Roy L. Harbin:The DANG-DInGIE American

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re:murtha on armenia genocide resolution
~"If it came to the floor, it would not pass," with some 55 to 60 Democrats opposing the measure, Murtha told reporters. As of Thursday, House Democrats will hold a 233-200 majority.
Pelosi, D-Calif., is expected to hold off on a vote until she gets a better idea of how many House members will support it - a task assumed behind the scenes by the resolution's primary co-sponsors, including Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. More than a dozen lawmakers withdrew their sponsorship of the measure this month.
"While a few members have withdrawn their support for the resolution, the truth is on our side, and support for the resolution remains high," Shiff said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. "As with almost all legislation in Congress, there are many members who are not listed as co-sponsors of the resolution but support the measure."~
~With all the pressing responsibilities facing the nation, "One thing Congress should not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman Empire," he told a White House news conference.
Said Murtha: "We don't have the number of allies we used to have. We've lost so much credibility worldwide."~
re:libya gets seat on un security counsel

re:cosby has been trying for years,0,3580288.column
~And it's revealing, given the liberal biases of our culture, that one man gets so much attention and the other man, so little.
Gore, former vice president-turned-pundit-movie star, has chosen, as his topic, the infinitely big. And he has been rewarded hugely: He just won the Nobel Peace Prize, on top of many other awards showered down on him by the elite culture, including an Oscar and an Emmy. So Gore will ascend into the jetstream of world-renown - the same left-tilting empyrean occupied by such globe-trotters as Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates.~
~In the meantime, closer to the ground, the comedian-turned-reformer Bill Cosby has joined with Alvin F. Poussaint of Harvard Medical School to write a book, "Come on People: On the Path from Victims to Victors," which argues that many of the problems within the black community are self-inflicted, the result of a counterproductive culture of violence and victimhood.
Cosby has been making this point for years - and has been getting attacked by the left for years. Michael Eric Dyson, speaking for the liberal street-activism left over from the '60s, wrote an entire book attacking Cosby's "poisonous" view of black culture.
But Cosby and Poussaint have the cold terrible facts on their side: "In 1950, five out of every six black children were born into a two-parent home. Today that number is less than two out of six." Yes, white racism exists, but it was worse a half-century ago. Something bad is happening within black culture, and Cosby and Poussaint are not shy about naming it: the celebration of violence and ignorance emblemized in the "gangsta" lifestyle.
The unyielding truth is that any group climbs into the middle class only by embracing middle-class values. This is a "conservative" fact of life that was once equally embraced by liberals, before they "progressed" on to "liberation" as a new goal.
But after decades of disaster, black thinkers such as Cosby and Poussaint - and before them, John McWhorter, Juan Williams and, yes, Clarence Thomas - are leading a moral renaissance among African-Americans, which surely counts as the most hopeful social trend in our national life today. And yet with the remarkable exception of NBC's Tim Russert, who bravely devoted the entire hour of Sunday's "Meet the Press" to Cosby and Poussaint, the mainstream media seem little interested in this black renaissance.
Why is that? Perhaps because the liberal-leaning elites realize that they are losing the debate over poverty and uplift - the winners being those who speak for hard work, abstinence and delayed gratification.
No wonder the chattering classes, fleeing from their horror of such a "bourgeois" existence, have moved on to new, greener pastures.
But there's a problem looming ahead for Gore and his many fans: how to radically reduce "greenhouse gases." The environmentalists have their answer: some sort of global authority to restrict factories and cars - which would, not coincidentally, authorize them to rule the world. But maybe China won't cooperate. Maybe the Chinese will watch as we shut down our factories - and they keep theirs open. And then who will win the next war? Not a war of polar bears and the Prius, but a real war of ships and airplanes.
If Gore wants to be constructive, he will figure out to how to reduce pollution - while still preserving American industry. If he could do that, he would truly earn the respect and admiration of all Americans.
But in the meantime, Cosby and Poussaint have taken on a challenge that we can win, because the struggle will take place within our own hearts.~

re:more mortgage woes,,even for those not buying houses themselves,,mortgage folks committing scams,0,5530446.story
(surprisingly,,many involved are immigrants)
~At the center of the probe is Griffin Mortgage Co., with offices in Jackson Heights, Jamaica and Garden City. Officials with the company could not be reached.
Griffin director and business manager, Jacob Milton, 41, is a Bangladeshi immigrant who has a cable talk show. On the wall of the Jackson Heights office are several pictures of him with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and President Bill Clinton.
Milton was arrested yesterday at the Queens courthouse, where he had appeared in a pending case, separate from the current investigation, in which he is accused of threatening a client who had filed a lawsuit against him.
Milton, of Port Washington, said nothing to police, according to Lt. Richard Rudolph of the 115th Precinct detective squad. His sister, Nira Niru, who is 38 and lives with him, was also arrested. She works as a secretary at Griffin Mortgage.
Both face charges of grand larceny, identity theft and scheme to defraud.
According to Rudolph, the case dates to July, when six people showed up at the precinct station house to complain that someone had opened up a Home Depot account in their name.
The subsequent investigation uncovered a common thread - all six victims had applied for mortgages at Griffin, Rudolph said.
By early last night, Rudolph said, three police vans had been filled with documents and about 10 computers that were seized from Griffin's Jackson Heights office, plus residences that Milton owns on Denman Street in Elmhurst and on Fifth Street in Deer Park.
One victim, Mohammed Golam, 42, of Cypress Hills, said he "trusted Milton like a brother," but that Milton scammed him, first by getting him a mortgage nearly $100,000 more than he was supposed to buy the house for, then by arranging for a refinancing in which Milton kept $40,000 of the money.
"I have a house, but I have trouble," said Golam. "I pay my mortgage, then I buy food. But I have no money for anything else. Sometimes I don't even have money for food."
Meanwhile Suffolk police arrested Noor Mohammed, 44, who lives at the 8 North 5th St., Deer Park, charging him with second-degree grand larceny.
Det. Sgt. Stephen Jensen, commanding officer of the Suffolk identity theft unit, said Mohammed was involved in an Internet fraudulent stock scheme aimed at netting about $100,000. Jensen said the Suffolk investigation is ongoing.~

