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Kick Assiest Blog
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Teacher's sex experiment went too far, says district
Mood:  d'oh
Now Playing: Let's Get it On...At School
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Teacher's sex experiment went too far, says district

Sexual harassment complaint from science experiment will continue

CLAREMONT - An investigation by Claremont schools into allegations of sexual harassment by a student found a teacher acted inappropriately in how he conducted a biology lab. Freshman Gabriela Jimenez said she was distressed by teacher Robert Hoyle's March 31 class exercise on sexually transmitted diseases.

"It made me uncomfortable; I didn't want to do it," Gabriela said.

With the song "Let's Get It On" setting the mood, she said students were instructed to approach six classmates about exchanging water from their test tubes by asking, "Would you like to have sex with me?"

Parent Elizabeth Jimenez retained a lawyer with the Pacific Justice Institute and filed a formal sexual harassment claim for creating "an intimidating, hostile and offensive educational environment."

Devon Freitas, assistant superintendent of Claremont schools, did not return telephone calls, but in a written response to the institute's lawyer, Freitas acknowledged "decisions made by the teacher in the presentation of the lab ... were inappropriate, especially for the maturity level of most ninth-graders."

According to Freitas' response, other teachers at Claremont High taught the same lesson, and a memo was sent to all science teachers regarding Education Code protocol for lessons containing sexual references.

Kevin Snider, chief counsel at the Pacific Justice Institute, said they do not consider the matter resolved.

"We're in the process of filing a formal complaint," Snider said.

Hoyle's lab assignment, titled "Pathogens and Infection: Invisible Carriers of Disease," describes an exercise not uncommon in biology coursework.

In order to simulate the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, students were instructed to exchange "body fluids" with one another to see how rapidly a virus can spread.

Each student received a test tube, filled with water, to mix with six "partners" in the class. A tube was contaminated with a chemical, and after the students had poured, dripped or mixed with several others, the class examined how many ended up infected.

Jimenez, who said her daughter refused to participate, objected more to the method of the exercise than the message.

"There was lewd music," she said. "The problem is (my daughter) was uncomfortable, upset and embarrassed. Kids are saying things like "Hey, you want to suck my tube? You want to have foreplay?'"

She said less-popular students lacking partners to complete the assignment "were told to "experiment' and to 'have sex' with somebody of the same gender."

Jimenez said she was skeptical but became concerned after her two other daughters, one of whom took the class with another instructor, said they had the same test-tube sex experience.

Hoyle did not return calls seeking comment.

Jimenez said the district should have sent a notice to parents informing them of the content of the exercise so parents could opt to exclude their children.

Freitas said the district follows state law regarding parental notification, which requires parents to be notified about "instruction in comprehensive sexual education and HIV/AIDS prevention education."

CA - Inland Valley Daily Bulletin ~ Kenneth Todd Ruiz ** Teacher's sex experiment went too far, says district

This sounds to me like a teacher without any perspective, a malady common in Claremont, trying to "reach" the kids.

I mean, come on, what do kids want these days? They want open, frank discussions of sex with no limits on what they can say or do. This guy was jsut giving it to them. Isn't high school about giving the kids what they want? Afterall, we're there for the kids, and if giving the kids everything they want isn't what's best for them, I don't know what is.

Dang, thinking like a liberal makes my head hurt.

We also learned how to give massages in my American Lit class. Can you fathom sending your daughter to a class where a bunch of drooling bags of testosterone will be encouraged to grope and knead her and to do the same to said hormone bags? Well, such was and apparently is life at good ole CHS.

Homeschooling anyone?

Posted by uhyw at 10:42 AM EDT
Dems guilty of vote fraud
Mood:  d'oh
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Charles Powell Jr., the head of the city's Democratic Party, leaves the courthouse Wednesday, after he and four other defendants in the vote fraud trail were convicted in East St. Louis. >>>>>

Defendants guilty of vote fraud


All five defendants in the vote fraud trial in East St. Louis were convicted by a jury today after five and a half hours of deliberations.

The defendants showed little response when the verdicts were displayed on an overhead projector in federal court. Defendant Sheila Thomas dabbed her eyes, but the other four stared straight ahead.

Charles Powell Jr., the head of the city's Democratic Party, three precinct committeemen and an election worker had been accused of buying votes to get prominent Democrats elected in the Nov. 2 election.

