Saturday, June 25, 2011

Bernanke passes early media test, challenge to come (Reuters)

CHICAGO (Reuters) ? Ben Bernanke used his second-ever news conference on Wednesday to teach the world's financial markets a lot more about the thinking at the Federal Reserve than they could glean from its usual statements.

But the Fed chairman and former Princeton professor has yet to face one of the most important oral exams of his career: justifying and defending a change in the Fed's extraordinary monetary policy, when the time comes.

"There haven't been any big surprises or shifts in policy for Bernanke to sell," Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics said on Thursday.

"When this will earn its money is when the market response to the (earlier) statement is one way and he is able to correct any misperceptions. That will be when the press conference really pays off."

Bernanke's news conferences mark an important departure from the Fed's approach to communications that for decades used to put a premium on secrecy.

The Fed's focus is now on clarity after the its decision last year to embark on a second $600 billion round of bond-buying touched off a political firestorm with politicians accusing the central bank of jeopardizing the U.S. dollar with its bold experiments in monetary policy.

Looking less nervous than in his first news conference in April, Bernanke took questions from reporters for an hour on Wednesday and, displaying his professorial background, sounded confident and calm in his answers.

Bernanke's former number two said the gamble of exposing the world's most important monetary policymaker to the glare of the media was worth taking, given how hard it was to defend the Fed against the barrage of criticism over recent policy moves.

"I thought the circumstances were sufficiently unusual and the Fed was being sufficiently misunderstood and misinterpreted that giving the chairman another shot, another couple of shots of explaining what the Fed was doing was very much worth the risk of an occasional misstatement or distraction," Former Fed Vice Chairman Donald Kohn told Reuters in an interview.

On Wednesday, Bernanke and the top Fed officials kept interest rates near zero and, using the same language they have for two years, said they will stay exceptionally low for "an extended period."

Asked exactly how long that is, Bernanke said "at least two to three meetings ... and I emphasize at least."

That unusually precise answer, for a central banker, helped calm financial markets worried about the slow pace of the U.S. economic recovery, said Todd Colvin, a futures broker at MF Global in Chicago.

Short-term U.S. interest rates are expected to stay below 1 percent until August 2013, according to futures trading on Thursday.

Bernanke also used the hour-long news conference to calm fears that inflation is getting out of hand, ahead of a hawk-heavy line-up of top Fed officials speaking next week that includes Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota and Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig.

"It's reasonable to think that core inflation will fall back toward mandate-consistent levels," Bernanke said on Wednesday.

At times last year, markets took their cues from the vocal hawks whose outspoken concerns that Fed policy would fuel inflation complicated attempts to create the sense of a Fed consensus that Bernanke now promotes.

"It gives markets a better context in which to interpret what they are hearing later from other members of the Committee," Kohn said of Bernanke's news conferences. "So I think it's a very positive development."

An analysis of Bernanke's comments show he talked more about unemployment on Wednesday than at his first news conference, signaling growing concern over the labor market (For a graphic please see: )

"(Former Fed Chairman) Alan Greenspan was famous for needing a secrete decoder ring for trying to understand what he was saying," said Michael Hanson, a senior economist at Bank of America/ Merrill Lynch in New York. "I think Bernanke is much more willing to say what is on his mind."

While arguing that rising inflation leaves little scope for another round of stimulus, Bernanke listed several tools the Fed could use to ease monetary conditions further should it need to do so.

"There were definitely things that one learns," said Michael Feroli, an economist at JP Morgan Chase.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir, with additional reporting by Mark Felsenthal in Washington and Alexandra Alper in New York)


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Politics Weekly podcast: David Cameron's law and order u-turn (Guardian)

Share With Friends: Share on FacebookTweet ThisPost to Google-BuzzSend on GmailPost to Linked-InSubscribe to This Feed | Rss To Twitter | Lybia Protests News, Politics - Top Stories News, RSS and RSS Feed via Feedzilla.


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Ways to Curb Childhood Obesity Outlined in U.S. Report (HealthDay)

THURSDAY, June 23 (HealthDay News) -- Strategies to encourage physical activity, healthy eating and good sleep habits are needed to reduce high rates of obesity among infants, toddlers and preschoolers in the United States, says an Institute of Medicine report released Thursday.

Limiting children's TV time is a key recommendation.

Rates of excess weight and obesity among U.S. children ages 2 to 5 have doubled since the 1980s. About 10 percent of children from infancy up to age 2 years and a little more than 20 percent of children ages 2 to 5 are overweight or obese, the report said.

"Contrary to the common perception that chubby babies are healthy babies and will naturally outgrow their baby fat, excess weight tends to persist," report committee chair Leann Birch, professor of human development and director in the Center for Childhood Obesity Research at Pennsylvania State University, said in an institute news release.

"This is a national concern because weight-related conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure once occurred almost exclusively in adults but are now occurring at rising rates among teens and young adults," Birch said.

"Child care providers, health professionals, and policymakers can be helpful partners to parents in reducing obesity risk by creating healthy environments and implementing positive practices during the crucial early years of development," she added.

Tackling only one factor will not solve the problem of obesity among infants, toddlers and preschoolers. The issue requires a wide-ranging approach that includes identifying when young children are overweight, increasing physical activity, encouraging healthy eating, and making sure children get enough sleep, the report said.

Recommendations include:

  • Limiting young children's television and other media use,
  • Requiring child-care providers to promote healthy sleeping practices,
  • Educating parents about age-appropriate sleep times and good sleep habits,
  • Requiring child-care providers to provide opportunities and environments that encourage physical activity,
  • Increasing efforts to promote breast-feeding,
  • Requiring child-care facilities and preschools to follow the meal patterns established by the U.S. Child and Adult Care Food Program.

