Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Obama: 7 Lies

I don't know about all 7 of these, but ... the first one is valid.  Our government is even less transparent today than it was 18 months ago.

Remember the issue of rendition - kidnapping people, arresting people without charges and lawyers?

The flight from Nigeria to Amsterdam to Detroit ... we have been told ONLY ONE person (the jihadist) was arrested.  Numerous people attest to at least 1 or 2 others being taken away in handcuffs.  The FBI publicly have denied this.  Any time, ANY TIME you are put in handcuffs you are under arrest.  We are not told, apparently no lawyers have been involved either or we would have learned of this.  Amazing, from an administration that attacked Bush for this same sort of behavior.

Lies, lies, and more lies.  This time, Americans did not die.


Barney Frank: The Bankers Friend?

Yet another reason why trusting them simply does not work.  They cannot protect Americans, they cannot protect the country, they cannot protect your bank accounts or your pay check.

It is amazing that Americans trust Democrats at all.  Understandably, given the Retardicans ... I understand why Americans want to trust someone else, but please, anyone else but them.

On that subject - why not, Massachusetts, why not elect a new Congressman.  Make him a Democrat also, make him a gay Democrat at that, but just someone new - someone untainted by the funding issues Frank has been floundering around in, whether the mortgage fiasco or his pay backs to banking.

Bankers Get $4 Trillion Gift From Barney Frank: David Reilly

Commentary by David Reilly

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- To close out 2009, I decided to do something I bet no member of Congress has done -- actually read from cover to cover one of the pieces of sweeping legislation bouncing around Capitol Hill.

Hunkering down by the fire, I snuggled up with H.R. 4173, the financial-reform legislation passed earlier this month by the House of Representatives. The Senate has yet to pass its own reform plan. The baby of Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, the House bill is meant to address everything from too-big-to-fail banks to asleep-at-the-switch credit-ratings companies to the protection of consumers from greedy lenders.

I quickly discovered why members of Congress rarely read legislation like this. At 1,279 pages, the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” is a real slog. And yes, I plowed through all those pages. (Memo to Chairman Frank: “ystem” at line 14, page 258 is missing the first “s”.)

The reading was especially painful since this reform sausage is stuffed with more gristle than meat. At least, that is, if you are a taxpayer hoping the bailout train is coming to a halt.

If you’re a banker, the bill is tastier. While banks opposed the legislation, they should cheer for its passage by the full Congress in the New Year: There are huge giveaways insuring the government will again rescue banks and Wall Street if the need arises.

Nuggets Gleaned

Here are some of the nuggets I gleaned from days spent reading Frank’s handiwork:

-- For all its heft, the bill doesn’t once mention the words “too-big-to-fail,” the main issue confronting the financial system. Admitting you have a problem, as any 12- stepper knows, is the crucial first step toward recovery.

-- Instead, it supports the biggest banks. It authorizes Federal Reserve banks to provide as much as $4 trillion in emergency funding the next time Wall Street crashes. So much for “no-more-bailouts” talk. That is more than twice what the Fed pumped into markets this time around. The size of the fund makes the bribes in the Senate’s health-care bill look minuscule.

-- Oh, hold on, the Federal Reserve and Treasury Secretary can’t authorize these funds unless “there is at least a 99 percent likelihood that all funds and interest will be paid back.” Too bad the same models used to foresee the housing meltdown probably will be used to predict this likelihood as well.

More Bailouts

-- The bill also allows the government, in a crisis, to back financial firms’ debts. Bondholders can sleep easy -- there are more bailouts to come.

-- The legislation does create a council of regulators to spot risks to the financial system and big financial firms. Unfortunately this group is made up of folks who missed the problems that led to the current crisis.

-- Don’t worry, this time regulators will have better tools. Six months after being created, the council will report to Congress on “whether setting up an electronic database” would be a help. Maybe they’ll even get to use that Internet thingy.

-- This group, among its many powers, can restrict the ability of a financial firm to trade for its own account. Perhaps this section should be entitled, “Yes, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., we’re looking at you.”

Managing Bonuses

-- The bill also allows regulators to “prohibit any incentive-based payment arrangement.” In other words, banker bonuses are still in play. Maybe Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. shouldn’t have rushed to pay back Troubled Asset Relief Program funds.

-- The bill kills the Office of Thrift Supervision, a toothless watchdog. Well, kill may be too strong a word. That agency and its employees will be folded into the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Further proof that government never really disappears.

-- Since Congress isn’t cutting jobs, why not add a few more. The bill calls for more than a dozen agencies to create a position called “Director of Minority and Women Inclusion.” People in these new posts will be presidential appointees. I thought too-big-to-fail banks were the pressing issue. Turns out it’s diversity, and patronage.

-- Not that the House is entirely sure of what the issues are, at least judging by the two dozen or so studies the bill authorizes. About a quarter of them relate to credit-rating companies, an area in which the legislation falls short of meaningful change. Sadly, these studies don’t tackle tough questions like whether we should just do away with ratings altogether. Here’s a tip: Do the studies, then write the legislation.

Consumer Protection

-- The bill isn’t all bad, though. It creates a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the brainchild of Elizabeth Warren, currently head of a panel overseeing TARP. And the first director gets the cool job of designing a seal for the new agency. My suggestion: Warren riding a fiery chariot while hurling lightning bolts at Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

-- Best of all, the bill contains a provision that, in the event of another government request for emergency aid to prop up the financial system, debate in Congress be limited to just 10 hours. Anything that can get Congress to shut up can’t be all bad.

Even better would be if legislators actually tackle the real issues stemming from the financial crisis, end bailouts and, for the sake of my eyes, write far, far shorter bills.

(David Reilly is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)


African Countries DEMAND the US pay them for Global Warming!

