Friday, November 30, 2007

NH: Hostages Taken at Clinton Campaign

Just read this at the Boston channel.

ROCHESTER, N.H. An armed man has taken two campaign workers hostage at the Hillary Clinton campaign office in Rochester, police said.

Officials with the campaign confirmed that there were two workers taken hostage in the office on 28 North Main St.. A woman and her baby told workers at a neighboring business that she was released by the hostage-taker.

“A young woman with a 6-month or 8-month-old infant came rushing into the store just in tears, and she said, ‘You need to call 911. A man has just walked into the Clinton office, opened his coat and showed us a bomb strapped to his chest with duct tape,’” witness Lettie Tzizik said.

There are several police officers positioned across the street from the office, crouched down behind cruisers with guns drawn, according to a reported at the scene.

“I walked out and I immediately started running, and I saw that the road was blocked off. They told me run and keep going,” said Cassandra Hamilton, who works in an office adjacent to the building.

Nearby businesses have been evacuated, and the St. Elizabeth Seaton School has been locked down.

“There are sharp shooters on the roof, and police are negotiating with someone in the building,” said another witness, who did not want to be identified. “The police are notifying all the business owners on the street to evacuate. There are fire trucks behind the Hillary Clinton office.”

Clinton, who is not in New Hampshire, is attending a National Democratic Committee meeting in Virginia. Presidential candidate Barack Obama also has an office in Rochester, and it has been evacuated. There were no reports of any injuries.

More later with an update or two.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Video: WGA. Who's On The Line

This really sums it up, at least for me. With lines like "You can't handle the truth" - "Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night" - "Play it again Sam" - it is the writers who make us care, laugh, and cry. That's why so many actors are on the lines, too. Watch this and decide for yourself.



More later.
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Monday, November 26, 2007

Medical Coverage for Pets, but Not Domestic Partners

This reminds me of the church. Blessing animals, fishing boats, even buses is OK, but not for GLBT couples. I mean, these people pay for the coverage out of their own pockets, so what't the problem? Guess.

The pets of Palm Beach Community College employees will qualify for discounted group medical insurance beginning in January, but domestic partners are still barred from receiving similar benefits.

School officials sent a memo last week explaining the new voluntary pet benefit available via payroll deduction through the private company Veterinary Pet Insurance.

Full-time college employees can receive a 5 percent discount on services because of the college’s enrollment in the program, which covers dogs and cats, but also hedgehogs, frogs, guinea pigs, geckos, iguanas and sugar gliders - small flying mammals native to Australia.

In August, PBCC trustees voted down a proposal to allow the domestic partners of full-time employees to receive insurance benefits. The plan wouldn’t have cost the school anything because it pays employee premiums only, not those of dependents.

The college buys insurance through a state consortium, which allows each school to decide whether to offer domestic partner benefits.

Rand Hoch, president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council, said it is wrong for the college to put the medical needs of pets above those of the human loved ones of employees.


Read it all.

More later.
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Taxpayers Pay for FL. Rep. Bob Allen's Blowjob

This is unbelievable. Taxpayers will have to foot the bill for obese GOP Family Values closet case hypocrite who got busted and convicted for soliciting sex from a cop. No, not Larry Craig, the other one (of many). The Orlando Sentinal:

It could cost taxpayers more than $400,000 to elect a replacement to serve the remainder of Rep. Bob Allen's term in the Florida House.

But state Republican leaders and colleagues, who pressured the disgraced seven-year lawmaker to resign, and potential candidates hoping to replace him said Monday that it will be money well-spent.

"It's certainly unfortunate that the cost is what it is," said Erin VanSickle, a spokeswoman for state GOP Chairman Jim Greer. "But the voters in that district deserve a voice in the House of Representatives and shouldn't have to wait."

Allen, whose term expires next fall, resigned effective Feb. 15 after he was sentenced to probation Thursday for soliciting sex in the men's room of a Titusville park.

Read the whole thing.

More later.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Gay Bashings Are Up

It figures:

Hate crimes against gays made up 16 percent of total documented hate crimes across the U.S. in 2006, up from 14 percent in 2005, the FBI reported Monday.

