Saturday, February 2, 2008

Female Muslim medics 'disobey hygiene rules'

Medical: Then go find another job, no one's religion takes precedent over medical hygiene.

Muslim medical students are refusing to obey hygiene rules brought in to stop the spread of deadly superbugs, because they say it is against their religion.

Women training in several hospitals in England have raised objections to removing their arm coverings in theatre and to rolling up their sleeves when washing their hands, because it is regarded as immodest in Islam.

....Dr Charles Tannock, a Conservative MEP and former hospital consultant, said: "These students are being trained using taxpayers' money and they have a duty of care to their patients not to put their health at risk.

"Perhaps these women should not be choosing medicine as a career if they feel unable to abide by the guidelines that everyone else has to follow."

But the Islamic Medical Association insisted that covering all the body in public, except the face and hands, was a basic tenet of Islam.

"No practising Muslim woman - doctor, medical student, nurse or patient - should be forced to bare her arms below the elbow," it said.

Dr Majid Katme, the association spokesman, said: "Exposed arms can pick up germs and there is a lot of evidence to suggest skin is safer to the patient if covered. One idea might be to produce long, sterile, disposable gloves which go up to the elbows."

or find a job within the medical field where you don't have to scrub. Religious accomodations stop when people's health is put in danger because of it.

UK: Study alleges 'honour killings conspiracy'

UK: It makes sense but I would be shocked if its a whole community in on it rather than a core group and the rest being silent cowards.

Whole communities are involved in assisting and covering up "honour violence" in Britain, a new study says.

Informal networks of taxi drivers, councillors and sometimes even police officers track down and return women who try to escape, researchers claim.

A report by the Centre for Social Cohesion - an offshoot of the right-wing think-tank Civitas, whose advisors include the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey and the Labour backbencher Frank Field - alleges that the problem exists in the country's Muslim, Sikh and Hindu communities, even among second-generation immigrants.

.....Many South Asian men brought up in this country want to marry uneducated women, known as "freshies", who are "uncontaminated" by ideas of female independence, the report, published tomorrow says.

It comes days after Vernon Coaker, a Home Office minister, disclosed that the Government's forced marriage unit dealt with 400 cases last year.

Ann Cryer, the Labour MP for Keighley, welcomed the findings. "In most communities people will condemn domestic violence, but in Asian communities, the religious and secular leaders are either turning a blind eye or actually condoning it," she said.

Nazir Afzal, the lead on honour-based violence for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that the problem was particularly acute in areas where Islamic extremist groups were active.

Times Online:

"A GIRL of 15 was tricked into a "telephone marriage" ceremony to a Sheffield man with a mental age of five in a ceremony recognised by sharia (Islamic law).

When the girl arrived from Pakistan expecting to meet the handsome man she had been shown in a photograph, she found that he was 40 years old, unemployed and disabled.

To make matters worse, her mother-in-law decided to exploit her attractive looks by forcing her into prostitution.

The family invited men to the family home to rape her before she managed to escape to the police by bolting through the front door. She was taken into care and now lives in a refuge.

The case is highlighted in a report by the Centre for Social Cohesion, which has found that policemen, councillors and taxi drivers are turning a blind eye or even conniving in enforcing the Asian community's strict "moral code" on young women.

The girl's marriage last April was not recognised by the Home Office but was approved by the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain. She is typical of the runaway brides at risk of an "honour killing". According to official figures, 10 to 12 women are murdered in Britain in honour killings each year, but the government has been warned by MPs that this is a serious underestimate. Police often record the deaths as cases of domestic violence, while other girls are driven to suicide or taken away to their family's country of origin and never seen again. Many Asian parents would rather resort to violence against their children than see their reputation tarnished by the perceived dishonour of allowing them to become "westernised". "

Hugo Chavez tolerates FARC's cocaine trading?

Crime: I doubt Chavez is directly involved but the fact the trade as skyrocketed under his reign says something.

"....All the sources I reached agreed that powerful elements within the Venezuelan state apparatus have forged a strong working relationship with Farc. They told me that Farc and Venezuelan state officials operated actively together on the ground, where military and drug-trafficking activities coincide.

But the relationship becomes more passive, they said, less actively involved, the higher up the Venezuelan government you go. No source I spoke to accused Chávez himself of having a direct role in Colombia's giant drug-trafficking business. Yet the same people I interviewed struggled to believe that Chávez was not aware of the collusion between his armed forces and the leadership of Farc, as they also found it difficult to imagine that he has no knowledge of the degree to which Farc is involved in the cocaine trade.

I made various attempts to extract an official response to these allegations from the Venezuelan government. In the end Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro made a public pronouncement in Uruguay in which he said, without addressing the substance of the allegations, that they were part of a 'racist' and 'colonialist' campaign against Venezuela by the centre-left Spanish newspaper El País, where I originally wrote about Farc and the Venezuelan connection.

What no one disputes, however, is that Chávez is a political ally of Farc (last month he called on the EU and US to stop labelling its members 'terrorists') or that for many years Farc has used Venezuelan territory as a refuge. A less uncontroversial claim, made by all the sources to whom I spoke (the four disaffected guerrillas included), is that if it were not for cocaine, the fuel that feeds the Colombian war, Farc would long ago have disbanded.

The varied testimonies I have heard reveal that the co-operation between Venezuela and the guerrillas in transporting cocaine by land, air and sea is both extensive and systematic. Venezuela is also supplying arms to the guerrillas, offering them the protection of their armed forces in the field, and providing them with legal immunity de facto as they go about their giant illegal business.

Thirty per cent of the 600 tons of cocaine smuggled from Colombia each year goes through Venezuela. Most of that 30 per cent ends up in Europe, with Spain and Portugal being the principal ports of entry. The drug's value on European streets is some £7.5bn a year.

The infrastructure that Venezuela provides for the cocaine business has expanded dramatically over the past five years of Chávez's presidency, according to intelligence sources. Chávez's decision to expel the US Drug Enforcement Administration from his country in 2005 was celebrated both by Farc and drug lords in the conventional cartels with whom they sometimes work. According to Luis Hernando Gómez Bustamante, a Colombian kingpin caught by the police last February, 'Venezuela is the temple of drug trafficking.'"

WGA Strike: Strike could be over by next week.

Entertainment: Various sources.

Now the NYTIMES is reporting a deal could be done by next week.

production companies have eliminated the major roadblocks to a new contract, which could lead to a tentative agreement as early as next week, according to people who were briefed on the situation but requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak.

Finke is hearing it.
UPDATE: United Hollywood, the unofficial website for WGA info, says: "UH has confirmed from off-the-record sources that progress is indeed being made in the informal talks, and that creative solutions to the biggest differences between the AMPTP and the WGA have gotten the tentative and cautious approval of both sides. This does not mean there is a deal in principle yet. It means we may, finally, be very close to one -- as close as days away. And while we're cautiously optimistic about what we're hearing, it comes with a real caveat.

Just as happened with the DGA deal, points that are agreed to in informal negotiation can be thought of as points on a deal memo -- but it's the drafting language that comes from hammering out those points that makes them legally binding. And our sources say that draft language doesn't yet exist. That's a big part of what will be happening in the next few days, as negotiations continue. Until the WGA and the companies have enshrined the deal points -- whatever they are -- into real draft language, those deal points can't be thought of as final."

AP as well:

LOS ANGELES - A breakthrough in contract talks has been reached between Hollywood studios and striking writers and could lead to a tentative deal as early as next week, a person close to the ongoing negotiations said Saturday.

The two sides breached the gap Friday on the thorniest issues, those concerning compensation for projects distributed via the Internet, said the person, who requested anonymity because he were not authorized to speak publicly.

A second person familiar with the talks, also speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to comment publicly, said that significant progress had been made and a deal might be announced within a week.

The studios and networks have cleaned up their business, DGA made a deal and Oscars are coming up. As far as they are concerned they can give a little now to the writers to end the strike.

Obama says guns for hunters, everyone else.....

Politics: Again trying to slide by on his yapping instead of bringing any substance to the table, in this case omitting the fact he is a gun grabber.

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Democratic Sen. Barack Obama assured Western voters Saturday he believes in Jesus as well as the rights of gun owners.

..."And then there are people who say, 'well he doesn't believe in the Second Amendment,' even though I come from a state—we've got a lot of hunters in downstate Illinois. And I have no intention of taking away folks' guns."

