbanded in 1976.
But the Ohio chapter of the league has revived the effort, selling bracelets with the names of about 100 missing troops who served in Vietnam. Their families have given permission for the sale. In addition, bracelets for Navy Capt. Scott Speicher, missing from the 1991 Gulf War, and Army Sgt. Keith Maupin, a prisoner of war in Iraq, also are available.
Liz Flick, who distributes the bracelets for the chapter, said she and others she knows have been wearing their bracelets as long as Strong.
"It is very definitely a brotherhood of those of us who wear the bracelets," she said. "If you’re out and you see someone with the bracelet and you hold up your wrist, it’s an immediate connection — like yes, you’re working on this, too."
Strong said she’s happy to know that there is a network of people like her in the country. And if Moreland’s remains are not recovered in her lifetime, she is determined to die with the bracelet still wrapped around her wrist.
"It’s just a promise I made to this person, and it’s a promise I intend on keeping." Strong said. "I could take the bracelet off, and probably no one would notice. But I would know."
Details about Special Forces killed in Southeast Asia are at http://www.sfahq.com.
POW/MIA bracelets can be purchased by sending a check or money order for $10 to Ohio Chapter MIA/POW, Attn: Mrs. Liz Flick, P.O. Box 14853, Columbus, OH 43214.
Thu 28 Feb 2008 11:29
Barack Obama displayed his bizarre views on foreign and domestic policy during Tuesday night’s Democrat presidential debate but nobody in the media seemed to notice. This is a candidate who is pitifully ignorant on some of the major issues facing our nation.
This is a strange presidential campaign, and the coverage is even stranger. Under media pressure, John McCain has apologized because radio talk-show host Bill Cunningham opened a McCain rally by noting that Barack Obama’s full name is Barack Hussein Obama. The media were upset not only because he went after Obama, but because Cunningham’s hilarious remarks on liberal media bias were so on target.
But speaking of names, will anyone in the major media talk about the mysterious “Frank.” He’s Obama’s childhood mentor in his book, Dreams From My Father.We discovered he’s Frank Marshall Davis, a Communist Party member and anti-American revolutionary. Isn’t this as newsworthy as the African garb Obama wore on a foreign trip? Isn’t what’s in Obama’s head as important as the clothes he wears?
The American people have been terribly served by the media during this campaign, and the latest bad performance was turned in by those commenting on Tuesday night’s debate on MSNBC. They failed to note that Obama made two serious gaffes. First, Obama showed ignorance of what led to the crisis in Kosovo, where a U.S.-Russian confrontation is now playing out, and he seemed to advocate some kind of U.S. military response through NATO. If a President Obama carried through on such a threat, it would be a foreign policy mistake of monumental proportions. It could lead to a war with Russia in the current circumstances.
Second, Obama didn’t seem to understand that in the case of the disabled woman, Terri Schiavo, the issue was giving her the same kind of due process rights that are guaranteed to death row killers. We now know where Obama really stands, and it is not a pretty picture.
NBC’s Tim Russert has done a fairly good job during the debates and he had some good questions of the candidates on Tuesday night. One was when he asked Obama what he would do if Russia helped Serbia militarily take control of Kosovo, which is under United Nations and NATO occupation and recently declared its independence.
Obama had a long answer: “Well, I think that we work with the international community that has also recognized Kosovo, and state that that’s unacceptable. But, fortunately, we have a strong international structure anchored in NATO to deal with this issue. We don’t have to work in isolation. And this is an area where I think that the Clinton administration deserves a lot of credit, is, you know, the way in which they put together a coalition that has functioned. It has not been perfect, but it saved lives. And we created a situation in which not only Kosovo, but other parts of the former Yugoslavia at least have the potential to over time build democracies and enter into the broader European community. But, you know, be very clear: We have recognized the country of Kosovo as an independent, sovereign nation, as has Great Britain and many other countries in the region. And I think that that carries with it, then, certain obligations to ensure that they are not invaded.”
