Monday, May 31, 2010
Video embedded below.
"Perhaps you saw news footage of President Obama in Grand Isle, La., on Friday and thought things didn't look all that bad. Well, there may have been a reason for that: The town was evidently swarmed by an army of temp workers to spruce it up for the president and the national news crews following him.
Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts, whose district encompasses Grand Isle, told Yahoo! News that BP bused in "hundreds" of temporary workers to clean up local beaches. And as soon as the president was en route back to Washington, the workers were clearing out of Grand Isle too, Roberts said.
"The level of cleanup and cooperation we've gotten from BP in the past is in no way consistent to the effort shown on the island today," Roberts said by telephone. "As soon as the president left, they were immediately put back on the buses and sent home."
Roberts says the overnight contingent of workers was there mainly to furnish a Potemkin-style backdrop for the event — while also making it appear that BP was firmly in command of spill cleanup efforts."
Netanyahu has now canceled a meeting with Obama in Washington that was set for tomorrow.
Videos embedded below.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3896796,00.html (bold mine)
"Officials estimated that passengers will show slight resistance, and possibly minor violence; for that reason, the operation’s commander decided to bring the helicopter directly above the top deck. The first rope that soldiers used in order to descend down to the ship was wrested away by activists, most of them Turks, and tied to an antenna with the hopes of bringing the chopper down. However, Flotilla 13 fighters decided to carry on.
Navy commandoes slid down to the vessel one by one, yet then the unexpected occurred: The passengers that awaited them on the deck pulled out bats, clubs, and slingshots with glass marbles, assaulting each soldier as he disembarked. The fighters were nabbed one by one and were beaten up badly, yet they attempted to fight back.
However, to their misfortune, they were only equipped with paintball rifles used to disperse minor protests, such as the ones held in Bilin. The paintballs obviously made no impression on the activists, who kept on beating the troops up and even attempted to wrest away their weapons.
One soldier who came to the aid of a comrade was captured by the rioters and sustained severe blows. The commandoes were equipped with handguns but were told they should only use them in the face of life-threatening situations. When they came down from the chopper, they kept on shouting to each other “don’t shoot, don’t shoot,” even though they sustained numerous blows.
The forces hurled stun grenades, yet the rioters on the top deck, whose number swelled up to 30 by that time, kept on beating up about 30 commandoes who kept gliding their way one by one from the helicopter. At one point, the attackers nabbed one commando, wrested away his handgun, and threw him down from the top deck to the lower deck, 30 feet below. The soldier sustained a serious head wound and lost his consciousness.
Only after this injury did Flotilla 13 troops ask for permission to use live fire. The commander approved it: You can go ahead and fire. The soldiers pulled out their handguns and started shooting at the rioters’ legs, a move that ultimately neutralized them. Meanwhile, the rioters started to fire back at the commandoes.
“I saw the tip of a rifle sticking out of the stairwell,” one commando said. “He fired at us and we fired back. We didn’t see if we hit him. We looked for him later but couldn’t find him.” Two soldiers sustained gunshot wounds to their knee and stomach after rioters apparently fired at them using guns wrested away from troops.
During the commotion, another commando was stabbed with a knife. In a later search aboard the Marmara, soldiers found caches of bats, clubs, knives, and slingshots used by the rioters ahead of the IDF takeover. It appeared the activists were well prepared for a fight.
Some passengers on the ship stood at the back and pounded the soldiers’ hands as they attempted to climb on board. Only after a 30-minute shootout and brutal assaults using clubs and knifes did commandoes manage to reach the bridge and take over the Marmara."
"Old Glory won’t be flying in the window of an Iraq War veteran’s apartment anymore. Charlie Price and his wife Dawn were forced to remove the American flag from their window or be evicted from their apartment complex.
“It’s ridiculous,” Dawn said. “I couldn’t believe that in America someone would be told that they can’t fly the American flag.”
The Prices had been displaying the flag in their dining room window of their unit in the Brookside Apartments since November, but Midwest Realty Management—the owner of the building—notified them Tuesday that it violates company policy.
If they did not remove it completely by Saturday or make sure it wasn’t visible from outside, they would be evicted. Dawn begrudgingly compromised with her apartment manager and placed a cloth between her flag and the window so that it wasn’t visible from outside her unit.
Oschleger insisted that the company’s objections are aesthetic and have nothing to do with the message a particular flag or banner might depict.
“This is a window situation,” he added. “If they wanted to put a flag on their balcony we would have no problem with that.”"
(yes, I am being sarcastic)
"The waters of Falcon Lake normally beckon boaters with waterskiing and world-record bass fishing. But this holiday weekend, fishermen on the waters that straddle the U.S.-Mexico border are on the lookout for something more sinister: pirates.
