Monday, April 30

Studies in Confusion Similarly, two weeks ago, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. revealed that the herbal supplement St. John's wort wasn't effective in treating major depression. But the fine print at the end of the journal article, where researchers disclose their monetary ties, should have given readers pause. Pfizer, which makes the antidepressant Zoloft, not only underwrote some of this research but also had financial connections with many of the study's investigators.
ALERT ALERT, St. John's Wort must be doing a lot of good for people if the drug makers are trying this hard to debunk it.

Friday, April 27

According to the Holy Bible
abortion is not murder.
According to the Holy Bible
abortion is not murder.
Don't get mad at me. I didn't write the Bible.

Wednesday, April 25

Inmates Do More Than Phone Home Inmates Do More Than Phone Home
With the 1st Amendment as a shield and monitoring spotty, prisoners make calls to arrange crimes that include murder.

By DANIEL YI, Times Staff Writer

Anne Marie Reed prided herself on being an efficient communicator--skills she put to use for Mexican Mafia leaders behind bars at the Los Angeles County Jail.
Working out of her home in a quiet La Mirada neighborhood, the 22-year-old single mother helped gang members orchestrate stabbings, beatings and drug smuggling from the lockup, authorities say. She relayed messages by phone between inmates and the streets--all under the noses of jail officials.
Now read the story just below and see if you can figure it all out?
Some Jailed Mothers Say Hale House Didn't Keep Promises Prison rules make it very difficult for the women involved to speak out themselves. They are not allowed to receive telephone calls, their own calls are restricted, and volunteer advocates may not take them messages.
It's a little harder to keep your family together in prison than it is to keep the gang 'banging'.
Dubya damn well knew the difference between people of color and white folks when he led Texas to its dubious distinction as the state with the most executions of prison inmates. The following exchange was witnessed by a tour group at the Governor's Mansion and has been recounted by multiple sources, including Lucius Lomas of The Texas Observer. John M. Swamley, a professor of social ethics at St. Paul School of Theology and a writer for The Humanist, is the source of this version:
An aide abruptly appeared with papers he held out to then-Governor Dubya. "It's the death warrants to sign, Governor. There are two executions scheduled for tonight."
Absent-mindedly, the Governor took the offered pen. But in mid-signature he lifted his hand. He looked hard at his aide.
"They're not white are they?"
The aide flashed a nervous smile. "Governor, would we do that to you?" he asked.
"It's not a woman either, is it? I'm not executing any more damn women. That last one—I was getting telegrams from as far away as Bolivia," Bush complained. "What the damn Bolivians or anyone else in Europe know about law and order in Texas I can't imagine."
The aide reassured him, "Both prisoners are male, Governor. One's black and one's Hispanic. Nothing out of the ordinary."
Pacified, Bush nodded. "That's okay then," he said. In an instant the aide retrieved the signed warrants and was gone.
File this under stuff not reported in your local daily newspaper. Books | "Body of Secrets" by James Bamford All this makes the China incident even more confusing. I don't understand why, in a world where intelligence satellites can eavesdrop on anything anywhere, where ground stations in Japan and South Korea have China well covered and where massive intercept programs like Echelon vacuum up almost all foreign telecommunications, we need to launch aggressive and provocative spy missions against countries like China. I can't think of another midair collision that didn't end up in two crashed planes; it's a miracle that the American EP-3 survived. If the 24 Americans had died as a result of this incident, how would Congress have reacted? Would we have believed China's claims that it was an accident, not an attack? Would we have so easily turned our warships around after the Chinese government refused our offers to assist in recovering the wreckage? How much more aggressive would the rhetoric have been on both sides? I don't mean to imply that the U.S. deliberately set out to cause an international incident, but it seems to me that it was ignoring some pretty obvious risks for some pretty dubious rewards
I agree completely with this author's assessment of our actions in China.

Tuesday, April 24

Too hot to handle | April 11, 2001 | SFBG News Too hot to handle
Project Censored names the top stories buried by the mainstream media in 2000.

Here's a public service posting for widest possible dispersion.
Arabs See Jewish Conspiracy in Pokemon 'A Jewish Plan to Corrupt the Mind'
"It has been proven that this toy is part of a Jewish plan to corrupt the mind of our young generation because it alludes to blasphemous thinking, it mocks our God and our moral values and is therefore extremely dangerous for our youth," said Sheik Abdel Monem abu Zent, a hard-liner and former member of parliament in Jordan who has helped stir up discontent, although he acknowledges that he is not familiar with the game.

I have no love loss for Pokeman, but if these Arabs ever want to be taken seriously, they might want to get a grip on reality.

Wednesday, April 18 Politics | Bush backs aid ban for drug convicts Bush backs aid ban for drug convicts

April 18, 2001 | WASHINGTON (AP) --
The Bush administration says it will enforce a previously ignored law denying federal financial aid to college students with drug convictions.

Let's all join in the mad rush to demonize young drug offenders (they're mostly minority anyway) and make sure that we shut off every opportunity for them to advance their lives and make changes for the better. What better way for us to show our compassion for the prison industry while at the same time protecting valuable college opportunities for the 'right' kind of people.


Monday, April 16 Politics | Smile and slash In the last few weeks, either President Bush or his wife, Laura, has visited a total of three domestic organizations whose work they heralded -- a children's hospital in Atlanta, a public library in Washington and a Boys and Girls Club in Wilmington, Del. All three would have their funding slashed in the budget Bush proposed last Monday.

"It's just more examples of Bush's illusion of inclusion," says Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe. "It's politics at its worst, it's cynicism at its worst. He uses them for photo ops and props and then he axes them out of the budget."

Betcha Bush figured he'd get away with it. His sleight of heart is hard to miss.
The Plane Truth? by Scott Shuger The WSJ reports that the cause of a reduction in the capital gains tax is back on the congressional agenda. One reason for this, explains the paper, is "complaints from ordinary taxpayers." You know, like Debbe Trachtman of Overland Park, Kansas, who after learning from her tax adviser that she was going to have to pay $10,000 in capital gains taxes (actually the story chooses to say she was "socked" with the bill) had to give up on her plans to buy a new Lincoln Town Car.
Don't you just feel her pain?
Military Ecstasy? by Scott Shuger USAT fronts the U.S. military's concern about "skyrocketing" use of the amphetamine Ecstasy among its members--up about 12 times what it was two years ago. And that estimate is based on the services' drug testing, which misses much Ecstasy use because unlike many other drugs, it usually leaves no traces in the body after 48 hours. The paper says the Pentagon is set to introduce a new Ecstasy test next year.

If the military can't keep up with the use of this drug even though the soldiers have already given up about ninety percent of their civil rights in the process of joining, what extraordinary measures are they going to try and foist upon the general populace in their never ending pursuit to win the drug war?

Monday, April 9 Politics | A little arsenic water with that tainted beef? A little arsenic water with that tainted beef?
You're not paranoid: The Bush administration really is trying to poison you.
Pretty much says it all. Be afraid, be VERY afraid.

Thursday, April 5 News | Plan to ease meat testing abandoned Plan to ease meat testing abandoned

- - - - - - - - - - - -
Philip Brasher
April 5, 2001 | WASHINGTON (AP) --
The White House on Thursday backed off an Agriculture Department plan to ease salmonella testing requirements on ground meat purchased for school lunches.

That's my Bush!! With the safety of meat in SERIOUS doubt already, who in their right minds would even SUGGEST lessening standards? Not only lessening standards, but standards that relate to our children's school lunches? The big question is how Bush is going to spin this into being something that is a carryover from the Clinton years. What a schmuck!!