Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mimicking of Black Newscaster lands ITV with £5m lawsuit

I only bring this up because only in the UK would mimicking other people from all accounts good fun be taken seriously in lawsuit. This Lisa Aziz lady seems to be pretty humorless.

AN ITV newsreader has been accused of imitating Sir Trevor McDonald by a female presenter who is bringing a £5m racism and ageism case against the television company.

Lisa Aziz, the first Asian news presenter to appear on national terrestrial television, claims that Steve Scott “regularly mimicked” the famous Afro-Caribbean newsreader’s accent during rehearsals.

Scott, a former ITN Africa correspondent and a regular presenter of ITV’s lunchtime and weekend news bulletins, is also alleged, in papers prepared for an employment tribunal, to have imitated Pakistani and Irish accents and the accent of Alex Beresford, the black ITV weatherman.

The troubled television firm has been forced to launch an internal investigation into allegations of racism at ITV West Country in Bristol where Aziz and Scott co-presented the nightly news programme until she was suspended over alleged expenses irregularities in June.

Although the investigation has cleared Scott of racism, the presenter has decided to stop doing his impersonations.

Scott declined to comment on the claims. But he has told friends that he has never imitated McDonald and his imitations of other colleagues are in good humour and “definitely not racist”.

Its one of those ageism suits where the old and busted accuses someone of getting rid of them for new hotness. This case it was four hotnesses.

Aziz, a 47-year-old single mother of two and a guest at Chequers of Sarah and Gordon Brown, is suing ITV for race, sex and age discrimination.

She claims she was “set up” by senior ITV managers on a bogus expenses-fiddling charge.

She alleges that they wanted to remove her from her £160,000-a-year post as part of a cost-cutting exercise. The company denies the charges.

In papers submitted to her legal team in preparation for the case, she alleges that she is a victim of “a cult of youth” in which “institutional ageism” in TV treats older female staff less favourably than older male staff.

In an interview last week she claimed that, like Selina Scott and Moira Stewart, she has been “targeted for removal” in favour of younger women presenters. “I have been replaced by four blondes in their twenties and thirties,” she said.

Four blondes in their twenties and thirties? It seems to be a helluva bargain.

Norwood says her black supporters ‘have been threatened’

I love a good race angle in politics and I believe some black voters who show they are supporting her will be threatened by some other ignorant black people who think you vote based on color instead of who has the better qualifications to you.

An contentious exchange on race relations marked the beginning of Saturday evening’s debate between Atlanta mayoral candidates Kasim Reed and Mary Norwood on WAGA-TV.

.... But Norwood, a member of the City Council, contradicted the former state senator in this follow-up exchange with Morse Diggs:

Diggs: Some of your black supporters say that they have been harassed and intimidated because they are supporting a white candidate. There’s still an edge out there. What does that say about the level of race relations where we’re at right now? Are we still a divided city?

Norwood: Morse, I have been very saddened, that the people that have been supporting me, who are so courageous, have been threatened. The people who have gone up to their doors, and knocked on their doors, and have said, “What are you doing supporting this woman?”

And it is coming from other camps. It has been going on for a while. We have had our yard signs – just every day – taken away. So we have seen evidence of just not great, not appropriate behavior.

I think the citizens of the mayors of Atlanta deserve to have the mayor they want, whoever that mayor is. And so I’m very hopeful that the harassment will cease.

Diggs: What are you telling those supporters who have been harassed?

Norwood: That I will do everything in my power to protect them. That I have alerted the police department, just to make sure that they are riding through neighborhoods where Mary Norwood signs are, because there are people who have been very concerned.

(Guardian) Obama to offer emissions target

It sounds like one of those throw a number out to make people think Obama is leading the charge to save world and make the rising seas lower but not actually do anything about it kinda like Australia.

President Barack Obama is considering setting a provisional target for cutting America's huge greenhouse gas emissions, removing the greatest single obstacle to a landmark global agreement to fight climate change.

The Observer has learnt that administration officials have been consulting international negotiators and key players on Capitol Hill about signing up to a provisional target at the UN global warming summit in Copenhagen, now less than three weeks away.

Todd Stern, the state department climate change envoy, said the administration recognised that America had to come forward with a target for cutting its emissions. The US, which with China is responsible for 40% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, is the only major developed nation yet to table an offer.

"What we are looking at is to see whether we could put down essentially a provisional number that would be contingent on our legislation," Stern said from Copenhagen, where he was meeting Danish officials. "We are looking at that, there are people we need to consult with."

A provisional target – if accepted by other nations – would solve Obama's dilemma. The Senate will not have passed a domestic law before Copenhagen, meaning that, if he makes an offer there, it could subsequently be rejected in Washington. But if he makes no offer, the deal is likely to crash anyway, and with it hopes of rapidly combating global warming.

Health care Reform tax would hit H1N1 vaccine manufacturers

Lets see.. Tax the business, the business puts those costs into their prices and the taxpayers who buy the H1N1! vaccine now pay more for those very drugs. Smart power!

