Saturday, September 8, 2007

Ex-Mideast Hostage Urges al-Qaida Talks

Terrorism: The naive and moral weakness of the West now has made the term moderate stretch beyond the original meaning to astonishing length.

LONDON (AP) - Former Middle East hostage Terry Waite has called for dialogue with al-Qaida, saying the organization had moderate elements that could be engaged constructively.
Waite spent nearly five years in captivity after being kidnapped in 1987 by Islamic Jihad militants in Beirut, Lebanon. He was there trying to negotiate the release of Western hostages.

His call for talks with al-Qaida was made during a debate due to be aired Saturday by the British Broadcasting Corp.

"Dialogue is the way forward," Waite, noting past talks with the African National Congress in South Africa and the IRA in Northern Ireland. "My own experience is that you can talk to those whose positions seem impossible."

Al Qaida is not even in the same damn universe as the ANC and IRA at their worst. The west is filled with way too many people like Waite who think talking to someone who wants to kill and dominate you is going to work. It seems every so often like this is a reminder of why militant Islamists think they will win because there is a significant amount of people living in the west who are willing to live on their knees for peace than die on their feet.

More articles about the Deobandi sect in the UK.

UK: London Times with more about the stranglehold this version of the Deobandi has in the UK.

Both seminaries were named this year in a report that describes Karachi as “a haven for violent extremism”. The report, by the International Crisis Group, notes that “the vast majority of Karachi’s sectarian, jihadi madrassas follow the Deobandi sect”. It says that the leaders of Jamia Binoria have “publicly adopted a pro-jihadi, anti-Western stance”.

Millions of pounds are raised by British mosques and sent to support terrorist groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Kashmir. One, Jaish-e-Mohammed, is thought to get £5 million a year from British donors. Close ties also exist between JuB, the representative body of Deobandi scholars in Britain, and JuI, a powerful Deobandi political party whose leader has been called Pakistan’s “patron of jihad”.

"Live in peace until strong enough to wage jihad."

One of the world’s most respected Deobandi scholars believes that aggressive military jihad should be waged by Muslims “to establish the supremacy of Islam” worldwide.

Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani argues that Muslims should live peacefully in countries such as Britain, where they have the freedom to practise Islam, only until they gain enough power to engage in battle.

His views explode the myth that the creed of offensive, expansionist jihad represents a distortion of traditional Islamic thinking.

Mr Usmani, 64, sat for 20 years as a Sharia judge in Pakistan’s Supreme Court. He is an adviser to several global financial institutions and a regular visitor to Britain. Polite and softly spoken, he revealed to The Times a detailed knowledge of world events and his words, for the most part, were balanced and considered.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Gov.Blagojevich aide a terrorist supporter.

Politics: He see nothing wrong with this especially with the aide keeping him mouth shut because he did not want to snitch on his terrorist friends.

SPRINGFIELD -- A high-ranking official in Gov. Blagojevich's office spent nearly two years in a federal prison for refusing to aid a government terrorism probe into a series of bombings in Chicago and New York City.

Steven Guerra, Blagojevich's $120,000-a-year deputy chief of staff for community services, was identified by federal prosecutors as a member of the Puerto Rican separatist group, FALN, which was behind a wave of violence and killings in the 1970s and early 1980s.

In 1983, Guerra, now 53, was among five people convicted in New York of contempt of court for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating the group. The felony conviction resulted in a three-year prison sentence for Guerra, who was released in 1986 after serving 23 months.

Federal prosecutors labeled Guerra and his four co-defendants "a danger to the community," and said they advocated armed violence, kidnappings, hijackings and prison breaks in the name of a "free" Puerto Rico.

The death of expensive music videos.

Entertainment: I sometimes miss the all out Diddy/B.I.G videos that were ridiculously over the top with Cristal being downed by everyone.

NEW YORK (AP) - The music video is shrinking.
With the music industry in crisis from falling sales and file sharing, labels have less cash to subsidize elaborate videos that will mostly be seen in miniature on computers. The result has been a major shift in the art form, as artists increasingly embrace the YouTube esthetic with cheap, stripped-down, low-production videos.

The shrinkage of the video will be obvious Sunday at the MTV Video Music Awards, where grandiose, ambitious videos will seem like an exotic species facing extinction.

"The business is changing radically. It does feel smaller, cheaper," says veteran music video director Samuel Bayer, whose many clips include Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Blind Melon's "No Rain" and Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," which won six awards at the 2005 VMAs.

In the late '80s and through the '90s, budgets and ambition ran high. Mark Romanek's 1995 video for Michael and Janet Jackson's "Scream" is considered the most expensive ever, at an estimated US$7 million. There have been many videos in the $2 million range, including Brett Ratner's "Heartbreaker" for Mariah Carey, Hype Williams' clip for Busta Rhymes' "What's It Gonna Be?!" and David Fincher's "Express Yourself" for Madonna.

"What Goes Around" cost approximately $1 million but Bayer thinks it could be one of the last big-budget videos.

"A comet hit the earth and the dinosaurs are dying," says Bayer. "There's a new age coming. I think those days are over with."

Attention to illegal status and crime getting more press.

Crime: Expect this practice to be lawsuited out by various illegal supporters and ACLU.

With a single sentence in a news release, a slaying in Prince William County gained high-profile treatment this week, not because of how the crime was committed, but because of who police say did it: a twice-deported illegal immigrant.

What was not mentioned before -- a suspect's legal status -- is now un-ignorable in a county that is leading the charge against illegal immigration.

The homicide slipped into a blog headline yesterday: "Another resident dies at the hands of an illegal alien." It also created piles of paperwork for police officers who were told to research other alleged crimes by illegal immigrants. And, perhaps most telling, a drunken fight between two men that left one dead was the subject of a news conference yesterday held by the county's top law enforcement officials -- one that they said wouldn't have been held except for the current atmosphere.

"The public's become more aware, more concerned about the problem," Commonwealth's Attorney Paul B. Ebert said. "It's more on the forefront."

Photo IDs for Voters Are Upheld in Georgia

Politics: via NYTIMES.

Judge Harold L. Murphy of Federal District Court here ruled that a group of plaintiffs who challenged the law, a coalition that included the American Civil Liberties Union, the N.A.A.C.P. and the League of Women Voters, had not proved that the law placed “an undue or significant burden” on the right to vote.

Passage of the law was one of the first major actions of the newly Republican-led legislature in 2005, and it has been tied up in the courts since then.

Critics say the law will discourage voting, especially among the poor and the elderly. Supporters say it is necessary to prevent voter fraud.

The two sides have had difficulty proving their cases. In hearings, the individual plaintiffs acknowledged that they had the means to obtain photo identification, especially because the legislature had changed the law to make the cards free and easier to acquire.

One man conceded that he had not voted since the 1980s.

On the other hand, the state could not produce any evidence of in-person voter fraud.

Judge Murphy ruled that the burden lay more heavily on the plaintiffs to prove harm than on the state to show that the law was needed.

Why the resurgence of Greenpeace angry kid?

Media: The video was released in February of this year but for some odd reason some are finding this video for the first time. The best part of the clip which further undermines the entire emo angst filled message is him saying "Idalts."

Thursday, September 6, 2007

British mosques under control of hardline sect

UK: Spiffy. Ladies and Gents, please welcome the Deobandi sect.

Almost half of Britain’s mosques are under the control of a hardline Islamic sect whose leading preacher loathes Western values and has called on Muslims to “shed blood” for Allah, an investigation by The Times has found.

Riyadh ul Haq, who supports armed jihad and preaches contempt for Jews, Christians and Hindus, is in line to become the spiritual leader of the Deobandi sect in Britain. The ultra-conservative movement, which gave birth to the Taleban in Afghanistan, now runs more than 600 of Britain’s 1,350 mosques, according to a police report seen by The Times.

The Times investigation casts serious doubts on government statements that foreign preachers are to blame for spreading the creed of radical Islam in Britain’s mosques and its policy of enouraging the recruitment of more “home-grown” preachers.

Other articles.

Homegrown cleric who loathes the British
Movement fostered by fear of ‘imperial’ rule
Riyadh ul Haq sermon on 'Jewish Fundamentalism' in full
Forked Tongues

The UK government just refuses to get a handle on issues like this because of political correctness.

House votes for racial bias tech bill.

