Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Woo-hoo! The vote was 8-1. Not. Even. Close.
Suck eggs, ACLU.
Sunday, July 22, 2007
My mission with this site is to usher in a new era of self-examination. And because I am proud member of the black community, they are my priority. However, those of other races take note and if the shoe fits wear it. I think it is time that the black community or (insert your race here) needs to take a good look at itself in the mirror and each of us ask ourselves why are our communities are going to hell.
This site does not proclaim to know the answer to that question, for the answer is different for each of us. I want each and every person that reads these words to look at your life and ask how you can make yourself better, your community better or your kids better.
I am just holding up a mirror to my community so don’t blame me if you don’t like your reflection.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Akaka (D-HI) Biden (D-DE) Bingaman (D-NM) Boxer (D-CA) Brown (D-OH) Byrd (D-WV) Cantwell (D-WA) Cardin (D-MD) Carper (D-DE) Casey (D-PA) Dodd (D-CT) Durbin (D-IL) Feingold (D-WI) Harkin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Kennedy (D-MA) Kerry (D-MA) Klobuchar (D-MN) Kohl (D-WI) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Lincoln (D-AR) McCaskill (D-MO) Menendez (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA) Nelson (D-FL) Pryor (D-AR) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Rockefeller (D-WV) Salazar (D-CO) Sanders (I-VT) Stabenow (D-MI) Tester (D-MT) Webb (D-VA) Whitehouse (D-RI) Wyden (D-OR)
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Besides the fact that Elizabeth Edwards seems to be officially running with/for her husband, these 'Rats are a bunch of twisted freaks.
WASHINGTON, DC, July 18, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Tuesday leading Democrat presidential candidates slammed the Bush administration and reaffirmed their commitment to promoting abortion in the United States.
Speaking before the Planned Parenthood Public Affairs Action Fund (PPPAAF) annual conference, leading Democrat contenders Senators Hillary Clinton of New York, Barack Obama of Illinois, and wife of presidential candidate John Edwards showed their determination to promote abortion through their comments on public policy and choices of Supreme Court Justice nominees.
Obama spoke about his intentions to expand people's access to health insurance, which would include universal coverage for "reproductive-health services." An Obama spokesman clarified that this did indeed include abortion.
The Illinois presidential candidate also said that he would appoint Supreme Court Justices with "empathy." Obama then criticized Justice Anthony Kennedy, who penned the partial-birth abortion ban that passed 5-4 in April. "Justice Kennedy knows many things," declared Obama, "but my understanding is that he does not know how to be a doctor."
"We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom," he said, "And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."
Dismissing the efforts of pro-life advocates, he continued, "At a time when the real war is being fought abroad, [some] would have us fight Culture Wars here at home. I am absolutely convinced that culture Wars are just so '90's. Their days are growing dark."
Regarding the issue of contraception, he is quoted in the Washington Post as saying, "We must never be willing to consign a teenage girl to suffer because she [lacks] birth control."
Obama's leading rival candidate, Hilary Clinton, attacked the partial-birth abortion ban in her speech before the PPPAAF, reports Reuters. Slamming the Bush administration for its policy on contraception and advocacy of abstinence education, she also said that they "set out from Day One to dismantle reproduction rights around the world."
She stated, "At the top of the list was this effort to try to overturn Roe vs. Wade or at least try to chip away at it."
"They don't just want to wage a war on choice," she continued. "They want to wage a war on contraception."
Referring to her future choice for Supreme Court Justices nominees, Clinton stated, "I would appoint well-qualified judges who really respect the Constitution."
Elizabeth Edwards, speaking for her husband, presidential candidate John Edwards, said that he proposed a "true universal health-care plan," the Tribune Reports. Specifically referring to abortion, she stated that this plan would cover "all reproductive health services, including pregnancy termination."
According to the New York Times, during an interview with Planned Parenthood, Elizabeth Edwards also criticized Clinton, saying she's "not as vocal a women's advocate as I want to see." In addition, she indicated that Hilary had waffled on her strong pro-choice position in the past by saying that abortions are tragedies.
Horrific details have been revealed of the last hours of the young Kurdish woman murdered by her family for falling in love with the wrong man.
Banaz Mahmod, 20, was brutally raped and stamped on during a two-hour ordeal before being garotted.
One of her killers, the Old Bailey was told, was 30-year-old Mohamad Hama, who had been recruited by Banaz's father Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and his brother Ari, 51.
Both were found guilty of murder last month.
The shocking details of the killing came to light when Hama was secretly recorded talking to a friend in prison.
He admitted "slapping" and "f***ing" Banaz, who was subjected to degrading sex acts.
Hama and his friend were heard laughing as he described how she was killed in her family home in Mitcham, South London, with Ari Mahmod "supervising".
The murderers - two other suspects have fled to Iraq - had been told Banaz would be on her own.
Hama is recorded as saying: "Ari (the uncle) said there is no one there. There was someone there, Biza (her sister). The bastard lied to us."
He said of the murder: "I swear to God it took him more than two hours. Her soul and her life would not leave."
Banaz was garotted for five minutes, said Hama, but it took another half an hour for her to die.
Hama said: "The wire was thick and the soul would not just leave like that.
"We could not remove it. All in all it took five minutes (to strangle) her.
"I was kicking and stamping on her neck to get the soul out. I saw her stark naked, without wearing pants or underwear."
Banaz's body was packed into a suitcase and buried in a garden in Birmingham, where it was found three months later.
The trial of the two brothers heard that Banaz was killed because she had walked out of an unhappy arranged marriage - which she was forced into at just 17 - and fallen in love with Iranian Kurd Rahmat Suleimani, 28.
The pair had been secretly seeing each other, but her family were furious when they found out because Mr Suleimani was not "immediate family" or a strict Muslim.
Terrified, Banaz wrote to police naming people she said were planning to kill her.
Hama was on the list, the court heard. Two other men named by Banaz have fled the country.
Transcripts of the prison recording were read out at a pre- sentence hearing for Hama, of South Norwood, South London, who pleaded guilty to murdering Banaz at an earlier hearing.
Judge Brian Barker, the Common Serjeant of London, sat to assess the extent of Hama's involvement.
He and the Mahmod brothers are due to be sentenced tomorrow.
Victor Temple QC, prosecuting, told the court that Hama, who sat impassively in the dock, took a "leading part" in raping and killing Banaz in January last year then dumping her body.
He was said to have been recorded expressing concern because his fingerprints and DNA were on her body.
He was also concerned that a leaking pipe at the house where she was buried was sending water through the suitcase, possibly uncovering it.
During another taped conversation, Hama joked about Banaz's hair and elbow sticking out of the suitcase and how a police patrol drove past while he was helping to drag it to a car.
He said: "The road was crowded. The police came past. People were passing by - and we were dragging the bag.
"I almost ran away. Mr Ari (was dragging it) and we were around by each side of him.
"You know what it was, sticking out, her elbow, her hair was falling out so much. That was a stupid thing, a silly thing."
FOXNews.com - Man Convicted of Leaving Child to Be Eaten by Alligators - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News
MIAMI — A man who had been released from prison early for good behavior was convicted Tuesday of trying to kill a young mother and leaving her 5-year-old daughter to be eaten alive by alligators in the Everglades.
He choked Maycock until she was unconscious and then forced her and Quatisha into his car, the woman testified. At one point, Maycock gained consciousness, grabbed the child and jumped out of the moving vehicle.
Braddy stopped, choked the woman again and put her in the trunk, she testified. Maycock never saw her daughter again. Prosecutors said Braddy then drove to a section of Interstate 75 in the Everglades known as Alligator Alley and dropped Quatisha in the water beside the road.
She was alive when alligators bit her on the head and stomach, a medical examiner said.
Authorities found the girl's body two days later, her left arm missing and her skull crushed, prosecutors said. Maycock woke up bleeding and disoriented in a cane field miles from her Miami-Dade County home.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal judge on Thursday dismissed former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s lawsuit against members of the Bush administration in the CIA leak scandal.
Plame, the wife of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had accused Vice President Dick Cheney and others of conspiring to leak her identity in Plame said that violated her privacy rights and was illegal retribution for her husband’s criticism of the administration.
Plame said that violated her privacy rights and
was illegal retribution for her husband’s criticism of the administration.
