Saturday, May 8, 2010

Report: Most Americans still live in unclean air

Report: Most Americans still live in unclean air

The Associated Press
Wednesday, April 28, 2010; 11:59 AM
LOS ANGELES -- A new report says more than half of Americans still live in areas with unhealthy air, despite progress in reducing smog.
The report released Wednesday by the American Lung Association is based on 2006-2008 figures. It says progress has been made in reducing particle pollution such as soot and dust, thanks to cleaner diesel engines and controls on coal-fired power plants.
The Los Angeles area continued to have the nation's worst ozone pollution while Bakersfield had the worst short-term particle pollution.
The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale area of Arizona had the worst year-round particle pollution.
The cleanest cities in the nation were Fargo, N.D.; Wahpeton, N.D., and Lincoln, Neb.
Eds: APNewsNow. CORRECTS location of Wahpeton. Will be led.


by Ann Coulter
May 5, 2010

It took Faisal Shahzad trying to set a car bomb in Times Square to get President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to finally use the word "terrorism." (And not referring to Tea Party activists!)

This is a major policy shift for a president who spent a month telling Americans not to "jump to conclusions" after Army doctor Nidal Malik Hasan reportedly jumped on a desk, shouted "Allahu Akbar!" and began shooting up Fort Hood.

After last weekend, now Obama is even threatening to pronounce it "Pack-i-stan" instead of "Pock-i-stahn." We know Obama is taking terrorism seriously because he took a break from his "Hope, Change & Chuckles" tour on the comedy circuit to denounce terrorists.

In a bit of macho posturing this week, Obama declared that -- contrary to the terrorists' wishes -- Americans "will not be terrorized, we will not cower in fear, we will not be intimidated."

First of all, having the Transportation Security Administration wanding infants, taking applesauce away from 93-year-old dementia patients, and forcing all Americans to produce their shoes, computers and containers with up to 3 ounces of liquid in Ziploc bags for special screening pretty much blows that "not intimidated" look Obama wants America to adopt.

"Intimidated"? How about "absolutely terrified"?

Second, it would be a little easier for the rest of us not to live in fear if the president's entire national security strategy didn't depend on average citizens happening to notice a smoldering SUV in Times Square or smoke coming from a fellow airline passenger's crotch.

But after the car bomber, the diaper bomber and the Fort Hood shooter, it has become increasingly clear that Obama's only national defense strategy is: Let's hope their bombs don't work!

If only Dr. Hasan's gun had jammed at Fort Hood, that could have been another huge foreign policy success for Obama.

The administration's fingers-crossed strategy is a follow-up to Obama's earlier and less successful "Let's Make Them Love Us!" plan.

In the past year, Obama has repeatedly apologized to Muslims for America's "mistakes."

He has apologized to Iran for President Eisenhower's taking out loon Mohammad Mossadegh, before Mossadegh turned a comparatively civilized country into a Third World hellhole. You know, like the Ayatollah has.

He has apologized to the entire Muslim world for the French and English colonizing them -- i.e. building them flush toilets.

He promised to shut down Guantanamo. And he ordered the mastermind of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to be tried in the same courthouse that tried Martha Stewart.

There was also Obama's 90-degree-bow tour of the East and Middle East. For his next visit, he plans to roll on his back and have his belly scratched like Fido.

Despite favorable reviews in The New York Times, none of this put an end to Islamic terrorism.

So now, I gather, our only strategy is to hope the terrorists' bombs keep fizzling.

There's no other line of defense. In the case of the Times Square car bomber, the Department of Homeland Security failed, the Immigration and Naturalization Service failed, the CIA failed and the TSA failed. (However, the Department of Alert T-Shirt Vendors came through with flying colors, as it always does.)

Only the New York Police Department, a New York street vendor and Shahzad's Rube Goldberg bomb (I do hope he's not offended by how Jewish that sounds -- Obama can apologize) prevented a major explosion in Times Square.

Even after the NYPD de-wired the smoking car bomb, produced enough information to identify the bomb-maker, and handed it all to federal law enforcement authorities tied up in a bow, the federal government's crack "no-fly" list failed to stop Shahzad from boarding a plane to Dubai.

To be fair, at Emirates Airlines, being on a "no-fly" list makes you eligible for pre-boarding.

Perhaps the Department of Homeland Security should consider creating a "Really, REALLY No-Fly" list.

Contrary to the wild excuses being made for the federal government on all the TV networks Monday night, it's now clear that this was not a wily plan of federal investigators to allow Shahzad to board the plane in order to nab his co-conspirators. It was a flub that nearly allowed Shahzad to escape.

Meanwhile, on that same Monday at JFK airport, approximately 100,000 passengers took off their shoes, coats, belts and sunglasses for airport security.

But the "highly trained federal force" The New York Times promised us on Oct. 28, 2001, when the paper demanded that airport security be federalized, failed to stop the only guy they needed to stop at JFK last Monday -- the one who planted a bomb in the middle of Times Square days earlier.

So why were 100,000 other passengers harassed and annoyed by the TSA?

The federal government didn't stop the diaper bomber from nearly detonating a bomb over Detroit. It didn't stop a guy on the "No Fly" list from boarding a plane and coming minutes away from getting out of the country.

If our only defense to terrorism is counting on alert civilians, how about not bothering them before they board airplanes, instead of harassing them with useless airport "security" procedures?

Both of the attempted bombers who sailed through airport security, I note, were young males of the Islamic faith. I wonder if we could develop a security plan based on that information?

And speaking of a "highly trained federal force," who's working at the INS these days? Who on earth made the decision to allow Shahzad the unparalleled privilege of becoming a U.S. citizen last year?

