Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Go Arnold! 

We now know where Arnie S stands on gay marriage. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to understand the issue. He was quoted as saying: "I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman."

This is your new gov California!

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Saturday, December 27, 2003

AIDS ignorance 

The argument put forth by Islamic leaders in Somalia sound similar to Christian arguments against the distribution of condoms in US schools. Unfortunately, the AIDS epidemic is much worse in Africa, and condom use would do wonders to quell this problem.

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Darwin Awards or Dumb Crooks 

A woman was impaled on a fence. She says she was jumping the fence to return borrowed items to her neighbor. The neighbor reported being robbed, upon returning home. First of all, who jumps a fence to return something borrowed? Why not walk around to the door or just toss it over the fence for the neighbor to find? It's fishy, but which list will she grace?

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Reinstate the draft? 

Seems a Democratic Congressman from New York, and a Senator from South Carolina are proposing a bill to reinstate the draft. The arguments put forth by the Congressman (and Korean war vet) sound fairly reasonable; wanting more disparity in the ranks of the military and elimination of the middle/lower class predominance of its troops. While his arguments have a ring to it that sounds good to me and any other person looking for equality in life, the arguments put forth by others in this 'article' show a different point of view.

An interesting read for sure.

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Thursday, December 25, 2003

A victory for clean air 

Seems the courts are inclined to side with the environmentalists when it comes to the Bush administration and their ideas for 'clean air'.

The exception to the administrations poor environmental record is the Interstate Air Quality rule. This program will reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides in 30 eastern states, bringing most counties into compliance with the Clean Air Act. Even the environmentalists agree that this will be the result. This is also an act whose passage was ignored in the media. Guess no credit can be given to this administration.

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Mercedes price fixing 

An interesting article.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2003

War helping again 

Bush's approval rating is back on the rise. Helped by the capture of Hussein, his ratings have risen once again.

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Colin Powell 

Recently out of surgery for prostate cancer, Powell recently gave an interview regarding the Bush administrations efforts at diplomacy, rather than aggression. Though there are many who may feel that this administration is led by a war-crazy cowboy, many efforts have been made at diplomacy first; North Korea, Libya. In the interview, Powell sounds frustrated by the fact that their efforts at diplomacy are being overlooked. As he originally opposed the Iraq war, it is understandable that he would feel frustrated that this will most likely be the legacy of this administration.

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Gay marriages 

Ok, this topic has come to the forefront of newspapers, blogs, nightly news reports, etc. It is rumored/threatened that it will becoming the deciding issue in next year's presidential elections. I have been debating this issue back and forth in my head and with select friends. I blogged about it days ago, and here I am back at it again. Maybe this contribution will be longer and more coherent. Here's what I am thinking:

Legalize gay marriages. My reasons for supporting this have varied. I do not find gay sex agreeable. I do not know if being gay is genetic or simply deviant sexual behavior. I do believe that prohibiting a gay union restricts the rights of a gay man or woman and is discrimination, plain and simple.

For me, this issue is becoming more about equality than the moral/religious aspect. My rants started to extol the superiority of a gay union over an un-happy hetero- union. Well, a happy hetero- union is also better than an unhappy one. This argument had to be put to rest. After all, who's to say a gay couple can't be as unhappy and 'dysfunctional' as a hetero- couple?

I moved on to what I feel is a better argument. There was (and in some peoples' minds, still is) a time when blacks were seen as non-human, that denying them rights was normal and acceptable. Same with women. We have come to see this as arrogant and incorrect. Why do we not afford gay people the same respect? It seems to me that everyone wants respect and equality for all-as long as the all does not include those that they feel 'don't belong'. I think this is wrong. I think those who are so terrified of gay couples should get to know some gay people. Eliminate the ignorance, and the hatred may follow.

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Monday, December 22, 2003

More SH 

Maybe Saddam wasn't as pacified as the earlier article I reported would have you believe.

