Saturday, July 14, 2007

urban liberal yuppies vs ghetto teens in Carroll Gardens.

Nation: Gawker has a pretty good summary of events.

"Local" Kids Versus "Local" Parents In Carroll Gardens

The gentrification of Carroll Gardens, the land of pregnancy, is hitting a sticky patch. A bunch of Brooklyn parents are upset at the behavior of some of the teenagers in Carroll Park, at Smith and Carroll Streets. On Wednesday, Gowanus Lounge posted some of the parent's complaints and summed them up thusly:

This all has to do with teenagers snapping wet t-shirts near some moms and kids. The teens didn't enjoy being told to stop. Many recriminations ensued. Threats were uttered by the kids to the adults.

The police were called--and to us this is the most interesting part--didn't respond to what could have become a lousy incident in anything resembling a timely fashion. The kids kept up the harassment. They threw things at the adults. And, when the cops finally showed they are said to have been disinterested if not dismissive.There's more, involving rock-throwing and threats to break people's noses, but the gist of it is that parents with their small kids were scared of the teenagers.

(The Post has a follow-up story today.) And we're still torn about the whole thing.

It would be pretty damn easy to simply dismiss the (white) parents' complaints about the (black) kids as just another example of clueless upper-middle-class, overprotective parents with expensive strollers getting all unnecessarily agitated about a little horseplay by kids who have probably lived in the neighborhood longer than they have, who are probably subconsciously bitter and acting out over suddenly having to cater to the whims of over-privileged yuppies who have invaded their neighborhood, bringing their perhaps latently racist attitudes with them.

(A friend reports once being at a community meeting with a parents' association in the neighborhood, and one mother asked whether it would be possible to "move the projects." Er, eek!) And, you know, the fact that these "scary" kids are being raised by (probably single) parents who don't have the money to send them to a fancy day camp, and that there aren't many options for poor kids in the summer, and that they have just as much right to be in the park as anyone else, is another thing! And maybe the police didn't respond quickly because, frankly, water balloons are annoying but last time we checked, not illegal! It's very Fortress of Solitude, don't you think?

But on the other hand! That doesn't mean you can go around throwing rocks at people and threatening to break their noses. And they may be being raised by single parents, but who said that gives them the right to be rude, violent little twerps? Little girls shouldn't be walking around with knives. (Unless it's on the Upper East Side.) And the police probably don't want to get involved because the whole thing is a bloody nuisance.

NY Post has the story and the site [Gowanus Lounge] that started the reports has a follow up which claims the police are now in force around the area and park.

I just highlighted it because of the sweet white people guilt and angst torn between their compassion for the poor project kiddies and not wanting to feel they are going to get a beatdown from a bunch of teens who have no clue how to act in public. I am surprised by the handwringing on Gawker, I expect this sort of whitey guilt from places like Wonkette.

Danish Muslim groups puts fatwa on newspaper.

Media: This would be termed lashing out.

A Muslim group lost a libel case on Friday against the leader of a Danish anti-immigrant party who had accused its members of treason for publicizing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

A court ruled that Pia Kjaersgaard, leader of the Danish People's Party (DPP), did not libel the Islamic Faith Community when she accused some of its members of treason for traveling to the Middle East to publicize a Danish newspaper's publication of the drawings, which caused a worldwide uproar in 2006.

The court said the term "treason" was not libelous because it was used extensively in public debate. It ordered the plaintiffs, a loose network of Danish Muslim organizations which says it represents 50,000 members, to pay Kjaersgaard 40,000 Danish crowns ($7,400) in costs.

..."We are very disappointed with the verdict and are considering an appeal," said Kasem Ahmad, a spokesman for the Muslim group. He added that the group would issue a fatwa, or religious edict, against Jyllands-Posten if it did not receive an apology from the paper.

"It's too early to say any details of the fatwa," Ahmad said. "The fatwa is the last step and will also satisfy Muslims in the Middle East."

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bush like Hitler, says first Muslim in Congress

Politics: Wonderful, now this manifestly oxygen deprived congress critter's speech is hitting overseas and this is one of the first headlines by the Telegraph.
America's first Muslim congressman has provoked outrage by apparently comparing President George W Bush to Adolf Hitler and hinting that he might have been responsible for the September 11 attacks.

Addressing a gathering of atheists in his home state of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, a Democrat, compared the 9/11 atrocities to the destruction of the Reichstag, the German parliament, in 1933. This was probably burned down by the Nazis in order to justify Hitler's later seizure of emergency powers.

"It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that," Mr Ellison said. "After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it, and it put the leader [Hitler] of that country in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted."

To applause from his audience of 300 members of Atheists for Human Rights, Mr Ellison said he would not accuse the Bush administration of planning 9/11 because "you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box - dismiss you".

I do disagree with the caption under his picture the Telegraph put up.

Keith Ellison, a convert to Islam, has cultivated a moderate image since being elected last November

No, he has never cultivated a moderate image, he just kept his mouth shut, he would be advised to engage his brain before yelping. But his popularity will soar among the extremists.

Update# Here comes the Minny Red Star Tribune to try and cover Ellison's ass.

Black director loses suit against Universal studios.

Entertainment: Well he lost the suit but he got some money out of it.
But what was Jesse Jackson role in this and did he get a cut/promise?

A federal court judge today ruled in Universal's favor in that racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the EEOC on behalf of Frank Davis, the African American first assistant director axed from the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious during the first months of principal photography in 2002.

Davis claimed the reason was because he's black. Universal maintained it was his poor job performance. After Davis filed a complaint following his release, the EEOC sued Universal, claiming a pattern of studio hiring and firing based on race. Davis joined the lawsuit seeking damages from Universal, but he reached a confidential settlement with the studio after opening statements in the case in June. The trial then continued, with U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess dismissing the jury and hearing the EEOC's case himself.

EEOC attorney Derek Li began his closing argument saying the studio's reasons for firing Davis were as fake as the buildings on the Universal back lot. But a big complication in the EEOC case was that the movie's director, well-known African American director John Singleton, sided with Universal in the lawsuit. "This fact weakens, if not completely eliminates, any inference that [Universal] harbored any racial animus towards African Americans," Feess ruled today. Finding that Davis' firing was not the result of any intentional discrimination, the judge ruled that "when the evidence is viewed in its entirety free of any preconceived notions, it simply does not support any claim that Davis' termination was the result of anything other than poor job performance."

Universal president/COO Ron Meyer issued this statement after the decision: "I am extremely pleased with the court's decision today, which is a complete vindication for Universal and its employees. Universal chose to try the case because we wanted to give our colleagues, who had been falsely accused of racism, the chance to tell the truth about what happened on this movie. I want to express my gratitude to the many Universal executives and free-lance crew members involved in this case who sacrificed their time and energy to see this through to resolution.

I would also like to thank the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and its president, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, for their invaluable assistance in helping us achieve a fair and amicable settlement with Frank Davis. Universal is committed to equal employment opportunity in all aspects of our business and though, we believe that pursuing this baseless claim for four years was not a good use of its resources, we remain fully supportive of the EEOC's mission to eradicate racism in the workplace."