Edumaction: This is how you set yourself up for a lawsuit.

A bill, H.R.694, that would pump money into technology upgrades at colleges serving minority students was passed by the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The legislation would create a grant program at the Department of Commerce to help minority-serving institutions install wireless networks and other information-technology applications. A total of $250-million would be provided in 2008 for those colleges.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved a similar bill in June, which would establish a grant program at the National Science Foundation. —Andrea L. Foster

What about colleges that are not minority serving who need wireless networks and other information-technology applications? It would be easier to set up a fund for all schools that doesn't have the equipment rather than single out by race.

The Missing Hijab 2 & the Jew at University of Texas

Culture: Someone at the University of Texas better make some inquires about what the hell the Muslim Student Association is doing down there. This video shows abusive and intolerant behavior that degrades Muslims by association. Absolutely ridiculous. Via Hot Air and LGF.

Illegal tuberculosis carrier could be released.

Crime: The hell is going on in Atlanta?

The Mexican day laborer jailed in Gwinnett County for refusing tuberculosis treatment could be released by the end of this week, health officials said Tuesday.

But even though Francisco Santos would no longer be contagious, the 17-year-old would still not be cured — and he would not be a completely free man.

Santos will be handed over to the custody of his mother, and both have signed a legally binding consent order saying he will comply with nine months of treatment and not leave the area.

In addition, when Santos leaves the Gwinnett County jail, federal immigration officials say they will hand him a notice to appear in court for deportation.

....Santos' mother, who declined to comment Tuesday, has also been slated for deportation as an illegal immigrant, Rocha said. Enriqueta Palacios and her son are expected to appear before an immigration judge in Atlanta within a few weeks. Those proceedings can take a few months, and, pending appeals and other actions, the final deportation could come soon after that or take several more months.

In total, he may not be deported for another two years, which would provide him time to receive the treatment locally.

Gwinnett health officials say they have stressed to Santos and his mother that leaving the area and neglecting his treatment could injure him, his family and the public. He would become a fugitive and he could become contagious again.

"They've given every indication that they understand ... and they've given no clues that they intend to do anything but accept the treatment and we hope and pray that's what they adhere to," said county health spokesman Vernon Goins.

What sort of moron in the health department think this is a good plan? Of course they are going to flee, why wouldn't they considering they are getting deported? Hope and prayers with someone with a contagious disease isn't going to work. This plan is going to cause outrage.

UK: Libraries stock Islamic terror books

UK: Game.

Public libraries are stocking hundreds of Islamic books by advocates of "holy war", with many glorifying acts of terrorism, a new report claims.

Council taxpayers' money has been spent on the books, with one library stocking works by the convicted preachers Abu Hamza and Abdullah al-Faisal.

An investigation by a leading think-tank found extremist literature at six libraries, three in the London area, two in the Midlands and one in the North.

It raises fears that public libraries could inadvertently fuel the radicalisation of young Muslims.

The recent case of Dhiren Barot, who was jailed for 30 years for plotting a series of atrocities, showed that terrorists have used university libraries for research.

Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP for Newark and the Government's new adviser on security issues, said: "I don't oppose free speech but the amount of this material is frightening.

"It has been bought with taxpayers' money and you have got to question the balance here.


In the report, Hate on the State, published by the Centre for Social Cohesion think-tank, the authors warn that some libraries have become "saturated with extreme Islamist books".

"Many of these books stocked in the Islam section of libraries glorify acts of terrorism against followers of other religions, incite violence against anyone who rejects jihadist ideologies and endorse violence and discrimination against women," the report says.

"In a number of cases these books are not only on library shelves but are also given special prominence in displays.

"In the worst cases they are the tools of radicalisation and increase the risk of Islamic terrorism."

Tower Hamlets, one of the most heavily populated Muslim areas in the country, has eight libraries stocking dozens of books in English, Urdu, Bengali and Somali - including works by Hamza and al-Faisal.


Birmingham and Ealing councils said they were happy to stock any material that was legal while Steve Rigby of Blackburn council said: "Librarians do not act as censors where titles are freely available."

Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain and a Government adviser, said: "These are authors who are widely read in the Muslim world and it is not surprising that they are stocked in areas where there happens to be the highest concentration of Muslims," he said.
"It does not necessarily mean you agree with them, it is part of a free society."

It is the total disconnect between the books/authors and the implication by Bunglawala saying they are widely read in the Muslim world that astounds and amuses me.

Violence looms as Zimbabwe runs out of food

Africa: But the well to do are a-okay.

It is now ten weeks since President Mugabe forced businesses to slash prices of all goods and services in the belief that he could crush inflation, which he says is a plot by the Zimbabwean private sector, in collusion with Western governments, to overthrow him.

Two things have happened: inflation has rocketed and, according to the Government, the country will run out of wheat in three days. Zimbabweans appear set to face an almost total absence of food and ordinary household goods. An eruption of public anger, to be met with violent suppression by Mr Mugabe’s security forces, is likely to follow, observers say.

Initially Mr Mugabe’s June 25 price blitz sparked a gleeful storming of shops, where managers looked on aghast as their businesses were stripped at the Government’s bidding.

Then household basics such as meat, chicken, cooking oil, milk, maizemeal, margarine, sugar and soap vanished into the black market. In the past couple of weeks it has become almost impossible to find beer, cigarettes, tea or baked beans in shops.

Outside the OK in Mbare rows of women stand behind little stools, each bearing a long bar of carbolic soap, packets of cigarettes or bottles of vegetable oil. “These are the policemen’s wives,” Rosa said.

They gain their name from the latest phase of Zimbabwe’s descent into hunger and chaos: thousands of vendors have been arrested and their goods seized in Mr Mugabe’s attempt to smash the black market. “The policemen grab the goods, they give them to their wives and then they come and sell here,” said Rosa (not her real name - nearly everyone is too afraid to be quoted in Mr Mugabe’s Zimbabwe).

The black market too is starting to dry up. “Now people are buying because they don’t know when they are going to see them again,” a supermarket chain executive said. The two main supermarket chains in Zimbabwe are each due to lay off 1,000 workers this month. The country’s main bakery closed one of its largest outlets yesterday because of lack of wheat – a shipment of 36,000 tonnes is being held in a Mozambique port because the Government cannot pay for it. “Manufacturers are going to run out of stock to produce with,” the executive said. “There is a very strong possibility that food will disappear completely.”

School children to be 'locked in' at lunch time

UK: You will eat health food and like it you rebellious snot factories! Sheesh, it is not a question of if or when but how much of a nanny state will the UK create.

When Jamie Oliver launched his crusade to make school dinners healthier the only complaints seemed to come from pupils who fled in droves to their local chip shops.
But one council has come up with an innovative solution to the problem - lock the youngsters in at lunchtime.

Under plans being drawn up in Wales, children could be shut in to force them to eat healthy dinners.

Gates at seven secondary schools would be locked to prevent the daily exodus of children who go to chip shops and burger joints for lunch.

Education chiefs in Denbighshire, North Wales, are frustrated that pupils have rejected the healthy menus they introduced last year.

They hope that, by locking the school gates, youngsters will have no choice but to use the school canteen and eat something nutritious.

The controversial plan won the support of Jamie Oliver yesterday.

He said: "Kids should be kept on the school premises at lunchtime, so it will be interesting to see how the Denbighshire situation progresses."

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Gay couple left free to abuse boys in the UK.

UK: Ridiculous, now being labeled homophobic trumps the actually taking care of the welfare of children? Abuse is abuse no matter who does it and they should be punished harshly.

A homosexual foster couple were left free to sexually abuse vulnerable boys in their care because social workers feared being accused of discrimination if they investigated complaints, an inquiry concluded yesterday.

Craig Faunch and Ian Wathey were one of the first homosexual couples in the country to be officially approved as foster parents.

They looked after 18 children in only 15 months.

In a scathing report published yesterday, Wakefield Metropolitan District Council was condemned for treating the men as "trophy carers".

The children's charity Kidscape said those in charge of overseeing the safety of children in the care of Faunch and Wathey had allowed political correctness to override common sense.

The report, following an independent review of the case, said: "One manager described the couple as 'trophy carers' which led to 'slack arrangements' over placement.

"Another said that by virtue of their sexuality they had a 'badge' which made things less questionable.

"The sexual orientation of the men was a significant cause of people not 'thinking the unthinkable'.

