Sunday, April 29, 2007

HIATUS

Tomorrow, I am taking a break from this blog. I will return on the first of May. Part of my brief hiatus is for a silent vigil for the Virginia Tech victims. I also need a break from blogging tragedies like today's shootings where an unnamed gunman wounded several and killed three people at the Ward Parkway shopping mall near Kansas City. Police shot and killed the gunman.

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MORE FUN

Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the alleged "D.C. Madam" who ran an escort service, has named US naval commander Harlan Ullman --- the architect of the Iraq war invasion strategy of shock and awe --- as one of her customers on her website.

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THIS IS TOO MUCH FUN
















First Paul Wolfowitz....

Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias, a Bush appointee, who was the director for United States foreign assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development has resigned his post. Mr. Tobias, who was once was a top administrator for the Bush international AIDS policy that promoted abstinence and withheld grants from grants from agencies unless they swore that they opposed prostitution, quit his job at the USAID because he was utilizing an escort service that specialized in "legal game-playing of a sexual nature" according to the owner of the service, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who is now arraigned in federal court for running a prostitution ring. Mr. Tobias, who is married, in his tenure as an administer for the Bush AIDS policy, ran an agency whose dogma was refraining from sex and partner fidelity.

I wonder how Mrs. Tobias feels about all this...

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Friday, April 27, 2007

LOCK UP YOUR DAUGHTERS AND SONS

Neo-Nazi Kevin Alfred Strom has been charged with possession of child pornography. He is also charged with using the Internet for the purpose of obtaining sex from a ten-year-old girl. and witness tampering due to physical and mental intimidation of a witness.

However, Mr. Strom is not the only racist perp to be charged with indecencies toward children. Gordon Creal Young, former leader of the World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was charged in January 2007 with forcing a fifteen-year-old girl to perform oral sex. In the same month, Matthew Downing a Boston activist and organizer with the National Vanguard white supremacist movement, was arrested for felony statutory rape of a fourteen-year-old girl.

I feel ill at these reports. Not only are white supremacists evil for their racism,they have shown how sick-minded they are with what they consider their own kind. A normal person does not hurt a child, of any ideological persuasion, in this manner. These crimes show that racism and child abuse are of the same monster:the need to control and manipulate people through injury and subjugation.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

UPDATE:OFFICER DOWN

Travis Trim, the killer of Trooper David C. Brinkerhoff, is dead. Police found his body in a burned house after tear gas canisters ignited the building. It is uncertain whether Trim burned to death or was killed by police bullets.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

OFFICER DOWN

David C. Brinkerhoff, a New York state trooper was killed by Travis D. Trim. The suspect also shot Trooper Richard Mattson. Trim is suspected of shooting another officer,Trooper Matthew Gombosi, when the officer pulled the suspect over for a traffic stop . Gombosi was saved by his body armour. There is no word on the condition of Mattson.

David C. Brinkerhoff was a member of the Mobile Response Team and the second member of that team to die since September of last year.This horror comes after the shooting death two weeks ago of Utica police officer Thomas Lindsey. The police have arrested a suspect, Sammy Rivera. Lawmakers in New York are considering the death penalty for certain cases, including cop killers. Governor Eliot Spitzer is amiable to the suggestion.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

ABOUT TIME...



The Department of Veteran Affairs has authorized the pentacle as an official symbol for military memorial plaques. This comes after nine years of litigation from plaintiffs who had family members who either died in service to their country or whose family members had already served America in the military.

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WOOOOTTT!















The incumbents in Northwest Suburban High School District 214 in Illinois defeated Phyllis Schlafly backed challengers for control of the school board.Alva Kreutzer, Bill Dussling and Bob Zimmanck defeated Dennis Konczyk and Kenneth Frizane. Eagle Forum head Schlafly chose her candidates because one candidate is a church elder and the other is a church youth group leader, and for their anti-tax beliefs.

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THIS IS GETTING OLD













David Howard Thurm killed manager Laura Schoellmann as she was attempting to save her co-workers at a Houston luxury apartment on Monday. He then killed himself. Thurm was facing eviction for loud noises in the apartment. He earlier shot the neighbour who made the complaint. The unidentified neighbour survived.


UPDATE: APRIL 25, 2007:
Two people were wounded in the Houston shooting where Laura Schoellmann bravely warned her co-workers before David Thurm, who left a suicide e-mail to his family, killed her with a revolver.

