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It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to retire our beloved Forum Detroit. It has served the Polonia Detroit for over 10 years, and was a source of joy for many. However, after many months of inactivity, the time has come to bid it farewell.
Deepest and warmest thanks to all those who contributed to Forum discussions over the years, either by sharing their thoughts or reading those of others. Your presence and participation served as a building block of this online polish community.
What is Concern Trolling?
Concern trolling is a form of Internet trolling in which someone enters a discussion with claims that he or she supports the view of the discussion, but has concerns. In fact, the concern troll is opposed to the view of the discussion, and he or she uses concern trolling to sow doubt and dissent in the community of commenters or posters. Although this practice originated on the Internet, it has since spread to the real world as well, with concern trolls popping up in a variety of places from network television to op-ed columns.
Artful concern trolling involves developing a believable persona as a supporter of a cause who has legitimate concerns. In an example of concern trolling, a group of people might be having a political discussion on a website about a candidate they support. The concern troll would log on and say “I'm concerned that this candidate might not be strong enough to beat the opposition,” or “I'm worried that the candidate's history in the legislature might be a problem in the election.”
Once a concern troll has sowed dissent or discord, often he or she can sit back and let the other commenters do the rest of the work. When a concern troll has done the job correctly, the discussion will split, factions will emerge, and support for the cause will have eroded. Concern trolling can also be highly distracting, as people band together to oppose the concern troll, rather than discussing serious issues, including valid concerns which should be addressed.
Depending on the context, a concern troll may use a sockpuppet, a false account which conceals his or her real identity. In some particularly infamous cases, members of political campaigns have trolled the opposition using sockpuppet accounts with the goal of undermining grassroots support. When these cases are exposed, it can be quite embarrassing, as trolling is generally viewed as an underhanded and often questionable tactic.
Many people think that the best thing to do with Internet trolls is to ignore them. By refusing to give them anything to feed on, users can continue their discussion and stay focused on the issues they want to talk about. However, it can be tricky to distinguish a concern troll from a devil's advocate or someone who genuinely supports the cause, but does have worries. Tip-offs that someone is a concern troll include a recent registration date, for sites that require registration to post, along with minimal personal details in a user account. Concern trolling also tends to come from people with no commenting or posting history, so if a brand-new user shows up and starts raising doubts, it may be a concern troll.
What is E-Venge?
Revenge can be a dish best served cold, but these days it can also be a dish best served anonymously and electronically. The universality and instant gratification of the Internet has given rise to a form of electronic vengeance known as e-venge. E-venge can take many forms, but commonly it involves the uploading of embarrassing videos or photographs, public exposure on social networks, and/or the dissemination of emails or other incriminating communications.
Using the Internet or other electronic means to get personal revenge is not a new concept, but E-venge have become even easier to achieve with the advent of social networking websites and video hosting services. An embarrassing or humiliating video featuring a cheating spouse, for example, can literally be uploaded to a YouTube-style hosting site within minutes. A mass email detailing a person's unethical behavior can be composed and sent directly to hundreds of Internet subscribers instantly.
E-venge can be motivated by real world events, as in the case of a cheating spouse or abusive boss, or it can be triggered by online encounters with cyberbullies or heated discussions known as flame wars. The main point of many e-venge efforts is to attract public attention to the situation and hopefully exert social pressure on the offender. There are actually entire websites dedicated to the reporting of deadbeat parents or cheating romantic partners.
Although many people may feel like seeking e-venge, the standard rules of engagement still apply. The anonymity provided by many Internet discussion groups or social networks does not always protect posters from legal liability. If a video features a cheating spouse and an identifiable accomplice, for example, that other party may be able to file a lawsuit for invasion of privacy. Slander and libel laws may also apply when it comes to e-venge, so any accusations of wrongdoing must be true and verifiable.
As with many acts of revenge, sometimes the thought is preferable to the action. One of the difficulties with exacting e-venge on a cyberbully or a cheating spouse is the near-permanency of the act. It isn't always easy to unring a bell, and removing electronic materials from further public view may be problematic. Others may make copies of the uploaded videos or emails and continue to post them for years after the fact. While thoughts of e-venge may do wonders for a victim's self-esteem and sense of empowerment, actually committing an act of e-venge should receive careful consideration beforehand.
How To Behave On An Internet Forum
http://www.videojug.com/film/how-to-beh … rnet-forum
Globalne zamiatanie pod dywan
Międzynarodowe gremia regulacyjne zmieniły standardy rachunkowości, aby rozłożyć na raty ujawnianie gigantycznych strat banków i firm.
Dzięki zmianie międzynarodowych i krajowych zasad rachunkowości przedsiębiorstwa i banki na całym świecie mogą ukrywać w swoich sprawozdaniach straty spowodowane załamaniem na rynkach finansowych i ujawniać je na raty. Nowe reguły gry pogłębią nieufność inwestorów i brak wzajemnego zaufania instytucji finansowych. To przedłuży kryzys, a niczego nie rozwiąże, ponieważ nad sektorem finansowym wisi 700 bln dolarów instrumentów pochodnych niemożliwych do rozliczenia o potencjale strat na skalę 10 proc. światowego PKB.
Przedsiębiorstwa i banki w sprawozdaniach finansowych za 2008 r. korzystają z możliwości tzw. window-dressing, tj. poprawy swego wizerunku w oparciu o rozporządzenie ministra finansów Jacka Rostowskiego z 24 grudnia ub.r. o zmianie zasad uznawania, metod wyceny, zakresu ujawniania i sposobu prezentacji instrumentów finansowych. Pozwala ono podmiotom dotkniętym przez kryzys na stosowanie księgowych “zabiegów kosmetycznych”, a w wielu wypadkach wręcz “operacji plastycznych”, które mają ukryć rzeczywistą kondycję firmy.
- Upadek Lehman Brothers uświadomił wszystkim, że system wyceny instrumentów finansowych legł w gruzach. Teraz próbują opóźnić katharsis poprzez regulacje prawne. Przyznanie się do tak wielkich strat “za jednym strzałem” mogłoby całkowicie unieruchomić międzynarodową wymianę
- wyjaśnia cel regulacji wiceprezes jednego z banków. - “Świat nierzeczywisty”, widząc własny koniec, próbuje uciec do przodu w dalsze zaciemnianie rzeczywistego obrazu - dodaje.
Praktyka ta budzi niepokój w kontekście gigantycznych strat z tytułu opcji walutowych poniesionych przez te instytucje. Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego zapewnia jednak, że problem ewentualnego ukrywania strat z opcji nie istnieje.
“Zmiany do rozporządzenia i Międzynarodowe Standardy Rachunkowości nie dają możliwości przeklasyfikowania instrumentów pochodnych” - napisała KNF w odpowiedzi na zapytanie “Naszego Dziennika”. Czy rzeczywiście?
- Rozporządzenie Ministerstwa Finansów jest tak niefortunnie sformułowane, że można je odczytywać na dwa sposoby - twierdzi ekspert związany z KNF, prosząc o niepodawanie nazwiska. Stosowny fragment rozporządzenia brzmi: “Aktywa finansowe zaliczone przez jednostkę do przeznaczonych do obrotu, z wyjątkiem pochodnych instrumentów finansowych, jeżeli przestały być utrzymywane w celu sprzedaży w krótkim terminie, mogą być (…) przekwalifikowane do innych kategorii…”.
- Można ten zapis interpretować w ten sposób, że wszystkie pochodne, w tym opcje, nie mogą być przekwalifikowane. Ale jest i taka możliwość interpretacji, że nie podlegają przekwalifikowaniu tylko te instrumenty pochodne, które przestały być utrzymywane do sprzedaży w krótkim terminie, a wszystkie pozostałe, w tym opcje, można przekwalifikować - utrzymuje finansista, podkreślając, że obie interpretacje różnią się tylko zakresem zakamuflowanych strat. Uzasadnienie do rozporządzenia nie wyjaśnia, jak należy rozumieć ten przepis, toteż “Nasz Dziennik” zwrócił się o wiążącą jego interpretację do ministra finansów.
- Z pewnością znajdą się tacy, którzy ukryją opcje, a potem będą się powoływać na niejasne przepisy - ostrzega ekspert.
Nowe przepisy zezwalają na dokonanie przeklasyfikowania instrumentów finansowych przeznaczonych do obrotu na inne kategorie instrumentów, co w myśl dotychczasowych przepisów o rachunkowości było zakazane. Noweli nadano przy tym moc wsteczną. “Nowe rozporządzenie ma zastosowanie po raz pierwszy do sprawozdań finansowych za rok obrotowy rozpoczynający się w 2008 r.” - stwierdzono w paragrafie 3 cytowanego aktu prawnego.
