Saturday, July 21, 2007

Australia goes further being thought police state.

Australia: Either nanny state wannabes are taking one ruling and pushing it to cover everything or the reporter got it wrong though it seems unlikely.

Squabbles over the remote control or whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher are the bedrock of daily family life. But mothers and fathers who insult each other in front of their children may now find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

Australian courts have begun ordering parents to refrain from making offensive remarks, claiming that constant carping between couples can damage young minds.

The orders relate not only to expletive-laden abuse, but to any remark that might be used by one parent to turn a child against the other. The type of comments that have attracted judges' opprobrium include many seemingly innocuous ones, such as references to "Your silly mother", or asking "Has your father got a job yet?".

advertisementThe new judicial approach came to light after a ruling by a federal magistrate, which was later backed by the Australian family court, in which an estranged couple in dispute over custody arrangements were told to stop backbiting in front of their three-year-old daughter.

The mother breached the order by insulting her former boyfriend during a telephone conversation in the child's earshot. That breach, with other contraventions, was used against her, leading to the father being awarded primary custody of the girl.

The case is not an isolated one, according to Dianne Gibson, the director of child dispute services at the Family Court, who said that judges were increasingly moving to govern private behaviour where children were affected.

She acknowledged there might be alarm over judicial intervention into the private sphere, particularly among households where domestic disharmony is commonplace. But she added: "They may say it's just playful banter, but it's not banter from the point of view of children.

Derogatory comments really do have a harmful impact."

I can see in divorce cases where it is clear one parent is doing something to make the child turn, but this seems to be something even worse in terms of the government butting in where it doesn't belong.

NYTIMES: lets police terrorism!

Terrorism: A pathetic attempt by David Rieff to praise the so-called UK new way of fighting terrorists.

For Phillips and her allies, those who fail to face the challenge of Islamic extremism head on will be to their generation what those who appeased Hitler in 1938 were to theirs. Then, Western leaders convinced themselves that Hitler’s demands were rational; today, a new generation of appeasers has convinced itself, as Phillips puts it, that “Islamic terrorism must be driven by rational grievances such as deprivation, ‘Islamophobia’ or British foreign policy.” They do not understand that terrorists “kill as an act of religious exultation.” By failing to stand up for what it believes in, she holds, the West courts defeat.

But Brown and other advocates of the terror-as-crime view are not necessarily under any delusions about jihadist thinking. Rather, they maintain that preventing terrorism requires winning the hearts and minds of actual human beings — and that declarations of war, including declarations of wars of ideas, are unlikely to be helpful in this regard. Of course, George Bush and Tony Blair thought they were winning hearts and minds by overthrowing Saddam Hussein and at least rhetorically committing themselves to democracy building in the Middle East. Implicitly at least, Brown seems to be saying that this tactic has failed, that the war model has only fueled rage and resentment within precisely those communities whose support is most essential — the Muslim diasporas outside the Islamic world.

With Washington practicing one theory of terror and London the other, we may find out which one is the more realistic. So far, it seems, Brown has had more success in getting influential Muslim groups to denounce terror than Blair did. Meanwhile, in the United States, the campaign of Rudolph Guiliani recently announced that one of the candidate’s senior foreign-policy advisers would be the neoconservative intellectual Norman Podhoretz, whose forthcoming book on the Islamist challenge is called “World War IV.” But so far, World War IV isn’t going very well. Particularly in light of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center’s recent report that Al Qaeda is as strong today as it was before 9/11, Gordon Brown’s bet on the criminal model, however risky, seems the more sensible course.

As I pointed out before(here and here), Brown's talk of winning hearts and minds is more or less a tactic to force Muslim groups like the MCB to confront the problem within the UK Muslim community. He has proposed changes and laws that would have the ACLU screaming murder here in the states. Muslim groups are stepping up because to keep blaming everyone but themselves has been counter-productive and made matters worse in the eyes of the public.

But the idea this overall would be the sensible course would mean even less movement taking out the financial backers and countries that allow terrorists to train. If you did just "police work" It would be covering a breaking dam with your hand and saying everything is okay. It feels good but in the end no practical purpose.

Hub attack a reaction to China’s curbs on Muslims.

Terrorism: Do the Islamists really want to have a go at the Chinese even given the Muslim minorities treatment in the west of China?. China would put on the world's biggest curbstomp on them.

Thursday’s suicidal attack on Chinese nationals in Balochistan is said to be the first reaction to Chinese government’s steps to curb Muslim insurgency in its own territory.

This time the attack is said to have been carried out by some Islamic militants unlike the past when Baloch rebels were blamed for killings of Chinese workers.

A few months back, one Muslim fighter, who had taken refuge in Pakistan after fleeing from a Muslim populated province of China, was hanged by Chinese authorities after he was captured in Islamabad and extradited to Beijing.

It is being widely perceived here in British media that Muslim militants were now trying to take revenge from the Chinese government by attacking its nationals working in Pakistan.

A report has claimed that “Islamic extremists in Pakistan are making common cause with the Muslim insurgency in China; otherwise, there would seem to be no reason for it.”

It said Chinese mineworkers in southern Pakistan were targeted by a suicide bomber on Thursday what is believed to be part of the Islamist backlash, which has killed more than 140 people in the last week.

Pizza Hut's Japan Double Roll Pizza.

Coolness: I want, the mini burgers alone makes it a must eat. Via Plastic Bamboo.

Dedication to education in Guinea.

Africa: Via the AP. Not much to add to this.

The sun has set in one of the world's poorest nations and as the floodlights come on at G'bessi International Airport, the parking lot begins filling with children.

The long stretch of pavement has the feel of a hushed library, each student sitting quietly, some moving their lips as their eyes traverse their French-language notes.

It's exam season in Guinea, ranked 160th out of 177 countries on the United Nations' development index, and schoolchildren flock to the airport every night because it's among the only places where they'll always find the lights on.

Groups of elementary and high school students begin heading to the airport at dusk, hoping to reserve a coveted spot under the oval light cast by one of a dozen lampposts in the parking lot. Some come from over an hour's walk away.

.....Only about a fifth of Guinea's 10 million people have access to electricity and even those that do experience frequent power cuts. With few families able to afford generators, students long ago discovered the airport.

Parents require girls to be chaperoned to the airport by an older brother or a trusted male friend. Even young children are allowed to stay out late under the fluorescent bulbs, so long as they return in groups.

"My parents don't worry about me because they know I'm here to seek my future," says 10-year-old Ali Mara, busy studying a diagram of the cephalothorax, the body of an insect.

They sit by age group with 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds on a curb in a traffic island and teenagers on the concrete pilings flanking the national and international terminals. There are few cars to disturb their studies.

....Eighteen-year-old Ousman Conde admits that sitting on the concrete piling is not comfortable, but says passing his upcoming exam could open doors.

"It hurts," he says, looking up from his notes on Karl Marx for the politics portion of the test. "But we prefer this hurt to the hurt of not doing well in our exams."

Young Guineans study under the dim parking lot lights at G'bessi Airport in Conakry, Guinea Wednesday, June 6, 2007. Only about a fifth of Guinea's 10 million people have access to electricity and even those that do, experience frequent power cuts. With few families able to afford generators, students long ago discovered that the airport is one of the few places where the lights never go out.

Friday, July 20, 2007

South Africa's SABC starts the African CNN.

Africa: Will it be a hard hitting network that reports without fear the successes and failures of Africa while putting out useful, timely, informative hard hitting journalism?

President Thabo Mbeki hailed the launch of a rolling news network in South Africa on Friday as an opportunity to break free of Western news agendas and give a more rounded picture of the continent.

SABC News International, set up by South Africa's public broadcaster, has styled itself as the first channel to deliver news from an African perspective in a market previously dominated by the likes of the BBC and CNN.

"We trust that this new initiative by the SABC will tell Africa's story in as much depth and contextual detail as possible," said Mbeki at the launch in Johannesburg.

The president urged the station's journalists to report from every corner of Africa, "identifying the successes and reverses so as to reflect what's really happening on our continent".

Africa has previously been too reliant on its international news from "news agencies with headquarters in powerful nations often told as half truths," he said.

Mail and Guardian:

But the launch comes as SABC, once the mouthpiece of the apartheid government, faces criticism about its editorial independence after it allegedly banned programmes and commentators critical of the ANC government.

Some media commentators say SABC International risks promoting pro-government bias on a continent already struggling with limited media freedom.

"In principle it's important to have home-grown news organisations telling the African story ... but Rome is burning at the SABC and they are expanding their empire at a time when they have serious editorial problems," Jane Duncan, head of South Africa's Freedom of Expression Institute, told Reuters.