This is a tragedy not only because of Ms. Schoellmann's death but I may have found her name on a list of donors for Houston Hospice #6. If this is her, then she was indeed a good person whose life will be missed. If any of my readers can confirm this connection, please e-mail me (in my profile) so that I can add her good deeds to this blog.

UPDATE: APRIL 26, 2007:

One of the people wounded was Sarcalm Zevadia, husband of Israel's deputy consul general in Houston, Belaynesh Zevadia, who was not at home at the time of the shooting. The deputy consul general was not home at the time of the shooting. Although he was severely wounded, Mr. Zevadia is not in danger of dying.

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Monday, April 23, 2007

DON'T BANG YOUR BUTT ON THE DOOR ON THE WAY OUT, TONY



Tony Blair is expected to announce his resignation as Prime Minister of England after elections on May 3. The speculation is that Blair will give his resignation on either May 9 or 10.

Well, it is about time that Mr. Blair departed. After making a disastrous decision to aid the United States in its war in Iraq that has cost about 145 British lives, and after a scandal involving money being paid to the Labour party for access to Blair in the cash-for-honours scheme, it is a wise move for Mr. Blair to resign. While Tony Blair has been cleared of any charges that he personally took money for the Labour Party in exchange for knighthoods and peerages, the allegations toward some of his ministers has tainted Mr. Blair's political standing.

My bet is that the British will not vote kindly toward the Labour Party in the new elections. Tony Blair and his ministers damaged the credibility of his office and his political party.



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Saturday, April 21, 2007

GIVE IT UP
















I am weary of blogging heartache.

Yesterday, a gunman at NASA Johnson Space Center killed a hostage and then himself. William Phillips shot and killed David Beverly with a snub-nosed revolver. The gunman then shot and killed himself. The second hostage, Fran Crenshaw had minor injuries.


Give it a break, people. No more shootings. If you have a problem, then hide in your room and listen to your mp3 player. Or do the sensible thing and seek help. But you aren't glamorous when you appear on the nightly news after massacring people with your coward's toy, your pistol or shotgun. I am sorry if I sound like I am at the edge but this is stupid to do copycat murders. Have a friggin' clue. You are not original when you use a gun to off people. You're not a hero and/or you're not a victim when you use a gun. You're either in jail or dead. No one shares your pain if you injure and kill, they are too busy caring for the wounded or grieving the dead. But people will listen if you cry for help. So get some assistance. The world is waiting for you and it has a lot more to offer than cell bars or a grave.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

SILENT VIGIL

There are some people who are requesting that there be a silent vigil in cyberspace for those dead in the Virginia Tech shootings. Those who wish to participate will not blog for that day. The date is April 30th, 2007. Please send the originator of the idea feedback, via the link at The Golden Pencil.

Thanks. ----Anne

Thursday, April 19, 2007

UPDATE


Arthur Mann, who killed Clara Riddles in the CNN Centre, is under indictment for her murder.The prosecutors are meeting with her family to decide whether or not to pursue the death penalty. Currently, Mann is still in the hospital recovering from a leg wound given when a security guard shot him.

Anthony LaCalamita is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Madeline Kafoury and assault with intent to murder in the wounding of Paul Riva and Alan Steinberg. Mr. Steinberg has come off the ventilator and has regained consciousness.

While the killing of Clara Riddles, Rebecca Griego, and Madeline Kafoury are terrible, I can almost not blog the Virgina Tech shootings. I know college students of the ages of the victims and it tears me apart emotionally. I know people who are going to college in a few years. It bothers me that no one caught Cho Seung-Hui's problems and intervened before he could kill so many people. It angers me that in America, with few exceptions, there has been no serious discussion about gun control in the press and from politicians. Wah, government officials feel your pain but they aren't going to do anything about it because they will tick off the NRA. Hillary Clinton hasn't said anything about gun control on her website. Barack Obama has not said anything. Nada from John Edwards. Only Denis Kucinich mentions it on his website but he has neither the funds nor the political clout to win a presidency.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

HERE WE GO AGAIN

Phyllis Schlafly has thrown the weight of her organization, the Eagle Forum, behind two candidates in the Northwest Suburban High School District 214 of Cook County, Illinois. If Radio Free Canada readers recall, this is the school district where school board member Leslie Pinney tried to ban several books. Ms. Schlafly has endorsed Ken Frizane and Dennis Konczyk,because of the book ban issue, also for the fact that one candidate is a church elder and the other is a church youth group leader, and for their anti-tax beliefs. So far, both candidates are down for the count.

