Monday, January 31, 2005

Immigration: I'm for deporting illegal aliens, and strict immigration control for America. Malaysia method of immigration control, turning it into a countrywide "Running Man" type competition is a bit much.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Reuters) - Thousands of Asian immigrants rushed to catch ferries and planes out of Malaysia Monday on the eve of a campaign to round up and deport illegal workers, the biggest such crackdown in three years. Long lines of people, most of them Indonesians, filed through ports and airports around the country. Many were weighed down with ruck-sacks while women cradled infants and men carried TV sets and portable stereos. They were taking advantage of the final day of a three-month amnesty that gives illegal immigrants a chance to leave the country without punishment. Estimates of the illegal immigrant population range to as many as about 1.2 million. Those caught from Tuesday, when about 500,000 immigration and police officers and volunteers start a hunt for illegal migrants, can be jailed for five years or fined before being deported. Men younger than 50 can be whipped.

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UK: Socialized Healthcare seems swell.

"....Three months ago George Marshall fretted about the choice offered by his doctor in Britain. Diagnosed with coronary heart disease, the violin repairer from Bradford was told he could either wait up to six months for a heart bypass operation on the National Health Service or pay £19,000 to go under the scalpel immediately. In the end, Mr Marshall chose to outsource his operation to India. Last month he flew 5,000 miles to the southern Indian city of Bangalore where surgeons at the Wockhardt hospital and heart institute took a piece of vein from his arm to repair the thinning arteries of his heart. The cost was £4,800, including the flight."

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Politics: Ward Churchill, a university of Colorado professor who said victim of the World Trade Center attack were "little Eichmanns," quit his job as the head of the Ethnic Studies Department, but keeps his professor job. If the backlash doesn't calm down, I suspect the university will try to get him out quietly. He claims the media defamed him and his views. Meantime, I will just keep laughing at this pic, VIVA LA REVOLUTION! Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

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Sex: The World Wildlife Fund saving Pandas and making sure your sex toys are ethical, natural and safe.

Coco de Mer might be seen by critics as cashing in on a new consumerised sex scene but an Ann Summers store it is not. For a start, the interior of Roddick's place is decorated like a Victorian boudoir with sumptuous wall coverings. The goods on sale are all designed and often handmade for this one location. Not only that but Roddick, in keeping with the traditions of her parents, insists that everything is "ethically sourced", either here in Britain or further afield. Only in Coco de Mer surely would you find a Fair Trade "spanking paddle" or leather handcuffs made in Brazil under the same ethical trading banner. "The WWF [World Wildlife Fund] has given us an endorsement for non-toxic sex toys. These dildos here are made from naturally felled wood," explains Roddick, as though she was discussing a Body Shop shampoo.
But what about splinters? via Daily Ablution.

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Iraq: Arab States get antsy about Iraqi election and a possible boost to Iran.

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Iraq: Mark Steyn on the courage of the left.

"....But nevertheless there they were, prosperous, well-dressed Spaniards waving placards showing US missiles and dollar bills going into the ballot box and noisily objecting to the fraud of a so-called election held under American occupation. Given the fact that the voters of Baghdad and Basra and Kirkuk showed the cojones the Spaniards failed to last March, you'd think those protesters would have been less careless about reminding us that the terrorists got a much better election result out of the Spanish electorate than they did from the Iraqis."
"....In Europe and North America, the western Left have got on the wrong side of this movement. Shame on them - particularly those who've accused me of "Islamophobia" these last three years; I'm not the one marching in the streets against Muslim democracy and insisting that Arabs much prefer the "security" of dictatorship. In contrast to the inspirational images from Quagmire Central this weekend, in Europe you can find a few Spaniards brave enough to go into the streets and sneer at Iraqi voters and the moronic Bush, but mustering the courage for anything else is harder. On Sunday night the scheduled attraction at the Rotterdam Film Festival was Submission Part One, a short film about a Muslim woman forced into an arranged marriage to be beaten by her husband and raped by her uncle. The film's director, Theo van Gogh, was subsequently murdered by Islamists, and the screening was supposed to be part of a debate on freedom of expression. Instead, it was cancelled at the last minute for "safety reasons".

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Politics: LATimes on the race for the DNC chair and why they fear Howard Dean.

"Skeptics are also concerned that Dean will use the chairmanship to establish himself as a competing voice to the party's elected officials. Among some party insiders listening closely, he raised eyebrows and anxieties Saturday when he suggested that as chairman he would feel free to criticize Democrats who veered from the dominant party position on several key issues. "To put pressure on somebody from the Midwest for voting a certain way in a conservative state … is a mistake, and we shouldn't do that — except for four or five issues that are absolutely critical," Dean said. The fear that Dean won't accept the party leader's traditionally subordinate role on issues is probably the biggest hurdle he faces. In an interview Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry defended Dean against charges that he was too liberal but added that Democrats in Congress were "not looking for a spokesperson in the chairmanship." Some senior Democratic operatives say unease about a Dean chairmanship is widespread among congressional leaders and many governors. But almost none of those grumbling privately have expressed their concerns publicly — in part, some believe, because they fear crossing the ardent grass-roots, Internet-activist community still backing Dean."
At some point, someone may speak up that with the "ardent grass-roots, internet-activist community" Dean lost everywhere except Vermont among primary voters.

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People: Pope John Paul II vs Doves who do not like cold weather.

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Sunday, January 30, 2005

North Korea: The fall of Kim Jong-Il already starting? Update: North Korean state radio talking about succession.

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Politics: Navigatorgate continues with a column by Nolan Finley of the Detroit News comparing Kwame Kilpatrick, Mayor of the failed city of Detroit, to former long timer mayor Coleman Young choice of rides and tactics as Mayors. The problem is Kilpatrick who is trying to play the race card is not in the same league or position too.

"....There is a difference in stature, though. Young was the city's first black mayor, and many saw him as a Moses. The more we in the press banged away at him, the more the people worshipped him. Young knew his audience, and it wasn't suburbanites or the business community. He played to those who loved to see him flip off The Man. Kilpatrick doesn't have that luxury. His success depends on building regional confidence and alliances. And his most fervent critics come from the city's African-American establishment. That makes it useless for him to throw the race card on the table. "

Yep, If Kilpatrick wants to use this to attack his critics.

"When you're a young African American man with an earring, it's hard for people to believe you're a good husband and father," he said.
He should realize with a city 82% black, telling them you are cutting their services and trying to be gangsta with the SUVs is not going to play well.

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Hollywood: Variety with a goofy article on "Neo-Cons" being pleased about no Oscar nomination as William Triplett makes out Hollywood as some sort of victim.

"....A nomination for either Moore or the pic would have only confirmed their suspicions -- not to mention made it that much harder for Hollywood lobbyists to find sympathetic ears among Congressional Republicans. "It would've been a huge problem if it had been nominated," says Rep. Mark Foley, a Florida Republican and member of the Ways & Means Committee, as well as head of the House GOP Entertainment Caucus. Whether the pic's having been shut out from noms will improve Hollywood's image with the GOP remains to be seen. "I think it has helped mend some of the frayed edges of our relationship, at least tangentially among Republicans who perceive a (liberal) bias in Hollywood," says Foley. "The 'Fahrenheit' decision won't make things better," says one major industry lobbyist, "but it would have gotten worse had it gone the other way."

