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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Rantings of an AMERICAN English teacher

I am an English teacher who happens to be American. I have a degree from a University as well as a certificate authorizing me to teach the English language. I don't mean to brag, but I am NOT uneducated. I speak ENGLISH correctly.

Last week in my Elementary English class I was teaching the present simple tense. The students had to put sentences in the negative forms. One answer was 'I DON'T HAVE a car.'

One student who is more advanced then the others in the class asked me 'Shouldn't the answer be I HAVEN'T GOT a car instead of I DON'T HAVE a car ?' I then explained that both answers are equally correct. Both express the same idea, but one uses the simple present tense and the other uses the present perfect, which is a more complicated compound tense which we will not be discussing in this Elementary English class.'

This week on some homework that I gave to the students (for an exercise in simple present tense) one answer was 'I DON'T HAVE a cat'. The same student has a daughter who is also studying English in school.

Her teacher is from London. She showed the homework to her teacher, with the answer I DON'T HAVE a cat written in. That teacher said 'That is wrong' When she saw it.

What do mean that is wrong !? I KNOW how to speak English! It is right. It means 'There is no cat in my possession'. There are more ways than one to skin a cat, as the cliche' goes, and there is more then one way to express yourself in English.

The lesson was in learning the simple present and the answer to that homework question, since it said in the instructions 'Use simple present' is I DON'T HAVE a cat.

If a person prefers to use the present perfect tense, like all people who speak British English do, I don't have a problem with it. I definitely don't say 'You're wrong' when a student uses it.
Why did she ? Why say that I 'am wrong ?' Is she putting down my English language skills? Yes.

I am so tired of these British citizens who think that they are the top authority on the English Language. They aren't. Their authority faded with the British Empire.... deal with reality. It's over. It's 2005, not 1705. There are a lot of different types of English out there.

An Israeli is killed by Hamas 'because he was a Jew'

Read at this link:

Do the so-called 'peaceniks' who attended the anti-war rallies on September 24, know that ANSWER International, one of the events sponsors is also a supporter of Hamas who did this attrocity? Aren't they also supposed to be against racism, or does racism against Jewish people just not qualify?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Peace-loving Anti-War-in-Iraq Protesters are not for Peace at All !

I am so glad that someone shares my views on the protesters in the rally against the war in Iraq who use the anti war in Iraq issue to spout their own ideologies. 'What does Israel have to do with Iraq?' to quote one, sadly only one protester out of many in San Diego.

You can read about it here in an article by Christopher Hitchens. Nobody says it better then him.

He also mentions how many of the 'peace-loving' protesters support such 'peace-loving' Communist regimes such as those in Korea, China and Cuba.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

New Orleans Resident Perspective

Just received by one of my friends:

This was received from an actual resident in the direct path of Katrina in McComb county and is known personally by the writer. John and Suzy were rescued off the roof of their two story home by motorboat.

Jack, What I have seen since Katrina:

The poor and the wealthy hurt by the storm.

Black, white, Hispanic, Oriental and Indian all hurt by the storm.

Christian people giving, giving, giving.

Churches going all out to minister in Jesus' name.

Neighbors going door to door helping one another.

Thugs and hoodlums going door to door looking for someone vulnerable.

Ice and water being fought over as police tried to keep the peace.

People coming up from New Orleans taking over empty houses because shelters are full.

Out of town volunteers coming with food and staying for now a week still serving it.

The Churches all over this part of the country doing what Christians do in a crisis.

The Red Cross doing a great job in the shelters.

The Salvation Army doing a great job in the community.

Four Hundred crewman from everywhere bring back the power to our homes, churches and businesses.

Lines at service stations a block to a mile long and getting longer, heavy price gouging.

National Guardsman patrolling the streets of Mc Comb along with Kentucky policemen protecting us
from the hoodlums and thugs of Mc Comb, Pike County and New Orleans (the most dangerous city
in the world before Katrina.)

Drug dealers working outside shelters.

Doctors, nurses and other hospital personnel working tirelessly, even sleeping in the
hospital to do the job God called them to do.

Our governor finally got the courage to file a request in writing to the federal government to bring the US military into our state under a declaration of Marshal law. Took her four days to do this which was tragic understatement of our situation.

Lots of finger pointing as to who is to blame for not resolving the problems we have with the sweep of a pen or magic wand. This is going to take a decade to repair if we repair it at all.

The military, God love them all, have been saving lives and preventing chaos.

Our president has been here three times, directing resources which for whatever reason or reasons were stalled due to bureaucratic red tape or procedures. Like our president or not does not matter to me but he is getting people off their penguin butts and things are rapidly getting done since he first came here.


The ACLU setting up a feeding line.

People for the American Way helping in the shelters.

The NAACP doing any work whatsoever.

The American Atheist organization serving meals in the shelters.

Jesse Jackson directing traffic at the gas stations.

Nancy Grace of Court TV on CNN doing anything to help our situation.

I could go on but you get my message. Its the Christian people with love and compassion who do the work.

The gripers in Congress should come on down and get in line to pass the water and the ice.
Are you listening Hillary, Chuck, Teddy and all the sorry loafers we call Senators and Congressmen.
They don't have a clue as to what this life is all about here on the Gulf Coast.

Teddy will never volunteer to help in any mess like this one, remember, Teddy doesn't help anyone in deep water other that to assist in their drowning.

Jack, I feel better now. Sorry I bent your ear but this had to be said.

Your friend,


I just read a disturbing piece of news...

...thanks to the blog Freethoughts.

You can read about it on her blog, Freethoughts, or another article I found in the LA Times.

The perpetrators of the 1994 Jewish Center bombing that killed 85 people in Buenos Aires are not considered perpetrators any more.

They have not been questioned, determined innocent and released, NO, their arrest warrants have simply been cancelled. Cancelled by Interpol.

Those highly suspected bombers are all free, unwanted men.
How could Interpol cancel those arrest warrants? How would the people in London feel if the perpetrators of the 7/7 attacks in London, had they not all died, been set free ?

