Sunday, October 31, 2010


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All Hallows Day Begins

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The Morning After
~ All Saints' Day ~

Halloween 2010 Cube

"Was Any Of That Hate In Your Heart?"


Added On October 29, 2010
An Arkansas school board official resigns after anti-gay comments on Facebook. CNN's David Mattingly reports.

"No Apology" Apology


On Anderson Cooper, Dr. Phil Isn't Buying Clint McCance's 'Non-Apology'

By On Top Magazine Staff
Published: October 31, 2010

Dr. Phil McGraw doesn't believe Clint McCance is sincerely sorry for his anti-gay rant.

The 60-year-old host of Dr. Phil made his remarks Friday in an appearance on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360.

McCance is the 30-something Midland School District board member who announced on the same program that he's agreed to resign after coming under severe criticism for posting anti-gay comments on his Facebook profile. In that segment, McCance also apologized for his remarks.

The comments included mocking Spirit Day, the day set aside to remember gay teens bullied to death, cheering the suicides, saying he “enjoys the fact that [gay people] they often give each other aids and die,” and declaring that he would disown his children if they were gay.

“This is the biggest non-apology – non-apology apology – I've heard,” McGraw said. “He did not apologize for what he said. He didn't apologize for the message that this gives to children, to kids, to parents out there. What he apologized for was saying that suicide was the only out and that he's sorry that he said that.”

“My concern is that, because this is getting so much attention … the downside of it is that gay, lesbian, transgender and questioning youth right now can say 'see that's how they really feel' and we drive them further back,” he added.

Podcast -- 10-28-10

This is the Podcast from Thursday, October 28, 2010. For some reason they didn't (or they haven't) posted the Podcast from Friday. If they post it, I'll post it too. Stay tuned.

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Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid!


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May the Pumpkin bring you many delicious Treats and
one mini Trick of the smallest kind, which,
nonetheless, could scare the ghost sheet out of you...!

Don't forget, Anderson could appear knocking at your door,
Bang! Bang! for Tricks or Treats!

We don't know what city he will be in tonite...
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid! Or not...

Sunday Comix -- 10-31-10


Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Dilema"'s Gay Joke Remains


Director Ron Howards Addresses The Gay Joke Controversy in “The Dilemma”

By David Chiu
Updated 10:30 AM EDT, Sat, Oct 30, 2010

Howard responded: “So why was the joke in the movie? Our lead character of Ronny Valentine has a mouth that sometimes gets him into trouble and he definitely flirts with the line of what's okay to say. He tries to do what's right but sometimes falls short. Who can't relate to that? I am drawn to films that have a variety of characters with different points of view who clash, conflict and learn to live with each other.”

He continued: “Did you think it wasn't offensive? I don't strip my films of everything that I might personally find inappropriate. Comedy or drama, I'm always trying to make choices that stir the audience in all kinds of ways. This Ronny Valentine character can be offensive and inappropriate at times and those traits are fundamental to his personality and the way our story works.”

Howard said that the line was in the script and not ad-libbed by Vaughn. He argued that if artists are pressured into making artistic changes, it will “endanger comedy as both entertainment and a provoker of thought.”

He concluded in his answers to Goldstein’s questions that he himself owns an electric car. “Guess what that makes me in the eyes of our lead character? But then again, I don't agree with everything Ronny Valentine says and does in this comedy any more than Vince Vaughn, the screenwriter or any member of the audience should for that matter.”

Who Is Stephen Blackwood?


Stephen Blackwood convinced Clint McCance to step down from board

Amanda Terrebonne -- 19 hrs ago

Wednesday night, a Midland school board member resigned on CNN, after many cries across the nation for him to step down over an anti-gay Facebook post he made.

"All I can do now is apologize for my poor speech," says Clint McCance during a Thursday interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

The apology was heard around the world. Also in the room another man, Steven Blackwood, who Cooper spoke with only briefly.

Many not knowing Blackwood put the whole thing in motion after seeing McCance's anti-gay rants on Facebook.

"I've just got to find him," says Blackwood, addressing Anderson Cooper.

