Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Millions in Iraq Reconstruction Aid Wasted!

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Tens of millions of U.S. dollars have been wasted in Iraq reconstruction aid, some of it on an Olympic-size swimming pool ordered up by Iraqi officials for a police academy that has yet to be used, investigators say.
The quarterly audit by Stuart Bowen Jr., the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, is the latest to paint a grim picture of waste, fraud and frustration in an Iraq war and reconstruction effort that has cost taxpayers more than $300 billion and left the region near civil war.
"The security situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate, hindering progress in all reconstruction sectors and threatening the overall reconstruction effort," according to the 579-page report, which was being released Wednesday.
Calling Iraq's sectarian violence the greatest challenge, Bowen said in a telephone interview that billions in U.S. aid spent on strengthening security has had limited effect. He said reconstruction now will fall largely on Iraqis to manage -- and they're nowhere ready for the task.
The audit comes as President Bush is pressing Congress to approve $1.2 billion in new reconstruction aid as part of his broader plan to stabilize Iraq by sending 21,500 more U.S. troops to Baghdad and Anbar province.
Democrats in Congress have been skeptical. Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has suggested that the U.S. is spending too much on Iraq reconstruction at the expense of Hurricane Katrina rebuilding in New Orleans, while California Rep. Henry Waxman plans in-depth hearings next week into charges of Iraq waste and fraud.
According to the report, the State Department paid $43.8 million to contractor DynCorp International for the residential camp for police training personnel outside of Baghdad's Adnan Palace grounds that has stood empty for months. About $4.2 million of the money was improperly spent on 20 VIP trailers and an Olympic-size pool, all ordered by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior but never authorized by the U.S.
U.S. officials spent another $36.4 million for weapons such as armored vehicles, body armor and communications equipment that can't be accounted for. DynCorp also may have prematurely billed $18 million in other potentially unjustified costs, the report said.

We don’t seem to have the money to rebuild an American city, New Orleans, but apparently the Bush Administration feels we have plenty to throw away to his friends, the disgustingly rich, corrupt contractors in Iraq. (Can you say Halliburton?!)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

'Time is Short' in Iraq, Commander Nominee Says

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Stabilizing Iraq will require "new and different actions" to improve security and promote political reconciliation, the Navy admiral poised to lead American forces in the Middle East said Tuesday.
Adm. William Fallon, at his confirmation hearing, also told the Senate Armed Services Committee that it may be time to "redefine the goals" in Iraq.
"I believe the situation in Iraq can be turned around, but time is short," he said.
Fallon, 62, who currently is commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, said he saw a need for a comprehensive approach to Iraq, including economic and political actions to resolve a problem that requires more than military force.
"What we have been doing has not been working," he said. "We have got to be doing, it seems to me, something different."

Just one more example of a military commander who disagrees with the Bush administrations, “optimistic” assessment of the situation in Iraq. I predict that this commander won’t last long in his job, since every military leader that has the common sense and audacity to speak up and voice an opinion contrary to our “delusional deciders” gets the ax in record time. Perhaps if Bush would let our military men do their jobs and form some new strategies for Iraq, we’d make some positive progress for a change.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Cold One For Man's Best Friend!

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- After a long day hunting, there's nothing like wrapping your paw around a cold bottle of beer.
So Terrie Berenden, a pet shop owner in the southern Dutch town of Zelhem, created a beer for her Weimaraners made from beef extract and malt.
"Once a year we go to Austria to hunt with our dogs, and at the end of the day we sit on the veranda and drink a beer. So we thought, my dog also has earned it," she said.
Berenden consigned a local brewery to make and bottle the nonalcoholic beer, branded as Kwispelbier. It was introduced to the market last week and advertised as "a beer for your best friend."
"Kwispel" is the Dutch word for wagging a tail.
The beer is fit for human consumption, Berenden said. But at $2.14 (or 1.65 euro) a bottle, it's about four times more expensive than a Heineken.

