Friday, June 30, 2006

Superman and all that stuff hits the mainstream.

Entertainment: Talked about it a couple of weeks ago about the change approved by Singer and screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris who could not stand the fact one of the iconic parts of Superman which was saying "truth, justice and the American way." They changed it to all that stuff which was not only politically correct but a deliberate slap in the face of American moviegoers. The writers who are seem to be full on internationalists made Superman is a citizen of the world..yaaah.

"...Whether kicking Nazi butt on the radio in the '40s or wrapping himself in the Stars and Stripes on TV during the Cold War or even rescuing the White House's flag as his final feat in "Superman II," the Krypton-born, Smallville-raised Ubermensch always has been steeped in unmistakable U.S. symbolism. But in his latest film incarnation, screenwriters Michael Dougherty and Dan Harris sought to downplay Superman's long-standing patriot act. With one brief line uttered by actor Frank Langella, the caped superhero's mission transformed from "truth, justice and the American way" to "truth, justice and all that stuff." "The world has changed. The world is a different place," Pennsylvania native Harris says. "The truth is he's an alien. He was sent from another planet. He has landed on the planet Earth, and he is here for everybody. He's an international superhero." In fact, Dougherty and Harris never even considered including "the American way" in their screenplay. After the wunderkind writing duo ("X2: X-Men United") conceived "Superman's" story with director Bryan Singer during a Hawaiian vacation, they penned their first draft together and intentionally omitted what they considered to be a loaded and antiquated expression. That decision stood throughout the 140-day shoot in Australia, where the pair remained on-set to provide revisions and tweaks. "We were always hesitant to include the term 'American way' because the meaning of that today is somewhat uncertain," Ohio native Dougherty explains. "The ideal hasn't changed. I think when people say 'American way,' they're actually talking about what the 'American way' meant back in the '40s and '50s, which was something more noble and idealistic." While audiences in Dubuque might bristle at Superman's newfound global agenda, patrons in Dubai likely will find the DC Comics protagonist more palatable. And with the increasing importance of the overseas box office -- as evidenced by summer tentpoles like "The Da Vinci Code" -- foreign sensibilities can no longer be ignored. "So, you play the movie in a foreign country, and you say, 'What does he stand for? -- truth, justice and the American way.' I think a lot of people's opinions of what the American way means outside of this country are different from what the line actually means (in Superman lore) because they are not the same anymore," Harris says. "And (using that line) would taint the meaning of what he is saying." ....Nevertheless, the long-standing member of the Justice League of America seems to have traded in his allegiance to the flag for an international passport. "He's here for humanity," Dougherty says.
I could even understand them shooting two different versions, so the most you could lob at the studio would be they are money grubbing whores. But they didn't consider the line because of their "world view" and tainted the movie with this nonsense. You don't like line, don't include it. Putting it in there because of a deranged we are the world mentality is an insult.

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Wall Street Journal throws NYTIMES under the bus.

Media: Then make sure its went back and forth over them for the SWIFT leak. This is a great behind the scenes article on how the story got out.

According to Tony Fratto, Treasury's Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, he first contacted the Times some two months ago. He had heard Times reporters were asking questions about the highly classified program involving Swift, an international banking consortium that has cooperated with the U.S. to follow the money making its way to the likes of al Qaeda or Hezbollah. Mr. Fratto went on to ask the Times not to publish such a story on grounds that it would damage this useful terror-tracking method. Sometime later, Secretary John Snow invited Times Executive Editor Bill Keller to his Treasury office to deliver the same message. Later still, Mr. Fratto says, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, the leaders of the 9/11 Commission, made the same request of Mr. Keller. Democratic Congressman John Murtha and Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte also urged the newspaper not to publish the story. The Times decided to publish anyway, letting Mr. Fratto know about its decision a week ago Wednesday. The Times agreed to delay publishing by a day to give Mr. Fratto a chance to bring the appropriate Treasury official home from overseas. Based on his own discussions with Times reporters and editors, Mr. Fratto says he believed "they had about 80% of the story, but they had about 30% of it wrong." So the Administration decided that, in the interest of telling a more complete and accurate story, they would declassify a series of talking points about the program. They discussed those with the Times the next day, June 22. Around the same time, Treasury contacted Journal reporter Glenn Simpson to offer him the same declassified information. Mr. Simpson has been working the terror finance beat for some time, including asking questions about the operations of Swift, and it is a common practice in Washington for government officials to disclose a story that is going to become public anyway to more than one reporter. Our guess is that Treasury also felt Mr. Simpson would write a straighter story than the Times, which was pushing a violation-of-privacy angle; on our reading of the two June 23 stories, he did.
WSJ then decides to punch Keller in the mouth a couple of times as they destroy his reasoning for publishing the article and how it does affect national security.
Some argue that the Journal should have still declined to run the antiterror story. However, at no point did Treasury officials tell us not to publish the information. And while Journal editors knew the Times was about to publish the story, Treasury officials did not tell our editors they had urged the Times not to publish. What Journal editors did know is that they had senior government officials providing news they didn't mind seeing in print. If this was a "leak," it was entirely authorized. Would the Journal have published the story had we discovered it as the Times did, and had the Administration asked us not to? Speaking for the editorial columns, our answer is probably not. Mr. Keller's argument that the terrorists surely knew about the Swift monitoring is his own leap of faith. The terror financiers might have known the U.S. could track money from the U.S., but they might not have known the U.S. could follow the money from, say, Saudi Arabia. The first thing an al Qaeda financier would have done when the story broke is check if his bank was part of Swift. Just as dubious is the defense in a Times editorial this week that "The Swift story bears no resemblance to security breaches, like disclosure of troop locations, that would clearly compromise the immediate safety of specific individuals." In this asymmetric war against terrorists, intelligence and financial tracking are the equivalent of troop movements. They are America's main weapons. The Times itself said as much in a typically hectoring September 24, 2001, editorial "Finances of Terror": "Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities." Isn't the latter precisely what the Swift operation is?
Then they cap it off by bringing in Pinch to show the NYTIMES ran it because of their liberal P.O.V.
....The problem with the Times is that millions of Americans no longer believe that its editors would make those calculations in anything close to good faith. We certainly don't. On issue after issue, it has become clear that the Times believes the U.S. is not really at war, and in any case the Bush Administration lacks the legitimacy to wage it. So, for example, it promulgates a double standard on "leaks," deploring them in the case of Valerie Plame and demanding a special counsel when the leaker was presumably someone in the White House and the journalist a conservative columnist. But then it hails as heroic and public-spirited the leak to the Times itself that revealed the National Security Agency's al Qaeda wiretaps. Mr. Keller's open letter explaining his decision to expose the Treasury program all but admits that he did so because he doesn't agree with, or believe, the Bush Administration. "Since September 11, 2001, our government has launched broad and secret anti-terror monitoring programs without seeking authorizing legislation and without fully briefing the Congress," he writes, and "some officials who have been involved in these programs have spoken to the Times about their discomfort over the legality of the government's actions and over the adequacy of oversight." Since the Treasury story broke, as it happens, no one but Congressman Ed Markey and a few cranks have even objected to the program, much less claimed illegality. Perhaps Mr. Keller has been listening to his boss, Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., who in a recent commencement address apologized to the graduates because his generation "had seen the horrors and futility of war and smelled the stench of corruption in government. "Our children, we vowed, would never know that. So, well, sorry. It wasn't supposed to be this way," the publisher continued. "You weren't supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land. You weren't supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights," and so on. Forgive us if we conclude that a newspaper led by someone who speaks this way to college seniors has as a major goal not winning the war on terror but obstructing it.
Oh read it all, makes for a great slam. The idea that SWIFT was in the news or in some UN report means this is a big bother over nothing is absurd. Between the groups filing lawsuits and euro government CYAing themselves over this, the SWIFT program becomes at least a less effective program and worst kills it.

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Transformer the movie teaser now up.

Entertainment: Great teaser though I am still miffed Megatron doesn't turn into a gun.

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Bill Simmons draft recap is his best ever.

Sports: Even if you are not a basketball there are some great lines in it. Thanks for the Knicks for their highlight pick of the evening.

7:38 -- With the first pick, Toronto selects ... yep, Andrea Bargnani. Three minutes ago, Bilas called him a "solid prospect with a chance to be a solid player." Their fans must be delighted. Meanwhile, the MSG crowd quickly starts chanting "over-rated!" Stern might have to have them sprayed with one of those super-powerful fire hoses before the Knicks' first pick. 7:38 -- Classic wide angle of everyone in Toronto's War Room applauding the pick. That didn't seem staged at all. No, really. That's followed by Bilas telling us, "He does not rebound, he does not post up, he is not physical. He needs to work on his body." You have to be fired up if you're a Raptors fan right now.

