Darfur: Bush pushes for more sanctions

May 29th, 2007 by Kay Day

President George W. Bush is keeping a promise to follow through on recommendations for ending the genocide in Darfur, suggesting more aggressive actions are needed.

This is probably an issue that most Americans can agree on. From the far left to the far right, there’s very little wiggle room in the debate. The world knows Sudan’s president Omer al-Bashir has not “met his obligations” to stop the killing, as Bush declared during a Tuesday address in Washington, D. C. Estimates place the number of dead at more than 400,000.

Before Bush even spoke, Voice of America reported that Sudanese officials were calling the sanctions “unjustified.”

Bush says the U.S. Treasury Dept. will add 30 companies owned or controlled by the government of Sudan to a list of Specially Designated Nationals. Another company that has transported weapons to the Sudanese government and militia forces is also being added to the list. This action means none of these companies can participate in the U.S. financial system. Now it’s a crime for American companies or individuals to knowingly interact financially with these companies.

Bush also wants a new United Nations Security Council resolution, in part to expand the embargo on arms sales to the Sudanese government. Bush says the U.S. will “continue to work for the deployment of a larger hybrid force of AU and U.N. peacekeeping troops.”

Save Darfur, an organization devoted to raising public awareness about the genocide, says, “The Sudanese government and the Janjaweed militias are responsible for the burning and destruction of hundreds of rural villages, the killing of tens of thousands of people and rape and assault of thousands of women and girls.”

On May 26, China View reported that President Al-Bashir addressed the opening session of the 50th meeting of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) in Khartoum. Sudan’s president said the Darfur crisis was “heading for solution.” We’ve heard that song before.

The United States has provided more than $1.7 billion in humanitarian and peacekeeping assistance—we are Darfur’s single largest donor in the world.

Hopefully, other global leaders will join Bush in making sure more aggressive steps are taken to stop the killing. So far, all we’ve seen are temporary bandages. Major surgery is needed. The United Nations needs to do the job they’re paid to do.

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Photo of U.S. President George W. Bush courtesy of White House Weekly Review.

New book raises funds for America’s wounded warriors

May 28th, 2007 by Kay Day


“Throughout American history, ordinary citizens have
been called to do the extraordinary, and serve a cause
greater than their own self-interest. It is important to
demonstrate the pride we have for those good men
and women serving our nation everyday at great
personal cost and that pride is evident here, in
Faces of Freedom.”
U.S. Senator John McCain

When I was invited to write an essay for the book Faces of Freedom, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy assignment.

I would write about an American soldier who gave his life for our country. We hear the statistics on fallen soldiers every day. But we become aware of the depth of the sacrifice when we learn about the individual.

The assignment would be extra-challenging, because the soldier’s wife lives in Missouri. Talking about grief by telephone isn’t ideal.

After talking with Justina Fuga about her husband, Sgt. Michael T. Fuga, I realized the story wasn’t exclusively about grief. My story would celebrate the life of a true hero who died in a battle in Kandahar, alongside troops he had trained. My story was not only about the soldier, it was about the husband and father who wouldn’t come home again.

Florida writer Jennifer McCollum wrote about Florida’s fallen warrior, Sgt. Bradley Stephen Crose.

Writers from across the nation wrote stories about a soldier from each state and also from Washington, D. C. and Puerto Rico.

Proceeds from book sales will be donated to The Wounded Warrior Project and to Fisher House, two organizations that help wounded soldiers and their families. The book was compiled and edited by TV news anchor Rebeca Pepin.

Faces of Freedom is praised by members of both political parties. Gen. Colin L Powell said, “The stories will remind you that America has been blessed with greatness in every generation and no generation has shown greater valor than our current generation of heroes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read and be inspired.”

I was invited to contribute the essay by friend and fellow journalist W. Thomas Smith, Jr. Smith served in the U.S. Marines, and now enjoys a successful career as a distinguished author and journalist. He’s a military expert, and he recently returned from an assignment covering the war in Iraq.

On Memorial Day, we can offer thanks to fallen soldiers and those like Smith who survived. Those who serve in the military, in my opinion, offer the greatest gift a human being can give another. Sometimes the gift ends in the ultimate sacrifice. This book pays homage to that offering.