Księgowy zabieg, jakim jest przeklasyfikowanie instrumentów, pozwoli menadżerom uniknąć podania w tegorocznych bilansach aktualnej rynkowej wyceny instrumentów pierwotnie przeznaczonych do obrotu, która w wielu przypadkach zachwiałaby pozycją banku czy przedsiębiorstwa, i przesunąć rozliczenie strat na bliżej nieokreśloną przyszłość. Ukrywanie rzeczywistej kondycji finansowej podmiotów gospodarczych i banków może jeszcze bardziej pogłębić nieufność inwestorów oraz brak zaufania tych instytucji do siebie nawzajem i w rezultacie przedłużyć kryzys na rynku kredytowym i międzybankowym o całe lata.
- Powyższe zmiany są analogiczne do zmian w Międzynarodowych Standardach Rachunkowości i Międzynarodowych Standardach Sprawozdawczości Finansowej - poinformowała Komisja Nadzoru Finansowego. Jak wyjaśniła - z przepisów o reklasyfikacji mogą skorzystać wszystkie podmioty, niezależnie od tego, czy stosują polskie czy też międzynarodowe standardy rachunkowości, pod warunkiem że zachodzą wyjątkowe okoliczności. Mogą zatem ukrywać straty przed akcjonariuszami zarówno banki i spółki publiczne, jak i mniejsze firmy czy banki spółdzielcze.
- Z tej możliwości skwapliwie skorzystał bank Pekao SA, który w związku z kryzysem finansowym z dniem 1 października przekwalifikował aktywa o wartości niemal 3,5 mld zł - twierdzi Jerzy Bielewicz, szef Stowarzyszenia “Przejrzysty Rynek”, akcjonariusz Pekao SA, powołując się na Notę 30 do sprawozdań jednostkowych. - Przy tej operacji posłużono się “wartością godziwą” instrumentów z 1 października 2008 r., a więc sprzed załamania rynków - dodaje.
Papierowa walka z kryzysem
Ta “twórcza księgowość”, jak słusznie zauważyła KNF, nie jest wyłącznie polską specjalnością, lecz zainicjowana została jako remedium na kryzys finansowy przez londyński Komitet Międzynarodowych Standardów Rachunkowości, a następnie - wprowadzona w całej Unii Europejskiej. Rozporządzenie Komisji Europejskiej nr 1004, noszące datę 15 października 2008 r., a więc wydane tuż po załamaniu na rynkach finansowych, stwierdza, że Rada Międzynarodowych Standardów Rachunkowości przyjęła zmiany w Międzynarodowych Standardach Rachunkowości i Międzynarodowych Standardach Sprawozdawczości Finansowej, które “w wyjątkowych sytuacjach” umożliwiają przekwalifikowanie niektórych instrumentów finansowych i w związku z tym należy zmienić w tym zakresie przepisy obowiązujące w UE od 2002 roku.
“Obecny kryzys finansowy jest uważany za tego rodzaju sytuację wyjątkową” - stwierdza, aby uniknąć wątpliwości, Komisja Europejska. Rozporządzenie unijne, podobnie jak polskie, działa wstecz, pozwalając firmom na przekwalifikowanie instrumentów finansowych ze skutkiem od 1 lipca 2008 roku.
“Biorąc pod uwagę bieżące zawirowania na rynkach finansowych oraz fakt, że pewne instrumenty finansowe przestały być przedmiotem obrotu lub powiązane rynki przestały być aktywne lub są w trudnej sytuacji, zachodzi konieczność natychmiastowego nadania mocy prawnej zmianom (…), w związku z czym niniejsze rozporządzenie powinno wejść w życie w trybie pilnym” - napisano.
- Widoczna jest tendencja do odejścia od wyceny instrumentów w relacji do rynku, przy czym używany jest argument, że nie można stosować wyceny rynkowej, bo kryzys zrujnował rynek - zwraca uwagę doświadczony finansista, prosząc o anonimowość. - To jest oczywiście wygodne, ponieważ pozwala na poprawę wyników, ale jednocześnie zamazuje obraz sytuacji w tych instytucjach - dodaje.
- Pytanie, czy można tą drogą naprawić system finansowy, który obciążają instrumenty pochodne na skalę 700 bln dolarów, tj. 10 procent światowego PKB? I czy warto czyścić bankowe księgi kosztem podatnika? - pyta retorycznie nasz rozmówca. Zwraca uwagę, że Polska, nie mając prawie własnych banków, nie ma interesu, aby pomagać zachodnim bankom w Polsce. Przeciwnie, powinna wymagać od nich, aby przedstawiały w sprawozdaniach rzeczywistą kondycję finansową i - w razie potrzeby - ściągały środki finansowe od zagranicznych banków-matek.
Pośpiech w luzowaniu reguł
Pośpiech, z jakim rozmaite gremia międzynarodowe zabrały się za poluzowywanie reguł księgowania, wzbudził zaniepokojenie Europejskiego Banku Centralnego, który zdecydował się wydać wytyczne dla banków (2008/122/WE). Podkreślił w nich, że transakcje w bankach powinny być rozliczane i prezentowane w sprawozdaniach zgodnie z ich treścią i znaczeniem gospodarczym, a nie tylko z formą prawną. Przestrzegł także banki przed tworzeniem ukrytych rezerw i fałszowaniem pozycji w bilansie lub na rachunku zysków i strat. Generalnie jednak EBC, podobnie jak Komisja Europejska, poparł metodę księgowego redukowania strat i rozkładania ich w czasie.
Czyszczenie ksiąg rachunkowych być może przybierze wkrótce rozmiary globalne, ponieważ w ślady londyńskiego Komitetu ds. MSR, którego standardy obowiązują w ponad 100 państwach świata, w tym w 27 państwach UE, może pójść również jego amerykański odpowiednik.
- G-20 i inne gremia międzynarodowe wezwały do szukania globalnych rozwiązań w obliczu globalnego kryzysu - powiedział David Tweedzie, członek Komitetu MSR, cytowany przez Agencję Reutera.
“Czego nie znalazł audytor - znajdzie kryzys” - przytacza znaną maksymę prawnik z międzynarodowej firmy doradczej.
W tym tygodniu oba komitety - londyński i amerykański - prowadziły rozmowy nad ustaleniem wspólnych światowych standardów księgowania, które pozwoliłby… poprawić finansowe wyniki banków i firm tonących coraz głębiej w kryzysie.
Bruni backs off from Obama kiss
FRANCE'S first lady broke with protocol today as she held out a frosty hand to welcome Barack Obama.
Stunning Carla Bruni was business-like in her greeting — while her hubby treated the US President's wife to a hug and Continental double kiss.
The former model gave customary pecks on both cheeks to Michelle Obama and other dignitaries when the couple arrived in France.
But when it came to the dashing US President the beauty kept a noticeable distance.
Mr and Mrs Obama flew in to Strasbourg's majestic 18th-century Rohan Palace this morning to meet with President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The meeting was being held before the formal start of the NATO alliance’s 60th anniversary summit.
Sarkozy rolled out all the pomp possible for the visit, with a red carpet arrival and full military honours from a company of soldiers dressed in camouflage.
The two couples lined up to listen to their respective national anthems played by a French military band but even in his trademark stacked heels Mr Sarkozy was a sight for smaller eyes.
The French supremo at 5ft 6ins was no match for his ex supermodel wife and even taller Mrs Obama, who both donned flat shoes for the occasion.
Mr Obama later gave a speech ahead of the NATO summit that he is setting a dramatic goal of “a world without nuclear weapons”.
The President opened a town-hall style gathering with the declaration, saying he would outline details in Prague in the coming days.
He said: “Even with the Cold War now over, the spread of nuclear weapons or the theft of nuclear material could lead to the extermination of any city on the planet.”
Mr Obama said that the US shares blame for the crisis, but that “every nation bears responsibility for what lies ahead - especially now".
He added: “I’ve come to Europe this week to renew our partnership. America is changing but it cannot be America alone that changes.”
President Obama jetted out of Britain at 8.50am after flying in on Tuesday for the G20 summit.
He had been expected to travel to Stansted airport, Essex, in presidential helicopter Marine One, but fog forced him into his armoured limousine in London’s rush hour.
Girl posing as construction worker arrested for immigrant-smuggling
SAN YSIDRO – A 16-year-old girl posing as a construction worker was arrested Thursday morning after Border Patrol agents discovered 13 illegal immigrants crammed into the pickup she was driving, authorities said.
The truck was disguised as a vehicle from Kiewit Corp., a large construction and mining company based in Omaha, Neb., that is building a secondary border fence west of the San Ysidro Port of Entry, the Border Patrol said.
Agents spotted the pickup about 6 a.m. near Smuggler's Gulch as they saw four people running toward Mexico. The driver sped away as officers approached, but later stopped near Monument Road and Hollister Street.
The girl, a U.S. citizen, and a male passenger were both wearing yellow hard hats and reflective safety vests, officials said.
