Saturday, January 26, 2008

Keith Olbermann mocking Resurrection of Christ.

Politics: Typical leftist religious bashing.

The remark came at the end of his "World's Best Persons" feature on the January 21 program as Olbermann relayed the story of one Feliberto Carrasco of Chile, who awoke from an apparently deep slumber in a casket at a wake being held for the presumed-to-be-dead elderly gentleman.

Quipped Olbermann as he eased into a commercial break, "So do I have the etiquette correct here, does Mr. Carrasco get his own religion now, or what happens? Is there a vote?"

More absurd is Olbermann's stunning lack of intellect concerning the AG's admiration of George Orwell in this reuters piece. Who had some sage advice for anyone who wants to write in his Politics and the English language rules essay linked here. BTW, newsbusters brings up the point is anyone going to call Olbermann out having a ongoing dairy on Daily Kos? No one else sees the this could be bad for crediblity of MSNBC moment?

Attorney General Michael Mukasey, in his first extensive meeting with reporters since taking office in November, said he selected two portraits for his office, the first being Robert Jackson, a former Supreme Court Justice, U.S. attorney general and Nuremberg war crimes prosecutor.

Mukasey, a former federal judge, said he admired Jackson for his clarity of expression and thought.

"I said I had his picture hanging. His was one of two. The other was George Orwell, so put 'em together " Mukasey said without elaborating.

Asked what Mukasey saw in Orwell, Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said it was his clarity. "When he was a judge, he assigned new law clerks George Orwell's 1946 essay 'Politics and the English Language.' It's one of the first things our speechwriter received as well," Carr said.

OMG ITS 1984!!!! OMG!!!!

Of course it could be because Orwell was an anti-Stalinist and rejected the pacifist ways of the Independent Labour Party despite being a leftist himself.
But I'm thinking, certainly somebody came into his office and said "Judge, this could look bad if it gets out. You know, Room 101, Rats, Torture." I'm assuming he mumbled something about not being sure a cage full of rats welded to one's face was necessarily torture, and how we've always been at war with East St. Louis, and the responsible citizen backed slowly out of the office and made his plans to move to Zanzibar.

So there you have it. I was so stupefied I called Orwell "Eric Michael Blair" on the air. As you see above, in tribute to the Orwellian premise, I have washed clean my error about his middle name. It has unhappened.

Reuters push Hamas blackout pics for propaganda

Middle East: Typical Reuters Hamas loving photographers. Via Solomonia.

On at least two occasions this week, Hamas staged scenes of darkness as part of its campaign to end the political and economic sanctions against the Gaza Strip, Palestinian journalists said Wednesday.

In the first case, journalists who were invited to cover the Hamas government meeting were surprised to see Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and his ministers sitting around a table with burning candles.

In the second case on Tuesday, journalists noticed that Hamas legislators who were meeting in Gaza City also sat in front of burning candles.

But some of the journalists noticed that there was actually no need for the candles because both meetings were being held in daylight.

"They had closed the curtains in the rooms to create the impression that Hamas leaders were also suffering as a result of the power stoppage," one journalist told The Jerusalem Post. "It was obvious that the whole thing was staged."

Another journalist said he and his colleagues were told to wait for a few minutes before entering the chamber of the Palestinian Legislative Council so that each legislator would have time to light his candle. He said that when he saw that the curtains had been closed to prevent the light from entering, he realized that Hamas was trying to manipulate the media for political gain.

Here are some pics and look at the captions which doesn't acknowledge the obvious. Photo Gallery here.

Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008.
REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008. Israel agreed to allow some fuel, medicine and food into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Tuesday, at least temporarily easing a blockade that has plunged much of the territory into darkness and sparked international protests.
REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Palestinian lawmakers attend a parliament session in candlelight during a power cut in Gaza January 22, 2008. Israel agreed to allow some fuel, medicine and food into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip on Tuesday, at least temporarily easing a blockade that has plunged much of the territory into darkness and sparked international protests.
REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

How the Clintons turned the primaries on race.

Politics: Via the National Journal's John Mercurio.

WASHINGTON - First, a quick show of hands: How many of you honestly thought we'd make it through this Democratic presidential primary without a bruising debate over race? Whether or not the Clintons were involved, this conversation is hardly shocking. And before it's over, it will likely grow more intense.

What is surprising, however, is how skillfully, and with how much brilliant calculation, Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband steered the nomination campaign toward these turbulent waters. She's done nothing but win since this debate began and even if she loses on Saturday in South Carolina, she's framed the campaign in a way that lets her live to fight another day. Perhaps even more surprising has been the media's willingness to be played.

.....The topic continues to dominate media coverage of the campaign. Every TV network has featured segments on race this week at the top of their nightly newscasts, and the cable nets have filled up entire hours on the topic. All of the country's top newspapers have run front-page stories this week examining race in the Democratic Party.

Nothing could be more troublesome to the Obama campaign, whose able team has labored tirelessly to package their candidate as, essentially, above and beyond race. Despite pleas from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson last fall, Obama declined to participate in a widely covered demonstration in Jena, La., fearing the photo-op would tie him to two civil rights leaders who have tried and failed to win the Democratic nomination. Of course he's black, he says, and is infinitely proud of his heritage. But, he hopes, that doesn't define him or his candidacy.

The day it does is the beginning of the end of his campaign. Unfortunately, that's the state of race and media in this country.

With a few able strokes, the Clintons have even managed to minimize the significance of the South Carolina primary, the first nomination contest where black voters will have a dominant voice. They've lowered expectations for Clinton and raised them for Obama, who will be challenged to parlay a win there Saturday into momentum by reporters who will surely frame it as a victory by a black candidate among black voters.

Obama tried to stay away but the Clintons and their minions will drag him back to it. Watch how those polls are reported with this percentage of black people who voted for Obama and those for Hillary. It has been so far a skillful set of moves by the Clintons to force Obama on the defensive while Bill gets the lion's share of the press coverage. As for the columnists and party officials who are horrified how this is turning out and blaming Bill Clinton for dragging the process down.

You are either liars or just stupid not to see this has been S.O.P for them since 1991. You didn't mind it as long as it was targeted at Republicans, now that you are getting a dose of the Clinton machine. Now its a scandal. Suck it up

Muslim employees get more time for prayers

Bidness: The point of interest is that its Somali Muslims again who have been the center of controversy before in other states demanding prayer time.

Somali immigrants who quit work at Arnold Logistics in Hampden Twp. because of a "misunderstanding" are back on the job, with accommodation for their daily prayers, a Muslim advocacy group says.

The warehouse and distribution services company has agreed to provide a 15-minute break for Muslim prayer, according to the Pennsylvania office of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

CAIR said 16 machine operators walked off their jobs on Jan. 9 "after a misunderstanding over a new policy which limited personal breaks for all employees to five minutes."

Canada pulls out of UN conference on racism

Canada: That is making Canadian Arab group really angry.

Probe Launched Over Detroit Mayor Texts

Nation: It got really ugly for Kilpatrick.

A prosecutor launched an investigation Friday into allegations that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick lied under oath about an affair with his top aide. Some political observers are questioning whether the popular yet polarizing figure should stay on the job.

"Can he? Yes. Should he? That's his call," University of Nevada-Reno political science professor Eric Herzik said Friday. "But if you are being prosecuted, your ability to run the city is incredibly compromised."

Others believe Kilpatrick could fight perjury charges and still fulfill his mayoral duties. Victoria Mantzopoulos, chair of the political science department at the University of Detroit-Mercy, said it depends on the political machine he has around him.

"I think he can work through it," Mantzopoulos said. "I've heard people ask that he resign. I think that is more on the issue of the affair as opposed to the true ability to continue in his role."

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Friday that her office would investigate reports that Kilpatrick and Chief of Staff Christine Beatty exchanged romantic text messages in 2002 and 2003, despite testifying in a trial last summer that they did not have a physical relationship then.

Fire service bans white men from recruitment sessions.

