Saturday, March 24, 2007

I'm sensing some hostility by Ronald Mcdonald here.

Entertainment: Just pointing out Ronald seems a bit displeased with the brother.


Mom orders kids to steal a puppy.

Crime: If you are going to steal something, don't involve you kiddies.

Since March 12 Guppi's owners, Donna McGee and her family, had searched their neighborhood in Antioch, a suburb about 50 miles east of San Francisco, for their beloved Chihuahua-Pekinese. After Guppi disappeared from the front porch, the McGees posted signs offering a $500 reward and baked cookies to anyone who returned the dog.

A neighbor, Duane Thurston, was working in his yard when Guppi was nabbed. He said he heard a woman yell "Hurry up and get the dogs," before two little girls, 7-to-10 years old, jumped out of an SUV and grabbed the dog before speeding away.

The girls told the principal at Carmen Dragon Elementary School that their mother instructed them to steal Guppi because "she wanted the dog."

The pooch was returned safely home Thursday morning. No arrests have been made, but Antioch police are investigating the case.

"I cant imagine a mother would send her daughters to steal someone else's dog. To involve a child in theft is just wrong," McGee said.

Healthy diets and biofuels killing off the Orangutan.

Enviro: Make up your mind people, save the earth and live healthy or save the Orang which slows down the advancement in biofuel technology.

The Orang Utan, one of man's closest and most enigmatic cousins, could be virtually extinct within five years after it was discovered that the animal's rainforest habitat is being destroyed even more rapidly than had been predicted.

A United Nations report has found that illegal logging and fires have been overtaken as the primary cause of deforestation by a huge expansion of oil palm plantations, which are racing to meet soaring demand from Western food manufacturers and the European Union's zeal for biofuels.

Palm oil is seen by critics as a cautionary tale about good intentions. As a vegetable oil it can enhance a healthy diet, and as a biofuel it can reduce carbon emissions which contribute to climate change. Yet it transpires that humans' pursuit of an ethical lifestyle could inadvertently mean a death sentence for one of the great apes.

The paradox was brought to world attention by Friends of the Earth, whose ongoing campaign for producers, manufacturers and retailers to commit to sustainable palm oil was recognised at last week's Observer Food Monthly awards with the honour for best ethical contribution to the industry.

Tony Dungy comes out in support of gay marriage ban

Culture: In Indiana. There was a lot of pressure for Dungy not to show up at the Indiana Family Institute from gay groups. He showed up and wasn't expected to talk about the topic but he did.

What was surprising is the Indianapolis Colts' quiet coach shared his position publicly, sparking discussion about the impact of the Super Bowl winner's comments.

Dungy caused a stir Tuesday when he accepted the "Friend of Family" award from the conservative Indiana Family Institute.

The coach told the audience he supported the group's efforts to amend the Indiana constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
"I appreciate the stance they're taking, and I embrace that stance," Dungy told the crowd of about 700 people.

Dungy said his comments should not be considered gay bashing.
"We're not trying to downgrade anyone else. But we're trying to promote the family -- family values the Lord's way," Dungy said.

Indy Star columnist Russ Pulliam said the pressure backfired.

The implication was that, while Dungy is a top-notch football coach, he was naïve to hang out with bigots who hate homosexuals. The Family Institute, according to this story line, is morally unfit for public respectability and ought to be shunned, like the Ku Klux Klan, because it favors marriage as involving one man and one woman. The strategy was to embarrass Dungy, portraying him as a stereotypical jock who is uninformed about weighty social issues.

But that tactic backfired.

In accepting the award, Dungy came back at his critics with a ringing endorsement of the amendment.

"IFI is saying what the Lord says," Dungy declared at the dinner. "You can take that and make your decision on which way you want to be. I'm on the Lord's side."

Yet back him in a corner and hint that he's too friendly with the wrong crowd, and he's going to reach for his Bible and answer with something more than personal opinion.

He also made it clear that he was for the family, not against homosexuals.
"We're not anti- anything else. We're not trying to downgrade anyone else. But we're trying to promote the family -- family values the Lord's way," Dungy said.

His opponents adopted the agree-with-me-or-we-will-embarrass-you method of debate. It's a shallow approach to a serious discussion and tells more about his critics than anything about Dungy.

Tactically, his critics have handed the marriage amendment team a couple of touchdowns in a close game. They may end up wishing they had let the coach receive his award in peace and quiet.

South Africa lashes back for being called cowards.

Africa: ...which they are but the need for dialogue is a must for them. That means they are too cowardly to stand up to Mugabe.

JOHANNESBURG, March 23 (Xinhua) -- South Africa's deputy foreign minister Aziz Pahad on Friday defended Pretoria's policy towards Zimbabwe, reiterating that only "constructive dialogue" is the solution to that country's crisis.

He also emphasized the need for a stop to violence in order to allow such a dialogue to take place.

"It was evident that many of the parties and civil society (in Zimbabwe) had welcomed the call of dialogue and national reconciliation and the violence in the last week must not be allowed to stop this process," Pahad told a media briefing in Pretoria.

The South African government has been criticized by opposition parties and human rights groups at home and by the West for failing to openly condemn Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has been repeatedly accused of cracking down on the political opposition.

But South Africa, like the majority of African countries, insist that political crisis in Zimbabwe could not be solved through intervention of outside force.

Pahad emphasized South Africa's position that the only solution for Zimbabwe was constructive dialogue between the parties.

He said the current crisis in Zimbabwe could have been avoided if Africa, Europe and the United States had adopted a common approach to assist Zimbabwe.

A common approach meaning what? Everyone else seems to have a common approach which is to shun the old bastard except South Africa because they don't want to be seen as whitey's bitch. In the mean time Zimbabwe has gone to hell. Good soft diplomacy policy.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Flying Imams may have stepped in it.

Nation: One part of the lawsuit the Imams filed everyone is now focused on is the suing of passengers aka "John Doe." Moderate Muslim group and other lawyers have stepped up to say they will pro bono any passengers brought to court by CAIR and the Imams.

