Shouldn't this guy be in front of some secret military tribunal, or in GITMO?

Man Arrested at Will Rogers World Airport Released on Bail

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A University of Oklahoma student was released on $10,000 bail Thursday after appearing in federal court to be formally accused of a felony for allegedly bringing a small explosive device into Will Rogers World Airport.

Federal agents arrested Charles Alfred Dreyling Jr., 24, on Wednesday at a security checkpoint after a Transportation Security Administration employee noticed something suspicious in his carryon luggage as it went through an X-ray machine about 9:30 a.m., FBI spokesman Gary Johnson said.

The device was described in an FBI affidavit as a carbon dioxide cartridge filled with gunpowder that could be detonated when connected to a power source such as the batteries Dreyling had in his electric razor and in his cell phone, which were also in his carryon bag.

An FBI bomb technician concluded the device could detonate with sufficient force to cause serious injury.

Give me a break! Look at Padilla - years later, no charges yet still in detention without a lawyer. This is hypocrisy at it's greatest, it's not like Oklahoma City has never been bombed by a white guy before...

Why is this guy out on bail, while others are in lock-up?

He was released to the custody of his mother, Vicki Dreyling. His terms of release include living at his parents' home in north Oklahoma City and a 10 p.m. curfew.

Former Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Humphreys, who is Dreyling's landlord and his longtime friend, also came to the hearing.

Humphreys said Dreyling had created a ''glorified firecracker'' and then forgotten that it was in his luggage.

What exactly was attempted to bring on the plane?

Dreyling told authorities that he had made the device and said it was ''basically a pipe bomb,'' according to an affidavit. Dreyling said he built the device for entertainment value, never intending to hurt anyone, and forgot that it was in his carryon bag when he brought it to the airport, the affidavit said.

Dreyling said he learned as a teenager how to build homemade explosives from Web sites like ''The Anarchist's Cook Book.'' Dreyling said he has built and detonated several explosive devices for recreational purposes, according to the affidavit.

He also told authorities that he had a bag of gunpowder, an empty carbon dioxide cartridge, and several ignitors in his Norman residence, according to the affidavit.

So, if you are a poor minority or Muslim, you are locked up without council, but if you are a wealthy white Christian with Republican party connections, you are released to your parents.

I am not trying to state as to his guilt or innocence, just that justice is not served when we have 2 standards.


"Christian" Organization Recieving Government Funding Refuses to Allow Catholics to Adopt...

Adoption group to address no-Catholics policy in Miss.
Independent state offices criticized for excluding Catholics while accepting state funds

The national board of Bethany Christian Services met Tuesday at its Grand Rapids, Mich., headquarters and is expected to release a statement today about its Mississippi offices' practice of excluding Catholics as adoptive parents, spokesman John VanValkenburg said.

A Christian adoption agency that receives money from the sale of the state's Choose Life speciality car tags, Bethany Christian Services in Mississippi has come under criticism about its practice of excluding Catholic couples as applicants. The group stated the policy in a letter to a Jackson couple this month, and a Ridgeland couple said they were rejected for the same reason last year."

It has been our understanding that Catholicism does not agree with our statement of faith," Bethany state director Karen Stewart wrote. "Our practice to not accept applications from Catholics was an effort to be good stewards of an adoptive applicant's time, money and emotional energy."

The private adoption agency is one of 24 adoption and pregnancy counseling centers in the state that receives money from the sale of the specialty car tags, which advocate against abortion.

And written of other groups that recieve these same government funds:

New Beginnings received $6,357 in 2004 from Choose Life Mississippi. The group works with any Christian couple who agrees to its statement of faith requiring adopting families be "practicing Christians.""If that family say they adhere to our statement of faith, then we would honor that," New Beginnings director Thomas Velie said.

He said several Catholic couples have adopted children through New Beginnings during his three years as director. Velie said he hasn't had any non-Christian families apply for an adoption. But if such a couple requested his group's services, he would take the request to his board or refer the couple to an agency that could meet their needs.


This is the problem with 'faith-based' government funding. It is, by nature, discrimitory.

Go Doyle as well! "Announces Statewide Conservation Agenda, Conserve Wisconsin"

Sweeping Conservation Agenda Will Protect Wisconsin's Environment, Encourage Energy Conservation and Innovation

MADISON, MILWAUKEE, & GREEN BAY - Governor Jim Doyle today unveiled Conserve Wisconsin, a broad package of legislation and executive orders that will safeguard Wisconsin's great environmental legacy. It will focus on three main areas: protecting our waters, conserving our lands, and ensuring a sustainable energy future.

