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Extreme Temple Mount Makeover

Friday, February 9th, 2007 - by Allison Kaplan Sommer

Satellite.jpg by Allison Kaplan Sommer, PJM Editor, Tel Aviv Just before riots broke out protesting the rebuilding of a ramp to the Mugrabi gate at the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, an Israeli Knesset member had an original idea -- web-cam the project.

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Voice of America or Voice of Ahmadinejad?

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

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How are your tax dollars being spent? It’s not Kate Smith’s VOA anymore. On her PajamasXpress blog Claudia Rosett writes of the extraordinary misuse of United States’ own radio stations for Iranian propaganda!

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The Child Custody Case from Hell

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

I realize that most people have probably heard that a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17050167/?GT1=9033″Anna Nicole Smith just died/a, but I have to wonder what is to become of her five-month-old daughter who has nowa href=”http://www.people.com/people/article/0,26334,1540184,00.html” lost a brother /aand a mother. Ia href=”http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,236146,00.html” can only imagine /athe child custody battle that is about to begin over this poor child. Who is the real father and will he get custody?br /br /Update: What is amazing is how cruel some of the commenters were on the MSNBC.com site (the comments seem to be down or gone?) in response to the sad news that Anna Nicole had passed away. Did anyone see the live video at MSNBC.com where the sound technicians were joking and saying,”Anna Nicole, making our living from Anna Nicole” or some such nonsense. Good grief, doesn’t anyone tell these guys that they are on live video?br /br /Update II: It is amazing that even duped dads are held responsible for child support for children who are not even their own. Yet, Larry Birkheard, the man who is fighting for his right to a paternity test for Dannielynn cannot even get an expedited DNA test and Anna Nicole’s lawyer has the audacity to be a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17063569/”outraged by the request/a:br /br /blockquote”I think it is despicable,” Rale said of the new motion for Smith’s DNA. “We don’t think it is necessary. You don’t need Anna’s DNA to find out if Mr. Birkheard is the father or not … Howard [K.] Stern is the presumed father.”/blockquotebr /br /The only thing here that is despicable is that Larry Birkheard is being denied his request to determine if he is this child’s father or not. If he is not, what does the opposition have to lose?

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Intifada Comes to the University of California, Irvine

Thursday, February 8th, 2007


During a speech at UC Irvine on January 31, 2007, Middle East scholar Daniel Pipes was interrupted by a mob of students (or their sympathizers) from that university's Muslim Student Union. This incident, which was caught on the hidden video above, was the latest disturbing event in what some are calling the "Irvine Intifada." In the first of a series investigating this "Intifada," PJM Special Correspondent Aaron Hanscom interviews Reut Cohen, the UCI undergraduate and blogger who made the video.

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Boys Just Want to Have Fun

Thursday, February 8th, 2007

I came across this book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0061243582?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0061243582″emThe Dangerous Book for Boys/em,/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0061243582″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / and was intrigued by the title. I googled the book and a href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2006/06/13/boboy13.xml”found that it was already a best seller /a in the UK and is now coming out in the US:br /br /blockquoteA book of old-fashioned, adventurous pastimes for lads and dads has become a surprise bestseller. Christopher Middleton watched his 11-year-old son transformed into a Middle Earth warrior. br /br /It’s amazing that The Dangerous Book For Boys ever got published, really, given the deeply unfashionable connotations surrounding two out of the five words in the title (the ones that aren’t “The”, “Book” and “For”)…..br /br /The authors make no secret of their belief in the magically beneficial effects of children making their own fun. br /br /”In this age of video games and mobile phones, there must still be a place for knots, tree-houses and stories of incredible courage,” they declare, and as well as serving as a practical manual of Just William-type tasks (training dogs to do tricks, making waterbombs out of paper), their book bristles with stirring tales of Douglas Bader and Horatio Nelson-type heroism – plus an unshakeable faith in the virtues of being active rather than passive./blockquotebr /br /The authors give a list of what every boy should have on hand:br /br /Swiss Army knife – removes splintersbr /Compass – your trusty guidebr /Handkerchief – doubles as a slingbr /Magnifying glass – look at small things, start a campfirebr /A marble – big one, for luckbr /Needle and thread – to sew up wounds, mend torn shirtbr /Pencil and paper – note down criminals’ car numbersbr /Torch – read secret plans by nightbr /Fish-hook and thread – add stick and worm and you won’t starvebr /Box of matches – dip the tips in wax (it waterproofs them)br /br /I like the emphasis on being active rather than passive and it seems like this book might be good for boys (or girls who might be interested) who spend too much time at the computer and not enough time outdoors. Today’s kids are not exposed enough to the nuts and bolts of how the world works–perhaps this book can help.