The SABC has ignited controversy by dropping documentaries about President Thabo Mbeki, and several high-profile journalists quit after the broadcaster allegedly blacklisted political commentators critical of the president.

The SABC has denied such a blacklist exists and took out a full-page advertisements in Sunday newspapers last year to counter charges of government interference in editorial operations.

The broadcaster says it wants to highlight stories of growth and progress in Africa and to promote the continent's home-grown economic recovery programme, Nepad (New Partnership for Africa’s Development).

But many commentators say the SABC is too soft on African leaders, particularly South Africa's own, and say it lacks the critical edge of independent competitor

"There is a growing concern about editorial integrity at SABC and it risks exporting that on to the African continent," said Duncan.

Absolutely fricking not. It looks to be nothing more than a propaganda channel for the ANC to play with and protect their friends like Mugabe.

ACLU fighting to keep public records private.

Media: Nothing to do with siding with day laborers who may or may not be illegal right?

Three news organizations, including The San Diego Union-Tribune, are seeking to join a court fight over whether to keep public the names of employers who hire day laborers in Vista.

The Union-Tribune, Los Angeles Times and the California Newspaper Publishers Association want the names to continue to be released to preserve the public's right to access government records.

The litigation is in response to an American Civil Liberties Union effort in Vista Superior Court to stop Vista from releasing the identities of employers who register under an ordinance regulating day laborers. The ACLU says making the names public violates the privacy rights of the employers.

The group took the action after Michael Spencer of the Vista Citizens Brigade, an anti-illegal immigration group and an offshoot of the Minuteman Project, filed a public records request last month with the city for the 111 names on the list.

On Monday, Judge Michael Orfield temporarily blocked the release of the names to Spencer. Orfield said balancing the public's right to know with an individual's right to privacy was important enough to warrant a temporary restraining order.

The judge said anyone interested in the issue could join the case and scheduled a July 26 hearing for further arguments before making a final ruling.

The Melting Pot Boils Over

Immigration: Another one of the Wash Post writers, Marc Fisher who is pro-illegal implying that the moves by county supervisor in Prince William and Loudoun County are nothing more than xenophobic and nativist moves. You pretty much know the routine and article structure. The ending is pure afternoon special.

Haven't we been here before? Isn't this backlash against illegal immigrants merely a repeat of the bouts of nativism that have accompanied each wave of immigration throughout our nation's history?

Stirrup says this time is different. "In previous waves of immigration, you had a vast majority of the immigrants who wanted to assimilate and embrace the American dream," he says. "These individuals have no desire to embrace American culture. Their motivation is a purely economic one -- to make money and ship it home."

I thought back on my grandmother's stories of hoarding the dollars she earned in a hat factory in New York's Lower East Side and sending what she could back to her family in her native Russia. Yet sending money back in no way diminished her determination to be a hard-core, flag-waving U.S. citizen who embraced the United States, right down to watching Lawrence Welk on TV every Saturday night.

What is different about the recent spurt in immigration is that our country has changed: Jobs and cheaper housing are no longer in city neighborhoods where immigrants live in isolated ghettos. Instead, immigrants -- legal or not -- live smack dab in the middle of the rest of us. That confronts us with the culture clash that has always been part of the glorious process of becoming American.

Fisher also worked for the Miami Herald so he is pretty much a hopeless illegal supporter. But the conclusion is pure hokeum. The conclusion that because illegals are moving into the burbs, that is what scares people. Look at the type of behavior in the article Fisher skips over to make his glorious proclamation about his grandma.

N ine years ago, John Stirrup says, he and his wife, Heidi, decided to move out of South Arlington because "our neighborhood was changing pretty drastically. There was a big gang presence, and it was beginning to get dangerous."

"The final straw for me was when we found gang markings spray-painted on the trees," he recalls. But he wasn't about to walk away without taking a stand: At least twice, he caught the kids who were tagging trees, and he chastised them. They cursed him out and went about their business.

...."Lawlessness was a good word, because it really describes what people are enduring here," he says. "They wake up in the morning, and the house across the street has nine or 15 people living there instead of four. There are unregistered vehicles in the driveway and trash in the yard. We've seen a significant increase in rats. These individuals get in their cars, without license or insurance, and drive on our roads to get to jobs where they are paid off the books and under the prevailing wage, without benefits. On the weekends, there's extensive consumption of alcohol, loud music, and the comments women have told me about from the men are really unbelievable.

"These are not elements of a civil society."

This wonderful quote from an obvious brain dead twit.

Adam Ortiz, mayor of Edmonston, a small town inside the Beltway in Prince George's County, says that an influx of immigrants in his town brought overcrowding, graffiti and a sense that newcomers did not play by the rules. But Ortiz says he sees no need for crackdowns focused exclusively on immigrants.

Fisher should know the broken glass theory and allowing this sort of behavior is not a good thing. Most people refuse to complain because liberals like Fisher and this blogger whine about racism and intolerance for newcomers. That has nothing to do with it. There is a way of living here that should be observed and assimilated into newcomer's behaviors. Instead we get stories of chickens running amok while their owners see nothing wrong with it because they used to do it over there. The problem is not enough leaders and areas have made it clear that what may be normal over there is unacceptable here. Play by the rules or there are going to be consequences.

Stirrup is correct about the sense of this set of immigrants not embracing American ideals and culture. You look at the groups behind the illegals protests and marches, those demanding amnesty. The feeling is to them America is this downtown area of the world to come make some money, then leave or refuse to be part of the melting pot.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Obama: Genocide in Iraq? Fine with me.

Politics: He is going to regret this because of one word, Darfur. This is disingenuous BS of the highest order and he knows it.

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Thursday the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn't a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

"Well, look, if that's the criteria by which we are making decisions on the deployment of U.S. forces, then by that argument you would have 300,000 troops in the Congo right now — where millions have been slaughtered as a consequence of ethnic strife — which we haven't done," Obama said in an interview with The Associated Press.

"We would be deploying unilaterally and occupying the Sudan, which we haven't done. Those of us who care about Darfur don't think it would be a good idea," he said.

Obama, a first-term senator from Illinois, said it's likely there would be increased bloodshed if U.S. forces left Iraq.

"Nobody is proposing we leave precipitously. There are still going to be U.S. forces in the region that could intercede, with an international force, on an emergency basis," Obama said between stops on the first of two days scheduled on the New Hampshire campaign trail. "There's no doubt there are risks of increased bloodshed in Iraq without a continuing U.S. presence there."

Wait what?

Obama February 15, 2006:

So, here are a couple of things that we think need to happen. Number one: we need a UN peace-keeping mission in Darfur. There have been conversations; the UN Secretary General, Koffee Annan, the AU forces, and the Bush Administration have all acknowledged this. There's got to be a sense of urgency in which the US diplomatic efforts are focused on getting this UN peace-keeping force up to about 20,000 troops, and placing them in Darfur as quickly as possible with a strong protection mandate, rather than a monitoring one.

In the mean time, it's going to take about year, at best, to get a UN peace-keeping force in place. We're going to have to supply and rally, bridging money and forces for the AU throughout this year, because, since it's sort of in lame-duck status, the Janjaweed recognize that AU forces are not particularly effective, they may become more and more of a target.

We're going to have to provide this successor UN force with our own lift and logistic assets. We're going to have to provide our military hardware, like transport and attack helicopters, and so forth. And, we're going to have to really force other countries like Canada, Australia, some of the European countries that are not engaged in peace-keeping in other places, or at least are not immediately involved in major activity in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, as we are, to deliver the troops that are needed.

How can he call for UN troops who at best are piss poor in everything they do in terms of preventing violence( Rwanda) to stop the genocide in Darfur, but the US military a vastly superior force on its own shouldn't be used to stop genocide? It can't be used to solve humanitarian problems? That is exactly what he is asking for in sending troops into Darfur. They wouldn't be going there to hand out only food and water.

Iraq is in America's interest because of poor post planning makes us partly responsible to help get the violence down. It is also in a region that is a key American interest that can't be bogged down into a wider civil war which would quickly spread across the Middle East.

As for the criteria being genocide and why we are not in the Congo or Darfur. The means of preventing the violence would enable tactics and military use that Obama would be against in the first place and gaining public support would have been an even bigger uphill battle than Iraq. Congo and Darfur are not conflicts started by America, there is no ownage or interest by the public to be a policeman for both those countries.

I would have no problem using military force to bring peace the hard way but to try and put those two regions in the same level of importance as Iraq is slight of hand demagoguery.

This new position on Iraq seems to be a change from an earlier stance of cut and run in 2005 and rolling into Darfur pointed out by Niall Ferguson in February.

