Saturday, September 1, 2007

"Bionic shirt " uses Nazi process to give athletes energy.

Sports: The next sport scandal somehow in the future when this reaches over here.

Phil Vickery, 31, the 19-stone England captain for the tournament, which kicks off in France this week, is one of three players in the side experimenting with new high-tech clothing. Its maker claims it will improve performance by ionising the body.

Vickery, Andrew Sheridan, 27, and Matt Stevens, 24, will wear a special layer under their shirts that uses a process originally developed by scientists in Nazi Germany to keep bomber crews alert. The vest is coated with a liquid wash which, when it comes into contact with the skin, delivers ionic energy to the body through a negatively charged electromagnetic field.

The manufacturer says this stimulates the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to bring more energy to the muscles. The result is an increase in power output, speed and strength. The improvement in blood flow also flushes out waste productsquick-ening the body’s recovery time.

Scientists who have tested the technology, called Ionx, say it does produce a minor increase in peak performance. Researchers at Loughborough University, who put athletes on a cycling machine for 30-second bursts, found that those wearing the material gained a 2.7% increase.

The International Rugby Board (IRB), the game’s ruling body, was so concerned about the potential scandal of a team using it to win the trophy that it has consulted the World AntiDoping Agency, which has given it a clean bill of health.

The maker, Canterbury of New Zealand, says the technology cannot be called an illegal substance.

Pics of the growing Spider Web in a Texas park.

Coolness: Story here.

WILLS POINT, Texas: Most spiders are solitary creatures. So the discovery of a vast web crawling with millions of spiders that is spreading across several acres of a North Texas park is causing a stir among scientists, and park visitors.

Sheets of web have encased several mature oak trees and are thick enough in places to block out the sun along a nature trail at Lake Tawakoni State Park, near this town about 50 miles east of Dallas.

The gossamer strands, slowly overtaking a lakefront peninsula, emit a fetid odor, perhaps from the dead insects entwined in the silk. The web whines with the sound of countless mosquitoes and flies trapped in its folds.

Allen Dean, a spider expert at Texas A&M University, has seen a lot of webs, but even he described this one as "rather spooky, kind of like Halloween."

Website called Big Bad Spider Bites has a gallery of pics, the last one is a bit creepy.

French Socialists fight over leadership.

France: War of the Roses!

A bitter feud between Ségolène Royal and her former partner, the Socialist party leader François Hollande, is dominating the party’s summer congress this weekend.

The acrimony came to a head when Mr Hollande said that he planned to fight the mother of his four children for the party’s next presidential candidacy after her failed bid in May.

Ms Royal, whose 25-year domestic partnership with Mr Hollande came to an end after her defeat by Nicolas Sarkozy, has made it clear that she wants to wrest control of the party from Mr Hollande.

As the former first couple fought their turf war, many senior Socialists stayed away from the gathering at the Atlantic port of La Rochelle in disgust.

The prospect of the party being held hostage to the Royal-Hollande feud appalled senior Socialists, many of whom blame both for the party’s fall to its lowest ebb since the late Francois Mitterrand took it over in the mid1970s. “A plague on both their houses, the sooner we get rid of both the better,” a delegate at La Rochelle said.

Several party barons, including Laurent Fabius, a former Prime Minister, stayed away from the La Rochelle conference, apparently to avoid being dragged into likely weekend bloodletting as 3,000 party officials draw lessons from the defeat.

The sharpest attack on the ex-couple came from Claude Allègre, the last Socialist Education Minister. He called Mr Hollande a scheming operator. “His nice-guy exterior, full of humour, hides an unrestrained arriviste side,” he said. Ms Royal was “egotistical, impatient, unconstant, incompetent, only interested in one thing – herself,” he added.

Google starts to host news on site.

Media: Translation to newspapers.

"Hey, thanks for letting us use your content for free and the wire stories that appeared on your site, but now we want to keep these people and we hope you really beefed up your local content because your online rates in an already slow market is going to get worse."

"In other words: Gotcha Bitch! HA HA HA"

Liberal judge halts plan to check S.S. numbers.

Immigration: Big labor and ACLU went to their favorite judging grounds to get a liberal judge to halt enforcing the law with the dumbest explantion given.

A federal judge yesterday barred the Bush administration from launching a crackdown Tuesday on U.S. employers who hire illegal immigrants while she considers a lawsuit by the AFL-CIO that charges that the plan will harm citizens and other legal workers.

The ruling, issued by U.S. District Judge Maxine M. Chesney in San Francisco, prohibits the Department of Homeland Security from starting to mail notices to 140,000 employers about suspect Social Security numbers. The "no- match" letters warn of penalties employers face by having discrepancies in their paperwork.

The order was a victory for the labor federation and the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed suit alleging that DHS is overstepping its authority to enforce immigration laws and is misusing a Social Security Administration database. They allege that the letters are an effort to pressure businesses to fire workers whose documents are flagged and could expose countless immigrant workers -- including law-abiding citizens and legal residents -- to job discrimination.

Chesney granted the request for a temporary restraining order against the government, saying the court needs "breathing room" before issuing a decision on the DHS plan. She set a hearing for Oct. 1.

Unions that desperate for members they would spit on the American worker like this? Terrible.

UK: Calling people Hoodie Scum is bad.

UK: UK justice strikes again!

A man who complained about yobs terrorising his girlfriend got a letter back from a top policeman saying he should not call them "hoodie scum".

Alastair Oram's partner had cones hurled at her car by yobs who blocked off a road in a "no-go" area for locals.

Mr Oram, 32, from Rotherham, wrote to police complaining: "Do we take it that Thurcroft is a no-go zone, run by mob rule into which the police are afraid to venture or was it too difficult for you to deal with? "What can only be described as a gang of around ten hoodie scum aged about 14 jumped out in front and behind her car with traffic cones and blocked her."

To his shock, Superintendent Keith Lumley of South Yorkshire Police wrote back "You can't go branding youths 'hoodie scum' - that doesn't give off the right impression."

The reply left the couple bewildered and angry.

More Apple/NBC going at each other.

Media: Apple said NBC wanted to charge a lot more for each show.

Though many in Hollywood have complained about Apple's aggressive stance on pricing and other issues, this dispute between a media conglom and the iPod maker is the first to go so public. Apple's decision not to sell NBC's new fall programs is the first swipe the company has taken against a content provider when negotiations turned sour.

Apple topper Steve Jobs has thus far been a firm advocate of consistent pricing for content on iTunes. While some miniseries and telepics were priced higher, all half-hour and hourlong TV shows have been made available for $1.99 on the service.