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates dismissed the case on jurisdictional grounds and said he would not express an opinion on the constitutional arguments. Bates dismissed the case against all defendants: Cheney, White House political adviser Karl Rove and former White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.
Plame’s attorneys had said the lawsuit would be an uphill battle. Public officials are normally immune from such lawsuits filed in connection with their jobs.
Men were convicted for shooting suspected drug dealer Click-2-Listen
By Eunice Moscoso, Ken Herman WASHINGTON BUREAU Thursday, July 19, 2007
WASHINGTON — Two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee urged President Bush on Wednesday to commute the prison sentences of a pair of former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting an unarmed man and trying to cover it up.
Sens. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said in a letter to the White House that the case involved "prosecutorial overreaching."
"We urge you to commute their prison sentences immediately," they wrote.
The agents, Jose Alonso Compean and Ignacio Ramos, are serving 12 and 11 years in prison, respectively, for wounding a suspected drug dealer after he entered the United States illegally in a van with more than 700 pounds of marijuana. The suspect, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila, was given immunity to testify against the officers.
Cornyn said in a statement the case "cries out for a commutation that is fair and just."
"It is incomprehensible to me that an illegal alien drug smuggler was allowed to violate his immunity agreement . . . and be granted a series of unlimited visas to roam free in our country while two Border Patrol agents were given excessive prison sentences," he said.
Cornyn said Aldrete violated his immunity agreement in several ways, including not being completely truthful with investigators and refusing to tell them the names of his associates, including his drug source.
At a Senate hearing about the case Tuesday, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, Johnny Sutton, disputed that Aldrete had violated the agreement, saying prosecutors were satisfied with his cooperation.
Sutton also strongly defended the prosecution of the agents, saying they were "not heroes" and "deliberately shot an unarmed man in the back."
The case has become a cause célèbre among conservatives and groups that advocate tougher border controls. Supporters say the agents were wrongly convicted for protecting the United States against an illegal immigrant and criminal.
At the White House, spokesman Tony Snow would not elaborate on the possibility of a commutation for the agents.
"We have made it a practice not to talk about any such deliberations, whether they are ongoing or not, and I'm not going to break that rule in this case," he said.
Snow also noted that the prison terms fell within sentencing guidelines approved by Congress.
"When you have a judge that's obeying federal sentencing guidelines, that's what they're supposed to do," he said.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., a leading foe of illegal immigration who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, said Wednesday that he would offer an amendment to an upcoming spending bill that would prevent the Bush administration from using federal money to enforce the agents' sentences."This wouldn't be the first time Congress has stepped in and used its authority under the Constitution to overturn a brainless decision by a federal court," he said in a written statement.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
NEW BOOK – available now from The American Council for Kosovo!
Hiding Genocide in Kosovo: A Crime against God and Humanity
by Iseult Henry
Old habits die hard: A yellow cross fixed by German NATO to the door of a Serbian house to show that Christians live there -- but not for long.
Finally, the truth is coming out about the Kosovo jihad and how it has been aided and abetted by NATO, the UN, and the EU. Thanks to Iseult Henry, maybe the shameful and ultimately suicidal support of the Kosovo jihadists by Western powers will finally be ended. -- Robert Spencer, director, Jihad Watch; author of the New York Times Bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad.
Our so-called adversary press, like the U.S. Government, has ignored the plight of Christians in Kosovo. Incredibly, the U.S. and the U.N. are destroying the sovereignty of Serbia in order to create a Muslim state in Europe. This book tells the story suppressed by our media that all Americans need to know. -- Cliff Kincaid, editor, Accuracy in Media.
When one spends nearly a decade writing in isolation about the countless and unending injustices against the Serbs, she forms a habit of second-guessing herself: Am I exaggerating? Am I biased? Could such unadulterated evil really be happening so one-sidedly? And how could the colossal hoax that brought us to it succeed so completely in this day and age? Surely I’ve gotten it all wrong somehow, and the rest of the world is right. Now, thanks to this book by Iseult Henry, we know the truth: the reality is even more unspeakable. With this account of the atrocities visited upon the Christians of Kosovo by the free world-sponsored Muslims of the Balkans, Henry delivers the book that thousands of dead Serbs screaming in silence have been waiting for. Not exactly screaming in silence, for as the author describes, at night the bells at the monastery of St. Uros toll with no one pulling their ropes, and lights appear from no source, sending us a message that despite our best efforts to do so, there is no hiding from our crimes against God and humanity--even in the Balkans. -- Julia Gorin, independent commentator.
More details at the link below:
At a time when the Western powers – foremost among them the United States – prepare what they hope will be an endgame for their predetermined solution to the Serbian question, now comes a searing ray of truth that cuts through the fog of lies in which Kosovo has been shrouded. The work of “Iseult Henry,” the pen name of a current member of the international mission in Kosovo, Hiding Genocide in Kosovo: A Crime against God and Humanity is not a typical book of the current events or international affairs genre. Nor is it a journalistic exposé. It is simply a book of stories, true stories of what has taken place in Kosovo since the end of the 1999 war: shooting, beheading, burning, bomb attack, maiming, rape, abduction, torture, desecration, theft, mutilation, and harassment. While Western policymakers (the U.S., EU, UN, NATO, OSCE, etc.) delude themselves that they are buying the goodwill of the Muslim world by the sacrifice of a small Christian community in Kosovo, the perpetrators know this is yet another step toward Islamic dominance of all Europe. This is a struggle for the soul and future not just for Kosovo, not just for Serbia, but for an entire continent.
-- from the Publisher's Foreword by Jim Jatras, Director of The American Council for Kosovo.
After 15 years and the loss of both legs, a Cuban rafter finally arrived in Miami to tell about his harrowing escape.
He had managed to crawl through the third barrier between Cuban territory and the U.S. Naval Base at Guantánamo when the warning flares lit the night sky.
Amado Veloso Vega thought he'd stay there till dawn, confident the Cuban guards could not enter the mine-laden strip dubbed ''no-man's land.'' But then he heard shots, and when he tried to move, a mine exploded, destroying his legs and flinging him 15 feet.
With no strength to shout, Veloso lay there until he heard the soldiers approach.
It was the beginning of a 15-year odyssey to get to the United States that ended this week. Veloso, 36, arrived in Miami on Monday with a U.S. State Department humanitarian visa.
Veloso is headed for Louisville, Ky., where the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which sponsored him, has found him a home.
''I'm still pinching myself, because I can't believe it. I'm in Miami!'' he said this week at his Miami hotel. ``I want to laugh because I believe I suffered enough. In Cuba, I was a walking dead man.''
The details of his horrific 1992 experience with the mine remain vivid today. ''Strips of flesh dangled from my legs. I was disfigured and my mouth was torn,'' he recalled. ``I couldn't react, though I didn't lose consciousness altogether.''
He'll never forget one man and what he said. Vega, a short man in uniform, told another that Veloso ''wouldn't make it alive'' to the hospital in Guantánamo.
''They started to play with me. They bayoneted me in the hand and in the leg and then pulled me off the fence,'' Veloso said, showing his scars.
Veloso was taken directly to the morgue. There, a doctor wouldn't give up, injecting him with adrenaline. Veloso was revived.
He slowly returned to health, but his nightmare wasn't over. For the attempted escape, Cuban authorities sentenced Veloso to two years of detention at his Havana home. A mystery remains: The mine that did so much damage was in Cuban territory, but at the time, some U.S.-planted mines were in the area, too.
Veloso said he tried to remake his life but that even relatives and friends turned their backs on him. He sought prosthetic legs at a Havana hospital. ``They concluded that my accident was due to my attempt to leave the country illegally and told me the [prostheses] they had were for revolutionaries and fighters back from Angola.''
Then he met activist Francisco Chaviano -- now a political prisoner in Cuba -- who arranged for the Cuban American National Foundation to send him a wheelchair. The chair was presented to Veloso in the name of Jorge Mas Canosa, the organization's founder. Veloso and a medical specialist friend fashioned a pair of plaster prostheses.
Early in 1994, Veloso applied for a refugee visa at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, but he says the office turned him down. He then wrote to U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who answered his letter and agreed to support his application, as did Rep. Lincoln Díaz Balart.
The association with Miami exile politicians caught the attention of the Cuban government. 'State Security constantly visited my home. `Who are you? First, Mas Canosa. Then, Ros-Lehtinen and Díaz-Balart. What are you up to?' they would ask me,'' Veloso said.