Our "Europeans Need Not Apply" immigration policies were absurd enough before 9/11. But after 19 foreign-born Muslims, legally admitted to the U.S., murdered 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania in a single day, couldn't we tighten up our admission policies toward people from countries still performing stonings and clitorectomies?

The NYPD can't be everyplace.


The Go-Fly List for Terrorists

The Go-Fly List for Terrorists

If America's homeland security policies were subject to truth-in-advertising laws, the "no-fly" list would be known around the world by its right and proper name: the "go-fly" list. As in: Go right ahead, jihadists, and fly our planes. All aboard, evil-doers.

While grandmas and grade-schoolers and war heroes patiently pass through a gauntlet of wands, checkpoints and screening obstacles, the nation's safety watchdogs are asleep at the wheel. They've mentally checked out at the check-in counter. And they're in over their heads at federal counterterrorism centers, where "watch list" means putting the names of dangerous operatives into massive databases -- then idly watching potential bombers waltz through our airports and onto our tarmacs.
The federal no-fly scheme was bypassed or breached easily by both the Christmas Day bomb plotter and the Times Square bomb plotter. In the former case, Nigerian terror operative Umar Abdulmutallab had been on the counterterrorism radar screen for his radical jihadi threats (which had been reported by his father to U.S. embassy officials in London). But the young, single, rootless Muslim extremist with suspicious travel patterns -- ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! -- did not meet the standards for watch-listing and didn't even make it onto the second-tier "selectee list" of potential threats who can fly only after additional screening.

By contrast, beleaguered 8-year-old Mikey Hicks of Clifton, N.J., still can't get off the selectee list after years of ridiculous harassment while traveling on family vacations.

In the Times Square case, Team Obama immediately pointed fingers at the airline industry -- and Emirates airlines, in particular -- for failing to check no-fly list updates. The hindsight cops at the White House are now touting ex post facto rules mandating that the airlines check no-fly alerts every two hours instead of every 24 hours.

But law enforcement officials themselves neglected to contact all airlines directly and red-flag the addition of would-be Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad's name to the government no-fly list. Moreover, despite paying cash for his trip to the Middle East and being listed on the Department of Homeland Security travel lookout list since 1999, Shahzad received no extra screening from the Transportation Security Administration (confirming once again the bureaucracy's own inside joke that TSA stands for "Thousands Standing Around").
The tourism industry certainly shares blame for putting travel profits ahead of national security over the years. But in this case, it was only thanks to airline industry compliance with a post-9/11 procedure requiring plane officials to send passenger manifests to the Department of Homeland Security that the feds caught up with Shahzad (whom they had lost track of in Connecticut) before he jetted off to Dubai.

President Obama has had plenty of time to address the enforcement lapses, database loopholes and technological delays of his predecessor. After the Christmas Day bombing debacle, he pledged to be proactive: "We will not rest." But to this day, TSA still doesn't check all domestic and international airline passenger manifests against the no-fly/go-fly list.

The data are only as good as the people entrusted to collect, process and use the information to protect national security. And without the ability to share and access the information across numerous agencies, the data are useless. Nearly nine years after Sept. 11, there is still no functional interoperability among an alphabet soup of national security and criminal databases -- including NAILS, TECS, CLASS, VISAS VIPER, TUSCAN, TIPPIX, IBIS, CIS, APIS, SAVE, IDENT, DACS, AFIS, ENFORCE and the NCIC. The Senate raised questions about understaffed efforts to modernize some of these databases back in March. What are we waiting for? The next jihadi bombing attempt?

The warped priorities of the Obama White House imperil us all. A command-and-control government that squanders its time and our money taking over businesses it has no business running -- health insurance, auto manufacturing, banking, student loans -- is a government neglecting its most fundamental mandate: providing for the common defense.

