Saturday, March 3, 2007

But does Al Gore buy carbon credits for cat farts?

Enviro: All this stuff about his house is okay, but when you buy credit for your cats, you know you got a serious sucker.... I mean enviro lover.

IF you own a cat, you know the smelly truth: they break wind and it's foul. Not only that, it harms the planet.
All forms of flatulence - from cats, dogs, even from Dad - contain methane, a greenhouse gas thought to contribute to climate change.

If you've been feeling guilty about it, help is at hand. For just $8, a Sydney-based company, Easy Being Green, can now make your cat carbon-neutral, so it can "live guilt-free for a year".

Make no mistake, the cat will still smell, and its emissions will still contain methane, but Easy Being Green vows to spend the $8 you give them on products, such as energy-saving lightbulbs and water-saving shower heads, that reduce emissions elsewhere (if not in your own backyard).

The scheme can be applied to any product, animal or person. For $20, the company made Jenny Cracknell into a "carbon-neutral granny" last year. Her daughter, Emily, gave her a gift certificate to offset two years' worth of flatulence. "I don't like to brag, but I actually don't have much flatulence," Mrs Cracknell says. "But when I do, I feel OK about it, because the damage to the planet has been offset."

Carbon credits, carbon certificates and carbon offsets are serious currency, generating a worldwide income thought to exceed $300 million a year as Westerners panic, not about the spread of consumption across the globe, but about their carbon footprints - the impact of their lives on the planet.

Easy Being Green's chief executive (and main shareholder) Paul Gilding - formerly head of Greenpeace International - said the system of carbon trades made it possible for ordinary families to do something "about the pressing problem of our time".

Customers agree it makes them feel good. Take Sally Treeby and her husband, Stephen Dunne, of Balgowlah Heights in Sydney's northern beaches. They have a four-wheel drive, two children - George, 3, and Olivia, 1, both of whom wear disposable nappies - and take three interstate trips a year.

Easy Being Green used a complicated mathematical formula to value the family's "footprint" at $600 a year, so Mr Dunne bought $600 worth of carbon credits for his wife for herbirthday.

Ms Treeby said: "When the children ask us, what did you do when the planet was warming, we will at least have a decent answer for them. We don't say we are doing enough (although the family also has water tanks and compost). But I have to tell you, it was more gratifying than a new pair of shoes."

Yeah..even other enviro nuts are a bit dubious about it.

Australian Conservation Foundation climate change campaigner Tony Mohr is sceptical, saying: "If people want to help the planet, the very first thing they should do is reduce their emissions. Second, they should buy renewable energy, be more energy efficient. Only after that should you think of offsets."

Other carbon credit sellers realize people are wary of this but point out the other way of cutting emissions won't fly with nearly everyone.

Other green companies use the money to plant forests, sometimes dubbed nature's "sinks" because they supposedly trap carbon.

Carbon Planet, based in Adelaide, also offers individuals a way to "erase their carbon footprints" - by entering name, address and credit card number into their website. In return, you get a NSW Greenhouse Abatement Certificate "which guarantees that one tonne of carbon dioxide will be kept out of the air for 100 years".

Co-founder Ross Williams agrees that some believe it's a copout to buy carbon credits without changing your lifestyle.

"But look, either we go back in to the cave, or you eliminate in some other way, and that means sucking emissions out, by planting trees and so forth."

But planting trees are a waste of time designed to allow people to just keep living as they want without any real sacrifice.

Planting trees to combat climate change is a waste of time, according to a study by ecologists who say that most forests do not have any overall effect on global temperature, while those furthest from the equator could actually be making global warming worse.

"The idea that you can go out and plant a tree and help reverse global warming is an appealing, feel-good thing," said Ken Caldeira of the global ecology department at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Stanford, California, a co-author of the study. "To plant forests to mitigate climate change outside of the tropics is a waste of time."

Now Bill Simmons rips into Scoop Jackson.

Sports: As the NBA all-star weekend in Vegas fallout shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

First Jason Whitlock with his Black KKK column which got the ball rolling, Scoop who has a running feud responded with an insipid column which got Bill Simmons who rarely if ever name names to respond. This is the closing segments.

Here's the sad thing: There was a good follow-up column that needed to be written about Vegas. The NBA was unfairly blamed for the general craziness of the weekend, with the Pacman Jones incident getting the most play ... like it was the NBA's fault that an NFL star caused the biggest riot of the weekend. The NBA didn't screw up; Vegas screwed up. The city failed to stack the Strip and the surrounding parts of the city with enough cops and security guards, and they made the mistake of hoping everyone would act appropriately.

For any other weekend, that was a reasonably sound game plan. For a weekend in which the NBA All-Star Game was the THIRD biggest event behind Chinese New Year and the Fashion Convention? Not a good idea. If you owned a car and resided within driving distance of Vegas, you needed only to find a space in a garage and you were good to go for the weekend, even if you didn't have a place to sleep. Contrary to public belief, New Orleans won't be as chaotic an All-Star destination because the city will flood downtown with cops -- no way the Big Easy makes the same mistake as Vegas did -- and because out-of-towners won't be able to cruise into the city and park downtown without any trouble. Over everything else, that's where Vegas screwed up.

So who gets blamed? Naturally, the NBA. The league's fundamental issue has remained the same for four decades: It's a league of mostly black players marketing itself to a mostly white audience and a mostly white media. That delicate balance was the premise of David Halberstam's watershed sports book "The Breaks of the Game," which was published 25 years ago, back when MJ was playing for Carolina and Michael Jackson was on his second nose. Nothing has really changed. Just look at the way Iverson's credentials were belittled when Philly shopped him last December, or the comically skewed reaction to a Nuggets-Knicks brawl that wasn't one-tenth as violent as the Senators-Sabres brawl last week. Certain media members will always delight in sticking it to the NBA, with the underlying theme being, "Sorry, I just can't identify with those black guys."

I wish Scoop had tackled this subject, asking why some media members gleefully used All-Star Weekend as their latest excuse to crush the league. Instead, he played the race card, based his premise on a dubious statistic and came off misguided. Once upon a time, the late Ralph Wiley repeatedly proved an African-American sports columnist could write intelligently about racial issues without using his skin color as a crutch. After Ralph passed away three years ago, Scoop Jackson vowed to carry Ralph's torch on Page 2.

I just wish he'd brought that torch to Vegas.


Cherokee Nation to vote kicking out black slave descendants

Nation: Forget all this tracing your ancestry back to Strom or Jefferson, trace it back to the Indians and get some casino money!

"The 250,000-member Cherokee Nation will vote in a special election today whether to override a 141-year-old treaty and change the tribal constitution to bar "freedmen," the descendants of former tribal slaves, from being members of the sovereign nation.

"It's a basic, inherent right to determine our own citizenry. We paid very dearly for those rights," Cherokee Principal Chief Chad Smith said in an interview last month in Oklahoma City.