Obama didn't mention that he does support gun control and has a record of voting for it in the Illinois Senate. He backed limiting handgun purchases to one a month, but he made no attempts to ban them. Today, he stands by his support for controls while trying to reassure hunters that he has no interest in interfering with their access to firearms.

There is the sleight of hand, guns for hunters(maybe) but everyone else gets restricted.

Terrorist lawyer has admirers on her appeals board?

Terrorism: It has to be something in the water for statements like this to be made. I can't accept its just blatant stupidity.

Might terror-coddling attorney Lynne Stewart get her just deserts after all? It is to be hoped.

A three-judge federal appeals panel heard arguments Tuesday from prosecutors seeking a harsher sentence for Stewart, who was given just 28 months in prison in 2006 for smuggling dispatches to and from her terrorist-mastermind client.

She could have gotten 30 years.

Nevertheless, District Judge John Koeltl decided that Stewart had performed "a public service . . . to the nation" in representing "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel-Rahman - regardless of any, well . . . overzealousness in his cause.

Yet Stewart went far beyond legal work in the service of Abdel-Rahman, the architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and numerous other plots against New York City landmarks.

Despite an explicit pledge to uphold Abdel-Rahman's court-ordered isolation, Stewart, a jury found, smuggled in messages from terrorist Rifa'l Ahman Tara urging the sheik to support renewed Islamic violence in Egypt - then smuggled out a coded dispatch that torpedoed a cease-fire between the sheik's terror organization and the Egyptian government.

If that's not abetting terrorism, it's hard to say what is.

Nor was this just some innocent mistake by a starry-eyed naif: Stewart, a hardened radical, boasted during trial of her belief that "entrenched institutions will not be changed except by violence" and "you can't always single out the combatants from the non-combatants."

Unfortunately, Koeltl appears to have at least one booster on the panel.

"I find the work Judge Koeltl did admirable to a degree that is amazing," said Judge Guido Calabresi, who is famous himself for comparing President Bush's election to the rise of Hitler and Mussolini.

Amazing, sure - but admirable?

Try disgusting.

Largest Spanish paper Endorses Obama, McCain

Politics: Why because Obama wants illegals to have driver licenses, DREAM Act and McCain because of his Amnesty bill. That makes me feel so much better.

As well, we were disappointed with her calculated opposition to driver’s licenses for the undocumented, which contrasts markedly from the forceful argument in support made by Obama. We understand that this is an extremely controversial issue but we believe there is only one right position and it is that of the senator from Illinois. And, while both senators support comprehensive immigration reform, only Obama has committed to bringing forward new legislation during his first year in office.

It is this commitment to the immigration issue which drove Obama to condemn the malicious lies made during the immigration debate, to understand the need for driver’s licenses, and to defend the rights of undocumented students by co-authoring the DREAM Act. The senator has demonstrated character by maintaining his position despite the hostile political climate.

Throughout the political race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination, John McCain has been the voice of reason and common sense. The Arizona senator has held firm on his convictions while most of the candidates have changed their positions in order to ingratiate themselves with the ultra-conservative wing of the party&*#39;s base. McCain’s independent character and moderate political views have made him the party&*#39;s ideal candidate to change the bitter tone that prevails in Washington.

The immigration discussion is a clear example of the difference between McCain and the other republican candidates. The Arizona senator was one of the authors of the immigration reform bill that failed to pass last year. While he has since tempered his enthusiasm for it, he has still mantained the need to find a realistic and humane resolution to the situation of millions of families who have been working in our country for years. His rivals have not hesitated to switch their earlier more reasonable positions for fantasies of mass deportations.

14% of U.S. Muslims say attacks on civilians justified?

Culture: This seems like an old story but I can't be sure, but CAIR would do well to release all the results because right now this isn't looking too good.

The vast majority of U.S. Muslims say attacks on civilians are "never justified."

The poll of 1,000 Muslims, taken in late 2007, found that 86 percent described any attack on civilians as "never justified," the Council on American Islamic Relations said in a news statement on Thursday.

The poll also found that 75 percent of respondents agreed that "brokering a just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would improve America's reputation in the Muslim world."

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

Iran threatens Dutch soldiers over Geert Wilders movie.

Terrorism: If the West was more robust in rejecting this idiocy, there wouldn't have come out with it. The Dutch government should haul this man in and say you have 30 mins to get the hell out of the country. Instead they will just suck up to him.

Dutch soldiers serving with Nato in Afghanistan will face new threats if their country allows the broadcast of an anti-Islamic film, Bozorgmehr Ziaran, Iran's ambassador to the Netherlands, has said.

He announced his intention to rally global Muslim opinion against plans by Geert Wilders, the maverick Dutch MP, to show a short movie attacking the Koran.

Mr Ziaran also fuelled fears of a violent backlash by issuing a veiled threat that Dutch troops would be regarded as "representatives of people who besmirch the Koran".

"Afghans will view these troops as there to take our power, to destroy us and to ruin our values," he told De Volkskrant newspaper.

But Mr Wilders, the controversial leader of the anti-immigration Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) has vowed to ignore "daily death threats" and pressure from the authorities by broadcasting his film next month on the Koran, which he compares to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf.

"The serious threats to my life and the Dutch government's panicked response to my film underline the truth of what I am saying. The Koran is dangerous," he said.

Death threats against Bishop of Rochester

UK: This is sadly the typical reaction in the UK.

The Bishop of Rochester has been placed under police protection following death threats made in the wake of his claims that Islamic extremists are creating "no-go areas" for non-Muslims in Britain.

The Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali revealed calls had been made to his home in Kent threatening both him and his family.

Kent Police is understood to have given the bishop an emergency number and is treating the threats made seriously.

Hospital porter fired in crucifix row with Muslims.

UK: Two things I can see wrong but clearly not a fireable offense. If its a multifaith room I can see out of respect not interrupting someone else's prayer. But covering up the crucifix and turning down the Virgin Mary pic is absolutely disrespectful.

A HOSPITAL porter has been sacked after a row over a crucifix being covered up in a prayer room.

Joseph Protano, 54, was suspended four days after the incident last month at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury.

He has now been dismissed for gross misconduct, but intends to appeal.

Police quizzed him for four hours last month, on suspicion of religiously aggravated assault, but he was released without charge.

He denies the allegations and must wait to see if police take any action.

The row centres on a prayer room available to staff and visitors of all faiths at the hospital, which contains a Virgin Mary statue and a crucifix.

Mr Protano, a Roman Catholic who has worked two years at the hospital, entered the room when three Muslims were using it - two patients and a doctor.

An argument broke out after he asked them to remove a cloth covering the crucifix and statue and to turn a picture of the Virgin Mary face up.

He said he was unable to comment on his sacking as the police probe and his plans to appeal were ongoing.

Mexico demands US border agents stop protecting themselves.

Immigration: The Mexican government arrogance knows no bounds.

Mexico is demanding that U.S. Border Patrol agents stop using tear gas to protect themselves against increased attacks as they try to keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States.

Mexico's Foreign Ministry also requested a U.S. probe into an incident last month where 15-year-old Cristian Saldana was struck in the nose by a tear gas canister after he threw stones at U.S. agents trying to stop people from crossing illegally from the Mexican border city of Tijuana near San Diego.

Saying the use of tear gas was unacceptable under any circumstances, the ministry sent a letter to the U.S. Embassy requesting the investigation and said it was also setting up talks with U.S. officials through its consular network.

Mexico's human rights commission says Border Patrol agents have fired tear gas into Mexico at least six times since November.

"Launching tear gas does not contribute in any way to a climate of understanding and collaboration," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued late on Thursday.

UK: Patriotism 'should not be taught' because of past.

UK: Another shining example of leftwing teachers and their peers who have control of the education of your children instilling their views.

Moral failings" in Britain's past mean pupils should not be taught patriotism, teachers said in a survey.

Nearly 90 per cent opposed plans for history and citizenship lessons aimed at fostering national identity and pride.

One of the 47 London teachers questioned said the lessons might encourage "BNP-"type thinking". Another said the idea "reeked of the old British empire".

In a report based on its findings, the Institute of Education said Britain's "morally ambiguous" history suggested patriotism should be covered as a "controversial issue" only.

