Friday, August 28, 2009

Keeping Michael Jackson’s Music Still Alive

It would have been Michael Jackson’s 51st birthday tomorrow and I’m sure there will be thousands of fans out there remembering him, and celebrating his life. And according to, there is one town in particular, that intend to keep his music and his memory alive.

Marty Markowitz, who is the Brooklyn borough president, will present a proclamation that declares the day, Saturday 29th August, Michael Jackson day in Brooklyn and will be having a Michael Jackson party, which will include a prayer from Rev. Al Sharpton and music from DJ Spinna.

Thousands of people are expected to gather at the Nethermead meadow in Prospect Park, to celebrate the life of the King of Pop. How do you remember Michael Jackson and how do you still keep his memory and his music alive?

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Denver Broncos suspend receiver Brandon Marshall

Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall, openly unhappy with the Denver Broncos, was suspended by the team Friday for unspecified "detrimental" conduct. The club not say in its 15-word statement how long the suspension would last.

Marshall has asked for a new contract or trade and has acknowledged he hasn't learned new coach Josh McDaniels' playbook. He was held out of last Sunday's preseason game at Seattle.

During Wednesday's warmups, Marshall walked while the rest of the team ran. He punted a ball away instead of handing it to a ball boy and swatted a pass thrown to him. His actions were caught on video and broadcast by KMGH-TV.

Marshall told ESPN on Thursday night he wasn't trying to force a trade through insubordination but that frustration got the best of him.

Marshall, who had 206 receptions the past two seasons, is also upset with what he feels was the team's misdiagnosis of a hip injury that required offseason surgery. He pulled a hamstring during the first weekend of training camp and didn't return until a week ago.

The receiver apparently was held out of practice Thursday as punishment for the churlish display, but McDaniels wouldn't discuss it afterward.

"I'm not going into it," the coach said. "If they're not ready or able, they're not out here."

Marshall's agent, Kennard McGuire, didn't immediately return a phone call Friday. McGuire was out of the country until Monday.

McDaniels said Marshall didn't play against the Seahawks because he wasn't prepared to take the field.

Marshall also missed the team's exhibition opener against San Francisco two weeks ago because he was on trial in Atlanta, where he was acquitted of a misdemeanor battery charge. Prosecutors had accused him of beating his then-girlfriend.

Marshall hoped the acquittal would give him leverage for a new deal in Denver or elsewhere. He was angered when the Broncos forbid teammates from saying they were happy for Marshall about the verdict.

That's when Marshall began spending more time between drills with the scout team and the defensive unit instead of his fellow offensive players.

Jaycee Dugard: Kidnapped At 11, Found 18 Years Later

By Meena Kar
Jaycee Dugard, the 11 year old who went missing in 1991, after she was abducted from her school bus has miraculously been found this Thursday after her abductor Philip Garrido 58 and his wife Nancy Garrido were arrested on Wednesday for Dugard’s kidnapping on June 10th 1991 from the South Lake Tahoe.

The now 29 year Dugard is a mother to two children aged 11 and 15, who also lived along with her in captivity . Dugard was living as captive for 18 years.

Helen Boyer 78, the neighbor of the Garrido couple described them as normal and friendly. It is incredible that Garrido maintained such a facade since he forcibly fathered two children with Jaycee. Boyer said the family was so approachable that if ever he needed help he would not hesitate to ask them for it.

Philip Garrido has a police record , as he has been convicted for rape. The sex offender had held the pony-tailed blond in captivity making her live in sheds in the backyard of his home. Garrido was on life-time parole.

“None of the children have ever been to a school, they’ve never been to a doctor.” El Dorado County Under Sheriff, Fred Kollar told sources. “They were kept in complete isolation in this compound. You can’t see over the fence with the shrubbery and the trees. You can’t see the structures.” Kollar said. The place where they lived looked like an extended camping area, and had a shower and electric supply.

Brambila, 26, who had been in the same school as Dugard, in 1991 said “I just remember my parents asking if I knew her, and I remember them insisting on walking me to the school bus everyday after that.”