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NY Observer: John Bolton is the United Nations.

UN: It makes for a great read as Bolton has made his presence felt around that useless organization.

"Diplomats at the United Nations have found U.S. Ambassador John Bolton’s behavior so inexplicable that a virtual quasi-science has sprung up, aimed at divining his true intentions. The primary school of thought, according to one diplomat, is that Mr. Bolton, who has made plain his disdain for the world body since arriving there 11 months ago, is playing to a domestic audience of U.N. skeptics, possibly with an eye on future political ambitions. A second theory, said another official who works in the U.N., holds that Mr. Bolton is busily storing up anecdotes that will form the basis of a book about his experiences: He did his best to change the organization, but, tragically, the bureaucracy and corruption were too much even for him to overcome. “A lot of us wonder what his real agenda is,” a European diplomat told The Observer. “First, we think maybe he wants things to fail because then he can say, ‘We cannot reform this place.’ The other question is, does he really reflect the position in Washington? That is always the question: Is it Bolton or is it Washington?” The fact that international officials have come to engage in abstract theorizing about Mr. Bolton’s motives is a testament both to the genuine shock inspired within the diplomatic ranks by his behavior and to the center-stage role he has assumed since arriving in Turtle Bay. Just last week, Mr. Bolton attacked the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, after she expressed “grave concern” about the reported existence of secret detention centers. And that mini-row came hot on the heels of Mr. Bolton’s clash with the Deputy Secretary General of the U.N., Mark Malloch Brown. Mr. Bolton reacted with fury to a speech in which Mr. Malloch Brown contended that U.S. politicians did not defend the U.N. from domestic criticism with sufficient vigor. Mr. Bolton told reporters that the speech was “the worst mistake by a senior U.N. official that I have seen” since at least 1989. But despite the indignant reactions to the ambassador’s angry outbursts—Secretary General Kofi Annan pointedly refused his requests to criticize Mr. Malloch Brown’s speech—Mr. Bolton is anything but a pariah, and he is often the center of attention at official and social events. “People talk to him because he is at the center of the game,” explained the European diplomat with a mixture of wonder and exasperation. “He has succeeded in becoming the center of the story. He has become the most important person here, more important even than the Secretary General.” The diplomat added with a laugh, “He has become the U.N.” It’s a fairly shocking notion....."

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Poor blacks sue New Orleans for more public housing.

Culture: Via Reuters.

NEW ORLEANS, June 27 (Reuters) - Poor blacks in New Orleans sued on Tuesday to stop the government from replacing public housing units with mixed-income dwellings, calling it a discriminatory move that would bar them from coming home after Hurricane Katrina. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) plans to raze more than half of the low-income housing units it oversees in the city and replace them over the next few years with units the agency says will be better and safer. "HUD plans to keep low-income black families out of New Orleans," said Judith Browne, co-director of the Advancement Project, a national civil rights organization that filed the suit along with black families. The agency rejects the notion that it is excluding anyone, although it has said there will be fewer low-income units. "We'd like it to be a better future and not the deplorable conditions they were in before," said HUD spokesman Jerry Brown. "Everyone who was residing here before has the right to return."
The meat of the matter.
Former public housing residents have had difficulty finding places to live in the tight New Orleans market and say authorities have avoided fixing up units with only minor damage and made decisions without involving the residents, who also have property rights as lease-holders. "We are paying the tax dollars to rebuild," said Stephanie Mingo, 44, a technician for the local school district who has lived in public housing since she was 1 year old. "Why can't they take our tax dollars to do public housing?" The suit, filed in federal district court in New Orleans, says discrimination is the reason. "As a direct and proximate result of defendants' discriminatory policies and practices, plaintiffs have suffered, and in the future will continue to suffer, economic loss, humiliation, embarrassment, and emotional distress," it said. The U.S. Fair Housing Act is intended to give equal rights to all races in housing, and HUD in particular is charged with that goal. A number of city and federal officials have said that New Orleans wants hard-working people to return, which has been widely taken by public housing residents as an implication that they are jobless, lazy and their developments foster crime. Few deny that housing developments were crime-plagued, although many former residents say outsiders brought in the violence and drugs. Ex-residents and housing officials are also at odds over whether the damage wrought by Katrina should be used as an opportunity to change and upgrade public housing or whether federal officials' primary duty is to repair what is left so former residents can return as soon as possible.
The fact is N.O officials and better off residents see this as a chance to make a better New Orleans. That means the poor who live in public housing with the high crime are not wanted. Its not every day a city gets a chance at do-over in terms of social and economic factors and people want to take advantage of that. Thats the honest truth.

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New Orleans crime spilling over to surrounding areas.

Crime: The sheriff doesn't pull any punches as you are going to see why the surrounding areas wanted nothing to do with New Orleans people.

SLIDELL, LA. - Two adults and two teens were killed in a suspected drug-related shooting at a trailer park outside this small city on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain, and the sheriff said he fears crime may be spilling over from New Orleans. Sheriff Jack Strain said two people are thought to have been involved in the shootings. The killings echoed the June 17 slayings of five teens on a New Orleans street corner, although there is no indication the incidents were related. After those shootings, 300 National Guard members and 60 state police were sent to beef up New Orleans patrols. Strain said the added patrols are likely contributing to crime in surrounding areas. "If you send 500 armed men into a zoo, the animals are going to crawl out of the cage," Strain said in an interview.

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Barbara Walters close to being gangsta

Entertainment: The way she went from warm and fuzzy to ice bitch in a day is awesome. She totally throws Star under the bus, but Star got her punches in by announcing she was leaving two days before they were actually going to do it.

In a glimpse of behind-the-scenes friction that is rare on network TV, Walters said she and ABC were surprised by Reynolds' announcement -- which came two days earlier than planned -- and by her complaints to People magazine that she had been fired. "So it is becoming uncomfortable for us to pretend that everything is the same at this table," Walters said on the air. Walters told Reuters that ABC had decided last year that Reynolds should go, citing network research that found viewer approval plunging due to negative publicity surrounding her lavish, freebie-filled wedding in 2004 and unexplained questions about her abrupt weight loss. Walters' account contrasted sharply with Tuesday's on-air tone, when she clasped hands with Reynolds, warmly wished her well and led the studio audience in a standing ovation as the co-host confirmed weeks of media reports that she was ending her nine-year tenure on the ABC show next month. ....And it was announced in April that actress-comedian Rosie O'Donnell, one of Reynolds' most vocal critics, would be joining the show this fall, a move widely seen as setting the stage for more tension among the usually cordial co-hosts. Reynolds complained in the People magazine article, and in a radio interview, that word of O'Donnell's impending arrival came just days after she learned that her own contract would not be renewed for a 10th season. Walters said she and fellow producer Bill Geddie had put off telling Reynolds for months that her days on the show were numbered in hopes she could somehow "redeem" herself. She insisted that hiring O'Donnell had nothing to do with Reynolds being shown the door, suggesting instead that the co-host was responsible for her own undoing.
Come on, anyone believe that? You don't hire Rosie in hopes Star redeems herself. You knew you wanted her gone, just say it. Star made her own problems, but the way this was handled all around was childish and vindictive. But give Star some credit, she saw what was happening and just decided if I'm getting fired, I am going to nuke this set.

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CAIR backs up Hamas.

Nation: Another shining example of why I have no respect for this professional race/religious organization. I guess the part of kidnapping and murdering of hostages for taken out by accident.

WASHINGTON, June 28 /U.S. Newswire/ — A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today said Israel’s targeting of the Palestinian civilian infrastructure is a “war crime” that should be condemned by the Bush administration. Following a Palestinian attack on a military post, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at the Gaza Strip’s only power station, cutting electricity to most of Gaza. Israel also targeted three Gaza Strip bridges. Palestinian officials say the cut in power will impact water supplies and health services. In reaction to the Israeli strikes, a White House spokesman said: “In any actions the government of Israel may undertake, the United States urges that it ensures that innocent civilians are not harmed, and also that it avoid the unnecessary destruction of property and infrastructure.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a statement released today: “Mild rebukes for the deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure in Gaza will not stop Israeli missiles. The Bush administration should condemn these war crimes and demand that Israel stop using American taxpayer- funded weapons to carry out attacks that will only serve to intensify the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” CAIR recently called on President Bush to help end the Israeli and international “siege” imposed on the Palestinians because of the results of democratic elections.

