July 14, 2008
A school in Arizona needed a Federal Appeals Court to tell them that strip searching a 13 year old girl was excessive. They were looking for Ibuprofin.
The strip search of a 13-year-old Safford school girl to see if she had drugs was unjustified and excessive, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday…
When questioned by school officials, Redding denied bringing pills to school and denied distributing pills to classmates, but consented to a search of her possessions.When that turned up nothing, she was told to undress and pull her bra to the side and shake it, exposing her breasts, and to pull her underwear away from her crotch, exposing her pubic area. The search produced nothing.
A teenager’s braces are being credited for possibly saving his life.
Police said Anthony Pittman, 18, of Pontiac is recovering after a bullet hit him in the mouth on Wednesday.Police said a .45-caliber bullet struck Pittman’s braces, which fragmented the bullet.
There’s even a video.
Behind the glass, the curly black clumps looked like a worthless old Brillo pad. But Mr. Reznikoff, 48, said the $500,000 pièce de résistance was something far more precious: a strand of hair from Abraham Lincoln, taken from the 16th president on his deathbed…
He has hair strands from numerous historical figures like George Washington, John F. Kennedy, Napoleon, Beethoven and Chopin. While he enthusiastically advertises his $10 million annual business in stamps, autographs, and Americana in trade catalogs and newspapers, Mr. Reznikoff keeps a low profile when it comes to his beloved hair collection. He doesn’t advertise, sell to the public or buy clippings of living people…What was once a gentleman’s hobby among a few dozen enthusiasts at the turn of the 20th century has evolved into a multimillion-dollar industry, complete with professional dealers and serious quacks. As hair collecting has endured to the modern day, it brings with it the air of august creepiness that surrounds any celebrity-chasing pastime, not to mention its own peculiar set of boundary-issue controversies…
July 14, 2008
A new national web campaign that encourages young people to post strip-tease videos of themselves as a way of raising clothing donations for homeless youths has quickly run into a firestorm of protest from some of the groups it is supposed to benefit.
A national network that serves homeless youth said Saturday it is reconsidering the controversial campaign after Catholic Charities and other outraged groups in Minnesota and across the country complained that the effort is inappropriate and exploits young people.
Virgin Mobile, one of the largest cellphone companies in the country, and the National Network For Youth (NN4Y), a Washington, D.C., lobbying group for more than 150 organizations that help homeless youth, decided last week to begin testing the edgy campaign.
They asked young people to post videos of themselves stripping to music. In exchange, clothing companies would provide donations of new clothes based on the number of times the videos were viewed.
Called “Strip2Clothe,” the campaign carries the tagline, “You take off yours, we donate ours.”
No full nudity was permitted, but organizers were hopeful the videos would still attract attention.
“Strip2Clothe” has sparked outrage among NN4Y’s own members. Some groups say they were never consulted about the concept and are appalled by the idea of young people stripping as a means to get clothes for other young people. The organizations’ names have since been taken off the site.
“It was a shock to everybody,” said Trudee Able-Peterson, coordinator of outreach services at StreetWorks, a Twin Cities collaborative of outreach programs. “This is the message we send kids? That my granddaughter, who’s 17, should strip to provide clothes for other kids?”
Rebecca Lentz, a spokeswoman for Catholic Charities, called it “distasteful and inappropriate and exploitative. We never authorized this nor were we ever approached to be involved.”
July 14, 2008
We can discuss the roots of terror, ad infinitum.
UN and other NGO conferences will spend predicatble hours discussing the imbalance of wealth among the nations. We can focus on an Israeli Palestinian peace process (as much of a waste of time that might be) and we can discuss the ‘alienation’ so many young Muslims feel.
In the end, we need to defeat terror by blowing up the terrorists. Brute, raw, force- the equal and opposite reaction of the terrorists own behavior. Of course, that force needs to be directed as best we can, but make no mistake, only force will eliminate the cancer that is terror.
