Saturday, October 27, 2007

Spitzer's license scheme is D.O.A

Immigration: Very few illegal aliens will take a license that says they are not a citizen or legal resident. This is Spitzer saving face for a stupid idea that everyone is opposing in New York.

"....The New York deal comes about one month after Gov. Eliot Spitzer announced a plan whereby illegal immigrants with a valid foreign passport could obtain a license.

Saturday's agreement with the Homeland Security Department will create a three-tier license system in New York. It is the largest state to sign on so far to the government's post-September 11 effort to make identification cards more secure.

Spitzer, who has faced much criticism on the issue, said the deal means New York "will usher in the most secure licensing system in the nation."

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said he was not happy that New York intended to issue IDs to illegal immigrants. But he said there was nothing he could do to stop it.

"I don't endorse giving licenses to people who are not here legally, but federal law does allow states to make that choice," Chertoff said.

The governor made clear he is going forward with his plan allowing licenses for illegal immigrants.

But advocates on both sides of the debate said Spitzer had caved to pressure by adopting the administration's stance on tighter security standards for most driver's licenses.

GOP Rep. Thomas Reynolds, who represents the Buffalo suburbs, said he was glad Washington had heeded his concerns about border identification. But he said he feared that Spitzer "is taking this state down a risky path" by giving any kind of license to illegal immigrants.

Under the compromise, New York will produce an "enhanced driver's license" that will be as secure as a passport. It is intended for people who soon will need to meet such ID requirements, even for a short drive to Canada.

A second version of the license will meet new federal standards of the Real ID Act. That law is designed to make it much harder for illegal immigrants or would-be terrorists to obtain licenses.

A third type of license will be available to undocumented immigrants.

Those licenses will be clearly marked to show they are not valid federal ID.

Officials, however, would not say whether that meant local law enforcement could use such a license as probable cause to detain someone they suspected of being in the U.S. illegally.

"Besides being a massive defeat for the governor, I can't imagine many -- if any -- illegal immigrants coming forward to get the driver's licenses, because they'd basically be labeled as illegal," said New York Rep. Peter King, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee.

UK: NHS nurses now control your life

UK: If I ever get to UK, get sick and make it into a NHS place, I will have to carry a card saying "Please don't kill me!"

Nurses will be able to decide that a dying patient should not be resuscitated under controversial new guidelines.

Until now, only GPs and consultants could say whether there was any point in continuing efforts to save a life.

But guidance issued last night by the British Medical Association will allow 'suitably experienced nurses' to make this crucial decision.

Patients' groups criticised the move, calling it 'another nail in the coffin' of the safety of the elderly and vulnerable which would condemn many to an 'early death sentence'.

The rules, published by the BMA in conjunction with the Royal College of Nursing and the Resuscitation Council, aim to help medical staff decide whether to resuscitate patients if their heart or breathing stops.

It says medical staff should use their judgment over whether there is any point in using the most common resuscitation method - chest compression, or 'cardiopulmonary resuscitation'.

But for the first time, this includes 'suitably experienced nurses'.

Dutch governments are the biggest wussies.

Terrorism: This will make Dutch people feel safe.

"In their own perception, municipalities have to contend with more right-wing radicalism than Islamic radicalism". This is the conclusion drawn in a study carried out for the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) and published in its VNG Magazine.

Seventy five municipalities took part in the study by the COT Institute for Safety, Security and Crisis Management. The municipalities combined reported 27 incidents concerning right-wing radicalism and 8 instances of Islamic radicalism. In view of the complexity of the problems, the researchers consider it understandable that many municipalities as yet have no clear insight into the matter.

....In VNG Magazine, the Mayor of Helmond, Fons Jacobs, said that in his municipality, right-wing radicalism is usually a reaction to "street terror" by groups of young immigrants. "When native Dutch people repeatedly fall victim to such groups, the readiness to react grows. Radicalisation from the right then starts to get underway".

In his town, Jacobs combats polarisation through a Social Cohesion Platform. Formerly called Muslim Platform, this body has police, schools, social workers and local Islamic organisations joining forces against polarisation. "After the 'Danish cartoon riots' for example, we issued a united statement appealing for respect for people's religious conviction".

Helmond has a mosque which Jacobs believes to be Salafistic, but he does "not want to be too quick to label". The mayor of Roermond, Henk van Beers, also has a mosque in his city that propagates this ultra orthodox current of Islam - the secret service AIVD has been warning against Salafism for some time - but he is less carefree. "Its lectures attract youth from Belgium and Germany. That makes you start to wonder. (...) Nothing is taking place that is criminal". But when the municipality organises bonding activities, "these are readily branded as haram (impure)" by the mosque.

But according to Rob Witte of the Forum Institute for Multicultural Development "far more municipalities have to contend with right-wing radicalisation than with Mohammed Bouyeris". He was thereby referring to the terrorist who cut the throat of Islam critic Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam in 2004. Witte: "Take a town like Uden for example, where an Islamic school was set alight after the murder of van Gogh".

In all these instances, the reaction is what gets these government officials instead of the event that causes it. Chalk it up to political correct, fear or stupidity.

Tavis Smiley said American flag would disturb blacks?

Politics: This goes back to the Tavis Smiley GOP debate which the frontrunners didn't show up and he had a hissy fit about it. One issue that came up was the American flag was missing from the stage. One lame excuse came from the Balt Sun.

The buzz among some Republicans was that organizers thought the flag might "offend" some members of the audience. Cavey, while critical of the decision, chalks it up to aesthetics, not politics. Red-white-and-blue simply would have clashed with the map's yellow-to-burnt-orange hues.

Now two letter writers to the Beaver County Times claims this from Tavis Smiley.

Paul Dici , Ellwood City: The top four GOP contenders did skip a debate on minority issues that were held at traditionally black Morgan State. You didn't mention, however, that the moderator was going to be Tavis Smiley of PBS, a rabid liberal who never met a Republican he didn't attack.

But the most egregious part of the supposed debate was that it was going to be held on a stage sans the American flag, as demanded by the debaters. Smiley actually said that the American flag "would disturb his audience." The traitors who are disturbed by the American flag do not deserve civil discourse.

James P. McGeehan
Hopewell Township
: I recently read of the debate on minority issues held at Morgan State University.

Its moderator, Travis Smiley of PBS, stated that the American flag should not be present because it would disturb his audience.

I also recently viewed on the same PBS station the documentary "The War" by Ken Burns. During World War II, the lives of the "Greatest Generation" that were upturned -families on America's home front, dead U.S. soldiers lying somewhere on the fields of Europe, bloody island beachheads of the Pacific.

Yet it was gratifying to see the long suffering but newly liberated people of Europe happy and holding that same American flag and battle-weary troops in the Pacific raising that same flag on some shell-racked Pacific island.

Personally, liberals like Smiley make me sick. It was all of those men and women of that generation and other generations, past and present, who made it possible for this liberal moderator to make his decision. I just wish the PBS network would have felt otherwise.

As Veterans Day draws near, this veteran is proud of his American flag flying daily in front of his home. God forbid those who would attempt to destroy or desecrate it in my presence because I would choose to exercise my rights.

The second letter writer wrote almost a week after but did Smiley actually say this in an interview or during the debate?

More Danish controversy over Mohammed drawing.

Politics: Complete with an interesting take on Freedom of expression by a leftwing Muslim politician.

A far-right Danish political party controversially depicted the prophet Muhammad on election material yesterday. Now a high-profile Danish-Muslim politician has hit back with a poster lampooning the move.

