Thursday, March 31, 2005


Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell

Powell admits to misinforming the United Nations about Iraq WMDs; General authorized illegal interrogation

Der Spiegel--Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has made some surprisingly revealing remarks in an interview with Germany's "Stern" magazine published on Wednesday.

"We were sometimes too loud, too direct, perhaps we made too much noise," Powell told the magazine. "That certainly shocked the Europeans sometimes."

In the interview, he also expressed regret over the speech he gave at the UN in February 2003 that made the U.S case for war based on information on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction -- information that later turned out to be almost entirely false.

Powell said he was "furious and angry" that the information turned out to be wrong. "Hundreds of millions followed it on television. I will always stand there as the one who presented it. I have to live with that."

Finally, released from the udder of President Bush, Powell speaks the truth.

Full story, including article of U.S. General Ricardo Sanchez authorizing illegal interrogation techniques in Iraq months before the Abu Ghraib abuses.

Ex-Boy Scout official pleads guilty to child porn charge

FORT WORTH, Texas (CNN) -- A former top official of the Boy Scouts of America pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography, including pictures of boys younger than 12.

Douglas S. Smith Jr., 61, entered the plea before a federal judge in Fort Worth, acknowledging he "knowingly received or distributed an image of child pornography."

Smith retired from the Boy Scouts in February following a 39-year career with the youth organization -- which is based in suburban Dallas. He had been placed on administrative leave when the group learned he was under criminal investigation, and he stepped down soon afterward, Boy Scouts of America spokesman Greg Shields said before the plea deal.

Full story here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Attorney Johnnie Cochran dead at 67

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Famed attorney Johnnie Cochran, 67, perhaps best known for his defense of O.J. Simpson, died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. Apparently, Cochran was suffering from a neurological disorder. Full story at CNN.

Will the U.S. regret selling F-16's to Pakistan? Only time will tell.

Was selling F-16's to Pakistan a good decision?

A bit of perspective and history regarding President Bush’s decision to sell nuclear-capable F-16’s to Pakistan. Pakistan is a fundamentalist Islamic country ruled by a military junta.

Bush supporters justify the sell by saying that the situation in Pakistan has changed. This is true, but not in a good way. Back when the embargo was put in place, the U.S. only suspected Pakistan might have nukes; today we know for sure that they do.

Furthermore, back then, Pakistan had a democratically elected leader, now it's ruled by a military dictator: the man who armed the Taliban and supported their conquest of Afghanistan, who allowed the A. Q. Khan network to spread nuclear weapons technology to other Islamic states, and who still refuses to allow US troops, agents, or reconnaissance planes to search for Osama bin Laden (remember him?) where he's hiding out... in Pakistan for goodness sake!

Now, for some history that you won’t find in your hyped-up history books:

The U.S. heavily supplied Saddam both with weapons and funding. In1982, President Ronald Reagan began selling helicopters to Iraq--in that very year U.S helicopters were the ones Saddam used to spray both the Iranians and the Kurds with mustard gas and chemical weapons. And even after we knew they'd done this monstrous thing, Reagan still sold them more weapons and allowed him to use our advanced technologies. President Bush Sr. also aided and abetted Iraq right up to the very last moment before the invasion of Kuwait.

1982
"Despite intelligence reports that Iraq still sponsored groups on the SD's terrorist list, and "apparently without consulting Congress", the Reagan Administration removed Iraq from the State terrorism sponsorship list in 1982.[3] The removal made Iraq eligible for U.S. dual-use and military technology."

1983
"Reagan Administration secretly began to allow Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Egypt to transfer to Iraq U.S. howitzers, helicopters, bombs and other weapons.[11] Reagan personally asked Italy’s Prime Minister Guilio Andreotti to channel arms to Iraq."

1984
"In August, the CIA establishes a direct Washington-Baghdad intelligence link, and for 18 months, starting in early 1985, the CIA provided Iraq with "data from sensitive U.S. satellite reconnaissance photography...to assist Iraqi bombing raids."

1985
"Iraq’s Saad 16 General Establishment’s director wrote a letter to the Commerce Department (CD) detailing the activities in Saad’s 70 laboratories. These activities had the trademarks of ballistic missile development.[22]"

1986
The Defense Department’s (DOD) Under Secretary for Trade Security Policy, Stephen Bryen, informed the Commerce Department’s (CD) Assistant Secretary for Trade Administration in November that intelligence linked the Saad 16 research center with ballistic missile development.[23] Between 1985 and 1990, CD approved many computer sales to Iraq that go directly to Saad 16. CD approved over $1 million worth of computer equipment for sale to Saad 16 after Commerce received the above-mentioned November letter from DOD.[24] As of 1991 Saad 16 reportedly contained up to 40% U.S.-origin equipment.[25]"

1988
"Following the Halabja attack and Iraq’s August CW offensive against Iraqi Kurds, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed on 8 September the "Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988" the day after it is introduced.[31] The act cuts off from Iraq U.S. loans, military and non-military assistance, credits, credit guarantees, items subject to export controls, and U.S. imports of Iraqi oil.[32]

Immediately after the bill’s passage the Reagan Administration announced its opposition to the bill,[33] and SD spokesman Charles Redman called the bill "premature".[34] The Administration works with House opponents to a House companion bill, and after numerous legislation compromises and end-of-session haggling, the Senate bill died "on the last day of the legislative session".[35]"

1989
"James Baker received an SD memo stating that Iraq was diligently developing chemical, biological, and new missiles, and that Baker was to "express our interest in broadening U.S.-Iraqi ties" to Iraqi Under-Secretary Hamdoon.[53]"

"Although the CIA and the Bush Administration knew that Iraq’s Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization (MIMI) "controlled entities were involved in Iraq's clandestine nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and missile programs ... the Bush administration [approved] dozens of export licenses that [allowed] United States and foreign firms to ship sophisticated U.S. dual-use equipment to MIMI-controlled weapons factories".[54]"

"By October 1989, when all international banks had cut off loans to Iraq, President Bush signed National Security Directive (NSD) 26 mandating closer links with Iraq and $1 billion in agricultural loan guarantees. These guarantees freed for Iraq hard cash to continue to buy and develop WMDs, and are suspended only on 2 August 1990, the same day that Iraq invaded Kuwait."

