Based solely on his career numbers and on that wonderful, breathtaking and emotionally-charged home run race he had with Sammy Sosa in 1998, he should have been a first ballot Hall of Fame shoe-in. Instead, not only was he rejected by the HOF voters, but now this.
My personal opinion is that McGwire should be excluded from the HOF, as should Bonds. They obviously both cheat/cheated and their form of cheating has greatly exaggerated their personal stats and made a farce of the "National Pastime" and of the records set by past players.
Well, Mr. Peace, would a Black man be considered a "danger to the community" if he had sex with an 11 year-old white girl? Most definitely.
"I can assure you if it were an African American male who committed such an offense against a white female, history shows us that the charges, the punishment and the sentencing would be totally different," said state NAACP president Lonnie Randolph. "The system ain't blind when the perpetrator is an African American male or female or when the victim is a white female."
Jerry Peace, the county prosecutor and a white man, said that the teachers are wearing electronic tracking devices and that their release on bail — $125,000 for one, $110,000 for the other — was based not on race, but on the danger to the community and the likelihood that the defendants might flee.
Is there a double standard when female teachers are accused of abusing their male students? Yes. Are these white teachers being treated differently because they are white? Perhaps.
When young Black men age 17 or 18 are being sent to jail for having consensual sex with their white girlfriends in Georgia, why are adult white women treated differently when they have sex (even if it was consensual) with very young Black boys?
Should they be treated differently?
Why does he live here? “Ever hear the words ‘rent stabilized’?” says Mr. Podell, who’s paying $702 for a one bedroom in SoHo. “What do I need a fancy place for? A lot of people want to show off their wealth. It ain’t me, baby.”
How cute. With rents coming in at $702 in Manhattan, the owner has zero incentive (or money!) to fix up the place. And others with access to capital have no incentive to build units in the lower price ranges, lest they get designated for some price-control requirement. "Rent control" causes shortages; shortages cause price escalation. One reason for the soaring NYC real estate prices is the very existence of rent control.
The British government was advised against publicly criticising a report estimating that 655,000 Iraqis had died due to the war, the BBC has learnt.
Iraqi Health Ministry figures put the toll at less than 10% of the total in the survey, published in the Lancet.
But the Ministry of Defence's chief scientific adviser said the survey's methods were "close to best practice" and the study design was "robust".
Another expert agreed the method was "tried and tested".
What a shame that over 650,000 people have died because our government invaded a country that WASN'T an imminent threat! None of those 650,000 people was even remotely a threat.
More than 18,000 adults in the USA die each year because they are uninsured and can't get proper health care, researchers report in a landmark study released Tuesday.
The 193-page report, "Care Without Coverage: Too Little, Too Late," examines the plight of 30 million — one in seven — working-age Americans whose employers don't provide insurance and who don't qualify for government medical care.
While Paul can rationalize all he can about Americans' need to make "different health care decisions" the fact is, lots of people make the best decisions they can based on their income or their jobs. As more employers decrease or drop healthcare benefits, it won't be (and never has been) as easy as saying "Get a job with a company that pays healthcare."Corporate America will eventually lead the drive for a universal healthcare system. They will tire of spending the tremendous costs they pay in healthcare premiums, and will realize their employees will be more productive if they are healthy.
Consider the story of Mary Rose Derks, as told by that flagship of leftist journalism, The New York Times:
Mary Rose Derks was a 65-year-old widow in 1990, when she began preparing for the day she could no longer care for herself. Every month, out of her grocery fund, she scrimped together about $100 for an insurance policy that promised to pay eventually for a room in an assisted living home.
But when she filed a claim with her insurer, Conseco, it said she had waited too long. Then it said Beehive Homes was not an approved facility, despite its state license. Eventually, Conseco argued that Mrs. Derks was not sufficiently infirm, despite her early-stage dementia and the 37 pills she takes each day.
After more than four years, Mrs. Derks, now 81, has yet to receive a penny from Conseco, while her family has paid about $70,000. Her daughter has sent Conseco dozens of bulky envelopes and spent hours on the phone. Each time the answer is the same: Denied.
The same is true of tens of thousands of elderly Americans, and this doesn't include those who couldn't afford to purchase insurance policies in the first place. Among the most common reason for bankrupcy filings in the US is an inability to pay medical bills. Studies show that the nation would actually SAVE money by instituting a single-payer system with for-profit insurance agencies supplementing coverage.The powerful insurance and medical lobbies are one thing, but a majority of Americans want universal healthcare. Among US citizens, only those on the very fringes of political thought - roughly the same percentage as those who still support the Bush administration - are against it.