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The mayoral ‘machine’ goes haywire, Reed fires back — UPDATED

The Atlanta mayor’s race has just blown up with a controversy whose fallout could well linger over the rest of the election season. Sometime yesterday, an incendiary bomb in the form of an e-mail went out calling on African American leaders across town to throw their support behind a single black candidate for mayor in order to head off a victory by Councilwoman Mary Norwood, who is painfully white.

The e-mail cites WSB polls showing Council President Lisa Borders gaining support to trail closely behind Norwood while state Sen. Kasim Reed remains trailing in the single digits. On the strength of the numbers, the e-mail author invites the recipients to join him in supporting Borders for mayor.

Reed is taking the missive seriously enough that he quickly retaliated with a statement calling the e-mail’s message “divisive,” “vitriolic” and “racist.”

And who is author? None other than Aaron Turpeau, a longtime political operative who could be considered the most prominent remaining gear in the old “Maynard Machine.” Turpeau worked on Jackson’s first two campaigns for mayor, then for both of Andrew Young’s successful bids, and then for Jackson’s third go-around.

But Turpeau, wasn’t simply Jackson’s appendage. Despite his longtime boss’ endorsement of Bill Campbell, Turpeau worked for both of Campbell’s opponents, Michael Lomax and Marvin Arrington. He later jumped on board Shirley Franklin’s campaign, which gave fuel to critics who dismissed Franklin as the “machine candidate.”

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Hope, reality collide in post-Katrina New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS — Shelia Phillips doesn't see the New Orleans that Mayor Ray Nagin talks about, the one on its way to having just as many people and a more diverse economy than it did before Hurricane Katrina. How could she?

From the front porch of her house in the devastated Lower 9th Ward, it's hard to see past the vegetation slowly swallowing the property across the way. Nearby homes are boarded up or still bear the fading tattoos left by search and rescue teams nearly four years ago. The fence around a playground a few blocks down is padlocked.

"I just want to see people again," she said recently, swatting bugs in the muggy heat.

On paper, the city's economy appears to be thriving, with relatively low unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. But in post-Katrina New Orleans, residents' perceptions of their city's recovery tends to depend on where they live, their vantage point of it. Swaths of some neighborhoods are sparsely populated, even desolate, and federal rebuilding dollars have provided much of the economic resilience.

While the recovery has been "stronger than anticipated," the city "will still face challenges to long-term stability and prosperity," according to a report released Tuesday by GCR & Associates Inc., an urban planning and consulting firm.

New Orleans's economy is among the healthiest of major metro areas, according to The Associated Press Economic Stress Index, which assigns counties a score of 1 to 100 based on unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy data.

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NAACP wants to take C-Murder's conviction to La. Supreme Court

C-Murder's life as a free man is over.

Everybody believes that, except for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) , which wants to go to the Louisiana Supreme Court and see if they can't garner a retrial.


One juror in the initial trial, Mary Jacob, said in an interview that she was pressured by her fellow jurors to enter a vote of guilty. She said the jurors verbally abused her during the sessions. Although Judge Hans Liljeberg ordered another deliberation, a vote of 10-2 found C-Murder guilty.

C-Murder, whose real name is Corey Miller, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Steve Thomas, 16, in a nightclub in Harvey, La.

Miller's brothers are rap mogul Master P, founder of No Limit Records, and MC Silkk the Shocker. P's son Romeo is also an MC.

Ernest Johnson, president of the NAACP's Louisiana chapter, called to Chief Justice Catherine Kimble in a letter, requesting “a full investigation of this entire case, the immediate removal of the trial judge, the appointment of a new judge from outside the 24th Judicial District to hear all post trial motions, and the immediate release of Mr. Miller from prison pending a review of this entire matter because justice delayed is justice denied.”

I hope a retrial, with no controversy, is given to C-Murder. I've had my doubts about the trial in the beginning. I'd hate to see a guiltless man be in jail.

All credit to for this story.

Nuff said.

Lynching victim Till's casket to go to Smithsonian

CHICAGO — Emmett Till's family is donating the civil rights-era lynching victim's original casket to the Smithsonian Institution.

A news conference is planned Friday at the same Chicago church where the teen's brutalized remains were displayed in the glass-topped casket in 1955. He was killed in Mississippi after whistling at a white woman.

Till's casket will be at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., when it opens in 2015.