The report recommendations are aimed at policymakers and health-care and child-care providers, but these professionals can educate and support parents in establishing health habits in the home, too, the report authors said.

The institute is under the umbrella of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines how parents can keep their children at a healthy weight.


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Introducing: Personal Loans After Bankruptcy | Unsubsidized Loans

Filing a bankruptcy at the local court is not the beginning of the end for your financial world or your future. In fact, coming back after such an ordeal may be an indicator of future strength. Securing a personal loan after bankruptcy may be an ordeal, but once landing one and seeing it through on the agreed-upon terms, will indicate your ability and worthiness to go on with other folks trusting you.

First Steps to Securing a Personal Loan after Bankruptcy

After your application for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy has been approved by the courts, it may be necessary to wait two years before asking for another loan. Your income and your stability will be paramount after that time period. While this time passes, you need to show that you are no longer a high-risk to lenders. Keep all your time payments and utility bills up to date.

Boost Your Credit

While you are waiting for that magic time after which you can apply for loans on the strength of your own creditworthiness, why not try for a secured credit card and a small personal loan. You will need to put up cash, from $2-300 to get a secured credit card.

That amount will never be used to keep your payments up to date, but it will be your credit limit. These cards are an excellent way to eventually qualify for a personal loan after bankruptcy. In spite of that deposit, you will be required to make your monthly payments on time, every time. This will surely help your credit scores and credit worthiness. Only if you default on your obligation will your deposit be put towards your debt, and at the same time, the credit card issuer will put another black mark on your credit history.

Small Loans

Many folks have taken to applying for small personal loans from a variety of vendors. Often, the amount from the loan is put into a separate bank account and then payments are pulled out those accounts automatically to meet the terms of that particular loan. After doing this a few times, bankruptcy folks have seen their credit ratings slowly but inexorably rise. These too are excellent precursors to getting a personal loan after bankruptcy.

Just in Case

If you are not quite into bankruptcy, you may want to consider taking out a consolidation loan. This will pay off all your creditors and get you into a loan where you make one payment, at one interest rate, at one time of the month, to one creditor. This can make your financial life a lot easier, your payment could be a lot less than the sum of all our other payments combined. And this could be a good way to avoid bankruptcy in the first place.

Other Post-Bankruptcy Personal Loan Options

After bankruptcy, you may want to approach a local jewelry store, appliance store, or other mom-and-pop store you may be willing to give you a purchase on a monthly payment plan. Go for it but keep your payments on time and on amount. After you have successfully retired such a loan, ask the small-time lender to give you a letter of creditworthiness. This too can help you re-establish your credit.

Loans after Bankruptcy

As noted earlier, you do not fall into a dark hole never to come back after bankruptcy. Taking little steps and minding payments and making them on time, can go a long way to putting yourself into a place where creditors will once again be willing to offer your a loan. Many ways exist to find a personal loan after bankruptcy.

Hilary Bowman is the author of this article. She works successfully as a financial advisor with years of expertise on Unsecured Loans. Hilary publishes informative articles about loans for bad credit and other financial topics at


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Trying To Conceive ? How To Get Pregnant Quickly ...

Some women may have a desire to get pregnant within a given period of time. Their timing is meant to enable them get to give birth, nurse the babies and get back to their jobs or school. However, getting pregnant might not fall into schedule that a woman had .If you are in this kind of situation and you want to get pregnant quickly, then you can follow these tips:

Begin to eat more natural and healthy foods that have the important nutrients and get the essential vitamins. Stop eating a lot of processed foods.
Avoid consuming high amounts of caffeine by limiting the consumption of sodas, coffee and other beverages that may contain the same.
Maintain weight that suits your body. If you are overweight, then you cannot get pregnant quickly. Try to gain some weight if you are underweight so that it corresponds to your body frame.
One of the best ways to stay healthy is by exercising. However, if you are trying to get pregnant, let the exercising be moderate as too much of it affects the fertility.
Try and understand how you r body functions while putting more emphasis on the cycles and ovulation. It is also good to have a check up that can determine if you have the ability to conceive and carry a foetus for the entire gestation period.
If there is need to seek professional help, look for a qualified medical practitioner to assist you solve the problem. There is a lot of information on the internet and some of it might assist you in your plans to get pregnant quickly.
Avoid places where a lot of smoking takes place. You may think that inhaling cigarette smoke will not affect your baby making abilities but in the long run it is known to cause infertility in both women and men.Some women may have a desire to get pregnant within a given period of time. Their timing is meant to enable them get to give birth, nurse the babies and get back to their jobs or school. However, getting pregnant might not fall into schedule that a woman had .If you are in this kind of situation and you want to get pregnant quickly, then you can follow these tips:

Begin to eat more natural and healthy foods that have the important nutrients and get the essential vitamins. Stop eating a lot of processed foods.
Avoid consuming high amounts of caffeine by limiting the consumption of sodas, coffee and other beverages that may contain the same.
Maintain weight that suits your body. If you are overweight, then you cannot get pregnant quickly. Try to gain some weight if you are underweight so that it corresponds to your body frame.
One of the best ways to stay healthy is by exercising. However, if you are trying to get pregnant, let the exercising be moderate as too much of it affects the fertility.
Try and understand how you r body functions while putting more emphasis on the cycles and ovulation. It is also good to have a check up that can determine if you have the ability to conceive and carry a foetus for the entire gestation period.
If there is need to seek professional help, look for a qualified medical practitioner to assist you solve the problem. There is a lot of information on the internet and some of it might assist you in your plans to get pregnant quickly.
Avoid places where a lot of smoking takes place. You may think that inhaling cigarette smoke will not affect your baby making abilities but in the long run it is known to cause infertility in both women and men.

