I haven't felt much like blogging recently. Mrs. S and I are still suffering the effects of food poisoning/gastroenteritis (one or the other). I'm tired of diarrhea/pain/not sleeping/re-runs of Blind Date.
The thing that I find most painful is A-Rod - Not the fact that the Yankees signed him but the news coverage. It's A-Rod 24/7 in NYC.
Switzerland will jail for life sex offenders and violent criminals who are deemed incapable of reform under a change to the law Swiss voters approved in a referendum yesterday.
The measure, which was opposed by the country's coalition government, was approved by about 54 percent of voters in a referendum called after supporters gathered the needed 100,000 signatures to stage the ballot....
Under the proposal, violent criminals or sex offenders who are considered very dangerous to society will be examined on conviction by two independent psychiatrists.
If the two doctors agree that an offender is incurable, then he must be jailed for the rest of his life. He can only be released on the basis of new scientific evidence that a cure is possible.
Legal experts said that Switzerland would violate the European human rights convention if the proposals were strictly interpreted and the criminals concerned were not granted regular judicial review of their cases.
The prisoners could take their case to the European Court of Justice which could order the Swiss authorities to carry out such reviews, lawyers said.
Does anyone care about the rights of the victims? Not the "Human Rights" lawyers.
This type of law is needed here in the US. Pedophiles and rapists cannot be reformed. Yet, we allow them to return to the streets where they molest, and kill, again and again.
His first book was called "Wacky Chicks." Now Simon Doonan
has inked a six-figure deal with Simon & Schuster to write about tacky chicks. "Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints" came about because "I have become increasingly appalled by contemporary excess," Doonan told PAGE SIX. "It all started when I read about the butt-hole-bleaching craze in L.A. Then came Paris Hilton, then Britney [Spears] and Madonna dyking it up and now Janet [Jackson's] boob — It's all going to end in tears! I have become a prude and proud of it!"
Whispers and innuendoes about this shocking new procedure—and the celebs who bleach—were jump-started by a snippet in the now-defunct Talk magazine. The Richard-Gere-gerbil-rumor-like frenzy has unfairly (I hope) zeroed in on ultra-thin thespian Lara Flynn Boyle. The wicked Web rumor mill has caused the talented and lovely star of The Practice to be ordained as the official Internet patron saint of anus-bleaching.
While Ms. Flynn Boyle gets more than her fair share of ink, the big question—why would anyone would engage in this extremely narcissistic activity?—remains unanswered: Web sites focus instead on bleaching tips, as if sharing ingredients for an apple-pie recipe. Click warily on www.pucker.up.com: This site has an anonymous "anal adviser" who advises his/her would-be bleachers (who have names like Black-Eyed Susan) on the various products available. Hydroquinone, kojic acid and mandelic acid are those currently favored by the sphincter community.
3. Who made a small fortune "shorting" airline and insurance stocks before Sept. 11?
On Sept. 10, 2001, the trading ratio on United Airlines was 25 times greater than normal at the Pacific Exchange, where traders could buy "puts," high-risk bets that the price of a company's stock will fall sharply. The next day, two hijacked United jetliners crashed, causing the company's shares to plummet and ultimately leading the airline into bankruptcy. CBS News later reported that at intelligence agencies, "alarm bells were sounding over unusual trading in the U.S. stock options market" on the day before the attacks.
The unusual stock trading suggests that someone with a sophisticated knowledge of finance also had advance information about the impending attack. But two years later, no one has been charged in this matter, and officials have not indicated even if the probe is still open.
The SEC had no trouble tracking down Martha Stewart and her 4,000 shares of Imclone, yet they can't find the guy shorting UAL?
6. Why did the NORAD air defense network fail to intercept the four hijacked jets?
During the depths of the Cold War, Americans went to bed with the somewhat reassuring belief that jet fighters would intercept anyone launching a first strike against the United States. That myth was shattered on 9/11, when four hijacked-jetliners-turned-into-deadly-missiles cruised the American skies with impunity for nearly two hours.
Why did the North American Aerospace Defense Command seem unaware of literally dozens of warnings that hijacked jetliners could be used as weapons? Why does NORAD claim it did not learn that Flight 11 - the first jet to strike the World Trade Center about 8:45 a.m. - had been hijacked until 8:40 a.m., some 25 minutes after the transponder was shut off and an astounding 15 minutes after flight controllers heard a hijacker say, "We have some planes..."?
