Saturday, September 22, 2007

Celebrity Political Endorsements Matter? No.

Politics: According to the Pew. Bill O'Reilly and Donald Trump endorsements are not going to be sort after this election.

Hillary Clinton continues to lead Barack Obama by a wide margin in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. But Obama has something Clinton doesn't have – the support of Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey endorsed Obama in May of this year and recently held a fundraiser for him at her Malibu, Calif. home. While political endorsements generally have little impact on voter preferences, there is no telling whether Winfrey can do for Obama what she has done for the countless books and products she's endorsed over the years.

When compared with several other celebrities and public figures, Winfrey is more influential than most, ranking on a par with Bill Gates and slightly behind Alan Greenspan. But most Americans say endorsements by celebrities and other well-known figures, including Oprah, would not affect their voting decisions: Nearly seven-in-ten Americans (69%) say that if they heard Winfrey was supporting a presidential candidate it would not influence their vote. And among those who do see an impact, the net expected effects are so mixed as to cancel each other out. Among the 30% who say they would be influenced by a Winfrey endorsement, 15% say they would be more likely to vote for the candidate and 15% say they would be less likely to do so.

Hitler and Ahmadinejad invited to Columbia. But

Nation: The founder of the Minutemen, Jim Gilchrist's gets attacked and disinvited to the same place. Just to show how far gone some places of higher learning have become in this country.

Foot baths in Indy airport now up in the air.

Nation: Once the word got out the complaints started pouring in.

Airport officials, facing complaints from the public and criticism from a local Baptist minister, say plans to accommodate the prayer needs of Muslim taxi drivers in a new terminal's design are a long way from being "set in stone."

Special floor-level sinks that would make it easier for Muslims to wash their feet before prayer are part of the current plans for restrooms that would serve taxi drivers in a new airport terminal due for completion next year.

But airport officials, who last week said the sinks were needed to solve a potential safety hazard from wet floors and to make the restrooms more sanitary, said Friday that plans for the foot sinks were "only preliminary."

"We're really a long way from having this set in stone," said Airport Authority spokesman David Dawson.

UK: Suicide epidemic in Asian community?

UK: 80 out of 240 along one stretch of rail indicates a trend.

Rail suicides are soaring because of a dramatic rise in Asian women killing themselves on just one stretch of track, a train company's internal report has revealed.

An incredible one third of the total for England and Wales now happen on the line going through Southall, West London, which has a large Asian community.

Last night a women's rights group controversially claimed that the suicides were linked to the "prevalence of domestic violence in Asian families".

Figures from a route manager at First Great Western trains show that 80 of the 240 rail suicides nationally last year were on the lines into Paddington, West London.

Hannana Siddiqui, from women's group Southall Black Sisters, claimed abuse and "sensitive cultural issues" were at the root of the problem.

She said: "The high instance of Asian women suicides is linked to abusive practices within Asian families.

"There is a correlation between these suicides and violence in Asian homes.

"Psychiatric research has shown there are rarely cases of mental disorders in these cases, suggesting they are the result of social circumstances.

"These women are often isolated and find it hard to escape."

Black Americans attacking African refugees in Houston.

Culture: Some of the attackers are thought to be Katrina refugees.

When they came to America, some of them just a few weeks ago, they couldn’t wait to begin their quest for the American dream.

“We are refugees. We are from our country. We are suffering here,” Morisho Saleh said.

Saleh is a refugee from Africa. He’s just one of dozens of Africans brought to the states by a United Nations program that enables the persecuted to get out of harm’s way.

These victims of many wars were literally dropped off in southwest Houston at an apartment complex where there’s a brewing clash of cultures.

Over the last few weeks, at least six refugees have been assaulted.

The victims describe their attackers as black Americans, some of them allegedly evacuees from Louisiana.

One young victim says he and his sister were attacked.

“We don’t know how to protect ourselves. Some of us are newcomers. We are new to America,” he said.

Some GOPer should take this Sarkozy quote

Immigration: Regarding our immigration policies quick.

The president, who cultivated a tough-on-crime image while serving as Interior Minister, says France needs a new kind of immigrant — one who is "selected, not endured."

Reuters goes into Goebbels mode on Bush/Mandela quote.

Politics: Seriously, as much as Reuters slant stuff to the left, this is the first where I can say it is a deliberate lie. Even Jon Stewart edited the clip and this is the guy Generation Y looks up to for news?

Nelson Mandela is still very much alive despite an embarrassing gaffe by U.S. President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in an attempt to explain sectarian violence in Iraq.

"It's out there. All we can do is reassure people, especially South Africans, that President Mandela is alive," Achmat Dangor, chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said as Bush's comments received worldwide coverage.

In a speech defending his administration's Iraq policy, Bush said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's brutality had made it impossible for a unifying leader to emerge and stop the sectarian violence that has engulfed the Middle Eastern nation.

"I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas," Bush, who has a reputation for verbal faux pas, said in a press conference in Washington on Thursday.

This isn't a verbal gaffe, you have to be a brainless twit or think your audience is that clueless to not realize what he was saying in the first place.

Actual quote.

Part of the reason why there is not this instant democracy in Iraq is because people are still recovering from Saddam Hussein’s brutal rule. I thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, where’s Mandela? Well, Mandela is dead, because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas. He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families, and people are recovering from this.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Spitzer allows illegals to get driver licences in New York.

Immigration: Sure, might as well make it even easier for illegals to live in America, what about free housing next?

September 21, 2007 -- ALBANY - Illegal immigrants will be able to obtain driver's licenses under a controversial new policy to be announced today by Gov. Spitzer, The Post has learned.

Under the change, the Department of Motor Vehicles will no longer require applicants provide Social Security numbers or proof that they are eligible for Social Security cards, a source said.

Instead, the DMV will accept valid foreign passports, previous state driver's licenses and other verifiable proofs of ID that would be considered on a point-based system, the source said.

"The DMV does not believe it's in the business checking a person's legal status, it's not the INS," the source said.

....But Spitzer - who as attorney general defended the Pataki rules in court - said during last year's campaign that keeping illegal immigrants from having access to driver's licenses does not make the country more safe, but instead keeps immigrants in the "shadows" and creates a class of people with no public records.

Immigrant groups say the Pataki policy made it tough for law-abiding immigrants to work, shop for necessities and go to doctors' appointments while also making the roads more dangerous because of unlicensed and uninsured drivers.

I wonder how many social services are now open for illegals to join up?

French riot police battles immigrants try to get to UK.

Immigration: I have the feeling France is not going to try to hard to keep them from getting to the UK.

Riot police are patrolling French ports to combat the increasing violence caused by illegal immigrants bound for Britain.

The authorities in Calais, Cherbourg and Dunkirk have complained they are increasingly powerless to cope with the growing numbers congregating in makeshift camps.

Bernard Cazeneuve, Calais's mayor, said these camps "generate violence" and "create a situation which we are not able to control".

He called for proper facilities to be provided for migrants, raising the spectre of a second Sangatte.

The notorious Red Cross centre, close to the entrance of the Channel Tunnel near Calais, attracted thousands of immigrants before it was closed in 2002.

However, the French president has pledged that another Sangatte will not be built.

Instead, Nicolas Sarkozy has reacted to the refugee problem with increasingly heavy-handed policing.

On Thursday, the CRS, elite police more usually associated with quelling urban disturbances, arrived in Normandy and began 24-hour patrols.

"We are here because local forces are having difficulty coping with the growing menace caused by illegal immigrants," said a spokesman.

One of the largest makeshift camps in Cherbourg is on a stretch of industrial wasteland overlooking the harbour.

One immigrant, claiming to be a 24-year-old Iraqi, said: "All we want to do is get to Britain.

"The police attack us and treat us badly.