The ad by the Danish People's Party, the country's third largest political force, showed a hand-drawn picture of the Islamic prophet under the slogan "Freedom of expression is Danish, censorship is not". The ad was condemned as a "provocation" by at least one Danish-Muslim group, as Islam forbids representation of its most important prophet.

Now Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, a Danish-Muslim politician who could become the first MP to wear the hijab in the Danish parliament if elected in next month's poll, has hit back with a poster showing a hand-drawn picture of the DPP leader, Pia Kjaersgaard, under the slogan "Freedom of expression is Danish, stupidity is not".

"It is ridiculous [of the DPP] to do that kind of thing," Ms Abdol-Hamid told Guardian Unlimited. "It's not clever, there is no point to it."

"You have to think before using freedom of expression," said the town councillor for Odense, and a member of the leftwing Red-Green Alliance.

Why would you have to think before using a religious symbol to make a point given the Danish stance on freedom of speech and expression? Why was it stupid to do so if you make the point for them with this threatening response? The DPP got what they wanted from you. Congrats

Muslim prisoners may sue over ham

UK: Seriously, just when you think you can't mock UK Justice system anymore, something like this pops up.

Muslim prisoners are considering suing the authorities for £2 million after they were offered ham sandwiches to eat during the holy month of Ramadan.

The inmates at HMP Leeds, a category B local prison, claim that their human rights have been breached as a result.

However, the Prison Service, which yesterday confirmed the incident, said it was a mistake which was "corrected immediately".

It said Muslim prisoners had been given "inappropriate" menu cards for their packed lunches but denied that any had actually been given ham sandwiches.

A spokesman said: "Guidelines state that prisoners must have a diet which meets the requirements of their religion."

Not given anything, just offered is now a human rights violation in prison. Pathetic.

Patrick Byrne's: Don't say sorry to the NAACP .

Edumacation: The man has said nothing to be sorry about and once again shows how out of touch and useless the NAACP has become in today's society.

The founder of rejected the NAACP's demand for an apology Friday after an Internet video surfaced of him saying that Utah minorities who don't graduate from high school might as well be burned or thrown away.

Patrick Byrne's comments were posted on YouTube. The video clip was from a debate two weeks ago in Provo, where he was speaking in favor of vouchers, public aid for families sending kids to private schools.

A statewide voucher program that would grant $500 to $3,000 per child based on family income is on the Utah ballot Nov. 6.

On the YouTube video clip, Byrne says: "Right now, 40 percent of Utah minorities are not graduating from high school. You may as well burn those kids. That's the end of their life. That's the end of their ability to achieve in this society if they do not get a high school education. You might as, just throw the kids away.

Now here comes this idiot.

Jeanetta Williams, a voucher opponent and president of the NAACP's Salt Lake branch, said the videotaped comments shocked her and she believes Byrne meant that minorities who don't graduate should be burned or thrown away.

"Those were his words, not mine," she said.

Williams noted that Byrne didn't mention white children who don't graduate. Utah is 83.5 percent white, 11 percent Hispanic and 1 percent black.

"It says he's not sympathetic to the minority community and he means exactly what he said," Williams said of Byrne's lack of an apology.

What sort of fool actually thinks Byrne's is advocating burning minority drop outs or throwing them away somewhere? This is embarrassing. Given the fact Byrne is 100% correct how the hell could Williams think this is some sort of gotcha moment that only reflects poorly on her and this branch of the NAACP.

NYTIMES: Plight Deepens for Black Men, Studies Warn
The share of young black men without jobs has climbed relentlessly, with only a slight pause during the economic peak of the late 1990’s. In 2000, 65 percent of black male high school dropouts in their 20’s were jobless — that is, unable to find work, not seeking it or incarcerated. By 2004, the share had grown to 72 percent, compared with 34 percent of white and 19 percent of Hispanic dropouts. Even when high school graduates were included, half of black men in their 20’s were jobless in 2004, up from 46 percent in 2000.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Damn, Obama has no clue how to pander.

Politics: What sort of an idiot adds a gay white minister thinking the public will buy it?

A frantic effort by Senator Obama to defuse a row over the appearance of a homophobic gospel singer at a fund-raising concert appears only to have made matters worse.

Mr. Obama's presidential campaign hurriedly added to the concert program yesterday an openly gay white minister, the Reverend Andy Sidden, to counteract the bad publicity generated by its decision to invite the Reverend Donnie McClurkin, a gospel singer who has described homosexuality as a "curse," to headline a fund-raising event on Sunday in Columbia, S.C.

The incident reflects the need for Democratic candidates to juggle the often conflicting demands of their supporters. Mr. Obama stands accused of trying to win the support of socially conservative evangelical Christian African-Americans, who make up half of the registered Democratic voters in the early voting state of South Carolina, at the expense of gays.

This is why people say the Dems are made up of special interest groups. He can't piss off blacks in South Carolina at the expense of gays, especially a popular gospel singer. Nationally can he send off the gay vote with his poll numbers in a runt by sticking with the McClurkin? Yes.

He has to make a choice and realize in the end if he wins the nomination, gays will vote for him over the GOP candidate. However,in the primary, the black vote is more numerous and important than the gay vote.

Mr. Obama's dilemma was summed up by a member of the Clinton administration, Keith Boykin, in his personal blog.

"If they disinvite McClurkin, they run the risk of offending black voters who are inspired by McClurkin's message and don't know or don't care about the gay controversy. If they go ahead … they run the risk of alienating gay voters who have supported and contributed to their campaign since the beginning," Mr. Boykin wrote.

As for rushing onto the program Rev. Sidden, a white United Church of Christ pastor in Columbia, S.C., Mr. Boykin appeared doubtful that the trick would work. "Obama won't win any new black votes by getting a white gay guy to speak at a black event," he wrote. "Especially when there are plenty of black straight people, black gay people, families of black gay people, and friends of black gay people who could have been chosen to speak."

Stupid stupid move.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gays vs bird watchers in Chicago.

Nation: Long article about the places which are ideal for bird watching is now ideal for public gay sex taking place in Chicago. Fun for the whole family.

Birders and cruisers have found value in the same patches of land because not only do they attract scores of birds, but they also allow for partial privacy and chance encounters in a public setting.

In cruiser communities, birding areas are known to be prime hook-up spots.

"It's bad, dude, real bad," said Munoz, 47, a Chicago police homicide detective who began birdwatching during a trip to Yellowstone National Park. "I've been confronted a couple times, and I've seen a few things happening. Like guys in the middle of some things."

Many of the birders' favorite areas, such as the Magic Hedge at Montrose Harbor and several Cook County Forest Preserves, are littered with used condoms and discarded wrappers.

Chicago and Cook County Forest Preserve police said they have long been familiar with clashing cultures, but that cruising is difficult to combat despite patrols, arrests for public indecency and the occasional undercover sting.

Gay cruisers have this entitlement thing about this sort of lifestyle that no self-respecting person gay or straight would think is healthy and normal. But.

Cruisers have their defenders, who make several arguments: cruising is a part of healthy adult sexuality, police are heavy-handed in pursuit of arrests and crackdowns smack of homophobia.

Birders said they have seen scrawled signs in the Magic Hedge saying, "Humans over birds."

"Historically, these charges have been used as discrimination against homosexuals," said Jon Erickson, a Chicago lawyer who has defended cruising suspects. "I've never seen a straight couple charged with public indecency in Branch 29 court."

Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), the city's first openly gay alderman, said police are wasting time by trying to combat an activity "that has been going on a hundred years."

Several of his constituents in the heavily gay ward have complained about entrapment during police stings, he said. He called those people "victims."

Police "are playing a game," said Tunney, whose ward includes the Town Hall police district. "Is this really a priority when we've got violent crime on the street?"