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Father jailed for honor killing in Denmark.

EU: and more await their sentences.

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - A Danish court on Wednesday sentenced a father of Pakistani origin to life in prison for the honor killing of his 18-year-old daughter, while the brother who shot her, and two uncles each received 16 years in prison. Ghazala Khan was gunned down by her brother alongside her newly wedded Afghan husband in broad daylight in front of a provincial railway station in eastern Denmark. Her husband, Emal, survived, but now lives under police protection. “In the sentencing, the court considered that the murder of Ghazala and the attempted murder of Emal were carefully planned and committed by several people in collusion,” the court said in its verdict.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Belgium to probe SWIFT over helping America.

Politics: Remember in that obnoxious article where Bill Keller wrote about publishing the story he had this to say.

We weighed most heavily the Administration's concern that describing this program would endanger it. The central argument we heard from officials at senior levels was that international bankers would stop cooperating, would resist, if this program saw the light of day. We don't know what the banking consortium will do, but we found this argument puzzling. First, the bankers provide this information under the authority of a subpoena, which imposes a legal obligation. Second, if, as the Administration says, the program is legal, highly effective, and well protected against invasion of privacy, the bankers should have little trouble defending it. The Bush Administration and America itself may be unpopular in Europe these days, but policing the byways of international terror seems to have pretty strong support everywhere. And while it is too early to tell, the initial signs are that our article is not generating a banker backlash against the program.
But I bet you and your ilk were hoping for this predictable Euro move. The same goes for the supposed CIA prison story. Its a neat trick to make the Euros jam up the works in helping out tracking and catching terrorists as you bust up their networks. Most of this is CYA and acting shock as I doubt Belgium and others did not know about it. But releasing these stories help to slow down cooperation between countries when a slowdown is the last thing you want to happen.
Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt has ordered a probe into whether a Brussels-based banking consortium broke the law when it provided US anti-terror authorities with confidential information about international money transfers. The consortium known as SWIFT – society for worldwide inter-bank financial telecommunications – was brought into the limelight when the New York Times last week reported that officials from the CIA, the FBI and other US agencies had since 2001 been allowed to inspect the transfers. Prime minister Guy Verhofstadt asked the Belgian justice ministry on Monday (26 June) to investigate whether SWIFT acted illegally in allowing US authorities to inspect the transfers without the support of a Belgian judge. "We need to ask what are the legal frontiers in this case and whether it is right that a US civil servant could look at private transactions without the approval of a Belgian judge," said government spokesman Didier Seus, according to the International Herald Tribune. ....Although SWIFT is based in Belgium – a European Union member – it is also subject to US laws as it has offices there. The US tapping into confidential bank transfers could therefore be legal as long as it is outside of Belgium where court-approved warrants are required. The case comes at a time when the EU and the US have been criticised for the extent to which civil liberties can be sacrificed in the war on terrorism. In May, Europe's highest court of justice overturned an EU-US deal which provides Washington with personal data on airline passengers flying from Europe to the US. Nearly 8,000 financial institutions in 205 countries use SWIFT, which works as a central global centre operating a secure electronic messaging service. The networks transmit nearly €4.8 trillion daily between banks, stock exchanges and other institutions.

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Ted Poe makes Raw Story aghast with truthiness.

Immigration: Interesting recap by RAW Story who doesn't have the best of track records(Karl Rove indictments) but a little bit of searching will find that Poe made some points.

A Congressman took to the House floor yesterday insisting that illegal border crossings from Mexico have slowed due to fear of rape, robbery and beatings at the hands of U.S. National Guardsmen, RAW STORY has learned. Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) began his one-minute statement by characterizing the US-Mexican border as a war zone. "Mister Speaker," he began, "news from the front: The border war continues. Generalissimo Fox and the Mexican media have taken a setback in the illegal invasion of the United States." The deployment of the US national Guard to the Mexican border, according to Poe's statements to the House, was actually little more than "a publicity stunt to appease Americans."
I agree with the stunt part, as for the Mexican media, they did sneer at us during the first marches
Some Mexican media outlets were even more euphoric, predicting final approval for the committee bill as drafted, and suggesting the weekend demonstrations showed Mexico still holds some sway over former territories which it lost in the 1846-48 Mexican-American War. "With all due respect to Uncle Sam, this shows that Los Angeles has never stopped being ours," reporter Alberto Tinoco said on the Televisa television network's nightly news broadcast, referring to a Saturday march in Los Angeles that drew an estimated 500,000, mainly Mexicans.
Back to Raw Story.
Still, the Congressman believes that it is responsible for a drop in crossings over a ten day period. In the Texas lawmaker's estimation, Mexicans hoping to enter the US have slowed their crossing out of fear of being brutalized by the National Guard, which they see as similar to "that Mexican military machine that is on the southern Mexican border--that reportedly rapes, robs and beats Hondurans and Guatemalans that are just trying to do jobs that Mexicans won't do." Honduras does not actually share a border with Mexico, but does lie southeast of Guatemala. "Just think," concluded Poe, "what would happen if we used more Guardsmen on the border front."
There has been a drop.
SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico -- The arrival of U.S. National Guard troops in Arizona has scared off illegal Mexican migrants along the border as a whole, significantly reducing crossings, according to U.S. and Mexican officials. U.S. authorities said Monday that detentions along the U.S.-Mexico border have decreased by 21 percent, to 26,994, in the first 10 days of June, compared with 34,077 for the same period a year ago. Along the Arizona border, once the busiest crossing spot, detentions have dropped 23 percent, according to the U.S. Border Patrol. ...."Some migrants have told me they heard about the troops on television and, because the U.S. Army doesn't have a very good reputation, they prefer not to cross," Loureiro said, referring to reports of abuse in Iraq. Others have been discouraged by smugglers' fees that have nearly doubled to more than $3,000.
Mexico is considered brutal to people coming from other Latin American countries and the border is a warzone which Mexico is losing to the drug cartel. So far Poe is 100% correct.
Poe blamed this "setback" for potential illegal immigrants on propaganda from the Mexican media, which he claims has "exaggerated the truth," about US Guardsmen, "taking a page from the New York Times and their hatred for the U.S. military." Poe had, just seconds earlier, characterized the Mexican media as part of the "invasion".
Dunno about the propaganda part as I haven't seen any stories about the Mexican media going that route, I wouldn't be surprised if its true.

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Spider Man 3 trailer out.

Entertainement: Looks spectacular. I am still wary of having that many villians in one film plus dealing with Peter Parker angst, but I'm less worried after watching this teaser.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

London Times meets Joseph Kony of the LRA.

Africa: Sam Farmar goes on a trek to meet the most wanted man in Africa for crimes against humanity as he says he will use the Ten Commandments to liberate Uganda. Read it.

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Israel goes on Gaza attacks, AP lies about Hamas deal.

Middle East: Gaza is no longer occupied and Israel can let loose on destroy the place if they don't get their guy back. That is the downside for all these terrorist groups that Hamas and Fatah have around them. They carry out attacks and the response is going to be huge.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) -- Israeli tanks and troops entered southern Gaza and planes attacked three bridges and knocked out electricity to the coastal strip early Wednesday, stepping up the pressure on Palestinian militants holding captive a 19-year-old Israeli soldier. The soldiers and tanks began taking up positions in two locations about a mile east of the Gaza town of Rafah under the cover of tank shells, according to witnesses and Palestinian security officials. Palestinians dug in behind walls and sand embankments, bracing for a major Israeli offensive. No casualties were reported in any of the attacks, marked by the first Israeli ground offensive in Gaza since it pulled out of the territory last summer, tearing down all 21 Jewish settlements. The Israeli strikes came amid intensive diplomatic efforts in the Arab world and by the United Nations. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Israel to "give diplomacy a chance." Trying to defuse building tensions, negotiators from the ruling Hamas movement said Tuesday they had accepted a document implicitly recognizing Israel. But two Syrian-based Hamas leaders denied a final deal had been reached. Israel said only freedom for the captive soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, could defuse the crisis, not a political agreement. The Israeli military said in a statement that the object of the attacks on the bridges was "to impair the ability of the terrorists to transfer the kidnapped soldier." Knocking down the bridges cut Gaza in two, Palestinian security officials said. Early Wednesday, Israeli warplanes attacked one of the bridges for a second time, Palestinian security officials said. Before daybreak, Israeli warplanes flew low over Gaza city, causing sonic booms and breaking windows.
For whatever reason AP has been carrying this lie about Hamas recognizing Israel in articles all day. That is a blatant lie.
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - Hamas and Fatah have agreed to a deal that calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said on Tuesday -- but Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamad said the document does not recognize Israel. The document was drawn up weeks ago by Palestinians held in Israeli jails, and it has been a source of contention between the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority government and P.A. Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah faction. Islamic Jihad, which has carried out a number of suicide bombing attacks in Israel during this last year, did not sign the agreement. It's not clear if the military wing of Hamas, which receives its orders from Damascus, will accept the document. Full Story
Even if Hamas would recognize Israel, there are many other groups Hamas funds and helps that won't and the attacks would continue. It is a bogus plan only fools would believe as being a good first step.