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Real McD's haters 

Recently, a woman ran over a McD's worker for not putting mayo on her burger (essentially). These guys took it one step further. It makes my animosity towards this fastfood magnate look primitive and juvenile.

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Saddam drugged? 

A British newspaper is reporting that SH was drugged by Kurds and left for US troops to find. True or not? I guess we'll find out. So far the coverage I found was minimal.

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Thursday, December 18, 2003

Amazing Grace 

Amazing Grace is a stirring song, with a beautiful melody and heart touching lyrics. However, it is little known that the author of this song was a slave trader who wrote the song after a horrific storm that left him quaking to his soul. However, he continued his chosen trade. This webpage gives a brief history of this man. I do think, however, that too much emphasis is put on his "conversion", and too little attention is paid the man's action. Even though he treated his slaves well while they were in his care, he was still a part of this horrific practice. It's interesting to me from where this song came.

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He's learning.... 

The whole gay marriage debacle (debacle in that the hypocritical indignation of certain groups and their attempt to prevent these events from happening are causing a huge outcry) has reached the President. President Bush, a very religious man, has voiced his opinion on the matter. The only problem is, it seems as though Bill Clinton wrote the speech in which he discussed this issue. You know that W is against it, but in his speech, he was not clear on any action he may or may not take. Everyone has been left in the dark, and both sides are decrying the fact that he did not support their cause. This actually amuses me.

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Every see the movie PCU? Jeremy Piven plays the irreverent lead in this movie that is about a University that has taken political correctness above and beyond any rational level. Digression-this movie was made in the early 90s. Did the writer have precognitive abilities? I think he was seeing ahead a few years.

Back to the matter at hand. A list has been compiled by Young America's Foundation of the top 10 most shameful campus events. This is a funny read.

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Monday, December 15, 2003

Wal-Mart arguments 

This is another exposing article about Wal-Mart and their practices. The quote about Sam Walton's "Buy American" and where most of WM's products are made (not the US) killed me!

However, here is a good article in defense of this corporation. It all makes you think. And in my case, throws me into a whirlwind of conflicting thoughts and confusion.

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Friday, December 12, 2003

Poor Ethiopia. They never seem to be able to catch a break.

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Thursday, December 11, 2003

Texans screwing Texans 

Now they are pissing each other off, instead of people around the world. And this time it's over water instead of oil.

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Campaign monies 

It's nice that politicians, special interest groups, corporations, and wealthy people find it so important to donate/collect (waste?) so much money for campaign reasons. I am sure there is no better way to spend these millions of dollars. I am sure there are no charities, non-profits, homeless, third world countries, etc who could put this money towards an actual beneficial use. At least now there are laws that will 'limit' how much and in what manner can be raised.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Is the pull of brand names going away? 

I can only hope this is, and continues to be, the case.

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More Halliburton 

Once again, Halliburton is in the news for their seemingly exorbitant pricing of oil. Is this a case of price gouging, or are these high "costs" really necessary to offset all their actual costs and the dangers they face?

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More Oil Exploitation 

Ecuador, a country the size of Nevada, has the lives of its 13 million people depending on oil exports for income. The US, the world's largest oil consumer, imports more oil from Latin America than from the Middle East. Put these 2 together, and you would think it would make sense for us to focus on finding and exporting more oil from this part of the world. However, the natives who benefit only marginally from the oil exports, are the ones who suffer a loss of lifestyle and home because of oil. Their pleas are ignored and as a result, some have taken to kidnapping oil workers and destroying their machinery. They have seen the northern part of their country be polluted and destroyed, supposedly by Texaco (the case against Texaco is pending), and this only serves to worsen their opinion of the oil industry. But then, who wouldn't think poorly of a corporation that is trying to destroy your life with very little concern for your well-being? One tribe has established a website to provide updates on their fight against oil.
It also tells about their people and customs.

