DETROIT – Police in Detroit have ruffled some feathers after they cracked down on an organized pillow fight at a downtown park.
The Detroit News reports that police at Campus Martius Park prevented the feathery fight Saturday by disarming pillow-toting participants. The bout was part of a worldwide event organized on social networking Web sites.
Michael Davis of Hamtramck says police confiscated the 32-year-old man's pillows but returned their cases. He says he was told that he needed a permit.
Scott Harris of Ferndale told the News that it's "not illegal to own a pillow."
Detroit police spokesman James Tate says cleanup was the issue.
American Accused of Giving Nuclear Secrets to Israel
April 22, 2008
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities arrested an American engineer on Tuesday on suspicion of giving secrets on nuclear weapons, fighter jets and air defense missiles to Israel during the 1980s, the Justice Department said.
Ben-Ami Kadish, a Connecticut-born U.S. citizen who worked at an Army engineering center in New Jersey, was suspected of reporting to the same Israeli government handler as Jonathan Jay Pollard, who is serving a life term on a charge of spying for Israel.
Court papers say Kadish's spying lasted roughly from 1979 to 1985, and his contact with the unidentified Israeli handler continued until March of this year.
Kadish was arrested in New Jersey and was scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon at U.S. District Court in Manhattan, authorities said.
There was no immediate comment from the Israeli government but a senior Israeli defense official said "I find it hard to believe that, after the Pollard affair, we would recruit an American spy."
Pollard pleaded guilty in 1986.
A Justice Department official said Kadish did not appear to receive any money in exchange for his suspected spying.
Yesterday I reported a story. It was a $6 billion story. It was a story about criminal misconduct. I felt it was a story worth reporting. You must have agreed because you gave it enough notes and promoted it to the front page.
However, the story seemed a bit odd, not because $6 billion disappeared, but rather because of the way the hearing to investigate the matter was conducted by the House Armed Services Committee. 61 members of Congress sit on that committee. By the time the hearing was over, only the chairman and one other member found it important enough to stick around.
Those public servants, God bless them, sit on these committees to conduct the business of the nation. They sacrifice being with their families to do right by the country. So it seemed a bit odd that such honorable men and women would not consider the fleecing of the country out of $6 billion an important enough matter to justify attending this hearing.
I convinced myself that, in the scheme of things, $6 billion was nothing more than small change and more important matters must have taken precedence over investigating the disappearance of this measly sum. But somehow there were too many zeros in that figure to say let's forgive and forget. So I decided to find out why a lawmaker would lose interest in a hearing designed to get to the bottom of this matter.
This is what I found!
First I'm going to introduce you to the honorable members of the House Armed Services Committee.
Please CLICK HERE to meet the honorable, derelict HASC Members!
If you share my amazement as to why 59 of these members were missing at the end of the above-mentioned hearing, let's try to remove all reasons for our bewilderment.
These member could not have been any more honest and loyal to their constituents. A dollar donated to any of these members goes a long way towards serving the interests of the donors. What more can we expect from honorable, elected public officials than a total display of loyalty towards their constituents? Members of this committee should be regarded as role models by all other elected public officials for the loyalty they display towards their constituents. And I have a feeling that they are.
Now let's find out who the constituents of these members are. Please CLICK HERE to meet the generous constituents of these honorable members.
Now that you have had a minute to absorb the extent of generosity of their constituents, do you still have any doubt about their loyalties to those they represent?
And to those who are still waiting for the Democrats to bring an end to this war, wake up! Can't you see that members of this committee, both Democrats and Republicans, are equally loyal to their constituency (singular)?
So if you're still hoping that the Democrats will bring an end of this war, think again. They will not be outdone by the Republicans in the display of their loyalty.
And if you're wondering about the commitment of the members of this committee to the war industry, wonder no more. These are the totals received by these members to ensure their loyalty.
Bipartisan politics at its best! Yes, there is a difference between the Republicans and the Democrats when it comes to stopping this war -- a difference that I can't see!
One may define a terrorist as someone who attempts to wreak havoc in a place where peace exists. A good example would be to create fake profiles to promote a story and destroy a news network's integrity.
Please CLICK HERE to see an example of news terrorism.
If you're fed up with this practice, please register your concerns RIGHT HERE!
