Saturday, November 24, 2007

Professional Tennis fixing scandal brewing?

Sports: Via NYTIMES.

As the venerable Davis Cup finals begin Friday in Oregon, tennis is mired in a widening gambling scandal in which at least a dozen ranked players have said they have been asked to throw matches or have heard of similar approaches to others.

The players have volunteered their stories in the wake of an investigation of Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, the world’s No. 4 player, because of betting patterns during a loss in Poland in the summer. Mr. Davydenko, who has refused to turn over phone records, has since denied any wrongdoing.

The allegations, from journeymen and highly ranked players, have built quietly as individuals on the men’s tour talked to newspapers and broadcast stations on different continents, but together they have massed into the worst crisis to ever hit the sport.

Big Rise in Cost of Birth Control on Campuses.. So?

Culture: This generation has the most insane entitlement issues.

In health centers at hundreds of colleges and universities around the country, young women are paying sharply higher prices for prescription contraceptives because of a change in federal law.

The increases have meant that some students using popular birth control pills and other products are paying three and four times as much as they did several months ago. The higher prices have also affected about 400 community health centers nationwide used by poor women.

....“The potential is that women will stop taking it, and whether or not you can pay for it, that doesn’t mean that you’ll stop having sex,” said Katie Ryan, a senior at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, who said that the monthly cost of her Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, a popular birth control pill, recently jumped to nearly $50 from $12.

Ms. Ryan, 22, said she had considered switching to another contraceptive to save money, but was unsure which one to pick. She has ended up paying the higher price, but said she was concerned about her budget.

“I do less because of this — less shopping, less going out to eat,” said Ms. Ryan, who has helped organize efforts to educate others on campus about the price jump. “For students, this is very, very expensive.”

.....“What happened here is what happened everywhere: The price went up,” said Jeanne Galatzer-Levy of the University of Illinois at Chicago. “We are a state institution, so we’re not in a position to do something different.”

At the University of Montana, the price of a NuvaRing, another birth control method, rose to $36 from $18, said Allyson Hagen, the state director of Naral Pro-Choice America. “This is a state school where people are on Pell grants and don’t have huge amounts of spending money,” Ms. Hagen said. “For them this is like a choice — groceries or birth control.”

....Representative Joseph Crowley, a Democrat from New York who introduced a bill on the matter, said the change would require no taxpayers’ money to subsidize contraception. The drug manufacturers would pay for any discounts, but would not be required to pay larger Medicaid rebates because of those discounts.

“We’re not promoting promiscuity, but we’re also cognizant that people live,” said Mr. Crowley, who is among the lawmakers who say the change that took discounts away from university clinics was inadvertent. “We’re talking about adults, responsible adults who want to do the responsible thing.”

As adults, responsible adults who want to do the responsible thing, pay your own price and stop looking for drug companies to give you discounts. If the companies are smart they will find a way to give a discount to promote brand loyalty but whining that you pill cost went up shouldn't have the government involved.

PM John Howard loses, any big change with Rudd?

Australia: Given these two reports I don't think so. Regarding Rudd's deal to sign the Kyoto treaty, unless he is a total idiot and actually follows thru, I doubt Australia will join the ranks of New Zealand and most likely follow the lead that most of Europe has taken. Sign it, pledge to it and then years later everyone realizes they are full of it.


Rudd has named global warming as his top priority, and his signing of the Kyoto Protocol will leave the U.S. as the only industrialized country not to have joined it.

Rudd said he would withdraw Australia's 550 combat troops from Iraq, leaving twice that number in mostly security roles. Howard had said all the troops will stay as long as needed.

Time Magazine:

The new P.M. is likely to go Howard’s way on foreign policy, too. What he described as “fundamental differences” with Howard — his vows to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change and pull troops from Iraq — are largely symbolic.

But the fresh target of joyous leftist luddites down there will be awesome. You know some of them will go too far. An upswing in political correctness is a given as well.

Yvonne Ridley at UC Irvine smirking with Muslim students

Culture: Couple of weeks ago, Young Americans for Freedom got Nick Griffin of the BNP to talk. That was horrendous. This week the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine get Yvonne Ridley, a Stockholm Syndrome poster child if I ever saw one to talk to them about the greatness of the Taliban. Same woman who praised the ringleader behind the Beslan massacre. It is a wretched indictment of the idiots who protested Daniel Pipes one week but invite this vile woman to speak and laugh along with her as if she is representive of a typical Muslim woman.

More from Michelle Malkin, and OCblog.

Friday, November 23, 2007

One hit wonder band sues Guitar Hero maker

Entertainment: A judge has to throw this suit out and laugh while he/she is doing it.

Imitation might be flattery, but that doesn't make the Romantics any happier about it.

The Detroit rock band has sued the publisher of the popular video game Guitar Hero, claiming the game infringes the group's rights by featuring a sound-alike recording of the hit What I Like About You.

The lawsuit against California-based Activision, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit, seeks unspecified damages for use of the sound-alike recording. It's one of about 30 hit tunes featured on Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s, released in July for Sony PlayStation game consoles.

....Copyright isn't the issue for the Romantics. The band's attorneys said Activision properly secured permission to use the song What I Like About You, which allowed it to record a cover version. But by creating an imitation so much like the Romantics' original, they said, the company has infringed the group's right to its own image and likeness.

....."It's a very good imitation, and that's our objection," said Troy attorney William Horton. "Even the guys in the band said, 'Wow, that's not us, but it sure sounds like us.'"

Horton said Activision should have secured a master license for the Romantics' original 1980 recording, then paid appropriate royalties. He said the band became aware of the issue when fans said they'd heard the song in the game but members saw no accounting for it on their record-label royalty checks.

"I was very upset because the band had worked very hard over many years to develop and use its distinctive sound," the Romantics' Wally Palmer said in an affidavit.

The attorney would not put a specific figure on potential money awards for the Romantics, which would likely be based on the number of Guitar Hero Encore units sold to date. The game, like the other three Guitar Hero titles, topped U.S. sales charts when it was released.

"The sales of this game are huge," said Horton. "We're all for good commerce. We just want to share in it."

At least they admit this is a pure money grab, but the licensed the song for usage in the game. This is a crap lawsuit by a has-been band.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Two reasons why old school Sesame Street owns.

Entertainment: Two of many reason given the ridiculous story in the NYTIMES why O.S Sesame Street is not suitable for todays snot nosed brats.

Stevie Wonder - Superstition live

Cookie Monster and the Count counting Apples.

Doherty 'helping Winehouse through drugs problem'

Entertainment: You ever seen a title of an article that makes you do triple takes. The above made me do quad takes.

