Thursday, March 16, 2006
Iran Freedom Concert campaign will kick off March 18
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Harvard Students Hold "Iran Freedom Concert" in Solidarity with
Iranian Student Movement for Democracy and Civil Rights
CAMBRIDGE Â On Saturday, March 18, Harvard University will host the Iran Freedom Concert, a rally organized by Harvard students to support their counterparts in Iran. Prominent Iranian student leader Akbar Atri and Harvard's Undergraduate Council president John Haddock will address the crowd.
"As tensions rise over nuclear issues, our diverse student coalition wants to spotlight the human side of the Iran crisis," said co-organizer Adam Scheuer, a senior and editor at the Harvard Middle East Review.
"Iranian students are denied basic rights Americans take advantage of every day. But there is a brave student movement in Iran working for change, and we need to support them." Widespread student protests in Iran have broken out in recent years, despite a brutal crackdown by the regime's security forces.
The concert, which begins at 9 p.m. at Leverett House, features
leading campus musicians and speakers from campus groups exposing repression in Iran. Nine organizations are co-sponsoring, including an unusual alliance of campus Democrats and Republicans.
"The coalition doesn't take a stand on policy debates like foreign intervention," explained freshman co-organizer Alex McLeese. "But we agree that the fundamental rights of Iranians cannot be held hostage to diplomatic maneuverings over Iran's nuclear program."
The Iran Freedom Concert takes place just before the traditional
Persian new year of Norouz Â reflecting the students' hope for a new day for freedom in Iran.
"Iranian students are arrested for what they write on their blogs and have to take their exams in handcuffs," noted freshman co-organizer Nick Manske. "In fact, the essential elements of this concert are illegal in Iran: live singing, mixed dancing, and discussing social messages. Not to mention the restrictions on women, minorities, and journalists."
That message is being echoed on campuses across the country, with simultaneous rallies planned at Georgetown, UPenn, Duke, and other schools. Prominent Iranian dissidents, as well as the American Islamic Congress, are sending statements of support.
"This is a critical moment for Iran," Scheuer said. "Iranian activists need to know that American students are ready to help them hold the Iranian regime accountable. We want to help our counterparts in Iran seize the moment and advance their civil rights movement."
For more information, see http://www.iranfreedomconcert.com/ or call 617.661.0053.
Iran Freedom Concert committee http://www.iranfreedomconcert.com/
Thursday, March 09, 2006
What People won't do for Money: Alistair Cooke
By TOM HAYS
NEW YORK (AP) - A family-owned funeral home may have taken cash kickbacks to look the other way when a body-parts ring plundered the corpses of ``Masterpiece Theatre'' host Alistair Cooke and other people, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case.
The officials said in recent interviews that investigators were targeting New York Mortuary Service Inc., the Manhattan funeral parlor that handled Cooke's body after he died in 2004. They suspect the business conspired with the alleged ringleader - a former oral surgeon named Michael Mastromarino - by alerting him whenever ``they had a body that they could cut up without anyone knowing,'' one official said.
The arrangement allowed the ring to take tissue from people who had not given consent or were too old or too sick to donate, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is still under investigation.
The tissue - typically skin, bone and tendons - was later sold for use in a variety of common procedures like dental implants and hip replacements.
Iran: Bringing Crisis to a Head.
By Paul Hughes
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Iran was probably the number one challenge for Washington and would be a major threat to U.S. Middle East interests if it acquired atomic bombs. Iran says its nuclear program is only for civilian use.
Russia, anxious to avert any move to impose U.N. sanctions on Iran, urged Tehran to cooperate with U.N. nuclear inspectors.
Speaking a day after it became clear the U.N. Security Council would take up the Iran standoff, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei -- ultimate decision-maker in the Islamic Republic -- urged officials not to give in to Western pressure.
Rice said Tehran's vision of the Middle East was totally opposed to Washington's, reiterating concerns that Iran was backing anti-Israel militants and meddling in neighboring Iraq.
Some Iranian officials have hinted that if pressed or threatened, Iran could curb oil exports, or stir trouble for the United States or Israel in the region, where it has links with militants in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
Regime Change Iran
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Bad Habits Destroying You?
Street Life Correspondent - Every 2nd Friday
Breaking down the habits:
Alcohol: Booze can go from a nice accompaniment to a meal to controlling everything you do. All it takes is one moment with the wrong alcohol, at the wrong place, and at the wrong time to open your mouth and say things that will haunt you for a lifetime. Then you'll have a real reason to drink. Recovering from the damage to your rep caused by the bottle can take years.
