Wednesday, November 23, 2005

14 Statements about Iraq

With all the debate right now over Iraq, I have decided to post 14 Statements about Iraq that everyone should be able to agree upon. I cannot take credit for these statements. They came from

Statement Number 1: 9/11 was the work of radical Islam.

Statement 2 - Post-9/11 there was a
consensus in the country to be forward-leaning, meaning to be
pre-emptive if necessary to protect against further attack.

Statement. 3: Iraq played
no role in the events of September 11.

Statement 4: Iraq was
nevertheless perceived by American and foreign military and
intelligence operations to pose a threat, based principally upon
the belief that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs.

Statement 5: Saddam Hussein's
perceived possession of WMDs was the primary reason advanced by
the Bush administration in support of the invasion of Iraq.

Statement 6: It is
now apparent that Saddam had no WMDs, meaning the
Administration's predicate for going to war was faulty.

Statement 7: There can't
be any disagreement about this. With or without WMDs, Saddam
Hussein is nevertheless an SOB.

Statement 8: The fact that the
Administration was wrong about WMDs does not mean that the
President lied on that subject.

Statement 9: I know we've
got controversy on this one, the war in Iraq is going poor

Statement 10: It's
entirely possible that when all is said and done, we will have
facilitated the replacement of Saddam Hussein with a leadership
regime in Iraq that is beholden to Iran and unfriendly to the
U.S., albeit one that does not equal the evil of Saddam nor the
type of threat he could have become.

Statement 11. I hardly expect
disagreement. Leaving Iraq now, meaning immediately, would
embolden insurgents and terrorists.

Statement 12: Our presence in
Iraq provides a rallying point for the insurgency and the
radical Islamists.

Statement 13: Leaving Iraq
as soon as possible must be our goal.

Final statement: It's time for the administration to set a timetable
to leave Iraq.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 12:19 PM   0 comments links to this post

The Word of the Day for November 23 is:

obsequious • \ub-SEE-kwee-uss\

• adjective :
marked by or exhibiting a fawning attentiveness

Example sentence:The movie star traveled with an entourage of obsequious attendants who indulged her every whim and waited on her hand and foot.

Did you know?An obsequious person is more likely to be a follower than a leader. Use that fact to help you remember the meaning of "obsequious." All you need to do is bear in mind that the word comes from the Latin root "sequi," meaning "to follow." ("Sequi" is a linguistic great-grandparent here; we adopted "obsequious" from a form of the Latin verb "obsequi"—"to comply"—which comes from "sequi" plus the prefix "ob-," meaning "toward.") "Sequi" is the source of a number of other English words, too, including "consequence" (a result that follows from an action), "sequel" (a novel, film, or TV show that follows an original version), and "non sequitur" (a conclusion that doesn't follow from what was said before).

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 7:34 AM   0 comments links to this post

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Deadly Explosions Rock Three Jordan Hotels

Suicide bombers carried out nearly simultaneous attacks on three U.S.-based hotels in the Jordanian capital Wednesday night, killing at least 57 people and wounding more than 100 in what appeared to be an al Qaeda assault on an Arab kingdom with close ties to the United States and a common border with Iraq.
The explosions hit the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn hotels just before 9 p.m. One of the blasts took place inside a wedding hall where 300 guests were celebrating. Black smoke rose into the night, and wounded victims stumbled from the hotels.

"We thought it was fireworks for the wedding but I saw people falling to the ground," said Ahmed, a wedding guest at the five-star Radisson who did not give his surname. "I saw blood. There were people killed. It was ugly."