Boy, I thought I spoiled my dogs!-lol

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Experts Say Cold War Offers Lessons for Iraq

WASHINGTON - President Bush has called Iraq a crucial battleground in a decades-long struggle against Islamic terrorism.
"It's important for our fellow citizens to understand that failure in Iraq would be a disaster for our future," he told soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga., last week. "It's a different kind of war in which failure in one part of the world could lead to disaster here at home ... That is why we must, and we will, succeed in Iraq."
Historians and Middle East experts, however, say that America's last "long war," the four-decade Cold War against Soviet communism, offers some cautionary lessons as the nation debates its next moves in Iraq.
Previous presidents, they note, made many of the same arguments about Vietnam that Bush and his aides are making about Iraq: The war there was part of a larger struggle against a monolithic enemy, and Vietnam's neighbors would fall to communism like dominoes if the U.S. were defeated.
That turned out not to be true: The U.S. lost the battle in Vietnam but won the war against communism anyway.
Indeed, critics argue that Bush is making some of the same mistakes in Iraq that his predecessors made in Vietnam, seeing a monolithic enemy where none exists, backing questionable allies, overlooking some of the causes of the conflict and believing that victory is essential to America's future.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Low On Troops!

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Republican Revolt!

As George Bush takes the lectern in the House chamber for his State of the Union address, he can finally claim that he is fulfilling the promise of his 2000 presidential campaign to be a uniter and not a divider. With his proposal to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq, Bush is indeed bringing Democrats and Republicans together. The problem for him is that the bipartisan front they are forming is against him. It has the potential to lead to the most serious foreign policy confrontation between a President and Congress since the Vietnam War.

Though Democrats are now in charge of both houses, the lawmakers to watch are the Republicans, who for the first time are charting their own course on Iraq. At least a dozen G.O.P. Senators have expressed opposition to Bush's "surge" plan, and one-- potential presidential contender Chuck Hagel of Nebraska--is even working with leading Democrats to pass a resolution against it. Hagel, a twice-wounded Vietnam veteran, has said Bush's plan to increase U.S. troop strength in Iraq by 21,500 represents "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder since Vietnam, and I intend to resist it."

The Senate measure, expected to go to the floor soon after Bush's speech next week, would be nonbinding. However, a strong and bipartisan vote against Bush's surge strategy could pave the way for bolder congressional moves in coming months, including putting restrictions on how money for the Iraq war is spent. One test could come as early as February, when the White House is expected to send Congress a request for supplemental funding for the war.

Representative John Murtha, who opposes the war and chairs the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, has said he won't move to cut off funds. But he may, for instance, mandate that soldiers be given at least a year off between war-zone tours, a move that would make it far more difficult for Bush to find the men and women he needs to carry out his plan.

To circumvent the spectacle of some in the President's own party voting against his war plan, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are hoping to come up with a resolution that their members can support. It is a sign of how badly Bush is faring that they are considering endorsing a bipartisan plan that was rejected by the President. The Iraq Study Group's recommendation last month for a phased withdrawal "is the best option for Republicans at this stage," says a senior G.O.P. aide. "It would be less of a repudiation."

Democratic leaders in the House want the Senate to act first, in the hope that if enough Republicans vote against the President's plan in the Senate, it will make G.O.P. members in the House more comfortable about breaking with Bush. Democratic strategists know that, given the electoral math of the 2008 election, the political climate is dire for Senate Republicans. G.O.P. Senators can little afford to support their President on a policy opposed by more than 60% in most polls. A year from now, Senate Republicans will have to defend 21 of the seats they currently hold, compared with only 12 for the Democrats. That helps explain why some of the strongest critics of the Bush plan are endangered Republicans like Norm Coleman of Minnesota, Gordon Smith of Oregon and Susan Collins of Maine--and why Republican leaders aren't putting any pressure on them to back off their criticism. -(Time Magazine)

Pet Spam!

This made me smile!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Peyton’s Colts Prevail Over Patriots; Are Headed To Super Bowl

Even though I’m a huge football fan I pretty much never blog about it, but I adore Peyton Manning and I am completely psyched to see his Colts finally beat their arch nemesis, the Patriots! It was a great game, with the Colts coming back from being down 21-3 at one point.

Congratulations, Peyton, Colts and Indianapolis! It’s been 37 years since the Colts have gone, but they’re back and it’s set, the Super Bowl will be the Colts vs. Bears in two weeks in Miami. I hope that game can at least come close to living up to the thrills of the one today.

Bill Richardson Throws His Hat In!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico announced on Sunday he was taking the first step toward a 2008 presidential bid that would make him the first Hispanic to sit in the White House.
"I am seeking the nomination because I believe I can do the job," Richardson, 59, told ABC's "This Week."
Richardson, who was elected to a second term last year after a long career in Washington jobs, said he planned a campaign focused on a broad array of issues, not just those affecting the Latino community.
"I wouldn't run as a Hispanic candidate. I would run as an American proud to be Hispanic," Richardson said.

