Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ask your state's Governor to ban animal electrocution for fur

On Change.Org
Only one example of Actions I've started and belive in.

Ask your state's Governor to ban animal electrocution for fur
Started by andrea mckeeby

New York recently became the first state in the nation to ban one of the cruelest methods used to kill animals for fur -- anal and genital electrocution. Along with gassing and neck-breaking, electrocution is one of the killing methods favored by the fur industry because it limits damage to the pelt while removing the fur from the body that produced it. The bi-partisan bill provides for misdemeanor penalties of up to one year in jail for violations.Lethal electrocution involves hooking one electrode to the animal's ear or muzzle, and inserting another into the anus or vagina, causing a heart attack. It is not always effective, and animals are commonly skinned while paralyzed but still fully conscious. The bill states that "anal and genital electrocution is a severely inhumane way to bring about the desired death; it causes a protracted and painful cessation of life for the animal." IDA celebrates this groundbreaking animal protection measure, and applauds the New York Legislature and the Governor for enacting this humane law. New York is a large state with numerous fur farms, and this new law will help reduce the suffering of thousands of mink, foxes, muskrats, chinchillas, pine marten, and other animals slaughtered by the fur industry every year. Passage of this humane law is significant not only in that a cruel method of killing will now be illegal in New York, but also because it highlights the fact that electrocution remains legal in 49 other states. We are hopeful that other states will follow New York's lead by passing similar legislation of their own.Please Take Action to ask your state's Governor to push for legislation that would ban the use of electrocution as a means of killing animals for fur.LINK: Governor to ban animal electrocution for fur
This is an ongoing pledge that should be fulfilled as often as possible.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

House hurries toward passage of econ stimulus bill (AP)

Moving with remarkable speed, the Democratic-controlled House lined up eagerly Wednesday to approve $819 billion in spending increases and tax cuts at the heart of President Barack Obama's economic recovery program. Republicans fought the bill as wasteful.
» Full Story on Yahoo! News


Now, all he need to do is inform Pelosi and Reid of that fact. While O is trying to "Change" things, Pelosi and Reid are trying to stick it to Republicans as much as they can.......without regard for what is good for our country. If they don't quit playing "politics" with our lives, we will suffer an economic disaster worse than the GREAT DEPRESSION.

Compromise? We shouldnt budgeIn is so-called stimulus package he has 5billon set aside for community action incuded is ACORN.. All his crooked liberal crooniesDemocrat takeover of the private sector must be resisted and make it known that we are against it.The only reason he is seeking Republican approval is so when it is a giant FAILURE he can say it was bipartison,,,THATS THE ONLY REASON, Becasue he can get it past without the republican vote.. Its a sham, typical Liberal bullsit..This bailout and last years bailout will cost AMERICAN Tax Payers over 2 TRILLION dollars... The Democrats are hell bent on taking over the private sector and controlling everyones livesTheir are 2 enemies plotting to destroy Americas way nf lifeTerrorists and Liberals

Give billions to those who created this economic problem and screw the little people once again. Come on what did the last stimulus do for us NOTHING! This plan is flawed in so many ways.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bank bailout could cost $4 trillion

Banks don't have enough capital to fix their problems, which means the Obama administration may need a lot more money to clean up the financial mess.

The cost of the bank bailout is likely to be much higher than $700 billion.
» Full Story on


Hooray for capitalists, who can make a mess but get bailed out with taxpayer money! And we used to think the Soviet economy was inefficient....I wish I could cheat, lie and steal and get rewarded by the government.

When I 1st heard about the bail out it made me sick. Speaking of sick lucky me living in Cali is getting an IOU for my tax return. What else can they mess up now? Oh maybe I shouldn't ask....

US pays $40,000 after 15 Afghans die in raid

U.S. commanders on Tuesday traveled to a poor Afghan village and distributed $40,000 to relatives of 15 people killed in a U.S. raid, including a known militant commander. The Americans also apologized for any civilians killed in the operation.
» Full Story on Yahoo! News


So is that the going price for lives today???? 15 people 40,000 split. Ummm, I guess thats how we say opps sorry???? Wonder if we will ever read " The War that shouldn't have started is over.... American's payed back all that they have lost". Ha yeah right....