Get more free tips at: Trying To Conceive Tips

Save this article as PDF file ---->


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Friday, June 24, 2011

Lon's Article Directory ? Voicemail: A cost-effective Solution to ...

Is visual voicemail truly that essential for your small business? Does your company depend on how its customer service functions to grow? Are you getting the most of your communications system?

Based on the US Small Business Administration (SBA), small companies offer half of America?s private employment. The significance of keeping your business always on its toes is essential to your share to the country?s employment goals and economy. If you are in a small business that considers customer service as its backbone, having a good communications system that permits you to maintain a connection with your customer anytime of the day and regardless of your location is nothing less than vital.

A cost-effective answer to strengthening customer service

The cloud-based PBX telephone system is an exceptional development which can provide your small company that much required robustness to cope together with your expected growth. Whilst creating a successful telephone conversation is preferred by most along with a prime asset in customer service, having an additional feature like voicemail has its benefits. Increasing the number of your telephone lines and extensions may be an answer. However, like most small company, either you work on a constrained spending budget or you may not have sufficient workers to answer all calls instantly. Voicemail lets you enhance your customer service at much less price.

Worry-free communications

Your small business may already have a communications system that has functions like traditional voice mail, but are you getting probably the most out of it? Acquire a visual voicemail for your system. Having one allows you to have peace of mind not worrying whether an important client has been missed or not. As a result, you get to focus on performing much more important tasks for the growth of your small company. Visual voicemail could just be the lacking element inside your almost total suite of communication tools to leapfrog your small company to new heights and continue providing your country that a lot needed employment.

Traditional vs cloud-based PBX voicemail messaging system

System providers of cloud-based systems often have a complete selection of communication methods that provide functions beyond fundamental telephony services at much more affordable costs than old PBX systems. Cloud-based PBX harnesses the power of the web by integrating landline phone units with fax machines, computers, cellular and smartphones, and other mobile devices like tablet computers with wireless and mobile calling capabilities into 1 unified communications program compared to conventional PBX systems. Cloud-based systems offer visual voicemail as a cutting-edge feature beyond the conventional voicemail. Visual voicemail permits you to pick up all unanswered calls made to your company number as voice mail messages and lets you obtain them via your on-premise phones and mobile devices. Visual voicemail allows you to save on your online account the messages and lets you visually select which ones you need to listen to In contrast to conventional voice mail. This is particularly essential if you intend to save precious time by not having to listen to every and every one of them. With caller ID that allows you to identify who left the voice message, you can just select and play to listen or simply discard the message.

Most trustworthy providers permit you to configure voicemail boxes for each extension or department and can give your small business voicemail greetings an expert touch and sound like Fortune 500 businesses. These providers can even assist you to deliver professional-quality product and service announcements. Impressive ones can even enrich your voice messaging system with studio-produced on-hold messages that encourage callers stay on the line thereby reducing hang-up rate. Choose a system provider that can give you these extended capabilities in a visual voicemail.

Read more voicemail articles and information via our website. Voice mail provides many communication benefits for your business and your clients.It is best to know them and compare which voicemail provider best suit your needs.


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Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Plumbing: Expanded 4th ...

Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Plumbing: Expanded 4th Edition ? Modern Materials and Current Codes ? All New Guide to Working with Gas Pipe (Black & Decker Complete Guide)

Everything you need to know about plumbing. Everything.

Fresher and more complete than ever, this edition includes new material and revised information and is completely current with the 2006 Universal Plumbing Code. From basic repairs to advanced renovations, this is the only plumbing reference book a homeowner needs. And now, for the first time, Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Plumbing includes a comprehensive section on working with gas pipe. No other big book of plumbing for DIYers covers this important subject.

Also new to this 4th edition is expansive coverage of PEX (cross-linked polyethylene), the bendable supply tubing that?s taking over a major portion of the DIY market. And with the current popularity of outdoor kitchens, we?ve expanded our coverage of outdoor plumbing as well. Now, we?ll show you every step of the process to supply and drain an outdoor sink.

List Price: $ 24.99

Price: $ 11.80

The Homeowner?s Guide to Renewable Energy: Achieving Energy Independence Through Solar, Wind, Biomass, and Hydropower

Energy bills have skyrocketed in the United States, and traditional energy sources can be as damaging to the environment as they are to your pocketbook. The Homeowner?s Guide to Renewable Energy will show you how to slash your home energy costs while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint.

Completely revised and updated, this new edition describes the most practical and affordable methods for making significant improvements in home energy efficiency and tapping into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources. If implemented, these measures will save the average homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the coming decades.

Focusing on the latest technological advances in residential renewable energy, this guide examines each alternative energy option available including:

  • Solar hot water and solar hot air systems
  • Passive and active solar retrofits for heating and cooling
  • Electricity from solar, wind, and microhydro
  • Hydrogen, fuel cells, methane digesters, and biodiesel

This well-illustrated and accessible guide is an essential resource for those wanting to enter the renewable energy field. Packed with practical tips and guidelines, it gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors and is a must-read for anyone interested in saving money and achieving energy independence.

Dan Chiras is the author of twenty-nine books on residential renewable energy and green building and the director of The Evergreen Institute?s Center for Renewable Energy and Green Building, where he teaches workshops on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and green building.

List Price: $ 28.95

Price: $ 18.15

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

See Britney Spears' "Emo Girl" Pink Hair Extensions (omg!)

