Saturday, November 10, 2007

Detroit's carmakers seem to have turned the corner?

Bidness: You mean responding to the market/customers while cutting down on costs across the board actually works in America. Surprise!

"But all three automakers have revamped their product offerings to correct serious quality problems and start building cars people are willing to buy without huge cash incentives.

And they negotiated landmark contracts with their main union in recent weeks which will slash labor costs by about two thirds by 2010, essentially closing a labor-cost gap of around 30 dollars an hour with the non-unionized US plants of their foreign rivals.

While both GM and Ford posted significant losses last week -- including a record 39 billion quarterly loss after GM wrote off tax credits it didn't think it would earn enough money to use before they expired -- positive results from the restructuring are showing up in their books, said Goldman Sachs analyst Robert Barry.

"Ford's decision to produce fewer, but higher profit vehicles continued to evidence traction in (the third quarter) via strong revenue growth," he wrote in a note to clients.

GM's automotive results were better than expected, he said, "largely from better mix and pricing."

WGA going after Ellen shows massive stupidity.

Entertainment: I am doubting there is intelligent people working the leadership positions at the WGA by going after Ellen.

"....As I indicated in the telephone conversation to which you referred, it is not the Guild's intention to involve any union, such as your own, in our efforts to encourage individuals to withhold their services. What we ask of them are acts of individual conscience. There are unions with much narrower no strike clauses which we have approached directly and have been able to help us. I am sorry that I did not elaborate on this point in our conversation and make sure that I was understood.

Moreover, with regard to Ms. DeGeneres, she is a Writers Guild member as well as an AFTRAn. The writing of her show is always done by Writers Guild members and, therefore, constitutes struck work. Beyond any issue of membership, there is the obvious ethical issue, which is clearly present in Ms. DeGeneres' decision to write and produce a show without writers in the face of an industrywide walkout by 12,000 writers. Such a decision cannot be redeemed by your spirited and eloquent defense. I understand that AFTRA cannot call upon Ms. DeGeneres to respect our strike. But the Writers Guild can and must.

Mona Mangan
WGAE Executive Director

In the comments the rabid writer's supporters want to compare her to Letterman and Leno honoring the strike. Here is the problem. Ellen is not a late night talk show host, she is in daytime. She doesn't have the stable timeslot that can hurt the bottom line even close as repeats over weeks of Letterman, Leno. If the strike lasts weeks or months and she honors it, her show gets cancelled because the local stations that signed up for it will just replace her show with something else. That would lead to everyone connected to the show getting fired.

Also, the bullying tone is not going to get far with the public and it would be wise to fine other ways of getting your point across. Having Rev. Jesse show up to a rally at Fox plaza doesn't help.

GOP frontrunners sign up for Univision debate.

Politics: Now this is going to make Tavis Smiley mad, sign up for the Latinos on their own terms now but not show up to his like he demanded? Inconceivable.

Three leading GOP presidential candidates have agreed to participate in a Spanish-language debate previously canceled because only two other candidates signed up.

Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney agreed to participate in the Dec. 9 forum at the University of Miami. They join John McCain, Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter.

Only McCain and Hunter previously accepted an invitation from Univision, the nation's largest Spanish-language network, for the canceled Sept. 16 debate.

Another week, another lecture by the Muslim Council of Britain.

UK: I don't know if Muhammad Abdul Bari is a fool or thinks if he says it enough times people will believe him. His form of integration is laughable. Very few people in the UK would be interested in such an arraignment.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, the leader of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), thinks the Government is stoking the tension.

"There is a disproportionate amount of discussion surrounding us," he says. "The air is thick with suspicion and unease. It is not good for the Muslim community, it is not good for society."

The 53-year-old special needs teacher has a gentle manner and a quiet voice - he describes himself as a "community spokesman" rather than a "religious leader" - but he does not mince his words.

Britain must, he warns, beware of becoming like Nazi Germany.

He hasn't lost his touch for hyperbole.

Sir Salman Rushdie should never have been knighted, he says. "He caused a huge amount of distress and discordance with his book, it should have been pulped."

...His passion is to integrate Muslim and British cultures - he says integration must go both ways.

"Everybody can learn from everyone. Some of the Muslim principles can help social cohesion - family, marriage, raising children with boundaries, giving to the poor, not being too greedy."

British people could, in his view, benefit from arranged marriages. "I prefer to call them assisted marriages," he says.

"Marriage should not be forced on people but parents can be a catalyst … Young people are emotional, they want idealism. Older people have gone through all sorts of things and become a bit more experienced. A child will always want to eat chocolate but if he does then he will become fat. He needs to be given things that are good for him too."

"Alcohol is the worst drug long-term," he says, and adds that the Government should consider banning drinking in public places, as it has done with smoking

This is the head of the biggest civil Muslim group in the UK. Now you see why they are in such a mess. More at the link

Friday, November 9, 2007

Lotto game stopped because it was too confusing.

UK: If there is any justice on the internet, "I'm not having it" should be the next hot meme.

A LOTTERY scratchcard has been withdrawn from sale by Camelot - because players couldn't understand it.

The Cool Cash game - launched on Monday - was taken out of shops yesterday after some players failed to grasp whether or not they had won.

To qualify for a prize, users had to scratch away a window to reveal a temperature lower than the figure displayed on each card. As the game had a winter theme, the temperature was usually below freezing.

