Monday, December 7, 2009

Shaq's Text Messages to Mistress Latosha Released on the Internet

It seems that NBA star Shaquille O'Neal, like many other athletes, has a personal life that no one knows about. The has released exclusive text messages between Shaquille and his mistress, Latosha Lee. I am noticing a trend here: People are starting to find out that athletes are not always one-woman people. But are you actually surprised? In fact, do you ever wonder why anyone would consider marrying an athlete in the first place? But then again, we also know that not every athlete is going to be unfaithful and not every unfaithful man is an athlete. Either way, both Shaquille O'neal and Tiger Woods are in the middle of major marital drama.

In the text messages, Shaq's personal life is put on blast. The messages are long and drawn out, with an awkward reading from bottom to top. During the conversation, the two lovers describe their travel arrangements and Latosha's relationship with NBA baller Damien Wilkins (nephew of Dominique Wilkins). They also have an argument about a purse that Latosha wants from Shaq, but that he is not willing to buy her. If you like drama, then you can find it here.

But above and beyond the drama (remember, I analyze and find teachable moments in everything), there are some other thoughts that went through my mind:

The Full Story

Tiger Woods: 10 things you need to know about Mindy Lawton

Tiger Woods is alleged to have had a one-year affair with Orlando waitress Mindy Lawton.

Here we list the top 10 things you need to know about her:

1. Mindy Lawton, 34, is a $5-an-hour waitress.

2. She claims to have had a one-year affair with Woods while his wife Elin was pregnant with their first child.

3. It is claimed their “relationship” was covered up two years ago as part of a deal between Tiger and the US magazine Men's Fitness.

4. Unlike the other women linked to Woods who were based in Las Vegas and New York, Mindy is from Orlando, Florida near Tiger's family home.

5. She claimed she had sex with Woods at his mansion while the golfer's wife was pregnant.

6. Mindy also said they had had sex in numerous places – including a car park, a garage and in the shower.

7. The brunette waitress has said that Woods allegedly enjoys rough sex. She said: “Sometimes I looked like a rag doll after we'd made love. He wanted to spank me and loved pulling my hair as we had sex."

8. Mindy has called Tiger a “selfish, heartless man” who didn’t buy her anything – even a meal.

9. She claims Woods stopped calling after his wife gave birth to their first child, who is now two.

10. Mindy claims Tiger is "very well endowed" and “knows his way around the bedroom”.

Fresh violence erupts in Athens

15 year-old Andreas Grigoropoulos was killed in December 2008 by Greek police in Exarhia [EPA]

Clashes between police and several hundred youths have taken place in Athens, the Greek capital, as demonstrators staged a second day of protests to mark a teenager's fatal shooting by police a year ago.

Police fired tear gas and arrested nine people after a group of youths hurled stones at a security cordon deployed to prevent further trouble after demonstrations around the country turned violent at the weekend.

Last year's fatal shooting of Alexis Grigoropoulos, 15, led to Greece's worst unrest in decades.

Several high schools and universities in the country were under occupation by students on Monday as part of the protest.

The Full Story

Iranian Students Stage Protests on 'Student Day'

Witnesses say hundreds of police used batons and tear gas to disperse demonstrators gathered in the streets of central Tehran.

Thousands of Iranian students have turned out for protests against the government. Iranian security forces tried to block access to the rallies, but clashes with noisy protesters erupted at several sites.

A large crowd of students at Tehran University chanted slogans against President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad at an angry protest rally meant to symbolize student opposition to the government. December 7, known as "Student Day," commemorates the 1953 slaying of three students during a protest under the late Shah.

Security forces fired tear gas in an effort to block some of the rallies. Pro-government Basij militiamen also clashed with students in many places, hurling bottles, chunks of wood, and stones at them.

Foreign news agencies were forbidden from covering the much-anticipated student rallies, and government security forces deployed on and around campuses, nationwide, blocking entrances and pushing back crowds.

Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi warned the government it is "fighting the shadows in the streets," by trying to suppress the student rallies, and told those in power that they would be powerless to "quash" the protests.

Mr. Mousavi claims to have won a disputed June 12th presidential election, amid charges of vote-rigging by the government.