Drugs: Like alcohol, they make you lose control, logic and reason. Unlike alcohol, they can be a more expensive habit and unlike being found face first in a pool of your own vomit, you end up in the can for dealing or doing the junk. Drugs screw with your brain, which is why the cocaine lords in Colombia don't touch their own supply. Like alcohol, by the time it's doing you enough harm to destroy your life, you'll be too souped up to do anything about it.
Gambling: The problem with gambling is that it doesn't take long for your gambling debt to eventually land in the hands of people you don't want knowing your name. You become known as a degenerate and you add no value to your life. In fact, you end up destroying everything of value in your life because the vig is so high, you can't help but sell off your liver to pay off the juice. Debt is a great way to destroy even the strongest of men.
Sex addiction: When your penis is making decisions your brain should be making, it's inevitable that you'll make a stronzo out of yourself. Sex and an addiction to women can cloud your judgment, make you easily influenced by a pair of T&A, and eventually burn associates who will look at your obsession with the opposite sex as a good scapegoat to screwing you over, or questioning your decisions and rationale.
Being a big mouth: Not being able to keep your hole shut can be a very nasty habit. Not only do you risk saying things you shouldn't, wrecking your reputation or being perceived as untrustworthy, you can screw someone up the arsehole pretty badly. That could cost you big time, unless you like wearing cement shoes.
Getting over bad habits:Look, I'm no freakin' therapist over here, but there are some things you can do to get rid of the bad habits. I know it's not easy, I know it takes time, willpower, love, hugs, and a good shot across the head, but be a man, grow some testicoli , and get it done.
1- Be aware of your problem
If you are getting beaten up, losing your friends, end up in the hospital more times than Michael Jackson, max out your credit cards, or are always told what a jerk-off you are, maybe it's time for you to go up a hill for a few hours to get some perspective on your life. If you can't see that something is wrong, you're hopeless. If you need people to point out your stupidities, you have no chance. Either open your eyes or get out of town.
2- Be disciplined, not half-arsed
If you don't put all your effort into coming correct, you're doomed to fail. Like anything in life, things done half-heartedly end up being sloppy, inferior, and prone to breaking under minimal stress. Don't be a fool, don't waste your time, own up to your faults, and change . Control your urges, you pansy.
Get rid of those rotten people around you... Read the Rest>>
This Jobs For Me!
Me thinks this has promise.
According to a press release, the Smirnoff Cocktail Consultant will be Âthe definitive expert on all things vodka drinks-related.Â Check. There is a salary and an expense budget of $100,000 to Âidentify the latest and greatest in the world of drinks for a one-year term.Â This requires Âtravel to major cities.Â I can do all that.
The position also requires that the successful candidate will research cocktail culture across the country and provide twice-yearly Smirnoff Cocktail Trend Reports.
OK, let's address this trend report thing immediately:
BAD TREND REPORT: ÂMy data indicates, after weeks of survey analysis and demographic study, that the optimum candidate to sample Smirnoff and Chocolate Yoo-Hoo in the greater metropolitan area of Lincoln, Nebraska, is ... Â
GOOD TREND REPORT (filed on the back of a postcard featuring a hula babe):
ÂBossman: Koster here. They have this cool thing down in the Keys. You're parasailing, right? Being pulled 500 feet over the ocean along the beach? And they've got these two chicks in thongs who parachute from a plane above you Â and as they drift by you on their way down, you tilt your head back like a baby bird and Chick #1 pours a shot of icy Smirnoff Blue Label in your mouth and you hold it a moment till Chick #2 floats by and sluices a sweet mixture of ginger beer and fresh-squeezed lime juice. You swish it all around together and it's great. When you land, the babes are waiting on the beach to feed you a prawn cocktail marinated in Smirnoff and exotic pepper sauces.Â
So that part works. Also, I think I'm sufficiently dynamic and innovate enough to Â
Reading further in the press release, I see a quote from Mark Breene, vice president at Smirnoff, who says, ÂWe're truly excited to locate a dynamic and innovative person to help us continue our tradition of being at the forefront of the cocktail revolution.Â
I really hadn't seen that part when I wrote down that self-description. Honest.
Not only that, but when it comes to the Âforefront of a cocktail revolution,Â I'm Che Guevara and Nikolai Lenin rolled into one Â with a liver that's been iron-plated like the Merrimac.
The truth is, though Â and I can understand this Â that I'm a graying Older Person. I can see where the Smirnoff Folks would want to hire as their consultant one of those attractive people whose resume progresses from Old Miss cheerleader to Hooters waitress to cast member of such shows as ÂReal World Austin,Â then ÂMTV Road Rules,Â then ÂLiving With Ron Jeremy.Â
Does it matter that said applicant will have been caught on film vomiting liquor dozens of times precisely because they can't hold their liquor?