Also convicted were Democratic precinct committee members Thomas, 31, and Jesse Lewis, 56, and City Hall worker Yvette Johnson, 46. Kelvin Ellis, the city's former director of regulatory affairs, along with Thomas, Lewis and Johnson also were convicted of one count apiece of election fraud for allegedly paying at least one person to vote -- or offering to do so. Powell was never charged with that count.

Jurors set aside defense claims that the government's case was flimsy because of unreliable witnesses whose testimony often contradicted each other and, at times, was recanted.

"I respect the jury, but I am disappointed," Ellis' attorney, John O'Gara, said after the verdicts.

O'Gara said the defense attorneys would consider asking for a new trial.

"I would say jurors looked at these tapes and listened to them, and I'm guessing they are using the interpretations these very faulty witnesses gave them to reach their conclusion," O'Gara added. "I would not have trusted the government's presentation."

Ron Tenpas, the U.S. attorney for southern Illinois, applauded the jury's conclusion that "we put together a well-founded case."

"We're not in the business of having ourselves validated," Tenpas said. "We think what the verdict represents is that -- in the judgment of 12 impartial citizens -- when all the evidence is put together we made a strong case."

A date for sentencing was not immediately set.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch ~ Michael Shaw ** Defendants guilty of vote fraud

Posted by uhyw at 10:32 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Canada Becomes 3rd Nation to OK Gay Unions
Mood:  silly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Canadian lawmakers OK same-sex marriage nationwide

TORONTO - Canada's House of Commons passed landmark legislation Tuesday to legalize gay marriage, granting same-sex couples legal rights equal to those in traditional unions between a man and a woman.

The bill passed as expected, despite opposition from Conservatives and religious leaders. The legislation drafted by Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority Liberal Party government was also expected to easily pass the Senate and become federal law by the end of July.

The Netherlands and Belgium are the only other two nations that allow gay marriage nationwide.

Some of Martin's Liberal lawmakers voted against the bill and a Cabinet minister resigned Tuesday over the legislation. But enough allies rallied to support the bill that has been debated for months, voting 158 to 133 to approve it.

Martin praised Tuesday's vote as a necessary step for human rights.

"We are a nation of minorities," Martin said. "And in a nation of minorities, it is important that you don't cherry-pick rights."

There are an estimated 34,000 gay and lesbian couples in Canada, according to government statistics. Before the measure passed, gay marriage was legal in seven provinces.

Alex Munter, national spokesman for Canadians for Equal Marriage, which has led the debate in favor of the law, was triumphant after the vote: "The genius of Canada, almost unparalleled in the world, is built on shared identity, out of respect for each other."

Martin, a Roman Catholic, has said that despite anyone's personal beliefs, all Canadians should be granted the same rights to marriage.

Churches have expressed concern that their clergy would be compelled by law to perform same-sex ceremonies, with couples taking them to court or human rights tribunals if refused. The legislation, however, states that the bill only covers civil unions, not religious ones, and no clergy would be forced to perform same-sex ceremonies unless they choose to do so.

The Roman Catholic Church, the predominant Christian denomination in Canada, has vigorously opposed the legislation, saying that it would harm children in particular.

Charles McVety, a spokesman for Defend Marriage Canada and president of Canada Christian College, called the vote an "onerous breach of trust and the deconstruction of so much that is dear to our hearts."

Flanked by clergymen, McVety vowed his group would work to vote out lawmakers who supported the legislation in the next general elections.

"This is the beginning of the formal fight against the redefinition of marriage," McVety said. "We will, in the next election, be able to correct this incredible democratic deficit before us today."

The debate in Canada began in December, when the Supreme Court ruled that passage of same-sex legislation would not violate the constitution.

According to most polls, a majority of Canadians supports the right for gays and lesbians to marry. In the United States, gay marriage is opposed by a majority of Americans, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll taken in November, shortly after constitutional amendments in 11 states to ban same-sex marriage were approved.

Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay marriages; Vermont and Connecticut have approved same-sex civil unions.

Roberta Sklar, spokeswoman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in Washington, D.C., said same-sex American couples applaud Canadians.

"We know that it has been somewhat contentious in Canada, but at the same time the Canadians have largely approached this issue in a rational and democratic way and are providing a very positive model for the rest of the world," Sklar said.