In every other "developed" nation on the planet, if you get sick, you can go to the doctor, no matter how rich you are. Why not in America? Because greed is more important than humanity.
2. 2002 On Oct 07, Bush gives a speech on national TV introducing and promoting his legislation to authorize his invasion. It did emphasize threat from Hussein weapons and violations involving those weapons. But it also relegated such concerns to equality with other requirements:
In addition to declaring and destroying all of its weapons of mass destruction, Iraq must end its support for terrorism. It must cease the persecution of its civilian population. It must stop all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. And it must release or account for all Gulf War personnel, including an American pilot, whose fate is still unknown...
America believes that all people are entitled to hope and human rights -- to the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity. People everywhere prefer freedom to slavery; prosperity to squalor; self-government to the rule of terror and torture. Iraq is a land rich in culture, resources, and talent. Freed from the weight of oppression, Iraq's people will be able to share in the progress and prosperity of our time.
If military action is necessary, the United States and our allies will help the Iraqi people rebuild their economy, and create the institutions of liberty in a unified Iraq at peace with its neighbors.
3. 2002 Bush gets passed his act, the "Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq" (also documented here and here). This provides the official justification for his invasion. It lists many planks other than WMD violations, including human rights violations, Hussein's govt's support for non-Al Qaida terrorist groups, implementing the 1991 UN cease fire resolution and other resolutions, and also the Iraq Liberation Act, which clearly establishes democracy as a US foreign policy objective in Iraq. Wikipedia summarizes it accurately: "The resolution cited many factors to justify action", and then lists 11 planks, including "the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, the resolution reiterated that it should be the policy of the United States to remove the Hussein regime and promote a democratic replacement."
Bush's "Signing Statement" announced: "to Iraq's tyrannical regime a powerful and important message: the days of Iraq flouting the will of the world, brutalizing its own people, and terrorizing its neighbors must -- and will -- end." It did not mention WMD or "imminent threat."
How is it, then, that Tom, Nadir, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins all developed the impression that WMD stood as Bush's single reason for invading Iraq? That "establishing a democracy" concerns about human rights got tagged on only after the invasion proved that WMDs did not exist? Where in Bush's UN speech or in his US legislation does WMD possession by Hussein stand alone? Where does it stand without equal weight given to human rights abuses?
I recall in debating to give my support for this war, before the invasion, one absolute requirement that I had: that Bush's forces of Hussein overthrow would explicitly act to facilitate the establishment of a democracy as one stated requirement of victory. I understood that to be the case prior to making my decision, and a key element in my conferring support.
How did Tom, Nadir, and the others miss this point? I can understand them accusing Bush of "lying" in 2002 about promising to erect a democracy in Iraq -- because they say he is lying about this now -- but on what basis do they claim that before the invasion that he ever omitted such a factor from his stated objectives?
Here are the five conditions that Bush laid down in his 2002-09-12 address to the UN which he said that Hussein must meet. As Bush explained earlier in his speech, these five planks represented planks in the 1991 Gulf War Cease Fire Agreement, all of which Hussein had violated in the interim. In this speech, Bush stated that after 911, the world can no longer afford to permit Hussein to continue violating these planks. Here they are, in Bush's exact words:
1. If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles and all related material.
2. If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it -- as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.
3. If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkemens and others -- again, as required by Security Council resolutions.
4. If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues as required by Security Council resolutions.
5. If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people.
If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq and it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis, a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty and internationally supervised elections.======================
Did bush mention "democracy" here, to the UN? No. Most UN member nations are autocratic dictatorships, so he did not mention this part of his plan to this body. But he did list the ending of "minority oppression" along side the WMD requirement, and give it equal weight. According to Bush here, Hussein could not spare himself the invasion merely by satisfying the WMD requirement without also satisfying the human rights requirement.
What could that phrase possibly mean except, we're going to hold you at gunpoint while we look for (nonexistant) weapons? Hogwash!
No matter what she thought she was voting for, she and other congressional Dems who voted "yes" to the Iraqi invasion are as culpable as the madmen who invaded because they enabled the war mongering maniacs.
And don't be fooled. The Dems are beholden to the same corporate entities that have been advocating this war from the jump.
