Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Summary of an ESPN Sportcenter horror moment.

Media: Just in time for Halloween. *blogging away* Sportcenter anchor: Now we go to Steven A. Smith. *..reaches for the remote mute button, can't find the remote* Steven A. Smith: "I WILL CALL IT RIGHT NOW" *panic sets as I look around, on and under the desk for the remote* Steven A. Smith: "IF AMARE COMES BACK CLOSE TO HIS" *lunge for the tv set to change channel, scream in horror as my toe nails the side of desk* Steven A. Smith: "PHOENIX SUNS WILL WIN TWO OUT OF" *hit channel change button with the power of 10 atomics bombs!...realize Steven A. Smith is still on my screen, then realizing I hit the volume up button instead* Steven A. Smith: " THE NEXT FIVE CHAMPIONSHIPS!" *pass out...awake later to Sean Salisbury giving verbal man love to Tony Romo...pass out a second time*

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Madonna got the baby wearing the red string.

Culture: Now the father is angry about what he says is lies about him, wait till someone tells him the nice Chrisitan lady got his son going for Kabbalah.

The father of Madonna's adopted orphan has dismissed as a lie the singer's claim on TV that his wife and other children died of AIDS. Yohane Banda, 32, whose wife died aged 25 after giving birth to 13-month-old David, says he will now have to live with the stigma. The African peasant farmer also denied the superstar's allegation that he had never visited his son at the orphanage, to which he was entrusted at the age of two weeks.
In the TV interview, Madonna said David had been abandoned by his family. "No one from his extended family had visited him since he arrived," she told Oprah. But Mr Banda insisted this was also "a lie", adding: "I visited David many times, too many to count." The baby was also visited by his grandmother, while Mr Banda's brother, Profera, "saw him almost every day, sometimes twice a day". Despite his anger at the slurs, Mr Banda refused to blame Madonna and instead accused the orphanage of giving her "false information". However, an official at the Home of Hope Orphan Care Centre insisted: "We gave her no such information," and instead pointed the finger at Malawi's Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare. Meanwhile, although David has been in the UK for less than two weeks, Madonna has introduced him to her Kabbalah faith. The move is likely to upset Mr Banda, who was told his son was going to "a very nice Christian lady". Madonna took the toddler to the Friday night Shabat ceremony at the Central London Kabbalah Centre, and invited other children to "come and play with baby David". The boy even wore the Kabbalah red string bracelet, believed by followers to ward off evil spirits.
TMZ has the video.

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Studio 60 close to be cancelled.

Entertainment: Via Popwatch who has all the links where people are shoveling dirt in the grave.

It's happening, PopWatchers: Most of the media in the Western world is predicting Studio 60's imminent demise. Even though NBC has ordered 3 more episodes of the struggling series, that seems to be more of a peace offering/contractual obligation to Aaron Sorkin than a vote of confidence, given the god-awful ratings and continued barrage of criticism leveled against the show since its inception. The sad truth is that NBC can make more money by slapping on another Deal or No Deal than it can by trying to salvage Studio 60, and because networks only make decisions from a fiscal standpoint these days (unlike, you know, a creative one), you can pretty much kiss today goodbye, and point me to tomorrow.

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Increase black enrollment at UCLA by quotas!

Edumaction: Very disappointed to see an urban league chapter chomping at the bit for this nonsense.

As one activist described it, the reaction was disbelief when the African American community learned that this year's freshman class at UCLA included only 96 blacks. Akili, who goes by one name, told an audience at the First African Methodist Episcopal Church how he tried to fathom the news — 96 out of about 4,800 freshmen. "What? That can't be," he recalled saying to himself. Heads throughout the meeting room nodded, as if recalling their own similar responses. Disbelief, along with anger and disappointment, were the dominant themes voiced when about 250 people gathered recently for a town hall meeting at the Los Angeles church to discuss what can be done to boost black enrollment at the university.
Discounting the fact UCLA is a racist school in politically correct Cali. I would take a stab at maybe getting better grades that can compete with other incoming freshmen would do the trick of boosting black enrollment. But this is California so we go to something politically correct and insulting to anyone who has self-respect.
Spurred partly by the concerns of the alliance and others, UCLA announced in September that it would shift immediately to "holistic" admissions, in which students' achievements are viewed in the context of their personal experiences. UC Berkeley uses a similar process. UCLA has said it must abide by Proposition 209, the 1996 initiative that barred the state's public colleges from considering race in employment or admissions. In the often slow-moving world of academia, UCLA's decision to change the admissions process was unusually swift. The Westwood campus is racing to implement the new system to handle applications for the 2007 freshman class. The alliance has called on the university to admit 300 black freshmen next year, a goal Taylor and others described as reasonable. Lawrence H. Lokman, a university spokesman, said he welcomed the assistance of the alliance, alumni and other community leaders, but "it would be unlawful to establish or endorse a specific target for the admission of students from any specific group or community."
How would this new holistic admission work, take a look at two places, the University of Wisconsin system.
"....Speaking at an informational meeting for guidance counselors from area high schools, the admissions officers said they've been doing comprehensive reviews of applicants behind the scenes for years, admitting certain students who don't meet their academic guidelines. The official policy change in fall 2008, they said, is simply a matter of making that public. In many cases, the schools will be removing academic guidelines - minimum ACT scores and class rank - from their Web sites and publications and providing an academic snapshot of their incoming freshmen instead. While the guidelines will continue to be the most important factors considered behind closed doors, non-academic factors will also be of importance for borderline students, including the students' "accomplishments, demographic factors, extracurricular activities, leadership qualities and racial and ethnic heritage, socioeconomic status, special talent and work experience," according to the UW presentation. "This eliminates the mechanical language," Heather Pearson, associate director of admissions at UW-Eau Claire, said at the meeting, at UW-Waukesha. "For students who you may have said would not get in, you can now say: You've got some really great talents, you should apply."
Now at at University of Washington.
"....What impact have the new requirements had? For this fall, the University of Washington had 16,597 applicants. Of those, 11,320 passed the new admissions requirements and were invited to attend. The UW hoped that about 5,100 of those accepted actually would enroll, but in fact final enrollment is around 5,600. The average GPA of those students is down just a touch from last year's record high -- to 3.67 from 3.69 in 2005. SAT scores also are down a tiny fraction, to 1,193 from 1,198 in 2005 (but up from 1,183 in 2004). To Ballinger, the real bonus is that grades and test scores have stayed on par with those in recent years, while the number of students who are ethnic minorities has gone up. African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans and other ethnic groups all have seen increases in enrollment for this fall. In 2005, for instance, 218 African-American students enrolled at the University of Washington, while this fall 273 are expected to attend -- a 25 percent increase. For the most part, the new admissions policy has won praise from high school guidance counselors, students and others. "I think it's been a resounding success," said Bob Drewel, executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council, which has made improved higher education one of its priorities. "Everyone says that the region with the most smart people wins, but you also cannot have a successful, competitive region without a successful university that reflects the global population."
Wait..so before universities reflected the "global population" there were no successful competitive regions? Getting back to UCLA, which model of holistic will they choose to get around the fact you can't choose by race? The Washington model sounds tougher but how much is a smoke screen to get around the ban on race to get the quota they really want in schools? Holistic sounds nice, but not to put a focus on objective grades and test scores with this kubaya approach doesn't send a message that the k-12 system may need to be worked on to allow more kids to be eligible and ready for a college workload. Lets face it, UCLA will take the path of least resistance on this to make this group happy that more blacks are admitted to the school while trying to get around the ban to make sure they do not get sued.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Reggie Bush targeted by Ravens linebacker.

Sports: Reggie Bush getting the rookie treatment.

Rookie running back Reggie Bush epitomized the Saints' effort yesterday. The Ravens came into the Superdome and shoved the Saints around, and Bush quit in the second quarter. With 7:36 left in the half, Bush took a handoff off the right side, ran about 5 yards and hit the brakes hard before diving to the ground. Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis was about to remove Bush's head from his body, but Bush went down like he was taking a dive. "He's just a guy, simple as that," Ravens outside linebacker Bart Scott said of Bush. "What did he get this week? He played like a kid who got chased from school." ....Scott said Bush tried to cheap-shot him on an interception return in the first half, and you could tell there was something personal between the two. Every time Scott tackled Bush, he would purposely throw Bush around. Bush had to leave the game with an ankle injury after Scott tackled him with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter. Scott tackled Bush around the ankles, and gave them a little twist before he let go. "The media darling, aka the golden boy of the NFL, tried to take a cheap shot at me, so I told him I was going to put some extra on it," Scott said. "He must be used to playing against these guys in practice. He can do all those shakes he wants, but I wasn't going anywhere. I put a little hot sauce on that ankle."