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Python eats bunny: not your average Christian lesson

May 25th, 2007 by Kay Day

Those of us who grew up in rural areas learned early on the cycle that begins in birth and ends in death. Unlike city kids, we witnessed the birth of baby chickens each spring. We also witnessed the dressing of some of those birds once they became adults. Hunting was a birthright. Fishing was a means to put food on the table. Butchering farm animals was meant as a means of seeing to it a large family had meat to eat.

I never witnessed unnecessary cruelty. We respected the creatures that helped to feed us.

It never would have occurred to the men in our family to taunt an animal. It never would have occurred to them to laugh as an animal lay dying.

You can imagine the horror then, at a classroom full of children witnessing what appears to be a science demonstration. An adult male is monitoring a large python curled on the floor. The male turns and grabs a small black baby rabbit. The children laugh—some of them sound nervous.

The male then turns and begins to bait the python with the rabbit, dangling the squirming creature in front of the snake. Suddenly, the man places the rabbit within striking distance. The snake grabs it and proceeds to eat it, rendering the small animal helpless, and subject to a long, slow death.

The children laugh and scream. They sound gleeful. The man laughs.

This reportedly happened in my home city of Jacksonville, Florida, at a private Christian school.

Where are the benefits in this lesson? These children have not been taught anything spiritual. They have been treated to a horror movie, a live one. This seems to be a preoccupation with others as well; there are a number of videos at youtube.com like the one linked above.

If a hunter offered to take school children into the woods to pursue game, parents and administrators would likely be up in arms.

To demonstrate the senseless act of taunting two animals, followed by the rapid devouring of prey teaches nothing about the wilderness or the creatures living there. You cannot teach cycles of birth and death with sensationalism.

What these children witnessed and were a part of is the savagery of the human heart. Most of us would think such a lesson the complete opposite of Christianity or any other major religion as well.

The video shown to these children can be viewed at the Jacksonville TV station CBS47 Web site.

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Rosie not so rosy

May 24th, 2007 by Kay Day

We’ve “dehumanized” the Iranians. We’ve killed over half a million Iraqis. “Radical Christianity” is on par with “radical Islam.” And “nearly everyone” in the Bush administration is under indictment or suspicion. Welcome to the Rosie Show.

By now anyone who’s seen the Thursday morning TV pabulum has witnessed Rosie O’Donnell vs. Elizabeth Hasselbeck in yet another blowup on “The View.” Rosie denies calling our troops terrorists. Consider this text lifted directly from Rosie’s blog: “O’DONNELL: …… I just want to say something. 655,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. Who are the terrorists?”

As I post this column, comments are incapacitated at Rosie’s blog. Freedom of speech is simply, at times, inconvenient.

Rosie and Elizabeth had a tiff over that one, with Rosie booming at the slightest hint of her cohort’s attempts to make a single point. Elizabeth did tell Rosie to “defend her own insinuations.”

I’ve never watched “The View.” I don’t watch talk shows in general, other than occasionally catching “Hannity and Colmes.” I like that one; it’s a virtual Dem vs. Repub fight club, with both pundits getting equal time.

But on the morning show Barbara Walters founded, Elizabeth Hasselbeck must feel like a sparrow in a garden filled with starlings. The clips I’ve seen reflect a frequent unwillingness to let the woman speak. In the video linked to youtube.com above, she tries to explain her position on infidelity. She’s ultimately drowned out and reined in, with comments like “cheating on your wife” has nothing to do with “bad parenting.” Role models, anyone?

As if that’s not enough, last year “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” featured an episode depicting a 30 year old woman being raped and murdered. Her name: Elizabeth Hassenback. Subliminal persuasion, anyone?

Maybe ABC could just issue a fatwa formally denouncing anyone resembling a conservative. Oh, that’s right. They already did.

You have to stop and ask yourself, with the ratings increase this show has experienced since bringing America’s most strident Tinseltown critic on board, what kind of mind seeks this type dialogue every morning?

As Rosie O’Donnell’s stint on “The View” comes to a close, we can expect her to go out in a “blaze of gory.”

Rescue squad, anyone?

