Saturday, April 12, 2008

Alicia Keys blames DA MAN! for gangsta rap, Tupac/Biggie feud

Culture: This is what happens when someone thinks they are smarter than everyone else, they find answers to stupid questions they thought up in the first place.

There's another side to Alicia Keys: conspiracy theorist. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter tells Blender magazine: "'Gangsta rap' was a ploy to convince black people to kill each other. 'Gangsta rap' didn't exist."

Keys, 27, said she's read several Black Panther autobiographies and wears a gold AK-47 pendant around her neck "to symbolize strength, power and killing 'em dead," according to an interview in the magazine's May issue, on newsstands Tuesday.

Another of her theories: That the bicoastal feud between slain rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. was fueled "by the government and the media, to stop another great black leader from existing."

Keys' AK-47 jewelry came as a surprise to her mother, who is quoted as telling Blender: "She wears what? That doesn't sound like Alicia." Keys' publicist, Theola Borden, said Keys was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Either this is a ploy to "keep it real" or she has hooked up with some people that are out of their mind who are now in her ear. As for the ridiculous notion the government and the media were behind the feud, she got it half right as rap mags/MTV/BET pushed it incessantly and people started believing their own hype. The whole feuding snowballed from their to people getting killed over nothing.

As for gangsta rap, if that came from the government, that would be one of the greatest government created program in history because it blew up fast. I wonder if NWA was a government ploy? They just found a bunch of black guys in Compton, gave them lyrics and said have it.

The great leader emerging angle is snort worthy. As Chris Rock said:

Chris Rock: I'm watching the news... Tupac Shakur was assassinated, Biggie Smalls assassinated. Struck down by assassin's bullets... no they wasn't. Martin Luther King was assassinated, Malcolm X was assassinated, John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Them two niggas got shot! Shit, I love Tupac, I love Biggie, but school will be open on they birthday.

Thabo Mbeki: "there is no crisis in Zimbabwe."

Africa: Its Saturday Morning and I really have no energy to go on a rant at what a cowardly piss ant fool Mbeki is at this point. There is no point anymore, only fools and liars can't see what a Mugabe worshiping tool he really is to say something this stupid.

South African President Thabo Mbeki says "there is no crisis in Zimbabwe."

Speaking in Harare after meeting with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Mr Mbeki said Zimbabwe's electoral commission must be given time to release the results of a presidential poll held two weeks ago.

The South African leader has been a key mediator in attempts to resolve the country's economic and political plight.

"I wouldn't describe that as a crisis. It's a normal electoral process in Zimbabwe. We have to wait for ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) to release (the results)," he said.

Mr Mbeki is continuing on to Zambia, where an emergency summit of regional leaders will discuss the political turmoil caused by the long delay in releasing election results.

Mr Mugabe said he would not attend the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit, which appeared to be the best chance to dissuade him from launching another crackdown on the opposition.

The SADC summit can achieve little without Mr Mugabe there, prompting Mr Mbeki to stop in Harare first.

Obama's bitter speech puts whole foods, cheesesteak in perspective.

Politics: Obama's bitter speech is that truthful stream of consciousness that shows how out of touch he is outside of the liberal circles that he has been in years. I dare say he may be an out of touch buppie.

If he had stopped at bitter, he would have been gold. But then he puts cling to guns, religion and opposition to illegal immigration as the results of being bitter. So if they weren't bitter, they would give up their guns, stop being so religious and not be against illegal immigrants.

He is making them out to be Linus from Peanuts with a security blanket and he is going to be big sister Lucy to wean them off of it.

That is how its coming off to the rest of the public and makes him just another cultural elitist. It also puts into play the remarks he made about Whole Foods in Iowa.

One line that landed a little flat, though, was when Mr. Obama sympathetically noted that farmers have not seen an increase in prices for their crops, despite a rise in prices at the supermarket.

“Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?” the senator said. “I mean, they’re charging a lot of money for this stuff.”

The state of Iowa, for all of its vast food production, does not have a Whole Foods, a leading natural and organic foods market. The closest? Omaha, Minneapolis or Kansas City.

Mr. Obama, perhaps sensing a lack of reaction from the crowd, moved along to the next topic.

and any good political operative can put this tidbit from his trip to Philly in an elitist light.

What, no whiz?
Sen. Barack Obama sampled $100 ham, but didn't chow down on a cheesesteak during a visit to the Italian Market yesterday.

During a half-hour tour of the market, Obama sampled wares at Claudio Specialty Food and DiBruno Brothers - where he noshed on a Spanish ham that retails for $99.99 a pound.

Staff at DiBruno's told him the ham only recently became available because it was previously barred by the FDA.

"All I know is it tastes good," Obama said. As good as whiz with onions?

Instapundit, Hot Air, Ace, Mickey Kaus and Tom Maguire.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Scant Support for Senate(Welfare) Housing Bill

Nation: The Senate housing welfare bill is as bad as you expected because it rewards businesses and people who gambled in the housing industry and lost. All responsible homeowners are getting screwed.

The Senate on Thursday passed a bipartisan package of tax breaks and other steps designed to help businesses and homeowners weather the housing crisis.

The measure passed by an impressive 84-12 vote, but even its supporters acknowledge it's tilted too much in favor of businesses such as home builders and does little to help borrowers at risk of losing their homes.

The plan combines large tax breaks for homebuilders and a $7,000 tax credit for people who buy foreclosed properties, as well as $4 billion in grants for communities to buy and fix up abandoned homes.

The measure, titled the Foreclosure Prevention Act, will be significantly redrawn by House critics who say it favors businesses such as home builders instead of borrowers.

Oh, don't worry about that, they will pork up this bill fast.

Before passing the measure, the Senate added $6 billion in unrelated tax breaks for renewable energy producers, despite Senate rules that say tax cuts must be "paid for" with revenue increases elsewhere in the tax code.

The bill also offers $150 billion for pre-foreclosure counseling and stronger loan disclosure requirements.

The $25 billion tax break the plan offers to homebuilders and other businesses absorbing heavy losses and the energy tax package were both dropped from an economic rescue plan enacted in February. Critics of those proposals said they were overly expensive and would not stimulate the economy.

But deepening public worries about the housing crisis appear to have emboldened lawmakers to swell the $9 trillion deficit to pay for the measures.

The $7,000 tax credit for the purchase of foreclosed homes, opponents argue, would unfairly reward purchases that would have happened anyway while possibly devaluing other homes. It also could give banks an incentive to foreclose on homes by subsidizing purchases of such properties.

The measure calls for a long-awaited modernization of the Federal Housing Administration that would enable more homeowners to refinance into loans backed by the Depression-era agency.

It includes $10.9 billion in tax-free mortgage revenue bonds to help homeowners refinance subprime loans, a move endorsed by President Bush.

A House bill takes a far different tack, steering tax breaks toward first-time home-buyers and investors in low-income rental housing. The measure is likely to be paired with a broader housing rescue package being drafted by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the Financial Services Committee chairman, that would have the FHA step in to back $300 billion in refinanced loans for 1 million or more homeowners who otherwise might face foreclosure.

Under a similar plan by Dodd, the FHA would insure up to $400 billion in loans.

Why bother being responsible if you get bailed out in the end. Someone gin up a overspending credit card market.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Teacher beating leads to calls to address classroom violence

Edumacation: Face it, Baltimore is a hellhole and when you have 2-3 calls a day about teachers getting beat up you better get harsh with the punishment. Gen Y kids know and feel they can get away with so much they have lost the sense of respect. Coming from a crap community in environment and home life adds to the result of a rat bastard of a human being who will contribute nothing to society in a positive way.

BALTIMORE (AP) — The beating of a high school art teacher by a student has prompted city and school officials to call for more resources to deal with classroom violence.

Art teacher Jolita Berry was beaten in an attack that was recorded on a cellphone camera and posted to the Internet. Berry says the attack began when she told a female student to sit down and behave and she is afraid to return to the classroom.

Teacher's union president Marietta English said her office receives two or three complaints a day of assaults on teachers.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon said the problem is getting out of hand and stern discipline is needed. State Schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick called for increased character education, community partnerships and parental responsibility.

City schools officials say the student involved in the attack on Berry has been suspended.

Slaying sparks backlash against homeless

Nation: Madison made themselves super friendly to homeless people now a murder is causing people to wake up and realize this wasn't a good idea.

The slaying of a college student in a downtown neighborhood frequented by beggars has forced this liberal city to ask a difficult question: Has Madison been too nice to the homeless?

