harriet miers - no mystery there

harriet miers.

the woman who would be judge.

the woman who needs to bone up on constitutional law.

the woman who can say no one knows how she'd rule on reproductive rights but signed a pledge in 1989 to do everything in her power to destroy abortion rights.

she's a mystery.

she's a riddle.

harry reid loves her.

some reports have him suggesting her to bully boy.

more likely he just said she was some 1 he could live with.

and why not?

1) he's not a woman.

it's not his rights that could be curtailed.

why should he care?

the empathy that was once a hallmark of the democratic party left a long time ago.

we're left with self-contained dopes who can't see past themeselves and have no spine.

where have all the flowers gone?
long time passing.
where have all the real democrats gone?
long time passing.
long time ago.

when will we ever learn?
when will we ever learn?

where have all the real democrats gone?
where have all the real democrats gone?
long time passing.
long time ago.

when will we ever learn?
when will we ever learn?

harriet miers is a croney.

that alone should be enough to worry people.

with all the cases winding through the courts questioning bully boy's right to be king and declare law by royal decree, her being a bully boy croney should worry people.

her inexperience with constitutional law (and lack of awareness of it) is only more frightening when you realize that she thinks bully boy is like totally groovy! or whatever dopey things she wrote him repeatedly in her private mash notes when she was supposed to be heading the lotto commision and not sucking up to the governor.

this is a woman with a really bad haircut who dresses badly. that's not a problem with a judge if you're talking about someone who's spent their lives studying the law and focusing on that. it could show dedication. but she hasn't done that.

so we're left with a fashion disaster who's a fundamentalist and probably skirting the guady with her inept choices.

bully boy sold her on her religion, and her 'heart' which he can peer into like he did with his buddy 'pooty' (putin). so is her religion effecting her clothing choices? probably. bully boy probably knows that as it effects her 'fashion' choices, it will effect other areas as well.

which brings us back to the issue of choice.

her answers in the 1989 survey shouldn't disturb, they should frighten.

while the right worries that she may be a souter, the left hangs on to the hope that she is.

despite all the indications that she isn't.

have we forgotten that the right thought we were entering a 'winnable war'? why do we place so much importance on their judgement of harrie?

the enemy of my enemy does not necessarily become my friend.

but a lot of people want to act that way. a lot of people want to pin their hopes (and the court's future) on the fact that some right-wingers are outraged by mier's nomination.

the left would be better served by examing the known details.


harriet miers unqualified now, still & always

the cartoon is from isaiah's "celibacy in the city" (the world today just nuts) and i'll get to harriet miers in a minute.

but first, i was on the phone with mike this evening and we'll both end up getting a late start. but c.i. gave a heads up to the interview mike did with wally. last night, i was on the phone with kat and we were both checking and checking for it. i'm glad i finally gave up because it didn't go up until late this morning.

it's up now and it's wonderful. i had to call mike to tell him congrats because it is a really strong interview with humor and a lot more. wally is someone i got to know when he praised my site at the common ills and then started e-mailing me. he's funny and he's deep and he's only 19. he can veer into silliness 1 moment and then make the wisest comment in the world the next. i hope he never loses either quality.

i knew he lost his father because that came up during an e-mail exchange early on but i did not know it was when he was 8 years old or how. c.i. will ask those questions and always tries to encourage me to do the same. (c.i.'s been encouraging me to do the same for years.) but i just go tongue tied on those things.

am i prying? am i bringing up an unpleasant memory? will i say something that i mean to sound helpful but will end up sounding hurtful?

so i don't usually ask questions regarding death and illness and wait for someone to share their feelings instead. that's not a good way to handle it.

but if you want to know wally's story, read the interview mike did. warning, it may make you cry. i was crying so hard by the time wally was talking about the nurses, that i had to take a minute before continuing to read. there are things you read that touch you and you carry them with you and mike's interview with wally is 1 of those things.

so please make time to read it.

