Saturday, May 12, 2007

Zimbabwe to head key U.N. body

World: Via AP.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Zimbabwe won approval on Friday to head a key U.N. body charged with promoting economic progress and environmental protection despite protests from the U.S., European nations and human rights organizations.

The 53-member Commission on Sustainable Development voted 26-21 with three abstentions on the new chair, said Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, vice chair of the commission. The chair traditionally rotates among regions of the world and it is Africa's choice this year. The government of Zimbabwe has nominated Francis Nhema, the minister of environment and tourism, to chair the commission.

President Robert Mugabe, an 83-year-old who has ruled Zimbabwe since it gained independence from Britain in 1980, has been criticized by the West and domestic opponents for repression, corruption, acute food shortages and gross economic mismanagement that has driven inflation above 2,000 percent -- the highest in the world. Mugabe has acknowledged that police used violent methods against opposition supporters.

"We're very disappointed in the election of Zimbabwe as chair," said the U.S. representative to the commission Dan Reifsnyder, deputy assistant secretary for environment and science at the State Department.

"We really think it calls into question the credibility of this organization to have a representative from a country that has decimated its agriculture, that used to be the breadbasket of Africa and can't now feed itself," said Reifsnyder.

U.S. officials said the commission deals with rural development and sustainable agriculture and Zimbabwe is no role model on those themes.

Mugabe's government disrupted the agriculture-based economy in 2000 with violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms, part of a program to redistribute land to poor blacks.


I am trying to think of something witty to say but what is left to say about the UN?

Keith Olbermann calls FBI, troops misguided, overzealous and ill?

Terrorism: Via Olbermannwatch. Not surprising coming from a liberal like Olbermann who tries to give himself some cover in the middle of the speech.

" I will use as an example for you this latest story about the current "terror plot" unquote to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey, posed as pizza delivery men, were going to shut off power and who decided to train and take videos of themselves in the Poconos and then have the video transfered to DVD at Circuit City.

Anybody in the room see anything less than terrorizing (laughter), terrible in the plot or the individuals mentioned therein, anybody else but me see that and literally that's it, that's the whole thread, if it doesn't add up it's incumbent on all of us to just say you know the math just doesn't work here. I sit there with no doubt that there's a threat. I have no doubt that there are terrorists.

I have no doubt that many of the motivations of the people who are defending us against these things are absolutely sincere and many of them are at worst misguided or overzealous or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder perhaps but still when we look at it we need to set aside the fear we might have, any anxiety, just look to see if there isn't something that doesn't add up. "

At least we are all justified in believing there are actual terrorist out there somewhere. Before Olbermann's seal of approval I guess there was some doubt.

Leonardo DiCaprio kills plants for basketball court.

Enviro: But is this environmental safe? Does it help killing off the environment to play on your basketball court? Are the materials used to build it 100% recycled? How large is the carbon footprint used to excavate and build it? No Rhodendrums! No Peace!

A California couple claims Leonardo DiCaprio's basketball court caused them a titanic headache.In the lawsuit, filed today in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Ronald and Joan Linclau say they suffered at least $250,000 in damages when DiCaprio had a basketball court built outside his home in the Hollywood Hills in July 2004.

The Linclaus, who live next to the actor, say that during the building of the court their property was excavated and some of their plants were removed. This, they claim in the suit, caused support for the couple's backyard pool and deck to destabilize. The Linclaus say they asked Leo to stop the work, but he ignored them. They also claim Leo has refused to pay for the damages. A rep for DiCaprio could not be reached for comment.


Page 3 of the lawsuit is shocking! He uprooted hedges and cut into Mother Gaia so he could get his hoops on. This is not enviro friendly if these allegations are true.

Now if Leo killed off melaleuca trees, I would fully support this act of war on the environment.

Disney's first Black lead animated movie getting slammed.

Entertainment: That didn't take long and by the time its done it will be a typical Disney bland politically correct movie.

PROTESTS COME EARLY TO DISNEY'S PRINCESS
Almost two years before its hoped-for release of its first hand-drawn animated film produced under the supervision of Pixar's John Lasseter, Disney has already drawn fire for alleged racial and ethnic insensitivities that were detected in its original announcement of the film, according to Disney watcher Jim Hill. Since the original title, The Frog Princess, might be regarded as a slur on the French, the title has been changed to The Princess and the Frog.

The main character, named Maddy -- who was to become Disney's first black princess -- has had her name changed to Tiana, since Maddy reportedly sounded too much like Mammy. She will no longer be seen as a chambermaid working for a rich, white spoiled Southern débutante. In a statement, Disney, which said that it ordinarily does not comment on its animated films in the early stages of production, observed: "The story takes place in the charming elegance and grandeur of New Orleans' fabled French Quarter during the Jazz Age. ... Princess Tiana will be a heroine in the great tradition of Disney's rich animated fairy tale legacy, and all other characters and aspects of the story will be treated with the greatest respect and sensitivity."

More info from Jim Hill Media which has info on a possible Song of the South American release.

Jason Whitlock not on our side. Awwww poor baby.

Culture: Some guy by the name of Etan Thomas on Huff post via True Hoops bitches about Whitlock being on "their side." Whose sides? Why the Uncle Toms picking on the black community for the sake of being liked by right wingers and making money. There is some deep pseudo Malcolm X wannbe stuff going on in this article but this is the part that is the main theme of complaints about Whitlock. He dared to say something less than positive about another black person.

I am writing this as a warning. A caution if you will. After speaking with you one on one, I learned, surprisingly, that although we definitely don't see eye to eye on a number of issues, you do have some opinions and thoughts I agree with. I'm not going to call you an Uncle Tom, sell-out, say you're tap dancing for the media, putting down your people so that you can move up the ladder of success in a Clarence Thomas, Ward Connerly, JC Watts-type fashion, because I actually took the time to talk to you.


When you get to this you realize that this is the voice of the immature segment of the black community, the stick with your people tribalism mentality has yet to thrown away to have an honest non knee-jerk debate. It gets better.

However, you had to see that the overall feeling in the room by the students was that you were in fact grouped with the aforementioned gentlemen and deserving of the previously mentioned labels. I spoke to some of the students at the conclusion of the event, and let me tell you, they did not hold you in high regard. One student said he wished I had more time to speak about holding the few black journalists we have accountable and how glad they were that I stood up to, in his words, "your Uncle Tom way of thinking". You heard the one student get up during the question and answer portion and ask you how you can pride yourself on "amen"ing, as he called it, all of the negative things that the media says about not only us, but the entire hip-hop culture. Hip-hop is not all negatively charged, prison culture embracing, gangster rap music, as you seem to think.

The perception that you are on "their" side is constantly growing. I know that this is not a label you want. Interestingly, you seem to be unaware of this because when I told you that you came across worse than Bill Cosby, you looked at me with eyes of disbelief. Not only did you say that this was not your intention, you vehemently denied those allegations. You looked at me as if I said something utterly ridiculous.

The audience couldn't hear your point about us taking ownership, respecting each other, immersing ourselves in positivity while rejecting the negative stereotypes that are prevalent in society. They couldn't receive your message to abandon any aspect of our own culture that is, in your words "anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro drug-dealing and violent." They couldn't hear that from you because it appeared as though you were not on their side. I'm sure you heard the abundance of sighs and moans when your quote about moving the NBA All Star game to Europe was read.