Every now and then we start hearing noises about our God-given right to carry fire arms as enshrined in the Second Amendment of our Constitution.
It is not only understandable, but rather expected, that such noises would come from the usual right-wing suspects, for their way of life is based on militancy and the promotion and proliferation of arms in different shapes and forms to individuals and nations. The notion of developing those invincible armies by various nations does not come into being from a vacuum. A culture of violence based on the use of force against others at the personal level must be ingrained in people before such culture can dominate the conscience of one nation in its dealings with others. War existed as a means of settling differences among competing factions since the dawn of time. However, in spite of all the strident steps man made, we are yet to recognize the obsolescence and limitations of war, especially at the human level, where both vanquished and victorious share in the suffering.
The ability to institutionalize war would not be there, if at the personal level we reject the idea of using violence to settle differences. The idea of resolving differences among nations by the use of force would not materialize if we simply reject it at the personal level.
What is not understandable, let alone expected, is the embrace of the use of guns by those who pour all their God-given energies into the promotion of peace only to undermine their own efforts by ignoring the parallels between the possessions of weapons at the personal level and the possession of weapons as a nation. The war makers are the only beneficiaries of war. They glorify war. They glorify killing. They instill the notion that there is honor in killing and getting killed. And those who already accepted the use of violence at the personal level, cannot separate themselves from the institution of war, for they only extend to the nation what they already accepted for themselves at the personal level. Their extolment of the devastating ability of their country’s arsenal is only an extension of their reverence for that handgun they so proudly carry on their side.
There are some of those who work to promote peace among nations who still insist on their right to bear arms because the Second Amendment tells them so. They also go to such lengths as to claim that the right to bear arms is only second to the right to free speech as evidenced by the sequencing of these Amendments in the grand design of our infallible forefathers - our forefathers, the slave owners.
It can be argued, and it has been, that the Constitution, prior to the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, allowed slavery. According to some, that Constitution provided the right to own slaves and engage in the slave trade. Those constitutional rights came in all shapes and forms and some of them brought shame to the human race. And even with the first Amendment in place, it’s hard to imagine how much free speech a slave could have exercised.
So the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment could not be enjoyed by the whole citizenry, even theoretically, until the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified.
This goes to show that the sequence of the Amendments is not an indication of their importance but rather a reflection of their chronological development as the political climate of the times allowed.
To argue that the Second Amendment is more important to the Constitution than the Thirteenth is simply absurd, especially when the Thirteenth is the one that extends the benefits of the First to the rest of the citizenry.
Using that same, now amended, Constitution, we now hear about the right to bear arms the same way we heard about the right to own slaves back then. Both rights were guaranteed by the Constitution at one point or another. Does that make them right?
It was only when our morality, courage and political will converged that the Thirteen Amendment was born and we started the journey to regain our consciousness and remedy the ills of the past -- a journey that seems to get longer and longer every step of the way.
The fact that there is a Second Amendment doesn’t make bearing arms any more right than owning a slave was when there was no Thirteenth Amendment.
The Constitution may have been the best document we could come up with, but that does not make it perfect. It never was; it is not; and it may never be!
The question we should be asking is whether what the Constitution guarantees, or is purported to guarantee, is right. That was the question we should have asked long before 1865 and that is the question we should be asking today.
To those who insist that the Second Amendment gives the right to bear arms as a protection against an unruly government, I tell them simply to be real. If there is going to be a conflict between the citizenry and the government, is it a conflict that can be resolved militarily and by the personal weapons bought by those weekend shooters? If they contemplate an armed struggle with the government, they might as well entice those young men and women who were duped into joining the military. It is a lot simpler to deprogram them and tell them what their real duty should be. They’re quite susceptible to suggestions and they’re already armed. And I know for a fact that we bought them the best arms money could buy.
There is another obstacle facing those who want to carry arms to protect themselves from the excesses of the government. They may have awakened to these excesses a bit too late. What stands between them and accomplishing their goals is quite a hefty document called the United States Code.
So those confessing the need to bear arms so they can mount a rebellion or insurrection against the government are already violating the Constitution which was codified in the U.S. Code. Specifically Title 18, Part I, Chapter 115, § 2383 of the said Code states: "Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."
To further this point, let’s ask ourselves some questions!