The case of the imams has fed a national debate about religious rights vs. security concerns, fueled anew by the suit's "John Doe" aspect. The suit, in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, targets US Airways, the Metropolitan Airports Commission and "John Does" -- unnamed "passengers ... who contacted US Airways to report the alleged 'suspicious' behavior of plaintiffs performing their prayer at the airport terminal."

The imams' Manhattan attorney, Omar Mohammedi, said the suit "is directed at the airlines and the airport, not passengers."If someone has a legitimate security concern, we're not going after that person," he said. "Or if someone saw them praying and reported that out of ignorant fear, we aren't going to target that.

"But if someone lied and made a false report with the intention to discriminate, such as in saying the imams made anti-American comments and talked about Iraq when in fact nothing like that ever happened, we have the right to challenge that," Mohammedi said.

Zuhdi Jasser, a Phoenix doctor who is spokesman for the Arizona group, said the imams and their supporters at the Council for Islamic-American Relations in Washington, "are trying to exploit this situation for political ends."Who are the real victims here?" he said of the US Airways incident. "Airports are the front line in the war on terror, and it's outrageous that citizens acting in a neighborhood-watch fashion are targeted."

Jasser said his group has been at odds with the council, which he described as politically and culturally conservative, since its formation in 2003. "They're contributing to a very confused view of the identity of American Muslims," he said, adding that a Muslim newspaper backed by them has portrayed him as a dog on a leash labeled the U.S. government.

Nolting, 52, of Minneapolis, said that after reading about the case, which has created high interest in the legal community, he found himself deeply concerned. "If this suit causes people to stop speaking up when they see something suspicious, that would be very bad, even potentially dangerous," he said. Should the passengers' names be revealed during the course of the trial, he'll contact the defendants to volunteer his help, he said.

Powerline has more on the case, keep scrolling down. House Rep Stevan Pearce has got involved introducing H.R.1640

H.R. 1640 (Protecting Americans Fighting Terrorism Act) on the floor of the House, Rep. Stevan Pearce had the following comments:
It is a sad day in America when our own institutions of freedom are being used against us in the battle against terrorism. When I first heard about the lawsuit brought by the 'imams' in Minnesota, it was clear to me that this was an injustice against Americans who were simply trying to protect themselves. These brave citizens should be recognized as heroes for their efforts to report suspicious activity, particularly activity that has been associated with previous terror attacks.

As Americans, we must not allow ourselves to be bullied by individuals who seek to disrupt our way of life. We can not allow the sympathizers of terrorism to make Americans wonder if they could be sued before reporting possible terrorist activity. Whether it is an intimidation tactic or a full scale attack, Americans have the right and responsibility to protect themselves and their fellow citizens. I introduced this legislation to protect Americans and keep all citizens alert and vocal as they serve on the front line in our battle against terrorism here in America.

Batman and Chewbacca take on union workers

Entertainment: When Batman wants to use the toilet, let him.

HOLLYWOOD, Mar. 22, 2007 - Joining a list of Hollywood street performers including Elmo, Mr. Incredible and Chewbacca, Batman was arrested Thursday at the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave.

Batman reportedly insisted on using a portable toilet that was rented by local union workers who were picketing a local business on the boulevard.

An argument between the performer and some of the picketers escalated, whereupon Batman proceeded to remove his cape and assume an aggressive posture, taunting the picketers and appearing to pick a fight.

Another street performer dressed as Chewbacca came along and Batman apprised him of the situation. Chewbacca then removed his head-mask and confronted the picketers as well.

Soon thereafter, the LAPD arrived on the scene and arrested Batman.

True Love Revolution gets on Harvard students nerves.

Culture: How can a small group like this who is only promoting abstinence make the latte sippers at Harvard get so bent out of shape.

Sometime between the founding of a student-run porn magazine and the day the campus health center advertised "Free Lube," Harvard University seniors Sarah Kinsella and Justin Murray decided to fight back against what they see as too much mindless sex at the Ivy League school.

They founded a student group called True Love Revolution to promote abstinence on campus. The group, created earlier this school year, has more than 90 members on its page and drew about half that many to an ice cream social.

Harvard treats sex -- or "hooking up" -- so casually that "sometimes I wonder if sex is even a remotely serious thing," said Kinsella, who is dating Murray.

Other schools around the country have small groups devoted to abstinence. On most campuses, they are religious organizations. Princeton and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have Anscombe Societies, secular organizations named after an English philosopher and Roman Catholic. True Love Revolution is secular as well.

Some feminists, in particular, have criticized True Love Revolution's message.

Harvard student Rebecca Singh said she was offended by a valentine the group sent to the dormitory mailboxes of all freshmen. It read: "Why wait? Because you're worth it."
"I think they thought that we might not be 'ruined' yet," Singh said. "It's a symptom of that culture we have that values a woman on her purity. It's a relic."

Others on campus have mocked the group. Murray said his friends take pleasure in loudly, and graphically, discussing their sex lives just to taunt him.

"On campus there is such a strong attitude of pluralism and acceptance, but then it doesn't extend to this," Kinsella said.

In the student paper, The Harvard Crimson, columnist Jessica C. Coggins praised the group's low-key approach and scolded Harvard students for their "laughter at the virgin." She said students on the campus, which has 6,700 undergraduates, should "find a different confidence booster than making fun of celibate peers."

Who knew a woman who wants to wait instead of being a sperm bank is a relic and a sign of an evil culture. What you see here is an open wound on the " hook up" crowd who despise there are people in the open who think they are better than them when it comes to waiting on having sex. I bet men/women who want to have a relationship and not sleep around gets on their nerves as well.

Even the term hook up is the same way liberals now call themselves progressives because it sounds better. Most want the casual sex lifestyle but without the scorn that will come with it from others. This group just pushes their insecurity buttons even more.

Liberals Relent on Iraq War Funding

Politics: As Nancy's pork spending gets her enough votes but anti-war liberals are not happy.

