Saturday, September 30, 2006

Saturday Evening Report 9.30.06

Tags: Al Qaeda, Blogs & Bloggers, Peak Oil, Politics
A little more than a month ago I was blogging about the likelihood the price of gasoline would rise to $4 by year end. Just the opposite is happening. Why?

I think the "powers that be" took notice when the housing market began to slip. There are many important elections coming up this year, 2007 and 2008. It wouldn't take long for the economy to be ruined. Not that it still couldn't happen: a natural disaster or terrorist strike could send the price of oil skyrocketing. Housing is going to take a dive, well, because it's time for a correction. Gasoline is the marrow flowing in the backbone of our economy: the automobile and the vehicle industry.

Tonight as I was filling up ($2.50 a gallon) the tank, I noticed other customers at the pump were filling up too! (Last month everybody was putting in $5 or $10 and that was it. Tonight it was $20 and up!) Indeed, one gas station manager told the media that when gas is priced lower, business is better = they make more money!

Scanning the news and the blogosphere tonight:

Michelle Malkin has found evidence of a video connected to 9/11, "Report: Mohammed Atta martydom video." Afghanistan is the setting, Osama bin Laden appears in a cameo.

Over at Northeast Intelligence Network, Independent Analyst Randy Taylor offers an In-depth Analysis of Video from Ayman al-Zawahiri. You may want to bookmark both Michelle Malkin and Northeast Intelligence Network, if you're following politics, terrorism and homeland security.

Speaking of politics, L'hebdomadaire Le Journal du Dimanche et la radio Europe 2 ont ouvert un site web, Genération 2007, doté d'un fil RSS et d'un blog thématique abordant une dizaine de thèmes sous le titre global "On s'en parle". On y trouve une vingtaine de fiches présentant les principaux candidats potentiels ou déclarés d'Arlette Laguiller à Ségolène Royal. H/T Pointblog

For bloggers, has an interesting post titled "3 Reasons Why Delicious Bookmarks Beat Digg Traffic Hands Down" by Brian Clark:

Which is better, bookmark traffic or the stampede that comes with a big Digg?

Well, I was fortunate enough to have a post make both the top of the popular page and the front page of Digg yesterday with my (formerly) private collection of link baiting resources entitled How to Attract Links and Increase Web Traffic – The Ultimate Guide. Of course both events were awesome, especially since they tend to reinforce one another, as well as lead to links from other bloggers.

But if you had to choose one over the other, I think there’s no real question.

Bookmarks beat Diggs. Here are 3 reasons why: (Read the entire post) Brian Clark's blog.

Mark Foley, Sexual Predator

The last thing the Republicans needed was a sex scandal five weeks from the midterm election. The Washington Post has more on the stunning resignation of Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL).
Hmmm... let's see: Privitizing Social Security-OK, taking money from insurance companies-OK, enticing little boy interns-NOT OK... YouTube Video

Foley, who resigned Friday, was sending explicit emails to a 16 year old boy who worked as a Congressional page. God knows what else he was doing to the boy. I saw some of the e-mails (alleged e-mails) from Foley to male pages. #$%#! I just don't get it. Foley should be tarred and feathered. Shame on him. Shame on those who knew but did nothing.

Here are two newer posts:
"I would drive a few miles for a hot stud like you"
Reflections: Mark Foley

Friday, September 29, 2006

Betty: Ratings get UGLY!

Tags: ,
The new ABC comedy Ugly Betty debuted last night, giving stiff competition to CBS' Survivor. Betty earned 4.9 rating/14 share, with 16.1 million viewers, compared to Survivor's 5.8/16, 16.6 million viewers. "Betty" added viewers as its hour wore on. We still need to give "Betty" a few weeks: could be the HYPE that pushed the numbers up... "Betty" did well with the coveted group "adults 18 to 49," numbers reflecting live viewing plus same-day DVR viewing, according to Nielsen Media Research.
At 8 p.m., CBS won the time period in adults 18 to 49 with the third episode of "Survivor: Cook Islands" (5.8), down 11% from its performance last week. ABC's "Ugly Betty" scored a 4.9, # 2 at 8 p.m., up 96% from the time-period premiere of "Alias" last season. "Betty" also grew from a 4.2 its first half-hour to a 5.6 at 8:30 p.m. - TV Week
I find it interesting that ABC is allowing viewers to watch new shows on and CBS is doing likewise with InnerTube. It's all about "entertainment on demand." So you can watch TV on your TV, PC, iPod, PSP, cellphone, refrigerator, coffee cup, etc. etc.

By the way, "Survivor" wisely ended it's "Segregation Game." After only two episodes, CBS merged the black, white, Asian and Latino tribes into two mixed-race gangs without explanation.

So, here's the 64-thousand dollar "Ugly Betty Question."
Are you going to let your kids watch it?
"...this show came on at 8 p.m., so I thought it'd be fine to watch with my kids, 9 and 12. Boy, was I wrong. By 8:05 p.m., the characters were using words like man-whore and bitch-slap, and it just wasn't appropriate viewing for kids. At all." - Reel Life With Jane
Maybe not!

Search IRC ::MyDownloader | Search Newsgroups ::newzBin
Related: Ugly Betty: woe unto us!

Malkin vs. Wonkette

Tags: , , ,
Cyberspace, like real space, has it's share of dementos. Take a look at this carefully crafted Michelle Malkin MySpace. I emailed MM about it, she says it's not her. Identity theft on the Net. It's been months since I first found the site, yet it remains up today, a testament to the idea that YOU can be ME on the Net if you click all the right places. At least one of MySpaceMalkin's 400+ friends admits "I'm not Ann Coulter I just play her on Myspace." I wonder how many of the others actually believe they're "friends" with the real Michelle Malkin?

When you're in the public eye as much as conservative columnist/blogger Michelle M is, it's only a matter of time before a public attack is launched against you. But in these digital days, people are smarter, much smarter than you'd think... people are now questioning the news, questioning photographs, questioning everything, and that's good!