The rate of all bias-motivated crimes increased 8 percent in 2006. Hate crimes based on sexual orientation are the third most common type behind those based on race and religion, according to the annual report.

In May the House of Representatives passed the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act -- known as the Matthew Shepard Act -- in a bipartisan vote, and the Senate approved it as well. If enacted, the proposed law would give the federal government expanded jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute violent crimes based on a person's race, color, religion, or national origin as well as their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender, and disability. It also provides assistance to local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated violence, according to a Human Rights Campaign press release. Existing federal hate-crimes law covers only those based on a victim's race, color, religion, and national origin.

"This FBI report confirms what the Human Rights Campaign has known for over a decade -- that hate-crimes protections for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community are long overdue," HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement. "We urge Congress to send this legislation immediately to the president's desk, and for the president to sign it into law." (The Advocate)

I have nothing. I survived another 12 hour Black Friday. Time for Dinner and a cocktail (not necessarily in that order.

More later.
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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Boycott Wal-Mart

HRC says so:

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group, is giving Wal-Mart a red "do not buy" rating in its new consumer guide, bestowing a lump of coal on the retail giant just in time for the holiday shopping season.

Citing Wal-Mart's refusal to offer domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian workers, the HRC said Tuesday that the USA's biggest private employer has "more work to do in furthering equality." It advised gays and their supporters to shop elsewhere.

Wal-Mart rated a red 40 on a scale of 100, down from a yellow 65 in 2006. It was among 54 companies that scored 45 or lower in HRC's 2008 Corporate Equality index, which assigns ratings to 519 large companies. Also in the red: Toys R Us, Radio Shack and AutoZone.

Wal-Mart rival Target rated a "green" 80, meaning that "consumers should make every effort to support these businesses." Wal-Mart has bucked a corporate trend of expanding benefits for gay employees, says Daryl Herrschaft, director of HRC's workplace project. He says two Fortune 500 companies offered domestic partner benefits, comparable to spouse benefits, in 1990. Today, 269 do
.

Not a problem for me. I hate Wal-Mart.

If you want a guide for where to shop and not shop this season, go to HRC Buying Guide
No matter what you're looking for, this guide will give you their "friendly" or "unfriendly" rating.

More later.

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Remember 1963?

Do you remember where you were on 11/22/63? I do.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917November 22, 1963), was the thirty-fifth President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.

After Kennedy's leadership as commander of the USS PT-109 during World War II in the South Pacific, his aspirations turned political. Kennedy represented the state of Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 as a Democrat, and in the U.S. Senate from 1953 until 1961. Kennedy defeated former Vice President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. presidential election, one of the closest in American history.

I know we celebrate Thanksgiving today, but, as the calendar reminds us, this year it is also the anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy.

I loved JFK. and at the time of the assassination was in Mexico. Borders were closed and all flights to the US were grounded until Oswald was arrested. A mass exodus was inevitable when the no-fly ban was lifted. I was able to get on an Eastern flight back to NYC 12 hours after airlines resumed service to the US. There were no flights into the D.C. area. So, when I arrived in NYC, I hurried over to Penn Station and hopped a train to the Capital in time for the funeral procession. It was hard to believe that he was dead.

Like everyone else surrounding me, I cried like a baby. Well, I was seventeen years old at the time.

More later.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Conservapedia" = Gay Obsessions

Obsessive, indeed. This seems to be their 'thing' and may be the root of all the closet cases in the GOP. Maybe if they could just accept who they are they wouldn't be busted so often. Hypocrites like Mark Foley, Bob Allen, and Larry Craig wouldn't be such big, embarrassing news stories and they wouldn't have to cruise for sex in public toilets.

There are 15,480 registered users, of which 27 (or 0.17%) are Administrators.

Most viewed pages

  1. Main Page‎ [1,902,816]
  2. Homosexuality‎ [1,542,855]
  3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis‎ [516,744]
  4. Homosexuality and Promiscuity‎ [420,171]
  5. Homosexuality and Parasites‎ [387,876]
  6. Homosexuality and Domestic Violence‎ [351,525]
  7. Gay Bowel Syndrome‎ [343,240]
  8. Homosexuality and Gonorrhea‎ [331,089]
  9. Homosexuality and Mental Health‎ [277,089]
  10. Homosexuality and Syphilis‎ [265,041]
click on any link to view the page. It is truly bizarre.

