Darnell Dockett Is Cardinals Defensive Tackle

Meet Darnell Dockett, an American professional football player who currently plays as the defensive tackle for the Arizona Cardinals of NFL. Dockett has been one of the pillars of arizona’s defense off-lately which has been performing beyond excellence and will be a force to reckon with during the Super Bowl XLIII game. See photos, video and a biography of Darnell Dockett here.
Darnell will be looking forward to prove President Barrack Obama wrong as he will be cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the upcoming Super Bowl game.

“I’m pretty sure there are probably more Steelers fans than Cardinals fans,” Dockett said. “At the end of the day, they have to play 60 minutes. I am definitely going to keep that in mind during the game that I need to go to the White House.”

Dockett’s way of playing the 3-technique tackle position is quite advantageous for Cardinal’s defense and Steelers right guard Darnell Stapleton will have to plan out a detailed strategy for that. While he doesn’t have the kind of bulk that is required for the position, Dockett’s flexibility and speed is a big asset.

As a biography, Darnell Dockett was born on May 27, 1981 in Atlanta, Georgia so his age is 27. He attended Paint Branch High School and went to Florida State University where he set a school record with 65 tackles for losses. He is a political science major and was awarded the Atlantic Coast Conference 2003 Defensive Player of the Year.

Dockett was the third round pick for the Cardinals in the 2004 NFL draft. He became only the third rookie in the history of the League to perform a sack, interception and defensive fumble recovery in the same game. He has been starting all the games for his team for the past four seasons. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2007 and has led the defensive line with a career-high 75 tackles. He signed a five-year extension of contract in 2006.

In the three playoff games this season, the Cardinals yielded just 77.3 rushing yards and forced 12-turnovers per game. These stats are surely important considering the upcoming Super Bowl game.

Source : http://sports.rightpundits.com

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Super Bowl Q&A: Darnell Stapleton

Darnell Stapleton

Ht./Wt.: 6-3/305

Position: Right offensive guard

College: Rutgers

Notable: Since Stapleton signed with the Steelers on draft day of 2007 and made his NFL debut against Houston earlier this season, he has made 14 consecutive starts on the oft-scrutinized offensive line. A finalist for the Rimington Award as the nation's top center coming out of Rutgers, he has helped the Steelers' running game come back to life in recent weeks, especially against San Diego in the AFC divisional round of the playoffs when running back Willie Parker ran for 146 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries.

Stapleton took some time in between Super Bowl preparation to answer a few questions.

If you were NFL commissioner for a day, what would you change?

I think I would shorten the season, probably by five games maybe, and start the playoffs earlier.

What is your favorite sports movie?

That's tough. I like "Remember the Titans," I like "Any Given Sunday," I like "Love and Basketball." I usually lean toward all good sports movies, "Miracle," they're all good.

If someone made a movie about you, what actor would play you?

Hmm. I don't know. You tell me. I would have to say Chris Kemoeatu because he knows me so well and he has great acting abilities.

How many cars do you own?

One. Just one. That's all I need right now.

Do you follow any other Pittsburgh sports teams?

Last year, I did follow the Penguins when they had their nice little run. I have been to a handful of Pirates games. I try to follow other sports.

What is the toughest part about playing your position?

A lot of people think it's just all physical, but I think there's a lot of mental stuff that goes into playing offensive line. You can't just go out there and try to tee off on somebody. You have to be able to understand the concept of the play and how it's supposed to be run.

Source : http://www.pittsburghlive.com

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Students use Mandarin Chinese to broaden horizons

MCB QUANTICO, Va. (Jan. 13) -- Students at the Quantico Middle/High School are participating in a Mandarin Chinese class that is in its second year of existence in the school curriculum.

The course allows students to communicate in both spoken and written Chinese at a basic level.

It is an interactive course which uses visual and sound aids, such as flash cards, language based art projects, illustrations and voice recorders. Each allows students to learn on both an auditory, aesthetic and kinesthetic level.

‘‘I have them make flash cards on the first day and they build a collection of them over the length of the class,” said Jeanie White, teacher of the Chinese levels one and two at the Quantico Middle/High School. ‘‘I have them use tape recorders to practice their oral proficiency at home.”

The course requires the students have conversations and display illustrations about things concerning their daily lives.

‘‘The flash cards, audio tapes and CDRoms are just a part of what they need to learn,” said White. ‘‘Practical application helps them to retain what they have learned here in class.”

New words and expressions, the writing of Chinese characters and the usage of supplemental words while adding ‘‘something new to know” with each lesson is important to keeping the students interested in the course material and more susceptible to learning.

‘‘The most effective way for them to learn is for them to be able to see what they are doing,” said White. ‘‘Ultimately learning depends on the student and so I try to incorporate different aspects of dialect into my teaching methods.”

The course has two levels - Mandarin Chinese course I and Mandarin Chinese course II, said White.

‘‘Teaching my second level students is a bit different,” said White. ‘‘There work is all written and it’s a bit easier to assess their strength and weaknesses considering I’ve had them as students for over a year.”

