Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Despite Being Broke, California Parks Dept Wants To Buy Neverland Ranch For $100 Million

Gus Lubin and Isabelle Schafer
California state parks and the NAACP have a terrible idea: spend $100 million to buy Michael Jackson's famous Neverland ranch, according to SacBee:

A resolution is in the works to order state parks officials to study converting the roughly 2,600-acre property into a state park. The state NAACP is backing the idea, and a lawmaker has signaled he is on board to carry the legislation.

"I think Michael's history is world history and I think it would become the No. 1 attraction for the state parks if we could pull it off," said state NAACP President Alice Huffman, who also serves on the state Parks Commission.

If California wasn't in such dire fiscal straits this could be a reasonable proposal. Elvis's home in Tennessee -- Graceland -- generates $36 million in revenue each year, according to SacBee. A Michael Jackson theme park would be a huge attraction.

But California doesn't have the capital to make this happen, having been forced to sell major state properties and fire thousands just to keep the lights on.

Scientists Theorize Why Black Athletes Run Fastest

By Karen Rowan, Life's Little Mysteries Managing Editor

Twenty-eight of the last 38 world record holders in the men's 100-meter dash have been black athletes, and researchers at two universities think they know why.

A new study by researchers at Howard University, a historically black school in Washington D.C., and Duke University in North Carolina suggests why black athletes may outperform athletes of other races in running events. Physical differences in the length of the limbs and the structure of the body mean the center of gravity tends to be higher in the bodies of black people, the researchers say.

Since 1968, the world record holders in the men's 100-meter dash have been black athletes. And since 1912, when the International Association of Athletics Federations started keeping track of the record holders in that event, only 10 non-black athletes out of 38 individuals have held the title.

"There is a whole body of evidence showing that there are distinct differences in body types among blacks and whites," said researcher Edward Jones, who researches adolescent obesity, nutrition and body composition at Howard University. "These are real patterns being described here. Whether the fastest sprinters are Jamaican, African or Canadian, most of them can be traced back generally to Western Africa."

Why center of gravity matters

Although there are also cultural factors at work, it all comes down to body makeup, Jones said.

"Blacks tend to have longer limbs with smaller circumferences, meaning that their centers of gravity are higher compared to whites of the same height," said Adrian Bejan, Jones' co-author, an engineering professor at Duke University. "Asians and whites tend to have longer torsos, so their centers of gravity are lower."

"These differences are small, and we don't really see them when we look at someone," Bejan told Life's Little Mysteries. "We are only rarely struck by how long someone's legs are."

But these small differences certainly matter in races lasting less than 10 seconds, Bejan said.

The height of a person's center of gravity affects how fast his feet are moving when they hit the ground, Bejan said. Each step a runner takes is like falling except the athlete breaks the fall with his foot. So the feet of a person with a higher center of gravity will hit the ground faster than someone with a lower center of gravity.

Torsos and legs

In the study, the scientists gathered data available from the militaries of 17 nations. Militaries measure their recruits for uniform fittings and are a reliable source of data, Bejan said. To approximate torso length, the scientists compared the average height of the military men with their sitting height – the distance from a chair to the top of the head.

Results showed the average sitting height of blacks was about 1.5 inches (3 cm) shorter than that of whites who were the same height. This means that, among blacks and whites of the same height, the legs of blacks were longer (think of a high-waisted person), while the torsos of whites were longer.

This physical difference gives a black athlete an advantage, even against an athlete of another race is who is taller and has a higher center of gravity, said Bejan. From a physics perspective, Bejan said, the legs do the work of running and the torso of the body is just extra weight that the legs must carry, so the race goes to the runners with longer legs and shorter torsos.

By contrast, whites tend to have the advantage in swimming, where a longer torso allows for faster speeds.

"Swimming actually generates a wave. The sport is the art of surfacing on that wave. When the wave is bigger – because the torso is longer – they go faster," Bejan said.

The study was published online this week in the International Journal of Design and Nature and Ecodynamics.