More later.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

VoteVets Launches Blog With Guest Blogs by Prez. Candidates

Via AMERICAblog:

From VoteVets.org:
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES ADDRESS MILITARY, VETERANS’ ISSUES FOR LAUNCH OF VETVOICE.COM

New blog sponsored by VoteVets.org will be hub on the web for those troops, veterans, military families, and their civilian supporters concerned with Bush policies

WASHINGTON – A new blog, VetVoice.com, is launching with a bang today, with hourly posts from the presidential candidates, addressing what they would do on military and veterans’ issues as President of the United States. VetVoice.com, a project of the largest political group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, VoteVets.org, is the new home on the web for troops, veterans, military families, and civilian supporters concerned with the current course the United States is on.

“It’s heartening to know that the candidates who are posting think military and veterans issues are important enough to warrant a post on this new blog,” said Brandon Friedman, Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran, and Vice Chairman of VoteVets.org. “VetVoice.com, we hope will become the hub on the web for those concerned about military and veterans’ issues, and where people can take a critical look at these issues, and proposed solutions. There’s no better way to kick it off than to begin with posts from those who are seeking to be our Commander in Chief.”

Every Democratic and Republican presidential candidate was invited to post. The schedule for their posts was determined by what order candidates replied to the invite. That schedule for posts is:

9:30am EST – Senator John Edwards
10:30 – Representative Ron Paul
11:30 – Governor Bill Richardson
12:30 – Senator Chris Dodd
1:30 – Senator Hillary Clinton
2:30 – Senator Barack Obama
3:30 – Senator Joe Biden

VetVoice.com won’t just be one-way communication, though. When users create an account, they will be given the ability to create a diary and write their own posts, and comment and converse in other posts. In this way, VetVoice.com will bring together troops, veterans, military families, and civilian supporters for the largest online dialogue about the challenges the United States faces in military and veterans’ policies, and how we might solve them.

VoteVets.org is a pro-military organization committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world, with force when necessary. It represents the Voice of America's 21 Century Patriots - those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. It primarily focuses on nonpartisan education and advocacy on behalf of troops, veterans and their families.
Should be interesting to read what the candidates write about Iraq, or if they will actually write the blogs or have a staffer do it for them from one of their canned response letters. I've received more than a few of those things.

Update: The only response blogs were posted by Dems, although ALL candidates were invited to participate. Curious, don't you think?

More later.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

NOLA: Plus or Minus?

This is just nuts. NOLA is not protected for another 4 or 5 feet, but the reverse. Talk about a whole bunch of stupid…

Harry Shearer:

Another landmark in the history of New Orleans' relationship with the US Army Corps of Engineers was reached today, according to Mark Schleifstein in the Times-Picayune. The new gates and levee repairs by the Corps, which the agency announced with great fanfare had given between 4 and 5 feet of additional flood protection to the Lakeview and Old Metairie neighborhoods, both inundated when the floodwalls breached after Katrina, are, it now appears, giving almost no additional protection. The problem: a minus sign that should have been a plus sign. And still the Congress refuses to mandate independent peer review for the Corps' work in engineering and building structures upon which millions of people depend for their safety.

From the TP piece:

In June, the Army Corps of Engineers proudly announced that new gates and levee repairs meant residents returning to Lakeview and Old Metairie would see floodwaters reduced by up to 5 1/2 feet if the city were hit by a 100-year hurricane.

They were off by 5 feet.

The reason? The Lakeview data got fouled up when somebody put a minus sign in a calculation that called for a plus sign, Ed Link, leader of the corps-sponsored Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force, said Friday. The Old Metairie errors stemmed from faulty assumptions about the way water would move into and out of the neighborhood from surrounding areas, Link said.

In other words, flood protection in Lakeview and Old Metairie has hardly improved at all since the neighborhoods drowned in the 2005 flood -- despite the public celebrations of corps officials and others in releasing the maps on Hurricane Katrina's second anniversary.

Click on the TP link above or go this way.