I have no problem paying the $700 billion demanded by African countries.  None.  And I believe we should write out the check, just as soon as they pay for all the free AIDS medication the US has given them, at the value it is sold in the US.  I believe we should pay them the $700 billion, as soon as they pay for all the benefits reaped from the technology developed by Americans and the United States.  This last point will take some time, but I believe if we use Deloitte and Touche, Pricewaterhouse, and Ernst and Young, we can get a reasonable figure within a month or two.

We will figure out all the developments and technology developed by and in the United States for the last fifty years, and a value will be attached based on a consensus of the companies involved, and we will extrapolate a little, and arrive at a figure.  As soon as we arrive at that figure and we are paid by the African countries, we will have the $700 billion check delivered within 48 hours.

Oh, and as soon as all the loans we have given, including those of a foregiveable nature, are all re-paid, we will get the check to them within 48 hours.  I understand that we would be reneging on a foregiveable loan, but they can hardly claim they are unable to pay the loan given the windfall lotto they would be receiving within 48 hours, and I think it only fair if they contributed what they are obliged by contract and by honor to repay.

As soon as we get re-paid, and send out the $700 billion check, we should have enough left to cover Mr. Obama's health care charade without raising anyones taxes (we may even have enough to pay for Nancy Pelosi's flower bill for the next year until she gets her pink slip).

Copenhagen Climate conferenc, global warming, Obama, United NationsAfrica Demands US Pay $722B for Global Warming “Damage”

13 December 2009
by admin Share

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen is in free-falling, cluster-clucking chaos.

Out of the cacophony of contradictory claims, threats and outright violence, may come a disastrous transfer of wealth from rich to poor countries, and a set of environmental rules which will hamstring businesses.

Six days of meetings in Copenhagen have served mainly to increase tensions between “haves” and “have-nots of the world, and to deny the obvious fraud in the underlying premise for the conference.

This United Nations conference on so-called “Climate Change” is actually marking the histrionic end to 20 years of a leftist global warming theory, but noone there will admit it. If the Third World countries can keep pushing for one more week, they may cash in the biggest transfer of wealth from the industrialized world to the dusty world in history.

President Obama will arrive in Copenhagen in a few days. He has still not indicated whether he will sign a long-term treaty which force American taxpayers to pay billions of dollars of “reparations” to Third World countries. Why not? And why isn’t anyone asking him?

In the meantime, the “mainstream” media are studiously ignoring facts which don’t fit the liberal agenda:

Between 50,000 and 100,000 protestors threw bricks and broke windows on the streets of Copenhagen in a demonstration of support for a climate change treaty. Nearly 1,000 are jailed.

Fifty African nations have just issued an eye-popping demand for global warming reparations from rich industrialized countries, an outrageous demand which has received virutally no coverage whatsoever in major newspapers around the world.

The climate change conference website reports: The 50 African countries were requesting $400B in climate change aid from 2010-2012. Now they want 5% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the U.S., Australia, Japan and the European union.

“Five percent of the United States’ GDP alone amounts to 722 billion US dollars (2008 figures). In comparison, the EU has calculated the developing countries’ total need for climate funding to 130 billion dollars (100 billion euro) annually by 2020.”

The United Nations had estimated the poor countries would need $10 B over the next 3 years for climate reparations.

In stark contrast to the thuggery of the Third World news conferences, and to the admissions by the European Union that more aid will be forthcoming, the American negotiator arriving in Copenhagen in advance of the President’s arrival says there will be NO reparations paid to the foreign countries.

The recent release of emails from the leading “climate change” agency in the world shows scientists changed data to conform with their theory that world temperatures have been drastically rising in the past 10 years due to carbon emissions caused by oil and coal burning, refused to turn over their source data for review, and censored skeptical scientists who questioned them.

“Experts” at the climate change summit this week deny that fraud has occurred.

The London Daily Mail has an exclusive report today that shows the leaked emails on global warming fraud were fed through a computer server in Russia, and its review of the emails shows graphs which have been used for years to depict the steep upward rise in Earth’s temperature were “doctored.”

Associated Press has just released its “fact-checking” reports on the emails and declares that even though scientists admitted “fudging” facts, they didn’t make up any new facts.

United Nations security guards threatened a cameraman and a reporter who were trying to ask Stanford professor “inconvenient questions” about the leaked emails during a Copenhagen conference meeting.

Lord Christopher Monckton, of the Science and Public Policy Institute, a leading global warming skeptic, led his own group of 60 experts to Copenhagen to hold their own “counter” summit. He issued this video clip of his comments in advance, which is a complete summation of the “leaked” emails.

Monckton names each scientist quoted in the documents, and who is responsible for the 20-year fraud of global warming.

Incredible pressure is being exerted to dismiss any news about the 20-year fraud of global warming being perpetrated on the world. What may happen in the next few days, with the arrival of the American president and other world leaders, will potentially drain the wealth of the workers and businesses in the working world.

The U.S. Congress has just raised the debt ceiling by another trillion dollars in the past 24 hours. Does this mean that Barack Obama has another “stash” of cash for a Third World bailout—-to go along with the banks, the car industry and the insurance companies?

global warming

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Of Mice and Men: Obama and Catastrophic Failures

On his watch the US has been attacked.  It was unsuccessful due to civilians, not due to any of the policies he has left intact or enacted, and contrary to Janet Napolitano - the system DID NOT WORK ... passengers should not have to take offensive action against jihadists, and had they not ... boom.  The system did not work Janet, you moronic imbecile.  If we recall back to Katrina - liberals attacked Bush and FEMA for being out of touch, for not taking action, and the action they did take was ... well, not quite adequate.

Janet rushed on television and told the country 'the systyem worked' ... she forgot some things.  For the Islamic jihadist to get from Lagos to Detroit would have cost him, according to the airline he flew on, about $3600.00.  In Nigeria, their currency is called the naira.  Currency conversion would bring the total cost of the flight to about 557,000.00 naira.  In a country where the average person brings home $2300.00 US per year, this guy, without his family helping him, paid for a ticket in cash (557,000 naira).  And she says the system worked.  HA.

Under Bush, we were never attacked after 9/11, even though they tried many times - many of these attempts documented over the years, sometimes long after (as in the case of the British trials of several terrorists for attempts to blow up several airliners at the same time, over the sea).

Under Bush, liberals said, no attack occurred because none were coming - he had fabricated and exaggerated the reality and played on our fears.

Now we have been attacked and we have learned there are many more waiting - we have heard from al qaida in Arabia, they have claimed credit and said many more are awaiting orders.  We have heard from the Yemeni government, informing us there are several hundred al qaida in Yemen planning attacks.  We have read the stories in the English papers of more than two dozen al qaida returning to Britain from terrorist training camps - I would assume, with plans.

The threat has always been real, except in the minds of the leftist fringe who have utterly no concept of reality. 

It is under the current administration the failures have occurred.  Just as Bush was blamed by the left for all sorts of silliness, then the left should own up to Obama's failures.

And we will be attacked again, the hour is fast approaching, and Obama will be as lost on what to do about it as he is about most everything else.  And they will not fail every time, which means Americans will die because the threat is very real, and has always been real.



Now we hear from those who attacked these policies for eight years - now they are necessary.

And yes, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, it is profiling.  You can call it an elephant if you want, or a bird, but it doesn't change what it is.

Is it wrong - most of the time - NO.  And the 1-2 times it is, it will, hopefully, only be an inconvenience (I am only referencing airport screening).

"The assessment of behavioral tendencies, that is not profiling, but it is the same misstep that we made in Fort Hood."


China - A Country to Look Up to

The issue is not the right of China to dispense justice, but rather the naive and juvenile delusions many people have about China and how advanced it is, how tolerant and humane it has become.

Until China erases these indelibly permanent marks, changes its practice of inhumane treatment of prisoners, barbaric treatment of the Tibetan people, enacts human rights laws to protect its citizens from abuses and violations by the government ... until it stops killing off opposition, imprisoning dissenters, and opening China to freedom and liberty - until then, nothing it is or may become amounts to anything more than a bully that needs to be quartered.  For those foolish Americans who believe a Chinese super power could balance out the US - I only wish them a long life - to live long enough to see China collapse, and the truth made public. 

British citizen Akmal Shaikh executed in China

Akmal Shaikh, the British man arrested in China over drug smuggling, has been put to death, the Briitsh Foreign Office has confirmed.

29 Dec 2009
The Telegraph

Gordon Brown, the prime minister, condemned the execution "in the strongest terms" saying he was "appalled and disappointed that our persistent requests for clemency have not been granted."

Shaikh, 53, was due to be killed - probably by a shot to the head - in Urumqi, the capital of the far western Xinjiang region, at 10:30 am (0230 GMT) after China's Supreme Court rejected a bid for clemency.

His family, the British government and the British human rights charity Reprieve had been campaigning until the last minute for Shaikh to be spared the death penalty, but China refused to bow to international pressure.

Shaikh's supporters said the father-of-three suffered from bipolar disorder and that his illness should have been a mitigating factor in his sentencing.

But China defended its use of capital punishment and said the evidence of Shaikh's mental illness was "insufficient".

Shaikh is the first national from a European Union country to be executed in China in 50 years, according to Reprieve.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown repeatedly raised Shaikh's case with China's leaders and appealed for clemency, but to no avail.

Reacting to news that the execution had been carried out, Mr Brown said: "I am particularly concerned that no mental health assessment was undertaken.

"At this time our thoughts are with Mr Shaikh's family and friends and I send them our sincere condolences," he said.

Authorities in China have not yet announced that the execution has taken place.

Shaikh, from London, was arrested in September 2007 in Urumqi with four about nine pounds of heroin. Campaigners claimed a criminal gang duped him into carrying the drugs.

He was sentenced to death in December last year and lost his final appeal earlier this month in China's Supreme Court.

Two of Shaikh's cousins visited him in Urumqi on Monday and told him of his fate.

The Supreme Court said the evidence provided by the British side of Shaikh's mental illness was "insufficient", according to a statement published on the central government's website.

It justified its use of capital punishment as a deterrent, saying: "To use the death penalty for extremely threatening and serious crimes involving drugs is beneficial to instilling fear and preventing drug crimes."

Reprieve said it had medical evidence that Shaikh suffered from a delusion he was going to China to record a hit single that would usher in world peace. New witnesses have emerged to back that claim.

Two British men, Paul Newberry and Gareth Saunders, both quoted by Reprieve, said they had helped him record a song in Poland and it was clear that he was mentally disturbed.

Mr Newberry said Shaikh "was clearly suffering from delusions and it seemed to me he was a particularly severe case of manic depressive."

According to the London-based rights group Amnesty International, China executes more people every year than the rest of the world combined, but the actual numbers put to death remain a state secret.

An American Dream

I have to admit I like David Zucker.  Whether it is the commercials he has created, or what is clearly a financial flop, yet a very funny film - An American Carol.

We can all dream that even Michael Moore catches a clue and sees the light.

