April 30, 2005

"The Belt was nine feet long, eight feet wide, and it had hooks in it that would rip the meat off of ya if it ever hit ya..."

A Plymouth, MA father has been charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon after spanking his 12 year-old son with a belt.

42 year-old Charles Enloe hit his son three times with a belt as a form of discipline after his son's teacher reported to the elder Enloe that the boy had forgotten his homework assignment.

‘‘I never knew it would be considered assault with a deadly weapon,'' Enloe said. ‘‘And it shouldn't be. It shouldn't be a crime if it's discipline. I know there are parents out there that abuse their children, but I'm definitely not one of them. But police have to follow the letter of the law. My father was a police officer. I'm not angry at them, and I don't blame my son.''

Enloe said he hopes the courts will dismiss the charge after reviewing the facts. ‘‘I have no previous record,'' he said.

Police Capt. Michael Botieri said officers have more leeway about arresting a parent for domestic violence when an open hand is used for spanking.

‘‘When a parent uses an instrument to discipline, it makes it more difficult for us,'' Botieri said. ‘‘The belt pushed this over the edge.''

The incident happened at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and left no marks or bruises, according to police.

The boy's mother, who is divorced from Enloe reported the spanking to police, who in turn arrested Enloe.

This sounds like we've got a couple of problems here: first off, the mother has politely undermined any measure of discipline the father has been trying to enforce. Secondly, if a spanking with a belt -- three swats mind you -- is a felony, then I guess I ought to hold out my hands to the nearest cop for arrest; and if that's the case, I guess my mom and dad ought to be on death row.

The Massachusetts Department of Social Services is investigating the incident, after being informed by the police this week. Under Massachusetts law, corporal punishment is not deemed illegal so long as the child is not injured or "left with a bruise, bumps, cuts and you would also consider the frequency of the punishment."

Sounds like the police involved overstepped their authority as well.

Welcome to Massachusetts -- the nanny state.

(Linking to OTB's Weekend Traffic Jam)

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Chicago Alderman Tillman continues to attack supposed slave profits on modern firms

Alderman Dorothy "The Hat" Tillman -- so nicknamed because of her continuous variety of colorful hats -- is a long-standing member of the Chicago City Council. Tillman has taken on, as her personal windmill to tilt, the cause of slavery reparations based upon the descendants of older firms that profited from the trade of slaves.

Tillman has most recently gone after Bank of America, and citing it's ties to predecessor banks. The one in question -- Providence Bank -- is the target of Tillman and her cronies, even though Providence distanced itself from the slave trade.

Founded in 1791, Providence Bank is a predecessor of Fleet Boston, which was acquired by Bank of America last year.

"First, the research disclosed no evidence establishing that the Providence Bank had investments or profits from slavery. Second, there is no indication of the source of the funds used by Brown to purchase his 23 shares in the bank. Last, the evidence suggests that the bank, in fact, avoided slave-related activities of John Brown or any other bank customer," said the bank's attorney V. Duncan Johnson.

Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) accused "arrogant" bank officials of providing "selective and fraudulent" information to a joint City Council committee.

Tillman said research conducted by her daughter at some of the same places Bank of America looked -- the Rhode Island Historical Society and Brown University Library -- has already produced evidence that Providence Bank made loans used to purchase ships that transported slaves.

"The whole reason the bank was founded was so that the merchants could have a bank for their money to go through. Their whole existence was slavery. They had no other existence," she said.

"They thought they could bring this lawyer in and lie and just say, 'Moses Brown [John's brother] was an abolitionist. You see, they were good guys.' The lawyer's job was to protect Bank of America -- not to get to the truth. And we won't stop until we get to the truth."

Tillman has a reputation of being a loose cannon when it comes to logic, and it appears that this case is no exception.

Oh. And before you ask, yes, Tillman is a stark, raving mad, howling, moonbat Democrat. She's also a card carrying member of the soul patrol, who seems to think that any and everyone who is even remotely conservative is the spawn of Satan. And she is one of the name-calling crowd that denigrates black conservatives every and anytime they cross her path.

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AJC's Tucker continues pile-on job against Rogers Brown

Atlanta Journal-Constitution and syndicated columnist Cynthia Tucker continued the whitewash job that the left has started against California Supreme Court Justice and Bush judicial nominee Janice Rogers Brown in her column for Sunday's paper.

