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“It was a guy’s show. It was male driven. It was written by guys. It was directed by guys. It was acted by guys. It’s what about guys do. We talked the way guys talked. We were the boss. We were the God. We smoked when we wanted. We shot guns when we wanted. We kissed the girls and made them cry... when we wanted. It was the last truly masculine show.”

--- Dirk Benedict on “The A-Team”, the 1980s hit TV show he starred in with Mr. T and George Peppard. Benedict has also remarked that if “The A-Team” was remade today, it would be a lot more feminine, and a more appropriate title would be “The Gay-Team”.

In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire…

72-year-old punches out pickpocket

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – An Associated Press story from 6/26/07 reported that a man named Bill Barnes was scratching off a losing $2 lottery ticket inside a gas station when he felt a hand slip into his front-left pants pocket, where he had $300 in cash. He grabbed the person’s wrist with his left hand and threw six or seven punches with his right before a store manager intervened. “I guess he thought I was an easy mark,” Barnes, 72, told The Grand Rapids Press. He’s not: Barnes served in the Marines, was an accomplished Golden Gloves boxer and retired after 20 years as an iron worker. The AP story reports that Jesse Daniel Rae, the 27-year-old Newaygo County man accused of trying to pick Barnes’ pocket, was arraigned Monday in Rockford District Court on one count of unarmed robbery, a 15-year felony.

Man being chased by cops gives them the ‘time out’ hand signal

Fox News reported on 6/26/07 that police were after a man for breaking into a home and stealing two expensive cell phones. Out of breath, the alleged thief gave police the “time out” hand signal. The story notes that after the man regained his composure, he was arrested and given his “time out” in the back of a cop car.

Prisoner shares cell with his bull

On 8/2/07 reported that a Serbian farmer has been allowed to take his prize bull to prison with him after an emotional appeal to jail bosses. Hamdija Djuric, 54, from Novi Sad was sentenced to a year in prison for assault after he hit another man during an argument in a local bar. However, a judge ruled he could take his one-and-a-half ton bull Micko with him after lawyers argued that if the farmer went to jail the bull would have to be slaughtered. They said there was no one to look after him and that the animal was too valuable to the farmer to be put down. reported that Micko will be kept in a specially converted cell on the ground floor at the prison and, if both are well behaved, they should be free by Christmas.

Illegal Day Laborers Win Big Settlement

On 6/13/07, reported that Mamaroneck, a town of about 20,000 residents located some two dozen miles from New York City, will pay six illegal day laborers $550,000 and forbid its police department from checking suspects’ immigration status to settle a discrimination lawsuit that claims the men were harassed because they are Hispanic. After multiple complaints of hundreds of drunken men fighting, littering, urinating and defecating at a public park’s makeshift day laborer hiring site, police shut it down. A Latino rights group sued the town alleging that the illegal immigrants’ constitutional rights to assemble and exercise free speech were violated.

Pictured above is a woman about to be stoned to death. The picture below is of a woman hanged. Both pictures are from Iran. Middle East Times reports that in the first 10 months of 2007 alone, more than 250 people have been hanged in Iran, many in public, or even broadcast on state television. According to Amnesty International, 71 children are currently awaiting to be hanged in Iranian prisons. And, at least eight women will be stoned to death in the coming months.

Father, Uncle Sentenced in Honor Killing

LONDON – The Associated Press reported on 7/20/07 that the father and uncle of a woman who was brutally murdered for falling in love with the wrong man were sentenced to life in prison Friday for ordering the killing. The 2006 murder of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod, who was strangled after two hours of torture and sexual abuse, was the latest in an increasing trend of so-called “honor killings’’ in Britain, home to some 1.8 million Muslims. The AP article notes that Mahmod was a member of an Iraqi Kurd family that had emigrated to Britain in 1998. Her father, Mahmod Mahmod, and uncle Ari Mahmod, were found guilty of ordering the killing. A third man, Mohamad Hama, who had pleaded guilty to taking part in the killing, was sentenced to at least 17 years in prison. The AP article reported that Mahmod’s family accused her of shaming them by ending an abusive arranged marriage, becoming too Westernized and falling in love with a man who did not come from their village. The elder Mahmods ordered the killing after discovering she was having a relationship with an Iranian Kurd. Her former unnamed partner had raped her as well as repeatedly beat her, the court heard.