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Iraq: "We have freedom now, we have human rights, we have democracy," said Mr. Majid said. "We will invite the insurgents to take part in our system. If they do, we will welcome them. If they don't, we will kill them." NYTIMES AP: "The three women in black robes were walking to a polling station when a huge explosion shook the ground. They kept on going, calling out in unison: "We have no fear!" Young and old, male and female, hobbling with canes, hanging on the backs of friends and even wheeled in an office chair, Iraqis chose to go to the polls Sunday, embracing democracy in defiance of an insurgent threat "to wash the streets of Baghdad with the blood of voters."

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Iraq: Balloon Juice has a roundup on Iraqi election coverage and the death of the "Damned, BUT!" The MSM coverage has been amusing as they try to spin the video and pics of millions of Iraqis voting into a negative. Now the election is over, I guess the next theme is "CIVIL WAR??? will it happen?"

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Iraq: NYTIMES : "If the insurgents wanted to stop people from voting, they failed. If they wanted to cause chaos, they failed. The voters were completely defiant, and although there was never the sense that the insurgency was over, there was a feeling that the people of Baghdad, showing a new, positive attitude, had turned a corner. " Reuters: "BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Millions of Iraqis turned out to vote Sunday, defying anti-U.S. insurgents determined to drown the historic poll in blood. Suicide bombs and mortar fire shadowed the event, the first multi-party election in 50 years, killing at least 22 people. But still voters came out in force, many with resolve, some with fanfare and others with their faces hidden." Paul McGeough: "Voting in Iraq's first attempt at democratic elections in half a century opened to a deadly barrage of explosions across the capital. But even before it closed early today, Sydney time, the ballot had prevailed over the bullets and the bombs." With tears rolling down her eyes, a veiled Iraqi woman shows off her finger stained with blue ink and a small card reading 'Elect Iraq ' after she cast her vote in a polling station in Amman, January 30, 2005. Millions of Iraqis flocked to vote in a historic election on Sunday, defying insurgents who killed 25 people in bloody attacks aimed at wrecking the poll. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji

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UN: Kofi Annan's son admits to be involved in a deal to try and sell 2 million barrels of Oil for the son of a former Saudi oil minister.

"Kojo Annan has told a close friend he became involved in negotiations to sell 2m barrels of Iraqi oil to a Moroccan company in 2001. He is understood to be co-operating with UN investigators probing the discredited oil for food programme. The alleged admission will increase pressure on Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, who is already facing calls for his resignation over the management of the humanitarian programme."

"Initially it emerged that Cotecna, the company awarded the contract to monitor humanitarian supplies imported into Iraq, had previously employed Kojo and paid him fees throughout the term of the oil for food programme.

However, a friend of Kojo’s said: “He has explained to the investigators that his only involvement with Cotecna was in Nigeria and that he knew nothing about the deal in Iraq. He is looking forward to the investigation report being published so that he will be exonerated on this point.”

Potentially more serious is his connections with Hani Yamani, the son of Sheikh Yamani, the wealthy former Saudi oil minister who set up Opec. Kojo acted as a director for Hani Yamani’s company and was a close business associate. The pair represented the coming together of two of the world’s most influential families. In 2001 Yamani lined up a deal to sell about $60m worth of Iraqi oil to a Moroccan company. The Sunday Times has statements from two close business associates of Yamani who claim that Kojo was involved in the deal. Kojo is alleged to have travelled to Morocco to help finalise the sale and was present at key meetings. However, the sale was abandoned by Yamani. It is not known if the oil was to have been bought direct from Saddam’s oil ministry or whether a third party was involved. A friend of Kojo’s said: “He was just trying to do Hani a favour. Believe me, Kojo is as straight as they come. In the end the deal never went through because Hani was trying to make an unrealistic profit.”

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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Politics: Michael Moore calls the Democrats wimps, losers, lazy and cowards in an online chat.

David Haddrell : Do you think there is a chance Jeb Bush will stand for presidency in 2008 and if so will you join me in hibernating deep in the Swiss Alps? Michael Moore laughs! Michael Moore : Why go to Switzerland when freezing your ass off in Canada is so close?! I think he will, yes. The Democrats are going to have a very hard time winning the next election - the Republicans have a number of star players and the Democrats have a lot of wimps and losers. stuart c.: why did so many democrats vote to confirm condoleeza rice? why was this such a slam dunk for her? Michael Moore : It was a disgusting sight and indicative of who the Democrats are - they are lazy and they're cowards and I'm just hoping that the more they continue to act like that the more it will encourage Americans to run against them and put the US back in the hands of the working class, where it belongs.

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Germany: Woman has to be a hooker or get her benefits cut by the German government.

A 25-year-old waitress who turned down a job providing "sexual services'' at a brothel in Berlin faces possible cuts to her unemployment benefit under laws introduced this year. Prostitution was legalised in Germany just over two years ago and brothel owners – who must pay tax and employee health insurance – were granted access to official databases of jobseekers. The waitress, an unemployed information technology professional, had said that she was willing to work in a bar at night and had worked in a cafe. She received a letter from the job centre telling her that an employer was interested in her "profile'' and that she should ring them. Only on doing so did the woman, who has not been identified for legal reasons, realise that she was calling a brothel. Under Germany's welfare reforms, any woman under 55 who has been out of work for more than a year can be forced to take an available job – including in the sex industry – or lose her unemployment benefit. Last month German unemployment rose for the 11th consecutive month to 4.5 million, taking the number out of work to its highest since reunification in 1990. The government had considered making brothels an exception on moral grounds, but decided that it would be too difficult to distinguish them from bars. As a result, job centres must treat employers looking for a prostitute in the same way as those looking for a dental nurse. "....There is now nothing in the law to stop women from being sent into the sex industry," said Merchthild Garweg, a lawyer from Hamburg who specialises in such cases. "The new regulations say that working in the sex industry is not immoral any more, and so jobs cannot be turned down without a risk to benefits."

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Tsunami: Sunday Telegraph picks up the complaints of "Ed Stanton" originally posted here(since been taken down) on the U.S. Aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln about the behavior of UN officials, aid workers and the Media. You can read the original here via Goggle cache.

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Sudan: Report coming out this Tuesday will not label the events in Sudan as Genocide according to Ian Mather's of Scotsman.

But any hopes that the refugees in the camps on the Sudanese Chad border may have that the United Nations is about to bring peace enabling them to return home are certain to be dashed this week. A long-awaited report by a UN commission of inquiry to be published on Tuesday will back away from labelling the actions of the Sudanese government genocide. Such a verdict would have forced the UN to intervene. Instead, the 140-page report by a five-strong commission of legal experts, headed by Antonio Cassese, an Italian judge, will produce a list of alleged perpetrators, though the names will remain sealed, and recommend that the cases are referred to the international court, a move which could take months, if not years.
I'm not surprised.

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Media: BBC apologies for "misinterpreting" death stats given to them by the Iraqi ministry of health. They are unhappy they got caught so fast.

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Business: Mcdonalds is outsourcing order takers to North Dakota. I await the Oregon/North Dakota trade wars.

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Health: Article on the why and what are floaters that appear before your eyes.

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Tsunami: UN contractor, activist Farid Faqih who got arrested for allegedly stealing Aid supplies in Aceh, claims he was beaten by a gang of soldiers while in custody.

