||BanglaClub||.your place to be


Wonder What Happened to Julia Reed?

Julia Reed, to those of you who are veterans of American cable news shows, is a Vogue senior editor, and champion of all things Mississippi.

She comes from hearty stock in Greenville, the heart of the Mississippi Delta.

Greenville residents, which include her family for generations, have endured hurricanes, heat, fires, rains, tornadoes, ice storms, and a small event known as the US Civil War.

I wonder, if like Brett Favre’s family, they had to go up their attic, and wonder about Julia, who has the misfortune of having chosen to live in New Orleans.

I knew about Julia Reed anecdotally from friends in New York City.

She shares her time there and in New Orleans, but because she is such a Southerner, with her husky-voiced Southern twang which must stick out a mile in those Upper East side salons, and her much beloved charm and wit, so redolent of her home state, she must be in great demand in NYC.

What now, I wonder?

Will she go back to New Orleans, or just stick to NYC?

I think this momentous decision is one many people from the area are faced with today.

But I do know one thing.

She may well leave New Orleans, but her kinfolk will never leave Mississippi.

Some things not even a hurricane can take from you.

READ JULIA REED’S BOOK: Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY 7 SEPT: Julia Reed is alive, well, and safe in her parent’s home in Greenville, MS! I noticed a hit counter referral to my site, and checked out the links. In one of them, I saw that she had been interviewed on the embattled Air America Radio’s Al Franken Show, subbed though he was last week, by Rachel Maddow. Now Julia Reed, from what I’ve heard from her previous on-air TV commentaries, is hardly a Republican. In fact, I would not hesitate to say she tilts left politically, and perhaps that’s why Air America thought they would have her on air on Friday, 2 September, being a New Orleans/Mississippi resident and all. I’m sure they thought she would tow what has become the MSM Party Line of “Blame Bush! Blame Often! Don’t Stop Blaming!”. Boy, they must’ve been livid at her for assigning blame first, foremost, and often to Governor Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana, and ESPECIALLY to Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans. She absolutely ripped him apart for his lackadaisical remarks before the levees broke on Tuesday. As much as Rachel Maddow tried to steer back the conversation to assign blame on the Federal response, Julia Reed would have none of it. She said she found it “terrifying” that they were in charge, and couldn’t believe Blanco was her governor, who just threw up her hands asking people to pray for Louisiana, instead of asking them to pray, which is fine, but also doing a million and one other things a governor of a State is supposed to do. And as far as Ray Nagin’s chances for re-election are concerned, she said they are nil. That’s when Rachel Maddow put on Nagin’s expletive-laden outburst which made did the rounds of all MSM outlets gleefully. Poor old Julia Reed — she didn’t get the segue, and just ripped him apart again for throwing a hissy fit AFTER his lame, lack of leadership “un-Giuliani” comments on air on Monday, when the storm first broke. Rachel Maddow desperately tried to get the conversation back to the Federal, by bringing up Speaker of the House Denny Hastert’s comments about not rebuilding New Orleans, which Reed fully agreed were ridiculous and defeatist (as do I), but the damage was done. Someone didn’t get the Blame Bush memo. She didn’t say what she did because she was being Right or Left. She said it because, using that famous Southern habit of calling it as you see it, that’s how she perceives the truth to be. Here is the mp3 clip of Reed’s lapsus lingua on ARR. Scroll to minute 77:00 until minute 88:00. Julia, on the off-chance you’re reading this one day, good on you. I just hope you get invited back to those Upper East Side salons. You might have some ‘splaining to do.


November 11, 2008 Posted by | Entertaintment, News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Canadian Natural dives

The Toronto stock market turned thumbs-down to capital spending cuts at Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. announced Thursday and higher costs for the Horizon integrated oilsands project, trimming 11.6 per cent from its share price.

Stock in the Calgary company fell $7.01, winding up at $53.40, while the TSX/S&Penergyindex slipped 6.8 per cent, the price of oil sank$4.33 to$60.77 US a barrel on fears that economic softness would undercut global demand. As well, the Alberta government tabled new royalty legislation in the legislature.