She sported schoolgirl pigtails for "...Baby One More Time," a super high ponytail for "Oops!...I Did it Again," and a short black wig for "Womanizer."

And in her latest music video for "I Wanna Go," the throbbing third single from her acclaimed album Femme Fatale, Britney Spears, 29, rocks multi-hued hair extensions.

PHOTOS: Britney's wild life so far

"Britney was headed in the direction of 'emo girl.' All the colors came as a way to soften the bad girl image of the video but still keep it Britney," a stylist who worked on the pop star's hair tells Us Weekly.

VIDEO: Check out her sexiest video yet

And she didn't have to sit for hours to get this look, since her on set stylists used She by So.Cap. USA clip-on extensions rather than the bonded ones.

In the video Brit curses out a room of reporters and photographers during a press conference. (One of the questions concerns a supposed love child with Brad Pitt!)

PHOTOS: Her incredible bikini body

Taking to the streets, the singer goes on a rebellious rampage -- opening up her top to a sexy policeman and getting cuffed. Next, she does battle (swinging a lethal, long-corded microphone) with photographers . . . who may or may not be human?!

Get more Us! Follow us on Twitter, Friend us on Facebook, Subscribe to Us Weekly


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

News and Society in the Greek Polis by Sian Lewis (1... - Resource ...

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G. Roger Denson: Jack Smith and the Aesthetics of Camp in an Era of Political Correctness

"Thanks for Explaining Me" is the name of the exhibition of sketches, collages, photographs and films by Jack Smith curated by Neville Wakefield for the Barbara Gladstone Gallery, on view from May 6 - June 16, 2011.


If there's an artist who most reminds us there are multiple art worlds--each with its own pantheon of artists, fans, aesthetic and ideological concerns and targeted markets--it's got to be Jack Smith. A guru of the East Village beat generation known best for his acutely slack and low-budget films, Smith was so poor he was forced to acquire expired film stock to film his productions and is reputed to have not wasted a frame. Smith's films, photographs, sketches and collages of the late 1950s and early 1960s, along with his performance art of later years, profusely assimilated kitsch, camp and nudity at a time when high art was overwrought with existentialist angst and formalist abstraction.

His work wasn't only dismissed as trash by critics of the day, it was condemned by government authorities as obscene. In 1963, Smith's most famous film, Flaming Creatures, was not only held up by the US Congress as a model of deviance to be banned (and which is technically still banned today), its premiere in the same year was raided by the vice police, with Smith, his projectionist and his audience led out of the theater in handcuffs. It all seems preposterous to us today, especially after we find we must strain to see the fleetingly few, if barely visible, flashes of flaccid penises and women's breasts wagging in the extremities of overexposed frames like the comically burlesque asides they are.


The government intervention only endeared Smith to a cult following that continues to grow fifty years later. Today, Smiths "trash" and "obscenity" brand him as one of the pioneering savants in the development of experimental cinema and performance art. The myth of Jack Smith that has emerged tells us of a man who is by today's standards politically incorrect; unsaleable; indulgent in camp Orientalism; the lord of a subversive underground that is no more. But the reality of Smith's legacy stands considerably at odds with the myth in that Smith inspired generations of politically-minded artist-activists; his estate sold in 2008 to blue chip gallerist Barbara Gladstone; he identified with, not patronized or exploited, the image of the colonized Asian, African and Oceanic populations; and that underground that is no more, well, it was largely channeled by the ever-more entrepreneurial and media-saavy Andy Warhol into the mainstream art world and nightclub circuit.


If Smith's apotheosis in the canon of art history was painfully slow, it was at least in part his own choice. During his lifetime his disregard for cinematic convention was so outrageous and impoverished that his professional contemporaries found the imagery he projected onscreen to be more like the discarded footage that filmmakers leave on the cutting room floor than the stuff of art. But identity politics also steered Smith's fate. Here was a queer who dared to enter the macho confines of avant-garde cinema to project scenes of transvestites acting out silent movie fantasies of themselves as Marlene Dietrich or Maria Montez.


Fifty years later, Smith can be seen as having raised trash to the level of art before Warhol had even conceived of Pop Art. For that matter, Smith is acclaimed as the spawning influence on a host of the most inventive artists to come after him. Besides Warhol, Smith's indelible mark can be seen on the work of Carolee Schneemann, John Waters, Robert Mapplethorpe, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, General Idea, David Lynch, Monty Python, and Laurie Anderson. Artists of succeeding generations who amplify Smith's influence include Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Mike Kelly, Matthew Barney, Madonna, John Cameron Mitchell, Terrence Kohl, Marilyn Minter, and Lady Gaga, to name but the most obvious and famous. Even renowned European filmmakers Federico Fellini and Pier Paolo Pasolini evidence the impact of Smith's import abroad.


Sadly, Smith's legendary status didn't grow significantly beyond its cult following until after Smith's death in 1989 of AIDS-related pneumonia. But long before, Smith had retreated from film and photography to make performance art, and by the time of his death his early films and photographs seemed virtually non-existent. It became near impossible to rent prints of his films for screenings, though a few pirated prints and poorly minted DVDs circulated until the performance artist and Warhol superstar Penny Arcade joined with film critic and historian J. Hoberman in the late 1990s to restore and reissue Smiths' films and archive his photographs, sketches and collages. The pair soon after collaborated with curator Edward Leffingwell to organize the first major and much acclaimed retrospective of Smith's work at New York's PS1.


