Saturday, January 12, 2008

More on the Canadian Muslim group assault on free speech.

Canada: Hot Air has the summary of Ezra Levant "questioning" by the human rights commission.

Immigration Officer Guilty Of Taking Bribes

Immigration: So are we rounding up all the people who payed the bribes and kicking them out of the country?

A former U.S. immigration supervisor was sentenced yesterday to 3 1/2 years in prison for accepting tens of thousands of dollars in bribes so that dozens of ineligible aliens could receive citizenship.

Jimmie Ortega, 59, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John F. Keenan, who urged him to behave when he gets out of prison.

"It's a shame that you did what you did," the judge said as he also ordered Ortega to forfeit $50,000.

Ortega, of Lindenhurst, accepted bribes of up to $3,000 per person between October 2004 and April 2006 in exchange for passing grades on citizenship tests, prosecutors said.

Seven of Ortega's 10 co-defendants have pleaded guilty to charges of unlawfully procuring naturalization while another has pleaded guilty to making a false statement. They await sentencing.

The cases against the two others are pending.

Ortega, who pleaded guilty last year, retired as a supervisory district adjudications officer with the naturalization unit of the U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in New York in spring 2006. He had served in the U.S. Army for 21 years before taking the immigration post.

Gizmodo making tech bloggers look like A-holes.

Tech: Between Engadget who can't do a press conference without acting like idiots and Gizmodo messing around CES, its looks both are out to prove how much of an idiot tech bloggers can act to appeal to the GenY crowd. MSM tech reporters are going nuts over it.

The TV-B-Gone is an infrared clicker that lets you anonymously turn off TV sets in public places, like bars or restaurants.

But at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the staff of ran around the booths with a TV-B-Gone, turning off the exhibitors’ flat-panel screens as a prank.

Worse, they turned off the screens in the middle of exhibitors’ presentations, sending baffled technicians rushing to the stage.
Screen shot from Gizmodo C.E.S. 2008 video.

Then Gizmodo gleefully posted a video of their antics. They’re now the hero of the juvenile “Jackass” crowd.

The only regret the Giz crew has including the editor Brian Lam is they screwed around with a motorola press conference and what they did in turning off the sets was just hilarious otherwise. In situations like these, I would like to think Karma is just sitting back waiting to get back at Gawker Media.

Update: Link to engadget complaint above.

Obama vs Hillary on the racial politics.

Politics: You knew it was going to happen eventually.

A series of comments from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband and her supporters are spurring a racial backlash and adding a divisive edge to the presidential primary as the candidates head south to heavily African-American South Carolina.

The comments, which ranged from the New York senator appearing to diminish the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement — an aide later said she misspoke — to Bill Clinton dismissing Sen. Barack Obama’s image in the media as a “fairy tale” — generated outrage on black radio, black blogs and cable television. And now they've drawn the attention of prominent African-American politicians.

“A cross-section of voters are alarmed at the tenor of some of these statements,” said Obama spokeswoman Candice Tolliver, who said that Clinton would have to decide whether she owed anyone an apology.

“There’s a groundswell of reaction to these comments — and not just these latest comments but really a pattern, or a series of comments that we’ve heard for several months,” she said. “Folks are beginning to wonder: Is this really an isolated situation, or is there something bigger behind all of this?”

Clinton supporters responded to that suggestion with their own outrage.

“To say that there is a pattern of racist comments coming out of the Hillary campaign is ridiculous,” said Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones. “All of the world knows the commitment of President Clinton and Sen. Clinton to civil rights issues — and not only the commitment in terms of words but in terms of deeds.”

I do think its a combination of snark and truth given the comments by the Clintons and some that have a ring of truth to it like this comment by Bill Clinton.

After Obama won in Iowa and Hillary Clinton’s path to the nomination seemed threatened, Bill Clinton came to his wife’s defense. He argued Obama’s rise had come without an appropriate level of scrutiny from members of the news media.

“This thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen,” the former president said.

Bill Clinton kept up the criticism, telling New Hampshire voters not to make the same decision Iowans had in supporting Obama.

“The voters there said, ‘We want something different. We want something that looks good and sounds good. We don’t care about achievement.’”

Obama supporters were outraged by the criticism.

EH? The media fell in love with Obama after Iowa to the point I thought he was their new God. Now they have ratcheted back to Hillary because of the mistakes and adulation given to Obama in New Hampshire. There is definite proof that well education liberal whites want to be a part of history by voting for Obama based on the fact he is a non-threating black guy they can relate too. These are not new cuts, these are have been going around the media circles since Obama declared himself a candidate.

Why Obamamania? Because He Runs As The Great White Hope.

By David Greenberg
Sunday, January 13, 2008; B04

The Obama phenomenon, then, stems not from what he has done but who he is. As the social critic John McWhorter has written, "What gives people a jolt in their gut about the idea of President Obama is the idea that it would be a ringing symbol that racism no longer rules our land." He is the great white hope.

....History provides a precedent of sorts: In 1960, John F. Kennedy, a dashing, almost aristocratic figure who defied many nasty stereotypes of Irish Catholics, made Protestants feel not just safe in voting for him but downright virtuous. They could flatter themselves that they were not prejudiced while still choosing a candidate as cultivated as any Brahmin. Similarly, Obama -- whose strongest appeal has thus far been to upscale white liberals -- allows those whites to feel good about themselves and their country. He lets them imagine that a nation founded for freedom yet built on slavery can be redeemed by pulling a lever.

At the same time, Obama doesn't threaten or discomfort whites. He doesn't strike them as wronged or impatient, or as the spokesman of a long-subjugated minority group or even as someone particularly culturally different from themselves. As much Kansan as Kenyan, Obama does not descend from families who suffered American slavery or Jim Crow. His family tree has fewer slaves than slaveholders, fewer chains than Cheneys.

This background may be what some people (mainly blacks) have meant when they asked the regrettable question of whether Obama is "black enough" to earn their votes. But Obama has always been black enough for his elite white enthusiasts, who would never presume to judge an African American's racial authenticity -- indeed, are all too happy to have such a question be kept, by prevailing norms, off limits to them.

There is going to be a whisper campaign just like the ongoing Obama is a secret Muslim talk. But the problem is if everytime someone brings up something about Obama his supporters especially black supporters cry racism, then there is going to be a backlash towards him. You can't play the race card and get away with it these days.