"Even more than the conservative Democrats leery of appearing to micromanage the war, House liberals have been the main obstacle to leadership efforts to put a timeline on the withdrawal of U.S. forces. They have complained that the proposal would not bring troops home fast enough. Their opposition has riven the antiwar movement, split the Democratic base and been the main stumbling block to the legislation, which had originally been scheduled for a vote yesterday.

As debate began on the bill yesterday, members of the antiwar caucus and party leaders held a backroom meeting in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a final plea to the group, asking it to deliver at least four votes when the roll is called. The members promised 10.

"I find myself in the excruciating position of being asked to choose between voting for funding for the war or establishing timelines to end it," said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). "I have struggled with this decision, but I finally decided that, while I cannot betray my conscience, I cannot stand in the way of passing a measure that puts a concrete end date on this unnecessary war."

That was the message of Democratic leaders: This is the best deal they could make, and it is better than no deal at all.

At a meeting of Democratic vote counters yesterday, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) quoted the Yogi Berra line "When you reach a fork in the road, take it."

"We're at the fork in the road," Emanuel said.

Shortly after, Out of Iraq Caucus leaders decided to break the pact that members had made to stick together against the bill. "We have released people who have been pained by all this," said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.). "We told them we don't want them to be in a position of undermining Nancy's speakership."

To many in the movement against the Iraq war, the liberal opposition to the bill was as maddening as it was mystifying.

"You really have two options here: One is that you can vote for a change of course here and say we're going to find a way out of Iraq, or, two, you can vote against it and hand George Bush a victory," said Jon Soltz, a veteran of the Iraq war and co-founder of, a group that opposes the war. "It doesn't make sense to me. George Bush got us into the war. They have challenged him on everything. Why would they give him this victory now?" he asked, referring to the liberals."

Not enough details given by the post to see why they are upset, they got their end date unless there are a whole bunch of waviers and loopholes.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sharia law used in German ruling allowing woman beatings.

Culture: Ruth Ginsburg must have been the judge's inspiration.

In a ruling that underlines the tension between Muslim customs and European laws, the judge, Christa Datz-Winter, noted that the couple came from a Moroccan cultural milieu, in which it is common for husbands to beat their wives. The Koran, she wrote in her decision, sanctions such physical abuse.

News of the ruling brought swift and sharp condemnation from politicians, legal experts and Muslim leaders in Germany, many of whom said they were confounded that a German judge would put seventh-century Islamic religious teaching ahead of German law in deciding a case of domestic violence.

The judge managed to tick off every group in Germany and making the Quran look like a joke.

“A judge in Germany has to refer to the constitutional law, which says that human rights are not to be violated,” said Günter Meyer, director of the Center for Research on the Arab World at the University of Mainz. “It’s not her task to interpret the Koran. It was an attempt at multicultural understanding, but in completely the wrong context.”

Reaction to the judge’s decision has been almost as sulfurous as it was to the cancellation of the opera.

“When the Koran is put above the German Constitution, I can only say, ‘Good night, Germany,’ ” Ronald Pofalla, general secretary of the Christian Democratic Union, said in the mass-market newspaper Bild.

Africa's wireless boom.

Africa:Followup on Kenya's wireless explosion. Wireless tech getting Africa connected.

From Angola to Zambia, cellphone towers are now as much a part of the landscape as acacia trees and zebra herds. In fact, Africa is the world's fastest-growing cellphone market.

From 1999 to 2004, the number of mobile subscribers in the continent skyrocketed from 7.5 million to more than 76 million. By the end of the decade, that's expected to double.

Everyone from government officials to rural mommas is going wireless, connecting people at an unprecedented pace. In a continent where remote villages are often cut off from one another, landlines are rare and unreliable, and hand-delivered messages can take days, the implications of this technological revolution are huge.

The boom started a decade ago when many African nations privatized phone service and mobile operators began selling inexpensive phone cards. At the same time, used phones from places like Canada and the United States went on sale for as little as $20.

Millions of people – most of whom didn't even have access to a landline – jumped at the chance of having their own phone. Those who couldn't afford one at least knew someone they could borrow one from.

So now rural farmers can call and check prices at local markets to ensure they get a fair deal for their produce, remote health care workers can contact city hospitals in an emergency and small business owners can increase sales by keeping in touch with their customers.

The continent has quickly become much smaller.

Also giving women a chance to build up self-owned businesses

Of course, Africa isn't the only place bridging the digital divide. In 1997, recent Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus co-founded a mobile service in Bangladesh called Grameen Phone. It provides low-cost cellphones to people in rural communities who use them to set up their own telephone companies.

The service quickly spread as local entrepreneurs – mostly women – began selling phone service to other villagers. Now rural women are running their own simple telecom businesses from wooden shacks on the side of dirt roads.

A decade later, 10 million people are able to contact distant relatives, find out about employment opportunities and even conduct their own banking – all for the first time.

I think of this as a perfect example of instead pouring billions of aid money which get wasted by NGOs and corrupt governments, go directly to the people who will work out business plans that fit their area and needs.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Mencia stealing from Bill Cosby and Sam Kinison?

Entertainment: More videos popping up claiming he did.

Bill Cosby

Sam Kinison(NSFW)

I would say he was "inspired" more than anything else.

Amusing sidenote, it seems Joe Rogan(NSFW) who got this Mencia stealing movement rolling is on the same page as Rosie O'Donnell as a 9/11 truther.

Salt Lake Tribune columnist leaves out Ken Sah info.

Media: This time we have liberal columnist Rebecca Walsh speaking about the Ken Sah deportation and how horrible it is for the kid who is going to the spelling bee. But she still leaves out the important information about why Ken Sah asylum claim was rejected.

For law-and-order types, Kunal Sah is a much more sympathetic victim of U.S. immigration law than Yasmin Moralez.

But he shouldn't be.

When the spelling whiz from Green River represents Utah in the National Spelling Bee in May, his parents will be a dozen time zones away, in New Delhi.