Though hundreds of foreigners have come to Canada to seek civil ceremonies since gay marriages were first allowed in Ontario and British Columbia in 2003, not all countries or states recognize the unions. While a slew of Israeli men were married in Toronto City Hall earlier this year, for example, the Israeli Interior Ministry does not recognize those unions.

In the United States, the federal government does not recognize same-sex marriage and most states refuse to acknowledge marriage certificates from gay and lesbian couples, regardless of where they wed.

USA Today ~ Associated Press ** Canadian lawmakers OK same-sex marriage nationwide

Related story...
CBC News ~ Canada ** Same-sex legislation passed

Posted by uhyw at 1:19 AM EDT
Lib Loser Anti-war Teen 'Anarchists' Accused Of Setting Fire To American Flags
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

Fla. Teens Charged After Allegedly Burning American Flags

SARASOTA, Fla. - Two Sarasota teens accused of burning six American flags have been charged with arson and manufacturing a firebomb.

Scott A. Baber and Brian A. Richard III, both 18, told deputies they burned the flags because they are anarchists and disagree with the war in Iraq and other U.S. government policies.

They set fire to six flags Sunday and tried to firebomb a car, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said.

Richard remained in jail Tuesday on $402,120 bail. Baber was released Monday on $101,120 bail.

The pair were charged with arson, manufacture of a fire bomb and criminal mischief.

Baber and Richard burned about five flags at homes in the Bent Tree subdivision, where they live with Baber's parents, then set fire to a flag at its clubhouse, said Lt. Chuck Lesaltato, a spokesman for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

"Our deputies came up on them as they were returning to their car," he said.

The arrest of his son surprised Brian Richard II.

"His grandfather was a decorated military man. The whole thing really stunned me. I was really sad that they made that choice," the elder Richard said.

Residents of the golf course community were also upset.

"How stupid," Pat Davidson said, straightening the stones surrounding her blackened flagpole. "What kind of thrill would you get burning an American flag?"

WKMG - Central Florida TV 6 ~ Associated Press ** Fla. Teens Charged After Allegedly Burning American Flags

Posted by uhyw at 12:58 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
EMINENT DOMAINED: Application submitted to NH city council to condemn Justice Souter's house for hotel
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: News

This is beautiful. Logan Darrow Clements of Freestar Media is throwing the Supreme Court's bullshit right back at David H. Souter, the head fucktard of the dumb-ass loss of property rights ruling. And gettin' to him right where he lives.

I hope Freestar Media pulls this off. It would be so righteous to see the top shithead libtard of the Supreme Court's decision to be one of his own first victims...

Below is our letter to begin the development process.

Mr. Chip Meany
Code Enforcement Officer
Town of Weare, New Hampshire
Fax 603-529-4554

Dear Mr. Meany,

I am proposing to build a hotel at 34 Cilley Hill Road in the Town of Weare. I would like to know the process your town has for allowing such a development.

Although this property is owned by an individual, David H. Souter, a recent Supreme Court decision, "Kelo vs. City of New London" clears the way for this land to be taken by the Government of Weare through eminent domain and given to my LLC for the purposes of building a hotel. The justification for such an eminent domain action is that our hotel will better serve the public interest as it will bring in economic development and higher tax revenue to Weare.

As I understand it your town has five people serving on the Board of Selectmen. Therefore, since it will require only three people to vote in favor of the use of eminent domain I am quite confident that this hotel development is a viable project. I am currently seeking investors and hotel plans from an architect. Please let me know the proper steps to follow to proceed in accordance with the law in your town.

Thank you.


Logan Darrow Clements
Freestar Media, LLC

Freestar Media ~ Logan Darrow Clements ** Letter starting the project

Press Release

Weare, New Hampshire (PRWEB) Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner.

On Monday June 27, Logan Darrow Clements, faxed a request to Chip Meany the code enforcement officer of the Towne of Weare, New Hampshire seeking to start the application process to build a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road. This is the present location of Mr. Souter's home.

Clements, CEO of Freestar Media, LLC, points out that the City of Weare will certainly gain greater tax revenue and economic benefits with a hotel on 34 Cilley Hill Road than allowing Mr. Souter to own the land.

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Cafe" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans.