In an attempt to illustrate the real world consequences of reform's taxes, Senate Republicans are pointing out a provision that would tax the makers of swine flu vaccines and drugs. The provision raises $2.3 billion annually from drug makers who sell their products through government programs.

“When everybody is coming together to fight a possible pandemic the last thing the government should be doing is taxing the people who manufacture the vaccines and the drugs to treat H1N1 flu,” said a Senate Republican leadership aide.

Naval Academy subs two white guys out for diversity sakes.

In the ever increasing trend where people get positions based on diversity instead of merit, you would think the Naval Academy who thrives to put out the best of the best would fall into that pathetic drivel way of thinking... you would think.

Naval Academy leaders removed two midshipmen from a color guard that performed at the World Series last week because they were white men, and replaced them with a non-white man and a white woman so the academy could present a more “diverse” profile, according to several sources, a move that has reportedly angered mids and alumni.

As it turned out, the color guard still ended up all white because the male replacement forgot parts of his uniform.

Two white, male members of the color guard learned Oct. 28 they were being replaced with a white woman, Midshipman 2nd Class Hannah Allaire, and a non-white man, Midshipman 2nd Class Zishan Hameed, on orders of the school’s administration, according to an internal e-mail message provided to Navy Times by an academy professor. With a national television audience, Naval Academy leadership worried the color guard it planned to send wasn’t diverse enough, the e-mail said.

I would hope the replacements would be pissed off and refuse the spots based on the fact they got picked because of their gender and color not because they earned would hope....

There needs to be a top down review of this decision and Naval Academy Commandant Capt. Matt Klunder should answer why it happened and promises it never happens again.

Mary Landrieu: Case Study of a Political Whore.

To riff off the ancedote about Bernard Shaw haggling over the price with a woman, we find out that Landrieu's price is $100 million.

Whoops mah bad! She is worth $300 million.

Mattel creates Burka Barbie doll for charity.

Problem is you can't play with it without the Ken Doll Present.

One of the world's most famous children's toys, Barbie, has been given a makeover - wearing a burkha.

Wearing the traditional Islamic dress, the iconic doll is going undercover for a charity auction in connection with Sotheby's for Save The Children.

More than 500 Barbies went on show yesterday at the Salone dei Cinquecento, in Florence, Italy.

Makers Mattel are backing the exhibition which is the work of Italian designer Eliana Lorena.

The auction is part of Barbie celebrations for her 50th anniversary this year. The UK's biggest Barbie fan Angela Ellis, 35, has a collection of more than 250 dolls.

The company director of Laird Assessors from The Wirral, Cheshire, said: 'Bring it on Burkha Barbie, I think this is a great idea.

'I think this is really important for girls, wherever they are from they should have the opportunity to play with a Barbie that they feel represents them.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fox's Glee an anti- Christian show?

Newsbusters is up in arms and from the video/transcript they are right. But its Hollywood, the only bad guy approved for showing are Christians and/or Conservatives. Its the whole idea of people judging you that ticks off the Hollywood crowd because they have a belief system warped into thinking that its not right to judge.

Second day of the Heather Ellis trial.

My feelings on the case here The video was released where Heather Ellis was shown pushing back the other customer's items back but the actual fight between her and the officers occurred off camera when she went outside.

The Daily Dunklin Democrat(Video)

News Channel 3 (video)

AP: Walmart workers testify in Ellis trial in Kennett

She acted like an entitled diva prick, but 15 years for assaulting cops seems excessive unless they can get witnesses or video showing her losing it on the cops.

AP: Muslim countries seek worldwide blasphemy ban

10 years ago if this came up, I would be confident in saying the rest of the world that values free speech would tell them go screw. Now, I am thinking Canada, some European countries will say yes because they don't have the backbone to stand up for western values.

Four years after cartoons of the prophet Muhammad set off violent protests across the Muslim world, Islamic nations are mounting a campaign for an international treaty to protect religious symbols and beliefs from mockery — essentially a ban on blasphemy that would put them on a collision course with free speech laws in the West.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that Algeria and Pakistan have taken the lead in lobbying to eventually bring the proposal to a vote in the U.N. General Assembly.

If ratified in countries that enshrine freedom of expression as a fundamental right, such a treaty would require them to limit free speech if it risks seriously offending religious believers. The process, though, will take years and no showdown is imminent.

The proposal faces stiff resistance from Western countries, including the United States, which in the past has brushed aside other U.N. treaties, such as one on the protection of migrant workers.

Experts say the bid stands some chance of eventual success if Muslim countries persist. And whatever the outcome, the campaign risks reigniting tensions between Muslims and the West that President Barack Obama has pledged to heal, reviving fears of a "clash of civilizations."

Detainees in Iraq taunt soldiers with Brett Favre.

As if getting swept by the Vikings isn't bad enough.

According to a military official, detainees at a Wisconsin National Guard camp in Iraq are using Brett Favre as a manner of getting at the guard troops there.

"They know Favre by name," said First Lieutenant Tim Boehnen, who is from New Richmond, Wis.