A video on Mir Hossein Mousavi's Facebook website showed scores of student demonstrators near the main gate of Tehran's Sharif University, shouting "traitor get lost" in a disparaging reference to incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.

An Iranian émigré radio station in Los Angeles also talked with demonstrators, capturing sound of a crowd denouncing pro-government Basij militiamen on a Tehran campus. Hundreds of Basij militiamen were reported to have been deployed by the government on and near campuses in most Iranian cities.

Demonstrations by students in other Iranian cities were also reported to be widespread. Hundreds of student protesters can be heard chanting slogans against the Iranian government, as they mulled in front of a campus administration building at Mashhad's Azad University, according to a video also posted on Mr. Mousavi's website.

Photos posted on Twitter and opposition websites showed students burning pictures and posters of both President Ahmedinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei at an unspecified campus.

The government appears to have curtailed mobile phone service in many areas of Tehran, and press reports say internet service has been severely disrupted as well.

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, as well as top police officials, had warned that they would deal harshly with attempts to demonstrate against the government on the anniversary.

Iverson will start for the 76ers against the Nuggets

At least that’s what the Sixers coach claims.

After all the whining about not starting this 2009 NBA basketball season, it looks like Allen Iverson may finally get his wish because after he returned to the Philadelphia 76ers a few days ago, current 76ers head coach Eddie Jordan has already said he will start Iverson, probably because he doesn’t have anybody else left.

In case you didn’t know, yes, Allen Iverson is back where it started it all, Philadelphia, returning to the very team that drafted him to the NBA after a bitter parting back in 2006.

It’s funny that when Iverson left the 76ers, the team was at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference and on game night, he will return to the same team still at the very bottom of the East. When the Sixers traded Iverson to the Nuggets in 2006, they were 5-18 and on an 11-game losing streak. The Sixers are 5-15 and on a nine-game losing streak when Iverson returns Monday.

Will Iverson’s return to the Philadelphia 76ers be the boost the team is looking for? Maybe. At least their dwindling ticket sales will improve a bit.

Iverson practiced with the other four starters who will likely start on Monday against the Denver Nuggets, one of the three teams Iverson played for after leaving Philly in 2006. Iverson joined Samuel Dalembert, Elton Brand, Thaddeus Young and Willie Green in his first practice back with the team.

”It was like deja vu,” 76ers center Samuel Dalembert said of watching him practice.

”He made a difference already in practice,” coach Jordan said. ”His talking, his presence, being a step ahead of the play defensively.”

The 76ers hope they can say the same of the returning Iverson come game time with the injuries they’ve been having this season. Leading scorer Andre Iguodala is out with a sore ankle and is questionable for Monday’s game while Lou Williams it out indefinitely because of a broken jaw.

All these injuries equate to a miserable 5-15 start for the 76ers. The only team that has done worse is the New Jersey Nets and their laughable 1-19 mark.

Can Allen Iverson lead the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Denver Nuggets? Bodog sportsbook has the odds.

Philadelphia 76ers +7.5

Denver Nuggets -7.5

Can Ravens beat the Packers on Monday Night Football?

Why are we asking? Because the last few trips the Ravens made to the NFC North, they haven’t been good ones.

The Baltimore Ravens have struggled when facing teams from the NFC North, especially playing against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. And since that’s where these Ravens are going to be this Sunday when we conclude Week 13 of the 2009 NFL football season, the Ravens know exactly what they have to deal with at Lambeau.

”You know what comes with Lambeau Field,” Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said. ”You know the history behind it.” However, it seems the Ravens have had their problems with other NFC North stadiums as well. In the 14 years that the Ravens have been in the NFL, they have never EVER won in Green Bay, Chicago, Minnesota or Detroit, losing all of the six games the Ravens have played in those stadiums.

And since they have a young Aaron Rodgers who just went for three touchdowns and 348 yards to lead the Green Bay Packers pound the Lions last week on Thanksgiving, I’m definitely not liking the Ravens’ chances this Monday.

To say that the Baltimore Ravens hate playing in the NFC North could be an understatement.