I take it back, you can play the race card but the success is dependent on if someone calls you on it. If Obama and his people call on it again and again, it will fail.

WGA Strike: force majeure at ABC as deals are cut from payroll.

Entertainment: As the slow rolling plan of the studios come to life, time to get rid of unwanted deals which leads to a major restructuring of how the studios/networks do business.

ABC Studios on Friday afternoon became the first TV studio to terminate overall deals under the force majeure provision in its producers' deals.

In a major house-cleaning sweep, close to 30 writing and nonwriting producers -- most of them well-known -- who don't have active projects have been axed. The list includes the writing duos of Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia, as well as Gabe Sachs and Jeff Judah, director Larry Charles, producer Sean Bailey, the producing team of Nina Wass and Gene Stein, writers Jack Kenney and Bill Callahan and actor-producer Taye Diggs, who landed a producing deal a year ago when he signed on to star on the ABC/ABC Studios drama "Private Practice."

"The ongoing strike has had a significant detrimental impact on development and production so we are forced to make the difficult decision to release a number of talented, respected individuals from their development deals," an ABC Studios spokeswoman said late Friday.

Most of the public just doesn't care about the strike according to Pew.

Now everyone is suing because of subprime loans.

Nation: The sad part is the responsible taxpayer will have to pay to bail out the idiots who took out money from their homes by signing up for stupid loans. Most of these people weren't cheated, they got greedy and now expect everyone else to bail them out.


Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson took aim at Wall Street on Thursday with a lawsuit against 21 major investment banks that he said have enabled the subprime lending and foreclosure crisis here.

The one-of-a-kind suit, filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, accuses venerable institutions such as Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo of creating a public nuisance.

Jackson contends the companies irresponsibly bought and sold high-interest home loans. The result: widespread defaults that depleted the city's tax base and left entire neighborhoods in ruins.

City officials hope to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, including lost taxes from devalued property and money spent demolishing and boarding up thousands of abandoned houses.


Black neighborhoods in Baltimore were disproportionately affected by the subprime mortgage fallout, according to a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by the city, which is attempting to recoup the costs of maintaining neighborhoods wracked by foreclosures.

The lawsuit alleges Wells Fargo Bank NA engaged in a pattern of predatory lending practices in Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods, leading to foreclosure rates nearly double the citywide average.

"When you have foreclosures, the property values drop, and you get less tax revenue. There's fire and police costs that come from abandoned and boarded-up and vacant properties," said John P. Relman, a Washington-based attorney who is representing the city in the lawsuit. "It leads to crime and drugs and school problems as the community is being destabilized."

Hillary Clinton with her parasitic voting public.

Politics: This is what the personal responsibility public is up against this voting season as the Dems start to play the class warfare card hard.

Clinton and her busload of traveling press moved from there to the popular local Mexican restaurant Lindo Michoacan, where a “roundtable” that was actually square passed a microphone around to tell her people’s concerns about the mortgage crisis and foreclosures. She took notes and munched on tortilla chips.

In broken English, one woman told Clinton how she wasn’t making money as a broker anymore.

“I have no income at all,” she said. “So how will I survive?”

Choking up with emotion, the woman said, “In my neighborhood, there are brand-new homes, but the value is nothing. I’m glad you are here so I can tell you, because you’re going to be the president, I know.”

Maybe get another line of work? What do you expect the government to hand you welfare checks?

A man shouted through an opening in the wall that his wife was illegal.

“No woman is illegal,” Clinton said, to cheers.

As the open border Hillary shines like a exploding sun.

Friday, January 11, 2008

So Australia is China's new concubine.

Australia: First censoring the internet and now this.

In China:
China is banning production of ultra-thin plastic bags common at shops and supermarkets and ordering customers to be charged for any they use ...

Sort of like bullets. And in Australia:
The Environment Minister, Peter Garrett, [is] likely to impose either a levy on each bag handed to shoppers, or ban them outright within 12 months.

UPDATE. This is ridiculous:
The Government is under pressure to act quickly after the Chinese Government yesterday announced plans to ban free plastic bags within six months.

Via Tim Blair.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sharpton going after golf announcer for more pub.

Nation: Sharpton need to find out where all that money went raised for the Jena Six instead of going after this woman for a ill-mannered term usage. Thats right, ill-mannered. Who should be ashamed is the golf channel for caving like a bunch of craven politically correct wussies. If nothing else Tilghman found out how fast one can be thrown under the bus by her bosses.

In events resembling the prelude to the fall of radio host Don Imus, Sharpton appears to be marshaling his forces for a fight with the Golf Channel, which suspended Tilghman on Wednesday for a racially insensitive statement made last week.

Tilghman uttered the remark during coverage of Hawaii's Mercedes-Benz Championship on Friday, while she and and co-host Nick Faldo were bantering about how young golfers might challenge ever-dominant Woods.
Faldo said, "To take Tiger on, well yeah, they should just gang up for a while until ..."

"Lynch him in a back alley," Tilghman interrupted with a chuckle.
Tilghman is a far cry from Imus, the morning show host who was canned after calling the Rutgers University women's basketball team "nappy-headed hos." Unlike the disc jockey, who is known for his off color humor and outspoken remarks, she has no history of stoking racial tensions.

But Sharpton says it is the word -- not the person or their history -- that matters. In a Wednesday interview, he compared Tilghman's statement to calling for a woman to be raped or for a Jewish-American to be sent to a gas chamber. Watch why Sharpton thinks apologies are insufficient »

"Lynching is not murder in general. It is not assault in general. It is a specific racial term that this woman should be held accountable for," the reverend said. "What she said is racist. Whether she's a racist -- whether she runs around at night making racist statements -- is immaterial."

Sharpton said he wants Tilghman fired, period. And if the Golf Channel doesn't comply, the network can expect to see Sharpton and his National Action Network supporters picketing its Orlando, Florida, headquarters.

Illegals immigrants believe they have a right to America.

Immigration: In a infuriating piece in the pro-illegal Washington Post paper, illegals are the ones who are hurt people are calling them criminals.... The illegals!

To many illegal immigrants, sneaking into the United States is at worst a minor violation -- a breach of the rules so small, and so necessary, as to be beyond even mild reproach.