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EU missing Kyoto targets..actually almost everyone is.

Enviro: The swampys are going to be unhappy about this as the Guardian takes the lead to mock Kyoto championing EU.

The European Union, self-styled global champion in the battle against climate change, is falling woefully short of its targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and will need to take radical measures to achieve them, new projections have shown. The European commission said that, based on current measures and policies, the emissions of the EU's original 15 members will be just 0.6% below 1990 levels by 2010. The EU-15 countries are committed under the Kyoto protocol to an 8% cut on 1990 levels by 2012. The new figures predict that emissions in 2010 will actually be 0.3% higher than they were in 2004. The commission's projections come ahead of Monday's report by Sir Nicholas Stern, former chief economist at the World Bank, which will warn that climate change could push the global economy into the worst recession in recent history. Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser, said this week that the Stern report showed that "if no action is taken we will be faced with the kind of downturn that has not been seen since the great depression and two world wars". The findings published yesterday, based on national projections compiled by the staff of Stavros Dimas, the EU environment commissioner, are designed to spur European leaders into pressing for tougher targets in the second, post-2012 round of Kyoto at a UN conference on climate change in Nairobi early next month. The 25 governments have set targets of up to 30% cuts by 2020 and 80% by 2050, but not made them binding. Mr Dimas said that, on unchanged policies, seven countries - Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain - would exceed their individual emission limits, which are binding under EU law. Even with extra measures, Spain is projected to exceed its 1990 emissions by 51.3% in 2010, compared with an allowed increase under Kyoto of 15%. Spain's annual economic growth is nearly 4%, one of the highest rates in western Europe, but it has suffered from extreme weather prompting greater use of fossil fuels. Ireland is projected to reach 30% above 1990 levels by 2010, against an allowance of 13%, and Portugal 42.7% higher, with an allowance of 27%. Esther Bollendorff, climate campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe, said: "This is pretty dramatic as the projected 0.6% is not even a tenth of the target. This sends a very weak signal about the EU ahead of the Nairobi conference."

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Indian actress under fire for veil comment.

Culture: Via Times of India.

Muslim clerics lambasted Shabana Azmi after the actress said the Quran doesn't compel women to cover their faces and that it's time to debate the issue, news reports said Monday. "It has become a fashion for some Indian Muslims to criticize the teachings of the holy Quran," said Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali, a cleric at a mosque in the northern Indian city of Lucknow, according to the Press Trust of India. Other clerics were more scathing. "Who has authorized Shabana Azmi to interpret the Quran?" Asked Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the chief cleric at New Delhi's main mosque, according to the Times of India. "Her profession is to sing and dance; she has no right to mislead Muslim women." Azmi made the remarks last week in her acceptance speech after receiving the International Gandhi Peace Prize for her work in helping slum dwellers whose homes were destroyed in a cleanup drive in her home town, Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay. Bukhari said Azmi did not represent mainstream views within India's Muslim community. Meanwhile, some clerics have expressed support for Azmi's views. Renowned Islamic scholar Kalbe Sadiq said Sunday that Islam was against the head-to-toe coverings imposed by the Taliban fundamentalist rulers in Afghanistan. "The Quran only says that the head of a woman and a bit of her face should be covered. There is no need to cover the whole face," Sadiq was quoted as saying in The Hindustan Times newspaper. Sadiq, a member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, a body that governs Muslim religious practices in India, said the religion stressed only that women should be modest.

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Newspaper circulation in a death spiral

Media: Severe drops across the board while the NY Post overtakes the NY Daily news in overall circulation. E&P has the summaries.

ABC Results for the Top Daily Papers in the U.S. Here are the top 25 daily newspapers in the U.S. by circulation (with percent change) for the six-month period ending September 2006. This list does not include the Chicago Sun-Times and The Dallas Morning News. Of these, only three newspapers reported gains. Also notable: The New York Post overtook the New York Daily News in daily circulation. - October 30, 2006 8:35 AM ET Big Metros Show Severe Declines in Latest Circ Report This is the fourth consecutive semi-annual report to register a severe drop in daily circulation and -- perhaps more troubling to the industry -- Sunday copies. While the estimated decline 2.5% for daily circulation for all reporting papers may seem negligible, consider that in years past that decrease averaged around 1%. Sunday, considered the industry's bread-and-butter, is losing more, with a decline of 3%. - October 30, 2006 7:40 AM ET 'L.A. Times' Reports Steep Circ Drop in FAS-FAX Circulation at the L.A. paper, according to the FAS-FAX released this morning, took one of its biggest drops ever with daily down 8% and Sunday down 6% for the six-month period ending September 2006. - October 30, 2006 7:40 AM ET

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2005 Most dangerous/safest cities in America!

Crime: Go St.Louis #1 as the most dangerous city in America while Camden's mayor takes her #5 ranking as a sign of change with way too much excitement.

ST. LOUIS -- A surge in violence made St. Louis the most dangerous city in the country, leading a trend of violent crimes rising much faster in the Midwest than in the rest of nation, according to an annual list. The city has long fared poorly in the rankings of the safest and most dangerous American cities compiled by Morgan Quitno Press. Violent crime surged nearly 20 percent in St. Louis from 2004 to last year, when the rate of such crimes rose most dramatically in the Midwest, according to FBI figures released in June. "It's just sad the way this city is," resident Sam Dawson said. "On the news you hear killings, someone's been shot." The ranking, being released Monday, came as the city was still celebrating Friday's World Series victory at the new Busch Stadium. St. Louis has been spending millions of dollars on urban renewal even as the crime rate climbs. Mayor Francis Slay did not return calls to his office seeking comment Sunday. .....The safest city in 2005 was Brick, N.J., with a population about 78,000, followed by Amherst, N.Y., and Mission Viejo, Calif. The second most dangerous city was Detroit, followed by Flint, Mich., and Compton, Calif. The bad news for St. Louis was good for Camden, N.J., which in 2005 was named the most dangerous city for the second year in a row. Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison said Sunday she was thrilled to learn that her city no longer topped the most-dangerous list. "You made my day!" said Faison, who has served since 2000. "There's a new hope and a new spirit."
Top 25 rankings on Morgan Quitno Press

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Maxine Waters takes restraining order out on activist.

Politics: A followup to this post. Maxine Waters/Najee Ali feud goes on.

Earlier this week, longtime community activist Najee Ali got a Superior Court judge to issue a temporary restraining order against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), accusing the congresswoman of threatening him. Then Waters, not to be outdone, accused Ali of stalking her. And on Thursday, she got the court to issue a temporary restraining order against him. The dueling orders are the latest chapter in a feud that both sides agree goes back several years. Ali, executive director of Project Islamic Hope, says he traces the hostilities to the 2001 mayoral race, when Ali backed Antonio Villaraigosa and Waters supported James K. Hahn.

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France: "Youths" set bus on fire burning a woman.

France: Better than usual description from the AP, but the disenchantment mantra is at the end of the story as required.

MARSEILLE, France -- France's interior minister sent riot police to patrol the southern port city of Marseille on Sunday after a group of marauding teenagers torched a bus, gravely burning a young woman. French police braced for violence this weekend, the anniversary of last year's riots in poor neighborhoods where immigrants from former French colonies in Africa live with their French-born children on the fringes of society. On Saturday, 46 people were taken into custody, most of them in the communities around Paris, and two police officers were slightly injured. The most serious violence was the brutal bus attack in Marseille. A group of young people burst onto the bus and tossed in a bottle of flammable liquid before fleeing, police said, citing witnesses' accounts. The resulting fire injured a 26-year-old woman, who suffered second- and third-degree burns on her arms, legs and face and was in a medically induced coma on Sunday. President Jacques Chirac telephoned the woman's family, ensuring them that France would "do everything to find the assailants and punish them with the greatest severity," his office said. Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin called a meeting for Monday on public transport safety, while Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy's office said he was sending two extra companies of riot police to Marseille. Bus drivers in Marseille refused to return to work.

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Lula wins, Brazil to take a really hard left.

World: This is a lesson for any future politician in South America or Africa. Throw a couple of token crumbs to the poor and you are set to be elected for life.