However, Mr. Faqih, who heads the group Government Watch, said he had been assaulted by several soldiers, not just one. The army captain, Suaib, who like many Indonesians uses a single name, is suspected of beating Mr. Faqih on Thursday at a jail in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, said Maj. Gen. Bambang Dharmono, who is head of the military's tsunami relief work. General Dharmono called the beating "unacceptable." The police detained Mr. Faqih on Wednesday on suspicion of stealing food, medicine and computers. Mr. Faqih, who had a black eye and a bruised, swollen face, denied the accusations. "It was a gang of soldiers who beat me up," he told reporters at a police station in Banda Aceh. "I did not steal aid. It's a lie."
Jakarta Post editorial takes the army to task for the assault.
It means one question: With so much lost, can Indonesians turn over a new leaf, at least for the sake of those who survived? Can we not steal their money? Can we not revert to old tricks and engage in "marking up" needs, as Farid reportedly accused officials of? And can we investigate and prosecute alleged thieves and not beat them up before any trial? The early signs are that many among us cannot give up our very old habits -- as is evident from the pictures of Farid Faqih's bloated face.

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Sudan: Confirmation that the Sudanese Air Force bombed a town killing/wounded at least 100 people, breaking whatever "agreement" signed and Annan is right on it.

The bombardment Wednesday of villages outside Shangil Tobaya sent thousands of people fleeing, U.N. spokeswoman Radhia Achouri said in a telephone interview from the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was "deeply disturbed" by the bombing, spokesman Fred Eckhard said in New York. "This is the latest in a series of grave cease-fire violations that have resulted in a large number of civilian casualties, the displacement of thousands of people, and severe access restrictions for relief workers," Eckhard said in a statement.
I think the next level for Annan is "Slightly Agitated" and then things will hit the fan! You watch!

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Friday, January 28, 2005

Media: Mickey Kaus blasts Andrew Sullivan.

Sullivan has many virtues, but steadiness of judgment is not one of them. This isn't a man you want to follow into battle. Unfortunately, many Americans did. ... It's not as if something happened in the past week that made the Iraq situation look darker than it did last Friday. More the opposite so far, I'd say.
Andrew Sullivan gets snarky and defensive right back

" Well that's great, that's just fu**kin' great man. Now what the f**k are we supposed to do? We're in some real pretty s**t now man... That's it man, game over man, game over! What the f**k are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?

...drags in Instapundit, Powerline and the Belmont Club for not being hysterical as he has become, accusing them of being the No Bad News Blogs. Sullivan's Private Hudson reply to the criticism only bolsters Kaus's observation. Sullivan used to have informative analysis, but over the last year, it has become emotional spur of the moment tirades with little thinking behind them on most subjects, Iraq is just one of them. More thoughts from Ace of Spades and Powerline responds.

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UK: Prime Minster Tony Blair blasts Chirac's vision of a multipolar world as "dangerous".

"In a sign of cross-Channel tensions after the Iraq war, the prime minister showed contempt for two key elements of Mr Chirac's presidency: his attempts to turn Europe into a centre of power rivalling Washington and his personal relations with George Bush. Weeks before the prime minister joins Mr Chirac in welcoming President Bush to Europe, Mr Blair told the Wall Street Journal: "I have spoken on many occasions [about] my disagreement with those who want to set up different poles of power in the world. I think this is very dangerous. "I think we are best to congregate around one pole of common values. Europe and America should be an integral part of that together. They should not have separate and competing poles of power."
Chirac has this dream scenario where France will be the center of everything in the world. Don Quixote was more grounded.

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Hollywood: Citizens United are going to put up Billboards around the Kodak Theatre, where the Oscars will be held, for the month of February to thank Hollywood for helping to re-elect President Bush. This is tremendous, the gloating never stops. via Ace of Spades

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Holland: Van Gogh's film "Submission" pulled from Rotterdam film festival for fear of violence. That about wraps it up for Holland as a liberal utopia of free expression.

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France: Islamists arrested by French agents were making plan to attack targets in France.

"This network is suspected of drawing up plans for attacks in France against French and foreign interests," said the prosecutor's office in a statement. It did not elaborate. The prosecutor's office confirmed two people had been charged with association with criminals engaged in a terrorist enterprise. They were to be remanded in custody later on Friday. A third was to be questioned on Saturday by the anti-terrorism judges leading the investigation, Jean-Louis Bruguiere and Jean-Francois Richard. Intelligence services believe the trio were part of an "Iraq network" recruiting guerrillas to fight U.S.-led forces. Officials said the network had now been dismantled.

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Crime: Mother gets 7 to 15 years for beating her 4 year old daughter to death.

Circuit Judge Mary A. Chrzanowski sentenced Towanda Wright of Mount Clemens on Thursday on the manslaughter conviction. Wright originally was charged with felony murder and faced the possibility of life in prison without parole. "The thing we have to make sure we don't forget is this 4-year-old girl. This was a tragic end to an unhappy little life," said assistant prosecutor Robert Merrelli. "Who speaks for her? We would have hoped for a first-degree murder conviction, but we don't question the judgment of the jury or the court."
Way to be a tough prosecutor there Merrelli.
Authorities say that Wright was angry that daughter Shania Webster was slow to be toilet trained and beat her head against a bathtub in their home and sodomized her with a gravy spoon on Jan. 24, 2004. Wright was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree child abuse and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. A jury on Dec. 13 convicted her of manslaughter and first-degree child abuse but acquitted her of criminal sexual conduct
I would have said death by hanging or running her over with a bus, but seven to 15 for sodomizing and hitting a 4 year old head against a bathtub, is probably the "compassionate" thing to do.

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Italy: UN committee on women's rights blasts Italy for not allowing female immigrants to work as hookers on the streets.

"....The criticism centred on a bill being debated by the Italian parliament that would ban street prostitution, but allow people to take cash for sex in the privacy of their own homes. The problem with that, said committee member Glenda Simms, a Jamaican-Canadian, is that many immigrant women "do not have private homes. Is that not discrimination based on ethnicity and race in terms of prostitution laws?" Italian diplomat Andrea Cavallari said the law is not a bid to reduce prostitution, but rather to end prostitution in areas where women can become victims of other crimes. "Prostitution is legal in Italy," he added. "What's illegal is living off the earnings of a prostitute." The law's framers said they had noted a direct link between trafficking of women from Eastern Europe and other areas and prostitution in public places."
You go Glenda, just skip over the whole forced prostitution by crime mobs in Europe with illegal aliens and trying to suggest ways to stop that. you must demand equal rights for being a hooker is more important.

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Canada: Study shows Canada falling behind in prosperity. But there is positive news.

On the bright side, Canada is solidly in the Number 2 spot, with the Netherlands in third place with $35,500. Even more encouraging, the report shows income is distributed more evenly in Canada, with the bottom 60 per cent of households having higher average incomes than their American counterparts. A 6.4 per cent gap does open in the second highest quintile, with average Canadian household income in that group at $75,300, compared with $80,100 in the U.S. But the prosperity gap balloons to 24 per cent among Canada's top 20 per cent of households. Their income averages $137,800, compared with $171,000 in the United States.

So while most people will never move up the income ladder, at least you will have more company.

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Education: The wussification of America's children continues in Rhode Island.

Assistant Superintendent of Schools Linda Newman said the decision to scuttle the event was reached shortly after the January 2004 bee in a unanimous decision by herself and the district’s elementary school principals. The administrators decided to eliminate the spelling bee, because they feel it runs afoul of the mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. "No Child Left Behind says all kids must reach high standards," Newman said. "It’s our responsibility to find as many ways as possible to accomplish this." The administrators agreed, Newman said, that a spelling bee doesn’t meet the criteria of all children reaching high standards -- because there can only be one winner, leaving all other students behind. "It’s about one kid winning, several making it to the top and leaving all others behind. That’s contrary to No Child Left Behind," Newman said. A spelling bee, she continued, is about "some kids being winners, some kids being losers." As a result, the spelling bee "sends a message that this isn’t an all-kids movement," Newman said. Furthermore, professional organizations now frown on competition at the elementary school level and are urging participation in activities that avoid winners, Newman said. That’s why there are no sports teams at the elementary level, she said as an example. The emphasis today, she said, is on building self-esteem in all students. "You have to build positive self-esteem for all kids, so they believe they’re all winners," she said. "You want to build positive self-esteem so that all kids can get to where they want to go." A spelling bee only benefits a few, not all, students, the elementary principals and Newman agreed, so it was canceled.
How about we just stop the pussy footing and just ban any grading system, game, or activity that might make kids feel bad at school because they might not come in first. These baby steps to make America's children unable to compete in the world and life in general is taking way too long.