To many Americans, the act of entering the United States without permission taints every aspect of an illegal immigrant's existence in the country. It points to a disregard for the law, suggests that the government has abdicated responsibility for borders and fuels outrage.

The chasm between the views has created an emotional response to one of the newest a hot-button words in the political lexicon: illegal.

Those opposed to illegal immigration insist on using the term instead of the more anodyne "undocumented immigrant" as a litmus test of a person's commitment to restoring control of the borders and order in the interior.

Among immigrants, the word has become a slur.

"To call us illegal is to call us criminals," said Salvadoran-born Maria Isabel Rivas, 28, who trekked across the Arizona desert seven years ago to join her husband in Herndon. "But how can this be a crime? Our only crime is to come here and work like burros."

.....So total is the lack of stigma that many undocumented immigrants feel about sneaking in that even pop culture figures such as Cesar Millan, a dog trainer for celebrities and star of the cable show "Dog Whisperer," make no apologies for their history.

"I am not ashamed to say it: I came to the United States illegally," wrote Millan, who left Mexico not to escape starvation but to pursue stardom, in his bestselling book "Cesar's Way." For "the poor and working class of Mexico, there is no other way to come to America except illegally. It's impossible," he wrote.

So just ignore our laws and demand amnesty for all illegals. It is this sort of mindset that has made immigration such a hot issue. The lack of respect for American laws and the feeling of entitlement. American is not an open border camp site for people to drop in and out. Laws should be followed or there would be chaos.

Dumbest feud of the year so far: David Cross vs Patton Oswalt

Entertainment: Almost embarrassing to bring this up but only to show what a thin-skinned tool David Cross is about an innocent joke. Spoutblog sums it up.

Oh my. The whole wide internet is now talking about David Cross’ blog post in defense of his decision to cash in on Alvin and the Chipmunks. Cross was apparently moved to write the post, at least in part, by “a snide comment” made by fellow comedian Patton Oswalt on his own blog. Oswalt, who acknowledges the irony that he’s somehow managed to maintain some modicum of credibility even after playing “the fat sidekick from King Of Queens” for something like three decades, had originally claimed that “[B]oth Brian Posehn and I were offered the part [in Alvin]. We both threw the script across the room in disgust. David Cross caught it.”

Now, in a letter ostensibly addressed to Cross, published by The A.V. Club, Oswalt says said snide comment was actually an inside joke which Cross just didn’t get. Oswalt says he ran into Cross after attending the premiere of Failure to Launch, in which Oswalt had “a tiny, three-line part in the movie, and I used it as a way to scam Paramount into flying me to Manhattan for a few days.” And then…

But you said, after I told you about being in Failure To Launch, “Man, they sent me that script, and I read ten pages and threw it across the room.” Then you added, “I guess you caught it.”

Well, I thought that was hilarious. I really did…So I stupidly assumed you’d remember that exchange from March of 2006…which is why I put it in my blog.

[…] Let’s go get dinner somewhere soon, and laugh about this over a bottle of Integrity Vineyards Shiraz. Or let fate take us where it will, and I promise we will look back fondly on this meaty mess from the set of Hungry Hungry Hippos: The Movie. Scorsese’s already announced it for 2010.

Man, poor David Cross. He’s somehow managed to make himself look like a humorless, irony-deficient complain brain, who spends his days hunkered away in his upstate New York “cottage” frantically checking his vanity Google alerts, while the significantly hacky-er Oswalt has the last word, all the while fanning himself with syndication checks. Oh, Arrested Development movie––we need you now more than ever!

David Cross did Scary Movie 2, Alvin and the Chipmunks is a huge step up. Why he had to post a really defensive post about it shows a complete lack of self-control or trying to keep up the indie college touring comedian street "cred" which is even worse. On the scale of celebrity feuds this would warrant a VH1 special, but Cross always comes across as some holier than thou pseudo-intellect running down other comedians like Larry the Cable Guy because they don't follow what he thinks is great comedic values.

He is so in need of praise for his "artistic" work he goes nuts over an inside joke he originated like anyone really cares other than to mock him for a bit.

Michael Caine did Jaws 4 and it didn't wreck him, I doubt the world will stop to cry about Alvin.

Obama ready to rumble with the Clinton machine?

Politics: Via Malkin.

Update 3:50pm Eastern. Looks like Barack Obama isn’t crying in a corner: “I think that Senator Clinton, obviously, is a formidable and tough candidate, and we have to make sure that we take it to them just like they take it to us,” the Illinois senator said. “I come from Chicago politics. We’re accustomed to rough and tumble.” Message: No More Tears.

Make me proud son, show'em what the Chicago way is all about!

Guillermo del Toro wants to do last Harry Potter movie.

Entertainment: He would make the perfect fit given the tone of Deathly Hallows.

Somebody at Warner Brothers please get on the phone with this guy. Just two months after talking “Harry Potter” with MTV News from Budapest, director Guillermo del Toro was back stateside making another pitch to helm the series seventh installment, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

“I’m definitely interested,” he insisted, “now that the movies have grown darker. They have a contrast between the gloomy existence of the kid and the world he’s exposed to. They have evolved into a really nice universe.”

The deathstick, a wand of destiny which makes its bearer unbeatable. A resurrection stone which enables the one who wields it to visit with the dead. A trip to the afterlife and a final duel which makes “Return of the Jedi: look like kindergarten cops and robbers. Indeed, given all the new elements of the “Harry Potter” universe introduced in “Hallows,” there’s little doubt that it would be right in del Toro’s wheelhouse – especially after the visionary “Pan’s Labyrinth” cemented him as the master of fairy-tales that cross over from children to adults.

After reading the seventh novel himself, del Toro can’t help but nod his head in agreement.

“I got [’Deathly Hallows’] for my daughter and she was like ‘When are you going to give it to me?’” he smiled. “I read it and I was very moved by the ending. It ends very much like a Dickens novel.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Ex Meth addict successfully sues Dealer...

Canada: Only in Canada where personal responsiblity doesn't seem to extend far enough to not waste the court's time on something this stupid.

A Canadian woman won a civil suit against her drug dealer for selling her addictive street drugs that landed her in hospital after an overdose, she said Wednesday.

A judge in western Saskatchewan province threw out the rural drug dealer's defense because he refused to reveal where he got the narcotics, and in doing so, awarded plaintiff Sandra Bergen a default victory, said court documents.

