Articles of Interest, January 11th, 2008

Danielle Arlow of Minnesota weeps as Democratic presidential ...

I Just wanted to share this picture from an Obama Supporter.  Says A lot if you ask me….

Obama, Clinton Go for Black Vote in SC

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — In beauty shops, churches and living rooms, organizers for Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are in a fierce competition for the support of black voters in the upcoming first-in-the-South presidential primary.

Obama’s campaign is counting on blacks who traditionally make up half of the Democratic primary voters here to deliver the state to him on Jan. 26, a victory that he hopes will help fuel momentum going into the “Mega Tuesday” voting in 22 states 10 days later. But he’ll have to fend off Clinton, who comes with one of the most beloved political surnames in the black community.

The outreach is especially targeted at black women, who are reliable voters and who both campaigns recognize may feel loyalties to each candidate. And so far women have made the difference in the campaign — Obama won a majority of women in Iowa and took the state, while Clinton took most women and most votes overall in New Hampshire.

Juanita Edwards is one such voter. She came to see both candidates when they campaigned near her hometown of Simpsonville and still feels torn about which to vote for. Edwards said she’s leaning toward Clinton because she likes that she had exposure to international affairs and health care during her time as first lady. But race and gender are on her mind too.

“I definitely respect the opportunity to vote for the first woman president and the first African-American president,” she said. “If I have to lean toward one, I always lean toward a strong, intelligent woman.”

In the early days of the primary race last year, Clinton had the advantage in polls here and she’s won over many influential black leaders. But Obama has been able to turn that around, partly by establishing his credentials with the Iowa victory.

“What’s important to a lot of African-Americans in general and certainly in South Carolina is that he’s not a symbolic candidate,” said David Bositis, an analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. “He’s in it to win.”

Obama has courted South Carolina voters through a labor-intensive effort aimed at black communities. He has a large campaign staff that tries to win over preachers and barbers who hold sway in the community, and those organizers also hold meetings with small groups of people — mostly women — in their homes.

The message has a different focus than it did in Iowa and New Hampshire, where almost all voters are white. It stresses Obama’s civil rights work, his faith and the struggles he faced growing up, only to end up in Ivy League schools.

“Dream of a president who was raised like Barack was by a single mom who had to work and go to school and raise her kids and accept food stamps once in a while,” the candidate’s wife, Michelle Obama, said on a visit to the state in November. “Imagine a president who knows what that’s like.”

It’s a story that Deborah Williams says she shares with the two sons that she’s raised on her own.

“He’s an example of somebody who was raised by a single parent and came out on top and still cares for somebody else,” she said. “That’s what I always tell my sons; you have to care for others and you have to get your education.”

Williams, who came to the College of Charleston on Thursday to see Obama speak, said she will vote for him in the primary, even though at first she was backing Clinton.

“Initially I was supporting her because I must say I’m a Bill Clinton fan,” said Williams, an elementary school teacher’s assistant. “But then Barack came along and had all the things to say about change.”

John Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, endorsed Obama here on Thursday to send a message to South Carolina voters that Obama is not simply a candidate for blacks, but one who crosses the racial divide. It also could tell black voters who haven’t been reassured by Obama’s win in Iowa that he’s a candidate who can be embraced by white America.

The Clintons have yet to announce a visit to South Carolina after her win in New Hampshire, and Obama advisers say they wonder whether she’s going to campaign in the state. There’s a theory that she could skip it, then argue that he was able to win because it was a predominantly black election.

Clinton adviser Minyon Moore said that won’t happen. “It’s her intention to be in South Carolina and work for every vote there,” Moore said. “I can assure you that she’s not abandoning South Carolina. There are trips being planned.”

Asked how Obama was able to chip away at Clinton’s lead among black voters, Moore pointed to a rally last month that drew nearly 30,000 to see the Illinois senator and his most famous friend. “He did have a lovely event with Oprah Winfrey, and we do credit him with that,” she said.

Obama advisers say it’s unlikely Oprah will make it back to campaign. But spouses of both candidates could help. Bill Clinton would be a powerful draw should the campaign decide to send him. Michelle Obama plans to campaign next week in Georgetown, S.C., her maternal grandfather’s hometown.

On the Net:

A statue of Saint Hieronymus is seen as President Bush is greeted by Franciscans as he walks out of St. Catherine's Church during a visit to the Church of the Nativity, traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2008. Bush spent the day in the West Bank and met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and then flew by helicopter to the biblical town of Bethlehem to visit the church. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer,Pool)

Bush predicts Mideast peace treaty

RAMALLAH, West Bank – President Bush, summing up meetings with both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, said Thursday that a peace accord will require “painful political concessions” by each. Resolving the status of Jerusalem will be hard, he said, and he called for the end of the “occupation” of Arab land by the Israeli military.