Bill Richardson isn't as well known as some of the other candidates, like Hillary and Obama, but I've seen him speak a few times and I like the man and what he has to say. Unfortunately, with the star studded roster the democrats are fielding this year, I'd say Richardsons' chance at getting the nomination are slim to nil. It is worth pointing out however that he is now the third minority candidate to declare himself in the running for the democratic nomination. The word for the 2008 campaign seems to be, 'diversity', which I find refreshing.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hillary Announces, "She's In It To Win"

To know ones surprise, Hillary Clinton announced that she will seek the 2008 Democratic nomination for President. She's apparently feeling her oats as she was quoted on her website as saying, "I'm in it and I'm in it to win". At the moment at least she does appear to be the democratic frontrunner, due in part to her name recognition and her much lauded ability to raise money for her cause. We'll see what happens as a lot can change in politics in a very short amount of time, and the democratic nominating convention is a long way off.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Get Out!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Baghdad One-day Death Toll Tops 100

More than 100 people were killed in Baghdad on Tuesday in bombings and shootings, most of them in a stronghold of a powerful anti-American Shiite cleric. Two bombs exploded at a Baghdad university. A CNN producer said police sealed the area but armed militia were also on the streets.

God help the Iraqi civilians, God bless our troops, and God forgive the U.S. for starting this horrible, pointless war!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Skunk seeks ride home: only brave need apply!

Any courageous drivers out there with no sense of smell?!-LOL

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian wildlife officials are looking for a brave driver prepared for a 2,200 mile trip to take a stinky stowaway skunk back to her home in California.

But the skunk, who survived a seven-day journey across the United States and into Canada without food and water, after being accidentally locked away in a transport truck, is having a hard time finding someone to give her a ride home.

"We can never give a no-spray guarantee, of course," said Nathalie Karvonen, executive director at the Toronto Wildlife Center, which has been caring for the skunk since January 5, referring to the black-and-white striped animal's foul-smelling defense mechanism.
"It would have be somebody who would be prepared for that possibility."

Releasing her into the wild in Canada is out of the question, Karvonen said.
"It's totally and utterly illegal from a provincial and federal standpoint to release a California skunk in Ontario."
As well, "skunks are very territorial animals ... "They won't just readily accept a stranger in their territory, so there will be a big skunk fight."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Obama Steps Up

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday took the initial step in a presidential bid that could make him the nation's first black to occupy the White House. Obama filed papers creating a presidential exploratory committee, a move he announced on his Web site, He said he would announce more about his plans in his home state of Illinois on Feb. 10.

"I certainly didn't expect to find myself in this position a year ago," Obama said in a video posting. "I've been struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics. So I've spent some time thinking about how I could best advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need."

Obama, a 45-year-old with little more than two years into his Senate term, is the most inexperienced candidate considering a run for the Democratic nomination. He quickly rose to national prominence, beginning with his keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention and his election to the Senate that year, but still is an unknown quantity to many voters.

It seems to me that 2008 is going to be a very interesting year for Presidental politics. For the first time we will have a female candidate for president, and with Obama we will also have an African American candidate. While I would not vote for either of these candidates based solely on their minority status, I must say it's good to see a field that consists of more than just white men. Let the fun begin!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr., was the rarest of men. He was brimming over with intellect, courage and true love for his fellow man. God bless him. In honor of his memory the following are a few of my favorite MLK quotes:

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

"Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

"The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers."

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."
---Martin Luther King Jr.

Bush Browses Our Mail!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

"Chili Dog"!

Just for a change of pace I decided to put up a pic. of one of my 'babies', this is Chili Dog as a puppy. He's full grown now and a real handful, but sweet as can be.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The President Doesn't Care What We Think or Want!