Not knowing McCance, let alone anybody in Pleasant Plains-- he headed north from Little Rock.

His first stop the Superintendent's office. "They said to me, well we'll give them the number and I said gentleman that will be fine and I appreciate that, but that's not going to be enough because this man is in danger," says Blackwood.

A danger McCance was obviously aware of, saying McCance showed up holding a pistol when the two first met in a park outside pleasant plains.

"He said man I don't know you, I'm scared. I'm getting threats and having to send my family out of town," says Blackwood referring to McCance.

Blackwood says apologizing didn't seem like the issue for McCance.

"There was no pride problem in him coming forward." Blackwood says it was letting go of his school board position.

He told McCance, the apology meant nothing, without the resignation.

So why would Blackwood even come forward in the first place?
Turns out his 19-year-old son Alex committed suicide two years ago this month.

"For whatever reason he couldn't find enough hope to keep it going." Blackwood says he wasn't bullied but just depressed--
and felt he had no where to go,

He now makes it his mission to help other's through the Alex Blackwood Foundation for Hope.

A foundation he says is about stopping suicide, and replacing ignorance with the truth. For more on suicide prevention, visit the Alex Blackwood Foundation for Hope website.

Free Image Hosting at

The Alex Blackwood Foundation for Hope started in 2008 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Its mission is to promote collaboration for Suicide Awareness and prevention. Steven Blackwood is the President and inspiration for the formation of the foundation, which was brought to fruition by Connie Hill and her family. As a survivor of suicide, Mr. Blackwood lost his only son Alex in 2008 at age 19. Quickly realizing how important it is to break the cycle and the silence of depression and suicide, he passionately began forming the ABF. With an understanding of the risks of depression leading to suicide, the foundation has rooted itself as a new source for delivering a message of HOPE. Depression is treatable, and suicide is preventable.

Award To One Small, Black T-shirt


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rally To Restore Sanity: CNN's Anderson Cooper's T-Shirt Gets Award

The Rally To Restore Sanity And / Or Fear, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert's effort to restore a sane political discourse and drawing 1 million to The National Mall in Washington DC, featured CNN's Anderson Cooper.

Well, his tight t-shirt that is.

Anderson Cooper's tight t-shirt, seen at seemingly every disaster in the World, was given an "Award of Fear" at The Rally To Restore Sanity today. And that's why the t-shirt gets an award. It's everywhere. And something CNN started with Anderson two years ago, it an effort to get both the female and gay viewing population - I guess.

While the t-shirt, or a reasonable representation of it, was brought out to loud cheers at The Rally, Anderson Cooper himself was not present.

C-SPAN Polling Viewers

C-SPAN is running a phone poll of viewers asking if The Rally To Restore Sanity was politics or entertainment? This blogger says it's right down the middle. It's both.

Stay tuned.

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Yemen al-Qaeda


U.S. says al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula behind cargo terror plot

Posted: October 29th, 2010 -- 06:37 PM ET

Add a comment [to AC360º blog]

CNN Wire Staff

(CNN) -- U.S. officials say that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a fairly new arm of the umbrella terrorist organization, is behind an apparent plot to send explosive devices to U.S. destinations via cargo planes.

"Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is an organization of several hundred individuals that are dispersed throughout the country," presidential counterterrorism advisor John Brennan told reporters Friday. "They are murderers and they are determined to carry out attacks on innocent lives, whether they be Yemeni, Americans, Westerners or others. ...

"If anything, this just demonstrates to us and, I think to the Yemenis as well, that we need to redouble our efforts so that we're able to destroy al Qaeda, and we will."

Brennan pointed to the botched attempt last Christmas to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet en route from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day. U.S. and Yemeni officials have linked the attempt by man who tried to ignite explosives in his underwear to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Formed in 2009, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a regional terrorist group known for targeting government and Western interests in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Yemeni forces, with support from their U.S. allies, have stepped up military and political pressure on the group in recent weeks, despite continued threats from its leader.

A key figure in the group is Yemeni-American militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, whom U.S. authorities have linked to Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal Hasan as well as the man accused in the Christmas Day bomb attempt. Brennan would not specifically name al-Awlaki as a suspect.