"It was clear that a number of staff were afraid of being thought homophobic.

"The fear of being discriminatory led them to fail to discriminate between the appropriate and the abusive."

The report also accused the council of failing to carry out proper assessments before and after the children were placed with Faunch and Wathey.

"Issues arose in the first longer-term placement of two children, including potential indicators of child sexual abuse, which were inadequately investigated, understood or acted upon," it said.

"More children were then placed with Faunch and Wathey, some successfully, some with concerns which were again inadequately investigated, understood or acted upon.

"The practice of some social workers in this case was deficient."

Use wolves to catch deer, says water board

EU: I did not know they had wolves and lynx on rent to do the job that hunters can't do.

Wolves and lynx could be used to reduce the number of deer in the dune area west of Amsterdam, says the city's water board Waternet, according to news agency ANP.

Waternet, which uses the dune area to filter the city's drinking water, says lack of natural predators is boosting the deer population by around 30% a year.

There are now some 1,500 deer in the area. Last year there were 13 road accidents involving the animals.

Other suggestions the water board has put forward to the city council involve putting contraceptive drugs into food. The council imposed a five-year ban on hunting deer in 2004.

Somehow I doubt they thought of the much easier solution in front of them.

Keith Olbermann delighted about threat to spit on Malkin.

Media: Not the first time that Olbermann has gone "unseemly and misogynistic" or his show in general which he had to say sorry for at the time when it comes to women . But getting excited because Geraldo would spit on Michelle Malkin says something about his character.

More on Eddie Griffin getting yanked off stage.

Entertainment: Sheryl Underwood on the Tom Joyner show says Eddie went beyond what has been reported.

Judge: All UK 'must be on DNA database'

UK: I understand this part where he is angry.

The whole population and every UK visitor should be added to the national DNA database, a senior judge has said.
Lord Justice Sedley said the current database, which holds DNA from crime suspects and scenes, was "indefensible" because it was unfair and inconsistent.

Sir Stephen Sedley, who is one of England's most experienced appeal court judges, said: "Where we are at the moment is indefensible.

"We have a situation where if you happen to have been in the hands of the police then your DNA is on permanent record. If you haven't, it isn't... that's broadly the picture.

"It means that people who have been arrested but acquitted, some of them because they are innocent, some of them because they are just lucky, all stay on the database.

"It means where there is ethnic profiling going on disproportionate numbers of ethnic minorities get onto the database.

"It also means that a great many people who are walking the streets and whose DNA would show them guilty of crimes, go free."

He said reducing the database would be a mistake. He knew of cases where a serious offender who had escaped conviction had ultimately been brought to justice by DNA evidence that may have been otherwise destroyed.

It could show them guilty of a crime but the whole point is the crime has to be reported first to be investigated and if needed tried for the crime.

The solution he thinks up is scary as hell.

He said the only option was to expand the database to cover the whole population and all those who visit the UK.

"Going forwards has very serious but manageable implications. It means that everybody guilty or innocent should expect their DNA to be on file for the absolutely rigorously restricted purpose of crime detection and prevention."

This is collective punishment as some teachers used to do in class if one or two caused a problem then everyone paid on a nationwide scale. It really doesn't make sense to pout that since some segment of the population is being DNAed more than others than everyone should be. How about figuring out the kinks in the database procedures instead of casting everyone as a potential criminal.

Outsourcing American farming to Mexico.

Bidness: Via NYTIMES.

A sense of crisis prevails among American farmers who rely on immigrant laborers, more so since immigration legislation in the United States Senate failed in June and the authorities announced a crackdown on employers of illegal immigrants. An increasing number of farmers have been testing the alternative of raising crops across the border where there is a stable labor supply, growers and lawmakers in the United States and Mexico said.

Western Growers, an association representing farmers in California and Arizona, conducted an informal telephone survey of its members in the spring. Twelve large agribusinesses that acknowledged having operations in Mexico reported a total of 11,000 workers here.

“It seems there is a bigger rush to Mexico and elsewhere,” said Tom Nassif, the Western Growers president, who said Americans were also farming in countries in Central America.

Precise statistics are not readily available on American farming in Mexico, because growers seek to maintain a low profile for their operations abroad. But Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, displayed a map on the Senate floor in July locating more than 46,000 acres that American growers were cultivating in just two Mexican states, Guanajuato and Baja California.

“Farmers are renting land in Mexico,” Ms. Feinstein said. “They don’t want us to know that.”

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Young people heading to college.

Edumacation: I do mean young. 15-year-old starts freshman year at Penn

PHILADELPHIA - Brittney Exline is too young to vote, drive a car or go to an R-rated movie, but at the age of just 15 she is beginning her Ivy League career Wednesday when classes start at the University of Pennsylvania.

She said she doesn't really notice the age gap between herself and her 17- and 18-year-old peers — and neither do they.

"I didn't tell people right off the bat that I was 15," Exline said. "A lot of people were pretty surprised."
Exline grew up in Colorado Springs, Colo., where at 8 years she was already in sixth grade. By 13 she had finished high school math. She turned 15 in February and graduated a few months later.

She's not preoccupied with how unique her accomplishments are.

"I wouldn't even really realize that if people didn't tell me," she said.

A nine year old heads to a Hong Kong Uni and shows he hasn't learned to be subtle and tact as you would expect.

The nine-year-old maths genius gained two grade As and a B in his A-levels in England -- normally taken by 18-year-olds.

March Boedihardjo told reporters gathered at Hong Kong Baptist University he was excited about starting school, but the classes were not stimulating.

"I've learned it a year or two years ago," Boedihardjo said as reporters peppered him with questions and cameras flashed around him.

The boy appeared impatient with the endless questions from reporters and kept asking his father when they could leave.

Boedihardjo did not have a good impression of his classmates either.

"They made no response (in classes). They just listened in the class and didn't interact with each other," he said.

The boy said that his old school friends "wanted to play", unlike the university students.

The university accepted Boedihardjo last month and has designed a special five-year course for him that will lead to a masters degree.

Ray Nagin may run for governor of Louisiana.

Politics: Well.. He finally lost his damn mind.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Mayor Ray Nagin could be days away from announcing he will run for governor of Louisiana—a move many in this stricken city regard as preposterous.

If Nagin runs, he will do so on his stewardship of New Orleans. But this is a city in great distress two years after Hurricane Katrina, with large swaths still empty, an appalling murder rate and a painfully sluggish recovery. Nagin's disapproval rating stood at 65 percent in a recent poll.

"He's clearly seeing his election potential differently than most of Louisiana. Statewide, Ray Nagin is dead in the water," said G. Pearson Cross, an assistant professor of politics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. "One thing is clear, New Orleans has not had the forceful and dynamic leadership necessary to get recovery on the right track."

Eddie Griffin yanked off stage by Earl Graves.

Media: Earl Graves, owner/publisher of Black Enterprise Magazine put the boot to Griffin's behind for acting the fool.

Eddie Griffin thought he'd shock the swells at a big Black Enterprise event over the weekend by littering his act with N-words, but the comic was the one who got the real jolt when the mag's owner gonged his routine, and tossed him off the stage!

Rev. Al Sharpton tells TMZ that Griffin took the stage as the headliner and did his best Michael Richards impression, blistering the mostly African-American crowd with a barrage of N-bombs, and wailing, "Why are some black leaders telling us to stop using the N word?"

Griffin's mike was promptly cut, and Black Enterprise owner/publisher Earl Graves stomped on stage and proclaimed, "We ... will not allow our culture to go backwards ... We will pay Mr. Griffin all that we owe him but we will not allow him to finish the show if that's the way he's going to talk." Oh, snap!

The crowd gave Graves a standing ovation -- and Rev. Al, speaking the next day at the event, gave Graves props for his axing of Griffin. A rep for Griffin had no comment.

On one hand, this was unprofessional by Griffin, he knew the audience and crossed the line by not entertaining accordingly. That said, what the hell were they thinking hiring Eddie Griffin for this type of event? You get Sinbad for this sort of thing.

Swedish Muslim group to sue over Mohammed cartoon.

Sweden: Here we go to the next level.

A Swedish Muslim group on Tuesday said it plans to sue a local newspaper for publishing a drawing of the Prophet Muhammad with a dog's body.