Another man was trying to hide in the front cab, and three women and eight men were found crammed into a modified compartment in the bed of the truck. All are Mexican nationals.
Agents said that it was not the first time that smugglers have used Kiewit Corp. as a cover. A similar scheme was uncovered in August when 11 illegal immigrants were found inside another impostor pickup.
Ostatnio edytowany przez zoomboy (04.03.2009 08:19:57)
Kaczyński: Dziadek nie był komunistą
"Żaden z członków mojej rodziny nie miał nic wspólnego z tym najobrzydliwszym w dziejach naszego narodu nurtem, jakim była Komunistyczna Partia Polski" - odpowiada Januszowi Palikotowi prezes PiS. Pytanie o przeszłość dziadka braci Kaczyńskich poseł PO zadał na swoim blogu.
"Żaden z moich dziadków nie był członkiem Komunistycznej Partii Polski, żaden z członków mojej rodziny z tym najobrzydliwszym w dziejach naszego narodu nurtem nie miał kompletnie nic wspólnego" - powiedział na konferencji Jarosław Kaczyński. "Ja najwyraźniej widzę, że pan Palikot w swojej chorobie się coraz dalej posuwa" - dodał prezes PiS.
Co Janusz Palikot napisał na swoim blogu? "Dostaję od czasu do czasu informacje - z różnych źródeł - z całą masą faktów i sugestii dotyczących losów przodka braci Kaczyńskich. Nie mam narzędzi badawczych, by tak jak historycy IPN dojść po nitce do kłębka i sprawdzić każdy podawany mi szczegół. Sądzę zresztą, że gdyby informacja okazała się prawdziwa, byłaby to swoista ironia losu (...) No i byłby to wyjątkowo złośliwy rewanż za >dziadka z Wehrmachtu<" - napisał dziś na swoim blogu Palikot.
I ogłosił konkurs. "Historykowi/badaczowi, który dostarczy przekonujące materiały dokumentacyjne (uwiarygodnione kopie), potwierdzające przynależność Aleksandra Kaczyńskiego, dziadka braci Kaczyńskich, do Komunistycznej Partii Polski oraz dokumentujące jego aktywność w KPP, ufunduję nagrodę-honorarium w wysokości 10 tys. złotych" - zapowiedział.
One in 10 Americans gets help to buy food
Fri Apr 3, 2009 1:41am BST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A record 32.2 million people -- one in every 10 Americans -- received food stamps at the latest count, the government said on Thursday, a reflection of the recession now in its 16th month.
Food stamps, the major U.S. anti-hunger program, help poor people buy groceries. The average benefit was $112.82 per person in January.
The January figure marks the third time in five months that enrollment set a record.
"A weakened economy means that many more individuals are turning to SNAP/Food Stamps," said the Food Research and Action Center, an anti-hunger group, using the acronym for the renamed food stamp program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in February, the highest in 25 years. New claims for jobless benefits totaled 669,000 last week, the highest in 26 years, the government said on Thursday.
Food stamp enrollment rose in 46 of the 50 states during January as the national total rose by 580,000 people, or 1.3 percent, from December, when the previous record was set, said Agriculture Department figures.
Vermont, Alaska and South Dakota had increases of more than 5 percent. Texas had the largest enrollment, 2.984 million, down 65,000, followed by California at 2.545 million, up 43,000, and New York with 2.211 million, up 37,000.
"It is a very difficult time for low-income families and individuals and also a difficult time for the groups that serve them," said Valentine Breitbarth of Bread for the City, a group that works with poor families in Washington.
Food stamp benefits get a temporary 13 percent increase, beginning with this month, under the economic stimulus law signed by President Barack Obama. The increase equals $80 a month for a household of four.
What was the Hollywood Blacklist?
The Hollywood Blacklist was a list of professionals who were not allowed to participate in the entertainment industry due to their suspected or confirmed political beliefs. As you might imagine, the Hollywood Blacklist had a profound and far-reaching impact on the entertainment history in the middle of the 20th century, and it continues to be a topic of discussion and debate. Sadly for many of the people included on the Hollywood Blacklist, this largely unofficial blacklist ended the careers of many entertainment professionals, and seriously damaged the reputations of many more.
It would be more accurate to term the Hollywood Blacklist the “entertainment industry blacklist,” because it didn't just have an impact on Hollywood, although the home of the American film industry was certainly hard hit. The roots of the Blacklist can be found in the 1930s, when a fear of communism began to arise in America, and the government responded. In 1947, the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC), which was charged with finding and dealing with communists in the United States, summoned several entertainment professionals to testify.
The “Hollywood 10,” as they came to be known, refused to testify, igniting the American government and leading to an official statement from the film industry which came to be known as the Waldorf Statement. The signatories of the statement announced that they were firing the Hollywood 10, and indicated a desire to eliminate subversives from the entertainment industry, bringing about the Hollywood Blacklist, which would dominate the industry for over a decade.
Many people think of high profile performers like Charlie Chaplin when they visualize the Hollywood Blacklist. However, it also affected screenwriters, technicians, authors, musicians, lesser actors, and an assortment of other entertainers. To be listed on the Hollywood Blacklist was to see the potential end of one's career, often on the basis of questionable and unverifiable information.
Many people on the Hollywood Blacklist were suspected communists or communist sympathizers. A large number of them were official members of the American Communist Party, making them easy targets, but others were blacklisted merely on the basis of association with known communists or public statements. Others were blacklisted for their involvement in liberal causes, ranging from the animal rights movement to humanitarian organizations.
The names on the Hollywood Blacklist were not made explicit, and it was intermittently enforced, but it attracted a great deal of public attention at the time and continues to do so. A number of famous and high profile people were blacklisted, much to the interest of their biographers, and some people have also been intrigued by the cases of lesser individuals on the Blacklist, looking at their fates once their careers were destroyed. The collapse of the Hollywood Blacklist started on television in the late 1950s, when blacklisted individuals were hired by sympathetic people like Alfred Hitchcock and Betty Hutton, and from there it snowballed, rapidly becoming untenable.
Who are the World's Highest Paid Actors?
It is a strange fact that only a century ago, acting was thought of as one of the lowest of professions. The term highest paid actors would have been seen as a contradiction in terms. Now, of course, actors are placed among the highest ranks in society. The highest paid actors can command as much as 20 million US dollars (USD) for one movie. With the advent of home video and DVD, an actor's earnings can be much higher than his or her initial fee.
The highest paid actors are not necessarily bound to the silver screen, either. Many television actors command huge fees for their work. Although Jennifer Aniston made her name on the hit television show Friends, she has successfully made the transition to film. Aniston is now regarded as a powerful figure in Hollywood, and she earned an estimated 18.5 million US dollars (USD) in 2005.
However, it is the big Hollywood film stars who are at the top of the list of highest paid actors. Tom Cruise has always had a bankable film career. Despite being ousted from his film company due to his personal life, Cruise still managed to rake in 31 million USD in 2005.
Johnny Depp was once regarded as an independent film favorite, but his films were never high earners. However, since his swashbuckling role in Pirates of the Caribbean, Depp has been raking in the big bucks. He managed to outearn the popular Cruise by bringing home 37 million USD in 2005.
Julia Roberts was one of the first women to break the 20 million USD a picture bracket. She has also managed to stay at the top in Hollywood despite the younger starlets snipping at her heels. Those younger highest paid actors include Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Garner, who brought in 13 and 14 million USD respectively in 2005.
The men in Hollywood have always been fighting at the top of the list of highest paid actors. Comedian Will Ferrell laughed all the way to the bank in 2005 when he pocketed 40 million USD. He was closely followed by I, Robot and Men in Black star Will Smith, who coined in around 35 million USD. The Spiderman franchise has been good to Tobey Macguire. At only 30 years old, his earnings for 2005 were in the 32 million USD bracket.
Ray Romano is now one of the world's highest paid actors. The Everybody Loves Raymond star earned 33 million USD for the final season of the show and is now due to make the jump to big screen roles. Romano's on-screen wife, Patricia Heaton, could only manage a paltry 9 million USD for the last season of Everybody Loves Raymond, but she looks set to rake in more money from the syndication of the show. A recently reported seven figure deal looks set to keep the cash flowing in.
For many of the highest paid actors, money does not equal credibility. Although they all earn high pay checks, most are not taken as seriously as a Robert DeNiro or an Al Pacino, at least not by the people who hand out Oscars. The businessmen and women who make a lot of money from these stars are not too worried by this, but high earning power does not always guarantee longevity in Hollywood – ask Macaulay Culkin.
W. Brytania: małżeństwa będą wkrótce mniejszością
Już niedługo może się okazać, że ludzie żyjący w związkach małżeńskich w Wielkiej Brytanii będą stanowili mniejszość w tym społeczeństwie. Według nowych prognoz brytyjskiego Urzędu Statystycznego dla Anglii i Walii, w 2031 r. tylko 41 proc. mieszkańców będzie tam żyło w związkach małżeńskich, a 49 proc. samotnie – informuje dziennik „The Daily Mail”.