Are the lives of 85 people not worth anything, or is it the fact that most of the 85 victims were Jews and in the European quest to appease the Muslims in everything that happens in the world, their lives were just sacrificed ?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Left-Wingers: Join The Cindy Sheehan Bandwagon Without Knowing What They're Jumping On

Today I received a surprise phone call from a friend who lives in the US. He was feeling a little under the weather but hoped that he would feel better enough to attend the anti-war rally in Washington DC this weekend.

'You are seriously going to that so-called anti-war rally? With Cindy Sheehan?' I said astonished. My friend is a left wing Democrat. I support that, well, support is strong word, tolerate it.that sounds better. I tolerate his left wing views.

He responded 'Yes, of course. Cindy Sheehan lost her son. She is against the War in Iraq, just like me !'

I then said 'That's not all she is. Do you know that she recently wrote a letter asking that the US troops get out of 'occupied New Orleans' even though the governor finally invited them ?'

He responded 'No, I had no idea.'

Then I said do you know that in the spring she wrote a letter stating that the war in Iraq was fought for Israel, and her son died for Israel, and not for the US'.

He responded 'No.'

Then I said 'Did you know that because of this letter David Duke and all of his American Nazi party friends support her ? They all speak in her favor, and she accepted it.'

He responded 'No. I had no clue.'

Then I said to him 'Did you know that Cindy Sheehan called Osama Bin Laden an 'alleged' terrorist, even though he admitted plotting the 9-11 attacks ? I don't know what one has to do to become a 'real' terrorist in her mind then.

I also told him that the rally that he is talking about is to be sponsored by ANSWER (Act Now to Prevent War and Racism). They equate zionism with racism and want the colonist Israelis to get out of Palestine -all of it-and leave no Israel at all.

He reponded 'Well, I didn't know these things, and I certainly don't support them. I'm pro-Israel and gay so I am against the Nazi party for sure. Maybe I won't go to the rally after all.'

Then he asked me 'How do you know these things ? You live so far away.'

My answer ? I read. And not just one source either.

He replied 'Wow!!!' like I just performed some amazing stunt. He then said 'You are so smart !'

Smart has nothing to do with it. I click a few buttons on my PC. That's all I do.

How many other people at the anti-war rally will be like him though? Not knowing what they are marching for. Doing things blindly. Not doing their research.

Just doing. That to me is more scary then Cindy Sheehan and Nazis and ANSWER put together.

Read more on:

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ray Nagin, Hero or Moron ?

We think (together with U.S. News) that he's a moron:

Which politician emerged from the mess of Katrina as the biggest bonehead involved? No, it's not Michael Brown, George W. Bush, or even the bumbling Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco.

But New York Times calls him "a folk hero"...

Read more on:

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Firefox users, never EVER install NewsMonster !

The reading of this post is reserved to geeks who use Firefox. The others may skip it.

NewsMonster is supposed to be sort of a Firefox extension that should act as a RSS reader.
Do you want my advice ? NEVER EVER install it !

Good reasons for not installing it:
- the uninstall procedure DOESN'T WORK. How would you want to install a thing you cannot uninstall ?
- After the installation, a wide sidebar appears on the right, approximately 30% the size of the window, NOT sizeable, not shrinkable.
- some of the menu items added by NewsMonster seem not to work (especially the "NewsMonster Preferences" menu item, from which, by the way, you are supposed to uninstall the product...)
- unlike other Firefox extensions, NewsMonster is not listed among the other installed extensions (via the "Tools | Extensions" menu item)
- the OPML import function doesn't work. I tried to import my RSS feeds in OPML format, and it imported only one of them.

I successfully uninstalled it by doing the following tasks:
- closed Firefox
- deleted the c:\newsmonster folder
- under "c:\program files\Mozilla Firefox\chrome", I deleted "newsmonster.jar"
- under "c:\program files\Mozilla Firefox\components", I deleted a group of files (*.jar, *.js) last modified at 10/23/2003, 3:13 AM
- under "c:\program files\Mozilla Firefox\ subdirectories, edited every recently changed *.rdf file, trying either to delete xml tags containing the "newsmonster" string, or turning them into comments, i.e. changing tags like




Strangely, it worked. Once reopening Firefox, the NewsMonster disappeared, and everything else seemed to work fine.

I'd not generally advice to do what I did for erasing NewsMonster. Don't do this at home. You might get burned.
Instead, I'd suggest to uninstall Firefox and reinstall it.

If you want a fairly good RSS reader, try FeedDemon. It is not perfect, it has a few defects , but it's better than many other RSS readers.

And DON'T install NewsMonster, for Heaven's sake !

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005

Yeetgadal v' yeetkadash sh'mey rabbah
B'almah dee v'rah kheer'utey
v' yamleekh malkhutei,b'chahyeykhohn, uv' yohmeykhohn,
uv'chahyei d'chohl beyt yisrael,
ba'agalah u'veez'man kareev, v'eemru: Amein.
(The crowd answers: Amein. Y'hey sh'met rabbah m'varach l'alam u'l'almey almahyah)

Y'hey sh'met rabbah m'varach l'alam u'l'almey almahyah.
Yeet'barakh, v' yeesh'tabach, v' yeetpa'ar, v' yeetrohmam, v' yeet'nasei,
v' yeet'hadar, v' yeet'aleh, v' yeet'halal sh'mey d'kudshah b'reekh hoo
(The crowd answers: b'reekh hoo).

L'eylah meen kohl beerkhatah v'sheeratah,
toosh'b'chatah v'nechematah, da'ameeran b'al'mah, v'eemru: Amein
(The crowd answers: Amein).

Y'hei shlamah rabbah meen sh'mahyah,v'chahyeem
aleynu v'al kohl yisrael, v'eemru: Amein
(The crowd answers: Amein).

Oseh shalom beem'roh'mahv, hoo ya'aseh shalom,
aleynu v'al kohl yisrael v'eemru: Amein

(The crowd answers: Amein)

Monday, September 19, 2005

An Expat Comments On The Unconstitutionality Of The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for all.