A debate over the city's friendly treatment of its transient population had been under way for months, but last week's killing of University of Wisconsin student Brittany Zimmermann started something of a backlash against the homeless.

Police have arrested dozens of transients on unrelated charges as part of the investigation, but none are considered suspects in the death. The city also announced plans Wednesday to confront problems at a nearby park where the homeless congregate, although those efforts were in the works before the murder.

....The scrutiny is unusual in a city that allows homeless people to congregate every day in the Capitol basement and offers free meals there on Sundays. The homeless panhandle on street corners in student neighborhoods and in the area between the Capitol and the university.

The city's welcoming attitude has attracted more homeless people, and some beggars are becoming increasingly aggressive, police Lt. Joe Balles said.

"We've kind of institutionalized an enabling environment downtown for this transient population to grow unchecked," Balles said. "They are downtown preying largely off of that student population and really preying off a lot of our good compassion as Madisonians. In a way, they are taking advantage of us."

One problem area has been nearby Brittingham Park, where neighbors complain that transients use illegal drugs and drink alcohol all day. They often sleep in the park overnight and occasionally try to enter nearby cars and homes.

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's office announced plans Wednesday to install surveillance cameras, increase lighting and perhaps ban repeat offenders from the area. For some residents, such measures are long overdue.

"They are frustrated," said city council member Julie Kerr, whose district includes the park.

The homeless advocates are appalled

Linda Ketcham, director of the Madison Area Urban Ministry, blasted the city's "increasing villainization of the poor" and worried it could lead to violence.

"I think they are being focused on because they are an easy scapegoat," Ketcham said. She acknowledged the possibility that Zimmermann was killed by a homeless person. "But that's one person," she said.

Even other homeless are thinking everything is too easy.

Phalen Pierson, 48, said he spends six days a week lounging in the Capitol basement between shifts as a caterer. He said he could never relax the same way in his hometown of Cleveland.

"They'd call security on you," said Pierson, who has been homeless on and off for eight years. "In Madison, it's like 'here, here, here.' There's too many handouts. A lot of these guys sit on their butts all day and don't do nothing but drink."

It was a stupid plan to allow homeless people this much catering too and it cost a life. It also brings down property value and a sense of dread that you have people who just go door to door asking for money. You want to help the homeless set up programs to make them not homeless while cracking down on them so they do not blight up the area. Anything else leads to trouble.

Mayor Villaraigosa demands immigration laws not be enforced.

Immigration: The slimy cheater mayor of Los Angeles wants ICE not to do their job.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is asking federal officials to rethink their policy on workplace immigration crackdowns that involve established businesses and to focus on employers that mistreat workers instead.
The mayor said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff that work-site raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement could have "severe and long-lasting effects" on the local economy, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

ICE made more than 4,900 work-site arrests nationwide in fiscal 2007, a 45-fold increase over the number in 2001, authorities said.

More than 130 undocumented workers were arrested at a San Fernando Valley manufacturing company in February and over 60 workers were arrested for immigration violations at South Bay-area warehouses last week.

Los Angeles companies such as clothing manufacturer American Apparel Inc. have reported being questioned by ICE officials about their hiring procedures.

Villaraigosa accused federal officials of targeting "established, responsible employers" in industries that rely on "workforces that include undocumented immigrants."

"In these industries, including most areas of manufacturing, even the most scrupulous and responsible employers have no choice but to rely on workers whose documentation, while facially valid, may raise questions about their lawful presence," he wrote in the March 27 letter.

He said ICE should spend its limited resources targeting employers who exploit wage and hour laws.

I suspect both employers are one and the same.

Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama

Middle East: Not a surprise, It was pointed out a couple of weeks ago about an article in the Electronic Intifada where the writer complained that Obama shifted as he gained in politics away from supporting the Palestinians to becoming an Israel lover.

But given his blank slate on the national scene and his family background, Palestinians supporters think they finally got a friend that would stick it to Israel.

"....A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."

Today, five years later, Obama is a U.S. senator from Illinois who expresses a firmly pro-Israel view of Middle East politics, pleasing many of the Jewish leaders and advocates for Israel whom he is courting in his presidential campaign. The dinner conversations he had envisioned with his Palestinian American friend have ended. He and Khalidi have seen each other only fleetingly in recent years.

And yet the warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor's going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.

Their belief is not drawn from Obama's speeches or campaign literature, but from comments that some say Obama made in private and from his association with the Palestinian American community in his hometown of Chicago, including his presence at events where anger at Israeli and U.S. Middle East policy was freely expressed.

At Khalidi's 2003 farewell party, for example, a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, "then you will never see a day of peace."

One speaker likened "Zionist settlers on the West Bank" to Osama bin Laden, saying both had been "blinded by ideology."

Obama adopted a different tone in his comments and called for finding common ground. But his presence at such events, as he worked to build a political base in Chicago, has led some Palestinian leaders to believe that he might deal differently with the Middle East than either of his opponents for the White House.

"I am confident that Barack Obama is more sympathetic to the position of ending the occupation than either of the other candidates," said Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow for the American Task Force on Palestine, referring to the Israeli presence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip that began after the 1967 war. More than his rivals for the White House, Ibish said, Obama sees a "moral imperative" in resolving the conflict and is most likely to apply pressure to both sides to make concessions.

"That's my personal opinion," Ibish said, "and I think it for a very large number of circumstantial reasons, and what he's said."

NAACP in Detroit to host Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Nation: Detroit just can't catch a break from controversy and the increasingly irrelevant NAACP wants to cash in on the fun.

Controversial minister Jeremiah Wright will speak at the Detroit branch of the NAACP 53rd Annual Fight for Freedom Fund dinner.

Wright, the former minister of presidential candidate Barack Obama, has been under fire for remarks he’s made during his sermons about race relations, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and black separatism. He recently retired as pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, a 10,000-member megachurch located in Chicago.

The Fight for Freedom dinner, which annually attracts about 10,000 people, will be held April 27 at Cobo Hall. The gathering is a key fund-raiser for the Detroit Branch NAACP, and is billed as the largest sit-down dinner in the country.

Over the years, speakers of the Freedom Fund dinner have included Obama, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton. The Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner began in 1956. The event’s first speaker was civil rights lawyer and future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

From Marshall to Wright, what a horrendous leap down.

"Shoot the bastards, and shoot to kill."

Africa: South Africa's deputy security minister Susan Shabangu has had enough of the crime in the country.

South African police tackling one of the worst rates of violent crime in the world were told by a government minister today to shoot to kill and throw out the rulebook.

"You must kill the b*****ds if they threaten you or the community. You must not worry about the regulations," said deputy security minister Susan Shabangu.

"I want no warning shots, you have one shot and it must be a kill shot," she told police officers, Johannesburg's Star newspaper reported today.

Ms Shabangu told an anti-crime meeting in the capital Pretoria: "I want to assure the police station commissioners and policemen and women from these areas that they have permission to kill these criminals," she said.

"I will not tolerate any pathetic excuses for you not being able to deal with crime.

"You have been given guns, now use them.

"If criminals dare to threaten the police or the livelihood or lives of innocent men, women and children, then they must be killed."

South Africa suffers some of the highest levels of violent crime in the world, with murders, hijackings and rape an everyday occurrence.

Police figures show nearly 20,000 people are murdered a year, sparking public anger at the inability of authorities to ensure safety.

Uproar ensues as everyone is shocked at this announcement but she is standing by her words so far.

"Monkey" delegate not stepping down over remarks.

Politics: The whole thing was stupid even before the cops gave her a ticket for it, but the change by the Obama camp is well odd.

Baltimore Sun:

A suburban Chicago delegate backing Sen. Barack Obama is now expected to keep her spot at this summer's Democratic National Convention, reversing an outcome the Illinois Democrat's campaign had reported a day earlier.

“Ms. Ramirez-Sliwinski is an elected delegate and we respect her decision to represent the campaign at the convention," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.

On Tuesday, LaBolt had said the trustee in suburban Carpentersville had decided to step down after she used the word "monkeys" to describe two African American children.

“It is clear that the incident was a misunderstanding,” LaBolt said.


WBBM: A Carpentersville village trustee who got into hot water for a comment that some interpreted as racist says she is NOT resigning as a delegate for Barack Obama after all.

WBBM's Regine Schlesinger has the latest on the story.

Ben Labolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, says that, on Monday, Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski told the campaign she would step down as a delegate for the Senator at the Democratic National Convention.

That came after Carpentersville police issued Ramirez Sliwinski a $75 disorderly conduct ticket for calling some African-African neighborhood children "monkeys" as they were climbing a tree.