The Left-leaning institute polled 47 teachers and 299 students at secondary schools in the capital.

Three-quarters of the staff said they felt obliged to alert their pupils to the dangers of patriotic sentiments.

"Praising patriotism excludes non-British pupils," said one.

"Patriotism about being British in my experience tends to be a white preserve so divides groups along racial lines, when what we aim to do is bring pupils to an understanding of what makes us all the same."

Another said: "It can be quite divisive. There is a propensity for that sort of BNP-type thinking to come through."

A third said: "Left to my own devices I wouldn't dream of covering it really, explicitly. To me it sort of reeks of the old British empire."

Despite these remarks, more than half the teachers and students in the survey agreed that it was a good thing for citizens to be patriotic.

Michael Hand, the report's author, said: "Gordon Brown and David Cameron have both called for a history curriculum that fosters attachment and loyalty to Britain.

"But the case for promoting patriotism in schools is weak.

"Patriotism is love of one's country, but are countries really appropriate objects of love? Loving things can be bad for us, for example when the things we love are morally corrupt.

"Since all national histories are at best morally ambiguous, it's an open question whether citizens should love their countries."

Its one thing to say your country is great over and over again with no critical thinking. It is another disgusting view to say since our history is dodgy in the teacher's eyes there is nothing to be proud of to be taught in school that might give way for children to love their country.

What this leftwing study wants as a end result is a population to apathetic to care and easier to change socially since there is nothing to be proud of why not try something else. This is the result of Multiculturalism. Degrading the majority to prop up everyone else.

Black History Month: Only two blacks you need to read.

Culture: The only two you need to understand about is right here. Start off with a wiki summary and go learn some more. Though I am heavily in the Booker T school of thought, you can't dismiss Du Bois.

La Raza demands censorship on immigration debate

Immigration: Flat out calls for censorship and demonizing of anyone who dares speak ill of illegals and the immigration debate in general which doesn't meet with the approval of La Raza.

The head of the country’s largest Latino civil rights organization called on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News to stop providing a forum for pundits who consistently disparage the documented and undocumented Hispanic immigrant population.

The group, the National Council of La Raza (meaning “the people”), also has asked Mike Huckabee to renounce the endorsement of Jim Gilchrist, a co-founder of the Minuteman Project, a private organization dedicated to preventing people from illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington on Thursday, Janet Murguia, the N.C.L.R. president, said that anti-Latino remarks on the big three cable news networks are insulting not only to minorities but also to the greater American population.

“It’s personal, it’s intolerable, and it has to end,” she said.

....Ms. Murguia argued that hate speech should not be tolerated, even if such censorship were a violation of First Amendment rights:

Everyone knows there is a line sometimes that can be crossed when it comes to free speech. And when free speech transforms into hate speech, we’ve got to draw that line. And that’s what we’re doing here today. And we need to make sure that network executives will hold their people accountable and not cross that line.

There you go, the final stage of identity politics, a demand you stop talking what they think is ill. This is the sort of nonsense talk I expect from craven politicians in the Caribbean and Latin America. I do not expect nor will I tolerate this sort of talk in America.

Obama the Great Panderer

Politics: Mickey Kaus blows a gasket as he figures out how much of panderer Obama really is especially on giving illegals drivers licenses.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Banned Boondocks clip about BET.

Culture: Couple of weeks ago, it came out that BET *allegedly* got two Boondocks episodes banned from circulation. HipHopDX has a clip of the BET episode. WARNING Strong language and violence.

LSU student columnist threatens legal action over comments.

Media: I guess she is threatening legal action over comments she doesn't like which seems foolish.

When I applied for this job, I knew I was going to get a lot of hate mail. After all, I do primarily write about Islam and the Middle East. What I didn't expect was crazy people harassing me and stalking me.

If anyone has ever read any of my columns online at, the first thing they probably notice is how many comments my work generates. The next thing they notice is most of these comments come from ignorant people who come from anti-Islamic Web sites, like

Most of these people aren't associated with the University at all.

So, I dedicate this column to you, haters.

...I feel sorry for these people that have nothing better to do than to try to spread their bigotry. Mostly, I feel sorry for them because they think they matter.

So why do I say they terrorize? To terrorize is to instill fear into someone. And I can think of nothing scarier than thinking about bigots raising little bigoted children.

I have a purpose when I write my columns about Islam, and these people validate that purpose. There is so much prejudice out there and so many misconceptions that we can't truly prosper as a country and succeed until we build these bridges of understanding.

Further, I want these people to be aware that if I continue to be harassed I will go forward with legal action. And that, bigots, is the American way.

For everyone else, be on lookout. I expect you'll see my point very soon. Peek-a-boo, Islam-o-phobes, I see you.

Yep, she is a student columnist alright. I can't see anything happening based on the comment section of a blog.

Obama wants summit with Muslim countries

Terrorism: Obama continues his hope and change tour with a side of wishful thinking.

US presidential hopeful Barack Obama said in an interview with a French magazine that if he wins he wants to help bridge the divide between Muslims and the West.

His priority, he told Paris Match, would be ending the war in Iraq, removing one to two brigades per month with all troops out around 2009.

Mr Obama also wants to set a positive image of the US in the Muslim world, organising a summit "with all the heads of state to discuss frankly how to bridge the gap growing each day between Muslims and the West."

He said he would like to ask Muslim heads of state to join the war against terrorism.

"We must also listen to their concerns," he added.

Mr Obama also told Paris Match he wanted direct talks with countries like Iran and Syria.

"We won't be able to stabilise the region if we don't talk to our enemies," Mr Obama said.

A positive image in the Muslim world at this point would be to abandon Iraq/Afghanistan which he wants half of that anyway, drop Israel as an ally and cease operations/sanctions agains those countries that harbor,train and help terrorists groups. Iran and Syria would play Obama like a tool just like they did Pelosi and her group last year.

Their interests do not gel with America's interests so their help at best would be superficial. That is the reality of the situation. The fact Obama still thinks direct talks with our enemies is a good thing is scary. His whole gameplan of kissing ass and wagging America to the world as some sort of passive lapdog will put us in more danger.

UK: Working-class boys struggle academically

UK: Interesting enough, white boys are behind almost every other group but get less attention by educators. The peer culture explanation is true here in the states.

White working-class boys are doing significantly worse at school than almost all other groups of pupils.

A mere 15 per cent finish compulsory education having mastered the three Rs, official statistics show.

For black boys from similar backgrounds, the figure is 22 per cent while for Asians it is 29 per cent and Chinese 52 per cent.

Meanwhile 20 per cent of white working-class girls managed to achieve the Government's benchmark for secondary school attainment, which includes basic standards in maths and English.

The statistics, released by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, were described as "truly shocking".

They led to claims that underperformance by white pupils – and boys in particular – is a massive problem which has been largely ignored.

Studies into the trend have previously identified parental indifference and family break-ups as reasons poor white boys have slipped behind other groups.

Some white pupils are held back by a peer culture which encourages low aspirations and holds intellectual endeavour in contempt.

However research last year from Manchester University found money was being targeted at pupils with English as an additional language.

"White learners from highly disadvantaged backgrounds were reportedly often overlooked", its report said.

One local authority officer told researchers that "white poverty and underachievement aren't as headline grabbing or sexy".

David Cameron praises Thatcher..

UK: I guess after how many years in the wilderness actually praising the one woman who kicked all sorts of ass for the Tories is a good idea. Considering just a year ago he was running away from the mantle of Thatcher and failing, Boy Blunder finally realized that was not a good idea.

David Cameron lavished praise on Margaret Thatcher as "one of the greatest prime ministers of all time" last night, saying she had rescued the British people from "despair".

As he presented his predecessor with a lifetime achievement award, the Conservative leader described her as one of the "towering figures of the past 50 years".

Online Schooling Grows, Setting Off a Debate

Edumacation: Another angle for the teachers union and the states who want to keep their money train rolling to be angry about as online schools grow in popularity.

Half a million American children take classes online, with a significant group, like the Weldies, getting all their schooling from virtual public schools. The rapid growth of these schools has provoked debates in courtrooms and legislatures over money, as the schools compete with local districts for millions in public dollars, and over issues like whether online learning is appropriate for young children.

