Next up: Café Tropical, the gritty Cuban coffee house in old Silverlake. I park my Bush-Cheney festooned car behind a Volvo station wagon decorated with a bumper sticker that reads, "Ban war without end. Not in our name." I order an iced espresso and sit beneath a collage of Che Guevara photos. Customers accessorize their coffees at the condiment station in front of me. Suddenly I look up to see Latino man, who appears to be in his early 40s, rushing toward me, an enormous grin on his face. "Where do you get that shirt?" he demands. He continues: "I know only three Republicans here. Everyone else loves Kerry. The Spanish language TV is so filled with bias. They don't tell you that Mr. Bush is a gentleman." People standing nearby watch our summit with anguished there-goes-the-neighborhood expressions. As my new friend leaves, he stands at the front door and, raising his fist, yells, "Viva Bush!" Spasms of horror seize the store and pulse out to the community beyond.
A Brazilian legislator wants to make it illegal to give pets names that are common among people. Federal congressman Reinaldo Santos e Silva proposed the law after psychologists suggested that some children may get depressed when they learn they share their first name with someone's pet, said Damarias Alves, a spokeswoman for Silva.Brazilian Seeks Ban on Human Pet Names
"Names have importance," said Alves. The congressman "wants to challenge people's assumptions that it's acceptable to give animals human names," she said.
If the law is passed, pet stores and veterinary clinics would be required to display a sign noting the prohibition of human first names for pets.
Perhaps the largest October surprise in Germany is the BILD newspaper's endorsement of President George W. Bush. BILD, which has the widest circulation of any newspaper in Europe, lists the following 10 reasons why Bush should be re-elected:
1. Bush has clear priorities. He sees the inhuman Islamic fundamentalism and the murderous mullahs as the largest danger for the Western world.
2. Bush has learned the lessons of history. Military strength, not pleasant talk, is the only thing that helps against violent fanatics. And with Bush -- unlike with Kerry -- there is no doubt about this.
3. Under Bush, the US, as a superpower, will continue to bear the financial, military and casualty burden in the fight against terrorism in a "holy war" which Islamic fanatics unilaterally declared.
4. Along with fighting terror and the terrorists, a re-elected Bush will do everything he can to prevent nuclear proliferation. That is especially true with regard to the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea.
5. Bush has learned that America can defeat every country in war, but needs allies in peace. Thus, his second term will be characterized by cooperation with international partners. But he will not depend on how Syria or Libya vote at the UN.
6. Bush knows that Europe and Germany don’t have the military at their disposal to become involved in any further foreign military engagements. Therefore he won't ask them for help. Kerry will do exactly that – and will further burden already damaged German-American relations.
7. Under Bush, America will remain a reliable partner for Israel in its fight for survival. That must especially be in our German interest.
8. Republicans have always been stronger supporters of free trade than Democrats. That is also true of Bush when compared to Kerry. And that is good for Germany as an export nation.
9. Every new American administration makes mistakes. Bush has already made his. Kerry, on the other hand, has of yet held no (executive) position in the government. He would be worse prepared than most Presidents preceding him.
10. With Bush, we know what to expect. With Kerry, nobody knows what he stands for and where he wants to lead America – and the world.
What would you do if you were a 22 year old Kurdish Muslim woman in March of 2003, when an army drawn from several countries invaded your homeland?Read the whole thing: Humalia Akrawy: An Iraqi Woman Speaks Out
If you were Humalia Akrawy you would remember your brother, killed under Saddam -- and remember how they sent back just one leg and part of an arm to demonstrate his death and their power to your family. You would look at your father, who no longer has full use of his hands after being tortured by Saddam.
And then, despite the disapproval of many but with the blessing and support of your family, on 23 March you would volunteer to become a translator for the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army.
But what would you do when Ba'athists and jihadists ambushed your car, injuring your brother and trying to kill you, and when they later killed your 24 year old sister thinking she was you -- pumping 60 AK47 bullets into her body? Or when you received a letter saying, "We know we missed killing you, but we will be back" and then your home was blown up, injuring another brother and killing the Iraqi policeman guarding it?
If you were the remarkable Ms. Akrawy you would help your remaining family members move to a safe area in the far north of the country and then return to your job. And this time, instead of insisting on a lower profile role, you would eagerly agree to become the translator for Lieutenant General Petraeus himself, the commander of the 101st - despite all the media exposure that entailed - and you would proudly do that job in the face of continued death threats against you.