Tucker insists that the filibuster against Rogers Brown must occur because Rogers Brown, in effect, isn't really black.

Tucker proceeds to heap plenty of praise on Rogers Brown, then lowers the boom on her.

Brown's writings showcase a brilliant intellect and literary depth. Her rulings and speeches tend to quote writers from Thucydides to Edmund Burke to John Grisham, not to mention the lyrics of popular songs such as "A Whiter Shade of Pale."

While she occasionally rankles her colleagues with barbs hurled their way, there's no doubting her quick wit. In a dissent in a 1996 anti-trust case, she wrote: "The quixotic desire to do good, be universally fair and make everybody happy is understandable. Indeed, the majority's zeal is more than a little endearing. There is only one problem with this approach. We are a court."

Brown has every right to be an ultraconservative. That's what the civil rights movement was all about — giving black Americans the opportunity to live as they desired, choosing the neighborhoods, schools, churches and political philosophies that best suit them.

Her intellect notwithstanding, she has no business on the federal bench. Her views are well outside the mainstream.

She has no respect for precedent and frequently uses her rulings to express far-reaching opinions on matters not directly before the court.

She does not belong on the federal bench.

Tucker is part of the cabal of columnists and politicians alike who are lining up to paint Janice Rogers Brown alternately as an evil minion of the Bush Administration, whose opposition to anything relating to minorities is beyond the pale; or a clueless and unwitting dupe who is so stupid that her presence on the bench would set back American jurisprudence several generations.

Let's face it. Janice Rogers Brown has demonstrated, both through her decisions from the bench and from her writings, that she has the intellectual capability to advance the legal opinions necessary. She also has become her own woman, one whose conservative opinions and logic step outside the liberal mindset championed by Tucker and others, both black and white.

Finally, would you honestly expect that the Bush Administration would nominate someone whose ideology falls outside that of the rest of the Administration? Is Janice Rogers Brown so "dangerous" that she shouldn't be accorded an honest up-or-down vote by the full body of the US Senate?

Apparently most liberals think so, and they'll do anything to make sure that she's presented that way to the American people.

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April 29, 2005

AARP recruiting younger folks now?

24 year-old Chris Short (Short Family Online) has received an invitation to join the AARP.

So he's going to collect the $12.50 membership fee to join and submit it, along with stating his actual age (instead of padding his age to actually get in) to the AARP. You're welcome to give him a hand with the $12.50 via donation or BlogAd.

He's planning on reporting back what they say once they see his age. Stay tuned.

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Indiana to enact DST next year

After more than 30 years, the state of Indiana is set to begin observing Daylight Saving Time beginning next year. A new bill, passed by the state house late last night, and pushed for by Governor Mitch Daniels, ensures that the state's counties outside the Louisville, Cincinnati & Chicago areas will join the bulk of the rest of the nation in observing DST.

In an April 11 column to constituents in his southwestern Indiana distrct, freshman Republican Rep. Troy Woodruff of Vincennes said he had received overwhelming feedback from them to fight against legislation mandating statewide observance of daylight-saving time.

"I have and will continue to always vote against this controversial piece of legislation," he wrote.

But shortly after 11:30 p.m. EST Thursday, during a second House vote on the bill, Woodruff switched his no vote and provided a 51st "yea" to give it final legislative approval and send the proposal to Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Daniels, who lobbied extensively for the proposal because he said it would eliminate confusion and boost commerce, is sure to sign the bill into law.

I'm a Hoosier by birth, and part of me feels that it brings the state back in sync with the rest of the nation. The rest of me kind of shrugs and says 'OK. What the hey.'

The move makes Arizona the only hold out in the Continental United States to Daylight Saving Time.

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"The Real Beverly Hillbilies" reality series got made after all!

UPN dumps Star Trek Enterprise, and what are we left with?

"Britney Loves Cletus" -- the would-be "real Beverly Hillbillies" -- shows up in the form of Britney & Kevin around mid-month.

Damn those sweeps stunts.

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Akbar sentence: Death

Sgt. Hasan Akbar is led from the Staff Judge Advocate Building after being sentenced to death at Fort Bragg, NC Thursday evening. (AFP/Yahoo!)
After seven hours of deliberation, a military court sentenced Army Sergent Hasan Akbar to death last night for a fatal grenade attack on his comrades a year ago.

