GA

Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll

Released: February 28, 2006

U.S. Troops in Iraq: 72% Say End War in 2006

  • Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed”
  • While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy
  • Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown
  • Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11, most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks
  • Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation
  • Plurality of troops pleased with their armor and equipment

An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows.

The poll, conducted in conjunction with Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies, showed that 29% of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq “immediately,” while another 22% said they should leave in the next six months. Another 21% said troops should be out between six and 12 months, while 23% said they should stay “as long as they are needed.”

Different branches had quite different sentiments on the question, the poll shows. While 89% of reserves and 82% of those in the National Guard said the U.S. should leave Iraq within a year, 58% of Marines think so. Seven in ten of those in the regular Army thought the U.S. should leave Iraq in the next year. Moreover, about three-quarters of those in National Guard and Reserve units favor withdrawal within six months, just 15% of Marines felt that way. About half of those in the regular Army favored withdrawal from Iraq in the next six months.

The troops have drawn different conclusions about fellow citizens back home. Asked why they think some Americans favor rapid U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, 37% of troops serving there said those Americans are unpatriotic, while 20% believe people back home don’t believe a continued occupation will work. Another 16% said they believe those favoring a quick withdrawal do so because they oppose the use of the military in a pre-emptive war, while 15% said they do not believe those Americans understand the need for the U.S. troops in Iraq.

The wide-ranging poll also shows that 58% of those serving in country say the U.S. mission in Iraq is clear in their minds, while 42% said it is either somewhat or very unclear to them, that they have no understanding of it at all, or are unsure. While 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.”

“Ninety-three percent said that removing weapons of mass destruction is not a reason for U.S. troops being there,” said Pollster John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International. “Instead, that initial rationale went by the wayside and, in the minds of 68% of the troops, the real mission became to remove Saddam Hussein.” Just 24% said that “establishing a democracy that can be a model for the Arab World" was the main or a major reason for the war. Only small percentages see the mission there as securing oil supplies (11%) or to provide long-term bases for US troops in the region (6%).

The continuing insurgent attacks have not turned U.S. troops against the Iraqi population, the survey shows. More than 80% said they did not hold a negative view of Iraqis because of those attacks. About two in five see the insurgency as being comprised of discontented Sunnis with very few non-Iraqi helpers. “There appears to be confusion on this,” Zogby said. But, he noted, less than a third think that if non-Iraqi terrorists could be prevented from crossing the border into Iraq, the insurgency would end. A majority of troops (53%) said the U.S. should double both the number of troops and bombing missions in order to control the insurgency.

The survey shows that most U.S. military personnel in-country have a clear sense of right and wrong when it comes to using banned weapons against the enemy, and in interrogation of prisoners. Four in five said they oppose the use of such internationally banned weapons as napalm and white phosphorous. And, even as more photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq surface around the world, 55% said it is not appropriate or standard military conduct to use harsh and threatening methods against insurgent prisoners in order to gain information of military value.

Three quarters of the troops had served multiple tours and had a longer exposure to the conflict: 26% were on their first tour of duty, 45% were on their second tour, and 29% were in Iraq for a third time or more.

A majority of the troops serving in Iraq said they were satisfied with the war provisions from Washington. Just 30% of troops said they think the Department of Defense has failed to provide adequate troop protections, such as body armor, munitions, and armor plating for vehicles like HumVees. Only 35% said basic civil infrastructure in Iraq, including roads, electricity, water service, and health care, has not improved over the past year. Three of every four were male respondents, with 63% under the age of 30.

The survey included 944 military respondents interviewed at several undisclosed locations throughout Iraq. The names of the specific locations and specific personnel who conducted the survey are being withheld for security purposes. Surveys were conducted face-to-face using random sampling techniques. The margin of error for the survey, conducted Jan. 18 through Feb. 14, 2006, is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

(2/28/2006)

Buy the whole report!

WAR OF THE WORLDS: KATom!!

AS BABY APPROACHES, IT'S A WAR OF THE WORLDS BETWEEN TOM & KATIE!
February 23, 2006
Provided by: National Enquirer Online


In a sudden rebellion against My Favorite Alien and Interplanetary CruiseControl, furious KATIE HOLMES warned fiancĂ©/daddy-to-be TOM CRUISE that she'll absolutely refuse to allow Scientologists to commandeer her newborn at birth for what their church calls "Processing a New Mother" — a bizarre ritual which involves separating mother and child for three days, allowing only minimal contact! As her time approaches, sources say, Katie's becoming hysterical over the idea that her baby will be controlled by the sect's handlers from the moment he/she enters the world. In a raging confrontation, Katie told Tom she flatly rejects Scientology's edict that newborns should be left totally alone for the entire first day after birth — a process that supposedly helps the infant recuperate spiritually after separation from the womb. Tom stubbornly insists that laws laid down by Scientology founder L. RON HUBBARD must be obeyed, say sources, but Katie told him she refuses to discuss the matter — and warned him never to speak of it again! Stay tuned. (We contacted Cruise's rep, who denied all. Katie's rep did not respond.)

Just For Fun: David Cross

"I was just watching this show...you know, it's the show with that guy who makes everyone believe that he's talking to spirits from beyond. what was that show? OH! sorry: it was church...that's it." - David Cross

Found that over on okcupid, lots of cool folk over there.

David Cross IMterview from Defamer

OOOH! From the his official site...
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Excerpts From the Galley Copy of James Frey's Latest Memoir: "Lesson Learned".

Hey everyone,
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advance copy of James Frey's newest book. It's a soul-searching and no holds barred look at his life since appearing on the "Oprah" show. This shit is crazy! What a tough life this guy has had.

-David

READ IT

Figure women can rule now?

The Fight for Gender Equality in Japan helped by Figure Skating?
Japan wins their only Gold Medal and only medal so far in Figure Skating.


What does this mean for our Japan Princess to Empress Watch?

Arakawa's short and long programs were both amazingly well executed, clean edges and solid difficult jumps. She made it all seem effortless, and I nearly cried to think about a Japanese woman winning the only Japanese gold during the midst of discussion on female succession rights.

