28 February 2007

House Bill 86 Would Prohibit State from Paying for Some Abortions

H.B. 86, sponsored by Reps. Wachtmann, Brinkman, Latta, Seitz, Hottinger, Schneider, Setzer, Dodd, Wolpert, Goodwin, Fessler, Bubp, Collier, Combs, Wagoner, Wagner, McGregor, J., and Huffman would

"amend section 124.85 of the Revised Code to prohibit the state offering, sponsoring, or endorsing a health insurance policy that covers nontherapeutic abortion."

"Nontherapeutic abortion" means an abortion that is performed or induced when the life of the mother would not be endangered if the fetus were carried to term or when the pregnancy of the mother was not the result of rape or incest reported to a law enforcement agency.

Has anyone heard about this? I haven't, and I'm surprised because abortion is usually a high-profile issue.

I believe City Council passed a similar law pertaining to municipal employees some years ago.

If I Were the Chamber of Commerce...

WCPO today reports the following brief item:

Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau will launch a new marketing campaign to try and bring big meetings and conventions here.

CincyNation asserts: "ask any big convention city and they'll tell you part of their success has to do with having sophisticated strip clubs. Cincinnati is the only "big city" in the country that doesn't have adult entertainment."

Now combine these two items with a third from WVXU:

...a New York based research group study shows when women are given a competitive advantage; the companies are more successful. The Women’s Fund is suggesting several ways to improve including making sure women are represented in special projects and committees that have high visibility and keeping track of the progress women are making in comparison with their male peers.

I think you see where I'm going with this...

27 February 2007

Photos of Obama's Cleveland Campaign Stop

At the risk of adding to the crescendo of giddiness, here are some great photographs of Obama's appearance yesterday in Cleveland.

If anyone has photos (good ones) of his breakfast in Cincinnati, feel free to leave the link in the comments.

Sometimes I Hate Being Right

The American political landscape in 16 words: The Republican Party can campaign but not lead; the Democratic Party can neither campaign nor lead.

Democrats back away from Iraq plan

If it's hip for party leaders to let down their fellow members of Congress and grassroots constituents (as it seems to have been for the last several years), then Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are oh so tres branche.

Reid still ridiculous:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq.

Senior Democrats who drafted the proposal, including Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Carl Levin of Michigan, had sought swift action on it as early as this week...

Pelosi still pathetic:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meanwhile, said she doesn't support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.

The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha who has said he wants to use Congress' spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq by setting strict conditions on war funding.

Pelosi said she supports holding the administration to training and readiness targets, but added: "I don't see them as conditions to our funding. Let me be very clear: Congress will fund our troops."

Asked whether the standards should be tied to a $100 billion supplemental war spending measure — as Murtha has proposed — Pelosi demurred, saying it was up to the panel that drafts funding bills.

Weak leadership atop a weak Party:

The developments on both sides of the Capitol reflected a new level of disarray in Democratic ranks on Iraq. Swept into power by voters clamoring for an end to the war, Democrats have seen their efforts falter...

Internal divisions, Republican opposition and a president who — while weakened — still appears to have the dominant voice on the war have all left Democrats flailing for a way to change the war's course.

After last November's election, friends and family were impressed that the Democrats took over Congress and asked me if I expected major changes. I laughed and replied that I use the word "Dummocrats" for a reason.

Wake me up when there's a reason to expect anything different.

26 February 2007

The Photographs of Tyler Hicks

The U of Missouri photojournalism department recently recognized NYTimes photographer Tyler Hicks for his work in 2006.

Powerful stuff. I have no idea how he got these pics... amazing.

23 February 2007

Septagenarian Ex-GI Kills Mugger with Bare Hands

How was your vacation, Grandpa?

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - An American senior citizen killed an alleged mugger with his bare hands, and his traveling companions aboard a tour bus fended of two other assailants in the Atlantic coast city of Limon, police said.

