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Don’t Give Government Too Much Credit

In Newsday, Reason magazine Contributing Editor Cathy Young writes:

Entrepreneurs “give back” to society not only in taxes but in products that improve our lives — and in charity. While individual success is aided by public institutions, private associations such as family and community often play a larger role.

Obama is not a quasi-communist; he is just a liberal. Yet at a time when more than 40 percent of our gross domestic product is spent by government, we should be asking how much government is too much. Obama’s speech suggests that his instinct is for more, not less.

Full column at Newsday.

Veronika Zemanova Barbara Schoeneberger

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Willow and Jaden Smith Take Flight at LAX

Posted Thursday December 20, 2012 7:40 PM GMT

Traveling as a family, Jaden and Willow Smith caught a flight at LAX Airport in Los Angeles on Thursday (December 20).

The “Whip My Hair” singer wore a maroon jacket, head scarf, and gray boots as she carried her little terrier in a travel bag while her 14-year-old brother wore a black sweatshirt lined with animal-print fur and Beats headphones.

Earlier this week, the 12-year-old star joined “True Grit” child actress Hailee Steinfeld to celebrate her Sweet 16.

The gals nabbed manicures courtesy of Sally Hansen and sipped on mocktails at Rolling Stone Restaurant and Lounge in Los Angeles.

Enjoy the pictures of Jaden and Willow Smith at LAX Airport in Los Angeles (December 20).

Rebecca Gibney Lillian Muller

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Sports in 2012: The good

Here’s a look at some of the praiseworthy and positive sports stories of 2012, the type that by and large couldn’t be predicted and which didn’t necessarily appear on the stat sheet or scoreboard.

Olympian efforts

Seeing as it was an Olympic year, let’s start with London. IOC president Jacques Rogge called them the “happy and glorious Games.” If such an event can be called normal, then London can, following as it did the sad legacy of the Athens Games (drug scandals, facilities in disrepair) and the over-the-top, efficient Beijing Olympics. And with no publicly known security scares for the Games that were awarded to the city the day before twin transit bombings in 2005.

Oscar Pistorius was one of the bigger stories in London, becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete in able-bodied Olympics. The gold winner in that 400-metre event, Grenadian teen Kirani James, was inspired enough by “The Blade Runner” to ask the South African to swap bibs.

Wheelchair basketball star Patrick Anderson of Fergus, Ont., came out of retirement after three years to score 34 points in the Paralympics’ gold-medal final win over Australia. Canada avenged a 2008 final loss to the Aussies in the process, and the result gave Anderson a career total of three gold and a silver after wins in 2000 and 2004.

“It feels like the first medal I’ve ever won somehow,” said Anderson, now up for a prestigious award to be determined in February 2013. “I’m not sure exactly why just yet.”

Then there was Esther Vergeer of Belgium, the wheelchair tennis player who added Olympic gold medals six and seven while also winning both Grand Slam events. That helped run her modest winning streak to 470 straight matches, dating back to January 2003.

Manteo Mitchell was entered in the able-bodied Games but ran most of his leg of the 4×400-metre relay with a broken fibula.

The Olympic hosts revelled in a stunning trio of gold medals from Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford in rapid succession at Olympic Stadium on Aug. 4, prompting singer Billy Bragg to tweet: “Tonight, our society was wonderfully represented by a ginger bloke, an immigrant named Mohammed and a mixed race woman. #proudtobeBritish”

It was Rod Stewart who sang, “Make the best out of the bad, just laugh it off,” in Every Picture Tells a Story. U.S. gymnast McKayla Maroney did just that in quite possibly the most forwarded sports photo of the year thanks to countless internet memes. Her scowl on the podium while wearing a mere silver medal around her neck from the vault competition initially made her seem like a bratty teenager, but she quickly recovered to poke fun at herself in the weeks to come, all the way to David Letterman’s guest chair and The White House.

The Canadian women’s soccer team showed pluck on the field in winning a bronze model and then embraced their enhanced profile, appearing across the country at events to sign autographs and pose for pictures for appreciative young girls and other fans.

Newfoundland native Elijah Porter was golden without even competing. The 10-year-old boy raised the spirits of the Canadian men’s Olympic 4×100-metre relay team after it was disqualified from a bronze-medal finish in London by sending the team the only medal in his possession, earned playing soccer.