Granted, oil folk say they can remove the oil in an environmental fashion. The question is whether or not they will. Since these indigenous people have highlighted the situation, perhaps care will be taken so as to avoid bad press. We can only hope. Then, hopefully, these people will be compensated as they have been promised.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Unsustainable Sydney 

A report has come out saying that the lifestyle in Sydney, Australia is not sustainable. A quote from the article:

"Sydney, Australia is regularly voted one of the world's best cities to live in, but a new environment report has warned its affluent lifestyle is ecologically unsustainable. The 2003 environment report on the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) says Sydney residents are wasting millions of gallons of water, demanding ever more electricity and remain car obsessed, increasing greenhouse gas emissions."

Now call me crazy, but couldn't this describe a vast majority of cities in the US? When are we going to see a study like this regarding a US city or the US itself? I guess it's ok for Aussies to criticize their own lifestyle. I don't know how well that would go over here.

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S Hussein 

He was a bad, bad man. Possibly 60,000 of his own people killed by his regime!

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I'd say justice has been served.

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Monday, December 08, 2003


In the past, Taiwan has made it clear that they want to be independent from China. Their current president is fond of pushing this issue. China, however, in no way wants this to happen. I struggle to understand why a country would be willing to go to war and kill its "own" people just to keep them under control. I know I am not a power person, but why would you force these people to be under your control when they don't want to be? It just instigates problems. And what good comes out of it, really? And I don't know that I agree with the US stepping in with our opinion. I think it'd be safer if we stayed away from this completely.

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Friday, December 05, 2003

Wal-Mart follow up 

They other day, I talked about the post-Thanksgiving shopping rush, and about a woman who was 'trampled' by everyone behind her rushing to get in. Well, some doubt has been thrown out as to the veracity of her claims. This woman has a history of filing suit against employers and Wal-Mart. Maybe holiday shoppers aren't as rabid as I thought? Nah!

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Thursday, December 04, 2003


A customer service job is not an easy job. You are constantly belittled and yelled at, usually just because you are there. But this woman went a little too far. Me thinks someone needs to cut back on the brain blocking fats...

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Is our freedom of religioun threatened? 

It is said that one of the main motivators of the pilgrims was to venture to the ‘new world’ to find a refuge from religious persecution in England/Europe. A hell of an idea, and a great premise to found a new community on. Supposedly, ours is still the most free country when it comes to providing the freedom to worship the greater power of your choice. However, I am beginning to doubt that this is true. I am starting to feel as though we are impinging on these rights, and that our ability to worship how we choose is slowly being stripped away. How can I say this? I have a couple of reasons.

Let’s look at the drama surrounding the use of the phrase “under God”. This phrase is in the Pledge of Allegiance, on our currency and in the Constitution. Although I don’t really agree with the venue chosen, the atheist man in California who went to court over the use of this phrase in public schools had a point. His ‘religion’, is atheism. While this is not a church, and atheists don’t convene to discuss how there is no god, it is a belief structure. Is this not covered under the 1st Amendment? Why are atheists denied the same rights that a practicing Christian has? That is contrary to the 1st Amendment, and it contradicts the “freedom of religion” message many devout Christians claim to espouse.

One of Alabama’s ex-Chief Justice’s was recently removed from his position as the result of his placing a monument for the 10 Commandments in the State Judicial building. Actually, let me clarify-he was stripped of his position-not for displaying this 2.6 ton granite monument, but because he ignored the ruling of a higher court that deemed it an illegal display and left it where it was. His claim was that this country was founded on Christian beliefs and therefore it should be allowed. However, while I do think the Commandments have a good message in them, they are a Christian based set of beliefs. Let me again call attention to atheists, polytheists, or many eastern religions. This man claimed his rights were being squelched, yet he failed to consider not only the Constitution (separation of Church and State), but the rights of people who DO NOT share his views.