Who is running for president anyway? I don't have a problem with a husband defending his wife, but if she is strong enough to be president, Hillary shouldn't need her prospective First Husband to explain her position.
"Once we've seen the last person leave Michigan, then I think we'll be able to say we've seen the bottom," he said."
Yep, our Governor's gonna tax her way out of this mess I guess, eh? So let me get this straight; people and businesses are leaving the state in a type of mass-exodus we haven't seen around here since the early 80's and Granholm's solution is to punish those of us who choose to stay and stick it out by raising our taxes? That's supposed to encourage people and businesses to stick around? That's supposed to stem the flow of emigrating Michiganders? How the did this woman get re-elected? Is it simply that she's easy on the eyes and such a smooth talker? What else can it be? She's completely clueless. I don't get it.
I love Michigan. I think it's a great place to live and raise a family. I've lived here my whole life and have never given any serious thought to leaving, but the way things are going if the right offer came along I might just entertain the idea of bolting myself. How depressing.
A soldier in Baghdad, in town for the "surge" and wondering whether things really are as bad as they seem, might want to read FM 3-24, the U.S. military's Counterinsurgency Field Manual, released last December. On Page 1-29, our soldier will find a handy table -- "Successful and unsuccessful counterinsurgency operational practices" -- that outlines the Dos and the Don'ts.
In which column would one place the major decisions of the Bush administration? The dissolution of the Iraqi army, the de-Baathification of the civil service, the failure to guard important historic and cultural sites, the granting of reconstruction contracts to American firms, and the long-term neglect of legal due process -- all correspond to the advice on the "Don't" side of the chart. And that's not accounting for atrocities like those in Falluja, Haditha or Abu Ghraib. The "Dos" column, on the other hand, reads like a list of what the United States has failed to do: meeting the population's needs, expanding secure areas, politically isolating the insurgents, training and equipping Iraqi forces, securing the borders and so on.
If this table serves as a pocket-sized score card, the 280-page manual is a full-bodied treatise on the subject. This is the first new counterinsurgency field manual to appear in 20 years, and as such, it serves as a tacit admission that the American strategy in Iraq is simply not working. The manual's perspective takes on additional significance since its chief author, Gen. David Petraeus, has just taken over as the top commander in the war.
The guy who literally wrote the book on US counterinsurgency tactics goes against his own teachings when he claims the war in Iraq is "winnable".
So which time were you lying, General? When you told the American people that you could win an unwinnable war because doing so might help your career or when you wrote the manual that our troops must use when they go into battle?
If we don't get this administration out of office and stop this war, the US and the Iraqi people are in for more bloodshed and more looting of their treasuries by Bush stockholders.
That's as incorrect as stating: "Nadir cost himself thousands of dollars last year by selling his iTunes songs for only $1 each instead of $100." Well, no matter how good Nadir's songs are, he'll sell more at $1 than $100 -- lots more. I assume that at $1 he sold perhaps 10,000 songs, for a 10k bucks in sales (and I rekon $1,00 in payments to him). At $100 a song, I assume he would have sold zero songs.
If the feds eliminate tax breaks for home ownership, far fewer people will own homes, and home prices would reduce. Thus if last year these breaks did not exist, the home owners of last year would not simply have sent the feds $80 + $15.5 billion. Instead, existing and potential homeowners would have BEHAVED DIFFERENTLY than if the tax breaks stood. Their new behavior would have surely involved spending their money in ways that would not expose them to taxes.
The only real solution: universities must eliminate interscholastic competitions and the oxymoronic "athletic scholarships".
The real target of the 6 imams’ ‘discrimination’ suit
But the most alarming aspect of the imams’ suit is buried in paragraph 21 of their complaint. It describes “John Doe” defendants whose identity the imams’ attorneys are still investigating. It reads: “Defendants ‘John Does’ were passengers ... who contacted U.S. Airways to report the alleged ‘suspicious’ behavior of Plaintiffs’ performing their prayer at the airport terminal.”
Paragraph 22 adds: “Plaintiffs will seek leave to amend this Complaint to allege true names, capacities, and circumstances supporting [these defendants’] liability ... at such time as Plaintiffs ascertain the same.” In plain English, the imams plan to sue the “John Does,” too.
