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Saturday, 7 April 2007

Nancy visits Syria - Why you should vote Democrat

Nancy checking out the bargains at Damascus Market

I'm at a loss. My whole world has been turned upside down.
I was reading the Saukvalley.com and read an article about Nancy Pelosi tours Damascus market, mosque during visit to Syria , seems some one else was impressed as much as me. This commenter has now completely convinced me.
Its all the way with Nancy from now on!

Rick you're an inspiration! I couldn't help myself, I had to reply.


Nancy noses her Mideast Policy

Nancy gets a few pointers in
how to be even more duplicitous.

Seems Nancy is adopting the Pinocchio response to reporting to the American public about her recent trip to the Middle east. Not afraid of misrepresenting Israel's intentions for her short term domestic political gain.

The Israel Prime Ministers Office has made a rare 'clarification' which essentially shows Nancy was spinning a hell of yarn to the American public.

Read the Jerusalem Post report and make up your mind. Are we getting a clear message which side of the fence Nancy really is on?

from Jpost
PMO denies peace message to Assad
The Prime Minister's Office issued a rare "clarification" Wednesday that, in gentle diplomatic terms, contradicted US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's statement in Damascus that she had brought a message from Israel about a willingness to engage in peace talks.

According to the statement, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert emphasized in his meeting with Pelosi on Sunday that "although Israel is interested in peace with Syria, that country continues to be part of the Axis of Evil and a force that encourages terror in the entire Middle East."

Olmert, the statement clarified, told Pelosi that Syria's sincerity about a genuine peace with Israel would be judged by its willingness to "cease its support of terror, cease its sponsoring of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations, refrain from providing weapons to Hizbullah and bringing about the destabilizing of Lebanon, cease its support of terror in Iraq, and relinquish the strategic ties it is building with the extremist regime in Iran."

The statement said Olmert had not communicated to Pelosi any change in Israeli policy on Damascus.

Pelosi, who met in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad over the objections of US President George W. Bush, said she brought a message to Assad from Olmert saying that Israel was ready for peace talks.

"We were very pleased with the reassurances we received from the president [Assad] that he was ready to resume the peace process. He was ready to engage in negotiations for peace with Israel," Pelosi said after meeting Assad.

She said the meeting with the Syrian leader "enabled us to communicate a message from Prime Minister Olmert that Israel was ready to engage in peace talks as well."

According to officials in the Prime Minister's Office, however, this was not what transpired during her meeting with Olmert.

The officials said Olmert had told Pelosi that he thought her trip to Damascus was a mistake, and that when she asked - nevertheless - whether he had a message for Assad, Olmert said Syria should first stop supporting terrorism and "act like a normal country," and only then would Israel be willing to hold discussions.

The first part of that message, the officials said, was lost in what was reported from Damascus on Wednesday.

Pelosi said the congressional delegation she led raised the issue of kidnapped IDF soldiers Gilad Schalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev and conveyed "the importance of Syria's role in promoting peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis." She also said she had pressed Assad on Syrian support for Hamas and Hizbullah.

In a related development, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmed al-Khalifa told the Bahrain daily Al-Ayam on Tuesday that the Riyadh Arab League summit set up "panels to communicate with all influential parties, including Israel, to activate the Arab Peace Initiative."

According to the Bahrain News Agency, Khalifa said the Arab League has formed "working teams to communicate with all parties, including Israel, the United Nations, the US, China and the European Union."

He said the team would make contacts with Israel "within a month," and that contacts with Israel would be made by countries "that have ties" with it, while the other Arab nations would contact the US and the EU member states.

A source in the Prime Minister's Office denied knowledge of any working groups that would be calling Jerusalem.

"We still haven't accepted the full initiative," the source said, adding that there would be no formal reply until after the Prime Minister's Office returned from the weeklong Pessah holiday. "But we've never said no to contact."

