Monday, June 14, 2010

NFL QB Vince Young Cited After Strip Club Assault

Vince Young, quarterback of the Tennessee Titans, was given a Class C assault citation after punching a man early Sunday morning at a Dallas strip club.

Surveillance video reportedly shows Young initiating a violent altercation at Club Onyx after Creiton Kinchen insulted him and flashed an upside-down “Hook ‘Em Horns” hand sign.

The gesture is a reference to The University of Texas, where Young won a national championship.

According to the police report, Kinchen did not require medical attention.

Young had left Club Onyx when cops responded. His citation is punishable by a fine up to $500.

Joe Jackson Blames Michael Jackson’s Death On His Wife

Digg this!

As shocking and sad as Michael Jackson’s death obviously was, at least one good thing has emerged from it.

Joe Jackson
. Barmy old mad-eyed Joe Jackson. He’s just exceptional value as a human being. Whether he’s skulking around in the immediate aftermath of Michael Jackson’s death trying to promote CDs to the nearest camera crew or claiming that Michael’s estate needs to pay him $20,000 a month to cover his food and rent outgoings, Joe Jackson has been nothing less than a shining model of everything that’s brilliant about humanity.

Obviously since there’s just over a week to go until the first anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death, Joe Jackson will no doubt keep himself to himself for the foreseeable… oh, no, our mistake – he’s just said that Michael’s death was all the fault of his wife Katherine Jackson. Whoops.

Since Michael Jackson died last year, the message from the Jackson camp has been constant and clear – it was Dr Conrad Murray’s fault. It was he, they say, who injected Michael with the fatal dose of industrial anaesthetic. Never mind that he was carrying out Michael’s wishes, or that someone else would have done it if he had refused, or that Michael Jackson’s drug use had been a barely-kept secret for years – Dr Conrad Murray killed Michael Jackson and that was that.

Which is great, except that Michael Jackson’s dear old dad Joe Jackson – the same Joe Jackson, incidentally, who Michael Jackson accused of child abuse and then cut out of his will – has decided to break ranks and blame it on Michael’s mother. He really is a very wonderful man, you know. EW reports:

Joe Jackson alleges that his son’s death was a result of his wife Katherine’s inaction. “I said, ‘If you had listened to me, Michael would be living now!’ I kept thinking about the times I had stood in front of her saying something was wrong. Katherine didn’t say a word. I had to get away from her. If she’d done what I asked, Michael would be here today. I am incensed with her.”

Finally! Someone’s found the balls to step forward and blame someone else for notoing dsomething that they themselves were perfectly capable of doing whenever they wanted. Joe Jackson, you’re our hero. Someone should build a statue of you. Made of gold. That rotates so it always faces the sun. And, yes, we are saying that so you don’t beat us up, you ridiculous octogenarian bellend.

By Stuart Heritage

"U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan" NY Times

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said. " NY Times


Someone asked what this means. IMO It means that there are going to be some very rich people in Afghanistan. It also means that the lives of ordinary Afghans will be profoundly changed perhaps for the better.

It does not mean that the US is going to keep a big force in Afghanistan any more than Iraqi oil has had the effect of causing the US to want a permanent large military presence there.

Will American companies want to do business in Afghanistan? Of course they will, but they are going to have a lot of competitiion.

The Afghans should now start worrying about what the nature of their relations with Pakistan and Iran will be in the future. p

Colonel W. Patrick Lang

In the Place of Justice - A Story of Punishment and Deliverance

Convicted of the murder of a white bank teller in 1961, Wilber Rideau (left), who is black, spent 44 years in prison, most of them at Angola, before being released. His painfully candid memoir, “In the Place of Justice,” is indeed, as its subtitle promises, “a story of punishment and deliverance,” told by a high school dropout who escaped Angola’s electric chair to become an award-winning prison journalist. As such, Rideau is the rarest of American commodities — a man who exited a penitentiary in better shape than when he ­arrived.

The details of his crime would be contested for decades. There is agreement that Rideau robbed a bank at closing time, kidnapping the male manager and two female tellers. Rideau claimed he was about to release them when one of the women bolted out of the car and the manager tried to overpower him. Rideau opened fire, hitting all three as they fled. When one of the women rose to her feet, he writes, “I grabbed the knife, stabbed her and ran to the car.”

The surviving victims told a different story, insisting that Rideau had used his weapons at close range and that the woman he killed had begged for her life. Word of his arrest brought hundreds of angry whites to the jailhouse, intent on a lynching. The trial itself was vintage Louisiana, circa 1961. The all-white jury, which included two deputy sheriffs, a cousin of the dead victim and a bank vice president who knew the wounded manager, found Rideau guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced him to death.

In 1963, the Supreme Court threw out Rideau’s conviction, citing numerous violations. Rideau would be retried, found guilty and sentenced to death twice more in the coming years, each time before an all-white, all-male jury that deliberated for less than an hour.

Then, in 1972, the Supreme Court halted the death penalty. In a landmark 5-4 decision, Furman v. Georgia, it determined that the state statutes then in place were so arbitrary as to constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

[As a consequence] all death row prisoners — 587 men and 2 women — were resentenced to life in prison. Rideau was spared.

Angola, though, was a living hell. Like other Deep South prisons, it used a trusty system in which violent, gun-toting inmates, known as “khaki-backs,” served as guards. Everyone carried a weapon for protection, usually a blade. About a dozen prisoners were stabbed to death each year in the early 1970s, and dozens more were seriously wounded. The weakest inmates served as slaves, or “galboys,” a process that began with the “turn-out,” in which the new arrivals were sized up, challenged and frequently gang-raped. “Slavery was commonplace in Angola,” Rideau writes, “with perhaps a quarter of the population in bondage.” Men were sold and traded like cattle.