Unfortunately for those craving, or yet to discover, Smith's art, the body of his work became absorbed by a lengthy legal battle that ensued with Smith's sister for the better part of the last decade. Except for the rare, pirated copies of his films circulating just enough to keep interest in Smith and his work the stuff of legend, the world was denied all view of his art. It's why the art world bristled with expectation when in 2008 it was announced that the entire Smith estate was purchased by longtime visionary gallerist Barabra Gladstone in New York. This spring, Gladstone unveiled the first exhibition of Smith's photographs, sketches and collages, along with screenings of his films, curated by Neville Wakefield. In the show's selectivity and restraint, key themes and motifs in Smith's art are heightened and clarified for viewers who previously knew only his films.


Now all we need is diverse and scholarly writing on Smith. Much of what exists is romanticized to the point that Smith has been virtually beatified, so difficult has it become to separate fact from fiction. The aura of hagiography surrounding an artist is never a good gauge of the scholarship devoted to him and his work. Two works that do deliver worthy commentary are em>The Life and Time of Jack Smith, Artist, Performer, Exotic Consultant by Jack Smith, Edward Leffingwell and J. Hoberman, and the documentary film, Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis, by director Mary Jordan. What is called for now is an array of interpretive approaches to Smith's enigmatic work that extends beyond the confines of the circle of Smith's longtime friends and champions.


A new generation of Smith viewers deserve a freshly sympathetic-yet-critical eye to argue for or against the relevance of Smith's work to an age in which audiences suspect the poverty of an artist is indication of his irrelevance. Combined with the Gladstone Gallery's efforts to break Smith into the market, a renewed interpretation of Smith's work will insure it remains equal in stature with the other pre-Warhol era queer filmmakers who were Smith's peers--Jean Genet, Kenneth Anger and Yukio Mishima. We can only wonder what Smith's international reputation would be today had he possessed either Anger's or Mishima's instinct for distribution and self-promotion and Genet's good fortune in attracting internationally-acclaimed supporters like Jean Cocteau and Jean-Paul Sartre. By Smith's own words we know he alienated the influential supporters he drew early on. In a 1978 interview in Semiotext(e), Smith ungraciously complained of the defense of Flaming Creatures that Susan Sontag wrote for The Nation in 1964, along with the promotion of the film by Jonas Mekas as high art. "The first audiences were laughing all the way through," Smith noted. "But then that writing started ... there was dead silence in the auditorium."


Still, few artists of the intensely intellectual and ideological 1960s have been valorized for sacrificing all for their art to the extent that Smith has. Smith himself must have thought so, for like Genet, Anger and Mishima, and indicative of the queer male zeitgeist of the 1950s, Smith was inclined to equate art making with abject sex. He certainly didn't think himself above entertaining the abject fantasy of the faggot or transvestite playing the bitch to the brute who beats and rapes him in a fit of self-loathing because as boys both rapist and raped were beaten by fathers who they simultaneously adored and feared. It's a theme that, despite its psychological relevance, some gays today regard as conflicting with the prevailing emphasis on pride.


Also problematic is the imagery in Flaming Creatures of women partaking in the (simulated) rape of women. Although the few such scenes were shot with the comic overkill of slapstick and theatrical hamming of its actors, some women insist the sight of rape being reduced to a cartoon is dangerous to women. For them, Smith's insult and injury reside not in the depiction of the rape, but in the swoon that overcomes the victim midway through the crime--her acknowledgement of newfound pleasure in being raped and grateful devotion to her rapist. Smith was no doubt making fun of his own queer fantasy of being raped, which is precisely why underground film audiences in the know have adored such scenes for their obvious camp parody despite that the sight of both female and queer abjection onscreen is found objectionable by some feminist and queer activists.


As the art world grows beyond its traditional North American and European boundaries, Smith supporters will also have to stave off discontent over misreadings of the artist's Orientalist-primitivist proclivities. Strictly speaking, Smith isn't even parodying the tribal, nomadic, and traditional peoples of Asia, Africa and Oceana. His film Normal Love may depict a rainforest setting, but it is overflowing with fanciful misfits and mutants (including a mermaid!) in pursuit of hedonistic love. Whether or not they're meant to be broadly analogous to the colonized peoples of the early 1960s (who besides being unknown to most Westerners, under Western colonial rule were treated as second-class citizens in their own countries) is a matter of contention. But if the charge of ethnocentrism has little traction in Smith's work, it's because the cast of Smith's fantasias bear no specific resemblance to any real ethnic or religious group. Smith's photographs may resemble portraits of the world's dispossessed populations living in the shadow of invasive multinational corporatism, but Smith's subjects are outfitted in draperies and makeup that only vaguely recall the customary dress of Asian and African societies, and then only to the untravelled eye. Smith's photographs are entirely simulated, depicting no more than his longing to belong to some perversely blissful tribe of flower children capable of delighting equally in the sensuality of gardens and the barrenness of concrete slums.


It helps to remember that in the early 1960s, before the Stonewall Nation, feminists, and anti-colonial guerillas rose up to fight for pride and empowerment, abject depictions of women, queers and the colonized were still the default expression buttressed by law and religion. To be arrested and impoverished, in essence to be made abject, and for one's art as Smith had been, was the artist's counterpart to the non-violent protests and arrests of the budding civil-rights, anti-war and anti-colonialist movements of the day. In a context of civil dissent, Smith's parodies of abused women, queers, and homeless urban urchins can be recognized as portraits of humanity at the same time they are portraits of the artist whose empathy brings him sight of the human condition. It was Smith's special talent to be able to transform the iconography of camp into political activism, and he did so simply by depicting people having inordinate pleasure. It's why Smith's hedonistically enrapt souls appear anything but abject in their celluloid, silverprint and c-print paradises. Whatever the circumstances of their lives, they appear joyous beyond compare, and joy is always the mark of true defiance.