Conservatives Rebound in UK Elections

Conservatives Rebound in UK Elections

The Tory Party was poised to take control of the British government after voters dealt a blow to the ruling Labour Party in Thursday's elections for seats in the House of Commons. 
With votes still being counted, the BBC projected that the opposition Tory Party (Conservatives) will win at least 305 seats in the 650-seat House of Commons.  That’s 21 seats shy of a majority, but enough for Tory Leader David Cameron to cobble together support from smaller parties from Ireland and elsewhere (who won a total of 29 seats). Under those circumstances, Queen Elizabeth would probably ask Cameron to form the first minority government in London since 1974.  
The shift from the ruling Labour Party to the Tories was nothing short of breath-taking.  Where the Tories gained 95 seats over their 2005 performance at the polls, Labour dropped 94 seats to just 255 in the new House of Commons. 
Supporters of the Labour Party and embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown insisted that their man could still try to form a government himself with the help of the far-left Liberal Democrats and their leader Nick Clegg. 
But for all the cries of hope from the left, the numbers just aren’t there for a “Lab-Lib” coalition. Despite the much-ballyhooed performances of Clegg in the first two televised debates with Brown and Cameron, his party drew only 61 seats, or one fewer than in the last parliament.  Between them, the parties of Brown and Clegg just don’t come as close to a majority as Cameron’s. 
Here in Washington, one could almost hear the collective sighs of relief at the projections that Clegg won’t be near No. 10 Downing Street (the prime minister’s residence).  The “Lib Dem” leader’s talk of the “special relationship” with the U.S. being over and criticism of “saber-rattling” over Iran having nuclear weapons made thoughts of a “Prime Minister Clegg” alarming in this country.
So what should Americans make of the 43-year-old Cameron, a former public relations man who has never held a Cabinet position and is poised to become  his country’s first Conservative Prime Minister in 13 years?
Cameron Likes America More than EU
Since Cameron has never held a major policy position, one has to assess him primarily through his words.  In that sense, Americans should feel comfortable.  As Financial Times Contributing Editor Max Hastings wrote, “[Cameron] deplores crude anti-Americanism, which the Iraq invasion made respectable again in Britain.”  Hastings quotes Cameron as saying of America-bashing: “It is a complacent cowardice, born of resentment of success and a desire for the world’s problems to go away.”
The Cameron government will not change current British policy in Afghanistan, although he is determined that “it’s got to be in the next parliament that these [British] troops really start coming home.” Like Gordon Brown, Cameron is also firmly committed to maintaining the submarine-based Trident missile defense system that is Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
A key player in the Cameron defense agenda will be Dr. Liam Fox, very likely the new defense minister.  Former physician Fox is well-known by conservative politicians and reporters in this country (including me; he has given two interview to HUMAN EVENTS)
Where many Americans are concerned about the growing power of the European Union, Cameron—while a firm multilateralist—has some skepticism about the EU himself.  Last year, he made the decision that the Tory European parliament members should join the more right-of-center caucus in Brussels.  Moreover, Cameron’s platform calls for restoring British control over EU social legislation.
As the EU and the International Monetary Fund are poised to bailout out debt-wracked Greece, the Cameron government will be watched closely by conservatives in this country to see whether it signs off on another fiscal rescue mission underwritten by other nations. 
Cameron will also be watched closely as to how he deals with his own country’s flood of red ink.  With the budget deficit in Britain approaching 11% of national income, the Tory leader has been faulted for being vague about what he will do to control the red ink.  In the style of Margaret Thatcher, Cameron has promised tax cuts and has vowed to trim the budget deficit by 6 billion pounds this year.  However, he has also vowed to preserve his country’s national health system and spoke often of his commitment to the poor and powerless of society.
Like Mac Or Maggie?
Visitors to Cameron’s office note that above his desk is a portrait of Harold MacMillan, prime minister from 1957-64 and father of the modern pragmatic policy that is called “One Nation Toryism.”  In many ways, Cameron is very much like fellow Etonian Macmillan—embracing the public realm and, as Philip Stephens wrote in the Financial Times, “more pragmatist than ideologue.”
But in many ways, he is also like the other most significant Tory prime minister since Churchill, Lady Thatcher.  The dangerous economic times point to the fact that Cameron, who vocalized strong Thatcherite views in college, will have to deliver blows to the government structure that would make the “Iron Lady” proud.
A look at some of those around Cameron underscores that view.  William Hague, the likely foreign secretary in the next government, and George Osborne, the 38-year-old who is sure to become chancellor of the exchequer (finance minister), are considered Thatcherites.  Osborne is considered much more willing to make spending cuts than the incoming prime minister and thus become Cameron’s “terrible swift sword.” 
Others on Cameron’s personal staff are considered solid small-c conservatives:  former advertising executive Steve Hilton, Cameron’s strategy director, and press secretary and former tabloid editor Andy Coulson. 
For now, at least, the center right has finally returned to power in Britain after being out in the wilderness for 13 years.  They did so in part because they offered a fresh face and someone who, while criticized for being vague, seemed to be a fresh face, different from the previous leaders.  How David Cameron translates that “freshness” and “newness” into governing will determine his fate—and will be worth watching on this side of the pond. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Do You Spend Like a Nigger?

19 March, 2006 <<<<<<

Do You Spend Like a Nigger?

Posted by alex in Arboreal Americans, Detroit, Living White, advertising, black media, black stats, economy at 3:13 am | Permanent Link Black Spending Habits [archive]
These are tough economic times, especially for African-Americans, for whom the unemployment rate is more than 10%. Alarmingly, rather than belt-tightening, the response has been to spend more. In many poor neighborhoods, one is likely to notice satellite dishes and expensive new cars.
According to Target Market, a company that tracks black consumer spending, blacks spend a significant amount of their income on depreciable products.
In 2002, the year the economy nose-dived; we spent $22.9 billion on clothes, $3.2 billion on electronics and $11.6 billion on furniture to put into homes that, in many cases, were rented.
Among our favorite purchases are cars and liquor. Blacks make up only 12% of the U.S. population, yet account for 30% of the country’s Scotch consumption. Detroit, which is 80% black, is the world’s No. 1 market for Cognac.

So impressed was Lincoln with the $46.7 billion that blacks spent on cars that the automaker commissioned Sean “P Diddy” Combs, the entertainment and fashion mogul, to design a limited-edition Navigator replete with six plasma screens, three DVD players and a Sony PlayStation 2.
The only area where blacks seem to be cutting back on spending is books; total purchases have gone from a high of $356 million in 2000 to $303 million in 2002. This shortsighted behavior, motivated by a desire for instant gratification and social acceptance, comes at the expense of our future. The National Urban League’s “State of Black America 2004″ report found that fewer than 50% of black families owned their homes compared with more than 70% of whites.
According to published reports, the Ariel Mutual Funds/Charles Schwab 2003 Black Investor Survey found that when comparing households where blacks and whites had roughly the same household incomes, whites saved nearly 20% more each month for retirement, and 30% of African-Americans earning $100,000 a year had less than $5,000 in retirement savings. While 79% of whites invest in the stock market, only 61% of African-Americans do.
Certainly, higher rates of unemployment, income disparity and credit discrimination are financial impediments to the economic vitality of blacks, but so are our consumer tastes.

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50+ People Who are Ruining America JUL2009-DEC2009 

50+ People Who are Ruining America   Add to wiki
Tags: United States, ruined, America, bad, people, persons
100 People Who Are Screwing Up America was written by Bernard Goldberg. He wrote bestsellers Bias and Arrogance (both books about media bias). He also used to be a senior correspondent on the CBS program 48 Hours. This is the opinion of the listers and (see link below for all 100). If you disagree, voice your own opinions.