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Crime: Laventille in Trinidad and Tobago is Somalia with slightly better roads. There are already 20 murders in the country and it's not even February yet. Maybe it's time for the government to actually do something instead of yapping.

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Media: Imus doesn't think too much of MSNBC and their new plans for him.

DON Imus bit the hand that will house him yesterday while talking about his radio show's move to MSNBC's Secaucus studio complex a week from Monday. And Imus warned he won't compromise radio for TV. "They think the ratings are going to be better because we're there, but from essentially the same set that Keith Olbermann and those other people do their programs from," Imus told listeners yesterday. "Well, it hasn't helped their ratings," he said, referring to the fact that MSNBC is the perennial cellar-dweller among the three cable news channels.
"The I-man" warned MSNBC chief Rick Kaplan ("He's very smart [but] I don't know if he can save this turkey or not") that he won't compromise radio for TV — especially by accepting even more personalities from NBC News than he has now. "Based on the ideas they've already had that are evident in their programming, they haven't demonstrated to me that they have any real good ideas," Imus said, "because they have some programming that's horrible. "So I trust my instincts . . . more than I do theirs."

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

People: This could be the dumbest ass in the world.

Erasure star Andy Bell has shockingly admitted he wanted to be diagnosed with HIV. The openly homosexual singer revealed he was HIV positive in December - six years after he was diagnosed with the fatal disease - and admits he believed catching the illness was a re-affirmation of his homosexuality. He said: "You are going to think this strange, but I wanted to be HIV positive. I thought HIV was a touchstone of being gay." The 'Breathe' singer also says he doesn't think about dying, because he believes he can fight the disease for many years with the help of medicine. He added: "I'm a fighter. They will have to take me from this world kicking and screaming. My life expectancy should be the same as anyone else, so there is no need to panic."
What a disgusting pile of garbage, people getting sick and dying around the world and he thinks it's some sort of initiation to be HIV positive. Absolute slap to the face against HIV positive people who never "asked" for it, having to deal with this every day and debasing homosexuals at the same time.

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Iraq: Medienkritik has a translation of an Richard Perle interview with the German magazine "Welt" that is going to leave a mark. The whole interview would leave a liberal fuming.

(Translation by Hartmut Lau) “He Won’t Change The Thrust Of His Policies” Groundbreaking neo-conservative thinker Richard Perle on George W. Bush, the Iraq war, multilateralism and the UN’s weakness / by Hanspeter Born Born: “Have you – privately - had doubts on the decision to go to war in Iraq? Perle: No, I don’t have any doubts. Given the circumstances at the time, doing what we did was the right thing. At the end of the day we’ll look back on this effort and see it not only as successful and very much necessary, but also as the beginning of comprehensive change in the region. ... Q: Will President Bush continue on the same course in his second term or will he listen to people who advise him to rely more on soft power than on military force? A: We don’t want to emulate the Europeans. The Europeans employ soft power day and night. They cannot get enough of it. That isn’t our role. Our role is not to pretend – as the Europeans pretend – that soft power can change North Korea’s Kim Jong Il or the mullahs. ... Q: A primary European criticism of the America concerns its behavior with respect to international law. Europeans regret that the US deliberately undermines the world order created by Roosevelt and its institutions, such as the UN. A: What world order? The UN passed 17 resolutions against Saddam Hussein and did nothing to enforce them. It was weak and ineffective. Q: The Europeans especially deplore the doctrine of preventive war. Can any country now justify a war-like attack with the claim that it pre-empted a threat? A: The Europeans have learned nothing from their own history. Would a preventive war against Nazi Germany have been a mistake? Q: It would not have been a pre-emptive war if Europeans had attacked after Hitler’s march into the Rhineland in 1936. They would have been punishing a violation of the Treaty of Versailles. The Iraq war is, as Kofi Annan and most Europeans see it, a violation of international law. A: Nonsense. Claiming that there was a world order, in accordance with international law, upon which we could rely, is nonsense. There was no such order. Who is Kofi Annan to say what is legal and what is illegal? Every country has the right to defend itself. This right is not granted by the UN Charter, but is mentioned in Article 51. This right existed long before there was a UN Charter. At the time the Charter was written, there was no terrorism that could pose a danger such as that which we now face. The concern was tank divisions advancing across borders. Today’s concern is people who conduct terrorist attacks. Do we have to wait until the attacks have been carried out before we move against the terrorists? Q: In Europe people resent that the US has moved away from multilateralism. A: We will not allow our fate to be determined by a majority vote in the UN when there are dictatorships casting a vote. The world in which we live is not a world that we can trust with our fate. We cannot depend on Zimbabwe’s vote to assure our safety. We will not subject ourselves to this sort of multilateralism. Q: Do you see parallels between Bush and another underestimated president, Harry Truman? A: Yes, I do see such parallels. And I see parallels to Ronald Reagan. Bush is straightforward, honest and says what he thinks. When he visits Europe in February he’ll say some reconciliatory things but he won’t change the thrust of his policies – policies with which he is completely comfortable.
That will make the Europeans very unhappy.

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Crime: Mexico is ticked at the US for pointing out violence is on the rise along the border and putting out an advisory warning tourists about kidnapping. Truth hurts.

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UN: " 70 Nobel winners back U.N. chief Annan" I know Jimmy Carter is mixed into this by the headline alone.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Seventy Nobel laureates have signed a letter backing U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who has weathered calls for his resignation amid a spate of scandals in recent months. The letter, supported by Peace Prize winners Jimmy Carter and Elie Wiesel, among others, was made public Thursday. It expresses the laureates' "deepest respect and support for Kofi Annan and the values he has embraced in his lifetime of work for peace and security." The idea for the letter was spearheaded by the Better World Campaign, a nonprofit group that seeks to improve appreciation for the United Nations. The group is a sister organization to the United Nations Foundation, created in 1998 toward fulfilling CNN founder Ted Turner's $1 billion pledge to support U.N. programs.
I knew it! This letter and 50 cents gets you a bus transfer and thats about it.

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Tsunami: Well it didn't take long for corruption stories to come out from the Aid effort as a United Nations anti-corruption watchdog arrested for allegedly stealing supplies.

In a furore that threatens to undermine faith in the $10 billion relief effort, Farid Faqih, chairman of Government Watch and a leading United Nations contractor in Aceh, was in police custody yesterday after being apprehended by Indonesian air force officers. Last night the United Nations said it was conducting its own investigation into the claims. But at a press conference in Jakarta, Government Watch representatives insisted Mr Faqih had removed the aid for safekeeping. A spokesman for the Indonesian military, Colonel D. J. Nachrowi, told the Herald that Mr Faqih had improperly removed medical supplies, hundreds of cooking stoves and other aid from the central depot at Banda Aceh airport. Mr Faqih was arrested with three members of the Islamic Defenders Front, who allegedly assisted in the removal. The military then found large quantities of international aid in three warehouses operated by Mr Faqih.
"I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! " The sad part is he is one of many who are skimming off supplies.