Akbar tossed grenades and fired a rifle into tents where fellow soldiers were sleeping in Kuwait, killing Cpt. Christopher Seifert and Maj. Gregory Stone and wounded 14 others from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY.

On Thursday morning, Akbar made a statement in court, apologizing for a fatal grenade attack on his comrades.

"I apologize for my actions," he said. "When I did that I felt my life was in jeopardy and I had other problems."

Bull. He knew exactly what he was doing, and should suffer the consequences for it.

Akbar will be taken to the military's death row unit at Ft. Leavenworth, KS where he will stay while any appeals are worked out, and await his fate.

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Love them now, cherish them always

Five years ago this week I lost my grandmother to Alzheimers' and cancer.

It was a painful experience that I know that we must endure as we grow older, but it hurts nonetheless.

Kevin Aylward's family, as he notes over at Wizbang, is enduring that same pain this week. His father-in-law is ailing and in dire straits.

My heart and my prayers go out to them in their time of sorrow.

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April 28, 2005

Canadian cable company offers free porn this weekend in Ontario

Rogers Cable customers in Ontario have to worry about their kids this weekend -- especially if the kids know the PIN to the digital cable box.

Rogers if offering -- get this -- three hardcore porn channels for free to cable subscribers as an attempt to boost sales.

The cable giant is offering customers free previews of three hard-core adult channels -- a movie channel, an XXX "action clips" channel and a gay-oriented channel called Maleflixxx -- from tomorrow at 8 p.m. to Monday at 2 a.m. in an effort to boost subscribers to those channels, which normally cost $19.95 each a month.

Rogers Cable spokeswoman Taanta Gupta said that the company has offered free viewings of adult channels a few times over the past four years and "have not had any issues."

She explained that unlike free viewings of Fox News Channel, Bloomberg News and MTV Canada -- which can be watched simply by tuning into the channel -- customers have to confirm that they want to watch this weekend's offerings by entering a personal identification number.

Each digital box comes with a preassigned PIN of 0-0-0-0. However, Ms. Gupta said, "We strongly encourage people to put in their own PINs."

PIN numbers must be entered on digital boxes to order pay-per-view events such as professional wrestling, new-release movies and adult flicks. Parents can also use the PIN system to block channels they don't want children to watch.

"That's what PIN numbers are for," Ms. Gupta said.

Now. How many of you know the PIN for your digital cable or satellite box? How many of you have changed it from the default setting in the first place? That's what I thought. Neither have I.

My readers up in Ontario probably ought to take a gander at your cable setups before Friday night. Otherwise, your kids may get an eyeful of something you probably don't want them to see.

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Al Franken erroneously claims radio ratings not available to public

Air America host (and frothing-at-the-mouth moonbat) Al Franken, during an interview with South Park Conservatives author Brian Anderson, claimed that Air America's ratings -- which are putrid in most, if not all the markets they're in -- are not available to the public.

During a testy, but polite, interview with 'South Park Conservatives' author Brian C. Anderson, Air America host Al Franken asserted that radio ratings aren't available to the public!

That apparently was Franken's way of deflecting unpleasant questions about Air America's recent poor performance. It was likely also to suggest that Anderson was using incorrect, or outright phony, data!

Anderson mentioned some specific figures, from various cities, which seemed to catch Franken off-guard.

How could Franken not be aware that radio ratings are in fact available to the public? Has he not ever seen them in the New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, or the dozens of other papers in large cities that publish them on a regular basis?

And is it really possible that Franken never reviews industry trade websites, even though they fawn all over him, nearly every day?

I've got the answer to Brian Maloney's question: Al Franken is clueless. He's so wrapped up in his hatred of those of us on the right, that he ignores every and anything that doesn't help him -- and if he needs it, he fabricates it. This is obvious from the claim here.

In addition to the newspapers Brian mentions, when you hit RadioAndRecords.com (website for the trade organ of the broadcast industry), there is a button top and center: RATINGS. Hit that link, and you'll get the ratings for all the major markets in the nation. Al Franken is either clueless or lying through his teeth. Which is it?