Writer flees Calcutta, India after Muslim protests.

Culture: Via BBC.

Controversial Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasreen has been flown out of the Indian city of Calcutta after violent protests by Muslims.

On Wednesday, police used tear gas and baton charges to control crowds calling for her Indian visa to be cancelled.

Rioters blocked roads and set cars alight. At least 43 people were hurt. More than 100 arrests were made.

Critics say she called for the Koran to be changed to give women greater rights, something she denies.

Ms Nasreen fled Bangladesh in the early 1990s after death threats and has spent the last three years in Calcutta after a long stay in Europe.

WGA Strike: What the hell are these speechless clips for?

Entertainment: This is what happens when you have a bunch of out of touch Hollywood people striking thinking this appeals to the mass public. Via DeadlineHollywood.

This is the first of the Writers Guild Of America member-conceived Internet videos for Project "Speechless" featuring A-list Screen Actors Guild talent. They are being hosted exclusively by over Thanksgiving Weekend. For the first time in the TV and movie industry, high-profile SAG actors are taking their talents directly and exclusively to the Internet, the very medium which is at the center of the current WGA labor strike against the Alliance Of Motion Picture & Television Producers. The project, conceived by director/writer George Hickenlooper and writer Alan Sereboff, will be releasing three videos here in the morning, afternoon and evening throughout this weekend. See them all!

[In the interest of fairness and objectivity, I would be pleased to also debut a similar campaign conceived by members of AMPTP. But, as a journalist with a journalism outlet, I couldn't pass up any opportunity to have an exclusive.

View the clips above and then ask yourself why should you care. The first couple of weeks has been this parade of stars and striking with stars day, stories about agents bringing food to the strikers. How does this make the general public, not entertainment blogs or insiders, give a damn about your strike? If you want to make people relate all this nonsense needs to be stop, cutesy video clips like above only reminds people that a bunch of rich people are on strike(real or not, that is still the perception)

Keep the thing simple, You want this, this and this from the studios, keep pounding that thru the press and news reports. Stop going "OMG!!!!! I saw at the march today, soo cool!!!!" You are not going to get any more traction thru the new year because this is when people think shows are on reruns and have holiday shopping on people's mind.

This is the point of a strike where you need to objectively look to see if things are working or not because this is when interest begins to fade. The studios can hold out and they want to hold out because they believe the way the business is now has fallen apart. The longer the strike the better for them because in the end, the public is not going to get in a huge uproar over a writer's strike.

Sarkozy stares down striking rail workers.

France: DA MAN!

``We have to face reality,'' Philippe Touzet, a Sud union representative at the Paris's transport operator RATP said in an interview. ``Since yesterday's negotiations, things have changed. The strike is no longer the solution. The strike strategy is no longer winning.''

The most-disruptive walkout since 1995 may end later today or tomorrow as strikers heed union leaders' calls to resume work. Labor representatives agreed on a set of meetings through mid-December to negotiate aligning retirement benefits for public employees with the rest of the country. That would require them to work 40 years instead of 37.5 for a pension.

For President Nicolas Sarkozy, the effort to push through the pension changes and bring an end to the strike set the tone for similar struggles still to come. The pensions are a part of his plan to loosen work rules, simplify France's tangle of more than two dozen labor contracts, increase competition in several industries and make civil servants more publicly accountable.

``It's a victory for Sarkozy,'' Dominique Reynie, a senior researcher at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, said in an interview. ``He passed the reform and ended the privileges. But how much is this victory going to cost him? What he conceded to the unions, like on pay raises, may end up costing a lot.'' The terms of the agreements next month will reveal the ``real cost'' of the plan, he said.

Wage Negotiations

The end of the strike ``looks like a victory for the government and a green light for more structural reforms in France,'' Dominique Barbet, an economist at BNP-Paribas in Paris, said in an e-mailed statement.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Lord, protect black people from white liberal judges.

Crime: One of the facts of life is liberals especially white liberals in power have a patronizing way when it comes to dealing with black people and crime. They think they are setting an example for the uneducated and ignorant to see their caring way is the correct way. It is so nice for this white liberal let out a man who was selling crack to people in his housing project as way of helping black people.

A federal judge has freed a Boston man who pleaded guilty to selling small amounts of crack cocaine, saying that he dealt the drugs out of desperation and that long prison sentences for such crimes often do more harm to black communities than good.

US District Judge Nancy Gertner sentenced Myles Haynes to the 13 months he has served in jail since his arrest. She said that he appeared to be an honest man whose two admitted drug sales were isolated and that lengthy federal prison terms for such crimes are depleting cities of a generation of young black men.

"Isn't it time for us to say that there is on the one hand the impact of the drug trafficking and on the other hand the impact of mass incarceration of African-Americans from crack cocaine?" Gertner said from the bench Monday. "To suggest that the public safety requires the further incarceration of Mr. Haynes makes no sense."

But there is mass incarcetation because a lot of young black men are taking part in drug trafficking. Why should I feel sympathy for the person who is selling the drugs because he can't get a job because of his record. Oh yeah he was desperate because of his previous criminal record.

"Before the drug charges, Haynes's criminal record revolved around a 1998 incident for which he was convicted of several charges, including assault with intent to kill and possession of a firearm, said Assistant US Attorney John A. Wortmann Jr.

Neither side gave details. But Hedges said that the incident happened at a New Year's Eve party and that the relatively short sentence, one year in jail, indicated mitigating circumstances.

Since his release, Haynes has held a variety of jobs, including as a maintenance worker for New England Medical Center and an assistant manager for a City Sports store, said Gertner. The month after the cocaine sales, he completed training sponsored by Boston Emergency Medical Services to become a basic emergency medical technician.

Around the same time, the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad Co. offered him a job but rescinded it because of his criminal record.

But Wortmann said Haynes's actions reveal a dark side. As a result of his record, he had to meet in the spring last year with a psychiatrist to see if he was suitable to become an emergency medical technician.

"At the same time he's meeting with a psychiatrist to demonstrate that he's not a danger to the community, he's selling crack cocaine in the housing project in which he grew up," Wortmann said."

Oh yeah, he is just a fine upstanding citizen caught up in the system created by da man. The black version of that show Weeds airing on Showtime. He wasn't desperate, he was trying to make a buck selling crack to people in the housing project where he grew up. But put him in front of a Clinton-appointed judge, this criminal who has added to the suffering of the black community in general gets a get out of jail card because he looks so honest. Tremendous. Put his name on a check list and he will be in the system pretty soon for another crime.