Obecnie w obu częściach kraju żyje 21,7 mln małżonków, ok. 4 mln osób rozwiedzionych oraz 3 miliony wdów i wdowców. Według tego raportu 14,9 mln osób nigdy nie było w związkach małżeńskich. Ten trend będzie się pogłębiał również po 2031 r.
Zdaniem statystyków, powodem takiej sytuacji jest coraz większa akceptacja przez społeczeństwo nieformalnych związków. W ciągu najbliższego dwudziestolecia ich liczba podwoi się i wzrośnie z 4,5 do 7,4 mln. Ponadto ok. 3 mln Walijczyków i Anglików w wieku 30-60 lat będzie „singlami”.
Socjolog Robert Whelan z Instytutu Socjologicznego „Civitas” w Londynie powiedział w rozmowie z „Daily Mail”, że znaczną odpowiedzialność za spadek liczby małżeństw ponosi państwo. Jednym z powodów jest fakt, że na przestrzeni lat systematycznie spadało poparcie państwa dla rodzin. W ostatnich latach rząd również prowadzi politykę utrudniającą podjęcie decyzji o zawarciu małżeństwa.
Secret Police Report Slams Supporters of Paul, Baldwin, Barr
Reminiscent of when the Clinton administration in the 1990s stepped up efforts to portray those within the freedom movement as being “ideational conspirators” whose beliefs could be on par with foreign terrorists and/or potential domestic criminals, the Missouri Information Analysis Center is a newer initiative that seems to harbor the same assumptions but lists names in such a way that it opens itself up to potential charges of libel and slander.
Former Constitution Party presidential candidate Chuck Baldwin—a Christian pastor and writer who himself is implicated in the MIAC’s special report as representing a “threat” to law enforcement—wrote the following:
“Thanks to a concerned Missouri state policeman, a nationally syndicated radio talk show host stated that he was alerted . . . to a secret Missouri state police report that categorized supporters of Congressman Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and myself as ‘militia influenced terrorists.’”
The report, Baldwin continued, “instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties.”
Baldwin ran for president in 2008 and eventually was backed by Rep. Paul after Paul, disgusted with the two dominant political parties, dropped out as a GOP presidential contender, having shook up the political order with his liberty-minded candidacy and bold statements on nationally televised debates.
This MIAC report focuses on the so-called “militia movement” and “conflates it with supporters of Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, Bob Barr, the so-called patriot movement and other political activist organizations opposed to the North American Union and the New World Order,” Baldwin goes on to say in his regular column, published at www.ChuckBaldwinlive.com.
"HE IS RISEN"
By Chuck Baldwin
As we approach Resurrection Sunday, it behooves us to remind ourselves (Christians should need no reminder) of the significance of this season. Along with the virgin birth, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ form the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Indeed, the resurrection of Jesus separates Christianity from all the world's religions.
Furthermore, the overwhelming number of America's founders understood the connection between the Christian faith and the rise of these United States. John Quincy Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."
Adams also said, "From the day of the Declaration . . . They [the American people] were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of the Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledged as the rules of their conduct."
Then, on July 4, 1837, Adams said these words, "Why is it that, next to the birthday of the Savior of the World, your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this day? . . . Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth? That it laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfillment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?"
Daniel Webster also acknowledged the relationship between our founders' Christian faith and America's creation. He said, "Finally, let us not forget the religious character of our origin. Our fathers were brought hither by their high veneration for the Christian religion. They journeyed by its light, and labored in its hope. They sought to incorporate its principles with the elements of their society, and to diffuse its influence through all their institutions, civil, political, or literary."
Noah Webster, the man who is called the Father of American Education, said, "Education is useless without the Bible." He also said, "The Bible was America's basic textbook in all fields."
Noah Webster went on to say, "In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government, ought to be instructed. . . . No truth is more evident to my mind, than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people."
One more quotation from Noah Webster is necessary at this point. He said, "The religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and his apostles, which enjoins humility, piety, and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of government."
These sentiments were the sentiments of America from the inception of our great country. Remember, the voyagers of the Mayflower made a covenant between themselves and Almighty God. It is called the Mayflower Compact, and in it they said the reason they had made the voyage and determined to plant a colony in the new world was "for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith."
It was only in the last half of the 20th Century that America began trying to distance itself from its Christian heritage. Yet today, educators, entertainers, chief executives, and politicians are in the process of supplanting our Christian heritage with the pseudo-religions of secularism, multiculturalism, and universalism.
What many people do not understand is that when America abandons its dependence upon the God of the Bible, it will--at the same time--surrender the very foundation of our liberty and independence. As Thomas Jefferson said, "And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?"
Patrick Henry agreed with Jefferson. He said, "It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains."
As we celebrate the vicarious death and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ, let us remember the importance of preserving liberty within these United States of America. And this commitment involves much more than attending church once a week or repeating an occasional catechism. It means we must seek to incorporate the principles of liberty and independence into the very fabric of our lives and work. It means we will offer eternal vigilance to the fundamental principles upon which America was built. Liberty has no guarantees or assurances. Each generation must work to preserve, protect, and defend the principles of constitutional government, or else liberty will be lost.
The angel spoke of Christ, declaring, "He is risen." And so He is. And because Christ lives, liberty and freedom may also live. Why? Because "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."
Interesująca stronka gdzie możesz się zarejestrować żeby otrzymywać informacje na temat IRA. Oglądałem program z Ed Slot na Public Television. Gucio wie co mówi. Warto posłuchać a także przeczytać jego książki.
Ostatnio edytowany przez zoomboy (04.08.2009 20:25:42)
LOSING A FRIEND:
THIS IS A VERY TOUCHING STORY ABOUT LIFE & DEATH,
AND THE FRIENDS THAT WE HAVE.
IT'S CERTAIN TO STIR UP YOUR HEART, TOUCH YOUR SOUL..
THIS EMAIL IS ONE I COULD NOT AFFORD NOT TO SHARE WITH MY FRIENDS.
I'M STILL CHOKED UP OVER IT!
Zdjęcie w następnym pokoju...
Obama to Push Immigration Bill Despite the Risks
While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.
The latest on President Obama, the new administration and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion.
Mr. Obama will frame the new effort — likely to rouse passions on all sides of the highly divisive issue — as “policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system,” said the official, Cecilia Muñoz, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs in the White House.
Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May, administration officials said, and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall.
Some White House officials said that immigration would not take precedence over the health care and energy proposals that Mr. Obama has identified as priorities. But the timetable is consistent with pledges Mr. Obama made to Hispanic groups in last year’s campaign.
He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office. Latino voters turned out strongly for Mr. Obama in the election.
“He intends to start the debate this year,” Ms. Muñoz said.
But with the economy seriously ailing, advocates on different sides of the debate said that immigration could become a polarizing issue for Mr. Obama in a year when he has many other major battles to fight.
Opponents, mainly Republicans, say they will seek to mobilize popular outrage against any effort to legalize unauthorized immigrant workers while so many Americans are out of jobs.
Democratic legislative aides said that opening a full-fledged debate this year on immigration, particularly with health care as a looming priority, could weigh down the president’s domestic agenda.
Debate is still under way among administration officials about the precise timing and strategy. For example, it is unclear who will take up the Obama initiative in Congress.
No serious legislative talks on the issue are expected until after some of Mr. Obama’s other priorities have been debated, Congressional aides said.
Just last month, Mr. Obama openly recognized that immigration is a potential minefield.
"I know this is an emotional issue; I know it’s a controversial issue,” he told an audience at a town meeting on March 18 in Costa Mesa, Calif. “I know that the people get real riled up politically about this."
But, he said, immigrants who are long-time residents but lack legal status “have to have some mechanism over time to get out of the shadows.”
The White House is calculating that public support for fixing the immigration system, which is widely acknowledged to be broken, will outweigh opposition from voters who argue that immigrants take jobs from Americans. A groundswell among voters opposed to legal status for illegal immigrants led to the defeat in 2007 of a bipartisan immigration bill that was strongly supported by President George W. Bush.
Administration officials said that Mr. Obama’s plan would not add new workers to the American work force, but that it would recognize millions of illegal immigrants who have already been working here. Despite the deep recession, there is no evidence of any wholesale exodus of illegal immigrant workers, independent studies of census data show.
Opponents of legalization legislation were incredulous at the idea that Mr. Obama would take on immigration when economic pain for Americans is so widespread.
“It just doesn’t seem rational that any political leader would say, let’s give millions of foreign workers permanent access to U.S. jobs when we have millions of Americans looking for jobs,” said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a group that favors reduced immigration. Mr. Beck predicted that Mr. Obama would face “an explosion” if he proceeded this year.