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Crime: Don't mess with a Houston resident on a bus or light rail train.

Houston area residents licensed to carry concealed handguns can now take their weapons aboard buses and light rail trains. The board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County on Thursday repealed its long-standing ban of concealed weapons. The transit authority, also known as Metro, had banned such weapons on its buses and trains since 1995, when the Legislature voted to allow licensed owners to carry concealed handguns in most public places. In 2003, the state amended the concealed handgun law to prevent Texas cities from banning such weapons from public buildings. In response to the change in the law, Metro officials on Thursday voted to amend their policy to now prohibit the unlawful carrying of such weapons. "I think Metro was not enthusiastic about people carrying handguns on board, but we cannot legally ban people who are legally carrying those handguns from being on Metro," said David Wolff, Metro's chairman.

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People: This is not right, clever, underhanded, sneaky, but not right.

"TAMPA -- Beth Rice stood in front of 50 guests last summer in a Las Vegas wedding chapel, went through a traditional Jewish ceremony with her boyfriend Stanley Blacker and then headed off on their honeymoon. They now live in the same house and Rice's children refer to Blacker as their stepfather. But when Rice's ex-husband sought to end his $5,000 a month alimony payments because she had remarried, Rice argued that what happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas _ that she and Blacker never took out a license, so, technically, they aren't married. The fight landed before Hillsborough Circuit Court Judge Robert Foster on Wednesday, who ruled that Michael Rice has to continue paying the alimony from his 2001 divorce. Michael Rice has vowed to appeal. ``This is a deception. What you have before you is deception,'' Michael Rice's attorney, Nancy Harris, told the judge. ``It is a dangerous loophole that could be created by Ms. Rice.'' Beth Rice said Wednesday she had intended to get married in every sense of the word during the June trip to Las Vegas. But knowing her upcoming marriage would end the alimony payments, she sought higher monthly child support payments. When her ex-husband opposed that motion, Beth Rice said she decided not to officially get married to Blacker. "
and people around me keep asking me why I haven't married yet. pfft.

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Sudan: U.S lawmakers back from Darfur demanding world leaders call out the Sudanese government to stop the fighting and more attacks have been reported with an entire village being taken out.

"It has been confirmed that the village of Hamada was nearly totally destroyed and that up to 105 civilians may have been killed, with the majority of victims being women and children," UNAMIS Deputy Spokesperson George Somerwill told IRIN on Thursday. "
Good luck on that world pressure, nothing is going to be done to stop it.

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Media: Funny letter to the editor of the Madison Capital Times from a Chris Roethlisberger complaining about Fox News in a local Mcdonalds.

A letter to the editor January 27, 2005 Dear Editor: Last weekend my daughter had a friend over to play, and they asked to go to the local McDonald's for dinner. At the time, I had been watching the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs, and I really didn't want to miss the end of the game. Then I remembered that McDonald's had a couple televisions in the restaurant. Problem solved, right? Wrong! Posted on each of the TVs was a sign warning customers not to change the channel. When I went up to the counter to inquire about this, the manager stated, "We're only allowed to have Fox News on." Am I just becoming paranoid or does this sound a bit like Nazi Germany to you? Granted, that is quite a radical comparison, and I know I may have offended some folks, but that is how I honestly felt! I would really appreciate it if one of the executives from McDonald's would explain to me why they feel it necessary to censor what news we listen to while eating our Big Macs, and most importantly why they have chosen that particular news station. Unfortunately, I think I already know the answer. Next time, I'll just stay home and eat my own lousy cooking. Then at least I can change the channel.
You are not paranoid Chris, it's all part of the VRWC. Those televisions are sending out hypnowaves to change you slowly.

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Politics: Huge non-story with Media Matters whining that Charles Krauthammer was at a meeting with a group of people at the White House who was asking for input on the Inaugural speech.

"....Two days later, on Jan. 22, The Washington Post reported: "The planning of Bush's second inaugural address began a few days after the Nov. 2 election with the president telling advisers he wanted a speech about 'freedom' and 'liberty.' That led to the broadly ambitious speech that has ignited a vigorous debate. The process included consultation with a number of outside experts. ... One meeting ... included military historian Victor Davis Hanson, columnist Charles Krauthammer, and Yale professor John Lewis Gaddis, according to one Republican close to the White House." Shearer said Krauthammer -- who began the year with 143 newspaper clients -- was invited to the White House Jan. 10 along with a group of historians "for informal, off-the-record discussions on American Middle East policy. Charles was included in this group because he is one of the most knowledgeable people on the region, which he has been writing about for nearly 25 years. The discussions, with several below-Cabinet-level officials attending, centered on the United States' standing in the region and what needs to be done to help the peace process. Clearly, these officials were interested in divergent views."
Now even conservatives meeting with other conservatives is a crime. This is not Armstrong Williams all over again. Where was the outrage from the print media when John Kerry met with these people in Al Franken's apartment?
"There are but a few weeks to go before the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. Time has grown short. In an effort to galvanize the message Kerry wants to deliver in the time remaining, he convened a powerful roster of journalists and columnists in the New York City apartment of Al Franken last Thursday. The gathering could not properly be called a meeting or a luncheon. It was a trial. The journalists served as prosecuting attorneys, jury and judge. The crowd I joined in Franken's living room was comprised of: Al Franken and his wife Franni; Rick Hertzberg, senior editor for the New Yorker; David Remnick, editor for the New Yorker; Jim Kelly, managing editor for Time Magazine; Howard Fineman, chief political correspondent for Newsweek; Jeff Greenfield, senior correspondent and analyst for CNN; Frank Rich, columnist for the New York Times; Eric Alterman, author and columnist for MSNBC and the Nation; Art Spiegelman, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist/author of 'Maus'; Richard Cohen, columnist for the Washington Post; Fred Kaplan, columnist for Slate; Jacob Weisberg, editor of Slate and author; Jonathan Alter, senior editor and columnist for Newsweek; Philip Gourevitch, columnist for the New Yorker; Calvin Trillin, freelance writer and author; Edward Jay Epstein, investigative reporter and author; Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., who needs no introduction.
Hey, wait a second, I wrote how Howard Fineman was no fan of Howard Dean. The Deaniacs should remember, when did the press for Dean start to go south? A few weeks before the Iowa Primary, and look who is at this meeting a few weeks before the primary. A couple of Newsweek writers including one Howard Fineman. I was using this list to point out that columnist meeting with politicians of like mind is not new. But, this opens up a second question about how deep the press was in for Kerry.

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Politics: Barbara Boxer thanking Daily Kos and it's members for support. I know she wants to be the champion of the far left, but hooking up with a guy who said "screw them" to four Americans gutted in Iraq last year is a bit much.

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UN: Diplomad points out how right he was concerning the credit the United Nations would take in Tsunami relief even though their performance has been sub-par.

We warned you; some of you didn't believe us. We told you that on or about January 26, UN Undersecretary General and Disaster Relief Coordinator Jan "Stingy" Egeland would hold a press event to boast of what the UN has done on tsunami relief over the past month since the December 26 disaster. He did.

You can find the two documents thus far put out by the UN here and here. The Diplomad wants to underline that these documents appear on the UN's official web site; they are what the UN wants you to know; they comprise the official UN party line; they are not interpretations by journalists or bloggers.

....and the UN pretty much white-washed everyone's accomplishments and made their own. Now let's see how many editorials in the next couple of days will be touting UN numbers as fact, so they may praise the greatness that is the UN.