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Blogger Problem

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

Blogger is acting up and eating comments that I have hit to publish. If you have sent in a comment and do not see it up–I have not banned you. It is just a blogger problem, typical…hopefully, it will clear up soon. If not, I will go to registration so that you can comment if you are registered with blogger. Thanks for your patience!

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Is Castro-Chavez Video a Fake?

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007


castro-chavez.jpg "Butch" and "Sundance" Philippe Karsenty, founder of Media-Ratings, the French media watchdog site, says the mainstream media has no proof that Fidel Castro is still alive. Karsenty thinks a recent video (Jan. 27) made of the Cuban autocrat with Hugo Chavez is a fake with old footage and an obvious insert from a newspaper to make it seem new. PJ Media video expert Andrew Marcus says that while the video may be fake, it also could simply be clumsily produced. A translation of Karsenty's argument by Fausta Wertz is below with a translation of the video transcript. The video itself, in Spanish, is here. PJ Media invites the blogosphere to comment.

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Operation Baghdad, Day 2: Quieter Than Expected

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

baghdad.jpg A Blackhawk flies over Baghdad Exclusive Report From PJM Baghdad Editor Omar @ Iraq the Model, Feb. 7 @ 11:00 AM, PST Last night continued to be quiet for the most part and nothing indicated that the operation in Azamiyah faced resistance.

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The Cool Water of the Koran:

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007 - by Salim Mansur


koran2.jpg "From water God made every living thing." -Surah Number 21 Ayah Number 30, Koran A Letter on Islam written in response to a non-Muslim writer: "The problem with Islam is not the Koran, but Muslims and their respective understandings of the Koran that result in their differing conduct." by Salim Mansur

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Sanity Squad: Imminent Overreaction

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

The IPCC report on climate change calls for drastic cuts in CO2 emissions. How do we figure out if such measures are necessary–and what would be the costs of making an error in either direction? Has “Chicken Little left the barnyard?” This hot topic, and the efforts in the MSM and Congress to rein Bush in on Iran in this week’s Sanity Squad. [LISTEN]

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Mourning in America

Wednesday, February 7th, 2007

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“These memorials are important to all families, especially political ones. If you don’t praise fallen heroes, you get no new ones.” Richard Miniter remembers Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick.

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Just Plain Weird

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

Okay, this a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16997958/”Astronaut story /ais just plain weird–not just because of the nature of the case but because she was a href=”http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/international/ticker/detail/U_S_astronaut_accused_of_attempted_murder.html?siteSect=143sid=7503110cKey=1170790655000″wearing diapers/a:br /br /blockquoteA married U.S. astronaut was accused on Tuesday with attempting 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./blockquotebr /br /When a friend just told me about this case and the diapers, I thought the astronaut was just part of a href=”http://www.dpf.com/”this club/a but apparently she wore them so she would not have to stop to urinate on her long trip. She says she did not mean to harm the woman she went to see and that is certainly possible, but if you are so desperate to get somewhere that you wear diapers so you will not have to pee, something seems awry.br /br /Update: Dr. Sanity who used to do psychological consultation for NASAa href=”http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2007/02/crashing-to-earth.html” has more/a.

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FLASH: Operation Baghdad Has Started!