So perhaps I'll just throw the hat into the ring and see what happens. In the meantime, I'll check Travelocity and start coordinating flight plans from San Francisco to San Diego, back to Chicago, New Orleans, Austin, Miami, Charleston ...
Damn. I'm thirsty already.
Rick Koster's column appears on theday.com every Wednesday.
Does History Repeat Itself?
Beef Up Our Troops
Mar. 7, 2006
The Colorado Beef Council and the USO have again partnered on the "Operation BEEF UP Our Troops" campaign to supply high-quality U.S. beef jerky to troops overseas. More than $215,000 has been raised since the promotion launched in November 2004.
One of the items most requested by troops, beef jerky will continue to be included in Operation USO Care Packages distributed by the USO to service members in Iraq, Afghanistan and other overseas locations.
The campaign provides America's farming and ranching families the opportunity to say "thank you" to our men and women in uniform by making a monetary donation. Other individuals who want to show their support also are encouraged to donate to the program. Donations can be made by calling the USO's toll-free number at (877) USO-GIVE or logging onto http://www.usobeefjerky.com. In addition, donations can be mailed, noting "beef jerky" in the check memo, to: "BEEF UP Our Troops," "Operation USO Care Package," P.O. Box 8069, Topeka, KS 66608.
For individuals who donate by phone or mail, Beef Jerky will include this message: "Donated by America's farming and ranching families. We thank you for your service to our country. Our thoughts and prayers are with each and every one of you." Individuals who donate online can create a personal message of support that will be placed in the care packages.
The Colorado Beef Council has made its own monetary donation and will be working to help the USO to reach as many cattle producers as possible so all producers can have the opportunity to donate. The Colorado Beef Council also is writing letters to all state beef councils and state cattlemen's organizations, asking for their financial support of this program. For more information on "Operation BEEF UP Our Troops" or to download a form for mail- in donations, go to http://www.cobeef.com.
This is Some Strange Shit here Dude!
Not to be negative or derogatory to these folks, but God bless them!
An extraordinary family who walk on all fours are being hailed as the breakthrough discovery which could shed light on the moment Man first stood upright.
Scientists believe that the five brothers and sisters found in Turkey could hold unique insights into human evolution.
The Kurdish siblings, aged between 18 and 34 and from the rural south, 'bear crawl' on their feet and palms.
Study of the five has shown the astonishing behavior is not a hoax and they are largely unable to walk otherwise.
Researchers have found a genetic condition which accounts for their extraordinary movement.
And it could provide invaluable information on how humans evolved from a four-legged hominid into a creature walking on two feet.Two of the daughters and a son have only ever walked on two palms and two feet, but another son and
The time-warp family who walk on all fours.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Side Bar Problems
VA Help Line Not Much Help!
The results from the “mystery caller” program at the Department of Veterans Affairs were deplorable. Twenty-two percent of the answers received by callers to the help line at the agency’s regional offices were completely incorrect.
In fact, most of the answers were either wrong or incomplete. Twenty-three percent of the answers were minimally correct. Twenty percent were partially correct. Sixteen percent were mostly correct.
Only 19 percent of the answers were completely correct.
VA benefit experts made 1,089 mystery calls in 2004 to regional offices around the country. Six of the calls went to the VA office in Lincoln; the report did not break down results from individual offices. (A report on the survey can be found online at www.warms.vba.va.gov//admin20//letters//
Not only did callers get bad information, they were treated rudely.
One mystery caller asked, “My father served in Vietnam in 1961 and 1962. Is there a way he can find out if he was exposed to Agent Orange?”
Response: “He should know if they were spreading that chemical out then. He would be the only one to know. OK (hung up laughing).”
The mystery caller rated that answer as “Completely incorrect (gave no information) Rude and unprofessional.”
The Veterans Administration does deserve credit for doing the survey to find out what kind of service it was providing.
But it’s disconcerting that the findings from its 2004 survey improved so little from a similar survey in 2002. The proportion of completely incorrect answers in the two surveys was unchanged at 22 percent. The biggest improvement came in the percentage of completely correct answers, which jumped from 5 percent to 19 percent.
The VA says it has taken steps to improve performance, including more training and use of role-playing.
But the agency has a long way to go. Incorrect information is worse than no information at all. Veterans have a right to expect better service. So do all the taxpayers who pay the salaries of the people who staff the help line.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Your Cheating Ways-Guess Who Lets Her Husband Cheat?