The Pelosi-Assad meeting, meanwhile, was widely viewed as an attempt to push the Bush administration to open a direct dialogue with Syria, a step that the White House has rejected. Congressional Democrats insist the US attempts to isolate Syria have failed to force the Assad government to change its policies.

Rep. Tom Lantos, the head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who was a member of Pelosi's delegation, said the meeting "reinforced very strongly" the potential benefits of talking to Syria.

"This is only the beginning of our constructive dialogue with Syria and we hope to build on this visit," he told reporters.

On Tuesday, Bush denounced Pelosi's visit to Syria, saying it sent mixed signals to Assad's government.

"Sending delegations doesn't work. It's simply been counterproductive," Bush said.

Last year, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group recommended Washington open talks with Iran and Syria to try to resolve the war in Iraq and other regional crises. Bush rejected the recommendations, insisting dialogue would not bring results. But in February, the US joined a gathering of regional diplomats in Baghdad that included Iran and Syria for talks on Iraq.

"We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace," Pelosi said. She said she and her delegation "expressed [their] concern about Syria's connections to Hizbullah and Hamas," and discussed the issue of terrorists slipping across the Syrian border into Iraq.

"These are important issues not only in the fight against terrorism, but priorities for us for peace in the Middle East," she said.

"These people in the United States who are opposing dialogue, I tell them one thing: Dialogue is... the only method to close the gap existing between two countries," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told reporters after Wednesday's Assad-Pelosi meeting.

"Everyone knows there are different points of view between Syria and the United States," he said. "We are happy that Mrs. Pelosi and her delegation had the courage and determination to bridge these differences."

Nancy on a previous visit in 2005

and if you still have doubts, well be assured Nancy will do anything to fit in with the demands of Islamic leaders...

Nancy you really should take issue with the State Department, fancy not having full Burqah's when you need one!

PMO denies peace message to Assad

Picture Credits:
Spokesman Review: Pelosi Meets Assad at Ash - Shaeb
Nancy on the temple Mount


Wednesday, 4 April 2007

See inside a Guantanamo Bay Prison Cell

With the news of Australian David Hicks serving 9 months in an Australia Jail
with an official gag order this cartoon couldn't be more timely.

Australian David Hicks that has been accused of supporting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and has spent the last 5 years in captivity at Guantanamo Bay awaiting trial has been recieving a lot of media attention recently. Amnesty international has built a full scale model of the cell he has been held in.

I've come across a fantastic rendering of the cell's interior in 3 d using Apple's Virtual Reality Quicktime driver.

A report from News .com.au has this to say:

A MOCK prison cell resembling David Hicks's living conditions at Guantanamo Bay began its Australia-wide public tour today in Sydney.

David Hick's Cell in Guantanamo Bay
If you want to see the VR quicktime movie of his cell
click the picture and it will open in another window

Amnesty International Australia (AIA) built the full-scale model to display the solitary confinement conditions of the Australian and other accused terror suspects in the US detention centre in Cuba.

People are able to enter the cell at Sydney's Martin Place and experience the prisoners' living conditions, including the sounds of shouting and orders given mixed with periods of silence.

Outside the cell, a large video screen displays the news and current events that Hicks and other detainees have missed over the past five years.

”It is astounding that while the conditions in Guantanamo Bay have not been good enough for the citizens of Britain, France and Germany, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Spain, they have been good enough for David Hicks,” AIA campaign coordinator Katie Wood said.

“These governments have all demanded the return of their citizens - why is it good enough for an Australian citizen?”

Hicks, a 31-year-old Muslim convert from Adelaide, was captured by the US in Afghanistan in December 2001 serving with Taliban forces.

He has been held at the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since January 2002.

He is facing a hearing of a charge of providing material support for terrorism, to be held in Guantanamo Bay next Monday.

The mock cell opened today from 8am to 7pm (AEDT) and will be open at Martin Place until Thursday.

It will then be taken to more than 30 cities and towns over the coming months.

“We are inviting people around Australia to visit the cell to publicly show their support for the human rights and dignity for all,” Ms Wood said.