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Politics: Navigatorgate continues with Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of the failed city, Detroit.

Detroit Free Press: "The Navigator has been the center of controversy in the Kilpatrick administration over the past two weeks. City officials had denied the vehicle was for the mayor's wife and insisted it was for undercover operations. After dodging questions, Kilpatrick said Saturday that the $24,995 lease was meant for his family. The SUV brouhaha came amid the mayor announcing job cuts and a $231 million budget deficit for next year." "....Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Detroit City Councilwoman JoAnn Watson said she plans to introduce a resolution next week that would require the council to approve all city contracts worth $5,000 and above. Currently, council sees contracts worth $25,000 -- $5 more than the Navigator's lease."
Slick move, badly executed. If you are going to be “young African-American mayor with an earring.” You got to be smoother than this.

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Politics: Black Democrats angry at the way the party went after Condoleezza Rice?

"The Dem attack on Rice was "very foolish" and "potentially costly" because it could backfire among blacks, said Democratic pollster Ron Lester, an expert on the African-American vote. "A lot of African-Americans are watching this and they're wondering why [Democrats] are going after her so hard. She has an exemplary record. She's probably better qualified than most secretaries of state that we have had." Rice, who was confirmed yesterday as the first black female secretary of state, has a very favorable rating among blacks — 55 percent positive and only 15 percent negative, Lester said. Another high-profile black Democrat was even more blunt, saying the attacks on Rice — featuring ex-Ku Klux Klan "kleagle" Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) — "made me sick to my stomach."

Come election time in 2006 and 2008, blacks will vote 90%+ for whoever is on the Democratic tickets. Then wonder why the Dem party treats them like crap until the next election. When any one party can mark an ethnic group as in the bag for them down at a rate of 90% or more no matter what they don't do for you. You cease to have pull over that party.

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Media: Hot 97 fallout over Tsunami song continues.

"Despite the indefinite suspension of the WQHT (Hot 97) New York morning team, the controversy surrounding the airing of a tasteless tsunami parody song keeps on spinning. "The people responsible need to be taken off the air permanently," said City Councilman John Liu (D-Queens) in the New York Daily News. "And the company should face financial sanctions, so no one can profit from this kind of ugliness." Liu and other critics plan a news conference and rally at 11 a.m. Friday at Hot 97's Manhattan studios. Emmis Radio president Rick Cummings wasn't exactly standing by the morning team, calling their move "morally and socially indefensible. All involved, myself included, are ashamed and deeply sorry." Meanwhile, rival host Star of Star and Buc Wild at crosstown WPPR (Power 105), offered a cryptic response: "You can do a lot of things to get attention. But when that station starts to fall out, the Hater will rise like never before."
Previous Posts here and here.

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Germany: Soccer scandal as ref admits to fixing games and its going to get bigger.

A reporter for the N24 television network said that Hoyzer indicated he acted under pressure from a Croatian betting mafia in Berlin, to which he was linked over the past days by news reports. N24 also said that Hoyzer indicated the involvement of other people in a scheme which would cause huge damage to German football and is already the biggest scandal since match-rigging in 1971 involving players and officials.

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France: French police are furious at "Le Figaro" claiming they only work an average of 27 hours a week.

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EU: European court of human rights says France did not give Carlos the Jackal the legal means to protest his solitary confinement.

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Science: Scientists researching and creating animal/human hybrids are starting to get noticed by more people.

Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimeras—a hybrid creature that's part human, part animal. Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003 successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells. In Minnesota last year researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood flowing through their bodies. And at Stanford University in California an experiment might be done later this year to create mice with human brains. Scientists feel that, the more humanlike the animal, the better research model it makes for testing drugs or possibly growing "spare parts," such as livers, to transplant into humans.
I watched Full Metal Alchemist, this won't end well. Seriously though, I'm all for research but this part disturbs me.
"What's caused the uproar is the mixing of human stem cells with embryonic animals to create new species. Biotechnology activist Jeremy Rifkin is opposed to crossing species boundaries, because he believes animals have the right to exist without being tampered with or crossed with another species. He concedes that these studies would lead to some medical breakthroughs. Still, they should not be done. "There are other ways to advance medicine and human health besides going out into the strange, brave new world of chimeric animals," Rifkin said, adding that sophisticated computer models can substitute for experimentation on live animals. "One doesn't have to be religious or into animal rights to think this doesn't make sense," he continued. "It's the scientists who want to do this. They've now gone over the edge into the pathological domain."
The problem here is you can put as many guidelines as you want, some scientists are going to push beyond what most people deem acceptable due to curiosity and technical advancements.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Crime: MURDAAAAAHHH Inc. gets busted. The Gotti brothers arrested by the FBI, but Ja Rule gets away. Damn it.

Label head Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo and his brother Christopher surrendered to the FBI on money-laundering charges Wednesday as federal prosecutors unsealed an indictment seeking to confiscate Irv Gotti's real estate and business holdings. Gotti's childhood friend, Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, one of New York's most notorious drug kingpins, was charged with murder, racketeering and other crimes that prosecutors said were intended to eliminate and intimidate potential witnesses. McGriff already is in prison on a relatively minor gun charge. Prosecutors said McGriff and the Gottis funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in McGriff's drug profits through The Inc., a chart-topping label owned partly by Def Jam, a subsidiary of Universal Music.
The indictment charges McGriff and his associates with running a drug operation stretching from New York through Baltimore into North Carolina. McGriff and his partners delivered hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug proceeds to the Manhattan offices of Murder Inc., according to the indictment. In exchange, Irv Gotti paid McGriff's travel and hotel expenses and cut him checks from Gotti's personal and business accounts, prosecutors charge. The indictment charges McGriff and several associates with the murder of potential government cooperators Dwayne Thomas and Karon "Buddha" Clarrett outside a Baltimore-area stash house in August 2001. They also are charged with the slaying of up-and-coming rapper E-Money Bags that summer.

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EU: Well, Barroso has lost his mind.

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso, reviled by critics as too close to the United States in his previous life as Portugal's prime minister, said Europe must make its own model stressing social solidarity as much as competition. "We talk about more jobs and better jobs," he told reporters, presenting his strategic plans for the next five years. "We don't want what are normally called McDonald's jobs." He noted that the usual criticism of the US economy is that it has undergone a "jobless recovery," where economic growth has not been accompanied by a similar boost in employment. "We refuse that path," he said, adding: "We are going to follow our model, the European model... The idea that what my commission is close to the American model has no basis."
Euro Zone unemployment: 8.9% (economic engine of EU) Germany unemployment: 10.8%, Change in Payroll Employment(DEC):(-17000) USA: 5.4% Change in Payroll Employment: +157,000(p) in Dec 2004 Scoreboard Barroso, update the Anti_American talking points if you want to compare economies. There is a reason why our economy keeps getting out of these funks faster than everyone else.

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EU: EU president shows a plan to bring the Euro economy out of stagnant mode.

"We must release Europe's enormous untapped potential," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a statement released as he spelt out his 2005-2009 game plan to the European Parliament. "I believe that we must embark on a process of transformation as bold and as courageous as the single market in 1985, the launch of the single currency or the unprecedented enlargement of the European Union to 25 member states." The 12-page document was a response to the EU's spectacular failure to meet the goals it set itself in 2000 under the "Lisbon Strategy", a drive to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic economy by the end of this decade. Officials say the "2010" target will be quietly dropped when the Commission next week presents new proposals to meet the Lisbon goals. Barroso's paper proposes no grand new projects for the EU, instead aiming to "take the Europe we have and make it work". It also calls for Europe to become a more effective "world partner" but focuses less on foreign policy than the economic agenda."
Translation: " I got nothing, but look at the pretty words in my report, it sounds good."