Yasmin Nair, a freelance writer who has defended cruising in the Windy City Times, a Chicago gay newspaper, said public sex allows "one to negotiate sexuality outside the domestic and restrictive normative ideas of sex."

Offended birders should simply look the other way, she said.

"I would say just move your binoculars -- look for the red-breasted robin," she said. "It's not as if they do it in the open where someone has to step over them."

Public sex gay or straight should not be tolerated. But this idiotic nonsense of it being "one to negotiate sexuality outside the norm blah blah" is childish rationalization and trying to make everyone to be homophobic about it. The problems range from it being dangerous to being a medical risk for people and families who use these places for bird watching or whatever else. Have some sort of decency and self-respect.

Kushner says conserv blacks, McCain have Stockholm Syndrome.

Politics: Liberal playwright Tony Kushner is known for co-writing Munich with Steven Spielberg and Angels in America comes out with these hilarious "jokes." It is the White Boy Liberal on display.

Kushner: McCain has Stockholm Syndrome

A break from our regularly scheduled programming for a little dispatch from a New York source:

Tony Kushner, the award-winning playwright, said last night that John McCain suffers from "Stockholm Syndrome," which led him to embrace the Republican Party after the smear campaigns he endured in 2000, two people present for his remarks said.

Kushner joked that African-American Republicans also suffer from Stockholm Syndrome, the term for hostages who develop emotional bonds with their captors.

Kushner was speaking on a panel at the 92nd Street Y, discussing the upcoming PBS film The Jewish Americans.

Kushner has contributed this cycle to Obama's campaign for president.

Yet another example of the white boy liberal projecting how and what place in his mind black people should behave. Anyone who is outside of his myopic range of accepted thinking is obviously disturbed and suffering from sort of personal problem.

I wonder when he gives to Obama he is thinking, now that is how black people should be all the time, good Obama...good black politician. As for his swipe at McCain, if someone on the right side would say Hillary has stayed with Bill all this time because of some sort of Stockholm Syndrome. All hell would break loose. It is the typical cheap shots I have come to expect from the likes of Kushner.

Armenian 'genocide' resolution shelved.

Politics: Stupid move on Pelosi and Adam Schiff part.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the resolution earlier this month. But Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the No. 3 Democrat in the House of Representatives, conceded last week that "the votes are not there" for the resolution to clear the full House.

In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, its major sponsors wrote that the measure would pass "if the timing is more favorable." Pelosi, D-California, had promised to schedule a floor vote if the resolution made it out of committee, but told reporters Thursday that she accepted the sponsors' request to set the matter aside.

Though the sponsors, led by California Democrat Adam Schiff, suggested the measure could be brought back later this year, a senior Democratic leadership aide said the issue is off the table indefinitely.

"This is not going to be taken up until next year at the earliest," the aide said.

Italian mobsters in widespread decline

Crime: Not even the mob escapes the decline of values in this country, which in their case is a good thing for cutting down crime.

The Mafia, memorably described as "bigger than U.S. Steel" by mob financier Meyer Lansky, is more of an illicit mom-and-pop operation in the new millennium.

The mob's frailties were evident in recent months in Chicago, where three senior-citizen mobsters were locked up for murders committed a generation ago; in Florida, where a 97-year-old Mafioso with a rap sheet dating to the days of Lucky Luciano was imprisoned for racketeering; and in New York, where 80-something boss Matty "The Horse" Ianniello pleaded to charges linked to the garbage industry and union corruption.

Things are so bad that mob scion John A. "Junior" Gotti chose to quit the mob while serving five years in prison rather than return to his spot atop the Gambino family.

At the mob's peak in the late 1950s, more than two dozen families operated nationwide. Disputes were settled by the Commission, a sort of gangland Supreme Court. Corporate change came in a spray of gunfire. This was the mob of "The Godfather" celebrated in pop culture.

Today, Mafia families in former strongholds like Cleveland, Los Angeles and Tampa are gone. La Cosa Nostra — our thing, as its initiates called the mob — is in serious decline everywhere but New York City. And even there, things aren't so great: Two of New York's five crime families are run in absentia by bosses behind bars.

Even finding a good made man was becoming a pain back in the early 90's.

The Mafia's ruling Commission has not met in years. Membership in key cities is dwindling, while the number of mob turncoats is soaring.

"You arrest 10 people," says one New York FBI agent, "and you have eight of them almost immediately knocking on your door: `OK, I wanna cut a deal.'"

The oath of omerta — silence — has become a joke. Ditto for the old world "Family" values — honor, loyalty, integrity — that served as cornerstones for an organization brought to America by Italian immigrants during the era of Prohibition.

"It's been several generations since they left Sicily," says Dave Shafer, head of the FBI organized crime division in New York. "It's all about money."

Which doesn't mean the Mafia is dead. But organized crime experts say the Italian mob is seriously wounded: shot in the foot by its own loudmouth members, bloodied by scores of convictions, and crippled by a loss of veteran leaders and a dearth of capable replacements.

....The decline of "Family values" is nothing new. Back in January 1990, a government bug caught no less an expert than Gambino boss John Gotti wondering if the next generation of mobsters was equal to their forebears.

"Where are we gonna find them, these kind of guys?" Gotti asked. "I'm not being a pessimist. It's getting tougher, not easier!"

During the same conversation, Gotti questioned the resumes of a half-dozen candidates for made man: "I want guys that done more than killing."

Even harder, it would turn out, was finding guys who could keep their mouths shut.

Some Nytimes readers pissed the mob didn't kill Giuliani.

Politics: You would think the NYTIMES would get a more subtle high brow deranged bunch of liberals.

In 1987, when Rudolph Giuliani was still the aggressive United States attorney in Manhattan, he came within single vote of having a contract put on his head by the leaders of the five New York organized crime families, according to an F.B.I. memo read in a Brooklyn courtroom yesterday.

“That was one vote I won I guess,” Mr. Giuliani said this morning on Mike Gallagher’s syndicated radio show.

First comment.

October 25th,
2007 12:48 pm

That’s a shame!
— Posted by Cocoa Bean

October 25th,2007
1:40 pm
— Posted by chopsticks

October 25th,2007 2:59 pm
Giuliani is just as corupt as the MOB so who really cares. They should have gotten rid of him!
— Posted by Geff

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Illegals paid to steal fire relief supplies.

Immigration: My question is why weren't they arrested for stealing?

Six illegal immigrants who were suspected of stealing relief supplies from Qualcomm Stadium were arrested by Border Patrol agents after San Diego police stopped them Wednesday morning.

A woman who had been evacuated to the stadium told officers she saw the group load up two pickup trucks and a car with cots and other supplies, leave and then return, said police Sgt. Jesse Cesen~a.

When officers stopped them, a member of the group said they were being paid to take things of value from the stadium.

"They were stealing a lot of stuff," Cesen~a said. "We took the stuff back and we escorted them out. They were stealing from the people in need."

Because some members of the group spoke Spanish, officers called Border Patrol agents at the stadium for relief efforts. They determined the people were in the country illegally and arrested them

Louisiana lawmaker says targeted by FBI

Politics: When isn't a La. lawmaker not targeted by the authorities?

A Louisiana legislator said Wednesday he is being investigated by the FBI and claimed it may be because he wouldn't give agents information about possible wrongdoing by Rep. William Jefferson and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.


State Sen. Derrick Shepherd denied any wrongdoing and said he has no evidence of wrongdoing by either Jefferson or Nagin. He has not been charged with a crime.

Earlier this week, an FBI agent testified in a court hearing that Shepherd, a Democrat from suburban Marrero, helped a convicted felon launder more than $140,000 in bogus construction bond fees last year and kept nearly half the money.