But the Cherokee freedmen see the vote as less about self-determination than about discrimination and historical blinders. They see in the referendum hints of racism and a desire by some Cherokees to deny the tribe's slave-owning past.

"They know these people exist. And they're trying to push them aside, as though they were never with them," said Andra Shelton, one of Baldridge's family members. Shelton, 59, can recall her mother gossiping in fluent Cherokee when Cherokee friends and relatives visited.

People on both sides of the issue say the fight is also about tribal politics -- the freedmen at times have been at odds with the tribal leadership -- and about money.

Advocates of expelling the freedmen call it a matter of safeguarding tribal resources, which include a $350 million annual budget from federal and tribal revenue, and Cherokees' share of a gambling industry that, for U.S. tribes overall, takes in $22 billion a year. The grass-roots campaign for expulsion has given heavy play to warnings that keeping freedmen in the Cherokee Nation could encourage thousands more to sign up for a slice of the tribal pie.

"Don't get taken advantage of by these people. They will suck you dry," Darren Buzzard, an advocate of expelling the freedmen, wrote last summer in a widely circulated e-mail denounced by freedmen. "Don't let black freedmen back you into a corner. PROTECT CHEROKEE CULTURE FOR OUR CHILDREN. FOR OUR DAUGHTER[S] . . . FIGHT AGAINST THE INFILTRATION."

The issue is a remnant of the "peculiar institution" of Southern slavery and a discordant note set against the ringing statements of racial solidarity often voiced by people of color.

"It's oppressed people that's oppressing people," said Verdie Triplett, 53, an outspoken freedman of the Choctaw tribe, which, like the Cherokee, once owned black slaves.

Cherokees, along with Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks and Seminoles, were long known as the "Five Civilized Tribes" because they adopted many of the ways of their white neighbors in the South, including the holding of black slaves."

Did everyone at one time own black people as slaves? I am serious, everywhere you turn black people just got shat on by everyone else, even other black people.

And the fight over heritage is moving beyond the Cherokee Nation. The other tribes that owned slaves, and black descendants in those tribes, are watching the vote.

In 2000, the Seminole Nation expelled freedmen but was compelled by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and federal courts to take them back. The Creek Nation has battled its freedmen in court.

Over the winter, Choctaw and Chickasaw freedmen formed their own association.

At his home in Fort Coffee, a hamlet founded by Choctaw freedmen, Triplett said he is not trying to immerse himself in his Indian heritage. "Oh, no!" he said. "I'm black!"

But a few days later he stood at Fort Coffee's Choctaw cemetery, where because of renovation a chain-link fence separates the Indian and freedman sides of the graveyard. Triplett pointed out ancestors.

Leaving, he shouted a warning to the Choctaw side: "Guess who's coming to dinner!"

Fort Coffee, good one. Everyone is for everyone till money gets involved and then we get picky.

Update# They voted to kick out slaves descendants.

The Freedmen will automatically be denied citizenship because the Dawes Rolls, a census commissioned by Congress to distribute land to tribal members, put the Freedmen on a separate roll that made no mention of Indian blood.

The Cherokee Nation, the second-largest tribe in the country after the Navajo, is also one of the fastest-growing, with 270,000 members and 1,000 new citizens enrolled every month. Members can even receive federal benefits and tribal services, including medical and housing aid and scholarships.

"Every other Indian tribe is based on blood, and they are not accused of being racists," said John Ketcher, a former deputy tribal chief, in a full-page "Vote Yes" ad in the Cherokee newspaper.

Many tribal leaders campaigned for the amendment, citing the right of a sovereign nation to determine its citizenship.

Voters say they were bombarded with advertisements attacking "non-Indians" as thieves who would create long lines in Cherokee health clinics and social services centers.

Freedmen supporters chalk up the claims to bigotry. They say the Cherokee Nation knows all too well that many Freedmen (who number about 25,000) have Cherokee blood.

"There are Freedmen who can prove they have a full-blooded Cherokee grandfather who won't be members," said Marilyn Vann, president of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes. "And there are blond people who are 1/1000th Cherokee who are members."

Friday, March 2, 2007

Zapatero surrenders to the ETA.

Spain: I expect more hunger strikes in the near future.

SPAIN'S Socialist Government has sparked controversy by allowing a hunger-striking prisoner from the armed Basque separatist group ETA to go home.

An emaciated Inaki de Juana Chaos, who was responsible for 25 killings in the 1980s, was sent back to his native Basque country after serving less than half of a three-year sentence for terrorist threats. He had been on hunger strike for 114 days and, reduced to a skeletal wreck, was being force-fed by doctors in a Madrid hospital.

"If I had not made this decision he would have died in the next few weeks," Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said.

Although De Juana will serve out his sentence under guard at home and at a nearby hospital, the measure came as close as was possible to freeing him. He is at a hospital in San Sebastian, where police guarding the doors and supporters are gathered outside. Basque separatist leader Juan Maria Olano, after visiting De Juana, said that the prisoner had given up his hunger strike.

The decision provoked furious reactions from the conservative opposition People's Party and the influential Association of Terrorism Victims, which have campaigned against attempts by Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to negotiate an end to ETA's four decades of violence.

"Zapatero will go down in history as the prime minister who humiliated the victims of terrorism," the People's Party's general secretary, Angel Acebes, said.

"The Government has finally surrendered to ETA," the victims' association said in a statement.

De Juana was jailed after he was deemed to have made threats in letters printed in a Basque newspaper while awaiting release from a murder sentence. His 12-year sentence was reduced to three years on appeal, but De Juana refused to give up his hunger strike, claiming his jailing was politically motivated. He has been in prison since 1987.

Rap sales plummet, is the backlash finally happening?

Entertainment: Scoop Jackson is going to be pissed that Whitlock's Black KKK memo is making the rounds.

NEW YORK — Maybe it was the umpteenth coke-dealing anthem or soft-porn music video. Perhaps it was the preening antics that some call reminiscent of Stepin Fetchit.

The turning point is hard to pinpoint. But after 30 years of growing popularity, rap music is now struggling with an alarming sales decline and growing criticism from within about the culture's negative effect on society.

Rap insider Chuck Creekmur, who runs the leading Web site, says he got a message from a friend recently "asking me to hook her up with some Red Hot Chili Peppers because she said she's through with rap. A lot of people are sick of rap ... the negativity is just over the top now."

long article, read it.

In another worry that the Black KKK may spread beyond the NBA, David Squires of the Daily Press ponders the future of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association basketball tournaments.

"....That might be true today. The CIAA tournament is one of the largest collections of college-educated blacks that one is likely to see anywhere. They are a classy bunch ... couples and families, business groups, fraternities and sororities. And in some instances their parties are groups who met years ago and continue to party together even today.

The new location in Charlotte provides fans an opportunity to walk to the games and to wander around downtown and shop before and after some sessions. And the event went off last year with no reports of rampant lawlessness. Increased police presence, standard for large events, helps to keep the peace.