"I was frustrated with the criminal justice system because there was no real investigation (into his crimes), so I decided to try to hold him accountable through a civil lawsuit," Bergen told AFP in a telephone interview.

"I sued him for negligence ... for selling me (illegal) drugs and getting me hooked when I was vulnerable," she said of her former kindergarten friend who first offered her a free dose when she was only 13 years old.

Citing her attorney, Bergen added: "My victory sets a legal precedence (in Canada), so people can now sue their drug dealers if they want to."

After she overdosed on crystal methamphetamine in May 2004, Bergen spent 11 days in a coma and nearly died.

While hooked up to a hospital respirator because she could not breathe on her own, she said she suffered lung failure, heart failure, kidney failure, and liver failure.

"It almost killed me," she said.

In her statement of claim, Bergen alleged her dealer "knew the drug was highly addictive and was harmful to the wealth and well-being of anyone taking it," yet still sold it to her "for the purpose of making money."

In his defense, Clinton Davey said Bergen "voluntarily consumed illegal drugs, thus contributing to her own condition." "She assumed the risks," he said.

Of course it almost killed you, its FRICKING CRYSTAL METH! Unless he forced it on you...I am trying to argue for a drug dealer.... Let me stop myself.

WGA Strike: Studios starting to lay off people.

Entertainment: Finke thinks this stinks, but its all about business. I wouldn't be surprised if someone finds out the studios while unhappy don't see this as an opportune time to restructure the business.

But the depressing strike-related news continued Tuesday with a quartet of downbeat developments:

Warner Bros. has notified the more than 1,000 employees in its studios facilities operations that an unspecified number of layoffs will be announced later this month. "It now appears that the WGA's strike will continue for the foreseeable future, and we must begin to scale back our operations due to the decline in production activity," WB said in the notice.

Anschutz Film Group shingles Walden Media and Bristol Bay shuttered the majority of their creative departments and laid off much of the physical production staff as well. Exec veep of production Alex Schwartz was among those let go. Walden will retain the key players on its "Narnia" team.

The Innovative Agency is one of the first agencies to make strike-related cuts. Over the past several weeks, the percentery quietly laid off seven employees from its staff of 65 in its Los Angeles offices.

Scripted TV production in Los Angeles is down to a single show, ABC's "October Road." A total of 62 skeins have been shuttered due to the strike, with a direct economic impact of $160 million per week.

The developments have come with the WGA strike in its third month and no new talks scheduled. More job losses are expected if the strike continues into February and March.

The Warners layoffs were disclosed in a letter sent by senior VP Joann Black, who said the cutbacks would be effective on Jan. 18 and that the decisions would probably be announced next week.

"We anticipate these cutbacks will be temporary, and that many employees will be called back to work once the strike concludes," she added. "We regret that we must take these actions; please know that we have delayed as long as we can. We appreciate the focus and teamwork you've all shown during this difficult time."

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

So much for the Obama love, its the Hillary comeback kid story.

Politics: Before the voting you were treated to stories like this.

Koch: Praying For Hillary...
Entertainment Industry Seen As Ready To Bolt Clinton's Campaign For Obama...
NBC admits Obama Bias: 'It's hard to stay objective covering this guy'...

Now with Hillary winning New Hampshire, all that Obama love turns into "STUNNING VICTORY, HILLARY COMEBACK!...etc...etc"

Obama is going to get the full force of the Clinton campaign machine. The sad part is I had a whole "Obama is the Hannah Montana" of politics due to his all style but no substance post derailed because of her victory. Bah.

*UPDATE: What did I tell ya? From the Washington Post.

N.Y. Senator Defies Polls, Edges Obama

For Obama's Supporters, Triumph and Then Disaster

45,000 homeowners seek foreclosure aid

Nation: I say to those 45,000 homeowners, read your contracts, don't take out adjustable-rate loans and having your fellow taxpayers bail your sorry asses out.

In a speech in New York, Paulson said the Treasury-backed plan to prevent subprime foreclosures has now been joined by firms representing 90% of the subprime market. Within a few weeks, the industry will begin "fast-tracking" some qualified borrowers into new, affordable loans, Paulson said.

The effort could be extended to other adjustable-rate loans, not just subprime loans, Paulson suggested.

"A housing correction was inevitable and necessary," Paulson said.
In brief remarks on the economy, Paulson said he expected it to "continue to grow."

"Our economy remains resilient," he said.

Paulson repeated his call for Congress to pass legislation to allow the Federal Housing Administration and the government-sponsored entities of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to handle more loans.

NO! Do not extend it to even more ARLs. That is just enabling stupid people the next time around.

Songwriters of Canada puts out really dumb idea.

Canada: I am talking a five alarm dumb idea that should get the originator hit upside the head with a frying pan.

A proposal to add a $5 monthly fee to every wireless and Internet account that would allow music consumers access to all recorded music available online has been called a "pipe dream" by the president of the Canadian Record Industry Association, Reuters and Billboard has reported.

The Songwriters Association of Canada claims the plan, which has been presented to CRIA and the Canadian Independent Record Production Association, as well as publishers' groups, would raise $1-billion a year that would be distributed to artists, labels and publishers. The proposal does not detail how revenue would be collected.

CRIA president Graham Henderson said he has discussed the plan with acting SAC president Eddie Schwartz, Reuters reported, but his organization is reluctant to become involved. "We don't want to pursue what amounts to a pipe dream that is presented as a quick fix," he said. "We'll lose focus on the real issues that will help us resolve the industry's problems."

Michigan sees fewer gun deaths with more permits

Nation: You mean an armed population sees less violence? No duh.

Six years after new rules made it much easier to get a license to carry concealed weapons, the number of Michiganders legally packing heat has increased more than six-fold.

But dire predictions about increased violence and bloodshed have largely gone unfulfilled, according to law enforcement officials and, to the extent they can be measured, crime statistics.

The incidence of violent crime in Michigan in the six years since the law went into effect has been, on average, below the rate of the previous six years. The overall incidence of death from firearms, including suicide and accidents, also has declined.

"I think the general consensus out there from law enforcement is that things were not as bad as we expected," said Woodhaven Police Chief Michael Martin, cochair of the legislative committee for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. "There are problems with gun violence. But ... I think we can breathe a sigh of relief that what we anticipated didn't happen."