In a letter of clarification requested by a traveling minister, the Internal Revenue Service has declared people gathered in tax-exempt churches can't pray for President Bush to win the election on Tuesday.Can they whisper prayers? Or hold hands and pray silently? Or maybe they can just say "God, please let the inarticulate guy win the election" without naming names. Ok, this is getting silly...
How could he do it without costing up time in other battleground states?I really like this idea. Justin's logic is compelling.
By using the time zones to his advantage, Bush could pull it off. Most of the campaigning takes place in the Central and Eastern Time Zones. Hawaii is five hours behind Central Time and six hours behind Eastern Time. If he left the Central or Eastern time zone in the late afternoon/early evening, he could arrive in Hawaii for a late rally. Jump off the Air Force One and deliver the stump speech while the rest of the US sleeps, and then head back stateside overnight. It would be a very brief visit, but it could be done. Remember too, that Saturday night provides an extra hour due to Daylight Savings Time.
Why would he do it? First, Hawaii may be close. The RCP average shows Bush with a .9% lead. Second, a visit to the islands would get more than it's fair share of press. Coverage would see this as brilliant at best and only a novelty at worst. Third, there's probably no state in the union that would have as high an electoral payoff relative to the amount of time actually spent in the state. A few hours on the ground could reap huge benefits in a close state because these are voters that are historically ignored. A candidate who meets with them face to face - even if it's brief - could sway a lot of undecided voters. Finally, a surprise overnight trip partways around the globe could remind some voters Bush's Thanksgiving trip to Iraq which was one of the highlights of his term in office which certainly wouldn't be a bad reminder.
I'm not a travel or campaign logistics expert, but I think if he could pull this off, 4 electoral votes in Hawaii would be a whole lot easier to mine with just one visit than the war of attrition that is the battle for New Hampshire's four votes.
FOUR YEARS ago, when I covered the last US presidential election campaign, it was hard to be impressed with George W. Bush. He seemed a callow sort, propelled effortlessly towards the presidency by a combination of heredity and money, swagger and bonhomie.
It didn’t matter that he couldn’t name the President of Chechnya. It was more troubling that he could not really say why he wanted to be American President at all.
I would certainly have preferred the Republican senator John McCain, one of the few men I have met for whom I would be prepared to leap in front of a flying bullet. If he had not been such an insufferable prig, I might even have preferred Al Gore. But those were fat, happy, complacent times. The election was about nothing; who cared who won? Having an aimless, shiftless president seemed somehow appropriate.
CNN's Newsnight on Oct. 20 aired a poignant segment on the rescue of elderly and destitute Iraqi Jews who had been largely forgotten by the outside world until they were visited and helped by Rachel Zelon, a senior official of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Traveling to Iraq, Zelon used hand drawn maps to find the remaining Jews and to offer them resettlement in Israel. As host Aaron Brown noted, Iraq's Jewish community which 50 years ago had been quite large (he gave the number 500,000, but the actual number was probably closer to 150,000), was now down to about 35 people.
The segment focused on Sasson, a frail 90 year-old, afflicted with cataracts and barely able to cope in his airless room, and Regina, also elderly and suffering from curvature of the spine so severe that she could barely walk. Both eventually accepted Zelon's offer to move to Israel.
Zelon even made the difficult journey to the southern Iraqi city of Basra to find Salima, who lived there alone, apparently looked after by members of a local church. Basra was once home to a thriving Jewish community – now Salima was one of the few Jews left.
As recounted by Zelon:
We drove to an old section of Basra and pulled up in front of a house. There was this little tiny old lady. And she invited us in. And we sat down on some stones in this courtyard. And she looked at me. And she said, who are you? And I looked at her and said, I'm Jewish. And I'm here to take you home. And she said, I thought everyone had forgotten about me. And I said, no. We just couldn't get to you. But now I'm here. And she said, my nieces and nephew and sisters and brothers, they all went to Israel and they live there. And I wanted to go. But I didn't know how to get there. And I said, we'll take you there.
The segment ended with this moving story, again recounted by Zelon:
A few months after Sasson got to Israel, I happened to be in Israel again. And I went to visit him in the home for the aged that he was living in. He had put on 20 pounds. And his hair was long. It was so wonderful to see him. And we were sitting there. And we were talking at this table in the home. And, all of a sudden, a telephone starts to ring.