and don't forget to check out wally's site, the daily jot.

sherry likes it a lot and the interview as well, as she noted in her latest e-mail. but she does not like the idea that some strangers thought they could write to c.i. and try to get my phone number.

sherry says if that happened to her, if some guy she'd never met or seen, was contacting her friends for her phone number, she'd be worried. i agree that it crosses a line.

the guy's defense would be, 'well i wrote and she didn't write back.' because i was on vacation and if the guy really read my site like he claimed, he would have known that. instead he's off to c.i. with another e-mail, like centrist ed's, where i'm spoken of in the 3rd person.

sherry asked if that was the only thing pissing me off these days? no.

i'm pretty pissed about the nonsense that harriet miers is supposedly being criticized in a sexist manner. now i don't watch fox news, i don't read a right wing magazine or columnist.
so maybe i'm missing it. but i know timid democrats and i know when someone starts saying 'sexism' then spineless ones get afraid to speak out.

criticizing harriet miers as unqualified is not sexism. she is unqualified.

but ever since diane finestein goes on the chat and chews and says 'sexism' all the sudden people can't criticize. i called 1 of my reps today and the assistant says 'well he feels that miers isn't the right person either but needs to say that carefully.'

biggest bunch of crap i ever heard.

miers isn't qualified. she'll never be qualified. not because she's a woman and with 2 women on the court right now, i don't know any 1 who'd be stupid enough to make the lame argument that women can't be judges.

she's not qualified because she's never done a damn thing with her law degree but suck up. she sucked up to bully boy, she sucked up to corporations. she's not very smart and that has nothing to do with being a woman, she's not very smart because she's stupid and doesn't care that she is stupid.

is she a lesbian? i got an e-mail asking about that. i don't know, i don't care. we've already got 1 life long bachelor on the court so having 2 wouldn't be earth shattering.

but pointing out that the press nonsense about her and that male judge supposedly being romantic is a bunch of crap isn't homophobia. she's had over 40 years as an adult to have a relationship if she wanted. she didn't want it. and like isaiah pointed out in the wonderful celibacy in the city, those right wing christians who preach no sex before marriage have to live with what they preach.

so she may be a lesbian, she may be a virgin, she may be a hyporcrite who tells every 1 else not to have sex while getting it herself.

she needs to be scrutinized. john roberts should be scrutinized.

in case anyone missed isaiah's the world today cartoons on john roberts, you'll see the charlie brown stripe across his chest even when he's shirtless. why? because the point isaiah was making in those cartoons was every 1 was acting like he was good old charlie brown and not pressing him for answers.

that includes diane feinnstein who embarrassed herself during his confirmation hearings.

so i'm not in the damn mood to hear diane feinstein talk about sexism. my attitude there is 'go see how much your husband made off the war today, diane.'

she was useless during the confirmation hearings.

i think most of the dems on the committee were. i think ted kennedy distinguished himself. i don't see much else to be impressed with.

and they better get off their lazy asses this time.

with clarence thomas he himself had to make the claim that he was being lynched. with harriet miers, all it took was laura bush to whine 'sexism' and suddenly fools like diane feinstein (and she's not the only fool) are rushing in and saying 'sexism.'

the only sexism involved is thinking she's above criticism because she's a woman.

she's not above criticism.

and she doesn't deserve to sit on the bench.

she's unable to answer a straight question. she is a cronie. she has no history.

she's not qualified.

tomorrow, i intend to start letting it rip on harriet miers. i will knock anything and everything about her. that includes her hair style which looks like someone who couldn't get hired at super cuts cut it.

how come?

because she's not qualified.

and i won't hold my tongue or watch my words.

we just put 1 enemy of roe on the court.

i will use any critique to prevent the 2nd 1 from making it.

i will mock her. i will insult her.

and if diane or any other woman wants to have a problem with that, i say screw you all. i say diane sat on her war mongering ass during roberts confirmation. i say she needs the heat turned on. and if some 1 doesn't like it, too damn bad.