UK: Stupid, it is moves like this that harm rather than help any sort of race/work relations. It is one thing to expand the drive to get more minorities in the department, but it ticks people off when you exclude.

White men have been banned from fire brigade recruitment sessions because bosses want to hit their diversity targets.

Four out of five "open" days held by Avon Fire Service were restricted to women and ethnic minorities.

Critics last night accused the West Country brigade of discrimination. An MP said the move would fuel resentment and undermine race relations.

Avon's bosses insist their ban on white men is simply "positive action".

...One Avon fireman, speaking anonymously, warned that the targeted recruitment drives were 'not helpful' and would cause resentment.

"It has a very negative effect on everyone," he added.

"When you see people from black and ethnic communities the first thing you think is 'has he or she only got the job because of their minority origin?"

"It's not helpful to them as they may also feel that this is the case. Open, across-the-board recruitment is the only way to stop this."

Oklahoma law blamed for Hispanic exodus

Immigration: The MSM is pro-illegal and sometimes they go over the top vile in trying to make enforcing the laws as being too harsh. What a better way to prove that bias by using a dead baby

Edgar Castorena had diarrhea for 10 days and counting, and the illegal immigrant parents of the 2-month-old did not know what to do about it.

They were afraid they would be deported under a new Oklahoma law if they took him to a major hospital. By the time they took him to a clinic, it was too late.

A ruptured intestine that might have been treatable instead killed the U.S.-born infant, making him a poster child for opponents of a bill months before it was enacted as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007.

The law, billed by its backers as the toughest U.S. legislation against illegal immigration, took effect Nov. 1. It bars illegal immigrants from obtaining jobs or state assistance and makes it a felony to harbor or transport illegal immigrants.

"The sad part of it was the child didn't have to die if House Bill 1804 didn't ever come around," said Laurie Paul, who runs the clinic where Edgar was finally taken. "It was a total tragedy because the bill was there to create the myths and untruths and the fear."

A final portion of the law goes into effect July 1, requiring private companies to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires.

I am supposed to feel sorry for the parents who put themselves over the well being of their child? He is sick, you are illegal, the correct option is to take him to the hospital. They won't run to ICE and report you since they have to give treatment. So its a vile and incorrect to try and elicit sympathy from the readers. I have nothing but contempt for them.

The bill's Republican author, state Rep. Randy Terrill, said similar versions have been introduced or are under consideration in more than a dozen states. Last year, more than 1,500 pieces of immigration-related legislation were introduced across the country, with 244 becoming law in 46 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"More than half the nation will soon be modeling Oklahoma's bill," said Terrill, who plans to introduce a companion piece this year that would make English the state's official language, order schools to report how many illegal children are enrolled and require people or businesses who transport, hire or rent to illegal immigrants to forfeit property.

Terrill said there is no correlation between his bill and Edgar's death, noting that the child died in July, months before the law took effect, and that the law provides an exception for emergency medical care.

"To the extent that these illegal alien parents deprived their own child needed and necessary medical care because of their ignorance of the law, then they should be in prison, frankly," Terrill said.

Thank you.

Friday, January 25, 2008

10 stunning home cinemas setups

Culture: One of my goals in life is to create such a room for myself. But it will probably be just a chair in the garage looking at a 27 inch CRT. But the Star Trek setups are nice.

Bouchra Ismaili refuses to resign after another incident.

EU: Same Dutch councillor who mocked a white dutch man as being the minority now has herself caught up in another goof.

Labour (PvdA) politician Bouchra Ismaili is refusing to resign. She is ignoring requests from her party to step down because she lied about signing a petition of the radical Muslim organisation Hizb Ut Tahrir.

Ismaili, a Muslim immigrant of Moroccan origin, is a PvdA member of Rotterdam's Charlois district council. Last week, she wrote in an e-mail to a citizen: "You filthy idiot. WE ARE HERE TO STAY hahahahahahhahah DROP DEAD". The email contained reams more similar remarks and urged the man to convert to Islam.

Ismaili's email was a reply to an email in which the citizen, Jos Parbleu, had confronted the council member with statements by Okay Pala, a spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir Nederland. Pala had said in newspaper De Telegraaf: 'We do not agree with freedom of expression, as we reject democracy' and 'what you need is a big bomb attack!'

The PvdA leadership in Charlois did not consider it necessary to boot Ismaili out. But meanwhile, during a meeting of Charlois district council, it has become clear that Ismaili also signed a petition from Hizb Ut Tahrir and lied about it.

The Hizb ut Tahrir petition stated: "It is time to rid ourselves of a culture that damages our Islam." Initially, Ismaili denied emphatically that she signed the petition. But when opposition party Liveable Rotterdam (LR) produced a printout of the Internet page with her signature, she had to admit it.

Economic stimulus plan or thanks for giving me my money back.

Nation: It never hurts when the government so graciously gives back your own hard earned earning back. I like the fact they finally giving more breaks to businesses and small businesses which will do a lot more good than giving back checks to consumers in the long run. I am not happy about people who don't even pay taxes are getting back money and If I made over the limit or married I would be kinda pissed right now.

Sources on Capitol Hill and at the Treasury Department said the plan would send checks of $600 to individuals and $1,200 to couples who paid income tax and who filed jointly.

People who did not pay federal income taxes but who had earned income of more than $3,000 would get checks of $300 per individual or $600 per couple.

A Democratic aide and Republican aide said there will be an additional amount per child, which could be in the neighborhood of $300.

Those who earn up to $75,000 individually or up to $150,000 as a couple will be eligible for the payments, said Republican and Democratic sources familiar with the tentative deal.

....The agreement includes a robust package of business incentives and help for homeowners facing possible mortgage foreclosures.

The Treasury Department still must analyze the numbers to determine the price tag of the stimulus package, sources said.

To get to the agreement, Democrats dropped calls for increases in food stamps and an extension of unemployment compensation. Republicans agreed to allow people who pay Social Security taxes but not income taxes to get the checks, sources said.

I am really uphappy about bailing out the irresponsible who gambled on their houses, lost and now want everyone else to help them out.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What about the "unbanked" illegal Immigrants?

Immigration: Another termed coined to help banks gain big profits from illegal earnings. I would expect every check cashing store and Western Union to be up in arms.

Italy government falls apart....again!

Italy: Maybe a friendly dictator is what is needed in Italy because this form of government just leads to nothing.

Italian Premier Romano Prodi resigned Thursday after his center-left coalition narrowly lost a Senate confidence vote, a humiliating end to a 20-month-old government plagued by infighting.

Italy — which has had 61 government since World War II — now faces the prospect of early elections or efforts to form another government, a decision that must be made by President Giorgio Napolitano. Prodi will stay on in the meantime in a caretaker role.

Elected in April 2006, Prodi had a shaky government from nearly the start. It lurched toward collapse this week after a small Christian Democrat party, whose votes were vital to his Senate majority, yanked its support in the latest coalition spat.

The government lost 161-156 after a fiery debate during which one senator was spat upon, fainted and had to be carried out on a stretcher. Lawmakers from the conservative coalition of former Premier Berlusconi cheered and popped the cork on a bottle of sparkling wine as the defeat was announced.

Berlusconi, the billionaire media magnate who lost to Prodi in 2006 and is eager to return to office, called for swift new elections.

"Embrace my awesomeness once again Italy!"

Sarkozy wants Bangladeshi writer honoured in Paris

France: As India cowers because they don't want to upset the extremists.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to present Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, in hiding in India after death threats, with an award in Paris, the French Embassy in India said Thursday.

The statement came amid reports that India had turned down France's proposal to honour the writer in New Delhi during a visit this week by Sarkozy, fearing a backlash from radical Islamists who have accused her of blasphemy.

"France is grateful to the Indian authorities for all measures that they may kindly take to facilitate Ms. Nasreen's journey to France," the French Embassy said, announcing the Simone de Beauvoir award for Nasreen.

Nasreen, who fled her Muslim-majority homeland after receiving death threats from Islamic extremists, told AFP earlier that she was waiting to hear from the Embassy about plans for the award, named after the feminist icon.