But the concept of comparing negative numbers proved too difficult for some Camelot received dozens of complaints on the first day from players who could not understand how, for example, -5 is higher than -6.

Tina Farrell, from Levenshulme, called Camelot after failing to win with several cards.

The 23-year-old, who said she had left school without a maths GCSE, said: "On one of my cards it said I had to find temperatures lower than -8. The numbers I uncovered were -6 and -7 so I thought I had won, and so did the woman in the shop. But when she scanned the card the machine said I hadn't.

"I phoned Camelot and they fobbed me off with some story that -6 is higher - not lower - than -8 but I'm not having it.

"I think Camelot are giving people the wrong impression - the card doesn't say to look for a colder or warmer temperature, it says to look for a higher or lower number. Six is a lower number than 8. Imagine how many people have been misled."

A Camelot spokeswoman said the game was withdrawn after reports that some players had not understood the concept.

Biden: Democrats think American people are stupid.

Politics: Dems are the poor man's version of an EU political elite who think they know what is best for the people. The frontrunners get frustrated because they do not understand why the American people don't think like them.

Sen. Joe Biden said in an interview at the New Hampshire Union Leader this afternoon that too many Democrats, including the frontrunners for the presidential nomination, do not have faith in the American people.

“We’ve got to trust the American people more,” Biden said.
“I think they’ve really lost faith in the American people in terms of leveling with them,” he said of his leading rivals.

When he asks groups of Democrats if they think the American people are stupid because they elected George W. Bush twice, most respond that, yes, they do, he said. He said he thinks that attitude is a real problem for the Democrats, who fail to understand how smart and pragmatic the American people really are.

Biden was generally critical of the far left wing of his party and of the strategies the frontrunners are using to win the nomination.

I can give you an example.

New Jersey Dems including the Governor wondering why the people rejected their stem cell research bill put on the ballot. The excuse is the people just did not understand it.

Biden is correct that Dems have lost faith in the people because they think they know all the answers. Why doesn't everyone in America agree with them? That is the sign of pseudo intellectuals.

Via Hot Air.

South Africa Impedes UN Motion to Condemn Rape as a Tactic

Africa: What the hell has gotten into South Africa that it has become the D-bag on the UN security council?

"....While the resolution does not mention any countries by name, the Bush administration has cited accusations that rape was being employed by soldiers and militia members as a tactic for intimidation and warfare, notably in Sudan and Myanmar.

“The South African position is shocking,” said Kristen Silverberg, the assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, given “South Africa’s long struggle against oppression.” She noted that the South African government took a strong domestic position against sexual violence.

Speaking in a telephone interview from Washington, Ms. Silverberg said that the South Africans were demanding watered-down language that would make the resolution one about sexual violence in general rather than one about sexual violence sponsored by governments. “We think there is a real difference between governments that fail to prevent rape and governments that actively promote it, and we do not want the resolution to blur that difference,” she said.

South Africa has turned out to be a good friend of tyrants not out of strategy but real friendship.

"Asked about Ms. Silverberg’s expression of shock at South Africa’s position, Baso Sangqu, the country’s deputy ambassador, said, “I am shocked about that statement because we have been working very closely within the African group to find agreement on this resolution.”

He said, “We are objecting to the resolution because it is politicized and singles out clear categories of rape. We want a resolution that is nonpoliticized and that looks at rape in a holistic manner in all its situations including rape by soldiers in detention centers and in situations of foreign occupation.”

.....Since beginning its two-year term as a member of the Security Council in January, South Africa has continually been criticized at home and by longtime supporters abroad for withholding the same sorts of international human rights condemnations at the United Nations that helped end apartheid.

In the cases of Myanmar and Zimbabwe, two notorious rights violators, South Africa moved to tone down or prevent harsh actions by the Council. And it has resisted proposals for strict measures by the Council put forward by Britain, France and the United States to curb Iran’s nuclear program, even though South Africa is the only country ever to have renounced its nuclear program of its own accord.

Tories launch online video debate

Politics: Okay, just this once I will say good idea on this by the Tories, anything to engage people to the party is a good thing.

David Cameron is inviting internet surfers to join him in a video debate about Conservative policies on a website which bills itself as an "online Speaker's Corner".

The Conservatives are the first major party to have a "branded channel" on to show videos about the party's activities and ideas. They plan to post two films a week featuring senior party figures, including Mr Cameron.

Viewers can "fire back" their own opinions by recording a video on their webcam, camcorder or mobile phone, or join in the debate by text message.

Two videos covering Mr Cameron's recent trip to California and his plans to make British poverty history are already available on the site.

They have so far received a mixed response, with one site user branding Mr Cameron "a tool of the capitalist class" and another declaring "Blair was a Bloody genius compared to this Bloke!", while others describe the Tory leader as "the only viable alternative" and say "this country needs a change, maybe Conservatives are the way to go".

A Conservative spokesman said: "In public life it is important that we never lose touch with those who elected us to represent and serve them. can help politicians and policy-makers fully engage with people from around the country and beyond on a regular basis."

Thursday, November 8, 2007

First pics of Lakshmi Tatma's after surgery.

Medical: Everything to this point went well and she is recovering well.

The two-year-old Indian girl born with four arms and four legs is showing the first sign of improvement after an operation to remove the extra limbs, doctors have said.

The girl, Lakshmi, was being kept sedated in the intensive care unit at a hospital in the southern Indian city of Bangalore during what doctors said was a critical 72-hour period following the operation.