The use of computers is important for a language class because it gives the students a way to learn on a more graphic level where sight sound and interaction work together, making the learning experience easier, more advanced, and therefore more effective, White said.

‘‘Study at home is important; I just wish we had at least two computers in the classroom to assist in their learning,” said White.

The course provides students with the opportunity to broaden their cultural horizons, said White.

‘‘I think this class really gives me the opportunity to learn about other cultures and how they live and communicate,” said Stephanie Berlinghoff, student at Quantico Middle/High School.

These students are seeing this course as something more than just another class to get through, said White. ‘‘They see learning a new language as something that is beneficial to their futures in many ways.”

‘‘I really like this class because not I can possibly get more money for scholarships when its time to apply for college,” said Charly Mcnair, student at Quantico Middle/High School.

Multi cultural communication plays a vital role in America’s economic and social structure. From small businesses to major corporations and conglomerates, American commerce relies very heavily on its company’s ability to communicate effectively with other countries.

‘‘In the business world we will probably have to communicate a lot with Chinese companies,” said Andrew Hoisington, also a student at Quantico Middle/High School. ‘‘We have the opportunity to learn their language which makes us an asset in the corporate world.

Source : http://www.quantico.usmc.mil

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Album review: The Bird and the Bee's 'Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future'

The Bird and the Bee, the project of singer Inara George and Lily Allen’s producer Greg Kurstin, makes exquisite dinner party music. That’s not a slight — like any other subgenre, it has its good and its bad, its watered-down faux bubbly and its liquid gold. And the Bird and the Bee’s second album, “Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future,” is on the liquid gold side — let’s say Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, because Françoise Hardy probably drinks it.

Building crisp pop imbibements that can stand up to several listens is no easy task, but the Bird and the Bee has found the trick: Complex melodies constructed of several simple, shiny parts, all revolving around George’s breathy voice, the calling card of a nocturnal party sprite who might be cooing her songs at a flirty soiree.

But she’s also not afraid to command the center: “Polite Dance Song” is a showcase for Kurstin and George’s sly wit. Over an arched eyebrow of a beat, George demands, with extra sugar, for you to dance. She’s also adorably kooky: In “Diamond Dave,” a perfumed mash note for David Lee Roth, she pledges her undying love for the king of the unitard.

There are moments when the party cools, when George retreats to an introspective center, but that’s what you play when everyone’s gone and you still have all those dishes to do and only a drop of Veuve left.

--Margaret Wappler
The Bird and the Bee
“Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future”
(Blue Note)
3 stars

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Djokovic succumbs to heat, Roddick

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Defending champion Novak Djokovic struggled in the heat Tuesday before retiring from his Australian Open quarterfinal against American Andy Roddick.

Roddick advanced 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-2, 2-1, maintaining a sequence of semifinal appearances at Melbourne Park every alternate year since 2003.

Third-seeded Djokovic had just had his service broken to go down 2-1 in the fourth set when he went to the side of the court and told umpire Carlos Ramos he could not continue.

He shook hands with Roddick and left Rod Laver Arena with the trainers.

The outside temperature with the roof open at Rod Laver Arena during the match was as high as 35 Celsius (95 Fahrenheit).

He'd had a medical timeout after recovering a service break to lead 2-1 in the third set and complained of heat-related problems.

Roddick, the 2003 U.S. Open champion, won the next five games to finish off the third set, winning the last 11 points.

Djokovic, who beat Roddick in the quarterfinals at last year's U.S. Open, finally held the opening game of the fourth set after nine minutes but was visibly slowing down and irritated.

Earlier in the day, Vera Zvonareva ran off 11 straight games in a 6-3, 6-0 win over Marion Bartoli at the Australian Open on Tuesday to reach the semifinals for the first time in 25 majors.

The 24-year-old Russian's best performance in six previous trips to Melbourne was the fourth round -- she'd gone out in the first round at the Australian Open three times, including last year. And she made the quarterfinals at the 2003 French Open

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Fallout 3 Operation Anchorage

Bethesda Softworks releases the DLC for Fallout 3. Here's all you need to know:

Content: Fallout 3 Operation: Anchorage
Price: 800 Points
Availability: Not available in Japan
Dash Text: [ESRB: M (Mature) BLOOD AND GORE,INTENSE VIOLENCE,SEXUAL THEMES,STRONG LANGUAGE,USE OF DRUGS] Enter the simulation pod and embark on one of the greatest military campaigns of the Fallout universe – the liberation of Anchorage, Alaska from its Chinese Communist invaders. Experience harrowing winter combat using Fallout 3’s patented V.A.T.S. targeting system, and employ powerful new equipment like the Gauss Rifle, Chinese Stealth Armor, Winterized T-51b Power Armor, and more. Enlist today, soldier!

The Fallout 3 DLC is currently available for MS 800 points on Games For Windows Live and Xbox Live.

