Saturday, December 20, 2008

What, no shitferbrainz?

Pew Research: Bush and Public Opinion

Go Phokk Yourself

'I didn't compromise my soul' [Vampires don't have souls. Everybody knows dat.--ed.]
Pres. Bush opens up in exit interviews and reflects on his popularity and future. [Popularity? Is that what they're calling extreme hatred now?--ed.]
'Retirement' to $2.1 mil home [Well, he's earned it. Ok, Pappy earned it. Ok, The Bush Crime Family earned it. Would ya stop nitpicking.--ed.]
Official Bush portraits unveiled [Are they depicted behind bars?--ed.]
Bush says won't second guess Obama [Ya sure? You have a proven record of success. Ok, so we won't be hearing from you AT ALL, right?--ed.]

Friday, December 19, 2008

Brian Giles: A Shitstain of Humanity

Click on the link for the video of him punching his girlfriend to the ground. You stay classy, Brian.

Giles underwent anger management to resolve 2006 misdemeanor charge

Padres outfielder Brian Giles entered into a plea agreement for a misdemeanor domestic violence charge that stemmed from a video-recorded incident at a Phoenix bar on Aug. 27, 2006.
Giles, 37, was required to complete anger-management counseling as part of the deal in exchange for the case being dropped, said John Tutelman of the Phoenix city attorney's office. After his counseling was completed, the case was dropped this past February.
Giles' alleged domestic violence history has come to light after the former girlfriend, Cheri Olvera, recently sued him for more than $10 million, alleging a string of abuse, including batterings while she was pregnant.

Giles has had that look of a "totally on roids" candidate, given his power outage since 2002. Looks like it fried his brain, if it wasn't fried already. Wherever he's playing next year, he needs to be booed off the field and/or (car) batteries thrown at him.

Evil Capitalism Strikes Again

With it's wastefulness...

HP breaks Japanese excessive packaging record

Onion or real?

News item: Mice suspected in deadly cat fire.

I hope Marble Kitty doesn't frequent this site...

two things to know about Blago's lawyer

1. Former clients like "Jimmy 'The Bomber' Catura (federal fraud, 1972) and Billy Dauber, feared mob enforcer, both ... later whacked by the Outfit... Pat Marcy, 1st Ward powerbroker and mob court fixer; 'Blind Louie' Cavallaro, juice loan collector and enforcer, and Jerry Scalise, Marlborough diamond jewel thief" aren't necessarily among his favorites, according to Carol Marin. "I know Eddie Genson may be prouder of the politicians he's represented than the mobsters, but honestly, isn't it sometimes almost a toss-up?"

2. He can't even figure out how to pronounce his own phokking name, according to the last minute and a half or so of this report.

Small Town Values

Levi Johnston's mother hit with drug charges

Sherry L. Johnston was arrested by Alaska State Troopers at her Wasilla home Thursday December 18, 2008 and charged with six felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance. Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston, the Wasilla 18-year-old who received international attention in September when Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, announced their teenage daughter was pregnant and he was the father.

Yes, Obama's going to be preoccupied with the many other disasters you're leaving behind

Bush: Bankruptcy would leave the next prez to deal with the demise of the auto industry in his first days in office

Onion or real?

News headline: iBreath turns the iPod into a breathalyzer

Thursday, December 18, 2008

a little ketchup, some french fries...lovely meal

Pet lovers protest cats on the menu in China (AP)

GUANGZHOU, China – While animal lovers in Beijing protested the killing of cats for food on Thursday, a butcher in Guangdong province — where felines are the main ingredient in a famous soup — just shrugged her shoulders and wielded her cleaver. "Cats have a strong flavor. Dogs taste much better, but if you really want cat meat, I can have it delivered by tomorrow," said the butcher, who gave only her surname, Huang....

Christmas Cupcakes

Southern Ill. 73, Northern Illinois 58
Box Score - Recap

Way to be representin' da nort'side, Huskies...

Syracuse 82, Canisius 60
Box Score - Recap

Nice try, Golden Griffins. Hope to see you again in the Loss column next year...

How to Suck at Democracy -- the PhD seminar

Today, just moments ago, the infamous Lizard People ballot came up for the Canvassing Board's review!

