Stressed Chinese fight back – with pillows – Yahoo! News

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – A whirlwind of pillows bearing the names of bosses and teachers filled the air as hundreds of Chinese gathered to blow off stress in Shanghai, staging a massive pillow battle.

The annual event marked its fifth year with such a surge in interest from stressed young office workers and students that organizers held two nights of pillow fighting before Christmas Day and plan another for Dec 30.

“Nowadays there are many white collar workers and students that are facing huge pressures at work and at school, so we hope to give them an outlet to release their stress before the end of the year,” said Eleven Wang, the founder and mastermind behind the epic pillow fights.

“Sometimes we have pressure on us by our bosses, teachers and exams, so today we can go crazy. Everyone will get to write onto the pillows the names of their bosses, teachers and exam subjects, and enjoy and vent to the maximum,” he added.

“After releasing the stress, we can once again face our daily life with joy.”

Pillows were handed out at the door as participants entered, then emotion stoked by a rock concert, with many on the floor of the huge event space rocking and waving their pillows in time to the music.

Then came the fighting.

Pillows filled the air, with many combatants opting for throwing rather than using them to whack opponents. A few hapless participants shielded their heads with as many pillows as they could hold, but most ventured eagerly in to the fray.

“I really enjoyed the fight, but my friend was useless. He joined in for two ticks and could not go on, he was afraid of getting beaten by other people,” said 24-year-old Chen Yi.

“I thought it was pretty meaningful. I’ve just been working so much (at the office) and never get to break out in a sweat, so it felt really good.”

Others gamely said they enjoyed the experience even though they ended up as attackees rather than attackers.

“I don’t know who pushed me, but all of a sudden I was in the pile of pillows, where I became the target of many people, and was beaten by all sorts of people,” said university student Zhu Shishan. “Very meaningful.”



Economist Laffer Endorses Newt Gingrich

Arthur Laffer, the architect of Ronald Reagan’s economic plan, announced today that he is endorsing Newt Gingrich for president.

“Newt has the best plan for jobs and economic growth of any candidate in the field,” said Laffer, the renowned economist who is the father of The Laffer Curve and supply-side economics.

“Like Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts and pro-growth policies, Newt’s low individual and corporate tax rates, deregulation. and strong dollar monetary policies will create a boom of new investment and economic growth leading to the creation of tens of millions of new jobs over the next decade,” Laffer declared. “Plus, Newt’s record of helping Ronald Reagan pass the Kemp Roth tax cuts and enacting the largest capital gains tax cut in history as speaker of the House shows he can get this plan passed and put it into action.”

Laffer, who will join Gingrich in Storm Lake, Iowa, Thursday for a formal news conference announcing the endorsement, said, “Rebuilding the America we love requires returning to job creation and economic growth. We need big changes to fix the economy, and I am ready to stand up to Barack Obama’s class warfare rhetoric to make the case that letting the American people keep more of what they earn is the best way to create jobs.”

Laffer is the founder and chairman of Laffer Associates, an economic research firm in Nashville, Tenn., focusing on interconnecting macroeconomics, political, and demographic changes affecting global financial markets.


Pelosi’s $10,000-a-Night Vacation

President Barack Obama is not the only VIP to be spending his holidays in exclusive islands in Hawaii. 

While the president and his family are on a 17-day holiday vacation in beach front homes in Kailua, Oahu, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is spending her Christmas at the exotic Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu in Kona, reports the Hawaii Reporter.

The California Democrat’s suite, which she has rented for the past two Christmases, room goes for a whopping $10,000 a night. Pelosi has been escorted by local police during her two visits, at a cost of $34,000 to local taxpayers,, the Reporter says.

Pelosi reportedly spent Christmas Eve at midnight Mass in St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Kailua-Kona.

The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai’s website touts the appointed grounds thusly: “Gloriously revitalised, this natural tropical paradise offers more than ever to explore — with a newly expanded Spa, beachfront dining, fashion boutiques and new Deluxe Suites, in addition to Jack Nicklaus signature golf. Set on the Big Island’s exclusive Kona-Kohala Coast, this showpiece resort captures the essence of Hawaiian design, culture and tradition.”

Pelosi has many friends in Hawaii, including Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, whom she supported during his successful campaign for governor in 2010.

Obama’s trip to the island of Oahu is much higher. Last week, the Reporter added up the total cost of his vacation to be more than $4 million.

How great.

2012 is not about Obama; it’s a Referendum on the American Idea – HUMAN EVENTS

Yes, Barack Obama brings added definition to the word disaster, as his presidency has overseen more people trapped below the poverty line than ever in modern history.

But is 2012 about defeating Obama only?

Paul Ryan doesn’t think so. The Wisconsin Republicans says that the eventual GOP nominee must make the 2012 election much broader in scope.

“[The election] is a referendum on the American idea, not on Barack Obama and his handling of the economy,” Ryan told HUMAN EVENTS. “It is, ‘Do you want to reclaim the founding principles that made us exceptional and great, an opportunity society with a circumscribed safety net? Or do you want the cradle-to-grave welfare state?’ ”

“It’s really a choice of two futures,” Ryan added. “We owe it to the country to let them choose what kind of country they want to be and what kind of people they want to be.”