it's not sexism.

but watch miers hide behind that the same way clarence thomas hid behind the charge of racism.

people need to grow the hell up. roe is too damn important and must be preserved.


go away little boys

i was on the phone with kat and we were waiting to see if mike's interview with wally would go up at mikey likes it but it must be a long 1. i want to thank kat for calling and even though she denied c.i. asked her to call, thank you to c.i. i was really depressed yesterday and poor c.i. had to hear about it for 2 hours.

it's the harriet myers nonsense.

she's not qualified. she's anti-choice. her legal experience is less than mine.

i'm serious. i rarely get tickets for speeding, even though i speed all the time, but on those times when i can't talk my way out of it, i take it to traffic court. unlike harrie, i always win my case.

i can't believe that a right so many worked so hard for, that so many died for, hangs by a thread and the general attitude among the press and our elected officials is to shrug.

by the way, let me toss this out here. on a good day, i don't need junk in the e-mail. i've got three guys (yes, all men) who've written me. i'm not reading their crap. their names have never gone up here and i can't imagine that they have anything to say that i care to read so just go away boys. i'm glad you're packing, but i don't date little boys.

that especially goes to the idiot who kept writing me while i was on vacation and attempted to get my phone number from c.i. (c.i. didn't give it out.) you need to learn how to read. you're raving over how 'smart' and 'intelligent' i am (or were in your earlier e-mails) and, big dope, you're actually praising something c.i. thought up. that's noted here in the thing you read that you just felt made us 'kindred souls.' c.i. is too modest. c.i. should have told you, the big dope wrote c.i. after i didn't respond, 'uh, that's my idea you're praising.'

i have no idea why you think i'd want to date you but i don't. so go away.

that's for every 1 who writes with their nonsense.

if you're a reader, i love to hear from you. but i'm getting real tired of opening up e-mails from bloggers and others asking me my measurements and swearing that they get me, they really get me.

do i come off like sally field here? do i really sound like i care what some stranger thinks of me?

i'll note that when elaine noted, at the third estate sunday review, that my breasts were the largest (of any of the women doing sites in the community), e-mails started coming in from blogging fellows and their friends. so since the majority couldn't read well enough to tell when i wrote something or when i linked to something, i'll guess it was the breast citation from elaine.

yes, boys, i have big breasts. yes, boys, they are real. no, boys, i have no interest in meeting you.

you don't even attempt courtship before asking my measurements. not even what might pass for online courtship, 'rebecca i really like you and your mind and especially your big breasts. as my gift to you, i've linked to you.'

these boys are all about the slap and tickle. go away and play with your blow up dolls, you have nothing to offer a woman.

my readers know that i had an abortion last year. they know that i had 1 because of a disorder the child would have been born with which would have required the child to have multiple operations and even after all of that the life expectancy would have been short.

i take roe v. wade very seriously. and it's very hard for me not to be depressed when i think of women losing our right to make the decisions we decide are needed.

i'll keep putting something up every day and hopefully i'll be out of the funk shortly but i'm really upset and bothered by the lack of outrage on the part of our elected dems regarding harriet myers' survey.

in case anyone's asking 'what survey?':

Harriet Miers Openly Opposed Abortion in 1989
This news on Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers: A document submitted to the Senate yesterday shows Miers previously expressed support for banning abortion. In 1989, when Miers was running for Dallas city council, she filled out a questionnaire that shows she advocated banning abortions except when necessary to save the life of the mother. Miers also said she would support legislation to ban abortions if the Supreme Court ruled states could do so, and would participate in "pro-life rallies and special events." The questionnaire was written by the group Texans United for Life. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein responded to the revelation by saying: "The answers clearly reflect that Harriet Miers is opposed to Roe v. Wade."


harry, harry, harry

so it turns out harriet miers is anti-choice.


simply shocked!

who would have known?

who could have known?

