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The Weekly Roomer - Current Events
Tuesday, 10 October 2006
And we guys thought only male Turkeys flaunt seductive plumage that gets us killed...
Fertile women dress to impress?

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor 2 hours, 11 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Women dress to impress when they are at their most fertile, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday in a study they say shows that signs of human ovulation may not be as mysterious as some scientists believe.

A study of young college women showed they frequently wore more fashionable or flashier clothing and jewelry when they were ovulating, as assessed by a panel of men and women looking at their photographs.

"They tend to put on skirts instead of pants, show more skin and generally dress more fashionably," said Martie Haselton, a communication studies and psychology expert at the University of California Los Angeles who led the study.

Writing in the journal Hormones and Behavior, Haselton and colleagues said their findings disproved the conventional wisdom that women are unique among animals in concealing, even from themselves, when they are most fertile.

Some animals release powerful scents when ready to mate, while others display skin color changes, but human ovulation is notoriously difficult to detect. This is attested to by the frequency of unintended pregnancy, as well as test kits marketed to women wishing to become pregnant but unaware of the likeliest time to conceive.

Haselton's team said their study showed the cues are there, even if men and women are not consciously aware of them.

Women usually ovulate on the 15th day of their menstrual cycles, and this day is when they are the most fertile. Ovulation is easily detected using urine tests, and Haselton's team used such a test to check fertility in their study.

They asked 30 university students to come to their lab for a test, without letting them know the nature of the experiment. "We asked them some things about food, for example," Haselton said in a telephone interview.

The women came back several times over the course of a month and were photographed twice -- once in their fertile phase and another time in their least-fertile phase. The faces in the photographs were blacked out.

WHO LOOKS HOT?

The researchers asked 42 men and women, some older than the volunteers, to assess these photographs by asking, "In what photo is the person trying to look more attractive?"

The judges chose the photograph taken during the women's fertile phases 60 percent of the time, Haselton said. "This is well beyond chance. They were pretty consistent," she said.

"One of the things we found pretty interesting is that people sort of have their personal style, almost like their uniform," she added. "The women would show up to the lab wearing something pretty close to what they wore before, but embellished."

For example, one woman wore loose knit leggings and a tank top in both photos. "In her high fertility photograph, she would be wearing a very pretty tank top and she was wearing more jewelry. The difference was quite subtle," Haselton said.

The fertile women did not necessarily dress more provocatively, Haselton noted. "We did see a little bit more skin. It was my impression that the women were just dressing a little bit more fashionably but not sexier."

Haselton also was interested to note what did not happen.

"There's a popular notion that when women approach menstrual onset, they get out their bloated clothes and they pull out their sweats," she said. "But we didn't find that to be the case."

Haselton's team had earlier reported that women were more likely to flirt and look at attractive men when ovulating.

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Lack of Court Discipline seems to undermine sincerity...!
Saddam ejected, co-defendant punches guard

By Ahmed Rasheed and Mussab Al-Khairalla 39 minutes ago

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The chief judge ejected
Saddam Hussein and a co-defendant punched one of the guards and denounced prosecutors as pimps and traitors during the toppled
Iraq leader's genocide trial on Tuesday.

The government criticized the U.S.-backed court after the chaotic scenes. Last month it sacked the previous presiding judge because it believed he was too soft with Saddam and had lost his neutrality.

"Generally, the government is not pleased with the performance of the court," Sunni Deputy-Prime Minister Salam al-Zobaie told Reuters.

"This is not a court but a battle."

Judge Mohammed al-Ureybi ordered a closed session on Tuesday after Saddam's co-defendant and former military commander Hussein Rasheed was escorted by guards from the courtroom.

When proceedings resumed more than an hour later the dock was empty.

Saddam and six others are being tried over the Anfal (Spoils of War) military campaign against Iraq's ethnic Kurds in the 1980s.

Ureybi, who has taken a tough line with defendants, ordered Saddam to leave the courtroom after cutting off his microphone when he began a speech after the first Kurdish witness had finished her testimony.

It was the fourth time in the last five sessions Saddam had been ejected.

Ali Hassan al-Majeed, Saddam's cousin who is also known as "Chemical Ali," said he wanted a swift end to the case.

"I want my sentence to be passed now and I wish it to be the death penalty so I can finish with this court," he told the judge.

"JUDGMENT DAY"

The stormy session overshadowed graphic testimony.

The first witness spoke on condition of anonymity and said conditions in several detention centers where she was held with her children reminded her of "Judgment Day."

"One of my relatives was with me and gave birth to a child in the toilet... we placed the baby in a rough sack and cut the umbilical cord with a piece of broken glass," she said.

She told the court she was arrested after Iraqi forces took her husband away in the mountains where they had fled bombing on their village in April 1988.

The woman said she never saw her husband again.

A second anonymous witness told the court rape was frequent in prisons and the bodies of those who died in captivity were fed to the dogs.

Saddam, 69, Majeed, and five former commanders face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their role in Anfal, which prosecutors say left 182,000 ethnic Kurds dead or missing. Saddam and Majeed face the additional genocide charges.

(Additional reporting by pool reporter in court)

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Large portion of future survival of human Species dependent on Capitalist Bickering...not a good sign!
ImClone chairman resigns under pressure from Icahn

1 hour, 16 minutes ago

BOSTON (Reuters) - Biotechnology company ImClone Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:IMCL - news) said on Tuesday that its chairman, David Kies, has resigned -- a move that follows intense pressure from billionaire investor Carl Icahn.

Board member William Crouse also resigned, signaling a partial victory at least for Icahn, who has called for the ouster of six board members, including Kies and the company's interim chief executive, Joseph Fischer, who Icahn says "has little or no expertise in biotech companies."

Both resignations are effective immediately.

The resignations are the latest twist in an ugly boardroom battle that pits Icahn, who owns nearly 14 percent of ImClone's shares, against the board of a company that has suffered substantial management turnover and faces new competition to its only marketed product, the cancer drug Erbitux.

Earlier this month, ImClone accused Icahn of sabotaging a proposal from a big drug maker to acquire the company for $36 a share. Icahn said the offer was inadequate.

The New York Times on Tuesday identified the suitor as French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA (SASY.PA), which earns a small royalty on sales of Erbitux and also has close links to Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY - news), which markets Erbitux with ImClone and is ImClone's largest shareholder.

Sanofi had no comment on Tuesday on the report. An ImClone spokesman was not immediately available.

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Sounds a bit like a felow prisoner selling coats to prisoners only if they have gold...
U.S. tech stocks climb on Google's YouTube deal

By Jennifer Coogan Mon Oct 9, 5:46 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. technology stocks gained on Monday ahead of an announcement by Web search company Google Inc. (Nasdaq:GOOG - news) that it will acquire online video service YouTube Inc., offsetting concerns surrounding
North Korea's nuclear test.

Google shares rose to their highest in more than five months ahead of the Internet search company's announcement after the closing bell that it would pay $1.65 billion in stock for YouTube.

While shares of the acquiring company usually drop following a takeover announcement, Google stock's rose in extended trading, suggesting investors believe the deal is attractive.

"This is a very good move for Google strategically as it opens to them the possibility to grow in one Internet area where they were not very big -- that is, video," said Steve Neimeth, portfolio manager for AIG SunAmerica Asset Management in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Thin volume kept Wall Street's reaction muted to North Korea's reported nuclear weapons test.
President Bush on Monday called it "a provocative act" that requires an immediate response from the UN Security Council.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI - news) gained 7.60 points, or 0.06 percent, to close at 11,857.81, after climbing to an intraday record at 11,872.94 during the session. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (^SPX - news) added 1.08 points, or 0.08 percent, to finish at 1,350.66. The Nasdaq Composite Index (^IXIC - news) rose 11.78 points, or 0.51 percent, to end at 2,311.77.

Traders said volume was light as the U.S. bond market was closed for the Columbus Day holiday. Markets were also closed in Canada and Japan for public holidays.

Monday's announcement by Pyongyang sharply escalated world concerns over North Korea's nuclear program and was a slap in the face for major regional and world powers engaged in six-party talks intended to prevent just such a test.

"Clearly, the overnight news from North Korea is unsettling, but I think U.S. markets will take cues from global markets," said Barry Hyman, equity market strategist at EKN Financial Services Inc. in New York. "If you see weakness in the Asian markets, it will filter through back here."

A HEALTHY M&A MONDAY

Shares of Google rose 2 percent, or $8.50, to $429 during the regular session and were the top-weighted gainer in both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. In electronic trading after the bell, Google's shares rose to $432, after initially slipping on the announcement.

"We're still seeing tremendous money flow into large caps and technology stocks, which is really supporting the market," Hyman said.

Besides Google, some of the S&P 500's top-weighted gainers

were megacaps such as International Business Machines Corp.(NYSE:IBM - news), up 1 percent, or 86 cents, at $ $83.92, and Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT - news), up 1.3 percent, or 85 cents, at

$68.90.

U.S. regional bank holding company PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE:PNC - news) said it agreed to buy Baltimore-based Mercantile Bankshares Corp. (Nasdaq:MRBK - news) for $6 billion in cash and stock, driving Mercantile's shares up 22.2 percent, or $8.16, to $44.94 on Nasdaq. PNC's shares fell 4.4 percent, or $3.20, to $70.40 on the NYSE.

In another corporate deal, the family that controls Cablevision Systems Corp. has offered to buy out the cable operator's public shareholders in a deal worth about $7.9 billion.

