BAGHDAD, Iraq — Saddam Hussein struggled briefly after American military guards handed him over to Iraqi executioners. But as his final moments approached, he grew calm. He clutched a Quran as he was led to the gallows, and in one final moment of defiance, refused to have a hood pulled over his head before facing the same fate he was accused of inflicting on countless thousands during a quarter-century of ruthless power.
A man whose testimony helped lead to Saddam's conviction and execution before sunrise said he was shown the body because "everybody wanted to make sure that he was really executed."
"Now, he is in the garbage of history," said Jawad Abdul-Aziz, who lost his father, three brothers and 22 cousins in the reprisal killings that followed a botched 1982 assassination attempt against Saddam in the Shiite town of Dujail.
Iraqi television showed what it said was Saddam's body, his head uncovered and the neck twisted at a sharp angle.
|Step by step plans of the US government to invade Iraq. This interesting video, there was no need for a war in Iraq, and kill 100,000 men, women and children that had nothing to do with 911 attacks. If you like this video, search on video.google.com for '911 Plane Site', '911 Loose Change' and 'Stephen Colbert roasts Bush' to watch more detailed videos.|
|Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, takes the floor on November 18, 2005 to say 'cowards cut and run, Marines never do.'|
|On 09/26/06, Lt. Gen. William F. Odom, USA, Rtd, participated in the "Iraq Forum," in the U.S. Capitol, Room HC-6. Its purpose was to spotlight the costs of the conflict. A number of expert witnesses were heard from in the proceeding. Lt. Gen. Odom said: "The longer you stay in Iraq, the worse it will get."|
|Donald Rumsfeld sells weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein.|
A: One (Luke, Carnac, N. Ononimous, Max Fill, Lil Bill, Cantankerpus, Cub, Citizen Joe, Spiritofbullshitus, In The Know, Admin, etc.)
Q: How many OTBL bloggers does the www.ontheborderline.nutz hot tub hold when the OTBL blog site holds its regular monthly hot tub meeting?
at 12/29/2006 Posted by EastWing
This is something to tell your grandkids about. When Newspaper Man Steve Dzubay tells the borderliner crude crew how it really is. Pissant Luke is already organizing a boycott over on ontheborderline.nut. When all his friends unsubsribe to the Hudson Star Observer, the paper's
circulation will drop by 2. You can help make up the difference. Buy an extra copy today,(suitable for framing) Show your support for someone with guts to stand against Hudson's longstanding community menace . Tell the Borderliners to "Take their blog and shove it!
at 12/29/2006 Posted by Ink Stained Wretch
"Isn’t freedom of expression a good thing? You need not rely on these pages for “biased” information, through the wonders of the Internet, you can publish it yourself."
-- Steve Dzubay
"Kilber refers to an 'obvious and malicious refusal to print four submissions.' We can only recall one submission - a letter by Marion Shaw - which was outright rejected. The only other letter we can conclude Kilber might be referring to was one supposedly sent by Curt Weese. We were unable to find it and since we'd published Weese letters each of the past four weeks, it was unlikely he had anything truly new to contribute."
"As expected, both Weese and Shaw took the absence of their letters as a personal affront and proceeded to rant and call us names from the safety of Kilber's blog."
"After viewing Kilber's site recently and seeing the wide-ranging ridicule, sarcasm, copyright violations and a general lack of civility, he might be surprised to learn that some of us have begun to navigate around such bullying."
SWEET SWEET SMACKDOWN!!
Read more @ The Hudson Star Observer.
at 12/28/2006 Posted by Ink Stained Wretch
Ford also took on right-wing extremists in his own party, denouncing the John Birch Society in 1965.
In a 1991 speech, Ford said, "Unfortunately, there are some on the right and some on the left for whom consensus is a dirty word. A few mistake the clash of ideas for a holy war. I never claimed to be a political philosopher. I never claimed to be anything more than a plain-spoken Midwesterner, conservative on money and liberal on human rights.
"While I never regarded government as an enemy, I was perfectly happy to have politicians of both parties stay out of the people's wallets, out of their classrooms, out of their boardrooms, and out of their bedrooms."
Read more Detoit Free Press
at 12/28/2006 Posted by Sunny Badger
|Filled with powerful Presidents and other political leaders implying the secret governments existence and it's effects. I'd have to say this is my favorite and most telling of them all.|
"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
Founding fathers of the John Birch Society, CATO Institute, Reason magazine, etc.