Sources at NBC Universal told Daily Variety that they were pushing to be allowed to charge more for their most popular programs, such as "The Office."

Apple claimed the net wanted to go as high as $4.99, but NBC U disputed that notion.

"We never asked to double the wholesale price for our TV shows," Shields maintained. "In fact, our negotiations were centered on our request for flexibility in wholesale pricing, including the ability to package shows together in ways that would make our content more attractive to consumers."

Even though their current deal lasts until December, Apple said that rather than start airing some new programs and then take them off a few months later, it decided not to air any of the net's new programs.

Swedish PM says sorry for the Mohammed cartoon but.

Sweden: They do have to protect freedom of speech and press which puts them above the rest of the American media.

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has spoken out about the need for Sweden to stand up for press freedoms following the controversy surrounding the publication by a local newspaper of a drawing of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.

Asked whether Sweden risked being drawn into a similar situation as that faced by Denmark last year, Reinfeldt replied:

"I think it's important to say two things. First, we are eager to ensure that Sweden remains a country in which Muslims and Christians, people who believe in God and people who don't believe in God, can live side by side in a spirit of mutual respect.

"We believe that we have come a very long way. I am responsible for making sure we continue down this road and take the initiative to further enhance this reciprocity and respect.

"We are also eager to stand up for freedom of expression, which is enshrined in the constitution and comes naturally to us, and which ensures that we do not make political decisions about what gets published in the newspapers. I want to make sure we keep things that way," Reinfeldt told news agency TT

Don't ever insult a monk's fighting ability.

Coolness: Understand people, Ninjas vs Pirates, fine. But Monks will put a beatdown on both in record time. RESPECT the Shaolin land like a young youth, yo rockin the gold tooth.

China’s Shaolin Temple has has taken the unusual step of hiring a lawyer to challenge an anonymous internet satirist who claimed a Japanese ninja took on its kung fu-practising monks and won.

The temple - renowned as the cradle of China’s martial arts tradition - took exception to an internet bulletin board post, signed with the pseudonym “Five Minutes A Day”, which described the ninja victory.

"This is absolutely untrue,” the lawyer said in a statement. “We vehemently condemn the odious behavior of this “Five Minutes A Day”, which is not just extremely irresponsible as far as Shaolin Temple is concerned but also with regards to martial arts in China, and to the nation as a whole.”

But the monastery may also have missed the point of Five Minutes A Day’s post, which is clearly a piece of satirical fiction and may be a veiled attack on current controversies surrounding the temple.

Its abbot, who has a chauffer-driven car and has aggressively marketed the temple’s name in China and abroad, has been accused of forgetting the temple’s spiritual values.

The online story - a reversal of kung fu movies in which fighters overcome ninja hordes - can be read as a warning of the possible consequences.

"The fact that the monks could not defeat a Japanese ninja showed that they were named as kung fu masters in vain,” the story concludes.

Friday, August 31, 2007

There was an immigrant boycott in Prince William County.

Immigration: Supporting illegals and all that stuff. It went pretty much as expectedgiven the circumstances

After four days, a boycott called to protest proposed restrictions on illegal immigrants in Prince William County appears to be having minimal impact on the national chain stores that are its chief targets.

Every day since Monday, a small but steady stream of Hispanic customers has wheeled shopping carts out of county Wal-Marts and lined up for lunchtime burgers at fast-food outlets.

But the week-long boycott has sharpened the contradictory emotions and opinions among county residents, highlighting the complexity of a fast-changing region that has experienced the burdens and benefits of immigration.

.....It was difficult to tell how effective the boycott has been so far, because there was no way to count absent shoppers at county mega-stores. Business was definitely up at small markets such as Mexico Lindo in Manassas, where tortillas and rice sacks were selling fast, but even there some customers said they were worried the boycott would provoke hostility against them.

"People need a voice, but I hate to see things going to extremes," said one Venezuelan man who asked not to be named. "They need to be persecuting the criminals, not the decent people. The thieves hurt us all, and this boycott does, too. It is a worthy cause, but that's not how you win over Americans."

He gets it. The same thing happened after the marches last year. It doesn't help when you demand rights and privileges like you are entitled to it.

Mike Huckabee is getting MSM love

Politics: Feel the love as the Wash Post tries to drag Huck up past the single digits.

"....It's hard to think of a candidate in recent political history who felt such a bounce and media hug after a second-place finish in a nonbinding contest where three of the top-tier candidates or almost-candidates -- John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson -- didn't bother to show. But man, is he working it.

"Oh, gosh," Huckabee says when asked to recall the media appearances he's done since his surprise showing at the straw poll. "I did Colbert, Maher. I did Fox News Sunday. 'Face the Nation.' I can't even remember them all. It's just a blur." (Bill Maher, who had Huckabee on his HBO program on Friday, the candidate's 52nd birthday, ended his interview with the former governor by saying, "Rudy Giuliani scares the hell out of me, so I hope you win.")

"I'd like to think the people of the country are looking for somebody that's not running because he's mad and angry," Huckabee says in an interview here. "My two strongest critics are the extreme right and the extreme left, both of whom say the same things about me. It's not unlike 'The Manchurian Candidate' -- the original, which I think was better. The extreme right and extreme left are so extreme that they join together at the other side of the world. That's really what that movie was about. At some point, extremism almost loses distinction."

Even those who think little of his political accomplishments can see Huckabee's appeal. Randy Thompson, whose advertising and consulting group has long aligned itself with the Democratic Party establishment in the former governor's home state, can spend 15 minutes bashing Huckabee's decade as governor, only to go soft.

"Everyone who's spent time with him whether they thought he was the best governor in the history of Arkansas or the absolute worst can agree that he's a nice man," Thompson says. "I think there's a certain freshness to that. That's what the people supporting him in Iowa saw."

Now, with the help of the national media, that's what the rest of America has begun to see. Huckabee's rare combination of down-home folksiness, compassion and ability to intelligently articulate conservative views has helped his transformation from former Baptist minister to the avatar of the post-Jerry Falwell evangelical movement. Once ridiculed for holding his hand up during a debate when asked which candidates didn't believe in evolution, he's risen above the label of religious zealot into, well, a conservative whom liberals such as Maher kind of like."

and that is the end of that with his run. Wash Post and liberal loving makes a bad combination.

NBC to End iTunes Sales of Its Shows

Entertainment: This is stupid on NBC's part.

NBC Universal, unable to come to an agreement with Apple on pricing, has decided not to renew its contract to sell digital downloads of television shows on iTunes.

The media conglomerate — which is the No. 1 supplier of digital video to Apple’s online store, accounting for about 40 percent of downloads — notified Apple of its decision late yesterday, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked for anonymity because negotiations between the companies are confidential.

