tagged w/ CNN
CNN reporter Drew Griffin reported on the TSA's 1,000,000+ name watchlist of "potential terrorists," and now his name seems to have been added to the list. The TSA denies it, but Griffin is held up every time he flies, and the airlines tell his that it's because he's on the list:
"Coincidentally, this all began in May, shortly after I began a series of investigative reports critical of the TSA. Eleven flights now since May 19. On different airlines, my name pops up forcing me to go to the counter, show my identification, sometimes the agent has to make a call before I get my ticket," Griffin reported. "What does the TSA say? Nothing, at least nothing on camera. Over the phone a public affairs worker told me again I'm not on the watch list, and don't even think that someone in the TSA or anyone else is trying to get even."
The TSA, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, said Griffin's name wasn't even on the watch list, and the agency blamed the airlines for the delays the reporter experienced. The airlines, on the other hand, said they were simply following a list provided by TSA.CNN reporter Drew Griffin reported on the TSA's 1,000,000+ name watchlist of... more
A New Zealand judge has made a 9-year-old girl a ward of the court so that her name can be changed from Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii, the country's national news agency reported Thursday.
Family Court Judge Rob Murfitt listed a series of unusual names that New Zealand parents had given their children, and said he was concerned that such strange monikers would create hurdles for them as they grew up.
"It makes a fool of the child and sets her up with a social disability and handicap," the New Zealand Press Association quoted the judge as saying.
Among the names Murfitt cited: twins named Benson and Hedges -- after a brand of cigarettes; Violence; and Number 16 Bus Shelter.
Some parents had named children after six-cylinder Ford cars, the news agency reported.
The Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages said in a statement that it had rejected names including Fish and Chips, Yeah Detroit, Stallion, Twisty Poi -- a staple food in Polynesian cuisine -- and Sex Fruit.
A lawyer for Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii said the girl is so embarrassed by her name that friends know her as "K."
Last month, an judge in the U.S. state of Illinois allowed a school bus driver to legally change his first name to "In God" and his last name to "We Trust."
But an appeals court in the state of New Mexico ruled against a man -- named Variable -- who wanted to change his name to a two-word phrase that contains a four-letter expletive and expresses opposition to censorship.
Whatever happened to Katie or John?A New Zealand judge has made a 9-year-old girl a ward of the court so that her name... more
This is the best news documentary on black America I have ever seen. It is in-depth, shocking, inspiring, and worthy of recognition.This is the best news documentary on black America I have ever seen. It is in-depth,... more
Wrenching 911 tape played in sleepover slayings
(CNN) -- Oklahoma authorities on Monday urged the public to help find a pair of killers, playing a dramatic segment of a frantic 911 call from a relative who reported two girls had been found dead in a ditch.
Jessica Brown, a spokeswoman with the Okalahoma State Bureau of Investigation, plays the emotional 911 call.
The 911 tape was released six weeks after the bullet-riddled bodies of 13-year-old Taylor Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker were discovered along a remote country road in the town of Weleetka.
A breathless woman, identified only as a member of a family, can be heard on the tape. Her voice is raw with emotion.
"Somebody killed two young girls." she says. "They are both down here dead. My granddaughter and her friend. ... Help me. Please!" Video Listen to authorities play the dramatic tape »
Jessica Brown, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman, said she hoped someone would hear the tape and be inspired to identify the killers.
We know someone knows what happened," said Brown. "Hopefully if they hear the tape they will understand what happened and come forward."
The two girls had planned a sleepover at Taylor's house on June 8, the night they were killed. They left the house about 5 p.m.
Less than 30 minutes later, Taylor's grandfather discovered the bodies in a ditch on the side of a road, near a bridge that is a popular gathering spot in the area.
The killings have rattled the community of Weleetka, a town of about 1,000 residents 75 miles from Tulsa. Taylor and Skyla were the only girls in their sixth- and fifth-grade classes,
Investigators don't have any suspects or motives, but a forensic examination of the bodies indicated that two guns had been used. Police have said they are looking for two shooters.
