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OBAMA Voted to grant immunity to the Telecom companies that cooperated with the Bush Administration to spy on ordinary Americans on Wednesday.. Yep! Mr. Obama agrees with George Bush that AT&T was right to allow the government to listen to your phone call with Grandma over that sweater she bought for Christmas.

What I found interesting was that Sen./Future Vice Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton opposed granting immunity to the Telecoms and to keep the debate open on the issue. This was a VERY brilliant strategy for Obama and Clinton, as two Democrats that will eventually unite. Their positions poise them to run as candidates that strike a balance between their Democratic supporters and their Corporate contributors. Don't fool yourselves, folks! Both candidates are Corporate Candidates with Corporate backers as much of American politics and legislation is decided by the Corporations and their lobbyists.

Obama's FISA Vote is dissappointing, but is far from surprising, and the truth is that IF Hillary Clinton were in the same position, she would have also voted to grant immunity to the Phone companies (primarily Verizon and AT&T) that chose to assist the Bush Administration in wiretapping their customers and violating their customer's privacy.. Hillary's objection as a Senator was a very intelligent and calcuated move that appeals to her marketability as Obama's running mate with the whole "You Can't Win without Me" schtik, which is unfortunately becoming the reality.

Another item that especially intregued me about the FISA vote is that Republican Presidential Candidate, JOHN MCCAIN didn't show up to vote.. McCAIN HAS been attempting to peg himself as the "No Corporate Welfare" candidate and his failure to vote is ANOTHER example of a brilliant strategy all in itself, as when the question comes up in the debates in the fall, Mr. MCCAIN can safely say that he didn't VOTE to give the Telecoms immunity in compromising the privacy of their customers (which would tell only half of the story as he failed to vote against it as well).

Here's "The Washington Post"'s take on this sordid ordeal:

8th-Jul-2008 08:51 pm - "SPECIAL" Brownies Indeed..

HA HA! I Love It!

Teenager allegedly sends drug-laced treats to police

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- A teenager is suspected of delivering baskets of drug-laced treats to about a dozen police departments in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, according to police who charged him Tuesday with LSD possession. At least three officers have gotten sick.

Christian Phillips denied trying to contaminate the goodies or harm anyone.

The 18-year-old man was arrested after taking cookies to the Lake Worth police station, said Brett McGuire, the suburb's police chief. Officers there had been tipped off that someone was falsely claiming to deliver treats on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"Our officers took a good whiff and thought they smelled like marijuana," McGuire said, adding that preliminary tests instead detected traces of LSD.

Christian Phillips was taken into custody and later charged with possession of the powerful hallucinogen, although the charge may be changed, McGuire said.

The suspect denied trying to contaminate the goodies or harm anyone and said one of his friends might have been smoking pot while Phillips was baking, McGuire said. The suspect is not affiliated with MADD, the chief said.

Phillips remained jailed in Lake Worth, Texas, pending an arraignment Wednesday. Bail had not been set, and he did not have an attorney yet, McGuire said.

In Fort Worth, at least three officers got sick after eating some cookies and candy from a basket delivered to that police station Monday night, authorities said.

Police there are conducting tests and plan to file charges if LSD or another drug or chemical is found in the food, said Lt. Paul Henderson.

Lake Worth investigators found that Phillips had a list of about two dozen police departments in north Texas, with 13 checked off, McGuire said. It's unclear whether anyone else got sick because some deliveries were made in the past week.

Police in Blue Mound, Texas, found traces of marijuana in the treats, he said. Blue Mound police tipped off Lake Worth after receiving a call from MADD that no one was delivering cookies on its behalf.
**So Today as I was listening to XM radio's 80's On 8, I was treated to the WINGER power ballad from the Summer of 1989, "Headed for a Heartbreak".. As I listened to this gem and reminiced about the simpler days, there was something about the song that sounded ALL too familiar, as if I had heard it before very recently..

Then it occurred to me that the safe-manufactured rock of the WINGER song sounded eerily familiar to the FOO FIGHTERS' recent rock radio hit, "Long Road To Ruin"..

This discovery made me do some further analysis regarding the parallels between FOO FIGHTERS frontman DAVE GROHL and KIP WINGER.. I began to think about the image factor presented by MR. GROHL is similar to that painted by KIP WINGER during the "not too cool" STUART kid from "Beavis and Butthead"'s favorite band.. All it would seem MR. GROHL needs is a perm..