Brazil's leftwing president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, won a landslide second term in power last night, a month after being forced into a run-off by allegations of corruption. With 92% of the vote counted last night, Lula had 61%, making it mathematically impossible for his opponent, Geraldo Alckmin of the Social Democratic Party (PSDB), to overtake him. Just after 7.30pm the president of Brazil's electoral commission, Marco Aurélio Mello, announced the victory at a press conference in Brazil's capital, Brasilia.
Meanwhile, cabinet members have promised a dramatic post-election change in economic policy. Yesterday the minister for institutional relations, Tarso Genro, told reporters to expect a departure from an orthodox economic policy that had been widely criticised by leftwingers hoping for more radical change following Lula's historic election in 2002. "The Palocci era is over in Brazil," Mr Genro said, in reference to Antonio Palocci, Lula's former finance minister, who was widely seen as the architect of the country's conservative economic policy. "[Low] growth rates, a neurotic preoccupation with inflation, without thinking about income distribution and growth - this is over."
Middle class Brazilians and up. Take a good long look at your money because it is getting grabbed like bank hold up times thousand.
He also promised a continuation of his policy of prioritising help for the country’s poor. “We will continue to govern for everyone but we will give more attention to the neediest. The poor will have preference in this Government,” he said. Senhor Lula da Silva also offered to work with the Opposition, promising talks soon on political reform, which he said the country badly needed. “The election is over. There are no more adversaries. The adversary now is social injustice.” Brazil has one of the world’s largest gaps between rich and poor, and the President has made income redistribution the priority of his first four years in office. His flagship achievement has been the creation of the Bolsa Família (Family Purse) programme whereby the poorest families receive up to £24 a month in social assistance so long as they send their children to school and to be vaccinated. More than 11 million families are enrolled in the programme, which reaches over three quarters of Brazil’s poor and an estimated 40 million voters, who form the bedrock of the President’s support. Senhor Alckmin’s main support comes from the middle classes where there is frustration at slow economic growth and anger at corruption within the Workers’ Party administration.

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Variety: TV costs soar, now its time to cut.

Entertainment: Serialized dramas are getting killed because of expense and the realization that just because Lost was a hit doesn't mean everyone wants to network upon network showing their own series like that.

"....To many TV executives, their business is starting to resemble the film industry, where studios invest heavily in tentpoles that have one big opening weekend to prove themselves. The irony is that the rising spending in network primetime is happening at the very moment that media congloms are making concerted efforts to keep feature film budgets under control. "I think it is some indication of either myopia, naivete or just plain brain damage on the part of the industry," says News Corp. chief operating officer Peter Chernin. "Things are interconnected in this world, and I think the significant issue is that the fundamental economics of the television business are under a real challenge right now." Network advertising sales were flat or up just slightly at this year's upfronts. Meanwhile, the costs of programming across all time periods at the four major networks rose 9% to $11.92 billion this year, from $10.97 billion in 2005, according to estimates by Kagan Researc"
"....Another cost factor, per studio execs, is the sheer size of show casts, creating additional expenses ranging from more makeup artists to more dressing room trailers. "Because it is competitive among the networks, the networks are very aggressive about stretching the deals for talent that they think can make a difference in the success of a show," says Gary Newman, president of 20th Century Fox Television. "That has always been the case, but it just feels that it is more the case than ever before." The pilot for the star-heavy "Studio 60," for instance, was said to cost more than $6 million, while sources say its price per episode hovers around $2.8 million to $3 million. "We are now shooting pilots to be three, four, five times the episodic budget," Chernin says. "In what sense is that a prototype episode? The industry is rife with beautiful, extraordinary-looking pilots that bear no resemblance to the series. That is just lack of discipline." Back in the 1970s, with familiar formulas, fewer scenes and smaller casts, shows like "Marcus Welby, M.D." or "Barnaby Jones" took six or seven days to shoot. Now a lot of dramas are taking nine or 10 days, or deploy second units. "What drives up costs are the same kind of factors that have driven up costs in the film business for years," says Barry Jossen, exec veepee of Touchstone Television. "It is the depth of the talent pool, and the competitive markets that are created for that talent pool. Costs get driven up by supply and demand." As the exec who oversees "Lost" and other Touchstone shows, Jossen gets ribbing from executives at other studios, who come up to him and say, "It's all your fault. You did 'Lost,' and that changed everything.""

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Barney Frank wants a global financial regulator.

Bidness: As the Dems let their fetish for global approval run wild in this election season.

Financial regulators on both sides of the Atlantic may not be able to resolve policy disputes through co-operation and the creation of a global regulator should be considered, according to Barney Frank, the senior Democratic congressman. The views of the man widely expected take over the chair of the House financial services committee if the Democrats retake the chamber stand in stark contrast to those of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the financial regulator that the committee oversees. Christopher Cox, chairman of the SEC, has been at pains in recent months to highlight stepped-up co-operation with foreign regulators such as the UK’s Financial Services Authority. This co-operation is seen as necessary as exchanges consolidate beyond regional borders, moves highlighted by the proposed New York Stock Exchange merger with Euronext. “Doesn’t that sound like fun,” Mr Frank said of such co-operation. “Joint action is theoretically [good] but what does that mean? In American baseball, if the runner and the ball arrive at the base at the same time, the tie goes to the fielder. Who breaks a tie if there is a disagreement over policy between the SEC and FSA?” Asked if a supra-national regulator would be needed, he told the Financial Times: “I don’t know. At this point that’s something to look into.”

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Maxine Waters threatens Muslim activist.

Culture: Waters and Smiley get knocked around in this article from LA Citybeat. It seems Maxine Waters thinking she is the queen bee of black people wanted to throw her weight around. It is a good example of an old guard trying to keep everyone in line with her agenda using divisive methods.

You wouldn’t exactly call it the October Surprise, but the October 2 protest organized by Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Ca.) at the Mt. Moriah meeting of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California certainly startled the community. The ministers had planned to meet with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom they invited to present his agenda for their communities. But upon arriving at the church, ministers reported finding more than 100 “rowdy” protestors calling them “sellouts” instead. Project Islamic Hope founder Najee Ali was completely unprepared for what happened next. According to Ali and other eyewitnesses, Waters began yelling as soon as she saw him, warning him against speaking to the media. “I remember her saying she was going to make it rough for me and that she was going to get me,” says Ali. “I was stunned that a U.S. congresswoman would threaten me because I wanted to exercise my freedom of speech. “ As first reported by the Wave’s Betty Pleasant, dismayed leaders continue to call on Waters to apologize. Schwarzenegger got a call about the Mt. Moriah protesters and cancelled his presentation. On Monday, Ali was granted a temporary restraining order against the congresswoman. “Our paths cross South Central a lot and [my attorney] doesn’t want her to have any contact with me whatsoever,” says Ali. .....“This situation is filled with ironies,” says conference member Rev. Norman Johnson, former executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference L.A. “Number one is the fact that the governor did not come. The second irony is that the congresswoman should have felt in a common place with Najee, who worked on the clemency of Tookie Williams. The third irony is that it took place at a church, a group that, by constitution, is bipartisan.” On October 19, Waters sent CityBeat a statement, which reads in part: “I responded to a request to show that some of us Democrats have ‘backbone.’ I’m sick and tired of the misdirection of this country by Bush and the failed policies of this state headed by Schwarzenegger. “Here we are fighting to keep Martin Luther King Hospital open for poor people, the sickest people in this county, and the governor refused to declare a state of emergency if Martin Luther King Hospital is threatened with closure … . Gov. Schwarzenegger is a ‘President Bush Republican.’”
So you show up with your band of malcontents and call people sellouts because they are not following your liberal/marxist agenda? They actually wanted to hear the other side? How democratic of you Ms. Waters. BTW, Read up on MLK Hospital, a walking disaster. But the story gets even better.
Johnson is a personal friend and supporter of Angelides. Even so, he says he defends the right of the ministers to hear all candidates. “It seemed to me that there was an absence of respect or there even was some claim to ownership. That is unfortunate.” Syndicated columnist and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson spoke with Waters and says that her statement indicates that she feels she speaks for the majority of African Americans. “Maxine is looking at these ministers who have supported her and now they are inviting the enemy into the camp. In her mind, it’s a betrayal,” he says. The bad blood between Ali and Waters goes back five years when Ali – an early supporter of Antonio Villaraigosa’s first mayoral campaign – was fired from his job as columnist for L.A. Focus magazine after criticizing the congresswoman on a local radio show for her support of then-Mayor James Hahn. (Ali later sued L.A. Focus and won.) Ali has since emerged as a highly visible, outspoken, and respected activist. He has campaigned for unity between African Americans and Latinos, tried to prevent the distribution of the controversial new energy drink “Cocaine,” and protested against the Black Minutemen.
Her stunt has started a discussion how the old guard is trying to keep the young ones in line and the practice of the Dems who think the black vote is their baby. I have thought this for years but sometimes you need to learn the hard way the true colors of those around you.
The incident at Mt. Moriah highlights a growing debate: Is the established, black civil rights community – or the “old guard,” as the younger activists have dubbed them –finally sick of the Democrats, or Waters, taking their support for granted? “Personally, I take it as the politics of intimidation,” Johnson explains. “‘You do what I say or … I’ll go after you like I go after others.’ It has not gone over well. It’s caused the clergy community to take a step back, to look at the relationships that we have with elected officials. In that sense, I think there’s a potential of a positive outcome: our involvement has to be driven by political principles, not political personalities.” Ali believes that the Democrats do take the black and Latino vote for granted. “Too many of our elected officials are in bed with the Democratic Party and they resist every type of change,” he says, noting that Villaraigosa launched his school reform bill, which Waters resisted, exactly because half of black and Latino children who go to high school in her district don’t graduate. “The old leadership is afraid of the ones who are up and coming,” says Anthony Willoughby, a trial attorney and one-time California Assembly candidate who questions why Waters is on the House Banking and Finance Committee but has been unsuccessful in bringing business to her district. “Maxine’s focus is social equality. But to take care of the community you have to take care of it economically.”
Tavis Smiley gets used as an example of old guard pushing their weight around regarding gays in the black community. I believe this is the article.
Twenty-nine-year-old activist Jasmyne Cannick was named by Essence magazine in 2005 as one of the 25 Women Shaping the World. On this question of leadership, Cannick shared an experience she had with talk show host and political commentator Tavis Smiley after she wrote a piece critiquing his State of the Black Union series. A few minutes after Cannick’s op-ed appeared on the newswire, Smiley called and accused her of “misleading” her readers. “He then went on to threaten me that he was going to tell my boss that he should be ashamed of me. I did offer to turn over the phone to my boss so that he could tell him, but Tavis said he’d do it later.” To Cannick, this is a perfect example of why there are so few up-and-coming leaders in Black America. “It does a disservice to blacks when the leadership fails to allow new voices into the arena. Do they honestly think that they’re going to be running things from their grave?” she asks.
She doesn't go to want was said and the specific problem. My problem with people like Tavis and Waters is if you are not a black liberal who follows the Dems and their party points to a tee. You will be called a sellout, Uncle Tom and so on as Najee Ali found out. That helps no one and only causes further divison. As blacks in this country get more educated and climb the economic ladder, these tactics will be seen as a detriment and they will shun the pioneers if they don't realize how bad their behavior is judged by a newer generation. The prime example is the NAACP with their membership in a free-fall because they are still using rhetoric and tactics that made sense in 1966, not 2006. Even a N.O.I. minister sees that this is happening and how viable it makes the black community if they vote based on their own interests and not hooked to one group.
Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammed expresses his respect for Waters’s stature and accomplishments, but stands with the ministers on this one. “If the majority of the clergy thinks she is wrong, she should humble herself and apologize. “Anybody should have the right to meet with any candidate. Black people need to know what the Republicans and the Democrats are going to do for poor black people. No longer should anyone tie black people to any political party. The question is: will your policies affect our community positively? Then you have our support,” he adds.

