Friday, September 30, 2005

China warned of possible attacks in Xinjiang

Terrorism: This could get really interesting because the Chinese way of dealing with terrorist is how they deal with anything, crushing destruction.

Reuters: BEIJING (Reuters) - The United States has warned American travellers to be vigilant against a terrorist attack in China's restive northwestern region of Xinjiang after Beijing told police there to be prepared for danger. The call came ahead of the 50th anniversary on Saturday of the establishment of Xinjiang as an autonomous region. Muslim Uighur militants, whom Beijing calls terrorists or separatists, have been struggling for decades to make the remote region, formally established on October 1, 1955, an independent state called East Turkestan. "Americans considering travel to the region and those already there should review their plans carefully, remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and exercise caution," a message e-mailed from the U.S. embassy in China said. "Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. Americans in remote areas or border regions where military or police authority is limited or non-existent could also become targets." Chinese security chief Luo Gan had urged law enforcement officers and armed police in Xinjiang to crack down on criminals to create a "safer environment for economic growth and social progress," the China Daily newspaper said on Thursday.
BBC: China's treatment of Uighurs living in its western region of Xinjiang risks turning the area into a "time bomb", an exiled Uighur group has said. The World Uighur Congress (WUC) issued the warning as China prepared to celebrate 50 years of rule in Xinjiang. A separate video, allegedly made by the East Turkestan Liberation Organisation, said it would use all means possible to launch an armed struggle against China. China brands such groups terrorists and has vowed to crack down on separatists. Concern over the situation in Xinjiang prompted the US to issue a statement on Friday warning American travellers in the region to be vigilant against an attack there, saying: "terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets". Xinjiang is home to a large population of Muslim Uighurs, many of whom continue to want an independent homeland, and resent the recent and large-scale influx into the region of Han Chinese settlers.
LATIMES: "In the post-Sept. 11 world, China has labeled many in the Uighur separatist movement as terrorists, part of a global trend by governments to deflect international criticism of internal crackdowns. "There is no real definition of a terrorist in Chinese criminal law," said Anu Kultalahti, a London-based campaigner with Amnesty International. "We definitely know of people charged with crimes related to terrorism or employing evil forces who we consider prisoners of conscience." Liu Wenzong, a member of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, said that although most people in Xinjiang were peaceful, a small minority had links to the Taliban in Afghanistan. "We're talking about terrorists," he said. "

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Nagin peddling conspiracy theories to Nation of Islam.

Politics: The more people stay around New Orleans, more stories about how corrupt and stupid the officials are coming out.

Ever since Hurricane Katrina, Americans have been exposed to another side of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. Prior to the hurricane, New Orleans residents recognized Nagin as a “big idea” guy who rarely delivered on his promises. For example, Nagin proposed to sell the New Orleans airport to pay for infrastructure improvements, to build a new city hall and for the City of New Orleans to take over and operate 20 of the worst performing public schools and turn them into centers of excellence. All of these ideas were good, but none became reality because Nagin excels in grand thinking, not implementation. Since the storm, people throughout the country have seen another side of Nagin that is not too flattering, one that tends to exaggerate about the horrible impact of the hurricane. The hurricane was bad enough so it is perplexing why Nagin has to embellish anything. In many media interviews, Nagin initially claimed that there would be 10,000 dead bodies as a result of the storm. The latest report is that 923 people in New Orleans died due to Katrina and the aftermath, a big difference. Then, Nagin joined the equally fact challenged former Police Chief Eddie Compass on the Oprah show to describe the awful conditions in the Louisiana Superdome. Their litany of horrors was exaggerated and was a disservice to the evacuees in that facility who had to experience really dreadful conditions. He pro! posed an aggressive re-entry plan for New Orleans and had to backtrack when met with opposition from Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen and the reality of Hurricane Rita. Now people are wondering whether they can believe what Nagin says. Or, how about what he tells Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Yes, believe it or not, in the tumultuous aftermath of the hurricane, Nagin found time to meet with the most controversial religious leader in the country. Initially, it was reported that Nagin went to Dallas, TX to set up his family in a new house and enroll his children in school. We also know he conducted a controversial meeting with business and civic leaders about the future of New Orleans. Now, we discover Nagin met with Farrakhan and some of his lieutenants. To make matters worse, Farrakhan, the king of conspiracy theories, now has a new theory to peddle, that the New Orleans levees were blown up so that black areas of town would be decimated. Of course a major problem with this “theory” is that Lakeview and Old Metairie were also destroyed, two almost all-white areas, but facts never get in the way of a Farrakhan story. Here is what he told an audience at a recent rally in Memphis, “We did a whirlwind tour where we hired a chartered jet, we flew to Dallas, Texas - members of the Millions More Movement - where we met! with Mayor Nagin. Mayor Nagin told us there was a 25-foot crater under the levee; (he) didn´t say there was a bomb. He just said there was a crater. I say they blew it [up]." He later added that “We’ve suggested that it [the levee] may have been blown up so that the water would destroy the black part of town.” To make matters worse, another Nation of Islam leader, Minister Nashim Nzinga, was interviewed on the Hannity and Colmes show and claimed that “Mayor Ray Nagin told Louis Farrakhan in Dallas earlier this month that the levee break that precipitated the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was the result of some government conspiracy against blacks." It is quite disturbing that such fiction is being peddled. It doesn’t help New Orleans recover, it doesn’t help race relations and it certainly doesn’t help the tattered credibility of Mayor Ray Nagin. These conspiracies will undoubtedly persist because many people still believe the fiction that the levees were dynamited during Hurricane Betsy in 1965. It just did not happen, then or now.
Nagin is playing himself up to whoever his audience is at the time to make himself look good. Problem is people are realizing that is what he is doing.

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Namco jumps on the O rly bandwagon...

Gaming: I really hoped the O rly owl mania(profanity at the link) would have been kept to the deepest parts of net talk. But no such luck as Soul Caliber III has this character in the game. The photoshops on this will be insane. Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

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EU wants shared control, UN wants total control of Internet

Internet: You can want this and that, but you ain't getting it. Last I checked the Internet was created, funded and seems to have grown pretty well under our control. It goes under "international law" and UN control will bring about tremendous censorship on top of what other countries are doing now. If they don't like it, go build your own.

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations' International Telecommunications Union (ITU) is ready to take over governance of the Internet from the United States., ITU head Yoshio Utsumi said on Friday. The United States has clashed with the European Union and much of the rest of the world over the future of the Internet. It currently manages the global information system through a partnership with California-based company ICANN. "We could do it if we were asked to," Utsumi told a news conference. The U.N. agency's experience in communications, its structure and its cooperation with private and public bodies made it best-placed to take on the role, he said. Washington has made clear it would oppose any such move despite widespread demands for changes in the current system. "We will not agree to the United Nations taking over management of the Internet," said David Gross, a U.S. State Department official attending a two-week conference preparing for a U.N. "Information Society Summit" in Tunisia in November. The United States, where the Department of Commerce oversees ICANN, says it would never take any action that would affect the working of the Internet. But countries like Iran say they fear Washington could pull the plug on them any time. The issue could sour the Tunis meeting from November 16-18. The summit aims to approve a plan for extending use of the Internet and other forms of advanced communications in order to help poorer countries achieve U.N. development goals by 2015. The EU says it is proposing a new "cooperative model" to run the Internet and the way addresses - or domain names -- are assigned that everyone could support. But Gross, speaking to reporters on Thursday, described the plan as a "shocking and profound change" of the EU's earlier stance that opened the way for control by governments -- some of whom already censor what their citizens can read on the Net. EU spokesman David Hendon described this as "misrepresentation." Although many EU nations were happy with what ICANN is doing, many countries "just cannot accept that the Americans have control of the Internet in their countries," he told Reuters, and this had to be recognised. The EU proposal would bring the Internet and ICANN under international law rather than U.S. law.

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Friday Night WoW blogging

World of Warcraft: End of Legends taking on Azuregos, but they got wiped and Excel Alliance guild took out the dragon. The other highlight of the week was getting a Destiny sword. But so far the Dreadforge Retaliator I had before with the 5% bonus in axe specialization is giving me far more damage.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

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Bill Bennett is correct, what is the problem?

Politics: That he was politically insensitive?