Take a look at Obama's arguments for a speedy US withdrawal. Speaking on the Senate floor on January 30, he asserted that "redeployment remains our best leverage to pressure the Iraqi government to achieve ... political settlement between its warring factions".

The key is "to give Iraqis their country back", since "no amount of American soldiers can solve the political differences at the heart of somebody else's civil war". He repeated these words when he announced that he was running for the presidency last weekend.

But Obama's claim that an American withdrawal would somehow "pressure the Sunni and Shia to come to the table and find peace" is a fraud.

...Obama has also accused the Bush administration of doing too little to stop the murderous policies of the Sudanese government towards the people of Darfur. In an article in December 2005, he argued that "advisers from Western nations" should be embedded within the African Union's mission in Darfur, and that the United States should "work with other nations to provide military assets to African Union forces, such as attack helicopters and armoured personnel carriers".

Indeed, he went so far as to urge the deployment of "a UN or Nato-led force". "If the United States does not change its approach to Darfur," he declared, "an already grim situation is likely to spiral out of control."

Wait a second. Here are two grim situations, each likely to spiral out of control. But in one (Sudan) Obama recommends military intervention, while in the other (Iraq) he recommends military withdrawal. Am I missing something?

Pentagon slams Hillary Clinton over Iraq.

Iraq: Nice.

The Pentagon told Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton that her questions about how the U.S. plans to eventually withdraw from Iraq boosts enemy propaganda.

In a stinging rebuke to a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman responded to questions Clinton raised in May in which she urged the Pentagon to start planning now for the withdrawal of American forces.

A copy of Edelman's response, dated July 16, was obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

"Premature and public discussion of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq reinforces enemy propaganda that the United States will abandon its allies in Iraq, much as we are perceived to have done in Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia," Edelman wrote.

He added that "such talk understandably unnerves the very same Iraqi allies we are asking to assume enormous personal risks."

Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines called Edelman's answer "at once outrageous and dangerous," and said the senator would respond to his boss, Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Olbermann is outraged! But the left can't have this charge over their heads because this time around unlike Vietnam, their refusal to fight anywhere is going to be used as a hammer against them. Allahpundit points out the reason for this "outrage."

As for the substance of it, he’s pegging off of this jerky bit of demagoguery by the undersecretary of defense, which he doesn’t really care about. What he’s doing, and which some of the nutroots have already done in the past month or so, is getting out in front of the curve of political recriminations that’ll start after the withdrawal begins and America has to face the self-loathing it’ll feel from defeat.

They’re pushing the meme that right-wingers are preparing to blame them for it, i.e., for having “stabbed America in the back,” even though most people understand it was Bush’s own failure to better prepare for the invasion and its aftermath that’s to blame. But even that’s disingenuous: they know they’ve got a political windfall coming from defeat (Harry Reid keeps chirping about it) and that young voters skew overwhelmingly Democratic thanks to Bush, so they’re not sincerely worried about recriminations.

They’re simply trying to place any criticism of themselves out of bounds, be it their Trutherish nutroots fondness for conspiracy theories about the timing and seriousness of terrorist attacks or the transparent ardor with which some of them hope for defeat, the better to use it as a Teachable Moment for the next time some Rethuglican is feeling hubristic. So don’t criticize them. Because you know what happens if you criticize them? Nazism.

Guardian CiF board revises rules over Apu.

Media: Make this short. Manish Vij wrote a column on the racism of Apu and the 7-11 promotion. It was the typical leftist minority Americans are racist and Apu is laughed at because of his accent and its all racism at its finest. Commentators ripped him apart for one not realize all the characters on the Simpsons are stereotypes and making the 7-11 promotion which is a huge success out to be some Jim Crow racist plot.

In comes Joseph Harker who is the assistant comment editor of the Guardian. He is the black leftist all minorities are victims, white people are racists bit. But his comment defending Vij from being ripped apart is telling the type of stereotypical people who work at the Guardian. He posted the most incredibly racist,biased, incoherent, illogical articles I have ever seen written in the Guardian or even the Independent. I can't even remember anything coming close to the vile hatred he spewed against the commentators because they didn't echo the victim speak of Vij.

White men, are you all stupid? Before you accuse me of racism, or indeed sexism, let me say that I take the question from the book by Michael Moore, who is a white man (though probably not stupid; but is he alone?).

What got me thinking was reading the thoughtful piece posted on this site by Manish Vij, who believes the Simpson's character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon to be a racist caricature. I'm not a regular viewer of the show, and don't have any strong opinions on it, but he put across some cogent arguments.

The responses he received, though (now numbering nearly 400), repeated the by now wearisome onslaught faced by any ethnic minority writer flagging up the issue of racism. Overwhelmingly negative, it seems that nearly every commenter either didn't understand his argument, or didn't want to. Each (rare) comment expressing empathy with the writer was immediately drowned out by a welter of antis.

Now I don't expect everyone to agree with him, and wouldn't even want that - after all, the pages are supposed to be about a healthy debate. But it's not healthy when every minority opinion is given such sledgehammer treatment. (I exclude Muslim-Jewish issues, on which both sides have well-established lobbying power.) It's not that the individual comments are necessarily offensive (though there are many examples of these); it's just that there's no balance.

Debates typically do go along the following lines:

Is the N-word offensive? "No it's not - what's your problem?"
Is Bernard Manning racist? "No he's not - what's your problem?"
Is Jade Goody racist? "No she's not - what's your problem?"

Now, the Guardian is part of the British national press, which has traditionally been produced by and for white people (though things are slowly beginning to change). But this paper is at least supposed to be at the liberal end of the spectrum, so one would have thought there'd be a few progressive types out there prepared to come forward. But where are you? Have you all been frightened off by the bullies, the boors and the bigots?

Some time ago I wrote saying that all white people are racist. I didn't mean in-your-face, BNP-style racism, but the subtle, unthinking, subliminal kind. Now I think I was being too kind. There's nothing subtle about many of the views expressed on our comment threads.

Part of the problem, though, is the anonymity of the web, and the fact that we know so little about our commenters. If anyone wants to post on this thread, it would be good to know: who are you? Are you British? American? Or from some backwater of the anglosphere? Do you see yourself as left/rightwing? Progressive? Conservative?

And how old are you? Are you some old-style never-got-used-to-a-multicultural-society person? Or are you an adolescent schoolkid, making your first forays into political debate (in which case, I appreciate your youthful energy, but learning to listen is also a skill worth developing).

Or are you, indeed, just one person with a hundred pseudonyms?

Whatever, if we want to have a sensible discussion about race, or racism, is it possible on a general-access website such as this? Or do we need to find a new corner of cyberspace, and boldly go where no stupid white man has gone before

Probably have to read that a couple of times to understand the depth of stupidity on display. He wants an echo chamber and can't stand the fact very few people line up to sympa with a minority complaint. He got blasted and now the head of CiF has come up with new rules. Problem is no one can figure out what is new since it is just restating the old rules. I suspect we are going to see mass bannings of those who refuse to tow the leftist line, a shame really because the fun of seeing these leftist meeting with the outside world because they cocoon themselves with the London PC multi-cult crowd is tremendous entertainment.

Aussie journalist copies from wikipedia?

Media: Allegation here

The Age's New York correspondent and former Cain and Kirner press secretary Ian Munro has been caught plagiarising three paragraphs verbatim from Wikipedia.

Evidence looks stacked against him.

Democrats side with CAIR, kill John Doe provision

Terrorism: The likely suspect of forcing the provision out is Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Mississippi Democrat.

Congressional Democrats today failed to include a provision in homeland security legislation that would protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior that may lead to a terrorist attack, according to House Republican leaders.

"This is a slap in the face of good citizens who do their patriotic duty and come forward, and it caves in to radical Islamists," said Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Republicans wanted the provision included in final legislation, crafted yesterday during a House and Senate conference committee, that will implement final recommendations from the September 11 commission.

Mr. King and Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, sponsored the provision after a group of Muslim imams filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against US Airways and unknown "John Doe" passengers. The imams were removed from US Airways Flight 300 on Nov. 20 after fellow passengers on the Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight complained about the imams' suspicious behavior.

On March 27, the House approved the "John Doe" amendment on a 304-121 vote.

"Democrats are trying to find any technical excuse to keep immunity out of the language of the bill to protect citizens, who in good faith, report suspicious activity to police or law enforcement," Mr. King said. "I don't see how you can have a homeland security bill without protecting people who come forward to report suspicious activity."

While the conference is not likely to meet again, Mr. King noted the conference report has not been written and says he will continue discussions with Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, to insert the "John Doe" language.

