The preacher who prompted outrage across the world when he threatened to burn a Koran on the anniversary of September 11th has hit out at his ban from the UK.
Pastor Terry Jones was prevented from coming to the country by the Home Office, in the latest in a string of controversial bans on right-wing American political figures which has led to accusations of censorship against the British government.
"I have no intention of doing anything against British law," Mr Terry told Sky News.
"We feel this is definitely against constitutional rights to travel, freedom of speech. We believe that our visit there could be beneficial.
"I feel this ban is very unfair."
Seriously, are there some Americans that actually believe the world police rhetoric so hard they think that the US constitution applies to Britain?
The ink was barely dry on the PPACA when the first of many lawsuits to block the mandated health insurance provisions of the law was filed in a Florida District Court.
The pleadings, in part, read -
The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage.
State of Florida, et al. vs. HHS
It turns out, the Founding Fathers would beg to disagree.
In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed – “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.
The founding fathers obviously were unamerican traitors.
Beginning in December of last year, a series of ongoing protests in the streets of Tunisia escalated to the point where President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali – who had ruled the country for 23 years – at first declared he would not seek re-election, then fled the country on January 14th. An interim government was assembled, but protesters remain in the streets, demanding removal of all traces of Ben Ali’s old RCD party. Protesters’ frustrations with high unemployment, inflation and corruption drove them to the streets after a pivotal event, when a young Tunisian vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire after police confiscated his produce cart. Bouazizi died of his injuries days later. Collected here are images of the turmoil in Tunisia over the past couple of weeks. (40 photos total)
A handout picture released by the Tunisian Presidency shows Tunisian president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali (2nd from left) looking at Mohamed Al Bouazzizi (right), during his visit at the hospital in Ben Arous near Tunis on December 28, 2010. Mohamed Al Bouazzizi, a 26-year-old university graduate, who was forced to sell fruit and vegetables on the streets, doused himself in petrol and set himself alight on December 17, which left him in a serious condition with severe burns. Days of rioting in Tunisia by mostly jobless and frustrated young people protesting violently against the government has exposed the crippling unemployment problem in the north African country. (TUNISIA PRESIDENCY/AFP/Getty Images) #
I’m looking forward to a time when I’m not on a secret watch, search, harass, detain, interrogate, delay, annoy and stress list.
As everybody knows, Goldman and Apple are both making tons of money (although Goldman’s latest results disappointed investors somewhat). In the final quarter of 2010, the bank generated net profits of $2.39 billion on revenues of $8.64 billion. Apple, which has a much bigger turnover, made profits of $6 billion on revenues of $26.4 billion.
On Wall Street and in the computer industry, quarterly profits tend to bounce around a bit, so it is perhaps more illuminating to look at the entirety of 2010. With Goldman, whose fiscal year follows the calendar, this is easy. In the past twelve months, Goldman recorded net profits of $8.35 billion on revenues of $39.16 billion. Apple’s financial year ends in September, but by combining the results from its first fiscal quarter of 2011, which has just ended, and the final three quarters of 2010, I came up with the following figures. Apple made $17.63 billion on revenues of $76.28 billion.
On the face of it, the two firms’ profit margins seem pretty similar. For every dollar of revenue it generates, Goldman makes a profit of about twenty-one cents; Apple makes about twenty-three cents. But that is where the comparisons end. From an economic perspective, the real measure of a business is the return it generates on the capital it employs, which could be used in alternative projects. By this metric, Apple leaves Goldman far behind.
Another thing that differentiates Goldman from Apple is how much it pays its employees. In 2010, Goldman’s 35,700 employees took home an average of $430,700. Apple doesn’t publish much information about its labor costs. According to the jobs Web site Simply Hired, the average salary at Apple is $46,000. Another Web site, Salary List, quotes a substantially higher figure—$107,719—but that doesn’t appear to include people working at Apple’s more than three hundred retail stores. Whichever number is more accurate, the basic message is the same. Apple employees earn a lot less than their counterparts at Goldman despite the fact they generate a much higher return—private and social—on the capital they use.
The inquiries, ordered under President George W. Bush‘s administration in 2004, consist of “reasonable questions” that do not intrude on any rights the workers have to keep personal information private, the court said.
