Saturday, August 18, 2007

BBC stops storyline about Muslim suicide bombers.

UK: The show's producers honestly didn't think they would get this past the politically correct BBC management types?

The BBC has abandoned plans to screen a fictional terrorist attack by Muslim suicide bombers in the primetime drama Casualty after internal clashes over whether the highly sensitive subject matter would cause offence.

BBC drama executives were keen to push the storyline and may even have started filming, a source close to the production told The Observer. But they were overruled by the corporation's editorial guidelines department, which ordered that the episode be changed so that the Muslim characters were replaced by animal rights extremists.

The producers' frustration at BBC policy is likely to be intensified by revelations that Channel 4 is to risk controversy by broadcasting a two-part thriller, written and directed by the Bafta-winning Peter Kosminsky, which depicts a suicide bombing by a young female Muslim causing devastation in London's Canary Wharf.

A source close to next month's new series of Casualty, the long-running BBC1 hospital drama, said that it was to start with a two-part special in which a young Muslim runs into a bus station and blows himself up. Another Muslim is wearing a suicide vest but fails to detonate it; instead he is injured and the vest has to be carefully removed.

The source said that senior figures in the drama department supported the idea but were blocked by editorial guideline staff, who oversee the corporation's editorial and ethical standards. The drama staff were overruled because of concerns that the story would perpetuate stereotypes of young Muslims in Britain.

Channel 4 who likes controversy seems to be moving right along with its own bomber storyline.

In contrast to the BBC's stance, Channel 4 is preparing a publicity offensive around Britz which, like its controversial The Government Inspector about the death of Dr David Kelly, is written and directed by Kosminsky and produced by the independent company Mentorn.

So far Channel 4 has only released a brief synopsis on the internet: 'A gritty and unflinching contemporary thriller about two young British Muslims, a brother and a sister, forced to confront who they are, as a hunt rages to uncover an active terrorist cell in mainland Britain.'

But The Observer has learnt that the four-hour drama will portray an increasingly radicalised female Muslim from Bradford who, after travelling to a militant training camp in Pakistan, becomes a suicide bomber and causes carnage in Canary Wharf. Another character from the same background joins MI5 because he wants to protect Britain.

A member of the cast said: 'It's a suicide bombing: the character goes right into the heart of Canary Wharf, then blows herself up. This will be a very controversial piece but it's strong enough to watch and come to a human conclusion. Reading the script, the events didn't shock me as much as the arguments, which are very close to the bone.

'What drives young Muslims to make choices like this? It confronts the issues facing them at the moment, but not in a stereotypical way.'

This is going to end up being the West's fault she became a bomber isn't it?

"Playboy" Kevin Rudd likes the strip clubs?

Australia: Maybe he isn't a stick in the mud whiny leftist tool if he and his party wins in the next Aussie elections.

OPPOSITION Leader Kevin Rudd has admitted visiting a New York strip club during a drunken night while representing Australia at the United Nations.

Mr Rudd yesterday issued a statement to The Sunday Telegraph, confirming he went to the club.

But he said he could not recall what happened at the night spot because he had "had too much to drink".

"If my behaviour caused any offence to anybody whatsoever that evening, I of course wholeheartedly apologise," he said.

Mr Rudd went to the Manhattan "gentlemen's club" Scores in September, 2003, when he was Shadow foreign affairs minister.

APEC unlikely to accept binding gas targets.

Enviro: As I have said over the years no nation in its right mind will cut its growth or developed economy for climate change. Everyone will be better off making technology while maintaining the lifestyle everyone demands and is accustomed too.

CANBERRA, Australia: APEC member nations will not accept greenhouse gas emission targets to fight global climate change and creating energy-efficient economies is the way forward, Australia's environment minister said Saturday.

The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum will focus on improving energy efficiency instead of setting specific gas emission reduction targets as the 1997 Kyoto Protocol did, Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

"Most of the fast-growing industrializing economies, China being the classic case ... are not going to agree to binding targets on the basis of the Kyoto model," Turnbull said.

The comments came a day after the environmental group Greenpeace said it obtained a proposed draft declaration circulated by Australia among APEC member states ahead of September's annual meeting in Sydney.

The draft, viewed by The Associated Press on Friday, said Asia-Pacific governments have been asked to improve energy efficiency and increase forest cover throughout the region to stop climate change.

However, no mention was made of mandatory targets to cut the amount of heat-trapping gasses released by human activity into the atmosphere.

Who are the APEC nations?

Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the US and Vietnam comprise APEC, which represents half of world trade, a third of its population and 60 per cent of the output of goods and services.

Attn: Gulfstream is not slowing down.

Enviro: Via Ottawa Citizen.

A major study is throwing cold water on the idea that global warming is already slowing down the Gulf Stream, which supplies much of western Europe's warmth.

That's the idea behind Hollywood's disaster movie on global warming, The Day After Tomorrow: The Gulf Stream suddenly stops flowing and everything freezes.

Some preliminary observations have hinted that global warming has already begun to slow down the Gulf Stream. And even conservative scientists warn that within 50 to 100 years, the Gulf Stream is likely to slow by some 20 per cent, or possibly more.

But there's no evidence this is happening yet, says the study released today in a major international research journal, Science. It says the decreases reported so far in the warm ocean current are consistent with natural, normal variations in the Atlantic Ocean - not pollution caused by humans.

The giant ocean current, in fact, delivers more than eight times more water at some times than at others - a vast difference that has been there, unnoticed, all along.

When it's in slow gear, the Gulf Stream carries four-million cubic metres of warm water every second, northeast from the Florida Strait to Europe. But its maximum flow is 34.9-million cubic metres per second.

The news this ocean current has such big natural swings has the potential to raise a political ruckus in the climate field.

Opponents of global warming haven't had much scientific support lately, as research evidence for the global warming theory has piled up.

The opponents maintain, however, changes seen in Earth's climate are a natural variation that are interpreted too quickly as the result of human pollution.

Now the Gulf Stream study, while not denying that global warming threatens to change the ocean current eventually, shows "natural variability" is indeed a potent force.

"Earlier estimates of decreasing circulation (of the Gulf Stream) fall within this variation, suggesting that the decrease may be part of a natural yearly trend," Science says in a summary of today's research.

Gordon McBean, a former senior official at Environment Canada who now teaches at the University of Western Ontario, doesn't think the Gulf Stream study should change anyone's mind on global warming. But he acknowledges it will likely be cited by skeptics as if it does undermine the basic theory.


NYTIMES's Selena Roberts casts Vick as victim of snitches.

Crime: This is the same Roberts who convicted the Duke Lacrosse players as guilty and wondered why no one was snitching on them. This time she portrays Vick as being failed by friends. Via Newsbusters and Hotair.

The crooked circle Michael Vick drew around himself has tripped and squeezed him.

The first to fail Vick was Davon Boddie, a cousin and personal chef. His marijuana possession charge in April led police to a white house with black buildings behind it on Moonlight Road in Surry County, Va. [Darn that Davon. If only he hadn't been busted on the pot charge, Vick might have been able to continue -- allegedly -- killing dogs that didn't make the grade.]

The first to flip on Vick was Tony Taylor, a fast friend from Newport News, Va., with an arrest record for drug trafficking and a traffic record for reckless driving.
The latest to betray Vick is Quanis Phillips, a friend since middle school. Along with Purnell Peace, Phillips, who once served jail time on a drug charge, accepted a plea deal on Friday and implicated Vick as the owner and operator of a dogfighting ring. [Does Roberts believe in the law of omerta?]

Group dynamics can collapse under pressure. Vick has been abandoned, left to contemplate a plea deal that could imprison him and ruin his N.F.L. career.

Vick is not the victim but unless something dramatic comes out a willing participant and head financier. He put himself in this situation and now he can't get out of it without punishment.

But this piece reminds me why I am so gleeful when NYTIMES shuts down the timesselect because it will be a blog target rich environment to rip apart if this is the quality people are paying to read.

Brussels mayor bans march against Islamisation of Europe

EU: I am not one for banning marches, but the reasoning behind this by Freddy Thielemans has everything to do with his fears of the Muslim community reacting with violence. That says volumes of the Euro thinking elites, better to bow than stand up for your rights and free speech.

Protest against "Islamisation" banned
10 August 2007

BRUSSELS (AFP) - Brussels mayor Freddy Thielemans has banned a protest against the "Islamisation" of Europe planned for 11 September, the anniversary of the suicide attacks on the US, his spokesman said Thursday.

The "Stop the Islamisation of Europe" (SIOE) group last month announced its intention to organise a protest in front of the European parliament building, six years after the suicide plane attacks in New York and Washington.