Cablevision's (NYSE:CVC - news) stock rose 10.4 percent, or $2.49, to $26.42 and was the most heavily traded name on the Big Board.

"There's still some M&A action out there. That helps, especially on a Monday," said Victor Pugliese, managing director and head of New York equity trading at First Albany Corp. "But reality could set in on Tuesday, depending on how much rhetoric comes in about North Korea."

Trading was light on the NYSE, with about 1.27 billion shares changing hands, well below last year's daily average of 1.61 billion, while on Nasdaq, about 1.55 billion shares traded, below last year's daily average of 1.80 billion.

Advancing stocks outnumbered declining ones by a ratio of 5 to 3 on the NYSE and by 3 to 2 on Nasdaq.

(Additional reporting by Vivianne Rodrigues

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See what happens when you just follow orders? And of course it happened in Germany...again!
Driver obeys navigation system, no matter what

Mon Oct 9, 11:09 AM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - An 80-year-old German motorist obediently following his navigation system ignored a motorway "closed for construction" sign and crashed his Mercedes into a pile of sand further down the road, police said Monday.

"The driver was following the orders from his navigation system and even though there was a sufficient number of warnings and barricades, he continued his journey into the construction site," a police spokeswoman told Reuters.

"His trip finally ended when he wound up crashing into a pile of sand," she added.

The driver and his wife escaped uninjured from the collision, which occurred on a motorway near Hamburg.

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...hotelbravo.org is for sale...hotelbravo.org is for sale...hotelbravo.org is for sale...hello!
Google to buy YouTube for $1.65 billion

By Eric Auchard 1 hour, 30 minutes ago

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Web search leader Google Inc. said on Monday it agreed to acquire top video entertainment site YouTube Inc. for $1.65 billion in stock, the highest price yet paid for a consumer-generated media site.

The first deal to value one of the new generation of user-participation Web sites at more than $1 billion combines two of the most popular Internet brands: Google, synonymous with Web search and rapid innovation, and YouTube, a Silicon Valley upstart that has spearheaded the video-sharing craze.

YouTube, which grew in 19 months from a start-up in a garage to now serve up 100 million videos daily, has drawn scrutiny from major media companies for copyrighted television and music videos that users post without owner consent.

While YouTube said on Monday it had signed a spate of distribution agreements with major record labels, some analysts caution Google could still be inviting lawsuits with this acquisition.

Nonetheless, in anticipation of the deal, investors pushed shares of Google up $8.50, or 2 percent, on Nasdaq on Monday to a closing price of $429.00 -- a level not seen since late April. In extended hours trade, Google climbed to $431.55.

"YouTube is phenomenally valuable in terms of traffic and in the Internet sector this is important just like location is important in real estate," Oppenheimer analyst Sasa Zorovic said of combining YouTube with Google's advertising machinery.

Analysts said the deal would thrust Google quickly into the emerging market for video advertising, where it has only a tiny foothold compared with Yahoo Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO - news) and start-ups.

The all-stock deal, expected to close this quarter, was structured to make it tax-free for YouTube shareholders and cheaper for Google than paying cash, company officials said.

The move is a big departure for Google, Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney noted, with the purchase price almost equal to the total value of what the company has spent on prior mergers.

But the value of combining one of the world's largest user generated sites with one of world's largest advertising and computer networks "could be enormous," Mahaney predicted.

Google's stock had already gained about 2 percent on Friday when reports emerged that a deal might be in the works. In two trading days, Google has added around $6 billion in market capitalization, or more than three times what the company has agreed to pay for YouTube.

INVESTING IN WEB 2.0

YouTube was founded in February 2005 as one of dozens of Internet video start-ups. It has exploded in popularity since last November by letting users share short clips of home videos and programming copied from television.

YouTube ranks behind only a handful of other so-called Web 2.0 sites -- the new generation of Web sites that rely on user-generated publishing for much of their content.

Social networking sites MySpace and Facebook rank first and second, followed by online encyclopedia
Wikipedia, then YouTube, according to U.S. Web audience data from Hitwise Inc.

YouTube, with a little over 60 employees -- twice the staff it had in May -- moved this weekend into "bigger, less rat-infested offices" in San Bruno, south of San Francisco, according to the company's blog.

Google, with nearly 8,000 employees in June, is based in Mountain View, California in the heart of Silicon Valley. Officials said YouTube would remain an independent company.

YouTube's 29-year-old Chief Executive Chad Hurley told Reuters in an interview that what had sold him and co-founder Steve Chen, 27, on Google was their belief its resources and engineering talent could help them realize their goal of delivering the most entertaining online video experience.

"Now we have the resources behind us at Google to help achieve our vision," said Hurley, declining to say how much Google stock he and his partner would receive.

YouTube attracted 72 million visitors worldwide in August, according to Web audience measurement firm comScore Networks, up from 27 million users in April and 2.8 million a year ago.

"This really reminds me of Google just a few short years ago," Google co-founder and president Sergey Brin said of YouTube's start-up culture in a conference call with investors and reporters shortly after the deal was announced.

But YouTube has been the target of criticism in the media industry for allowing pirated video clips to be uploaded.

"YouTube until now has been a community garden. Once you get the corporate backing of Google I do think it becomes a more inviting target for lawsuits," said Jeff Lindgren, an intellectual property attorney with Morgan Miller Blair, a law firm in Walnut Creek, California.

Earlier on Monday, Universal Music Group and Sony BMG said they signed distribution deals with YouTube, building on a similar agreement with Warner Music Group last month. Google also signed similar deals Monday with Warner and Sony BMG.

YouTube was the subject of merger speculation for most of 2006. Potential buyers included Yahoo and Microsoft Corp. and media giants News Corp., owner of MySpace.com, and MTV owner Viacom Inc.

Microsoft spokeswoman Whitney Burke said her company opted to build its own version of YouTube, which it calls Soapbox. "Microsoft evaluated acquiring this type of technology several months ago, and decided to build our own offering," she said.

(Additional reporting by Yinka Adegoke, Kenneth Li, Michele Gershberg, Megan Davies, and Vivianne Rodrigues in New York, Scott Hillis in San Francisco and Gina Keating in Los Angeles)

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Sunday, 8 October 2006
Bosses like these should NOT be surprised by disgruntled violence!
Times Publisher, Who Resisted Cuts, Ousted
Jeffrey Johnson is immediately replaced. Editor Dean Baquet remains on the job.
By James Rainey, Times Staff Writer
October 6, 2006

Tribune Co. forced Los Angeles Times Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson to step down Thursday, three weeks after he stirred a national debate about corporate ownership of newspapers by publicly defying a demand for staff cuts in his newsroom.

Johnson was replaced immediately by David Hiller, the publisher of the company's hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune. Hiller is the 12th executive to lead The Times in its 125-year history.

Tribune Publishing President Scott C. Smith said in an interview that he hoped the management change would help put an end to speculation that the company intended to sell The Times.

"There is both strategic value and a financial value in The Times being part of Tribune," Smith said. "The Times is important to us."

His stance would seem to thwart overtures by three wealthy L.A. businessmen who have expressed interest in buying the paper and a campaign by civic leaders to promote local ownership.

Hiller, 53, held a series of meetings with employees through the afternoon and then met with business leaders Thursday night in Century City. He and Times Editor Dean Baquet agreed that Baquet would remain in his post, a decision both said they planned to revisit after they had had more time to work together.

Hiller said he had no preconceived ideas about whether to follow through with job cuts. Johnson and Baquet had refused to cut as many as 100 newsroom positions, contending such a move would damage a newspaper widely regarded as one of the nation's best.

"I don't have a plan or a set of numbers or any set of definitive answers," Hiller said in an interview at The Times. "What I want to do is come in, get to know the place, get to know my new colleagues and, with them, figure it out."

Hiller told Times editors that he would not have taken the publisher's job if Tribune executives had ordered him to reduce the newspaper's staff by a specific number. He also said he understood the value readers placed on The Times' national and foreign coverage.

Times staffers were somewhat reassured by Baquet's pledge to stay at the paper. Some had predicted that such a departure would trigger an exodus of other top journalists.

"I have a tremendous loyalty to Jeff," Baquet told a somber gathering of senior editors, who packed into a conference room late Thursday morning. "But, as I have said before, the paper has to come first.

"I am going to make as compelling a case as I can about [maintaining] the size of the newsroom," Baquet added.

The regime change at The Times played out just two weeks after a special committee of Tribune's board of directors announced that it would entertain offers to purchase the company or some of its assets. In addition to The Times and the Chicago Tribune, the company owns KTLA-TV Channel 5, baseball's Chicago Cubs, WGN-TV in Chicago and nine other newspapers and about two dozen TV stations.

Tribune bought The Times six years ago as part of its $8-billion acquisition of Los Angeles-based Times Mirror Co. The marriage was problematic almost from the start. But, at least initially, disputes between Tribune's management and editors in Los Angeles had been kept behind closed doors.

The tensions leapt into public view last month when a group of 20 prominent Los Angeles citizens, including former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, wrote to the paper's Chicago management, saying that the paper had already suffered because of cuts that reduced the news staff from about 1,200 to 940. Further reductions, the group said, could force The Times out of "the top ranks of American journalism."

The civic leaders urged Tribune to return the paper to local ownership if it could not meet its financial goals without making further cuts.

