Bush asked to seize land for 9/11 memorialhttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28404241/
Anyone see any irony?
He said kids used to say things face to face or pass notes in school commenting on someone's looks or weight. The new law "criminalizes behavior that otherwise wouldn't be illegal except for the medium," he said.
"It's not criminal. It might be mean-spirited, but it's not criminal," he said.
There are already libel laws. To treat electronic expression differently than any other is unconstitutional and just plain dumb. This is why we need to burn the south again.
I guess if you pass law school and can't get a real job, public prosecutor is the swamp what will take you in, in Missouri. St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas is typical of this.
|Truckers stop Nato supplies|
Monday, December 15, 2008
By Javed Aziz Khan
PESHAWAR: Truckers have stopped supplies to the Nato forces in Afghanistan in reaction to damage to their vehicles in frequent attacks by suspected militants and the US drone attacks in the tribal areas, a source told The News.
The decision was taken by the Khyber Transport Association (KTA) during an important meeting on Sunday. Owners of over 3,000 trailers, trucks and tankers belong to the Khyber Agency, located on the border with Afghanistan, who can move across the border without producing passports or other travelling documents.
“We feel that our drivers and vehicles are not safe anymore. Also, as tribesmen, we are concerned over frequent attacks by the US drones in our tribal areas, and that is why we want to stop the supply of goods to the US-led allied forces in Afghanistan,” Shakir Afridi, president of the KTA, told The News after the meeting.
Italian president and media baron Silvio Berlusconi said today that he would use his country's imminent presidency of the G8 group to push for an international agreement to "regulate the internet".
Speaking to Italian postal workers, Reuters reports Berlusconi said: "The G8 has as its task the regulation of financial markets... I think the next G8 can bring to the table a proposal for a regulation of the internet."
The man who fundamentally changed our understanding of how the brain works lived for nearly three decades in a Windsor Locks nursing home, a pleasant man with a damaged memory.
Henry Gustav Molaison, a Hartford native, existed in relative obscurity. But as "H.M.," the name used to disguise his identity, Molaison gained an anonymous sort of fame, a man who had been studied by more than 100 researchers and became a staple of psychology class lectures.
Molaison died of respiratory arrest and pneumonia at age 82 on Tuesday, 55 years after an experimental operation in Hartford removed part of his brain. The surgery left him unable to form new memories, though he held on to earlier memories and intellectual abilities.
"What we learned from him was groundbreaking," said Suzanne Corkin, a neuroscientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who had worked with Molaison since 1962.
WASILLA, Alaska - Levi Johnston, who's having a baby with Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter, can't believe all the things he's hearing. No, he wasn't held against his will on the campaign trail. No, he's not being forced into a shotgun wedding with 17-year-old Bristol Palin.
"None of that's true," Johnston, 18, said in a rare interview with The Associated Press. "We both love each other. We both want to marry each other. And that's what we are going to do."
Standing in the driveway of his family home in this small Alaska town, Johnston spoke about the rumors swirling around him.
The soft-spoken teenager discussed his relationship with Palin and how life has changed with fatherhood fast approaching. He agreed to talk despite the presidential campaign's advice in the days following Gov. Sarah Palin's nomination to avoid the media.
"They're not telling me anything right now," Johnston said as he checked his BlackBerry. "It's pretty chill."
Not surprisingly, Johnston was a little shocked when he learned about Bristol's pregnancy, but he says he quickly embraced the prospects of fatherhood. The baby is due Dec. 18. Johnston has dropped out of high school to take a job on the North Slope oil fields as an apprentice electrician.
There's no word on how his future mother-in-law feels about Johnston's decision to drop out of high school. Last year, she made a point of trying to turn around the high dropout rate in their hometown.
"I'd remind the kids that no matter where they are in life - [maybe] in circumstances that probably aren't ideal - that there is no circumstance that they're in that is insurmountable or would necessitate them just giving up," Palin said.
Johnston hinted he's expecting a boy, but he declined to discuss baby names.
"I'm looking forward to having him," he said. "I'm going to take him hunting and fishing. He'll be everywhere with me."
Johnston, a Wasilla heartthrob, said he wanted to set the record straight.
For starters, he said his much-maligned MySpace page was a joke - the one that claimed he said: "I'm a ... redneck" and "I don't want kids." Johnston said his friends created the page a few years ago and he had nothing to do with it.
Johnston said he has dated Palin since his freshman year in high school.
"We were planning on getting married a long time ago with or without the kid," he said. "That was the plan from the start."
While Johnston provided few details about next summer's wedding, the planning has started: A cousin will likely be his best man, and he has asked two hockey buddies, Ben Barber and Dane Wilson, to be groomsmen.
Barber doesn't think anyone pressured Johnston into marriage.
"If he thought it wasn't the right thing to do, he probably wouldn't do it," he said.
Johnston is an avid hunter. He's dark-haired, tall and muscular, sports a bit of stubble and drives a red Chevy Silverado truck. He'd be the perfect cover for Field & Stream.
He's bagged bears, sheep, elk and caribou. Some of the antlers are scattered about his yard. Last July on a caribou hunt, he lost a "promise" ring that Palin had given him. He said he decided to tattoo her name on the finger and not bother with more rings because he'd just lose them anyway.
Johnston said he wasn't forced to campaign with Palin's mother. Bristol Palin invited him, and Johnston jumped at the chance. It was a whirlwind experience for Johnston, who was seated with the Palins at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn.
"At first, I was nervous," he said. "Then I was, like, 'Whatever.'"
While Barber said his friend is a celebrity now, Johnston said it hasn't changed him.
"I'm still the same old boy," said Johnston. "I'm just a workin' man."
And now he's also about to become a family man.
"We're up for it. I'm excited to have my first kid. It's going to be a lot of hard work but we can handle it."