re:mortgage woes a re-enacted 'dot com bubble burst'?
~The average family of four is spending anywhere from $7 to $10 extra a week - $40 more a month - on groceries alone, compared to a year ago, according to retail consultant Burt Flickinger III.
And while overall wage growth is a solid 4.1 percent over the past 12 months, economists say the increases are mostly for the top earners.
Retailers started noticing the strain in late spring and early summer as they were monitoring the spending around the paycheck cycle.
Wal-Mart and Family Dollar key on the first week of the month, when government checks like Social Security and public assistance generally hit consumers' mailboxes.
7-Eleven, whose customers are more diverse, looks at paycheck cycles in specific markets dominated by a major employer, such as General Motors in Detroit, to discern trends in shopping.
To economize, shoppers are going for less expensive food.
"They're buying more peanut butter and pasta. And they're going for hamburger meat," Flickinger, the retail consultant, said. "They're trying to outsmart the store by looking for deep discounts at the end of the month."
He said the last time he saw this was 2000-2001, when the dot-com bubble burst and the economy went into a recession after massive layoffs.
For now, low-price retailers are readjusting their merchandising and pricing.
Wal-Mart is becoming more aggressive on discounting. It announced Thursday it is expanding price cuts to 15,000 items, ranging from Motts apple juice and Progresso soups to women's fleece tops, heading into the holidays.~
(why don't they turn off the a/c and use an antaenna for tv?That would be less 'lux bux' out every month)

re:POWERS say they will save world economy(?)while protesters oppose
~The turmoil that financial markets have suffered through in recent months dominated the Group of Seven discussions, which were hosted by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Besides, the United States, the other members of the G-7 are Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.~
~"Recent financial market turbulence, high oil prices and weakness in the U.S. housing sector will likely moderate" world economic growth, the officials said. The International Monetary Fund projects that global economic growth this year will slow to 5.2 percent, a still-solid pace.
Growth in the United States, however, is expected to be just 1.9 percent this year, which would be a five-year low. "The housing decline is still unfolding and I view it as the most significant current risk to our economy," said Paulson.
The globalization of the financial markets - credited with giving investors more choices - has also spurred an array of complex investment instruments flowing across international borders. The meltdown in the United States with risky subprime mortgages made to borrowers with spotty credit or low incomes also ended up hurting investors in Europe and elsewhere. Banks, hedge funds and others that invested in subprime mortgage-backed securities suffered big losses.~
~Finance officials called on China to move faster on efforts to let its currency, the yuan, rise in value. That would raise the price of Chinese goods on world markets. China's undervalued currency is blamed for contributing to the United States' swollen trade deficits and the loss of millions of U.S. factory jobs. "We stress its (China's) need to allow an accelerated appreciation of its effective exchange rate," the G-7 said.
The G-7 statement didn't mention the big drop in the U.S. dollar, which has hit a record low against the euro, giving some European companies heartburn.
Europe is beginning to feel the pinch of that sharp decline. It is making French wine, Italian fashion and German cars more expensive purchases in the United States, which is the European Union's main export market. The weaker dollar, however, benefits U.S. companies because it makes their products less expensive to European buyers.
Still, Paulson continued to stick with the United States' long-held rhetoric that "a strong dollar is in our nation's interests and currency values should be determined in a competitive marketplace."
French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde responded: "I hope the market will hear him. That's not the case today. I hope it changes."
The growing role of "sovereign wealth funds" - secretive government-controlled investment funds - in the global economy also was scrutinized. The finance officials suggested these funds should be more open in terms of their holdings and operations.~
~The discussion about these funds - estimated to be worth some $2.5 trillion - was expected to continue later at a G-7 dinner Friday evening. Officials from China, South Korea, Kuwait, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates - all of which operate such funds - have been invited to take part in the dinner discussion.~
~The officials also discussed Iran's role in financing terror. "We discussed ways to deal with Iran's pursuit of a nuclear capability and ballistic missiles, the regime's vast financial support to lethal terrorist groups, and the deceptive financial tactics employed by Iran to evade sanctions and mask illicit transactions," Paulson said.~
re:reids letter attack on limbos phony soldier'comment nets 2.5mill and reid tries to garner 'faceplay' from it
~"Everyone knows that Rush Limbaugh and I don't agree on everything in life and maybe that is kind of an understatement," Reid said as the auction was in its final hours. "I strongly believe when we can put our differences aside, even Harry Reid and Rush Limbaugh, we should do that and try to accomplish good things for the American people."~
(what did reid have to do with its sale?And does he realize it sows dems in a bad light to have done such over a 'true' statement?)
~The Oct. 2 letter to Clear Channel Communications Inc. sought an apology from Limbaugh and a public repudiation from the company. It was signed by 41 senators, including Majority Leader Harry Reid and presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Chris Dodd.~
~The letter from the senators called Limbaugh's comments against "troops who oppose the war ... an outrage."
"It is unconscionable that Mr. Limbaugh would criticize them for exercising the fundamentally American right to free speech," the letter read.
Limbaugh said in a Fox News interview Thursday that the letter symbolized "the greatest example" of Congress "singling out a private citizen for abuse and censorship."~
~In the segment where Limbaugh made the "phony soldiers" comment, he discussed Jesse Macbeth, who was sentenced to five months in prison last month for faking his military service. The Tacoma, Wash., man was kicked out of the Army after six weeks at Fort Benning, Ga., in 2003, but he later claimed to have participated in war crimes in Iraq and tried to position himself as a leader of the anti-war movement.
Limbaugh has said he was referring only to Macbeth when he discussed "phony soldiers."
On the Senate floor on Friday, however, Reid praised the positive outcome of the clash.~
(what a maroon!)
~The winning bid came from the Maryland-based Eugene B. Casey Foundation, according to the group. The foundation, which lists assets of $294 million in its latest IRS filing, was established by Casey, a real estate developer, and is run primarily by his widow, Betty.~
~"The Eugene B. Casey Foundation believes freedom of speech is a basic right of every citizen of this country," the group said in a news release Friday.~
re:california school teaches students islam while portraying christians as 'evil'
~As children return to school this week, following the Christmas break, 7th graders in a growing number of public schools, who are not permitted to wear a cross or speak the name of Jesus, will be required to attend an intensive three week course on Islam; a course in which students are mandated to learn the tenets of Islam, study the important figures of the faith, wear a robe, adopt a Muslim name and stage their own Jihad.~