Twice in recent weeks, fishermen have been robbed at gunpoint by marauders that the local sheriff says are "spillover" from fighting between rival Mexican drug gangs.
Boaters are concerned about their safety, and the president of the local Chamber of Commerce is trying to assure people that everything's fine on the U.S. side of the lake.
At the fishing camp his family has owned for 50 years, Jack Cox now sleeps with a loaded shotgun at his feet and a handgun within reach."
Sunday, May 30, 2010
"Boeing and the US Air Force tested a supersonic combustion ramjet engine on May 26 with the longest hypersonic flight in history. The X-51A WaveRider was dropped from a B-52 and flew for nearly three and a half minutes, flying at five times the speed of sound – Mach 5. The unmanned aerial vehicle was tested off the southern California coast around 10 a.m. on May 26, and it flew autonomously for more than 200 seconds, but then something then occurred that caused the vehicle to lose acceleration. But the teams who worked on the project are still calling the test a success."
Video embedded below.
Video embedded below.
"A public community college in California has set up a scholarship fund for immigrant students — including illegal immigrants. The $2,500 scholarship has sparked anger by some, including at least one lawmaker who is threatening to cut off federal funding to the school."
"Fitch Ratings cut Spain's credit rating Friday, saying its government's efforts to reduce debt would weigh down economic growth.
The ratings agency dealt a blow to state efforts to shore up confidence in its finances by cutting the country's rating one notch from AAA to AA plus. It said Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's efforts to close the budget deficit "will materially reduce the rate of growth of the Spanish economy over the medium term." Lower growth would also mean gathering less in tax revenues, it said."
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
"A Minnesota man accused of seeking out suicidal people online and persuading them to kill themselves has been banned from using the Internet until his next court hearing. William Melchert-Dinkel—who allegedly posed as a female nurse in suicide-related chat rooms—has been charged with two counts of aiding suicides, but prosecutors say he boasted of coaxing dozens of people to commit suicide for the "thrill of the chase," the BBC reports.
Melchert-Dinkel, 47, offered victims fake compassion before giving them detailed advice on suicide methods and pretending to enter into a suicide pact with them, according to prosecutors."
"The crash killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski in western Russia on April 10 and decapitated Poland's military, killing two service chiefs, key military aides and several national security officials, many of whom were carrying computers and pocket memory sticks that contained sensitive NATO data.
Perhaps the most significant compromise, according to a NATO intelligence source, is that the Russians are suspected of obtaining ultrasecret codes used by NATO militaries for secure satellite communications.
The compromise of the codes is considered what electronic spies call a "break" for Moscow code-breakers. New NATO codes almost certainly were issued to allied militaries immediately after the crash.
But if the Russian electronic intelligence service, known as the Federal Agency of Government Communications and Information, was able to recover and use the communication key code from the wreckage, electronic spies will be able to decode months' or perhaps years' worth of scrambled communications that are routinely gathered electronically for just such an occasion."
Thursday, May 27, 2010
"1. Get a Gmail account at your own domain (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) with Google Apps. ...
2. Add a custom signature to the bottom of your email messages. ...
3. Manage multiple email accounts from a single interface. ...
4. Set up custom “From” addresses. ...
5. Embrace labels. ...
6. Use chat and video chat to communicate with colleagues, or provide real-time customer support. ...
7. Keep track of your to-do’s with Tasks. ...
8. Use offline Gmail anytime you're not online. ...
9. Create canned responses and quickly reply to common questions. ...
10. Make sure you have the right Bob before hitting send."
"For the last couple weeks we've been testing reshare — and today we’re excited to roll it out to everyone. If you don't see the "Reshare" link quite yet, hang tight. It should be on for everyone by the end of the day.
How reshare works
When you find an interesting buzz post you want to reshare, instead of copying and pasting it (and maybe attributing the original poster with an @reply along the way), you can now reshare posts with two clicks.
First, click “Reshare”:
Then type up anything you want to add and click “Post”:
Your post will include a link to the original post:
Note that this only works for public posts; private posts won't have the reshare link since the original poster intended to limit the audience of their post."
"On the eve of the Iraq war, the CIA kicked around a rather odd idea: make a gay sex tape featuring a teenage boy and an ersatz Saddam Hussein.
“It would look like it was taken by a hidden camera,” one former intelligence official tells SpyTalk. “Very grainy, like it was a secret videotaping of a sex session.”
The notion was eventually nixed. But “the agency actually did make a video purporting to show Osama bin Laden and his cronies sitting around a campfire swigging bottles of liquor and savoring their conquests with boys,” a CIA officer recalled. The actors were drawn from “some of us darker-skinned employees.”
Hmmm… I wonder if that’s how the rumor surfaced in the British press of al-Qaeda chiefs “raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers.”"