Canadian Natural raised for the third time the estimated cost of Phase 1 of its Horizon project –by $411 million to $9.7 billion –created by a further delay of about a month for the project to produce first synthetic crude.

And it announced its capital budget would be $3.6 billion smaller in 2009 than in 2008.

Analyst Martin Molyneaux, managing director of institutional research for FirstEnergy Capital Corp., said the company remains a top pick with a target price of $100,but its decision not to divert money from oilsands to conventional playstosupportproduction was disappointing.

“I think people were a little bit taken aback that they took their (capital expenditure) down –they spend $7.6 billion in 2008 and they’re taking that all the way down to $4 billion in 2009,” he said. “The biggest delta is obviously Horizon . . . still, given oil prices and the rest of it I think most people thought it would be higher. We were looking for them to spend $5.1 billion.”

Chris Feltin, analyst for Tristone Capital Corp., said the oilsands setbacks helped sink the share price.

“It’s a couple of issues. They released disappointing news from Horizon . . . on a day when there’s a pretty steep decrease in oil prices. I think the other issue at play here is their guidance for 2009 is lower than street expectations on production growth.”

Bothagreed Canadian Natural’s financial results from the third quarter of 2008, when it had net income of $2.8 billion, were sterling.

Income quadrupled the $700 million made in the same periodof2007.Excludinghedging, stock-based compensation and fluctuations in foreign exchange, Canadian Natural had adjusted net earnings of$963 million, comparedwith$ 644millioninthethird quarter of 2007.

Steve Laut, president and chief operating officer, said in a conference call the company will spend less on the oilsands next year and “reprofile” spending so expenditures relating to phases two and three of Horizon are made when construction costs are lowest, even if that means a longer timeline.

There are five phases planned.

“In2009,wewill rampupPhase 1 production, focus on reliability, focusonreducingoperatingcosts, and reduce capital costs in our future expansions,”he said, adding $574 million is in the capital budget for Horizon in 2009.

“Our business rationale at Horizon is we are not going to build in a high-cost environment.”

Laut said it will likely take at least a year for costs to moderate at Fort McMurray. He said a recent example of cost escalation is a diversion dike project Canadian Natural estimated last spring would cost $20 million. But the bids it received were for between $40 million and $75 million.

“We reprofiled it–really what that means is we didn’t do it,”he said, adding a contractor between other jobs bid $14 million this fall to do it and it’s now under construction.

LautsaidCNRLhashadanenviable recordwithitsmajorprojects this year, with the exception of the biggest one.

“We have been on time and on budget,”he said, referring to projects that include the $700-million, 40,000 bpd Primrose East field in Alberta that produced first oil in October, ahead of its first-quarter 2009 schedule.

“At Horizon it’s been a different story. We are not on time and we are not on budget.”

Analysts said Canadian Natural’sthird-quarterresultsmatched expectations. It’s cash flow per share of $3.35 beat the consensus of $3.08.

It posted cash flow from operationsof$ 1.815billion, downslightly from the second quarter, but up 15 per cent from $1.577 billion in the third quarter of 2007.

Total crude oil and natural gas liquids production for the quarter was 306,970 barrels per day, off eight per cent from the same period in 2007, due mainly to the transitionbetweensteamandproduction cycles for the Primrose thermal wells, conversion of Pelican Lake wells to polymer injection and turnarounds in the North Sea and offshore West Africa.

Natural gas production for the quarter averaged 1,490 million cubic feet per day, down two per cent from the second quarter and 10 per cent from the third quarter of 2007 as the company switched capital to higher return crude oil.

Drilling has started at Baobab in offshore Ivory Coast and first oil is expected in the first quarter of 2009 at its other West Africa play, the Olowi project offshore Gabon.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembrance Day or Veteran’s Day Story

He was very old now, but could still hold himself stiffly at attention before the monument. His war, the one to end all wars, now just a fading part of history. Very few could remember, first-hand, the savageness of the ordeal that had sent millions of young men to their deaths. Cannon fodder, they’d called them, sent before the guns to be mown down — blown apart by chunks of metal which had decimated their frail bodies. The cream of a generation; almost wiped out. He was haunted by the faces of the boys he’d had to order into battle, the ones who’d never come back. Yet one nameless ghost was able to bring a measure of comfort to his tormented mind. At the sound of the gun signaling the eleventh hour he was mentally transported back to the fields of Flanders.