She's a former Russian pop singer with an uncanny sense of the temptation facing NBA players. Masha Lopatova told ESPN, The Magazine that she gives her husband, Andrei Kirilenko, a forward for the Utah Jazz, an "allowance." She has done something most women would never dare do: Lopatova has given Kirilenko permission to spend the night with another woman once a year. But no more than that.
What's forbidden is always desirable. And athletes, particularly men, are susceptible to all the things they are offered," Lopatova told freelance writer Chad Nielsen. "It's the same way raising children. If I tell my child, 'No pizza, no pizza, no pizza,' what does he want more than anything? Pizza." Besides, she insists that if she knows about it, it's not really cheating.
Some interesting tidbits:
--She does not enjoy a reciprocal arrangement.
-- Kirilenko has no plans to exercise his "allowance." He told the paper the offer surprised him. "I'm not planning to do anything. But she said, 'If you want to do it, you can do it,'" he explained to the Tribune.
Right On! Supreme Court Upholds Campus Military Recruiting
that colleges that accept federal money must allow military recruiters on campus, despite university objections to the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays.
Justices rejected a free-speech challenge from
law schools and their professors who claimed they should not be forced to associate with military recruiters or promote their campus appearances.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court, said that the campus visits are an effective military recruiting tool.
"A military recruiter's mere presence on campus does not violate a law school's right to associate, regardless of how repugnant the law school considers the recruiter's message," he
Law schools had become the latest battleground
over the "don't ask, don't tell" policy allowing gay men and women to
serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation to
Late At Night("Sunday") 'ADULTS ONLY'
Sunday, March 05, 2006
Al-Zawahri Blasts Cartoons
By OMAR SINAN
CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahri criticized the West for its insult to Islam's prophet, complaining in a video broadcast Sunday on Al-Jazeera that the Prophet Mohammed and Jesus ``are not sacred anymore.''
Referring to the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that have been printed in a number of European newspapers, al-Zawahri said: ``They did it on purpose and they continue to do it without apologizing, even though no one dares to harm Jews or to challenge Jewish claims about the Holocaust nor even to insult homosexuals.''
Al-Zawahri, wearing a black turban and seated in front of a curtained window, spoke insistently and waved his right hand to emphasize his words.
``The insults against Prophet Muhammad are not the result of freedom of opinion but because what is sacred has changed in this culture,'' he said. ``The Prophet Mohammed, prayers be upon him, and Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, are not sacred anymore, while Semites and the Holocaust and homosexuality have become sacred.'' Read the rest if you care too.
Saturday, March 04, 2006
The Sound of Falling Rain this A.M. is Nice but-
Muslim-Mohammed Reza Taheriazar,Runs Down Group!
Sources say Taheri-azar told police he was seeking retribution for the treatment of Muslims around the world, according to ABC News justice correspondent Pierre Thomas. Taheri-azar apparently told police he tried to rent the biggest SUV he could find to use in the attack. Malkin has more.CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - A sport utility vehicle raced through a popular gathering spot at the University of North Carolina on Friday, clipping and scattering startled bystanders before it sped away, authorities said.
The crash happened in front of Lenoir Hall in an area known as The Pit, which does not have an easy access point for vehicles. Five students and a visiting scholar were taken to UNC Hospitals with minor injuries, hospital spokesman Tom Hughes said.
Investigators said they did not know what motivated the driver, Mohammed Reza Taheriazar, 23, who was enrolled at UNC last fall. Taheriazar turned himself in about two miles from the campus near Raleigh, Chapel Hill police Capt. Brian Curran said.
Read the Rest.
Stole this Pic from Atlas Shrugs Side Bar
Where in the World?
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Finally the Danish Cartoons displayed in the USA
2/27/2006, 7:00 p.m. ET Protesters against the discussion session and unveiling of the controversial Danish cartoons are seen Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2006, in Irvine, Calif. Dozens of Muslim students and supporters protested at the University of California, Irvine, against plans by organizers of a panel discussion on Islamic extremism to show controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad first published in Danish newspaper. The protest began when about 200 Muslim students, many wearing green armbands, placed mats on the barricaded street and said a prayer. (AP Photo/Sang H. Park)
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) Â A student panel discussion that included a display of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons descended into chaos, with one speaker calling Islam an "evil religion" and audience members nearly coming to blows.
Organizers of Tuesday night's forum at the University of California, Irvine said they showed the cartoons as part of a larger debate on Islamic extremism.
But several hundred protesters, including members of the Muslim Student Union, argued the event was the equivalent of hate speech disguised as freedom of expression.Read the Rest.