You said in an article entitled "Mayhem main event at NBA All-Star Weekend," that "David Stern seriously needs to consider moving the event out of the country for the next couple of years in hopes that young, hip-hop hoodlums would find another event to terrorize." You also said, "All Star Weekend can no longer remain the Woodstock for parolees, wannabe rap artists and baby's mamas on tax refund vacations." You went on to talk about how you felt as if you were walking in a prison yard when you saw all of the baggy jeans, white t-shirts, doo-rags, etc., and that you were in fear for your life. You completely demonized them to the point that they began to be repulsed by your words before you even spoke them. You don't understand that you were describing the attire of most of the young people attending the forum. Young people in college aspiring to become journalists, lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, etc. were put into one big mass of negativity simply because of their clothing. Unfortunately, this is a label that is commonly placed on them by mainstream America.


Young people in college aspiring to be lawyers, doctors, engineers and teachers don't carry themselves in such a fashion wearing baggy jeans, doo-rags. People that go to college carry themselves in a manner that goes beyond looking like a gangsta off the streets. Of course the idiotic notion that all young black people carry themselves in this offensive fashion is itself a stereotype. The last paragraph of this open letter sums up why a major segment of the black community is still in an immature stage of societal development.

"....Mr. Whitlock, the media wants you to say those things, especially the right-wing media. You are appearing to be on "their" side. You call for new leadership, but I didn't hear you make any recommendations. Of course you will receive an abundance of .attention and praise, as Bob Ryan coined you "Jason Whitlock, the world's last honest man" You said yourself in an article posted on TheBigLead.com, "white people write me love letters when I blast off into the way the media, and a prosecutor tried to crucify the Duke lacrosse players on the word of a couple of black criminal escorts."

Which begs the question, who is benefiting from your comments? What exactly is your goal in writing the articles you write? Is it to help our youth, who because of the fact that you appear to not be on their side find it difficult to receive your message, or is it for another reason? While I understand that the Duke players turned out to be innocent, do you fail to see the way you come across? I know that you don't want to be known as the "Uncle Tom of journalism" as one of the students at the panel referred to you while thanking me for standing up for them. Whether you like it or not, that perception of you is out there. And if you don't do something about it, this label will be your legacy.


If the youth of Etan are so traumatized by Whitlock's columns because they don't beat around the bush or because they come from a perspective they and you think comes from an "Uncle Tom" or some racist white guy, the problem is not on Whitlock. It shows a severe lack of maturity of dealing with issues without it being an us vs them. This is the retarded version of Tavis Smiley's " Skinfolk but not kinfolk" line. I seriously doubt Whitlock or Bill Cosby are going to lose sleep or have their legacy of being Uncle Toms because they don't subscribe to the victimology mentality you and some other black people embrace. You are not representative of the entire black community.

But here is a question, the liberal white folks that support your way of backward thinking in the huff comments and elsewhere. Why are they so eager to embrace your message of us vs them? Why are they so happy to decry folks who don't toe the liberal way of thinking that black people should act in a certain way? Are you sure those people have the best interests of blacks in mind or reacting in a way of a certain place black people occupy in their ideal society?

Theo Van Gogh's killer get Ultra-Orthodox Islam Books

Terrorism: If he didn't then his rights would have been violated or something.

The government has been enabling the terrorist murderer of Theo van Gogh to read books in his prison cell that endorse his ultra violent interpretation of Islam. The murderer himself said so on Friday before the appeal court of The Hague.

On Friday, as on Wednesday, Mohammed Bouyeri appeared before the judges to testify in the trial of seven alleged members of his terrorist group Hofstad. The judges asked him how he believes a Muslim should respond to somebody who offends the Islam faith. Bouyeri's reply: "Off with his head. Slaughter him."

As the 29-year-old Amsterdam-born Moroccan sees it, the Justice Ministry encourages his ideologies. According to Bouyeri, it is obligatory to behead everybody who offends the prophet Mohammed, "and I am confirmed in this conviction by the books I get" in prison.

Friday, May 11, 2007

CBSer: viewers apparently want news from white guys

Media: Via Romenesko this idiotic take on why Katie Couric is killing the ratings.

Brian Montopoli: You told me, a little while back, that you were "the first woman at every job I had at CBS News." And that includes in 1971, when you were the first female field producer for The CBS Evening News With Walter Cronkite. I'm curious your take on Katie Couric's experience as the first solo female nightly news anchor.

Linda Mason: I'm just surprised at how, almost 30 years after I worked on the "Evening News" as the first woman producer, that Katie is having such a tough time being accepted by the public, which seems to prefer the news from white guys, and now that Charlie's doing so well, from older white guys. I guess they want the reassurance of a Walter Cronkite.

I had no idea that a woman delivering the news would be a handicap. And I'm afraid that Katie's paying a price for being the first woman. But I think it's a great trail that she's blazing, and I think if the broadcast continues to be as good as it has been, if we continue to break news, if we continue to tell interesting stories, people will start to watch. It takes time, I think. But I was surprised that there was an obvious connection between a woman giving the news, and the audience wanting to watch it.

I will cut her some slack because she can't come out and say it publicly, but the problem give recent Gallup poll where her unfavorable rating is high is not the gender but the person. Katie was hyped and forced fed down peoples throats and they didn't respond to it. It does take a certain history, familiarity and gravitas to be the anchor. But it has nothing to do with gender. How about the experiment I posted a couple of months ago.

We bring over Mélissa Theuriau for a 2 week period while Katie is on vacation and see what happens. What? Its not like it can get any worse at CBS News.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

South Africa invites Hamas over for tea.

Africa: Wonderful, not only is South Africa China and Russia little do boy, they are now wishing to use their long tarnished fight against apartheid as a way of slamming Israel. Nothing like hugging up suicide bombing Islamists to show how screwed up your value system as become over the years.

"Intelligence Minister Ronnie Kasrils on Thursday accused Israel of conducting a policy against the Palestinians that was "worse" than apartheid.

Speaking on the sidelines of a UN meeting on the situation in the Palestinian territories, Kasrils said South Africa's townships had never been attacked by helicopter gunships and tanks, in contrast to the military means employed by Israel. Kastrils called on the United States and European Union to lift their economic and political embargo of the Palestinian Authority now that Hamas and Fatah have joined in a government of national unity.

He said the meeting would, among things, prepare for demonstrations marking the 40th anniversary year of the Israel occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian observer at the United Nations, said the gathering had been organised in Pretoria to deliver lessons from South Africa about how it had dismantled apartheid.

"An unjust system was defeated here and they have been elsewhere. We can do it in Palestine too," he said.

"The cracks are showing in the Israeli occupation. They tried to break the Palestinian Authority but they were unable to."

Just a point, Israel has to deal with an entire region hating on them, not a minority racist government. As much as the ANC brought in despicable tactics like necklacing and the occasional bombing runs. They were no where near as horrible as the PLO/Hamas/Hezzbollah/militant Islam groups have been in the Middle East towards Israel. This is South Africa just like coddling up Mugabe, they are all to willing to hang out with gutter trash.

Wow, Washington Post has become a regular Hamas lovefest in the global opinion section.
Aid Embargo Props Up Radicals
It is perhaps now an opportune moment for the international community to lift the aid embargo it imposed on the Palestinian Authority after Hamas came to power in elections last year. The embargo only hurts and alienates the Palestinian people, not their leaders, and strengthens hard-line elements in Hamas.William M. Gumede, South Africa 16 COMMENTS
May 10, 2007 at 8:45 AM

Asking Nicely Won't Stop Jihad Saul Singer, Jerusalem, Israel 47 COMMENTS

Mandela Was Once a Terrorist Lamis Andoni, Doha, Qatar 19 COMMENTS

Everybody’s Doing It –- Except Israel

Dutch kids.. Don't get this present for your mother.