June 14, 1954

What have you been doing in the good ole’ USA since I left? A Judge recently ruled that the Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because of one phrase 'under God'? An Atheist got offended by it. He should try living in Italy where there is a Cross in every building! He would go bonkers!!
The Pledge of Allegiance is said everyday before school starts not to incite atheist children to convert in droves to a religion, but to instill a pride in being American. Please note the last line Mr. Judge: “with liberty and justice FOR ALL”. How many people around the globe would be extremely honored to say those words, yet you rule them as unconstitutional. Why?

Read more on:

Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Holocaust Remembrance Day Caused London Bombings, and Makes Muslims Upset"

A committee appointed by Prime Minister Tony Blair to “decrease the level of Muslim extremism” in the UK has advised him to cancel Holocaust Day, which is remembered by most European countries on January 26, because it makes Muslims feel offended, and because it caused London bombings.

More here>>

Katrina Victims Praise Bush and Blame Nagin, Disappointing ABC

A stunning example of media bias. Dean Reynolds, for ABC News, interviewed some people at Houston Astrodome, where many New Orleans refugees are located. But he had the answers to his questions he didn't want to hear:

“I'd like to get the reaction of Connie London who spent several horrible hours at the Superdome. You heard the President say retpeaedly that you are not alone, that the country stands beside you. Do you believe him ?

Connie London: “Yeah, I believe him, because here in Texas, they have truly been good to us. I mean-”

Reynolds: “Did you get a sense of hope that you could return to your home one day in New Orleans?”

London: “Yes, I did. I did.”

Reynolds: “Did you harbor any anger toward the President because of the slow federal response ?

London: “No, none whatsoever, because I feel like our city and our state government should have been there before the federal government was called in. They should have been on their jobs.”

Reynolds: “And they weren't?”

London: “No, no, no, no. Lord, they wasn't. I mean, they had RTA buses, Greyhound buses, school buses, that was just sitting there going under water when they could have been evacuating people.”

Reynolds: “Now, Mary, you were rescued from your house which was basically submerged in your neighborhood. Did you hear something in the President's words that you could glean some hope from?”

Mary: “Yes. He said we're coming back, and I believe we're coming back. He's going to build the city up. I believe that.”

Reynolds: “You believe you'll be able to return to your home?”

Mary: “Yes, I do.”

Reynolds: “Why?”

Mary: “Because I really believe what he said. I believe. I got faith.”

Reynolds: “Back here in the corner, we've got Brenda Marshall, right?”

Brenda Marshall: “Yes.”

Reynolds: “Now, Brenda, you were, spent, what, several days at the Superdome, correct?”

Marshall: “Yes, I did.”

Reynolds: “What did you think of what the President told you tonight?”

Marshall: “Well, I think -- I think the speech was wonderful, you know, him specifying that we will return back and that we will have like mobile homes, you know, rent or whatever. I was listening to that pretty good. But I think it was a well fine speech.”

Reynolds: “Was there any particular part of it that stood out in your mind? I mean, I saw you all nod when he said the Crescent City is going to come back one day.”

Marshall: “Well, I think I was more excited about what he said. That's probably why I nodded.”

Reynolds: “Was there anything that you found hard to believe that he said, that you thought, well, that's nice rhetoric, but, you know, the proof is in the pudding?”

Marshall: “No, I didn't.”

Reynolds: “Good. Well, very little skepticism here. Frederick Gould, did you hear something that you could hang on to tonight from the President?”

Frederick Gould: “Well, I just know, you know, he said good things to me, you know, what he said, you know. I was just trying to listen to everything they were saying, you know.”

Reynolds: “And Cecilia, did you feel that the President was sincere tonight?”

Cecilia: “Yes, he was.”

Reynolds: “Do you think this is a little too late, or do you think he's got a handle on the situation?”

Cecilia: “To me it was a little too late. It was too late, but he should have did something more about it.”

Reynolds: “Now do you all believe that you will one day return to your homes?”
Voices: “Yes” and “I do.”

Reynolds: “I mean, do you all want to return to your homes? We're hearing some people don't even want to go back.”

Mary: “I want to go back.”

Reynolds: “You want to go back.”

Mary: “I want to go back. That's my home. That's all I know.”

Reynolds: “Is it your home for your whole life?”

Mary: “Right. That's my home.”

Reynolds: “And do you expect to go back to the house or a brand new dwelling or what?”

Mary: “I expect to go back to something. I know it ain't my house, because it's gone.”

Reynolds: “What is the one mistake that could have been prevented that would have made your lives much better? Is it simply getting all of you out much sooner or what was it?”

Mary: “I'm going to tell you the truth. I had the opportunity to get out, but I didn't believe it. So I stayed there till it was too late.”

Reynolds: “Did you all have the same feeling? I mean, did you all have the opportunity to get out, but you were skeptical that this was the really bad one?”

Unnamed woman: “No, I got out when they said evacuate. I got out that Sunday and I left before the storm came. But I know they could have did better than what they did because like they said, buses were just sitting there, and they could have came through there and got people out, because they were saying immediate evacuation. Some people didn't believe it. But they should have brung the force of the army through to help these people and make them understand it really was coming.”

London: “And really it wasn't Hurricane Katrina that really tore up the city. It was when they opened the floodgates. It was not the hurricane itself. It was the floodgates, when they opened the floodgates, that's where all the water came.”

Reynolds: “Do you blame anybody for this?”

London: “Yes. I mean, they've been allocated federal funds to fix the levee system, and it never got done. I fault the mayor of our city personally. I really do.”

Reynolds: “All right. Well, thank you all very much. I wish you all the best of luck. I hope you don't have to spend too much more time here in the Reliant Center and you can get back to New Orleans as the President said. Ted, that is the word from the Houston Astrodome. And as I said, when the President said that the Crescent City will rise again, there were nods all around this parking lot.”

Thanks to Newsbusters.