"One of the big words they know now is shenanigan. They'll constantly talk about 'Favre shenanigans,' 'He's so good for the Vikings,' and 'The Packers have got to really feel bad about that one.' "

According to Boehnen, it started when troops there started decorating their camp in Packers colors.

"We try to allow our troops to have as much fun in the compound as they can while still maintaining our professional manner," explained Boehnen.

"We spend a lot of time painting and making our compound our own and representing us. Obviously, wherever Wisconsinites go, we bring the Packers with us."

Once the decoration job happened, detainees became curious.

"They obviously then started up the conversations, and started talking about Brett Favre. They soon learned about Favre going to the Vikings, and things just started going downhill from there."

Boehnen said soccer is the main sport that detainees pay attention to there, so there's not exactly a Vikings fan club chapter in Iraq.

"They'll hear guards talking about it, and then they pick up a lot of stuff from that, too," said Boehnen. "They're very crafty. They learn different stuff from different ways."

Phuket Taoist Vegetarian festival Pics.

This looked like an interesting little travel piclog...then the piercing pics started showing up and now I am thinking these are some bad ass Vegetarians.

Pelosi: Wall Street tax must be international

Pelosi doesn't understand that just because you are willing to put an anchor around your waist doesn't mean others will do the same.

Any tax imposed on financial transactions would have to take effect internationally to keep Wall Street jobs and related business from moving overseas, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday.

"It would have to be an international rule, not just a U.S. rule," Pelosi said at a news conference. "We couldn't do it alone, we'd have to do it as an international initiative."

Several House Democrats have proposed a Wall Street tax to pay for job-creating legislation they plan to pass in December. The tax, which could raise $150 billion per year, would tap into widespread public outrage at Wall Street in the wake of the financial crisis.

Black Caucus Stalls Barney Frank's Finance Overhaul

Don't worry. The Congressional Black Caucus didn't become smarter by being fiscal hawks demanding sensible solutions. Led by Maxine Waters, they were pissed off more money America doesn't have wasn't being passed around.

In one of the clearest examples of how the weak economy is overtaking Obama administration priorities, the Congressional Black Caucus forced the House to shelve its revamp of financial-sector regulation for two weeks.

According to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.), members of the caucus revolted on the grounds that their constituencies weren't allowed sufficient participation in Treasury and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. programs, such as the Troubled Asset Relief Program or FDIC oversight of failed bank assets.

They also complained more broadly that the administration wasn't doing enough to create jobs for low-income people or preserve minority-owned institutions such as radio stations, lending companies and jobs programs, a person familiar with the issue said.

There are 10 members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Mr. Frank's committee, and their promised bloc vote against the bill could have torpedoed it.

Megan Fox slams "MIddle America" again for lack of success.

Someone needs to spend some time out of the Hollywood bubble and see that in the real world people can spot a trash film like Jennifer's Body a mile away. It doesn't help your future films to insult the majority of America.

The actress tells The New York Times that her movie "Jennifer's Body" tanked because "the movie is about a man-eating, cannibalistic lesbian cheerleader, and that pretty much eliminates middle America."

And other women hate her because "women tear each other apart. Girls think I'm a slut, and I've been in the same relationship since I was 18. The problem is, if they think you're attractive, you're either stupid or a whore or a dumb whore. The instinct among girls is to attack the jugular."

GAO: Obama's job created/saved reports error filled and make no sense.

I think everyone gets it now after imaginary districts started to show up on the recovery website.

The reports on jobs created or saved by the $787 billion stimulus package are "riddled with inaccuracies and contradictions," the federal watchdog overseeing the spending acknowledged Thursday.

Earl Devaney, chairman of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, told a House oversight committee that the board is taking steps to correct the errors and prevent mistakes in future reports, which are filed by the recipients of stimulus money and posted on the board's website.

The board is working on creating software with "internal logic checks" to automatically reject reports that are clearly wrong, Devaney said.

The acting head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Gene Dodaro, told the committee his investigators found 3,978 reports where recipients reported creating a total of 58,386 jobs without spending any money. Another 9,247 reports covering $965 million in spending listed no jobs created or saved, Dodaro said.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sebelius says Ignore Mammogram Rec

So much for listening to experts to cut down on medical costs.

HHS Secretary Sebelius did her best to ride the wave of incredulous opposition to the new government-sponsored guidelines advising women to hold off on regular mammograms til age 50. Perhaps anticipating that opponents of the President's health reform efforts will argue that this is a glimpse of the future under Obamacare.

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf has more on the politics of mammograms:

The advisory board recommendation that women at low risk of breast cancer should get fewer mammograms set off a firestorm of public debate this week and now it is going political too, affecting the health reform debate on Capitol Hill.

Two Republican Congresswomen argued at a press conference today that the advisory board's recommendation is a glimpse into what health care would be like if Democrats can pass their reform plans.

CAIR demands Virginia Gov repudiate Pat Robertson remarks.

CAIR demanding anything is hilarious by itself but why should Gov.Bob McDonnell have to slam Robertson? That would be like asking CAIR to denounce the Alavi Foundation. You have a problem with Pat it would be better to go after him instead of having the Washington Post who is still smarting that their candidate lost smear McDonnell over a free speech issue.

Virginia Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell on Wednesday would not disavow Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson’s recent claim that Islam is not a religion, but “a violent political system.”

McDonnell, though, stressed that he reached out to Muslims and visited mosques in Virginia throughout the governor’s race and will continue to do so when he takes office in January.

Muslim groups have called on McDonnell to condemn the remark because Robertson is a longtime political benefactor of the Republican, who won a blowout victory in this year’s closely-watched gubernatorial election.

McDonnell attended law school at CBN University (now Regent University), founded by Robertson, and has accepted thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the televangelist along with appearing on his show, “The 700 Club.”

“I’ve got probably 15,000 donors to the campaign and I can’t stand and defend or support every comment that any donor might make,” McDonnell said in response to a question from CNN at the Republican Governors Association annual meeting near Austin. “I think people are entitled under the First Amendment to express whatever opinions that they may have, but I can only say that as governor of Virginia, I intend to have an inclusive administration where we bring people across the political and religious system to help us govern.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Joe Biden pressures club to allow him to play golf.

Amazing they have time to play golf but still can't make a decision on Afghanistan.

Sometimes you make exceptions at a members-only golf club.

Especially if someone from the office of Vice President Joe Biden is on the telephone, calling back a second time with a more pointed request.

It happened Sunday morning at The Golf Club at South Shore, at Lake Las Vegas.

When the first call came in at 7 a.m., asking whether Biden could play the course, the PGA professional running the pro shop declined, citing the club's members-only policy.

A few minutes later, another call: a Biden staffer telling the club pro "you know the vice president would really like to play" and asked whether he could talk to a manager.
The club reversed its stand, and Biden arrived about 11 a.m. with a half-dozen Secret Service personnel.

"We came to our senses, out of courtesy of the position," said Mark Barrett, with a chuckle. He's the club's membership sales director.

Biden's visit "really created a buzz," said Barrett, a welcome boost after recent tough times at Lake Las Vegas.

Biden played 17 holes before heading to a fundraiser for Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.

Obama: Job creation not goal of Dec. 3 jobs forum

Never did take an economics class did he.

President Barack Obama says creating jobs isn't the goal of a coming White House forum on jobs and economic growth.

The president told NBC News on Wednesday that the purpose of the Dec. 3 summit is to figure out how to encourage hiring by businesses still reluctant to do so.

Obama told NBC that the forum will give him and other administration officials a chance to talk to CEOs, small-business owners and other experts to find out what's going on.

This event is nothing more than a photo-op sham to show everyone Obama cares about you. If he wants businesses to hire and people to spend, start making and discard laws and obstacles for both groups to feel better about the nation's environment to hire and spend. Make changes to allow businesses of every size to have money in their pockets instead of paying this and that tax. Make a healthy business environment.

Florida's .Jobless tax will surge for employers

Well, there goes any hope for Florida's economy as businesses will just buckle down and say no to hiring anytime soon.

Florida employers will soon be asked to pay more -- a lot more -- to cover the cost of unemployment compensation, adding yet another thorn in the side of businesses struggling to recover from the economic downturn.

For employers now paying the lowest rate, the tax will jump from $8.40 per employee to $100.30, the state Revenue Department said Wednesday.

``That sounds like a 1,000 percent increase,'' Kevin Rusk, owner of the Titanic Brewery and Restaurant in Coral Gables, said after hearing the news. ``That's absurd.''

For his company, the increase works out to around $2,700 total for his 30 employees.

``All this does is eat away at profits,'' he said. ``I can't just raise prices based on this. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do other than eat it. That's the most frustrating part of it.''

.....But employers aren't happy about the increase, calling it just another burden that will affect their ability to add more workers and spur economic growth.

``When you're getting attacked as a small business by all these various agencies adding their portion to everything collectively, it adds up and starts to impact your decision in hiring people,'' said Mary Frandsen, president of OTB Architectural Elements in Hollywood. The firm makes architectural accents from resin.

Now here comes the Florida Dems saying take stimulus money for the unemployed, the problem is the Obama growing dependent clause.

Congress had offered the state an extra $444 million in stimulus money for unemployment benefits if the state agreed to make more people eligible, but House Republicans rejected the plan, saying it could actually make matters worse.

``Our state has left critical stimulus dollars on the table in Washington, D.C., and these hard-to-come-by funds are desperately needed to help Florida's families,'' U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, a Miami Democrat who is running for the U.S. Senate, said in a statement.

Florida's Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who is running for governor, issued a similar statement.


Republicans and the Florida Chamber of Commerce responded that the situation would be even worse if they had taken the money and agreed to expand benefits to more people.

The federal money would have run out, and the state would still be obliged to cover the extra people, said Jill Chamberlin, spokeswoman for House Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala.

At least one Democrat, state Rep. Kelly Skidmore of Boca Raton, said earlier this year that the state could avoid this problem simply by repealing the expanded benefits after the money arrives from Washington. She obtained a letter from the federal Labor Department to that effect.

Gov. Charlie Crist, who also wanted to take the stimulus money, said he was ``certainly going to try'' again to persuade lawmakers to accept it.

The state fund has no money, you go to the Feds to get money but you have to expand the eligibility rules, you get money that will cover maybe the year. Then what happens next year or the years afterwards? Once you set in the expansion of benefits, it would be near impossible to repeal it. Then you would have to raise taxes to compensate which again hurts businesses and the state economy.

But don't try to logically argue against taking the money. It is useless with the type of politicians we have in this state.

(Green Zone) Matt Damon in an Anti- American movie?

John Nolte on BigHollywood seems to think so and judging the trailer, it seems yet another Americans are bad guys while the one good American fights them all meme. COnsidering the movie is based on Imperial Life in the Emerald City starring Damon and directed by Paul Greengrass, I would say get ready for shakycam action with a dose of anti-war mixed with America intelligence services and military playing the main bad guys.

Nobody liked this movie when it was called “Body of Lies.”

This is the most revealing trailer yet and thankfully we’re given a heads up as to what the story might really be about. Hollywood will look for cover with the excuse that “Green Zone” is based on a true story, but we all know which “true stories” Leftist Hollywood cherry picks in order to fulfill the demands of an anti-American narrative. For example, the true story of 100,000-plus Americans risking their lives to liberate and protect from terrorists people they’ve never met is one “true story” we’ll see in hell first.

Everything you’d expect from director Paul Greengrass and Damon is here, including that goddamn shaky-cam (it’s not saying the Lord’s name in vain if you mean it). Damon’s character is the protagonist and he’s there to do good but it’s not the terrorists who are the antagonists getting in his way … no, it’s The United States of America personified by the Greg Kinnear character.

French hotel lets guests live like hamsters.

There is a furry cosplay joke in this article waiting to be made.

It's a unique concept according to its creators. A hotel in the French city of Nantes is offering the chance for people to become a hamster.

For 99 euros (£88) a night, visitors to the hotel in Nantes can feast on hamster grain, get a workout by running in a giant wheel and sleep in hay stacks in the suite called the "Hamster Villa".

It is the latest venture from owners Frederic Tabary and Yann Falquerho, who run a company which rents out unusual venues to adventure-seekers. Both architects, the men designed the room in an 18th century building to resemble the inside of a hamster's cage.

"The hamster in the world of children is that little cuddly animal. Often, the adults who come here have wanted or did have hamsters when they were small," said Mr Falquerho, who was dressed as a hamster.

However, the price is soon to go up as today's hamsters need, according to the owners, Wifi and a giant TV screen.

Corzine to replace Lautenberg to keep Gov.Christie from replacing.

Its the Dem to protect power, it is ridiculous in the name of respecting the Governor's power.

In what could become the highest profile game of political musical chairs in the state, Democratic sources claim they are considering replacing U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg with outgoing Gov. Jon Corzine.

It would work like this: Corzine would resign prior to January, when Republican Christopher Christie takes over as governor. A Corzine resignation would allow state Sen. President Richard Codey to serve as acting governor. Then Lautenberg would retire from the U.S. Senate, leaving Codey to name Corzine to fill the seat until a special election.

This is similar to a move made when Corzine resigned the senate to become governor, when he named then Rep. Bob Menendez to fill his own seat.

California new projected deficit = $21 billion

Good job reining in the budget there Cali. Maybe you should raise taxes more to fill the budget gap.

Less than four months after California leaders stitched together a patchwork budget, a projected deficit of nearly $21 billion already looms, according to a report to be released Wednesday by the state's chief budget analyst.

The new figure -- the nonpartisan analyst's first projection for the coming budget year -- threatens to send Sacramento back into budgetary gridlock and force more across-the-board cuts in state programs.

The grim forecast, described by people who were briefed on the report by Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor, comes courtesy of California's recession-wracked economy, unrealistic budgeting assumptions, spending cuts tied up in the courts and disappearing federal stimulus funds.

"Economic recovery will not take away the very severe budget problems for this year, next year and the year after," said Steve Levy, director of the Center For Continuing Study of the California Economy.

Chavez popularity divebombs as Venezuelan Economy Sinks

It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Venezuela's economy is suffering a deepening recession at a time when the rest of the world's economies are picking up steam, according to data released Tuesday by the country's central bank. That is bad news for the country's populist leader Hugo Chávez.

A decline in oil prices from their record levels in July 2008 has forced Mr. Chávez to rein in public spending this year. Consumers also have tightened their belts, with imports falling 29% in the third quarter compared with the year-earlier period. Retail sales slipped 11.5%.

Businesses, under siege from the government's drive to socialism, appear in no mood to pick up the slack. Private-sector economic activity dropped 5.8% in the third quarter, the central bank reported, while manufacturing activity slid 9.2% from the year-earlier period.

Complicating matters for the government, inflation remains stubbornly high, at nearly 30% for the past 12 months. Higher prices are expected to erode the purchasing power of ordinary Venezuelans by about 6% this year, according to Caracas-based research firm Ecoanalitica. The firm said the recession also means that companies are likely to freeze salaries next year, and that real incomes could fall as much as 10% in 2010.