Why is that? Because in truth, terror is not brought on by poverty. Hostages are not taken and held, to be traded for economic aid. Planes aren’t flown into buildings in response to GDP of the free markets of the western world versus the GDP of the many tyrannies of the Muslim world. In fact, the terrorists aims are deliberately misrepresented by the much of the left. The terrorists don’t want to see western values and successes brought into the Muslim world. Indeed, that is what they are fighting against. Religious freedoms, abortion rights, gay rights and human rights are anathema to Radical Islamist ideologies. That ideology demands the murder of those whose behavior they find offensive- usually administered in a cruel and brutal fashion. These are truths many on the left somehow manage to forget.
If the terrorists, their supporters and apologists really wanted to better the lives of the wretched victims of their own making, they would use America and the west as a model for success. They would not seek to destroy those countries. They would not seek to destroy the freedoms that brought that success.
Further, eliminating poverty does not- and cannot- change a mindset. Economic status does not determine morality and codes of conduct. Only values, born of dignity and the recognition that all men and women are of equal value, determines morality and codes of conduct. It is an ideology that drives people to exceed their potential for good. And it is an ideology that drives people to hate and destroy. Those ideas are not determined by economic status. Terror is driven by an ideology of evil, period.
There are no excuses for terror and there is no defense of terror. That ideology that has embraced terror and elevated terror in a religious expression can be easily identified: Radical Islam.
The ideologies of Radical Islam are very clear. The goal is to destroy, punish and subjugate non believers. The real enemy are free peoples. Freedom is antithetical to terrorism because freedom usurps the power of the terrorist. With out the power to instill fear and punishment, the terrorist is nothing.
What is the singular icon of freedom? The US, of course. Our freedoms, success and ever growing potential are what the terrorist must destroy. Prosperity is the terrorists fifth column. They cannot abide by a culture that is prosperous, because that culture seeks growth and progress. The terrorists cannot abide progress. That too, weakens their hold.
Of course, we cannot eliminate terror from the face of the earth. We can however, make it a very expensive game to play. It is governments that overtly or covertly support terror. If we make that support expensive, those governments might think twice about their support. There has to be a consequence to the behaviors of those governments- and our military response must be part of those consequences. Automatic weapons and plastic explosives do not grow on trees. Explosives regularly cross the border from Iran into Iraq. This is not acceptable- nor is it a matter for discussion. You wanna play, you gotta pay.
America and the west must drop bombs, not hints at those that believe they can support terror with impunity.
Whether it is Iran or Syria, there are consequences for direct or indirect support of those who think and believe terror is a legitimate form of political expression. It is not. Terror is an expression and ideology of hate. In the same way we dealt with the Nazi ideology of hate, so must we deal with Radical Islamism. Hate comes at a cost.
We suspect a strong military reaction to the supporters of hate- one close to home- would get their attention. As we said, dropping bombs and not leaflets, has a way of doing just that.
Yes, there will be innocent victims. That is a tragedy. But in the end, it is the ideology of hate that must be defeated because the cost of concession is too high.
July 14, 2008
It goes without saying that the Arab League and the African Union are outraged that there be any impediment or restrictions to genocide by any Muslim regime.
My name is Halima. I come from a warlike black African tribe, the Zaghawa, who inhabit the southern Darfur region of Sudan. But I live as a refugee in London, and it is the horrors of the war in Darfur that drove me from my homeland, scattering my family to the four corners of the Earth.
In the year of my birth, 1979, my father named me Halima, after the medicine woman of our village. It was a prophetic naming. My father was a rich man and determined that I be educated. He believed that it was the only way that we black African Sudanese would break free of the Arab domination of our country.
My fierce grandmother, Sumah, was a traditionalist. No good Muslim girl should be educated, she believed. But I became the star pupil at school and won a place at university in Khartoum. I was the first from my desert village to go to university, and the first in our sub-tribe, the Coube, to qualify as a medical doctor.