Homeland Security and FBI raises Geert Wilders concerns.

Terrorism: If Wilders is doing a social experiment on how scared the West, I would say it is a complete success.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI Wednesday circulated a report on the expected release of a 10-minute anti-Islam film by Dutch far-right Party for Freedom Founder and Chairman Geert Wilders, which is expected to spark global protests and raises the possibility of violence in Europe. The DHS/FBI report was published in anticipation of a Friday release of the film; however, Wilders himself told a Dutch newspaper yesterday that he needs at least two more weeks to finish the film....


A Dutch Muslim group appealed Thursday for calm at home and abroad in reaction to an anti-Quran film a right-wing politician says he is making.

Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right Freedom Party, says his film will portray the Quran as a "fascist book" that incites violence and intolerance of women and homosexuals.

The Dutch director of a previous film critical of Islam was murdered by a Muslim radical on an Amsterdam street in 2004, prompting a backlash that included the torching of several mosques.

The moderate National Moroccan Council said Thursday it will try to "neutralize the threat" posed by the upcoming film, which Wilders says is still under production.

"At the moment, practically all Muslim groups ... are working to ensure a peaceful and responsible reaction" to the film, said the group's chairman, Mohamed Rabbae, at a news conference in The Hague.

Rabbae said his group represents the majority of the more than 850,000 Muslims living in this nation of 16.3 million.

The group also will call on Dutch Muslims who feel victimized or insulted by the film to file criminal complaints against Wilders for racial or religious vilification.

One drug that is not out of supply in Gaza.

Middle East: Not surprising what else do they do in Gaza other than shoot rockets at people.

Despite his happiness at the opportunity to stock up on desperately needed medicines, Musallam was critical of the free-for-all at the border in which in two days the equivalent of nearly half the population of Gaza was able to to and fro across the border without restrictions.

"This is not right. Everything in the world should be regulated," he said.

"This situation is bad because everyone takes everything and there are people taking narcotics back to Gaza. Egypt and the Palestinians should control the border, Israel has nothing to do with it.

"The one thing I won't be taking back is Viagra because there's plenty of that in Gaza."

Police chief and NAACP demands newspaper hand over source.

Media: Keep an eye on this because I am highly discouraged that a police chief here and the NAACP would try to out a media source because he/she said something they did not like.

Flanked yesterday morning by the local NAACP president and elected officials, Police Chief Harry Rilling denounced a comment, attributed in a newspaper story to one of his officers, saying that Tykwan Hunt, who was killed by a stab wound last weekend, was better off dead.

Rilling said the comment about the 17-year-old victim was cowardly, insensitive, irresponsible and not befitting a member of the Norwalk Police Department. He vowed to find the officer who made the remark and fire him or her.

The story published in The Hour quoted an unnamed police source as saying, "The fact that he is dead makes the city safer. . . . If he had lived, he would have spent most of his life in jail. No one should be surprised by where this kid ended up. He lived like a gang member . . . he died like a gang member."

Hunt's body was found last Saturday morning in a McDonald's parking lot near a Linden Street house where party had been broken up earlier. Hunt died of stab wounds to the chest.

Rilling also called yesterday's newspaper story irresponsible and said he had called Hour publisher Chet Valiante to find out who made the comment. The chief said Valiante advised him that he would talk to the reporter who wrote the story to discuss the quote.

Yes it was insensitive, but a fireable offense? All this shows is the police chief and the NAACP are politically correct cowards.

The failure of the mainstream media over Jena Six

Media: Nice roundup about the MSM being late to the Jena Six and then when they got there screwed it up to fix their own biases and storyline.

"Jena Times Assistant Editor Franklin wrote in a column: "First, because local officials did not speak publicly early on about the true events of the past year, the media simply formed their stories based on one side's statements – the Jena 6. Second, the media were downright lazy in their efforts to find the truth. Often, they simply reported what they'd read on blogs, which expressed only one side of the issue."

Bean knew the media would bite. They did in 1999, when he told them about incidents in his hometown of Tulia, Texas. He exposed a corrupt cop and helped overturn more than a dozen drug convictions against minorities. Tulia was quickly labeled a racist town.

"I knew that it was probably the kind of case the media could be talked into covering because it had so many spectacular features: The fire – something that was terribly significant that nobody was picking up – the nooses and the racial tension. I thought that if the story was framed properly and people could see the connective tissue they could see how one thing led to another," Bean says.

While he is critical of the coverage, Whitlock doesn't cast Bean as the villain. "I'm not saying it's Bean's fault – that's unfair to him. If there's any bad guys in the Jena 6 story it's the media. We blew this."

Chicago Tribune'sHoward Witt defends himself about how he carried the story which was brought to his attention by Bean and talks about the black blogsphere that also had a hand in bringing the story mainstream. Another good long read which makes me think that the truth lies between the two.

Iowa Imam prayer causes some concern.

Nation: In terms of what the hell did he mean when he said it?

When the session began, a Muslim Imam began the prayer in the Iowa Legislature. This is where the controversy begins.

The prayer asked of "Victory over those who disbelieve," and "Protection from the great Satan" among other things.

Pastor Steve Smith of the Evangelical Free Church in Albert City is among those concerned about the Muslim prayer. Rev. Smith admits that he doesn't know about all the levels of Muslim but knows that the Jihadists believe those in the U.S. are the great Satan.

Rev. Smith also wants to point out the mention of "victory over those who disbelieve." He feels "this is a request in the Iowa Legislature for God to grant the Muslims victory over every non-muslim. Not a request for salvation." Smith takes it as a gesture not of prayer but more as a political statement, especially with the wars that have been going on in the Middle East.

"I'm not concerned about a Muslim Imam opening the Legislature in prayer but it concerns me with the statements that were made. He interpreted this prayer from his understanding of Islam."

Kwame Kilpatrick text messages reveal affair with aide

Politics: MY BOY! DA HIP HOP MAYOR! "Navigator" Kilpatrick and his aide got caught via text messages proving that they lied under oath in a case that already cost Detroit millions of dollars. Now he is facing a perjury charge and prison time. Hey, the idiots of Detroit voted the guy back in when it was proven he was an idiot. Congrats.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick bristled in the witness chair last year when asked whether he had an affair with a top aide. No, the mayor confidently told jurors, the two were never romantically involved.

But a trove of 14,000 text messages that emerged this week tell a different story: The mayor and his chief of staff carried on a flirty, sometimes sexually explicit dialogue about where to meet and how to conceal their numerous trysts.

Now the mayor's indiscretion has landed him in a Clinton-style scandal that could cost him his job and his law license and even bring perjury charges.

"I think the mayor needs to take responsibility for the situation," City Councilwoman Sheila Cockrel said Thursday. In politics, she said, "you operate in a fishbowl."

The Detroit Free Press did not explain exactly how it obtained the messages, which were sent or received in 2002-03 from Chief of Staff Christine Beatty's city-issued pager. The newspaper said it cross-referenced the messages with the mayor's private calendar and credit card records to verify events in some of the notes.

The mayor's denial came last summer during testimony in a lawsuit filed by two police officers who alleged they were fired for investigating claims from two former bodyguards that the mayor used his security unit to cover up extramarital affairs

Calls for the mayor's ouster is growing big time.

The heads of Detroit’s 17 municipal unions may decide today that Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick should be asked to step down or face recall, as revelations that he and his chief of staff lied under oath at a police whistle-blower trial rocked City Hall.

Also today, a lawyer who represented the officers who sued acknowledged to the Free Press that there’s a confidentiality agreement containing undisclosed details of the $8.4-million case settlement, which was reached in October.

The county prosecutor is being pressured to prosecute the mayor.

Detroit Free Press and Detroit News are all over the story, so keep checking on them.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Holland 'governed by fear of Islam'

EU: I keep switching between which liberal country will trip over itself in the EU to not cause offense to Muslims for fear of a terrorist attack. I always leaned towards the UK, but Geert Wilders annouced this film, Holland has groveled like a bitch.