Democratic lawmakers and civil rights leaders denounced conservative commentator William J. Bennett yesterday for suggesting on his syndicated radio show that aborting black children would reduce the U.S. crime rate. The former U.S. education secretary-turned-talk show host said Wednesday that "if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." Bennett quickly added that such an idea would be "an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do." But, he said, "your crime rate would go down." ....Bennett's comments, flagged by the liberal news media watchdog group Media Matters for America, were quickly condemned by Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), who issued a statement demanding that Bennett apologize. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) circulated a letter, signed by 10 of his colleagues, demanding that the Salem Radio Network suspend Bennett's show. Wade Henderson, the executive director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, demanded that the show be canceled. "Bennett's statement is outrageous. As a former secretary of education, he should know better," Henderson said. "His program should be pulled from the air." ....Bennett's comments came Wednesday, during a discussion on his talk show "Morning in America." A caller had suggested that Social Security would be better funded if abortion had not been legalized in 1973 because the nation would have more workers paying into the system. Bennett said "maybe," before referring to a book he said argued that the legalization of abortion is one of the reasons the crime rate has declined in recent decades. Bennett said he did not agree with that thesis. "But I do know that it's true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down," Bennett said, according to an audio clip posted on Media Matters for America's Web site. "That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, you know, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky."
Look at the Justice Department stats for 2004 and the rate of abortions among black women.
In the 41 areas for which race was adequately reported, approximately 55% of women who obtained legal induced abortions were known to be white, 35% were black, and 7% were of other races; for 3% of the women, race was unknown. (Table 9). The abortion ratio for black women (503 per 1,000 live births) was 3.0 times the ratio for white women (167 per 1,000 live births). Additionally, the abortion ratio for women of other races (329 per 1,000 live births) was 2.0 times the ratio for white women. The abortion rate for black women (30 per 1,000 women) was 3.1 times the rate for white women (10 per 1,000 women), whereas the abortion rate for women of other races (22 per 1,000 women) was 2.2 times the rate for white women. ....The differential between the abortion ratio for black women and that for white women has increased from 2.0 in 1989 (the first year for which black and other races were reported separately) to 3.0 in 2000 (51). In addition, the abortion rate for black women has been approximately 3 times as high as that for white women (range: 2.6--3.1) since 1991 (the first year for which rates by race were published) (52). These rates by race are substantially lower than rates previously published by NCHS and suggest that the reporting areas for the 2000 report might not be fully representative of the U.S. black female population of reproductive age.
Bennett is correct if you took the "Freakanomics" to the logical conclusion, the crime rate would go down since you are killing off black people. What he is guilty of is not being politically correct. Freakonomics even talked about it in a roundabout way.
The reasoning is simple enough. In January 1973, the Supreme Court made abortion legal throughout the United States, where previously it had been available in only five states. In 1974, roughly 750,000 women had abortions in America; by 1980, the number was 1.6m (one abortion for every 2.3 live births). “What sort of woman was most likely to take advantage of Roe v Wade?” the book asks. “Very often she was unmarried or in her teens or poor, and sometimes all three...In other words, the very factors that drove millions of American women to have an abortion also seemed to predict that their children, had they been born, would have led unhappy and possibly criminal lives...In the early 1990s, just as the first cohort of children born after Roe v Wade was hitting its late teen years—the years during which young men enter their criminal prime—the rate of crime began to fall.” The theory is the easy part, once you dare to articulate it. Testing it is quite another matter. But the book moves methodically and persuasively through the statistical evidence. It turns out, for instance, that crime started falling earlier in the states that legalised abortion before Roe v Wade; that the states with the highest abortion rates saw the biggest drops in crime (even controlling for other factors); that there was no link between abortion rates and crime before the late 1980s (when unborn criminals, as it were, first began to affect the figures); and that a similar association of crime and abortion has been found in other countries. ....“Freakonomics” looks in particular detail at racial aspects of parenting, which is where those variant spellings of Jasmine (or Jazmyne, or Jazzmin, and so on) come in. Examining the data, Mr Levitt tabulates the “blackest” names (Imani tops the list for girls, DeShawn for boys) and the “whitest” (Molly and Jake). Using all his ingenuity in finding and exploring data, he then examines whether being given a distinctively black or white name affects one's prospects in life. Does it? Surprisingly, perhaps, no. A boy named Jake will tend to do better than one called DeShawn, but that is because he is less likely to have been raised in a low-income, low-education, single-parent household, and not because the name itself confers any advantage."
More Freakonomics
We can't help but wonder if part of the outrage over Bennett's remark isn't precisely his view that aborting black babies is immoral. After all, the official position of the Democratic Party is that abortion not only is not immoral but is a fundamental constitutional right, as long as the mother consents. And although MediaMatters claims that Levitt's argument has nothing to do with race, blogger Bob Krumm notes that in a 2001 paper in the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Levitt and John Donohue expressly link black abortion to reduced crime: "Fertility declines for black women are three times greater than for whites (12 percent compared to 4 percent). Given that homicide rates of black youths are roughly nine times higher than those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions." In other words, whereas Bennett rejects the idea of reducing crime by aborting black babies, Levitt and Donohue argue that that is exactly what has happened over the past three decades, as a result of liberal policies. If they are right, there is, to say the least, a fundamental tension between blacks and pro-abortion feminists, two of the core components of the Democratic coalition. No wonder Bennett's comments have caused such discomfort on the left.
Update#
New York Times August 20, 1999 States that were the first to legalize abortion, Dr. Donohue and Dr. Levitt found, including New York, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii, were also the first to experience a decrease in crime. For example, in states that legalized abortion in 1969 or 1970, the researchers found, the cumulative decrease in crime from 1982 to 1997 was greater than for the rest of the nation. The decrease in murder was 16.2 percent greater, the decrease in violent crime over all was 34.4 percent greater, and the decrease in property crime was 35.3 percent greater. Also, states with the highest abortion rates, the researchers found, had larger reductions in crime than states with low abortion rates. The most likely explanation for these findings, the researchers assert, is that abortion has occurred selectively, decreasing the number of children likely to commit crimes as adults. "Most of the reduction," Dr. Levitt and Dr. Donohue write, "appears to be attributable to higher rates of abortion by mothers whose children are most likely to be at risk for future crime." Teen-agers, unmarried women and black women, for example, have higher rates of abortion, the researchers note, and children born to mothers in these groups are statistically at higher risk for crime in adulthood. The economic benefit to society of abortion in reducing crime, the researchers suggest, "may be on the order of $30 billion annually."

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People seem to have had enough of Gaza chaos.

Israel: No more excuses, Hamas and Abbas can't use occuption talk as a buffer anymore. Gaza is now the PA's baby and its time to do something about it.

Israel's response to the recent Kassam rocket attacks on Sderot has been measured and appropriate, Kim Howells, Britain's Minister of State for the Middle East, told The Jerusalem Post, disregarding Palestinian appeals for the world to rein in the IDF. Howells, on a three-day visit to the region, hinted in an interview Wednesday night that financial aid to the Palestinian Authority might be withheld if the PA did not seriously begin tackling the terrorism in its midst. "The Palestinians are receiving more aid per capita than any other people on the face of the earth, and we want to see some proper response," Howells said, hinting at a decrease of economic aid if the Palestinians don't fight terror. "I thought the retaliation this week was proportionate," said Howells about the IDF operations. "The [Palestinian] attack was a very serious one, it could have killed a lot of people. It's a miracle really there weren't more casualties." "I think there is no excuse now," he added. "Gaza is now in the hands of the Palestinian Authority, and there are no Israeli troops there. One hopes that where tough decisions have to be made, Abu Mazen [PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas] and the PA will make them."

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Spanish court orders wife beater teacher to read.

Spain: Somehow I don't think this will work.

MADRID -- An imam who wrote a book on how to beat your wife without leaving marks on her body has been ordered by a judge in Spain to study the country's constitution. The judge told Mohamed Kamal Mustafa, imam of a mosque in the southern resort of Fuengirola, to spend six months studying three articles of the constitution and the universal declaration of human rights. Mr. Mustafa was sentenced to 15 months in jail and fined about $2,600 last year after being found guilty of inciting violence against women. A judge released him after 22 days in jail on the condition that he undertake a re-education course.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Levee walls known to be weak in the late 90s

Hurricane: Via NBC news.