Who are these unnamed culprits? The complaint describes them as “an older couple who was sitting [near the imams] and purposely turn[ed] around to watch” as they prayed. “The gentleman (’John Doe’) in the couple ... picked up his cellular phone and made a phone call while watching the Plaintiffs pray,” then “moved to a corner” and “kept talking into his cellular phone.” In retribution for this action, the unnamed couple probably will be dragged into court soon and face the prospect of hiring a lawyer, enduring hostile questioning and paying huge legal bills. The same fate could await other as-yet-unnamed passengers on the US Airways flight who came forward as witnesses.
The imams’ attempt to bully ordinary passengers marks an alarming new front in the war on airline security.
Here’s the PDF document with the imams’ complaint against US Airways. Read it for yourself.
I support laws against flicking spent cigarette butts onto public spaces, because the smoker shares ownership with others, such as me, who pay to clean after pigs (pigs being people who litter, not those clean and intelligent swines). And I support laws against labeling milk as "pasteurized" if it is not, because it represents a violation of the implicit contract agreed to by the consumer. But I support the natural, universal right of one human to own a bar and in it to permit (or ban) smoking, and of one human to produce raw (or pasturized) milk and sell it to knowing customers.
He forcefully debunks any characterization that US troops are haphazardly or deliberately destroying civilian structures or killing civilians, or in any way attempting to conquer or control anybody. To the contrary, he is convinced that US troops have taken heavy losses these years because of a failure of US troops to "fire back", due to the attackers firing from civilian neighborhoods. "Women and kids are getting killed now, though", he tells me by phone. "Because the GIs are firing back, and the people firing at them are firing from areas were civilians live."
Good thing for freedom lovers in Mississippi and Dresden that US troops "fired back".
What is this morbid obsession that liberals have with Fox? It's as if Democrats, pampered and spoiled by so many decades of the mainstream media trumpeting the liberal agenda, are so shaky in their convictions that they cannot risk an encounter with opposing views. Democrats have ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, the New York Times, Newsweek, Time and 98 percent of American humanities professors to do their bidding. But no, that's not enough -- every spark of dissent has to be extinguished with buckets of bile. But Fox is certainly disingenuous with its absurd "fair and balanced" motto. Oh, come on, give it up! Why can't Fox honestly admit its conservative agenda, as do major radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and simply argue that it represents a culturally necessary antidote to the omnipresent liberal line?
Amen. Consider all the funds poured into any number of organizations, from African ministries to US govt schools. Yet monetary donations have helped, I think: consider the US-funded rebuildings of western Europe and Japan. So what's the answer?
Scientists who questioned mankind’s impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community.
They say the debate on global warming has been “hijacked” by a powerful alliance of politicians, scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions.
Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five deaths threats by email since raising concerns about the degree to which man was affecting climate change.
One of the emails warned that, if he continued to speak out, he would not live to see further global warming.
“Western governments have pumped billions of dollars into careers and institutes and they feel threatened,” said the professor. “I can tolerate being called a sceptic because all scientists should be sceptics, but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity. It has got really nasty and personal.”
I am a "food snob", but unlike most of my fellow "food snobs'' -- such as my brother Tom, a poster here at RF -- I do not assume that the average people of Mexico or India eat much better than the average people in the US. I believe that although Mexican and Indian food is exotic to us Americans, the normal diets in those nations differ little from our own: composed mainly of refined sugar, denatured flour, MSG, food colorings, hydrogenated oils, and chemical preservatives. Thus when I seek "authentic" Mexican mole, I certainly possess no desire to consume the most popular mole in Mexico, nor even something made in somebody's grandmother's kitchen; I assume that such offerings would bring to my meal the same set basic food abortions that my own dear mom served me as a child. Instead I want "mole" made with natural ingredients. For me *that* is "authentic".
Philip Stott is an Emeritus Professor from the University of London, UK. For the last 18 years he was the editor of the Journal of Biogeography.
The forces that have lifted millions of Chinese and Indians out of poverty are the same forces that Al Gore blames for cataclysmic global warming. Curbing those forces will surely exacerbate poverty, no?
In any case, I do certainly advocate smarter home and living design, which this controversy may sell to the general public. I predict that better design will help the world. For example, getting homes "off the grid", and watering our lawns from ground wells and fertilizing with compost (including our own effluent).
The film addresses how this has become a "religion" of sorts for the true believers and how any scientist who dares dispute the theory is treated as a heretic and an apostate and is likened to a holocaust denier. It talks about how this has become an actual "industry" where tens of thousands, if not millions of people are making a whole lot of money off of this issue and that in order to keep the funding coming they need to keep making ever-more cataclysmic predictions.