Oh, look the Prime Minister was moved by figure skating!

Hopefully this gold medal will mean something to the 'cause, check out these links for more info on the fight for equality in Japan.

Asia-Japanese Women's Resource Center
What do We Learn from Japanese Feminist Bioethics?

Faith and Ice Cube


Faith and Ice Cube
Originally uploaded by _Faith.

at the recent Black. White. premiere

BRAVO MERRILL!

WALL ST. SCION IN TAX PROTEST MULTI-millionaire blueblood Charles Merrill has devised a novel way to protest President Bush's proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage: He's stopped paying his taxes.

The eccentric Merrill, 71 - whose cousin, Charles Merrill, founded Merrill Lynch, and whose late wife, Evangeline, was the only daughter of Johnson & Johnson founder Robert Wood Johnson - is refusing to file tax returns for 2004 or 2005 and wants other wealthy gays to join him.

"My partner and I believe marriage is when two people love each other regardless of their sexual organs," Merrill tells PAGE SIX from his home in the hills of North Carolina. "We're paying first-class taxes to be treated like second-class citizens and we're sick of it."

Merrill, whose paternal line stretches back to Nathaniel Merrill, an immigrant to the Massachusetts Bay Colony from England in 1620, says it all comes down to "taxation without representation."

"According to the General Accounting Office, there are over 1,049 protections and incentives extended to straight married couples, none of which we get," he fumes. "I'm just doing the same thing that Mahatma Gandhi did in India and the colonists did during the War for Independence."

In his former life, Merrill was married to Evangeline Johnson (aunt to Jets owner Woody Johnson, and great aunt to demi-socialite Casey) who was 30 years his senior, but shared Charles' affinity for art and existentialism. (Evangeline had previously been married to orchestral conductor Leopold Stokowski, who made "Fantasia" with Walt Disney.)

After her death in 1990, Charles met his longtime lover, Kevin Boyle, who's 20 years younger, although he stills remains close with the Johnson clan - "They're very supportive," he says.

"If I was a young man with a 9-to-5 job, I wouldn't be able to do this," he says. "But I've lived a long, wonderful life. I've been to bed with many beautiful men and beautiful women, I've lived in a mansion in Palm Beach, I've been around the world three times, and I've sat next to all the movers and shakers. What else have I got to do?

"A lot of people around me are starting to die having not really done anything in their lives. I really want to try to make a difference while I'm still around."

From Page Six

Oscar News! Maybe a shorter show this year, yay!


Brokedown Ministration
Originally uploaded by _Faith.

Producer Gil Cates once again all but begged Oscar winners to keep their acceptance speeches brief and entertaining, reiterating his warning that anyone who pulls out a piece of paper with a list of names will be smothered by music (that would be "Mr. Stick Man" Bill Conti) and escorted from the stage. He said thank you's may be expressed on the www.oscar.com site. "Who says that an acceptance speech has to be about gratitude?" he said. Cates is no less under the gun than before to keep the awards ceremony tight. But last year's gimmick of presenting some categories in the aisles instead of on stage did not set well with those who were not allowed their moments in the glitzy set's spotlights. So this year, he says, all nominees in some categories will be moved to the first few rows of Kodak Theatre immediately before their category is presented. During the next commercial break, they will be escorted back to their original seats - those, that is, who have not already made a beeline for the lobby bar to drown their sorrows.

More Oscar News

Manson = Lewis Carroll? YAY!

Marilyn Manson
Manson has had transatlantic hits including Disposable Teens
Shock rock singer Marilyn Manson plans to play author Lewis Carroll in a movie about the Alice in Wonderland author, Screen International has reported.

Manson hopes to direct the self-penned "arthouse horror" movie Phantasmagoria - The Visions Of Lewis Carroll.

He will attend Berlin's European Film Market to help fund the $4.2m (£2.3m) movie, the industry website said.

"What people expect from Manson, they're going to get here," said producer Alain de la Mata.

Video director

Manson, real name Brian Warner, has had transatlantic hits including The Dope Show and Disposable Teens and has directed his own music videos.

The 36-year-old has spent the past year working on costumes and make-up for the movie.

"He didn't want to wait for Cannes to do this, he's ready now," said de la Mata, who hopes to complete filming this autumn.

The European Film Market is part of the 10-day Berlin Film Festival, or Berlinale, which starts on 9 February.

Happy Valentine's Day



In celebration of self love, check out Leonard Nimoy's new photography,

The Full Body Project!


For more on the project...

For more on fat acceptance visit Big Fat Blog

Funniest Thing I've Read Today, the first lines of an article RE: The Cheney Shooting


WASHINGTON - President Bush knew Saturday evening that Vice President Dick Cheney had accidentally shot a hunting companion, but the information wasn’t made public until the next day by a private citizen, the White House acknowledged Monday.

Read the Story...

Near Faster Than Light Travel!


einstein
Originally uploaded by _Faith.

Felber's antigravity discovery solves the two greatest engineering challenges to space travel near the speed of light: identifying an energy source capable of producing the acceleration; and limiting stresses on humans and equipment during rapid acceleration.

"Dr. Felber's research will revolutionize space flight mechanics by offering an entirely new way to send spacecraft into flight," said Dr. Eric Davis, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin and STAIF peer reviewer of Felber's work. "His rigorously tested and truly unique thinking has taken us a huge step forward in making near-speed-of-light space travel safe, possible, and much less costly."

The field equation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity has never before been solved to calculate the gravitational field of a mass moving close to the speed of light. Felber's research shows that any mass moving faster than 57.7 percent of the speed of light will gravitationally repel other masses lying within a narrow 'antigravity beam' in front of it. The closer a mass gets to the speed of light, the stronger its 'antigravity beam' becomes.

READ IT ALL @ PHYSORG

Star Wars Valentine


Star Wars Valentine
Originally uploaded by _Faith.

My Valentine To You

When Bush Goes On Vacation It's Time To Head To The Shelters


When Bush Goes On Vacation It's Time To Head To The Shelters
Originally uploaded by _Faith.