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UK: The nannyfication of the Britain continues full steam ahead.

"Labour wants to reduce the size of Teddy bears given as prizes in seaside arcades to discourage children from a lifetime of gambling. The Tories have condemned the move as the nanny state gone mad and say cuddly toys do not turn children into gambling addicts. Under the same Gambling Bill, which will pave the way for eight Las Vegas-style super casinos with machines offering unlimited money prizes for adults, ministers want to introduce tougher regulations on the humble seaside arcade machines. "
"A spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: "The Government believes that children should be able to play these machines but the stakes, and prizes, should discourage them playing them too much." The move has prompted protests from the arcade industry and MPs. "For a very small amount of money, the machines give a great deal of pleasure to people hoping for a Teddy bear," said John Gummer, the Tory MP and former Cabinet Minister"

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Media: I would like to welcome to Earth, Charles Babington, who is writing for the Washington Post as one of the first Mars/Earth journalist exchange participants.

"A cross section of Democrats questioned Rice's truthfulness in terms that until yesterday were used only by liberal Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who was among the 12 Democarts and 1 independent who voted against Rice. Some of the Democrats who opposed Rice were centrists from states in which President Bush won or ran strongly in November, including Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), Mark Dayton (D-Minn.), Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) "
The term "centrists" in the most wide ranging sense of the word would not cover any of these guys. Update: I knew I should have taken a screen capture, The Washington Post changed the wording and took out centrists. Thanks to "me" in comments bringing that to my attention. Update #2: Charles Babington emailed a Powerline reader with an explanation of the missing "centrists"
You are quite right... The website folks updated the morning story after the vote, and combined some paragraphs... I should have read over their shoulder, my mistake. I did get them to fix it. The story i wrote for the morning paper did not use "centrist" to describe Byrd, Harkin, etc... Thanks for the heads up . cb
So there are Washington Post website editors adding their opinions under other writer's bylines? That does not sound fair to Babington who gets the heat unfairly in this case.

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Media: Hot 97 suspends indefinitely the entire staff of the Miss Jones in the morning show.

"The entire staff of the New York radio show "Miss Jones in the Morning" was taken off the air on Wednesday after broadcasting a song that ridiculed victims of the tsunami in South Asia, the radio station said. Jones and her team were suspended indefinitely, according to publicist Lizzie Grubman, who declined to say whether Jones would feature in another show at a later date. "What happened is morally and socially indefensible," said Rick Cummings, president of Emmis Radio. The station is owned by Emmis Communications Corp . "All involved, myself included, are ashamed and deeply sorry. I know the members of the morning show are truly contrite. They know their actions here are inexcusable," Cummings said in a statement. "....The incident is not the first time HOT 97 has been accused of racism and poor taste. The station made headlines when deejay Star, now at another radio station, called Jennifer Lopez a "rice-and-bean eater" and satirized the plane crash that killed R&B singer Aaliyah in 2001."
Previous Post about the Tsunami song here.

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France: Jacques Chirac proposes international taxes.

"French President Jacques Chirac called for an "experimental" international tax to help fund the war against AIDS, suggesting it could be raised via a levy on airline tickets, some fuels or financial transactions. "....He suggested options including: a "contribution" on international financial transactions, a tax on aviation and maritime fuel, a tax on capital movements in or out of countries which practised banking secrecy, or a "small levy" such as a dollar on the three billion airline tickets sold every year.
Hell no. How about the EU being an economic power tax themselves for this drive? Great idea to put even more tax on airline/ship fuel which in turn the airlines/ships will pass on to its customers, which raises prices in an industry on the edge of collapse.

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Iran: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder rejects strikes against Iran to stop its nuke program and hope American would back up the E-3 diplomacy drive.

"I hope it will be possible to get the Americans on board on diplomacy," Schroeder told the European affairs committee of the German parliament. He added that "we really do not need" military action against Tehran while the situation in the broader Middle East, particularly in neighboring Iraq, remains precarious. "
uh...
"EU Makes No Headway on Iran Nuke Program DAVOS, Switzerland - A confidential summary of talks between key European powers and Iran made available to The Associated Press on Tuesday shows there has been no progress in getting Iran to scrap nuclear enrichment — even though Tehran acknowledged it does not need nuclear energy."
No sense riding a dead horse Schroeder, unless you realized without America backing the E-3 up, Iran doesn't take any of you seriously.

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UK: The Muslim council of Britain reiterated its opposition to attending the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp and demanded the day change to "Genocide Memorial Day"

"We are not belittling the Holocaust. We share the immense pain and anguish felt in the Jewish community about the Holocaust, but feel Britain is a multi-faith country and everyone should be involved," Bunglawala said.
Translation: "...and if we can figure out a way to water down an event that mainly deals with Jews, we will do so..." If you want a "Genocide Memorial Day" then petition the government to set aside another day of the year. This is a specific event for a terrible time in the world's history. I said it before, this is an embarrassment and hideous slap to all Muslims that they claim to represent. It make Muslims look petty and vindictive.

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Terrorism: Theo Van Gogh's case starts with a preliminary hearing today.

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Terrorism: Italian judge drops anti-terrorism charges against five suspects because they are guerrillas not terrorists.

In issuing the judgment Monday night, Forleo accepted prosecution claims that the men belonged to Islamic fundamentalist cells in the northern city of Milan and nearby Cremona, and were raising money for "paramilitary structures" in Iraq. But citing the United Nations' 1999 convention on terrorism, she said guerrilla activities in war zones did not become terrorism unless they broke international humanitarian law or were designed to create terror among civilians. There was no evidence that the defendants' activities crossed this line, she said.
The definition of what "is" is storms across the world.

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Media: Via DCRTV, Imus reported that discussions of merger between XM radio and Sirius satellite radio are taking place.

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Crime: Don't try and rob the owners of Shoats Grocery & Package.

"I just started shooting," said Gloria Doster, 56. "I was trying to blow his brains out is what I was trying to do."

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Media: 01/21/05: "At some point MSNBC has to realize it's not the format of the show that stinks, but the host. Lester Holt doing that show would get better ratings."

Olbermann Watch: If it's not the solution to MSNBC's ratings problems at least it's a step in the right direction: Last Wednesday, Countdown with Keith Olbermann: 280,000 viewers Yesterday, Countdown with Allison Stewart: 340,000 viewers When Olby isn't there the ratings increase by more than 20%! Take long vacations, Keith, for the sake of the stockholders.
Okay, so it's Allison Stewart not Lester Holt , but I was right about the host being what is wrong with Countdown.

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Movies: This coming from Halle Berry annoys me.

"American actress HALLE BERRY has accused Hollywood producers and directors of being prejudiced against black women. Berry hoped she had made a major breakthrough when she won the Best Actress ACADEMY AWARD in 2002 for her role in MONSTER'S BALL, but she has had to resort to developing films herself to create the kind of parts she wants. The 38-year-old says, "The struggle for the woman of colour to find good material is still very present, and it's a struggle I fight every day. I try to make the best out of what comes to me but it's going to be about making my own reality really. "I've been called a n**ger straight to my face...but there's also much more subtle insidious ways that racism occurs here in Hollywood. "I don't care what anyone says - they may think it doesn't exist, but it's usually those who aren't black who think that."
I think starring in Catwoman, making movies like "Nappily Ever After" and remaking Foxy Brown(Pam Grier IS Foxy Brown) has done more to sidetrack your career than racism. This is the same sorta bull Cuba Gooding Jr pulled when his career went downward.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Politics: A bunch of people are taking to task the choice of ex klan member Robert Byrd having one of the lead roles in opposing Condi Rice. If Rice was a Democratic choice and Byrd a Republican, it would be all over the news about his past and how he has no right to say anything. But double standards in the MSM being what it is, he is held up as the "elder" statesman of the Dem's party. It's annoying , but what can you do? Imagine the massaging his obit is going to get, unlike Strom Thurmond whose obit in the New York Times started with “Strom Thurmond, Foe of Integration, Dies at 100.” You wouldn't see it start off with this sentence.