Nikki Finke leaves with this parting shot.

I know this lawsuit had Uni execs really angry since most of them are liberals harboring the usual white man's guilt. Now they can all breathe a sigh of relief.


The Arnold Schwarzenegger of dogs.

Coolness: At point, it probably could bench more than me.

The bonfire of the tires. Global warmers faint.

Culture: Somehow I don't think this contributes a subtraction to pollution. But it is beautiful.

Youtube allows hate speech on Daniel Pearl

Media: Via LGF, a vile posting happy that Daniel Pearl died. Now I would just be screaming this fool is a piece of garbage if not for the fact Youtube happily allows this type of nonsense to go while removing critics of people like this all the time.

After all, violence abounds on YouTube — from actual film of Iraqi snipers taking out American soldiers (that video was removed earlier last week, although an article in this newspaper on Friday suggested that others are out there), to dozens of ordinary and quite depressing fistfights from across the globe (just search for the tag “fight”).

“Our customer support team reviews all flagged videos before removing them,” the statement said. “Videos are not automatically removed.” The statement specifically referred to the part of the YouTube user agreement that forbids users from submitting material that is “unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libelous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially or ethnically offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offense, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate.”

This video made it up which would mean Youtube has a support team that like jihad videos and hate speech directed at certain people and groups.

Guardian's Comment is not free anymore?

Media: Some serious dustups went on in a couple of Muslim related threads that saw some serious use of the delete button and comments being closed.

A dialogue of the deaf
Madeleine Bunting July 12, 2007 10:30 AM
Martin Bright and David T have both deliberately chosen to misinterpret my argument for an open dialogue with Muslim groups. Comments (107) · (0)

All hell broke loose in that one as David T and others shot back at Bunting's claims. The whole thing is entertaining. But tonight this post the comments were closed before anyone could actually say anything. I wonder if a policy change is in order.

Muslims: how to win hearts and minds
Ajmal Masroor July 12, 2007 9:00 PM
Sacrifices will have to be made by British Muslims in order to engender trust. Here is an eight-point plan, a statement of intent. Comments (0) · (0)

Ex mayor of Newark indicted.

Politics: He was living large in a city he helped run into the ground. I like the NYTIMES trying to paint him as some sort of saint at the beginning.

NEWARK, July 12 — Sharpe James, the former mayor who towered over politics in this city for two decades and was a charismatic if combative cheerleader as it struggled to regain businesses and middle-class residents, was indicted on Thursday on charges of using city credit cards for personal expenses and letting a companion buy municipal property for a fraction of its worth.

Mr. James, who built a patronage machine largely through cult of personality, is accused of illegally charging more than $58,000 on two city credit cards for Jacuzzi dips, alcohol, movies, meals and weekend getaways for tennis tournaments with friends.

The United States attorney for New Jersey, Christopher J. Christie, said the case against Mr. James contained “stark examples of the greed and arrogance of unchecked power.”

Mr. James also faces a charge of conspiring with one of his frequent travel partners, Tamika Riley, to defraud the city by selling her nine parcels of city land for $46,000 that she quickly resold for $665,000.

House Passes Overhaul Plan on Student Aid

Edumacation: There is a brilliant stupidity to this bill but as long as it makes people feel good what the hell right.

The House on Wednesday approved far-reaching changes in student aid programs, voting to cut $19 billion in federal subsidies to student lenders over five years, while increasing grants for needy students and halving interest rates on federally backed loans with the savings.

What could go wrong?

But a report by the Congressional Research Service found that small and medium-sized lenders would probably be hardest hit, and would face difficulties competing with industry giants like Sallie Mae. The report said Sallie Mae would likely be able to handle the cuts unscathed.

As well as cutting lender subsidies, the bill reduces the share the government would guarantee in the event of student default. It halves the interest rate on federally backed loans gradually over the next five years, to 3.4 percent from 6.8 percent, and would limit monthly payments to 15 percent of the borrower’s discretionary income.

The bill raises the maximum Pell grants by $500 over the next four years, to a total of $5,200 by 2011. It also grants $5,000 in loan forgiveness for police, firefighters, prosecutors and other public servants, and a complete release from student loans for public servants after 10 years. It would also provide for complete forgiveness of federal student loans after 20 years for economic hardship.

There is hardly any incentive for any lender to keep involved or get into student loans if the bill passes, not only that watch tuition go up to keep outpacing any help the increase in grants or loans will provide. What is going to happen is a couple of lenders will stay in the program and they will eventually dictate terms.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Public schools grapple with Muslim prayer.

Culture: Regarding the Carver Elementary School in San Diego, I don't see how this stands up to a court challenge.

When afternoon recess comes at an elementary school on the outskirts of San Diego, some students rush out for a quick game of hopscotch, while others gather in a room for Muslim worship. Like a growing number of school districts around the country, San Diego's is changing its ways to meet the needs of its Islamic students. Here, a controversy with constitutional overtones erupted: In accommodating Muslim students, is the school unfairly promoting religion?

The school's policy "presumes that Christians are less religious and less inspired to worship and praise the Lord and come together," says Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute. He is asking the school district to set up special rooms where Christians can pray, too.

This outcry, and others like it from conservative commentators and attorneys, suggest that the whole matter may land in court. Potentially at issue is to what extent actions taken by a public school to accommodate special religious needs of some students might require similar allowances for other students.

....At some public schools, students leave class momentarily or wait to pray until they get home. Mr. Shami says his faith allows prayers to be combined at a later time if necessary.

The San Diego district took special action regarding the timing of recess because "the Muslim faith requires specificity of prayer obligations ... that most other religions do not," Mr. North says. He denies reports that a new recess was added specifically to address the religious needs of the Muslim students.

You can't accommodate one religion and ignore everyone else.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tintin in the Congo causes outrage in the UK!

Media: Well, the racist watchdog group in the UK is unhappy and they have every right.

A cartoon adventure featuring Tintin, the heroic Belgian journalist, should not be sold in Britain, the Commission for Racial Equality said yesterday.

The racism watchdog said that it was unacceptable for any shop to sell or display Tintin in the Congo, a comic book written in 1930 that features crude racial stereotypes.

A spokeswoman said that the book, which includes a scene featuring Tintin being made chief of an African village because he is a “good white man”, was highly offensive. “This book contains imagery and words of hideous racial prejudice, where the ‘savage natives’ look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles,” she said.

“How and why do Borders think it’s OK to peddle such racist material?” The commission said that neither high street nor specialist shops should stock it. “The only place that it might be acceptable for this to be displayed would be in a museum, with a big sign saying ‘old-fashioned, racist claptrap’.”

Egmont, which publishes the book, said that every edition delivered to shops had a band of paper around the outside making clear the content is offensive. A warning notes that it features “bourgeois, paternalistic stereotypes of the period — an interpretation some readers may find offensive”.

