The Gunther Concept

Random thoughts and observations on politics, art, music and the weather.


E-Mail Me
Site Feed

Free Guestmap from Bravenet Free Guestmap from Bravenet


TTLB Weblog Showcase


The Art of Peace
Baghdad Burning
Big Picnic
Body and Soul
A Clever Sheep
Cosmic Iguana
Counterspin Central
Culture Pimp
Daily Howler
Daily Kos
David Ehrenstein
Democratic Underground
Eat The State
Failure Is Impossible
H-Town Blogs
The Hamster
Lean Left
Lefty Directory
Little Red Cookbook
Media Whores Online
A Mind & a Card
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Off The Kuff
Omni Curious
ReachM High Cowboy Network Noose
Rittenhouse Review
The Road To Surfdom
Roger Ailes
Ruminate This
Rush Limbaughtomy
The Sacred & Inane
See The Forest
The Sideshow
Stand Down
Talking Points Memo
Ted Barlow
To The Barricades
Tom Tomorrow
Two Tears in a Bucket
Z Net
< ? Texas Blogs # >

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Yet More Evidence That The Democrats Should Ignore The South

Concerned that there hadn’t been enough recent news stories depicting southerners as stupid, ignorant rednecks, the Georgia legislature passed a law banning women from getting genital piercings. All women, young, old, whether voluntary or not.

Genital piercings for women were banned by the Georgia House Wednesday as lawmakers considered a bill outlining punishments for female genital mutilation.

The bill would make such mutilation punishable by two to 20 years in prison. It makes no exception for people who give consent to have the procedure performed on their daughters out of religious or cultural custom.

An amendment adopted without objection added "piercing" to the list of things that may not be done to female genitals. Even adult women would not be allowed to get the procedure. The bill eventually passed 160-0, with no debate.

Amendment sponsor Rep. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, was slack-jawed when told after the vote that some adults seek the piercings.

"What? I've never seen such a thing," Heath said. "I, uh, I wouldn't approve of anyone doing it. I don't think that's an appropriate thing to be doing."

The ban applies only to women, not men. The bill has already been approved by the Senate but now must return to that chamber because of the piercing amendment. Both chambers of the Legislature must agree on a single version of a bill before it can go to the governor for final approval.
I can only hope that the “I’ve never seen such a thing” comment from Rep. Heath refers to pierced female genitalia, rather than female genitalia in general. But I wouldn’t be surprised if the latter was the case.

posted by gunther at 5:04 PM Link

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Susan Lindauer Follow-up

Another bizarre factoid concerning the case of Susan Lindauer, who has been charged with being an Iraqi spy. It turns out that her name shows up on a public petition sponsored by the “Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation”. Lindauer signed the petition, and her name and address can be seen here. the petition was for those who wanted to “stop the spread of the anti-terrorist war to Iraq”. As they describe themselves,

[The] WWFOR seeks to replace violence, war, racism and economic injustice with nonviolence, equality, peace and justice. It links and strengthens FOR members and chapters throughout Western Washington in promoting activities consistent with the national FOR statement of purpose. WWFOR helps members and chapters accomplish together what we could not accomplish alone.

FOR is a faith-based, interfaith, pacifist organization which works on a variety of peace and justice issues.
It is affiliated with the “National Fellowship of Reconciliation”.and the International Fellowhip of Reconciliation.

All of which raises the question: If someone is really involved in spying for Iraq, why in the world would they publicly sign a petition opposing the invasion of Iraq, knowing full well that signing such a petition would likely bring themselves to the attention of government authorities? More to the point, is Lindauer being targeted at least partially because of her opposition to the Iraq invasion?

posted by gunther at 2:53 PM Link

Is Susan Lindauer Really a Spy

According to this story, an American citizen has been arrested and charged with being an Iraqi spy.

Susan Lindauer, 41, was arrested in her hometown of Takoma Park, Md., and was to appear in court later in the day in Baltimore, authorities in New York said.

She was accused of conspiring to act as a spy for the Iraqi Intelligence Service and with engaging in prohibited financial transactions involving the government of Iraq under dictator Saddam Hussein

According to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Lindauer made multiple visits from October 1999 through March 2002 to the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations in Manhattan.

There, she met with several members of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, the foreign intelligence arm of the government of Iraq that allegedly has played a role in terrorist operations, including an attempted assassination of former President George H.W. Bush, the indictment alleged.
What makes this story interesting is that the same Susan Lindauer’s name pops up in a number of web posting concerning the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. Specifically, concerning allegations that the U.S. government shifted blame from Syria onto Libya as payback for Syria’s support of the first Gulf war in 1991.