Had the students at Kent State been armed, would the final outcome have been any different?
Had Jesus been brandishing a machine gun as he preached his message of peace, would he have avoided crucifixion?
Would history have yielded better results had Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. been versed in bomb-making techniques?
We need to take a hard look at the Second Amendment and interpret/amend it in a manner consistent with the other high ideals we hold so dear to our hearts.
There is a major difference between our natural right to breathe, to express and exchange ideas and our willingness, desire, ability, or perceived right to carry a man-made device intended simply to cause harm to others.
Constitutions are like flags, their value lies in the ideals they represent. By equating a natural right with a desire to carry a harmful man-made device, we are simply compromising what matters to humanity. Even if the Constitution says so, it is time to change the Constitution. We did it when we dealt with slavery, and I hate to think of ourselves as any less capable of doing what is right now than we were one hundred forty two years ago.
Please share your thoughts about Guns and the Second Amendment, RIGHT HERE!
...when it attacked USS Libertyand called it a tragic mistake. Now Israel appears ready to repeat the same type of mistake with Germany as two of its fighter jets fired shots and dropped flares near a German warship patrolling the Lebanese coast.
If you CLICK HERE, you’ll be able to note this news story!
By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer
September 25, 2006
WASHINGTON - In a new sign of mounting strain from the war in Iraq, the Army has extended the combat tours of about 4,000 soldiers who would otherwise be returning home, defense officials said Monday.
The 1st Brigade of 1st Armored Division, which is operating in the vicinity of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, will be kept in place for several weeks beyond its scheduled departure, the officials said. The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been formally announced by the Pentagon.
The brigade's home base is in Germany. The soldiers' families were notified on Monday that instead of going home in early January as scheduled, the brigade would be kept in Iraq until February — an extension of about six weeks, one of the officials said. Army officials also have notified members of Congress.
The brigade has about 4,000 soldiers in Iraq. They are not the first to be extended.
In late July the Army extended the Iraq tour of the Alaska-based 172nd Stryker Brigade. About 300 soldiers from that unit had already returned home and were required to go back to Iraq. The brigade is now operating in Baghdad.
The reasons for these extensions are different, but they both reflect the fact that the Army is hard pressed now to maintain rotations for Iraq and Afghanistan at the current pace. The 172nd was extended by four months in order to strengthen U.S. forces in Baghdad, where commanders are trying to avert a full-scale civil war.
The 1st Brigade of the 1st Armored Division was extended in order to allow its replacement unit, the 1st Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, a minimum 12 months between overseas tours, the official said. The 3rd Infantry has already served two tours in Iraq, including the initial invasion of the country in March 2003.
Last week, the top American commander in the region said the U.S. military is likely to maintain and may even increase its force of more than 140,000 troops in Iraq through next spring. Gen. John Abizaid, commander of the U.S. Central Command, said military leaders would consider adding troops or extending the Iraq deployments of other units if needed.
Until sectarian violence spiked early this year, Bush administration officials had voiced hopes that this election year would see significant U.S. troop reductions in what has become a widely unpopular war.
The Army has a stated goal of giving active-duty soldiers two years at home between overseas combat tours, but it is unable to achieve that "dwell time," as the Army calls, because it does not have enough brigades to meet the demands of simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It would not be a problem now if the situation in Iraq had improved enough to allow the Army to reduce its presence as originally planned.
Army Secretary Francis Harvey told The Associated Press last week that the amount of time between deployments has shrunk this year from 18 months to 14 months. In the case of the 3rd Infantry, it appears at least one brigade will get only about 12 months because it is heading for Iraq to replace the extended brigade of the 1st Armored.
Those poor men and women were sent to their deaths by none other than their own Commander-in-Chief.
But when they were ready to come home in body bags, their Commander-in-Chief was no where to be found. Instead they were smuggled back into their own country because the story of their deaths on the 6 o’clock news would have awakened the whole country to this evil war.
If their Commander-in-Chief did not see fit to show the human price of this ill-conceived war, showing the magnitude of the suffering becomes our duty.
How sad it is to see how anxious they were to recruit these kids when they are alive and how quick they were to disassociate themselves from them after they paid the ultimate price.
They were an asset when they could jump six feet high, now they are a liability when they are six feet under.
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