During the 1994 Cuban rafter crisis, Veloso tried to escape on a makeshift boat, but he was caught. Ensuing attempts failed as well.
``I lost track of all the arrests and fines. Something compelled me to look for what I couldn't find in Cuba: respect for a human being, respect for life and the right to overcome my handicap.''
In September 2006, during the police raids that preceded the Summit of Non-Aligned Countries in Havana, Veloso made his final attempt to flee. With 15 others he bought a homemade boat made of aluminum tubes. Police intercepted the others before they arrived at the beach, so he decided to travel alone from Cajío Beach in Havana.
'The boat was known as a `tube of toothpaste.' They are made of six aluminum tubes and cost about $4,000,'' he said.
The U.S. Coast Guard intercepted him 27 miles from the Mexican island of Cozumel and sent him to the place that reminded him of his personal tragedy: the U.S. Navy base at Guantánamo.
There he remained for nine months, working as a bowling alley assistant. Part of the money he earned he sent to his mother, wife and two children who remain in Cuba.
''That people would risk their lives, like Amado did, that they would risk everything, clearly demonstrates the desperation of Cubans on the island,'' Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, told El Nuevo Herald on Tuesday.Today Veloso wants to place flowers on Mas Canosa's grave. ''When I look at it from afar, I feel it was worth it,'' he said of his odyssey. ``It's a high price, but it's the price of liberty.''
ABC News' Teddy Davis and Lindsey Ellerson Report: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told Planned Parenthood Tuesday that sex education for kindergarteners, as long as it is "age-appropriate," is "the right thing to do."
"I remember Alan Keyes . . . I remember him using this in his campaign against me," Obama said in reference to the conservative firebrand who ran against him for the U.S. Senate in 2004. Sex education for kindergarteners had become an issue in his race against Keyes because of Obama’s work on the issue as chairman of the health committee in the Illinois state Senate.
"'Barack Obama supports teaching sex education to kindergarteners,'" said Obama mimicking Keyes' distinctive style of speech. "Which -- I didn’t know what to tell him (laughter)."
"But it’s the right thing to do," Obama continued, "to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools."
Watch the video: http://abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=3386492
Speaking to a young woman who asked a question about sex education, Obama said, "You, as a peer, can have enormous power over your age cohort but you’ve got to have some support from the schools. You certainly should not have to be fighting each and every instance by providing accurate information outside of the classroom because inside the classroom the only thing that can be talked about is abstinence."
"Keep in mind: I honor and respect young people who choose to delay sexual activity," Obama continued. "I’ve got two daughters, and I want them to understand that sex is not something casual. That's something that we definitely want to communicate and should be part of any curriculum. But we also know that when the statistics tell us that nearly half of 15 to 19 year olds are engaging in sexual activity, that for us to leave them in ignorance is potentially consigning them to illness, pregnancy, poverty, and in some cases, death."
When Obama's campaign was asked by ABC News to explain what kind of sex education Obama considers "age appropriate" for kindergarteners, the Obama campaign pointed to an Oct. 6, 2004 story from the Daily Herald in which Obama had "moved to clarify" in his Senate campaign that he "does not support teaching explicit sex education to children in kindergarten. . . The legislation in question was a state Senate measure last year that aimed to update Illinois' sex education standards with 'medically accurate' information . . . 'Nobody's suggesting that kindergartners are going to be getting information about sex in the way that we think about it,' Obama said. 'If they ask a teacher 'where do babies come from,' that providing information that the fact is that it's not a stork is probably not an unhealthy thing. Although again, that's going to be determined on a case by case basis by local communities and local school boards.'"In addition to local schools informing kindergarteners that babies do not come from the stork, the state legislation Obama supported in Illinois, which contained an "opt out" provision for parents, also envisioned teaching kindergarteners about "inappropriate touching," according to Obama's presidential campaign. Despite Obama's support, the legislation was not enacted.
53 posted on 07/18/2007 6:02:18 PM CDT by Diana in Wisconsin
Here’s all any Conservative needs to know about Barrack Hussein Obama:
Special Interest Group Ratings:
Planned Parenthood - 100% Support
National Right To Life - 0% Support
NARAL - 100% Support
Americans for Tax Reform - 0% Support
ACLU - 83% Support
NEA - 100% Support
NOW Hags - 100% Support
Citizens Against Government Waste - 13% Support
Gun Owners of America - 0% Support
NRA - “F” Rating
Federation for American Immigration Reform - 0% Support
US Border Patrol - 8% Support
Unions - 82% - 100% Support
Population Connection - 100% Support (These are the ‘Zero Growth’ freaks)
[Barrack Hussein Obama’s record in the Illinois senate:]
- Opposed the Defense of Marriage Act; would work to repeal it in the U.S. Senate; would not vote for any legislation that would restrict the ability of gays and lesbians to marry.
- Opposed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act four times in Illinois. A similar bill passed the U.S. Senate 98-0. The Born Alive bill would have prohibited a baby from being born alive but left to die according to the mother’s wishes. Obama inexplicably opposed this bill not once, twice, or three times, but four times.
- Obama took almost $90,000 in bundled contributions from the Council for a Livable World. The council is a well-known anti-defense organization.
- Obama puts rigid ideology before what’s best for the people of Illinois, and presumably he would do that as President as well. He has on several occasions made public his opposition to the NAFTA trade agreement and his belief that it must be negotiated. All the while thanks to NAFTA, Illinois exports $1.3 billion in agricultural goods to Canada.
- Obama refused to vote for a bill in the Illinois State Senate that would have increased penalties for drug traffickers.
- Obama voted against a bill that would have delivered the death penalty to gang members who murder first responders.
- Finally, just in case you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Obama was the only member of the Illinois State Senate to vote against a bill that prohibited early release for sexual predators.
Can’t kill the innocent fast enough, can’t free the guilty soon enough!
LONDON - Four men were sentenced to prison Wednesday for their roles in a fiery protest in London against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
Mizanur Rahman, 24, Umran Javed, 27, and Abdul Muhid 25, were convicted of incitement to murder and sentenced to six years in prison. At a February 2006 protest at the Danish Embassy, they called for the deaths of those responsible for the publication of the cartoons, Judge Brian Barker said.
A fourth defendant, Abdul Saleem, 32, was sentenced to four years in prison for inciting racial hatred.
The defendants, convicted in separate trials, had argued they were venting their rage at the cartoons, which they considered an assault on Islam, and did not intend to incite murder. But Barker called their actions "the complete opposite of peaceful protest."
"No one is entitled to propagate an ideology of destruction and death," he said. "However deep your belief, that is not an excuse for breaking the law."
The four were among up to 300 demonstrators who converged on the embassy, waving placards that read: "Massacre those who insult Islam" and "Prepare for the real holocaust."
Prosecutors said free speech did not extend to inciting murder.
"If you march down the streets of London calling for people to be beheaded and for European cities to be bombed, you have crossed a line," the director of public prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, said in a statement.
Outside the court, demonstrators gathered around Anjem Choudary, the former leader of the outlawed militant group al-Ghurabaa and one of the organizers of the cartoon protest. Yelling into a loudspeaker, Choudary accused the British government of waging a crusade against Islam.
"There is a consequence for nations when they do this type of thing," he said.Muslims held demonstrations around the world after the publication of the cartoons, which showed the prophet wearing a bomb-shaped turban, clutching a dagger or berating suicide bombers. Islamic law is interpreted to forbid any depiction of the prophet for fear it could lead to idolatry.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Hey, at least Homie has his underwear on.
A giant outline of Homer Simpson brandishing a doughnut was enough to make even pagans go "D'oh".
Painted opposite famous fertility symbol, the Cerne Abbas giant, the idea had been to plug the new Simpsons movie due out later this month.
But instead the image has incited the wrath of British pagans who have now pledged to perform "rain magic" to rid their sacred site of its unwelcome guest.
I like this line:
Brejcha added, "It is impossible to convey certain messages, including the message that pro-lifers Rudnick and Otterstad sought to convey - with all its emotional content - without the use of graphic anti-abortion images. The First Amendment protects political speech that is annoying and even offensive, including speech that stirs people to anger or produces deeply unsettling effects. Those who disagree with a speaker's message must not suppress or criminalize it, but answer it with more speech."
No tears here.
Also, the Post's smackdown is worth the read.