Wonkette has launched a vicious attack against MM, the likes I haven't seen since the Summer 2005 attack Wendy Cheng aka XiaXue suffered. This is war!

OtHeR kEy/3oArDs:
La Shawn Barber: Liberal Bloggers Fall For Michelle Malkin Fauxtograph (snippet below)

Someone posted photoshopped photos and faked captions in a Flickr gallery. Michelle is looking for the culprit and filing a complaint with Muller’s employer, the University of North Carolina School of Law. She writes:

The idiots are so blinded by hate they can’t see a two-bit Photoshop from some hater’s bogus Flickr site? And they couldn’t bother to ask me before attempting to embarrass me and calling me a slut?

Sounds like a good plan to me. I hope Muller loses his job.

The Autopsy blogs it this way: "I'm happy Michelle wrote her column. It needs to be said. And she should be proud that she's being attacked in such a way. It means her message means something."


7.62mm Justice mentions "There have been several left-winged attacks aimed at Malkin and HotAir this week. First, we have Dean Esmay supposedly calling out Malkin for her anti-Islamic views... problem is that the Muslims who want to kill us make the news."

True! Bad Christians make news too! I don't for one minute believe Michelle hates all Muslims. But when you have only known those who hate you, you will offer hate in return.


Tags: , ,
There's nothing wrong with a little patriotism. Say "Star Spangled Banner," and you'll either think "that Scott Key dude" or Jimi Hendrix.

The coolest version I ever heard was rendered by the late Marvin Gaye. Truly unforgettable!

On dial-up this selection takes about 20 minutes to download, but it's worth it, especially if you save it. After you save the YouTube video, you can convert it to a Video CD (VCD) that you can play on ANY PC or DVD player--- you DO NOT need a DVD burner on your computer to do this! I'll put up a how-to post next time I convert one myself, so I can take you through it step by step.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

MySpace: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Tags: , ,

More schools would be wise to hold events like this one planned for next week at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk:

Parents: “MySpace” night is Tuesday

RAVENA ––Does your child have a MySpace, Facebook or other website? If so, what information and pictures are on it? If you answer no, how do you know?

On Tuesday, RCS is conducting an information night on teenage WebPages, how youths use places like MySpace and Facebook and what dangers those sites pose to youths and others.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. in the High School Library Media Center

A panel that includes a law enforcement expert, technology and education experts will lead the discussion, offer advice to parents on how to protect their children and what technology they can use to filter the Internet for their children.

Teenage and youth WebPages are increasingly popular and increasingly contain information and pictures which place youths at risk. At the same time, teenage websites have been used by youths to harass or bully other students or even school officials.

The parent night is one of four presentations designed to draw parents into the school and provide them with useful information in dynamic presentations, said Superintendent Vicki Wright.

Bambi Francisco AlwaysOn's Bambi Francisco wrote this article, just posted: It didn't take long for MySpace to rule the digital video world. The social networking juggernaut, owned by News Corp (NWS) was the No. 1 video site in July, trouncing popular YouTube, seasoned Internet companies, like Yahoo (YHOO) and Google (GOOG), and granddaddy media outfits, like Viacom (VIA).

This is pretty significant considering that YouTube and Google Video have gotten all the press when it comes to who's garnering the biggest video-viewing audiences. But now that third-party figures are available for individual sites, we're beginning to see who's actually attracting those coveted eyeballs.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Scarey High

What a day, what a mess at Albany High! It took a long time to "wand" a couple of thousand students! Here's something you didn't know: some parents of Albany High students who got cell phone calls from their kids during Friday's lockdown were scared s---less because the rumor flying was that someone had been stabbed to DEATH.

Thankfully, that was not the case. If you saw the mugshots of the female students involved in Fridays brouhaha, you may have noticed they are all wearing yellow. Yellow? Could that be a gang color? Not too much in the blogosphere about Albany High... there's this:
In response to the latest violence several school leaders, the mayor, and the police chief met behind closed doors to come up with some solution. Their ideas? No more baseball hats in schools. Schenectady High has had this policy for at least 7 years. No more untucked shirts - what? I have a hard time how that will accomplish anything. And lastly, all students will be searched. That's a step in the right direction, but it doesn't do enough. If these are their best shots at fixing the problems at AHS, then they really have no idea what's going on.

They need metal detectors at every door and probably should have had them there a year ago...rdfay85
The Albany Schools PTA blog has an entry by Mark Mishler, who was outside of the School District’s administrative building at Academy Park Sunday afternoon, during the meeting between Albany City and School officials.

The Albany High Blog was vacant this morning, two posts have sprung up there: one from a former student and one from a current student.

Have a look at a student who blogged about the lockdown last Friday and the threatening comment she received!

Long lines at Albany High
Security checks at school, in response to Friday's stabbing, result in anxious delays for students

Those Bloody Christians!

Tags: Religion, Pajamas Media
You can bet your bippy if this story involved Muslims, the Pajamas Media crew would be lighting up the blogosphere with it...

Police: Child Cut,

Forced To

Bleed On Bible

Here's the LiNk!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ugly Betty: woe unto us!

Tags: , TV, Pop Culture, ,
Pictured at left, the REAL original "Ugly Betty." "UB" telenovela was produced by the RCN network in Colombia, became a phenomenal hit and was exported successfully to many other countries in the world. Very often TV programs, motion pictures and muscial acts that have huge followings all over the world fail to appear on consumers' radar here in the US.

The first time I saw a promo on TV for the new series "Ugly Betty," they spliced in a shot of "Executive Producer" Salma Hayek. That's where the alarm bells went off. ("Oh geez, who gives a crap, and who cares about Salma Hayek!!!") It reminded me of that ill-fated mystery show--- "Push, Nevada"--- that was supposed to be "audience interactive" and the "Executive Producers" were Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. These two were all over being interviewed about it and everyone was sure it was the next big thing. It had a very short run on... was it ABC? Unfortunately, if "Ugly Betty" is a big success, we're likely to see other shows materialize with "Executive Producer" so-and-so and such-and-such.