Carpentersville Mayor Bill Sarto says he talked with Ramirez Sliwinski today and she told him she has no intention of resigning as an Obama delegate.

Sliwinski has said her remark was in no way, intended to be a slur on blacks.

Mayor Sarto says the whole thing is a tempest in a teapot and the Obama campaign says it's her choice whether to remain as a delegate.

...Sarto noted Carpentersville is 40 percent Hispanic and that Hispanics are not Obama's strongest bloc.

"While they are in a heated campaign for delegates, it would behoove Obama to hold on to the support of his delegates, and not alienate any group of delegates,” Sarto said.

I guess that is what the Obama camp realized after they called on her to step down on Monday which they are now denying.

Moving to nip in the bud some potential bad press, White House hopeful Barack Obama's campaign persuaded a delegate to step down after she was ticketed for calling her neighbor's African-American children "monkeys."

Linda Ramirez-Sliwinski, a Carpentersville village trustee, was elected as an Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She sports an Obama sign in her front yard.

....Told of the incident Monday by the Sun-Times, Obama's campaign called Ramirez-Sliwinski and persuaded her to step aside as a delegate because the campaign felt her remarks were "divisive and unacceptable."

"Given the incident, she is stepping down as a delegate and will be replaced," said campaign spokesman Ben Labolt.

Canadian toddler killed because of politically correct intentions.

Canada: Another case where the welfare of the child was dismissed because he was a minority, so better to put him in a dangerous situation to be sensitive than put him in a safe home.

"Gage was born in July, 2005, and was abandoned by his mother before his first birthday. A foster family was found--by all accounts, a safe home run by competent parents. But child services workers instead turned the boy over to his paternal grandmother, a former criminal and suspected alcoholic.

According to documents recently obtained by the Winnipeg Free Press, child service workers visiting the grandmother's home determined that she'd left the asthmatic child with "an older gentleman and someone sleeping on the floor." During another child services visit three months later, the lice-ridden child was found amidst the "aftermath of a drinking party," featuring "people sleeping in the living room and other areas in the home." The actual care of the boy apparently had been outsourced to a 15-year-old uncle.

Gage then was given over to his great-aunt, a former car thief who'd been imprisoned for assault. A month later, the day after his second birthday, he died-- allegedly after falling down the stairs. (Child services workers subsequently rescued Gage's sister from the same home, covered in bruises.)

Why had Gage been removed from his foster family, and placed with such dubious relatives in the first place? Readers who know anything about the intersection of identity politics and child services policy probably already suspect the answer.

Aboriginals represent 14% of Manitoba's population, but account for about 70% of the province's child welfare caseload. (On some reserves, more than 40% of children are in foster care.) In 2003, the province devolved child welfare services to aboriginal agencies -- the idea being that First Nations case workers better understand the unique needs of aboriginal children, and can be counted on to protect native culture by prioritizing family reunification.

Ultimately, those politically correct intentions paved the way to Gage's grave.

Gage's mother was a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation, an Anishinaabe First Nation located east of Lake Winnipeg. Sagkeeng Child and Family Services -- the native-run child services unit charged with Gage's case -- apparently didn't want the child raised outside the boy's clan. "The family is very important in native culture," a well-informed source told me. "Reunification can become an obsession." (The foster family was Metis. "As far as the Sagkeeng are concerned, they might as well be white," my source told me.)"

Just like the aboriginal girl in Australia who was gang-raped twice in her community even though it was a dangerous setting, the need to put back the minorities together is policy over safety concerns. Its all about feeling good about yourself than the well being of the child.

WSJ: Wait, enforcement of immigration laws do work.

Immigration: Shocking news.

The number of illegal immigrants apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border is falling steeply, an indication that the economic downturn and beefed-up security could be deterring unauthorized crossings.

The U.S. Border Patrol said Tuesday that the number of apprehensions dropped 17% to 347,372 between Oct. 1, 2007, and March 31, 2008, from the same period in late 2006 and early 2007.

There is no way to measure the number of people who try to sneak into the U.S. from Mexico each year. Nor is there a precise way to gauge how many succeed or fail. Still, federal officials and many immigration watchers consider arrests at the border a key indicator of how many people are trying.

The Border Patrol and some experts say tougher measures and a greater number of agents on the ground are discouraging border crossings from Mexico. Experts also cite tougher state laws, particularly in Arizona. Economists and others point to another key influence: the state of the U.S. economy, in particular the ailing housing industry.

Francisco Lopez, a 43-year-old illegal immigrant and the parent of two U.S.-born children, earned about $50,000 a year transporting construction material, but the work dried up and he now drives a taxi to make ends meet. "To live in America these days is to suffer," said Mr. Lopez, who lives in the Chicago area. "I'm not recommending to my friends back home that they come here. I'm thinking of leaving myself."

To the extent that the drop in apprehensions could be attributed to tougher border efforts, it could help Republicans who are campaigning this election year on an immigration crackdown. It could also embolden proponents of tougher laws, such as the one passed in Arizona, that impact both illegal immigrants and the businesses that employ them.

Even with a downturn in the economy it is still a better bet for an illegal to come here. Arizona has been helped by their tougher policy and coming down on employers of illegals.

Michelle Obama wants more pie.

Politics: That is what I like about Michelle Obama, she isn't subtle enough to hide her liberal ways.

Obama, like her husband a Harvard-trained lawyer, listened and then spoke off the cuff.

Most Americans, she said, don't want much.

"They don't want the whole pie," she told the women. "There are some who do, but most Americans feel blessed just being able to thrive a little bit. But that is becoming even more out of reach."

After law school, she and Barack were beset by loans they'd still be paying had her husband not written two best-sellers, "The Audacity of Hope" and "Dreams From My Father."

Those debts early in their marriage, she said, equips her husband to better understand the problems many Americans face.

Should she become first lady, she said she'd focus on family issues.

"If we don't wake up as a nation with a new kind of leadership...for how we want this country to work, then we won't get universal health care," she said.

"The truth is, in order to get things like universal health care and a revamped education system, then someone is going to have to give up a piece of their pie so that someone else can have more."

That is the difference between liberals and everyone else. Liberals look at people getting their pie and demand those with more give those with less because it makes everyone equal. Smart people would get irritated and wonder why the hell don't you show them how to make their own or learn how to get more pieces of pie without being a beggar. But if they did do show them how to make their own pie, the liberals would be out of a job.

My pie slice is small but I would be ashamed if I went around demand more slices from everyone else. Unfortunately, more Americans are happy to do just that because they lack that sense of shame.

Barack Obama's unlikely political education

Politics: This was mentioned on Rush's show and the overall picure is not the part of Wright being a former Muslim(NOI style) but the overall picture I suspected that going to this church by Obama was one part finding himself and other part cold political calculation. But finding himself in this sort of shock church mentality makes little comfort that the left of Mao tag is more factual than ever.

From Wright and others, Obama learned that part of his problem as an organizer was that he was trying to build a confederation of churches but wasn't showing up in the pews on Sunday. When pastors asked him the inevitable questions about his own spiritual life, Obama would duck them uncomfortably. A Reverend Philips put the problem to him squarely when he learned that Obama didn't attend services. "It might help your mission if you had a church home," he told Obama. "It doesn't matter where, really. What you're asking from pastors requires us to set aside some of our more priestly concerns in favor of prophesy. That requires a good deal of faith on our part. It makes us want to know just where you're getting yours from."

After many lectures like this, Obama decided to take a second look at Wright's church. Older pastors warned him that Trinity was for "Buppies"--black urban professionals--and didn't have enough street cred. But Wright was a former Muslim and black nationalist who had studied at Howard and Chicago, and Trinity's guiding principles--what the church calls the "Black Value System"--included a "Disavowal of the Pursuit of 'Middleclassness.'"

The cross currents appealed to Obama. He came to believe that the church could not only compensate for the limitations of Alinsky-style organizing but could help answer the nagging identity problem he had come to Chicago to solve. "It was a powerful program, this cultural community," he wrote, "one more pliant than simple nationalism, more sustaining than my own brand of organizing. "

As a result, over the years, Wright became not only Obama's pastor, but his mentor. The title of Obama's recent book, The Audacity of Hope, is based on a sermon by Wright. (It's worth noting, however, that, while Obama's book is a cool headed appeal for common ground in an age of political polarization, Wright's sermon, "The Audacity to Hope," is a fiery jeremiad about persevering in a world of nuclear arms and racial inequality.) Wright is one of the first people Obama thanked after his Senate victory in 2004, and he recently name-checked Wright in his speech to civil rights leaders in Selma, Alabama.