Update# Senate Democrats kill the bill, Obama couldn't be bothered to even vote.

Loudoun joins Prince William county in illegals measure.

Immigration: If the federal government won't enforce, local and states will.

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution yesterday that would limit illegal immigrants' access to county services and penalize employers who hire them, becoming the second county in the region to adopt a hard-line position in the wake of Congress's failure to enact immigration reform.

One week after Prince William County officials took a similar step, Loudoun's supervisors voted unanimously for the resolution, which they said was necessary to stop blight and curb crime, especially on the county's border with Herndon and Fairfax County.

Supervisors also said they wanted to prevent tax dollars in the fast-growing county from going to those who have settled in Loudoun illegally.

"We need help in Loudoun. We are struggling. We are a small county, and we can't handle the hordes that are coming here and using up our services," said Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling), the main sponsor of the resolution. "Illegal immigration is taking a greater and greater toll on our community."

Photo ID now a must to vote in Michigan

Politics: Given Detroit's reputation, voting numbers will be down by half.

Michiganders soon might have to show photo identification to vote, under a divided Michigan Supreme Court which endorsed a never-enforced 1996 law and reignited a contentious debate today.

Democrats and the Detroit NAACP strongly denounced the decision and the law, which requires prospective voters to produce photo ID at polling stations, comparing it to a poll tax used in the past to keep black citizens from voting.

"We have been bushwhacked once again," said the Rev. Wendell Anthony, president of the Detroit branch of the NAACP.

Complaints of disenfranchise, poll tax yadda yadda yadda.

In his written majority opinion, Justice Young, the only black on the state's high court, dismissed claims that the voter ID law places an undue burden on any subgroup of voters.

He noted the provision allowing people to vote without ID after signing an affidavit of identity. Further, he said, 95% of all Michigan voters already possess a driver's license or state ID, and the $10 fee for the ID card can be waived for the elderly, disabled and poor.

Opponents of the ID requirement turned to claims of discrimination because "all other arguments are unavailing," Young wrote.

Like the court, public opinion divides mostly along partisan lines.

"I don't think anyone has tried to pull anything at the polls where I vote," said Bill Axtell, a Ferndale resident and Republican. "We all have to show our IDs for a lot of things these days, so I wouldn't object to having to show identification."

Brandon Hynes, 19, of Canton said he doesn't agree with the ruling and hopes the Democratic Party would appeal it to federal courts.

"It's just another way to try and disenfranchise voters," he said.

In this day and age you have to have some form of ID to function and the law states for the 5% who don't just sign a damn affidavit. If this actually keeps blacks from voting, something is terrible wrong and its not the ID requirement fault.

Nelson Mandela launches Elders group. Wheeeee.

World: Seriously, out of this group lets focus on the big three.

The former South African president will be the leading figure in the "Global Elders", a group of "12 wise men and women" who will address global problems by offering expertise and guidance.

A frail yet still magnetic figure, Mr Mandela was greeted in Johannesburg at South Africa's Constitutional Court - where he was once held prisoner - by a choir that sang his praises before he outlined the Elders' objectives.

"The Elders can become a fiercely independent and robust force for good, tackling conflicts and intractable issues, especially those that are not popular," said Mr Mandela.

The group will "speak freely and boldly, working both publicly and behind the scenes, working wherever our help is needed".

He added: "This group derives its strength not from military, political or economic power, but from the independence and integrity of those who are here."

There in lies the big problem.

Mandela has sat back and watch Zimbabwe implode saying nothing.

Jimmy Carter is well Jimmy Carter, a walking embodiment of a ditsy pacifist who sucks up to dictators and terrorists.

Kofi Annan headed one of the most corrupt seedy inefficient world bodies.

You know what they are going to say before they say it and will jab freely at big bad evil America. It will be for a good laugh because Carter is bound to say something stupid.

Non-Westerners Commit 61% of Violent Crime in Netherlands

EU: This report will be good for social cohesion.

Non-Western immigrants commit 32 percent of all crime and 61 percent of violent property crime in the Netherlands. Moroccans are the most criminal of the four big immigrant groups, although Antilleans commit more crimes per head of their population, according to an analysis by the Justice Ministry's science bureau WODC of statistics from 2003.

Moroccans commit 8 percent of all crime, ahead of immigrants from Suriname (7 percent, Turks (5 percent) and Antilleans (4 percent). The 'other non-Westerners' category scored 8 percent. Adjusted for the size of the population, Antilleans however have the highest crime rates; in 2003, 11 percent of Antilleans were crime suspects, followed by Moroccans (9 percent), Surinamese (7 percent) and Turks (4.5 percent).

Although 'only' 32 percent of all crime is perpetrated by non-Westerners, they account for 61 percent of theft, robbery and burglary involving violence. Twenty percent of suspects here are Moroccans, 13 percent Surinamese, 9 percent Antilleans, 6 percent Turks and 13 percent other non-Westerners.

Of all crime committed by perpetrators aged 13-25, about 40 percent is perpetrated by non-Westerners. Of all 18 year old Moroccans, 33 percent committed crime in 2003. This was 22 percent among Antillean, 15 percent among Surinamese and 11 percent among Turkish 18 year olds.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Alison Stewart and guest calling Vitter's wife a prostitute.

Media: Via ICN and Hot Air. Considering what Alison was wearing she got a lot of nerve agreeing with the twit from Radar that Vitter's wife looked like a prostitute.

Speaking of Countdown, if you want to see why Tv critics are look down upon, read the butt kissing given out to Keith Olbermann by Melanie McFarland and Hal Boedeker are two good examples of leftist kissy fest.

Sudan moving Arabs to replace Africans in Darfur.

Africa: The ethnic cleansing in some places is so complete the Sudanese government is urging Arabs from other countries to come on down.

Arabs from Chad and Niger are crossing into Darfur in "unprecedented" numbers, prompting claims that the Sudanese government is trying systematically to repopulate the war- ravaged region.

An internal UN report, obtained by The Independent, shows that up to 30,000 Arabs have crossed the border in the past two months. Most arrived with all their belongings and large flocks. They were greeted by Sudanese Arabs who took them to empty villages cleared by government and janjaweed forces.

One UN official said the process "appeared to have been well planned". The official continued: "This movement is very large. We have not seen such numbers come into west Darfur before."

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, sent a team to the border with Chad at the end of May to interview the new arrivals. Fighting in eastern Chad has been steadily increasing and it was thought that many could be refugees. But only a very small number have required support from UNHCR.

"Most have been relocated by Sudanese Arabs to former villages of IDPs (internally displaced people) and more or less invited to stay there," said the UN official.

The arrivals have been issued with official Sudanese identity cards and awarded citizenship, and analysts say that by encouraging Arabs from Chad, Niger and other parts of Sudan to move to Darfur the Sudanese government is making it "virtually impossible" for displaced people to return home.

James Smith, chief executive of the Aegis Trust, said the revelations proved that the Sudanese government was "cynically trying to change the demographics of the whole region", adding: "If the ethnic cleansing has been consolidated because the land has been repopulated it will become irreversible. The peace process will fall to pieces."

Gay activists demand Jim Naugle resign.

Politics: Naugle politely said no.

Gay and lesbian residents asked Mayor Jim Naugle to resign Tuesday, as anger about the mayor's recent comments grows into a civic movement.

About 40 people wearing yellow "Flush Naugle" T-shirts rallied outside City Hall on Tuesday, preface to a much larger rally planned there next week. In the skies above, an airplane dragged a banner demanding "Surrender Naugle" and advertising the Web site

Naugle, who never was considered gay-friendly, touched off the controversy when he was quoted in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel this month saying he doesn't use the term "gay" because "they're unhappy" and claiming that the city has a problem with men using public restrooms for sex.

Naugle was commenting at the time about the city's plans to buy a $250,000 self-cleaning, robotic toilet for the beach. He said an added plus was that the toilet wouldn't become a cruising place for "homosexual activity," as he said typical multi-stall bathrooms are.

The robo-toilet quickly became a public target, and city commissioners Tuesday night voted unanimously to delete it from the proposed budget.

Naugle's comments were just more in a long line of inflammatory rhetoric that embarrasses Fort Lauderdale, gay activists said Tuesday. They pointed to Naugle's comments last year that housing would be affordable if people worked more jobs rather than sitting on the couch drinking beer.

Naugle is term-limited so he really doesn't care about the complaints.

Upstairs in City Hall, Naugle said no apologies are forthcoming. "Apologize for what?" he asked.

Naugle is term-limited and will be out of city office in 2009.