“Now is the time to make difficult choices,” Bush said after a first-ever visit to the Palestinian territories, which followed separate meetings with Israeli leaders in Jerusalem the day before.

Bush is in the Mideast for eight days, trying to bolster his goal of achieving a long-elusive peace agreement by the end of his presidency in a year. Speaking at his hotel in Jerusalem, he said again that he thinks that is possible.

“I am committed to doing all I can to achieve it,” Bush said. Within minutes, Bush’s national security adviser Stephen Hadley said the president would return to the Middle East “at least once and maybe more” over the next year. He wouldn’t elaborate on possible destinations.

  • Really….So now President Bush is Nostradamus? Seriously, the only way peace can happen is if those whom say they are committed to peace actually enforce and enact their positions. Who’s going to stop Israel from continued illegal occupations? How can you have a two-state solution, when the borders of Palestine are not protected and respected as the sovereign territory of another nation? When you can build walls, settlements, and checkpoints in another’s country, how can you even seriously talk borders? Can Canada just build a settlement in upstate New York? Can Canadian Police kick in a Virginia home door and arrest whom they will and lock them up in Canada?

Old woman

Drug ‘can reverse Alzheimer’s symptoms in minutes’

A drug used for arthritis can reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s “in minutes”.

It appears to tackle one of the main features of the disease – inflammation in the brain.

The drug, called Enbrel, is injected into the spine where it blocks a chemical responsible for damaging the brain and other organs.

A pilot study carried out by U.S. researchers found one patient had his symptoms reversed “in minutes”.

Other patients have shown some improvements in symptoms such as forgetfulness and confusion after weekly injections over six months.

The study of 15 patients with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s has just been published in the Journal of Neuroinflammation by online publishers Biomed Central.

The experiment showed that Enbrel can deactivate TNF (tumour necrosis factor) – a chemical in the fluid surrounding the brain that is found in Alzheimer’s sufferers.

When used by arthritis sufferers, the drug is self-administered by injection and researchers had to develop a way of injecting it into the spine to affect the brain cells.

Sue Griffin, a researcher at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said: ‘It is unprecedented to see cognitive and behavioural improvement in a patient with established dementia within minutes of therapeutic intervention.

  • I pray this is a success. Having lost my great grandmother to this disease I would love to see a day when no more suffer in this manner.

LAS VEGAS STOP: Clinton pitch hits home

Democratic hopeful goes door to door

People in the Las Vegas neighborhood saw all the cameras and trucks and buses and police on the streets Thursday, and they began to trickle out of their houses to find out what was going on.Soon, as a sherbet-orange desert sunset filled the sky, they got their answer, as New York Sen. Hillary Clinton began walking up the street of low-slung houses near Eastern and Washington avenues, accompanied by the area’s representative, state Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen.

Clinton hugged Kihuen around the shoulders and asked about his family, and then the two began knocking on doors, the same doors Kihuen knocked on nearly two years ago in his first campaign. Clinton spent more than an hour in the predominantly Hispanic and black neighborhood.

Gilberto Santana, 38, sat on the edge of a chair as Clinton sat on the brown leather sofa in his living room next to his wife and two young children.

Santana told Clinton how his wife, Elizabeth, a housekeeper on the Strip, was barely supporting the family single-handedly while he was unable to work for two months because of an operation.

“We’re sort of struggling,” he said. “We’re getting there, but you have to be strong to make it.”

Clinton asked the couple questions about their mortgage and his disability payments, and answered his questions about immigration and the war and health care costs.

Stroking the 4-year-old girl’s head, Clinton said, “I feel so strongly that if we don’t take care of our children, we don’t take care of our future.”

Santana said, “We are going to do everything we can to make sure that everyone in Las Vegas votes for you.”

  • hmmm…..well it’s definitely a good gesture. Candidates should get out and meet the people face to face.

Republican Party presidential debate at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center

Iran dominates Republican presidential debate in conservative South Carolina

The wide-open and unpredictable Republican presidential race moved to religiously conservative South Carolina last night with a debate dominated by Iran and Ronald Reagan.

The five candidates still in the running, holding a debate in a state whose primary on Saturday January 19 could determine the nomination, argued who best embodied the legacy of Ronald Reagan and talked belligerently about Tehran.

John McCain, boosted by his comeback victory in New Hampshire on Wednesday, and Mitt Romney, severely damaged after losing the first two nominating contests, also went after each other ahead of Tuesday’s primary in Michigan, a showdown that could kill off either campaign.

Mr McCain, who emerged from the debate unscathed, received a further boost with new polls showing him leading in both Michigan and South Carolina.

