October 2010 archive

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Istanbul suicide blast injures 32


Sun Oct 31, 1:37 pm ET

ISTANBUL (AFP) – A suicide bomb ripped through crowds of shoppers and cafe-goers in the heart of Istanbul on Sunday, injuring 32 people as a ceasefire by the separatist PKK came to an end.

The blast targetted riot police patrolling the busy Taksim Square in the centre of Turkey’s economic capital, police chief Huseyin Capkin said.

“We think it was a suicide attack,” he said, adding that the bomb had gone off before the bomber reached his target.

Rant of the Week: Keith Olbermann: If the Tea Party wins, America loses

Sadly, we have come to this: voting for the lesser of two evils.

Transcript here

Get Out and VOTE!

“I’m still hanging on to this belief that when people go in that booth — they’re going to be mad at Obama, they’re going to be mad at the Democrats, you know, things haven’t changed, people still aren’t working, they’ve been out of work for two years, their house is getting foreclosed — but when they’re in that booth and the curtain closes and they look at that Republican name, I think a lot of people are just gonna go, ‘oyyyyy,’ I remember what those eight years were like.”

Peter Rothberg at The Nation point out that “ballots are confusing”.  You can bet they are. New York just began using paper ballots that are scanned. The ballot New Yorkers will be handed on Tuesday will have TWO SIDES, one with the candidates and the other with the ballot initiatives. There was a great deal of criticism in September when this system was introduced in the primary. I expect there will be even more gnashing of teeth this Tuesday. Most voters are resistant to change no matter who we may for.

Anyway Mr. Rothberg kindly provides link to a web site “which offers details on candidates, locations of polling places, relevant local laws and what your rights are when in case your vote is challenged.” Use them and help you neighbors and friends who might not be so computer savvy and then offer to take them to VOTE on Tuesday Nov. 2.

Do-It-Yourself Local Voter Guides

On This Day in History: October 31

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 61 days remaining until the end of the year.

This day is internationally known as Halloween, also known as All Hallow’s Eve, Reformation Day, and Day of the Dead for the Philippines

On this day in 1926, Harry Houdini, the most celebrated magician and escape artist of the 20th century, dies of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital.

Houdini was born Erik Weisz in Budapest in 1874, the son of a rabbi. At a young age, he immigrated with his family to Appleton, Wisconsin, and soon demonstrated a natural acrobatic ability and an extraordinary skill at picking locks.

He went on his first international tour in 1900 and performed all over Europe to great acclaim. In executing his escapes, he relied on strength, dexterity, and concentration-not trickery-and was a great showman.

In 1908, Houdini began performing more dangerous and dramatic escapes. In a favorite act, he was bound and then locked in an ironbound chest that was dropped into a water tank or thrown off a boat. In another, he was heavily bound and then suspended upside down in a glass-walled water tank. Other acts featured Houdini being hung from a skyscraper in a straitjacket, or bound and buried-without a coffin-under six feet of dirt.

In his later years, Houdini campaigned against mediums, mind readers, fakirs, and others who claimed supernatural talents but depended on tricks. At the same time, he was deeply interested in spiritualism and made a pact with his wife and friends that the first to die was to try and communicate with the world of reality from the spirit world.

Eyewitnesses to an incident in Montreal gave rise to speculation that Houdini’s death was caused by a McGill University student, J. Gordon Whitehead, who delivered multiple blows to Houdini’s abdomen to test Houdini’s claim that he was able to take any blow to the body above the waist without injury.

The eyewitnesses, students named Jacques Price and Sam Smilovitz (sometimes called Jack Price and Sam Smiley), proferred accounts of the incident that generally corroborated one another. The following is Price’s description of events:

   Houdini was reclining on his couch after his performance, having an art student sketch him. When Whitehead came in and asked if it was true that Houdini could take any blow to the stomach, Houdini replied groggily in the affirmative. In this instance, he was hit three times before Houdini could tighten up his stomach muscles to avoid serious injury. Whitehead reportedly continued hitting Houdini several more times and Houdini acted as though he were in some pain.

Houdini reportedly stated that if he had time to prepare himself properly he would have been in a better position to take the blows. He had apparently been suffering from appendicitis for several days prior and yet refused medical treatment. His appendix would likely have burst on its own without the trauma. Although in serious pain, Houdini continued to travel without seeking medical attention.

When Houdini arrived at the Garrick Theater in Detroit, Michigan on October 24, 1926, for what would be his last performance, he had a fever of 104 F (40 C). Despite a diagnosis of acute appendicitis, Houdini took the stage. He was reported to have passed out during the show, but was revived and continued. Afterwards, he was hospitalized at Detroit’s Grace Hospital.