1. Michael Moore (director of the Bush-bashing Fahrenheit 9/11) - Goldberg just includes this, "'They are possibly the dumbest people on the planet. . . .', Michael Moore, speaking of his fellow Americans." Michael Moore's popular films and supporters are too hateful of America that he doesn't deserve to be talked about.
2. Arthur Sulzberger (publisher of The New York Times) - The New York Times is the ultimate symbol of liberal media bias, with articles slanted to favor Democrats, racial preferences, gay marriages, and feminism. Goldberg blames Arthur's personal agenda for the Times's bias, as he quotes Arthur: "If white men were not complaining, it would be an indication we weren't succeeding and making the inroads that we are."
3. Ted Kennedy (Democrat Senator from Mass., JFK's youngest brother) - Ted Kennedy has gained the reputation for being the "conscience" of the Democratic Party, and yet how can he have a conscience if he was against the Iraq War? Also, Ted Kennedy is known for strong, booming displays of moral indignation, which are hypocritical given his personal indiscretions (see Chappaquiddick). He and other Democrats abuse a veil of conscience.
4. Rev. Jesse Jackson (African-Amercian leader, orator, civil rights activist) - The civil rights movement once was noble and had leaders such as Martin Luther King who spoke with decency. The movement has now transitioned into a tool for blaming others for the ills of African-Americans, and Jesse Jackson is at the head of that movement. While he is a great orator, his focus is on provocation. Pioneer.
5. Anthony Romero (Executive Director ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)) - Since 9/11, ACLU has been principled about things like preventing the government from reading our library check-out records or in voicing complaints that airport security checks may unfairly target Muslims. Goldberg believes the ACLU should not be so absolutist given the current climate. Also, the ACLU, while normally a good organization, has in recent times fought for petty causes: banning the practice in public schools of holding a moment of silence because of its religious connotations; suing the Boy Scouts for holding meetings in a city park on the grounds that it is a religious organization; urging Los Angeles to remove a cross from its seal; arguing that doctors shouldn't tell wives that their husbands have AIDS; and arguing on behalf of the National Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) despite a case where someone read materials on NAMBLA's website and then kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and finally killed
6. Jimmy Carter (US Pres. 1976-1980) - Jimmy Carter, who had a lackluster presidency, is getting improper credit for being a champion of human rights. Carter has praised the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, North Korea's Kim Il Sung, and other leaders who have had bad records on human rights. He was also in Venezuela, supposedly monitoring its elections, but when discrepancies arose and protests were formed, Carter left the country and said everything was good. He then claimed that Florida's election practices were not sound.
7. Margaret Marshall (Chief Justice of the Mass. Supreme Court) - American opinion polls show a majority not in favor of marriage between homosexuals, and yet Marshall decided to author a 4-3 decision in favor of legalizing it in Massachusetts. This overturns an age-old tradition of marriage being an exclusive sacrament between males and females. The decision has consequences for the rest of America as marriages in Massachusetts may have to be recognized when gay couples visit other states. Marshall is an example of an activist judge, and she has displayed her bias in public by speaking to the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Bar Association giving them legal tips.
8. Paul Krugman (economist, columnist for NY Times) - Goldberg is unable to find a quote of Krugman's that is hysterical or extreme, so Krugman's flaw is that he consistently argues against Bush's policies without sounding foolish.
9. Jonathan Kozol (nonfiction writer) - Kozol has lectured for decades on public education standards, specifically promoting the idea that children should become critics of America. He views the education system as brainwashing, and that children should be counter-brainwashed by being skeptical of authority. Ironically, Kozol draws much of his inspiration from the educational systems of Cuba and China. Pioneer.
10. Ralph Neas (President and CEO of People for the American Way) - Neas tries to demonize the Boy Scouts because of their supposed conservative agenda. He also has worked against the nomination of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court. One particularly troubling case, according to Goldberg, is his attack on judge Charles Pickering. Pickering has adjudicated fairly on a couple of civil rights case, yet Neas has slammed him on civil rights. In addition, other Democrat party members repeat Neas's talking points and respect him.
11. Noam Chomsky (MIT professor of linguistics) - While he is the most-cited living author, or the "most important intellectual" according to the New York Times, Chomsky hates America. He describes the Cold War as the United States's continuation of the Nazi agenda, and he frequently points to more extreme cases of terrorism done by the US than what happened on 9/11. Chomsky is the epitome of the anti-American intellectual.
12. Dan Rather (former anchor for CBS Evening News) - Dan Rather anchored a story claiming that Bush's National Guard service during the Vietnam War wasn't fulfilled in full, yet in the previous month, Dan Rather claimed that it doesn't matter what John Kerry did during Vietnam. It was also later revealed that Rather's evidence against Bush was forged. Dan Rather wanted to believe the evidence so he could slam Bush. He has bias, and either he doesn't know it or he won't admit it.