A retired member of the U.S. military aged about 70 put suspect Warner Segura in a head lock and broke his clavicle after the 20-year-old and two other men armed with a knife and gun held up their tour bus...

The two other men fled when the 12 senior citizens started defending themselves during the Wednesday attack.

That's why smart American criminals pick on the Amish.

22 February 2007

Notable Political Contributions by Sports Personalities

Basic Overview: right-wingers well represented in every sport except one.

Some interesting stuff here... donations to Jesse Helms, Mark Foley, Rick Santorum, Katharine Harris, Pete Coors... even Dan Quayle for President! Some of them have given a lot (Andre Agassi, Mario Andretti, Lute Olson, Karl Malone, e.g.), some not so much.


Troy Aikman –Bush ’04, RNC

Mark Brunell – George Allen, Bush ’04

Chris Collinsworth – Rob Portman, Jim Bunning, KY GOP

Mike Ditka – Bush ’00, Bush ’04, RNC

John Elway – Tom Tancredo, Pete Coors

Lou Holtz – Bush ’00, McCain ’00, Quayle ’00

Bernie Kosar – Mike DeWine ’06, George Voinovich ‘04

Tommy Maddox – Bush ’04, RNC

Peyton Manning – Bush ‘04

Dan Marino – Bush ‘04

Al Michaels (commentator) – Bush ‘04

Bart Starr – RNC, Bush ’04,

Roger Staubach – George Allen, Bush ’04, Jim Bunning, NRSC

Lynn Swan – Pete Coors, Bush ’04, John Kerry for Senate

Jerome Bettis – Bush ’04

Bobby Bowden – RNC, Bush ’00, Bush ‘04


Mario Andretti – Rick Santorum, Patrick Toomey, NRSC, NRCC

Darrell Waltrip – RNC, NRSC, Bush ‘04

Greg Biffle – NRSC

Dale Jarrett – RNC, Bush ‘04

Richard Petty – Elizabeth Dole, Jesse Helms


Ben Crenshaw – Bush ’00, Bush ’04, John Cornyn

Tom Kite – Bush ‘04

Davis Love III – Bush ‘04

Greg Norman – Bush ’00, Bush ’04, Mark Foley

Arnold Palmer – Jack Murtha, Rick Santorum, Pete Coors, Bush ’04, Bush ’00, Quayle ‘00

Tom Watson – RNC

Paul Azinger ­– Katharine Harris

Ray Floyd – RNC, NRCC, Mark Foley, Quayle ‘00

Peter Jacobsen – Quayle ‘00

Larry Mize – Bush ‘04

Byron Nelson – Texas GOP, RNC, John Cornyn, John Thune,

Jack Nicklaus – George Voinovich, RNC

Mark O’Meara – Bush ’00, Bush ‘04

Lenny Wadkins – Bush ‘00

Fuzzy Zoeller – Lugar for President ‘95


Charles Barkley – John Edwards ’04

Clyde Drexler – Bush ‘04

Phil Jackson – Bill Bradley

Michael Jordan – Barack Obama, Bill Bradley

Bobby Knight – Bush ‘04

Karl Malone – Bush ’04, RNC

Alonzo Mourning – DNCC

Lute Olson – Rick Santorum, RNC

Jalen Rose – Edwards ‘04

Isaiah Thomas –Bradley ’00, Gore ’00, Jesse Jackson ‘88

Vlade Divac -- DNC

Dikembe Mutumbo – Barack Obama, Jay Rockefeller


Andre Agassi – Tom Harkin, Joe Lieberman, Maria Cantwell, Harry Reid, Kerry for President, Gore for President

Jim Courier – Kerry for President

John McEnroe – Democracy for America, Kerry ’04, Bradley '00

Martina Navratilova – Emily’s List


Rafael Palmeiro – Bush ‘04

Alex Rodriguez – Bush ‘04

Nolan Ryan – Bush ’04, RNC

Hank Aaron – Max Cleland

FOX19 News Shows Its Hand

This week FOX19's morning news used loaded words to describe McCain's statement about Rumsfeld. They said McCain "attacked" and "slammed" Rumsfeld.