Monday, January 26, 2009

UN's role in Gaza rises among the rubble

JEBALIYA REFUGEE CAMP, Gaza Strip – Crouching against piled mattresses in a room crammed with refugees, Bissan Abu al-Eish focused on her homework, blocking out the relentless shrieks of dozens of toddlers and the stench of overflowing latrines.
"I'm so happy to be studying," said the 9-year-old girl, bent over the new textbook she received this weekend when classes resumed for 200,000 Gaza children at United Nations facilities.
Beyond being schooled by the U.N., Abu al-Eish and her seven siblings eat the agency's food, wear its clothing and now live in one of its buildings after their own house was leveled during Israeli bombardments on Gaza.
Hamas may be politically in charge of the Gaza Strip, but it's to the U.N.'s relief agency that the majority of the 1.4 million Gazans turn for health care, garbage collection, food assistance and just about every other service usually provided by a state.
With much of the territory devastated by Israel's latest military offensive, the agency's job is bound to get even bigger.
Many expect the U.N.'s agency for Palestinians to take the lead in reconstruction, though its role is currently limited to the refugee camps that house more than 1 million of Gaza's population. The U.N. spearheading efforts to rebuild Gaza could open a door to international donors, many of whom don't want to give Hamas money because the group doesn't recognize Israel and is considered a terror organization by the U.S. and European Union.
It is estimated that $2 billion is needed to repair the 21,000 homes damaged or destroyed, along with factories and government buildings, in the three-week Israeli attack to end Hamas' rocket-firing. Fundraising has hardly begun, and the question of how the money will be funneled remains unanswered.
"We're delivering the services of a state, until the state is established," John Ging, the head of Gaza operations for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, UNRWA, told The Associated Press this weekend.
At the same time, it must exist side-by-side with Hamas' government — and take care to maintain its neutrality, which some Israelis question.
In one classroom Saturday, when UNRWA schools reopened, a Palestinian teacher was filmed asking children about their trauma during the war. The unidentified teacher then told the children that Palestinians have to "wage war against them (Israelis) until they leave their land," and asked her students, aged about 8, how they should react.
Two children in the class suggested hurling stones or rockets back at Israel. "Okay," the teacher said, apparently summing up her class' position. "We throw rockets at them, we throw stones at them," she said.
Ging said such behavior is "completely unacceptable," and will be "dealt with in the most severest of fashions." He said the teacher would likely be removed once identified. Teachers have been fired from UNRWA in the past for incitement.
Ging said that following the latest war, which ended Jan. 17, UNRWA briefed teachers — themselves often victims of the fighting — on how to channel the children's grief away from revenge and violence. In schools across the territory, teachers led students in games to ease their trauma and encouraged them to talk about lost classmates to deal with their deaths.
"We're in a battle with extremism here in Gaza," said Ging, adding that UNRWA schools aim to "guide (children) to a civilized place."
Robert Blecher, the senior Middle-East analyst for the Washington-based International Crisis Group think-tank, says UNRWA's staff comes from a cross-section of society and it's "logical that this staff reflects the political spectrum of Gaza, of which Hamas is obviously an important component."
"But I've never seen any evidence of bias towards Hamas in any UNRWA actions or distributions," he said.
The 60-year-old agency has been in Gaza so long, and its institutions are so deeply entrenched, that it has been able to conduct its operations with little contact with the local government for years — even before Hamas came to power.
Israeli officials have in the past been critical of some aspects of UNRWA's operations, especially in the field of education, pointing to anti-Israeli content in past textbooks. The books have since been replaced, and 2003 and 2004 studies commissioned by the U.S. State Department found that the texts did not contain material promoting hatred of Israel.
Hamas praises UNRWA for providing Gazans what it can't. "We hugely appreciate their great efforts to help our people," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told AP.
UNRWA was created in 1949 to take care of Palestinian refugees and operates in camps across the Middle East. In Gaza, it has some 17,000 permanent or temporary staff. It has a budget of $350 million and provides services — including food distribution — in the camps. Many non-refugees also benefit, sending their children to its schools.
The organization is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from countries, its largest donors include the United States, the European Union, Sweden and Britain. Louis Michel, the European Union's humanitarian chief, said the EU is by far the largest overall donor to the Palestinians.
Ging says UNRWA is able to take on the daunting task of rebuilding Gaza refugee camps. But, he says, this will only be possible if Israel allows the blockaded territory to receive enough of the humanitarian aid already piling up at its border.
Israeli Cabinet Minister Isaac Herzog said Israel is adequately opening the crossings.
"Humanitarian aid is entering Gaza at a rate of 150 trucks a day, which is the maximum amount of aid that the Palestinians can absorb at this time," Herzog, who oversees what is allowed into the territory, told AP on Monday. Israel and Egypt have largely sealed their crossings into Gaza since Hamas took over the territory in 2007.
The American Near East Refugee Aid said it has delivered more than $2.5 million of food and medical supplies. On Monday, Michel announced euro58 million ($74 million) in emergency aid for Palestinians affected by the conflict, but insisted the money wouldn't go through the Hamas government.
"Hamas is a terrorist movement," he told reporters while standing in front of a food warehouse at UNRWA's main compound, funded by the EU and largely destroyed by Israeli shelling.
This leaves UNRWA to provide most emergency aid — and puts it in a key position when funding starts coming in for rebuilding.
How fast the border could open, however, remains unclear. Israel says any agreement to fully open Gaza's borders must include guarantees Hamas will be prevented from smuggling new weapons in.
Bissan Abu al-Eish seemed far from such concerns.
"I'm worried about all these new words," the little girl said, skimming through her new Arabic textbook in the U.N. youth community center where she now lives, crammed with 42 other families from Jebaliya refugee camp.
Thousands took refuge in UNRWA schools during the war. Most have since left. But Nofal Abu al-Eish, Bissan's father, said his family of 10 had nowhere to go since their house was destroyed. The $150 given by UNRWA to refugees to relocate in rentals aren't enough, he said.
"And anyhow, there's not a room left to rent here," he said.
His wife Munira said the food rations distributed by UNRWA staff only represent half of what her family needs to eat.
"But I can't even think how we would live if they weren't there," she said.


Gaza, one of the most densely populated tracts of land in the world, is home to about 1.3m Palestinians, about 33% of whom live in United Nations-funded refugee camps. About 8,000 Jewish settlers also lived in the Gaza Strip until September 2005 when they and the troops that protected them were withdrawn. Before the withdrawal, travel in and out of Gaza was severely restricted for long periods.
The population growth rate for the Gaza Strip is 3.66 percent. This compares with an international growth rate of 1.14 percent. The median age of Gaza's population is 16.2 years for males and 16.1 years for females. More than 47 percent of the population is below 14. The average family in Gaza has 5.51 children. Children are not counted till they reach the age of 14. So as 1 million being in refugee camps might not seem like a number that is right but you need to consider the children in these camps as well. These were the population numbers for 2005 so you can see how much they have grown in a little over 3 years. I agree fully with your statements about Hamas and how Gaza's greenhouses and ways for people to make a living were very productive. As well as Gaza being apart of Palestine and how they should be protected by the Government. It's very sad to see all that is happening and not being able to do much about it other then showing support. If only most nations would take your advice and work together for a future instead of destroying each other (or the under dog).