But one can't help but be concerned that in Charlotte, an NBA and NFL city, that the CIAA is going Hollywood. The traditional lineup of collegial, family reunion type parties - and concerts featuring acts such as Boyz II Men and the Spinners - is now joined by offerings by professional athletes such as the Carolina Panthers' Thomas Davis and the Jacksonville Jaguars' Deon Grant. Magic Johnson is in town again, too; so too are rappers Young Jeezy and Lil' Wayne. So the CIAA is taking on more of a feeling of an NBA All-Star Weekend.

Before long, my concern is that "the Black KKK" will show up, the same element that causes some Hampton Roads taverns to not sell cognac, a popular drink among blacks. The same element that causes some local bars and clubs to "change up the music," when the crowds become too black. The same element that brings their neighborhood beefs into local lounges.

Kerry is more concerned with expansion, with finding teams to replace Winston-Salem and the soon-to-depart N.C. Central. He's concerned with building a fan base in Charlotte, in South Carolina and in Atlanta.

But in the meantime, the CIAA better watch its back."

China, India and G77 answer to emissions limits.

Enviro: This pic sums up the G77 countries stance on the G8 telling them to accept limits on their emissions based on their fast growing economies.

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Americans willing to pay more taxes for Health Care.

Nation: Well, a guarantee of health care for all Americans, especially the kiddies!

Americans showed a striking willingness in the poll to make tradeoffs to guarantee health insurance for all, including paying as much as $500 more in taxes a year and forgoing future tax cuts.

But the same divisions that doomed the last effort at creating universal health insurance, under the Clinton administration, are still apparent. Americans remain divided, largely along party lines, over whether the government should require everyone to participate in a national health care plan, and over whether the government would do a better job than the private insurance industry in providing coverage.

You have to read lower down the article to get the numbers and all of a sudden stuff like paying as much as $500 more in taxes gets put into context.

The nationwide telephone poll of 1,281 adults was conducted Feb. 23- 27, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The poll found Americans across party lines willing to make some sacrifice to ensure that every American has access to health insurance. Sixty percent, including 62 percent of independents and 46 percent of Republicans, said they would be willing to pay more in taxes. Half said they would be willing to pay as much as $500 a year more.

Nearly 8 in 10 said they thought it was more important to provide universal access to health insurance than to extend the tax cuts of recent years; 18 percent said the tax cuts were more important.

“I wouldn’t want to pay a lot of taxes, but if it was spread out and everyone paid their fair share, it would be fine,” said Don Galvan, 50, a computer programmer from Ringwood, N.J., who considers himself an independent. “Everybody should have some kind of medical coverage, in case they or their children get sick. Especially children.”

So in theory almost everyone is for the children and expanding access, but then you start going beyond those generic soft questions it gets a big dicey.

More people now see guaranteeing health insurance as important than did so at the end of the Clinton efforts in 1996. At that time, 56 percent polled said it was the government’s responsibility to do so, and 38 percent said it was not. In the current poll, 64 percent said the government should guarantee health insurance for all; 27 percent said it should not.

Moreover, an overwhelming majority in the current poll said the health care system needed fundamental change or total reorganization, just as they did in the early 1990s, when a deep recession and soaring health care costs galvanized the public and spurred the Clinton drive.

But now, as then, this concern did not translate into a consensus on what should replace it.

One question offered a choice between the current system and a national health insurance program covering everyone, administered by the government and financed by taxpayers. Thirty-eight percent said they preferred the current system, 47 percent the government-run approach.

Robert Blendon, an expert at Harvard on public opinion and health, said politicians had to find some compromise between these philosophical divisions on the role of government, which are deep-seated in American culture, or “we’re going to have the same train wreck we did before.”

So the compromise would be a mix of government/private. I bet you if you start stating what would likely happen in such a hybrid system such as waiting lists months at a time for major surgeries or you are not allowed the freedom as it stands now to choose your doctor or hospital. The support will drop like a rock. Its a nice article to give some talk radio the next couple of days, but nothing more.

London Olympics costs up to 10 Billion pounds

Sports: Via Evening Standard.

The likely bill for the London Olympics has shot up again to £10billion, according to latest estimates.

Insiders said International Olympic Committee officials, who arrived in the capital yesterday for a two-day meeting, were so concerned that they are demanding a full breakdown of costs from 2012 chairman Lord Coe.

At Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, Tony Blair was challenged by Tory MP David Evennett on the soaring bill - originally estimated at £2.375billion by ministers.

Mr Blair replied: 'Obviously it's important that we keep the costs properly under control.'

The bill for staging the games and regenerating Stratford, where the Olympic Park will be, is now understood to stand at £6.1billion. On top of this, the Treasury is demanding a contingency fund of £2.7billion.

The cost of security - decided before the July 7 attacks - has rocketed from £190million to £1billion, while there is a VAT bill on construction costs of at least £250million.

Sir Steve Redgrave, the five-time Olympic rowing champion, also joined the row yesterday.

He said: 'I have found it frustrating and I will be very satisfied when they say, "this is the budget, this is the money we have got to spend".

'If you were building a house or an extension you would have a budget to spend. I think the British public would prefer that.'

I see higher congestion taxes in London's future.

Dems gives Unions easy way to intimidate workers

Bidness: ....into forming unions because unions never strong arm employees to join up.

Continuing in the populist tone of its first 100 hours, the House's Democratic majority pushed through legislation to remove the right of employers to demand secret-ballot elections and to require employers to recognize unions once a majority of workers sign cards saying they want to organize.

Democratic and labor leaders argued that the existing system has become so tilted in favor of employers that it no longer protects workers' rights. Republicans accused Democrats of trying to eliminate a cornerstone of democracy -- the secret ballot -- as a payback to "union bosses" for the labor movement's support in the 2006 election.

"The Employee Free Choice Act puts democracy back in the workplace so the decision to join a union can be made by the workers the union would represent," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told colleagues. "This is the standard right that we routinely demand for workers around the world. We should accept no less a standard here in America."

The measure would represent one of the most significant revisions of federal labor law in 60 years. It is the top legislative priority of the labor movement, which represents a record low 12 percent of the workforce, compared with 35 percent in the 1950s.

Republicans took issue with every aspect of the bill, including its name, the Employee Free Choice Act, which they called "mischievous," "misleading" and "Orwellian." Republican Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) suggested it be called, "The American Worker Compulsion Act," arguing that union organizers could bully workers into signing cards.

The White House took the same tack in promising a presidential veto, should the bill pass the Senate. "It is a fundamental tenet of democracy that individuals are able to vote their conscience, privately, free from the threat of reprisal," its statement read.

The secret ballot should stay, you want to toughen up penalities for both sides if the question of forming a union comes up, I am all for it. But taking away the secret ballot and allowing a simple majority to be the answer is wrong.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

I approve of more sluts and hoes.

Culture: Via Townhall blog.