Brown blamed Homeland Security, saying that "we were never given the money, never given the resources, never given the opportunity to implement" those reforms.

The timeline released ahead of the hearings showed that the earliest official report of a New Orleans levee breach came at 8:30 a.m. on Aug. 29, just a few hours after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore. Word of the possible breach surfaced at the White House less than three hours later, at 11:13 a.m.

The Bush administration has said it only knew definitively early Tuesday, Aug. 30, the day after the storm, that the levees had been breached, based on an Army Corps of Engineers assessment.


But bush was on vacation, he was busy!

Scooter!


Scooter
Originally uploaded by _Faith.

From Tucker Carlson
A very odd story crossed the wires on Thursday night. Here's the gist: Scooter Libby, the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney who was indicted late last year, has reportedly told prosecutors that his superiors asked him to leak classified information to reporters. This appears to be the smoking gun that enemies of the White House have spent the last two years looking for, evidence that the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity came from the top.

And maybe it is. But it also raises a few questions. Among them:
Has Scooter Libby broken with Dick Cheney? That's what it looks like. Libby's admission is apparently part of his forthcoming defense strategy: Don't blame me; Cheney made me do it. This makes sense, except for two things. First, according to people who know, there is no break between Cheney and Libby. Scooter Libby remains devoted to his former boss. If Libby is blaming Cheney, he's doing it with Cheney's permission.

Read it all

It's not a lie if you just don't tell the truth!

What more proof do you want?
The former CIA official who coordinated U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until last year has accused the Bush administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war, and of ignoring warnings that the country could easily fall into violence and chaos after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

Sooner or later you wake up and realize you are so goddamn wrong. Right?


West divide 'grows deeper'

Muslim protesters in Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia's prime minister says a huge chasm has opened between the West and Islam, fuelled by Muslim frustrations over Western foreign policy.

Abdullah Badawi, seen as promoting a moderate form of Islam in largely Muslim Malaysia, said many Westerners saw Muslims as congenital terrorists.

As he spoke at a conference in Kuala Lumpur, thousands protested outside at cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

Their publication in Europe has led to demonstrations across the Muslim world.

Paper shut

Friday's demonstration was the biggest in Malaysia's capital for years.

"Long live Islam. Destroy Denmark. Destroy Israel. Destroy George Bush. Destroy America," protesters shouted as they marched to the Danish embassy in the rain from a nearby mosque.

The satirical cartoons include an image portraying Muhammad with a bomb in his turban. Islamic tradition explicitly prohibits any depiction of Allah and the Prophet.

The cartoons were first published by a Danish newspaper in September, but have since been reprinted in several other European publications.

On Thursday, Mr Abdullah shut indefinitely a Borneo-based paper, the Sarawak Tribune, for reprinting the cartoons.

He described their publication as "insensitive and irresponsible". The paper had apologised for what it called an editorial oversight.

The prime minister had also declared possession of the cartoons illegal.

In other developments:

  • In the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, security forces fire tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters trying to march on the Danish embassy

  • The culture editor of Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper which first published the cartoons, is sent on leave for an indefinite period, as the editor of a Norwegian magazine that reprinted them apologises

  • A Swedish internet service provider shuts down the website of a right-wing anti-immigrant party which invited readers to send in cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad

  • Around 10,000 Muslims stage a silent protest rally in Bhopal, India, carrying banners reading: "Stop all anti-Islamic activities... Do not invite disaster."

  • Hundreds of international peacekeepers and Afghan soldiers prevent demonstrators entering the Afghan capital, Kabul

  • Around 3,000 Muslims march in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, and more than 4,000 in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, in demonstrations organised by hardline Islamists


  • Thousands march in an Islamic Jihad demonstration in Gaza City, joined by members of other militant groups

  • Nato defence ministers seek to soothe the dispute in scheduled talks with counterparts from six Arab nations in Sicily.

  • Read more at the BBC ONE, BBC TWO, BBC THREE

    World Is Ending Watch: Climate 'warmest for millennium'

    "The last 100 years is more striking than either [the Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age]. It is a period of widespread warmth affecting nearly all the records that we analysed from the same time," co-author Timothy Osborn told the BBC.

    Immigration, war, famine...climate changes. All the same thing?


    Check some

    history

    Fuck You J.T. Leroy

    That's from all the genderqueers!

    Angie Speaks!


    Angelina
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.

    On getting a bill passed that would assist AIDS orphans around the world:
    I'd like to put a lot of heat on the Administration to fund it. But I'd like to also, I'd like them to be clear about how they're funding it and if it's being taken away from something else. I'm shy when it comes to Washington, still a bit. I'm not shy when it comes to how much I care about something or if I feel that I have a right to talk about it because I've seen it firsthand.


    She shouldn't be shy about Washington, at this point she's got more lobbying experience than any other celebrity I'd say. 'cept maybe Charleton Heston, and don't we all hope she outlobbies the hell out of him?

    Japan's Princess Preggers

    On the pregnant princess watch...

    Japan PM cools on succession bill
    Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
    Mr Koizumi initially pledged to put the bill to parliament by June
    Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has indicated he may no longer speed a bill through parliament to allow female royal succession.

    Mr Koizumi's slower approach came one day after the news that Princess Kiko was pregnant, raising hopes a male heir may yet be born into the royal family.

    "I want to proceed cautiously so as not to make this a political tool," Mr Koizumi said of the controversial bill.

    The bill was first proposed because no male royal has been born for 40 years.

    But the imperial agency announced on Tuesday that Princess Kiko, the wife of Emperor Akihito's second son Prince Akishino, was pregnant.

    If she has a son, it could dramatically alter the current situation in the imperial family, where there has been increasing concern over who will succeed the throne after Crown Prince Naruhito.

    Naruhito, first in line to the throne after his father Akihito, has just one daughter with his wife, Crown Princess Masako.

    Princess Kiko and Prince Akishino currently have two daughters.

    The now legendary MySpace...


    Tom_Anderson
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.

    Gay Killer still up on myspace...proving that Tom will be 'Friends' with ANYONE!

    Grandpa Munster, Political Hero too?


    Al Lewis
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.

    Political career

    In 1988, he accepted the Green Party nomination for governor of New York saying, "we don't inherit the world from our ancestors, we borrow it from our kids".

    Although he lost to incumbent Republican Governor George Pataki, he still managed to collect more than 52,000 votes with his name on the ballot as "Grandpa Al Lewis."

    Lewis' first political work was for the Sacco and Vanzetti defence committee. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, two Italian anarchists, were executed in Massachusetts in 1927 for a double murder and robbery amid doubts about their guilt.

    Lewis worked in the 1930s to free the Scottsboro Boys - nine black teenagers accused of raping two white women in another highly publicised case.

    All but one were sentenced to death, but eventually they were cleared.

    "If anything I consider myself an anarchist," he once said on his weekly radio show on WBAI in New York City.

    Read a moving tribute to one of the world's best grandpa's!

    Hbo and Polygamy: What a great fit!


    Polygamy
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.

    February 9, 2006 -- HBO's new polygamy drama, "Big Love," doesn't premiere until March 12, but it's already stirring up big trouble in Utah.

    The Tom Hanks-produced series stars Bill Paxton as a Viagra-popping Mormon with three wives, three houses and more problems than Tony Soprano. Chloe Sevigny and Jeanne Tripplehorn have career-saving roles as wives No. 1 and 2, respectively, with Ginnifer Goodwin as No. 3.

    Although Paxton's character isn't affiliated with mainstream Mormonism, viewers could be forgiven for assuming so - a mistake that members of the faith, which has lately been making inroads into mainstream America, desperately want to avoid.

    "Polygamy was officially discontinued in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [LDS] in 1890," church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement. "Those groups which continue the practice in Utah and elsewhere have no association [with us] . . . and most of their practitioners have never been among our members . . . It will be regrettable if this program, by making polygamy the subject of entertainment, minimizes the seriousness of that problem."

    The church even asked that a disclaimer be included at the beginning of each episode, emphasizing that Paxton's character isn't affiliated with the Latter-Day Saints.

    An HBO spokesperson said "Big Love" co-creators Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer ultimately decided to add the following note at the end of the first episode:

    "According to a joint report issued by the Utah and Arizona attorney general's offices, July 2005, 'approximately 20,000 to 40,000 or more people currently practice polygamy in the United States.' The Mormon Church officially banned the practice of polygamy in 1890."

    But Utah activist Vicky Prunty, who escaped a polygamist marriage and is now executive director of Tapestry Against Polygamy, hopes "Big Love" will further expose what she calls the church's "secret shame."

    "They might not practice polygamy, but they still believe in it," she said. "They only outlawed it so that Utah could get statehood. The LDS church can try to pretend that it doesn't exist, but the truth will always rear its ugly head. Thanks to this show, the church leaders are up there on the hill shaking a bit, and that gives me some pleasure."

    "We want the LDS people to know we bear them no ill will or disrespect," assures Olsen. "Everyone else we just ask to withhold judgment until they've seen the damn thing."

    From the NYPost

    Just So You Know: Terrorist On The Loose


    Fashionista
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.


    A man convicted of masterminding the attack on the American destroyer Cole in 2000 escaped a Yemeni jail through a tunnel with 22 other prisoners, the international police organization, Interpol, said today.

    Google and Skype join new wi-fi venture


    Media Freedom Internet Cookbook
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.

    FREE WiFi?!
    Shaping the internet as you know it? Is anyone else paying attention to the fact that we could all have free wi-fi access? FREE THE PEOPLE!

    Dark Matter!


    Dark Matter
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.

    Using the biggest telescopes in the world, including the Very Large Telescope facility in Chile, the group has made detailed 3D maps of the galaxies, using the movement of their stars to "trace" the impression of the dark matter among them and weigh it very precisely.

    With the aid of 7,000 separate measurements, the researchers have been able to establish that the galaxies contain about 400 times the amount of dark matter as they do normal matter.

    "The distribution of dark matter bears no relationship to anything you will have read in the literature up to now," explained Professor Gilmore.

    "It comes in a 'magic volume' which happens to correspond to an amount which is 30 million times the mass of the Sun.

    Read the rest at...THE BBC!

    Get your tickets to Iran ready, soldiers!


    u2
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.

    Iran ends nuclear co-operation with UN

    Iran said Sunday that it had taken steps to implement its previous threat to stop co-operating with the UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but it also reopened a route to further talks about its nuclear program.

    Read the rest at CBC

    The war still on, Ese?

    L.A. county jail in lockdown after riots

    Associated Press

    Most of Los Angeles County's jail system was on lockdown Monday after fighting broke out between blacks and Hispanics at two jails over the weekend. One inmate died in the fighting, and more than 100 others were injured.

    The lockdown was intended to reduce tensions, and it wasn't clear how long it would remain in effect, said Lt. Robert Craton, a watch commander at the North County Correctional Facility.

    "We are making every attempt to get back to normal," he said.

    Black and Hispanic inmates at the North County Correctional Facility were segregated Saturday after the fighting broke out among 1,800 to 2,000 inmates and a black inmate was killed. Craton said the inmates were still separated early Monday.

    Red Sea Tragedy


    Boy saved after 36 hours in sea

    A SIX-year-old boy has been found alive after spending up to 36 hours in the Red Sea on his own following the sinking of a ferry with the loss of as many as 1,000 lives


    Read it all...

    GOOD BROKEBACK JOKING! YAY MAHER!

    BILL Maher says he hasn't seen "Brokeback Mountain," but he told Bill O'Reilly it isn't the first gay cowboy movie. "When I was a kid we had 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' " he said. When O'Reilly expressed disbelief over the idea that the Paul Newman and Robert Redford characters were gay, Maher pointed out, "One started a film festival, and the other one makes salad dressing."