"A scientist at the University of Reading has become the first human to be “infected” with a computer virus, as part of research into the potential risks associated with electronic devices implanted into humans.
Dr Mark Gasson, of the School of Systems Engineering, said the study had important implications for devices such as heart pacemakers and cochlear implants, which have now developed to the point where they could be attacked by computer viruses.
Dr Gasson deliberately introduced a computer virus into an electronic chip that had been implanted into his left hand last year, in order to study its effects."
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Video embedded below.
"A bittersweet moment in space history as Atlantis and her six-member crew landed at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday morning. Very likely, this was Atlantis' final landing, returning home after 25 years of service. Atlantis' rich history includes 294 days in space, 4,648 orbits and 120,650,907 miles during 32 flights. There's a chance this orbiter could fly again – she'll be readied as a rescue ship for the last scheduled shuttle mission –and many shuttle supporters feel that since Atlantis will be fully geared up, she should fly one last time. But only time (and funding and Congress) will tell if Atlantis will fly again."
"Not all supernovae are created equal, astronomers are finding. A faint supernovae found by international teams of scientists is like nothing previously seen, and cannot be explained by conventional insights into these exploding stars. Until now, only two basic kinds of supernovae had been observed. But now there appears to be a third.
The first two types of supernova are either hot, young giants that go out in a violent display as they collapse under their own weight, or old, dense white dwarves that blow up in a thermonuclear explosion.
SN2005E was first spotted on January 13, 2005 in the nearby galaxy NGC1032, and since then scientists have carried out various observations of it using different telescopes.
On the one hand, the amount of material hurled out from the supernova was too small for it to have come from an exploding giant. In addition, its location, distant from the busy hubs where new stars form, implied it was an older star that had had time to wander off from its birthplace. On the other hand, its chemical makeup didn't match that commonly seen in the second type.
"It was clear," said lead author Hagai Perets from the Weizmann Institute in Israel and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, "that we were seeing a new type of supernova."
Computer simulations to see what kind of process could have produced such a result suggest that a pair of white dwarves are involved; one of them stealing helium from the other. When the thief star's helium load rises past a certain point, the explosion occurs.
"The donor star is probably completely destroyed in the process, but we're not quite sure about the fate of the thief star," said team member Avishay Gal-Yam."
"Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year, a USA TODAY analysis of government data finds.
At the same time, government-provided benefits — from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs — rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.
Those records reflect a long-term trend accelerated by the recession and the federal stimulus program to counteract the downturn. The result is a major shift in the source of personal income from private wages to government programs.
The trend is not sustainable, says University of Michigan economist Donald Grimes. Reason: The federal government depends on private wages to generate income taxes to pay for its ever-more-expensive programs. Government-generated income is taxed at lower rates or not at all, he says. "This is really important," Grimes says."
"The icon column in Gmail helps to easily distinguish the various types of items in your inbox (e.g. messages with attachments, chats, calendar invitations, Buzz posts, and more). It's usually all the way over on the right of the screen, but with screen sizes becoming increasingly wider, I chose to make a very modest addition to Gmail Labs to try and give these icons greater visibility.
I found it much more useful to have this column situated on the far left of my inbox -- and it turns out that many of my colleagues did too.
If you’d like try out "Move Icon Column," simply visit the Labs tab under Gmail Settings, find this new Lab in the list, hit enable, and then save."
"Obama is reportedly showing his frustration behind closed doors. The Washington Post reported:
Since the oil rig exploded, the White House has tried to project a posture that is unflappable and in command.
But to those tasked with keeping the president apprised of the disaster, Obama's clenched jaw is becoming an increasingly familiar sight. During one of those sessions in the Oval Office the first week after the spill, a president who rarely vents his frustration cut his aides short, according to one who was there.
"Plug the damn hole," Obama told them.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Governor Deval Patrick (D) - 'Republican Opposition to Obama’s Agenda is Almost at The Level of Sedition'
"Governor Deval Patrick, even as he decried partisanship in Washington, said today that Republican opposition to President Obama’s agenda has become so obstinate that it “is almost at the level of sedition.”
The Democratic governor, who is close to the president, made the comments at a forum at Suffolk Law School's Rappaport Center, where he was asked by an audience member about partisan battling in Congress.
Patrick said that even "on my worst day, when I’m most frustrated about folks who seem to rooting for failure," he doesn't face anything like the opposition faced by the president.
"It seems like child’s play compared to what is going on in Washington, where it is almost at the level of sedition, it feels to like me,” Patrick said."
Video embedded below.