Ken and Sarita Sah were deported last July after doing everything right: entering the country with visas, applying for asylum, building a business, raising an exceptional son. After more than a decade of waiting, this country of immigrants chewed them up and spit them out.

Three weeks before a 10-year deadline that would have made asylum automatic was going to expire, immigration officials denied the Sahs' request for sanctuary and sent them packing from their adopted home.
Now, the 13-year-old studies and works in his parents' motels, studies and calls his mom and dad and studies. And he cries.

Heartbreaking except for the fact on why his father was deported.

Sah's asylum claim? He feared Muslim persecution in his home country. That might engender sympathy—until one realizes that his home country is India, which has 800 million fellow Hindus for Sah to live amongst. And that Sah's basis for fearing persecution was because, as a member of the radical Hindu nationalist organization Vishwa Hindu Parishad, he "took a very active part in organizing and conducting [anti-mosque] meeting[s]" and that he "actively participated in the riots to [attempt to] demolish the Babri Mosque." (Vishwa eventually succeeded in destroying the mosque in 1992, causing religious riots that killed 900 people.)

The Sahs are now engaging in a public relations campaign for citizenship on the basis of the hardship created by the fifteen years they spent in the country churning the bogus asylum application. None of the press coverage mentions Ken Sah's role in his asylum denial as a radical Hindu. Don't believe the hype. (Sah v. Gonzales (10th Cir. 2005)).

The perfect example of an agenda driven story the Salt Lake Tribune now and a couple of weeks ago refuses to set clear for its readers.

Canadian Muslim students say not enough arse-kissing.

Culture: Read about this report coming out yesterday and thought the majority of it is going to be a whine fest about universities not doing enough catering to Muslim needs and come off as demanding everyone cater to their needs in the name of "diversity." I was right.

Based on interviews with nearly 1,000 Muslim students at 17 on-campus hearings across Ontario, the report concludes that universities and colleges are not doing enough to accommodate Muslim students.

"It's clear that every day Muslim students face both overt and subtle forms of Islamophobic discrimination on Ontario campuses," said Jesse Greener, Ontario Chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students, which released the report of its Task Force on the Needs of Muslim Students today.

The most frequent problem identified by Muslim students was a failure to accommodate. These include a lack of appropriate food choices, inadequate prayer space and academic policies that often run counter to religious obligations such as exams on key days and classes unwilling to accept students' beliefs.

Another problem cited was the loan-based student financial aid system, which is particularly problematic for Muslim students because Islam forbids interest-bearing loans.

"Ontario's Muslim students often face a fundamentally different learning environment that other students," said Ausma Malik, a task force member and student at the University of Toronto.

Considering going to a university is not mandatory, you should hunt around for places that do instead of demanding immediate changes to specific needs that may impact other groups.

Barriers to following religion
On top of acts of discrimination, the report also says students are finding it difficult to follow their religion because institutions fail to accommodate their needs.

Identified problems included Islamic holidays not recognized by universities, the lack of halal foods in cafeterias, and small, cramped prayer rooms.

Female students also complained of not being able to use pool or gym facilities because there were no women-only hours, or because windows made the classes visible to the public. Muslim women cannot take their hijab off in front of men.

Students also reported feeling "alienated" at orientations and social events that are often fuelled by alcohol.

Prayer rooms in many institutions were said to be too small, overcrowded or located in inconvenient spots, students told the task force. They also said many were forced to perform ablutions in public washrooms because their university didn't provide washing facilities by the prayer rooms.

Nigerian muslim students lynch a Christian over the Quran.

Africa: There has always been conflicts in Nigeria between different groups based on ethnicity or religion. But the last couple of years there seems to be a surge in radical violence especially in the Muslim north. Sharia law was introduced in 1999. Make the connection.

MUSLIM pupils at a secondary school in northeastern Nigeria beat a teacher to death today after accusing her of desecrating the Koran.

Oluwatoyin Olusase, a Christian, was adjudicating an Islamic Religious Knowledge exam at the school in Gombe state when the incident occurred.

The students attacked her outside the school compound after the exam and killed her, witnesses said.

It was not clear exactly what Olusase had done that angered the students.

Police confirmed the killing and said their intervention had prevented the incident from turning into a riot.

"We have received information that a female teacher has been lynched by her students. We are investigating the report," Gombe state police commissioner Joseph Ibi said.

At least five people were killed and several churches burned down in February 2006 in the neighbouring state of Bauchi by Muslims infuriated that a Christian teacher in a secondary school had tried to confiscate a Koran from a student who was reading it during class.

Somalia Islamists burn and drag soldiers thru the streets.

Africa: I wonder if CAIR Columbus Vice Chairman and the Somalians in Minneapolis who protested the ouster of the Islamists are horrified or in some cases cheering on the Islamists?

MOGADISHU, Somalia --Masked gunmen dragged slain soldiers through the streets of Somalia's capital Wednesday, then set the bodies on fire as jeering crowds threw rocks and kicked the dead after a fierce battle in a neighborhood loyal to Islamic insurgents.

At least 16 people were reported killed and dozens were wounded in the hours-long firefight, which was some of the heaviest fighting in Mogadishu since a radical Muslim militia was driven from the city in December after six months in power.

An Associated Press photographer saw six corpses -- all soldiers for the U.N.-backed interim government or their Ethiopian allies -- burned and mutilated while masked men shouted "God is great!" Women in head scarves and flowing dresses pounded one charred body with rocks.

A similar scene in Mogadishu grabbed the world's attention in 1993 when militiamen shot down a U.S. Black Hawk helicopter during an attempt to capture a warlord and dragged around dead American soldiers. The Clinton administration pulled out U.S. troops, and U.N. peacekeepers soon followed suit, leaving Somalia to years of anarchy.

One masked man, Abdinasir Hussein, said he dragged a soldier's corpse behind his motorbike. He told AP he wanted to show that Somalis will defeat the "invaders," referring to the troops from neighboring Ethiopia that helped government forces defeat the Islamic militia.