Read more on:

Friday, September 16, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Aide Claims New Orleans Flood Caused by Government That Dynamited Levees To Protect The Rich

Andrea Garland:

we have learned that the reason our part of the neighborhood flooded was not due to the hurricane, but rather to a misguided effort on the part of our government. Fearing that the flood waters would invade Uptown New Orleans (the wealthy, white part of town), they dynamited another hole in the levy on our side to let flood waters in there and keeping them away from Uptown. Apparently they over did it with the dynamite.

Thanks to Free Republic.

Cindy Sheehan: "Pull Our Troops Out of OCCUPIED New Orleans"

WONDERFUL !! She's my anti-hero !!

Evidently, she got an abstinence crisis from media under-exposure. Poor lady ! Hurricane Katrina must have been a strong psychological hit for her.

Read more on:

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Today the UN World Summit is going on. Many important world leaders are at the UN to discuss issues such as world poverty and security, but today, President George Bush wrote a note to Condoleeza Rice asking about a bathroom break and this is what captures the world press's attention.

Is something wrong here? World poverty. Security. I would think that these are much more important issues to the world then one man's bladder.

Democrats Recommendations on How to Exploit Katrina

From democrats.org web site (via Behind Enemy Lines):

"Use FEMA's disastrous behavior in N.O. TO ESTABLISH A PLATFORM RE: What DEMS do better...."

"Be sure to emphasize that Bush cut funding for items that would have increased their flooding prevention.
ALSO please please do not let our Governer Dean dare say as did Bill Clinton just now..."there is no way they could have known." Don't say it, it is a lie. We all knew it was crisis time. So please don't pander to Bush and say there is no way he could have known. Bush did not prepare and he cut FEMA. When Bill Clinton said that today, I wanted to scream. He should not have said that...it was a lie."

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After Bush, Blanco: The Buck Stops Here

"We all know that there were failures at every level of government: state, federal and local. At the state level, we must take a careful look at what went wrong and make sure it never happens again. The buck stops here, and as your governor, I take full responsibility."

More here.

Read more on:

Louisiana Congressman Uses National Guard to Secure His Personal Belongings

The congressman is William Jefferson, D-La.

A military truck, a helicopter and a half dozen military police were employed for rescuing a laptop, three suitcases and a box.

The details here.

Read more on:

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Governor Blanco: You Know, Maybe I Needed To Ask for More Troops


Read more on:

Palestinians Get Organized: Massive Weapon Smuggling in Gaza

Link, thanks to Drudge Report.

Read more on:

Power Outage in L.A (It's Bush's Fault)

There was a large power outage in Los Angeles. More coverage on Bush's mishandling of this emergency at Patterico.

Read more on:

Salman Rushdie: Islamic Enlightenment

Rushdie calls for Reform Muslims:

“There are hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Britain who do not follow their religion as strictly as do the older generations . . . We are the mainstream Muslims who are keen to live in peace and harmony with other faith groups, feel proud of being British and are patriotic . . . I know of no organisation that represents the secular and liberal Islam that the vast majority of Muslims follow.”

I'm quite skeptical about an important Islamic reform movement, similar to Reform Judaism, coming out in the short term... but it's nonetheless interesting.

(Hat tip: Dinocrat)

Read more on:

An Unusual Automatic Vending Machine (for Italy)

Today I found an automatic vending machine that 'da il resto' (gives change). I was so happy! Most automatic vending machines in Italy don't, so if you buy a 30 cent cup of coffee and use a 50 cent coin to pay for it, you lose 20 cents. Imagine if you only have a pocket full of 1 Euro or 2 Euro coins ?
The salaries in Italy are already low, so that donating 70 cents or 1 euro and 70 cents to a vending company that makes thousands of dollars unfairly taking hard working folks money is a crying shame.

I started thinking of my pre-Italy life in the US. I have never seen an automatic vending machine there that states that it does not give change. No person would use it if it did. In Italy, where being treated badly is considered normal, they are so used to machines that don't give change it doesn't even cause a reaction..

Read more on:

Katrina Survivors Buying Luxury Items with Charity Money

Hope that some of the money given to Red Cross won't be wasted this way.

Read more on:

Roberts is unfit for Supreme Court because HE is RACIST, OR because GOVERNMENT is RACIST

Howard Dean said John Roberts must be rejected as Supreme Court judge because he's racist.

Speaking about the black residents of New Orleans, who were the storm's most visible victims, Dean said that Roberts' "entire legal career appears to be about making sure those folks don't have the same rights everybody else does."

Barack Obama said Roberts is unfit because federal government's response to Katrina emergency showed how racist it is.
"I think what we do need to ask ourselves is whether he has the heart, the breadth of perspective and the recognition that historically the role of the court has been to look out not just for the powerful but also the powerless.

"I think that Katrina does indicate that we've got a lot of problems in our midst … in terms of poverty, in terms of the differences in life opportunities for blacks, whites, Hispanics," Obama said. "That has to inform how we think about every branch of government and their functions, and I think that the Supreme Court is no different."

Read more on:

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Venice and Burano

Click on the photo to start a slideshow. Hope you'll enjoy it.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Blogs aren't enough

Blogs have been doing a fantastic job in trying to fill in the information gaps and correct the bias, both on the Tigris and on the Mississippi, but blogs can only go so far. Let's be honest about it - not many people read blogs. We are talking about the daily readerships in thousands, or tens of thousands; even less when you count unique visitors.

Fox is not enough. We need a bigger media presence on TV, and even more so in print. That, again, will not be easy. The money, I believe could be found, but the bigger problem is the overwhelmingly left-liberal political culture of journalism. This is a pretty sad state of affairs, because we are not looking for propaganda mouthpieces, but simply enough forums that will give equal time and consideration to both sides of the story.

Interesting. From Chrenkoff.

A Palestinian State ?