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007


abaghdadtroops.jpg US Army soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division take up positions to provide cover for fellow soldiers as part of the launch of Operation Arrowhead Strike Six in the Shaab neighbourhood of northern Baghdad. Exclusive Report From PJM Baghdad Editor Omar @ Iraq the Model @ 11:00 AM, PST

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Youth Suicides Up

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007

The a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16996417/wid/11915773?GT1=9033″rate of youth suicides is up /aand it is possible that the reduction of antidepressant drugs is to blame:br /br /blockquoteNew government figures show a surprising increase in youth suicides after a decade of decline, and some mental health experts think a drop in use of antidepressant drugs may be to blame.br /br /The suicide rate climbed 18 percent from 2003 to 2004 for Americans under age 20, from 1,737 deaths to 1,985. Most suicides occurred in older teens, according to the data — the most current to date from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention./blockquotebr /br /What I find disturbing is that suicide statistics don’t become available to the public often for two or three years. Is suicide that unimportant?

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The Watada Doctrine

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007 - by Jules Crittenden


awatada.jpg by Jules Crittenden, Special to PJM The deeper meaning behind the court martial of Lt. Ehren Watada and why this soldier is the darling of the anti-war movement.

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The Sagan Diaries

Monday, February 5th, 2007

John Scalzi’s new book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1596061030?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=1596061030″emThe Sagan Diary,/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=1596061030″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / comes out next week. He asked me and some other women to read an audio version of the book and now has it up on his blog, a href=”http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004836.html”Whatever:/abr /br /blockquoteI have something special for you today, and something I am extraordinarily proud of. To celebrate the release of “The Sagan Diary,” (which you can get through Subterranean’s Web site and through Amazon) I and Subterranean Press have arranged for a reading of the book — the entire novelette — here on the Whatever. But it’s not me who will be reading the book. “The Sagan Diary” is meant to be the thoughts of Jane Sagan, as she looks over her life after the events of The Ghost Brigades and prepares for the life which will be detailed in The Last Colony. I wanted voices closer to hers than my own. br /br /So I asked some friends if they would speak for Jane Sagan: I asked a href=”http://matociquala.livejournal.com/”Elizabeth Bear/a, a href=”http://www.maryrobinettekowal.com/category/journal/”Mary Robinette Kowal/a, a href=”http://ellen-kushner.livejournal.com/”Ellen Kushner/a, a href=”http://users.livejournal.com/_stranger_here/”Karen Meisner/a, a href=”http://cmpriest.livejournal.com/”Cherie Priest /aand Helen Smith. Happily for me (and for you) they said yes. Each of them recorded a chapter (or more, in the case of Mary Robinette Kowal), and took the words I wrote for Jane and gave them extra dimensions — made more of them than I would be able to make of them myself. If you’ve wondered what Jane Sagan sounds like, she sounds like this. I was delighted to hear her voice coming through these readings, and deeply humbled by the efforts these women provided in letting Jane speak with them and through them. Without prejudicing your own hearing, let me say that I found myself getting emotional listening to these words given voice. Listen to it; you’ll figure out where./blockquotebr /br /I read Chapter Five–it was fun–you a href=”http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/004836.html”can go to listen here/a.

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Blog Comments

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Please note that blog moderation has been turned on here for the time being. Unfortunately, like most blogs, mine has gotten a fair number of trolls as of late that has put a damper on conversation and other commenter’s willingness to participate. I apologize to those commenters who are simply trying to voice their opinion on various posts in ways that are constructive, straightforward and without malice. However, as is typical of open comments, there will always be those who try to dominate the conversation by being rude, counterproductive and just plain cowardly. I will try to approve comments as quickly as possible so that we can continue to talk more or less in real time. Of course, the troll comments will now no longer be allowed. Those persons or cowards in this case, can go start a blog of their own to discuss the injustice.

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FILM: The Departed

Monday, February 5th, 2007


thedeparted.jpg Martin Scorsese discusses a scene with Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon His final Oscar ballot hot in his hand (due February 20th), Academy member Roger L. Simon reviews one of this year's clear Oscar favorites - The Departed.

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The Glenn and Helen Show: Michael Yon from Camp Victory

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Michael Yon is back in Iraq, where he’s been for over a month now. Glenn Reynolds and Helen Smith caught up to him via satellite phone and got his views on the surge (it will be “unlike anything we’ve seen before”), the status of Iraqi security forces (they’ve made “tremendous progress” since he was there last year, but things are “still dicey”), evidence of Iranian involvement in terror attacks in Iraq, what the Iraqi public thinks, and much more.