You see, the Ravens have always been humiliated every single time they make the trip north. They lost to the Lions in a penalty-filled game once. They also let then Bears running back James Allen look like Walter Payton the way he ran the ball against the Ravens defense. They let then Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre rip them apart in Green Bay after a Super Bowl season and who can forget the way the Ravens missed out on beating the Vikings after Steve Hauschka missed what would’ve been the game-winning field goal?

The Ravens definitely hate playing those guys from the NFC North.

And for a team known for its defense, it’s ironic that the Ravens will have to face the no.1 ranked defense in the league. Yes, the Packers now have the best defense in the league at this point of the season.

For the third straight week, the Ravens have to beat a team playing their own game. Two weeks ago they played a Colts defense that ranked first in the league in average points allowed per game, last Sunday they played a Steelers defense that topped the NFL in average yards allowed.

And now they have the Packers who, for some reason, learned to play D.

Can the Green Bay Packers beat the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football?

Report: Andy Pettitte Rejects One-Year, $10 Million Offer From Yankees

Andy Pettitte has turned down a one-year deal in the range of $10 million, the New York Post reports.

Though the deal was rejected, the Yankees are still reportedly comfortable with Pettitte's chances of returning to the Bronx. That could help explain the report from ESPN's Buster Olney, who wrote that Pettitte "has decided, for sure, to pitch in 2010, and as we knew, his preference is to pitch for the Yankees."

Joel Sherman of the Post wrote that the Yankees value the re-signing of Petttitte very highly, because it would solidify their rotation while still allowing them to participate in Roy Halladay discussions.

Pettitte, 37, went 14-8 in 2009 with a 4.16 ERA before going 4-0 in the playoffs. In his regular-season career, he is 229-135 with a 3.91 ERA in 12 seasons with the Yankees and three seasons with the Astros.

Freedom of Information: Open, closed

by Mark Silva

The Obama administration is holding a workshop today on open goverment.

It's closed to the public and press.

The workshop is being held by the Justice Department's Office of Information Policy for the public liasons at federal agencies who field requests for records filed under the Freedom of Information Act. The administration, vowing greater "transparency'' about government actions, is outlining procedures for working with a new U.S. Office of Government Information Services, set up to resolve disputes over information requests.

"If they're getting marching orders, why shouldn't the public be there?" asks Jeff Stachewicz, founder of the Washington-based FOIA Group Inc., which files hundreds of requests each month on behalf of companies, law firms and news organizations.

"We'd like to know, when they're training agencies, are they telling them the same thing they're saying in public, that they're committed to making the Freedom of Information Act work well and make sure that agencies are releasing information whenever possible while protecting important issues like individual privacy and national security," said Rick Blum, coordinator of the Sunshine in Government Initiative.

Melanie Ann Pustay, the official running the conference, says she wanted government employees to be able to speak candidly, and the conference is being held in an auditorium at the Commerce Department, where a government ID is required for admittance. The press, however, is routinely admitted to government buildings.

Pustay promises to say the same things at the workshop that she would say publicly, and is seeking to improve how the government responds to information requests, which cost roughly $400 million each year to handle.

As Obama's first year in office ends, his record on issues surrounding the Freedom of Information Act -- one of the principle mechanisms that citizens use to request information -- is uneven so far, the Associated Press reports today, in noting the closed-door conference on open government.

"The government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears," Obama told government offices on his first full day as president.

Just last week, a State Department deputy assistant secretary, Llewellyn Hedgbeth, said at a public conference that "as much as we want to promote transparency," her agency will protect classified materials that put the United States in a bad light.

The Associated Press provided this report.

Vote Burns’s Political Ticker reports that the number-one write-in candidate in last month’s New York City mayoral election was none other than Charles Montgomery Burns, vindictive billionaire owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant on TV’s “The Simpsons”:

According to records released by the New York City Board of Elections, the cartoon billionaire received 27 write-in votes out of the 299 that were cast. … Burns and the rest of the write-in candidates ultimately lost to real-life billionaire and incumbent mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Disappointingly, CNN does not attempt to provide an explanation. It would not be hard to find: Monty Burns was the focus of an Internet-driven media campaign this fall intended to parody Bloomberg’s maneuvers to secure a third term in office.