Culture: I am still trying to catch my breath from laughing.

Retail Chain Offers Dildo as Mothers Day Gift

THE HAGUE, 11/05/07 - Retail chain Kijkshop has distributed 5 million advertising folders house-to-house for Mothers Day this Sunday in which sex articles are recommended as presents.

In the brochure, an assortment of sex toys are shown. Kinderconsument, an organisation that aims to protect children against advertising influences, is put out. "Unsuspecting children will look in the folder to find ideas for a Mothers Day present," said director Bamber Delver in newspaper Algemeen Daglad.

Kijkshop says the intention was not for children to buy a dildo for their mother. "We are targeting partners that want to surprise their wife with these articles."

Unsuspecting kids will get a quick sex ed lesson or a slap. If you are the hubby, this is one of those gifts you stay away from...seriously. Think of the thought you are putting into her head if you happily say Happy Mother's day as you present her new gift.

Whitlock hits back at black forum backlash.

Sports: Background on what happened here. His column on it brings up a point I made where Stringer stepped over the line thinking because he was black, Whitlock should not have written what he did on Imus/Rutgers.

"....“We need to step on each other’s heads to get the little piece of the American dream. It became green. It was power. You (Whitlock) understand that. That’s the reason why you chose these few minutes to get your one moment of (fame). Because other than that, who knows Jason Whitlock?”

I lifted that quote from Gene Wojciechowski’s column at ESPN.com. He was there sitting in the front row taking notes while ESPN taped the event. Wojciechowski called Stringer’s sermon “invasive verbal surgery without anesthesia” and “goosebump stuff” and “the most charged moment” of the evening. A column headline said it was “something special to see.” Wojciechowski reported that “Whitlock got the worst of it” and that the Forum was “real, healthy and instructive.”

Of course, I disagree with Wojciechowski’s take. But I don’t blame him for reaching those conclusions given his employer and acknowledged limited insight into the black community. The event was highly entertaining. But I wasn’t there for a comedy show or a fight.

I was there to discuss a real crisis in the black community. I was there to debate solutions. People here know I’m quite comfortable holding “Jason Whitlock roasts.” I sat on radio for years here and absorbed far worse and far more accurate insults and accusations than were hurled at me Monday night.

I’m not going to change my column style to make a coach — black, white, male or female — more comfortable. I’m not going to change my column style to make the National Association of Black Journalists happy.

Vivian Stringer was wrong for conducting an hourlong press conference/pity party in reaction to Imus’ comments. Wallowing in victimhood might help an individual get a fat book contract and coaching salary that equals the football coach’s, but it does not elevate anyone else.

After having a rational discussion with her away from the TV cameras Monday night, I believe she thought she was doing the right thing at the time. She thought she could defend her players and promote women’s basketball without putting her kids in harm’s way. Naïve but plausible.

She never envisioned the kids on her team becoming bigger targets of harassment and ridicule on a national level. Well, that predictable, sad reality is beginning to settle in now.

Just last week, popular black comedian DL Hughley appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and completely trashed the Rutgers women’s players. Hughley called them “nappy headed” and “ugly” among other things. “The Tonight Show” has far more reach than Imus’ old radio/TV show. Hughley resonates with black kids far more than Imus.

I pointed all this out at The Forum. I sarcastically asked when we were going to protest DL Hughley. No one said a word."

Here is the clip of Hughley.

Imam ousted for Ayaan Hirsi Ali death remark.

Nation: Excellent.

Imam Fouad ElBayly has been asked to step down from his leadership roles at the Islamic Center of Johnstown, based on his comments published by the Tribune-Review.
ElBayly, who came to the United States from his native Egypt in 1976, expressed his views on apostasy -- abandoning one's religious belief -- during an interview prior to Dutch feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali's appearance April 17 at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown.

He indicated that in the eyes of the Islamic community, a sentence of death would be warranted for Hirsi Ali, a Somali refugee, women's rights advocate and atheist who has denounced the Islamic religion, criticized the practice around the world of female genital mutilation and spoken out against her Muslim upbringing.

ElBayly, who tried to block Hirsi Ali's campus appearance, said her attacks on the Muslim faith were "poisonous." He did not threaten her, but explained that "all of her lies" warrant a death sentence.





"The board and members of the Islamic Center of Johnstown were shocked and regret the comments made by Imam ElBayly regarding the visit of author Ms. Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The statements regarding the Islamic Center's reaction to her visit were incorrect, unfounded and not the views of its members," Dennis J. Stofko, the center's attorney, said in a letter to the Tribune-Review.

Stofko indicated that ElBayly's views "are not shared or tolerated by the Muslims" associated with the Johnstown center.

"The Islamic Center of Johnstown was established to foster religious tolerance, education and the exercise of its religious beliefs," Stofko wrote, adding that members "strongly believe in exercising religious freedom, which is the right of all citizens. The Islamic Center of Johnstown sincerely respects the rights of individuals to speak their opinions openly and freely without the fear of reprisal."

Detroit becomes a sanctuary city.

Nation: The only problem is its still Detroit. The usual suspects cheers the development.

Cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles have passed similar ordinances in recent years, making them what are sometimes referred to as sanctuary cities.

The ordinance was introduced after talks with Latino, Arab and Muslim groups. The Detroit-based group Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength played a lead role in pushing for the law.

On Tuesday, Detroit Police Chief Ella Bully-Cummings said she wants to make sure everyone feels comfortable contacting police when crimes are committed. In some cases, immigrants say they are reluctant to call police because they fear the police will turn them over to federal agents who could deport them.

Bully-Cummings also said the department is against profiling and that police should not generally enforce federal immigration laws.

Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, said he is pleased with the council's vote. "The city of Detroit should be seen as a place that is not hostile to immigrants."

Dutch hate being Dutch and/or European.

EU: Man there is a lot of self hate going on in Europe.

The Dutch are least proud to be European of all the EU countries' citizens. They also take little pride in being Dutch, according to research by the Socio-Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP) and Central Planning Bureau (CPB).

Only 7 percent of the Dutch are 'very proud' to be European, compared with an EU average of 16 percent. Also, only 29 percent are very proud to be Dutch. Only Germans (23 percent) are less pleased with themselves. On average, 48 percent of the Europeans are 'very proud' of their own country.

Support for further EU enlargement has dropped among the Dutch to 45 percent - also the average in the 'old' member states - from 58 percent in 2001. In the new member states, 67 percent back further enlargement.

Remarkable is the way in which the survey measures support for the European Constitution. SCP says 59 percent of the Dutch are against an EU Constitution. At the same time, the accompanying table shows that 59 percent are in favour. This is not a typing error, but the number that "wholly or somewhat" support the Constitution, an explanatory note says.

Bill Clinton still doesn't get economics.

Medical: When a former US President happily supports breaking of drug patents which do costs the companies R&D money in the hundreds of millions or billions of dollars, I have to question his sanity.

Former US president Bill Clinton has backed Thailand's decision to award compulsory licences to generic brands of anti-HIV/Aids drugs, Public Health Minister Dr Mongkol na Songkhla said yesterday.