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Federal hate crime legislation: American injustice

May 23rd, 2007 by Kay Day

A hate crime, also known as a bias crime, is a criminal offense committed against a person, property or society that is motivated, in whole or in part, by the offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin.
—Original language for defining a hate crime, U. S. Federal Bureau of Investigation

The story came to light in the beginning by way of Internet emails. A young couple, Channon Christian and Chris Newsom, were murdered while out on a date in January, 2007. Christian and Newsom were reportedly carjacked in Knoxville, Tennessee as they left a friend’s house.

Various accounts appeared on Web sites and blogs. Knoxville TV station WBIR covered the story. Reports surfaced, of rape, torture and murder following the carjacking. National media paid very little attention.

Recently in Jacksonville, Florida, Benjamin Lee Washington, 24, was sentenced to life in prison, convicted for second degree murder in the death of Chad David Henderson, 19, at a tattoo party. The two argued about race. Henderson suggested minorities should be “bred out.” Washington was allegedly angry about that and also about a swastika tattoo on Henderson’s leg. Washington shot Henderson. The daily newspaper and local TV stations reported the story.

Christian, Newsom and Henderson were white. The assailants, both convicted and alleged, are black.

Viral emails expressed dismay none of these crimes were considered hate crimes. Many expressed anger and asked a uniform question. If the victims were of another race or gender, wouldn’t national media have picked up the story? Wouldn’t the federal government have leveled hate crime charges?

I’ve never agreed with hate crime legislation. We have solid laws on the books for murder. It’s my opinion that as soon as you tag an act a hate crime, you have lessened the value of the individual. Was Matthew Shepard less or more because he was gay? Was James Byrd more or less because he was black?

We should prosecute murder because a life has been taken. Applying a special label maintains that some Americans are worth more or less than others. Matthew Shepard, James Byrd, Channon Christian, Christian Newsom and Chad David Henderson were each entitled to the full rights granted by the U.S. Constitution. Applying the law on an uneven basis is an insult to these victims. We should value them because they were human beings. Shepard and Byrd’s murders fueled a media frenzy on all levels. In that sense, media elevated those victims above those who died recently.

Enacting special interest laws feeds the divisive climate that sweeps America in these troubled times. Leaders of both parties and populace leaders as well profit on the basis of exploiting race, gender and religion. In today’s cultural arena, feeding a system that fractures is a dangerous and foolhardy act.

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Spector trial coverage an injustice to Lana Clarkson

May 22nd, 2007 by Kay Day

Thousands of words about Phil Spector pop off pages and screens each day. The reportage guarantees readership. Spector is a trademark name in the music business. His showbiz connections are like kudzu, a Southern vine that takes over any ground it touches. Almost daily there’s a link at the popular news site The Drudge Report.

The woman Spector allegedly murdered, Lana Clarkson, usually rates a sentence or two—she’s described as being known for her role in the 1985 cult hit “Barbarian Queen.” Very little else has been written about Clarkson. Most of the coverage has focused on Spector’s accomplishments, his eccentricities and his frailties.

This is Hollywood irony in its finest moment—the victim in death, as in life, subordinate to the alleged murderer.

Clarkson didn’t just appear in one movie. According to Clarkson’s bio at The Internet Movie Database, the striking blond appeared in many TV hits, including “Mike Hammer” and “Three’s Company.” She was also in other films, among them, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” and “Deathstalker.” Clarkson volunteered regularly for Project Angel Food, an AIDS outreach program.

The official biography prepared by her family says her television experiences “read like a pop culture checklist.” The bio reminds us she “worked consistently” in the industry.

Embedded in the brain of anyone who reads or views news is the strange demeanor of Phil Spector. The music titan, with his revamped hair style, scowls as though he’s suffering an injustice, despite testimony from several female witnesses who claim he tormented them with a gun at his home, sometimes trying to prevent them from leaving.

Clarkson had a face like an angel. That’s the image we need to see more often. Someone needs to speak for the victim whose life was cut tragically short. We need to be reminded she was a human being who, though she didn’t reach the professional heights her alleged murderer reached, was a valuable member of society with a story and accomplishments in her own right. Her story should pop off those screens and pages just like Spector’s.