In this respect, Smith's films both share and depart from the purposively abject sensibility of Genet's Un Chant D'Amor and Anger's Fireworks, along with the image of Mishima posed famously as the martyred Saint Sebastian by photographer Kishin Shinoyama. And though Mishima's own cinematic enactments of Japenese ritual seppuku in the films Patriotisim and Hitokiri aren't queer films, they are no less imbued with the aesthetics of a spiritual abjection thought to purge the human spirit of its harmful contaminations. Here the three most eminently queer artists of Smith's lifetime share with Smith a single irrepressible motif--that of representing themselves (if through their actor surrogates) as pathetic victims at the mercy of social forces beyond their control. It matters little whether it's thugs who beat them or authorities demanding their deference and civic obligation. Abjection is imposed on them by a mercilessly absurd world, and they can do nothing but submit. Or can they?


Here is where Smith departs from the abject theme of Genet, Anger, and Mishima. Whatever adversity they face, Smith's congregation of vampires, thieves, harlots, even his exotic jungle and slum dwellers, possess a blithe disregard for and independence from the constraints that can deprive them of their indefatigable joy. It's a simple if relentlessly comic characterization, yet it serves as Smith's foil to the abjection that consumes his contemporaries while unfurling the proof that he is at heart a combatant against the dehumanization of the so-called undesirable element in society. It's why Smith finds it necessary to keep his characters ecstatically laughing, dancing, and of course making love throughout their cinematic travails.


The inhabitants of Smith's art are beings wondrously supported by the mystic's truism that freedom is found in letting go of worldly desire--a creed that must have inspired if not personally empowered the financially impoverished Smith, enabling him to make such orgiastic masterpieces as Flaming Creatures and Normal Love. How else could he justify reveling with such abandon in the eternal present of simple delights issuing from his free-flowing imagination. The mystic, the bohemian, the beat, the hippy: all the countercultural identities assumed by Smith at the height of his creativity hold to the common principle that work and invention (the basis of art) are the cure for the impoverishment of the spirit, and as such compose the most aesthetically and politically subversive acts of protest against social disenfranchisement.


Read other posts by G. Roger Denson on Huffington Post in the archive.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Evangelist pleads guilty to swindling church-goers

by WHAS11

Posted on June 20, 2011 at 11:52 PM

Updated yesterday at 11:52 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)- A traveling evangelist accused of defrauding church-goers of more than $700,000 has pleaded guilty.

Ernest Cadick, 60, made his plea in federal court in Louisville today.

Cadick admitted to defrauding people over the past 15 years through an oil and gas investment scheme.

Cadick owned and operated Bardstown-based Kingdom Oil Company and is one of at least a six oilmen in the state to be implicated in schemes to defraud investors.

In addition to the federal charges, Cadick will also be in state court on charges of swindling nearly $30,000 from elderly victims.


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India Releases Country's Oldest Inmate: 108-Year-Old Hindu Priest

"Prison authorities in India have released the country`s oldest inmate, 108-year-old Brij Bihari Pandey, who was convicted of a murder he committed at the age of 84, officials said Saturday.


Pandey, a Hindu priest, was freed on Friday by a court in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh on humanitarian grounds as prison officials were finding it difficult to provide regular medical treatment to the `oldest prisoner in the history of Indian prisons.`"




Pandey is bed-ridden, and the sad truth is that the 108-year-old murderer is a prisoner of his own wasted body.?


The compassionate thing to do is not to set him free, but to put him to sleep. The Hindu priest is a disgrace to his religion, and a burden on society. It`s not like a nation of over a billion souls is going to miss him.?


Pandey can`t blame his crime on youthful indiscretion, he was 84 when he killed four people over the inheritance of a Hindu religious institution.


If there`s any truth to the Hindu religion, Pandey will be reincarnated as a cockroach.



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webOS Skype integration revealed in screenshots

Skype on Pre 3
We know you've all been losing sleep, wondering what exactly Skype integration on webOS will look like. Well, tonight, you should sleep like a baby, knowing you've gotten a solid peak at how the Pre 3 will hande the VoIP service. Similar to Google Voice on Android, you'll be able to either route all international calls through Skype or force is to ask every time you press that precious dial button. We also know that it will be able to handle video calls and, at least on the O2 network in Germany, both voice and video chat will be available over WiFi and 3G. You'll also be able to initiate sessions from either contacts or the messaging menu, so there's no need to fire up a separate app. Now, we just need HP to get this out the door and for Microsoft to work out those reliability kinks. Check out the source link for the full-sized images.

webOS Skype integration revealed in screenshots originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 19 Jun 2011 19:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Cedar rodeo sports new name | Active Insite Blog

CEDAR CITY - The Wendy Wood Memorial Rodeo may have a new name - Cedar City Championship Rodeo - but its quality remains as professional as its inception nearly a decade ago.

"The whole thing about the rodeo is that it was put on to be a nice rodeo and of the highest quality," said Marilyn Wood, rodeo committee member. "That's the reason we still do it because Cedar deserves a good rodeo like the other towns."

The Cedar City Championship Rodeo is continuing the legacy of saddle broncs and bull riding that has been a staple of the community's heritage for years, and what Wendy Wood loved growing up. The daughter of Matt and Marilyn Wood was disabled after falling off a runaway horse at the age of five. She lived until the age of 18, dying in her sleep unexpectedly in 2003. For nine years, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned event carried her name to pay tribute to her affection for the all-American sport.

"We had mixed feelings at first, then we thought, the rodeo brought it all back up for us every year that we lost Wendy, and when you lose a child, you don't want them to be forgotten," said Marilyn Wood. "Then you realize, you'll never forget them. People still ask about her still, and the rodeo had to move on, so we felt like it was OK."