A spokesman for NBC Universal, part of General Electric, confirmed the decision, but otherwise declined to comment. A spokesmen for Apple declined to comment. The decision by NBC Universal highlights the escalating tension between Apple and media companies, which are unhappy that Apple will not give them more control over the pricing of songs and videos that are sold on iTunes. NBC Universal is also seeking better piracy controls and wants Apple to allow it to bundle videos to increase revenue, the person familiar with the matter said.

....For months, most media companies have grumbled that Apple underprices video and audio content as a way to propel sales of a much more significant profit center: iPods and related merchandise. (One noteworthy abstainer from the grumbling is the Walt Disney Company, which has Apple’s chief executive, Steven P. Jobs, as a board member.)

The iTunes service has sold songs for 99 cents each since its beginning four years ago, except for the recent introduction of songs without copy protection. Episodes of television shows sell for $1.99, with movies priced at $9.99.

NBC Universal and other companies say they want to increase prices by packaging content— say an episode of “The Office” with the movie “The 40- Year-Old Virgin,” because they both star the comedian Steve Carell.

In the past, Apple has argued that a range of pricing would complicate the iTunes experience and squelch demand.

Apple is right. One of the selling points of iTunes is the simplicity and pricing that gets everyone's attention. There is also the idiot decision by NBC to try sell bundles which goes against what iTunes is all about in the first place. I understand media companies want to get more revenue for themselves, but I have no confidence in NBC understanding the market or making a site that would rival iTunes to sell it shows.

It is a rash decision that most likely backfire on NBC.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Praising Dirty Jobs

Entertainment: Marathon this labor day. It is a very cool show that shows jobs I really couldn't make it thru 3/4 of them due to the disgusting factor.

For Labor Day on Monday, Discovery will air a day-long marathon of Dirty Jobs from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. ET/PT. On Oct. 23, Rowe will commemorate Jobs' 150th episode, a milestone that he says attests to the appeal of the show.

"People are choking on comfort and starting to develop a suspicion that our lives have become too easy," he says. "A ditch digger has a ditch when he is done, and he didn't when he started. You probably do important work at your desk, but it looks a lot like it did when you started your day."

Rowe says the people whose jobs he takes on have several things in common. One is, "If you're going to stay sane and have a dirty job, you will either adapt to a philosophy that suits your life, or you'll get a new job. The people I meet have a pretty even world view, that quiet knowledge that comes from knowing that even though your contribution may not be understood or appreciated, it matters. They know that, and they are secure in that."

Student tricks rival fans to spell "We Suck''

Coolness: He got a suspension for it, but in the long term he and his friends are legends.

HILLIARD, Ohio — A high school student who tricked football fans from a crosstown rival school into holding up squares of construction paper at a stadium that together spelled out, "We Suck,'' was suspended for the prank, students said.

Kyle Garchar, a senior at Hilliard Davidson High School in suburban Columbus, said he spent about 20 hours over three days plotting the trick, which was captured on video and posted on the video-sharing Web site YouTube.

Garchar said he was inspired by a similar prank pulled by Yale students in 2004, when Harvard fans were duped into holding up cards with the same message.

At the end of the video, Garchar wryly thanks the 800 parents, staff and alumni from Hillard Darby High School who raised the cards at the start of the third quarter during last Friday's game played at Crew Stadium, home of Columbus' Major League Soccer team.

"It couldn't have been done without you,'' reads the closing frame of the video, which had been viewed more than 4,400 times by Thursday.

Video here.

South Korea may have paid a ransom.

Terrorism: Treeeemendous.

GHAZNI, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Taliban insurgents freed seven remaining South Korean hostages in Afghanistan on Thursday after a six-week kidnap ordeal, following a deal that Afghan officials said included a ransom payment by Seoul.

The Taliban killed two male hostages last month, but later agreed to release 19 others they were still holding after Seoul agreed to pull all its nationals out of the insurgency-wracked central Asian country.

Some Afghan officials say South Korea agreed to pay a ransom during negotiations with the Taliban, which one foreign diplomat said started out as a demand for $20 million.

One in five Brits a parasitic element on UK society.

UK: When benefits get to the point you can live off of them, you gave out too much.

The number of households in which nobody works for a living rose to more than three million this summer, official figures revealed yesterday.

Among them were a growing number of lone parent families - the first increase in the figure for single parent homes entirely dependent on benefits in five years.

The statistics point towards a failure for Labour's policy of spending billions on benefits, childcare and incentive schemes intended to persuade those without jobs - and single mothers in particular - into employment.

The figure of three million workless homes is particularly bleak because it includes only those where there is someone of working age - defined as between 18 and 65 whether claiming a disability or not, but excluding students.

Last month the Whitehall spending watchdog attacked ministers for their failure to reduce workless numbers.

The National Audit Office warned that those living in workless households are at risk of permanent joblessness and poverty and face falling into a spiral of ill-health and crime.

Osama as Jesus, Virgin Mary in a burqa, Mohammed as a dog.

Culture: In Australia, artists has drawn anger for having the Virgin Mary wearing a burqa and Osama as Jesus. Not everyone is offended by the Virgin Mary though the Jesus pic is forbidden.

The head of Australia's Islamic Council believes a statue of the Virgin Mary shrouded in a burqa is not offensive, because it shows a key female figure of Islam in the modest fashion required of all Muslim women.

Prime Minister John Howard yesterday described as "gratuitously offensive" the statue and another artwork depicting a holographic image of Osama bin Laden that morphed into an image of Jesus Christ.

The artworks were entries into the Blake Prize for religious art.

But Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ikebal Patel said the statue was "not at all offensive", because both the Virgin Mary and Jesus were revered figures in Islam.

"So [Mary wearing a burqa is] no different to how our mothers and sisters are expected to be modest in their dressing," he said.

But Mr Patel said he was affronted by the image of bin Laden's face blending into that of Jesus, who is deemed a prophet in Islam.

"You have a revered prophet of Islam being equated to somebody like Osama bin Laden.

"Also in Islam, we don't have any paintings or drawings depicting any of our prophets, so I find it quite offensive."

Well that is a boldface lie not depicting the prophets. One of the artists says it wasn't meant to offend. An Anglican bishop isn't too worried.

The Anglican bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, said he was surprised by offended reactions to the artwork.

"Christians are not about to go and kill people because someone did some cartoons - it's not the way we respond," he said.

Meantime in Sweden, we got a paper printing Mohammed and by Friday, the protests should be in full swing.