Source : http://www.actiontrip.com

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Convicted Monroe College Killer Larry Swearingen Evades Execution

Larry Swearingen, better known as the purported College Killer, will live to see another day. After receiving the death sentence for the 1999 slaying of a Montgomery College student, Swearingen has received a reprieve from an appeals court, his lawyer arguing that forensic evidence does not align with the viability of Swearingen committing the crime because he would have been in jail at the time of the murder.
Ah, the good old “I Was Too Busy Being Incarcerated to Kill Someone” excuse. Works like a charm every time.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

A federal appeals court on Monday stopped this week's scheduled execution of a man condemned for abducting, raping and strangling a 19-year-old suburban Houston woman 10 years ago.

Larry Swearingen, 37, faced lethal injection Tuesday evening for the death of Melissa Trotter, whose body was found Jan. 2, 1999, in the Sam Houston National Forest south of Huntsville. The discovery came 25 days after she was last seen leaving the library at Montgomery College near Conroe.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reprieve came in response to questions from Swearingen's attorneys about the timing of Trotter's death. Swearingen insisted he couldn't have killed the woman because he was in jail for outstanding traffic warrants when newly evaluated forensic evidence indicates her body was dumped in the woods not far from his home.

…Rytting contended deterioration of Trotter's body would have been much more severe than it was when found, raising the possibility somebody else dumped it in the woods.

A medical examiner testified at Swearingen's trial in 2000 that she believed Trotter was killed the same day she disappeared. But seven years later, the coroner submitted an affidavit changing her opinion, basing her judgment on temperature data compiled by Swearingen's defense. The new opinion, also supported by other forensic experts, said Trotter's body was in the woods for considerably less than 25 days.

The appeals court said Swearingen's due process rights were violated because prosecutors "sponsored the false or misleading testimony" from the medical examiner.

Whether or not Swearingen did indeed kill Trotter, his execution was scheduled to be the fourth already this year in the state of Texas. And while they say that everything is bigger in Texas, it’s probably not preferable for the population on Death Row to also be so sizeable.

Source : http://www.collegeotr.com

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Seattle parents: Bail out schools, not bankers

SEATTLE - Just days before a final decision is expected on school closures, hundreds of people took to the streets of a Seattle neighborhood in protest.

The parents and families came out Sunday, believing they can still make a difference in the final decision - that, somehow, they might be able to persuade Seattle School Board members to save their schools.

Marchers rally against the closure of Seattle schools.
Several schools and programs have been proposed for closure as part of massive budget cuts for the Seattle School District. The school district says it needs to close a $37 million budget gap.

School District Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson has released a plan to cut five programs and close five schools, including T.T. Minor - and that's where Sunday's rally began.

"You can't close our close our schools under the table and think it's going to be OK with us," said one marcher, Bonnie Wilson.

Families and neighbors chanted their message on a cold Sunday afternoon with light snow falling - they came to heat things up and fight for their area schools and education programs.

"It means apparently people think it's more important to bail out bankers, to build jails in our community rather than put money toward our children," said Amber Croyle.

The school board is expected make a final decision next Thursday on the fate of five schools and 13 programs around the city.

The battle over closures has left many families exhausted.

"The school for your children and your family is a fundamental part of your community, and that's where people find safety and comfort," said Jeanne Hoppe. "And every children needs to have both those things to have a great learning environment."

The district says the closures are necessary to save nearly $4 million a year. But that's an assertion that parents are ready to debate.

"Who told you that there isn't enough money to keep our schools open? They've been lying to you," shouted one impassioned speaker at a gathering after the protest march.

Said another parent, Ronalee Wear: "I'm not really buying into what the school district is saying. There are other options. They're supposed to be our representatives. They should be fighting for our schools and not condensing them."

They are tough decisions during tough economic times, that so many are taking so personally.

"People don't want to raise taxes. But if we're doing it to help kids, I don't see the problem with that myself," said Brad Angel.

The buildings now slated for closing are: Genesee Hill, Mann, T.T. Minor, Van Asselt and Old Hay, which may only be temporarily closed depending on enrollment. Pinehurst and Montlake are no longer on the list.

The latest list does not feature an "options" category under which Aki Kurose was previously cited for possible closure.

Eight programs are named for relocation. Half of Lowell APP would move to Thurgood Marshall, and half of Washington APP would shift to to Hamilton.

Pathfinder K-8 would move to to Cooper, T.T. Minor Montessori to Leschi, Van Asselt to AAA, NOVA to Meany, and Thurgood Marshall EBOC to Dunlap and Hawthorne.

Summit K-8 is no longer slated to move to Meany, and SBOC is to move to Meany instead of to Hawthorne.

The plan also proposes a new K-8 program at Jane Addams.

The superintendent's final recommendation effectively discontinues six programs. They are: African American, Academy, Cooper, Meany, T.T. Minor and Summit K-12.

It does not mention the Center School, which was being previously being floated under the "options" category.

Source : http://www.komonews.com

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Geneva Preview: Opel Ampera teased ahead of Swiss debut

General Motors is bringing its Voltec propulsion technology to our friends across the pond, and as suspected, an Opel-badged version will join the Chevrolet Volt in Europe. The Opel Ampera will make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show this March wearing a new front fascia inspired by the production Insignia, along with a few cues pulled from the Flextreme concept. As for the rest of it, expect most the Volt's interior and body panels to carry over with minor tweaks, along with the Voltec drivetrain that can transport four of the Ampera's occupants for 60 km on electric power alone. So a Volt by any other name would... still be an extended-range electric vehicle. Hit the jump for the press release.


