Archives for FUBAR

Sometimes, pressure actually works

Bravo to the human rights activists around the world who muscled up in unison to obliterate one of the most backward laws passed by any country in recent times.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai recently signed into law a bill that approved of marital rape, stipulated that the wife "is bound to preen for her husband as and when he desires," barred wives from "leaving the house without the permission of the husband" unless in a medical or other emergency and approved child marriage with girls legally able to marry once they began to menstruate.

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The killing of a cop is an attack on us all

As flags fly at half-staff and Pittsburgh's spirits dip as low as the sullen clouds, it is necessary to take the unusual step of saying something nice about the government.

This is important because the flags have been lowered for three city police officers cut down Saturday by yet another armed, paranoid hater, this one harboring anti-government fantasies colored by anti-Semitism.

Those brave officers were just answering another domestic disturbance call. To the killer, it seems they were hated symbols of the government.


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The dark side of Special Olympics jokes

Americans with mental retardation have been in the news recently.

First, President Obama committed a regrettable indiscretion on the Jay Leno Show by comparing his own bowling ineptitude with the level of skill on display -- so the joke goes -- at the Special Olympics.

But honest people may feel a little uncomfortable with excessive sanctimony about this incident. In fact, at some point most of us have probably been guilty of making or being amused by similar digs at our fellow citizens with mental retardation.


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This guy is one of our allies?

So these are our allies in the war against terrorism?

A 17-year-old Pakistani girl is unmercifully and publicly flogged by a Taliban thug for leaving her house without a male escort and when authorities are asked to explain, they reply that it was wrong to do it in public. Afghan Shiite women face the prospect of arrest under a new law adopted by the government of Hamid Karzai that critics charge would allow their spouses to incarcerate them at home.


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A dying racist struggles to deal with his past sins

Elwin Hope Wilson leans back in his recliner at his home in Rock Hill, SC, a sad, sickly man haunted by time.

Antique clocks, at least a hundred of them, fill his neat ranch home on Tillman Street. Grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, cuckoos and Westministers, all ticking, chiming and clanging in an hourly cacophony that measures the passing days.

Why clocks? his wife Judy has often asked during their 49 years together.

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An 18-year media ban comes to an end

The Pentagon's 18-year ban on media coverage of fallen U.S. service members returning home ended quietly, with only an officer's sharp order to salute accompanying a single flag-covered casket being unloaded from a cargo plane.

After receiving permission from family members, the military opened Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to the media Sunday night for the return of the body of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers of Hopewell, Va.


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G-20’s shortcomings may be a good thing

The G-20 economic summit fell short of expectations -- and that's probably just as well.

President Obama did not get a coordinated, massive global stimulus initiative and with it the threat of global inflation. The summit did approve $1.1 trillion in lending authority and cash for the International Monetary Fund and that sum alone, coursing through the smaller economies of Eastern Europe and Latin America, will have to be carefully monitored for its inflationary impact as the recession begins to ease, which it will.


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The beginning of the end or an opportunity?

The Congressional Budget Office, the economic forecasting arm of the Congress, now reports that the Social Security trust fund is almost in the red. They project that the fund's surplus next year will be a scant $3 billion.

For perspective, CBO just 12 months ago projected that this same surplus would be $86 billion -- almost 30 times larger. Plus, the CBO estimated then that the fund would not be in the red for another ten years. Now it looks like it may be next year.


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