Pretty loaded words for a network that claims to report and not decide.

19 February 2007

Buckeye Institute Gets Another Feather in its Crap

Ken Blackwell is the Ronald Reagan Distinguished Fellow at the Buckeye Institute.

Wow, plenty of words to cringe at in that sentence.

From the BI's press release (which, interestingly, is not posted at the BI's website):

"The Buckeye Institute is committed to asserting conservative ideals as loudly and aggressively as ever before, and we now have in Ken Blackwell a new colleague who is inarguably Ohio's most eloquent herald of those ideals," said Chairman Rick Segal.

I have no doubt about their commitment to volume and aggressivness, but I'm a bit more cynical about the "eloquent" part. Let's review how Blackwell arrived at this esteemed position, keeping in mind that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior:

Item no.1: As state treasurer, Blackwell hired a felon and kept him on the payroll after his office discovered the man had a long record of arrests. Under Blackwell, who was treasurer from March 1994 to January 1999, Michael A. Toomer received two pay increases, and left the treasurer's office in 2002, landing in prison for the next four years.

Item no.2: With Republican Ken Blackwell trailing by double digits in almost every poll, Blackwell's campaign Tuesday tried to link his Democratic opponent to child sex predators - and the state Republican spokesman even raised questions about Ted Strickland's sexuality.

Item no.3: "I think homosexuality is a lifestyle, it's a choice, and that lifestyle can be changed. I think it's a transgression against God's law, God's will. The reality is again ... that we make choices all the time. And, I think you make good choices and bad choices in terms of lifestyle. Our expectation is that one's genetic makeup might make one more inclined to be an arsonist, or may make one more inclined to be a kleptomaniac. Do I think that can be changed? Yes."

Item no.4: Asked what current regulations aren't cost-effective, Blackwell cited environmental regulations governing how much mercury can be in water as well as standards for protecting and replacing wetlands.

Item no.5: The 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals today told Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to open his wallet and pay $64,613.14 for attorney fees to the Sandusky County Democratic Party.

The party sued Republican Blackwell prior to the 2004 presidential elections over his delay in telling county boards of election they could let voters cast "provisional" ballots. The Help America Vote Act, enacted in 2002, permitted provisional ballots but Blackwell didn't get around to sending out his first directive until mid-September 2004.

FYI: the $64, 613 from Item no.5 was paid by Ohio taxpayers, not Blackwell.

18 February 2007

This Week in Southern Republican Ignoramusness

Item no.1: Yesterday NPR interviewed a political reporter for a Charleston, SC newspaper. NPR asked him about how the Democratic Presidential candidates might fare in South Carolina.

I repeat: this was a political reporter. He called Clinton "Hillary" (as opposed to "Clinton" or "Sen. Clinton") and-- this is the best part-- he could neither remember nor pronounce the name "Barack Obama." The NPR host had to say it for him.

Item no.2: Georgia state representative Ben Bridges (R-Mars) writes a memo claiming evolution is a myth propagated by an ancient Jewish sect:

"Indisputable evidence — long hidden but now available to everyone — demonstrates conclusively that so-called 'secular evolution science' is the Big Bang, 15-billion-year, alternate 'creation scenario' of the Pharisee Religion," says the memo, which has Bridges' name on it. "This scenario is derived concept-for-concept from Rabbinic writings in the mystic 'holy book' Kabbala dating back at least two millennia."

17 February 2007

Heard This Week on WBDZ, "The Buzz"

A caller to Lincoln Ware's show claimed that the military teaches black soldiers how to shoot but not to reload their weapons. Therefore they can't defend themselves after they unload the first round. The military does this on purpose because it's part of the conspiracy to eliminate all the black people.