So, they think "Ugly Betty" is the next big thing. The original title is Yo Soy Betty la Fea, literally meaning, "I am Betty the Ugly." I think the show will do well it's first outing due to all the publicity and the time-slot it's been given. But I predict a big drop-off in audience after the second or third show airs. You see, there are a set of reasons as to why certain people will tune in:
  • Latinos will tune in because they're being sold a bill of goods that "UB" is based on a Colombian telenovela. (Which is true, but so what?)
  • Salma Hayak fans of both hetero and homo persuasion will tune in, well, because it's Salma Hayek!
  • People who want to make sure they don't miss the season premiere of "Grey's Anatomy" will be tuned in.
  • From all the buzz I've seen and heard, nobody is making a big deal out of the STAR of the show, America Ferrera.
UB is up against "Survivor," "My Name is Earl" and "Smallville." If you have teens and/or pre-teens at home, you know they'll want to watch Smallville, and you might want to as well. Times Union critic Mark McGuire writes that there are sexually suggestive scenes in "UB" including one that prompted him to send his 5th grader out of the room.

But despite that, MM seems to think UB is worth watching. I may tune in myself--- oh yeah--- that's another group who will tune-in, "the curious."

America Ferrera: the ultimate success or failure of the Americanized "Ugly Betty" rests on this actresses' shoulders! But if it works, Salma will get all the credit... if not, America will be blamed!

My friends in New York City are going to be watching for a very different reason: Vanessa Williams appears on the series! At first, I thought my friends were just some sort of "odd bunch." Then this morning in NYP TV Week, which covers the new shows this week, "Ugly Betty" is profiled on page 3, and if you hadn't seen all the other publicity out there, you'd think Vanessa Williams was THE STAR of the show.

I'm not sure where the overnight ratings may turn up: Matt Drudge's Drudge Report may have the results... Drudge sometimes prints a breakdown, and I'll betcha "UB" pulls in big numbers in NYC thanks to Vanessa, in Chicago thanks to the "Latino" promotion, in L.A. thanks to Salma, and we'll just have to wait and see after that!
Again, I predict big numbers the first week or two, followed by a rapid decline, UNLESS America Ferrera endears herself to American viewers in the week or two she'll have to pull it off!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Girls Fighting Girls

I read this article last week down at my friend's house in Mahopac. I was reminded of it today when I saw a small blurb in the Schenectady Gazette (no link available so I'm paraphrasing):
A Schenectady woman arrested for child endangerment... Police say 30-year old Nydia Robles of Bridge Street asked a group of young girls to beat up a 13-year old girl. They say Robles walked the group over to the 13-year old's address. Robles is charged with endangering the welfare of a child.
You know things aren't right when you have adults recruiting children to beat and kill other children. In the downstate case below, the media (newspapers and WCBS-TV) is keeping the name of the 28-year-old Cortlandt woman hushed up. Why? She's the REAL killer, if you stop and think about it! Read on!

Maybe it's the times we live in. High-school and Junior High girls can be mighty troublesome! Two young lives are forever changed: this is the story of Krystle Fernandez and Elsa Camacho. Elsa (pictured at left) is a young downstate girl who lost her life needlessly:
"On Saturday night, Kopy said, the 28-year-old woman went to Fernandez's home on Clover Road in Mohegan Lake to confront her. Fernandez wasn't home, but the older woman obtained her cell phone number, and the two then engaged in what police called heated telephone conversations. The woman learned that Fernandez was at the Cortlandt Homes apartments at 3496 Lexington Ave., police said.

The 28-year-old woman then went to the complex late Saturday to confront Fernandez, and recruited Camacho to go with her in case a fight broke out. Kopy said the older woman was afraid she could get in trouble for fighting with Fernandez.

The 28-year-old, Camacho and a 30-year-old Cortlandt woman who is related to Camacho went to the Cortlandt Homes and exchanged words with Fernandez. Police did not say if Fernandez was visiting the boy in question.

"The defendant was visiting friends," Kopy said.

They were arguing through a screen door, and Fernandez came outside. Then she and Camacho began fighting.

The two were rolling around on the ground when Fernandez (pictured at right) brandished a knife and stabbed Camacho at least eight times in the torso, Kopy said.

"We recovered two knives, one of which we believe was used in the fight," he said.

Kopy said police are looking into reports that the 28-year-old woman kicked Fernandez as she and Camacho were rolling around on the ground."   In November 2007, a jury found Fernandez not guilty in the death of Camacho.

The Journal-News has a place within Lower Hudson Online where readers can comment on the story (you must register to comment there).

Friends Kristopher James and Thomas Barnes, recorded an R&B
tribute they called “We All Miss U Elsa.” download it:


OUSSLANDER blogs Camacho "got what she deserves" --- here's a snippet:
"Elsa Camacho, 16, along with a 28 yr. old and 30 yr old went looking for Krystal Fernandez to kick her ass. Why? Because the 28 yr. old’s sixteen year old boyfriend was talking to the girl...Instead of lowering the flag at Elsa’s school they should use her bad behaviour as a example of how human beings should not act. Gee and it all happened at a housing project. BIG surprise there." [read the entire post]
I don't know, Ousslander. When I look at the pictures I see a child. We know kids make stupid choices from time to time. What stinks is this 28-year old woman and her apparent love endeavor with a young teenage boy.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Odds and Ends

Lockdown at Albany High School - It's a real shame. The situation at Albany High continues to deteriorate. I've blogged many times about the violence there. I still believe new leadership, a new school board and a new Superintendent, hopefully made up of SINCERE parents with children attending the school, not a bunch of people with self-serving political interests. I heard a kid tell one of the local radio stations that the problems at Albany High CANNOT be fixed. I also heard that calls radio and TV stations made to Superintendent Eva Joseph were not returned. The Times Union is asking "Do you think Albany High administrators are doing enough to ensure student safety?"
The Albany School Board, Dr. J, Mayor Jennings and Polcie Chief Tuffey are planning to meet on Sunday to develop strategy.