The group, which started in Denmark, considers Islam "a tool for introducing Islamic imperialistic politics."

On its website it argues: "Islam and democracy are incompatible due to teachings within the Koran itself."

The group hopes to bring thousands out onto the streets of the Belgian capital on 11 September. It is organising other protests to take place simultaneously around the world, notably in the United States, Canada and Australia.

But the mayor's spokesman Nicolas Dassonville said: "The danger to public order is too high," to allow the Brussels protest to go ahead.

"The sizeable foreign community living in the area could react to the action," he added.

The city of Brussels authorities receive between 500 and 600 requests to hold protests each year. In the last five years only six have been banned, said Dassonville.

NIAC crowed about its success cowering Weinstein Bros.

Entertainment: A reverse followup from this August 9th post about the Weinstein Bros changing a movie entire plot.

Stumbled upon this from July where the National Iranian America Council praised the sensitivity of the people working on this year's Crash like movie Crossing over for deleting everything related to honor killing plot.

Los Angeles/Washington DC - Ongoing conversations between NIAC and the director and actors in the upcoming film, ‘Crossing Over,’ reached a positive conclusion last week. According to the film’s director, all elements of an honor killing in the script have been eliminated. Written in the tradition of ‘Crash,’ the film follows the struggles of individuals from different immigrant communities as they strive to ‘cross over’ from illegal residency to documented citizenship. Harrison Ford is playing the lead role of Max Brogan, a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

His partner, Hamid Baraheri, played by Cliff Curtis, is a naturalized Iranian-American citizen. The star-studded ensemble cast also features Sean Penn, Ashley Judd, and Ray Liotta. The film is currently in the last stages of production and is due out this December.

At issue was the depiction of Iranian Americans committing an "honor killing" in Los Angeles, a scenario that is both highly unlikely and potentially inflammatory. In a letter to ‘Crossing Over' director/producer Wayne Kramer on May 15, NIAC outlined its concerns.

If "significant changes" were not made, NIAC wrote, "the film will generate serious backlash against the Iranian American community, further punishing a population that has been increasingly the target of discrimination in this time of escalated tensions between the U.S. and Iran." The producer immediately contacted NIAC to discuss the issue and agreed take its concerns into consideration.

NIAC later submitted its analysis and suggestions to the production team, which changed elements of the script and even re-shot certain scenes. The final product, the director says, does not include any reference to "family honor" and does not depict an honor killing.

Tories plan green taxes to replace death duty.

Politics: If you want a good idea why the Tories are also-rans in the UK these days, this magnificent idea is a prime example.

A raft of "green taxes" will have to be imposed to pay for abolishing death duties, the Conservatives said yesterday.

George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, confirmed yesterday that inheritance tax could be scrapped or reduced by an incoming Conservative government.

The Tories also hinted at other potential tax cuts for "Middle England" voters, in line with a policy review arguing that high taxes were holding back Britain's economy.

Mr Osborne made clear that cutting or reducing inheritance tax would have to be offset by "higher taxes elsewhere, most notably green taxes".

The idea when you cut taxes does not include making new ones somewhere else to offset. This is not a cut, this is Three-card Monte.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Chinese Entrepreneurs Flourish in Africa.

Africa: But Bono said investment in Africa is not going to work!

LILONGWE, Malawi — When Yang Jie left home at 18, he was doing what people from China’s hardscrabble Fujian Province have done for generations: emigrating in search of a better living overseas.

What set him apart was his destination. Instead of the traditional adopted homelands like the United States and Europe, where Fujian people have settled by the hundreds of thousands, he chose this small, landlocked country in southern Africa.

“Before I left China,” said Mr. Yang, now 25, “I thought Africa was all one big desert.” So he figured that ice cream would be in high demand, and with money pooled from relatives and friends, he created his own factory at the edge of Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. The climate is in fact subtropical, but that has not stopped his ice cream company from becoming the country’s biggest.

Stories like this have become legion across Africa in the past five years or so, as hundreds of thousands of Chinese have discovered the continent, setting off to do business in a part of the world that had been terra incognita. The Xinhua News Agency recently estimated that at least 750,000 Chinese were working or living for extended periods on the continent, a reflection of deepening economic ties between China and Africa that reached $55 billion in trade in 2006, compared with less than $10 million a generation earlier.

Even when Mr. Yang arrived here in 2001, he said, he could go weeks without encountering another traveler from his homeland. But as surely as his investments in the country have prospered, he said, an increasingly large community of Chinese migrants has taken root, and now runs everything from small factories to health care clinics and trading companies.

Today, in many of the countries where the new Chinese emigrants have settled, like Chad, Chinese-owned pharmacies, massage parlors and restaurants serving a variety of regional Chinese cuisines can be found; the Western presence, once dominant, has steadily dwindled, and essentially consists nowadays of relief experts working international agencies or oil workers, living behind high walls in heavily guarded enclaves.

At first, this new Chinese exodus was driven largely by word of mouth, as pioneers like Mr. Yang relayed news back home of abundant opportunities in a part of the world where many economies lie undeveloped or in ruins, and where even in the richer countries many things taken for granted in the developed world await builders and investors.

Conditions like these often deter Western investors, but for many budding Chinese entrepreneurs, Africa’s emerging economies are inviting precisely because they seem small and accessible. Competition is often weak or nonexistent, and for African customers, the low price of many Chinese goods and services make them more affordable than their Western counterparts.

Not that there isn't any culture clashes or hurt feelings as you read the article, but it is amazing you are about these startups by the Chinese in Africa and Western people are running around screaming about debt reliefs and more hand outs which is not what Africa needs.

Quad babies born in Montana cause Canada couldn't handle.

Medical: Well hell... you had a couple of months to get things ready even in an emergency.

A Calgary mother was sent to the United States to give birth to a rare set of identical quadruplets because no neonatal intensive care unit in Canada had enough beds for them.

Karen Jepp was two-centimetres dilated and had begun to have contractions at Calgary's Foothills Medical Centre last Friday when she was told there was no room for her babies. The hospital says it had been preparing for their arrival, but three other premature infants were born unexpectedly overnight, putting the facility two preemies over its 16-bed capacity.

Medical staff checked every Level 3 NICU, which are for premature babies who need the most monitoring and care, across the country. Ontario, for example, has 200 such beds. None could accommodate four babies together.

The closest U.S. hospital was in Great Falls, Mont., and it could take them.

Not to be picky, but an entire country couldn't take four babies with its free healthcare system even in an emergency, but Great Falls, Montana could? Why?

Ms. Jepp's case highlights the increasing tendency for Canadian women with high-risk pregnancies to be sent to the United States to give birth, a development some attribute to an increase in the number of premature births, a nursing shortage and a stretched health-care system.

With no beds available in their home province or nearby, expectant mothers going into labour before 32 weeks gestation (when babies need the highest level of neonatal intensive care) are often sent by air ambulance to hospitals in Washington, Montana, Michigan and New York.

In Alberta, at least five pregnant women were transferred to Montana this year.

Oh, Okay.

Bono heckles when Africans say stop the aid, push investments.

Africa: I can't believe I missed this blow up. This only confirmed to me that Bono is nothing more than a pompous guilt ridden Euro who see Africans as some sort of pet that needs a mommy/daddy government and white liberals help to be saved with hand outs.

TED Day 1: Bono Heckles the Stage
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
By Jason Pontin
The elite technology show has come to Africa. Africans are pleading for investment, which angers the Irish rock star.

.....There have been some consistent themes. The first is that the media is morally culpable for propagating images of African poverty, famine, war, and despair. This made me feel impatient. Surely we can agree that while there are other, more benign stories in Africa, journalists are not misrepresenting reality when they write about poor, hungry, beaten, and despairing Africans?

But the second, more interesting theme--echoed by every speaker--is that traditional aid and charity, whether distributed by nation-states or nongovernmental bodies, have failed. Andrew Mwenda, a Ugandan journalist and social worker, now a fellow at Stanford, made the case most strongly. He argued convincingly that 30 years of Western aid to Africa has achieved nothing at all. More, he said that the persistence of African poverty could be explained, in part, by aid. He explained that aid had convinced the brightest Africans to work for corrupt governments rather than as entrepreneurs, and it had "distorted the incentive structure."

"What man or nation," Mwenda asked, "has ever become rich by holding out a begging bowl?"

Far better, he said, is finding Westerners to invest in African entrepreneurs or businesses, which would create wealth. Mwenda, like other speakers, described at length the investment opportunities in Africa. (I half expected the pitch to be directly addressed to Doerr et al.)

This line of argument enraged Bono, however, who began heckling Mwenda.