Shepherd, at a news conference, said FBI agents visited his home months ago asking if he could provide evidence of wrongdoing by Jefferson or Nagin.

"I would hate to think that this investigation of me is in any way, connected to my inability to provide any information related to the prosecution of Congressman Jefferson or any investigation of Mayor Nagin that may be under way," Shepherd said.

UK: Minority officers need A.A.

UK: They call it positive discrimination over there and it is just as foolish to force the issue because it will result in a demoralized force.

Black and Asian police officers should benefit from positive discrimination to get promoted into top jobs, a conference has heard.

Keith Jarrett, the president of the National Black Police Association (NBPA), said they should be appointed to senior roles even if they are less qualified than their white counterparts.

Mr Jarrett triggered controversy this week when he called for more youngsters to be stopped and searched in a bid to curb knife and gun crime.

At the NBPA's annual conference in Bristol, he said the police should actively promote ethnic minorities to reflect the communities they serve.

"People are saying 'I want to see someone who looks like me, who is not the cleaner, who is not sweeping the street or making the tea and coffee'," he said.

"The Met and West Midlands and all these big conurbations could do with someone who looks like the communities — and that's not happening."

Mr Jarrett said two forces had promoted black officers above the rank of Chief Inspector even though they had not gained their Senior Command Course qualification.

"The reason for this is that they are the right persons for the job," he said. "Affirmative action is having the right person for the job."

The police force shouldn't be used as some sort of positive self esteem entity for people. It is ridiculous to give someone a position you admit they are not qualified for then come out to say they are right for the job due to their color or ethnic background.

Southwick confirmed, liberal groups sad.

Politics: After trying to paint the guy as a racist over a case that was lied about by various liberal groups, he finally got confirmed.

The Senate today confirmed President Bush’s choice for the federal appeals court that handles cases from Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas despite complaints from many Democrats and from civil rights organizations that he is not committed to racial equality.

By 59 to 38, the Senate confirmed Judge Leslie H. Southwick to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Nominations to that court are often sensitive because of the region’s history of discrimination, and this one was no exception, as some civil rights advocates accused Democrats of cynical deal-making with Republicans in return for support on spending bills.

Senator Feinstein is getting heat for allowing the guy to move on to confirmation. The guy's critics wanted someone to rubberstamp cases based on emotion instead of the law. The one case which they say Southwick upheld one person calling another “good ole nigger.” has been distorted to the point of absurdity.

Media Myths About The Jena six?

Nation: Malkin points to a Christian Science Monitor piece by a local journalist in Jena about how the rest of the media got the Jena six story wrong. If this is all true, people in the media have to answer for it.

Yusuf Islam yanking vids off Youtube about Rushdie

Media: He does know by doing this he is creating even more interest which will lead the clip being pushed on other video sites.

“This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Yusuf Islam,” reads the banner at the YouTube page where the clip used to be. If you’ve ever seen it or read the transcript, you’ll know why.

Poll Finds Va. Focused On Illegal Immigrants

Immigration: "DAMN IT!" That is what you heard from the Washington Post building upon getting this news after trying to softpedal and demonize opponents of illegal immigrants/immigration.

After years of simmering in the background, illegal immigration has quickly emerged as one of the key issues in Virginia's Nov. 6 election, particularly in Northern Virginia, where voters say they are seeking candidates who will address it, according to a new Washington Post poll.

Three-quarters of likely voters in Virginia said immigration is important to their votes in the election for state and local offices, while just a year ago, immigration ranked seventh of 10 listed issues in a Post poll before the U.S. Senate race. Since then, the percentage of Virginia voters calling immigration "extremely" or "very" important to their vote has jumped 15 points.

"That's heartening," said Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, who spearheaded efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants. "For many people, this has really become a serious threat to their quality of life."

There is a widespread sense that illegal immigration is a local problem, particularly after Congress's failure to approve an immigration overhaul this summer. That has vaulted the issue into prominence.

University students protest Chavez's reform.

South America: [left] They all worked for the CIA, rightwing neocons and rich boys! Chavez is a good thing! [/left]

CARACAS, Venezuela - Thousands of university students scuffled with police and government supporters during a protest Tuesday against constitutional reforms that would let President Hugo Chavez run for re-election indefinitely.

Police tossed tear gas canisters into the crowd of opposition students after bottle-throwing clashes broke out with a smaller group of pro-Chavez demonstrators near the National Assembly. Journalists estimated there were about 20,000 protesters, but pro-Chavez lawmakers said there were far fewer.

The students said they fear civil liberties would be severely weakened under the constitutional changes, which would allow authorities to detain citizens without charges during a state of emergency.

"With this reform, the president is going to control everything. His power will be almost unlimited," said 22-year-old Adolfo Rengifo, who marched alongside other protesters blowing whistles and shouting "Reform, No! Democracy, Yes!"

Pushing Daisies gets full season order.

Entertainment: Wooo! Excellent show, great writing and I really got to get a Chuck cute-o-meter because she gets any cuter on that show, I am going to die from an overload of cute.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ireland grapples with diversity and white flight

Immigration: It looks like a case of the government not having any plans to deal with the sudden onslaught of immigrants.

London Times: Ireland opens its first all black school

Washington Post: Hustling to Find Classrooms For All in a Diverse Ireland

AP: Report finds evidence of 'white flight' from immigrants in northwest Dublin

What is amusing is read the London Times then the Washington Post as it deals with the same school and two people who appears in both articles. The Times story is more straight forward and blunt about the unhappiness about the all black school.

The Post as expected when dealing with immigration the writer Kevin Sullivan goes out of his way to paint a happy picture that is ruined by the majority indirectly plotting to keep down the minorities and other religions not Catholic.

NBC set to become even more annoying going green.

Enviro: Does this mean Ann Curry pawing people about global warming like she did with Al Gore months ago? I don't need Bob Costas wasting my time when I am trying to watch a football game. This is environmental propaganda at its worst.

NBC Universal announced 150 hours of green-themed programming across all of its cable and broadcast networks as part of its "Green is Universal" campaign starting Nov. 4.
"The environment has become both a corporate and cultural issue," said CEO Jeff Zucker in a statement. "As a leading media and entertainment company, NBC Universal has a responsibility, both in our own operations and driving awareness. Green is good for the world and good for the bottom line."

NBC Sports is kicking off the week with Bob Costas integrating green themes into the telecast of the "Sunday Night Football" matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

Throughout the week, NBC News will have an environmental focus. "Today" is sending Matt Lauer to Greenland, Ann Curry to the South Pole and Al Roker to the equator to report on the impact of climate change. NBC's "Nightly News With Brian Williams" will feature a five-part green series with segments devoted to water, wind, grass, bio-fuels, nuclear and "how to green your house."

MSNBC is devoting its "Super Tuesday" political coverage to the green issue and will feature "best and worst weather in America" to focus on how environmental changes affect weather.

NBC U's entertainment networks will feature green-themed plot lines for the week and special guests to tubthump the green message.

On NBC, contestants on "Biggest Loser" will learn to integrate enviro-friendly habits into their lives; "Bionic Woman" will be set at an environmental conference in Paris; and in a bit of art imitating life, Alec Baldwin's character on "30 Rock" will come up with a green mascot for NBC he calls "Greenzo," whose preachiness "gets obnoxiously out of hand."

On cable, Bravo's "Real Housewives of Orange County" will feature eco pop-ups on how to "live with less bling and with more green," while Sci Fi will air an eco-themed episode of "Flash Gordon." USA's logo will turn green for the week and change from "Characters Welcome" to "Environmentalists Welcome."