This ballot was initially counted as a Franken vote. The Coleman campaign challenged the ballot, claiming "Lizard People" was an identifying mark. The Board voted to uphold the challenge, arguing that they couldn't be certain that "Lizard People" wasn't a real person's name.

And in a separate post...

If Coleman wins 127 challenges and Franken wins 122, that would mean a net of 5 votes for Coleman. If the Franken campaign's estimate was correct that it was winning the re-count by 4 votes assuming that all challenges would be rejected, that would produce a Coleman win by a grand total of ... one vote!

Holy Phokking S#i+ Here It Comes!

How to Flush MEEEEEEEllions Down da Terlet

Wouldn't trust him to take the garbage to the curb:'s Jon Heyman believes the Mets and free agent Oliver Perez are too far apart in negotiations for a deal to be reached. Heyman lists the Brewers, Dodgers, Reds and perhaps the Mariners as potential suitors for Perez. He's believed to want $14 million per season for five years.

Half of the 5 years will be spent on the D.L.:

Yankees signed RHP A.J. Burnett, who had been with the Blue Jays, to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. The Yanks announcing a big contract six days after it was agreed to is actually pretty good for them. Most players have to wait weeks. The details of Burnett's deal still aren't known, such as the annual salary breakdown and what kind of no-trade protection he received. He will average $16.5 million per season, which is a nice raise from the $12 million per year that he would have earned in the final two seasons of his contract with the Jays.

Didn't he like totally suck last year:

According to's Jon Heyman's, Andy "Pettitte's people apparently are telling folks he has a $36 million, three-year offer" from an unnamed team. A rather odd line. Pettitte's "people" are the Hendricks brothers, unless Heyman is using the word to refer a group other than his agents, and they haven't gone public with much of anything regarding the Pettitte negotiations. This could be nothing more than an attempt to get the Yankees to boost their offer. Pettitte wants to stay in New York, and he hasn't gone looking for a multiyear deal since leaving Houston.

And the coup de grâce, the drunk, gutless, neverwuz... Royals GM Dayton Moore must have reached this decison thusly: "Hmmm, I've heard of him...he's still in major league baseball, right?...a proven veteran...sold!"

Royals agreed to terms with RHP Kyle Farnsworth, who had been with the Tigers, on a two-year, $9.25 million contract with a club option for 2011. We'll be generous and say Farnsworth is just as good of a bet as Ramon Ramirez for next year, even though Ramirez was the far better pitcher last season. That would essentially mean that the Royals are paying $9.25 million for Coco Crisp. After all, Ramirez was going to make about $500,000, while Crisp comes in at $5.5 million. Farnsworth will get $4.25 million next year and $4.5 million in 2010. There's a $5.25 million option for 2011 with a $500,000 buyout. It's a ridiculous sum for a small-market team to be spending on a reliever who has graded out as below average each of the last three seasons.

The Golden Age (cont'd)

If you'd like to smell like Burger King...

NEW YORK (AP) -- Burger King has launched a new men's body spray called "Flame," which it describes as "the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat."

The fast food chain is marketing the product through a Web site featuring a photo of its King character reclining fireside and naked, except for an animal fur strategically placed to not offend.

The marketing ploy is the latest in a string of virile ad campaigns by the company.

Burger King is also in the midst of its Whopper Virgins campaign that features an taste test with fast-food "virgins" pitting the Whopper against McDonald's Big Mac.


A reason to visit Hammond, Ind.

"A Christmas Story" 25th anniversary exhibit draws thousands of visitors

More than 16,400 people have toured the exhibit since it opened Thanksgiving weekend, said Erika Scheeringa, community and public relations manager of the Lake County Convention and Visitors Bureau. On a recent weekend, when the center hosted a "Mommy's Little Piggy" eating contest as part of the exhibit, more than 4,000 people came through. . .