1990
From July 18 to 1 August (Iraq invaded Kuwait on 2 August) the Bush Administration approved $4.8 million in advanced technology product sales to Iraq. End-buyers included MIMI and Saad 16. Mimi was identified in 1988 as a facility for chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs. In 1989 Saad was linked to CW and NW development.[57]

The Bush Administration approved $695,000 worth of advanced data transmission devices the day before Iraq invades Kuwait.[58]"

Overview:
"Items sent from the U.S. during the Reagan and Bush Administrations that helped Iraq’s non-conventional weapons programs and that were shipped to known military industrial facilities include:Computers to develop ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons;[59] machine tools and lasers to extend ballistic missile range;[60] graphics terminals to design and analyze rockets;[61] West Nile Fever virus, a known potential BW agent, sent by the U.S. government’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC);[62] the agents for botulism, tetanus, and anthrax.[63]"

Thanks for the research, Adrienne.

Schiavo relatives threatened

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Police said a man made a death threat Monday morning to the sister-in-law of Michael Schiavo...He called Mrs. Schiavo a murderer, and she responded very nicely to him, 'You don't even know the family.' And that's when he said, 'Well, if Terri dies, I'm going to come back and shoot you and your family'.

No arrests were immediately made, but police said they were taking the threat very seriously. Click AP for full story.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


JewelEye

Innovative eye implant gives new meaning to beauty

I’ve always thought that “innovative and edgy” technology can be a bit on the surreal side, and the decorative platinum implant (JewelEye), that can be inserted under a thin membrane in the eye which holds the implant in place, certainly fits the description. This new body adornment hasn’t officially hit the U.S., but when it does, will it have a wide appeal?; what are the medical implications?; is this the new wave of body piercing?

The Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery (NIIOS) devised the decorative platinum and was developed by ophthalmologic experts. The jewels currently come in just a few shapes, (Heart, Star, Eurosign, Four-leaved clover, Music note, and other shapes available upon request). According to NIIOS, the implant does not interfere with the visual performance and motility of the eye. The implant is made of a specially designed material that can be molded in all kinds of desired shapes and sizes.

Is it popular? Absolutely. Making its debut in 2002, there is a waiting list in the Netherlands of people anxious to receive the implants and that's at a cost of up to $1,200.

The implant device is available through Hippocratech b.v., Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The JewelEye can only be implanted by a registered ophthalmologist under sterile conditions, according to NIIOS. The treatment is performed in the clinics below:

Cornea Clinic, Rotterdam, Laan op Zuid 390, 3071 AA Rotterdam, The Netherlands, phone +31 10 297 4444

Oogzorgcentrum Driebergen, Traaij 42, 3971 GP Driebergen, The Netherlands, phone +31 343 522 193 or +31 343 516 718

Monday, March 28, 2005


The affordable "Fox Blocker"

Would you buy a device that blocks Fox News?

Television viewing audiences can now purchase a device for as little as $8.95, that blocks the reception of the Fox News cable channel. Now this should appeal to viewers who despise Fox News, don't you agree?

Sam Kimery, the creator of the "Fox Blocker" says that Fox is not news but rather editorialized opinions.

Formerly a registered Republican, even a precinct captain, Kimery became an independent in the 1990s when he said the state party stopped taking input from its everyday members.

Kimery contends Fox News' top-level management dictates a conservative journalistic bias, that inaccuracies are never retracted...

"I might as well be reading tabloids out of the grocery store," he says. "Anything to get a rise out of the viewer and to reinforce certain retrograde notions."

Full story here.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


River Nile in repose

Life in the Nile

eternal return to the sacred waters of the Nile
flowing from Hathor's udders,
flooding with the tides
seeds grounded with lushful hope
flourish of Maya's past
then once again, the waters will rise
and blissfully sweep all away
seedlings that hold deep shall give rise to
wheat and fatted cows will die, the harvest
plentiful, and natives will flock and play merry
dance and prance and drink of the fruit of the vine
epicurean delight shall straddle your wares and
fill you with greed and wanton rebirth
descend to the third level of hell and delight in the
ways of the damned
regrowth of life in the seasons of birth shall cradle you
in the womb of Hathor
and you shall be as one forever.

Friday, March 25, 2005


mammoth on exhibit

Woolly Mammoth on display at 2005 World Expo, Japan

Aichi, Japan--Fresh from the Siberian tundra, an 18,000-year-old frozen woolly mammoth went on display today at the opening of the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan. Still partially tufted with hair, the Ice Age plant-eater's head and other parts are stored in a giant refrigerator-turned-laboratory. Scientists at the expo say they hope to use the specimen to uncover why mammoths went extinct and, through cloning, to return them to life.

Woolly mammoths roamed Siberia until about 10,000 years ago, when they may have fallen victim to warming weather, human hunters, disease, or a combination thereof. Standing about 11 feet (3.4 meters) tall at the shoulder and weighing some seven tons, they not surprisingly loomed large in the minds of their human contemporaries, who immortalized the beasts in carvings and cave paintings.

—Ted Chamberlain, National Geographic

Thursday, March 24, 2005


nameless hero in a con age

Our days are numbered; our present age, shadowed

While reading through a cousin's "Scottish Rite Journal", I came across this article, "Actions Speak Louder Than Words". The point was, what kind of examples are we of what we believe and what obligations and vows have we taken, without any mental reservation or equivocation?

The heart of the article was attributed to an unknown author who described the present age this way:


"We have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

"We spend more, but have less. We buy more, but enjoy it less. We have bigger houses, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

"We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life, not life to years.

"We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

"We've conquered outer space, but not inner space. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've split the atom, but not our prejudice.

"We have higher incomes, but lower morals. We've become long on quantity, but short on quality. These are the times of tall men and short character; steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are the days of two incomes, but more divorces; of fancier houses, but broken homes. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom."

life frozen in time

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Government's new role as moral police

At what point does government intervene in a "right to die/live" issue? Terri Schiavo's situation is extraordinary, says government.

However, euthanasia and abortion are also extraordinary cases and even in these cases, the issues remain resolutely unresolved, government taking a back seat of non-involvement. Now, it's in the middle of the controversial Schiavo case.

Is society so morally corrupt that euthanasia and abortion are thought of as just another social problem unworthy of the tempestuous fight that has culminated in the Schiavo case?

If government is going to don the garb of "moral police", then by all means, lay down the law in a definitive manner in which there is no ambiguity regarding "right to life" issues. No gray area. Just black and white. Apply all other controversial "right to life" issues and be done with it already! Do for one; do for all, or do for none.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Russia challenges U.S.

An article from "Asia Times" discusses Russia's interaction with other nation-states, who are anti-U.S., despite the U.S. insistence of not doing business with these other countries.

By Jephraim P Gundzik
"Asia Times" - - Washington's "war on terrorism" is designed to militarily establish United States economic and geopolitical hegemony on a global scale. Rather than subduing Russia, the "war on terrorism" is encouraging Moscow to strengthen its relations with Washington's prominent foes. The war is also supercharging Russia's economy. Over the next four years, Russia will increasingly challenge the foreign policy goals of the Bush administration.

Full article here.