Wasilla hockey coach Bill Sturdevant, who was invited to the wedding, said he was sorry to hear Johnston wasn't going to return for his senior year of high school. But he said he believes Johnston, a talented hockey player, will find his way.
"He's a tough kid," Sturdevant said. "He's taking everything in stride."
What about Johnston's politics?
The young man said he wasn't an expert on politics by any stretch. Asked about Barack Obama, he replied: "I don't know anything about him. He seems like a good guy. I like him."
Johnston didn't register in time to vote, according to the Mat-Su Division of Elections Office in Wasilla. But he's still rooting for John McCain and Sarah Palin.
"I just hope she wins," he said. "She's my future mother-in-law. She better win."
Irvine Mayor Christina Shea deserves a defense, of sorts.
A City Council colleague has sought a district attorney investigation into whether Shea broke any laws by leaving voicemail messages threatening to get tough with the city’s Police Department over her daughter’s drug-related arrest. I say it’s not even a close call.
Arrogance, misuse of authority, disrespect for the criminal justice system, false accusations, pettiness and an old-fashioned I’ll-show-them-who’s-mayor attitude do not constitute criminal conduct.
But they sure leave the mayor with a lot of explaining to do. She has most of the Police Department mad as blazes at her, with good reason.
Naturally, the mayor has tried to shift the negative spotlight away from her deeds and onto those who made them public. Wasn’t it the Romans who always wanted to kill the messenger?
All this hullabaloo came to a boil Tuesday night at the City Council meeting, where close to 50 angry police officers showed up.
If you haven’t followed this soap opera, a few facts:
The mayor’s 21-year-old daughter, Stephanie Shea, was arrested Aug. 10 after a police officer who pulled her over for a traffic violation found methamphetamines in her vehicle.
When Mayor Shea discovered the next week that the arrest was about to hit the newspapers, she left the first of four voicemail messages with Dave Christensen, a close political ally. She also made at least two calls that week to the Police Department.
But Christensen, an ex-cop, found the messages so disturbing, he took them to the D.A. and let the media hear them and see transcripts.
The Irvine Police Officers Assn. is upset about a lot of things on those recordings.
One is that Shea accused a sergeant of lying about details of her daughter’s arrest. (Police Chief Charles Brobeck, doing his best to stay above this brouhaha, says she’s just flat wrong on that.)
The cops are also outraged that she took a swipe at all of them with a broad brush: “The Police Department and how they deal with people is really pathetic” … “If they lie about this they’ll certainly lie about everybody else over there” … “It doesn’t make me want to defend that department at all” … “The problem is [this case] is going to be a real attack on the Police Department and I’m not going to back down on it at all.”
City Councilman Larry Agran is upset too. Shea accuses him on the voicemail of leaking the news about her daughter’s arrest to the media. (He denies it.) The only “evidence” she provides in the voicemail, though, is her assertion that “this is his mode of operation.” But evidence or not, Shea vows to Christensen’s voicemail that “Larry Agran will meet my wrath.” And ” … he’s going to have to learn a lesson.”
All this strikes me as unfair, but not worthy of hanging the mayor in effigy. What is highly disturbing to me are voicemail comments where she appears to make threats that she could carry out only as an elected official of influence. Such as: ” … it’s just not going to go well for the chief [Brobeck] and Jim Blaylock [a top police commander]” and ” … I’m going to get very tough about this” and ” … we need to take this to task.”
When you see the four voicemail messages as a whole, you get a picture of a public official unafraid to use her clout if things don’t go her way. What she should have done, from the very beginning, was declare a conflict of interest and stay out altogether. Many other public officials with offspring arrested have done just that.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Shea explained that those voicemail messages were the words of a distraught mother concerned about her daughter–and besides, her words were never meant for public consumption.
The Irvine cops were upset with Councilman Christensen too, for making all this public. But if I were an Irvine cop, I’d be glad somebody told me what my mayor was saying about me.
Victor Ray of the Police Officers Assn. board demanded an apology from the mayor, insisting that she had defamed the whole department.
Shea’s response was not her finest moment. She told the police that “I do publicly apologize.” But not, it seems, for what she said on the voicemail. She was apologizing that it all became a public mess.
Ray said later that “I have no idea what she was apologizing for. It wasn’t to us.” Mario Casas, spokesman for the police group, said afterward that the mayor “still has a lot of reconciliation left to do.”
I’ve never been big on public apologies; there’s no accurate way to gauge the sincerity behind them. But taking a look at the people the mayor has sideswiped in all this, let’s start with her daughter:
On the voicemail, and in statements to the media this week, Shea has virtually confessed her daughter’s guilt. Shea said her daughter was transferring the methamphetamines for a friend who was ill and that “it was a stupid thing she did.”
What if a defense attorney wanted to argue before a jury that prosecutors had failed to prove Stephanie Shea even knew the drugs were in the vehicle? Momma just blew that one out of the water.
Agran has a legitimate beef too. Her attacks on him came from out of nowhere.
But it’s Brobeck who should be the most upset. No police chief should have to work under such veiled threats of interference.
I’ve saved one of my major concerns for last, because it’s only indirectly related to this ruckus. Because of this controversy, most of us were surprised to discover that Stephanie Shea was employed at Irvine City Hall as a $15.97 an hour part-time aide–to her mother. (She left the job two weeks ago, according to city officials.)
And this is a city with a strict anti-nepotism policy! How in the world does the mayor justify putting her daughter on the public payroll?
I’ve since learned that council aides are an exception to the nepotism policy because they aren’t part of the merit system. None of the other council members are doing it. Let’s hope Shea now follows their example.
Maybe the bottom line on all this is: When leaving voicemail, just give your name and a phone number where you can be reached. It can save you a lot of headaches.