Why didn't the fighters that were finally scrambled at Otis Air Force Base in Massachusetts and Langley Air Force Base in Virginia fly at top, supersonic speeds? Why didn't fighters immediately take off from Andrews Air Force Base, just
outside Washington, D.C.? Why was nothing done to intercept American Airlines Flight 77, which struck the Pentagon, when officials knew it had been had been hijacked some 47 minutes earlier?
And why has no one been disciplined for the worst breakdown in national defense since Pearl Harbor?
10. Where are the planes' "black boxes"?
Nothing is more critical to learning about air disasters than the so-called "black boxes." They are the 30-minute audio recordings of cockpit chatter and the fight-data inputs which show the speed, direction and operational condition of the plane, and which are encased in material designed to withstand a high-speed crash. Yet the government has continued to keep a lid of secrecy on the black boxes from Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, and from Flight 93.
FBI Director Robert Mueller has said Flight 77's data recorder provided altitude, speed, headings and other information, but the voice recorder contained nothing useful. Why not? Why not release the information to the public? Why has a docile mainstream media not demanded this information?
And how come none of the four "indestructible" black boxes was recovered from the World Trade Center, even as investigators said that a passport belonging to one of the hijackers had been found in the rubble, undamaged, a week after the towers's collapse?
When the government hides information from the citizenry, it only fuels conspiracy nuts.
The Cubans who tried but failed to sail to the US in a converted vintage Chevrolet truck have tried again, this time in a tail-finned Buick.
Undaunted by last summer's setback, Marciel Basanta Lopez and Luis Gras Rodriguez set out for the Florida Keys with a crew of nine, including their wives and children, on the improvised craft. "My cousin isn't crazy. He wants to be free," said Kiriat Lopez in the US.
That's right, they want to be free. They are prisoners in their own country, unable to speak or think clearly. Imprisonment, torture and death await those who disagree with Castro's Revolution. Cuba is only a paradise for scumbags like Les Moonves.
Yet, these brave souls will be sent back by the Bush Administration. I'm ashamed when I see footage on Fox News of people, trying to flee a murderous, terrorist-supporting regime, being prevented by our armed forces from reaching shore. It's even more shameful that they will be sent back to the Commu-fascist dictatorship in Havana.
-Pavel Andreevich, human beings and monkeys posses 95% of common genes. How effective will it be to transplant primate's organs?
-Questions regarding rejuvenation have appealed to people for centuries. Back then, in order to prolong one's life, people transfused blood from newborns and virgins. However, they were completely unaware of blood types and could not prevent blood from coagulating. Ideas regarding primates emerged as a result of Darwin's theory of evolution. These theoretical assumptions served as a basis for several practical experiments. In the beginning of XX century, in France our fellow countrymen Sergay Voronov transplanted primate"'testicles to a human.
My only question: What did Voronov do with the human testicles?
New questions are being raised about a possible connection between al Qaeda and the U.S. anthrax mailings, The New York Times says.
The newspaper reports in its Saturday editions that a Florida doctor now believes a man he treated in June had skin anthrax. That man, it turns out, was one of the Sept. 11 hijackers, the newspaper reports in its Saturday editions, prompting suspicions among investigators about a possible link between Osama bin LadenÂs terrorist group and the mailings.
Separately, U.S. troops are said to have found another biological weapons research lab near Kandahar, one that that was eyeing anthax.
The Times says two men identified themselves as pilots when they came to the emergency room of Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last June. One had an ugly, dark lesion on his leg that he said he developed after bumping into a suitcase two months earlier. Dr. Christos Tsonas thought the injury was curious, but he cleaned it and prescribed an antibiotic for infection, according to the Times.
But after Sept. 11, when federal investigators found the medicine among the possessions of one of the hijackers, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Dr. Tsonas reviewed the case and arrived at a new diagnosis. The lesion, he said in an interview with the Times this week, "was consistent with cutaneous (skin) anthrax."
The possibility of a connection between the Sept. 11 attacks and the subsequent anthrax-laced letters has been explored by officials since the first anthrax cases emerged in October. But a recent memo, prepared by experts at the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, and circulated among top government officials, has renewed a debate about the evidence, says the Times.