The battle had raged for over two hours, with neither side gaining any advantage. Wave after wave of soldiers had been dispatched from the muddy trenches and sent over the top.  So many had died already that day that he decided he could not afford to lose any more men before reinforcements arrived.  Perhaps they’d give the remnants a few more days of life.  There came a slight lull in the battle due to the sheer exhaustion of the men on both sides.

During this interval, a young soldier came up to him requesting that he be allowed to go over the top.  He looked at the boy who couldn’t have been more than nineteen.  Was this extreme bravery in the face of the enemy or was the soldier so scared he just needed to get it over with?

“Why would you want to throw your life away soldier?  It’s almost certain death to go out there.”

“My best friend went out over an hour ago, captain, and he hasn’t come back.  I know my friend must be hurt and calling for me.  I must go to him, sir, I must.” There were tears in the boy’s eyes . It was as if this were the most important thing in the world to him.”

“Soldier, I’m sorry, but your friend is probably dead.  What purpose would it serve to let you sacrifice your life too?”

“At least I’d know I’d tried, sir, he’d do the same thing in my shoes.  I know he would.”

He was about to order the boy back to the ranks, but the impact of his words softened his heart.  He remembered the awful pain he’d felt himself when his brother had died.  He’d never had the chance to say goodbye.

“All right soldier, you can go.” Despite the horror all around them, he saw a radiant smile on the boy’s face, as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

“God bless you, sir,” said the soldier.

It was a long time before the guns fell silent for the last time and each side was allowed to gather their dead and wounded.  The captain remembered the young soldier.  He looked through the many piles of bodies.  Young men.  So many as to give an unreal quality to the scene before him.

When he came to the makeshift hospital, he looked carefully through the casualties.  He soon found himself before the prone body of the soldier, alive, but severely wounded.  He knelt down beside the young man and gently laid a hand on his shoulder.

“I’m so sorry, son. I knew I was wrong to let you go.”

“Oh no, sir. I’m glad you did and I’m glad you’re here now so I can thank you.  You see sir, I found my friend.  He was badly wounded, but I was able to comfort him at the end.  As I held him dying in my arms, he looked me in the eyes and said: “I knew you’d come.”

The young soldier faded between consciousness and oblivion for some time before he finally slipped away.  The captain stayed by his side until the end, tears streaming quietly down his cheeks.  Only in war could the happy endings be so terribly sad.

As the bugle sounded “Taps”, the old captain envisioned once again the young soldier’s face. Looking up, he could almost hear the stone monument calling out to him: “I knew you’d come.”

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Cultural, News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Which famous person was born in the city of Salzburg- Austria?

Salzburg’s most famous son is composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who was born and raised in Salzburg.

Christian Doppler, an expert on acoustic theory, was born in Salzburg. He is most known for his discovery of the Doppler effect. Watch your local weather report and you’ll likely see his work.

You know the song, but perhaps not the composer. Josef Mohr was born in Salzburg. Together with Franz Gruber, he composed and wrote the text for “Silent Night”.

And for you sports fans, Roland Ratzenberger, Formula One driver, was born in Salzburg. He died in the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

For a LONG list of other famous Austrians, visit:


November 11, 2008 Posted by | Entertaintment | , , , | Leave a comment

DHL Cuts 9,500 Jobs in U.S., and an Ohio Town Takes the Brunt

When the owner of the big shipping company DHL U.S. Express announced on Monday that it planned to cut 9,500 jobs in the United States, the news hit this town the hardest.

Wilmington is home to a sprawling distribution hub, and more than 7,000 jobs will disappear, devastating the local economy.

“This is a catastrophic event for the entire region,” said David L. Raizk, the mayor of Wilmington, a city of about 12,000 just 40 miles north of Cincinnati. He said that 20 percent of the region’s businesses depended on the hub and would most likely close.

