Friday, January 26, 2007

U.S. Media Job Cuts Are Up By 88 Per Cent

U.S. media job cuts surged 88 percent in 2006 from the previous year, a downsizing trend expected to continue this year, a survey said Thursday. The media industry slashed 17,809 jobs last year, a nearly two-fold increase from the 9,453 cuts in 2005, outplacement consultancy Challenger Gray & Christmas said.

Google Damaged By China Censorship

Google's decision to censor its search engine in China was bad for the company, its founders admitted yesterday. Google, launched in 1998 by two Stanford University dropouts, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, was accused of selling out and reneging on its "Don't be evil" motto when it launched in China in 2005. The company modified the version of its search engine in China to exclude controversial topics such as the Tiananmen Square massacre or the Falun Gong movement, provoking a backlash in its core western markets.

Catholic MPs Warn Blair of Voter Backlash

Tony Blair faced growing revolt from Roman Catholic Labour MPs last night over his climbdown in the gay adoption controversy. A survey of more than half the 40 Catholics in the Government, who represent predominately working class constituencies, showed that the majority supported an opt-out to allow Catholic adoption agencies to turn away gay couples.

The Best Places to Live

For the second year running in our annual Quality of Life Index, we say: France. At the other end of the Index, again for year number two, Iraq scores the fewest points and ranks as the world’s worst place to be.

Five Years' Prison For Denying the Holocaust?

Prosecutors asked a court Friday to sentence Ernst Zundel to five years in prison for his persistent denial of the Holocaust through his writings and a high-profile website ... Zundel, 66, is charged with 14 counts of incitement for a series of pamphlets and for disseminating far-right and anti-Semitic propaganda through his website, which is based in Canada, according to the indictment.

Stephane Dion Wants MORE 'Safe-Injection' Sites

Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion said he would expand supervised-injection sites to other communities and criticized the Conservative government for agreeing to fund the Vancouver facility only until the end of this year ... "I would give the funds to continue the experience and work with other mayors if they want to replicate this experience that has been successful" ... He said that if he becomes prime minister, he would look at funding other supervised injection sites for municipalities that ask.

Allan Rock Accused of Links to Sri Lankan Terrorists

At the centre of a raft of allegations that Mr. Rock is associating with Sri Lankan terrorists and their supporters is a photograph taken at the recent Liberal party leadership convention showing the former minister posing with two men of South Asian origin. In Sri Lanka, a widely read online newspaper has published the photograph alongside a claim the men are supporters of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the separatist group that Canada's Conservative government banned as a terrorist organization last year.

Canadians Buying Organs of Executed Chinese: MP

An unknown number of wealthy Albertans have travelled to China to buy vital organs harvested from executed devotees of the outlawed Falun Gong movement, says former Edmonton MP David Kilgour. And he wants the crimes against humanity to stop.

Militant Atheists, Agnostics Seek to Expunge Lord's Prayer

Ontario municipal councils risk being taken to court if they continue to start their meetings with the Lord's Prayer, says an Ottawa-based group of atheists and agnostics. Using the traditional Christian prayer in council is illegal and sends the wrong message, says Sheila Ayala, a member of Secular Ontario.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

New York City Plans 'Official Condom'

Available soon from City Hall: an official New York condom in a jazzy wrapper, perhaps one printed with a colorful subway map or some other city theme. New York City hands out 1.5 million free condoms a month in ordinary wrappers, and health officials figure people would be more likely to actually use them if the packaging were more distinctive. "Brands work, and people use branded items more than they use non-branded items, whether it's a cola or a medicine, even," Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said.

Poll: Majority of Americans Want Abortion Illegal, Restrictions

A new CBS News poll finds that a majority of Americans want to prohibit abortions in all or most cases or want greater restrictions on abortions. The poll results are consistent with the results from 2006 when more than half of those polled wanted to make abortion illegal all or most of the time.

And Now ... 'Transgendered' Clergy

This past weekend, Swenson and her peers gathered in the hills of Berkeley, Calif., for the first National Transgender Religious Summit at the Pacific School of Religion, an ecumenical seminary that prepares students for ordination in the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church and the Disciples of Christ. The conference, open to members of all faith traditions, is a joint project of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) in Washington, D.C., and the Pacific School’s own Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS).

Bohemian Grove Linked to New World Order?