"We have no food or accommodation or toilets, so it is little surprise that some of us get into trouble.

"When this trouble happens it makes us even more determined to get to Britain."

A spokesman for the French homelessness charity Terre d'Asile said: "It appears that the strategy is to beat the illegal immigrants out of France so that they become someone else's problem.

London Time with more details.

Star Simpson should have been tasered.

Nation: How self-centered and unaware do you have to be wear something like this holding play-doh in your hand and go to an airport?

Police say that Simpson, 19, walked up to an information booth to ask about an incoming flight, wearing a computer circuit board affixed to the front of a black sweatshirt with attached wires and a 9-volt battery. On the back of the shirt was the writing, "Socket to me." She was holding a lump of Play-Doh in one hand, said police, who determined that the apparatus was not explosive.

State police, who were called by an airport employee, arrested Simpson outside Terminal C and charged her with disorderly conduct and possession of a hoax device. Simpson was arraigned later today in East Boston District Court, where she pleaded not guilty and was released on $750 bond. She was also ordered not to go near Logan airport.

"She said that it was a piece of art and she wanted to stand out on career day," State Police Maj. Scott Pare, the commanding officer at the airport, said at a news conference. "She claims that it was just art and that she was proud of the art and she wanted to display it."

Pare added, "I'm shocked and appalled that somebody would wear this type of device to an airport."

Simpson was "extremely lucky she followed the instructions or deadly force would have been used," Pare said. "She's lucky to be in a cell as opposed to the morgue."

She is a wild-child.

"She's kind of counter culture. She's prone to do whimsical things. Last year she shaved her head," Caine Jette, a fellow sophomore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the Hawaii Club, told "She's relatively impulsive. Sometimes she walks around without her shoes on."

No shoes..wild child.

More Mohammed cartoon violence in Bangladesh

Media: Crowds demand the death of an editor.

Street clashes broke out in Bangladesh Friday as Islamic activists defied emergency rule to protest over the publication in a major newspaper of a cartoon deemed offensive to Muslims.

Thousands of protesters joined the rally in the centre of the capital Dhaka, an AFP photographer at the scene said, even though demonstrations are strictly prohibited under the country's eight-month-old state of emergency.

Police baton-charged some of the activists as they tried to break through barricades put up to prevent them reaching the offices of Prothom Alo, the newspaper that published the cartoon and Bangladesh's biggest daily paper.

Demonstrators chanted slogans demanding the execution of newspaper editor Matiur Rahman and burned effigies of him and copies of the Bengali-language daily.

....The cartoon appeared in Prothom Alo's weekly satirical magazine "Alpin."

Its cartoonist, Arisur Rahman, 23, was detained earlier this week and later remanded in custody by a court.

Matiur Rahman on Thursday apologised for the cartoon, which showed a small boy adding the name Mohammed to the name of a cat.

International press freedom body Reporters Without Borders called for the immediate release of the cartoonist.

Mcnabb gets thrown under the bus by everyone else?

Sports: Vince Young calling out Mcnabb. Damn, that is just spectacular.

On Wednesday, when McNabb discussed his remarks, he was pushed to provide specifics. But before that press briefing, he had been advised by a member of the Eagles' media staff to avoid a sound bite that could perpetuate the controversy.

"Did I expect any backlash from it? Yeah, everything I say I expect a backlash from," McNabb said. "So, for me sitting up here trying to explain it, hopefully the show shows you exactly what I was saying, and with today [Wednesday] we can end it and move on."

But McNabb didn't want to end it, telling the Philadelphia Daily News that he hoped to lead the charge among his fellow African-American quarterbacks to change the perception.

His call to arms was rejected. In Baltimore, Steve McNair started his weekly news conference Thursday with these words: "No Donovan McNabb questions, please."

In Nashville, it was worse. Vince Young basically told McNabb to quit crying.

"I really feel like myself, black or white quarterbacks, we all go through something because that is the life of a quarterback." Young said. "You have to be able to handle all the pressure and you have to be able to handle the losses and you have to be able to handle the media saying this about you … If you can't handle it, then you have to get off that position and go play something else."

Inside the Eagles' locker room, McNabb's comments were greeted with a bunch of sideways smirks. Indeed, there is a lot of private grumbling at the Eagles' practice facility that McNabb's comments were ill-advised and ill-timed -- the team has a big weekend-long gala celebration for the 75th anniversary, and the 0-2 start has left frustrated Philly fans a bit more, well, frustrated. Never mind that the interview was taped in August before the season started.

Father walking his daughter down the aisle? SEXIST!

Sweden: What happens when you go to the extremes? This.

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Brides in Stockholm who want their fathers to walk them down the aisle are likely to be told it can't be done, as some pastors are refusing to allow the practice they say is sexist, a pastor said on Friday.

"In Sweden we have worked hard in many different ways to eliminate everything that is unequal," a Lutheran Church vicar in the Stockholm region, Yvonne Hallin, told AFP.

She said she would not allow the custom in her parish, and noted that Stockholm's bishop issued a recommendation in 2003 that pastors discourage it.

Couples who marry "are equal when it comes to finances, politics, values ... but when they come to the church ... the woman suddenly turns into a man's property," she said.

She has to have daddy issues or something to be this mean spirited. Of course never forget the Swedish trend.

Last year.
Swedish women turn to moose hunting
Published: 30th August 2006 10:53 CET

This year.
Handbags for men all the rage
Published: 12th September 2007 13:22 CET
Fashion conscious Swedish men won't be seen dead without their handbags this season.Sales of the accessories are currently causing a trend sensation, with discerning males from Stockholm to Gothenburg ditching their briefcases in favour of stylish man bags.

CAIR and DNC slam Peter King for his remarks

Politics: At this point this is a badge of honor for King getting picked on by CAIR of all groups.

WASHINGTON - A homeland security adviser to Rudy Giuliani came under fire Thursday for claiming there were "too many mosques" in the United States — and defended himself by saying his point was that not enough Muslim leaders cooperate with law enforcement.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the former chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and the top GOP member on the panel, said his comments to the Politico Web site were taken out of context. Democrats said Giuliani should drop him as a campaign adviser.

"I stand by everything I said other than the fact that the Politico totally took it out of context," King said Thursday.

In the Politico interview, King said: "Unfortunately we have too many mosques in this country, there's too many people who are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully, we should be finding out how we can infiltrate, we should be much more aggressive in law enforcement."

After King complained, Politico posted video of the entire interview.

I will just say this about the Jena Six.

Crime: Yes the charges were overblown and the entire situation could be handled better..but.

People interviewed, of both races, agreed that school fights causing a range of injuries are not usually punished as serious crimes.

And no one has condoned Barker's beating.

Blacks interviewed said the charges were brought because the victim was white and the alleged assailants were black. Whites would not make such pronouncements.

"The charges were overdone for a simple schoolyard fight," said Louis McCoy, an oil field roustabout and cousin to accused attacker Theodore Shaw.

But McCoy, who is black, said some question whether the Jena 6 should be held up as emblems of persecution, given that at least Bell, Bailey, Shaw and Jones have previous juvenile criminal histories.

Last April, Bell was placed on probation in juvenile court for an unrelated simple battery charge.

"A lot of the black people in Jena did not get behind them because of the things they have done before this happened," McCoy, 47, said of the six.

All sides on this should be punished equally with consideration to past behavior, no free Jena six here. But to try and elevate this equate this to Selma like the Rev Jesse is wanting to do is just stupid on every level.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Canadians sound off about illegals seeking asylum

Canada: Besides the really horrible message system, the Windsor Star is not hearing a lot of love.