Michael Moore

Carter Apologizes: Too Little, Too Late

Carter apologizes?  Reading the statements provided in the article, it does not show a full appreciation for his words, rather for the stigmatizing that he did, not the aid and assistance he provided to hamas as he criticized and condemned Israel.  Not the aid he provided to the enemies of Israel every time he attacked Israel in word or print.  An apology?  He is simply skirting the subject.  Unfortunately for him, or rather fortunately for him, an apology is to be accepted by Jews, unless otherwise shown to be something else, or without meaning.  In my case, I am not a Jew, so I don't have to accept his attempts at recasting his image and correcting or adjusting for his actions.  He needs to be alot more forthcoming in what it is exactly he needs to apologize for - words, statements, phrases, ideas, concepts - be clear Mr. Carter, apologize for what you have done to harm the people of Israel and the prospects for peace, be very clear what it was you said and did, and then seek their forgiveness.  After which, please crawl back into your corner of the Carter Center and stay there until God calls you home.

Carter apologizes for 'stigmatizing Israel'

Former US president offers US Jewish community heartfelt apology for any contribution he may have had to Jewish nation's negative image

Yitzhak Benhorin
Israel News

WASHINGTON – Former US President Jimmy Carter on Monday asked for the Jewish community's forgiveness for any negative stigma he may have caused Israel over the years.

Carter, who is not a popular character in Israel, enraged the American Jewish community's in the past with various statements made in his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid."

In the book, Carter blamed Israel for impeding the Middle East peace process via settlement construction, further claiming such a policy will lead to apartheid.

The former president also accused Israel of interfering with US efforts to broker peace in the region.

"We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel.

"As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so," he said.

"Al Het" refers to the Yom Kippur prayer asking God forgiveness for sins committed.

Head of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman welcomed Carter's apology, saying it marked the beginning of reconciliation.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Canadians: They Wait and Wait and Wait for Healthcare, and often die.

Canadian Patients Feel Wait Of The World

Investors Business Daily

Socialized Medicine: A group in British Columbia has offered medical waiting-list insurance to members whose government treatment is on hold — another example of why state-run health care must be avoided.

Canadians have a health care system that should be the envy of no one. It's not free, it's funded by taxpayers, and it isn't truly universal. Two Canadian Supreme Court justices made this clear three years ago when they concluded that "access to a waiting list is not access to health care."

Delayed treatment in an overused system has been the root of much unnecessary suffering. To prevent premature deaths and the needless misery that are hallmarks of Canadian care, the British Columbia Automobile Association began offering waiting-list insurance to some of its members in August as part of a pilot program.

Those who bought the coverage would receive treatment in a private clinic in British Columbia or the U.S. if they were placed on a government care waiting list longer than 45 days.

The program, which took two years to develop, never got beyond the pilot phase, however. The association shut it down when critics howled and government officials checked to see if such a program was actually legal in Canada.

"This is an example of a company that's actively soliciting for clients that have the ability to pay for the privilege of queue-jumping," said Adrian Dix, a member of B.C.'s Legislative Assembly. "In my view, and in the view of the legal opinion that we obtained, it is illegal, and it violated both provincial and national health legislation."

It's hard to understand why an elected official, or anyone else, would knowingly trap people in a system that can't take care of the public it is expected to serve. Yet there are many Canadians who would, in the name of "fairness" and "equality," deny others' right to take care of themselves outside of the collective. They are outraged that some of their countrymen could escape the agony of the waiting lists while others languish in the bureaucratic wreckage.

But the real outrage, to quote Brian Day, former director of the Canadian Medical Association, should be that a government would actually force "a citizen in a free and democratic society to simply wait for health care, and outlaw their ability to extricate themselves from a wait list."

That, however, is the system Canadians have been living and dying with for decades. Only in recent years does it seem that they've had enough of it. First in Quebec and now in B.C., private clinics have been opening to treat those who either don't want to wait or are too sick to endure the system's waiting list. Whether they will remain legal and open will be decided this fall by the courts.

Meanwhile, Canadians keep waiting — and waiting. The Fraser Institute in Canada reports that the median wait time from a general practitioner's referral to actual treatment by a specialist was 17.3 weeks in 2008 (see chart). That's a full week better than the previous year, but far worse than a decade and a half earlier when the wait time was 9.3 weeks.

Despite the decline from 2007 to 2008, the long-term trend indicates that wait times will continue to grow. It's a discouraging pattern that the U.S. will follow if Washington forces any kind of government care on this country.


Medical/Health Reform: Death Panels?

Sentenced to death on the NHS

Patients with terminal illnesses are being made to die prematurely under an NHS scheme to help end their lives, leading doctors have warned.

By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent
02 Sep 2009
The Telegraph

In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, a group of experts who care for the terminally ill claim that some patients are being wrongly judged as close to death.

Under NHS guidance introduced across England to help doctors and medical staff deal with dying patients, they can then have fluid and drugs withdrawn and many are put on continuous sedation until they pass away.

As a result the scheme is causing a “national crisis” in patient care, the letter states. It has been signed palliative care experts including Professor Peter Millard, Emeritus Professor of Geriatrics, University of London, Dr Peter Hargreaves, a consultant in Palliative Medicine at St Luke’s cancer centre in Guildford, and four others.

“Forecasting death is an inexact science,”they say. Patients are being diagnosed as being close to death “without regard to the fact that the diagnosis could be wrong.

“As a result a national wave of discontent is building up, as family and friends witness the denial of fluids and food to patients."

The warning comes just a week after a report by the Patients Association estimated that up to one million patients had received poor or cruel care on the NHS.

The scheme, called the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP), was designed to reduce patient suffering in their final hours.

Developed by Marie Curie, the cancer charity, in a Liverpool hospice it was initially developed for cancer patients but now includes other life threatening conditions.

It was recommended as a model by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), the Government’s health scrutiny body, in 2004.

It has been gradually adopted nationwide and more than 300 hospitals, 130 hospices and 560 care homes in England currently use the system.

Under the guidelines the decision to diagnose that a patient is close to death is made by the entire medical team treating them, including a senior doctor.