What began as a harmless artistic experiment in Sweden is at risk of erupting into a repeat of last year's crisis in Denmark that followed the publication of allegedly insulting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

The growing dispute in Sweden is linked to rondellhund – roundabout dogs – which are amateur and usually humorous sculptures of dogs placed covertly on roundabouts around the country as a form of counter-cultural expression.

When Lars Wilks, a Swedish artist, decided to draw a shaky picture of a rondellhund in which the dog bore the head of Mohammed, it prompted debate in Sweden's national newspapers about whether art galleries should carry the picture.

...Mr Johansson has received threatening e-mails and has been forced to use a bodyguard. "Some said I would burn in hell," he said.

Police have stepped up security around the newspaper's office.

Local Muslims in Orebro staged a small, peaceful demonstration outside the newspaper's office last Friday, but a much larger protest is planned for Friday, according to the Islamic culture centre in Orebro.

"If you had a picture of the Pope as a dog, people would think the Pope is no good," he said. "So why is it OK to have a picture of the Prophet like that? It is now up to other Muslims in other towns to take action."

The Islamic centre said that up to 800 people were expected at Friday's demonstration, and added that Islamic centres around Sweden were being contacted and asked to join in.

Mr Johansson said he was simply trying to spur debate. "I thought it was a good opportunity to raise the issue of freedom of religion and speech in Sweden – not only for Swedes but for those Muslims living in Sweden," he told the FT. "They have the right to protest here. That is really the point."

Public reactionhas been mixed. One writer to a newspaper website captured the mood: "I believe that freedom of speech is worth defending, but also think there are boundaries, even in Sweden, for what the media should print in the name of freedom of speech."

So much for the West convictions of freedom of expression and speech. It is depressing to see so many people in the press who with the right motivation would rather live on their knees than stand up on their feet.

Game of Tag banned in elementary school

Culture: As the pussification of future generations continue.

On the playground of a northern Colorado Springs elementary school, tag is not “it.”

The touch-and-run game and any other form of chasing was banned this year at Discovery Canyon Campus’ elementary school by administrators who say it fuels schoolyard disputes.

“It causes a lot of conflict on the playground,” said Assistant Principal Cindy Fesgen. In the first days of school, before tag was banned, she said students would complain to her about being chased or harassed.

Fesgen said she would hear: “Well, I don’t want to be chased, but he won’t stop chasing me, or she won’t stop chasing me.”

Fesgen said two parents complained to her about the demise of tag, but she said that generally, parents and children didn’t fuss about the new rules. Running games are still OK, she said, as long as students don’t run after one another.

Generally, parents today are too timid, stupid or just don't care to complain. All this interaction was helpful as a child to learn how to work things out. Now they are getting taught that someone will solve their problems for them.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In pictures: Urban life in Zimbabwe

Africa: Via the BBC.

Terrorism Policies Split Democrats rank and file.

Politics: There is a mind-boggling disconnect between the liberals and the reality of the situation. The mainstream Dems know if they fall in line with the far left of the party, they will be open to being called wimps.

A growing clamor among rank-and-file Democrats to halt President Bush's most controversial tactics in the fight against terrorism has exposed deep divisions within the party, with many Democrats angry that they cannot defeat even a weakened president on issues that they believe should be front and center.

The Democrats' failure to rein in wiretapping without warrants, close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay or restore basic legal rights such as habeas corpus for terrorism suspects has opened the party's leaders to fierce criticism from some of their staunchest allies -- on Capitol Hill, among liberal bloggers and at interest groups.

At the Democratic-leaning Center for American Progress yesterday, panelists discussing the balance between security and freedom lashed out at Democratic leaders for failing to stand up to the White House. "These are matters of principle," said Mark Agrast, a senior fellow at the center. "You don't temporize."

"We are for the terrorists" is not the message the party leaders want to send out. So I support this push to get them to do just that and on a continuous basis.

Alternate Route to Diploma Proposed in Maryland.

Edumacation: Translation: "We need various ways to get these sumbitches out of our school system with something showing they were at least alive."

BALTIMORE, Aug. 28 -- Maryland high school students who are unable to pass a set of exams required for graduation could instead submit projects to demonstrate their mastery of academic subjects, under a plan introduced Tuesday by State School Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick.

Students in the Class of 2009 (this year's juniors) and those who follow must pass the exams in algebra, English, biology and government -- or earn an adequate composite score on them -- to graduate.

Grasmick offered her alternative because she is concerned that hundreds of students could be denied diplomas based on a single set of tests, rather than on their mastery of the subject.

*raises hand* If they were smart enough to be able to master the subjects, there would be no problem with the tests.

Opponents of the tests say thousands of students -- particularly in Baltimore and Prince George's County -- are at risk of being denied diplomas, and some state lawmakers have been calling for the testing system to be examined and perhaps made more lenient.

Supporters of the exams, including Grasmick, have warned that weakening the requirements would devalue high school diplomas and render students unable to compete in the global marketplace.

Charles County Superintendent James E. Richmond said Grasmick's proposal provides flexibility for struggling students.

"It's not letting any student off the hook, and it's not dumbing it down or watering it down," he said. "But as you know, some kids can do things one way and others can do it a different way."

It is all about pushing the students out before they become a laughing stock..or more of a laughing stock. How will a project make up for 4 years of high school education? All it will do is make them think there is no such thing as failure, just do it another way and move on. It makes a diploma really worth less than the paper it is printed on these days.

Condi rips into a sassy clerk, liberals angry.

Politics: If Condi was a black liberal, there would be awkward trying to be hip "you go girl" posts at thinkprogess. Via the Corner.

When Neocon Shoppers Attack [Mark Hemingway]

Here's some more hypocrisy fun to add to Jonah's list. One of the "revelations" in the soon to be released Condoleezza Rice bio by WaPo writer Glenn Kessler is this anecdote where the she supposedly dressed down a jewelry-store clerk:

The clerk showed her costume jewelry. Rice asked to see something nicer, prompting the clerk to whisper some sass under her breath.Blacker remembers Rice tearing the woman to shreds."Let's get one thing straight," he recalls her saying. "You are behind the counter because you have to work for minimum wage. I'm on this side asking to see the good jewelry because I make considerably more."

I doubt Condoleezza shops at Target for her jewelry so some up class snobbery was going and she got smacked hard.

Elvira Arellano wants to be made ambassador.

Immigration: I demand Mexico gives her what she wants, I beg with Mexico to do this and just try to shove it in people's faces over here.

The recently deported illegal migrant and activist who took refuge in a Chicago church for a year, has asked the Mexico's president to appoint her "peace and justice" ambassador so she can return to the United States.