Calling LOCAL bloggers! - With winter coming, more people will be on the computer in the evening here in the northern latitudes. More PC time means more time to visit blogs! times. Three local blogs I check regularly are Upstream, The Albany Eye and Casey McNulty. Any other local bloggers out there I should know about? Please leave your details in one of the comments sections. I've got several blogders (readers) who are within 200 miles of Albany, and I feel these individuals would be my only readers if I was simply blogging about local issues. So I guess you guys are my "core" readership. How am I doing?

Easter Eggs - I was talking with another blogger about this yesterday. When you visit here, be sure to check any PHOTOS or ICONS that I post. I usually hide a link to soemthing else there. Just mouseover and click. You may be surprised1

Darned old blog! I'm still surprised that so many people are still clicking on my old blog, which has links that re-direct here. I shut that down in mid-August, but have continued posting ABOUT articles I post here, just to get them logged by Technorati, which hasn't bothered trying to clear up why it "can't see" my new blog. I have two trouble tickets with technorati, but ZERO help or response. The problems Technorati has now are the MySpace blogs (which aren't really blogs). Lest we forget, it took Technorati more than a year to "see" or recognize Chinese actress Xu Jinglei's blog as #1 in the world, even though its readership was DOUBLE the size of Technorati's #1 (which I think may have been Boing Boing, but correct me on that if I'm wrong). All of the abovementioned blogs are in one of my blogrolls at the right.

Politics, politics! Because we are drawing near to the HUGE election year of 2008, I'll be blogging a little more about politics and government, so don't be surprised if you see a additional blogroll of strongly political blogs. I'm kind of in a zone of my own here. I'm super-in-favor of INTERNATIONAL blogging, which is why I have found and listed so many great blogs & bloggers from other parts of the world. It's good to know what's going on and what people in other places are concerned about. I love news, so you see a lot of stuff here that's currently in the news. I look at Matt Drudge's page everyday, and Michelle Malkin's and LaShawn Barber's too!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Anousheh Ansari, Spaceblogger!

Tags: ,
Now, THIS is cool! Anousheh Ansari, AKA "the first space tourist," "the American cosmonaut of Iranian extraction" is BLOGGGING from the starfields!
"... I was finally able to take a look outside and saw the Earth for the first time… Tears started rolling down my face. I could not catch my breath… Even thinking about it now still brings tears to my eyes. Here it was this beautiful planet turning graciously about itself, under the warm rays of the Sun… so peaceful…so full of life… no signs of war, no signs of borders, no signs of trouble, just pure beauty…

How I wished everyone could experience this feeling in their heart, specially those who are at the head of the governments in the world. may be this experience would give them a new perspective and help bring peace to the world."

Click here to view Anousheh's Blog

Lessons Not Learned

Tags: web2.0, , Social Networking

Read this entire post, please.

Personal lives are being displayed for all to see on MySpace. It seems almost every crime these days has a MySpace connection. Yesterday, TV news was showing pictures of Duquesne sophomore Brittany Jones, the 19-year old arrested in connection with the basketball players' shooting... picture from her MySpace.
Miss Jones (Can't Nobody Keep Me Down)

"U Could Call Me Baby, U Could Call Me His Boo, But He Call Me DOPE GIRL, Cause I Got That Ooooo"

19 years old
United States

Dope she is! Has everyone gone daft? Does anyone value personal privacy anymore? Are we all Paris Hilton and Ozzy Osbourne living at the Big Brother house?

Now, the GOOD news!
Duquesne University has announced that effective immediately, Brittany Jones is suspended from the University for multiple violations of the Duquesne University Student Code of Conduct.

Let's keep it real. I saw something on local TV, somebody whining about a statue in a park that was smashed. Yoo-hoo! When you have heathens in the midst, don't leave somthing delicate out expecting they won't destroy it!

Turns out our bad girl Brittany Jones is one of those low-life Hurricane Katrina rejects:
"Brittany Jones began her studies at Xavier University of Louisiana. Xavier was closed by Hurricane Katrina in September of 2005. At the time, Duquesne opened its doors to all student victims of Hurricane Katrina at the Catholic universities of New Orleans. Four such students were accepted to Duquesne, including Jones. They came without the usual credentials required for transfer since the New Orleans universities were unable to supply documentation. Duquesne University did this so that Brittany Jones and others could continue their educations uninterrupted. The University also provided generous financial assistance in this time of need"[more]Once a low-life, always a low-life!
Keep your stuff personal. Look what happened to the young Missouri mom whose throat was cut by an intruder who kidnapped her baby girl. Duh! The kidnapper was attracted to the woman's house because some fool put up a big sign outside advertising the fact there was a newborn inside.

Then, for you folks here in the Capital Region, there's this wild one about a former TV anchorman: "Hey, who remembers CapitalNews 9's Rick Douglas? He really stood out on the cable news channel because he was one of the few mature males you ever saw anchoring over there...'I am not married and don't plan to be. However, in the event it happens, my partner would likely sport an oversized tux or suit jacket instead of a dress.' Well , OK, make that an uncle figure." (The Albany Eye)

Also from the Albany Eye:

Troll around MySpace a bit you'll, find a whole bunch of familiar faces from local TV news, like this person, this one, this former local reporter, this young lady, a CBS 6 meteorologist, and last but not least, our favorite morning anchor. No, it's not Ed O'Brien, you knuckleheads.

Add to: | blinklist | | digg | yahoo! | furl | rawsugar | shadows | netvouz

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ramadan 2006

Tags: ,,
Assalamualaikum! What is Ramadan? Ramadan 2006 / 1427 is the 9th month of the Muslim lunar calendar. It is a during this month Muslims fast during the daylight hours and in the evening eat small meals and visit with friends and family. It is a time of worship and contemplation. A time to strengthen family and community ties.