Opel To Reveal Ampera Electric Car At Geneva Motor Show

Opel Ampera to feature innovative GM Voltec technology

Rüsselsheim. Opel has announced Ampera as the name of its revolutionary extended-range electric car. The five-door, four-seat Opel Ampera will be revealed at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show (March 5-15).

"With the Ampera, Opel will be the first European automobile manufacturer to provide customers several hundred kilometers of non-stop electric driving," said Alain Visser, GM Europe Chief Marketing Officer.

GM's ground-breaking electric propulsion technology, called Voltec, operates differently from other advanced propulsion systems. For short trips up to 60 km, the Ampera will run only on lithium-ion battery power charged via a standard 230v outlet. For longer distances, the car will continue to drive on electricity that is generated by a small internal combustion engine.

The Ampera will be well-suited to the daily driving schedule of most European customers. For example, approximately 80 percent of German drivers travel less than 50 km daily.

Additional information on the Opel Ampera will be released March 3 at the Geneva Motor Show.

Source : http://www.autoblog.com

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Grant Haas & Ted Haggard: Haas & Haggard relationship

KRDO-TV, in Colorado Springs, reported that Grant Haas talked about his relationship with Ted Haggard while Haggard was the evangelical pastor of New Life Church. Grant Haas said Ted Haggard did a sex act in his presence while they were inside a hotel room in 2006. Grant Haas claimed Ted Haggard sent him sexually explicit text messages.

Grant Haas said his relationship with Haggard caused him to isolate himself, struggle with a drinking addiction and a drug addiction. Haas claimed he attempted suicide.

Grant Haas alleged he was 22 when he met Haggard in 2005. Haas is now 25. The New Life Church had agreed to settle with Haas by paying for his medical and college education. In return, Haas was supposed to keep mum about his relationship with haggard. However, Haas said the Church failed to maintain its promise.

Alexandra Pelosi was the director of the HBO documentary. (Source)

Source : http://celebgalz.com

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Obama's First TV Interview Focus: Middle-East Peace

As he dispatched former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, his new special envoy for Middle East peace, to the region, President Obama gave his first television interview on Monday to the Dubai-based satellite network al-Arabiya.

Obama chose the vehicle of a network that is widely viewed in the Arab and Muslim world to make a break in tone -- and possibly policy -- from his predecessor, George W. Bush, whose unrelenting "war on terror" rhetoric left little room for the development of trust. In particular, the new president sought to paint a picture of himself, and his administration, as being committed to diplomacy and the pursuit of an agreement between Israel and Palestine.

Speaking of having "Muslim members of my family," and of having lived in a Muslim country (Indonesia), Obama said that America is "ready to initiate a new partnership (with Arab states and the Muslim world) based on mutual respect and mutual interest, then I think that we can make significant progress."

"All too often the United States starts by dictating -- in the past on some of these issues -- and we don't always know all the factors that are involved," Obama told al-Arabiya. "So let's listen. He's going to be speaking to all the major parties involved. And he will then report back to me. From there we will formulate a specific response."

Obama went out of his way to emphasize that he was willing to listen -- and to talk -- in hopes of achieving better relations between the U.S. and the Arab and Muslim world.

The president left no doubt that he recognizes the requirement that, to achieve that end, he must make the United States a more serious proponent of efforts to forge a lasting and just peace between Israel and Palestine.

With only a tense ceasefire capping the crisis in Gaza, Obama promised immediate engagement with the Middle East peace process -- marking a departure from the disengaged approach of the Bush-Cheney administration.

Whether that departure is stylistic, or something more, remains to be seen.

But there was no question that Obama's language was dramatically different from that employed by the man he succeeded in the White House.

"Israel is a strong ally of the United States," Obama said. "They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States. And I will continue to believe that Israel's security is paramount. But I also believe that there are Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side."

More specifically, Obama said, "I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state -- I'm not going to put a time frame on it -- that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life. And, look, I think anybody who has studied the region recognizes that the situation for the ordinary Palestinian in many cases has not improved. And the bottom line in all these talks and all these conversations is, is a child in the Palestinian Territories going to be better off? Do they have a future for themselves? And is the child in Israel going to feel confident about his or her safety and security? And if we can keep our focus on making their lives better and look forward, and not simply think about all the conflicts and tragedies of the past, then I think that we have an opportunity to make real progress. But it is not going to be easy, and that's why we've got George Mitchell going there. This is somebody with extraordinary patience as well as extraordinary skill, and that's what's going to be necessary."

The president also said that the United States must be "willing to talk to Iran" and promised to develop a "framework" for that dialogue.

"Now," Obama explained, "my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy."

Here's the full transcript, as released by the White House:




Map Room

5:46 P.M. EST

Q Mr. President, thank you for this opportunity, we really appreciate it.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much.