"Lakshmi has moved her toes and hands for the first time and opened her eyes briefly," head surgeon Dr Sharan Patil said.

Doctors were slowly reducing the amount of sedatives, but she was still breathing on a respirator.

"She is progressing in the right direction," he said.

However, doctors were still cautious. "She is a two-year-old girl who has undergone a massive surgery, we have to watch and wait," said a hospital spokeswoman.

Daily Mail has the pics.

NJ Dems puzzled by New Jerseyans lack of wanting more taxes.

Politics: Hilarious they were so arrogant that the people would welcome stem cell research they broke ground before the vote was taken.

On Wednesday, Mr. Corzine, Senate President Richard J. Codey and other supporters of stem cell research said they had little choice but to ask the state’s pharmaceutical companies to help finance the effort and then try to squeeze money from a budget that is already facing a $3 billion shortfall.

“I do have concerns that the delay may very well limit us in a competitive world," Mr. Corzine said at a State House news conference.

He said he still believed that most residents supported the concept of stem cell research despite the objections of anti-abortion groups and the Roman Catholic Church. And he did not rule out putting the measure back on the ballot at some point, although Mr. Codey later told reporters that would not happen next year.

Democrats said the rejection of the stem cell measure taught them a broader lesson: that voters are frustrated by the bleak fiscal landscape in a state saddled with $30 billion in debt, and they do not trust Trenton to fix the problem.

“They’ve told us to resolve our alarming and pressing financial problems,” Mr. Corzine said.

This place will be built come hell or high water and the people will take the political elite for it.

New Radio measure kills off Urban stations in NYC.

Media: Radio Equalizer has the details and civil rights leaders are up in arms about it. NYDAILYNEWS.

New York radio got the first look at its new ratings system Wednesday, creating smiles at mainstream pop and rock stations and causing at least one urban station to say it reads like a death warrant.

"These numbers could put us out of business," said Vinny Brown, program director of WBLS. "And it's not just us. Listeners need to know this could threaten the future of black and Hispanic radio across the board."

Overall, the October Arbitron ratings put WLTW (106.7 FM) back at No. 1. WHTZ (100.3 FM) was a close second and WCBS-FM (101.1) a strong third, ahead of WAXQ (104.3 FM), WSKQ (97.9 FM) and a surprisingly strong WABC (770 AM).

Urban WRKS (98.7 FM) and WBLS (107.5 FM) fell sharply, as did WQHT (97.1 FM), WCAA (105.9 FM), WADO (1280 AM) and WPAT-FM (93.1) - reviving fears the new system undercounts black and Hispanic listeners.

Until this summer, Arbitron measured listening by having participants record it in diaries.

As of October, it switched to the "personal people meter" (PPM), with participants carrying an electronic recording device.

Under the diary system, WBLS was No. 1 among listeners 25 to 54, averaging 5.2% of the audience.

In the first PPM ratings, WBLS was No. 12, averaging 3%.

WBLS's afternoon Wendy Williams show, Brown noted, fell from No. 1 out of the top 10.

"We're the same station," said Brown. "What happened?"

"We have some concerns," said Frank Flores, general manager of Hispanic WSKQ and WPAT-FM. "I'm a big believer in a more accurate count, but I don't know that we're there yet."

Jenkem is real. Lets get that out of the way.

Weirdness: Use of Jenkem was reported by the BBC in 1999 being used by street kids in Zambia. The more recent warning came from Collier County Sheriff’s Office which has now spread all over the net.

China says no binding emission pact for them.

Kyoto: EU says okay rather meekly.

China will reject any agreement that calls for binding limits on carbon dioxide emissions that will replace the Kyoto Protocol, an EU official said Wednesday.

Guido Sacconi, chairman of a visiting European Parliament delegation, said that was the impression he got after three days of talks in Beijing with government and environmental officials.

"In the private meetings we have had, particularly with Chinese politicians, there were of course some differences of opinion," Sacconi, who heads the European Parliament's Temporary Committee on Climate Change, told a news conference.

"The main difference is, unlike the European Parliament or the European Union, the Chinese believe that it will not be possible, in the agreement which follows the Kyoto Protocol, for China to accept any binding obligations — this was one difference between us."

Muslim woman sues hairdresser for not giving her a job.

UK: This is the UK, so PC and multicult is probably going to put the poor woman out of business. But a couple of red flags.

The owner of a hair salon is being sued for religious discrimination for refusing to hire a Muslim woman who wears a headscarf.

Sarah Desrosiers, 32, says she turned down Bushra Noah as a junior stylist to maintain the image of her salon, which specialises in "urban, funky" cuts.

She told Miss Noah, 19, she needed her staff to display their hairstyles to the public. But the devout Muslim insisted that wearing her headscarf was essential to her beliefs.

Miss Desrosiers, who set up the Wedge salon in King's Cross, North London, 18 months ago, says she faces financial ruin if she loses the case.

She denies any discrimination and insists it is an "absolutely basic" job requirement that cus-Yesterday, Miss Desrosier said: "When a potential client walks past on the street, they look into a salon at the stylists to get an impression of what haircut they are going to get there.

"The image I have built my salon on is very urban, funky, punky. That is the look I am going for.

"If an employee were wearing a baseball cap or cowboy hat I would ask them to remove it at work.

"It has nothing to do with religion. But I now feel like I have been branded a racist. My name is being dragged through the mud."