Elvira Arellano, 32, who sought refuge to avoid being separated from her U.S.-born, 8-year-old son, was arrested and sent back to Mexico on Aug. 19 after traveling to Los Angeles to attend a rally for the overhaul of U.S. immigration laws. Her son stayed in the United States.

"What I'm asking for is a diplomatic visa so that I can be an ambassador for peace and justice because I'm not a terrorist and the United States can't continue treating undocumented migrants as terrorists," Arellano told reporters after meeting with President Felipe Calderon at the presidential residence, Los Pinos.

In a news release, the president's office said Arellano asked the Mexican government to help her get a visa so she can enter the United States but it did not mention Arellano's request for a diplomatic appointment.

Calderon asked Foreign Secretary Patricia Espinosa to "look into the situation that Mrs. Arellano and her son face and to approach U.S. authorities so that we can respond to (her) request," it said.

Federal Hate Crime Bill up for a vote in the fall.

Crime: ( H.R. 1592: Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007)

This has been going way under the radar. Black Baptist preachers are against it because they fear like in Canada, gay groups may try to criminalize their preaching. This LATIMES op-ed says that is wrong.

On May 3, the House voted to pass the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007. The Senate will take up a companion bill, known as the Matthew Shepard Act, when it returns from its summer recess. If enacted, this law would authorize the Justice Department, in certain narrowly defined circumstances, to criminally prosecute an individual who "willfully" causes bodily injury to another person or "through the use of fire, a firearm or an explosive . . . attempts to cause bodily injury" to another person because of that person's race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

A coalition of conservative African American pastors has aggressively lobbied against this legislation on the premise that it would make it unlawful for them to preach that homosexuality is a sin. Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., pastor of the Hope Christian Church in College Park, Md., for example, has asserted that the act would "keep the church from preaching the Gospel."

Google News has more columns on it.

Wash Post praises town for courageous stand on illegals

Immigration: By doing nothing to discourage illegals. This is the Washington Post, its views on illegals is open borders.

THE LITTLE town of Manassas Park is an unassuming place -- not the sort of town you'd necessarily expect to take a courageous stand on illegal immigration. Yet that's exactly what it's done.

Built as a bedroom community of Cape Cods in the '50s, it remains primarily residential, so much so that it is only now getting around to building a city center, which officials hope will broaden the tax base. Although its population has nearly tripled in the last 20 years, to 13,500, it is one of the smallest incorporated cities in Virginia. As an enclave of mostly affordable housing in pricey Northern Virginia, Manassas Park has attracted many Hispanic immigrants, and as a result the city has become majority minority. Still, no Hispanic has yet run for mayor or the City Council, which is dominated by Republicans and conservative civil servants required by law to run as independents.

Manassas Park is bounded on all sides by Prince William County, which has lately joined the nationwide rush to hound illegal immigrants by denying them public services and siccing the police on them in hopes of driving them away. Prince William's neighbor to the north, Loudoun County, has done the same. But Manassas Park, its diminutive size notwithstanding, is refusing to be bullied into joining in the immigrant-bashing.

There is the liberal lie to fit its storyline. Everyone is racist and everyone demands all immigrants to go when it is not the case. Here is the gushing article to go along with the editorial.

A Scandal-Scarred G.O.P. Asks, ‘What Next?’

Politics: Two bits out of this story that gets to the point.

“The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness,” said Mr. Reed, sounding exasperated in an interview on Tuesday morning. “You can’t make this stuff up. And the impact this is having on the grass-roots around the country is devastating. Republicans think the governing class in Washington are a bunch of buffoons who have total disregard for the principles of the party, the law of the land and the future of the country.”

With President Bush hobbled by his own political difficulties, the party can hardly look to him to lead them out of the morass. “If we had a coach,” said John Feehery, who was press secretary to Representative J. Dennis Hastert when Mr. Hastert was the House speaker, “the coach would take us in the locker room and scream at us.”

The Foley debacle showed there was no leadership and that the GOP in Washington have a tin ear to the party voters and an astounding lack of common sense. Some leadership has to form to get everything right.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Abortion of wrong twin sparks debate in Italy.

Culture: Dunno why anyone is shocked, abortion by nature of the act demands a "dumbing" down of values regarding life. This step of trying to abort a baby with Down's syndrome has been praised in the Washington Post as a good advancement. A UK medical college wanted to kill off disabled babies because they are a burden. As medical tech and a loosening of values/morals you are going to get a cleansing of unwanted babies.

Italian prosecutors have opened an investigation into a botched selective abortion that the Vatican has described as the result of a “culture of perfection” resembling Nazi eugenics.

The deeply Catholic country was embroiled in a bitter ethical dispute yesterday after it emerged that a surgeon had accidentally terminated a healthy foetus instead of its twin with Down’s syndrome. The operation – on a 38-year-old woman 18 weeks into her pregnancy – was performed at the San Paolo hospital in Milan in June but has only now come to light. The foetus with Down’s syndrome was also aborted subsequently.

The revelation has reignited the debate in Italy over abortion, which was legalised only in 1978. The law allows terminations of healthy foetuses up to the 90th day of pregnancy, though abortions can be performed at a later stage if there is a risk to the life of the mother or the foetus is malformed.

The episode has been seized upon by Catholics campaigning to have the abortion law repealed. L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, said: “No one has the right to suppress another life and take the place of God for any motive whatever.” The paper said that selective abortion amounted to eugenics, stemming from “a culture of perfection”. The Association of Catholic Doctors said that selective abortion was “the fruit of an egoistic culture”, while Luca Volontè, a Christian Democrat politician, said that the Milan mistake amounted to infanticide.

However, Carlo Flamigni, a leading fertility surgeon and a non-Catholic, argued that repealing the abortion law would be like “closing down all motorways just because now and then someone causes an accident by falling asleep at the wheel”. Rita Bernardini, of the pro-abortion Radical Party, said that if the “pro-life” campaign succeeded, prospective parents could lose the right not only to abortion but also to prenatal diagnosis warning them of birth defects.

Gordon Ramsay didn't say anything wrong.

Entertainment: People are taking this way out of context.

Gordon Ramsay is at the centre of a controversy for calling America the "most pathetic nation."

The foul-mouthed food expert has sparked a row by breaking his silence on a lawsuit accusing the perfectionist chef of faking scenes in a New York restaurant for the upcoming season of his TV reality show there.

"I would never-ever-ever dream of setting anything up," Ramsay told the American TV industry publication Television Week. "I want to sleep at night. We were issued a writ because, God bless America, if the toilet paper is not thick enough and you come out with a rash on your arse (you'll get sued)."