They look for signs that a patient is approaching their final hours, which can include if patients have lost consciousness or whether they are having difficulty swallowing medication.

However, doctors warn that these signs can point to other medical problems.

Patients can become semi-conscious and confused as a side effect of pain-killing drugs such as morphine if they are also dehydrated, for instance.

When a decision has been made to place a patient on the pathway doctors are then recommended to consider removing medication or invasive procedures, such as intravenous drips, which are no longer of benefit.

If a patient is judged to still be able to eat or drink food and water will still be offered to them, as this is considered nursing care rather than medical intervention.

Dr Hargreaves said that this depended, however, on constant assessment of a patient’s condition.

He added that some patients were being “wrongly” put on the pathway, which created a “self-fulfilling prophecy” that they would die.

He said: “I have been practising palliative medicine for more than 20 years and I am getting more concerned about this “death pathway” that is coming in.

“It is supposed to let people die with dignity but it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

“Patients who are allowed to become dehydrated and then become confused can be wrongly put on this pathway.”

He added: “What they are trying to do is stop people being overtreated as they are dying.

“It is a very laudable idea. But the concern is that it is tick box medicine that stops people thinking.”

He said that he had personally taken patients off the pathway who went on to live for “significant” amounts of time and warned that many doctors were not checking the progress of patients enough to notice improvement in their condition.

Prof Millard said that it was “worrying” that patients were being “terminally” sedated, using syringe drivers, which continually empty their contents into a patient over the course of 24 hours.

In 2007-08 16.5 per cent of deaths in Britain came about after continuous deep sedation, according to researchers at the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, twice as many as in Belgium and the Netherlands.

“If they are sedated it is much harder to see that a patient is getting better,” Prof Millard said.

Katherine Murphy, director of the Patients Association, said: “Even the tiniest things that happen towards the end of a patient’s life can have a huge and lasting affect on patients and their families feelings about their care.

“Guidelines like the LCP can be very helpful but healthcare professionals always need to keep in mind the individual needs of patients.

“There is no one size fits all approach.”

A spokesman for Marie Curie said: “The letter highlights some complex issues related to care of the dying.

“The Liverpool Care Pathway for the Dying Patient was developed in response to a societal need to transfer best practice of care of the dying from the hospice to other care settings.

“The LCP is not the answer to all the complex elements of this area of health care but we believe it is a step in the right direction.”

The pathway also includes advice on the spiritual care of the patient and their family both before and after the death. 

[From a system that cannot mention God?  Remember, if hospitals are contracted by the government than they become agents for the government (they take money from) and like schools, would be unable to provide religious instruction, rather, they would end up not providing this service despite whatever protestations they make at the time this charade is enacted.]

It has also been used in 800 instances outside care homes, hospices and hospitals, including for people who have died in their own homes.

The letter has also been signed by Dr Anthony Cole, the chairman of the Medical Ethics Alliance, Dr David Hill, an anaesthetist, Dowager Lady Salisbury, chairman of the Choose Life campaign and Dr Elizabeth Negus a lecturer in English at Barking University.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: “People coming to the end of their lives should have a right to high quality, compassionate and dignified care.

"The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is an established and recommended tool that provides clinicians with an evidence-based framework to help delivery of high quality care for people at the end of their lives.

"Many people receive excellent care at the end of their lives. We are investing £286 million over the two years to 2011 to support implementation of the End of Life Care Strategy to help improve end of life care for all adults, regardless of where they live.”

medical insurance

Health Care: An End to American Medical Technologies?


Published on on October 26, 2009

The more fiscal details of the health care bills emerge, the more appalling they seem. The Senate Finance Committee bill includes a broad provision taxing all manner of medical devices. This tax includes such frivolous luxuries as pacemakers, stents, artificial heart valves, defibrillators, automated wheelchairs, mechanized artificial limbs, replacement hips and knees, surgical gurneys, laparoscopic equipment, and the like.

President Obama is planning to reduce the cost of medical care by taxing it!

The most recent Gallup Poll reflected that 49% of respondents said they believed that the Obamacare plan will increase their health care costs. Only about 20% said it would lower them. It is taxes like these that substantiate this kind of concern.

The origins of this new medical device tax are troubling as well.

The medical device industry had its day at the White House as did the insurance industry, the drug makers, the nurses, and the doctors. In turn, each group heard the White House request that they come up with voluntary cuts in their health care costs and support Obama's proposed changes in return for assurances that Congress would not impose deeper cuts (or, in the case of the doctors, that it would actually rescind cuts already scheduled under current statutes).

But, unlike all these other groups, the medical device industry refused the deal. This posture enraged the tyrants in the White House who vowed to punish the industry with cuts imposed by Congress. The result was a decision by the revenue-hungry Senate Finance Committee to extract billions in funds from the industry.

The legislation does not work like a sales or excise tax. Rather it follows the model of the punitive tobacco settlement imposed on cigarette companies in the 90s. It assesses an industry-wide payment which firms must make in proportion to their market share. It bars the them from passing along the cost of the assessment by charging more for certain basic products, but allows them to raise the price of others to raise the funds for the fee.

So, the result will be that virtually every piece of advanced surgical equipment will be subject to a price increase to meet the levy from Washington. No matter that these devices often make the difference between life and death and that, in effect, taxing them raises the cost of vital treatments. The vengeful White House will have its pound of flesh from the medical device industry for daring to be independent and to refuse to knuckle down to Administration pressure!

This tax, imposed in a spirit of haughty arrogance, falls on totally inappropriate objects. Valves, prosthetic limbs, pacemakers, hearing aids, and such are essential therapies that make life longer, better, and less painful. To tax them makes no sense. Except in the world of sharp elbows and interest group politics that grips this take-no-prisoners and show-no-mercy White House.