re:islamic saudi academy
~The report also criticizes the school's administrative structure, saying it is little more than an offshoot of the Saudi Embassy, with the Saudi ambassador to the United States serving as chairman of the school's board of directors. The structure "raises serious concerns about whether it is in violation of a U.S. law restricting the activities of foreign embassies."
After the Sept. 11 attacks, critics questioned the nature of the religious education at the Saudi academy. The school again found itself in the spotlight in 2005, when a former class valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, was charged with joining al-Qaida while attending college in Saudi Arabia and plotting to assassinate President Bush.
Abu Ali was convicted in federal court and sentenced to 30 years in prison. He is appealing his conviction.~
re:how come no one heard about this over here?
~Iraqi Resistance announces Founding of Supreme Command for the Jihad and Liberation in Baghdad.~

re:obama goes after Tanner for talking science facts
~Barack Obama said Friday the head of the Justice Department's voting rights division should be fired for saying voter ID laws hurt the elderly but aren't a problem for minorities because they often die before old age.
John Tanner's remarks came during an Oct. 5 panel discussion on minority voters before the National Latino Congreso in Los Angeles. Tanner addressed state laws that require photo identification for voting, saying that elderly voters disproportionately don't have the proper IDs.
"That's a shame, you know, creating problems for elderly persons just is not good under any circumstance," Tanner said, according to video posted on YouTube. "Of course, that also ties into the racial aspect because our society is such that minorities don't become elderly the way white people do. They die first.
"There are inequities in health care. There are a variety of inequities in this country, and so anything that disproportionately impacts the elderly has the opposite impact on minorities. Just the math is such as that," Tanner said.~
~"Such comments are patently erroneous, offensive and dangerous, and they are especially troubling coming from the federal official charged with protecting voting rights in this country," Obama wrote.~
~Ablin said the Justice Department "continues to have full confidence" in Tanner, effectively rejecting Obama's demand that the voting chief be dismissed.
It is well documented that black Americans - particularly black males - have shorter life expectancies than whites. But blacks do live to become senior citizens.
A black person born in 2004 had an average life expectancy of 73.1 years, about five years less than for whites, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
Obama also criticized Tanner for clearing a Georgia law that requires voters to show government-issued photo IDs at the polls. It was upheld by a federal judge last month.
Opponents say photo ID laws will disenfranchise minorities, the poor and the elderly who don't have driver's licenses or other valid government-issued photo IDs. Supporters of such laws say they are needed to prevent voter fraud.
The Supreme Court has agreed to consider Indiana's photo ID law this term. Indiana's law is similar to Georgia's.~
~Justice Department spokesman Erik Ablin said Tanner had worked for the department's voting section since 1976, the last two years as its chief. Tanner's tenure also includes a stint in the White House counsel's office during the Clinton administration.~
~Mr. Tanner is an attorney who works to protect civil rights on a daily basis," Ablin said, adding that the official had won numerous awards from African-American groups. "Nothing in his comments deviated from his firm commitment to enforce the law, and it is unfortunate that they have been so grossly misconstrued."
In a letter to the Justice Department, sent Friday, Obama called Tanner's remarks a disgrace and asked Acting Attorney General Peter D. Keisler to dismiss him.~

re:farrakhan advocates civil division of blacks from 'mainstream' society
~Published: 10/16/07, 11:45 PM EDT
ATLANTA (AP) - In a rare public appearance, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan urged black Americans on Tuesday night to separate from mainstream culture to establish and support their own community.
Nearly eight months after delivering what was thought to be his farewell speech, a smiling Farrakhan strode onstage at the Atlanta Civic Center to an applauding and cheering audience of nearly 5,000. He warned the crowd not to be distracted by the successes of recent decades.
Farrakhan, 74, ceded leadership duties last year because of illness after nearly three decades.
Tuesday night's address was the keynote speech for Farrakhan's Holy Day of Atonement, which also commemorated the 12th anniversary of the Million Man March, held Oct. 16, 1995 in Washington.~
re:in the uk
~Call to search more black people
The use of stop-and-search has long been a controversial topic
The outgoing president of the National Black Police Association (NBPA) is calling for more people from black communities to be stopped and searched.
Keith Jarrett told the Observer the move was needed to tackle inner-city gun and knife crime and he would be pressing police for such an approach.
His call goes against the NBPA's stance but he said: "The black community is telling me we have to... look at this."
Other senior black police officers have distanced themselves from his remarks.
'Limited tool'
The NBPA's legal adviser, Ch Supt Ali Dizaei, told the BBC the comments were Mr Jarrett's personal views.
He added that stop and search was a very limited tool in the fight against knife and gun crime.
Mr Jarrett will use a speech this week to ask Police Minister Tony McNulty and Met Police chief Sir Ian Blair to consider searching more black people.
The use of racial profiling in stop-and-search tactics has long been one of the most contentious issues in British policing.
Black people are six times more likely to be stopped than white people, according to Home Office figures.
We have talked about disproportionate use of stop-and-search in the past, but what I am proposing is quite the reverse
Keith Jarrett, National Black Police Association
This disparity has led to continued charges of police racism.
Mr Jarrett's stance, which is expected to be outlined in a speech at the NBPA's annual conference in Bristol on Wednesday, will mark a sharp change of direction by the body, which represents thousands of officers from ethnic minorities.
The UK-wide body has previously questioned the high proportion of black people stopped and searched by police.
The Macpherson Report, published in February 1999 into the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in London, strongly criticised the use of stop and search by police officers.
Its use is considered to have been a major factor in precipitating the inner-city race riots of the 1980s.
However, Mr Jarrett hopes the escalation of such tactics by police would reduce the number of nationwide shootings.
A further two teenagers have been killed in the past week.
'Reasonable suspicion'
Mr Jarrett told the newspaper: "From the return that I am getting from a lot of black people, they want to stop these killings, these knife crimes, and if it means their sons and daughters are going to be inconvenienced by being stopped by the police, so be it."
He said he was "hoping we go down that road" and he would be "pressing" for such an approach.
"It's not going to go down very well with my audience, many of whom are going to be black," he admitted.
"We have talked about disproportionate use of stop-and-search in the past, but what I am proposing is quite the reverse.
"The black community is telling me that we have to have a look at this."
He said he would not oppose a random use of stop-and-search in situations where officers had "reasonable suspicion" that an offence had been committed. ~
~Last week Hackney MP Diane Abbott told the House of Commons prison sentences must be increased for people convicted of gun crime.
Ms Abbott said London is suffering from a "lawless gun culture" and people living in the city are becoming increasingly frightened they will become a victim.
Last year in London alone there were 21 "black on black" gun murders, 67 attempted murders and a further 80 shootings resulting in minor injury or criminal damage.
The number of armed robberies rose to 776 from 500 the previous year and reports suggest guns are now available in the capital for as little as £200.~
(erroneously states Bell had NO priors)