The Glenn and Helen Show: Michael Yon from Camp Victory

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Presidential Straw Poll 2008 – Week 3

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

The third week of the PAJAMAS MEDIA PRESIDENTIAL STRAW POLL has officially begun. Over 31,400 votes were cast in the first two weeks. You can now vote in the third week in both parties: Click to open the voting booth at top of center column of PJM's front page. You can vote weekly for candidates in both parties --we encourage you to vote in both. In the second week, Obama and Romney continued to lead in the Democratic and Republican Parties. But trends may shift as individual blogs and websites begin to post the PJ Media Presidential Straw Poll widget on their sites. Two were posted as a test during the second week at Instapundit and RogerLSimon.com and both saw voting patterns different from the PJM portal. Richardson (Dem) and Giuliani (Repub) emerged as front runners from both sites. Other surprises may emerge as more sites post the widget in the coming weeks. We encourage all to do so. You can check previous week's votes in the drop down menus to the left. More graphs and comparisons will be available in the weeks to come.

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Freak Show or Miracle?

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

Today, I read an opinion piece over at PJ Media by Cathy Seipp, a href=”http://pjmedia.com/2007/02/the_old_mom_freak_show.php”who argued against /aolder mothers having children. Seipp points to a href=”http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-me-fertility30jan30,1,6355057.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage”the 67 year old mother /awho recently had twins and asks how anyone reading about this birth could not relexively think: Freak show? Well, not me. br /br /When I read about the birth, I thought, “What a miracle, to push the bounds of human achievement, kind of like climbing Mount Everest, (without a href=”http://drhelen.blogspot.com/2006/05/high-of-mount-everest-and-lows-of.html”walking past/a your dying fellow climbers, of course) walking on the moon, or breaking the sound barrier.” Are these activities dangerous–kind of like having a kid at 67? You bet, but there are people who are willing to push the limits, despite these dangers and it seems that a href=”http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=432196in_page_id=1811″Carmela Bousada /a was one of those people. Are there some legitimate concerns in having kids at such an advanced age? Yes, Seipp points out that not being around is one of them: br /br /blockquoteLeaving aside all the increased health risks to these older mothers and their babies, the cold, hard reason your life and health insurance premiums rise each year is that the longer you live, the more likely it is that the passage of time means you will, in the near future, sicken and die.br /br /Sure, older men can still marry younger women and father children. We all know about Tony Randall et al. But why spend tens of thousands of dollars to raise the odds that a child will grow up motherless?/blockquote br /br /But if you want to look at the odds, Ms. Bousada is already playing them and perhaps will win–the older a person is, the more likely they will make it to the next age. For a 65 year old woman, there is a a href=”http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,201555,00.html?sPage=fnc.health/aging”good chance she will make it to 85 /aor beyond. And her mother lived to be 101 — at that rate, her twins would be 34, an age where many people have already lost their parents. And younger parents die frequently or get sick, when I had a heart attack at 37, my daughter was just three and a half. I wondered at the time whether I would live to see another day with her, but I never wondered if I should have had her in the first place because she might be motherless. One of my colleagues died last year at 36 after having a stroke following childbirth. Should she never have tried to have children at all? The point is, life is uncertain, when we love is uncertain, and all that we can do is the best that we can with what we have at the moment–even if that moment comes to us later than we hoped. br /br /Recently, I saw a website chat board discussing how old Bousada was and how the twins shouldn’t have to look at her wrinkled breasts when they nurse. Others on the board castigated her, talking about her selfishness in having the twins because their classmates would be laughing at them for having an old mom. “What kind of life would that be” lamented one cheerful commenter. Well, my question is, what kind of life will these twins have if people continue to make hostile comments about their mother vs. what kind of life will these twins have if people accept their situation as a miracle, instead of a freak show?