"I'm a plain-speaking individual," he said. "People have elected me because I tell it like it is. I've been elected eight times."

Soon after the mayor convened Tuesday night's meeting, gay activist Michael Albetta stood up and shouted: "Mayor, we ask you, the city of Fort Lauderdale, to resign!"

"Thank you, I'm not resigning," the mayor calmly responded.

Norwegians hatred for taxes grow! plus smuggled meats.

Norway: You wanted a welfare state, you got a welfare state. Just listen to mommy government and hush.

Norwegians are among the most heavily taxed people in the world, and that in turn has made Norway one of the most expensive countries in which to live. Most accept the taxes they're ordered to pay on income and even net worth and property, but growing numbers are publicly complaining about sky-high taxes on everything from cars to fuel to consumer goods.

Norwegians differentiate between skatter (taxes) and avgifter (duties, fees or user taxes) and the latter is the most hated. They're what causes a glass of house wine at an Oslo restaurant to cost the equivalent of nearly USD 16, or a gallon of gas to cost nearly USD 9 at current exchange rates.

"It's clear that taxes are much too high in oil-rich Norway," Oslo resident Gro Pettersen told newspaper Aftenposten. "It's sick!"

....The study also showed that 67 percent of the population think Norway's inheritance taxes are too high, while 63 percent think fuel taxes are too high. Norway's hefty 25 percent VAT (like a sales tax) on nearly all consumer items is considered too high by 53 percent of the population.

Only 32 percent, meanwhile, believed tobacco taxes are too high, while 44 percent believed liquor taxes are too high.

The user taxes, or avgifter, are also unpopular because they're largely regressive taxes that hit people with low incomes much harder than those with high incomes. Filling the car's gas tank, and paying the taxes that requires, is much more expensive for someone earning NOK 300,000 than it is for a car owner earning NOK 900,000.

How bad are taxes, smuggling meat is now a big crime business.

Norway also had the dubious distinction of having among the highest prices for food and even non-alcoholic beverages in Europe, along with Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland.

Meat was especially expensive n Norway, with prices 82 percent over the European average. That's traditionally a result of measures to protect high-cost Norwegian meat producers, not least by restricting cheaper imports.

Got to love that protectionism going on that helps the consumer..wait...

Police are seizing more smuggled meat than ever before, and border patrols suspect organized smuggling gangs that are supplyng a market keen on dodging Norway's high meat prices.

Customs authorities have seized 34 tons of meat smuggled into Norway so far this year. That's three times the amount seized in the same period last year.

Police, customs and officials from Norway's Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) have no doubt the smuggling has become organized. Several of the couriers caught with smuggled meat are repeat offenders, and the quantities of meat caught in some seizures is so large (2.8 tons on one truck stopped at the border crossing at Svinesund) that it can only be destined for the commercial market.

I would take it as a sign something is horribly wrong when meat is now a contraband.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Somewhat clear pic of Heath Ledger as the Joker.

Entertainment: Plus some videos from Chicago's Fox News of the Batmobile and Joker in action. Videos at the right.

via GAF.

Keith Ellison: I sorry

Politics: Amazing what a souped up headline in the Daily Telegraph and a Drudge link can do in saying I goofed. I doubt he doesn't believe his example was true, just sorry he got caught on video saying it.

The nation's first Muslim congressman said Tuesday that he erred in comparing the Bush administration's response to Sept. 11 to an event that led to Adolf Hitler's consolidation of power in Nazi Germany.

At an appearance before a group of atheists in Minnesota on July 8, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., called Sept. 11 "the juggernaut" that led to war, tolerating torture and increased discrimination against religious minorities.

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

Hitler used the 1933 burning of the Reichstag, the German parliament building, to suspend constitutional liberties.

"In hindsight, I wouldn't have used that reference point," Ellison told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday. "It was probably inappropriate to use that example, because it's a unique historical event, without really any clear parallels."

CAIR vice president says Hamas is not a terrorist group.

Terrorism: You have the vice president of CAIR with a slick twisting of words saying Hamas is not a terrorist group. Good public relations debacle and another point to prove CAIR is not worth a damn.

Is Hamas a terrorist organization?

Mr. Meek: I would support that conclusion because it was my government who did it [designated Hamas as a terrorist organization]. So I would say, yes, not by my knowledge but by their knowledge.

Ms. Abulhawa: Hamas, whether you agree with their tactics or not, is a resistance organization and, frankly, the terrorism inflicted on the Palestinian people from air, sea and land, and economic strangulation and so forth, home demolitions, the list goes on ad nauseam it doesn’t compare. It [Hamas violence] is not even a fraction of the [Israeli-inflicted] level of destruction. I don’t speak for CAIR. I speak for myself. Hamas has a lot of divisions and a lot of wings. As a Palestinian who really has observed on the ground the level of charitable work that they do the nonmilitary divisions it is really hard for me to say that that’s a terrorist organization.

Edwards and UK think tank agree on crappy education plan.

Politics: Amazing how liberals like their social experiments to make themselves feel good.

John Edwards: The plan Edwards is to announce would give federal bonuses to schools in affluent communities that enroll low-income students; double federal funding for magnet schools to promote "economic integration"; and establish new housing vouchers that would allow low-income families to move to better neighborhoods.

Centre-Forum: "

Children from disadvantaged homes should be awarded a "premium" of about £3,000 a year to make them more attractive to schools to admit, a liberal think-tank says today.

The extra cash, paid on top of the £5,000 allocated to schools for each pupil, would help end covert selection by schools - a practice that has led to middle-class parents snapping up places at the most popular schools, according to a report by Centre-Forum.

The independent think-tank led by a businessman, Paul Marshall, argues that Gordon Brown would be "wasting" his money by pursuing his aim of bringing state school funding up to the level of that in the independent sector. Such a move would cost £17bn. "

Problem is no self respecting responsible parent is going to have their kids be sent to a crappy school and would raise hell if spots in good schools in their area were taken up just for a money grab leaving their child out. Both these plans skirt the problem of elevating crappy schools up as a whole instead of taking this section out and busing it elsewhere.

This is the same system that has been in place over the last 40 years in various locations and instead helping it has made the public school system worse.

Romney spent $300 on makeup 'consulting'

Politics: This has some ETP poster upset that no one is attacking Romney the same way they went after Edwards and his expensive haircuts.

Why bring all this up again? Well, it seems that we have new news on the presidential candidates-as-metrosexual front, namely, Mitt Romney and his $300 line item for makeup consulting.

I don't think it's such a stretch to say that shelling out that kind of scratch for "a mobile beauty team for hair, makeup and men's grooming and spa services" falls fully within the province of "vanity," "metrosexuality," and "something only someone impossibly freaking rich could afford to have."

So, let's have it, Maureen. What do you and your memories of your father's tonsorial challenges have to say about Mr. Romney's expenses?

Ever since Nixon vs Kennedy tv debate, looking good on television is a must. So $300 for makeup consulting is a far better deal than $400+ haircuts. No scandal here unless you want to look really stupid.

Sweden struggles to integrate Muslim immigrants

Sweden: The "legendary" town of Malmoe makes a rare MSM appearance in AFP of all places. If it made it this far, you know things are at a boiling point. Malmoe has been a fav example by those who point out what a large influx of foreigners, especially Muslims can do to a European country.

Sweden has welcomed immigrants with open arms for decades but now it is grappling with how to integrate them into society, especially in the southern town of Malmoe amid a massive influx of refugees.

Once a thriving industrial town with full employment, Malmoe has seen many of its plants shut down since the 1990s. That, combined with a never-ending stream of foreigners arriving, has led to rising juvenile delinquency and rampant unemployment.

Of the town's 280,000 inhabitants, a third are foreigners and 60,000 are Muslims.

"We are an open city. We see these immigrants as a resource for our society," Malmoe's Social Democratic mayor Ilmar Reepalu told AFP.

"The problem is that we have welcomed too many immigrants at the same time," he said, pointing out that last year Malmoe took in more Iraqi asylum-seekers than Germany, Spain, France and Italy combined.

Typical complaints and obvious consequences of a generous welfare system.

Swedish Integration Minister Nyamko Sabuni -- a Muslim who came to Sweden when she was 12 and the first African to become a member of government in the country -- insists that the only way for immigrants to integrate into society is to learn the language and get a job.

"It is crucial that immigrants get in contact with the labour market as soon as possible after receiving their residence permit. This has to be combined with language courses," she told AFP.

...."Immigrants to Sweden have become political refugees. First there were people from South America, then Iran, Afghanistan and now Iraq," he said.

"They come seeking asylum and not work," he said.