Our “esteemed” President has proven once more that he couldn’t care less how the American people think or feel about his policies. A recent poll, see the following article, shows that two thirds of the American people are opposed to his new policy of sending more troops to Iraq. This isn’t news to the President as public opinion on Iraq is quite clearly against keeping our troops there for much longer much less sending more. So after all his careful consideration what does Pres. Bush decide to do? Ignore public opinion, ignore the message sent by the mid-term election and perhaps most importantly ignore almost all of the military experts and “go with his gut instinct” that tells him to send more troops. Frankly, if I had a gut instinct like our Presidents I would, one never gamble and two run background checks on everyone I trusted! Bush pays lip service to the idea that he actually cares what the country thinks, he gives speeches saying he does, but when it comes right down to it he has more respect for his dogs opinions than he does for the citizens of America.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two out of three Americans oppose President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Friday indicates.
Nearly two-thirds of those polled also say Bush has no clear plan for Iraq.
While his numbers have inched up slightly on that question since the previous poll last week, Bush's address to the nation Wednesday night seems to have made little difference.
Nearly half of those who saw the speech say their minds were not changed, while the rest are evenly split over whether they'd be more or less likely to support his policies.
This is the first poll gauging Americans' positions on the strategy following Bush's address. The telephone survey of 1,093 adult Americans was conducted Thursday. The sampling error on all the questions in the poll is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

In his Wednesday evening address, Bush said he would send more than 20,000 additional troops to help the embattled government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki secure Baghdad, the scene of intense sectarian violence, and other regions roiled by the Sunni-backed insurgency.
Bush also said he would request billions of more dollars to fund reconstruction efforts.
The president argued that the increase in troop strength would the best chance to succeed in a war the U.S. cannot afford to lose.
But Americans, the poll indicates, do not see it that way. Asked their positions on sending more troops to Iraq, 66 percent of respondents said they oppose the move, while 32 percent said they favor it.
Half the respondents said they "strongly oppose" sending more troops, while 16 percent "moderately oppose." Only 19 percent "strongly favor" sending additional troops, and 13 percent "moderately favor" the idea

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rice 'loves' Fox News!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice let slip her news media preferences Thursday, saying, "I love every single one" of Fox News network's correspondents and also favors CBS anchor Harry Smith.

In comments overheard on an open microphone between morning television interviews, including one with Fox, the top U.S. diplomat said: "My Fox guys, I love every single one of them."

But Rice told an aide that when she was next in Iraq she would like to do a "one-on-one" interview with CBS "The Early Show" anchor Harry Smith.

"He's a decent guy. I know they are, like, 55 in the ratings, but I like him," Rice said in comments monitored by Reuters on a television feed.

Big suprise, huh?! Turns out that the Bush administration loves Fox News. Must be because they're so fair and balanced-LMAO!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hitman; Pay up or Die!

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (AP) -- Dentists, doctors, lawyers and other professionals in the Pittsburgh area have been targeted by a "hit man" e-mail scheme, receiving messages that tell them to pay up to spare their lives, the FBI said.

The e-mail, which was sent to most recipients around Christmas, tells the reader that there is a contract out on his life, generally for $50,000.
It says that if the recipient sends the "hit man" more money than that -- generally ranging from $80,000 to $150,000 -- the hit man will leave him alone.

No one has reportedly lost money or been harmed in the scam, but some recipients were unnerved by the messages, said Special Agent Bill Shore, who supervises the computer crime squad in the Pittsburgh FBI office.

"You think, 'What did I get into? What do I gotta do to get out of this?' " Shore said.
The FBI became aware of the scam when people in Atlanta, Georgia, and New Orleans, Louisiana, received similar e-mails in early December, Shore said.
The scheme seems to have originated in Russia.

I thought this was rather an imaginative scheme. I would think getting an e-mail like that would be a tad disconcerting!-lol

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Monday, January 08, 2007

Skepticism from the Military on an Iraq Surge

Without a broader new political and economic strategy, many officers at the Pentagon worry Bush's idea of sending 30,000 additional troops to Baghdad won't change anything
By Sally Donnelly

When President Bush dumped Donald Rumsfeld after the midterm elections in November, many officers in the Pentagon were elated to be rid of the domineering Secretary of Defense. They looked forward to a day when their views on such crucial issues as the Iraq War might carry more weight with the White House. But as the Administration prepares to announce its latest new Iraq strategy, those same officers may no longer be so optimistic. Bush is widely expected to call for the so-called surge option: injecting some 30,000 new soldiers and Marines into Iraq. But many officers at the Pentagon, including some of the most senior, aren't sure such an increase in the force is a good idea.

The head of the Marine Corps has openly questioned the wisdom of the move without an overarching strategy. "We would fully support, I think, as the Joint Chiefs, the idea of putting more troops into Iraq if there is a solid military reason for doing that, if there is something to be gained," Gen. James Conway, who became Commandant of the Marine Corps six weeks ago, said to reporters recently. "We do not believe that just adding numbers for the sake of adding numbers — just thickening the mix — is necessarily the way to go."