It demolishes the claim that CO2 is causing GW, when in reality, according to these scientists, it's the exact opposite. That GW actually creates CO2, not vice-versa. According to these scientists that's the inconvenient truth the former next President's film An Inconvenient Truth "conveniently" omits.
It discusses how the ones that will be hit and hurt hardest if the global warming zealots get their way are those in the developing countries in the third world. How asking them to develop their societies on alternative energy sources is to basically tell them they can't have electricity and to be content living in squalor.
Watch it and if after watching it you're not at least skeptical about man-made global warming then you don't want to be convinced.
This is the real "inconvenient truth".
Dream, on, Hugo. Keep giving away the proceeds from your petro reserves; and keep on "nationalizing" your petro operations. The end game is very clear to me: hell on this earth, via a path paved by the most wonderful intentions and rhetoric.
Fact: LAPD has for years followed a policy that bars cops from probing suspects about immigration status.
Fact: Violent crime in mestizo areas of LA is surging.
Fact: Illegal immigrants appear to compose a large fraction of these crimes.
Question: Do the facts falsify the above-stated hypothesis? Does the determination of LA's mayor to continue honoring the LAPD "no ask" policy represent loyalty to a favored hypothesis over adherence to logic?
In the meantime, I see two choices. One, the people who run schools can change. I believe that will never happen, except in the private schools. Two, parents can take matters into their own hands and find a way to steer their kids through a meaningful education despite all the wasted time at their govt schools.k A helpful option in that effort is school vouchers, which can enable more parents to support the only schools capable of change.
The needed changes are obvious to me, and stated here many times:
1. Employ as teachers only those with real academic degrees; no teachers with "education" degrees.
2. No mandatory attendance; expel students who fail to participate in academic matters. This doesn't effect private schools, who have no obligation to all children in their areas. If govt schools had a capacity to change, they could create alternative institutions for refractory students. However, since govt schools will never change, I suppose there's no point in bothering to figure out how govt schools could stop mandating attendance.
3. No "electives"; only core academic classes.
4. Mandatory musical instruments and second language, starting in kindergarten.
5. Elimination of interscholastic sports, and perhaps even "gym"; leave this to govt or private sports leagues.
I pride myself on not caring about such things in choosing my candidates. I leave it to the masses of people to select or reject their candidates based on such matters ("he's the kind of guy I'd like to have a beer with"; "I don't trust him because he sweats"). Myself, I would vote for the stiff-talking, phony-seeming Hillary if she support a low flat tax, privatized SS, overturn of the Homeland Security and Patriot Acts, etc. But if we're going to have as our next president an advocate of tax increases, "universal healthcare", etc., I would certainly prefer Obama's authentic-seeming persona than Hillary's apparent false one.
The first Secular Islam Summit was a success if for no other reason than it intimidated the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the PR machine of militant Islam.The Washington-based group that boycotts airlines and bullies radio personalities and politicians into toeing the Islamist line is clearly worried about the message from Muslim reformers.
It dispatched its henchmen to Florida to shout the reformers down at their confab earlier this week. CAIR also posted on its Web site no fewer than four stories bashing the event and its courageous speakers, many of whom are women calling for an end to inequality and mistreatment under radical Islam.
CAIR declared the summit illegitimate because few of the participants are practicing Muslims,” and those who are, it claims, are merely pawns playing into the hands of “Islamophobes.” “In order to have legitimate reform, you need to have the right messengers,” asserted CAIR spokesman Ahmed Bedier.
And who might that be? The four CAIR executives who have been successfully prosecuted on terrorism-related charges? The CAIR co-founder who said the Quran should replace the U.S. Constitution as “the highest authority in America”?
According to Robert Novak, who wrote the column that triggered the hysterical accusations of "outing" that initiated this investigation, the answer to all of these questions is: NO. Novak learned about Plame's role and identity from a Bush policy opponent Richard Armatidge, who did not get indicted.
"In fact, her being classified -- that is, that her work was a government secret -- did not in itself meet the standard required for prosecution of the leaker (former deputy secretary of state Armitage) under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. That statute limits prosecution to exposers of covert intelligence activities overseas, whose revelation would undermine U.S. intelligence. That is why Fitzgerald did not move against Armitage. Superlawyer David Boies said Fitzgerald never should have prosecuted Libby because there was no underlying criminal violation. Boies scoffed at Fitzgerald's contention that Libby had obstructed him from exposing criminal activity. Boies, who represented Al Gore in the 2000 election dispute, is hardly a Bush sympathizer. But neither is he a Democratic partisan trying to milk this obscure scandal."