The tattered casket was found last month in a shed at the suburban Chicago cemetery where former workers are suspected of unearthing corpses and reselling plots.

Till's remains weren't disturbed. But after his body was exhumed

Civil rights pioneers remember Ted Kennedy

As President Obama, the nation's first African-American chief executive, prepares to deliver a eulogy for Sen. Edward Kennedy on Saturday, members of an older generation of African-American politicians are remembering Kennedy's loyalty and devotion to them and their cause.

In an interview scheduled for broadcast tonight, Kennedy's former Massachusetts colleague, Ed Brooke, seen here, recalled the late senator's patience and his passion. "He genuinely and sincerely believed in equal justice and equal rights, civil rights, civil liberties, and he never, never faltered from that," Brooke, told host Tavis Smiley. "And he was able to get things done, one, because he believed so deeply and so passionately about the issues and second, because he persevered, he never gave up." A Republican and the first African American ever elected to the U.S. Senate, Brooke served 12 years with Kennedy, from 1967 to 1979.

On Smiley's show last night, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights saint of sorts (Lewis was beaten multiple times during the course of civil rights protests in the 1960s) recalled thinking of the Kennedy brothers as protectors. "There was something about the Kennedy family," Lewis said. "It was this feeling they would be our champion. They would look out for the cause of civil rights and the cause of social justice."

In another interview, superlawyer Vernon Jordan, a confidant of former president Bill Clinton, recounted how Kennedy was the first visitor at his hospital bedside in 1980 after a white supremacist shot Jordan. Jordan said the senator "was incredibly compassionate."

President Obama's One Term Nightmare

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

In an interview on NBC's Today Show two weeks after he was sworn in President Obama was blunt. He said that if he didn't deliver he'd be "a one term proposition." Put this in the category of what did he know and when did he know it. The it is that he was under the white hot glare of the public to deliver the goods, or be quickly dumped in the presidential has been bin. Polls back up this hard political reality about Obama. A mid August Washington Post-ABC News survey found that his approval ratings continue to plunge. Part of that can be chalked up to inevitability.

New presidents always ride into office on the crest of both voter hopes and euphoria about the prospect of change and disgust at and voter fatigue with the former seat warmer in the White House. And new presidents just as quickly see their approval ratings dip or freefall. It’s easy to see why. They try to do too much to soon, promise not to do political business in the old ways, try to make too drastic legislative changes, or quickly reverse the bad old policies of their predecessor. It’s the fabled man on the white horse coming to the rescue. This is, of course, just that fable. Real politics and an impatient public knock that storybook notion for a loop.

In Obama’s case, he gambled that his presidency would be a crowning success if he could beat back the fine tuned, well-oiled, and well-endowed health care industry juggernaut and get health care reform, that’s real health care reform, through Congress and into law. Only one president has been able to do and that was Lyndon Johnson. He arm twisted, browbeat, and out smarted Congress and the health care industry to get Medicare. Johnson had won a landslide election victory in 1964, had fine tuned, hard nosed political skills, had the reform spirit of the civil rights movement and a solid Democratic party behind him. And he had the well spring of public sympathy after JFK’s murder. Obama is not LBJ, politically. And he has neither the times or Johnson’s massive mandate for change going for him.

Above everything else, the voters put Obama in the White House to make the economy right, reign in the Wall Street greed merchants, save jobs and homes, and get the credit pipeline to businesses open. That hasn’t happened. Instead they’ve gotten a raucous, and contentious health care reform fight that’s given a badly fractured and reeling, GOP, the butt of scorn and jokes, something that it never dreamed in its wildest dreams in mid November could happen. That’s the weapon to get back in the political hunt. If anyone had dared say a month ago that the percent of voters who blame Obama for making a mess of health care reform was in striking distance of the number of voters who blame the GOP for the mess, they’d have been measured for a straightjacket. A mid-August Pew Research survey found just that.

