Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Woman Sues Wal-Mart Over Daughters Suicide

It just doesn't get any more ridiculous than this:

DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- Near the end of her short life, Shayla Stewart, a diagnosed manic-depressive and schizophrenic, assaulted police officers and was arrested for attacking a fellow customer at a Denton Wal-Mart where she had a prescription for anti-psychotic medication.

Given all those signs, her parents say, another Wal-Mart just seven miles away should have never sold her the shotgun she used to kill herself at age 24 in 2003.

Her mother, Lavern Bracy, is suing the world's biggest store chain for $25 million, saying clerks should have known about her daughter's illness or done more to find out.

The case, filed earlier this month, has reignited a debate over the confidentiality of mental health records and the effectiveness of background checks on would-be buyers of guns.

"We know that if they had so much as said, `Why do you want this?' we would not be having this conversation because Shayla would have had a meltdown," said her stepfather, Garrett Bracy.

The Bracys said Wal-Mart's gun department could have checked Wal-Mart's own security files or the pharmacy department's prescription records before selling her the weapon.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Christi Gallagher declined to comment on the lawsuit.

But pharmacy prescription records are confidential under a 1996 federal law, so stores cannot use them when deciding whether to sell a gun.

Also, Wal-Mart did a background check on Stewart, as required under federal law, but through no fault of its own, her name did not show up in the FBI database. The reason: The database contains no mental health records from Texas and 37 other states.

Texas does not submit mental health records because state law deems them confidential, said Paul Mascot, an attorney with the Texas Department of State Health Services. Other states have not computerized their record-keeping systems or do not store them in a central location for use by the FBI.

Federal law prohibits stores from selling guns to people who, like Stewart, have a history of serious mental illness.

Would-be buyers must fill out a form that asks about mental health. Stewart, who had been involuntarily committed to an institution and declared dangerously mentally ill by a judge, lied on that form, according to her mother's attorney's office. Wal-Mart ran a background check anyway, as required by federal law.

Michael Faenza, president and chief executive of the National Mental Health Association, applauds Texas' refusal to share information with the FBI database. He said it would not be fair to violate patients' privacy when there is no data to support claims that mentally ill people are more violent than others.

"The tragedies that families face when people are killed is terrible. And frankly I wish handguns were not so available in this country," he said. "But it's not right, in our minds, to make social policy based on just a few cases."

Garrett Bracy couldn't disagree more.

He and his wife watched his stepdaughter's six-year decline from straight-A high school student to violent and unpredictable stranger. She was hospitalized five times, twice under court orders. Her longest hospitalization, lasting a month, came in 2002 after she refused to leave her room or take her medication.

The suggestion that Wal-Mart should have checked prescription records infuriates Erich Pratt, a spokesman for the Virginia-based group Gun Owners of America.

"Does that mean mental illness prevents everyone on Prozac from owning a gun? Or women with PMS?" he said.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York, who ran for Congress after her husband was killed and son wounded in 1993 by a gunman on a Long Island Rail Road train, wants to strengthen the federal background check system by encouraging states to share mental health records. She has introduced legislation that would give states grants to automate and turn over the information.

She drafted the bill after a priest and a parishioner were shot to death by a schizophrenic man in a New York church in 2002. He, too, should not have been allowed to buy a gun.

"When you see these deaths that could have been prevented it's a shame," McCarthy said.

As the Bracys prepare for another Christmas without their daughter, they are urging lawmakers to support McCarthy's bill and dealers to conduct their own background checks.

"Lavern went to the store the other day to buy over-the-counter headache sinus medication and they limited the amount of sinus medication she could buy at one time," her husband said, his voice trembling with emotion. "But Shayla can walk into a store and buy a gun and they could care less. That's got to change."

Apparently Wal-Mart is to extend there services offered to that nanny also. That's just wonderful. Now we have two different liberal agendas at odds here. On one side you have the gun control freaks, and on the other the "right to privacy" extremists. Of course what it will boil down to is that both sides will just end up attacking gun rights, as they always do.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

A Man's "Right to Choose"

Paul over onThe Right Side of the Rainbow has an excellent post about why Roe Vs. Wade was such an abhorrent decision. It's one point that is rarely, if ever made in the choice vs life argument.

