BASEBALL HAS BEEN VERY GOOD TO ME
Go watch a game, there are a lot on today. I may have time to post more later today.
|CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS|
"No one wants to see Iraq war movies. No matter what we put out there in terms of great cast or trailers, people were completely turned off. It's a function of the marketplace not being ready to address this conflict in a dramatic way because the war itself is something that's unresolved yet. It's a shame because it's a good movie that's just ahead of its time."The problem here is that they haven't put out a variety of movies. They've put out the same kind of movie over and over again, and each time the public says "no thanks" and stays home. "No matter what we put out there?" Try putting out a movie that shows the soldiers as good guys doing good work to stop the terrorists, fight the death squads, crush a brutal dictator, help the Iraqi people, and you'd see different results. Granted that's an inconceivable movie that would take a level of courage and conviction that a movie studio cannot even begin to comprehend, but that's what it would take.
|In The Valley|
|Lions for Lambs||$15,000,115||$42,036,902||$35,000,000|
|Valley of the|
|Shrek the Third||$322,719,944||$476,237,137||$160,000,000|
|Pirates of the|
|I Am Legend||$256,279,068||$327,300,000||$150,000,000|
|The Bourne Ultimatum||$227,471,070||$215,440,502||$110,000,000|
|National Treasure 2||$217,684,901||$230,464,175||unknown|
|Alvin and the|
1 split chicken breast, boneless (or de-boned) and skinlessThe mix should cook at medium high until the chicken is done, leave it untouched until the chicken blackens slightly (the limes and pepperoncini will too, that's ok).
half cup of rum
cup of slice pepperoncini peppers
cup of water
quarter stick of margarine
Trim fat off the chicken and cut it into cubes about an inch across.
Melt the quarter stick of margarine in a pan at medium high heat in a skillet
Slice the lime into thin slices, dump the lines and their juice into the skillet
Add the chicken, rum, and pepperoncini to the limes and margarine
Annually, some 1.5 million patients receive silicone eye lenses; another 670,000 get artificial silicone joints. All told, about 7.5 million medical devices are implanted in Americans each year. Many of these devices such as pacemakers, heart valves, and shunts which draw fluid off the brain are life savers.I've written not long ago about the false fears that inoculations cause and the foolish parents who are avoiding protecting their children. In the process they get a free ride from all the parents who do immunize their children, benefiting from the lack of carriers and sick kids. How many have died from this? In England, diseases such as mumps and measles are on the rise, and officials there fear epidemic.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in Albuquerque pictures of traffic violators are worth $10 million, according to an audit which renews the debate over excessive fines.Most cities putting these up mark a significant profit, bringing in millions of dollars in fines, even after splitting the revenue with the companies that run them (RedFlex is doing well by these numbers). Further, some cities have turned off some cameras because they aren't making enough money:
According to an internal audit of the red light camera program from July of 2005 until July of 2007, the program generated more than $10 million, the city paid about $4.8 million in expenses leaving the city $5.8 million in excess funds.
Dallas has turned off about 15 red-light cameras used to monitor busy intersections. The city said the cameras are failing to generate enough red-light-running fines to justify their costs.That's still $11 million in revenues, but apparently its not enough. In order to squeeze more revenue out of these cameras, some cities have been shortening the length of time that the yellow caution light is on:
Dallas lawmakers originally estimated a gross yearly revenue of about $15 million for the system. The city is about $4 million below that estimate.
On Thursday, the Lubbock, Texas city council voted to delay installation of red light cameras after a local television station exposed the city's short timing of yellow lights at eight of the twelve intersections where the devices were to be installed.The National Motorist association has a list of at least six cities that are guilty of this little trick; even on lights without cameras. You can't really blame the camera companies for this, the lights are all controlled and timed by the city engineers. They're just trying to catch people, not for inattention but for not being ready for the unusually short lights.
"Many folks believe this is a money grab and then we found out through KCBD Television there's a discrepancy in timing," Councilman Gary Boren said, as quoted by KCBD.
A study of red-light cameras in Washington, D.C., by The Washington Post found that despite producing more than 500,000 tickets (and generating over $32 million in revenues), red-light cameras didn't reduce injuries or collisions. In fact, the number of accidents increased at the camera-equipped intersections.
Likewise, red-light cameras in Portland, Ore., produced a 140 percent increase in rear-end collisions at monitored intersections, and a study by the Virginia Transportation Research Council found that although red-light cameras decreased collisions resulting from people running traffic lights, they significantly increased accidents overall.
There is no authoritative Big-Godism, as Rev. Gretta Vosper, West Hill's minister for the past 10 years, puts it. No petitionary prayers (“Dear God, step into the world and do good things about global warming and the poor”). No miracles-performing magic Jesus given birth by a virgin and coming back to life. No references to salvation, Christianity's teaching of the final victory over death through belief in Jesus's death as an atonement for sin and the omnipotent love of God. For that matter, no omnipotent God, or god.Christianity, she argues, is not keeping up with the times and needs to change to match today so it can regain its relevance. How do we do this? By ignoring religion and focusing on self help and social activism.
