30 January 2008

The End of Ugliness?

Your humble associate editor just had lunch at a small but swanky joint in L.A. And all the waitstaff are soo attractive.

It seems to me that everywhere I look in the United States and even abroad, young people under thirty are good-looking and otherwise physically robust. I don't recall in my youth seeing so many attractive people.

It's due to better nutrition (especially among those in East Asia), better understanding of health, improved medical and cosmetic technology and greater wealth, broadly defined.

26 January 2008

Saturday Night Massacre: South Carolina’s Democratic Primary Results – Obama 54%, Clinton 27%

The China NOT on Display: Migrant’s Hand Chopped off for Asking for Unpaid Wages!!

From: http://www.asianoffbeat.com/default.asp?display=1425

Gangsters chopped off the left hand of a migrant worker who asked for unpaid wages with a sword after they saw him taking out his mobile phone

The China State Construction Engineering Corporation has sacked three senior managers of its Nanjing outlet after a group of gangsters chopped off the left hand of a migrant worker who asked for unpaid wages for other workers on January 16 in Eastern China's Nanjing City. The company will be driven out of Nanjing, the city's government announced.

And Lu Ling, the general manager of the company (China Construction Fifth Engineering Bureau Nanjing Bureau), has been sacked.

Wang Chao (王超), a Sichuan Province migrant worker and also one of the foremen of the company, went to the project department on January 16 with another worker, He Lin, to check on another foreman, He Chenbo, who had been detained by the company when asking for unpaid wages on behalf of 2,000 migrant workers.

They were chased by a group of gangsters with swords and spears as soon as they appeared, a previous report said, citing He Lin.

One of the gangsters chopped off Wang's left hand with a sword after he saw Wang taking out his mobile phone, according to He Lin, who ran faster than Wang and was not wounded.

Wang Long, a project manager of the company, said the gangsters are not employees of the company even though police discovered the weapons were taken from the company's dormitory, the Modern Express newspaper reported.

The Express story didn't mention if the Wangs are related.

Wang Chao's hand was reattached, but it is still unclear whether he will regain full use of it, Shanghai Morning Post reported today, citing Wang Chao's doctor.

The hospital has placed him in a private room to ensure his safety and make sure he can rest peacefully, the Shanghai Morning Post said.

The gangster who chopped off Wang Chao's hand surrendered to police. Officers also arrested three other suspects in the case as of Monday. Police are still searching for other suspects, Nanjing Morning Post reported, citing Huang Xinguo, deputy director of Nanjing public security bureau.

Huang promised all criminals will be arrested and punished, the report added.

The company has paid 70,000 yuan (US$9,678.53) in medical expenses for Wang Chao. It also has paid 5.56 million yuan in back wages to the migrant workers as of yesterday. About 1,500 among the 2,000 migrant workers refused to work for the company and have gone home, the Yangtze report said.

Local Hottie Gone Wild?

"Evelyn Lin"

Posted by Bian-lian Huang (no surprises there!)

“Evelyn Lin” is supposedly a local girl (from tony Diamond Bar, 20 miles east of Los Angeles) who has definitely made it big in the porn industry. Putatively, she’s an undergraduate at University of California, San Diego (UCSD).

It’s apocryphal that she’s matriculated at UCSD. Most campuses, and UCSD is a significant university, have policies against their students’ committing “moral turpitude” and/or bringing the campus names into disrepute.

Asians are so hott, myself included! :-)

24 January 2008

Illegal Aliens Slay American Patriot with Impunity (Again!)

Jan. 24, 2008,
Slain Border Patrol agent honored at memorial service in Yuma
© 2008 The Associated Press


YUMA, Ariz. — A U.S. Border Patrol agent killed over the weekend when he was run over by a suspected drug smuggler was honored at a memorial service Thursday.

Law enforcement officers from across the Southwest filled the Yuma Civic Center to remember Senior Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar. The 32-year-old agent was killed Saturday while trying to place spike strips in front of a Hummer fleeing other agents in the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area in southeastern California, about 20 miles west of Yuma.

A funeral procession of law enforcement vehicles served as an honor guard for Aguilar's body, leading it from Immaculate Conception Church to the civic center.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner W. Ralph Basham and Border Patrol Chief David Aguilar attended the service.

Aguilar was a six-year veteran of the Border Patrol. He is survived by his wife and a young son and daughter. His body will be taken back to his hometown of El Paso, Texas, for burial Monday.
A man suspected of being the Hummer's driver was arrested Tuesday and is being held by Mexican authorities.

Authorities believe Jesus Navarro Montes left Mexicali in Baja California in a Hummer carrying drugs on Saturday and headed across the dunes into the U.S., according to Mexico's federal Attorney General's office and Public Safety Department.