What does he mean by that? How does he propose that the U.S. and NATO stop an invasion of Kosovo by Serbia? The fact is that, despite its declaration of independence, Kosovo is still recognized by many nations as a province of Serbia. The “nation” of Kosovo is not recognized as such by the UN, and Russia and China have vowed to oppose its membership in the world body. What’s more, as former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton points out, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 reaffirmed Serbian sovereignty in Kosovo. This was agreed to by the U.S. So a pledge by the U.S. to protect Kosovo from an “invasion” would be viewed as further meddling in a civil war.
His comments about the Clinton Administration and Kosovo are apparently a reference to Clinton’s NATO war against Serbia over who was going to control the province. The war was illegal and unconstitutional. Clinton launched it without Congressional approval and continued it when Congress failed to authorize it after the fact. Yet Obama was defending Clinton’s actions there. His statements about this foreign policy problem were reckless and ignorant.
The problem for the Republicans is that Senator John McCain voted for the war against Serbia and has now, like Hillary and Obama, expressed support for Kosovo’s declaration of independence.
On the Schiavo case, Obama said the following: “Well, you know, when I first arrived in the Senate that first year, we had a situation surrounding Terri Schiavo. And I remember how we adjourned with a unanimous agreement that eventually allowed Congress to interject itself into that decision-making process of the families. It wasn’t something I was comfortable with, but it was not something that I stood on the floor and stopped. And I think that was a mistake, and I think the American people understood that that was a mistake. And as a constitutional law professor, I knew better. And so that’s an example I think of where inaction…”
Russert explained, “This is the young woman with the feeding tube… and the family disagreed as to whether it should be removed or not.”
Obama replied, “And I think that’s an example of inaction, and sometimes that can be as costly as action.”
Once again, Obama demonstrated his ignorance of the true facts. Congress decided to “interject itself” into the situation because the family was divided over caring for the brain-damaged woman and there had been no federal review of the facts in the case. All that Congress did was authorize a federal judge to examine the situation. This is guaranteed to all federal inmates on death row so they are not executed without complete respect for their due process rights. Isn’t a disabled woman entitled to similar rights? Many forget that Schiavo’s parents and siblings only wanted the right to keep her alive and take care of her. It was her estranged husband who wanted her dead. What harm would have been caused by letting her live?
Obama’s statement that he wanted Congress to stay out of this matter and that he personally should have “stopped” congressional action reflects a callous disregard for the rights of disabled people. And yet he claimed to be speaking during the debate as someone with the experience of “a constitutional law professor.” In fact, Congress should have done more; Schiavo was eventually starved to death by her estranged husband after a federal judge refused to save her life. If the constitution doesn’t protect the rights of the most innocent and defenseless among us, what good is it? What constitution did Obama study in law school? Where did he get his ideas about human worth and dignity?
During a previous debate, on this very subject, McCain sounded like Obama, saying that “In retrospect, we should have taken some more time, looked at it more carefully, and probably we acted too hastily.” In effect, McCain was repudiating the effort to save Terri’s life. So once again we have a major issue facing the country and yet there is really no difference between Obama and McCain.
It looks, therefore, like it’s going to be a very boring campaign. We all need that pillow Hillary says the media are giving Obama. We need to see more, not less, of people like Bill Cunningham, even though McCain has now fed him to the sharks. At least Cunningham had the guts to utter Obama’s full name.
Thu 28 Feb 2008 11:24
President George Bush today signed an executive order granting ‘amnesty’ to foreign-born Sen. John McCain, allowing the presumptive Republican nominee to bypass the Constitutional requirement that a president be a “natural born citizen.”
John Sidney McCain III was born in the Panama Canal zone when his Naval officer father was stationed there in 1936. The Supreme Court has never definitively interpreted the phrase “natural born”, but no person known to be born outside U.S. borders has ever been elected president.
Under President Bush’s order, Sen. McCain would be granted and immediate ‘P visa’ allowing him to remain in the U.S., with ‘guest candidate’ status, as he works toward full presidential eligibility.
“My compassion moves me to create a legal path to the presidency for my amigo, John McCain,” said Mr. Bush. “Of course, he’ll need to pay a $2,000 fine, but he already speaks English better than some recent presidents.”