June 30, 2005
That's not going to happen now. ABC abruptly decided not to air the show, and has pulled all references to it from their web site.
The premise, as with most reality shows, was basic. Seven diverse families with equally diverse backgrounds, vie for a 3300 square-foot house in suburban Austin, TX.
The catch? The neighbors get to pick which family will actually get the house. The three families are all white, conservative Christian families.
Since the candidates were all ethnic minorities, gays, or tattoo fanatics, while the residents were conservative and Christian, the show's political agenda was clear: make the right look like bigots.According to material now removed from the ABC web site, one of the conservative families included "a staunch Republican and would challenge any potential neighbors with politically different views."
So, the bottom line, was that ABC was looking to go after conservatives and skewer them with this show.
According to a Washington Post piece yesterday, conservative groups as well as gay rights groups expressed reservations over the airing of the program. This is despite claims by the producers that the show "was intended to promote a healthy and open debate about prejudice and people's fear of differences."
No word today as to what ultimately led to ABC's decision to pull the series.
Weeks after Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton played patty-cake with Mexican President Vicente Fox over insults directed toward black Americans, the Mexican government strikes again, thumbing their collective noses at Jackson and Sharpton.
A series of five postage stamps was released yesterday in Mexico featuring a stereotypically offensive black cariacture from a 1940s comic. The character, Memin Pinguin, is still published in Mexico today.
Rev. Jesse Jackson said President Bush should pressure Mexico to withdraw the stamps from the market, saying they "insult people around the world."Mexico, predictably, defended the stamps and the images, comparing them to the Warner Brothers cartoon character Speedy Gonzales, a hyper-speed mouse which debuted in 1953.
"The impact of this is worse than what the president said," Jackson noted, referring to Fox's May 13 comment that Mexican migrants take jobs in the United States that "not even blacks" want. Fox later met with Jackson and expressed regret but insisted his comments had been misinterpreted.
The character on the stamp, hapless but lovable, is drawn with exaggerated features, thick lips and wide-open eyes. His appearance, speech and mannerisms are the subject of kidding by white characters in the comic book.
Mexican authorities said that more than 750,000 of the stamps, in a 6.50 peso (60 cents) demonination will be issued. The 6.50 peso stamps are mostly used domestically, though some could be sent abroad.
June 29, 2005
The redrawn tower will be set further back from one of Manhattan's main thoroughfares and atop a 200-foot concrete and metal pedestal designed to repel explosions, city and state officials said.A spire and antenna atop the building will stretch upward to a height of 1776 feet.
The tower will lose the twisting, asymmetrical design meant to recall the outstretched arm of the Statute of Liberty. Instead, it will resemble a faceted version of one of the twin towers, sitting atop an identical footprint and reaching an identical 1,362 feet into the sky.
Because there will no longer be a frame of latticework above the usable space, the observation deck will now be hundreds of feet higher than the previous design. Instead of 1,100 feet (335 m), the new deck will allow views from 1,362 feet (415 m), the ceiling height of the previous Tower Two. This will be higher than the destroyed Twin Towers observation deck, and also slightly higher than the observation Skydeck of the Sears Tower in Chicago.The building will have extra wide staircases, and "safe areas" on each floor.
The Freedom Tower is expected to be completed in 2007.
The new design certainly looks a far sight better than the original one.
This 646 pound Mekong giant catfish, the largest fresh water fish every recorded, was snagged in Thailand by researchers looking to protect various species of fish.
Apparently, the Mekong catfish was caught and eaten in a remote village along the Mekong River, home to more "giant" species of fish -- including the giant freshwater stingray, the dog-eating catfish, the dinosaur-like arapaima, and the Chinese paddlefish -- than anywhere in the world.
Anybody got a fifty-pound bag of corn meal?
Putin then put the ring in his pocket and left.
Following a meeting of American business executives and Putin at Konstantinovsky Palace near St. Petersburg on Saturday, Kraft showed the ring to Putin who tried it on, put it in his pocket and left, said Russian news reports.The ring, with it's 124 diamonds, is certainly worth more than the $15,000 value previously reported.
It isn't clear yet if Kraft, whose business interests also include paper and packaging companies and venture capital investments, intended that Putin keep the ring.
However, a Kremlin official who spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of compromising his position said the ring was a present. "Such a present was made," the official said.
He said Putin had given the ring to the Kremlin library where other foreign gifts are kept.