When interviewed by The Times, Baquet said he had refused to make substantial cuts or order layoffs. Johnson backed his editor and said, "Newspapers can't cut their way into the future. We have to carefully balance economic realities with serving our readers."

Journalists around the country cheered the duo for fighting to hold the line against further contraction, while some publishers said the intransigence was not realistic in a time when newspaper revenues continue to be eroded by the Internet and other new media outlets.

Johnson, 47, told friends after publicly defying his bosses that he realized his job could be on the line. In an interview Thursday, Johnson said that it became apparent "late last week" that he would have to leave the paper.

Rumors of a change at The Times began to leak out Wednesday. But Tribune executives declined to comment. Smith, Hiller and two other executives flew to Los Angeles later in the day.


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An anachronism, did I spell that right?
Playboy Hopes It's Back Front and Center
By Claire Hoffman, Times Staff Writer
October 7, 2006

LAS VEGAS — The Playboy bunnies, once scorned as sexist relics of the swinging 1960s, are back.

Friday night, at one of this town's most popular casinos, a new generation of leggy ladies spilled across the opulent gaming room at the new Playboy Club at the Palms Casino and Resort.

Bowing as they served drinks, the rabbit-eared waitresses pushed their signature white, puffy tails in the air while patrons tossed dice and slapped cards onto green velour tables. About 10:15 p.m., founder Hugh Hefner laid down the first live bet, surrounded by a posse of blonds one-third his age.

Besides serving up martinis, dealing cards and flirting with customers, the modern Playboy bunny has a more important job: helping the venerable 53-year-old publishing and entertainment concern get its mojo back. The company that once provided a generation of men with a blueprint to a swinging lifestyle got stuck in middle age.

The Internet has brought a glut of accessible pornography, much of which makes Playboy's signature brand of soft-lens sexiness seem quaint at times. "Lad" magazines such as Maxim and Stuff — their pages brimming with raunchy articles and brash pictorials — have enticed young men away from Playboy's flagship magazine. Places like Hooters lure customers with buxom waitresses in a sports-bar environment.

So it's back to the clubs for Playboy Enterprises Inc., which hopes to open a new chapter by reshaping the company into a licensing powerhouse for a generation for whom Playboy is no longer a must-read.

"A post-feminist generation is thinking back to the 1970s and wondering what they missed," said Hugh Hefner, Playboy's 80-year-old founder and editor in chief, at the club opening. He was flanked by his three live-in girlfriends. "It's a great time for me."

Starting in the late '60s, Playboy opened clubs worldwide. At the height of popularity, there were 22 of them, staffed by an army of more than 25,000 bunnies.

Some 7 million monthly devotees of the magazine could write in and order a Playboy key, which gave them access to the private clubs. Inside, young women wearing skimpy, low-cut outfits made men feel comfortable as they talked over drinks. Celebrities such as Milton Berle, Tony Bennett, Ringo Starr and Zsa Zsa Gabor could be found sitting at tables.

"You felt a little bit important; not everybody had a key," said Frank Silveria, 69, of Houston, who was a key holder in the '60s and '70s when he was a traveling salesman. "You could sit there and have a conversation. It wasn't like Hooters at all — it was very mature, and they were very sophisticated kind of gals."

The clubs were part of a larger Playboy entertainment empire that seemed to have no limits. There was the magazine, the "Playboy After Dark" TV show, the clubs, a record label and film projects. Hugh Hefner's pipe-smoking profile was as recognizable as Playboy's bunny.

But the sexual revolution caught up to Playboy, and what was once daring seemed commonplace. Feminists such as Gloria Steinem criticized the bunnies as denigrating to women, and the swinging Playboy lifestyle became something of a caricature. Playboy closed its last U.S. club in 1988, followed three years later by the last international locale, in Asia.

"Society has moved on," Hefner said then.

Since that time, Playboy Enterprises has had to struggle with red ink, making a profit in just one of the last seven years, and a languishing stock price as it tries to expand into arenas such as cable TV, the Internet and even hard-core porn. Although Playboy is still the largest men's magazine, its circulation of 3 million is less than half what it was during the 1970s.

Now Playboy is aiming to sell itself to young men and women drawn to the mystique and nostalgia the name symbolizes.

"I don't think the Playboy brand has changed much at all — it's always been sophisticated and aspirational," said Playboy Chief Executive Christie Hefner, Hugh's daughter.

But unlike the halcyon club days, Playboy this time is effectively leasing out its name and iconic bunny to others who are eager to exploit it. Playboy won't manage the clubs itself. Even the 50 bunnies who staff the club in Las Vegas were chosen and are employed by the casino.

"We have no desire to go back to running a chain of stand-alone nightclubs," said Christie Hefner, who is based in Chicago while her father, who still controls the company, is at the Playboy Mansion in Holmby Hills.

Licensing the name and logo for clothing and other merchandise already is highly lucrative. It generates more than half of Playboy's operating profit now.

Christie Hefner expects the Vegas club to generate an 80% profit margin for the company. Playboy anticipates collecting $4 million a year from the Palms through royalty payments and a percentage of the profit. Future clubs are planned in London and Macao casinos.

"They are doing a lot of basically trading their name and brand recognition for equity," said analyst Dennis McAlpine of McAlpine Associates. "They can exploit the brand name as much as they can, but they have to have something to exploit. And the brand recognition has to come from the magazine and entertainment."

The Palms was considered an ideal match for Playboy because it has become one of the most popular resorts for young people, having been showcased for a season as the home of MTV's "The Real World."

The venture was bankrolled by the Maloof family, which owns the casino. Led by casino operator George Maloof, the family spent $650 million on the "Fantasy Tower" that houses the Playboy club, a nightclub, a restaurant, a Playboy store and a Hugh Hefner sky villa.

Guests can rent the two-story suite for $40,000 a night, which will buy them, among other things, a night in a rotating bed, surrounded by a collection of artwork by Hugh Hefner.

No longer appealing for its shock value, Playboy now must rely on its retro appeal. Film director and producer Jan Marlyn Reesman, a former bunny in Miami, New York and Chicago, said it was hard for her to imagine the club now with sexual mores so much looser.

"I was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed and it was a great time," Reesman said. "Our outfits were so not revealing compared to what people wear on the streets today, so I'm not sure what they're going to do. It will be the same name, and it won't be the same place."

claire.hoffman@latimes.com

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Being "gay" has absolutely NOTHING to do with being a PEDOPHILE!
Path Is Risky for Gay GOP Politicians
By Maura Reynolds and Jenny Jarvie, Times Staff Writers
October 6, 2006

WASHINGTON — At the Republican National Convention in 2000, Rep. Mark Foley hosted a late-night bash at a Philadelphia gay bar, where an acquaintance snapped a photo of an attractive young intern sitting on the Florida congressman's lap.

Months later, according to the acquaintance, when she offered to send him the photo, Foley looked anxious.

The intern, "male or female?" he inquired.

"Female" was the reply.

"Oh, thank God," Foley responded. "Send me that photo, I might need it someday."

For most Republicans, being photographed in a compromising position with a young woman could be scandalous. But in the sometimes strained world of gay Republicans, it was an asset.

Foley resigned a week ago over revelations that he had engaged in sexually explicit online banter with male teenagers. And though it was the age of those House pages that forced his downfall and a criminal investigation, Foley's sexual orientation had been a huge political liability for him for years.

Gays hold many prominent positions in government and business in Washington. But in the GOP ranks, homosexuality is still politically risky. In fact, with the exception of the military, perhaps no institution in America has as strong a "don't ask, don't tell" approach as the Republican Party.

"Obviously, the far right has kind of got a stranglehold on the Republican Party," said Minnesota state Rep. Paul Koering, a Republican who came out publicly last year. "The very first time I ran, I literally almost made myself sick worrying about somebody finding out I was gay."

Congress has three openly gay members, one of them a Republican — Jim Kolbe of Arizona, who is retiring when this term ends. Kolbe acknowledged his sexual orientation in 1996 after a gay magazine was about to "out" him for voting against government recognition of same-sex marriages.

Staffers from both parties say they think that several other Republican members of Congress are gay but, at least officially, in the closet.

"It's kind of like a secret society," said a gay former congressional staffer who, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

One reason for the secrecy, gay Republicans say, is that their party has grown more hostile to gays in recent years. The trend began with the 2002 congressional election, when GOP leaders made the strategic decision to use religious conservative groups' opposition to gay marriage to turn out voters. For those groups, which consider homosexuality a deviant "lifestyle," few issues rile their membership more.

"While pro-homosexual activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said this week in a message to supporters.

David Catania, who serves on the District of Columbia city council and is gay, said he left the Republican Party over its opposition to gay marriage. He expressed sympathy for his gay friends who remained active Republicans.

"They've hitched their stars to the party, hoping to hunker down and ride out the Taliban-esque wing, hoping their views will come back into the mainstream," Catania said. "It's got to be very demoralizing for them."

A gay Democratic staffer said gay Republican friends tended to walk a narrow line.

"It's difficult for them," the staffer said. "For the most part, they grew up in Republican households and families. It's like a religion to them. They may even be out to their families. But they are not out professionally."

Early in Foley's congressional career, friends and associates say, he took measures to deflect attention from his sexual orientation. He showed up at parties with a woman on his arm, made references to girlfriends, and used photos of himself with his sister and niece in campaign literature. Many voters assumed the photo showed him with a wife and daughter.