News agency Reuters reported that Hama, who prosecutors said had been a ringleader in the murder, was caught by listening devices talking to a friend in prison about the murder. In the recordings, transcripts of which were relayed to the court, Hama and his friend are heard laughing as he described how she was killed with Banaz’s uncle “supervising”. 

The Associated Press story reported that during the trial, the jury was told how the victim’s attempts to get help were dismissed by police. She first went to police in December 2005 when she suspected her uncle was trying to kill her and her boyfriend. She sent the police a letter naming the men who she thought would later kill her. On Dec. 31 2005, she was lured by her father to her grandmother’s home, where her father forced her to gulp down brandy and approached her in a menacing manner. She escaped by breaking a window, and was treated at a hospital. The AP story reported that one police officer, who now faces investigation, considered arresting Banaz Mahmod for damaging her grandmother’s window. After leaving the hospital, she tried to convince her family that the relationship was over, but the couple were spotted together. The killing occurred several days later, and her body was disposed of in a suitcase.

Woman kills raccoon with bare hands after it attacked young boy reported on 8/10/07 that a woman in Cheshire, Connecticut killed a raccoon with her bare hands Thursday when the animal attacked a young boy. Officials with Cheshire animal control say the woman was walking in the woods around 11 a.m. with a group of children when the animal bit the 5-year-old son of a friend. She pulled the raccoon off the child, told the children to run home and strangled the animal, authorities said.

Evidence found of Stasi’s shoot-to-kill order

On 8/12/07 AgenceFrance-Presse reported that officials said a document uncovered in the archives of East Germany’s feared secret police proves for the first time that border guards had a clear shoot-to-kill order from the communist regime. The seven-page document dated October 1, 1973, indicates that the Ministry for State Security, known as the Stasi, had told guards that they must “stop or liquidate’’ would-be dissidents. “Do not hesitate to use your firearm, not even when the border is breached in the company of women and children, which is a tactic the traitors have often used,’’ read the key passage, which was found in early August in the regional archive office in the eastern city of Magdeburg.

Dining with murderers, bank robbers, drug dealers

On 8/11/07, reported a new trend -- opening the doors to one of Italy’s most secure jails — where the cooks and waiters are murderers, bank robbers, and drug dealers. The entertainer Bruno is serving 25 years for stabbing his girlfriend 25 times in a public square in broad daylight. The waiter Antonio is a self made man. Francesco Vitetta, a London Business man, is going to launch the first UK service in South London (Sutton Prison). The evening costs about 45 British Pounds and the menu offers a selection of six starters, seven main courses and seven desserts with supplementary dishes. A security check requires booking three weeks in advance. No criminal records allowed. Show an ID, hand in your cell phone and purse and go through a metal detector.

One Presidential Medal of Freedom Winner Didn’t Make Ceremony

At a White House ceremony on 11/5/07, President Bush honored eight distinguished men and women with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civil award. Among the recipients were longtime civil rights activist Benjamin Hooks; Harper Lee, author of the novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird”; and C-SPAN’s founder and president, Brian Lamb. One of the honorees wasn’t there. Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet spent the day locked in a fetid cell in the Combinado del Este prison in Havana, where he is serving a 25-year prison sentence for speaking out against Fidel Castro’s dictatorship.

Peter Kirsanow, a member of the US Commission on Civil Rights, has written that the conditions of Biscet’s incarceration are like this: “windowless and suffocating, with wretched sanitary conditions. The stench seeping from the pit in the ground that serves as a toilet is intensified by being compressed into an unventilated cell only as wide as a broom closet. . . . Biscet reportedly suffers from osteoarthritis, ulcers, and hypertension. His teeth, those that haven’t fallen out, are rotted and infected.”