It sounds reasonable and given it is one of those chic chic places, stylists showing off their chic chic hair is a job requirement. For the girl to scream religious discrimination especially after you read this part.

"On the phone, Sarah sounded very keen on me because of my experience and qualifications. I sent her my CV and she invited me in a few days later for a trial day.

"But when I got there, she looked at me in shock. She started making excuses about wanting someone who lived locally but I knew it was my headscarf.

"She said, 'You really should have told me that you wear a headscarf'. She asked if I wore it all the time and I said, 'Yes'. She asked if I would take it off for work and I said, 'No'.

"Wearing a headscarf is very important in my religion and is non-negotiable. It is about showing your modest side."

Miss Noah added: "I am Britishborn and I know the urban, funky look. Just because I wear a headscarf does not mean I do not follow the latest trends and fashions.

"Afterwards, I felt so devastated and depressed. It has always been my ambition to be a hairdresser but I have given up now after being rejected 25 times.
"It is always because of my headscarf, whether they say it or not.

"I just thought that Sarah should not be allowed to get away with it and that if I don't stand up for myself, no one else will."

If someone gets rejected 25 times and decides I am just going to sue the last person because she made me feel bad, the case should be kicked out of tribunal. But how do you get rejected 25 times without someone asking maybe its not them but you?

South Africans embrace Bruce Lee moves

Crime: Every little bit helps as crime is out of control in South Africa.

Bruce Lee's senior pupil, Grandmaster Richard Bustillo, has promised to return to South Africa after the popularity of self-defence classes.

His recent sessions in the port city of Durban were packed with people anxious to learn crime-fighting moves.

He taught them Jeet Kune Do which means "way of the intercepting fist".

"The style has special relevance for South Africa. It is more combative in countering the high levels of crime that we have here," an organiser said.

There were more than 2,000 murders in Durban in the last year and more than 17,000 counts of aggravated robbery, according to official figures.

City of Durban manager Michael Sutcliffe says crime is becoming more violent and more organised.

"These statistics show that we have much to do before we can call ourselves a safe city and nation," he said.

American student accused of helping murder roommate

Crime: American student, boyfriend and friend taking part in the murder of her roommate during an attack. If this horrible story happened in America, it would dominate the news cycle for weeks.

The American student accused of murdering Meredith Kercher covered her ears to block out the sound of her housemate's dying screams, say Italian police.

In an extraordinary statement to detectives Amanda Knox claims she sat in the kitchen of their house and listened to the British student being killed.

The 20-year-old said she knew Miss Kercher was in her bedroom with musician Patrick Diya Lumumba - but did nothing to help.

The student wasn't clear if she heard 'thuds' but 'I could imagine what was going on', she told police in Perugia after 'crumbling' under days of questioning.

"I can't remember how long they were together in the bedroom but the only thing I can say is that at a certain point I remember hearing Meredith's screams and I covered my ears.

"Then I don't remember anything else. There is such a lot going on in my head."

The bizarre extracts from a rambling 'confession' by Knox emerged yesterday.

Firm gives illegal immigrants access to O'Hare airport.

Immigration: Well this just makes me feel safe at the airport.

In a string of early morning raids today, federal and local authorities cracked down on a wide-ranging scheme to provide illegal aliens with fake ID badges that allowed them to work at O’Hare Airport.

The fraudulent security badges gave the illegal or undocumented immigrants access to the tarmac at O’Hare, where they loaded pallets, freight and meals onto commercial airliners. The badges were issued by the city’s Dept. of Aviation.

The fraudulent security badges gave the illegal or undocumented immigrants access to the tarmac at O’Hare, where they loaded pallets, freight and meals onto commercial airliners. The badges were issued by the city’s Dept. of Aviation.

Authorities arrested 23 illegal aliens, who now face state felony charges for possession of fraudulent state identification. Two employees of Ideal Staffing Solutions, an employment agency in Bensenville, have been charged with federal crimes and were scheduled to appear in court late Thursday afternoon.

1st dual-missile intercept test in space successful.

Space: Sexy.

The U.S. Navy conducted the "hit-to-kill" intercept flight test off the coast of the island of Kauai, Hawaii. At about 6:12 p.m. Tuesday, the two targets were launched from a missile facility on the island, the MDA said.

About two minutes later, the USS Lake Erie's crew fired two SM-3 missiles, and two minutes later they successfully intercepted the targets outside the earth's atmosphere, it said.

The latest test marked the 32nd and 33rd successful hit-to-kill intercepts since 2001. It also marked the 10th and 11th successful ballistic missile intercepts for the sea-based Aegis system in 13 attempts.

The United States plans to deploy SM-3 missiles by 2009.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Writer's Strike updates if you need them.

Entertainment: As alway, Nikki Finke has all the behind the scenes stuff.

So now I'll bottom-line this: Really smart people have told me that if this walkout doesn't settle in the next few weeks, say, by December 15th, then there may not be an incentive for the moguls to settle it until June when the Screen Actors Guild contract expires. As for the Director’s Guild, whose contract is up next June as well but will settle it sooner, everyone expects the DGA to fold like pup tents: no shocker there.