"Bollocks!" he shouted. "That's bullshit."

Bono is a strong supporter of intelligently managed aid. When it came his turn to speak, he said that Ireland's current prosperity is explained by government investment in its people, particularly education. He said that listening to Mwenda was like listening to an African Margaret Thatcher.
Oh, and everything you've heard about Bono's height is entirely true: he really is remarkably short.

You can read about Andrew Mwenda here . As for Bono's snipe about Thatcher. If Africa ever had leaders like Thatcher you would see a mark improvement in the development of Africa. Now this line of aid failing and hurting Africa is nothing new. James Shikwati said the same thing a couple of years ago in the now famous "For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!" article in Spiegel.
But clearly Bono who got heat from people who are actually in Africa has decided he knows what is best and people like Mwenda is a nutjob in his liberal mindset.

Ethan Zuckerman's (second post) has a more detail account of Bono ridiculing Mwenda and others who said the aid plan is not working by bringing up the Marshall Plan and how Germany is spending 4% of its economy to bring about reunification. That shows Bono is a fool since from every account the reunification plan of Germany is a joke.

Bono’s talk is a response to the “Mwenda plan” - a reference to Andrew Mwenda’s critique of foreign aid. He says he’s not sure there is a plan, and accuses Mwenda, in a swipe, of being a comedian - getting a laugh by pointing to the thing in the room no one will talk about. He argues that the money Mwenda complains about - $600 billion in the past 30-40 years - is really a very small amount of money, about $14 dollars per African over the past 50 years. (That doesn’t sound right to me - with $600 billion given and a current continental population of 900 million points to $600-700 per living African… but I don’t have historical population figures…)

Even if the numbers were right, how much of that money actually went to the population and wasn't stolent by corrupt governments? Bono also sets himself up as a John Edward's type hypocrite when he talks about Ireland's government investment considering him and his boys in U2 took their money out of Ireland tax system to a tax haven in the Netherlands. As long as he doesn't have to have his money invested then he is fine with it.

U2's move has been revealed as Bono's California-based venture capital firm, Elevation Partners, confirmed it had invested around $300m (£157m) in Forbes, the US business magazine frequently described as the "bible of capitalism".

Irish politicians have expressed surprise at U2's decision to move part of its multi-million pound operation from Ireland to Amsterdam. The tax rate on royalty earnings in the Netherlands - where many of the Rolling Stones' assets are based - is only a few per cent.

U2's changeover may have been triggered by reforms announced last December by the Irish finance minister, Brian Cowen, who imposed a cap of €250,000 (£168,000) on tax-free incomes for artists resident in the republic. Before the cap, the scheme attracted many famous names to Ireland. But the government came under pressure to curtail the incomes of those benefiting disproportionately from the scheme.
At the time Mr Cowen said: "We cannot stand over a situation in which some high-earning tax residents, through the use of incentive reliefs, can reduce their taxable income to nil."

The Irish Labour party's finance spokeswoman, Joan Burton, said this week: "Having listened to Bono on the necessity for the Irish government to give more money to Ireland Aid ... I am surprised that U2 are not prepared to contribute to the exchequer on a fair basis along with the bulk of Irish taxpayers."

Recent events in Kenya, where GE is making a multi billion dollar investments, the wireless boom all over the continent where it has allowed many including women to open up their own businesses is proof that investments can jumpstart a society far better than handouts. Ghanaians reject the Bono/Geldof way.

The problem is their way makes people feel good about themselves while contributing nothing to the solution. Until enough people in Africa and in the West say enough, Bono browbeating people who know more than him and treating Africa like some personal zoo is going to continue.

Mugabe cheered at African summit

Africa: You can't complain about political courage in African leaders because there isn't any to begin with.

LUSAKA, Zambia - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe received the loudest cheers Thursday at the start of a southern African summit where his country's economic and political turmoil top the agenda.

Many in the West blame Mugabe's policies for the severe inflation and acute shortages that have crippled his country, once a regional breadbasket. But the dignitaries' reaction as Mugabe was introduced appeared to reflect the opinion that the longtime ruler has been unfairly targeted — or at least a hesitation to criticize a fellow leader many revere as an anti-colonialist hero.

South African President Thabo Mbeki is leading a regional effort to mediate a truce between Mugabe and his political opposition and was expected to report Thursday on his efforts.

As the summit opened, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, who is taking over the rotating chairmanship of the 14-member Southern African Development Community, praised elder statesmen who helped liberate countries in the region from colonial rule.

Mwanawasa also urged Zimbabweans to "maintain peace and stability at all costs, because the opposite will just push your beautiful country even further backward."

They go back any further, they will be in the stone age.

2 die in Zimbabwe sugar stampede

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Hordes of shoppers desperate to buy sugar amid severe shortages stampeded at a shopping complex in Zimbabwe's second-largest city, killing a 15-year-old boy and a security guard, state media reported Thursday.

Several people were also injured in the rush Wednesday at the Entumbane Shopping Complex in Bulawayo, the Zimbabwe state-controlled Chronicle newspaper reported.

A government order slashing prices of all goods and services by about half in June has led to acute shortages of bread, meat, gasoline and other basic commodities in Zimbabwe, which is in its worst economic crisis since independence in 1980.

The price cuts have prompted panic buying and hoarding.

Woooo!!! Go MUGABE! You rock!

For U.S. Officials, France Is the Place to Be

France: Good lord, if the Post insists on paying for a foreign service reporter like Molly Moore, at least make sure she can write with some substance instead of setting up a weak strawman like this one.

PARIS -- Donald Rumsfeld is out of the Pentagon, Nicolas Sarkozy is in the Elysee presidential palace and -- voila! -- the nearly five-year drought in official Washington visits to France is over.

With relations between Paris and Washington warming rapidly after nasty disagreements over the Iraq war, the rush is on to make up for lost time in the gilded government salons, air show chalets and scenic ports of the world's premier tourist destination.

In the last two months, Pentagon generals flocked to the biennial Paris air show, the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise stopped for a port call in Cannes on the Mediterranean Sea, and four Supreme Court justices and the U.S. secretaries of state and defense arrived for official visits.

"There's a lot of interest in forming strong relations with the new leadership in France, Germany and the U.K.," Craig R. Stapleton, the U.S. ambassador here, said in a telephone interview from Maine, where he was vacationing. "At all levels -- policy, culture and business -- there is a recognition of how important the French are."

In addition, Stapleton said the high-level visits are helping dispel the "latent sense among Americans that there's an anti-American sentiment in France."

Stapleton has the right idea of what is going on, in those three countries especially Germany and France are leaders America can work with without a big chance of them stabbing you in the back. Rumsfeld if he was still in charge would have dropped the hostility with Sarkozy in power.

Representative Tom Lantos realizes the reality unlike Molly Moore.

We are at the beginning of a new renaissance of US-Europe relations," Representative Tom Lantos, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said.

Former French president Jacques Chirac and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, straining relations with the United States.

"With President Sarkozy -- I am the only American politician who pronounces his name properly -- in Paris, with my friend Angela Merkel in Berlin, with the new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown ... I expect a dramatically closer and more harmonious relationship between the U.S. and Europe than what we had under Schroeder and Chirac," Lantos said.

Patriotic War Book Heats Up Hollywood

Entertainment: Hollywood is hot to make a movie based on Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes Of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell according to Nikki Finke.
I hear there's a frenzied Hollywood bidding war going on today over the No. 1 book on The New York Times non-fiction bestseller list: Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes Of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell. Studio toppers are interrupting their vacations to try to get this book which was sold to Little Brown by superagent Ed Victor for a seven figure advance. How interesting that liberal Hollywood is hot for this patriotic tell-all by a proud conservative.

According to The Washington Post review, it's the true story of American heroism and Afghani humanity, of morality vs survival. In June 2005, Petty Officer turned combat-trained Navy SEAL Luttrell led a four-man team into the mountains of Afghanistan on a mission to kill a Taliban leader thought to be allied with Osama bin Laden. On foot, the SEALs encountered two adult men and a teenage boy. A debate broke out as to whether the trio should be summarily executed to keep them from alerting the Taliban. Luttrell opted to spare the Afghanis' lives. About an hour later, the Taliban launched an attack that killed all the SEALs except Luttrell, who was sure that the three Afghanis he let go turned around and betrayed his team.

Over the next four days, terribly injured and presumed dead, Luttrell crawled for miles through the mountains until a village of Afghanis took him in and cared for him. Luttrell survived, returned home and received the Navy Cross for combat heroism from President Bush. "In this rich, moving chronicle of courage, honor, and patriotism, Marcus Luttrell delivers one of the most powerful narratives ever written about modern warfare -- and a tribute to his teammates, who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country," the Washington Post said. Come to think of it, this hot book does sound like a hell of a movie.