    Jay-Z WILL NEVER RETIRE

    Encore after Encore, oh well...with Dre producing I'll def. buy that. er, something.
    JAY Z'S EGO-SIZE ALBUM

    "RETIRED" rapper Jay-Z, who now toils as president of music label Def Jam, has industry sources snickering - because it seems the narcissistic hip-hop mogul can't stand life out of the recording booth. One music business insider in L.A. for the Grammys snipes, "The big gossip of the Grammys is about Jay-Z. After saying he was going to retire when he became president of Def Jam so he wouldn't compete with other artists on his label, he has a record coming out in June. To make matters worse, Dr. Dre is producing the record, which is huge because Dre hasn't produced an album in years. Dre is on rival label Interscope, and while Def Jam and Interscope are both under the Universal umbrella, people have their noses out of joint. This album will be huge. But first of all, Jay is not using a Def Jam producer, and second of all, he will be competing with his own artists. Not cool. His ego is so big he can't not release an album. He is a president of a label and should not be doing this."

    -From PageSix

    DEATH WATCH 2006: TOM CRUISE

    TOM CRUISE'S ROPE TRICK
    February 08, 2006
    Provided by: Star Online
    At the Feb. 6 Rolling Stone/Verizon pre-Grammy party at Hollywood club Avalon, Tom Cruise — without pregnant fiancĂ© Katie Holmes — also shocked the crowd by staging a Mission Impossible-style stunt, climbing a rope from the club floor up to a balcony to watch Kanye West perform. "It was completely bizarre — it reminded me of his crazy display on Oprah when he jumped up and down on her couch," an onlooker tells Star.

    HEAR IT HERE FIRST!

    1) Watch the MI:3 trailer
    2) Consider, "Do you have a wife, a daughter?"
    3) Wonder if Tom Cruise got the news of a daughter BEFORE or AFTER shooting MI:3
    4) Wonder if Tom Cruise set up marriage and baby as a career move, Baby comes, Wedding, and then...MI:3!!!
    5) Wonder if he just fell in love with love. OR IS HE ACTING?

    Hobbit and Convict, how sweet!

    DOMINIC AND EVANGELINE ARE LOST IN LOVE -- AND SET TO WED
    February 09, 2006
    Provided by: National Enquirer Online


    By MICHAEL GLYNN

    Lost is planning a blockbuster season finale this year — the real-life wedding of cast members Dominic Monaghan and Evangeline Lilly. Show insiders reveal that the intensely private couple — who recently went public with their romance — will wed in Hawaii when the series wraps this spring.

    Dominic is said to be organizing the late April/early May nuptials, which will include guests from the casts of Lost and his film Lord Of The Rings.

    Sources say it will take place overlooking his favorite surf spot on Oahu and will feature music by John Lennon. And, according to insiders, Dominic, 29, and Evangeline, 26, are planning on having a few children of their own and then adopting several more — just like Brad and Angelina.

    Dominic — who plays heroin-addicted rock star Charlie on the hit ABC drama — is usually tight-lipped about his 18-month relationship with Evangeline, who plays fugitive Kate. But he recently described his love for her by borrowing a quote from John Lennon. Dominic said: "When love is in your life, you feel like you are on the right track."

    But can you "Quit" Obama, McCain?

    McCain Vs. Obama on lobbying reform

    An exchange of letters between senators heats up ethics reform efforts

    The biggest political story in Washington is the battle between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. In a blistering letter, Senator McCain accused Obama of, quote, “using the ethics reform issue for self-interested partisan posturing” and apologized for thinking Obama was sincere.

    This is the first time any prominent national politician has publicly criticized superstar Obama. Why did Senator McCain go after the freshman senator?

    Senator McCain joins Chris Matthews to explain.

    CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST 'HARDBALL': What was your original relationship with Senator Obama on Congressional reform?

    For Pete's Sake

    Babyshambles singer Pete Doherty says he is not a threat to society, just hours after he received a 12-month community order for drug possession.

    The 26-year-old told the BBC: "I'm not selling drugs to anyone's children, I'm not encouraging - and I never will encourage - anyone to take drugs."

    The phone line went dead after he was asked "are you on anything right now?".

    Read it at the BBC!

    Young Iranians give their views on the cartoon issue



    Young Iranians give their views on the cartoon issue

    ‘Curious George’ collaborator found dead

    Allen Shalleck worked on books, movies about the mischievous monkey

    CURIOUS GEORGE
    AP
    The death is an odd coincidence, given that a film version is due out Friday from Universal Pictures.



    READ IT AT MSNBC

    Who's A Scared Lil Bitch? Ashton Kutcher That's Who!

    ASHTON'S CLOSE CALL
    February 07, 2006
    Provided by: National Enquirer Online


    It was a really... gurgle, gurgle ...scary experience... glug, glug ... for ASHTON KUTCHER, who got punk'd underwater by the air regulator on his diving gear during filming of his new flick The Guardian. Playing a young punk who joins the Coast Guard to train as a rescue swimmer, Ashton suggested using a double for his underwater scenes, but there were too many tight close-ups — so he gamely went underwater for a fight with a bad guy. During the struggle, Ashton lost his regulator mouthpiece — and panicked instead of popping it back in his mouth. Flailing wildly, he struggled to the surface and the crew pulled him out, shaken but unharmed. It took two hours — and emergency instruction from a stunt man — but Ashton finally mustered up the courage to dive and reshoot the scary scene!






    Seriously, I woulda freaked out myself tho...

    Frakking Danes: Islamic Cartoon Scuffle Timeline

    How did it start? Why is it so big? Well, people are pissed...personally I wouldn't want images of my prophet depicted if that was considered sacriligie. But on the other hand, would any of the cartoonists/writers/editors have published a page knowing people would die.

    Maybe they would've, freedom of the press right? When interesected with the freedom of the people, people die. I'm still not totally convinced this isn't part of a US psyops operation...but this newspaper is the biggest in Denmark.

  • November-December 2005:
    Danish Muslims travel throughout the Middle East to tell people about the cartoons and call for protest. They carry with them not only the published cartoons, but also a few others – even more offensive – that were sent to them by private Danish citizens.