In film, the studios prepared for this labor action starting two years ago. But I broke the news pre-strike that the Big Media and Hollywood CEOs viewed this TV season as a total loss and welcomed the walkout as an automatic "do-over" that would allow them to regroup and then refashion their business models. At the same time, the writers guild two years ago began to draw a line in the sand on New Media and Internet which they're etching deeper with every turn on the picket line. I'm not passing judgment on whether either of these positions is right or wrong. But I am saying that this is a horrific situation. Yes, it is.

Timestamp for WGA scripts

Fox Chief Says Strike Likely A Boon For Net

Eisner calls writers strike 'insanity'

"24" Put on hold for the foreseeable future.

Strike hitting '24,' 'Family Guy' hard

Heroes Season 2 sucking says Tim Kring.

Entertainment: Not very often you see someone admit they screwed up, but he hit upon every point that has been brought up about Season 2 to this point.

Operation update on Lakshmi: so far so good.

*UPDATE* Operation successful.

A two-year-old Indian girl born with four arms and four legs was recovering in intensive care today after a successful 27-hour operation to remove her headless, conjoined twin.

Lakshmi Tatma, the daughter of a poor Indian labourer from the eastern Indian state of Bihar, was given an 80 per cent chance of pulling through the surgery which should enable her to walk and move like an ordinary child.

"She has withstood the operation, she is safe and doing well,” said Dr Sharan Patil, the consultant orthopaedic surgeon who led the 36-stong team that operated on Lakshmi,

"We will keep a close watch on her for the next 48 to 72 hours and won’t move from the hospital until she stabilises."

Lakshmi Tatma started on her 40 hour surgery and the doctors say to this point things are going well.

Doctors at Sparsh Hospital on Tuesday began a 40-hour-long surgical procedure to separate two-year-old Lakshmi from her parasitic twin and give her a new life, if all goes according to plan.

From what the surgical team had to say, things are going fine.

The surgery began with neurologists operating on the fused spines of Lakshmi and the parasitic twin. “We have separated the spines but have not pulled them apart yet. The surgery is going smoothly and by the end of the day, we will mobilise the internal organs. We are looking at separating the parasitic twin today itself,” said hospital chairman Dr Sharan Patil.

Were there complications? A kidney from the twin had to be placed back in Lakshmi and the intestines separated, Dr Patil said. “All that’s needed from the twin has been taken. We are optimistic we will be able to separate them by the end of the day.”

Once that is done, the orthopaedic surgeons will take over, cutting the bones and reconstructing a pelvic ring. Then it’s over to the plastic surgeons, who will reconstruct pelvic tissues. “The extra excretory bowel in the parasitic twin will be closed. We intend to achieve this by tomorrow,” the hospital spokesperson said.

Lakshmi’s mother Poonam had to be sedated as she kept breaking down, but her father was handling the situation well, Patil said.

CNN and the Daily Mail with the background information.

Partway through a mammoth 40-hour operation on a 2-year-old girl born with four arms and four legs, surgeons in India said the procedure is going according to plan, with no problems encountered.

"The surgery is going on very well so far," head surgeon Dr. Sharan Patil told CNN. The surgery to separate Lakshmi Tatma from her "parasitic twin" continues, he said, with a team of some 30 surgeons.

"We've managed to remove the parasitic twin out of Lakshmi's body and started reconstructing her pelvic bone. We have managed to get the pelvic bone together."

The little girl, he said, has "responded very well. ... Everything is going according to plan."

Spanish for Everyone Nintendo DS Intro scenes.

Gaming: These two scenes alone make me want to get a DS to finish the game.

Scene 1

Scene 2

As someone on GAF summarized what we have seen so far.

So we have the story about a Mexican kid who stole your DS and drove to the border, his family inexplicably getting chased by cops, so you hitch a ride to Mexico with your sexy Latina aunt with seven foot-long arms while she teaches you Spanish in a sensual manner, then she leaves you (an eight year-old child) alone in Tijuana and tells you to get into the back of a pickup truck she assumes is your grandfather's, where you meet a talking bull who tells you that your coming is a legend among bovines and that he will teach you Spanish, the language that will thwart evil (of DS stealing Mexicans).

Eat your heart out Halo 3!

Bono recognizes threats of Islamic fundamentalists?

Terrorism: Still not getting on my good side, but sticking it to a Rolling Stone reporter is a positive.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Bono said of the Islamic fundamentalists:

I want to be very, very clear, however: I understand and agree with the analysis of the problem. There is an imminent threat. It manifested itself on 9/11. It's real and grave. It is as serious a threat as Stalinism and National Socialism were. Let's not pretend it isn't.

Bono goes on to show that he does not engage in Bush Derangement Syndrome, despite the urgings of the Rolling Stone's anti-Bush reporter. In response to the reporter's statement that "But this Administration destroyed that." when they discussed the outpouring of support for the United States immediately following the attacks of Spetember 11, Bono says of President Bush,

There was a plan there, you know. I think the president genuinely felt that if we could prove a model of democracy and broad prosperity in the Middle East, it might defuse the situation.

Miami Herald writer warns of a Hispanic intifada.

Immigration: Nothing more than the typical hysterical pro-illegal mantra you get from the Herald. But this is the first time I can remember one of their writers openly hoping for Hispanic domestic terrorism.

The rapid escalation of the U.S. anti-immigration hysteria -- fueled by ratings-hungry cable-television hotheads and leading Republican presidential hopefuls -- is a dangerous trend: It may lead to a Hispanic intifada that may rock this nation in the not-so-distant future.

