Depp: Dumb Puppy Comment Wasn't Anti-U.S.
"I am an American. I love my country and have great hopes for it. It is for this reason that I speak candidly and sometimes critically about it."
"I am an American, I am a Muslim and I vote."
That was one of the themes at the Islamic Society of North America
convention this weekend, and Muslim leaders, who endorsed George Bush in 2000, may be looking elsewhere as a result of the government's actions against Muslims since 9/11. There are plans to register 1 million new Muslim voters, out of an estimated 2 to 6 million population. Until recently, the plight of the Palestinians dominated political discussion among American Muslims. But Muslim leaders say they must now be pragmatic as they seek greater influence in government.
A newly-energized U.S. Muslim population up for grabs--but would their endorsement be a liability in our current climate?
Southeast Airlines has plans to install digital video cameras
throughout the cabins of its planes to record the faces and activities of its passengers at all times. Furthermore, the charter airline will store the digitized video for up to 10 years. And it may use face recognition software to match faces to names and personal records.
What is happening in America?
This recent article written by Eliot Weinberger originally appeared in Vorworts the magazine German Social Democratic Party. I believe Mr. Weinberger is this same author of the eloquent September 11th anniversary essay entitled New York: One Year After
Boy Meets... Boy?!!?
NBC-owned Bravo will court viewers this summer with American television's first primetime gay-themed reality dating series. But in a twist worthy of the bogus baron on Fox's "Joe Millionaire," some of the suitors are actually heterosexual men who were paid by the program to pretend to be gay -- unbeknownst to the eligible bachelor. FOUND VIA SAFERSEX.ORG (THX, filchyboy)
I'm not sure whether this will be an example of a leading broadcaster leading the sociological agenda, or of another chance to humiliate folk on TV for entertainment, but with a heterosexist flavour:
The bait and switch.
A last-minute revision by House and Senate leaders in the tax bill
that President Bush signed today will prevent millions of minimum-wage families from receiving the increased child credit that is in the measure.
I AM the Federal Government.
"L'Etat, C'est Moi", apparently said Louis XIV of France
. You would have thought a guy with a French-sounding family name who also happens to be a brasshat in the US govt., would have steered clear of a modern paraphrase of a despotic 'Old Europe' monarch. Wouldn't you? (from The Seattle P-I
& The Jewish World Review
)Hmm, hard to find at JWR - they wouldn't have removed it, would they? Aah, but Google have it)
There are 8.8 million people unemployed in the United States.
Unemployment is measured annually as the percent of the labor force that cannot find a job. The labor force comprises adults
who want to work. Uncounted are those who do not seek employment, or who have become discouraged enough to stop looking
Judge, citing al-Qaida-Iraq link, awards $104 million to Sept. 11 families
A judge ruled yesterday that lack of evidence should be no barrier to suing people who cannot be found. "The judge wrote that lawyers relied heavily on 'classically hearsay' evidence, including reports that a Sept. 11 hijacker met an Iraqi consul to Prague, Secretary of State Colin Powell's remarks to the United Nations about connections between Iraq and terrorism, and defectors' descriptions of the use of an Iraq camp to train terrorists."
--This would hardly be the first documented example of a court being overtly political, but the judge himself has no problem commenting on how shoddy the case was. "The judge noted that the experts provided few actual facts that Iraq provided support to the terrorists."
--Apparently, the judge had just been waiting
for Saddam to cease to be a diplomatically immune head of state before ruling against him. Is the low standard of evidence needed for civil rulings allowing the courts to begin establishing something that the military and intelligence can't? [more inside]
Violence against women
is one issue where the current administration aligns itself with the "axis of evil" and "known terrorist supporting countries." I suppose they might feel it's oo bad the Taliban doesn't still rule Afghanistan so they could have one more ally.
"For too long, the feminists have been pushing a radical, special-interest agenda under the erroneous mantra made rhetorical cliche by Hillary Clinton: 'Women's rights are human rights,'" writes Janice Crouse, an official of the conservative group Concerned Women for America and a member of the U.S. delegation. ...
The alliance isn't new - it took root when the Bush administration took over. But it is often unseen. The United States has frequently sided at the UN with countries such as Algeria, Libya, Sudan, Iran and Iraq - when it was still controlled by Saddam Hussein - in battles over language involving women and children's rights.
Persian, Amercian blogospheres come together
after an Iranian blogger, Sina Motallebi, was detained by Iranian regime. OJR's Mark Glaser has the story. BTW, sign the "Release Sina" petition
if you haven't.
BBC chief attacks U.S. war coverage
The head of the BBC has launched a broadside against American broadcasters, accusing them of "unquestioning" coverage of the Iraq war and blatant patriotism.
10 Million Kids, 10 Years, 10 bucks
Except that they ran out of money a little early. Hopefully, the Lord can spot them a few bucks.
Don't like the US? Then Leave!
Somebody posted this
to a newsgroup I read from time to time. Evidently, if you sign an agreement to leave the US for a year, you'll get a portion of what has been donated to the website (currently $53).
"A cowboy who had gone out on a jolly"
British soldiers talk about surviving friendly fire, and call for the US pilot who attacked them to be prosecuted for manslaughter.