Dream ACT up for cloture vote tomorrow. Kill it.

Politics: This thing refuses to die as illegal immigrants would get privileges not afforded legal residents or citizens. USAToday with the full on go illegals.

The bill, known as the DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act, would grant legal status to children and young adults who arrived here before the age of 16 and who have lived in the USA at least five years — if they complete two years of post-secondary education or two years of military service.

"It's the right thing to do. This is talent we cannot afford to waste," said Durbin, who appeared at a news conference with potential DREAM Act beneficiaries.

The bill is the first piece of immigration legislation to come before the Senate since the defeat in June of a sweeping measure to overhaul the immigration system and legalize about 12 million illegal immigrants. The White House helped negotiate a provision providing relief for illegal immigrant children in that bill but was non-committal about the legislation now before the Senate.

"We will review the legislation, but I would note that the president has not supported the DREAM Act as a stand-alone piece of legislation in the past," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.

The measure has attracted opposition from some of the same groups that brought down the broader immigration bill this year. Bob Dane of the Federation for American Immigration Reform called it "fundamentally unfair to those who came here legally."

Durbin needs 60 votes to allow the bill to be debated.

Malkin with more on this horrendous bill.

MAS official tries to explain his cheering Hamas/Hezbollah.

Terrorism: As you would expect does a spectacular crappy job of it.

But after some investigation, the delegates say the connections between Kaine and MAS appear to be deeper than just one appointment.

Kaine was the keynote speaker at the society's Freedom Foundation "Standing for Justice Dinner." He was photographed with leaders of the group, including Imam Mahdi Bray, the executive director of the foundation.

In an online video of a 2000 rally in Washington, Abdurahman al-Amoudi — who would later plead guilty to charges of funneling money from Libya to Saudi militants — took to the podium and declared his support for Hamas and Hezbollah.

Hamas, now the ruling party in the Gaza Strip, started a wave of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians in 1993, according to the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations. Hezbollah, which now holds a quasi-state in southern Lebanon, is thought to be behind the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 servicemen.

"I have been labeled by the media in New York to be a supporter of Hamas. Anybody support this Hamas here?" al-Amoudi says in the video, drawing cheers from the crowd and fist pumps from Bray.

"I wish the added that I am also a supporter of Hezbollah. Anybody supports Hezbollah here?" he asks, drawing more cheers and fist pumps.

It was all a joke!

Bray said Monday that he and others at the video weren't cheering for the terrorist organizations.

"The majority of the people they were kind of raising their hands, and kind of cheering, and so on because this was so uncharacteristic of al-Amoudi," Bray said. "We didn't know he had a problem with law enforcement. He was considered the pillar of the American Muslim community."

Bray said his gestures weren't in support of Hamas and Hezbollah.

"You saw me pumping my fists. You didn't see me raising my hands. If they had shown the audience, you would have seen people in the audience raising their hands and falling out laughing," he said. "For him to come and make these kinds of radical rants, no one took him seriously."

Bray said he does not support violence, and would have been more judicious in his reaction had the event happened after Sept. 11, 2001.

That is really not a good answer you would have tempered your reaction only because of 9/11. As always with these so called Muslim leaders, everything comes down to racism.

He also suggested that Gilbert had racist motives for his statements, noting that the delegate could be a "throwback" to Virginia's racist past.

"There are some throwbacks. And I think that Gilbert and others are throwbacks to the old days" who want to "maintain the status quo. Maybe their district is not as diverse as Northern Virginia."

Gilbert said Bray's charges are typical.

"We're so mired down in political correctness and this feeling that you have to be tolerant of all views that you can't even call somebody out for congratulating suicide bombers, and promoting and supporting recognized terrorist organizations," Gilbert said.

La Raza bully attempts fail in Kansas City.

Immigration: National Council of La Raza had tried to bully and intimidate Kansas City and influence the politics of the city by trying to force one lady off a park board. The mayor didn't buckle and so they took their convention and went home.

The board of the National Council of La Raza voted to avoid Kansas City because Frances Semler, a park board member appointed by Mayor Mark Funkhouser, belongs to a group that it believes is hostile to Hispanics.

“We had no choice,” said Janet Murguía, the Kansas City, Kan., native who is head of the national Hispanic group. “This is about Mayor Mark Funkhouser and his lack of understanding about an issue, his lack of leadership and his lack of respect for the Hispanic community.”

The Kansas City Star newspaper the main liberal rag is sad, but business people are not that concerned.

All this over a poor 73 year old woman, Frances Semler whose only official job function is helping to take care of parks. La Raza inexcusable attempts of political blackmail and bullying to me is unprecendented and their explanation makes the woman out to be something akin to a Nazi.

The decision ended four months of conversations between Mayor Mark Funkhouser and local civil rights leaders, who protested his appointment of a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps to the board of Parks and Recreation.

Frances Semler is a 73-year-old North Kansas City woman, who, in addition to being president of a rose club, advocates against illegal immigration and Kansas City's role as a hub for international trade. But it's her membership in the Minutemen that Latino leaders say makes her an unacceptable choice for a public official. Besides advocacy, some Minutemen patrol US borders to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing into the country, and in non-border states like Missouri and Kansas, they picket job sites where they believe undocumented people are working.

What was even worse is the NAACP who followed La Raza around like a beaten lapdog saying they would pull out if La Raza refused to come to Kansas City. Julian Bond and his cronies have done tremendous damage to the NAACP over the years and if they meekly follow La Raza it just something to add to the list of shame.

Idiot GOP leaders want to punish early states.

Politics: Just another sign of what kind of numbnuts are leading the party organization.

Republican Party leaders recommended punishing five states for shifting their presidential nominating contests earlier, moving to strip Florida, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Wyoming of half their delegates to next year’s Republican National Convention. At least one state, South Carolina, is considering legal action.

Iowa, which plans to hold caucuses on Jan. 3, would not be penalized because the caucuses are technically not binding on convention delegates. “It’s very important that our party uphold and enforce the rules that we unanimously voted into place at the Republican National Convention in 2004,” said Mike Duncan, chairman of the Republican National Committee. The rules ban holding votes before Feb. 5.

Its 2007, it would be better if you worked with the state parties instead of trying to screw with them. Voter morale and all that stuff.

Rick Reilly already the white Stuart Scott.

Sports: He hasn't even started at ESPN and he shows why he is a insufferable bore.

Q: ESPN has been after you before. Why make the jump now?

They pretty much let me create my own job. They said, ‘think of us like a Chinese menu. Take what you want from column A, column B and column C.’ So I’m getting to do what I really want, which is to bring well-written essays to TV. And to do, hopefully, a high-quality interview show. Plus, the money is ridonkulous. At first, I was sure they meant Pat Riley.

*sobs* Make it stop .

School proximity trumps diversity in Pinellas County.

Nation: As the Multicults and diversity-mongers seethe with righteous rage.

The vast majority of Pinellas parents consider racial integration a low priority when it comes to public schools.
Both white and black parents polled in recent days by the St. Petersburg Times said other factors -- the quality of a school, its proximity to home and the ability of siblings to go there together -- are more important.

Only 4 percent of the parents surveyed ranked racial diversity as the most important characteristic of a school, while 63 percent said overall quality was their top priority. Black and white parents ranked their priorities in the same order.

Parents expressed similar views in a 2005 Times poll and in a 2006 Pinellas County school district survey of more than 7,700 households. But Mary Brown, the School Board's only black member, said the numbers don't reflect the views of black parents she has talked to.

"Black parents, like all parents, want high-quality schools, but they do not want segregated schools," Brown insisted. "When you put all that together, it's how you ask the question. If you had said, 'I want a high-quality school close to home that is segregated,' you'd come up with a different answer."