A State Department official said there was no information on any American casualties. The White House said the United States was prepared to offer help in the investigation.
A U.S. counterterrorism official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the strong suspicion is that Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of the terror group al Qaeda in Iraq, was involved because of his known animosity for Jordan and the fact that it was a suicide attack, one of his hallmarks.
In February, U.S. intelligence indicated that Osama bin Laden was in contact with al-Zarqawi, enlisting him to conduct attacks outside of Iraq, noted another U.S. counterterrorism official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. Jordan has arrested scores of Islamic militants for plotting to carry out attacks and has also sentenced many militants to death in absentia, including al-Zarqawi.
Its capital, Amman, has become a base for Westerners who fly in and out of Iraq for work. The city's main luxury hotels downtown are often full of American and British officials and contractors enjoying the relative quiet of the city.
"Obviously this is something Jordan is not used to," Jordan's deputy prime minister, Marwan Muasher, told CNN. "We have been lucky so far in avoiding those incidents." He said most of the casualties appeared to be Jordanians.
"Finally, the terrorists succeeded in breaking the security in Jordan," Ayman al-Safadi, editor of Jordan's Al-Ghad newspaper, told Al-Arabiya satellite network.
The first blast was reported at about 8:50 p.m. at the five-star Grand Hyatt. The explosion took place in the lobby, an American businessman said, and shattered its stone entrance.
An Associated Press reporter counted seven bodies being taken away and many more wounded being carried out on stretchers. Prime Minister Adnan Badran later arrived at the scene.
A few minutes later and a short distance away, police reported the explosion at the wedding hall inside the Radisson, with at least five killed and at least 20 wounded.
The Radisson is popular with American and Israeli tourists and was a target of several foiled al Qaeda plots, including a conspiracy to attack U.S. and Israeli tourists during the kingdom's millennium celebrations. Israel's ambassador to Jordan, Yaakov Hadas, told Israel TV from Amman there were no reports of Israeli casualties.
The third explosion, at the Days Inn, happened after a car packed with explosives approached the hotel, Muasher said. He said the car could not cross a protective barrier so it detonated outside. As a result, the casualties at the Days Inn were not so extensive as at the other hotels, he said.
Muasher reported 57 killed and at least 300 wounded in the three bombings, with the worst damage was at the Radisson because the suicide bomber got inside the wedding party of Jordanians.
In addition to housing Westerners, Amman's hotels also have become a gathering spot for affluent Iraqis who have fled their country's violence. Their presence -- and money -- has caused an economic boom, with high-priced prostitution also putting in an appearance.
The Grand Hyatt has 316 guest rooms as well as 50 luxury residential apartments in the adjoining Hyatt Tower. The hotel, with a beige-and-cream facade and a shiny gold revolving door, is located in the heart of Amman's business and diplomatic district on Hussein Bin Ali Street.
The Radisson has 260 guest rooms. Its main entrance is covered by a white portico with several dozen international flags lining the top.
The three hotels have security guards hired from a private
Jordanian firm stationed in the reception areas. Each of the hotels has one or two police cars guarding the buildings around the clock.
King Abdullah II cut short his official visit to Kazakhstan and was returning home.
"The hand of justice will get to the criminals who targeted innocent secure civilians with their cowardly acts," he said in a statement.
Security was beefed up across the capital, especially around hotels and diplomatic missions, police said. Armed policemen and cars patrolled the streets, and Badran declared Thursday a national holiday -- apparently in order to allow tightened security measures to take hold.
Jordanian authorities have foiled numerous attacks in the
In July, prosecutors indicted five Jordanians in an alleged conspiracy to attack intelligence agents, tourists and hotels in Amman.
U.S. officials believe al-Zarqawi and bin Laden's operations chief, Abu Zubaydah, were chief organizers of a foiled plot to bomb the Radisson SAS. The attack was to take place during millennium celebrations, but Jordanian authorities stopped it in late 1999. Abu Zubaydah was captured in 2002 in Pakistan.
In August, Iraq's al Qaeda wing claimed responsibility for a rocket attack that barely missed U.S. warships docked in the Jordanian port of Aqaba.
The Internet statement was signed Abu Maysara al-Iraqi, the spokesman for Al Qaeda in Iraq, blamed for a rash of kidnappings, killings and attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq.
Jordanian officials have said the rocket assault carried the hallmarks of al Qaeda, although the attack also was claimed by the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
In the Aqaba attack, the most serious against the U.S. Navy since the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, one Katyusha rocket flew across the bow of a U.S. amphibious assault ship and crashed into a warehouse, killing a Jordanian soldier. Another missile landed near a Jordanian hospital, and a third hit a taxi on the outskirts of an Israeli airport, but did not explode.
The last major terror attack blamed on Islamic militants was the July 7 bombings of the London transit system that killed 56 people, including four bombers. The most recent major attack linked to al Qaeda was the Madrid subway bombings that killed 191 people on March 11, 2004.