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Time 100: Listen to the 90 percent

May 21st, 2007 by Kay Day

This is my first post as 451press.com’s new columnist for Current Events Watch. Visit CEW each day to smile or growl at events unfolding around the globe.

presbush.jpgTime Magazine released a list of selections for the world’s most influential 100 people in the May 14, 2007 issue. I have to thank the magazine. Usually I get this many chuckles from repeat episodes of the TV show “Seinfeld.”

Some of the names made me want to ask the editors at Time, “What are you guys smoking?” In keeping with my question, Kate Moss is a selectee. Americans can now rest easy knowing this soda straw thin model and alleged drug aficionado is a top influential. “Hip is hard,” reads the text describing Moss. Put that sound bite right up there with other words to live by.

The list is dappled with Democrats. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is up first, underscored by commentary that would make a deity blush. Variations on the adjective “audacious” appear in abundance. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is a selectee. In a monstrous stroke of irony, former Speaker of the House and Republican icon Newt Gingrich wrote the story about her. No list of Democratic stellars would be complete without Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and the greenest mayor in the land, Michael Bloomberg, who promises to transform New York from a world-class concoction of pollutants to an environmentally friendly city. With green in mind, former Vice-President Al Gore is named.

The major name missing from the Time 100—President George Bush of our own United States. I think the magazine did Bush a favor. Others in the “Leaders and Revolutionaries” section include protectors of personal freedom like Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader. With an eye on democracy, the magazine also selected President Hu Jintao of China. And everyone’s favorite terrorist, Osama bin Laden, influencing the world while reportedly attached to a dialysis machine, reportedly still alive somewhere in a Middle Eastern cave, is up there. Natch.

If a magazine really wanted to select 100 influential people, you’d think the president of the world’s greatest country, a country pouring vast sums of aid into every other country with a tsunami, earthquake or record levels of AIDS would be included.

You’d also think the world’s greatest news influencer, Matt Drudge, would be up there.

The May 28 issue of the magazine notes that The Time 100 was the biggest mail-getter in that particular issue. Further noted: 90 percent of respondents asked “How could you have excluded President George W. Bush?”

It only makes sense when you ask, “What (reportedly) are they smoking?” Drugs (reportedly) do a lot to reduce short-term memory, I’ve heard.

(Photo of the president by Shealah Craighead from Press Photos at the White House Web site.)

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Current Events Writer Needed

April 25th, 2007 by Staff Writer

This site is currently in need of a writer. If you have any interest in writing on the topic this site covers, feel free to submit an application at 451 Press. Thank you.

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Tragedy at Virginia Tech

April 19th, 2007 by Staff Writer

Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund

April 16, 2007, will be remembered as one of the darkest days in the history of the Virginia Tech community and the world beyond.

To remember and honor the victims of those tragic events, the university has established the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund to aid in the healing process and generate financial support.

The fund will be used to cover expenses including but not limited to:

  • Grief counseling
  • Memorials
  • Communication expenses
  • Comfort expenses
  • Incidental needs

If you plan to give, please click the link below:

Give Now

Steve Shickles
451 Press, LLC

Six Years of Evil - Part 2

April 12th, 2007 by Chuck Thompson

If you think it is cynical to suggest big oil — and its champion, Vice President Dick Cheney — played a significant role in getting us into the Iraq war, think again. Even as the country is disintegrating, big oil is charging in to take over the oil reserves.

According to a Saturday story in The Independent, “Iraq’s massive oil reserves, the third-largest in the world, are about to be thrown open for large-scale exploitation by Western oil companies under a controversial law which is expected to come before the Iraqi parliament within days.”

According to the story, the U.S. has drafted the law for the Iraqi legislature which will give big oil companies like BP, Shell and Exxon 30-year contracts “to extract Iraqi crude and allow the first large-scale operation of foreign oil interests in the country since the industry was nationalized in 1972.”

Now flash back to 1999 when Cheney was still chief executive of the oil services company Halliburton. He said at the time that the world would need an additional 50 million barrels of oil a day by 2010. “So where is the oil going to come from? The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies,” he said.

So, we move on to part 2 of the 6 years of evil that have resulted from the election of George W. Bush.


Did the attack on the World Trade Towers set off the chain of events that ultimately led us into Iraq? Notwithstanding that Iraq had nothing to do with the attack on the World Trade Towers — we’ll get to that in a bit — we now know that the Bushies were planning on how they could invade and take over Iraq from the day they took over the controls in the ship of state.