"This is not a prank" said Clements, "The Towne of Weare has five people on the Board of Selectmen. If three of them vote to use the power of eminent domain to take this land from Mr. Souter we can begin our hotel development."

Clements' plan is to raise investment capital from wealthy pro-liberty investors and draw up architectural plans. These plans would then be used to raise investment capital for the project. Clements hopes that regular customers of the hotel might include supporters of the Institute For Justice and participants in the Free State Project among others.

Freestar Media ~ Logan Darrow Clements ** Press release explaining the project

Posted by uhyw at 5:21 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 28, 2005 5:34 PM EDT
Scientists 'raise the dead' in dog experiment
Mood:  surprised
Topic: Odd Stuff

Eerie ... boffins have brought dead dogs back to life, in the name of science.

Boffins create zombie dogs

Scientists have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.

US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years.

Pittsburgh's Safar Center for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.

The animals are considered scientifically dead, as they stop breathing and have no heartbeat or brain activity.

But three hours later, their blood is replaced and the zombie dogs are brought back to life with an electric shock.

Plans to test the technique on humans should be realised within a year, according to the Safar Center.

However rather than sending people to sleep for years, then bringing them back to life to benefit from medical advances, the boffins would be happy to keep people in this state for just a few hours,

But even this should be enough to save lives such as battlefield casualties and victims of stabbings or gunshot wounds, who have suffered huge blood loss.

During the procedure blood is replaced with saline solution at a few degrees above zero. The dogs' body temperature drops to only 7C, compared with the usual 37C, inducing a state of hypothermia before death.

Although the animals are clinically dead, their tissues and organs are perfectly preserved.

Damaged blood vessels and tissues can then be repaired via surgery. The dogs are brought back to life by returning the blood to their bodies, giving them 100 percent oxygen and applying electric shocks to restart their hearts.

Tests show they are perfectly normal, with no brain damage.

"The results are stunning. I think in 10 years we will be able to prevent death in a certain segment of those using this technology," said one US battlefield doctor. ~ Nick Buchan ** Boffins create zombie dogs

Posted by uhyw at 5:04 PM EDT
Monday, June 27, 2005
Editor of NY TIMES says paper must look beyond its liberal base
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

LMAO - I thought the NY Times were "balanced"... according to them ~ HA!!

Keller Says 'N.Y. Times' Must Look Beyond Its Urban, Liberal Base

NEW YORK - In a lengthy memo published on the newspaper's Web site, Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, announced several new policies in response to a recent report by the paper's Credibility Committee. Among them is a fresh attempt to diversify the Times' staff and viewpoints, and not in the usual racial or gender ways, but in political, religious and cultural areas as well.

The aim, he wrote, is "to stretch beyond our predominantly urban, culturally liberal orientation, to cover the full range of our national conversation."

The point, Keller wrote, "is not that we should begin recruiting reporters and editors for their political outlook; it is part of our professional code that we keep our political views out of the paper. The point is that we want a range of experience. We have a recruiting committee that tracks promising outside candidates, and that committee has already begun to consider ways to enrich the variety of backgrounds of our reporters and editors.

"First and foremost we hire the best reporters, editors, photographers and artists in the business. But we will make an extra effort to focus on diversity of religious upbringing and military experience, of region and class."

Keller said there had already been successes, namely, the coverage of conservatives by David Kirkpatrick and Jason DeParle, and a number of recent Sunday magazine pieces. "I intend to keep pushing us in this direction," Keller declared.

He also said that he endorsed the internal committee’s recommendation "that we cover religion more extensively.... This is important to us not because we want to appease believers or pander to conservatives, but because good journalism entails understanding more than just the neighborhood you grew up in."

Editor & Publisher ** Keller Says 'N.Y. Times' Must Look Beyond Its Urban, Liberal Base

Posted by uhyw at 4:05 PM EDT
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Rock Stars could serve Africa better by battling Greenpeace
Mood:  cheeky
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

'Junk Science' says that instead of targeting debt relief, rock stars could save millions of African lives by pushing back Greenpeace's efforts to block the use of insecticide and other agriculture technologies on the impoverished continent.

Rock Stars' Activism Could Be Put to Better Use

Bob Geldof's Live 8 concerts scheduled for July 2 will spotlight the problem of global poverty ahead of the July 6-8 G8 summit in Scotland.