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)

What it's like....
By andrea mckeeby (General public)
When I was 18 I was told I had an Anxiety "problem". Yes the word problem was used instead of disorder. No one could tell me exactly why and I was left feeling like I had something wrong with me, like I did something bad. I was punishing myself. As I got older things did get worse. I had OCD (a mild form but bad enough to effect almost everything I did) and depression. After years of different doctor's and medications some that had no help at all and some that made things much worse I was about to give up. Sick and tired I didn't know what to do. I read self-help books and many other things. Then one day I met Dr.Wu. He changed my life. I'm not saying it was over night but for once I understood I had a disorder that wasn't my fault and that I could do something about it. After a few trial runs with different medications we finally found the right mix. Part of finding this was writing down how I felt each day even if I wrote "I don't feel like talking". After awhile a pattern formed and I began to understand when a panic attack was coming on or when I needed to take my med's before things got out of control. I learned where they were coming from and why but most important how to deal. With the help of my doctor and loved one's I made it. I'm now 30. It took until I was 25 to see progress and now I'm at a point in life that I have a life again. One of the hardest things to understand about someone with this disorder is how it works and to not tell them "snap out of it" or "what are you so freaked out about" and so on. Guess that's my advice to anyone who knows anyone they care about that has Anxiety. Be loving, kind and understanding. It makes a world of difference. Hope I could help at least one person out there.

Israeli war against Hamas scars Gaza's children

JEBALIYA, Gaza Strip – Surrounded by mountains of rubble that were once their homes, two dozen children sat on a rainbow-colored blanket and drew with crayons.
They quickly filled the pages passed around by trauma counselors with pictures of Israeli tanks, dead bodies and Palestinians firing assault rifles — scenes they saw when Israel's war on Hamas came into their neighborhood.
"We felt we will die soon," 11-year-old Sharif Abed Rabbo told the group, describing his family's escape. "And I am sad I lost my house."
Psychologists say Israel's three-week offensive inflicted more severe trauma than previous conflicts in Gaza because civilians in the crowded sliver of territory had no safe place to run. A wartime study among hundreds of Gaza children showed a rise in nightmares, bedwetting and other signs of trauma, said psychologist Fadel Abu Hein.
Counselors and aid workers fear that Gaza's children, who make up 56 percent of the 1.4 million people here, will grow up hating Israel and become easier prey for extremists.
"We are losing the next generation," said John Ging, the top U.N. aid official in Gaza. As a buffer against militancy, U.N. schools are launching human rights classes for their 200,000 students this week.
Children and teens were particularly vulnerable in Israel's military offensive, launched Dec. 27 to try to halt eight years of Hamas rocket fire on towns in southern Israel. The rocket attacks have frightened children there and frequently sent them running for cover.
In Gaza, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights counted 280 children among 1,285 dead and said one in four of the more than 4,000 wounded was a minor.
Facing the Israeli invasion, Hamas gunmen often operated from densely populated Gaza neighborhoods, drawing massive Israeli fire that killed and wounded large numbers of civilians, along with fighters. Tens of thousands fled their homes, seeking shelter in U.N. schools.
Among the refugees was Ansam Rahel, 10, who fled shelling of her home in the town of Beit Lahiya and sought cover, along with her family, in the town's U.N. school. On Jan. 17, when an Israeli shell struck the shelter, Ansam was hit by shrapnel that sliced across the top of her head. A thick welt of stitches runs diagonally across her partially shaved scalp, and she covers it with a ski cap.
The little girl, who carries herself with quiet grace and sadness, is back home, but her life has changed. Her father is in Egypt, where her 5-year-old sister Dima is undergoing treatment for a serious war injury. Ansam said she takes painkillers and doesn't sleep well.
On Saturday, she briefly returned to her school to say goodbye to friends. She is not well enough to attend and was told by school officials she might be taken to France for further medical treatment. "I didn't let them cry or feel pity for me," she said of her classmates.
Abu Hein, a psychologist who runs a community health center in Gaza City, said his teams interviewed 950 families, among them 2,180 children, in U.N. shelters across Gaza during and after the war.
A majority of parents told the team their children had become more clingy, and about one-third said their children insisted on sleeping in the same room with them.
Since a cease-fire took hold a week ago, Abu Hein's center and other aid groups have sent teams to the most devastated areas, seeking out children for emergency counseling.
On Sunday, three of his counselors drove to the Abed Rabbo neighborhood of the town of Jebaliya, a few hundred yards from the Israeli border. The neighborhood came under heavy fire during Israel's ground offensive, which began Jan. 3. House after house in a radius of hundreds of yards were destroyed, with nothing left except mountains of rubble.
The counselors spread a large blanket on a small patch of grass, and children soon came running. About two dozen, from toddlers to young teens, sat in a circle and played games, raising their hands or clapping, to break the ice. A counselor then asked the older kids to tell what happened to them during the war.
Asra Aref, 8, said her father raised a white flag when soldiers came closer and spoke Hebrew to them. "The soldiers told him he has just five minutes to evacuate the house," she said.
Counselor Farraj al-Hau tried to assure the children, especially the boys, that it's OK to be scared, that he was also frightened during the war.
Then he asked the children to draw. The youngest ones just managed a few squiggles, but almost all the drawings of the older ones included tanks, helicopters or bodies sprawled on the ground. One boy drew a Palestinian gunman firing an assault rifle at a tank. In another picture, two blue dots meant to be land mines were planted under tanks.
At one point, 5-year-old Saja Abed Rabbo, in pigtails and pajamas, started crying. Counselor Mustafa Haj-Ahmed led her away and sat with her on a nearby chunk of cement, gently asking her what happened. She barely spoke.
Haj-Ahmed walked with her and a relative to her wrecked home. Her grandfather, Mohammed, explained that the family, Saja among them, came under heavy fire in the house for three days before fleeing. He said Saja saw the bodies of two cousins, ages 13 and 14, who were killed in the fighting.
The counselors said they'd return to the neighborhood for more intensive counseling.
Gaza's 221 U.N. schools are also trying to help the children cope. On Saturday, the first day of school, teachers asked students to share their stories.
The weekly human rights classes will include lessons about nonviolent ways of solving conflicts. Ging said the new program had been planned for awhile, but now has greater urgency.
"We have to stand with the mothers and fathers who want their children to grow up to be doctors, lawyers and civilized in their behavior and their thinking," Ging said. "But for sure, the circumstances here, day by day, are working against all of us who have that agenda."
For 14-year-old Zakariya Baroud, the trauma is still too real. He lost three classmates in an Israeli mortar attack that killed 42 people, most of them civilians, near a U.N. school in the Jebaliya refugee camp. Israel said at the time that troops were firing at a Palestinian rocket squad in the area.
Zakariya said he saw bodies strewn across the main road, including that of his best friend, Bashar Deeb, with a deep gash in his throat.
His father, Baker, spent eight years in Israeli prisons for activities in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a violent group. He said he'd like Zakariya to attend university, but wouldn't talk him out of taking up arms.
"He is seeing suffering right now," he said of his son. "For 22 days, we were not able to sleep. He has witnessed the events by himself, so he, by himself, hates Israel."