The exhibits showcase his adventures. "Flick's Tongue and the Triple Dog Dare" is where Ralphie's best friend, Flick, gets his tongue stuck to an icy pole; "It's a Major Award," features the infamous leg lamp that Old Man Parker wins; "Santa's Mountain at Higbee's" shows where an elf pushes Ralphie down a slide with his foot; "The Bumpus Hounds" devour the Parkers' Christmas turkey dinner; and the "Parker Living Room" features Christmas night.

coming soon: wintry End Times cocktail

... Winter Storm Warning remains in effect from 3 PM this afternoon to 12 PM CST Friday... expected to begin as snow late Thursday afternoon... mixed with sleet roughly along and south of Interstate 88 and the Eisenhower expressway... snow will change to sleet and freezing rain with significant icing... snow or ice accumulations by mid morning Friday are expected to be near a foot along the Wisconsin state line... to 6 to 9 inches from the north side of Chicago westward through DeKalb and Lee counties... to 4 to 6 inches from the south side of Chicago westward into northern LaSalle County... and 3 to 5 inches of mixed snow and ice along Interstate 80... significant amounts of snow... sleet... ice... strong winds... thundersleet... ice locusts... cocktail of precipitation... cats and dogs living together... thundersnow... Joey Gathright... keep an extra flashlight... food... and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency... career .632 OPS... run in circles... scream and shout... snow and sleet accumulation of 7 to 10 inches. ice accumulation of up to one quarter of an inch... pestilence from the north... south... east... west... chance of precipitation 100 percent... total snow accumulation 8 to 12 inches... then more snow and s#i+...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

there is another non-disaster going forward directly behind this one

December 14, 2008: Zell expects housing recovery by spring

(Reuters) — A revival in the U.S. real estate market, key to a recovery in the world economy, should begin by next spring, property mogul Sam Zell told an Israeli business conference on Sunday.

"I believe that in a country that continues to grow and where the population continues to grow, we will see the first signs of equilibrium in the housing market in the spring of 2009 and I will expect by spring 2010 the housing market in the U.S. will look a lot better," Zell said.

Yay! Finally, some good news, and it's coming from someone who knows a thing or two about this stuff...

December 12, 2007: Zell says subprime meltdown is 'manageable'

(Reuters) — Billionaire investor Sam Zell on Wednesday compared the current credit-fueled crisis in U.S. real estate to the savings-and-loan meltdown of the late 1980s but said it was a "manageable" problem that would not drag the wider economy into a recession next year.

Speaking at an event in Chicago hosted by the Executives' Club of Chicago, Zell, who made his fortune in real estate, also predicted the U.S. property market would begin to recover modestly in 2009.

"I don't see any robust change," he said. "I also see no disaster going forward. . ."

"Commercial real-estate has always been (about) supply and demand," he said. "If you own the assets, those assets are going to benefit from the fact that there's little new supply and existing supply will be limited."

Zell said the key to the housing market's health going forward would be the strength of the U.S. job market. He expressed confidence that as long as unemployment stays below 5.5 percent, it was "very, very unlikely" that the subprime contagion would spread.

But how do you measure "most theatrically corrupt?"

Weisberg recognized that the "unmasking" of our governor "as a kleptocrat of Paraguayan proportion" finally gave Illinois "a real chance —its first in more than a generation — to defeat Louisiana in the NCAA finals of American political corruption."

Weisberg allowed that the Corporate Crime Reporter put Louisiana first in the nation for the period from 1997 to 2006 with 7.67 federal corruption convictions per 100,000 residents. Illinois, though its absolute numbers were bigger, managed only a 4.68 convictions ratio to finish "an embarrassing sixth. . ."

Over the past decade:

Sheer number of public officials convicted in federal courts of corruption -- Florida first with 824; Illinois seventh with 502.

Convictions per capita: the District of Columbia first with 66.9 per million residents per year. If you don't count DC (and the Virgin Islands and Guam), North Dakota first with 8.3; Illinois 22nd with 4.0.

A survey of journalists!!! Rhode Island first, Louisiana second, Illinois tenth. . .

Not Bloheim's week...

First, one of his brain-dead players is suspended for the year by the university for punching a woman in the face (and Bloheim defends him...Classy!), he is forced into attacking a microphone (below), and den Da Cuse lose on a 60-foot bomb at the buzzer to Cleveland State (Cuse's leading scorer that night: the aforementioned tatted up asshole prick phokkface dickhead brain-dead shit-for-brainz no-talent loser, Eric DevenDORF).

They don't make 'em more brain-dead than this woman

Drew Peterson engaged to 23-year-old woman

Looks like it’s bride number 5 for Drew Peterson.

