Sunday, February 17, 2008

At the End of the Day

What is it about Sunday? It seems neither fish nor fowl; is it the end of the week, or the beginning of another, or does it exist somewhere in it's own lazy dimension (on a rainy, dark weekend that we're experiencing here in SWMO, that definitely seems the case).

Let me clear the murk from my mind, and see what I can dredge up for you saucy little squabs (beware of drunken vice presidents with shotguns).
Wikipedia, the free online encyclopaedia, is refusing to remove medieval artistic depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, despite being flooded with complaints from Muslims demanding the images be deleted.

More than 180,000 worldwide have joined an online protest claiming the images, shown on European-language pages and taken from Persian and Ottoman miniatures dating from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, are offensive to Islam, which prohibits any representation of Muhammad. But the defiant editors of the encyclopaedia insist they will not bow to pressure and say anyone objecting to the controversial images can simply adjust their computers so they do not have to look at them.

In a robust statement on the site, its editors state: 'Wikipedia recognises that there are cultural traditions among some Muslim groups that prohibit depictions of Muhammad and other prophets and that some Muslims are offended when those traditions are violated. However, the prohibitions are not universal among Muslim communities, particularly with the Shia who, while prohibiting the images, are less strict about it.

'Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with the goal of representing all topics from a neutral point of view, Wikipedia is not censored for the benefit of any particular group.

Egyptian police have stepped up arrests of persons suspected of having HIV, detaining four men this month in a crackdown that violates basic human rights, two international rights groups said Friday.

New York-based Human Rights Watch and London-based Amnesty International warned in a joint statement that the arrests could undermine HIV/AIDS prevention effort as people in Egypt become increasingly afraid to seek information on the subject.

Police denied making any HIV-related arrests but one police official speaking on condition of anonymity said there is a campaign to get persons registered in hospital records as HIV-positive into treatment in "special clinics." The official said he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The latest arrests bring to eight the number of HIV suspects in detention.

Tom Scholz, the chief songwriter and founder of the band Boston, has written to Mike Huckabee, complaining of his use of the group’s 1976 song “More Than a Feeling” in his presidential campaign without permission, The Associated Press reported.

Mr. Scholz, who supports Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois, for president, objects to the implication that the band has endorsed the candidacy of Mr. Huckabee, a Republican.

  • I could take a third of my $$$ and simply set it on fire. It would prove about as effective as this.

President Bush on Sunday said Congress should renew his global AIDS program and preserve a requirement that steers money into abstinence efforts.

Some Democrats want to eliminate a provision in the bill that requires one-third[emphasis mine] of all prevention spending go to abstinence-until-marriage programs. Critics say that while they don't oppose abstinence programs, the inflexible requirement hampers the effort.

While arguing in court that states are free to enact tougher mercury controls from power plants, the Bush administration pressured dozens of states to accept a scheme that would let some plants evade cleaning up their pollution, government documents show.

Internal Environmental Protection Agency documents and e-mails, obtained by the advocacy group Environmental Defense, show attempts over the past two years to blunt state efforts to make their plants drastically reduce mercury pollution instead of trading for credits that would let them continue it.

An EPA official said the agency's job "is not to pressure states."
Not the agency's job, just a hobby.