More Later.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's Been a While

As they say “Time flies like an arrow – fruit flies like a banana." Or some such…

Nothing of note has spurred me to write lately...

I mean, aside from a rear end collision to the auto next to me at a stop light. (I had been behind that car and moved to the next lane because I was making a turn soon. Thank you Jesus!) Finally capturing a feral female cat we've been feeding and caring for at the store for the past 6 years - even finding homes for all her litters over that time. We wouldn't have caught her, but she'd been injured, probably by a car and was dragging her back legs, so we drugged her and took her to the vet. She's going to be fine. All tests are negative. Turns out nothing was broken, just a dislocated hip. Painful, but it was snapped back into place and she'll be OK. She's had the queen for a day treatment; all shots, spayed, nails clipped, ear mite treatment, flea treatment, and will be sprung from the vet's on the weekend. I'm told that she hasn't tried to bite or scratch, but hisses whenever anyone comes to close to her space. Heh! Now the real fun begins. Finding her a home. I wish I could take her, but no pets allowed where I am. That's probably best.

Other than that My life consists of work, eat, sleep, - lather, rinse and repeat.

The therapy session on Monday was another good one. More insights and again I was strongly urged to get out more. Easier said than done, I’m afraid. But I will try my best and I was invited out to dinner that evening.

I checked off all errands on my list just in time and headed for the meeting place.

Communication had lapsed for a few months - it was a rather long dinner. We caught up on our individual lives (they have been enjoying much travel and are about to go on a cruise) and I listened as they reviewed the films they saw at the recent Film Festival. Wish I could have attended, all the films sounded terrific.

All in all it was a great time. Not only were we enjoying a meal together, but other folks we know arrived and we had a lovely time playing catch-up on all our lives. It was one of those warm and fuzzy evenings that are few and far between, if you get my drift.

Seems everyone I know has recently been, or about to go on a cruise or going on a holiday to some exotic place. Sigh.

I am still holding out hope for that Alaska cruise/tour of my dreams. I’ve been receiving tips from customers and friends in the travel business; today one brought an ‘Essential Alaska Packing List’ that seems pretty comprehensive and smart.

With winter setting in and a storm tonight, I will have plenty of time to peruse the list and get in some other reading as well.

More later.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Readability Test.

cash advance

Well, that's about right for my communication needs. Make it readable for anyone and don't dumb it down.

More later.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Fallout, and More...

More fallout from last month’s computer death: A few of the programs I use most often are not compatible with VISTA. Surprise! Also, all of my digital photos were lost. I had a backup CD of most of them made back in April, but I can’t find it anywhere and suspect it was lost in the move(s) or left at the house.

And…more fallout from the last move.: All my winter coats were left behind at the previous rented space, probably in the hall closet. Well, it was the middle of July after all, and during a heat wave. I was under a hell of a lot of stress and wanted nothing more than to get out of that toxic situation. So, I’m without my dress overcoat and a new leather jacket bought just last winter. Oh, well…I’ll live. And live without.

And before you ask, NO, I haven’t received the promised refund of half-month’s rent. It’s been 4 months since I moved out so I doubt I’ll ever see it. Nobody said life was fair. Some days are good ones and others are less so. Today is one of the latter. Please keep me in prayer.

I’m working the weekend, but I hope to make it to church Sunday because I don’t have to go in until 1 pm.

I am going to prepare supper and have a cocktail (not necessarily in that order) and settle in to watch BBC news. I can't tolerate high decibel level emanating from the mouths of the pundits and news critters on CNN. I get Faux Noise tidbits from Crooks & Liars. And that's about all I can take. The war on Christmas has already begun. Ratings must be in the tank.

As an aside, a brown fox spent part of his morning outside my window. Playing, rolling in the grass and just chilling. He stayed for almost an hour. He was mesmerizing - and beautiful.

More later.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

More Red Tape in Rebuilding Louisiana

OK, Like this is suppose to be news? Yet, most everyone I talk to seem to think that everything has been rebuilt and all is well in LA. Hardly. Well, in today's NYT, there's this:

NEW ORLEANS — If rebuilding anything in this storm-scarred place could possibly qualify as simple, surely it would be the administration building in City Park.