40-year-old Ramsay added: "Trying to say I set up a wobbly chair - this is supposed to be the most powerful nation in the world, not the most pathetic."

But Ramsay's remarks, which were leaked in advance of publication, have already sparked outrage. One television experts said: "How dare he say such things about the United States when he is delighted to take our dollars."

Bah, he is right. America is fast on it way of becoming a nation of whiners and a big sign of that is the amount of stupid lawsuits in the courts.

South Korea now the Taliban's little bitch.

Terrorism: When the Taliban says jump, South Koreans will say how high sir.

SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) — South Korean negotiators in Afghanistan have reached a deal with Taliban militants holding 19 South Korean Christian aid workers for over a month, a presidential spokesman in Seoul said Tuesday.

The group of South Koreans was kidnapped in Ghazni province on July 19. Seoul welcomes the deal, but spokesman Cheon Ho-sun cautioned that many details must still be worked out and the aid workers will not be released immediately.

Under the terms of the agreement, South Korea agreed to stick by its previous decision to withdraw its 200 non-combat troops from Afghanistan, which work mostly in an engineering and medical capacity.

In addition, Seoul will halt all Christian missionary work in Afghanistan.

Calls grows international overview of U.S. markets

Business: Well... under a President Hillary, this would be welcomed with open arms.

Politicians, regulators and financial specialists outside the United States are seeking a role in oversight of American markets, banks and rating agencies in the wake of recent problems related to subprime mortgages.

Their argument is simple: The United States is exporting financial products, but losses to investors in other countries suggest that American regulators are not properly monitoring the products or alerting investors to the risks.

"We need an international approach, and the United States needs to be part of it," said Peter Bofinger, a member of the German government's economics advisory board and a professor at the University of Würzburg.

America will be a part of whatever we decide to be a part of on our own time. Seriously doubt if this was reversed, they would be receptive to the idea. In Summary, go sit over there and be quiet.

Proponents of AA gear up to fight Ward Connerly

Politics: As supporters seem to be resigned that AA programs are going to take beating in the polls.

Opponents of higher education affirmative action programs are gearing up to launch their largest attack in recent years. The planned assault comes in the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that severely limited the use of race in K-12 integration plans.

“I believe that we are now poised for a coup de grâce to say that race preferences in the eyes of the public should not be used,” says Ward Connerly, the chairman of the American Civil Rights Institute, a conservative organization based in Sacramento, Calif., that opposes racial and gender preferences.

It was Connerly who orchestrated Proposition 209, a California ballot
initiative that outlawed race and gender preferences in state hiring and university admissions. A similar bill passed in Michigan last year.

Now, he is leading a national effort aimed at placing similar anti-affirmative action initiatives on the November 2008 presidential ballot in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

“This is going to be Super Tuesday for equal rights,” Connerly says. “I think it’s very clear that we are witnessing an end to an era.”

RNC whining about Chuck Schumer over Gonzales.

Politics: This is the type of whining and crying that is making the grassroots refuse to send money to the RNC and why they are frustrated by the ineptitude of the national GOP party as a whole.

Monday, August 27, 2007

More Manga bible books coming out.

Coolness: Though the tagline needs some work.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicTyndale House Publishers announced that it is launching a yearly series of Christian manga drawn by Japanese artists in September, as well as a Manga Bible with three manga sections in November. Amazon lists Hidenori Kumai as the author, with Kozumi Shinozawa and Atsuko Ogawa as the illustrators, of the first manga book, Manga Messiah. The Manga Bible will include the entire New Living Translation of the text with three 32-page manga tip-in sections that summarize the narrative.

More info here, here and here.

More fallout from banned Opus Muslim comic strip.

Media: Foxnews is reporting the reason Washington Post didn't run the strip is because of the emotional response of some Muslim staffers.

The Washington Post and several other newspapers around the country did not run Sunday's installment of Berkeley Breathed's "Opus," in which the spiritual fad-seeking character Lola Granola appears in a headscarf and explains to her boyfriend, Steve, why she wants to become a radical Islamist.

The installment did not appear in the Post's print version, but it ran on and The same will hold true for the upcoming Sept. 2 strip, which is a continuation of the plotline.

The Washington Post Writers Group syndicates "Opus," and the Post is the cartoon's home newspaper. The syndicate sent out an alert about the two strips in question, according to Writers Group comics editor Amy Lago.

Sources told that the strips were shown to Muslim staffers at The Washington Post to gauge their reaction, and they responded "emotionally" to the depiction of a woman dressed in traditional Muslim garb and espousing conservative Islamic views.

There was also considerable alarm over the strip at the highest echelons of The Washington Post Co., according to the sources.

Lago said she flagged some of the syndicate's newspaper clients for two reasons: because of the possibility that the jokes about Islam would be misconstrued and because of the sexual innuendo in the punchline.

"The strip came in and I knew we would have to send out an alert to all the newspapers," Lago said. "I do that fairly regularly with materials that might pose issues for local areas. ... We knew that because it was a sex joke, it could raise issues. And there is another client that has issues with any Muslim depiction whatsoever."

Editors from The Washington Post declined to comment on why they made the decision to pull the two comic strips.

Politically correct liberal staffers at the Wash Post got scared after a couple of weak willed wimps they have on staff broke down is the shorten version.

You can see the entire strip here since it leaked a couple of days ago.

Illegals leaving ahead of new state laws.

Immigration: No one has to deport all illegals, just put in and enforce the laws to start the ball rolling.

First in Arizona.

Undocumented immigrants are starting to leave Arizona because of the new employer-sanctions law.

The state's strong economy has been a magnet for illegal immigrants for years. But a growing number are pulling up stakes out of fear they will be jobless come Jan. 1, when the law takes effect. The departures are drawing cheers from immigration hard-liners and alarm from business owners already seeing a drop in sales.

It's impossible to count how many undocumented immigrants have fled because of the new law. But based on interviews with undocumented immigrants, immigrant advocates, community leaders and real-estate agents, at least several hundred have left since Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano signed the bill on July 2. There are an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona.

Second in Oklahoma.

Tulsa - Tens of thousands of Hispanics have left the Tulsa area. And, a law designed to crack down on illegal immigration hasn't even taken effect yet. But, there's a catch.

East Tulsa is where the majority of Hispanics ended up settling. They came by the thousands and now they're leaving that way, too. And, it's all because of one word --deportation.

This is becoming a squeeze play, if you get a critical amount of illegals in a state, it starts to become a problem to the people and the infrastructure of the state. Enough states make laws like this to force a move, eventually even the most liberal state will have to do something against their nature.