The group, which interviewed Dr. Tsonas, concluded that the anthrax diagnosis Âraises the possibility that the hijackers were handling anthrax and were the perpetrators of the anthrax letter attacks."
A senior intelligence official, who spoke to the Times on the condition of anonymity, said, "No one is dismissing this. We received the memo and are working with the (FBI) to insure that it continues to be pursued."
Could there have been a plan to use aircrafts as missles and follow that up with chemical attacks via the mail?
Kwon Hyok explained: "In North Korea political prisoners are those who say or do something against the dead President Kim Il Sung, or his son Kim Jong Il. But they also include a wide network of next of kin."
Prison camps are filled with relatives of offenders: grandparents, children, brothers, aunts, all arrested for one person's false move and who often have no idea why. Kwon Hyok said: "There is a watchdog system in place between members of five different families. So if I were caught trying to escape, then not just my family members but all of the rest of the four neighbouring families are shot out of collective responsibility." In this way families are forced to spy on each other....
Camp 22, he said, is "surrounded by a 3,300-volt electric fence and, inside the fence, is a 10-metre moat with spikes sticking out to impale anyone attempting escape".
Torture, he said, was routine. "Prisoners were like pigs or dogs. You could kill them without caring whether they lived or died."
He described water torture, hanging torture, the box-room torture. And he described how he ordered public executions in the camp, and not just of those who tried to escape, but of their entire families and the families of their neighbours.
"Once," he said, "I killed 31 people, all members of five families." For the first three years you enjoy torturing people but then it wears off and someone else takes over. But most of the time you do it because you enjoy it."
Kwon Hyok, however, had something else he wanted to tell. He has been in Seoul for almost five years but he has never spoken publicly of what he says he saw in a secret, restricted area of Camp 22.
He said that he witnessed chemical experiments being carried out on political prisoners in specially constructed chambers hidden in the camp. Various different gases, he claimed are being tested there including one he called Vinyla - related to the North Korean artificial fibre Vinalon. He described the chambers - glass rooms within a room - sealed and with a ventilation shaft that pumps gas inside. Above, there is a viewing gallery where, North Korean scientists observe the death throes of their victims.
"The most unforgettable scene I remember was when I watched an entire family being killed. They were put inside the chamber and I saw them all suffocate to death. The last person to die was the youngest son who was crying for his parents and eventually died."
Kwon Hyok said that the youngest victims were children and the eldest were in their sixties. They were selected by others and brought to the chamber where they were stripped naked and given a medical. They had to be checked free of disease before entering.
He drew the layout for me explaining that individual victims stand around the edges of the chamber while families collect in the centre clinging together. "Even though they were dying," he said, "I saw the parents trying to save their children by giving them mouth-to-mouth resuscitation."
"How did you feel when you saw the children die?" I asked. "I had no sympathy at all because I was taught to think that they were all enemies of our country and that all our country's problems were their fault. So I felt they deserved to die."
I listened to his cold and logical testimony remembering the phrase "the banality of evil". His words lacked emotion. He appeared to feel no remorse. He seemed proud that he had earned promotion in the army on the strength of his cold-blooded ruthlessness.
Does this ring a bell for anyone? Gas? Electric Fences? Whole families being killed?
Nations like North Korea cannot be negotiated with. Kim Jong Il has violated every treaty that he has been party to. But, then, so did Hitler.
What is needed on the Korean peninsula is an end to more than a half-century of "armistice" and the consummation of a comprehensive and permanent peace agreement. The success of strong diplomacy is still a possibility, with it being crucial that the United States play a constructive role. The framework for an agreement still exists and includes some elements that must be confirmed by mutual actions combined with unimpeded international inspections. First, North Korea should forgo any nuclear weapons program and the two Koreas should proceed with good-faith talks. The United States may then move toward normal relations with North Korea. The basic premises of the agreed framework of 1994 must be honored, with North Korea, Japan, South Korea, the United States and China cooperating. Finally, international tensions should be reduced through step-by-step demilitarization on the border between the two Koreas.
There can be no "good-faith" talks with those who exterminate women and children. Those who think that such talks are possible are naive and dangerous.