....Many parents attracted to online charters have previously home-schooled their children, including Mrs. Weldie. Her children — Isabel, Harry and Eleanor, all in elementary school — download assignments and communicate intermittently with their certified teachers over the Internet, but they also read story books, write in workbooks and do arithmetic at a table in their basement. Legally, they are considered public school students, not home-schoolers, because their online schools are taxpayer-financed and subject to federal testing requirements.

Despite enthusiastic support from parents, the schools have met with opposition from some educators, who say elementary students may be too young for Internet learning, and from teachers, unions and school boards, partly because they divert state payments from the online student’s home district.

Here is the problem for the critics desperate to keep the kids under their own way of education. Online learning is taking off in colleges and that is being funded by taxpayer's money. How can you honestly deny online schooling for high school and lower students when it is part of the educational system's future.

“Virtual education is a growing alternative to traditional schooling,” Barbara J. Hinton, the Kansas auditor, said in a report. Ms. Hinton found that virtual education had great potential because students did not have to be physically present in a classroom. “Students can go to school at any time and in any place,” she said.

But, she added, “this also creates certain risks to both the quality of the student’s education and to the integrity of the public school system.”

Rural Americans have been attracted to online schooling because it allows students even on remote ranches to enroll in arcane courses like Chinese.

In Colorado, school districts have lost thousands of students to virtual schools, and, in 2006, a state audit found that one school, run by a rural district, was using four licensed teachers to teach 1,500 students across the state. The legislature responded last year by establishing a new division of the Colorado Department of Education to tighten regulation of online schools.

Dwarves in suitcases steal from Swedes

Crime: Sweden comes up with spectacularly weird crime schemes.

Criminal gangs are using dwarves in a ruse to steal from the luggage holds of long-distance coaches, by hiding them inside suitcases, according to police.

The bizarre crime is on the rise in Sweden and officers say thieves have got away with thousands of pounds in cash, jewellery and other valuables in recent months.

Gangs are said to sneak the dwarves into the luggage hold, hidden inside baggage.

Then, once the journey has begun, the stowaways are free to rifle through the bags of other passengers without fear of being apprehended.

Before the coach arrives at its destination the dwarves take their loot back into their suitcase, zip themselves inside and wait to be collected by their partners in crime.

Michael Wilbon talks about recovering from a heart attack.

Sports: One of my favorite sports columnists and tv people. He talks about background, recovery and surprising well wishers he got after his surgery.

Until very recently, I'd never missed a big assignment of any kind because of illness. My father grew up plowing fields and picking cotton and bailing hay in the deep South during the Depression and his sense of work was you don't miss -- ever. If you do, it's a sign of weakness or frailty, and he didn't tolerate it from his two boys. And though that has overwhelmingly served us well and I believe in that work ethic wholly, the fact was this was a permissible exception, make that a mandatory exception.

And I had any number of people, some friends and some professional associates and many who are both, drive that point home, that I needed to smarten up and look at life differently from here on out.

It was unimaginable to me that beyond my family members and dearest friends, so many people -- many of great public stature -- took the time to call or send flowers. One of the first calls was from Darrell Green, who should be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame by Saturday evening. Warren Sapp said if I didn't change my life he'd come looking for me.

I heard from my basketball buddies, Grant Hill, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller, Mike Fratello, Rick Carlisle and Chris Mullin. Two commissioners -- David Stern and Roger Goodell -- called. I've heard multiple times from football buddies/Arizona neighbors Nick Lowery and Bertrand Berry. Byron Leftwich, whom I've known since he was 14, left a long, heartfelt voicemail. Howie Long sent a touching text message. Roy Green, who had a heart attack at about the same age, made himself available to talk about what comes next for me. I was startled to open the door and get a big basket of fruit from Abe and Irene Pollin and flowers from Phil Jackson and Jeannie Buss. I'm grateful for, and humbled by, each and every expression.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Usage of "Tsunami Tuesday" insensitive says Asian journalists group.

Media: Another day and another politically correct twit whining that using the term Tsunami is mean and hurtful.

While posting an item late last night about South Asian support for Clinton and Obama, I wrote an aside about the use of the term "Tsunami Tuesday," for next week's election extravaganza.

Some folks in the press are calling it "Tsunami Tuesday" in reference to the huge wave of major results about to come. Something in the back of my head makes me uneasy about that term, which has gained popularity only this presidential cycle, the first since the Asian/South Asian tsunami of 2004. It seems to be a term that's in bad taste, at the very least, considering almost 300,000 people perished in that tsunami. Am I being too PC?

Having had a chance to, literally, sleep on it, I think I am not being too PC about this (a little PC, yes, but not too PC). I awoke to several e-mail messages, all in support of my questioning this wording. I'll let my friend Paul Knox sum up those messages:

No, you aren't being too PC. The usage is incredibly insensitive. It has been upsetting me for a couple of weeks now, everytime I hear it. Would we call Giuliani's drop in the polls his "Ground Zero Plummet?" I could go on, but I won't.

[A friend at lunch pointed out we'd never say, "Rudy's campaign fell like the twin towers."]

Showing how politically correct and insensitive to Americans these idiots really are they have mixed a natural occurring event with a terrorist act as being on the same level. You would use Ground Zero Plummet or fell like the twin towers because it makes no sense and deliberately confrontational. The usage of the term Tsunami fits Super Tuesday as an ideal description of voting on that day. Should the Miami Hurricanes or Tampa Bay Lighting change their names because people get killed in those natural events all the time.

This is just another whine fest by a group of journalists who should have better things to do.

La Raza demands censoring of speech by politicians and networks.

Immigration: How spiffy.

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - A national Latino group says it's fighting back against what it considers hate speech in the national immigration debate and elections.

National Council of La Raza president Janet Murguia said Thursday her group will pressure candidates and network executives to clamp down on the speech. The group has launched a Web site to counter the speech,

Some of the phrases the Hispanic group identified include referring to immigrants as invaders and associating them with animals. The group claims immigrants are accused of bringing crime and disease to the country and of trying to take back the southwestern U.S.

Hawaii with its own Mohammed cartoon via a Cow.

Nation: You replace cow with Mohammed in the various news reports and the similarity is scary. Via Malkin and American Thinker.

Does free speech exist in Hawaii?
A government department of the State of Hawaii is demanding the retraction of a political cartoon published Jan. 18 on the satirical web site and reprinted Jan. 21 on

The demands come in response to images and text ridiculing the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ Kau Inoa campaign as “Cow Inoa.” Kau Inoa, Hawaiian for “place your name” is building a roll of Hawaiians to participate in a Hawaiian tribal government. Haunani Apoliona, writing in her capacity as “Chairperson, Board of Trustees, Office of Hawaiian Affairs” (OHA) in a Jan. 24 statement demands: “The cartoon should be pulled and the secret author publicly identified.”

OHA’s backers are calling and emailing businesses demanding they pull their ads from HawaiiReporter.

Kansas City civil rights leaders want pro illegal on the board?

Immigration: Going back to Kansas City where La Raza, the Southern conference and other groups were brave enough to run off a Frances Semler from the park board. Now they are demanding for one of their choices to be her replacement.

Kansas City civil rights leaders who applauded Frances Semler’s resignation from the park board now are floating a candidate to replace her: retired Deputy Police Chief Vince Ortega.

Rita Valenciano, speaking for a new coalition called the Latino Civil Rights Task Force, said Monday that Ortega would be a good choice to replace Semler because he believes in law and order and has been active in the Hispanic community.

Another plus is that Ortega lives in the Northland. Semler was the only representative of Kansas City, North, on the five-member board, and Mayor Mark Funkhouser has said he would like to appoint a Northland resident to replace her.

Hispanic leaders asked Ortega to apply.

Ortega, a national security specialist with GE Homeland Protection Inc., said his knowledge of parks that were havens for gangs or drug users and parks that needed beautification could make him a good park board member.

He said he planned to apply.

This is what liberals view as good identity politics.

Some new citizens ready for open border policies.

Immigration: If the majority of new citizens have this mindset, immigration policies on all fronts are in trouble over the next decade or so.

For the 25 Hispanic immigrants taking a citizenship class Tuesday evening in downtown Houston, voting is a fundamental right they hope to gain.

The students, attending the nonprofit Houston International University inside a shopping center, answered enthusiastically as their instructor quizzed them on American history and civics topics they must know to pass a citizenship test.