There has been speculation the girls' slayings were "thrill killings," and police investigators have said they hope one of the shooters will turn against the other. Wrenching 911 tape played in sleepover slayings (CNN) -- Oklahoma authorities... more
"CNN's Chris Lawrence reported on a new book by Vincent Bugliosi which says the George W. Bush should be prosecuted for murder. Bugliosi claims that most of the media has been "completely rejected across the board by network and cable."""CNN's Chris Lawrence reported on a new book by Vincent Bugliosi which says... more
"FEMA gave away about $85 million in household goods meant for Hurricane Katrina victims, a CNN investigation has found.
These items, stored by FEMA, were meant for Katrina victims but were given to state and federal agencies.
The material, from basic kitchen goods to sleeping necessities, sat in warehouses for two years before the Federal Emergency Management Agency's giveaway to federal and state agencies this year.
James McIntyre, FEMA's acting press secretary, said that FEMA was spending more than $1 million a year to store the material and that another agency wanted the warehouses torn down, so "we needed to vacate them."
"Upon review of our assets and our need to continue to store them, we determined that they were excess to FEMA's needs; therefore, they are being excessed from FEMA's inventory," McIntyre wrote in an e-mail.
He declined a request for an on-camera interview, telling CNN the giveaway was "not news."
"These are exactly the items that we are desperately seeking donations of right now: basic kitchen household supplies," said Kegel, executive director of Unity of Greater New Orleans. "These are the very things that we are seeking right now. FEMA, in fact, refers homeless clients to us to house them. How can we house them if we don't have basic supplies?"
The article continues with details -WTF is up with FEMA??? "FEMA gave away about $85 million in household goods meant for Hurricane Katrina... more
The Cover of the New Yorker is stirring up loads of controversy and debate. The cartoon of Mrs.Obama with an automatic weapon and an afro giving a fist 'pound' to Sen.Obama who is wearing Middle Eastern attire. There is a burning USA flag in the fire and a questionable portrait on the wall. Sen.McCain said the cover was 'totally inappropriate' and Sen.Obama had not commented on the cartoon as of Sunday.
Is this Satire? Some say it's in bad taste, do you agree? Will this make more people think the wrong things about Obama, such as that he is a practicing Muslim? The Cover of the New Yorker is stirring up loads of controversy and debate. The... more
The most painful clip from the Sunday morning shows: top McCain VP prospect Mark Sanford "drawing a blank" (in his own words) on live TV when asked to name a major economic policy that President Bush and John McCain disagree on.The most painful clip from the Sunday morning shows: top McCain VP prospect Mark... more
Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir may be charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court.
Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has scheduled a news conference Monday, just after he is expected to filed the warrant with the court.
The Sudanese ambassador to the United Nations told CNN said Friday that the ICC has indicated to Sudanese officials that al-Bashir may be charged over the five-year campaign of violence in the country's Darfur region.
"We have been hearing that this prosecutor is going to announce some names, possibly the leadership of the country, that will be indicted," said Adbalmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamad. "It is a criminal move that should be resisted by all."
Such an indictment, Mohamad said, would be a destabilizing move that would "take us back to square one." Sudan, he said, is "condemning it in the strongest possible terms" and urged the international community to do likewise. "We will resist it by all possible legal means," he said.
(End of excerpt)
Full story at link by CNN IntertnationalSudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir may be charged with genocide by the... more
A few days before the Fourth of July, I read a column in The Philadelphia Inquirer that said America didn't deserve to celebrate its independence this year.
It claimed that all of our so-called atrocities have shamed the memory of our founding fathers and, as a result, we should cancel our parades, put away our fireworks and all sit quietly while we atone for our sins.
I guess that was one way to go.
Another way to go would be to fire up the grills, bring the kids to the beach,and gather the family on a blanket to watch as your tax dollars ignite into colorful bursts.
I'm guessing that most of us chose the second option.
But just because I had fun with friends and family doesn't mean that I believe America is perfect. It just means that, for one day, I chose to celebrate the fact that America is still closer to perfect than any other country in the history of the world.
For 364 days a year we talk about high gas prices, crooked politicians, and how much people from one political party allegedly hate everyone from the other. But for 24 hours we get to put it all aside and marvel at how a few brave men risked their lives to stand up for what they believed in. Of course, I would prefer we celebrate that every day, but for now, or at least until that Inquirer columnist gets elected president and bans it, I'll take the one.