(Part 4 our interview with Paul Ryan)


Ryan says that if the Republican challenger makes the election about the conflicting vision for America, then upon victory there would be a clear mandate to plow forward with the kind of large, structural changes that are needed to keep us free and prosperous.

“We will be better stewards of the economy than he will be,” is an insufficient campaign platform, Ryan stressed. “This is the most important election in our lifetime, no matter what generation you come from.”


Forbes: Harry Reid Can’t Find ‘Job Creators’

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is having a hard time finding job creators, according to Forbes Magazine. It’s part of a pattern, the magazine reports, in which one of the nation’s top Democrats continues to fail at locating American entrepreneurs and the jobs they help generate.

Reid “makes patently inaccurate, outrageous and bizarre claims on an important tax-policy issue without any heads being turned? I guess this is what we have come to expect of Congress. No wonder citizens with favorable opinions of Congress are as rare as unicorns, to borrow a phrase,” writes Forbes contributor Paul Roderick Gregory on the magazine’s website.

“Harry Reid’s statement on December 6 on his proposed 1.9 percent surtax on million-dollar incomes has kicked up some dust. Here is his statement:

“Millionaire job creators are like unicorns. They’re impossible to find, and they don’t exist… Only a tiny fraction of people making more than a million dollars, probably less than 1 percent, are small business owners. And only a tiny fraction of that tiny fraction are traditional job creators…Most of these businesses are hedge fund managers or wealthy lawyers. They don’t do much hiring and they don’t need tax breaks.”

National Public Radio parroted Reid in a recent report, saying their formidable staff of taxpayer-subsidized reporters were also unable to local a single millionaire job creator. They announced:

“NPR requested help from numerous Republican congressional offices, including House and Senate leadership. They were unable to produce a single millionaire job creator for us to interview.”

But the IRS’s Table 1.4 — “Sources of income, adjustments, and tax size of adjusted gross income, 2009” gives this information to anybody seeking it on the Internet, Forbes found.

“There are 236,883 tax filers with incomes of a million dollars or more. By Harry Reid’s count, only one percent, or 2,361 of them, are business owners, and a tiny fraction of them create jobs. I do not know what Harry means when he says “a tiny fraction of a tiny fraction.” If we let 5 percent represent Harry’s “tiny fraction,” we are left with 118 businesses owners who earn a million or more and create jobs.”


Unclaimed Space Ball Found in Namibia Undergoing Investigation |

Metal ball from the sky found in Namibia. (Photo: National Forensic Science Institute via PhysOrg)

Officials are baffled as to the origin and purpose of a 13-pound metal ball that slammed into the grassland of northern Namibia.

The ball was found in November but due to investigations, officials postponed announcing the find, according to AFP (via PhysOrg). NASA and the European Space Agency have been contacted.

AFP reports that the ball is hollow with a diameter of 14 inches and appears to be two halves welded together. The metal is reported to be an “alloy known to man” and officials have said it is not an explosive or dangerous. reports that the impact of the ball created a crater 13 inches deep and 12.5 feet in diameter. CNN notes that the sound of explosions were reported being heard around the time the ball was found but no evidence of an actual explosion was identified. CNN goes on to state that Paul Ludik, director of the country’s National Forensic Science Institute, said no space agency has laid claim to the ball and examination is still being conducted.

AFP reports that similar balls in the past two decades have been found in southern Africa, Australia and Latin America.


George H.W. Bush Backs Romney for President

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush backs Mitt Romney for president, the Houston Chronicle reported on Thursday, an important boost for Romney from the Republican establishment less than two weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

The comments were not a formal endorsement but Bush told the newspaper he had known Romney for several years and also knew his father, former Michigan Governor George Romney.

“I think Romney is the best choice for us,” Bush told the newspaper.

He cited Romney’s “stability, experience, principles” and said, in a possible reference to Romney’s famously volatile rival Newt Gingrich, “He’s a fine person. I just think he’s mature and reasonable – not a bomb thrower.”

Romney, who has been a frontrunner in the race for the 2012 Republican nomination for months, is viewed as too moderate by many conservatives. He has failed to gain more than about 25 percent support in national polls as a series of rivals have surged into first place and then faded.

Gingrich pushed past Romney into first place recently, although the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has faded partly due to withering attacks by Romney and his supporters.

Bush said he knew Gingrich fairly well and told the Chronicle, “I’m not his biggest advocate.” The two men had a disagreement in 1990 when recession drove then-President Bush to agree to new taxes, despite having vowed not to do so. Gingrich, then a Republican House leader known for strong opinions and an outspoken style, declined to appear with the Republican president.

Bush lives in Texas but is not backing Texas Governor Rick Perry, who trails Romney in opinion polls. “I like Perry but he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere; he’s not surging forward,” Bush said.

Perry succeeded Bush’s son, George W. Bush, as Texas governor when the younger Bush became president in 2001. But Bush backed another Perry rival, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, over Perry in the Republican gubernatorial primary in 2010.

Bush said he could support any of the Republicans now seeking the nomination, although he expressed concern about the prospects for another Texan, the libertarian-leaning Congressman Ron Paul. Paul has moved past Gingrich in polls of Iowans likely to participate in the state’s Jan. 3 nominating caucuses.

“I want to see Obama beaten,” Bush told the Chronicle. “I just don’t believe Ron Paul can get the nomination.” (Reporting By Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Bill Trott)