Q Sir, you just met with your personal envoy to theMiddle East, Senator Mitchell. Obviously, his first task is to consolidate the cease-fire. But beyond that you've been saying that you want to pursue actively and aggressively peacemaking between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Tell us a little bit about how do you see your personal role, because, you know, if the President of the United States is not involved, nothing happens -- as the history of peacemaking shows. Will you be proposing ideas, pitching proposals, parameters, as one of your predecessors did? Or just urging the parties to come up with their own resolutions, as your immediate predecessor did?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think the most important thing is for the United States to get engaged right away. And George Mitchell is somebody of enormous stature. He is one of the few people who have international experience brokering peace deals.

And so what I told him is start by listening, because all too often the United States starts by dictating -- in the past on some of these issues -- and we don't always know all the factors that are involved. So let's listen. He's going to be speaking to all the major parties involved. And he will then report back to me. From there we will formulate a specific response.

Ultimately, we cannot tell either the Israelis or the Palestinians what's best for them. They're going to have to make some decisions. But I do believe that the moment is ripe for both sides to realize that the path that they are on is one that is not going to result in prosperity and security for their people. And that instead, it's time to return to the negotiating table.

And it's going to be difficult, it's going to take time. I don't want to prejudge many of these issues, and I want to make sure that expectations are not raised so that we think that this is going to be resolved in a few months. But if we start the steady progress on these issues, I'm absolutely confident that the United States -- working in tandem with the European Union, with Russia, with all the Arab states in the region -- I'm absolutely certain that we can make significant progress.

Q You've been saying essentially that we should not look at these issues -- like the Palestinian-Israeli track and separation from the border region -- you've been talking about a kind of holistic approach to the region. Are we expecting a different paradigm in the sense that in the past one of the critiques -- at least from the Arab side, the Muslim side -- is that everything the Americans always tested with the Israelis, if it works. Now there is an Arab peace plan, there is a regional aspect to it. And you've indicated that. Would there be any shift, a paradigm shift?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, here's what I think is important. Look at the proposal that was put forth by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia --

Q Right.

THE PRESIDENT: I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal, but it took great courage --

Q Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT: -- to put forward something that is as significant as that. I think that there are ideas across the region of how we might pursue peace.

I do think that it is impossible for us to think only in terms of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and not think in terms of what's happening with Syria or Iran or Lebanon or Afghanistan and Pakistan. These things are interrelated. And what I've said, and I think Hillary Clinton has expressed this in her confirmation, is that if we are looking at the region as a whole and communicating a message to the Arab world and the Muslim world, that we are ready to initiate a new partnership based on mutual respect and mutual interest, then I think that we can make significant progress.

Now, Israel is a strong ally of the United States. They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States. And I will continue to believe that Israel's security is paramount. But I also believe that there are Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side.

And so what we want to do is to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there's a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs.

Q I want to ask you about the broader Muslim world, but let me -- one final thing about the Palestinian-Israeli theater. There are many Palestinians and Israelis who are very frustrated now with the current conditions and they are losing hope, they are disillusioned, and they believe that time is running out on the two-state solution because -- mainly because of the settlement activities in Palestinian-occupied territories. Will it still be possible to see a Palestinian state -- and you know the contours of it -- within the first Obama administration?

THE PRESIDENT: I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state -- I'm not going to put a time frame on it -- that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life.

And, look, I think anybody who has studied the region recognizes that the situation for the ordinary Palestinian in many cases has not improved. And the bottom line in all these talks and all these conversations is, is a child in the Palestinian Territories going to be better off? Do they have a future for themselves? And is the child in Israel going to feel confident about his or her safety and security? And if we can keep our focus on making their lives better and look forward, and not simply think about all the conflicts and tragedies of the past, then I think that we have an opportunity to make real progress.

But it is not going to be easy, and that's why we've got George Mitchell going there. This is somebody with extraordinary patience as well as extraordinary skill, and that's what's going to be necessary.

Q Absolutely. Let me take a broader look at the whole region. You are planning to address the Muslim world in your first 100 days from a Muslim capital. And everybody is speculating about the capital. (Laughter.) If you have anything further, that would be great.

How concerned are you -- because, let me tell you, honestly, when I see certain things about America -- in some parts, I don't want to exaggerate -- there is a demonization of America.

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely.

Q It's become like a new religion, and like a new religion it has new converts -- like a new religion has its own high priests.


Q It's only a religious text.


Q And in the last -- since 9/11 and because of Iraq, that alienation is wider between the Americans and -- and in generations past, the United States was held high. It was the only Western power with no colonial legacy.


Q How concerned are you and -- because people sense that you have a different political discourse. And I think, judging by (inaudible) and Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden and all these, you know -- a chorus --

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I noticed this. They seem nervous.

Q They seem very nervous, exactly. Now, tell me why they should be more nervous?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that when you look at the rhetoric that they've been using against me before I even took office --

Q I know, I know.

THE PRESIDENT: -- what that tells me is that their ideas are bankrupt. There's no actions that they've taken that say a child in the Muslim world is getting a better education because of them, or has better health care because of them.

