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I wouldn't have believed this if I hadn't seen it, but today, on MSNBC, Orly Taitz responded to David Shuster and Tamron Hall's questions about the forged Kenyan birth certificate -- that Taitz is hawking -- by calling the mainstream media "Obama's Brownshirts."


Taitz did her customary blithering to both Shuster and Hall by talking over everything they said.  She began by asking "I just want to know how much time I have because I had a bad experience on CNN with Kitty Pilgrim."

More blithering idiocy (with/Video) to follow...

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On Bill Maher's Real Time, last night, the guests were Rachel Maddow, Niall Ferguson and Joe Queenan.  For those that don't know, Rachel is an Oxford educated Rhodes Scholar, Niall is an Oxford educated Harvard history professor with an expertise in economics and Queenan is an author (and NYT's book section contributor) from working class Philly who did not attend either.

There was a moment that gave some insight into a schism that exists between the Harvard intellectual class and those that aren't that may have given an insight into the Gates/Crowely incident (specifically as relates to effective communication about Obama's policy implementation and not about the Gates/Crowely incident itself).

Videos (including bonus Overtime coverage), cuts and pastes, and thoughts below...

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MSNBC's Donnie Deutsch just called (on air!) for advertisers to boycott Glenn Beck for his "Obama is a racist" screed on Fox (faux) News, after Fox News refused to take responsibility for Beck on their station (they said he was entitled to his opinion...).  

From Deutsch:

"He called this president a 'racist' and a 'hatred of white people', okay?  This has to stop.  Here's the only way this stops.  The reason this man does this, this Glenn Beck does this, is because it attracts viewers, it creates controversy."

More below...

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I have not seen this diaried yet and feel it's important for someone who supports Israel (which I do) to face reality about stories like this one:

RAMALLAH, West Bank — A Palestinian official says more than 30 Israeli settlers, some of them on horseback, set fire to fields and olive trees and stoned Palestinian cars during a rampage in the West Bank. Two Palestinians were lightly injured.

Ghassan Daglas, a municipal official in the northern city of Nablus, says smoke from dozens of fires covered the eastern and southern parts of the city.

Daglas says Israeli forces tried to stop the rampaging settlers. Israel's paramilitary border police force says it arrested one settler.

More below...

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I haven't seen anyone else diary this and thought it was important to discuss.  There was terrible hate crime that took place last week in Germany. A pregnant Muslim woman, Marwa al-Sherbini, was stabbed to death in a German courtroom as she was set to testify against her neighbor who had harassed her for wearing a head scarf and being Muslim.

CAIRO — Egyptians are horrified by the brutal slaying of a pregnant Muslim woman stabbed repeatedly inside a German courtroom, calling what they see as a lack of outrage in Germany evidence of racism and anti-Islamic sentiment.

On Monday, thousands of mourners marched behind the coffin of Marwa al-Sherbini, 32, in her Mediterranean hometown of Alexandria where her body was buried after being flown back from Germany.

More to follow...

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A North Korean court has convicted Current TV reporters, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, for "grave" crimes and illegal entry and has sentences them to 12 years hard labor:

SEOUL, June 8 (Reuters) - North Korea found two U.S. journalists it has held since March guilty of illegal entry and sentenced them to 12 years hard labour, its official KCNA news agency said on Monday.

The journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, of U.S. media outlet Current TV, were arrested while working on a story near the border between North Korea and China. Their trial opened on Thursday.

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Philip José Farmer died on Wednesday.  He was 91 years old and one of my favorite writers.  I know he lived a long life and accomplished a lot, so it does not seem like it should be tragic to lose him, but I am mourning him because his is a voice silenced that still had more to say.

Philip José Farmer passed away peacefully in his sleep this morning. He will be missed greatly by his wife Bette, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, friends and countless fans around the world.
January 26, 1918 - February 25, 2009. R.I.P. We love you Phil.

Philip José Farmer's last book will be published this year.  He kept writing till the end.  I look forward to getting it and am sad it will be the last one.  But it was the book series called Riverworld that I loved the most.  To me, his depiction of an alternative world that was humanity's life after death made as much of an impact on me as Frank Herbert's Dune or Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, a book that Heinlein said had been influenced by Farmer's writing and willingness to explore human sexuality at an adult level.  

More around the river bend...

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This is a follow-up to my last diary:  Israeli Tennis Star denied UAE visa to Sony Dubai Tournament (with Poll)

Last week, the United Arab Emirates has refused a visa to Shahar Pe'er, an Israeli tennis player, to compete in the Sony Ericsson World Tennis Association Tour.  This came at a time when Pe'er was rising in the rankings, without enough time for her to choose another tournament.  

The tennis players on the tour spoke up for her in protest to the denial.  Pe'er, despite the setback to her own career, encouraged the WTA to go ahead with the tournament so that other players would not suffer.  

The Tennis Channel pulled coverage of the event and today, the WTA announced a $300,000 fine to Dubai:

The WTA fined Dubai Tennis Championships organizers a record $300,000 Friday after Israeli player Shahar Peer was denied a visa by the United Arab Emirates.

More on the other side...

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(This is my first diary. Apologies for the touchy topic).

I'm a tennis fan. Have been since I was a kid. Love the game, can't play it worth anything myself, though the girlfriend and I have gotten pretty good at the WII version.  

For real tennis, we like to watch the Sony Ericcson Tour. It has the best players, it's a good lead-up to the majors, and tickets in our area are usually more affordable and available.  

One of the players we've enjoyed watching over the past couple of years is Israeli star, Shahar Peer. She's young, plucky, well liked by the other players and never gives up a point without playing her heart out.  She's also on the rise in the rankings.  A couple of years ago, she got so far as to challenge Serena Williams at the Australian Open (quarter finals or semis, not sure which) and played really well.

But she won't be playing this week in Dubai because the UAE has denied her a visa for being Israeli.

More on the other side.


Do you think Shahar Peer should have been denied a UAE visa?

61%73 votes
10%13 votes
9%11 votes
0%1 votes
0%1 votes
5%7 votes
10%13 votes

| 119 votes | Vote | Results

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