Read it all here: http://wispolitics.com/index.iml?Article=42733

And here is the reaction:

Sierra Club Applauds Governor Doyle’s Conserve Wisconsin Initiatives

Governor Doyle, we commend your environmental initiatives. They will put Wisconsin back on track as a leader in protecting our environment. Wisconsin’s wealth of natural resources must be protected and used in a sustainable way for our children and our grandchildren. You have included conservation items that are near and dear to the hearts of Sierra Club members. I particularly note your plan to restore the position of Public Intervenor.

The statewide membership of the Sierra Club welcomes the opportunity to work with Governor Doyle to implement the Conserve Wisconsin Initiatives announced today. We encourage legislative leaders to join this effort by the Governor. A bipartisan effort can put the "conserve" back in "conservative."



(League of Conservation Voters): Governor’s Conservation Initiative Applauded
Presents Opportunities to Implement Pro-Active Conservation Policy

Madison- Today’s release of the Governor’s environmental initiative package, “Conserve Wisconsin” serves as an important indication that Wisconsin is ready to get back on track with setting forward-thinking conservation policies that benefit all Wisconsinites. The environmental policy ideas presented in “Conserve Wisconsin” stand in welcomed contrast to the many environmental rollbacks witnessed in recent years. “

Although Wisconsin was once known as a leader in pro-active natural resource policy, we’ve fallen woefully behind. We are very pleased to see the Governor’s conservation package and welcome this opportunity to work with the legislature and the Governor on pro-active conservation initiatives,” said Kerry Schumann, Executive Director of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.


Go Sen. Hansen! - "Calls predatory lending ‘immoral’ "

Sen. Hansen: Announces Introduction of Responsible Lending Act
Contact: Sen. Hansen

Calls predatory lending ‘immoral’

(Green Bay)— Today Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) announced that he will be introducing legislation to rein in the practices of predatory lenders. The legislation will cap interest rates on consumer loans at 18%.

“Predatory lending is tearing apart our communities,” said Hansen. “This is an immoral practice that cannot be regulated—it must be abolished. It is leading to bankruptcies, evictions and the breakdown of countless families across the state, and it should not be permitted under state law.”

In addition to capping interest rates, the legislation will also preclude in-state lenders from contracting with out-of-state institutions to avoid state interest rate caps if the in-state lender receives more than 50 percent of the revenues from the transaction.

“These so-called payday lenders are popping up all over the state, and contrary to popular belief, they are not exclusively in low-income neighborhoods,” said Hansen. “Because the majority of Wisconsin wageworkers haven’t seen a real raise in years, more and more families are turning to predatory lenders to keep food on the table. Predatory lenders should not be allowed to take advantage of low-income and middle-class families as the state sits idly by.”

According to a recent study conducted by Stephens Inc., the typical annual percentage rate for a payday loan is between 391% and 443%. The Center for Responsible Lending has further estimated that the industry costs 5 million Americans approximately $3.4 billion annually.


Slowly coming apart (just in time for Nov 2006):

So much for the legendary Republican unity...

Ex-Senate leader blames downfall on Frist

Lott calls successor’s actions a ‘personal betrayal’ in new book

Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott blames his fall from power in 2002 on a “personal betrayal” by an ambitious Sen. Bill Frist, his successor, adding in a new book that President Bush, Colin Powell and other GOP associates played a role.

Frist, R-Tenn., “didn’t even have the courtesy to call and tell me personally that he was going to run,” the Mississippi Republican wrote of a tumultuous period in which he lost his position as Senate leader after making racially tinged remarks.

He said Frist’s actions amounted to a “personal betrayal,” since he had taken the Tennessean “under my wing” in earlier years.

Other new information in the book, according to MSNBC:

In the book, Lott described an unusual partnership with President Clinton that worked to the detriment of 1996 GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole; praised former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota as trustworthy; and recalled that Vice President Gerald R. Ford personally cautioned him “not to go so far out on a limb” in defending President Nixon during the Watergate scandal.


This is worth reading...

A Moment of Grace
In an age whose crabbed sense of justice finds expression in dismal phrases like "zero tolerance" and "three strikes and you're out," the events in a Long Island courtroom on Monday came as an undeserved gift, something startling and luminous.