Hergé, who drew the story in the late 1920s, later admitted that the books were offensive, and apologised. “Concerning Congo as well as Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, the fact is that while I was growing up, I was being fed the prejudices of the bourgeois society that surrounded me,” he said. “It’s true that Soviets and Congo were youthful sins. I’m not rejecting them. However, if I were to do it again, they would be different.”

Comes out here in the US on September 1st on Amazon. If it wasn't a collector's item before it is now.

"Youths" harassing women in Rotterdam

Holland: The mysterious "youths" in the minority-majority Rotterdam make their appearance.

THE HAGUE, 12/07/07 - Rotterdam is considering deploying female police officers in civilian clothes as bait for boys that harass girls and young women. Coalition Labour (PvdA) party and opposition leader Liveable Rotterdam (LR) are agreed on the measure, according to newspaper De Telegraaf.

Rotterdam police have already deployed female officers dressed as prostitutes to catch men who approach streetwalkers in locations where this is forbidden. The city council now also wants to deploy young female agents in the city centre to combat intimidation and sexual violence against ordinary girls and women because they are increasingly often harassed by immigrant youths. Last Saturday, two girls were beaten up by a group of Moroccans in the city centre after they protested against being called whores, according to regional media in the Rotterdam area.

LR and PvdA are known as arch-enemies, but now appear to be making a joint plea for plainclothes policewomen as bait. LR council member Hennie van Schaik wants them "to immediately collar creeps that make improper remarks." Rotterdam PvdA leader Peter van Heemst support this initiative, according to De Telegraaf. He says many women and girls feel intimidated on the street.

Costa Rica becomes another of China's concubines.

World: I wonder how much money China had to pay to get Costa Rica?

San Jose (dpa) - Costa Rica's embassy in China will be one of its most important in the world, Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno said Wednesday after his country switched ties from Taiwan to China last month.

Stagno said a location had already been chosen in Beijing and that an ambassador and diplomatic personnel would be announced soon.

Costa Rica broke ties with Taiwan after 63 years and established relations with China on June 1 - a decision Stagno said was an "act of realism of foreign policy that promotes a tighter bond with Asia and the world."

Costa Rican President Oscar Arias will visit China in October

The two things that American media now fears.

Media: One of them being the nutters.

"Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting is unlikely to merit front-page treatment, but it will bring the press corps, which has been operating in temporary quarters on Lafayette Square, back into the White House proper. The $8 million renovation ($6 million paid by taxpayers, the rest by news organizations) was not Mr. Bush's idea. It was that of his wife, Laura, who put her foot down after seeing the decrepit old briefing room, with wiring dangerously out of date.

"'She said: 'This won’t do. Fix it,' ' Mr. Snow said.

"Mrs. Bush will help cut the ribbon. Yet with the White House press corps under attack from liberal bloggers as being too cozy with the Bush administration, some reporters say they feel a little bit queasy about attending. Mr. Snow said the president would not take questions, which poses a quandary for journalists uneasy about being seen with him at a purely ceremonial affair."

and the other being Mohammed cartoons protestors. You figure out which is more dangerous.

North Korea bans karaoke bars, Internet cafes

Asia: It can't be wrong to say I agree on the karaoke ban can it?

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea's security agency has ordered the shutdown of karaoke bars and Internet cafes, saying they are a threat to society, a South Korean newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Refugees from the reclusive state say such outlets are largely located in the northern region that borders China and are frequented by merchants involved in cross-border business rather than ordinary citizens.

The North's Ministry of People's Security said in a directive that all karaoke bars, video-screening rooms and Internet cafes operating without state authorization must shut immediately, the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said.

The paper did not say how it obtained a copy of the directive.

"It is so promulgated under the mandate of the Republic in order to crush enemy scheming and to squarely confront those who threaten the maintenance of the socialist system," the daily quoted the ministry directive as saying.

"Most of the people who would go to these places are people who made quite a bit of money, normally not officials or the average person," said Park Sang-hak, an activist for human rights in the North based in South Korea.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Superman sequel, Footloose remake news.

Entertainment: Kevin Spacey signed on for the sequel of Superman Returns titled "Superman: Man of Steel" directed by Bryan Singer. They also have writer Michael Dougherty back on board.

This is the same slug who took out "Truth, Justice and the American Way because in his mind it is a crap line for an America he doesn't like. Superman to Singer and Dougherty is some generic superhero for the world with a UN passport.

In equally worse news, a Footloose remake?

Paramount is plotting a musical remake of the 1984 film "Footloose" and will develop it for "High School Musical" star Zac Efron and director Kenny Ortega. Dylan Sellers will produce.
Ortega is in negotiations to helm and choreograph, and Efron is in talks to play Ren McCormack, the rebellious newcomer (originally played by Kevin Bacon) in a town where dancing has been banned.

Original was directed by Herb Ross and scripted by Dean Pitchford.

Plan is to turn the project into a full-blown musical. "Footloose" was already turned into a Broadway tuner.

Rosie O'Donnell still bitter and broken over Hasselbeck

Entertainment: This is the action of a spoiled child who always gets the last word, but didn't this time so she has to lash out. She will never get over it.

Al Qaeda threatens UK over Rushdie

UK: I guess it is my disillusionment about the West's reaction to terrorism that I half expect the UK to take back the honor and say sorry.

Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaeda's second-in-command, has threatened more attacks on Britain two weeks after two failed bombings and criticised the country's decision to make author Salman Rushdie a knight.

"I say to (former British prime minister Tony) Blair's successor that the policy of your predecessor drew catastrophes in Afghanistan and Iraq and even in the centre of London," the Egyptian cleric said in an audio tape posted on the internet.

"If you did not learn the lesson then we are ready to repeat it, God willing, until we are sure you have fully understood."

It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the 20 minute tape, which appeared on a website used by groups linked to al-Qaeda, with a still photograph of Zawahri.

Pilot removes Muslim from plane due to prayer request.

Terrorism: The pilot was correct.

The recent bombing attempt at Glasgow Airport has started an apparent ripple effect of trepidation. The pilot of a Thomsonfly jet ordered a young man off an aircraft last week, after the man asked permission to pray before the flight commenced, according to the Newcastle Sun.

The young Muslim reportedly boarded the flight at England's Newcastle International Airport, for a trip to Malaga, Spain with a group of friends. He asked the cabin crew for permission use a curtained-off galley area for prayers before the plane took off.

When the flight attendant asked the captain, the pilot not only removed the young man off the flight... but local authorities were notified and the man was detained and searched under current terrorism laws.

Northumbria Police officers found a bottle of water, presumably for traditional pre-prayer cleansing and a compass customarily used to indicate the proper direction to the city of Mecca and a traditional prayer mat.

"We were called to the airport... after concerns were raised about a passenger," said a police spokeswoman. "We attended and searched the man and found that no offense had been committed and everything was in order. The man was not arrested."

The flight, TOM 4125, took off an hour later than its scheduled departure time.