In my inauguration speech, I spoke about: You will be judged on what you've built, not what you've destroyed. And what they've been doing is destroying things. And over time, I think the Muslim world has recognized that that path is leading no place, except more death and destruction.

Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.

Q The largest one.

THE PRESIDENT: The largest one, Indonesia. And so what I want to communicate is the fact that in all my travels throughout the Muslim world, what I've come to understand is that regardless of your faith -- and America is a country of Muslims, Jews, Christians, non-believers -- regardless of your faith, people all have certain common hopes and common dreams.

And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives. My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect. But if you look at the track record, as you say, America was not born as a colonial power, and that the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there's no reason why we can't restore that. And that I think is going to be an important task.

But ultimately, people are going to judge me not by my words but by my actions and my administration's actions. And I think that what you will see over the next several years is that I'm not going to agree with everything that some Muslim leader may say, or what's on a television station in the Arab world -- but I think that what you'll see is somebody who is listening, who is respectful, and who is trying to promote the interests not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity. I want to make sure that I'm speaking to them, as well.

Q Tell me, time is running out, any decision on from where you will be visiting the Muslim world?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm not going to break the news right here.

Q Afghanistan?

THE PRESIDENT: But maybe next time. But it is something that is going to be important. I want people to recognize, though, that we are going to be making a series of initiatives. Sending George Mitchell to the Middle East is fulfilling my campaign promise that we're not going to wait until the end of my administration to deal with Palestinian and Israeli peace, we're going to start now. It may take a long time to do, but we're going to do it now. We're going to follow through on our commitment for me to address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital. We are going to follow through on many of my commitments to do a more effective job of reaching out, listening, as well as speaking to the Muslim world.

And you're going to see me following through with dealing with a drawdown of troops in Iraq, so that Iraqis can start taking more responsibility. And finally, I think you've already seen a commitment, in terms of closing Guantanamo, and making clear that even as we are decisive in going after terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians, that we're going to do so on our terms, and we're going to do so respecting the rule of law that I think makes America great.

Q President Bush framed the war on terror conceptually in a way that was very broad, "war on terror," and used sometimes certain terminology that the many people -- Islamic fascism. You've always framed it in a different way, specifically against one group called al Qaeda and their collaborators. And is this one way of --

THE PRESIDENT: I think that you're making a very important point. And that is that the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations -- whether Muslim or any other faith in the past -- that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name.

And so you will I think see our administration be very clear in distinguishing between organizations like al Qaeda -- that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it -- and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful. I cannot respect terrorist organizations that would kill innocent civilians and we will hunt them down.

But to the broader Muslim world what we are going to be offering is a hand of friendship.

Q Can I end with a question on Iran and Iraq then quickly?

THE PRESIDENT: It's up to the team --

MR. GIBBS: You have 30 seconds. (Laughter.)

Q Will the United States ever live with a nuclear Iran? And if not, how far are you going in the direction of preventing it?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, I said during the campaign that it is very important for us to make sure that we are using all the tools of U.S. power, including diplomacy, in our relationship with Iran.

Now, the Iranian people are a great people, and Persian civilization is a great civilization. Iran has acted in ways that's not conducive to peace and prosperity in the region: their threats against Israel; their pursuit of a nuclear weapon which could potentially set off an arms race in the region that would make everybody less safe; their support of terrorist organizations in the past -- none of these things have been helpful.

But I do think that it is important for us to be willing to talk to Iran, to express very clearly where our differences are, but where there are potential avenues for progress. And we will over the next several months be laying out our general framework and approach. And as I said during my inauguration speech, if countries like Iran are willing to unclench their fist, they will find an extended hand from us.

Q Shall we leave Iraq next interview, or just --

MR. GIBBS: Yes, let's -- we're past, and I got to get him back to dinner with his wife.

Q Sir, I really appreciate it.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much.

Source : http://www.thenation.com

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House Judiciary Committee Subpoenas Karl Rove in Critical Constitutional Showdown

John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has subpoenaed Karl Rove to testify about the Bush administration’s firing of United States attorneys. The subpoena could force an interesting constitutional fight since President Obama would now be in a position to waive executive privilege and Attorney General nominee Eric Holder could allow the matter to go to a grand jury. I discussed this issue last night on Countdown in this segment.

It is conceivable that former President Bush could ask a court to uphold his prior claim of privilege. However, courts generally defer to the sitting president on question of privilege. The biggest change would be the lifting of Mukasey’s order blocking the submission of the case to a grand jury. The Congress had a strong case of criminal contempt against Bush officials. It could now conceivably go to a jury. I would be surprised if Rove would risk such a trial in Washington.

For the full story, click here.

Source : http://jonathanturley.org

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Microsoft Unveils Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate

If you’re not participating in the Windows 7 beta, you can still kick the tires of Microsoft’s newest web browser. Internet Explorer 8, which is included in Windows 7, can be had for XP, Vista or Windows Server as well. Actually, the beta version came out last year, but the software has now graduated to the RC, or Release Candidate stage.