13. Andrew Heyward (Pres. of CBS News) - Heyward, with whom Goldberg had worked for at CBS, is not owning up to the phony Bush story (see next), and instead of resigning, his nearby subordinates have all had to leave.
14. Mary Mapes (former producer for CBS's 60 minutes) - Mapes aired a story based on phony documentation that George W. Bush dodged National Guard service. When doubts were revealed about the evidence, Mapes was insistent about its authenticity. Those close to Mapes say she went into journalism with an activist's mindset. Supposedly she has worked on the Bush story for five years, revealing her fanatical obsession against Bush.
15. Ted Rall (cartoonist) - Rall's cartoons appear in 140 newspapers, but are extremely cruel in their commentary. When Pat Tillman, the NFL pro who joined the Army, was killed and then treated like a hero, Rall printed in a cartoon depicting Tillman as saying, "Never mind the fine print, Will I get to kill Arabs?" Rall's public comments also describe the United States as a modern-day Third Reich or Stalinist Russia.
16. John Edwards (former Senator from North Carolina, John Kerry's running mate, trial lawyer) - John Edwards first made big bucks winning a case that used more emotion than science against a doctor who waited too long to perform a cesarean, leaving a baby with cerebral palsy. Edwards told the jury that the child "speaks to you through me. And I have to tell you right now—I didn't plan to talk about this—right now I feel her. I feel her presence. She's inside me, and she's talking to you." John Edwards and trial lawyers pursue malpractice lawsuits like a treasure hunt, and it creates an environment of fear for doctors. He also said that people like Christopher Reeve would be able to walk if America had elected John Kerry.
17. Al Sharpton (African-Amercian leader, orator, civil rights activist) - Sharpton is inconsistent in his support for civil rights, for example by praising and standing on the same stage as Khalid Muhammad, best known for "gay-bashing, Jew-hating, anti-Catholic tirades." Sharpton didn't apologize for supporting a black woman's fake gang rape charge (Tawana Brawley). He also excited racial tensions over an eviction dispute between a black-owned record store and its Jewish landlord. What first followed were protests, but then afterward eight people were killed in a shooting and burning of the store (Freddy's).
18. Al Gore (Vice-president 1992-2000) - Al Gore is as unprincipled and pandering a Democrat politician as any. He spoke passionately about how his sister died from smoking, but a few years before that he was throwing praise on tobacco. Also, when asked if it would be okay to execute a pregnant woman, he didn't give a straight answer, showing how he tries too hard to appease his pro-abortion constituency. He is now a loud and scary Bush-hater.
19. Howard Dean (Chairman of Democratic National Committee) - Throughout his campaign for the Democrat presidential nomination, and now during his chairmanship, Dean has maintained a rambunctious and angry attitude toward Republicans. In spite of his anger, Democrats rally around him, furthering divisiveness in politics.
20. The Unknown American Terrorist - Members of the Earth Liberation Front have torched luxury homes, SUVs, and a ski resort, costing Americans millions of dollars in damages. Their goal is to protect the environment through destroying property. Their activities are similar to that of terrorists, as they operate like a loose-network of cells.
21. Julian Bond (Chairman of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)) - Julian Bond, the leader of what was once a respectable civil rights group, is now an extremist, using his organization to damage Republicans. In one case, Julian Bond referred to Republicans and their love for the "Confederate swastika."
22. John Green (angry basketball fan) - Green started a fight at a basketball game by throwing a beer can at an NBA player. Not only that, Green went around like a victim complaining when his season tickets were revoked. Green represents people who feel entitled to get mad and cuss at sport events, including at Little League games.
23. Latrell Sprewell (basketball player for Minnesota Timberwolves) - Sprewell's arrogant comments in public show just how spoiled some professional athletes have become. When referring to his basketball team, the Timberwolves, he said, "Why would I want to help them win a title? They're not doing anything for me."
24. Maury Povich (TV Talk show host) - Maury, with his self-titled show, creates segments that glorify and sensationalize trashy American behavior. Examples include "mothers who have sex with their daughter's boyfriends" or a show about mothers who let their infants become really fat.
25. Jerry Springer (TV Talk show host) - Springer helped pioneer the nasty television talk show genre. He and Povich are rottening American culture. Pioneer.
26. Al Franken (comedian and political commentator) - Al Franken goes under the guise of "satire" in order to make random and childish accusations. In an interview Goldberg had with Franken, Franken sounds like an idiot by randomly yelling the word "Liar."
27. Paul Eibeler (CEO of Take-Two Interactive Software) - Eibeler's company produces the bestselling Grand Theft Auto, a video game that simulates the killing of gays, cops, blacks, and hookers. His company is being sued for inspiring an eighteen-year old to killing three people (two of which were police officers). Goldberg doesn't believe in censorship, but he is sick of capitalists who will willingly ruin our culture to make money.
28. Ken Lay (former CEO of Enron) - Enron's executives played with their accounting books in order to fraudulently generate millions of dollars from 1996 to 2001. Company executives got bonuses throughout the boom, but when they got caught, Ken Lay pretended to be unaware of all the actions of his subordinates. Twenty-thousand employees have lost their jobs and have had their pension plans in limbo ever since.