Two ways to look at this. Due to the recent and past attempts of Islamic terrorist acts, his request was bound to get the authorities involved. The captain had no choice and if word got around the passengers, there would probably be a mini uproar.

The other way to look at this is who the heck does this guy think he is to wait till he boards the plane and asks for special consideration to pray which holds up the departure time? He shold have prayed in the airport or even before he got to the airport. This is just obnoxious inconsiderate behavior. I don't care what your religious practices are if its a commercial flight you can't ask for special time for yourself on the plane like that.

It seems Gov. Blagojevich is an idiot.

Politics: Just like a typical liberal, tax the businesses for a costly social welfare program, not thinking that the businesses are going to pass the costs along to the consumers anyway which means more cost for them. Blagojevich and Rendell are wannabe pimps looking at businesses of all sizes as their working girls to do whatever they want.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Democrats who dominate Illinois government face a major problem: each other.

In the battle over the state budget, the governor has said the House speaker is ``a George Bush Republican'' in disguise and threatened a lawsuit over what time House sessions begin. Rank-and-file lawmakers labeled the governor ``cowardly'' and ``a madman.''

The lieutenant governor even publicly repudiated his boss, and the Senate president barred a member of his own leadership team from strategy sessions.

``It's gotten to the point with party infighting and clan rivalries that we're making the Iraqi parliament look good,'' said Democratic Rep. John Fritchey of Chicago.

.....When the House defied an executive order by meeting in special session at 10 a.m. instead of 2 p.m., the governor's top lawyer declared it a constitutional violation and said Blagojevich was considering legal action.

Lawmakers were stunned that Blagojevich would make an issue of the time.

``We have a madman,'' Democratic Rep. Joe Lyons of Chicago told reporters. ``The man is insane.''

That came a day after Blagojevich accused House Speaker Michael Madigan, chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party, of conspiring with Republicans to block a budget that would expand social services.

``The way to be able to finally get budgets that achieve the objective of health care and education for families is to get Mr. Madigan to be a Democrat again and stop being a George Bush Republican,'' Blagojevich said.

He even took that message to church Sunday, telling parishioners at a Springfield church that Madigan had ``betrayed'' party values.

It's not the first time Blagojevich, who began his second term this year, has butted heads with Madigan, a fiscal conservative who has resisted dramatic increases in state spending. The governor also has a poor relationship with rank-and-file lawmakers, who see him as disengaged and dictatorial.

Blagojevich is pushing a costly program that would guarantee everyone in Illinois access to health insurance and initially proposed to pay for it with the largest tax increase in Illinois history, a $7.6 billion levy on businesses.

The proposal landed with a thud. The House rejected it in a jaw-dropping 107-0 vote.

Before that, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn condemned it as ``the absolute worst way'' to increase revenues. Madigan refused for weeks to discuss the budget with Blagojevich, insisting that he was too busy.

Council of La Raza demands heads for no Amnesty bill.

Immigration: As long as people are getting citizenships for the right reasons though it does bolster my earlier theory for "Are Latinos the new Euro Muslims/Turks of America?"

The goal was to work within the halls of Congress. Now, immigrant-rights groups want to replace the lawmakers who walk them.

Labor unions, immigrant advocates and Democratic activists have spent the two weeks since the Senate squashed a comprehensive immigration overhaul bill constructing the early framework of a political payback plan. Capitalizing on the Latino voting bloc and its disaffection with the Republican Party, the groups intend to use the recent debate as a rallying shriek in the 2008 election.

"We are the fastest-growing sector of the electorate, and we have shown a capacity to show up when we are good and angry," said Cecilia Munoz, senior vice president of the National Council of La Raza. "And we are good and angry."

The multipronged effort is still taking shape, but interviews with a half-dozen leading immigration proponents suggest a combination of targets.

Senators such as Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas), who are up for reelection next year and opposed moving the bill to a final vote, will likely find themselves in the immigrant community's cross hairs. The whole Senate will be singled out this week as the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform places full-page ads in ethnic newspapers listing senators by name, party affiliation and their vote on the Senate bill.

Presidential candidates will be held to -- or dogged by -- their positions on the issue. And advocates plan to mount what some are calling an unprecedented effort to mobilize Hispanic voters and encourage legal immigrants to apply for citizenship and receive the right to participate in elections.

The Service Employees International Union is meeting this week with potential donors for a national campaign, said Eliseo Medina, the union's executive vice president. He declined to disclose a fundraising goal but said they "will raise enough money to have a program in every major city where immigrants are concentrated."

The push continues work that began after massive protests last year to a House bill by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) that would have resulted in the toughest crackdown on illegal immigration in a decade.

"The immigrant community has finally understood the connection between voting and social change, and they can only make that happen through their vote," Medina said.

Universal Healthcare not that easy to push on people.

Nation: Especially when those people are the backbone of your economy.

As a result, Mr. Rendell’s “Prescription for Pennsylvania” included a ban on smoking in public places, a reduction in the rate of hospitalization for chronic diseases and an expansion of the role nurses play in treating patients. He even framed his proposal to provide universal access as “a form of cost containment,” emphasizing that 6.5 percent of every health-insurance premium in Pennsylvania went to subsidizing care for the uninsured, often in emergency rooms.

Mr. Rendell is learning, however, that to contain costs is eventually to pluck dollars from someone’s pocket. His plan has incited protest from hospitals, doctors, insurers and small businesses, each of them finding something to detest.

.....But hospitals are lobbying against his proposals to regulate expenditures for new construction and equipment and to cut off reimbursement payments when patient stays are extended because of medical mistakes and preventable infections. Doctors do not like his proposal to give more responsibility to physicians’ assistants and nurse midwives.

Small-business owners are protesting his call for a “fair share assessment” — a 3 percent payroll tax on employers who do not offer insurance, with the proceeds dedicated to covering the uninsured. And insurers are working to defeat proposals that would prohibit consideration of preexisting medical conditions in rate-setting and require that at least 85 percent of premiums be spent on health care costs as opposed to administrative overhead.

The Senate remains in the hands of Republicans who side with hospital, insurance and business interests. In the House, Democrats are fighting to hold the single-seat majority they gained last November after 12 years in the minority. Neither chamber is in the mood to raise taxes, and Mr. Rendell’s “fair share assessment” has won little support.

That is the problem with liberals like Rendell, everything is just a tax hike on someone else away from a problem being fixed without consideration that doing so will cause a bigger problem.

Muslim terrorists may bring fight to Bangkok.

Terrorism: The military led Thai government has dropped the kids glove for a while now. If they are cracking down south, then the terrorists logical move would be to go north.

Police have beefed up security in Bangkok after an army intelligence report suggested separatists in the rebellious Muslim south might take their insurgency to the Thai capital, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Metropolitan police chief Lieutenant-General Adisorn Nonsee had ordered more checkpoints and patrols, especially in Muslim communities, to look for tipoffs or suspects, the spokesman said.