Campbell Brown Exposed

NBC is a joke. Let's get that straight right away. Not convinced?

Two words: Matt Lauer.

Two more: Campbell Brown.

Last week Brown parrotted the "support for the troops means support for the war" talking point on the Today show. The date was Feb. 13, which I think is significant because maybe she was trying to appease her new husband on the eve of Valentine's Day.

Why would that be a turn-on for her husband?

Because Campbell Brown's husband is none other than Dan Senor, Paul Bremer's former right-hand man who now works for FAUX News.

But there's so much more about Dan Senor than the above official link tells us. For one thing, his first job after business school was with The Carlyle Group. Several years before that, he interned with AIPAC.

And before he worked for Bremer, he was deputy for Scott "Pinnocchio" McClellan. In fact, Senor was given the job of "helping" Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi write his speeches during a U.S. visit prior to the 2004 elections.

So the love of Campbell Brown's life has had longtime ties to the Bush family and the Israel lobby. Not exactly the ingredients of objectivity. But there's more...

Dan Senor has made some campaign contributions. One recipient, Tom O'Donoghue, advocated the following in his platform:

We must focus our efforts to get our troops home. The key is to make security an Iraqi mission.

We must accelerate the handover by:

• Reinvigorating diplomacy and engaging allies;
• Blocking the outside forces that fuel instability;
• Setting realistic milestones to measure success;
• Finish the training of the Iraqi Army.

Wait a minute here... get the troops home? Reinvigorating diplomacy? Milestones?

These aren't parts of the Bush plan. These sound like... dare I say... Democratic plans!

Maybe Campbell Brown can bring her husband on the Today show and ask him why he would give money to a candidate who doesn't support the troops.

And after that, maybe she can ask him if he gave money to George Allen because he's great at making up funny words.

Another of Senor's recipients, Nicholas Vancampen Taylor, is one of those walking GOP pamphlets. Here's an it-would-be-funny-if-it-weren't-true summary of one of his debate speeches:

I am a Marine! And a hero! There’s too much partisanship in Washington and it’s all the fault of liberal cut-and-run terrorist-appeasers like Nancy Pelosi, whom my opponent loves and plans to marry. America faces many challenges, and they are all the fault of gay terrorist illegal aliens who want to adopt. Get rid of the tax-and-spend Congress by electing yet another Republican like the ones who have been doing all the taxing and spending over the last 12 years. Grover Norquist loves me, even though I didn’t bother to read his survey before I signed it, so you should love me, too. Taxes are the work of Satan. The key to victory in Iraq is doing the same thing over and over and over again and hoping for a different result. If you hate Jesus, vote for my opponent.

There's more. Senor also gave money to major fundraiser and DeLay protege (and Abramoff-associated) Eric Cantor, who also has ties to AIPAC and the Republican Jewish Coalition. Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the House but nevertheless failed to see the irony in rebuking Howard Dean for calling the GOP "a white, Christian Party."

And then there's Mike Ferguson, Congressman from New Jersey. He's one of the top pharma whores and, speaking of whores... he seems to think that's what Georgetown students are.

So there you have it... Campbell Brown is one degree of separation from a true blue neocon. So the next time you see her get on her knees for a GOP snow job on TV, remember that she does pretty much the same thing off TV.

14 February 2007

George Bush: the 0.005% - 0.18% Christian

AP Story:

The Bush administration plans to allow about 7,000 Iraqi refugees to settle in the United States over the next year, a huge expansion at a time of mounting international pressure to help millions who have fled their homes in the nearly four-year-old war.

According to the article, about 3.8 million refugees have been displaced. Jordan alone has taken in 700,000. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that the ones who leave first are those most able to leave, i.e. people with a marketable skill or education who have means. So the doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, teachers and other professionals in general have all gone.

Who does that leave for us now? And just as important, who does that leave in Iraq? Clearly, the ones left in Iraq will be less able to handle a fledgling democracy and more likely to become terrorists.