"Robert Byrd, a man who once vowed he would never fight “with a Negro by my side. Rather, I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds," Dies at 100. He brought a lot of pork to West Virginia.
I'm not hearing a lot about the Republican response to the wild charges and insults by the Democrats to Rice. I can take that two ways, the first is let the Democrats have Boxer, Byrd and Kennedy be the face of the party by mouthing off. The second is the GOP is going to let it slide without fighting back just as hard because they are spineless in these cases. There has to be a couple of pit bulls in safe districts that can be used against Boxer, Byrd and Kennedy.

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Crime: Holland rocks, you can deduct the cost of the gun you used to rob a bank. Smoke pot, red light district, criminal business deductions. What's not to love.

"Leendert De Lange, a spokesman, said: "You can compare criminal acts to normal business activities, where you must invest to make profits, and thus you have costs."

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Iraq: Michael Moore's favorite Iraqi minutemen are getting ready for the elections.

"To those of you who think you can vote and then run away," the leaflet warned, "we will shadow you and catch you, and we will cut off your heads and the heads of your children."

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UK: It will be okay to be rude about Islam and religion in general...somewhat..kinda..to be safe don't bother.

"MUSLIMS were warned by the Director of Public Prosecutions yesterday that new laws designed to combat religious hatred would not stop people from being rude about Islam. Ken Macdonald told MPs that he wanted to play down Muslim expectations to avoid a backlash against police and politicians because very few cases were likely to reach the courts. People will remain “perfectly free to be rude or offensive” about Islam or any other other religion because in most cases the right of free speech will still prevail, Mr Macdonald said."
"....The proposals have also been criticised for threatening to stifle free speech. Mr Macdonald said that they would not have been possible in the United States because of the First Amendment. But in the light of existing laws on incitement to racial hatred, British courts would “set the bar very high” before convicting, he added."
oh, in light of that admission it sounds like a great plan.

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Iran: EU diplomacy is such a potent force when dealing with the rational leadership of Iran.

"A confidential summary of talks between key European powers and Iran made available to The Associated Press on Tuesday shows there has been no progress in getting Iran to scrap nuclear enrichment — even though Tehran acknowledged it does not need nuclear energy. The United States and several other countries fear Iran is seeking to enrich uranium not to the low level needed to generate power but to weapons-grade uranium that forms the core of nuclear warheads. Iran publicly insists it only seeks to make low-grade enriched uranium for nuclear fuel. But the summary of the last meeting on the issue involving representatives of France, Britain, Germany and Iran says Tehran acknowledged what Washington and its allies have argued all along — that the oil-rich country has no need for nuclear energy."
"....But they agreed that no progress was being made on the Europeans' insistence that Iran's present temporary suspension of its enrichment programs be turned into a commitment to permanently mothball all such activities. "The two positions cannot coexist," said one of the diplomats, from a West European nation. "If the impasse cannot be resolved, then there will be no solution," clearing the path for Iran to resume work on activities that will allow it to enrich uranium, he said."
Iran is playing the EU-3 like fools as usual.

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D.O.M.A: Last week, when disussing this Washington Post article by Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan where President Bush said it makes no sense to push the amendment now since the Senate would not pass it. Instapundit said Bush was not that interested in it, Sullivan hailed it as the Senate practising moderation on the issue. I saw it as Bush waiting for the right time for someone to challenge it. He almost got his chance.

SFGate: Three gay couples Tuesday dropped their lawsuits challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act, saying they do not want to risk having a conservative U.S. Supreme Court set precedent by rejecting their case. The lawsuits were brought by gay couples who were wedded in Massachusetts and Canada and wanted Florida to recognize their marriages. Florida law recognizes only marriages between a man and a woman, and the Defense of Marriage Act allows states to disregard gay marriages performed in other states and foreign countries. Their attorney Ellis Rubin said key to their decision was the Supreme Court's recent refusal to hear a challenge to a Florida law that bars gays from adopting children. "That ruling strongly suggests that our case would not be favorably received," Rubin said.

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Iraq: Great, Some Iraqi parties are telling voters "Vote or go to hell." The last thing we needed is Puff Daddy/P Diddy over there giving out political advice.

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EU: Political Correctness gone mad in EU parliament or desperate revisionist history being tried?

As World leaders prepare to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a behind-the-scenes wrangle over the exact wording of a European Parliament resolution on the issue shows how sensitive the matter remains in Europe.
On 19 January, the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament proposed a "resolution on remembrance of the Holocaust, anti-semitism and Racism", which stated, "the concentration and extermination camps built by the German Nazis are among the most shameful and painful pages of the history of our Continent". The EPP resolution, co-signed by its German leader Hans-Gert Pöttering and Polish MEP Boguslaw Sonik, also states that the camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau was "built in May 1940 by the Germans". But other political groups - Liberals, Greens and Socialists - proposed resolutions which did not mention the word German.
Baroness Sarah Ludford, a British Liberal, argued that the word "German" should not be used in connection with "Nazi" since not all Nazis were German and not all Germans were Nazis.
Strong words Mr Sonik, however, feels there is more at stake than mere geography. "There wasn't even a Poland at the time", he said, "it was territory occupied by the Germans". "You have to start with history ... you have to start by saying 'German Nazi'". He also confirmed that Socialist leader Martin Schultz telephoned Mr Pöttering and asked him to remove the phrase "German Nazi". Mr Pöttering, says Mr Sonik, agreed to do this as it was the only way to acheive a common resolution. "
At the rate the Euro left wants to be sensitive , I expect 50 years from now to learn that Martians were the Nazi leaders and everyone in Germany was under their spell.

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EU: Michael Howard of the Tories puts up his immigration plans, the EU says no, we are in control of your borders. David Rennie points out how it happened.

"The simple answer is: bit by bit, without great public controversy, and with the full agreement of British officials, led largely by David Blunkett, at each stage. The project began in October 1999 at an EU summit of heads of government in Tempere, Finland. The prime ministers and presidents assembled there came up with an ambitious pledge: to build a "Common European Asylum System", based on the "full and inclusive application of the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees". Bowing to political realities, they came up with a more realistic short-term goal, the drawing up of minimum standards for the treatment of asylum seekers across the EU. The work was divided into four planks, starting with the easiest first. Three of those four "paving directives" have already been agreed by EU justice and home affairs ministers, and are now binding on Britain and the other member states. These dictate, broadly, where asylum seekers must lodge their claims, how they should be housed and treated while their claims are processed, and what makes someone a refugee. Britain, protected by the need for unanimous agreement on questions of immigration, voluntarily gave up its right to opt out of each directive. A waiver on all immigration matters was granted to Britain in 1997, but has never been used. The waiver is still being held in reserve by British diplomats, for possible use once the EU moves to qualified majority voting for immigration matters."

The European Union ministers were also heard chanting.

"WHO'S YOUR DADDY? clap clap clap clap clap .... WHO'S YOUR DADDY? clap clap clap clap clap...."

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