Obama eventually will get a health care bill to sign. But it will be a bill that will satisfy few. Progressives will scream even louder that the bill sans a public option, and deal laden with big Pharma giveaways, is smoke and mirrors, a sham reform, and another infuriating betrayal of his campaign pledge of hope and change. The Fox Network, Limbaugh, and the GOP attack hounds will scream even louder that the bill and Obama are taking the country down a sink hole. The bill will leave the majority of voters confused, perplexed, and even more uneasy about what Obama is really up to, and his seeming inability to be the tough, decisive leader that millions took a chance on and backed.

The conventional wisdom is that Obama has plenty of time to get things right. Here’s the problem. Health care and the economy are signature markers for a successful Obama first term, and the justification for a second one. Doubts, unease, or his real or perceived failure will be hard to unhinge from voter thinking. Blacks, Hispanics, young and progressive voters will still back him. But will they crusade for him as they did in 2008? That means again turning out in big and impassioned numbers. This won’t happen if they feel Obama waffled or reneged on his key promises. Meanwhile, the GOP will sow more fear, pound away on the doubts, unease and perceived failures of Obama. It will dump its bizarre Palin fascinaton, will have a fat campaign chest, and will groom a fresh new GOP face, (just like the Dems did with Obama).

Worse, Obama won’t have the gargantuan trump card he had in 2012. That was the Bush bogeyman to scare, shock, and rev up voters. This doesn’t spell defeat in 2012. It does spell an Obama nightmare about a one term presidency.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. His weekly radio show, “The Hutchinson Report” can be heard weekly in Los Angeles at 9:30 AM Fridays on KTYM Radio 1460 AM and live streamed nationally on

Clergy Warned After Pastor's 'Horrific' Slaying

Authorities warned pastors to take precautions after the body of Carol Daniels was discovered Sunday inside her church.

Authorities warned pastors in a town where a preacher was brutally killed inside her own church that they should take precautions at their buildings, even as police refused to say exactly what happened.

District Attorney Bret Burns, who described the killing as "horrific," held a closed-door session with about two dozen pastors, along with members of law enforcement. Several pastors who were there said authorities did not discuss any facts of the case.

"We talked about security issues within their churches and their congregations," Burns said. "We asked them to remain vigilant and be aware of their surroundings and their church locations."

He did not say why the meeting was held just with pastors rather than the community at large, or what kind of a threat the clergy might face.

The body of 61-year-old Carol Daniels was found Sunday in the Christ Holy Sanctified Church in Anadarko. A preliminary autopsy found she died of "multiple sharp force injuries," but law enforcement declined to elaborate and have been tight-lipped about details of the crime or a possible motive.

Burns told The Oklahoman newspaper that Daniels was killed between 10 a.m. and noon Sunday, while preparing her sermon. He did not return phone calls seeking comment late Wednesday.

Burns did not rule out the possibility that the killer specifically targeted a pastor or a church.

"There are a lot of things we're not prepared to rule out," he said. "I'm concerned about the nature of this crime. I'm concerned about the community."

No arrests have been made, and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Tracy Schumpert, pastor of the town's First United Methodist Church where the meeting was held, met afterward with a worker from an alarm company.

"I think we'll take precautions," she said. "But I don't feel overly fearful.

"You want your church to be accessible, but you also are aware of what the world is like and you're aware of the people you minister to and take precautions."

Ben Sullivan, executive director of the Christian Center of Anadarko, which runs a soup kitchen and food pantry, said he's not fearful of another attack but plans to tighten security at his facility a few blocks away from where the killing happened. He said the center will probably close before dark and volunteers will work in pairs.

"We're always keeping our eyes open because of the work we do. We deal with people that aren't in the best of situations," he said.

Daniels, who lived in Oklahoma City, made the 60-mile drive to Anadarko every week, even though the small, weather-beaten church had no regular congregation.

On Wednesday, a makeshift memorial of stuffed animals, flowers and a candle stood at the front door of the church, where a sign with Daniels' name read: "God Loves You!"

Randalyn Holder, whose mother lives nearby, rode by the church on her bicycle and stopped to prop a small, wooden cross against the door.

"I never knew her or met her, but I think about the faith she had to come down here every week," she said.

Holder, who works at a local grocery store, said the killing has rattled residents of the town.

"You never hear about anything like that happening here," she said. "I'm not going to hide out or anything, but I'm going to make sure my door is locked at night."