They are part of an unprecedented nationwide surge of 1.4 million legal immigrants who applied for U.S. citizenship in the 2007 fiscal year. But now many of those immigrants fear a bureaucratic backlog may prevent them from becoming citizens in time to vote in this year's presidential elections.

''Maybe if I pass the exam and become a citizen, I can vote," said Antonia Landeros, a 38-year-old Mexican immigrant who works for a Houston janitorial firm. ''But I don't know because I haven't received a date for my interview."

Landeros, who married a U.S. citizen after coming to Houston 15 years ago, longs to vote — to voice her support for a presidential candidate who appreciates immigrants. She and others in the class say the November election will be crucial in changing immigration policy.

.....Alma Monsivais, the instructor at Houston International University, said her students applied for citizenship for various reasons. Some want to sponsor relatives who are not here legally. Others want to thwart deportation. And many realize citizenship, and literacy, can lead to a better job.

''And they want to vote, so they can choose who is going to represent them," Monsivais said.

Divided views as US fence goes up

Immigration: Divided in as the people who want to jump the border and Mexican government don't like the idea.

In the section along Arizona's border with Mexico I went to examine, the barrier appears like a thin black line snaking along the desert floor below.

Once you fix your eyes on the line, it becomes clear this is one area where building is racing ahead.

Roughly a mile of fencing is being erected every month here.

Areas of once-untouched desert are now disappearing under a lengthening slice of man-made fencing.

After setting down, we were able to get up close to the men and machines making the new fence.

Coast to coast, from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, some 300 miles (500km) of barrier are completed, with another 700 miles (1100km) set to go up by the end of this year.

The fence itself is an impressive, sun-blocking, engineering feat.

Agent Jose Gonzalez of the Arizona Border Patrol tells me each 4-metre-high (13ft) panel can withstand a car impact at 45mph (70 km/h).

"It's been tested using the military's armoured vehicles," he says. "We think it will withstand pretty much any migrant car or truck."

In other places, where the terrain is more suited, electronic sensors, not walls, are being installed.

But whatever "asset" is being constructed, to use Agent Gonzalez's term, it all raises the same question of whether it will work.

"It won't stop everyone," is his honest answer.

"But we believe most migrants will be deterred".

Agent Gonzalez later drives us parallel to this gigantic metallic barrier. You can see through its grey bars. Just across the ravine inside Mexico we spot a man.

When he sees the fence and us, he changes his mind about crossing and runs off.

He is not the only one deciding he needs a plan B. In some places where the wall has been completed, and where extra border patrols are in place, illegal crossings are down by as much as 60% compared with a year ago.

The days when Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Salvadorians and others could step over flimsy strips of barbed wire to begin a new life in the US are now numbered.

Hillary and Obama on illegals having driver licenses.

Politics: At least we got this one clear line from both of them. Obama is for it. Hillary is even worse because her reason not to give licenses now is because they might get caught. We have a American Senator siding with lawbreakers.

HRC: I do not think it is appropriate to give a drivers license to someone who is here undocumented, putting them frankly at risk, because that is clear evidence that they are not here legally.

Poll reveals people think Miami sucks.

Nation: Not surprisingly that is the view of everyone who lives in the region.

Most Americans think of Miami as a warm place for a vacation. But they also regard the city as plagued by crime, corruption, hurricanes and illegal immigration.

That's according to an online survey of 7,106 adults across the country by the firm of pollster John Zogby, who recently opened an office in Miami and conducted the study as a public benefit.

What it adds up to is a not-so-sunny view of Miami, the survey found. About half the respondents had an unfavorable view of the city, while about 43 percent were upbeat about it.

But only 6 percent of respondents opted for Miami as a place to visit among eight major cities, including New York (17 percent), San Francisco (19 percent) and Orlando (14 percent). Miami also ranked last as a place to move to.

Miami is a crime ridden banana republic. People in other counties loathe having to go there for anything other than driving thru really fast to get to another area.

Isuzu to end sales in North America

Bidness: Never forget Joe Isuzu.

The company that developed one of the first mid-sized sport utility vehicles and brought you an ad campaign with a fibbing salesman says it will stop selling new passenger vehicles in North America.

Isuzu Motors Ltd. said Wednesday it will end distribution of its sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks starting Jan. 31, 2009.

The Japanese company blamed the move on General Motors Corp. ceasing production for Isuzu of the Ascender sport utility vehicle and i-290 and i-370 pickup trucks.

"It has always been our intention to remain in the U.S. market," Terry Maloney, Isuzu president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. "However, we were unable to secure any commercially viable replacements for these vehicles."

Isuzu spokesman Chip Letzgus would give no more details about the decision Wednesday, saying the company was still talking to dealers and employees. He said Isuzu will likely release further details later this week.

NY Post endorses Obama over Hillary.

Politics: So much about Murdoch and Hillary becoming best buds earlier last year.

The New York Post endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president Wednesday, calling him an "untried candidate" but a preferable alternative to the newspaper's home state senator, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Clinton and her husband, the former president, "stand for deja vu all over again—a return to the opportunistic, scandal-scarred, morally muddled years of the almost infinitely self-indulgent Clinton co- presidency," the paper wrote. "Does America really want to go through all that once again? It will—if Senator Clinton becomes president."

The Post, a scrappy tabloid known for its colorful headlines and conservative editorial bent, mercilessly skewered both Clintons during the former president's two terms in the White House and Hillary Clinton's first run for Senate in New York in 2000.

Since then, the couple have worked to reach a detente with the paper and its owner, billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch held a fundraiser for Sen. Clinton's re-election campaign in 2006 and appeared as a panelist at the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual gathering of rich and powerful organized by President Clinton to help fight poverty, disease and global warming.

The Post endorsed Sen. Clinton's re-election bid in 2006, calling her a "pretty good senator." But the paper took a sharply different tone when weighing her prospects as a presidential candidate.

Kwame Kilpatrick says sorry for his mistake.

Nation: Unless something more comes out, he may survive this like Newsom and Villaraigosa in Los Angeles has done with their affairs.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick pleaded for forgiveness from his wife and constituents Wednesday in an emotional but carefully worded televised speech, avoiding direct mention of racy text messages that appear to contradict his sworn denials of an affair with a top aide.

"I truly apologize to you," Kilpatrick said, turning to his wife, Carlita, who sat by his side, holding his hand, at their family church.

"I am the mayor. I made the mistake," Kilpatrick told Detroit residents, looking into the camera. "I am accountable."

He did not publicly specify what he was apologizing for, saying legal matters prevented him from doing so.

A prosecutor is investigating whether the mayor and chief of staff Christine Beatty lied under oath during a whistle-blower's lawsuit last summer in which both denied having a physical relationship. A conviction of lying under oath can bring up to 15 years' imprisonment.

Kilpatrick vowed to remain mayor in the carefully orchestrated speech, which aired live in prime time on local television and radio stations. His voice cracked at least once during his apology, and he and his wife held hands at times while detailing how the events had affected their family.

EU threatens to ban patio heaters

EU: Good to see the important stuff is being dealth with in the halls of the EU.

Britain’s growing café culture and taste for alfresco drinking and dining may be under threat from MEPs who want to ban the patio heater.

A vote in Brussels today is expected to call on the European Commission to abolish the heaters to help to tackle climate change. Such a move could cost the pub and catering trade dear.

Pubs spent about £85 million on patio heaters after the smoking ban was introduced last year. Besides forcing smokers into the cold there is concern that a ban on patio heaters could bring a significant cash loss to pubs, cafés and restaurants.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Feuding moms spark school lockdown

Crime: Speaking of Miami and its surrounding area. Here are two of its inhabitants.

Edison Park Elementary School was locked down for more than an hour Wednesday after feuding mothers, who have children from the same father, started a violent confrontation that ended with a volley of gunfire, a fleeing car and an arrest.

Nobody was injured, but the shooting just outside the school, at 500 NW 67th St., caused a flurry of calls from concerned parents and nearby residents to Miami police.

The incident unfolded as school was letting out and parents were arriving to collect their children about 3 p.m.

Among them: Leslie Mack, 33, and Tiffany Rochelle Harris, 31.

Earlier in the day, a judge had turned down a request from Harris to place a restraining order against Mack.

Here's what happened next, according to Miami police:

Both women arrived at the school and a fight erupted.

Harris called to her daughter to bring over her purse. Inside was a gun.

