Tuesday, October 31, 2006

This is my friend Pape.

This is one of the men that made my stay in Rufisque, Senegal tolerable.  It is very difficult to maintain a healthy composure when you have noone to easily communicate with.  I can see how solitary confinement is so devastationg.  Although I had family around me all day everyday, it was difficult to communicate with them.  I’m a dumb American.  I only speak one language fluently.  The language I speak fluently is not one of the four or five languages that my family in Senegal speaks.  Each day I wondered when my mind will “click” and suddenly understand what everyone was saying around me.

It didn’t happen.  Thank GOD that this Pape was around the house most days.  If he hadn’t visited, I’d have gone crazy very easy.

In this picture, you may recognize the hanging phone cord from a series of pictures taken on that wall.  Here is another picture of that wall I posted earlier.  Aminta, in red phone series.


Posted by SPN on 10/31 at 12:32 PM in Photography
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Friday, October 27, 2006

Gov Bush debates Pres Bush

Posted by SPN on 10/27 at 08:49 AM in Politics
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Thursday, October 26, 2006

CDC Warning

The Centers for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of Sexually Transmitted Disease. The disease is contracted through dangerous and high-risk behavior. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim, pronounced “gonna re-elect ‘em.” Many victims contracted it in 2004, after having been screwed for four years.

Cognitive characteristics of individuals infected include: anti-social personality disorders; delusions of grandeur with messianic overtones; extreme cognitive dissonance; inability to incorporate new information; pronounced xenophobia, homophobia, and paranoia; inability to accept responsibility for one’s own actions; cowardice masked by misplaced bravado; uncontrolled facial smirking; ignorance of geography, history, and the correct pronunciation of “nuclear;” tendencies towards evangelical theocracy; and, categorical all-or-nothing behavior.

Naturalists and epidemiologists are amazed at how quick-spreading and destructive this disease is after originating only a few years ago from a Bush found in Texas.

Posted by Nuttshell on 10/26 at 04:32 PM in Blogging
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Friday, October 20, 2006

Why I Gave Up On Hip-Hop

SPN, I’ll be interested to see what you have to say about this commentary from last Sunday’s Washington Post.

By Lonnae O’Neal Parker
Sunday, October 15, 2006; B01

My 12-year-old daughter, Sydney, and I were in the car not long ago when she turned the radio to a popular urban contemporary station. An unapproved station. A station that might play rap music. “No way, Syd, you know better,” I said, so Sydney changed the station, then pouted.

“Mommy, can I just say something?” she asked. “You think every time you hear a black guy’s voice it’s automatically going to be something bad. Are you against hip-hop?”

Her words slapped me in the face. In a sense, she was right. I haven’t listened to radio hip-hop for years. I have no clue who is topping the charts and I can’t name a single rap song in play.

But I swear it hasn’t always been that way.

My daughter can’t know that hip-hop and I have loved harder and fallen out further than I have with any man I’ve ever known.

That my decision to end our love affair had come only after years of disappointment and punishing abuse. After I could no longer nod my head to the misogyny or keep time to the vapid materialism of another rap song. After I could no longer sacrifice my self-esteem or that of my two daughters on an altar of dope beats and tight rhymes.

No, darling, I’m not anti-hip-hop, I told her. And it’s true, I still love hip-hop. It’s just that our relationship has gotten very complicated.

When those of us who grew up with rap saw signs that it was turning ugly, we turned away. We premised our denial on a sort of good-black-girl exceptionalism: They came for the skeezers but I didn’t speak up because I’m no skeezer, they came for the freaks, but I said nothing because I’m not a freak. They came for the bitches and the hos and the tricks. And by the time we realized they were talking about bitches from 8 to 80, our daughters and our mommas and their own damn mommas, rap music had earned the imprimatur of MTV and Martha Stewart and even the Pillsbury Doughboy.

And sometimes it can seem like now, there is nobody left who is willing to speak up.

Posted by Nuttshell on 10/20 at 06:43 PM in Blogging
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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Breach of faith

Former White House insider David Kuo talks about how the Bush administration used its most loyal voters, evangelical Christians, for political gain.
By Alex Koppelman
Salon Magazine http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/10/17/kuo

Oct. 17, 2006 | The No. 2 man in the White House’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives from 2001 to 2003, Christian conservative David Kuo grew disillusioned with the Bush administration’s attempt to solve social problems with large helpings of federally funded religion. In his new book, “Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction,” Kuo tells the story of an administration that used evangelicals for purely political purposes, and that often revealed disdain for the very bloc of voters most responsible for recent Republican success. Kuo, who has also been an aide to William Bennett, an advisor to John Ashcroft, and a speechwriter for Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson and Bob Dole (as well as a chronicler of the dot-com bust), claims members of the administration often disparaged fundamentalists in private; Karl Rove, he says, referred to the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives as “the f*cking faith-based initiative.” Kuo says this cynical attitude was reflected in the way the administration actually dealt with evangelical groups, promising sweeping change and billions of dollars and never quite delivering.

Since his book was discussed on MSNBC’s “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” last week, and since he was interviewed on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday, Kuo has become a target for the ire of Republicans and Christian conservatives. Focus on the Family’s James Dobson has called “Tempting Faith” a “mix of sour grapes and political timing,” and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told the Washington Post that he “felt sorry” for Kuo. “Once you do something like this,” said Perkins, “you get your 15 minutes in the spotlight, but then after that nobody will touch you.”