Geert Wilders, 44, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, who compares the Muslim holy book to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, sparked government panic after saying the anti-Islam film would be released tomorrow.

As Dutch police prepared for a weekend of riots and Mr Wilders was told by the authorities that he would have to leave country, he launched a new attack on "intolerant" Islam while announcing that his 10-minute film attacking the Muslim faith would be postponed for two weeks.

"If I had announced that I was going to make a film about the fascist character of the Bible would there have been a crisis meeting of Holland's security forces?" he wrote to the Volkskrant newspaper.

"Would I have received as many death threats as I have done since announcing I was making a film about the Koran? Of course not."

Iran's parliament, the Majlis, this week warned of "extensive repercussions from Muslims throughout the globe" if the film was broadcast.

In an attempt to defuse tensions, the Dutch government will tomorrow announce that it will not implement a ban on the Islamic burqa dress.

Spitzer gives pay raises to Legislators

Politics: If you can't bully them, bribe them.

ALBANY — Gov. Eliot Spitzer has agreed to a pay raise for legislators, even as he has called for cuts elsewhere to help close a $4.4 billion deficit, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has told Assembly Democrats.

Mr. Silver passed the word to the legislators at a private meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday as the governor unveiled his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year.

Mr. Spitzer’s budget called only for raises for state judges, but Mr. Silver told lawmakers the governor would send a bill to the Legislature by the end of next month that included raises for senators and Assembly members, according to several legislators who were present. Mr. Silver’s staff members disputed only the timing, saying the speaker was hopeful but not certain the governor would make his proposal by next month.

It was not known how large the raise would be. Mr. Silver has previously proposed a 21 percent increase, and Mr. Spitzer’s budget proposed a 24 percent increase for judges.

Black anger grows as illegals transform urban neighborhoods

Culture: This is subheading for a piece titled The Rainbow Coalition Evaporates by Steven Malanga talking about a subject you won't see get touched in depth in the MSM anytime soon because it flies in the face of what is now the myth of the black and brown coalition.

The rising tensions between African-Americans and Hispanics render the old hopes of a black-brown coalition chimerical. “In studies,” says Frank Morris, former dean of graduate studies at Morgan State University, “immigrants actually tend to say they think of themselves more like whites in America than like blacks, which is one reason why a black-brown political coalition has never existed anywhere except in the minds of black political leaders.” Morris, the former head of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, says that elected black leaders have sought to join forces with Hispanics not out of true common concerns but out of fear that demographic changes will leave them vulnerable to challenges from Latino pols.

A research paper published by Morris and University of Maryland professor James Gimpel estimates that Hispanic candidates could win as many as six seats that blacks currently hold in the U.S. House of Representatives. Latino politicians understand that their own gains will come largely at the expense of black candidates. When black California congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald died suddenly last year, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus targeted her seat, realizing that her district was 57 percent Latino. The effort, which angered members of the Congressional Black Caucus, failed. But Hispanic congressman Joe Baca justified it: “It’s time we have one of our own that speaks on our behalf,” he said.

Nicolás Vaca, the writer, dismisses the notion that African-Americans and Latinos are natural allies. “A divide exists between Blacks and Latinos that no amount of camouflage can hide,” he writes in his book The Presumed Alliance. Vaca says that the split has been evident for years, though largely ignored by the media and political leaders. He contends, for instance, that the 1992 Los Angeles riots, sparked by the LAPD’s beating of Rodney King, became on the ground a black-brown confrontation in which the majority of businesses destroyed were Latino. At the same time, Vaca argues, Latinos believe that, since they had nothing to do with black oppression in America, they owe blacks nothing and “come to the table with a clear conscience.”

The long term trend is blacks losing power over time as Latinos become the minority group in America.

Yale student paper yanks morbid pro-abortion piece.

Culture: One of the the most morbid pieces about abortion supporters I have seen in a while. If you want to see the results of what happens when you successfully detach any sort of moral and common sense values from the abortion debate. These students are the results. It was so bad, the Yale Daily News took down the piece after a couple of hours. You can still see the Google cache of the article and a couple of sites got a hold of it beforehand.

Evans and Rasha Khoury MED ’08, another member of Medical Students for Choice, who said she plans to become a gynecologist and expects to perform abortions, went on to describe one of the most common abortion procedures, manual vacuum aspiration, which “creates suction to evacuate pregnancy,” Evans said. The technique is a good option because the device involved is reusable and relatively cheap, she said.

“It’s not as scary as it seems. It’s just blood and mucus,” Khoury said, referring to the fetus remains in the device. She added, “You’ll be able to see arms and stuff, but still just miniscule.”

....“Often times, women are crying and cursing and saying they’re going to hell,” Khoury said. “It may be a quick and easy medical procedure, but it definitely is a very involved social-medical procedure.”

The presenters also urged the crowd to become involved in the abortion-rights movement by joining Reproductive Health Externships, a campaign in which volunteers are taught how to conduct abortions.

“It’s fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them,” Khoury said. “It’s pretty inspiring.”

Wash Post trying to build back up Gov. Martin O'Malley

Politics: Their baby boy is taking a beating in the polls because of all that liberal tax and spend policies, so its up to the Washington Post to build him back up as a visionary politician.

As Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley steps onto the dais today to deliver his second State of the State address, he faces a striking dichotomy: His standing among Democratic legislative leaders has risen considerably during the past year while it has fallen precipitously among voters.

Today's speech at the State House, in which O'Malley (D) will urge lawmakers to continue "protecting our priorities," is part of what aides say is a long-term push to rebuild the governor's popularity after November's special session, in which lawmakers approved $1.4 billion in annual tax increases to help fix the state's finances. The effort will consist mainly of modest steps.

US school pays students to go to study hall

Edumacation: Once again the shining example of the public educational system here in America.

A high school in the southern US state of Georgia is offering students who are weak in math and science eight dollars an hour to go to study hall and review their pet peeve subjects.
"We started on Tuesday. The kids are very enthusiastic," Mike Robinson, the principal of Creekside High School in Fairburn, near Atlanta, told AFP.

Forty students -- 20 from middle school and 20 high-schoolers -- were selected on the basis of their poor grades in the two subjects and invited to attend two-hour remedial classes twice a week in exchange for money, which is provided by a private foundation.

Everyone who was selected was present at the first session, said Robinson.

At the end of the 15-week experiment, a student who attended every session would be 480 dollars richer -- and able to do the calculation to work that out.

Those who maintain a "B" grade average or better in math or science after finishing the course will be eligible for a bonus of 125 dollars, leaving them potentially 605 dollars better off in total.

"You know, in our community, you have to be really creative to get some students interested," said Robinson.

"I think this incentive is going to work," added the principal of the Creekside High, which has 2,500 students.

You know, I think in your community you have much bigger problems that need to be fixed if you have to pay the dummies to go to study hall. What about those who are doing well, how do you think they feel about it? Do well and on the dean's list. Play the fool and get paid for it.

Three Little Pigs banned for offending Muslims and builders

UK: Another case of Muslims going to get a bad rap because a bunch of politically correct liberals got their panties in a wad.

A story based on the Three Little Pigs has been turned down from a government agency's annual awards because the subject matter could offend Muslims.

The digital book, re-telling the classic fairy tale, was rejected by judges who warned that "the use of pigs raises cultural issues".

Becta, the government's educational technology agency, is a leading partner in the annual schools award.

The judges also attacked Three Little Cowboy Builders for offending builders.

The book's creative director, Anne Curtis, said that the idea that including pigs in a story could be interpreted as racism was "like a slap in the face".

EU's trade threat on climate

EU: If other regions don't fall in line to shoot themselves in the foot like the EU, then there will be tariffs.

The president of the European Commmission has threatened to impose carbon tariffs on imports unless the US agrees to a global climate change deal.

Jose Manuel Barroso wants to protect energy-intensive sectors such as aluminium, steel and cement.

He says there is no point these industries cutting emissions in Europe if they lose business to countries with more lax rules on carbon emissions.