Each year a swarm of the continent’s movers-and-shakers – presidents, secretaries of state, ambassadors, corporate chiefs, secretaries of defense, governors, college presidents, officials of the World Bank, naval secretaries, professors, writers, congressmen, and media moguls -- gather amid cloistering redwoods for an exotic, elitist retreat replete with lodge-like rituals that sponsors say are all in fun but critics see as Masonic or at least occult, including the burning of human effigies under the watchful eye of a demonic-looking 75-foot-tall likeness of an owl known as "Moloch" (all too close to the "Molech," or god of false wisdom, in the Bible).

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Two PETA Employees Charged With Killing Animals

Today, two employees of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a radical animal-rights group that opposes meat-eating, are on trial for the strangest of charges: killing animals. PETA ... opposes any human use of animals, whether for food, fashion or research. In the more than two decades since its founding, it has become a major threat to medical researchers, meatpackers, fur sellers and others.

Psychological Assessment Over 'Anti-Gay' Remark

Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington has entered a residential treatment facility in an effort to quell the controversy surrounding his anti-gay remarks — and save his job, Life & Style has learned exclusively. According to an insider, Isaiah, who issued an apology for his statements on Jan. 18, agreed to undergo a psychological assessment after talks with ABC executives.

The Hypocrisy of Film Critics

Kenneth Turin of the Los Angeles Times was unhappy with Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ because of its ‘almost sadistic violence,’ but he loved the bestiality in ‘Zoo,’ calling it ‘an elegant, eerily lyrical film.’

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Communists Still a Threat

A few years after Poland's liberation from communist rule, I met with its deputy minister of defence. He suggested a stroll in a park, "because here in my office, there are many listeners." I asked if communists still posed a threat. He whispered: "They are gone, but they are still here."

Sex Assaults By Teachers More Prevalent Than Those Perpetrated By Priests

An estimated 5 million students in United States schools have been assaulted sexually by teachers, according to a congressional report. But no one is calling for investigations or law enforcement crackdowns, there have been no campaigns to ban the offenders from schools, and in many states there aren't even any requirements such predator attacks be reported to education licensing agencies.

Politicians Letting Courts Set the Agendas

Few things are more threatening to a politician's future than plain speaking. Many politicians have rightly become fearful of taking a stand against any issue -- such as same-sex marriage - that is so warmly promoted in the media, academic and legal establishments. Rather than endure the sort of criticism such opposition would provoke, the favoured modus operandi today is to let the unelected courts set the agenda by arbitrarily changing our laws.

What About China and Kyoto?

Given that China’s plans to build 562 new coal-fired energy plants over the next few years will more than wipe out any reductions in global carbon dioxide emissions, even if every other signatory to the Kyoto accord, including Canada, meets its 2012 emission targets, did they express any concerns?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Billary Running For President

Video: The (Frightening) Future of Food

Starbucks Offering Hormone-Free Milk

First, Starbucks Corp. took the trans-fats out of its pastries, now it's taking artificial hormones out of its milk. The worldwide coffee retailer said Tuesday it is moving forward with long-promised plans to make the milk and other dairy products it serves in its U.S. coffee houses free of a controversial artificial growth hormone used to increase milk production.

Cellphones As Harmful As Cigarettes?

MOBILE phones could turn out to be as damaging to health as cigarettes, a world expert says ... The data revealed "a hint" of problems for people who used them for more than 10 years, he said. A detailed follow-up study into long-term phone users was vital because the effects of cancer often took more than a decade to show up, he said.

North American Union Is NOT a Conspiracy Theory

The Truth. On March 23, 2005, President Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin met at the Bush Ranch in Crawford, Texas in what they called a "Summit." After the meeting, the three heads of state then drove to Baylor University to announce their "signing" of an agreement to form the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.

Fears of Brain Cancer Risks From Cellphones

A mass study of the long-term impact of mobile phones is to be undertaken amid fears that people who have used them for more than ten years are at greater risk from brain cancer. More than 200,000 volunteers, including long-term users, are to be monitored for at least five years to plot mobile phone use against any serious diseases they develop, including cancer and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can't Explain

Dr. Geoffrey Simmons author of the new book Billions of Missing Links ... shows that as modern science has progressed from the visible to the invisible (microscopic, submicroscopic, genetic, biochemical and genetic) the numbers of missing links have skyrocketed. Every "link" discovered brings many more questions (missing links) than answers.

