Tuesday, May 24, 2005

On Requiring an ID to Vote.

Claire or the Jarbo Bayou Times pleads:
The vast majority of Texans feel that a person should provide a photo ID in order to cast a vote. They also believe that those who commit election fraud should go to jail. Call your State Senator at 512-463-4630 tell them to protect your right to a fair election vote to provide a photo ID.

I must confess I don't understand the controversy. I would think everyone would want to ensure the "one voter one vote" concept. Apparently some Democrats believe they deserve more.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The Death of a Muslim Woman:

In responce to my outrage over the temper tantrum the Muslims displayed ove the Newsweek Story, Thrane drops a link via email The Death of a Muslim Woman: "The Whore Lived Like a German" - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE

In the past four months, six Muslim women living in Berlin have been brutally murdered by family members. Their crime? Trying to break free and live Western lifestyles. Within their communities, the killers are revered as heroes for preserving their family dignity. How can such a horrific and shockingly archaic practice be flourishing in the heart of Europe? The deaths have sparked momentary outrage, but will they change the grim reality for Muslim women?

The shots came from nowhere and within minutes the young Turkish mother standing at the Berlin bus stop was dead. A telephone call from a relative had brought her to this cold, unforgiving place. She thought she would only be gone for a few minutes and wore a light jacket in the freezing February wind. She had left her five-year-old son asleep in his bed. He awoke looking for his mother, who, like many Turkish women in Germany, harbored a secret life of fear, courage and, ultimately, grief. Now her little boy has his own tragedy to bear: His mother, Hatin Surucu, was not the victim of random violence, but likely died at the hands of her own family in what is known as an "honor killing."

Hatin's crime, it appears, was the desire to lead a normal life in her family's adopted land. The vivacious 23-year-old beauty, who was raised in Berlin, divorced the Turkish cousin she was forced to marry at age 16. She also discarded her Islamic head scarf, enrolled in a technical school where she was training to become an electrician and began dating German men. For her family, such behavior represented the ultimate shame -- the embrace of "corrupt" Western ways. Days after the crime, police arrested her three brothers, ages 25, 24 and 18. The youngest of the three allegedly bragged to his girlfriend about the Feb. 7 killing. At her funeral, Hakin's Turkish-Kurdish parents draped their only daughter's casket in verses from the Koran and buried her according to Muslim tradition. Absent of course, were the brothers, who were in jail.

The crime might be easier to digest if it had been an archaic anomaly, but five other Muslim women have been murdered in Berlin during the past four months by their husbands or partners for besmirching the family's Muslim honor. Two of them were stabbed to death in front of their young children, one was shot, one strangled and a fifth drowned. It seems hard to fathom, but in the middle of democratic Western Europe -- in Germany, a nation where pacifism is almost a universal mantra -- murderous macho patriotism not only exists but also appears to be thriving. It may even be Germany's liberalism -- and its post World War II fear of criticizing minority cultures -- that has encouraged ultra-religious families to settle here.

The link is continued onto a second page.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Bad Guys Update:

OK, Where is the outrage over the idiots rioting over a story about a Koran getting flushed. All the anger is placed at Newsweek, who simply made a mistake. Does anyone actually read that rag anymore? The Islamist, who kill over a minor story a half world away, are the real bad guys and are the folks we should be outraged at.

Seeing the actions of those motivated by the Koran, I can understand why one might flush one down the toilet. It would seem such flushing would be hazardous for ones plumbing. I think shredding it and using it for kitty litter is a better idea.

Update: Lesley at Plum Crazy is one Blogger who understands my outrage at blaming Newsweek for the slaughter by Muslims in protest of the Newsweek article.
Dear People Blaming Newsweek for the Terrorist Attacks
Posted by Lesley
When did you start carrying the multiculturalist banner? I'm all in favor of respecting other people's cultures, for the most part, but, hi, hello? Killing 17 people in response to a book (maybe) being flushed down a toilet? Not an acceptable response. Had this occurred in response to the brouhaha over the Piss Christ, would you all be sitting here blaming the artist? Actually, maybe you would. Which would be frightening. Because, see above - Not an acceptable response.