NBC News has obtained what may be a key clue, hidden in long forgotten legal documents. They reveal that when the floodwall on the 17th Street Canal was built a decade ago, there were major construction problems — problems brought to the attention of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A 1998 ruling, by an administrative judge for the Corps' Board of Contract Appeals, shows that the contractor, Pittman Construction, told the Corps that the soil and the foundation for the walls were “not of sufficient strength, rigidity and stability” to build on. “That's incredibly damning evidence,” says van Heerden, “I mean, really, incredibly damning.” RELATED CONTENT Pittman's appeal to the U.S. Army (21 pages, PDF) Pittman won the contract in 1993. There already was an earthen levee made of soil. Embedded in that was a thin metal wall called sheet piling. The contractor was hired to pour concrete on top of all that to form the flood wall. But the 1998 documents — filed as part of a legal dispute over costs — indicate the contractor complained about “weakness” of the soil and “the lack of structural integrity of the existing sheet pile around which the concrete was poured.” The ruling also referenced the “flimsiness” of the sheet piling. NBC showed the findings to engineering experts. “That type of issue about the strength of the soils, of course, bears directly on the performance of a floodwall,” says LSU engineering professor Joe Suhayda. “I think it is very significant,” adds Robert G. Bea, a former Corps engineer and professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who is part of a National Science Foundation inquiry into the failure of flood controls. “It begins to explain some things that I couldn't explain based on the information that I've had.” The construction company said as a result of these problems the walls were shifting and “out of tolerance,” meaning they did not meet some design specifications. Nevertheless, the Army Corps of Engineers accepted the work. “It seems to me that the authorities really should have questioned whether these walls were safe,” says van Heerden. The judge, in her ruling, blamed the contractor for the construction errors and turned down Pittman's request for more funds.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Anti Walmart alder gets thrown out of office.

Politics: Never get between the public and their low prices.

JEFFERSON - A Jefferson alderman who twice this year voted against annexing land for a Wal-Mart SuperCenter has been thrown out of office. David Olsen, a funeral home operator and lifelong Jefferson resident whose first term on the City Council was to expire in April 2006, lost a recall election Tuesday to Chris Havill, an auto dealership manager. The vote was 880 for Havill and 815 for Olsen, a margin of 52 to 48 percent. It was the first recall election in the history of this city of 7,500 residents, about 35 miles east of Madison in Jefferson County. Olsen was among the dissenters in April when the council voted 5-3 against annexing 22 acres on which Wal-Mart planned to build a SuperCenter. In a second vote in June the results were flip-flopped, with 5-3 in favor of the annexation. But that was not enough support for the two-thirds majority required for an annexation. Olsen was again among those voting no. Afterward, citizens supporting Wal-Mart began circulating petitions to recall Olsen from office. Two other council members who voted no could not be recalled because they have not yet served a full year in office. Olsen said the message is clear. "Today was Jefferson's referendum on Wal-Mart. The closeness of the election shows how divided the city is," Olsen said. "The power of Wal-Mart has come in and said 'anyone who stands up to us had better watch out,' " he added. Olsen said he has every expectation that Wal-Mart will now return for another annexation try.
Unless he finds out Walmart promised everyone who voted him out a 30% discount, it was the power of the people that taught him a lesson.

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Adam Liptak not getting employee of the month.

Politics: I bet he was so proud of this article showing how John Roberts was hostile to the press, then came this correction.

Judge John G. Roberts Jr., nominated to be chief justice of the United States, was not the author of an unsigned memorandum on libel law that was the focus of an article published in The New York Times yesterday. The Times erroneously attributed it to him. Bruce Fein, a Washington lawyer who was general counsel of the Federal Communications Commission in the Reagan administration, said yesterday that he wrote the memorandum, a caustic critique of New York Times v. Sullivan, the 1964 Supreme Court decision that revolutionized American libel law, and of the role played by the press in society. The Fein memorandum, which is undated, was in papers from Judge Roberts's years as a lawyer in the Reagan administration. Those papers also included another memorandum, signed by Judge Roberts, that briefly described his own critical views on the Sullivan case. In that memorandum, dated Aug. 28, 1985, Mr. Roberts offered what he called "my own personal view" on the proper balance between the interests of libel plaintiffs and the interests of the press. He said he would favor relaxing the standards established by the Sullivan case, which gave the press increased protection from libel suits brought by public officials, in exchange for eliminating punitive damages, which can often account for the bulk of libel awards. Three people quoted in the article discussed the Fein memorandum, provided to them by a reporter, on the assumption that it had been written by Judge Roberts.
Those three people are going to be hostile to the press after this.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

France declared enemy #1 by Islamist organization.

Terrorism: This explains the arrests on Monday.

Paris - An Algerian Islamist organisation, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), has issued a call for action against France, which it describes as "enemy No 1", intelligence officials said on Tuesday. "The only way to teach France to behave is jihad and the Islamic martyr," said the group's leader, Abu Mossab Abdelwadoud, also known as Abdelmalek Dourkdal, in an internet message earlier this month. He was quoted as saying: "France is our enemy No 1, the enemy of our religion, the enemy of our community." France was mentioned 15 times in the text and the Algerian government was also targeted, said the officials. Nine people detained in a series of raids west of Paris on Monday are suspected members of the GSPC, officials have said. They were being questioned for a second day on Tuesday at the headquarters of the DST domestic intelligence agency. Interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy said on Monday the risk of terrorist attack in France is "at a very high level... There are cells operating on our territory". The GSPC was created from a split in the Armed Islamic Group, the main force in Algeria's long insurgency, which was also responsible for a series of bombings in France in 1995.

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Harvard: Gutless money grubbing whores

Politics: Pentagon not taking any crap from these universities anymore.

Harvard Law School will actively cooperate with military recruiters this fall, despite the Pentagon’s refusal to sign the school’s nondiscrimination pledge, Dean Elena Kagan announced last night. Kagan’s announcement marks a reversal of her November 2004 decision to bar Pentagon recruiters from using the law school’s Office of Career Services. For most of the last 26 years, the office has only provided its resources to recruiters who promise not to discriminate against gay and lesbian employees and job applicants. The Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy prohibits gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. In an e-mail to students and faculty last night, Kagan wrote that the Pentagon had notified the University this summer that it would withhold most federal grants to Harvard unless the Law School’s career services office gives aid to military recruiters. Harvard receives more than $400 million per year in federal grants.
Harvard: "WE STAND BY OUR CONVICTIONS! Pentagon: "Fine, we will keep our money then." Harvard: "....on the other hand we can work something out"

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Whiny Bostonian prof sticks her nose where it doesn't belong.

Sports: Law prof. Erin Buzuvis goes from Mass. to Iowa and immediately throws around her enlightened self to the Iowa university to show them the errors of their homophobic female hating ways.

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa law professor said the school is promoting homophobia and will challenge whether Iowa is violating NCAA rules by painting a visitors' locker room pink. Erin Buzuvis moved to Iowa from Boston in the fall and discovered the visiting team's locker room at Kinnick Stadium was pink -- something she said promotes sexism and homophobia. But officials with the school's sports department said they won't change the pink walls, which is a long-time facet in Kinnick Stadium. The color was introduced decades ago by former Hawkeye coach Hayden Fry to soften opponents. But recent stadium renovations added more pink items to the locker room, including lockers, sinks and urinals. Buzuvis plans to speak with a school committee compiling a report on Iowa's compliance with NCAA regulations. The report is conducted every five years and does not yet address the pink locker room.
Of course, this doesn't sit to well with the Hawkeye faithful.
A University of Iowa law professor says she received death threats after telling a television reporter that the pink visitors' locker rooms at Kinnick Stadium promote sexism and homophobia. Erin Buzuvis said she and several "friends, colleagues and neighbors" have been concerned for months about the message behind the locker rooms. The color scheme, expanded in a recent remodeling, got its start in the 1970s as part of football coach Hayden Fry's effort to soften and distract opponents. After Buzuvis made her comments Thursday to a Cedar Rapids, Iowa, reporter, she began to feel the wrath of the Hawkeye faithful. The angry electronic messages numbered more than 75 by Friday afternoon. "I did not wake up (Thursday) with a plan to discuss pink locker rooms," Buzuvis said. "I don't want any more hate mail. This has got to stop." "With a pink locker room, you're saying that, 'You are a girlie man. You are weak, like a girl,' " Buzuvis said. "That implies that girls are non-dominant, therefore lesser. And that is offensive." Law professor Jill Gaulding said the issue also is a sore spot among members of the women's hockey team, and she has heard similar complaints from others on campus and around town.
She explains it in detail to enlight the masses on her blog.
But Iowa doesn't intend to be offensive. I don't doubt that this is true. But it still offends people. So why do it? To have a competitive edge in the game? If that's what we need to do to win, what does that say about our team? It's also harmful to University of Iowa--it makes it more difficult to attract students, athletes, and professors to come here when they perceive it as an institution that endorses sexist and homophobic practices.
It doesn' t seem to be so difficult since they somehow got you to move from Boston to Iowa and I haven't heard of any difficulties in University of Iowa attracting students. She is also right that the reason the locker room is pink because it is associated with weakness and it irritates the visitors by playing on long held worldwide theme association. Get over it. The complaints are petty and self indulgent of her worldview should be everyones view. The color scheme is a psych out, though more times than not it just ticks off the other team. The other complaint she had about the locker room.
"With a pink locker room, you're saying that, 'You are a girlie man. You are weak, like a girl,' " Buzuvis said. "That implies that girls are non-dominant, therefore lesser. And that is offensive."
Females cannot compete on the football field with guys outside of being a FG kicker, they are non-dominant and therefore lesser. Buzuvis is offended because of the truth? I'm offended she is calling female college athletes "girls" and implying that the football team is homophobic.