He recalled the Scandinavian country's generous humanitarian policies which provide immigrants with everything they need once they arrive.

"The famous welfare state takes care of everything on a social level. But that's the limitation of the system -- the country cannot provide any solution when it comes to jobs, which is the key to integration," he said.

And the situation risks getting worse.

Villaraigosa and Salina still hooking up?

Politics: News over at

ERSNews has learned that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and his "girlfriend" Mirthala Salinas have secretly met since the scandal broke nearly two weeks ago. The most recent meeting taking place late last week. The meeting involved the Mayor with his city provided security detail in tow. Multiple sources have confirmed to ERSNews that the secret meeting in fact took place.

....Sources inside NBC/Universal confirm to ERSNews that Paula Madison, former General Manager of KNBC-TV and now head of diversity for NBC/Universal had the authority and was in fact the person who was responsible for removing Salinas from the political reporting beat due to her personal relationship with the Mayor. ERSNews sought direct comment from Ms. Madison about her role in the case, but was referred to NBC/Telemundo spokesman Victor Franco, who declined comment, saying only that the internal investigation of the matter was nearing completion and they withhold any comment until it was complete. Asked by when that would be, spokesman Franco would only say "soon".

There has to be a purge of management at Telemundo, no way no one couldn't have known what was going at the time.

More news at LAObserved.

CAIR continues to score own goals.

Terrorism: It is a stunning day when I have to admit even the Muslim Council of Britain is acting less of a victim first group than CAIR.

A Muslim civil rights group today blamed Bush administration policies for promoting "Islamophobia" and said the "war on terror" won't stop terrorists.

"The new perception is that the United States has entered a war with Islam itself," said Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the national board of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

"Terrorism is a tactic. You cannot eradicate it by declaring a war against it. The war on terror is causing us infinitely more harm than the terrorists could have ever imagined."

Mr. Ahmed, who spoke at CAIR symposium at the National Press Club, said the war against terrorists is driven by an "irrational" fear that the Bush administration has inculcated in the American public. The chance of being killed in a terrorist attack, he said, is 1 in 80,000 over a lifetime.

"It is important to bear in mind that terrorists cannot destroy America," he said as a member of a panel discussing the symposium theme, "Attacking Islam: Implications for Social Cohesion and U.S. Relations with the Muslim World." The U.S., he said, is too powerful and too resourceful for terrorists to destroy.

The Bush Administration's policies in Iraq has driven a deep wedge between Muslim's and non-Muslim people in the United States, he said.

No ownership unlike the MCB who after the recent attacks could no longer pull the same victim route for reasons discussed by David Keene who showed up at this event at the National Press Club.

David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union, said in turn that while Osama bin Laden and those who commit terrorism in the name of Islam may represent no one but themselves, "those who represent Islam have an obligation to themselves, and to the faith they profess, to condemn them lest [other Muslims] suffer for their crimes.

"If CAIR wants respect as representing the best of Islam to the West, it must shun the role of enabler by siding with the enemies of terror and intolerance wherever they are found," Mr. Keene said. "The Muslim who attacks Jews and Christians as pigs or Crusaders is as responsible for the breakdown in civility in the modern world as the Christian who implies that all Muslims harbor a desire to kill a Christian or a Jew."

Mr. Keene compared CAIR to the emergence of the Italian-American Anti-Defamation League of the 1970s, which he said became "particularly upset whenever anyone mentioned the existence of the 'Mafia,' which they took as implying that Italian-Americans were all Mafioso or criminals.

"If someone used the word in public, [the Italian-American Anti-Defamation League] was willing to stage demonstrations on the grounds that its usage was racist and that, anyhow, the Mafia didn't exist. People began to ignore the League because what its leaders were insisting on as true just didn't match up very well with the world we live in."

Mr. Keene said CAIR feeds negative perceptions of Islam with a similarly censorious and hypersensitive attitude toward American newspapers, magazines, and radio and television networks.

"We are meeting today at the National Press Club, which is in a way a living memorial to the freedom of the press that is so important a part of the American tradition. The platform on which we speak is open to all because we believe in the right even of those with whom we disagree to speak their minds. But some reporters have been barred by CAIR from covering this panel because by criticizing CAIR or its policies they have been condemned as anti-Muslim when they are, in fact, simply reporters doing their jobs," he said.

A reporter for The Washington Times was the only reporter asked to leave the room today. After she was escorted out, the doors to the session, which had remained open, were closed.

Mr. Keene said that CAIR has attacked as "anti-Muslim" a number of publications, including The Washington Times, the Dallas Morning News, the Tampa Tribune, the New Republic magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and the Weekly Reader, a popular newspaper for schoolchildren.

This is why I have no respect for CAIR as some sort of spokesgroup for Muslims, they continue to push this line of victimhood that has long worn off on people and heading down that road of Sharpton and Jackson pandering. Kicking out a reporter and then closing what was an open session just proves everyone's point. Blaming President Bush or policies is just as bad because it casts Muslims as being simple reactionary creatures that don't need to be made angry or they become terrorists. That feeds all the stereotypes.

There is going to be a moment of truth for CAIR and its leadership. I seriously doubt like MCB who is at least making an effort to sound reasonable they are up to the task.

Tension between Caribbeans and Black Americans in Lauderhill.

Culture: I love Lauderhill, great place to get West Indian food, doubles, bust up shot, Charlie's patties and the such. But even I am taken aback at how fast it it trying to turn itself into something like a world exhibitions you see at Epcot Center.

It is one thing to assimilate together and it results in something uniquely American/Caribbean. It is another just to favor one group over everyone else and effectively pushing others out or they feel neglected. I understand Lauderhill is grabbing onto to this after years of being a place you drove thru really fast for the most part. But it can go south quickly if not properly planned and everyone is heard.

"....Lauderhill is unofficially known as "Jamaicahill" because of its large Jamaican population. But the city, one of South Florida's most diverse communities, with residents from more than 30 countries, is experiencing growing pains: Some longtime residents, especially black Americans, resent the city's emphasis on Caribbean culture.

"Why do you need to make this look like Jamaica when you're in America?" said Joe Major, of recently annexed Broward Estates.

At the heart of the debate is a 110-acre county park under construction at the intersection of State Road 7 and Sunrise Boulevard. It will include a 5,000-seat multipurpose stadium for cricket and other sports, an aquatic center, a nature area, basketball and tennis courts and picnic areas. The stadium, scheduled to open in November, will be the first in North America designed for cricket games.

City officials see the tropical design standards, cricket games and Caribbean market as unique features that could attract tourists and spark more economic development.

"This will develop this community economically to create jobs and opportunities for people regardless of their ethnicity," said City Commissioner Dale Holness, a Jamaican-American who has lived in the area for 32 years. "Everybody can utilize this park. It's such a wonderful thing. We should celebrate that."

The project has already attracted other projects, including the upscale Caribbean market called Carishoca planned by Trinidadian-American developer George Rahael. Other proposals include a gospel museum, an upscale shopping and arts district, residential developments and an updated mall.

For residents like Vergil Francis, an Antigua native, the tropical features on commercial buildings remind them of home.

"Just by looking at the paints, it attracts you to go inside there," said the 15-year Lauderhill resident who moved to South Florida in 1986.

But on July 9, dissenters continued their campaign against the changes at a City Commission meeting. They accused officials of excluding non-Caribbean residents from the plans and pointed to a recent city survey that found only 11 percent of the residents were interested in outdoor cricket fields. The opponents were all black Americans.

Major accused city officials of downplaying the findings to promote the cricket stadium. Hahn, the city's planning director, said in an interview that the findings expressed residents' desires for parks in Lauderhill, not the county park.

On the survey, 35 percent of Lauderhill residents said they would like to see more running tracks at city parks. Some African-American residents have said county and city officials ignored their concerns.

Alan Brown, a black American and community activist, said he and other grass-roots neighborhood leaders pushed for the regional park in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They wanted the surrounding properties developed into a town center. But city officials embraced a Caribbean theme, Brown said.

"They are abusing the processes of government," he said. "We just want to make sure our tax dollars are used for us. We don't want it tropical or Caribbean, just American."

Whisper campaign against Sarkozy's Justice Minister.

Politics: France has to lead the west at least in the amount of political backstabbing stories.

The French justice minister, Rachida Dati - the first Muslim woman of north African origin to hold a key government post - is being undermined by "a jealous, bigoted white elite", anti-racist campaigners claimed yesterday.
Ms Dati, dubbed France's "iron lady", today makes her debut in parliament to defend President Nicolas Sarkozy's controversial new law to tighten sentences for re-offenders and young criminals.