View larger image
Victoria Beckham's attempts to woo the US media since arriving in Los Angeles soccer star husband David appear to have backfired, with critics savaging a reality show she has appeared in.
"Victoria Beckham: Coming to America," was originally intended as a mini-series, but trimmed to a one hour special by the NBC network.
Billed as a revealing special that "delves into Victoria's larger-than-life world to reveal, among other things, her wicked sense of humor and style," the show failed to impress the mainstream media.
The New York Post gave the show a damning zero-star review, slamming the pop-star turned fashion figure as "relentlessly self-promoting" with "vapid, condescending behavior" in a show described as "an orgy of self-indulgence."
"You'll sit there slack-jawed at the gall of these people who think we are that stupid," the Post's reviewer wrote in a scathing broadside, also laying into the couple's "nightmarishly overdone rococo mansion" in Beverly Hills.
"The 'special' which NBC calls an 'exclusive' inside look at Victoria's larger-than-life life smacks of too much fame, too much money and too much time spent believing the hype for all concerned," the paper wrote.
The New York Times was no more forgiving in its write-up, describing Victoria Beckham as being "somewhat famous for being sort of famous, and is photographed a lot in Britain."
"She does appear to be pleasant and not without a sense of humor. But that isn't quite enough to carry viewers through an hour of house hunting, sunbathing and applying for a driver's license," the paper's reviewer said.
"There has to be something going on behind the scenes because there is no other way to explain so much time and videotape spent on the moving arrangements of Mr. Beckham's wife.
"If she can retain viewers past the first commercial break, then the results will be conclusive: either there is a vast, media-controlling conspiracy afoot, or there is no such thing as celebrity ditz-fatigue," the paper said.
The US media has been having a field day since the couple arrived in Los Angeles last week, when David began a new chapter at the LA Galaxy soccer club, with the pair appearing on magazine covers, chat shows and television specials.
It was comedian versus comedian last week at an L.A. comedy club which saw a brutal fight between Jon Lovitz and Andy Dick. The fight took place at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles, where the two were reportedly arguing about the murder of their Saturday Night Live colleague, Phil Hartman.
The club's owner, Jamie Masada, witnessed the fight and said: "Jon picked Andy up by the head and smashed him into the bar four or five times, and blood started pouring out of his nose."
Lovitz said, "All the comedians are glad I did it because this guy is an [edited]."
Lovitz and Dick have been at eachothers throats since a Christmas party in 1997 held at Phil Hartman's house. Andy Dick was reportedly doing cocaine at the party when he gave some to Hartman's wife, Brynn, who had been sober for 10 years. Five months later, Hartman's wife flipped out, shot him, and then killed herself. Lovitz blames it all on Dick giving Brynn the cocaine, and once told Andy when filling in on Hartman's TV show Newsradio, "I wouldn't be here now if you hadn't given Brynn that cocaine."
The situation got worse last year when Lovitz claims a drunken Andy Dick walked up to his table at a Hollywood restaurant, snatching his guests drinks, and saying to Lovitz "I put the "Phil Hartman hex" on you - you're the next one to die." Clearly that didn't settle well with Lovitz who said "I wanted to punch his face in, but I don't hit women."
Andy Dick got what had long been coming to him last Wednesday evening at the Laugh Factory, when Lovitz confronted him about the incident last year. All he wanted was an apology, but Dick reportedly denied knowing what he was talking about.
Dick reportedly then leaned in and told Lovitz, "You know why I said it? Because you said I killed Phil Hartman." Lovitz claims not to have said that, and said that Andy then asked him to be in his new movie.That, apparently, is what set Jon Lovitz off, who then screamed "I don't want to be in your movie! I don't want to be in your life!", and then pushed him repeatedly into a rail.
Oh, but he was anti-war because of pure convictions and honest "truth to power". BWAHAHA.
July 17th, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - The United Kingdom House of Commons Committee on Standards and Privileges has released a report today concerning MP George Galloway and his misconduct related to the Oil-for-Food Program. The Parliament report was highly critical of Galloway's activities related to the Program, ruling against Galloway on every charge. Finally, the Committee recommends that he be suspended from the House of Commons for eighteen working days – which is reportedly "one of the most severe [penalties] given to an MP" – and requests that he apologize for his misconduct. In arriving at its conclusions, the Committee relied in large part on evidence gathered by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, then chaired by Senator Norm Coleman.
"I applaud the Committee for its diligence. With the release of the report, the U.K. Parliament becomes the fourth official entity to conclude that Galloway, through his political campaign, received financial support from the Hussein regime and that support was obtained from Oil-for-Food deals,” said Coleman.
Notably, the U.K. report includes a document that provides even further evidence that Galloway was knowledgeable about and participated in nefarious transactions related to the Program. The report has released the minutes of a meeting between Galloway and Saddam Hussein that occurred on August 8, 2002, in which Galloway discusses with Hussein and Tariq Aziz certain Iraqi oil deals – in clear and unmistakable terms. He specifically mentions how certain unidentified problems with oil prices are affecting "our"' income and "our dues."
"This document confirms what we've known all along: Galloway was neck-deep in the Oil-for-Food deals, he kowtowed to Saddam Hussein, and his bombastic denials were nothing more than a web of misleading statements. This report clearly shows he was trying to mislead the Subcommittee in his 2005 testimony and tried to create the impression that he did not benefit in any way from any Iraqi oil deals. The evidence shows that Galloway tried to mislead us when he denied knowing that his Jordanian business agent was doing oil deals with Iraq, when he denied knowing that some deals resulted in donations to his political campaign, the Mariam Appeal, and when he denied communicating with Saddam Hussein and Tariq Aziz about oil allocations. The evidence also shows that those claims are simply not true. These findings should put to rest any suggestion that Galloway did not know about these oil transactions and that he had no idea his wife and his political campaign were getting hundreds of thousands of dollars in oil money," Coleman said. "In fact, the evidence shows that he solicited such favors from the Hussein regime. As Parliament’s report states, he at best turned a blind eye, and ‘on balance, was likely to have known and been complicit in what was going on.’ He will undoubtedly resort to his old tactics and claim that these are fraudulent documents, but the evidence shows that he is flat wrong. The avalanche of credible evidence against him is just never-ending.”
“In response, Galloway will huff and puff, but he can’t blow away the facts of this report. In fact, the house is falling down around him and he will be suspended from the Parliament because of his transgressions,” Coleman added.
During Senator Coleman's tenure as Chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Subcommittee issued a detailed report in October 2005 that presented bank records establishing that Galloway's wife received roughly $150,000 directly from an Oil-for-Food oil deal. The Subcommittee's report also presented detailed documentation proving that the Mariam Appeal, the political organization Galloway portrayed as a children's charity, received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Oil-for-Food transactions. The U.N.'s investigators, the Independent Inquiry Committee, found that Galloway's wife received approximately $120,000 from a different transaction under the Program and that the Mariam Appeal also received massive cash transfers funds from Oil-for-Food transactions.More recently, the U.K. Charity Commission concluded that the Mariam Appeal improperly received at least $376,000 from Oil-for-Food deals. The Charity Commission also chastised Galloway, along with the other trustees of the Appeal, saying that they "did not properly discharge their duty of care as trustees to the Appeal in respect of these donations," and concluded that, having considered the totality of the evidence before it, that Galloway may also have known of the connection between the Appeal and the Program.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Interesting, so now opposing a violent and oppressive social and political movement is "racial"? Guess it's easy to make that slam against the Krauts what with their history and all...
While Muslims see a £20m building for Cologne as test of a nation's tolerance, critics fear the rise of a parallel, repressive society
Jason Burke in Cologne
Sunday July 15, 2007
Anti-mosque protest in Cologne. Photograph: Henning Kaiser/AFP/Getty
This weekend the mosque is overcrowded, the cafe grubby, the social centre and offices scruffy and uncomfortable. Not for long, hopes Kilic Iqbal, 27, who works for the Turkish religious and cultural association that runs the complex. 'It will be beautiful, but much more too,' said Iqbal. 'The Muslims of Germany have been here 40 years, there are more than 120,000 in Cologne, it will show we are part of society.
But though almost every party has approved the project in theory, the construction is still controversial. 'People are scared,' said Fritz Schamma, the Christian Democrat mayor. 'But the mosque will be built, that's certain. For me it is self-evident that the Muslim community needs a prestigious place of worship.'