anyone not in a coma.

isn't it about time harry reid started finding something to say other than, 'you go, girl!' everytime harriet miers comes around?

he does realize that he's a democrat, doesn't he?

he does realize that it is his job to oppose anti-choice nominees, doesn't he?

of did the fact that the party made a huge mistake and picked an anti-choice democrat as a leader translate to him as 'screw reproductive rights, they want me for my anti-choice stance?"

it's sickening.

bendy buddy harry reid is no democrat's buddy if he can't find his spine. the drawing is by isaiah. one of his the world today just nuts comics.

hope everybody checked out beth's column at the common ills last night.



i hope everyone's checking out wally's site the daily jot. i love wally and not just because he's written me some of the nicest, most encouraging e-mails. he's a common ills member who got active and helped suggest links and other things. he's one of the active members who really help shape the community. so please check out his site.

sherry asked me which cd i liked better of the 2 we reviewed for 3rd estate sunday review?

it's hard because they're both beautiful cds, dolly parton's those were the days and the cowboy junkies early 21st century blues. but the 1 i've listened to repeatedly today was dolly's so that's my pick for today. on another day, it might be different. but that's my choice for today and i've included the picture of dolly's latest cd in this post.

i don't have much to say tonight but i do want to note a thing c.i. did:

The Sunday Herald (Scotland) had news and Ava was intending to report on it in "The Third Estate Sunday Review News Review" but everything came to a halt. (Another reason to focus on what's important, my opinion.) We'll cover it here.

Neil Mackay's "
Britain sued for 'complicity' in torture:"

One of the world’s leading human rights lawyers is to sue Britain for its 'complicity' in the torture of terror suspects who have never been convicted of a crime.[. . .]

And the former American spy chief who devised a controversial scheme for snatching terror suspects and imprisoning them has criticised its use as a means of delivering them to US-friendly countries for torture.

The developments all focus on "extraordinary rendition flights", which take terror suspects abducted by the US from all over the world to countries such as Egypt, Morocco and Uzbekistan, where they are tortured.

In one case, Benyam Mohammed al-Habashi -- a British resident from Ethiopia -- was captured in Pakistan. He claims he was visited in prison by two MI6 officers after he was tortured by Pakistani interrogators, who told him that he was going to be sent to an undisclosed Arab nation for more torture.

Later, Habashi was flown to Morocco on one of the CIA's fleet of Gulfstream jets used in renditions. There he says he was subjected to appalling abuse, the worst of which involved his interrogators cutting his private parts with a scalpel.

[. . .]

Habashi's lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, OBE, who is acclaimed in both the USA and UK for his human rights work, is now to sue Britain for breaching the Convention on Torture. Stafford Smith said: "The UK was complicit in this process. What happened to Benyam was morally wrong and stupid. People will say anything when you take a razor blade to their genitals."

That's the overview. Mackay has other articles on this that we're excerpting from. Former American spy chief? That's probably a good place to start. How did America get into the "extraordinary renditions" process? From "
These two men are experts on rendition: one invented it, the other has seen its full horrors:"

IF there are two men in the world who know about "extraordinary renditions" then they are Michael Scheuer, the CIA chief who invented the programme, and Craig Murray, the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan who saw first-hand the devastating consequences for British intelligence of using renditions.

In exclusive interviews with the Sunday Herald they blew apart any justification for the rendition system, saying the US government deliberately refused to opt for a legal alternative to renditions which was presented to the President by the CIA and that the programme undermined Western democracy, damaged the prosecution of the war on terror and "contaminated British and US intelligence".Michael Scheuer

CIA officer and special adviser to the chief of the CIA's bin Laden department until November 2004

In 1995, in the wake of the 1993 car-bomb attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, Scheuer was the main CIA officer charged with hunting down Islamic terrorists believed to be posing a threat to the US. He was the "go-to guy" for all things al-Qaeda.

