Friday, June 6, 2008

Gay bashing in Amsterdam gets zero press in America?

Culture: GayPatroit points to a hate crime where 10 Muslim youths beat up a gay model holding a show to promote tolerance towards homosexuals. Via Instapundit.

On Rembrandt Square in Amsterdam about ten young guys of immigrant background assaulted a participant of a gay fashion show on Queen’s Day. The victim got a broken nose.

The model participated in a fashion show that was precisely organized to promote tolerance towards homosexuals. When model Mike du Pree made his second round, he got dragged from the catwalk, indecently palpated and threatened with violence.

A second model, who came to help, got hit several times. The organization considers to officially report the incident to the police. The police has started an investigation.

Geert Wilders and Martin Bosma, Members of Parliament of PVV (Partij van de Vrijheid/Party of Freedom) have asked questions in Parliament to Secretary of Gay Emancipation Plasterk. PVV gay issues spokesman Martin Bosma: ‘This shows how stong the Islamic gaybashers feel they are. Even at daylight, on Queen’s Day, in the heart of Amsterdam, they strike. Only the hardest measures could turn this sick trend. The words of Laborparty city council member Mahrach this week showed as well how normal it starts to be to see gays as second rate citizens. She argues that homosexual behavior is forbidden.

I can’t understand that the Laborparty can sink so low and has these kind of people represent them in the city council. Ms. Mahrach doesn’t share our norms and values. It would be better if she would voluntarily leave our country. Now she is only contributing to a climate that is directed against gays. The Dutch nationality of the gaybashers of Rembrandt Square should immediately be taken from them and they should be expelled from the country today. The Netherlands can show no mercy for these people who damage our society in this way. Either they will win, or we will win”

Gateway Pundit has more. GayPatroit points out that this latest crime haven't been reported in the American press or certain gay media outlets because the storyline has the wrong people as the criminals. If they were skinheads, it would be blasted all over the news media, but one minority group attacking another minority group is the same to the usual liberal suspects as a logic bomb is to a computer. If they insist on protecting gays by condemning with the same energy they would a skinhead for example, they feel they are giving comfort to their political/social enemies. Jean-Claude Dassier refusing to cover the paris riots is a perfect example of this sort of thinking.

This is nothing than escalation from previous incidents documented here since last year where gay bashing incidents have become more common place that Amsterdam is no longer considered a safe place for gay people. Here are some previous stories from last year on how bad it has gotten in Amsterdam

Amsterdam police might deploy "decoy gays"

Amsterdam Now World Leader in anti-Gay Violence.

Amsterdam 'no longer gay capital'

New reports of gay bashing in Amsterdam.

Gays not safe in Amsterdam anymore.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Australia's defense minister slams Europe for being Europe.

Afghanistan: Of course America and others do the heavy lifting while Europe sits on its ass, its been that way since forever.

Australia, the United States' largest non-NATO partner in Afghanistan, says that 10,000 more soldiers are needed to quell a resurgent Taliban and that Europe's unwillingness to commit more troops is likely to leave the task to Washington.

In a interview with The Associated Press, Australian Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said Thursday that progress in Afghanistan would remain too slow without additional troops to take more ground and secure the territory gained.

"At least 10,000 would give us the critical mass necessary to do what we need to do on the military front," he said.

But he said such a burden would probably have to be taken up because European nations are reluctant to provide reinforcements.

"I find that disappointing, frankly, because ... we are in partnership and we do need to strive for greater burden sharing," Fitzgibbon said.

"I suspect that in the end - unless attitudes change substantially - they (the U.S.) will feel that they have little choice but to do more," he added.

Europe Warns Germany About Shielding Volkswagen

EU: This is the sort of protectionist laws American Unions salvate over.

The European Commission threatened on Thursday to take Germany to court for failing to revoke a law shielding Volkswagen from a hostile takeover in the latest round in a furious legal battle over the future ownership of the car giant.

Germany had hoped to salvage an important provision of a law that safeguards the role of the state in Volkswagen, the largest European automaker.

But the commission, which polices Europe’s internal market, accused Berlin of flouting an order by the European Court of Justice to dismantle the law.

The so-called VW law, in place since 1960, gives the German state of Lower Saxony a blocking vote that effectively preserves workers from layoffs.

Tribune to cut even more costs at their newspapers.

Media: Slash the Sun-Sentinel, its basically an oversized community paper.

Tribune Company newspapers like The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune will quickly cut costs — by printing fewer papers and employing fewer journalists — top company executives said on Thursday.

Samuel Zell, the chairman and chief executive of Tribune, and Randy Michaels, the company’s chief operating officer, revealed the cuts during a conference call with Wall Street analysts.

They also said the struggling company has looked at the column inches of news produced by each reporter, and by each paper’s news staff. Finding wide variation, they said, they have concluded that it could do without a large number of news employees and not lose much content.

Mr. Michaels said of the changes, “This is going to happen quickly.”

Mr. Zell said, “I promise you he’s underestimating the level of aggressiveness with which we are attacking this whole challenge.”

A girl with learning difficulties locked up in cage in Austria.

EU: What the hell is it with Austria and locking people up in cages? Its a school for mentally and disabled children, you would think if there was one place that knew some methods to cope with the girl, it would be them.

A girl with learning difficulties was locked up inside a wooden cage by her school teachers because they could not cope with her behaviour.

The 14-year-old was penned into the tiny make-shift jail at the request of the head teacher at the Austrian school.

Karl Schmidhuber, defended the schools decision to keep the girl in the four metre square wooden box.

He claimed the girl, known only as Sandra, was violent and disruptive during lessons and that locking her up was the only solution.

Mr Schmidhuber runs a school for mentally and physically disabled children. The school's caretaker made the wooden cell.

"I understand the commotion but I don't know what else we should have done," he told the Daily Mirror.

The local council in the small town of Hartheim has banned the school from using the cage after they discovered what had been going on.

Mr Schmidhuber said that Sandra was impossible to control.

"Sandra cannot be calmed down.

"Pupils and teachers take antibiotics so their wounds from scratches and bites do not get infected," he added.

Prosecutors in Austria are thought to be examining whether any laws have been broken.

BBC first look at the Tata Nano

India: The world's cheapest car and the thinking behind getting the costs down in some areas is simple to the point you would overlook it.

Clint Eastwood bitch slaps Spike Lee again.

Entertainment: Spike Lee just likes to hear himself yap and sometimes the subjects punches back.

Clint Eastwood has advised rival film director Spike Lee to "shut his face" after the African-American complained about the racial make-up of Eastwood's films.

In an interview with the Guardian published today, Eastwood rejected Lee's complaint that he had failed to include a single African-American soldier in his films Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima, both about the 1945 battle for the Japanese island.

"The story is Flags of Our Fathers, the famous flag-raising picture, and they didn't do that. If I go ahead and put an African-American actor in there, people'd go: 'This guy's lost his mind.' I mean, it's not accurate." Referring to Lee, he added: "A guy like him should shut his face."

...Defending the racial make-up in his films as historically accurate, Eastwood referred to another of his films, Changeling, which was set in Los Angeles before the city had a large group of African-Americans. "What are you going to do, you going to tell a fuckin' story about that?" he said. "Make it look like a commercial for an equal opportunity player? I'm not in that game. I'm playing it the way I read it historically, and that's the way it is. When I do a movie and it's 90% black, like Bird, then I use 90% black people.

"He was complaining when I did Bird (the 1988 biopic of Charlie Parker). Why would a white guy be doing that? I was the only guy who made it, that's why. He could have gone ahead and made it. Instead he was making something else."

Eastwood's next project, The Human Factor, will be about Nelson Mandela's attempts to foster national unity in post-apartheid South Africa. Asked if he would remain historically accurate with depictions of the former president, he said: "I'm not going to make Nelson Mandela a white guy."

Now Denmark ready to surrender to Islamic Terrorism.

EU: Europe is such a disappointing bunch of countries, they will stand for something, get punched and now want to go in the fetal position.

Now that the ultimate terror weapon — a suicide bomber — has been deployed against a Danish target, the DPP is sounding the trumpets and calling for special troops to defend Denmark's diplomatic missions; its foreign policy spokesman, Soren Espersen, compared the country's exposure to that of the U.S. and Israel. But others aren't so sure that Denmark ought to be engaged in a battle this big. "We have moved from being a small insignificant and neutral country without any military importance to being considered an extremely active participant in a more militant western world," says Islam expert Jorgen Baek Simonsen of the University of Copenhagen.

What was in 2005 a general Danish consensus to stand firm is crumbling as the stakes rise. Margrethe Vestager, leader of the opposition Social Liberal Party, said Denmark should look towards "dialogue rather than conflict." Referring to "the government's xenophobic agenda," Holger K. Nielsen of the Socialist People's Party said, "Things have gotten out of control. We must discuss whether we have to constantly get involved in places where we are most hated."

If the Danes' spirited defense of free speech in 2005 was a matter of principle, they now face a sobering balancing act: how to back off without seeming to back down. "The government knows that we are driving on the edge and will have to slow down," says Hans Mouritzen of the Danish Institute of International Studies. "They will deny it in public, but you will see a government beginning to conduct a less activist foreign policy." If so, the Islamabad bombing will have marked a key moment in the ongoing calibration over how loudly any small country can afford to roar.

Time: Recession May Be Driving Off Illegals

Immigration: Time mag brings a new angle of illegals wanting to leave because of recession but are afraid to because of increased border security.

"So are undocumented workers headed home? Perhaps — though it's not that simple. In a naturally free labor market, high unemployment would prod many immigrants to just pack themselves up and go back home. This is called "self-deportation," the Holy Grail of everyone from hardhearted nativists to compassionate immigration reformers. It avoids the unseemly mess of raids and detention centers. It's more humane, it's cheaper, it's more effective.

But self-deportation is complicated by the increasingly sealed U.S.-Mexico border. Fewer people are coming into the U.S., says Douglas Massey, Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. But fewer people are voluntarily leaving. They worry that they'll never be able to sneak back in if they leave now. And it's so expensive and risky to cross these days that those who have already made it over feel extra pressure to stay and make good on their gamble to come to the States, even if that means waiting out a recession. "A lot of [undocumented workers] settled down here after we militarized the border," says Massey.

Still, there has been undeniable attrition in the illegal population. Remittances sent to Mexico were nearly flat from 2006 to 2007, a stagnation that Mexico�s central bank blamed on slackening immigration. The U.S. Border Patrol reports that from January 1 to May 15 of this year, apprehensions of illegal immigrants were down 15% from the same period in 2007. The question is what's driving this apparent decline: a stagnant economy or heightened immigration crackdowns?

For Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, the answer is clear. "What we've seen over the past year or so," he says, "is that immigration services have been given a green light by the White House to actually do its job." A bad economy may grease an exodus, he says, but it wouldn't even start without the threat of enforcement."

How Hugo Chavez Courted FARC

World: Interesting story that fills out the relationship between the terrorist group, Ecuador and Chavez.

The rebels are now more dependent than ever on their guardian angel, Hugo Chavez. But Chavez is maintaining a low profile. After Reyes's death, he urged the Venezuelan congress to observe a minute of silence, and he even sent troops to the Colombian border in an attempt to intimidate Venezuela's neighbor. But he offered no comment, at least initially, on Marulanda's death. At the Latin America-European Union summit in Peru two weeks ago, "Angel" sought to portray himself as a man of peace.

With his back to the wall, Chavez is trying to ingratiate himself with his counterparts once again. Hundreds of e-mails on Reyes's laptops, many of which SPIEGEL has obtained, expose him as an accomplice of the narco-terrorist guerilla organization.

....Experts estimate that at least one-third of all cocaine from Colombia is smuggled to Europe and the United States through Venezuela, with the authorities apparently turning a blind eye to the activities. According to government sources in Bogota, Colombian soldiers at a military base on the border observe dozens of planes carrying drug transports in neighboring Venezuela on a daily basis.

In addition, Chavez apparently provided thousands of Colombians, including many of the guerillas, with Venezuelan papers. Intelligence agencies fear that senior members of FARC have also traveled to Germany using Venezuelan passports -- tourists from Chavez's Venezuela are given more lax treatment when entering the country than Colombians.

Chavez also apparently helped the FARC rebels obtain weapons by putting them in touch with two Australian arms dealers. His intelligence agents promised FARC that they would get them parts to build surface-to-air missiles. In an e-mail to Reyes on March 1, 2007, FARC commander Timochenko wrote that the Venezuelans would "guarantee travel for one of our men to the Middle East, so that he can take a course in the use of the missiles." The purchase of complete weapons systems, Timochenko wrote, is "very complicated, because of the existing inspections."

U.S. Rep. William Jefferson relatives charged with fraud

Politics: Welcome to New Orleans baby!

A brother, sister and niece of indicted U.S. Rep. William Jefferson were charged Wednesday with pocketing more than $600,000 in state and federal grant money intended for charitable and educational projects.

A federal grand jury indicted New Orleans tax assessor Betty Jefferson, her brother, Mose Jefferson, and her daughter, Angela Coleman, on charges that include federal program fraud, identity theft and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

U.S. Attorney Jim Letten said the family members used several nonprofit and for-profit companies to obtain grants designed to help pregnant teens, at-risk youths and others in need of assistance. They allegedly deposited some of the grant money into personal checking accounts and used it for personal expenses.

"It's fair to say that the allegations in the indictment are very instructive on how such nonprofits can be exploited," Letten said.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Critics of embryo research are 'absurd', says church academic

UK: When academia is involved you get the rationalization of the educated who are not very smart.

One of the Church of England's leading academics today dismissed objections to hybrid animal-human embryo research by others of his faith as 'absurd'.

The Rt Rev Richard Harries, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, told an audience that it was an 'extra-ordinary' position to think of every fertilised embryo as a living soul.

The former Bishop of Oxford said his position differed from the 'more conservative' Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams who recently used the word 'rape' in connection with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

Lord Harries told Cheltenham Literature Festival: 'We now know that two-thirds of fertilised eggs are lost anyway in nature.

'If each of those really is an eternal soul it seems we have the extra-ordinary position - and I know it seems rather vulgar - that Heaven would be populated by people that have never been born! That's absurd.'

He added: 'When the Bill was going though there was talk about creating Frankensteins, but it's crucial to remember that we are only talking about animal and human material for the first 14 days.

'I know of no scientist wanting to do experiments after 14 days and there is a law that says the egg cannot be implanted in a woman's womb.

'We have got something firm to hold on to and I see no reason that we will go down a road that is genuinely worrying.

'Rowan Williams takes a more conservative position. He says that these experiments on early embryos are effectively commodifying and instrumentalising human life and doing it as a means to an end.'

He concluded: 'We have to remember that these experiments are going on for an overridingly good purpose.

'There's a whole range of very serious diseases that could ultimately be cured. I don't think the objections are strong enough to override that fundamentally good objective.'

"overridingly good purpose" There is the rationalization at work. If we do A to cure B then why not. Its a slippery slope of expanding human experiments to the point where there is no line. No scientist or company is going to stop just at one point.

Deadbeat Rep. Laura Richardson wins her race.

Politics: You remember her right?

Now that Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach) has won her party's nomination to her first full term in the House, she can spend some time getting her own financial house -- houses, actually -- in order. As reported by the Capitol Weekly and the Daily Breeze, she skipped mortgage payments on her residence in Long Beach, another house in San Pedro and, for good measure, a third one she bought in Sacramento during her abbreviated stint as a state lawmaker.

Richardson shorted the Sacramento County tax collector by about $9,000 in property taxes on her home south of the state Capitol. Capitol Weekly reported that she bought that house with no money down, then walked away from the loan and left the bank holding the bag. The house was sold at auction, but the congresswoman said the sale was improper and that she and her lender have renegotiated her loan. Let's hope that she hasn't yet bought herself a new place in Washington.

The scandal that she is a serial deadbeat didn't stop the people from voting her in the house considering she has no opponent this fall.

South Bay Rep. Laura Richardson waltzed to an easy victory Tuesday in her 37th Congressional District race despite revelations in recent weeks of the congresswoman's financial struggles.

With all 333 precincts reporting, Richardson, D-Long Beach, had an overwhelming 75 percent of the vote. Her two opponents, Cypress College professor Peter Mathews and community newspaper publisher Lee Davis, had 17 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

No other party is fielding a candidate to challenge Richardson in the November general election for the 37th District, which includes most of Long Beach, Carson, Compton and Signal Hill.

Both challengers had run against Richardson last year in a special election, and while they were losing by huge margins again this time, the results were a step up.

All this proves is that her values and character seem to click with 75% of the voters. That says a lot about her voters

Obama begins to slow the oceans and heal the planet.

Politics: Black Jesus is going to heal the planet and you mothers better be on board!

He vowed that despite the difficulties ahead: "I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless.

"This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth."

You thought John Edwards promising to make handicapped people walk was ridiculous. Black Jesus topped that by a mile but the difference is he has people who actually believes his nonsense.

Hugo Chavez reorganizes spy agencies, then gets paranoid.

World: When will everyone get their papers.. ze papers!.

A new intelligence law brought in by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has caused concern among rights groups who say it threatens civil liberties.

Mr Chavez argues the law will help Venezuela guarantee its national security and prevent assassination plots and military rebellions.

The new law requires Venezuelans to cooperate with intelligence agencies and secret police if requested.

Refusal can result in up to four years in prison.

The law allows security forces to gather evidence through surveillance methods such as wiretapping without obtaining a court order, and authorities can withhold evidence from defence lawyers if it is considered to be in the interest of national security.

One part of the law, which explicitly requires judges and prosecutors to cooperate with the intelligence services, has caused concern among legal experts.

"Here you have the president legislating by decree that the country's judges must serve as spies for the government," Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas Director for Human Rights Watch, said.

Marrying your cousin not so bad for babies health wise.

Culture: This the next battle after we get done with the inevitable polygamy debate?

WA scientists are challenging the myth that inbreeding always leads to unhealthy babies.

The highly contentious, often-tabooed practice has in the past been linked to deformities such as heart disease, mental retardation, deafness and even blindness.

Australian research published in 2001 showed that babies born to first-cousins are nearly three times more likely to have serious birth defects.

But Professor Alan Bittles, a director at the Centre for Comparative Genomics at Murdoch University, who has spent 30 years researching the topic says most children born to first-cousins are healthy.

In WA, about 500 marriages are between first-cousins.

“In Western culture there is a general belief that first cousin marriages lead to negative genetic outcomes, yet a large majority of children born to first cousins are healthy,” he said.

Prof Bittles reviewed 48 studies from 11 countries and found that the risks of birth defects rose from about 2 per cent in the general population to 4 per cent in consanguineous or same blood couples.

He found that only 1.2 per cent suffered higher infant mortality rates, a find similar to another review from 2002 that suggested first-cousin children are less than 3 per cent more likely to have genetic deformities.

The issue has sparked a major medical debate with some researchers and politicians claiming inbreeding between first-cousins in UK has led to a rise in rare recessive disorders – many of them fatal.

Prof. Bittles was the lead speaker at the Royal Society of Medicine in East London this week where these divisions were hotly disputed.

Speakers at the event argued that warnings on the negative genetic consequences of such unions should be as prominent as alcohol and tobacco cautions.

Einstein and Darwin married their first-cousins, so did Jerry Lee Lewis and Jessie James and according to Prof. Bittles about 500 West Australians have followed suit.

Mark Steyn kangaroo court trial.

Culture: Andrew Coyne is doing running coverage of this disgusting assault on free speech and free press in Canada against Mark Steyn.

G.M. shuts down the Hummer and SUV lines.

Bidness: American car makers wouldn't be in the mess they are in if they would just think ahead of the curve once in a while. All of them had time to aggressively make more fuel efficient vehicles on all levels and now are caught in a bind of their own making.

For now big vehicles are taking a hit because of the lack of mpg, but once the technology gets better and the mpg in them gets higher, they will be back. Americans love big cars too much for them to go away forever

When the art of mooning goes horribly wrong.

Weird: Pushing your butt against an object that can break is not recommended when you want to moon.

Utrecht police say a 21-year-old Dutch man is recovering after a "mooning" that went horribly wrong.

A police statement says the man and two others had run down a street in Utrecht with their pants pulled down in the back "for a joke."

It says that at one point the 21-year-old "pushed his behind against the window of a restaurant" that broke and resulted in "deep wounds to his derriere."

The statement released Tuesday says police detained the three men after the incident Sunday morning. But the cafe owner decided not to press charges after the men agreed to pay for the broken window.

The injured man was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital.

Drop 'middle-class' academic subjects says schools adviser

UK: History, geography and science are not important and middle class creations to be stepping stones to wealth, but debt management and energy savings skills are important. Who let this idiot on the board? This is why parents flee state schools for private education when you have someone like this saying discard what has worked to skills that is learned by trial and error or an afternoon seminar.

Professor John White, who contributed to a controversial shake-up of the secondary curriculum, believes lessons should instead cover a series of personal skills.

Pupils would no longer study history, geography and science but learn skills such as energy- saving and civic responsibility through projects and themes.

He will outline his theories at a conference today staged by London's Institute of Education - to which he is affiliated - to mark the 20th anniversary of the national curriculum.

Last night, critics attacked his ideas as "deeply corrosive" and condemned the Government for allowing him to advise on a new curriculum.

...The professor believes the origins of our subject-based education system can be traced back to 19th century middle-class values.

While public schools focused largely on the classics, and elementary schools for the working class concentrated on the three Rs, middle-class schools taught a range of academic subjects.

These included English, maths, history, geography, science and Latin or a modern language.

They "fed into the idea of academic learning as the mark of a well-heeled middle- class", he said last night.

The Tories then attempted to impose these middle-class values by introducing a traditional subject-based curriculum in 1988.

But this "alienated many youngsters, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds", he claimed.

The professor, who specialises in philosophy of education, was a member of a committee set up to advise Government curriculum authors on changes to secondary schooling for 11 to 14-year-olds.

The reforms caused a row when they were unveiled last year for sidelining large swathes of subject content in favour of lessons on issues such as climate change and managing debt.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

MSNBC producer cries realizing Obama getting the nomination.

Media: MSNBC in the tank for Obama? Naw.

I had to rewind my DVR this morning when I heard Mika Brezinski reveal this tidbit about her news producer. It isn’t just Chris Matthews who gets emotional about MSNBC’s chosen son. Mika reveals that her producer cried when she realized that Barack Obama was going to receive the nomination.

How anyone could expect an impartial newscast from a producer who is that emotionally involved is beyond me. As a producer, she has a lot of control about what gets reported and how it is presented. The admission by Brezinski says a lot about MSNBC’s tone when it comes to covering Barack Obama.

So who is the producer?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Illegal Immigration Prosecutions Hit New High, critics unhappy.

Immigration: Its good to see fellow Americans concerned that prosecuting illegal immigrants may put a strain on the court system. It shows a civic minded person who is concerned about these problems and not making some lame excuse because these procedures are actually working.

Federal law enforcement agencies have increased criminal prosecutions of immigration violators to record levels, in part by filing minor charges against virtually every person caught illegally crossing some stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to new U.S. data.

Officials say the threat of prison and a criminal record is a powerful deterrent, one that is helping drive down illegal immigration along the nearly 2,000-mile frontier between the United States and Mexico. Skeptics say that the government lacks the resources to sustain the strategy on the border and that the effort is diverting resources from more serious crimes such as drug and human smuggling.

Before Operation Streamline, as the program is known, most Mexican nationals caught at the border were fingerprinted and returned to Mexico without criminal charges. Since 2005, people other than Mexicans are generally held until removed.

In testimony to Congress this spring, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said that Operation Streamline "is a very good program, and we are working to get it expanded across other parts of the border" because "it has a great deterrent effect." The program is now in place in parts of Texas and Arizona.

But Melissa Wagoner, a spokeswoman for Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), said there is a shortage of jail beds and public defenders in areas where the program is operating. "Operation Streamline in its current form already strains the capabilities of the law enforcement system past the breaking point," she said.

Can't speak bad about Senator Kennedy now he is ill(New political meme) and talk about what a rotten open border lout he has been for decades.

How well is the program working?

First piloted in December 2005 near Del Rio, Tex., Operation Streamline requires that virtually everyone caught illegally crossing segments of the border be charged with at least a misdemeanor immigration count and jailed until they are brought to court and, if convicted, eventually deported. A conviction jeopardizes any future legal entry to the United States.

Federal officials credit the program and other measures for contributing to a 20 percent drop in apprehensions of illegal immigrants on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2007, to 859,000. That figure is on track to drop an additional 15 percent this year.

While apprehension statistics can be misleading -- they obviously do not account for border-crossers who evade capture -- federal authorities say the decline coincides with a decrease in financial remittances from illegal immigrants in the United States to families in Mexico.

In areas where it has been applied -- which total about 500 miles, or one-fourth of the border -- Operation Streamline has slowed border traffic more substantially.

The number of apprehensions fell by nearly 70 percent in the last quarter of 2008 along a 120-mile stretch near Yuma, Ariz., after the program was phased in between December 2006 and June 2007, and by nearly 70 percent along the 210-mile span near Del Rio. Apprehensions fell 22 percent after Operation Streamline was initiated in October along 171 miles near Laredo, Tex.

Now they need to expand across the important border points as the carryover effect is it makes it less likely for illegals to come over. Critics argument if its true that its takes away from other cases only shows more resources are needed, not less prosecution.

Manufacturing Jobs Come Back to Southern Va.

Bidness: Carrying the boom is Ikea. Good story and the weakening dollar and high energy prices in a roundabout way is making America more attractive to foreign companies to make their products here instead of shipping them.

Manufacturers gave up on this small town in Southside Virginia years ago. Textiles disappeared. Tobacco wilted. But scrappy little Danville refused to give up on itself.

Last week, its determination paid off when Ikea celebrated the opening here of its first furniture factory in the United States. Ikea, a Swedish company that has about a dozen factories in Europe, said it chose Danville in part because of the large, skilled labor force eager to work after years of layoffs and downsizing. The city paved its entry with new facilities, secured permits and state tobacco commission grants.

"You have two choices here: You can fold up and die, or you can get it together," said Anne Moore-Sparks, a project manager with the city's Office of Economic Development. "They come in here, and they see we have all the players in place and we are hungry."

The powerful global economic forces that swept away thousands of jobs over the past two decades are now working in Danville's favor. The weakening dollar has made the United States more attractive to foreign investors. Companies from England, Canada and India have recently opened operations or expanded in Danville.

At the same time, skyrocketing oil prices have increased transportation costs. Shipping Ikea's popular Expedit bookshelves to the United States, for example, costs more than it does to make them, said Joseph Roth, the company's U.S. public affairs manager.

"This decade, right now, is probably the strongest in advanced manufacturing that we've seen in years," said Liz Povar, director of business development for the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. "The time has come ripe for them."

New companies are moving in to breathe life into once-tired economies across the industrial corridor in central and southwestern Virginia and in Southside, a strip of generally poor counties in the south-central part of the state.

Rolls-Royce announced plans last year to open an assembly and test facility for its civil aerospace operations south of Richmond in Prince George County, bringing 500 jobs. Earlier this year, RTI International Metals said it would spend $100 million to build an industrial park in Henry County where it will manufacture titanium for the aerospace industry. This month, Canon Virginia promised to invest $600 million to expand its operations in the Hampton Roads area, creating more than 1,000 jobs.

For Danville, the arrival of a global company with Ikea's cachet -- the plant is part of the company's Swedwood manufacturing division -- is a sign that the scars from unemployment rates that hit double digits in the 1990s may finally be fading.

Pope cancels meeting to avoid Iran's Ahmadinejad

Politics: There is something the educated white liberal less religious supporters of Obama can crow about, their guy is willing to meet someone even the Pope goes great lengths to avoid.

Benedict XVI has cancelled meetings with seven world leaders to avoid an encounter with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.

A delegation of eight Iranians from the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation, including Mahdi Mostafavi, one of Mr Ahmadinejad’s inner circle, came to Rome for a two-day meeting at the end of April and agreed religion should be a force for peace.

However, the Pope was keen to avoid the glare of publicity that would have been triggered by a one-to-one meeting with Mr Ahmadinejad.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, President Cristina Kirchner of Argentina, President Evo Morales of Bolivia and several African leaders also asked for a papal meeting.

The Vatican briefly considered a single audience for all the heads of state.

However, it eventually decided to refuse all the requests in order to avoid any potential embarrassment. It did not comment further on the decision.

More illegal immigrants leaving America.

Immigration: More evidence that a crackdown on illegal immigration and a little enforcement can go a long way.

UK: Christian preachers face arrest in Birmingham

UK: This involves the West Midlands police which earlier this year had to pay UK's Channel 4 and say sorry for investigating them over a documentary about Muslim extremists. Now one of their officers stopped two guys from preaching the gospel.

Arthur Cunningham, 48, and Joseph Abraham, 65, both full-time evangelical ministers, have launched legal action against West Midlands Police, claiming the officer infringed their right to profess their religion.

Mr Abraham said: "I couldn't believe this was happening in Britain. The Bishop of Rochester was criticised by the Church of England recently when he said there were no-go areas in Britain but he was right; there are certainly no-go areas for Christians who want to share the gospel."

The preachers, both ministers in Birmingham, were handing out leaflets on Alum Rock Road in February when they started talking to four Asian youths.

A police community support officer (PCSO) interrupted the conversation and began questioning the ministers about their beliefs.

They said when the officer realised they were American, although both have lived in Britain for many years, he launched a tirade against President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Cunningham said: "I told him that this had nothing to do with the gospel we were preaching but he became very aggressive.

"He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station."

...West Midlands Police, who refused to apologise, said the incident had been "fully investigated" and the officer would be given training in understanding hate crime and communication.

More details from the Daily Mail including the name of the officer.