So long as the markets are free and the rich stay that way, human suffering and environmental devastation are irrelevant. Beneath the “feel good” facade of baseball, apple-pie, mom, and Chevrolet lurks this sinister reality of the American Way.
Much of humanity is shackled by poverty and besieged by the violence of war. Earth is experiencing a slow, agonizing death. Animal and plant species are disappearing at an alarming rate. Despite these tragic and inevitable consequences, the United States persists in spreading the cancers of Americanized Capitalism and Democracy.
Here's to Saint Charles
America’s wealthiest owe a significant debt of gratitude to their patron saint, Charles G. Koch. Mr. Koch’s Herculean efforts have virtually ensured that the United States’ plutocracy and its complimentary corporatocracy will continue their reign in America’s highly dysfunctional democracy. Blessed with a significant number of Americans still rendered somnambulant by a mass media machine, Koch and his fellow patricians are riding high.
|Pastor Bill Shanks delivers God's message to employees at Wal-Mart headquarters.|
Archeologists verified today that the item unearthed at the site of the future St. Croix Meadows Elementary Government Indoctrination Center and Teacher Spouse/Thug Union Hall was indeed an ancient tribal concoction used by early 20th Century Socialists to brainwash citizens and children into thinking that everyone has a right to a quality education. Unbelievably, an even earlier group of Socialists who convened to write Wisconsin's Constitution included this unimaginable concept in their document.
Partakers of this "Pablum" concoction claimed it had medicinal properties, like enabling street urchins and other members of the unwashed masses to attain respectability and economic advantage.
The early Socialists achieved this goal through an archaic concept known as democracy, an ancient system in which not only the enlightened citizenry could make their opinion known through something called a "vote" but everyone living within defined boundaries could also "vote" to confiscate wealth from the Wealth Creators and peanut salesmen within those boundaries to fund this evil scheme.
There are rumors that even today, some living within our boundaries still partake of this evil potion. The item found at the site will be destroyed by authorities promptly.
at 12/27/2006 Posted by Mikhail Ivanovich
There they go again. As part of its continuing effort to make it seem as if American workers are actually prospering in an era in which median income is still below what it was in 2000, the Wall Street Journal editorial page trots out some misleading averages. If Goldman, Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein gets a $54 million bonus, and 53,999,999 other workers get nothing, then on average, 54 million people have received a $1 bonus. In reality, however, only one person has more money in his pocket. Crudely speaking, that's what has been happening in the U.S. economy. The Journal's editorial page would like us to think otherwise. Some key snippets:
Over the past year, the real average wage for non-supervisory employees has risen 2.8%. That equates to about a $1,200 increase in purchasing power for the typical household this year. Last year, real median household income was also up 1.1% after inflation. This rise in take-home pay helps to explain how Americans have had the disposable income this Christmas shopping season to pay $600 for Play Station 3 computer games and $150 for the Kid-Tough Digital Camera for three-year-olds.
Got that? Average real wages rose 2.8 percent over the past year, while real median household income, which more accurately captures the experience of typical Americans, rose 1.1 percent.
Later, the editorial argues that the best way to boost the stagnant income of workers is to. . . . .cut taxes.
We certainly agree with those who'd like to do more to lift worker paychecks, so here are two ideas. First, make the Bush tax cuts permanent. If Congress lets them expire in 2010, as many Democrats are urging, the average family will suffer the equivalent of a $2,000 a year pay cut.
Again, not the use of the average. It may be true that letting the Bush tax cuts expire in 2010, as they were designed to do, might result in families, on average, paying $2,000 a year more in taxes. But for the median family, the sum would surely be less. Again, if Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman, Sachs pays an extra $1.62 million in taxes as a result of top marginal rates rising, and 1,619,999 other workers continue to pay taxes at the same rate, then on average, their taxes have risen by $1. But only one person is paying more taxes. Sigh.
Source: Daniel Gross.
It is no longer publicly acceptable to be racist. Just ask Senator Allen who lost his election bid for a racist remark. As racism recedes from public acts, another deeply entrenched discrimination of very long standing is rising to the fore for attack, belittlement, and reform. Classism, or discrimination based on economic class, is becoming the new politically incorrect behavior to overcome.
From medical care, to education, to housing, to job opportunities, those of the wealthy class get better treatment and favor than others of less affluence. Harvard, one of the costliest universities, has tuition assistance for the non-wealthy. But, the average income of families receiving tuition assistance for Harvard is over $100,000 per year.