John Lott, a visiting professor at the University of Maryland who has done extensive research on the role of firearms in American society, said the results in Michigan since the law changed don't surprise him.

Academic studies of concealed weapons laws that generally allow citizens to obtain permits have shown different results, Lott said. About two-thirds of the studies suggest the laws reduce crime; the rest show no net effect, he said.

But no peer-reviewed study has ever shown that crime increases when jurisdictions enact changes like those put in place by the Legislature and then-Gov. John Engler in 2000, Lott said.

New Jersey officially apologizes for slavery

Nation: But still hasn't apologized for being New Jersey.

New Jersey officially said Monday that it has "profound regret" for practicing slavery, and became the first state north of the Mason-Dixon line to pass such apologetic legislation.

A committee of the New Jersey Assembly last Thursday approved the resolution, just one of several steps lawmakers had to take by Monday, the last day of the current legislative session.

The Assembly and the Senate voted overwhelmingly -- 29-2 -- to approve the resolution. The resolution states that "the fundamental values of Africans were shattered; they were brutalized, humiliated and dehumanized."

New Jersey, it reads, had 12,000 slaves, one of the largest populations in the northern colonies.

The state was also the last to emancipate slaves, in 1846, it says.

Another one of these useless feel good gestures.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Boy glues self to bed to avoid school

Culture: I understand the feeling.

A 10-year-old Mexican boy glued his hand to his bed to avoid going back to school after the Christmas break, authorities said Monday.

"I thought if I was glued to the bed, they couldn't make me go to school," the boy, Diego, told AFP. "I didn't want to go, the holidays were so much fun."

"I remembered my mom had bought a very strong glue," he said of the industrial strength shoe glue he used to stick his hand to the bed's metal headboard, where he stayed stuck for two hours.

His mother Sandra Palacios was unable to free him and called paramedics and police to help. Diego watched cartoons while they worked to unglue him, eventually using a spray to dissolve the chemical adhesive.

"I don't know why this happened. He is a very good boy," said his mother.

Diego eventually made it school a few hours late.

I tried to turn back time when I was young, rather annoyed when it didn't work.

Warner Bros move to Blu Ray? The economy stupid.

Entertainment: Expect Paramount and Universal to quietly drop HD-DVD instead of making a big announcment about it.

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Fears of a deteriorating U.S. economy and falling DVD industry sales helped drive Warner Bros's decision to back Sony's Blu-ray next generation DVD format exclusively, a top executive told Reuters on Monday.

Hollywood's biggest seller of home movies tipped the balance of power on Friday in favor of Sony (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) in a fight for the next generation of DVDs between the electronics giant and Toshiba Corp. (6502.T: Quote, Profile, Research), developers of the HD DVD format.

"We've typically been recession proof," Warner Bros Entertainment Group President Kevin Tsujihara said in an interview at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

"But the thing that we saw in the fourth quarter...was gas prices beginning to affect sales. And since we're considered an impulse purchase, it's beginning to impact us," he said.

Tsujihara said the company needed to quickly erase consumer and retailer confusion over dueling DVD formats before economic conditions deteriorated

More on Tata's world cheapest car.

World: A followup on this story, NYTIMES has more details on the cheapest car and it really does fit the bill.

The company has kept its new vehicle under wraps, but interviews with suppliers and others involved in its construction reveal some of its cost-cutting engineering secrets — including a hollowed out steering-wheel shaft, a trunk with space for a briefcase and a rear-mounted engine not much more powerful than a high-end riding mower.

The upside is a car expected to retail for as little as the equivalent of $2,500, or about the price of the optional DVD player on the Lexus LX 470 sport utility vehicle.

The downside is a car that would most likely fail emission and safety standards on any Western road, and, perhaps, in India in a few years, when the country imposes tougher environmental standards.

But Tata Motors, a division of the Tata Group, is not looking to ply California’s highways. Instead, the company wants to provide four-wheel transportation for the first time to people accustomed to getting around on two, including hundreds of millions of Indians and others in the developing world.

Pic at the article.

Elephants outsmarting people in Sumatra.

World: I can remember one report of Elephants hijacking food trucks by blocking them and stealing the food. This is on that same level.

The head of Way Kambas natural reserve in Lampung province, Hudiono, told the state-run Antara news agency that a herd of 25 to 30 elephants had been nightly roaming out of the reserve to raid crops since Thursday.

The elephants, previously only occasional visitors, have managed to clamber over earthen embankments built as an obstacle between the reserve and the fields by using their trunks to hold onto each other, he reportedly said.

An electrified wire fence was also no match for the canny beasts, he told the agency, saying they had felled it using tree trunks.

Even blazing torches no longer scare the night-time raiders. "This herd were once afraid of torches and could be herded out this way. But now they cannot be (herded out) this way again," Hudiono said.

Dexter Season 1 coming to CBS February 17th.

Entertainment: I don't know how bad the editing is going to be, but watch the showtime version for this great show. I am thinking Deb is going to be one long bleep.

Automakers must get emotional to Sell to Minorities.

Nation: Just me, but sell me a stylish car that gets me from point A to point B without breaking down in between. Emotional specific ads just screams unnecessary pandering.

Auto marketers need to understand the "emotional payoff" of each of their vehicles to multicultural communities if they want to sell more vehicles and improve loyalty among Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans in the U.S., according to auto consultancy Strategic Vision.

According to Strategic Vision's annual survey of 100,000 new-car buyers in 2007, African-Americans were five times more likely to buy a Chrysler 300 sedan than other ethnic groups.

Alexander Edwards, president of Strategic Vision's automotive arm, told Advertising Age he is readying the release of an annual survey of 100,000 new-car buyers in 2007, 27,000 of whom were Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American.

Traits between ethnic groups

Strategic Vision found that Latinos look for an enhanced sense of security; blacks are more attracted to models that reflect the success in their lives and express their individuality; and Asian-Americans showed stronger interest in balanced, complete vehicle performance and style to match their lives.

22 Schools Set Alight in Netherlands

Netherlands: On New Years eve plus car burnings and an attack on a police station. I sense the presence of the European "Youths."

Twenty-two schools in the Netherlands were set fire to during New Year's Eve. Three schools were completely burnt out, insurance company Centraal Beheer Friday reported.