I live downtown Windsor and see all the immigrant around the Salvation Army. It is a bad situation getting worse. So they come to Canada because the U.S. is finally backing up some of their laws. Now Canada gives them free money. I love the article from yesterday. The family lived in Florida for 12 years, with house, car and all the belongings. Did he pay taxes on all the money he made. How did he if he was illegal. I don't get it. Now run to Canada and ask the taxpayers to pick up the tab. I don't think so. This is crazy. Stop the craziness before it gets worse.

NYTIMES with a writeup.

BBC bows down to George Michaels?

Media: This is odd.

The BBC has agreed not to screen an interview with George Michael after the pop star complained that an admission that he refuses to take an HIV test was “too personal”.

BBC bosses bowed to pressure from the gay singer to pull the interview, given to Stephen Fry for a BBC Two documentary about HIV in Britain.

The capitulation raised new concerns about the influence of celebrities over BBC editorial decisions. A recent report criticised the BBC for pandering to celebrities in its coverage of public policy issues.

Programme-makers had leaked details of the revealing interview Michael gave for the two-part programme, Stephen Fry: HIV And Me. Fry asks why HIV has “fallen off the radar” even though 70,000 people live with the virus in Britain today.

Ross Wilson, producer, said: “George says he does not believe in tests. He says he finds the wait for results too harrowing and that he hasn’t had a test since at least 2004 due to his fears it might be positive.” Fry challenged Michael’s reluctance during the interview. He argues that more than a third of those infected do not know they carry the virus, even though HIV tests take 15 minutes.

Fry took an HIV test on camera, which proved negative. But there are three times as many HIV-positive Britons now compared with ten years ago, according to the film.

Michael, 44, asked the BBC to remove the interview, citing sensitivities over his former partner, Anselmo Feleppa, who died of an Aids-related illness in 1995. A spokesman for Michael said: “On reflection, he felt it was too close and too personal a journey. It was too personal for Anselmo’s family to revisit.”

Amsterdam to cut back on brothels

EU: As the plans of vacations for many a young men just got thrown for a loop.

The Dutch city of Amsterdam is to close one-third of the brothels in its famous red light district.
The city has reached a 25m euro (£18m) deal to buy many of the premises and turn them into shops or housing.

The mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, said that although prostitution was legal in the Netherlands, there was too much of the sex trade in the city centre.

He also said that the trade involved exploitation and trafficking of women, and other kinds of criminal activity.

When an overzealous journalist destroys a woman's career.

Media: The journalist? S. Renee Mitchell. The victim who had a career at Starbucks. Hillary Barnes. Mitchell is guilty of writing first without actually finding out about her subject then has the balls to write a followup article which she doesn't even say sorry for getting Barnes fired. Beloblog has the update.

Alan at Blue Hole rips Oregonian columnist S. Renee Mitchell a new one over Mitchell's August 17th column and subsequent follow-up on Hillary Barnes, a former Starbucks manager.
15-second recap:

Mitchell goes into a Starbucks and sees a chalkboard drawing with an afro-headed barista next to the words "I lubs me some Breakfast Blend. It's the juice that gets me goin'."

Starbucks sees Mitchell's column and fires Barnes, who wrote the phrase on the chalkboard.

Mitchell meets Barnes in person and discovers she's not a racist, the afro-headed barista pictured on the chalkboard is white, and Hillary "didn't deserve what she ended up with" after all.

What Alan at Blue Hole is so upset about:
It seems the ex-manager has a lot more decency, kindness, and brains. The most appalling thing about Mitchell's latest column is what's not in it: an apology. (Link)

Then media types wonder why the rest of the population has such a low opinion of them.

Texas hospitals now catering to Spanish speaking patients

Medical: Not enough to get by but enough where the thought of having to learn English and assimilate into American society is not needed.

At Dallas hospitals, there are now signs in Spanish as well as "translation phones." Texas medical schools are teaching Spanish to the state's future doctors. And physicians and insurers are focusing more on diabetes, a particular problem among Hispanics.

Such accommodations are not without controversy.

Some argue not enough is being done to tailor care to a group expected to account for nearly 60 percent of the state's population in 30 years. They say doctors working in Texas should be required to speak Spanish, or at least have a better understanding of the Hispanic culture.

But others bristle at the notion doctors should spend time in medical school learning a foreign language rather than honing their craft. "I think the reasonable thing is for doctors to learn how to practice medicine well," said Dr. Jerry Frankel, a Plano urologist who recently retired after 33 years. "If you make the doctor speak Spanish, then what about Chinese? ...Where do you draw the line?"

And the accommodations go well beyond language.

At Parkland, for example, all medical forms are now available in Spanish and the hospital is installing Spanish signs. More than 300 special telephones with two phone handsets serve as electronic translators throughout the hospital. Patients talk into one receiver in their native tongue to a distant translator about their ailment; their doctor listens at the second handset as the translator explains the problem in English.

Texas Health Resources, the largest hospital system in North Texas, has made its entire Web site – – available in Spanish as well as English. The system, which includes Harris and Presbyterian hospitals, says it is the first, and so far only, local hospital system to do so. Many of Texas Health's 13 hospitals hold health fairs with names like "Fiesta Diabetes" and "Hispanic Wellness Fair."

In San Antonio, the country's largest Hispanic-majority city, Methodist Healthcare System last month became the first and only U.S. hospital to be designated a "Hispanic Healthcare Hospital" by the Diversity Health Care Program of Mexico, a Mexico-based advocacy group for better Hispanic health.

Methodist Healthcare impressed the judges with Spanish used in everything from legal documents to the magazines on waiting room coffee tables.

Fun times ahead

Utah recruits Mexican teachers for classrooms

Edumacation: Another feel good story for diversity.

For students such as Bernuy, starting the school year with a bilingual teacher such as Esquivel is a welcome relief. "She speaks my language and because I've recently arrived, she can translate what I don't understand," Bernuy said in Spanish.
Esquivel is one of 10 teachers hired this summer from Mexico as part of an agreement between Utah and the Mexican Ministry of Education.
The state's new visiting teacher program allows the teachers to legally work in public schools in "high-need" areas for up to three years. Their salaries and benefits are the same as Utah teachers who have similar experience, according to the agreement.
"They had to pass a very stringent interview process all done in English," said Richard Gomez, educational equity coordinator at the Utah State Office of Education. The 10 teachers were chosen from a pool of 40 to 50 pre-qualified candidates during interviews in Mexico City.

Help me out here, I would think that getting the children who come over here to speak English would be a top priority, this process just slows down the assimilation into America culture. Maybe Utah should do a better job looking for teachers here in America to teach English to the students.

Critics of the program have asked why bilingual teachers were not recruited in Utah or elsewhere in the U.S.
"The fact of the matter is there aren't enough teachers in Utah and there certainly are not enough who are bilingual," Ripplinger said. "We have in our district a very high percentage of teachers who are ESL endorsed."
Those teachers can sit down and teach a child English. But what they can't do, Ripplinger said, is talk to parents about their children and help them get connected with their education.

At Stansbury, Esquivel and her colleagues Magaña and Granados hope to do just that. They have a clear idea of what they want to do while acknowledging the differences in the educational system.

Esquivel hopes she can help more students see that they can pursue higher education rather than just finding a job after high school.

"There is great capacity here from what I have seen. They have responded well. To see me here and tell them not to limit themselves and to continue studying, it encourages them," Esquivel said.

Magaña, who teaches second grade, said the main thing is to support those Latino families and help their kids get better.

"One of the mothers said her daughter was so happy because she had a Mexican teacher who speaks Spanish," Magaña said. "They [parents] feel better."

Oh well then, as long as the parents feel better being catered too instead of hunkering down and learning the language which would help all in the long run if they are living in America.

Mexican government supply American schools with curriculum.

Edumacation: Feel the diversity baby! Now we have the Mexican government with help from liberal school system in America taking control of our the public school system lessons.