No word from Kraft, who is traveling overseas right now, and not due back until sometime next week according to Patriots' spokesperson Stacey James.
In addition to writing new stuff for Project 21, writing new stuff of my own, and working on several other more mundane projects, Apple has released iTunes version 4.9. This version includes on-board support for podcasting; which excites me for several reasons - one of which is work on piecing together my own podcast.
In any event, head on over to Apple.com/itunes, and get your updated copy for Mac or Windows. The new iTunes includes a detailed podcast directory, where you can find all sorts of programming. There is, at least for now, a paucity of conservative programming, when you look at the political side - ironically enough since most of Air America's programming, and plenty of other opinionated folk from the left are up and running on this revolution.
Not to matter - there's tons of fantastic programming out there to listen to -- fantastic music from Brian Ibbot's Coverville, plenty of sci-fi geekishness from Mike & Evo's Dragon Page & Slice of SciFi, wonderful food from Anne Bramley's Eat Feed, along with detailed information on podcasting and the podcasting revolution from the "podfather" himself, Adam Curry, on the Daily Source Code.
And that doesn't even scratch the surface.
I'll be putting a "favorite podcast" section on the left rail soon, so that you can get to some of the podcasts that I enjoy tremendously. Eventually, I'll have my own out there, and link it from right here. So you don't have to go anywhere. Mine will include plenty of the same sort of information that you get right here in print, plus a bit more irreverance and stuff to boot.
I don't have a start date just yet, but give me a little while, and I'll be there.
June 28, 2005
"If you read the record of the writing of the Constitution, high crimes and misdemeanors had a very particular meaning at the time of the drafting of the Constitution," Rep. Zoe Lofgren said at a forum held by Rep. John Conyers earlier this month.Those who are on the impeachment bandwagon either blow past or ignore the fact that the Downing Street memos were for the most part (and by his own admission) "recreated" by the London newspaper reporter who made them public. The larger question that everyone seems to continue to igore: do the memos truly exist in full, or are they the embellished rantings of an anti-Bush/anti-Blair writer who's looking for attention?
"It certainly didnt mean lying about sex," she complained, in quotes picked up by the Hill newspaper. "But it might well mean lying to the Congress about a large public purpose such as Iraq."
"We would like to see a member of Congress look into whether or not the president committed impeachable offenses," said John Bonifaz, a constitutional lawyer who co-founded the group AfterDowningStreet.org. "Weve been having that discussion with a number of [congressional] offices," he explained.
"I've always believed individual rights are a big thing..... but, I find value in the court's decision. As long as people are compensated fairly, I can appreciate the decision. Certain areas in our state are crying for development, if this decision helps - it's a positive."Ford is running for Bill Frist's US Senate seat. Now you know how he feels about your personal property rights. I trust that you folk reading this in Tennessee will keep that in mind when you get to the ballot box.
Bill Hobbs has audio clips of Ford in all his moonbattery.
June 26, 2005
June 24, 2005
Rove's comments, which came at a Wednesday night gathering of the New York Conservative Party, included charges that liberals are soft on terrorism.
Rove, the architect behind President Bush's election victories, on Wednesday night told a gathering of the New York Conservative Party that "Liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he said, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."Liberal groups like MoveOn.org have gone up in smoke, as Rove's charges hit them square on.
He added that groups linked to the Democratic Party made the mistake of calling for "moderation and restraint" after the terrorist attacks.
Eli Pariser, executive director of the MoveOn political action committee, said the online group didn't oppose U.S. military action in Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.Democratic leaders in both house of Congress are also calling for Rove's head on a silver platter. I'm guessing that since they see Rove as the so-called puppetmaster pulling President Bush's strings, that if they can get rid him, they have a better shot at going after Bush and the GOP.
"Karl Rove is trying to change the subject on the president's failed Iraq policy," Pariser said in a statement. "Recent polls show growing majorities want an exit strategy. Lying about MoveOn won't solve Rove's problem."
Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, in a letter to Rove co-signed by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Democratic senators from Connecticut and New Jersey, called the presidential adviser's speech "a slap in the face to the unity that America achieved after Sept. 11, 2001."But as I said, this is the height of hypocracy for the Democratic Party, as they minimized Durbin's comments, refusing to denounce him or those comments, even in light of Durbin's snide pseudo-apology earlier this week.
For Rove "to try to exploit 9/11 for political purposes once again just shows you how desperate they are," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California, who in recent days has been the target of Republican attacks for saying that the Iraq war was a "grotesque mistake."