My thoughts:

Hamas is the problem that needs to be eliminated,But the cowards hide behind women and children when Israel fightsback.

It's a shame that people don't realize that the people of mideast are creating the violence by their inaction to rid themselves of the insanity of the terror groups. It is inevitable that a price will be paid by them for their support or indifference to the terrorists who have gained control. As long as these maniacs are in power the people of the mideast will continue to suffer. It will cost many lives to overthrow out these murders but no more than they are losing allowing these criminals to remain with the power of life or death over them.

Help Ensure a Lasting Future for Wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies

Good news for Greater Yellowstone WolvesIn March 2008, the Bush/Cheney Administration eliminated Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Greater Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies. For months, wolves were slaughtered… until Defenders of Wildlife and our conservation allies prevailed in court and restored federal protections for these magnificent animals. In its final hours in power, the outgoing Bush/Cheney Administration attempted to once again remove wolves from the list of federally protected species. President Barack Obama has temporarily suspended the Bush/Cheney wolf proposal, and now we need your help to encourage federal officials to adopt a more responsible wolf management plan in its place.Send a message to encourage federal officials to adopt a more balanced and responsible wolf management plan this time around.LINK:

Obama's Inaugural Speech

On the steps of the nation's Capitol, just a short distance from where Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, using the same bible Abraham Lincoln did for his inauguration, with the country in dire conditions similar to when FDR took office, Barack Obama was officially sworn in as the 44th president of the United States of America on in Tuesday afternoon (January 20).
(Read our live blog from the ground at Obama's inauguration here.)
The moment crystallized the former U.S. senator's historic rise to become the first African-American to hold the country's highest office. Just over four years ago, Obama introduced himself to the nation with his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Covention in Boston. His oratory skill wowed the audience then and continued to do so throughout his two-year campaign for the presidency. So he can be forgiven if the usually cool Chicago politician stepped on Chief Justice John Roberts' line at the beginning of the oath, and seemed to flub another line when Roberts accidentally rearranged the words.
But then President Obama powered through a soaring inaugural address. (Read Obama's entire speech as prepared here.) He spoke swiftly, for approximately 20 minutes, and touched on the challenges looming over the country — the economy, the current wars — while also invoking the legacy of King.
As the son of a Kenyan immigrant, Obama placed his presidency in proper context.
"This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath," he said.
"[O]ur time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed," he said later of the economic crisis. "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."
The speech addressed domestic concerns and evoked memories of 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Obama spoke to the international community as well. With plans in place to close Guantanamo Bay immediately and begin to withdraw troops from Iraq, Obama is seeking to remake America's image overseas, which had taken a dive under the Bush Administration.
"To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect," Obama said. "To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
Obama graciously thanked exiting President George W. Bush for his service to the nation and the generosity and cooperation the former administration bestowed upon Obama's team during the transition of power.
As Obama spoke, a number of important luminaries stood and applauded in the crowd. Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, the presumed next Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson III, Arizona Senator John McCain and even Diddy were in attendance before Obama. In addition to the millions watching the event in D.C., people gathered in other locations across the country, like in New York's Times Square, to watch the address on jumbo screens.
Controversial invocation pick Pastor Rick Warren spoke prior to Obama's address with little fanfare. Warren, outspoken in his views against gay marriage, told the crowd that their similarities are more powerful than their differences. "We're united not by race, religion or blood, but by our commitment to freedom and justice for all," he said.
Former Delaware Senator Joe Biden was sworn in by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens shortly before noon. By constitutional law, Obama was officially recognized as the new president at noon, despite not yet being sworn in at that time. Although throngs of supporters came out to see Obama, the president deflected attention away from himself and back toward Americans.
"For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies," Obama said. "It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job, which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