Welcome to New York, Thierry!

Today’s post is only slightly Arsenal-related….

At 1:15pm today, Red Bull New York will hold a press conference unveiling their new signing, Thierry Henry. The transfer has been in the works since at least January and Henry is expected to make his debut on Thursday, July 22 at Red Bull Arena in the first match of the New York Football Challenge against Spurs. As a long-time season-ticket holder of my local club, RBNY, I can tell you that the excitement not just among fans but in the city as a whole is palpable.

Of course, there have been the inevitable comparisons to David Beckham and his transfer to the LA Galaxy. But I find the people making these to not have much of a clue about Thierry and his personality as a footballer. As Arsenal fans that watched him become the club’s all-time leading goalscorer and win trophy after trophy, we know that Henry is not the type of player to play for a payday. He’s far too innately competitive for that.

At the same time, despite a disappointing season at Barca in which his role and minutes were greatly diminished, Henry is only 32 years old. MLS defenses will not be able to deal with a relatively healthy Henry, especially when the league’s most dangerous striker, Juan Pablo Angel, is beside him.

Henry has spent his summer vacations in NYC for years now and absolutely loves the city. He is not ready to retire from football, and shouldn’t be. But, at the same time, he quite understandably has no desire to remain as a bit player at Barcelona or to join a mid-table team in England like West Ham despite their ridiculously high wage offers.

Here in NYC, Henry can continue to play in a place where he will be adored by supporters and, most importantly, play a big role in the club’s bid for their first-ever silverware. Meanwhile, Henry can play a big role in helping to continue the growth of football and MLS in the United States and around the world in a substantive, non-Beckham like manner. Surely these challenges would prove more attractive to a 32-year old footballer who has already won everything there is to win than sitting on the bench in La Liga or aiming for a top 10 finish in the Premier League.

Red Bull New York, and its previous incarnation, the NY/NJ Metrostars, are the only original MLS team that has not won a trophy since the league began almost 15 years ago. The supporters here are long-suffering. Finally, after 13 years of false promises, Red Bull came in and gave the club the best stadium in the country, brought in Juan Pablo Angel, and, today, Thierry Henry arrives at the club. The club is also seeking a third designated player (a player who can be paid more than the league’s maximum salary) rumored to be either Rafa Marquez or Freddie Ljungberg.

The fact is that a great challenge awaits Thierry Henry. It is made a bit easier by the fact that RBNY have the fourth best points total in the league. But, it will be a challenge nonetheless. As an Arsenal supporter, I am happy that Thierry has found a way to give his career at this stage even more meaning, and, as a RBNY supporter, I am excited at the prospect of being able to watch an Arsenal legend on a weekly basis from my front-row season ticket.

by ArsenalStation

List Of Potential Utah Illegals Turns Up, ICE Not Interested

Aside from however this list may have been generated, if it's legit, note that ICE isn't really all that interested in checking it out. And the Utah government is more concerned about the people on it being terrorized. I'm not thrilled about people sending lists to the government. But it's impossible to miss the lack of interest when it comes to enforcement of our immigration laws.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- State agencies are investigating whether any of their employees leaked Social Security numbers and other personal information after a list of 1,300 people who an anonymous group claims are illegal immigrants was circulated around Utah.

She noted that because ICE has finite resources, it focuses its efforts "first on those dangerous convicted criminal aliens who present the greatest risk to the security of our communities, not sweeps or raids to target undocumented immigrants indiscriminately."

Bill O’Reilly interviews Zaki Baruti Who Called Kenneth Gladney an “Uncle Tom

Bill O'Reilly Interviews President Of The Universal African Peoples Organization Zaki Baruti - 07/13/10

Bill O’Reilly interviews Zaki Baruti, the man who called Kenneth Gladney an “Uncle Tom.” Gladney, a black Tea Partier, was beaten by SEIU thugs after attending a Tea Party event.

Baruti said he has “no regrets” for calling Gladney an “Uncle Tom,” and added that he believes, “Most people would agree with that terminology of Uncle Tom being applied to him.”