re:rapper nas stands up against 'censorship'
~The rapper told MTV News that he would indeed be naming his new album after the N-word. And he denied earlier reports that the album's title would be spelled "N---a," considered in some circles a less inflammatory epithet. He said the disc is due out Dec. 11.~
~"The title using the 'N' word is morally offensive and socially distasteful. Nas has the right to degrade and denigrate in the name of free speech, but there is no honor in it," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said in a news release.
"Radio and television stations have no obligation to play it and self-respecting people have no obligation to buy it. I wish he would use his talents to lift up and inspire, not degrade."~
(and the same goes for ol'Sharpie as well,,he uses opposition to it to make money and garner fame and clout,,what's wrong with nas doing it through using it the way he wishes?)
(sharpton spreads hate)

re:child suspended over drawing of 'stik figure with a gun'
~2nd-Grader Suspended for Drawing of Gun
Published: 10/20/07, 4:46 PM EDT
DENNIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A second-grader's drawing of a stick figure shooting a gun earned him a one-day school suspension.
Kyle Walker, 7, was suspended last week for violating Dennis Township Primary School's zero-tolerance policy on guns, the boy's mother, Shirley McDevitt, told The Press of Atlantic City.
Kyle gave the picture to another child on the school bus, and that child's parents complained about it to school officials, McDevitt said. Her son told her the drawing was of a water gun, she said.
A photocopy of the picture provided by McDevitt showed two stick figures with one pointing a crude-looking gun at the other, the newspaper said. What appeared to be the word "me" was written above the shooter, with another name scribbled above the other figure.
School officials declined to comment Friday. A message left at the superintendent's office Saturday was not returned.
Kyle drew other pictures, including a skateboarder, King Tut, a ghost, a tree and a Cyclops, the newspaper reported.~

re:more visuals breed censuring concerns
~A Southern university is trying to defend its image after the student newspaper published a cartoon of a black man being sold at auction and a racist death threat was scribbled on the door of a black student leader's dorm room.
Earlier this month, the cartoon in the University of Kentucky's newspaper, the Kernel, sparked peaceful protests around campus. It showed a black student, bare-chested and chained, being auctioned off among three fictional fraternities: Aryan Omega, Kappa Kappa Kappa and Alpha Caucasian.
Just when the furor was starting to die down, a junior recently elected as "Mr. Black University of Kentucky" returned to his residence hall to find his door vandalized with the message: "Die," followed by a racial slur.
University officials condemned the cartoon and the threat, and President Lee Todd spoke Thursday to the state's Commission on Human Rights, which held a special meeting on campus to address the incidents.
"They were ugly and should not have happened," Todd said.
Todd insists the school had started to make significant progress in race relations. Black enrollment on the campus broke a record this year, and the school retained black students at a higher rate than their white classmates.
Yet Josh Watkins, the student whose door was vandalized, and black leaders contend the university might not have advanced quite as far as enrollment suggests.
"It's a history of segregation," Watkins said. "In the day and age we live in, you would think people would try to improve that image. It's almost like you can bait someone to get here and then leave them out to pasture to fend for themselves."
Kentucky, a border state during the Civil War, wasn't as slow to desegregate as some universities in the Deep South, although it took a lawsuit for the first graduate student to be admitted in 1949. Black undergraduates arrived five years later.
However, the school's claim to national fame - a basketball program that leads the country in all-time wins - didn't sign its first black player until 1969, 20 years after the first black graduate student enrolled.
The lag in integrating the basketball team is largely responsible for the school's poor image in race relations, said Provost Kumble Subbaswamy, a native of India who is the highest-ranking minority official in the university's history.
"It was a visible sign of old values and bad values," said Subbaswamy, who said the school is looking to fill a newly created position of vice president for diversity.
But the image problem is about more than basketball, and it's far more current, said the Rev. Louis Coleman, director of the Justice Resource Center in Louisville.
In the fall of 2005, the school experienced a 40 percent drop in black freshmen. That drew criticism from black state legislators and some black faculty members.
Enrollment is back up, but there is currently only one minority dean - Indian, not black - and no black head coaches now that basketball coach Tubby Smith departed for Minnesota.
Editors at the Kernel have apologized for the cartoon, which they said was intended as satire. But Coleman blames the university for creating the culture.
"The environment was conducive for a satire like this to be printed, to be drawn," Coleman said. "This is not overnight. This has been happening for a long time."
But Everett McCorvey, the university's director of opera says the campus problems now are nothing compared to the 1950s and 1960s in Alabama, where he grew up, and he views the cartoon and vandalism threat as isolated.
"At any university, you're going to have the opportunity for public discourse, and you're going to have these sort of incidents happen," McCorvey said. "Do I fear it's part of a larger problem? No, I don't."
Jonathan Best, a senior sociology major who is vice president of the school's black student union, says the advances the school has made in race relations are "mainly cosmetic."
"It appears we're more concerned with getting numbers, not maintaining them, not turning them into professionals," Best said.
Subbaswamy acknowledged that universities need to include minorities as part of the culture, not just the student body.
"Legalized discrimination went away during the civil rights legislation in the 1960s," Subbaswamy said. "What we're dealing with in society today is subtler. Call it racism or discrimination, but that's much harder to root out."~
(seems contrived to me.Who were the papers persons who actually thought it would be satirical?And who did what to the dudes door at such a time?)