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 6:51 PM   0 comments links to this post


Does God really exist? How can we know? If God made everything, who made God? Answer

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 3:29 PM   0 comments links to this post


Study Says There Is More Sex on TV
Nov 09 11:08 AM US/Eastern
By JENNIFER C. KERRAssociated Press Writer


Television these days is loaded with sex, sex, sex _ double the number of sex scenes aired seven years ago, says a study out Wednesday. And the number of shows that include "safer sex" messages has leveled off, it said.
There were nearly 3,800 scenes with sexual content spotted in more than 1,100 shows researchers studied, up from about 1,900 such scenes in 1998, the first year of the Kaiser Family Foundation survey.

Vicky Rideout, a vice president at Kaiser, says the number of shows that included a message about the risks and responsibilities of sex is still very small, and has remained flat since 2002.
About 14 percent of the shows with sexual content also had discussions of contraception, waiting to having sex or other "safer sex" messages. While that figure is about the same as it was in the last study, it's still up from 9 percent in 1998, and Rideout says that's encouraging.
Writers and producers are "seeing they can do it in a way that is entertaining, that doesn't cost them anything in the ratings ... and we know from research we've done that it makes a real difference to the kids in the audience," she said.

The study examined a sample of a week's worth of programming on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, WB, PBS, Lifetime, TNT, USA Network and HBO. Sexual content, as defined in the study, could be anything from discussions about sex to scenes involving everything from kissing to intercourse.
The study found that 70 percent of all shows included some sexual content, averaging about five sex scenes per hour. That's up from about three scenes per hour in 1998, and from nearly 4.5 scenes an hour three years ago.

The proportion of shows with sexual content in prime-time on the major broadcast networks _ ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox _ also increased, the study said. Nearly eight in 10 network shows, or 77 percent, included sexual content. That's up from 67 percent in 1998 and 71 percent in 2002.
Media watchdog groups say there's way too much sex on television during the hours that kids may be watching.

"Kids who have repeated exposure to sexual content become sexually active at an earlier age. The research is absolutely there," said Tim Winter, executive director of the Parents Television Council.
But an advocacy group funded in part by the entertainment industry says the V-chip and other tools can help parents screen the shows their kids watch.

"Some activists will only see another opportunity to push government as parent, but parents make the best decisions about what is appropriate for their family to watch and have the tools to enforce those decisions," said Jim Dyke, executive director of TV Watch.

Teens watch an average of three hours of TV a day, according to Kaiser.

The examples of sexual content cited in the study ranged from discussions of sex on the WB's "Gilmore Girls" and "Jack & Bobby" to depictions of oral sex on NBC's "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" and sexual intercourse on Fox's "The O.C."
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is a philanthropic group that studies health care, including reproductive and AIDS-related issues. It is not affiliated with the Kaiser medical organization.
On the Net:
Kaiser Family Foundation:

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 3:18 PM   0 comments links to this post

Is this your kid?

I found this on Steve Camp's blog:

A little humor to "poke you with" to begin a brand new day. You might be asking as I did, what happens when this poor guy gets a cold? How do you wash your face at night? What if one of the studs falls out... are replacements difficult to do? Is flossing to be taken to a whole new level? After seeing this photograph, I have been reminded once again of one among many reasons why I so appreciate my five children. Maybe you can identify with my heart's gratitude as well. The following caption is a brief description as to

Repeat after me:
I will never complain about MY kids again ..........
I will never complain about MY kids again ..........
I will never complain about MY kids again ..........
I will never complain about MY kids again .
I will never complain about MY kids again ..........
I will never complain about MY kids again ..........
I will never complain about MY kids again ..........
I will never complain about MY kids again .
I will never complain about MY kids again ..........
I will never complain about MY kids again ..........
I will never complain about MY kids again .........
I will never complain about MY kids again .