Yeah, I chuckled at the usage of Buppies which is hilarious when you think of the preaching against "middleclassness" and the good Rev. Wright is going to retire to a multi million dollar home among RICH WHITE PEOPLE!

Jamiel Shaw's parents wants special order 40 dropped.

Immigration: A sad meeting of immigration and murder. I doubt Shaw's parents will get any traction on this because the illegal supporters in Los Angeles outnumber anyone who would want special order 40 dropped.

The attack on the Los Angeles Police Department's Special Order 40 -- which limits when officers can ask about the citizenship status of suspects -- has come largely but not exclusively from anti-illegal-immigration forces.

But now the order has a new and potentially potent foe: the family of Jamiel Shaw Jr., the Los Angeles High football star who was killed last month. Police have charged a gang member who was in the country illegally with Shaw's slaying.

Jamiel Shaw Sr. and his wife, Anita, a U.S. Army sergeant who has been serving in Iraq, appeared before the City Council on Tuesday arguing for changes to the 30-year-old Los Angeles Police Department policy as it pertains to gang members suspected of being illegal immigrants.

Shaw Sr. proposed that LAPD policy be changed so officers would routinely check the immigration status of known gang members who are crime suspects -- which he said would make it easier to immediately deport them.

"If you're a gang member who is suspected of committing a crime, why can't they check a database at the police station to see if you're here illegally? Why can't they check a database at the jail?" Shaw asked.

Shaw's son was killed March 2 while walking home -- allegedly by Pedro Espinoza, who had been released from County Jail just hours earlier. Police say Shaw was picked at random -- perhaps as part of a gang loyalty test.

Shaw, who spoke with tears running down his face, said repeatedly that he did not want to target Latinos.

The family's appearance drew rousing cheers in the council chambers.

Reverend from the SCLC goes on anti-Jew tirade.

Hate: I wonder if we will hear anything from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference about this any time soon? Video at the link.

"....After Ziman received her award, Reverend Lee, who is the President/CEO of the Los Angeles branch of Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, began his keynote speech. In the midst of this, after praising Malcolm X, he started staring directly at Ziman, according to an email she sent.

Ziman’s email states “[Lee] started talking about the African American children who are suffering because of the Jews that have featured them as rapists and murderers. He spoke of a Jewish Rabbi, and then corrected himself to say ‘What other kind of Rabbis are there, but Jews.’ He told how this Rabbi came to him to say that he would like to bring the AA [African-American] community and the Jewish community together. ‘NO, NO, NO!!!!’ he shouted into the crowd, ‘we are not going to come together. The Jews have made money on us in the music business and we are the entertainers, and they are economically enslaving us.’”

(An attempt to revive the “Black-Jewish Connection” is currently underway in Los Angeles, according to the L. A. Watts Times.)

Lee continued with his anti-Semitic diatribe, according to Ziman, at which time she could no longer tolerate it and left the room, where she broke into tears.

Most of the dignitaries had also left the room by the time of Lee’s speech but Assemblyman Mike Davis was still there. He told Ziman that he “did not hear” Lee’s words because he was engaged in another conversation. Mr. Davis did not return a call from Pajamas Media, seeking comment. Calls to organizers of the event were also not returned."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Conservatives win majority in South Korea.

World: Even with infighting that led to a rebel party that also gained seats.

South Korea's new president won the parliamentary majority he needs to push through promised major economic reforms but bitter squabbling in his conservative camp could limit that agenda, experts said on Thursday.

The conservative Grand National Party won 153 seats in Wednesday's vote for the 299-seat National Assembly, short of the commanding lead President Lee Myung-bak might have hoped for after he took office in February, intent on radical change to Asia's fourth-largest economy.

"For the time being, we will be seeing a power struggle between the conservative forces," said Lee Nam-young, a political science professor at Sejong University

President Lee began his five-year term in February pledging to boost growth this year to 6 percent from 5 percent last year, end regulation he said stifled business and open the export-driven economy more to foreign investment.

Conservative stalwarts, unhappy with the way Lee had treated them, led a rebellion in the GNP ahead of the vote. They won 32 seats under the banner of other right-leaning parties.

White House plan to bail out more subprime borrowers.

Nation: Not only is this rewarding irresponsible behavior by banks and their borrowers, it gums up the correction going on in the housing market by artificially holding it up.

The Bush administration yesterday unveiled a plan to rescue 100,000 homeowners at risk of foreclosure by relaxing eligibility standards for government-backed loans and encouraging lenders to forgive a portion of their debt.

The proposal was quickly criticized by consumer groups, who said it would do little to slow a mortgage meltdown that last year threw more than 1.5 million households into foreclosure. But it was embraced by key Democrats, who said the White House is acknowledging that more aggressive government action is needed to help the most hard-pressed borrowers who owe banks more than their homes are worth because of plunging prices.

"There's consensus forming around the notion that we're not going to get to the bottom of this without some plan that involves more government involvement than merely nudging borrowers and lenders to work it out," said Jared Bernstein, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

Under the White House proposal, subprime borrowers who cannot afford their loans and have missed two or three mortgage payments would for be eligible for assistance from the Federal Housing Administration. Lenders would be encouraged to forgive a portion of those loans for some of the most troubled borrowers so that they can refinance.

"Our plan will help hundreds of thousands of desperate families who have no place else to turn for safer, lower cost ways to keep their homes," FHA Commissioner Brian D. Montgomery said in a written statement. "We want to be able to help families who are in the right house, but the wrong mortgage."

The plan is similar to significant elements of legislation proposed by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.). The Democrats' proposal is far more ambitious, aiming to help as many as 2 million distressed borrowers by permitting the FHA to back refinanced mortgages for homeowners who are delinquent or in default.

Frank, who noted that the administration chose to announce its plan at a hearing on his bill, said the White House has "undercut" Republican lawmakers and other conservatives who continue to insist that the federal government should do nothing.

"The administration tried to stonewall," Frank said. But "they were running into a lot of political pressure. They were also being told by economists, including, I think, at the Fed, that you're not going to get out of this recession until you do something."

Once again taxpayers get screwed.

Muslim sex offenders could opt out of treatment programme

UK: Fine, opt out of the treatment and serve a full sentence. Hell, drop the program overall and let all sex offenders serve their full prison sentence. This excuse that its against their faith is malarkey.

Muslim sex offenders are asking to be let off a prison treatment programme on religious grounds.

Rapists, paedophiles and other dangerous attackers are expected to discuss their crimes with other inmates as a condition of release.

But Muslim prisoners complain that criminals should not have to talk about their offences - a "legitimate Islamic position", according to Ahtsham Ali, the Prison Service's Muslim adviser.

One thousand inmates were put on the Sex Offender Treatment Programme last year with places usually reserved for the most dangerous attackers.

Failure to complete the course can weigh against an offender at parole hearings.

The possibility of an exemption for Muslims came to light in a letter from an unnamed inmate to Inside Time, a newspaper for prisoners.

The convict said: "I have always insisted that it was against Islamic teachings to discuss your offence to anyone, let alone act it out within a peer group."

Experts said ministers, who have launched a review of the issue, could face a legal challenge from Muslims kept longer in prison because they had not undergone the treatment programme.

Harry Fletcher, of the probation union Napo, said: "If they do not take part, Muslim sex offenders are likely to serve longer sentences, possibly the whole of their term, before they are released."

Nick Herbert, Tory justice spokesman, said: "There can be no religious discrimination when it comes to deciding the appropriate and safe time to release a prisoner.

"In any case, all prisoners, regardless of religion, should have their release made conditional on their behaviour and progress in custody, not be given automatic release at the half-way mark."

Aussie Expert slams 'racist moral panic' over gang arrests.

Crime: Here we go, it didn't take long for the multicults PC cult to express outrage over the attack on a school by a gang of youths.

Five teenage boys from a Pacific Islander background face 101 charges after they allegedly attacked staff, students and property at Merrylands High School with baseball bats, samurai swords and machetes.

Sydney newspapers suggest the attack was just the tip of the iceberg of a growing gang problem in western Sydney, driven by a romantic inspiration from Los Angeles' organised gang culture and fuelled by the internet.

One claims Monday morning's rampage was the latest in a series of attacks by an LA-styled Granville gang suspected of links to a number of robberies and assaults.

But economics Professor Jock Collins, from the University of Technology in Sydney, has told ABC 702 Sydney radio that the story - which features images taken from a social networking website of Granville boys with guns - is unsubstantiated.