The Nerikes Allehanda newspaper in Orebro printed the cartoon made by artist Lars Vilks in an Aug. 19 editorial that criticized Swedish art galleries for not displaying Vilks' art.

Mahmoud Aldebe, chairman of the Swedish Muslim Federation, said the group would sue the newspaper for inciting hatred against ethnic groups.

"It ridicules our religion. This is discriminating and insulting for us," he said. "They want to see just how far they are able to go by pushing the boundaries of press freedom."

Islamic law is interpreted to forbid any depiction of the prophet for fear it could lead to idolatry.

Meantime, people are burning the newspaper.

Hundreds of copies of Nerikes Allehanda newspaper were burned in Örebro during the night.

The fire was started at a bus shelter on the Vivalla estate shortly before 3am, the newspaper reports.

"The fire was intentional. Newspapers don't just burn by themselves," police spokesman Thomas Ginghagen told Nerikes Allehanda.

Some 200 to 300 newspapers are reported to have gone up in flames. Police have not made any arrests in connection with the incident.

It is the second time in a few days that copies of the newspaper at the centre of the Muhammad caricature row have been destroyed. At the weekend a number of newspapers were thrown into a fountain in protest.

Grandmother's pride at daughters' teenage pregnancies

UK: Someone else focus on the lack of parental skills and values, I will just focus on the welfare part.

In many households, a pregnancy at 14 would generate a family crisis.

But for grandmother Pauline Rees, who has faced that reality not once, but twice, it is a matter only for pride and joy.

"The more the merrier," says the unemployed 45-year-old mother of five.

"When my children grew up I felt so sad.
"I wanted babies in my house again. I adore kids.

"It was really wonderful when the girls told me they were pregnant.

"I wasn't a bit angry. Now we're one big happy family."

Sky has a council house next door to her mother in Tonypandy, South Wales, while her big sister has moved away from the area.

The teenage mothers, their partners and Mrs Rees all rely on benefits to get by, at an annual cost to the taxpayer of £34,000, not including their free accommodation.

Both couples receive £160 a week in child benefit and tax credits, as well as £180 a fortnight in jobseekers' allowance, giving them a tax free income of £13,000 a year.

Mrs Rees herself receives jobseekers' allowance and a small amount of child tax credit as Sky is still under 18, giving her an estimated-income of £8,000.

Gillian insists she did not get pregnant for financial benefit.

"It was always about the kids," she said. "My husband is looking for work but there's not much about.

"Even so, we always make sure the kids have everything they need before spending anything on ourselves"

When you make it easy to act without thinking of the consequences, this is the result of such a society.

Cameron's radical plan to 'bus pupils out of cities'

UK: See the post below, this is the type of thinking that is about feeling good instead of actually doing the correct thing.

Village and suburban schools would be forced to open classrooms to busloads of inner-city children under radical plans unveiled by the Conservatives.

A Tory government would also hand good schools up to £6,000 for each pupil they took from a poor background.

Large city schools where numbers were falling would be closed and their pupils transported to smaller ones in outlying areas.

Transporting children from the inner cities to more affluent areas would be reminiscent of the hugely-controversial bussing of black children into white areas in the U.S. Deep South in the 1960s and 1970s in an attempt to integrate the communities.

But the Tories said there was strong evidence that children are better behaved and learn more if they are taught in smaller schools.

Research shows disruption and truancy is greater in schools where there are more than 1,000 pupils - which have soared in number since Labour came to power in 1997.

Busing didn't work, right now because of white flight and economic levels, schools are just as segregated as before. Busing inner city(minority kids) to richer schools(white kids) does nothing to close the education gap that exists. It would be better to focus on fixing the schools and making it better for students instead of grabbing a bunch to bus them out so you can squawk about being multicult and diverse. A waste of money and why Cameron keeps getting bashed.

Gordon Brown claims conviction mantle of Thatcher.

UK: Ouch. All that spin and prattle of David Cameron making the Tories the stand for anything and everything party is coming back to bite him hard.
Gordon Brown moved ruthlessly to exploit turmoil in Tory ranks by comparing himself to Margaret Thatcher.

He accused David Cameron of lacking conviction and of being a "prisoner" of factions fighting to control party strategy.

The claim, from a tribal Labour politician whose early career was devoted to fighting the former Prime Minister and her reforms, surprised Westminster.

It also drew attention to the continuing struggle inside the Conservative Party over Lady Thatcher's legacy, as Mr Cameron battles against claims that he has "lurched to the Right" to appease her supporters.

Praising her achievements, Mr Brown said Mrs Thatcher had "understood the need for change", adding: "I also admire the fact that she is a conviction politician. I am a conviction politician like her."

Devizes MP Mr Ancram, a former chairman and deputy leader, had called on Mr Cameron to rediscover the party's "soul" by returning to core values on issues such as tax, Europe and marriage.

He issued a 30-page document named Still A Conservative, in which he denounced efforts to present the Conservatives as the "heirs to Blair", and insisted they should embrace Thatcherite achievements.

"Of course as Conservatives we must show we have changed, but we must beware doing so by trashing our past or appearing ashamed of our history," he wrote.

"Claiming somehow to be the 'heirs of Blair' in an attempt to recycle and benefit from New Labour's past political successes risks merely relabelling yesterday's rubbish."

The sad part is due to Cameron actually talking like a conservative for once and they closed the poll gap.

One Right-winger said his attack was unjustified following Mr Cameron's recent moves to appease traditionalists.

"I agree that we shouldn't go around trashing our past, but I don't agree with his assessment that David Cameron is doing that," he said.

"He seems to have written the bulk of his assessment during the summer, when people were slightly nervous about the direction of the party.

"But since then, David has gone a long way to reassuring them that he is a true Conservative in every sense.

"I have always believed that people out there want to vote Conservative, but need to know that we are going to tackle issues such as crime, immigration and taxes in the way we have traditionally done.

"David has shown that is what we would do."

This will last how long?

Monday, September 3, 2007

Union trying to organize at Kentucky's Toyota plant.

Bidness: Hell, they already stripped the American car makers like a locust plague, time to move on to the foreign car makers field and kill it as well.

Organizers have seized on leaked Toyota internal documents that show the company wants to cut $300 million in labor costs in North America by 2011. They have joined forces with community activists, local politicians and workers’ rights advocates to make their case. Organizers have also enlisted the help of ministers, who are speaking out publicly on the union’s behalf.

Unionizing the Georgetown plant would be an enormous victory for the U.A.W., as it would be the first time it had organized a factory wholly owned by a Japanese automaker.

One of the issues? Health Care premiums.

Recently, the company has taken a harder line on wages and labor costs, giving union organizers what they perceive as an opening. Just last week, Toyota told workers in Kentucky they would have to start paying a premium for health insurance for family members.

And over the last few months, Toyota management has summoned small groups of workers at its colossal vehicle assembly complex here to attend a presentation titled “Growing in a Changing Market: State of the Automotive Industry.” Executives describe the presentation as a routine update for workers.

Workers are shown a map with the locations of shuttered Big Three auto plants and a breakdown of autoworkers’ average wages, from Thailand to Mexico. While no Toyota executive explicitly says it, the theme of the presentation, according to workers who have seen it, is that Toyota will end up in the same troubled waters as G.M. if something does not change.

“That doesn’t sit well,” said Charles Hite, 41, who works on the loading dock at the Georgetown plant and has been with Toyota for 15 years. “They want people to fear losing their jobs.”

.....A year ago, the U.A.W.’s efforts might have barely caused a stir. But in February, that changed when an internal Toyota document started making its way around the factory floor. It spelled out, in part, how the company would reduce labor costs by setting hourly wages based on what other manufacturers in the area pay, not on auto industry standards.

In Kentucky, where the average worker earned about $36,000 last year, $70,000-a-year Toyota jobs are among the best to be found.
Toyota’s cost-cutting plans were leaked just as it was about to announce another quarter of record-breaking profits. And in May, the company reported that it earned $13.68 billion last fiscal year — its largest profit ever.

“This company is making billions of dollars, and it’s going to start making us pay?“ said Robert Bingaman, 53, a maintenance worker at the Georgetown plant who supports the U.A.W.

Well...duh? Do they have news coverage down in Kentucky or have they missed the almost total meltdown of the American carmakers up there because unions piled cost after cost onto the companies which can't take it anymore? As for paying more for health care.