Now let’s toss the idea of gay marriage around. First of all, I applaud the State of Massachusetts for ruling that gay marriage is not illegal. Why is this idea opposed by so many? What group is most vocal in condemning this practice? People who believe in the Bible, and the devoutly religious or various faiths. Let me pose this question-when it is said that these people are destroying the sanctity of marriage, what is this based on? Oh yeah-God saying that homosexuality is wrong. Well, what if you have a different faith? Is this not another instance of forcing a person of a different religion to accept what you believe to be true? I won’t get into this topic too deeply, that’s another blog. But I am not sure I’ve heard any mention as to this aspect. If I were an atheist, I would care less that YOUR god in YOUR book doesn’t agree with my lifestyle. After all, western religions and beliefs are looked upon with scorn by many other religions. Why is this different?

These are just a couple of examples of what I see as the squelching of religious rights in this country. Too many people are more than willing to mount their soapbox in defense of THEIR way of life; to defile non-believers or believers of another creed as un-American and evil. I think this is a travesty. I am glad many people are so staunchly supportive of their faith. But they need to practice the tolerance they demand for themselves. I am not sure how or if we can convince these people that they are acting in a way they would deem unacceptable if it were enacted upon them. They need to remember, and practice the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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More corporate misconduct 

Have you heard of Dennis Kozlowski? Until last year he was running TYCO, a company employing 260,000 people, and worth more than Ford and General Motors combined. He and the former CFO are now on trial for looting $600 million in unauthorized bonuses and loans from the company. Want a $6,000 wastebasket or $15,000 umbrella stand? Ask Dennis. He knows where to find them.

It's amazing to me that a trial for a crime this large is proceeding almost completely under the radar. I had not heard about until I snooped around and found this article.

This man is a study in excess, and power gone bad. I wonder if he has any daughters....

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View into a Fundamentalist Islamist's Mind 

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan for this quote. This quote is from and interview with Syed Munawar Hasan. He is the leader of Pakistan's Islamist political party. The interview was conducted by the Asia Times Online. When you read it, think of our country's approach and dealings with Muslim countries. Furthermore, think of Bush's. I wonder if he realizes this? I wonder, maybe, that Bush's multitudinous mentioning of his faith actually gains him back a little respect from Muslims, just based on the fact that he does appear to be deeply religious? Interesting and educational quote for us.

ATO: "You reckon that there are so many contradictions between the West and the Muslim world, is there any chance of reconciliation and dialogue between the two civilizations?"
Munawar: "There is none. The basic concepts of both civilizations are in total contrast with each other. When I say this I do not address Western civilization as Christianity. I speak of a man-made system completely devoid of divine guidance. Our concepts of God, human beings, the universe, are totally in contrast with the concepts of the Western world. We cannot segregate human lives into private and public, our lives are ruled by divine guidance, not by man-made rules based on his own prejudices and specific mindset characterized by its own dilemmas and shortcomings. Our concept of the universe is not materialistic, and the result of an 'accident'. Instead, it was a very well thought out process envisaged by the creator of the universe with a plan. So these basic concepts have made the difference between ours and Western approaches."

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Do the crime, pay the time 

We are continuously hearing about people going to trial for a crime they may or may not have committed. Some of these people made the mistake of letting their crimes be captured on film. I am wondering how these people can stand before a judge in a court of law (where you take an oath if called to the stand and the truth is expected under threat of perjury and jail time) and plead innocent to a crime that has video or photographical proof that they committed. Or, they have committed a crime to which they could not possibly be innocent, yet they plead that way regardless. A case in point:

South Dakota Senator Janklow was recently charged with killing a motorcyclist with his car. These facts are known-the Senator’s car hit and killed a motorcyclist. The Senator was driving. He and his car were moving at approximately 70mph when it/they broadsided the motorcycle. The intersection where this occurred has stop signs on only one of the intersection roads-the one the Senator was driving on. This Senator has a long history of speeding tickets, near misses and accidents; since 1990 he’s had a dozen tickets and was involved in four accidents. Nearly a year ago, the Senator almost caused a similar accident-at the same intersection! For this he did not get a ticket even though the police were called and investigated. Makes you wonder what his traffic record would look like had he been given all the tickets he deserved. He is not a good driver, and has gotten away with his vehicular transgressions because of his position. These are facts. My question is this-how the hell can he plead innocent? He killed a man because he is a terrible driver. He knows this. We all know this. The dead man’s family knows this. And they have to hear him plead innocent to this crime? That has to be heart-wrenching for them! How could this man not be guilty? How can he not have the cojones to plead innocent, like a grown man, and take the punishment coming to him? His pleading innocent is an insult to the man who has been killed and to his family. To me, this act negates ANY apology he may have issued or any remorse he claimed to have felt. It makes me sick to see someone show such blatant disregard for another person and for the law, especially when said person has been chosen to represent American people and uphold the law! I despise this man for how he is reacting to his actions. Apparently he found his previous transgressions laughable and not nearly serious enough. Perhaps my being a motorcyclist lends me to being more riled over this event as I have dealt with idiots and their disregard for me on the roadway.

Again I digress. My point is question is how people who are known to be wrong can plead innocent. I suppose it’s not wanting to pay for their crimes (even if they support the laws that make these actions illegal) and hoping that some error will be made that will enable them to be acquitted of their crimes sans penalty. Disgusting, even worse when done by a public official.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2003

This is pretty funny. You gotta hand it to President Bush. He sure knows how to joke and be the butt of a joke.

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Christmas Conspiracy 

I've decided that this Christmas idea terrifies me. Here's why:

Let's ignore the commercialism that superseded the original reason for being decadent (Christ's supposed birth) and the sterility that has been forced upon the holiday.

What is the pagan holiday? Santa Clause (aka-Kris Kringle, Sinter Claus, etc) brings toys and happiness to all the girls and boys in the world. Spreading messages of peace, love, harmony, blah blah blah. Let's explore in depth:

Who makes all the toys? The elves. Might this be the original sweat shop? How are they compensated for their efforts? They have to be slaves-why else would they be in the North Pole.

Who pulls and guides the sleigh? The reindeer. Why hasn't PETA stepped up yet on this issue? A wild animal forced into indentured servitude? That ain't right.

What does Santa do? Not much.

He spies on people all year (anyone remember the Commie scare and J. Edgar Hoover?) deciding who has been good and who has been bad, essentially forcing his value system (which doesn't seem so high) on the rest of the world. Not to mention the fact that he is peeking into your window seeing who knows what. Maybe he bases a kid's goodness based on his parents' proclivity for undressing and doing dirty things.

He takes credit for the work of his elf slaves. They make all the toys while he sits around, hand in pants, swilling Old Crow looking into peoples' homes with his extra strength telescope. I'll bet he doesn't even shower or wash his Santa Suit for most of the year.

He probably beats his wife-why else would she hang around this pervert in a place as inhospitable as the North Pole? Speaking of the NP, what better place to set up shop and ensure low employee turnover? Too cold to run away. Plus, there is nothing to do all year long except slave away at making toys and babies (aka-future employees).

A bowlful of jello? Of course he's a big fat tub of goo. He doesn't do a dang thing all year (except the above mentioned atrocities) until the night before Christmas. Then he capitalizes on the birth of Christ (and peoples' greediness) and goes around distributing the efforts of his slaves' hard work. In reward for being a lazy slob, he gets to fill his burgeoning gut on the goodies left for him!

My Conclusions

Santa is a slave driving, perverted man, possibly into spousal abuse and child porn. A peeping tom at the least. Perhaps he is also the head of the largest most influential militia in history. Who knows what they are really doing up there, but Santa (rearrange the words and you get Satan) controls the minds of millions. That is terrifying.