Mack tried to get away, but Harris opened fire.

No one was hit.

I am sure those kids will grow up to be fine upstanding productive citizens of this fine country.

Senate porks up Stimulus bill.

Politics: Can we just call this a welfare bill considering people who don't pay income taxes are going to get a check.

"....Senators added provisions to the Finance Committee bill to make a "no" vote on the Senate version very difficult, offering federal stimulus checks to 20 million low-income seniors and 250,000 disabled veterans who would be ineligible under the compromise worked out by Bush and House leaders. Senators also tightened wording in the House bill to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to claim a check.

After the Finance Committee vote, AARP launched a lobbying push to win passage of the Senate version. Advocates of the Senate bill said House-Senate talks should take a few days.

The Senate Finance Committee bill would send checks to virtually every American. Individuals would receive $500 -- for couples, it would be $1,000 -- plus $300 per child. Workers who can show $3,000 in earned income last year -- or seniors who had $3,000 in Social Security benefits -- would also qualify, even if they earned too little to pay income taxes.

After a revolt among Senate Democrats, Baucus added income caps on eligibility that he had initially rejected, but they are considerably more generous than the ones imposed by the House. Rather than capping eligibility for the full check at $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples, the new bill phases out eligibility at $150,000 for individuals and $300,000 per couple. The committee also said no member of Congress would qualify.

The Senate bill also extends unemployment benefits by 13 weeks, includes tax incentives for business investment similar to the House's and allows businesses more generous tax write-offs for their losses.

It adds $5.5 billion worth of tax-credit extensions for wind, solar and other alternative energy sources, as well as incentives for homeowners to make their houses more energy efficient. The committee also accepted an amendment to allow states to offer tax-free mortgage bonds for the ailing housing market.

All of those provisions were left out of the House bill.

As for illegals getting rebates, that almost got passed unnoticed till blogs raised the alarm. Now the Senate and the House are fixing the language and disputing that illegals were able to get rebates in the first place. That was the case, why fix the language?

The Senate Finance Committee has added language to the economic stimulus bill that would only allow Social Security numbers to be used for taxpayers who want to receive the tax rebate proposed by Congress.

The change comes after a growing number of conservatives raised concerns that illegal immigrants, using individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs), would receive tax rebates under the bill passed by the House Tuesday. The Politico reported the controversy earlier today.

Senators hope the stricter use of Social Security numbers instead of the temporary taxpayer IDs will stop undocumented immigrants from receiving the $500 or $1,000 rebates. The Finance Committee passed the bill 14-7, and the Senate could vote on the bill tomorrow.

"We think this covers it so people here illegally don't get the benefits," said Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.).

Immigrants hit hard by slowdown, subprime crisis

Nation: No matter if its illegals or immigrants or citizens, once again AP pushes a cry for me article with people who were irresponsible in getting loans.

As an economic slowdown and the subprime mortgage crisis deepen across the United States, Hispanic immigrants are increasingly in danger of losing their jobs and their homes.

Both legal and illegal immigrants joined Americans in buying homes they could barely afford when the market spiraled upward and many have been caught with mortgages higher than the value of their homes as prices have slumped in the past year.

Just as subprime mortgage payments rose and house prices fell, the economy's slowdown has hurt the construction sector, which employs large numbers of Hispanics and other immigrants.

Unemployment among Hispanics in the United States jumped to 6.3 percent in December, up from 5.7 percent the previous month and well above the national average of 5 percent, U.S. Department of Labor statistics show.

And almost half of the mortgage loans in the hands of Hispanics are subprime, making them especially vulnerable to the housing downturn.

"Economic conditions are deteriorating and many immigrants now can't work those extra hours or find that second job to keep up with their mortgage payments," said Aracely Panameno at the Center for Responsive Lending (CRL) research policy group.

Nelson, a 29-year-old legal immigrant and construction worker from El Salvador, had a miserable run of luck in November, when he lost his job and his subprime mortgage bills jumped $650 to about $2,650.

He says he now has to sell the home he bought in Maryland in 2005. If he is unable to sell in the next four months, he will have to foreclose, meaning an even bigger financial loss and a damaging black mark on his credit record.

"I have to practically give it away," he said.

Like many caught up in the crisis, the father of three said he had no idea his monthly payments would soar two years into the mortgage when he closed the adjustable-rate subprime deal.

"You have to sign a lot of things when you buy a house, so I didn't read, I just signed. I think it was the anxiety, the happiness of buying my house," he said. "I feel a bit betrayed."

No, you are an idiot who signed papers and now whining. I do not have sympathy for people like this and especially since they are going to get bailed out with taxpayer money.

Australia's useless feel good apology to Aboriginals.

Australia: A few tears will shed and the leftist twits down there will feel good about themselves over a couple of lattes. No word yet if they are going to have a massive crackdown on child gang rapes, drug use or alcohol abuse that is rampant on Aboriginal settlements.

Australia will issue its first formal apology to the country's indigenous people next month, a senior minister said Wednesday, a milestone that could ease tensions with a minority once subjected to policies including the removal of mixed-blood children from families on the premise that their race was doomed.

The Feb. 13 apology to the so-called "stolen generation" of Aborigines will be the first item of business for the new Parliament, Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, whose Labor Party won November elections, had promised to push for an apology, which has been debated in Australia for years.

"The apology will be made on behalf of the Australian government and does not attribute guilt to the current generation of Australian people," Macklin said in a statement.

Macklin and Rudd have previously ruled out financial compensation for the impoverished minority, and Macklin did not mention that subject Wednesday. But she said she sought broad input on the wording of the apology, which she hoped would signal the beginning of a new relationship between Australia and the impoverished minority.

UK: Children who call classmates "gay" should be treated like racists.

UK: Another piece of evidence that school at a young age has become the place for every group to try and fix society to their liking. Social engineering of any kind has no place in public schools.

Teachers should not assume that their pupils have a "mum and dad" under guidance aimed at tackling antigay bullying in schools.

It says primary pupils as young as four should be familiarised with the idea of same-sex couples to help combat homophobic attitudes.

Teachers should attempt to avoid assumptions that pupils will have a conventional family background, it urges.

It goes on to suggest the word "parents" may be more appropriate than "mum and dad", particularly in letters and emails to the child's home.

When discussing marriage with secondary pupils, teachers should also educate pupils about civil partnerships and gay adoption rights.

The guidance - produced for the Government by gay rights group Stonewall - will be formally launched today by Schools Secretary Ed Balls.

It states that children who call classmates "gay" should be treated the same as racists as part of a "zero tolerance" crackdown on the use of the word as an insult.

Teachers should avoid telling boys to 'be a man' or accuse them of behaving like a "bunch of women".

This sort of rebuke "leads to bullying of those who do not conform to fixed ideas about gender", the guidance states.

Danish library to house cartoons of Muhammad

EU: Muslim group says they will ignore this "provocation" which is arrogant as you get and shows how much power they think they have in telling Danish entities what they can and cannot do.

Denmark's national library is to risk re-opening an international political storm by housing the cartoon images of the prophet Muhammad that provoked violent convulsions throughout the Islamic world two years ago.

The royal library in Copenhagen - founded in the 17th century by King Frederik III and home to many historic treasures - has declared the drawings to be of historic value and is trying to acquire them for "preservation purposes".

The library, widely acknowledged as the most significant in Scandinavia, has agreed to take possession of the caricatures on behalf of the museum of Danish cartoon art, a spokesman told the Art Newspaper.

Jytte Kjaergaard, a spokeswoman for the library, said they were unlikely to be displayed publicly and insisted the decision was not intended to be controversial.

"We are not interested in an exhibition, we are interested in them being kept safe for future generations because they have created history in Denmark," she told the Guardian. "This is the obvious place to keep them because we have all the security measures in place.

"It would be very difficult for a private person to come in and sabotage them because to see them for research purposes you will need a letter of consent from your university professor. They will be treated like any rare book."

AFP recycling their own news.

Media: When people say the media has a template they were not lying. Look at AFP in their stories concerning foreclosures in Ohio. Via Newsbusters

On Sunday, we read this:

The streets are empty. Trash rustles down the road past rusted barbecues, abandoned furniture, sagging homes and gardens turned to weed.

This is Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland and a town ravaged by the subprime mortgage crisis roiling the United States.