AP did a story about this a couple of days ago.
Company officials started announcing the changes in a series of meetings this week. The additional costs have been accepted by some employees, but have drawn the ire of those in favor of forming a union.

In the less expensive of the two new plans, employees choosing couples coverage will pay $5 each paycheck, while family coverage will cost $10. Workers are paid every two weeks.
"While it's certainly money, we think it's a minimum amount of money and very competitive when you look at what other people are having to pay for their premiums," Gritton said.

Under the current plan, only the less comprehensive of the two plans was free. A deluxe plan and HMO required premiums.

The new plan also raises in-network physician-visit copays from $10 to $15 and specialists from $20 to $25.

Tim Unger, an 18-year veteran, questioned the need for higher rates since Toyota earlier this month announced record profits of $4.1 billion in the April to June quarter, a 32.3 percent increase year-over-year. "How do you justify dipping into people's pockets and taking chump change, basically?" Unger said.

.....Marvin Robbins, an anti-union assembly line member and seven-year employee of the plant, said he understood the need for the premium increase. "Do I expect them to keep footing the bill for me? No," he said.

Gritton said Thursday that he understands that higher insurance rates at a time of record profits can be "a tough sell with some people."

But insurance costs have risen quickly, he said, noting Toyota's health care costs have doubled in the last seven years.

Those bastards, 5 bucks more will ruin people. I agree with the union guy, let Toyota keep eating the costs and when it comes time, just shut the plant down like American car makers are doing. See...simple.

Plus to show how idiotic some of these pro-union workers are take this statement.

For workers like John Williams, 41, who has spent the last 18 years at the Georgetown plant, the idea of having a larger voice in Toyota has appeal.

Mr. Williams said he envies the contracts his counterparts in Detroit have. “What they have is what the Big Three negotiated with them,” he said. “What we have is what Toyota gives and takes from us.”

Seriously does anyone in Kentucky read the news or did they completely miss the fat the big three contracts he wants there is why tens of thousands of workers no longer have a damn job?

Abandon Stereotypes, Muslims in America Say

Terrorism: This is the kind of sophomoric victimizing prattle that makes Muslims look like whiners and complainers. Puff piece brought to you by the NYTIMES.

ROSEMONT, Ill., Sept 3 — It is time for the United States to stop treating every American Muslim as somehow suspect, leaders of the faith said at their largest annual convention, which ended here on Monday.

Six years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans should distinguish between mainstream Muslims and the radical fringe, the leaders said.

“Muslim Americans feel an increasing level of tension and scrutiny in contemporary society,” said Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim organization in the United States and the convention organizer.

The image problems were among the topics most discussed by many of the 30,000 attendees. A fresh example cited was an open letter from two Republican House members, Peter Hoekstra of Michigan and Sue Myrick of North Carolina, that attacked the Justice Department for sending envoys to the convention because, the lawmakers said, the Islamic Society of North America was a group of “radical jihadists.”

The lone Muslim in Congress, Representative Keith Ellison, Democrat of Minnesota, the keynote speaker here, dismissed the letter as ill informed and typical of bigoted attacks that other minorities have suffered.

Leaders of American Muslim organizations attribute the growing intolerance to three main factors: global terrorist attacks in the name of Islam, disappointing reports from the Iraq war and the agenda of some supporters of Israel who try taint Islam to undermine the Palestinians.

It all come back to the Jews, do you think the mystery Israel supporters have to do anything other than say look at the news to undermine them? Between Hamas and Fatah, Palestinians have done 95% of that work.

These so-called Muslim leaders wonder why Muslims are suspect? The biggest cause of distrust are Islamic terrorists attack, add cartoon riots, numerous threats and killings of individuals in the name of Islam then add in the excuse making, islamophobia talk, whining as a way to deflect any sort of questioning or investigation into suspect entities. What the hell do you expect to happen?

Muslim groups are often treated as suspect, speakers said. In a trial that started in July in Dallas, federal prosecutors named the Islamic Society of North America as part of an effort to raise money for groups the government considers terrorists, but did not charge it with wrongdoing.

The Justice Department has to decide on its law enforcement side what its considers a target, said Khurrum Wahid, a prominent Muslim defense lawyer.

“Are they going to continue to say that the higher degree of religiosity you have the higher likelihood that you are a threat, because that’s the message they’ve sent,” Mr. Wahid said.

Considering the higher degree of religiosity considering European cases the better the chance of illegality. If any of these American Muslim leaders continue to imply cooperation is dependent on how law enforcement or even the public treats them.

They are going to get a bad lesson considering how the MCB in the UK pulled this stunt for years and backed themselves in a corner when they realized the public was not going to fall for it. It also made Muslims over there even more suspect in the eyes of the public. Do not make it out that Muslims are putting themselves in front of being American first, all that does is harm the community.

Man rapes 12 year old girl and gets six years.

Crime: Another episode of UK Justice.

A 12-year-old girl was raped up to 15 times by four men after she was abducted as she asked for directions to her home, a court was told.

The child was lured into a car by Shakil Chowdhury, 39, who drove her to his house. There she was plied with alcohol and attacked by Chowdhury and three others. Afterwards he drove her home.

Chowdhury was jailed for six years after pleading guilty to six charges of rape. Detectives are still hunting the other members of the gang.

UK: Another threat to take newborn from parent.

UK: Via the Telegraph, where the nanny state is running amok.

A pregnant woman has been told that her baby will be taken from her at birth because she is deemed capable of "emotional abuse", even though psychiatrists treating her say there is no evidence to suggest that she will harm her child in any way.

Social services' recommendation that the baby should be taken from Fran Lyon, a 22-year-old charity worker who has five A-levels and a degree in neuroscience, was based in part on a letter from a paediatrician she has never met.
Hexham children's services, part of Northumberland County Council, said the decision had been made because Miss Lyon was likely to suffer from Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy, a condition unproven by science in which a mother will make up an illness in her child, or harm it, to draw attention to herself.

Under the plan, a doctor will hand the newborn to a social worker, provided there are no medical complications. Social services' request for an emergency protection order - these are usually granted - will be heard in secret in the family court at Hexham magistrates on the same day.

From then on, anyone discussing the case, including Miss Lyon, will be deemed to be in contempt of the court.

....The case adds to growing concern, highlighted in a series of articles in The Sunday Telegraph, over a huge rise in the number of babies under a year old being taken from parents. The figure was 2,000 last year, three times the number 10 years ago.

Critics say councils are taking more babies from parents to help them meet adoption "targets".

John Hemming, the Liberal Democrat MP and chairman of the Justice for Families campaign group, said the case showed "exactly what is wrong with public family law".

A followup on the case of Vanessa Brookes who posted a meeting with social workers who wanted to take her unborn baby and posted it on youtube for help.

• A recording of social workers threatening to take a newborn into care has been removed from the YouTube website after Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire started legal action, claiming the Data Protection Act was breached.

Vanessa Brookes, 34, taped social workers telling her and her husband that they would seek to place the baby, due next month, in care, while admitting there was "no immediate risk to the child."

You can hear the meeting here. Other links of the recording will be posted if necessary.
Other news items about her.

Tip: Instapundit.

Jodie Foster: Movie goers are too stupid for my movies.

Entertainment: This is the typical Hollywood liberal contempt for the general public in the open. Sean Penn is along the same wave length.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: There's a rallying moment in The Brave One when you stick a gun in a bad guy's face and say, ''I want my dog back.'' How are you going to feel about the audience cheering on your character as she starts hunting people down?

JODIE FOSTER: It's shameful, but that's human and that's who we are as human beings. There will be unsophisticated people who see a sophisticated movie. Just like there were in The Accused. And thank God I only went to one screening of that movie with an audience.

What were you met with?

They cheered the rape. It was awful. And that wasn't an isolated event. It happened all over the country. But I don't think you can legislate your audience. If you're going to make a movie that explores dramatic violence, do you change it because you're worried that people aren't going to take it properly?

What do you think is the larger social commentary of The Brave One, which in some ways plays as a straight-up Dirty Harry revenge movie?

Here's my commentary: I don't believe that any gun should be in the hand of a thinking, feeling, breathing human being. Americans are by nature filled with rage-slash-fear. And guns are a huge part of our culture. I know I'm crazy because I'm only supposed to say that in Europe. But violence corrupts absolutely.