President Clinton's National Security Council had asked the CIA to break up al-Qaeda around the world and to arrest and imprison key operatives. "The Agency is a tool of the President so of course we said "yes"," Scheuer explains at his home near the CIA's HQ in Langley, Virginia. "We asked how we were to do it and where we were to take them, and they said "it's up to you"."

The CIA has no prisons and no powers of arrest, so Scheuer was presented with something of a problem. The programme of renditions he developed was very different to the system which now operates.

Today, anyone suspected of links to terrorism can be snatched anywhere in the world, put on a secret CIA jet and taken to a country, such as Egypt, for "out-sourced" torture.When Scheuer developed his programme he stipulated strictly that only suspects who had been tried in absentia for terrorist offences or had an outstanding arrest warrant were to be targeted. "They had to be part of some legal process," Scheuer says. "We were focusing on a very narrow segment of al-Qaeda. It was very delicate and complicated."

The target also had to be perceived as a direct threat to the US by the CIA and the department of justice and the country in which the person was to be seized had to support the action and carry out the arrest. Today there only has to be the suggestion they are involved in terrorism -- no convictions or warrants are needed, nor is the permission of another country.

Even more crucially, Scheuer's rendition programme stated that snatched suspects would be taken to the US as prisoners of war, protected by the Geneva Conventions. The Clinton administration, however, says Scheuer, forbade this, insisting instead on sending captives to whatever nation had tried them or had an outstanding warrant for them. "To give them PoW status would have given them credibility, in the eyes of the administration, and they didn't want that," Scheuer says.

Scheuer was in charge of the snatch operations from 1995, when the first target was seized, until June 1999. In that time, some 50 were captured. Since 9/11 there have been 150 to 200 snatches. "The primary intention was to get the guy off the streets so he couldn't carry out any more atrocities against US citizens," he says."Our second goal was to seize documents along with the suspect and exploit them for intelligence. Finally, we never expected to get anything from interrogations. Al-Qaeda are trained to fight the jihad from their jail cells , they are masters of counter-interrogation. They'll give you old information or false information. The CIA never felt it would help to torture these people."

So that's some of the history. (It's an excerpt. Read the full article.) Now let's focus on Mackay's "
One victim's story" which gives a human face to the torture:
He laughed at them, and the Americans told him that if he didn't start talking, he'd be taken to an Arabic country and tortured. When they left, angry at his refusal to talk, the Pakistanis came into his cell. He was beaten with a belt and had a gun stuck in his chest. In comparison to what he was to go through later, this was nothing.After his beating, two MI6 officers came into the room. In a statement taken by Stafford Smith in Guantanamo Bay, Habashi says: "They gave me a cup of tea with a lot of sugar in it. I initially only took one. 'No, you need a lot more. Where you are going, you need a lot of sugar,' they said.

"I didn't know exactly what [the MI6 officer] meant by this, but I figured he meant some poor country in Arabia. One of them did tell me that I was going to get tortured by the Arabs."

This is the first time evidence has come forward to show British intelligence directly co-operating with torture – in this case the torture of a man claiming political asylum in the UK. Previously, the UK was thought only to have offered logistical support in the torture of terror suspects, allowing planes ferrying captives held by the Americans to regimes such as Egypt and Syria where they would be tortured, to refuel at airports such as Glasgow International.

The Pakistanis then gave al-Habashi to masked American soldiers. A report by Stafford Smith reads: "They stripped him naked, took photos, put fingers up his anus and dressed him in a tracksuit. He was shackled, had earphones put on, and was blindfolded. He was put into a plane." He landed in Morocco eight hours later.The Americans told al-Habashi that they wanted him to give evidence against Jose Padilla, an American who has been in custody awaiting trial for three and a half years, accused of planning to plant a "dirty bomb" in the US. They also wanted him to give evidence against senior al-Qaeda figures in captivity, including Abu Zubaydah, the number three in the terror organisation, and Khalid Sheikh Moh ammed, the mastermind of 9/11. The Americans told him they believed he was al-Qaeda's "ideas man" -- an accusation that Stafford Smith says is "beyond absurd".