"Solar physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, have captured for the first time the collision of a comet with the sun. "We believe this is the first time a comet has been tracked in 3-D space this low down in the solar corona," said Claire Raftery who worked with colleagues Juan Carlos Martinez-Oliveros, Samuel Krucker and Pascal Saint-Hilaire."
Video embedded below.
Monday, May 24, 2010
"Shazad Hosi Mehta, 28, of Elmhurst, Ill., Adil A. Minocherhomjee, 22, of La Jolla, Calif., and Neville Noshir Medhora, 27, of Austin, Texas, were charged with criminal trespass and conspiracy to commit criminal trespass."
Ed Morrissey points out:
"Forget the names for a second, and look at the ages and the residences of the suspects. What are all three doing in Pittsburgh collaborating on a break-in at Heinz Field? They appear to be too old for a university prank (except perhaps Minocherhomjee), and since they all live hundreds of miles apart, it seems odd that the three of them would get together to do a search and rescue for … a wallet. That’s what they told police they were doing by breaking into the Steelers’ home field.
Unfortunately, the last time a game was played at the stadium was December, thanks to a mediocre Steelers season. That’s a long time to let a wallet sit in the stands. If they wanted to retrieve a wallet, wouldn’t they have called the stadium first to check with its lost and found department? The Pittsburgh police called the explanation “not credible,” which is a masterful understatement."
If it was not a prank and they were not really just trying to recover a wallet, then what were they doing? It may have been a dry run for a terrorist attack to probe what the security of the stadium was. It will be interesting to see if any of the three shows up for their court hearing or if they will skip bail and run.
Pictures embedded below.
"Jupiter has lost one of its iconic red stripes and scientists are baffled as to why.
The largest planet in our solar system is usually dominated by two dark bands in its atmosphere, with one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere.
However, the most recent images taken by amateur astronomers have revealed the lower stripe known as the Southern Equatorial Belt has disappeared leaving the southern half of the planet looking unusually bare.
The band was present in at the end of last year before Jupiter ducked behind the Sun on its orbit. However, when it emerged three months later the belt had disappeared.
He said: 'Jupiter with only one belt is almost like seeing Saturn when its rings are edge-on and invisible for a time - it just doesn't look right.'
It is not the first time this unusual phenomenon has been noticed. Jupiter loses or regains one of its belts every ten of 15 years, although exactly why this happens is a mystery."
"on PAC-MAN’s 30th birthday, you can rediscover some of your 8-bit memories—or meet PAC-MAN for the first time—through our first-ever playable Google doodle. To play the game, go to google.com during the next 48 hours (because it’s too cool to keep for just one day) and either press the “Insert Coin” button or just wait for a few seconds.
Google doodler Ryan Germick and I made sure to include PAC-MAN’s original game logic, graphics and sounds, bring back ghosts’ individual personalities, and even recreate original bugs from this 1980’s masterpiece. We also added a little easter egg: if you throw in another coin, Ms. PAC-MAN joins the party and you can play together with someone else (PAC-MAN is controlled with arrow keys or by clicking on the maze, Ms. PAC-MAN using the WASD keys)."
"A top Department of Homeland Security official reportedly said his agency will not necessarily process illegal immigrants referred to them by Arizona authorities.
John Morton, assistant secretary of homeland security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, made the comment during a meeting on Wednesday with the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune, the newspaper reports."
"The US military has appointed its first senior general to direct cyber warfare – despite fears that the move marks another stage in the militarisation of cyberspace.
The newly promoted four-star general, Keith Alexander, takes charge of the Pentagon's ambitious and controversial new Cyber Command, designed to conduct virtual combat across the world's computer networks. He was appointed on Friday afternoon in a low-key ceremony at Fort Meade, in Maryland.
The creation of America's most senior cyber warrior comes just days after the US air force disclosed that some 30,000 of its troops had been re-assigned from technical support "to the frontlines of cyber warfare".
The creation of Cyber Command is in response to increasing anxiety over the vulnerability of the US's military and other networks to a cyber attack."
Video embedded below.
"Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace Hotel became the first place outside Germany to install "gold to go, the world's first gold vending machine," said a statement from Ex Oriente Lux AG, the German company behind the vending machine.
"In addition to one-gram, five-gram and 10-gram bars of gold, the machine also dispenses gold coins," it added.
Gold rates are constantly updated inside the shiny machine -- itself gold-plated -- in the hotel's lobby, courtesy of a built-in computer connected to a dealer which sells gold online.
"This eliminates the risk premiums usually associated with precious metal trading," the German company said.
Hotel general manager Hans Olbertz said they wanted the hotel to be the first in the world to offer guests what he called "this golden service.""
Sunday, May 23, 2010
"The White House appears to be laying the groundwork for President Barack Obama to shake the hand of each senior at Kalamazoo Central High School’s commencement ceremony next month.