Now I'm all for Human rights, and despite my support of the US governments action in Iraq, I find the situation with David Hicks having to wait 5 and half years to finally get justice is just not acceptable.

On the other hand for terrorists that have been proven beyond doubt to have killed innocents I propose this alternative Prison Cell rendered as a Quicktime VR movie.

Its takes ten seconds to load then you'll see my VR rendering
of how they should imprison terrorists.

Whilst your running around bringing attention to injustices Amnesty International I notice you haven't shown the three Kidnapped Israeli Soldiers holding cells?

Picture Credits:
Nicholson Cartoon with Permission: NicholsonCartoons
Thanks to Peter Murphy's incredible VR site for the prison cell picture


Sunday, 1 April 2007

Mr Bagel's Comment Policy

Mr Bagel's Comment Policy:

Mr Bagel would like comments to be friendly, and of course (no swearing, personal insults, marketing, pornography and the like, anti semitism will be dealt with the contempt it deserves), but Mr Bagel is also hoping that people try to be as calm, reasoned, and substantive as possible.

So please, avoid rants, invective, substantial and repeated exaggeration or expressions of hate, and radical departures from the topic of the post, if you can't be logical then there are far better venues for you to waste your time. Sticking with substance, and staying on-topic (to the post) , will make the comments more helpful to other readers, and more pleasant.

As this is my blog, I reserve the right to delete comments, and even to kick out commenters, though I hope that both of these will be exceptional events.

I also reserve the right to be busy with other things, and therefore I may not :

(1) Remove all the comments that might merit removal.
(2) Ignore demands such as "You should remove X's comments, because they're just as inflamatory as Z's!"
(3) Have the opportunity to reply to all comments, as a rule I do like to reply to comments I think it is simply courtesy, if you have spent your time leaving a comment, then If possible I will reply.

Mr Bagel is also fallible so I can miss things, if I do I apologise.

Commenting hint: Reread your comment, and think of what other people would think if you said this over dinner. If you think people would view you as a crank , ranter, troll, a blowhard, or as someone who vastly overdoes it on the hyperbole, rewrite your post before hitting enter. If you wouldn't like what you have typed said about you then ensure you are being honest and at least considerate of the possible impact your comments could have.

If you don't like rules, suggestions or guidelines and resent the aims of this comment policy then I suggest you follow Groucho Marx and not join this little club.

If you're a visionary, but just misunderstood, one of the rare few who actually sees the world clearly; but fools wrongly view you as a crank , ranter, troll, a blowhard, or as someone who indulges in unecessary swearing - then you should still rewrite your post before submitting it or simply you could chose to take the blue pill instead.

After all, if you're one of the few geniuses who sees the world clearly, then surely it's especially important that you co anmmunicat effectively and present your arguments convincingly in a way that is persuasive and as unalienating as possible to those not as gifted to you. Use of over jargonistic language is not the sign of an education , it is the sign of arrogance.

If you're particularly grammatically challenged, then please by all accounts spend your time checking you're comment.

Poor spelling is the bane of the modern world, occasional mistakes are welcome, even human, but if you spell trailer park with a 'y' please have your edukated freind rite the wurds.

Mr Bagel's goal is to provide an interesting and pleasant environment that can help inform readers. To do that, Mr Bagel will occasionally have to exercise his editorial discretion. Think of this as discussion group, where having different voices is critical to a great conversation - but where sometimes Mr Bagel may have to deal with cranks who sour the conversation more than they enliven it.

Naturally, there's always a risk that this discretion will be used erroneously, no matter how well-intentioned Mr Bagel is. But discussion groups (especially on the web, but also off it) generally need an editor who'll occasionally make such judgments.

And, remember, the Internet is enormous and growing rapidly. If you think Mr Bagel is mistaken in not allowing your comment, removing your comment (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a less rigid approach -- there are many ways you can still get your views out, a Google search will quickly put you in contact with the kind of atmosphere you would enjoy.