2) Ace vs. That Chick Who Used to Blog for John Edwards – Ace thinks women cheapen themselves by rolling in the hay with every Tom, Richard and Harry. Amanda Marcotte thinks such behavior is empowering and a kick to the patriarchy’s proverbial groin. I link, you decide.

Amanda: "Yes, Ace doesn’t like sluts because he doesn’t think that men deserve to be treated like women, i.e. just bodies that aren’t worth giving a shit about. It hurts his feelings to think that a woman wouldn’t honor and respect a man’s entire being, even though lord knows he’s not going so far as to say that the best way to be honored and respected is to be worthy of it. My god, in order to be an honorable man who deserves women’s love and respect, you have to treat them like people, when of course, they are what Ace would call “walking receptacles”, which men most definitely are not, being of course real human beings, unlike women.

How does being a slut empower you against men? All that does is make it easier for guys to figure out which woman is worth going after and those who are good for a cheeseburger and fries on the way for a easy night. The warped notion that guys will be offended(most guys) by women who think to be equal involves sleeping with just as many partners and treating guys like they think the guys treat women is just goofy. Self respecting guys are not going to put any effort for a relationship with a ho thinking it is awesome.

So be a slut, makes it easier to figure out which person you can bring home without feeling dirty.

Will Keith Ellison step in on the Muslim taxi drivers?

Politics: He zoomed in for the flying imans but I haven't heard anything from him about Muslim cabbies. Now considering the cabbies are Somalian Muslims and he got massive support to win his election from them. You would think he would make some noise about it.

NBA all-star Vegas fallout continues.

Sports: As the floodgates seemed to open when Jason Whitlock put out his now Thug city article about the lawlessness of NBA all star weekend.

Fisher: Don't blame NBA for Vegas issues - 11 hours ago"I've heard a lot of opinions, but those ought to be reserved for when something actually happens," Fisher told the Los Angeles Times. ...

Jason Whitlock did a follow up that I missed slamming the "Black Ku Klux Klan" who showed up in Vegas which got a lot of people's attention.
We have a problem in the black community, and it didn't make its debut at All-Star Weekend Vegas. What was impossible to ignore in Vegas was on display in Houston, Atlanta and previous All-Star locations.

With the exception of Louis Farrakhan's 1995 Million Man March, it's been on display nearly every time we've gathered in large groups to socialize in the past 15 or so years.

The Black Ku Klux Klan shows up in full force and does its best to ruin our good time. Instead of wearing white robes and white hoods, the new KKK has now taken to wearing white Ts and calling themselves gangsta rappers, gangbangers and posse members.

Just like the White KKK of the 1940s and '50s, we fear them, keep our eyes lowered, shut our mouths and pray they don't bother us.

Our fear makes them stronger. Our silence empowers them. Our lack of courage lets them define who we are. Our excuse-making for their behavior increases their influence and enables them to recruit more freely.

We sing their racist songs, gleefully call ourselves the N-word, hype their celebrity and get upset when white people whisper concerns about our sanity.

And whenever someone publicly states that the Black KKK is terrorizing black people, black neighborhoods, black social events and glorifying a negative, self-destructive lifestyle, we deny and blame the Man.

I don't want to do it anymore."

Scoop Jackson who has a running feud with Whitlock since the latter said he was a clown and doing a bad Nat X impersonation comes out with a half-hearted defense of young black youth with a really stupid implication in the middle of it.

"...But what happened while the NBA was in town is headline news? This is what becomes the reflection of a people, a culture? This is what constitutes columns and conversations of lawlessness and over-the-top irrational behavior? This is what gives people the right to editorialize and portray us as animals?

Where were these writers and broadcasters during New Year's Eve in Vegas? Where were they when the police reports were being filled out saying that of the 403 arrests, 172 were of local residents and only 231 were from outsiders who came to visit Vegas? Where were they when the police reports said that of those 403 arrests, 239 were for prostitution-related incidents, compared to an average week of 175 arrests for those same crimes. And none of these arrests involved an NBA player.

And I won't even get into, as Harvey Araton of the New York Times wrote, how nobody blamed NASCAR "for the death of a motorist who was shot in a road-rage encounter during a traffic jam after leaving the Daytona 500."

NASCAR ain't the NBA. You know the difference, I know the difference. But an NFL player comes into town, wilds out, tosses $81,000 up in the air, someone gets shot, and it becomes a reflection of the NBA?

Media, please.

Yet we are supposed to sit here and accept this? Accept what is being written and said -- and insinuated -- and say nothing? We should remain quiet as if there's absolute truth to what is being communicated about the behavior of the "hip-hop thugs and their baby mammas" (code: young black people) who went to Vegas and displayed a side of ignorance that had veteran reporters and columnists "scared" to go out of their rooms? But in Dallas a few weeks ago at the NHL All-Star Game these same cats felt safe as kittens.

Racism, please?

It's not even worth me going there."

It's not worth going because you would be a fool to do so. What about Super Bowl week, heard any stories about that thuggery or people unsafe? No, because NHL and Super Bowl week don't attract the type of thugs you see at the NBA All star weekend.

Pac-Man Jones was there for NBA all-star weekend which makes him part of the hip-hop fanbase the NBA attracts. Here is a member of G-unit who was involved in a brawl in Vegas and NBA all star weekend.

Infamous/G-Unit recording artist, 40 Glocc, was involved in a brawl early Monday morning (February 19) outside the MGM Grand Casino.

According to the rapper's spokesperson, he and his entourage got into an altercation with group of rival gang members, resulting in an all-out brawl that spilled into the casino's parking lot.

"Niggas' wanted a problem, so we mashed them out," 40 Glocc told "I'ma real one wit this... I don't wear rags for videos and fashion, gangbangin' is not a fashion! And whoever is using it for record selling and fashion, they gotta run into me and real ones in the streets just like me and gone find out the hard way. That goes for crips and bloods."

Shots were reportedly exchanged, and one man was left with a gunshot to the hip. He declined to press charges, and police are not following up on the incident, Las Vegas police spokesman, Jose Montoya, said.

This is why Scoop Jackson gets called an idiot and a clown because he mixes up what everyone is saying to make it out as racism against all black people which is dishonest. Whitlock/Simmons and others have been pointing out for years when the NBA got mixed up with the hip-hop culture, there was a thug element coming in that would be bad for the NBA image. Now with Vegas, the stories are coming out that are sticking to the NBA they are trying to deflect.

Its not about color, its about character, values and moral behavior. The NBA got the worst of it and trying to imply it is about stereotyping black people is ridiculous. You think if there was a NAACP convention or Urban League you would hear thug stories?

Miami-Dade County demands 2.5 acres to worship.

Religion: What?

MIAMI — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed suit Friday on behalf of two groups of Christians told they must purchase 2.5 acres of land before meeting for prayer and Bible study. Miami-Dade County officials slapped International Outreach Center and Worldwide Agape Ministries with orders to cease and desist meeting unless members can procure the acreage required, even if only two or three people are in attendance.