In Florida, Foley had a host of glamorous and wealthy female companions, including Petra Levin, a former model and philanthropist, and Nancy Jean Davis, the Miami heir to the McArthur Dairy fortune.


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Everything Old Is New Again!
'Star Trek' ship fetches over $500,000

21 minutes ago

NEW YORK - Star Fleet Capt. Jean-Luc Picard commanded it. Now some Trekkie owns it.


A model of the Starship Enterprise used in the pilot and title sequences of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" sold for $576,000 Saturday at an auction of costumes, sets and props from 40 years of the "Star Trek" sci-fi franchise.

The 78-inch-long miniature of the "Enterprise-D," built by Industrial Light and Magic, debuted in 1987 in the episode "Encounter at Farpoint," and then was used in many subsequent episodes, as well as the film "Star Trek Generations."

More than 1,000 items from the archives of CBS Paramount Television Studios went on the block over three days at Christie's auction house, and fans forked over a total of $7.1 million for set furniture, pointy Vulcan ears and other props.

Some Christie's employees taking bids by telephone wore Star Trek uniforms, and a live feed of the auction was carried on the History Channel's Web site.

Other top sellers from Saturday's auction included a spacesuit belonging to the series' Dr. McCoy from the episode "The Tholian Web," which fetched $144,000; and a replica of Captain James T. Kirk's chair on the bridge in the first Star Trek series.

The painted wood chair was only a re-creation for a 1996 episode of "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" that mixed action from that newer series with old footage, but it still sold for $62,400.

___

On the Net:

Christie's: http://www.christies.com/

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These Fuddy-duddies just get more bizarre as the days go on...
Woman dedicates her virginity to Jesus

Sat Oct 7, 3:45 PM ET

EAST AURORA, N.Y. - She stood at the altar in a white gown and veil, but she was there for no earthly man. Lori Rose Cannizzaro was dedicating her virginity to Jesus.

Saturday's rare Catholic ceremony, one her own pastor didn't know existed, turned the 42-year-old into a "consecrated virgin." Fewer than 200 women in the United States and 2,000 worldwide have declared their perpetual virginity this way, according to U.S. Association of Consecrated Virgins.

"There are people who think I'm nuts," Cannizzaro said.

The ceremony was a revival of one of the church's oldest rituals.

The rite is available only to virgins, who agree to abstain from sex so they can dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ in what the association describes as a mystical marriage and a profound spiritual blessing. Each woman wears a band on her left ring finger as a symbol, much like a wedding band.

Cannizzaro, who is not a nun, will continue to live on her own and work as a cook at Christ the King Seminary in a Buffalo suburb.

She said she has plenty of support from family and friends.

"It is a good and holy thing to want to be in a virginal state," she said.

The ceremony was just the second of its kind performed in the Diocese of Buffalo.

The idea of consecrated virgins faded in the Middle Ages, but Pope Paul VI restored the rite in 1970. Only a bishop can perform the special Mass. Bishop Edward Kmiec led Cannizzaro's ceremony at her home parish, Immaculate Conception.

Cannizzaro, who spent the past two years taking seminary classes in preparation, said she knew more than a decade ago she would be better off single.

"Dating wasn't working. I wasn't connecting," she said. "Not that I never wanted to be married or never wanted children."

___

On the Net: http://www.consecratedvirgins.org/

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New York City central to Iowa? Sorry all my Brothers there, but I don't think so!
NYC mayor takes charge of WTC memorial

By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writer Sat Oct 7, 9:22 PM ET

NEW YORK - The final truckloads of rubble had just left the World Trade Center site in the spring of 2002 when Mayor Michael Bloomberg foretold the difficulties ahead for the process of building a memorial to the victims of the terror attack.

The former CEO, in public office barely six months, told a group of business leaders he couldn't envision the end result.

"I can tell you the process, however," Bloomberg said. "The process is everybody yelling and screaming for a number of years and then somebody taking charge and just doing it."

He was remarkably right. Amid all the shouting — some directed at him — the mayor himself is taking over the memorial's multimillion-dollar foundation, where board members hope his philanthropic credentials and star power will breathe life into lethargic fundraising.

That surprised many people because of his awkward history with the memorial and victims' families.

His predecessor, Rudolph Giuliani, had suggested when he left office that the entire site should be made into a "soaring, monumental" memorial.

Bloomberg, however, was focused on stabilizing the city's shaky post-9/11 economy, and the pragmatic billionaire could not support giving up 16 acres of prime downtown Manhattan real estate. He came across as business-oriented and harsh.

Victims' relatives were angered when he said downtown residents wouldn't want to live next to a "cemetery." Many were already unhappy because at the start of his term Bloomberg did not attend every firefighter's funeral as Giuliani had done, although he quickly changed his ways.

The next year, he took heat for comments reportedly made during a meeting with Diane and Kurt Horning, who lost their son in the attack and were upset that the city buried the sifted trade center dust in a landfill. They say that dust still contains specks of human remains, and are suing the city in federal court to force its removal.

Diane Horning says Bloomberg should not head the emotionally charged memorial effort because he was "dismissive and abrupt" about their views on grieving and remains.

Bloomberg's opponents also say he lacks compassion for rescue workers sickened by toxic trade center debris and has ignored demands to group the names of victims on the memorial by where they died and who employed them, rather than listing the names randomly.

"I don't get any warmth from the man — I don't feel that he can understand the need for memorializing the victims or the feelings of the families," Horning said. "Does he understand the financials? Of course he does, but that's not enough."

Christy Ferer, who lost her husband on Sept. 11 and serves as Bloomberg's liaison to the families, says the public dramatically misunderstands him.

Ferer said he cares deeply about the families and has been instrumental in countless projects on their behalf.

"He is an amazing, philanthropic guy, but that doesn't mean he's warm and fuzzy, and sometimes people can potentially misread that," she said. "Maybe these families can't recognize his ability to execute his vision in the long run, and therefore think that he's all about lack of feeling."

The mayor lost friends on 9/11 and endured his own grief early in life, but rarely mentions either. His father, who had a weak heart, died during Bloomberg's junior year in college.

In his autobiography, Bloomberg noted that "today, he could have survived; medicine wasn't as capable then as it is now."

It is a revealing passage: The mayor, who wears his father's watch as a remembrance, donates hundreds of millions to medical research.

Many say this is how he deals with adversity, by focusing on what can be changed rather than dwelling on the past.

"His energy is totally directed forward, and sometimes his way of grieving is really not to look backwards," Ferer said.

He has also given $10 million to the memorial foundation. As its chairman, the Republican mayor will likely tap his business connections and wealthy friends for more donations to the project, which is expected to cost more than $700 million. Nearly $145 million has been raised. Construction on the memorial has begun and officials hope to finish in 2009 — Bloomberg's last year in office.

"What we're really seeing is that he understands how central this is to the nation, to the city and to the families," said Mitchell Moss, a New York University urban planning professor. "Even though he has not been that close with them, he understands the power of this and the significance that it has."

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So, extreem Brown-nosing DOES have extreem rewards!
Carrier named for elder Bush christened

By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 5 minutes ago

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Spraying the bubbles from sparkling wine across the enormous gray bow of the USS George H.W. Bush, the Bush family on Saturday christened the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier named after the 82-year-old former president.

"I know you join me in saying to our father,
President Bush, your ship has come in," the current president said during a ceremony for the last of the Nimitz-class carriers, the CVN 77.

"She is unrelenting, she is unshakable, she is unyielding, she is unstoppable," Bush said, lauding the warship's state-of-the-art design before pausing for a punch line aimed at his mother's well-known steely constitution. "As a matter of fact, probably should have been named the Barbara Bush."

The elder Bush, a decorated Navy pilot in World War II, joined the armed forces on his 18th birthday, June 12, 1942. "After our nation was attacked at Pearl Harbor, you simply couldn't find anyone who wasn't anxious to sign up," he told the audience as a heavy rain fell.

"The point is that our nation was totally united against the insidious totalitarian threat against freedom," he said. He added, "In my humble view, we were no greater than the kids that serve today."

The current president said that in the 21st century, "freedom is again under attack and young Americans are volunteering to answer the call."

Doro Bush Koch, the elder Bush's daughter, handled the ritual smashing of a bottle of sparkling wine against the flattop's bow.

Bush father and son and several relatives joined hundreds of others, from government dignitaries to shipyard workers, at Northrop Grumman Newport News, where the $6 billion, 1,092-foot-long carrier is being built. It is not yet finished and is scheduled to be delivered to the Navy in late 2008.

The christening ceremony was scheduled to be nearly two hours long, but deafening thunderclaps, lightning, wind and intermittent heavy rain left the speakers mostly abandoning their prepared remarks to merely introduce the next in line.

The elder Bush choked up during his informal and sentimental address, while talking about the men with whom he served in World War II.

Four Navy veterans who served with Bush during the war traveled to the ceremony, an event the former president called the "third happiest day of his life," after his wedding and the day when two of his sons were elected governors.

"This is every naval aviator's dream," he said

The 10th of the Nimitz-class carriers — the largest warships in the world — features technological advancements that make it a bridge to the next generation of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

On Sunday, the carrier was to be launched from its dry-dock into the James River and taken to an outfitting berth, where work on interior systems will continue.

The former president was the youngest pilot in the Navy when he joined, receiving his commission and naval aviator wings before age 19.