“Yeah, he proposed and she accepted,” Peterson's attorney, Joel Brodsky, said of his client's impending nuptials.

Drew Peterson, shown here in a photo taken last month, is a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy. He is now engaged to a 23-year-old Bolingbrook woman.

But Brodsky added, “I guess he's got to get divorced.” Peterson’s current wife, Stacy, has been missing since last year.

Peterson said he does not believe his marital status should prevent him from becoming engaged. “I was married to Kathleen when I was engaged to Stacy," he said.

Kathleen — Kathleen Savio, wife number 3 — was the victim of an unsolved March 2004 homicide. Stacy — wife number 4 — vanished in October 2007. State police say she is the victim of a potential homicide and have named Drew Peterson their sole suspect.

Peterson's publicist, Glenn Selig, said Drew's betrothed is a 23-year-old woman from the Bolingbrook area, making her even younger than Stacy, who would be 24.

A sleepy Peterson on Wednesday morning seemed perturbed that news of his engagement had leaked.

“I can't believe this is happening," he said. "How the f--- did this get out?"

Peterson said he wants to keep details of his new love under wraps.

“Last time I had a relationship, you guys screwed it all up," he said of 22-year-old tanning salon worker Kim Matuska. "The police had her, the grand jury had her. I'm not putting her through all that."

I got yer End Times right here


The big dance

At 300 to 400 pounds each, the Bulls' Matadors make the city of big shoulders more like the city of big bellies.
On second thought, he'd be the lightweight in this bunch. Moving on...

We are living in a golden age (cont)

Or, It's always someone eles's fault (cont)

Will this lawsuit fly?
Can you get drunk on a flight, then sue the airline for giving you the booze?

Well, of course you can sue, it's the American way! The question is can you sue successfully? And if alcohol can cause this, shouldn't it be illegal? This whole going to work thing is the sucker's way out. I need to find something to sue on to get me meeeeeeeeelions. Any suggestions Mr. Lawyer?

oh, get over it already...

Greenland melt seems to be picking up speed, blah blah blah

More than two trillion tons of land ice in Greenland, Antarctica and Alaska have melted since 2003, according to new NASA satellite data that show the latest signs of what scientists say is global warming.

Did you catch that, my friends? "What scientists say is global warming..." a couple of drinks and you could probably get them to say almost anything.

Scientists studying sea ice will announce that parts of the Arctic north of Alaska were about 5 to 6 degrees Celsius, or 9 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, warmer this past autumn, a strong early indication of what researchers call the Arctic amplification effect... As sea ice melts, the Arctic waters absorb more heat in the summer, having lost the reflective powers of vast packs of ice. That absorbed heat is released into the air in the autumn. That has led to autumn temperatures in the last several years that are 3.5 to 6 degrees Celsius warmer than they were in the 1980s...

"The pace of change is starting to outstrip our ability to keep up with it, in terms of our understanding of it..." (In other words, they're making it up... Ed.)

Two other studies presented at the conference assess how Arctic thawing is releasing methane - a potent greenhouse gas. One study shows that the loss of sea ice warms the water, which warms the permafrost on nearby land in Alaska, thus producing methane...

A second study suggests even larger amounts of frozen methane are trapped in lake beds and sea bottoms around Siberia and they are starting to bubble to the surface in some spots in alarming amounts, said Igor Semiletov, a professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks (where Putin rears his head... Ed.). Late last summer, Semiletov found methane bubbling up from parts of the East Siberian Sea and the Laptev Sea at levels 10 times higher than those of the mid-1990s, he said.

The amounts of methane in the region could dramatically increase global warming if they get released, he said.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God Bless Wal-Mart

Their next child will be called Goebbels Brownshirt Campbell.

Troglodyte Homunculus goes to the polls

Now some poor schmuck has to figure out who the hell he was trying to vote for.

add this to the list of things Bush has phokked up

It's no longer cool to look stupid.