Your performance in Taxi Driver kept coming up during the mini media frenzy over news that Dakota Fanning had a rape scene in the [yet-to-be released] movie Hounddog.

What did they say about me? ''She might end up like Jodie Foster!'' Taxi Driver was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I didn't become a weirdo and squawk like a chicken. And she is spectacular in [Hounddog]. The movie, ehh, but that's a brave, brave performance that she should be very, very proud of, and I passed that message along to her. That's why Dakota Fanning is going to end up being a real actress. I think it was a wonderful move for her and it's setting her up to not be a Disney bimbo. I think the [uproar] was just a bunch of Christians who didn't see the movie.

This is an open disdain for the audience that Foster has obviously grown over the years. It is great that she along with Sean Penn have come out to show their dislike for the people who make it capable of being in movies and giving interviews like this for entertainment magazines. The funny part are the fools who think of themselves as some sort of elitist who will read this and agree with her.

Foster doesn't get that people cheer on those who fight back because surprise they fought back against an evil done to them or to right wrongs. Revenge movies and the anti-hero have struck a cord with people for a long time because of those reasons.

She thinks her work as an entertainer is something bigger/more important than it actually is in the mind of mass majority. I don't remember news reports of fools cheering the rape scene in The Accused all over the country but it is ridiculous to then generalize the reaction of a couple of viewers to the entire crowd. She also shows a dislike for Americans and America by generalizing that Americans are just filled with rage and guns are in the hands of monsters. That is a slap in the face of tens of millions of law abiding citizens but again this is not her kind of people.

The astonishing defense of the Fanning rape scene as a bunch of Christians who didn't see the movie cuts out the blogs, message boards and numerous movie/news sites who were disgusted by the scene and the clear it was done as some sort of plan to get an Oscar. For Foster to say this is just about Christians getting upset shows a lack of morals anchored in reality.

Tip Newsbusters.

Beyonce to cover up for Malaysian concert

Entertainment: As she follows in the steps of Gwen Stefani.

Just weeks after US singer Gwen Stefani covered up for a concert in Malaysia amid a furore over revealing outfits, her compatriot Beyonce is facing similar calls, media here said Monday.

Beyonce is due to play Muslim-majority Malaysia in November, but will have to tone down her midriff-flaunting tops and thigh-skimming skirts, the New Straits Times newspaper reported.

It quoted concert organiser Razlan Ahmad Razali, who said that the singer would show less flesh than usual.

"As of now, her concert is still on," he told the newspaper.

Stefani performed in Kuala Lumpur on August 21 despite protests from an Islamic students' group which objected to her raunchy performances and outfits.

The platinum-blonde pop star made true to her promise to be a "good girl" and covered her tight-fitting tops in jackets.

She also sported leggings under her dresses and mini-skirts.

"I am practically Malaysian," Stefani told 10,000 screaming fans, including Muslim mothers in traditional headdress toting their young daughters.

Muslim prayer room call for universities in Australia.

Australia: Following up on this yesterday. The Equity and Diversity conference demands Halal Food and prayer rooms for all Australian universities.

HALAL food and prayer rooms should be adopted at all universities to help Muslim students meet their religious and educational obligations, a conference heard yesterday.

The religious needs of Muslim university students were addressed at an inaugural conference launched by the University of Western Sydney.

UWS Director of Equity and Diversity Dr Sev Ozdowski said they wanted to develop national standards for Muslim students which could be incorporated by other universities.

The "Access, Inclusion and Success - Muslim students at Australian universities" two-day conference is covering issues relating to gender, discrimination and how to meet the fundamental religious needs of Muslim students.

Dr Ozdowski told The Daily Telegraph the aim of the forum was to raise awareness and to find a way to make sure Muslim students can meet obligations to their religion as well as the university.

This of course is going over well with the attendees.

About 150 people are involved in the conference including representatives and speakers from universities and TAFE, the government and local muslim communities.

Muslim student Najwa Hussein - who is completing her post graduate diploma in psychology at UWS - believes the conference is a positive step forward for Muslim students.

"It is part of our obligations to fulfil these religious duties, to pray and to ensure we eat halal meat," the 21-year-old from Guildford said.

"These small things are part of our daily life so if the universities adopt such facilities, that would be awesome," she said.

The conference, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Parramatta, concludes today with practical workshops.

Tampa Tribune shills for bomb suspects

Terrorism: LGF can't believe it.

The Tampa Tribune has a pathos-drenched sob story about the two Egyptian students indicted on terrorism charges after being arrested with pipe bombs near a South Carolina naval base. You’re not going to believe this one: A Family In Despair.

Anyone living in that area or in the state would believe it. There has always been a close three way relationship between the Tribune, St Pete Times and CAIR over the years to run interference on anything related to terrorism, Sami Al Arian or playing down the impression that University of South Florida seems to have a lot of terrorist ties. This SOB piece is typical.

The labor union is back! Not really.

Nation: E. J. Dionne basks in the sudden resurgence of the labor unions in regards to the Democrat candidates even though membership in unions continue to fall in the private sector.

Organized labor's clout is reflected in a Democratic presidential race in which every candidate is seeking labor's blessing. No Democrat is criticizing unions as "a special interest," a common line of attack from moderate and neoliberal Democrats in the 1980s.

Having played a major role in the Democrats' 2006 victory, labor has real influence in the new Congress. In the vote earlier this year on labor's central legislative demand -- changing federal law to allow for a "card check" system to make it easier for unions to organize -- only two House Democrats split from the union cause.

The 2006 results also put to rest anxieties that the defection of seven unions from the AFL-CIO to form the new Change to Win federation would weaken labor's effectiveness on Election Day.

Labor's political gains have occurred in the face of a steady decline in its private-sector role. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 percent of the American work force was unionized in 1973 and unionization rates were roughly equal in the public and private sectors. The latest figures, for 2006, show a decline in unionization to 12 percent of the workforce and a radical shift in labor's composition: Now only 7 percent of private-sector workers belong to unions, compared with 36 percent in the public sector.

The shift in labor's base and the overall drop in membership may be central to both the growing political sophistication and influence of the unions. The public-sector unions, with an obvious interest in the outcome of elections, have developed highly effective political operations. This is true of the teachers and nurses, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the police and firefighters, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

I must have missed previous Dem candidates spitting on unions because I can't remember when a Democrat didn't court union votes. There is no surprise that public sector unions have gone up since they are not at opened to market forces as the private sector.

Blame the membership fall on unions not being smart enough to keep up with changing markets and bleeding certain industries like the auto industry dry. Public sector unions are being paid by taxpayers who in some areas are being soaked for more money to pay for a pathetic ineffective public service that needs to be slashed back to working correctly. I don't celebrate as Dionne does the unions on this labor day because they have long ceased being a force for actually keeping wages and making the workplace better for workers.

All they are concerned about is lining their own pockets and making sure the Dems help them move to create more membership to keep the gravy train running smoothly.

When unions are busy running around looking after illegal workers more than American workers and eager to help push Sharia law just to get more membership it shows how pathetic they really have become today.

Malkin with more on unions.

Lets damn the rich and whatnot.

Politics: On this labor day it is always fun to read some wretched piece written by liberal Brits who bemoan the fact just too many people still believe in the American Dream. The best place for that is the Guardian's Gary Younge who still hasn't a clue based on the fact his liberalism blocks out logic and reason.

Among the viable Democratic contenders, John Edwards has embraced the economic agenda most forcefully. In his stump speech he calls for reversing Bush's tax cuts for those earning more than $200,000 a year, cutting poverty by a third in 10 years and eliminating it altogether in 30. Having announced his candidacy from New Orleans he has walked many a picket line in recent months and tells crowds: "The organised labour movement is the greatest anti-poverty movement in American history." With the brooding resentment at growing insecurity now reaching a critical point, Obama and Hillary are also shifting their focus.

Sadly it is unlikely this resentment will gain much in the way of political expression beyond populist rhetoric. The notions of personal reinvention and economic meritocracy that lie at the heart of the American dream are far more powerful and enduring than the kind of class consciousness necessary to redress the imbalance between rich and poor. Inequality of wealth in the US has long been justified on the grounds that there is equality of opportunity. The trouble is that while inequalities have grown dramatically over the past 20 years, equality of opportunity has been all but eroded.