Does sound like it would make a great movie, but considering this is Hollywood, I wonder how they would screw it up because it actually shows a military person in a positive light. I doubt they would go after it if it wasn't for the Afghan village taking him in and caring for him. Cynical yes, but this is Hollywood.

Underhanded Sports Tactics.

Sports: They have a list, but this stands out.

Seeking to psych out challengers in the days leading up to big fights, Hall of Fame boxer Charles “Kid” McCoy frequently feigned illness or spread rumors of an injury. Then, when the bout came around, McCoy would show up in perfect form. (This supposedly prompted reporters to wonder whether they’d be seeing “the real McCoy” in the ring.)

But McCoy’s lowest blow? In 1893, when he fought a deaf mute. Toward the end of the fourth round, McCoy simply dropped his gloves and walked back to his corner as though the bell had sounded. When the deaf fighter turned to do the same, McCoy ran over and knocked him out.

UK: Yes Prime Minister, Who Reads the Papers.

Media: I guess this is a good primer for people reading UK papers on who reads what and why from Yes Prime Minister.

Via Telegraph.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

More fallout from the Seattle Times cheer Rove's departure.

Media: The cheering of a few goofs in a Seattle Times news meetings still going around making news as Howard Kurtz calls it an embarrassment and David Postman along with executive editor David Boardman for the Times try to put out the fire.

This lead to Joe Scarborough talking about an incident where people were booing the 2003 State of the Union address by President Bush at MSNBC which is not surprising. But I endorse the cheering and partisanship in the media. Everyone knows you are all liberal, wear your feelings on your sleeves and stop insulting the public by telling the lie you can be objective when you are not.

8 year old girl tries to bike out of Florida to Ohio.

Nation: I don't blame the poor kid given she just moved down here where the news stations love to go overboard at times with hurricane coverage.

When an 8-year-old girl was reported missing from a DeLand home Wednesday evening, the response from law enforcement was quick and massive.

The girl was last seen about 6:30 p.m. riding her bike in front of the home. Twenty minutes later, when her dad arrived home, she was nowhere to be found. After he drove around the neighborhood looking for her, police were called.

As the Volusia County Sheriff's Air One helicopter searched from above, DeLand police officers questioned the girl's parents, talked to neighbors and checked out a homeless camp not far from the home on Cypress Oak Circle.

The family recently moved to DeLand from Columbus, Ohio, and the girl had not made any friends in the area, her parents told police. She had never been missing before.

About 45 minutes after the girl was reported missing, neighbors and deputies in the helicopter spotted her on East Plymouth Avenue. By that time she had pedaled almost a mile, which put her just a little more than 900 miles from her destination. The girl was heading home to Columbus. There has been a lot of news lately about hurricanes and she told police she was afraid of hurricanes. And, after all, Columbus was her home, she told the officers.

Police took the girl home and reunited her with her parents.

Taxi firm settles with blind man denied service by Muslim driver.

Canada: This is the sort of ruling you would expect from a multi-cult country like Canada that has reached the point where it has to bend so far back to be "fair" to everyone and it will end up making matters worse.

A blind Vancouver man who was shunned by a taxi driver who didn't want a guide dog in his cab has reached a $2,500 settlement with North Shore Taxi.

Bruce Gilmour, 49, had called a cab from a West Vancouver coffee shop after a day of skiing in November 2006.

But North Shore Taxi driver Behzad Saidy, a Muslim, refused to transport Gilmour and his golden retriever Arden, saying his religion prevents him from associating with dogs. Gilmour, who has been blind for 30 years, filed a human rights complaint, alleging discrimination.

"I'm tired of defending my dignity," he said Wednesday.

Last Friday - three days before a B.C. human rights tribunal hearing - Gilmour reached a settlement with the taxi company.

That sounds correct, then it veers into the realm of P.C Canadian stupidity.

The agreement, issued by the tribunal, attempts to balance the rights of blind people with guide dogs to obtain taxi service with the rights of Muslim cab drivers to follow their personal beliefs.

...Under the terms of the settlement, North Shore Taxi was ordered to immediately establish a policy forbidding any driver to refuse a fare from a blind person accompanied by a certified guide dog.

The only exceptions are for drivers allergic to dogs and those who satisfy the company that they have an honest religious belief that precludes them from transporting certified guide dogs.

However, such drivers must call dispatch for the next available cab, give their name to the blind person and remain with the person until the next cab arrives.
Anyone who breaches the policy will be suspended for two shifts for a first offence and be subject to termination for a second offence.

Blind people will not be required to inform dispatch of their disability.

The driver is screaming about his rights.

But Saidy, the cab driver, claims he also suffered discrimination because he was told by a citizenship judge 15 years ago that he could practise his religion and culture.
He said that as a Muslim, he cannot associate with dogs because they are considered impure.

Saidy said he often walks disabled people to their door or helps them into cabs and, in Gilmour's case, he called the dispatcher to order another cab to collect him and Arden.

"I felt for [Gilmour]. I'm sorry for him but I'll never be sorry for what I did because I try to help people all the time," he said.

"I have lots of customers who are blind or disabled...but I can't be close to the dog.

"In my own company they say if you don't take the dog you're going to be fired. This is torture for me."

Saidy said he agreed to the settlement because his religion was finally respected and he was exempt from picking up guide dogs. But, he adds, he's not optimistic that's going to happen.

"I don't trust anymore," he said.

The best agreement would have been to give the driver a warning and then the next time he does it, fire him. He chooses a job where the possibility he would pick up blind people with dog would be fairly average. Now to the inconvenience of the customer who may be with a dog, they would have to wait for a second cab because someone decided to have his religion be a problem in a job where discrimination is not and should not be tolerated. Other drivers could look at this ruling and use it to satisfy their religious beliefs and I wouldn't blame them. The tribunal opened up a can of worms.

24 production stopped again, Rescue me ratings falling?

Entertainment: 24 production for the new season is being plagued by problems.

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The seventh season of the spy thriller "24" is facing another production delay.

The real-time Fox drama starring Kiefer Sutherland was scheduled to start filming August 27, but will now begin shooting September 10 so that the writers can complete enough scripts for the new seasonlong plot.

Production was originally set to begin in late July-early August, but the producers' original set-in-Africa story line fell through and they went back to the drawing board.

There has been only one new casting on the show so far -- Cherry Jones as the U.S. president -- with a couple of other deals at different stages.

"24" is going through a major revamping this year after coming off a lackluster sixth season.

Rescue me is going thru some problem noticeable enough for advertisers.

NEW YORK ( -- Media buyers are shaking their heads over the sinking fortunes of FX's "Rescue Me," a show originally anchored in the emotional high voltage of New York firehouse life after 9/11.

The initial season of the Denis Leary drama was nothing less than riveting, but now, in its fourth season, that power has drained away into a muddle of silly skits and implausible plot lines, says Ad Age television editor Brian Steinberg. Audience ratings are dropping off as well, with Nielsen Media Research reporting that show viewership has declined noticeably from the same period last year.

Colorado: U.S.-born kids of illegals are eligible for in-state tuition.

Edumacation: I don't like the ruling because it rewards the criminal behavior of illegals, but since we are not getting an amendment change anytime soon this ruling makes sense to a point.

A Republican lawmaker will push to change Colorado law after the state attorney general said Tuesday that U.S.-born kids of illegal immigrants are eligible for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities.

State Attorney General John Suthers issued a six-page opinion that says students born in the United States should qualify for in-state tuition, even if their parents are in Colorado illegally.

State Sen. David Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, said Tuesday that he'll probably file legislation next year that would change Colorado "domicile" or residency laws for parents.

Colorado law looks at whether parents have lived in the state for 12 consecutive months in determining whether a college student age 22 or younger should get in-state tuition.

This prevents kids from moving to Colorado right after they graduate from high school to receive in-state tuition. Out-of- state tuition can be more than twice as expensive at some state institutions.

Suthers said it doesn't matter whether parents are here legally or illegally, only that they have lived in Colorado for a year.

"Because it is the student, rather than the parents, who is the legal beneficiary of in-state tuition status, the fact that the parents may be in the country illegally is not a bar to the student's receipt of that benefit," Suthers wrote.

Schultheis said he wants to change that.

"People here legally have worked, they've put money into the system, all of which goes to support higher education," he said. "I have an aversion to providing domicile to someone here illegally; there is something intrinsically wrong."

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, an ardent opponent of illegal immigration, said he agreed with the attorney general.