Bush flew torpedo bombers off the aircraft carrier USS San Jacinto. In 1944, he was on a mission over the Pacific when Japanese anti-aircraft fire hit his plane. Bush parachuted into the sea and was rescued by a Navy submarine. He later was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and three Air Medals for his Navy service in the Pacific theater.

Capt. Kevin O'Flaherty, the carrier's prospective commanding officer, is in charge of about 330 sailors now attached to the ship. He said he eventually will be responsible for about 3,000 crew members when the ship is put into service. It is not known where the carrier is to be stationed.

___

Associated Press Writer Sonja Barisic contributed to this story.

___

On the Net:

Bush carrier: http://www.nn.cnorthropgrumman.com/bush/

Nimitz-class carriers: http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid4200&tid200&ct4

Posted by hotelbravo.org at 1:19 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
...like a little kid stalling to go to bed!
Haniyeh: Hamas won't recognize Israel

By SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writer Fri Oct 6, 4:01 PM ET

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Hamas will not recognize
Israel or give in to international pressure that has crippled the Palestinian government, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told tens of thousands of banner-waving supporters at a rally Friday.

Haniyeh's fiery speech was interrupted when he fainted onstage, apparently overcome by the heat and two weeks of dawn-to-dusk fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. He resumed his speech after a few minutes.

"I tell you with all honesty, we will not recognize Israel, we will not recognize Israel, we will not recognize Israel," Haniyeh declared to a roar of applause from the crowd. "We say we will be in every government, we will stay in the government."

The Hamas leader ruled out a proposal by members of his own Hamas movement to form a new government of technocrats as a way of winning international support and ending a seven-month aid freeze.

"There are new scenarios, such as an emergency government, a technocrat government, or early elections," Haniyeh told the crowd in a packed soccer stadium. "They all aim at one thing, getting Hamas out of the government."

Moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who was elected separately, has the authority to dissolve the Hamas Cabinet and replace it with an emergency government, or could call early elections. However, Abbas aides say he's not considering either option at the moment, fearing such moves would not have popular support. An emergency government would also require approval of the parliament, which is controlled by Hamas.

Haniyeh said Hamas remains willing to invite other parties into a coalition, but that it would not soften its positions. In addition to recognizing Israel, the international community demands that Hamas renounce violence and accept existing peace agreements.

He accused the international community of trying to impose its will on the Palestinians. "They want a government with American and Israeli dimensions that implements external dictates, the so-called Quartet demands," he said, referring to the group of Mideast peacemakers — the U.S., the U.N., the
European Union and Russia.

Haniyeh said his best offer to Israel was a temporary truce in return for establishment of a Palestinian state in the
West Bank and
Gaza Strip, with its capital in Jerusalem, over which Israel claims complete sovereignty. He also repeated demands for the release of thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons

The 46-year-old leader's address had just got under way when, apparently weakened by fasting and the sweltering hot day, he began to slur his words, then slumped against aides surrounding him. He sat on a chair and resumed his address after a few minutes.

"Our bodies can get tired, but our soul will not, and we will not stop our steadfastness," he said of the incident.

The rally, with heavy security provided by armed Hamas militiamen, came at a time of increasing tension between the Islamic group and Abbas'
Fatah Party.

The dispute between the two groups erupted into gunbattles last week, fueling concerns it could escalate into a full-fledged civil war.

Haniyeh called for Abbas to come to Gaza from his West Bank headquarters for talks to defuse the crisis. "Come here to Gaza to resume dialogue to protect the unity of our people," he said.

Hamas won a parliamentary election in January, bringing the party into direct confrontation with Abbas, who controls some of the security forces and backs peace talks with Israel.

In the West Bank on Friday, Israeli troops and Palestinians scuffled at a checkpoint south of Jerusalem when hundreds of Muslims tried to enter the Israeli-ruled city for Muslim prayers, witnesses said.

The Palestinians had arrived at the checkpoint, seeking to reach the Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third-holiest shrine. When some 300 people began pushing forward, paramilitary border police threw stun grenades to disperse the crowd.

A spokesman for the border police said nobody was injured in the incident.

During Ramadan, tens of thousands of Muslims attend prayers at the mosque. Citing security concerns, Israel bars Palestinian men under the age of 40 from reaching the site, in Jerusalem's walled Old City.

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Chicago's Projects, all but gone!
Last days for largest housing project

By SHARON COHEN, AP National Writer Sat Oct 7, 1:01 PM ET

CHICAGO - The menacing row of concrete towers where four of Katie Sistrunk's children were shot is almost all gone now, replaced by weeds and fields, mud and memories.

The cage-like balconies that looked like prison tiers to Beauty Turner have all but disappeared.

The gangs that peddled crack to Krystal McCraney Moore have found new places to haunt.

One hollow-eyed lookout still paces at the entrance of the last high-rise, watching for police so he can alert drug dealers who lurk in the graffiti-scarred, darkened stairwells.

This is the end of the Robert Taylor Homes, the final days of what once was the nation's largest housing project. Four decades ago, its 28 towers overflowed with thousands of some of the poorest people in America. Now there's just one rotting building and a few dozen holdout tenants.

This month, the stragglers will leave, some reluctantly, a step ahead of the wrecking ball.

The rise and fall of Taylor is the story of a Great Society promise that became a debacle, of intimidating high-rises that became a national symbol of failure, of a community that, at times, became a war zone.

It's also the story of poor people who survived an unforgiving world of roaches and rats, frozen pipes and broken elevators, vicious gangs and drugs — but still mourn a place they called home.

"It's the end of an era," says Turner, a resident for 16 years who became an activist and chronicler of public housing. "It's the end of a community. You can say the people who made it through these buildings had the courage of a lion and the strength of an elephant. ... But they had no say, they were voiceless."

___

The obituary for the Taylor Homes might read this way:

Born in 1962. Welcomed by politicians with fanfare. Doomed by age 5. Ailing for decades. Dead at age 44. Among the causes: mismanagement, shrinking federal dollars, government blundering, neglect, poor design, drugs and, above all, too many poor people packed in too little space.

Survivors: tens of thousands.

Taylor has been coming down for the past decade, building by building, part of a nationwide movement to rid big cities of decaying, dangerous housing that warehoused the poor.

Nearly 186,000 public housing units have been approved for demolition in Detroit, Atlanta, Philadelphia and several other cities, according to the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development. About 80 percent already are gone.

The federal government also has allocated about $5.6 billion to refashion former public housing areas into smaller communities that combine families of different incomes.

But among big cities, Chicago's public housing stands apart.

It has the most ambitious blueprint for starting over: a $1.6 billion, 10-year "Plan for Transformation" to demolish most family gallery-style public housing high rises (44 of 53 are already gone) and replace them with mixed-income communities.

It also has the most notorious history, with a seemingly endless list of tragedies. Just this May, a 21-year-old woman from California with bipolar disorder mysteriously plummeted from the seventh floor of Taylor's last tower. A reputed gang member has been charged with assault and kidnapping. The woman survived, with brain injuries.

Along with the horrors are scandals and corruption that led to a four-year federal takeover of the Chicago Housing Authority in the 1990s. Despite major changes and progress since then, the past has proven hard to forget.

"Chicago is the largest story of failure," says D. Bradford Hunt, a Roosevelt University professor who's writing a book about the city's public housing. "It created these enormous ghettos that were so cut off ... They really were islands in the city."

The Taylor Homes — whose population was 99 percent black — was the grandaddy of them all, two miles of 16-story towers, more than 4,300 apartments shadowing the busy Dan Ryan Expressway. The Ryan was a dividing line — black to the east, white to the west.

Along with four other projects on the South Side, Taylor was part of a stretch once considered the highest concentration of poor people in America.

The new community planned is a dramatic departure — 2,500 rental apartments, condominiums and townhouses, only a third for public housing residents, no building taller than four stories. Some are skeptical such an ambitious project will come to pass.

But the point is obvious: Avoid the conditions that spawned Taylor which, at its peak in the mid 1960s, swelled with 27,000 residents, three-fourths of them children. It was the kids who got hurt playing in elevator shafts, the kids who died in gang crossfire.

"I saw so many kids get killed ... and I didn't want that to happen to my child," says Katie Sistrunk, who says four of her 13 children were shot at Taylor. She calmly details the arm and leg wounds they suffered and the exact spot each was injured — the playground, the elevator, the streets. The lesson was clear: No place was safe.

"I called it little Beirut," she says. "Even if you could relax for a minute, it wouldn't be nothing but a moment. You were never at a place where you could say, 'Things are going to be fine.'"

Taylor became a city within a city, fueled by an underground economy. People sold everything from food to compact discs from their apartments. The big-ticket items, though, were heroin, crack, cocaine and marijuana sold by gangs who commandeered buildings. By one estimate, between $5,000 and $10,000 in drug money changed hands daily in the early 1990s — a time when nearly 96 percent of the residents, many single mothers, were jobless.

One tower was wryly dubbed "Freedom Town," meaning every kind of drug was sold freely within its walls.

There's no mystery now why Taylor failed.

"You just can't stack poor people on poor people ... where there are no jobs, the schools are failing, there's no grocery store, no pharmacy, all the things you take for granted in a community," says Terry Peterson, who recently stepped down as Chicago Housing Authority chairman.

But 44 years ago, the doors opened with great hope.

"This project represents ... what all of us feel America should be — and that is a decent home for every family," Mayor Richard J. Daley said at the dedication in 1962.

Even then, there were doubts.

Daley — father of the current mayor, Richard M. Daley — didn't want high rises and had been warned they'd be hard to manage and unwholesome for families, Hunt says. But voters who were the backbone of Daley's political machine opposed public housing in their neighborhoods, empty land was scarce and the federal government balked at the high costs of low rises.

So Taylor was built. And every dire prediction came true.

"You can blame Mayor Daley but he didn't do it alone. He had the backing of city government and HUD," says Susan Popkin, author of "The Hidden War: Crime and the Tragedy of Public Housing in Chicago."

Popkin also says the bungled concept for public housing extended to the design: no showers, outdoor elevators vulnerable to Chicago winters, pipes that were frequently vandalized and caused flooding. "You couldn't have built those things any more clearly to say, 'You don't matter,'" she says.

But early on, Taylor — named after the first black housing authority chairman — did seem a welcome change. Its large apartments and new appliances had replaced cold-water flats and slums.

"Growing up was good," says David Wilson, who was literally born in Taylor 38 years ago. "Three bedrooms, sheesh, man you thought you was in heaven. At night it was beautiful. There were lights on every porch."

Wilson's childhood was typical of the early days; his family was headed by two, working-class parents. "Everybody knew everybody," he says. "If your child got lost, he got found. At night, you didn't see any kids. Everybody back then was scared of their parents."

The good days faded fast.

From 1967 to 1974, the percentage of working-class families plummeted from 50 percent to 10 percent, Hunt says; those on public aid jumped from slightly more than a third to 83 percent.

The downward spiral continued.

Over the next 20 years, jobs in steel and other smokestack industries that offered black workers a steppingstone into the middle class disappeared. Federal budgets shrank. The buildings deteriorated; garbage piled up from broken incinerators, mailboxes and laundry rooms were vandalized. Repairs took months. After a fatal fire in the 1990s, one building was found to have 436 code violations.

The vacancy rate rose. Empty apartments, many on the top floor, became drug dens. The crack epidemic exploded. So did gang violence.

When Beauty Turner arrived in 1986, she witnessed the shooting of a teenage boy on her very first day.

"It angered me — not just with the people who did it, but with the system around it," she says. "I was outraged about many things — the way the elevators would break down, the way elderly people could not get up into their houses, the way the place looked, the way the management company spoke to the people."

She began organizing meetings, writing letters, testifying before congressional committees, agitating for change — while raising three children, all of whom graduated from college. She also became a reporter for the Residents' Journal, an award-winning bimonthly publication for and by public housing residents.

Turner's building was leveled four years ago but she didn't wait to be forced out — she left after she woke one night to find a giant rat nuzzling near her face.

Katie Sistrunk, who came to Taylor a single teen mother, left a widow and great-grandmother.

Over three decades, the 53-year-old Sistrunk tried to keep her 13 children busy, organizing a boys-and-girls club at a neighborhood school. She tapped into any resource she could — even muscling a gang leader to buy chocolate bars she was selling to raise money for the group's trip to Detroit.

"They were taking these kids' mothers money, their fathers' money (for drugs)," she explains. "I said, 'Let them have a little joy.'" The candy was purchased. The kids got their trip. "That," she says with a smile, "was a sweet moment."

There were ugly ones, as well.

When her nephew was killed, she says, her sister had a nervous breakdown.

When a gang member threatened her son, she says, she in turn threatened to kill his mother. "She lives on 13, I live on 6," she said. "She gotta go up past me."

And when four of her nine sons ended up behind bars — one remains there — she had little sympathy. "You're not going to take me down and make me suffer for what you choose to do," she told them. "If you don't make it, son, it's on you."

Sistrunk — a grandmother at 51 — says almost all her children ended up doing well and she doesn't blame Taylor for those who got in trouble.

"It's not where you live, it's how you live," she says in her husky smoker's voice. "They had another choice ... because they had loving parents. We were always telling them about the drugs, about the gangs, about the guns. We didn't have to tell them, they saw it."

It may strain the imagination but this was a community, says Sudhir Venkatesh, who lived with Taylor families for about 18 months as a graduate student in the early 1990s and wrote a book about Taylor, "American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto."

"I was trying to find out where democracy happens in the United States and I found it in Robert Taylor," says Venkatesh, now a Columbia University sociologist. "I found it in the aftermath of drive-by shootings and domestic abuse incidents. They debated, they fought over what they should do at community meetings. People were involved."

But Krystal McCraney Moore says Taylor's insular world was a crutch — it become easy for her to lean on neighbors for everything from Pampers to delivering crack cocaine when she was too embarrassed to get it herself.

Moore's life unraveled in seven years there. Now 27, married and mother of an infant, she says she has been drug-free three years and is working to regain custody of the three children taken from her while living in Taylor. She was elated to leave the project.

"It's the best thing that happened to me," she says.

Still, she's sympathetic to those who have a hard time making the break. "That's the only life they knew," she says. "I pray for these people ... that they'll be able to fend for themselves in the real world."

Even now, some feel Taylor could have been saved.

"If you gave us the law enforcement like we deserved ... if you got people in there who were normal ... the buildings could have still been there," says Wilson, who spent 33 of his 38 years in the same Taylor apartment.

Not so, say Chicago housing officials, adding that Taylor's fate was sealed by a federal directive that requires demolition of some larger public housing developments when rehabilitation and maintenance costs exceed those of housing vouchers.

Some former residents now think the winners in the aftermath of Taylor will be developers. Poor people, meanwhile, will be shunted off to dangerous neighborhoods where they'll face the same problems they had before.

Venkatesh, the sociologist, has been following 400 families, mostly ex-Taylor residents. He says about 80 percent have moved to poor, minority areas while a small number of families have significantly improved their situation.

"The whole program is about choice — we have to focus on what the resident wants," and often that means following their former neighbors to communities where they're comfortable, says Meghan Harte, managing director of resident services for the housing authority.

So far, of about 1,550 people who lived in Taylor as of 1999, about two-thirds have chosen federal vouchers that help pay their rent; the remainder have left public housing.

By next spring, the last building will fall. The Taylor name will be history.

___

Barbara Moore was one of the last tenants to leave.

She was homebound for the past year — sidelined by a broken ankle — and when she said goodbye to Taylor at the end of September, she left in a wheelchair.

She's now settling into an apartment a few blocks away; her daughter, Korlette, and her two grandsons, who lived a floor above her in Taylor, moved in next door.

But change does not come easy, not for a woman who lived in Taylor 40 of her 66 years.

"I just feel like I left of part of my body," she says. "I feel empty and hollow inside. It was my home. I loved it. And I still do."

Posted by hotelbravo.org at 1:05 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Updated: Sunday, 8 October 2006 2:52 AM CDT
Factual Truth is not easily come by...no matter how much things change, things seem to remain the same!
Outspoken Putin critic shot dead in Moscow

By James Kilner Sat Oct 7, 4:57 PM ET

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, an outspoken critic of President
Vladimir Putin, was shot dead on Saturday at her apartment block in central Moscow, police said.

"According to initial information she was killed by two shots when leaving the lift. Neighbors found her body," a police source told Reuters. Police found a pistol and four rounds in the lift.

Politkovskaya, a 48-year-old mother of two, won international fame and numerous prizes for her dogged pursuit of rights abuses by Putin's government, particularly in the violent southern province of
Chechnya.

"The first thing that comes to mind is that Anna was killed for her professional activities. We don't see any other motive for this terrible crime," said Vitaly Yaroshevsky, a deputy editor of the newspaper where Politkovskaya worked.

Moscow chief prosecutor Yuri Syomin told reporters at the crime scene, a nine-story Soviet-era apartment building in central Moscow, that he was treating the death as murder.

Paramedics took Politkovskaya's body, wrapped in a white sheet, out of the building and put it into an ambulance. A middle-aged woman laid flowers at the doors of the building and stood with her head against the wall, crying.

Politkovskaya's silver Lada, filled with supermarket shopping bags, was parked outside the apartment block.

Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, a shareholder in Politkovskaya's newspaper Novaya Gazeta, called the killing a "savage crime."

"It is a blow to the entire democratic, independent press," Gorbachev told Interfax news agency. "It is a grave crime against the country, against all of us."

In the days before her death, Politkovskaya had been working on a story about torture in Chechnya, which was expected to be published on Monday, her newspaper said.

DISTRUSTED PUTIN

The rebel province has been a constant headache for the Kremlin. Russia sent troops in 1994 to crush an insurgency but after 12 years of bloodshed and the devastation of the province's capital Grozny, sporadic attacks continue.

Politkovskaya was a fierce critic of Putin, whom she accused of stifling freedom and failing to shake off his past as a KGB agent.

"I dislike him for ... his cynicism, for his racism, for his lies ... for the massacre of the innocents which went on throughout his first term as president," she wrote in her book "Putin's Russia" which was published overseas but not in Russia.

Her death came on the day Putin turned 54.

In New York, the Committee to Protect Journalists described Politkovskaya's murder as a "devastating development for journalism in Russia."

There are few independent voices in Russian media, most of it controlled by the state or business interests. Newspapers such as Novaya Gazeta, popular with Russian liberals and human rights activists, are rare, especially outside the big cities and tend to have a small circulation.

"Ms. Politkovskaya's murder signals a major crisis of free expression and journalistic safety in Russia," said Thomas Hammarberg, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

Rights group Amnesty International said in a statement it believed Politkovskaya was targeted because she reported on rights abuses in Russia and urged a thorough murder probe.

Born to Soviet Ukrainian diplomats in New York in 1958, Politkovskaya studied journalism at Moscow's State University and began her career in state media.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union she began working at the independent media which began to flourish under Gorbachev.

Politkovskaya's war reporting often meant she was under scrutiny by Russian politicians and, sometimes, the security services. She had been arrested and held in a pit for three days in Chechnya and received numerous death threats.

She said she was unable to cover the bloody siege of a school at Beslan in 2004 -- in which more than 330 children and parents died when troops stormed the school -- because she was poisoned on the flight from Moscow and ended up in hospital.

Her murder is the most high-profile killing of a journalist here since the death of U.S. journalist Paul Klebnikov in 2004.

Last month, gunmen shot and killed senior Russian central banker Andrei Kozlov in one of the most high profile contract killings since Putin came to power in 2000.

(Additional reporting by Robin Paxton, Tatyana Ustinova in Moscow and Bill Trott in Washington)

Posted by hotelbravo.org at 12:49 AM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Saturday, 7 October 2006
Prosecutors suspect her killing could be connected to her investigative reporting.
Russian who reported on Chechnya killed

By MARIA DANILOVA, Associated Press Writer 7 minutes ago

MOSCOW - A journalist who chronicled Russian military abuses against civilians in
Chechnya, garnering awards and accolades from around the world, was found shot to death Saturday in her apartment building. Prosecutors suspect her killing could be connected to her investigative reporting.

Anna Politkovskaya, 48, was found dead in an elevator in the building in central Moscow, police, prosecutors and a colleague said.

Prosecutors have opened a murder investigation, said Svetlana Petrenko, spokeswoman for the Moscow prosecutor's office. Investigators suspect the killing could be linked to her work, Vyacheslav Rosinsky, Moscow's first deputy prosecutor, said on state-run Rossiya television.

Rosinsky said a pistol and bullets were found at the site of the crime. The RIA-Novosti news agency, citing police officials, reported that Politkovskaya was shot twice, the second time in the head.

The ITAR-Tass news agency reported that work was under way on a composite sketch of the attacker based on footage recorded by a security camera at the building. The assailant, believed to have acted alone, wore black.

Politkovskaya, who wrote for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, chronicled the killings, tortures and beatings of civilians by Russian servicemen in Chechnya in reports that put her on a collision course with the authorities but won her numerous international awards.

"People sometimes pay with their lives for saying out loud what they think. People can even get killed just for giving me information," Reporters Without Borders quoted her as saying at a press freedom conference in Vienna in December.

She also wrote a book critical of Russian President
Vladimir Putin and his military campaign in Chechnya, documenting widespread abuse of civilians by government troops. And she was a persistent critic of Chechnya's Moscow-backed Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, accusing his security forces of kidnapping and torturing civilians.

In "Putin's Russia," Politkovskaya wrote of more than a million soldiers and officers who have passed through the Chechnya experience.

"Poisoned by a war on their own territory, they have become a serious factor affecting civilian life. They can no longer simply be left out of the social equation," she wrote.

Politkovskaya began reporting on Chechnya in 1999 during Russia's second military campaign there, concentrating less on military engagements than on the human side of the war. She wrote about the Chechen inhabitants of refugee camps and wounded Russian soldiers — until she was banned from visiting the hospitals, said Oleg Panfilov, director of the Moscow-based Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations.

"Whenever the question arose whether there is honest journalism in Russia, almost every time the first name that came to mind was Politkovskaya," he said.

Politkovskaya had frequently received threats, Panfilov said. A few months ago, unknown assailants had tried unsuccessfully to break into a car her daughter, Vera, was driving, he said.

In 2001, she fled to Vienna, Austria, for several months after receiving e-mail threats alleging that a Russian police officer she had accused of committing atrocities against civilians was intent on revenge. The officer, Sergei Lapin, was detained in 2002 but the case against him was closed the following year.

"There are journalists who have this fate hanging over them. I always thought something would happen to Anya, first of all because of Chechnya," Panfilov said, referring to Politkovskaya by her nickname.

In 2004, she fell seriously ill with symptoms of food poisoning after drinking tea on a flight from Moscow to southern Russia during the school hostage crisis in Beslan. Her colleagues suspected the incident was an attempt on her life.

She was one of the few people to enter the Moscow theater where Chechen militants seized hundreds of hostages in October 2002 to try negotiating with the rebels. She later devoted much of her investigative reporting to that crisis, in which 129 victims died, the overwhelming majority succumbing to the gas used by special forces to knock out the hostage-takers.

"Anna was a hero to so many of us, and we'll miss her personally, but we'll also miss the information that she and only she was brave enough and dedicated enough to dig out and make public," said Joel Simon, executive director of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

The 46-nation Council of Europe, a leading human rights watchdog whose executive body is currently led by Russia, called for her death to be investigated quickly and convincingly.

"We have all lost a strong voice of the kind which is indispensable in any genuine democracy," said the council's secretary general, Terry Davis.

Politkovskaya's murder is the highest-profile killing of a journalist in Russia since the July 2004 slaying of Paul Klebnikov, editor of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine.

Russia has become one of the deadliest countries for journalists. Twenty-three journalists were killed in Russia between 1996 and 2005, many in Chechnya, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least 12 have been murdered in contract-style killings since Putin came to power, Simon said.

"None of those have been adequately investigated," he said. "We do know that record creates an environment where those who might seek to carry out this murder would feel that there would be few likely consequences."

In addition to her daughter, Politkovskaya is survived by a son, Ilya, Panfilov said.

During her career, Politkovskaya received more than 10 awards and prizes, including an award for human rights reporting from the London-based Amnesty International; a freedom of speech award from the Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders; and a journalism and democracy award from the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Posted by hotelbravo.org at 7:56 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Communism circled the drain and Hollywood needed a new global badguy...self-fullfilliing prophesy?

Those who hate Islam, Please Stand up!
by Mohamed Elmasry
(Friday October 06 2006)

"Islam-haters routinely use smear tactics and label their critics as leftists, radicals, fundamentalists, extremists, anti-Semites, etc."

I am one of those who strongly believe that world conflicts today, or any other day for that matter, are inherently political and have nothing to do with religion -- any religion. Those conflicts mistakenly attributed to religion are caused by the struggle for power and wealth.

Nevertheless, there are too many politicians who find it convenient to exploit and abuse religion as part of their agenda to dominate a political conflict; it becomes an easy tool to gain mass public support, to dehumanize the "enemy" and, more importantly, to ultimately avoid resolving the conflict at all.

Take Islam, for example. Muslims today are victimized everywhere, because the rich and powerful in the West want to control one of the world’s most important natural resources - oil. It just so happens that predominantly Muslim states are sitting on most of it. Those same Muslim states also occupy strategically vital geopolitical locations, as most the world’s commercial air and sea channels pass through or over them. Additionally, with a collective population of some 1.5 billion, the Muslim world also represents a huge market - both actual and potential -- for Western goods.

It’s no wonder that Islam is hated by the rich and powerful in the West who do not have control over the vast natural and commercial resources that belong to Muslim countries. That hatred - fuelled by greed - becomes the principal motivation for sustaining the current political propaganda war.

Those who hate Islam and Muslims thus link every political conflict to Islam. This, they believe, will advance their political agenda and block any rational analysis that might otherwise lead to conflict resolution. Therefore, if a conflict is related to Islam, then what’s the use of trying to discuss it? If Islam is the root cause of that conflict, then the victimization of Muslims, all Muslims, can be easily justified.

In their zeal to smear a major world religion that embraces 1.5 billion adherents, these haters of Islam in Canada also display other troubling characteristics. Here is the top ten:

1. They are anti-immigrant:

Because most Muslim countries are still developing, both politically and technologically, and because the standard of living has increased in countries like China and India - once a major source of Western immigration -- Muslim countries are now the main origin of immigrants to countries like Canada. Those who hate Islam advocate that Canada does not need more immigrants.

2. They are anti-native/aboriginal:

Because Muslims in many parts of the world struggle for self-determination, the anti-Islam crowd is also against giving indigenous Canadian First Nations people their rights.

3. They are anti-multiculturalism:

Because multiculturalism promotes increased tolerance and understanding, which would benefit Canadian Muslims, they are eager to eliminate any government policies supportive of multiculturalism, the sooner the better.

4. They are anti-civil liberties:

They are regressive when it comes to civil liberties and work hard to curtail the extension of, and awareness of, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience to the "Other" elements (i.e. visible and other minorities) in our society.

5. They are anti-democracy:

At the national level, they promote an extreme right wing agenda which is geared to dismissing social justice values; at the international level, they bash the UN and its reform efforts to make it a more democratic international organization.

6. They support American exploitation of Latin America:

They believe that the U.S. has the right to dominate the world and to use any means to that end -- blackmailing, intimidation, exploitation, and military might.

7. They are pro-Israel, regardless of the cost:

Some Palestinians are Christians and all are opposed to the Israeli occupation. Some use armed resistance to end the occupation. But most of the hatred expressed by pro-Israel groups in the West is reserved for Islam. They are against the democratically elected governments in Palestine and Lebanon. They support Israeli aggression and the daily killing of Palestinian civilians. They never criticize Israel, but seem to act wholly on feelings of collective Western guilt over the historical mistreatment of European Jews; therefore they feel Israel "can do no wrong."