Obama gets love from Cuba.

Politics: Couple of days ago I said after Obama called for the easing of the restrictions on Cuba.
Tremendous, lets make it easier to keep Castro's party members in power by allowing more money onto the island they can use for their purpose. I am sure this op-ed won't show up in the Castro runned media as a propaganda victory.

Today from the Atlantic blog.

As sent by a reader: some love from the Castro propaganda machine (if he's still alive) for Sen. Barack Obama.

The article appeared in the publication Granma this Sunday. It refers to Obama's proposal to drawn down punitive sanctions against the island country.

The costs of plastic bags in Australia.

Culture: Via Tim Blair. There was a study on the costs of getting rid of plastic bags, the cruel punishers of the environment and choking birds everywhere. The conclusions which starts on page 10 of the report?

Based on the analytical work by ACG, it appears that there is no one option that can be described as the ‘best’ option. Indeed, based on this economic analysis, the economic and environmental costs of the options considered outweigh the potential economic and environmental benefits by a substantial margin.

But you know they will try to ban it anyway.

When education programs keep going wrong.

Edumacation: So much goofy things in this op-ed piece by Patrick Welsh. The main point being there is a program called TAG(Talented and Gifted) which 2 years ago tightened up the rules on how many smart kids can be in the program. The problem it creates is now you have three sets of kids. The TAG, the ones who could have been in TAG but miss the cut and the well..the rest of the student body.

That's TAG as in Talented and Gifted. And who is and who isn't -- or at least who's designated such and who isn't -- has been one of the most contentious issues in Alexandria since the school system raised the bar for the TAG program two years ago. The new rules have cut out about two-thirds of the students who once qualified: At George Mason, the size of the fourth-grade program went from 17 to six last>

Now we get into the racial part of it.

The TAG philosophy heightens the racial and class tensions that have long been at the heart of the Alexandria school system. This is a city where 52 percent of the school children are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. White students, most from fairly affluent families, make up 24 percent of the school district.

It's easy to write off the white parents now seeking a special class for their kids as snobs who want to create an exclusive club within the public schools for their darlings. But the parents at George Mason and elsewhere have reason to be concerned. For a fairly bright child, the SOL exams aren't much more than a minimum-competency test. To allay parental anxieties, Superintendent Rebecca Perry has said that the students at the top of the regular classes -- i.e., the white kids who didn't get into TAG -- will help to "challenge, mentor and coach" the students struggling with the SOL material.

Actually it is Welsh who is projecting his feelings on these white parents who feel their child should *SHOCK!* get a more challenging education. There is a social aspect of it to say you kid is in some program or is a honor student. But I cannot imagine any self-respecting parent, black/white/whatever not being ticked off that their kid is being forced to slow down their ability to learn because the school district made up a dumb system like this.

As for this Super who wants the students to tutor... Hell no. My kid is there to learn not do your job for free as some sort of "reward." This will cause resentment among both set of kids, one set thinking the other must feel better than him and the other irritated that instead of learning new material he has to be teaching the slow kid. The better option is created a system where kids are put together in class based on their overall ability. This part of the article is a nice strawman for the author to slam these type of programs as being harmful in the end.

What most parents don't realize is that the gifted label can harm not only those who don't receive it, but also those who do. Labeling can create what Stanford University psychology professor Carol Dweck calls a "fixed" mindset of intelligence -- the belief that your intelligence is set in stone -- as opposed to a "growth" mindset, which views intelligence as a muscle, something that can be developed throughout your life. In 1998, Dweck conducted an experiment in which she gave two evenly matched groups of elementary school kids the same nonverbal IQ test. When one group of children did well, they were told that they must have worked very hard to get their results. The students in the other group, meanwhile, were told that they must be very smart to have done so well.

Dweck found that as time went on, the kids who were told that they were smart "fell apart when they hit a challenge. They lost confidence in their abilities. Their motivation dwindled and their performance on the next IQ test dropped." By contrast, the children in the group praised for working hard tended to seek out challenges and persist at difficult tasks and ultimately learned more.

In truth, many bright students feel uncomfortable as they go through the gifted-and-talented program. "I was always uneasy about being pulled out of class for TAG, set apart from other kids and shuttled through to college," says Sarah Shaffer, a sophomore at Oberlin College in Ohio.

Shep Walker, a T.C. graduate about to enter the College of William and Mary, says the problem is that "gifted-and-talented programs get filled with white kids who have pushy parents, leaving a lot of black and Hispanic kids out in the cold and creating de facto segregation in the classes."

In its defense, Alexandria's school administration was probably trying to fix that situation. But the solution isn't to mark fewer students as gifted and talented. It's to challenge all our kids, all the time.

What a ridiculous set of whiners. My experience as a student( granted I was just a reg) was these are the type of programs needed to challenge and more importantly keep their interest in learning thru high school. Smart kids were always the ones who got bored fast with regular work.

The reality is that no one program can be used for all children. Every child is different, some are smart, some are dumb and most are stuck in the middle of pack. Any general approach will backfire as parents and kids with higher ability will leave to find a place that serves their needs. The author may want some sort of communist all for one method. But it will never work.

Liberia cuts down on baggy pants and weaves.

Africa: Atlanta is on the cutting edge of this new government pushback against stupid fashion. But there is a bit of uneasiness about the announcement which will probably lead to old-fashioned teen/young people rebellion.

Liberia has banned students from wearing artificial hair extensions such as weaves or attachments at school.
Education Minister Joseph Korto told the BBC it was a way of "instilling moral discipline in our young people".

He said students are also banned from wearing skirts or trousers that expose their underwear in any way.

Mr Korto said the government, which came to power last year, wanted Liberia to return to the "good old days" before the civil war of the 1990s.

The education ministry statement said there was to be no "sagging", referring to the way young people often wear shirts or trousers loosely.

"In the 1960s and 1970s or before the war you never saw our young girls or young boys walking in the streets with their clothes on the hips," Mr Koroto said.

Some girls in the capital, Monrovia, have welcomed the measures.

"The time students take to dress or fix their hair should be used to study their lessons," said Watti Robinson, a student at the Catholic-run Saint Theresa Convent.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The rise of Hizb ut-Tahrir in the West Bank.

Middle East: Another positive development in the Middle East.

By day, they are the middle class, putting in days as mild-mannered teachers, factory supervisors and office clerks.

But by night, the growing number of supporters of Hizb ut-Tahrir, the Islamic fundamentalists who reject modern democracy in favour of a pan-Islamic religious caliphate, are gathering in the West Bank to recruit the thousands who have grown disillusioned with the vicious stand-off between the secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas.