A Christian physician of Afro-Cuban origin, Biscet investigated Cuban abortion techniques - Cuba has the highest abortion rates in the Western Hemisphere - and revealed that numerous infants had been killed after being delivered alive. In 1997, he began the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights, which seeks “to establish in Cuba a state based on the rule of law” and “sustained upon the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” In 1999, he was given a three-year sentence for “disrespecting patriotic symbols.” To protest the regime’s repression, he had hung a Cuban flag upside down.

Mother rests in chair

On 8/25/07 Reuters reported that a German man left his dead mother in her favorite armchair at their home for two years because he could not face organizing a funeral.

Vietnamese Americans in New Orleans East successfully rebound from Hurricane Katrina

On 8/28/07 reported that in the nearly two years since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the major focus has been on the failure of the government to provide support to the majority African American community in the 9th Ward. However, lately the resilience of the Vietnamese American population in New Orleans East – a suburban community 15 miles northeast of downtown New Orleans – has been getting a great deal of attention. This community has a 90 percent return rate – way more than the rest of the city. In contrast to much of the criticism heard, Father Vien Nguyen has spoken about all the work his Catholic church did to find the Katrina refugees, offer them services and bring them home. Said the priest: “We asked the government not to get in our way!”

Miscarriage jolts Japan to address doctor shortage

TOKYO – On 8/30/07, Reuters reported that Japan’s health minister promised to try to resolve a shortage of doctors after a pregnant woman miscarried in an ambulance during a frantic three-hour search for a hospital that would accept her. The story notes that eight hospitals turned down the 38-year-old woman, who was six months pregnant, and the ambulance carrying her collided with a minivan on its way to the ninth, said a fire department official in Nara, western Japan. Her waters broke several minutes before the accident and the baby was born dead. The woman and medical staff were uninjured in the accident. “The nearest hospital was just three minutes away,” the official said. “Instead, the ambulance had to drive 70 km.”

Reuters reported that Japan suffers from a shortage of doctors, with medical students put off by long hours and a rising number of malpractice suits. Last year, a woman died in Nara after 19 hospitals refused to take her after she lost consciousness while giving birth.

No shortage of aid to New Orleans

This past summer the Washington Times reported that federal spending on the Gulf Coast in the past two years ($127 billion) has exceeded total spending on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II (in inflation-adjusted dollars).

An artist’s incredible work - in his sleep

On 9/28/07 the Daily Post, a newspaper in North Wales, told the story of Lee Hadwin, a man with an acclaimed talent of drawing intricate pictures in his sleep. Oddly, when he is awake the 33-year-old nurse is awful at art. Footage of him busily sketching with his eyes shut can be viewed on the Internet- along with a gallery of his pictures.

Conservative Web Site Calls UC Santa Cruz “The Worst School in America” published an article by David Horowitz and Jacob Laskin on 9/13/07 titled “The Worst School in America”. Its subject was the State University of California at Santa Cruz. Though the authors praise the school’s hard sciences curriculum, they sharply criticize its liberal arts division, which they argue give students radical indoctrination (at taxpayers’ expense) as opposed to a well-rounded education.

Horowitz and Laskin also criticize a famous person on campus in this excerpt: “The school’s most celebrated faculty member is Angela Davis, a lifelong Communist, who retained her membership card even after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Davis is one of seven designated “University Professors,” a title normally “reserved for scholars of international distinction.” Davis has produced nothing in her academic career besides ponderous Marxist political tracts. Her real distinction is to be a tireless agitator for radical causes, including a personal crusade to abolish the “prison-industrial complex.” In Davis’s view, all criminals who are members of racial or ethnic minorities are to be regarded as “political prisoners” and victims of American racism, and should be released. Davis’s holds an academic chair in Santa Cruz’s “History of Consciousness” program, which awarded a Ph.D. to Black Panther Party leader Huey Newton. Newton’s sole academic credentials were his radical rap sheet and a political tract exculpating the criminal organization he headed as a victim of government persecution. Santa Cruz accepted this worthless document as his doctoral thesis.”