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ZE Germans rethink the whole climate emissions kyoto deal.

EU: The EU is for global warming correction! Now actually doing so is another matter they and everyone else is not willing to do to their economies.

The German government is about to trigger a new crisis in Europe's flagship climate policy, the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). BBC News understands the German cabinet is likely to agree a deal that will reduce carbon emissions from industry by only 0.6% between 2004 and 2012. The decision is likely to influence other EU countries, including the UK, which still have to set their own caps. Environmental groups describe the target as "pathetic and shameful". "These figures are unbelievably unambitious," said Regina Gunther from WWF Germany. "It is shameful that our environment minister has agreed to this." Climate analysts now fear a meltdown of EU climate leadership. "I have been a big supporter of the EU ETS, but hearing the German news I feel more depressed than I ever have done about our ability to tackle climate change," said Professor Michael Grubb of the UK Carbon Trust, set up by the British government to help create a low-carbon economy. "I really believed that Europe would lead the way through the EU ETS but now I wonder whether this will ever happen."
Ze evil Americans may be on to something.
The news will offer comfort to US climate sceptics who predicted that Europe would talk big on climate change but fail to impose large carbon cuts on its own industries. The decision represents a major success for the German business lobby. Last year, German industries were so successful in lobbying that their government handed them 21 million tones of carbon permits more than they actually needed. Carbon trading's real colours Q&A: The Carbon Trade EU carbon trading concern This pushed down the value of carbon in the EU ETS carbon market and made emissions savings less attractive to businesses across the EU. The carbon price bounced back when carbon traders found that some nations such as the UK had forced unexpectedly large CO2 cuts on their power sectors. A German environment ministry spokesman, Michael Schroeren, argued that his nation's carbon targets up to 2012 were stricter than they appeared. He said last year's carbon emissions total of 474 million tonnes from big industry might have been anomalously low, so Germany had to allow for that. Mr Schroeren said Germany was still committed to its Kyoto targets, but would achieve carbon cuts through other measures. One plan is to cut three million tonnes of carbon by training motorists to drive more economically.
Even I got to call BS on this, you are not going to train people to drive more economically. I mean this is the home of the autobahn! They are just looking for things to justify the cap move which is making it easier for other countries to think their cap limit.
Environmentalists are also angry that the German government has decided to hand companies all their emissions permits free of charge. The EU encourages member states to auction up to 10% of permits in order to create a more genuine market in which firms have to reveal their true intentions. But this has been rejected. The UK says it will auction between 2% and 10% of permits. The UK will cut CO2 between three and eight million tonnes. At least the Germans will be announcing their EU ETS plans on deadline on Friday. Most other EU nations do not have their plans ready. The UK government is waiting on the German decision because in the last phase of the EU ETS, British firms complained that the Germans had been given too many carbon permits, conferring a competitive advantage. The Swedish government has agreed a lax cap on CO2 and is expected to stick to that unless Germany and the UK impose much stricter caps. This now looks most unlikely, and will badly undercut the EU's position in international negotiations on climate. The German news comes as the European Environment Agency released figures showing that the EU is badly under-achieving on its Kyoto targets. EU emissions rose by 0.4% in 2004 relative to the previous year. UK emissions rose 0.2 %. In 2004, the combined EU-15 emissions were only 0.9% below 1990. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Germany has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 21% from 1990 levels by the period 2008-2012.

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Somolia is pretty much screwed.

Africa: You can see where this is headed.

NAIROBI, Kenya – The radical cleric named to lead the Muslim militia controlling most of Somalia's south said Monday that he envisions an Islamic state, a stand likely to reinforce U.S. fears the nation could become a haven for extremists. Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who already was on the U.S. terrorist watch list as a suspected collaborator with al-Qaeda, made the comment while discussing efforts to form a functioning central government in Somalia for the first time in 15 years. “Somalia is a Muslim nation and its people are also Muslim, 100 percent. Therefore any government we agree on would be based on the holy Quran and the teachings of our Prophet Muhammad,” Aweys told The Associated Press in a telephone interview, his first comments to the media since being named head of the Islamic militia Saturday. The militia defeated an alliance of U.S.-backed secular warlords this month to take control of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, and now holds sway over much of southern Somalia. Aweys' stance could put Somalia on a collision course with the United States and the United Nations. The previous militia leader, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, had been reaching out to the West and Somalia's largely powerless U.N.-backed interim government. ....Omar Jamal, director of the Somali Justice and Advocacy Center in St. Paul, Minn., a hub for expatriate Somalis, said he was troubled by Aweys' rise to power. “The election of Aweys is a clear signal that the moderates are losing, and extremists are taking the lead, and now the next possible step is that they will impose a Taliban style of government,” he said, referring to the strict Islamic militia that was ousted by a U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. Underlining the apparent tougher line, militia leaders said Monday that they will publicly stone to death four suspected rapists if they are convicted in Jowhar, 55 miles from Mogadishu. The appointment of Aweys as the group's leader is likely to stoke Washington's long-standing concern that Somalia will become a refuge for members of bin Laden's terror network, much like Afghanistan did in the late 1990s.

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Olbermann can't understand staying a winner.

Media: Via TVnewser is this goofy rant by Olbermann on Roger Ailes being unhappy as he sees ratings going down on Fox News and lack of drive by some people.

Olbermann Adds Ailes To His 'Worst' List FNC chief Roger Ailes has officially joined his host Bill O'Reilly on Keith Olbermann's list of The Worst People in the World. Ailes was named the worst for the very first time on MSNBC's Countdown Monday night."Apparently, its position as the network of choice for those aged 70 or over, or those with IQ's 70 or under, is insufficient," Olbermann started. "He is now threatening his own staffers, through 'now hiring' ads in trade publications, and through a statement issued by a spokesman. 'Anyone who displays launch-type intensity will continue to have a job at Fox News. Those who don't will not. And that includes talent.'"He concluded: "This just proves the theory that even in hell, Satan will still periodically demand more productivity from you."

I understand that Olbermann being on a last place network which is going to more taped programming because it is cheaper doesn't get Ailes annoyance. Ailes sees a lack of effort on the part of some because they are number one and have become complacent . A good leader does not allow that to happen and makes it known in various ways. The ad and the statement are two ways. If that doesn't work, start firing people. That is how any company that becomes the leader in their field stays that way. You can't allow yourself to get bloated and realize too late that you have to turn it around. Then you would be acting like CNN.

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Monday, June 26, 2006

France's anti-globalisation fight a losing battle.

EU: France getting hit from both sides as the protectionist government is realizing they cannot stop the world economy.

FRANCE’S attempts to protect itself from globalisation through state intervention were in tatters last night, with Airbus in crisis and Arcelor likely to fall into the hands of Mittal Steel. Arcelor’s U-turn, in particular, illustrates the failure of the French Government’s economic patriotism. Lakshmi Mittal’s steelmaking group was a seen as the symbol of a new threat to Gallic status and sovereignty — the threat of being overtaken not just by the United States, but by developing nations as well. Never mind that Mr Mittal lives in London. Never mind that his group is based in the Netherlands. He is viewed in Paris as an Indian — the representative of a country whose aggressive capitalism could undermine France’s high-tax, generous welfare social model. Such fears run deep in France and Dominique de Villepin, the Prime Minister, has sought to calm them by manoeuvring to prevent the takeover of French groups by foreign competitors. He waded into rumours that Pepsico was planning a bid for Danone, the food group, sought to rebuff a move by Enel, the Italian energy group, for Suez, the utility, and threw the French Government’s weight behind Arcelor’s battle to stay independent. Although Arcelor has its headquarters in Luxembourg, its industrial base is in France, where it is seen a national champion. However, M de Villepin’s determination to buck the markets is proving futile and damaging — futile because he does not have the power to do so and damaging because it prevents his compatriots from accepting the reality of globalisation. After the French Government announced its opposition to Mittal’s offer, ministers realised their powerlessness. The decision lay not with them, but with Arcelor’s shareholders. They were acting like King Canute. The ministers have since taken a more prudent line. However, the damage has already been done and the French public will view Mittal’s victory as a defeat for Paris — thus fuelling anxieties over la mondialisation.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

Swedish Bomb Belt drama ends.