Somebody let Bush know. Santa/Satan may have weapons of mass destruction. At the least, we need to invade for the sake of his slaves/prisoners and poor Mrs. Clause, who are unable to speak for themselves. We also have to do it to protect ourselves and our children! We have let him control us for too long! Who knows what evil plans his twisted frost covered mind has constructed! We must act!

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Tuesday, December 02, 2003

More Hillary 

Another brilliantly insightful comment by the former First Lady. This time, she decided to say that the war part of our stay in Iraq was the easy part. I am sure the soldiers that were there when it was still considered a war really appreciate this comment. I wonder how the families of those that were killed felt about it?

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Does Sharon or Palestine really want peace? Or are they stalling the process to continue their "religious" fight?

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Disney update 

A Disney board member resigned recently, and in his resignation letter he blasted Michael Eisner and the actions of the rest of the board. He cited undeserved bonuses, raises, incentives for Eisner (CEO and Chairman of the Board) and other execs. He discusses the forced retirement of Roy Disney. He brings to light the greater emphasis put on squelching bad stories and information than improving the company. It's an interesting letter, and highlights the problems in the Disney company today. Is he a bitter ex-employee? Possibly. But as he is not the only source of these excerpts, the letter does retain its validity.

Here is another article on the subject. This one has quotes from the remaining members of the board, and more about Roy Disney. As a company that prefers to squelch dissent and bad reviews, I have a hard time taking the comments from the board seriously. It's sad that a company that plays such a huge part in the lives of many people has such poor standards and little respect for something as simple as free speech.

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Monday, December 01, 2003

Space photos 

These are some great pictures of the sun.

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Kabul Jane Fonda? 

Interesting. I never really liked or trusted the former first lady, and I think these comments are bad, though not as bad as they could be. Disheartening your own troops is a ridiculous thing to do. Was it done out of frustration at the war being launched, or in an attempt to discredit Bush and get a Democrat (her?) into the White House? Either way, that is a terrible thing to do. That is what opponents are supposed to do, not your "allies".

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The almighty dollar 

The Friday after Thanksgiving is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. There are myriad sales which makes it a great time to get your holiday shopping done, and the amount of money being spent in mind-boggling. For example, Wal-Mart sold $1.52 BILLION in products nationwide.

However, the story that really caught my attention was this one. Apparently, people were in such a hurry to take advantage of a huge DVD player sale, that when the doors open, the woman in front was trampled repeatedly, even though the woman's sister was trying to help her up. She ended up being hospitalized. All of this for a DVD player? This is one of the things that frustrates me about people. These shoppers were so blinded by greed that they were willing to kill someone, essentially, FOR A DVD PLAYER! It's not as though it was a food line, and these were starving people. It was an entertainment piece! The fact that a piece of electronics took precedence over a person's life is despicable. I think it would be great if they could take the security video and identify the tramplers, and hold them responsible for what they did-make them pay this woman's hospital bills. And take their precious DVD players back.

Question-would the trampled woman have behaved any different had it been someone other than her on the ground?

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"Disney" against Disney 

Michael Eisner has been president of Disney for about 20 years now. Roy Disney, nephew of founder Walt, helped deliver him to his current position of power. That move has now hurt Roy. Seems Roy, who has become an Eisner critic openly calling for Eisner to step down from his position, is being forced into retirement. There have been Disney (Eisner?) employees who have seen their positions terminated for what they claim are invalid reasons-such as reporting the news that is not Disney biased/white-washed. It would seem that this is another case. Only this time, the person being forced out is the "last Disney family member and a prominent critic of Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Eisner". That is sad to see. A phrase that comes to my mind is: megalomaniacal hinderer of free speech. It also makes me wonder if some day the "Wonderful World of Disney" will become the "Wonderful World of Eisner".

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Name: Corey
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I'm on a journey with no destination. The path is constantly changing direction but there are always adventures to be had. "Never" and "always" have left my lexicon.

WWW http:/www.jimspeak.blogspot.com