“It’s going to be, ‘You’re letting them keep that job, when I could have that job,’ ” he said.
In broad outlines, officials said, the Obama administration favors legislation that would bring illegal immigrants into the legal system by recognizing that they violated the law, and imposing fines and other penalties to fit the offense. The legislation would seek to prevent future illegal immigration by strengthening border enforcement and cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, while creating a national system for verifying the legal immigration status of new workers.
But administration officials emphasized that many details remained to be debated.
Opponents of a legalization effort said that if the Obama administration maintained the enforcement pressure initiated by Mr. Bush, the recession would force many illegal immigrants to return home. Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said it would be “politically disastrous” for Mr. Obama to begin an immigration initiative at this time.
Anticipating opposition, Mr. Obama has sought to shift some of the political burden to advocates for immigrants, by encouraging them to build support among voters for when his proposal goes to Congress.
That is why Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, a Democrat from Mr. Obama’s hometown, Chicago, has been on the road most weekends since last December, traveling far outside his district to meetings in Hispanic churches, hoping to generate something like a civil rights movement in favor of broad immigration legislation.
Mr. Gutierrez was in Philadelphia on Saturday at the Iglesia Internacional, a big Hispanic evangelical church in a former warehouse, the 17th meeting in a tour that has included cities as far flung as Providence, R.I.; Atlanta; Miami; and San Francisco. Greeted with cheers and amens by a full house of about 350 people, Mr. Gutierrez, shifting fluidly between Spanish and English, called for immigration policies to preserve family unity, the strategic theme of his campaign.
At each meeting, speakers from the community, mainly citizens, tell stories of loved ones who were deported or of delays and setbacks in the immigration system. Illegal immigrants have not been invited to speak.
Mr. Gutierrez’s meetings have all been held in churches, both evangelical and Roman Catholic, with clergy members from various denominations, including in several places Muslim imams. At one meeting in Chicago, Cardinal Francis George, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, officiated.
One speaker on Saturday, Jill Flores, said that her husband, Felix, an immigrant from Mexico who crossed the border illegally, had applied for legal status five years ago but had not been able to gain it even though she is an American citizen, as are their two children. Now, Ms. Flores said, she fears that her husband will have to leave for Mexico and will not be permitted to return for many years.
In an interview, Mr. Gutierrez rejected the idea that the timing is bad for an immigration debate. “There is never a wrong time for us,” he said. “Families are being divided and destroyed, and they need help now.”
Przeciw perfidii - cenzura - Stanisław Michalkiewicz
Ach, nie ma granic perfidia „byłych neonazistów”, których wybitnym przedstawicielem, zdemaskowanym przez „Gazetę Wyborczą”, która do takich spraw ma, jak wiadomo, specjalnego nosa, jest prezes państwowej telewizji, Piotr Farfał. Ledwo tylko na łamach tej żydowskiej gazety dla Polaków opublikowane zostały lamentacje zmobilizowanych autorytetów moralnych w osobach Marka Edelmana, Andrzeja Wajdy, Agnieszki Holland, Kazimierza Kutza, Julii Hartwig, Joanny Szczepkowskiej, Małgorzaty Szumowskiej, Jana Nowickiego, Wojciecha Węglewskiego, Jana Klaty i Andrzeja Saramonowicza. Nie wiadomo dlaczego do tej listy niewątpliwych autorytetów nie dołączył reżyser Ryszard Krauze, tylko swój apel o bojkot telewizji kierowanej przez „byłego neonazistę” opublikował wprawdzie też w „Gazecie Wyborczej”, ale osobno. Być może jeszcze przygotowuje się do egzaminu czeladniczego na autorytet moralny i stąd ta osobność.
Zatem, kiedy już rzesza półinteligentów, stanowiąca większość czytelników „Gazety Wyborczej” została poinstruowana, z jakiego klucza nakazuje teraz śpiewać mądrość aktualnego etapu, perfidny „były neonazista” zadał zdradziecki cios poniżej pasa i to w jaki sposób! Zadał go, wykorzystując samego red. Adama Michnika w charakterze ślepego instrumentum. Puścił mianowicie w państwowej telewizji 7 kwietnia, w godzinach największej oglądalności, na antenie drugiego programu, wspominkowy program poświęcony słynnym wydarzeniom marcowym z roku 1968 z red. Adamem Michnikiem, w roli głównego komentatora. Co tu ukrywać – cały pogrzeb, cały bojkot na nic! Tu reżyser Ryszard Krauze rad staratsia nawołuje do bojkotu, tu autorytety protestują, a już następnego dnia Adam Michnik pojawia się u „byłego neonazisty” na telewizyjnym ekranie i to w dodatku dosłownie pełną gębą. Co za perfidia, a z drugiej strony – jednak co za karygodny brak koordynacji! Co tu ukrywać – najwyższy czas przywrócić cenzurę! I właśnie w tym kierunku zmierza projekt słynnej ustawy medialnej, przygotowany przez miłośników wolnego słowa z Platformy Obywatelskiej, wspieranych przez byłych komunistów z SLD i fejginięta z „Gazety Wyborczej”.
Protesting Priest's Path Leads Repeatedly to Jail
Father Louis Vitale has engaged in civil disobedience for nearly four decades in pursuit of peace and justice. 'He is following in the footsteps of St. Francis,' a bishop says.
by Richard C. Paddock
SANTA BARBARA - Father Louis Vitale has lost track of how many times he has been arrested. More than 200, he figures, maybe 300. The gaunt Franciscan friar figures he's spent a year and a half behind bars. At 76, he is ready to go to jail again.
[Father Louis Vitale greets activist Mariah Klusmire,19, of Albuquerque before a rally protesting military interrogation training at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. Klusmire's mother attended events organized by the Franciscan friar before she was born. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)]Father Louis Vitale greets activist Mariah Klusmire,19, of Albuquerque before a rally protesting military interrogation training at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz. Klusmire's mother attended events organized by the Franciscan friar before she was born. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
Last month, he appeared before a federal magistrate in Santa Barbara.
Dressed in the traditional brown robe and the knotted rope belt that signifies vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, Vitale explains in his gravelly voice that he had a higher purpose when he trespassed two years ago at Vandenberg Air Force Base: calling attention to the perils of nuclear war and persuading military personnel to embrace nonviolence.
"The biggest threat to the world is our nuclear arsenal," he tells Magistrate Judge Rita Coyne Federman.
More than two dozen family members and friends, including actor Martin Sheen, are in the courtroom to show support for the friar and his three co-defendants.
Vitale tells Federman, who had found him guilty in December, that sending him to jail would only make him more determined to break the law again to protest injustice.
"I am committed to doing anything I can," he says.
The judge, rejecting the prosecution's call for five months in jail, concludes that more time behind bars would not change the priest's ways. She orders him to pay a $500 fine.
Sheen, sitting in the second row, expresses surprise. "The government needs the dough," he cracks.
Outside court, Vitale admonishes friends and family members not to pay it. He would rather go to jail.
For nearly four decades, Vitale has made civil disobedience a way of life.
A former Air Force navigator with a PhD in sociology from UCLA, he believes his mission is to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and St. Francis, who comforted the poor and preached nonviolence. "I call it the evangelization of peace," he says.
His example inspired so many people to put themselves on the line during the anti-nuke protests of the 1980s that he was dubbed the Pied Piper of the Nevada Test Site. More recently, he has helped focus attention on the training of Latin American security forces at Ft. Benning, Ga., and the instruction of U.S. military interrogators at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz.
"He's one of my heroes," said Sheen, a longtime friend who has been arrested with Vitale in Nevada. "He is one of the great peacemakers."
Vitale, who lives at St. Elizabeth's Friary in Oakland, is one of a small number of religious figures around the nation who seek to go to jail for their beliefs. "By taking on the suffering of others, we change the world," he says. "We are willing to put our bodies where they are and suffer the consequences, be what they may."
He is tall and slender, bearded and bald with a fringe of close-cropped gray hair, a prominent nose and large ears. Friendly and self-effacing, Vitale often cracks jokes that soften his radical message.
"I like to be liked and I try not to offend people," he says.
At protests or the courthouse, he typically wears his monk's habit. But he also projects an air of informality, carrying a cellphone in his breast pocket and wearing black Crocs.
As a speaker, the fast-talking friar displays a passion for his cause, albeit with a tendency to ramble. His ability to inspire appears to stem more from his upbeat nature and his example.
Vitale often cites the inspiration of St. Francis, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
He gets up in the middle of the night to pray and fasts on Fridays, which contributes to his lean physique. The friar also goes on lengthy fasts as a political statement; his longest was 46 days to protest the Persian Gulf War.
"He looks more like Gandhi every day," Sheen says.