The move was a sharp reversal for Deutsche Post, the German company that owns DHL, which had said that it was planning to maintain its American operations by turning over its domestic air-cargo service to its rival United Parcel Service.

The express package business has been suffering under the sharp economic downturn: express shipments in the United States carried by the top three companies fell in the third quarter for the first time since the 2001 recession.

The company, which cut 5,400 jobs this year at DHL, will discontinue its domestic-only air and ground services in January to focus entirely on its more lucrative international offerings. DHL said it would close its U.S. Express ground hubs and reduce the number of stations to 103, from 412. It said it would retain 3,000 to 4,000 employees to serve its international express customers.

The deepest cuts will be in Wilmington, where DHL built the hub in 2005 on a former Air Force base with the help of a $400 million state and local incentive package. DHL operates the hub in conjunction with Astar Air Cargo and ABX Air, both of which will most likely cease operations there when DHL leaves.

Clinton County, where Wilmington is the county seat, is facing a $2 million gap in a $14.5 million budget because of the loss of tax revenue. “We’re going to be taking 2009 needs and trying to fund them with 2005-level revenues,” said Randy Riley, the county commission president.

Hubs in Allentown, Pa., and Riverside, Calif., are also scheduled to close, as well as 18 regional sorting centers. The move is expected to reduce operating costs to less than $1 billion, from $5.4 billion. DHL U.S. Express expects to lose $1.5 billion this year, excluding one-time expenses.

Deutsche Post had ambitions of competing with FedEx and U.P.S. after acquiring Airborne in 2003 and combining it with DHL. But it was unable to rise above third place in the North American overnight delivery business.

Completing the cutbacks depends on successful negotiations of the outsourcing plan with U.P.S., said Jonathan Baker, a DHL spokesman.

“It has been an extremely tough year for the express business in the United States and for the shipping industry as a whole,” he said. “More must be done now to protect our interests, and we’re going to focus on what we do better than anyone else, and that’s international shipping.”

DHL’s plans may pre-empt a Justice Department antitrust investigation into the deal with U.P.S. Senators Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, and Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, asked for an investigation in September. But Mr. Brown said in a conference call on Monday that the inquiry may be moot.

He wants quick action on federal aid to retrain workers and provide other help for the thousands who lose their jobs and said he would press DHL to help Wilmington financially.

The city wants to purchase the airport and attract new businesses but needs help. “DHL really owes something back to the community, to say the least,” Mr. Brown said. “I’m hopeful that it will be a good citizen and turn over the air park with some subsidies.”

Wilmington has been bracing for sweeping job cuts since DHL announced its proposed deal with U.P.S. in May. The more drastic decision to end all domestic air and ground shipping was a desperate move that some still hope to reverse.

Joe Teuchert, a 16-year Astar cargo pilot and spokesman for Save the Jobs, an organization of community advocates, called the deal with U.P.S. anticompetitive and said it should be blocked by regulators.

Mr. Teuchert estimated that as many as 1,500 jobs could be saved in Wilmington if the deal did not go through. If the deal is completed, he will be out of a job along with thousands more, a prospect he has been fighting since spring.

“I handle emergencies all the time,” he said. “I’ve never had an emergency situation like this.”

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Finance, News | , , , , | 2 Comments

Obama makes first visit to Oval Office

President Bush had a “relaxed” and “friendly” meeting with President-elect Barack Obama after he and first lady Laura Bush welcomed their successors to their future home Monday, a White House spokesman said.

“The president and the president-elect had a long meeting, described by the president as good, constructive, relaxed and friendly,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said in a statement. “The president enjoyed his visit with the president-elect, and he again pledged a smooth transition to the next administration.”

Perino said the two discussed national and international issues but did not provide specifics of the conversation. Bush also gave Obama a tour of the White House’s living quarters, including the Lincoln bedroom.

Bush and Obama held a private meeting in the Oval Office, while the first lady gave incoming first lady Michelle Obama a tour of the residence.

The president and president-elect walked together along the Colonnade by the Rose Garden before entering the Oval Office together. They briefly waved to reporters along the way.