Well, with this story today I'm now absolutely convinced I was right.
This is just one of many such occurances in recent months (I'm sure it happens all the time). One of the London bombers used this tactic as well. A dead giveaway (no sick pun intended) is that he was over six feet tall. Too bad no one noticed at the time. Not that anyone would have had the nerve to do anything anyway. Who, especially in Britain, woud have the nerve to "insult" a Muslim "woman" by asking her to remove her body-stocking, and worse yet, remove it by force.
Politically correct multiculturalism is going to be the death of us all.
I won't bother seeing Black Snake Moan. I hadn't intended to see Hustle and Flow, but a movie snob friend insisted it was great. We watched it together, and upon that his second viewing he was rightfully embarrassed to have recommended it. Never mind that the story routinely violates many rather well-known pimping credos (pimps never sell drugs nor permit their bitches to consume drugs). If you know nothing beforehand about pimping, plenty of universal false notes should repel any intelligent viewer.
Would a pimp really take two of his bitches to right to the door of a married church-going family man -- unannounced -- and dress, behave, and speak to that man and his wife IN THEIR HOME, exactly as he does in the street? Would those bitches (WHY DID HE BRING THEM?) also dress, talk, and in all other ways behave in that house just as they do in their own disgusting apartment amongst themselves? You don't have to know about pimps and hookers -- say, from watching the excellent and authentic documentaries "Pimps Up, Ho's Down" and "American Pimp" -- that these disturbed, sick people are, well, people. They do not have a single way of speaking, behaving, and dressing and employ it at all times in all places in the midst of all people.
Would a pimp, seeing a an old school chum in convenience store purchasing batteries, honestly believe, or even as a joke (either is equally preposterous) inquire, that they guy is purchasing batteries FOR A DILDO? No, he would not. And what is such a man -- affluent, married -- doing in the roughshod, shabby ghetto store in the first place? Would we ever find him there? Absolutely not. Even visiting his grandma back in the old neighborhood such a man would do no such thing. And would such a man let a pimp and his two bitches -- dressed exactly as that -- into his home (not that such a cast would ever appear there) DURING DINNER TIME WITH HIS WIFE when he appears UNANNOUNCED? The levels of absurdity just pile on.
And would such a man, agreeing to work with a pimp on the pimp's rap music, perform this work in the pimp's disgusting low rent ghetto house... with his wife knowing this is where here is (after having met the pimp and two of his hookers, both acting exactly like they do in the street)? No, if a real human living a nice affluent married lifestyle were going to work on music with a very lowdown, lowclass pimp/drug dealer (ignore that absurdity), he would do it in his own nice suburban basement and the pimp (without being told) would act UNLIKE a pimp in front in the man's nice suburban house.
The pimp and the whores acting only a single way reminded me of Driving Miss Daisey where the black servants acted the same way in front of the crackers in the dining room as they did amongst themselves in the kitchen.
Then there's Hustle and Flow's horrible and illogical music. The music figures into a judgment of the film because lies at the center of the story. The first song we hear created by the pimp is a rap song, "Smack that Trick", or similar words. First of all, it's terrible. I hate rap music, so maybe that explains why I prayed for the song to end, and why it struck me as so preposterous that such a mediocre or even horrible song had characters in the movie gathering around and nudging each other in enthusiastic approbation. But even if only my disdain for rap is the real problem, nothing can save the song from its illogical title: pimps and hookers don't slap tricks. These sick people consider themselves to be business people with their own set of scruples. Those scruples omit mistreating tricks.
Just as preposterously that song in the film started with a different title, "Beat that Bitch." Mostly pimps pride themselves on not beating bitches. Those that do beat their bitches perceive themselves as doing it only in rare cases, and derive no joy from it. Only a completely ignorant and silly person who has conducted no meaningful research into this subject would think that a ghetto pimp would rally about either slogan, "Beat that Bitch" or "Smack that Trick."
And then there's the theme song, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp." That song has melody and did not repulse me, but led to yet another absurdity: nowhere in the movie do we see anything "hard" about being a pimp. We see that it's disgusting and low, but not hard. We don't see the pimp waking at 4am to sell his stereo to bail out his bitch, we don't see him short on rent because one of the bitches has secretly snorted up drugs (hey, in preposterous world, the pimp purchases drugs for his bitches!).