The damage to the schools amounts to over 20 million euro, according to the insurer. The company feels schools should do more to prevent fires. Cameras and sprinkler systems could be installed, a spokesperson explained.

On BNR Nieuwsradio, Gerrit van de Kamp, chairman of the police union ACP, stated that the extent of New Year's Eve violence is far greater than hitherto revealed. "But this is not just the case on New Year's Eve". According to the chairperson, violence aimed at emergency services such as ambulances is so rampant that it could "fill up the papers on a daily basis".

New Year's Eve saw twice as many incidences of destruction to houses as last year. Car vandalism increased by 11 percent. A total of 128 cars were torched in the The Hague region alone. According to police, there were many cases where firefighters could not do their jobs because they were pelted with stones and fireworks.

In Amsterdam, there has meanwhile been upheaval on the absence of police in the notorious district of Slotervaart. Chairman of the district Ahmed Marcouch says he alerted police in the afternoon on 31 December that he expected disturbances at the police station during New Year's Eve. Police however deny having received his warnings.

Rudd government stuns everyone with no payout stance.

Australia: I guess I have to take back some of my snark towards them not doing the leftist feel good move of setting up a fund.

The Australian government on Monday ruled out any direct form of compensation for the "stolen generation" of indigenous children taken from their parents.

"We won't be creating a compensation fund," Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said, adding that funding will instead be poured into improving indigenous health, education and counseling services.

Australia's indigenous leaders earlier in the day called for the establishment of a A$1 billion (about $873 million) compensation fund.

The move comes as the country's new Labor government prepares to make a historic apology to the minority indigenous population for past injustices.

Muslim groups demands Bishop to resign over no-go comments.

UK: A followup on this story over the weekend where Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali said Islamic extremists are making certain areas no-go's for non-Muslim. Those comments raised a ruckus.

Religious groups have demanded the resignation of the Bishop of Rochester after he claimed that Islamic radicals had turned parts of Britain into "no-go" areas for non-Muslims.

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali wrote in The Sunday Telegraph that fundamentalism had made some communities hostile to Christians and those from other faiths.

Supporters say Bishop Nazir-Ali’s comments have raised valid questions about multiculturalism in Britain

But Mohammed Shafiq, from the Ramadhan Foundation, said: "Mr Nazir-Ali is promoting hatred towards Muslims and should resign."

Ajmal Masroor, of the Islamic Society of Great Britain, said: "It's a distortion of reality. Our communities are far more integrated than they were 10 years ago.

"If the Church of England had an iota of fairness they would take serious action."

But senior figures from the Church of England have backed the Bishop of Rochester's remarks about faith and said Christians in predominantly Muslim areas could feel isolated and nervous about how to express their belief.

GI Joe movie continues to cast the suck.

Entertainment: Having a Wayan in a movie outside of being made by their family is a sign to avoid.

Marlon Wayans has signed on to star in Paramount actioner "G.I. Joe."

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in negotiations to join the tentpole, which is based on the American soldier action figure created by Hasbro.

Wayans will play Ripcord, leader of the military unit.

War-themed story is set 10 years in the future. Stuart Beattie penned the screenplay, while Paul Lovett & David Elliot and Skip Woods contributed earlier drafts.

The Double Cheesburger wars causes worries.

Bidness: I am thankful that Wendys actually brought back a 99 cent double cheeseburger after taking away the double stack. That probably hurt them in the long run, McDonalds has pushed the need for other companies to have a better 99 cent value menu.

After years of playing into the mass-affluence trend by trying to get their consumers to trade up to pricier, fancier fare, McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King are all deploying the 99¢ price point as a key marketing tactic going into a year when middle-class budgets are expected to be stretched thin and gas prices are still climbing
But it's a ploy that has some franchisees worrying about value customers eating their profits. McDonald's has gained momentum with the double cheeseburger that anchors its Dollar Menu, which takes some of the credit for the chain's resurgence in recent years. Wendy's introduced a "Stack Attack" sandwich for 99¢ before year's end, and Burger King confirmed to Ad Age that it is testing a double cheeseburger for a dollar in select markets.

Australian sports bet site picks wrong subtitle.

Internet: For the Women's Australian Tennis Open matchups. Via Gaming Age.
For the love of all that is holy do not look up this term at your workplace.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Don't question Michael Bay on Blu Ray you plebs!

Entertainment: or he will set you straight and humiliate you.

I know the look, color, and sounds on my own movies better they anyone in the world. I color-time every single image, and am there for every single audio tweak. I see my films in the editing and final process no less then a 100 times. I know ever single nuance. For some dick wads on these posts who think I can't make an informed choice on what format in the end, has the truer results for my own films. Well you where to shove.... My films finished in Blu-Ray are better - more true. Hd is better than DVD, but just not as good as Blu-Ray. So buying a Transformers Hd is still the best you will see this movie as of today. But when Paramount caves for Blu-Ray in the future - This will happen, then you will see Transformers one day finished in Blu-Ray and I will sure be able to tell the difference.


(CES) Can Engadget employ someone worth a damn

CES: I would like to actually get information from CES without some halfwit and his helper trying to be snarky funny especially from the Sony event. This is why people have a low opinion of bloggers when they see nonsense like that being posted. People come to engadget for the news not for the wannebe comedian like Ryan Block. He must have been an HD-DVD fan.

Germany loves Obama! The world loves Obama!

Politics: Judging by the article and comment sections, it is sign of who the world wants as President of the United States and yet another reason I wouldn't vote for him. The rest of the world wants America to go back being the docile please love me world attitude of the Clintons doling out money like a welfare office. If the rest of the world loves a candidate I take it as a bad sign.

Germany has developed a serious case of Obama-mania.

Barack Obama’s high standing in Germany goes beyond his opposition to the unpopular war in Iraq. The country’s sudden crush is bound up with near-constant comparisons here between the young senator from Illinois and President John F. Kennedy Jr. – still admired in Germany and particularly in Berlin.

The Berliner Morgenpost over the weekend ran with the headline, “The New Kennedy.” The tabloid Bild declared, “This Black American has become the new Kennedy!” And the headline for the editorial in the Frankfurter Rundschau read simply: “Lincoln, Kennedy, Obama.”

