The Department of Education of New York City has a list of “sensitive words” it wants to ban from standardized tests. If the Department gets its way words such as “religion”, “dinosaur”, “Christmas”, and “birthday” will not be used in testing materials. It is not unusual for school boards and city departments to create such lists of banned words.
Other words NYC might consider banning are “reality”, “truth”, “knee-jerk”, “fear”, “dumbass”, “pussy liberal”, and “bureaucrat”. And words that might be particularly sensitive to New York City such as “urine”, “transvestite”, “corruption”, “cabbie”, “prostitutes”, and “Bloomberg”.
Egyptian MP Anwar al-Balkimi, of the ultra-conservative Nour Party, was expelled from the Egyptian Parliament for claiming he was mugged in order cover-up a nose job. Now belly-dancer Sama al-Masri claims she is al-Bakimi’s second wife.
The Islamist Nour Party adheres to the principles of the Salaf, which means “predecessors” or “ancestors”. The Salafi take the earliest Muslims as model examples of Islamic practice. Plastic surgery and a secret marriage to an unveiled belly-dancer are against Salafi fundamentalist principles.
So this is the equivalent of a member of Congress elected on a Tea Party platform having a sex-change and a second wife who is a prostitute. In other words, Egypt has achieved American-style democracy.
Soccer star Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart attack during an FA Cup match Saturday. The 23-year-old mid-fielder for the Bolton Wanderers was given 15 cardiac shocks and was technically dead for 78 minutes. He is said to be in good spirits and speaking in both English and French, however all he says is “ass piano” over and over again.
Eric Fehrnstrom, Mitt Romney’s senior campaign adviser, told a CNN interviewer on Wednesday “I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up, and we start all over again.”
Fehrnstrom (not Wurmstrom) was responding to a question about whether Romney had been forced to adopt conservative positions that might hurt him with Republican moderates (if such things actually exist in nature). Caught off guard for a moment, Fehrnstrom accidentally told the truth on live international television: candidates completely lie during primaries to get a chance to tell completely different lies in the national election.
Within seconds both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich appeared brandishing Etch-A-Sketch toys to make the point that Romney was insincere, and unintentionally to make the point they always have an Etch-A-Sketch near to hand.
Robert De Niro, known for his outspoken attitude and often subject to bouts of brain flatulence, said he doesn’t think the country is “ready for a white First Lady” at an Obama campaign fundraiser in New York Monday. First Lady Michelle Obama was headlining the event. Afterwards the First Lady’s office released a statement saying De Niro’s comment was “inappropriate, no matter how much we agree”.
“Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady? Too soon, right?” De Niro asked the Democrat crowd, who cheered in approbation of his racist joke.
“I do want to say one thing, both on behalf of my wife and on behalf of Karen Santorum and on behalf of Ann Romney, I think that Robert De Niro’s wrong. I think the country is ready for a new first lady and he doesn’t have to describe it in racial terms” Newt Gingrich declared in a strange moment of lucidity for someone who makes racist gaffes on an almost daily basis.
Rick Santorum also addressed the De Niro flap, saying “It’s just someone from Hollywood or someone from the entertainment industry just spouting off as they do. It’s sad, but I’m not going to bite on that one. It’s just sad. The idea of looking at politics through eyes of race should be over. That’s just over. I don’t know where he thinks he’s coming from.”
De Niro comes from New York.
An American man was released by members of a Shiite militia in Iraq on Saturday. Randy Michael Hultz was apparently kidnapped by members of the Mahdi Army, a militia controlled by the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. In a taped news conference Saturday two Iranian lawmakers turned Hultz over to U.N. officials. At the news conference Hultz was dressed in U.S. military fatigues and a U.S. military i.d. and a U.S. contractor i.d. with his name and picture on them were displayed.
Hultz was deployed in Iraq as a U.S. soldier in 2003. Afterward he returned to the embattled country as an “entrepreneur”, according to U.S. officials. No one was aware he had been kidnapped, and Hultz is not listed on the official U.S. list of missing contractors. “But he definitely wasn’t working for us” U.S. officials said. “He wasn’t working for the CIA as a bogus construction contractor who gained access to high-level Iraqi officials and reported back to us on who may have had ties with the militias, or anything like that. Absolutely not. No way. Really.”
The followers of Muqtada al-Sadr who released Hultz said they did so as a good will gesture now that the U.S. army is leaving Iraq.
Hultz said he was grateful for his release.”It was explained to me that this is a gift to me, my family and to the American people who oppose the war,” he said. “There was no prisoner swap involved. I am not working for the CIA. Really.”
If Texas is going to require a woman have a trans-vaginal ultrasound before undergoing an abortion procedure, it seems only right that the man who impregnated the woman undergo a “trans-urethral” ultrasound as well – otherwise the law is being applied unequally, and that is unconstitutional.
“This American Life”, a popular investigative journalism program produced by Public Radio International, has retracted a entire episode after learning the reporter on the piece fabricated some of the information presented. In the story about working conditions at Foxconn, the manufacturer that makes many of electronics giant Apple’s products, reporter and self-proclaimed performance artist Mike Daisey apparently lied about the number of factories he visited, the number of times he visited, and about worker complaints they were poisoned by chemicals that are used to manufacture iPhones.
The show’s host Ira Glass commented on his blog page:
We’ve learned that Mike Daisey’s story about Apple in China – which we broadcast in January – contained significant fabrications. We’re retracting the story because we can’t vouch for its truth. This is not a story we commissioned. It was an excerpt of Mike Daisey’s acclaimed one-man show “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” in which he talks about visiting a factory in China that makes iPhones and other Apple products…That doesn’t excuse the fact that we never should’ve put this on the air. In the end, this was our mistake.
It seems a correspondent for another public radio program, “Marketplace”, interviewed the interpreter Daisey used while doing his research. The interpreter disputes numerous claims Daisey makes in his show.
This is just the latest in various scandals that have plagued public radio organizations in recent years, like the firing of commentator Juan Williams by National Public Radio for comments he made in his other job on Fox News. Fox News itself has felt the heat, and has taken the unusual step of retracting the last ten years of its broadcasts due to “factual errors and blatant fabrications” on the part of its staff. In related news, Dan Rather has been found hanging by a white and red striped tie, with a note pinned to his chest that says “I just can’t live with the shame anymore”, and Rush Limbaugh has revealed that he is not only a misogynist but “sometimes I want to touch men”.