"We've never had a problem with kids who are in the country legally," Tancredo spokesman Carlos Espinosa said. "If they're legal citizens, they should be granted in-state tuition."

Carbon offsets just to make you feel good? Yes.,

Enviro: Washington Post just now getting into a story angle that NYTIMES and Financial Times covered earlier this year.

On the Internet, erasing your role in climate change seems as easy as ordering a DVD -- and cheaper than a cup of coffee a day.

With a click, a credit card and $99, visitors can pay a Silver Spring nonprofit group,, to "offset" a year's worth of greenhouse-gas emissions. Whatever the customer put into the atmosphere -- by flying, driving, using electricity -- the site promises to cancel out, by funding projects that reduce pollutants.

Sites such as this one, offering absolution from the modern nag of climate guilt, have created a $55 million industry that once would have been beyond the greenest of imaginations. The market for "voluntary carbon offsets" now encompasses dozens of sellers and thousands of buyers, including individuals and corporations.

But in some cases, these customers may be buying good feelings and little else.

A closer look reveals an unregulated market in which some improvements bought by customers are only estimated, extrapolated, hoped-for or nil. Some offsets support projects that would have gone forward anyway. Others deliver results difficult to measure.

Overall, the article says its a crapshoot and at best you are just doing things to make you feel like you are doing something worthwhile. But most people buy these things just so they don't have to change their lifestyles.

For individual consumers, an offset can be a tempting alternative to a radical lifestyle makeover. People concerned about climate change could sell their cars and cover their roofs with solar panels. Or, on an offset site, they could become "carbon neutral" with a click.

"That means I . . . keep my current gas-guzzling car," said Brian Schilling, an Arlington writer who paid the company TerraPass about $108 to offset his home and auto for a year, "and make up for it some other way."

....Caroline Kenney, a special education assistant from Arlington, bought offsets from TerraPass on Earth Day last year. She said it took care of one climate-unfriendly aspect of her life that she couldn't change.

"I have never been able to find a way to get to my job without using my car," she said. So she offset it, for about $50.

Sierra club says its all bunk.

The Sierra Club advises avoiding offsets, unless you have remade your life to be climate-friendly.

"We would recommend that, instead of taking that $100 and buying a carbon offset, that you take that $100 and invest in something" such as energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs or an insulating blanket for a home water heater, spokesman Joshua Dorner said.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dateline's To Catch a Predator cancelled?

Entertainment: There is potential big news in this piece about ABC trying to take a shot at Dateline's successful series.

"Dateline" has been the subject of several scathing profiles, including those in Rolling Stone and the current issue of Esquire, which portrayed Myrick as a weak leader eager to please "Dateline" producers and who kept for his own use an SUV seized in the stings.

While the show is a ratings winner, advertisers have long expressed misgivings about it, and NBC News said no episodes are scheduled after September.

It's highly unusual for network news operations to take on one another. "20/20" and "Dateline" could be considered competitors.

NBC News declined to comment on the "20/20" story.

Leftists spewing Marxist in UK's Catholic Church.

Religion: Well.. what is left of an active Catholic Church over there I guess.

Would you like to know more about the lobby of Leftist activists who have seized control of the machinery of the Catholic Church in this country? Then read on.

These appalling statements are all taken from the book I mentioned yesterday compiled by Caritas, an agency of the Bishops' Conference. In addition to attacking Pope Benedict XVI, it sneers at anti-abortion campaigners and the traditional family. Its economic analysis consists mostly of sub-literate Marxism. Also, I would guess that by putting inverted commas round the word "terrorist" to describe the murderers of 9/11, the book is quietly hinting that the US government was behind the attacks. See what you think.

Study Cites Danger of Homegrown Terrorism

Terrorism: Nothing surprising if you have followed the making of European homegrown terrorism.

The potential for homegrown terror, particularly among disaffected immigrants, was the focus of a new study by the New York Police Department. It concluded that there is some danger from unassimilated Muslims, but less so than in some European countries.

The Police Department studied 11 real cases from the past six years — including the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 — to understand terrorist patterns. The report lays some groundwork for a public policy debate about the growing concern for homegrown terrorism and is a tool for law enforcement to better understand the threat here, compared with threats by Al Qaeda members overseas.

Staying one step ahead of terrorists is a challenge, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said in a news conference today.

“That’s what this report does,” Mr. Kelly said. ”It puts it in perspective and it actually gives a framework to the radicalization process. Before you can disrupt, I think it is important to have a brighter line, so to speak, as to how the radicalization process takes place.”

Mitchell D. Silber, a senior intelligence analyst who co-authored the 90-page report, said it highlights how the “threat has evolved since 9/11 and that many of these plots and cases that we perceived as being sort of an outside threat, really actually are more of an inside threat in the sense that radicalization drove them.”

Mr. Kelly said he was equally concerned about homegrown terrorism and about threats from overseas.

“The world in which we live presents to us threats from both overseas and right here at home,” Mr. Kelly said. “We can’t take our eye off the ball as a country or as a city from either one.”

CAIR gives the predictable yelping response to a logical reasoned report.

Amsterdam police might deploy "decoy gays"

Culture: This must irritate the leftists since Geert Wilders' Freedom party were the ones who first suggested the idea.

AMSTERDAM – The Amsterdam police are considering sending undercover officers posing as homosexual men onto the streets of the capital in an effort to combat increasing aggression against gays. The chief of Amsterdam police Bernard Welten said this in an interview that appears in the Gay Krant on Friday.

"But only as an extreme measure, and only if victims have become much more willing to report incidents than they are now," Welten added.

The number of reports of violence against homosexuals in Amsterdam this year so far is already higher than the number reported for the whole of 2006. 21 incidents of violence against gays have already been reported. Suspects have been arrested in 12 cases. Homosexuals were assaulted in other cities, including Haarlem and The Hague, over the past few weeks as well.

Scandal at the Islamic Center of Washington?

Culture: Newsweek with the story.

"...But now the Islamic Center has become immersed in a nasty court battle marked by charges of embezzlement, abuse of women and an alleged attempt to spread radical messages of hate.

The fireworks began earlier this year when federal prosecutors filed a criminal complaint against the recently ousted business manager of the mosque, Farzad Darui. A later five-count indictment charged that Durui, an Iranian native who formerly served as the mosque’s security chief, embezzled more than $430,000 in five years—in part by altering checks and diverting mosque funds to corporate entities he controlled.

This week, Darui returned fire. He claimed in papers filed in federal court in the District of Columbia that the charges against him had been manufactured by unnamed Saudi government officials as part of a scheme to oust him from his post. Their goal, Darui maintains, was to claim control over the mosque after Darui resisted Saudi efforts to have “radical” Wahhabi figures deliver messages of intolerance there.

“Because Darui barred Islamic radicals, from the [Islamic] Center, the Saudis, via the Center, have falsely accused him of embezzlement,” Darui’s filing claims. He seeks to have all charges against him dismissed. The filing was prepared by his lawyer, Washington attorney Victoria Toensing."


Amsterdam Now World Leader in anti-Gay Violence.

EU: The alarm bells have gotten louder as Amsterdam is going thru a violent cultural change.

THE HAGUE, 15/08/07 - Anti-gay violence is more structural in Amsterdam than anywhere else in the world, according to Boris Dittrich of human rights organisation Human Rights Watch. "You can certainly state that Amsterdam's image of gay capital is in a shambles", he stated in newspaper De Telegraaf.

Former centre-left D66 party leader Dittrich is director of Gay Rights at the New York-based Human Rights Watch. He receives regular reports on anti-gay assaults from all over the world. "Incidents take place everywhere, but nowhere is the violence as structural as it is in Amsterdam at present. In my work, I am constantly confronted with it. People are coming up to me and asking me what on earth is happening in The Netherlands. The reports I receive about Amsterdam are shocking".

To an increasing degree, reports about particularly Moroccan youngsters assaulting gays are reaching the media. An increasing number of 'pink' tourists are opting for Berlin or Barcelona. "These cities do not have this problem. All in all you can conclude that our pink image is well and truly smashed", as Dittrich stated in De Telegraaf.

An Amsterdam court yesterday sentenced a 19-year-old immigrant for assaulting a gay couple in the capital on 29 June. He was given a prison sentence of six months, three of which suspended, and 180 hours of community service. This however also settled charges of theft and attempted robbery.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

UK: Stab-proof school uniforms go on sale

UK: Well...this is a good sign of the UK educational/societal system. I can't wait for the ban on knives.

Parents are sending children to school in stab-proof uniforms to guard against knife crime, it has emerged.

They are paying a firm which makes body armour to line blazers and jumpers with a stab-resistant material called Kevlar.

