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pikey

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #220 on: August 07, 2006, 07:22:01 AM »
I feel dangerous just looking at those shirts

Lol, I think I might order one.

One Step Ahead

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #221 on: August 07, 2006, 07:23:34 AM »
I feel dangerous just looking at those shirts

Lol, I think I might order one.

which one are you thinking of?

btw--where is that Barkley quote from?

AshyLarry

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #222 on: August 07, 2006, 07:36:57 AM »
AKRON, Ala. - An employee in one west Alabama town received pay for vacation time and sick leave while jailed on attempted murder charges. Robert White is in the county jail. Police believe he?s one of several Akron residents who allegedly fired on Moundville residents attempting a birthday party on July 5.

Six people were wounded in the shooting, and two of those people had to have a leg amputated.

Moundville?s mayor said the town?s attorney told the City Council that White could not be fired because he had not been convicted of a crime.


pikey

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #223 on: August 07, 2006, 07:40:29 AM »
I feel dangerous just looking at those shirts

Lol, I think I might order one.

which one are you thinking of?


Of course now my computer won't let me see the shirts, but from what I remember, I kinda like the Stereotype shirt and the it aint easy shirt.



btw--where is that Barkley quote from?
Lol, I was watching PTI sometime last week or the week before when Charles Barkley was talking about running for governor of Alabama as soon as 2010.
CB:  says something about Republicans
Interviewer: Did you just say you're a Republican?
CB: No, I said I'm rich like a Republican!  To be a Republican today, something has to be wrong with you.

There were more quotable comments, but that's all that I remember.

One Step Ahead

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #224 on: August 07, 2006, 07:43:42 AM »
Barkley is a hot mess but hilarious and sometimes right on target

mivida2k

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #225 on: August 07, 2006, 08:16:33 AM »
Love those t-shirts.  Especially the independent woman and I'm Bossy (angry black woman).

For the fellas:



 :D

pikey

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #226 on: August 07, 2006, 08:20:22 AM »
Love those t-shirts.  Especially the independent woman and I'm Bossy (angry black woman).

For the fellas:



 :D

I really like that one.  Thought about getting it for the bf, but i don't wanna give anyone else ideas!  ;)

mivida2k

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #227 on: August 07, 2006, 08:21:25 AM »
Love those t-shirts.  Especially the independent woman and I'm Bossy (angry black woman).

For the fellas:



 :D

I really like that one.  Thought about getting it for the bf, but i don't wanna give anyone else ideas!  ;)


Galt said that he wanted to lose his independence. 8)

mivida2k

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #228 on: August 07, 2006, 11:09:21 AM »
Lawyers say many left out of tax refund
By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer
Fri Aug 4, 9:52 PM ET
 


WASHINGTON - Millions of small businesses and low-income taxpayers will be shortchanged or excluded altogether from a Bush administration tax refund program, lawyers who have filed a class-action lawsuit in the controversy said Friday.
 
The criticism comes amid a        Treasury Department plan in which the public stopped paying a 3 percent federal excise tax on long-distance phone calls as of July 31. The tax collected by phone service providers had been levied without congressional authorization.

The government says taxpayers can get back the last three years of the excise tax payments by asking for the money on their 2006 tax returns. The Treasury Department said recently that $13 billion will be refunded, but it provided no estimates of how much the average phone customer might receive.

Many senior citizens and other phone customers will get no refund because their income is so low that they don't have to file tax returns. A study by the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found more than 10 million households will be left out of the tax rebate program.

"Since I do not file a tax return, it does not seem right that I am expected to fill out a tax return because of what someone else took from me illegally," James Gillis, 78, stated in a declaration in the lawsuit.

The IRS said it is developing a "very simple, straightforward form" for low-income people to file next year to get a refund.

"We recognize there are many people who have no filing requirements and we want to make sure that these people get the refund they deserve," the IRS said in a statement.

Attorneys in the class-action suit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington say consumers ought to be entitled to refunds covering most of the past decade, not just the past three years. A study by Congressional Research Service estimated that $6 billion a year had been collected from the long-distance phone customers.