One more thing: Could the writer/director resist inserting a white character into the movie? No, of course not. I don't mean the white hooker. That's plausible enough. But can't the dorky keyboardist be a dorky black guy? No, not in this mess. Now the disgusting ghetto pimp den has a fine upstanding black family church husband and a pencil neck white nerd working with a drug-selling pimp (who sings about beating his bitches and his customers and cranking up his bitches on dope).
Spare me the new movie from this writer/director about a black blues musician who's poor and down and responds to his lot by kidnapping a sexy young white girl. Doesn't the world already contain a cornucopia of authentic unfilmed stories about black music-makers? The cineplex only has a limited number of screens. If one is going to house a story about a black musician, is this what we want? I hope not.
Well, some trans fats occur naturally, and do not confer the problems caused by those create artificially via hydrogenation. Never mind that natural natural trans fats occur in some of the most nourishing of all natural foods, including cheese and butter, the "No Trans Fat" slogan has gained commercial and government embrace. And thus a movement to expel health-harming foods has not expelled health-enhancing foods; bakers who proudly baked only with natural butter now -- in the name of boasting "No Trans Fats" -- must substitute natural butter with fake "trans-free" margarine.
Only people working in government or a huge company like Starbucks can exhibit such massive stupidity. "It’s easier for the customer to walk in and see zero grams trans fat than zero grams artificially created trans fat,” said a Starbucks spokesman. “We’ve gone back and replaced all of the nice, good butter with supposedly trans fat-free margarine,” said a Starbucks supplier. “The hardest one for us was the croissant. We replaced butter with palm oil. From my perspective it’s not a croissant any more. It’s lost all its lamination and flavor.”
But the new pop slogan has been served! Imagine the poor bastard. He struggled to create a cost-effective, mass-appeal bakery good from all-natural, all-healthful ingredients. He wins a massive contract from Starbucks. He realigns his life, and the lives of his employees, in support of that contract. Now to keep the contract he must violate his own principles, as well as the health and intelligence of the silly people who patronize Starbucks.
For those who believe that the US in 1980 was "culturally superior" to that of South Africa, or that Massachusetts in 1820 was "culturally superior" to that of Mississippi, or that Egypt of 4,000 BC was "culturally superior" to any then in Europe, why not consider the US of 2007 "culturally superior" to that of Syria? Or Zimbabwe? Or Somalia?
And so, on March 6, 1857, before a country that was a tinderbox, the court struck a match. In a harsh, racially driven majority opinion written by Chief Justice Taney, the court rejected Dred Scott's claim for freedom, holding that blacks in bondage were property without rights and Congress had no power to halt the spread of slavery.
Chief Justice Taney intended to end the slavery controversy forever by resolving every slavery issue in favor of the South. Instead, his opinion, which effectively nationalized slavery, made sectional compromise impossible and hurled the country toward the abyss. A wave of Northern outrage descended on Chief Justice Taney, while the South warned that unless the North accepted the opinion, there would be disunion.The law of unintended consequences ruled the day - something the chief justice came bitterly to understand.
That was pretty much my view of the Clinton prosecution for lying about Monica Lewinski. He should never have gotten asked such a question under oath, and I cared neither about him screwing around (even in the white house) nor about him lying about such a personal matter. However, he championed the very law by which he got asked this question under oath, a horrible feminist law that has caused (presumably) many innocent people to get railroaded. Had that law not passed -- with his advocacy and signature -- the civil case against him involving an allegation of sexual assault could never have included a "pattern of conduct" aspect. That law made sexual allegations special in that unlike any other criminal or civil allegation, juries and judges can consider not only the facts specific to the particular allegation, but also "pattern of conduct." Remember that prior to this law, if I got accused of armed robbery, adjudicators of this allegation could not consider that others have also accused me of other robberies.
This law makes false claims of rape easier to pursue, and thus easier to use as unfair weapons of revenge and extortion. Only for that reason did I not care that Clinton was getting railroaded; because he created the mechanism of his own railroading. However, this led to no public discussion or reconsideration of that unfair law. Instead it just made Clinton look sympathetic, like he was getting persecuted for an act that is -- or should be -- of no concern to anybody outside of his family, by people who just wanted to "get him."
The announced payola settlement between the Federal Communications Commission and four of the nation's largest media groups won't help the cause of indies and it won't undo any of the damage caused by payola in radio. Just like the dog and pony show agreements signed by major record labels in recent years, this deal is a pile of manure.