Now other members of the military's top brass are quietly questioning the lack of a clear-cut strategy. "What is the objective? Does the President want Iraq to look like Iowa?" asks one retired senior officer. "What has finally put some backbone in the Joint Chiefs is that, to date, there has not been a realistic endstate identified that matches the reality on the ground. They still don't get it. Tactics without a strategy are a recipe for disaster."

A recent report overseen by former Army Major General John Batiste, who headed the 1st Infantry Division and has been a vocal critic of the Administration's handling of the war, says the choice Bush faces in Iraq is stark: "We have reached the point where we need to ask the question whether it is more important to preserve the country of Iraq with its façade of democratic government, or protect our own national security interests."

Virtually every expert who has followed Iraq for the last four years says a military surge without accompanying political and economic progress would be a waste. They believe some essential steps need to be taken first: the U.S. should openly declare it has no long-term intention of staying in Iraq, the Iraqi government should soon announce provincial elections, and the U.S. should back a large-scale jobs program. They also advocate putting more pressure on the Iraqi government for a political reconciliation schedule, as well as a serious discussion of sharing oil revenues among the different ethnic regions.

But for a surge of new troops to make a real difference, change has to come in Washington, not just in Baghdad, argues retired Gen. Tony Zinni. Like many other active duty and retired officers, Zinni has been disappointed in the failure of other government agencies like State, Justice and Energy to devote resources to the reconstruction effort. "Washington needs almost as much work as Iraq does," Zinni says. "First and foremost, it needs to establish a viable interagency structure. Doing more of the same — either in Iraq or Washington — won't work. There have never been enough troops, but if there is a new strategy which includes political reconciliation and economic development, then more U.S. troops could gain some momentum so those programs could take hold." Zinni estimates it will take five to seven more years to achieve "a reasonably stable" Iraq.

And like the Iraq Study Group, which called for reaching out to Iran and Syria, Zinni and other officers believe that diplomacy is key to any turnaround in Iraq. "I think we have lost ground in the region. Potential allies have been burned. But we need to work at getting them and the rest of the international community back. The Administration has to work every angle. You've got to light 1,000 fires out there and hope something takes."

Regardless of what Bush decides, he will very likely have two new men to implement his plan, to be announced later this month. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is currently interviewing candidates to replace Army Gen. John Abizaid, who has headed the U.S. military's Central Command since July, 2003, and Army Gen. George Casey, the commander in Iraq since 2004. Although Pacific Command Chief Adm. William Fallon and Marine Lt. Gen. James Mattis are in the running, some retired senior officers, as well as active duty officers who have served in Iraq, believe that the frontrunners are two Army Lieut. Generals, Dave Petreaus and Peter Chiarelli. "The Army has run the Iraq war since before it was launched," says a senior officer, who points out that every senior position has been held by an Army general - no one from the Marines, Navy or Air Force "Perhaps it's time for a fresh look."

I've yet to hear even a single military general, or expert who believes sending in 20 or 30 thousand more troops will do any good and yet Pres. Bush is intent on doing it anyway! Big surprise there, the man doesn't listen and believes he always knows what's best even if it completely goes against every experts advice. Some things never change. After all it's this exact same type of thinking (or lack of thinking!) from Bush that got us into Iraq in the first place.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Cracking Down on Pet Owners

Albuquerque and a growing number of cities are passing tough new measures aimed at ending euthanasia in animal shelters. Owners are even being forced to clean up after their dog in their own backyard

For the past two years, Martin Chavez, mayor of Albuquerque, has brought his best friend to work every day. His friend doesn't talk, but he's often the first to shake visitors' hands. Dukes, Chavez's two-year-old floppy-eared mutt, is around not just for the company, but as a way to bring attention to the mayor's commitment to reduce the city's exploding unwanted animal population.

When he was re-elected to a third term in 2005, Chavez made a promise to end euthanasia at the city's animal shelters. He had already been meeting daily with City Councilor Sally Mayer and regularly with breeders and groomers across the city to come up with an animal ordinance that would improve the way the city treats its dogs and cats and increase the number of adoptions. At the time, the city was euthanizing more than 1,000 pets a month.