  • I don’t know why, but if we happen to think warring with Iran is a good thing….well it would be quite obvious we learned nothing from Rome.

PETA Requests Vegetarian Diet in Jail for Cannibalism Suspect
Sheriff’s officials were astounded Thursday by a letter requesting the man accused of murdering his girlfriend and possibly participating in cannibalism be placed on a vegetarian diet to keep him from being “involved in any senseless killing” while incarcerated.

The letter was faxed to the Smith County Sheriff’s Jail from the national headquarters of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Thursday morning.
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McCuin Had History Of Violence

Cannibalism Suspect: ‘God Told Me to Do It’

Friends Remember Jana Shearer

Murder Suspect Had Lengthy Criminal Record

UPDATE: Suspect Charged in ‘Brutal’ Murder

RECENT CANNIBALISM CASES

  • 2006: Purcell, Okla.
  • 2006: England
  • 2003: Germany
  • 2002: Germany
  • Wikipedia: Jeffrey Dahmer
  • The Tyler Morning Telegraph received a copy of the letter before officials and notified Sheriff J.B. Smith.
    “You have to be kidding me, right?” was his initial reaction to the news of the letter asking the jail to feed Christopher Lee McCuin, 25, a special vegetarian diet and no meat.
    McCuin is jailed for the murder of 21-year-old Jana Shearer and authorities have said, in previous stories, that when McCuin was taken into custody there was an ear boiling in a pot of water on the stove and a plate on the kitchen table with what appeared to be human flesh and a fork.

    “It is up to you to prevent McCuin from contributing to any more suffering and death by placing him on a healthy, humane vegetarian diet,” the letter by PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich reads.

    In a phone interview with the Tyler Paper Thursday, Friedrich responded the letter was serious and was not intended to be funny nor take away from the brutal death suffered by Ms. Shearer.
    “Like humans, animals are made of flesh, blood, and bone. They have the same five senses that we do, and they have the same capacity to experience suffering and fear. And all animals share the desire to live their lives free of pain and to avoid a violent death,” he said.
    Friedrich said his organization hoped to help Smith County prepare a nutritional vegetarian menu and possibly help organize a menu for the entire jail population.
    But Smith said that will never happen. “I told (Gary) Pinkerton, the jail administrator, McCuin would be treated like any other prisoner and would be fed like everyone else,” he said. “The Texas Jail Commission mandates how we feed the prisoners and if I fed him differently I would violate his rights and PETA is asking me to break the law and I won’t do that.”
    When asked how eating a hamburger compared to cannibalism, Friedrich said all meat is from a corpse. He further stated he believes McCuin could become violent if he ate meat and could kill.
    “Only in a culture where people routinely kill and eat living, feeling beings would anyone even think to kill and eat a human loved one,” he said.
    Smith said that in all of his years as sheriff there has not been one case of cannibalism in his jail, much less cannibalism caused by serving meat to the prisoners.

    “Nope, that has never happened,” he said. “Besides (McCuin) is isolated so the only person he’s going to bite is himself.”

    • Has PETA lost their minds? Once again, another case of when causes get radical and become devoid of logic in the process.

    First snow for 100 years falls on Baghdad

    Light snow fell in Baghdad early on Friday in what weather officials said was the first time in about a 100 years. Rare snowfalls were also recorded in the west and centre of Iraq, plunging temperatures to zero degrees Centigrade (32 degrees Fahrenheit) and even colder, an official said.

    The snow in Baghdad, which melted as it hit the ground, began falling before dawn and continued until after 9 am, residents said.

    “Snow has fallen in Baghdad for the first time in about a century as a result of two air flows meeting,” said a statement by the meteorology department.

    “The first one was cold and dry and the second one was warm and humid. They met above Iraq.”

    The director of the meteorology department, Dawood Shakir, told AFP that climate change was possibly to blame for the unusual event.

    “It’s very rare,” he said. “Baghdad has never seen snow falling in living memory.

    “These snowfalls are linked to the climate change that is happening everywhere. We are finding some places in the world which are warm and are supposed to be cold.”

    Snow was also reported in the mountainous Kurdish north of the country, where falls are common.

    • Yeah, climate change is a Myth alright! No wait, this happens all the time, so it should be expected! 🙂

    Twins separated at birth marry each other WITHOUT knowing they are brother and sister

    Twins separated at birth have married each other without realising they were brother and sister, it has been revealed.The British couple have now been granted an annulment after a special High Court hearing. Judges ruled the marriage had never validly existed.

    Full details of how the brother and sister fell in love and married have been kept secret, along with their identities.

    But it has emerged that they were separated soon after birth.

