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October 27, 2003
Mostly other stories

For those in need of a little amusement, check out the QuickTakes update.

At 5/4", I'm not tall, but I'd still like to have a Knee Defender. People who lean their seats back on airlines drive me nuts. I have about eight inches of space in front of me when I'm flying and as far as I'm concerned, someone shoving their seat into my face is an intrusion on my personal space. It makes it essentially impossible to use the tray table (for those of us working or wanting something to drink during the flight), to get anything out of the luggage under the seat in front of you, or (for those stuck in inside seats), to let someone out of the row. Plus which, I'm a bit claustrophobic and having someone's seat back four inches from my face gives me the heebie-jeebies. I say, stop making seats that recline. If, at 5'4", I find myself banging my knees on the seat in front of me when it's reclined, I hate to think how painful it must be for a tall person.

13 of the Russian miners are still missing but I'm glad for the ones who have been rescued already.

Is USofA firm Bechtel aiding and abetting terrorism by working with a terrorist front company? Or is the arms' length relationship of Bechtel's partner with a designated terrorist front company enough to keep this Halliburton subsidiary out of trouble? I'm beginning to wonder if those claiming Halliburton and all of its offspring are the spawn of evil might have a point.

To be sure, who gets put on Treasury's "terrorist" list is not exactly a strict science, legal experts say. Georgetown law professor David Cole notes that "groups are designated behind closed doors, in a secret process, without any notice, without any hearing and even without any substantive criteria for what counts as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist. It's just a term the Bush Administration made up."

This Administration holds secret meetings and makes stuff up. Big surprise to all of us.

Michael Moore is very popular in Germany but his appeal, as the article points out, is largely negative.

Israel is failing to honor its part of the bargain under the Bush Administration's so-called 'road map' for peace.

Over in Iraq, someone is commemorating the onset of their religious season with a wave of mass murder. Here's a list of recent attacks. (It doesn't include all deaths or injuries from fighting, just "attacks.")

Also for the list-inclined, here's a list of 9/11-related cases at the Supreme Court. Some consider the absence of such cases until now are a pattern of the Court staying out of Bush's 'war on terror' but me, I think that it just takes a while for a case, almost any case to work it's way through the system and up to the Supreme Court.

Check out Darkening of a Nation.

Basic civil liberties are in dire jeopardy when anti-terrorist laws are used for day-to-day policing

The U.K. is having a few Patriot-Act-style problems of its own. Their crisis moment came about a decade ago and Cohen says they've been living under authoritarianism since then.

And the LATimes, a publication not known for pulling its punches, educates the California citizenry about the connection between the hated "car tax" and the hard-working firemen and policemen even now battling the killer fire sweeping across the southern part of the state.

What kind of an idiot feeds a baby french fries and soft drinks anyhow?

[...] research showed soft drinks were being placed into the bottles of infants as young as seven months old, and most toddlers between 19 and 24 months old consumed sweets "at least once a day."

Once again, I consider lobbying for a law that says people who demonstrate a lack of basic common sense shouldn't be allowed to breed.

I'm really considering very carefully whether these are all unacceptable racial remarks or whether some of them are just a case of race having become such an "untouchable" topic in this country that even a mention of having noticed that different people have different skin colors is enough to get you into big trouble.

Some of the incidents (the gorilla remark) are clearly racist. Others (it pains me to say this, but Limbaugh and the football player) might simply be a case of someone too stupid to communicate clearly.

His actual point wasn't racist in my eyes. (It hurts to say this. Really it does.) In querying whether or not there's a double-standard for how sports figures are covered by the media, he was, in my opinion, bringing up a legitimate topic.

After all, if we're never allowed to mention race, just how are we going to discuss the appalling inequity between the number of minority professional sports stars and the number of minority coaches and owners?

The article mentions a "zero tolerance" for controversial statements...but I disagree with that. I disagree very, very strongly. If we can't discuss these issues, how do we know where problems exist?

Posted by AnneZook at 09:41 AM