Al-Habashi was then confronted with the Moroccan torture team. With a macabre flourish, some even wore bondage-type masks to give the torment an added mediaeval flavour. Stafford Smith says: "The British government was complicit in some of the abuse that took place against Benyam, at least to the extent that the government told the Moroccans information that they would then use against him in the torture sessions." The Moroccans knew about his personal fitness trainer, what grades he got at school, where he studied and where he lived.

Until now, it has never been alleged that British intelligence aided and abetted torture by passing information to interrogators, which was then used to question suspects. Lying in his cell, al-Habashi says in his statement: "I was not of this world. I did not believe this was real, that this was happening to me. It never, never crossed my mind that I'd end up being hauled half-way across the world by the Americans to face torture in a place I had never been -- Morocco."

Finally, (if there's a fifth story, I didn't notice it and neither did Ava), Mackay's "

THEY could be walking the streets of Sweden, Italy, Albania, Indonesia or Pakistan. They are kidnapped in broad daylight, hooded, drugged, shackled and placed on a jet operated by the CIA. When they wake they find themselves in a country such as Morocco, Egypt or Uzbekistan -- where torture is the currency of the interrogation room. The CIA hand the captive to the local secret police, and the prisoner disappears off the face of the Earth. If they are lucky, they will emerge a few years later in a cage in Guantanamo Bay, broken by beatings, rape and electrocution ... if they are unlucky, they are never seen again.

America's "extraordinary rendition" programme targets suspected Islamic terrorists, captures and delivers them to US-friendly nations which are quite happy to use torture to get the information the US wants for the war on terror.

Neil Mackay's reporting matters. He and his paper (Scotland's Sunday Herald) deserve credit for covering this issue with something more than an occasional piece (the way the New York Times does the reporting of Raymond Bonner on this topic).

I'll add that Jose Padilla is an American citizen. He hasn't been given a trial after three years. We know that. We all know that (in this country). We can pretend we don't and we act like it's not happening but it is happening and, from Mackay's reporting, we know that some of the torture has been used to attempt to get information on Padilla. If after three years they've got no information that allows them to feel they have a winnable case, the government appears to have no case. Padilla should have been granted a trial years ago. The continued refusal to allow him to stand to trial is a shame on the country (United States).

For Bonnie, last evening's entries were "
Reporting from outside the US mainstream media" and "Reporting from outside the US mainstream media focused on Iraq."


this is the cowboy junkies' early 21st century blues cd cover. this is also a strong cd worth checking out. there will be a review of both at the third estate sunday review so check it out. Posted by Picasa

this is dolly parton's new cd those were the days. this is a really great cd worthy of high praise and you should check it out.  Posted by Picasa

wally's new site, the big rip off and a nature & science report

it's sunday. you're getting an entry. don't you feel lucky.

first off i'll note that wally has started his own site called the daily jot. you love wally, i love wally, check him out.

second, we're still at work on the third estate sunday review. we're about to take an extended break to get out of ava & c.i.'s way so that they can do one of their tv reviews. but we need to finish up a post. we want illustrations for that so we'll post them here and then carry them over to the third estate sunday review.

why are we so behind? the news review was halted before it was done. dona wanted to be sure c.i. was comfortable with continuing. why wouldn't c.i. be comfortable? because it appears c.i. may have been ripped off. (yes, martha, it would be by the person you hate.) (martha was the one who e-mailed third estate about the possible rip off.) c.i. was fine with it.

i know dona was surprised by that but c.i. can handle that junk. i don't doubt that c.i.'s more ticked off than we know but c.i. handles things like this differently. not by stuffing it down, but more along the lines of an edith wharton novel (as ava pointed out). to pull a c.i. 'translation' the rip off artist may find some doors closing in their face. like in a wharton novel, the character will never even see it coming until it's too late. so we took a long break during that because dona was worried.