Cyndi Woodbury Gilbert said while the Diamond G Rodeo has been the stock contractor for the two-day rodeo, the event will always be organized by a committee composed of Cedar City residents so the community has ownership in the family entertainment venue.

"Cedar City is my hometown, and I'll always be a Cedar City girl, and I want the rodeo to be the best and the most exciting that we can provide," Gilbert said,

For two hours each night, Friday and Saturday, crowds are privy to witnessing some of the world's championship cowboys in action that they would not otherwise get to see. Professional rodeo clown, Jeff Garner, "Slim," is a second generation rodeo clown and bullfighter set to take on the bulls with Aaron and Clifford J. Maxwell.


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Point/Counterpoint: On the iPhone 5 replacing the iPod touch | TUAW ? The Unofficial Apple Weblog

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

US lawmakers press Taiwan on Falungong-linked TV (AFP)

WASHINGTON (AFP) ? US lawmakers called on Taiwan to ensure broadcasts of a Falungong-linked television network as the spiritual movement feared that a satellite contract would end due to pressure from China.

New Tang Dynasty television makes its way onto some mainland Chinese televisions through a commercial satellite operated by Chunghwa Telecom, in which Taiwan's government is the largest stakeholder. The contract runs out in August and the company has said it would not renew it.

In letters this week to Taipei authorities, several members of the US House of Representatives known for sympathy to Taiwan voiced concern that political considerations may have been part of the decision.

"As a supporter of a robust bilateral relationship between our two governments, I am concerned that Chunghwa Telecom's decision could reflect poorly on the government of Taiwan," wrote Representative Shelley Berkley, a member of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party from Nevada.

Representative Gerry Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia, urged a "speedy resolution" of the issue and said that due to the government stake in Chunghwa, "any decision made by the satellite company could be perceived as official (Taiwan) policy."

Chunghwa has said that there was insufficient bandwidth on the new satellite it launched with Singapore Telecommunications and that it had offered to help New Tang Dynasty to find a new satellite.

"We've been trying to solve the issue. But apparently our efforts have not been accepted as the matter has been politicized," spokeswoman Chen Hui-yen said earlier in Taipei.

Media rights group Reporters Without Borders has cast doubt on the explanation. New Tang Dynasty focuses on news and cultural programming often unavailable in communist China, which strictly controls the media.

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou has dramatically improved relations with China, which claims the island. The Taipei government was founded in 1949 by nationalists defeated in the mainland's civil war.

Samuel Zhou, executive vice president of New Tang Dynasty, said that the network wanted to stay with Chunghwa as the Taiwanese government stake ensured more protection than purely commercial satellites, which could face intense pressure.

Zhou, who recently visited Taiwan for talks on the dispute, said that the island had a special role to play as a democracy in the Chinese world.

"It's good to have economic development. There is nothing to blame. But still the Taiwanese government should not yield and take a step back on democracy," Zhou, who is based in New York, told AFP.

Falungong's Buddhist-inspired teachings focus on meditative, martial arts-like exercises. China banned Falungong in 1999 and declared it an "evil cult" after growing alarmed at its organizational clout.

The group says that its practitioners are treated harshly in China and even killed.


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Friday, June 17, 2011

Lawyer: My client did not hire to shoot Tupac (AP)

NEW YORK ? The lawyer for a hip-hop mogul accused in an online post of orchestrating a plot to rob rapper Tupac Shakur in the mid-1990s says the claims are outrageous and false.

Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman said Thursday his client James Rosemond did not hire anyone to rob and shoot Shakur.

The accusations about the 1994 robbery and shooting were posted online at and are attributed to Dexter Isaac, who says he was hired by Rosemond. Isaac is serving a life sentence in an unrelated murder-for-hire-case. Rosemond is wanted by federal authorities on drug charges.

Shakur was killed in 1996 in an unsolved slaying.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

New York City police are investigating an online posting from a convicted felon who claims to have shot and robbed Tupac Shakur in 1994, two years before the rapper was slain.

Police spokesman Paul Browne said Wednesday that if police determine the post is legitimate they will seek to interview the prisoner.

The claim, attributed to Dexter Isaac, was posted on the website In a letter that the site said came from a Brooklyn prison, Isaac said he was paid $2,500 by another hip-hop mogul to rob Shakur outside a studio in Manhattan in 1994.

Shakur suffered gunshot wounds but eventually recovered. He was killed in 1996 in an unsolved slaying.

Much of the post is laced with bitterness directed at the person the writer says hired him to carry out the crime. The writer says that person has wrongly accused him of being a government informant.

"Now I would like to clear up a few things, because the statute of limitations is over, and no one can be charged, and I'm just plain tired of listening to your lies," Isaac wrote, adding that the mogul also allowed him to keep some of the jewelry he stole from Shakur.

"I still have as proof the chain we took in the robbery," he writes.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website, a person named Dexter Isaac is serving life in prison and is housed at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

An employee there said inmates were not allowed to receive calls and were allowed only approved in-person visits. In order to be approved, a person must first write to the inmate, and receive a visitor form.

It wasn't clear whether Isaac still had a lawyer, and a call to the website wasn't returned.


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Fun with Caffeinated Beverages [Companion Piece]

Fun with Caffeinated Beverages

Coffee is great, but even die-hard coffee lovers might want to give tea a chance. The other beloved warm beverage, tea imparts to its drinkers some formidable health benefits, an extra boost of alertness without the same caffeine slump of coffee, and a considerable variety. Here's how to get started enjoying the best possible tea. More ?