Relay team members Jared Connaughton and Seyi Smith paid a visit to Porter at his home in Paradise, N.L., to personally thank him.


Speaking of kids, the sports catchphrase of the year may have belonged to Jack Meyer. He’s the nine-year-old who greeted the megawatt Miami Heat team after a disappointing home playoff loss to the Boston Celtics with the hilariously incongruous “Good job, good effort!”

To the degree that the NBA was able to rid itself of the lockout stench, it was in no small part due to phenomenon Jeremy Lin. The Knicks guard had scored a total of 32 points in nine games of limited minutes as of Feb. 3. The next night he went off at Madison Square Garden against New Jersey, beginning a span of 10 consecutive games in which he averaged 24.6 points.

Linsanity reigned, the stickiest of a passel of somewhat politically incorrect puns based on his last name. Knicks superfan Spike Lee sought out his high school and university jerseys (Palo Alto High and Harvard, respectively), and many celebrated the still-too-rare examples of star status for a player of Asian descent in North American team sports. He couldn’t come to terms with New York in the off-season, cashing in on a deal with the Rockets.

Fighting for rights

Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke and son Patrick, a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, were behind the “You Can Play” campaign launched to educate and eliminate homophobia in sports, with several NHLers lending their support in advertisements.

Baltimore player Brendon Ayanbadejo, a former CFLer, has been supporting the rights of gays to marry for a few years now, but for some bizarre reason, a Maryland legislater took umbrage this summer, telling the Ravens to do something about it. To its credit, the team didn’t, and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe fired off an impassioned and profane rebuttal to the politician.

Former Swift Current hockey players Theo Fleury, Sheldon Kennedy and Todd Holt continued fighting for the rights of victims of sex abuse and for greater punishment of offenders as the maddening Graham James case continued to wind through the legal system a quarter-century after the crimes. In the United States Cy Young Winner and new Toronto Blue Jay R.A. Dickey, Olympic judo gold medallist Kayla Harrison and Olympic boxer Queen Underwood told their stories of overcoming child sexual abuse.

Honouring the departed

The Miami Heat stood united after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin. The so-called “Stand Your Ground” incident divided opinion in Florida, but it was undeniable that the Heat players clearly believed that in an earlier time, before they achieved fame, they were Martin.

Eli Manning and Victor Cruz were offensive stars as the New York Giants won another Super Bowl, and laudable off the field. Manning donated $25,000 US towards Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, as athletes and leagues pitched to help in that disaster. Victor Cruz dedicated a Dec. 16 game and adorned his sneakers in the memory of Jack Pinto, a six-year-old victim of the Newtown, Ct., school shooting massacre, who was buried the next day wearing the jersey of the Giants receiver, his favourite player.

Notre Dame linebacker Mant’i Teo was a Heisman Trophy finalist despite enduring the deaths hours apart in September of his grandmother and girlfriend, while Pat Neshek of the Oakland Athletics pitched impressively in a playoff appearance just days after his newborn son died.

The Canadian amateur sport community was rocked in a span of weeks by the deaths of freestyle skier Sarah Burke and skicross competitor Nik Zoricic. Friends and teammates tried to keep their memory close as they dealt with their grief. Foundations were established in both of their names to pursue causes consistent with their lives, while the Canadian skicross squad this season donned uniforms that were a tribute to Zoricic.

The Indianapolis Colts were “Chuckstrong”, seemingly gaining strength as their first-year coach Chuck Pagano battled leukemia.

Hanging it up

LaDainian Tomlinson, Jason Taylor, Ricky Williams, Shawn Johnson, Chipper Jones, Pudge Rodriguez and Owen Nolan are among the many athletes who should be saluted as they ended their competitive careers.

Michael Schumacher retired again. David Beckham didn’t, but effectively did for fans wanting to see him play on a North American pitch. Andy Roddick sometimes grated but was never dull, and will undoubtedly make an entertaining tennis commentator one day.

But if you were to pick one man and one woman as head of the “class,” with respect to newly retired athletes, you’d be hard pressed to top seven-time Norris Trophy winner Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings and four-time Grand Slam tennis champion Kim Clijsters.