Pirates fire on Navy helicopter armed in Seal Beach

Archive image of an SH-60B helicopter firing an Penquin anti-ship missile.

A Navy helicopter that was armed with sophisticated Penguin anti-ship missiles from the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station was fired upon by pirates off Somali on Wednesday night, the Navy says. But the pirates missed the helicopter, a SH-60B that took off from the cruiser USS Chancellorsville, a San Diego-based cruiser that also gets other ordnance from Seal Beach.

The Navy Times reports on its website that, “The helicopter was about 3,000 yards away from the ship when the pirates opened fire with ‘a large caliber weapon,’ the Navy said in a statement. The helicopter did not return fire.”

The Chancellorsville was shadowing the Win Far, which the Navy Times described as a Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel whose crew of 30 have been held by pirates sine April.

If the helicopter had returned fire, the Win Far could have been badly damaged. Although Penguin missiles came into service in the 1970s, they’re considered to be very advanced naval short-to-medium range cruise missiles.

“The missile flies an indirect flight path to target, and is operated in the “fire-and-forget” mode to allow multiple target prosecutions,” the Navy says.

Obama stimulus plan: 1,000 Banks to Fail In Next Two Years: Bank CEO

Armaros sent this, "Big friends get bailed out, Soros gains more power and small local banks (the ones loaning to small bus and mtgs) will die. Ditto we will have an European socialist state with finance close to the government and its elites.

Nice job. Kill America at the root."

1,000 Banks to Fail in the Next Two Years; bank CEO

The US banking system will lose some 1,000 institutions over the next two years, said John Kanas, whose private equity firm bought BankUnited of Florida in May.

“We’ve already lost 81 this year,” Kanas told CNBC. “The numbers are climbing every day. Many of these institutions nobody’s ever heard of. They're smaller companies.” (See the accompanying video for the complete interview.)

Failed banks tend to be smaller and private, which exacerbates the problem for small business borrowers, said Kanas, who became CEO of BankUnited when his firm bought the bank and is the former chairman and CEO of North Fork bank.

“Government money has propped up the very large institutions as a result of the stimulus package,” he said. “There’s really very little lifeline available for the small institutions that are suffering.”

AIG Keeps Running (AIG)

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) is seeing the run continue. Either its new CEO Benmosche is a demi-god, or the euphoria of the bull market and eight straight days of rallies are getting to traders. The news this morning has teh Taiwan unit sale valued around $2 billion. There is continued hope here that Hank Greenberg will return as a presence in teh company, although not as CEO. We have AIG shares having traded 2 million shares as of 8:32 AM EST and the stock is up another 9.9% at $52.58. It seems that owing $170 billion to Uncle Sam never felt so darned good…. Unfortunately, there is nothing more to add. This is called bull market trading at its finest… JON OGG

Gunmen Kill Aide to Mexican Fed Agent Probing Death of Crime Reporter

This murder is just another sign of just how out of control things are south of the border. The first agent assigned to this case was killed last month.

By Associated Press
CIUDAD JUAREZ, MexicoGun, Aug. 27 — Gunmen killed the aide of a Mexican federal agent investigating the death of a crime reporter — a month after the first agent assigned to the case was shot dead, authorities said Thursday.

The bullet-riddled body of Pablo Pasillas, 33, was found Wednesday next to a car in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, said Ángel Torres, a spokesman for the federal attorney general’s office.

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Appeals Court Upholds Verdict in 4 Men Framed by FBI in 1965 Mob Murder

It’s hard to put a price on a wrongful conviction and a wrongful jailing.

By Jonathan Saltzman
Boston Globe Staff
BOSTON– A federal appeals court upheld yesterday a landmark verdict for four men framed by the FBI in a gangland slaying, although the appellate judges said the $101.7 million damage judgment awarded by a lower court was “at the outer edge of the universe of permissible awards.”

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said the 2007 damage judgment to the families of Peter J. Limone, Joseph Salvati, Louis Greco, and Henry Tameleo, believed to be the largest of its kind nationally, was considerably higher than any of the three appellate judges would have ordered.

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'Great white hope:' GOP rep. apologizes

by Mark Silva

Rep. Lynn Jenkins probably never heard of Jack Johnson.