Ms. Vosper has written a book, published this week – With or Without God: Why the Way We Live is More Important than What We Believe – in which she argues that the Christian church, in the form in which it exists today, has outlived its viability and either it sheds its no-longer credible myths, doctrines and dogmas, or it's toast.
She wants salvation redefined to mean new life through removing the causes of suffering in the world. She wants the church to define resurrection as “starting over,” “new chances.” She wants an end to the image of God as an intervening all-powerful authority who must be appeased to avoid divine wrath; rather she would have congregations work together as communities to define God – or god – according to their own worked-out definitions of what is holy and sacred. She wants the eucharist – the symbolic eating and drinking of Jesus's body and blood to make the congregation part of Jesus's body – to be instead a symbolic experience of community love.Does she believe in God? Not so much.
“I can find myself in there [the statements of faith] but there's whole parts of it where I go, ‘Oh my goodness, this is terrible.' If someone says to me, ‘Do you believe in God?' I can come up with an answer that would satisfy the courts of the United Church. But would it reflect what's stated in their statement of faith? I don't think so. But it wouldn't be very far from what my colleague down the street, and what his colleague down the street from him, would say. That's the problem.”The church is already pretty radical (any church with a female pastor has danced off the edge of orthodoxy to begin with). For example, here's what they say about the Bible:
The Bible is central to The United Church of Canada. As a source of wisdom, personal prayer, and devotion, we believe the Bible can bring us closer to God. It remains one of our best ways of experiencing God's continuing work of creation and liberation in the world, while offering us forgiveness, healing, and new life in Jesus.Dude, it's like a really cool book that's all spiritual and stuff. One among many. But it does mention God and Jesus, and I can see where she'd have problems with that. And it suggests that we actually need forgiveness, and that's clearly a problem for this woman as well.
"The film equates Islam with violence. We reject this," Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said in a televised reaction.Meanwhile, in a Canadian-type move, a tribunal is examining whether or not Wilders is guilty of hate speech against Muslims by this film.
"We...regret that Mr. Wilders has released this film. We believe it serves no other purpose than to cause offense."
The film was released the evening before a Dutch judge was due to hear a petition of a Muslim group seeking an independent review of the film to see whether it violates hate speech laws.Stop him at all costs, can't have that freedom of speech when it annoys a Muslim, somewhere.
The Dutch Islamic Federation was asking the court to impose a fine of €50,000 ($79,000) for every day the film is available to the public.
Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.Meanwhile, the torrents to download the movie are still out there, and courtesy commenters at Hot Air, here's a few sites you can go to that still have the movie up.
This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.
We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.
Struggling with a deluge in passport applications, the State Department did what much of the government does to deal with a manpower crunch: It hired more private contractors.Now, I'm with Representative Ortiz here: why is the US government letting other nations handle sensitive documents, even weapons production? Sometimes this is as bad as Israel supplying the palestinians with weaponry: what exactly is the thought process here, again? The office in Thailand doing this work has already been victimized by Chinese espionage, according to the Washington Post.
But the practice of outsourcing allowed hired hands to snoop around in presidential candidates' files. And now it's pointing to questions about whether outside contractors should have access to such sensitive information about any citizen.
The nation has needed to use nongovernment workers as well as federal employees from its earliest days, Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Texas, said this month in a congressional hearing that focused on military contracting.
But he asked, "Have we gone too far in recent years by perhaps relying too much on contractors?"
The government routinely relies on private firms to do sensitive work — from managing weapons systems to protecting traveling diplomats to helping maintain records that contain private information on U.S. citizens. The Bush administration in particular has embraced the practice of outsourcing as a way to save money and improve efficiency, particularly in Iraq where there are just as many defense contractors as there are service members.
The Government Printing Office's decision to export the work has proved lucrative, allowing the agency to book more than $100 million in recent profits by charging the State Department more money for blank passports than it actually costs to make them, according to interviews with federal officials and documents obtained by The Times.The Government Printing Office gets a budget. They use this budget to do their job, in this case part of the job being to print passports. Because the work load was getting so great, the GPO started to outsource its work to other nations, which was so cheap, their budget came in at 100 million in the black. Where does this profit go? Bill Gertz continues in part two of the series:
The profits have raised questions both inside the agency and in Congress because the law that created GPO as the federal government's official printer explicitly requires the agency to break even by charging only enough to recover its costs.
Lawmakers said they were alarmed by The Times' findings and plan to investigate why U.S. companies weren't used to produce the state-of-the-art passports, one of the crown jewels of American border security.