But like Geldof's 1985 Live Aid concert, Live 8 it is a noble idea that, unfortunately, isn't likely to make any significant or lasting progress toward reducing poverty in Africa.

What Africa needs is genuine economic development that can be sustained over time, a goal that has been continually thwarted by the environmental policies forced upon developing nations by groups such as Greenpeace — an organization publicly supported by many of the Live 8 performers.

One necessary step toward economic growth in Africa, for example, is eradicating the continent's crippling famine and perpetual epidemics of disease. Yet, Greenpeace's successful campaign against the use of pesticides such as DDT has resulted in millions of deaths from diseases like malaria that pesticides could have prevented.

If Geldof and the other Live 8 performers really wanted to help Africans, they would rock-and-rail at their Greenpeace friends rather than at the G8 leaders.

Live 8 consists of rock concerts in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Toronto and Philadelphia and features dozens of mega-stars including U2, Elton John, Sting, Paul McCartney, and Madonna.

Geldof's vision is that the Live 8 shows will enable "ordinary people" to "show [the G8] that enough is enough" and to "demand from the 8 world leaders at G8 an end to poverty."

"The G8 leaders have it within their power to alter history," says the Live 8 Web site. "By doubling aid, fully canceling debt, and delivering trade justice for Africa, the G8 could change the future for millions of men, women and children," it states.

Despite the rhetoric, it's not at all clear how staging pop concerts to pressure G8 leaders on policy options of debatable merit will solve Africa's problems.

But many Live 8 performers — including Geldof, U2's Bono, Sting and Elton John, to name a few, have long and close associations with Greenpeace, from participating in protests to providing much-needed financial support. Greenpeace often uses rock stars and other celebrities in an effort to mainstream its anti-development, anti-technology — and, consequently, anti-Africa — agenda.

Millions of lives could be saved and economic development could be helped along if the Live 8's rock stars pressured Greenpeace to end its senseless campaigns against the insecticide DDT and biotechnology.

Although the Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT use in the U.S. in 1972, the ban and its tenuous rationale was never intended to be applied outside the U.S. Environmental groups, including Greenpeace, nevertheless exported the ban, making control of malaria-bearing mosquitoes in poor countries essentially impossible. Every year, the ban helps cause hundreds of millions of cases of malaria and tens of millions of resulting deaths in Africa and other parts of the developing world.

Greenpeace is now trying to formalize a worldwide ban of DDT by pressing for the United Nations' treaty on so-called "persistent organic pollutants" (POPs). Although the treaty is careful not to ban DDT outright, it makes DDT more difficult to use and so operates as a practical ban.

"The POPs treaty could virtually eliminate the use of DDT, perhaps the most affordable and effective pesticide and repellant in existence," said Richard Tren of Africa Fighting Malaria, a nonprofit health advocacy group.

The World Health Organization estimates that the deaths and illness caused each year by malaria cuts the gross domestic product (GDP) of African nations by 1.3 percent and costs them $12 billion in economic losses. The Greenpeace-supported POPs treaty will only guarantee that such health and economic devastation continues.

While discussing the African malaria problem at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, in January, U2's Bono said that "no one should die from a mosquito bite." Indeed. And now it's time for Bono to put his influence with Greenpeace where his microphone is.

Greenpeace also campaigns against the use of agricultural biotechnology, including "Golden Rice," which could help with the severe Vitamin A deficiency that afflicts hundreds of millions in Africa and Asia — including 500,000 children who lose their eyesight each year.

Scientists developed Golden Rice using the gene that makes daffodils yellow. The gene makes the rice rich in beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A.

But as pointed out by Greenpeace co-founder and former President Patrick Moore, now a vociferous critic of the activist group: "Greenpeace activists threaten to rip the biotech rice out of the fields if farmers dare to plant it. They have done everything they can to discredit the scientists and the technology.

"A commercial variety is now available for planting, but it will be at least five years before Golden Rice will be able to work its way through the Byzantine regulatory system that has been set up as a result of the activists' campaign of misinformation and speculation, " Moore said. "So the risk of not allowing farmers in Africa and Asia to grow Golden Rice is that another 2.5 million children will probably go blind."

Twenty years ago, Geldof's Live Aid concert raised $100 million for Africa, but he acknowledges on the Live 8 Web site that "poverty, famine and disease are still major problems in Africa." That result isn't surprising. Although the $100 million raised by Live Aid sounds like a lot of money, given the scope of the problem in Africa, it was a futile drop in the bucket.