But the freshman Republican congresswoman from Kansas says she is sorry now about suggesting that the Republican Party, like those who wanted to dethrone Johnson from the heavyweight boxing ring, really needs "a great white hope.''

"Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope," Jenkins said last week at a gathering in her district. "I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington."

Word got around after someone in the audience recorded video of the event in Hiawatha, about 65 miles northeast of Topeka, and gave it to the Kansas Democratic Party.

"She apologizes if her words have offended anyone," Jenkins spokeswoman Mary Geiger told The Associated Press today. "That was not the intent in any way, shape or form."

At an event at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Jenkins denied that she had been speaking in racial terms about the challenge that the party faces with President Barack Obama, the first African-American president, when she evoked the title of a play about opposition toward Jack Johnson, the first African-American to win the heavyweight championship in boxing.

She said she only meant that the GOP needs "a bright light."

"I was unaware of any negative connotation, and if I offended anybody, obviously, I apologize," Jenkins told the Lawrence Journal-World.

Jenkins is white, as are three House colleagues whom she mentioned at that gathering as potential future party leaders: Reps. Eric Cantor of Virginia; Kevin McCarthy of California and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Jenkins delivered her party's weekly address back in May. "The pace that Democrats in Congress and the White House are spending your tax dollars is simply staggering,'' Jenkins said then -- no mention of boxing.

The Great White Hope, a play written in 1967 and adapted for the silver screen in 1970, featured James Earl Jones in the lead role on Broadway. He won a Tony Award for Best Actor in a tale based on the story of the black boxing champion, Jack Johnson, which chronicles the racial prejudice that led to the pursuit of a "great white hope'' to defeat him.

Johnson defeated Canadian Tommy Burns on Dec. 26, 1908, in the World Boxing Championship held in Sydney, Australia. This initiated the quest for a "Great White Hope" to defeat Johnson. James Jeffries, a white fighter, came out of retirement to challenge the champ. Johnson won their fight on July 4, 1910.

Johnson held the title until April 5, 1915, knocked out by Jess Willard in the 26th round during in Havana, Cuba. (Willard's nickname was the Pottawatomie Giant - he was from Pottawatomie County, Kansas - Jenkins' home state. He was white.)

Barack Obama was elected president on Nov. 4, 2008. He faces reelection in '12.

He beat a white man, Sen. John McCain, whose running mate, Sarah Palin, still is considered by many in her party as one of "the bright lights'' of the Republican Party. She is, uh... retired. But she could always come out, like James Jeffries did.

(File photo above of boxing champion Jack Johnson. Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) is pictured speaking with voters in northeast Kansas, photo by Orlin Wagner / AP)

This was Rep. Jenkins' weekly Internet address:

Rob Zombie Continues With The Horror Remakes: Taking On 'The Blob'

Rob Zombie sure loves his horror films and his horror remakes, though considering his track-record so far ("Halloween II" was totally forgettable and rote), he might want to stick to original ideas and projects (as in the more successful, "The Devil's Rejects" and "House of 1000 Corpses").

But nope. The rocker turned filmmaker is just too attracted to remakes it seems — and or remake/reboots are just easier projects to get off the ground/ the temptation is just too much to resist.

Zombie is turning his "Halloween"-centric eye at a remake of the the 1958 horror classic, "The Blob," which was about a gooey and alive mass of goop that terrorizes a community (we always thought that was the strangest concept for a movie) and launched the career of our favorite one-note actor Steve McQueen.

Where doe this leaves "Tyrannosaurus Rex," his bad-ass biker revenge movie that he originally had been set up at Dimension until they strong-armed him into doing the poor idea of "Halloween II"?

Probably dangling in the wind until the times change and some studio wants to give a chance something that's not a franchise. However, this is probably a good thing. It's our understanding that since he directed "Halloween 2," he's been released from his Dimensions project and is free to set the project up shop wherever he wants. Rob, you should call up Robert Rodriguez's Troublemaker studios, if "Machete," can get made, why not 'Rex'? — let's not forget Zombie also did a fake trailer in "Grindhouse" so that connection is already established.