The tax has been levied for decades, dating back to when long-distance phone charges were based on time and distances of the calls. Many companies long ago dropped the distance factor and began charging a flat per-minute rate. The government continued to collect the tax, even though Congress had not amended the tax law to reflect the change in long-distance charges.

Large businesses started filing lawsuits, winning favorable court decisions. In May, the government stopped fighting the lawsuits, and the        Internal Revenue Service issued the refund rule without seeking public comment.

"They met illegally behind closed doors and the refund is only a fraction of what the government took," said Jonathan Cuneo, a lead attorney in the class-action case that the Bush administration is asking the court to dismiss.

Small businesses that lack the time or money to collect the last three years of their phone bills will be forced to rely on an IRS formula that is likely to shortchange recipients, said Cuneo.

"It would be very impractical for us to spend the time and money to go through our company's old phone bills and determine the amount of money that we shouldn't have paid in the first place," said Peter Loevy, founder of Catering By Design in Conshohocken, Pa., and a plaintiff in the court case.

scurred1

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #229 on: August 07, 2006, 07:48:44 PM »

Focus: Sex tourism in Jamaica
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Sex, sand and sugar mummies in a Caribbean beach fantasy
A controversial new West End play will explore sex tourism in Jamaica, where lonely women flock for flings with young black men. But are these holiday romances sleazy or simply harmless?

Lorna Martin at Negril Beach
Sunday July 23, 2006

Observer

The following correction was printed in the Observer's For the record column, Sunday July 30 2006

The article below describes the Jamaican flag as bright green, red and yellow. This is Ethiopia's flag, favoured by Jamaica's Rastafarians. Jamaica's flag is green, yellow and black.


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We're businessmen,' says Leroy proudly. 'We sell ganja, coke and good lovin'.' His grin spreads to his eyes as he touches fists with his friend Sean. It's a traditional male Jamaican greeting expressing good wishes, friendship and respect. Sean responds, bumping his closed fist atop Leroy's. 'Respect man, to the businessmen.'

It's 10am on Jamaica's breathtaking Negril beach. Bleached white sand, swaying palms and crystalline Caribbean waters stretch into the distance for seven miles. It looks endless and, on a first impression, this could be paradise. But Negril is not as dreamlike as it looks. It is no longer visited primarily for sun, sea and sand. Instead it is the destination of choice for an increasing number of British female sex tourists. An estimated 80,000 single women, from teenagers to grandmothers, flock to the island every year and use the services of around 200 men known as 'rent a dreads', 'rastitutes' or 'the Foreign Service' who make this resort their headquarters.

Female sex tourism is nothing new. It was reported in the late 1840s, when an Englishwoman went to Rome to take a lover. But in recent years it has grown in popularity. These days the women who participate are more likely to be single professionals than bored Shirley Valentine housewives. With females staying single longer and rising divorce rates, these holidays are expected to explode in popularity in the years ahead. Consequently they are the subject of a sudden flurry of books, films and plays examining the motivations of women who travel for sex, love and affection.

Earlier this month Heading South, a thought-provoking French film about a single 55-year-old sex tourist in Seventies Haiti, opened to rave reviews. Starring Charlotte Rampling, it tells the story of a disenchanted English professor who finds a new, more rewarding passion in the bodies of young black men which, she discovers, can be bought for sums trifling to the affluent. In the film Rampling's character Ellen observes: 'If you're over 40 and not as dumb as a fashion model, the only guys who are interested are natural-born losers or husbands whose wives are cheating on them.'

At the beginning of next month the Royal Court theatre in London, never afraid of controversy, will go nearer the knuckle than ever when it stages Sugar Mummies. Lynda Bellingham, the Oxo Mum who became the wholesome face of family values in TV commercials, plays one of four middle-aged women who visit Jamaica to sample male prostitutes. There is lots and lots of sex.

Before it has even opened, the play has ignited a heated debate about the rights and wrongs of female sex tourism: is it harmless fun, a mutually beneficial business transaction? Or is it exploitation and, if so, who is the victim and who is the perpetrator - the women who fall for declarations of true love or the mostly poor, underemployed men who make them? What makes it different from male sex tourism, which is normally seen as sleazy and abhorrent? And is it, as many critics argue, perpetuating the racist myth of the hyper-sexual black man?