Lastly if all else fails and your feel this blog, is unjust in its posts, comment policy or editorial decisions, then by all accounts please create a blog and rant all you want about this.

Please ensure you have plenty of cross links to my material. I could do with the added traffic.

Remember treat others as you your self would like to be treated.

Mr Bagel

[This policy is always under reviewed.]


How to put a picture where your title is with new blogger blogs

This is what I hope to be one of the easiest and coolest html hints your ever going to see. Its only for the new blogger templates. Its designed for newbies to put a picture where their title is. If this is you then...

So your wanting to put a picture where your title is. You feel you can create that 'magic' picture but you know its going to be just too hard to swim through all the oodles of code to put a picture in.

Well this is the easiest and simplest way of doing it.

I developed this method through my own observations and blogging experience.

Firstly If you haven't converted to the new form of blogger then this trick isn't for you. In fact if you're not with blogger, then this isn't for you either.

This is basically a one trick pony, its for new blogger but its very effective.

If you have a new blogger template and you would like to swap the title and default description with a picture then this is how you do it.

First have a look at your template via the template tag in the blogger menu. You get to the blogger menu by going to the dashboard and clicking Layout

Ok now when you've clicked Layout you will see that your template is broken up into 'regions' or widget plug in areas which are actually a fantastic idea by Google.

You'll notice at the top is Nav bar. This is where you can change the color of the 'Navbar' which appears at the top of your blog.[try it if you like].

Now the next thing I'm going to tell you is the Golden Rule of what to do before you make changes to your blog. If you don't do this you're really just 'stoopud' and sending emails to Google isn't going to help you.

Whilst your on the Template 'Add and Arrange Page Elements' page you'll see up the top a tab that says Edit HTML well go ahead and click on it.

Now where it says Back Up / Restore Template click the Download Full Template

Save it to where you usually save your files for your blog. Now you have just downloaded a back up of your template. What this means is when things go horribly wrong you can 'back up' to your last saved template back up and not have to start all over again.

I can't emphasize how important this is. In fact the more complex the coding or confused you feel, the more you should make multiple back ups of your work. That way you end up only losing the last 'half an hour of work, because you did a back up 30 minutes ago...

Ok now that we have the safety of a back up we can proceed to do some really easy but cool blogger hacks.

The first hack we are going to do is to turn the 'Header' widget region to being 'editable'.

Yes just like the widgets on your side bars you can actually turn the header widget 'on' and edit it.

This is how you do it.

Go to Edit HTML again.

Now look carefully for this particular piece of code.

To See the code clearly click on the picture

You ll find it towards the very bottom of the html just after the 'Body' tag.

To See the code clearly click on the picture

Once you've found it change the things that are in red.

Change max widgets from 1 to for now '3'.

Change showaddelement from 'no' to 'yes'

Change locked='true' to 'false'

After you have done this, click on preview and if you don't notice any change, then that's good, click on SAVE TEMPLATE.

Ok you have now just made your 'header' editable which is actually quite groovy.

You can see that its editable because when you go to 'Add and Arrange Elements' you will notice that above the Header region there is now a Add a Page Element label which of course means you can add an element.

Ok Now that we have this done, the next thing to do is if you haven't already filled in a short description in your header description click on header Edit button and do it.
(If you want a description)

There's now actually nothing stopping you from actually adding a picture into the header and displaying it with your title and description. Which one of the two elements is on top your title with its description or your picture is totally controlled by the order of the two widgets in the Add and Arrange Page Elements .

To create a picture widget simply click Add a Page Element.

When the choose a New Page Element dialogue comes up click on add a Html/Java Script element. In the html window you can add a picture.

I generally for a 'mast photo' would leave the title blank. Using html insert a image in the html area.

If you don't know how to do this, then this is a quick example:

To See the code clearly click on the picture

I would recommend putting a tiny picture in just for the moment until we sort a few other things out.