"I'm happy to drag an Ethiopian soldier on the Mogadishu streets," Hussein said.

The mystery now is who is funding the Islamists and is the funding coming from overseas?

Fair and objective CNN anchor Don Lemon.

Media: You have to listen near the end after Boxer grandstands for the camera.

Scandal over broken down health care system

Medical: In China as hospitals prove tea have urinal tracts infection.

BEIJING (Reuters) - A group of Chinese reporters came up with a novel idea to test how greedy local hospitals were -- pass off tea as urine samples and submit the drink for tests.

The results: six out of 10 hospitals in Hangzhou, the capital of the rich coastal province of Zhejiang, visited by the reporters over a two-day period this month concluded that the patients' urinal tracts were infected.

Five of the hospitals prescribed medication costing up to 400 yuan ($50), the online edition of the semi-official China News Service ( said in a report seen on Wednesday. Of the hospitals, four were state-owned.

"It makes one shiver all over even though it's not cold," the China News Service said after its reporters and colleagues from Zhejiang Television tested the hospitals.

The Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper said in a commentary on Wednesday: "Healthy people are diagnosed with diseases. Small ailments are said to be serious problems. Patients have become automatic teller machines for the hospitals."

The failure of health reforms and rising costs of medical care have sparked social discontent and become flashpoints for unrest in the world's most populous nation, where millions cannot afford to consult doctors or buy medicine.

Health Minister Gao Qiang has accused greedy hospitals of charging excessive fees and prescribing unnecessary and expensive medication.

Independent paper says sorry for cannabis campaign.

Drugs: The weird thing about this is there was no forward thinking that the cannabis they wanted to be legalized would stay the same design further down the road. My thinking is no matter the drug, there will be a segment that will go " This is some good shit....but what if we can amp it up a bit more?" Then it just keeps getting worse and worse which what it seems to have happened here.

Record numbers of teenagers are requiring drug treatment as a result of smoking skunk, the highly potent cannabis strain that is 25 times stronger than resin sold a decade ago.

More than 22,000 people were treated last year for cannabis addiction - and almost half of those affected were under 18. With doctors and drugs experts warning that skunk can be as damaging as cocaine and heroin, leading to mental health problems and psychosis for thousands of teenagers, The Independent on Sunday has today reversed its landmark campaign for cannabis use to be decriminalised.

A decade after this newspaper's stance culminated in a 16,000-strong pro-cannabis march to London's Hyde Park - and was credited with forcing the Government to downgrade the legal status of cannabis to class C - an IoS editorial states that there is growing proof that skunk causes mental illness and psychosis.

The decision comes as statistics from the NHS National Treatment Agency show that the number of young people in treatment almost doubled from about 5,000 in 2005 to 9,600 in 2006, and that 13,000 adults also needed treatment.

The skunk smoked by the majority of young Britons bears no relation to traditional cannabis resin - with a 25-fold increase in the amount of the main psychoactive ingredient, tetrahydrocannabidinol (THC), typically found in the early 1990s.

New research being published in this week's Lancet will show how cannabis is more dangerous than LSD and ecstasy. Experts analysed 20 substances for addictiveness, social harm and physical damage. The results will increase the pressure on the Government to have a full debate on drugs, and a new independent UK drug policy commission being launched next month will call for a rethink on the issue.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ray Nagin: Washington Post set me up!

Nation: Followup to a Washington Post story over the weekend titled ""Nagin Suspects a Plot to Keep Blacks Away." Nagin said it was taken out of context then compounded by the The Times-Picayune making it worse.

In what has become a cliché of post-Katrina politics, Mayor Ray Nagin stood before the news media Monday in an effort to undo any possible racial fallout from remarks he made in a speech last week that erupted in controversy once it hit the Internet.

Nagin said that a Washington Post story that appeared Saturday under the headline "Nagin Suspects a Plot to Keep Blacks Away" unfairly took his comments out of context.

"I've been in enough hot water for things I have said," Nagin said. "And this is what makes me mad. Because I didn't say it, and now I'm almost in hot water, so this is just not right."

Quebec going thru multiculturalism woes.

Canada: Their elections choices seem like a hoot.

In a week's time, Quebecers will go the polls at the conclusion of an election campaign that has revealed disturbing undercurrents of intolerance and xenophobia in la belle province.

It is too early to tell what effect, if any, the regrettable outbursts will have -- but grave damage has already been done to Quebec's image.

Andre Boisclair, leader of the separatist Parti Quebecois, has done himself no favours with his unfortunate references to Asian students and their "slanted eyes" --particularly since he has repeatedly refused to apologize.

But Boisclair himself, who is openly gay, was the target of overt homophobic taunts when a redneck radio host said on air that the PQ resembled "un club de tapettes." ("Tapette" is the French equivalent in Quebec of "fag.")

Boisclair was visibly shaken with anger.

His rival, Action democratique du Quebec Leader Mario Dumont, 36, has also been burdened with candidates with a talent for political incorrectness.

In fact, Dumont was obliged to fire two of them.

One got the boot after making outrageous comments about women, homosexuals and immigrants on his Internet radio show.

Another was sacked over his remark that "ethnics will invade" unless Quebec women have more babies.

What is truly alarming is that such remarks appeal to a section of Quebec society which feels that its "culture" is threatened by immigrants.

Changes to a traditional Quebec dishes is causing an uproar.

Montreal YMCA backs down after putting up frosted windows to appease ultra-Orthodox Jews complaints.

CAIR caught up in another lie.

Culture: As Ahmed Bedier lashes out against "racist right-wing and neo-Zionist extremists" to try and muzzle people who find fault with the group.

Funding for CAIR chapters is no secret: Monies are raised here and spent here, with not a penny of it going overseas.

O Rly?

Elaborating on the CAIR campaign to dispel misunderstandings of Islam and Muslims, Nihad Awad, CAIR executive director, said that his group proposes to spend $10 million annually for five years in a media campaign. He said that CAIR would also recruit volunteers and produce educational material as part of its initiative.