First Day : 09/23/2006 | Last Day : 10/22/2006

The last ten days of Ramadan are a time of special spiritual focus, as the night on which the Qur'an was revealed to the Prophet, known as the Night of Power (Lailat ul-Qadr), is generally taken to be the 27th night of the month. The end of the month is marked by the celebration of 'Eid-ul-Fitr, a traditional practice not a religious one.

The following links have additional information!

Fasting (Ramadan)

Calendar for Islamic Year 1427 H. (2006-2007)

ramadan 2006

Ramadan FAQ


Everything About Islam

American Hiroshima?

Canada Free Press published a story this week about an impending Al-Qaeda attack on the US. A NUCLEAR attack.

Next Attack Imminent:
Muslims ordered to leave the United States
By Paul L. Williams

Where would such an attack likely be carried out? Based on this map of Japan, I'm speculating Denver and Las Vegas, or perhaps Boulder and Phoenix. (Boulder=strength, Phoenix=rising from the ashes) Other possible targets: San Francisco, Tucson, Dallas.

Talk Radio's Michael Savage interviewed Paul L. Williams and you can listen to that HERE.

What do YOU think? Is Wiliams' story credible? Could Al-Qaeda pull it off? Or is this all going to fizzle out, like Y2K????

Monday, September 18, 2006

One for Jay Leno!

Was that twice in the same day?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bloggers Muslim Witch Hunt

Tags: YouTube, Islam, Muslim, religion
A little too too much today from bloggers like Michelle Malkin, attacking Muslims and Islam!
"Here she is. This is the body of Sister Leonella Sgorbati, the elderly Catholic nun shot in the back after Somalia jihadist Sheik Abubukar Hassan Malin stoked Pope Rage by declaring: "Whoever offends our Prophet Mohammed should be killed on the spot by the nearest Muslim."
These unappeasable animals mean what they say."
Whoa Michelle! Back up! We're talkin' Somalia as in Mogadishu as in "Black Hawk Down." If you've seen the movie, you KNOW what I'm talking about. If you have not seen it I urge you to rent it ASAP. "Animals" is correct if you are speaking of the people of Mogadishu. They have hated America for years, and would eat us for dinner if they could. They may pretend to be Muslims, or honestly believe they are, but I think they are not. They're more "tribal" in attitude and behavior than Muslim. Like some of the American Indians who were forced to convert to Christianity. They dressed in western clothes and played the roles and went to Mass, but they never stopped believing in their Great Spirit.

What Michelle and many others are doing now is pouring gasoline on fire. Bloggers are following like hapless lemmings, like this one:
"Hey, Dems. Hey, Ned Lamont. Perhaps we should try to be "nicer" to these rabid beasts. These nuns gave their lives to care for sick Moslem kids, in Somalia. No further comment needed."- Maggies' Farm
Maggie's Farm misses the point. It's Mogadishu, stupid! It's like that seedy neighborhood in your city that you wouldn't want your kids to go near... the "rabid beasts" again are these "tribals" depicted in Black Hawk Down.

Ah, the words and pictures posted tear through people's hearts like arrows! The Irish Republican Army were brutal terrorists but little words were said or written against them. Indeed, their "front man" Gerry Adams is always warmly welcomed when he visits the Capital Region! That whole Irish war deal--- how many of you Catholics and Protestants just looked the other way because YOU took the "Ostrich Policy" approach. But with Muslims, it's a "damn one, damn all" mentality.

Today's Sunday Gazette is running a column by Carl Strock entitled "Muslim Trial: Gotcha! But what for?" which asks why the FBI went through so much trouble to set up two Albany Muslims, an Imam and a Pizzeria owner, and arrest them on terrorism charges. For the sting, the FBI recruited a Pakistani who was caught dealing in fake driver's licenses and agreed to serve as a plant in order to avoid deportation. So he set the guys up from the start! [Mr. Strock's column is not available online at this time.]

Strock asks:
"Why didn't the FBI set up a couple of Irish-Americans and see if it could dupe them into believing they were laundering money on behalf of the terrorist IRA? ...
Why didn't they try to set up a couple of Jewish Americans and see if they could trick them into laundering money as part of a fictitious attack on the Palestinian mission to the UN?...
Or better yet, why didn't they look for real terrorists?"
Indeed! The Times Union's Fred LeBrun also weighs in on the issue:
"I fear what can happen here is no laughing matter at all. Justice is on trial."
Read on if you'd like to learn more about REAL Muslims!

An interesting video making the rounds on features young Muslim women discussing why they wear hijab.

From Roba's blog: "I thought this little video that discusses hijab with several young East Asian Muslims is really interesting. They have a lot of the prevalent stereotypes; the fashionista, the extremist, the “cool believer”, and the one who seriously believes in it completely out of her own conviction."
Watch the VIDEO

Back in 2004, I interviewed people involved with the film “Nothing To Hide,” which tells the story of Iman, a Muslim girl who struggles to be an American teen-ager while preserving her outward image and identity as a Muslim. HERE'S A SNIP OF WHAT I POSTED AT THAT TIME:
Schenectady High School junior Sharara Kazimi stars as Iman; other students acted in and worked behind the scenes on the movie, produced over the summer by High School Fine Arts teacher Tom Sarnacki for the Blue Roses Theatre Company’s annual Festival of Short Films. The event was held in July at Proctor’s Theatre and at the High School.

The movie was written by High School English teacher Noura Badawi, a 26 year old Muslim woman who has taught at Schenectady for three years.

“`Nothing To Hide’” tells a story about recognizing the inner beauty in ourselves and becoming comfortable in one’s own skin in order to find inner peace, said Badawi, who also appears in the film. “As an American Muslim, I feel that although Islam and Muslims are covered daily in the news, the American public has not been exposed to Muslims as everyday Americans who sometimes struggle with what it means to be American and Muslim.”
I think no one says it better (what it means to be American and Muslim) than a dear friend, who guest-blogged for me in 2005. Read:
"A young girl's response to anti-Islamic sentiment."