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NYT calls Rogers Brown "enemy of minorities"

Janice Rogers Brown is a well-respected jurist on the California Supreme Court. President Bush has chosen Brown as his nominee to the DC Circuit Court. Her name has been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee. But there's one problem -- at least in the eyes of liberals -- she's extremely conservative.

The New York Times, in an effort to play the "Uncle Tom/Aunt Jemima" card, has gone out of their way to paint Brown as alternately an evil operative of the conservative right, or an unwitting dupe that doesn't deserve to sit on the bench.

Justice Brown, currently a member of the California Supreme Court, is an extreme right-wing ideologue. She is an outspoken supporter of a radical movement to take constitutional law back to before 1937, when the federal government had little power to prevent discrimination, protect workers from unsafe conditions or prohibit child labor. She has attacked the New Deal, which created Social Security, as "the triumph of our socialist revolution."

On the bench, Justice Brown - a black woman raised in segregated Alabama - is a consistent enemy of minorities and old people, and of people injured by big business.

That's pretty damn ornery of 'em.

And of course, if -- God forbid -- the Times, or any other news organ, up through and including the hated-by-the-left Fox News Channel referred to any liberal black person in such vindictive and demeaning terms, the ink wouldn't be dry on the first editions before Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond and every other card-carrying member of the soul patrol would be on every news program screaming to high heaven about the racist smear campaign being conducted.

But when the vaunted New York Times, with "all the news that's fit to print" says the same thing about a black conservative woman, it's "OK." After all, in their minds, she's "not really black," is she?

Writers for the Times and other outlets across the land are breaking their collective necks to color the majority party -- the GOP -- and their actions as being anti-American. The Republican majority, conversely, is working to take their place as the true majority party, and work to implement their decisions -- and that includes bringing the President's judicial nominees to the full Senate for an up-or-down vote.

(More coverage from Michelle Malkin & others)

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April 27, 2005

Coming soon to a bank near you: A Bubba dollar?

Just imagine using a dollar coin with the likeness of former President Bubba. Or even one with President Bush on it.

Now before you click to another site in disgust (or alternately, in glee; and to coin a phrase from Paul Harvey), let me tell you the REST of the story.

While most Americans have never used one, most are familiar with the dollar coin. The head of the current gold-colored dollar coin has the face of Shoshone Indian Sacagawea, who, as a part of the Corps of Discovery, helped famed explorers Lewis and Clark cross the North American continent two hundred years ago. Though they have been minted since 2000, more than 95 percent of Americans no longer use them, relegating them to the same category as the Susan B. Anthony dollar.

Millions of the Anthony dollars, minted in 1979 and 1981 (and once more in 1999), were pushed by the US Mint as an alternative to dollar bills as well. But they, too, were relegated to the scrap heap -- or junk change drawer -- of history. Most Americans only saw them when they used automated stamp machines in Post Offices, and this, despite the fact that coinage is cheaper to produce and is far more durable than paper currency.

Enter the US Congress this week.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill to create a new $1 coin, which would accompany the current Sacagawea piece. The measure enjoyed enormous bipartisan support, passing by a vote of 422 to 6.

Assuming a companion bill makes it through the Senate, the nation would be on its way to taking another stab at a dollar coin.

The idea steals a page from the popular 50 State Quarters series, in which the engraving on the 25-cent piece rotates to honor all the states. That legislation was also the brainchild of Rep. (Michael) Castle (R-DE).

The subjects depicted on the dollar coins would be the U.S. presidents. The plan is to introduce four new ones a year beginning in 2007, honoring each of the nation's chief executives in the order of their service.

Based on this plan, by 2018, when Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are in their 70s, the pair would become the first living persons to be enshrined on a US minted coin.

And a word of advice -- if you want people to actually use the new dollar coins, you have to remove the dollar bill from circulation. Otherwise, the habit of slipping a buck into your wallet as opposed to a Bubba coin in your pocket will win out - no matter who is on the money.

(More coverage from Full of Crap, OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam & others)

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April 26, 2005

ABC set to do Idol exposé, Fox threates legal action

The May sweeps begin this weekend, and ABC is set to jump into the period with both feet next week, as ABC News plans to air a Primetime Live special, Fallen Idol, which they promise to be an exposé of behind-the-scenes sordidness on Fox's top-rated American Idol.