    Each was then adopted by different families but neither was told they had a twin.

    The couple had no idea they were blood relatives until after their wedding, a report in today’s Evening Standard revealed.

    The case was heard recently in the High Court’s Family Division.

    Experts warn that it highlights the need for the rights of children to know the identity of their parents to be strengthened.

    • Can you imagine that! My only question is, weren’t they a “little” freaked out at the fact that they looked so much alike? 🙂

    Why Islam rejects lying and deception in all forms

    BY SUMAYYAH MEEHAN

    11 January 2008

    “O you who believe! Fear Allah, and be with those who are true (in words and deeds).”(9:119)

    WHAT do you do if one of your dearest friends asks you if he or she looks fat in a certain outfit? Or if one of your relatives asks you about a very sensitive issue that, if you reply to the query, will cause humiliation to you and your family? In these circumstances, most of us would opt to tell a ‘white lie’, which according to society, is not a ‘real’ lie since you are telling it only to prevent someone from getting hurt or to protect yourself.

    However, the line between ‘white lies’ and other kinds of lies is constantly being blurred. Why? Because it is easier and sometimes quicker to simply lie than to engage in a more productive discourse.

    Islam rejects lying in all forms. However, there are a few instances where even Islam allows lying for the sake of brotherhood, which I will discuss later. Lying is something that almost everyone does, both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. We sometimes lie without even meaning to do it! Like if an annoying neighbour calls on the phone and you tell your child to say that you are in the shower or otherwise indisposed so you don’t get stuck on the phone for an hour. That’s a lie. Other lies are more evil and salacious.

    Someone might tell a lie in order to get a better job. Isn’t it routine for many job seekers to embellish their CVs just a bit to get noticed? This type of lie might land a person a coveted job but it also might make someone else, who has the proper credentials, lose out on the position simply because they have been more truthful. And what about lies concocted against Allah and His Final Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)? These lies are the most evil of all and created by the enemies of Islam who want to tarnish the Final Revelation from Allah at all costs.

    Being truthful and trustworthy is among the greatest virtues a human can possess. Lying leads to corruption and deceit. For example, just take a look at how many politicians across the world have been elected as pillars of trust by the denizens of their states only to be hauled off to jail towards the end of their term due to corruption and blatant lying. They lied to get elected and those lies snowballed into other vices like misappropriating government funds or engaging in illicit deeds.

    The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise. A man will keep speaking the truth and striving to speak the truth until he will be recorded with Allah as a siddeeq (speaker of the truth). Beware of telling lies, for lying leads to immorality and immorality leads to Hellfire. A man will keep telling lies and striving to tell lies until he is recorded with Allah as a liar.” (Muslim)

    During his life, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was known as Al Amin, or ‘The Honest’, his entire life before he even received his mission as Allah’s final Prophet at the age of 40. Muhammad (pbuh) was so trusted in his community that people kept their valuables with him because he was the only one they could trust!

    There are, however, a few choice instances where lying is acceptable in Islam. The reason they are acceptable is not to cheat or be deceptive with others but rather as a benefit and sometimes even a saving grace.

    The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Lying is not permitted except in three cases: a man speaking to his wife to make her happy; lying in times of war; and lying in order to reconcile between people.” (Tirmidhi)

    While these types of lying are tolerated, it is crucial not to step over the bounds of what is and is not acceptable. For instance, if a woman asks her husband if he is having an affair and the husband lies and says that he isn’t (when he is) to make her ‘happy’, this is not a permissible lie and actually not what the above hadith permits. This is a deceptive lie that the husband is using to serve his own agenda. However, if a woman asks her husband if she is the ‘salt of the Earth’ and everything he imagined his wife would be (but he does not think she is at all), it is permissible for him to lie in the affirmative to please her, which in turn will create even more affection between them. The same applies during war. If a prisoner is captured by the enemy and perhaps asked how many soldiers are with his army, he can lie about the number in order to protect his own fighters. As for reconciling people, this type of lying is not meant to inflict harm but rather to be beneficial. For example, if someone accidentally reveals a secret about his brother to a third party and the brother finds out, it is permissible for a lie to be told so that the brothers will not break their ties of kinship over the mistake. However, lying about other things like property rights or things of that nature would not be permissible given again that they serve a greedy agenda that has nothing to do with maintaining the family bond.

    Lies often roll off the human tongue just as fast as moths are attracted to an open flame, the consequences of both are sometimes equally flammable. Being truthful is an endearing quality that we all would be blessed to attain in our lifetime and is a commodity that is becoming more scarce in this world as the hands of time relentlessly spin round and round.

    Sumayyah Meehan is a Kuwait-based American writer who embraced Islam. She can be reached at abidhjs@msn.com


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