Global Day for Darfur

I've been watching events happening concerning Darfur. You've no doubt heard of actor George Clooney's involvement and concern. The following was originally posted by Sokari Ekine on Black Looks: Global Day for Darfur

African Action, one of the oldest online African activist sites present a report which looks at the similarities between the US response to Rwanda and it’s present response to Darfur. A Tale of Two Genocides: The Failed U.S. Response to Rwanda and Darfur:

In a broader sense, the failed response to Rwanda and now to Darfur indicates a shameful negligence on the part of the U.S. when it comes to saving African lives. In the realm of U.S. foreign policy priorities, Africa is most often absent or marginalized, and the human cost of this myopia is most clear in the death toll of these two genocides. In Rwanda in 1994, the Clinton Administration was more focused on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia, and was still reeling from the disastrous U.S. intervention in Somalia the previous year. In Darfur at present, the U.S. is focused more urgently on the crisis in the Middle East, on the war in Iraq and on the so-called “War on Terrorism”, which are estimated to be more pressing policy priorities than genocide in Africa.
Whilst this report specifically highlights the actions or non-action of the US in Rwanda and in Darfur it has to be emphasied that the broader international community, the Arab League and the African Union have all, implicitly or explicitly, acquiesced to Khartoum and as such abandoned the people of Darfur.

In Madrid we are targeting the Sudanese embassy. We will make a performance in the street for media in front of the embassy and offer interviews. We are also doing some media work in national and local media.
Campaigns will also be held in:Coruña, Albacete, Alt Empordá, Avilés, Bages, Barcelona, Burgos, Casteldefels, , Gavá, Lugo, Llobregat Sud, Madrid, Maresme, Oviedo, Palencia, Salamanca, Sant Boi, Valencia, Valladolid, Viladecans, Vitoria y Zamora. For Andalucia you have: Córdoba and Sevilla

Darfur Timeline via Sudan Watch:
Sudan: Passion of the Present - In depth coverage and resource site on Darfur.
Sudan Tribune - independent coverage of Sudan
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Saturday, September 16, 2006

To Live and Die in Cyberia

Tags: MySpace, pop culture
What would take to rock your world? To knock you so far off your feet you'd never get up again? To push you off the edge forever? What or who would have to disappear from your life that would make you murder another or take your own life? (Some argue that suicide IS murder.)

A murder and a suicide. Ten or Twenty years ago there would be a news article, maybe some follow-up in Time or Newsweek, and of course the National Enquirer, but it would pretty much end right there. I personally KNEW a murder victim, and I also knew a suicide victim. You don't hear much about either one of them today, and as a matter of fact, one of them fails to show up in any searches I've done on Yahoo or Google. It was in the year or two just before the internet burst on the scene, and it's as if it never happened! Today we have MySpace, FaceBook, blogs, personal websites, chatrooms and forums. The dead sometimes seem as if they are still alive--- many seem to "come to life" after they're gone.

The lives of each of us, whether we dare admit it or no, are intricate tapestries of relationships and situations, one counterbalancing another. For some us the delicate balance is more easily disturbed than for others.

A murder and a suicide. Two people who never knew each other. Two who lived and died, and live on in Cyberspace.

The Suicide: Dead Florida Mom Grew Up In Lockport
Two weeks after telling police that her son was snatched from his crib, Melinda Duckett found herself reeling in an interview with TV's famously prosecutorial Nancy Grace. Before it was over, Ms. Grace was pounding her desk and loudly demanding to know: "Where were you? Why aren't you telling us where you were that day?"
A day after the taping, Duckett, 21, shot herself to death, deepening the mystery of what happened to the boy. But let's go back in time: Duckett happens to be a western New York native. Melinda Eubank was her name when she attended Lockport High.

Melinda (Eubank) Duckett's two year old son, Trenton, was reported missing from his crib by his mother last month. She grew up on Sunset drive. Neighbors say she didn't come outside often, but they recall her as a very smart girl.

The Lockport High school principal says the school is saddened by Melinda's death. She was a "great student to have, it was a shock," said Frank Movalli, principal. He says Melinda left the school after her sophomore year to live with her grandparents in Florida.

The family of the missing Florida boy says CNN's Nancy Grace and others in the media helped push Melinda over the edge. Investigators say Melinda Duckett shot herself to death Friday, the day after she was grilled by Grace in a telephone interview, and hours before the interview aired.

This page from WESH-TV in Daytona is LOADED with Video.
The Melinda and Trenton Duckett Story
Melinda Duckett filed for divorce from Joshua Duckett on June 14, and the two were fighting for custody of Trenton. Two days before Trenton Duckett was reported missing, his mother bought a shotgun at a local pawn shop, authorities said Monday.

Although it was not the gun that Melinda Duckett used to kill herself last week (she used her Grandad's shotgun), it may be another puzzle piece for investigators as they try to link the events that led up to 2-year-old Trenton's disappearance Aug. 27 -- and his mother's suicide almost two weeks later.

SacredScoop is blogging about Melinda's funeral:
Melinda Duckett was laid to rest on Friday, as the search for Trenton Duckett in the Ocala National Forest was suspended briefly. A large search party has resumed the quest to find Trenton Duckett today however.

Melinda Duckett was reported to be spotted in the Ocala National forest by a tipster, and police have focused their attention on that part of the state. Whether the tipster is credible or not remains to be seen.
According to websleuths, Joshua is on parole and living in Palm Beach county. And here is a link for the Grandfather who is on death row:
Keep in mind some bloggers have noted that the abovementioned Joshua is not the same man as the father of the missing toddler. I'll leave that for you to sort out!

Melinda Duckett: the MySpace angle
TV host backed by husband of suicide mom--- here's his MySpace page:

Grace grilling precedes a mom's suicide

A reader on one of the many forums that have sprung up following Melinda's death asks "Why doesn't the mother appear anywhere on the myspace profile?