Seniors are being asked to provide their birthdates, Social Security numbers and citizen status to the Secret Service so background checks could be performed. Such a check is required for anyone who gets within an arm’s length of the president, students were told at their senior breakfast Friday.
Of the fact that the White House is requesting information on all the graduating seniors, K-Central Principal Von Washingon Jr. told the students, “I’ll let you figure out what that means,” said senior Simon Boehme, who was at the breakfast."
Mayor Daley's (D) Argument For Gun Control Involves Sodomizing a Reporter With a Rifle And Shooting Them!?!
Video embedded below.
"But even I was a bit taken aback this morning when the mayor grabbed a rifle and threatened to shoot me.
But even supporters of tough gun regulations—myself included—have to admit that it's not clear how much they reduce violence. Despite having some of the most restrictive laws in the country, Chicago is a national leader in shootings and murders, and the mayor himself noted that “we’ve seen far too many instances in the last few weeks” of firearm violence, including the shooting that left a cop dead last night.
So I asked: since guns are readily available in Chicago even with a ban in place, do you really think it’s been effective?
“Oh!” Daley said. “It’s been very effective!”
He grabbed a rifle, held it up, and looked right at me. He was chuckling but there was no smile.
“If I put this up your—ha!—your butt—ha ha!—you’ll find out how effective this is!”
For a moment the room was very, very quiet. I took a good look at the weapon. It had a long bayonet. (Was it seized during the Civil War?)
“If I put a round up your—ha ha!”
Daley went on. “This gun saved many lives—it could save your life,” he said—meaning, I think, that getting that gun off the street might have saved many lives, including mine."
Pictures embedded below.
"Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, right, and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer show off Baca's protest wristbands, designed to show outrage over Arizona's new immigration status law."
More at http://hotair.com/archives/2010/05/21/good-news-top-democrats-wearing-bracelets-protesting-arizona-law-now.
Video embedded below.
"Republicans scored a midterm election victory Saturday when Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou won a Democratic-held House seat in Hawaii in the district where President Obama grew up — the latest triumph for the GOP as it looks to take back control of Congress.
Djou's victory was a blow to Obama and other Democrats who could not rally around a candidate and find away to win a congressional race that should have been a cakewalk. The seat had been held by a Democrat for nearly 20 years and is located where Obama was born and spent most of his childhood.
But Democrats believe the success in Hawaii will be short-lived. Djou will only serve through the remainder of 2010, and another election will be held in November for the next term.
Djou received 67,610 votes, or 39.4%. He was trailed by state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat who received 52,802 votes, or 30.8%. The other leading Democrat, former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, received 47,391 votes, or 27.6%."
Saturday, May 22, 2010
" Legendary CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite allegedly collaborated with anti-Vietnam War activists in the 1960s, going so far as to offer advice on how to raise the public profile of protests and even pledgingCBS News resources to help pull off events, according to FBI documents obtained by Yahoo! News.
The documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, say that in November 1969, Cronkite encouraged students atRollins College in Winter Park, Fla., to invite Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie to address a protest they were planning near Cape Kennedy (now known as Cape Canaveral). Cronkite told the group’s leader that Muskie would be nearby for a fundraiser on the day of the protest, and said that “CBS would rent [a] helicopter to take Muskie to and from site of rally,” according to the documents.
The claims are contained in an FBI memo recounting a confidential informant’s report on a November 1969 meeting of a Rollins College protest group called Youth for New America. The group was planning rallies near Cape Kennedy on Nov. 13 and 14 — the latter being day of the Apollo 12 launch from Cape Kennedy, which President Nixon would be attending — as part of a nationwide Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. That protest action culminated in a huge march on Washington on Nov. 15."
"Explosive — if true, which requires a couple of levels of faith. First, the FBI itself may or may not have been telling the truth. This seems like a story that would have been custom-made for the Nixon administration’s paranoia, and more importantly, J. Edgar Hoover’s own dislike of the media. Bear in mind that at this time, the FBI had serious issues of politicization, especially in regard to political dissent and organized opposition to government policies. One cannot dismiss the FBI reports out of hand, but one must also remember the full context of the FBI’s activities at the time.
Second, even if the FBI reliably transmitted what the informant said, the informant may have been creating a tall tale in order to keep the FBI interested. And even if the FBI and the informant were trustworthy, the group leader may have been blowing smoke to support his own power within the group. After all, having a 45-minute conversation with the most trusted name in television news at the time would have been a very impressive feat.
In fact, the entire tale seems so fantastic that Cronkite’s son dismisses it out of hand"
Friday, May 21, 2010
How TinyGrab Works.
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- Select the required area using the crosshair, or tap spacebar and select the entire window.
- Your screenshot will be instantly uploaded to TinyGrab in the background in under 30 seconds.