“We are planning to meet Prince Alwaleed ibn Talal for his financial support to our project. He has been generous in the past,” he added.

Who else from overseas sends money to CAIR?

Monday, March 19, 2007

Thatcher and Blair: Cause of UK gang problem.

UK: Why is there such a rash of teen killings and gangbangers showing up in the UK? Its because they have to compete for everything in life and unfettered individualism.

All of the incidents mentioned above might be isolated, but that doesn't mean that there aren't similarities between the people that perpetrated them. The typical reasons can be trotted out to explain the violence: most of the boys I've known who carried knives were relatively poor and left school with few or no qualifications; all lacked proper father figures. These are doubtless valid reasons.

But they don't go far enough to explain the problem of violence amongst young boys living in cities. The truth is that there is a more fundamental problem with British society that has a particularly negative impact on our children. That is the unfettered individualism that was pioneered under Margaret Thatcher and has been perpetuated by successive governments ever since.

Children in Britain since the 80s have been told they can have anything they want provided they compete for it. And yet this has not been reflected in the material gains of the poorest sections of society. Competition permeates every aspect of society, with children competing for school places and schools themselves competing in league tables. This has continued while Tony Blair has been in office and the victimisation that students of my grammar school suffered at the hands of the pupils of local schools is testament to the division such competition causes in local communities.

A consumer culture that equates the purchase of material goods with near spiritual enlightenment (think shopping therapy) elevates individual wealth above everything else. And when all this filters down to children, the one thing they learn above all else is a solipsistic existence - ie that society is structured in such a way that the individual is all and that he must compete for everything he wants. And when children are not equipped with the privileges required to thrive as an individual in such a society, their individual competitiveness will manifest itself in other areas.

The ramblings of yet another white condescending liberal. Competition of scores and schools didn't just happen in the 80s, nor the consumer culture rot kids brains who at lower income levels turn into knife stabbing psychos. This is the cause of what he is desperate to discount which is the breakdown of the family structure and the environment these kids grew up. The lack of values/morals and good role models contributes a helluva lot to how most children turn out than having to get better grades in school.

South Africa needs to shut it about Iran' sanctions.

Africa: So we finally get the major powers to agree on weak sanctions against Iran and South Africa tries to play with the big boys by saying don't sanction Iran at all.

UNITED NATIONS - South Africa called Monday for a 90-day "time out" on sanctions against Iran and said a resolution drafted by six world powers should drop an embargo on arms exports and financial sanctions targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guards and an Iranian bank.

The proposals by South Africa, which holds the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month, were obtained by The Associated Press ahead of an informal council meeting Tuesday and the first formal discussion Wednesday on the draft resolution.

The five veto-wielding permanent council nations — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — and Germany agreed on modest new sanctions Thursday to step up pressure on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, which can be used to produce nuclear energy or nuclear weapons.

France's U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said the South African amendments weren't consistent with the approach of the six powers. "It weakened a lot of the resolution, and we think that pressure should be put on Iran," he said.

Considering South Africa can't even deal with Mugabe in their own backyard, any concerns about Iran should be dismissed as delusions of grandeur. This is a wholesale sabotage of sanctions against Iran by South Africa.

French leftists bawl as Sarkozy arrests a killer.

France: The maturity and so called intelligence of the French left on display.

PARIS – French leftists on Monday accused Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy of trying to bolster his presidential election bid by helping in the arrest of a fugitive Italian radical convicted of murder in the 1970s.

Cesare Battisti was arrested in Brazil with the help of French police for four murders and several robberies committed when he was part of a far-left group connected with Italy's Red Brigades in the 1970s.

Battisti, 52, escaped from prison in 1981 and spent many years in France living under the protection of former President Francois Mitterrand who refused to extradite Italian far-left militants who had renounced violence.

Leftwing commentators said presidential frontrunner Sarkozy had broken Mitterrand's commitment in order to boost his law and order credentials ahead of the April election.

'Nicolas Sarkozy has just perpetrated a nasty election move,' leftwing daily Liberation said in an editorial which argued that Mitterrand's pledge should have been binding.

....Both left and rightwing politicians in Italy say Battisti is a terrorist and have pushed for his extradition for years.

The case reflects a lingering fascination with revolutionary leftist politics in France, where Battisti enjoyed considerable support amongst leftwing intellectuals and writers.

'The choice of date is not an accident,' Gilles Perrault, a writer and member of a Battisti support group told Le Parisien daily. 'I think the police undoubtedly had more urgent tasks than to track a man accused of actions dating to the 1970s.'

They just never grow up and realize that killing someone is a bad thing. Even Royal is not stupid enought to weigh in on this nonsense.

Perhaps conscious of the potential electoral impact of the case, Socialist party candidate Segolene Royal did not join in the chorus of demands for his case to be reheard.

'He fled (France), that's his responsibility. Now he has to be extradited,' Stephane Le Foll, a senior Socialist party official was quoted as saying by Le Figaro newspaper.

Swedish landlords avoid letting to immigrants

EU: The indoctrination of political correctness and kumba ya hasn't reached all swedes yet as this is kinda of shocking.

Eight out of ten Swedish landlords systematically avoid letting their properties to tenants with Arabic names. The discrimination is especially widespread in towns outside the country's large cities.

A man with an Arabic name needs to apply to three times as many apartments as a woman with a Swedish name, according to a study presented in Sunday's Dagens Nyheter.

Using three fictitious names - Erik Johansson, Maria Andersson and Mohammed Rashid - researchers at Växjö university applied to 500 vacant apartments which were advertised by both private individuals and companies on the web site

"Mohammed Rashid" got a positive response from the landlord in 18 percent of cases. But in only 4 percent of cases was he invited to a viewing of the apartment. "Erik Johansson" received a positive response from 41 percent of his applications and was invited to 10 percent of the viewings.

But the woman with the Swedish name had by far the best response from landlords. 53 percent of her applications resulted in a positive response and she was invited to 19 percent of the viewings.