When I returned home everyone was proud to have a “real doctor” in the village. Only my grandma muttered darkly about “no good ever coming from reading books”. But the year I graduated, conflict exploded in Darfur. I was posted to a hospital in the nearest large town. Men women and children started arriving with the most horrific wounds. I worked in the accident and emergency ward, where I treated all people – regardless of race, colour or creed. There was a police unit there, and doctors were supposed to report anyone suspected of being involved in the war.
I knew we had rebel fighters coming for treatment; I also knew that we had men from the government-backed Janjawid Arab militias. I treated them all. And I spoke to the newspapers and aid agencies about the terrible cost of the war. One day I was at work when the Sudanese secret police came for me.
They drove me to a “ghost house” – a secret detention centre – and abused me. I was the Zaghawa doctor helping the rebels, they said. I had spoken to the papers. I was told to shut my mouth or face the consequences. I was transferred to a remote village clinic, a punishment posting, where I was the only doctor.
One day the Janjawid attacked. They surrounded the girls’ school, and, while government troops stood guard, they gang-raped the girls. I had to treat the victims, the youngest of whom was 8 years old. I was sickened and horrified beyond words.
Aid workers arrived and asked me to tell them what had happened: despite my fears, I did so. Days later the military and security men came for me again. This time I was beaten, tortured and taunted by gibes of “black dog” and “slave”. I was gang-raped repeatedly.
Eventually, I was told that they would let me live. I had been taught by “expert teachers”, so now I could really “go and tell the foreigners about rape”. I fled to my village. But one morning the Janjawid came in on horseback, with Sudanese army helicopter gunships in support, bombing and shooting up the village.
I ran with my mother, brothers and sisters, as my father stayed to fight. All he had was his dagger, yet he faced the Janjawid with their AK47s. My father was killed, and our village wiped off the face of the Earth.
Afterwards, as we survivors cowered in burnt huts and tried to comprehend how our lives had been so torn apart, the secret police came for me again. They were still after “the Zaghawa rebel doctor”. Luckily, I had warning and escaped. I walked through the deserts, alone, bereft and afraid.
I headed south for the Nuba area, where black Africans were known to be welcoming survivors from Darfur. Yet I was told that, even there, I would not be safe: if I stayed in Sudan, the secret police would find me. I gave a trafficker all my family’s wealth – including my grandma’s gold jewellery – to smuggle me out.
In 2005 I arrived in the UK, and was granted asylum. I still have no idea who of my family is still alive, or where they may be. All I do know is that I owe my life to fate, and the sanctuary provided by the UK.
And I also know that the war crimes in Darfur, including the use of rape as a weapon of war, have been sanctioned from the very top of the regime in Sudan. My life is testimony to that. Before the war in Darfur, the Arab tribes that make up the Janjawid were poor nomads, with no weapons but swords and knives. They were armed by the regime, and given orders to lay waste to our homeland. They were aided by the warplanes and soldiers of the Sudanese military.
Today the International Criminal Court in The Hague is expected to issue indictments for war crimes in Sudan that go right to the top of the regime, including the President, Omar al-Bashir. It means that justice may finally be about to be done for the genocidaires in Khartoum.
Bill Clinton, once his wife’s greatest political asset, is now viewed by Barack Obama as such a liability that he is likely to scupper Hillary Clinton’s chances of becoming the Democratic vice-presidential candidate.
Sources close to the Obama campaign indicated that Mr Clinton’s reluctance to disclose who has donated money to his presidential library and even concerns about possible extra-marital affairs mean that his wife would not pass the vetting procedure all potential running mates have to undergo.
“It is absolutely standard operating procedure that vice-presidential candidates today must be fully vetted,” a Democratic official close to the Obama campaign told The Daily Telegraph. “That means their finances and everything about them.
“Bill Clinton’s not going to submit to vetting. He has not released details of the contributors to his library or his personal finances.