“People can gather each week at someone’s home to watch football, but they can’t gather to read the Bible and pray without being forced to buy 2.5 acres of land. I think that would strike most people as ridiculous,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Joel Oster. “It is unconstitutional for the county to bully these ministries when there is no minimum acreage requirement for other assembly-use businesses, such as pool halls, theaters, convention centers, and private clubs.”

For more than 10 years, International Outreach Center has used its property as a meeting place for prayer, Bible study, discussion, and singing of religious songs. On April 21, IOC received a code violation notice from the county stating that the group needed to apply for a Certificate of Use. Officials responded to IOC’s application by stating that the group would need to purchase 2.5 acres of land or stop meeting.

Worldwide Agape Ministries, a small, home-based religious ministry which meets for prayer, Bible reading and discussion, and singing, received a cease-and-desist order from county zoning officials. The officials stated that even a regular gathering of two to three people is not permitted and that the group would need 2.5 acres of land to continue their activities.

I can see maybe code violations, but demanding 2.5 acres of land has to be brought seems stupid even for Miami-Dade County, the center of Florida stupidity.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Politico credibility down the tubes over slow bleed.

Media: As they backtrack to get back into favor with the Democrats.

"....Bresnahan, who has unparalleled sources and understanding of how Congress works, wrote an article that was the first to detail the emerging Democratic strategy of challenging Bush on Iraq. Here was the lead paragraph of the draft he submitted:

"Even as the House begins debate on a resolution opposing President Bush's plan to send 21,500 more U.S. combat troops to Iraq, leading anti-war groups are preparing a multi-million dollar TV ad campaign and grassroots lobbying blitz designed to pressure vulnerable incumbent lawmakers to end their support for the war."

VandeHei and I read the article and were impressed by the detail of Bresnahan's reporting. But, as editors always do, we had our quibbles. Like the lead paragraph: Too bulky, and too bland. The story was a good bit better than the introduction.

We rushed the patient to the operating table for emergency surgery. With VandeHei hovering over my shoulder, this is what I came up with:

"Top House Democrats, working in concert with anti-war groups, have decided against using congressional power to force a quick end to U.S. involvement in Iraq, and instead will pursue a slow-bleed strategy designed to gradually limit the administration's options."

That is not exactly prize-winning prose, but it seemed a little snappier to us -- and more on point. Please note the context: What is slowly bleeding away is the administration's political support to keep fighting the war. Republicans pounced on the phrase because of the ease with which that context could be shorn away, to give the impression that what Democrats were slow-bleeding were the bodies of troops in Iraq.

That willingness to wrest words from context -- and to attribute the phrase to Democrats even though it was not theirs -- was demagogic on the part of Republican operatives. But it was never my plan to make their work so easy.

A journalist's job is to clarify political debate, not further muddy it. In the two weeks since his original article, Bresnahan's reporting has continued to clarify the unfolding Iraq argument, even as his editors made life more difficult for him.

Really? As Media Matters pointed out that on Feb 13th Ryan Lizza, senior editor of The New Republic had this to say about Murtha's plan.

LIZZA: And look, they're reading the same polls that we're all reading, and they realize that the American public doesn't quite -- there's not a big majority for defunding the troops, so it doesn't look like the Democratic leadership is going to go there. Instead, what you're going to have is a strategy led by Murtha, which is going to be to limit the number of troops available to President Bush by putting some restrictions on what troops will be allowed to be brought over to Iraq.

So that's the strategy that the -- that's the sort of two-part strategy: first, this non-binding resolution, and then restricting what troops Bush can use. So, it's a sort of -- a slow bleeding of our ability to do much more in Iraq.

Everyone who was paying attention realized what Murtha was trying to do and as left wing site Mother Jones points out.

So, okay. It's a plan to slowly kill the war in Iraq. Immediately after the Politico story was released, the Washington Post, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and other news outlets used the phrase "slow bleed." What was the problem -- after all, it seems like a fitting description of the plan?

Republicans started using the phrase to highlight its morbid qualities, pounding away with it over and over on the floor of the House and going so far as to say that Democrats were using "slow bleed" as a title for the plan (which was false; Politico's story was the first usage). The whole situation just looked insensitive (and bumbling) on the part of the Dems: how could they name a plan that potentially endangers the troops, so the argument goes, with a phrase that evokes a wounded or dying soldier?

....Murtha was finding new and innovative ways to end the war in Iraq. A prefectly descriptive label with unfortunate connotations was applied to it. Are we really so immature that we focus on the latter and can't see the former?

MJ Blog is the only one I have seen so far to say so what? Everyone else jumping on John Harris and Politico is mad because the GOP by some miracle turned it back on them by stating the truth about Murtha's plan. The description fit but it turned back the ownership on the Dems which is what they don't want in the first place.

What is worse that Harris made the situation worse by groveling for lefty approval by taking blame for telling the truth.

Dozens of Islamists infiltrated Spanish army base.

Spain: Interesting article by Interviu magazine who reveals information of Islamists making their way to the Spanish army troops in North Africa.

"....Interviu denounced the "fundamentalist infiltration" found by military intelligence in one Ceuta-based unit that has a "long tradition of native troops and today has a large number of soldiers of the Muslim faith".

In the case of Ceuta, nearly 40 percent of the troops stationed there are Muslims.

The military intelligence unit responsible for identifying the Islamist soldiers was dismantled recently, thanks largely to an Interviu story that revealed the army spies were keeping tabs on all political, labour and civic entities in Ceuta.

The revelation of the unit's activities led to the sacking of Lt. Col. Jose Maria Albarracin Martin de Oliva, who later tried to commit suicide at army headquarters in Ceuta.

Interviu's investigation found that, in addition to gathering information about civilians, Albarracin's unit was "monitoring the Islamist influence among Muslim troops stationed in Ceuta".

In Ceuta and Melilla, military counterintelligence work "focuses almost exclusively on investigations of Islamism and drug trafficking among troops".

Army intelligence operatives identified 12 Muslim soldiers as "followers of the most radical Islam preached in northern Morocco".

"We found clear indications of their closeness to the bearded ones," a military source said, using the nickname for Muslim fundamentalists in the city.

The radical Muslim soldiers served in various army detachments.

"Concern spread among military commanders in the city: The fundamentalists were everywhere," the military source said.

The investigations, which started before the March 2004 attack in Madrid, even uncovered links to Iraqi commanders who fled after the defeat of Saddam Hussein's army in the March 2003 U.S. invasion.

Officials consulted by Interviu said, however, that the roots of Islamic fundamentalism were deep in the life of this Spanish enclave in Morocco.

"It's all connected: from fundamentalism to arms and drug trafficking, to the sale of cheap clothes, the fish, and let's not even talk about the trafficking of people," one official said.

Jihadists at an advanced level of indoctrination and training "hide their fundamentalist militance: they shave their beards, consume liquor and eat pork; they engage in the most Westernized and far from Islamic behavior," the official said.

One of the recommendations made to young Jihadists is that they enlist in the army so they can "receive free military training".