if it had been me that was ripped off by that person (this would be 3 times now that the rip off has ripped off the common ills), i would be up in arms. but c.i.'s got more control and probably better social graces. the social graces are what will lead to doors closing for baby rip off. baby rip off has often ripped off others and screamed and yelled when called on it. c.i. won't go for a confrontation with baby rip off, c.i. will just ensure, via friends, that baby rip off finds that some of the once welcome homes no longer leave their porch lights on for baby rip off. all baby rip off had to do was say 'while reading the common ills this morning, it suddenly occurred to me that . . .' instead, as usual, baby rip off tries to act as though they invented the wheel.

baby rip off got away with it in the past. in some ways baby rip off will again. but in ways that matter, baby rip off's about to get the cold shoulder.

i had the misfortune of giving the report right after the break. it was so tense because everyone was pissed off except for c.i. and everyone thought c.i. was going to crack or something under the strain. (well, elaine knew better but mike was wondering if we'd even be able to turn out an edition.) dona and jim were saying 'there won't be any questions, c.i. will just go to you and then say thank you and move on to the last report to finish up.' i didn't think that would happen and it didn't. leave the tantrums to baby rip off, c.i.'s cool as a cucumber and can eat baby rip offs for breakfast.

here's my section of the third estate sunday review news review:

C.I.: Noted. That was Ava of The Third Estate Sunday Review. And note that was Ava's statement, so take it up with her or The Third Estate Sunday Review. I can guess who the person was but I haven't read the piece so I've made no statement on it. For myself, I'll state that I didn't do any "reporting," I merely listened to friends at The Times. Let's move on. Rebecca, of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude.
Rebecca: In Japan, they're entertaining a plan to put microchips in "dangerous animals" such as crocodiles. AFP reports that in Australia, plans are in place to bring back the extinct Tasmanian tiger by using bones and teeth for cloning. The Irish Examiner reports that nine people in Turkey have been tested and released after no sign of bird flu was found in their systems. The nine lived in the area where Turkey's bird flu outbreak occurred. In Jefferson, Texas, almost four hundred people gathered for a conference on Big Foot. Australia's ABC reports that a German team believes that they have found a brain belonging to a Hobbit. United States researchers disagree. The Independent of London, on the same topic, reports that"at least nine more "hobbits" - a miniature species of human discovered two years ago - have been unearthed by scientists excavating the floor of a cave on a remote Indonesian island. "
C.I.: Rebecca, The Independent has a story on the measures England will take if they have a bird flu outbreak.
Rebecca: Right. Let me first note this from Geoffrey Lean and Severin Carrell in The Independent:
The likeliest scenario is that the mutation will take place in China and South-east Asia, and be carried to Britain by a passenger on a commercial flight. Professor Oxford warns it could arrive here just a day after beginning to spread widely in Asia.
No fully effective vaccine will be ready in Britain in time for the first wave. Instead, the Government is relying on building up stocks of anti-virals, like Tamiflu, which may blunt its effects. But Britain dithered last March in ordering the drug, which means that it will not have enough if the pandemic arrives in the next year.
Rebecca (con't): The article you're referring to is also by Geoffrey Lean, "Schools to close and sport banned if bird flu hits." From that article:
The plans allow for: closing schools, theatres and public buildings; cancelling mass gatherings such as sporting fixtures; suspending international flights from infected countries; deploying police to deal with public disorder; setting up special centres to dispense the anti-viral drug Tamiflu; and encouraging people to observe basic hygiene.
Rebecca (con't): Here in the United States, Bully Boy continues to push the "turn it over to the military!" nonsense and we don't appear to be any closer to a plan of response.
C.I.: Thank you, Rebecca. Due to the time we used on The Times, we're running short so Betty of Thomas Friedman is a Great Man and Kat of Kat's Corner will do a joint entertainment report. Betty, why don't you start.