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NOPD Superintendent Eddie Compass resigns.

Hurricane: Interesting timing given news by Tony Snow on his radio show that the FBI is looking into phantom cops on the NOPD's payroll. He was also going to head up a tribunal to punish almost 250 cops who deserted their posts.

WWLTV.com NOPD Superintendent Eddie Compass resigned from his position at a 2 p.m. press conference Tuesday. No details were given and no questions were answered including who would become the next superintendent. Compass, in his announcement, said he had always wanted to be police chief and that he had led the city through some of its toughest times, including Hurricane Katrina. “Everyone in a leadership position has to know when it’s time to step down,” he said. Compass had come under some criticism in the press lately on charges that he had exaggerated the amount of death and crime at the Superdome and the Convention Center in the aftermath of Katrina. He issued a stinging rebuke that questioned the police department’s unity in the hours after the city had finally been fully evacuated of displaced citizens. During that rebuke he called officers who had vacated their posts without reason “cowards.” Compass also had two of his officers commit suicide in the storm’s aftermath. “It’s a sad day when a hero like Eddie Compass makes a decision like this,” said Nagin. Nagin added that Compass’ wife, who is eight months pregnant, is undoubtedly elated with the decision. He compared Compass stepping down at a young age to former football star Jim Brown retiring at the height of his football career.
I was thinking more of Ryan Leaf. Some golden quotes.
Neither Compass nor Mayor Ray Nagin would say whether Compass was pressured to resign. "It's a sad day in the city of New Orleans when a hero makes a decision like this," Nagin said. "He leaves the department in pretty good shape and with a significant amount of leadership." Lt. David Benelli, president of the union for rank-and-file New Orleans officers, said he was shocked by the resignation. "We've been through a horrendous time," Benelli said. "We've watched the city we love be destroyed. That is pressure you can't believe." Benelli would not criticize Compass. "You can talk about lack of organization, but we have been through two hurricanes, there was no communications, problems everywhere," he said. "I think the fact that we did not lose control of the city is a testament to his leadership." Earlier in the day, the department said that about 250 police officers — roughly 15 percent of the force — could face discipline for leaving their posts without permission during Katrina and its aftermath. Each case will be investigated to determine whether the officer was truly a deserter or had legitimate reasons to be absent, Deputy Chief Warren Riley said. "Everything will be done on a case-by-case basis. The worst thing we could do is take disciplinary action against someone who was stranded in the storm or whose child is missing," Riley said. Sally Forman, a spokeswoman for the mayor, said it is not clear whether the deserters can be fired. She said the city is still looking into the civil service regulations.

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Promo clip from John Kerry documentary "Inside the bubble"

Politics: Only question I have is Hillary's reaction after the timber company remark real or not, but other than that, the thing looks hysterical. Lots of bleeping. NYTIMES F***ING WITH US!!!!! Warning: lots of profanity in the second clip but Steve Rosenbaum makes a great point, it was Kerry's handlers job to make sure that photo does not happen and they did not.

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Douglas Brinkley leaves maid and cats in the flood zone.

Hurricane: A grand tale of delusions of grandeur in Rolling Stone starts out with this observation.

It's a little before midnight on Friday, September 2nd, and I'm sitting in a hotel bar in Houston. Somewhere to the southeast, the worst natural disaster in American history is unfolding in the darkness, with an entire city shrouded in death, panic and disease -- and here we are, a bunch of half-drunk, affluent white people quaffing eleven-dollar foreign beers and planning what appears to be a paramilitary mission to rescue two cats and a maid in the wreckage of New Orleans. I'm in the lounge of the Four Seasons with Sean Penn and other assorted media creatures, debating the merits of rescuing animals instead of humans in a disaster area. To my left is the eminent historian Douglas Brinkley, a friendly academic whose careful diction reminds me of Bob Woodward's. Brinkley is my contact in Houston. He's friends with Penn, and when he evacuated his home in New Orleans earlier in the week, he left his cats and his maid behind in the flood zone. Now he and Penn are talking about commandeering private jets, helicopters and weapons for a grand mission into hell that begins tomorrow.
It gets more self indulgent as you read the whole article.

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LATIMES picks up on the media spreading rumors

Hurricane: Even Romenesko, the media apologist is running with this. Nice to see that all that backslapping congrats was for nothing.

Journalists and officials who have reviewed the Katrina disaster blamed the inaccurate reporting in large measure on the breakdown of telephone service, which prevented dissemination of accurate reports to those most in need of the information. Race may have also played a factor. The wild rumors filled the vacuum and seemed to gain credence with each retelling — that an infant's body had been found in a trash can, that sharks from Lake Pontchartrain were swimming through the business district, that hundreds of bodies had been stacked in the Superdome basement. "It doesn't take anything to start a rumor around here," Louisiana National Guard 2nd Lt. Lance Cagnolatti said at the height of the Superdome relief effort. "There's 20,000 people in here. Think when you were in high school. You whisper something in someone's ear. By the end of the day, everyone in school knows the rumor — and the rumor isn't the same thing it was when you started it." Follow-up reporting has discredited reports of a 7-year-old being raped and murdered at the Superdome, roving bands of armed gang members attacking the helpless, and dozens of bodies being shoved into a freezer at the Convention Center. Hyperbolic reporting spread through much of the media. Fox News, a day before the major evacuation of the Superdome began, issued an "alert" as talk show host Alan Colmes reiterated reports of "robberies, rapes, carjackings, riots and murder. Violent gangs are roaming the streets at night, hidden by the cover of darkness." The Los Angeles Times adopted a breathless tone the next day in its lead news story, reporting that National Guard troops "took positions on rooftops, scanning for snipers and armed mobs as seething crowds of refugees milled below, desperate to flee. Gunfire crackled in the distance." The New York Times repeated some of the reports of violence and unrest, but the newspaper usually was more careful to note that the information could not be verified. The tabloid Ottawa Sun reported unverified accounts of "a man seeking help gunned down by a National Guard soldier" and "a young man run down and then shot by a New Orleans police officer." London's Evening Standard invoked the future-world fantasy film "Mad Max" to describe the scene and threw in a "Lord of the Flies" allusion for good measure. Televised images and photographs affirmed the widespread devastation in one of America's most celebrated cities. "I don't think you can overstate how big of a disaster New Orleans is," said Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute, a Florida school for professional journalists. "But you can imprecisely state the nature of the disaster. … Then you draw attention away from the real story, the magnitude of the destruction, and you kind of undermine the media's credibility." Times-Picayune Editor Jim Amoss cited telephone breakdowns as a primary cause of reporting errors, but said the fact that most evacuees were poor African Americans also played a part. "If the dome and Convention Center had harbored large numbers of middle class white people," Amoss said, "it would not have been a fertile ground for this kind of rumor-mongering."
Relief workers said that while the media hyped criminal activity, plenty of real suffering did occur at the Katrina relief centers. "The hurricane had just passed, you had massive trauma to the city," said Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard. "No air conditioning, no sewage … it was not a nice place to be. All those people just in there, they were frustrated, they were hot. Out of all that chaos, all of these rumors start flying." Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron, who headed security at the Superdome, said that for every complaint, "49 other people said, 'Thank you, God bless you.' " The media inaccuracies had consequences in the disaster zone. Bush, of the National Guard, said that reports of corpses at the Superdome filtered back to the facility via AM radio, undermining his struggle to keep morale up and maintain order. "We had to convince people this was still the best place to be," Bush said. "What I saw in the Superdome was just tremendous amounts of people helping people." But, Bush said, those stories received scant attention in newspapers or on television.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

CBS news blog slaps around the Broussard boo hooing.