Posted by Nuttshell on 10/17 at 01:33 PM in Blogging
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This is just plain stupid.  Some call it political correctness, I say it’s just plain stupid.
Schoolgirl arrested for refusing to study with non-English pupils (Daily Mail-UK)
Last updated at 10:27am on 13th October 2006

A teenage schoolgirl was arrested by police for racism after refusing to sit with a group of Asian students because some of them did not speak English.

Codie Stott’s family claim she was forced to spend three-and-a-half hours in a police cell after she was reported by her teachers.
The 14-year-old - who was released without charge - said it had been a simple matter of commonsense and accused the school and police of an over-the-top reaction.

The incident happened in the same local education authority where a ten-year-old boy was prosecuted earlier this year for calling a schoolfriend racist names in the playground, a move branded by a judge “political correctness gone mad.”

Codie was attending a GCSE science class at Harrop Fold High School in Worsley, Greater Manchester, when the incident happened.

The teenager had not been in school the day before due to a hospital appointment and had missed the start of a project, so the teacher allocated her a group to sit with.

“She said I had to sit there with five Asian pupils,” said Codie yesterday.

“Only one could speak English, so she had to tell that one what to do so she could explain in their language. Then she sat me with them and said ‘Discuss’.”

According to Codie, the five - four boys and a girl - then began talking in a language she didn’t understand, thought to be Urdu, so she went to speak to the teacher.

“I said ‘I’m not being funny, but can I change groups because I can’t understand them?’ But she started shouting and screaming, saying ‘It’s racist, you’re going to get done by the police’.”

Codie said she went outside to calm down where another teacher found her and, after speaking to her class teacher, put her in isolation for the rest of the day. 

Posted by Nuttshell on 10/17 at 10:01 AM in Blogging
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Never ask George Bush tough questions.  He’ll make you disappear.

George Bush goes to a primary school to talk to the kids, to get a little boost in his PR. After his talk he offers question time. One little boy
puts up his hand and George asks him his name.
“Stanley,” responds the little boy.
“And what is your question, Stanley?”
“I have 4 questions: First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN?
Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes?
Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?”
Fourth, why are we so worried about gay-marriage when 1/2 of all Americans don’t even have health insurance? “

Just then, the bell rings for recess. George Bush informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess. When they resume George says,
“OK, where were we? Oh, that’s right: question time. Who has a question?” Another little boy puts up his hand.
George points him out and asks him his name. “Steve,” he responds.
“And what is your question, Steve?” “Actually , I have 6 questions. First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN?
Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes?
Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?
Fourth, why are we so worried about gay marriage when 1/2 of all Americans don’t have health insurance?
Fifth, why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes Early?
And sixth, what the hell happened to Stanley?”

Posted by SPN on 10/17 at 10:27 AM in Funny Stuff
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Keith Olbermann - True Patriot

This man rocks!  I started watching him last week after hearing so many great quotes.  I also heard Ambrose I. Lane read this on his show today.  If you read nothing else, read this commentary given on Countdown on October 5, 2006

Yesterday at a fundraiser for an Arizona Congressman, Mr. Bush claimed, quote, “177 of the opposition party said ‘You know, we don’t think we ought to be listening to the conversations of terrorists.”

The hell they did.

177 Democrats opposed the President’s seizure of another part of the Constitution*.

Not even the White House press office could actually name a single Democrat who had ever said the government shouldn’t be listening to the conversations of terrorists.

President Bush hears… what he wants.

Tuesday, at another fundraiser in California, he had said “Democrats take a law enforcement approach to terrorism. That means America will wait until we’re attacked again before we respond.”

Mr. Bush fabricated that, too.

And evidently he has begun to fancy himself as a mind-reader.

“If you listen closely to some of the leaders of the Democratic Party,” the President said at another fundraiser Monday in Nevada, “it sounds like they think the best way to protect the American people is — wait until we’re attacked again.”

The President doesn’t just hear what he wants. He hears things, that only he can hear.

It defies belief that this President and his administration could continue to find new unexplored political gutters into which they could wallow.

Yet they do.

It is startling enough that such things could be said out loud by any President of this nation.

Posted by Nuttshell on 10/10 at 12:19 AM in Blogging
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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Happy Birthday SPN!

With Love - the Family

Posted by Nuttshell on 10/08 at 06:51 PM in Blogging
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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Abduction and Torture of an Innocent Man


I am here today to tell the people of Canada what has happened to me.

There have been many allegations made about me in the media, all of them by people who refuse to be named or come forward. So before I tell you who I am and what happened to me, I will tell you who I am not.

I am not a terrorist. I am not a member of al-Qaida and I do not know any one who belongs to this group. All I know about al-Qaida is what I have seen in the media.I have never been to Afghanistan. I have never been anywhere near Afghanistan and I do not have any desire to ever go to Afghanistan. Now, let me tell you who I am.

I am a Syrian-born Canadian. I moved here with my parents when I was 17 years old. I went to university and studied hard, and eventually obtained a Masters degree in telecommunications. I met my wife, Monia at McGill University. We fell in love and eventually married in 1994. I knew then that she was special, but I had no idea how special she would turn out to be.

If it were not for her, I believe I would still be in prison.  We had our first child, a daughter named Bar’a, in February 1997. She is six years old now. In December 1997, we moved to Ottawa from Montreal.

I took a job with a high-tech firm, called The MathWorks, in Boston in 1999, and my job involved a lot of travel within the U.S.  Then in 2001 I decided to come back to Ottawa to start my own consulting company. We had our second child, Houd, in February 2002. He is 20 months old now.

So this is who I am. I am a father and a husband. I am a telecommunications engineer and entrepreneur. I have never had trouble with the police and have always been a good citizen.

Posted by Nuttshell on 10/04 at 02:13 PM in Justice / Injustice
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