With the Holidays Coming Up

I thought it would be appropriate to put up a little Christmas music, by one of my favorites, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I recommend my personal favorite, Christmas in Sarajevo. Watch, listen, enjoy.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Band Booted out of Anti-Drug Assembly

You would think that if a band were booted out of an anti-drug assembly it's because it turns out they were doing drugs or some such thing. Wrong. The band Pawn was told they could not perform at their highschool's optional anti-drug assembly because they were...say it with me now...christians. Those evil, bible thumping God lovers.

In my best Paul Harvey voice, here's.....the rest of the story.

Rossford High School officials were considering letting a Christian rock band play during an anti-drug assembly next week, but decided yesterday to cancel the performance because of concerns over having religious music played in a public school.
"We are just shutting the whole thing down," Rossford Superintendent Luci Gernot said. "There is some controversy, and I'd rather err on this side."

The school district's law firm, Whalen & Compton of Akron told school officials yesterday that it "wasn't appropriate" to let the band Pawn perform at the school, Ms. Gernot said.

A representative of the law firm could not be reached for comment last night.

Pawn's songs regularly make reference to Jesus and God, said David Kleeberger, the band's manager who is also a member of the Rossford school board.

Mr. Kleeberger is the father of band member Kyle Kleeberger, a senior at Rossford High.

"I'm between a rock and a hard place because I represent the schools," Mr. Kleeberger said. "I don't want anyone suing the schools over this."

Students would have had the option of whether or not to attend the band's performance, which was going to be held during school hours.

Students who chose not to attend the performance would either go to a study hall or view an anti-drug-themed movie in the school auditorium.

Donna Chiarelott, whose son is a senior at the school, objected to the band's performance.

"I think there is a place for Christian bands, and schools aren't where they belong," Ms. Chiarelott said. "Maybe most people don't really see anything wrong with it, but there is a line and this is crossing it. I'm amazed they even considered it." (So much for the first amendment)

Ms. Gernot said she did not see the harm in allowing the band to play, but understood Ms. Chiarelott's concerns.

"I look at it similar to when we have our choir singing songs," Ms. Gernot said. "There is a lot of choir literature that is very Christian in nature, and I don't see that as religious in nature."

Kyle Kleeberger said he and other members of the band are disappointed about not being able to perform.

"Most of the kids want us to play," he said. "We were going in there to talk about drugs, and what our beliefs are on that. But everyone knows us as a Christian band, and that's a touchy subject, I guess."

Interestingly, it was a 1936 Rossford High School graduate, atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, then known as Madalyn Mays, whose lawsuit against Baltimore public schools led to the 1963 Supreme Court ruling outlawing prayer in schools.(Whatever happened to "Congress shall make NO law regarding the establishment of religion"?)

Well, tell the ACLU they can go home, they're not needed anymore. What a buncha' douchebags.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

There They Go Again

It seems our good buddies over at the ACLU are at it again. They are so he!! bent on removing any trace of God out of our society that they can't stand it when someone promotes something other than the "we're all just really smart monkies" theory.

The American Civil Liberties Union will file a suit today challenging a Pennsylvania school district that teaches alternatives to the theory of evolution alongside Darwinism.

The Pennsylvania ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State have scheduled a news conference for today to discuss the lawsuit against the Dover Area School District, the Associated Press reported. The suit was to be filed in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pa.

On Oct. 18, the Dover school board voted 6-3 to add the teaching of "intelligent design" to its ninth-grade biology curricula. Without identifying who the "designer" might be, the theory of intelligent design says the complexity and order of the universe and mankind suggest the action of an intelligent cause rather than random chance.

According to AP, school board member William Buckingham said he proposed the change as a way of balancing evolution with competing theories that raised questions about its scientific validity.

At the time the new policy was adopted, district officials said they would monitor Dover High School biology lessons "to make sure no one is promoting but also not inhibiting religion."

The ACLU, however, takes no comfort in that assurance and sees intelligent design as a more secular form of creationism, the biblically based view of the Earth's origin. As such, AP reported, the legal group says the Dover policy violates the First Amendment Establishment Clause of the Constitution.

According to the news service, two of the three dissenting board members have resigned in protest.

As WorldNetDaily reported, last month the ACLU helped several disgruntled parents in suburban Atlanta sue their school district over a label on its textbooks that states: "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered." The suit claims the school board is "doing more than accommodating religion. They are promoting religious dogma to all students."