BRAVE Widget

Obama Stops Bush's Last-Minute Regulations

January 21, 2009
Seattle, WA -- White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel Tuesday sent a memo to the heads of all executive departments and agencies, ordering a stop to all pending regulations until a legal and policy review can be conducted by the Obama administration.
A rule that would eliminate Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains except for those in Wyoming was scheduled to be published on January 27. Now it will fall under review with the new administration.
Among others, the Bush administration recently finalized rules that significantly weaken the Endangered Species Act, allow for mining deposits to be dumped within 100 feet of flowing streams and exempts large-scale factory farms from notifying government officials when they release unsafe levels of toxic emissions into the community. Earthjustice, a public interest law firm, filed suit against all of these rules.
The following statement is from Patti Goldman, Vice President of Program for Earthjustice:
"While we are pleased that the new administration has put a stop to these hasty actions, there are some rules we continue to monitor.
"Under the Emanuel memo, the wolf delisting rule will be withdrawn. This rule was extremely controversial and was rushed through even though a federal district court had declared the wolf delisting illegal in July. It defied the law which prohibits a state by state listing when the wolves do not respect state boundaries.
"For the vast majority of the midnight regulations, the Bush administration got them published in time to evade the Emanuel memo's freeze. Earthjustice has brought dozens of legal challenges to Bush rollbacks, which provides the ultimate pathway to reining in the excesses of the Bush administration."

First war tally: 1,284 Gazans dead, 4,336 wounded (AP)

KHAN YOUNIS, Gaza Strip – Squatting in the rubble, his briefcase perched atop his knees, the human rights researcher interviewed residents of a house shelled by Israel as he compiled a list of Gazans killed and wounded during Israel's offensive against Hamas.
Yasser Abdel Ghafar's work is part of a painstaking endeavor by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights to count the casualties of the 23-day war. The group released a final tally Wednesday, saying 1,284 Gazans were killed and 4,336 wounded, the vast majority civilians.
Israel has accused Hamas of inflating the civilian casualties, saying it has the names of more than 700 Hamas militants killed in the fighting.
The two sides disagree on the death toll, particularly the ratio of combatants and civilians.
On Wednesday, fieldworker Abdel Ghafar worked to uncover the circumstances of how one family lost its home and two relatives.
As family members and neighbors sat on plastic chairs in an alley nearby, Abdel Ghafar spoke quietly to 28-year-old Rami Najar, who was in the three-story house in Khan Younis close to Israel's border when it came under fire last week.
His 75-year-old grandfather Khalil Najar and the elderly man's 7-year-old granddaughter, Alla, were killed in the attack, which reduced the house to rubble.
"Were there any armed men near the house?" Abdel Ghafar asked at one point. No, he didn't see any, said Rami Najar, whose right leg was wounded in the shelling.
Using his briefcase as a writing table, the researcher took down the survivor's story as the two sat on a huge chunk of concrete.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights has been publishing daily death toll updates with names, ages and whether the victims were civilians or combatants on its Web site since the beginning of the war, and expects to present the final list in several days.
The group said 894 of the dead were civilians, including 280 children and minors 17 and under, as well as 111 women.
The remaining 390 dead were members of Hamas or other militant groups. They included 167 civil police, many of them killed on the job, and 223 fighters, said Ibtissam Zakout, head of the group's research team. That figure is higher than the 158 dead fighters acknowledged by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other militant groups.
"Maybe they (the militants) were interested to show that they have fewer losses and casualties," said Zakout.
Others, including Gaza Health Ministry official, Dr. Moawiya Hassanain, have raised the possibility the militants buried some of their fighters in secret, without reporting their deaths.
Hassanain has kept a running list of casualty tolls since the start of the Dec. 27 fighting. He writes his tallies on lose sheets of paper, some stuffed in his coat pockets, and later feeds them into a computer data base.
The doctor, who says he's not affiliated with Hamas or any other Palestinian faction, works out of a tiny room with furniture he said dates back to pre-1967 Egyptian rule of Gaza. Equipped with just a beeper, a fax, a landline, two cell phones and a walkie-talkie, Hassanain dispatches dozens of ambulances and records the medics' first reports of casualties. In between, he accompanies ambulances taking the most seriously wounded to Israel and Egypt.
The ministry, like most Gaza government agencies, is run by Hamas. Israeli warplanes targeted many Hamas ministries during the war, and the Health Ministry moved part of its operations to Gaza's main Shifa Hospital after the start of the offensive.
The ministry's computer center is fed by faxed reports sent by teams deployed at Gaza's 20 hospitals and clinics, said statistics chief Dr. Samir Radi, who did part of his physician's training at an Israeli hospital.
The Health Ministry's final toll is 1,324 dead and 5,400 wounded — or 40 more dead and about 1,000 more injured than the Palestinian Center for Human Rights.
Radi said names are added to the death toll only after careful consideration, including identification by relatives, particularly if bodies arrive in a dismembered state. For example, he said, one dismembered body of a child was identified by his parents, who recognized recent surgery on his foot.
The physician claimed that only about 100 of the dead were combatants, saying he relied on reports by the militant groups themselves.
Asked about the discrepancies in casualty tolls, Zakout said she believes there has been some inadvertent double-counting at the ministry, an outcome of the chaos of the war. Also, the ministry includes psychological trauma cases as war injuries, while the rights group does not.
Zakout said the Palestinian Center for Human Rights count is based on cross-checking hospital records, interviews with survivors and visits to attack sites. The group is affiliated with Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists and has won two European human rights awards.
Israel has not provided a detailed death toll, though Defense Minister Ehud Barak said he believes dead militants outnumber dead civilians.
"Many more than 700 Hamas men were killed, many more," he told Israel's Channel 10 TV. "We know their names," he added while noting that civilians were hit as well.
Barak said Hamas fighters fired rockets from civilian areas and stored explosives in mosques and schools. He acknowledged, however, that troops "moved forward with fire" to prevent Israeli casualties, adding that "nobody had any illusions that civilians wouldn't be harmed as well."
Field worker Abdel Ghafar said for him, the hard work is just beginning. In his district, the southern city of Khan Younis, he has counted 83 deaths. Initial questioning determined that 61 were civilians, 13 policemen and nine gunmen, he said. Of the militants, five were from Hamas and four from Islamic Jihad.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm sure you've heard of the horrible cruelty that the birds killed for KFC face. They are scalded alive, de-beaked, and fed drugs s that their bodies grow so large they cannot support them with their wings and legs. We need to let them know that when they treat their chickens this way, they're going to lose the majority of their customers. For those of you who can't resist the taste of KFC chicken,(disgusting meat-eaters) here's a KFC sauce recipe: visit the Kentucky Fried Cruelty website. Oh, and please help PETA by searching on Just enter "PETA" in the charity box.