"Beware of the hand
When it's comin' from the left
I ain't trippin' just watch ya step
Can't truss it"

President lied about Plame!....err no he didn't.

Politics: When the mouth runs faster than the knowledge all stupidity breaks loose.

A bombshell excerpt from a new book by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan was not an allegation that President Bush helped to mislead the public about the outing of ex-CIA agent Valerie Plame, the book's publisher told CNN.

"I just got off the phone with the publisher of McClellan's new book, and he tells me that McClellan does not charge in the book that the president himself was involved in any kind of conspiracy to mislead the public," reported CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin. "But of course, in the publisher's words, 'Scott did go out to take bullets without the proper flak jacket on.'"


But in a clarifying statement, Peter Osnos, founder and editor-in-chief of Public Affairs Books, told Bloomberg News that McClellan doesn't suggest that Bush deliberately lied to him about Libby's and Rove's involvement in the leak.

"He told him something that wasn't true, but the president didn't know it wasn't true," Osnos said in a telephone interview. "The president told him what he thought to be the case."

Allah cartoon upsets Muslims in South Africa.

Culture: The satanist angle is a new one though.

Zapiro’s dig at a Sunday newspaper’s zero tolerance for Satanism upsets some readers.

Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro — better known as Zapiro — has riled Muslims with a cartoon that portrays Allah, but he is unrepentant.

“I do these things because I believe in freedom of expression,” Shapiro said, acknowledging that his cartoon in the Cape Times yesterday had landed him in hot water.

He said he understood the cartoon had provoked a flood of angry SMS messages from the Muslim community.

It was drawn in support of columnist Deon Maas, who was fired by Rapport newspaper last week after he argued that people should be allowed to believe in Satan if they wanted to.

The Zapiro cartoon included pictures of, among others, Allah, Jehovah, the Holy Trinity, Shiva and Satan. The caption said there was no proof that any of them actually existed.

Shapiro said the three major religions — Christianity, Islam and Judaism — were responsible for many more deaths and more oppression than could be attributed to Satanists.

Artists too frightened to tackle radical Islam

Culture: Via London Times. It is hard to be courageous when the media and politicians in the UK and most of the West are so eager to go on their knees quick to appease.

Britain’s contemporary artists are fêted around the world for their willingness to shock but fear is preventing them from tackling Islamic fundamentalism. Grayson Perry, the cross-dressing potter, Turner Prize winner and former Times columnist, said that he had consciously avoided commenting on radical Islam in his otherwise highly provocative body of work because of the threat of reprisals.

Perry also believes that many of his fellow visual artists have also ducked the issue, and one leading British gallery director told The Times that few major venues would be prepared to show potentially inflammatory works.

“I’ve censored myself,” Perry said at a discussion on art and politics organised by the Art Fund. “The reason I haven’t gone all out attacking Islamism in my art is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.”

Across Europe there is growing evidence that freedom of expression has been curtailed by fear of religious fundamentalism. Robert Redeker, a French philosophy teacher, is in hiding after calling the Koran a “book of extraordinary violence” in Le Figaro in 2006; Spanish villages near Valencia have abandoned a centuries-old tradition of burning effigies of Muhammad to mark the reconquest of Spain, against the Moors; and an opera house in Berlin banned a production of Mozart’s Idomeneo because it depicted the beheading of Muhammad (as well as Jesus and other spiritual leaders).

CAIR asks John Conyers to get them off terror case.

Terrorism: I see John Conyers trying to make sure that CAIR's request is carried out given his rep area back home in Michigan.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is seeking help from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. to pressure the Justice Department to change the group's status as a co-conspirator in a terrorism case.

CAIR officials recently met with Mr. Conyers, Michigan Democrat, and then wrote a letter asking him to lobby the new attorney general on behalf of the group, and to hold hearings.

Multiculturalism vs French-Canadians.

Canada: It wasn't even close as French-Canadians in a series of hearings meant to promote integration of immigrants turned into a bash fest.

Immigrant Montrealers shared their frustrations and disappointment about Quebec's identity crisis at a highly-anticipated hearing on reasonable accommodation held Tuesday night.

Quebec has a contradictory attitude to newcomers that makes people feel like outsiders no matter what, said Farah Abdill, a Montrealer originally from Somalia.

"We immigrants, we're here because you say you need us," he told the standing-room audience at the Intercultural Library in Côte-des-Neiges, located in the city's most multi-ethnic community.

"But then we're labelled, and we're told we have to leave our baggage."

Expectations have been high for the Montreal chapter of the Bouchard-Taylor commission hearings on so-called reasonable accommodation, with many community groups anxious to rebut earlier testimony heard in outer regions that reflected xenophobic and intolerant attitudes.

Or as I said a couple of posts below, when you have politicians and the media blasting their own citizens who have legit concerns, you get more heated debate and consequences that a blind squirrel could see happening. I am sure more hearings and cries to be tolerant regardless of anything else will work out up there.

Groups want Des Moines to be a sanctuary city.

Immigration: I doubt the residents of Des Moines want this to become defacto law. It is a stunning sight to see people demanding you make a city become a sanct city so publicly.

The immigration debate is once again front and center in Iowa. This time, activists are taking their fight for reform to the municipal level. A showdown that is typically found on Capitol Hill, may soon end up on the front steps of city hall, as immigration activists are planning to ask the city to accommodate those who may be here illegally.

The immigration raid at Marshalltown's Swift Plant last December, sent a clear message to immigrants, their employers, and activists. Enforcement can happen at any time, anywhere, to an employer of any size. "We are having talks about that as a concern so what can we do to be better prepared how to better respond, "says immigration activist Alex Orozco. He is among the immigration activists involved in preliminary talks with Des Moines city leaders about making the city, a more welcoming city to immigrants. "It could be an ordinance. It could be a statement, a resolution it could be many different things and that's what we're talking about," says Orozco.

Changes in other cities have included restrictions on how police interact with immigrants, and whether or not local authorities can participate in raids. Des Moines Police say they don't do that now. "We don't initiate any immigration raids. We don't do any immigration investigations. We would assist immigration on other matters...those kinds of things," says Sgt. Vince Valdez.

Detroit is the most dangerous city, suck it up people.

Crime: Ever since the list came out of the most dangerous cities in America, officials from the top two, Detroit and St.Louis have come to whine and complain.

Detroit’s police chief, Ella Bully-Cummings, made the rounds on local television and radio shows lambasting CQ Press, a unit of Congressional Quarterly, which publishes the rankings. Chief Bully-Cummings called the list “an injustice to society as a whole” in an interview with one T.V. station, and told another that the rankings have no merit other than “shock value.