With files from The Canadian Press

Mia Farrow Jenny Agutter

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Claire Danes Welcomes Baby Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy

Posted Wednesday December 19, 2012 7:30 PM GMT

Bringing home a special present to place under the tree this Christmas, Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy welcomed baby boy Cyrus Michael Christopher Dancy into the world on Monday (December 17).

The “Homeland” star announced her pregnancy in July and kept things pretty private. However, she did tell PEOPLE that she was looking forward to “getting to know our new Dancy.”

Back in 2009, the 33-year-old actress married her British actor husband in a private ceremony in France. Cyrus is the couple’s first child.

It’s an exciting time for Claire for many reasons. She is also nominated for and Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series for her work on Showtime’s “Homeland.” Though, it may be too soon to leave the little one when the awards take place on January 13th.

Jamie Lynn Steffi Graf

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Aaron Rodgers: Alex Smith deserves to be appreciated

Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith forever will be linked by the way they came into the NFL.

Smith was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, while Rodgers dropped all the way to No. 24 before the Green Bay Packers selected him. Rodgers has used that perceived slight by teams as motivation during his outstanding NFL career, but he has sympathy for Smith, whom San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh benched last month in favor of Colin Kaepernick.

Rodgers discussed Smith’s situation Monday during a conversation with NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano.

“Alex and I are buddies, we both got drafted in 2005 NFL Draft, and he’s been through a lot,” Rodgers said in the “NFL Total Access” interview. “I can’t imagine to have to go through that many offensive coordinators and the turnover in coaches has been tough for him.

“He comes in, he’s 70 percent completion, he’s 100-plus quarterback rating last year, he’s like barely over one percent interception percentage,” Rodgers went on. “He’s a great quarterback, he just needs to go somewhere he gets appreciated for the skills he has and hopefully he gets a chance next year.”

Smith undoubtedly agrees.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

Cher Isla Fisher

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RG3′s Washington Redskins jersey is NFL’s top seller

Kirk Cousins suddenly is a very popular man among Washington Redskins fans, but he’s no Robert Griffin III. Then again, RG3 is the most popular player the NFL has seen in a long time.

Robert Griffin III gear.

An NFL spokeswoman told on Monday that Griffin already has sold more jerseys this year than any player in a single season since the league started tracking the numbers six years ago. It’s not particularly surprising, but it speaks to Griffin’s huge influence.

The previous record holder was Brett Favre, who held the top spot from his stays with the New York Jets (2008) and Minnesota Vikings (2009). Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos jersey is No. 2 this year and No. 4 all time.

Griffin’s jersey sales are a sure sign we will see plenty of RG3 commercials and everything else over the next decade. There is a healthy debate over his NFL Rookie of the Year candicacy with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, but there’s no doubt who resonates most with the public. Luck is sixth in jersey sales (playing in Indianapolis doesn’t help).

After Griffin and Peyton Manning, here’s the rest of the top five, courtesy of Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning and Tom Brady. It’s a quarterback’s league.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

Diane Lane Mariah Carey

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Ben Roethlisberger questions Steelers’ play-calling

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ awkward teaming of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley has produced mixed results this season.

Big Ben shouldered the blame for Sunday’s overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys, but he openly questioned a game plan that left tight end Heath Miller out of the mix for much of the second half. Asked if Miller’s disappearing act had something to do with Rob Ryan’s defense, Roethlisberger indirectly pointed the finger at another coordinator. His own.

“I just don’t think we called the right plays to get (Miller) the ball,” Roethlisberger told reporters. “There were a couple of times we called plays that we didn’t execute correctly.”

Something isn’t right in Pittsburgh. Big Ben is at his best calling plays from the no-huddle, but the no-huddle was scrapped for much of the final two quarters Sunday. Roethlisberger is running out of softly worded excuses for why.

“It’s tough for me to answer right now,” Roethlisberger said. “In the second half, we didn’t do much of it — and it’s disappointing. …

“The end of the first half, we were getting into the no-huddle stuff. That’s when we started moving the ball. Taking shots, taking the short stuff, whatever they were giving us, so that’s when we’re at our best and that’s what we need to do.”