On May 5th, 2010, the Missouri NAACP hosted a press conference and rally on behalf of Perry Molens and Elston McCowan, demanding the county prosecutor drop assault charges stemming from an attack outside Russ Carnahan’s townhall in South St. Louis County on Health Care last August. Molens and McCowan were arrested after the staged Carnahan event in August after they beat, kicked and stomped on black vendor Kenneth Gladney. The two Russ Carnahan supporters and SEIU members also called Kenneth the n-word as they bashed him into the cement.

Kenneth Gladney - Beat up by SEIU members at a Tea Party Rally. He was also there selling "Don’t Tread on Me!" flags.
Kenneth Gladney was beaten, kicked and called racist names by Russ Carnahan’s SEIU supporters after a health care town hall meeting in August.

The national media and NAACP ignored the hate crime.

Gladney was beaten by several SEIU thugs after the meeting let out. He was working outside the town hall event selling flags and buttons when he was attacked.

Kenneth Gladney attended the protest against SEIU violence following his beatdown in St. Louis.

St. Louis County officials waited until November 25 to press charges. SEIU members Elston McCowan, 47, of St. Louis, and Perry Molens, 50, of De Soto, each were charged with assaulting a person and interfering with police. They are accused of scuffling with and injuring Kenneth Gladney, a vendor at the Carnahan health care town hall. The country pressed charges on 6 individuals.

Yesterday, the NAACP passed a resolution condemning the “racism” of the tea party movement. They did not pass a resolution condemning the SEIU thugs who beat up Kenneth Gladney, an African-American vendor at a tea party rally. We guess racism is in the eye of Eric Holder.

By Theodore's World

Iowa Billboard Compares Obama To Hitler And Lenin

Billboard via the North Iowa Tea Party. Other Tea Party groups have condemned it. Well, we're just talking economics here, right? Heh! h/t Newsalert.

(AP) —A billboard created by an Iowa tea party group comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin is being condemned by other tea party activists.

The North Iowa Tea Party began displaying the sign in Mason City last week.

The sign includes photos of Obama, Nazi leader Hitler and communist leader Lenin with the statement: “Radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive.”

Language Translations Required For NJ Drunk Driving Suspects

Drivers in New Jersey who don’t speak English must be informed of the consequences of refusing to take an alcohol breath test in a language they understand, says a the state Supreme Court ruling reported by USA Today. No other states require translations of the statement, though some provide access to translators, and others have made some translations available by computer or in print, says Jeffrey Mandel of the New Jersey Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

”I think other states are going to follow New Jersey’s lead,” Mandel says. “It should not logistically be an issue for police departments — every department has access to computers, with laptops in cars or at stations.” The ruling does not require translators be available on short notice or allow for a “too drunk to understand” defense. State Attorney General Paula Dow’s office maintained state law did not require the statement to be understood, just that it be read. Spokesman Peter Aseltine says the decision gives immunity to any drunken driver who speaks a language the officer is unable to identify or translate. “There are over 150 different languages spoken in New Jersey,” Aseltine says. Since April, New Jersey has provided police with a website with the statement in audio and written form in 10 languages widely spoken in the state.

Column: Did Russian Spies Fool FBI?

By Jeff Stein
Spy Talk
WASHINGTON – Two longtime veterans of the intelligence wars between Russia and the West say it’s inconceivable that the spies deported to Moscow Friday didn’t detect FBI surveillance years ago.

And that, they say, could explain why the FBI never produced evidence in court that the “illegals” had obtained any classified information: They stopped spying as soon as they discovered they were being watched — but stayed just busy enough to distract the FBI, potentially, from more important operations.

“If you’re under surveillance, you don’t do anything — you’re burnt,” said Victor Ostrovsky, a prominent former Mossad operative who said the lsraelis taught trainees about surveillance by studying real Russian spies at work. “You might as well pack yourself up slowly and go home.”