When the government's main printing agency booked $100 million in unexpected profit it went on a spending spree: large bonuses to top managers, trips to Paris and Las Vegas, and an official photo of the boss that cost $10,000.The 100 million is going in bonuses to the workers. This isn't new; every government agency gets a budgeted amount of money. If somehow part of that agency spend less than that amount, then they face the threat of their budget being cut next year: they didn't need as much, obviously. So they make work, hire people, and get the money spent. It's typical of government budgeting, the kind of thing a brutal audit would clear up and save taxpayers billions. Good luck getting that done.
The bonuses, some nearly as high as $13,000, and travel are raising questions among congressional investigators and Government Printing Office officials about whether the agency is misusing its newfound wealth and whether it received the proper authority for some of the larger compensation payments from the Office of Budget and Management.
Additionally, investigators are looking into whether Public Printer Robert C. Tapella paid close to $10,000 for photographs of himself for his office and during his swearing-in ceremony in November.
FEVER NAMED AFTER BLACKWATERGet that? Iraqis are calling it Blackwater Fever, which is named after the lethal US contracted company responsible for the death of "countless Iraqis." Now, this is written by a news agency, by two fellows named Ali al-Fadhily and Dahr Jamail, but it reads like a tract, it's blatant propaganda.
FALLUJAH, Mar 26 (IPS) - Iraqi doctors in al-Anbar province warn of a new disease they call “Blackwater” that threatens the lives of thousands. The disease is named after Blackwater Worldwide, the U.S. mercenary company operating in Iraq.
“This disease is a severe form of malarial infection caused by the parasite plasmodium falciparum, which is considered the worst type of malarial infection,” Dr. Ali Hakki from Fallujah told IPS. “It is one of the complications of that infection, and not the ordinary picture of the disease. Because of its frequent and severe complications, such as Blackwater fever, and its resistance to treatment, P. falciparum can cause death within 24 hours.”
What Iraqis now call Blackwater fever is really a well-known medical condition, and while it has nothing to do with Blackwater Worldwide, Iraqis in al-Anbar province have decided to make the connection between the disease and the lethal U.S.-based company which has been responsible for the death of countless Iraqis.(*)
The repukes will spin it this way: Blackwater Fever is a good thing - much like Disco Fever…However, there was some integrity there, a few commenters tried to stop the foolishness and even asked for an update with a correction. Here's one story of Blackwater Fever from a commenter, trying to point out the facts in the case:
Winning over the hearts and minds of Iraqis on a daily basis , aren’t they ?
Diseasing them over there so we don’t disease them here.
Relating Blackwater to a Disease is very appropriate.
Hague Trials ‘09
-by Buckie Boy
my friend grew up in South Africa and if memory serves, in South Africa in the 19th century “Blackwater Fever” was the name for malaria. His uncle survived “blackwater fever” because the Zulu people took him in. People who caught blackwater fever had but one potential remedy. the Zulu people had a “cure” that South Africans put in place. Persons infected with blackwater fever were strapped down to an ant hill for three days in the sun. the only thing they drank was Zulu beer. if the sun, beer, malaria, and ants didn’t kill them after three days, some were said to survive.The funny thing is, after their grossly slanted intro (Countless deaths? Lethal?) the story goes on to point out that this isn't new, that it isn't named after the security corporation, and that it isn't an Iraqi particularity:
The deadly disease, never before seen in Iraq on at least this scale, seems to be spreading across the country. And Iraq lacks medicines, hospitals, and doctors to lead a campaign to fight the disease.More hospitals are being built and many doctors who fled the country under the Hussein regime are returning, but the destruction of infrastructure by the former dictatorship is taking time to repair. In the process, Iraqis suffer and die, thanks to the corruption of Saddam Hussein that the UN Oil for Food program helped continue.
We have been strong supporters of the DCCC. We therefore urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the National Convention in August. We appreciate your activities in support of the Democratic Party and your leadership role in the Party and hope you will be responsive to some of your major enthusiastic supporters.This letter was signed by many very big Democratic Party donors, of whom about a third stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom during the Clinton presidency (it was rented out to campaign donors).
What will she have to do to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, in order to eke out her improbable victory?This effort by Senator Clinton to win despite being on the losing end, using any means she needs to shows a desire for victory regardless of what damage is done. I don't think the implication is that she' can't win the "gold metal" (the presidency), it's that she'll kneecap anyone that gets in her way, then is sure that these tactics and her own inevitability will sweep her into the white house regardless of what she's done.
She will have to "break his back," the official said. She will have to destroy Obama, make Obama completely unacceptable.
"Her securing the nomination is certainly possible - but it will require exercising the 'Tonya Harding option.'" the official said. "Is that really what we Democrats want?"
The Tonya Harding Option -- the first time I've heard it put that way.