EU: Okay, not every day you see have someone walking around Sweden with a bomb belt.

Swedish police have removed a suspected bomb belt from around the waist of a man who claims he was abducted and forced to wear the device. Officers evacuated buildings and blocked off streets in Tensta, a suburb of Stockholm, after the man claimed he had a bomb belt around his waist. The removal brought a six-hour stand-off on Sunday to an end. The device is now being analysed by police and the man - believed to be in his twenties - is being questioned. "We are working on the assumption that this really is a bomb and it will be blown up today," police officer Diana Sundin told AFP news agency. He claims he was kidnapped three days ago and that someone else put the belt on him. Jasser Mohammed Ali, who works at a nearby shop, told Swedish news agency TT: "He behaved in a weird way and just sat there crying," "He has something around his waist and in his hand."

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King papers saved by Morehouse College

Culture: The only regret is the King offspring is going to get some money out of this which they will probably blow thru in a couple of years.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sermons, books, notes and speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be spared the auction block next week because the civil rights icon's alma mater, Morehouse College in Atlanta, has bought them. Sotheby's auction house had estimated the value of the collection at up to $30 million ahead of the auction that had been set for Friday, some five months after the death of King's widow, Coretta Scott King. King's heirs had tried to sell it to the U.S. Library of Congress in 1999. But the deal fell through, and the auction had raised concerns about where the historic archive would end up. Sotheby's said late on Friday that Morehouse College, the historically black institution from which King graduated in 1948, purchased it for an undisclosed sum. "This is a wonderful outcome for this collection," Dexter King, son of the murdered leader, said in a statement. "I know my mother would have been happy to see the collection housed permanently in Atlanta, which always meant so much to her and to our family." The King estate runs the King Center in Atlanta, which includes his crypt, a museum and a gift shop. The center has been the focus of financial and management disputes among King's four children. The archive includes a draft of the 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech, his library including books that King annotated while reading, and memorabilia such as plane tickets and suitcases.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Muslims address silence on Europe attacks

Terrorism: Some heat on European Muslim leaders who have added pressure on the Muslim population pops up as an excuse.

Europe's Muslims have remained largely silent in the face of terrorist attacks that have killed 254 people in Madrid, London and Amsterdam. Europeans want to know why. Why have so few of them publicly condemned the train and bus bombings in Madrid and London? Why have so few spoken out against the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, killed because his work was considered an insult to Islam? Talk to Europe's mainstream Muslims privately, however, and it turns out they have a lot to say. Seek them out in the neighborhoods where they live and work — in the outdoor markets and butcher shops that sell halal meat, in the book stores that display literature on Islam and the West, in the boutiques that promote Islamic dress codes, in the Turkish restaurants and smoky Tunisian teahouses, in their schools and youth clubs — and they denounce, the vast majority unequivocally, attacks against civilians in both Europe and the United States. "Van Gogh was a crazy man, but no one has the right to kill anyone who says bad things about the Quran," said Mohammed Azahaf, a 23-year-old student who runs a youth center in Amsterdam. "If you kill one, it's like killing the whole of mankind," he said, quoting a line from the Muslim holy book. Why, then, the public silence? For some of the more than five dozen Muslims interviewed for this story in Amsterdam, Paris and London, it's a sense of shame, or even guilt, that innocents have been killed in the name of Islam; they say those feelings make them seek to be "invisible." For those lucky enough to have jobs, there is little time to protest or even write letters to newspapers. For others, there is fear of being branded anti-Islam in their communities. Dutch Muslim rapper Yassine SB wrote a song about his anger over Van Gogh's murder but scrapped plans to perform it out of fear of being ostracized by the Islamic community. He also turned down requests by a popular Amsterdam radio station to sing a song against terrorism. "If you sing that, it's like you choose the Dutch, not Muslims," said Yassine SB — the initials stand for his surname Sahsah Bahida — who is popular among Dutch North African youths like himself for his songs against racism. "People will say 'you are a traitor,'" said the 20-year-old musician. In the Netherlands, Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali — who wrote the script for Van Gogh's movie "Submission" — went into hiding after receiving death threats for her condemnations of Islam. And in the United States, Syrian-born psychologist Wafa Sultan's calls for Islamic reform also earned her death threats.
Tribalism and self-preservation works as a reason, no way most would go against the grain like Ali did because it puts themselves in harm's way.
But there is another reason for the silence — one that for many overrides all others. Why, many Muslims ask, should they have to speak out against, or apologize for, actions of radicals who do not represent them — people they do not even regard as true Muslims? Many find the very idea of being asked or expected to denounce such acts "extremely offensive and insulting," said Khurshid Drabu, a senior member of the Muslim Council of Britain. "I'm British," said Tuhina Ahmed, 24, a British-born Muslim in London whose family came from Gujarat in India. "I could have been blown up as well." Why, she asked, should she have to make a public statement to prove her objection to terrorism? To many, the pressure to denounce acts of terror smacks of President Bush's warning that 'you are either with us or against us.' "People and politicians say where are the Muslim people, why aren't they on the streets defending themselves? They say we should go into the streets and condemn what happened so they see us as good Muslims," said Karima Ramani, a 20-year-old Dutch born to an Algerian father and Moroccan mother. "I don't feel it's my duty. I'm not responsible for the death of Van Gogh." Many European observers of Islamic communities agree. "If they protest as a group of Muslims against these terrorist attacks, they take on an extra responsibility which is not theirs. So I can fully understand their reasons," said Ruud Peters, professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Amsterdam. Yet the Internet is filled with blogs — mostly from Westerners but also by some Muslims — asking why Muslims are not expressing revulsion at the attacks. They see the silence as giving the terrorists strength. ....Many Europeans blame the Continent's Muslim leadership, which they accuse of making ambiguous and qualified condemnations that give the impression they are making excuses for the bombers: grievances over the war in Iraq or the West's support for Israel. "It's the leaders who are most responsible," said Rory Miller, senior lecturer of Mediterranean studies at King's College, London. Europe's Muslims, who originate from 57 countries, differ in culture, language and even the strain of Islam they follow. They came at different periods and for different reasons. Some were born here and consider themselves as much French or British as they are Muslim. Condemnations by most of the Muslims interviewed for this article had no strings attached.
The qualified condemnations are not just a problem with the leaders because there have been numerous reports, protests of Muslim leaders and Muslim population doing the same thing. During the cartoon riots, everything was Muslim are one big family, its an insult that the west has to correct. Everyone is looking at this thinking where is this emotion against terrorism? a couple of press releases and protest marches that are done because you feel the need to put on a show is not going to cut it. The biggest factor in questioning Muslims has to be the lack of drive to get rid of extremists, to call and point them out. Islamic extremists have been growing in numbers for decades and there was never the effort within the Muslim community to even slow it down. That lack of effort just fuels the backlash. The perfect example is the Canadian terror suspects, an MP pointed out he was invited to the Mosque where Jamal(suspected leader) had been given radical speeches. Why wasn't he kicked out the second he started going that route? How come jihad videos are being sold in the parking lot and no one knew about it? Its the little things like this that start to add up in people's mind that Muslims are not sincere. Of course the new Pew Survey won't help.

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CAIR going after blogs they disagree with?

Blogs: Via Little Green Footballs

The Council on American-Islamic Relations has begun filing complaints with the FBI about comments on this blog and others (not front page posts). I know this because I’ve spoken with two different agents recently about LGF comments that were reported to the FBI by CAIR. Just thought you might like to know too. The premier Islamist front group is starting to go after the blogosphere, using the tools provided by our own society.
Since I am a good person at heart, I would like to point out to CAIR the cliff its about to walk out on. Just don't do it.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Ontario Provincial Police abandons Canadians.

Canada: This can't be legal can it? As for Dalton McGuinty, you are a pathetic shell of man who has shown nothing in terms of smarts, guts or even the minimum requirements of leadership in allowing this to go on this long. You have shown yourself to be a coward.