Oregon is counting on a new tool to educate Spanish-speaking students across state schools: Mexico's curriculum.

Already in place at three Oregon high schools, the programs aims to use textbooks, a detailed online Web site, DVDs and CDs provided for free by the Mexican government to teach math, science and even U.S. history to Spanish speakers in Oregon.

Conversations are under way between the Oregon Department of Education and Mexico's secretary of public education to align the curriculums of Oregon and Mexico so many courses in Mexico will be valid here and vice versa. The innovative move puts Oregon on par with other educators nationwide who have launched similar ventures in Yakima; San Diego, Calif.; and Austin, Texas.

....Mexico has made its national curriculum available to communities across the U.S. since 2001. The idea was to encourage Mexican adults and youths living abroad to continue an education often abandoned back home due to limited resources.

The Mexican government provided the learning material and, as incentive, validated the education by certifying its completion in Mexico.

"We wanted people to be aware that they have to study," said Patricia Ramos, the director of national affairs for Mexico's Institute for Adult Education and National Advisory of Education for Life and Work. "You have to dare to study and make use of technology because that way, it will be easier to adapt to where you now live."

Here I thought if people are coming to America and join the schools, America would be the one who gave out and shaped the lesson plan. Now American school system and the taxpayers who fund it now support the Mexican educational system in a warped version of distance learning. This country is going to hell in a handbasket.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

ACLU has been running around defending foot baths.

Religion: In the USAToday and Detroit News, ACLU reps are trying to mud up the issue and the Pope is a popular straw man.

Recognizing that people who respect freedom of religion and civil liberties can legitimately disagree about this issue, let me suggest the following examples.

If there were a busy intersection in front of a megachurch, could a city erect a stoplight? Would the answer be different if the city paid the same amount to put up a sign encouraging people to attend Sunday services?

Or suppose that the pope came to town. Would it be appropriate for the city to pay for extra police officers for crowd control? Would it be permissible for the city to erect a platform and an altar for him to celebrate Mass?

How one comes down on the foot bath issue probably depends on how one answers these questions. The schools assert that the foot baths would be installed for reasons of hygiene and safety. If that is true, this would seem to be a practical and reasonable accommodation. On the other hand, if the purpose for the foot baths were to promote Islamic prayers, or to entice Muslims to contribute money to the school, or to respond to pressure by Muslims to accommodate their practices, these would be inappropriate.

If we are to have a country that genuinely respects freedom of religion for all as well as prohibits government promotion of religious beliefs, we ought to be able to solve this sensibly.


That said, the issue of the University of Michigan Dearborn installing foot baths is complicated. This issue would be simpler if the government were building inherently religious facilities. Here, the footbaths are not inherently religious facilities -- they are not blessed, cannot be desecrated and are open to everyone for any purpose. They are essentially spigots in the bathroom wall.

In addition, the motivation of the university seems to be a response to a practical cleanliness and safety issue. Not every government expenditure to promote safety is unconstitutional because it has an incidental benefit to worshippers. When Pope John Paul II visited Hamtramck two decades ago, the ACLU of Michigan did not oppose the use of city funds for security because the motive and effect was to ensure the pope's safety, not to promote Christianity.

The pope was protected because he is a VIP and it would be inherently foolish not to protect the Pope or a figure who by safety protocols needs protection. The foot baths are being put in for religious reasons first with the no its not for religious purposes excuse for the public.

The appearance of foot baths coincides with a rise of a Muslim student body at each of these colleges, just like they appear with the rise of Muslim taxi drivers at Indianapolis airport or Kansas City airport. It is becoming insulting to the general public when the universities and inexplicably the ACLU seem to be rushing to defend this practice.

Turkish Leader: Lift Head Scarf Ban

Turkey: Let the secular and religious clashes begin!

Turkey's Islamic-leaning prime minister called Wednesday for lifting a ban on women wearing head scarves in universities, a shift in position that is certain to alarm secularists who fear the government is moving to foist a Muslim agenda on the nation.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement at a news conference that he wants a constitutional change to remove the ban comes just weeks after he scored a major political triumph: the election of his ally Abdullah Gul — a devout Muslim — as Turkey's president.

The opposition had vehemently opposed Erdogan's choice of Gul for the influential and highly symbolic post, saying it would open the way for the government to carry out an Islamic agenda.

Erdogan's comments Wednesday will raise suspicions he is taking the first step in that direction, particularly because it was a tempest over the head scarf worn by Gul's wife that galvanized opposition to the former foreign minister's presidential bid.

The slow creep has now started. If the ban is lifted I guarantee that those without headscarves will be in the minority really fast due to peer pressure.
Turkey's secular elite fears that lifting the head scarf ban will have a snowball effect — putting pressure on women to wear ever more conservative attire and opening new avenues for the government to impose Islam on public and private life.

Just a matter of when, not if.

Police chief rails against influx of 'criminal immigrants'

UK: In the UK as the influx of Eastern European immigrants is causing her force to be pulled thin.

A police chief has said that her force is struggling to cope with the feuds and criminal behaviour that is imported into the UK by immigrants.

Chief Constable Julie Spence, of Cambridgeshire Police, said that she needed more money from the Government to deal with the problem that included immigrants thinking they could commit violent crimes they would usually get away with in their homeland.

“We’ve been short-changed for a number of years, losing money as the population continues to grow,” she said. "The profile of the county has changed dramatically and this simply isn’t taken into account when Government allocates funding.

“We now deal with people from many different countries, speaking more than 90 different languages. While the economic benefits of growth are clear we need to maintain the basic public services infrastructure which means increasing the number of officers we have.”

“When they arrive they think they can do the same thing as in the country they have come from,” she told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme. There were a lot of people who... because they used to carry knives for protection, they think they can carry knives here.”

An sudden influx of a different culture because the government there and here refuses to get a handle of who comes in will cause the problems spoken by the chief.

Columbia students nix Minuteman founder's speech.

Nation: Ladies and Gentlemen, your typical modern university where anyone right of Che is evil.

Just a day after it was announced that Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project, could be returning to speak at Columbia University, the Columbia Political Union voted against having him back when it learned that there would be no counter-point speaker. Gilchrist's 2006 appearance at Columbia sparked protests that got out of hand as demonstrators rushed the stage where he was speaking and participants got physical. Eight students were disciplined following the altercation.

News of Gilchrist's return was reported Monday after Columbia professor David Eisenbach issued a tentative invitation to the anti-illegal immigration group's founder and received an acceptance. A formal invitation wasn't to be issued until after a vote by the sponsoring body, the Columbia Political Union.

The Columbia Spectator writes that confusion marred the whole process of planning the event. The CPU was apparently interested in re-inviting Gilchrist with the hope of having Karina Garcia, the leader of the group who charged the stage last year, also speak at the event.

According to Garcia, she told Eisenbach she was not interested in speaking with Gilchrist, but the CPU voted to invite him with the understanding that she would be participating. When it became clear that Garcia would not be speaking, the CPU decided to rescind its invitation to Gilchrist.

On Monday, the campus International Socialist Organization president said he would help organize a large and disruptive protest if Gilchrist came back to Morningside Heights. Even the director of operations for the Columbia University College Republicans personally hoped that Gilchrist would not return, saying that it was fun a year ago, but she didn't need to relive the event.

But next Monday who is welcomed to Columbia?

Also today, the president of Columbia University, Lee C. Bollinger, announced that Mr. Ahmadinejad would speak at the university on Monday.
Mr. Ahmadinejad is expected to arrive in New York late Sunday, address the United Nations sometime on Monday, and leave the city Wednesday morning, according to police officials.

Smart car not so smart buy?

Nation: I said earlier that the Smart Car is going to be the new smugness for the "look at me helping the earth and spotter owl" wannabe crowd. Newsweek has a fawning Q+A where you want to smack both people for the smary that comes off the pages, but the details of the Smart Car shows it is a horrible buy in the long run.