It implies that Clinton is so set on ensuring that Obama doesn't get the nomination, not only is she willing to take extra-ruthless steps, but in the end neither she nor Obama win the gold.
A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.Other articles on this topic from WATN:
At some point you have to realize these guys aren't about peace at all. They're about opposing the United States military, and the US Government. They didn't give a damn about Bosnia and Haiti and Kosovo, and all the other places that the US military was sent during a Democratic Presidency. They didn't throw a fit when President Clinton bombed terrorist sites and WMD production centers around the world. They didn't care because they aren't about peace, they are not anti-war, they're anti-Republican, they are opposed to anything that isn't sufficiently leftist.
In Vestal, NY, an incendiary device was thrown at an armed forces recruiting center Toledo, OH - manure dumped on recruiting center. Milwaukee, WI - human feces smeared inside a vandalized recruiting center (that has been subject to multiple acts of vandalism - rocks smashing windows, etc…) In one instance they marched with torches to the recruiting center, set off smoke bombs, and splattered paint across the center. In Rockville, MD, bricks smashed windows of an Air Force recruiting center In NYC, prior to the Times Square bombing, protesters had targeted the recruiting center, shutting it down…rocks thrown at Manhattan recruiting center…and burning rag thrown at Parkchester recruiting center. A San Jose, CA military recruiting center was set on fire. An Asheville, NC center was also set on fire. 8 shots were fired into a Denver, CO recruiting center. In Raleigh-Durham, NC, rocks smashed windows of a recruiting center. In Lufkin, TX, recruiters’ cars were shot at with pellet guns. Hoax bombs were planted at Portland, Astoria, and Salem, OR recruiting centers. A Pipe bomb was planted at a St. Louis, MO recruiting center. A fake bomb was also planted at a Stamford, CT center. In Washington, DC, hundreds stormed the recruiting office at 14th and L and ransacked the office, destroying property. In Silverdale, WA, an antiwar protester slashed 42 tires on recruiting vehicles.
K-Mart is one of the two big brands at Sears Holdings (NASDAQ: SHLD), Eddie Lampert's failing retail play. Based on same store sales for last year, K-Mart is the less successful of the two retail operations. Spending to promote K-Mart and Sears may cost more that the holding company can afford. It certainly makes sense to kill off the K-Mart name and re-label all of the stores with Sears. It could save hundreds of millions in promotion dollars every year.Other major companies he mentions are Old Navy, Countrywide Insurance, and even Vonage. These are companies that aren't performing well and might be absorbed in mergers or simply sold off and disappear.
Dodge is part of the Chrysler company which was recently bought out by private equity firm Cerberus. Chrysler management has already said that the company has too many brands and too many dealers. It is trying to cope with a vicious downturn in the US auto market. Keeping a car brand means huge advertising and marketing costs and product development. Dodge vehicles will probably be re-branded as Chrysler and Dodge will go the way of the Dodo.
Circuit City (NYSE: CC) has been synonymous with electronics retail, but companies like Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) have brought too much marketing muscle and wholesale buying power to the industry. Outside investors are already circling Circuit City trying to "improve shareholder value". That means that there is a good chance the chain will be sold. The price of the company's shares has already dropped from over $30 less than two years ago to just over $4. Best Buy could be the most logical buyer by keeping the locations that do well and closing the rest. Virtually all the merchandising, management, and public company costs would go away as would the Circuit City brand.
Gateway was recently bought by Taiwan PC firm Acer. Some investors may not remember when Gateway was considered a peer of both Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) and Compaq. In 1993, Gateway was in the Fortune 500. Acer will not keep the Gateway brand and its own. The dual promotion costs are too high. Starting soon you will be buying an Acer PC online or at your electronics retailer.
Battle of the Bulge (41 days)-- 19,276Again, the point is not to minimize the tragedy of these soldiers, but to put the events into their proper perspective.
Batan Death March (one week)-- 10,000
Battle of Guadalcanal (186 days)-- 7,099
Battle of Iwo Jima (39 days)-- 6,821
Battle of Pusan Perimeter (61 days-Korea)-- 6,706
Operation Market Garden (9 days)-- 3,664
Battle of Guam (20 Days)-- 3,000
Since late 2001, there have been .12 American combat deaths per division day in Afghanistan. During the Vietnam war, the average division lost 3.2 troops a day, which was similar to the losses suffered in Korea (1950-53). In Iraq, the losses have been .44 deaths per division per day. By comparison, during World War II the daily losses per American averaged (over 400-500 combat days) about twenty soldiers per day. On the Russian front, German and Russian divisions lost several times that, and often over a hundred a day for weeks on end.The amazing part is how few soldiers are being hurt, the real news is how stunningly ahistorical the casualty rates are, not the landmark numbers of 2000, 3000, and 4000. Yet the constant drumbeat is casualty rates, coffins coming home, deaths of soldiers.