Lindauer, then a congressional staffer, met in 1994 with a Dr. Richard Fuiz, who was alleged to be a CIA operative in Syria during the 1980s. Fuiz had a gag order placed in him by the Clinton administration shortly after this meeting, preventing him from publicly commenting on the issue. The following comes from a web posting describing this initial meeting between Lindauer and Fuisz (see also here). Note especially the section where Lindauer claims that she was (at the time) a victim of surveillance and harassment.
Last month, MEIB reported that Dr. Richard Fuisz, a major CIA operative in Syria during the 1980s, met with a congressional staffer by the name of Susan Lindauer in 1994 and told her that that the perpetrators of the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland were based in Syria. One month after their meeting, the Clinton administration, which holds Libya responsible for the bombing, placed a gag order on Dr. Fuisz to prevent him from publicly discussing the issue.

While Dr. Fuisz is still unable to comment on this matter because of the gag order, MEIB has obtained a copy of a formal deposition filed by Lindauer in 1998 in which she recounts this conversation in detail. This deposition (see below) has been submitted to the court in which two Libyan suspects are currently on trial and to U.N. officials, who have attempted to persuade the Clinton administration to lift the gag order on Dr. Fuisz.

Lindauer says that she has been subject to intense surveillance, threats, and attacks since she began meeting with Libyan officials in 1995 to discuss her knowledge of the Lockerbie bombing. "Someone put acid on the steering wheel of my car on a day I was supposed to drive to NYC for a meeting at the Libya House. I scrubbed my hands with a toilet brush, but my face was burned so badly that 3 weeks later friends worried I might be badly scarred," Lindauer told MEIB. "Also, my house was bugged with listening devices and cameras -- little red laser lights in the shower vent. And I survived several assassination attempts."
So, is Susan Lindauer an Iraqi spy? Is she being set up? Is she a nut case? This is all very curiuous, and something tells me that there’s both more and less to this story than there would appear to be at first glance.

It does seem, from the meagre evidence I've found, that Lindauer may be a bit of a flake. "Little red laser lights in the shower vent", acid, and assassination attempts? If these staements from Lindauer are accurate, then either she is a victim of some serious government malfeasance or she is totally unreliable as a witness for anything. And if the later is true, why is the government wasting time chasing down and investigating someone who is possibly delusional?

posted by gunther at 12:40 PM Link

Friday, March 05, 2004

Group That Stopped Gay Marriages in New Paltz Was Involved in Florida (2000) Recount

The latest news out of New Paltz, NY is that a judge has issued a restraining order blocking the mayor of the town from performing any more same-sex marriages.

ALBANY, N.Y. - A state judge on Friday barred the mayor of a college town from performing more same-sex marriages for a month, saying Jason West was ignoring his oath of office.

State Supreme Court Justice Vincent Bradley issued a temporary restraining order against the 26-year-old New Paltz mayor at the request of the Florida-based Liberty Council, which acted on behalf of a local resident.
The Liberty Council is affiliated with Jerry Falwell Ministries. A little bit of research turns up the fact that the Liberty Council was also involved with attempts to stop hand-counting of ballots during Florida’s recount fiasco that followed the 2000 presidential election. According to this story at WorldNetDaily, the Liberty Council filed an appeal on behalf of three Florida residents to stop the hand counting, which ultimately was stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which governs the state of Florida, has agreed to expedite an appeal filed Wednesday by three Florida residents who claim the hand counting of ballots in selected Florida counties -- all of which have canvassing boards controlled by Democrats -- is unconstitutional. The appeal asks the court to immediately halt the manual recounts of ballots.

On Wednesday, a judge, appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton within the past six months, denied a request for a temporary restraining order on the hand counting procedures. Liberty Counsel immediately appealed that decision to the 1lth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Jim Bopp, an Indiana attorney, is assisting Liberty Counsel in this appeal.)

The three Florida residents bringing this appeal are represented by Liberty Counsel, the religious freedom law firm that recently became affiliated with Jerry Falwell Ministries. Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel, and my son, Jerry Falwell Jr., serve as co-counsel of the organization. While Liberty Counsel has been involved in some crucial religious freedom cases in recent months, this appeal could very well be the most significant one it ever presents in court. In fact, this case could make history as a determining factor in the final decision of who will sit in the Oval Office as our nation's president.
I’d say that last statement was accurate. Yes, it’s interesting that the same outfit that was deeply involved in the sequence of events that ended up with George Bush in the White House, is also behind the legal actions to block gay marriages in New York. Also the fact that they’re linked to Jerry Falwell.

Liberty Council has been involved with a ton of lawsuits along this general line, including one where they successfully sued a transit system because they had refused to accept advertising for a seminar on “preventing homsexuality”. Also here, here, and here. Hell, let’s just let them tel you themselves the things they’ve been involved in, as they boast on this page.

They were also behind this nuisance suit that tried to overturn the civil union laws in Vermont.

posted by gunther at 4:12 PM Link