29. Barbara Walters (media personality, former news anchor) - While Walters has interviewed some of the biggest movers and shakers in the world for decades, she is doing more harm to journalism by also interviewing celebrities and asking dumb questions. i.e. She once asked Katherine Hepburn, "If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" Pioneer.
30. Anna Nicole Smith (model, TV personality) - She is now famous for her self-titled, tacky "reality TV" show, which takes the personal trash of her daily life and turns it into programming. She is part of a movement that Goldberg calls the "Vulgarization of the Personal."
31. Neal Shapiro (president of NBC News) - Neal Shapiro is selling out journalism by using the news show Dateline to promote background material for NBC's entertainment shows such as The Apprentice, Fraiser, and Friends.
32. David Westin (ABC News President) - He is partly responsible for blurring the lines between entertainment and news by putting fake journalists on air (see next entry).
33. Diane Sawyer (co-anchor of ABC's Good Morning America, journalist) - How can Diane Sawyer claim the title of journalist, when she does a shallow interview with Britney Spears? Sawyer doesn't even pressure Spears hard enough about one of her songs that involves masturbation.
34. Eminem (rapper, actor) - It is sad that Eminem is an icon for millions, especially young people, since his lyrics advocate violence against women.
35. Ludacris (rapper) - Like all rappers, Ludacris popularizes ignorance and anti-social behavior.
36. Howard Stern (radio talk show host) - Howard Stern's popular radio show makes fun of retarded people. His show also involves pornographic scenes that are usually performed on the Stern set and are then recounted live on public radio. He has also become a representative for First Amendment rights, but not because of any provocative political commentary. Rather, Stern is fighting for the right to make auditory pollution.
37. Oliver Stone (film director) - Stone twisted facts in JFK (1991) to imply that the CIA, FBI, and Armed Forces conspired to assassinate Kennedy. Another one of Stone's films Nixon (1995) puts words into historical figures' mouths in order to demonize the United States government. His anti-American films unfortunately get misconstrued as truths by the public.
38. Phil Donahue (TV talk show host) - Donahue "Launched TV's first modern television talk show in 1967" by characteristically dashing into the audience to grab commentary from ordinary people. Donahue has had too much of an influence on TV to be forgiven for his relativist comparisons of the US to Communist Russia, and for his support of radical feminism and gay activism. Pioneer.
39. Harry Belafonte (entertainer, human rights activist, made "Day-O" song famous) - Belafonte criticized African-American former Secretary of State Colin Powell as kissing-up to Bush and the white establishment. Why can't blacks be conservative?
40. Tim Robbins (actor) - Robbins is a vocal anti-war protester, and he has made claims that al Qaeda fundamentalism is similar to fundamentalism in the US government. He also says he's about peace, but he's also mean to people.
41. The Dumb and Vicious Celebrity (ex: Linda Ronstadt, Martin Sheen, David Clennon, Janeane Garofolo) - Celebrities draw undue attention to stupid things they say, such as Garofolo saying, "a gay naked man or woman burning the flag [gives me] pride."
42. The Vicious Celebrity (ex: Alec Baldwin, Wallace Shawn, Sean Penn, Janeane Garofolo) - Celebrities get away with extreme statements such as Sean Penn saying that President Reagan's Alzheimer's is karma.
43. The Dumb Celebrity (ex: Cameron Diaz, Fred Durst, Kate Hudson, Janeane Garofolo) - Celebrities get attention for their political statements because they are famous, not because they have anything useful to say, which in most cases, they don't.
44. Michael Jackson (singer) - Goldberg doesn't elaborate on this inclusion, but Jackson probably made the list for being such a public clown, and therefore an embarrassment to all Americans.
45. Barbara Streisand (singer, actress) - How can such a beautiful and talented singer have the heart to bash Bush?
46. Courtney Love (singer, guitarist, widow of rockstar Kurt Cobain) - Author reserves only the word "Ho" for his criticism. My guess is that while Courtney Love is a role model for young women, she has been arrested multiple times, in one case for throwing a microphone stand and hitting a man on the head, in other cases for drug-related charges.
47. Eve Ensler (author of the play The Vagina Monologues) - Her play is silly for its over-use of vagina-related content, and it is offensive for excessive anti-male content. What's worse is that she is backed by prominent females such as Oprah Winfrey and Brooke Shields, making Goldberg feel un-hip for not liking the play or its message.
48. Todd Goldman (cartoonist) - Goldman is making a living with boy-bashing T-shirts such as "Lobotomy: How to Train Boys" or "Boys Are Smelly ... Kick them in the Belly." Author is frustrated that condemning boys is acceptable, while as condemning other groups and minorities, such as blacks and Jews, is a hate-crime.
49. Sheila Jackson Lee (Houston Democrat Representative) - She requested that hurricanes also be given African-American names. Goldberg finds it stupid to request affirmative action in the naming rights for a weather phenomena that is loathed.
50. Matthew Lesko (infomercial personality) - He promotes dubious methods on how to milk the government for "free money." He is a symbol for self-centered free-riders.
51. Rick and Kathy Hilton (heirs to Hilton Hotel chain, and parents of Paris Hilton) - They deserve blame for raising Paris Hilton to be a empty-headed socialite who became famous for starring in a home sex video.

