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Archive for December, 2008

The New Years Eve fireworks based on the Aboriginal theme Creation Storm explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge on January 1, 2009. Over 1.5 million Sydneysiders and tourists lined the harbour foreshores to watch 120,000 pyrotechnics usher in the new year.

The New Year's Eve fireworks based on the Aboriginal theme 'Creation Storm' explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge on January 1, 2009. Over 1.5 million Sydneysiders and tourists lined the harbour foreshores to watch 120,000 pyrotechnics usher in the new year.

(h/t- HuffPo)

MORE PHOTOS-SEE SLIDESHOW HERE

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO EVERYONE AROUND THE WORLD!

BE SAFE & SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!  🙂

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Hot Chocolate – You Sexy Thing


Hot Chocolate- Everyone’s A Winner Baby!

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Sly Fox – Let’s Go All The Way

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Reviewing the constant variety of political and cable news hackery from a year that was so thoroughly clogged with incredibly ridiculous performances that we barely avoided a massive eruption of liquid hot crazy, we can easily find more than a few quotes that were almost totally overlooked, along with too many hacks, hoopleheads and outright doofs who weren’t given a full turn at the flogging pole.

For instance, I’m hoping that in 2009 TIME blogger and MSNBC contributor Mark Halperin is finally recognized as not just another very serious haircut amongst a media gaggle of masturbation-addicted cardboard standees, but in fact as a Drudge-caliber hackery-factory providing the establishment media with absolutely the most unforgivably ridiculous pearls of conventional wisdom in already super-stupid media world.

Out of all of the various lists documenting the year’s worst this or that, I haven’t spotted any of Halperin’s greatest hits for some reason. His insufferably decrepit posts include the daily “Five Important People Who Aren’t Obama” lists which appear to be five totally random names blurted out in numerical order without any explanation or insight — ostensibly proving that he can both spell and count. The parasitic hackery twin to his “Halperin’s Take” posts are his PageCast videos in which he tells us about news events, and that we should “watch out for them.” For example: Congress! Watch to see what happens with it and what the congressional members say in Congress.

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Iranian Suicide Bombers Seek To Attack Israel

DAREINI | December 31, 2008 09:03 AM EST | AP

TEHRAN, Iran — Hard-line Iranian student groups have asked the government to authorize volunteers to go carry out suicide bombings in Israel in response to the Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip.

The government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had not responded to the call by Wednesday. Five hard-line student groups and a conservative clerical group launched a registration drive on Monday, seeking volunteers to carry out suicide attacks against Israel.

In an open letter to Ahmadinjead, the students said “volunteer student suicide groups … are determined to go to Gaza. You are expected to issue orders to the relevant authorities in order to pave the way for such action.” A copy of the letter was made available to The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Volunteer suicide groups have made similar requests in the past and the government never responded to their calls. Some hard-liners have claimed previously they succeeded in secretly sending bombers to Israel, but their claims have never been verified, and there has not been any sign of Iranians carrying out suicide attacks in Israel _ raising the likelihood the groups’ activities are mainly for propaganda purposes.

The hard-liners started signing up volunteers after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a religious decree Sunday saying anyone killed while defending Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks would be considered a martyr.

The groups claim that more than than 10,000 people throughout Iran have registered as volunteer suicide bombers in the past three days. At a gathering Tuesday in Tehran, hard-liners were distributing registration forms to volunteers.

MORE HERE

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JibJab – 2008 Year In Review

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FBI steps up search for evidence in Bernard (Bernie) Madoff scandal


The FBI is understood to be monitoring key individuals connected to the $50 billion (ÂŁ34 billion) Bernard Madoff investment scandal as the federal agency comes under increased pressure to construct a criminal case against the 70-year-old financier.

The agency is scrutinising bank withdrawals made by former employees of Mr Madoff and their personal activities, including where they travel and with whom they mix. The use of such methods came to light as it emerged that Frank Dipascali, Mr Madoff’s chief financial officer, has been interviewed by investigators over his role at Madoff Investment Securities. Marc Mukasey, Mr Dipascali’s lawyer, failed to return calls yesterday.

As regulators scour documents seized from Mr Madoff’s offices in Manhattan, the financier is under pressure to meet tomorrow’s deadline to provide details of all investments, assets, loans, lines of credit and accounts held by his company to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Napolitano backs security tech

Gov. Janet Napolitano — President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to run the Homeland Security Department — has strongly advocated using advanced security technology as a law enforcement tool, drawing praise from police and raising concern among civil liberties groups that warn about privacy invasion.

As Arizona’s Democratic governor since 2003, Napolitano has:

• Pushed state police to use cameras that scan license plates of moving cars to find vehicles that are stolen or linked to a criminal suspect.

• Promoted “face-identification” technology that could help surveillance cameras find wanted people by comparing someone’s face with a photo database of suspects.

• Signed a 2007 bill making Arizona one of 12 states that collect and store DNA samples of people accused but not convicted of certain crimes, including murder, burglary, sexual assault and prostitution.

• Proposed an optional state ID for legal citizens only that features a radio-frequency chip to allow authorities to read the card. State lawmakers blocked the effort this year.

“She sees technology as the panacea of all our law enforcement problems and immigration issues,” said Alessandra Soler Meetze, head of Arizona’s American Civil Liberties Union chapter. “It’s like she’s embracing these technologies without taking the time to appreciate the privacy implications.”

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We’ve got so used to the carnage of the Middle East that we don’t care any more – providing we don’t offend the Israelis. It’s not clear how many of the Gaza dead are civilians, but the response of the Bush administration, not to mention the pusillanimous reaction of Gordon Brown, reaffirm for Arabs what they have known for decades: however they struggle against their antagonists, the West will take Israel’s side. As usual, the bloodbath was the fault of the Arabs – who, as we all know, only understand force.

Ever since 1948, we’ve been hearing this balderdash from the Israelis – just as Arab nationalists and then Arab Islamists have been peddling their own lies: that the Zionist “death wagon” will be overthrown, that all Jerusalem will be “liberated”. And always Mr Bush Snr or Mr Clinton or Mr Bush Jnr or Mr Blair or Mr Brown have called upon both sides to exercise “restraint” – as if the Palestinians and the Israelis both have F-18s and Merkava tanks and field artillery. Hamas’s home-made rockets have killed just 20 Israelis in eight years, but a day-long blitz by Israeli aircraft that kills almost 300 Palestinians is just par for the course. (more…)

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What Happened To Madoff’s Money?

Almost since the news broke that Bernard Madoff had confessed to running a “$50 billion Ponzi scheme”, one of the key unanswered questions has been, what happened to all that money?

The short answer is, we don’t know yet. “It is still too early to say with any certainty what was going on inside Madoff’s business,” said Stephen Harbeck — who heads the SIPC, which is serving as the receiver for Madoff’s now-defunct brokerage firm — at a press conference outside U.S. bankruptcy court last week.

It’s worth noting at the outset that the $50 billion figure, which came from the SEC complaint quoting Madoff’s own confession, may be inflated. The Associated Press has calculated that investors cumulatively have said they have lost $30 billion.

That’s not exactly pocket change. And despite Madoff’s lavish lifestyle, it would be virtually impossible for him to have blown through that amount, or even a significant fraction of it, on his own or his family’s personal expenses.

Madoff has promised to give an accounting of all his assets by the end of the year. But until the legions of forensic accountants with the FBI, the SEC, and other investigative bodies complete their enormous task of independently tracing the funds, we’ll likely remain largely in the dark.

Still, piecing together various reports, several possible answers are beginning to emerge, which, taken together, may go some way to explaining the mystery.

MORE HERE

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