Both WINGER and the FOO FIGHTERS are image bands, with the FOO FIGHTERS relying heavily on DAVE GROHL's connection to KURT COBAIN's corpse, while WINGER relied heavily on the corpse on the dying genre of the power ballad, which by 1989 was beginning to fade out (only to be ressurected in 1991 for a brief moment by EXTREME's "More than Words").. WINGER rode on the coattails of bands like POISON, CINDERLLA, and MOTLEY CRUE to carve out a couple of top 10 hits in 1989 and 1990 with "Seventeen" and "Miles Away".. The band was fronted by egocentric frontman, KIP WINGER.. A man who posed on the cover of all of the big rock music magazines like PARADE and CIRCUS like some wannabe sex symbol who exemplified "all that was wrong with rock" during that era... WINGER faded out into obscurity by 1991 which is where the similarities to the FOO FIGHTERS end..

THE FOO's debut album broke during the summer of 1995 with DAVE GROHL, like COURTNEY LOVE, cashing in on NIRVANA, while KRIST NOVOSELIC formed a couple of minor bands then faded into obscurity (but later ran for political office).. THE FOO FIGHTERS delivered a more commercial, polished sound than that of NIRVANA this was apparent from the first single "This is a Call" and their self-titled debut album (maybe with the exception of "I'll Stick Around").. THE FOO FIGHTERS have rode the wave for over 10 years with DAVE GROHL in the spotlight and at the helm.. GROHL has appeared on the cover of countless music magazines posing for the cameras similar to KIP WINGER.. In a recent picture, it looks as though all MR. GROHL needs is a perm and he will be the spitting image of MR. WINGER.. Safely to say though, THE FOO FIGHTERS (largely because of NIRVANA and Clear Channel) will be around for years to come and whose career has effectivly outlasted WINGER by about 10 times, there is still a similarity that cannot be ignored.. Take a look at the Vids and take a listen to WINGER's "Headed for a Heartbreak" and THE FOO FIGHTERS' "Long Road to Ruin"..



FOO FIGHTERS - "Long Road to Ruin"

WINGER - "Headed for a Heartbreak"

One Word: "DEPRESSING!" I find it equally as sad that many Americans believe that a Candidate for President should ALWAYS wear a FLAG LAPEL PIN.. I really could care less about how a candidate ACCESSORIZES, it's all about the issues.. The substance.. -- TD

(CNN) -- How would the likes of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin feel about the way the United States has turned out 232 years after declaring its independence?

Most Americans say they're proud to be citizens, but most also think the Founding Fathers wouldn't be pleased.

Not pleased, a majority of Americans recently polled said.

According to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, 69 percent of adult Americans who responded to a poll June 26-29 said the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be disappointed by the way the nation has turned out overall.

Twenty-nine percent responded "pleased," the only other choice given to the 1,026 respondents of the telephone poll.

Americans "didn't always feel that way," according to Keating Holland, CNN polling director. "In 2001, 54 percent thought that the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased with the state of the country today."

Still, most who responded to last month's poll took great pride in their country.

Sixty-one percent said they were extremely proud to be Americans; another 28 percent said they were very proud. Seven percent answered "moderately," 2 percent said "only a little," and 1 percent answered "not at all."

CNN poll: Voters say both candidates flip-flop
The percentage saying "extremely proud" was virtually unchanged from 2005. In 2003, 70 percent said they were extremely proud, and 55 percent said so in 2001. All polls were taken in the same time period, June 26-29, as the 2008 poll.

Another question asked in June: How often should a U.S. presidential candidate wear a flag pin (when dressed in other than casual clothes)?

Forty-one percent of respondents said a candidate should always wear one. Another 13 percent said "frequently," 16 percent said "sometimes," 19 percent said "only occasionally," and 9 percent said "never."

The questions carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points, except the flag pin question, which had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points
5th-Jul-2008 12:02 pm - Turlock Celebrates 100 Years Today..
**I Went to YOUTUBE To look for the Trailer for Said "TURLOCK FILM", but What I ended up finding was THIS.. and THIS ROCKS!! -- TD




last updated: July 05, 2008 12:36:23 AM

10 a.m.: Centennial parade; Main Street in downtown Turlock
5:30 p.m.: Sold-out dinner in Crane Park
7:30 p.m.: Red carpet event for "Turlock: A Historical Documentary" at the Turlock Community Theater
8 p.m.: Documentary showing at the Community Theater. Tickets, if available, are $20 at the door.
On the Web: www.turlock100.com

Turlock, CA-- In Hollywood, movie studios routinely screen multimillion-dollar blockbuster films for the media before they open in theaters.