Unfortunatley as long as he throws some crumbs to the poor who depend on him to take care of them, he is not getting kicked out anytime soon.

Feds Mull Rules, Fees to Spur Net Access

Another one of this sounds really good but in the end do you really want the FCC with more control over the growing of the internet?

-- Federal regulators are considering whether the government should take greater control of the Internet and ask consumers to pay higher phone charges in order to provide all Americans with cheaper access to broadband Internet service.

The Federal Communications Commission Wednesday will lay out the case for expanding broadband Internet service, outlining current obstacles to making it widely available. The agency is considering whether to force Internet providers to share their networks with rivals and raise fees charged on consumer phone bills to pay for the broader access.

The new commission, controlled by Democrats, is considering whether more government control is needed to ensure competition and more affordable Internet service.

The FCC staff will float possible solutions in December and make formal recommendations in February, when it is set to release its National Broadband Plan, a blueprint for improving broadband speed and access. Congress asked the FCC for the plan earlier this year.

open access is agreeable, net neutrality as well. But if you want cheaper and faster growth they have to loosen the regulations that are impeding competition and fostering new tech to have multiple ways to access high speed internet.

NYPD raids NY papers offices on union corruption charges.

Unions being corrupt? I am shocked, SHOCKED! I would have never guess unions being controlled by the mob in the northeast.

A law enforcement official says the New York Police Department raided circulation offices at four of the city's largest newspapers as part of a union corruption probe.

The official says the offices of The New York Times, the New York Post, El Diario and the Daily News of New York were raided Tuesday. The official spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

It is the newspaper delivery system around the city is under investigation and the news organizations are not involved.

The 1,600-member union that delivers papers was previously accused by the Manhattan district attorney's office of being run by organized crime.

Calls to the four newspapers weren't immediately returned Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Daily Mail - How Top Gear conquered the world

New season started this Sunday which I haven't watched yet thanks to having watch the Doctor Who Special. Just a great show with great hosts who have great fun.

Inspectors Fear Iran Is Hiding Nuclear Plants

They must have gotten that idea from the last couple of plants that Iran has hidden.

International inspectors who gained access to Iran’s newly revealed underground nuclear enrichment plant voiced strong suspicions in a report on Monday that the country was concealing other atomic facilities.

The report was the first independent account of what was contained in the once secret plant, tunneled into the side of a mountain, and came as the Obama administration was expressing growing impatience with Iran’s slow response in nuclear negotiations.

In unusually tough language, the International Atomic Energy Agency appeared highly skeptical that Iran would have built the enrichment plant without also constructing a variety of other facilities that would give it an alternative way to produce nuclear fuel if its main centers were bombed. So far, Iran has denied that it built other hidden sites in addition to the one deep underground on a military base about 12 miles north of the holy city of Qum. The inspectors were given access to the plant late last month and reported that they had found it in “an advanced state” of construction, but that no centrifuges — the fast-spinning machines needed to make nuclear fuel — had yet been installed.

The inspectors said Iran had “provided access to all areas of the facility” and planned to complete it by 2011. They also said they had been unable to interview its director and designers.

Anyone else not impressed by Heather Ellis Walmart line saga.

The first correction that she could get 15 years for cutting in line at Walmart. No. She could get that much because she attacked police officers which is a pretty serious offense. But this AP article points out she is not little miss innocent in this saga.

Nearly three years after Heather Ellis switched checkout lines at a southeast Missouri store and touched off what she calls a racially charged dispute with white customers and authorities, the young black schoolteacher faces a trial that could send her to prison for 15 years.

Witnesses have told authorities Ellis cut in front of waiting customers at the Walmart in Kennett on Jan. 6, 2007, shoved merchandise already placed on a conveyor belt out of the way, and became belligerent when confronted, according to court filings.

Ellis maintains she was merely joining her cousin, whose checkout line was moving more quickly. She claimed in a written complaint to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People that she was then pushed by a white customer, hassled by store employees, called racial slurs and physically mistreated by Kennett police officers.

Police say in court documents that Ellis refused requests to calm down and leave the property, allegedly kicking one's shin and splitting another's lip. Her trial on charges of assaulting police officers, resisting arrest and disturbing the peace begins Wednesday in Dunklin County Circuit Court.

Thats the story, here are some of the details.

Ellis' written account to the NAACP describes Ellis and her cousin getting into separate checkout lanes before Ellis switched into the faster-moving line. The woman behind them had placed items on the conveyor belt, and Ellis alleged the woman pushed her when she tried to put her own items down.

Witnesses instead told police that Ellis shoved the woman's merchandise back, according to court filings.

Right off we have prick behavior when it comes to shopping. We have all cut back and forth in lines but there is an etiquette to it and Ellis in either case was wrong in shoving her items in front of the woman. Still not 15 years worthy.

Ellis wrote that a security officer and manager were called over and that although Ellis said she wanted to pay, the manager yelled at her to leave the store. Police were called and arrived.