Remember the Palestinian intifada of the early 1990s, when thousands of frustrated young Palestinians took to the streets and threw stones at Israeli troops? Remember the French intifada of the summer of 2005, in which disenfranchised Muslim youths burned cars and stores in the suburbs of Paris?

If we are not careful, we may see something similar coming from the estimated 13 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, most of them Hispanic, who are increasingly vilified in the media, forced further into the underground by spineless politicians and not given any chance to legalize their status by a pusillanimous U.S. Congress.

We are creating an underclass of people who won't leave this country and, realistically, can't be deported. They and their children are living with no prospect of earning a legal status, no matter how hard they work for it. Many of them will become increasingly frustrated, angry, and some of them eventually may turn violent.

Here is the problem, this ain't France. Americans will take a dim view of anyone trying this tactic and repercussions will be swift and harsh. The writer then tries a pathetic attempt of illegal doesn't really mean illegal.

My opinion: We have to stop this xenophobic hysteria. And please, dear anti-immigration readers, don't tell me I'm being dishonest for failing to point out that you are not against legal immigration, but only against ``illegals.''

You are making a deceptive argument. Leaving aside the fact that nearly half of the undocumented immigrants came to this country legally, and overstayed their visas, their non-compliance with immigration rules should not stigmatize them with the label of ``illegals.''

They overstayed their time in this country, they broke the law and are now illegal criminals. This is not a hard concept and foolish to try argue otherwise

ESPN analyst calls Newark a dump....problem is?

Sports: It is Newark for crying out loud, how can Melrose get in trouble for speaking the truth? I can't stand sport projects that are built to revitalize a downtown area because for the most part they never work if the area is really down. Your city sucks, deal with it instead of picking on an ESPN hockey guy.

A hockey analyst for ESPN has apologized for describing the area around the new $375 million Prudential Center in Newark as "awful" and unsafe during a webcast last week.

Barry Melrose, the network's lead ice hockey analyst, angered city officials and the Devils owner by saying of the new arena, "It looks great on the inside but don't go outside, especially if you got a wallet or anything else because the area around the building is awful."

"It's so different the inside and the outside where its built, it's pretty humorous," said Melrose, a former NHL player and coach.

Those comments drew a rebuke today from Mayor Cory Booker, City Council President Mildred Crump, Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek and Newark police director Garry McCarthy.

New Jersey rejects stem cell research plus Virginia.

Politics: Dems won the Senate in Virginia and everything seems to be breaking how I suspected with the People's Republic of N.Virginia going more Leftists and Immigration playing a key in some races. Washington Post(pro-illegal) already pushing illegal immigration concerns as a lost cause in races. This also puts Virginia into play as a punching bag if they go soft on illegal immigration.

New Jersey rejected a $450 million dollar stem cell research bill. The Utah Voucher deal was just stupid. Keep it at low income/lower middle class families and it would have had a better chance from being shot down by the teacher's unions. Oregon don't care about poor kids.

New Jersey voters rejected the state's plan to borrow $450 million over 10 years to finance stem cell research, one of the most closely watched questions on state ballots Tuesday.

In other action at the polls, Utah voters were poised to defeat the country's first statewide school voucher program open to all children, not just those from low- or middle-income families. And in Oregon, residents decided against hiking the cigarette tax to pay for health care for kids who don't have it.

With 95 percent of the vote counted, 53 percent of voters opposed the New Jersey measure, one of the nation's most ambitious public efforts to fund the research.

Multimillionaire Gov. Jon Corzine campaigned heavily for the measure and spent $200,000 of his own money on TV ads for it. He argued the funding would help find cures for conditions such as spinal cord injuries, Parkinson's disease, sickle cell anemia and multiple sclerosis while also luring leading scientists and research firms to the state.

But the measure was opposed by anti-abortion activists, conservatives and the Roman Catholic Church because it would pay for research that destroys human embryos and would increase state debt.

"It's a reinforcement of our values and a rebuke to the governor," said Steve Lonegan, a conservative Republican who led opposition to the question. "The taxpayers are saying enough is enough."

New Jersey already had approved spending $270 million to build stem cell research facilities.

Several states are competing in stem cell research. California approved spending $3 billion on stem cell research, Connecticut has a $100 million program, Illinois spent $10 million and Maryland awarded $15 million in grants.

Senate President Richard J. Codey, a Democrat and leading stem cell supporter, pinned the defeat on chronic state fiscal problems and mounting state debt.

"The taxpayers of New Jersey are not against stem cell research," he said. "It's clear. The message we're getting is put your fiscal house in order and then do these things."

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Mouth costs Egyptian his tongue or camels

Weird: Oh he better hope the woman has a forgiving soul.

A young bedouin in Egypt's Sinai peninsula has been sentenced to have his tongue cut out or hand over more camels after he made "naughty" remarks to a shepherdess, local media reported on Tuesday.

A tent-based tribal court in the desert region sentenced the unnamed man to pay 40 camels compensation to the woman as well as either have his tongue cut out or cough up another five camels, the Egyptian Gazette said.

It is now up to the woman, who hails from a different tribe, whether she would rather have the amputated tongue or additional camel.

The accused was not allowed to speak during the trial, the paper reported, adding that tribal justice "has helped keep the peace and maintain stability among the tribes of the desert for generations."

Pullman backs off God killing and New Line hopes on Compass?