But that’s not what Roethlisberger’s coach wants to do, at least not exclusively. The Steelers — at 7-7 and facing a season-defining game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday — are running out of time to figure out this one.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

Becky Delos Santos Nathalie Oberman

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Desiree Dolron 2002 Te Di Todos Mis Suenos series
Desiree Dolron. Te Di Todos Mis Suenos series. 2002.

More here and here.

Posted by Sughra Raza at 12:20 AM | Permalink

Neriah Davis Lori Petty

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Christopher Chaney — Scarlett Johansson and Mila Kunis’ Hacker Sentenced to 10 Years

Scarlett and Mila’s Hacker
10 years in Prison

Breaking News

The man who hacked Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, and others — leaking several nude photos onto the Internet — has just been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

36-year-old Christopher Chaney pled guilty to 9 felony counts back in March — including identity theft, wiretapping, and unauthorized access and damage to a protected computer — after hacking into the celebrity email accounts … and dozens of others.

During the sentencing, Chaney — who was arrested in October 2011 — was also ordered to pay $76,000 in restitution to ScarJo, Christina Aguilera, and “Still Standing” actress Renee Olstead.

But 10 years is a walk in the park — Chaney was originally accused of hacking into the email accounts of 50 victims … including dozens of celebs … and faced 121 YEARS if convicted on all counts.

Andrea Thompson Jackie Chan

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Canada’s Erik Guay wins downhill bronze at Val Gardena

Canadian skier Erik Guay raced to a third place finish on Saturday in a shortened World Cup downhill event due to heavy snowfall at Val Gardena, Italy.

The Mont-Tremblant, Que., native finished in 1:29.06 for his first World Cup medal of the season. He was 14th in Friday’s super-G.

American skier Steven Nyman won gold despite starting with the No. 39 bib, with the first 30 start positions reserved for the top-ranked skiers.

Rok Perko of Slovenia, another late starter, finished second, 0.19 seconds behind Nyman’s time of 1:28.82.

Overall World Cup leader Aksel Lund Svindal was fifth (1:29.27). The Norwegian, who took gold in the super-G event on friday, was 0.05 seconds behind fellow countryman Kjetil Jansrud.

Vancouver’s Manuel Osborne-Paradis crossed the finish line in a time of 1:29.36, which earned him the seventh place.

Calgary native Jan Hudec ended in the 35th spot (1:30.62).

Women’s super-G cancelled

The women’s World Cup super-G race in the Alpine resort of Val d’Isere has been cancelled because of poor weather conditions.

Organizers decided to call off Saturday’s race due to heavy snowfalls in the morning and poor visibility. It has not yet been decided when the race will be rescheduled.

A giant slalom is scheduled Sunday for the nearby resort of Courchevel.

Lara Gut of Switzerland won Friday’s downhill in a race in which defending World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn of the United States crashed out.

Carey Mulligan Catherine Bosley

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“Freeloaders” Clip Released Featuring Olivia Munn: Watch Here!

Posted Friday December 14, 2012 8:46 PM GMT

In anticipation of its release in January, a new clip from “Freeloaders” was released on Wednesday (December 12).

The comedy from the producers of “Super Troopers” follows a group of slackers who are living for free in a rock star’s mansion who find their sweet lives threatened when the musician decides to sell his pad.

Available now on VOD, the flick stars Olivia Munn, Josh Lawson, Dave Foley, Jane Seymour, Nat Faxon, Denise Richards, Zoe Boyle, Clifton Collins Jr., Kevin Sussman, Warren Hutchinson, and Brit Morgan.

In the clip, Olivia’s character Amy chastizes Josh Lawson’s character about taking advantage of their friend’s generosity. Check it out in the player below.

Lori Petty Gina Hiraizumi

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Expanded playoffs could be part of redone NFL season

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell drew a strong reaction when he talked about expanding the playoffs to 14 or 16 teams earlier this week. It’s not the first time the topic has come up, but’s Albert Breer explained Friday that the details surrounding this proposal will be different.

The intense race for the playoffs is in full gear. Check out the latest situation in the postseason chase. More …

Breer reported that this playoff expansion talk will come as part of larger considerations to reformat the NFL season. Any proposal for adding postseason games likely would come with the elimination of some preseason games, perhaps with a move to a 16-and-2 format with just two preseason weeks.