- When TinyGrab turns green, the upload is complete and a link to the image copied to your clipboard. Simply paste it wherever you'd like; be it IM, Twitter or even your website.
"A supersized framed photograph of Rima, whose family is Shiite Muslim, earlier winning the Miss Michigan crown hangs in Afifa's living room.
"We are so often described as terrorists and killers, but we Shiites love life and beauty -- and mainly the beauty of the soul, which is what is so special about Rima," said the veiled 62-year-old, who speaks English and French fluently.
"In this family, we are open to all religions," she said. "We have no political affiliation to anyone."
Srifa falls in an area largely controlled by Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which is blacklisted as a terrorist group by Washington.
In an interview with Lebanese television on Tuesday morning, Hezbollah MP Hassan Fadlallah was asked his opinion on the new Miss USA.
"The criteria through which we evaluate women are different from those of the west," he said."
As long as we are talking about Rima Fakih;
Video embedded below.
Past Related Posts:
Berman Post: Failed Car Bomb in Time Square (NYC)
Berman Post: Attempted Time Square Bomber Used The Wrong Fertilizer
Berman Post: Faisal Shahzad (Pakistani-American) Arrested in Connection With Failed Time Square Car Bombing
Berman Post: Should Faisal Shahzad Have Been Read His Rights?
Berman Post: Brewer (MSNBC) Indicates She is Sorry Attempted Time Square Bomber is Not a Tea Party Protester
Berman Post: ThinkProgress - 'Media Ignoring That Man Who First Alerted Police To Failed Times Square Bombing Is A Muslim'?!?
Berman Post: Shahzad Tells Cops he Wanted Revenge For US Drone Strikes
Berman Post: Obama Administration Removed Faisal Shahzad From Terror Surveillance List Before Atack
Berman Post: Holder - Pakistani Taliban Behind Attempted Times Square Car Bombing
"Now comes the spin:
[T]hose comments were taken out of context and the discussion of the law was meant to show the differences between how a free society handles human rights issues and the restrictive practices enforced in China, Posner tells The Cable in an exclusive interview.
“The broader context in which this was raised was to discuss the political openness of this society and the value of an open debate,” Posner said. “We never did get into the merits of the Arizona law. It was not in any way a comparison between that law and any specific law or practice in China.”…
“I should have been clearer, what I was saying is that there is broader issue in [American] society about discrimination and we need constantly and always to be addressing that issue,” he said…
“The only thing that was said [about Arizona's law] was that the debate is about a law that some critics would say has the unintended consequence to discriminate against legal or illegal residents. We did not comment on the particulars of whether that’s true or not,” Posner explained.
In other words, supposedly State offered no opinion to the Chinese about whether Arizona’s law actually does violate human rights but brought it up — “early and often” — as an example of how mature democracies debate sensitive issues like discrimination. Okay. (1) By Posner’s own account, the statute was introduced in the context of confessing our national sins so as to make the Chinese more forthcoming. That would seem to imply a certain … value judgment about the law, would it not? Which, of course, dovetails nicely with Posner’s own description of the statute just last week as part of a “troubling trend in our society.” I’ve given up on expecting administration officials to actually read the law, but if you’re going to badmouth it, own it."
Thursday, May 20, 2010
"Rick Bayless, the Chicago superstar chef, was Twittering from the White House kitchen about today's Obama White House state dinner honoring Mexican President Felipe Calderon and his wife, Margarita Zavala. Until the Tweets stopped. The White House kitchen is for cooking, not Tweeting.
On Tuesday morning Bayless, an inveterate Tweeter wrote, "Thanks 2 the 100s of well wishers! Ready 4 day 2 n rather small White House kitchen. Chef was challenged by some ingred, but last arrive 2day."
He flew to Washington on Monday from Chicago and when he arrived, he Twittered, "Just arrived in DC. Headed to the White House kitchens. I have to say: I'm a little nervous."
After he checked out the White House kitchen -- which is fairly small -- Bayless Twittered, "The White House staff could not be nicer&more professional! Most worried about ingredients, but all will b here 4 big day!"
But after his Tuesday Tweet early in the morning, Bayless was shut down on Twitter."
Via PowerLineBlog who intros it with "This is unfreakingbelievable, even for the Obama administration".
"But I've reviewed the transcript of Huntsman's remarks and he repeatedly deferred to Posner. Posner, meanwhile, adopted Huntsman's "mature" comment and explicitly put it in the context of his own apologies for the U.S.:
QUESTION: Was there any areas in which China sort of turned the tables and raised its own complaints or concerns about U.S. practices around the globe or at home? Can you give some examples there -
ASSISTANT SECRETARY POSNER: Sure. You know, I think - again, this goes back to Ambassador Huntsman's comment. Part of a mature relationship is that you have an open discussion where you not only raise the other guy's problems, but you raise your own, and you have a discussion about it. We did plenty of that. We had experts from the U.S. side, for example, yesterday, talking about treatment of Muslim Americans in an immigration context. We had a discussion of racial discrimination. We had a back-and-forth about how each of our societies are dealing with those sorts of questions. ...