The law went into effect in October and it follows a nationwide trend of get-tough approaches to pet overpopulation. In Albuquerque, all cats and dogs older than six months must be microchipped and sterilized, unless owners pay an annual fee of $150 to keep their dogs able to reproduce — and another $150 for every new litter. Dogs can be restrained by a chain for only one hour every day, and people who want to have more than four dogs must obtain an additional permit. There is even a provision in the new law that requires dog owners to clean up after their pets in their own yards every week. While authorities won't be checking backyards for hardened poop, Chavez says that additional animal control officers have been hired, to make sure any animals they pick up have been neutered or spayed.

Lisa Peterson, a spokesperson for the American Kennel Club, considers the Albuquerque ordinance draconian, but acknowledges it is part of a nationwide trend. Ordinances similar to Albuquerque's have been passed or are being considered by 138 local communities, along with many states. She is concerned that the new laws punish responsible pet owners and breeders, and could even jeopardize the existence of some breeds. In Denver, for example, pitbulls are outlawed completely. This has forced owners to flee the city or go underground, where they keep their dogs behind closed shades and take them out only under the cloak of darkness. In 2006 alone, more than 800 of the dogs known for their ferocity have been rounded up in Denver, most of them destroyed.

Often, these laws follow vicious, sometimes deadly, dog attacks and are driven by a concern for public safety. They are also a response to overwhelming numbers of feral cats and puppy litters and reflect a desire to provide them more humane conditions. In Albuquerque, for example, 30,000 animals are brought to the city's two shelters every year. And that doesn't include animals that pass through private shelters and rescue networks.

It's a grassroots phenomenon, says David Favre, a professor at the Michigan State University College of Law, who has studied animal rights laws for 20 years. Feral cats, spaying and neutering, local shelters — these are all local problems that don't get the ear of folks at the federal and state levels. "It is not unlike the environmental movement when I was in law school. Animal welfare is a growing social interest."

As an avid animal lover I found this article interesting. Personally, I think if people would simply take responsibility for their pets instead of buying them and then treating them as an inconvience, we wouldn't have the animal overpopulation issues we have. It's great that someone's trying to do the right thing for these animals, instead of killing them because some humans are too stupid and irresponsible to care for them the way they should.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pelosi Makes History!

Rep. Nancy Pelosi on Thursday became the first woman speaker of the House of Representatives. In a symbolic tradition, John Boehner passed the House gavel to the new speaker. Pelosi accepted the position "in the spirit of partnership."

Well it's 2007 and we have our first female speaker of the house, all I can say is, it's about time!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Humpty Dumpty!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Poll Shows Military Personnel are Comfortable Serving with Gay Colleagues

A new poll from Zogby International and the Michael D. Palm Center reveals U.S. military personnel are increasingly comfortable serving with openly gay colleagues.

The recently released poll reveals 73 percent of military members are comfortable with lesbians and gays. Nearly one in four (23 percent) service members report knowing for sure that someone in their unit is lesbian or gay, including 21 percent of those in combat units.

"Today's poll is one more nail in the coffin of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,'" C. Dixon Osburn, executive director of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), said in a release. "Those who defend the law have argued that openly gay personnel harm military readiness. This research highlights the absurdity of such a hypothesis. Not only are there more than 65,000 lesbians and gays serving in the armed forces, but many are serving openly. Their straight colleagues are just fine with that. At a time when our fighting forces are stretched thin and leaders are calling for the recruitment of more troops, it is time for Congress to do away with this archaic law."

The poll of 545 troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan also found that, even among those who did not know for certain if a gay colleague was in their unit, nearly half (45 percent) suspected as much. Among those who did know a gay colleague, few said their presence undermined morale. In 1993, only 13 percent of enlisted personnel supported open service.

The Zogby poll is the latest in a series of polls and public statements indicating readiness for a change in policy. A 2004 Annenberg poll found a majority of junior enlisted personnel favor allowing gays to serve openly, up from 13 percent in other polls from 1993. Among the general public, Gallup has found 79 percent support for repealing the gay ban. A recent Boston Globe poll also found a majority of conservatives and regular church-goers favor repeal, too.

Senior military leaders are increasingly speaking up in favor of reviewing the ban on open service as well. Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Ret.), the first female to achieve three-star rank in the Army, recently called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" a "hollow policy that serves no useful purpose." Lieutenant General Daniel W. Christman, former superintendent of West Point, told The New York Times, "it is clear that national attitudes toward this issue have evolved considerably in the last decade. This has been led by a new generation of service members who take a more relaxed and tolerant view toward homosexuality."

I found this article interesting. It's good to see that Americans are finally waking up to logic and not just basing their opinions on bias and prejudiced ideas.
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