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Paris Riots: 2nd season about to start?

France: France is on high alert on the one year anniversary.

French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered police to be on maximum alert in areas where outbreaks of violence could occur. Several buses have been torched in the run-up to the anniversary of last year's widespread rioting in suburban areas. Mr Sarkozy said that all "sensitive" bus routes would be protected. "We will do everything possible to ensure that public services are not disrupted anywhere," he said. This time last year saw three weeks of violent clashes between youths of mainly North African origin and police in suburbs throughout France, when more than 10,000 cars were set alight and 300 buildings firebombed. Thursday saw armed youths hijack and set fire to a bus in the suburbs of Paris, while hooded gangs torched two others on Wednesday night.

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British Airways: No cross for you!

Culture: Niqab? We will think about it. Talk about serving up a ready made outrage for the papers to go nuts over.

British Airways has been accused of appalling double standards after admitting Muslim staff may be allowed to wear veils - just weeks after it sent a Christian home for wearing a cross. Check-in worker Nadia Eweida has been on unpaid leave for a month after the airline banned her from wearing her tiny cross on a necklace over her uniform. BA added further insult to injury yesterday when it said she can return to work wearing her cross -but only if she accepts a back room job where she will not come into contact with the public. Hours later the airline's muddled thinking was confirmed when a spokesman said any request from stewardesses or other uniformed staff to wear a full-face niqab would be given serious consideration. 'The request would be subject to a rigorous review, taking into account practicality, health and safety and security regulations,' said the spokesman. MPs described the latest developments as 'ludicrous', while Miss Eweida said the suggestion that she should take a back room job was 'morally degrading'. She demanded to know why she had to hide her faith from the public when Muslims and Sikhs can openly display theirs by wearing hijabs, turbans, and possibly a full-face veil. BA says Miss Eweida's cross is a breach of its strict dress code. Miss Eweida said: 'This is unfair. They are telling me to be out of sight. Why should I be hiding away in a non-uniform position when my Muslim and Sikh colleagues can be seen by the public? 'It is as if the cross is taboo. Despite all the people who have backed me, BA are still anti-cross. What is wrong with a little cross?

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Sheik al-Hilali won't quit till the White House is "clean!"

Australia: This is one way to show how unserious your apology for describing women who dress skimpy are asking to be raped.

AUSTRALIA'S leading Muslim cleric, Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali, says he will only resign when the world is "clean of the White House". After emerging from Friday prayers at Lakemba Mosque today, Sheik al-Hilali was asked by a media pack whether he would quit over a speech in which he said scantily-dressed women invited rape. "After we clean the world of the White House first," the sheik said. Supporters of the sheik cheered and applauded loudly at the comments, which were directed firmly at US President George W Bush. The sheik has previously described Mr Bush, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and Prime Minister John Howard as the axis of evil. Despite calls from within the Islamic community for his resignation, Sheik Alhilali has been assured he has the support of grass-roots Muslims, a supporter said. Other Muslim figures have called for him to stand down over a sermon last month in which he likened immodestly dressed women to uncovered meat. Several thousand Muslims attended prayers at Lakemba Mosque today where British Imam Abdul Jalil Sajid gave the sermon in English in place of Sheik al-Hilali. Supporter and president of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, Keysar Trad, says the sheik will not resign but is taking a break which will include a pilgrimage to Mecca. "Reaction from the grass roots is that we appreciate all the hard work the mufti has put in for the community," Mr Trad said outside Lakemba Mosque, where more than 2,000 Muslims gathered for Friday prayers today. "We're certainly not going to pass judgment on the basis of one comment in which we know his intentions were completely different. "The grass roots are behind him."
Basically he has become the Marion Barry of Aussie grass roots Muslims?

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Howard Kurtz's puff piece on Richard Engel.

Media: Not a whole lot needs to be said that you can't point out with one pic.

At 33, the baby-faced Engel has logged more time in Iraq than any other television correspondent, chronicling 3 1/2 years of carnage for NBC and shrugging off several close calls. As nearly all television correspondents rotate in and out of Iraq, Engel has stayed . "In an era of instant media criticism, he calls balls and strikes in the middle of a war zone," says NBC anchor Brian Williams. "He is completely unbothered by any Web site that may have problems with his reporting while he's over in Iraq dodging bullets. . . . He is the most agenda-less person I've met in our business, I think, in the past 20 years."
Why does he stay? When NBC made Engel its Middle East bureau chief over the summer, he agreed to a new contract and moved to the relative calm of Beirut. Days later he found himself covering a fierce war between Israel and Hezbollah -- and was suddenly reenergized. This, for better or worse, is what he does. Not that Engel necessarily approves of military conflict. "I think war should be illegal," he says. "I'm basically a pacifist."
(from NG BBS)

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Minneapolis Muslim cab driver controversy gets an angle.

Culture: The question I and others have been thinking about when this whole Muslim cab drivers from Somolia refusing to carry passengers with alcohol in their cabs is when/why/how did this pop up. It has grown over the last couple of years to be a serious problem. Couple of weeks ago we found out the Muslim American Society who is the American branch of the Muslim Brotherhood was behind the push. Now we find out it goes much deeper than just a push for lights.