Hurricane: Vaughn Ververs points out how being for the melodramatic nonsense that Broussard spewed all over MTP twice in three weeks. Russert had a duty to confront him.

"....It’s clear the tone of this debate revolves largely around issues of blame. Whether you put the onus on the federal government or the local and state officials for the less-than stellar response to Katrina will probably determine where you come down on the Broussard story. But there are more important points to be made here. Can something be factually flawed and still be an important part of the bigger story? How important is it for the media to correct such stories, and does it change anything when it occurs? The New Orleans Times-Picayune picks up on the theme advanced by the New York Times’ David Carr last week about stories we all heard about that turned out to be untrue. Tales of atrocities and emotional breakdowns on national TV make a definite impact on people’s attitudes, which in turn help shape future policy. Can such impressions ever be revised in the face of new information? And what is the duty for the media to do so? It’s an interesting debate that we surely haven’t seen the end of. But clearly, a story with factual inaccuracies should never be excused just because it appears to point to a bigger truth. Respect for facts is a standard that must be a line in the sand as long as journalism purports to report the story.
Here is the problem for the left, Broussard gave them on silver platter an angle to bash the feds with, now everyone finds out that he was wrong( I think he is lying) we must look for the "truth" and not lose sight of the "bigger story." Bull, Russert's reputation as a journalist would have been in tatters if he ignored the correction and did not give Broussard a chance to answer back. Jeff Jarvis is totally wrong with this line of reasoning.
"Russert’s proper response should have been to fix those facts quickly and clear but still pursue the real story. Instead, he chose to shoot the messenger who embarrassed him with the bloggers. He lost sight of his real mission.”
If Russert came on and said Broussard story was wrong without giving him a chance to reply, lefty bloggers would be ripping on him for being a coward. They are upset that Broussard got called out and an emotional narrative was shot down.

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No Cooing the babies!!!

Culture: This hospital is determined to make the joy of having a baby as bad as possible for everyone.

COOING over newborn babies could become a thing of the past in Calderdale. A scheme at Calderdale Royal Hospital has banned visitors from asking new mums questions or looking at their babies in maternity wards. It has been introduced by neo-natal staff to protect the baby's "right to privacy." But the drive, which has not been implemented in any other hospital in West Yorkshire, has already received criticism from some new mums. Lynsey Pearson gave birth to her first child Hannah four weeks ago. The 26-year-old, who lives in Northowram, said: "This ludicrous idea is taking patient confidentiality to the extreme. If people did not ask me questions about my baby I would be offended. "I am so proud of Hannah and I want to show her off and I would imagine all new mums feel that way. "When I was in hospital even the cleaners asked me questions and touched her and cuddled her. Babies love attention and I think it is cruel to ask visitors and parents to basically ignore them." ....But staff at Calderdale Royal said the drive was a necessary measure to prevent visitors gawping at newborns or quizzing the mother. Debbie Lawson, neo-natal manager at the Special Care Baby Unit, said the barrage of questions infringed on the child's human rights. "We know people have good intentions and most people cannot resist cooing over new babies but we need to respect the child. Cooing should be a thing of the past because these are little people with the same rights as you or me. "We often get visitors wandering over to peer into cots but people sometimes touch or talk about the baby like they would if they were examining tins in a supermarket and that should not happen." The new regulations have been introduced right across the maternity unit. One ward has put up a display of a doll in a cot with a message which reads: "what makes you think I want to be looked at?" Mrs Lawson said: "Hopefully our message comes across loud and clear. The Government has set a benchmark that every patient has a right to privacy and dignity and we say that includes tiny babies as well. "I can't imagine why any mother would complain. Most would be against strangers poking and prodding and asking questions."
I did not know there was a rash of baby shaking and proding in the UK. It sounds like a couple of Nurse Ratchets who want to be pain in the asses for whatever reason.

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Remember Darfur? Still going.

Africa: I am shocked that the killings are still going strong and the government hasn't done anything about it.

A senior United Nations official has given a damning assessment of the Sudanese government's efforts to bring peace to Darfur. Special UN advisor on preventing genocide Juan Mendez said Khartoum had done little to disarm militias or end the "culture of impunity" there. He said Sudan's authorities remained in denial about the extent of the problem. Mr Mendez was speaking after his second trip to Darfur, where the conflict has displace more than two million people.
The fact Juan says that Sudan is in denial shows how clueless he really is about the situation. The Sudanese government is the source of the problem.

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New John Kerry documentary coming out.

Politics: This sounds interesting in a train wreck sort of way.

I hear that John Kerry loyalists are kicking themselves for cooperating last year with filmmaker Steve Rosenbaum on "Inside the Bubble," a potentially devastating behind-the-scenes look at the Massachusetts senator's failed presidential campaign. I'm also told that Hillary Clinton partisans are licking their chops to see the film, which "could end up being the silver bullet that kills Kerry's presidential chances for 2008," says a Lowdown spy. Kerry spinmeister David Wade - one of the senior staffers who allowed Rosenbaum to film his private moments - tried to dismiss Rosenbaum's effort as "a childish home movie destined to be forgotten." Wade E-mailed me: "The 20 poor souls subjected to this movie will be reaching for caffeine and begging for old Lamar Alexander tapes on C-Span 2. Michael Moore has nothing to fear. I think the working title was 'The Snore Room.'" But people who've screened the documentary say it's compelling and revealing. It features, among other not-ready-for-prime-time moments, Clinton scowling and rolling her eyes over an apparent Kerry gaffe during a presidential debate; Kerry pretending to interview himself and babbling in Italian while waiting for a real interview to begin; Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) cursing at reporters during a campaign stop, and Kerry message guru Robert Shrum confidently declaring a few days before the 2004 election: "Zogby [a prominent pollster] just announced who's gonna win. Us!" Shrum told me he personally didn't cooperate with the movie, which captures him on camera only a couple of times. Asked if he plans to see it, he answered: "Absolutely not." As for media critic Michael Wolff - who severely slags off the Kerryites at regular intervals - "I refused to be interviewed by [Rosenbaum], even though at one point he called me from his bespoke tailor." A press release claims the movie - which won't be shown publicly until Thursday - "turns a harsh but deeply revealing mirror on the campaign ... a disorganized, contentious, self-absorbed team that thought they could win by 'not making mistakes,' and keeping their candidate in the public eye without clarifying a position on anything." Director Rosenbaum, meanwhile, told me: "I'm a lifelong Democrat and I supported Kerry. I think people will see the film as fair, and maybe searing."
Poor Zogby, he will never live that down.

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Louisiana politicians making a money grab.

Politics: They must be out of their minds. via Instapundit.

Louisiana's congressional delegation has requested $40 billion for Army Corps of Engineers projects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, about 10 times the annual Corps budget for the entire nation, or 16 times the amount the Corps has said it would need to protect New Orleans from a Category 5 hurricane. Louisiana Sens. David Vitter (R) and Mary Landrieu (D) tucked the request into their $250 billion Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief and Economic Recovery Act, the state's opening salvo in the scramble for federal dollars. The bill, unveiled last week, would create a powerful "Pelican Commission" controlled by Louisiana residents that would decide which Corps projects to fund, and ordered the commission to consider several controversial navigation projects that have nothing to do with flood protection. The Corps section of the Louisiana bill, which was supported by the entire state delegation, was based on recommendations from a "working group" dominated by lobbyists for ports, shipping firms, energy companies and other corporate interests.
I would sooner give federal money to Fidel Castro than Louisiana politicians with no checks and balances.

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Deaths greatly exaggerated in New Orleans

Hurricane: Surprise surprise, NOLA did a bit of investigating to all the reports of death and mayhem that went on at the Convention Center and Dome. What they found out is that a lot of people were spreading rumors and authorities were spreading lies. The national media did a tremendous job spreading these stories and now won't do any followups because it would get in the way of their storyline. I don't expect this to be followed up on Romenesko or Greg Mitchell's Editor and Publisher site.