Judge rules against reinsertion of Schiavo's feeding tube

TAMPA, Florida (CNN) -- A federal judge... refused to order the reinsertion of a feeding tube for Terri Schiavo.

Attorneys for Schiavo's parents will file an appeal at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia.

Schiavo has been without food or water since Friday, when her feeding tube was removed by order of a state judge who ruled that her husband has the right to decide her fate.

The ruling in Tampa by U.S. District Judge James Whittemore came after Congress and President Bush enacted legislation aimed at allowing federal courts to review Schiavo's case.

Full story here.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Moment of reflection as the U.S. celebrates 2 years in Iraq

As the second anniversary of the war on Iraq approaches and the death toll of U.S troops tops 1,500, may we all take a moment to remember those who paid the ultimate price.

President Bush must be proud. Two years in Iraq. But if memory serves me, two years ago on May 1, 2003, a triumphant Bush declared the war over, so technically, this is not a war, but rather,.... (you fill in the blank).

The reality? Today, an entrenched insurgency in Iraq ties down 150,000 U.S. troops, inflicting upwards of 1,500 deaths so far - more than 10 times the number killed in the major combat operations that President Bush declared ended on May 1, 2003.

Worldwide protests can be found here.

Bush signs Schiavo bill; case goes to District court

A few words about the highly publicized and highly controversial case regarding Terri Schiavo... If the feeding tube remains, her quality of life will:

1. improve
2. stay the same
3. death is imminent

... anyone who reads this can interpret it any way they want.

Read more here on CNN.

If you visit Guam... useful words to learn

Although English is spoken throughout the island of Guam, we also continue to speak our own Chamorro language. Some, particularly older residents (manamko) who lived on Guam during the World War II period of Japanese occupation, speak Japanese, as well.

As in other destinations, the fastest way to make friends on Guam is to learn a bit of the local language. Here are a few of the popular expressions you'll hear every day:

Chamorro -English

Håfa Adai! -Hello!
Håfa lai! -Hello Friend!
Håfa tatatmanu hao? -How are you?
Håfa? -What's up?
Hayi na'ån-mu? -What's your name?
Buenas dihas -Good morning
Buenas noches -Good evening
Gof maolek -Very Good
Esta agupa' -Until tomorrow
Adios -Goodbye
Si Yu'os Ma'åse' -Thank you

Sunday, March 20, 2005


For many catholics on Guam, rice is the "sacrificial lamb" for lent

What have you given up this lenten season?

Easter week celebration officially begins Monday, unless you're like my aunt who started celebrating 2 weeks ago, her notion of being a devout catholic. But celebratory days are not of merriment, but rather, suffering, as Christ suffered, or so they say. The Lenten season brings about neverending promises of giving up something that one enjoys to show patronage of Christ's suffering. It doesn't even come close, but makes my relatives feel holy and self-righteous.

My aunt, who loves eating rice, has "sacrificed" her rice eating days for three weeks now. Of course, when Easter day rolls around, she will greedily chomp down hoards of rice at our family Easter Day party.

My uncle, who loves ice cream, has given up slurping his favorite, Rocky Road ice cream on a cone, for the sake of atonement for his sins and the identified suffering of Christ, although I suspect he's sneaking spoonfuls when everyone's asleep. How do you account for the large gobs of ice cream "mysteriously" disappearing from the fridge? And nobody gets it! Christ!

My Aunt Maria attends Mass EVERY DAY, rosary beads in hand, at least 10 prayer books, both translated in English and Chamorro. She faithfully stays after Mass for the Ten Stations of the Cross, a long recital where the priest and faithful followers trail around the church, stopping at each Station and praying, which brings back childhood memories when I trailed behind my mother, a miserable kid, who didn't understand why she had to pray AGAIN! after she had just attended Mass services.

On Fridays, you aren't supposed to eat meat, so fish, rice, and other non-carnivore foods graced our table. I admit, a sliver of guilt would overcome me, when during those days, growing up, I would sneak a just-nuked, Hot Pocket pepperoni snack after everyone was in bed.

My Aunt Maria says I'm a disrespectful child (yes, I will always be a child in her eyes). I guess this is because I tease her that if God had not chosen Mary to be the mother of Jesus, she was next on the list. Honestly! This woman is a very devout Catholic, as was my mother.

When I became a born-again christian, attending a fundamental baptist church, then a fundamental baptist college, they were terrified that I would die and surely go straight to hell. No waiting period in purgatory, where most Catholics end up, until they get prayed out of there. (or so I was taught). No, straight to hell.

So Catholics, as well as other denominations, share this deep affinity during the Easter season- the passion of the christ; the resurrection--profound and enduring events in which their belief system is centered. And somewhere... somehow... the Easter bunny with his colorful basket of eggs, appeared...the philosophical overtures of this relevant bit of information is too taxing for me to make sense of it now, so I'll skip it.

To me, growing up, lent has a more profound meaning than a new year's resolution, don't you agree? A new year's resolution is just a politically-correct gesture; a social more, a light-hearted gesture. Lent, however, is a serious business. It's simple. If you digress, you're weak; you've let God down; shame on you! I believe it comes down to inherent guilt that must be atoned in some way, i.e., physical manifestation, and certainly, the Lenten season is the perfect time for absolution. Ah, to be Catholic.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


sexual orientation jives politics

GQ Magazine does spread on gay Republicans

From "therawstory"
Apparently, the metrosexual male's top rag, GQ Magazine's March issue, did a spread on gay Republicans, at one point, inferring that Republican National Committee Ken Mehlman is gay (many deny this, however, Mehlman himself has not responded to requests for comment on his sexuality).

One's sexual preference in D.C. seems to be a big deal--is it unspoken, understood mores--are there conversations behind closed doors, the whispered topic of conversation at lunch?

Will this 3,000+ GQ spread fire debate in Washington, D.C., and if so, why is it such a big deal? Perhaps GQ's next spread will feature prominent gay Democrats. Read story and comments
here.

Friday, March 18, 2005


gas.expensive.trade-in

Gas prices up-oh woe is me

Surely not--My eyes squinting in the glaring sun as I looked at the Shell station marquee: Unleaded: $2.59/gal.

Entering the mini-mart, I casually asked the cashier, "Is that a typo?".

"No, we raised our gas prices early this morning."

*expletive*

Yes, gas prices have hit an all time high, which has prompted many to trade in their 8-cylinder-gas-guzzling-SUV for a more cost-savings-better-mileage-to-the-gallon vehicle. Here on Guam, corporate fleets have pared down their purchase of gas-guzzling roadsters for Nissan Sentras, Toyota Corollas and the like.

My sympathy goes out to large families who need the extra space to transport X-number of children.

CNN has the story on the increase of gas prices here.