Mark my words, one day these retards will be calling for legislation (from the bench rather than congress most likely) against even using the word "God". Treasonous stinking douchebags.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Am I the Only One

Am I alone in being disturbed by this story? For our sake, I certainly hope not:

BEIJING (AP) - China and Russia will hold their first joint military exercise next year, the Chinese government said Monday, as President Hu Jintao called for an expansion of the rapidly growing alliance between the former Cold War rivals.

The announcement came during a visit to Beijing by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, who was expected to discuss expanding the Kremlin's multibillion-dollar annual arms sales to China.

The exercises are to take place on Chinese territory, the official China News Service said. But that report and other government statements didn't say when they would take place or what forces would be involved.

"We want ... to promote the development of the two countries' strategic collaborative relationship in order to safeguard and promote regional and world peace," CNS quoted Hu as telling Ivanov.

Beijing and Moscow have built up military and political ties since the Soviet collapse in 1991, driven in part by joint desire to counterbalance U.S. global dominance.

They are partners of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization, formed to combat what they consider the common threat of Islamic extremism and separatism. The other members are the former Soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

The announcement of military exercises comes two months after Beijing and Moscow settled the last of their decades-old border disputes that led to violent clashes in the 1960s and '70s.

The agreement was signed during an October trip to Beijing by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who said relations had reached "unparalleled heights." That visit also produced a pact to jointly develop Russian energy resources - an urgent issue for Beijing, which is trying to avert fuel shortages in its booming economy.

The frontier where at one point 700,000 Soviet troops faced 1 million Chinese soldiers is now a bustling cross-border market.

China has become the Russian arms industry's No. 1 customer, and is expected to buy $2 billion in weapons this year.

Russia is a key supplier for the Chinese military's effort to modernize its arsenal and back up frequent threats to invade Taiwan, the self-ruled island that Beijing claims as its territory.

The United States and the European Union have banned weapons sales to China since its bloody 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. But Moscow has supplied Beijing with high-performance Su-27 fighters and other top-of-the-line arms.

Ivanov also met with Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan and Guo Boxiong, deputy chairman of the Communist Party commission that runs China's military, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Hu is chairman of the commission.

Hu is to visit Moscow in May during festivities commemorating the end of World War II.

Surely I'm not the only one frightened by this prospect, right? Right?

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Finally, Somebody is Listening to Me!

I've been saying this all along:

More than 100 members of Congress will try to block some U.S. funding of the United Nations unless U.S. officials are allowed to begin an open and complete investigation into a U.N. program in pre-war Iraq.

Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., noted Monday that it had been more than a year since the public first learned of fraud and abuse allegations directed at the U.N.'s oil-for-food program in Iraq. Flake and his colleagues are unhappy with the U.N.'s apparent lack of progress in its investigation of those charges. Now they are promoting existing legislation that would punish what they see as willful inaction.

"We have found over history that the only way that we can get the U.N. to move is to contingent our funding upon it," Flake said. "If we want reform, that seems to be the only way the U.N. will listen, and I believe we're at that point now."
H.R. 4284 would withhold 10 percent of the U.S. contribution to the U.N.'s general operating budget, "until the president certifies that the United Nations is cooperating in the investigation of the United Nations oil-for-food program."

The percentage of funding withheld would increase in subsequent years, but the penalty would not reduce the amount of money the U.S. contributes to UNICEF, humanitarian aid or "peacekeeping" operations.

Originally introduced in May 2004, the bill now has 77 co-sponsors, and companion legislation in the Senate by Republican John Ensign of Nevada has 18 co-sponsors.

An investigation by the U.S. General Accounting Office originally determined that former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had illegally siphoned more than $10 billion from the program, which was intended to meet only food, clothing, shelter and medical needs for the Iraqi people.

Subsequent probes have placed the number at more than $21 billion, including cash Hussein allegedly received for oil smuggled out of Iraq in violation of U.N. sanctions.

'It Makes You Sick'

Flake traveled to Iraq earlier this year with fellow House International Relations Committee members, Reps. Dan Burton and Mike Pence, both Indiana Republicans.

"[We] visited some of those palaces that were built with a lot of the oil-for-food money," Flake said, "and let me tell you, it makes you sick to see what the money was bled off to."

U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan appointed former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to lead the internal investigation into the missing money.

New Jersey Republican Congressman Scott Garrett praises Volcker but doubts his panel can conduct a complete investigation.

"They set it up in such a way that the chairman does not have the ability to do what his commission is charged with," Garrett said. "He lacks subpoena power, and he lacks the power of contempt to force people to do what they have to do."

'Annan Must Go'

Many critics, including Congressman Burton, say no objective inquiry can take place while Annan is still in charge.

"Kofi Annan must go. There's just no question about it," Burton exclaimed. "There has to be a change. The confidence that the United States has had in the United Nations is waning right now, and the only way that's going to change is if there is a change in leadership."

Annan has denied any wrongdoing and has insisted that he will not resign.

Rep. Vito Fossella, R-N.Y., believes Annan should step down. He noted similarities between the oil-for-food program and recent financial scandals at some publicly traded companies in the U.S., where a handful of corporate executives were accused of bilking investors of millions.

U.N.'s Corporate Crooks

"Not only did they have to resign, but Congress reacted and implemented laws to ensure good governance at the corporate level," Fossella said. "The same standard, really, should apply to the United Nations, and nothing less."

Garrett is taking the call for Annan's resignation a step farther.

"To me the question should not be whether Kofi Annan should remain in charge. To me, the larger question is whether he should be in jail," Garrett said. "If this were to occur in any corporate scandal in the United States, you would be hearing cries from both sides of the aisle, at this point in time, for his immediate resignation and, also, for his arrest."

Flake dismisses critics who speculate that the congressmen are acting not because of alleged impropriety in the oil-for-food program but because of their disagreements with U.N. policies.

"There are documents there. There is information," Flake concluded. "And we need to see what it is. That's what this effort is about."

Volcker has refused to give U.S. investigators access to documents pertaining to his investigation until he has completed his work. Annan also has been accused of ordering contractors for the oil-for-food program not to cooperate with a U.S. government probe.

'Much Deeper Than Kofi'

Though Flake understands his colleagues' desire to remove Annan as a potential hindrance to the U.S. government's investigation, he cautions against that becoming the goal of congressional efforts.

"I'd be surprised if anybody could survive at the top of an organization having this kind of scandal beneath him," Flake said. "Having said that, I hope that the calls for his ouster don't bring an end to a call for full investigation of the oil-for-food scandal, and that's my fear, that we'll focus on Kofi Annan.

"It's much deeper than Kofi Annan," Flake concluded.

Exept instead of that piddly little 10%, I'd holdback more like 100%. Being that the U.S. is the single largest contributor, that would probably make a pretty nice dent in their elitest lifestyles. And since they all hate us anyway, it can't possibly hurt to hold back the money. It can go towards more tax cuts, or further funding of our military forces. Either one is better than that greasy, slimey, crooked, thieving.....uhm, sorry. Either is better than the U.N. blowing it. Have I mentioned how much I hate the U.N.?

Soldiers Complain to Rummy

I'll have more on this story later, after I've determined the veracity and had some time to mull it over. For now, work calls. But I have to say, at first glance this story is disturbing. If our troops are indeed being underequipped, then something needs to be done.

Update: You know, something told me this story wasn't quite right. And it appears I was, well, right...yet again. It seems Rummy was setup. This doesn't necessarilly mean the story is a complete flubb mind you. But it does seriously damage the credibility of the story and more importantly of the journalist in question. The story is still developing, so I'll keep up with it as best I can and update when possible.

Taking of Fallujah

Go to Watch the video. Be thankful.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Former Troops Testify About Alleged War Crimes

TORONTO (CP) - A former United States marine told a refugee hearing for an American war dodger Tuesday that trigger-happy U.S. soldiers in Iraq routinely killed unarmed woman and children, and murdered other Iraqis in violation of international law.

Hmm, a former marine is testifying to this now, must be serious.

In chilling testimony intended to bolster the asylum claim of compatriot Jeremy Hinzman, former staff sergeant Jimmy Massey recounted how nervous soldiers trained to believe that all Iraqis were potential terrorists often opened fire indiscriminately. (emphasis mine)

Ahh, that's an excellent reason to come out with the truth.

On several occasions, his soldiers pumped hundreds of bullets into cars that failed to stop at U.S. military checkpoints, killing all occupants - who were later found to be unarmed, Massey said.