"But many Somali drivers at the airport are refusing to carry passengers with alcohol. When I asked Patrick Hogan, Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman, for his explanation, he forwarded a fatwa, or religious edict, that the MAC had received. The fatwa proclaims that "Islamic jurisprudence" prohibits taxi drivers from carrying passengers with alcohol, "because it involves cooperating in sin according to the Islam." The fatwa, dated June 6, 2006, was issued by the "fatwa department" of the Muslim American Society, Minnesota chapter, and signed by society officials. The society is mediating the conflict between the cab drivers and the MAC. That seems odd, since the society itself clearly has a stake in the controversy's outcome. How did the MAC connect with the society? "The Minnesota Department of Human Rights recommended them to us to help us figure out how to handle this problem," Hogan said. Omar Jamal, director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center, thinks he knows why the society is promoting a "no-alcohol-carry" agenda with no basis in Somali culture. "MAS is an Arab group; we Somalis are African, not Arabs," he said. "MAS wants to polarize the world, create two camps. I think they are trying to hijack the Somali community for their Middle East agenda. They look for issues they can capitalize on, like religion, to rally the community around. The majority of Somalis oppose this, but they are vulnerable because of their social and economic situation."
The agenda of the MAS group becomes clear.
Hassan Mohamud is vice president of the society's Minnesota chapter. The society is independent and has no connection with the Muslim Brotherhood, he said. The Minnesota chapter's website, however, states that the organization's roots lie in the Islamic revival movement that "brought the call of Islam to Muslim masses ... to reestablish Islam as a total way of life." Mohamud says the society has three goals: to present the "real image" of Islam in American society, to preserve the identity of Muslims here and to "make that identity fit without having clashes between cultures and laws." He emphasizes, however, that Muslims must follow shari'a, or Islamic law, in every aspect of their lives. "There are two conflicting systems here -- two ways of life -- that want to live in the same place and respect each other," he says. The society aims to facilitate conciliation between the two. Mohamud adds that Americans need to learn about Islamic law because the Muslim population here is growing. That's why the proposed two-tier system for airport cabdrivers is important, he says. It could become a national model for accommodating Islam in areas ranging from housing to contractual arrangements to the workplace. MAC officials will hold another meeting today about the airport controversy, and Mohamud says he will try to revive the two-tiered pilot project for taxis. Whatever the meeting's outcome, we now have reason to believe that the issue is only a prologue to a larger drama playing out in Minnesota and the United States.
One small battle in Minneapolis I gather they didn't think would get this much attention. On another note the Wash Post finally send out a reporter to cover this and comes out with an article that is the complete opposite in some respects on certain positions.
Washington Post's Kari Lydersen: "....If you are a cabdriver and a practicing Muslim, you can't carry alcohol," said Idris Mohamed, an adjunct professor of strategic management at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. "It would be the same for a practicing Christian trying to honor their beliefs." Somalis interviewed at several late-night coffee shops on a strip of Somali grocery stores, cafes and money-transfer outlets in downtown Minneapolis all thought Muslim drivers should have the right to refuse passengers visibly carrying alcohol. "If the passengers don't show what they're carrying, it's not a problem," said Abdi Ahmed, 20, working in a lively, no-frills basement coffee shop where young Somali men crowded around a TV set watching soccer. "But if you're openly carrying it, Muslims don't accept that."
Star Tribune's Katherine Kersten: "...An animated circle of Somalis gathered when the question of the airport controversy was raised. "I was surprised and shocked when I heard it was an issue at the airport," said Faysal Omar. "Back in Somalia, there was never any problem with taking alcohol in a taxi." Jama Dirie said, "If a driver doesn't pick up everyone, he should get his license canceled and get kicked out of the airport." Two of the Somalis present defended the idea that Islam prohibits cabdrivers from transporting passengers with alcohol. An argument erupted. The consensus seemed to be that only a small number of Somalis object to transporting alcohol. It's a matter of personal opinion, not Islamic law, several men said. Ahmed Samatar, a nationally recognized expert on Somali society at Macalester College, confirmed that view. "There is a general Islamic prohibition against drinking," he said, "but carrying alcohol for people in commercial enterprise has never been forbidden. There is no basis in Somali cultural practice or legal tradition for that."
Much as I loathe the Red Star Tribune, their article smokes the Washington Post by a lot in terms of depth and giving answers to why this situation is being created.

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Oprah and her army approve of Madonna.

Entertainment: Hot Air has the video as Madonna tries to make people forget she is from Meeeechigan with a Brit accent that makes Kevin Costner in Robin Hood sound authentic. Try as she might it still comes off as holier than thou look at my good deed. In this case now Oprah and her minions approved. At the end Madonna tries to play the press as going to discourage other people from adopting from Africa. Untrue, those people are wishing Madonna didn't adopt because it makes them look bad. In barely related Madonna adopting news, Vincent Gallo is a complete nutjob.

"BROWN Bunny" director Vincent Gallo, 45, has a new friend - Los Angeles "It" Girl Cory Kennedy, 16. Kennedy, who blogs about her nightlife exploits and dalliances with celebrities despite being underage, has called Gallo a "keeper" on her blog and posts pictures of them together. Asked to comment, Gallo - who stressed there is no sexual relationship between the two - told Page Six: "With the psychotic, middle-aged Madonna out there on the loose buying up all the stolen Negro babies in Africa, I felt it my social and humanitarian duty to take in any young, beautiful and sexy orphaned Jew teens running wild in Beverly Hills. Cory's a great kid, and I'm proud to be her daddy."

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Sick thugs should not be named after assault.

Australia: A horrendous story from Australia where about a dozen boys raped and assaulted a girl, put it on DVD and sold it around various schools.

The parents of a group of young thugs who filmed themselves sexually abusing and degrading a teenage girl on Wednesday began handing their sons in to police. A DVD depicting up to a dozen boys assaulting and demeaning the developmentally delayed girl has been circulating among high school children in Melbourne's west and on the internet. Police warn anyone viewing or downloading the film risk child pornography charges. Officers are confident of identifying the 10 to 12 boys allegedly involved in the filming and all of them could face criminal charges. Excerpts from the DVD show the group of youths surrounding a 17-year-old girl, who has a mild developmental delay, and bullying her to perform sex acts. The youths also urinated on her and set her hair alight. The home-made DVD was filmed in Werribee and has been sold for $A5 at at least three Victorian schools. Detective Acting Inspector Simon Clemence told reporters police would be investigating an alleged assault involving oral sex, with up to two alleged offenders as well as other acts of violence.

Already have one bleeding heart who ask the thugs not to be named because it could "harm their future."

MELBOURNE - Those involved in making and selling a DVD that depicts the sexual assault and degradation of a teenage girl by up to a dozen youths should not be named and shamed, Law Council of Australia president John North said today. Copies of the DVD, which was filmed in the western Melbourne suburb of Werribee in June, has sold in several Victorian schools for A$5 ($5.80). It shows youths sexually assaulting the girl, urinating on her and setting her hair alight and also making chlorine bombs, harassing a homeless man and pelting taxi drivers with eggs. Mr North told the Nine Network minors involved with the DVD should not be named despite some names being printed on the DVD cover. Both of Melbourne's daily newspapers have published unedited photographs of some of those in the film. "If those facts are correct, it shows how immature, how easily-led some of them might be, and that is the distinction the law makes for children and adolescents," he said. "It's appalling behaviour, it's outrageous behaviour, but we shouldn't punish it with that feeling of retribution and revenge. "We should try and make sure that people are punished properly if they commit a crime but that the rest of their lives aren't ruined, and some of these people might be quite young and some of them might be quite easily led by stronger peer group pressure." The incident, while "outrageous and horrific", should not ruin the lives of those involved in the assault, Mr North said. "What we say is that children should have a chance to put that behind them in the future ... because it's universally recognised that naming and shaming people, which would result if an adolescent was named in court for these crimes, has had no benefit in the future and does not help with rehabilitation," he said.
They are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. This wasn't a simple prank gone awry. This was premediated assault on a girl who couldn't defend herself even if she wasn't mentally challenged. Throw the book at them and make prime examples for the rest of the idiot kids who think this is all a joke.

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Limbaugh vs Michael J. Fox.. Krazy Kripples part two?

Politics: The predictable running to defend Fox against the "evil" conservatives and those oppose embryonic stem cell research where the embryo is destroyed by the NYTIMES and Wash Post. But surprised to see Stanley actually put in the article that Fox is lying about Talent's position on the issue.