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HOW OTHERS SEE US





The world is shocked at the violence at Virgina Tech. In the International Herald Tribune, the Guardian, and the Independent, there is a general consensus that America is a lawless society with loose gun laws. Le Monde weighs in with the opinion that America is not ready to face its gun problem by advocating that the students of Virginia Tech should have had guns (NOTE: I read the article in French. The reader, if one cannot read French, will need to go to Babelfish for translation). The Province from Canada see the problem as social malaise. The National Post reports that a Canadian teacher from Nova Scotia, Jocelyne Couture-Nowak, was killed. In a story from the Hindustan Times, the newspaper reports that two Indians were killed and that a single Glock pistol was used as the murder weapon. He also had a Walther P22 compact pistol.
The murderer was identified as Cho Seung-Hui.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

THERE ARE NO WORDS





As I sit here at my computer, I am sobbing at the the massacre that happened at Virginia Tech. A gunman has killed at least 31 people, then died from gun wounds bringing the toll to 33 people.There aren't adequate words to describe the terror that loose gun laws cause when anyone with a grudge, such as the Virginia gunman ( who may have been looking for his girlfriend) or Johnathon Rowan or Arthur Mann or Anthony LaCalamita III, can get a gun and use it for such devastating results. I hope the NRA is feeling pain at this moment for its stupid insistence that guns laws should be loosened. But it won't ever be the hurt and the loss and the horror that the surviving family members carry for the rest of their lives.


Update: The gunman killed himself

Update Two: April 17, 2007 The gunman used two 9-mm semi-automatic handguns to kill both the students at Virginia Tech and himself. Basically, a semi-automatic handgun is one that can fire bullet after bullet without much of an interval. The killer also had chained the students into Norris Hall and had extra ammunition in a vest.

I felt ill when I looked at videos that I found on the Internet of people at gun ranges who were using 9-mm semiautomatic handguns. There is no escape time and the students at Virginia Tech did not have any time to flee from a person who was using such a deadly weapon.

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Sunday, April 15, 2007

NOT A WAY TO GO













In Atlanta, Georgia there has been another incident at the CNN Centre where a man walked through the centre with a gun and threatened people. Police shot Lonnie Jevon Lewis and wounded him in the leg when he fled to Centennial Olympic Park. He is now in police custody. Apparently, Mr. Lewis was depressed and wanted suicide by cop.

In other news, Anthony LaCalamita III has been charged in the murder of Madeline Kafoury
and the attempted murder of Paul Riva and Alan Steinberg. LaCalamita had used a Remington 870 pump-action shotgun to kill Ms. Kafoury and to wound Riva and Steinberg. The Remington 870 is used, in civilian ownership, for target practice. For police, it can dispense tear gas and rubber bullets. Mr. Riva is unconscious and on a ventilator, Mr . Steinberg is recovering but both men are still at Beaumont Hospital.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

I WOULD READ THE PAPER BUT I'M TOO BUSY BLOGGING













I read in the Vancouver Sun,in a real newspaper, that Sam Zell who acquired the Tribune Corporation in March 2007, recently said“If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be?”

Sheesh, talk about Sam Zell being an old fuddy-duddy with no understanding of the Internet or Google... Google is not just about news searches, it's a lifestyle. I can get RSS feeds in my personalised homepage and Google Reader, make spreadsheets and other documents, correspond with other people through e-mail, watch videos on YouTube, join Google groups, map routes and research local businesses through Google Maps, research public domain books in Google Books, check out other blogs in Blogger, post my own sites on Blogger, and research through Google Scholar. If I have left out anything on Google, then it is not through lack of attempt. I can't do all of the services that Google offers with a print newspaper. The Internet is not about news, it's about services like the tools I review on my other blog.In Linux. Ta!

The print news industry is outdated because paper and ink aren't flexible enough to keep on top of the latest. Newspapers aren't interactive for people and that will be print's downfall. Sam Zell bought the farm on his Tribune acquisition and Google is not to blame.

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DETER BUT DO NOT KILL

On Vancouver Island, there will be efforts to deter harbour seals from eating Chinook salmon through mild electric shocks.The Department of Fisheries and Oceans hopes to install an electric field underwater to shock the seals into retreat. Smith-Root is the company that is setting up the electric field.

The electric field has been tested at the Vancouver Aquarium and it seems that there are no lasting side effects on seals from this deterrence. While seals are just following their natural instincts, it is also necessary to save the Chinook population. An electric field is a compromise but does not address the pollution issue on the Puntledge River nor does it inquire about the necessity of sports fishing. As a former fisher who ate the fish I caught, I've since become vegetarian and do not see the point of fishing unless it is absolutely essential for survival. Sport fishing is a waste of resources that would be better utilized to maintain the environment and the delicate balance of life in the waters.