Too Many Men in China

In the 10/21/07 edition of the Los Angeles Times, Joshua Kurlantzick reported that China’s biggest problem wasn’t pollution, but its abundance of males. Nowadays, roughly 120 boys are born in China for every 100 girls, possibly the worst gender imbalance in modern history. Within 15 years, the country may have 30 million men who cannot find wives. By 2030, China will have an older population than the US, but will be less wealthy, and as a result will have a tougher time taking care of its senior citizens. Since Chinese men can’t find enough brides, a sex trafficking industry is growing in China, sweeping in girls from such nations as Laos, Myanmar, North Korea and Thailand. Some of these women wind up as virtual slaves.

Dog and Cat Honored at Ceremony

When Debbie Parkhurst choked on a piece of apple at her Maryland home, her dog jumped hard on her chest and forced the morsel to pop out of her throat. When the Keesling family of Indiana was about to be overcome by carbon monoxide, their cat clawed at the wife Cathy’s hair until she woke up and called for assistance. For their heroic acts, Toby, a golden retriever, and Winnie, a gray-eyed American shorthair, were named Dog and Cat of the Year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Union workers too lazy to walk their own picket line

On 7/24/07 the Washington Post reported that many people walking a picket line in downtown Washington, D.C. weren’t union members, but homeless people paid $8 per hour to do so. Notes the article: “Although their placards identify the picketers as being with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council of Carpenters, they are not union members.”

Bush: Biggest spender since LBJ

With the 2000 election of George W. Bush as president, many voters expected a return to the Ronald Reagan philosophy of decreased government spending. However, Bush is the biggest spending president since Lyndon B. Johnson. He’s arguably an even bigger spender than LBJ. Bush’s spending goes far beyond defense and homeland security costs. Contrary to what many of his critics have accused him of, education spending on the federal level has dramatically increased under Bush. Adjusted for inflation, it’s up 18 percent annually since 2001, thanks to his No Child Left Behind act. The 2002 farm bill caused agriculture spending to double its 1990s levels. And the 2005 highway bill cost $295 billion. The spending figures, provided by the libertarian Cato Institute, do not count entitlements such as Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. (Although the 2003 Medicare prescription drug benefit under Bush was the biggest single expansion in the program’s history.)

A question for presidential candidate Ron Paul

Columnist/radio host/ movie critic Michael Medved posted “An Open Letter to Ron Paul” on the web site on 10/26/07. Medved asks the Republican candidate several questions, including this one:

“[Y]our columns have been featured for several years in the American Free Press –a publication of the nation’s leading Holocaust Denier and anti-Semitic agitator, Willis Carto. His book club even recommends works that glorify the Nazi SS, and glowingly describe the “comforts and amenities” provided for inmates of Auschwitz.

“Have your columns appeared in the American Free Press with your knowledge and approval?”

Dog saves baby from venomous snake

On 11/4/07 reported that a doberman in Cairns, Australia that was rescued earlier from an animal shelter, repaid his new owners in time by saving their 17-month-old daughter from a deadly snake. Khan, as his new owners named him, picked up Charlotte Svillicic by his teeth and threw her over his shoulder. He took the bite from the king brown snake himself. Khan, who received a shot of anti-venom from a vet after taking the snakebite, has since made a full recovery.

Janitor becomes star pianist

On 6/20/07 The Telegraph, a London daily paper, reported that a Polish janitor is on his way to a career as a concert pianist after being heard playing the chapel piano at Glasgow University when he thought no one was listening. The talent of Aleksander Kudajczyk, who cleans the law department in the early morning, was discovered when the chaplaincy centre secretary, Joan Keenan, logged on to a webcam in the chapel and heard him. The story notes that she had e-mailed dozens of friends and colleagues to do the same. The 28-year-old Pole has been dubbed “a musical Good Will Hunting”, after the film starring Matt Damon, and is now entertaining crowds at Glasgow’s West End Festival. Mrs Keenan said: “Aleksander is a lovely but shy lad. He works as a cleaner but nobody knew what a talent he had.”

All contents © 2006 by Gene Mahoney