Reportedly, the ABC report will include stories of an affair between Idol judge Paula Abdul and season two Idol singer Corey Clark, as well as claims that Abdul supposedly cheats and picks "favorites" to nurture, which violates the rules of the competition.

In a new book proposal, Season Two singer Corey Clark reportedly claims he had an affair with Paula Abdul in her guest house and even got his cell phone bills paid by the judge so they could secretly talk. Clark ended up getting booted off the show for having a criminal record but he claims Paula promised to spend $2 million to fund a recording career for him.

Paula denies Clark's accusations, and her "Idol" judges are coming to her defense -- but "Idol" producers may have reason to be nervous if claims being made by the former contestant reported in The Globe turn out to be true.

"There's no underhandedness going on behind the scenes," Simon told us. "Paula, to be fair to her, will spend more time backstage with the contestants giving encouragement. But that's not a bad thing. I think [the accusations] are rubbish. I think this is a guy who's out there to publish a book."

Fox lawyers have threatened to sue ABC if the Primetime segment airs.
ABC has been warned in writing it could face legal fallout for airing its scathing behind-the-scenes look at FOX's AMERICAN IDOL.

FOX believes ABC has interviewed a half a dozen losing contestants -- contestants who will claim AMERICAN IDOL producers and judges somehow manipulate the show's outcome!

At the center of the questions, the IDOL source claims, are the actions of show judge Paula Abdul.

"[ABC] is trying to say Paula somehow cheats and picks favorite singers to nurture, in violation of some sort of network standards," the IDOL source, who demanded anonymity, explains.

Fellow Judge Simon Cowell will tell TV show EXTRA Tuesday evening: "Paula, to be fair to her, will spend more time backstage with the contestants giving encouragement and everything else. But, thatÂ’s not a bad thing!"

The special edition of Primetime Live, Fallen Idol is set to air next Wednesday evening on ABC.

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Taking Christ out of "B.C."

There is a movement afoot, primarily among academics and historians, to remove the term "Before Christ" or "B.C." from years predating the birth of Jesus Christ. Likewise, that same movement wants to change "Anno Domini," or A.D. -- literally translated from Latin as "In the year of our Lord" -- to "C.E." or "Common Era." "B.C." would become "B.C.E." or "Before Common Era."

The terms "B.C." and "A.D." increasingly are shunned by certain scholars.

Educators and historians say schools from North America to Australia have been changing the terms "Before Christ," or B.C., to "Before Common Era," or B.C.E., and "anno Domini" (Latin for "in the year of the Lord") to "Common Era." In short, they're referred to as B.C.E. and C.E.

The terms B.C. and A.D. have clear Catholic roots. Dionysius Exiguus, an abbot in Rome, devised them as a way to determine the date for Easter for Pope St. John I. The terms were continued under the Gregorian Calendar, created in 1582 under Pope Gregory XIII.

Although most calendars are based on an epoch or person, B.C. and A.D. have always presented a particular problem for historians: There is no year zero; there's a 33-year gap, reflecting the life of Christ, dividing the epochs. Critics say that's additional reason to replace the Christian-based terms.

A number of Jewish and Muslim scholars have a problem with associating the calendar with Jesus Christ -- though many seem to forget that there is a separate Hebrew calendar; under that calendar, this is the year 5765. On the Islamic calendar, it is the year A.H. 1426. Heck, everyone knows there is a separate Chinese calendar, where this is the year 4703. So what makes the BC/AD divide so contentious?

Political correctness. Of course. Would you expect anything different?

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DBD on guns

How did I miss this yesterday?

I love Chris' work - he always puts it all in perspective...

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April 25, 2005

What'd they do before Oprah went on the air?

A group of writers calling themselves Word of Mouth: An Association of Women Authors has written a rambling open letter to Oprah Winfrey, begging that she return to selecting titles for her Oprah Book Club.

The writers, who include Amy Tan, Mary Gordon, Maureen Howard and more than 150 others, claim that fiction book sales are down, and that only the return of Oprah's book club can save the industry.

(R)esearch suggests that the drastic downward shift actually happened six months after the (9/11) attacks: fiction sales really began to plummet when the The Oprah Winfrey Book Club went off the air. When you stopped featuring contemporary authors on your program, Book Club members stopped buying new fiction, and this changed the face of American publishing. This phenomenon was a testament to the quality of your programs, the scope of your influence, and the amazing credibility you possess among loyal Book Club readers.