The precautions are aimed at protecting pupils from knife attacks as street crime spills over into schools.

A wave of stabbings involving teenagers includes the killing of promising footballer Kiyan Prince, who was knifed just yards from his school gates in north London.

Kevlar is a synthetic fibre that can be spun into fabric five times stronger than steel and is used in armoured vests worn by British troops in Iraq.

Essex-based firm BladeRunner produces clothing lined with the material for police and security guards.

But inquiries from parents have now prompted it to modfify school uniforms.

Barry Samms, one of the firm's directors, said the company initially produced stab-proof hooded tops that were bought by teenagers.

It was then asked by parents about the possibility of strengthening school uniforms with Kevlar.

The firm now offers to line blazers and jumpers with the material if pupils send in their uniforms.

Blazers cost £120 to stab-proof and jumpers £60 to £70.

Aftermath of Newark Killings, reckless and stupid.

Crime: So far, this is setting up to be a moment in time and a couple of months from now, everything will be back to suck.

1) Mayor Booker wants to be the next Mayor Bloomberg when it comes to guns.

On Thursday, Booker will announce a "comprehensive gun strategy," which will include a series of initiatives to control gun traffic into the city.

"Our trace research shows more guns come into the city from Virginia than any other state," Booker said.

Surprisingly, New Jersey is second.

"Fifteen to 20 percent of the guns used in Newark crime are sold by New Jersey gun retailers," Booker said.

In other words, it's our problem to fix. In New Jersey, gun permits are signed by local police chiefs, and Booker will ask the mayors of the 10 towns where "the worst offender" retailers are located to join him in a crackdown.

"We want a package of legislation for better audits of gun retailers. We're also looking into litigation against out-of-state retailers," he said.

Booker said the cameras and gun initiatives are just two quick steps on what will be a long, arduous journey along many social, educational and criminal justice paths.

Good luck.

2) Illegal alien supporters and NJ's police departments already refusing to pass on info on someone who is illegal.

Bill Maer, spokesman for the Passaic County Sheriff's Department, said the department performs checks on individuals who enter its custody. If there is an immigration issue, he said, the immigration agency is alerted. But it is up to federal authorities to decide if they're going to take action.

"It's not our place to enforce immigration law. It's ICE's job. We just fulfill our obligation to notify them when an issue arises," he said.

Immigration advocates generally condemn tight partnerships between local police and immigration agents out of fear that such bonds will lead to abuse of civil rights. They also believe that if local and county authorities are viewed as quasi-immigration agents, immigrants will be reluctant to come forward as crime victims or witnesses.

"We should not move to deport someone just because they have been accused," said Ramirez, the immigrant advocate. "People can be and often are wrongly accused, and we should give them their day in court. After they've been found guilty of something horrible, then let's punish them and bring in immigration and deport them."

Don't look for any new laws that would be considered bad to illegals to be passed in this sanctuary state. The liberal governor Corzine will make sure nothing gets close to be law.

Lincoln Diaz-Balart on video urging La Raza on.

Politics: Had the story last month of Diaz-Balart shamelessly pandering to La Raza.

Speaking to delegates during lunch yesterday, Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Florida Republican and a Cuban immigrant, urged them to help preserve Spanish.

"It is important that we emphasize the Spanish language and that we keep the Spanish language, and that we transmit that emphasis to our children and our grandchildren," he said.

Now we have Video via Hot Air. This got no mention in the Sun-Sentinel or Miami Herald.

Obama and Hillary joins Univision panderfest forum.

Politics: Nice to see we are going the way of Canada having debates in two languages.

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said Monday he'd participate in the Sept. 9 Univisión ''forum'' to be held at the University of Miami.

Hillary Clinton, who was to be a no-show, changed her mind last week and decided to appear. But Univisión has started calling what it formerly dubbed a debate a ''forum'' so Clinton could stick by her statement that she'd only participate in six debates.

The Univisión forum will be different from others in that it will be conducted in Spanish with instant English translations. Democratic candidates Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd, who both speak Spanish, were the first candidates to accept. John Edwards has yet to decide.

Scotland health chiefs bans food around Muslims.

UK: During Ramadan coming up. This is one of the most idiotic PC kowtows I have ever seen. It is just stupid, you would have to be one uptight pain in the ass to complain about your co-workers having food around you and from a leader standpoint this is just patronizing to the extreme.

DOCTORS and health workers have been banned from eating lunch at their desks - in case it offends their Muslim colleagues.

Health chiefs believe the sight of food will upset Muslim workers when they are celebrating the religious festival Ramadan.

The lunch trolley is also to be wheeled out of bounds as the 30-day fast begins next month.

The new guidance comes in the wake of the failed terror attacks on Glasgow and the death of suspect Kafeel Ahmed, 27.

Health chiefs in Lothian and Glasgow will give all employees time off to pray and to celebrate Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan.

But Greater Glasgow and Clyde as well as Lothian NHS boards also issued the advice, warning workers not to take working lunches, and said all vending machines should be removed from areas where Muslims work.

One senior consultant said: “What next? Are we going to have advice on how to deal with Catholics during Lent?
“This kind of thing does more harm than good.”

The guidance, which was sent round many organisations, was produced by Glasgow consultancy Meem, which advises on Muslim issues and counts the Scottish Parliament among its clients.

Na’eem Raza, a senior consultant with the firm, said he was thrilled that the health boards had formally adopted the guidance.

He added: “The idea is to get faith in the workplace out in the open.

“In the current climate, people need to understand where communities are coming from and what people are feeling.

“After the Glasgow attack this is very important. This is about educating people and making them more aware and more confident when dealing with issues surrounding the Muslim community.

“People have stopped talking over the garden fence and we need to break down the barriers so that people can talk comfortably to each other.

“It would never stir up resentment. Faith is an important issue. Why not have guidance on all of the issues that affect us, including different faiths?”

Its the health chiefs and groups like Meem that are making it hard for Muslims to be seen as nothing more than complaining bullies who want to force their faith on to others. To say it won't cause resentment shows a lack of awareness and common sense. I can't wait for the first case of someone being charged by a busybody for "eating around a Muslim."

Obama's warning From friendly voter is stupid

Politics: This isn't kindercare, did this lady just now get into politics?

Presidential hopeful Barack Obama was warned by a friendly voter Monday to avoid public spats with his Democratic rivals -- but remarks he made later could add fuel to the criticism against him.

Maggie North of Claremont told Obama he risks becoming part of the usual political scene if he keeps being drawn into well-publicized disputes with rivals. He and chief rival Hillary Rodham Clinton have jabbed at each other over foreign policy, the war on terrorism and the use of nuclear weapons.

"You can be it," North said at a small gathering at a Hanover restaurant Monday morning that drew eight people. "But you've got to stop -- excuse me for being blunt -- you've got to stop getting involved in the way people are fighting each other, chewing you up a little more."

"That's what you do when you run for president," Obama responded, getting a laugh.

First time I actually agree with Obama on something, this sort of fighting has been going on since the beginning, it shows which candidate can take it and dish it out. Unfortunately for Obama, when he dishes he keeps throwing it on the floor.

But during a later appearance before about 800 people in Nashua, Obama made a comment likely to further the spats he was warned about.

Asked whether he would move U.S. troops out of Iraq to better fight terrorism elsewhere, he brought up Afghanistan and said, "We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there."

Expect a bit of hay over that stupid comment.

#Update: Here comes the hay via Instapundit. AP's Nedra Pickler's runs a spectacular dive in front of Obama to take the rhetorical ammo coming his way. The point wasn't there aren't civilian deaths in Afghanistan, but Obama's exact words was the military was just air-raiding villages and killing civilians.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Brett Ratner making all black version of Ocean's 11?

Entertainment: All this talent just to make a remake of a remake? This cannot turn out well.

Do you think the Heffner film will be next for you or do you think you’ll take a break now?

RATNER: I think I might do the Eddie Murphy movie probably next, depending on which comes first. But Eddie Murphy came to me with this idea to do a movie with all the comedians, with Chris Tucker – like this is his dream team - we haven’t gotten these actors yet, but Chris Tucker, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx in one movie. And they all work in the Trump Towers, blue collar workers and one’s a door man and one’s a security guard and one’s a janitor. And they rip off the Trump Tower.

Will the entire budget be these guys’ payday?

RATNER : No because we’re going to do it the way that Ocean’s Eleven did it, where they created deals or something.


Coolness: Something is a bit off.

France's model healthcare system won't work here.

Medical: It sounds great not forgetting it has become a massive part of France's budget and growing every year, but there are other reasons while it will never work here.

