Thursday, March 09, 2006
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (CNN) -- Three Birmingham college students were arrested and charged Wednesday in connection with a string of Alabama church fires that is described in court papers as a joke that "got out of hand," authorities said.
The students -- Ben Moseley and Russell DeBusk, both 19, and Matthew Lee Cloyd, 20 -- are suspected in nine of the 10 fires last month.
The suspects were held on federal charges of conspiracy and setting fire to Ashby Baptist Church in Bibb County. In court filings, all three admitted being involved in the arson fires. No one was injured in any of the blazes.
U.S. Attorney Alice Martin said further charges are possible and that, if convicted, the students would face minimum sentences of five years for each count.
Authorities will seek indictments from a federal grand jury "in due course," she said.
"It's a good day when we can tell the people of Alabama that we believe this is an isolated instance," Alabama Gov. Bob Riley said.
All nine fires occurred in rural counties southwest of Birmingham -- five in Bibb County on February 3, and four in Greene, Sumter and Pickens counties on February 7.
I don't want to make this into a race thing, because these idiots did take the time to burn down some predominantly white churches as well as Black ones. But I find it interesting that a lot of high-profile and high-traffic conservative bloggers who continue to condemn the Islamic cartoon jihad attacks have done little to no reporting on this story. Considering the underlying religious implications here as well as the racist history of Birmingham, one is only left to guess why this story hasn't gotten more attention in the conservative blogosphere.
Posted by Mr. Grey Ghost at 2:17 PM
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- During a tour of the hurricane-damaged Gulf Coast, President Bush on Wednesday pressed Congress to pass a proposal that would reimburse up to $150,000 to each Louisiana homeowner who lost a residence to Katrina.
"We've all been working to figure out how to come up with a housing plan that will restore the confidence of the people of this important part of our country," Bush said after visiting a levee repair site in New Orleans.
"And in order to make sure that housing plan meets its goals, Congress should make sure that the $4.2 billion I requested goes to the state of Louisiana."
The $4.2 billion plan is part of a $20 billion supplemental funding bill before Congress.
If homeowners already have received funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or insurance payouts, the amount would be subtracted from the $150,000, said Don Powell, the administration's point man on storm recovery.
Congress is considering allowing all homeowners affected by Katrina to apply for the $4.2 billion in proposed housing aide, according to The Associated Press. Bush wants to limit access to those funds to Louisianans, the AP reported.
"I appreciate the determination by the folks down here to rebuild," Bush said. "I fully understand and I hope our country understands the pain and agony that the people of New Orleans and Louisiana and the parishes surrounding New Orleans went through."
Having visited the region for the 10th time today, the President is obviously doing everything he can to assist in the rebuilding of New Orleans and other areas effected by Hurricana Katrina. Of course, this won't satisfy the "Blame Bush" parade of liberals who recently ran with the lie that Bush was warned about the levees breaking in N.O. as well as certain residents too lazy to help themselves, yet with enough energy to blame the government for the rebuilding not going as fast as they'd like.
Posted by Mr. Grey Ghost at 1:37 PM
Monday, March 06, 2006
From The Australian.com:
ANG Lee was clutching his Oscar backstage. He had already won best director for his controversial but acclaimed film, Brokeback Mountain. Now he was waiting for it to claim Hollywood's highest prize.
It had been, he would later say somewhat mournfully, the way his life had gone at awards shows so far this year: first the film wins best adapted screenplay, then best director and then, finally, best film.
Except that Hollywood turned out to be resistant to a film that brazenly sets a homosexual love story in the grand national - and decidedly heterosexual - narrative genre of the western. The Academy turned its back on the Mountain and instead gave its highest prize to Crash in one of the biggest Oscars upsets in years.
When Lee was asked what had happened to his film, which had been the favourite after sweeping all the big precursor awards, he could only shrug.
"You ask me the question, I don't know the answer," he said. "That was a surprise this for me, frankly.
"The box office we did the best of all five movies and we've been winning, sweeping everything. It just happened this way. I really just don't know."
The film's writers, Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, who won for best adapted screenplay, were similarly puzzled.
"It's bittersweet, certainly," Ossana said. Crash's victory was an upset, but it wasn't entirely unexpected in some circles. Many film colony insiders felt that Brokeback Mountain's subject matter wouldn't resonate with the Academy membership, which is more conservative than many critics of Hollywood's liberalism might believe.
Some male academy members told The Australian that they had not even watched Brokeback Mountain. "It's a movie, I just don't know what they're so afraid of," Ossana said. "Whatever preconceived notions you have, you need to set them aside, the film will shatter those notions. It really isn't what people are imagining in their head. It's a lot more encompassing."
So despite tons of critical acclaim, a plethora of independent film awards, much less 3 Oscars (including one for Best Director), suddenly its "homophobia" that caused "Brokeback Mountain" to lose the Best Picture award.
Couldn't be that "Crash" was simply a better and more believable film or that the Oscar voters just disagreed with those in the Hollywood Left who made "Brokeback" into the second coming of "Gone With The Wind" (the perverted version). Blame it on "homophobia".
Talk about sore losers.
Posted by Mr. Grey Ghost at 1:47 PM