Sales figures, in the context of the literary market, do not merely reflect profits; they are an indicator of literacy as well. A country in which ordinary people flock to bookstores to buy the latest talked-about work of fiction is a vibrantly literate country. Every month your show sent hundreds of thousands of people (mostly women, who are the largest group of literary fiction readers) into bookstores. The contemporary books you chose sold between 650,000 and 1,200,000 copies apiece.

We'd like to ask that you consider focusing, once again, on contemporary writers in your Book Club.

The American literary landscape is in distress. Sales of contemporary fiction are still falling, and so are the numbers of people who are reading.

Oprah Winfrey, we wish you'd come back.

Do you mean to tell me that there are no other avenues for legitimate exposure for authors other than The Oprah Winfrey Show?

Let's see. For the past couple of years, the Oprah Book Club has focused on classic works, including the last one chosen, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Sales of books selected for the Oprah Book Club continue to set sales records, and act as the catalyst for local book clubs and book groups across the nation. So is this letter truly a plea for a downtrodden marketplace, or is it in reality a batch of authors begging for a handout?

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April 24, 2005

She can probably hold out awhile

Me thinks that this lady's hunger strike can last a good while.

Diana Ponce talks on a phone in the yard of her San Pablo home Wednesday, the fifth day of a hunger strike to protest the gathering of armed volunteers, the Minuteman Project, at the Arizona-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States.
Backcountry Conservative & Say Anything figure that McDonald's stock just dropped.

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BBC admits to sending hecklers to heckle Conservative leader

Someone at the BBC, in their infinite wisdom, has come forward and admitted that they sent hecklers to heckle UK Conservative party leader Michael Howard at a campaign appearance.

Apparently, the protestors were working for the BBC and in the process of doing a documentary, The History of Heckling, for BBC 3.

The Tories have made an official protest after the hecklers, who were given the microphones by producers, were caught at a party event in the North West last week. Guy Black, the party's head of communications, wrote in a letter to Helen Boaden, the BBC's director of news, that the hecklers began shouting slogans that were "distracting and clearly hostile to the Conservative Party".

These included "Michael Howard is a liar", "You can't trust the Tories" and "You can only trust Tony Blair".

Mr Black's strongly-worded letter accused the BBC of staging the event "to generate a false news story and dramatise coverage. . . intended to embarrass or ridicule the leader of the Conservative Party". The letter said that BBC staff were guilty of "serious misconduct". At least one of the hecklers was seen again at a Tory event in the North East, Mr Black added.

Last night, the BBC claimed that the exercise was part of a "completely legitimate programme about the history and art of political heckling" and said that other parties' meetings were being "observed". However, The Telegraph has established that none of Tony Blair's meetings was infiltrated or disrupted in similar fashion.

The BBC defended their position, even though the Conservative party has demanded a formal apology from the Beeb.
Last night a BBC spokesman said: "This is a completely legitimate programme about the history and art of political heckling. The programme observes hecklers at other parties' campaign meetings and not just the Conservatives. The hecklers were not under the direction of the BBC and their activities did not disrupt the meeting in any way. The incident at the Michael Howard meeting only plays a small part in the overall programme. However, we will be investigating the complaint very fully and will be replying in due course."
I would lay even money that Michael Moore will try similar tactics here in the US. After all, it's OK for liberals in the media to attack conservatives during campaigns -- it's only "evil" when it happens the other way around...right?

The UK general election is Thursday, May 5. The polls are open from 7A to 10P on that day across the UK.

(More coverage from Michelle Malkin & others)

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April 22, 2005

Terrorists down chopper in Iraq, shoot survivor; release video on internet

Terrorists have released a video showing the downing of a helicopter in Iraq, purportedly the chopper shot down yesterday. In addition, the video shows the execution-style murder of a Western man who survived the crash.

The video was released by the Islamic Army in Iraq.

Infovlad has the video (dated 4/22 - STRONG CONTENT WARNING) for your perusal in Real Media format.

In a video purporting to show the killing of the sole survivor of a downed helicopter in Iraq, a gunman orders, "Carry out God's verdict," and his colleagues open fire, riddling the man with bullets as they shout "Allahu akbar!" — or "God is great!"