Amid concerns over lack of police action in Caledonia, the Ontario Provincial Police have turned over part of their policing responsibility on the outskirts of the town to Six Nations officers, the force confirmed yesterday. OPP officers will no longer respond to calls from non-native home and property owners who live on the 6th Line, a county road running along the southwest border of a housing development occupied by native protestors — a move that has some residents feeling helpless and sick with worry. "Residents are fully aware. We went door-to-door," OPP spokesman Const. Dennis Harwood told the Toronto Star yesterday. This is just the latest twist involving the OPP that has many people — including a former OPP officer — questioning what the provincial force is doing. "They can't do that. People pay their taxes for policing by the OPP," said the former senior officer, who asked not to be identified. Among individuals in Caledonia, there is increasing talk of groups joining to sue the OPP for failing to uphold the law throughout the dispute. Ken Hewitt, a spokesman for the Caledonia Citizens' Alliance, said the "lawsuits are coming ... because the OPP have completely disregarded their contract (with Haldimand County). "Let's face it. They are scared (of the Six Nations). The government is scared and the OPP are afraid. Up until now everybody has backed down," Hewitt said. Haldimand County Councillor Craig Ashbaugh was present at a recent meeting in Caledonia — involving the OPP and Six Nations police — where the interim decision was made to pull the OPP back from the 6th Line. "Protestors objected to the OPP going down the 6th Line in their cruisers. The obvious resolution was to deal with the Six Nations police. That was the compromise solution," he said.
This is enough to make anyone puke.
Residents who live on the north side of the road, with their backyards pressed up against encampments set up by protestors who have occupied a 40-hectare development since February, say they worry police won't respond to any emergency involving native protestors. Many are retired, and say they feel bullied into silence. Because they come face to face with the dozens of protestors circling the camps each day, the homeowners fear retaliation. "We cannot afford to say anything,' one couple told the Star. They said they have evacuated several times and would move if their home value wasn't "zero." Meanwhile, the developer who currently owns the land will get $12.3 million in an "interim agreement" with the province to cover the market value of the subdivision land "as is," with more money to come later, said Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay. "We're looking at all potential damages that they have suffered through this and we're going to negotiate a final price," he told reporters at Queen's Park. That will include acknowledgment of profits the developer would have made after building 600 homes, and other restitution. Ramsay refused to speculate how much the final tally could be. The county is now disbursing $1.7 million in provincial money to other local businesses hurt during the standoff. The province is negotiating with homeowners and "trying to understand their losses" with an eye to compensation, Ramsay added. "We're looking at a very comprehensive package here." Premier Dalton McGuinty called on the Six Nations to abandon the occupation while negotiations continue. "It would be very helpful if the occupation was to come to an end and the parties understood we remain very much committed to negotiating this at the table,' McGuinty said, adding his government has done what it can "to take the land out of the equation" by negotiating to buy the property. Six Nations representatives are divided over whether to continue the protest and say its end is unlikely. "When the land is returned to the rightful owners ... that's when we'll gladly go home,' said Hazel Hill, a spokeswoman for those in favour of the protest.
It would be very helpful if you can find your lost manhood and act like a leader to get these criminals off the land.

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Karl Rove and Satan plot for mid-terms.

Media: Via the Hotline.

According to this St. Petersburg Times story, saved here for posterity, "Karl Rove said that he would be plotting the Republican Party's fall election strategy with his longtime comrade-in-arms, Satan."
The amusing part of this is the St. Pete Times is owned by the Poynter Institute who has the popular media gossip section Romenesko. Their mission statement.
MISSION STATEMENT The Poynter Institute is a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses. It stands for a journalism that informs citizens and enlightens public discourse. It carries forward Nelson Poynter's belief in the value of independent journalism in the public interest. Founded in 1975 by Nelson Poynter, chairman of the St. Petersburg Times and its Washington affiliate, Congressional Quarterly, the Institute was bequeathed his controlling stock in the Times Publishing Co. in 1978. As a financially independent, nonprofit organization, The Poynter Institute is beholden to no interest except its own mission: to help journalists seek and achieve excellence.
Plus learn how not to hit the send button to publish an embarrassing article on their website. As of 8:30 p.m. EST, no acknowledgement from Poynter and nothing on Editor and Publisher. More from Instapundit.
ROVE AND SATAN: Together again! I guess now that he doesn't have that indictment hanging over his head, it's safe . . . .

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WoW taking over my time.

Entertainment: Blogging been light because the new World of Warcraft patch 1.11 came out and with The Scourge Invasion quests I haven't been doing much of anything other than playing. I apologize for nothing!

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Terror arrests in Miami, some names given out.

Terrorism: HotAir and Michelle Malkin are all over it with various wire reports, locally the Miami Herald has this.

"....Family identified one of the men arrested as Stanley Phanor, 31, who called the warehouse the group's place of worship. According to Stanley's sister, the group, which formed about a year ago, called itself the Seas of David. The 40 to 50 members consider themselves ''soldiers of God'' and are against the war in Iraq. Like soldiers, they incorporate discipline into their daily lives: exercise, no drinking, no drugs and no meat. Last year, Marlene Phanor said, her brother and other members of the group drove to Chicago. Added Phanor's mother, also named Marlene Phanor: ``If my son were a terrorist, the earth would open up and swallow me now.'' Another man was identified by his godmother as Nasir Baptiste, 32, according to Herald news partner WFOR-CBS4. The godmother, Ariane Webster, insisted Baptiste wasn't involved in any terror activity. She said he is a construction worker and martial arts expert. FBI agents also took Baptiste's wife to their office for questioning Thursday. Miami police and the FBI declined to comment. The names of the two men could not be independently verified. DRESSED IN FATIGUES Neighbors near the warehouse described the men as dressing in fatigues and talking about giving their lives to God. ''They said it was a karate school,'' Benjamin Williams, 17, said of the warehouse. ``They used to be out around 11 at night, practicing like they were in the military or something . . . push-ups, jumping jacks and jumping over chairs.'' Another neighbor said: ``They would be gone all day and come back at night to the warehouse to sleep. They sold shampoo and hair grease on the street.''

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They don't call it Londonistan for nothing.

World: Taken by the Pew Research Center shows widening divide between Muslims and all of the West regardless of nation on most poll questions. The quick take looking at the graphs are Nigerian Muslims are the most supportive of Al Qaeda, terrorists groups. Germans and Spaniards do not like Muslims, UK Muslims overall are the most ani-western as stated by the Guardian who looked at the results despite the fact Brits have a largely favorable opinion of Muslims and officials in recent years have been accused of bending over backwards towards them.

Public opinion in Britain is mostly favourable towards Muslims, but the feeling is not requited by British Muslims, who are among the most embittered in the western world, according to a global poll published yesterday. The poll, by the Washington-based Pew Global Attitudes Project, asked Muslims and non-Muslims about each other in 13 countries. In most, it found suspicion and contempt to be mostly mutual, but uncovered a significant mismatch in Britain. The poll found that 63% of all Britons had a favourable opinion of Muslims, down slightly from 67% in 2004, suggesting last year's London bombings did not trigger a significant rise in prejudice. Attitudes in Britain were more positive than in the US, Germany and Spain (where the popularity of Muslims has plummeted to 29%), and about the same as in France. Less than a third of British non-Muslims said they viewed Muslims as violent, significantly fewer than non-Muslims in Spain (60%), Germany (52%), the US (45%) and France (41%). By contrast, the poll found that British Muslims represented a "notable exception" in Europe, with far more negative views of westerners than Islamic minorities elsewhere on the continent. A significant majority viewed western populations as selfish, arrogant, greedy and immoral. Just over half said westerners were violent. While the overwhelming majority of European Muslims said westerners were respectful of women, fewer than half British Muslims agreed. Another startling result found that only 32% of Muslims in Britain had a favourable opinion of Jews, compared with 71% of French Muslims. Across the board, Muslim attitudes in Britain more resembled public opinion in Islamic countries in the Middle East and Asia than elsewhere in Europe. And on the whole, British Muslims were more pessimistic than those in Germany, France and Spain about the feasibility of living in a modern society while remaining devout. The Pew poll found that British Muslims are far more likely than their European counterparts to harbour conspiracy theories about the September 11 attacks. Only 17% believed that Arabs were involved, compared with 48% in France.
Talking about the bending over backwards.
There was general agreement that relations are bad, but Britons as a whole were much less likely than other Europeans to blame Muslims. More Britons faulted westerners (27%) than Muslims (25%), with a third saying both are equally responsible. British Muslims were less ambivalent. Nearly half blamed westerners. By comparison, in Germany and France both communities blamed each other in roughly equal measure. Unlike the rest of Europe, a majority of Britons declared themselves sympathetic to Muslims offended by the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad published in the European press last year. But most Britons said the outbreak of violence was the result of Muslim intolerance for western freedom of expression. Only 9% of British Muslims agreed with that view. Nearly three-quarters blamed the controversy on western disrespect of Islam.