This is me defending myself:

This is a great action and many people need to know whats going on but there is no need to insult people for a choice that they make. I don't eat beef, pork or dairy myself and if I do eat other meat such as fish or others I make sure I buy from places that don't do these awful things to animals. It's not hard to research who's doing what when it comes to foods.

Personally having to defend myself while trying to make a change with this action is a bit much. As I said I check where my food comes from and it's not hard to do. I made a choice to not eat certain animals. Just because I made the choice to do otherwise with other animals doesn't make me disgusting. You don't always know a person's reason's for making these choices and where they stand so to degrade this action with name calling is out of line.

Israeli officials: Gaza troops out by inauguration (AP)

JERUSALEM – Israel plans to pull all of its troops out of the Gaza Strip by the time President-elect Barack Obama is inaugurated Tuesday, but only if Hamas militants hold their fire, Israeli officials said.
Thousands of troops have left Gaza since Israel declared Saturday its intention to unilaterally halt fire after a devastating, three-week Israeli onslaught. Gaza's Hamas rulers ceased fire 12 hours later. Large contingents of Israeli soldiers have kept close to the border, prepared to re-enter the territory if violence re-ignites.
A swift troop withdrawal would reduce the likelihood of clashes between militants and Israeli forces that could rupture the truce.
By getting its soldiers out before the Obama inauguration, Israel hopes to pave the way for a smooth beginning with the Obama administration and spare the incoming president the trouble of having to deal with a burning problem in Gaza from his first day, the Israeli officials said.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the plan.
Israel has been quietly concerned about possible policy changes by the incoming administration after eight years of staunch support from President George W. Bush. Obama has said Mideast peace will be a priority even as he grapples with a global economic crisis and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Israel made its troop withdrawal plan known at a dinner Sunday with European leaders who came to the region in an effort to consolidate the fragile cease-fire, the Israeli officials said.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his guests that his country had no desire to stay in Gaza, a Mediterranean strip of 1.4 million people that Israel vacated in 2005, while retaining control of its airspace, coastal waters and border crossings.
"We didn't set out to conquer Gaza. We didn't set out to control Gaza. We don't want to remain in Gaza and we intend on leaving Gaza as fast as possible," Olmert told the leaders of Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic, according to the officials.
Israel also holds elections next month, and polls show Israel's wartime leaders have been strengthened by the offensive that drew overwhelming support at home even as it attracted widespread condemnation across the globe because of the high Palestinian casualties.
At least 1,259 Palestinians were killed in Israel's air and ground onslaught, more than half of them civilians, according to the United Nations, Gaza health officials and rights groups. Thirteen Israelis died, including four soldiers killed inadvertently by their own forces' fire.
Neither side has reported a violation of the truce since Hamas halted its fire. But the quiet remains tenuous because neither side achieved its long-term goals.
Israel won a decisive battlefield victory but did not end Hamas' rocket fire into the southern part of the country or solve the problem of smuggled arms reaching Gaza militants.
Hamas remains firmly in power in Gaza, but Palestinian casualties were steep and large swaths of the tiny seaside territory were devastated by the Israeli air and ground assault. Gaza municipal officials said an initial assessment showed some 20,000 residential and government buildings were severely damaged and another 4,000 destroyed. Some 50 of the U.N.'s 220 schools, clinics and warehouses were battered in shelling and crossfire.
Before arriving in Jerusalem, the European officials met with Arab leaders in Egypt to discuss ways to cement the truce. Delivering humanitarian aid to rebuild Gaza and opening borders blockaded by Israel emerged as key goals.
Gaza's border crossings have been sealed since Hamas violently took over the territory in 2007, deepening the already grinding poverty there and trapping the residents inside.
The gathering failed to deliver a specific plan to stanch the flow of arms into Gaza by sea and through tunnels built under the 8-mile border Gaza and Egypt share. Israel wants international monitors, but Egypt has refused to have them on its side of the border.
The truce brought relief to Gaza's citizens, who took stock of the devastation in relative safety for the first time since Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27. And it brought more trauma, as rescue workers in surgical masks ventured into what were once no-go areas and pulled 100 bodies from buildings pulverized by bombs.
"We've pulled out my nephew, but I don't know how many are still under there," Zayed Hadar said as he sifted through the rubble of his flattened home in the northern town of Jebaliya.
Despite losses suffered, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh claimed "a heavenly victory" in remarks broadcast on Al-Jazeera Arabic news channel.
Tension eased in southern Israel, even though Hamas launched nearly 20 rockets in a final salvo before announcing a cease-fire. Three Israelis were lightly wounded, while two Palestinians were killed in last-minute fighting, medics said.
In the rocket-battered Israeli town of Sderot, residents went back to their routines, after sitting out the war locked inside their homes or in safer parts of the country. One man sat on a sidewalk in the sunshine, eating a chicken sandwich.
"We want it quiet here," said 65-year-old Yoav Peled. "And if it isn't, our army is ready to continue." Teibel reported from Jerusalem, Barzak from Gaza City.

My feelings on this are....