[Reagan's] advisors proved so unable to get him to read his briefing materials that some of them began conveying the information in cartoon form... In this way, as in so many others, George W. Bush followed the Reagan script. In the 2000 campaign, he famously flubbed a quiz on world leaders and talked defiantly about “Grecians” and “nucular weapons.” He said he knew he was going to win when he read a New Yorker profile in which Al Gore cited the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

But if Reagan burnished the anti-intellectual brand, Bush has now wrecked it. Sometime between the catastrophe in Iraq, the catastrophe in New Orleans and the catastrophe on Wall Street, Americans decided that people who didn’t know much about government weren’t likely to run it very well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Spoken like the piece of shit, degenerate sadistic old man, war criminal that he IS


Cheney says Guantanamo should stay open, waterboarding OK

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Guantanamo 'war on terror' detention center should remain open indefinitely, Vice President Richard Cheney told ABC News in an interview Monday, while also defending the harsh interrogation method known as waterboarding.

Cheney was asked when the detention camp at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba can be "responsibly" be shut down. "Well, I think that that would come with the end of the war on terror," he told ABC.

And when is that? "Well, nobody knows," Cheney said. "Nobody can specify that."

In previous wars the United States has "always exercised the right to capture the enemy and then hold them till the end of the conflict. That's what we did in World War II with, you know, thousands, hundreds of thousands of German prisoners," Cheney said.

"The same basic principle ought to apply here in terms of our right to capture the enemy and hold them.

The other option, Cheney said, "is to turn them over to somebody else. A lot of them, nobody wants. I mean, there's a great resistance sometimes in the home countries to taking these people back into their own territory."

According to Cheney, some 30 detainees who were released from Guantanamo "ended up back on the battlefield again, and we've encountered them a second time around. But they've either been killed or captured in further conflicts with our forces."

Cheney also said he helped authorize interrogation methods used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, an Al-Qaeda operative detained in Pakistan and sent to Guantanamo who has confessed to being a top planner of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

Sheikh Mohammed was subjected to a forced interrogation method that simulates drowning known as waterboarding.

"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do," Cheney said.

"And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it," Cheney said.

ABC asked him if in hindsight he thought the tactics went too far. "I don't," Cheney said.

The Cheney interview is to air on ABC late Monday and early Tuesday, the network said, as it released an advanced transcript of the questions and answers~

coming soon: MLB gets a chance to find out how nice a Miller Genuine Draft logo looks on a pitcher's mound

Ed Sherman: The Blackhawks have released an artist's rendition of what Wrigley Field will look like on Jan. 1 for the Winter Classic game against Detroit.

I have to say it looks pretty cool in more ways than one. The rink is going to be situated from first to third, and there will be lines showing the exact location of the baseball diamond. The on-deck circles will have the Hawks and Red Wings logos.

...there isn't any advertising on the boards or anywhere else on the field in the drawing. You know that won't be the case on Jan. 1.

In other news, the Blackhawks lead the league in attendance. Don't these lemmings know that all those local broadcasts of home games are driving down the value of their tickets?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bush gives his friend one last gift that doesn't belong to him

He talks of doing the right thing, of not worrying about "callow" popularity - he's callow alright. And he wants to be popular with a crowd, that crowd just isn't the American people. And I hope his life is nothing but ash.

This filled me with real grief. Just leave one thing alone.

Final Days Fire Sale
Published: December 13, 2008

Imagine if President Bush, on his last day in office, invited his friends to lift the Lincoln portrait from the White House Dining Room, take the 18th- century furniture from the Map Room and — for good measure — poison the Rose Garden on the way out.

In essence, he is doing the same thing this month with land that belongs to every American — the magical redrock country of the Southwest.

Well before it was a bumper sticker and a chant at Sarah Palin rallies, “drill, baby, drill” became the overriding mission of the political hacks who oversee more than 200 million acres of public land for Bush. At a frantic pace, they have opened up to oil and gas leasing canyons of golden slickrock, mesas once known only to hunters and pronghorn antelope, and little hideaways near the open-aired art galleries of the Anasazi.

Take what you want, they said — and get while the getting is good. It was a plunderfest that produced a gangster culture, with dozens of high-level Interior Department employees exchanging sex, cocaine and gifts with the industry they were supposed to be doing arms-length business with, according to a scathing and quickly forgotten report this year by the agency’s inspector general.

At the time of the report, with gas reaching $4 a gallon, many people shrugged and said we need the oil — drill, baby, drill. Now gas is selling for a pittance, but that hasn’t stopped the fire sale. Everything must go!