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Muslim taxi drivers refusing to carry alcohol.

Culture: There was a hearing today at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport over Muslim drivers demanding the right to refuse people carrying alcohol. They are not budging and looking for a legal fight.

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - For Abdi Mohamed, it's not a question of whether he'll carry passengers with alcohol in his cab. The question is whether he'll get punished for refusing to do so.

"I am Muslim. I'm not going to carry alcohol," Mohamed, a driver for Bloomington Cab, told a Metropolitan Airports Commission panel that gathered public opinion Tuesday regarding proposed penalties for cabbies who refuse service to passengers carrying alcohol.

Dozens of cab drivers showed up for the hearing at a hotel near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Commissioners are charged with setting a new policy by May, when airport licenses for cab drivers are set to expire. Under the proposal, drivers who refuse service for any reason would have their license suspended for 30 days. A second refusal would mean a two-year revocation of the license.

Once again, the Quran does not say a Muslim cannot carry alcohol, Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol. What part of that is hard to understand? What sort of Islam are these drivers practicing?

But the cabbies and their supporters left no doubt that they aren't flexible on the alcohol issue.

Hassan Mohamud, a Muslim imam and adjunct law professor at William Mitchell College of Law, said the Muslim cab drivers are only trying to support their families, both here and in their strife-torn home country, and are being placed in an impossible situation.

"If we pass this (policy) it means cutting off the lifelines of thousands of people," Mohamud said.

Airport director Steve Wareham said the policy should be viewed as a public safety issue. "Refusals of service can lead to customers wandering through lanes of traffic looking for another taxi," he said.

Abdifatah Abdi, who said he is counseling cabdrivers on legal issues related to the controversy, warned commissioners that instituting the penalty would set off a long legal battle.

"This is a religious freedom issue, and it will not end here," Abdi said. "It will go to the courts, even the Supreme Court. The drivers will not relinquish their rights to be protected under American law."

What they are looking for is a precedent by gaming the American law system to shove in strict sharia over everyone. Problem is I am not confident it wouldn't be thrown out of the courts.

Democrats running away from Iraq plan.

Politics: Lets set the end result that the Democrats wanted, Bush to be blamed for the failure of Iraq. But to get there they wanted to tie his hands enough behind the scenes while taking credit in public. What they are realizing now that they can't do that without taking ownership which they didn't want in the first place. Best of all, oh the moonbats will not be happy about it.

Democratic leaders backed away from aggressive plans to limit President Bush's war authority, the latest sign of divisions within their ranks over how to proceed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record), D-Nev., said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq.

....House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., meanwhile, said she doesn't support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.

The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha (news, bio, voting record), D-Pa., who has said he wants to use Congress' spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq, by setting strict conditions on war funding.

Moonbats are angry

The developments on both sides of the Capitol reflected a new level of disarray in Democratic ranks on Iraq. Swept into power by voters clamoring for an end to the war, Democrats have seen their efforts falter under a reality more complicated than they found on the campaign trail.
While the public is fed up with Iraq, there is little consensus over what to do.

Internal divisions, Republican opposition and a president who — while weakened — still appears to have the dominant voice on the war have all left Democrats flailing for a way to change the war's course.

The Democrats' symbolic measure disapproving of Bush's troop buildup passed the House only to stall in the Senate. The House plan to place strict restrictions on war funding appears to lack enough support within Democratic ranks to succeed, and looks likely to be scaled back, considering Pelosi's latest comments. The Senate bid to narrow the 2002 resolution authorizing the war appears to lack enough votes to be approved, and action on it now is likely to be put off — at least for the week.

The first signs of impatience among Democrats' allies are sprouting.

"The public is saying, 'We hired you to get out of Iraq — now figure it out,'" said Tom Matzzie, Washington director of the anti-war group "There is a risk that without action, frustration boils over into anger."

It comes down to they want to tie everything to President Bush and the GOP without taking the blame. Murtha's big mouth was the first huge nail in the movement because whatever reason like a bad villian in a movie, he had to explain the entire plot. Even the polls are not working in the Dems favor.

Democrats' troubles finding a strategy on the war reflect a wider lack of consensus among the public about what course to take in Iraq. AP-Ipsos polls show that while a clear majority are pessimistic about the war and oppose a buildup, most people do not support cutting funding for the troops.

Zbigniew Brzesinski, Jimmy Carter's former national security adviser, said Democrats "run the risk of losing momentum."

They would be better off pushing some simple policy statements that could garner Republican support — such as opposition to establishing permanent bases in Iraq or to further expansion of the war — than trying to find a way to tie Bush's hands, he said.

"One has to be very careful not to get involved in micromanaging a military engagement," Brzesinski added.

Black Slave owners in Tennessee's past.

History: Interesting story.

NASHVILLE -- Like many wealthy landowners of the pre-Civil War South, Sherrod Bryant owned slaves. They probably worked much of Bryant's 700 acres in Middle Tennessee, an area larger than that of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage plantation.

The slaves under Bryant helped raise hogs for their owner, who had a large family and was always looking to buy more property. Unlike many slave owners, however, Sherrod Bryant was black.

Today, the notion of a black man owning black slaves seems contradictory -- Bryant himself was a free black -- and perhaps even hypocritical. According to Bryant's descendants, however, their ancestor, who was never a slave, was simply following the normal pattern of life for a rich landowner in the Upper South.

"I think at some point, some of the members (of the family) might not have looked upon it very favorably, but the more we discuss it, the more we suddenly realize that to gain wealth during that time, if you had a lot of property, you had to have slaves to help you cultivate it," said Carl Bryant.

Couldn't he just hire the help instead of keeping slaves? Black slave owners in America may have been an anomaly as AP says, but the pattern of richer blacks lording over other blacks is nothing new as the freed slaves in Liberia pulled the same when they declared independence.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Big crime and rape wave in Oslo, Norway.

Norway: Some reports earlier in the year about a spike in crime and rapes in Norway on various euro blogs, now it has made it to the main papers.

Three women reported attempted rapes in Oslo over the weekend, and a man who tried to help one of the women ended up being stabbed himself. It's the latest in a string of rape cases since December.

All three women were attacked in Oslo's popular Grünerløkka district late Saturday night while on their way home. As in earlier cases, one of the women was attacked as she unlocked the entry door to her apartment building on Trondheimsveien.

Her assailant, described by police as an "aggressive" man in his mid-20s, believed to be Somalian, drew a knife and forced her into the apartment she shared with several roommates.

One of them was home, and he woke up after hearing her screams. He rushed to her aid and was stabbed in the neck by the assailant, who then fled. Both the woman and her roommate were taken to hospital for treatment, where his stab wounds were not determined to be life-threatening.

The two other attempted rapes occurred nearby, on Jens Bjelkes Gate and Kirkegårds Gate, and police believe the same man was involved in at least one of them. Both victims escaped.