"The commissioner ordered every station to be vigilant for terror attacks or sabotage, especially bombs," Police Colonel Supisarn Bhakdinarinath said.

"He has told them to study details of the New Year's Eve bombs carefully and try to stop a recurrence," Supisarn said, referring to a series of small bombs that killed three Thais and wounded nearly 40 people, including some foreign tourists, on December 31.

Army chief-of-staff Montri Sangkasap said people in Bangkok should expect tighter security in places such as airports and department stores.

"The public should be aware but not panic," he told reporters.

TASER releasing electrified round

Crime: I want one. If people can lust after the iPhone, I lust after the taser round that can be used in shotgun. What is wrong with that?

Video at the Taser site that plays like a 80's action movie trailer.

NAACP censored pro-life Macon chapter?

Abortion: So this is social justice by the NAACP?

DETROIT, July 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- The NAACP has rejected a resolution that would have led to open discussion on the convention floor on the harmful effects caused by abortion to African American women. The convention is being held in Detroit, July 7-10, at Cobo Hall. The resolution put forth by the Macon chapter of the NAACP has been censored for the second time in three years due to abortion content.

"It is deplorable that this noble institution with such a rich history would choose again to censor one of its own chapters, states Rev. Clenard H. Childress Jr. "This institution was founded to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. What have we come to when those whom have the charge of protecting our rights willfully choose to take them away? Rev. Childress is the Assistant National Director of LEARN the largest African American pro-life organization in USA.

1452 African American children are terminated each day by abortion. US census reports that for the first time in US history African Americans are beneath the replacement rate. African American women make up 36% of all abortions but only account for 6% of the population.

E. J. Dionne Jr cannot be this delusional.

Politics: He must have been desperate for a hook in this column and dragged Sarkozy into it to make a fine leap of fancy.

This weekend, the contrast between Sarkozy and Bush could not have been more conspicuous.

From France came word that the center-right president was urging the International Monetary Fund to name Dominique Strauss-Kahn as its managing director.

There is no exact American metaphor, but imagine if Bush had pushed for a prominent liberal Democrat -- Al Gore or John Kerry, perhaps -- to head the World Bank. Imagine further that the president had seriously consulted with his political adversaries.

Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister, is one of the most talented figures in France's opposition Socialist Party and would be a major force in any reconstruction of the center-left.

Sarkozy brushed off Strauss-Kahn's political affiliation. "Should I deprive France of his candidacy because he is a Socialist?" he was quoted as saying. "How could I be the president of all the French if I reasoned like that?"

Cynics say that Sarkozy is trying to weaken the opposition by co-opting some of its best leaders. (He appointed a Socialist as foreign minister.) François Hollande, the first secretary of the Socialist Party, said Sunday that Sarkozy is always looking for a new "maneuver" and wondered whether his interest in the Strauss-Kahn appointment was primarily about domestic politics.

Hollande is right to be skeptical -- of course there's political benefit to Sarkozy in what he's doing. But seen from the perspective of a sullen, immobilized Washington, Sarkozy's strategy of reaching out is inspirational.

What is inspirational is the move to cut out important figures from the opposition to further weaken them. That is the only reason to reach out and as for his foreign minister Bernard Kouchner, he wouldn't be so welcomed in American liberal circles.

National Review: "Fifth, and for our purposes, most importantly, he’s one of the few political leaders in France open in his support for Israel and the American decision to invade Iraq. (My own favorite Kouchner moment, captured in brief by Le Nouvel Observateur, was in October 2003, when he described Tariq Ramadan, the putative Muslim “scholar” and anti-Semite so beloved by Time, the New York Times, this way: “Cet homme est une crapule intellectuelle.” Consider “crapule” a cognate. I wrote about the guy here, way back when.)"

Charles Bremner of the London Times has a more intelligent take on events.

Signs of panic have appeared in France’s demoralised opposition after President Sarkozy promised no let-up in his drive to woo senior Socialists for service in his centre-right administration. The predatory recruiting tactics of “Super-Sarko” have stirred doubts about the very survival of the left-of-centre party, whose candidate, Ségolène Royal, was defeated in the presidential election in May. They have also upset MPs in his own Union for a Popular Movement.

Crying foul along with the Socialists, François Bayrou, the leader of the centre Democratic Movement party, said that Mr Sarkozy was behaving “like a piranha loose in a bowl of goldfish”. Mr Bayrou is one of the piranha’s big victims. After threatening for a time to defeat Mr Sarkozy in the elections, he has been left with only three MPs. The rest of his party has defected to Mr Sarkozy’s camp, three of them as ministers.

Divide and conquer. If the public wants to think otherwise, that is an added bonus because it means these ministers can't fly off the handle on their own. Win all around for Super Sarko.

Villaraigosa resurfaces.

Politics: Press is in full lust mode in L.A though the LATimes seems at pain to figure out how to defend him and cover the story.

"Reporters bombarded him today with gossip-column questions. Inquiring journalists wanted to know: Was Villaraigosa still seeing his girlfriend, Mirthala Salinas? Should she keep her job as an anchor at Telemundo Channel 52, even though she covered the mayor while the two secretly dated? What about rumors of another relationship between Villaraigosa and a city planning commissioner?

"You know they're out there -- you know they'll come out!" one reporter shouted out to the mayor. "Were there other affairs in the last year and a half?"

Villaraigosa, with perspiration over his upper lip but maintaining his composure, took the question head on: "Look, the answer is no. But I'm not going to respond to all of those issues.... I accept responsibility.

"I obviously have caused a great deal of pain to my family, to many people involved here. Some people feel let down, and I understand that. I'm going to focus on my job, do the best job I can for the city of Los Angeles, and the people will have to evaluate me based on that."

Monday, July 9, 2007

This is the sort of pap being given to freshmen?

Edumacation: No wonder the Gen Y college kids are coming out to the real world so screwed up.

Freshman Orientation (Indoctrination) [Mark Bauerlein]

My nephew is heading to Johns Hopkins this fall. As part of their orientation, and to "start a discussion among the whole freshman class," all entering students have been assigned a book to read: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? The book was chosen by the "Committee for the Freshman Book Read," and it chose this particular book "so that as a community we could look at race relations on campus."At a time when even the best students head to college with meager knowledge of history, civics, and the arts, this is what the Hopkins educators believe is the most worthwhile subject for students to address.

Re: Freshman Indoctrination [Michael O'Brien]

Mark, I had to read Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? for a class my first semester at the University of Michigan: American Culture 100, "Rethinking American Culture." (I elected to take it because, after all, I had to fill my Race & Ethnicity distribution requirement somehow.)Dr. Beverly Tatum's book dishes out the kool-aid pitchers at a time to vulnerable college students.

The book insists that all of America's race problems are due to that insidious phenomenon, "structural racism," which is used to justify virtually every liberal cause under the sun, from massive welfare spending to increased use of affirmative action. My favorite part of the book came when Tatum insists that only white people can be racist—because, after all, if you're a victim of "structural racism," then you're only acting out against that unjust system.