Goodell often has spoken about the poor quality of NFL preseason games. The most likely scenario would be to lop off two weeks entirely.

Breer reported there was no discussion about expanding the playoffs at the meeting in Dallas this week; the idea simply was introduced. It will be discussed further at the league’s annual meeting in March.

When the concept first was broached in 2006 by then-Kansas City Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt, fellow NFL owners quickly turned it down. Perhaps Goodell publicly floated the idea to see what the reaction would be. From what we can tell, it hasn’t been positive.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

Victoria Beckham Ali Landry

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Paul Wesley Covers Bello’s Holiday Issue

Posted Friday December 14, 2012 6:30 PM GMT

With his new movie “The Baytown Outlaws” set to hit theaters next month, Paul Wesley garnered himself a little added exposure by covering the Holiday Issue of Bello magazine.

The 30-year-old Jersey boy looked sexy in Marc Jacobs for the Aleksandar Tomovic cover shoot while opening about everything from Hurricane Sandy to gifting.

Highlights from Mr. Wesley’s interview are as follows. For more, be sure to pay a visit to Bello!

On Hurricane Sandy:
“The majority of my family is in Jersey. I spent a great deal of my childhood at the Jersey Shore, and it’s unfathomable to think that a lot of the landmarks I grew up with are gone and the many people, who are now homeless. I recall my parents telling me over the phone how bad it was. I didn’t realize it fully until I went to Jersey myself a couple weeks ago. We are 20 minutes from the shore and even that far inland, the destruction was severe.”

On his favorite gift:
“My wife made me a book of photographs she took of our road trip across the United States. Makes for a good coffee table book.”

Photo Credit: Aleksandar Tomovic for Bello Magazine

Anne Archer Hetty Baynes

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Mariah Carey and Keith Urban Arrive for “American Idol” Taping

Posted Thursday December 13, 2012 8:29 PM GMT

Heading in for a busy day on the set of “American Idol,” Mariah Carey and Keith Urban were spotted in Los Angeles on Thursday (December 13).

The “All I Want for Christmas is You” crooner was in full glam mode in a short and shiny gold dress and strappy heels while her country singer co-judge sported a white T-shirt, brown leather jacket, and black jeans as he accepted a gift of some pricey booze.

Though things got a little heated during auditions in Charlotte, North Carolina, it seems that the feud between Mariah and judge Nicki Minaj may have cooled.

The “Starships” rapper recently told reporters, “We’ve jelled really, really well as a group. We have a great chemistry. We have a great rhythm now together, and we really are taking it serious. … We really are rooting for the contestants and we want to find a great American Idol.”

Meanwhile, peacemaker Keith Urban added, “I’m just trying to bring the drama down so that we can stay on point.”

Enjoy the pictures of Mariah Carey and Keith Urban on the set of ‘American Idol’ in LA (December 13).

Mia Farrow Jenny Agutter

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Dallas Cowboys Tragedy — Horrific Crash Scene Photo

Dallas Cowboys Tragedy
Horrific Crash Scene Photo


TMZ has obtained an image of the crash scene following the highway disaster that killed Dallas Cowboys star Jerry Brown last weekend — and the Mercedes he was riding in had flipped upside-down.

As we previously reported, Brown’s teammate Josh Brent was driving at the time of the accident in Texas Saturday morning. Brent was subsequently arrested on the scene for intoxication manslaughter.

TMZ has also obtained the 911 calls placed by a passing motorist just moments after the accident — and according to one of the callers, “There was smoke everywhere.”


Rachael Leigh Cook Barbara Bouchet

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Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher’s Doggy Day Out

Posted Thursday December 13, 2012 2:35 PM GMT

Taking their pups for a walk in the park, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher were spotted out together in Hollywood, CA on Wednesday (December 12).

The “Ted” actress kept her look casual and showed off her natural complexion while staying close to her “Two and a Half Men” boyfriend.

The couple is enjoying a break after finishing up two highly anticipated films. Ms. Kunis just finished working on “OZ: The Great and Powerful” alongside James Franco and Michelle Williams.

Meanwhile, Ashton wrapped the bio-pic “Jobs” following the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Both films are due to release in 2013.

Enjoy the pictures of Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher walking their dog (December 12).

Ivana Trump Marlee Matlin

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