As Abba Eban once said 'The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity'.
Israel has completed its withdrawal from Gaza, thus ceding all that land, an 'occupied territory' to the Palestinians, yet instead of the joyous pictures of celebrations of a 'stateless people' who are deserving of a 'State', one sees this (photos on Freethoughts).

Burning synagogues, or ex-synagogues, shooting guns in the air, police who just watch. They deserve jailterms, not a state !


Gone Fishing in Nawlins

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Al-Qaida Financers That Operate in Italy

...like Ahmed Idris Nasreddine. Links in English and Italian.

Read more on:

Not All Muslims are Terrorists, not All Terrorists are Muslims

...and not all terrorists are Arabs.

A federal appeals court ruled on Friday that Jose Padilla, a former Chicago gang member and convert to Islam, be kept detained for terrorist activities.

Padilla was suspected by U.S. officials of plotting with al Qaeda to set off a radioactive "dirty bomb" in the United States.

In 2002, Padilla was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport after returning from Pakistan.

Hat tip: Jawa.


Saturday, September 10, 2005

More on Katrina (and Federalism)

I just read on CNN that a general says that the Louisiana and Missippi National Guard were in Iraq, and this delayed the cleanup and rescue in those states. I do not agree with him.

I have read on another website that 40 percent of those National guardmen were over in Iraq.

That leaves 60 percent still at home in those states.

While the areas affected by Katrina were several, they were still only a small area if you consider all the acreage in those states.

I think 60 percent of the National Guard could have handled that. That point however is moot.

The real reason the cleanup effort after hurricane Katrina was delayed is ..the US constitution.

When the Constitution was written the delegates from each state had a fear of a federal government with too much power, so they created not only checks and balances within the federal government, but also limited the things the federal government could do without the states permission.

One of these things is send out the state's National Guard forces.

I read the transcript of a interview of the Mayor of New Orleans Nagin.

He mentioned that George Bush asked the Louisiana governor for 'something, I don't know what' to use his words.

She replied to President Bush that she needed 24 more hours.

Constitutionally she was within her right to do so, morally is another story.

If there were another 1000 troops available for her to utilize it wouldn't have changed anything in her response time. The problem is in the Constitution, and the Governor's choice for a slow response - not the National Guard.


My Memories of the World Trade Center

This post is dedicated to the memory of Sheryl Rosner Rosenbaum, 1968 - 2001

I wish I took more pictures of the World Trade Center on my numerous trips to New York City, but I did not.

The World Trade Center was just like any other office building in New York City, and there are many of them. The Twin Towers were enormously tall: architectural beauties or monsters depending on your point of view, but for people of my age group it was always a part of the New York Skyline and I personally never thought 'Is it a beautiful building, or a horror. It just WAS.

I had a friend who worked on the Observation Deck on the South Tower. I visited him several times, and went up a few times to the actual Observation Deck to see the spectacular views, but normally I just sat on a bench in the plaza between the buildings with a paper bought from a newspaper stand in the shopping center below the Trade Center and waited for him. It was a hassle for me visit him on the Observation Deck. He had to ask permission from his manager first, then when I arrived at the ticket booth they would call, he had to come down to the lobby and escort me to the top.

At times it was a little foggy at the Observation Deck, and those map lines on the walls designed to help the viewer know the name of what he/she was looking at did not help much. After a few trips to the Observation Deck I decided that I preferred waiting on a bench in the Plaza. that is if the weather was OK in the Plaza.

I remember one time that it was cool and overcast in the Plaza, but on the Oberservation Deck it was sunny and still cool. It was amazing to look out at faraway sites such as New Jersey, but not be able to see the bottom of the North Tower.

Oftentimes I went to visit him with other friends. Instead of reading a newspaper quietly we would have loud discussions about the ugly statues we saw, as well as routine events in our lives. Sometimes we would take walks around the fountain.

I remember the elevators we had to take to get from the subway station to get to the ground level. They seemed to go on forever.
I remember the large spacious lobby, with its rich deep red carpets.
I also remember drinking a cup of coffee and looking at the wonderful view at Windows on the World, the fancy restaurant on the top of the North Tower. It was quite expensive, even with my friend's WTC employee discount.


Friday, September 09, 2005


I am a registered member of the Democratic party. Why? Because I agree with their party platform that abortion should be a woman's choice. I think there should be stem cell research. I support gun control. I am opposed to the death penalty. Not exactly Republican material. I was initially against the Iraqi war. I was quite content with my decision to be a Democrat, but somewhere along the line I became discontented.

The Democratic Party that I joined was about politics. Now it seems they are more more about blaming Bush for everything that they consider wrong. They don't waste their time studying facts. The majority of the Democratic Party supports Cindy Sheehan. While I initially pitied her because of her loss, I am now convinced that she is shamefacedly using her son's death to convey all her lunatic issues to the public. After all, he was not 'a little boy' He was an adult. He made his decision to join the military. He volunteered This fact seems to slip by her and slip by her democratic supporters.

I agree now that Coalition forces should remain in Iraq. If they just pick up and leave Iraq like the Democratic party wants, what will fill the vacuum left? More terrorists and fanatics who want to impose Sharia law on the whole world? I am afraid to find out.

Al Sharpton screams George Bush hates black people. That is ludicrous! Yet most Democrats either agree or are silent if they don't. They blame George Bush 100 percent because the Katrina aftermath rescue has been slow, yet there were photos published all over the internet (including this blog) about how the Mayor, a black Democrat, did not evacuate those who were too poor or frail to do it on their own. I read today on CNN how a representive from Louisiana refused the intial Red Cross help because of 'logistic problems', yet I don't remember reading in any newspapers that there were 'logistical problems' so they couldn't move their camera trucks in to film a story.

While there have always been 'Hanoi Jane' Fonda type idiots in the Democratic party, they were always the fringe, not the main contingent.
Times have changed. The fanatical left wingers rule. Reality doesn't matter any more.
I live abroad and don't vote in local elections, but in 2008 I cannot, with any bit of conscience, vote Democrat. Is there such a thing as a moderate Republican ?