Mr Barroso made the comments in a speech to business leaders in London.

Level playing field

He said foreign firms should be forced to purchase the same EU carbon allowances European firms would have to buy, thereby levelling the industrial playing field.

I said it for years, the EU is more determined to drag everyone back to their level that actually try to compete in international business. They have already missed their Kyoto climate targets and now want to punish everyone else for not putting the same anchor around their neck like they did.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Young activists whine about Indiana's ID law

Politics: Now the other angle is the Indiana law requiring an ID to vote is biased against young people and college students. If you believe that bag of manure, you will believe anything.

A coalition of youth groups including Rock the Vote and the National Black Law Students Association filed an amicus brief to the Indiana state Democratic Party lawsuit urging the Supreme Court to find the law unconstitutional.

“The Indiana case has far-reaching consequences for students and other young people who move frequently, making current ID hard to come by, or who do not possess a driver's license,” wrote Alexandra Acker, executive director of the Young Democrats of America.

“It’s not something that at face value people think is overtly discriminatory,” says Matthew Segal, founder of the Student Association for Voter Empowerment, which also signed the amicus brief, and a senior at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. “They don’t understand the millions of Americans who are poor and don’t have a driver's license.”

Young people are more likely to fall into that license-less category. “A lot of young people don’t have driver’s licenses,” said Tova Andrea Wang, Democracy Fellow at The Century Foundation, a progressive institution. “I myself didn’t have one until my late twenties, because I grew up in Manhattan.”

Wang added: “It’s also pretty racially skewed. Young blacks have ID even less.” For instance, in Milwaukee County, Wis., 74 percent of African Americans and 66 percent of Hispanics aged 18 to 24 did not have a valid driver’s license.

But even young people with driver’s licenses may face barriers. Students who leave their state to attend college do not always update their license to reflect their school address. “Registered young voters can’t vote because they have an out-of-state driver’s license,” said Indiana Young Democrats president Jason Tomsci, 25. “The law definitely puts out of state students at a disadvantage,” he said.

Out-of-state students in Ohio face the same barrier. Segal has had his ability to vote called into question by a new law there. “My driver’s license is from Illinois and I’m not going to change it for a variety of reasons,” Segal explained. “There’s no form of photo ID that I, or most out-of-state students, have that shows I live in Ohio.”

Lets understand what the law allows to have as an ID.

Under the bill, most voters would have to show a photo ID issued by the federal or state government, such as a military ID or driver's license. People who do not have a driver's license and cannot afford to pay for a state-issued photo ID will be issued one for free.

How much of a lazy punk do you have to be not to have some form of ID in this day and age? Unless you are thriving to be the next Unabomber and staying off the grid, you either have or can easily get a form of ID to vote. Young people and/or College students have the least amount of excuses in not having some form of valid ID, its not hard to get.

You don't want to update your information, how is it anyone else's fault but your own?

But critics of ID laws, such as Tomsci, contend that for college freshmen who may have left birth certificates and Social Security cards with their parents, getting a new driver’s license is more easily said than done. “You have to provide a lot of documentation to get a state ID and a lot of students aren’t going to have that readily available,” he said.

Do college freshmen in Indiana just show up on orientation day and go straight to class? Do you not have to have most of the required papers on you to register? In extreme cases, do they not know of businesses called FedEx or UPS or the Postal service? None of these excuses are valid as barriers for people not to vote. It takes very little effort to get the proper ID to vote if you are even legal to vote which for some people in this piece is not clear.

This is just a whole lot of whining by lazy Gen Yers.

Blackburn mosques more extreme says Iraq's deputy prime minister.

UK: This is quite the endorsement.

Mosques in Britain are more extreme than in Iraq, according to the country's deputy prime minister.

Dr Barham Salih claimed some mosques in Blackburn would be banned in Iraq for the extremist messages they preach.

He made his comments during a dinner party in Baghdad attended by Tory culture spokesman Tobias Ellwood.

The 41-year-old MP claimed Dr Salih said: "I am not surprised that you British are facing so many problems with extremists after what I saw in those mosques in Blackburn.

"What I saw would not be allowed here in Iraq. It would be illegal."

Dr Salih, a Sunni Muslim, went to several mosques in Blackburn when he visited the town on the invitation of the then Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, in 2005.

La Raza finally runs off Frances Semler

Immigration: Congrats to the KC Star paper who is gloating, La Raza and their two lapdogs the NAACP who were joined by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference who went on a jihad for months to run off this poor 74 year old woman off a park board. Her only offense is being a member of the minuteman group. They are now the equal in the eyes of the above as communists.

The difference is they would defend people a lot harder who were a part of the communist party.

A city parks board appointee has resigned after her controversial membership in an anti-illegal immigration group led two organizations to take their annual conventions elsewhere.

Frances Semler, 74, a member of the Arizona-based Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, said Tuesday that she resigned because her involvement with the parks board had become too contentious and she did not feel that Mayor Mark Funkhouser supported her.

"I feel betrayed," she said. "From time to time they would say good things, but from time to time there would be something hurtful. ... But it all piles up."

Funkhouser said he was disappointed with Semler's resignation.

"She says she didn't feel supported. I think the record shows differently," Funkhouser said in a brief statement.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Semler defended her involvement in the civilian group, which advocates patrolling of the Mexican border and reports illegal immigrants to authorities. She has been a member since 2006.

"I'm a decent, nice person that happens to belong to the Minutemen and thinks our borders should be protected and our laws upheld," Semler said.

At this point the SCLC credibility on race matters is zero. Here is a Kansas City Star editorial board gloating about her victory.

Frances Semler and "Regular Folks"

Everyone will take home their own lesson from the Frances Semler saga. Here is mine:

It you're the mayor, and you want to appoint "regular folks" to a high-profile position, vet them first, for heaven's sake.

Semler, remember, didn't apply to be a parks commissioner. Mayor Mark Funkhouser appointed her to the post because his wife had been impressed with her work as a campaign volunteer.

It was the Funkhouser/Squitiro team's first monumental blunder, and by no means the last. And it was completely avoidable. A simple google search would have unearthed Semler's activist stance against undocumented workers.

Semler comes across in her resignation letter as bitter and vengeful--a crank, to put it bluntly. She's a poor ambassador for regular folks.

Barb Shelly, editorial board

This is what people who are not open border advocates have to face up too. In this case the pressure won as four powerful entities pushed out one person.

Monday, January 21, 2008

As Abortion Rate Drops, Use of RU-486 Is on Rise

Medical: There is something especially creepy and shocking how the women who are pro RU-486 describe ending their unborn baby's life as if they are taking a laxative. Even the it was so hard part of the speech seems tacked on as if they know they have to say it.

The French abortion pill RU-486, on the market since 2000, has become an increasingly common alternative, making abortion less clinical and more private. At a time when the overall number of abortions has been steadily declining, RU-486-induced abortions have been rising by 22 percent a year and now account for 14 percent of the total -- and more than one in five of early abortions performed by the ninth week of pregnancy.

....Judi Gilbert, 41, a nurse in Philadelphia, opted for mifepristone in 2005 when she had her second abortion. She had a 3-year-old son and was about to start a new job.

"It was something I could do at home and be with my husband," Gilbert said of taking the pill. "It was a decision we made together alone, and we were able to take care of it this way alone. It was just a much more private affair."

She added: "I wouldn't say it was easy -- it's never easy to terminate a pregnancy. But in the grand scheme of things, it was much more pleasant than a surgical procedure."

...."Mifepristone is clearly starting to become an important part of the abortion provision in the United States," said Lawrence Finer, who studies the drug at Guttmacher. "I think we'll continue to see increases."

...."The availability of mifepristone gives women another safe and effective way to terminate a pregnancy," said Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, which estimates that 83 percent of its 400 member clinics offer the drug.

"For some women, they like to have a more active role rather than just having something done to them," said Deborah Oyer, a family-practice doctor in Seattle.

"For some, it feels in some ways more natural because it feels more like their body is doing it."