“After today, what people will walk away with is that if you set foot in the city of Detroit, you are going to get killed, and that is absolutely not true,” she told The Detroit News.

All sorts of groups and criminologists are blasting it as well with some absurd excuses.

"....The debate about the validity of the report flares up every year when it is released.

The FBI does not rank cities based on crime statistics and cautions against doing so because it scares people away, said Spokesman Bill Carter. The rankings are an incomplete analysis and provide no insight into what drives crime in different cities, he said.

The American Society of Criminology disputes the rankings, said local member Wendy Regoeczi, a criminologist at Cleveland State University.

"It is totally bogus," she said.

She said the rankings are flawed because cities and states don't count crimes the same way. Even if they did, they could be manipulated, such as classifying beatings as regular assaults rather than aggravated assaults and give the illusion that their streets were safer.

The FBI, criminologists and city officials are overreacting about the rankings, said Doug Goldberg-Hart, a CQ Press spokesman. The rankings start a national dialogue that people can understand, he said.

Peter Moskos, a criminologist at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said the rankings do not paint an accurate picture in some cities. Certain neighborhoods may drive the high-crime rates, while other parts of the town are relatively safe, he said.

Murders and car thefts are the leading indicators to determine if a city is safe, he said. Stolen cars are always reported for insurance purposes. And if murders are up, it could reflect high rates of drug use and other violence, he said.

However, Moskos said, the rankings are an important tool. People need to know about unsafe cities."You want crime brought to the forefront so police can do something," Moskos said. "The rankings put cities on the hot spot."

Here is the question that needs to be ask of the people living in those cities. Do you agree with it or feel that it is accurate? Most would say yeah they do because they are living in it. Officials come out to lie and protect their cities reputation. But attacking the messenger is just making yourself look foolish.

The excuse of saying only parts of the city has high crime which throws off the rankings of some places is still bogus. If I have a compost heap in my backyard, but my house is clean as a whistle, I am still going to get a smell from the compost coming in my house which affects everything.

Then you get the white liberal view of the stats Via Gawker.

The annual list, compiled from FBI crime statistics, helps reinforce the cycle of poverty, white flight, and neglect that is killing post-industrial America while the rich create unsustainable fantasy worlds on the coasts. And it provides a nice way for a news anchor to fill up 45 seconds.

So if everyone just shut up about it, everything would be a-okay. Good analysis. The bottom line is every city in that top 10 can't deny they have a problem and wouldn't show up on a most dangerous list. So stop whining and fix your city.

San Francisco to give illegal aliens ID cards

Politics: I say go San Fran, let them bust all their resources and leave people around them alone from their craziness.

San Francisco will give resident identification cards to illegal immigrants under a plan approved on Tuesday amid a fierce nationwide debate on granting privileges to undocumented aliens.

In a 10-1 vote, the city's board of supervisors -- the equivalent of a city council -- approved giving identification cards to all residents, including illegal immigrants. The move makes San Francisco the largest U.S. city to back such a plan.

Residents will be able to obtain the resident cards by presenting photo identification and proof they live in the city, such as a utility bill. It was unclear if the new cards, which will be accepted at libraries and health clinics, will carry photos.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NBC, if you cancel Journeyman, what else you got?

Entertainment: I begin this by saying this season of network shows has been the first time in years that I have something to watch every night of the week. Two of my favorites are Journeyman and Life on NBC. Two new shows that have been mistreated like crazy and in danger of being cancelled.

I do blame NBC for the ratings because the management acts like its a #1 network instead of having struggling shows all over the place that need promotion and better nuturing to gain an audience. They threw a ton of promotion at Bionic Woman a show so screwed up in what it was supposed to be that they just now found some footing after five plus episodes. Journeyman was put in the 10 p.m. slot on Monday and pretty much left to fend for itself and now has two weeks to prove itself.

If it doesn't, NBC puts Life another new show in its time slot where that will die off. So now they have two openings which means they put in repeats of Deal or no Deal or extended version of Biggest Loser most likely. It is a shame that NBC refuses to see itself for what it is and thats a network that needs to rebuild its primetime lineup. But it will never get there by hotshoting and thinking just because its on NBC it will be an instant hit.

In hindsight, they should have put Bionic Woman after Heroes, Journeyman/Life together and worked on growing the audience. Instead it seems yet again quality shows will be shoved off to the side due to network incompetence. The first thing NBC should be thinking if you cancel Journeyman what do you have that will take its place that will give you better ratings?

Its like an NFL team stuck with an average running back where they say they can do better but not right now. Better you leave the show in its place and try again next season than cancelling which will just tick off a loyal audience that won't trust you to be loyal to your own shows.

Old School Sesame Street unsuitable for kids today.

Entertainment: So now I officially hate today's kids and their lousy parents.

The earliest episodes of “Sesame Street” are available on digital video! Break out some Keebler products, fire up the DVD player and prepare for the exquisite pleasure-pain of top-shelf nostalgia.

Just don’t bring the children. According to an earnest warning on Volumes 1 and 2, “Sesame Street: Old School” is adults-only: “These early ‘Sesame Street’ episodes are intended for grown-ups, and may not suit the needs of today’s preschool child.”

Say what? At a recent all-ages home screening, a hush fell over the room. “What did they do to us?” asked one Gen-X mother of two, finally. The show rolled, and the sweet trauma came flooding back. What they did to us was hard-core. Man, was that scene rough. The masonry on the dingy brownstone at 123 Sesame Street, where the closeted Ernie and Bert shared a dismal basement apartment, was deteriorating. Cookie Monster was on a fast track to diabetes. Oscar’s depression was untreated. Prozacky Elmo didn’t exist.

Elmo is the downfall of Sesame Street, if you watch the early episodes it doesn't feel as dumbed down as it is now.

The old “Sesame Street” is not for the faint of heart, and certainly not for softies born since 1998, when the chipper “Elmo’s World” started. Anyone who considers bull markets normal, extracurricular activities sacrosanct and New York a tidy, governable place — well, the original “Sesame Street” might hurt your feelings.

I asked Carol-Lynn Parente, the executive producer of “Sesame Street,” how exactly the first episodes were unsuitable for toddlers in 2007. She told me about Alistair Cookie and the parody “Monsterpiece Theater.” Alistair Cookie, played by Cookie Monster, used to appear with a pipe, which he later gobbled. According to Parente, “That modeled the wrong behavior” — smoking, eating pipes — “so we reshot those scenes without the pipe, and then we dropped the parody altogether.”