Thursday, September 08, 2005

German minister Hopes Bush is "Shot Down"

Is Germany a U.S. ally ? With allies like these, who needs enemies ?

If you want someone to lose elections, you never use the expression "shot down". I never heard that. Just try to go around Germany and say: "you know, I wish Chancellor Schroeder to be shot down", and see what happens.

More here...


Don't Lick Your Ice Cream Like That !

In Saudi Arabia...

The muttawa—or religious police—are a self-elected goon squad of fundamentalists who surveil the Magic Kingdom's inhabitants, particularly its expatriates. The purpose of their scrutiny is to ensure conformity to their own warped, narrow-minded interpretation of Islam. Their scrutiny is often asinine and always absurd, as the following mundane example illustrates.

A woman and her female friend were sitting on a bench in the Kingdom Mall, eating ice cream cones, when along came a muttawa, accompanied by a police officer. (...) The muttawa approached the women, pointed a menacing claw, and hissed, "Don't lick it that way!"

Not being an authority on the subject, I can't with any confidence say there isn't a sura buried somewhere in the Qur'an covering the moral etiquette of licking ice cream.

More here...


Working in Italy

I know I complained about the horrors of working in Italy a few months ago, but this is a story that needs to be told.

My friend heard about a 20 hour a week part-time job for 600 Euro a month. For those of you not in Italy, that is a decent wage-not good-but definitely not bad. She wanted a part-time job, and it was a job in her field. It sounded perfect!
She submitted her resume and was awarded an interview. She went, and was offered the job 2 days later. 'There's hope!' I thought to myself. Usually in Italy one only gets a job through connections, not through applying and interviewing for it which is done in other countries in the world. I was very pleased.
4 days after she started working at this 'dream job', she is frustrated to the point of quitting.
The first day the boss 'expected' her to work for 8 hours, even though they had agreed to 4. There was no offer of paying overtime or increasing her salary either. She has other obligations. That is why she took a part-time job in the first place.
On the second day she found out that she had to pay the state taxes out of her little salary, instead of the employer paying it.
On the fourth day she was informed that the salary of 600 Euros that both she and the employer agreed upon will be lowered to 500 a month. Does that remind you of anything? (Think about The Godfather 'negotiating' his godson out of a contract in the book 'The Godfather')
Why is it that I am not shocked by this sordid tale? Italy is a workers nightmare, no matter what you hear.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

To Defeat Hamas, Compete with Hamas' Charity

From Counterterrorism Blog:

The need for humanitarian support is indeed acute in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where in 2004 47 percent of Palestinians were reported to be living below the poverty line. (...) The international community should launch a cooperative effort to create a trustworthy, transparent humanitarian relief system that fills the welfare void Hamas exploits that does not promote support of 'martyrs' families.'


Anti-Imperialist Camp: Italy-Based Pro-Terrorist Group

A 2002 article from National Review:

While many Europeans have been vocally opposed to the war in Iraq, there is evidence that some have gone beyond simple disapproval and are actively supporting armed resistance against U.S. forces. In fact, throughout Europe, hardcore fascists and Communists have formed an unusual coalition whose purpose is to morally and financially support terrorist organizations, and, in particular, the Iraqi Patriotic Alliance: a coalition of Iraqi groups carrying out attacks against American and allied targets.

The IPA is a small group of mainly Communist Iraqi dissidents spread throughout Europe. It was virtually unknown before November 2002, when its leader, Abdul Jabbar Kubaisi, travelled to Baghdad to meet with high-ranking Iraqi officials. The move was part of Saddam Hussein's strategy to bury the hatchet with opposition groups and put together the widest coalition possible in case of an attack from the United States. According to IPA members, Saddam promised democratic reforms and Kubaisi, purportedly out of his love for Iraq, decided to side with the former Iraqi dictator against the American invasion. In February 2003 the IPA held a conference in Paris where its delegates pledged to fight the "American imperial aggression."

After the war began Kubaisi returned to Iraq, but left his lieutenant, Awni al Kalemji, in Europe to garner support for the IPA. After being arrested by Danish authorities for recruiting Iraqis in Denmark to fight alongside Saddam's fedayeen (a charge that was later dropped), Kalemji sought support from those Europeans who most viscerally opposed the war, especially the militants of the extreme Left who harbored a deep hatred of the U.S. and Israel. At summer's end Kalmeji was invited to the Anti-Imperialist Camp, a three-day conference held in the Italian town of Assisi, where militants from several extremist and terrorist organizations indulged in anti-American and anti-capitalistic rhetoric.

Italian intelligence officials noted that several well-known militants from the extreme Right decided to join the conference, their hatred of America trumping their differences with the Left. The list of official attendees reads like an extremist honor roll: Some are known members of fanatical right-wing organizations that openly support revisionist theses on the Holocaust and blame the world's evils on a "Zionist conspiracy." Their leader is university professor Franco Cardini, who has recently declared that the latest videos featuring Osama bin Laden were fabricated by the CIA to foster anti-Islamic sentiment. Another famous participant was Father Benjamin, a French priest who for years lobbied against the Iraq embargo and organized former Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz's visit to the Vatican in February of 2003, just before the war. Recently, the Iraqi newspaper Al Mada revealed that Father Benjamin was allegedly among the Westerners who had received funds from the Iraqi regime, but the French cleric denied such allegations. UCOII, an Italian Muslim organization whose members have openly supported suicide bombers in Israel, has also supported the initiative.

Also very active in the initiative were Suzanne Scheidt and Miguel Martinez, the curators of the extremist pro-Palestinian website of al Awda, a group that is linked with the Palestinian terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Scheidt, a German Communist, and Martinez, a Mexican right-wing activist who has flirted with both radical Christian and Muslim groups and who admitted to training Argentine fighters in Mexico with the sponsorship of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, are quintessential examples of this new alliance. Al Awda, which advocates the end of the "apartheid state of Israel," has managed to join, under the banner of anti-Americanism and a common hatred for Israel, radicals from various walks of life.