Oslo's main emergency clinic, Legevakten, has handled 43 rape victims so far this year and police are warning women against walking alone late at night. They're advising women to talk, or at least pretend they're talking, in a mobile phone if they do walk alone. If they've taken a taxi home, police advise women to ask their drivers to wait until they're inside their building before driving off

This report makes Oslo sounds like its turning into South Africa.

The numbers, reported in newspaper Aftenposten, speak for themselves: No country has fewer police per capita than Norway, as many as 70 percent of so-called petty crimes are never followed up, and while the police force has increased 150 percent since 1960, the crime rate has increased 700 percent.

With so few crimes being investigated and solved, observers worry that Norwegians are losing confidence in whether the police will even come when called. Seven of 10 Norwegians have no faith that they'll get any help if someone breaks into their home, notes Aftenposten..

Justice Minister Knut Storberget, confronted with the challenges facing the police, has denied there's any crisis and points out that the Oslo Police District alone has received NOK 400 million in additional funding since 2000. He was harshly criticized, though, when he asked the public which cases the police should rank further down their lists when setting priorities, instead of addressing how the police could be equipped to do a better job.

Police resources have been strained by their growing need to tackle organized crime, gang crime, some spectacular cases like the NOKAS and Munch robberies, and heightened security demands, not least for public figures, local embassies and members of the royal family.

People can't believe in a social state like Norway, everyone is not treated on the same level.

Concerns are rising that all this will lead Norwegians to take the law into their own hands. Many already are investing in personal alarms, pepper spray and private security firms. Homeowner associations, for example, are feeling forced to employ such firms to patrol apartment complexes at night and perform such tasks as telling partymakers to be quiet, because the police don't come when called.

There currently are 8,250 police officers in Norway today, reports newspaper Aftenposten, but more than 10,000 private security guards spread over 250 different companies.

This isn't the way it's supposed to be in a social welfare state like Norway, where law and order should be enforced for everyone and not just those wealthy enough to afford private security firms.

"Today, the problems with the police are leading to new class differences," wrote Knut Olav Åmås, in charge of public debate and commentary at Aftenposten over the weekend. "So this is all about what kind of society Norway should be."

The first problem is you need more cops and better crime fighting techniques other than your police chief asking the public which crime to solve in order. Though I guess in the end this will lead to more taxes to fund social programs.

Maryland looking to give illegals tuition breaks

Edumacation: If we could just restrict it to a small amount of states and they want to become an illegal destination. I say go for it.

As states nationwide are embroiled in battles over immigrants' rights, Maryland lawmakers are again wrestling with the contentious issue -- and showing signs of easing some restrictions.

The most recent flash point: a bill that would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at Maryland colleges. Immigrant advocates think the bill has the best chance of passing in years. In 2003, the legislature approved the measure, but Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. vetoed it; this year, Gov. Martin O'Malley has pledged support.

Advocates view the endorsement as evidence of the new administration's embrace of immigrants regardless of their legal status. They say lawmakers seeking to clamp down on illegal immigration have taken notice and have pushed few get-tough provisions this session. An immigrants' rally is scheduled for tomorrow in Annapolis.

The Tobey Maguire death stare at Kirsten Dunst

Entertainment: TMZ has the video. Good thing that mic wasn't on a stand or there would have been violence.

I made a crude gif animation of it.

New Zealand party says keep out white people.

New Zealand: Too many whites coming in and holding down the power of the Maori people because the white establishment wants to stop the browning of New Zealand.

The Maori Party is calling for limits on immigration from Western countries, accusing the Government of trying to stop the "browning of New Zealand".

Party founder and co-leader Tariana Turia said it was most concerned about traditional source countries such as Australia, Canada and Britain.

The Maori Party has mooted the plan after Statistics New Zealand dashed hopes for an eighth Maori seat in Parliament at the next election because too few people, relative to overall population growth, opted to sign on to the Maori electoral roll.

"What we are talking about is the number of people coming into this country and what that means for Maori political representation," Mrs Turia said.

The move is reminiscent of NZ First leader Winston Peters' calls before the 1996 election for immigration to be "cut to the bone", which gained wide international attention.

But Mrs Turia rejected any comparison. "No, we aren't playing the race card, because we are not talking about Asian immigration.

"In actual fact, the majority of immigrants who come to this country come from Great Britain, from Europe, from Canada, from Australia."

Mrs Turia said successive governments had used immigration against Maori, particularly the focus on skilled migrants.

Ah, that whole we don't have the power so we can't be racist gimmick. Cute, but it still means this person is an outright paranoid racist. Its freaking New Zealand, land of the politically correct, I doubt they could pull off a policy where they get more whites than "brown" people without feeling guilty the next day.

Its actually pretty pathetic they try to pull something this idiotic just because they don't get extra seats like they think they deserved.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Weekly Thailand Muslim terrorist appeasement check-in.

Terrorism: As reality sets in on the coup government that all the appeasement talk is just making things worse.

PATTANI, Thailand: Some are already calling it war, a brutal Muslim separatist insurgency in southern Thailand that has taken as many as 2,000 lives in three years, with almost- daily bombings, drive-by shootings, arson and beheadings.

It is a conflict the government admits it is losing. A harsh crackdown and martial law in recent years seem only to have fueled the insurgency, generating fear and anger and undermining moderate Muslim voices.

A new policy of conciliation pursued by Thailand's junta since it took power in a coup five months ago has been met by increased violence, including a barrage of 28 coordinated bombings in the south that killed or injured about 60 people a week ago.

"The momentum of violence is now beyond the control of government policy," said Srisompob Jitpiromsri, a political scientist at Prince of Songkhla University here.

"The separatists can pick and choose the time and place of the violence without any effective resistance," he said. "They have the upper hand."

The insurgents seem to be taking their war to a new stage, pitting local Buddhists against Muslims by attacking symbols of Buddhism — Thailand's dominant faith — with flamboyant brutality.

The two religions had coexisted through the years, although often in separate villages. Observers say this mutual tolerance is breaking down and there are fears of a sectarian conflict that could flare out of control.

"Buddhist monks have been hacked to death, clubbed to death, bombed and burned to death," said Sunai Phasuk, a political analyst with the Human Rights Watch monitoring group. "This has never happened before. This is a new aspect of violence in the south."

What part of the terrorists want their own state is hard to understand? The more you show weakness, the more they attack harder. Giving in was the worst possible way to go.

Nation of Islam convention roundup. Darfur excused.

Politics: Arab Muslims killing Black Muslims, but the Sudanese president gets a warm welcome at the N.O.I convention.

The President of Sudan told a cheering crowd of Muslims at the Nation of Islam's convention in Detroit on Friday that his country is being unfairly targeted by Israel and Western countries "who do not respect the will and dignity of our nation."

Speaking from Sudan, Omar al-Bashir addressed hundreds of Nation members and other Muslims in a video conference that Nation members said was broadcast live inside the African country.

"Colonial powers ... want to come back" to Sudan, al-Bashir said through a translator to a crowd inside Cobo Center, the site of a three-day convention by the Nation, founded in Detroit and headed by Louis Farrakhan. There is an "American, Israeli, British alliance to dominate all the region."

In recent years, al-Bashir and his government's military forces have been criticized for allegedly killing people inside Sudan, allowing slavery, and providing a haven for terrorists. The U.S. State Dept. lists Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.

But al-Bashir said that "there is no ethnic cleansing at all" and "there isn't any slavery in the Sudan."

Speaking to a largely African-American audience, Al-Bashir also addressed the issue of race in his country. Some have said that Arabs with light skin are oppressing Africans in Sudan.

But the leader said "this is nothing but a lie," because in Sudan, "we're all Africans and we're all black."

Akbar Muhammad, a Nation of Islam leader who moderated the program, pointed to al-Bashir on the screen and said that: "He's darker then me."

Oh really? Guardian August 1st, 2004

"....According to a witness - a youth who was recruited to the Janjaweed, but deserted - the militiamen had been roused for battle with songs and speeches that declared all black civilians to be their enemies. "

The deserter, Mustafa Yusuf, 18, told The Observer: 'There were many songs against the Zurgha [a term for black Africans]. They sang in Arabic: "We go to war, we go to defeat the rebels - we are the original people of this area."'

The village had been attacked because a camp of the rebel Sudan Liberation Army was said to be based on a hill nearby. Looting the tawdry possessions of the African villagers was both a reprisal and a reward.

Yusuf has given this newspaper an account of life with the Janjaweed that offers a rare insight into the militias responsible for a campaign of brutal ethnic cleansing in western Sudan.

Last week, it emerged that a group of Janjaweed were responsible for one of the most horrifying atrocities of the conflict, in which a group of African villagers were chained together and burnt alive in a marketplace.

During a week spent at the camp of Mistriyah, in north Darfur, where around 6,000 militia fighters were based, Yusuf witnessed how the racial hatred that has fuelled such crimes was whipped up against black Africans. He also saw evidence of government backing for the Janjaweed, including the flying in of weapons and provisions by military helicopter.

His story illustrates the fluidity of Darfur's racial boundaries; for Yusuf is from one of the 'black' tribes of Darfur, the Zaghawa, whom the government believe to form the backbone of the rebellion.

Yusuf, a slim, dark-skinned youth with high cheekbones, was recruited into the militia along with his neighbours in the north Darfur town of Kapkabiyah.

The men who recruited him did not know he was Zaghawa, he said. 'My face is not like the Zaghawa. Also, I do not speak the Zaghawa language because I lived in Kapkabiyah for a long time.'

But his former neighbours knew he was black and held it against him. 'They called me Zurgha [black]. They told me: "You are lucky to be here, this camp is only for Arabs."'

.....The racist character of the militia became evident. 'At the beginning I thought they were giving out weapons for self-defence,' said Yusuf. 'But after I stayed for a few days, I discovered that it was an Arab militia.'

In the first speech militia leader Hilal made in front of the recruits, he told them all African civilians were the enemy. 'He said: "Zurgha support the rebels. We should defeat the rebels,"' Yusuf said.

The labels of 'Arab' and 'African' do not always fit the reality of Darfur. In the past, differences between ethnic groups were not given so much emphasis. There was intermarriage between communities who spoke Arabic as their first language and tribes who also spoke a traditional African language.

But in the violence that has engulfed the region since early last year, race has become 'a cruel and crucial reality', according to the latest Amnesty International report. The human rights group heard how a group of militiamen told some black African women: 'Do you have a God? Break the Ramadan! Even we with pale skins don't observe the Ramadan. You ugly blacks pretend. We are your god! Your god is [Sudanese president] Omer al-Bashir.'

I guess Amnesty is also on the imperialist bandwagon to control Sudan. So I can call the N.O.I misguided, idiots or just flat out sellouts while they cheer and excuse ethnic cleansing? Look who showed up to grovel up to Louis in Detroit.

Thousands of Farrakhan's supporters listened from chairs on the playing field at Ford Field, home to the Detroit Lions football team.

Farrakhan took the stage in the end zone after an introduction featuring Grammy-winning R&B singer Anita Baker, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and Conyers. He was embraced when he took the stage by Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

He concluded his address by urging followers to read a range of books, including recent works by former President Jimmy Carter and leftist scholar Noam Chomsky.

Mutha's own goal on Iraq Funding Curbs.

Politics: This is what happens when your mouth runs ahead of your brain.

The plan was bold: By tying President Bush's $100 billion war request to strict standards of troop safety and readiness, Democrats believed they could grab hold of Iraq war policy while forcing Republicans to defend sending troops into battle without the necessary training or equipment.

But a botched launch by the plan's author, Rep. John P. Murtha (Pa.), has united Republicans and divided Democrats, sending the latter back to the drawing board just a week before scheduled legislative action, a score of House Democratic lawmakers said last week.

The ex-ACLU president busted for child porn story.

Media: I don't want to say the media is burying the story but when the Wash Post gives it a brief summary deep in its metro section and you can't find anything in major Virginia papers, they are trying to bury it. In fact the only major news source to carry it is ABC news and a handful of AP wire stories.

VIRGINIA BRIEFINGWashington Post, DC - Feb 24, 2007An Arlington County youth sports coach and former ACLU chapter president was arrested on child pornography charges by federal agents who accused him of ...

Former ACLU Chapter President Arrested for Child PornographyABC News - Feb 23, 2007By JACK DATE. Feb. 23, 2007— Federal agents arrested Charles Rust-Tierney, the former president of the Virginia chapter of the ACLU, Friday in Arlington for ...

Obama's father a drunk womanizer and grandfather

Politics: a racist? Hell, why bother trying to make you life story sweeter when the reality it seems makes his achievements look even better.

Yet an investigation by The Mail on Sunday has revealed that, for all Mr Obama's reputation for straight talking and the compelling narrative of his recollections, they are largely myth.

We have discovered that his father was not just a deeply flawed individual but an abusive bigamist and an egomaniac, whose life was ruined not by racism or corruption but his own weaknesses.

And, devastatingly, the testimony has come from Mr Obama's own relatives and family friends.

"....Family members and acquaintances believe that the real cloud over Mr Obama's life has been the discovery that his father was far from the romantic figure that his mother tried to portray.

A family friend said: "He is haunted by his father's failures. He grew up thinking of his father as a brilliant intellectual and pioneer of African independence only to learn that in Western terms he was basically a drunken lecher."

This ugly truth, say friends, has made Mr Obama ruthlessly determined to use every weapon that he has to succeed, including the glossily edited version of his father's story.

"At the end of the day Barack wants the story to help his political cause, so perhaps he couldn't afford to be too honest," said Ochieng."

Long article, read it.

Women don't deserve Wimbledon equal prize money.

Sports: Equal prize money for equal work means that the women have to win 3 sets or they knock the men down to winning 2 sets. I see no physical/mental reasons why the women are still playing the 2 set win method of tennis.