Faded "for sale" signs sit in front of deserted houses. The residents are gone, either in search of new jobs after the factories shut down, or in shame after being evicted for missing their mortgage payments.

A red, white and blue American flag flies over windows and doors which have been boarded up to keep the drug dealers away.

On Monday:

The streets are empty. Trash rustles down the road past rusted barbecues, abandoned furniture, sagging homes and gardens turned to weed.

This is Mount Pleasant, a neighborhood in southeastern Cleveland ravaged by the subprime mortgage crisis roiling the United States.

Faded "for sale" signs sit in front of deserted houses. The residents are gone, most after being evicted for missing their mortgage payments.

A red, white and blue American flag flies over windows and doors which have been boarded up to keep the drug dealers away.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Toronto approves black themed school.

Canada: The logical ending of the religion of Multiculturalism where dividing up the students based on race/behavior is considered a good thing. Most of the public was against this and now we get to see which other ethnic/religious groups demand public funded schools for them.

Toronto school trustees voted Tuesday night to approve a controversial proposal to create Canada's first-ever black-focused public school.

The vote came after the trustees heard from members of the community, including the mother of a 15-year-old boy fatally shot at a Toronto school last May.

Loreen Small, mother of Jordan Manners, told the trustees she opposed the plan, calling a black school "segregation."

Small said students of all races should be taught together and that the emphasis should be on helping teachers engage the students.

"This black school thing ... it ain't right," she said.

Among the four recommendations is the creation of an alternative school which would have a curriculum and teaching environment focused on black history and culture.

The school – which would be open to all ethnicities – would open in time for the start of the September 2009 school year.

Other recommendations approved Tuesday include a three-year pilot which would integrate black history and culture into the lessons and teaching environment of existing Toronto schools.

Lets cut the crap about the school being opened to all ethnicities. Maybe on paper it will be but in reality its a publicly funded black only school.

More states to deny illegal aliens driver's licenses

Immigration: Good news. We really should give some thanks to Gov. Spitzer who tried to bully thru one such bill to allow illegals to drive and found out the hard way people really do not like that idea.

States that have been issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants are making U-turns.

Beginning Monday, illegal immigrants in Oregon no longer will be able to get driver's licenses. Last week, Michigan stopped issuing new licenses to all but citizens and legal permanent residents. Maryland announced this month that starting in 2010, it will require applicants to prove they're in the USA legally.

In four of the five remaining states that allow illegal immigrants to drive — Hawaii, Maine, New Mexico, Utah and Washington — there have been attempts to reverse course, according to the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). The exception: Hawaii.

"Oregon is one of the few states in the country that didn't have these ID requirements for driver's licenses," says Patty Wentz, spokeswoman for Gov. Ted Kulongoski. "That made us one of the weak links."

Kulongoski, a Democrat, directed the state's motor vehicle agency to require a valid Social Security number and other proof of identity. A legal resident who doesn't have a Social Security number can present other ID, such as a current visa.

Some officials who are changing policies cite a federal law that sets standards for licenses to deter fraud and terrorism, but political pressure also motivated the changes.

Last year, New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, ignited a firestorm when he proposed letting illegal immigrants have licenses. He dropped the plan after protests from county officials, state and federal lawmakers and opponents of illegal immigration such as NumbersUSA.

"The whole New York debacle really scared a lot of policymakers," says the NILC's Tyler Moran. "People are folding before they're even forced to."

Removal of headscarf ban in Turkey is strongly urged.

Turkey: As the secularists get really on edge about this move. This passes and you will see a surge in religious rulings that will smash Turkey's secular political system.

Two of Turkey's main political parties are pushing for a constitutional amendment to lift bans on headscarves at public universities, a move that has caused concern among Turkey's secular population.

.....The proposal to change Turkey's constitution sent chills through Turkey's secular population. Women's groups went to parliament Tuesday to voice their rejection.

"This is a direct threat to the republic and its foundations," said Deniz Baykal, leader of Turkey's main secular party, CHP.

Another CHP lawmaker said she fears that if the proposal is enacted, parents will feel pressure to have their daughters wear headscarves, even in elementary school.

Mustafa Akaydin, head of Turkey's Higher Education Commission, is against the proposal. He said that allowing headscarves would be a rejection of Turkey's secular system of government.

"It is an attempt to create a counterrevolution," Akaydin said. "It will be a breaking point."

He said a majority of female high school students at one school were wearing headscarves during last weekend's entry exams -- a rarity in Turkish schools. users react to Kennedy backing Obama

Politics: Strong vitriol from those like me who think the Kennedy endorsement is a crock.

Francisco Rivera: "Since the death of Robert Kennedy the family no longer has any influence with the country. Ted has made many mistakes in his career that ruined his reputation as a reliable politician. We try to hang on to the Kennedy history but the Kennedy family has not produced another John or Robert."

Donna Galer: "This endorsement shows that Ted Kennedy is in touch with mainstream democratic voters. His endorsement helped John Kerry and will also help Barack Obama."

Veronica Lynne: "Unfortunately for Obama, there aren't enough of these rich, white liberals around to put him over the line. And besides, I thought it was all about the FUTURE!! Then why does Obama want to drag in all these old warhorses like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry? As I said, comical

Jim Aumer: "Now the Kennedy family is backing Obama for change? Are you kidding me? The Kennedys have been in politics for how many decades? I am shocked that a family that has made a living in 'POLITICS AS USUAL' for how long now, would use that same phrase to try and manipulate America's voters into thinking that they also have always been a family of change!"

Miami blog postings spark $25 million lawsuit

Blogs: I doubt the guy will win but Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell has gotten themselves some bad pub by acting so quickly.

Developer Tibor Hollo has filed a $25 million defamation lawsuit against a Miami real estate agent who blogged that the octogenarian went bankrupt in the 1980s and is headed for a fall with the upheaval in the condo market.

Hollo last week sued agent Lucas Lechuga and the Coral Gables brokerage Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell alleging they have engaged in a smear campaign against him and his Opera Tower condo development on Lechuga's Miami Condo Investments blog.

On Monday, the postings cost Lechuga his job.

''We just don't condone making statements, especially negative statements, about anyone, so we have terminated our relationship with our associate,'' said EWM President Ron Shuffield. Its agents are independent contractors, not employees.

Lechuga, 29, predicted on the blog that at least half of the buyers in the 635-unit Opera Tower at 1750 Bayshore Dr. would default and the units would be taken over by the project's lender.

''My opinion is that this development is doomed,'' he wrote on Jan. 10.

....Lechuga said he was exercising his constitutional rights in musing about Opera Tower.

''Like any other blog out there, it's a collection of my unbiased opinions and thoughts,'' he said. ``I have buyers all over the world who go to my blog. They know I'm not going to sugarcoat the market.''

Lechuga removed the Nov. 25 post after learning of the lawsuit, but later reposted it without the reference to Hollo going ''bankrupt.'' He said he would have removed it sooner had he known it was wrong. He said a few people who told him about it may not have meant Hollo literally filed for bankruptcy, rather that Hollo had financial troubles of some kind.

Hollo lost some properties to lenders in the early 1990s, The Miami Herald reported at the time.

''In those days, I lost lots of money of mine, tens of millions of dollars,'' Hollo said. ``I didn't lose anybody else's money. That's all I can tell you about it.''

Archbishop of Canterbury still acting the idiot.

UK: Every once in a while Dr. Williams says something that makes you say yep he is right. But most of the time he says and comes up with idiotic ideas like this which makes you realize the former is probably a matter of luck.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has called for new laws to protect religious sensibilities that would punish “thoughtless and cruel” styles of speaking.

Dr Williams, who has seen his own Anglican Communion riven by fierce invective over homosexuality, said the current blasphemy law was “unworkable” and he had no objection to its repeal.

But whatever replaces it should “send a signal” about what was acceptable.

This should be done by “stigmatising and punishing extreme behaviours” that have the effect of silencing argument.

The Archbishop, delivering the James Callaghan Memorial Lecture in London this afternoon, said it should not just be a few forms of extreme behaviour that were deemed unacceptable, leaving everything else as fair game.

“The legal provision should keep before our eyes the general risks of debasing public controversy by thoughtless and, even if unintentionally, cruel styles of speaking and acting,” he said.

Williams is the primary reason why the Anglican Church is looked upon as a joke.