His comments followed the announcement by Clinton yesterday of a deal, reached in partnership with international drugs organisation Unitaid and generic drug manufacturers Cipla and Matrix, that would drastically reduce the cost of second line anti-retroviral HIV/Aids medicines for 66 developing nations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

"I strongly support the position of the governments of Thailand and Brazil and their decisions after futile negotiations to break these patents," Mongkol quoted Clinton as saying.

Speaking in a telephone interview from the United States yesterday, Mongkol said it was an honour for the country to be supported by the former president.

Fine and when the drug companies stop researching or make the drugs because they can't afford to make money to pay for operations, then what is Clinton going to endorse next as a great move? Argue about the price and failed negotiations, but encouraging countries to break patents on American made products is a slap in the face and sets a bad precedent for other American industries.

Via the Guardian

The US recently added Thailand to its annual priority watch list of nations where American companies face particular problems protecting intellectual property rights.

Countries on the list are under extra scrutiny and could face trade sanctions if violations worsen.

"We want to explain that it was an unfair punishment," said Mr Mongkol.

He said Thailand's decision had not broken any international or domestic law. According to World Trade Organisation agreements, governments can issue compulsory drug licenses for non-commercial use in their countries, allowing the manufacture, import and sale of cheaper generic versions of patented drugs in case of a national public health emergency.

How about Thailand and Brazil then pony up the R&D money to cover the costs of making the drugs so when they decide to break patent, the drug companies won't be screwed over so much.

Down Syndrome tests causes worries for D.S parents.

Medical: As they see these tests causing problems for their own children in the future where less of them means more problems.

Sarah’s appearance at Henry Ford Hospital here is part of an unusual campaign being undertaken by parents of children with Down syndrome who worry about their future in the face of broader prenatal testing that could sharply reduce the number of those born with the genetic condition.

Until this year, only pregnant women 35 and older were routinely tested to see if their fetuses had the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome. As a result many couples were given the diagnosis only at birth. But under a new recommendation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, doctors have begun to offer a new, safer screening procedure to all pregnant women, regardless of age.

About 90 percent of pregnant women who are given a Down syndrome diagnosis have chosen to have an abortion.

.....Now, with a first-trimester sonogram and two blood tests, doctors can gauge whether a fetus has the extra 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome with a high degree of accuracy and without endangering the pregnancy.

But many parents see expanded testing as a step toward a society where children like theirs would be unwelcome. The Newsweek columnist George F. Will labeled it a “search and destroy mission” for a category of citizens that includes his adult son, Jon Will.


As different tests get better as diagnosing conditions that take away the concept from parents of having a healthy baby, you are going to see more stories like this for other medical conditions. The era of perfect designer babies is right around the corner. If someone said to me this is becoming the benign modern day version of the Spartan baby test, I couldn't disagree much if at all with it.

Hezbollah builds a base in South America.

Terrorism: You know good border security would be a great help here.

CIUDAD DEL ESTE, Paraguay - The Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia has taken root in South America, fostering a well-financed force of Islamist radicals boiling with hatred for the United States and ready to die to prove it, according to militia members, U.S. officials and police agencies across the continent.

From its Western base in a remote region divided by the borders of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina known as the Tri-border, or the Triple Frontier, Hezbollah has mined the frustrations of many Muslims among about 25,000 Arab residents whose families immigrated mainly from Lebanon in two waves, after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and after the 1985 Lebanese civil war.

An investigation by Telemundo and NBC News has uncovered details of an extensive smuggling network run by Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group founded in Lebanon in 1982 that the United States has labeled an international terrorist organization. The operation funnels large sums of money to militia leaders in the Middle East and finances training camps, propaganda operations and bomb attacks in South America, according to U.S. and South American officials.

U.S. officials fear that poorly patrolled borders and rampant corruption in the Tri-border region could make it easy for Hezbollah terrorists to infiltrate the southern U.S. border. From the largely lawless region, it is easy for potential terrorists, without detection, to book passage to the United States through Brazil and then Mexico simply by posing as tourists.

The whole read is scary. There is no excuse for this base to be still operating in one piece.

I could care less about Rudy and abortion.

Politics: I mean that in terms of if he is for choice but against the procedure type of way, "legal but rare" third way. I am personally against abortion and those who champion it not as a last resort but as a way of life like getting a driving permit. But this idea of holding the abortion question over the head of Rudy or any other candidate despite positions on other issues is a failure of the social conservative grassroots.

Somewhere along the way, pro-life people lost the plot. The power to argue against abortion came from the ground level which influenced those going up to the top. Just like the NRA power is not based on who is the President but having the power at local, county,state which then influences the federal level.

This backlash against Rudy because he doesn't come out and say no to abortion outright is a losing proposition for social conservatives. Rudy can appeal across the board to more than just Republicans and help the party in 2008. Social conservatives used to be kings at it but now are so focused on one issue that should be applied more at local/state races, they forgot that at the end of the day this is all about politics and how you play it.

Akon says sorry, may have cost Gwen $3 million.

Entertainment: Ouchie.

In a statement released Wednesday to The Associated Press, Akon, 34, said he was sorry for the incident but also said he didn't know the girl was underage.

"I want to sincerely apologize for the embarrassment and any pain I've caused to the young woman who joined me onstage, her family and the Trinidad community for the events at my concert," Akon said.

"It was never my intention to embarrass or take advantage of my fans in any way, especially those under the age of 18. That is why we tried to make sure that the club did not admit anyone under 18 in the audience," he said. "Somehow, that standard was not met."


Guardian:

Verizon's action is likely to inflict a loss of $3m on Stefani's tour. Her camp insists they are "just in the beginning stages of evaluating" the impact of the decision.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The convergence of the Left and Islamists continues

World: Via HotAir, you have Zawahiri calling Powell and Rice House Slaves with talking points if you deleted his name you would have guess it came from someone on the Daily Kos or DU or Harry Belafonte.

Of all the liberal tropes he’s coopted, this is my favorite. Perfectly disgusting, perfectly hypocritical given Wahhabists’ own highly nuanced views of slavery, and perfectly typical of the far-left cretins and fellow travelers who revel in aiming this sort of racist invective at minority conservatives. All that’s missing is the minstrel-face photoshop and snarling reference to Clarence “Uncle” Thomas. And to think, I wasn’t going to link Captain Ed’s post this morning about the alleged leftist/Islamist convergence. I’m linking it now.

This is nothing new and various commentators in Europe such as those at Harry's Place have been decrying it for a while as you can see from the search results. Nick Cohen "What's Left: How Liberals Lost Their Way." is all about this relationship that seems odd but is purely based on hating Bush/Blair and everything that isn't leftwing. Its not uniform leftists views as there are more people realizing this "relationship" seems a bit off. Most recent example is in Denmark

Now there's a new debate raging. Last week, a young Danish politician of Iranian descent, Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, was selected as a potential candidate for parliament by Enhedslisten (the Unity List), a leftwing Eurosceptic party. Ms Abdol-Hamid, who is Muslim, insists she will wear her hijab (religious veil) if elected to parliament, and would refuse to shake hands with male colleagues in compliance with her religious beliefs.

This has produced an outcry in Denmark from rightwingers fearful of allowing politicians into parliament who put the Qur'an above the Danish constitution, as well as leftwingers who feel hijacked by a Muslim agenda. The Danish Imams have unanimously endorsed Abdol-Hamid and advocate that the Muslim community vote for her in the next election.