Entertainment: What is interesting about this other than New Line hoping for a new mega franchise is the companies lining up to promote it. When people get a hold of this as the advertisments ramp up, all these companies are going to be caught in the cross fire.

After winning big on the potentially risky "Lord of the Rings" franchise, New Line is betting yet again on a pricey fantasy book series, "His Dark Materials," with the first pic "The Golden Compass" set to bow Dec. 7.

New Line faces a more daunting marketing challenge this time around, even with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig on the marquee, because the "Dark Materials" series lacks the classic-lit pedigree and worldwide recognition of the "Rings" series.

To aid its cause, studio has enlisted a bevy of blue-chip brands which are committing more than $50 million in marketing and promo support for "Compass."

Studio also is devoting significant coin of its own to introduce U.S. moviegoers to author Philip Pullman's fantasy world, in which talking animals serve as the souls of humans and armored polar bears fight wars. The $150 million "Compass" is planned as the first of a trilogy.

Brand partners set to tubthump for the pic's opening next month include Coca-Cola Co., Burger King, Wal-Mart, Target, Sega, the World Wildlife Fund, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Best Buy, Emusic, FAO Schwarz, Corgi Intl., Toys R Us, Trans World Entertainment, Circuit City, Marie Claire and Scholastic.

Planned promo push by outside marketers surpasses what "The Lord of the Rings" franchise had backing it. Total value of brand-backed marketing is $120 million, studio estimates.

"It's definitely the most important property we've had since 'Lord of the Rings,'" said Rolf Mittweg, New Line's prexy and chief operating officer of worldwide distribution and marketing. "We'll be spending accordingly."

But as New York Magazine points out the entire series is basically a big fuck you to Christians and God. It seems Pullman realizes that is not a good way to sell a movie and ratchets down the meaning on purpose.

Philip Pullman seems, perhaps wisely, to be backtracking a little bit on the whole atheism front. On the Today show on Friday, Pullman denied to Al Roker that his books are anti-religious. "As for the atheism," he adds, "it doesn’t matter to me whether people believe in God or not, so I’m not promoting anything of that sort," he wrote in response to a question from "Kim, Friday Harbor, Wash." But what did the author have to say on the issue six years ago, when asked by the Washington Post what famously Christian author C.S. Lewis would think of his books?

"I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief," says Pullman. "Mr. Lewis would think I was doing the Devil's work."

And what did he tell the Sydney Morning Herald in 2003?

"I'm a great fan of J.K. Rowling, but the people - mainly from America's Bible Belt - who complain that Harry Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven't got enough in their lives. Meanwhile, I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God."

Boy, that's a change! Not that we object to Pullman's previous Devil's work; after all, we love the books, and in the battle of Hollywood vs. Christmas, we're going with Christmas. But it's a little curious that Pullman is suddenly out there backpedaling, just a month before New Line releases the first film in a megamillion-dollar fantasy trilogy based on Pullman's books, huh? We wonder who at the studio was given the unenviable task of calling Pullman and being, like, "Could you maybe cool it with the God-killing?"

The whole interview from the Today show here.

Mega Mosque opponent gets Youtube death threat

UK: I wonder how long it will take youtube to take this video down.

A leading opponent of plans to build Europe's largest mosque in east London has seen a chilling "obituary" for him posted on the internet.

The film on video-sharing website YouTube is entitled In memory of Councillor Alan Craig and contains pictures of him with his wife and two young daughters.

It was apparently posted in retaliation for his opposition to the mosque.

Mr Craig has now contacted police in fear of his family's safety and demanded that the video be taken down.

Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat wants to open the 12,000-capacity "mega-mosque" in Newham near the main 2012 Olympic site.

The FBI has described the group as "a recruiting ground" for al Qaeda, which it denies.

Shoebomber Richard Reid and 7/7 bombers Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer were members.

Mr Craig, 61, a member of the Christian Peoples Alliance on Newham council, has led a local campaign against the mosque which is planned for the site at Abbey Mills next to West Ham Tube station.

Virginia elections today.

Politics: My quick prediction is the Dems gets some gains based on the liberal Northern Virginia and Southern part stays about the same. Immigration will be key in most races that there is an emphasise on it for those who favor a crackdown on illegal immigration.

Either Virginia can be used as an election punching bag for next year. If pro-illegal forces get in power, it can be pointed out over and over again what that could do for the rest of the nation. If pro-illegal fails then it is an example to be used for the rest of the nation.

Comparing Tim Russert to a Nazi is beyond stupid.

Politics: But Linda Hirshman sticking up for Sister Clinton actually puts that sort of warped thinking to text.

Oh, and for you Obama and Edwards supporters, remember the story about the man who didn’t stand up to the Nazis when they came for his neighbors.

--Linda Hirshman

Clinton screwed up by going to the gender card so early because it fit into a pattern of when she is in trouble she easily slips into they are picking on me mode. That sort of weak crybaby behavior is not going to get you any sympathy except among you true fans.

EU lays out anti-terror proposals

Terrorism: When the EU gets down to be authoritarian, they really go to town.

The European Commission is proposing anti-terrorism measures that include the collection of extensive flight data and tighter internet laws.
Under the plan, all 27 EU members would make recruitment, training and provocation to terrorism illegal.

The plan also provides for an early warning system if legal explosives are lost or stolen.

It criticises the UK for not having a specific category of terrorist offences with stiffer penalties.

The Commission says the UK is one of many countries that have not done enough to co-ordinate their laws after they agreed five years ago to do so.