Officers eventually followed her to the parking lot, she said, using racial slurs and telling her to go back to the ghetto. As her aunt and uncle drove into the parking lot, Ellis said, the officers "jumped" on her even though she said she was not resisting.

Officer A.W. Fisher wrote in a probable cause statement that Ellis was given "every opportunity" to comply with officers and leave the property. He said she used an expletive in telling him she would beat him if he put his hands on her.

Fisher said he then told Ellis she was under arrest, but she would not stop fighting while being handcuffed.

First there should be security video showing the events at the checkout. If it shows she is acting the fool, then big strike against her in front of a jury, the second strike is any medical records proving the cops claim they sustained injuries from her. The third strike will be witnesses in the store and outside who will say the cops version of events is correct.

Playing the race card if the above proved out is going to make matters worse. But 15 years is excessive despite it being charges of assaulting officers. so everyone just calm down and work it out.

Miss Universe Sex Scandal gives us man of the year.

and his name is Wyatt, the boyfriend of Miss Trinidad and Tobago 2008 who got it on with her and Miss Japan 2008.

TWO Miss Universe contestants have become embroiled in a menage a trois sex tape scandal.

Hiroko Mima, who was crowned Miss Universe Japan 2008, and Anya Ayoung-Chee, who was crowned Miss Universe 2008 of Trinidad and Tobago 2008, are in the middle of the scandal after an intimate video tape leaked allegedly showing them together having sex with Anya’s boyfriend and with each other.

Alleged Man-god of the year.

Update: From the Trinidad Express. The first mistake was taking in the computer to repair in a Trinidad shop. As a Trini, trust me, never take anything with secrets into a Trini shop because more times than not there will be snoopers.

Despite Ayoung-Chee’s decision to stay mum, several online media sites have now picked up on the story. While it started with the popular celebrity gossip site TMZ, which reportedly spoke with Gallery, as of early yesterday morning, several Asian newspapers, blogs and some New York-based websites were also carrying content related to the sex tape.

According to the TMZ report, Gallery confirmed Ayoung-Chee was in the tape with him and ’another woman’, but he said the other woman was not Japan’s Miss Universe representative for 2008, as is being alleged.

Gallery reportedly told TMZ that the ’intimate’ material was taken from his computer when he carried it to repair at a shop in Trinidad. It was also said the video, which has reportedly hit Ayoung-Chee’s family ’very hard’, was filmed back in 2007.

Gallery has said, ’I feel horrible and embarrassed for Anya, her family and myself.’

TMZ also claimed they spoke with a representative from the Miss Universe Pageant international organisation who said, ’This was apparently eight months after the pageant and neither were the reigning titleholder. The photographer is not a Miss Universe staffer, so we have nothing to say or any involvement ... thank goodness.’

NAACP and LA RAZA demand racial stimulus money

It is racial because they are demanding more taxpayer dollars to be directed specifically towards black and hispanic areas of high unemployment. That is divisive politics by two groups who should know better.

With unemployment among blacks at more than 15 percent, the N.A.A.C.P. will join several other groups on Tuesday to call on President Obama to do more to create jobs.

The organizations — including the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group— will make clear that they believe the president’s $787 billion stimulus program has not gone far enough to fight unemployment.

They will call for increased spending for schools and roads, billions of dollars in fiscal relief to state and local governments to forestall more layoffs and a direct government jobs program, “especially in distressed communities facing severe unemployment.”

In speaking out on jobs, N.A.A.C.P. leaders say they are not trying to pick a fight with the first African-American president. Rather, they say, they are pressing Mr. Obama in an area where they believe he wants to be pressured.

.....The Economic Policy Institute, a liberal research group, coordinated the jobs statement being released Tuesday, which will also be joined by the Center for Community Change.

“Despite an effective and bold recovery package, we are still facing a prolonged period of high unemployment,” the groups say. “Two years from now, absent further action, we are likely to have unemployment at 8 percent or more, a higher rate than attained even at the worst point of the last two downturns.”

If the stimulus was an effective bold recovery package, we wouldn't have more job losses and a 10% unemployment rate. But don't confuse these groups with the facts. All this is about is squeezing taxpayer dollars out of the public for racially motivated interests.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Doctor Who: Waters of Mars was excellent.

Also a great setup for The End of Time coming this Christmas. What I got out of it is the Doctor was driven over the edge because as Timelord he can't mess with time especially what is considered fixed points in time that have to happen for the future to happen.

He is supposed to leave the crew on Mars to die to inspire future generations especially the Commander Adelaide Brooke family line. The Doctor has had to make these decisions before in the past but this time breaks down hearing and watching the destruction of the base and the people in it. The dark arrogant Doctor comes out saying damn the rules, he is the last timelord and he can do whatever he wants. But by rescuing the Commander and the last two of her crew he does change the future. Adelaide who was told by the Doctor earlier about fixed points in time and how important they were to the history of the human race going into space rips into Doctor for his behavior and then shockingly kills herself as she goes into her home.

Doctor realizes what he has done, sees Ood Sigma, hears the Cloister Bell which signals something bad is going to happen but he defiantly(or arrogantly?) says No taking off.