Obama and Bush were not expected to speak on camera after their meeting.

The two met in the Oval Office for just over an hour. When President George H.W. Bush hosted President-elect Bill Clinton after the 1992 election, the two talked for nearly two hours.

Monday’s meeting was a historic formality, but it was also a time for serious talks. It marked the first time Obama has visited the Oval Office.

Bush and Obama “had a broad discussion about the importance of working together throughout the transition of government in light of the nation’s many critical economic and security challenges,” said Stephanie Cutter, spokeswoman for Obama’s transition team.

“President-elect Obama thanked President Bush for his commitment to a smooth transition, and for his and first lady Laura Bush’s gracious hospitality in welcoming the Obamas to the White House,” Cutter said.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | News, Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

1997’s comedy Air Bud

Air Bud is the 1997 feature film that sparked the franchise centered around the fictional dog Buddy, a Golden Retriever. The movie’s title may be wordplay with “Air Jordan”, a nickname of basketball superstar Michael Jordan.

The original movie was successful, grossing US$4 million in its opening weekend and totaling US$24 million for its final run, against an estimated $3 million budget.

The plot revolves around a 12-year-old boy, Josh Framm, who has an interest in basketball. After the death of his father, Josh moves with his family to Washington State and is too shy to try out for his middle school’s basketball team and too shy to make any friends. Through a series of coincidences, Josh meets Buddy, a Golden Retriever who escaped his cruel owner, an alcoholic clown Norman Snively. Josh soon learns that Bud has the ability to play the sport of basketball.

Buddy becomes the mascot of Josh’s school’s basketball team and begins appearing in their halftime shows. But just before the championship game, Buddy’s original owner, Snively steals Buddy from Josh. Josh then infiltrates Snively’s backyard where Buddy is. Snively can’t see him due to a stack of cans on his windowsill. The stack of cans then falls and Josh is caught infiltrating Snively’s backyard. Josh gets Buddy off the chain. Snively then chases Josh in his clown truck. The chase rages on to parking lots near a lake. The van’s steering wheel is then acidentally taken off and rolls across a few parking lots. Snively and his own clown truck falls in the water but doesn’t drown. A few minutes after the chase, Josh then decides to set him free to find someone else. Initially, his team is losing at the championship until Buddy shows up. When it is discovered that there is no rule that a dog cannot play basketball, Buddy joins the roster to lead the team to a come from behind championship victory. Snively sues the Framm family for custody of Bud. It is decided that the dog will choose who will be its rightful owner at the suggestion of Josh’s coach, a former Knicks player. Buddy attacks Snively and runs to Josh causing the judge to grant custody of Buddy to Josh while Snivley is dragged away by the police.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing numbers on bench

Although construction accounts for only 6 percent of jobs on Maui, the swings in this sector “play a large role in both job growth and job loss on Maui,” according to a study released last week by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

And since construction jobs are being lost at an annual rate of 17 percent, the outlook is not good.

“Construction has ceased to be a growth engine for Maui’s economy at a time when other sources of job growth have stalled,” wrote professor Carl Bonham.

Furthermore, he noted that building permits have taken a huge dive. The dollar value of permits fluctuates erratically. But the fall from $352.6 million at the peak during the fourth quarter of 2006 to $45.9 million in the third quarter of this year is “a useful signal.”

Bill Kamai of the Maui branch of the Hawaii Carpenters Union said a third of his members are out of work, and large numbers have been out of work for a long time.

Unemployed workers in Hawaii can get benefits for 26 weeks and can apply for an additional 13 weeks. Kamai said the union knows when carpenters apply for extensions because the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations asks the union to confirm that the applicant is still in the union.

That means some carpenters have now been without work for close to nine months. And it’s worse with the operating engineers, said Kamai, who at last report had more than 50 percent idle.

Bonham’s report, researched by graduate students Sean D’Evelyn and Heber Moulton, takes the numbers through August. They have deteriorated since, he said during at interview at the ILWU Hall.

Bonham has been painting a gloomy picture of the islands’ economy for some time, and for a while he was apologetic about it. Now that the rest of the world has caught up with his pessimism, he just launches into the news without preamble.