Not everyone is of the same opinion. Last week the mosque project hit the headlines again against the background of a major row over a government-organised conference of 'national integration', the main plank of Chancellor Angela Merkel's strategy to integrate Germany's 15 million immigrants. A prominent survivor of the Holocaust said he feared the creation of a 'parallel [Muslim] society' where women were repressed. A writer pledged to read chapters from The Satanic Verses inside the mosque.
Bekir Alboga, the 45-year-old cleric who heads the mosque, was surprised by the resistance to the plan. 'We live in a democratic state,' he told The Observer. 'The right to worship is protected. Given recent German history, we thought extremism was a thing of the past.'
Serious opposition has only come from the far right and church figures. Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the leader of Cologne's Catholics, said the project gives him a 'bad feeling', alleging the minarets would 'change the skyline of the city', although they would be far smaller than the spires of the massive 12th-century Gothic cathedral. For his part Alboga accuses the churches of stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment to boost dwindling congregations. The fiercest resistance has come from Pro-Koln, an extreme-right group with five seats out of 90 on the city council. Manfred Rouhs, a leader, said Islam's 'social model' was not one 'that has any place in the middle of Europe'. Pro-Koln has called on right-wing allies such as the Austrian Freedom Party and Vlams Belaang, a Belgian extreme party. Right-wing demonstrations against the mosque turned violent last month with 100 arrests in running battles with police.
Coverage of the 'national integration summit', meant to be a triumphal launch of £500m of measures ranging from compulsory language and culture training for immigrants to sports and educational funding for marginalised youth, focused instead on the boycott by groups representing many of Germany's Turkish community. They were protesting against a law decreeing that foreign spouses must be over 18, proficient in German and have solid financial support before being granted entry. Kenan Kolat, chair of the Turkish Community in Germany, claimed the legal provision, aimed at stopping forced marriages, was 'discrimination'. In Berlin, unemployment in the Turkish population is 40 per cent. One study found that only 80 people of Turkish origin held political office in Germany. Ehrenfeld, where the mosque is to be built, bears little trace of ethnic tensions, however. 'We get along fine,' said office worker Christoph Becker, 35. 'There's never any trouble.'
For Alboga, the stakes are high. 'This is not just about Cologne. It is a test for Germany, Germans and German democracy,' he said. 'The world is watching. This is about setting an example for Europe and for the Islamic world too.'
Leave it Steve Lopez (of the L.A. Slimes, of course) to almost singlehandedly redefine hypocrisy.
God bless the folks at Newsbusters.
NewsBusters.org ^ | 15 July 2007 | Dave Pierre
The 21-year-old nephew of Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez has enlisted in the Marines, and Lopez isn't happy about it. "Don't become a pawn, I told my nephew," Lopez writes. His column is, "When the reality of Iraq hits home" (Sun., 7/15/07).
Some have argued that without a draft, enlisting in this war is a matter of choice, so what happens, happens.
But that's not necessarily true in the case of National Guard troops who have been called up. And as for soldiers as young as my nephew, I don't see enlistment as a well-informed choice but as a product of manipulation.
Not a "well-informed choice"? A "product of manipulation"? At 21 years old? Am I the only one who think this sounds a tad condescending?
So, why did Lopez's nephew join the Marines? Lopez tells us that he has written from boot camp.
"What I want for my life is to stand above the majority," [the nephew] wrote. "I believe in honor, discipline and courage…. I wish to be bigger than myself, to be a part of something more — something important and significant…. I hope that you will understand my reasons for this decision and will continue to support me."
Lopez has a justified worry that his nephew will be deployed to Iraq. Nearly everyone can sympathize with that anxiety. But Lopez claims that President Bush "misled us from the beginning" and "will keep sacrificing lives in a vain and futile attempt to save face." Bush's campaign has been one of "deceit and simplification," says Steve.
"Misled us"? "Deceit"? Ugh. It seems Lopez has bought into the "Bush lied" canard. Being from Los Angeles, Lopez should be well aware of KABC radio host Larry Elder. Lopez needs to take Elder's "'Bush lied, People Died' Challenge." (Scroll down to the lower left of the home page.) It could be that the nephew knows more about the Iraq war than Lopez does.
+_+_+_+_+_+(P.S. - After reading Lopez's column, I thought of this ... Back in 2005, Californians debated Proposition 73, an initiative that would require minor girls to acquire parental notification before getting an abortion. In an October 2005 column (I found it reprinted here), Lopez talked with a group of high school-aged girls, most of whom were against the initiative. One girl even insisted it was "nobody's business" (Lopez's words) if a 13 or 14 year old had an abortion by herself. Despite misinformation and relativism ruling the discussion, Lopez beamed at the end of the column that he had "much respect" for the girls. Lopez wrote that he hoped his own daughter "will be able to handle herself as responsibly as these girls have." It sounds like these teens have earned more respect from him than his own adult nephew.)
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Daily Mail ^ | 7/14/07 | NEIL ARMSTRONG
My Way may have been the signature tune of another giant of popular music but no artist has so enthusiastically embraced the philosophy of that song as Prince.
The maverick from Minneapolis has been doing things his way since 1977 when, at the age of 19, he signed a three-album deal and blew the budget for all three albums on the first one, and this after insisting that he play all the instruments himself, record all the vocals himself – and produce it himself. He had assumed full artistic control from the off and he has never relinquished it. He was doing it his way when he surprised the largely black audiences on his first tour by performing in Y-fronts and fishnet stockings, and when, on his first British appearance at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, in 1981, he took to the stage wearing a violet mackintosh, black pants and stockings and stiletto ankle boots.
And he is still doing it his way today as he releases Planet Earth, his brilliant new ten-track album, exclusively through The Mail on Sunday, a move that has sparked controversy across the music industry.
A spokesman for Prince said: 'Prince feels that charts are just music industry constructions and have little or no relevance to fans or even artists today. Prince's only aim is to get music direct to those what want to hear it. Prince famously took a stand against Warner Records in the Nineties when he went on strike and appeared with the world "slave" drawn on his cheek. Subsequently, he regained control of the publishing right to his work and broke down the existing system through his innovation.'
Planet Earth, which is not due to go on sale until July 24, will also be given away free to holders of tickets to Prince's London 02 concerts in August and September. When asked recently why he had decided to do this, Prince replied: 'It's directing marketing as well, and I don't have to be in the speculation business of the record industry, which is going through a lot of tumultuous times right now.'
So much has been written about Prince's remarkable talents, his genius for songwriting, playing and arranging and his battles with the industry. Yet relatively little is known about the man behind the music. He gives interviews infrequently and reluctantly and, when he does, is just as likely to provide cryptic answers to questions as he is to speak freely. Some have speculated that his elusiveness stems from lifelong insecurity.
Certainly Prince Rogers Nelson had a difficult childhood. Born on June 7, 1958, he was the painfully introverted son of a singer mother and a troubled jazz-musician father who left his Minneapolis home when Prince was still a toddler.
Prince was his father's stage name and his father's choice for his son. John Nelson was also responsible for his son's first faltering musical steps by virtue of the fact that when he moved out, he left a grand piano in the house. Prince would pick out the theme tunes from television shows such as Batman, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Dragnet.
'He could hear music even from a very early age,' his late mother, Mattie, once said. 'When he was three or four, we'd go to the department store and he'd jump on the organ, any type of instrument there was. Mostly the piano and organ. I'd have to hunt for him, and that's where he'd be – in the music department.'
'I had a pretty good idea of what the piano was all about by the time I was eight,' Prince has said, despite never having lessons.
It was also at the age of eight that he had his first encounter with what was to become another lifelong obsession: women. He has claimed, although his mother has denied the story, that this stemmed from his discovery of a stash of pornographic novels in his mother's bedroom. According to Prince he even tried writing his own stories when he became bored with those he had found.
School was a pretty miserable experience. He was teased about his height – he is only 5ft 2in without his trademark heels – and was continually the butt of jokes. He was given various nicknames, the cruellest of which was 'Butcher Dog' because his peers decreed that he looked like an alsatian. 'Princess' was another taunt.
Life at home was not much better. Not only was the family worse off after the departure of John Nelson, but his mother remarried and Prince took an instant dislike to his stepfather, Hayward Barker, whom he saw as 'materialistic'.