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 2:57 PM   0 comments links to this post


AUSTIN (AP) - A state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage championed by Republican Governor Rick Perry and social conservatives won overwhelming voter approval Tuesday. Texans decided nine proposed amendments. Prop. 2 passed with over 70% of voters casting a yes ballot. Supporters and opponents of Proposition Two, the gay marriage ban, battled aggressively for weeks. Same-sex marriage already is prohibited under state law. Those who supported Prop Two said a constitutional ban was needed to ensure that a judge doesn't decide to allow gays to marry. Opponents argued a constitutional ban was unnecessary and merely a statement of discrimination against homosexuals.

Now of course there are already those who are saying this is unfair. They argue that people are born homosexual. I would like to submit the following to consider.

Homosexual orientation: does it really exist?
A psychologist challenges popular thinking By Jerry Bergman, Ph.D

In my decade of working at various psychology clinics, I have queried all of my "homosexual" clients as to if they were erotically attracted to the opposite sex. All of them said that they were. I have always found it intriguing that virtually all of those "gays" that I have known did not fit the common definition of homosexual - a person sexually attracted only to his own sex - but all were to some degree bisexual. Many were once married and most had sexual encounters with the opposite sex.
Furthermore, Masters and Johnson's scientific studies of both persons labeled homosexual and lesbian have found that both groups consistently listed heterosexual encounters as highly erotic, actually at the top of a list of their erotic fantasies. In one study, both male and female homosexuals listed a "heterosexual encounter" as their third most common sexual fantasy! (McCutcheon, 1989). This finding also supports the conclusion that most persons labeled gay are, at best, in varying degrees bisexual - especially in view of the fact that many also have heterosexual relations, and many were once married and had families.
The generalization that exclusively homosexual persons who have no attraction for, and are sexually repulsed by the opposite sex is thus erroneous. Only homosexual behavior exists. Studies of adolescents find that many young persons - 22% according to one study - involve themselves in homosexual behavior, especially in early adolescence (Chilman, 1983).
Further, a large number of prison inmates and married males become involved in the so-called tea room trade which involves homosexual behavior (Humphreys, 1975). And none of these persons would define themselves as gay (Lockwood, 1980).
Freud concluded that homosexuality was a stage that most boys grow out of, and that adults who involved themselves in homosexual behavior simply have never matured beyond this developmental stage. This position once was the dominant view in the West. Greenberg (1988) concluded from his historical study that the "homosexual" category is a late-nineteenth-century invention.
Prior to that time, people did not refer to "homosexuals" as a class of persons.
The percent of the population that is exclusively homosexual has traditionally been placed at 10%, partly as a result of the now rejected Kinsey 1940s studies. Numerous new empirical studies reveal the number varies from .9% in Norway to 2.8% in the USA, indicating that cultural factors are likely very influential. Furthermore, according to a Minnesota adolescent health survey, only .6% of the boys and .2% of the girls surveyed identified themselves as "most of 100% homosexual," .7% males and .8% females as bisexual, and 10.1% of the males and 11.3% of the females were "unsure." This indicates that many individuals do not have a firm sexual orientation even as an adolescent, and reveals the importance of social and sexual experiences in development (Muir, 1993).
Although many factors are involved, it is my experience that a person is not a prisoner of his or her sexuality and to some degree chooses a homosexual lifestyle (Bergman, 1981). A clear need exists to understand why people adopt this lifestyle in spite of the difficulties of doing so in most societies. The unfortunate factor in this debate is that it is very difficult to reason about this topic with those who advocate the idea that a "sexual orientation" called homosexual exists. They simply reject, ignore or distort the enormous amount of empirical evidence against their position.
Further, from a Biblical standpoint, it is not only homosexual behavior that is objectionable, but also much of the sexual behavior common among homosexuals. From a medical standpoint, male homosexual behavior is fraught with health dangers including infections, bleeding and disease transmission problems. Bell et al. found that 43% of white male homosexuals reported having sex with more than 500 partners, and a whopping 28% with over 1,000 partners.
Consequently, studies reveal that homosexual behaviors produce a venereal disease rate as much as 22 times higher than the national average. The major anatomical problems with sodomy are generally not a problem in heterosexual relationships. Thus, the evidence from medical research supports the creationists' design interpretation.