But a series of setbacks has focused attention on the minister herself. First, her top aide and three magistrates resigned from her cabinet last week. Officially, they left for personal reasons or due to a reshuffle, but anonymous sources complained of Ms Dati's "authoritarian" personality.

Waukegan stands up against illegals supporters protesting new measure.

Immigration: Illegal supporters even threatened businesses if they didn't have signs opposing this measure.

Officials will not reconsider a proposal that could lead to local police enforcing federal immigration laws, a measure that has galvanized activists on both sides of the issue in this city north of Chicago.

The 8-2 vote by the Waukegan City Council Monday night allows police to apply for a special program through U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement as early as Tuesday. Once trained, officers could identify, process and detain immigration offenders they come across on the job.

The council voted 7-2 in June to apply for the program, but a member who voted for it then tried to call it back for reconsideration. Monday's majority included Mayor Richard Hyde, who did not vote in the previous meeting.

So.. Republicans reps in Virginia are idiots..

Politics: That is what you get for not figuring out the Dems would screw you over on a fee gathering law.

RICHMOND, July 16 -- An online petition against Virginia's steep new "abusive driver" fees neared 100,000 signatures Monday, accelerating lawmakers' calls for the General Assembly to rescind them before voters go to the polls Nov. 6.

Pointing up the political power of the issue, at one point Monday more than 1,000 people an hour were signing the petition demanding that lawmakers repeal the fees -- some of which can top $1,000 -- or risk being voted out of office.

All 140 Senate and House seats are up for election this fall, and many lawmakers say they are being deluged with comments from constituents opposed to the fees, which are aimed at drunk and reckless drivers.

"Lawmakers have been caught flat-footed," said Mark J. Rozell, a political science professor at George Mason University. "They had no idea this would generate so much outrage by such a large number of people. . . . This is a way for many citizens to express discontent with government fees and what people consider to be abuses by government."

The petition [] threatens to undermine the bipartisan spirit of cooperation that followed approval of a transportation funding bill, championed by House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D).

How is that bipartisan spirit working for ya?

The fees are assessed on anyone convicted of a felony or misdemeanor driving offense, such as driving under the influence or traveling more than 20 miles over the posted speed limit.

In addition to the fees for misdemeanor and felony traffic convictions, motorists with eight or more points on their driving records will have to pay more. Those drivers have to pay $100 for the eight points and $75 for each additional point. Failure to pay will result in suspension of licenses.

As approved by the General Assembly in February, the fees would have applied to in-state and out-of-state motorists. But Kaine amended the bill to affect only in-state drivers because the state doesn't have the legal authority to charge out-of-state motorists a vehicle fee.

Despite Kaine's supporting role in enacting the fees, Democrats say they plan to use the issue against Republicans in the fall campaign.

"This is a result of the Republican position that they won't even consider raising taxes for legitimate needs," said Del. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria). "If the government wants to spend money on an important need like transportation, it takes more money. It doesn't grow on trees."

Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William) accused Democrats of playing politics because many of them voted for the transportation bill.

"Leadership is you identify what is wrong with the bill and you fix it," he said. "Leadership is not running around carping like a bunch of teenagers."

The Dems screwed you over and it seems the GOP party there is too stupid to figure out how to turn it around.

Monday, July 16, 2007

NBC Universal to force green themes in every show.

Entertainment: As the liberalism of Ben Silverman shines thru in making this craptacular week long green fest.

The programming dial turns green for NBC Universal in November as environmental themes will be scripted into programming as part of a week-long "Green is Universal" initiative.
Bravo Media president Lauren Zalaznick, head of NBC U's Green Council, said that all NBC U networks would participate including broadcast, the cable networks, news, sports, daytime and latenight.

"For the first time ever, the massive resources of the entire NBC U family will stand together behind a single pro-social cause," Zalaznick said.

All NBC U programming, both scripted and unscripted, will adopt green-friendly and environmentally-oriented messages during the week of Nov. 4, starting with Sunday Night Football.

"We will have every single one of our primetime shows with storylines themed to green, with our characters from Michael Scott (''The Office') to 'Journeyman' becoming positive members of the 'going green' society," said NBC Entertainment co-chairman Ben Silverman.

The week is the first companywide effort undertaken as part of NBC U's "Get on Board" campaign for environmental awareness introduced on May 24.

Bob Costas and Olbermann's hot air will negate any positives. NBC is becoming the green Pravda of Al Gore and his minions.

Isaiah Washington got a job at NBC.

Entertainment: That didn't take long, though it could be NBC looking for buzz.

LOS ANGELES — Isaiah Washington, the embattled star fired from ABC's Grey's Anatomy last month, is back to work — at NBC.

Washington will guest-star on the network's high-profile remake of 1970s drama Bionic Woman this fall, and has signed a development deal to star in a potential action drama he pitched to the network for the 2008-09 TV season.

Competition among kids is wrong and probably evil!

UK: About 5 mins into this farce I would have told the head teacher where to go and take my kid home, then turn around and talked to the newspapers. We are growing up a bunch of wussies.

"....For these people, sporting competition had been a vital part of their being for as long as they can remember.

I couldn't help comparing the energy, the vibrancy, the camaraderie with another event I attended: a non-competitive team morning at a primary school. Emphatically this was not a sports day: sport, for the head teacher, needed to be eradicated in all its forms, as pernicious an evil as sexism and racism. Sport represented competition at its most corrupting: trying to beat someone else at games was, to this head, morally indefensible.

And so the children were obliged to stand in line, hanging around waiting to do things like tip water into a bucket or sort plastic bricks into colour-coded lines. Running was banned (someone might hurt himself) and winning didn't happen.

As the head passed between the rows of children congratulating herself that she had discovered the root of youthful nirvana, every child she passed wanted to know one thing: who was winning.

"Nobody wins here," she'd trill, apparently oblivious to the groans her every remark solicited.

I have never seen such a listless, bored bunch of children. Those veterans at Henley may have been 10 times older, but they had 10 times the spark of these seven-year-olds. What these children wanted was competition.

They didn't know about all those long-term, beneficial side-effects the old rowers had enjoyed, they just wanted to pitch themselves against their peers. Yet they were being denied the one thing they craved by an educational philosophy that made no sense.

The image that haunted me was of an 11-year-old girl, who looked like Denise Lewis must have done at that age, all balance, grace and legs like a gazelle, being scolded by the head teacher for running, beautifully and at sprint speed, during one of the challenges.

"We don't do that sort of thing here," she was told, as if what she were doing were a social embarrassment, like picking her nose in public.

Far from offering encouragement to help nurture her natural ability, here was the girl's educational mentor telling her that her skill was worthless. All this happened not in the grounds of some expensive boarding school established by utopian loons for the offspring of the Bohemian, but at a bog-standard, mainstream north London primary school."

Stars contributions to Presidential Candidates.

Entertainment: Nothing out of the ordinary, Hollywood liberals giving to liberal candidates. Though Ben Stiller may have some explaining to do.

* Ruby Dee, actress: $250
* Danny DeVito, actor: $2,300
* Fran Drescher, TV’s “The Nanny”: $2,300
* Joely Fisher, actress $4,600
* Tom Hanks, actor: $2,300
* Ed Helms, actor, “Andy Bernard” in NBC’s “The Office”: $250
* Sharon Lawrence, “NYPD Blue” co-star: $1,000
* Tobey Maguire, actor $4,600
* Marla Maples, actress: $1,000
* Paul Newman, actor: $4,600
* Rhea Perlman, actress $2,300
* Pauly Shore, actor $1,000
* Ben Stiller, actor $6,900 ($4,600 is the legal limit)
* George Takei, actor $1,000
* Lily Tomlin, actress $2,000
* Rita Wilson, actress $2,300
* Joanne Woodward, actress $4,600

* John Lithgow, actor: $1000
* Christy Romano, actress, singer, voice of “Kim Possible”: $300

* Oliver Stone, director: $500
* Mary Steenburgen, actress: $2300
* Ben Stiller, actor: $4600
* Peter Coyote, actor: $1054
* Sharon Lawrence, actress: $1000

* Mark Ruffalo, actor: $700

* Adam Arkin, actor $250
* Paul Dooley, actor $2,300
* Jodie Foster, actress $1,000
* Jamie Foxx, actor $2,300
* Martha Hackett, “Star Trek” actress $2,300
* Bruce Hornsby, singer $2,300
* Anna Horsford, “Amen” actress $500
* Cedric “The Entertainer” Kyles, actor $2,500
* Eriq La Salle, actor $500
* Paul Newman, actor $4,600
* Tom Skerritt, actor $1,000
* Jean Smart, actress $4,600
* Jada Smith, actress $4,600
* Will Smith, actor $4,600
* David Sutcliffe, “Gilmore Girls” Actor $1,250
* Isaiah Washington, former “Grey’s Anatomy” Actor $2,300
* Joanne Woodward, Actress $4,600