Thursday, March 17, 2005


Solitude

Trees of Solitude

Thoughts adjourn in quiet solitude
Stray leaves rustle along moon-lit paths
Along the southern road of fenced in secrets
Beneath the watchful eyes of the trees

People of all creed and color,
the boy and dog; the loving couple; the old hag
walk along this path of quiet solitude

fresh air and country lanes
past days of happy memories
beneath strong trees and whispers of fenced in secrets

the promises made, and broken once, and again
the faded ripples of hopes and dreams
the angry tears and harsh words
the trees, bearers of human presence

seasons come and now gone
faded days of calm and storm
ever faithful trees, silent
secrets never told, kept for eternity

aged, brown, gnarled roots grasp the warm earth-deep,
deep within its womb,
massive trunks of strength
arch high into the heavens
a proclamation of mother earth

contemplative solitude
connections of breath and life
symbiotic weave of nature and
human- living side by side,
under the watchful eyes of the trees

Peterson sentenced to Death

Scott Peterson Sentenced to Death

San Mateo Superior Court Judge Alfred Delucchi sentenced Scott Peterson to die by lethal injection for the death of his wife Laci Peterson and unborn child. Full story here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Expressions of Water. L-R: Message of "Love and Thanks" written on a piece of paper and taped to the glass; water exposed to Mozart; water exposed to message written on paper, "You make me sick- I will kill you," and taped to the glass.

The Consciousness of water

Water.

The Earth is largely made up of it.
As are we.

And yet about it we know significantly little.

Until the groundbreaking work of a pioneer Japanese researcher, Dr. Masaru Emoto, whose astonishing discovery about water, documented photographically, changed most of what we didn't know and led to a new consciousness of Earth's most precious resource.

What has put Dr. Emoto at the forefront of the study of water is his proof that thoughts and feelings affect physical reality. By producing different focused intentions through written and spoken words and music and literally presenting it to the same water samples, the water appears to "change its expression".

Essentially, Dr. Emoto captured water's 'expressions.' He developed a technique using a very powerful microscope in a very cold room along with high-speed photography, to photograph newly formed crystals of frozen water samples. Not all water samples crystallize however. Water samples from extremely polluted rivers directly seem to express the 'state' the water is in.

Dr. Emoto discovered that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward them. He found that water from clear springs and water that has been exposed to loving words shows brilliant, complex, and colorful snowflake patterns. In contrast, polluted water, or water exposed to negative thoughts, forms incomplete, asymmetrical patterns with dull colors.

The success of his books outside Japan has been remarkable. Dr. Emoto has been called to lecture around the world as a result and has conducted live experiments both in Japan and Europe as well as in the US to show how indeed our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions as humans deeply impact the environment.

Dr. Emoto's newest book, "The Hidden Messages in Water," further explores his revolutionary research. Since humans and the earth are composed mostly of water, his message is one of personal health, global environmental renewal, and a practical plan for peace that starts with each one of us. The implications of this research create a new awareness of how we can positively impact the earth and our personal health. See more pictures of water "expressions" here: water

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


ambiguity of war

Ex-marine returns home, speaks out against war, recruitment

War lays a heavy burden on our men and women who deploy to Iraq. The emotional, mental and physical strain are sometimes beyond our understanding. The Iraqi election is over, yet violence and death have increased. If President Bush is waiting for insurgents to drop their weapons and leave Iraq, then he is living in his own solipsistic world.

Have you noticed--The voices in the blogosphere who ranted about Bush's decision to invade Iraq are now quiet. Why are they quiet? Perhaps they believe that Iraq has developed into a Vietnam-- no glory, no victory-- just a botched job with horrific consequences. However, if democracy takes a stronghold, they will be back on track, furiously blogging, the swell of nationalism and self-righteousness steaming off their fingers; their justification for all the deaths on both sides coming to a glorious, self-satisfied conclusion. So have they now quietly put their passion of "Democracy in Iraq" in the back of their mind, for if they have, then they do an injustice to the memory of soldiers who continue to fight-- but continue to fight for what?

Have you noticed--The lashing of Americans' of "red" and "blue" states have settled... and yet, the war continues, but let me say this... it is no longer the war that U.S. forces fought for (actually, it never was... no WMD; then for Democracy)-- today, our troops are fighting insurgent forces... they are there as part of the peace-keeping mission-- however, the mission has failed and U.S. soldiers are dying.

Many of those who fought and have since returned home, arrived quietly, with no fanfare, no national recognition... just a tired soldier who longs for some semblance of return to normalcy. Bless them all. Below is a short story from a former Marine. Similar stories such as this are coming to the forefront. Heed the voices of reason.


By Denise Richardson

ONEONTA — A former Marine who served in Iraq and became a veteran for peace spent Wednesday warning students and parents about recruiting techniques and desensitization of military service.

"I was in a controlled environment for 12 years," Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey, 33, said. He said unethical recruiting techniques and the shooting of civilians in Iraq have prompted him to speak out against the U.S. government.

...military service can be honorable, except that when the government is deceitful, it can be dangerous to democracy.

During his 12 years in the Marines, Massey recruited soldiers for three years. Marine recruiters use lies and intimidation to sign up recruits and meet quotas of two "bodies" in the winter and three in the summer, he said. Massey said he signed up 75 recruits.

Recruiters target teens from single-parent families, who are poor, at risk of dropping out of high school or getting into trouble with the law or looking for a way to attend college, Massey said. He said one question that counselors or parents could pose to help students reject a recruiter’s pitch is, "Is an education worth you dying?"

After the recruiting assignment, Massey said, he went to Iraq.

"I really thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," Massey said. He said after doing some homework on Saddam and the Middle East, he recognized the government’s "weapons of mass deception."

Massey said he told a lieutenant in Iraq, "I honestly feel we’re committing genocide." Massey said he soon thereafter was referred to the psychiatric division and sent back to the United States. He was honorably discharged in December 2003.

"Every time I speak out, I heal a little bit of myself, and I regain a little bit of my soul," Massey said. "That’s why I do this."
The Daily Star Online

Monday, March 14, 2005


windows of opportunity-children look in-quality education

Watered-down education- negative impact

There is no doubt in my mind that our public educational system is failing our children. Emphasis on critical thinking skills left the class room. Today, elementary school children are drilled to do well on standard achievement tests, which places undue stress not only on the child, but on their teachers as well. What does a teacher do when one or more of her students are not meeting the pre-test average? Many teachers become frustrated and angry with the curriculum; sadly, not many question the system.

Children with special needs are most affected by this type of learning, usually detrimental to their state of mind and well-being. Most of the time, the inability to cope triggers negative responses and subjects the child to a hostile environment. And what of the gifted child who must endure repetitious learning sans the creative component? Motivation is stifled and the child becomes bored, forcing him to accept the prescribed teaching.