Microsoft appears to be straddling the fine line between simplicity and feature fullness with IE8. The browser does offer more customization and add-ons than prior, but not exactly like Firefox does with the vast array of extensions it has available. Microsoft took a customization approach with “accelerators” and “web slices”; these are definitely useful, but still limited by comparison. That could change over time, but for now it’s pretty slim pickins. I do see some useful accelerators: one for Facebook, a StumbleUpon add-on and even one for Digg. The catalog is available at http://www.ieaddons.com if you want to browse it or add features to IE8.

The flipside is the simplicity factor. IE8 looks very similar to IE7, so there’s no major learning curve to get surfing on the web. Even with the familiar look there are subtle features that we’ve already seen in Firefox and Chrome. Private browsing is in there so you don’t have to worry about the boss catching you buying WOW gold on your lunch hour. The search bar is beefed up and offers useful suggestions as well, plus Microsoft is claiming the new JavaScript engine is faster than prior versions. We’ll have to do some testing on that claim of course, but my own impressions are that IE8 is indeed generally faster that its predecessors.

Want to grab the new browser? You can grab it directly from Microsoft to give it a spin.

Source : http://jkontherun.com

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Israel Goal–Destroy Hamas Or Destroy Gaza?

The Israel government is convinced its actions in Gaza were purely defensive and had no other goal than the destruction of Hamas military capability to send rockets from Gaza. However, latest reports indicate during the 22 days of assault and bombing, about 219 factories were destroyed or heavily damaged, 4,000 homes blown up, and more than 50,000 people left homeless. Gaza businessmen say much of the 3% of industry still functioning after the Israel economic blockade of Gaza has not been wiped out. Chris Gunness, of the UN Relief and Works Agency, said the IDF invasion was a strike at the heart of the peace process.

Gazans described examples of Israel soldiers destroying facilities that had not been hit by air strikes. According to Prime Ministe Ehud Olmert, “the state of Israel did everything in order to avoid hitting civilians.” Perhaps, it is time for an impartial Israel examination of the behavior of its troops in Gaza. There simply are too many sources reporting widespread destruction to palm it off as simply Muslim propaganda.

Source : http://theimpudentobserver.com/

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Timothy Geithner confirmed as treasury secretary in split Senate vote

Timothy Geithner was approved as secretary of the Treasury today by a vote on the Senate floor of 60 to 34.

Handfuls of Republicans and Democrats voted against their party leaders, despite the fact that the Senate finance committee recommended Geithner to lead Obama's economic team.

Some Senators doubted Geithner's ethics after he ran into some tax problems. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Geithner has made amends by paying the taxes and penalties, and that he possesses the talent the nation needs to steer the nation out of the crisis.

Geithner served as undersecretary of the treasury for international affairs during the Clinton administration and most recently as president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank.

Source : http://gaysocialites.com

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Biography of Robert Oppenheimer on PBS Tonight

Robert Oppenheimer's life and legacy are inextricably linked to America's most famous top-secret initiative -- the Manhattan Project. But after World War II, this brilliant and intense scientist, tasked with the development of the atomic bomb and widely considered one of the most important minds of the twentieth century, fell from the innermost circles of American scientific policy. At the height of the Red Scare, the veil of suspicion fell over J. Robert Oppenheimer. He was accused of having communist sympathies and was pressed to explain his relationships with known communists.

This biography will present a complex and revealing portrait of one of the most influential American scientists. Interweaving interviews with family members, scholars and colleagues with dramatic recreations featuring Academy Award-nominated actor David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck, and The Bourne Ultimatum), this film follows J. Robert Oppenheimer on a fascinating arc from the heady world of international physics to the top-secret Manhattan Project, and finally to the dark days of the Red Scare and McCarthyism.

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Ruby Tuesday: Look What's In The Kitchen

It's time to post that photo with a little bit of red or a lot of red. Today I have a LOT of red. I took the following photos at Lehman's Store in Kidron, Ohio. The store was first started to serve local Amish and others without electricity. Lehman’s vision was to preserve the past for future generations.
Welcome to a 50's style kitchen. When I saw this I took pictures for my daughter who loves the fifties style of furniture. This set is certainly bright don't you think. The sliver of red you see beneath the red clock is a microwave oven - not very 50's.
Many old fashioned furnishings can be found in the store. There is a large selection of Country Primitive gifts, furniture, lighting, candles and other home decor. This family owned and operated business specializes in antique-styled appliances and retro home furnishings, non-electric kitchenware, old-time toys, hand tools, oil lamps, collectible cook books and much more.

To see more red postings be sure to click on the Ruby Red Slippers. There's no place like home to view all kinds of red entries from around the world.

Source : http://carlettasroundthebend.blogspot.com

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Octuplets, Assemble!

A California woman shocked doctors by giving birth on Monday to octuplets, believed to be only the second set of eight babies born in the United States.

The six boys and two girls were doing well and were in stable condition in the neonatal intensive care unit, said Dr. Karen Maples at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Centre in the Los Angeles suburb of Bellflower.

But two needed some help to breath with ventilators, she told a press conference.

The eight babies were born nine weeks prematurely by Caesarean section over a five-minute period, stunning a 46-member medical team that was expecting only seven babies.