* Shelley Morrison, actress (“Rosario” on “Will and Grace”): $1600
* Alexandra Paul, actress, “Baywatch” co-star: $1300
* Deirdre Hall, “Days of Our Lives” actress: $1000
* Hector Elizondo, actor: $300

* Michael Douglas, actor: $3100
* Val Kilmer, actor: $2300
* Paul Newman, actor: $2300
* Edward James Olmos, actor: $2300
* Wendie Malick, “Just Shoot Me” actress: $500
* Steven Spielberg, director: $2300
* Kate Capshaw, actress, wife of Steven Spielberg: $2300
* Jodie Foster, actress: $1000
* Christie Brinkley, self-described as “Model/Mom/Environmental activist”: $500
* Bette Midler, actress/singer: $4600
* Sherry Lansing, former film executive: $2300
* William Friedkin, director: $2300
* James L. Brooks, producer/writer: $1000

* Tony Sirico, actor, “Paulie Walnuts” on “The Sopranos”: $1000
* Melissa Gilbert, actress: $4600

The chickens of Prince William County.

Immigration: First one involves chickens and yet another dose(possibly) of liberal white guilt and cultural sensitivity.

Backyard poultry have been popping up all over Prince William County recently, to the amusement-- and alarm -- of residents and county officials. County zoning laws ban farm animals from most residential areas, but in the past year, inspectors have tallied as many as 32 chicken violations, a large increase from 2004, when they had three.

The county does not keep records as to violators' ethnicity, but in most cases, officials and homeowners say, the offending fowl are introduced by Hispanic immigrant families who want to keep the birds as pets. Fines are rarely levied, because the vast majority of complaints are resolved through voluntary compliance, according to inspectors. But the sight and sound of suburban chickens are one more worry for those who see the birds as part of the escalating culture clash in Prince William, in which previous skirmishes have broken out over illegal construction, overcrowding, vehicles parked on lawns and other "quality-of-life" issues.

Typical Wash Po writer trying to make light of a serious situation. People buy houses in these nice areas and shouldn't have to deal illegal construction, overcrowding, vehicles parked on lawns and damn chickens running around the area which is also unhealthy in the long run.

So for now, the problem appears to be most pronounced in Prince William, where relatively affordable housing has attracted a large influx of Latin American immigrants in recent years. Many newcomers are from rural areas in Mexico and Central America, where chickens roam without fear of zoning inspectors.

County officials and residents say they are sensitive to this fact and do not want to disparage others' cultures and customs. "I'm Hispanic; I understand," said Paris, a native of Uruguay. "We're open-minded. But this is an urban environment."

I will happily disparage it, you live in a urban, suburban area, this is not farm land. Just because you did something in rural(hint!) area of Latin America doesn't mean it is acceptable here. This is why I stress about assimilation and integration has to come mainly from groups who are moving into the majority area.

Last month, Cristina Morales thought such a fate had befallen her rooster. Morales and her husband grew up in rural Honduras, and when their kids noticed that another family in the neighborhood had chickens, they wanted some, too. Her husband brought home two hens and a rooster, then turned them loose to peck in the back yard. But there was one problem with this free-range experiment.

"We don't have a fence, so they got out," Morales explained in Spanish. When their neighbors complained, Morales said she and her husband gave the hens away but couldn't find the rooster. The kids clamored for replacements. "My son says, 'Mami, buy me another chicken; I want another little chicken,'" she said, shrugging. "I don't see what's wrong with it."

Last week, a rooster, hen and numerous chicks were seen in the Morales family's yard. Neighbors claim the family is keeping the birds indoors, allowing them outside on occasion to peck and scratch in the yard.

But tolerance is running low these days among jittery Prince William residents who say they see too many houses for sale, too many foreclosures, and too many unkempt yards for their liking. That's why Virginia Paris and her husband, Cavin Mooers, said they're eager to sell. "We're afraid our home will depreciate more, so now we want to make a run for it," Paris said.

This is where the Gawker crowd runs around screaming about the evils of suburbanites not being tolerate and embracing diversity. It is ridiculous this sort of behavior wasn't clamped down upon faster because people wanted to be sensitive. There are certain ways of living and if you come here it would be nice to at least try to get a handle on it.

Prince William County immigration plans got people scared.

Immigration: Illegals say they are moving out and now other counties are planning similar laws.

The resolution approved unanimously by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors on Tuesday orders police officers to verify the residency status of anyone in custody whom they suspect to be an illegal immigrant. The resolution also seeks to block access to public services and benefits for illegal immigrants, claiming they are causing "economic hardship and lawlessness" in the county. The measures -- the toughest in Virginia -- apply to all illegal immigrants, but in Prince William that means mostly Hispanics.

Support for the measures among the county's non-Hispanic residents appeared to be broad, and county supervisors said their offices have been flooded by calls and e-mails backing the resolution. "This country is founded on the basis of laws," said Tom Brown, at a Borders bookstore on the Prince William Parkway. "Illegal means illegal."

Of course for some, this means getting to vote so you can continue to fund illegals which is only going to make people more angry.

Hispanics who have lived in Prince William for years said they felt blindsided by the measures and the stinging comments they heard from county residents who blame them for ruining their neighborhoods, parks and schools.

"It seems like it came out of nowhere," said Woodbridge resident Silvia Leiva, 18, who was born in Arlington County. She said members of her family and friends -- some legal, others not -- were "flipping out."

Leiva also said the resolution's success exposed the political weakness of the county's Hispanic community, which does not vote in proportion to its numbers. "People are saying they should do more to learn the language and register to vote," she said.

Villarta and other immigrants interviewed last week described Tuesday's vote as the latest in a litany of disappointing signs about their future in the United States. "People have been watching the news, hoping something good would happen in the Senate," he said, referring to the proposed immigration reforms that died in Congress. "Now we watch the news expecting to hear the worst."

Some are just arrogant.

The resolution's effect on Hispanic communities has stretched well beyond Prince William.

"They're talking about this in Jefferson County, in Clarke, all the way to West Virginia," Adrian Escobar said in Spanish, sipping from a Big Gulp cup outside a pupusa kiosk on Route 1. He and his brother Antonio dashed across the border from Mexico nearly 15 years ago and have been in the United States illegally since. They live in Winchester and make $17 an hour as flagmen for a Virginia Department of Transportation subcontractor.

The Escobar brothers shrugged at all the fretting they'd been hearing from other Hispanics last week, including workers who commute to Prince William to do its grunt work. "Who else is going to pave the roads here?" Adrian asked, cracking up with laughter. "An American? Ha!"

Antonio said he wasn't fazed. "If you're afraid, they'll just intimidate you more," he said. Besides, he added, the brothers have a plan in case Prince William police and immigration officials send them home for a "free vacation" to their father's farm in Guanajuato.

"We'll be right back here in a month," Antonio said.

Behind the scenes of CBS's Kid Nation.

Entertainment: Except for the "wink wink" of saying they were in a summer camp. It sounds like benign reality show with a bunch of kids.

"....Networks had produced reality shows with kids before (Disney Channel had a show called "Bug Juice" set at a summer camp that’s not entirely dissimilar to "Nation"). But Mr. Forman and CBS reality head Ghen Maynard wanted to go further than any production had previously attempted in terms of isolating children from adults and the outside world.

"It’s hard to find good adult reality characters. They all know what they’re supposed to do," said Mr. Forman, giving an interview on "Nation" for the first time since CBS’ May upfront presentation to advertisers. "You need participants who didn’t grow up on this stuff."

The network immediately recognized the appeal—and difficulty—of the show. There were a million "what if?" disaster scenarios, such as a child getting injured on the set.

In a television genre known for breakneck turnaround times, "Kid Nation" spent six months in development at CBS as lawyers, labor and production experts vetted the plan.

One key point: Finding the right location. According to the CBS preview, "Nation" charges 40 kids with "fixing their forefathers’ mistakes" by rebuilding the "completely dead ... former mining town" of Bonanza City, New Mexico, into a functioning community.

"Nation" shot at the Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch, a privately owned town setting that has been featured in films such as "Silverado" and "All the Pretty Horses." The ranch was built on the ruins of Bonanza City by various production companies. Although a few original structures remain, the bulk of the town was constructed during the past few decades.

Using a set built for filming not only made it easier for the "Nation" crew, but also was a safer environment for the kids (who ranged from 8 to 15 years old).