Parents are frustrated as well, especially those who cannot afford one-on-one teaching; or a school with a smaller classroom setting.

Public education was meant to afford every child a free education, but how exactly is this defined? Furthermore, the premise that an education provides a future for a child to become a productive member of his society is no longer the norm, since high school drop out rates steadily increase.

This condition is further exacerbated by teachers who join unions and are convinced that they are under-paid, when in fact, teachers' salaries meet the national average. Click here for more on this: teachers' salaries fair. Clearly, even a good salary isn't enough to motivate these teachers. The human desire to excel in school is dampened by mediocre teaching skills, or worse, an "I don't care", attitude. Children intuit the feelings of adults and their attitudes are guided accordingly.

No doubt, our educational system needs major re-vamping. New research should be explored and accounts of current trends in education should be re-evaluated and addressed at the highest levels in government. Collective studies can shed some light on complex interactive questions in a way few single studies can.

The term, "teaching down" to our children is prevalent in our schools. This situation, although frowned upon, happens frequently and not much is being done to address the issue. Granted, the system perpetuates itself within each state and there are numbers upon numbers of schools that need direction, a seemingly impossible task. However, the U.S. Department of Education must think more creatively on how to resolve fundamental issues in teaching and learning and draw practical solutions that should benefit all states, collectively, but more importantly, our children.

Sunday, March 13, 2005


Children need chosen ones

Are you a chosen one?

I am saddened that young people have become so cynical and apathetic about the world around them and their feelings of frustration of not being able to effectuate change in their lives. Many of them decide that an education isn’t worth the effort, provoking them to quit school sometime during their high school years.

What’s left is a disassociated, bitter, young person who believes that the world is against him, no one cares, or those who do, can’t help him, which, in many instances, leads to a life of crime.

What has happened to our world? Where are the chosen ones?… the ones who can make a difference in a person’s life? If they are not in the classrooms, the homes, tv, government; where are they?

The short message is this: if you have any influence over anyone, the power to effectuate change for the good of mankind, would you accept the challenge of a chosen one?

Saturday, March 12, 2005


Illusive reality

Possibilities

Time has a way of sifting through our consciousness without our being aware of how that defining moment changed the way we see things. Moments of reality happen all around us, as perceived in our mind, which makes it tangible.

However, the amount of information we are able to process has its limits, thereby limiting our perception of other states of reality, or consciousness. Is what we see real outside of ourselves, or is it real in our mind? In other words, are we the creator of our world and all that we perceive is what is created in our mind; or are we living in a world that is outside our mind, in which all objects has relevance?

Levels of consciousness exist within our mind which determines our reaction to outside stimuli thereby creating a response. Many believe that they are not in control of their lives; that existence is not within their power to effectuate change. This is not true, as some of us realize. The answer is to understand that our mind can actualize the desires of our world, if we open it up to possibilities, and not confuse it with doubt. Pre-set conditions in our life must be re-examined and if damaging to our seat of consciousness, must be destroyed.

Fear and self-doubt are our greatest enemies. If we say we can't, then we can't. If we say we won't then we won't--but if we ask, what are the possibilities, how can we change our reality, how can we see our life in a different way.. then we take the first step to self-actualization which involves the evolution of our mind and our state of being.

Time is irrelevant, for states of consciousness are not relegated to moments in time. However, we were trained since birth to perceive time as a conscious reality that moves forward and is marked. States of consciousness is timeless; able to move forward or backward. Defining moments of time are quantitative and can be measured in the brain.

The qualitative moment, however, cannot be measured by science, for this is considered the seat of god-- the creative process of ideas, of movement of thought beyond the realm of limited reality and into the realm of possibilities.

thefingerthebirdytheinsult. it's still art, folks

Friday, March 11, 2005

What did you say?

On numerous occasions, and because I am more human than most, sometimes, swear words are the only way of expressing one's true feelings, don't you think? Here are some quality swear words... after all, they're in Latin and appear to be not as offensive as other languages (you'll know what I mean when you visit the site). Curious? How about swear words in Japanese, French, Tagalog, German, Italian, Hebrew, and so many more. Click insults.net (bottom left corner, click on the gray button that reads, How do I swear in??????)
Enjoy.

Stercum
- Sh*t

Flocci non facio
- I don't give a damn

tua mater
- your mother

Dormi mecum
- sleep with me

Tu es stultior quam asinus
- you are dumber than an ass

cunnus
- cu*t

irrumator
- bastard

leno
- pimp

mentula
- penis

meretrix
- prostitute

Orcae Ita!
- Hell Yeah!

spucatum tauri
- Bull sh*t

pudor tu
- fu*k you

http://blogosphere/me/@/world.com

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Blogosphere and bloggers- the Fifth Estate

The main reason I blog is because I'd like to think I'm contributing something to this world and perhaps, I've struck a cord with a few people who feel strongly about the same issues, or else not, which is fine too--everyone is entitled to their opinion.For those who are discouraged, I believe that no matter how small a presence, we are out there, in cyberspace, adding our voice to anyone who will listen-- if we persevere ... someone will.

In the blogosphere, being a member of like-minded individuals can manifest into a very powerful influence, and with this comes the power to evoke change in the most dramatic way--the power to topple a politician, or an established anchor-man; the power to expose the seedy side of a person; the power to influence a nation...

Political blogs are written by people who are passionate about issues affecting their lives (and others as well); some are homespun philosophers, pajama-clad counselors, and others who promote their business. Still others are teachers who impart knowledge they have learned to those who seek it. We have religious blogs, gay blogs, lesbian blogs, comedy blogs, recipe blogs, blogs on the occult, poetry blogs, prison blogs, music blogs, book blogs, how-to blogs, medical blogs, blogs about blogs, insurance blogs, and the ever-so-wonderful, mommy blogs. We have pet(s) blogs, relationship blogs, daily journal blogs, photoblogs, IT blogs, gardening blogs, law blogs, advice blogs, history blogs, wedding blogs, nature blogs, web blogs, war/anti-war blogs, UFO blogs, car blogs, college blogs, school blogs, bi-polar/ADD/ADHD/(just to name a few) blogs, government and anti-government blogs... Have I missed any? I'm sure I have.

As many of you know, the "fourth estate" is traditionally identified as the public press--journalists, photographers, newspapers and magazines, collectively. Throughout history, politicians have detested journalists for their liberal views and biased writings. Ah, the irony, for today, journalists detest bloggers for those very same reasons!