At present, Bush has allowed 463 Iraqi refugees into America. That's 0.012%. His new proposal to allow 7,000 more will take that up to a still unimpressive 0.18%.

And he proposes spending $18 million, which is about 0.0047% of what he has spent on the war.

I can count on one hand the number of times I can defend Bush, but to be fair, there was really no way to come out ahead on the refugee matter. It would have been a bad idea to bring in refugees in the early stages or war because it was important to keep the educated people in Iraq to run the country. But now that they're mostly gone, there's little that can be done.

So crazy it might work: Instead of spending money to bring refugees here, let's spend money to send people there. Anyone in the world who meets certain qualifications (skilled laborers, degreed professionals, e.g.) and is crazy enough to go there can get a grant or guaranteed employment to set up shop in Iraq. This way they would know that they are working for themselves and taking ownership of the country instead of being a cog in the U.S. occupation machine. The idea needs to be refined but I just thought of it off the top of my head just now.

13 February 2007

Padres Sign Iraq Vet

From desert to turf:

The Padres' ongoing search for baseball talent recently found an unusual source: the United States Marine Corps. The Padres are enlisting Cooper Brannan, a Marine corporal whose service includes two tours of duty in Iraq.

A former pitcher for Highland High in Gilbert, Ariz., Brannan worked out for Padres scout Brendan Hause recently and will participate in spring training with fellow minor leaguers. The 22-year-old right-hander is to report to Peoria on March 2.

Brannan also has a Purple Heart and lost a finger on his left hand. Fortunately, he's a right-handed pitcher.

(via WBRS Sports Blog)

David Crowley, Radiologist

Crowley's Resolution Exposes Lack of Spine

Crowley's resolution specifically makes two points:

(1) Council supports the soldiers and recognizes their sacrifices;

(2) Council opposes the troop surge as a military strategy because it comes at the expense of needs that need to be met locally.

In other words, Crowley's resolution is not a simple antiwar sentiment. If it were only that, then Bortz, Berding, and Ghiz might have a point. But the resolution specifically addresses the LOCAL costs of the war that come as a result of the troop surge. Therefore, it IS germane to local fiscal matters and reasonably within the purview of council. The resolution states this plainly:

...this decrease in federal grant money severely lessens the ability of the City of Cincinnati to rebuild its urban core, promote homeownership opportunities in Cincinnati, and provide critical housing services for the poor, the disabled, and for people with HIV-AIDS...

So either Bortz, Berding, and Ghiz didn't bother to read the resolution or they're making excuses for putting their personal political ambitions above the needs of Cincinnatians. All three share the same circumstance of having their political futures depend heavily on support from Republicans.

This isn't rocket science... it's obvious all three have ongoing political ambitions and it's obvious that they want to ensure their viability as candidates in the future. They're not the first to put their personal ambitions above the needs of their constituents and they won't be the last.

Ghiz warrants special mention for adding absurdity on top of spinelessness. Her attempt to paint the issue as support for police vs. an irrelevant foray into foreign policy was ridiculous. But I suppose that's the kind of political gamesmanship we should expect from someone whose political idol is Karl Rove. Let's not forget that Cecil Thomas, a former cop, voted FOR the resolution.

In the end, Bortz, Berding, and Ghiz may turn out to be the real winners. By demonstrating their willingness to lie down and roll over for local political kingmakers, they've probably shored up a good deal of future support. They should thank Crowley for the opportunity.

Related items:

Candidate John Eby equates Crowley with Osama bin Laden.
Chris Bortz expounds on his excuses.
Leslie Ghiz is willing to consider non-local matters when it's politically helpful.

11 February 2007

A Plan to Move Cincinnati Into the 21st Century?

Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle recently released his Grow Milwaukee initiative to boost quality of life there. BFD wonders why there isn't a "Grow Cleveland" initiative, and I wonder why we don't have something like that for Cincinnati.

Then I saw this.