P.S. Not an acceptable response

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Being PC.

NewsWeek reports that some of the guards on Guantanamo Bay had left the Koran on a Toilet and someone may have even flushed one down the toilet. Some idiots in Afghanistan hear about this and they go on a tear and kill some people. Rueters expounds:

The report sparked angry and violent protests across the Muslim world from Afghanistan, where 16 were killed and more than 100 injured, to Pakistan to Indonesia to Gaza. In the past week it was condemned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and by the Arab League.

On Sunday, Afghan Muslim clerics threatened to call for a holy war against the United States.
The only problem is that the Koran flushing probably never happened.

We regret that we got any part of our story wrong, and extend our
sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its
midst," Whitaker wrote in the magazine's latest issue, due to appear on U.S.
newsstands on Monday.
The weekly news magazine said in its May 23 edition
that the information had come from a "knowledgeable government source" who told
Newsweek that a military report on abuse at Guantanamo Bay said interrogators
flushed at least one copy of the Koran down a toilet in a bid to make detainees
But Newsweek said the source later told the magazine he could not be
certain he had seen an account of the Koran incident in the military report and
that it might have been in other investigative documents or drafts.
Whitaker told Reuters that Newsweek did not know if the reported toilet incident
involving the Koran ever occurred. "As to whether anything like this happened,
we just don't know," he said in an interview. "We're not saying it absolutely
happened but we can't say that it absolutely didn't happen either."

So how did this incident that didn't happen get into the pages of NewsWeek? MSNBC provides some insite:
At NEWSWEEK, veteran investigative reporter Michael Isikoff's interest had been sparked by the release late last year of some internal FBI e-mails that painted a stark picture of prisoner abuse at Guantánamo. Isikoff knew that military investigators at Southern Command (which runs the Guantánamo prison) were looking into the allegations. So he called a longtime reliable source, a senior U.S. government official who was knowledgeable about the matter. The source told Isikoff that the report would include new details that were not in the FBI e-mails, including mention of flushing the Qur'an down a toilet. A SouthCom spokesman contacted by Isikoff declined to comment on an ongoing investigation, but NEWSWEEK National Security Correspondent John Barry, realizing the sensitivity of the story, provided a draft of the NEWSWEEK PERISCOPE item to a senior Defense official, asking, "Is this accurate or not?" The official challenged one aspect of the story: the suggestion that Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, sent to Gitmo by the Pentagon in 2001 to oversee prisoner interrogation, might be held accountable for the abuses. Not true, said the official (the PERISCOPE draft was corrected to reflect that). But he was silent about the rest of the item. The official had not meant to mislead, but lacked detailed knowledge of the SouthCom report.

Given all that has been reported about the treatment of detainees—including allegations that a female interrogator pretended to wipe her own menstrual blood on one prisoner—the reports of Qur'an desecration seemed shocking but not incredible. But to Muslims, defacing the Holy Book is especially heinous. "We can understand torturing prisoners, no matter how repulsive," says computer teacher Muhammad Archad, interviewed last week by NEWSWEEK in Peshawar, Pakistan, where one of last week's protests took place. "But insulting the Qur'an is like deliberately torturing all Muslims. This we cannot tolerate."

Michael Isikoff is pretty well respected, and no one expected that the piece he wrote would be so inflamatory. Still I can't understand why Secratary Rice is getting so defencive abouyt it. She wants to punnish anyone that pisses, shits on or flushes a Koran.
Ms Rice said “disrespect for the Holy Quran is not now, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, tolerated by the United States.”

“We honour the sacred books of all the world’s great religions. Disrespect for the Holy Quran is abhorrent to us all,” she added. Assuring the Muslims that the Bush administration will not ignore the reported incident, she said: “Our military authorities are investigating these allegations fully. If they are proven true, we will take appropriate action.”