It happened when Ryan Cushing, a 19-year-old charged with assault for tossing a turkey through a car windshield last fall, approached the driver he nearly killed, Victoria Ruvolo. Ms. Ruvolo, 44, suffered severe injuries and needed many hours of surgery to rebuild her shattered facial bones.

When Mr. Cushing left the courtroom after pleading guilty, he came face to face with his victim for the first time. He said he was sorry and begged her to forgive him.

She did. She cradled his head as he sobbed. She stroked his face and patted his back. "It's O.K.; it's O.K.," she said. "I just want you to make your life the best it can be."

Mr. Cushing was one of six teenagers out for a night of joy riding and crime, which often happens when childish aggression and stupidity merge with the ability to drive and steal credit cards. The five others have pleaded guilty to various acts like forgery and larceny, but Mr. Cushing, who threw the turkey, could have faced 25 years in prison. At Ms. Ruvolo's insistence, prosecutors granted him a plea bargain instead: six months in jail and five years' probation.

The prosecutor, Thomas Spota, had been ready to seek harsh punishment for a crime he rightly denounced as heedless and brutal. "This is not an act of mere stupidity," Mr. Spota said. "They're not 9- or 7-year-old children."

That is true. But Ms. Ruvolo's resolute compassion, coming seemingly out of nowhere, disarmed Mr. Spota and led to a far more satisfying result.

Many have assumed that Ms. Ruvolo's motivation is religious. But while we can estimate the size of her heart, we can't peer into it. Her impulse may have been entirely secular.

Court testimony by crime victims is often pitched as a sort of retributive therapy, a way for angry, injured people to force criminals to confront their shame. But while some convicts grovel, others smirk. Many are impassive. It's hard to imagine that those hurt by crime reliably find healing in the courtroom. Given the opportunity for retribution, Ms. Ruvolo gave and got something better: the dissipation of anger and the restoration of hope, in a gesture as cleansing as the tears washing down her damaged face, and the face of the foolish, miserable boy whose life she single-handedly restored.


This is abeautiful example of true forgiveness that heals society - something that we need to have more of today.

Sensenbrenner in Rolling Stone (from Bablemur)

Bablemur quotes a rolling Stone article:

Nodding bashfully in agreement with [Tom] Cole's words was Wisconsin Republican James Sensenbrenner Jr. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Sensenbrenner is the majority lawmaker in whose scaly womb the Patriot Act gestated until its recent delivery to Rules [Committee]. Though he was here as a witness, his obvious purpose was to bare his fangs in the direction of anyone or anything who would threaten his offspring.

Sensenbrenner is your basic Fat Evil Prick, perfectly cast as a dictatorial committee chairman: He has the requisite moist-with-sweat pink neck, the dour expression, the penchant for pointless bile and vengefullness.


Great Wal-Mart Letter in the Northwestern Today!

Wal-Mart can readily afford health insurance

Hats off to the teacher’s union for calling for a boycott of Wal-Mart. I won’t buy so much as a spiral notebook there. Clearly the only way to reach the folks at Wal-Mart is to affect their bottom line.

According to the August 11 article “nearly 1,200 Wal-Mart employees receive $2.7 million in taxpayer assistance through the BadgerCare health insurance.” Add in the children of Wal-Mart employees who participate in the state’s Medicaid program, and the estimated annual cost to taxpayers for insuring Wal-Mart workers and their family members reaches $4.75 million. The largest retailer in the world is shifting the cost of their employee benefits to taxpayers. This is unacceptable.

It is frequently argued that Wal-Mart must keep labor costs low to keep prices low. So the question is “Can Wal-Mart afford to offer low prices and pay employees a living wage and health benefits?” The answer is a resounding, “yes.”

Wal-Mart had a profit of $10 billion last year. Lee Scott, Wal-Mart CEO was paid $23 million dollars last year. Of the 10 richest people in the world, five are Waltons. In fact, Sam Walton’s daughter Alice recently spent a whopping $35 million on a single piece of art in New York City. $35 million would buy a whole lot of health insurance.

Not only can Wal-Mart afford to provide decent wages and benefits to it’s employees, the company should be required to pay us taxpayers back for picking up their health insurance tab.

Jennifer Neary Oshkosh



Why are the Onion and the Daily Show the best journalism (editorial or otherwise) we have?

Evangelical Scientists Refute Gravity With New 'Intelligent Falling' Theory

KANSAS CITY, KS—As the debate over the teaching of evolution in public schools continues, a new controversy over the science curriculum arose Monday in this embattled Midwestern state. Scientists from the Evangelical Center For Faith-Based Reasoning are now asserting that the long-held "theory of gravity" is flawed, and they have responded to it with a new theory of Intelligent Falling.

"Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, 'God' if you will, is pushing them down," said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University.

Burdett added: "Gravity—which is taught to our children as a law—is founded on great gaps in understanding. The laws predict the mutual force between all bodies of mass, but they cannot explain that force. Isaac Newton himself said, 'I suspect that my theories may all depend upon a force for which philosophers have searched all of nature in vain.' Of course, he is alluding to a higher power."

Read it all here (it is worth it):


Another Great Cartoon on Bush's "Getting on with his life"



What does he do other than talk to the mothers of dead servicemembers?

Phil Mickelson of the U.S. takes a phone call from the U.S. President George W. Bush after winning the 2005 PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey, August 15, 2005.


Feingold, Dems strong with Latinos

WASHINGTON - The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda awarded Sen. Russ Feingold a 100 percent approval rating for the 108th Congress, indicating total satisfaction with his voting record on issues affecting Latinos.

"I'm honored to receive this wonderful acknowledgment from the Hispanic community," Feingold said. "As I travel around the state, Wisconsinites from all backgrounds, including our flourishing Hispanic community, often agree on the issues that matter most to them."

Those all-important issues, according to the NHLA, are education, health care, economic mobility, labor, civil rights and immigration. The organization compiles its annual Congressional Scorecard, which rates all 535 members of Congress, based on specific votes that fall under these broad categories.

Feingold's fellow Wisconsin Democrats scored equally well. Sen. Herb Kohl and Reps. Ron Kind, Tammy Baldwin, Gerald Kleczka and Dave Obey were all given perfect ratings. Republican Reps. Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner Jr., Thomas Petri and Mark Green each scored less than 30 percent.


These are not just hispanic issues, they are issues all working Americans should be concerned with.

Google Alerts are great...

I set up an alert so if different versions of my name show up online, I get an email notification. here is an interesting one I got today:

MINNEAPOLIS — After a long day at the office, Jeff Hall likes to wander about the aisles of the Electric Fetus, a dimly lit music store where the hardwood floors creak and the clerks call him "Jeff."


(They don't mean me...)

My thoughts exactly...

According to the White House, one of three books Bush chose to read on his five-week vacation is "Salt: A World History" by Mark Kurlansky, who chronicled the rise and fall of what once was considered the world's most strategic commodity

Kurlansky said he was surprised to hear that Bush had taken his book to the ranch: "My first reaction was, 'Oh, he reads books?'

"The author said he was a "virulent Bush opponent" who had given speeches denouncing the war in Iraq.

"What I find fascinating, and it's probably a positive thing about the White House, is they don't seem to do any research about the writers when they pick the books," Kurlansky said.


This is pretty much what Bush is saying to us...

WARNING - Contains profanity and satire.


This whole website is off-color and right on.

It seems Bush's neighbors have all the sympathy, grief and support for the troops he does...

White crosses at site of anti-war demonstration run down by pickup
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - A pickup truck tore through rows of white crosses last night near President Bush's ranch, where a woman has been protesting the Iraq war.

The crosses stretched along the road at the Crawford, Texas, camp, bore the names of fallen U-S soldiers. No one was hurt.

Cindy Sheehan, whose son was killed in Iraq last year, vows to remain in Texas through Bush's August vacation unless he meets with her.


Man fires shotgun near Bush ranch, protesters
‘This is Texas,’ neighbor says when queried by a reporter

CRAWFORD, Texas - A man fired a shotgun into the air as about 60 anti-war protesters held a religious service on the road to President Bush’s ranch.

Sheriff’s deputies and Secret Service agents in the area of the demonstration site Sunday rushed to the home of Larry Mattlage after the shots were fired but did not arrest him.

“I ain’t threatening nobody, and I ain’t pointing a gun at nobody,” Mattlage said. “This is Texas.”

He said he fired his gun in preparation for dove-hunting season but when asked if he had another motive, he said, “Figure it out for yourself.”


Yep, Bush said this...

When asked why he wasn't meeting with Cindy Sheehan, mother of a dead Iraq War Vet:

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush, noting that lots of people want to talk to the president and "it's also important for me to go on with my life,'' on Saturday defended his decision not to meet with the grieving mom of a soldier killed in Iraq.