"Some women say, 'It's the most horrible thing that ever happened and I'll never do it again,' and some women say, 'Heck, my period was worse than that,' " said Catherine McKegney, a family physician in St. Paul, Minn.

"I liked the idea of being more in control," said Mary, who asked that her full name not be used. "I had some really, really bad cramps and had to take some Vicodin and ibuprofen to calm them down. But other than the cramps, it was pretty painless."

When people start asking where is the value of life, just point to stuff like this as an example where that went out the window.

Italian government in crisis...again.

EU: The Italian government is in trouble every other month.

Italy’s staggering government appeared near collapse on Monday after the former justice minister said he would no longer support Prime Minister Romano Prodi, who holds a one-vote majority in Parliament’s upper house.

The justice minister, Clemente Mastella, resigned last week amid accusations of corruption, saying at the time that he would continue to pledge his three votes in the Senate to Mr. Prodi’s center-left coalition. But with several crucial votes looming — including one on the continuing garbage crisis in Naples — Mr. Mastella called a surprise news conference to say he had changed his mind.

“This majority doesn’t exist anymore,” he told reporters, calling for new elections. “I will not negotiate. I will not discuss. It’s over.”

Mr. Prodi, whose fractured nine-party coalition has lurched from one crisis to another since he took office in May 2006, made no immediate comment. Several allies said, however, that he would discuss the crisis in the lower house of Parliament on Tuesday before deciding whether to resign.

Europe cutting Biofuel Subsidies.

Enviro: As America continues to pile on the biofuel pork, Europe is realizing biofuels is not the answer.

Several countries — including Australia, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, as well as parts of Canada — have removed or are revising incentives for farmers, biofuel refiners and distributors.

The manufacturers and sellers will have to quantify their fuel’s net effect on the environment before being eligible for subsidies, or even to count toward national biofuel quotas. Many European countries aim to have 5.75 percent of their transportation fuel made from renewable sources by the end of the year.

There is increasing evidence that the total emissions and environmental damage from producing many “clean” biofuels often outweigh their lower emissions when compared with fossil fuels. More governments are responding to these findings.

Under a proposed Swiss directive, for example, a liter of biofuel would have to produce 40 percent less in emissions than fossil fuel to qualify for special treatment. It will be hard to make corn ethanol or even rapeseed (used to make canola oil) meet the standard, said Lukas Gutzwiller of Switzerland’s Federal Energy Office.

With a fuller picture of “the pros and cons of various biofuels, it was very obvious to us that we should not just push forward blindly,” Mr. Gutzwiller said. “We had to base the political debate on environmental analysis to make sure that biofuels were having a positive effect.”

Backlash over CNN's Gender or Race article.

Politics: Earlier today CNN put up an article "Gender or race: Black women voters face tough choices in S.C." The quotes by the women in the article didn't lend any credence to the article header. All quoted said they were going to be pick the one who would be the best choice for them regardless of having to pick the black man or woman. The only one pushing that theory was a Dem analyst.

Democratic analyst Jehmu Greene says, "We've all wanted the day to come where there was a black person in the White House, where there was going to be a woman in the White House. I don't think we imagined it would be having to decide one or the other."

Greene says women, including herself, face pressure to vote their race. In the African-American community, there is a perception that race trumps gender, she says.

Clinton supporters are seen as sellouts, Greene and others say.

Hairdresser Shontell Horlback, who is undecided, says, "It's not like I'm selling out, not that I'm not keeping it real 'cause I am, but keeping it real is actually the best candidate for the job."

It seems CNN readers didn't like how the story was slanted and are furious about it.

(CNN) -- Within minutes of posting a story on CNN's homepage called "Gender or race: Black women voters face tough choices in South Carolina," readers reacted quickly and angrily.

Many took umbrage at the story's suggestion that black women voters face "a unique, and most unexpected dilemma" about voting their race or their gender.

CNN received dozens of e-mails shortly after posting the story, which focuses largely on conversations about Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that a CNN reporter observed at a hair salon in South Carolina whose customers are predominantly African-American.

The story states: "For these women, a unique, and most unexpected dilemma, presents itself: Should they vote their race, or should they vote their gender?" Read the story

An e-mailer named Tiffany responded sarcastically: "Duh, I'm a black woman and here I am at the voting booth. Duh, since I'm illiterate I'll pull down the lever for someone. Hm... Well, he black so I may vote for him... oh wait she a woman I may vote for her... What Ise gon' do? Oh lordy!"

Tiffany urged CNN to "pull this racist crap off" the Web site and to stop calling Hillary the "top female candidate."

"Stop calling Barack the "Black" candidate," she wrote.

Many readers were upset that the story did not delve beyond a cursory mention of the issues.

The article stated: "While race and gender play a role, most women here say they plan to vote based on the issues. They rank health care, education and the economy in order of importance."

The salon owner, Angela Jackson, a Clinton supporter, is quoted as saying: "They don't pay my bills. And they're not attached to my belly. Nobody is attached to my belly but me. They don't feed me, clothe me. I don't care what they think. ... She's a woman, I'm a woman."

A reader named Joan e-mailed: "Really CNN, is this how you view black women[?] Are you suggesting that white women are going to have it easier [?] How about issues? Should a black woman consider the candidates position on issues, or should we just stick to race and gender. Disgusting!"

Matt e-mailed, "The article itself shows black women have brains and actually choose candidates based on issues and not just gender or race, but CNN doesn't seem to give them that credit."

Good, the story was stupid and the only ones who are thinking like that all the time are the media pundits who want that storyline to come true. To put women in that simplistic area of thinking, black or otherwise saying they are going to choose because of race or gender was deserving of a blowback.

Why is there a rape epidemic in Oslo, Norway?

Norway: I have a feeling the proper officials do not want to dig too deep on this for various reasons. Numbers do not go up this high this fast without an obvious reason.

Rape reports rose dramatically in Oslo last year, especially those involving violent street attacks, and yet another brutal assault was reported this weekend.
Barely were the 2007 statistics released, when a 27-year-old woman was raped in the historic Our Saviours Graveyard (Vår Frelsers Gravlund) over the weekend.

The woman was on her way home from downtown late Saturday night when she was attacked inside a gate of the downtown graveyard, where many of Norway's national heroes are buried. Police responded quickly and searched the area with dogs, but no arrests were made.

New statistics show that the rape rate in Oslo has doubled in the last 10 years, to 161 registered instances in 2007.Cases of violent rapes (defined as gang rapes, particularly painful rapes or rapes in which the victim is seriously injured) also rose.

Total sexual crimes rose 20 percent from 2006 to 2007. These include rape, incest and pornographic-related crimes.

Rapes in the whole of Norway also rose, to 900 cases, an increase of 200 in five years, reports news bureau NTB.

CBC reporter removed after giving questions to liberal MP.

Canada: All those reports of the CBC being nothing more than a leftist mouthpiece seem to be true. Shocking!

The CBC has reassigned a reporter it says helped produce questions for a Liberal MP to ask former prime minister Brian Mulroney at a recent parliamentary hearing.

In a letter to Conservative Party official Doug Finley made public Monday, CBC News publisher John Cruickshank says an investigation by senior management of CBC News determined reporter Krista Erickson did provide questions to a Liberal Member of Parliament in the lead up to the Ethics Committee meetings in December.

Ms. Erickson's actions were “inappropriate and inconsistent with CBC News policies and procedures,” the letter says.

“Our investigation determined there was no bias in related news coverage,” Mr. Cruickshank writes. “However, our reporter, acting on her own, used inappropriate tactics as a result of journalistic zeal, rather than partisan interest. CBC News management has made the decision to reassign its reporter from the story and to Toronto, effective Jan. 21.”

Mr. Finley complained to the CBC in a Dec. 14 letter, saying Ms. Erickson's actions raised questions about the public broadcaster's impartiality.

Dutch government Subsidises Positive Image of Immigrants on TV

EU: Worthless propaganda that does more harm than good and treats the populance like a bunch of idiots.