The wealthy gated communities in which the better off reside, no longer exclude residents on the basis of race. But, they discriminate intensely on the basis of financial status, which mirrors racist selectivity in some areas of the country, but, race is not the operative selective criteria. No ethnic family would be denied access to a wealthy gated community if they have the resources to outbid others for the residence. (Though they may find the estate has already been sold, in Alabama or Mississippi, for example.)
As many as 96,000 people die in American hospitals each year as a direct result of medical malpractice. Many times that number receive the wrong procedure, medication, or diagnosis resulting in a worsening of their malady or, the creation of a new one they didn't walk in with. There are many factors involved in why this occurs. But, chief among them is the hours medical practitioners put in. Some residents routinely put in 36 hours at a time. That last 12 hours results in their working on patients with the same attention and judgment skills as a .10 % blood alcohol content. They aren't permitted to operate a vehicle in that state, but, they are permitted to operate on a patient in that state.
Read more @ Watch Blog.
Kenturcky schools try new approach to boost student literacy
Program targets older, overlooked age groups
Teacher Malisa Russell faced her class of Bernheim Middle School seventh-graders and began calling out short phrases.
"Paint a picture," the Bullitt County teacher said. Several students raised their hands, and one offered the correct answer: "Explain."
Russell moved on to another clue: "Read between the lines."
"Infer," a student called out.
It's not unusual to use word games to build students' vocabulary and literacy skills. Except Russell is a math teacher, instructing her students on concepts such as percent of change, equivalent ratio and proportion.
Starting this year at Bernheim though, improving student literacy is every one's job.
"I felt like I always left the reading and writing to the reading and writing teachers," said Matt Murphy, who teaches computer applications. "But now all of us have that responsibility."
Bernheim is not alone.
Read more @ Louisville Courier-Journal.
LA school district focuses on middle school students
LOS ANGELES - Aiming to curb high drop out rates in Los Angeles public high schools, district officials are beginning to focus more on middle school students.
"Middle schools have been overlooked," said Robert Collins, Los Angeles Unified School District' chief instructional officer for secondary education. "We can't win the high school issues unless we do a better job in middle schools."
In coming months, district officials are expected to ask the Board of Education for approval on aggressive reforms for middle schools.
If approved, however, such reforms, which could include a longer school day, would take years to fully implement.
Meanwhile, earlier this year district officials announced a set of initiatives aimed at tackling the drop out rates. "Diploma project advisors" were placed in low-performing and troubled middle schools.
Read more @San Jose Mercury News.
Azim Premji has little patience for those who argue outsourcing is stealing high-paying American tech jobs.
The chairman of Wipro Technologies, one of the Indian companies that have rewritten the rules of the global software services market, says the United States should be more worried about what is taught in its classrooms -- or, rather, what isn't.
``You need more emphasis on mathematics in school,'' the 61-year-old billionaire said during a recent visit to Silicon Valley. ``It's a building block.''
In fact, there is a shortage of information technology engineers in the United States, said Premji, who in four decades has led Wipro from a $2 million cooking-oil processing company to a $2.4 billion global technology player. In its most recent quarter, the Bangalore-based company reported $765 million in revenue, a 41 percent increase from a year earlier, with profits of $152 million, a 48 percent jump.
Read more @ San Jose Mercury News
There's Profit in Alleging a 'War on Christmas'
NEW YORK Fox News host/Creators Syndicate columnist Bill O'Reilly is prominent among the conservatives known for complaining about the "War on Christmas" allegedly waged by retailers and others who prefer to say "Happy Holidays."
Now, People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch (RWW) is wondering if this conservative campaign is at least partly motivated by profit.In a Wednesday post, RWW wrote: "Basic math says the Liberty Counsel has pulled in an estimated $300,000-plus, the Alliance Defense Fund an estimated $500,000-plus, and the American Family Association an estimated $600,000-plus from selling their 'War on Christmas' wares."RWW said, for instance, that the AFA "has sold more than 500,000 buttons and 125,000 bumper stickers bearing the slogan 'Merry Christmas: It's Worth Saying.'" Liberty Counsel "has sold 12,500 legal memos on celebrating Christmas and 8,000 of its own buttons and bumper stickers," RWW added.
"While the Right claims that they are merely seeking to thwart an 'accelerating effort by secularists in America to annihilate expressions of Christmas and Christianity,' its effort to generate a controversy where none exists has been a rousing success -- in more ways than one," the post noted wryly.The Carpetbagger Report added that "we can draw two conclusions from this. One, even these religious right groups probably realize Christmas is not 'under attack,' but cynically exploit the fears of their members in order to pad their budgets. And two, if retailers acceded to right-wing demands and dropped 'Happy Holidays' and 'Season's Greetings' from their commercial vocabulary altogether, the religious right would probably experience a deep sense of panic."