"But whether it be here or in Washington or anywhere else, there's somebody who has got something to say to the president, that's part of the job,'' Bush said on the ranch. "And I think it's important for me to be thoughtful and sensitive to those who have got something to say.''

"But,'' he added, "I think it's also important for me to go on with my life, to keep a balanced life.''

"I think the people want the president to be in a position to make good, crisp decisions and to stay healthy,'' he said when asked about bike riding while a grieving mom wanted to speak with him. "And part of my being is to be outside exercising.''

"So I'm mindful of what goes on around me,'' Bush added. "On the other hand, I'm also mindful that I've got a life to live and will do so.''

In addition to the two-hour bike ride, Bush's Saturday schedule included an evening Little League Baseball playoff game, a lunch meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a nap, some fishing and some reading.

Perhaps he should be mindful of the lives he is ending and destroying. Can you imagine Clinton, Reagan or Carter saying or even thinking anything near this? Can you picture any of these past statesman taking a nap and watching a Little League game rather than meeting with a greiving mother?

He truly has no idea what it is to be President.

A Pair of Great Editorials in the Northwestern...

Editorial: Bush must do his part to heal a mother’s heart

Cindy Sheehan is a mother on a mission. Her 24-year-old son died in Iraq last year. Sheehan left her hometown of Vacaville, Calif., a week ago Saturday to camp out on the road to the president’s ranch near Crawford, Texas.

She wants to talk to the president about the Iraq War.

And the president is avoiding her.

How is this possible in the land of Southern hospitality? Texans are known for inviting strangers up to the iron patio furniture on the red brick veranda, offering some lemonade in a genteel fashion and listening with sincere interest. Bill Clinton’s Arkansans were the same way. So, too, were Jimmy Carter’s Georgians.

Here’s a word to the president’s advisers: you’re making a Texan look hard-hearted. Sheehan is becoming the poster child for opposition to the war. Put more trust in your man being able to handle his meeting a stranger without five aides and a teleprompter nearby. Tell Karl Rove to start squeezing some lemons.

President Bush should meet with Sheehan. It’ll surprise his aides who think the man can’t move without a script. The nation also will appreciate that our president can offer sincere consolation that is due to a mother who has suffered too much.


Editorial: Social Security can survive but agency change is inevitable

Seventy years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law an act that created Social Security. Now it’s time for Congress and President Bush to make 2005 the year that Social Security becomes fiscally sound.

Means testing should be one of those changes. Some people are so successful, they don’t need a government paycheck. There should be a national cut-off, somewhere in the middle six-digit income range, where people don’t get a Social Security check.

But those who are successful above the limits of means testing should continue to contribute part of their income into Social Security. The agency reflects a shared, national responsibility to caring for the aged and infirm. The privilege of living in a country where a person can be successful can carry with it the obligation to care in some way for our senior citizens or people with disabilities.

Finally, payroll taxes also have to be part of this discussion. Social Security payroll taxes increased starting in the 1980s. American businesses accepted it. There is room to discuss whether we should increase those taxes a little more in the name of solvency



Altercation nails it today...

Yeah well, you know what’s coming next; tens of thousands dead; more than that wounded; hundreds of billions wasted; the hatred of the world; the creation of countless terrorists and torture victims, the destruction of a nation; and the dishonoring of the leadership of the United States of America. All in the service of something that “was never realistic,” an “unreality” that was sold to us by a dishonest, fanatical group of ideologues and their cheerleaders in the so-called liberal media.

What’s is perhaps most galling about this is the fact that if you tried to warn your fellow citizens against just this likelihood three years ago when it was still preventable, you were part of some decadent, fifth-columnist coastal elite that hated America, while the chest beating patriots were the ones who drained this nation of its blood and treasure is the service of their own lethal combination of ignorance, arrogance, and ideological obsession. Onward Christian Soldiers.


C'mon Tony...

Today on tonypalmeri.com Tony posted a comic titled "The Life of a Democrat." The punchline was someone looking at the Democrat saying, "I'd shoot him, but he'd end up in a coma instead of dead."

Really, no big deal in my book, humor is humor. However, a while back Tony accused me of inciting violence and assualt for linking to a humor article about politicians getting pied at speaches. I joked that is would be a good move for any upcoming Underhiem or Esslinger event.

C'mon, Tony if you can't take a joke, don't post one...

As another point, he linked to Phil Ochs 'Love Me, I'm a Liberal.' Good song, but I urge you to check out Mojo Nixon and Jello Biafra's version from the 'Prairie Home Invasion' album. Check it out - great political album overall.