U.S. loses faith in Canada
"We would be there for Canada, part of our family. And that is why so many in the United States are disappointed and upset that Canada is not fully supporting us now," says Paul Cellucci, U.S. ambassador to Canada. As pro-US sentiments from prominent Canadian figures are harshly criticized while blatant (and rather tasteless) anti-US remarks go more or less ignored by the government, has the relationship with our longtime friends up north been irreversibly soured?
The World Trade Organization ruled today that the steel tariffs imposed by President Bush last year were illegal.
Today's ruling, which was not a surprise, was the second major loss for the United States at the W.T.O. in the last year. The trade panel awarded Europe the right to impose $4 billion worth of trade sanctions against the United States for giving tax breaks to American exporters through foreign sales corporations. Well, at least we are winnig the war...
U.S.-German Rift Reaches Schoolyard Level
"A Tennessee high school has called off an exchange with German students...The cancelation was another indication that the disagreement over Schroeder's anti-war stand is beginning to strain German-American friendship at its heart." [more inside]
Wanna bet we'll win the war?
No, seriously: you can
. Check it out yourself: Go here
and click on "World Events" to see the odds for "The US Embassy in Pakistan Being Blown Up By A Nuclear Weapon" or "Date Line In Which Osama Bin Laden Will Be Consigned (Dead or Alive) To US Authorities." Ah, America.
A new Pew Research poll
confirms the obvious. In 2002 world opinion of the US was slipping but still fairly high
(as discussed in this thread
). Pew now reports that favorable opinion of the US abroad has taken a nose dive. Of course, correllation does not indicate causation, but certainly this is driven by current events. It remains to be seen if this is indicative of a long-term trend.
is an provocative proponent of the American Empire
theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire
I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era
of The Whole Wide World
The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?
It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
Intellectual Dishonesty Intellectual dishonesty is pure poison to the enterprise of the law. Yet countless examples show intellectual dishonesty has now become a routine, expected part of American discourse. The most obvious half-truths and hypocrisies are greeted with shrugged shoulders and a grunt of "what did you expect?"
Is the ultimate goal more important than truth, honesty, integrity and "playing by the rules?" Or, put another way, does the end satisfy the means? "Restoring honor and integrity" would indicate not.
is probably smiling today. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to reconsider
last June's ruling finding the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional
Freedom Fries? Patriotism gone to far?
I can understand some people's disappointment that the french don't support the war in Iraq. But boycotting french wine, and other french imports? Maybe? But to start renaming things because they have the word french in them? That's what one restaurant owner is doing in North Carolina!
How to love the US
is a story on the newly redesigned BBC pages, just recently mentioned here.
I was struck by the tone of the piece, which seemed to me to be a desperate bid to find good things to say about the US.
Have things really sunk so low? Is the US so despised that it needs the BBC to pimp it?
Smokehammer Video Update
Wonderful video clip and mp3 put together by some Warp Records
video artists. George Dubya's "warped" rendition of the State of the Union is excellent. "Our first goal is to show utter contempt for the environment... For the first time we must offer every child in America 3 nuclear missles."
some action on global warming in the US senate
mccain and lieberman introduce some long overdue legislation to curb global warming in the US. where's the major media coverage of this? it was nearly 60 degrees here in minnesota today - in january. global warming? nah.
Since this is the first day of the new year, I thought it would be interesting to check current US
population numbers, and then compare those numbers on January 1st 2004, to see how much the world's population has grown or shrunk. Currently the clock shows 292,277,976 for the US, and 6,625,786,982 for the World. Metafilter readers from outside the US are welcome to post their countries current population level, as well.
On September 17, 1998, in response to an armed robbery call, Houston police burst in to the home of John Lawrence
. The police didn’t find a robber (nor would they – the call was deliberately false), but they did find Lawrence having sex with another man, Tyrone Garner. Lawrence and Garner were promptly charged with “engaging in homosexual conduct,” a misdemeanor under Texas law. They paid their fine and began a long legal challenge to Texas’ anti-sodomy law. That challenge has finally reached the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court, which today agreed to hear their appeal early next year
. Standing in the way is the Court’s own 1986 decision in Bowers v. Hardwick
, in which it held that anti-sodomy laws are constitutional
. That may be about to change.
“A nation is little more and nothing less than a conversation. [T]he conversation that is the United States has continued for more than 200 years as a lover's quarrel between equality and justice.” A gallery of ways this “conversation” is still taking place in the ways we live the Constitution’s 27 Amendments
U.S. states ranked according to smartness.
The ranking was based on such factors
as average high school dropout rate, how much teachers earn and how frequently they are attacked, etc. There are probably some other relevant factors they might have included, but didn't. What criteria do you think would be most appropriate for measuring a state's relative intelligence?
What is America
and what is its role in the world today
? Not being American
, I often find myself in conflict when speaking to them about their country. Looking for a way to express my views, I find myself agreeing more and more with Fareed Zakaria’s viewpoint
The First Measured Century
contains quite a bit of information about American society; population, work, education, religion, health, money, politics, crime and more. Everything from the median marriage age to the percentage of Americans who believe it is wrong to go to the movies on Sundays (13%).