'He would bring us presents all the time rather than sit down and talk with us or give us companionship,' Prince has said. 'I would say all the things I disliked about him rather than tell him what I really needed which was a mistake, and kind of hurt our relationship.'
However, his stepfather did take him to see James Brown in Minneapolis when he was ten. It was a turning point. Prince was hugely impressed by the performance, and, he later admitted, even more impressed by the 'fine' girls he saw at the gig.
Music became both a solace and a way to attract the attention of his peers and, no doubt, the opposite sex. His talent was so prodigious that by puberty he'd mastered keyboards, guitar and drums.
Whether or not he actually witnessed the domestic violence depicted in the semi-autobiographical film Purple Rain, in which he plays a Minneapolis musician struggling to overcome a difficult home life, he undoubtedly felt rejected by his parents.
His father was barely around and his mother found him so difficult she turfed him out, though it is unclear exactly why. Had it not been for his best friend André Cymone's mother allowing him to live in her basement, the teenage Prince might have been homeless.
Prince and André competed for girls, trying to get them to 'participate in some lewd activity', as André put it. At high school, Prince took a three-year class in 'The Business Of Music'. He was determined to make it and Warner Brothers in Los Angeles quickly saw that Prince was the real thing, a prodigy who could play any instrument and had already synthesized his own style from diverse black and white influences.
In 1979 he scored his first hit, I Wanna Be Your Lover, and was on his way to the top. His drive was relentless and culminated in the staggering success of 1984's Purple Rain – the album that sold ten million copies and the accompanying movie. But for many fans even that was topped by 1987's dazzlingly eclectic Sign O' The Times.
He ploughed some of the proceeds into the vast Paisley Park studio complex outside his hometown of Minneapolis, for use by himself and other artists. It includes a 12,500 sq ft sound stage for filming and four state-of-the-art recording studios. Some have dubbed it Prince's Xanadu.
He is still believed to own a home close by, together with property in Toronto, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, and more recently, Las Vegas. And always, Prince did it his own way, exercising complete control over his artistic output. He never really took to the traditional label-artist relationship.
With remarkable prescience, as far back as 1995 he told an interviewer: 'Once the internet is a reality the music business is finished. There won't be any need for record companies. If I can send you my record direct, what's the point of having the business? I don't even have a manager any more. Would you want somebody living off your work?'
When record company executives warned him against releasing Sign O' The Times as a double album, he ignored their wishes and it became his most critically acclaimed work.
'These are the same people who would tell Mozart he writes too many notes or say that Citizen Kane is a long movie,' he said at the time.
Later, as the result of a complicated dispute with Warner over a six-album deal signed in 1992, he announced that he was changing his name to a symbol and took to wearing a scarf over his face in public. When he ditched the scarf he started writing 'slave' on his right cheek, just in case anyone had failed to get the point.
When the son of a Warner executive suggested to Prince that he didn't have another hit record in him, he wrote The Most Beautiful Girl In The World the very next day and in 1994 it became his first No 1.
But throughout his 30-year career he has pursued the opposite sex just as energetically as he has his musical goals. Prince has been romantically connected with a string of beautiful women including Madonna, whose underwear he would flaunt on stage, Kim Basinger, Carmen Electra, Kirstie Alley, the singers Vanity, Apollonia, Sheila E and even the squeaky-clean Scottish songstress Sheena Easton.
On Valentine's Day, 1996, aged 37, he married for the first time. His wife, Mayte Garcia, was a 23-year-old belly-dancer in his band. 'She looked at me for what I was,' he said of their relationship. 'If I was being a jerk, she'd say so. She mothered me. She was my friend for years before everything started going click, click, click.'
He bought his young wife a hacienda overlooking the sea, in Marbella, Spain. They added their own eccentric brand of decor in Prince's trademark pinks, purples and peaches.
In the rare interviews he has granted, Prince has proved himself adept at disarming journalists. One interviewer who talked to him during his marriage to Mayte, a Puerto Rican beauty, recalled her entering the room wearing a clingy, floaty frock. Prince asked her, with a completely straight face: 'Is that my dress or yours?'
Their son Gregory was born on October 16, 1996 with Pfeiffer syndrome – craniosynostosis – a rare condition in which the skull hardens prematurely. Tragically, he died at less than two weeks old. Barely a week later the couple went on the Oprah Winfrey TV show. 'We believed he was going to come back, that souls come back,' said Mayte. 'We didn't want to acknowledge that he was gone.'
Mayte and Prince drifted apart, separating after two years and divorcing in 2000, though Mayte has said that there was no great falling out. Prince's response to grief and bereavement was simply to bury himself in his work.
The following year Prince married for a second time in Hawaii, this time to former Paisley Park assistant Manuela Testolini, another stunning beauty. Last year Prince's lawyer confirmed the star's second wife had filed for divorce. As ever, there was no comment from Prince.
Indeed, the singer has always preferred to let his music do the talking.
However, in recent years it has been his determination to challenge the music industry that has had everyone in the business talking – and not always favourably. His decision earlier this year to offer a track from his new Planet Earth album, Guitar, as a free download as part of a deal with American mobile phone giant Verizon prompted anger from the record industry. But antipathy towards Prince for embracing new ways of getting his music to fans reached a crescendo when he decided to release Planet Earth, not in record shops or even online, but free inside The Mail on Sunday. It was another clear signal that Prince intends to keep control of his music. And with Planet Earth he is undoubtedly back to his very best.
As one of his famous contemporaries, Madonna, has said: 'He reeks of lavender, but apart from that you can't fault him.'
'Here at Time Out Towers, never in a million years did we imagine that we would print the words “The Mail on Sunday is right!” but, on this occasion, it is.' Time Out
'He's made his millions so all he cares about now is getting his music out to as many people as possible.' Stuart Williams, managing director of Q magazine, on Prince
'He's not an official Royal, but Prince is generating more ink in the UK than anyone named William or Harry.' Rolling Stone
'It devalues the music and the losers will be new artists who are trying to come through . . . Consumers only have so much listening time in the week and if they receive the new album from Prince then they don't need to buy new music and will spend their money on something else.' Kim Bayley, director general, Entertainment Retailers Association
'It has been roundly criticised as a major blow for an industry already facing rapidly declining CD sales.' Los Angeles Times
'Already news of the alliance between the paper and Prince has featured on the BBC Six O'Clock News and in The New York Times.' The Guardian
'Sony BMG UK said it decided it was “ridiculous” to go ahead with its own sales launch in light of the newspaper deal, but stood by their star singer, adding they remained “delighted” to be working with him.' International Herald Tribune
'After initially criticising Prince and the deal, music and books retailer HMV, which doesn't normally sell newspapers, decided to sell The Mail on Sunday in its 400-plus stores. Rival retailers were outraged.' The Post And Courier, Charleston, USA
'Like it or not, selling the newspaper is the only way to make the Prince album available to our customers.' HMV spokesman
'Could this be the way of the future? Last year, fans acquired more than half their music from unpaid sources. So why keep charging for it?' Newsday, New York'As Prince might say, a sign of the times.' BBC News Magazine
Another totally genius study that hopefully didn't utilize any taxpayer funding. (I didn't even bother publishing the "study" from last week that concluded that well-toned men got more babes. NO! Really?!) :
A new study finds overweight kids are stigmatized by other children at a very early age, and they may even face bias from their own caregivers.
Rebecca Puhl, a clinical psychologist at the Center for Food Policy and Obesity says overweight children may become vulnerable targets of weight bias as early as age 3, "so it can be verbal teasing, it can be physical aggression and social rejection, and this is not something that is happening just from peers -it's also happening from parents and teachers."
She says "kids who are overweight and who are teased or victimized because of their weight are more vulnerable to things like depression, low self-esteem, poor body image and even suicidal thoughts and behaviors."
Puhl adds some youngsters respond to this victimization by "actually engaging in unhealthy eating behaviors like binge eating, and avoiding physical activity."She says the bottom line is that "we need school systems to treat weight bias with the legitimacy of other forms of bias that are addressed in schools already, like gender and racial bias."
This is clearly retarded. But, thankfully, some folks are fighting it.
Britain's World War II prime minister Winston Churchill has been cut from a list of key historical figures recommended for teaching in English secondary schools, a government agency says.
The radical overhaul of the school curriculum for 11- to 14-year-olds is designed to bring secondary education up to date and allow teachers more flexibility in the subjects they teach, the Government said.