The loss of construction jobs is linked to the decline in housing values, whose collapse is affecting lenders. Both values and the number of transactions are down on Maui, Bonham said.

Although local banks avoided writing subprime loans, out-of-state lenders were working the islands, and the proportion of subprime loans in the state, 11 percent, is only slightly below the national rate.

“Because construction has been a primary driver in Maui’s job market for the past five years,” the report says, “this has troubling implications for the overall Maui economy.”

“I don’t know of any $300 million projects that are going to be approved soon,” he said.

Since only a few projects are being advanced, the jobs created in the past few years are running out. The heavy equipment operators felt it first, as little site work is being called for. With no sites being readied, no work for other trades is being created.

As of August, the masons reported a lower, although still high unemployment rate, 37 percent.

The operating engineers reported 25 percent on the bench in September 2007, at a time when the masons were reporting 34 percent.

Since then, the engineers’ rate has zoomed, while the masons’ rate has crept up only slightly. However, Bonham said, the masons will beginning catching up – or “catching down” – soon.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Entertaintment, News | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Heroes Destiny – Images

Millions joined together to create the next great hero. Now Santiago’s adventure begins!

Here you will find some thumbnail images (click on image for full size) of the cast and some scenes from the upcoming web series Heroes: Destiny.

Roberto Urbina as Santiago.

Santiago goes for the goal.

Santiago locked away.

Agents with guns drawn.

A car splatters Elisa!

Roberto Urbina on green screen.

Omar Avila as Esteban.

Lina Esco as Elisa.

Norma Maldonado as Iris.

Lina Esco (Elisa) and Andrea Thompson (Serious Looking Woman).

Elisa and Santiago meet.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Entertaintment | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

24 seconds with Angels and Airwaves

Gaining fame as a member of the immensely popular punk pop trio Blink 182, Tom DeLonge currently fronts his latest alternative musical project, Angels and Airwaves. Joe Leary spent 24 seconds with the former Blink guitarist and vocalist, who is touring this fall tour in support of Weezer.

24: Are there any pre-show rituals you as a band member go through?

TD: We used to do a lot more than we do now, but it’s really mostly about the amount of caffeine we drink and the type of music we blast really loud. Those two things have to be present for every show; punk rock music really loud and lots of Red Bull.

24: Are there any superstitions like a bad rehearsal means a good show?

TD: My rehearsal is that I don’t like to see the crowd before a show, so I’ll never walk out there and see who’s there or what it looks like, or how hard they’re going off – I like to be surprised so whenever I go out onstage. Whatever is there is exciting.

24: When you formed the new band, were you expecting to get some Blink 182 run-off or did you think that perhaps the slate would be wiped clean and these are brand new fans?

TD: I think when I started I thought I’d have some run-off. I was continually surprised about how hard it was to start all over again but I was always willing to work really hard; as hard as I’ve ever worked. It’s made me really appreciate all the things that I didn’t appreciate before or don’t remember. In the last band, everything was so massive and so crazy I think you get jaded a little bit. I was so young and we were just running around doing whatever and now I appreciate every little stride.


24: You’ve voiced support for the Democrats. Are you politically active or are you just a typical American that thinks you have to change stuff?

TD: I’m definitely like most Americans that want everything to be different. I was very politically active during the last presidential election and just as bum-med as a lot of people were when John Kerry didn’t win, so I haven’t done much on this one other than the two people I said are the absolute best to be president were Obama and Biden. I said Biden eight years ago. I saw Obama give his big speech at the last convention where everyone said, “who’s this guy?” He empowered people and gave them goose bumps over Bill Clinton and John Kerry, so I was there when everyone first noticed him. I was a huge Biden fan so now that they’re together, it better work or else I’m moving to Canada.

24: Some people might say rock stars should just rock and not get political.

TD: Bands and their music have always been a vehicle to communicate to the world around them and I think when people can take that and digest the world a little bit differently, sometimes when bands do that they don’t do it the best way and it turns people off to their political ambitions. I think it works for some musicians and doesn’t work for others.

November 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment