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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“Frankly, I was offended by it. For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly just don’t take them seriously.”
-Vice President Dick Cheney, May 31, 2005

“Does no one else remember the photos of naked piles of prisoners? The internal reports detailing the abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Gharib? The ‘ghost’ prisoners and what the Pentagon said just last week about the fact that interrogators did actually desecrate the Koran? Sweet Jesus, these are the same people who were terribly offended by the Newsweek article last week, despite the fact that it was much more accurate than their own assessments of WMD or a ‘quick and easy’ war.”

“Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees; pouring cold water on naked detainees; beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair; threatening male detainees with rape; allowing a military police guard to stitch the wound of a detainee who was injured after being slammed against the wall in his cell; sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broom stick, and using military working dogs to frighten and intimidate detainees with threats of attack, and in one instance actually biting a detainee.”
-Major General Taguba’s Report on Abu Gharib, February, 2004

“Occasionally there are allegations of mistreatment, but if you trace those back, in nearly every case, it turns out to come from somebody who had been inside and released to their home country and now are peddling lies about how they were treated.”
-Vice President Dick Cheney, May 31, 2005

“Um.. Since no one else is allowed in, and the military that guards the camps certainly isn’t supposed to let any negative information out, who else is there to tell stories about what happens there? When the prison camps (I call them prison camps because ‘concentration camps’ still has too negative a connotation) open their doors to allow inspections by Amnesty International or the Red Cross, then we’ll talk.”

"There are three signs of a hypocrite: when he speaks he speaks lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is trusted he betrays his trust."
-Muhammad (570-632)

Friday, May 27, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Skippy Rants

"People are dead because of what this son of a b*tch said. How could he be credible now?"
-Lawrence DiRita, Pentagon Spokesman, as quoted in the May 23 Newsweek

“Remember that one from last week? Remember how Mr. DiRita was so offended that Newsweek could have reported that American troops had desecrated the Koran because we would never, ever, do anything like that? Remember the White House demanding that Newsweek publicly retract the story and say that it never happened? Well, guess what..”

"’I'd like you to know that we have found no credible evidence that a member of the Joint Task Force at Guantanamo Bay ever flushed a Quran down a toilet,’ Hood said. ‘We did identify 13 incidents of alleged mishandling of the Quran by Joint Task Force personnel. Ten of those were by a guard and three by interrogators.’
Of the 13 alleged incidents, five were substantiated, he said. Four were by guards and one was by an interrogator. Hood said the five cases ‘could be broadly defined as mishandling’ of the holy book, but he refused to discuss details.
In three of the five cases, the mishandling appears to have been deliberate. In the other two, it apparently was accidental.
‘None of these five incidents was a result of a failure to follow standard operating procedures in place at the time the incident occurred,’ Hood said.”
-Associated Press, May 26, 2005

“You see, despite the fact that the Pentagon says that the violence in Afghanistan wasn’t caused by the Newsweek story, and despite the fact that the Newsweek story was in a broad sense accurate (there were substantiated cases of desecration of the Koran, just not in a toilet according to the Pentagon, and there was a case of a Koran being flushed reported in an FBI memo), the White House demanded that our ‘free’ press retract a story and apologize. Does that make anyone else nervous? I’m sure that Nixon would have appreciated this much power over the press during Watergate. Oh.. and the Pentagon did find the prisoner who reported to the FBI the Koran flushing incident. They ‘questioned’ him at Guantanamo (I’m sure they were gentle), and now he claims that he didn’t see it. Yep, they interrogated him to see if they had done anything wrong when they interrogated him before.”

“A former Wall Street trader who rejoined the Marines after the Sept. 11 attacks will not be tried on murder charges for killing two suspected Iraqi insurgents, a Marine general decided Thursday.
'The best interests of 2nd Lt. Pantano and the government have been served by this process,' the Marine Corps said in a statement.
Prosecutors alleged Pantano intended to make an example of the men by shooting them 60 times and hanging a sign over their bodies — “No better friend, no worse enemy,” a Marine slogan. While citing self-defense as his motive, Pantano did not deny hanging the sign or shooting the men repeatedly.
More than a half-dozen Marines who served with Pantano in Iraq praised him in testimony, saying he was an able leader who remained cool in combat and was amiable with Iraqis.
Pantano, 33, is now helping to train troops at Camp Lejeune, but his attorney said he hopes the decision will clear the way for the Marine to return to a combat unit.
'I think (the decision) demonstrates that Ilario acted honorably in combat and the suggestion that he didn’t that tarnished his reputation was unjustified,' Gittins said. 'I’m pleased for Ilario and his family because the nightmare is over.'”
-Associated Press, May 26, 2005

"I'm all for supporting the troops, but this guy had to reload in order to continue shooting the corpses. 'Cool in combat'? 'Amiable to Iraqis'? I'm sure that the best interests of Pantano and the government were served, but I thought that the point of the legal system was justice. I’m not really glad to hear that desecrating corpses is ‘honorable’ now, and Mr. Pantano is training our next generation of American soldiers.. You know, with so many young men and women actually bravely serving with real honor, it is disgusting to me that our government sees the need to justify actions like this.”

“An Indianapolis father is appealing a Marion County judge's unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to ‘non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals.’
The parents practice Wicca, a contemporary pagan religion that emphasizes a balance in nature and reverence for the earth.
Cale J. Bradford, chief judge of the Marion Superior Court, kept the unusual provision in the couple's divorce decree last year over their fierce objections, court records show. The order does not define a mainstream religion.”
-Indianapolis Star, May 26, 2005

“Now this is a judge working on a divorce decree in which both parents are Wiccan, and neither desires this provision. Seems like some ‘legislating from the bench’ to me. I’m sure that Pat Robertson and James Dobson will soon be making their public statements decrying this blatant interference in American freedom of religion by an activist judge..”

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: And to Think that I Saw It on Downing Street

“Earlier this month, the Times of London published the minutes of a meeting of top British officials in mid-2002, including Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush's staunchest ally in the Iraq war.”
-CNN, May 17, 2005

“There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD”
-Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002

“We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq. But if Saddam Hussein does not disarm peacefully, he will be disarmed by force”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, March 8, 2003

“No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.”
-Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002

“I think that that presumes there's some kind of imminent war plan. As I said, I have no timetable.”
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, August 10, 2002

“But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy”
-Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002

“Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people.
The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.”
- George ‘Dubya’ Bush, March 17, 2003

“Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD”
-Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002

"I want you to keep focused on what you are doing here.
This war came to us, not the other way around."
-Condoleeza Rice, May 15, 2005

“There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.”
-Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002

"Any military presence, should it be necessary, will be temporary and intended to promote security and elimination of weapons of mass destruction; the delivery of humanitarian aid; and the conditions for the reconstruction of Iraq."
-The White House, March 16, 2003, Statement of the Atlantic Summit

"Liberated people don't misbehave."
-Former Secretary of Army Thomas White, on Cheney and Rumsfeld's post-war views leading up to the war, July 7, 2003

“Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran.”
-Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002

"The President has made no decisions about what the next step will be. Clearly, we will continue to talk to the United Nations about the inspection process."
-Ari Fleischer, October 10, 2002

"This is about disarmament and this is a final opportunity for Saddam Hussein to disarm. If he chooses not to do so peacefully, then the United States is prepared to act, with our friends, to do so by force. And we will do so forcefully and swiftly and decisively, as the President has outlined. But the President continues to seek a peaceful resolution. War is a last resort."
-Scott McClellan, November 12, 2002

“He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route.”
-Downing Street Memo, July 23, 2002

"And now they must demonstrate that commitment to peace and security is the only effective way, by supporting the immediate and unconditional disarmament of Saddam Hussein.
The dictator of Iraq and his weapons of mass destruction are a threat to the security of free nations. He is a danger to his neighbors. He's a sponsor of terrorism. He's an obstacle to progress in the Middle East."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, March 16, 2003

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Death and Taxes

"We should not use public money to support the further destruction of human life."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, May 24, 2005

“He was talking about stem cell research.. Just in case there was any confusion..”

"A House subcommittee approved an initial $45 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan next year, two weeks after Congress approved $82 billion for this year's costs of the conflicts.
President Bush has not yet requested any money for the wars during the 2006 budget year, which starts Oct. 1, arguing it is too early to tell what will be needed. But with no timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, war costs are certain and many lawmakers are reluctant to wait for his request."
-Associated Press, May 24, 2005

"I've made it very clear... the use of federal money, taxpayers' money, to promote science which destroys life in order to save life, I'm against that,"
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, May 20, 2005

“US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday it makes ‘all the sense in the world’ to study the feasibility of designing a nuclear weapon capable of penetrating deeply buried targets.
Rumsfeld defended the proposed 8.5 million-dollar study of a ‘robust nuclear earth penetrator’ at a Senate hearing after it came under fire from Senator Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat.”
- Agence France-Presse, April 27, 2005

"I'm very concerned about cloning. I worry about a world in which cloning would be acceptable."
-George ‘Dubya’ Bush, May 20, 2005

“Obi-Wan: I have to admit that without the clones it would have not been a victory. Yoda: Victory. Victory you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen, begun the clone war has.”
Star Wars: Episode II- Attack of the Clones

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“Employee of the month is a good example of how somebody can be both a winner and a loser at the same time.”
-Demetri Martin

“President Bush is trying to put a positive spin on the latest bad economic numbers. Today he declared victory in the 'War on Jobs.'”
-Craig Kilborn

“Doing nothing is very hard to do...you never know when you're finished.”
Leslie Nielsen

“The trouble with unemployment is that the minute you wake up in the morning you're on the job.”
Slappy White

“It's just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”
Muhammad Ali

“I only go to work on days that don't end in a 'y'.”
Robert Paul

“A good rule of thumb is if you've made it to thirty-five and your job still requires you to wear a name tag, you've made a serious vocational error.”
Dennis Miller

“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”
Jerome K Jerome (Three Men in a Boat, 1889)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“As you may have heard, there is a debate currently in the Senate over the use of the filibuster. The Senate majority looks set to do away with the ability for Senators to effectively filibuster due to Democratics blocking of ten of Mr. Bush’s nominees for the courts. Yep, according to the Senate Republicans now there has never been a right to filibuster. Apparently they just let Jimmy Stewart get away with murder back when Mr. Smith went to Washington.”

“I mean, imagine, the rule has been in place for 214 years that this is the way we confirm judges. Broken by the other side two years ago, and the audacity of some members to stand up and say, how dare you break this rule. It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, ‘I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me. How dare you bomb my city? It's mine.’"
-Senator Rick Santorum, May 19, 2005

“Yep. Gotta love Little Ricky. He just managed to call the Democrats Nazis. Lovely. Can’t imagine why the two sides can’t work together amiably.”

"Byrd spokesman Tom Gavin denied that the senator had compared Republicans to Hitler. He said the reference to Nazis in Byrd's Senate speech Tuesday was meant to underscore that the past should not be ignored.
'Terrible chapters of history ought never be repeated,' Gavin said. 'All one needs to do is to look at history to see how dangerous it is to curb the rights of the minority."
Santorum, the Senate's No. 3 Republican, called for Byrd to retract his statement.
'Senator Byrd's inappropriate remarks comparing his Republican colleagues with Nazis are inexcusable,' Santorum said in a statement yesterday. 'These comments lessen the credibility of the senator and the decorum of the Senate. He should retract his statement and ask for pardon.'"
-Associated Press, March 3, 2005

“Huh? I could have sworn that less than three months later he was attacking the Democrats for using the exact same type of reference. Wow.. I guess that would make him a hypocrite. Just like the way in which the Republicans blocked up-and-down votes for Clinton’s judges when he was president and they were the minority, but now are willing to overturn 214 years of Senate practice to have their way now that they are in control. Its ok if you are a Republican.”

“GRAND MOFF TARKIN: The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I've just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.
COMMANDER TAGGE: That's impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?
TARKIN: The regional governors now have direct control over territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line.”
-Star Wars

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: The Light Side of the Force

“Mrs. Skippy’s grandmother died last night. She was a quadriplegic polio survivor who had been in hospice (and then out of hospice when she’d lived so much longer than expected) for the last three years. Despite that, she was one of the most consistently happy and optimistic people I have ever met. She was a wonderful woman. She was also a fanatically devout Catholic, but I’m sure that she’d appreciate any prayers that you have to give to whomever you may believe in. Thank you.”

“Yoda: That face you make... look I so old to young eyes? Luke: No. Of course not. Yoda: I do. Yes, I do. Sicker I become, old and weak... When nine hundred years old YOU reach, look as good YOU will not, hmm?”
-The Return of the Jedi

“Soon will I rest, yes, forever sleep. Earned it I have. Twilight is upon me, soon night must fall.”
-Yoda, the Return of the Jedi

“Luke: We'll never get it out now! Yoda: So certain are you. Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?”
-The Empire Strikes Back

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.”
-Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

"People are dead because of what this son of a b*tch said. How could he be credible now?"
-Lawrence DiRita, Pentagon Spokesman, as quoted in the May 23 Newsweek

“What could Mr. DiRita be so irate over? Apparently there was a report in the May 9 Newsweek stating that there had been a copy of the Koran flushed down the toilet at Guantanamo. This article was mentioned by some of the rioters who, over the weekend, caused about 15 deaths in Afghanistan. It seems that Newsweek’s government source changed his story after the article was released and now says that he had no proof that it happened. Of course the government is pissed. You might be too if all of the sudden our ‘good’ invaded country started acting up. It must have been the article, right?”

"The nature of where these things occurred, how quickly they occurred, the nature of individuals who were involved in it, suggest that they may be organized events that are using this alleged allegation as a pretext for activity that was already planned," said DiRita.
-Associated Press, May 14, 2005

“Mr. McClellan and other administration officials blamed the Newsweek article for setting off the anti-American violence that swept Afghanistan and Pakistan. "The report had real consequences," Mr. McClellan said. ‘People have lost their lives. Our image abroad has been damaged.’
But only a few days earlier, in a briefing on Thursday, Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said that the senior commander in Afghanistan believed the protests had stemmed from that country's reconciliation process.
‘He thought it was not at all tied to the article in the magazine,’ General Myers said.”
-New York Times, May 17, 2005

“But.. DiRita was just blaming Newsweek. I don’t understand.”

“In fact, complaints from released inmates that the Koran had been thrown into a toilet go back at least two years.Among the more detailed accounts of United States soldiers mishandling copies of the Koran were depositions from three Britons who were released from Guantánamo in the summer of 2004. Asif Iqbal, one of the men, who were from Tipton, England, and had been captured in Afghanistan, said that guards ‘would kick the Koran, throw it in the toilet and generally disrespect it.’
Military officials dismissed the complaints as commanders at Guantánamo conducted media tours of the facility during which they emphasized steps taken to demonstrate respect for Islam. Inmates, they noted, were given copies of the Koran along with a cloth surgical mask, which they used as a kind of sling to suspend the book from the wire mesh walls to ensure it did not touch the floor.
The official accounts of Guantánamo began fraying in later months, as the International Committee of the Red Cross charged in a confidential report in November that the procedures at Guantánamo amounted to torture, and F.B.I. memorandums disclosed in December portrayed harsh and abusive treatment by interrogators. The F.B.I. memorandums, disclosed in a lawsuit, did not mention any mishandling of the Koran.
Last month, a former American interrogator confirmed to The New York Times an account given in an interview by a former Kuwaiti detainee, Nasser Nijer Naser al-Mutairi, who said that mishandling of the Koran once led to a major hunger strike. The strike ended only after a senior officer expressed regret over the camp's loudspeaker system, which was simultaneously translated by linguists at the end of each cell block, the former interrogator said.
In that case, the accusations were of copies of the Koran being tossed on the floor in a pile and treated roughly, but there was no assertion that any had been put in the toilet.”
-New York Times, May 17, 2005

“The stories didn’t start with Newsweek? Huh?..”

“Q: Can you 100 percent say for sure that it is wrong, that there were no incidents of American interrogators putting Korans in the toilets?
MR. McCLELLAN: I know of no such incidents. And the Department of Defense said last week that they could find no credible evidence of it either. They have looked into it.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, May 16, 2005

“Ok.. I guess that the thing that DiRita’s so upset about is that Newsweek followed an obvious lie. This had already been found false in an investigation. Our interrogators (the one’s responsible for ripping toenails off of people, covering prisoners in feces and shoving lightsticks up bodily orifices) would never do anything like deface a book.”

“Q: Different issue. There have been protests in Pakistan over reports that investigation over abuses in Guantanamo has found that guards have apparently put Korans in the toilet. And I'm wondering if either of you can comment on whether that's accurate, or whether the investigation has found that, and what's being done about it?
MR. DIRITA: I can't speak to any particular -- I've not seen the reports on that specific point.
So I think where we are is that the commander is coordinating closely with the Department of Justice so that we have -- we can be as linked together as we need to be. He, I think, received some -- the commander received some initial assessments early, asked for some additional inquiries, and those have not been completed.
And I think we're probably -- because of the desire to make sure that we're working closely with other agencies, it's a little bit more complicated. And I think we're probably several weeks away from being able to say that the commander has made his final assessments there.”
-Defense Department Briefing, May 10, 2005

“Dang it.. You mean that the investigation isn’t done yet? Scotty must have been mistaken. At least we should be able to count on a level headed approach to this from our local politicians.”

“Rep. Deborah Pryce (Ohio), chairman of the House Republican Conference, urged every congressional office to cancel its Newsweek subscription. ‘Retraction and regrets will not atone for the reckless behavior of an irresponsible reporter and an overzealous publication,’ she said in a statement.
Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) used even stronger language, saying that Isikoff had ‘fabricated’ the Koran incident and branding Newsweek's behavior ‘criminal.’"
-Washington Post, May 18, 2005

“Yep.. Using bad information that leads to violence and death should be illegal. Let’s round up all of the people involved and lock them up.”

“QUESTION: Does it concern the President that the primary source for the intelligence on the mobile biological weapons labs was a guy that U.S. intelligence never every interviewed?
MCCLELLAN: Well, again, all these issues will be looked at as part of a broad review by the independent commission that the President appointed… But it’s important that we look at what we learn on the ground and compare that with what we believed prior to going into Iraq.”
-Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan, April 5, 2004

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: I like Ike

“The Stewardship of our Citizenship is crucial to this hour. The Sacred Trust of Freedom has been purchased with a purpose. From America’s beginning, the Mayflower Compact openly declares that our forefathers were birthing this nation for ‘the advancement of the Christian faith.’ All 50 of our state constitutions acknowledge and give honor to the Lord. The declaration of Independence declares that we are ‘endowed by our Creator, with certain inalienable rights.’ With only 5% of the world's population, God has blessed the United States with nearly 40% of the world's wealth. Now more than ever, we are convinced that God has blessed this nation with resources to share the light of God's Word with a world lost in darkness. America has had a mission to share a living Savior with a dying world.
During the past 50 years, that mission has come under heavy spiritual warfare. Recently, the birth pains have increased in frequency and intensity. The forces of hell understand Biblical prophecy better than most people sitting in the pews on Sunday morning.”
-The Ohio Restoration Project, http://www.ohiorestorationproject.com/objectives.php

“By the way.. That is a real group, and one that is becoming more and more active in Ohio. They are trying their hardest to make Ohio a Christian state. I especially like that they think they are spreading the word to a ‘dying world’. Saving the environment? That would go against God’s plan for the earth. Be afraid. And now for some reasons why I like Ike (at least in these quotes).”

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are [a] few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, November 8, 1954

“They might be the few and the stupid, but they are, unfortunately, also running the country.”

"We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom."
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Plans are nothing, planning is everything."
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free."
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I have only one yardstick by which I test every major problem — and that yardstick is: Is it good for America?"
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"You do not lead by hitting people over the head — that's assault, not leadership."
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Though force can protect in emergency, only justice, fairness, consideration and cooperation can finally lead men to the dawn of eternal peace."
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Don't join the book burners. Do not think you are going to conceal thoughts by concealing evidence that they ever existed. Don't be afraid to go into your library and read every book."
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends."
-President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, May 13, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Getting Lucky

"It is bad luck to be superstitious."
-Andrew W. Mathis

"I'm not superstitious because it brings bad luck."
-Placido Domingo

"Luck is not chance — It's toil — Fortune's expensive smile is earned."
-Emily Dickinson

“The odds to win were one in 2.9 million. But, suddenly, a surge of people came forward with winning Powerball tickets, claiming at least $100,000.
Officials realized that in a pile of cookies, there was a fortune.
Consider this the case of the fortune cookie cracked.
Beneath proverbs such as ‘Don't be hasty ... prosperity will knock on your door soon,’ are so-called lucky numbers.
And for some who used those lucky numbers to play the lottery in late March, prosperity did come knocking.
‘One hundred ten people -- they all hit it at the same time!’ says Sing Lee, president of Wonton Food.
Marjorie and Donald Cobbs of Arizona used their fortune cookie figures to pick five of six winning numbers.
‘I just thought, 'Heck, I'll just try it. If it wins, well, fine. If it doesn't, well, fine too,'’ says Marjorie.
At first, lottery officials were at a loss.
They scoured the possibilities, starting with the ABC show ‘Lost.’
‘We knew there had been inquiries to use a Powerball drawing in one of the scripts for a TV show. We thought maybe it had something to do with that, says Powerball Group Chairman Randy Davis.
They also thought it may have something to do with a Powerball plot on the soap opera ‘The Young and the Restless.’
That didn't pan out either.
‘When some of the winners started coming in from around the country, they said they chose the winning numbers from fortune cookies,’ says Davis.
Seeking to unlock the mystery of the cookie ‘dough,’ lottery investigators traveled the country, visiting Chinese restaurants and stores.
It led them to Wonton Food in Long Island City, New York, maker of 4 million fortune cookies a day.
And how by chance did Wonton Food come up with the numbers?
‘We handpick them randomly. We write a number on a piece of paper, fold them, put them in a basket and pick them up,’ says Derrick Wong of Wonton Food.”
-CNN, May 12, 2005

"A physicist visits a colleague and notices a horseshoe hanging on the wall above the entrance. 'Do you really believe that a horseshoe brings luck?' he asks. 'No,' replies the colleague, 'but I've been told that it works even if you don't believe in it.'"
-Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

"Aladdin rubbed a lamp and a genie appeared. With my luck if I rubbed the lamp, I'd probably get an IRS auditor."
-Gary Apple

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

“Reports in the British press this month based on documents indicating that President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair had conditionally agreed by July 2002 to invade Iraq appear to have blown over quickly in Britain.

But in the United States, where the reports at first received scant attention, there has been growing indignation among critics of the Bush White House, who say the documents help prove that the leaders made a secret decision to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein nearly a year before launching their attack, shaped intelligence to that aim and never seriously intended to avert the war through diplomacy.”
-LA Times, May 12, 2005

“But, but… That can’t be right! We invaded Iraq because he was developing weapons of mass destruction. We swore we’d stop them from being developed so that ‘rogue nations’ couldn’t pass them on to terrorists or use them themselves. Dang it, we were the good guys. We didn’t do it just because it was ‘Iraq’. We did it because a rogue nation was developing weapons of mass destruction. We had to, and we’d do it again to any rogue nation that we had to in order to stop proliferation of WMD.”

“North Korea said Wednesday it has completed removing spent fuel rods from an atomic reactor, enabling it to harvest more weapons-grade plutonium. It was the communist state’s latest provocation amid deadlocked talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
A North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman said the country had ‘successfully finished’ removing 8,000 fuel rods from the reactor at its Yongbyon complex, which was shut down last month, so it can ‘bolster its nuclear arsenal.’”
-Associated Press, May 11, 2005

“I’m sure we’ll invade North Korea next month in order to stop him too.. right? Darn it, if this keeps up I’m going to start thinking that the war on terror is some kind of farce used to justify our war in Iraq and anything else our administration wants to do.”

“The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.
Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or ‘high’ risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.”
-USA Today, May 11, 2005

“Why, that almost sounds like (dare I say it?) the terror alerts were.. political. I can’t help but notice that there haven’t been any since the election. Probably just a coincidence.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

"There is no wealth but life."
-John Ruskin (1819-1900)

"The first wealth is health."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

"The only wealth is life."
-Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

“Good thing too, as the typical definition of ‘wealth’ doesn’t seem, to be working for people.”

“Real wages in the US are falling at their fastest rate in 14 years, according to data surveyed by the Financial Times.

Inflation rose 3.1 per cent in the year to March but salaries climbed just 2.4 per cent, according to the Employment Cost Index. In the final three months of 2004, real wages fell by 0.9 per cent.
The last time salaries fell this steeply was at the start of 1991, when real wages declined by 1.1 per cent.”
-Financial Times, May 10, 2005

"Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants."
-Epicurus (c. 341-c. 270 BC)

"Hunger: One of the few cravings that cannot be appeased with another solution."
-Irwin Van Grove

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Wild, Wild West

“Vice President Dick Cheney helped raise an estimated $200,000 Monday for the campaign of Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, who is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbents in Congress.

Musgrave, one of the original sponsors of a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, has proved ‘to be exactly the right person for the job,’ Cheney told a crowd about 200 people who paid $500 to $4,000 to attend the luncheon in downtown Denver.”
-Associated Press, May 9, 2005

“Man, I bet it’s uncomfortable around the house when Dick’s daughter comes over and finds out that dad’s been supporting gay-bashers again. And now for some more news on the same theme.”

“Over the last three months, Mayor James E. West of Spokane, one of the most powerful politicians in this state, carried on an online exchange - full of mutual compliments and often overtly sexual - with someone who said he was a 17-year-old high school senior. In time, the mayor, 54, revealed his identity, and said he had lots of sports memorabilia he could give the boy from his office. As they prepared to meet for the first time, the mayor professed his nervousness, and his caution.

‘Guys like you don't come along very often and I want it to last,’ the mayor wrote. ‘Am I crazy here?’
The two never met. The high school senior was a fiction, created by The Spokesman-Review, a Spokane newspaper, as part of a three-year investigation into whether Mayor West, a Republican, used his authority to have sex with boys and young men.”
-Associated Press

“Brad Crelia told The Spokesman-Review he was a 15-year-old student at Spokane's Lewis and Clark High School in 2001 when he was approached by West. West, then state Senate minority leader, had an office on the sixth floor of the building adjacent to the Local Planet, a weekly newspaper run by Crelia's parents, Connye Miller and Matt Spaur.
First, West asked Crelia out for coffee. The boy declined.
‘He then asked, ‘Would you want to do anything else?’ And that's what kind of weirded me out. It was definitely an awkward feeling, because I knew who he was. I don't know what his intentions were, but I definitely felt they were sexual,’ Crelia told the newspaper for an article published Saturday.”
-New York Times, May 8, 2005

“Ryan M. Oelrich, a 24-year-old openly gay man, said he was appointed by West to the city Human Rights Commission in April 2004, but didn't know at the time that West was the same man he'd met earlier in Gay.com using the screen aliases ‘Cobra82nd’ and ‘RightBi-Guy.’ Sometime after the appointment, Oelrich said he realized the mayor was the same person he'd been talking to online beginning in 2003. While on the commission, Oelrich said he rebuffed a series of sexually explicit online advances from West.

After appointing Oelrich to the policy-making Human Rights Commission, West ‘offered me $300 cash if I'd swim naked with him in my swimming pool,’ Oelrich said.
He declined West's offer as ‘being totally inappropriate,' said the 2004 graduate of Gonzaga University.
Oelrich, who heads a gay youth organization in Spokane, said he knows of five or six other young gay men in the city who received ‘inappropriate sexual advances’ from West. Of that group, two have been offered City Hall jobs by the mayor, Oelrich said.”
-Spokesman-Review, May 9, 2005

“Mayor West is the mayor of Spokane, Washington. He is, by all accounts, a gay pedophile. Now the first part I have no problem with (though apparently he does), but the second part? Ew.. Now, of course, is the part that you have been waiting for..”

“People in the state were shocked, in part because Mayor West is a staunch opponent of gay rights, and recently threatened to veto a measure passed by the City Council that would grant benefits to domestic partners. He once promoted a bill in the Legislature to outlaw teenage sex, gay or straight.”
-New York Times, May 8, 2005

“I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning. Let’s be perfectly clear.. Gay or straight, hitting on underage children is not allowed.. Dang it, if he was just a closeted gay gay-bashing Republican there would be ways around that for them. They call that way ‘Jeff Gannon’.”

"Three victims of Mayor Jim West's predatory and appalling behavior have already come forward and, based on what we know about pedophiles, it's almost certain there are many more. Some media reports quote people as saying this is a 'tragic' situation for West and imply that his conduct showed he was 'uncomfortable with his identity.' Nonsense. Pedophilic behavior is always wrong and has nothing do with sexual orientation. This man - whether he's straight, bisexual, or gay - deserves nothing but scorn. He needs to resign immediately."
-National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, May 9, 2005

Monday, May 09, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Summertime

"In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."
-Albert Camus

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."
-Henry James

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate: Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer's lease hath all too short a date."
-William Shakespeare

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
-Russell Baker

"A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."
-James Dent

"Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you."
-James Langston Hughes

"I value kindness to humans first of all, and kindness to animals. I don't respect the law; I have total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper, and old men and women warmer in the winter, and happier in the summer."
-Brendan Behan

“That last one comes as close to Skippy’s philosophy of life as anything that I have ever read.”

Friday, May 06, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: The Triumph of the Willy

“US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Thursday it makes ‘all the sense in the world’ to study the feasibility of designing a nuclear weapon capable of penetrating deeply buried targets.
Rumsfeld defended the proposed 8.5 million-dollar study of a ‘robust nuclear earth penetrator’ at a Senate hearing after it came under fire from Senator Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat.”
- Agence France-Presse, April 27, 2005

“Wouldn’t just buying Viagra have been easier?”