The Biological Influences
The claim is often made that those who involve themselves in homosexual behavior cannot help the way that they are, and are biologically attracted to the same sex, not the opposite sex. No gene causing homosexuality has yet ever been found, nor has any clear evidence of a biological basis been located (Satinover, 1997; Birke, 1981).
LeVay concluded that the cytogenetic, endocrinological, or neuroanatomical research has "largely failed to establish any consistent differences between homosexual and heterosexual individuals" (1991, p. 1034).
Of the multi scores of studies that have searched for biological factors, the only ones done so far that indicate a biological cause have implicated abnormal hypothalamus development and hormonal imbalance (Bailey and Pillard, 1991).
Unfortunately, the mass media often reports tentative studies as if they have proved beyond a doubt that homosexuality is biologically determined (Maddox, 1993). And all of these studies suffer from major methodological problems (Horgan, 1995). If LeVay's research is valid, it indicates that homosexuality is caused by a biological pathology. LeVay found that the INAH
2 and 3 was much smaller in homosexuals compared to normal heterosexual males, indicating homosexually is caused by disease, hormone imbalance, or another abnormality.
Disease and Homosexuality
Many venereal and other diseases are far more a problem with homosexual than heterosexual behavior. For non-promiscuous couples who take proper cleanliness measures, the transmission of disease among heterosexuals is extremely rare, and then usually almost always due to poor hygiene.
As a group homosexuals are far more apt to have many diseases such as rare bowel diseases which are lumped together under the designation "gay bowel syndrome." Estimates of their total infectious disease rate is about 10 times higher than that of the general population - not only venereal diseases, but also hepatitis B and others. Other common diseases include urethritis, viral herpes, pediculosis infestation and others (Rueda, 1982:52-53). One study indicated that one half of homosexuals eventually contract the colon disease parasitic amebiasis; and rectal gonorrhea, infectious hepatitis A, and amoebic colon infections are far higher among this population.
In a summary of the biological research, Byne concluded "what evidence exists thus far of innate biological traits underlying homosexuality is flawed" (1994, p. 50). Even if a biological factor exists, it is a secondary question as to whether homosexual behavior is desirable or even acceptable.
Change is admittedly difficult, but the level of success in treating other sexual disorders such as pedophilia is also extremely low. The latter individuals also claim that they have strong attractions for young children, and have minimal or no attraction to adults of the opposite sex.
In the cases where homosexual behavior is precipitated by developmental abnormalities, the focus should be on understanding the abnormality and developing ways of treating or preventing it.
The homosexual movement vigorously opposes this response, producing the almost unparalleled situation in which, assuming the biological factors are confirmed, a clear pathology or abnormality is defended as desirable, and efforts to correct this resisted or even condemned.
The extant empirical research supports the hypothesis that homosexuality is due either to social or physiological pathology. This supports the conclusion that the creator designed a sexual response which fulfills the goal to reproduce, multiply and bond, and that other sexual responses are not designed, but are the result of pathological factors. In order to respond appropriately to homosexual behavior, the causes must be understood

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 2:24 PM   0 comments links to this post

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Word of the Day for November 8 is:

vulnerary • \VUL-nuh-rair-ee\ • adjective :
used for or useful in healing wounds

Example sentence:Native Americans prized the herb echinacea for its vulnerary properties, using it to treat burns and snakebite as well as arrow wounds.

Did you know?"Vulnus," in Latin means "wound." You might think, then, that the English adjective "vulnerary" would mean "wounding, causing a wound." And, indeed, "vulnerary" has been used that way, along with two obsolete adjectives, "vulnerative" and "vulnific." But for the lasting and current use of "vulnerary," we took our cue from the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder. In his Natural History, he used the Latin adjective "vulnerarius" to describe a plaster, or dressing, for healing wounds. And that's fine—the suffix "-ary" merely indicates that there is a connection, which, in this case, is to wounds. (As you may have already suspected, "vulnerable" is related; it comes from the Latin verb "vulnerare," which means "to wound.")

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 7:50 AM   0 comments links to this post