I have the urge to find a Koran and use it as a liner for the cats litter box.

Friday, May 13, 2005

All That is Good

In Texas and the rest of the Country. The Republicans can take responcibilty for all the good things that have happ[ened to goverment, but theyu must accept the blame for all that has gone wrong with our goverment.

In the past several Years The Republicans have taken over, The legislature the
executive and even most of the courts are controlled by the Republicans they are in control/ The Democrats on the other hand have passed into irrelevancy. They don't have any power and are inconsequencial in my state, and in the US goverment. We voted for Republicans because they promised Honesty and integrity, smaller goverment, and lower taxes.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Staffing Problems Contributed To BP Plant Blast

The lawyers, victims, and Click2Houston believe that staffing issues may contributed to the Texas City Refinery explosion. BP had been trimming down employees, using attrition and early retirement offers. Many of the positions that have been eliminated are older experianced staff. One would naturally wonder if this didn't have something to do with the explosion.

Staffing problems, lack of supervision and communication breakdown contributed to a blast that killed 15 people and injured more than 100 at a Texas City BP refinery in March, two surviving workers allege in a lawsuit.

Problems at the plant included understaffing in a critical control room and undertrained or inexperienced workers and personnel who didn't perform their job adequately in the area that exploded, according to the amended suit filed Wednesday in Galveston County State District Court.

It was filed on behalf of Miguel Arenazas and David Crow, JE Merit contractors who suffered broken backs in the blast while assigned to work maintenance turnaround of a nearby unit.

"Our continued investigation leads us to believe that there was a systematic breakdown in communications, in operator training and in management supervision of the startup procedures," said the workers' Houston lawyer, Rob Ammons.

Although the suits seem to be all aimed at deep pocketed BP. There could be some partial liability with JE Merit, the contracting company. Communication is at least a two way process, and they should have had some input on plant startup, allocation of manpower, and location of of equipment, and temporary buildings. Ultimatly it is BP's responcibility to ensure communication and safe startup of the plant. BP isn't talking and is in denial of any wrong doing. This isn't how one learns from thier mistakes.

BP spokesman Hugh Depland declined to comment on lawsuit. The company has denied negligence in the blast.

Supervision seems to be missing and there was no evacuation alarm when the hydrocarbons were released. The contractors claim they weren't even aware of the impending startup.

The supervisor of the refinery unit that exploded wasn't present during the section's startup, which is considered a dangerous time in a plant's operations, the lawsuit said. The two workers also claim a qualified substitute wasn't left in charge, key operators were allowed to leave the refinery at the startup time and only one board operator was assigned to the control room.

Crow is among workers who say they didn't know the startup was happening and heard no warning alarms. The workers question why they and other nonessential employees were allowed to be at the site during the startup.

They also question why a trailer was placed so close to the isomerization unit before it exploded.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Opportunity Hi Centered

The little robot that could isStuck in the Sand
NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover has run into a sandy snag. All of its six wheels have sunk in deep into a large ripple of soil.

Rover operators are optimistic they can extricate the robot from its jam, having gotten dug in before. But ground controllers will need time to wheel back on top of the soil again.

Time will also be spent figuring out what’s different about the soil that has bogged down Opportunity, hoping to keep this problem from occurring down the road.

The Mars machinery had been cruising southward across the open parking lot-like landscape of Meridiani Planum, full of larger and larger ripples of soil. Opportunity has been en route to its next stopover, Erebus crater, nestled inside an even larger crater known as Terra Nova.

The NASA engineers are sounding optimistic about getting Opportunity's 6 wheels unstuck. and we sure are cheering for it. I know its just a machine, but Opportunity has shown us spirit and a sticktoitness that has made fans of us terrestrials.

The Scoop on the Imus Contessa breakup

Its been interesting following the fallout of the Imus and Contessa Brewer fiasco.