“Only a small, informed minority knew about Barack Obama in December,” said Christoph von Marschall, Washington bureau chief for the Tagesspiegel newspaper, whose book, “Barack Obama, The Black Kennedy,” came out then. He said after the Iowa Caucuses last week, interest in Mr. Obama and sales of the book – which is presently sold out on the German Amazon Web site – suddenly surged.

Mr. Obama’s newfound popularity among Germans underscores not only the breadth of his appeal but also the opportunity he might have as president – though far from even his party’s nomination – to mend fences abroad.

“There are similarities between JFK’s time and today,” said Karsten Rossow, 49, of Berlin, who was visiting the small Kennedy Museum by the Brandenburg Gate Sunday, on a dark, snowy afternoon, with his wife. “People are ready for the politics of change.”

While the whole world follows American elections, Germans learned to pay particularly close attention because of the unparalleled influence that the United States had as both occupier and protector after their country lost World War II.

Green lobby horrified Indians will get a cheap car.

India: Tata motors coming out with a car that can be afforded by middle class Indians, the idea of people getting cars has enviros on edge.

After years of secret preparation, the world's cheapest car will be unveiled in Delhi this week - delighting millions of Indians as much as it is horrifying environmentalists.

At 100,000 rupees (£1,290), the People's Car, designed and manufactured by Tata, is being marketed as a safer way of travelling for those who until now have had to transport their families balanced on the back of their motorbikes.

But Tata hopes also to create a 'new market for cars which does not exist', making them accessible to India's booming middle classes made recently rich by an economy growing at around 9 per cent a year. This rapidly expanding market is potentially extremely lucrative; consultants McKinsey predict that the size of the Indian middle class will grow from 50 million now to 583 million by 2025.

Last year just over one million cars and seven million motorbikes were sold in India. Tata wants to transform some of those motorbike buyers into car owners and believes that the company can eventually sell up to a million People's Cars a year. Analysts say the project could revolutionise car prices, not just in India, but globally. Several other manufacturers have similar products in the pipeline.

These figures alarm environmentalists, already concerned by the congestion and rising pollution levels in India's overcrowded cities. The Tata car is expected to sell for a few hundred pounds more than the most popular motorbikes and less than half the price of the current cheapest car on the market, a Maruti 800. Pollution analysts warn that such a drastic cut in prices could have devastating consequences.

Thailand shuts down website who criticized Thai King.

World: I had forgotten youtube/google had agreed to actively remove videos that made fun of the king. But try to get jihad videos off of it and nothing happens.

BANGKOK, Thailand - Thai authorities have shut down a political Web site that spoke out against the monarchy, the site's operator said Sunday, in another move to punish critics of Thailand's most revered institution.

Visitors posted comments on the bulletin board, questioning claims in the Thai media that the entire country was in mourning over the death Wednesday of Princess Galyani Vadhana — King Bhumibol Adulyadej's older sister — and criticizing official calls for the public to wear black as a sign of mourning, said Thanapol Eiwsakul, who operated the site.

The Information and Communication Technology Ministry threatened local Internet provider Netservice with closure unless it took the action against, which was closed Friday, Thanapol said.

"I received a letter from Netservice that the ministry pressured them to shut down our Web site or it would shut down Netservice," he said.

No one from the ministry could be immediately reached for comment Sunday, and remained inaccessible. Netservice could not be contacted.

....Last year, Thailand blocked the popular video-sharing Web site YouTube for four months because of clips it deemed offensive to the king. The ban was lifted after YouTube's owner, Google Inc., agreed to not allow videos that break Thai laws or offend the Thai people.

Be a shame if there was a mass run on videos mocking the king.

Muslims test press freedom limits in Canada.

Canada: More on the Mark Steyn case where a Muslim group is demanding the right to rebut in Maclean magazine. What is disturbing is a labour union official saying limit free speech.

The Islamic group has asked a government body to step in to guarantee it the right to an equal-length rebuttal to the article, which was an excerpt from Steyn's September 2006 book "America Alone."

"This article completely misrepresents Canadian Muslims' values, their community, and their religion," said Canadian Islamic Congress lawyer Faisal Joseph.

Maclean's says it has already run 27 letters from readers, many opposed to Steyn's piece, and is ready to consider a further response. But it said the CIC wanted to direct the art work for the rebuttal and to run it on the cover.

Publisher Kenneth Whyte said he would rather go bankrupt than have the CIC set the terms for what the magazine publishes.

The Canadian and British Columbia human rights commissions have agreed to investigate the complaints, and the Muslim group has the high-profile backing of the Ontario Federation of Labour.

"We need to make sure that folks are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of who it is is, whether it's Maclean's or anybody," said the union federation's executive vice president, Terry Downey, formerly a human rights investigator.

"People have a right to freedom of expression but that has some restrictions on it. You just can't offend people based on their religion or color or things like that."

Steyn and the magazine has a very good chance to lose this case given that is in Canada where politically correctness reigns supreme. The fact that other papers have not come out strongly against this agenda setting by a group there or even in America is telling.

Iranian artist in hiding over Islamist death threats.

EU: The Netherlands have reverted back to being the Euro wussies that is their nature.

THE Dutch were debating the limits of freedom of expression last week after an artist who photographed gay men wearing masks of the prophet Muhammad was forced into hiding and her work removed from a museum exhibit.

Speaking on the telephone from an unspecified location in the Netherlands last week, the artist, an Iranian exile who goes by the pseudonym of Sooreh Hera, said she had been threatened with “execution”. She accused the director of the municipal museum in The Hague of cowardice for caving in to Muslim extremists.

Her story is a reminder of the tensions that have put the Netherlands and other European countries on the front line, sending dozens of people threatened by extremists into hiding since 2004, when a Dutch film-maker was murdered on the street and his collaborator driven into exile.

This leaves Hera, 34, in no doubt that she is in real danger. “They said to me, ‘We’re going to burn you naked or put a bullet in your mouth’,” she said, referring to menacing e-mails.

“They say, ‘Now you are locked in your home and you cannot go out any more’.”

...Wim van Krimpen, director of the museum, initially praised Hera’s collection of photographs as “exceptional”. Last month, however, he announced that the masked men could not be included in the forthcoming exhibition because “certain people in our society might perceive it as offensive”.

.....She may not get much support from the politicians, who seem determined to avoid confrontation even if some might accuse them of turning a blind eye to the erosion of artistic freedom. When Hera wrote to Ronald Plasterk, the culture minister, asking for his support he agreed to meet her but would not help to reinstate her photographs in the exhibition.

Wouter Bos, the deputy prime minister, seemed to take a stand for freedom of speech, saying: “In a democracy, we do not recognise the right not to be insulted.” The left wing de Volkskrant newspaper, by contrast, praised the museum for its “great professionalism” in excising the images.

NBC should stick to its guns on Golden Globes.

Entertainment: I find the WGA strike fascinating for the sheer amount of hypocrisy that is going on and amazingly they have made me side with Jeff Zucker.

EXCLUSIVE: My sources say the striking Writers Guild Of America has told the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that the union won't picket the 2008 Golden Globes as long as it isn't broadcast by AMPTP member NBC.

But now NBC isn't allowing the HFPA to hold an untelevised awards show by arguing that the media group is contractually obligated to have the network broadcast the Golden Globes on January 13th or a pushed-back date. I've learned that many in the Hollywood community are lobbying NBC Universal topper Jeff Zucker to change his mind. Because his refusal to allow a non-televised Golden Globes could effectively cancel the awards night altogether, and Hollywood wants it to proceed. Yet another mess...

Something that struck me when reading this in regards to David Letterman getting back on the air with writers and these side deals . If the WGA is fighting the media moguls including CBS, how does signing an agreement with Letterman help them when his new shows are going to help contribute to the bottom line of CBS? This is why Leno and others have a huge beef with the WGA because you let one network off the hook by claiming you have a deal only with the production company but in the end, CBS still makes the money.

Now you have this Golden Globes deal where the WGA and the rest of Hollywood wants to have their award show but not let NBC televise it even though its under contract. If this was the UAW or Teamsters, you think they would have this piecemeal strike strategy against Ford or GM?

Its either you are on strike(which mean everything gets shut down) or you are not. Whatever this strat that is being used is not going to work and when it does settle, the long term result is the writers will get screwed.

Fluorescent bulbs 'could cause skin cancer'

Enviro: Great, save the environment and run up the medical bill getting skin rashes and possible cancer..

Now it is feared that thousands of people may be unable to use electric light in their own homes, visit family and friends, or have access to employment and public services if the government's plan to phase out the normal variety of incandescent lighting goes ahead without exemptions.

The warning has been issued by Spectrum, an alliance of charities working with people with light sensitive conditions, and the British Association of Dermatologists.

It comes after the Migraine Action Association warned the energy-saving light bulbs could trigger migraines.

The government wants to phase out traditional, incandescent bulbs by 2011 but no allowances have been made for people suffering from light sensitive conditions who often suffer severe and painful reactions to fluorescent lighting and other forms of non-incandescent lighting.

Spectrum is running a campaign to raise awareness of the impact on people's health in response to the government decision to ban incandescent light bulbs. They claim as many as 340,000 people could be affected.

Andrew Langford, chief executive officer of the Skin Care Campaign, one of the charities involved, said: 'Incandescent light bulbs are the only source of electric light for many thousands of people with light sensitive conditions.

....Dr Colin Holden, President of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: 'It is important that patients with photosensitive skin eruptions are allowed to use lights that don't exacerbate their condition.

'Photosensitive eruptions range from disabling eczema-like reactions, to light sensitivities that can lead to skin cancer. It is essential that such patients are able to protect themselves from specific wavelengths of light emitted by fluorescent bulbs, especially as they are often trapped indoors because they can't venture out in natural sunlight.'

Fluorescent bulbs are also very dangerous if one happens to break.

Energy-saving light bulbs are so dangerous that everyone must leave the room for at least 15 minutes if one falls to the floor and breaks, a Government department warned yesterday.

The startling alert came as health experts also warned that toxic mercury inside the bulbs can aggravate a range of problems including migraines and dizziness.

And a leading dermatologist said tens of thousands of people with skin complaints will find it hard to tolerate being near the bulbs as they cause conditions such as eczema to flare up.

The Department for Environment warned shards of glass from broken bulbs should not be vacuumed up but instead swept away by someone wearing rubber gloves to protect them from the bulb's mercury content.

In addition, it said care should be taken not to inhale any dust and the broken pieces should be put in a sealed plastic bag for disposal at a council dump – not a normal household bin.

None of this advice, however, is printed on the packaging the new-style bulbs are sold in. There are also worries over how the bulbs will be disposed of.

So if the skin cancer doesn't get me, the mercury poisoning will. Wonderful.

Bishop warns of no-go 'Islamic areas' in Britain.

UK: Multiculturalism, catch the fever.

Islamic extremism in Britain has created communities that are "no-go areas" for non-Muslims, a Pakistani-born Church of England bishop said in The Sunday Telegraph.

Michael Nazir-Ali, the bishop of Rochester, told the newspaper that Britain's policies of multiculturalism have created separate Muslim communities that fail to integrate into mainstream society.

"There has been a worldwide resurgence of the ideology of Islamic extremism. One of the results of this has been to further alienate the young from the nation in which they were growing up and also to turn already separate communities into `no-go' areas where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability," said Nazir-Ali.

"Those of a different faith or race may find it difficult to live or work there because of hostility to them," he said.

A British Muslim leader criticized Nazir-Ali's comments.

"It's irresponsible for a man of his position to make these comments," Imam Ibrahim Mogra of the Muslim Council of Britain said in comments published by The Sunday Telegraph. "He should accept that Britain is a multicultural society in which we are free to follow our religion at the same time as being extremely proud to be British. We wouldn't allow 'no-go' areas to happen.

Original Telegraph article here. Also there is this tidbit that has become an annoyance to me.

He said there had been attempts to "impose an 'Islamic' character on certain areas", for example, by amplifying the call to prayer from mosques.

Apart from issues about noise levels, Dr Nazir-Ali said it also raised questions about "whether non-Muslims wish to be told the creed of a particular faith five times a day on the loudspeaker".

The Muslim Council of Britain said the mosque call was no different from church bells ringing.

There is a huge difference between church bells and the call to prayer. Church bells these days have the secular function of ringing the time and using as a reminder of services once a week in most places. The call to prayer is five times a day and its a human voice which is only for a specific religious purpose. The amplified version is annoying(and artifical to me ) and to other people can signal this particular area is not for non-Muslims. Church bells at this point is at least a curious tourist attraction in some countries. That is why there is a big difference between the two.