Houdini died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix at 1:26 p.m. in Room 401 on October 31, aged 52.

After taking statements from Price and Smilovitz, Houdini’s insurance company concluded that the death was due to the dressing-room incident and paid double indemnity.

Houdini’s funeral was held on November 4, 1926 in New York, with more than 2,000 mourners in attendance. He was interred in the Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, New York, with the crest of the Society of American Magicians inscribed on his gravesite. To this day the Society holds a broken wand ceremony at the grave site in November. Houdini’s widow, Bess, died on February 11, 1943, aged 67, in Needles, California. She had expressed a wish to be buried next to him but instead was interred at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Westchester, New York, as her Catholic family refused to allow her to be buried in a Jewish cemetery out of concern for her soul.

The Week In Review 10/24 – 30

259 Stories served.  37 per day.

This is actually the hardest diary to execute, and yet perhaps the most valuable because it lets you track story trends over time.  It should be a Sunday morning feature.

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

These programs all look like the “Trick or Treat” editions. Sadly, it appears to be all tricks,

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with Christiane Amanpour: This Sunday, Ms. Amanpour will look at the last ABC News/Washington Post poll before Tuesday’s election. She will be joined by Republican campaign chairman Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Democratic campaign chairman Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

Ms. Amanpour will report on her experience at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear”.

Joining her Round Table discussion is Dick Armey, former House majority leader and current chairman of Freedom Works, along with George Will, Cokie Roberts, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and ABC News’ Senior Congressional Correspondent Jonathan Karl. They will debate the possible consequences of the Tuesday election

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Joining Mr. Scheiffer this Sunday will be Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Gov. Ed Rendell (D-Pa.).

I think we can all know what Pete King will be ranting about….TERROR!!!

The Chris Matthews Show: Mr. Matthews guest will be Norah O’Donnell, MSNBC Chief Washington Correspondent, John Heilemann, New York Magazine National Political Correspondent, Howard Fineman, Newsweek

Senior Washington Correspondent and Helene Cooper, The New York Times White House Correspondent.

The questions for discussion:

How Many Senate Seats Will Republicans Pick Up Tuesday?

Will Barack Obama Do The “Clintonian Backflip” That Republican Leaders In Congress Are Demanding?

Meet the Press with David Gregory: Democratic National Committee Chairman Former Gov. Tim Kaine (VA) and Republican Governors Association Chairman Gov. Haley Barbour (MS) will join Mr. Gregory for The final arguments for what’s at stake in this midterm election.

NBC News’ Tom Brokaw, Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin, NPR’s Michele Norris, National Journal’s Charlie Cook, and NBC News’ Chuck Todd will comprise the Round Table for a look at the political landscape.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: A special edition live from CNN’s Election center in New York. It’s the homestretch in the midterm elections and both sides are making their final push to Election Day. Republicans seem set to make great gains, but will it be enough to shift the balance of power in Congress? Joining us, the Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele on the future of the Republican Party.

Then, the view from the other side of the aisle. Majority Whip Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) on the Democratic strategy headed into Tuesday’s election. What will it mean for the Democratic agenda in the next Congress?

Finally, a look at some of the hottest races and what to expect on Election Day. What are the most important issues as voters head to the polls? We’ll talk to former long term Senator and presidential candidate Bob Kerrey (D) and CNN Political Contributor Bill Bennett.

Fareed Zakaris: GPS: The American Dream: the idea that anybody can get ahead, can succeed, can enrich themselves with hard work and smarts. Is that idea dead?

For large swaths of America, it MAY be. The national unemployment rate is 9.6% but that only tells a part of the story. Millions of jobs have been lost in America. The question is: how do we bring jobs — and GOOD jobs — back?

Fareed has gathered four of the top businessmen in America to tell us what’s at the heart of the job problem — how some many have been lost — and what the solutions are — how America can re-gain what its lost:

Eric Schmidt, Chairman and CEO Google

Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola

Klaus Kleinfeld, CEO of Alcoa

Lou Gerstner, who ran three American giants — RJ Reynolds, American Express & IBM

And Fareed will present solutions of his own — both for the nation and for the American worker.