re:racist hispanics boycott over protective org members appointment as parks commisioner
~A national Hispanic civil rights organization said Saturday it is pulling its 2009 convention from Kansas City because a member of a group opposed to illegal immigration was appointed to the city's park board.
The National Council of La Raza said its board came to the decision unanimously after being unable to reach an agreement with Mayor Mark Funkhouser over his appointment in June of Frances Semler, a member of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps.
"Our decision is a clear expression of support for Kansas City's Hispanic community," said board chairwoman Monica Lozano. "An active member of the Minutemen should not be an official representative for a city that purports to believe in diversity."
La Raza officials consider the Minutemen - known for posting sometimes-armed patrols on the Mexican border and picketing construction sites where illegal immigrants may be working - hostile to Hispanics. The Arizona-based organization maintains it simply wants U.S. immigration policies enforced.
Funkhouser, who has stood by Semler throughout the controversy, said Saturday he was disappointed with La Raza's decision.
"We worked awfully hard to try to work out a compromise so they would come," he said in a statement.
Losing the 2009 convention is expected to cost the Kansas City economy an estimated $5 million to $7 million in revenue. It will also be costly for La Raza, which must pay area hotels $75,000 for not filling reserved blocks of hotel rooms.
Funkhouser met Friday with local Hispanic leaders and a federal mediator to try to resolve the issue. Funkhouser and Rita Valenciano, of the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, said both sides had agreed not to discuss the session or La Raza's decision.
Officials of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People had also threatened to cancel their 2010 convention planned for Kansas City. Doing so would cost the city an estimated $9 million in lost sales.
NAACP officials said they would consider La Raza's decision in their own deliberations.~

re:what they do to each other
~Police: Handlers Tortured Immigrants
Published: 10/20/07, 9:05 PM EDT
PHOENIX (AP) - Police raided a drop house for illegal immigrants and discovered several, including a pregnant woman, whose handlers had beaten and tortured them, authorities said.
Police took 54 people into custody after the raid Friday, including four children and seven suspected smugglers.
One man's head had been wrapped in a plastic bag and submerged in a waste-filled toilet, said Maricopa County sheriff's spokesman Capt. Paul Chagolla. The man's pregnant wife was severely beaten and will probably lose her baby, he said.
Deputies are investigating reports that smugglers held at least five other immigrants at gunpoint and demanded more money.
Women and children were screaming inside the home when deputies entered, Chagolla said. There was little food and no furniture inside, he said.
"Toilets were filled with human waste and buckets were dispersed throughout the house as makeshift toilets," he said.
Sheriff's officials learned of the drop house during an investigation into human smuggling, Chagolla said. The home is the third discovered in a ring of related drop houses, and 80 people have been arrested under immigration laws, Chagolla said.
The seven suspected smugglers arrested Friday were booked on charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping, illegal control of an enterprise and human smuggling for profit.~

re:hawaiians want and get special treatment due to race
~In Hawaii, ancestry is more than just a matter of ethnic pride. Under a program created by Congress in 1921, Native Hawaiians with strong bloodlines can get land for a home for $1 a year. Those with more mixed ancestry still receive many other benefits, including low-interest loans and admission for their children to the richly endowed and highly regarded Kamehameha Schools.
The help is designed to make amends for the 1893 U.S. overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom, the annexation of the islands, and the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by foreign disease.
In a federal lawsuit filed in 2005, Native Hawaiians with at least 50 percent islander blood want exclusive control over state programs currently open to everyone with at least some Native Hawaiian blood.
In a separate dispute that could also be headed for court, state residents with no Native Hawaiian ancestry are questioning why they can't join a Hawaiians-only voter registry.~
~Proving Native Hawaiian ancestry is a big deal. Without it, you can be born in the islands but can never call yourself Hawaiian.
No blood or DNA test exists to determine who is or isn't Hawaiian. Instead, people have to prove their ethnicity through birth certificates, marriage licenses, census records, family trees or newspaper obituaries.
The state Office of Hawaiian Affairs spends millions a year on programs to benefit Native Hawaiians, promoting the Hawaiian language and pushing for federal recognition of Hawaiians. Most of the money comes from revenue generated by leasing out to farmers, developers and harbor users land that once belonged to the Hawaiian kingdom.
In the federal lawsuit, people with at least 50 percent Hawaiian blood contend that the money derived from their ancestors' land should be spent only on them.
"These are the closest relatives to the people whose lands were taken from them unjustly," said their attorney, Walter Schoettle. He added: "If you're less than 50 percent Hawaiian, you're more something else."
But the state of Hawaii argues that it is committed to trying to raise the quality of life for all Native Hawaiians.
"It is impossible to improve the conditions of 50 percent Native Hawaiians in isolation," said Clyde Namuo, administrator for the state office.
Shannon Kahalepauole, 25, lives on property designated under the 1921 federal law for people with at least half Hawaiian blood. But she said all people of Hawaiian ancestry should be treated the same.
"If you're Hawaiian, you're Hawaiian," Kahalepauole said as she and nine other Hawaiian women prepared for a dance exhibition Saturday in seaside Waimanalo. "Hawaiian is not just blood. It's culture and attitude."
Another dancer, Oriana Coleman, with an orange flower in her ear, said that she is 47 percent Hawaiian and that it is rare to find people who are more than 50 percent. Hawaiian programs "should be opened up for all Hawaiians," she said.
The other recent dispute involves non-Native Hawaiians who are threatening to sue if they aren't allowed to sign up on the voting rolls for a potential government for Hawaiians. (Congress is considering legislation to grant Hawaiians a degree of political autonomy similar to what American Indians have.) The voting registry is open only to Native Hawaiians.
"Their scheme to have racially restrictive elections doesn't work. Just stay tuned," said the non-Hawaiians' attorney, H. William Burgess.
In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Hawaii law that permitted only Native Hawaiians to vote in trustee elections for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, citing the constitutional ban on racial discrimination in voting. Now, all Hawaii voters participate and candidates themselves need not be Native Hawaiian.
The two current disputes do not directly challenge the 1921 federal homestead program that offers Native Hawaiians 99-year leases for $1 a year. Federal law also provides loans and loan guarantees to Hawaiians for home construction and repair and special assistance to Hawaiian farmers and ranchers.
As for the 6.700-student Kamehameha Schools, established under the 1883 will of a Hawaiian princess, they have so far survived lawsuits from students who were denied admission because they were not at least part Native Hawaiian.~