All kind of mixed feelings here... Did Hamas learned a lesson? Did Iran learned a lesson? Will Egypt be more proactive in taking real control over its own borders with Gaza? What approach will European politicians take? So many unanswered questions! Something tells me that first two didn't learn... they will be back, more evil then ever.

Hamas isn't done, the cease-fire is only a breather for them to re-arm. Hamas will break this cease-fire and Israel will be able to hopefully finish their gallant job. Please view how Palestinians treat their children and imagine what your children & grandchildren will be facing if these terrorists are not totally destroyed. The Islamic terrorists must be destroyed to protect the innocent in this world.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

So Long Worst President Ever; 10 Reasons History Will Hang You

There are probably a hundred examples where Bush conservatism failed; here are the top 10.

George W. Bush presented his valedictory last night, desperately seeking thanks and congratulations. So here goes: Thanks and congratulations, W, for showing the world that today's conservatism is an abject failure.
Thanks to Bush, we know that conservatives are not fiscally responsible, they are not for small government, they don't stand up for moral values and they won't make Americans one bit safer. Conservatives aren't even true defenders of "free markets" -- having presided over the biggest market bailout in the world.
After eight long years, Bush can no longer fool the public. Polls show that he is the most unpopular president in the history of survey research. When the 2006 and 2008 elections are considered together, Bush policies resulted in the landslide rejection of his party at both the federal and state levels. There are probably a hundred examples where Bush conservatism failed, but let's stick with the top 10.
1. The worst recession since the 1930s. The current recession will be the deepest and longest downturn since the Great Depression. And unlike other recessions, this one was directly caused by conservative anti-regulatory policy. In fact, recent evaluations show that Bush policies never created any real growth -- the ephemeral financial upswings of the past eight years were based on market bubbles and economic Band-Aids.
2. The worst financial crisis since the 1930s. The Bush administration, flacking an "ownership society," helped manufacture the housing bubble. When it burst, Americans lost $6 trillion in housing wealth (so far), fueling a market crash that has cost Americans $8 trillion of stock wealth, according to economist Dean Baker. On a grand scale, we've been mugged.
3. The worst foreign policy mistake in the history of this country. That's what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., correctly called the Iraq war. This pre-emptive war -- based on phony pretenses -- is now the second longest in our nation's history (after Vietnam). Some 35,000 Americans are dead or wounded, as well as an enormous number of innocent Iraqis. And even today, more than five years later, can anyone explain why Bush marched us into this quagmire?
4. Unprecedented rejection of human rights. Recently, a Bush administration official finally admitted that the U.S. government engaged in torture at Guantanamo Bay detention center. Bush admitted that he personally authorized waterboarding. While these clear violations of the Geneva Conventions would have been unthinkable a few years ago, today we're not surprised. From Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition, to years-long detention of innocents and the unrestrained killing of civilians by U.S.-paid mercenaries, this administration has systematically squandered our nation's moral standing in the world, making us less able to protect Americans and American interests worldwide.
5. Watergate-style abuses of power. As the House Judiciary Committee staff has documented, Bush used the politics of fear and division to justify warrantless wiretapping of innocent Americans (including U.S. soldiers fighting overseas), spying on peaceful domestic groups and the use of national security letters to pry into the private records of millions of Americans. He also presided over illegal politicization of the Justice Department and retribution against critics. In fact, Bush claimed the authority to disobey hundreds of laws -- as if Richard Nixon were right when he famously said: "When the president does it, that means it's not illegal."

6. Unprecedented increases in inequality. The Economic Policy Institute reports, "For the first time since the Census Bureau began tracking such data back in the mid-1940s, the real incomes of middle-class families are lower at the end of this business cycle than they were when it started." That's because Bush policy was designed to increase economic inequality. The richest 1 percent of the population received 36 percent of the Bush tax cuts; the least-affluent 40 percent received only 9 percent. While the rich got exponentially richer, the poverty rate and the percentage of uninsured dramatically increased.
7. A culture of sleaze. This was an administration without shame. Kicked off by Vice President Dick Cheney's secret energy task force, the administration fostered a "greed is good" culture. The subsequent conservative money scandals (Jack Abramoff; White House officials J. Steven Griles and David Safavian; Republicans Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas, Rep. Duke Cunningham of California and Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska) and other lawlessness (Cheney's Chief of Staff O. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho) have toppled the conservative "moral values" fa├žade into the gutter, where it belongs.
8. Blind rejection of science. The Bush administration thumbed its nose at scientific evidence that contradicted conservative political goals. The resulting lies about global warming, endangered species, toxic chemicals and consumer products threaten the health and safety of every American. And the virtual outlawing of stem cell research has delayed important medical advances by years, causing immeasurable suffering and loss of life.
9. Utter refusal to protect the health, safety and legal rights of Americans. Following the conservative business-is-always-right philosophy, Bush dismantled the agencies and rules designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous businesses, workers from reckless employers and small companies from anti-competitive large companies. If conservatives didn't like a federal law, they blocked, hindered or defunded agency enforcement.
10. Presiding over our nation's worst natural disaster, and not caring. Hurricane Katrina was transformed from a calamity into a national disgrace by the sheer incompetence and indifference of the Bush administration. Before the hurricane struck, Bush had downsized the Federal Emergency Management Agency and placed in charge a political crony with no relevant experience. When Katrina ripped through Mississippi and Louisiana and inflicted nearly $100 billion in damages in New Orleans to become the costliest hurricane in U.S. history, FEMA was unprepared to help, and thousands of Americans suffered the consequences. More than three years later, New Orleans still has not recovered.
So, congratulations for being the worst president in American history. That's not just my personal opinion; that's the opinion of 109 historians polled by the History News Network. Fully 61 percent ranked Bush as the "worst ever;" 98 percent labeled his presidency a "failure." And this poll, taken in early 2008, predated the cataclysmic housing and banking crashes. Bye-bye W -- history will not be kind.

