Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Why Is This Such Big News?

Afghanistan is being reclaimed day-to-day by Taliban. Taliban includes the promotion of al-Qaeda in its world mission. What the press and illiterate White House has named al-Qaeda is our greatest enemy. We have taken our military resources away from fighting al-Qaeda and sent them to procure oil in Iraq. Iraq is a mess, Afghanistan is a mess, we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars on these actions and our leaders continue to lie to us about all of it.

This is news.

Fossil-fuel emissions are altering our planet in ways deemed fallacy ten years ago. Today, we are actually seeing the dissolution of the polar ice caps. Our planet is in peril.

This is news.

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan rose to power, the United States was the largest lending nation in the world. We loaned money to countries desperate to stay afloat. At the end of Reagan's presidency (eight short years) we were the largest debtor nation; we owe more money to the rest of the world than even Brazil. A lot more. We desperately need foreign money to stay afloat.

This is news.

A woman is pissed that her affections are not being properly requited, decides to confront not the man, but the other woman she suspects of being intimate with the man. The woman gets a bit wacky about it, she makes some bad choices that involve potentially dangerous weapons, and she attacks her "adversary" with pepper spray.

This is not news.

In the scheme of things, this is a rather petty event. I'm sure the pepper spray hurt, and I am sure the entire incident was frightening to the victim. I do not mean to diminish the victim's suffering. When compared, however, to what is going on in the world, this is pretty small potatoes.

If the police paid half this much attention to women battered by their husbands in America, there would be little time to spend on this soap opera.

Read with bemusement:

Astronaut charged with attempted murder
by Barbara Liston
February 6, 2997 2:30 P.M.

A married U.S. astronaut was accused on Tuesday of trying to kidnap and kill a rival for the affections of a fellow astronaut after a bizarre 950-mile drive wearing diapers to confront the woman.

U.S. Navy Capt. Lisa Nowak, who has three children, was initially arrested on attempted kidnapping charges on Monday in Orlando after assaulting Colleen Shipman, a U.S. Air Force captain she considered competition for the affections of a male astronaut, police said.

Nowak was then granted release on $15,500 bail Tuesday morning on the kidnapping charge. But her release was halted at the last minute when police filed a new charge of attempted first-degree murder -- rocking the elite world of NASA astronauts.

Police said Nowak, 43, a flight engineer who made her first space flight in July to the International Space Station aboard shuttle Discovery, sped 950 miles from Houston to Orlando, wearing diapers so she wouldn't have to stop at a bathroom.

She disguised herself in a dark wig, glasses and trench coat to confront Shipman at Orlando International Airport but "only wanted to scare" the woman into talking to her, she told police.

Appearing in court wearing a jail uniform, shackled at the waist and with head bowed, Nowak said little on charges of attempted kidnapping, attempted burglary of a vehicle and battery.

"We are here for Lisa's health and well being and safety and taking care of her like we would any NASA employee in her situation," Steve Lindsey, her commander on the shuttle flight last July, said outside the courtroom.

Orange County Circuit Judge Mike Murphy at first granted Nowak bail of $15,500 and ordered her to wear a satellite-tracking device so authorities could monitor her whereabouts. But her release was put on hold because of the new charge.

A conviction for attempted murder can mean a life sentence.

NASA's astronaut corps, featured in Tom Wolfe's 1979 book "The Right Stuff," is considered the elite of aerospace and science, populated by top pilots and space researchers from the United States and other nations.


Arguing against her detention, Nowak's attorney, Donald Lykkebak, said his client's commitment to her career and her service to the United States should be taken into account.

"At times like this, judge, one's good works must count for something," he said.

Nowak drove to Orlando airport around midnight on Sunday night, waited for Shipman's flight from Houston to arrive and then followed Shipman to the parking garage armed with pepper spray, a steel mallet and a BB gun, police said.

She also carried black gloves, a folding knife with a 4-inch (10-cm) blade, rubber tubing and trash bags, they said.

In a search of Nowak's car, police later found diapers that Nowak told them she wore so she wouldn't have to stop to urinate during her drive from Houston. Astronauts wear diapers during shuttle launches and landings.

Nowak tried to get into Shipman's car and sprayed what may have been pepper spray through the window when Shipman refused to open the door, police said.

Nowak told police she did not intend to physically harm Shipman.

In her statement, Nowak described her connection to male astronaut Bill Oefelein as "more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship."

Nowak, who grew up in Rockville, Maryland, and attended the U.S. Naval Academy, became an astronaut in 1996 and waited 10 years for her first space flight. She was scheduled to be a lead commentator on the next shuttle flight, a key role for an astronaut on the ground.

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Copyright © 2007 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.

This sounds like a soap opera!

Is there no news about Iraq, or Afghanisatn, or oild prices, or the American economy that might be of interest?

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