QUESTION: Did the recently passed Arizona immigration law come up? And, if so, did they bring it up or did you bring it up?
ASSISTANT SECRETARY POSNER: We brought it up early and often. It was mentioned in the first session, and as a troubling trend in our society and an indication that we have to deal with issues of discrimination or potential discrimination, and that these are issues very much being debated in our own society.
So Posner's comments about Arizona were even worse than was reported by the AP."
"For hundreds of years, people have reported seeing ball lightning, a weird phenomenon that resembles glowing, hovering spheres of electricity sometimes witnessed during lightning storms. But scientists have never been able to explain what causes it or even what it really is. Even though some surveys say that 1 in 150 people have seen ball lightning, photographic evidence is basically nonexistent. There are dozens of theories of how ball lightning could form, including the burning of hot silicon particles produced when a lightning strike vaporizes the ground. When people who claim they have seen ball lightning try to explain what they saw, often they are told, "You must be seeing things!"
Perhaps they are.
A pair of physicists from Austria say that the magnetic fields associated with certain types of lightning strikes are powerful enough to create hallucinations of hovering balls of light in nearby observers, and that these visions would be interpreted as ball lightning.
Alexander Kendl and Joseph Peer from the University of Innsbruck analyzed electromagnetic pulses of repetitive lightning discharges and compared them to the magnetic fields used in clinical transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is a technique used by neuroscientists to explore the workings of the brain; it is also used for psychiatric treatments. Patients are subjected to a rapidly changing magnetic field that is powerful enough to induce currents in neurons in the brain. Patients will sometimes see hallucinations of luminous shapes in their visual field."
Videos embedded below.
State Department Spokesman P.J. Crowley Admits he Has Not Read Arizona Immigration Bill he is Criticizing
Video embedded below.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
"It’s worth noting that the Democratic establishment candidates had a tough time in close-fought races. Arlen Specter had the backing of the DSCC and Barack Obama, was an incumbent who delivered key votes to Harry Reid — and still lost to Joe Sestak, who couldn’t claim any of those things. Blanche Lincoln managed to survive to a runoff round with an almost-imperceptible lead over Bill Halter but not a majority. The problem for both is that the Left is more energized than the center in this cycle, which made it hard for establishment candidates to keep support.
The larger problem for Democrats is that the entire Right is significantly more energized than the Left. While Lincoln hashes out her runoff and Sestak tries to run to the center after beating Specter from the Left, Republicans are already positioned to generate turnout models that will handicap Democrats greatly. There is a large difference between winning a closed primary and winning a general election, and the anti-incumbent fever that impacted both races will add to Democrats’ woes regardless of whether Halter wins or not — and it’s worth pointing out, as Pat Toomey undoubtedly will, that Sestak is an incumbent in the House."
"Insurgent Senate candidate Rand Paul claimed the Republican nomination for the seat of retiring Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning Tuesday evening, easily besting establishment favorite Trey Grayson, the sitting secretary of State who won the endorsement of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
With nearly 85 percent of precincts reporting, Paul was drawing 59 percent of the vote to Grayson's 35 percent – a yawning lead over a candidate once viewed as a sure bet for his party's nomination.
In his victory speech, Paul applauded the tea party movement and issued a stern warning to the political establishment: "I have a message, a message from the tea party, a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words: We've come to take our government back."
"The tea party movement is about saving the country from a mountain of debt that is devouring our country and that I think could lead to chaos," Paul said grimly, laying into President Barack Obama for his participation in last year's Copenhagen summit on global warming and accusing Obama of trying to "apologize for the industrial revolution.""
"U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter has been defeated in a Pennsylvania primary in his bid for a sixth term after taking the risky step of switching to the Democratic Party.
Voters Tuesday picked U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak as the party's nominee and rejected the 80-year-old Specter in his first Democratic campaign.
The vote also was a defeat for President Barack Obama, who supported Specter when he abandoned the Republican Party last year."
"The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's controversial former pastor, said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that he is "toxic" to the Obama administration and that the president "threw me under the bus."
In his strongest language to date about the administration's 2-year-old rift with the Chicago pastor, Wright told a group raising money for African relief that his pleas to release frozen funds for use in earthquake-ravaged Haiti would likely be ignored.