It's a little bit pie-in-the-sky, but considering his extensive background in urban policy, he might be just the one to get the ball rolling.

I've opined before about the importance of electing a council that at least understands the importance of urban planning, if not has the experience themselves. Thats why I endorsed Samantha Herd in 2005 (what happened to her, anyway?).

So far the Harris platform looks pretty strong and deserves serious consideration... more than the run-of-the-mill claptrap we'll likely get from the usual suspects.

Doctors Urge Parents to Donate Cord Blood

The promise of stem cell research motivates many parents to store umbilical cord blood in case of future illness. Cord blood is typically stored in private banks for future use by family members, but the American Academy of Pediatrics warns about the false hope private, for-profit blood banks may offer:

Physicians should be aware of the unsubstantiated claims of private cord blood banks made to future parents that promise to insure infants or family members against serious illnesses in the future by use of the stem cells contained in cord blood. Although not standard of care, directed cord blood banking should be encouraged when there is knowledge of a full sibling in the family with a medical condition (malignant or genetic) that could potentially benefit from cord blood transplantation.

Recently the AAP issued a statement urging parents to donate cord blood to public cord banks:

"We want to encourage parents to donate to public cord blood banks because this cord blood contains stem cells that can be used to treat a variety of serious conditions," says Dr. Mitchell Cairo, a member of the first AAP Work Group on Cord Blood Banking.

The National Academy of Sciences has recommended a national network of public cord banks to be coordinated by HHS to facilitate the donation and use of cord blood. Its report states:

"The lack of centralized organization, universal quality standards, and uniform matching mechanisms makes it more difficult than it has to be for physicians to provide patients with suitable cells in a timely way... Moreover, there simply aren't enough units of cord blood available now to meet the needs of the roughly 11,700 Americans who could benefit from a transplant of these cells every year. The structure we are recommending for a national cord blood banking program would assure that patients receive high-quality therapeutic cells in the most timely, ethical, and cost-effective manner possible."

Here's a list of a variety of diseases that can potentially be treated with stem cells.

If Only Condi Were Really This Funky

Condoleeza Rice breaks it down for Barbara Boxer regarding forthcoming troop casualties.

(via GrrlScientist)

08 February 2007

Poll Reveals Republican Ignorance About Science

GOP Even More Ignorant than Originally Expected.

National Journal has released a new “Congressional Insiders Poll,” which surveyed 113 members of Congress — 10 Senate Democrats, 48 House Democrats, 10 Senate Republicans, and 45 House Republicans — about their positions on global warming.

The results were startling. Only 13 percent of congressional Republicans say they believe that human activity is causing global warming, compared to 95 percent of congressional Democrats.

I'd like to see a survey including every member of Congress, not just 113 of them. It's not too small of a sample, but I am curious to know the comprehensive numbers. And it would be nice to get them on record about an issue that 99% of scientists agree on.

07 February 2007

The End of the World is Nigh

Either I've gone insane or the world is about to end:

Executives from Wal-Mart and three other major U.S. employers on Wednesday joined hands with union leaders in setting a goal of providing 'quality, affordable' health care for millions of workers by 2012.

An interesting coalition since Wal-Mart isn't exactly winning awards for its own health coverage. Nevertheless, perhaps this will get the ball rolling.

Getting Harder to Distinguish Islamofascists, Christofascists

Hey, maybe Christian fundamentalists and Muslim fundamentalists can get along after all:

The United Nations has for the first time confirmed that there are organized campaigns to kill gays in Iraq, directed by orders from Islamic leaders.

One such order says gays “should be killed in the worst, most severe way of killing.”

Those campaigns are at the behest of Islamic leaders, including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of Shiite Muslims in Iraq.

It's great to see the world's holiest people brought together by the common bond of hatred. And how about this:

Activists like Hili, who said that discreet homosexuality was tolerated under Saddam Hussein’s rule...