The redress of course involves gouging anyone who is making a decent amount of money for a living and redistributing it as a welfare handout to the poor. The UK has tried that approach resulting in being on benefits is better than getting a job. The nonsensical method is supposed to "lift" the poor and punish those with money by bringing them closer together in the name of social justice. In fact all it does is create a parasitic welfare class who become an even bigger burden/problem for the whole society.

Someone in comments had the right idea about the tone of this piece.
In the US, people aspire to become successful - in the UK we're embarrassed of and resentful towards the successful.
But I do agree that government should do more in terms of creating opportunities for people to succeed, which is different from taxing people and creating a welfare state that rewards the lazy.

The problem with that and why liberals like Younge would oppose it is because that method rewards those who can and those who can't fall by the wayside. Since there is no built in excuse, the cannots become an example for liberals as how cruel society is to this segment of the population. That leads into this other wretched piece by Sunny Hundal about the "guilt-free liberal."

Andrew Anthony says: "Over the years I had absorbed a notion of liberalism that was passive, defeatist, guilt-ridden. Feelings of guilt governed my world view: post-colonial guilt, white guilt, middle-class guilt, British guilt. But if I was guilty, 9/11 shattered my innocence."

Not much annoys me more than the stereotype that to be liberal is to be full of guilt. To be socially liberal, in my view, is to be more mindful of compassion and empathy for others. On the basis of that compassion we choose to make lifestyle choices (taking public transport, boycotting Nestle, going vegetarian, donating to charity for example) and do our bit. But given that humans are full of contradiction between what they should do and what they want to do, there is always some conflict.

Should I really ignore that poor and hungry-looking beggar even though I have the sneaky feeling he's going to spend the money I give him on booze? Should I buy British produce because its production uses less air miles or Caribbean bananas because that helps to feed people there? Should I be going vegetarian if I want to help save the environment? As liberals we make choices based on compassion. To label that simply as guilt is just... insulting.

Unfortunately, this compassion and empathy which is guilt complex is nothing more than an excuse to enable and ultimately encourage behavior that weakens and builds a society made up of people who want a parental government. Liberals like Sunny takes an unrealistic view of the world as being able to fix everything thru "C&E" I have long realized that given the old cliche the world isn't fair and not everyone is going to be a winner in life. Instead of continuously giving a fiver to a beggar, ask why there isn't a program to help him/her to get back on their feet. If there is why haven't they taken advantage of it?

While I support the creation of programs or helping people on the path to try and be a contributor to society. I have no desire, compassion and empathy in me to help creating a society where success is a filthy reward and taking money from those who have worked hard to make a better life to subsidize a segment who think they deserve rewards based on being born. People like Sunny see this as cruel but I see it as just being a part of life in creating and sustaining a culture/society/country that is worth a damn.

Edwards backs mandatory preventive care

Politics: And the trains will run on time damn it!
Somehow I don't think all of America is at that point where the government can tell them to do this or that and they will follow meekly along like sheep.

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.

"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."

He noted, for example, that women would be required to have regular mammograms in an effort to find and treat "the first trace of problem." Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth, announced earlier this year that her breast cancer had returned and spread.

Edwards said his mandatory health care plan would cover preventive, chronic and long-term health care. The plan would include mental health care as well as dental and vision coverage for all Americans.

"The whole idea is a continuum of care, basically from birth to death," he said.

The nanny state cometh and you will obey.

In stadium video of Appalachian State beating Michigan.

Sports: The quiet is loud.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

A Fatah intifida against Hamas in the Gaza Strip

Middle East: My cup runneth over tonight.

There are increasing indications that Fatah is trying to organize an intifada against Hamas, as Fatah members in the Gaza Strip try to snap out of what one commander termed a state of "depression" following their defeat at the hands of Hamas in June.

Abu Haroun, commander of the Abu Rish Brigades in the Gaza Strip, said over the weekend it would take a long time before Fatah recovered from the humiliating defeat.

He said Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and top Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan were both to blame for the collapse of the Fatah-controlled PA security forces in the Strip.

Nonetheless, over the past two weeks, Fatah supporters have twice clashed with Hamas militiamen following Friday prayers.

Some Palestinians regard the street protests as a sign that Fatah is trying to regain control over the Gaza Strip.

Fatah officials expressed deep satisfaction with the anti-Hamas demonstrations.

This is an interesting but if you think about it predictable turn of events. Hamas cannot gain complete control unless Fatah supporters are defeated in Gaza and in the West Bank. Anything less will just cause trouble for them.

Chaos in Darfur on Rise as Arabs Fight With Arabs

Africa: I have no problem with this and hope for continued fighting.

NYALA, Sudan, Aug. 28 — Some of the same Arab tribes accused of massacring civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan are now unleashing their considerable firepower against one another in a battle over the spoils of war that is killing hundreds of people and displacing tens of thousands.

In the past several months, the Terjem and the Mahria, heavily armed Arab tribes that United Nations officials said raped and pillaged together as part of the region’s notorious janjaweed militias, have squared off in South Darfur, fighting from pickup trucks and the backs of camels. They are raiding each other’s villages, according to aid workers and the fighters themselves, and scattering Arab tribesmen into the same kinds of displacement camps that still house some of their earlier victims.

United Nations officials said that thousands of gunmen from each side, including some from hundreds of miles away, were pouring into a strategic river valley called Bulbul, while clashes between two other Arab tribes, the Habanniya and the Salamat, were intensifying farther south.

Darfur’s violence has often been characterized as government-backed Arab tribes slaughtering non-Arab tribes, but this new Arab-versus-Arab dimension seems to be a sign of the evolving complexity of the crisis. What started out four years ago in western Sudan as a rebellion and brutal counterinsurgency has cracked wide open into a fluid, chaotic, confusing free-for-all with dozens of armed groups, a spike in banditry and chronic attacks on aid workers.

United Nations officials said tribal and factional fighting was killing more people than the battles between government and rebel forces, which, except in a few areas, have declined considerably.

Gotta look for some hope somewhere in this genocide, if they are starting to turn on each other, the better it is for the future.

Gay Activists make demands to reprimand Naugle

Culture: If Naugle starts to speak about former Senator Larry Craig he will have hit the grand slam of sneering at his detractors.

(Ft. Lauderdale, FL) -- Gay activists are turning up the heat on Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jim Naugle. Next Tuesday, they plan to ask city commissioners to reprimand Naugle for his recent comments about gay men and public sex. Meanwhile, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has sent a letter to commissioners requesting they formally censure Naugle. When contacted yesterday, the mayor said he expects commissioners to go along with the request. Naugle has been roundly criticized in recent weeks for suggesting the city's public restrooms are popular spots for gay sex.

AP story with Naugle just soaking it all up.

Mayor Jim Naugle has made a string of recent comments that critics say were blatantly homophobic.

He portrayed city park restrooms as popular gay sex spots, opposed a plan to house a gay book collection in a public library and insists on using the word “homosexual” because many of them “aren’t gay, they are unhappy.” He also said tourism officials should put less emphasis on attracting gays, and he objected to tourism brochures showing men together in bed.

The controversy started last month when Naugle proposed public bathrooms whose doors automatically unlock after a short time — a feature he said would discourage sex acts. In reaction, gay rights advocates urged people to send the mayor rolls of toilet paper as part of a “Flush Naugle” campaign.

Naugle has also said his efforts have been aimed at stemming HIV infections in Fort Lauderdale, where more than 14,000 people have HIV or AIDS. But for a mayor who has been in office since 1991, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, many call the sudden attention suspicious.

“Broward County and the city of Fort Lauderdale have been at the epicenter of the AIDS crisis for a generation,” said Coleman Prewitt, a gay attorney who helped start UNITE Fort Lauderdale, a group aimed at Naugle’s recent statements. “And for the mayor to come out and say he just discovered this — either he’s completely out of touch and incompetent or he’s disingenuous.”

When the uproar seemed to reach a peak, Naugle promised to apologize. He did — not to the gay community, but to children and their parents. He said he was sorry he hadn’t been aware how bad the problem of public sex was.

It is not the first time Naugle has been a source of tension, or the first time he has riled gays. In 2000, he was the lone member of the City Commission to vote in favor of a grant for the Boy Scouts despite its ban on gay scoutmasters.

“He relished the circus that took place,” said Dean Trantalis, a gay lawyer who served as a city commissioner. “Instead of trying to quiet the dispute, he exacerbated it.”