The Dutch government gave subsidies of over 11.8 million euros to public and commercial broadcasters in 2006 and 2007. Newspaper De Volkskrant discovered that subsidies were among other things given for programmes showing black and white people getting along well.

The justice ministry gave subsidies totalling 610,500 to commercial broadcaster SBS6 for programmes in which immigrants were shown in a positive context. A SBS6 weather programme (Piets Weerbericht), for example, received 12,500 euros from the ministry because it was filmed at a tennis club "where there is good integration between people of different cultures," according to De Volkskrant.

In 2006, the government subsidised a total of 75 co-productions with a total of 5,180,208 euros. In 2007, the government accepted 43 applications, for 4,350,419 euro. Additionally, 793,295 euros was spent in 2006 and 1,496,335 euros in 2007 from the foreign ministry's Europa fund on TV programmes in praise of the environment, development aid and European cooperation.

Socialist Party (SP) MP Van Dijk and Party for Freedom (PVV) MP Bosma want to summon Media Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk to the Lower House today to give an explanation. Van Dijk: "This is propaganda, the neutrality of the state is put in doubt." Bosma: "These are Soviet practices. Broadcasters serving as state television. Absolutely revolting."

The Jedi church opens in Wales..coming to Florida soon.

Culture: Someone pointed out elsewhere, if someone goes to the Dark Side, as a jedi would you have to be duel him/her?

A Jedi "church" has been born in a galaxy far far away - North Wales.

The Holyhead chapter of the self-styled Jedi Church, which claims up to 400,000 members worldwide, has sprung up thanks to brothers Barney and Daniel Jones, both Star Wars obsessives.

The "church" is only one of a handful around the planet, said hairdresser Barney, 26, the Anglesey Order Minister, also known as Master Jonba Hehol.

Didn't Scientology start out like this?

The "religion" was born as a result of a nationwide joke in the 2001 census when nearly 400,000 claimed their belief system was Jedi.

And now Barney and musician Daniel, 21 - or Master Morda Hehol, self-appointed UK "church" leader - are getting their new "religion" off the ground.

"It's serious," said Barney.

"We will have teachings based on Yoda - the 900-year-old grand master - as well as readings, essays submitted, meditation and relaxation, visualisation and discuss healthy eating.

"The Jedi religion is about life improvement, inner peace and changing your lifestyle so you have a more fulfilling existence.

"It's based on the films but we have brought things into it because the films are a bit more sci-fi.

"But we have developed on the film's teachings, introducing teachings we believe the Jedi Knights would seek.

"We used to watch the films over and over again and it came about from that."

and I am not kidding about a Florida chapter.

The Anglesey order has 80 worshippers - whose uniform is head-to-toe black - but is growing daily, said Barney - who as a master wears brown hooded robes.

And when a building has been found to home the movement, the brothers aim to provide lightsabre fighting classes.

"Worshippers" will take a series of tests to scale the Jedi hierarchy.

Plans have also been made to open a Jedi "church" in Surrey and in the Philippines to follow on from America's first in Florida.

Teen swimmers' photos put on gay sites

Nation: Reactions are going to be this is normal, stop judging! or ewwww. I am going with ewwww because anytime you see the term"teen photos show up on adult website" regardless of sexuality is just wrong.

Several gay adult Web sites have posted photographs of teenage water polo players from several high schools in Southern California, a newspaper reported.

Some of the pictures, of boys as young as 14, were displayed next to photos of nude young men and graphic sexual content, an Orange County Register investigation found.

Parents, coaches and school officials were alarmed, and parents said some of the boys were traumatized and sought counseling.

"These kids don't look at what they do as shameful," said Joan Gould, an international water polo official and a spokeswoman for a group of Orange County water polo parents. "For someone to come in and take what these kids are doing and take it out of context and exploit these images, these kids and their schools, because you can see the school name on the caps, is just horrible."

Police at the University of California, Irvine, confirmed they are investigating whether a campus police dispatcher had photographed the high school athletes for gay-oriented sites. The man had not been charged, and police Chief Paul Henisey said he remained on duty.

Michigan say no licenses for illegals.

Immigration: Bravo, Meeeeeechigan.

Michigan will no longer let illegal immigrants get driver's licenses, a practice just seven other states continue to allow.

Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, who oversees the state motor vehicle department, announced the new policy Monday and said it takes effect Tuesday. Some people who are in Michigan legally but not permanent residents also will be denied licenses unless state law is changed.

The change is aimed at complying with an opinion issued last month by Attorney General Mike Cox, who said granting licenses to illegal immigrants is inconsistent with federal law. Opinions by the attorney general's office are legally binding on state agencies and officers unless reversed by the courts.

The new policy applies to first-time applicants for a Michigan driver's license or identification card. Updated procedures for renewals soon will be released

Ahmadinejad slapped down hard by Iran's supreme leader.

Iran: This will leave a mark.

Iran's supreme leader Monday reversed a decision by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and ordered him to implement a law supplying natural gas to remote villages amid rising dissatisfaction with the president's performance.

The move by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was a major rebuke to the hardline president, whose popularity has plummeted amid rising food prices and deaths due to gas cuts during a particularly harsh winter.

In response to a request by the conservative-dominated parliament, Khamenei ordered the president to implement a law spending $1 billion from the Currency Reserve Fund to supply gas to villages after he balked for budgetary reasons.

"All legal legislation that has gone through (the required) procedures stipulated in the constitution is binding for all branches of power," Parliamentary Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel quoted the supreme leader as saying in a statement.

Haddad Adel called Ahmadinejad's refusal to implement the law "surprising" and said his appeal to Khamenei was aimed at "defending the dignity of the legislature." His comments, which were broadcast live on state-run radio, prompted chants of "well done" from the chamber.

Virginia Democrats won't vote on most illegal immigrant bills.

Immigration: So except for a few pockets here and there in the state, it has become a sanctuary state. Yes, some are stupid, but that will give them the opening to deny a vote on any bill leading to a crackdown.

WASHINGTON-Illegal immigration remains a big political issue across the country. And it figured big in elections in Virginia this year. But will there be any action on the issue now that the General Assembly is in session?

There are more than 100 different bills already introduced in Richmond related to immigrants. But not all the bills have to do with illegal immigration.

Democratic Senate Majority leader Dick Saslaw, of Fairfax, predicts most of the bills won't see the light of day. "Last year they put in 31, do you know how many passed, how about zero," he says, describing most of the bills as political "grandstanding".

Some Virginia lawmakers say some of the bills are mean spirited and not just directed against illegal immigrants. For example, there is a bill that would allow an employer to fire any worker who speaks anything but English while on the job. Another proposed legislation would require a defendant appearing in court to pay for language interpreters if they are convicted of a crime. Then there is bill that would require a person to provide proof of citizenship before any resident could get a driver's license.

"We are not punishing employers," Saslaw says. "We are not going to pass a bill that allows you to fire somebody who does not speak English after you hired them."

Mexican government to meddle in Arizona for illegals.

Immigration: At least they are being more open about the fact they are going to meddle in our affairs.

In an interview on Telemundo Wednesday, a spokesman for the Mexican consulate in Tucson assured Mexicans working here that the consulate will help them with difficulties they encounter as a result of Arizona's new employer sanctions law.

Alejandro Ramos Cardoso told viewers the consulate will provide the services of several lawyers, experts in immigration and employment law, to advise Mexican citizens affected by the state law.

Ramos said Mexican citizens working in Tucson without legal work papers are frightened by the law. It requires employers to make sure an employee has the legal right to work in the United States.

Illegal immigrant activist counting on birthrate to help the cause.

Immigration: That is the only reasoning I get from this tidbit about illegals in South Carolina.

The Democratic candidates, unlike the Republicans, oppose deporting illegal immigrants, arguing this is economically not feasible nor is it humane.

Back in South Carolina, Ignacio is planning to return to Mexico but many others intend staying in the country until they are granted the right to remain or are thrown out. The chances are they will become a permanent presence, if only because of new births.