Something tells me we've just scratched the surface in the Melinda Duckett Mystery!

CrimeBlog.US has the story titled "A Life Worth Living: Avnita Ghuman" about a young Indian beauty who allegedly died as a result of dabbling in drugs. If you read her MySpace pages and other links you'll find Avnita was a very smart, savvy, cultured, intelligent human being. Drugs know no boundaries when it comes to race, caste or class!

Avnita's death has been difficult for her roomate "Jonathan." This is from a blog entry he recently posted: (link) -
Avnita and I have known each other (and lived together) basically the whole time I've lived in Georgia (about two years). We grew incredibly close... to say the least. Most people who didn't know us thought we were married because we did EVERYTHING together. And not out of obligation, but because our days were truly brightened by each other. We always used to joke about how our "relationship" was meant-to-be from the get-go, because we met not in Georgia, but on the plane as we were both coming from Los Angeles. As soon as we moved into together (with Beth) in Sandy Springs, we immediately bonded. We told each other things that we dared not tell anyone else because we felt that close of a bond. As our first holiday season rolled around, we discovered a mutual love to be overly-festive and would buy out whole sections at Wal-Mart to decorate our townhome for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We introduced each other to our own family traditions and formed new ones together.

We were inseparable. Even through all the faults we confessed to each other our love did not waver.

We were each other's strengths. Each other's hope that we could eventually be a better person...
Imagine, meeting someone so wonderful, mystical, and having such a bond! The kind of friendship or comradery many of us find just once in a lifetime, if at all. Avnita is not the first person to die as a result of an association with the drug culture. Not the first, and not the last.

These are difficult times we live in. they always have been, and always will be. We do our best to live like there's "no day but today," but sometimes that's just not enough. If you are a religious person you may want to remember these two departed souls in your next prayer session. If you are not, read more about them and try to focus on their good qualities.

What could either Melinda or Avnita done to change their respective situations for the better? What advice might you have given one or both of them had you had the chance to do so?

KSU Student Dead in Trunk of Car

A Poke At The Pope

Tags: Al-Qaeda, Religion
From the get-go, Pope Benedict XVI has been something of an enigma, no one knowing quite what to expect from this man, who some call "Nazi" to this day. Others have claimed he is the anti-Christ. Michelle Malkin has posted a very troubling picture of the Pope she says is circulating on Al-Qaeda friendly websites and forums.

Machine Chat

Tags: web2.0, social networking
George has one goal: to make friends on the Internet. He is talkative and persevering. He can re-start lackadaisical conversations ad infinitum and for good reason: the more he speaks, the more relevant his remarks become.

George is a piece of software, arguably the best of the speaking "chatbots" or talking robots, and he's recently received the Loebner prize in Britain, a scientific award recognising the machines best capable of matching the most realistic human dialogues with their own.

Seven years after being invented, George evolved a few months ago into what experts call an avatar, gaining a physical image, a voice and voice recognition software.

One can now have an oral discussion with George over the Internet -- "face to face".

Friday, September 15, 2006

RIP Oriana Fallaci

Tags: Pajamas Media, Politics, Literature & Journalism
Controversial Italian writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci of New York City died at 77 in a hospital back home in Florence, Italy after a long disease. Fallaci had serious disagreements with, and was no friend to Islam. In her book "The Rage and The Pride" she wrote that Muslims "multiply like rats" and said "the children of Allah spend their time with their bottoms in the air, praying five times a day."

She was a democratic resistance fighter against Mussolini during World War II, worked as a war correspondent, was shot 3 times during the Tlatelolco uprising shortly before the Mexico City Olympics in 1968.

During her journalistic career she became known for challenging interviews with such world leaders as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Fallaci was charged in Italy for the crime of "vilipendio", or vilification, for publishing her book The Force of Reason in 2004. In this book she warned of a growing Muslim siege of Europe, which will ultimately result in Europe becoming 'Eurabia'. An atheist, she had great
admiration for Pope Benedict XVI (whom she still called 'Ratzinger') for his recognition of the Muslim threat to the West.
She was awarded several prizes both for her journalistic work and for her books. Her writings have been translated in 21 different languages. On November 30, 2005, Fallaci received the Center for the Study of Popular Culture’s Annie Taylor Award in New York for her "heroism and valor" that made of her "a symbol of struggle against oppression and fascism".

Fallaci’s long journalistic career started shortly after having fought fascism as a partisan together with her whole family when she was a teen-ager. The respect she soon acquired in the Italian press, had her collaborate with Europeo and Corriere della Sera as war correspondent, first in Vietnam, then in Pakistan, South America and Middle East. She interviewed in person internationally known leaders such as Yasir Arafat, Ayatollah Khomeini, Omar Khadafi, the Shah of Iran, Deng Xiaoping, Indira Gandhi, Alexandros Panagoulis.

As a writer she published her first book, "The seven sins of Holliwood" in 1956. Her "Inshallah", more than 600 pages about her direct experience of the Arab world, was completed in 1990.

After 11 years of silence, Fallaci has caused an international uproar with her book "The Rage and The Pride", which is a slightly modified version of a long article she published in Corriere della Sera as a reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11...

In 2002 the Islamic Center and the Somal Association of Geneva sued her in Switzerland for the supposedly racist content of The Rage and The Pride. Roberto Castelli, then-Italian minister of Justice, explained in an interview that the extradition request of the Swiss judge was rejected because the Constitution of Italy protects the Freedom of Speech. In 2003 the Movement Against Racism and for the Friendship among Peoples sued to have The Rage and The Pride banned in France. The request was rejected. -
Fallaci was not married and had no children. Information on funeral arrangements was not immediately available. Pajamas Media blogger Michelle Malkin has a detailed post HERE.