Before Abdol-Hamid became a member of Enhedslisten, she was a member of Socialdemokraterne (the Danish equivalent of New Labour), but she was refused a candidacy to run for the local council on the grounds that her insistence on wearing religious headwear that symbolises the oppression of women was irreconcilable with the party's official policy. Socialdemokraterne are probably pleased that she's gone. With the present focus on her person, there may be many votes in having Abdol-Hamid in the party, but more votes could be lost as the Danes, according to polls, continue to be sceptical about Islam's role in democracy.

So Abdol-Hamid ended up on the political far left. The extraordinary thing about this is that the left was previously seen as strictly secular, but all of a sudden it is allowing staunch believers to join its ranks. Advocates of Abdol-Hamid see this as a way of defending minorities against society's xenophobic tendencies. A former minister of culture from the social liberal party, De Radikale, Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, recently put on a hijab to sympathise with her colleague, claiming her action symbolised freedom of speech.

However, on the political left there are also several voices of concern. Manu Sareen, a prominent politician of Moroccan descent from the Socialist People's Party (a moderate socialist party), along with several other leading ethnic politicians, warned that Abdol-Hamid does not speak on behalf of immigrants and that her views on the role of Islam in modern society are radical.

More via Captain's Quarters and Hot Air.

Jason Whitlock vs Rutgers Vivian Stringer

Culture: Spike Lee held a Black Athlete Forum in Atlanta earlier this week and Stringer and Whitlock got into it over his column which accused her during press conference regarding Imus as grandstanding. Whitlock.

Whitlock called the press conference a "massive pity party/recruiting rally," and also said this:

Stringer just wanted her 15 minutes to make the case that she's every bit as important as Pat Summitt and Geno Auriemma. By the time Stringer's rambling, rapping and rhyming 30-minute speech was over, you'd forgotten that Tennessee won the national championship and just assumed a racist plot had been hatched to deny the Scarlet Knights credit for winning it all.

Stringer had a few choice words for Whitlock who didn't back down , you can read the ESPN excerpt here, Gene Wojciechowski column with more words and on Diverse.com

What got me wasn't Stringer or Whitlock but Claire Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer who couldn't help but try to pull the Whitlock is an Uncle Tom routine.

SMITH: I might be a tad emotional about this because my first beat was Cheyney State women's basketball in 1980-81. So I've known Vivian Stringer for almost 30 years. The woman that you saw in that press conference is the woman I've seen every year for almost 30 years. She did not step out of character. She was not selling a product. She was protecting the girls just the way she protected the Cheyney State girls, the Iowa girls, the Rutgers girls she first inherited.

Vivian Stringer -- I knew that Don Imus was finished the moment he said, "nappy headed hos" and Rutgers, because I know this woman. And I know that her character would radiate. And I know the kind of athlete she recruits. These were children. He attacked children. And I say to you, Jason, I'm a journalist, so I have some empathy with what you're going through here, but there's a difference between saying that you care about these women, and attacking the coach. And you attacked just the way Don Imus did.
WHITLOCK: I did not call anybody any names.

SMITH: You attacked the coach. You did.

WHITLOCK: Claire, Claire ... you read my columns, or a few of them. I attack coaches. That's what I do. (crowd noise).


Outrageous attack by Smith who seems to have Stringer up for sainthood and she shouldn't be questioned. Whitlock questioned and slammed the approach by Stringer at the press conference, he didn't call her disparaging names. Stringer as well took the same approach to Whitlock.

Whitlock, in an April column, criticized Stringer's handling of the Don Imus situation and wrote that she conducted a public and grandstanding "pity party/recruiting rally" after the since-canned shock jock called Rutgers' players -- well, you know what he called them. Now it was payback time.

"I'm amazed," she said, staring down the length of the table at Whitlock. "I just want to understand your mind-set. I just want to understand people like you."

This column isn't about Whitlock, who retracted nothing, or Stringer, whose intensity, anger and emotion won over the panelists and the room. But there is no denying that the most charged moments of the evening came when Stringer leaned toward the microphone and defended herself to Whitlock.

"It wasn't the Rutgers women's basketball team that brought Mr. Imus down," she said, still glaring at Whitlock. "It was America. Women spoke. Black people spoke. It was America!

"I made a statement that it wasn't black or white. The truth of the matter is that we have been fooled for such a long time. We have such promise and we all are important. We need to step on each other's heads to get the little piece of the American dream. It became green. It was power. You [Whitlock] understand that. That's the reason why you chose these few minutes to get your one moment of [fame]. Because other than that, who knows Jason Whitlock?"


So black people criticizing other black people is only done to get fame? Whitlock was in hot demand before this so this is a false accusation. This is the sort of paranoid mindset that annoys me to no end. Its the same sort of accusation that Al Sharpton pulled when Juan Williams got after him and Jesse as being frauds and hucksters. Disagree with Whitlock but if the only explanation you can bring is someone is trying to ride you for fame maybe he was right to imply she is an opportunist.

Italy: Hospital replaces crucifix with Madonna

Culture: This is some red meat dishing right here. But very slick putting in Mary instead of taking any religious sign away.

Milan, 9 May (AKI) - Milan's top Mangiagalli hospital, which has one of the most highly regarded maternity wards in Italy, has decided to replace the traditional crucifix hanging in its rooms with an image of the Madonna as a sign of respect for the growing number of Muslim immigrant patients, reports said Wednesday. Some 30 percent of the approximately 7,000 births annually performed at the hospital are to foreign women, many of them Muslim.

"With over 2,000 women, of different ethnic and religious groups, Muslims included, who are treated at the Mangiagalli, this initiative seemed a must," Basilio Tiso, the hospital's director, told progressive daily La Repubblica.

Crucifixes traditionally hang from the walls of public buildings in mainly Catholic Italy, including in hospitals, under an 80-year-old law dating back to the country's fascist period.

"We must respect all religions and given that wards are becoming increasingly multi-ethnic and to avoid any protest or discrimination, we have decided to replace the crucifix with an image of the Madonna, which is welcome to Muslims" who also venerate the Virgin Mary.

Weekly Thailand appeasement check-in

Terrorism: How are the appeasement plans going?

THAILAND: BANGKOK ANNOUNCES PRO-MUSLIM PROJECTS AKI

Okay...

FM to explain Thai southern policy to world Muslim conference

Alrighty.

Bomb kills 7 Thai soldiers in Muslim south
Reuters AlertNet, UK - 28 minutes ago
BANGKOK, May 9 (Reuters) - A roadside bomb attack killed seven soldiers in a pick-up truck in Muslim-majority southern Thailand on Wednesday, ...

Its going along as I thought it would.

Biofuels brings food shortage and increase poverty.

Enviro: Not to mention a spike in food prices.

GUARDIAN: The global rush to switch from oil to energy derived from plants will drive deforestation, push small farmers off the land and lead to serious food shortages and increased poverty unless carefully managed, says the most comprehensive survey yet completed of energy crops.
The United Nations report, compiled by all 30 of the world organisation's agencies, points to crops like palm oil, maize, sugar cane, soya and jatropha. Rich countries want to see these extensively grown for fuel as a way to reduce their own climate changing emissions. Their production could help stabilise the price of oil, open up new markets and lead to higher commodity prices for the poor.

But the UN urges governments to beware their human and environmental impacts, some of which could have irreversible consequences.

.....The UN warns: "Where crops are grown for energy purposes the use of large scale cropping could lead to significant biodiversity loss, soil erosion, and nutrient leaching. Even varied crops could have negative impacts if they replace wild forests or grasslands."

But the survey's findings are mixed on whether the crops will benefit or penalise poor countries, where most of the crops are expected to be grown in future. One school of thought argues that they will take the best land, which will increase global food prices. This could benefit some farmers but penalise others and also increase the cost of emergency food aid.

"Expanded production [of biofuel crops] adds uncertainty. It could also increase the volatility of food prices with negative food security implications", says the report which was complied by UN-Energy.

"The benefits to farmers are not assured, and may come with increased costs. [Growing biofuel crops] can be especially harmful to farmers who do not own their own land, and to the rural and urban poor who are net buyers of food, as they could suffer from even greater pressure on already limited financial resources.

"At their worst, biofuel programmes can also result in a concentration of ownership that could drive the world's poorest farmers off their land and into deeper poverty," it says.

According to the report, the crops could transform the rural economy of rich and poor countries, attracting major new players and capital, but potentially leading to problems. "Large investments are already signalling the emergence of a new bio-economy, pointing to the possibility that still larger companies will enter the rural economy, putting the squeeze on farmers by controlling the price paid to producers and owning the rest of the value train," it says.

The report also says the crops are not guaranteed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Producing and using biofuels results in some reductions in emissions compared to petroleum fuels, it says, but this is provided there is no clearing of forest or peat that store centuries of carbon.


My take on improving technology to clean up the fuels we can use now seems better in the short and long run.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Houston cab drivers object to security checks

Nation: At the airport which in the context of the story it seems the indie drivers just want to come around the place whenever they damn well please.

"Area taxi drivers usually drive the streets, but Tuesday, they walked.

Many of them are immigrants.

And all of them are upset about badges says Jerome Singletary. “We don’t need any badges. We don’t need to be controlled. We don’t need to be told what to do and when to do it.”

The independent cab drivers work around Houston’s airports.


And the city’s Aviation Department is starting a system requiring the drivers to wear security badges.

“So whether you work for the city or work for an airline or a contractor, you do business with the city, we would want everyone that comes into contact with passengers and others to have background checks done and a security badge,” said Mark Mancuso with Houston Aviation Dept.

“Instead of criminalizing the cab driver, we need to protect the cab driver. Protect the cab driver. The cab driver is our friend,” said one person.

But independent cabbies like Tommy Breedlove complain the background checks are too extensive. “And we don’t feel that it’s fair to take someone’s background that far back and turn around and put them out of business.”

Aviation Department officials say these cabbies misunderstand the badge system. "


Everyone who has business at the airport better go thru a background check and I wonder what is showing up on some of these indie cab drivers background that some are out of business and the rest are so scared. If you don't want the hassle, don't work the airport. I have a feeling more is going to come out because this seems like a huge overreaction.

So Sebelius is just another Blanco in the making?

Politics: I wonder how fast she thought up blaming the Bush admin after the tornado hit? I think she goofed a bit by doing this political stunt so fast. Wait a couple of days, let it simmer than go Nagin on everyone. This is what she said first.

(KTKA) Sebelius says war has taken emergency equipment: As the people of Greensburg begin to try to put their lives and their town back together, they are forced to do so without the key equipment they need.

"We have personnel on the group but about half our trucks are gone. We don't have front loaders or dump trucks. We don't have flatbeds that move heavy equipment," explained Governor Kathleen Sebelius.

Those are supplies, the governor says, that the state's army and air national guard troops should have, but don't. Instead, those supplies are in Iraq for the war effort, and that's leaving national guard troops in Kansas and throughout the country seriously unprepared to handle natural disasters and other state emergencies.

White House said she is full of it and nice to see them fight back so fast for once.

Sen. Brownback said he asked around and implies she is full of it.

Kansas Sen. (and GOP presidential candidate) Sam Brownback has told the AP that he disagrees with Gov. Kathleen Sebelius's (D) opinion that the Iraq war has depleted the state's tornado-recover efforts. Per the AP, "Brownback said Tuesday that local officials and the Kansas National Guard commander all told him they have the resources needed to respond."

"'That's what really got me, is her saying that,' Brownback said in an interview. 'So I asked, privately and publicly, the adjutant general, do you have the equipment you need?' he said. 'Because if you don't, we're going to hit Fort Riley and McConnell (Air Force Base) and other places to make sure we have all the equipment we need to respond to disasters. Everybody there said no, we have the equipment we needed.'"

Sebelius backs down a bit saying she was talking about the future.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) just issued this statement on the flap over the National Guard: "Let me be clear: With the equipment we have, the men and women of the Kansas National Guard have the initial response to the Greensburg tornado under control.I have said for nearly two years, and will continue to say, that we have a looming crisis on our hands when it comes to National Guard equipment in Iraq and our needs here at home. The equipment shortage will likely slow long-term efforts to recover and rebuild in Greensburg. We can only hope that we not have another significant natural disaster in Kansas. That would put our Guard, and the people of Kansas, in a real bind."

Ric Anderson of the Topeka Journal said Sebelius pulled a stunt.

But Sebelius, like anybody else, knows there are inherent political implications in a Democratic governor raising concerns about a Republican president’s military management. And it wouldn’t take a huge leap to conclude Sebelius considered those implications before she spoke out.

Sebelius works without a carefully crafted game plan about as often as Ashton Kutcher finishes a novel. She’s calculating and cautious, which is a big part of why she’s won two terms as governor in a Republican state.

The timing of Sebelius’ remarks also gives rise to skepticism. After drawing a stinging response from the White House, where press secretary Tony Snow said equipment was available but Sebelius didn’t follow procedures to get it, Sebelius’ office said equipment shortages weren’t an issue in Greensburg.

“We are doing absolutely fine right now,’’ said the governor’s spokeswoman, Nicole Corcoran. “What the governor is talking about is down the road.’’

Why, then, was the issue brought up so early? This is the time for rebuilding, healing and grieving, not for politics.

Too bad Sebelius’ remarks have already steered the tragedy in that direction.

Katie Couric plunges in the ratings.

Media: Via TVnewser

Last week's CBS Evening News viewership was the lowest it has been since at least 1987, which is as far back as Nielsen records date.

It's accurate to call it the smallest audience for the Evening News in decades.

Last week's average total viewership was 6,050,000. Katie Couric's previous low of 6,157,000 came in March.


There is also praise for Charlie Gibson pasting by NBC's nightly news, but looking at this chart.

They are just fighting over a smaller piece of the pie.

AP tries to soften Hamas's Mickey Mouse

Media: Caught by LGF, but pretty amusing.



Then a couple of hours later.


Enviro loving two-faced double talker and a scary man.

Enviro: Do as I say and not as I do Via Observer.

Mark Ellingham, founder of the Rough Guides and the man who encouraged a generation of travellers to pack a rucksack and explore the world, has compared the damage done by tourism to the impact of the tobacco industry.

Ellingham now says travelling is so environmentally destructive that there is no such thing as a genuinely ethical holiday. He wants the industry to educate travellers about the damage their holidays do to the environment. The development he regrets most is the public's appetite for what he calls 'binge-flying'.

.....Ellingham is calling for a £100 green tax on all flights to Europe and Africa, and £250 on flights to the rest of the world. He also wants investment to create a low-carbon economy, as well as a moratorium on airport expansion.