Although the French system faces many challenges, the World Health Organization rated it the best in the world in 2001 because of its universal coverage, responsive healthcare providers, patient and provider freedoms, and the health and longevity of the country's population. The United States ranked 37.

The French system is also not inexpensive. At $3,500 per capita it is one of the most costly in Europe, yet that is still far less than the $6,100 per person in the United States.

An understanding of how France came to its healthcare system would be instructive in any renewed debate in the United States.

That's because the French share Americans' distaste for restrictions on patient choice and they insist on autonomous private practitioners rather than a British-style national health service, which the French dismiss as "socialized medicine." Virtually all physicians in France participate in the nation's public health insurance, Sécurité Sociale.

one sentence that would stop it in its tracks.

Their freedoms of diagnosis and therapy are protected in ways that would make their managed-care-controlled US counterparts envious.

However, the average American physician earns more than five times the average US wage while the average French physician makes only about two times the average earnings of his or her compatriots. But the lower income of French physicians is allayed by two factors. Practice liability is greatly diminished by a tort-averse legal system, and medical schools, although extremely competitive to enter, are tuition-free. Thus, French physicians enter their careers with little if any debt and pay much lower malpractice insurance premiums.

As you read it you realize that you would have to change and legislate the culture of the medical world for this to even have a tiny chance of being looked at much less implemented here.

NABJ a friendlier platform for Democrats? Nahh

Media: I find it absurd that anyone would think that the National Association of Black Journalists would be a place where they would be nicer and friendlier to Dems. I mean black people vote Dems 90+% of the time and considering the media skews even more liberal than the general public at large. Why would anyone think such nonsense?

This morning, Obama is expected to speak before the convention, which invited the top three candidates of both the Democratic and Republican parties to appear months ago. Republican candidates Rudolph Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney all declined to appear, while Democratic hopeful John Edwards couldn’t reconcile his schedule with the convention’s plans.

Still, NABJ president Bryan Monroe resisted the idea that the convention’s 3,000 attendees might offer a friendlier platform for Democrats.

“We’re a group of journalists who write credibly about all parties…and can be critical of anyone,” he said. “If some candidates can’t see that, that’s their problem.”


Obama was an undisputed rock star at the convention, welcomed with a standing ovation from much of the crowd and an audience larger than the group drawn by his biggest rival for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton.

Initially, the candidate deflected the black enough question in his opening remarks, apologizing for a late arrival by saying "You guys keep asking whether I'm black enough…(so) I figured I'd stroll in."

The avalanche of applause which greeted that line, showed he was in friendly territory. Much as some attendees had hoped the journalists' group would show reserve and objectivity during Obama's speech - NABJ co-founder Les Payne had urged members not to applaud the candidate during a panel discussion Thursday - many here showed unreserved enthusiasm for the senator who might realistically become the first black man elected president.

Uh... Never mind.

Hezbollah billboard taken down in Windsor.

Canada: We find out the last minute means a couple of days and some huffin and puffin.

WINDSOR, Ont. - The billboard depicting Hezbollah's controversial leader, which caused an uproar across Windsor, was quietly replaced Monday morning with an advertisement for a car dealership.

The sign was erected Friday morning and immediately drew fire from the Windsor Jewish Community Centre and the Lebanese Christian political group Kataeb.

Among other Lebanese leaders, the sign prominently depicted Hassan Nasrallah, the head of the political and military group representing Shia Muslims.

Can't wait to find out the background story on who got the billboard down so fast.

"Nature Boy" Harold Ford stylin and profilin

Politics: Not one, not two but three. Respect this man.

August 13, 2007 -- ONE woman's not enough for 37-year-old bachelor Harold Ford Jr.. The former Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Tennessee was holed up at Blue Ribbon Sushi on Sullivan Street with three blondes on Wednesday night. "They all stayed until 2 a.m. singing and dancing, and he was pretty tipsy," one onlooker snickered. For Ford's sake, let's hope none of his dinner guests goes on to hit Internet stardom via kissing and telling.

The Yankees' stadium windfall

Bidness: This is impressive from a business point of view, but yankee haters will probably flip and then ask why their team can't do this.

To be sure, its $1.2 billion price tag is enormous - about $400 million more than the one the crosstown Mets are now building in Queens. The Yankees are footing the entire $800 million cost of construction. (New York State and New York City are kicking in the remaining $400 million in the form of land acquisition, infrastructure improvements, and tax breaks.) Yet as expensive as the new stadium will be, nearly everyone we interviewed believes it will dramatically improve the Yankees' value, should the team be sold. "The cash flows coming out of the new building as compared with the old one are going to be ridiculous," says one Yankees source

.....What will New York taxpayers get in return for all their Yankee largesse? Very little - unless you're a local pol with a hankering for hardball. The Yankees will pay a mere $10 a year in rent in the new ballpark, down from about $10 million in the old one. No, we didn't leave off some zeros; it's typical of the sweetheart deals cities make to keep teams in town. And this one comes with a cherry-on-top kicker: According to the prospectus, city officials get their own luxury box "for all regular-season team home games."

Of course, the Yankees are responsible for $51 million a year in debt service. Yet even that expense comes with a silver lining: It will help reduce the Yankees' revenue-sharing obligations. Baseball's 2002 collective-bargaining agreement permits teams to deduct stadium debt service and construction costs when calculating revenue sharing. Bottom line? Baseball's 29 other teams will effectively bear a third of the cost of the Yankees' new ballpark. "It's a classic tax shelter," one baseball insider says. "Not only do you get the benefit of added revenues, but you get a major revenue-sharing deduction as well."

The Jersey Journal is such a tease on breaking news.

Media: Feel the anticipation.

Cops: Box labeled 'radioactive' found at accident site
by The Jersey Journal

Sunday August 12, 2007, 11:00 PM
A fender-bender at Hoboken and Summit avenues ended with the trunk of a parked car popping open to reveal a box labeled as having radioactive materials, Jersey City police have told The Jersey Journal.

After a response that included cops, firefighters, HAZMAT and other emergency personnel, the father of the car's owner gave cops a plausible explanation for the box, police said.

Get the full story in tomorrow's Jersey Journal.

Oh okay then. I guess the need to update a car with radioactive materials in the back is cool since a plausible explanation was given, go back to bed media person.

Then the media wonders why they are losing readers.

Canadian Lebanese: We are all Hezbollah now.

Canada: We have our rights! We have our rights! Hezbollah is not a terrorist group, its the Canadian governments fault!. Hezbollah leader is like Jesus or something.

At this point these people better be on a watch list and the various agencies checking out their financial records. This is result of Multcults where people like this can so brazenly defend and support a terrorist group over here while everyone keeps quiet about it.

One of the people responsible for a controversial billboard depicting Hezbollah's leader said he did it to honour freedom fighting families back home -- and it's their Canadian right to do so.

"In Canada we want peace," said Hussein Dabaja, a Lebanese-born Hezbollah supporter. "We're not trying offend anybody. We have freedom of speech. It's a free country. We can do anything. Every Lebanese in Canada has somebody that died in Lebanon, the freedom fighters. Who is Hezbollah? Our brothers, our family, our parents, our friends. We came to Canada and they stayed there to fight."

The billboard went up Friday at the corner of Wyandotte Street East and Marion Avenue, and immediately drew fire from the Windsor Jewish Community Centre, the Lebanese Christian political group Kataeb and others.

If anyone tries to take it down, there is going to be problems and even some support for suicide bombers.

"The whole community is not going to let anybody take it down," said Dabaja. "It's going to stay up until the last minute. If someone comes to take it down, they're ready to fight for it, to protect it to be up there. We're not trying to offend anybody."

Dabaja said honouring those fighting in Lebanon means a lot to many people, including himself.

He said Israeli soldiers took his brother Rhitham, then a 19-year-old Hezbollah member, from their parents' Lebanon home in 1985. He was jailed and tortured for the next decade, said Dabaja, until he died in jail in 1995.

Hezbollah guerrillas also saved his vacationing son last summer in Lebanon, after a bomb levelled the school he was hiding in, during fighting between Israel and Lebanon.

Honouring those people is what the billboard is about, he said.

"People living here have family back home and they're fighting, trying to protect their country," said Dabaja. "They wanted to respect them, honour them."

Others rallying in support of the billboard echoed that sentiment.

"This sign means to me remembrance for the people who are looking for peace in the Middle East," said Zouelfikar Haidar. "It's a point of view. It's paper on the board. It's not a weapon. Hezbollah is part of the Lebanese people. However Hezbollah does it, there is a country occupied and people defending their country. I agree with that, because we've been waiting 25 years for the United Nations to get our land back."