2 free mp3 tunes via Arjan

Tags: Music, mp3
Whenever good music comes my way, I like to share it. I found these on Arjan's:
Check out this cover of Beyonce's "Deja Vu" by Leah Andreone. The Los Angeles pop rocker has turned the recent Beyonce hit into a dark, near epic rock ballad. Really well done and much better than the original. The song is not featured on Andreone's new digital EP.
Download Leah Andreone "Deja Vu" [MP3] (via MySpace)
Learn more about Leah Andreone on her MySpace page.

Norwegian pop songstress Annie ("Chewing Gum") has re-recorded "Yours To Keep," a track by Swedish rockers Teddybears. The original album version features Neneh Cherry and is iTunes' free single of the week.
Download Annie "Yours To Keep" [MP3]

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Thursday Night Madness

Tags: Muslim, Islam, TV, , , , , , , ,

He wasn't Muslim, so... the blogosphere is not concerned... The gunman who opened fire at Dawson College on Wednesday was "Trench," aka Kimveer Gill, 25, of Laval, near Montreal. Blogs in Gill's name posted at carry more than 50 pics depicting the Gill in various poses holding a rifle while wearing a long black "Columbine" trench coat and combat boots. He said on the site that he liked to play "Super Columbine Massacre," an Internet-based computer game that simulates the April 20, 1999, shootings at the Colorado high school by two of its students that left 13 people dead.

Speaking of Muslims, Muslim religious leaders have accused Pope Benedict XVI of quoting anti-Islamic remarks during a speech at a German university this week. Questioning the concept of holy war, he quoted a 14th-Century Christian emperor who said Muhammad had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things. A senior Pakistani Islamic scholar, Javed Ahmed Gamdi, said jihad was not about spreading Islam with the sword. Turkey's top religious official asked for an apology for the "hostile" words. (BBC)

Bounty Hunter "Dog" arrested. There's a headline I didn't see coming: Bounty hunting is considered a crime in Mexico. Duane "Dog" Chapman, his brother, Tim, and son, Leland, were arrested this morning at the family home in Hawaii. The Chapmans each could face up to 8 years in prison if they are returned to Mexico and convicted on kidnapping charges. Jawa Report blogs it like this:
Mexico will undoubtedly torture and kill chapman if he ends up in their prison system. This should be a call to arms for America. We need to declare war on Mexico now and invade for our own protection.

Year after year more disease ridden mexicans cross our borders looking to cash in on these liberal politicians handouts, commit murders, rob citizens, and rape our women.

Enough is enough, Mexico needs to be dealt with militarily.
Dog the Bounty Hunter star arrested on kidnap charge Houston Chronicle
Bounty hunter Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman arrested MSNBC
Bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman arrested by US Marshals International Herald Tribune

Tonight, other blogs are just getting around to tackling the sad Melinda Duckett story: she's the lady drive-by media (CNN's Nancy Grace) drove to suicide! Grace should be in jail, not Dog!

Related: Take Nancy Grace off the air! Great bunch of talking points from Anna Johns, who calls Nancy Grace "the most heinous woman on television." Good call, Anna!

In Nancy Grace and Yellow Journalism, RightLinx adds "We’ll never know if the interview with Nancy Grace literally caused this woman to commit suicide. That isn’t really the point. The mere fact that this case has any national exposure at all is the problem. It is an example of yellow journalism." Right on, RightLinx!

Blogcamp Unconference

I think it's important that we bloggers of various viewpoints and persuasions STICK TOGETHER, even we disagree. I also believe we need to keep abreast of events geared toward the blogosphere. The following post originally appeared at GlobalVoicesOnline.

Tags: General, South Asia, India, Weblog, Internet & Telecoms, Software & Tools
The last weekend saw BlogCamp being held in Chennai. Promoted as the largest unconference on blogging thus far in India, it saw quite a range of people attending the event. A cursory glance at the list of attendees here and topics discussed here. The blogsphere is buzzing with reactions on the BlogCamp. Even as the unconference was on, the IRC channel dedicated to the blogcamp was full of remote participants catching up with the live webcast.
Dina writes about an open session discussing some of the deeper issues of blogging.
In the closing session, before the quiz, Kiruba, Peter and I, with Veer’s inputs thought we’d like to hold an open discussion with the whole group, on some of the deeper issues around blogging - responsibilities of bloggers, blogging as an addiction, Jace’s neat insights into the overlapping of our public, private and secret selves as we blog, and on what popularity means. I thought that went off quite well and was happy to hear many many views.
Thejesh writes about some of the things he wished the BlogCamp would have covered.
We have people who blog about Bangalore and Mumbai once in a while but that is not the sole purpose of their blog. I think we need to have subject specific blogs to make the indian blogosphere more interesting. I would like more of Indian food Kitchen Blog, Mahanandi or Events Bangalore ( Blog about events in bangalore,by your truly).We still don’t have an Engadget, TechCrunch or a Life Hacker). When will we have that quality blogs?
Recursive Hypocrisy on why while the concept of an unconference may be interesting, it may not always be effective.
In other words, the conference assumes the speaker earned the right to speak and is validated by a selection of speaker and the topic. For example, Sunil Gavaskar speaking to an audience is not an unconference. He speaks. We listen. Period. And, it’s good. He’s Sunny. He speaks well and makes his point. We already like him. So, even better.
Meanwhile, between the two days of unconferencing, quite a few appear to have had fun at a Beach House party. Venki on the idea of the Paper Wiki that helped put together sessions at the unconference. Scribez has notes from various sessions, including how the topics were arranged. Digital Inspiration compiles a list of quotes from various bloggers who have written or spoken about the event. Our World has a list of various people who contributed to the event. A mainstream media journalist who is also a blogger covered the event and had this to say.
There were bloggers who talked about pet fish and pandas, fashion (unrelated to the pandas), rural connectivity, disaster management, sleeping on the job while your blog earns for you, body shopping, blog journalism, podcasting, firewall skirting, how to avenge those that steal your content, how to increase your hitcount (I need to learn a thing or two), how to be likeable. - Neha Viswanathan
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