The Hummer and a pickup were spotted on Interstate 8 and Border Patrol agents began pursing them. Both vehicles turned off the highway toward Mexico, and that's when Aguilar tried to stop them with the spike strips, which are design to flatten tires and disable fleeing vehicles.
After the agent was struck, Navarro, 22, continued across the border into Mexico and drove to Mexicali, where he gave the Hummer to accomplices for safekeeping, according to an Attorney General's office spokesman.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday that he was pleased with Mexico's quick response in finding a suspect in Aguilar's death.

Chertoff said he thanked Mexican Interior Minister Juan Camilo Mourino for his country's action in locating and apprehending the suspect.

"We will continue to work with Mexican authorities to investigate this heinous act, and pursue swift justice," Chertoff said.

22 January 2008

The River Phoenix of Our Time: Heath Ledger Died, Possibly of Drug Overdose, at 28


NEW YORK (CBS) ― Heath Ledger, who was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in the critically-acclaimed movie Brokeback Mountain, was found dead in his New York City apartment this afternoon.

The Australian-born actor was just 28.

He was pronounced dead at 3:26 p.m. in his downtown Manhattan residence by his housekeeper, who discovered him in cardiac arrest and called 911, an NYPD spokesperson says. He was apparently scheduled to have a massage in his apartment this afternoon.

Sources tell CBS 2's Scott Weinberger the death may be drug-related and that there were pills scattered around the room.

Ledger had recently separated from his wife, actress Michelle Williams. The couple have one daughter, Matilda, who was born in 2005.

Before marrying Williams, Ledger had also dated actress Naomi Watts and Heather Graham.

Most currently, Ledger was featured in the Bob Dylan biography film "I'm Not There."

He is also appearing in the next installment of the "Batman" movie opposite Christian Bale as the infamous "Joker" and was in the midst of filming "The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus."

Of the most well-known 15 films Ledger appeared in: "The Patriot," "A Knight's Tale," and "Monster's Ball." He was also nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in "Brokeback Mountain."

Ledger grew up in Perth, and began doing amateur theater at age 10. At 16, he moved to Sydney to pursue an acting career, quickly landing TV movie roles and guest spots on Australian television.

After several independent films and a starring role in the short-lived Fox TV series "Roar," Ledger moved to Los Angeles and costarred in "10 Things I Hate About You," a teen comedy reworking of "The Taming of the Shrew."

Offers for other teen flicks came his way, but Ledger turned them down, preferring to remain idle than sign on for projects he didn't like.

"It wasn't a hard decision for me," Ledger told the Associated Press in 2001. "It was hard for everyone else around me to understand. Agents were like, `You're crazy,' my parents were like, `Come on, you have to eat."'

He would have turned 29 on April 4.

Stay with wcbstv.com and CBS 2 for the latest in his developing story.

(© 2008 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

21 January 2008

Now World Stock Markets Respond: Bourses Crash throughout the Globe

Markets plunge amid US pessimism

From The Age, Australia

January 22, 2008 - 7:03AM

European, Asian markets plunge amid pessimism

By Toby Anderson

LONDON, Jan 21 AP - European stock markets took a heavy battering today, with losses of more than 5% in many centres as investors sold off on concerns the US economy will fall into recession.

Europe's dark day followed sharp falls worldwide yesterday after declines on Wall Street amid investor pessimism over the US Government's stimulus plan.

US markets were closed, but the downbeat mood from last week's market declines there circled the globe. London's benchmark FTSE-100 dropped 4.7% to 5625.20, France's CAC-40 Index plunged 5.9% to 4793.39, while Germany's blue-chip DAX 30 slumped 6.74% to 6821.42.

That followed a 2.9% drop in the Australian shares yesterday, the 11th consecutive day of losses that have wiped $168 billion from S&P/ASX 200 stocks.

In Asia, India's benchmark stock index tumbled 7.4%, while Hong Kong's blue-chip Hang Seng index plummeted 5.5% to 23,818.86, its biggest percentage drop since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Canadian stocks fell as well, with the Toronto exchange down 4.8%.

Investors dumped shares because they were sceptical that an economic stimulus plan US President George Bush announced Friday would shore up the economy that has been battered by problems in its housing and credit markets. The plan, which requires approval by Congress, calls for about $US145 billion ($165.27 billion) worth of tax relief to encourage consumer spending.

"We've taken our lead from the Asian markets who have not been impressed by the US. There's debate if there's going to be a recession in the US. I don't think there's much chance of that, though," said Richard Hunter, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers in London.

Concerns about the outlook for the US economy, a major export market for Asian companies, has sent the region's markets sliding in 2008. Just last Wednesday, the Hang Seng index sank 5.4%.

"It's another horrible day," said Francis Lun, a general manager at Fulbright Securities in Hong Kong. "Today it's because of disappointment that the US stimulus (package) is too little, too late and investors feel it won't help the economy recover."

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index slid 3.9% to close at 13,325.94 points, its lowest close in more than two years. China's Shanghai Composite index plunged 5.1%, partly on worries about mainland Chinese banks' exposure to risky US mortgage investments.