The two-story structure, built in 1992, does not have any of the features that can complicate restoring public buildings. No special historic, environmental, cultural or political significance. No history of poor maintenance or other damage (aside from the five feet of water that filled it after the levees failed). No need to be merged, moved or reimagined in response to changes after Hurricane Katrina.

Yet after almost two years of federal inspections and studies and reviews filling more than 90 pages, the administration building has been neither repaired nor replaced. And there are dozens of similarly incomplete projects at the park, hundreds in the city, thousands across the state of Louisiana.

In fact, the federal government has agreed to pay $2.3 billion so far for rebuilding Louisiana public works like schools, sewers and police stations. But so far, only $650 million — 28 percent — of that money has been spent. In Mississippi, only 27 percent has been spent of the $1.1 billion of federal tax dollars set aside to replace government infrastructure there.

There are many reasons for the slow pace of rebuilding, including antagonism between state and federal officials, and the difficulty some local leaders have had deciding exactly what to rebuild and where and how. New Orleans, in particular, released a detailed rebuilding plan only in October, and City Hall often appears understaffed and overwhelmed.

Read the whole tale here.

Michael Chertoff should be in jail.

More later.
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More

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Mission(s) Accomplished

A good day, indeed, though not weather wise. Cold, windy, and cloudy, so a good day to get tasks accomplished that’d been put off for various reasons for almost a month.

Enjoyed a lovely (and rare) breakfast while watching news from the BBC.

Installed new personal finance software (all data on the old PC was lost, so I had to start fresh) and transferred data from checkbook and bank statements. I decided not to go with the new version Quicken because all reviews I read were negative. So I went hunting and found a very simple and accurate little program. It fulfills my humble needs. I’m pleased.

Updated (as much as possible) the address book in the new email program. It’s a bit clunky, but not bad. What do you expect it’s from Microsoft! It’s just a matter of getting used to the newness of it all. As usual, MS overloaded the program with crap that most users will never use, or need.

Created a few webpages for a non-profit that was a new experience and a challenge for me. It took more time than it ought to have, mainly (again!) due to Microsoft doing it’s “we’re doing it for you, because you’re too stupid and we know what you REALLY want to do, anyway” thing. Jeez!

I paid my daily visit to MadPriest for my dose of his kinky, but centered humor. I wasn’t disappointed. Oh, go and visit his site. He says, “If you think you don’t belong, you belong here.” What more needs to be said?

Took time to search for more Alaska cruise information. Not that I will be in any position to actually make that particular dream a reality next year. But, I can dream, can’t I? Don’t answer that.

Now, I’m doing bulk cooking – a winter stew – that is filling the place with such a wonderful aroma that I feel like embracing the season ahead. Well, not really, but I do love comfort foods.

I hope to watch Torchwood tonight on BBC. I have no idea what I’m in for, but it’s been recommended and I have to do my duty and watch at least once.

Accomplishments. It’s the little things that make me feel good. Living alone isn’t that bad.

More later.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Suit is More Than Money

Well, Fred Phelps (the Kansas bigot who never seems to be in Kansas) and his "church" finally got slammed in a 10 million dollar damage award. But, the marine's father says it ain't about the money. From the NYT:

BALTIMORE, Nov. 1 —After a year and a half of anger, grief and legal maneuvering, the father of a marine killed in Iraq has said the success of his suit against a fundamentalist sect that picketed his son’s funeral means more than the jury’s $10.9 million damage award on Tuesday.

“If I can take whatever they have and stop them, good,” said the father, Albert Snyder, 52, a salesman from York, Pa., whose son, Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder, 20, was killed two months after arriving in Iraq in January 2006. “I was not motivated by money. I want to shut this church down, if you can call it a church. I call it a cult or a hate group. I sat in that courtroom for a week and a half and never once heard them say a good thing about God.”

He added that he doubted he would ever collect the award.

Mr. Snyder said he had decided to sue the leaders of the sect, the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., for invasion of privacy and inflicting emotional distress two months after its members demonstrated at his son’s funeral in March 2006 in Westminster, Md.

Read the whole thing.

But, I have a question; Just where did Phelps' "church" get that Million bucks in the first place? There is a lot more hate out there than we can imagine.

More later.

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