The organizers of the Anti-Imperialist Camp decided to collect money for the IPA, starting with a symbolic donation of ten euros for each participant. Given the success of the initiative, a bank account was created in Italy where donors could contribute through a toll-free number. The promoters of the initiative also created a website that is linked to from the websites of several left-wing organizations throughout Europe. And while the leaders of the initiative operate in Italy, militants in at least two other countries are actively supporting the IPA. In Austria, more than one hundred have donated money to the cause, and some local militants traveled to Baghdad with members of the IPA as human shields before the war. In Germany, students have set up stands in the historic centers of more than one city to collect money for the initiative.

European members of the IPA make no attempt to hide the fact that they are raising money for an organization that is carrying out attacks on Coalition forces, as Moreno Pasquinelli, one of the leaders of the group, made clear in a recent interview with Italian press. Pasquinelli, who was arrested in Italy on April 1 as part of a multinational police operation against the Turkish Marxist terrorist group DHKP-C, said that "it is none of our business to know how they will use (the money). They could print newspapers or buy weapons, for us it's the same."

Reading interviews with Kalemji published on several websites, it looks like the group prefers the weapons. After expressing hope that the Iraqi resistance resemble the "Vietnamese liberation war," Kalemji declared that the IPA has several hundred armed men fighting in Iraq, targeting all Western forces that have joined the American-led coalition and "anybody that cooperates with them." Kalemji is also careful to distinguish between what his group is doing and terrorism, saying that the IPA's actions are legitimate resistance and that the group does not attack civilians. Nevertheless, sources close to the Pentagon revealed on condition of anonymity that American military intelligence is actively looking into the IPA's activities in Iraq.

In December, Kalemji was received as a hero at a highly publicized event organized by the Anti-Imperialist Camp in Rome, and has traveled to other European countries to meet with other supporters and donors. Even though the activities of the IPA clearly fall under the definition of fundraising for a foreign terrorist organization according to German and Italian law, authorities in both countries have not acted. As a result, the IPA was able to organize another event in one of Milan's main squares on February 14. Under the watchful eyes of Italian authorities, new money continues to be collected to defeat the "arrogant American invader."


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Funding Improvements to New Orleans Levees Would Have Been Good or Bad ?


the nation will soon ask why New Orleans's levees remained so inadequate. Publications from the local newspaper to National Geographic have fulminated about the bad state of flood protection in this beloved city, which is below sea level. Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?

New York Times, September 1, 2005

or bad:

Anyone who cares about responsible budgeting and the health of America's rivers and wetlands should pay attention to a bill now before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The bill would shovel $17 billion at the Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and other water-related projects -- this at a time when President Bush is asking for major cuts in Medicaid and other important domestic programs. Among these projects is a $2.7 billion boondoggle on the Mississippi River that has twice flunked inspection by the National Academy of Sciences.
The Government Accountability Office and other watchdogs accuse the corps of routinely inflating the economic benefits of its projects. And environmentalists blame it for turning free-flowing rivers into lifeless canals and destroying millions of acres of wetlands -- usually in the name of flood control and navigation but mostly to satisfy Congress's appetite for pork.

This is a bad piece of legislation.

New York Times, April 13, 2005

(Read for yourself at Eu Rota, thanks to Power Line)


Italy: Woman Too Sexy to Teach Religion

A woman was fired from her job for being 'too sexy':

Caterina Bonci said Church authorities decided she was just too attractive and dressed too sexy to teach religion after 14 years on the job.
The Church says it sacked the 38-year-old blonde from the central Adriatic city of Fano because she is divorced.
She said she has never hidden her 2000 divorce from Church authorities, dresses down when teaching and defended her right to dress how she likes in her private life.
"In school, I dressed normally. In my private life, I have every right to dress any way I want."

She had been working at that specific diocese for 14 years. What did she look like in the preceeding 13 years? Dirt?
Anyway, the fired woman is 38. Even though she is sexy according to the Catholic Church, she will find it next to impossible to find a job. Most places in Italy looking to hire specify a maximum age of what they require their applicant to be. Most of these are 25, so by Italian standards, that 38 year old, sexy or not, is over the hill.

(Source: CNN)


New Orleans mayor : "Governor Blanco Said She Needed 24 Hours to Decide to Bring Troops In"

A CNN interview to mayor Ray Nagin.

(Thanks to LGF)


Monday, September 05, 2005

More photos of New Orleans buses

After that JunkYardBlog showed in his blog some aerial images of buses in New Orleans that could have been used for ridding thousands out of town, here are some other images taken by means of Google Earth.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


These Annoying Telemarketers

Several times telemarketers have called me, trying to sell me some phone or internet service that I do not need. I , not being a native Italian have an accent and when I say 'No capische l'italiano' (a grammatically incorrect way of saying that I don't understand Italian), everyone believe me and leaves me alone.
I have tried using this tactic on the streets and have learned that English is widely spoken so I 'change' my nationality to one who language is definitely not spoken widely. (This month I'm using Lithuanian). Don't get me wrong, I am proud to be an American, but sometimes one likes to walk down the street without having every beggar and solicitor in sight asking you for money because they think you are a 'rich American'.
Italians are not used to foreign accents. If you read the papers you would think that Italy is overrun by foreigners, but in reality the percentage of foreign-born Italians in Italy is very low.

It is a good thing for me, otherwise someone would recognize my accent for what it is.


Saturday, September 03, 2005


For those of you who don't know what the heck telnet is, it's kind of what there was on the internet when there wasn't the world wide web yet.
If you have Windows XP, try to do this:
1. Press Start.
2. Press Run.
3. Type telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl
4. Press OK.

And see what happens.

(Found on Uzyn.com).


More Rantings of an American Living abroad (about Katrina)

This afternoon I saw a picture of unused schoolbuses in a parking lot in New Orleans (compliments of Grouchy Old Cripple).