~New US Visas Offered to Crime Victims
Published: 10/19/07, 9:05 AM EDT
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Illegal immigrants who are victims of violent crimes in the U.S. can now apply for special visas, seven years after Congress offered protection against deportation to those who cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services is finally starting to process the visas this week, agency spokeswoman Marilu Cabrera said.
The long delay occurred largely because the agency drafted rules for issuing the so-called "U" visas before it became a division of the then-new Department of Homeland Security, she said. Consequently, the rules had to be reviewed again. Then the Department of Justice had concerns, she said.
"It is legally very complex, and so it went back and forth for a while," Cabrera said.
The 2000 Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act established the visa to encourage illegal immigrants to report crimes against them in return for the right to remain in the United States and eventually apply for permanent residency.
"This is an extremely important visa for individuals who have been victims of a crime," Cabrera said. "It is helpful for the government that we get information and cooperation so we can solve these crimes and prevent future crimes. For the person, it gives them peace of mind and an opportunity for a new life."
The law authorized up to 10,000 "U" visas every year. The visas are good for up to four years, and visa holders who are in the U.S. continuously for three years can apply for permanent residency.
Critics are concerned about that provision.
"I would much prefer that we used it as a temporary visa, not an immigrant visa - something that allowed a person to testify but didn't give them the jackpot of a green card," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors limits on immigration.
Ed Hayes, the Kansas director of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, is more vigorous in his opposition to the program. He argues that there are many more American victims of crimes committed by illegal immigrants than illegal immigrants who are crime victims.
"If they are here illegally, they broke the law," Hayes said. "If they become a victim, I am sorry for them. They should testify and then go home."
Since the law was passed, 8,301 petitioners and their families have been granted interim relief from deportation while awaiting publication of the "U" visa rules. They now have 180 days to apply for the special visas.
Among those who qualified for deferred action was Eleuterio Rodriguez Ruiz, who said he hopes to get a visa that will allow him to travel to Mexico to see his parents.
"More than anything I came to this country to find a better standard of living, maybe even buy a house," he said in Spanish in a phone interview from Sacramento, Calif., where he works as a field hand harvesting fruit.
The 30-year-old Mexican citizen was one of seven people held at gunpoint at an Arizona rest stop by an Army reservist as they were crossing illegally into the United States.
Rodriguez Ruiz said he cooperated with authorities, who subsequently filed aggravated assault charges against Sgt. Patrick Haab. The county attorney later dropped the charges, citing a state law that allows citizens to make an arrest when a felony has been committed.
The delay in the "U" visa program led a coalition of civil rights groups to file a class-action lawsuit in 2005 against Citizen and Immigration Services and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
"We intend to continue the fight for immigrant crime victims. ... Because it was a largely poor, vulnerable population with no political clout, it took seven years," said Peter A. Schey, lead counsel in the lawsuit.
Schey wants Citizen and Immigration Services to allow more than 10,000 annual "U" visas to compensate for the delay.
He also opposes restrictions giving victims only six months to apply for the visa and the requirement that petitioners be certified as crime victims by a law enforcement agency or prosecutor.
"Hundreds of thousands of law enforcement agencies will not see fit to certify them. They don't know about it, don't want to get involved or don't care," Schey said.
Angela Ferguson, an immigration attorney in Kansas City, Mo., who has handled about 50 deferred action cases for "U" visas, doubts the program will change immigrants' attitudes toward police.
"I don't think it is going to help them trust law enforcement more," she said. "The fear is being stirred up everywhere - the fear of racial profiling, the rumors, the raids. I have people for the first time coming into my office and saying they are giving up and leaving."
(hey,,plenty of legal citizens face slurs,profiling and crappy treatment because they commit crimes,,why are these 'immigration law criminals' allowed to get special treatment?)
On the Net:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:
Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law: ~
re:lazare & horowitz conversation on medved{87BFA507-74B3-4E81-A735-3F580FE7828B}
~The fact is that Osama bin Laden himself, on February 12 of 2003, which is about four weeks before the United States troops entered Iraq, said on Al Jazeera TV, “the interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders.”
But, of course, it's not just words; it's deeds that link American leftists to the Islamic jihad. What were all those people doing out in the streets demonstrating so soon after 9/11 against an American military response to a military attack? And then a million of them –
not just demonstrating for “peace” but denouncing George Bush as Hitler, and America as the real “Axis of Evil?” What were Leslie Cagan and Medea Benjamin, two of the most important leaders of the so-called peace movement, doing organizing Iraq Occupation Watch to incite American soldiers to defect,
and using a Saddam Hussein supporter to run their organization in Iraq? ~
re:illegal immigrant crackdown in Prince Willian Co,Virginia
~The measures would deny certain county services to illegal immigrants, including business licenses, drug counseling, housing assistance and some services for the elderly. The county Board of Supervisors also gave police some funding to help them check the immigration status of anyone accused of breaking a law if an officer suspects the person is an illegal immigrant.
A group of 22 plaintiffs has already filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to block the measures. They claim the measures violate equal protection laws and that immigration enforcement is a federal matter.~
~Supporters and opponents scuffled in the street before the meeting began Tuesday afternoon. More than 1,200 people crowded into the county government center for the emotional hearing. Some children of immigrants asked board members not to hurt their parents, and one woman ran out of the hearing in tears, saying the policy would separate her from her daughter.
The supervisors added a resolution with provisions addressing cost, fairness and public confusion on the issue. The resolution calls for the county to implement a public education campaign for immigrant communities and directs it to partner with a university or consulting group to study the fairness of the measures.
"We don't want to be the kind of community that even allows the image that racial profiling is taking place," said Republican Supervisor Martin E. Nohe, who said he was concerned the measure would invite discrimination.
Supporters of the measure said illegal immigrants are breaking the law.
"Where do you get off demanding services, rights and mandatory citizenship?" said Manassas resident Robert Stephens. "Who invited you? You cry for your rights? You have none."~
re:glimpse into Planned Parenthoods psychological ploys
~Duquesne spokeswoman Bridget Fare, citing Planned Parenthood's support of abortion, said the organization was not aligned with the university's Catholic mission and identity. The ads didn't mention abortion services.
One of the messages said: "Support for DUQ comes from Planned Parenthood, providing comprehensive sexuality education, including lessons on abstinence. Planned Parenthood: Their mission is prevention."
Scott Hanley, the station's general manager, said he received a call from the university's president, Charles J. Dougherty, on Oct. 10, saying he was concerned that it was inappropriate to accept a gift from Planned Parenthood.
"And on reflection, I had to respect his opinion," Hanley told The New York Times in Wednesday's edition.
The university holds the broadcast license for the radio station's 25,000-watt signal. Duquesne provides the radio station with six percent of its cash funding, and the WDUQ raises the rest of the money from outside the university, according to the station's Web site.
Kimberlee Evert, a Planned Parenthood representative, questioned whether the station's news content is independent and whether the station should relocate off the university's campus.
"Our concern is that we didn't realize to be an underwriter that you had to agree with Catholic doctrine," Evert told The New York Times.~
(to infer an unbalanced view while claiming 'Planned Parenthood: Their mission is prevention.' without stating plainly they advocate abortion is 'deceptive'.Not to mention,,acting incredulous that the situation is as it is when the University holds the stations broadcast license.
What did PP think would happen when they tried to advertise by underwriting on a Catholic Universities radio station?How stupid.)