The point is, with the creation of the blogosphere, bloggers have essentially created a powerful entity with limitless potential. Because of this, I consider the blogosphere the "fifth estate" and identify it as such. Furthermore, I intuit that the blogosphere has a collective consciousness which has permeated the real world and has effectuated change whether for good or bad--but one thing is for certain, bloggers are not ignored and are taken quite seriously.

Otherwise unknown, bloggers have become icons not only in the world of blogging, but also in the Halls of Congress, state legislatures, MSM, school districts, courts, and yes, even the Oval Office. Umm hmm.. Bloggers are here to stay. Biba Bloggers!

Gods in Relativity

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Complex by nature

The Scriptures gave the Gentiles a Savior
after rejection from the chosen ones
The divine design which leads to Salvation
Judea-God is known to man; for belief is eternal life

The Koran gave the world Allah
What is in the heavens and in the earth
are complete in man, outwardly and inwardly
Devotion manifested in action

Proclaim your faith; extol the virtues of life
All things natural are for the common good;
Acknowledge the existence of an intelligent being

Oh man, contemplate the whole and every part of the whole
Daemon est Deus, inversus
The parallel of life, above and below

The universe a divine design
Created for mankind to destroy and rebuild
New gods worshipped in embryonic states of consciousness

The Watchmaker casts time and sends it spinning
Its function of keeping life until death;
Indifferent, emotionless, yet
fine-tuned and elemental

God and Allah,
Never created, always were, no beginning or end
Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent,
alpha earth and omega spirit
Judea-God and Allah, ONE

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


A 19-year-old Karol Wojtyla, later Pope John Paul II (far right), is seen holding a rifle while performing 'present arms' in this July 1939 photo. Two months before the outbreak of World War II, he attended a military training camp in Western Ukraine, then eastern Poland. Photo: Adam Gatty-Kostyal, AP

Karol Wojtyla... who?

Pope John Paul II, an influential, yet humble and quiet man, is slowly recuperating in hospital. Millions of faithful Catholics around the world pray for him daily; many afraid that he is living his last days. John Paul II, Pope from 1978, is considered one of the most influential pontiffs of modern history and the first non-Italian pope since Adrian VI in 1522. (Catholic Encyclopedia)Who is the man behind the Church and why is he considered one of the most influential popes in papal history?

Born on May 18, 1920 in Poland, Karol Wojtyla was a gifted student and had a love for sports, as well as a fondness for poetry and acting. Many friends thought Karol would eventually end up choosing acting as his career.

In 1942, Karol showed an interest in the priesthood. After ordination on Nov. 1, 1946, he was sent to Rome, earning a doctorate in theology in June, 1948. He returned to Poland and served for three years as a parish priest, but returned to religious studies, earning another doctorate, this time in philosophy.

In 1956, he was named a professor of ethics at Lublin, where he continued his passion for sports. Through the years, he rose in the hierarchy eventually becoming a cardinal in 1967. In 1976, he was given the honor of delivering a series of Lenten sermons before the pope and the papal household. By 1978, he was quietly being advanced as a possible papal candidate, receiving this election on October 16, 1978, to succeed John Paul I.

His election was historical, ending four centuries of Italian domination of the papacy. The youngest pope since Pius IX (1846-1878), John Paul made it clear that a new direction for the Church will begin. With his energy, the Pope became the most widely traveled pontiff in papal history.

Some of his accomplishments include: extensive reforms to the Curia; fostered ecumenism and interfaith dialogue, especially with the Orthodox Church; broadened the international nature of the College of Cardinals; has authored a number of encyclopedias; and has taken a strong and unapologetic stance against the most important modern and moral questions of abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, and fetal research.

Perhaps one of his greatest accomplishments was the revision of the Code of Canon Law and the issue of the first revised Catechism since the 16th century.

John Paul’s reign has witnessed some of the most significant events of the century. His election and policies were the source of deep concern to the Kremlin, so much that they may have motivated the attempted assassination of the pontiff on May 13, 1981, by Mehmet Ali Agca in St. Peter’s Square. Recovering, the pope continued his work in resisting communism in Eastern Europe. Many scholars recognize the extensive role he played in the final collapse of the Soviet empire. (Catholic Encyclopedia) John Paul also began formal relations with Israel in 1994, negotiated new agreements or diplomatic ties with Italy, Mexico, Spain, and the U.S.

A poet, playwright, philosopher, mystic, and theologian, John Paul is the author of numerous books and writings beyond his papal duties. Two of his most famous books are “Love and Responsibility”, a study on human sexuality, and “Crossing the Threshold of Hope”, a 1994 international bestseller and the first work by a pope expressing his personal thoughts on the existence of God, human suffering, dignity, the nature of evil, the Church, and his own office.

Rumors about his health surfaced briefly in 1994, (at 74), after a hip injury during a skiing retreat, but were dismissed when he began traveling in 1995. He was named, “Man of the Year” by Time magazine in 1995. His motto has always been, “Totus Tuus” (“Everything for You”).

Monday, March 07, 2005


composite cotton

WTO ruling: U.S. subsidies to cotton industry illegal

The World Trade Organization recently ruled that the U.S. government-subsidized cotton industry is illegal. Critics say that subsidies unfairly boost U.S. agricultural production, flooding the world market with cheaper goods and driving down prices in the international market.

The ruling will put to the test President Bush's commitment to abide by the rules of the global trade arbiter. Click here: Brazil Triumphs Over U.S. in WTO Subsidies Dispute

Let's examine this closely. Perhaps the Bush administration believes that one of government's responsibility is to help sustain U.S. farmers who are experiencing economic hardship. This is simply the empathetic sense of helping another fellow human, one who contributes to the stability and success of the nation-state.

The motive behind the action can be predicated on Scottish common sense philosophy, "active powers".
Distinguised from intellectual powers which involve the capacities of reasoning, judging and conceiving, "active powers" refers to the capacities of impulse and desire which lead to or determine human action. It would seem that the WTO ruling is adverse to the principle of "active powers". This premise can be attributed to a nation's motive of rational principles such as duty and rectitude.

Thomas Reid proposed a dual division between homo sapiens and other species in the animal kingdom. Sapiens having acquired the essence of the ability to create, interpret, dream, and make choices. Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man (1785) and Essays on the Active Powers of Man(1788). Under the heading of "active powers" Reid further distinguished the will from principles of action, the latter of which included (1) mechanical principles of instinct and habit, (2) animal principles such as appetite and desire, (3) and rational principles such as duty and rectitude. A corollary is distinguised among all three principles of action.

Will the U.S. ignore this ruling, or will it comply? The Bush Administration has until July 1, 2005, to comply or face possible trade sanctions by Brazil. Will intrinsic behavior of "active powers" determine compliance or non-compliance?

Sunday, March 06, 2005


U.S. TKO

U.S. and the theory of political realism

What is the theory behind nation-states using their power to bring about change in other countries? Certainly, politics is an intrinsic component that has played a prominent role in theory, if not in practice.

With this said, let us define political realism. Political realism is a theory of political philosophy that takes as its assumption that power is the primary end of political action, whether in the domestic or international arena.

On the domestic side, the theory asserts that the goal of politicians should be to strive to maximize their power via the inner workings of their political agenda and pre-set conditions within certain parameters; while on the international arena, nation-states should maximize their power via international relations with other nation-states. In short, politicians and nation-states should pursue power for their self-interest--right is might.

In its evolution, political realism re-incarnated in the form of social darwinism in which social and political growth is a struggle in which only the strongest or fittest cultures or polities would survive.

In a sense, the culture of each nation-state was inculcated via nationalist sentiments. This was later extended to include imperialist ambitions. Major nation-states have evolved through these stages: Britain, France, Belgium, Germany and the United States.

Social darwinians claim that some nations are born to rule over others (survival of the fittest);however, political realists focus on the need of ensuring that the politician, nation, culture, must ensure its own survival by securing its own needs and interests before it looks to the needs of others.

Furthermore, political realism maintains that because nation-states have no overriding world government that enforces a common code of rules, anarchy (not chaotic anarchy), is the only logical ethic whereby most nation-states will view its essence as being a-moral. (Hobbes, Leviathan) "Where there is no common Power, there is no Law: where no Law, no Injustice... if there be no Power erected, or not great enough for our security, every man will and may lawfully rely on his own strength and art, for caution against all men."

Accordingly, without a supreme international power, nation-states view each other with fear and hostility and conflict, which is endemic to the system.

Theoretical backlash is also a common assumption, which broken down, implies that nation-states that assist other nation-states as an act of good-will, is easily refuted by pointing to some self-serving motive, the stronger nation seeking something in return. In this case, any attempt to introduce morality is futile.
If this is the case, then the above, identified as descriptive political realism, and the assumption of morality, is false.

However, if a nation-state assists another with no ulterior motive, then logically, this assumption is true and negates the soundness of descriptive realism.

Therefore, it is not a true or false description of international relations but is reduced to an arbitrary assumption, although assumptions can be tested against evidence.

What suppositions can we infer regarding the United States and its international relations? What propositions are implied?

Some apologists have said that the United States desires to rule as a world power; that as a world power, so too ought its government (in the banal name of democracy), control the activities of other nation-states-- overseeing the legality of their affairs and punishing those nations that break the laws. Why is this premise flawed? Because domestic analogy makes the presumption that relations between individuals and relations between nation-states are the same. We all know that this is not the case.

Furthermore, political realism does not factor in individuals and their interaction with their nation-state (or government). It has been said that relationships between individuals and their government is very different than those between nation-states, since individuals can hold beliefs and can suffer whereas states cannot.

Therefore, if the domestic analogy does not hold true, arguably, a different theory must be proposed to explain international affairs where each nation-state's citizenry is taken into account.

Political realists who are classified as a-moralists, realize that the morality of "upholding the national interest" is being twisted to assume that acting in one's own or one's nation's interest is immoral or amoral at best.

What view do you perceive the United States to emulate?

Saturday, March 05, 2005


Wandering thoughts of home

Home Is Where I Long To Be

Please take my hand
and lead me to
The home in my heart
Where cherished memories live

Where my youth was pure and
innocent, unstained by worldly desires
and heartless masses of humanity

My heart is heavy; my soul distressed
The world took from me and gave nothing back
I have nothing left but my sorrow and tears

I quietly lay down my sword
I will not fight another day
My grief is a heavy burden in my heart

Please take my hand
Lead me home
I've lost my way

Do you know my mother and father?
Are they still alive?

Does mother still smell like Ivory soap?
Does father still read the paper
too close to his nose?

Does the wind still rustle between the
two great shady trees in the yard?

At night, as I recall,
Does the thick foliage still cast shadows
on the cobbled gentry road?

I left my safe home for glitter and fame
The power and knowledge was heady and
deep, the fount of my greed, bottomless

But now, the world has stopped spinning
And I am left all alone
I think of my life, in the simple old days
And cry for the fool I've become

I long to go home, but the road is not there
I have lost my way and don't know where to turn

Do you know the way back home?
Please take my hand and show me the way

If I can't go back, then leave me be.
I will lay here and quietly sleep until
the shadow of death enshrouds me
and then, perhaps, my dreams will
take me home and there will I live
forever

If anyone asks, friend or foe, tell them I am where
I was always meant to be
My peace has returned to me
My soul has reclaimed its honor
for I am home

AIDS meds/death

Friday, March 04, 2005

80 million Africans May Die of AIDS by 2025

After reading this article, I asked myself, is enough being done in the search for a cure? It has been said, it is not wars that will decimate the human race, but a virus that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) -- More than 80 million Africans may die from AIDS by 2025, the United Nations said in a report released Friday, and infections could soar to 90 million - or more than 10 percent of the continent's population - if more isn't done soon to fight the disease.

More than 25 million African have been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. UNAIDS estimated that nearly $200 billion is needed to save 16 million people from death and 43 million people from becoming infected, but donors have pledged nowhere near that amount.

In its report, "AIDS in Africa," the U.N. agency examines three potential scenarios for the continent in the next 20 years depending on the international community's response.

Researchers determined that even with massive funding and better treatment, the number of Africans who will die from AIDS is likely to top 67 million in the next two decades. AIDS

Thursday, March 03, 2005


Yeslam, a bin ladin product
The Concept
YESLAM is a profound yet gentle message in a bottle for her, for him, and for all who long for inner peace, serenity and blessings in the wonderful world of fragrant bliss.
The distinctive colours and the medley of floral spicy and woody bouquets were the inspiration behind this fragrance, created for a worldwide appeal.
This unique fragrance embodies the concept of being twice blessed in today's fast moving world of pressure and haste, it showers its qualities of deep serenity, inner happiness and profound tranquility on those who offer it and those who wear it.

Court lifts ban on Bin Ladin Trademark

It's interesting how life goes on for the bin ladin family, in spite of their filial ties to the number one terrorist in the world. Osama's half brother now has the authority to use the bin ladin name on his line of perfume and beauty products, although he says he has no plans to do so. Whether he does or not, I'm sure that his products will not be allowed to sell in the U.S. Or will they? Hope people in the State Department are paying attention. Have you seen this at Macy's, Nordstrom's, Barney's? Would you purchase it? Take a peek at his website, read the Interview. Very interesting. : yeslam

GENEVA (AP) -- A Swiss court has lifted a two-year suspension on the trademark "Bin Ladin," which is registered to a half brother of Osama bin Laden, authorities said Thursday.

