Clueless Hollyweirdo of the month

And the winner, er, loser, is: Cameron Diaz:

Actress Cameron Diaz appears to have committed a major fashion crime in Peru.

The voice of Princess Fiona in the animated Shrek films may have inadvertently offended Peruvians.

They suffered decades of violence from a Maoist guerrilla insurgency by touring there on Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong’s favourite political slogans.

While she explored the Inca city of Machu Picchu high in Peru’s Andes, Diaz wore over her shoulder an olive green messenger bag emblazoned with a red star and the words ‘Serve the People’ printed in Chinese on the flap, perhaps Chinese Communist leader Mao’s most famous political slogan.

While the bags are marketed as trendy fashion accessories in some world capitals, the phrase has particular resonance in Peru.

The Maoist Shining Path insurgency took Peru to the edge of chaos in the 1980s and early 1990s with a campaign of massacres, assassinations and bombings.

Nearly 70,000 people were killed during the insurgency.

Here’s a photo:

Photo courtesy: AP/Karel Navarro

I’ll be interested to see what her explanation is – assuming she provides one. If she admits she knows what the bag symbolized, she comes of as looking ‘insensitive’ – not something you’d expect from the Hollywood ‘elite.’ Not only that, but it would beg the question: why on earth would you even buy the damn bag, let alone carry it anywhere … especially to Peru! If she claims she didn’t know what the bag meant, then she comes off looking like an really clueless.

Bottom line is that either Diaz was too stupid to know what her bag symbolized and was wearing it as a ‘fashion statement’ or she did know and carried it anyway in a show of defiance. Either way, this little incident proves that she’s even more stupid than I’d originally suspected she was.

Hat tip: ST reader GWR, who wrote in response:

Cameron Diaz decided to go wandering around Peru with a handbag imprinted with one of the slogans of Chairman Mao. The problem is that Maoist terrorists killed more than 50,000 people during an insurrection in Peru in the ’80s and ’90s. Naturally, the locals were more than a little irritated.

Of course, like most ce-lib-rities, Diaz has the brains of a three-week old kitten, so I’ll assume she had no clue about who or what Shining Path was.

Just another lib letting the pro-communist colors bleed through….

More: Here’s a short AP video on Diaz’s trip.

Also blogging about this: Michelle Malkin, Mike at Flopping Aces, Blue Crab Boulevard, Don Surber, Tigerhawk

Pennsylvania law firm under scrutiny regarding the ethics of immigration law tactics

Several readers have emailed me about this story:

PITTSBURGH — A U.S. senator wants an investigation into the ethics of a law firm whose YouTube video highlights how to circumvent the law to obtain visas for foreign employees.

Attorneys say it’s not illegal — but Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has asked Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to examine the firm’s tactics.

The video shows attorneys for Cohen & Grigsby, one of the largest law firms in Pittsburgh, explaining at a conference on immigration how to obey laws that require Americans be given top priority for jobs while still ensuring foreigners are hired.

“The goal here of course is to meet the requirements, number one, but also do so as inexpensively as possible, keeping in mind our goal. And our goal is clearly not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker,” Lawrence Lebowitz, the firm’s vice president of marketing, told the audience in May.


Initially, Cohen & Grigsby placed footage from the conference on YouTube. Then the Programmers Guild, a group that opposes current immigration laws, edited it, added background music and uploaded its version to the video-sharing site.

“The attorneys aren’t doing anything illegal,” said Kim Berry, president of the Programmers Guild. “There is something wrong with the law.”

Cohen & Grigsby said in a statement that it stood by the substance of the talk, but regretted “the choice of words that was used during a small segment of the seminar.” The firm added that its statements had been “commandeered and misused.”

The video clip appears to confirm the suspicions of many who accuse companies of placing want-ads in newspapers to show the Department of Labor it is recruiting Americans, knowing all along that they won’t attract qualified applicants.

Palma Yanni, a Washington, D.C.-based immigration lawyer, said the department requires companies to make a good-faith effort to hire an American before applying for a work visa for a foreigner.

“By encouraging employers not to make a good-faith effort, they are violating the rules, period,” Yanni said of Cohen & Grigsby’s tactics.

Here’s the video:

I have several lawyer friends who are decent, competent, and honest lawyers, but every once in a while a story comes along that reminds me of just why lawyers in general have such nasty reputations. This is one of those types of stories.

Startin' early: a new approach to fighting 'global warming' (MORE: "World expert" says hurricanes <em>not</em> linked to global warming)

not linked to global warming)">

The UK Scotsman reports that UK children are losing sleep …

over global warming:

HALF of children between the ages of seven and 11 are anxious about the effects of global warming and often lose sleep over it, according to a new report.

A survey of 1,150 youngsters found that one in four blamed politicians for the problems of climate change, while one in seven said their own parents were not doing enough to improve the environment.

The most feared consequences of global warming included poor health, the possible submergence of entire countries and the welfare of animals.

Most of those polled in the survey by supermarket chain Somerfield understood the benefits of recycling – although one in ten thought it was linked to riding a bike.

Pete Williams, of Somerfield, said: “Kids are exposed to the hard facts as much as anybody. While many adults may look the other way, this study should show that global warming is not only hurting the children of the future, it’s affecting the welfare of kids now.”

When all else fails, it’s never above an alarmist to cry “we must do it for the cheeeldren!” First it was, “we need to do something now, so our kids don’t have to pay for it later” – now it’s “we can’t wait, because they’re already suffering …”

Hat tip: Ken Green at Planet Gore

PM Update: Expert disputes storms’ link to global warming

COLUMBIA – As population continues to grow on the coast and people build more structures, losses from hurricanes will go up drastically but it isn’t because of global warming, one of the world experts on the topic said at a University of South Carolina appearance Thursday.

Chris Landsea, science and operations director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said the notion that global warming is causing an increase in hurricanes gained widespread attention after the stormy seasons of 2004 and 2005.

But that perception is wrong and the statistics don’t bear it out, Landsea told about 200 students and professors in the auditorium at USC’s geography building.

Further study continues to show that hurricane activity occurs in cycles of 20 to 45 years, he said. Even though the seasons of 2004, when four hurricanes bashed Florida, and 2005, when Katrina devastated New Orleans and neighboring parts of the Gulf Coast, seemed shocking, they were no more intense than some storms in the early part of the 20th century and in the 1930s, Landsea said.

The 1926-1935 period was worse for hurricanes than the past 10 years and 1900-1905 was almost as bad, he said. So it is not true that there is a trend of more and stronger hurricanes.

“It’s not a trend, it’s a cycle: 20-45 years quiet, 20-45 years busy,” Landsea said. Scientists currently have no idea what causes the time period.

Bbbbut, I thought there was a consensus? ;)