But an advance DVD copy of "Turlock: A Historical Documentary"?


"Only six people have seen it," claimed Chamber of Commerce President Sharon Silva. "You have no idea how many people have asked me (for a copy)."

Two of those six were charged with making the documentary: producer Michael Everett, a former Nashville, Tenn., recording engineer who married "a Turlock girl," and scriptwriter/history buff Scott Atherton, who manages the cemetery where town founder John Mitchell's mausoleum still stands.

Everett opened his state-of-the-art studio, called The Creation Lab, next to a feed mill two miles west of town.

He spent a year and a half -- and an extra $20,000 -- to create the 85-minute documentary. Turlock loaned $50,000 to the Centennial Committee to make the film.

"Once I got into the story, there's a lot to tell," Everett said. "I could have easily made a six-part Ken Burns thing with the material I had."

Half the budget was spent on a Cineflex high-definition camera, the same type used for the 11-part nature epic "Planet Earth" on the Discovery Channel. It uses a telephoto lens that can magnify images up to 84 times their actual size and is fitted inside a gyro-stabilized bubble that steadies the camera below a helicopter.

Everett used the camera for close-up shots breezing over alfalfa fields in Turlock and following a snowflake's journey from the top of the Sierra to the city's canals.

He helped write 14 original songs, most of them bluegrass and orchestration using fiddle, banjo and guitar.

The first 45 minutes of the movie cover the years before Turlock was incorporated in 1908.

A Yokut Indian, whose descendants lived in the Turlock area for thousands of years, talks about the California Gold Rush as "their Holocaust."

To represent Turlock's "Wild West" days, the moviemakers re-enacted a famous bar killing in 1885. Pete Nolan, a bartender with "a short fuse," shot a patron during a fight. A doctor diagnosed the wound as fatal and the man was left on the saloon's pool table (there were no hospitals in those days). It took nearly three days for the man to die, with Nolan all the while complaining he was losing business because of it.

Atherton, the historian who wrote "countless" drafts of the script, said Turlock had a dozen saloons for the then-population of 150 people.

"Every door led into a saloon on Front Street," a resident jokes in the documentary.

Atherton perused thousands of photos, documents and illustration to help piece together Turlock history. He found the story about the bar shooting in a Turlock High School teacher's master's thesis from the 1930s.

And how Turlock earned its name is another story. After Mitchell, the founder, declined to have his name used, the city postmaster asked to use the name "Sierra" and was turned down in Washington, D.C.

The postmaster's brother suggested Turlock after the name of a town in a serial novel he was reading in "Harper's Weekly" magazine.

Nearly 50 interviews with native Turlockers are woven through the film, describing the town's Swedish, Portuguese and Assyrian immigration in the early 1900s through the Wal-Mart controversy of late.

While Atherton describes Turlock as a perfect example of a "melting pot in America," he was struck by the town's history of intolerance to its Chinese, Japanese and Filipino workers.

"That theme always came back," Atherton said. "It wasn't so much that they were different, it was always competition. We've become so much more civilized."

While the film covers 200 years of history in the Turlock area, Everett knows that not everyone might agree with his version of the city's past.

"In a small town, people will say, 'Why isn't Uncle Bob in it?' " Everett said. "I can't please everyone."

5th-Jul-2008 11:58 am - Fires Still Raging in Big Sur..
2 fires still raging along Calif.'s Central Coast
The Associated Press
Saturday, July 5, 2008; 2:04 PM

BIG SUR, Calif. -- Cool, damp weather early Saturday helped crews gain ground on the huge wildfire that wiped out this coastal retreat's holiday tourist trade, allowing some personnel and gear to be shifted to a growing blaze farther south

Nearly 2,000 firefighters were trying to stem the advance of the two-week-old blaze in Big Sur that has blackened more than 107 square miles in the northern end of the Los Padres National Forest and destroyed 20 homes.