8. They are pro-war:

Islam-haters are also hawks, believing that war is the best option - anywhere, anytime -- especially when it comes to invading countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon. They support George W. Bush’s lies about the American war on Iraq. They believe military might alone can solve the world’s problems.

9. They call every self-hating Muslim "moderate":

The amount of printer’s ink and broadcast air time used to promote self-hating Western Muslims is staggering. Their superficial and trivializing views are given overwhelming prominence in the Western media.

10. They try hard to silence their critics:

Islam-haters routinely use smear tactics and label their critics as leftists, radicals, fundamentalists, extremists, anti-Semites, etc.


Source:

by courtesy & ? 2006 Mohamed Elmasry

Posted by hotelbravo.org at 7:53 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
After Detente, Hollywood needed to make a new villain. Guess who Hollywood made?

Those who hate Islam, Please Stand up!
by Mohamed Elmasry
(Friday October 06 2006)

"Islam-haters routinely use smear tactics and label their critics as leftists, radicals, fundamentalists, extremists, anti-Semites, etc."

I am one of those who strongly believe that world conflicts today, or any other day for that matter, are inherently political and have nothing to do with religion -- any religion. Those conflicts mistakenly attributed to religion are caused by the struggle for power and wealth.

Nevertheless, there are too many politicians who find it convenient to exploit and abuse religion as part of their agenda to dominate a political conflict; it becomes an easy tool to gain mass public support, to dehumanize the "enemy" and, more importantly, to ultimately avoid resolving the conflict at all.

Take Islam, for example. Muslims today are victimized everywhere, because the rich and powerful in the West want to control one of the world’s most important natural resources - oil. It just so happens that predominantly Muslim states are sitting on most of it. Those same Muslim states also occupy strategically vital geopolitical locations, as most the world’s commercial air and sea channels pass through or over them. Additionally, with a collective population of some 1.5 billion, the Muslim world also represents a huge market - both actual and potential -- for Western goods.

It’s no wonder that Islam is hated by the rich and powerful in the West who do not have control over the vast natural and commercial resources that belong to Muslim countries. That hatred - fuelled by greed - becomes the principal motivation for sustaining the current political propaganda war.

Those who hate Islam and Muslims thus link every political conflict to Islam. This, they believe, will advance their political agenda and block any rational analysis that might otherwise lead to conflict resolution. Therefore, if a conflict is related to Islam, then what’s the use of trying to discuss it? If Islam is the root cause of that conflict, then the victimization of Muslims, all Muslims, can be easily justified.

In their zeal to smear a major world religion that embraces 1.5 billion adherents, these haters of Islam in Canada also display other troubling characteristics. Here is the top ten:

1. They are anti-immigrant:

Because most Muslim countries are still developing, both politically and technologically, and because the standard of living has increased in countries like China and India - once a major source of Western immigration -- Muslim countries are now the main origin of immigrants to countries like Canada. Those who hate Islam advocate that Canada does not need more immigrants.

2. They are anti-native/aboriginal:

Because Muslims in many parts of the world struggle for self-determination, the anti-Islam crowd is also against giving indigenous Canadian First Nations people their rights.

3. They are anti-multiculturalism:

Because multiculturalism promotes increased tolerance and understanding, which would benefit Canadian Muslims, they are eager to eliminate any government policies supportive of multiculturalism, the sooner the better.

4. They are anti-civil liberties:

They are regressive when it comes to civil liberties and work hard to curtail the extension of, and awareness of, freedom of speech and freedom of conscience to the "Other" elements (i.e. visible and other minorities) in our society.

5. They are anti-democracy:

At the national level, they promote an extreme right wing agenda which is geared to dismissing social justice values; at the international level, they bash the UN and its reform efforts to make it a more democratic international organization.

6. They support American exploitation of Latin America:

They believe that the U.S. has the right to dominate the world and to use any means to that end -- blackmailing, intimidation, exploitation, and military might.

7. They are pro-Israel, regardless of the cost:

Some Palestinians are Christians and all are opposed to the Israeli occupation. Some use armed resistance to end the occupation. But most of the hatred expressed by pro-Israel groups in the West is reserved for Islam. They are against the democratically elected governments in Palestine and Lebanon. They support Israeli aggression and the daily killing of Palestinian civilians. They never criticize Israel, but seem to act wholly on feelings of collective Western guilt over the historical mistreatment of European Jews; therefore they feel Israel "can do no wrong."

8. They are pro-war:

Islam-haters are also hawks, believing that war is the best option - anywhere, anytime -- especially when it comes to invading countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and Lebanon. They support George W. Bush’s lies about the American war on Iraq. They believe military might alone can solve the world’s problems.

9. They call every self-hating Muslim "moderate":

The amount of printer’s ink and broadcast air time used to promote self-hating Western Muslims is staggering. Their superficial and trivializing views are given overwhelming prominence in the Western media.

10. They try hard to silence their critics:

Islam-haters routinely use smear tactics and label their critics as leftists, radicals, fundamentalists, extremists, anti-Semites, etc.


Source:

by courtesy & ? 2006 Mohamed Elmasry

Posted by hotelbravo.org at 7:45 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
from Media Monitors - Opinion

Noam Chomsky publicly discredits the 9/11 Truth Movement
by Stan Moore
(Saturday October 07 2006)

"The recent comments published in "Perilous Power" tend to discredit the 9/11 truth movement altogether, and that means that U.S. government accountability for what may be the crime of the century is weakened."

In a new book called "Perilous Power: The Middle East & U.S. Foreign Policy: Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice" by Noam Chomsky, Gilbert Achcar, and Stephen R. Shalom , a discussion (or dialogue) is published explaining the views of Noam Chomsky and Gilbert Achcar on various matters of current interest. Part of this dialogue includes comments on 9/11 conspiracy theories.

Progressives who have carefully reviewed the evidence of U.S. government complicity in the events of 9/11 as revealed by intellectuals and scientists such as Stephen Jones, David Ray Griffin, Jim Hoffman, Kevin Ryan and others would surely be keenly disappointed by the attitude and position of Dr. Chomsky. Dr. Chomsky states that he has not seriously investigated the issue, but feels that it would be incomprehensible to believe that the U.S. government would or could secretly and successfully coordinate the enterprise that occurred that fateful day. He feels that the evidence presented by prominent 9/11 truth seekers is of too low quality to be credible in comparison with "expert" accounts provided by government sources. And he feels that scrutiny of subsequent government actions is far more important than scrutiny of government involvement in the events of 9/11.

But how could scientific experts publish in peer reviewed journals the findings of scientific inquiry when the crime scene itself was sealed off and the materials of the buildings were scrapped in foreign lands as soon as possible after the events of 9/11/2001? What is the proper reaction of scientists who in good faith believed that the official story must have been true, and then had doubts later, when their own suspicions were aroused by obvious distortions that only became apparent over time after the events of that day? If the U.S. government was, indeed complicit in the planning and execution of the events of 9/11, would that not make subsequent actions even more unjustified and criminal, including the use of 9/11 to catalyze public support for wars, domestic surveillance, torture, and suppression of constitutional rights in the U.S. that have been unique in the history of the republic?

While Dr. Chomsky surely has his own priorities in which to focus his considerable intellectual skills and issues of grave concern to focus on, would it not seem important to seriously investigate this issue? After all, 9/11 did not bring terrorism to the world or to the U.S. for the first time, but 9/11 brought about a fundamental change in U.S. government policies and actions that may have catastrophic consequences for the future of America. If the entire events of 9/11 were foreknown, planned, and executed by the U.S. government, the entire response of Americans and nations of the world would reasonable be different than if the U.S. was an innocent victim of a bona fide enemy attack that day.

Moreover, if Dr. Chomsky is not sure of the truth of the matter because he has not done a serious investigation, then why should he speak out and state his opinion that it would be incomprehensible for the conspiracy theorists to have discovered hidden truths? Would it not be better for Dr. Chomsky to simply state that he does not know and does not have an opinion on the matter? After all, Dr. Noam Chomsky's opinions matter a great deal to a great many people of this world, and his rigorous examination of other government secrets and hidden agendas is legendary.

In a period of history in which the U.S. government has obviously spied on its own citizens in violation of statutory law, in which the U.S. government lied to Americans in order to gain support for an illegal war, in which the separation of powers is degraded by government action and the constitution itself is placed at risk from multiple government actions, where the President seeks to openly nullify legislation through the use of "signing statements" and where the administration itself is staffed with corporate executives whose clients and colleagues have benefited enormously personally from many of these policies, why would it seem incomprehensible at this late date that the U.S. government would secretly plan and pull off a 9/11?

These are serious matters, not trivial ones, and the entire context of the American agenda seems to be related to 9/11/2001. Although 9/11 conspiracy theorists do not have all the answers, they have voluminous and powerful evidence that the U.S. government accounts and explanation of the events of that day are not believable, and that a government conspiracy of lies is virtually incontrovertible.

It would seem appropriate for Dr. Chomsky to either evaluate the evidence of 9/11 by seriously reviewing serious scholarship on the issue and if he believes it is false to state why, or to avoid the issue altogether. The recent comments published in "Perilous Power" tend to discredit the 9/11 truth movement altogether, and that means that U.S. government accountability for what may be the crime of the century is weakened.


Source:

by courtesy & ? 2006 Stan Moore

Posted by hotelbravo.org at 7:27 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post