Giant Mech Animals almost to the awesome level.

Coolness: Via Gizmodo.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Man must pay support for child not his

Culture: A broken record as men continues to get the short end of the stick. We are just walking atm sperm banks.

Paternity doesn't count when it comes to a Hunterdon County man's bid to lower child support payments for a child that's not his.

An appeals court upheld a lower court which denied the man's request in 2006 after he said he discovered he was not the father of the 10-year-old girl.

The appeals panel found the judge put the best interest of the child first.

It's not clear whether the man would appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Best interest of the child now scares me when I hear it. If someone tells you this just kiss whatever you hold dear goodbye. first day.

Media: Washington Post's black version of the liberal had its first full day and so far I see potential, though its basically liberal blacks on a Obama cheer fest. Plus their latest news column is all Washington Post owned or partnered links. There is a lot more black news out there from various sources.

Dutch State Secretary Urges Muslims to Remain Calm

Islam: At least its not an hysterical appeal as other Dutch ministers.

Social Affairs State Secretary Ahmed Aboutaleb has appealed to the Muslim community in the Netherlands to take fears about Islam seriously and to try and eliminate these by seeking dialogue.

"This fear of Muslims does exist. Muslims should not underestimate this. They have the task of doing something about it," Aboutaleb said during a working visit to Breda. "Seek contact, open your mosques and show that the rooms at the back are washrooms and not places where bombs are made," he added.

Aboutaleb, a Muslim himself, was in Breda at the invitation of local politicians within his party, Labour (PvdA). "If you realise that there a few idiots in the world who are prepared to blow themselves up, you should conclude that they have not really understood the Koran. But the result is that there is an enormous fear of Muslims", Aboutaleb said to Muslims in a tearoom. "We need builders of bridges" to remove these fears.

Safety Test of Britain's streets goes really bad.

UK: BBC radio host realizes her hometown ain't Kansas anymore.

BBC Radio Five presenter Shelagh Fogarty today described her terror at having a gun pointed at her face while filming in Liverpool on Saturday night.

The breakfast show host was taking part in a special programme for the ITV1 Tonight programme to find out how safe Britain's streets are, to be aired tonight.

While filming in Norris Green, an area of her home town Liverpool, a car slowed down as it past her, wound down a window and a gun was pointed directly at her.

She believes had it not been for the sound of a police siren nearby and a CCTV van in the road, she may have been killed.

Shelagh also revealed a gang of 40 thugs pelted her with glass bottles and stones in a frightening attack the previous night.

She said on her breakfast show: "I had quite a horrible, and difficult weekend really.

Kidney stealing ring shocks India.

India: An urban legend comes to life.

The uncovering of an illegal kidney transplant racket in a booming IT city has gripped India, with reports hundreds of poor laborers may have been duped or forced into donating organs to wealthy clients, including foreigners.

Hundreds of people from across northern India had their kidneys removed at a private house, which had a state-of-the-art operating theatre hidden inside, after being lured to Gurgaon, a city of hi-tech companies just outside New Delhi.

"We suspect around 400 or 500 kidney transplants were done by these doctors over the last nine years," Mohinder Lal, Gurgaon's police chief, told the Hindustan Times.

Several people have been arrested, including some doctors, police said.

The case, one of the largest transplant rackets reported in India in recent years, has dominated the country's headlines and sparked calls for the government to tighten regulation of kidney transplants to stop backstreet operations as global demand rises.

...Laborers, many who gathered every day in parts of Gurgaon to look for any kind of job, were offered around 50,000 rupees ($1,250) for their kidneys. They were sold to wealthy clients for 10 times as much.

"I was approached by a stranger for a job. When I accepted, I was taken to a room with gunmen," Mohammed Salim told NDTV television.

"They tested my blood, gave me an injection and I lost consciousness. When I woke up, I had pain in my lower abdomen and I was told that my kidney had been removed."

Suspicious neighbors said they had noticed blood running out of the house's gutters, as well as blood-soaked bandages and even bits of flesh thrown into an open plot near the house.

Kennedys, roaring crowds give Obama rally '60s feel

Politics: So we are going to have change by going back to the '60s? Speaking of which switching around the radio dial I listened to the Michael Baisden who is in the tank for Obama and praising the "young" people as getting the Obamamania.

He had some of these young people on and it pretty much confirmed my theory that everyone under 30(The Gen Y group) are idiots. They kept talking about its time for change. Okay, what kind of change? Never described it but as someone else said "change" is the new give peace a chance chant. Its all empty symbolism by a section of the population who should be more informed given how much the world is connected but are just clueless.

Eventually all this style, idealism and hope is going to meet reality. That will be amusing to watch.

Detroit mayor's chief of staff resigns

Politics: One down and one hip-hop mayor to go.

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's chief of staff said Monday she is resigning amid allegations that she and the mayor lied under oath about an affair.

In a letter to Kilpatrick that was released by his office, Christine Beatty said she believes she can no longer effectively carry out her duties. Her resignation takes effect Feb. 8.

"I painfully regret the devastation that the recent reports have caused to the citizens of Detroit, to my co-workers, to the Mayor's family and to my family and friends," Beatty wrote in the letter.

Kilpatrick spokesman James Canning said the mayor's office had no comment.

There was no immediate response to messages seeking comment from Elliott Hall, a lawyer for Beatty.

A prosecutor launched an investigation last week into the allegations, which came to light when the Detroit Free Press reported details of steamy text messages between Beatty and Kilpatrick.

A conviction of lying under oath can bring up to 15 years' imprisonment.

Obama still pushing driver licenses for illegals.

Politics: Forget all this race nonsense and concentrate on the fact that Obama is a leftist who is willing among other things give out licenses to illegals and amnesty.

Sen. Barack Obama easily won the African American vote in South Carolina, but to woo California Latinos, where he is running 3-to-1 behind rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, he is taking a giant risk: spotlighting his support for the red-hot issue of granting driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

It's a huge issue for Latinos, who want them. It's also a huge issue for the general electorate, which most vehemently does not. Obama's stand could come back to haunt him not only in a general election, but with other voters in California, where driver's licenses for illegal immigrants helped undo former Gov. Gray Davis.

...."Barack Obama has not backed down" on driver's licenses for undocumented people, said Federico Peña, a former Clinton administration Cabinet member and Denver mayor now supporting Obama. "I think when the Latino community hears Barack's position on such an important and controversial issue, they'll understand that his heart and his intellect is with Latino community."

....Democratic pollsters Stan Greenberg and James Carville issued a direct warning on the driver's license issue in an analysis last month designed to guide Democrats through the treacherous immigration quagmire.

"The findings about driver's licenses are particularly notable," they said. Two-thirds of surveyed voters oppose them, the pollsters found, and the safety argument fails to dent the widespread conviction that granting a driver's license rewards illegal behavior.

But it will definitely work with Latinos, said John Trasviña, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. "Clinton and (Sen. John) Edwards have said no driver's licenses for unauthorized immigrants," Trasviña said. "Sen. Obama has said you get a driver's license if you know how to drive. And that message I think will resonate in the Latino community as we get closer to California."

Conserving water leads to higher water rates.

Canada: No matter what you do, government needs your money and they will get it.

"Conservation is killing us."

Realizing what he'd just said, Curtis smiled broadly and quickly added that there were, of course, a thousand reasons to conserve.

But one thing is certain: Conservation is putting cash-strapped municipalities in a bit of a pickle.

Tougher post-Walkerton regulations, growing communities and a rising backlog of crumbling pipes needing to be fixed are driving up costs even while diligent consumers are lowering their consumption and the size of their bills.

Toronto alone is facing about $800 million worth of repair and replacement work, since half of the city's water mains and 30 per cent of its sewer pipes are more than 50 years old. But last year, total revenue was only $604 million.

Other regions are hurting, too.

Peel Region treasurer Dan Labrecque estimates his region has lost $7 million to so-called "revenue or billable flows shortfall." The need to make up for that lost money accounts for nearly half of Peel's proposed 16 per cent water rate hike (expected to be phased in at 12.5 per cent).

"A number of factors are contributing to this, including the success of our water consumption (reduction) efforts," said Labrecque. "We've pointed it out to council saying, here's the trend, we don't know if it's a sustainable trend, or whether it's an adjustment because of changes, the Al Gore movie and all that kind of stuff."