And we're looking around trying to find a telephone. And Sasson reaches into his pocket and pulls out a cell phone and says, hello? And it was just the most wonderful thing. It sort of was like, oh, this really was worthwhile. This -- we did good here.
CNN and Newsnight host Aaron Brown are to be commended for their sensitive portrayal of Iraq's dwindling and destitute Jewish community, and for exposing to a wider audience the impressive rescue efforts of Rachel Zelon and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.
Just as important, the segment showed the real Israel – willingly opening its doors to elderly, destitute people who literally had nowhere else to go. Even the greatest democracy in the world, the United States, would have been unlikely to accept these impoverished Jews, but Israel, a Jewish and democratic state, did.
French presidency: France to send plan to bring Arafat to France for treatmentSo solicitous, so concerned. Yuck.
Palestinian lawmaker Abbas Zaki says Arafat will be flown to France early Friday morningSo, expect nothing else till Friday morning Israel time unless Arafat dies, seriously deteriorates or miraculously recovers.
Stan has posted an update:
yup : http://www.gazeta.ru/2004/10/28/oa_137890.shtml
it's in russian
but 13 were killed
the rest were rescued
and it wasn't 280 trapped as reported earlier but 103
the reason they think is the methane explosion
Thanks, Olka. Also, according to gzt.ru, the methane explosion version is not conclusive since there are no burns on the bodies of the victims. The families of the dead miners will receive "financial help", from the state, of at least 500,000 roubles each (~$16,500).
IDF troops, tanks push into area of Gaza where 6 people were wounded by Palestinian fire earlier on Thursdayand
Palestinian fire wounds 7 soldiers, 4 of them seriously, in IDF position near Gaza settlement
Sold in Moslem bookshops and via Internet in the form of cassette, this talk draws up a heinous and nauseous portrait Jews: "ungrateful", "miserly", of people who live "between them, in ghettos because they do not want to mix with the others that they regard as slaves". A litany of charges, related to episodes of Coran follows: the Jews "always scorned the human beings" and "do not have any scruple to kill out of the prophets". The preacher tells in particular how Jewish tried to poison the prophet to check if he were really the envoy of God. Mahomet survived and yet, "it did not convert. See entêtement ". The Jews "do not respect anything", continues it. They are "the signal of treason and the félonie". Since this time, "the Jews will not cease plotting against Islam and the Moslems".also interesting is the behavior of the IUOF when confronted
The characteristics of the Jews would explain, according to him, the current situation of Palestine. Félons, the Zionists would have thus pushed "Hitler to make evil with the German Jews to force them to leave", affirms the lecturer. Because, "the goal of the Jews is to make Eretz Israel, of the Nile in Euphrate, the south of Turkey until Medine. They left the coins, of the charts of large Israel, it are known, that ", insist it in front of a public which one guesses student and who does not protest. The Arabs having tried to make peace with Israel are qualified "traitors". The Egyptian president Anouar el-Sadate is disparaged like a "American agent". Yasser Arafat and its men are introduced like dépravés, the head of the PLO discussing in secrecy since years with the Hebrew State. Only Moslem truths, the "martyrs", "moudjahidins" defend, to hear it, the Palestinians. These believing created Hamas, which means, according to Iquioussen, "enthusiasm, spirit, fishing. These are people who go until the end. The armed branch works very well. It makes good job ".
To legitimate the attacks made by this organization, the preacher compares it to Jean Moulin: "a hero who killed out of the Germans to release his country. It is what the Palestinians do. Ahmed Yacine, it is Jean Moulin." And to conclude: "Israel is a State which does not take place to be."
Questioned, Yamin Makri, the director of the Tawhid editions who diffuses the cassette, is afflicted: "a listener alerted us. Exceptionally, we had not checked the contents of the cassette." This person in charge close to Tariq Ramadan and the Collective for the Moslems to France affirms to have given orders, eight month ago, so that this cassette is withdrawn from the sale. It is however on sale.*ring ring* what's up with this Jew-hating psycho tape you guys are selling? "Uh, we didnt know, and besides, we stopped selling that!" k thanks bye. *click*. *ring ring* hello, do you carry palestine, history of an injustice? "how many copies do you need? we offer discounts for large purchases!"