But although Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Joseph Stalin and Martin Luther King have also been dropped from the detailed guidance accompanying the curriculum, Sir Winston's exclusion is likely to leave traditionalists aghast.
A spokesman for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority said the new curriculum, to be taught from September 2008, does not prescribe to teachers what they must include.
But he added: "Teachers know that they need to mention these pivotal figures. They don't need to be instructed by law to mention them in every history class.
"Of course, good teachers will be teaching the history of Churchill as part of the history of Britain. The two are indivisible."
Sir Winston's grandson Nicholas Soames, also a Conservative Member of Parliament, described the move as "madness."
"It is absurd. I expect he wasn't New Labour enough for them ... this is a Government that is very careless of British history and always has been.
"The teaching of history is incredibly important," he added.
"If you're surprised that people do not seem to care that much about the country in which they live, the reason is that they don't know much about it."
The History Curriculum Association said it was "appalled" by the move, saying the new curriculum would "promote ignorance" and was pandering to a politically-correct agenda.
The Conservatives' schools spokesman Michael Gove added: "Winston Churchill is the towering figure of 20th century British history.
"His fight against fascism was Britain's finest hour. Our national story can't be told without Churchill at the centre."
Schools Secretary Ed Balls defended the move, saying a slimmed-down curriculum was overdue and traditional elements in all subjects had been protected.
Among the few named figures that stay in the new history curriculum are William Wilberforce, the British law maker who was instrumental in efforts to abolish the slave trade.
Sir Winston, who was British prime minister from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955, was famous for his defiance to the Nazis, stirring oratory and trademark cigar and "V for victory" sign.In 2002, a BBC poll with more than one million votes saw him voted the Greatest Briton of all time.
For all y'all that were as curious about the "rest of the story" as I was... (although I'm having a tough time buying it...):
ERIE, Pa. — A pizza deliveryman who robbed a bank and was killed when the bomb around his neck exploded wasn't a hostage — he was a conspirator in the plot, federal authorities said Wednesday.
The deliveryman, Brian Wells, 46, had told police before the bomb exploded in August 2003 that he was an innocent victim and had been forced by gunmen to rob the bank.
However, in the indictments unsealed Wednesday, Wells is named as a co-conspirator. Two other people, Marjorie Diehl-Armstrong and her friend Kenneth E. Barnes, are charged with bank robbery, conspiracy and a firearms count.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Not quite parody but dangerously close. How can she be so disgustingly pro-American, he wonders, and yet so stridently anti-Islamic? Doesn’t she see that Islamists and “Christianists” are two sides of the same coin?
Okay... this woman is my new heroine. She is absolutely delightful. may God bless and protect her.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Human Events ^ | 07/13/2007 | Mac Johnson
Washington was rocked -- ROCKED -- this week when it was revealed that Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, is a practicing heterosexual. The news came as part of a larger bombshell, as Vitter’s name was revealed to be on the client list of the so-called “D.C. Madam” (who is apparently not Nancy Pelosi, by the way, but a physical prostitute.)
Vitter, obviously unfamiliar with how to react when one’s sexual identity is made public, immediately apologized and foolishly focused on the paying-for-sex aspect of the whole affair. He also used the word “sin,” which at the time that this column went to press, I was unable to find a definition for in my official media dictionary.
Contrast this to the way Congressman Barney Frank reacted when it was revealed that he was living with a male prostitute, who was running a gay escort service out of Frank’s home -- when not having Frank try to influence his probation officer or having sex with Frank in the Congressional gym (or perhaps it was the page in the gym? -- oh well, it’s so hard to keep our congressmen straight!). When caught, Frank ignored the whole whore-mongering detail and focused instead on declaring his true sexual identity from the rooftops. Once safely homosexual, Frank was immune to all other criticism for being a sugar daddy to a coin-operated boy-toy pimp with a felony conviction for “production of obscene items involving a juvenile.” I also believe that had Frank had a private sector job, Human Resources might have wanted to talk to him for inappropriate use of a company thigh-master.
Frank was reelected for life as a sort of mascot for Massachusetts sensibilities and declared “courageous.” Clearly, anyone who found Frank’s whoring a bit unbecoming of a public servant was a homophobic hater.
I would like to point out to Senator Vitter that the same opportunity exists for him now. David, embrace your rampant and unabashed heterosexuality and become a shining example of heterosexual identity. OUT OF THE BROTHEL AND INTO THE STREET! Too long have heterosexual males been persecuted and criticized for who they are. Dang it, you can’t control who you love, you can only negotiate a better rate.
After years of being told not to stare, not to make innuendos, not to make any particularly funny jokes at work, and to report to Human Resources for remedial Sensitivity Training and Sexual Harassment class, I’ve had enough. I want a protected legal status for my “sexual identity”. I want a bumper sticker. I want a parade, and dammit, I want to pick out who gets to ride on my float according to my blatant personal “lookism.”
There is just one word for the dark motivation behind Vitter’s outing and that is HETEROPHOBIA! There I said it. If this country wants to erase its lingering legacy of heterophobia, then I want heterosexual scandals to be treated with equal stupidity. Vitter must be re-elected, cleansed, treated with kid gloves by the media, and if he has a lisp then no one must ever make fun of it --EVER-- or else be called an ignorant heterophobe. Also, Vitter should probably have a marine sanctuary named after him; and why doesn’t this man have a design show on “HGTV”?!
OK, that last joke was just gratuitous, but I’m on an indignant campaign to have my carnal instincts recognized as an important topic for public validation, approval, and celebration. I have further demands: a return of “The Man Show”, the appointment of Leeann Tweeden to the Supreme Court (clearly a redesign of the robes will have to follow), and the reopening of all the recently closed New England “Hooters” restaurants (obvious victims of the culinary heterophobia of the northeastern elite). And basically, I want to live like a budget Kennedy and be told I’m good.
Senator Vitter, stand up for who you are (other than being a whore chaser, I mean), and lead this movement. Look into the camera and tell the world, “I am a Straight-American.” Don’t give in to the pressure of the heterophobes -- chief among which is Larry The Flynt, who when reached for comment while regenerating in a pit of slime aboard a hovering party ship on his home planet, had this to say, “Ow Argh… I tup myselp wi a tuna fish arghhhhhhhh….”
Flynt, publisher of Hustler (the trailer park behind Playboy’s Mansion) and all around great role model for children, claims to have been the one that outed Vitter in order to punish “hypocrisy.” Flynt may just be jealous, however, since as a man without any morals or limits he can never be called a hypocrite himself, unless of course, he suddenly judged himself disgusting.
In fact, I’m a huge fan of hypocrisy, since the alternative is apparently a world without standards for anyone, lest someone risk being called a hypocrite. Here is the difference between the average hypocrite and the average liberal: the hypocrite has the common courtesy to be embarrassed about what he does. The liberal thinks what he does should be taught to your children at school.
So I dream of a world with a bit more public hypocrisy.I’m not defending Vitter; I’m just making a few observations on things. So don’t judge me, you heterophobic hypocrites. Celebrate my diversity.
Click on the title for some photoshop fun.
I love Mr. Ping Ping!
He's picking up 80 bags of trash a day in return for donations
TORONTO (Sun Media) - Marc the Litter Guy needed money to pay the rent but he didn't want to panhandle.
So the 30-year-old got some garbage bags and put a sign on his back saying he was cleaning the city for donations.
"I needed to make my own job, so I thought I'd go around and clean the streets. I wear a sign -- it tells what I'm doing and asks for donations -- but I don't ask for money verbally, I leave it up to people," said Marc, who has been picking up about 80 bags of garbage a day for the past 11 months.
Marc was struggling to get work as a day labourer and was tired of lining up at 4:30 a.m every day looking for a job that wasn't there.
"I can have crappy days where I don't make minimum wage, but some days I can make $10 an hour," he said.
Marc has some specific areas where he works, and it's not uncommon for businesses to donate garbage bags and give him a few bucks to clean up their areas.
Marc is talking to faculty at the University of Toronto about starting a pilot project, where panhandlers could meet at the university and then disperse with garbage bags to different locales.
"I just think this is a viable option for panhandlers and it is good for the city," he said.
It is commonplace for many panhandlers to stake out the same corner every day to beg for money.
"I think this guy has a great idea," said Robin MacDonald, a customer at Starbucks on King St. E.