At its first National Security Meeting on January 30, 2001, Bush and company opened discussions on Iraq. We now know that at its second meeting, the issue of regime change in Iraq took center stage. According to the web site Cooperative Research, officials at this meeting “discuss a memo titled ‘Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,’ which talks about troop requirements, establishing war crimes tribunals, and divvying up Iraq’s oil wealth.”

This was more than seven months before the World Trade Towers were attacked. If you don’t think that the Bushies had their sights set on Iraq and its oil wealth from the day George moved into the White House — if not before — I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn you may want to purchase.

But, to get there, Bush and company had to find — or fabricate — a justification. We now know that they chose the fabrication route.

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised,” Bush told the nation two days before he launched his war on Iraq.

Today, there is not one shred of evidence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. We also know that Bush was warned that any intelligence indicating WMD did exist in Iraq was faulty at best, if not a totally untrue. The result of these and other lies: As of today, 3,292 courageous American troops have died in Iraq and another 24,476 have been wounded, many with life-altering injuries. If this isn’t a true definition of evil, I don’t know what is.

Bush and company also like to continue purporting that the attack on the World Trade Towers is “proof” — a word W has used many times — that we had to take the war on terrorism into Iraq to get rid of Saddam Hussein because he harbored terrorists.

Last week, the Pentagon issue a report that put an end to any lingering doubts that Iraq had played any role in the attack on the World Trade Center.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the “declassified report by the Pentagon’s acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble provides new insight into the circumstances behind former Pentagon official Douglas Feith’s pre-Iraq war assessment of an Iraq-Al Qaeda connection — an assessment that was contrary to US intelligence agency findings, and helped bolster the Bush administration’s case for the Iraq war.”

Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who released the report, said, “It is important for the public to see why the Pentagon’s Inspector General concluded that Secretary Feith’s office ‘developed, produced and then disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al-Qaeda relationship,’ which included ‘conclusions that were inconsistent with the consensus of the Intelligence Community.’ ”

Despite the release of the report, the Associated Press reports that Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday appeared on a conservative radio show and reiterated his stance that Al Qaeda had links to Iraq before the US invasion in 2003.

The proper perspective

April 11th, 2007 by Jeff OBryant

Evil is a powerful word; a word we often use too lightly these days. Liberals call conservatives evil and conservatives call liberals evil. But liberals are not really, or usually, evil. They are just very misguided. And conservatives aren’t really, or usually, evil, either. They just believe in personal accountability and that government has little business beyond roads, public education, and national defense. So evil is far too strong a word to use in either instance.

For real evil- and a proper context in which to use the word - consider the below quotes. They appeared in a recent column of mine where I argued that we must finish the job in Iraq. If you read this and can still call a member of whichever side you’re against evil then rancor instead of reason rules your head.

“Pictures of dead Iraqis, with their necks slashed, their eyes gouged out and their genitals blackened, fill a bookshelf. Jail cells, with dried blood on the floor and rusted shackles bolted to the walls, line the corridors. And the screams of what could be imprisoned men in an underground detention center echo through air shafts and sewer pipes.” Jack Kelley, USA Today

“Between the men’s and women’s cells was a long mesh cage. Hamed said here, jailers pressed prisoners against the mesh and squeezed hot irons against their backs or threw scalding water on them in front of other inmates.” CBS News report

“To call all this a chamber of horrors is a cliché — and this place is beyond cliché. The hundreds or thousands that died here and were given no trial, no voice, cry out.” Bill Neely, BBC News
“Since the Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in May, 270 mass graves have been reported. Some graves hold a few dozen bodies — their arms lashed together and the bullet holes in the backs of skulls testimony to their execution. Other graves go on for hundreds of meters, densely packed with thousands of bodies.” From USAID.gov

“They took my clothes off, laid me down on my back and dragged me by my legs across hot pavement until my back was a bloody mess. Then they made me roll in the sand. And just to make sure that the wounds got infected, I had to climb a 15-foot ladder and jump repeatedly into a pit of sewage water filled with blood and who knows what else. All because I wanted to stop playing soccer.” Haydar, Iraqi soccer player, as reported in the Miami Herald

“We’ve already discovered just so far the remains of 400,000 people in mass graves,” Tony Blair, prime minister of Great Britain.