On Election Day, the Bush administration announced it would open 360,000 acres of public land in Utah to oil and gas leasing, including about 100,000 acres near Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and Dinosaur National Monument.

As with the $700 billion bailout that Bush insisted had to be given to the very bankers, insurance companies and other tassel-loafed failures who got us into the economic meltdown, the president now wants every dead-ender in the energy business to have one last treat.

Solitude and ageless stone may not be commodities as easily quantified as a couple of thousand barrels of oil. But to the American inheritance, they are the equivalent of those first-edition Audubon books and presidential portraits in the White House.

The administration never even consulted with the parks before announcing they would have oil and gas rigs on their borders.

The giveaways went far beyond public land. For the coal industry, the parting gift was a federal rule that makes it easier to dump mining waste into streams. Anyone who has spent time in Appalachia of late has seen the handiwork — entire mountaintops lopped off in an end-of-days rush for a dirty fossil fuel.

On Thursday, Bush handed out another goodie: a rule that largely frees federal agencies from having to consult independent biologists before constructing something that could lead to the extinction of birds, fish or other endangered species.

Following a storm of outrage by park officials and the incoming Obama team, the government has now backed off from some of the more egregious sales in the Southwest. But on the upcoming Friday before Christmas, it will still auction off more than 150,000 acres near some of the most stunning scenery in the world.

In a concession, officials promised that oil and gas operations would be camouflaged — the rigs and drills painted a desert red so that visitors to the wildlands of Utah would not have industrial clutter marring their sunset picture.

It would be one thing if we needed the fuel. Of nearly 9,000 oil and gas permits approved on public land in Utah, barely a third of them have been drilled. The way this game works is that oil companies buy the leasing rights — in some case for as little as $2.50 an acre — then wait for Saudi Arabia to force another oil price spike. Then they drill.

And the impact on price or domestic supply? Nothing. Even if all the accessible oil and gas were taken from federal land in Utah, it would have zero impact on prices, according to several studies.

But the loss is incalculable — “geologic architecture that has inspired our American character,” and places where “the curvature of the earth is not only seen but felt,” as the ever-lyrical Terry Tempest Williams wrote in a recent essay in The Los Angeles Times.

So why do it? Because they still can. The only urgency is Jan. 20.

Eight years ago, in an act of frat-boy vandalism during their departure from the White House, members of Bill Clinton’s staff ripped W’s off computer keyboards and glued shut some shelves. If only Bush could revert to his college character type, and leave us with such a benign exit mark.

And they always have creepy bedroom odds and ends...

From The Advocate, more fear of the gay bogeymen and women.

Urban Outfitters Pulls Pro-Gay-Marriage Shirts From Shelves

In another sign that one of America's hippest retailers isn't as forward-thinking as one might assume, Urban Outfitters has pulled a T-shirt touting same-sex marriage from its shelves.

The shopping blog Racked reported late last week that the Philadelphia-based Urban Outfitters removed "I Support Same-Sex Marriage" shirts from its stores after they had been on sale for only a week. The publicly traded clothing chain blamed the removal of the shirts on bad press, but according to Racked, the negative publicity consisted of only one blog post.

The shirts' designer, Tara Littman, told Racked, "With quite a few pro-Obama shirts in their store and even some anti-McCain products, this clearly isn't a company that has a problem being politically aligned, so why?"

Urban Outfitters chairman Richard Hayne is known as a conservative -- he's donated thousands of dollars to right-wing causes, including the campaigns of homophobic former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum. When asked in 2003 what his own views were about homosexuality, Hayne told the Philadelphia Weekly, "I have my own opinion, but I am not going to share it."

The same-sex marriage shirts are not the only Urban items to generate scandal. In 2003, Urban began selling “Everyone Loves a Jewish Girl” shirts, which had dollar signs surrounding the text. In 2006, Philadelphia stores featured handgun Christmas decorations, even though the city suffered over 300 gun-related murders that year. (Neal Broverman,

Pollsters running out of questions (cont)

Survey Asks: Internet Access or Sex?

According to the study, 46 percent of women and 30 percent of men would opt to forgo sex for two weeks instead of giving up access to their precious Internet for the same period.

What a stooooooooopid comparison! I wish I was on the internet so much that I could compare it to all my conquesting!

A case for equality...