Super New Blogger Hints: A lot of folks never realise that you can have blogger pages which are saved as drafts that you never publish but which contain important pictures and of course web addresses which you can use to 'furnish' your blogger blog. The advantage with this is that because Blogger hosts the pictures such as your new mast picture they load quicker than if you use a '3rd party 'free photo hoster'. So if you're looking for a way to host your brand new spanking Mast head, host it via a blogger draft page! If you are using a big picture blogger displays a smaller picture, when you click on it it shows the larger one. For a large mast we don't want bloggers 'smaller' display picture we want the big wide one. But where is it? Go to the html view of the post where you uploaded the picture.

In the html code view for the picture you will see there are actually two picture addresses.

One is the small picture, the larger picture is first and is notated by a href=...."address you actually want". When you get this address, there is one little thing that needs to be changed.
the address will be really long and end in .jpg or .gif.

the last bit of the address is: ..../s1600-h/mynewbigpicture.gif when you see this you will know where to do a careful edit. you have to remove the '-h'.

so the address reads ....../s1600/mynewbigpicture.gif

OK, now if you would like to have your picture only and not Bloggers title of your blog and the description as well, (which I understand due to it getting a bit crowded up there) then there is a few ways to do it.

Some people recommend simply deleting the 'header1 widget which contains your title and your description.

To me, this is a really poor choice. I'm not going to get into it but suffice to say that Google the lovely company that brings us Blogger and can make or break a website (or blog) by the use of spider search bots actually uses your title and description as indexing criteria in the blog code. Its in the code and plain to see if any html cowboys want to grab that bull by its horns.

So unless you happen to know how to write your own meta tags (which you don't because if you did you wouldn't be here, your going to end up being more invisible than KFed handing out rock concert tickets.

So how do we keep our title, our description (which is used by Google to help 'index your site') yet clear up the top part of your now 'busy' space blog.

This next hint is really cool!

I'm going to show you how to put your Title of your blog and your description into your Footer.

Your Footer is the long thingy me-bob at the bottom of your page. Its where most people don't usually see if you have a lot of posts on one page. But it is where we can put your description and title, and which just happens to make you look like you know what your doing when people see it down there.

Ok, now that we have made the Header 'editable' you if your in Add and Arrange Page Elements, (this is so easy) you can actually drag the header down to your footer at the bottom and it will stay there.

Do it, preview your blog and see that your title and description is now at the bottom.

Ok, now that's sorted and Google will still visit us and care about us enough to occasionally mention us in their search results there's one final thing we have to do.

Where the header originally was, it may have been a 'small space with a border etc' when you go putting in an image that's 600 pixels, 660, 800 pixels wide its probably not going to like it.

This is because in your html template, there have been borders, and margins and padding set to a smaller size. This is set to a smaller size because the designer who designed your template was expecting a text title and not some radical change to allow for a image to be inserted.

We have to go in to the html namely the 'CSS' and adjust the padding, margin, border widths etc. The CSS is the cascading style sheet. its at the front part of the html, search along the html until you come across this:

To See the code clearly click on the picture

Now it all depends on which template you use and how big a picture you are wanting to put in. But simply you have to play with the margin and border widths. I think its easiest if you simply set border to zero(after you have got your picture centered, that way you don't have to try to fit the border around the picture. If the space for your picture is smaller than the picture its going to throw it most likely to the right.

What I recommend you do is before you go trying to fit a particularly bigger picture as a mast in, you save your template (back it up) so that if you make a mistake with the margin settings you can simple revert to your previous saved back up and not lose all the good work you have done so far.

One last hint: Make sure you creat a 'hyperlink' so when people click on your mast they go to your home page. This is the standard default page of your blog. o create a hyperlink you simply surround the picture address with a href. See the example below.

To See the code clearly click on the picture

If you want to see the end result of this simple series of hacks go here:

I hope this New blogger hint helps people feel free to leave comments in the comment section. I can't help people do their own individual blog. I am certainly not going to help any one that has not had a very hard try at it.

Remember: You must do a back up first before you edit your template.