As he travels around speaking to audiences, Vitale often uses chapters of his life story to illustrate his message.
Born in San Gabriel, he could have gone into the family fish-processing business and lived a life of affluence. After graduating from what is now Loyola Marymount University in 1954, he enlisted in the Air Force. He took pride in being a "flyboy," bought a Jaguar Roadster and enjoyed the party life.
Vitale often recounts how his squadron was ordered to shoot down a presumed enemy aircraft approaching the U.S. He says the crew was told not to risk inspecting the plane before firing but flew alongside anyway. Two women waved at them through a window. It was a commercial airliner.
That planted the seeds of his disillusionment.
When his three-year stint ended, the self-described playboy found himself drawn to the church. He gave up his girlfriend and gave away his Roadster. He chose the Franciscans, he said, because they had a sense of humor.
"It was the idea of doing good, whether it was as a crusader or a hero," he says.
Vitale took his vows in 1960 when he was 28. When he emerged from the isolation of his theological studies, he found much had changed.
"When I came out of the seminary in '64, Martin Luther King was in the streets, Cesar Chavez was in the fields, Berkeley students were doing free speech marches and the anti-Vietnam War movement was in full bloom," he says. "I got involved in all that."
He met King, attended Mass with Robert F. Kennedy and fasted with Chavez.
"Father Louie was with us at every major crisis we had," said United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta. "He lives the purpose of what he believes, the idea of peace and nonviolence. He has a quiet strength, and he's fearless."
Vitale's first arrest came in 1971, when he helped organize a sit-in by welfare mothers that blocked traffic on the Las Vegas Strip to protest major cuts in aid by Nevada.
The priest had gotten to know Nevada Gov. Mike O'Callaghan, who called him his "Franciscan conscience." When the police reported to O'Callaghan that the friar had been detained, Vitale says the governor replied, "You better keep him in. He'll be very disappointed if you let him go."
In the 1980s, Vitale helped draw thousands for mass arrests at the Nevada Test Site. He was arrested so often -- including eight times in one day -- that he became friendly with the justice of the peace, who nevertheless sentenced him to several months in jail.
Vitale has heard grumbling about his arrests from some Catholic officials but says he has always had the support of his superiors.
"He is a very holy man and a very good priest," said Bishop John Wester, who served as auxiliary bishop in San Francisco and has known Vitale for years. "He is following in the footsteps of St. Francis. Strategically, I am not sure that getting arrested is the best way. But I admire the fact that he follows his heart."
Vitale has hardly been an outsider in the church. He was elected in 1979 to head the Franciscan Order in the Western states, a post he held for nine years. In 1992, he became pastor of St. Boniface Church in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, where he remained for 13 years. Neither job prompted him to curtail his protests.
As pastor, he raised $12 million and renovated the 100-year-old church. After it was beautifully restored, he opened its doors to the homeless so they could sleep in the pews during the day.
The idea of allowing drunk, smelly or snoring people to stretch out in the pews offended some churchgoers, who found it disrespectful. But that didn't stop Vitale.
The church remains open to homeless sleepers.
Today, walking with Vitale in the Tenderloin is like touring with a celebrity. As he heads down Golden Gate Avenue from St. Boniface to a dining hall run by the Franciscans, homeless men and women call out, "Father Louie."
A man in a scruffy camouflage jacket stops him and shakes his hand. A middle-aged woman, a little unsteady on her feet even though it's barely noon, gives Vitale a big hug. Slightly embarrassed by the attention, he chats with each of them briefly and asks after their health.
In November, Vitale returned to Arizona to protest the training of military interrogators at Ft. Huachuca. After a similar protest in 2006, he received his harshest sentence for trespassing, five months in jail. Home of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center, the fort trains personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps in intelligence techniques. Vitale contends that military interrogators have been taught torture methods, an allegation the Army denies.
About 200 protesters are gathered in a nearby park. Vitale, taking the microphone, delivers a stream-of-consciousness rap ranging from his time in the Air Force to his meeting former Abu Ghraib prisoners in Jordan.
He theorizes that St. Francis suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after he joined a military expedition and was taken prisoner. "He came out and rebelled against any kind of war," the friar says. Vitale closes by invoking Cesar Chavez and leading a chant of "Si, se puede."
Afterward, several people come up to have their picture taken with the friar.
"He's a rock star," says Chelsea Collonge, 24, a Catholic Worker activist and friend who was arrested with him at the Nevada Test Site. "He's so good at affirming people. He loves what he does. He loves people."
The group marches more than a mile to the fort's entrance, where barricades block the way. Vitale, determined to get arrested, surveys the dozens of police near the entrance and calculates how to enter the fort.
"When you see that people are being tortured, what's a few months in jail?" he asks.
He walks through the line of police, crosses the street and slips through two strips of yellow police tape. Across the road, the protesters watch and cheer.
"Sir, you're going to be arrested," a soldier with a bullhorn warns repeatedly.
But that's exactly what he wants. He walks a few more steps into the custody of two burly military policemen, who handcuff him and put him in a van.
The protest has no visible effect on the military's activities at the fort, but Vitale says results are not the point. "Effectiveness is not what we're after," he says. "We are doing what's right before God. That's what we are called to do, and what happens happens."
Vitale has already begun his next protest, fasting and holding vigils at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Pilots there remotely fly Predator drones, which target terrorists but sometimes also hit civilians.
He hopes to be arrested to commemorate the arrest of Jesus on Holy Thursday. If all goes well for the friar, he will be in custody by this afternoon.
Obama zaprasza gejów na toczenie jajek
Administracja prezydenta Baracka Obamy chce krzewić tolerancję dla mniejszości seksualnych. W związku z tym po raz pierwszy w historii w wielkanocnej imprezie dobroczynnej w Białym Domu wezmą udział gejowskie i lesbijskie pary wychowujące dzieci.
Egg Roll to impreza organizowana co roku w poniedziałek wielkanocny w ogrodzie Białego Domu. Jedną z największych atrakcji jest zabawa, w czasie której dzieci na wyścigi toczą jajka.
Co roku do siedziby prezydenta USA zapraszane są rodziny z dziećmi. Jednak do tej pory nie było wśród nich par lesbijskich czy gejowskich. Będą też rodzice biseksualni i transseksualni.
Jak podkreślają przedstawiciele Białego Domu, jest to wyraz tolerancji nowej administracji prezydenta Obamy dla mniejszości seksualnych.
Castro: jak mogę pomóc Obamie?
Stosunki amerykańsko-kubańskie czeka rewolucja. Po tym, jak kubański dyktator Fidel Castro przyjął amerykańskich kongresmanów i „zaoferował Barackowi Obamie swoją pomoc”, administracja USA zamierza złagodzić politykę Stanów Zjednoczonych wobec Kuby
Czyżby komunistyczny dyktator na starość złagodniał? Fidel Castro i rządzący obecnie Kubą jego brat Raul spotkali się w ubiegłym tygodniu z grupą amerykańskich kongresmanów. Z relacji Amerykanów wynikało, że bracia Castro byli niezwykle pozytywnie nastawieni do prezydenta Obamy i ciekawi jego intencji wobec Kuby.
Fidel Castro "naprawdę chce, żeby prezydentowi Obamie się udało" - powiedziała demokratyczna kongresmenka Laura Richardson. "On szuka okazji, żeby jeszcze za swojego życia zobaczyć zmianę w Ameryce" - dodała.
"Spojrzał nam prosto w oczy i zapytał: <Jak możemy pomóc prezydentowi Obamie?>" – reacjonuje Richardson.
Sam Castro potwierdził swoje pozytywne nastawienie do nowej władzy w Białym Domu. "Kuba nie miała innego wyjścia jak przejąć inicjatywę" i zaaranżować spotkanie - napisał później przywódca kubańskiej rewolucji i pochwalił członków amerykańskiej delegacji za ich "proste i głębokie słowa".
Odpowiedź Białego Domu była błyskawiczna - administracja prezydenta Obamy zapowiedziała nowy plan działań wobec Kuby, który ma znacząco ocieplić relacje między krajami. Na miesiąc przed Szczytem Ameryk w Trynidadzie i Tobago Amerykanie zaproponują złagodzenie ograniczeń podróżowania obywateli USA na Kubę. Kubańczycy mieszkający na emigracji w USA będą mogli też wysyłać pieniądze swoim rodakom, którzy zostali na wyspie.
Obamę i jego ekipę czeka jeszcze ciężka batalia w Kongresie, gdzie jest wielu przeciwników złagodzenia kursu wobec Kuby. W USA działa też silne lobby kubańskich emigrantów, którzy zajmują nieprzejednane stanowisko wobec reżimu Castro. Ale jeśli pomysły Demokratów wejdą w życie, to będzie największy zwrot w polityce USA wobec komunistycznej wyspy od dziesięcioleci.