.....While determined to encourage people to reduce the number of flights they take, Ellingham admits he has no intention of stopping himself, and he does not expect others to do so either. 'As a "recovering travel writer", I fly less than I would like to, but more than I know that ethically I should. The deal I have made with myself is to limit the number of flights I take to one long-haul and two or three shorter flights each year,' he said. 'I very much respect the purist attitudes of those who say they will never fly again, but it's totally unrealistic to expect the majority to do the same.'

Ellingham is aware of another contradiction in his position. While being hugely destructive, tourism also has so many positive effects that it would be disastrous to the economies of many nations if it were to stop or even be curbed.

Encouraging people to reduce the number of flights they take, however, is no easy task. Ellingham said he has been horrified by a new travelling trend. 'If there was just one thing I could change, it would be this new British obsession for binge flying,' he said. 'We now live in a society where, if people have nothing to do on a Saturday night, they go to Budapest for 48 hours. We fly anywhere at the slightest opportunity, 10 times and upwards a year. This needs to be addressed with the greatest urgency.'

I bet he will tout carbon credits in the future. Notice how the only solutions these twits come up with involves taxing and demanding that people( not them of course) cut back on their ability to do anything? I never see a push for cleaner fuel or technology at the same volume level to cut back on emissions or pollution to allow people to enjoy and keep advancing their lifestyles. Its like their dream of being Earth's hall monitors have finally come true.

Another one is Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who really wants to make people cut back as in they should be dead.

Paul Watson, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and famous for militant intervention to stop whalers, now warns mankind is “acting like a virus” and is harming Mother Earth.

Watson’s May 4 editorial asked the question “The Beginning of the End for Life as We Know it on Planet Earth?” Then he left no doubt about the answer. “We are killing our host the planet Earth,” he claimed and called for a population drop to less than 1 billion.

The commentary reminded readers that Watson had called humans a disease before and he wasn’t sorry. “I was once severely criticized for describing human beings as being the ‘AIDS of the Earth.’ I make no apologies for that statement,” the column continued.

As always, people love to see advocates walk the walk which means Watson goes first in setting the example of population reduction.

Via Instapundit.

Mediation room conflict at George Mason

Nation: Nothing in this article is a surprise as some Muslim college groups have realized they can get away with a lot.

Controversy over the meditation room located on the third floor of the Johnson Center has become a growing concern for students due to space limitations, religious practices, and conflicting needs and uses.

While Muslim students of George Mason University use the space for prayer five times daily, non-Muslim students also use the space for prayer and meditation to a lesser extent.


So what is the solution?

Also, Friday prayers are typically the largest and most important to the religion, with around one hundred students who attend, according to the president of MSA, Saleh Albarmawi. Prayer includes recitation of the Quran along with movements, which may cause disturbances to non-Muslims who use the space for silence.

“Assign a prayer area for Muslim students. Have that area also serve as an Islam Education Center. Since MSA is a reflection of the general body of the Muslim Students at GMU, the area should be run by MSA,” said Albarmawi.

Albarmawi also discussed some of the criteria for such a space. The religion requires Muslims to face east, toward Macca, and the wall they are facing cannot be adjacent to rest rooms. The room’s current location is ideal for these reasons, which makes it hard to find another location just as suitable.


Very slick, The room suits our needs and we are the biggest group that uses it five times a day, so they have staged a bloodless coup on the area.

Another issue is that the Muslim religion should not have any advantage over other religions. Other student organizations rent out rooms around campus to meet and other religions meet off campus.

“If Muslims wish for an exclusive place, they should be allowed to rent a space much like businesses do (e.g. restaurants in the JC and SUB I), or be off campus, as the Christian chapel is,” said bobpence from the discussion board.

Concerns over the mediation space also go back to its original use. Because the area is mainly used by Muslims, many of their religious rules now govern the area.

“I have to say that the one and only time I have heard of someone wanting to use the prayer space that wasn't Muslim is when they went there to do some reading for class, and were asked to move to the other side of the gender wall,” said Kjennin.

When asked about the area’s original use, Karton replied, “There are no rules as to gender separation or removing shoes regarding the space as far as I know. Really the only ‘rule’ in the original intention of the space was that it was not reservable.”

Noncompliance with the religion’s rules, however, can be misinterpreted as offensive.


So George Mason other students will grab ankles and allow this takeover to be completed without even a whimper. This is a classic example of a student group running amok and a university not doing its job to keep them in check.

Iranian animator banned from teaching.

Iran: Made fun of a woman. If that is the worse they do to him, he is a lucky man.

Tehran, 7 May (AKI) - Nureddin Zarrinkelk, a celebrated Iranian animated cartoonist, has been expelled from the fine arts department of the university of Tehran where he taught, reports said Monday. He is accused of having made fun of a female student who was wearing the full Islamic chador covering calling her a "primitive" according to pro-government news agency Rajanews. Zarrinkelk, 70, an icon of Iranian animated cinema, will not be allowed to teach anymore as part of new punitive measures in a moralization campaign which kicked off late last month and provides for the arrest of women who do not abide by strict Islamic dress codes.

Zarrinkelk had already been banned from teaching right after the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Guam Reparations bill?

Politics: Let the Democrats run wild and you get nonsense like this.

9:11 a.m., May 8 — (WASHINGTON) The House is expected to vote Tuesday on a $126 million bill to compensate Guam victims and their survivors for the suffering they endured during the Japanese occupation of World War II.

During House floor debate Monday, Delegate Madeleine Bordallo, D-Guam, said the bill fulfills a "moral obligation" by the United States.

"The people of Guam were brutalized through public executions, beheadings, rape and severe injury, forced labor, forced marches and internment in concentration camps," she said.

Bordallo and Delegate Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, D-American Samoa, spoke in support of the bill with no opposition. A roll call vote is scheduled for Tuesday.

"We are going to work very hard over the next 24 hours to rally support for this bill on both sides of the aisle," Bordallo said.

The bill is based on the recommendations of the Guam War Claims Review Commission, which found in 2004 that the Chamorros, as the indigenous people of Guam are known, were not treated the same as other Americans on war claims matters.


I would think you would take issue up with the Japanese. The worst part is this gives an opening for other reparation bills under a Dem congress.

More from Gateway Pundit, Malkin.

Fallout from Sarkozy's win continues.

France: Trouble in the socialist camp comes early.

PARIS (Reuters) - Senior French Socialists distanced themselves from defeated presidential candidate Segolene Royal on Monday and a battle to shape the party's future began ahead of a parliamentary election.

Former Finance Minister Dominique Strauss-Kahn and former Prime Minister Laurent Fabius drew up lines that are likely to define the struggle following conservative Nicolas Sarkozy's comfortable victory over Royal in Sunday's election run-off.

Strauss-Kahn called for a modern Social Democratic party and Fabius urged Socialists to remember their left-wing values. Both indicated Royal will face a contest to remain the demoralized party's figurehead.

Royal received their support after she beat them in a party primary last year that chose the Socialists' presidential candidate. But many party members have never embraced her and remain suspicious of policies they see as vague and incoherent.


More Turkey angst.

Sarkozy opposes EU membership for Turkey, a large, relatively poor, overwhelmingly Muslim country of 74 million.

"You could say the Sarkozy win is another nail in the coffin (of Turkey's bid). It adds insult to injury," said Hasan Unal of Ankara's Bilkent University, a prominent Turkish Eurosceptic.

"But the EU has been very unpopular for several years now... It keeps coming up with demands on Turkey while making clear it has no intention of letting Turkey join the club."