Dictatorship or fundamentalism... such a tough choice. I wish we could put them together like chocolate and peanut butter and make a yummy little Reese's cup of a country.

06 February 2007

A Good Show Beats a Good Snow

A Clark Street Blog concert recommendation:

Local musician and all-around good guy Nicholas Radina will be playing with the band Eclipse at Xavier's Gallagher Theatre tomorrow at 7pm. Radina plays guitar and cuatro and plays them very well. He's a member of hot local band Tropicoso which is known as much for hot music as it is for bringing out all the beautiful people.

Check out clips of him in action on his website.

So if the roads are driveable, check out the show. Did I mention the FREE BEER?

Factoid: Radina designed and invented a machine to throw footballs for teams to use in practice. Basically a pitching machine except for footballs. I provided a modicum of consultation with the physics. I don't know what the machine is called but I'll bet it's not "Rex."

Super Bowl Commentary Recap

Announcer #1: PeytonPeytonPeytonPeytonPeyton.

Announcer #2: Tony Dungy is african-american. Did you notice that? And get this: Lovie Smith is also african-american. What we have here are two african-americans. You do understand that, right? Who could have possibly seen this coming? What a glorious moment for african-americans. We'll mention it again in 15 minutes.

03 February 2007

Scientists Identify Worst Sound in the World

What's the worst sound? For my money, it's the voice of nutty pundit Bill Kristol. I can't stand that smug, croaking voice. And I'm not even factoring in his amazing streak of being wrong all the time, since it's technically not sound (pun alert).

But the scientific study that aimed to identify the world's worst sound was done in Britain, so they have the good fortune of not having to put up with Kristol. So what sound makes people sick to their stomach?

Question asked, question answered:

A year-long quest to identify the worst sound in the world ended yesterday with top honours going to the backdrop of market town Britain on a Saturday night: a person vomiting.

Microphone feedback, crying babies and the scrapes and squeaks of a train on a track ranked second and joint third, with a cat howling and mobile phone ringtones coming joint 12th and snoring an unexpectedly low 26th.

Officer Faces Court Martial for Opposing War

Yet another similarity with Vietnam...

Lieutenant Ehren Watada, faces a court martial for refusing to deploy to Iraq and for making public statements against the war. He is the first officer [since Vietnam] to be prosecuted for publicly criticising the war... If he is convicted on all charges, Lt Watada could spend four years in a military prison.

Lt Watada, 28, argues that to serve in Iraq would betray his conscience and his duties as an officer. "It would be a violation of my oath because this war to me is illegal in the sense that it was waged in deception, and it was also in violation of international law," he told the Guardian. "Officers and leaders have that responsibility to speak out for the enlisted and certainly when we do so it comes with more consequences, which is what a leader should do. A leader can't just go with the crowd."

The best part:

The Pentagon maintains that Lt Watada gave up his right to free speech when he put on the uniform.

Translation: When you put on the uniform to defend American rights and freedoms, you give up those rights and freedoms which you put on the uniform to defend.

And speaking of great ideas, Bush's new budget requests more money for war and less for health.

Belichick Still an A-hole

Once again, adverse circumstances reveal Bill Belichick's true weenie-ness:

Johnson, who played 10 years in the NFL, said he began to deteriorate in August 2002 with a concussion during an exhibition game against the New York Giants. He sustained another concussion four days later after Belichick prodded him to participate in a full-contact practice, even though he was supposed to be avoiding hits, Johnson said.

The next month, with their relationship already strained, Johnson confronted Belichick about the practice after the coach asked him to meet in his office.

"I told him, `You played God with my health. You knew I shouldn't have been cleared to play,"' Johnson told the Globe.

Belichick's response:

"If Ted felt so strongly that he didn't feel he was ready to practice with us, he should have told me," Belichick said.

Shorter Bill Belichick: If Ted had a brain injury that prevented him from making reasoned judgments he should have had the reasonable judgment to tell me. I mean, when did that become my job?