"Here you have a guy who doesn't bother people and he gives back. I wouldn't mind giving my change to him."
A 75 year old woman from Karlstad in central Sweden has been thrust into the IT history books - with the world's fastest internet connection.
Sigbritt Löthberg's home has been supplied with a blistering 40 Gigabits per second connection, many thousands of times faster than the average residential link and the first time ever that a home user has experienced such a high speed.
But Sigbritt, who had never had a computer until now, is no ordinary 75 year old. She is the mother of Swedish internet legend Peter Löthberg who, along with Karlstad Stadsnät, the local council's network arm, has arranged the connection.
"This is more than just a demonstration," said network boss Hafsteinn Jonsson.
"As a network owner we're trying to persuade internet operators to invest in faster connections. And Peter Löthberg wanted to show how you can build a low price, high capacity line over long distances," he told The Local.
Sigbritt will now be able to enjoy 1,500 high definition HDTV channels simultaneously. Or, if there is nothing worth watching there, she will be able to download a full high definition DVD in just two seconds.
The secret behind Sigbritt's ultra-fast connection is a new modulation technique which allows data to be transferred directly between two routers up to 2,000 kilometres apart, with no intermediary transponders.
According to Karlstad Stadsnät the distance is, in theory, unlimited - there is no data loss as long as the fibre is in place.
"I want to show that there are other methods than the old fashioned ways such as copper wires and radio, which lack the possibilities that fibre has," said Peter Löthberg, who now works at Cisco.
Cisco contributed to the project but the point, said Hafsteinn Jonsson, is that fibre technology makes such high speed connections technically and commercially viable."The most difficult part of the whole project was installing Windows on Sigbritt's PC," said Jonsson.
Please pray for this man!
Pyongyang, Jul 11, 2007 / 10:53 am (CNA).- An international organization that assists persecuted Christians around the world, launched a worldwide campaign July 10th to free a North Korean man awaiting public execution for being a Christian.
For more than a year, Son Jong Nam, a former army officer turned underground evangelist, has been beaten, tortured and held in a bleak, North Korean death row basement jail in the capital city. He has been sentenced to public execution as an example to the North Korean people.
Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) has been joined in the initiative by U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Sam Brownback (R-Kan).
Brownback sent letters last week, also signed by Senators Baucus (D-Mont.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Vitter (R-La.), asking U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to work to secure the release of the Christian prisoner.
VOM is calling on people in the United States and around the world to write letters and send e-mails on Son Jong Nam's behalf.
"We are asking for prayers for Mr. Son, but also that people around the world take action on his behalf," said Todd Nettleton of VOM.
In his letters to Rice and Ban, Brownback wrote: "Future cooperation and engagement with North Korea will be far more challenging if its leaders continue to persecute their own people for religious views. The United States has made political and religious freedoms important elements in its diplomatic relations, and we are gravely concerned about abuses of such basic rights in North Korea."
According to Nettleton, North Korea is one of the most repressive and isolated regimes in the world and denies every kind of human right to its citizens. The country's previous leader, Kim Il Sung, founded an ideology called "juche," meaning "self-reliance," which is enforced in every aspect of the culture by the ruling elite. Kim Jong Il, the son of deceased leader Kim Il Sung, currently leads the country. In North Korea, both Kims are considered deities.
"All religions have been harshly repressed in North Korea," said Nettleton. "Thousands of Christians have been murdered since the Korean War. In 1953, there were an estimated 300,000 Christians; however, the number is much lower today. Christians must practice their faith in deep secrecy and are in constant danger."Those who wish to join the letter campaign should go to www.prisoneralert.com for more information.
A lovely little story to start off the day:
ANGOLA, Ind. -- A waitress got more than a $5 tip for her friendly service. She also got a $10,000 gift.
Jessica Osborne was so overcome she cried so hard she could barely breathe. When she told a co-worker what had happened she called her a liar.
''I got that a lot,'' Osborne said.
The money came from a mother and her two sons who want to remain anonymous. The three were regular customers at the Pizza Hut in Angola and she remembered their order: two Mountain Dews, a cup of hot water for a bag of tea the woman would bring in, and a large Meat Lover's Stuffed Crust pizza.
Each time they would ask for Osborne to be their server and chat with her.
''They make your day better when they come in,'' she said.
The 20-year-old waitress told the family recently how she had started college twice before, but had to withdraw because she didn't have enough money. They came Sunday night and handed Osborne a check, folded in half, with money from an education fund they had set up after a death in the family.''I said I didn't want to look at it because I thought I was going to cry,'' Osborne said.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Cue up Red Barchetta.
If one of the more extreme responses to global warming comes true, driving a sports car anywhere but on a racetrack might be relegated to history's dustbin.
Fast, powerful cars within a few years may be outlawed in Europe, an idea that has been raised ostensibly because Ferraris and Porsches produce too much carbon dioxide. For those who abhor sports cars as vulgar symbols of affluence (along with vacation homes, furs and fancy jewelry), such a ban could be a two-fer: Saving the planet while cutting economic inequality.Who are these people anyway who decide on behalf of everyone what car is proper to drive? In the U.S. they're members of Congress, which is considering fuel-efficiency standards that will affect vehicle size. In Europe, it's the ministers and parliamentarians of the European Union, which wants to limit how much CO2 cars can emit as a proxy for a fuel- consumption standard.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Okay... I also can't believe it took me a week to blog this.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has instructed his ministers not to use the word "Muslim" in connection with the recent terrorist incidents in Glasgow and London, the Daily Express reports.The phrase "War on Terror" has also been dropped in an effort to improve community relations with the nation's Islamic community, the paper reported.
Can't believe this was posted on CNN... although of course it got its start at IBD.
Jul. 10, 2007 (Investor's Business Daily) --
Politics: Was what Al Gore called "the largest global entertainment event in all of human history" also the largest in-kind political contribution? And where's the Fairness Doctrine when you need it?
Considering that here in the U.S. the Peacock Network's three-hour Gore infomercial on global warming lost out in the ratings to "Cops" and "America's Funniest Home Videos," Gore's claim may be open to question. Live Earth, in fact, may have been America's funniest home video. Ever.
But thanks in large part to the 75 hours of free airtime that NBC gave Gore on its various stations, starting with NBC and including CNBC, Bravo, the Sundance channel, Universal HD and Telemundo, Gore may now be the 800-pound gorilla this political season.
Gore insists he's not running for president. Yet, as we have wondered before, why would a man who insists that global warming is the biggest threat to mankind, bigger than nuclear terror, not want control of the reins of a major world polluter and chief resister to Kyoto?
Dan Harrison, an NBC corporate senior vice president, called the Gore effort "an initiative we believe in" -- the "we" presumably including corporate parent General Electric. (NYSE:GE) Yet he insisted: "I don't think climate change is a political issue."
From the other side of his mouth, Harrison opined: "If it's a political issue, it's whether the political will exists to address that change. We know we need to do something, and this is a way to heighten awareness."
So he considers it NBC's mission to generate that political will in an election cycle in support of a man who once ran for president.
NBC and GE have other interests in hyping climate change. Let's not forget GE is the parent of NBC and stands to make a wad of cash from selling alternative energy products from wind turbines to solar panels to those compact fluorescent bulbs containing mercury.
So when Gore prances on stage to demand we stop building coal-fired plants, that's music to GE's corporate ears.
NBC's Ann Curry certainly thinks global warming is a political issue. During prime-time coverage, she almost got down on her knees to beg the jolly green giant to run for the White House.
Interviewing Gore from the site of the concert in New Jersey, Curry gushed:
"A lot of people want me to ask you tonight if you're running for president. And I know what you're answer is gonna be, believe me. I gotta ask you though. After fueling this grass-roots movement, if you become convinced that without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming to the level that is required, because the clock is ticking, would you answer the call? Would you answer the call, yes or no?"
Certainly Gore thinks global warming is a political issue, appearing earlier this year before Democrat-controlled House and Senate committees pleading for action. During his opening statement before the House, he famously said: "The planet has a fever. If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor."
After Gore's testimony, a better course of action would have been to ask for a second opinion.
When a conservative appears on talk radio, liberals cry for the Fairness Doctrine. Seventy-five free hours for Archbishop Gore's Church of Climate Change? Not a peep.
Newstex ID: IBD-0001-18042759
Originally published in the July 10, 2007 version of Investor's Business Daily.