"People are certainly nervous about a potential recession in the US spilling over to the rest of the world," said David Cohen, Director of Asian Economic Forecasting at Action Economics in Singapore.

"Maybe there's still some wariness about politicians are able to come up with a compromise and act sufficiently quickly" on a stimulus package, Cohen said. "I think the impact would be marginal anyway."

Investors took cues from the negative reaction to the president's plan on Wall Street on Friday, when the Dow Jones industrial average slid 0.5% to 12,099.30, bringing its loss for the year so far to nearly nine%.

Traders also have shrugged off assurances from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke that the US central bank is ready to act aggressively - which means a likely big interest rate cut later this month - to help the sagging economy.

Some analysts predict that Asia won't suffer dramatically from a US recession because increased trade and investment within Asia has made the region less reliant on the United States than in the past. Excluding Japan, 43% of Asia's exports go to other nations in the region, Lehman Brothers calculates, up from 37% in 1995.

But today, uncertainty and pessimism reigned.

In Tokyo trading, exporters got hit hard, partly because of the yen's recent strength against the dollar. Toyota Motor Corp lost 3.3% and Honda Motor Co sank 3.4%.

Shares of Bank of China dropped 6.4% in Hong Kong after the South China Morning Post newspaper reported that the bank is expected to announce a "significant writedown" in US sub-prime mortgage securities, citing unidentified sources. In Shanghai, the bank's stock declined 4.1%.

India's the benchmark Sensex index fell 1,353 points, or 7.4% - its second-biggest percentage drop ever - to 17,605.35 points. At one point, it was down nearly 11%.

Since the start of the year, Japan's Nikkei index has declined 13%, while Hong Kong's blue-chip index is down more than 14%. Even China's Shanghai index - which nearly doubled last year - has fallen 6.6% over the same period and nearly 20% from its all-time closing high on October 16.

17 January 2008

1100 Points in 17 Days

The Dow Jones Index has lost 1,100 points in just the first 17 calendar days of the trading year. Today, the Dow dropped another 306 points or 2.5%. Can you say, "Re-ces-sion?"

08 January 2008

How Prescient We Were: Barak Husein Osama and the MSM Love Affair

Fourteen months ago, we said that the Barak Husein Osama (BO) phenom was a product of the MSM. And in this primary season, the MSM have shown their bias in favour of him, even at the expense of their erstwhile "It" girl, Hillary. Wait until the general election when the MSM will go all out to ensure that the sheeple of the United States will elect their first Muslim president.

Why do the MSM favour BO so much? Because he stands for nothing. Here's the list of things BO has publicly taken a stance on:

**He's in favour of peace and goodwill.
**He's in favour of love and prosperity for all.
**He loves kittens and other furry things.
**He likes blue sky and sunny days.
**He likes both apple pie and pecan pie.
**He favours equality and justice for all.

BO has fearlessly taken all these positions. Isn't he the greatest thing since the PBJ sandwich? A resounding YES, per the MSM!!!

01 January 2008

Not So Happy New Year: euro to Replace Dollar as World Currency

Euro gains on dollar in official reserves

By Ralph Atkins in Frankfurt


Published: December 30 2007 22:01 | Last updated: December 30 2007 22:01

The euro has fast gained ground against the dollar in international official foreign exchange reserves in recent months, according to official statistics highlighting the nine-year-old currency’s growing global importance.

Reflecting its increasing strength on foreign exchange markets, the euro’s share of known foreign exchange holdings rose to 26.4 per cent in the third quarter of this year, the International Monetary Fund reported late on Friday. That was up from 25.5 per cent in the previous three months and from 24.4 per cent in the third quarter of 2006.

The euro’s rise will strengthen European policymakers’ conviction that the newer currency is maturing into a significant rival to the dollar.

However, the European Commission stressed that inertia and the incumbency advantages enjoyed by the dollar meant any change in the relative status of the currencies would take place only slowly.

The international role of the euro would depend on portfolio diversification by central banks and the pace at which eurozone financial markets developed, the Commission said in its December eurozone economic update. Eventual UK membership of the eurozone “would boost the importance of the euro area as a global financial hub”.

The period covered by the latest IMF figures included the eruption of the US subprime mortgage crisis and the financial market turmoil. Since then the euro has risen sharply against the dollar, in part driven by speculation that the world’s central banks might cut links to the weakening dollar and switch to its younger rival.

In the past year, the value of euro notes in circulation exceeded the value of dollar bills. The euro has also overtaken the dollar as the main denomination of international debt issues.

The euro’s role in official foreign exchange reserves is most pronounced in countries geographically close to the eurozone and in countries with institutional links to the EU.

But the Commission report cited empirical studies highlighting the increasing “gravitational pull” of the euro on foreign exchange markets, which was becoming “more important for certain emerging market currencies, notably in South America”.