Seriously, they need to take the Swedish woman name out of the survey because that is going to skew the results in any sort of survey. Look at Swedish women and tell me you wouldn't discriminate if you were a landlord, matter of fact there should be an exception and more positive discrimination in Sweden towards Swedish women.

Europeans grumble as US swaps old alliances.

World: Hey, Euros wanted a more multipolar world and thought Americans were stuck in a unilateral mode. Now you are going to bitch when you realize we have no problems with other alliances? There are a lot of countries to do business with, hell even with Arab nations our exports are surging. Also in other cases, the term "He May Be a Bastard, But He's Our Bastard" isn't just talk, its a way of life when it comes to other countries and people.

He was speaking at a recent conference in Washington that brought together eminent policy makers and academics from both the United States and Europe. Their task was to explore how much the US and Europe still have in common.

And discussion had not gone very far before the prevailing American view was dumped into the European collective lap like a bucket of cold water.

"The West is an outdated concept," declared one supremely self-confident senior American official at a lunch where he was the guest of honour.

"And if there is still a West, then it includes Australia, Japan and South Korea. We have a global vision now," he continued, waving his mike like a daytime talk show host, as he roved between the immaculately set luncheon tables.

The European guests, several ambassadors among them, toyed uncomfortably with their cutlery.

This did not sound much like American contrition following a ruinous Iraq invasion. Far from it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Zimbabwe activists beaten and forced to stay

Africa: As Mugabe tries to tighten the noose around his opposition.

Four leading Zimbabwean opposition members have been prevented from going abroad and one of them was attacked at the airport, the opposition says.
MP Nelson Chamisa said he was beaten as he tried to leave. The government denied its forces were involved.

Earlier two women activists were stopped as they tried to leave to get treatment for injuries sustained in police custody, their lawyer said.

And Arthur Mutambara was re-arrested as he was about to leave the country.

Nicholas Kristof begs for America to stiff Israel.

Politics: I swear I am getting to the point where I am going to find out how all these columnists get such praise as great thinkers. Kristof column on America forcing Israel to curb its security measures among other things to make peace with the Palestinians is amusingly naive.

For more than half a century, the U.S. was an honest broker in the Middle East. Presidents Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan were warmer to Israel and Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush a bit cooler, but all sought a balance. George W. Bush has abandoned that tradition of balance.

So I take it Bill Clinton was a Yasser Arafat butt kisser by him not showing up in the warmer or bit cooler category? The fact that those named all seeked a "balance" and the situation keeps getting worse should be a sign that "balance" doesn't work especially when Israel keeps giving and the Palestinians keep bombing. Give me a six month period where Israel doesn't have to be on the lookout for Hezbollah, Hamas, various suicide bombers and a honest chance to work out peace before I would keep hammering Israel. Israel has never gotten that chance. They gave up Gaza and it turned into a warzone. How is that going to build confidence in anyone?

"....Hard-line Israeli policies have profoundly harmed that country’s long-term security by adding vulnerable settlements, radicalizing young Palestinians, empowering Hamas and Hezbollah, isolating Israel in the world and nurturing another generation of terrorists in Lebanon. The Israeli right’s aggressive approach has only hurt Israeli security, just as President Bush’s invasion of Iraq ended up harming U.S. interests.

The best hope for Israel in the long run isn’t a better fence or more weaponry; they can provide a measure of security in the short run but will be of little help if terrorists turn, as they eventually will if the present trajectory continues, to chemical, biological or radiological weapons. Ultimately, security for Israel will emerge only from a peace agreement with Palestinians. We even know what that peace deal will look like: the Geneva accord, reached in 2003 by private Israeli and Palestinian negotiators....

Last summer, after Hezbollah killed three Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others, Prime Minister Olmert invaded Lebanon and thus transformed Hezbollah into a heroic force in much of the Arab world. President Bush would have been a much better friend to Israel if he had tried to rein in Mr. Olmert. So let’s be better friends — and stop biting our tongues."

Typical of liberals to keep saying its all on Israel when its the Palestinians and the various terrorist groups that keep pushing the violence. Does Kristof have an answer to Hamas who wants no peace with Israel except to wipe it from existence? To make a deal for peace, you have to have two honest willing parties. I have yet to see any honesty from Palestinian side which is why I pretty much became apathetic to the "cause" years ago. That happens when you realize that Arafat was full of it and every so called leader since his death.

I have seen nothing from the Palestinians that they would live up to any peace accord and its craven intellectual dishonesty that Kristof shows in this piece that he wants to burden Israel instead of the other side.

Robert Spencer invited to speak to the FBI indy office

Terrorism: Which brings up people who are unhappy that he got the invitation in the first place, interesting to see if the FBI backs down.

The decision by the FBI's Indianapolis office to bring in author Robert Spencer to talk to its anti-terrorism task force has a Plainfield-based Muslim organization concerned that the bureau is listening to an "Islamophobe" who distorts its faith.

The FBI had planned to bring in Spencer this week to speak to Indiana's Joint Terrorism Task Force. His appearance was postponed because he had a scheduling conflict. Both Spencer and the FBI hope to reschedule.
Louay Safi, director of leadership development with the Plainfield-based Islamic Society of North America, said bringing Spencer in to talk of Islam is akin to bringing an anti-Semite to talk about Jews or a Ku Klux Klan member to talk about race.

"Many people in our community will not be happy with it," Safi said.
Spencer is the author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam" and "The Truth About Muhammad: Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion." He is also a director of Jihad Watch, a Web site that calls attention to the activity of Islamic jihadists.

The site includes his take on various writings by Islamic scholars and groups as well as the news of the day in the Middle East. In fact, he announced he was coming to Indianapolis to meet with FBI officials.

Dukes of Hazzard stars banned by Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

Entertainment: You have got to be kidding me.

Former Georgia Congressman Ben Jones, a former cast member of the TV series, "The Dukes of Hazzard," is raising a ruckus over the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra's decision to cancel plans for a musical program featuring the series stars, John Schneider and Tom Wopat.

Jones, who played the wisecracking mechanic "Cooter" on the show, is opposing what he calls a "blacklisting of these guys out of some kind of political correctness that is just plain wrongheaded."

In a telephone interview Friday, Jones said Schneider told him the Pops canceled a July 14 appearance that was to feature Schneider and Wopat because some in the Cincinnati community found the TV show that aired from 1979 to 1985 racist and offensive.

NAACP when its not making capable leaders run like hell from them take the time to meddle in benign nonsense like this.

A statement by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra said it has had a long artistic relationship with Schneider and Wopat and had conversations about a possible Dukes of Hazzard-themed program.

"In the end, we decided that some of the messages conveyed in the program are not consistent with the efforts of the Pops to reach out to all members of our community," the organization said.

The orchestra had never announced the proposed show or sold tickets for it, said Carrie Krysanick, orchestra spokeswoman. "We have not blacklisted these performers, and we look forward to working with them in the future."

Krysanick declined to comment on the types of messages referred to in the orchestra statement. But Edith Thrower, president of the Cincinnati branch of the NAACP, said she was contacted a few weeks ago by Pops conductor Erich Kunzel who told her that someone had suggested that a plan to refer to the TV show in promoting the performers' appearance would be offensive.

He wanted the NAACP's reaction, she said. "I contacted our national office and was advised that it would be best if we didn't support an effort like this.

"It's very clear how we feel about the Confederate flag and the long and arduous fight we have conducted to get rid of that symbol of a very unpleasant time in our history."

A message seeking additional comment was left at the national NAACP offices Friday.

Southern Poverty Law Center slandering student group?

Politics: More specifically the Young Americans for Freedom Michigan State chapter?

The Lansing State Journal has some details.

"...However, Beirich, deputy director of the SPLC's Intelligence Project, said it was several proposals put forward by the YAF's MSU chapter, among them that MSU should defund minority student organizations and that there should be a white student council on MSU's student government, that earned the group a place on the list.

"Our interest in determining a hate group is, 'Do they have an ideology that denigrates an entire class of people for their inherent traits?' " she said.

Kyle Bristow, chairman of the group, called the SPLC's characterization of his chapter "ridiculous."

"We're a center-right group, politically," he said. "We've done nothing hateful. We've advocated for beliefs that most Americans believe: the sanctity of marriage, border security."

He added that he believes the proposal for a white student council was misconstrued by the SPLC. Because MSU's student government gives unelected seats to other racial and ethnic groups, Bristow said, he proposed that "every single group should be recognized."

The majority of MSU's student government seats are held by whites.

This looks more like an example of the leftist SPLC take a shot at shutting down groups they don't agree with on campuses. Given their reputation and the inclusion of nearly every other group on that list which is truly a hate group, this would be the start of a disturbing trend where they are using their reputation to parry any argument against it.

The student group, the MSU Young Americans for Freedom, was among more than 800 groups nationally and 31 in Michigan to fall on the 2006 list, which is distributed to law enforcement agencies nationwide.

Organizations are categorized on the hate group list as Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, Racist Skinhead, Christian Identity, Black Separatist, Neo-Confederate, White Nationalist and General Hate, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

But the MSU group said it has never been contacted by the civil rights group and doesn't know its reasoning for labeling it a hate group.

"We're not what this group is claiming we are," said sophomore Kyle Bristow, chairman of the MSU chapter. "This is not a racist organization."

The Southern Poverty Law Center said the MSU group has espoused racist, anti-immigrant and anti-gay views, including a charter that includes pulling funding from all the university's ethnic studies associations. The group also advocates having a Caucasian, male student body run the campus student governing body, according to Southern Poverty Law Center spokeswoman Heidi Beirich.

Bristow said his group promotes the sanctity of marriage, is anti-abortion and is against the consideration of racial preference on college and job applications. The organization drew criticism and protests last year for plans to hold a game called "Catch an Illegal Immigrant," but Bristow said protesters have become violent against his group.

Bristow, an International Relations major, said his organization should not be labeled with other hate groups, and that the Southern Poverty Law Center appears to be trying to stifle conservative discourse on college campuses.

An affiliate Young Americans for Freedom group at the University of Michigan in January sparked controversy when it invited three self-proclaimed "ex-terrorists" to speak on campus for a talk called "Terrorism: The World's Greatest Threat." The speech prompted the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee to reconsider allowing the "hateful discussion."

Immigration Raid Rips Families

Immigration: Well this is a heartbreaking story...

NEW BEDFORD, Mass -- During her two years working in a garment factory alongside hundreds of other immigrants, there were few assurances in Marta Escoto's uncertain life. One of them was the promise she made to her children -- I will always take care of you.

It was a promise she was unable to keep this month. Escoto and at least 360 other illegal immigrants were taken into custody here March 6 after a raid by federal agents on the Michael Bianco Inc. factory -- a military contractor 60 miles south of Boston. Many of them, including Escoto, 38, were women whose detention separated them from their children, some of whom were stranded at day-care centers, schools, or friends' or relatives' homes.

You know you are in for a sob story with that kind of opening.

The case underscores one of the pitfalls confronting federal authorities as they launch ever more aggressive raids in search of illegal immigrants: How should officials factor in their children, some of whom were born in the United States and are citizens?

It also points to a dilemma illegal immigrants face daily. They come to the United States to provide a better life for their families, but that illegal act can mean they risk the family being torn apart if they are caught.

I guess the solution would be to get here legally and you wouldn't have much worries. Simple.

Unlike some detainees, Escoto has not been outfitted with an electronic tracking device so immigration authorities can keep tabs on her. But in her pocket, she keeps a folded paper with the date in October when she will appear before an immigration judge. This judge's decision could test Escoto's promise to her children.

The odds are she ain't showing up for that court date. I got nothing more to add to this, same old wash post pro-illegal alien story. But the hidden story is why this company with a military contract doesn't have its bosses in jail.