Turks have also become more wary of membership after a series of rows over Cyprus, freedom of expression, the role of the military in politics and the World War One mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

Minny Star Tribune cuts 145 positions.

Media: I know James Lileks got the stupid offer of doing regular news, but I would start jumping off this sinking ship yesterday.

Bowing to the pressures of declining circulation and falling revenue, the Star Tribune Monday announced a sweeping program of buyouts across the company that will send 145 employees out the door, either through buyouts or, if enough people don’t volunteer, layoffs.

The cuts represent 7 percent of the company’s 2,100 positions and include 50 positions out of 383 people in the newsroom and editorial departments.

Publisher Par Ridder delivered the news in a company-wide meeting in which he laid out the increasingly bleak fortunes for daily metro newspapers. The company’s annual advertising and circulation revenue has fallen by $64 million over the last three years. Classified advertising was down 23 percent in the first quarter over last year. If current trends continue, Ridder said, the paper would begin to lose money in a year to 18 months.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Obama the Subsidizer of cars.

Bidness: Oh no, no way no how.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Monday that U.S. energy policy must change in order to help domestic automakers answer the rising global demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.

"For years, while foreign competitors were investing in more fuel-efficient technology for their vehicles, American automakers were spending their time investing in bigger, faster cars," the Illinois senator told Detroit business and political leaders.

Obama said his plan encourages domestic automakers to make fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles by giving them health care assistance for retirees. Federal financial assistance would cover 10 percent -- up to $7 billion -- of automakers' annual legacy health care costs through 2017, under Obama's plan, which would require automakers to invest at least half of their health care savings into technology to produce fuel-efficient cars.

As a second choice, Obama's plan would provide $3 billion to automakers over 10 years to help retool plants to make fuel-efficient cars and trucks.

It's all part of the U.S. auto industry taking necessary steps to help its own turnaround, Obama said.

"Here in Detroit, three giants of American industry are hemorrhaging jobs and profits as foreign competitors answer the rising global demand for fuel-efficient cars," he said.


You want to blame lost jobs and profits? Look at the makers and unions. It is the fault of the makers and unions who made stupid work agreements, failed to keep up with automotive treads and refused to change their business practices until it was too late. It is not the job of the government to give them money to cover up their mistakes.

Iron Man movie looking pretty good.

Entertainment: I need to catch up but judging by these two pics at least some effort is being made.

Downey as Tony Stark



Iron Man Armor via EW.com


Iron Man is the latest Marvel Comics superhero to jump from splash page to big screen. (The film is due May 2008.) Director Jon Favreau (Elf ) began shooting in March with star Robert Downey Jr. — in his first comic-book role — as the man inside the cybernetic Mark III suit (pictured) and Gwyneth Paltrow as his trusted assistant. In the film, Downey plays Tony Stark, a playboy industrialist who decides to don high-tech armor to fight baddies after suffering a life-threatening heart injury in war-torn Afghanistan. ''This is a decidedly adult superhero story,'' says Favreau. (Fanboy FYI: Look for Stark's legendary drinking problem to pop up in possible sequels.)

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Rush's Barack the Magic Negro tied to death threats?

Politics: That is the implication by Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune who quotes Media Matters as some sort of impartial observer which tells you how this piece is written.

Coming just weeks after host Don Imus lost his job for calling the members of the Rutgers women's basketball team "nappy-headed ho's" on the air, Limbaugh's repeated playing of the "Magic Negro" clip suggests that at least one network isn't planning to soft-pedal the issue of race.

Obama's campaign called the song "dumb," and a spokesman said the campaign doesn't think anyone is taking the song seriously.

But Limbaugh's critics say the song goes too far and predict that it could influence the pop-culture understanding of Obama and of black politicians in general.

"We take these things seriously because there's a consistent pattern of them making their way into the mainstream media and then the mainstream consciousness," said Karl Frisch, a spokesman for Media Matters, a non-profit media watchdog group that has been monitoring the broadcasts. "It's important to shoot these things down."

The controversial parody got its start in March shortly after the Los Angeles Times published a provocative column by a black writer calling Obama the "Magic Negro." The article said Obama fits the prototype of the black cinematic figure who arises to "assuage white guilt over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history."

French Elections: Sarkozy wins! roundup

France: According to Belgian sources cited by Reuters. I will update later tonight.

Sarkozy wins 53.1% to Royal's 46.9%

President Bush, Italy's Prime Minister already called to say congrats

Blair and Merkal calls to say congrats

A Sarkozy presidency had been favored at EU headquarters in Brussels, notably over his support for more radical economic reform and on pushing ahead quickly with efforts to salvage the EU constitution — meant to streamline the way the bloc makes decisions.

Sarkozy has advocated adopting a "mini-treaty" — rather than full constitution — to prevent bureaucratic gridlock within the bloc, which has ballooned to 27 members and may eventually absorb half a dozen more.


Some flashes by anti-Sarkozy people have started and being quickly put down, I wouldn't call it a riot yet.

PARIS: Riot police fired tear gas into a crowd gathered at the Place de la Bastille following conservative Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential election victory Sunday and dispersed another angry group in Lyon.

Small bands of youths described by BFM TV as "militant anarchists" hurled bottles, stones and other objects at police. Some lowered their trousers to bare their backsides at riot officers with shields. Police fired a few volleys of tear gas in an effort to disperse them.

The Paris square is a major starting point for strikes and hub for popular demonstrations of all sorts.

In Lyon, in southeast France, police fired flashballs at a crowd of some 150 angry about Sarkozy's victory against Socialist Segolene Royal and detained three people, police said. The group was apparently trying to upset a victory party by Sarkozy supporters. Two officers were slightly injured, police said.


Sarkozy's first 100 days in office plan.

Sarkozy's win puts a huge roadblock into Turkey's plan to enter the EU.

London Times says Sarkozy margin of victory is a clear mandate.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the son of a Hungarian immigrant, has won the French presidency with a solid majority that he described tonight as a mandate for a moral renaissance and radical reform of the over-regulated welfare state.

Thousands celebrated late into the night in the Place de la Concorde after the 52-year-old leader of President Chirac’s Union for a Popular Movement defeated Ségolène Royal, the Socialist, with 53 percent of the vote. The turnout after their bitter fortnight’s duel since the first round was a near-record 85 percent.


The lament of socialists and leftists starts today.

The search for scapegoats begin for the Socialists.

The lament of Guardian readers.

Some more updates: Breakdown of the voting

The 18 to 24 set strongly backed Royal, a Socialist, giving her 58 percent, according to Ipsos. But voters 25 to 34 years old nearly equally strongly backed Sarkozy, a conservative, giving him 57 percent. The vote was 50-50 in the 35 to 44 age group, while voters of 45 to 59 - the May '68 generation whom Sarkozy recently denounced - chose Royal.

Sarkozy's strongest backing by age group, however, came from voters older than 60. Among those 70 and older, a whopping 68 percent preferred him.

Rural voters, too, preferred Sarkozy, while urbanites were divided. In the Paris metropolitan area, the vote split 50-50, Ipsos found.

Not a surprise the younger set and those of the 68 generation went with Royal. 18 to 24 just getting into the world not knowing any better, the 25 to 34 who know a bit more from experience realize the world is not a playground. 35 to 44 are reflecting back thinking maybe it needs to be easier or harder, 45 to 59 are reliving their youth through rose-colored glasses and the 60+ thinks everyone younger than them are lazy bastards who need a kick in the butt.

Wall Street Journal write up.