The tiny Smart Fortwo - at 8.8 feet long, it's more than three feet shorter than a Mini Cooper - arrives in the States early next year. Prices will start at about $12,000, but it's hard to imagine many folks feeling the love for that stripped-down Pure model. But the more posh Passion and Passion convertible, priced from about $14,000 and $17,000, are sure to attract followers.

The engine in the Fortwo I tested was made by Mercedes-Benz, Smart's parent company. The one in the U.S. model will come from Mitsubishi. Both are the same, though - 71 horsepower from a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine. A five-speed automatic that can be shifted manually is the transmission choice.

...In my short tour, I probably never got above 40 mph. Kettenbeil says the Fortwo's top speed is 90 mph, and that he's traveled at 70 mph (and beyond) in a Smart on the interstate near his Michigan home.

Fuel economy is an obvious plus with the Fortwo. Smart expects it to top 40 mpg overall, although the final EPA numbers won't arrive until late this year or early 2008. It requires premium gas.

You know the EPA numbers are going to be worse and for the more to get the "posher" versions plus the use of premium gas, you could get a 2008 Corolla or even Civic for that number and no look like you are driving a blinged out golf cart. On Edmunds in that price range you have a minimum of 30 gas saving cars you can get.

Besides I am waiting for the Toyota iQ which is even shorter than the Smart Car.

Dry Cleaner in Pants Suit Closes

Nation: This is just a damn shame and a sorry example of how the legal system in this country has been gamed especially by those in the know. If karma exists then I hope Roy Pearson gets hit by a tidal wave of it for what he has done to this poor couple.

The owners of a dry cleaner who were sued for $54 million over a missing pair of pants have closed and sold the shop involved in the dispute, their attorney said Wednesday.

The South Korean immigrants are citing a loss of revenue and the emotional strain of defending the lawsuit. They will focus their energy on another dry-cleaning shop they still own, said their attorney, Chris Manning.

"This is a truly tragic example of how devastating frivolous litigation can be to the American people and to small businesses," Manning said in a statement.

The case went to trial in June and a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the Chungs, awarding Pearson nothing. Pearson is pursuing an appeal.

The Chungs incurred more than $100,000 in legal expenses, which were eventually paid with help from fundraisers and donations.

Even after the trial ended favorably, Manning said, the Chungs lost customers and revenue. They have now closed two of their three businesses since the lawsuit began, he said.

Belinda Stronach comes to America for cancer care.

Medical: Not a big outcry but looking at the comments section you see some people questioning why she had to go to America for cancer treatment.

In the second place, cancer is a life-threatening disease and people can empathize with anyone who uses all resources to get the best care possible. This was repeatedly expressed in comments on the Star and CTV websites yesterday. Some regarded Stronach's decision as an indictment of the kind of care one could get in Canada – an opinion she herself does not share, since she's having all her follow-up treatment here.

It should be noted Stronach went to the U.S. on the advice of her Canadian doctor, because they agreed the U.S. physician could best provide the operation she wanted. She had the procedure around the same time she would have had the mastectomy and breast reconstruction if she'd been in the Canadian health-care queue.

There's not total consensus approval of Stronach's U.S. treatment. Words like "hypocrisy" and "different standards for the rich" did emerge in the commentary yesterday. But the anger was directed more toward abstract things such as politicians or wealthy people in general, not Stronach in particular.

A two tier system is coming to Canada no question about it.

Mexicans pour into Canada from U.S seeking refugee status.

Immigration: Now the Canadians are going to whine about this new wrinkle. But this does bloster the self-deportation argument.

"...Ortega's dream, as he recounted it Tuesday standing outside a room at a Windsor motel, is now but a memory. He is one of an estimated 180 Mexicans from Florida who've rushed across the border and into Windsor to claim refugee status, fleeing a crackdown on illegal aliens in Florida.

Local agencies that work with refugees have been told to brace for 4,000 to 8,000 refugee claimants.

Every single day this month, Mexican nationals who have been living illegally in Florida -- some for a dozen years or more -- are turning up at the Windsor-Detroit border seeking refugee status. The first group arrived at the YMCA on Aug. 28.

"They've been coming steadily ever since," said Jacquie Rumiel, director of programs for new Canadians at the YMCA."

Train going thru a market in Bangkok.

Coolness: Best part is after the train leaves.

Train Runs Through Bangkok Market - Watch more free videos

Rev Jesse accuses of Obama acting white about Jena Six.

Politics: The message here by the Rev. Jesse is that white people are racist and less involved because of it in regards to the Jena six case. Obama hits back and this is the only time I will say good job Obama.

ABC News' Jonathan Greenberger reports: The campaign of Sen Barack Obama continues to respond vigorously to reports that Rev Jesse Jackson accused Obama of "acting like he's white" in his response to the racially-charged "Jena 6" case.

After first sending around a statement by Jackson reaffirming his support of Obama, the Obama campaign released a statement late this afternoon from the Illinois senator himself saying the "Jena 6" case transcends racial politics.

"Outrage over an injustice like the Jena 6 isn't a matter of black and white," said Obama.

The campaign then noted that Obama received help on his initial response to Jena 6 from one of his national campaign chairmen -- who just happens to be Jackson's son: Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.

Cook County looking at a tax increase.

Politics: I highlight this because of my utter dislike of government officials think that raising taxes is so easy since their salaries are paid by the taxpayers.

Cook County Commissioner Joan Patricia Murphy said the additional tax revenue would be used to avoid another crisis when it is time to come up with next year's budget.

It appears everything is on the table as Cook County commissioners prepare for next year's budget. The last time they called for a sales tax increase was 1992. Some commissioners say it is time to get help. But retailers are saying, look elsewhere.

It looks like the board of county commissioners has had enough job cuts throughout the county, including their own staff. They're looking at a gap in the 2008 budget.

"We just need to do something other than cut jobs if we want to maintain services to our residents," Commissioner Murphy said.

The proposal asks for increases in service and sales taxes. To retailers in Chicago, that means a sales tax would go from nine percent to 11 percent. Some are concerned that an even greater tax will send tourists and shoppers elsewhere.

"We have retailers and restaurants all over the country trying to take market share away from North Michigan Avenue," said John Maxson, Greater North Michigan Avenue Association. "Frankly, this is the kind of thing that really is detrimental to the city as a whole."

The commissioner said it would have little effect on the bottom line for retailers and restaurants and hotels.

"Cook County is a destination place," said Murphy. "We have great conventions and conferences here. The sales tax is going up 2 ¾ percent. That's not a back-breaking increase."

Most intellectually dishonest "gist" about taser boy.

Nation: There has been some goofy fight the power and F the police takes on Andrew Meyer getting shocked for being an idiot, but this one by Rachel Sklar at ETP to take a shot at Mitt Romney is the worst spin on what happened given the amount of video and eyewitness accounts.

CableWorld’s 2007 Most Influential Minorities in Cable

Bidness: Interesting list and Parsons is far and away #1 for the job he does at Time Warner. But as for the rest of the top 10.



BOOOOO!! MTV and BET is just self-explanatory because never has two channels churned out more crap and negative influence in America and Lifetime is the plague of every man in America especially during football season.

Joe Klein has a lack of reading ability over Hillary Care?

Politics: I don't get the outrage over this article by AP linked to by Drudge that has Klein in a hissy fit.

I know this is old news, but this guy is shameless. The headline, with a photo of a three-quarters crazed Hillary, is HEALTH INSURANCE PROOF REQUIRED FOR WORK but the linked story says this:

At this point, we don't have anything punitive that we have proposed," the presidential candidate said in an interview with The Associated Press. "We're providing incentives and tax credits which we think will be very attractive to the vast majority of Americans."