Naugle dismisses UNITE Fort Lauderdale as a “pro-toilet sex group.”
“If I have a fault, it’s at times I’m blunt, I’m plainspoken,” he said. But he said the voters clearly “want someone in office that isn’t afraid to speak the truth and not be cowed by the political consequences.”

Feds defend decision to associate with ISNA.

Culture: U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra slams the DoJ for going to the annual convention sponsored by the Islamic Society of North America.

Facing criticism from a Michigan Congressman, the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday defended its decision to associate with a Muslim group at its annual convention this weekend.

U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) sent a letter on Tuesday to the Attorney General at the Department of Justice, slamming it for working with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a Muslim group that is holding its convention in Rosemont, Illinois, from Friday through Sept. 4.

In response, Justice Department officials said Friday they are reaching out as part of a general effort to engage communities.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said in a letter sent Friday that the "Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and Community Relations Service will be operating a literature and information table at the conference."

ISNA supporters not taking this sitting down!

In his letter, Rep. Hoekstra said that Justice Dept. officials had earlier this year labeled ISNA as a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States.

"As you know, the Muslim Brotherhood is a secretive worldwide movement that aims to reestablish the Caliphate (the historic Islamic Empire) across the Middle East, North Africa, Southern Europe and South Asia," Hoekstra said in the letter. "Almost every single Sunni terrorist organization, including Al Qaeda and Hamas, is derived from the Muslim Brotherhood."

Officials with ISNA could not be reached Friday afternoon, but local Muslims defended the group.

The secretary-general of ISNA is Muneer Fareed, who is from Oakland County and was once an imam at the Islamic Association of Greater Detroit, based in Rochester Hills, said a local Muslim leader.

"If Mr. Hoekstra has a problem with ISNA, then he is stating his disdain for the mainstream Muslim community," said Dawud Walid, head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "ISNA is not an extension of the Muslim Brotherhood, and even if it was, the Muslim Brotherhood is not designated by our country as a terrorist organization."


THERE are understandable reasons not to love the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt's oldest and largest Islamist group did eschew violence in the 1970s, and now proclaims a belief in freedom, democracy and the rule of law. Yet the Brothers still declare that death in the cause of God is a wonderful thing. Their enthusiasm for violent jihad and their constant framing of Islam as a faith threatened by vicious enemies have helped spawn more radical Islamist groups, from Hamas in Palestine to the suicidal mass-killing zealots of Iraq.

Australian universities bowing to Muslim students demands.

Islam: I am just saying Christians, Catholics and other religions, you are missing out on the gravy train of leftist secular butt kissing going on in universities around the world.

UNIVERSITIES are being challenged by a growing number of Muslim students to make special provision for their cultural and religious beliefs, the director of equity and diversity at the University of Western Sydney, Sev Ozdowski, says.

Mr Ozdowski, the former human rights commissioner, said students paid for their education and expected universities to accommodate their culture. And universities, keen to and cut drop-out rates, were exploring ways to comply.

"It's a question of finding what is reasonable within a secular university," he said. "It's important to have good relations between different community groups and to give Muslim students fair access "

Mr Ozdowski was speaking before a two-day conference that explores the issue of Muslim students at university. It starts today at the University of Western Sydney. A major aim of the conference is to develop national standards for universities in making provision for Muslim students.

You think they would have this attitudes with Christians? Nah.

At the University of Western Sydney, which has 2000 local Muslim students, the biggest population in Australia, a prayer room with foot basins for ritual ablution has been provided.

"It is unusual in a secular university to provide a prayer room but we want Muslim students to come to class on Fridays," Mr Ozdowski said.

The university also has provided halal food at one of the campus canteens. But it drew the line when a small number of students in nursing and podiatry courses said they would treat only patients of their own gender.

Anne Azza Aly, a researcher at Edith Cowan University, and president of Daral Shifah Islamic Organisation, said some Muslims could ask for "too much". For example, a group of Muslim women had approached her to arrange Muslim women-only swimming sessions.

Political correctness with leftist sensitivity to cater to one religion over others. Feel the suck up.

Swedish paper says don't say sorry for Mohammed cartoon.

Islam: Sweds got some backbone unlike the whipped American press.

STOCKHOLM (AFP) — A leading Swedish newspaper on Saturday said the country would not apologize for the recent publication of a Prophet Mohammed cartoon which has inflamed devout Muslims around the world.

Dagens Nyheter said in an editorial Sweden "has a duty from now on to defend its principles and present an open dialogue."

It said offended Muslims would not receive the apologies they are asking for.

Swiss Expulsion Proposal Draws Criticism

Immigration: Did I miss the transformation of the Swiss public into hardass immigration enforcers mixed with racist overtones?

The campaign poster was blatant in its xenophobic symbolism: Three white sheep kicking out a black sheep over a caption that read "for more security." The message was not from a fringe force in Switzerland's political scene but from its largest party.

The nationalist Swiss People's Party is proposing a deportation policy that anti-racism campaigners say evokes Nazi-era practices. Under the plan, entire families would be expelled if their children are convicted of a violent crime, drug offenses or benefits fraud.

The party is trying to collect the 100,000 signatures needed to force a referendum on the issue. If approved in a referendum, the law would be the only one of its kind in Europe.

....."As soon as the first 10 families and their children have been expelled from the country, then things will get better at a stroke," said Maurer, whose party controls the Justice Ministry and shares power in an unwieldy coalition that includes all major parties.

He explained that his party has long campaigned to make deportation compulsory for convicted immigrants rather than an optional and rarely applied punishment.

The party claims foreigners - who make up about 20 percent of the population - are four times more likely to commit crimes than Swiss nationals.

Bernheim said the vast majority of Switzerland's immigrants are law-abiding and warned against generalizations.

"If you don't treat a complicated issue with the necessary nuance and care, then you won't do it justice," he said.

Commentators have expressed horror over the symbolism used by the People's Party to make its point.

"This way of thinking shows an obvious blood-and-soil mentality," read one editorial in the Zurich daily Tages-Anzeiger, calling for a broader public reaction against the campaign.

So far, however, there has been little popular backlash against the posters.

The AP is taken aback.

But observers say the People's Party's hardline stance on immigration could help it in the Oct. 21 national elections. In 2004, the party successfully campaigned for tighter immigration laws using the image of black hands reaching into a pot filled with Swiss passports.

"It's certainly no coincidence that the People's Party launched this initiative before the elections," said Oliver Geden, a political scientist at the Berlin Institute for International and Security Affairs.

He said provocative campaigns such as this had worked well for the party in the past.

"The symbol of the black sheep was clearly intended to have a double meaning. On the one hand there's the familiar idea of the black sheep, but a lot of voters are also going to associate it with the notion of dark-skinned drug dealers," said Geden.

The party also has put forward a proposal to ban the building of minaret towers alongside mosques. And one of its leading figures, Justice Minister Christoph Blocher, said he wants to soften anti-racism laws because they prevent freedom of speech.

Mexico protests crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Immigration: Not as Reuters says "Mexico's Calderon protests U.S. crackdown on immigrants"

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Felipe Calderon accused the United States on Sunday of stepping up persecution and abuse of undocumented Mexican workers with a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

The Bush administration is increasing scrutiny and imposing heftier fines on U.S. businesses that employ illegal workers, after deporting a record number of illegal immigrants in 2006.

"I want to express again an energetic protest at the unilateral measures taken by the U.S. Congress and government which exacerbate the persecution and abusive treatment of undocumented Mexican workers," Calderon said in his state of the union speech.

Mexico was deeply disappointed at the U.S. Congress' failure to pass a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws in June despite heavy lobbying by the Bush administration. It is also upset at the United States for building a security fence on parts of the border to keep illegal immigrants out.

"The Mexican government will continue to insist firmly ... on the need for an integral immigration reform and the categorical rejection of the building of a wall on our common border," Calderon said to raucous applause.

Here is a deal, when America can demand and get laws passed to our liking in Mexico, we could think about doing the same here.

Update# Oh my.

He also reached out to the millions of Mexicans living in the United States, many illegally, saying: Mexico does not end at its borders. Where there is a Mexican, there is Mexico.

Calderon called on the country to create a foreign policy that ensured there was more Mexico in the world, and more of the world in Mexico.

Well this part of the speech will go over well.