"No one in the Obama administration will respond to me, listen to me, talk to me or read anything that I write to them. I am 'toxic' in terms of the Obama administration," Wright wrote the president of Africa 6000 International earlier this year.
"I am 'radioactive,' Sir. When Obama threw me under the bus, he threw me under the bus literally!" he wrote. "Any advice that I offer is going to be taken as something to be avoided. Please understand that!""
"I’ll also have you know that the United States of America has exactly 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile. Wanna know how I know that? Well, the Obama administration told me. And everybody else.
That’s right — according to an Associated Press piece released earlier this evening, the White House felt that shifting to a policy of full disclosure when it comes to the size of our nuclear stockpile would in turn “get other nuclear nations to be more forthcoming” and “improve its bargaining position against a nuclear Iran.”
Now, experts have indeed been close in estimations of our nuclear inventory. In fact, they’ve been very close. Still, I might think that the guy with the trendy eyeglasses across the poker table from me is sitting on a full house as the dealer is about to flip the “river” card, but I absolutely, unequivocally know for a fact that he becomes a whole lot less dangerous to me and my pile of chips if he actually shows me his hand.
My question, with regard to the Obama administration’s unprecedented full disclosure of all things nuclear, is this: How, exactly, does this help America? Or, rather: How, exactly, does this strengthen America? Or, if you prefer: How, exactly, are Americans more safe due to public knowledge of previously classified national security information?
The short answer to all three questions, folks, is that it doesn’t."
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
It is almost as if they are intentionally not reading it to give them some sort of cover if they change their tune. That might work if it was thousands of pages long and they were asked for an off the cuff comment while they were reviewing it. Even then, the appropriate response would be 'we are still reviewing it and will hold comment until after we are done'. These are comments are in responses to questions they knew they would be asked with plenty of time to read the ten page bill. I do not think willful ignorance is an excuse they really want to try with the American people.
Video embedded below.
"She nearly tripped over her gown.
She called birth control a “controlled substance.”
She argued that contraceptives should be covered by health insurers because they are “expensive” — and then said you could get them for “free” from your OB/GYN’s office."
She adds a 'can you imagine if Prejean had said it'. Malkin is saying that she should not have won on the merits. The obvious next question is why then did Fakih win. Identity politics?
Past Fakih post:
Berman Post: Rima Fakih Crowned Miss USA 2010
"Woody Allen says President Obama should be granted dictatorial powers (seriously)
In an interview published by Spanish language newspaper La Vanguardia (that we translated), Allen says “I am pleased with Obama. I think he’s brilliant. The Republican Party should get out of his way and stop trying to hurt him.”
But wait - there's more!
The director said "it would be good…if he could be a dictator for a few years because he could do a lot of good things quickly.""
"Pageant organizers on Sunday night crowned a 24-year-old Lebanese immigrant from Michigan as Miss USA 2010.
Rima Fakih was born in Lebanon, moved to the United States as a baby and was raised in New York City, where she attended a Catholic school. She told pageant organizers her family celebrates both Muslim and Christian faiths. Her family moved to Michigan in 2003, where she later became Miss Michigan USA.
Pageant officials told The Associated Press that pageant records were not detailed enough to show whether Ms. Fakih was the first Arab-American, Muslim or immigrant to win the Miss USA title."
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Allowing The Federal Government to Keep "Sexually Dangerous" Prisoners in Custody Past Completion of Their Sentence
"The Supreme Court said Monday that the federal government can keep "sexually dangerous" prisoners in custody past the completion of their sentences, overruling arguments that only states hold such power.
The vote was 7-2, with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in dissent.
More than 20 states have laws permitting "civil commitment" of prisoners deemed sexually violent or otherwise mentally ill after they have served sentences for specific crimes. In 2006, Congress passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, which authorizes the Justice Department to similarly hold federal prisoners who are nearing release or were found mentally incompetent for trial.
Justices Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito each wrote separately, endorsing the result but warning against carrying the majority's reasoning too far. "The Constitution does require the invalidation of congressional attempts to extend federal powers in some instances," Justice Kennedy wrote."
"A Jefferson County teacher picked the wrong example when he used assassinating President Barack Obama as a way to teach angles to his geometry students.
"We did not find a credible threat," said Roy Sexton, special agent in charge of Birmingham's Secret Service office. "As far as the Secret Service is concerned, we looked into it, we talked to the gentleman and we have closed our investigation."
The teacher was apparently teaching his geometry students about parallel lines and angles, officials said. He used the example of where to stand and aim if shooting Obama.
"He was talking about angles and said, 'If you're in this building, you would need to take this angle to shoot the president,' " said Joseph Brown, a senior in the geometry class.
"We are going to have a long conversation with him about what's appropriate," Hammonds said. "It was extremely poor judgment on his part, and a poor choice of words.""