Sources indicate the father was one Otto Octavius, though that allegation can neither be confirmed nor denied.

Source : http://www.oliverwillis.com

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Chonga Beat Explains Why Your Sister Dresses That Way

Do you know what a chonga is? We, neither, until we came across the home-made music video for “Chongalicious”– a spoof of Fergie’s “Fergielicious”. In the segment, a dynamic duo of chongas shakes a lot of ass to lampoon the Latina hood-rat lurking in everyone’s barrio. The signs that you are a chonga, or know a chonga include … sporting Sharpie-lined eyebrows, hoop earrings with your name in them, more jewelry with other names in it (your boyfriend’s, for example), excessively long acrylic nails, a scantily clad figure, and a c-section scar. If you are unsure and need further clarification, check out the video after the jump.

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Wheels Up: Azores Islands, Australia Day & Airline Stimulus

Discovered by an Arab serving King Roger II of Sicily in 1154, the Azores were colonised by the Portuguese in 15th Century, after they had been visited by the English, Dutch, Spanish, Belgians and French... essentially, as they were seen as a stopover point between America and Europe. Whale hunting quickly became an essential resource for the inhabitants, who acquired a reputation around the world with many moving to California, Brazil, Bermuda and Nantucket, as Herman Melville explained in Moby Dick.

The greatest seafarers passed through Horta (island of Faïal), and it became a tradition for each boat to leave its mark in paint on the quayside. All the sailors had to drink a glass at Peter’s, in the famous bar opened in 1918, which is both a mailbox for sailors and a sort of museum of scrimshaw. Apart from this friendly welcome from the locals, the islands are worth visiting because of their astonishing sights, with their amazing floral displays, partly down to the climate and partly due to the fact that travellers brought plants there: araucaria from China, tulips from Virginia, Brazilian rosewood, Japanese camphor, and kapok and guinko trees. It is a genuine garden in the middle of the ocean, where pineapples, tobacco, vines, pomegranates and bananas grow in amongst azaleas and hydrangeas. Black sandy beaches, hot water springs and bubbling mud can be found alongside whitewashed houses made of black basalt, churches with their stone sculptures, creeks with high cliffs and small fishing ports.

A volcanic island
800 miles from the coast of Europe, the Azores offer a range of landscapes. The sea was a source of riches with whale hunting, but also brings in the visitors. There are more visitors arriving by sea than by plane to visit these green islands with their jagged coastline. There are in fact three main centres spread out over a distance of more than 200 miles. The islands are of volcanic origin and were formed relatively recently (4 million years ago) and indeed the volcanoes are still active, as the Capelinhos peninsula in Faïal only emerged from the ocean fifty years ago!
Located in the middle of the Atlantic, where the seas are 3000 metres deep, these are massive peaks, which culminate at 2352 metres on Pico. Located between 37° and 40° North and 25° and 31° West, they benefit from a mild, wet climate, which is not so very different from Brittany with average minimal temperatures of 8° and maximum temperatures around 25°. The best season to visit is therefore the summer, when the Azores high is well established.
In the middle of the Atlantic
Furthest east, Santa Maria was the first to be colonised and was used as an aircraft base in the 2nd World War. It is famous for its long beaches of fine sand and its many fossils buried in the sediment. The largest and most heavily populated island, Sao Miguel has towering cliffs and is entirely volcanic. With its many churches with their fine sculptures and blue mosaic work (azulejos), there are many hidden exotic gardens, where the waters of the Seven Cities keeping alive the legend of Atlantis, feed two lakes, one green and one blue in the bottom of a huge crater.

The lilac island, Terceira, tells the story of the islands, their struggle for independence and the conquests. You can find many imperios there. These tiny bright-coloured chapels are said to be home to the food offered to the Holy Ghost, and it is there too you find the Biscoitos vineyard, where each vine is surrounded by a small wall of violet lava. Pico is the name of the 2352 metre high volcano, which is still in activity and it is here that the old whaling ports of Lajes do Pico and Sao Roque are located. Sao Jorge is an island resembling a ridge rising out of the water, and measures 25 miles by just 4. Graciosa, the Island of Grace, is brightly coloured with its white windmills with red tops.
Faïal, the blue island, so called because it is covered in hydrangeas, has long been an attraction: Lindbergh and Slocum stopped here, along with whale boats. It is home to the weather centre and the telephone cable centre between Europe and America. Almost a thousand boats a year moor up in Horta, the main port on Faïal, which has a well equipped marina, which is both sheltered and friendly. The local paper publishes the name of each boat that stops there, as the arrival of a boat in the Azores is always an event for the 240,000 Portuguese inhabitants, who are off the beaten track and essentially have lived on farms since whaling ended.
Florès is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens with 850 plants and a yellow covering over all the paths. Finally, Corvo is the most isolated of the islands, where just 500 people live in an autarky. The nine islands, which have avoided tremors and earthquakes keep their traditions and religious festivals, while like all those that live by the sea, remain very open to others.
Source : http://www.vendeeglobe.org

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