The decision reverses a 2002 ruling by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, which prevented Yeslam Binladin from using the name as a protected trademark on his perfumes or beauty products.

Binladin, who intentionally spells his name differently from his half brother, said he had no immediate plans to use the name on any products. Last fall, he avoided controversy by releasing a line of perfumes for men and women under the "Yeslam" trademark.

"I have no intention of exploiting the trademark Bin Ladin for commercial ends, but its registration will ensure that other people cannot use my name ill-advisedly," he told the Geneva daily Tribune de Geneve.

Binladin originally gained trademark protection for his family name in August 2001, but Switzerland revoked the ruling a year later, saying it was offensive in light of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, attributed to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

The trademark authority approved Binladin's application without objection before the attacks and had insufficient grounds to repeal it afterward, said Kurt Wuethrich, director of the appeal commission. The trademark authority argued that the Bin Ladin trademark could disturb public order.

Registration in Switzerland allows people to apply for trademark protection in 77 countries that have signed an international intellectual property treaty, including the United States.

Binladin was born in Saudi Arabia, one of 54 children of Mohammed Ben Oud Ben Laden and his 22 wives. He has claimed he only met his younger half brother three or four times in his life, all before Osama left Saudi Arabia in 1981. Binladin has lived in Switzerland since 1985 and became a Swiss citizen three years ago.
By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER
Associated Press Writer

Apathy under a watchful eye

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Underground paper will knock the apathy out of them - We hope

While enjoying a latte at the Coffee Beanery, my friends and I started a conversation that ended with each of us thinking about how to become better human beings. Not "better" as in being more compassionate or patient, or loving.

No, we decided that anger and distaste for mediocrity were not enough to make a difference in this senseless world we live in. Attending municipal meetings and speaking out against government's attempts to politicize healthcare, the landfill issue, public power and water, and other basic services in our community weren't enough either.

After much debate and excitable speeches, (perhaps we all had Too Much caffeine in our system), we decided that the creation of an underground newspaper was necessary to awaken our government officials to force them to make good decisions, as well as the majority of our apathetic citizenry who take great delight in complaining, but otherwise do nothing else.

Politics is taken very seriously here on Guam-- families have been known to completely ignore each other because of political differences. Unfortunately, although I believe that our elected officials are servants of the people and are subject to intense scrutiny, many of the upper echelons of society either ignore political mistakes because they stand to gain something, or they are seriously ignorant.

It would not be difficult to start up this underground paper, my friends and I are quite passionate about local issues affecting our island. We are all writers and one is a local publisher. What will be difficult is time management. We are all extremely busy women, with enough projects and deadlines to keep us running around for the entire year.

Well, we're all aware of this, but we made a pledge that we would begin this weekend. Our first paper will focus on the controversial and atrocious healthcare system on Guam, more specifically, the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, the only civilian hospital on Guam. Many people have died on Guam for lack of better healthcare because their family could not afford the cost of a plane ticket to the States where the hospitals back there have specialists and equipment and facilities to perform complicated surgeries-- something our local hospital is not capable of doing.

Don't get me wrong, our hospital has some state of the art equipment and some specialists, but it isn't enough. Why? Lack of funding. We have to beg the Guam Legislature for a supplemental budget each year to keep the hospital afloat.

There is a Naval Hospital on island, but their standing orders are to keep locals out and provide healthcare to military personnel only. Of course, if an emergency occurs, and Naval Hospital is the closer of the two, patient(s) will be transported there, but as soon as they stabilize, they are immediately transferred to our local hospital. A sad fact, ironic too, but a tradition that has been accepted by our Chamorro people for years.

Why ironic? Because Guam is an unincorporated territory of the United States; because since 1950, Chamorros were granted United States citizenship; because Chamorros are proud to serve their country in the armed forces, as well as the National Guard... oh, I could go on and on...

So, one issue at a time, beginning with healthcare. Our mission: to create controversy, to stimulate independent thought, to bring about change in an otherwise fatalistic, pessimistic, apathetic community. My byline? the Hermit. Just.. the Hermit.

Chicken ala silhouette

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road

Note: Thank you, Crusty, for passing on this delightful piece of satire. Old, true... but still quite funny. Enjoy

WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD?


GEORGE W BUSH

We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road.

We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road or not. Our side of the road is the right side of the road and the chicken is either against us or for us. There is no middle ground for any chicken.

COLIN POWELL
Now, to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road.

DONALD RUMSFELD

I have known about the chicken crossing the road for several months. I was investigating why the chicken moved but didn't feel it was necessary to alert anyone.

HANS BLIX
We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

JOHN KERRY
Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road I am now against it!

RALPH NADER
The chicken's habitat on the other side of the road had been polluted by unchecked industrial greed. The chicken did not reach the unspoiled habitat on the other side of the road because it was crushed by the wheels of a gas-guzzling SUV.

RUSH LIMBAUGH

I don't know why the chicken crossed the road, but I'll bet it was getting a government grant to cross the road, and I'll bet that somebody out there is already forming a support group to help chickens with crossing-the-road syndrome. Can you believe this? How much more of this can real Americans take? Chickens crossing the road paid for by their tax dollars. And when I say tax dollars, I'm talking about your money, money the government took from you to build road for chickens to cross.

MARTHA STEWART
No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any inside information.

DR SEUSS
Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY
To die in the rain. Alone.

GRANDPA
In my day, we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS
Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heartwarming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

JOHN LENNON
Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together -- in peace.

ARISTOTLE
It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

KARL MARX
It was a historic inevitability.

CAPTAIN KIRK
To boldly go where no chicken has ever gone before.

SIGMOND FREUD
The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying sexual insecurity.

BILL GATES
I have just witnessed eChicken2005, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your checkbook... and Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken.

ALBERT EINSTEIN

Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON
I did NOT cross the road with that chicken. What is your definition of crossing the road?

JACQUES CHIRAC
We will veto any resolution regarding non-compliance of the chicken whether is has or has not crossed the road!

MOHAMMED ALDOURI (Iraq ambassador)
The chicken did not cross the road. This is a complete fabrication. We don't even have a chicken.

SADDAM HUSSEIN
This was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on the chicken and its family.

AL GORE
I invented the chicken. I invented the road. Therefore, the chicken crossing the road represented the application of these two different functions of government in a new, reinvented way designed to bring greater services to the American people.

PAT BUCHANAN
T o steal a job from a decent, hard-working American.

JERRY FALWELL
Because the chicken was gay! Isn't it obvious? Can't you people see the plain truth in front of your face? The chicken was going to the "other side." That's what they call it -- the other side. Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And, if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media whitewashes with seemingly harmless phrases like "the other side.

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question.

COLONEL SANDERS
Did I miss one?