“Men are insecure about the size of their penises, so they go to war. It doesn't take a genius to see the ‘bigger d*ck foreign policy theory’ at work. It goes something like this, ‘What?! They have bigger d*cks?!?!? BOMB THEM!!!’”
-George Carlin

"I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, November 15, 2002

“Rumsfeld’s statement was premature evaluation.”

“We never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, May 4, 2003

“I’ll tumble for ya.. I’ll tumble for ya.. I’ll tumble for ya, I’ll tumble for you.”
-Culture Club

"Beyond abuse of prisoners, there are other photos that depict incidents of physical violence toward prisoners, acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel and inhuman."
-Donald Rumsfeld, May 7, 2004

“The Don then re-zipped the mouth of his leather mask.”

“Zed: Bring out the Gimp.

Maynard: But the Gimp's sleeping.
Zed: Well, I guess you're gonna have to go wake him up now, won't you?”
-Pulp Fiction

A Confession
“Once in a while,
I’m standing here, doing something.
And I think,
‘What in the world am I doing here?’
It’s a big surprise.”
-Donald Rumsfeld, May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Quotes of the Morning

“A woman alleged in a call to police last fall that U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood had started choking her while giving her a back rub at his Washington apartment, but no charges were filed, according to a published report.
The encounter between Sherwood, 64, a four-term Republican congressman, and Cynthia Ore, 29, of Rockville, Md., occurred on the afternoon of Sept. 15, according to a copy of a Washington Metropolitan Police incident report obtained by the Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Times Leader.
'Both parties have left out significant information or are not willing to discuss in detail what actually happened,’ the incident report said.
Sherwood, who is married, told the Times Leader in a story published Saturday that Ore was ‘an acquaintance’ but wouldn't elaborate on why she was in his apartment. Ore told the newspaper the two met in 1999 at a Young Republicans meeting but wouldn't go into specifics about their relationship.”
-Associated Press, May 2, 2005

“No particular reason to include that quote except blatant partisanship (and I found it darkly funny). It always amazes me how many times the party of ‘family values’ seems to be behind stories like this..”

“A 13-year-old whose decision to have an abortion ignited a legal battle ended her pregnancy Tuesday after Gov. Jeb Bush announced that Florida would not fight a judge's order.
The Florida American Civil Liberties Union had helped represent the girl, a foster child in state custody, in court.
The Department of Children and Families had argued that state law prohibited the department to consent to abortion.”
-Kansas City Star, May 4, 2005

“What the heck is it with Jeb losing fights regarding people’s right to choose? This is two in a row for him after his loss in the Schiavo case. I understand the concern at least. We should be doing everything that we can to protect the children trapped in our foster care system. These kids often fall between the cracks and end up in bad situations like the one that led this girl to an unwanted pregnancy. They deserve better.”

“Government-funded researchers tested AIDS drugs on hundreds of foster children over the past two decades, often without providing them a basic protection afforded in federal law and required by some states, an Associated Press review has found.
The research funded by the National Institutes of Health spanned the country. It was most widespread in the 1990s as foster care agencies sought treatments for their HIV-infected children that weren’t yet available in the marketplace.
The practice ensured that foster children — mostly poor or minority — received care from world-class researchers at government expense, slowing their rate of death and extending their lives. But it also exposed a vulnerable population to the risks of medical research and drugs that were known to have serious side effects in adults and for which the safety for children was unknown.”
-Associated Press, May 4, 2005

“They did it for the kids.. After all, by testing these experimental and quite likely highly dangerous drugs on poor and minority children, they gave them the only government-provided healthcare they are likely to receive. Isn’t that swell of them? Gosh, if it works out well, they’ll soon provide those drugs to wealthy white people too. No matter what your political persuasion feel free to use this one.. It was common under Republicans and Democrats, so there is plenty of blame to spread around.”

“You know.. for kids.”
- Norville Barnes, The Hudsucker Proxy

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Simply Stunning

“A Gwinnett County grand jury had decided not to pursue charges in the Taser gun-related death of an inmate at the county jail.
Inmate Frederick Williams died last year after Gwinnett deputies used a Taser gun to subdue him.
Williams' widow, Yanga Williams, said he was in a rage when she called officers to her home last May. She says her husband's violent behavior was due to his failure to take medication for epilepsy.
District Attorney Danny Porter provided details of the investigations to a grand jury and that grand jury decided not to pursue an investigation of their own. They, however, chose not to view the videotape taken at the jail.
‘They were aware of the tape and the disturbing aspects of it, but chose not to view it,’ Porter said. ‘They chose not to see it and chose not to go any farther. For all intents and purposes, this ends my case,’ he said.”
-WXIA, April 29, 2005

“This case that wasn’t important enough to pursue involved a handcuffed man with bound feet in custody being hit by Tasers five times inside of a minute and dying. The case that Mr. Porter is thinking of pursuing? Runaway bride.”

“Danny Porter, the Gwinnett County district attorney, said Ms. Wilbanks bought her bus ticket a week before she disappeared while jogging last Tuesday.
Mr. Porter said Monday that his office could file charges of making a false statement to law enforcement, a felony, and falsely reporting a crime, a misdemeanor. The charges carry penalties of up to five years in jail for the felony and one year for the misdemeanor, and maximum fines of $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. He said it could take months to decide whether to file them.”
-New York Times, May 3, 2005

“Terrible.. And what might make this story even more interesting? How about the chance to see more stories like this?”

“Police embraced the weapons at first. But over the years, 103 people have died in North America after being shocked with stun guns, according to a review by Amnesty International. Now, Taser International's safety claims are the subject of a federal inquiry and police departments nationwide are reviewing procedures.
Earlier this month, the International Association of Chiefs of Police urged caution and offered guidelines for using stun guns, including training programs for police.
It's against this backdrop, and the fact that its stock price fell by-two thirds after a record high last year, that Taser International has launched a campaign to sell Tasers to civilians. It has come out with a much smaller yet more powerful civilian stun gun and is building a national dealer network, starting with Davidson's Inc., a major gun distributor that's the first to carry Taser's civilian model.”
-MSNBC, May 3, 2005

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Its Pat!

“Federal judges are a more serious threat to America than Al Qaeda and the Sept. 11 terrorists, the Rev. Pat Robertson claimed yesterday.
‘Over 100 years, I think the gradual erosion of the consensus that's held our country together is probably more serious than a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings,’ Robertson said on ABC's ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos.’
‘I think we have controlled Al Qaeda,’ the 700 Club host said, but warned of ‘erosion at home’ and said judges were creating a ‘tyranny of oligarchy.’"
-New York Daily News, May 2, 2005

“Here is where Mr. Robertson veers off into the dreaded Ann Coulter territory. He just called the Supreme Court a bunch of traitors. I’m not sure how else to read that. He states that the judiciary, one of the three co-equal legs of our government, is more dangerous than people who would fly planes into buildings and who have already caused thousands of American deaths. The man is a lunatic.”

“We have a court that has essentially stuck its finger in God's eye. We have insulted God at the highest levels of our government. Then, we say, ‘Why does this happen?’ It is happening because God Almighty is lifting His protection from us.”

-Pat Robertson, September 13, 2001

“This is God's power and he sent this thing to warn us ... we needed a shock.”

-Pat Robertson, September 13, 2001, quoted by Robert E. Norlander in a dispatch of September 14, 2001

“Apparently, from Pat’s point of view, Al Qaeda was actually a tool of the Almighty, sent to show us the error of our judiciary. Maybe that’s why he thinks the judges are more dangerous. Al Qaeda is apparently working (indirectly of course) for God, and the courts aren’t.”

“The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening.”

-Pat Robertson, The 700 Club television program, December 30, 1981

“Ok.. Can we call him insane yet?”

“Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals -- the two things seem to go together.”

-Pat Robertson, January 21, 1993

“How about now?”

“We have enough votes to run the country. And when the people say, ‘We've had enough,’ we are going to take over.”

-Pat Robertson, April, 1980

Monday, May 02, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Laura Speaks

“So now we know who the funny member of the family is.. These are real quotes from a White House Correspondents Dinner that was held over the weekend by the way.”

"I am married to the President of the United States and here is our typical evening. Nine o'clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I am watching Desperate Housewives. With Lynne Cheney. Ladies and gentleman, I am a desperate housewife. I mean if those women on that show think they're desperate, they ought to be with George. One night after George went to bed, Lynne Cheney, Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and I went to Chippendales....I won't tell you what happened, but Lynne's Secret Service code name is now Dollar Bill."
-First Lady Laura Bush, April 30, 2005

"George always says that he's delighted to come to these press dinners. Baloney. He's usually in bed by now. I'm not kidding. I said to him the other day, George, if you really want to end tyranny in the world, you're going to have to stay up later."
-First Lady Laura Bush, April 30, 2005

"The amazing thing is that George and I were just meant to be. I was a librarian who spent 12 hours a day in the library, yet somehow I met George."
-First Lady Laura Bush, April 30, 2005

"People often wonder what my mother-in-law is really like. People think she's a sweet, grandmotherly Aunt Bee type. She's actually more like Don Corleone."
-First Lady Laura Bush, April 30, 2005

"George's answer to any problem at the ranch is to cut it down with a chainsaw. Which I think is why he and Cheney and Rumsfeld get along so well."
-First Lady Laura Bush, April 30, 2005

''All the Bushes love Kennebunkport, which is like Crawford, but without the nightlife. People ask me what it's like to be up there with the whole Bush clan. Lemme put it this way: First prize -- three-day vacation with the Bush family. Second prize -- 10 days.”
-First Lady Laura Bush, April 30, 2005

''George and I are complete opposites. I'm quiet. He's talkative. I'm introverted. He's extroverted. I can pronounce 'nuclear.'”
-First Lady Laura Bush, April 30, 2005

"I'm proud of George. He's learned a lot about ranching since that first year when he tried to milk the horse. What's worse, it was a male horse."
-First Lady Laura Bush, April 30, 2005

“Ok.. the rest of the quotes were funny, but there is something oddly disturbing about hearing the First Lady discussing the President of the United States masturbating a horse. I’m just saying..”

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