As someone who works in the media in New York City, I'll admit that I am part of the chorus of people who talk about our problems. But there's nothing wrong with that, so long as you also occasionally take the time to talk about the other side. And that's what I want to do now by asking the question that never seems to be of interest to the mainstream media: What's right with America?
Let's start with our much maligned economy. I'm not trying to sugarcoat it, times are definitely tough for an awful lot of families right now. But you know what? We've made it through a depression; we've made it through wars, oil shocks, and major terrorist attacks and we're still standing. In fact, we're not just standing, we're towering over the rest of the world.
Our economy is almost as big as the next four largest economies on Earth (Japan, Germany, China and Great Britain) combined. The state of California alone has an economy as large as the entire country of France. Illinois has the same GDP as all of Mexico. New York matches the entire GDP of Brazil. Florida's economy is as large as South Korea's. Texas has a GDP roughly equal to Canada's. Michigan's economy is as large as the entire country of Argentina.
It takes a lot longer to turn around an aircraft carrier than it does a dinghy, but the problem we have is with our ship's captain - the pea-brains in Washington - not her crew.
What's right with America? How about the way we educate our children. Sure, I complain a lot about left-wing professors and how some wealthy private universities hoard their billions while charging obscene amounts for tuition, but the truth is that our universities are always ranked among the best in the world.
Students aren't fleeing America to go to college in Japan, India, or China -- it's the other way around. We open our colleges and universities to more than 80,000 foreign professors, scholars and educators a year and we have more students in college right now than those three countries combined.
What's right with America? Our world-class universities don't require you to have an elite family name or Rockefeller-type wealth to get in. We don't care about your race, gender or nationality. You just have to be smart enough and work hard for it. What a concept, huh?
How about the way we treat the less fortunate? With no help from our government, Americans gave a record $306 billion to charities last year alone. We give twice as much as the next closest country and, relative to the size of our economies, we give 1,000 percent more than the French. . .
What's right with America?
FOLLOW LINK FOR FULL ARTICLEA few days before the Fourth of July, I read a column in The Philadelphia Inquirer... more
During a town hall event in Portsmouth, OH on Wednesday, John McCain was asked by a member of the audience whether his links to the parent organization of the Project for a New American Century explain why he has been reluctant to support calls for a new investigation of 9/11.
During a town hall event in Portsmouth, OH on Wednesday, John McCain was asked by a... more
Iran has test-fired nine missiles in response to what it says are threats from Israel and the United States, state-run Iranian media says.
The Islamic Republic News Agency and Press TV reported that the naval forces of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Wednesday test-fired a Shahab-3 missile during war games in the Persian Gulf.
The exercises come a month after Israel conducted a military drill in the eastern Mediterranean involving dozens of warplanes, and the latest Iranian activities prompted concern from Israel and condemnation from the United States.
Iran occasionally tests missiles, but this firing comes amid international tensions over its nuclear aspirations.
"The war game was aimed at improving the combat readiness of Iran's armed forces. The 2,000-kilometer-range Shahab-3 missiles were tested to demonstrate Iran's capability in hitting its enemies accurately at the early stages of their probable attacks against the Islamic Republic.
"Domestic and foreign political and military analysts believe that Shahab-3 is able to reach targets in the occupied lands in case of the Zionist regime's probable attacks against Iran's nuclear sites," the Islamic Republic News Agency said.
(End of excerpt)
Full story at link by CNNIran has test-fired nine missiles in response to what it says are threats from Israel... more
If you happen to be an Obama supporter, let me be the first to warn you: it’s time to brace yourself for a barrage of anti-Obama stories in the mainstream media coupled with pro-McCain and maybe even a few pro-Hillary Clinton stories as well.
No, there’s no massive conspiracy between all the networks to prevent a black man from winning and to continue Bush’s reign by simply replacing him with John McCain while Rove and the Bush political team continue to pull strings. That conspiracy only exists at FOX News, not at the rest of the actual news networks.
And no, there is not some major story about to break about some unknown and horrible piece of Obama’s past.