re:taking gifts unethical but NOT enough to be taken to criminal court for NJ Treasury Department officials according to judge
~A state judge has dismissed all charges against six state Treasury Department officials accused of taking gifts from a company hired to collect back taxes and one former employee of that contractor.
The six senior and midlevel treasury workers were accused of accepting more than $65,000 in dinners, entertainment, golf outings and spa treatments from OSI Collection Services Inc. from February 1999 to March 2005.
The judge found while there was evidence that the treasury officials violated the department's code of ethics, such a violation alone is not a basis for a charge of official misconduct.
Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Kelly called the dismissal of an indictment "exceptional," but noted it was warranted because the state "Legislature never intended to use Ethics Code violations to be the basis for criminal charges unless the act itself was a crime."
"The state's theory putting forth this indictment is unique, without precedent," Kelly wrote, adding that ethical standards are enforced by the state Ethics Commission.
Of the 42-count indictment brought in August 2006 against the six Treasury officials and two OSI employees, all that remains is six charges against former sales director Sandra Bielanski. A later indictment, against two other OSI employees, is also being challenged.
Bielanski maintains her innocence, said her lawyer, Thomas G. Roth, who said he would ask Kelly to dismiss the remaining six charges, making unlawful gratuities to public officials.
The state attorney general plans to appeal, said office spokesman Peter Aseltine.
OSI, of Chesterfield, Mo., in February agreed to reimburse New Jersey nearly $2 million it over-billed the state for collecting back taxes.
Robert S. Bonney Jr., the lawyer for deputy taxation director Harold A. Fox, one of the six charged, welcomed the ruling.
"Cases like this belong before the Ethics Commission, they don't belong in a criminal courtroom," Bonney said. "With this prosecution, the state is attempting to prosecute what amounts to, in this particular case, an appearance of impropriety."~
(if it's unlawful,,then why doesn't it belong in criminal court?Shouldn't THAT be addressed?)