Conchita Cruz, who works for one of the groups trying to help the immigrants, the Coalition of New South Carolinians, said she looked forward to seeing the state in about 20 years time. "It will be different. Kids who are born of undocumented parents will be citizens and able to vote," she said.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

U.S. Jaguar being used to stop parts of the border fence.

Immigration: Enviro groups are the open border advocates greatest friend.

The U.S. Department of the Interior has abandoned attempts to craft a recovery plan for the endangered jaguar because too few of the rare cats have been spotted in the U.S. to warrant such action.

Some critics of the decision said Thursday the jaguar is being sacrificed for the government's new border fence, which is going up along many of the same areas where the cat has crossed into the United States from Mexico.

The jaguar's range extends from the southwestern United States into South America.

Hundreds of the cats have been documented in Mexico and across Central America. The most significant population in Mexico is believed to be about 150 miles (240 kilometers) south of the U.S. border.

If the U.S. border region were designated as a critical recovery area for the jaguar, then it would constrain the Homeland Security Department in building the fence, said Kieran Suckling, policy director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

"That's the central issue here," Suckling said.

Suckling's group has a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court in Phoenix, Arizona, asking the court to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a recovery plan.

So how many cats are we talking about?

Benjamin Tuggle, regional director of the wildlife agency in Albuquerque, recommended in a December 21 memo to Hall that the recovery efforts be abandoned, saying his office had concluded "that preparation of a recovery plan will not contribute to the conservation of the jaguar."

Tuggle said that while four male jaguars had been documented in the U.S. border region, the latest last year, no females have been confirmed there since 1963, indicating that "the United States does not support a separate breeding population" for the cat.

"Actions taken within the United States are likely to benefit a small number of individual jaguars peripheral to the species, with little potential to effect recovery of the species as whole," Tuggle wrote.

Tuggle suggested that the recovery effort should be focused on Mexico and Central America, where the cat is more widely located and where it also is protected by law.

Chavez demands farmers sell only to Venezuela

World: Now that his well thought out economic policies are coming home to roost, he is looking to make enemies out of the farmers.

"....With the country recently facing milk shortages, Chavez said "it's treason" if farmers deny milk to Venezuelans while selling it across the border in Colombia or for gourmet cheeses.

"In that case the farm must be expropriated," Chavez said, adding that the government could also take over milk plants and properties of beef producers.

"I'm putting you on alert," Chavez said. "If there's a producer that refuses to sell the product ... and sells it at a higher price abroad ... ministers, find me the proof so it can be expropriated."

Addressing his Cabinet, he said: "If the army must be brought in, you bring in the army."

Oliver Stone to make President Bush biopic.

Politics: Oh joy, I wonder how its going to turn out?

One need only Google the words "Stone" and "Bush" to find plenty of the director's critical comments about the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq. Despite that, the director said he's not looking to make an anti-Bush polemic. His goal is to use seminal events in Bush's life to explain how he came to power, using a structure comparable to "The Queen."

"It's a behind-the-scenes approach, similar to 'Nixon,' to give a sense of what it's like to be in his skin," Stone told Daily Variety. "But if 'Nixon' was a symphony, this is more like a chamber piece, and not as dark in tone. People have turned my political ideas into a cliche, but that is superficial. I'm a dramatist who is interested in people, and I have empathy for Bush as a human being, much the same as I did for Castro, Nixon, Jim Morrison, Jim Garrison and Alexander the Great.

Stone declined to give his personal opinion of the president.

"I can't give you that, because the filmmaker has to hide in the work," Stone said. "Here, I'm the referee, and I want a fair, true portrait of the man. How did Bush go from an alcoholic bum to the most powerful figure in the world? It's like Frank Capra territory on one hand, but I'll also cover the demons in his private life, his bouts with his dad and his conversion to Christianity, which explains a lot of where he is coming from. It includes his belief that God personally chose him to be president of the United States, and his coming into his own with the stunning, preemptive attack on Iraq. It will contain surprises for Bush supporters and his detractors."

As you would expect.

EU report casts doubts on its biofuel strategy

EU: As long as the intentions are good, nothing to worry about in the end.

The cost-benefit study looks at whether using biofuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions, improves security of supply and creates jobs and delivers an unenthusiastic opinion on all three counts.

"What the cost-benefit analysis shows is that there are better ways to achieve greenhouse gas savings and security of supply enhancements than to produce biofuels," says the report.

"The costs of EU biofuels outweigh the benefits," the researchers state.

EU taxpayers would have to fork out an extra 33-65 billion euros (48-95 billion dollars) between now and 2020 if the European Commission proposals go ahead, according to the study.

....On agriculture however the study warns that the proposed EU measures will require the use of huge swathes of land outside of Europe and it questions whether it will make any greenhouse gas savings at all.

Green groups warn that the EU plans could lead to forest clearances for biofuels or for food crops displaced by biofuel plantations as farmers switch over.

The report concludes that by using the same EU resources of money and biomass, significantly greater greenhouse gas savings could be achieved by imposing only an overall biomass-use target instead of a separate one for transport.

"The uncertainties of the indirect greenhouse effects, much of which would occur outside the EU, mean that it is impossible to say with certainty that the net greenhous gas effects of the giofuels programme would be positive," the study says.

Adrian Bebb, Agrofuels Campaign Coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe, called it "a damning verdict on the EU's policy for using biofuels."

"The conclusions are crystal clear -- the EU should abandon biofuels and use its resources on real solutions to climate change," he said of the leaked report.

Geert Wilders film about the Koran comes out this week.

EU: The Dutch are running around like headless chickens trying to stop any backlash.

Geert Wilders, one of nine members of the extremist VVD (Freedom) party in the 150-seat Dutch lower house, has promised that his film will be broadcast - on television or on the internet - whatever the pressure may be. It will, he claims, reveal the Koran as 'source of inspiration for intolerance, murder and terror'.

Dutch diplomats are already trying to pre-empt international reaction. 'It is difficult to anticipate the content of the film, but freedom of expression doesn't mean the right to offend,' said Maxime Verhagen, the Foreign Minister, who was in Madrid to attend the Alliance of Civilisations, an international forum aimed at reducing tensions between the Islamic world and the West. In Amsterdam, Rotterdam and other towns with large Muslim populations, imams say they have needed to 'calm down' growing anger in their communities.

Government officials hope that no mainstream media organisation will agree to show the film, although one publicly funded channel, Nova, initially agreed before pulling out. 'A broadcast on a public channel could imply that the government supported the project,' said an Interior Ministry spokesman.

Sympathy documentary for Roman Polanski

Entertainment: At the Sundance Film Festival where a guy who raped a drugged up 13 year old probably considered a good Friday night.

The documentary film by director Marina Zenovich premiered at the film festival on the 30th anniversary of Polanski's court case, offering a sympathetic view of the famed director who fled the United States in 1978 to avoid being jailed for having intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

Chronicled in newspapers around the world then, the "sensational" case was "one of the first examples of journalists hunting people for a tabloid story," Zenovich told AFP.

"There was no Entertainment Tonight or Access Hollywood back then (on US television), but there was a lot of interest in this case. And once they found out (victim Samantha Gailey)'s name, they found out where she went to school, where she lived, and they hunted her -- and Polanski."

And, according to Zenovich, they botched the story.

Relying on interviews with the attorneys in the case and Gailey (now Samantha Geimer), 1970s media footage and court documents, as well as recycled interviews of Polanski himself, the filmmaker aims to set the record straight.

But, she is skeptical people's view of Polanski will change after seeing her film, Zenovich said.

"America is very puritanical and people can't get past the charges. I think there is a great majority of people who even if they hear this story, they won't care because they can't get away from the charges."

"Yet in Europe, he is revered," she added. "It's a culture clash."

Excuse us puritanical Americans for wanting to send this sex predator to jail for what he did, once again the Europeans have shown us the light. I said it before but the fact he is able to walk around without a care in the world and Hollywood people still want to work with him reflects their charcter and values.

Of course the Weinstein Co would pick up the rights to it. I am beginning to think both brothers are apeing the movie making skills of Uwe Boll.