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LAID TO REST BUT NOT FORGOTTEN











Clara Riddles was laid to rest at the New Macedonia Baptist Church in Riverdale, Georgia. Her ex-boyfriend and killer, Arthur Lawrence Mann, is charged with her murder.

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AUTHOR KURT VONNEGUT DIES

The author Kurt Vonnegut has died after head injuries sustained in a fall. He was 84.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

RELIGIOUS RIGHT WATCH

The current issue of Rolling Stone has an article about Battle Cry, an evangelical ministry that attempts to wean children and teenagers from mainstream media and win them to Jesus through media boycotts. The ministry is supported by recording service TiVo. Battle Cry is also taking its message to Romania, Guatemala, and other countries.

While there are some flaws in American entertainment such as the violence and sex that is promulgated in the media, from a capitalistic point of view it is unwise to transform the secular entertainment industry to a Christian propaganda machine. Services and entertainment are the only industries that thrive in the United States. Manufacturing is dead, information technology is easily shipped to anywhere there is Internet, and most of the food that Americans eat is imported. Jesus isn't going to save the United States if an atheistic country like China produces the goods that Americans buy. The Chinese can build goods better, cheaper, and faster. Or bootleg them.


Furthermore, the entertainment industry can be outsourced too. What is there to say that America will retain its preeminence in media? Ministers like Ron Luce do not understand what I have coined as the "widget economy". Media isn't the big multinational corporations entirely; there is blogging,vlogging, podcasts et cetera. One only need use the service Stumble Upon, a web application that steers the viewer to random web sites based on pre-programmed criteria (which can be filtered against adult content, by the way) to see what odd and specialized niches there are in the world.

There is also the simple fact that the rest of the world will not buy Christianized media on the scale that other countries buy secular entertainment. Christian entertainment is for the most part unexciting, dull, and usually poorly crafted. Christian media is only an ape of secular media from Christian heavy metal bands to Christian homemaker magazines. The production values in Christian media aren't very good and it is transparent that Christian entertainment is an earnest copycat of what has already been done. The bar is raised high in entertainment production values and Christian media can't compete worldwide.

Last, and history is always a good muse to contemplate, Ron Luce and his fellow ministers ought to heed the fate of Girolamo Savonarola who sought to banish and burn the entertainments of fifteenth century Florance, Italy and died on his own Bonfire of the Vanities. People like their entertainment and will do what they will to obtain it. China has restricted foreign magazines, books,newspapers, and movies to hotels that cater to Westerners. The bootleg economy of Western media among Chinese citizens is thriving. To restrict media or to try to Christianize media will only create illicit markets. While it is good to keep a watch and critique on media, completely transforming entertainment to one ideology creates economic disincentives that eventually would hurt the general economy like Savonarola destroyed the economy of Florance.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

UPDATE AND A TRIBUTE

Madeline Kafoury,age 63, was the murder victim in the Michigan office shootings. Her colleagues, Paul Riva and Alan Steinberg, are still in the hospital with their wounds.

In another shooting case, please see the memorial tribute to Nicholas Pekearo on the the Protect.org site. Officer Pekearo was shot and killed, on March 14, 2007, along with his colleague Yevgeniy Marshalik by a murderer who had just killed a pizza shop owner. Police later surrounded and shot the killer.



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Sunday, April 08, 2007

HIATUS

I am taking a break because I am coming down with bronchitis and have to take care of a family member with the same disease. Will start posting again when I am well.

---Anne

EMMA'S EXILE

I watched an American Experience programme on the radical Emma Goldman. It was very interesting because I know scant about worker movements in America besides the devastating horrors of child labor and heroes like Jane Adams of Hull House. She's my secular saint. I have read more about British reform in the Victorian era then that of the United States.

However, the programme was fascinating and, in a nice surprise that I didn't expect, the writer Andrei Codrescu was one of the commentators.* What was truly meaningful to me was Emma Goldman's exile from America in San Pedro. Like Goldman I feel divorced from my country, that it is a stranger to me. This is hard for someone whose ancestors were Native American and for a descendant of a Revolutionary War hero.

