Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spain still not a serious country.

EU: The liberal/socialist wet dream of a country gives rights to apes and now taking out nuke power even though more countries are looking into it as a source.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Saturday he would not extend the life of Spain's ageing nuclear plants as he repeated his government's commitment to phasing out nuclear power.
"We are committed to respecting the normal life-span of the plants unless there are urgent energy needs, and to not building new nuclear plants," he said in an interview with top-selling daily El Pais.

Zapatero's Socialist government, re-elected in March with a slightly bigger majority, had already vowed to phase out nuclear power but had not spelt out if it planned to extend the working lives of the existing plants.

Licences for the plants are to expire between 2009 and 2011, before the government's mandate runs out in 2012.

Nuclear power is unpopular in Spain and the government has instead focused on developing renewable energy like wind and solar power.

El Pais published excerpts of the Zapatero interview late on Saturday on its website. It will publish the full interview in Sunday's print edition.

Bill Clinton: Obama should kiss my ass!

Politics: Bill never forgives or forgets.

Mr Obama is expected to speak to Mr Clinton for the first time since he won the nomination in the next few days, but campaign insiders say that the former president's future campaign role is a "sticking point" in peace talks with Mrs Clinton's aides.

The Telegraph has learned that the former president's rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronising attitude to Mr Obama, and believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence.

A senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could "kiss my ass" in return for his support.

A second source said that the former president has kept his distance because he still does not believe Mr Obama can win the election.

Mr Clinton last week issued a tepid statement, through a spokesman, in which he said he "is obviously committed to doing whatever he can and is asked to do to ensure Senator Obama is the next president of the United States ".

Mr Obama was more effusive at his unity event with Mrs Clinton on Friday, speaking fondly of the absent former president, who attended Nelson Mandela's birthday celebrations in London instead. The candidate told the crowd: "I know how much we need both Bill and Hillary Clinton as a party. They have done so much great work. We need them badly."

But his aides said he has so far concentrated on cementing relations with Mrs Clinton first. They say they are content to let relations with Mr Clinton thaw gradually.

It has long been known that Mr Clinton is angry at the way his own reputation was tarnished during the primary battle when several of his comments were interpreted as racist.

But his lingering fury has shocked his friends. The Democrat told the Telegraph: "He's been angry for a while. But everyone thought he would get over it. He hasn't. I've spoken to a couple of people who he's been in contact with and he is mad as hell.

"He's saying he's not going to reach out, that Obama has to come to him. One person told me that Bill said Obama would have to quote kiss my ass close quote, if he wants his support.

"You can't talk like that about Obama - he's the nominee of your party, not some house boy you can order around.

"Hillary's just getting on with it and so should Bill."

Macho man is going out of fashion? Only on the catwalks.

Culture: Pfft, You wear your little fuchsia shirts on the catwalk, real men will still walk that aisle stylin and profilin looking like alpha males.

PARIS (AP) - As world financial markets wobble and bonuses shrink, the macho male is going out of fashion.

Paris designers showing their spring-summer collections on Saturday banished the tie and introduced a gentler take on masculinity, leaving the Gordon Gekko look in the dust.

With thousands of revelers pouring into the streets for the annual gay pride parade, French designer Franck Boclet proudly flew the pink flag at Emanuel Ungaro—but there was no message intended.

"I didn't even know it was gay pride day today!" he said. "It just so happens that fuchsia has always been Ungaro's signature color."

Boclet celebrated the house heritage with a shocking pink backdrop, but used the color sparingly in his collection.

After all, he made his name at Francesco Smalto cutting suits with a defiant swagger. Here, they were rendered in checked patterns with pants that stretched suggestively across the thigh.

As a result, a pink linen blazer seemed slightly adrift, though a purple cardigan top with a loose matching parka was a plausible option.

French actor Samuel Le Bihan, known for his tough guy image, said he had worn a pink T-shirt last summer but would not be repeating the experience.

"I tried, but I just can't do it," he said.

The Smalto image has loosened up since Swiss-Korean designer Youn Chong Bak took over the design reins three seasons ago.

Models lounged around an Italianate fountain in a chic mansion in her crisp cotton jackets paired with tailored cream bermudas, conjuring images of the spoiled millionaire Dickie Greenleaf in "The Talented Mr. Ripley".

Best of all were the waistcoats cut away in the front in the style of morning coats. These came in white linen with a tone-on-tone satin trim, or in a denim version slung over an unbuttoned white shirt.

"I think it's always more pleasant to see men who have attitude but nonetheless have a slightly soft side, because people are sick of machos," Chong Bak said.

That mood carried over to the Hermes catwalk, where the focus was on bare necklines with sailor-style sweaters that framed the collarbone.

Dutch tax at Schiphol airport means fewer passengers.

EU: Shocking, you try to tax the people more and they find ways to say screw you.

Some 50,000 fewer passengers are expected to use Amsterdam Schiphol airport, one of Europe's busiest, this summer on account of a Dutch environmental tax on flights, it was reported Saturday.

"We're expected zero growth in 2008, and in fact a decrease (in passenger numbers) in July and August," an airport spokesman was quoted as saying by the domestic ANP news agency.

The Netherlands is the only country that levies an environmental tax on flights departing the country -- 11.25 euros per passenger (17.75 dollars) for European destinations and 45 euros for intercontential points.

With higher fuel prices pushing up air fares worldwide, travel industry experts say the tax will hurt business at Schiphol and see many Dutch travellers go to nearby German airports instead.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Rogers Wireless screws Canadians with iPhone plans.

Business: This is impressive in the F you department. I usually saw this from old school AT&T. In this day and age to put out plans with the amount of web pages you see is like me touting 56k on a desktop.

Sally Quinn thinks Communion is to get closer to Tim Russert.

Stupid: Not surprising that the liberal mag Newsweek would have her in their "on faith" section. TNR has the story but this part of Quinn's response irritates me.

"I was really close to him, and I was grieving. And I thought me taking the Eucharist would be a thing that he would really enjoy. And all these things are what religion should be about. ... There's no sign out there that says you're not allowed to take Communion. [The Catholic Church is] like, "Everyone is welcome. This is God's house." God doesn't turn people away, supposedly.

I think it's really an important issue. The Pope doesn't want people who are pro-choice to take it. John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Chris Dodd, even the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, and others were not allowed. ... Frankly, none of that was going through my mind. I was feeling absolutely destroyed. It felt right to do it as a tribute to him. I wasn't thinking politically at all.

I've become a champion of pluralism and a spirit of inclusiveness. Any religious people who purport to be Christians, or whatever faith you might be, would do everything they could to welcome others--in the case of Catholics, to welcome others the way Christ would welcome others. This is a perfect example of WWJD. Would Jesus have said, "No you don't, Sally Quinn. You're not going to get away with this one!"


You don't go tramping all over someone's religion like you are testing out a couch at the store. Quinn is one of these religious light people who think every religion is pick and choose while everyone gets along fabulous together celebrate each other. The reality is much different and Quinn is finding out the hard way.

Creator of Canadian healthcare system says its wrong.

Canada: As the unhappy realities of government-run health care system makes him admit he got it wrong.

But no one will mention Claude Castonguay — perhaps not surprising because this statesman isn't an American and hasn't held office in over three decades.

Castonguay's evolving view of Canadian health care, however, should weigh heavily on how the candidates think about the issue in this country.

Back in the 1960s, Castonguay chaired a Canadian government committee studying health reform and recommended that his home province of Quebec — then the largest and most affluent in the country — adopt government-administered health care, covering all citizens through tax levies.

The government followed his advice, leading to his modern-day moniker: "the father of Quebec medicare." Even this title seems modest; Castonguay's work triggered a domino effect across the country, until eventually his ideas were implemented from coast to coast.

Four decades later, as the chairman of a government committee reviewing Quebec health care this year, Castonguay concluded that the system is in "crisis."

"We thought we could resolve the system's problems by rationing services or injecting massive amounts of new money into it," says Castonguay. But now he prescribes a radical overhaul: "We are proposing to give a greater role to the private sector so that people can exercise freedom of choice."

Castonguay advocates contracting out services to the private sector, going so far as suggesting that public hospitals rent space during off-hours to entrepreneurial doctors. He supports co-pays for patients who want to see physicians. Castonguay, the man who championed public health insurance in Canada, now urges for the legalization of private health insurance.

Bomb sniffer dogs banned from Muslims.

UK: Public safety/security should take precendent over religous beliefs.

Police sniffer dogs trained to spot terrorists at railway stations may no longer come into contact with Muslim passengers – after complaints that it is against the suspects’ religion.


A report for the Transport Department has raised the prospect that the animals should only touch passengers’ luggage because it is considered “more acceptable”.

In the Muslim faith, dogs are deemed to be spiritually “unclean”. But banning them from touching passengers would severely restrict their ability to do their job. The report follows trials of station security measures in the wake of the 2005 London suicide bomb attacks. In one trial, some female Muslims said the use of a body scanner was also unacceptable because it was tantamount to being forced to strip.
British Transport Police last night insisted it would still use sniffer dogs – which are trained to detect explosives – with any passengers regardless of faith, but handlers would remain aware of “cultural sensitivities”.

Critics said the complaints were just the latest example of minority religions trying to force their rules and morals on British society.


The body scanner complaint is interesting since over in America, CAIR has decided to run a campaign against it. Again, its because of religious beliefs which should not taken priority in these cases over security.

Mom sends daughter to school wearing 'N-word' shirt

Culture: A note to parents, using your kid to push your personal social proclivities is a suck thing to do to your child.

AMITYVILLE - Second-grader Jaiden Haber was sent to the principal's office -- not for bad behavior, but for her T-shirt's slogan.

Last week, the principal told Jaiden, 8, to change her shirt, which read, "N the 'N' Word" and "It's time!"

Jaiden's mother, Karen, 45, said teachers at Northwest Elementary in Amityville should have "seized the moment" to discuss the shirt because it aimed to encourage tolerance.

But district superintendent John Williams said the word's inflammatory effect outweighed the shirt's potential educational value. He said Amityville schools strive to regularly instill cultural lessons.

A gym teacher noticed Jaiden's shirt and sent her to the principal, who asked her to change into a school shirt because hers was a "distraction," Williams said.

That violated Jaiden's First Amendment rights, said Tara Keenan-Thomson, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union's Nassau chapter. "All students have the right to wear what they want, and this does not stop at the school gates, regardless of content or how old she is," she said.
Karen Haber said she received some of the shirts from Intrigue Concepts Inc., of Roosevelt, as payment for work done. She distributed 17 of them during Jaiden's birthday party in school a month ago.

"I never expected it to be blown up like this," Haber said. "But innocently enough, Jaiden's made an impact on society -- maybe even history."

Jaiden said she didn't understand the statement she was making with her shirt. "My mom picked it out," she said. "She thought it would look nice on me. I don't know why they made me take it off."

Karen Haber said she should have explained the shirt to her daughter, but wanted to "keep her innocent.

"Some parents criticize me for putting it on her since she's so young," Haber said. "But when I hear a 5-year-old tossing around that word, I know I would stick it on Jaiden, even if she were a newborn baby."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Too many stereotypical ethnics on BBC!

Media: Says Asian BBC chief.

A senior Asian figure at the BBC claimed last night there are too many ethnic minority faces on TV.

Dr Samir Shah, a non- executive director, accused the corporation and others of rampant tokenism in their programming.

He claimed a 'tick-box approach' to showing non-whites had left minority viewers feeling embarrassed and irritated.

The former head of current affairs at the BBC said the politically correct antics of broadcasters were creating an ' inauthentic representation of who we are'.

He blamed a 'metropolitan, largely liberal, white, middle-class elite' for ensuring ethnic minority presence on-screen 'regardless of editorial imperatives'.

Dr Shah, who also runs his own production company, said one of the 'odder and plain daft outcomes' of equal opportunities was over-compensation.

Genuine problems of discrimination against minorities were not addressed by such tokenism.

Real positions of power were still filled by a 'narrow cultural circle' of those drawn from the same elite as they always were, he said.

'I don't know if there is any systematic data on this but I think we can all agree that there is no shortage of black and Asian reporters and presenters around these days - especially on news programmes,' said Dr Shah.

'I suspect there is a goodly presence of them even in areas where Black and Asian faces are pretty thin on the ground.

....He said the 'power- elite' in TV also excluded other groups such as 'stroppy Northerners' from working class backgrounds, middle England conservatives and the disabled.

Giving a Royal Television Society speech last night, Dr Shah said many from ethnic minorities question whether programmes reflect their life experiences or world view.

The executive said many felt portrayals of non-white characters were interchangeable and inauthentic, annoying the very people they were trying to appease.


Dr Shah doesn't seem to understand he should be happy with the guilt-ridden white liberals who put minorities on the air. He better be careful or he will have to be reeducated by the power elite.

Goofy Spain to extend rights to apes

EU: In case you are wondering if Spain can be taken as a serious country with Zappo as their leader. The answer would be no.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dutch Govt Targeting Comments on Islam-Critical Websites

Culture: The Dutch have decided to go Canadian in their quest to stamp out dissent and bring happiness to their multicult society.

Govt Targeting Comments on Islam-Critical Websites

THE HAGUE, 26/06/08

The Public Prosecutor's Office (OM) appears to have launched an initiative against comments on Internet sites that are critical of the multicultural society. The OM is among other things focusing on the popular website GeenStijl.nl.

GeenStijl received a written request this week to report to a police station in Amsterdam, without further information on what it was about. GeenStijl's editors reported they were told that 14 comments on its website were punishable offences. These were contributions from visitors to the site in 2006.

GeenStijl is astonished at the move. It says it is actually very active in removing unacceptable comments. GeenStijl has three staff members for this. The site says its archives contain 11 million comments. If 14 reactions are inadmissible, this is a margin of error of 0.00001 percent, according to the site.


GeenStijl is challenging the OM to prosecute it. The site writes: "You bunch of amateurs, go and be deeply ashamed and then go and catch real crooks, instead of creating a climate in which webloggers and cartoonists are declared outlaws. As far as we are concerned, bring this case before the judge, be sure that you will lose it."

The move on GeenStijl is not isolated. Recently, cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot was arrested by 10 police for 'discriminatory' cartoons. Last week, the webmaster of the politically incorrect site Hoeiboel was summoned to the police station. What they have in common is that they are critical of Islam and immigration.

ANC: Hey don't bother Zimbabwe!

Africa: ANC has become Baghdad Bob.

Despite an increasingly thunderous chorus of complaints that Zimbabwe’s presidential runoff election will be neither free nor fair, the African National Congress, South Africa’s governing party, rejected outside diplomatic intervention on Tuesday, arguing that “any attempts by outside players to impose regime change will merely deepen the crisis.”

The A.N.C. warned against international intervention a day after the United Nations Security Council took its first action on the electoral crisis in Zimbabwe, issuing a unanimous statement condemning the widespread campaign of violence in the country and calling on the government to free political prisoners and allow the opposition to hold rallies.

But South Africa, the region’s powerhouse, is widely considered to play the pivotal role in bringing about change in neighboring Zimbabwe. While the A.N.C. came out with an unusually strong condemnation of the Zimbabwean government on Tuesday, saying it was “riding roughshod over the hard-won democratic rights” of its people, the party also insisted that outsiders had no role to play in ending its current anguish.

“It has always been and continues to be the view of our movement that the challenges facing Zimbabwe can only be solved by the Zimbabweans themselves,” the statement said. “Nothing that has happened in the recent months has persuaded us to revise that view.”


Lets see.. ANC had no problem wanting outside help in getting rid of apartheid but this current crisis no outsider allowed. Gotcha.

Mortgage bailout bill is coming soon.

Nation: So we bail out the irresponsible morons who got caught in their own flipping schemes and responsible people, some who were saving to get their own homes have to foot the bill. No such thing as personal responsibility anymore in America.

BBQ flap at Odessa Juneteenth = Slavery!

Nation: The term racism used to mean the worst of the worst was said/done via words/actions to a particular person based on their skin color. Now it seems the definition has expanded to health inspectors doing their jobs.

Leaders of the Black Cultural Council say volunteers and the black community felt "humiliated" after two health department food inspectors threatened to put a stop to a Juneteenth celebration over questions about food preparation for 600 free barbecue sandwiches.

Council President Jo Ann Davenport-Littleton said health inspectors told them it was illegal for the group to serve the sandwiches because they were not prepared at the site where they were served.

Gino Solla, the county's top health official, said state law prohibits any food service operation from having food prepared in a private home for public consumption.

"I hate that it happened," Davenport-Littleton said in a story for today's edition of the Odessa American. "I wanted people to go away talking about how great the celebration was this year. All you heard was 'They were going to deny us barbecue. Here we are in modern-day slavery again.' "

The council, which has contracted with an individual to prepare the food offsite for the past 11 years, was eventually able to serve the sandwiches Thursday after police were called to the center and a "heated" argument with the inspectors, the newspaper reported. The group is demanding an apology.

Solla said he won't apologize.

"We have to be aggressive when the public interest is involved," he told the paper. "If there was any kind of forwardness and if it was perceived as rude, that I'll apologize for. But when it comes to public health, I don't think I have any apology for that."


Health inspectors following the law is now modern day slavery. Every little slight is blown up by very stupid people into something it is not.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rep James Fagan (D-Taunton) promises to rip apart children who are raped.

Politics: All lawyers get a bad rep with jerks like this around saying disgusting crap.

Lunsford, whose daughter Jessica was raped and murdered in Florida by a repeat sex offender, will be in Massachusetts tomorrow to push lawmakers to pass Jessica’s Law, which would require a 20-year sentence for rape of a child under 12. The House passed a watered-down version of the bill last week but Lunsford and other victims’ rights activists will be pushing the Senate to include mandatory prison time in the final law.

If this bill is not going to put these people away, don’t disrespect me by putting my daughter’s name on it,” Lunsford told the Herald last night. “You have to put these guys in prison and admit these people are uncurable.”

Fagan, a defense attorney, infuriated victims’ rights advocates during a recent House debate when he said he would “rip apart” 6-year-old victims on the witness stand and “make sure the rest of their life is ruined.”

In a fiery soliloquy on the House floor, Fagan said he’d grill victims so that, “when they’re 8 years old they throw up; when they’re 12 years old, they won’t sleep; when they’re 19 years old, they’ll have nightmares and they’ll never have a relationship with anybody.”

Fagan did not return calls seeking comment.

Rep. Karyn Polito, a Republican from Shrewsbury who supports Jessica’s Law, said of Fagan’s comments: “The words speak for themselves. I think there’s a large part of the (House) membership that doesn’t agree with that.”


Monday, June 23, 2008

Marc Wadsworth with dumbest "race gaffe" ever.

UK: Boris Johnson being backed by David Cameron shows why the conservative party in the UK can be easily bullied. It started when Marc Wadsworth, professional race gadfly(think Al Sharpton) put this obnoxious question based on some other idiot "speaking" for older caribbean people living in London to Johnson's political advisor James McGrath.

"When I put to McGrath that an influential black columnist for the Voice newspaper suggested that older Caribbeans in London might want to go back to the islands from which they came after Johnson's election, surely the right response was for him to have said: "Neither Boris Johnson nor I would want that. Black people are an important and valued part of London and we want them to stay."

Instead, the arrogant apparatchik, who is himself an immigrant from Australia, snapped: "Well, let them go if they don't like it here." I was flabbergasted. Hadn't such talk from a public servant gone out of fashion decades ago?"


First of all, what the hell do they think people from the West Indies are made of to even come up with a innane question like that? This is the biased view from liberal blacks who feel government is all about handouts and protecting special spots for minorities because society is so racist they can't do without it.

This is the same kind of thinking that anyone elected to the right of Lenin in the Guardian's chatterati circle of goofs, all hell would break loose. This was a hatchet job with surprisingly a willing UK press happy to go along with misleading headlines.

This was a response of rare honesty. my first inclination if anyone poses this question saying arrogantly that a group of people based on race/sex would leave if this happened would be to shrug and say adios. But the quick overreaction by Johnson and now Cameron has made everyone realized who PC the conservative party has become and has no spine whatsoever to fight off twits like Wadsworth with his activist agenda.

Will Smith finally proud to be an American again.

Politics: Why? Black Jesus.

WILL SMITH: You know I just, I just came back from Moscow, Berlin, London and Paris and it's the first, I've been there quite a few times in the past five to 10 years. And it just hasn't been a good thing to be American. And this is the first time, since Barack has gotten the nomination, that it, it was a good thing.

T-Mobile kicks current customers in the nuts.

Business: Good news, T- Mobile will use a new pro-rated cancellation policy on phones.

T-Mobile USA is the latest mobile operator to make it easier to get out of those dreaded cell phone contracts.

On Monday the company said that it will pro-rate or reduce the cost over time of its early termination fees for contract customers. This means that customers will pay less to terminate their subscription as the end of their contract nears.

Beginning on June 28, customers with a one-year or two-year contract with T-Mobile will see their early termination fee drop from $200 to $100 if they end their contract with 91 to 180 days remaining on their agreement. If they end a contract with fewer than 91 days left on it, they will pay a termination of fee of $50. For customers who terminate their service in the last 30 days of their contract they will either pay the $50 fee or their standard monthly charge, depending on which one is cheaper.

Bad News.

The new policy only applies to new T-Mobile subscribers and subscribers who are renewing their contracts on or after June 28.

Reporters Say Networks Put Wars on Back Burner

World: Networks seem to have put the wars on the back burner around the time the violence got less and progress on most fronts were being made especially in Iraq. Lara Logan who grates on me more as an anti-war advocate than a reporter and 60 minutes can't wait for a bloodbath to report on it.

Paul Friedman, a senior vice president at CBS News, said the news division does not get reports from Iraq on television “with enough frequency to justify keeping a very, very large bureau in Baghdad.” He said CBS correspondents can “get in there very quickly when a story merits it.”

In a telephone interview last week, Ms. Logan said the CBS News bureau in Baghdad was “drastically downsized” in the spring. The network now keeps a producer in the country, making it less of a bureau and more of an office.

Interviews with executives and correspondents at television news networks suggested that while the CBS cutbacks are the most extensive to date in Baghdad, many journalists shared varying levels of frustration about placing war stories onto newscasts. “I’ve never met a journalist who hasn’t been frustrated about getting his or her stories on the air,” said Terry McCarthy, an ABC News correspondent in Baghdad.

By telephone from Baghdad, Mr. McCarthy said he was not as busy as he was a year ago. A decline in the relative amount of violence “is taking the urgency out” of some of the coverage, he said. Still, he gets on ABC’s “World News” and other programs with stories, including one on Friday about American gains in northern Iraq.

Anita McNaught, a correspondent for the Fox News Channel, agreed. “The violence itself is not the story anymore,” she said. She counted eight reports she had filed since arriving in Baghdad six weeks ago, noting that cable news channels like Fox News and CNN have considerably more time to fill with news than the networks. CNN and Fox each have two fulltime correspondents in Iraq.

Richard Engel, the chief foreign correspondent for NBC News, who splits his time between Iraq and other countries, said he found his producers “very receptive to stories about Iraq.” He and other journalists noted that the heated presidential primary campaign put other news stories on the back burner earlier this year.

Awesome: Papers Facing Worst Year for Ad Revenue

Media: Maybe just maybe if the newspaper industry crashes and burns they will get a clue on why because of their hubris, liberalism and just dumb mistakes like not taking to the internet fast enough they are in the situation they find themselves in now.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

South Africa sucks: Mugabe wins re-election after opposition pulls out

Africa: Ever see a bad situation where you are waiting for someone to step up and fix it, waiting because you know they have the juice to fix it and once they step up every one else will join?

The situation in Zimbabwe just got worse and worse with everyone looking at South Africa to step up. Not only did they not act like the leading African nation, they acted like Mugabe slave gently patting him on the arm softly saying don't do this while he is whipping the Zimbabwe brothers and sisters into submission.

Nelson Mandela is a fraud, Tutu tried but no one takes him seriously, the other nations just yelled a couple of words with no way to back it up. The UN was nothing and the West just whined a bit.

But the biggest fraud, the biggest gutless coward was South African President Thabo Mbeki. He is a failure as a leader from Zimbabwe to the deadly racist riots which everyone has been saying was coming for the last couple of years to his failure on HIV/Aids care. He cared more about sucking up to Mugabe because he didn't want to be seen answering to the evil white people in the West. Good Job.

Robert Mugabe apparently retained his presidential post Sunday after the opposition candidate dropped out of this week's runoff because, he said, asking Zimbabweans to vote was asking them to risk their lives.

"The courageous people of Zimbabwe, of this country, and the people of the MDC have done everything humanly and democratically possible to deliver a new Zimbabwe and new government," candidate Morgan Tsvangirai said after a closed-door meeting of his Movement for Democratic Change.

A government official, however, said Tsvangirai dropped out only because he fears being handed a "humiliating defeat" in the runoff.

Tsvangirai was to face Mugabe in a presidential runoff Friday after neither candidate won an outright majority in the March 29 election.

"We in the MDC have resolved that we will no longer participate in this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process," Tsvangirai said, adding that it would be dangerous for Zimbabweans to cast ballots.

"We in the MDC cannot ask them to cast their vote on the 27th when that vote could cost them their lives," he said. "We will not play the game of Mugabe."

The candidate cited violent attacks, elections rigging and arrests targeting his party as reasons for dropping out of the election.

Tsvangirai asked the United Nations "to intervene to restore the rule of law, peace and the conditions of a free and fair election."

North Korea endorses Obama.

Politics: There is something to be said when the enemies of America line up to endorse you.

It gets better via translation.

We will see a better relationship between the U.S. and the Korean Peninsula with Obama, who sternly criticizes Bush and who would meet the leader of Chosun without pre-conditions, than with the “Bush clone” and scarecrow of the neocons McCain.

Obama tells supporter to shut up about Che Guevara.

Politics: Via Newsbusters and Babalu blog.

It caused quite a scandal and Obama ultimately released a tersely worded statement pointing out the fact that Maria Isabel is not a paid employee of the campaign and that the flag was inappropriate. Obama has never addressed the issue of Guevara himself.

This is important because Maria Isabel isn't an isolated incident. Many liberals and Obama supporters have a favorable opinion of Guevara and that was demonstrated by the 15 user-generated web pages at BarackObama.com with quotes from and pictures of Che Guevara. At the time of the incident Maria Isabel didn't want to talk about Guevara or the flag. In fact she walked off an interview with the same station that had previously covered her campaign office.

Well, here we are several months later and Maria Isabel has resurfaced. Morning radio show hosts Enrique and Joe (who once crank called fidel castro) interviewed Maria Isabel. You can listen to the interview here.

What's interesting is how she tries to justify the flag by saying that her father gave it to her to remind her about the suffering of Cuba. She says "tearfully" that the "flag doesn't support fidel castro or Che Guevara. This is some rather convoluted logic. It's like hanging a Nazi flag at a synagogue to remember the holocaust. Note in the picture above that she has the flag right next to an American flag and a peace flag. For her to claim now that she is not an admirer of Che Guevara is incredible in the literal sense of the word.

But when asked why she didn't explain that to the Fox TV reporter she turns the fake waterworks off and explains how the campaign decided to handle the incident. They advised her that she could continue to speak on behalf of the campaign but was "prohibited" from talking about the flag because "what happens, what happens is that is that there are a lot of groups that, well, some people like Che Guevara and other people don't like Che Guevara and that if I appear on television talking about the flag it would cause a lot of distractions." When asked who told her that, she answers flatly, "Barack Obama."