It was great piece of acting on everyone parts, the water creatures and the transformation of those infected were great, the set pieces/story were dark and grim. But seeing the arrogant vicious Doctor at least for about 10 minutes was the highlight for me. It is understood that the Doctor needed or wanted a companion in part to keep himself in check because without them he is prone to act like a god among men passing judgement and changing time to his whim.

It will be sad to see Tennant leave this role because he is suited for it. But this was a great pre farewell episode that sets up the End of Time in a good way.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Rest of the world vs Obama meeting Emperor of Japan.

Not only that you never bow and shake at the same time. Obama just doesn't understand being the President of the United States of America, it doesn't fit into his worldview.


"Obama's handshake/forward lurch was so jarring and inappropriate it recalls Bush's back-rub of Merkel.

"Kyodo News is running his appropriate and reciprocated nod and shake with the Empress, certainly to show the president as dignified, and not in the form of a first year English teacher trying to impress with Karate Kid-level knowledge of Japanese customs.

"The bow as he performed did not just display weakness in Red State terms, but evoked weakness in Japanese terms....The last thing the Japanese want or need is a weak looking American president and, again, in all ways, he unintentionally played that part.

UK Justice! Ex-soldier faces jail for handing in gun

Again I ask at what point did the UK legal system, the population and judges lose a basic hold on common sense? How pathetic a country are you that someone turning in a gun could be jailed and there is no huge amount of outrage?

A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty".

Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.

The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction, and Mr Clarke now faces a minimum of five year's imprisonment for handing in the weapon.

...Prosecuting, Brian Stalk, explained to the jury that possession of a firearm was a "strict liability" charge – therefore Mr Clarke's allegedly honest intent was irrelevant.

Just by having the gun in his possession he was guilty of the charge, and has no defence in law against it, he added.

But despite this, Mr Blackman urged members of the jury to consider how they would respond if they found a gun.

He said: "This is a very small case with a very big principle.

"You could be walking to a railway station on the way to work and find a firearm in a bin in the park.

"Is it unreasonable to take it to the police station?"

Paul Clarke will be sentenced on December 11.

Judge Christopher Critchlow said: "This is an unusual case, but in law there is no dispute that Mr Clarke has no defence to this charge.

"The intention of anybody possessing a firearm is irrelevant."

(Wash Post) Pelosi Bill would reduce senior care

Someone tell the AARP and for those seniors who support Pelosicare. HAW HAW.

A plan to slash more than $500 billion from future Medicare spending -- one of the biggest sources of funding for President Obama's proposed overhaul of the nation's health-care system -- would sharply reduce benefits for some senior citizens and could jeopardize access to care for millions of others, according to a government evaluation released Saturday.

The report, requested by House Republicans, found that Medicare cuts contained in the health package approved by the House on Nov. 7 are likely to prove so costly to hospitals and nursing homes that they could stop taking Medicare altogether.

Congress could intervene to avoid such an outcome, but "so doing would likely result in significantly smaller actual savings" than is currently projected, according to the analysis by the chief actuary for the agency that administers Medicare and Medicaid. That would wipe out a big chunk of the financing for the health-care reform package, which is projected to cost $1.05 trillion over the next decade.

More generally, the report questions whether the country's network of doctors and hospitals would be able to cope with the effects of a reform package expected to add more than 30 million people to the ranks of the insured, many of them through Medicaid, the public health program for the poor.

In the face of greatly increased demand for services, providers are likely to charge higher fees or take patients with better-paying private insurance over Medicaid recipients, "exacerbating existing access problems" in that program, according to the report from Richard S. Foster of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Though the report does not attempt to quantify that impact, Foster writes: "It is reasonable to expect that a significant portion of the increased demand for Medicaid would not be realized."

Obama a fiscal conservative towards the military.

He will spend like drunken sailor on domestic and welfare programs but when it comes to the military he starts to count the pennies.

While President Obama’s decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan is primarily a military one, it also has substantial budget implications that are adding pressure to limit the commitment, senior administration officials say.

The latest internal government estimates place the cost of adding 40,000 American troops and sharply expanding the Afghan security forces, as favored by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American and allied commander in Afghanistan, at $40 billion to $54 billion a year, the officials said.

Even if fewer troops are sent, or their mission is modified, the rough formula used by the White House, of about $1 million per soldier a year, appears almost constant.

So even if Mr. Obama opts for a lower troop commitment, Afghanistan’s new costs could wash out the projected $26 billion expected to be saved in 2010 from withdrawing troops from Iraq. And the overall military budget could rise to as much as $734 billion, or 10 percent more than the peak of $667 billion under the Bush administration.

Such an escalation in military spending would be a politically volatile issue for Mr. Obama at a time when the government budget deficit is soaring, the economy is weak and he is trying to pass a costly health care plan.

Senior members of the House Appropriations Committee have already expressed reservations about the potential long-term costs of expanding the war in Afghanistan. And Mr. Obama could find it difficult to win approval for the additional spending in Congress, where he would have to depend on Republicans to counter defections from liberal Democrats.