Debate over stem cell research is especially intense in Missouri, where voters are considering a measure that would amend the state’s Constitution to protect all federally allowed forms of the research, including embryonic stem cell research. Mr. Fox’s words in support of the Democratic Senate candidate, Claire McCaskill, were not nearly as forceful as his condemnation of her Republican opponent. “Unfortunately, Senator Jim Talent opposes expanding stem cell research,” Mr. Fox says in the 30-second spot. “Senator Talent even wanted to criminalize the science that gives us a chance for hope.” The Talent campaign protested Mr. Fox’s wording as misleading. “Senator Talent supports medical research including stem cell research that doesn’t involve cloning or destroying a human embryo,” said the candidate’s spokesman, Rich Chrismer.
Fox has other ads for democratic candidates who have jumped on the bandwagon and he admits its a one issue thing for him. But watching the ad, I thought of the South Park episode where Christopher Reeves got mocked in the episode called Krazy Kripples. I didn't think that Reeves was doing anything exploitive enough to deserve that treatment(though it was hilarious overall.) Fox on the other hand has decided not to just talk and support stem cell measure or raise awareness. He is actively lying and pushing emotion over logic on an issue that should be more than about him in a 30 sec commercial. The respect he claims he has for those who oppose this type of research is dismissive and more of a push to get tax payer money involved. I know people are under the impression that embryonic stem cell research is banned in America. It's not, just that federal dollars can't be used for it.
"I am respectful of those who oppose this research and their reasoning for it but they do represent a minority. "I think that to make a choice to protect millions of cells that are going to be destroyed over protecting millions of living and soon-to-be living human beings and citizens of this country... it's hard to get around that. "I figure you have to trust the American people, our scientists, our institutions, our facilities, to really do the right thing and lead the way with this. "It's going to happen anyway, so why doesn't it happen with American oversight and federal funding, and with an enthusiastic and well-thought-out approach? "Since when does America wait for somebody else to figure it out? I mean, we should figure it out. "We have been blessed with the resources and the intelligence and the spirit and the energy to tackle these kinds of problems. We are all set to do it and we need leadership from the top to spur us on to do it."
Summary of the fight in Missouri here. A coherent argument on this issue by NRO's Kathryn Jean Lopez than I can at 3 in the morning.

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Elisabeth Hasselbeck vs Law & Order: SUV producer

Entertainment: It seems the people at L&O: SUV don't like Elisabeth much most likely due to her politics and decided to name a character called Elizabeth Hassenback who goes thru what seems to be someone's warped wish on the show.

In particular, I pointed to the Oct. 17 episode of L&O: SVU, in which the curiously named victim Elizabeth Hassenback was raped on two occasions, then murdered by a sociopath intent on charting his victims' ovulation cycles so he could impregnate them. Well apparently, I wasn't the only one who raised an eyebrow over the victim's moniker, as Elisabeth Hasselbeck, perky panelist for daytime chatfest The View, took it upon herself to call an SVU producer and express her dismay about the episode, a conversation which she recounted on her show this morning. (Rewatch the segment by clicking here, courtesy of the good folks at Best Week Ever.) Now in SVU's defense, the Hassenback character wasn't a talk-show host or any sort of conservative public figure in a ripped-from-the-headlines case. But when you come right down to it, the writers' choice of victim name was pretty distasteful, particularly considering the hideousness of the crime. I mean, wouldn't you expect a backlash if SVU started a trend of giving its rape-murder victims names like Kelly Clarksen, Angeline Jolique and Christine Aguilar? Seriously, why go there at all?
bestweekever had this to say.
This morning on The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck related an incident between herself and an executive producer on Law and Order: S.V.U. On last week’s episode, they featured a character named Elizabeth Hassenbeck, who was raped twice and murdered. Hasselbeck phoned the Executive Producer, who she refused to name (though creator Dick Wolf seems the likeliest candidate), and came to blows over whether or not the near exact name usage was mere coincidence, or whether the implications were socially irresponsible on the part of the show. The producer remained defensive and nasty, which prompted a threat on the petite blonde’s behalf to never book any of the L&O actors on The View again. Ohhh… a blacklist! What excellent Tuesday morning melodrama! Fans of the show already know that the writers tend to base most of their plot lines on actual events in the news, from Britney and K-Fed to the Mel Gibson drunk driving arrest. So it’s pretty obvious that the name similarity is more than just mere coincidence. And while we’re certainly not huge fans of Hasselbeck’s weepy View antics, we’ve gotta side with her here: Law & Order, it’s just not right!
Not surprising at all coming from the L&O empire mega producer Dick Wolf created over the years.

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Madonna: Its the media fault!

Entertainment: From the reports coming out of the tapings, I was right in how the interview would go in a post from yesterday.

"....Audience members at the recording of the Oprah Winfrey show revealed the contents of the as-yet-uncut interview as they filed out of the US TV production company's Chicago offices. Speaking of how Madonna answered the prickly questions surrounding the Malawi adoption laws, an audience member told the Mail: "She said they just made them (the laws) up as they went along". However, that is not the way Malawi officials see the situation. Titus Mvalo a lawyer on Malawi's Human Rights Consultative Committee said laws in the African country forbid international adoptions - even by celebrities. He said: "Adoptive parents must be resident in Malawi and have to be assessed for between 18 and 24 months before the judge completes the process. "We also asked the court to be part of the adoption process, so that HRCC checks that no laws are flouted." The show will be aired on American television for the first time after being edited at the production offices at Winfrey's Chicago-based company. The company refused to release any material before the show aired. After the taping, audience members filed out of the US studios largely supportive of the entertainer. "Madonna said she did nothing wrong in adopting the boy and was emotional about the criticism," said audience member Sue Waldman. They described Oprah as both "sympathetic" and "encouraging" in discussing the controversial adoption issue. "It was a good experience. Madonna is an intelligent woman and she made a lot of sense. I am not always the greatest fan of her, but it was a good thing that she did," said Miss Waldman. Another woman audience member said: "She had a lot of good things to say. I am proud of Madonna. She tried to do something nice and got hammered for it." They explained to us that there are no real adoption laws in this country so they make up rules as they go along," said another woman. "

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

GAP save Africa, globalization is evil, appease the fools.

Africa: Gerard Baker on yet another tiresome look at who good we are and you will be too if you buy our crap campaign.

GAP, America’s still-trendy mass-market clothing retailer, is winning plaudits over here for its new campaign, imported from the UK, designed to generate awareness and money to alleviate suffering in Africa. The company has joined forces with Bono and the Product Red campaign that has signed up some of the most blue chip of names such as American Express and Motorola. It is pledging to give half of the profits from its iconic red T-shirts and leather jackets to Aids/HIV relief. The campaign was launched here last week, with the always crucial imprimatur of Hollywood. It features stars such as Steven Spielberg and Penelope Cruz in red T-shirts with one-word messages that say, with a modesty that doesn’t fit quite as well as the clothes, INSPI(RED) and ADMI(RED). The message is that, by buying these products, ordinary mortals such as you and I (well, all right, you) can look like Hollywood stars and save lives in Africa too. You can almost taste the pity and charity oozing from Ms Cruz’s pouted lips, the love pouring from Mr Spielberg’s dewy eyes.
Its the thought that counts not if it actually works in the long run which it won't because it takes a bit of a hardnosed approach that Hollywood types would scream imperalism!
"...In a complex world we all operate in a division of labour. Companies make profits. It is what they are designed to do. It is what they do best. When they depart from that mission, they lead their employees and their shareholders down a long, slow route to perdition. You think that is over the top? What is most troubling about campaigns such as Product Red is that they represent an accommodation with groups who think the business of capitalism is fundamentally evil. By appeasing people who regard globalisation as a process of exploitation companies such as Gap are making the world worse for all of us. They are implicitly acknowledging that their main business — selling things that people want for a profit — is inherently immoral and needs to be expiated by an occasional show of real goodness. Rather than resisting it, they are nurturing and feeding an anti-business sentiment that will impoverish us all. What’s more, this encroachment by companies is fundamentally undemocratic. Companies should not collude with interest groups and non-governmental organisations to decide on public priorities. That is for free people, through their elected governments, to do. "
But at least you feel good about yourself! This warped version of charity to Africa will never work because its more for show than substance for many of these Hollywood stars. Unless you stop the aid and work from the inside out, Africa will continue to be rich in resources and poor in everything else.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Putin to Europe: Don't lecture me.

EU: Putin has the personal insult routine down pat.

"...The Europeans went in saying bravely that that they would tackle Mr Putin over human rights issues, like the recent murder of a political journalist, and calling on him to loosen the state monopolies in oil and gas development if he wanted a relationship of trust. That stance was the stronger for being shared by Russia's closest economic partner, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor. Pleasantry knocked aside But Mr Putin's response was sharp. He told the Europeans Russia would set its own terms on energy supplies, and not sign the Energy Charter Treaty, as they asked. Challenged about corruption and failings in the rule of law in Russia, he asked why officials had been sent to jail in Spain, and annoyed some in Italy with his quip that "mafia is not a Russian word". Challenged over the economic embargo on Georgia, he accused that tiny state of planning to settle its disputes with Russia with bloodshed. Some of the Europeans were shocked. So the meeting in Lahti, Finland, had few concrete results. But the mask of pleasantry has been knocked off. At the next EU-Russia summit next month it may not be possible to put the really tough issues aside with jokes or jibes. "

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Wesley Snipes taking his time coming back.