According to Variety, the picture will shoot next spring and Zombie hopes to modernize it so it's not a silly joke to contemporary audiences. "My intention is not to have a big red blobby thing — that's the first thing I want to change. That gigantic Jello-looking thing might have been scary to audiences in the 1950s, but people would laugh now." At least he's aware. Producing the film is a company called Genre Co. that features former Dimension guy Richard Saperstein. Apparently they have the funding and about a $30 million budget. Not too shabby.

Where does this leave Sony's proposed "Blob" remake, which was supposed to have a more "Ghostbusters" bent and was called "B.L.O.B."? Hopefully dead in the water as that sounds kind of awful.

You might think this is just another horror, but Zombie tells the trade the picture is more of a "science fiction movie about a thing from outer space," and that he's been itching to leave the terror genre. Will Zombie tackle a "Halloween 3"? Obviously the above suggests he's finished with Dimension Films and he just told THR that he's "done with 'Halloween' ," but then again he also swore after the first one he'd never do a sequel.
Zombie's been a busy man this year, in addition to 'H2' hitting theaters today (don't bother) his animated film, “The Haunted World of El Superbeasto” is scheduled for release on September 22. — Additional reporting, Drew Taylor.

[video] Michael Vick Highlights from Philadelphia Eagles vs Jacksonville Jaguars

The announcer hit it right on the head when he says ‘the fans have spoken”. From Preseason Week 3

Many insurers to offer free H1N1 flu shots

As employers brace for the H1N1 swine flu to hit the Phoenix area in full force this fall, major health insurance companies say they will cover vaccine costs.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona announced Friday that it will cover the vaccine for all its members, while UnitedHealth Group and Health Net of Arizona previously said they will pay.

The H1N1 vaccine isn’t expected to be shipped to local clinics and medical offices until mid-October as it usually takes a year for manufacturers to make the drug based on the previous year’s strain.

Since this flu hit the nation in late April, scientists have been working on a vaccine for the “novel virus.” A virus is termed “novel” when it makes its way into humans for the first time, said Dr. Andrea Houfek, medical director for urgent care and pediatrics for Cigna Medical Group in Phoenix.

Cigna also is covering the H1N1 vaccinations under its preventive care benefit for all members. This means for as much as 80 percent of Cigna's members, it will be covered 100 percent, without co-pays or co-insurance, said Leigh Woodward, spokeswoman for Cigna HealthCare of Arizona.

The H1N1 virus is a specific strain of the swine flu, which means the flu occurs in pigs as well as humans.

“This strain, the novel H1N1, means it has never circulated among humans,” she said.

Seasonal flu shots will not give any immunity to this virus, which is why a new vaccine needs to be created quickly.

Last week, UnitedHealth Group announced it will cover the cost of the vaccine even for enrollees whose health plans do not include immunizations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that the following population segments receive the vaccine:

Pregnant women
Caregivers for children younger than 6 months
Health care and emergency medical services personnel
Children and young adults from six months through 24 years old
Those aged 25 through 64 years who have underlying health conditions that might increase their risk for flu-related complications

Other population segments, including the elderly, will be able to receive the vaccine as it is made available.

Many seniors may carry some immunity to the H1N1, said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

“Older adults don’t seem to be getting the novel flu as much as younger people,” he said. “There may be some cross immunity from some historic infection that went around 50 or 60 years ago, perhaps. If they get it, they can still get pretty sick, but not many of them are getting this new virus.”

Insurance companies don’t know what the vaccine will cost.

The cost of the vaccine itself is covered by the federal government’s H1N1 vaccination program. Insurance companies only have to pay health care providers to administer the vaccine.

The federal government is offering pandemic planning resources for employers at

US warned Scotland bomber could get hero's welcome

Attorney General Eric Holder warned his Scottish counterpart in June that the man convicted of blowing U.S.-bound Pan Am Flight 103 out of the sky could get a hero's welcome if allowed to return to Libya, according to the head of a victims' families group.

Holder's warning to Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill came nearly two months before the bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, was released from a Scottish prison and greeted by a cheering crowd on his arrival in Libya last week. The Scottish administration has faced unrelenting criticism from both the U.S. government and the families of American victims of the airline bombing since the decision to free the terminally ill al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds. The Scots said he was dying of prostate cancer.