As you read the rest of the article, the disconnect between the board members and the public is predictable considering they feel they know what is best for the children not the parents.

5,000 minks freed in Denmark

World: Oh this won't screw up the local environment much in the long run. Good thinking.

Thousands of minks escaped from a fur farm in western Denmark — possibly set free by animal rights activists, police said Monday.

Authorities and residents were chasing down about 5,000 minks from the farm near Asp, 200 miles northwest of Copenhagen, police said.

Investigators believe animal rights activists raided the farm overnight to set them free but no suspects have been identified, police spokesman Knud Lauridsen said.

Animal rights activists also are suspected of setting some 2,500 minks free from a farm in Finland in August.

Denmark is one of the world's largest producers of mink fur, with Danish fur farmers raising more than 12 million minks every year.

England has to pay for Scotland's free drugs.

UK: Hey, if the English has a system that allows it, exploit it till someone does more than just objects.

The public services ''apartheid" between England and Scotland has widened again as Scottish ministers pledged to abolish all prescription charges north of the border.

While millions of patients in England will still be expected to pay for vital medication, prescriptions in Scotland will be available free of charge within four years.

The move was cited as the starkest example yet of the "unfairness" of the current funding arrangement, with English taxpayers forced to pay towards improvements to health care and education available only in Scotland.

Scottish residents already have access to free eye care and dental check ups, free personal care for the elderly, extra central heating grants and a number of drugs deemed "too costly" for the National Health Service in England and Wales.

As a result of plans announced earlier this summer, Scottish students will receive a free university education and pupils in the early years of primary school could soon be taught in class sizes as small as 18.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Both Legal, Illegal Latinos To Leave Prince William.

Immigration: Measure pass and the Washington Post is there to give a biased sympathetic article for illegal immigrants.

Supporters of the anti-illegal immigration measure adopted in Prince William County last week have argued that its most important purpose is to send a powerful signal to the county's mostly Latino illegal immigrants that they are no longer welcome.

It appears the message has already been received: Terrified that new policies will lead to mass deportations, illegal immigrants and the many legal immigrant relatives and friends who live with them have been moving out of Prince William ever since July, when county supervisors first approved the plan's outline.

The size of the migration is difficult to measure, particularly during a year when slumping housing prices and skyrocketing foreclosures have led many residents to move for purely economic reasons.

Dry Cleaner suing Judge about to lose his job.

Nation: I am not one to revel in someone's elses misfortune but in this case I make the exception.

Roy L. Pearson Jr., whose $54 million lawsuit against a Northeast Washington dry-cleaning shop was rejected in court, is about to lose his job as an administrative law judge, sources said last night.

A city commission voted yesterday against reappointing Pearson to the bench of the Office of Administrative Hearings, a tribunal that hears cases involving various D.C. boards and agencies. Pearson, who was up for a 10-year term, had tried to hold on to the job.

The commission's discussions are not public. Sources familiar with the deliberations said the panel hasn't drafted a letter formally notifying Pearson of its decision. Until that is done, the sources said, the decision is not final. The letter could be sent early next week, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the case.

Gay group demands Obama drops gospel singer from tour.

Politics: Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.

A gay rights group on Monday urged Barack Obama to cut ties with a gospel singer who it says spreads false information about homosexuality being a choice.

Donnie McClurkin is among several gospel singers scheduled to raise money for the Illinois senator and Democratic presidential candidate at a concert in South Carolina this weekend.

McClurkin has drawn attention from gay rights activists for his views on homosexuality.

"I don't believe that it is the intention of God," McClurkin said Monday in a telephone interview. "Sexuality, everything is a matter of choice."

McClurkin said he does not believe in discriminating against homosexuals. "What people do in their bedrooms and who they are as human beings are two different things," he said.

.....In a telephone interview Monday, Besen said he admired Obama, but wasn't ready to endorse him, especially considering McClurkin taking part in the campaign's "Embrace the Change" concert tour.

"I think he'd be a great president. But I think it's going to drive away support from people who are on the fence such as myself," Besen said.

McClurkin is a Grammy Award winner who performed at the Republican National Convention in 2004. He told AP Radio in an interview that September that he was "once involved with those desires and those thoughts," which he attributed to being raped at 8 and 13.

"That's what thrust me into it, and then God delivered me from that and gave me back who I really am and my true purpose," McClurkin said.

Amsterdam judges soft on Moroccan criminals?

EU: This is in addition to the mini riots going on in an Amsterdam district, the police are calling out the judges for being too soft.

The Amsterdam police consider that judges are too mild on Moroccan criminals. The judges deny this.

"We ask the judges to impose tougher sentences," said Hans Schonfeld of the Amsterdam police corps in newspaper Algemeen Dagblad Friday. "If we arrest youths and they are at large again after a couple of days, then it is very difficult to tackle this group."

Moroccan youths have for a week been setting fire to cars virtually daily in the Amsterdam district of Slotervaart. "There are about 35 boys aged 12 to 18. They are on a conveyer-belt of offences: candalism, violence, theft, break-ins, you name it. And it just goes on. It is unbelievable," says Schonfeld. "They get away with light sentences. Twelve days in jail for a house break-in, for example. While these are youths that have already been slipping up with great regularity for years."

According to Schonfeld, judges should give more weight to the boys' pasts. "If you can get four years in jail for certain crimes, why do boys with this kind of history get off with a couple of weeks?"

The Council for Jurisprudence (RvR) however denies that sentences are too light. "We want to distance ourselves from the picture being created of unworldly, soft judges that do not know what goes on in society," said a spokesman Friday.

BTW, predictably calls for government money to heal and stop the root causes for such scandalous behavior by Muslim youths.

Moroccan organisations in Amsterdam regret the riots in Slotervaart but consider it worrying that the call for repression and a tougher approach is getting louder. "We call on the Amsterdam city council executive and local politicians to shoulder their responsibility not allow themselves to be led by the delusion of the day, but to make sustained investments in people," the organisations said in a joint statement.

Ann Curry interview with Benazir Bhutto this morning.

Media: A good media get but this partial transcript already is irritating me.

CURRY: You knew it was going to happen.

BHUTTO: I knew an attempt would be made.

CURRY: So, you knew that people would be at risk.

BHUTTO: I knew people would be at risk.

CURRY: So, was it worth that risk given what has happened?

BHUTTO: And the people who came knew that there would be a risk. They put their lives on the line. And I put my life on the line. And we did it because we believe in a cause. We want to save Pakistan. And we think saving Pakistan comes by saving democracy.

I want to wait for this in context but taken at face value, Curry comes off as naive why Bhutto and her followers would risk their lives knowing what could happen as if she couldn't believe they went thru with it anyway.

Nationalist party gains in Swiss vote

Immigration: There is a lesson to be learned by the political elites.

A nationalist party rode an anti-immigrant wave Sunday to the best showing of any party in parliamentary elections since World War I, while the Greens made gains by appealing to environmental concerns, according to projections.

In one of the most bitter political campaigns in memory in this usually tolerant Alpine nation, the Swiss People's Party called for a law to throw out entire immigrant families if a child violates national laws.

The party gained seven parliamentary seats in the 200-seat lower house of parliament, while the Green party added five, according to projections from widely respected experts for the state-owned SRG television and radio networks, which base forecasts on voting returns.

The Social Democrats, the second-largest party, were the big losers, dropping nine seats.

Switzerland's population of 7.5 million includes about 1.6 million foreigners, including many workers from southern Europe and refugees from the Balkan wars of the 1990s.