At the southern end of the national forest, officials extended a mandatory evacuation order to cover 5,000 homes in and around the city of Goleta, while residents of 1,400 other homes were warned to be ready to leave on short notice, said Santa Barbara County spokesman Jim McClure.

The amount of land blackened by the Santa Barbara County fire grew to 13 square miles, up from more than 10 square miles Friday, but firefighting officials said it was nearly one-quarter contained, up from 14 percent late Friday.

Authorities planned an aggressive air attack on the fire Saturday, including drops from a huge DC-10 air tanker.

In his weekly radio address, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger cited the fires in promoting his budget plan to charge the average homeowner $12 a year to pay for emergency services.

"We no longer have a fire season that starts in the summer and runs through the fall. Because of the extreme dry conditions, we are now seeing fires as early as February that last all year," said Schwarzenegger, who planned to visit a command center near Goleta on Saturday.

Crews battling the Big Sur fire got an assist early Saturday from marine fog and lower temperatures. They had set backfires late into Friday night in an effort to protect properties along the scenic Highway 1 corridor, which firefighters were using as a fire break.

"We're gaining ground, but we're nowhere near being done," said Gregg DeNitto, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service. "There's still a lot of potential out there. The fire has been less active the last couple of days. We've had favorable weather, they are taking every opportunity to get some line on it."

However, the weather is expected to worsen over the next couple of days, he said, with wind and temperatures rising and humidity dropping.

"The fire still has the potential for movement and the potential to get out of our containment lines," DeNitto said.

Even though DeNitto said teams were gaining ground, the Big Sur fire remained only 5 percent contained Saturday.

Kurt Mayer watched as crews set the forest and brush on fire across the street from his Big Sur Deli late Friday. Dozens of firefighters stood guard along Highway 1 with their backs to the fire, watching the homes and businesses for any sign that the fire had jumped the highway.

"You could call it uneventful even though it was spectacular," Mayer said. "It was very well controlled."

Similar controlled burns appear to have protected several well-known businesses at the top of Big Sur Valley, including Ventana Inn and Nepenthe, Mayer said.

The two Los Padres blazes were among 334 active wildfires in California on Saturday, down from a peak of roughly 1,500 fires a few days earlier, but they were commanding the greatest share of equipment and personnel because of their locations near populated areas, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

In Arizona, officials said residents evacuated from the historic mining community of Crown King because of a wildfire would be allowed to return home Saturday evening. The blaze was 50 percent contained Saturday, after charring nearly 16 square miles of brush and forest.

About 120 residents of the mountain town, about 20 miles southeast of Prescott, Ariz., were evacuated last Sunday. Firefighters managed to save most of Crown King's scattered 400 homes and vacation cabins, but four homes and seven other buildings were destroyed.

BERLIN, Germany (CNN) -- A man raced into Berlin's Madame Tussauds wax museum Saturday and ripped the head off a waxwork of Adolf Hitler, police said.

Police said the 41-year-old entered the exhibit shortly after the museum doors opened and "made for the Hitler figure," scuffling with a guard assigned to protect it and the manager before tearing the head off the life-size statue.

The man was arrested and is now in custody, Berlin police spokeswoman Uwe Kozelnik said. He told officers he wanted to protest the figure being included in the museum.

Museum official Nathalie Ruoss said organizers would decide Monday what to do about the figure.

Saturday was the opening day of the Berlin branch of the famous Madame Tussauds wax museum.

The presence of the waxwork, which depicted the Nazi dictator sitting at his desk in his bunker shortly before he committed suicide in 1945, in the new museum led to criticism in German media over recent weeks. But the museum's defenders argued Hitler's role in German history must not be ignored.

Hitler was shown with a sullen expression, his head slightly down, and one hand on the desk.

Police said the man is now being investigated for causing damages and bodily harm -- the manager was slightly injured in the leg -- but that he would probably be released later in the day.

Berlin is the eighth wax museum for London-based Madame Tussauds, known for its lifelike waxworks depicting famous people including celebrities, politicians, sports stars, artists, and scientists.

Famous Germans included in the exhibits are Chancellor Angela Merkel, scientist Albert Einstein, composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and tennis champion Boris Becker.