Entertainment: 50/50 chance he becomes a citizen of Namibia.

WINDHOEK, Namibia -- Wesley Snipes will continue filming as planned in Namibia despite the U.S. warrant for his arrest on tax fraud charges, the producer of "Gallowwalker" said Monday. Joanne Reay said Snipes, who is the lead actor in the movie, was on location in the desert near the town of Swakob. Reay said Snipes had traveled to Namibia to shoot the film and not to flee U.S. justice. She said the plan was to stay until the third week in December. "As far as we understand, Wesley is not going to be arrested in Namibia," she told The Associated Press. "We are shooting and we are continuing to shoot," said Reay. "We are aware of the issue around the tax charges but we are not discussing it."

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Madonna going on Oprah!

Entertainment: Odds on crying, the world/media/rights groups being blamed and a "people don't understand" comment are very high.

Madonna will speak to American talk show host Oprah Winfrey about her decision to adopt a 13-month-old Malawian boy - the first television interview for the pop star since her adoption became an international controversy. The interview is scheduled to be taped tomorrow and air in the US on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for Harpo Productions said today.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Spain: Era of cultural nervousness.

Culture: As the Zappo socialist reign brings with with the self-loathing that people are changing traditional events as not to offend and because they don't want to get blown up.

"...Throughout the country towns and villages are toning down traditional fiestas of “Moors and Christians” to avoid offending Muslims. The fiestas — some dating back hundreds of years — celebrate the final “reconquest” of Spain by Christian armies from the Moors in 1492 after 781 years of Muslim rule. Villagers divide into rival “armies” of Moors and Christians to re-enact the conquest of their towns. But rows in Denmark and Germany over the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad, and the Madrid train bombings in March 2004, have caused Spanish towns to think again. Several have stopped parading giant effigies of Muhammad. “If the fiestas culminated in the burning or blowing up of a figure, that bit has been suppressed, out of fear, out of respect, out of everything,” says Xavi Pascual, the organiser of the fiesta in the Valencian town of Bocairent. “But the important thing is that the structure has not been modified.” In some instances, however, the fiesta has changed radically and some Muslim leaders have called for them to be banned, saying they were outdated and triumphalist celebrations with no place in modern Spain. “For the sake of peaceful coexistence, they should disappear,” said Félix Herrero, imam of the mosque in Málaga and the president of the Spanish Federation of Islamic Religious Entities. Other leaders have taken a softer line, asking only that events should avoid purposely offending Muslims. Nevertheless, Malik Ruiz, the president of the Islamic Commission in Spain, said Spaniards should “not touch some issues that cause visceral reactions”, such as the portrayal of Muhammad."
What a pathetic display of cowardice.

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Ombudsman for NYTIMES says SWIFT article..

Media: ...shouldn't have been published.

Since the job of public editor requires me to probe and question the published work and wisdom of Times journalists, there’s a special responsibility for me to acknowledge my own flawed assessments. My July 2 column strongly supported The Times’s decision to publish its June 23 article on a once-secret banking-data surveillance program. After pondering for several months, I have decided I was off base. There were reasons to publish the controversial article, but they were slightly outweighed by two factors to which I gave too little emphasis. While it’s a close call now, as it was then, I don’t think the article should have been published.
Michelle Malkin asks: "Why isn't this on the front page?" Why isn't this on the front page of editor and publisher? This is huge news and should be given the once over by Greg Mitchell.....wait...never mind. More from Instapundit.

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Wash Post prints radical islamic extremist op-ed.

Media: How do you go about printing a propaganda piece about the viel by Yvonne Ridley and give her the most benign description ever? The real story behind Ridley is captured in this little ditty.

After the Chechen separatist leader Shamil Basayev (architect of the Moscow theater hostage crisis and Beslan school hostage crisis), Ridley wrote a column stating that Basayev had become a "shaheed", that is, a martyr whose place in Paradise is assured. She went on to refer to Basayev as leader of "an admirable struggle to bring independence to Chechnya". In response to objections that Basayev's actions killed many civilians, Ridley stated that he "resorted to targeting Russian civilians in the latter years of his struggle to try and bring the plight of the Chechen struggle to the wider world," and blamed the majority of civilian casualties on Russian troops sent in to rescue the hostages. [16] Ridley quoted a passage from an unpublished work, Book of a Mujahiddeen in memory of Basayev, "A Mujahid is looking closely into a child's eyes, for they are the ones that get to see the world without sorrows."

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Pre-game for Paris Riots 2nd season.

EU: Time for some ultra-violence as officials now admit it has taken on a Islamic militant "tinge" and they are getting more organized this time around.

PARIS (Reuters) - French police and youths clashed in a Paris suburb on Sunday as tensions mounted ahead of the anniversary of riots last year that shocked the country and provoked renewed debate about the integration of immigrants. A police spokesman said 30 to 50 individuals were involved in the clashes in Grigny south of Paris that started after youths set several cars on fire and torching a bus after ordering its passengers off. "There are still some sporadic incidents, mostly stone throwing," he said. In a statement, the Action Police CFTC police union urged the government to deploy "a visible and large number" of riot police to discourage youths from constantly attacking patrols. In recent days police patrols in a number of towns across the country have been attacked by petrol bombs. "This latest clash marks the progressive start of a repeat of the riots of November 2005," the statement said, referring to the incident in Grigny.
AP:
Ethnic integration and violence against police are both becoming issues in the campaign for the French presidency. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, the leading contender on the right, said this month that those who do not love France do not have to stay, echoing a longtime slogan of the extreme-right National Front: "France, love it or leave it." Michel Thooris, head of the small Action Police union, claims that the new violence is taking on an Islamic fundamentalist tinge. "Many youths, many arsonists, many vandals behind the violence do it to cries of 'Allah Akbar' (God is Great) when our police cars are stoned," he said in an interview. Larger, more mainstream police unions sharply disagree that the suburban unrest has any religious basis. However, they do say that some youth gangs no longer seem content to throw stones or torch cars and instead appear determined to hurt police officers _ or worse. "First, it was a rock here or there. Then it was rocks by the dozen. Now, they're leading operations of an almost military sort to trap us," said Loic Lecouplier, a police union official in the Seine-Saint-Denis region north of Paris. "These are acts of war." National police reported 2,458 cases of violence against officers in the first six months of the year, on pace to top the 4,246 cases recorded for all of 2005 and the 3,842 in 2004. Firefighters and rescue workers have also been targeted _ and some now receive police escorts in such areas.

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Confirmation Madonna was window shopping for black babies?

Culture: Getting turned on by Jolie no less for the united nations family fad of the day.

MADONNA pulled out of adopting a US child just three months before whisking one-year-old Malawi boy David Banda out of Africa. She and husband Guy Ritchie filled out an application at a California agency – and even underwent an evaluation process as adoptive parents. But they abandoned plans to take a US baby from the Vista del Mar Child And Family Services Clinic after dinner with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The Hollywood couple, who adopted African daughter Zahara last year, told Madonna and Ritchie they should instead choose a Third World infant. According to a source close to Jolie, the actress – who chose Africa again to give birth to her and Pitt’s natural daughter, Shiloh – pressed home the idea in a series of e-mails to Madonna and over dinner. Last night, as the furore mounted over her “fast track” taking of David and her plans to adopt a little Malawian sister for him, the source revealed: “Both Brad and Angelina sold Madonna and Guy on the idea of creating a global family like theirs by taking kids out of Third World poverty.
UN goodwill ambassador Jolie also pointed out how Madonna could use her fame – and money – to raise the global profile of an impoverished nation. At that point, Madonna, 48, and Ritchie, 38, abandoned plans to adopt from the Vista del Mar centre, which handles children from “ghetto” areas. Yesterday a source there said: “They were well into the adoption process. They were fingerprinted and went through an interview as part of our evaluation procedures. We were surprised when they lost interest. They seemed incredibly keen.” The couple had made little secret of plans earlier this year to find a US baby brother or sister for son Rocco, six, and Madonna’s 10-year-old daughter Lourdes, but after dinner with Pitt and Jolie, they decided on the Third World. US agencies expressed anger at the decision. Merle Hoff-man, of Choices, said: “It’s like going to an animal rescue shelter and picking the cutest.” Katie Ann McCubbin, from a west coast agency, added: “There are plenty of needy children in America she could have chosen. Her husband is British. Don’t they have babies to adopt there?”
The song "How Much is That Doggie in the Window?" keeps coming to mind. How much is that poor black baby in the shelter? The one who is a male How much is that poor black baby in the shelter? I do hope that poor black baby for sale I must take a trip to Africa And leave the other poor black babies alone If I have a poor black baby, I won't be lonesome And the poor black baby will have a good home

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Miami 20, Duke 15...