    Oct. 14, 2005:
    Members of 16 Danish Muslim organizations condemn Jyllands-Posten, claiming the newspaper acted provocatively and insulted Muslim sensibilities.
  • CBC STORY: Muslims condemn 'insulting' pictures of prophet

    Oct. 12, 2005:
    The Palestinian representative in Denmark and ambassadors from 10 countries with Muslin populations send a letter to Fogh Rasmussen demanding a meeting with him and urging action against Jyllands-Posten. Fogh Rasmussen would later decline to meet with them.

    Sept. 30, 2005:
    Jyllands-Posten publishes 12 drawings of Muhammad, after asking cartoonists to send in satirical drawings of the prophet. One of the drawings depicts a Danish boy, named "Muhammad," writing in Arabic on a chalkboard: "Jyllands-Posten's journalists are a bunch of reactionary provocateurs." Flemming Rose, the paper's cultural editor, said the call for pictures was a reaction to the rising number of situations in which artists and writers censure themselves out of fear of radical Islamists.
  • READ THE REST @ CBC
  • To Peter Hartlaub, Brokeback Mountain Man*

    Thanks for the great piece on BM, goddamn those initials!

    Seriously though, the discomfort and jokes were starting to get to me...me being a queer minded thinker and all. I think quite a few lgbt folks are waiting for the other shoe to drop in some ways.

    "Hmm, a movie made by straights, written by straights, acted by straights and it's the gay movie of the year?"
    "Oh, look here come the jokes! yay."

    So your article was quite welcome!

    Thanks again,
    Faith C.

    *You heard that here FIRST

    BROKEBACK BLOG

    MALE CALL
    Tips for getting over 'Brokeback' hump

    - Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle Pop Culture Critic
    Sunday, February 5, 2006

    Click to View

    You're a progressive Bay Area guy. You support same-sex marriage, you invite your gay co-workers to parties and you think that English dude who played Magneto in "X-Men" is a hell of a good actor. Hey, you might even own a Morrissey album or two.

    So why haven't you seen "Brokeback Mountain" yet? The "Brokeback Mountain" phenomenon has become as unavoidable as a military recruiter at a continuation school. You can't turn on the television without seeing a gay cowboy, every theater seems to be playing the picture and each day seems to bring a new shopping cart full of awards for the movie -- including eight Oscar nominations this week. It's hard to find a straight man who has seen the movie and regrets it.

    And yet if you listen to talk radio, the guys at the office or the typical men's league softball team, there's one key demographic -- straight men ages 18 to 54 -- who can't seem to get over their insecurities and take those last few steps to see this landmark film.

    It's a strange phobia, considering that "Brokeback Mountain" may be the best date movie to come along in years. You have the potential to look so sensitive that you can probably get her to pay for the movie and a trip to Red Lobster. Add a few tears near the ending (just think about that scene in "Rudy" where underdog Rudy leads the Notre Dame Irish on the field), and you might be surprised where the evening takes you. Think make-up sex is great? Try some you-just-took-me-to-"Brokeback Mountain" sex.

    What makes fear of "Brokeback" even more odd are the misconceptions that have developed among those who haven't seen the film. On top of being the favorite movie of the year of many critics, Ang Lee's film has mistakenly received a reputation as some kind of nonstop guy-on-guy sex romp.

    In fact, there is more man-on-woman sex in "Brokeback Mountain," including not-one-but-two hot female celebrities appearing topless. At an oppressive time in cinema when you're lucky to see one naked celebrity's breasts in a movie (Katie Holmes in "The Gift" and Amy Smart in "Road Trip" are two spectacular recent examples), "Brokeback Mountain" provides you with Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway.

    The movie also has National Lampoon's "Vacation" scene-stealer Randy Quaid. What straight guy doesn't love Randy Quaid? And there are almost enough fights in the movie to merit comparisons to "Road House." (To be honest, the feather-mulleted glistening-with-sweat Patrick Swayze looked a lot more effeminate in that film than "Brokeback Mountain" protagonists Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist -- whether you're straight or gay, both characters seem like pretty cool guys to grab a beer and watch a Sharks game with.)

    I've been surprised by "Brokeback" phobia, which I've heard from straight male friends, relatives, this nation's president, guys in my pickup basketball game and even two dudes sitting behind me during a screening of "BloodRayne" -- a movie approximately 350 times harder to watch than "Brokeback Mountain." I recently heard a prominent local meteorologist sharing "Brokeback" hesitation with members of the "KNBR Morning Show," who have since committed themselves on air to see the movie together.

    I don't think any of these people are homophobic -- I just think there's some kind of weird latent childhood peer-pressure thing going on with this movie. It's almost as if you're under a spell, reinforced by years of conflicting televised gay stereotypes and manly cowboy imagery.

    The fact that "Brokeback Mountain" may be the best movie you'll see all year should be reason enough to go. But for those who need an extra push, the world (George Bush included) is sorely in need of the "Brokeback Mountain" Survival Guide for Heterosexual Men™.

    Brought to you by the same people who created the Ultimate Fighting Championships Primer for Gay Men™ and the ABCs of "The Lord of the Rings" for Hot Chicks™, we've developed a step-by-step program to guarantee that even the most shallow man can enjoy the event movie of the season.

    Think of "Brokeback Mountain" as a challenge -- like lowering your golf handicap, or getting a phone number from a stripper. Just five easy steps toward a more civilized future:

    Step 1: Accept your shortcomings. Considering that most of us were brought up in an era of intolerance, fear-mongering and David Lee Roth videos, it's miraculous that guys aren't even more screwed up in the head. Your skittishness over this movie has a lot to do with the degree to which society has failed you. But there is still some good in your heart.

    Step 2: There's safety in numbers. Think of it this way -- if you go to the movie with all your friends, co-workers and the guys from the barbershop, then you won't have to stress about an acquaintance seeing you in the ticket line. Just as packs of women went to see "The Vagina Monologues" and packs of Christian conservatives went to see "The Passion of the Christ," the best way for straight men to see this movie is by the busload.