The plan gives special attention to the internet.

Setting up web sites that encourage violence or explain how to make bombs would become a criminal offence.

The plan also focuses on air passenger data, requiring EU states to collect 19 pieces of personal information about people flying to or from member states.

The information would include a phone number, e-mail address and payment details, and would be kept on file for 13 years.

Teen starts a prolife club in high school

Culture: Good for her but as you see the Washington Post persists in its bias by calling it an "Anti-Abortion."

For Stephanie Hoffmeier, it came down to believing in a power higher than a school system.

With prayer, persistence and a lawsuit against the Stafford County schools, the 16-year-old recently succeeded in starting what might be the region's only antiabortion club in a public high school. The Pro-Life Club, which attracted about 20 people to its first gathering, also promotes teen sexual abstinence as well as opposing abortion. Hoffmeier said her legal fight was a matter of equity.

"We just wanted the same rights as other clubs," Hoffmeier said in an interview last week at her Fredericksburg home. "It's not a radical thing to expect equal treatment."

Asked why she started the club, Hoffmeier said: "I feel God has put it on my heart for a pretty long time."

School administrators initially turned down Hoffmeier's request to start the club at Colonial Forge High School on the grounds that it was not tied to the school curriculum. She filed suit in federal court in Alexandria, contending that her proposal could not be denied when other clubs are allowed to form on campus. The suit put a spotlight on an often-misunderstood legal arena involving religion in public schools. Even some advocates of strict separation of church and state say religious speech by students at public school is protected under the Constitution and federal law.

School officials, conceding they were wrong, officially recognized the club Oct. 24, and Hoffmeier dropped the suit.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Cup runneth over: Rosie O’Donnell to Join MSNBC?

Media: Sweet lord... A power two hour of leftist moonbattery, tinfoil 9/11 first time in history fire melts steel conspiracies.. Make this happen MSNBC, make it happen!

Rosie O’Donnell, who abruptly left “The View” on ABC last spring after drawing attention and ratings for her opinions on everything from the Iraq war to her co-hosts, is in serious discussions to return to television atop a new soapbox: a prime-time show on the cable news channel MSNBC, according to executives on both sides of the negotiations who have been briefed directly.

Under one scenario, Ms. O’Donnell would be given the 9 p.m. slot each weeknight on MSNBC, where she would go head-to-head with two heavyweights of cable talk: “Larry King Live” on CNN and “Hannity & Colmes” on Fox News. Her show would replace “Live with Dan Abrams,” a relatively low-rated program that only recently replaced “Scarborough Country,” which was also little-watched.

But NBC executives, speaking on condition of anonymity because the conversations are continuing, cautioned that there were many elements of a potential deal yet to be resolved. These include when such a show would appear, what Ms. O’Donnell would be paid, and whether she would also be seen on the NBC broadcast network.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Shia LaBeouf arrested in front of a Walgreens.

Entertainment: Celebrities! Stay away from Walgreens, nothing good ever comes from hanging out by a Walgreens! Ask T.I!

Shia LaBeouf was arrested in downtown Chicago early this morning outside a Walgreens, after repeatedly being told to leave the store.

Chicago police tell TMZ he was arrested around 2:30 AM this morning after a security guard repeatedly told LaBeouf to leave because he appeared drunk, police said. When LaBeouf refused, the security guard detained him and called police.

Police tell us that Shia was "very courteous and polite" with them and he posted bond before 7:00 AM today. He was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing and is scheduled to appear in court on November 28.

LaBeouf's rep could not be reached for comment.

Virginia elections to hinge on illegal Immigration concerns.

Politics: This week's election is basically a fight between a crackdown on illegal immigrants or will Virginia under Gov. Kaine make it a defacto sanctuary state.

As an aside, Washington Post is going full pro illegal in their endorsements and coverage.

Tories buckles under over candidates Enoch Powell reference.

UK: Tories still haven't had the backbone to be nothing more than a political correct party.

Nigel Hastilow has resigned tonight as a Conservative parliamentary candidate after declaring that Enoch Powell was "right" when he gave his notorious "Rivers of Blood" anti-immigration speech.

Mr Hastilow stepped down after being summoned to a meeting with Tory party chairwoman Caroline Spelman to explain the comments he made in a newspaper column.

A Conservative spokeswoman confirmed the party had accepted his resignation as the candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis.

Mr Hastilow said it was "with regret" that he had tendered his resignation but added the party would have his support for the future.

A UK Independence Party MEP attacked the decision, saying Mr Hastilow had simply been expressing views held by "millions" of voters.

Mike Nattrass, who represents the West Midlands, said: "This nation was built on freedom of speech and for a prospective politician to be unable to express his true opinions shows the sad decline in British politics.

"Mr Hastilow was only expressing what millions of people in this country think, and which I believe to be true. It is important that this debate on immigration is taken further so we can have an open and honest discussion on this issue.

"Clearly, Mr Cameron's tough talk on immigration is purely rhetoric and not reality."

Liberal Democrat chief of staff Edward Davey said: "One has to wonder how many other Conservative candidates share these views.

"This episode must raise serious questions, both about the Conservative Party's selection procedures and the views of at least some of their grass roots members."

If Hastilow been more of agitator he would have said "See Italy." Just to tell everyone off. But it shows how pathetically easy it is to throw the Tories off their stride and allow the press and other parties to browbeat them into submission.