"Any person living in Palestine now realises political parties, especially the Islamic ones, have not achieved anything for the individual," said Sheikh Abu Abdullah, a thin-framed man with a wiry beard.

Travis Henry has 9 children by 9 women in 4 states.

Sports: Even Shawn Kemp fell over in shock.

Travis Henry just got tackled by a $3,000-a-month child support judgment.

Sure, the Denver Broncos running back has a $25 million contract and a base monthly salary approaching $50,000, but that kind of bill can still crimp your style when you're accustomed to expensive cars and fancy jewelry — and lots of other child support payments.

Henry, 28, has fathered nine children by nine women in at least four Southern states and has been ordered by various judges to provide child support for seven of them, according to court records involving one child living in DeKalb County.

DeKalb Superior Court Judge Clarence Seeliger this week ordered Henry to provide $3,000 a month for the Lithonia boy he fathered out of wedlock three years ago with Jameshia Beacham, now 29.

Henry isn't the most thrifty guy, according to court records, so the judge wants to ensure payment by establishing an unusual $250,000 trust that Henry must fund by next spring.

Seeliger wrote that the football player displayed "bad judgment in his spending habits," dropping $100,000 for a car and $146,000 for jewelry. Meanwhile, Henry fell behind on support payments for his child with Beacham that were mandated by a previous order. Threatened with jail, he borrowed $9,800 from his former team, the Tennessee Titans, to pay the bill, according to court records.

It's called condoms, damn.

Illegal Kenyans in US cautioned.

Immigration: Every group is on high alert.

Following recent crackdown by Federal and State agencies, hundreds of people have been rounded up and put in detention centres to await deportation. Most of the arrests are on non-felony charges, like traffic offences.

An e-mail alert suspected to have originated from a Kenyan organisation based in New Jersey, The Public Eye, warns Kenyans to avoid finding themselves in situations where their identities have to be scrutinised.

In an interview with The Sunday Standard in New Jersey, the New York-based immigration lawyer, Mr Noel Mpaka, said the situation is bound to get worse.

He attributes the recent crackdowns on the defeat of President Bush’s immigration legislation in the US Senate.

"These people (Homeland Security) are in a hurry to prove that they can still enforce the old laws so they do away with the proposed ones. Towards this end, they are going to crack the whip. The message I am passing to Kenyans especially the youth is simple: don’t drink and drive, don’t fight with your girlfriend, stay away from illegal drugs and give the police a wide berth," he told The Sunday Standard.

....Many murder cases in the US among Kenyans remain unresolved because witnesses fear to come out and testify.

Rev Jesse found an untapped area to exploit.

UK: In the UK as he is hooking up with some group for shaked..err..racial justice!

That's why the 1990 Trust, OBV and other organisations have joined forces with Rev Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Push coalition to form Equanomics, a project that will focus on racial justice through economic equality. For many years and for obvious reasons, our organisation have focused our race equality agenda on national and local government legislation and also campaigning for greater political representation.

However, given that the overwhelming majority of people are employed within the private sector, it is right that we should also seek to achieve race equality in big business. Without access to jobs, promotion, business loans and procuring lucrative contracts, a meaningful level of racial justice within the private sector and society in general can never be achieved.

Some of our initial ideas will focus on how we can hold big business to account. We have talked about targeting 25 UK-based multinationals in which we feel black consumers have particular spending power, such as in; banks, insurance companies, food manufacturers, mobile phones, drinks, electronic goods and clothing. We will seek to buy shares in many of those companies and, as shareholders, begin to demand that their rhetoric of diversity and opportunity is matched by reality.

Our central and positive argument will be that for the private sector to ignore the deluge of talent within black communities is simply not good business. When many more people in society can fulfil their employment potential everybody wins. But as consumers and shareholders, if gentle persuasion makes not one jot, we have the right to choose where we spend our money.

Rev Jackson's blueprint has been: research, what is the make up of the company; education, explaining what diversity means in practice; negotiation, how and when the status quo should change; and demonstration, if a company is unwilling to change its practice, then the use of boycotts and/or litigation can be used.

If the latter is used, then reconciliation must also be part of the plan.
One can imagine an all-white senior management at Masterfoods, using an all-white advertising agency, ensured the racist nursery rhyme simply slipped through the net. The result cost the company millions of pounds, and tarnished the reputation of both itself and the ad agency. Greater understanding of a company's consumer base not only avoids these pitfalls, but also brings in a dynamism that is not there.

On Rev Jesse Jackson's last visit to the capital, he convened a meeting with the corporate giants, to persuade them that "as in politics, big business should understand that diversity works." Equanomics seeks to take that message nationwide.

Dumb logic on display in Northern Virginia.

Immigration: No wonder Virginia is fast becoming a sanctuary state.

Hossain Hahidian, president of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, said area Muslims are nervously eyeing laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants.

Although the majority of Muslim immigrants are in the country legally, he said, the laws "vilify the illegal immigrant and, by extension, it vilifies all immigrants."

Cracking down on those who break the law is now vilifying them. Tremendous.

Rhys Jones shooting is society's fault.

UK: You can change the country but you can't change the inevitable soft liberal blame everyone else mantra. Mary Riddell is in typical liberal form.

Around 30,000 children left school with no GCSEs on the day after Rhys Jones died. One in five young Britons is without qualifications, work or training. No crude determinism ordains that the poor, especially those with the wrong postcode, become the killers and the dead, but only a fool would deny a causal link between deprivation and the risk of carrying firearms for bravado or knives because of fear.

You can try to curb the supply of guns, You can, and should, raise the price of alcohol, put more police on the streets and lock away the vicious few. But nothing will work until the government acknowledges that hopelessness is the most lethal weapon. As Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, says: 'Violence breeds in unequal societies and Britain has become much more unequal over recent decades.'

These are the children born into the society that mourned James Bulger and chose, in the name of humanity, to favour punishment over prevention. The results are everywhere. Now, amid the horror at a young boy's needless death, there is a dawning recognition that outcast children are not just some evil alien breed. They are our responsibility and our creation.

This is the type of talk that makes those she says are the most vulnerable laugh in glee. The nonsense spewed by someone who looks at people as the results of everyone else around denying personal responsibility exists. Poor and not having the means to get a flat screen tv because of "income inequality" is not an excuse to act violently in society.

There is a need to look at the parents, get rid of the influences around them and punish those who refuse to abide by the norms and ways of a civilized society. The problem is the touchy feely hug a hoodie over there and midnight basketball stuff in the states without means of punishment that makes everyone understand that actions have consequences. The problem will continue to grow if there are enough people in positions of influence and power who refuse to understand.