Which brought Parente to a feature of “Sesame Street” that had not been reconstructed: the chronically mood-disordered Oscar the Grouch. On the first episode, Oscar seems irredeemably miserable — hypersensitive, sarcastic, misanthropic. (Bert, too, is described as grouchy; none of the characters, in fact, is especially sunshiney except maybe Ernie, who also seems slow.) “We might not be able to create a character like Oscar now,” she said.

Snuffleupagus is visible only to Big Bird; since 1985, all the characters can see him, as Big Bird’s old protestations that he was not hallucinating came to seem a little creepy, not to mention somewhat strained. As for Cookie Monster, he can be seen in the old-school episodes in his former inglorious incarnation: a blue, googly-eyed cookievore with a signature gobble (“om nom nom nom”). Originally designed by Jim Henson for use in commercials for General Foods International and Frito-Lay, Cookie Monster was never a righteous figure. His controversial conversion to a more diverse diet wouldn’t come until 2005, and in the early seasons he comes across a Child’s First Addict.

How can you diss Monsterpiece Theater and Alistair Cookie? That is classic Sesame Street that didn't have a bunch of us as kids eating and/or smoking pipes. No one could describe Oscar in such terms, I just thought he was great at insulting people who kept bothering him. Now he would be such a bad thing for kids today that he probably could not be created. This is another example of the pussification of children.

Yes I am overlooking the "former inglorious incarnation" crack. Cookie Monster was better that way instead of what seems to be a veggie eating fake version being used today.

BBC programs about white working class "under siege".

UK: Oh yeah, I think we can see where this is going given a few tidbits.

The BBC is to provoke controversy with a series of programmes this winter exploring Britain's "under siege" white working class.

The White season on BBC2 include White Girl, about an 11-year-old who moves with her family to a Muslim community in Bradford and ends up wearing the hijab. The BBC described the film as "provocative and emotional" and "a tender exploration of Islam through the eyes of a child".

Last Orders is a documentary set in Bradford about the "embattled" Wibsey Working Men's Club.

"Members feel that their very community is under threat and that racial tensions could erupt at any time," according to the BBC.

The BBC said: "The White season examines why some feel increasingly marginalised and explores possible reasons behind the rise in popularity of far-right politics in some sections of this community."

Roly Keating, the controller of BBC2, said: "It is BBC2's role to reflect contemporary society and this is a timely moment for us to examine the roots of this debate. The White season is a complex look at how life has changed for the white working class."

If by now you haven't figured out the reason behind the popularity of far right parties around Europe much less UK, then you are not thinking. The popularity ties up with the feeling the working class has that politicians are refusing to listen to them while the society they leave in is changing at breakneck speed combined with the sense factual and perception they are under fire and cannot speak their mind. It is that simple

Hillary finally slaps down at Obama's foreign "expertness."

Politics: Me yesterday.

Just because you grew up overseas and took a couple of classes in college doesn't mean jack when it comes to government policy. The implication is that foreign policy of America would be weighed more on the other country and less in America's favor. Sorry but foreign policy for any country is that it benefits them the most in the best possible way first and everything else second.

Hillary today.

Clinton mocks Obama for claiming living overseas as a boy prepped him for the Oval Office: “Voters will judge whether living in a foreign country at the age of 10 prepares one to face the big, complex international challenges the next president will face. I think we need a president with more experience than that…. I don’t think this is the time for on-the-job training on our economy or on foreign policy…”

Embrace my awesomeness.

WGA snitching demand gets results, hauls in producer.

Entertainment: Ah yes, another fine aspect of union inner workings. Snitching is alive and well in Hollywood as Gestapo like methods are employed.

EXCLUSIVE: I've learned that the WGAW's new Strike Rules Compliance Committee (SRCC) called in a high profile TV writer-producer today. He reported to the WGA offices at noon to appear before the disciplinary board. According to a source, the hyphenate is facing allegations that he has been breaking the WGA strike rules on his current TV series and two more projects. Though he denies the accusations, he has been confronted with a letter detailing the WGA's "proof", the insider says.

The SRCC is comprised of 12 WGAW members whose "mission is to discourage violations of the Guild's Strike Rules by investigating allegations that writers are undermining our strike efforts by engaging in strike-breaking activities or scab writing and, in appropriate instances, by recommending action against such writers," the WGA said when announcing its formation. "By doing so, we hope first and foremost to discourage such writers from breaking the Strike Rules."

AMPTP Nick Counter, days after the disciplinary panel was formed, last week accused the WGA of "using fear and intimidation to control its membership [by] asking members to inform on each other and creating a blacklist." People inside the Alliance representing studios and networks have decried the SRCC to me as a "rat squad".

Channel 4 vindicated over Undercover Mosque

UK: Now the police have to answer to why they were so eager to not investigate the claims and go after the documentary.

Channel 4 has been vindicated by the media watchdog Ofcom after police complained about an investigative programme that exposed extremism in British mosques.

West Midland's police had faced criticism for targeting the producers of the show rather than the controversial preachers depicted in it.

Ofcom added fuel to that debate by praising Undercover Mosque as a "legitimate investigation, uncovering matters of important public interest."

The watchdog added: "Ofcom found no evidence that the broadcaster had misled the audience or that the programme was likely to encourage or incite criminal activity.

"On the evidence (including untransmitted footage and scripts), Ofcom found that the broadcaster had accurately represented the material it had gathered and dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context."

Police claimed that the Dispatches programme had misrepresented the views of Muslim preachers and clerics with misleading editing.

Following today's ruling, the Channel 4 called the police's actions "perverse" and said they had, in some people's eyes, given "legitimacy to people preaching a message of hate"

Save Journeyman from NBC's stupidity!

Entertainment: Due to the fact those in charge of NBC are completely inept at promotion and finding great timeslots for their own shows, great shows they have stumbled upon like Journeyman is in danger of being cancelled.

A source deep inside NBC Universal says the network has stopped promoting what I regard as one of fall’s best new shows, “Journeyman,” and will cancel it unless the two-parter airing tonight and next Monday brings big numbers.

The source, a big proponent of the show, describes the two-parter as “super-dark and twisted.”

The show has five new episodes to air, including tonight’s. Whether NBC actually airs them is in question.

Our source says these final five episodes will tell us great deal more about how and, more importantly, why Dan (from 2007) and Livia (from 1948) are being slung through time.

BuddyTV has more.

The news could not come at a worse time for fans of quality serialized television already reeling from the writers' strike and its impact on shows like 24 and Lost. Slowly but surely, Journeyman has developed into one of the most intriguing shows on TV. The plight of San Francisco journalist Dan Vasser (Kevin McKidd) and his sudden time traveling jumps is becoming even more dramatic as the FBI is digging into his life, getting closer to the truth.