---this list is far too short, yet you can add to it at the link above, be sure to place reasons why with your definite statements. mjb

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Google adds tools list in search

Google adds tools list in search

Tooling around
Thu May 06 2010, 10:22
AVAILABLE IN 37 LANGUAGES soon is a Google left-hand tools list for results refinement that offers little that is new.
The search results list has tools from the previously released expandable search options while the universal search function provides the usual relevant results output. So what is new? Maybe the new shiny bit is the addition of Google Squared, previously available on Google Labs, Squared will help find related stuff but it does not make up for the fact that we have seen similar search refinement tools before, namely on the Vole's Bing.
Yet Google vice president of search products and user experience Marissa Mayer's blog describes this tools list as "so powerful and simple" and even a "metamorphosis".
Bing increased its share of the US search market in March while market leader Google slipped a bit, although that might more due to the fact that the Vole is spending a fortune on advertising and has nicked a bit of Yahoo's share. µ

New U.S. Push to Regulate Internet Access

New U.S. Push to Regulate Internet Access

WASHINGTON—In a move that will stoke a battle over the future of the Internet, the federal government plans to propose regulating broadband lines under decades-old rules designed for traditional phone networks.
The decision, by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, is likely to trigger a vigorous lobbying battle, arraying big phone and cable companies and their allies on Capitol Hill against Silicon Valley giants and consumer advocates.
Breaking a deadlock within his agency, Mr. Genachowski is expected Thursday to outline his plan for regulating broadband lines. He wants to adopt "net neutrality" rules that require Internet providers like Comcast Corp. and AT&T Inc. to treat all traffic equally, and not to slow or block access to websites.
The decision has been eagerly awaited since a federal appeals court ruling last month cast doubt on the FCC's authority over broadband lines, throwing into question Mr. Genachowski's proposal to set new rules for how Internet traffic is managed. The court ruled the FCC had overstepped when it cited Comcast in 2008 for slowing some customers' Internet traffic.
In a nod to such concerns, the FCC said in a statement that Mr. Genachowski wouldn't apply the full brunt of existing phone regulations to Internet lines and that he would set "meaningful boundaries to guard against regulatory overreach."
Some senior Democratic lawmakers provided Mr. Genachowski with political cover for his decision Wednesday, suggesting they wouldn't be opposed to the FCC taking the re-regulation route towards net neutrality protections.
Getty Images
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, whose authority over broadband lines has been questioned by a federal court, plans to use regulation on traditional phone networks to establish rules for Internet providers.
"The Commission should consider all viable options," wrote Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, W.V.), chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Rep. Henry Waxman (D, Calif.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in a letter.
At stake is how far the FCC can go to dictate the way Internet providers manage traffic on their multibillion-dollar networks. For the past decade or so, the FCC has maintained a mostly hands-off approach to Internet regulation.
Internet giants like Google Inc., Inc. and eBay Inc., which want to offer more Web video and other high-bandwidth services, have called for stronger action by the FCC to assure free access to websites.
Cable and telecommunications executives have warned that using land-line phone rules to govern their management of Internet traffic would lead them to cut billions of capital expenditure for their networks, slash jobs and go to court to fight the rules.
Consumer groups hailed the decision Wednesday, an abrupt change from recent days, when they'd bombarded the FCC chairman with emails and phone calls imploring him to fight phone and cable companies lobbyists.
"On the surface it looks like a win for Internet companies," said Rebecca Arbogast, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus. "A lot will depend on the details of how this gets implemented."
Mr. Genachowski's proposal will have to go through a modified inquiry and rule-making process that will likely take months of public comment. But Ms. Arbogast said the rule is likely to be passed since it has the support of the two other Democratic commissioners.
President Barack Obama vowed during his campaign to support regulation to promote so-called net neutrality, and received significant campaign contributions from Silicon Valley. Mr. Genachowski, a Harvard Law School buddy of the president, proposed new net neutrality rules as his first major action as FCC chairman.
Telecom executives say privately that limits on their ability to change pricing would make it harder to convince shareholders that the returns from spending billions of dollars on improving a network are worth the cost.
Carriers fear further regulation could handcuff their ability to cope with the growing demand put on their networks by the explosion in Internet and wireless data traffic. In particular, they worry that the FCC will require them to share their networks with rivals at government-regulated rates.
Mike McCurry, former press secretary for President Bill Clinton and co-chair of the Arts + Labs Coalition, an industry group representing technology companies, telecom companies and content providers, said the FCC needs to assert some authority to back up the general net neutrality principles it outlined in 2005.
"The question is how heavy a hand will the regulatory touch be," he said. "We don't know yet, so the devil is in the details. The network operators have to be able to treat some traffic on the Internet different than other traffic—most people agree that web video is different than an email to grandma. You have to discriminate in some fashion."
UBS analyst John Hodulik said the cable companies and carriers were likely to fight this in court "for years" and could accelerate their plans to wind down investment in their broadband networks.
"You could have regulators involved in every facet of providing Internet over time. How wholesale and prices are set, how networks are interconnected and requirements that they lease out portions of their network," he said.
—Niraj Sheth, Spencer E. Ante and Sara Silver contributed to this article.

Footage Restored to Fritz Lang's ‘Metropolis’

Footage Restored to Fritz Lang's ‘Metropolis’