This article made me think about a lot of things:

Woman Blinded by Spurned Man Invokes Islamic Retribution
Sunday, December 14, 2008; Page A01

TEHRAN -- Ameneh Bahrami once enjoyed photography and mountain vistas. Her work for a medical equipment company gave her financial independence. Several men had asked for her hand in marriage, but the hazel-eyed electrical technician had refused them all. "I wanted to get married, but only to the man I really loved," she said.

Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of sulfuric acid over her head, leaving her blind and disfigured.

Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker's eyes, acceding to Bahrami's demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.

The implementation of corporal punishments allowed under Islamic law, including lashing, amputation and stoning, has often provoked controversy in Iran, where many people have decried such sentences as barbaric. This case is different.

Tehran journalist Asieh Amini, who writes about human rights and opposes the sentence, said protest has been muted because people have been moved by Bahrami's story. "It's hard not to get emotional over what has happened to her," Amini said.

Bahrami, 31, said she has fought long and hard to obtain what she views as justice.

"At an age at which I should be putting on a wedding dress, I am asking for someone's eyes to be dripped with acid," she said in a recent interview, as rain poured against the windows of her parents' small apartment in a lower-middle-class neighborhood of Tehran. "I am doing that because I don't want this to happen to any other women."

Some officials also said the punishment would be a deterrent.

"If propaganda is carried out on how acid attackers are punished, it will prevent such crimes in the future," Mahmoud Salarkia, deputy attorney general of Tehran, told reporters after the court issued its ruling.

There are no statistics on the number of acid attacks against women in Iran. "This is an extreme case of social violence, but crimes like spouse and 'honor' killings are clearly on the rise in Iran," Amini said. "These crimes are violent reactions to sexual limitations in this country."

In public life, men and women are often segregated in Iran, and sex before marriage is illegal.

Amini said she doubted that the sentence against Bahrami's attacker would reverse the trend. "Social violence will not be cured with more violence," she said.

In 2002, Bahrami was a 24-year-old electronics student at a university in Tehran. She and her friends felt sorry for a sometimes bedraggled younger student named Majid Movahedi, so they collected sweaters and pants and asked a university staff member to pass them on to him.

"Ameneh was always nice to everybody," said her mother, Shahin, carefully lifting a cup of tea to her daughter's lips.

Bahrami left a deep impression on Movahedi, even though the two had never spoken.

"He was absolutely crazy about her," said Aziz Movahedi, Majid's father. "At periods he would lock himself in his room, saying he only wanted to marry her."

Bahrami didn't share his feelings. "I remember him as a strange boy with an obsessive stare," she said. In 2003, Movahedi's mother called Bahrami's parents to propose a marriage. "I politely declined," Bahrami said.

Movahedi, refusing to be turned down, began waiting outside her workplace and stopping her in the street, crying that he would kill himself if she didn't marry him.

Police said they could not act before a crime had been committed, so Bahrami decided that she needed to act. "Things were out of control. I was facing an unbalanced person," Bahrami said.

On Oct. 31, 2004, she approached Movahedi as he waited near her office. "I made up a story that I had gotten engaged and was about to marry. 'Continue with your life,' I told him. 'There is absolutely no hope for us.' "

As she returned to her office, he vowed to kill her.

Three days later, on a cold, clear autumn afternoon, Bahrami was walking home through one of Tehran's busy city parks when someone tapped her on the shoulder. As she turned around, a burning fluid splashed onto her face.

"It felt like my head was stuck in a bowl of boiling water," Bahrami said. "I bent forward to allow the stuff to drip off my face, but the pain was intolerable. I fell on the pavement, screaming for help."

In the interview, Bahrami recounted these events calmly. Her mother, sitting next to her on a couch, held her daughter tightly.

Bahrami remembers a crowd gathering around her. "A bystander came with a jerry can of water. I splashed it on my face, but that only caused the acid to run down my arms onto my body."

Someone picked her up and took her to a nearby hospital. The doctors ordered a worker to hose her down in the hospital's courtyard.

"They didn't take her clothes off or wash her eyes properly. That could have softened the high degree of burns," said Farid Karimian, an Iranian ophthalmologist who began treating Bahrami a couple of days later. "She was a real mess."