Perhaps the Dems should look in their own mirror before throwing stones or protesting too loudly.
June 23, 2005
The decision was tied to a New London, CT case where the city wanted to seize an entire neighborhood of homes under eminent domain provisions, and hand that property over to a developer who would build an office, residential and retail complex supporting a new $300 million research facility of Pfizer Pharmaceutical. In their defense, the city claimed that the eminent domain clause of the 5th Amendment to the Constitution would apply here, as the project would increase tax revenues, create jobs and improve the local economy.
As for the people that lived there, in some cases for generations? The city said the heck with 'em. And five Supreme Court justices agreed with that.
Writing for the majority, Justice John Paul Stevens said the case turned on the question of whether New London's development plan served a "public purpose." He added, "Without exception, our cases have defined that concept broadly, reflecting our longstanding policy of deference to legislative judgments in this field."The larger ramifications of this were pointed out by minority opinions, filed by both Clarence Thomas and Sandra Day O'Connor.
New London officials "were not confronted with the need to remove blight in the Fort Trumbull area, but their determination that the area was sufficiently distressed to justify a program of economic rejuvenation is entitled to our deference," Stevens wrote. "The City has carefully formulated an economic development plan that it believes will provide appreciable benefits to the community, including--but by no means limited to--new jobs and increased tax revenue."
Stevens added that "because that plan unquestionably serves a public purpose, the takings challenged here satisfy the public use requirement of the Fifth Amendment."
"Today the Court abandons this long-held, basic limitation on government power," O'Connor wrote. "Under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded -- i.e., given to an owner who will use it in a way that the legislature deems more beneficial to the public -- in the process."Bottom line? If you own any property, and the local municipality decides that someone else "deserves" or "needs" your property more than you do (i.e., the "other guy" can increase the tax base or provide jobs), then you're S.O.L. They get to take your land. And you don't have a damn thing to say about it.
The effect of the decision, O'Connor said, "is to wash out any distinction between private and public use of property -- and thereby effectively to delete the words "for public use" from the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment."
So much for the concept of personal property rights. Thanks to this decision, you can just kiss that right -- which was one of those guaranteed by the Constitution itself, mind you -- away.
June 22, 2005
The only thing that's changed today are the names and the faces. The issue is still the same.
In March, Chicago Alderman Dorothy Tillman introduced a measure to the City Council that asked that today's black Americans be compensated by the federal government for the four hundred years that blacks historically were slaves in the New World.
Dorothy "The Hat" does not say, in her bill, how this would be accomplished, where this compensation would come from or exactly who would be paid.
Tillman has already been able to strong-arm a bill through the City Councl that demands that any firm that does business with the City be forced to disclose (and attone for) any connections to slavery in their past.
Bank of America was forced to attone for the connections of one of more than four hundred banks acquired by the Bank and it's subsidiaries over the years. In this case, Providence Bank, which was subsequently acquired by the ancestor firms making up FleetBoston, which in turn was snapped up by Bank of America in 2004.
The Chicago legislation has not been used to demand monies from those firms, but many believe that the demands are only a matter of time.
These issues are far more complex than many would have you believe. As for the "how" and the "where" of the beneficiary parties, you have to keep in mind that the federal government would have to raise taxes dramatically to cover the literally trillions of dollars that would have to be produced to satisfy most of the scenarios presented.
Which brings us back to the "who."
On the surface, many people who are married to the notion of reparations insist that all blacks should be paid. But if you look beyond the surface, you are looking at a number of intangibles. First off, there are blacks who cannot trace their ancestry to slavery in this nation for any number of reasons: their ancestors came to the United States after the abolition of slavery; they could be descended from free blacks who lived in the north or elsewhere; they could even be descended from blacks who themselves owned slaves -- and before you get up in arms, yes there were black slave owners in a number of states.
It would be difficult, at best, to determine exactly who would be entitled using that criteria.
What many don't realize is that some reparations proponents are pushing for monies to be paid to "foundations" and "organizations" devoted to the "advancement" of the black community in America. Like the NAACP or Operation PUSH.
Or in other words, to line the pockets of those self-same reparations proponents, everyone else be damned.
The proponents are looking at this as their own personal "free lunch" in the form of a glorified Ponzi scheme.
But one thing is still clear today, just as I said in my piece three years ago: TANSTAAFL -- "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch."
June 21, 2005
"Some may believe that my remarks crossed the line," the Illinois Democrat said. "To them I extend my heartfelt apologies."Durbin took a lot of heat from many on both sides of the political aisle, but until now, refused to apologize for his comments. When questioned in a number of forums, Durbin indicated that he stood behind what he said.
His voice quaking and tears welling in his eyes, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate also apologized to any soldiers who felt insulted by his remarks.
"They're the best. I never, ever intended any disrespect for them," he said.
As recently as yesterday, spokespersons for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Galactic Empire-NV) snubbed a letter from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist demanding an apology from Durbin. No comment from Reid's office so far on the Durbin apology.
June 20, 2005
25 to Life is being called 'far worse than Grand Theft Auto' by a number of critics, including Michael Medved on his nationally syndicated radio show today.
The New York Democrat says the objective of the game called "25 to life" is to shoot police officers, and use civilians as human shields.The game's expletive-laden soundtrack is drawing fire also.
He says the game is so gruesome that it lowers common decency.
Schumer is asking stores not to stock the game and for PlayStation manufacturer Sony and X-Box maker Microsoft to cancel their licensing agreements with the British company that makes it.
Despite the attacks on the game, teens on internet message boards say they are looking forward to the game.
After two major delays so far, 25 to Life is slated to be released for PS2, Xbox and PCs in September.
Interestingly, there is silence from the Jackson-Sharpton cabal on the negative images of blacks portrayed in this game. Does this mean that it is OK, in their minds, for this kind of image to be presented?
June 19, 2005
Why is Bill Press facing so much resistance?With Air America faltering in the ratings nationally (don't believe me? Check Radio & Records), you'd think Press would have done a better job at his homework before taking to the air. Then again, dollar signs have made many a man do potentially foolish things.
So far, only one station, in Akron, Ohio, is carrying "The Bill Press Show". Soon, SIRIUS will be picking it up for their left-wing talk channel (which will help only slightly), but otherwise, there are no takers.
According to reports, Press actually uses local identifiers such as station call letters, in a frank admission it's only heard there. From where is he broadcasting, though? Washington, Los Angeles, or did he relocate to Akron (which seems highly unlikely)?
In the early 1940s, a politically ambitious butcher from West Virginia named Bob Byrd recruited 150 of his friends and associates to form a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. After Byrd had collected the $10 joining fee and $3 charge for a robe and hood from every applicant, the "Grand Dragon" for the mid-Atlantic states came down to tiny Crab Orchard, W.Va., to officially organize the chapter.Today's Washington Post piece goes on to talk about how his "association" with the Klan still dogs him.
As Byrd recalls now, the Klan official, Joel L. Baskin of Arlington, Va., was so impressed with the young Byrd's organizational skills that he urged him to go into politics. "The country needs young men like you in the leadership of the nation," Baskin said.
Y'ask me, I think he's still got those "tendencies" floating 'round his head...
Several confectionary manufacturers are now marketing candies flavored with hemp oil -- which gives the sweet treats an added flavor that at least simulates the flavor of marijuana.
"This kind of thing is reprehensible," said state Sen. Vincent Fort, an Atlanta lawmaker who has organized demonstrations against the candy. "It's nothing but dope candy, and that's nothing we need to be training our children to do."Mind you, these companies can't see the harm and potential harm that products like this can do to youngsters.
While the candies have caught the attention of government and law enforcement officials across the country, there's nothing even questionable about their legality. Hemp oil is used in products ranging from health food to beauty supplies.
And all the companies contend their candies are geared toward adults and that they advise retailers to sell the candy only to people 18 and older.
Critics don't buy that argument, citing the kind of marketing on Chronic Candy's Web site, which shows video of people apparently smoking marijuana and a warehouse with hundreds of marijuana plants.
"It's pretty clear to see what they're trying to appeal to," said Pat Shea, of Cary, N.C., Southeast program director for the anti-drug DARE program. "They want to appeal to the wannabes. We always say that the wannabes are going-to-bes."
And before you point to pedestrian liquor-oriented products like rum raisin ice cream and whisky-soaked fruitcake (gak!), none of those products are marketed toward a drug-glorifying or booze-glorifying lifestyle.
A commenter in an earlier thread pointed out that I had been remiss in thanking the activists at Democratic Underground for a while. I have corrected that oversight. From Ohio to Downing Street, they have always been there when it mattered.By extension, Conyers has shown that his only desire is to get Bush and the GOP, the rest of the American public be damned.
June 18, 2005
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