I just can't get that picture out of my head. While the mayor of New Orleans is yelling at the federal government to do something to help his constituents, he himself has sat on top of a parking lot full of empty buses.
According to Grouchy Old Cripple, there are approximately 100 buses there. If each bus can carry 60 people, that is around 6000 people. Just think, 6000 more people could have been evacuated to safety, instead of suffering hunger, thirst and other great miseries.. if still alive.


Rantings of an American Residing Overseas (about Katrina)

Some Black leaders in the US are saying that the rescue response to New Orleans was slow because the majority of the victims are black.

I do not think so. I think the responsibilty for the slow response falls upon:

  1. the local Government

  2. the State Government and

  3. the Federal Government


with the majority of that resposibility laying with the local government who knows the area's constituents and make up better than anybody else. The local officials happen to be black, but that is not the issue here.

The issue is Economics. New Orleans is divided into:

  1. a poorer inner city population and

  2. a richer population in the outlying suburbs.

When the mayor and everybody else sounded the alarm for the mandatory evacuation of New Orleans it was the richer people who had either other places to go, or enough extra funds to pay for a hotel for a few days who left.

The poorer ones who had nowhere to go stayed behind. The kind mayor who lambasted the federal government for doing nothing abandoned his constituents. Why couldn't they be bussed to stadiums in other counties and the city of New Orleans pay for that cheap plan?

That IS an important issue, but not the issue I'm writing about now.
The victims we see are not victims of race, but of Economics.

Every time something bad happens to a black person in the United States they say it happened because of race. This is simply not true. Most times there is a complexity of issues at stake, race either being at the bottom of the list or not a factor at all.

I am tired of American Blacks always blaming the color of their skin for everything that is wrong in their lives. Living abroad I see many black people of many different nationalities who don't have this belief system. They advance or stagnate economically according to their own work abilities.


Friday, September 02, 2005

To Kill an American

There's a text that has been circulating for years as an email:

You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper there an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.

So I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they would know when they found one.

An American is English…or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them choose.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God-given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.

An American does not have to obey the mad ravings of ignorant, ungodly cruel, old men. American men will not be fooled into giving up their lives to kill innocent people, so that these foolish old men may hold on to power. American women are free to show their beautiful faces to the world, as each of them choose.

An American is free to criticize his government's officials when they are wrong, in his or her own opinion. Then he is free to replace them, by majority vote.

Americans welcome people from all lands, all cultures, all religions, because they are not afraid. They are not afraid that their history, their religion, their beliefs, will be overrun, or forgotten. That is because they know they are free to hold to their religion, their beliefs, their history, as each of them choose.

And just as Americans welcome all, they enjoy the best that everyone has to bring, from all over the world. The best science, the best technology, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes.

Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The nation symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed.

These in fact are the people who built America. Many of them were working in the twin towers on the morning of September 11, earning a better life for their families.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo and Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world.

But in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then those lands too will join the community of free and prosperous nations.

And America will welcome them.

I liked it and I wanted to make a post out of it. I found it on the blog of Esperimento, but originally it was an article written in 2001 by Peter Ferrara, called What Is An American ?


Thursday, September 01, 2005

Bush urges Americans conserve gas

What!? Is he thinking people will make supplies of gas ? And how ? By putting it in their closets ?

... urged Americans not to buy gasoline if they do not need it because of looming shortages

Does he think people fill up because they need to, or he thinks some fill up for fun ??

Desperate SOS


Storm victims were raped and beaten, fights and fires broke out, corpses lay out in the open, and rescue helicopters and law enforcement officers were shot at as flooded-out New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday.
Anger mounted across the ruined city, with thousands of storm victims increasingly hungry, desperate and tired of waiting for buses to take them out.
"We are out here like pure animals. We don't have help," the Rev. Issac Clark, 68, said outside the New Orleans Convention Center, where corpses lay in the open and the and other evacuees complained that they were dropped off and given nothing — no food, no water, no medicine.
About 15,000 to 20,000 people who had taken shelter at the convention center to await buses grew increasingly hostile. Police Chief Eddie Compass said he sent in 88 officers to quell the situation at the building, but they were quickly beaten back by an angry mob.
A military heliocpter tried to land at the convention center several times to drop off food and water. But the rushing crowd forced the choppers to back off. Troopers then tossed the supplies to the crowd from 10 feet off the ground and flew away.
An old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered with a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.
"I don't treat my dog like that," 47-year-old Daniel Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair. "I buried my dog." He added: "You can do everything for other countries but you can't do nothing for your own people. You can go overseas with the military but you can't get them down here."
The street outside the center, above the floodwaters, smelled of urine and feces, and was choked with dirty diapers, old bottles and garbage.
"They've been teasing us with buses for four days," Edwards said.
The Superdome, where some 25,000 people were being evacuated by bus to the Houston Astrodome, descended into chaos as well.
Huge crowds, hoping to finally escape the stifling confines of the stadium, jammed the main concourse outside the dome, spilling out over the ramp to the Hyatt hotel next door — a seething sea of tense, unhappy, people packed shoulder-to-shoulder up to the barricades where heavily armed National Guardsmen stood.
At the front of the line, heavily armed policemen and guardsmen stood watch and handed out water as tense and exhausted crowds struggled onto buses. At the back end of the line, people jammed against police barricades in the rain. Luggage, bags of clothes, pillows, blankets were strewn in the puddles.
Many people had dogs and they cannot take them on the bus. A police officer took one from a little boy, who cried until he vomited. "Snowball, snowball," he cried. The policeman told a reporter he didn't know what would happen to the dog.
In Texas, the governor's office said Texas has agreed to take in an additional 25,000 refugees from Katrina and plans to house them in San Antonio, though exactly where has not been


1,400 National Guard troops per day are being sent in New Orleans

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said.

Hope it will be useful to something, to regain control of New Orleans in DAYS, not WEEKS. To save as many lives as possible.


Katrina Hurricane Relief Effort

Donate to http://www.redcross.org.


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a terrorist, according to State Department...

...but he'll have a visa to speak at the United Nations on the day after September 11: he got an exception to terror laws.