Morning Shinbun Sunday October 31

Sunday’s Headlines:

Scary Halloween? Don’t count on it: on Dracula’s trail in Romania


Democrats Fight to Keep Senate From G.O.P. Gains

Thousands descend on National Mall for Stewart’s and Colbert’s ‘Sanity’ rally


Marathon anniversary race helps Greece’s empty coffers

Army chiefs protest against headscarf

Middle East

Yemen makes bomb-plot arrest

Iraqi Gold’s Glitter Dims for Dealers Under Siege


Indonesia to rebrand dictator as ‘national hero’

Opium is winning the Afghan war


Ivory Coast to hold long-delayed ‘reconciliation’ poll

Latin America

Haiti could suffer another earthquake, scientists warn

Yemen, the new crucible of global terrorism

Al-Qa’ida has taken firm root in the poverty-stricken nation

By David Randall and Andrew Johnson Sunday, 31 October 2010

The axis of terror got bigger yesterday. After the presence of explosives in two packages bound for the US was confirmed – and a suspected 24 more discovered – their place of origin entered the big league as a crucible of deadly and disruptive terrorism. As Magnus Ranstorp, one of the world’s leading experts on the issue, told The Independent on Sunday: “Yemen has become the new Afghanistan.”

And, to go with this status, there comes to prominence one Yemeni who – in the eyes of America and some leading security specialists – is on a par with Osama bin Laden: Anwar al-Awlaki.

I Am A Witch

or Wiccan or Pagan or whatever the PC term is today.

I practice a belief that has but one rule, “Do No harm”, and no hierarchy. We are like any other religion in that we wish to practice our rituals in peace.

This Sunday and through to Monday is the celebration of the last harvest. It is like the New Year. During the night we will light fires indoors and out, where possible, candles if not. We will prepare great meals and drink cider and wine. We will remember our ancestors and those who have passed to the other side of the veil. We will celebrate Life and the turning of the wheel.

Even atheists come to our gatherings on this night. You don’t have to believe in a god to believe in “Doing No Harm”

Blessed Be The Wheel Turns

Bonfires dot the rolling hillsides

Figures dance around and around

To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness

Moving to the pagan sound.

Somewhere in a hidden memory

Images float before my eyes

Of fragrant nights of straw and of bonfires

Dancing ’til the next sunrise.


I can see the lights in the distance

Trembling in the dark cloak of night

Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing

A waltz on All…All Souls Night.

Figures of cornstalks bend in the shadows

Held up tall as the flames leap high

The Green Knight holds the holly bush

To mark where the Old Year passes by.


Bonfires dot the rolling hillsides

Figures dance around and around

To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness

Moving to the pagan sound.

Standing on the bridge that crosses

The river that branches out to the sea

The wind is full of a thousand voices

They pass by the bridge and me.

Prime Time

All right people, we got 10 minutes ’till game time, let’s all gather ’round. I’m not much for giving inspirational addresses, but I’d just like to point out that every newspaper in the country has picked us to finish last. The local press seems to think that we’d save everyone the time and trouble if we just went out and shot ourselves. Me, I’m for wasting sportswriters’ time. So I figured we ought to hang around for a while and see if we can give ’em all a nice big shitburger to eat.

So you’re down 2 nothing in the World Series and you’re going home to get healthy.  There’s really nothing wrong with that, though you’ll want to win tonight because otherwise you’ll be up against it, one game away from elimination and all.

Therefore the Rangers play with some urgency while there’s very little pressure on the Giants.  They’re going back to San Francisco whatever happens and you can’t count on them being charitable and wanting to celebrate in their home locker room.

Now like most pundits I revel in my wrongness so after 11 – 7, 9 – 0 slug fests I am once again predicting a Pitchers’ Duel between Lewis and Sanchez even though they’re only the 3rd best on each staff and the Aces have already gotten lit up.  Who knows, if I am consistently spectacularly erroneous enough I’ll probably get a job at The Washington Post or The New York Times.

This is an early edition.  Since I’m all about alternative programming I’m extending the hours.

College Throwball, Michigan State @ Iowa or Missouri @ Nebraska and Ohio State @ Minnesota or Oregon @ USC, Florida @ Georgia.


SNL- Jon Hamm Rihanna.  GitS: SACAnnihilation, Barrage (Episodes 24 and 25)

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Amid bitter US election, liberal comics lead rally for sanity

by Karin Zeitvogel, AFP

1 hr 3 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Tens of thousands of people streamed into the US capital Saturday for a rally hosted by liberal comics Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, billed as an antidote to the ugly political mood dividing America three days before mid-term elections.

Washington’s streets were clogged with people walking towards the National Mall where two of America’s best known satirists joined forces for a super-sized joint gathering, the “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.”

“It’s chaotic but sane. There are a ton of diverse, happy people,” said James Cuizon, who had traveled from Hawaii to attend the rally and was on the chilly mall hours before the event kicked off at about noon (1600 GMT).

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