Dan Patrick leaving ESPN.

Sports: He seemed to have lost his zest for lack of a better word for his announcing duties a couple of years ago and kinda admits to USAToday.

Dan Patrick, who said he wanted to breathe "different air" is leaving ESPN after 18 years with the network.

His final radio broadcast will be Aug. 17.

"I think it has been there the last couple of years," Patrick said about his decision to leave. "I was sort of fighting that urge. I didn't want to take what I was doing for granted, and I actually thought I was. I wasn't getting better doing SportsCenter and radio, and I wanted to be true to the product."

Patrick, 51, became a household name and face as a SportsCenter anchor from 1989-2006. Since 1999 he also has done The Dan Patrick Show on radio for the network that has 700 radio affiliates and has been a host on the NBA show on ABC.

"I needed to exhale, to be able to breathe for once," he said. "Sometimes you suffocate yourself with a job and don't really realize it. I think that maybe is what I did."

Patrick who said "I've never been a free agent," gave no indication of what he would do after ESPN.

"I didn't leave with something in mind, and that is probably not the best business decision you make," he said. "But I still want to do radio, I love the format and I don't want to do TV like I once did. I said goodbye without exactly knowing where I'm going to say hello to."

Keith Ellison is a 9/11 truther? Not surprising.

Politics: Only in the sense I figured out a while back the man was elected by the liberals in the district because he was black and a Muslim which made them feel good times two. He has yet to show any sign of being a congressman and now looks like the male version of Cynthia Mckinney. Now he is openly making Bush/Hitler comparisons because that is the in thing for his type of political allies.

On comparing Sept. 11 to the burning of the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany: “It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I’m not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you.”

Too late.

But he can hook up with some of the clerics in the UK.

Two days after the 7/7 bombings in London two years ago, Muslim community leaders gathered at the London Muslim Centre to consider the impact of the attacks and who might have organised them. Many present refused to accept it might have been Muslims - the common refrain was that it could have been the French, because they had just lost the bid to host the Olympics.

Will Villaraigosa political career survive, Yes.

Politics: There will be a few I have sinned, I need to learn from my mistakes, probably blame his daddy as the local press especially the LATIMES circles around the rising Latino star. The voters who are huffing and puffing will not throw him overboard for a Republican candidate or any other Dem candidate considering the racial makeup of the city now. The only one who will be trashed is Mirthala Salinas.

Its California and having values and honoring your wife is meh in certain circles especially the ones Villaraigosa goes around. Think about this, he started an affair with a woman who is not even sloppy seconds but grungy thirds after she has dated two other politicians Villa knows on a personal/professional level. The guy doesn't even have high standards.

Four legged baby born in South Africa.

Africa: They are going to remove them and the baby seems to be healthy enough otherwise.

A 23-year-old woman has given birth to a four-legged baby girl at the Lebowakgomo Hospital in Limpopo in what doctors say is a first of its kind at the institution.

The extraordinary bundle of joy was born at 6.20am yesterday.
Dr Elizabeth Reji, who is in charge of the neonatal unit at the hospital, told Sowetan that during the initial stages of delivery, the baby looked normal.

But when her legs came out it was discovered that she had two additional legs that were joined together but had two separate feet.

Reji said the baby’s other legs emerged from the pubic bone.

“We have since arranged for the baby to be transferred to George Mukhari Hospital in GaRankuwa outside Pretoria for an operation to remove the other legs,” said Reji.

She said the baby’s mother had not experienced any complications after the birth, which, she said, proved that the birth was normal.

"US and Israel are equal to any 9/11 hijacker. "

Terrorism: Then you wonder why Euro Muslim youth are warped beyond reason with Human rights activists peddling moral equivalence like this on a gullible Scottish public.

"A Stealth bomber in Iraq is the moral equivalent of a suicide bomber in Scotland".

That was the message of Aamer Anwar, a leading human rights lawyer, during a BBC Scotland programme entitled "Scotland After the Bomb".

Sharp intakes of breath as well as rounds of applause could be heard as he gave his views during the debate, which drew a studio audience from across the UK.

Known for his smooth delivery and sharp suits, Mr Anwar gave another firebrand performance during the programme, broadcast eight days after the first major terror attack on Scottish soil.

He was joined by Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy First Minister; David Cairns MP, Scotland Office minister; Bashir Mann, convener of the Muslim Council of Scotland and Farkhanda Chaudhry, of the Islamic Society of Britain.

Mr Anwar, who has achieved prominence as a anti-racism campaigner, said Scotland had been gripped by complacency since the revelation that the suspects were not native Scots.

He said: "There is no justification for the murder of innocent people. The US and Israel, however, are equal to any 9/11 hijacker.

"Why is the government so desperate to deny a link between Iraq and Afghanistan and what happened in London and Glasgow?

"We should not differentiate between a Stealth bomber and a suicide bomber. The effects are exactly the same. They kill innocent people."

He added that it was a myth that there was an inclusive, multicultural Scotland as many young Muslim felt alienated by the prevalent culture of "binge drinking and Big Brother".

Mr Anwar said: "We are no different from England or Wales where people have been recruited (by radical Islamic groups)."

There is humongous difference between a stealth bomber, troops in Iraq and Islamic terrorists. If the troops were the same as terrorists, there would be no civil war going on now and the chaos going on now.

Why? If the troops employed an infamous method created in the Middle East now known as the Hama Rules on Iraq, everything would get quiet quick. That is what Islamic terrorists in Iraq are doing now. They are killing indiscriminately, they are the ones who are sending car bombs and suicide bombers to wreck havoc all over the country. If the troops were the same, people wouldn't be tried for murdering civilians, they wouldn't be operating under rules that hamper their effectiveness.

To claim each are the same is one of the main reasons you see radicalized Muslims all over the world. It is because of people like Anwar who are happy to push the perpetual Muslim is a victim because it fits into an agenda. Until people like him and clerics/Imams are pushed to the side, the problem will get worse.

Gordon Brown calls for global terrorism register.

Terrorism: I think those fears of Brown going soft may be unfounded.

Gordon Brown today called for a global register of terror suspects to help to prevent future attacks.

Mr Brown said that he wanted improved information-sharing between the security services of different countries to help to identity potential terrorists.

“We do now need more information flowing internationally about who are potential terrorists and who are potential suspects,” he told Sky News.

“I want the system that we are trying to expand between Europe, a system whereby we know who are potential terrorist suspects, we expand that to other countries in the world and then we may have a better idea of people coming in to different countries, whether as professional recruits or in other ways, about what the dangers and the risks we face are.

and the need for snitches.

Earlier, Britain's new security minister warned that it could take 15 years to reverse the way young British Muslims have been radicalised.

Admiral Sir Alan West said that preventing people being recruited to extremism was central to beating terrorism, and called for some un-British “snitching” from the public to help the cause.

“This is not a quick thing. I believe it will take 10 to 15 years,” Admiral West said in a newspaper interview published today. “But I believe it can be done as long as we as a nation apply ourselves to it and it’s done across the board.”