There are 202 initiatives on the ballot
in 40 states this election cycle. "53 of the measures represent direct democracy at work:
ideas placed on the ballot by citizen initiative, often
designed specifically to reverse legislative action."
Some of the initiatives make sense, some of them do not. I've
got a list of awards for various categories of initiatives. Some
of these awards are given with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
- Most Wasteful: This award goes to the initiative that
will waste the most tax-payer dollars. And the winner is
North Dakota's Youth Investment Initiative.
- Do-it-for-the-kids Award: Arnold Schwarzenegger may be
rehearsing for a political role as he leads the campaign for
Proposition 49, which would require state funding for
after-school programs. Shouldn't parents be taking care of
their kids after school? Why is the state of California
becoming a nanny?
- Highest Ballot Measure: Nevada's initiative to legalize
marijuana. 'Nuff said.
- Up-in-smoke Award: It's a tie between the Missouri
and Arizona initiatives increasing the tax on a pack of
- Dumbest Initiative: Animal rights activists have
place an initiative on the ballot in Florida to
protect pregnant pigs. This initiative is dumb because it
takes the extreme measure of making an amendment to the
- Smartest Initiative: "Politicians are like diapers,
they both must be changed frequently—and for the same
reason." Idaho's term-limits proposal takes this award. Runner
up goes to Oregon voters who will decide whether to list a
choice of "none of the above" on all state ballots.
Anybody else have any more nominations?
Post a great earnings quarter then
cut jobs and send them to India. Nice job Bank of AMERICA
An important breast cancer test is now unavailable in British Columbia
because of the American company which holds the relevant patent. The B.C. Cancer Agency
has been forced to stop the tests after legal threats by Utah-based Myriad Genetics Inc.
, which has a patent on two genes that can signal whether a woman may develop hereditary breast cancer. I think this is a perfect example of why patenting genes is a terrible idea. Via Slashdot
Bowling for Columbine
tomorrow. I know muckraking Michael Moore
is a touchy subject
but I found his first feature since Roger
insightful in its stubborn search for an answer to the question:
"Why is America so violent?" Other
Subtle he isn't, but when the news is as stark
as it is today, maybe subtlety is beside the point. I hope that even some of you
who aren't predisposed to agree with Moore will give this film a chance. Did I
mention it's also entertaining as hell?
U.S. helped Iraq start bioweapons program
"I don't think it would be accurate to say the United States government deliberately provided seed stocks to the Iraqis' biological weapons programs,'' said Jonathan Tucker, a former U.N. biological weapons inspector.
"But they did deliver samples that Iraq said had a legitimate public health purpose, which I think was naive to believe, even at the time."
-isn't iraq just another case of blowback
and is anyone asking what the next round of "blowback" will be if we go in again?
'The guy who tried to kill my dad.'
Setting aside partisan bickering, this description of Saddam Hussein by George W. Bush today sent my mind reeling. Is this in reference to something published in the past that is just escaping my mind? The Reuters
version of the story adds that it is reference to "an Iraqi plot to kill former President George Bush after the 1991 Gulf War." Anyone have a link to that older story?
The State of the Nation's Ecosystems -
According to a report commissioned five years ago by President Clinton and finally completed and released
, the United States may have no streams left that are free from chemical contamination, and about one-fifth of animal species and one-sixth of plant types are at risk of extinction.
U.S. forces head to Ivory Coast
- with all the debate for/against military action in the middle-east, I'm pleased to see US forces being deployed to protect innocent people.
"Their first task may be to retrieve about 100 American children who have been trapped at a school in the city of Bouake for five days and to protect Americans in three or four Ivory Coast towns held by rebels. "
Down with Free Speech?
Poll shows American support for the first Amendment down. Would any politician be stupid enough to try to capitalize on this sentiment? Should we all be watching our words?
formerly an digital effects worker for Final Fantasy and Coneheads
has walked onto the scene and stood out
when it comes to the conspiracy genre, with his site WhatReallyHappened.com
. He has been claiming that 9/11 was the work of the Israelis and the US government to cause a war for Oil in the Middle East, while also making other comments on the War on Terror
While he seems to boast that his site's Alexa
rating is higher than Newsweek's
as affirmation that he is popular, no matter how flawed Alexa may be
Is this what really happened? or merely the posted viewpoints collected by a person who distrusts the Government?
US demands information on long forgotten downed pilot
while insisting they not release the names or allow legal counsel to "enemy combatants
" held within the US?
Half a billion Americans?
The Economist crunches census data from both sides of the Atlantic and figures that the US will hit the 500 million mark sometime in the next few decades, surpassing the combined population of even the expanded EU. In typical style, the Economist looks at the economic and political reprecussions of this, but skips another interesting question: how will a doubling of the population change America itself? will it make the US more environmentally friendly? reduce urban sprawl? will the shifting population balance change the culture itself?
The Saudis wanna sue. A group of Saudis plan to sue the U.S. government and media organizations for the alleged psychological and financial damage they suffered in the aftermath of Sept. 11, their lawyer said Wednesday.