Slight of frame, weighing barely 120 pounds, Rideau seemed like easy prey. What spared him physically, he believes, was the respect he earned for repeatedly dodging the electric chair. And what saved him emotionally, he insists, were the books he devoured in his solitary death row cell. “Reading ultimately allowed me to feel empathy, to emerge from my cocoon of self-centeredness and appreciate the humanness of others. . . . It enabled me finally to appreciate the enormity of what I had done.”

Click here to read this feature in full.

Shouldn't a College Degree Keep You Out of Poverty?

There's good news and bad news in a new report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy. The good news: an increasing number of low-income young adults are going to college these days. The bad news: many of those low-income students remain in poverty after they graduate.


The report (pdf) found that 47 percent of young adults whose total household income was near or below the federal poverty level were enrolled in an institute of higher education in 2008, a healthy five percent increase from 2000, and another 11 percent had earned a degree. However, about one in ten of those students “failed to immediately transcend the poverty threshold.” In other words, they passed college but college failed them.

The introduction to the report quotes President Obama's State of the Union Address from January: "[I]n the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education." Apparently, and unfortunately, things don't appear to be that cut-and-dry for many impoverished young adults. Although higher education opportunities are expanding for poor populations, outcomes are not getting any better. Which raises the question: what good is a college education without a positive outcome?

There are a lot of surprising statistics in the report that are begging for explanation. (White low-income students are twice as likely as African Americans and Hispanics to remain poor after graduation? Really?) Future reports in the series, which is being funded by the Gates Foundation, will examine educational aspirations, academic preparation, movement in and between schools, and financial aid and debt burdens among low-income young adults to give all of us a better understanding of what's going on here so we can try and address the problem(s).

Even for young adults not coming from low-income backgrounds, college is expensive and may not be worth it in this economy. If we don't start improving educational outcomes for poor students, college might start to seem like a worthless pursuit for everyone – and I don't think that's a road any of us want the country to go down. Gregory S. Kienzl, director of research and evaluation at IHEP, summed it up best: "If you have a degree, you should no longer be poor."

New Orleans - BP's Gulf Oil Spill Costs Now at $1.6 Billion

Booms and sand barriers are prepared as defenses against the oil from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead that is washing up on the beaches along Grand Isle, Louisiana, USA, 13 June 2010. EPA/

New Orleans, LA - BP’s costs for responding to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico have risen to $1.6 billion.

According to a company news release, that includes new $25 million grants the British oil giant has given to Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. It also includes the first $60 million for a project to build barrier islands off the Louisiana coast. The estimate does not include future costs for scores of lawsuits already filed for damages.

BP is now siphoning off significant amounts of oil from its runaway well 5,000 feet underwater, but the next best chance for ending the spill won’t come until relief wells are completed in August. Already potentially more than 100 million gallons of crude have been expelled into the Gulf, far outstripping the Exxon Valdez disaster.

News Source: AP

Congressman Loses Cool To Students With A Flip Cam, But Comes Out The Hero?

The democratization of communications technology (flip cams, home editing suites and YouTube) is generally lauded as a great advancement for civilization (and for the most part, it is.) But during a time of heated partisan divide — caused, in part, by a Balkanizing landscape of opinion media — well, one wonders if we really want an army of aggressive college kids accosting public servants until someone eventually loses their cool.

Take for example, the following clip of Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) who responds rather physically to some unidentified individuals who ask if he supports the “Obama Agenda.” Seemingly out of no where, Etheridge clearly loses his cool – acting out in a disproportionate way to the seemingly innocuous question. But somehow, one gets the sense that there are legions of viewers out there that will be happy with his reply.
Writing for Big Government, Mike Flynn posits:

Last week, Democrat Congressman Bod (sic) Etheridge (D-NC2) attended a fundraiser headlined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He was asked by some students on the street whether he supported the “Obama Agenda.” He didn’t take it well.

Expect more of this. A hard, progressive left captured the Democrat majority in Congress and forced them to enact a fantasy grab-bag of legislation that is increasingly unpopular with the American public. We’re on the cusp of a deeper recession, millions of unemployed Americans have no prospect for work, taxes are about to spike higher and we’ve maxed out the national credit card. The Democrats were given a chance to run government and they’ve only succeeded in running it into the ground.

So, yeah, Democrats who are up for reelection this November are a bit testy.

So yeah, if Big Government (the site that gave us the hidden camera video that took down ACORN) is telling us to expect more of this sort of inflammatory and guerrilla interview tactics, well then, we should be seeing more of this. And that fact is not lost on many elected officials who are probably on edge, half-expecting to be ambushed around every corner. Such as the case here.

Now, Etheridge’s actions are only partially defensible. He need not have gotten physical with the students who asked him the provocative question regarding his support of the “Obama Agenda” (honestly, that sort of opening question is straight from the Jason Mattera school of inflammatory interview techniques.)

But little is known about these “students.” The YouTube video is published under an account titled TonyManization, and even more damning is that the faces of the individuals asking the Congressman questions are blurred out. Hmmm…nothing like the courage of the anonymous protester.

Which brings us back to Etheridge’s response. Yeah – he comes off as a jerk, but…when in Rome. It will be interesting to follow how this story plays out in the news media. Will it be a big story? Probably not, but apparently being prepared for ambush interviews from eager college kids is the next phase of media training for many on Capitol Hill.

by Colby Hall