Perhaps Geldof, Bono, Sting and other celebrities could make a dent in that problem by pressuring Greenpeace to stop its mindless campaign against DDT and agricultural biotech.

Steven Milloy publishes and, is adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and is the author of Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares and Scams (Cato Institute, 2001).

Fox News ~ Steven Milloy ** Rock Stars' Activism Could Be Put to Better Use

Posted by uhyw at 12:47 PM EDT
Saturday, June 25, 2005
Canadian posing as American tourist suffers anti-Americanism
Mood:  chatty
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

A local reporter set out to see how bad anti-American sentiment is Canada.

The ugly anti-American

Reporter David Bruser poses as a friendly U.S. tourist on Toronto's streets and finds Canadians aren't as affable or open-minded as we'd like to think.

Warmonger. Bible thumper. Braggart.

All popular, contemporary stereotypes of Americans.

Though one would think us "polite" Canadians would not utter these to an American's face, a reporter posing as a U.S. tourist learned his place in this city right quick.

During a couple of days walking major streets in the centre of Toronto, this pretender introduced himself to several locals and limped away with sore feet and the feeling that I'd been picked on.

Having lived in Mississippi for a couple of years, I felt impersonating a Southerner was within my limited acting skills. Nothing too obvious, no 10-gallon cowboy hats or "I do declare's". Just a few "y'alls," mixed in with support of George W.

While many were happy to talk geopolitics and differentiate between the U.S. government and its citizens, several others did not make that distinction, projecting the perceived sins of a nation onto me.

In Kensington Market, the tone was shrill. Of five people I approached, two were downright sanctimonious.

First, I approached John, sitting on a stoop smoking, a Toronto hat on his head. I asked for a lighter, introduced myself and said I'd noticed anti-Americanism in Toronto. He asked if I was a Republican and I said I was.

Then John asked, "Are you a fundamentalist of some kind?"

"This is Kensington Market," he added. "It's about the worst place for fellow right-wingers."

After I thanked him for his time and started walking away, he instructed, "Reconsider your views."


By no means a scientific or comprehensive survey, I sidled up to strangers bearing no ill will to ask for directions or the use of a lighter for a cigarette, introduced myself, told them where I was from, then turned the conversation to politics.

Up Augusta Ave., closer to College St., Charlie, an elderly man sitting outside smoking, needed only my introduction as an American.

"You like Americans?" I asked.

"They brag too much, don't they?" he said.

"They boast. They have this and they have that. (If they spent less) time doing that, they'd just get their problems solved, eh?"

Toronto is about to reap the benefits of American tourists, who travel here in the millions each year, mainly between July and September. In 2001, 3.4 million Americans visited this city and 3.2 million came in 2002, spending a total of $2.4 billion, according to Tourism Toronto. (SARS curbed tourism in 2003.)

But a November poll by Ipsos-Reid of 1,000 residents in each of the two countries showed one in seven Canadians (15 per cent) agree with the statement that "at the heart of it, I am actually anti-American. I don't like or respect anything the United States and its people stand for or what it is about."

Seven of the 30 I approached acted snotty, and several other Americans found in the city during this time said they too were the targets of mean-spirited locals.

While anti-Americanism has long existed in Canada, it seems to many that the attitude has intensified in recent years.

In a speech just a few weeks ago, Frank McKenna, our ambassador to the United States, acknowledged the self-righteousness and urged Canadians to cease gratuitous attacks and "endlessly" moralizing.

"I've seen some really appalling behaviour simply because I'm an American," said New York-native Clifford Krauss, Canadian correspondent for The New York Times, who has lived in Toronto and travelled the country for several years.

Though he feels the attitude has improved a little since the November re-election of President George W. Bush and beginning of the war in Iraq, Krauss said he's noticed this "waving a virtuous finger of superiority" is most pronounced in Ontario.

"I think that the anti-Americanism is part of a regional character that fills a vacuum. The Canadian identity, which in some parts of Canada is quite strong, is not so strong here. I say with some trepidation, because it might sound very arrogant, but there are other places in Canada where the culture is richer and where people are more confident in their culture," said Krauss. And, as he points out, the feeling is ingrained in the national psyche, even if what makes an American ugly to some Canadians changes through time (from isolationist in the early days of World War II to world's cop today).