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Live from Baghdad with Michael Yon

Sunday, February 4th, 2007

img alt=”yonpic3.jpg” src=”http://instapundit.com/archives2/images/yonpic3.jpg” align=right width=”268″ height=”179″ /We talk with independent journalist a href=”http://www.michaelyon-online.com/”Michael Yon /awho is in Baghdad today about what is going on with the war, what the troops and the generals think about the surge, Iranian involvement in the terror attacks in Iraq and about media coverage of the war. If you want to read more from Michael Yon, take a look at his book, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0967512301?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0967512301″emDanger Close/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0967512301″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / that tells the story of his life in the army and other adventures or take a a href=”http://www.michaelyon-online.com/”look at his website/a. br /br /You can listen directly — no downloading needed — by a href=”http://politicscentral.com/2007/02/04/the_glenn_and_helen_show_micha_1.php”going here/a and clicking on the gray Flash player. Or you can download the file directly by a href=”http://richmedia.pjmedia.com/audio/politicscentral/glenn_helen_show/20070204-MichaelYon.mp3″clicking right here./a And there’s a lo-fi version, suitable for dialup, etc., available by going a href=”http://politicscentral.com/2007/02/04/the_glenn_and_helen_show_micha_1.php”here/a and selecting lo-fi. Or, of course, you can always a href=”http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=116559643s=143441″subscribe via iTunes./a We like that. And our show archives are online at a href=”http://www.glennandhelenshow.com”GlennandHelenShow.com/a — check up on past episodes there.br /br /This podcast is sponsored by Volvo automobiles at a href=”http://www.volvocars.us/”Volvocars.us/a.

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Sunday, February 4th, 2007

The a href=”http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2007/02/carnival-of-insanities.html”Carnival of the Insanities /a is up at Dr. Sanity’s place.

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The Old Mom Freak Show

Friday, February 2nd, 2007


mombest.jpg No Sex, Old Lies, and Fertility Drugs Add Up to a New Low By Catherine Seipp One of the things that still gets me called "mean-spirited" by correct-thinking feminists is my lack of outrage over the the simple biological fact that a woman's fertitily declines as she gets older. (Pointing out that, hey, I don't make the rules, gets me nowhere with these types.)

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"She misses her daughters, but she’s staying busy"

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Yep, busy as a bee hanging out in bars after killing her husband; Mary Winkler confessed to killing her preacher husband in March of last year but instead of hanging out behind bars in prison, a href=”http://wkrn.com/nashville/news/mary-winkler-making-news-around-town/75162.htm”she is hanging out in bars /aaround McMinnville, Tennessee partying with co-workers (Thanks to the reader who sent me this story):br /br /blockquoteLuis Correa was also in the New York Grill on New Year’s Eve and took pictures of Winkler with his camera phone. He claims someone went over to Winkler’s table and asked if she killed her husband. He said she answered yes, in a joking manner and everyone around her was laughing. br /br /News 2 spoke with Winkler’s manager at the dry cleaners where she’s employed. Her manager said it was on New Year’s Eve that he and Winkler went out to New York Grill. He also said, “She’s not the preacher’s wife. She might have used to be the preacher’s wife, but he is dead now. She’s not married; she is no body’s wife.” br /br /The issue of Winkler and the murder case is a divisive issue in McMinnville. Some have supported her, saying she did everything the justice system asked of her and has every right to be part of the community. Others don’t think that is enough./blockquotebr /br /In another article about the crime, a href=”http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/abuse-led-preachers-wife-to-kill-husband/20061120102809990032?ncid=NWS00010000000001″ABC news reports/a:br /br /blockquoteWhat’s striking to many outsiders is how accepting and supportive the majority of the community has been to Winkler.br /br /That sense of forgiveness, community members say, stems from the town’s Christian roots and from its tendency to give people the benefit of the doubt.br /br /Winkler’s daughters are currently living with Matt’s parents.br /br /”She misses her daughters, but she’s staying busy,” said Miller, of her sister. “She’s the loving Mary we used to know.”/blockquotebr /br /Yes, it’s always best if you miss your kids and you are up on murder charges to hang out in a bar and laugh it up–it boggles my mind what people are willing to forgive, depending a href=”http://tammybruce.com/2006/05/oj_simpson_hits_bottom_digs.php”on your race /aand/or gender.br /br /strongUpdate/strong: Winkler’s attorney is a href=”http://www.jacksonsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070203/NEWS01/702030309″outraged by the photos /aof his client smoking in a bar. The pictures of the alleged husband killer area href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwO0GVVBqWM” up on YouTube here /aand a a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhMFBibtA98″promo of the pictures /aby a Memphis TV station are here. What do you think–should the TV station have run these pics and story?

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