re:forign diplomats son gets to take fbi agent to court
~The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Abdallah Higazy, the son of an Egyptian diplomat, should be allowed to try to prove that the actions of an FBI agent, Michael Templeton, caused him to be unjustly criminally charged and imprisoned for 34 days.~
~Higazy claims he was charged with making false statements after Templeton coerced him into changing his story several times by screaming at him, lying to him and threatening him.
The student became embroiled in the wide-ranging probe into the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks after a worker at the Millennium Hilton Hotel overlooking the trade center site falsely said that a handheld pilot radio was found in a safe in the room where Higazy had been staying on Sept. 11.~
~After leaving the hotel in a rush along with other guests on that day, he was summoned to return on Dec. 17, 2001, to collect his belongings. The FBI then began to question him about the pilot radio.
Higazy was charged with making false statements to investigators when he told them several different stories about how the radio had come to be in his room. Prosecutors said the radio was found in the safe, on top of a Quran and his passport.
He was freed only after another hotel guest, a private pilot, went to claim his own belongings on Jan. 14, 2002, and told hotel officials that the radio belonged to him.
A hotel security guard later said that he falsely stated to FBI agents that the radio was found in a locked safe in the student's room when it was actually found on a table in the room, where it could have been moved by hotel employees following the attacks.~
(well,,there's the liable party.The security guard THAT LIED is the logical defendent in this matter,,not the fbi agent.)
~The Constitution of the United States does not permit a law enforcement official to coerce a confession and introduce it against an individual in a criminal proceeding," he said.
Abady said Higazy responded to FBI threats against himself and his family by concluding, "if I tell them what they want to hear, I'll go to prison and my family will be spared."
The lawsuit claimed that the coercion and use of the confession at a bail hearing to keep Higazy detained was a violation of his Fifth Amendment guarantee against compulsory self-incrimination.
The appeals court said prior court rulings had firmly established by early 2002 that a coerced confession could not constitutionally be used against a defendant in a criminal case, including at a bail hearing.
Higazy now lives and works in Egypt.~
re:sex stuff in schools
~Students in America's schools are groped. They're raped. They're pursued, seduced and think they're in love.
An Associated Press investigation found more than 2,500 cases over five years in which educators were punished for actions from bizarre to sadistic.
There are 3 million public school teachers nationwide, most devoted to their work. Yet the number of abusive educators - nearly three for every school day - speaks to a much larger problem in a system that is stacked against victims.
Most of the abuse never gets reported. Those cases reported often end with no action. Cases investigated sometimes can't be proven, and many abusers have several victims.
And no one - not the schools, not the courts, not the state or federal governments - has found a surefire way to keep molesting teachers out of classrooms.
Those are the findings of an AP investigation in which reporters sought disciplinary records in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The result is an unprecedented national look at the scope of sex offenses by educators - the very definition of breach of trust.
The seven-month investigation found 2,570 educators whose teaching credentials were revoked, denied, surrendered or sanctioned from 2001 through 2005 following allegations of sexual misconduct.
Young people were the victims in at least 1,801 of the cases, and more than 80 percent of those were students. At least half the educators who were punished by their states also were convicted of crimes related to their misconduct.
The findings draw obvious comparisons to sex abuse scandals in other institutions, among them the Roman Catholic Church. A review by America's Catholic bishops found that about 4,400 of 110,000 priests were accused of molesting minors from 1950 through 2002.
Clergy abuse is part of the national consciousness after a string of highly publicized cases. But until now, there's been little sense of the extent of educator abuse.
Beyond the horror of individual crimes, the larger shame is that the institutions that govern education have only sporadically addressed a problem that's been apparent for years.
"From my own experience - this could get me in trouble - I think every single school district in the nation has at least one perpetrator. At least one," says Mary Jo McGrath, a California lawyer who has spent 30 years investigating abuse and misconduct in schools. "It doesn't matter if it's urban or rural or suburban."
One report mandated by Congress estimated that as many as 4.5 million students, out of roughly 50 million in American schools, are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade. That figure includes verbal harassment that's sexual in nature.
Jennah Bramow, one of Lindsey's accusers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, wonders why there isn't more outrage.~

re:how they get hidden
~While some of the most egregious sex abuse is flagged, state law allows many offenses to remain confidential in education records, even when teachers go to prison and register as sex offenders.
The lack of information reflects a system for disciplining teachers that, across the country, is often shrouded in secrecy. That makes it difficult for states to share valuable information about errant teachers, and allows some to find other jobs in the classroom.
In California alone, The Associated Press reviewed more than 2,000 cases in which teachers there were punished for misconduct. Among them were hundreds of cases classified as "general misconduct."
The case of Tanda Rucker, a former college basketball star who taught and coached girls basketball at Encinal High School near Oakland, was one of those. After several teens each reported having a sexual relationship with Rucker, she pleaded no contest to 18 felony counts. She was sentenced to a year in jail and ordered to register as a sex offender.
Yet an official bulletin from California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing reported only that Rucker's teaching credential was revoked for misconduct under broad sections of state law that cover everything from theft to murder.
The AP's review found dozens of similar cases, often involving pleas of no contest, a common legal agreement that allows one to avoid a trial or civil liability, but still leads to conviction. California law also bars the credentialing commission from revealing the reason teachers who plead no contest lose their licenses.~
re:dumbledore outed,,gays sad no sexuality explicitly described for the kids to see
~Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the news about Dumbledore and said: "It's good that children's literature includes the reality of gay people, since we exist in every society.
"But I am disappointed that she did not make Dumbledore's sexuality explicit in the Harry Potter book. Making it obvious would have sent a much more powerful message of understanding and acceptance."
And a spokesman for gay rights group Stonewall added: "It's great that JK has said this. It shows that there's no limit to what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster." ~

re:potter publishers force violation of hebrew sabbath laws
~Bookstores will be opening on the Sabbath, the Jewish holy day, to sell the final instalment to eager fans.
Most shops are normally closed for trade on the Sabbath, which runs from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.~
~"We are required by the publishers to start selling the books at this time," said store buyer Nancy Ayalon. ~

re:scouts facing backlash from gay community
~The Boy Scouts of America's refusal to bend its rules to permit gay scouts will cost the organization's local chapter $200,000 a year if it wishes to keep its headquarters in a city-owned building on Logan Square.
Representatives of the Boy Scouts of America's Cradle of Liberty Council were notified that to remain in their 79-year-old landmark headquarters, they needed to pay the city a "fair market" rent, Fairmount Park Commission president Robert N.C. Nix said Wednesday. Currently, the rent is $1 a year.
The city decided on the rent proposal after it was unable to reach a compromise with the local scout council in talks that have gone on since May.
"Once we know what the Cradle of Liberty Boy Scouts want to do, we'll probably want to weigh in with the city about how to proceed," Nix told the park commission.
Barring a resolution, the Cradle of Liberty Council - about 64,000 scouts in Philadelphia and parts of Delaware and Montgomery Counties - must vacate the property at 22d and Winter Streets after May 31.
"It's disappointing, and it's certainly a threat," said Jeff Jubelirer, a spokesman for Cradle of Liberty Council, referring to the rent's impact on the scouts' chances of staying on the site.
Jubelirer said that $200,000 a year in rent "would have to come from programs. That's 30 new Cub Scout packs, or 800 needy kids going to our summer camp."
Nevertheless, Jubelirer said, scouting officials will ask City Solicitor Romulo L. Diaz Jr. for details on the real estate appraisals that yielded the $200,000 rent figure.~
(note the lead sentence,,bend,bow,capitulate,kneel,submit,bendover)

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