Professor Collins says the headline stories carry no evidence gang crime has become worse.

"I think that there's an asymetrical response to gangs when they're from different ethnic groups and when they're 'our' gangs," he said.

"If it's the 'Neddie Smith' sort of crime, that's OK, we can feel comfortable, but if it's 'Joseph Choi' or someone else, we can worry about that.

"This worries me a little because I think what we can see here is what colleagues and I call a moral panic. In other words, if you look at the criminological data, most crime stats are down and yet our fear of and our worry about crime is up.

"The missing ingredient in that asymetry is media sensation."

'Western Sydney stigma'

Professor Collins says gangs have only created more concern in Australia in recent decades because of racial prejudice.

He says gang violence has existed in Australia for at least a century but is at a far lower level than in the US.

"To equate things that are happening in Granville or Auburn ... with LA gang culture, I think, misrepresents it," he said.

"I think the other element in this moral panic is that not only are these ethnic people or ethnic gangs so 'we ought to worry about them' but it's happening in western Sydney.

"If it were Cronulla or the eastern suburbs or the northern beaches, we don't worry so much. I think there's once again a construction of western Sydney and ethnic diversity as somehow destroying our society."

Professor Collins says he does not know how western Sydney's gang rate compares to other areas but his research suggests most residents feel safe there.

I have a feeling if five of any color boys walk into a school with baseball bats and machetes, the media would have the same reaction. Its not the gang that has caught people's attention, its the audacity of how they did it that is shocking to people.

Victoria Lindsay speaks out about her beating by six girls.

*Update* All the teens will be charged as adults, hearing on Friday at 1 p.m.

**Update#2** Details released from the case.
Crime: Try all those involved as adults and throw the book at them. No probation, no house arrests or weak sentences like that in this case. They planned it, joked about it afterward in a jail cell. They need to be taught a harsh lesson.

The 16-year-old's face was covered with heavy makeup Tuesday in an effort to hide the bruises she suffered during a videotaped beating deputies said she suffered at the hands of girls she considered her friends.

Victoria "Tori" Lindsay, a senior at Mulberry High School, said she learned a lesson from the betrayal, which led to the arrest this week of six girls, one boy and a young man on charges of felony battery and false imprisonment.

"The No. 1 friend is your family," she said in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel at her home in a quiet southwest Lakeland neighborhood.

Tori's mother, Talisa Lindsay, said it was painful to watch the video, which a Polk County sheriff's detective brought to their home days after the March 30 attack so Tori could identify the girls involved. Investigators say they planned to post the video on YouTube and MySpace.

"I was flabbergasted," Lindsay said. "I felt completely helpless."

Tori has bruises, a concussion and damage to her left ear and eye, although her family said she is expected to recover. The family would like a public apology from the girls, and they also want a law to protect kids on video and social-networking Web sites. Tori plans to continue her schooling at home rather than return to Mulberry High.

Meanwhile, the grandmother of one of the girls who was arrested says her family is suffering, too.

The beating is alleged to have happened at Mary Nichols' house while she was at work. Since the Sheriff's Office released the video this week, Nichols said, she has been receiving threatening, obscenity-laced telephone calls, and someone scratched her car.

The tape shows Tori being beaten and taunted as other teenagers shout in the background. Nichols' granddaughter, Mercades Nichols, 17, remains in the Polk Regional Juvenile Detention Center along with six other minors who were arrested in the case. Nichols described Mercades as "really a loving, caring kid."

"This is definitely traumatic to everyone, not just to Tori's family," Nichols said Tuesday.

I think Tori's family is going thru much bigger trauma than your psycho granddaughter.

Jimmy Carter to meet with Hamas leader, CAIR is very happy.

Terrorism: No I am not surprised that Jimmy Carter would meet and suck face with a terrorist leader and not surprised that CAIR would gloss over what Hamas is all about and push a this is all about peace angle. I am surprised it took the old fool this long to do it.

Former President Jimmy Carter is reportedly preparing an unprecedented meeting with the leader of Hamas, an organization that the U.S. government considers one of the leading terrorist threats in the world.

The Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat reported Tuesday that Carter was planning a trip to Syria for mid-April, during which he would meet with Khaled Meshal, the exiled head of the Palestinian terror group Hamas, on April 18.

Deanna Congileo, Carter’s press secretary, confirmed in an e-mail to that Carter will be in the Mideast in April. Pressed for comment, Congileo did not deny that the former president is considering visiting Meshal.

....Some Carter critics called the latest reports typical of the ex-president.

“It’s about par for the course from President Carter, demonstrating a lack of judgment typical of what he does," said John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. "To go to Syria to visit Hamas at this point is just an ill-timed, ill-advised decision on his part."

“I’m not surprised that Carter would do this, as he has been supporting Palestinian extremism for many years,” said Steve Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a watchdog group.

Carter would be the first Western leader of his stature to meet with the Hamas chief. Though Meshal met with Clinton officials in the 1990s, the Bush administration has sought to isolate Hamas, enforcing rigid sanctions on its government in Gaza and refusing to meet with its leaders unless it recognizes Israel and abandons terror.

“I think this [visit] undermines the U.S. policy of isolating Hamas,” said Emerson. “I think this encourages Europeans to further dilute their sanctions against the Hamas government.”

"When you put the prestige of a former president of the United States in a meeting with one of its terrorist leaders, you’re giving it a legitimacy and currency it never had,” said Bolton.

But Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a non-profit advocacy group, said Carter's efforts demonstrate he's a true partner in peace.

“I think if true, this report would indicate that President Carter is willing to travel any road in search of peace,” he said. “I think President Carter would only undertake such a mission if he believed that something could be achieved in terms of peace and reconciliation in the region.”

Hooper added that because of Carter's reputation among Palestinians he might be able to bring some pressure to bear.

“Obviously President Carter has a great amount of credibility in the region because of his past efforts seeking peace internationally,” Hooper said.

Now you understand why I look down on CAIR.

Mandatory volunteerism idea strikes Maine High School

Edumacation: I hated this nonsense when I was forced to do it in college for a class. Imagine what the majority of high schoolers will think about it. Make it an extra credit incentive, forcing them to do it will only cause resentment in the end.

Windham students may be required to complete 40 hours of community service to graduate, although feelings around town are mixed if it's appropriate to enforce good deeds.

"I'm in favor of it, if it's done right," said school committee member Mike Duffy. There was a public hearing on the matter Wednesday, but Duffy said the adaption of the proposal will be decided in a vote in a few weeks and a date has not yet been decided.

If approved, the more than 200 students who graduate in 2009 would need to perform 10 hours of community service and turn in worksheets signed by an adult for proof. The 2010 class would have an additional 10 hours required and this would repeat until members of the class of 2012 need 40 hours of community service performed to graduate.

Duffy said he wants students to get involved in causes they believe in, like community sports or helping younger students.

"I don't just want someone to say, I picked up three sticks," said Duffy. "I want them to find something that they're interested in."

Most Windham High School students asked said they oppose the requirement.

"I think it's stupid," said Kristie Hansen, 14, of Windham. "It's not volunteer work if they're forcing people to do it."

"It should be an option," said Alyssa Doyle, 14. She said the high school already has clubs for people who want to do community service work and it would not be sincere if the students are forced to do it.

"It's pointless and a waste of time," said Brittany Rogers, 15.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Student hurt after taking anti-illegal sign to school.

Immigration: Some people are having a problem with the teacher giving out such an assignment but it is actually a great one. It teaches kids they have a civic right to protest what they see as an injustice or crime. Now if she had brought in an abortion rights for all, she would have had no problems.

If she was a minority advocating a Yes we can open border stance and got harassed by white kids, all hell would have broken loose. The professional race groups would be calling for sensitivity training and jailing the attackers under hate crime laws. As of now, only three people got in-school suspension. Big deal.

A teenager who took a sign reading "If you love our nation, stop illegal immigration" to school said she was hurt after being swarmed by angry classmates, and administrators said Tuesday they have suspended three students involved in the scuffle.

"It's disappointing that it happened," Athens school district superintendent Fred Hayes said. "It does not surprise me with the political nature of this issue."

Melanie Bowers, 13, brought the sign to Athens Middle School on Friday as part of a class project on political activism. Each child was assigned to pick an issue and prepare a poster supporting a position.

Hayes said she was showing the sign in the hallway when a group of students tried wresting it away.

J.R. Bowers, the girl's father, said Melanie suffered scratch marks along her neck, face and arms. He said she also had a swollen jaw.

Bowers said as many as 20 students surrounded his daughter in the hallway, and Hayes said others may have hurled verbal insults. The poster was ultimately destroyed by other students.

"She was like a zebra on her arm," Bowers said of the bruises. "She believes they were intentionally trying to hurt her."

The three students given in-school suspension are Hispanic, Hayes said. Bowers is white. Although the school has video surveillance, Hayes said the incident occurred in a blind spot out of camera range but no punches were thrown.

The Athens Daily Review and Tyler television station KLTV reported the story Monday.

Germany falls in love with another polar bear cub.

Germany: Seriously, what is the deal here with these damn cubs and Germans. At some point someone is going to go racial and point out something the Germans seem to love those white cubs just a bit too much.

A fluffy white polar bear cub that has captured German hearts is making her first public appearance Tuesday at the Nuremberg City Zoo.

Flocke, whose name means "snowflake" in German, was born at the zoo in December. She gained international attention in January after zookeepers said they had taken Flocke away from her mother because of concerns she would eat her.

The zoo's other female polar bear had recently eaten her two offspring, and the zoo was worried that Flocke's mother would do the same

Obama delegate resigns over monkey remarks.

Culture: Okay, on the one hand the image you get of her is she is one of those neighborhood busybody know it alls that you have around certain developments. On the other hand describing kids climbing around in a tree as monkeys may be insensitive but getting a ticket for it and claiming its all racial looks stupid.

"The mother told police her son and a friend were playing in a tree in front of their house in the 0-99 block of Sparrow Road when Ramirez Sliwinski came outside and told them to quit playing in the tree like monkeys, Kilbourne said.

Ramirez Sliwinski, who has been an opponent of efforts by some on the Village Board to crack down on illegal immigrants, said she meant no racial undertones by her comment.

She said the parents were outside, but she intervened because she was concerned about the boys' safety and because the small magnolia tree was being damaged.

"I went over to the kids and told them to get out of the tree," Ramirez Sliwinski said.

The father of one of the boys told her it was none of her business, she said, and "I calmly said the tree is not there for them to be climbing in there like monkeys."

There has been friction between Ramirez Sliwinski and her neighbors in the past. She said she has told them to turn down loud music and has instructed them on how to properly use the village's new garbage bins.

Ramirez Sliwinski said she intends to contest the citation in an effort to force the neighbors to talk to her.

"I have to do what I have to do to protect myself," she said. "I have to fight this ticket."

Ramirez Sliwinski said the citation and the ongoing turmoil on the Village Board have made it unlikely that she will run for re-election next year when her term expires.

Attempts to reach the neighbors for comment were unsuccessful.

"My take on this is that it is really being blown out of proportion," Village President Bill Sarto said. "To a great extent, you have to take the remarks and put them in proper context. The trustee saw children playing in a tree, and she made an observation that they should be careful because they are acting like monkeys. Had they not been in a tree, it could be inappropriate."

White-owned farms reported seized in Zimbabwe

Africa: It worked well before so lets try it again to save Mugabe's political career.

Zimbabwe militants, mostly war veterans, have forcibly seized at least 60 white-owned farms, apparently on government orders, a farmers' representative said Tuesday.

Dozens of farmers have gone into hiding for fear that their land will be taken, according to John Worsley Worswick of Justice for Agriculture, a Harare-based group that supports farmers' rights in Zimbabwe.

"We've witnessed a backlash, an outright attack on commercial farmers," Worswick said. "There are 450 farmers and workers left. ... They're in the process of being driven off their farms."

The farm seizures began sporadically Saturday and Sunday, but they have spread in the last 24 hours, he said.

In some instances, Zimbabwe police have responded, but instead of helping, the authorities are making sure the ousted farmers don't come back, Worswick said.

"Police have moved in afterward and are guarding those properties against the return of the farmers," he said.

The veterans are hard-line supporters of President Robert Mugabe, who is struggling to remain in power after a close race with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission hasn't released results from the March 29 election, but Tsvangirai has claimed victory and warned that Mugabe will try to use violence to overturn what he says is "the people's win."

Children Told they are Dogs during Mosque Visit

EU: Well, this multicultural trip went the wrong way. The sad part is the school blaming the parents because they wrote letters to a newspaper about it.

THE HAGUE, 09/04/08 - A primary school in Amsterdam wished to provide its pupils with an understanding for other cultures. But during a visit to a mosque, the children were told they were dogs.

With a view to developing understanding and respect for other cultures among children, primary school De Horizon regularly organises outings to various religious organisations. The chairman of the El Mouchidine mosque told the children from group 7 (aged 10) and their chaperones however that non-Muslims are dogs.

In a letter to the children's parents, the school expresses its regret at the incident: "We are shocked that during the guided tour, the mosque's chairman told the children and chaperoning parents that non believers were dogs. We consider this statement as unacceptable since we allow our children to partake in this project to develop respect for freedom of religious choice".

In the meantime, the school's management has addressed the mosque on the undesirable behaviour of the chairman. Both parties will say nothing further on the matter. "We will resolve the matter amongst ourselves and I have no inclination whatsoever to discuss the matter with the media", as newspaper De Telegraaf quoted the school's spokesperson Mariet ten Berge. "We have been to the mosque before and it always went well".

Angry parents had sent the letter on to De Telegraaf but were reportedly rapped on the knuckles by the school's management. "The school wishes to play this down. That is precisely the problem", as one mother commented.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Wilders Allowed to Call Islam a Fascist Ideology

EU: Free speech lives in the land of the tulips.

MP Geert Wilders does not incite to hatred or violence against Muslims. His comparison of Islam with Fascism is permissible, a district court in The Hague ruled yesterday.

The Netherlands Islamic Federation (NIF) had put forward a number of statements by the Party for Freedom (PVV) leader in a summary injunction. The NIF considered that Wilders had broken the law by comparing Islam with Fascism, calling the Koran the Islamic version of Hitler's Mein Kampf and the Prophet Mohammed a barbarian. All remarks are legal, the court decided yesterday.

The foundation demanded that Wilders take back his statements. But the court said: "A parliamentarian must be able to put forward his views." And "the right of freedom of speech is decisive here."

Wilders does not have to make a correction. This would according to the court be the same as a forced apology and therefore at odds with the principle of freedom of speech. "Regret cannot be forced with a verdict," according to the ruling.

According to the court, Fascism must be viewed more broadly than the NIF does. The federation of Turkish Muslims associates the term with "malignancies of Nazi Germany" such as the Holocaust. But the court said Fascism is a "collective term for ideologies with principles that embrace a totalitarian political system that leaves no room for dissenters."

NIF did not disprove that ideas are prevalent in Islam that are at odds with democratic principles. The group also did not succeed, according to the judge, in refuting Wilders' view of Mohammed being a barbarian.

Files connecting Hugo Chavez and FARC terrorist group.

Terrorism: Via Der Spiegel. Not surprising but this gets downplayed in America while Obama and Hillary screw around with Colombia at a time it needs more help than ever.

.....But the most important man exposed by the files on the laptop is Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez -- the same man who threatened his Colombian counterpart Alvaro Uribe with war following the cross-border raid against Reyes. Now it’s clear why: Chavez apparently does more than just sympathize with the guerrillas in his neighboring country -- he also supports them with money and arms.

Reyes’ posthumous electronic correspondence reveals that Chavez had planned a meeting with legendary FARC leader Manual Marulanda, and he wanted to invite Nicaragua’s head of state Daniel Ortega and Bolivian President Evo Morales. Another e-mail refers to a “dossier” of over $300 million for the FARC. The government in the Venezuelan capital Caracas also apparently offered the rebels a share in the country's oil business and promised decommissioned arms from the country’s own army.

Chavez insists that he has never sent the rebels money or arms. After the saber rattling with Colombian leader Uribe, he is portraying himself as a man of peace. But former rebels and intelligence experts confirm the connection with the guerrillas.

Chavez discovered his sympathy for the Marxist rebels in the early 1990s. At the time, he was a member of a group of rebellious officers who drew their ideological inspiration from the Marxist insurgent movements of the 1960s and '70s in Colombia and Venezuela. Following an attempted coup against then President Carlos Andres Perez, Chavez landed in prison. A cash injection from the FARC allegedly helped him out of his financial squeeze at the time.

....A number of their leading commanders have been killed over the past few months. And more than that, up to 200 men desert every month, no longer seeing a future in the armed struggle. Security experts estimate that over the past few years the number of guerrillas has been reduced by half to roughly 8,000. The majority of Colombians now believe that the FARC can actually be defeated militarily.

It is primarily thanks to their lucrative revenues from the drug trade that the rebels still have access to money and arms. Venezuela also plays a key role here. Authorities on drug trafficking say that approximately 30 percent of Colombian cocaine is smuggled through Venezuela on its way to Europe and the US. From their military bases on the border, Colombian soldiers observe dozens of small aircraft every day flying over Venezuelan territory, headed for Central America and Mexico.

“Venezuela is the drug trafficking mecca,” confirmed Colombian narcotics boss Luis Hernando Gomez Bustamante following his arrest last year. Former rebels say, however, that the Venezuelan authorities are directly involved in the trade. European diplomats in Caracas see a real danger in the country degenerating into a “drug state” under Chavez.

Tom Joyner show makes fun of Charlton Heston

Media: Typical of the liberal mindset on that show they would make fun of Heston for his NRA involvement and didn't even acknowledge his contribution to the civil rights movement. I know its the Joyner show, but at least give the man some respect.

Speaking of the man, here is an old story that reflects badly on the editorial cartoonists in this country more than anything else from E&P.

UK ban on Samurai Swords become law.

UK: This is what happens when you have a government who likes to ban to protect the populace and a populace who actually think this deters crime. At this rate the yo-yo will make a comeback as a weapon and/or they will just work down the list of sharp objects in the end banning the pencil.

Legislation against selling, making, hiring or importing samurai swords in England and Wales has come into force.

Those breaking the law face six months in jail and a £5,000 fine. Carrying a sword in public is already illegal.

Exemptions will cover swords which are used for re-enactments or antique weapons kept on display by collectors.

Eight years ago a councillor was killed by a man wielding a samurai sword in the office of Cheltenham Liberal Democrat MP Nigel Jones.

Anyone found guilty of importing samurai swords will face up to seven years in prison and an unlimited fine.

Samurai swords are part of Japanese history and genuine artefacts can change hands for large sums of money.

But in recent years there has been a trade in reproductions which can be bought over the internet for as little as £35 and they have been used in several attacks.

Last month a gang of youths, one armed with a samurai sword, attacked a 15-year-old boy in Newry, County Down.

On another occasion, a youth was seen brandishing a sword in Newcastle.

Chris James, who deals in antique military items, including Japanese swords, told the BBC he welcomed the legislation.

He said: "I don't have a problem with it if it stops youths getting hold of cheap reproductions."

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said: "The government takes violent crime very seriously and we are determined to do all we can to protect individuals and communities.

This is why American have a healthy wariness of authority figures.

Alf Hitchcock, of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), said: "Throughout the consultation process the Association of Chief Police Officers has supported the government's position on the banning of samurai swords.

"As I have said on previous occasions, these are not the most common weapons for people to carry and use in violent crimes but nationally there have been some significant incidents, serious assaults and murders using a samurai sword.

"So we feel the introduction of a ban is much needed."

Disarming the public to protect the public will never work. All that is happening is the creation and encouragement of a docile nation who think they are safe if they just ban objects. Criminals like that sort of environment.


Looks like they will have to ban axes next.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Armed youths storm high school in Sydney

Australia: Five of them just ran into the school with bats and knives and attacked the place. I also note the lack of any identifying features so far in any of the stories.

Five youths armed with baseball bats and knives may have been seeking revenge when they attacked a Sydney high school and its students, police say.

A teacher was struck over the head as he tried to stop the five teenagers during their rampage through Merrylands High School at Merrylands West at 8.50am (AEST) Monday, police said.

The teacher was taken to hospital and 18 students were treated for injuries suffered during the teenagers' rampage, which also left windows smashed.

When asked if the attack was retribution for something, Detective Inspector Jim Stewart of Holroyd Police said:"Possibly.

"The information to us is they were coming here ... seeking someone," he told Macquarie Radio.

But Det Insp Stewart said police had not yet established the exact motive for the attack.

"We're a bit confounded as to the reasons why," he told Fairfax Radio Network.

A male teacher was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after suffering bruising to the back of his head while trying to restrain one of the youths, the Ambulance Service of NSW said.

The attack left 18 students injured, most with cuts and abrasions from broken glass, although one girl was taken to hospital with a swollen cheek after allegedly being assaulted by one of the teenagers.

Police said five youths, all aged between 14 and 16, entered the school via the main gate on Sherwood Road and stormed an assembly in an outdoor quadrangle.

The intruders allegedly approached the gathered students brandishing baseball bats and a machete, prompting teachers to immediately lock down the school.

Students were locked inside their classrooms for safety, police said.

The boys allegedly ran through the corridors of two school buildings smashing every window they could find, showering students with glass.

When police confronted the youths, they dropped their weapons and did not resist arrest.

They were being questioned at Merrylands police station and will likely face charges of assault, affray and malicious damage.

Update# We have clues!

Bloomberg: This was ``a brazen attack on a local school,'' Inspector Jim Stewart said. The five males detained were aged between 14 and 16 and charges are yet to be made, police said.

Sydney's west includes some of the city's poorest suburbs and crime in the area is rising. House break-ins there climbed by 26 percent in the third quarter of 2006 compared with two years earlier and incidents of malicious damage rose by 15 percent, according to the Bureau of Crimes Statistics and Research in New South Wales.

SCOPICAL: Parents were meanwhile furious at both school staff and the police following being made to wait hours with little advice as to the severity of injuries, or the identities of those suffering following the attacks.

Rivalries between some High Schools are a well known existence throughout Sydney schools, however police today denied there was a problem.

One parent today blamed "those Granville boys", but was however prevented from elaborating by his teenage daughter.

Google searching Granville Boys.

Uh oh..

*Update#2* Aussie media blames American gang worship for a maori based youth gang named Gee40 who carried out the attack.

Cuban Solution: Private Farms and more consumerism.

Cuba: Its just a bit scary when Cuba is loosening things up and you have two Dem candidates who want to go more collective.

In a country where almost everyone works for the communist state, dairy farmer Jesus Diaz is his own boss. He likes it that way — and so does the government.

Living on a plot of land just big enough to graze four dairy cows, Diaz produces enough milk to sell about four quarts a day to the state.

This is independent production on a tiny scale, but it has proved so efficient that Cuba has decided on a major expansion of its program to distribute underused and fallow farmland to private farmers and cooperatives.

"It's a way for the land to end up in the hands of those who want to produce. I see it as a very good thing," said Diaz, 45. He received his land and cows from the state in 1996, and now hopes to get access to more property.

The government is preparing for a "massive distribution of land," Orlando Lugo, president of Cuba's national farming association, said last week. Private farmers have begun receiving land for the cash crops of coffee and tobacco, and will soon be able to lease state land for other crops.

The idea is to revolutionize farming, one tiny plot at a time.

Increasing food production has been a top priority for 76-year-old Raul Castro, who succeeded his brother as president in February.

While distributing farmland to individuals has been tried before in Cuba, this time the government seems willing to give up more control to get better results.

For example, it has authorized state stores to sell supplies directly to farmers — a key concession, since for decades, individuals had trouble legally obtaining so much as a shovel. The state also is providing free fertilizer and feed.

And this time, local farming associations are being empowered to oversee the land reallocation, a prerogative once reserved for the Agricultural Ministry in Havana, although Lugo added that the municipal delegations still must report to a new "central control center" lest land distribution "degenerate into chaos."

...State-controlled cooperatives operate like modern mega-farms on huge swaths of land, often using heavy equipment and sophisticated irrigation systems. The cooperatives control all kinds of crops, including signature products like sugar, though the high-quality tobacco that goes into Cuba's famous cigars is already mostly in private hands.

Many large cooperatives are losing money and failing to meet production quotas. Their workers have little incentive to improve things, since wages remain low no matter how well the farms do.

Even the Guardian is noticing the changes and wonder if it will deepen social inequality and doom Communism.

Raúl Castro knows reform is essential. Nobody starves but most Cubans struggle to put decent food on the table. Since taking over from his ailing brother Fidel in 2006, a transition confirmed with Raúl's inauguration as president last month, the 76-year-old has repeatedly spoken of the need to improve an economy, 90% of which is controlled by the government.

Only so much ruin can be blamed on the US embargo and when the Castro brothers die, taking with them the revolution's founding legitimacy, its fate will hinge on delivering better material conditions, said one Havana economist: "They know they have maybe five years to turn things around. It's fix or perish."

Sceptics say the effort is doomed. That no matter how much a moribund agriculture blossoms or how fast greater wealth trickles down, Cuba will remain an outpost of unworkable ideology until the day the place implodes.

Others paint a rosier scenario for a government with several advantages: a cowed opposition and submissive population; subsidised Venezuelan oil courtesy of President Hugo Chávez; strengthening ties with Asia and Latin America; and the example of China's and Vietnam's communists successfully riding economic liberalisation.

Modern black church shuns King's message

Culture: The fight between the prophetic and the prosperity versions of black churches. Both have their place and they do overlap. The problem begins because the prophetic mode just like the increasingly irrelevant NAACP wants to fight a 12 round bare knuckle brawl when its now more a chess match. Now its about the black community confronting the problems within and advancing with the rest of society.

Unlike the idiocy of Rev.Wright about shunning middle classness (While he is retiring to live in a gated community in a million dollar home) The appeal of the prosperity version and its success shows that black people are moving up the economic ladder. No, everything is not equal but the success of Jakes and others should be viewed as a welcomed sign.

Forty years after his death, King remains a prophet without honor in the institution that nurtured him, some black preachers and scholars say.

They also say King's "prophetic" model of ministry -- one that confronted political and economic institutions of power -- has been sidelined by the prosperity gospel.

Prosperity ministers preach that God rewards the faithful with wealth and spiritual power. Prosperity pastors such as Bishop T.D. Jakes have become the most popular preachers in the black church. They've also become brands. They've built megachurches and business empires with the prosperity message.

Black prophetic pastors rarely fill the pews like other pastors, though, because their message is so inflammatory, says Henry Wheeler, a church historian.Prophetic pastors like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor for Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, often enrage people because they proclaim God's judgment on nations, he says.

"It's dangerous to be prophetic," said Wheeler, who is also president of the Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.

"I don't know many prophetic preachers who are driving big cars and living very comfortably. You don't generally build huge churches by making folks uncomfortable on Sunday morning," he said.

.....Black prosperity preachers say their message is not based on greed, though, but self-help.

Bishop Paul Morton, senior pastor of Greater St. Stephens Full Gospel Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, says that teaching black people better money management is the "next dimension" of King's ministry.

"The Bible said that the poor we will always have with us," he said. "It's up to us to bring ourselves out of the curse of poverty."

Morton was the only black prosperity preacher contacted who agreed to talk about King's ministry. Many of the black church's most popular prosperity preachers -- the Rev. Creflo Dollar of Atlanta, Georgia; the Rev. Fred Price of Los Angeles, California; and Bishop Keith Butler of Detroit, Michigan -- all declined.

Jakes, the most popular prosperity preacher (he made the cover of Time magazine in 2001), declined to talk as well. He did, however, address his views on social justice in August on "Religion & Ethics," a PBS news program.

"I'm not against marching," Jakes said. "But in the '60s, the challenge of the black church was to march. And there are times now perhaps that we may need to march. But there's more facing us than social justice. There's personal responsibility, motivating and equipping people to live the best lives that they can."

The debate between self-help and political activism is nothing new in the black community. Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois clashed over the issue at the beginning of the 20th century. Most black prophetic teachers teach self-help along with activism.

The Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where King preached, says that prosperity preaching is not just a distortion of Jesus' message but a betrayal of the black church's heritage. The black church was formed by slaves who saw Jesus' message as a tool for social justice.

"The prophetic voice of the black church is the very reason for its being," Warnock said. "The only reason that there's such a thing as the black church is because of the question of freedom, justice and equal access."

Walton, the University of California scholar, says contemporary black churchgoers have now embraced another mission: equal access to wealth. "It's the theological doctrine of American culture," he said.

King's voice may ring out in the history books, but it no longer rings out in the black pews. Walton says the battle between the prophetic and prosperity ministers in the black church is over for now.

The Rev. Ikes have won.

"Many Americans give lip service to entering the social justice arena and speaking out against the economic and politically powerful," Walton said, "but very few of us are willing to pay the price."

"We like to identify with Dr. King in theory, though we emulate Rev. Ike in practice."

Ugh, James Bond goes Eco Warrior next film.

Entertainment: Wonderful just wonderful. Ten bucks says his weapons are now enviro safe.

"Mathieu Amalric, who plays nefarious businessman Dominic Greene in the new Bond adventure 'Quantum of Solace', will have no physical villain traits and says his evil character's anonymity makes him all the more real -- and frightening.

"It's so difficult to know who are the villains today. They look like wallpaper," Amalric, one of Frances leading screen stars, said during an interview with Reuters on a remote desert mountainside in northern Chile that will serve in the movie as an eco-tourism hotel and his lair.

"Maybe they're in banks, maybe they are the insurance companies, maybe they're in labs, even in the subprime crisis," he said.

The villain in the Bond film has always been almost as important as the world's most famous fictional spy himself, and has often reflected fears of the day, whether of nuclear war, food stability or of concentrated power.

Amalric's character is part of a sinister organization helping to restore a dictator to power in Bolivia in exchange for land rich in natural resources. The film is set in the context of global warming and growing water shortages.

"I was more thinking about something that had to do with the anonymous. With big companies, with hiding, with discretion," he said in a soft French accent. "To be discrete, to be under the sand, a chameleon, more something like that.""

I can't think of one Bond film where the villain that didn't have something distinct about him made the movie as good or better than one that did have distinctive traits.

Obama think gun owners are idiots.

Politics: Again, he goes with the middle of the road hope you are dumb enough to fall it way on gun rights.

Obama has long backed gun-control measures, including a ban on semiautomatic weapons and concealed weapons, and a limit on handgun purchases to one a month. He has declined to take a stance on the legality of the handgun prohibition in Washington, D.C., which the U.S. Supreme Court is reviewing, although Obama has voiced support for the right of state and local governments to regulate guns.

In the Senate, he and Clinton broke on one vote, in July 2006. Siding with gun-rights advocates, Obama voted to prohibit the confiscation of firearms during an emergency or natural disaster. Clinton was one of 16 senators to oppose the amendment.

A two-page white paper on Obama’s website doesn’t mention his voting record.

Instead, he introduces himself as a former constitutional law professor who “believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he greatly respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms.”

“He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns for the purposes of hunting and target shooting,” the paper states. “He also believes that the right is subject to reasonable and common sense regulation.”

Melody Zullinger, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs who received the Obama campaign e-mail on his gun record, said Obama sounds like he is “speaking out of both sides of his mouth.”

“I was at one of our county meetings last night and I mentioned this to [federation members],” Zullinger said Friday of the Obama outreach. “Everyone basically blew it off and weren’t buying it.”

Obama’s approach is similar to one advocated by Third Way, which issued a seven-step blueprint in 2006 to close the “gun gap” with Republicans. In a memo on its website, the group urges progressives to avoid silence on gun issues, and instead “redefine the issue in a way that appeals to gun owning voters.”

Hunting and target shooting but everything else is up for him to grab away from the people of this country.

Obama refuses to repudiate liberal talk show host.

Politics: and he repeats his 100 year war line. I told you a couple of posts down this is Obama's "big lie" which hinges on the media continuing to be his personal whore to keep it going thru November.

BUTTE, Mont. -- Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) declined twice Saturday to personally repudiate a liberal radio host's declaration that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a "warmonger."

At a morning stump speech in Missoula and an evening Montana Democratic Party dinner in Butte, Obama made no mention of Ed Schultz's comment, which came Friday night at a fundraiser for the North Dakota Democratic Party, which Obama later attended.

Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, "John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such. He's a supporter of a war that Senator Obama believes should have never been authorized and never been waged." But that was not enough for the Republican National Committee or the McCain campaign, which compared the situation to McCain's repudiation of comments by conservative radio host Bill Cunningham, who repeatedly mocked Obama's middle name Hussein while warming up the crowd at a McCain appearance.

"Senator Obama must personally and publicly repudiate his campaign supporter's attacks -- rather than give tacit approval to this blatant smear -- or his rhetoric of change will be exposed as nothing but words," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

McCain even broached the issue himself while speaking with reporters in Arizona. "Mr. Schultz is entitled to his views," he said. But he added, " I would hope that, in keeping with his commitment, that Senator Obama would condemn such language, since it was part of his campaign."

The Obama campaign disagreed with that assertion, noting that Schultz was speaking at a state party event, not an Obama campaign event, and that he was not an Obama campaign surrogate.

Schultz had been invited to speak at the fundraiser in Grand Forks, while Obama was in town to serve as the keynote speaker at the state's Democratic convention. Once Obama arrived at the dinner, he praised Schultz (who has been kinder to him on the air than to Hillary Clinton) as a "voice of progressive radio" and someone who "knows a little bit about sports."