Notes prepared ahead of Holder's June 26 conversation with MacAskill were provided to The Associated Press by Frank Duggan, president of the family group Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 Inc. Duggan says a Justice Department official read him notes that Holder used during the conversation with MacAskill.

Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said he would not comment on the private conversation between the two officials. It was not clear whether the notes were a complete summary of Holder's message to MacAskill.

Duggan also provided notes of a July 9 teleconference between MacAskill and some victims' family members, an emotional exchange in which family members told stories of their loved ones and implored MacAskill not to return al-Megrahi to Libya.

The telephone conversation between the U.S. and Scottish officials dealt with Scotland's consideration of transferring al-Megrahi to Libya under a prisoner transfer treaty that Britain and Libya concluded this year. MacAskill rejected that possibility before he granted al-Megrahi's request for release on health grounds. The application for compassionate release came after MacAskill's conversations with Holder and the family members.

According to the notes, Holder said the United States opposed al-Megrahi's transfer. Among a number of reasons given, Holder warned that Libya might pardon him, if not give him a hero's welcome upon his return.

Such a transfer would be perceived as a vindication of al-Megrahi's innocence before the Scottish process had run its course, the notes say.

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, was quoted Friday in Scotland's Herald newspaper as saying, "The U.S. knew a long time ago that Mr. Megrahi would probably be released and asked us to keep the reception low-key." He claimed that most of the families of the victims in Scotland "have written us to say they are pro the decision and more than 20 percent of the American families say they have no objection."

A spokeswoman for MacAskill, Fiona Wilson, said her office would not discuss the conversations with Holder and the family members until the parties consented to MacAskill's request to release the documents summarizing them, which he hopes will help explain his decision.

Wilson said her office has notes on the call with Holder. She added that MacAskill "was left in no doubt as to how Mr. Holder and the American families felt about releasing the prisoner."

Al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, was convicted in 2001 of taking part in the bombing of the Pan Am flight on Dec. 21, 1988, and sentenced to serve a minimum 27 years in prison. The airliner, which was carrying mostly American passengers to New York, was destroyed by a bomb in its cargo hold as it flew over Lockerbie. All 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground died.

Although Libya accepted formal responsibility for the bombing, many there see al-Megrahi, the only person convicted in the bombing, as an innocent victim made a scapegoat by the West. Even as he left prison, al-Megrahi, protested his innocence.

In the July 9 conversation with family members, MacAskill said the Scottish authorities had asked the British government to include an exemption for the Lockerbie case when it negotiated the prisoner transfer agreement with Libya, according to notes of the teleconference MacAskill's office provided to family members this week. He said that because the exemption was not included, he was bound to consider the possibility of a transfer.

MacAskill told the family members that "he would be making his decision on judicial grounds alone and that economic and political matters would not be part of the process."

Since al-Megrahi's release, Scottish and British authorities defended themselves against accusations that they sought to return the Libyan in order to curry favor with Libyan authorities dangling business deals. Libyan officials have said that they repeatedly raised al-Megrahi's release when negotiating commercial deals and had sought the prisoner transfer agreement specifically with al-Megrahi in mind.

Gadhafi's son told the Herald that "Lockerbie is history. The next step is fruitful and productive business with Edinburgh and London. Libya is a promising, rich market and so let's talk about the future."

In the teleconference, family members told of the two decades they have suffered since the deaths of their loved ones.

The notes say MacAskill told the family members he would keep them updated on "any progress."

But Duggan says MacAskill's office provided families no indication that he was considering releasing al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds and did not respond to correspondence following the teleconference.

Some family members who joined the call with MacAskill said they had believed that MacAskill opposed returning al-Megrahi to Libya and was sympathetic to their position. They say they now feel betrayed.

In an e-mail sent to MacAskill on Wednesday, Michelle Lipkin, who lost her father, Frank Ciulla, on the flight, said she left the teleconference "feeling optimistic."

"I had faith that the right decision would come, and I am stunned by the unfathomable decision you have made," she wrote.

Brian Flynn, whose brother John was killed, said he also thought MacAskill shared the families' opposition to returning al-Megrahi.

"Now it seems that MacAskill was just being patronizing," he said.