While Journeyman never soared in the ratings, it didn't help that lead-in Heroes, thought to be NBC's new benchmark series, became a ratings disappointment in season 2. Still, Journeyman received a nice bump last Monday with 6.2 million viewers, up nearly a million from the previous week.

According to one source close to the show, the ratings don't indicate the true depth of viewer loyalty. Each week, thanks to DVRs and online downloads, approximately one million additional viewers tune in. That speaks to the fact that many Journeyman fans are young science fiction lovers who are more technologically advanced than the studio heads who only look at Nielsen numbers.

The show over the last couple of weeks has kicked into high gear and has become one of the best shows put out this fall by any network. But considering NBC does a poor job of nuturing and advertising it this is the predicament it is in now. Save the show!

GI Joe first casting confirms sucktitude.

Entertainment: Sienna Miller and they are still going the way of the multicult screw American origins script.

Sienna Miller is the first thesp to enlist in Paramount Pictures' big-budget tentpole "G.I. Joe."

British actress will play the film's female lead, described as a raven-haired baroness and sexy femme fatale skilled in espionage.

Stephen Sommers directs the live-action film based on the Hasbro toys, comicbook and TV series.

Paramount, which has set a mid-February start date, has slotted the film for an Aug. 7, 2009, release.

Story is set at Brussels-based GIJOE, an acronym for the Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity, and revolves around an international co-ed force of operatives who use high-tech equipment to battle Cobra, an evil org headed by a Scottish arms dealer.

Baroness is more Scarlett Johansson than Sienna Miller unless she gains weight and gets a body on her.

Monday, November 19, 2007

UK parents stunting their children's growth.

UK: Most parents in the West seem to be doing what is accused by this minister.

Parents who "curtail" children's freedom by driving them to school and preventing them from playing outdoors were criticised by the Government.

It accused parents of failing to allow young people to develop properly by letting them take risks, make decisions and develop self-confidence. Some families may also be contributing to rising obesity by refusing to let children burn off calories.

A report into the state of children's lives in England said the decrease in childhood independence was directly linked to irrational fears over safety.

Speaking at the launch of the report in Westminster, Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, said many parents and children were "unjustifiably" concerned and youngsters might be missing out on vital life skills.

Zimbabwe finds one last industry to screw up.

Africa: I thought at this points they had screwed everything up, but I was wrong.

Zimbabwe's government has published new legislation that would force mining firms to transfer a majority shareholding to local owners.

That will include giving the government a free 25% stake.

The legislation is expected to be presented before parliament before the end of the year.

Economists warn that if the mines and minerals amendment bill is passed, it will halt any new investment in Zimbabwe's mining industry.

Ever since the government in Harare passed legislation earlier this year, forcing foreign-owned companies to sell a majority share to Zimbabweans, the mining industry knew it would have eventually have to comply.

But what has alarmed industry insiders is a provision in the draft law that says 25% of the shares must be given to the government for free.

Dems Hispanic caucus demands English only be stripped.

Politics: Nancy Pelosi doing the bidding of one of the many interest groups in the party.

Now House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has moved to kill an amendment that would protect employers from federal lawsuits for requiring their workers to speak English. Among the employers targeted by such lawsuits: the Salvation Army.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, a moderate Republican from Tennessee, is dumbstruck that legislation he views as simple common sense would be blocked. He noted that the full Senate passed his amendment to shield the Salvation Army by 75-19 last month, and the House followed suit with a 218-186 vote just this month. "I cannot imagine that the framers of the 1964 Civil Rights Act intended to say that it's discrimination for a shoe shop owner to say to his or her employee, 'I want you to be able to speak America's common language on the job,' " he told the Senate last Thursday.

But that's exactly what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is trying to do. In March the EEOC sued the Salvation Army because its thrift store in Framingham, Mass., required its employees to speak English on the job. The requirement was clearly posted and employees were given a year to learn the language. The EEOC claimed the store had fired two Hispanic employees for continuing to speak Spanish on the job. It said that the firings violated the law because the English-only policy was not "relevant" to job performance or safety.

"If it is not relevant, it is discriminatory, it is gratuitous, it is a subterfuge to discriminate against people based on national origin," says Rep. Charles Gonzalez of Texas, one of several Hispanic Democrats in the House who threatened to block Ms. Pelosi's attempts to curtail the Alternative Minimum Tax unless she killed the Alexander amendment.

The confrontation on the night of Nov. 8 was ugly. Members of the Hispanic Caucus initially voted against the rule allowing debate on a tax bill that included the AMT "patch," which for a year would protect some 23 million Americans from being kicked into a higher income tax bracket.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a moderate from Maryland, was beside himself. Congressional Quarterly reports that he jabbed his finger on the House floor at Joe Baca, the California Democrat who chairs the Hispanic Caucus, and yelled, "How dare you destroy this party? This will be the worst loss in 10 years."

Mr. Baca was having none of it. "You see this on the [voting] board?," he yelled back. "This is against me. This is against me personally." Luckily for Democrats, C-Span's microphones did not pick up the exchange. But it was audible to reporters in the press gallery. They also heard Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois say that English-only efforts were symbolic of "bigotry and prejudice" against those who speak other languages.

Obama foreign policy experience is a crock

Politics: I have had it with this BS line of expertness Obama claims he has because he lived overseas as a kid.

Democratic 2008 hopeful Barack Obama argued Monday his childhood years in Indonesia and ties to Kenya would make him a better president than rivals who had seen the world on congressional junkets.

Obama said candidates who did not understand foreign cultures, would have a tough time making good foreign policy decisions.

"If you don't understand these cultures then it's very hard for you to make good foreign policy decisions. Foreign policy is all about judgment," said Obama.

"The benefit of my life of having both lived overseas and traveled overseas ... is, I have a better sense of how they're thinking and what their society is really like," Obama said.

"A lot of my knowledge about foreign affairs isn't just what I studied in school -- I studied international relations when I was in college -- it's not just the work I do on the Senate foreign relations committee.

"It's actually having the knowledge of how ordinary people in these other countries live."

Just because you grew up overseas and took a couple of classes in college doesn't mean jack when it comes to government policy. The implication is that foreign policy of America would be weighed more on the other country and less in America's favor. Sorry but foreign policy for any country is that it benefits them the most in the best possible way first and everything else second.

Speaking of what the hell was that all about practically screaming at that old lady in Iowa who asked a legit question?

Maryland passes largest tax increase ever!