Vatican Blocks Obama Appointment of Caroline Kennedy as United States Ambassador to The Holy See
Caroline Kennedy responds during an interview, Friday, Dec. 26, 2008 in New York
Well, what does Kennedy expect? She is in favor or abortion and gay marriage.
Vatican sources told Il Giornale that their support for abortion disqualified Ms Kennedy and other Roman Catholics President Barack Obama had been seeking to appoint.
Mr Obama was reportedly seeking to reward John F Kennedy’s daughter, who publicly gave her support to his election bid. She had been poised to replace Hillary Clinton as New York senator, but dropped out amid criticism that she lacked enough experience for the job.
The Italian paper said that the Vatican strongly disapproved of Mr Obama’s support for abortion and stem cell research. The impasse over the ambassadorial appointment threatens to cloud his meeting with the Pope during a G8 summit in Itay in July.
Ms Kennedy, 53, has said that she supports abortion. Raymond Flynn, a former US ambassador to the Vatican, said earlier this week that Ms Kennedy would be a poor choice.
“It’s imperative, it’s essential that the person who represents us to the Holy See be a person who has pro-life values. I hope the President doesn’t make that mistake,” he told the Boston Herald. “She said she was pro-choice. I don’t assume she’s going to change that, which is problematic.”
And, Caroline Kennedy reportedly has the run of the mill Obama appointment tax problems too.
Obama may have a real problem on his hands finding soemone from his Far Left constituency to appoint to The Holy See.
Ostatnio edytowany przez zoomboy (04.12.2009 23:57:41)
Open Letter to Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Mises Daily by Walter Block | Posted on 4/13/2009 12:00:00 AM
[This article is excerpted from The Privatization of Roads and Highways.]
Although I shall be criticizing you, even severely, please do not take this amiss. I mean your organization no harm. Quite the contrary. My two children, in their early twenties, are both new drivers. I would suffer more than I can tell you if anything were to happen to them as a result of drunken driving. I am thus a supporter of yours. I am on your side. Please take what I say as no more than friendly amendments to your plans and proposals. Some of the following critiques may sound harsh, but friends do not mince words with each other in life-and-death situations, and I would like you to consider me a friend of yours. We may disagree on means but certainly not on ends.
First, you must expand your scope of operations. While drunk driving is of course a major calamity on our nation's roads, it is far from the only one. There are quite a few others, even besides the "big three" of speed, weather conditions, and driver error. What difference does it really make if our children and loved ones die in a traffic fatality emanating from drunkenness or any of these other conditions? Happily there is no need to change even the MADD name if you adopt this suggestion. Only instead of the first "D" standing for "drunk" it could refer to "death," as in Mothers Against Death Drivers. All of these things — alcohol, drugs, speeding, malfunctioning vehicles, badly engineered roads, weather conditions, whatever — are threats to our families' lives. Why single out any one of them?
A possible defense of the status quo is to borrow a leaf from the economists and defend the present, limited, status of MADD on grounds of specialization and division of labor. True, no one organization can do everything. Better to take on a limited agenda and do it well than to take on too much and accomplish little or nothing.
But this insight applies only when to take on additional tasks is to dilute the focus of an enterprise. If you truly oppose fatalities only from the single cause of alcoholism, well and good. MADD as presently constituted then needs no broadening of vision. But if your goal is decrease the senseless roadway slaughter of innocents which stems from any cause, which I strongly suspect is the case, then to include the contributions from other sources does not weaken the mission; on the contrary, it fortifies it.
My second suggestion is far more radical. Please hear me out. There are very important matters at stake. True, the highway fatality rates have been declining in recent years. But 41,480, the number of people who perished as a result of improper automobile use in 1998, for example, is still far too high. Desperate circumstances require radical solutions.
The radical suggestion I offer is that MADD adopt as one of its major policy planks the proposal that our nation's roadways be privatized. And this includes not only the federal interstate highway system but every byway, country road, city street, and even sidewalk — wherever vehicle-related deaths have occurred. Why? There are several reasons.
First, it is not at all true that speed, alcohol, drugs, etc., are ultimately responsible for vehicular death. Rather, they are only the proximate causes. The underlying explanation is that the managers of the roads, those in charge of them, have failed to deal with these problems. The reason Chrysler went broke is only indirectly related to car size, changing styles, competition, imports, the price of oil and gas, etc. This company was bankrupted because its managers failed to meet these challenges. When a restaurant shuts down, it is not due to such proximate causes as poorly cooked food, poor service, bad location, unclean premises, etc. Rather, this circumstance is due to the fact that the owners, operators, managers of the restaurant failed to address these problems.
Second, with a system of private highways and streets, the various owners would compete with one another to provide service for their customers (including, preeminently, safety). Those who failed (e.g., pursued policies detrimental to the "health of children and other living things") would be forced either to change the error of their ways or go belly up. Those who saved lives by better dealing with drunkards, speeders, etc., would earn profits and thus be enabled to expand the base of their operations.
Third, this is precisely the system — privatization — that vastly outstripped that of the U.S.S.R. in providing computers, cars, clothes, and a plethora of other products and services. Yet, instead of borrowing a leaf from our own success and applying it to highways, we have instead copied the discredited Soviet economic system and applied it to our network of roadways. That is, our highway network is governmentally owned and managed. This is why people die like flies on these roads and suffer from traffic congestion serious enough to try the patience of a saint (which also exacerbates casualties through road rage).
Fourth, the rules of the road that would minimize automobile accidents (this goes for most other valuable economic recipes) do not come to us from on high, imprinted on stone tablets. Rather, they have to be learned, ofttimes by hard and difficult experience. The time-honored and traditional capitalist way of learning is by allowing all entrepreneurs, willing to risk their own money, free rein to do exactly as they please. The ones who hit upon the best way of proceeding earn profits; those who do not either have to copy the successful or fall by the wayside. It is precisely this, the magic of the marketplace, that has brought us our world-class standard of living. But this learning process cannot possibly take place when politicians, bureaucrats, and other members of the nomenklatura class determine the rules of the road, and do not lose an iota of their personal fortunes when they err in this way, or, indeed, are guilty of any other sort of highway mismanagement.
We all deplore highway casualties. But at least when they occur, let us have a system wherein someone in authority loses money thereby. There is nothing that concentrates the managerial mind more. At present, when deaths take place, there is no one in a position to ameliorate matters who suffers financially. Surely we may expect better results from a system that monetarily rewards the successful and punishes those who fail than from one that does neither.
Take a case in point. It is perhaps a truism that "speed kills." Yet the rate of fatalities has decreased after the elimination of the 55 mph speed limit. Some analysts have suggested that it is not the average rate of travel that is determinative but rather the variance in speed. That is, we might all be safer with a slow-lane speed requirement (both minimum and maximum) of 60 mph, a middle lane of 70 mph, and a fast lane of 80 mph than with the present minimum of 40 mph and maximum of 70, typical of many highways. I don't know the answer to this question. But I do know the best way to answer it: unleash a new breed of road entrepreneurs on it. Allow each of them to address this issue as they wish. Then, using the same system we as a society have utilized to improve the quality of cars, computers, and clothes, among other things, we shall find the answer.
Take another example, closer to the concerns of MADD. How best to stop drunk driving? Heavier penalties? More emphasis on driver education? More police monitoring? Rewards for exemplary driving? Payment for joining Alcoholics Anonymous? Again, the same principles apply. Privatize the avenues of vehicular transportation, and rely upon the new owners — under the tutelage of the free-enterprise, profit-and-loss system — to find solutions.
One of this new breed of highway proprietors, of course, would be MADD. Under such a system, a revitalized and reinvigorated MADD, as an organization, would be able to implement its own policies on drinking while driving, speeding, whatever. It would have to take its chances in competition with all other entrants into this industry, but that is the way of the market system.
At present, in contrast, under a road system that would bring a smile to the face of a Russian commissar, there is simply no managerial role for MADD to play. Compare your situation with that of Ducks Unlimited, Western Wilderness Society, or any other environmental group. They are not relegated to the sidelines in their analogous field, limited to offering advice, and, in a word, begging the powers that be. They can of course do these things. But they can also buy up vast tracts of land (they would have been unable to do this in the U.S.S.R.) and manage them as they please. Why should MADD accept its present inferior status, vis à vis these other groups?
Two final points. There are those who will dismiss these suggestions as the ravings of a lunatic. They will throw up all sorts of obstacles and objections: the specter of having to place a coin in a toll box of every home you pass by in the street; of having your house surrounded by private road owners who deny access and egress; of crazy road owners who would demand weird behavior, such as forcing everyone to travel in reverse gear. However, there is a wealth of published material refuting these and all other criticisms of private highway ownership and management. Before giving in to the "nattering nabobs of negativism," you owe it to yourself to at least familiarize yourself with this literature.