Salmonella signs point to peppers
By Jonathan D. Rockoff | Sun reporter
July 4, 2008

WASHINGTON - Investigators are seeing more signs that the salmonella outbreak blamed on tomatoes might have been caused by tainted jalapeno peppers and have begun collecting samples from restaurants and from the homes of those who have been sickened, according to health officials involved in the probe.

New interviews with those who became infected found that many had eaten jalapeno peppers, often in salsa served with Mexican food, according to two state health officials. So far, none of the jalapenos taken from restaurants and from the homes of those who became ill have tested positive for Salmonella saintpaul.

Echoing federal officials, who said this week that tomatoes remain the prime suspect, the health officials said that tomatoes cannot be ruled out as the cause of the outbreak. Investigators have been collecting samples of another possible suspect, cilantro, though the herb is less likely to be the source, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

The outbreak, which began 12 weeks ago, is believed to be the largest of its kind, and new cases continue to emerge. It has sickened more than 920 people across the country, up from 756 one week ago, and sent more than 110 to the hospital. In Maryland, 29 people have been confirmed to have the illness, which can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and, in severe cases, death.

In late May, investigators began focusing on tomatoes as the probable source of the outbreak. But they expanded their investigation last week, asking 100 labs around the country to help, because the number of new infections kept growing despite the short shelf life of tomatoes and warnings to avoid certain varieties.

Delays in pinpointing the cause of the outbreak have frustrated consumers, angered the produce industry and prompted members of Congress to call for food safety reforms.

"How sad is that? We can't even really figure out what it is," said Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat who has proposed food tracking and mandatory recall measures. "We've had the same problem with other products in past years, which shows us the food safety system in this country is outdated and underfunded."

Chile peppers are largely grown in Mexico, Central America and warm weather U.S. states such as Florida. Food-safety specialists said jalapenos are not a common cause of bacterial outbreaks and counseled caution about rushing to judgment that the peppers are responsible for this one.

Contaminated green chile peppers in Colorado sickened 80 people in 1998 and 60 in 2001, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which tracks food-borne illnesses. Neither outbreak involved salmonella bacteria.

A likely source of jalepeno contamination is the water used to irrigate plants or wash peppers after they're picked, said Robert B. Gravani, a food science professor at Cornell University.

One health official involved in the investigation said "loose ends" are keeping tomatoes under suspicion, but the official said they could be accounted for easily. The official said evidence is "piling up" that indicates that jalapenos are to blame.

"There's certainly no shred of doubt in my mind," the official said.

Another health official was more cautious, saying that the evidence is pointing to peppers but that there is not yet enough information to rule out tomatoes. The official said the Food and Drug Administration is enlisting more labs in the investigation so it can test jalapenos, tomatoes and cilantro more quickly.

Both officials played down the likelihood that cilantro is to blame, saying the evidence for that is thin.

Health officials fear that an acknowledgment that the outbreak was not caused by tomatoes could undermine confidence in the public health system. Officials are especially worried that it could reduce support for using statistical analysis of interviews with infected people to justify warnings and recalls, despite many previous successes, because officials decided to issue the tomato warning without waiting to find one that was contaminated.

Tomato industry groups have criticized the use of statistical analysis and say that government health officials should wait until they find a contaminated product before taking serious actions such as recalls. But government officials say that delaying a warning could cause serious harm to public health, because more people could become sick without an early alert.

The tomato industry estimates that it has lost $100 million since the June 10 warning.

"What makes it so pathetic is there has been nothing found," said Bob Spencer, co-owner of West Coast Tomato, which was forced to stop harvesting its fields in Florida and let tomatoes rot in company warehouses.

Liberal interest groups, leading trade associations and congressional critics say the failure to find the outbreak's source, after seven weeks of trying, points up the need for better food tracking systems. They contend that better labeling could quickly lead investigators to a farm that harvested suspicious produce.

Some growers and suppliers have such tracking systems in place. Critics say the FDA should require the tracking systems, which provide detailed information about the source and distribution of produce.

"There is a lot of frustration that the FDA cannot tell us where the tomatoes are from or even whether tomatoes are the cause," said Caroline Smith DeWaal, food safety director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.


Sadly, I agree with most of the posts on here.. *sigh*.. I never used to feel this way, but it just seems the Corporate Noose is too heavy at times.. I will be glad when I can go to school full time and finish up my degree in Communications/Journalism in January..


4th-Jul-2008 09:09 am - HAPPY 4th of JULY!
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