As of now, remains up, and if you have a few moments to spare, I suggest perusing “Monty’s Plan” for New York City. Oh well. Maybe in 2013.

Michael Crawshaw, 32, Penn Hills, Pa., Latest Police Officer Shot and Killed in the Line of Duty, Suspect Still At Large

Penn Hills Police Officer Michael Crawshaw shot and killed in the line of duty.

Officer Michael Crawshaw shot in line of duty

Another police officer has been shot and killed in the line of duty. KDKA-TV has identified the fallen officer as Michael Crawshaw. Crawshaw, 32, was a 2.5-year veteran of the Penn Hills Police Department. Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt said the officer was gunned down, apparently with an assault rifle, as he sat in his car awaiting backup outside 201 Johnston Road, while responding to a domestic disturbance call. Officers found another man, Danyal Morton, 40, dead of gunshot wounds inside.

Police Chief Howard Burton said Crawshaw properly followed protocol by parking his car a few doors away from the scene and calling for backup, but while he was on his radio, someone walked up to the car and shot him. This person reportedly fled the scene.

The slain officer had just arrived on the scene, a residential neighborhood off Frankstown Road, at about 8:20 p.m. and was apparently calling for backup on his radio when he was shot, Supt. Moffatt said. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian, where he was pronounced dead. Supt. Moffatt said it was unclear why the officer was responding to the house. He said police were reviewing the 911 tapes to determine the nature of the call and the sequence of events.

Crawshaw was originally from the Shaler/Glenshaw area and worked for the University of Pittsburgh Police Department before moving to Penn Hills. He was not married and did not have children. The last Penn Hills police officers to die in the line of duty were Sgt. William Schrott and Patrolman Bartley Connolly Jr. in 1972. The men were shot trying to apprehend an armed robber at the East Hills Shopping Center.

It is a sad commentary that another police officer has been murdered. This brings the total deaths of police officers in the last two weeks to six, with Maurice Clemmons murdering four in Lakewood, Wa., and Bart Wayne Johnson, who murdered a police officer in Pelham, Al.

By Janet Shan

Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, USA, precipitating declarations of war by US and Allies

On December 7, 1941, Imperial Japan attacked the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Canada responded later that day be declaring war on Japan. The following day on December 8, the United States and United Kingdom also declared war on Japan. In response on December 11, Japan's ally, Germany, declared war on the United States.

The carbon dioxide producing Climate Summit

The UK Telegraph figures the much discussed climate summit beginning today in Copenhagen will produce as much carbon dioxide as a town the size of Middlesbrough.

I have no idea what size town Middlesbrough is, but here are some numbers attached to the Climate Summit.

1200 and rising-number of limousines reserved by attendees. There is such a demand for limos that providers are having to head to Germany and Sweden and drive the cars hundreds of miles back to Denmark for the week.

-hybrids reserved

140-additional private planes so far above the airport's ability to handle that after dropping off passengers the planes must fly off to regional airports or Sweden to park.

41,000-tons of carbon dioxide equivalent the summit will put out, more than 60 of the world's smallest countries put out in a year combined.

4000-protesters, renamed, "detainees"

360-"cages" to house the "detainees" in an unused brewery

Poll: Tea Party beats the GOP

According to Rasmussen, if the Tea Party were its own political party it would be more popular than the GOP. Highlights:

•In a three way generic ballot, Democrats would attract 36% of the vote, Tea Party 23% of the vote, and the GOP 18% of the vote.

•Among Independents, 33 % would vote Tea Party candidate, 30% are undecided, 25% would vote Democrat, and just 12% prefer the GOP.

•Almost as many Republicans would vote Tea Party (33%) as would vote GOP (39%).

•Seventy percent of Republican voters have a favorable opinion of the Tea Party movement, 43% of Independents have a favorable opinion, and 49% of Democrats have no opinion one way or the other.

•Forty-one percent of all voters nationwide say Republicans and Democrats are so much alike that we need a new party.
Could we be looking at the rise of a third political party?