Last but not least, why have I written an open letter to you, MADD, and not taken up my case with the authorities? For one thing, private organizations such as MADD are what have made this country great; government bureaucrats, operating way past their capacities, have always brought us down. For another, those presently in charge of our roadways are not just part of the problem; they pretty much are the problem. When and if a Nuremberg-type trial is ever held for those responsible for thousands upon thousands of unnecessary traffic fatalities, these are the very people who will be prime candidates for occupancy in the dock.
MADD has a passion for saving lives. This, indeed, is what MADD is all about. That puts this organization head and shoulders above all others concerned with preserving life on our highways. But more needs to be done. Far more. It is time for a radical departure from previous activity, in order, paradoxically, to build on previous good work. It is time for highway privatization, with MADD taking a lead role in this initiative.
THE BIG BUSINESS/BIG GOVERNMENT AXIS OF EVIL
By Chuck Baldwin
April 14, 2009
Self-proclaimed "conservatives" love to tout themselves as ardent supporters of the "free enterprise" system. In the name of "capitalism," they support any and every piece of legislation or governmental decision that caters to business--especially Big Business. Favorite policies of these folks include anything and everything that calls itself "free trade." Furthermore, these same "conservatives" will support just about anything and everything that is said to advance the so-called "global economy."
Needless to say, in the name of "free trade" millions of American jobs and thousands of American manufacturing plants have been outsourced to foreign countries and interests. And leading the charge for "free trade," outsourcing, and the "global economy" is the international cabal known as Big Business. But Big Business does not play this game alone. Joining Big Business is its pernicious partner, Big Government.
Together, Big Business and Big Government form a tyrannical tandem that is squeezing the breath out of our once-great republic. In fact, people need to understand that what is passing for "capitalism" in America today is nothing more than "Corporatism."
Corporatism has little to do with genuine capitalism or free enterprise. Freedom and federalism thrive when true capitalism and free enterprise are at work. But Corporatism has nothing to do with freedom and everything to do with tyranny.
Corporatism is the marriage of Big Business with Big Government. Corporatism uses the force and weight of government to create giant monopolies, which strangle competition and freedom. Rules and regulations are enacted that make it impossible for "little" guys to compete. The trade laws of nations are pitted against each other, forcing free nations to sacrifice their own peace and security to accommodate the economies of totalitarian regimes. And, of course, Big Business is the recipient of gargantuan profits in the process.
Please understand that the movers and shakers of Big Business have no national loyalty. They claim no country, salute no flag, and recognize no independence but their own. They are the travel companions of the bloodiest butchers on the planet. They have homes in every corner of the globe and are happy to share the beds of the vilest people on earth. They would gladly sell the heart and soul of America to the highest bidder, and have long ago sold their own hearts and souls to the devil.
And there is no limit to how intimately Big Business and Big Government can collaborate to steal people's liberties. A classic case in point is the burgeoning effort to control and regulate private, homegrown gardens.
In the face of a growing recession, thousands of people across America are planting and growing their own gardens. And this is not lost to Corporatism. Remember, Corporatism's great goal is to create monopolies and crush freedom, leaving the cabal controlling both Big Business and Big Government alone atop the world of prosperity and power. Therefore, it will use every tool at its disposal to protect any and all of Corporatism's favored players. And when it comes to America's food supply, Big Agriculture is that favored player.
Even as Michelle Obama plants a White House garden and encourages Americans everywhere to do the same thing, her husband is creating a brand new tool for the Big Business/Big Government powerbrokers: a new "Food Safety Administration" (FSA).
At the same time, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) has introduced H.R. 875 to "protect the public health." But it is not the public health that Ms. DeLauro wants to protect. It is the health of the demonic duo of Big Business and Big Government. Two other bills with similar machinations are S. 425, introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and H.R. 815, submitted by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colorado).
In a nutshell, when these bills become law, every homegrown garden in the country will be regulated, inspected, controlled, and taxed by the federal government. (No, I am not making it up.) In addition, small, independent farms would most certainly be put out of business. In effect, the great Nanny State is posturing itself to completely take over the food business in America.
First, the Big Business/Big Government Axis of Evil began taking over the banking and financial institutions. Next, it was the automobile business that was in Corporatism's crosshairs. Now, it is energy, healthcare, and even the food business--down to the smallest backyard, homegrown garden--that Corporatism is plotting to plunder.
It is an ingenious system: first, Big Government regulates legitimate business to the point that it can no longer function in a free and open market. Then it paves the way for foreign investors to gain influence or even seize control of those same businesses. Then it forces the mergers of smaller entities into international monstrosities. Then it passes laws making it impossible for the remaining small, independent businesses to compete. Meanwhile, the newly created super-wealthy collaborators in Big Business are more than eager to share their bounty with their fellow miscreants inside Big Government.
The obvious result of all this chicanery is the creation of a superior ruling class and the destruction of a free and independent middle class. If all this sounds familiar, it is because Corporatism used to be known by another name: fascism! And this is exactly what is being created right in front of our very eyes, here in the good old U.S.A.
If "conservatives" were more cognizant of and diligent to protect the U.S. Constitution and principles of liberty contained in our Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence, they would be able to see through the façade of modern Corporatism that masks its totalitarian agenda under the guise of "free trade."
So, in the meantime, go ahead and grow your garden, because you are going to need it. But, at the same time, be prepared to give an account to your local FSA agent. He'll want to know how much you've grown, how much you sold or gave away, and to whom you sold or gave it. He'll want to inspect it; he'll expect you to fill out the appropriate government forms, including names, addresses, amounts, prices, etc. And this goes for all those church and social club potluck dinners as well. Oh, yes! He'll also expect you all to pay taxes on it.
Either that, or convince your State legislators and governor to do what the Thirteen Colonies did: tell King George to go to Hades! But if you don't have--and cannot get--a State legislature and governor willing to do that, you'll need to either move or start turning your entire life over to the new fascist America that Big Business and Big Government are creating, because the die has been cast, and it doesn't appear that there is any going back.
Fewer Taxes for Real Economic Stimulus
Taxes are the issue this week as Americans struggle to make the April 15th deadline to file their returns. It is a good time to contemplate the effects of big government and what it does to our country. The income tax is one of the most egregious encroachments on our liberties today. It is a form of involuntary servitude, which was supposed to have been outlawed by the 13th Amendment.
Tax Freedom Day is defined as the day when the nation as a whole has theoretically earned enough income to fund its annual federal tax burden. For all of the days of the year before this day, you are a slave to government. For 2009, Tax Freedom Day will come on April 13th. Almost a century ago in 1910, before the mistakes of 1913-namely the inception of the Federal Reserve and our current income tax, Tax Freedom Day was January 19th, signifying a mere 5% tax burden. Somehow, our country functioned just fine.
If calculated to include government spending and the deficit, rather than just collections, Tax Freedom Day would actually fall on May 29. The annual deficit adds to the growing debt of future generations and adds insult to injury to those that struggle to make this economy work. It is a slap in the face that this is not enough to prevent this crushing governmental burden from falling on the next generation.
For months now, Washington has been desperately throwing taxpayers’ money at various programs to stimulate us out of the recession, to no avail. Seeing hard-earned money confiscated from the people and spent in such wasteful ways, such as the recent bailouts, is almost too much to bear. Getting rid of the income tax altogether, while very beneficial, may be a while in coming. In the meantime, I am fighting for every tax cut or tax credit possible.
I can think of no better economic stimulus than letting people keep their money and spend it how they see fit. For this reason, I am an original cosponsor on a bill that would give Americans a two month employment and income tax holiday, while taking unused TARP money back from the Secretary of the Treasury and putting it in the Social Security trust fund instead.
In addition, I have recently introduced the Child Health Care Affordability Act. If passed this legislation would provide parents with a tax credit of up to $500 for health care expenses of dependent children. I have also re-introduced the Tax Free Tips Act, which would make tips exempt from federal income and payroll taxes. I am also an original cosponsor of a bill that would make permanent the deduction of state and local sales taxes. My bill HR 162 exempts Social Security benefits from income tax.
These are just a few of the many tax related bills I am fighting for in Congress, but without a corresponding cut in the size of government, which I am also fighting for, we are simply adding to the future tax burden of our children.
I am new to these forum pages (Klinika dr. Z), but based on what I have seen so far, I would like to respectfully offer two suggestions to Zoomboy:
(1) I suspect most visitors to this page are not interested in reading long articles that Zoomboy has merely copied from the Internet. If we wanted to read them, we would look them up ourselves. We might be interested, perhaps, in Zoomboy's own ideas, but in his own words.
(2) When Zoomboy DOES copy and paste articles from other sources, the ethical (and legal) thing to do is to ALWAYS cite the source. (He does that in many instances, but in other cases it seems he is presenting other people's material as his own. That is not proper.)
Please consider these merely as helpful suggestions. No offense is intended.