Politics: Here is a clue how much Washington Post again sides with Dems in that region, they rationalize the tax increase in terms of 1960's dollars.

Maryland lawmakers were on the verge last night of passing about $1.4 billion in annual tax increases and a public referendum on legalizing 15,000 slot machines, as a far-reaching special session of the General Assembly hurtled to a close.

Passage of the bills would resolve two long-festering issues: chronic budget problems created by passing a landmark education law five years ago without funding to pay for it; and the perennial debate over slot machine gambling.

By 11 p.m., a bill authorizing a referendum on slots was sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), and the House had approved a tax package. The Senate was still considering that measure, while deliberations continued on a bill to offer health insurance to 100,000 poor and uninsured adults without Medicaid coverage.

With the actions, O'Malley was expected to get most of what he wanted when he called the session to close a projected budget shortfall of at least $1.5 billion and raise revenue for transportation and health-care priorities.

"You've got to give Governor O'Malley a lot of credit for going out and, in essence, leading with his chin," said House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel), who advised against holding the high-stakes session. "The governor took it all on his shoulders, and the legislature pretty much followed. . . . We've basically, in my estimate, taken a full legislative year of work and condensed it into 20 days."

Republican leaders said the session was more likely to remembered for its frantic pace and for what would arguably be the largest tax increase in Maryland history. Legislation expected to be given final passage before adjournment included increases in sales, corporate income, tobacco and vehicle titling taxes, as well as an overhaul of the personal income tax system that would result in high-end earners paying more.

"Common sense and reason went out the window just to give the governor a victory," said Senate Minority Leader David R. Brinkley (R-Frederick). "I think this whole thing has been a debacle, and taxpayers are stuck holding the bill."

Although the increase in tax revenue would be the state's largest in terms of total dollars, taxes were raised by a far greater percentage in the late 1960s. From 1967 to 1968, taxes paid by Marylanders went up by more than 30 percent; the legislation expected to pass last night would increase taxes less than 10 percent, legislative analysts said.

When you starting spinning like this you know your wallet is going to take a beating.
Have fun paying your taxes.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Shepard Smith gets paid!

Media: Next round on him.

Mr. Ailes has put his network’s money where he wants its chief voice to be. Last week, Mr. Smith signed a new contract that will take him, a former local news reporter from Holly Springs, Miss., into financial territory usually occupied only by network news anchors. Although Fox did not release the exact terms of the new deal, an executive briefed on the them said that Mr. Smith, who is 43, had signed a new contract for a little more than three years at a salary of $7 million to $8 million a year.

That figure may not quite reach Katie Couric’s $15 million level, but it is in the vicinity of the contracts with Brian Williams at NBC and Charles Gibson at ABC — and it is spectacularly lofty for cable television news. Mr. Smith would be making more than anyone at CNN — if reports of $5 million for Anderson Cooper and $6 million for Lou Dobbs are accurate.

Arizona employers firing illegal immigrants.

Immigration: Not as the AP on MSNBC headline which is "immigrants" a false headline.

Immigration lawyers say hundreds of illegal immigrants have been fired as a result of Arizona's new employer-sanctions law.

The law, which goes into effect Jan. 1, already has some businesses reviewing worker-eligibility forms of their employees. Workers who cannot provide missing information or admit they are in the country illegally have been fired.

It is unclear how many people have been fired, but the numbers are at least in the hundreds, possibly the thousands, said Julie Pace, a Phoenix lawyer who is performing audits of worker-eligibility forms for companies and represents businesses opposed to the sanctions law.

BBC to probe its leftist bias?

Media: I guess to figure out how to cover it up much better because unless there is a wholesale change in employees and management nothing will change.

The BBC is to review the impartiality of its network news coverage across the UK.

The BBC Trust commissioned the probe amid complaints of bias.

The move comes just five months after another internal BBC report claimed that the organisation was Left-leaning, out of touch with large swathes of the public and guilty of "unconscious self-censorship" on issues it found unpalatable.

A survey by the media regulator Ofcom revealed that almost half of viewers - 46 percent - consider BBC1's news coverage to be biased.

Researchers from the Cardiff University School of Journalism will look at network coverage during the English local elections and polls in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales next year.

Driver crosses America in 31 hours and 4 mins.

Coolness: Via AFP.

Extreme sports fan Alex Roy said Friday he had smashed the record for the fastest "Cannonball run" across the United States, defying police and speed traps.

Alex Roy, 35, who waited a year to boast about his exploits and remains vague about the exact dates in a bid to avoid any prosecution, said he had blistered across 13 states in 31 hours and 4 minutes, breaking the old record by more than an hour.

Car enthusiast and rally driver Roy travelled the 4,496 kilometers (2,794 miles) from New York on the East Coast to Santa Monica, California, on the West Coast at an average 145 kilometers (95 miles) an hour.

At times though he reached top speeds of 257 kilometers (160 miles) an hour, breaking the previous record set in 1983 of 32 hours and 17 minutes.

Tawana Brawley's family wants case re-opened.

Politics: Spitzer really doesn't need this at this time.

Twenty years after her allegations of a racially charged rape became a national flash point, Tawana Brawley's mother and stepfather want to reopen the case, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Glenda Brawley and Ralph King want to press New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to re-examine the November 1987 incident, which a state grand jury ultimately concluded was a hoax, the Daily News reported.

"New York state owes my daughter. They owe her the truth," said Glenda Brawley. She reiterated her stance that her daughter was indeed raped by a group of white men who smeared her with feces and scrawled racial epithets on her body.

Representatives for Spitzer and Cuomo did not immediately respond to telephone and e-mail messages.

Neither does Cuomo or Sharpton.

Baghdad by night: juice bars, neon lights, bustling streets

Iraq: Still deadly in Iraq as three soldiers and kids were killed by suicide bomber. The violence is down enough that even the AFP is recognizing the effects(though backhanded slap) of the security crackdown.

The gaudy orange, green and purple electronic palm trees flashing in the dark alert you that you're getting close to one of Baghdad's bustling nightspots.
The palms, like a mirage, can be seen from way down the darkened streets, lighting up the night and giving a promise of normality in the otherwise bleak and deserted capital, ravaged by four years of insurgency and sectarian strife.

And then, suddenly, you've arrived and the mirage has become an oasis of generator-driven light; a colourful jumble of trendy juice bars, cosy restaurants, fruit shops, roadside eateries and fish vendors, where children play, families dine and lovers meet.

"Even two or three months ago we would have been afraid to come here at night," said 20-year-old Hussein Salah, an off-duty soldier, slurping a milkshake with his wife, Shihad, at the Mishmesha (apricot) juice bar in Baghdad's relatively safe Karrada suburb.