The real reason Obama is on the verge of entering what may be an extended and negative news cycle is that the media is afraid of a landslide victory by either candidate.
If you happen to be an Obama supporter, let me be the first to warn you: it’s... more
I think I just found my new role models...
Well you might never know who’s running for President if you checked all the major news outlets. It seems that MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, The New York TImes and The LA Times, with all of their Pulitzer Prize winning journalists, technology and resources that these major news organizations have at their disposal, are failing to list all the candidates on the pages of their election coverage. Well you might never know who’s running for President if you checked all the... more
Over the course of the past several months and since Barack Obama and his pastor have hit the mainstream media, race has been at the forefront of hot topics within the American political arena.
Following are various clips from conservative media outlets commenting on race, Barack and Michelle Obama, and offering often times skewed and ill perceived commentary on issues both within and outside of the black community.
Patriotism is not a characteristic of convenience, it must be present at greatest moments of triumph for a nation but must also be the root for unarmed critique and analysis of the actions of one's own country. America is a great nation but we have committed acts that are notable alongside some of the greatest atrocities in world history.
Truth cannnot be serial, constantly waiting for another perceived truth to come along and take its place. Truth can exist in multiple instances. The greatness of this nation along with the moral abomination of its acts in regard to human life.Over the course of the past several months and since Barack Obama and his pastor have... more
Almost a third of companies offering health insurance benefits to their employees also provide a wellness program of some sort.Almost a third of companies offering health insurance benefits to their employees also... more
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- They're spiritual misfits. Rabble-rousers. They packed the shell of the old Baptist church on Negley Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to hear author, Christian activist and fellow misfit Shane Claiborne stump on the campaign for a third party candidate, Jesus.
The dreadlocked Christian activist from Philadelphia and his team parked a black school bus around the back. The hand-painted gold letters on the side read "Jesus for President."
The bus runs on vegetable oil and, yes, it's a political statement.
"It'll be a long time before we fight a war over used veggie oil," says Claiborne with a sly smile.
Claiborne is touring the country, packing churches and community centers, in support of the book he and Chris Haw co-authored, "Jesus for President."
"This whole project is about the political imagination of what it means to follow after Jesus," Claiborne said. "The language of Jesus as Lord and savior is just as radical as it would be to say 'Jesus as our commander in chief' today."
Young evangelicals represent an important swing-voting bloc. They're not a lock for Republicans as their parents were. Their feet are firmly planted on issues dear to both parties. Traditional family values are, as they have been in the past, an important issue.
But these voters say views on abortion and homosexuality won't define them in November. The environment and social justice are moving to the forefront of their discussions.
About 26 percent of the United States identifies itself as evangelical Christians in the Protestant tradition, according to the latest U.S. Religious Landscape study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. In 2004, more than 75 percent of evangelicals cast their vote for George W. Bush.
"They delivered for him in some key states, like Ohio, without which he could not have won," said CNN's Bill Schneider, senior political analyst. "It was the rallying of the evangelical base that Karl Rove developed as a strategy, maximizing turnout among your base voters, not worrying about independents or swing voters."
----more at story at link---- PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- They're spiritual misfits. Rabble-rousers.... more
The Bush administration has launched a "significant escalation" of covert operations in Iran, sending U.S. commandos to spy on the country's nuclear facilities and undermine the Islamic republic's government, journalist Seymour Hersh said Sunday.
White House, CIA and State Department officials declined comment on Hersh's report, which appears in this week's issue of The New Yorker.
Hersh told CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer" that Congress has authorized up to $400 million to fund the secret campaign, which involves U.S. special operations troops and Iranian dissidents.
"They believe that their mission is to make sure that before they get out of office next year, either Iran is attacked or it stops its weapons program," Hersh said.
The new article, "Preparing the Battlefield," is the latest in a series of articles accusing the Bush administration of preparing for war with Iran. He based the report on accounts from current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources.
Hersh said U.S. efforts were staged from Afghanistan, which also shares a border with Iran.
He said the program resulted in "a dramatic increase in kinetic events and chaos" inside Iran, including attacks by Kurdish separatists in the country's north and a May attack on a mosque in Shiraz that killed 13 people.The Bush administration has launched a "significant escalation" of covert... more