    Step 3: Don't sit next to each other. If you went to "Brokeback" skittish in the first place, and if you're starting to feel aware of how much your friend looks like Jake Gyllenhaal, the seating arrangement may be crucial. Sit in every other seat -- or every three seats if the theater is big enough. If you've followed Step 2, you and your friends should have created sort of a checkerboard effect in the theater, with no two men able to touch each other without getting out of their seats.

    Step 4: Follow the tent rule. "Brokeback Mountain" is top-quality filmmaking, and you should enjoy it in its entirety. But if you start to feel panicky -- as if you might hop to another theater and watch "Glory Road" -- simply follow the Heath Ledger Tent Rule. Every time Ledger's character, Ennis, crawls into a tent, take a trip to the restroom or refreshment stand, and make sure you're gone for at least three minutes. If you do that, then "Brokeback Mountain" is pretty much like watching an episode of "Will & Grace."

    Step 5: Watch gay porn. OK, stay with me on this one. How do great athletes such as Jerry Rice and Oscar de la Hoya make themselves stronger for game day? They train on hills at high altitudes, so a level playing field seems like nothing by comparison. Doesn't it follow that if you're planning to see "Brokeback Mountain" on a Saturday, you should watch some hardcore guy-on-guy porn the night before? Perhaps something in the Western gay porn genre ("Heatstroke" is a nice place to start).

    Above all, when you're done, don't be afraid to discuss the film with friends and colleagues. Seeing the movie and coming to terms with the fact that you enjoyed it doesn't do anybody any good if you go back to the gym and start acting like a scared goof again.

    All this time you thought you were part of the problem. Who knew that seeing a movie about two gay men could make you feel like an even bigger man?

    E-mail Peter Hartlaub at phartlaub@sfchronicle.com.

    Brokeback to the Future

    god...damn if it weren't so good, i'd hate it for being part of str8 culture's rapidly manifesting discomfort.

    or perhaps it's a good sign?

    who know which way is up anymore.

    Serenity, as told by the Muppets



    Just So You Know: FEMALE Infant Masturbation Often Misdiagnosed

    Masturbation in infant girls sometimes leads to doctor visits because parents think the children have a movement disorder, a new study finds.

    Don't worry, the researchers say. It's all natural and harmless.

    In the study, researchers reviewed a dozen cases of young girls who were referred to pediatric movement disorder clinics between 1997 and 2002 for evaluation of episodic dystonic posturing, characterized by involuntary muscle contractions that force the body into abnormal movements and positions.

    After sometimes invasive testing and medication, the neurologists discovered the symptoms were actually normal muscle contractions that accompany masturbation.

    "Masturbation is a normal human behavior. It's not harmful to anybody," said study leader Jonathan Mink, Chief of Child Neurology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

    Infant boys who masturbate don't end up at the doctor as often, Mink figures, because the action in boys is more recognizable: They tend to touch their genitals. Girls don't necessarily directly touch their genitals when masturbating. An episode may begin in a car seat or high chair where straps place pressure on the genital area, or they may start when a child is tired or bored.

    READ THE REST OVER AT LIVESCIENCE

    Who doesn't want an empress?


    Japan minister urges royal debate
    Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso
    Taro Aso said the succession issue should not be handled rashly
    Japan's foreign minister has questioned plans to allow female royal succession, the first Cabinet member to do so.

    Taro Aso called for more debate before a bill proposing to change the Imperial Household Law's succession rules comes before parliament later this year.

    More than a quarter of members of both houses of parliament are said to oppose the bill, with conservatives claiming 176 have signed a petition against it.

    The imperial family is facing a crisis, having produced no boys since 1965.

    The Imperial Household's main succession hopes lie with four-year-old Princess Aiko, the daughter of Crown Prince Naruhito and his wife Masako.

    SUCCESSION PRESSURES
    Currently only males can ascend the Japanese throne
    Emperor Akihito has two sons, Naruhito and Akishino
    If Naruhito died without a male heir, his brother, Akishino, succeeds
    But he has no sons either
    Their sister, Princess Sayako, is marrying a commoner so her children cannot ascend throne

    Opinion polls suggest that a large majority of the Japanese public supports the move, but conservatives claim it would end an unbroken male line stretching back 2,600 years.

    Mr Aso is the first Cabinet minister openly to question the female succession proposal, expected to go before parliament before the current session ends in June.

    "Is this a bill we must handle rashly?" he said to reporters. "It is necessary to have more debate."

    Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki also voiced caution about the change.

    "It would be desirable if it could be approved smoothly after seeing a firm national consensus," he was quoted by the French news agency AFP as saying.

    'Brutal reality'

    About 40 Japanese lawmakers joined a rally in Tokyo on Wednesday to protest against the government plans.

    Former Trade Minister Takeo Hiranuma told supporters that the move could dilute the imperial line if Princess Aiko married and had children with "a blue-eyed foreigner".

    Japanese Crown Princess Masako, right, and her daughter, Princess Aiko, wave from the window of their limousine as they head to the Imperial Palace for a visit to Emperor Akihito on 01/01/2005
    The change could allow Princess Aiko (left) to ascend the throne

    Prince Tomohito, a cousin of Emperor Akihito, has previously suggested that Crown Prince Naruhito take concubines to ensure a male heir, or that families who lost their royal titles after World War II be reinstated.

    The BBC's Jonathan Head in Tokyo says the brutal reality confronting conservatives, though, is that no males have been born into the male line for 40 years.

    From the BBC

    WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF WORLD WAR?

    Taleban clash 'leaves many dead'
    Afghan army soldiers
    Some 300 army troops were said to have been involved in fighting
    Nearly 20 combatants have been killed in a battle between Afghan troops and Taleban fighters in the southern province of Helmand, officials say.

    Helmand's deputy governor told the BBC that at one point, he and 100 soldiers were surrounded by 200 Taleban.

    He said 16 Taleban and three soldiers had been killed, with 13 more wounded.

    The BBC's Paul Wood in Kandahar said it is the most serious fighting between government forces and the Taleban for two years.

    Taleban spokesman Qari Mohammad Yousuf denied reports of Taleban deaths, saying only two fighters had been wounded.


    READ MORE...

    If you've read Swiftly Tilting Planet you may find this disturbing...