An American counterintelligence veteran said: “It does boggle the mind that they never allegedly picked up on any of the watchers nor learned of any of the technical ops run against them. It really is amazing.”

To read more click here.

6 More New Orleans Cops Indicted in Post-Katrina Shootings

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News
The Justice Department Tuesday plucked more skeletons from the closet of the New Orleans Police Department, indicting six additional officers in the fatal shooting of two unarmed citizens and the wounding of four others in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The indictment is part of the Justice Department’s ongoing effort to expose police officers who either were involved in the Sept. 4, 2005, Danziger Bridge shootings or took part in covering them up. To date, five New Orleans officers have pleaded guilty to covering up the incident.

“Today’s indictment should serve as compelling evidence of our unswerving and unconditional commitment to … achieve true justice for any victims of the charged killings, shootings and abuse on the Danziger Bridge, and the alleged corrupt cover-up that followed,” U.S. Attorney Jim Letten of New Orleans said in a statement.

The indictment further aims “to restore the trust in the men and women of law enforcement who do serve the people and honor the badge; and to make certain that no one should ever have to fear those whose job it is to protect them,” he said.

To read more click here.

3 Philly Cops Indicted in Scheme to Rip Off Drug Supplier

Three Philadelphia cops were indicted Tuesday on charges of conspiring with drug dealers to steal 300 grams of heroin from a supplier, the Justice Department announced.

Officers Robert Snyder, Mark Williams and James Venziale face drug trafficking charges along with three suspected drug dealers and the wife of one officer who allegedly passed on information between the cops and the dealers, authorities said.

Authorities charged that on May 14, 2010, the officers pretended to arrest one of the drug dealers after he got the heroin from a courier, who stood nearby and witnessed the arrest. The supplier was not paid because of what appeared to be a bust.

The cops then drove off and let the dealer go. The heroin was given to someone the conspirators thought was a drug dealer, but was actually undercover DEA agent, authorities said.

Authorities said the drug dealer who was part of the fake bust paid two cops $6,000, and the third received an “additional amount of currency.”

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, the department’s largest union, told the Philadelphia Inquirer called the episode “a disgrace.”

“We have a bunch of good officers out there on the streets every day, risking their lives,” McNesby said. “This casts a dark cloud over all of them.”

By Allan Lengel

Obama Hitler Billboard Fires Up Tea Party Detractors By Shannon Bell

An Obama, Hitler and Lenin billboard bought and paid for by the North Iowa Tea Party has some scratching their heads. The billboard shows Hitler with the words National Socialist, Lenin with the words Marxist Socialist, and right in the middle with the words Democratic Socialist is a picture of Barack Obama. Underneath, the caption reads “Radical Leaders Prey On The Fearful And Na├»ve.

The leaders of the national Tea Party have condemned the sign saying that it’s a waste of time, money, resources and sends the wrong message. I agree. While it’s true that Lenin and Hitler were socialists and I certainly believe that Obama has strong socialist beliefs, actually picturing the President next to the Nazi dictator is not the way to go.

Once you use Hitler as an example, comparing him to anyone or anything, your message is lost. Most people are unable to get past the initial shock of the comparison. Some in the National Tea Party say that the Obama, Hitler billboard is an insult to Jews who survived the Holocaust. Comparing Hitler to anyone is an insult to the human race period.

Then of course there’s the practical aspect of the sign. For almost a year now the Democrats and the media have been trying to paint the Tea Party movement as nothing more than a bunch of radical racists who are determined to see Obama’s Administration brought down.

Falsehoods and slanders have been leveled at the Tea Party by everyone from Nancy Pelosi to Keith Olbermann and this does nothing but arm them with fodder for that narrative. Yes, the Obama Hitler billboard was money ill spent.

While certainly the practicality of comparing Obama policies with that of Lenin or Hitler or any other socialist leader is understandable (55% of Americans feel that’s an accurate description of him), the Obama, Hitler, Lenin billboard is over the top by a longshot. The media and the democrats will have a field day with this for some time to come.