"It goes back to the American Revolution. It's inbred — the Loyalists coming up here, the fact that there was quite a bit of fighting going on between the United States and Canada," Krauss said. Now fully into character and with my hackles up, I went in a bookstore near Bloor St. and Brunswick Ave., where I asked a man and woman in their late 20s for suggestions of neighbourhoods to walk. It was my very first encounter in this part of the city, and it went like this:

"I've been in town just for a few days. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've noticed a little bit of anti-American sentiment."

"It's an easy target," the man said.

"What is an easy target, Americans?" I asked.

"Yeah, it's an easy go-to," he said. "We're not mucking up the world are we?" Then he and the woman both said, "Ooohhh," evidently enjoying a good dis on me. The way they carried on, I thought they were going to high-five each other.

Other Americans, real Americans, found in the city last week were also unimpressed.

Of a group of six animated St. Louis Cardinals fans sitting behind their home team's dugout at the Rogers Centre, four loved Toronto, but two related their stories of an inhospitable city.

Twenty-one-year-old Kiesha Jones rode in her first Toronto cab. "The (Bangladeshi) cab diver told me Americans was killers," she said. "I'm an American and I'm not a killer."

And at a conference hosted by the International Right of Way Association — attended by scores of Americans in the highway, pipeline and power line construction business — a man from Houston said his wife went to a souvenir store on Queens Quay W. to buy some gifts for their children but left empty-handed after finding a T-shirt that read, "What's the definition of a Canadian? An unarmed American with healthcare."

"We don't particularly like that," the man said.

But Ed Peck, also in town for the conference, liked Torontonians just fine.

If ever there was an American in Toronto, Peck was it.

Moustachioed, athletic build, a tall cowboy hat fit snugly on his head. And unfailingly polite, with a firm handshake to send you off.

"Nobody's said a thing to me. Everybody's been real friendly," said the Houston resident.

Maybe I should've worn a cowboy hat.

"Look forward to coming back," Peck said.

Y'all come back, hear?

(Origional story requires registration)
Toronto Star ~ David Bruser ** The ugly anti-American

Posted by uhyw at 12:01 AM EDT
ACLU defends Polygamy
Mood:  smelly
Topic: Lib Loser Stories

One of the central concerns of gay-rights opponents is that the left is trying to undermine traditional marriage. In an attempt to prove their enemies right, the President of the ACLU defended polygamy as a right.

ACLU defends polygamy

Legal group backs 'freedom of choice'

The president of the American Civil Liberties Union says polygamy is among the "fundamental rights" that her organization will continue to defend.

During a question-and-answer session after a speech at Yale University, ACLU president Nadine Strossen stated that her organization has "defended the right of individuals to engage in polygamy," reported AgapePress, noting that the comments cited by the Yale Daily News received little attention.

The student paper said Strossen was responding to a "student's question about gay marriage, bigamy, and polygamy."

The ACLU chief said her organization defends "the freedom of choice for mature, consenting individuals," making it "the guardian of liberty ... defend[ing] the fundamental rights of all people."

Some opponents of same-sex marriage -- including, notably, Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. -- have argued that its acceptance will create a slipperly slope, leading to the sanctioning of other types of relationships, including polygamy.

Crawford Broadcasting radio talk-show host Paul McGuire says the ACLU "has declared legal war on the traditional family."

"Now the ACLU is defending polygamy," he said, according to AgapePress. "You know, there are male and female lawyers who wake up in the morning and are actually proud of being ACLU lawyers. But I think the majority of Americans view ACLU lawyers as people who hate America and who want to destroy all Judeo-Christian values and beliefs."

McGuire asserts Strossen's organization seems "to only defend things that tear down the fabric of society."

National Review correspondent Ramesh Ponnuru says the ACLU might be defending a right for people to establish households in this way without necessarily fighting for governmental recognition of polygamous marriages.

"Even if so," Ponnuru concludes, "it is hard to see how the ACLU, on its own principles, could stop short of demanding a change to the marriage laws to allow for polygamy."

Strossen, president of the ACLU since 1991, also serves as acting professor of law at New York Law School and is the author of "Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex & the Fight for Women's Rights."

World Net ** ACLU defends polygamy

Posted by uhyw at 12:01 AM EDT

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