"Anybody who's associated with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is a subject of concern," he said.

"Clearly what we are doing is looking at all individuals that we think might be involved in this," Brennan said. "Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been rather open in its venom towards the United States, towards Western interests. There are a number of individuals there that we're concerned about, so we're looking at all possibilities."

A senior U.S. defense official called al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula a "sophisticated" organization.

Combating the terror group has been a major focus for U.S. counterterrorism authorities, with Friday's incident underscoring the need for U.S. cooperation with Yemen, Obama said Friday.

"We ... know that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens, and our friends and allies," said Obama. "Going forward, we will continue to strengthen our cooperation with the Yemeni government ... to destroy this al Qaeda affiliate."

Brennan said he talked Friday with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh about the threat posed by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and how to address it, receiving assurances from the Yemeni leader that they'd cooperate on the investigation.

These high-level talks are the latest in a series of collaborative efforts between U.S. and Yemeni officials and forces.

Earlier this year, the United States approved $150 million to train and equip Yemeni forces so they could fight al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Up to 50 U.S. special operations troops are now in the Middle Eastern country training Yemen's military personnel.

In addition, Yemeni and U.S. authorities have been sharing surveillance and other intelligence information culled from inside Yemen, a senior U.S. defense official said.

But Yemen announced Friday via its official news agency, Saba, that the army had ended its latest campaign against AQAP without finding any elements of the terror group.

"We found traces in the area of Khawaw indicating that al Qaeda elements were in this region three days ago," said Mahdi Abdul-Salam, a commander of the military campaign, adding that the extremist organization is no longer in the al-Kur mountain range in Yemen's southeast.

Many of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's members previously belonged to al Qaeda in Yemen. The National Counterterrorism Center says that group carried out suicide attacks on a Yemeni oil facility in 2006 and mortar attacks two years later on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, Yemeni military complexes, the Italian Embassy and the Yemeni presidential compound.

Later in 2008, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula detonated two car bombs outside the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, killing 19 people, including six of its own members, according to the National Counterterrorism Center.

Since forming under its new name, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been tied to a pair of suicide bombings that targeted South Korean tourists.

On Monday, 15 suspected members of the group surrendered in Yemen's southern Abyan province, according to provincial Gov. Ahmed al-Maisari. The surrenders followed meetings with the governor and tribal sheikhs in the towns of Loudar and Moudeya.

Earlier in the month, Qassim al-Rimi (also known as Abu Hurira al-Sanaei), the military commander of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, posted an audio recording on radical militant websites.

The speaker promised that Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, would be punished "for his crimes" and announced that a new army would rid the country of "crusaders and apostates." CNN could not verify the authenticity of the recording.

2 Bombs!


Suspicious packages 'contain explosive material,' Obama says

Posted: October 30th, 2010 -- 07:17 AM ET

1 Comment | Add a comment [to AC360º blog]

CNN Wire Staff

A suspicious package contained a "manipulated" toner
cartridge that had white powder on it, a law enforcement source said.

For more coverage visit CNN affiliates WPVI and WABC. Are you there? Send pictures and video.

(CNN) -- Two packages found abroad that were bound for Jewish organizations in the United States contained a massive amount of explosive material that would have triggered a powerful blast, a source close to the investigation has told CNN.

U.S. officials believe that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, commonly referred to as AQAP, is behind the plot.

President Barack Obama confirmed that the packages -- intercepted in the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates -- originated in Yemen, the stronghold of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

"We also know that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula ... continues to plan attacks against our homeland, our citizens, and our friends and allies," he said during a press briefing on the incident.

In a statement Saturday, Dubai police said explosives in a package set to be shipped on a FedEx cargo plane had been "professionally" loaded in a package and connected via an electric circuit to a mobile phone chip hidden inside a printer.

"The plot style carries features similar to previous attacks carried out by terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda," the statement said according to WAM official news agency.

Another suspicious package, found at the UK's East Midlands Airport, contained a "manipulated" toner cartridge and had white powder on it as well as wires and a circuit board, a law enforcement source said.