As an ex-pat in Canada, I am more akin to the values of this secular country than to the religious nation that America has become.
I left America emotionally when I lived in a suburb heavily populated with Republicans. There was the constant batter of religion and xenophobic nationalism. I did not find any friends. I became depressed and lonely at the Whiteness of it all, in the schools and on the street. Now, I hardly look mixed-race and the Native American blood is rather dilute in my veins, but it is part of me that was angry when I heard people use terms like "wild Indian" to describe rowdy children. Those were my people: the Yakima, the Chinook, the Iroquois, and possibly Ojibwa who are a part of my heritage like my European ancestors.

I already felt in exile in America while I was there. I could not accept the racism and the theological bent to politics of where I lived. In Canada I think of America not as Emma Goldman did, with longing for the country as hers,but as an entity that has become foreign to me in its empirical wars and its theological tyrannies. I think I will not return to the States because America will not come back to me as the country that I remember.


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*NOTE: No, this blog will not become the girl's guide to intellectual men, but I do enjoy posting about some of those I consider tops , like Alan Rickman et alius.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF



Presidential candidate spouse, Elizabeth Edwards, has scolded herself for not having a mammogram and not catching her breast cancer early.

Ms. Edwards:

You shouldn't dis yourself. It is easy to let that sort of thing go when you are running after the kids and giving all your time to a political campaign. There is only one of you to go around and you should know that you have given the best that you could with your time.

I am glad that your cancer can be treated with anti-estrogen drugs.

You are running the race well and goodspeed to you and your family.

---Anne



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Thursday, April 05, 2007

WHY?



Arthur Mann, who killed 22-year-old Clara Riddles at the CNN Centre in Atlanta, had a prior conviction for murder in Florida, a conviction for sex with a minor, and for grand theft auto.

The question to be asked is how a convicted felon could get a handgun? Or how could an illegal alien like Johnathon Rowen obtain a firearm? Perhaps Americans need to listen to the wisdom of the Quebec government that is thinking of putting greater restrictions on guns after the tragic death of Anastasia Rebecca de Sousa at Dawson College on September 13, 2006.

Updated April 6th,2007

EXCUSES, EXCUSES
















The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is blaming laws that forbid Seattle police from determining resident status of immigrants in the death of Rebecca Griego. The man who shot Ms.Griego, Johnathon Rowan, was an illegal alien from Britain. Police stopped Mr. Rowan for drunken driving on June 30, 2006 but could not ask him about his immigration status unless they had clear suspicion to question him about that matter.

This is nonsensical to blame the murder of Rebecca Griego on immigration laws. Arthur Mann who killed Clara Riddles at the CNN Centre was an American citizen. To say that immigration laws did not save Ms. Riddles would be false and her death gives the lie to the smokescreen that the CCRKBA creates in order to enact gun legislation that endangers all citizens.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

FIGURE IT OUT














The NRA is sponsoring legislation in Georgia that will allow employees to keep guns in locked cars during business hours. The NRA has created similar legislation in Florida and the AFL-CIO backs the proposed law because the union organization thinks it is a matter of worker rights to keep what they want in their car. The AFL-CIO is in for a rude surprise when an employee pulls a gun out of the car and starts shooting. The union is forgetting about worker safety. Oh by the way... The proposed laws are stupid and have nothing to do with self-defence or property rights. Viewed with a logical mind, keeping a gun in a locked car during the day won't work if a fellow employee goes out to a car and gets a gun and then "goes postal". What are you going to do during an emergency situation, run out to your car and get it when you're being shot at or held hostage? Someone was definitely not thinking when they proposed this law. But that's the NRA for you, they don't think through logical situations.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

TOO CLOSE TO HOME...AND FAR AWAY



University of Washington graduate student Rebecca Griego was killed by a stalking boyfriend Jonathan Rowen at Gould Hall on the University of Washington campus in Seattle, Washington on April 2nd. I was born in Seattle and I was a student at the University of Washington many years ago. It hurts to see news like this from home.

On April 3rd, Clara Riddles was shot by a man who was arguing with her in the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Police then shot the man in the face. Rebecca Griego was 26, Clara Riddles was 22.

There is no justification that the NRA can give for these deaths. These were homicides of innocents, not self-defence and not sport hunting unless you are sick enough to think that Johnathan Rowen's stalking of Rebecca Griego constituted sport. Women being afraid of murder does not fit into the hack philosophy of self-defence or sport that the National Rifle Association advocates. The tragic deaths of Rebecca Griego and Clara Riddles make a lie out of the ignoble beliefs of fanatical gun owners who want legislation to absolve anyone who uses a gun in a License to Murder. Guns do kill people, much easier than any other weapon, and ownership of guns should face stiffer regulation.