“I have seen interrogators break the heads of men with baseball bats, pour salt into wounds and rape wives in front of their husbands.” Ali Iyad Kareen (a former Iraqi soldier) as reported in USA Today by Jack Kelley.

“One of the president’s bodyguards brought 30 prisoners out - they were Kurds. The president himself shot them one after another with a Browning pistol. Another 30 prisoners were brought and the process was repeated. Saddam was laughing and obviously enjoying himself. There was blood everywhere.’” BBC News report

“Rows of white bundles containing the bones filled room after room. Families filed by, searching for signs of those who had disappeared, some stolen during the night, others taken in daylight. Even small children were not spared the butchery.” Andrew Natsios, administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

“These men were beaten with steel rods, had electrodes placed on their genitals, were hung from their arms until their shoulders were dislocated, were suspended by their ankles over the stone floor of a cell while their torturers whipped them with electric cables and pulverized their knuckles with wooden clubs.” As reported in Newsday

“There is an embarrassment of evidence here” against Saddam, said Barbara Comstock, a former Justice Department spokeswoman, adding that human rights groups around the world have documented the atrocities. “Saddam Hussein himself has left a trail, through videos, through pictures, of his atrocities.” Liza Porteus, Fox News

And finally:

“I was not told the truth about Saddam. His portraits were all over the house. My parents told me he was a great man, a man who all Iraqis loved. They were scared to tell me how they really felt —how they despised him, how their hatred of him was so deep that my mother even now cannot bear to see his face on TV. But why were they so scared? I was only a child at the time. What harm could I possibly cause them if I knew the truth?

One day, in my nursery school, Saddam paid us a surprise visit, his mustachioed entourage surrounding him like flies around feces. He sat and beckoned one child to him at a time. It was my turn now. I walked over. He sat me on his knee and gave me a present. He asked me if I liked him. I said, ‘of course, I love you, you are the great leader.’ He then asked me what my parents thought of him, and I told him, ‘they love you too, they praise you whenever you appear on TV, and we have pictures of you all over the house.’ Next came my friend’s turn, with the same procedure. He sat on Saddam’s lap, and was asked, ‘What do your parents do when I appear on TV?’, and my friend said, ‘my father spits on the TV.’

I never saw my friend again. He was taken home, and the next day, along with his family and all his relatives, he disappeared.
Raeid Jewad, born in Iraq in 1977

Now that’s what I call evil…

Six Years of Evil - Part 1

April 11th, 2007 by Chuck Thompson

As we watch the many houses of cards built by the Bush Administration, I felt it may be time to examine all the things Bush and Company have done to destroy our rights, our country’s reputation in the world and make us more vulnerable to terrorism than ever before. When I am finished, I think I will have made the case that the Bush Administration will go down as the most corrupt and inept in the history of this country.

So, I begin, with no particular order as to time or importance.


Are you upset about the price of gas? How about the record — actually obscene — profits the oil companies have made under the Bush Administration? Do you believe all the so-called explanations about why the price of oil is rising so quickly?

Don’t. In 2001, Bush formed a task force to develop a national energy policy with Vice President Dick Cheney in charge. Cheney translated developing a national energy policy into let the oil companies explain what they needed to rape the American public.

In the spring of 2002, under order from a federal judge, the U.S. Department of Energy released to the National Resources Defense Council roughly 13,500 pages relating to previously secret proceedings of the Bush administration’s energy task force. Even though the government heavily censored the documents before supplying them to NRDC, they reveal that Bush administration officials sought extensive advice from utility companies and the oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy industries, and incorporated their recommendations, often word for word, into the energy plan.

You may remember that in this year’s Sate of the Union address, Bush said, ”For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists — who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments, and raise the price of oil, and do great harm to our economy.”

And yet, whom did he turn to at the very beginning of his first term in office for advice on the development of an energy policy? His close friend and largest campaign contributor Ken Lay, the disgraced (and now deceased) CEO of Enron.