By Brian Thevenot and Gordon Russell Staff writers After five days managing near-riots, medical horrors and unspeakable living conditions inside the Superdome, Louisiana National Guard Col. Thomas Beron prepared to hand over the dead to representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Following days of internationally reported killings, rapes and gang violence inside the Dome, the doctor from FEMA - Beron doesn't remember his name - came prepared for a grisly scene: He brought a refrigerated 18-wheeler and three doctors to process bodies. "I've got a report of 200 bodies in the Dome," Beron recalls the doctor saying. The real total was six, Beron said. Of those, four died of natural causes, one overdosed and another jumped to his death in an apparent suicide, said Beron, who personally oversaw the turning over of bodies from a Dome freezer, where they lay atop melting bags of ice. State health department officials in charge of body recovery put the official death count at the Dome at 10, but Beron said the other four bodies were found in the street near the Dome, not inside it. Both sources said no one had been killed inside. At the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, just four bodies were recovered, despites reports of corpses piled inside the building. Only one of the dead appeared to have been slain, said health and law enforcement officials. That the nation's front-line emergency management believed the body count would resemble that of a bloody battle in a war is but one of scores of examples of myths about the Dome and the Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans' top officials, including the mayor and police superintendent. As the fog of warlike conditions in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath has cleared, the vast majority of reported atrocities committed by evacuees have turned out to be false, or at least unsupported by any evidence, according to key military, law enforcement, medical and civilian officials in positions to know. "I think 99 percent of it is bulls---," said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Lachney, who played a key role in security and humanitarian work inside the Dome. "Don't get me wrong, bad things happened, but I didn't see any killing and raping and cutting of throats or anything. ... Ninety-nine percent of the people in the Dome were very well-behaved." Dr. Louis Cataldie, the state Health and Human Services Department administrator overseeing the body recovery operation, said his teams were inundated with false reports about the Dome and Convention Center. "We swept both buildings several times, because we kept getting reports of more bodies there," Cataldie said. "But it just wasn't the case." Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan said authorities had confirmed only four murders in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina - making it a typical week in a city that anticipated more than 200 homicides this year. Jordan expressed outrage at reports from many national media outlets that suffering flood victims had turned into mobs of unchecked savages. "I had the impression that at least 40 or 50 murders had occurred at the two sites," he said. "It's unfortunate we saw these kinds of stories saying crime had taken place on a massive scale when that wasn't the case. And they (national media outlets) have done nothing to follow up on any of these cases, they just accepted what people (on the street) told them. ... It's not consistent with the highest standards of journalism."
But the reports looked great on Oprah.
In interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Compass reported rapes of "babies," and Mayor Ray Nagin spoke of "hundreds of armed gang members" killing and raping people inside the Dome. Unidentified evacuees told of children stepping over so many bodies, "we couldn't count." The picture that emerged was one of the impoverished, masses of flood victims resorting to utter depravity, randomly attacking each other, as well as the police trying to protect them and the rescue workers trying to save them. Nagin told Winfrey the crowd has descended to an "almost animalistic state." Four weeks after the storm, few of the widely reported atrocities have been backed with evidence. The piles of bodies never materialized, and soldiers, police officers and rescue personnel on the front lines say that although anarchy reigned at times and people suffered unimaginable indignities, most of the worst crimes reported at the time never happened. ...In many cases, authorities gave credibility to portraits of violence broadcast around the world. Compass told Winfrey on Sept. 6 that "some of the little babies (are) getting raped" in the Dome. Nagin backed it with his own tale of horrors: ''They have people standing out there, have been in that frickin' Superdome for five days watching dead bodies, watching hooligans killing people, raping people.'' But both men have since pulled back to a degree. "The information I had at the time, I thought it was credible," Compass said, conceding his earlier statements were false. Asked for the source of the information, Compass said he didn't remember. Nagin frankly acknowledged that he doesn't know the extent of the mayhem that occurred inside the Dome and the Convention Center - and may never. "I'm having a hard time getting a good body count," he said. Compass said rumors had often crippled authorities' response to reported lawlessness, sending badly needed resources to respond to situations that turned out not to exist. He offered his own intensely personal example: The day after the storm, he heard "some civilians" talking about how a band of armed thugs had invaded the Ritz-Carlton hotel and started raping women - including his 24-year-old daughter, who stayed there through the storm. He rushed to the scene only to find that although a group of men had tried to enter the hotel, they weren't armed and were easily turned back by police. Compass, however, promulgated some of the unfounded rumors himself, in interviews in which he characterized himself and his officers as outgunned warriors taking out armed bands of thugs at every turn. "People would be shooting at us, and we couldn't shoot back because of the families," Compass told a reporter from the (Bridgeport) Connecticut Post who interviewed him at the Saints' Monday Night Football game in New York, where he was the guest of NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. "All we could do is rush toward the flash." Compass added that he and his officers succeeded in wrestling 30 weapons from criminals using the follow-the-muzzle-flash technique, the story said. "We got 30 that way," Compass was quoted as saying. Asked about the muzzle-flash story last week, Compass said, "That really happened" to Winn's SWAT team at the Convention Center. But Winn, when asked about alleged shootouts in a separate interview, said his unit saw muzzle flashes and heard gunshots only one time. Despite aggressively frisking a number of suspects, the team recovered no weapons. His unit never found anyone who had been shot.
Read it! Update# So far Romenesko is touting the greatness of big muscles. All muscles and no brains.
New Orleans story needed print journalism's big muscles New York TimesBy their disposition, hurricanes are a television story, says David Carr. But TV journalists rarely tackle the big questions. "Is Mayor Ray Nagin a saint or a kook? Were the levees overtopped or undermined? Will New Orleans be a real city again, or just Disneyland with Jell-O shots?" writes Carr. "The New Orleans story needed the big muscles of print journalism to gain custody of facts that seemed beyond comprehension."

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Dolphins 27, Panthers 24

Wooo! Nick Saban has this team playing tough which is about all I can expect this year.

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Hamas says no more rocket attacks

Middle East: I figure Hamas is smart enough to realize without any settlements to use as an excuse, Israel can go to town on Gaza if attacked.

The Palestinian militant organisation Hamas has announced an end to rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip. Up to 40 rockets have been fired at Israel in recent days, following Israel's withdrawal from Gaza earlier this month. In response to the rockets, Israel resumed its policy of targeting militant leaders in air strikes. An Israeli missile apparently aimed at a road used by militants hit an open area of northern Gaza early on Monday. One woman was reportedly hurt by shrapnel from the missile which the Israeli military said had targeted a road used by Palestinian rocket squads. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon earlier authorised "unrestricted" strikes against Palestinian militants.

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Tim Russert goes after Aaron Broussard.

Hurricane: After Broussard was found out to lie about what happened to a friend's grandmother on national television, Russert brought him back to confront him about it. Broussard bumbler busted about while Russert who clearly did not want to do this looked on. Russert did not have a choice, you can't have lies plastered about your show and then act like nothing happened when they are uncovered. Crooks and liars are unhappy about it.

Tim Russert went on the attack today to please the right wing apologists who had the nerve to fact check his impassioned outburst on MTP during the nightmare of Katrina. (Update-fact checking is fine, but to me this was callous)
I guess that is the new leftist standard, you can fact check, but if it destroys a clip we like to use against anyone to the right of Mao, it is callous.

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Guardian rips off James Pinkerton Tony Blair scoop.

Culture: Guardian comes out with this semi-exclusive "scoop" about comments made by Tony Blair on Kyoto.

Juliette Jowit, environment editor Sunday September 25, 2005 The Observer Tony Blair was accused last night of backing down on the Kyoto agreement to tackle climate change after he confessed to 'changing my thinking about this'. In comments earlier this month which have only just emerged, the Prime Minister talked about a 'post-Kyoto' era, appearing to predict the death of the multi-lateral treaty. A total of 156 nations have signed it, but the US, the world's biggest polluter, has refused to do so. In a debate, hosted by former US President Bill Clinton in New York, Blair said he was not hopeful of another major agreement on targets to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for climate change. Instead, he talked enthusiastically about focusing on technology-led solutions, the process favoured by America, Japan, China and India, but rejected by environmental campaigners and other leaders, including Britain's own minister responsible for climate change minister.
If you mean "just emerged" by James Pinkerton on 09/16/05
NEW YORK - Kyoto Treaty RIP. That's not the headline in any newspaper this morning emerging from the first day of the Clinton Global Initiative, but it could have been -- and should have been. Onstage with former president Bill Clinton at a midtown Manhattan hotel ballroom, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said he was going to speak with "brutal honesty" about Kyoto and global warming, and he did. And Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had some blunt talk, too. Blair, a longtime supporter of the Kyoto treaty, further prefaced his remarks by noting, "My thinking has changed in the past three or four years." So what does he think now? "No country, he declared, "is going to cut its growth." That is, no country is going to allow the Kyoto treaty, or any other such global-warming treaty, to crimp -- some say cripple -- its economy. Looking ahead to future climate-change negotiations, Blair said of such fast-growing countries as India and China, "They're not going to start negotiating another treaty like Kyoto." India and China, of course, weren't covered by Kyoto in the first place, which was one of the fatal flaws in the treaty. But now Blair is acknowledging the obvious: that after the current Kyoto treaty -- which the US never acceded to -- expires in 2012, there's not going to be another worldwide deal like it.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

If "articulate" is racist, then “Filthy Wolfowitz.”