Lesson is when the populace is angry and demanding things change in regards to... lets say...immigration. The political elites sneering and talking down to people who don't see the value of multicult and diversity will backfire especially in a direct democracy such as Switzerland. The rise of the nationalist party could have been avoided if the other parties just listened and hashed out plans to deal with those concerns. Instead they turned deaf and the people went to the party that gave them the platform to air out their grievances. The sad part is the elites won't learn anything from this election.

Undertaker ads on patient cards

UK: At least you don't have to run around looking them when you or someone else dies.

It is probably not the best way to reassure patients, but a health centre brushed aside criticism yesterday after handing out appointment cards sponsored by a local undertaker.

St Margaret’s Health Centre in Auchterarder, Perthshire, was accused of insensitivity after issuing cards to patients that include an advert for the town’s funeral director.

One patient, a 23-year-old mother of one, said: “I thought it was hysterical when I first saw it, but it isn’t funny really. I see the card also contains an ad for the local florist so evidently the doctors hope to provide their patients with all necessary information in the event of failing to cure them.”

Another patient said: “I was handed an appointment card for a routine check and was flabbergasted to see the telephone number of the local undertaker in a blue box on the bottom. It seems quite appallingly insensitive.” The cards list the surgery’s address and telephone number on the front, with space inside for receptionists to fill in appointment times.

I would only get worried if there is a hand-written expiration date on the card.

7,000+ show up to patrol Philadelphia.

Crime: Okay, I am wrong so far, I never thought so many would answer the call by the Philly police. So they got the first step up, now its on to actually getting this program to work.

A month after civic leaders and the police chief in this crime-plagued city called on 10,000 black men to patrol the streets, thousands arrived Sunday by foot, car, motorcycle, bus, in wheelchairs, with sons and nephews in tow.

"Sign up here!" a volunteer shouted to the long line of men that circled Temple University's Liacouras Center. "Be a part of history!"

In addition to the 6,000 already registered online, more than 7,000 men showed up wearing suits, fraternity letters, job uniforms and T-shirts emblazoned with the faces of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X and the words: "Stop the Violence."

Many waited more than an hour to register, though they did not know much about how they would be trained or deployed to curb violence. But all agreed they wanted to see an end to the killings and drug wars that have seized their neighborhoods.

More than 300 people have been killed here this year. Last year, there were 406 homicides, and most involved black males.

"It's the first step," said Ronald D. Morris Sr., 50, a middle school teacher who brought his 16-year-old son, who has lost two friends to violence. "I hope to try to awaken the spirit of these guys."

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson has faced criticism in recent weeks for backing the plan to put unarmed men on the streets as "peacekeepers" who don't have the power to arrest. Some have questioned what kind of training volunteers will receive and whether the program will have longevity.

Hollywood heads happy about writer's strike?

Entertainment: Not exactly good leverage for the writer's but I do agree this season new and returning shows feel ordinary.

As for Chernin, Iger, Barry Meyer, Moonves, and also Zucker, they actually welcome a strike because they believe the 2007/2008 TV season is dead on arrival anyway. So many new shows are tanking in the ratings and/or going over budget and/or having production problems (Fox's Back To You, Nashville, K-VILLE; CBS' Kid Nation, Cane and Viva Laughlin; NBC's Journeyman, Life and Bionic Woman; ABC's Cavemen, Big Shots, Dirty Sexy Money, and Pushing Daisies. Even returning hit shows are losing their Nielsen luster (NBC's Heroes, ABC's Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, CBS' CSI:Miami and Cold Case) that they feel this is as as good a time for a strike as any. As one mogul told me, "We can get rid of the overhead and regroup and rethink everything. If we were having a great year, it might be different. But we're not, and this is like an automatic do-over." As Les Moonves last week told his personal publicist (or is it apologist?), Bill Carter of The New York Times, "I'm not concerned about the state of CBS. I'm a bit concerned about the state of network television generally."

I found this news really surprising because the WGA's TV writers have been clearly operating under an illusion. (This won't be the first time for that by either side...) As I wrote Friday night, intense pressure is coming from the TV writers to strike sooner rather than later in order to hurt the primetime business to the greatest extent possible. They argue that waiting until January 1st would allow most shows to bank 6 to 8 more episode scripts, and the only real way for the WGA to wield palpable power is to shut down the TV season as soon as possible, even by November 1st. Now I find out that this will play into the hands of the TV moguls who certainly sound ready to give up the season entirely. It's useless to point out that the last strike was in 1988, lasted 22 weeks, and cost the industry a half-billion dollars. Because the answer I get back is that the producers have now mastered the programming "art" of cheap reality TV and game shows.

Cruise rolls out 'Lions for Lambs'

Entertainment: Rendition bombed so next up is Tom Cruise's Lions for Lambs.

As a flurry of films about Iraq and terrorism march in and out of theaters this fall, one title with major stars and major political attitude faces a rather unique marketing challenge.
Tom Cruise produced "Lions for Lambs," in which he also stars with Robert Redford (who also directed) and Meryl Streep. It is a remarkably strident political work that takes dead aim at the Bush White House and assails post-9/11 foreign policy, especially the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, putting its stars on the frontlines in this era's fiercest political debate. Early indications suggest it isn't yet clear how Cruise will package his own views.

Signaling a return to the bigscreen after an eventful absence, Cruise made his first public appearance for "Lions" at a packed screening Thursday night. The event was a fund-raiser for the Pelham Picture House, a 1920s theater just outside Gotham.

In a Q&A moderated by Peter Travers of Rolling Stone, Cruise and screenwriter Joe Carnahan spoke about the film's impassioned critique of the government's strategy. Originally conceived as a stage play, the film blends three storylines: Cruise as a rightwing senator doing an interview with TV journalist Streep; Redford as a college professor teaching one of his students about the importance of political engagement; and a more cinematic look at the battlefield consequences in Afghanistan.

The $35 million film has the political thrust of a vintage Costas-Gavras film, so there was no avoiding the matter at the Q&A. Yet Cruise didn't exactly morph into Tim Robbins, preferring to stay largely above the fray and offering measured comments that the film was trying to "open up serious questions for the audience" and that the script was "timely." It was clear that he hadn't decided exactly what positions to stake out and was using the event as a rehearsal for his views, which will certainly face scrutiny in the next two weeks.

The last thing Cruise needs is to tick off the public, but this milquetoast way of answering questions about an anti-war, anti-American movie is not going to get people talking one way or the other. Let Streep and Redford yelp about it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Obama, Edwards reassure Hollywood donors.

Politics: It is inevitable and everyone sees it, Edwards especially needs the dough for Iowa, if he fails there. Game over.

n a series of events over the weekend, Barack Obama and John Edwards sought to reassure Hollywood donors that they can still win the Democratic nomination even as Hillary Clinton’s campaign starts to take on the air of inevitability.
Clinton, meanwhile, was scheduled to attend a fund-raiser Sunday night at the home of Rob Reiner. The event, which is being co-hosted by a group including Greg Berlanti, Lyn and Norman Lear and Alan and Cindy Horn, was doubling as celebration of her 60th birthday.

Not only is Clinton way ahead in national and California polls, but she has lined up industry endorsements from Reiner and Steven Spielberg, adding to a base of support that includes Ron Burkle, Steve Bing and Haim Saban.

But the other campaigns have been eager to prove that backers of their candidates have not been wavering, drawing a series of boldfaced names to events and often turning to recent political history for examples.

In remarks at separate events, Obama and Edwards each cited the example of Howard Dean in 2004 -- far ahead in the polls until January, when his campaign started to collapse and Iowa caucusgoers began to make up their minds.