Collusion between big radio, big labels and big government closes markets, stifles creativity and ultimately limits the variety of music that consumers can hear. This proposed deal by radio conglomerates just like the settlements signed between corporate music and New York are public relations stunts.
Don't be fooled. Turn off the radio.
The film brings together the arguments of leading scientists who disagree with the prevailing consensus that a 'greenhouse effect' of carbon dioxide released by human activity is the cause of rising global temperatures.
Instead the documentary highlights recent research that the effect of the sun's radiation on the atmosphere may be a better explanation for the regular swings of climate from ice ages to warm interglacial periods and back again.
The film argues that the earth's climate is always changing, and that rapid warmings and coolings took place long before the burning of fossil fuels. It argues that the present single-minded focus on reducing carbon emissions not only may have little impact on climate change, it may also have the unintended consequence of stifling development in the third world, prolonging endemic poverty and disease.
The film features an impressive roll-call of experts, including nine professors – experts in climatology, oceanography, meteorology, environmental science, biogeography and paleoclimatology – from such reputable institutions as MIT, NASA, the International Arctic Research Centre, the Institut Pasteur, the Danish National Space Center and the Universities of London, Ottawa, Jerusalem, Winnipeg, Alabama and Virginia.
The film hears from scientists who dispute the link
between carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures.
The ice core record goes to the very heart of the problem we have,' says Tim Ball, Climatologist and Prof Emeritus of Geography at the University of Winnipeg in the documentary. 'They said if CO2 increases in the atmosphere, as a greenhouse gas, then the temperature will go up'.
'But the ice core record shows exactly the opposite, so the fundamental assumption, the most fundamental assumption of the whole theory of climate change due to humans, is shown to be wrong.'-->In fact, the experts in the film argue that increased CO2 levels are actually a result of temperature rises, not their cause, and that this alternate view is rarely heard. 'So the fundamental assumption, the most fundamental assumption of the whole theory of climate change due to humans, is shown to be wrong.'
'I've often heard it said that there is a consensus of thousands of scientists on the global warming issue, that humans are causing a catastrophic change to the climate system,' says John Christy, Professor and Director of the Earth System Science Center, NSSTC University of Alabama. 'Well I am one scientist, and there are many, that simply think that is not true.'
Geez, I'll bet our little Martian friends are now wishing the President would have signed the Kyoto protocol!
I predict that within 10 years time the whole Global Warming craze will have been debunked and the vast majority of scientists who now buy into the theory lock, stock and barrel will have done a complete about-face on the topic. Without of course, as is usually the case, being held at all accountable for their causing near world-wide panic.
And what of Obama's black Kenyan daddy? Did any of that guy's ancestors enslave, rape, rob, or culturally subjugate anybody? Certainly so!
We all descend from the victims and perpetrators of slavery, murder, rape, pillage, theft, and cultural robbery and subjugation. Frankie Beverley is correct: We are one.
They also seem to think that a government by taxing and building a national program can provide all people with some excellent and expensive service. If this is possible, why stop at health care? Why not new spacious houses and late model cars? How about fancy educations and nice birthday parties and Christmas presents for all children?
My head explodes when I read something like this: "Nearly 8 in 10 said they thought it was more important to provide universal access to health insurance than to extend the tax cuts of recent years; 18 percent said the tax cuts were more important." Isn't it obvious to all at this point that the evil Bush II tax cuts *INCREASED* tax revenues? That undoing it will cause a tax rev decline? Shouldn't the people who believe that the govt can provide everyone any excellent and expensive service want an additional tax cut in order to raise yet more money? Why do people who believe in magic govt fairies also always believe that increasing prices (tax rates, which is one price of conducting business in the US) always increases rev?
This frightens me. Anybody who is displeased with the US economy today, just wait until the fedl govt raises tax rates and attempts to provide "universal health care." Economic trouble's surely a'comin'.
Update: devastating legal analysis.
Irshad Manji is an internationally known Muslim activist and feminist whose new PBS documentary makes fun of Yemeni women who wear veils, argues that Muslims don't need to pray five times a day and accuses Muslim leaders around the world of being soft in their opposition to violence. Until now, Manji's reputation as a provocateur sprang from her in-your-face Web site, www.muslim-refusenik.com, and her best-selling memoir, "The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim's Call for Reform in her Faith."