“Everything has to be disclosed to the law firm overseeing this process.”
“There’s a questionnaire. It covers everything, including, ‘Have you got any girlfriends?’”
Last week, Mr Obama told a prominent supporter of Mrs Clinton that he viewed the former president as a “complication” that made it more difficult for him to choose the former First Lady, who has made clear she would like to be on the Democratic ticket with him.
“He said once you’re a president, even if you’re a former president, you’re always a president,” Jill Iscol, a stalwart supporter of Mrs Clinton, told the Los Angeles Times.
The telephone conversation, an attempt to persuade Mrs Iscol to donate money to his general election campaign against John McCain, his Republican opponent, gave a rare glimpse into Mr Obama’s secret deliberations about who to choose as his running mate.
There is little enthusiasm within the Obama campaign for selecting Mrs Clinton as a vice-presidential candidate. After a bruising primary battle, her loyalty to Mr Obama is seen as questionable and there are concerns she could alienate centrist voters. In addition, the foreign donations Mr Clinton secured for his library, his business dealings with countries like Kazakhstan and his obvious antipathy towards Mr Obama in recent months make the former president a major problem all on his own.
A Democratic strategist aligned with the Obama campaign said: “Despite the spin coming out of the Clinton campaign in the primaries, the Clintons have a very mixed reputation among independents and moderate Republicans, who are the people Barack Obama needs to convince to vote for him.
“On the Bill Clinton factor, one of the questions Senator Obama and his allies repeatedly asked during the primaries was why they wouldn’t release the records for the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Library.
“Before Hillary could be considered a VP candidate, the Obama campaign would have to see those records to know how the money was raised and whether there are any ticking time bombs in there. The Clintons were pretty adamantly against it when her candidacy was on the line so it’s hard to see how they’d be for it for Obama’s candidacy.”
Mr Obama has to perform a delicate balancing act, remaining his own man while wooing Mrs Clinton’s supporters – particularly the wealthiest ones – and persuading his own donors to help pay off the more than $20 in campaign debt that the New York senator has saddled herself with.
Many of Mrs Clinton supporters, including Mrs Iscol, believe that she should be Mr Obama’s running mate.
“I said [to Mr Obama] nobody has been vetted the way she has been vetted,” Mrs Iscol said. “We need to pick the most qualified, wisest, smartest, experienced person to serve our country alongside of Barack Obama. And I think it’s Hillary Clinton. We need her, and the party needs her, and it will be a ticket that will steamroll its way to the White House.”
All the signs, however, are that Mr Obama is inclined to plump for someone else. Last week, Howard Wolfson, Mrs Clinton’s campaign communications director, said that “as far as I know” the former First Lady had not been asked to hand over documents as part of a formal vetting procedure.
Others, however, have indicated that they are under active consideration. Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Senator Clair McCaskill of Missouri and Senator Joe Biden of Deleware have all indicated that they have supplied paperwork.
Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former US army officer, and Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, who supported Mrs Clinton in the primaries, are also thought to be on Mr Obama’s short-list.
Mr Bayh could emerge as the ideal compromoise candidate. As a former governor, he has executive experience outside Washington while as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee he has solid foreign policy credentials.
He hails from a Mid-Western state and could thus appeal to the white working-class voters Mr Obama failed to win over against Mrs Clinton and choosing a members of the former First Lady’s camp could help placate her backers.
Some Clinton supporters are angry so few Obama donors have thus far given money to the New York senator to help her with her massive debt, more than half of which came out of her own pockets.
Mr Obama did not help matters last week when at a joint New York fundraiser with Mrs Clinton he bounced off the stage to the strains of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” without asking people to give money to his former Democratic rival, who heartily endorsed him as a recent joint rally in Unity, New Hampshire.
Two minutes later, a sheepish Mr Obama returned to the stage and said “Hold on a second, I got one more thing” before making a belated plea for cash for Mrs Clinton.