Lay suggested Cheney, former Halliburton CEO, head the group. And, despite the energy the Administration put into keeping the meetings of the task force secret, we now know that the oil companies orchestrated a policy that bypassed all possibilities for energy independence and reduced oil consumption with a declaration of ambitions to establish new sources of oil.

But the price of oil is just the tip of the iceberg. The really scary part is what this decision in 2001 to seek new sources of oil rather than reducing independence meant in relation to our foreign policy.

According to Project Censored, “Documents turned over in the summer of 2003 by the Commerce Department as a result of the Sierra Club’s and Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.”

“The documents, dated March 2001, also feature maps of Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates oilfields, pipelines, refineries and tanker terminals. There are supporting charts with details of the major oil and gas development projects in each country that provide information on the project’s costs, capacity, oil company and status or completion date.

“Documented plans of occupation and exploitation predating September 11 confirm heightened suspicion that U.S. policy is driven by the dictates of the energy industry. According to Judicial Watch President, Tom Fitton, ‘These documents show the importance of the Energy Task Force and why its operations should be open to the public.’”

And that, my friend, is exhibit 1 in the case for labeling the Bush Administration truly evil.

Rosie O’Donnell & Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Cuckoo birds of a feather

April 11th, 2007 by Jeff OBryant

I try not to think too much about Rosie O’Donnell. Material of greater consequence, after all, should occupy the majority of ones reflections. Besides, when one does need a break from the serious side of life then one can usually find a real circus where professional clowns stick to doing what they do best. This is unlike The View where the naturally clownish attempt to discuss weighty issues either before or after discussing weight issues. Leave the analysis, in other words, to those best suited to analyze.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, however, is somewhat more on my mind. He is also a clown, to be sure. But not in that sometimes cute but always stupid way Rosie is; rather, Ahmadinejad is clownish in a frightening, dangerous and deranged way.

This American Thinker column offers an interesting comparison of the two, focusing on holocaust denial and the theory that the US government planned (or was at least complacent in) 9/11; two colossally ignorant viewpoints.

SF African American population in decline- and this is a problem because?

April 11th, 2007 by Jeff OBryant

San Francisco’s African American population is on the decline and has been for the last 20 years, according to an article by Leslie Fulbright in the San Francisco Chronicle. Using taxpayer dollars, the mayor’s office is assembling a task force consider ways to not only keep the remaining African American population but attempt to encourage its increase.

I would assume this population decline is because people want to move away from San Francisco. If I lived there, I certainly would. They should be congratulated, not held back. So why spend taxpayer dollars in an effort to keep people from making personal choices that better their lives?

It does not matter what color your skin is- if you care about your children, family values, and good old-fashioned common sense why wouldn’t you move away from San Francisco? Remember, this is the city that banned JROTC from its schools because the school board is more pro-homosexual agenda then it is pro-student achievement. This is the city that is a center of radical liberal activism. This is the city where protestors sometimes violently shut down college job fairs that include military recruiters. This is the “if it feels good, do it” city. This is a city that is, in short, messed up.

That the African American population is in decline is not a problem- rather, we should applaud the achievement of anyone, African American or otherwise, who escapes from the morally bankrupt, ethically barren, and hopelessly leftist abyss that is San Francisco.

Focusing on the irrelevant at the expense of the essential

April 11th, 2007 by Jeff OBryant

In A dangerous detour John McWhorter presents an excellent commentary on the current Imus tizzy. He correctly points out that some African Americans focus on what can’t be solved at the expense of working towards remedying “big, chronic problems” that can be solved. True, Imus’ comments were out of line. But I’m far less concerned about what a radio shock jock says than I am about the truly serious issues that face so many American communities of any color or creed.

About Current Events Watch

Current Events Watch offers commentary and humor about American politics and culture from a centrist perspective. Whether it's a candidate's $400 haircut, a politician's secret emails exposed or a Tinseltown glamour girl heading for prison, we'll offer you a "thinkative" perspective on events scrolling across your screen and crackling from talk radio.