Gentle Questioning for U.N. Nominee

WASHINGTON — Susan E. Rice, the former senior Clinton State Department official for Africa, seemed assured of being confirmed as the next American ambassador to the United Nations after her Senate hearing on Thursday. Senators subjected her to fairly gentle questions, focused as much on foreign policy issues as on the concern that the United States does not get its money’s worth from the organization.
In her opening statement before the foreign relations committee, Ms. Rice, who was the senior foreign policy advisor to the Obama campaign, said she would work on four priority issues with the overall goal of reinvigorating American leadership at the United Nations — the most frequent terms she used seemed to be “renew” and “robust diplomacy.”
The priorities she identified are improving the capacity of the United Nations to undertake peacekeeping operations; providing leadership in addressing climate change; preventing both the spread and the use of nuclear weapons; and focusing on alleviating the suffering of the world’s poorest.
Asked repeatedly about what the Obama administration would do about the Islamic Republic of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, she said it would pursue a combination of incentives and pressure to block that, although she declined to be more specific. Citing President-elect Barack Obama, she said the United States had to “combine tough, direct, robust diplomacy with increased sanctions and pressure to try to elicit a change of course from the Iranian regime.”
Ms. Rice answered a host of questions about the effectiveness of the United Nations by pointing out that it was far more economical for the United States to rely on U.N. peacekeeping operations than for Washington to go it alone. For every dollar that the United States spent on such endeavors when it worked on its own, she said, it usually cost the United Nations 12 cents.
“That is a pretty good deal,” said Ms. Rice, 44, whose husband, two young children and parents were seated behind her. The United States pays 27 percent of the roughly $7 billion annual budget for peacekeeping, which includes around 90,000 soldiers in 16 different missions. It also pays 22 percent of the overall budget, the largest single contribution.
Ms. Rice said the costs of no action or unilateral action in many crises was too high, so the answer was to make peacekeeping more effective. The previous administration intervened periodically she said, but had not pursued it in a sustained or collective fashion. “This is not a challenge for the United States alone,” she said.
Ms. Rice called it “patently unacceptable” that the United Nations peacekeeping force in Darfur had only just reached half its strength, more than a year after it was formed, largely by underequipped units from the African Union.
The prospective ambassador has been quoted extensively saying that she would never allow a situation like the genocide in Rwanda to occur again, so she was asked several times how she would confront the government in Sudan over the killing in Darfur as well as other crises in Africa. Ms. Rice said she thought the United States could muster more support from countries like China and Russia on Sudan or Zimbabwe or other issues by emphasizing through quiet diplomacy where the interests of great powers converge with those of the region.
“It is not uncommon to hear quite moving speeches in the halls of the Security Council,” she said, but that was to often followed by a “deficit of determination” to hold dictators like Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe to account for their actions.
The hearings ranged widely, touching on virtually every trouble spot in the world including the Congo, Somalia, Burma and North Korea. Given the fact that the Middle East is again up in flames, it was striking that no senators raised the question of the fighting in Gaza until some two hours into the nearly three-hour hearing. When two finally did, it was in the context of what to do to stop Hamas firing rockets into Israel — none mentioned the heavy civilian toll among the Palestinian population.
It was Ms. Rice herself who brought up the humanitarian crisis, noting that the incoming Obama administration was greatly concerned about “the suffering of innocents” and on a broader scale determined to forge ahead with a two-state solution.
“There needs to be a durable cease-fire, but a durable cease-fire has to entail the halt to Hamas rockets against Israel and the Israeli people,” she said, adding that including effective measures to control weapons smuggling into Gaza and an effective means to control the border. Once the fighting ended, she said, “We need to mount a swift and robust effort to attend to the dire humanitarian needs inside Gaza.”
Many senators, especially from the Republican side, expressed concern that the United Nations was shutting down an independent unit that had conducted corruption investigations over the past two years in the wake of the oil-for-food scandal. Ms. Rice expressed her support for continued efforts to reform the organization and root out corruption, but said the effort should be transferred to an internal auditor. "The New York Times"

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bush/Cheney at it again....

The Bush/Cheney Administration today announced its latest attempt to again eliminate life-saving Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in Greater Yellowstone and throughout the Northern Rockies region -- part of the outgoing Administration's last-minute deadly assault on our wildlife and wild places.More than a hundred wolves were killed earlier this year -- including Limpy, the famous Yellowstone wolf -- when protections were removed.We were able to win in court and restore these vital protections for the region's wolves. Now the Bush/Cheney Administration is at it again -- in their final hours in office, they've cynically forced through essentially the same failed plan.More than 1,000 wolves could be slaughtered -- that's two-thirds of all the wolves living in the region -- unless we can once again stop this disastrous plan. Defenders is already calling on the incoming Obama Administration and Congress to overturn this eleventh-hour attack on our wolves. And our lawyers stand ready to take immediate legal action to challenge the latest delisting of wolves in the Northern Rockies region.We’ve won before -- and with your help, we can certainly win again. Defenders has long been the leader in the fight to ensure a lasting future for America’s wolves. We helped reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone and we haven’t stopped fighting for them since.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Just a little about what I do and what GiveVaccines.Org is.... is a website which donates funds for life-saving vaccines to impoverished children. People can challenge their vocabulary skills playing a game while at the same time help children in desperate need. Each year 5 Million children die needlessly in impoverished countries before they reach their 5th birthday (That's Over 6,800 children every day). Help us put a stop to this senseless misery!!! You can play the game or donate. Please take a small amout of time each day and help.
Just a few helpful tips.
- If your having a hard time on a level or find it to easy you can change them on the right lower corner.
-You can pick medical terms or english terms if you want to try something new.