Monday, May 16, 2005

Piano Rain Man



This dude was found wandering around in Kent on April 7. He doesn't speak, no one knows where he came from, all the labels on his clothing have been removed, no one knows who he is.

Oh, and if you stick him in front of a piano, he gives virtuoso performances.

BBC news has the story.

Friday, May 13, 2005

It cost how much ?



(Image from crunchland's 87 billion page)

I found a cool site that has diagrams showing how much the Iraq spending would be if you actually stacked up the paper money.

Take a look, and be prepared to be completely and utterly amazed.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Bad news for Bolton



Sorry bro. You can't run around saying that the UN is crap, bullying your underlings and generally being an idiot and then expect to get a job as the US embassador to the UN. CBC news has the story.

And Senator George Voinovich of Ohio - great job looking out for the country instead of the party. A few more like you and we wouldn't be in this mess.

Drop him a line and say thanks, by clicking here or at his office:

Honorable George V. Voinovich
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3353 Fax: (202) 228-1382
TDD: (202) 224-6997

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Better late than never

What do the following countries all have in common. China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the USA and Yemen?

If you guessed "countries that recently imposed the death penalty on children", then you would be correct.

Amnesty International has recorded 39 cases worldwide of the application of the death penalty for crimes commited by children.

1990 - 2 - Iran (1), USA (1)
1991 - 0 - 0
1992 - 6 - Iran (3), Pakistan (1), Saudi Arabia (1), USA (1)
1993 - 5 - USA (4), Yemen (1)
1994 - 0 - --
1995 - 0 - --
1996 - 0 - --
1997 - 2 - Nigeria (1), Pakistan (1)
1998 - 3 - USA (3)
1999 - 2 - Iran (1), USA (1)
2000 - 6 - Congo (Democratic Republic) (1), Iran (1), USA (4)
2001 - 3 - Iran (1), Pakistan (1), USA (1)
2002 - 3 - USA (3)
2003 - 2 - China (1), USA (1)
2004 - 4 - China (1), Iran (3)
2005 - 1 - Iran (1)

Thankfully, things are changing.

The United States bowed to international and domestic pressure Tuesday, becoming the last country in the world officially to abolish the death penalty for offenders who were under 18 when they committed murder.

...

The decision brings the US into line with the rest of the world. The execution of juveniles is explicitly banned in the UN convention on the rights of the child, which has been ratified by every country except the US and Somalia, which has no recognised government.

Better late than never.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Hypocrisy



Every dime that finds its way into Cuba first finds its way into Fidel Castro's blood-thirsty hands.... American consumers will get their fine cigars and their cheap sugar, but at the cost of our national honor." - Tom "The Bugman" DeLay, arguing against loosening economic sanctions against Cuba


Unfortunately, it seems that national honour didn't stop him from sucking down a Hoyo de Monterrey double corona in Jerusalem on July 28, 2003, during a meeting between DeLay and the Republican Jewish Coalition at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

Time magazine has the story.

Compassionate conservative



Can't you just see the compassion in his eyes?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Choose life in Ohio



I've written about these license plates in Florida before, but apparently Ohio has decided to jump on the bigotry bandwagon. You can now buy a "choose life" license plate in Ohio, and the extra money you pay goes to anti-abortion organizations.

I have nothing against this, if people want to give their cash to help the causes they like, well, guess what - its a pseudo-free country, its their money, and they can do what they want with it.


Gov. Bob Taft signed a bill into law in February allows the plates to be created. Part of the proceeds would go to nonprofit groups that counsel pregnant women intending to place their children for adoption.


Naturally, since we live in a democracy, you would think that if the people want a pro-choice plate, then the state legislature would do what the people want - that's what they are there for, right ?

Wrong.

NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, collected 1,000 signatures on a petition that called for the Ohio General Assembly to create a "pro-choice" license plate, but the speaker of the House of Representatives refused to recognize the group's amendment.


And this is where the ACLU stepped in. They have a chance of winning this one, as the courts in South Carolina and Tennessee have already ruled that similar license plate schemes were unconstitutional.

There is nothing more ludicrous than a bunch of old men deciding what a woman can and cannot do with her own body. Thank you American Taliban, thank you.

Full story
.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Well done, Brazil



As one of the conditions of receiving huminatarian aid against the deadly AIDS virus, the American Taliban requires acceptance of its pro-abstinence, anti-abortion rhetoric.

Most US Aids funding goes directly to organisations working in the field and much will be channelled through faith organisations that back the no-abortion, pro-abstinence and anti-prostitution stance of the US neo-conservatives.


But then along came those pesky Brazilians. Apparently they would rather do without foreign aid then have the conservative agenda shoved down their throats.


Brazil yesterday became the first country to take a public stand against the Bush administration's massive Aids programme which is seen by many as seeking increasingly to press its anti-abortion, pro-abstinence sexual agenda on poorer countries.

Campaigners applauded Brazil's rejection of $40m for its Aids programmes because it refuses to agree to a declaration condemning prostitution.


linky.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Vote Democrat, get kicked out of church

This just in, from the "I'm glad I'm not part of a cult department".

Chan Chandler, pastor of East Waynesville, had been exhorting his congregation since October to support his political views or leave the church, said Selma Morris, a 30-year member of the church.


TV segment can be seen here.

He told us that we needed to, that if we didn't support George Bush, that we need to resign our position and get out of the church


I guess god cares about presidential elections. Who could have known ?

Iranian law enforcement



Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi has made an outspoken condemnation of the actions of the police in his country (Iran).

He accused police of issuing summons and carrying out interrogations without proper referral to the judiciary.

"Do not give officers carte blanche to make dossiers. This is against the law," he said.


Legal in the USA under the Patriot Act.

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahrudi criticised police interrogators for extracting confessions.

"Sometimes they do some things like put a bag over the head, which resembles what the Americans do to terrorists in Abu Ghraib," he said


Legal, according to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

My irony meter just exploded.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

postsecret



From what I understand, this is an interactive art project that was started by Frank Warren at the 2004 Artomatic art festival in Washington. Visitors were given blank postcards, and were invited to illustrate them with a secret that they were afraid to tell anyone, and to send them in. Frank scans the postcards he receives, and posts them to the web.

Some of these secrets are funny, some are sad, and some are very very sad.

This is one of the most powerful and moving websites I have ever come across. Take a look, but be warned, some of these are intense.

linky