Published: May 4, 2010
For fans and scholars of the silent-film era, the search for a copy of the original version of Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” has become a sort of holy grail. One of the most celebrated movies in cinema history, “Metropolis” had not been viewed at its full length — roughly two and a half hours — since shortly after its premiere in Berlin in 1927, when it was withdrawn from circulation and about an hour of its footage was amputated and presumed destroyed.
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Kino International
A scene from the newly recovered footage of Fritz Lang's 1927 “Metropolis.”
Kino International
Fritz Rasp as the Thin Man in newly recovered footage from “Metropolis.”
Agence France-Presse
A film canister, found in Buenos Aires, containing a copy of the original version of the movie.
But on Friday Film Forum in Manhattan will begin showing what is being billed as “The Complete Metropolis,” with a DVD scheduled to follow later this year, after screenings in theaters around the country. So an 80-year quest that ranged over three continents seems finally to be over, thanks in large part to the curiosity and perseverance of one man, an Argentine film archivist named Fernando Peña.
The newly found footage, about 25 minutes in length and first exhibited in February at the Berlin Film Festival, is grainy and thus easily distinguished from an earlier, partly restored version, released in 2001, into which it has been inserted. But for the first time, Lang’s vision of a technologically advanced, socially stratified urban dystopia, which has influenced contemporary films like “Blade Runner” and “Star Wars,” seems complete and comprehensible.
“ ‘Metropolis’ is the most iconic silent picture of its day, mainly because of the visual ambition and virtuosity of the film itself,” said Noah Isenberg, editor of “Weimar Cinema,” a book about early German films, and a professor of film and literary studies at the New School. “But until now, we didn’t have the full story. These additions are really essential to understanding the full arc of the narrative.”
Made at a time of hyperinflation in Germany, “Metropolis” offered a grandiose version — of a father and son fighting for the soul of a futuristic city — that nearly bankrupted the studio that commissioned it, UFA. After lukewarm reviews and initial box office results in Europe, Paramount Pictures, the American partner brought in toward the end of the shoot, took control of the film and made drastic excisions, arguing that Lang’s cut was too complicated and unwieldy for American audiences to understand.
Mr. Peña discovered a full-length copy of “Metropolis” in 2008 in the archives of the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires. He had first heard stories 20 years earlier that a two-and-a-half-hour print had somehow found its way to Argentina and was wandering from one government institution to another, but his efforts to gain access to the film cans had always been frustrated by an indifferent bureaucracy.
Since the 1930s, the full-length version of “Metropolis” had been part of a large private archive assembled by a prominent Argentine film critic, Manuel Peña Rodríguez, who would lend titles to local film clubs. At his death around 1970, the collection was donated to the Argentine version of the National Endowment of the Arts, which handed it off to the Museo del Cine in 1992.
Over the years, Mr. Peña had shared his frustrations at not being given access to the film with Paula Félix-Didier, another film archivist and, during the 1990s, his wife. When she became head of the Museo del Cine in 2008, she said, “I called Fernando and said, ‘Just come, let’s do it.’ So he came, we looked for the cans, and there they were, cataloged and up on a shelf.”
That a copy of the original print of “Metropolis” even existed in Buenos Aires was the result of another piece of serendipity. An Argentine film distributor, Adolfo Wilson, happened to be in Berlin when the film had its premiere, liked what he saw so much that he immediately purchased rights, and returned to Argentina with the reels in his luggage.
“If he had gone two months later, he would have come back with a different version,” Mr. Peña said in a telephone interview from Buenos Aires. Initially, the F. W. Murnau Foundation, a German film-preservation group named after the great silent-era director, which holds the rights to Lang’s silent films, did not respond when the Argentines notified it of the discovery. So Mr. Peña made a DVD and while on a business trip to Madrid took it to a prominent film scholar there, Luciano Berriatúa, who watched the film with him, enraptured, and immediately phoned the Germans to tell them, Mr. Peña recalled, “It’s the real thing.”
Restoring the Argentine reels required the latest in digital technology. In the early 1970s, the original 35-millimeter nitrate print was taken to a laboratory in Buenos Aires to be reduced to a 16-millimeter negative. But the lab technicians were careless, Ms. Félix-Didier said, “so they didn’t clean the film, and as a result there are all these artifacts, like dust and hair and scratches, on the 16-millimeter print” from which the Germans had to work. Because of damage to the reels, a couple of scenes have also had to be supplemented with intertitles.
Some of the newly inserted material consists of brief reaction shots, just a few seconds long, which establish or accentuate a character’s mood. But there are also several much longer scenes, including one lasting more than seven minutes, that restore subplots completely eliminated from the Paramount version.
For example, the “Thin Man,” who in the standard version appears to be a glorified butler to the city’s all-powerful founder, turns out instead to be a much more sinister figure, a combination of spy and detective. The founder’s personal assistant, who is fired in an early scene, also plays a greater role, helping the founder’s idealistic son navigate his way through the proletarian underworld.
The cumulative result is a version of “Metropolis” whose tone and focus have been changed. “It’s no longer a science-fiction film,” said Martin Koerber, a German film archivist and historian who supervised the latest restoration and the earlier one in 2001. “The balance of the story has been given back. It’s now a film that encompasses many genres, an epic about conflicts that are ages old. The science-fiction disguise is now very, very thin.”
Even as the full-length version of “Metropolis” plays in Germany and the United States, the Argentine archivists continue to examine the Museo del Cine collection in Buenos Aires. Just last month, Ms. Félix-Didier said, a print was found of a Soviet-era silent film long thought to have been lost: Yevgeny Chervyakov’s 1928 “My Son.”
In addition, the Museo del Cine has discovered what the Library of Congress says are the only surviving copies of three American films: a 1916 William S. Hart western called “The Aryan”; a 1928 drama called “The Crimson City,” with Myrna Loy and Anna May Wong; and a melodrama from 1921 called “The Gilded Lily” and starring Mae Murray.
“This is great news,” said Stephen Leggett, program coordinator of the library’s National Film Preservation Board.
Mr. Peña said: “I’m glad I persisted. We still haven’t been through everything, so new discoveries could keep appearing.”

Hawking: Time travel will happen

Hawking: Time travel will happen

by Chris Matyszczyk
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There's something very comforting when a scientist as well regarded as Stephen Hawking admits to keeping quiet for fear of "being labeled a crank."
Thankfully, he seems to have conquered his fears in a new documentary series for the Discovery Channel, in which he has already considered how man might truly conquer space. Or, indeed, how spacemen might come down to our meager Earth and dismember us as so much fast food.
Hawking has already warned in his documentary that we should be very wary about making contact with beings from out there. "If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans," he said in "Stephen Hawking's Universe."
But, as he presented his latest ideas about what travel in the future might resemble, he reportedly admitted that he had kept quiet on the subject for fear of being labeled a heretic by the scientific community.
One day, we will boldly go. Well, you might.
(Credit: CC Guy David/Flickr)
Thrusting off his heretical shackles, he reportedly suggested that spaceships will one day be so fast that we won't know whether we've come or gone. Hawking suggests that Einstein's theories of relativity will become as relatively obsolete as, who knows, the home phone. He posits that, at some point when we're all long gone, a day on a spaceship traveling at 650 million miles per hour would be akin to one year on Earth.
Please don't expect me to check his math. I can barely total up my savings at Safeway. However, somehow one can imagine that technology will follow an inevitable path toward the unimaginable, a path that will change humanity even more profoundly than the laptop has changed love lives.
He does reportedly stress, however, that time travel will only be performed in a forward motion. Which, sadly, excludes a sudden reality show re-enactment of Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court."
Naturally, there is something stunningly attractive about the very idea of being able to skip generations by, well, flying through them. Imagine if some lucky humans had managed to avoid acid, platform boots, or the entire works of the Captain and Tennille. How might this have affected contemporary culture and the way it is promulgated onward by those who seem to know no better?
There is surely nothing remotely cranky or heretical about Hawking's prognostications. The only sadness is that so many of us will not be able to benefit from such exalted science.


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