Joined on the telephone, Hassan Iquioussen seems on the other hand to assume: "I describe episodes reported in Coran. You do not want to repeal Coran?" It however proposes to discuss it in public. "That it is proven to me that I am wrong and I will change opinion!"The guy has a point. That stuff's right there in the Koran!
Besides, the Democratic party needs to be forced to take responsibility for the security of the country that is as much theirs' as anyone's. The greatest weakness of the war effort so far has been the way it has become a partisan affair.John Hawkins at Right Wing News ably demolishes this idea.
The left in this country has practically been dead weight on national security issues -- including the Cold War-- for more than 30 years now.Most damningly for the Democrats, if they really were going to get serious about national security after 9/11, wouldn't they have voted in a Joseph Lieberman? The party's most dedicated political activists, primary voters, went with John Kerry because he was "electable". They did not go with John Kerry because they thought he'd be a good wartime president; when he won the nomination he was in one of his antiwar (butter side up) flip flops to compete with Howard Dean. John elaborates,
And that's the problem with the idea that "the Democratic Party needs to be forced to take responsibility for the security of the country". Their record over the last three decades or so (at least) shows they're not willing to take that responsibility seriously.
John Kerry is a dovish liberal who has worked to weaken the military and our intelligence services during his Senate career, wasn't a "Cold Warrior," didn't support the invasion of Grenada, the Gulf War, or the invasion of Iraq, and opposed funding our troops in Iraq. To expect a man like Kerry to turn into Scoop Jackson once he gets into office is nutty.
It's like taking a gazelle, putting it into a cage where the only food is small animals, and expecting it to turn into a carnivore because meat is the only thing it has to eat. Well, the gazelle is probably going to starve to death because it's not its nature to eat meat. The same principle applies to anti-war liberals like John Kerry. He's not going to turn into a hawk just because the situation requires it. Instead, we're going to get BOMBED while he twiddles his thumbs at the UN.
Remember that the Democrats had a credible candidate running for the nomination who was serious about national security. His name was Joe Lieberman and he got BURIED. What does that tell you, especially in the post-9/11 world we live in, folks? If 9/11 didn't wake the Ted Kennedys and Nancy Pelosis of the world up, what makes anyone think putting John Kerry in charge of Iraq will do the trick given that Kerry can just let Iraq nosedive into the pavement and blame Bush for it? It just doesn't make any sense. That's why people who are serious about protecting America from terrorist attacks are going to be voting for Bush, not the party of Lyndon Johnson, George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, & John Kerry.Without Joementum, enh...they got nothing really. John Weidner at Random Jottings points out a new blog called Patum Peperium whose author points out that John Kerry is not stuck in a pre-9/11 world-in fact he's stuck in a pre-1991 world.
A few weeks back, J. F. Kerry opined that we needed to get back to those simpler days before 9/11 when terrorism was--to use his nuanced word--a "nuisance". His wife, the ever-popular raisin-pounder T. H. Kerry has advised that we all just get used to world wide terrorism, like our enlightened European cousins.read the comments over at John Weidner's place for an entertaining anecdote about Playboy and communism.
What Mr. Kerry and his lovely wife forget is that we remember. We--at least I--remember living in a world threatened by an expansionist Soviet Union. I remember a political and cultural atmosphere where people believed living with the monster was easier than doing something about it. I remember the near-hysteria when Ronald Reagan stood up and did something about it. And I remember the day the Berlin Wall came down.
I remember listening on the radio a year later. There was a report about a university in the former Soviet Union where students had just been told that literature would no longer be taught to them through the barbaric, distorting prism of Marxist-Leninist "theory". I remember the shout that went up from those students. It hit me like a blow, even through a car radio. It was deep and resonant and triumphant and heart-stopping. It sounded as if it expressed the pent-up longing of an entire people which, of course, it did.
I remember that Mr. Kerry and his friends told us none of that would ever happen. That if we tried we'd just rock the boat and end up in a nuclear holocaust. (Besides, who knew? Perhaps we were just as bad as the Soviets!) And now they're trying to tell us all that all over again. Except that this time our enemy is even more dangerous.
Don't despair. If Kerry starts getting to you in the next two weeks, just open a modern atlas and try to find Leningrad on a Russian map.