The source close to the investigation said the type of material found in the devices was PETN, a highly explosive organic compound belonging to the same chemical family as nitroglycerin. Just six grams of PETN is enough to blow a hole in the fuselage of an aircraft.

PETN was allegedly one of the components of the bomb concealed by Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, the Nigerian man accused of trying to set off an explosion aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 as it approached Detroit, Michigan, on December 25. AbdulMutallab is alleged to have been carrying 80 grams of PETN in that botched attack -- also believed to be the workings of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

By comparison, the source said the two devices found Friday contained multiple times more PETN. The source also said it appears the devices were designed to be detonated by a cell phone with the help of a smaller amount of a second unidentified explosive substance.

The cell-phone theory was seconded by a wireless engineer for a major U.S.-based manufacturer, who analyzed a photo of one of the devices at CNN's request.

"This size and the shape of the PCB (printed circuit board) are typical to a handset cell phone type device," wrote Olivier Clerc, hardware application engineering manager for a cell-phone-parts manufacturer.

Both packages were bound for the United States, "specifically two places of Jewish worship in Chicago," Obama said.

The packages led to increased searches of cargo planes and trucks in several U.S. cities, said law enforcement sources with detailed knowledge of the investigation.

White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan said that "the materials that were found and the device that was discovered were intended to do harm."

Brennan said the discovery of the packages was made with help from Saudi Arabia, and issued a statement thanking the country for its "assistance in developing information that helped underscore the imminence of the threat emanating from Yemen."

A source with firsthand knowledge of the information told CNN that the Saudi Arabian government gave the United States tracking numbers of the two packages, allowing for quick tracing to the United Kingdom and Dubai.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-California, called the potential plot "a new novel thing -- and that is using FedEx and UPS planes to perhaps bring in something that might be explosive."

The Transportation Security Administration issued Friday afternoon a halt in the United States on all packages originating from Yemen, and shipping companies UPS, FedEx and DHL all said they were complying with the order.

Sen. Susan Collins, the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee, told CNN she is very concerned about holes in the system to screen cargo coming into the United States, said that had a credible intelligence source not warned about the suspicious packages, they may not have been detected with standard security procedures.

Collins, who was briefed by TSA chief John Pistole, said intelligence officials do not know yet if this was part of a larger plot, but she does believe al Qaeda is "continuing to test for vulnerabilities in our security system, and it appears we do have vulnerabilities in our system for transporting cargo."

After the packages were found Thursday night and Friday morning, authorities were tracking other packages shipped from Yemen in the same time frame, a law enforcement source said.

A Yemeni diplomat in Washington said that his government has opened a full-scale investigation into the incident but that it was too early to speculate or reach any conclusions.

Counterterrorism officials are taking the threat "very seriously," Obama said.

The Department of Homeland Security said it "had taken a number of steps to enhance security," including "heightened cargo screening and additional security at airports."

Some Jewish religious leaders in Chicago were alerted to the potential threat Friday, said Linda Haase, spokeswoman for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

"We were notified about this earlier this morning," she said. "We are taking appropriate precautions, and we are advising local synagogues to do the same."

Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, California, said that if synagogues were indeed the intended recipients of the packages, "this is just another indication of the dangerous world we live in where Jews are the principle target."

Meanwhile, U.S. authorities seemed most focused on inspecting cargo planes.

Investigators examined two UPS planes that landed at Philadelphia International Airport in Pennsylvania and another at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, said Mike Mangeot, a UPS spokesman. Authorities later gave the "all-clear" at both airports, the Transportation Security Administration said.

The TSA said authorities acted "out of an abundance of caution."

CNN's Paul Cruickshank, Eden Pontz, Mark Norman, Ross Levitt, Jeanne Meserve, Susan Candiotti, Caroline Paterson, Per Nyberg, Alan Duke, Steve Kastenbaum, Fran Townsend, Mike Ahlers, Carol Cratty, Chris Lawrence, Elise Labott, Pam Benson and Allan Chernoff contributed to this report.

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