Politics: is what it seemed to be earlier this year despite the protesting it was not. INDC: Lileks Slaps a Blogger TBOTCOTW: Oliver Willis shouldn’t be throwing stones Ace of Spades HQ: Lileks Disses Willis Without Either Linking Him Or Naming Him Barack Obama Google search: Results 1 - 50 of about 44,200 for Barack Obama articulate. Interesting sites pop up like Obama's Senate website.

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Jeremy Rifkin blames Americans for Hurricanes

Hurricane: The latest Guardian piece where he goes into hysteria mode.

"....A new scientific report out this past week in Science Magazine, a prestigious American journal, gives fresh impetus to the connection between oceans warming as a result of climate change and the increased severity of hurricanes. Scientists report that the number of major - category four and five - hurricanes has nearly doubled in the past 35 years. Tropical storms, say the scientists, draw their energy from warm ocean water. As the global rise in temperature heats the world's oceans, the intensity of hurricanes increases. Katrina and Rita, then, are not just bad luck, nature's occasional surprises thrust on unsuspecting humanity. Make no mistake about it. We Americans created these monster storms. We've known about the potentially devastating impact of global warming for nearly a generation. Yet we turned up the throttle, as if to say: "We just don't give a damn." What did anyone expect? SUVs make up 52% of all the vehicles owned in America, each a death engine, spewing record amounts of CO2 into the earth's atmosphere. How do we explain to our children that Americans represent less than 5% of the population of the world but devour more than a quarter of the fossil-fuel energy produced each year? How do we say to the grieving relatives of the victims of the hurricane that we were too selfish to allow even a modest five-cent tax increase on a gallon of petrol in order to encourage energy conservation? And when our neighbours in Europe and around the world ask why the American public was so unwilling to make global warming a priority by signing up to the Kyoto treaty on climate change, what do we tell them?"
First lets look at this report in Science Magazine: (sea surface temperature = SST)

"....Numerous studies have addressed the issue of changes in the global frequency and intensity of hurricanes in the warming world. Our basic conceptual understanding of hurricanes suggests that there could be a relationship between hurricane activity and SST. It is well established that SST > 26°C is a requirement for tropical cyclone formation in the current climate (6, 7). There is also a hypothesized relationship between SST and the maximum potential hurricane intensity (8, 9). However, strong interannual variability in hurricane statistics (10-14) and the possible influence of interannual variability associated with El Niño and the North Atlantic Oscillation (11, 12) make it difficult to discern any trend relative to background SST increases with statistical veracity (8). Factors other than SST have been cited for their role in regulating hurricane characteristics, including vertical shear and mid-tropospheric moisture (15). Global modeling results for doubled CO2 scenarios are contradictory (15-20), with simulations showing a lack of consistency in projecting an increase or decrease in the total number of hurricanes, although most simulations project an increase in hurricane intensity." "....In summary, careful analysis of global hurricane data shows that, against a background of increasing SST, no global trend has yet emerged in the number of tropical storms and hurricanes. Only one region, the North Atlantic, shows a statistically significant increase, which commenced in 1995. However, a simple attribution of the increase in numbers of storms to a warming SST environment is not supported, because of the lack of a comparable correlation in other ocean basins where SST is also increasing. The observation that increases in North Atlantic hurricane characteristics have occurred simultaneously with a statistically significant positive trend in SST has led to the speculation that the changes in both fields are the result of global warming (3). "

We deliberately limited this study to the satellite era because of the known biases before this period (28), which means that a comprehensive analysis of longer-period oscillations and trends has not been attempted. There is evidence of a minimum of intense cyclones occurring in the 1970s (11), which could indicate that our observed trend toward more intense cyclones is a reflection of a long-period oscillation. However, the sustained increase over a period of 30 years in the proportion of category 4 and 5 hurricanes indicates that the related oscillation would have to be on a period substantially longer than that observed in previous studies. We conclude that global data indicate a 30-year trend toward more frequent and intense hurricanes, corroborated by the results of the recent regional assessment (29). This trend is not inconsistent with recent climate model simulations that a doubling of CO2 may increase the frequency of the most intense cyclones (18, 30), although attribution of the 30-year trends to global warming would require a longer global data record and, especially, a deeper understanding of the role of hurricanes in the general circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, even in the present climate state.

Neater Summary:
What part does global warming have to play in these hurricanes? Although this has been an exceptional year in terms of the number of storms, there have so far not been as many as there were in 1995, when we had 19. There have been similarly active seasons dating back decades. In both 1960 and 1961 there were two Category 5 storms in the Atlantic region and in 1933 there were 21 storms. If you discount Ophelia, which grazed the Carolinas, three hurricanes have so far made landfall over the US this year. In 1886, records show that there were seven. So there is no evidence that there are more storms when looked at globally, but what we may be seeing is an increase in the peak intensity of the strongest ones. Two research papers published in the past month have suggested an increase in the number of category 4 and 5 storms. Tropical cyclone activity is highly variable, often as a result of natural changes in the atmosphere and ocean, so although this evidence is a start, we are a long way from proving a connection.
KRT:
"We are solidly into one of these active periods," said Colin McAdie, a meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center. "We're figuring we're 10 years into this one. We could be looking at 10 to 20 more years." That means next year, and the years after that, could be just as scary as this one, with mega-storms taking aim at Florida, the Carolinas or the Gulf Coast, spiking the anxiety levels of those in their path. Hurricanes feed on warm water and scientists say the pattern of increased storm frequency and strength is caused by a cyclical rise in ocean temperatures. Besides fueling more powerful hurricanes, a higher number of storms means more of them will be stronger. "Certainly, with more frequency of active systems, we can see a lot more chances to have more intense hurricanes," said another storm forecaster, Chris Sisko. The cycles commonly run about 25 to 30 years, scientists say, but can vary and see breaks of as much as a decade. The current cycle started around 1995. Prior to then, from 1975 to 1995, only four major hurricanes, defined as a Category 3 or higher, impacted the state. "In the `70s and `80s," McAdie said, "people were saying, `I guess we don't get hurricanes any more.'" By contrast, 23 hurricanes hit South Florida alone during the last cycle of high hurricane activity, from 1926 to 1965. Of those storms, 15 were major ones. "We had about a 40-year period when it was very busy," said meteorologist Chris Landsea with the National Hurricane Center. During that cycle, on Labor Day 1935, a Category 5 hurricane hit the Florida Keys. "....A cycle of warm ocean water fuels individual storms like Rita, and gives rise to stronger hurricanes during high activity cycles such as the present one. Researchers say a higher salt content in the Atlantic causes the water to become more dense, which in turn causes the water to grow warmer, perhaps by as much as a degree. That single degree can make a difference in whether a tropical wave rolling across the sea will develop into a devastating hurricane. Researchers have yet to decipher the rhythm of the storm cycles. "The oceanographers are looking into that, trying to understand that," Landsea said. Contrary to speculation, the cycles may not result from human-induced global warming. Prevailing scientific opinion says global warming has little or nothing to do with the trend. "The science is not settled on that," McAdie said. "It's an open question."
Rifkin who earlier this year proclaimed that the EU was the new hotness and America was old and busted on the world political stage(then came the whole EU constitution debacle, continued high unemployment in the EU..etc..etc) The SUVs and evil selfish Americans and others are the proud parents of Cat 5 Hurricanes, facts be damned. The advice he gives out to change the ways of everyone seems familiar.
"In the coming weeks and months, millions of Americans will reach out to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina with offerings of food, shelter and financial assistance. Natural calamities tend to bring out the best in the American character. We pride ourselves on being there for our fellow human beings when they cry out for help. Why can't we muster up the same passionate response when the Earth itself is crying out for help? Shame on the United States of America and the peoples of other countries - we're not alone - who have put their personal, short-term whims, desires and gratifications ahead of the welfare of the rest of the planet. "....If I could get the ear of George Bush, for just a moment, I would say: "Mr President, if you had looked deeply into the eye of the storm, what you would have seen was the future demise of the planet we live on." It's time to tell the American people and the world the real lesson of Katrina: that we need to mobilise the talent, energy and resolve of the American people, and of people everywhere, to wean ourselves off the oil spigot that's threatening the future of every creature on earth."
He wants a 2005 version of the Jimmy Carter malaise speech, which worked wonders back in the days. The global warmers like Rifkin are swooning about these hurricanes because they can make it fit into what amounts to a religion these days. Don't believe the hype.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Iran: Who's your daddy Europe? WE ARE!