The gigolos working on Negril beach offer a simple explanation for their role in what is commonly, though euphemistically, called 'romance tourism'.

'For us it's a fun and easy way to make money,' says Leroy. 'For her, she gets some real good lovin'. All the English ladies who come here complain about the men back home. They say they are cold and selfish, mechanical and uncomplimentary. We know how to make a lady feel good.'

His friend explains that there is no welfare state in Jamaica. Staff who work in the hotels, which charge guests from about £120 a night, earn between £40 and £50 a week. The hard-working and high-earning but lonely western women who come to the island seem like millionaires. 'We are all poor in Jamaica. What we do is more fun and more money than working in a hotel.'

It can be extremely lucrative, but the idea that the men charge a certain price for a set service simply doesn't happen. There seems to be a mutual but tacitly agreed deception at the heart of the gigolo-client relationship. Payment is rarely mentioned because this would shatter the illusion that she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen and he has fallen desperately in love with her. Instead, after charming the women and offering to be their guide, the gigolos set about, sometimes in subtle ways, extracting as much money as possible.

Leroy and Sean, who are both 22, spot two large white women who look around fortyish. They saunter towards them, taking in any obvious weaknesses.

'Good morning, beautiful ladies. Welcome to Jamaica,' says Leroy, offering his fist to one of the women. 'Respect,' adds Sean, as he gazes deep into the pale blue eyes of her friend.

In the distance you can hear other beach boys advertising some of their more conventional wares: 'Coconut, pineapple, mangoes, bananas, Marlboros.' Hand-painted signs, invariably in the bright green, red and yellow colours of the country's flag, invite tourists to stop for breakfast of ackee fruit and salt fish. Other stalls sell aloe vera massages, hair braiding, handmade jewellery and carvings. Even in the morning, it is possible to detect the unmistakable smell of marijuana wafting in the faint breeze.

The women awkwardly offer their fists in response and introduce themselves. They arrived the previous evening from Miami. It is their first morning on the beach.

'You are gorgeous,' Leroy tells one of them, whose attractiveness isn't immediately apparent. 'What part of heaven did you fall from?'

A policeman wanders past, observing but not intervening. Later he tells me it is usually the women who complain on the rare occasions that the force does apprehend hustlers.

She grins at her friend, clearly flattered but not completely fooled. 'Beautiful ladies, some of the men here will hassle you and rip you off,' he warns, appearing genuinely concerned for their wellbeing. 'You need someone to look after you. To show you around. Take you to the waterfalls, the Blue Mountains and the caves and the best parties.' He smiles coquettishly.

The two women look at each other like nervous schoolgirls and giggle. They say they think they are a bit too old for the men.

'No, you ageless,' Leroy continues, shaking his head. 'We are real men. In Jamaica, real men like the cat, not the kitten. And real men like real women. Mature and intelligent and beautiful women like you.'

To some people, their well-rehearsed chat-up lines might sound corny, a bit nauseating, somewhat transparent. But for plenty of women the words are just what they have been longing to hear. They agree to meet later that night at the reggae party on the beach.

When I ask Leroy what he does if he's not attracted to a woman, he responds matter of factly: 'Close my eyes and pretend it's Beyoncé.'

Not far from them, strolling along the water's edge are Jackie, a 38-year-old single woman who works in London as an advertising manager, and Andrew, 24. Jackie is short with dark hair and a plain but attractive face. She met Andrew, tall and slender but solidly built, during a holiday to the island with two girlfriends last December. She has returned to spend a week with him. Only one close friend knows she is here.

'I'd heard about these guys who trawl the beach and I wondered what kind of stupid woman would fall for that kind of thing,' Jackie says. 'At first when Andrew approached me, I dismissed him. I hadn't come here looking for any kind of relationship. I came to get over one.

'But he persisted. He wooed and charmed me. He was funny and very complimentary. I was with my friends and I was a bit worried that they would disapprove. But I thought, "what the hell, you only live once". And I suppose there was a bit of me that wanted to do something slightly adventurous.'