“I recently spoke with President Howard Dean,” Obama said to laughs at a Saturday morning breakfast fund-raiser at the Malibu home of Kelly and Ron Meyer. Some 250 guests -- including Jamie Lee Curtis, James Whitmore and David Kissinger -- gathered around the backyard pool of their bluffside estate, as Obama mapped out a campaign strategy built on strong showings in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

He also dismissed concerns among donors that his campaign was not doing better in the polls.

“I’m a 46-year-old African American male running for the leader of the free world,” Obama said. “I was always the underdog. It was not going to be easy.”

I see the race card will be played up even more in the coming months.

Superman sequel may not actually suck.

Entertainment: Good news in that the two writers that worked with Singer are not coming back. Dougherty, Harris are the two wretched idiots who turned Superman into some United Nations world citizen and downplaying the American roots because they were not comfortable with it. Their biggest claim was spitting allover the "Truth, Justice and the American way" line but cutting out the American way.

"Superman Returns" scribes Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris have opted not to come back and pen a sequel to the 2006 summer pic that would have reunited them with helmer Bryan Singer. The three also worked together on "X2: X-Men United."

As a result, WB is now taking pitches for Supe's next outing from other scribes -- just as the studio is trying to figure out which actor will don the character's tights in "Justice League."

Industry chatter claimed the studio would start fresh with a new take on the Man of Steel, as if the previous pic never happened.

Reasons mentioned were the introduction of Superman's son with Lois Lane, as well as the film's less-than-expected domestic haul of $200 million and another $191 million overseas.

Marvel Studios is adopting that let's-try-again strategy with "The Hulk" at Universal, hoping a new pic, starring Edward Norton, will launch a franchise that Ang Lee's 2003 actioner failed to do.

But WB denies such plans and said next pic would be a sequel with Brandon Routh likely to wear the "S" on his chest again. Legendary Pictures is co-developing and co-financing the project.

New pic also will up the action quotient, however -- something Singer promised fanboys at last year's Comic-Con in San Diego.

Superman returns was boring and forgettable, the only positive out of that movie was it restarted the franchise though it may have harmed it again with the lame Lex wants to build land and that stupid kid with emo Superman stalking everyone.

Esam Omeish: Why I resigned.

Politics: Once again so called Muslim leaders are either very stupid or way out of touch.

Politics aside, another important issue arose during this controversy. I was attacked for comments I made regarding Israeli military force against Palestinian civilians in Lebanon and the occupied territories and the Lebanon war, a conflict that has been condemned worldwide. Yet we still fail in America, the land of the First Amendment and the melting pot of plurality, to accept differing political views. And we are still willing to stifle dissent while we claim that we want to achieve tolerance and inclusion. Our inability to appreciate the inherent goodness of people and the very powerful tool of dialogue and exchange of ideas will limit our capacity to achieve unity. We should be embracing differences. After all, this rich diversity is the framework of our Constitution.

America remains a celebration of the greatest experiment of mankind and humanity, a nation founded by immigrants, attracting the brightest and hardest-working from all over the world. Celebrating their differences and diversity in a way that does not undo their humanity will keep this country as great as ever. As for me, I will continue to embody what is great about America: an immigrant who is striving to attain the American dream while rising above the challenges of integration and intolerance. Because, after all, that is what keeps me and millions of immigrants going: our belief and trust in the inherent goodness of America and its citizens.

You got resigned because you got caught on video spewing support for Jihad, Hamas, Hezbollah. This is not just "differing political views" this is support for the enemy. Now you can state these view, but not a damn thing is written in law that everyone else has to sit back and ignore or accept such repugnant views. You are the one who fails to understand what America is about. If America was truly intolerant, you would be in jail or kicked out of the country instead of getting space in the sympathetic Washington Post.

UK: Women having babies aborted for club feet.

UK: Ties into what the Archbishop of Canterbury said today about UK women taking the easy option in this case because their baby won't be perfect when they are born.

MORE than 50 babies with club feet were aborted in just one area of England in a three-year period, according to new statistics.

Thirty-seven babies with cleft lips or palates and 26 with extra or webbed fingers or toes were also aborted.

The data have raised concerns about abortions being carried out for minor disabilities that could be cured by surgery.

Abortions are allowed up to birth in Britain in cases of serious handicap, but the law does not define what conditions should be considered grave enough to allow a termination late in the pregnancy. That is left to the discretion of doctors.

ESPN becomes even more insufferable.

Media: Rick Reilly the pompous twit from the back of S.I magazine is going to ESPN to be a television star.

Rick Reilly, who has written for Sports Illustrated for 22 years and whose “Life of Reilly” column is in the final page of the magazine each week, is leaving to join ESPN.

ESPN would not offer details about what Reilly would do. The company spokesman Mike Soltys and Reilly’s agent, Janet Pawson, said discussions were continuing. “There’s nothing to announce,” Soltys said.

Reilly’s departure comes one day after Sports Illustrated announced a deal with Dan Patrick, the former ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor and radio host. Patrick will write a column for the magazine and have his new radio program simulcast on

Obama disrespected national anthem in Iowa?

Politics: Via Newsbusters.

During rendition of the national anthem when the flag is displayed, all present except those in uniform should stand at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. Men not in uniform should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. -- United States Code, Title 36, Chapter 10, Sec. 171

Turns out that not wearing a flag lapel pin isn't the only way Barack Obama chooses to show he's a different kind of Democrat.

Have a look at the photo from the October 1, 2007 edition of "Time." It shows Obama, Hillary and Bill Richardson at the Steak Fry of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on September 17 in Indianola, IA during [according to the photo caption] the National Anthem. Richardson and Clinton have their hands on their heart. But not Obama. Does he perhaps believe that, like wearing the flag pin, the hand on the heart isn't "true patriotism"?

It is things like this along with his most recent flag pin talk that should not be an issue for someone running for President. It shows a lack of attention to detail either by him and/or his campaign people.

Rapist charged with theft of services of a hooker.

Crime: This is seven levels of disbelief. At some point common sense has to be used by this judge that even if there was consent of the woman to have sex, it was with one guy. At several points in this article, it goes from consensual paid sex to violent rape. Disgusting.

Senior Hamas figure criticises takeover of Gaza

Middle East: The Gaza takeover is a bust for Hamas for all the reasons they were better off publicity wise with palestinians as the "resistance" group.

A well-known Hamas figure on Saturday publicly criticized the group's seizure of the Gaza Strip, in a rare case of open dissent within the ranks of the Islamist group.

In a letter addressed to Hamas leaders, Ghazi Hamad, a former spokesman of the Hamas-led government who speaks frequently to Israeli media, called Hamas's four-month rule of the coastal enclave a "trap".

"I have regarded it as a grave strategic mistake," Hamad said in his letter, published on the Palestinian Web site AMAD. "Instead of expanding its relations with the Arab and international community ... (Hamas) has become isolated and besieged in the narrow strip."

Hamad himself declined to comment on the letter.

"It is hard for Hamas leaders to admit their mistakes, but I tell them that admitting mistakes is something that does not go against their religion," Hamad said in the letter.

Hamad said the takeover was placing Hamas under heavy domestic pressure, causing "a thousand needless political problems".

Hamas officials declined to comment on Hamad's letter.

Hamas has tried to distance itself from Hamad since the former government spokesman voiced support for negotiations with Israel. Hamas said Hamad was only speaking for himself.

When Hamas was just a group fighting against terrible Israel, spouting all sorts of hate, they got the cheers of the crowd. Now add being the political party in power where the people now realize you don't know how to run Gaza while still spewing out the hate which is very counter-productive as the party in power, you are pretty much screwed unless drastic measures are put in place.

That won't happen anytime soon because it goes against what made them popular in the first place.