Movahedi turned himself in to police two weeks after the attack. During a preliminary hearing, he acknowledged attacking Bahrami and was imprisoned to await trial.

"What was my sin? To want to choose freely in marriage?" Bahrami said. "What was he thinking?"

Bahrami was transferred to a burn unit at another hospital, where she had several surgeries over the next six months.

"All the time I had to sleep standing up. I was completely blinded," she said.

After the operations, doctors referred her to an eye clinic in Barcelona for a last attempt to restore some of her vision.

But Bahrami had no insurance. Iran's president at the time, Mohammad Khatami, who had heard Bahrami's story through her attorney, personally paid a large portion of her bills and promised that the government would make the remaining payments.

" 'You don't worry about anything; we'll take care of you,' they said," Bahrami recalled.

Doctors at Barcelona's Instituto de Microcirugia Ocular, an eye surgery hospital, were impressed by Bahrami. "She was an amazing patient. So brave. She came to a foreign country, blind, without knowing the language. She only wanted one thing: to be able to see again," said Ramón Medel, an eyelid surgeon at the hospital.

Medel and other doctors focused on Bahrami's right eye, which was less damaged.

"After some operations, she could at least see some shadows," Medel said. "But we needed to do more work on her."

In August 2005, almost a year after the attack, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became president, and the payments for Bahrami's medical costs and her Barcelona apartment suddenly stopped.

Iran's ambassador to Spain at the time, Morteza Alviri, said he had nightmares after meeting Bahrami. "I felt so sorry for her. I tried to do what I could," he said. But when Ahmadinejad changed several ambassadors, supporters of the previous government, Alviri was the first to leave. "I don't know what happened to Ameneh after that," he said.

Ahmadinejad's media adviser, Medhi Kalhor, said he could guess why the payments were cut off. "Did Mr. Khatami throw the acid? No. He shouldn't have paid for her out of the people's pocket," he said. "If Bahrami was an old man with an ingrown toenail, no one would speak of it. . . . There are so many people who need our help. We cannot just pay for everybody."

Bahrami eventually was evicted from her apartment, and members of a Spanish organization took her to a homeless shelter in Barcelona.

"After some days, I understood that I was surrounded by drug addicts, drunkards and prostitutes," she said. "I cried so hard -- what had I done to deserve all this?"

"It was a horrible, crazy place, where they had put her," said Amir Sabouri, president of the Iranian Friendship Association of New York, a charity that helps Iranians worldwide. Sabouri traveled to Spain to help Bahrami after hearing about her plight.

Soon after, Bahrami felt fluid dripping from her right eye.

"Unfortunately her eye, which was very weak, gave out," Medel said. "She must have caught some bacteria somewhere."

Bahrami returned to Tehran in June.

With little left to lose, Bahrami took the unusual step of asking the court for qisas, or eye-for-an-eye retribution as allowed under Islamic law.

Courts usually order families of the accused to pay "blood money" for the crimes. But Bahrami insisted on the punishment. She had several meetings with the head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, who tends to favor less strict interpretations of Islamic law.

"Shahroudi really pressed me to demand blood money instead of retribution. He explained that such a sentence would cause lots of bad publicity for Iran. But I refused," she said.

The judiciary did not respond to a request for an interview.

More than two weeks ago, Movahedi was led into court by two policemen. He showed no remorse when the court ruled on the case. When the judge asked whether he was ready for his punishment, Movahedi said that he still loved Bahrami but that if she asked for his eyes to be taken out, he would seek the same punishment for her.

"They must also completely empty out her eyes, since I'm not sure that she cannot secretly see," he said. "The newspapers have made this a huge case, but I haven't done anything bad."

Movahedi was sentenced to five drips of sulfuric acid in each eye. His father said he was "incredibly sorry" for what had happened. "If Ameneh is really blind, the verdict against my son must be implemented," he said.

Under Iranian law, a convict has 20 days to appeal the verdict. If Movahedi fails to do so, the punishment will be carried out on a date decided by the judiciary.

Medel, the doctor in Barcelona, said he was shocked to hear that his former patient had asked for another person's eyes to be taken out.

"I heard about that court case on the radio here in Spain," he said. "I never linked it to Ameneh. It's a harsh sentence, but she really had to go through a lot. I don't know what I would have done if she had been my daughter."