More from HotAir

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Senate amnesty bill backers scared of road show.

Immigration: GOP house members are playing this well as the NYTIMES and backers of the Senate bill knows this would kill the bill.

NYTIMES: "The House has a much more simple-minded solution: walling immigrants out and calling the rest felons. Like the baffled hominids of "2001: A Space Odyssey," they are poking at the Senate's big-picture approach with a leg bone. Their plan is to travel the country this summer holding public hearings on the Senate bill. That will probably just kill immigration reform for the year, since Congress won't get around to negotiations until just before the November elections, when serious, difficult discussions are generally taboo. "We are going to listen to the American people," the House speaker, Dennis Hastert, said. But what the Republicans really want to do is take the Senate bill on a perp walk through the red states, relishing the catcalls denouncing it as "amnesty" and using the hearings to milk whatever anti-immigrant resentment they can find or drum up for the benefit of their candidates. Their motives couldn't be clearer. A senior member of the Republican leadership, Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio, called the Senate legislation the "Kennedy bill," a nasty bit of partisan mislabeling that would surprise Arlen Specter and the other Republican co-sponsors, including Mel Martinez and John McCain."
TIME Magazine.
For their part, several Senate GOP staffers TIME.com spoke with agreed that a public airing of the more moderate provisions in the Senate bill could doom their measure. Instead of enjoying the Republican chaos, however, Democrats were left scrambling to catch up. Sen. Harry Reid today called on President Bush to push those conservative House Republicans to begin a House-Senate conference immediately. But with his ratings low, and House Republicans digging in deeper, Bush may be little more than a spectator when it comes to this summer's immigration caravan.

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Hamas agrees to Israeli state.. oh please.

Middle East: If you are dumb enough to take this at face value as Chris McGreal in the Guardian believes, I got some dry land in the middle of the Everglades to sell you.

Hamas has made a major political climbdown by agreeing to sections of a document that recognise Israel's right to exist and a negotiated two-state solution, according to Palestinian leaders. In a bitter struggle for power, Hamas is bowing to an ultimatum from the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to endorse the document drawn up by Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails, or face a national referendum on the issue that could see the Islamist group stripped of power if it loses. But final agreement on the paper, designed to end international sanctions against the Hamas government that have crippled the Palestinian economy, has been slowed by wrangling over a national unity administration and the question of who speaks for the Palestinians.
That is all this is about, then Hamas will continue on with its terrorist activities. If you need to know where this writer stands on the conflict, read the rest of the article as he comes across as another Barabra Plett.

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About that UN gun conference, watch it.

UN: Prasad Kariyawasam, chairman of a U.N. conference on the illegal small arms trade tells a helluva lie to skirt the issue as NRA members apply the pressure.

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Americans mistakenly worried the United Nations is plotting to take away their guns on July 4 -- U.S. Independence Day -- are flooding the world body with angry letters and postcards, the chairman of a U.N. conference on the illegal small arms trade said on Wednesday. "I myself have received over 100,000 letters from the U.S. public, criticising me personally, saying, 'You are having this conference on the 4th of July, you are not going to get our guns on that day,'" said Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri Lanka's U.N. ambassador. "That is a total misconception as far as we are concerned," Kariyawasam told reporters ahead of the two-week meeting opening on Monday. For one, July 4 is a holiday at U.N. headquarters and the world body's staff will be watching a fireworks display from the U.N. lawn rather than attending any meetings, he said. For another, the U.N. conference will look only at illegal arms and "does not in any way address legal possession," a matter left to national governments to regulate rather than the United Nations, he added.
But wait a sec, just last year when Brazil started talking about getting a vote on banning guns, the UN was happy to lend a hand to pressure lawmakers to go ahead with a vote.
UN highlights Brazil gun crisis By Steve Kingstone BBC News, Sao Paulo More than 500,000 people have been killed by firearms in Brazil between 1979 and 2003, according to a new report by the United Nations. The study found that there were more gun-related killings in Brazil than in most war zones. Guns are the single biggest cause of death among young people in the Latin American nation, the organisation says. The UN has urged lawmakers to approve plans for a referendum in October on whether to ban the sale of firearms. Disarmament gains The UN and disarmament groups are using shocking statistics to put pressure on Brazil's parliamentarians.
The gun banners were shocked when the referendum got slammed by the voters. It is important to watch the UN anytime they start up with this nonsense because they like to hide their true intentions.

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CAIR applauds the American media being wussies.

Media: Being politically correct and eager to be seen a sensitive multi-cults is a good thing for CAIR to spread their message.

Referring to the anti-Islamic sentiments in the US, Findley said that the campaign was being spearheaded by a tiny but influential section of society, including some politicians, academics and opinion-makers. Findley commended CAIR’s initiative that he said could go a long way toward improving the image of Islam and Muslims, which has been badly dented in part due to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Speaking on his interaction with the US media, Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for CAIR, said that his own feeling was that American journalists are receptive to issues affecting Muslims. For this reason, nearly all American newspapers, print or online, refrained from reproducing the caricature of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that were at the center of a controversy earlier this year. He said CAIR took advantage of the issue by distributing DVDs free of charge, bringing out a book on the Prophet, and launching an awareness campaign.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Canada terror suspect handed out jihad video.

Canada: Not surprising but again this shows the a lack of responsibility within certain communities to look the other way.

CBC News has obtained a copy of the video allegedly handed out by one of the Toronto bomb-plot suspects in the parking lot of a local mosque. The video offers a chilling glimpse inside the jihadist mind and is intended as a wake-up call to Muslim youth in Canada. "Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah," says the voice on the tape, "and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of taghout, evil." The Sept. 11 attacks are a central theme in the video, appearing again and again, not as a nightmare but as an inspiration. "America was struck within its homeland … and the youths of Islam invaded it on that great day. So the whole world was totally changed as a result of this blessed invasion." ....The 36-minute tape lists famous suicide bombers as martyrs and urges Muslims to attack the West: "In this stage you have to hit then run away and hide. You should hit on their weak points." Returning to Sept. 11, the tape portrays the attacks as a triumph for Islam, calling them "operations that were successful in all measures." That is followed by a desert rider, superimposed on the scene, who turns out to be bin Laden. Heft's allegation that he obtained the video from Ahmed fits with a synopsis of the prosecution's case obtained by CBC News. The synopsis also alleges that Ahmed handed out copies of a video glorifying jihad. Aly Hindy, the imam of the Salaheddin mosque, says he knew nothing of the matter, adding that he has no control over what people hand out in the parking lot.
BS, someone handing out Jihad material would get back to the people in charge, stop looking the other way and confront it.

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Sudan: No forces U.N. or otherwise in Darfur.

Africa: Well this diplomacy business using the United Nations is going along nicely.

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Sudan's president vowed today never to allow U.N. peacekeepers into Darfur and said he would lead the "resistance" against any foreign force, his strongest rejection yet of the United Nations plan for halting violence in the war-torn region. Omar al-Bashir's comments were likely to escalate tensions with the United Nations, coming as a joint U.N. and African Union team was in Sudan to plan for deployment of a possible peacekeeping force. "This shall never take place," al-Bashir said at a news conference alongside South African President Thabo Mbeki. "These are colonial forces and we will not accept colonial forces coming into the country. "They want to colonize Africa, starting with the first sub-Saharan country to gain its independence. If they want to start colonization in Africa, let them chose a different place." U.N. officials want to send a beefed-up peacekeeping force to replace 7,000 African Union soldiers that have largely been unable to stop the fighting in Darfur.
They know they have China and Russia on their side, the Muslim nations within the UN will side with them. They fear nothing. At best they will allow African Union troops who are ineffective even if you bump up the funding as the article indicates.

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Airbus troubles continue news roundup.

EU: Its looks to be coming apart at the seams as every gripe that has been kept quiet is coming out.