EU: Iran gloats about the cowards of the EU.

IRAN has hailed as a "significant victory" the EU climbdown from its demand that the UN nuclear watchdog send the Islamic state to the UN security council. Opposition from China, Russia, India and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) stopped the EU reporting Teheran to the UN's highest body for possible sanctions, Mohammad Saeedi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, said today. "The EU's withdrawal was a significant victory for Iran," Mr Saeedi, also a member of Iran's nuclear negotiating team, said. The EU has dropped the demand from a revised draft resolution after nearly 15 of the 35 members of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) governing board, including China and Russia, opposed it. Iranian negotiator Javad Vaeedi said Iran's strong diplomacy pushed the EU to drop its security council push. "Our firm stance, China and Russia's backing and also a lack of legal basis caused the EU's withdrawal," the official IRNA news agency quoted Mr Vaeedi as telling reporters in Vienna. "Also, as they were not sure about the outcome of the security council, they reviewed their draft," said Vaeedi, the Supreme National Security Council deputy in charge of international affairs.

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Charles Schumer research assistants steal credit report.

Politics: This seems a bit serious.

Two opposition researchers working for Sen. Charles Schumer at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee obtained copies of a confidential credit report on Maryland's Republican lieutenant governor, prompting calls for their prosecution. In July, committee research director Katie Barge and Lauren Weiner, a junior staffer, used Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's Social Security number to get his credit report, according to a Democratic official familiar with the case. The committee, which works to elect Democrats to the Senate, has been compiling research on Steele, Maryland's highest-ranking African-American official, a GOP contender for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by Democrat Paul Sarbanes in 2006. Barge, a Democratic operative who led the research unit for a liberal media watchdog group run by journalist David Brock before joining the committee in February, reported her actions to the committee's executive director, J.B. Poersch Jr., within hours. Poersch relayed the information to the U.S. attorney's office and suspended the pair with pay until Aug. 31, the official said. Barge and Weiner resigned earlier this month after an internal investigation. Calls to the FBI, which is probing the case, weren't returned last night.
Washington Post:
Maryland Republicans yesterday decried news of Democratic researchers obtaining Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele's credit report, suggesting that it showed how seriously the Democrats are taking Steele's likely bid for the U.S. Senate. "If they're trashing you, they fear you," Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) said. "You don't go to this sort of extreme if you're not fearful." Ehrlich's assessment followed reports that federal prosecutors are investigating whether two Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee employees illegally obtained Steele's credit information as they conducted opposition research. Derek Walker, a spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party, said the episode had nothing to do with the party's view of a Steele candidacy. "This is a one-time stupid mistake by a couple of young people who were willing to take responsibility immediately," Walker said. "That's what this is about." The DSCC employees were suspended after the July episode and resigned early this month. The committee reported the breach to the U.S. attorney's office, which began an investigation, DSCC spokesman Phil Singer said.

It was not a stupid mistake unless Schumer just hires people off the street without an inkling of common sense. This is a crime and it was done to dig up dirt on Steele. To get a credit report it you have to supply a lot of information.

Quicken: To order your credit report, they will ask you to provide the following information: Full name (including Jr., Sr., etc.) Spouse's first name (if married) Current address Phone number Address(es) for the past two years if applicable Social Security number Birth date Current employment information Signature Any fees
Federal Trade Commission.
How do I order my free report? You can order your free annual credit report online at annualcreditreport.com, by calling 1-877-322-8228, or by completing the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mailing it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. When you order, you need to provide your name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth. To verify your identity, you may need to provide some information that only you would know, like the amount of your monthly mortgage payment.

One time stupid mistake? I think not.

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EU-3 backs down again from Iran.

Iran: This is some good old fashioned no balls diplomacy. The only part about this that is amusing is you can't blame America for this.

VIENNA, Austria - The European Union on Thursday offered to delay its drive to bring Iran before the U.N. Security Council for its suspect atomic activities if Russia and China will agree to a new resolution that criticizes Tehran for violating nuclear commitments. If an agreement is not reached, however, the EU, backed by the United States, planned to force a vote on the tougher resolution. The new U.S.-backed European offer was contained in a text threatening Tehran only with referral to the Security Council at a later date. The previous EU draft resolution — which also remained on the table — urged the 35 nations on the International Atomic Energy Agency board of directors to report Iran to the U.N.'s highest decision-making body during the board's current session. Neither version mentions sanctions, in recognition that veto-wielding Security Council members Russia and China were opposed. Diplomats familiar with the West's strategy said the Europeans were keeping both options alive, urging the more than a dozen board members opposed to referral to accept the toned-down version or face the prospect of having the board vote on the earlier hard-line text. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Whoa.. So this is what school buses are used for...

Hurricane: ..when a hurricane is coming, someone tell Nagin and Blanco.

Galveston Independent School District buses help to evacuate Galveston residents from Hurricane Rita leave Galveston County, Texas. Targeted by Hurricane Rita, the Texas coast braced for the worst and ordered evacuations amid fears the extremely dangerous storm would reach top intensity(AFP/James Nielsen)

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Oprah is a witchy diva.

Culture: Oprah revisited her "Crash" moment but from this write up, she got what she deserved.

Oprah Winfrey is not a diva. At all. No way. She is so adamant on that point that she brought the head of Hermès USA onto her talk show yesterday to admit it and apologize in front of a national audience. "I would like to say we're really sorry," Robert Chavez, the chief executive officer of Hermès USA, said contritely. "You did meet up with one very, very rigid staff person." Ms. Winfrey corrected him. "Rigid or rude?" she asked with icy sweetness. He hastily assented. "Rigid and rude, I am sure."
First off, someone see if they can find Chavez's spine and other manhood qualities that he left outside the studio. But you feeling sorry for Oprah yet? I'm not and it gets worse.
The Hermès incident was one of the more florid tabloid stories of the summer: Ms. Winfrey, one of the wealthiest and most famous women in the nation, was turned away from the Hermès flagship store on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré at closing time. That kind of resounding "non" rang a bell with anyone who has tried to argue with a Parisian salesperson. But many people also interpreted the rebuff as racism, arguing that Ms. Winfrey would have been treated better had she been white. (Simpler souls merely relished the prospect that someone as famous as Ms. Winfrey would be denied anything, ever.) But Ms. Winfrey seemed most bothered that people assumed she was irate because she had been denied a chance to shop. "Shame on anybody for thinking that I was upset for not being able to get into a clothes store and buy a purse," she said. "Please." Instead, she explained that the rudeness of one saleswoman had stung deep. "Anybody who has been snubbed because you were not chic enough, or not thin enough, or not the right class, or the right color or whatever, I don't know what it was, you know that it is totally humiliating." Most of all, she said, she was hurt again when the Hermès company apologized in private, then released a statement that she said implied that "I was some diva trying to get in when the store was closed." Ms. Winfrey explained that some shoppers were still in the store, and that she argued with the sales personnel only because a few members of her entourage had their hearts set on going in.
Remember, the part that got people's attention was some line about the store having problems with North Africans which may or may not have been said, since that charge is not repeated here, I guess not. But look at her explanation in clear terms. Some of Oprah's "entourages"(hanger-ons) wanted to go into the store but it was closed, Oprah sees shoppers in there and decides I can get them in because I'm Oprah. She pushes the issue and the French saleswoman says non! I know somewhere along the line she at least tried a "Do you know who I am?" card and got rejected, which lead to this gutting of Chavez's manhood on national television. YOU GO SNOTTY FRENCH SALESWOMAN!*snap snap* Oprah got what she had coming to her. Look at her excuse, she bitches about being portrayed as some sort of diva trying to get into a closed store and then admits she was trying to get into a closed store because her "entourage"(hanger-ons)wanted to get in.
Ms. Winfrey was magnanimous in return, assuring Mr. Chavez that "you really did come correct." And while she did not distribute Hermès scarves to her studio audience, she did lift the shopping fatwa, urging her fans to go ahead and buy a Birkin bag. Would a diva do that? Certainly not.
How many screwed up women has Oprah put upon society.. sheesh.

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