Of course, these idiots who got the privilege of moving to the west blame the Canadian government for pointing out the truth.

Dabaja said he believes the sign wouldn't have sparked such controversy if Canada's government hadn't labelled Hezbollah a terrorist group.

"The reason for the problems, the responsibility is the Canadian government," he said. "The Canadian government made the Lebanese feel the government is against them. Canada needs to fix the mistake it made and take Hezbollah off the terrorist list. They labelled Hezbollah as a terrorist without having respect for the Muslim people."

That is hard for many Lebanese to swallow, he said.

"They keep talking about Nasrallah" said Dabaja. "Nasrallah for us is a red light. It is like saying Jesus is bad."

Good luck Canada.

Hollywood: Mormon terrorists? Yes! Islamic? no..

Entertainment: Michael Medved with the terrorists of choice this summer. Mormons..from 150 years ago.

".....To try to claim contemporary relevance for September Dawn, its director, Christopher Cain, and its veteran star, Jon Voight, both tell interviewers that the project recounts a pertinent story of "religious fanaticism" — emphasizing the eerie coincidence of the massacre's date (Sept. 11) and showing martyred "prophet" Joseph Smith (portrayed as an arrogant, preening dandy shortly before his death at age 39 at the hands of a lynch mob), declaring himself a "New Mohammet" and threatening holy war against his enemies.

The film's deliberately drawn analogy between Mountain Meadows and 9/11 raises the most puzzling question about this peculiar project: Why frame an indictment of violent religiosity by focusing on long-ago Mormon leaders rather than contemporary Muslims who perpetrate unspeakable brutalities every day?

In fact, Hollywood's reluctance to portray Islamo-Nazi killers remains difficult, if not impossible, to explain. Since 2001's devastating attacks, big studios have released numerous movies with terrorists as part of the plot, including Sum of All Fears, Red Eye, Live Free or Die Hard, The Bourne Ultimatum and many more, but virtually all of them show terrorists as Europeans or Americans with no Islamic connections. Even historically based thrillers downplay Muslim terrorism: Steven Spielberg's Munich spends more than 80% of its running time showing Israelis as killers and Palestinians as victims, while Oliver Stone's World Trade Center highlights the aftermath of the attacks with no depiction of those who perpetrated them. United 93 stands out among recent releases in showing Islamic killers in acts of terror — and it would be hard to tell that story without portraying the suicidal hijackers."

I still say its 50% scared crapless of Islamic terrorists so it is easier to go after the religions that doesn't have a significant number of followers that will kill them or bomb a set/studio. The other 50% is stars in generally are clueless and ignorant of the threat blaming the west or America for causing the bombers like George Clooney did for Syriana. That is why you will never see an objective fair movie involving Islamic terrorists out of Hollywood because of a combination of the above reasons.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Darfur forces to be all-African! Perfect for Sudan.

Africa: Well-trained troops might actually do their jobs which is bad for Sudan.

African Union (AU) chairman Alpha Oumar Konare says enough African troops have been promised to a Sudan peacekeeping force for no outside help to be needed.
He said African countries can provide the 26,000 peacekeepers needed for the combined AU-United Nations force. The AU already has 7,000 troops in Darfur.

The UN had expected to call on Asian troops. Critics say Africa lacks enough trained troops for an effective force.

Sudan's government has long opposed the involvement of non-African soldiers.

Chav Hunting video causes an uproar.

UK: Released 8 months ago on youtube it is just now getting some pub.

A public school was at the centre of a fierce row last night after pupils appeared in a spoof video beating and shooting tracksuit-clad teenagers and engaging in a pursuit they called “chav hunting”.

Glenalmond College in Perthshire, whose old boys include Robbie Coltrane and the Duke of Argyll, was accused of arrogance after students were shown posing as young aristocrats chasing their social inferiors across the countryside before shooting them using a replica shotgun.

Roseanna Cunningham, the Scottish Nationalist Party MSP for the area, said last night: “I suppose this video could be billed as the revenge of Monty Python’s upper-class twits. Doubtless it is intended as humour and irony but it comes across as brash, crass and arrogant.”

She added: “Is that really what their parents are paying for when they send their privileged offspring to an exclusive school like Glenalmond?”

If you can't make fun of social inferiors what is left to make fun of anymore?

Chav definition.
Youtube video here.

Zimbabwe's crisis? Britain's fault says South Africa.

Africa: The coward of South African Mbeki will blame everyone but his boy Mugabe and I don't think he is smart enough to realize how much of a tool he looks like when he does it.

South Africa has blamed Britain for the deepening crisis in Zimbabwe by accusing the UK of leading a campaign to "strangle" the beleaguered African state's economy and saying it has a "death wish" against a negotiated settlement that might leave Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF in power.

According to a South African government document circulating among diplomats ahead of a regional summit this week, President Thabo Mbeki will paint an optimistic picture of his efforts to broker an agreement between Mr Mugabe and the Zimbabwean opposition.

UK MPs: Please talk to moderate elements of Hamas

Middle East: What part is that? The ones who shoot you three times instead of five plus cut your head off?

The foreign affairs committee also said it was "counterproductive" not to talk to Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The government should "urgently" engage with moderate elements, it added.

...However, the committee, in its report entitled Global Security: The Middle East, said a quicker response from the government in July last year "could have led to reduced casualties amongst both Israeli and Lebanese civilians whilst still working towards a long-term solution to the crisis".

It called some of Israel's military actions in Lebanon during the war "indiscriminate and disproportionate".

It particularly highlighted the attacks on United Nations observers and the dropping of more than 3.5 million cluster bombs (90% of the total) in the 72 hours after the UN Security Council passed the resolution which effectively ended the war.

The government should engage with moderate Hezbollah parliamentarians, the committee said.

This should happen, it added, even though the influence of Hezbollah's military wing, "along with Iran's and Syria's, continues to be a malign one".

Hamas policy 'counterproductive'

Among other Middle East policy areas under scrutiny, the MPs criticised the government's decision "not to speak to Hamas" as "counterproductive".

The stance, also taken by the Quartet, followed the creation of a unity government between Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas in February.

"A national unity government could and should have been established much earlier than the spring of 2007," the MPs said.

"Given the failure of the boycott to deliver results, the government should urgently consider ways of engaging politically with moderate elements within Hamas as a way of encouraging it to meet the three Quartet principles."

These are non-violence, recognition of Israel and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations.

Israel, the US and EU consider Hamas a terrorist organisation and say they will not deal with it directly until it renounces violence and recognises Israel.

Did they put the mentally retarded MPs on this committee? If there is such a thing as a moderate Hamas memeber, he would be keeping his mouth shut because they cannot give in to any request where Hamas loses. They can't renounce violence, they can't recognise Israel. They exist to eliminate Israel. Anyone on Hamas who comes out to agree to any of these terms wouldn't live to see the next day. This report was created for a reality that does not exist and cannot work in any manner.

Jatropha: The ideal biofuel crop?

Enviro: Nothing but a poisonious weed and can grow in hardy conditions seems like it is worth a shot.

"....Almost overnight, the unloved Jatropha curcushas become an agricultural and economic celebrity, with the discovery that it may be the ideal biofuel crop, an alternative to fossil fuels for a world dangerously dependent on oil supplies and deeply alarmed by the effects of global warming.

The hardy jatropha, resilient to pests and resistant to drought, produces seeds with up to 40 per cent oil content. When the seeds are crushed, the resulting jatropha oil can be burnt in a standard diesel car, while the residue can also be processed into biomass to power electricity plants.

As the search for alternative energy sources gathers pace and urgency, the jatropha has provoked something like a gold rush. Last week BP announced that it was investing almost £32 million in a jatropha joint venture with the British biofuels company D1 Oils.

Even Bob Geldof has stamped his cachet on jatropha, by becoming a special adviser to Helius Energy, a British company developing the use of jatropha as an alternative to fossil fuels. Lex Worrall, its chief executive, says: “Every hectare can produce 2.7 tonnes of oil and about 4 tonnes of biomass. Every 8,000 hectares of the plant can run a 1.5 megawatt station, enough to power 2,500 homes.”

Jatropha grows in tropical and subtropical climates. Whereas other feed-stocks for biofuel, such as palm oil, rape seed oil or corn for ethanol, require reasonable soils on which other crops might be grown, jatropha is a tough survivor prepared to put down roots almost anywhere.

Scientists say that it can grow in the poorest wasteland, generating topsoil and helping to stall erosion, but also absorbing carbon dioxide as it grows, thus making it carbon-neutral even when burnt. A jatropha bush can live for up to 50 years, producing oil in its second year of growth, and survive up to three years of consecutive drought."