He went on: “Britishness does not normally involve snitching or talking about someone. I’m afraid, in this situation, anyone who’s got any information should say something because the people we are talking about are trying to destroy our entire way of life.

“We’ll have to be a little bit un-British, I think ... and say something and tell something.”

Murdoch's bid saving job cuts at Dow Jones.

Media: Who says Murdoch isn't a savior? But the whining critics would rather this than Murdoch get his hands on the company. This would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

If the $5 billion bid by Mr. Murdoch’s News Corporation to buy Dow Jones & Company, which owns The Journal, falls through, declining advertising will mean significant cuts in The Journal’s newsroom staff, according to senior editors and a person close to Dow Jones management, who said they were told individually by company executives.

Some of these people say that if Mr. Murdoch’s offer had not put other considerations on hold, the news staff would have been trimmed already.

If Dow Jones remains independent, a reduction in the size of the news staff will probably begin within a few months, and will most likely take the form of buyouts rather than layoffs, these people said. Some jobs might be eliminated even if the deal goes through, they said, though Mr. Murdoch has signaled that he would increase the staff over all.

A company spokesman called questions about possible reductions “too speculative to comment on.”

White House, Debate Is Rising on Iraq Pullback

Iraq: Rising, it had better been ongoing at this point. President Bush has only himself to blame, the White House should have been constantly ahead of the debate, punching back against the Dems, instead I have seen more pushback from bloggers and writers than them.

White House officials fear that the last pillars of political support among Senate Republicans for President Bush’s Iraq strategy are collapsing around them, according to several administration officials and outsiders they are consulting. They say that inside the administration, debate is intensifying over whether Mr. Bush should try to prevent more defections by announcing his intention to begin a gradual withdrawal of American troops from the high-casualty neighborhoods of Baghdad and other cities.

Mr. Bush and his aides once thought they could wait to begin those discussions until after Sept. 15, when the top field commander and the new American ambassador to Baghdad are scheduled to report on the effectiveness of the troop increase that the president announced in January. But suddenly, some of Mr. Bush’s aides acknowledge, it appears that forces are combining against him just as the Senate prepares this week to begin what promises to be a contentious debate on the war’s future and financing.

The immigration debacle didn't help and has made it easier for the GOP to cut away from the White House at this crucial time. What must be done in easing troops out of the way in Iraq but staying to provide training and counter terrorist activities is White House and GOP starting this morning has to take ownership in a way for the Dems not to take credit or preventing a cut and run scenario. Democrats would love another cut and run Vietnam Deux with America coming home, tail between its legs.

Loudmouth Julian Bond yelps for the dying NAACP.

Politics: Then the NAACP wonders why it has become an irrelevent and ignored organization. It is the same dog and pony show that has helped to drive a once proud group into the ground. Times have changed, time for the 60+ board members to be changed as well.

Bond called present-day inequality and racial disparities cumulative and the result of racial advantages compounded over time.

"Many Americans maintain ... that racial discrimination has become an ancient artifact," he said. "At the NAACP, we know none of this is true, and that's why we are dedicated to an aggressive campaign of social justice, fighting racial discrimination."

He noted that the Supreme Court, which includes two justices nominated by Bush, upheld rulings saying school systems could not voluntarily use race in assigning students to schools.

"The Bush court removed black children from the law's protection," Bond said.

And the possibility that New Orleans' heavily black Lower Ninth Ward, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, will never be rebuilt is comparable to a "lynching" because the work of generations was wiped out in a single day and black landholders are being dispossessed, Bond said.

"Katrina served to underscore how the war in Iraq has weakened, rather than strengthened, our defenses, including our levees," Bond said. "The problem isn't that we can't prosecute a war in the Persian Gulf and protect our citizens on the Gulf Coast at home. The problem is that we cannot do either one."

Even Navigator Kilpatrick realizes changes are needed in the NAACP.

Detroit resident Akindele Akinyemi, 32, said before the speech that he was curious about the direction the NAACP will during the next year.

"I want to find out what strategies they would use to bring younger members on board, and what issues are relevant to young adults," he said.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, 37, agreed in brief remarks to help open the meeting, saying: "I don't believe we can continue to put people over 50 as leaders of civil rights organizations and expect to galvanize the power beyond measure."

Sunday, July 8, 2007

CNN reporter: Hamas fighting for independence

Middle East: When did moral relativism become so rampant in the world or are leftist media types just more comfortable now exposing their personal biases?

Villaraigosa cheated on Salinas with another girlfriend?

Politics: GatewayPundit, MayorSam and flapsblog pointing out the main suspect.

If this is true, Da Mayor is dumb. You never cheat on the woman you are cheating with on your wife.

I just know before this is done, I am going to need a flow chart to keep track.

Luke Ford who broke the scandal first has a list of possible other girlfriends.

Yeap, a flow chart is a must.

Are Latinos the new Euro Muslims/Turks of America?

Politics: Where pandering on immigration is now in vogue or you can forget about the Latino vote? I was struck by some similarities in this Chicago Tribune and a piece by the Brussels Journal website. The basic premise is each group is poised to vote on one issue and are now large enough to tip elections.

Chi Tribune:

"....Latino voters increased their numbers by more than a third in the past decade and constituted more than 8 percent of the nation's eligible voters in 2006. Recent changes in the election calendar could give even greater voice to Hispanic voters in the 2008 presidential contest.

Several states with heavy Latino populations—Illinois, New York and California included—are moving their primaries and caucuses from later in the year to February. That means the vast majority of the country's Hispanic voters, galvanized by the recent national debate over immigration reform, will likely get to cast a primary vote while the contest for the nomination is still in play.

"The Latino community is poised to make the most significant impact it has ever made in the history of this country," said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.). "If people use the power they have, it will make an incredible difference not just in the election but in the lives of people."

Many Latino activists were infuriated by the failure of that measure and, days later, only one of the Republican presidential candidates accepted a recent invitation to speak to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) gave a solo address to the group, challenging the idea that all Latino voters are angry about the immigration bill's failure. Although group leaders gave him credit for showing up, many audience members said afterward that they disagreed with his advocacy for tougher border security."

....But Democrats believe the immigration debate is attracting Latino citizens to the Democratic camp, partly because, they believe, the rhetoric of the recent debate had an anti-Latino overtone.

"Immigrants are our neighbors, and they're part of our communities whether they're here legally or not," said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat. "The tone of the debate made Latinos feel like this was about them personally."

Gutierrez said he believes that message struck home in Chicago, where the metropolitan area is home to the country's third-largest Hispanic population. Latino voters make up more than 5 percent of the electorate in Illinois, and they wield considerable influence in Democratic primaries.

But Gutierrez also thinks that message resonated across the country and is energizing Latino voters to organize and get involved in the selection of their leaders all the way down the ballot.

At the recent Latino elected officials' conference in Florida, Democratic officials from throughout the country echoed the sentiment.