Sports: If you want the perfect example of a win costing a coach his job, This would be it. How embarrassing.

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BBC is bias and filled with liberals.

World: Confession is good for the soul, if they had one to begin with at that place.

It was the day that a host of BBC executives and star presenters admitted what critics have been telling them for years: the BBC is dominated by trendy, Left-leaning liberals who are biased against Christianity and in favour of multiculturalism. A leaked account of an 'impartiality summit' called by BBC chairman Michael Grade, is certain to lead to a new row about the BBC and its reporting on key issues, especially concerning Muslims and the war on terror. It reveals that executives would let the Bible be thrown into a dustbin on a TV comedy show, but not the Koran, and that they would broadcast an interview with Osama Bin Laden if given the opportunity. Further, it discloses that the BBC's 'diversity tsar', wants Muslim women newsreaders to be allowed to wear veils when on air. At the secret meeting in London last month, which was hosted by veteran broadcaster Sue Lawley, BBC executives admitted the corporation is dominated by homosexuals and people from ethnic minorities, deliberately promotes multiculturalism, is anti-American, anti-countryside and more sensitive to the feelings of Muslims than Christians. One veteran BBC executive said: 'There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness. 'Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC's culture, that it is very hard to change it.'

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Max wages for all! Up with the poor, down with the rich!

Culture: Truly hilarious look into the mind of a wacked out socialist from the Guardian.

When democracy lost its grip on the City of London The Big Bang fuelled gross inequality, epitomised possessive individualism and cemented a cultural and housing apartheid Martin Kettle Saturday October 21, 2006 The Guardian
Read the whole thing, but this is the meat.
Inescapably the Big Bang has had its profoundest local impact in London itself. Look at the skyline east of St Paul's. Some of these effects are good for middle-class Londoners more generally, like the transformation of the capital's restaurants. Others bring entertainment to all, like the Abramovich-bankrolled revolution at Chelsea. But the impact on the housing market has been brutal for the poor and is increasingly unmanageable for the young. In a report from the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange this week - significantly entitled What Future For Maggie's Children? - the shadow cabinet's David Willetts admits that home ownership has become an ever harder aspiration to fulfil. The Big Bang came to embody the loadsamoney possessive individualism that evolved around it in Thatcher's Britain. And, although the City suffered an early shock to the system in the 1987 crash, and although life in the City has become less dramatic, it still embodies it today, 20 years on. The big difference now is that the divide has become so uncontroversially institutionalised entirely on the City's terms. What Anthony Sampson described as long ago as 1982 as "like an offshore island in the heart of the nation" has today become the engine of what the City's historian David Kynaston calls "a widening discrepancy between the workers' republic in the square mile and the rest of the island". Executive earnings are by no means the only yardstick by which the City's cultural apartheid from most of the rest of British society can be measured, but they are almost certainly the most dramatic. Just this week, Incomes Data Services produced figures showing that the average company boss's pay rose by 43% last year, with the chief executives of the UK's 100 largest listed companies earning an average of £2.9m. The typical boss now earns 86 times more than the typical employee. And even these stratospheric earnings barely keep pace with those to be harvested at the top of specialist investment firms. There's no way in which any of this is remotely proportionate to the world in which the rest of us live. The City of London is surrounded by millions of people who know it is morally wrong, who would probably favour a maximum wage as well as a minimum one, and who think that the rich should pay more tax to provide better services for the rest.But the simple truth is that they know there's nothing they or anyone else can foreseeably do about any of it.
A lot of words and angst to get to the "the rich sucks, its not fair" rountine you get from these socialists who just hate the fact that in the world there are people who are more successful than others. The only way this fantasy would come about is to physically keep people in place to be the host body for the parasitic social programs you wish for them to pay for being successful. If anyone tried too do that, those people the can do's of the city would simply move somewhere else. Impose a max wage and the best/brightest would cease to exise because there is no incentive to excel if you know you have a limit.

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European Muslims worry about frank new Islam debate

World: Interesting choice of words in this Reuters article.

PARIS (Reuters) - Britain's heated debate about Islamic veils reflects a growing frustration with Muslims in Europe that risks further isolating these minorities rather than integrating them, leading European Muslim activists say. The new tone in Britain, which Muslims on the continent long saw as a model of tolerance where criticising minorities was politically incorrect, marks a watershed in the way Europeans talk about Islam, they told Reuters. Islamist radicalism, ethnic segregation and clashes of values must be discussed openly, they agreed, but the increasingly polarised debate squeezes out moderates on both sides. Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sparked off the debate this month by saying the full facial veils some Muslim women wear hindered integration. Some Muslim leaders called his remarks offensive and accused him of whipping up Islamophobia. "Intolerance is growing in Europe," said Dalil Boubakeur, president of France's Muslim Council, who saw the new mood as a response to security fears and the radicalisation of a small minority of Muslims who do not accept European values. "There is a sense we are living in a different time," said Dilwar Hussain, head of policy research at the Islamic Foundation in Britain. "With all the security concerns, people feel they can be more frank," Hussain said. "The reaction from Muslims is to recede further and further into a sense of victimhood."
Perhaps the problem in the first place was being politically correct and allowing various incidents and feelings to mount up till they no longer could be contained because people were frustrated.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

MacKay referred to Belinda Stronach as a dog?

Canada: If that is the worse he can muster up after the stunts she has pulled she should consider herself lucky.

OTTAWA — Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay referred to Liberal MP Belinda Stronach — his ex-girlfriend — as a dog Thursday in the House of Commons, the Liberals say. MacKay denies saying any such thing. The purported slur prompted Toronto-area Liberal Mark Holland to lodge a complaint with the Commons Speaker, and other Liberals expressed disgust at the alleged remark. Holland says the foreign minister made the slur while exchanging jeers with the Liberals during a debate on the environment. While the government was being peppered with questions about the new Clean Air Plan, Holland says a Liberal jokingly asked MacKay about the impact of pollution on humans and animals: “What about your dog?” According to Holland, MacKay motioned toward Stronach’s vacant seat and replied: “You already have her.” MacKay staged a well-publicized photo op with a dog on his family’s Nova Scotia farm when he and Stronach broke up after her stunning defection to the Liberal party in 2005. In Halifax on Thursday night for a speech to a Tory fund-raiser, MacKay denied saying anything derogatory about Stronach and suggested that his critics consult Hansard. “I made no dog comment,” MacKay told reporters, and blamed the fuss on Liberal partisan politics. “It’s what it’s all about. It’s a distraction away from their own inadequacies.”

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Airbus needs $78 billion worth of A380 orders for break-even.

Bidness: That is if nothing else goes wrong.

AIRBUS needs to win orders worth approximately $78 billion (£40 billion) before its troubled A380 superjumbo project breaks even. Airbus, which is a division of the European aerospace and defence group EADS, has increased the break-even point for the project to 420 aircrafts from last year’s forecast of 270. The aircraft manufacturer told analysts at a presentation in Hamburg yesterday that increased costs and compensation payments for delivery delays have pushed back the point of profitability. The Toulouse-based company has so far sold 159 of the double-decker aircraft in the six years since its official launch. It must now sell a further 261 before it can turn a profit on the project. The A380 has a list price of about $300 million, meaning that the company must win orders worth $78.3 billion before breakeven. Despite this daunting figure Airbus remains confident that it can eventually sell 750 of the aircraft, although analysts are becoming sceptical of this claim. One analyst said: “The A380 is going to be a white elephant. There is no way they are going to sell that many planes.” However, Airbus sees hope in the long life of Boeing’s 747 — the smaller rival to the A380. The 747 entered service in 1970 and after a difficult start has gone on to be an enormous success.

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Wesley Snipes in Namibian desert.

Entertainment: While Bill Zwecker fails miserably at his job as entertainment reporter, South Africa's Daily News has confirmed where Snipes is located and he is still getting into more trouble.

Wanted Wesley is in Namibia October 19, 2006 Edition 3 WINDHOEK: Wesley Snipes, wanted in the United States for alleged tax fraud, is shooting a movie in the Namibian desert. Snipes has been in Namibia for the past couple of months starring in a film called Gallo Walker. The US Attorney for the middle district of Florida, Paul Perez, said on Monday that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. Perez said the whereabouts of the star were unknown. Snipes is alleged to have illegally claimed refunds of almost $12 million (about R90 million). If convicted, he could face 16 years in prison. In Namibia, Snipes has also run into trouble after his agents failed to settle his accommodation bills. - Independent Foreign Service

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