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April 26, 2008

An atheist in a foxhole finds trouble in Iraq

Fort Riley atheist soldier speaks out on lawsuit - Yahoo! News

"I was ashamed to say that I was an atheist," Hall said.

It eventually came out in Iraq in 2007, when he was in a firefight. Hall was a gunner on a Humvee, which took several bullets in its protective shield. Afterward, his commander asked whether he believed in God, Hall said.

"I said, 'No, but I believe in Plexiglas,'" Hall said. "I've never believed I was going to a happy place. You get one life. When I die, I'm worm food."

The issue came to a head when, according to Hall, a superior officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, threatened to bring charges against him for trying to hold a meeting of atheists in Iraq. Welborn has denied Hall's allegations.

April 25, 2008

Israelis claim secret deal with U.S. allows further expansion into Palestinian lands

Israelis Claim Secret Agreement With U.S. - washingtonpost.com

A friend of mine--a gentle, pot-loving, ultimate frisbee playing, Mac loving hippie liberal--just went back to Israel and has decided to stay there and join the army and kill Palestinians. I have no idea what happened to him. I'm horrified at the changes he has undergone in a few short weeks.

Israel has gotten to the point where it is impossible to discuss in any rational way in the media. Only pro-Israel voices are allowed, which is troubling. Dissent should always be heard.

I long for the day that an answer can be found that everyone can agree on. An answer that benefits the Palestinians and Israelis. I'm not holding my breath though. In the meantime I'm just hoping my friend doesn't murder anyone or get hurt himself.

Ehud Olmert, the current Israeli prime minister, said this week that Bush's letter gave the Jewish state permission to expand the West Bank settlements that it hopes to retain in a final peace deal, even though Bush's peace plan officially calls for a freeze of Israeli settlements across Palestinian territories on the West Bank. In an interview this week, Sharon's chief of staff, Dov Weissglas, said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reaffirmed this understanding in a secret agreement reached between Israel and the United States in the spring of 2005, just before Israel withdrew from Gaza.

U.S. officials say no such agreement exists, and in recent months Rice has publicly criticized even settlement expansion on the outskirts of Jerusalem, which Israel does not officially count as settlements. But as peace negotiations have stepped up in recent months, so has the pace of settlement construction, infuriating Palestinian officials, and Washington has taken no punitive action against Israel for its settlement efforts.

Israeli officials say they have clear guidance from Bush administration officials to continue building settlements, as long as it meets carefully negotiated criteria, even though those understandings appear to contradict U.S. policy.

Sears manager caught spying on children in dressing rooms, masturbating

Disgusting: Peeping Tom Sears Manager Sued For $2.7 Milllion

According to Style Weekly, former Sears assistant manager, Robert E. Lee of Virginia, is being sued for $2.7 million for allegedly spying on a young girl and her mother through the ceiling tiles of a dressing room, while hiding inside of a "peeping hutch." The alleged crime occurred in March, 2006 when Lee was discovered spying from the masturbation station, strategically located above the ladies' dressing room. The young girl, whose age is described as "pre-pubescent," is said to have been traumatized when she suddenly noticed Lee leering from the ceiling while she and her mother were trying on bathing suits. Lee admitted his culpability. The lawsuit states, "During the search of the room, police officials recovered sexually explicit magazines and seminal fluids."

April 24, 2008

S.F. landlords charged with terrorizing tenant

S.F. landlords charged with tenant terror

(04-23) 19:04 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A landlord couple have been charged in San Francisco with waging a campaign of terror against their renters in a South of Market building, including cutting out the floor supports at one apartment after the tenant went to court to keep from being evicted, authorities said Wednesday.

Software engineer Kip Macy, 33, and real estate agent Nicole Macy, 32, who have addresses in Sausalito and Incline Village, Nev., were arrested Tuesday and charged with felony stalking, felony residential burglary, conspiracy and other counts in the bizarre case of apparent landlord rage. They posted bail after their arrest and could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The charges stem from tactics the Macys allegedly used after they bought a six-unit, three-story apartment building on Clementina Street for $995,000 in 2005 and started eviction proceedings against the five tenants living there.

When one of the tenants, Scott Morrow, successfully fought eviction, the couple allegedly told workers in September 2006 to cut the beams that supported his apartment's floor. They also shut off Morrow's electricity, cut his phone line and had workers saw a hole in his living room floor from below, prosecutors said. Morrow has since sued the Macys.