The ruling overturned a lower-court decision that had limited the background checks of scientists and engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. That decision also applied to workers at other NASA operations, including the Ames Research Center in Mountain View.
The checks were challenged by 28 employees at the Pasadena lab, most of whom had worked there for at least 20 years and had undergone routine background checks when hired, their lawyers said.
My wife and I were thinking of going out for an inexpensive dinner tonight. But John Boehner, the speaker of the House, says that no matter how cheap the meal may seem, it will cost thousands of dollars once you take our monthly mortgage payments into account.
O.K., the speaker hasn’t actually weighed in on our plans for the evening. But he and his G.O.P. colleagues have lately been making exactly the nonsensical argument I’ve just described — not about tonight’s dinner, but about health care reform. And the nonsense wasn’t a slip of the tongue; it’s the official party position, laid out in charts and figures.
An American-led military unit pulverized an Afghan village in Kandahar’s Arghandab River Valley in October, after it became overrun with Taliban insurgents. It’s hard to understand how turning an entire village into dust fits into America’s counterinsurgency strategy — which supposedly prizes the local people’s loyalty above all else.
But it’s the latest indication that Gen. David Petraeus, the counterinsurgency icon, is prosecuting a frustrating war with surprising levels of violence. Some observers already fear a backlash brewing in the area.
Goldman Sachs has set aside $15.3bn (£9.5bn) to pay its staff in 2010 – an average of $430,000 each – in a move that re-ignites the controversy over City pay and bonuses at a time when youth unemployment is hitting record highs in the UK.
The best known of all the Wall Street firms did not attempt to show the restraint of last year when it reduced the amount being paid into its bonus pool in the fourth quarter of 2009 to make a $500m public donation to a charitable foundation, Goldman Sachs Gives.
The $15.3bn set aside for bonuses and salaries was down 5% on the $16bn for the previous year but did not fall as fast as revenues, which dropped 13% to $39.1bn in 2010.
And the fact is that Amsterdam’s heroin-addict population has been stable or falling for two decades. That’s even though, since 2002, the Dutch authorities have been doing something even more radical than Portugal’s for heroin users: they’ve been giving them free heroin, as long as they show up to inject at government-run "safe injection points", under the eyes of police and health staff. Dutch drug researchers now say that the youth population "doesn’t relate to hard drugs at all", and that there’s no danger that Dutch kids reading the advice site will find heroin use attractive. They’re more likely to find it pathetic.
Drug abuse is driven to a significant extent by fashion. If there’s one thing government has going for it, it’s the ability to make anything unfashionable.
And this, of course, has been the point all along: the WikiLeaks disclosures are significant precisely because they expose government deceit, wrongdoing and brutality, but the damage to innocent people has been deliberately and wildly exaggerated — fabricated — by the very people whose misconduct has been revealed. There is harm from the WikiLeaks documents, but it’s to wrongdoers in power, which is why they are so desperate to malign and then destroy the group.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) commemorated the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, telling a gathering of Alabamians that he didn’t see skin color as a divisive factor. When it came to religion, however, the recently-inaugurated governor raised some eyebrows with a comment on his view of non-Christians in his state.
"So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother," Bentley said in his address, according to The Birmingham News, after telling the congregation that he was "color blind."
It’s not just color he’s blind for. MLK’s message remains eluse to him as well.
Leaked US diplomatic cables from the embassy in The Hague show that the Dutch government in 2006 supported UN sanctions against Iran as long as they did not harm the interests of the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell. The sanctions were imposed because of Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.
Fuck those nukes if the companies can’t make a profit!
Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, Haiti’s former president, retains ambitions of returning to the presidency, despite the fact that he is currently facing charges of corruption and theft of funds, his lawyer has told Al Jazeera.
"He is a political man. Every political man has political ambitions," Reynold Georges, Duvalier’s lawyer, told Al Jazeera in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on Wednesday.
Asked if Duvalier retained ambitions of returning to power in Haiti, Georges replied: "That is right. Because under this new constitution, and let me tell you I am one of the persons who wrote that constitution, he has the right to do two mandates. Two!"
Yeah, because that went well the first time…