Merkel Wants More Christianity in E.U. Constitution

Germany's conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, who launched plans last week to revive the European Union constitution as the now 27-nation bloc's term presidency, has renewed her criticism of the draft text for not referring to the importance of Christianity in Europe.

Winning the Battle for Life

First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win. This insightful observation of Mahatma Ghandi reveals a truth about social-reform movements — that it takes perseverance to achieve victory. Ending the darkness of Roe v. Wade is not only possible, it is more than likely to occur if those who understand what’s at stake don’t give up, having tired of the seemingly long battle. For, as social-reform movements go, the 34-year struggle to overturn Roe and its judicial progeny is still a relatively young one.

Genocide Continues in the Sudan

Fatima Haroun, a Darfurian survivor now living in the United States, recently told a "Save Darfur Coalition" demonstration, as reported Dec. 29 by the Sudan Tribune, that where she came from, "Women and children as young as 8, 9, 13, are bring targeted on a daily basis, in multiple assaults, [suffering] multiple injuries. It's too much. Enough is enough, and I will say stop it now!" But who's listening?

Naked Breast, Masturbation, Sadomasochism in Broadway Musical

Teenage sex scenes showing a naked breast, masturbation and sadomasochism aren't the usual Broadway fare, but Spring Awakening has become the surprise hit musical of the season while being hailed as tastefully erotic. Adapted from German playwright Frank Wedekind's then-scandalous 1891 play, Spring Awakening looks at the angst of high school students and their sexual awakening in repressed 19th-century Germany.

Mike Duffy Coming Back

It will be a leaner, more eager Mike Duffy who returns to the airwaves to helm Mike Duffy Live, next week on CTV Newsnet. Duffy hasn't been in front of the camera since August 2006, when the show went on its summer break along with Parliament.

Canadians Should Still Make Room For Dissenting Views

Last week, American "paleoconservative" Jared Taylor jetted in to Halifax to give a speech nobody wanted to hear on a very touchy subject: racial diversity ... Taylor never gave his anti-diversity speech because he was hooted down and assaulted by a gang of masked thugs ... Jared Taylor got what he wanted from Halifax because his opponents were simple bullies and he, at least, had the courage to show his face. His masked tormentors should be charged with assault and reminded that Canadians still make room for dissenting views, no matter how unpalatable.

Harper Should Hold China's Feet to the Fire on Human Rights

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has spoken bluntly and often about human rights abuses in China. He has accused that country of spying on Canada to steal industrial secrets. He went to bat for a dual citizen imprisoned in China's gulag on trumped-up charges ... He added, in case Beijing had not been paying attention, that he was not ready to "sell out to the almighty dollar" ... We should keep Beijing's feet to the fire on human rights, and we should also keep pursuing trade deals that benefit both countries.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Beastiality Movie Premieres At Film Fest

"Zoo," premiering before a rapt audience Saturday night at Sundance, manages to be a poetic film about a forbidden subject, a perfect marriage between a cool and contemplative director (the little-seen "Police Beat") and potentially incendiary subject matter: sex between men and animals. Not graphic in the least, this strange and strangely beautiful film combines audio interviews (two of the three men involved did not want to appear on camera) with elegiac visual re-creations intended to conjure up the mood and spirit of situations.

Married Priests Aren't the Answer to Vocations Crisis

The renowned Italian journalist Vittorio Messori published an article recently in which he blasted one of the most popular myths of the day: that married priests would solve the “crisis of vocations.” Reprinted by the Spanish daily “La Razon,” Messori’s article notes, “The Protestant, Orthodox and Jewish communities are all undergoing similar ‘crisis of vocations’, if not greater, than that of the Catholic Church, despite the fact that their pastors, priests and rabbis can marry.”

Former Liberal Adviser Did No Real Work

Onetime Liberal MP Sarkis Assadourian says he never did a day's work after being appointed a special adviser to former prime minister Paul Martin ... "The whole thing was a lie . . . I never a single day worked in his office. I was never paid a single penny."

Modern Pagans Worship Zeus in Athens

A clutch of modern pagans honored Zeus at a 1,800-year-old temple in the heart of Athens on Sunday, the first known ceremony of its kind held there since the ancient Greek religion was outlawed by the Roman empire in the late 4th century.