    US to expel Venezuelan diplomat
    Hugo Chavez
    Hugo Chavez has said any US spies will be arrested
    The United States has ordered the expulsion of a senior Venezuelan diplomat in a tit-for-tat move.

    On Thursday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the expulsion of a US naval attache.

    Mr Chavez accused the official, John Correa, of spying and said he would be removed immediately. The US called the accusations "baseless".

    Relations between the two countries were already under strain before the development of this latest row.

    READ IT ALL AT THE BBC!

    Hate Crime in MA Gay Bar

    Man attacks with hatchet, gun in Mass. gay bar

    NEW BEDFORD, Mass. - A teenager armed with a hatchet and handgun opened fire inside a gay bar early Thursday, wounding at least three people in what police are investigating as a hate crime.

    A bartender at Puzzle Lounge told The Associated Press that the young man, dressed all in black, ordered a drink and asked if Puzzles was a gay bar. He finished his drink shortly after midnight, ordered another, then started attacking people, the bartender said. Three were hospitalized Thursday.

    Police were searching for Jacob D. Robida, 18, Police Capt. Richard Spirlet said.

    Read the rest at MSNBC

    Surviving member of Nicholas Brothers dies


    My freshman year @ UCLA, I had the honor to work on a living history project where I transcribed Fayard Nicholas' recollections of early Black Hollywood...the Nicholas Brothers are one of the greatest untold stories in the biz...


    Surviving member of Nicholas Brothers dies
    Fayard, sibling Harold inspired generations of tap dancers with athleticism


    INTERRACIAL ROMANCE THE NEW BLACK HISTORY MONTH TV TREAT

    Swear to GOD!

    Since Jan 2005, there has been an exponential growth in African American writers, actors, producers and directors. Couple of years ago, the creator of Grey's Anatomy couldn't even get a break and there were NO BLACK PEOPLE ON TV.


    Last Black History month, shit exploded...it was like the networks were going hmm, diversity month, let's put this out...WAIT PEOPLE WILL WATCH PEOPLE OF COLOR?

    And suddenly, Black People were the new black.

    In March you can watch Black. White. On FX where two families actually trade races.

    rose
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.


    "Throughout the series, the family members submerse themselves in different environments and settings -- Brian lands a job as a bartender in a predominently-white neighborhood; Rose takes part in a Def Poetry class -- with insightful results."

    What does thefayth think about this?


    Well, funny enough I was actually involved in the project as an innocent bystanding poet chick, so you'll be able to see thefayth on TV telling you EXACTLY WHAT I THINK...but till then check out this insightful article by a white chick on interracial dating and the new "interracial" movie, Something New starring Saana Lathan and Simon Baker.

    Fav Parts:

    A girlfriend who looks like a blond goddess and is a self-described "typical, Ivy League, Upper East Side, married liberal" admitted why she initially balked at sleeping with a Nigerian fellow who worked on Wall Street several years ago. "I was afraid of discovering something really different about a black body," she said. "The hair grows differently. Skin has a big role and so does smell. I had a fear of the other. It's so clich‚d. The sex turned out to be an incredibly reassuring human experience."

    Standing in the surgeon's bedroom, I was frozen with fear. It was one thing to be seen in public with him, but quite another to be naked. The darkness of his body was frighteningly exotic, so opposite my own fairness, which, by comparison, I suddenly perceived to be weak and wane. How would I touch his hair when I couldn't run my fingers through it? What if he was physically aggressive?


    KUDOS TO SUPERNATURAL FOR THE INTERRACIAL LOVE SCENE OF THE WEEK!


    It's a better Black History Gift than just letting us pop up on screen as bangers or civil rights legacies...oh wait, Supernatural focused on an evil truck that was killing black people...close enough I guess?

    Liberia ministry sacked for graft

    When my mom told me Liberia had elected a new president, I was like whatever...I mean the promise of Liberia was strangled the moment freed slaves arrived on African shores with European interests at the heart of their freedom...

    BUT THIS GIVES ME HOPE

    Liberia's new President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has sacked the entire staff of the finance ministry as part of her anti-corruption drive.
    Story from BBC NEWS

    WOW, AN OPENLY GAY ACTOR?


    ericmillegan
    Originally uploaded by _Faith.


    TVGuide.com: Actors are always complaining that Hollywood is ageist. Does it scare you to be so open about your age when you could pass for someone much younger?

    Millegan: That's one thing that I am really proud of. When I got here people were telling me to lie about my age and my sexual orientation — I'm gay. But I didn't hide either one and I still got a show — and I got a straight role. In fact, every role I auditioned for was straight.

    TVGuide.com: Zack does seem to love the ladies. In fact, he seems to have a major crush on his boss, Bones.

    Millegan: There is certainly something there.

    TVGuide.com: Think maybe she'll end up with Zack instead of David Boreanaz's FBI agent?

    Millegan: That would be something! Zack's definitely not in a relationship. In the episode "A Boy in a Tree," he asked the gang for sexual advice because he had slept with Naomi in paleontology but she never called him back.

    TVGuide.com: Were you ever as geeky as your TV alter ego?

    Millegan: I don't know. I never considered myself a nerd, but others may have. I performed in community theater and was valedictorian of my high school. Does that make me a geek?

    TVGuide.com: Definitely. You've done theater your whole life. Do you miss the stage?


    Millegan: Yeah, but TV is so much easier. When you do a show, especially a musical, you wake up every morning terrified that your voice won't work. On stage, the audience sees everything. On Bones, I look into the camera and talk. If I mess up, they'll edit it out. Also, TV is way, way, way better paying.

    TVGuide.com: What's the feeling on the set regarding Bones' new schedule?

    Millegan: Originally, we were supposed to have the Tuesday slot after American Idol that helped make House a hit. I don't want to speak for everybody else in the cast but we were disappointed when we lost that. Oh wait, I did just speak for everybody else. But even though we're on Wednesdays, I still think there's room for our show. We have that American Idol "muscle" before us. That's going to get us more viewers, especially all those people who can't find their remote controls.
    Read it All