Current Events Watch Authors(s)
    » Kay-Day

Politics & News Channel Posts

  • Gays tagged and sent out into the wild for tracking
    ...or at least, that was the first snarky thought to cross my mind as I read this article: YOUR NEXT DATE COULD BE 10 METERS AWAY - OIA Newswire WORLD'S FIRST BLUETOOTH BASED "GAY PERSONALS" FOR [...]
  • I could not have asked for more.
    So, as I suggested I might earlier this week, I went ahead and purchased 6 of the IKEA blue bags, for use in my grocery shopping endeavors. Unfortunately, since I am relatively new to this way of [...]
  • New book raises funds for America’s wounded warriors
    "Throughout American history, ordinary citizens have been called to do the extraordinary, and serve a cause greater than their own self-interest. It is important to demonstrate the [...]
  • Man Feed Rabbit To Snake. School Can't Spell.
    After reading Kay Day's post on Current Events Watch I was sifting through some of the news reports on the incident. I came to this statement on a video produced by a local news station. It is as [...]
  • Memorial Day International
    Some celebrate Memorial Day with a barbecue or a sale. Others celebrate it by visiting veterans. I take time to reflect on the history of the armed forces. Today we must realize that the fallen [...]
  • Breathe Easy !
    Good Morning! Ms Ippy, (no connection to known or unknown hippies) had a strident, booming tone which did not sit well with her otherwise sophisticated veneer. She unapologetically explained this [...]
  • Learn how to plan the perfect GLBT wedding
    Tenafly, NJ-- RainbowWeddingNetwork.com (RWN) will produce the "Same Love, Same Rights"® GLBT Wedding and Family Expo at the Clinton Inn Hotel on August 12, 2007 from noon to 5pm. RWN was created in [...]
  • From the other side: Are you heterophobic?
    They've been kicking him for so long now that the pain no longer seems real: dull, thudding impacts on flesh so bruised that it's lost the capacity to feel. Or maybe that's his mind, retreating [...]
  • Mozambique Travel Journal - Thursday 20th Jan (Part 1)
    The bus arrived soon after, and we started the journey to the day hospital – the Central Hospital of Maputo. Looking back, I’m not really sure what I expected, since its always hard to remember [...]
  • Mozambique Travel Journal - Wednesday 19th Jan (Part 3)
    After the markets we got back in the bus, and went for a long drive to the Mozal aluminum smelting plant. We found out that it was owned in part by South African and Australian companies, and [...]

Hot Off The Press

  • "Sea turtles, mate": Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
    The new Pirates of the Caribbean movie must have been hard to write. How does a writer, or a team of writers, take a big, complicated story and make it bigger and more complicated without sending [...]
  • Lulu.com
    If you enjoy reading all types of genre fiction, you might like browsing through the following website: Lulu.com Lulu.com is a place where writers can publish their books and sell the on Lulu for [...]
  • [tag]Stanley Cup[/tag] Finals Begin
    My bad, I didn't break down the cup finals yet and give my prediction.  So even though it's probably cheating a bit, I will do that tomorrow.  Today, let's look at one aspect of the game [...]
  • Samsung YP-T8A MP3 Player
    I quite like the look of Samsung's YP-T8A. What have I become? What kind of a man actually experiences 'opinions' about the appearance of a technological contraption? A very sad one. I need to [...]
  • No Internet TV on TV?
    Apparently, lots of people still enjoy their big screen TV more than ever. Frankly, our household often doesn't have that luxury, with kids running around, or watching their own shows, we adults [...]
  • What Is A Picross?
    Remember around a year ago when Nintendo imported and translated Brain Age, which consequently triggered the "games for everyone" mantra? A game as revolutionary as that one will hit here once [...]
  • Its about the small things...
    I think a lot about the things that could make me happy in this world. Sometimes I think that really spectacular things could make me happy, like owning my own farm, or owning my very own brand new [...]
  • Save Jericho Slashdotted
    Slashdot - "Jericho" Fans Send Over Nine Tons of Nuts to CBS. While the link lends itself to most Slashdot articles by not showing anything in just one light, I find it amusing that this "little" [...]
  • Halo 3 Beta - Updates Today!
    As posted last week, Halo 3 has the following updates: Ranked Matches Team Slayer Big Team Battle Rumble Pit Unranked Matches Big Team Training Double Team Training Team [...]
  • Best Project Runway Judge of All Time?
    Some news I read this morning: Fergie, the Duchess of York, has been approached to be a judge on a fashion reality show. American TV bosses are in talks with the 47-year-old Sarah to judge [...]

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