AP: "Left-wing lawmakers jumped from their chairs, booed and shouted "resign, resign!" at Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Tuesday during a heated parliamentary debate over financial troubles at the parent company of Airbus. Villepin lost his temper under questioning from Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande about European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., which has seen its stock tumble after Airbus announced delays in its much-touted A380 superjumbo jet and questions surfaced about share selloffs by top executives. "Mr. Hollande, I denounce your facile approach - and I will even say this looking you in the eyes - the cowardice in your attitude," Villepin said. "I'll say it again: cowardice." Many Socialist lawmakers leaped up, shouting and gesturing furiously, causing such an uproar that the body's president had to interrupt the session. Although outbursts are frequent in the National Assembly, this one was of rare intensity. "
France wants more say in the company.
PARIS, June 20 — The French government on Tuesday called for revisiting the ownership structure of the Company">European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company in a way that would give Paris more say in the management of the mainly French-German company. The move, which comes amid growing management turmoil at EADS, the parent company of Airbus, could set the stage for a possible clash with the German government. Speaking during a heated parliamentary debate over the EADS crisis, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said that the French government would seek to "return to square one" of the 2000 agreement that created EADS and gave equal weight to French and German interests in the company.
Customers wanting to cancel orders.
"Airbus faces a mounting crisis after the world's biggest leasing company threatened to axe orders worth up to $3bn for the A380 superjumbo, a move that could trigger an exodus of customers. International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) said it was "not happy" about fresh delays in the delivery of the $300m double-decker and believed it now had a legal case to scrap its 10 orders. "We are considering cancelling all or some of our A380 order," said the group's chief executive, Steven Udvar-Hazy. ILFC, based in California, has the fourth-biggest order for the A380 after Emirates, Lufthansa and Air France.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Immigration bill dead for this year, woo!

Immigration: Thankfully, the illegal alien forgiveness bill seems to be on death's door.

In a move that could bury President Bush's high-profile effort to overhaul immigration law until after the midterm elections, House GOP leaders yesterday announced a series of field hearings during the August recess, pushing off final negotiations on a bill until fall at the earliest. The announcement was the clearest sign yet that House Republicans have largely given up on passing a broad rewrite of the nation's immigration laws this year. They believe that their get-tough approach -- including building a wall along the border with Mexico and deporting millions of illegal immigrants -- is far more popular with voters than the approach backed by Bush and the Senate, which would create a guest-worker program and allow many illegal immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship. House GOP leaders said yesterday that several committee chairmen will hold field hearings in congressional districts in the Southwest, the South and other areas where the issue of illegal immigration is especially potent. Those hearings will take place before the start of the formal negotiating process between the House and Senate, which could take months to complete given the complexity of the issue and the competing business, labor and social concerns.
AP says just forget it.
WASHINGTON Jun 20, 2006 (AP)— In a defeat for President Bush, Republican congressional leaders said Tuesday that broad immigration legislation is all but doomed for the year, a victim of election-year concerns in the House and conservatives' implacable opposition to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants. "Our number one priority is to secure the border, and right now I haven't heard a lot of pressure to have a path to citizenship," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., announcing plans for an unusual series of hearings to begin in August on Senate-passed immigration legislation. "I think it is easy to say the first priority of the House is to secure the borders," added Rep. Roy Blunt, the GOP whip.

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Toussaint worms his way to Trinidad.

Trinidad: As if the country has enough problems this wealth redistribution socialist idiot goes down to ask for more militant unions.

New York-based labour leader Roger Toussaint said yesterday that the abundance of wealth in Trinidad and Tobago was the cause of many social problems now plaguing the country. Toussaint said the fight in Trinidad was over the amount of wealth in the country, of which large amounts are held by the French Creoles, Syrians and other people who wanted to "hog everything and deprive the masses of people of they rightly deserve". He said T&T was experiencing a defining moment in terms of what was going to happen over the next twenty five years, with the tremendous amount of oil and gas it is producing. Toussaint called on the Trinidad labour movement to unite, stating that "if this movement does not unite and go back to the traditional labour movement practices, the country would be robbed of what it truly deserves". Toussaint, president of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100, made the comments as he delivered the feature address at the annual Labour Day rally at Charlie King Junction in Fyzabad.
Who are these other people and why pick on the Syrians and Creoles? Across the board by race you have groups within who have made a wealthy lifestyle for themselves, but hoarding the money? Look at the government over the past couple of decades who have stolen the money from the treasury. Don't pick on the people who make the country go, though with the kidnapping and crime they may not be there in person to go after in the country.
Toussaint, who was born in Laventille in 1956, moved to Brooklyn in 1974 at the age of 18. His last visit to Trinidad was in 1976, when he assisted workers at Fyzabad in an industrial dispute involving a local construction contractor. Toussaint said if the labour movement in Trinidad is to be effective it has to become more militant. "We need to be militant or they would rob you of your talent," he said.
Ah yes, after his successful militant action last christmas in NYC that is surely the best way to go. First the unions need to come together, which knowing the greed and power hunger that flows thru them, that won't happen anytime soon.
Toussaint said on his return to the Laventille/Morvant areas, all he saw on the faces of the youths was "a coldness and visible signs of desperation." He said he was also saddened on a visit to Morvant to hear of the number of shootings in the area. He said the situation at Laventille should not exist, and for it to exist there "is something wrong in the society."
Which won't be fixed by grabbing the money from those who earned to give to those because they feel they "deserve it." It never works out.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

New Orleans call in the National Guard.

Crime: This is going to hurt the rebuilding more than anything else.

NEW ORLEANS, June 19 — In a blunt admission that the city could no longer control its growing crime problem, Mayor C. Ray Nagin asked the state on Monday to send National Guard troops to help patrol the streets of New Orleans. Hours later, Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco said 100 troops, joined by 60 state police, would be in place as early as Tuesday morning. More are likely to arrive later in the week. The mayor's plea for help came after five teenagers were shot to death with semiautomatic weapons in the Central City neighborhood while sitting in a sport-utility vehicle Saturday morning. It was the deadliest single shooting attack in the city in 11 years, raising to 53 the number of homicides this year.
The city's Police Department has seemed ineffective at curbing a rise in drug-related violence and looting — which is isolated, for the most part, to poor neighborhoods and sparsely populated areas — even though there are almost as many officers on the force now as there were before Hurricane Katrina, and the city's population of 220,000 is less than half its former size.
Residents say they have found it difficult to rebuild because supplies and new appliances are stolen as quickly as they are delivered to unoccupied houses in largely vacant neighborhoods. "It's past time for the Guard to be here," said Larry Dupont, an electrician who lived in Gentilly before the flood destroyed his neighborhood. "I'm fed up with all that New Orleans is not doing to help its people." Still, others said they resented the militarization of the city, and do not have fond memories of the National Guard's time here immediately after the hurricane. "When they were here before it didn't exactly give me a sense of safety," said Kalli Forster, the manager of a boutique in the Uptown section. "It made me feel like I was in a war zone." Others said the move sent a frightening message. "It's basically saying that the people in charge here aren't in control," said Dawn Larsen, a waitress in Uptown.

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This is why liberal branches of churches loses members.

Religion: Via NRO Corner this hilarious piece of "What the hell are you thinking?"

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The divine Trinity - ``Father, Son and Holy Spirit'' - could also be known as ``Mother, Child and Womb'' or ``Rock, Redeemer, Friend'' at some Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) services under an action Monday by the church's national assembly. Delegates to the meeting voted to ``receive'' a policy paper on gender-inclusive language for the Trinity, a step short of approving it. That means church officials can propose experimental liturgies with alternative phrasings for the Trinity, but congregations won't be required to use them. ``This does not alter the church's theological position, but provides an educational resource to enhance the spiritual life of our membership,'' legislative committee chair Nancy Olthoff, an Iowa laywoman, said during Monday's debate on the Trinity. The assembly narrowly defeated a conservative bid to refer the paper back for further study. A panel that worked on the issue since 2000 said the classical language for the Trinity should still be used, but added that Presbyterians also should seek ``fresh ways to speak of the mystery of the triune God'' to ``expand the church's vocabulary of praise and wonder.''
Politically correct speech is why the liberal sections of the Presbyterian and Episcopal Church are losing members while conservative sections that try to stick to the script are gaining. You can't do an all you can eat buffet religion and expect people to stick around. Its trying to be good at everything and end up being the the master of none. Its the same kind of meh talk that goes along with the election of Katharine Schori. Bishop Nazir-Ali already calling for a split within the church as he sees it as the liberal side is creating a new religion.
He said the US Church has become detached from its Anglican roots. "Nobody wants a split but if you think you have virtually two religions in a single Church something has got to give sometime," he said. A decision by its House of Bishops to back civil marriages for gay couples showed this, he said. "In the House of Bishops on Friday, they were passing resolutions that affect the Anglican understanding of marriage at the deepest level without theological debate," he said. "It is not only what was done but the way it was done. It was so serious that things like gay bishops are just an interesting footnote." Bishop Nazir-Ali said he also had concerns over the liberal direction the Church of England was heading. "My fear is that the Church of England has made a number of moves in the liberal, Protestant direction," he said. "That gives me concerns that the Bible will become less important and that the Church is moving away from its traditional Catholic order. "If you move in that direction you become a kind of options Church, where you live by preferences."

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