"The immigration issue has caught the imagination of Latino voters," said Rafael Anchia, chairman of the group's educational fund and a Democrat in the Texas Legislature. "They are focused on it, and it is serving as a rally cry for the next election cycle."

Brussels Journal:

"....There are 1 million Muslims in the Netherlands. Most of them are Moroccans and Turks. They make up the bulk of the 1.7 million immigrants in the country, which has a population of 16.3 million people. Many immigrants have been given Dutch nationality and the right to vote. This has turned them into a power block that tipped the balance in the local elections in March 2006 in favor of the PvdA, a party very keen to cater for the immigrants' demands. In major Dutch cities where the PvdA is the largest party, such as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, almost half the elected PvdA politicians are Muslims.

In November's general elections, however, the 1915 genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks suddenly became an election issue. The PvdA leadership failed to deny that this genocide is a historic fact. As a consequence the PvdA lost the Turkish vote. Virtually all Turks refuse to acknowledge the Armenian genocide.

The PvdA is eager not to antagonize Muslim voters further. Consequently, as soon as Ehsan Jami announced his plans to establish a committee of former Muslims the party sent Eddy Terstall, a leftist Dutch movie maker, to the young councilor to persuade him to consider "the fact that his message could go down badly with the PvdA's large immigrant following." Indeed, the party leadership is convinced that for other parties "it is much easier for such a committee to be set up without compromise" because they have fewer Muslim voters.

....The Dutch PvdA is not the only political party in Europe that is careful not to "upset" Muslim radicals. In neighboring Belgium, too, last month's general elections showed how influential the immigrant vote has become. Ergun Top, a Turkish-born Belgian politician who is a local Christian-Democrat councilor in Antwerp (although he is a Muslim), declared that if there ever were a war between Belgium and Turkey, he would join the Turkish army and fight Belgium. His loyalty obviously lies with his country of origin, as it does for the majority of the immigrants who have become Belgian citizens in the past decades.

Belgium has 10.5 million inhabitants, of whom 900,000 legal aliens and 650,000 so-called new Belgians — foreigners who have acquired Belgian nationality since 1980. About 500,000 Belgian inhabitants are Muslims, mostly Moroccans and Turks. The foreigners have imported their own domestic quarrels and hangups into Belgian politics.

As in the Netherlands, the 1915 Armenian genocide suddenly became a hot topic in Belgium's election debates. In order not to antagonize Turkish voters both Johan Vande Lanotte, the leader of the Socialist Party, and Yves Leterme, the leader of the Christian-Democrats, refused to call the massacre of the 1.5 million Armenians a genocide. Vande Lanotte said the Armenian issue is "extremely sensitive," while Mr. Leterme told the Turkish newspaper Zaman that "international experts disagree on the historical facts." Mr. Leterme, who won the elections, is expected to become Belgium's new prime minister later this month.

A stretch?

UK's battle for hearts and minds of Muslims.

Terrorism: At a first glance it reads as if the UK led by Gordon Brown is going soft, really soft on terrorism and extremism in the UK Muslim community. But it is an indicment on Blair and Brown seems to be getting tougher in the long run.

"...Lamenting the government’s failure to change such attitudes, one minister said: “We got it all wrong after 7/7. We should have held our nerve and not just leapt into doing something for the sake of it. We have had to start again from scratch.” So what has gone wrong in the battle for hearts and minds and what is the government now planning? AFTER the 7/7 attacks Tony Blair spoke out with his trade-mark theatricality. “The rules of the game are changing,” he declared, promptly launching a 12-point plan of action intended to combat radicalism.

Little has come of it. A proposal to shut mosques “fomenting extremism” was immediately shelved after protests from Muslim leaders and the police; no progress has been made on plans to speed up the extradition of terror suspects wanted in other countries; and nobody has been convicted under a new offence of glorifying terrorism (though one person has been charged).

Plans to boot out radical preachers have been hampered by the government’s failure to secure agreements with other countries not to torture depor-tees. Only four agreements have been signed and one person deported.

A proposal to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir, a group with which at least two of the alleged car bomb plotters came into contact, was dropped. The use of “control orders” to keep terror suspects under close scrutiny is descending into farce. Out of 18 suspects placed on these orders ? a form of house arrest ? seven have absconded.

The system is also facing legal challenges by the very people said to be potential terrorists. Last week several people subjected to control orders launched appeals in the House of Lords, arguing that the orders violate their right to liberty and a fair trial. If their cases are upheld, the government might be forced to scrap the entire system.

A “Muslim taskforce” set up by Blair achieved “virtually nothing”, according to Lord Ahmed, a Labour peer. It came up with 64 recommendations, but most were rejected or remain as “work in progress”.

One proposal that was implemented involved setting up a “roadshow” of Muslim scholars to promote the true tenets of Islam. “But who goes to these roadshows?” Ahmed said.

“Frankly, the nutters don’t go. You are preaching to the converted, not to the ones that you need to reach.”

Is the government, however, completely to blame for these failings? Critics point out that its choice of bedfellows might not have been ideal. When Blair set up his Muslim task-force, he sought help from “the usual suspects”, such as members of the Muslim Council of Britain, according to Say-eeda Warsi, the shadow communities minister.

“The government failed because it didn’t engage wider and deeper to develop a true understanding of the Muslim community, choosing instead to listen to self-appointed leaders,” Warsi said."

Interesting read.

Telegraph has a reaction summary from Muslims on the street and its all foreign policy gimmick rears its ugly head again.

Of course going by this piece written by Ajmal Masroor where he does say the UK deserves to get bomb because their foreign policy is not in line with UK Muslim beliefs, this nice approach could backfire.

To quote Sir Isaac Newton's definition of the laws of physics, our actions in Iraq must have equal and opposite reactions - our policies in the Middle East will haunt us for centuries and that is the price we will have to pay for our misguided former prime minister. Our country is involved in many wars; our soldiers are part of the illegal occupation and in the frontline of killing Iraqi people. Our troops are facing the Afghani people every day; we are responsible for much death and destruction there too.

The 21st century will be remembered for these wars, plus death, destruction, violence, prisoner abuse, Guantánamo and other crimes against humanity. Britain will be remembered for blindly following the US government-led invasion of Iraq, playing an inept role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, staying silent when Lebanon was attacked by Israel and bombing Afghanistan back to the dark ages. If we wish to enjoy peace and security in our country, we must make sure that others are not on the receiving end of our bombs. We have to become honest brokers of peace in the world, and our government must be seen to be objective and not in the pockets of anyone. I certainly hope Mr Brown does not behave in the same spineless and hypocritical way as his predecessor.

I said this before but way too many of these public Muslim spokespeople and officials seem to be able to denounce Islamic terrorists but eager and happy to use it to get their own agenda going especially against Israel. It is a slick move but I am hoping enough people have seen this this ugly deception.

Telegraph piece titled "Not in their name?" has a very bleak outlook which mirrors my feelings that a lot of these mainstream UK Muslim groups are doing a show of it, but making the same excuse.