The video was posted on an Internet forum used by Islamic militants and was accompanied by a written statement from a group identifying itself as the Islamic Army in Iraq (search). The statement claimed responsibility for the downing of the civilian helic six Americans, three Bulgarians and two Fijians— were killed.

The murder of the survivor was captured on the above mentioned video, as described by The Jawa Report.
Of the eleven on board, one man survived, but was severely wounded. The wounded man had apparently crawled away and was hiding in tall grass some distance from the crash. The helicopter can be seeen burning in the distant background.

Unaware of who has found him, the American says to them, "give me a hand. Give me a hand. It's broken..."

The terrorists help him up and then ask him, "CIA? CIA?" then order him to "Go! Go!" The man is able to walk. They then shoot him as he holds his hand up. He is murdered in cold blood as the terrorists yell "Allahu akhbar!" shooting him over and over.

The terrorists murder the man on the video. In a statement released with the video, the Islamic Army in Iraq says they killed the man in retaliation for the "cold blood in the mosques of tireless Fallujah before the eyes of the world and on television screens, without anyone condemning them."

Their claim is apparently tied to the video released by freelance journalist Kevin Sites while embedded with a Marine unit in Fallujah. An Iraqi insurgent was apparently shot while playing possum during a sweep of captured buildings by those Marines last fall.

The soldier in question was cleared of wrong-doing, despite the hand-wringing of Sites and others both in Iraq and here in the US.

The Marines in Fallujah ran into a number of Iraqis who played dead, only to attack US soldiers once close enough.

UPDATE - Some of the victims are being identified, per The Jawa Report and Interested Participant.

One victim identified as Jason Obert, of El Paso County, CO.

A former El Paso County sheriff's deputy was among the six American contractors killed Thursday when insurgent missile fire downed a commercial helicopter outside of Baghdad, Iraq, a Colorado Springs television station reported.

Jason Obert left the sheriff's office in February to earn extra money working in Iraq for Blackwater Security Consulting, KKTV-TV reported. The company is a subsidiary of North Carolina-based Blackwater USA.

Also identified, is Stephen Matthew McGovern, of Danville KY.
Stephen Matthew McGovern, of Danville, has died in Iraq, his family confirmed today.

McGovern was involved in a helicopter crash, according to his stepfather, who said the family was notified Thursday night....

McGovern had been a sergeant in the National Guard with the 20th Special Forces Group in Louisville.

Jim Atalifo and Timoci Lalaqila were the two Fijians killed, as reported in The Australian.

The three Bulgarians are named as pilots Lyubomir Kostov and Georgi Naidenov and board-engineer Stoyan Anchev by the Bulgarian News Network.

According to the Associated Press, Kostov is the pilot that was murdered on the video released by the terrorists.

The Americans were employed by North Carolina-based Blackwater Security Consulting, a firm that supplies security support for US diplomats.

Posted by: mhking at 07:34 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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I'm ready to "believe again"....

We finally get to see Brandon Routh as Kal-El in "the suit" today.

Not bad - some might want more muscles, but what the hey. He's Superman.

Costume designer Louise Mingenbach has made a few changes to the blue and red suit for Superman Returns. The "S" insignia is smaller and higher on the chest, plus as opposed to being painted or embroidered on, the emblem is more three dimensional in nature. The colors - blue, yellow & red - are darker, with the yellow appearing more gold, and the red closer to a scarlet. The blue is more a royal color. Finally, the more stylized "S" of the insignia has also been added to Superman's belt buckle.

No extra muscle padding for 25 year-old Routh, though, according to director Brian Singer.

"I always had the general idea of the suit. However, when the conceptual art was evolving around the same time that I cast Brandon, I privately had paintings rendered with Brandon's face, which certainly brought it to life."

Superman's body is the key to his power, Singer says.

"With X-Men, although they had extraordinary powers, they also had physical weaknesses," he says. "The suits were for protection as well as costume. Superman is the Man of Steel. Bullets bounce off him, not his suit."

Superman Returns, with Routh as Superman, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor is filming in Australia now. The film opens in theaters June 30, 2006.
(More coverage from Outside The Beltway & others)

Posted by: mhking at 06:33 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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