On another occasion, marines reacted to a stray bullet by killing a small group of unarmed protesters and bystanders, said Massey, who said he suffers from nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hate to break it to ya bud, but we've already heard about these incidents. Tragic accidents, but not murder. The car didn't just fail to stop at a checkpoint, it spead through and almost hit a soldier. In the second case, they weren't "unarmed" bystanders, they were armed firing into the air. That's where the stray bullet came from nibblehead. The soldiers mistook them for enemy terrorists.

You'll have to forgive me if I don't take this guy's testimony seriously. Since he and his buddy are looking for asylum for deserting, I would say that would be a slight blow to his credibility. Of course the left won't say so, in their eyes the military is all guilty until proven guilty. Go read the rest, get mad, just don't punch your monitor, it doesn't work.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Pearl Harbor Day: A Day of Reflection and Rememberance


Update: Castle Argh has more on the subject and links to other bloggers posting on Pearl Harbour Day.

AWOL Loser Seeks Asylum in Canada

TORONTO (AFP) - A US soldier who walked out on the 82nd Airborne Division and his country after learning he was being sent to Iraq, launched a long-shot bid for political refuge in Canada.

Jeremy Hinzman, 26, a veteran of the US-led war in Afghanistan (news - web sites), appeared before Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) to formally plead that he would face persecution if sent home to the United States.

Persecution huh? Imagine that..

"I was in a culture that looked upon the army as a good thing to do. The missions that they carried out were with the aim of (doing) good and spreading democracy," South Dakota-born Hinzman said.

And what is it exactly this nibblehead douchebag thinks it is that we're doing in Iraq?

"To me that was more meaningful than just working in the workaday world," said Hinzman, who admitted he also enlisted for four years in January 2001 to take advantage of a US army college sponsorship fund.

You mean I actually have to fight? I just signed up for the free education!!

Go read the rest if you're so inclined (and you can stomach it). Just uhm, try not to spew while sitting in front of your PC, cuz The Overlord ain't buying you a new keyboard.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Oh Happy Day!!

The Buccaneers took one more step out of the divisional cellar, stomping the Atlanta Falcons 27-0. What's more, despite their pathetic 5-7 record, they may still have a shot at a playoff berth. Each conference, the AFC and NFC, send six teams to the playoffs. The problem in the NFC is, at week 13 into the season, there aren't six teams yet with a winning record. Of sixteen teams in the NFC, 5 are over the .500 mark. You have Philly at 10-1, Green Bay at 7-4 who as we speak is being thumped by Philly 35-0; then you have Minnesota who now stands at 7-5 after losing to Chicago today. In the NFC West you have Seattle leading their division at 6-5, and finally; Atlanta (who just got thumped by the Bucs) at 9-3. Sad really, but hey, everyone wants their team in the playoffs. So even if they stumble in at 9-7 or even 8-8, go Bucs!!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

This Edition of WTF?? Cow VS Woman..

Ok, I know it's been a while, I'm sorry. So I dug up this little beauty via the MJ Morning Show. Without further ado, for your amusement The Overlord presents your funny bone with Cow VS Woman.

Oh yeah, for the full greusome effect make sure your speakers are turned up. To start the game click where it says "A Jugar", then hit "G" and "H" on you keyboard repeatedly. Enjoy!

Gee, Who'da Thunk It?

I hate to be one to say I told you so, but I told you so.

Recent intelligence shows Iran has been working to produce a missile re-entry vehicle containing a small nuclear warhead for its Shahab missiles and has encountered problems developing a reliable centrifuge system for uranium enrichment, U.S. officials said.
The officials, who discussed the intelligence on the condition of anonymity, said Iran's new nuclear warhead program includes what specialists call the basic "physics package" for fitting a nuclear bomb inside the nose cone of a missile.

Oh, and yet what's this? It seems I told you so yet again.

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran is working on long-range missiles capable of hitting European capitals, as well as nuclear and chemical warheads, an exile group said on Thursday.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), which has in the past given accurate information on some of Iran's nuclear facilities, said Tehran was working on missiles with a range of 1,600 to 1,900 miles, capable of hitting cities such as Berlin.

Iran denies any intention of making long-range ballistic missiles and says its existing medium-range missiles are purely for deterrence.

The NCRI told reporters Iran was carrying out research, testing and making the Ghadr 101 and Ghadr 110 missiles, comparable to advanced Scud E missiles, at the Hemmat Missile Industries Complex.

Ghadr means value or merit in Farsi and Shab-e Ghadr refers to the night the Koran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.