Source: Editor & Publisher
...A lull in the war on Christmas
In the early 20th century, New York City's Committee on Elementary Schools urged that Christmas carols be banned in classrooms after 20,000 Jewish students boycotted classes in protest. Some movies in the 1940s, including "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life," introduced a nonreligious iconography that secular and religious Americans could unite behind. In the late 1950s, the John Birch Society issued tracts accusing godless communists of waging war on Christmas.
Read more @ LA Times.
Gwinnett County, Georgia
SUWANEE - The ex-husband of a former Gwinnett County Public Schools employee asked the Gwinnett County Board of Education on Thursday night to ask Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks to stop making what he called personal attacks against former employees.
The request stems from the school system's response to allegations posted on a Web journal, or blog, of wrongdoing by the school system and some of its employees. Wilbanks sent an e-mail to the school's principals contending that the blog is published by or on behalf of disgruntled former employees. The e-mail stated the employees "resigned from the school system rather than face termination due to their inappropriate and unacceptable behavior."
Zack Mills also asked the board to thoroughly investigate the allegations found online at gcps.blogspot.com. He also suggested the board members interview all of the employees who have left the school system recently, saying there are two sides to every story.
"It is your responsibility to make sure that everything that occurs in the school system is above reproach," Mills said. Board Chairman Robert McClure told Mills the information on the blog has been brought to the board's attention.
McClure said the anonymous blog makes "significant accusations" that have been "thoroughly explored by the superintendent and the board."
"We don't find (the accusations) to have any merit," McClure said. "We have to assume (the blog's contributors) had motivations that are less than pure."
McClure said the blog's content is an attempt to harm the school system with "information that is, at best, misleading."
The letter that was left on the Leising's doorstep with the returned doll:
Dear Residents of Depew Ave and keepers of the Baby Jesus,
Please read this letter in its entirety before passing judgment on the actions and events which have taken place. We are simply a group of young adults who wish to show the baby Jesus a better life than he would have seen cooped up in an attic crawl space. He has traveled over counties and states, seen landmarks and milestones, met people and animals alike. We have done our best to show the baby Jesus the many glorious aspects of our world.
However, now we feel it's time to safely return the baby Jesus back into the arms of his owners. We have done the best possible job we could to keep the baby Jesus safe and in loving arms. Over the course of the last eight months, the baby Jesus has become more to us than simply a plastic religious figure. He has come with us to parties, on camping trips, on college visits, and on multiple summer adventures. The baby Jesus has been with us through thick and thin, happy and sad, good times and bad. Having to say goodbye to the baby Jesus made today a sad day for all of us.
On a more serious note, we meant for this adventure to be in no way either blasphemous or disrespectful. We hope you can view this as an interesting and funny story, to tell at your dinner parties. The baby Jesus has made us happy in numerous times in the past eight months. We hope the chronicles of his life with us can pass some of that happiness on to you.
-Creators of the baby Jesus Chronicles
at 12/24/2006 Posted by Mikhail Ivanovich
“If I could work my will, said Scrooge indignantly, "every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!"”
“Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.”
“External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty.”.
“Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.”
"African-Americans read their own collective experience into the agony and exaltation of Jesus. The story of the Christ child, blessed by God yet born in the shadow of poverty and violence, was their story. Jesus' humble birth in antiquity signified the humble origins of African peoples in modernity. In his impoverished entry into the world, Jesus turned the tables on earthly valuations. Fulfilling the promise of the oracle that celebrates his advent in a stable, the hills of the privileged and the valleys of the humble are inverted, marking the beginning of a new era.''
-- Allen Dwight Callahan in "The Talking Book: African-Americans and the Bible.''
By E. J. Dionne
WASHINGTON -- Great traditions are subversive. They constantly call the imperfections of the present to account in the name of a more exalted standard.
Abraham Lincoln marshaled the power of the Declaration of Independence to challenge slavery, and every year, the Christmas story overturns our daily understandings of power and privilege. A newborn king and savior appears among us, born to a most unlikely family, in a most unlikely venue, in the least promising of circumstances.
Callahan's remarkable book, published this year by Yale University Press, describes the rich and intense relationship between the Bible and the African-American imagination. But even more powerfully, it suggests -- without making the case directly -- that the reading of the Christian tradition offered by African-Americans is as close as any to the authentic meaning of Christianity.