More Fun with Caffeinated Beverages


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Nintendo's Iwata talks about Wii U's place in the living room

Nintendo took some inspiration from the TV remote for its Wii controller, and it apparently thinks its new Wii U controller could well be the "TV remote of the future." That's just one tidbit from All Things D's sitdown with Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, who also talked more broadly about the Wii U's new role in the living room. As evidenced by E3, that will include catering to more hardcore gamers than the Wii did, but Iwata says the Wii U is also an effort to take some of the couch time back from folks playing games on tablets, smartphones or laptops. To that end, Iwata says that Nintendo's mission is to "shorten the distance between people and gaming" and remove some of the barriers involved with console gaming, further adding that it's also trying to "reach out to the people who are not interested in video games." Though it's not saying much about it, Nintendo's no doubt hoping to win back a few investors as well. As you may have noticed, the company's stock slipped significantly following its E3 announcement and, while it's bounced back a bit since, it's still well off its Wii-fueled heights of recent years.

Nintendo's Iwata talks about Wii U's place in the living room originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 14 Jun 2011 16:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Online Businesses: One of the Best Home Jobs for Mums

One of the most hardworking groups of people in the world works almost 24 hours every day, but actually don't get paid. This is the reason mum are held in a high pedestal. Almost all households have them. You probably know them better as mum. Yes, mothers are one of the most hardworking, yet financially underappreciated people in the world. They work every day, serving their families but get nothing from it. However, some mothers still profit while doing home work. They do this by getting home jobs for mums. There are many types of home jobs for mums. Of these, the best has to be opening and running an online business.

Out of all the home jobs for mums out there today, the most profitable (and easiest to manage) has to be online businesses. You see, with an online business, you just need to set-up a good foundation and structure for your business. After that you can just do maintenance and monitoring. That is why it is ideal. Unlike with other home-based jobs, you don't have to dedicate hours on end to your work. Online businesses are perfect for mothers who do full-time mum work at home. You can earn money while still having control over your time. You just need to check on your business every few hours and you are good.

Many have succeeded in online business. However, more people have failed in it due to poor planning. The reason people fail is because they lack in training. For full-time mothers, training has to be convenient; meaning you do not have to leave your home to get it. Fortunately, there are semi-formal training facilities online. Even without specialized training you can find success with online businesses by following in the footsteps of other internet marketers who offer free advice on blogs, eBooks and personal websites that are designed to help increase the success of home jobs for mums. You just need to participate in webinars and online conferences to learn more about what you are getting into. As soon as you know the basics well, you are pretty much all set.

Full-time mums can find home jobs for mums and contribute to the family income. With a good online business, you can even surpass the money your husband brings in! To be good at this, make sure you get proper training before you start you own business. With good training, failure is impossible.

This is just the beginning! To learn more tips on how to have a successful online business, visit our site at

Click here to get more information on how to work from home.


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The Importance of Office Space for Rent, Makati in a Disaster Recovery

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Some companies come, some businesses go. Life is a cycle where the fittest always survives. The very same may be said a fact in enterprise. You have to be prepared for everything when managing your business. Good fortune is effortlessly welcomed with open arms but what about misfortunes or catastrophes. Numerous little or large businesses are not aware of the significance of developing a disaster recovery strategy to make certain business continuity. This entails exploring into the possible situations and having a backup strategy for everything, including an extra office space for rent. Makati has many possible areas businesses can rent whilst their office is in poor condition.

You?ll find several types of catastrophes a business can probably encounter. Whether it?s fire, flood, earthquakes, or man-made catastrophe, you?ll be able to nonetheless salvage valuable aspects of one?s business to continue. Discovering a short-term serviced office in Makati is a wonderful plan in case your offices are in a ramshackle. What must a company do whenever confronted with a calamity or disaster? Listed below are a few things businesses will need to think of in making a disaster recovery plan.

Taking care of your own staff

Life is the most essential thing you ought to look after in instances of unfortunate events. This indicates you need to prioritize your staff and make sure they are secure. Furthermore, to keep company operations running, identify which job functions need to perform again even after the occurrence like customer support representatives or accounting staff. Prepare a checklist of work that are critical for the companies to get back to work.

Recovering machines

Following prioritizing your staff, you can assign them specific items which are vital for their work and for the companies to start again. Items that may possibly be valuable are computers or laptops, cash register, data and hardcopy of information, computer software program, etc. Your disaster recovery strategy should consist of the details so that your staff would be able to adhere to it easily.

Safekeeping information

Don?t overlook to safeguard information kept electronically. If they?re saved in local computers, do not fail to retrieve them. Having backups is helpful specifically when there?s no time to get data on servers. It is also convenient to have all of your information saved on offsite servers.

Locating a brand new workplace

To keep your company, you need a new workplace just like a serviced office in Makati. Before anything takes place, you have to get in touch with and prepare businesses for your emergency situation. Finding an office space in Makati will help you carry on your business and set up operation instantly. This is an important aspect to consider for business continuity.

When creating your disaster recovery plan, think as if all of the essential aspects of your company will be gone. This will help you develop an in depth plan covering even the tiniest aspect of your business. Find office space for rent in Makati before something happens to your company. Lately, there has been many natural disasters happening, which is why preparing a disaster recovery plan is a smart decision.

The writer is experienced in terms of Makati office space and the place to locate them. He suggests businesses to try Makati office space for rent to avoid making pricey blunders.


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Will Griffin's Beacon iPhone Universal Remote Be the First to Not Suck? [Remotes]

Griffin, maker of a ton of Apple accessories, just released a universal remote system for iOS devices. It's not the first iOS remote around, but we're hoping it can be the first to not suck. More »


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