She said she could envision a day when "you have to show proof to your employer that you're insured as a part of the job interview — like when your kid goes to school and has to show proof of vaccination," but said such details would be worked out through negotiations with Congress.

How stupid does he think we are? Answer: Extremely dumbolic.

I'll have more about Clinton's health plan in this week's print column.

Does Klein see a hidden word in this that negates the Drudge headline which shows Hillary is dreaming of everyone having a health card that would be required to get a job? Last I checked you needed to get your kids vaccinated before they are allowed to go to school.

Dream Act up for vote possible today.

Immigration: The Senate again looks like a lost cause, but cause them much heartache if it passes.

The U.S. Senate could vote as early as today to legalize thousands of college-bound students who entered the country before age 16 and who are not citizens.

The federal Dream Act would make federal aid available to students while also adding the possibility of citizenship. Sponsored by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the bill enjoys broad support in the Senate and is likely to pass.

But its fate beyond the Senate remains in question as opposition groups mount fresh campaigns against it and a raft of other immigration bills slated for consideration in the coming weeks.

"We've put out a call to our folks to take action," said Ron DeJong, spokesman for a conservative online activist group called Grassfire.

The organization warned lawmakers Monday that the Dream Act is an "amnesty nightmare" that threatens to "grant immediate legal status to millions."

Rush was right and Donovan McNabb is a whiner

Sports: The timing could not have been worse for McNabb coming off a hellious game against the Redskins for these stupid comments.

African-American quarterbacks face more pressure and more criticism than their white counterparts, Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb says in an interview scheduled to air on HBO on Tuesday night.

McNabb, in an interview on "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," tells interviewer James Brown that African-American quarterbacks such as himself face added pressure because there are fewer black QBs -- and because some still don't want black athletes playing the position.

"There's not that many African-American quarterbacks, so we have to do a little bit extra," McNabb tells HBO. "Because the percentage of us playing this position, which people didn't want us to play ... is low, so we do a little extra."

In just-completed Week 2, five of the 32 teams (15.6 percent) had black starting quarterbacks.

Later in the interview, Brown presses McNabb on criticism of his performance -- and if African-American QBs are graded more harshly.

"I pass for 300 yards, our team wins by seven, [mimicking] 'Ah, he could've made this throw, they would have scored if he did this,' " McNabb tells HBO.

"Doesn't every quarterback go through that?" Brown asks.

"Not everybody," McNabb replies.

Brown then asks if the media is tougher on him than on white quarterbacks such as Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning.

"Let me start by saying I love those guys," McNabb tells HBO. "But they don't get criticized as much as we do. They don't."

Peyton Manning was termed a choke artist thru college and the pros until he won the Super Bowl. Yes, there are probably some people on the fringe who don't want black QBs or judge them based on color which amounts to a stat error given the amount of sports fans. My memory could be hazy, but Randall Cunningham never got as far as Mcnabb did to the Super Bowl, but I never remember the fans turning on him like they seem to have with Mcnabb.

I always thought Mcnabb was sensitive and never got over the booing he took when he got drafted and comments like this won't make him any more popular in Philadelphia. He never seem to take a leadership role that is expected of a QB and even pitted against T.O he never got majority support as it seems fans agreed with some of Owens complaints against him.

You play in Philly, one of these toughest places to be an athlete even if you are an all star. The only sport figure they have never booed is Rocky. You play well, win the Super Bowl and the booing stops till next preseason because they are Philly fans. That is just the reality of it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

China halts aid to Zimbabwe.

Africa: Mugabe is not going to be happy and thats a good thing.

China has bowed to economic reality and political expediency by calling a halt to aid to Zimbabwe.

One of the few remaining friends to President Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s embattled leader, China has been quietly allowing the relationship to cool over the past few months. But Li Guijin, China’s special envoy for Africa, confirmed yesterday that Beijing had halted development aid. “China’s assistance is mainly humanitarian. In terms of development assistance, we have some difficulties,” he said.

“China in the past provided substantial development assistance but owing to the dramatic currency revaluations and rapid deterioration of economic conditions, the economic outcomes of these projects have not been so good.”

The decision deals a heavy blow to a country where unemployment is 80 per cent, inflation hit 7,600 per cent in July and the value of the Zimbabwean dollar on the black market recently fell to 500,000 to the pound.

Isiah Thomas explains the nuanced usage of the word bitch.

Culture: Did I miss the memo where black men are stupid enough to think that calling black women a bitch is less worse than a white person saying it? The hell is going on here? Damn Zeke is stupid.

Isiah Thomas was in a courtroom yesterday - not on the basketball court - but he was still playing games.

Jurors heard the Knicks coach say he wouldn't stand for a white man calling a black woman a "bitch" - but wouldn't be as angry if the same words came from the mouth of a black man.

In a videotaped deposition played for the jury at fired Knicks exec Anucha Browne Sanders' sexual harassment trial, Thomas said he drew a distinction between whites and blacks when it came to the B-word.

Asked if he was bothered by a black man calling a black female "bitch," Thomas said: "Not as much. I'm sorry to say, I do make a distinction.

"A white male calling a black female a bitch is highly offensive," Thomas said. "That would have violated my code of conduct."

"Maybe I shouldn't go there. ... A white male calling a black female, that is wrong with me. I'm not taking that. I'm not accepting that. ... That's a problem for me."

Browne Sanders was not taking it from anyone, not Thomas or his star guard Stephon Marbury.

Both are fending off her claims they used the B-word to describe her, an African-American once among the NBA's highest-ranking female executives.

"Now, have I ever used curse words around her? Yes, but at her? No," Thomas said on the video, which was projected on a big screen in a packed courtroom in the second week of the widely publicized trial.

Browne Sanders filed a $10 million suit against Thomas and Knicks' parent Madison Square Garden after the Knicks fired her in December 2005.

Thomas was so stung by the pretrial testimony he gave earlier this year that he made a rare statement as he left court.

"Please don't mischaracterize the videotape shown in court today," he pleaded, insisting, "I don't think it's right for any man to call a woman a 'bitch.'"

Swedish Artist Displays Prophet Cartoon

Culture: Via AFP.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — A Swedish artist displayed a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad to a seminar in Stockholm on Tuesday despite a death threat from al-Qaida in Iraq.

"Nobody has really seen this image and it has just become more and more impossible to show it, so I thought that ordinary people should be given the possibility to see it live," Lars Vilks told a crowd of about 100 people at a seminar.

He then held up the drawing — a rough sketch depicting Muhammad's head on a dog's body — to applause from the crowd at the Berwaldhallen concert hall in the Swedish capital.

....During a question-and-answer session, a bearded man wearing a knitted skullcap walked up to a podium on the stage and delivered what appeared to be a threat against Vilks.

"I hope that your fate will be a lesson for you others," the man said in broken Swedish, drawing an angry reaction from a majority of the crowd, who booed, whistled and shouted at the man to get off the stage.

The man, who didn't give his name or identify the group he was representing, left the auditorium with an entourage of about 10 people and security guards following closely behind.

UF journalism student moonbat gets tasered

Update at the bottom.

Pretty much no part of this video I don't cheer for because he was acting like an ass, broke away from the police and thought he was the next Nelson Mandela. This next generation Y are idiots.

Toward the conclusion of Kerry's UF forum, Meyer approached an open microphone at the University Auditorium and demanded Kerry answer his questions. The student claimed that University Police Department officers had already threatened to arrest him, and then proceeded to question Kerry about why he didn't contest the 2004 presidential election and why there had been no moves to impeach President Bush.

A minute or so into what became a combative diatribe, Meyer's microphone was turned off and officers began trying to physically remove him from the auditorium. Meyer flailed his arms, yelling as police tried to restrain him.

He was then pushed to the ground by six officers, at which point Meyer yelled, "What have I done? What I have I done? Get away from me. Get off of me! What did I do? ... Help me! Help."

Police threatened to user a Taser on Meyer if he did not "comply," but he continued to resist being handcuffed. He was then Tased, which prompted him to scream and writhe in pain on the floor of the auditorium.

After the incident, Capt. Jeff Holcomb of the UPD said Meyer had been charged with disrupting a public event and placed in the Alachua County Jail. Holcomb said there would be an investigation into whether the officers used force appropriately, adding that employing a Taser gun would only be justified in a case where there was a threat of physical harm to officers.

As Meyer was escorted away, he was followed by several students, including Matthew Howland, 20. Howland, a UF senior who said he didn't know Meyer, said he was "appalled" by the way UPD officers handled the situation. Howland acknowledged that Meyer had acted inappropriately by "rushing" the microphone and forcing a question on Kerry.

"It's a perfect example of when officers take something to a level that is not necessary," he said. "The officers escalated that situation."

Fine, next time ram him into the door edge to calm him down. He acted the fool and got what was coming to him. The cops don't know if he is a nutjob and they have to protect a sitting senator in a public forum. Seriously I fear for the next group of people coming out of college, they have shown little common sense and their knee jerk reaction of rail against the power is tiresome.

Update# Via NBC6, longer version of the video that doesn't change my mind that he deserved the taser. It shows before and the aftermath of the tasering. If cops are escorting you out the door and you break away from them to go back, you are asking for it.

The "they are giving me to the government and they are going to try and kill me" ranting at the end doesn't help his case of not being seen as a nutjob.

Tavis Smiley now begging people to trash GOP frontrunners.

Politics: I guess his threats from last week didn't help so now he is whining for a blog swarm to force the GOP candidates to go to his pandering debate on PBS(listen here).

Audio 09.18.07- Four leading Republican presidential candidates turned down invitations to a PBS debate this month. Call Out: Blog, Email, Call your local newspaper and let it be known that these republicans could suffer political consequences of skipping the minority debate.

Sally Fields correct about mothers not starting wars?

World: Just got this email.

Sally Fields is 100% correct if mothers ruled the world there would be no wars.

Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher and Queen Boudica.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Idris Leppla is very smart for Columbia student.

Nation: She just realized something that people who never went to Columbia have never figured out.

My brother ended up liking Annapolis and he has decided to stay. While it has been difficult for me to accept that I have a brother in the military, I must allow him to pursue whatever path he is drawn toward, and he has admitted to me that he feels called to being there. However, for anyone else out there considering a career in the academy, let it be known: the U.S. Naval Academy is not an elite college; it is first and foremost a branch of the U.S. military and the prestige comes at a big price—it taxes parents, siblings, and participants if they do not understand what they were signing up for.

I know it is very shocking the U.S. Naval Academy is run by the Navy but it took a Columbia girl to tell the world. Okay fine, she went to Barnard but it is still Columbia and just like Russia had to take ownership of Chernobyl, Columbia has to do the same here.

The short story is her brother went to the academy, she and her mommy freaked out because the military complex will warp his mind into a killing machine, so they try to badger the academy to let him out before stopping just short of making the poor guy a laughing stock.

As expected she is getting ripped via Captain Ed, Ace of Spades, Ivygateblog and pretty much everywhere for being a total waste of DNA who is sucking up valuable oxygen that could be used by something more important like a slug.

NHS officials outlaw knitting for safety reasons.

UK: At this rate, it will be required everyone in the UK to wear a bubble suit.

For three years it has been a simple way for hospital visitors to make a difference while they wait.

Patients and relatives - indeed anyone handy with a pair of needles - have been asked to knit a small square to be turned into blankets for local charities.

But that was until the health and safety brigade heard what was going on.

Although no one has so much as nicked a finger as a result of the scheme at Congleton War Memorial Hospital in Cheshire, officials have decided the knitting needles are too sharp to be used safely.

....Tory MP Philip Davies said: "Whoever made this decision is completely barmy. It is a typical act by a bureaucratic jobsworth with too much time on their hands and nothing to do.

"People young and old have been knitting for centuries at home. When was the last time you heard of a spate of knitting needle accidents?

"If there had been a serious injury, I can understand health and safety stepping in, but if no one has ever been hurt, why ban it now?"

Bernie Salisbury, director of nursing and operations at East Cheshire NHS Trust, said: "We believe this sensible and proactive measure will avoid preventable accidents."

The Dream Act stealth amnesty for all.

Immigration: Kaus points to Heritage that says yeah it is a huge amnesty end around.

There is no upper age limit. Any illegal alien can walk into a U.S. Customs and Immigration Ser­vices office and declare that he is eligible. For example, a 45 year old can claim that he illegally entered the United States 30 years ago at the age of 15. There is no requirement that the alien prove that he entered the United States at the claimed time by providing particular documents. The DREAM Act's Section 4(a) merely requires him to "demonstrate" that he is eligible—which in practice could mean simply making a sworn statement to that effect.

Dearborn officials deliberately held info over ak-47 suspect

Crime: Dearbornistan lives up to its reputation as info was held back by officials over the suspect running around a park with a AK-47. Here is the bigger question, how many media people in that area also knew and held back any info?

Houssein Zorkot, 26, was arrested Sept. 8 after he was observed wielding an AK-47 semi-automatic assault rifle in Hemlock Park, a popular destination for many Dearborn residents.

Zorkot, who is of Lebanese descent, was arraigned Tuesday in 19th District Court — the same day city officials sent out a press release about an event that had happened four days prior, and one day after the Press & Guide had contacted city officials seeking comment.

According to Dearborn Mayor "Jack" O"Reilly, Jr., the release of information about the case was delayed until after Zarkot's arraignment and late in the day that marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. City officials feared that announcing the arrest of an armed Arabic man so close to anniversary of the attack would stir anti-Muslim sentiments and fan the flames of terrorism.

"We didn't want this to become more than it is," O'Reilly said. "There are certain things that the media latches onto, and this would have turned into a story about terrorism. That's not the kind of tone we want to set."

There goes the Greenspan newly formed fan club.

Politics: It was a war for oil but it was necessary says Greenspan. It also clarifies the huge headline over the weekend from the London Times.

Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said in an interview that the removal of Saddam Hussein had been "essential" to secure world oil supplies, a point he emphasized to the White House in private conversations before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Greenspan, who was the country's top voice on monetary policy at the time Bush decided to go to war in Iraq, has refrained from extensive public comment on it until now, but he made the striking comment in a new memoir out today that "the Iraq War is largely about oil." In the interview, he clarified that sentence in his 531-page book, saying that while securing global oil supplies was "not the administration's motive," he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

"I was not saying that that's the administration's motive," Greenspan said in an interview Saturday, "I'm just saying that if somebody asked me, 'Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?' I would say it was essential."

He said that in his discussions with President Bush and Vice President Cheney, "I have never heard them basically say, 'We've got to protect the oil supplies of the world,' but that would have been my motive." Greenspan said that he made his economic argument to White House officials and that one lower-level official, whom he declined to identify, told him, "Well, unfortunately, we can't talk about oil." Asked if he had made his point to Cheney specifically, Greenspan said yes, then added, "I talked to everybody about that."

Greenspan said he had backed Hussein's ouster, either through war or covert action. "I wasn't arguing for war per se," he said. But "to take [Hussein] out, in my judgment, it was something important for the West to do and essential, but I never saw Plan B" -- an alternative to war.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Foot baths comes to Indianapolis airport with the same excuse.

Culture: The footbaths are for everyone crackback would probably work if there was ever a non-religious demand for it before.

And by November 2008, when the new $1.07 billion airport terminal is scheduled to be complete, the restroom near the parking lot where taxi drivers stay between runs will include floor-level sinks that will make their daily ritual easier.

Such foot baths have started to crop up across the country, in schools such as the University of Michigan-Dearborn, where more than 10 percent of students are Muslims, and at airports such as Kansas City International Airport.

They have drawn the ire of bloggers and pundits, who say they violate the separation of church and state, and the praise of advocacy groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Airport officials say they saw a need for the sinks after employees reported that some of the drivers were washing their feet in hand sinks. They perceived that as a safety hazard.

"We recognize that the practice does go on," said Greta Hawvermale, senior director of engineering and environment for the Indianapolis Airport Authority. "We're looking at how it can be done in a safe way."

....Robert Spencer founded the group Jihad Watch, which aims to raise awareness of what its founders perceive as a proliferation of Islamic law into mainstream society. Spencer compares installing a foot bath in a restroom to putting in a holy water font to accommodate Catholic cab drivers.

"The only conceivable group that will use the foot bath are Muslims for prayer," Spencer said. "It's a religious installation for a religious use."

Airport officials say they see it differently.

"These facilities are for everybody's use," said David Dawson, spokesman for the new terminal project.

But it was put in for a religious purpose and then you tack on the its for everybody's use. It fails the smell test.

The worst jobs in Portland.

Nation: The porn store story starts off the list very well.

Swedish PM and media rally around journalists.

Media: Here in America people like Garry Trudeau and the NYTIMES would have thrown them to the wolves for not being sensitive.

Cartoonist Lars Vilks said he could die any time as he was getting old after Al-Qaeda extremists in Iraq offered up to 150,000 dollars (100,000 euros) to anyone who slit his throat and also to kill journalist Ulf Johansson for publishing the caricature.

"We must not give in," Vilks was quoted as saying in the Dagens Nyheter daily which republished the cartoon in small format on Sunday.

"I'm starting to grow old. I could die at any time -- it's not a catastrophe," he said.

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Sunday sought to defuse tensions and urged "reflection" after talks with local Islamic leaders.

"We are appealing for calm, we are appealing for reflection, we reject these calls to violence and we reject any attempts to aggravate the situation," the conservative leader told the domestic TT news agency.

He underscored Sweden's commitment to freedom of speech and expression -- echoing the local media on Sunday which solidly backed the two embattled journalists.

A group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq, otherwise known as Al-Qaeda in Iraq, also put 50,000 dollars on the head of Johansson, editor in chief of the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper which published the caricature.

The group has threatened to strike at top Swedish firms such as telecom major Ericsson, truckmaker Scania, car firm Volvo, furniture company IKEA and Electrolux, which manufactures white goods, if the country's "crusaders" did not offer an apology.

Swedish media condemned the threats, issued through the Internet on Saturday in the form of a statement in the name of the group's purported leader, Sheikh Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

"We live in a country where freedom of expression is not dictated by fundamentalists, nor by governments," wrote Dagens Nyheter chief editor Thorbjoern Larsson in an editorial.

"Dagens Nyheter has already published the cartoon. To me, publishing it was the obvious thing to do."

The cartoon featuring the Prophet Mohammed's head on a dog's body was originally published in Nerikes Allehanda on August 18 and immediately provoked protests by Muslims in the western town of Oerebro, where the paper is based.

Bill to stop birthright citizenship in America to be introduced.

Immigration: You have to start somewhere and getting the debate going would be helpful. I can't believe someone hasn't taken this to court yet.

WASHINGTON -- Each year, an estimated 400,000 babies are born in the United States to mothers who are illegal immigrants.

Although Congress has never passed a law saying so, no president has ever ordered it, and no court has ever ruled on the issue, each baby becomes a U.S. citizen when it takes its first breath.

That could change if legislation that U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., cosponsored in April becomes law.

Lungren, who served as California's attorney general from 1990 to 1998 and worked on the last successful push for an immigration overhaul in Congress in the 1980s, said he is trying to stimulate a debate on what he thinks is a key factor that is drawing immigrants illegally across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Critics have another word for it.

"Xenophobia," said Crystal Williams, deputy director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. "They are afraid of having more Hispanic citizens."

Contributing to the evolution of U.S. policy is the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Ratified in 1868 after the Civil War, it was intended to ensure that children of freed slaves were extended U.S. citizenship. The amendment states simply that anyone born in the United States and "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" is a citizen.

U.S. policy has come to recognize "birthright citizenship" in just about every vital transaction.

Steven Camarota, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies, called it "citizenship by bureaucratic default" because the policy is not the deliberate result of laws being passed, executive orders issued by the White House or court rulings.

Take away the incentive and illegal immigration drops drastically.

Goose Creek terrorists: Ahmed Mohamed getting tossed

Terrorism: under the bus, even CAIR is trying to distance themselves from him after their automatic Islamophobia defense of both. But to see Megahed get off this "easy" is a bit much considering what the U.S. Attorney said about him.

"Allen asked the judge to consider that Megahed had no criminal record and could be closely watched by his family.

"I don't think the government's evidence against my client is overwhelming," he said. He called the evidence against Mohamed "pretty damning."

The judge found the evidence to be "strong" but not "overwhelming" enough to prove Megahed was a dangerous flight risk that must be jailed until trial. "I do agree that he poses danger," she said.

She ordered him to post $200,000 bail, to remain at his family's home, and to leave only for religious services and to meet with his attorneys. His family also was required to consent to a search at any time.

After the hearing, prosecutors immediately filed an appeal, which will likely be addressed next week, Allen said.

As they filed from the courtroom, Megahed's family smiled.

"I'm happy, I'm really happy," said his sister, Mariam Megahed, 18. She said prosecutors couldn't back up much of what they suggested, and the judge knew it.

"Maybe they don't have any evidence because she kept asking questions, questions and more questions," she said.

Ahmed Bedier, director of the Central Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was quick to distinguish between Megahed and Mohamed.

"It's obvious there are two separate individuals with different charges and different allegations," he said. "I wouldn't be surprised if the two individuals end up having separate cases altogether."

He defended Megahed, saying it appeared he "just happened to be in the car." But he had harsher words for Mohamed.

If he could talk to Mohamed, Bedier said, "I'd say, 'Wake up!' "

He added, "Muslims don't get a second chance when they dabble with things like this. Not only will this have consequences on him, but it will have consequences on most of the Muslims in this country."

In other news, Mohamed comes from a line of wealthy hotshots in Egypt who lives the high life.

Clinton's universal health care plan still horrendous.

Medical: The woman cannot be this stupid because this has all the makings of another fiasco.

Clinton aides said her plan would preserve a large role for private insurance companies; would promote the use of health information technology and low-cost generic drugs; and would create a public-private institute to evaluate and compare drugs, devices and medical treatments.

Mrs. Clinton will not try to impose an overall limit on national health spending, the aides said. But she is prepared once again to do battle with insurance companies, which she has said “spend tens of billions of dollars a year figuring out how not to cover people” and “how to cherry-pick the healthiest persons, and leave everyone else out in the cold.”

Aides to Mrs. Clinton said her proposal would elaborate several ideas that she has floated this year.

They said, for example, that Mrs. Clinton would amplify a comment in March when she declared, “We could require that every insurance company had to insure everybody, with no exclusion for pre-existing conditions.”

On another occasion, she vowed, “As president, I will end the practice of insurance company cherry-picking once and for all by allowing anyone who wants to join a plan to do so, and by prohibiting insurance companies from carving out benefits or charging higher rates to people with health problems.”

The two choices left is (1) Everyone has to pay higher insurance premiums or (2) Insurance companies will just get out of the health insurance business ensuring it will collapse. You can't force companies to do something that is harmful to their business interests. It makes a good soundbite but bad policy in reality. It is a totalitarian plan plain and simple.