"Now we sometimes sit outside here till one or two in the morning. It is quite safe. The security situation is vastly improved," said Salah, the orange light from a nearby flashing palm alternatively brightening and dimming his clean-shaven face.

Declines in Iraqi civilian casualties and a sharp reduction in bomb and mortar attacks have sparked optimism that the capital is at last starting to revive.

US military commanders attribute the fall in violence to a "surge" of American troops on the ground, their decision to set up small military posts in neighbourhoods, and the increasing number of Iraqis joining US forces in anti-insurgent alliances.

Residents interviewed by AFP on the streets of Karrada were adamant, however, that the Iraqi government and the Iraqi army are entirely responsible for reining in sectarian bloodletting unleashed by the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra in February 2006.

"We have the Iraqi government to thank for the peace in our neighbourhood," said fishmonger Muqdad Mohammed, 38, smoking "mazguf" (carp) -- a Baghdad delicacy -- netted in the Tigris river on an open fire at a street corner.

French man cooks up world's largest barbecue

Coolness: Texans! You are going to allow this to stand? Though BBQ Camel sounds interesting.
A French cook has prepared the world's largest barbecue -- spit-roasting a 550-kilo (1,213-pound) camel for 15 hours at a seaside Moroccan town south of Rabat.

"It's a tradition that's fallen out of favour," said 63-year-old Christian Falco from the southwestern French city of Perpignan, describing a time two centuries ago when a Moroccan king offered a roast camel to his people.

"I brought it back," said Falco, a six-time Guinness world record holder whose other culinary claims to fame include spit-roasting the world's largest slab of beef, 985.5 kilos, in 1996.

Falco began barbecuing his latest meal early Saturday, using three tons of wood and 15 liters of oil to cook the camel meat.

Some 500 intrepid diners feasted on it Saturday night at the seaside town of Safi, paying 150 dirhams (11 euros, 19 dollars) for the experience.

Safi was also the settng for the world's largest tajine, a North African stew, made of sardines in 1999.

Falco is already planning his next challenge -- to beat the world record for the biggest spit-roasted bison in Costa Rica.

Detroit most dangerous city in America 2007


In another blow to the Motor City's tarnished image, Detroit pushed past St. Louis to become the nation's most dangerous city, according to a private research group's controversial analysis, released Sunday, of annual FBI crime statistics.

The study drew harsh criticism even before it came out. The American Society of Criminology launched a pre-emptive strike Friday, issuing a statement attacking it as "an irresponsible misuse" of crime data.

The 14th annual "City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America" was published by CQ Press, a unit of Congressional Quarterly Inc. It is based on the FBI's Sept. 24 crime statistics report.

The report looked at 378 cities with at least 75,000 people based on per-capita rates for homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and auto theft. Each crime category was considered separately and weighted based on its seriousness, CQ Press said.

Last year's crime leader, St. Louis, fell to No. 2. Another Michigan city, Flint, ranked third, followed by Oakland Calif.; Camden, N.J.; Birmingham, Ala.; North Charleston, S.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; Richmond, Calif.; and Cleveland.

The study ranked Mission Viejo, Calif., as the safest U.S. city, followed by Clarkstown, N.Y.; Brick Township, N.J.; Amherst, N.Y.; and Sugar Land, Texas.

CQ Press spokesman Ben Krasney said details of the weighting system were proprietary. It was compiled by Kathleen O'Leary Morgan and Scott Morgan, whose Morgan Quitno Press published it until its acquisition by CQ Press.

Blizzard screwed up Alterac Valley.

Gaming: How to screw up a pleasant battleground should be the title of this rant in regards to Alterac Valley.

Unless you have the most moronic people on the horde side, it is simply not possible for the alliance with the new scoring system to be in the game. This whole argument of "well now its real pvp duh duh duh."

That wasn't the damn point of AV in the first place, the map was/is made for PvE playing with the amount of quests and turn in factors it use to have before all the nerfing and fixing. The programmers in their wisdom put in a AB scoring system, took out the NPCs, nerfed the Generals and remaining objectives to nothing and now the map which was never made for this type of nonsense becomes a disadvantage to the Alliance. If you look at the map the horde simply have a better starting point and the horde can get SH bunker, SH GY or Snow before the first alliance with speed boost can get to anything.

The length of the games have worsen and I have been in 3 40 min+ games, that is highly unacceptable given the honor being put given out even if you do everything perfectly.

Fix the map to match the scoring system or fix the scoring system to include the Generals as a must to kill. It is ridiculous to take them out of the equation.

Edit: This post from the WoW Forums says it better though because the poster is a lot calmer.

The reason why the complaints from Alliance now are different from the Horde complaints is because the BG objectives have changed entirely, and the map was not actually designed for the new objectives. Pre-2.3, it didn't matter that the Alliance had a rear chokepoint and the Horde had a forward chokepoint, because either side HAD to go through a checkpoint to win, and more importantly, they had to kill a general, which for both sides was all the way in their respective bases.

Now, the Horde can win without even getting past the Alliance chokepoint at Stormpike. The Alliance basically cannot win without going through the Horde chokepoint at IB. That's a pretty significant difference. Also, as others have pointed out, the Horde starts out closer to Alliance objectives. It is not possible for the Alliance to reach SH *bunker* before the Horde does. Period. This gives the Horde a free tower. Also, the Alliance cannot defend Balinda (putting aside all her other flaws for a moment) without exposing a tower. The Horde can defend Galv and IB tower at the same time without spreading too thin.

Moreover, even if the Alliance defends against the initial push at SH, most likely the players that were a part of the failed assault will rez at IB, which is almost right back in the fray. By contrast, If the Alliance does an offensive push for IB and fails, then the overwhelming majority of the time they will be rezzing at STORMPIKE, because by that time the Horde will have tagged SH graveyard. Again, this was less of a problem back before each side suffered a heavy penalty for losing towers. Now, it's a whole new ballgame -- I've only seen the generals killed twice in many AV games played since the patch. Now most games seem to be won by capping as many towers as you can and spending the rest of the time killing players.

The Horde have always had an advantage at the beginning of the game and a disadvantage toward the end. Pre-2.3 this balanced things overall, because both sides had to get into the other side's base to win. Now the beginning advantage is huge for the Horde, because they don't have to step foot in Dun Baldar, and they basically get spotted a tower and captain every game. I mean, I'm good and all, but that's a much larger handicap than I should be giving. :) Instead of a race to generals, it's a race to towers, and the Horde has a head start.