2009 American Jews Opinion Poll

Talk about one group that defies reaosn on many issues.  They speak one way, very passionately so, then vote another.  Their views are so contradictory as to cause a psychologist to get whiplash.

Odd.  The Jews in America and their views in 2009.


Iran, China, and Russia v UN, US, and Israel: December 31, 2009 Deadline.


Engagement - remember, this was the mantra two years ago.  Bush didn't engage the enemy, the Democrats would.  Talking was good.  Talking was a sign of civility.  Talking would produce results.  After all, liberals pointed to a terrorist, who when asked questions nicely, responded with answers.  Talking not torture, engagement not isolation, multi-lateral, not unilateral.

What a world we have traversed since then.  Engagement has been tried with Iran every day since November 2008.  Obama bent over backwards several times, restrained himself on many other occasions from saying anything negative, and in fact went out of his way to be kind and open to Iran.  He raised the possibility of high level talks.  Iran snubbed their nose at him.  Obama threatened sanctions and possible military action.  Russia and China stepped in and said Iran would behave.  Iran snubbed their nose at Obama.  The UN investigation of Iran's nuclear program came back with startling revelations about the military applications of the programs and the extent of the nuclear programs within Iran.  The Iranians laughed.  The UN threatened sanctions unless Iran complied.  Iran laughed. 

Faced with the overwhelming evidence of Iran's nefarious plans, secret nuclear sites, lies, obfuscation, and delay tactics - the UN moved ahead with plans to impose sanctions on Iran.  Iran said it would take sanctions as a declaration of war.  Russia and China stopped, and said they would have to consider the evidence.  Obama said the US might have to take military action.  Russia and China said they would force Iran into line - Iran would sell its nuclear waste to Russia - and that would satisfy the UN and all would be happy, and if they didn't Russia and China would consider supporting sanctions against Iran.

Obama smiled, sat down and sighed.  Things were looking up.

China then said it would never support sanctions.

Russia said it would never support sanctions.

Now Iran says it will not comply with any demands by the UN, as those demands violate the sovereignty of Iran.

Obfuscation, delay tactics ...

December 31, 2009 is the deadline for Iran to comply with the UN, or sanctions will be imposed, and military action by Israel, and or the US could occur.  Already the US is straining relations with allies by unilaterally taking on financial companies in Germany and throughout Europe who engage with Iran.  Rather than working with our allies, as Democrats so often howled, the Obama administration has begun punitive actions against companies doing business with Iran (recent case by US against the Swiss resulting in $536 million settlement).

I would look for Russia and China to make statements over the next 3-4 days to stall the UN, Iran to take bold steps either toward Iraq or with its fledgling military / missiles / nuclear testing.

I would look at Israel for an indication and ignore Obama - he will be overwhelmed by events and will quite possibly be two or three steps behind the actions.

All this in the next 96 hours - and the end to the multi-lateral, talking, and engagement silliness Obama touted as his planned course for his administration.  I hope the Retardicans have taken notice.

: )


US Consular Cars: Transporting Palestinians or Driving Over Israelis

US Consulate car nearly runs over guard

Dec. 25, 2009

A dispute is rumbling between Israel and the US Consulate in Jerusalem after a US diplomatic car allegedly tried running over a Defense Ministry security guard recently at an IDF checkpoint in the West Bank. The car had been stopped after the occupants refused to present identification papers.

Israel is also furious that one of the consulate cars was found to have transported a Palestinian without permits between Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The identification of American diplomats from the consulate at IDF checkpoints has been a major sticking point for several years.

In January 2008, the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria filed complaints with the Foreign Ministry after both US Security Coordinator Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton and then-consul-general Jacob Walles refused to roll down their windows or open their car doors and show identification papers at a checkpoint.

However, Israel's ire reached a new level after an incident on November 13 in which a five-car convoy of consulate vehicles with diplomatic plates arrived at the Gilboa crossing.

According to a detailed official Israel Police description of the incident obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post, the drivers refused to identify themselves or open a window or door. The drivers, according to the report, purposely blocked the crossing, tried running over one of the Israeli security guards stationed there and made indecent gestures at female guards.

The entire incident was documented by cameras at the crossing.

Following the incident, the head of the police's Security Department, Lt.-Cmdr. Meir Ben-Yishai, convened a meeting on November 18 at police headquarters in Jerusalem with the regional security officer at the consulate, Tim Laas. Also present were officials from the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, and the regional security officer at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Dan Power.

According to a protocol of the meeting, obtained by the Post, Ben-Yishai said he assumed the drivers of the consulate vehicles had received permission to act the way they had. He said that in the future, if a diplomatic car did not stop and identify its passengers "immediately," it would not be allowed to pass the checkpoint.

Ben-Yishai described additional violations by consulate workers, and referred to at least one case in which a female Palestinian without appropriate documentation was found in a diplomatic car. Defense officials told the Post that there had been other similar cases in the past.

"We view this as an attempt to illegally transfer someone," Ben-Yishai said, according to the official police protocol.

Ben-Yishai also said the drivers of the cars, from east Jerusalem, hid their Israeli identity cards and put stickers over their names on their consulate-issued identity cards, since, as they claimed, "they are in a diplomatic vehicle and cannot be touched."

He added that police had filed a complaint with the Foreign Ministry and were conducting their own investigation to identify the driver who had tried running over the Israeli security guard.

While Power apologized for the incident and tried

smoothing things over, Laas angered Ben-Yishai, according to the protocol, when he said it was unacceptable for "simple guards" to inspect senior diplomats.

Laas said the communication needed to be between the guard and the driver, since "we can't know who the guard is."

This was understood by those present as

indicating his lack of trust in Israeli guards.

"This situation is being misused, and as proof in the latest incident, they refused to identify themselves and even tried smuggling a Palestinian without permission," Ben-Yishai said, according to the protocol. "The security guards at the crossings are licensed and are authorized by me, and that is how they should be treated. They are not 'simple guards‚' as Tim Laas called them."

Laas claimed that the Palestinian woman who had been in the car served as a translator for Dayton and the consul and that she had been returning with the team to Israel. He said it was possible that there had been a mishap with her papers.

Concluding the meeting, Ben-Yishai set new procedures under which consulate cars would need to undergo complete inspections if only a driver were present. If diplomats are inside the vehicle, they must open the door and present their identification papers.

A spokesperson from the consulate said that consulate policy was not to comment on internal meetings with Israeli officials.

"In regards to the checkpoints, we enter and exit from the West Bank many times a day through checkpoints controlled by the government of Israel without incident, and consulate officials and drivers always carefully follow the procedures that have been established and agreed to by US and Israeli governments for entering and exiting the West Bank," the spokesperson said. "Any problems that have occurred with checkpoints have been a result of misunderstanding and miscommunication, and we are in regular contact with the government of Israel regarding those procedures to avoid miscommunications in the future."

In response to the claim that the consulate cars had illegally transported Palestinians, the spokesperson said, "Any allegations that we are illegally transferring people are completely untrue, and as stated earlier, it is in our best interest that we follow the rules so that people who participate in US-funded programs can participate, and it would not be in our best interest to illegally transfer people."


David Coleman Headley - They Have Learned, and Now We Must Adapt

I subscribe to a number of informational services, STRATFOR is one of them.  The link at the bottom of the page will take you to their front page, but not to the article, which I believe requires a subscription.  I have only posted one other article from STRATFOR and it was less detailed than most of their reports.  This column, while very detailed, is also very scary if you think about the implications of any number of issues raised.

THEY - al qaida / Islamo-fascists

It is very disconcerting to say the least.

For one reason - I do not recall reading anything about this terrorist on any news source.  I have no idea what media coverage he has received on netwrok or cable news programs, but I am willing to bet very little if any - yet the implications are serious.

Some of what is revealed in the article does make me pause - in terms of revealing it - yet, THEY already know all the tricks.  It is US who need to adapt to what they do and know, if we are to eradicate them before they start killing Americans en masse. 

Tactical Implications of the Headley Case

December 16, 2009
2132 GMT
By Scott Stewart

A week after he was arrested in Chicago on Oct. 3, David Coleman Headley was charged in a federal criminal complaint with conspiring to commit terrorist attacks outside the United States and providing material support to terrorist organizations. The charges alleged that Headley was involved in a plot to attack a newspaper in Denmark that had published a collection of cartoons satirizing the Prophet Mohammed in September 2005.

Since Headley’s arrest, there have been almost daily disclosures of new information regarding his activities and those of his co-conspirators. These new details have emerged during court proceedings and from leaks by U.S., Indian and Pakistani government officials. On Dec. 7, new federal charges were filed against Headley alleging that he had conducted extensive surveillance against targets in Mumbai that were attacked during the November 2008 armed assault in that city, which resulted in the deaths of some 170 people. Headley reportedly became an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) after being arrested and charged with smuggling heroin into the United States from Pakistan in 1997. Following the 9/11 attacks, he allegedly worked for the FBI as a terrorism informant. Now, following his arrest on Oct. 3, he is reportedly again cooperating with the U.S. government.

From the information that has emerged so far, it appears that Headley, who was born Daood Gilani in 1960 in Washington, D.C., to a Pakistani father and American mother, worked as a surveillance operative and operational planner for the Pakistan-based militant groups Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul-Jihad e-Islami (HUJI). In 2006, Headley legally changed his name from Daood Gilani to David Coleman Headley, anglicizing his first name and taking his mother’s maiden surname. He apparently did this to disguise his Pakistani heritage and Muslim faith while traveling to places such as India and Denmark.

Details of this case will continue to emerge as the court proceedings against Headley and his co-conspirators progress, but the information released to date reveals a great deal about Headley and about LeT and HUJI.

What We’ve Learned About Headley

First, it is evident that Headley was not merely a low-level cannon fodder-type operative. Most of the men who attend jihadist training camps are taught basic infantry and guerrilla-warfare skills such as hand-to-hand combat and how to fire an AK-47 and throw a hand grenade. A handful of the best and brightest of these students are then selected to attend additional training in advanced combat skills that often include terrorist tradecraft, which is the set of skills required to conduct a terrorist attack. Terrorist tradecraft includes things like surveillance, bombmaking and covert communications and is quite distinct from basic infantry skills.

In his Dec. 7 indictment, we learned that Headley reportedly attended LeT training camps in Pakistan in February and August of 2002 and in April, August and December of 2003. This indicates that Headley progressed far beyond basic militant training, and it is likely that he was taught during his later training sessions the tradecraft required to conduct preoperational surveillance for terrorist attacks and to participate in the operational planning for such attacks.

One element of terrorist tradecraft that was evident in the indictment and the Oct. 11 criminal complaint is Headley’s careful use of language and of multiple methods of communications, including the use of cell phones and using long-distance calling cards, e-mail communication (using a variety of accounts) and face-to-face briefings. For the most sensitive communications and planning activities, Headley traveled to Pakistan to meet in person with LeT and HUJI leaders, a very secure way to communicate. He also had numerous phone and e-mail conversations in which he discussed the status of his work or planned reconnaissance trips. During such conversations, Headley would use terms to disguise the true objective of his work. For example, when referring to attack plans, Headley and his alleged co-conspirators reportedly called them “investment plans” or “business plans,” and when discussing the plot against Jyllands-Posten, the newspaper that published the Mohammed cartoons, Headley and his co-conspirators referred to it as the “Mickey Mouse Project,” the “MMP” or “the Northern Project.”

Headley also used a common militant communication method of creating messages and then saving them in the drafts folder of a Web-mail service rather than sending the message. The person creating such a message can then provide a colleague with the user name and password for the Web-mail account, which enables the second person to log on and read the communication in the draft folder without an e-mail having been sent. This procedure is referred to as an “electronic dead drop.”

In addition to facilitating communication, these dead drops can be used to save notes that a terrorist operative does not want to physically carry on his person for fear of being caught with them. In September, we noted that Najibullah Zazi used this method to send his bombmaking notes from a training camp in Pakistan to himself rather than risk physically carrying the notes into the United States, where they could have been found during a search of his belongings.

According to the Oct. 11 criminal complaint, before leaving Pakistan for the United States in December 2008, Headley used this process to save a list of taskings he had received for his surveillance work in Denmark. The list, which was entitled “Mickey Mouse,” included the following entries (presented here as contained in the complaint, verbatim and unedited):

Route Design (train bus air)

Cross (cover authenticator)

Trade? Immigration?

Ad (Lost Luggage) (Business) (Entry)?

King’s Square (French Embassy)


Car Trip + Train Option (Nufoozur Rehman) (Weekend?)

Residence for clients

Complete Area Coverage (P.S. e.t.c.)

Countersurveillance (magic eye)

NDC option; Lunch + coffee spots

Security (armed?)

Foreman residence

Zoom; Entry and exit method in the house

Feasible plan

On return, procurement of machinery


Mixed fruit Dish

Cell phone and camera

Border Crossing

City Guide Map

Alternate Investment

Got Papers? (Clients)

Make Visiting Cards

We’ve included all the items listed in the complaint to demonstrate the depth of the surveillance work he was tasked with by his contacts in Pakistan. These responsibilities included determining the best way to get the attack team (“clients”) into the country, finding them a place to stay, procuring weapons (“machinery”) and conducting thorough surveillance of the newspaper and its surroundings. This would have included security in the area, countersurveillance activity and closed-circuit television cameras in place. Headley may also have been tasked with locating the residence of the newspaper’s editor.

According to the Oct. 11 federal complaint, Headley traveled from Chicago to Copenhagen in January 2009 to conduct surveillance of the Jyllands-Posten offices in Copenhagen and Aarhus, Denmark, and to photograph and videotape the surrounding areas. He then traveled to Pakistan, where he met with his co-conspirators to brief them on his surveillance operations and to construct a plan for the attack. Following his return to Chicago, Headley traveled back to Copenhagen in August 2009 to conduct additional surveillance (presumably to address issues that arose during the operational planning session in Pakistan). During this second trip, Headley made some 13 additional videos and took many photos of the potential targets and the areas around them.

In the Dec. 7 indictment, the U.S. government alleges that in order to conduct surveillance for the Mumbai attacks, Headley made five extended trips to Mumbai: one in September 2006, two in February and September of 2007 and two in April and July of 2008. During each of these trips Headley reportedly took pictures and made videos of various targets, including those attacked in November 2008. He also reportedly traveled to Pakistan after each of these trips to brief his co-conspirators there and to provide them with his maps, sketches, photos and videos. In March 2008, Headley and his co-conspirators reportedly discussed potential landing sites for a team of attackers who would arrive by sea in Mumbai, and he was instructed to take boat trips in and around the Mumbai harbor and make videotapes of the area, which he allegedly did during his visit to India in April 2008.

During much of his surveillance activity, Headley identified himself as an employee of the immigration services company First World, but there is no evidence that Headley ever worked for that company. There is also no information in the documents released so far that would explain how Headley paid for his extensive international travel, much less earned money to cover his day-to-day expenses.

Finally, there is the issue of Headley’s alleged work as a DEA and FBI informant (which could help explain at least some of the financial mysteries discussed above). Given the demonstrated — and considerable — nexus between heroin trafficking and terrorism funding for the jihadist groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan, such a crossover of an informant from narcotics to terrorism is no surprise — especially following the incredible push by the U.S. government to recruit human intelligence sources with links to the jihadist world following the 9/11 attacks.

If Headley were reporting to the FBI, it could also explain the very specific warnings that the U.S. government gave to the government of India about plans to attack hotels in Mumbai in September 2008. Following the warning, the government of India initially increased security measures at these sites, but the measures were dropped before the attacks were launched in November 2008.

At present, it is very difficult to ascertain if Headley was a double agent who was really reporting to LeT and HUJI the entire time he was ostensibly working for the U.S. government or if he was merely a rogue informant who was playing both ends against the middle for his own personal benefit. Such rogue sources have been seen in jihadist cases before. If Headley was either a double agent or a rogue source, there may be some significant blowback for the U.S. government as further revelations are made about the case.

What We’ve Learned About LeT and HUJI

First of all, this case demonstrates that LeT and HUJI have each developed a sophisticated central-planning apparatus. This is something they needed to do as they drifted out from under the wings of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, though undoubtedly they learned a lot about planning from their long association with the ISI. Second, the Headley case shows that as of October 2009 (almost a year after the Mumbai attacks), LeT and HUJI still enjoyed a great deal of operational freedom in Pakistan. They were able to travel, raise funds, communicate, train and plan operations with seemingly little interference. This is a stark contrast to al Qaeda, which is hunted, on the run and experiencing a great deal of difficulty moving operatives, communicating, raising funds and conducting operations. The links between Headley and his associates to current and former Pakistani military officers and government officials are likely what is affording LeT and HUJI their operational freedom.

As far as targeting, we have seen LeT and HUJI shift away from strictly Indian targets and toward more of a transnational al Qaeda-like target set. Not only did they attack Western interests and a Jewish target in Mumbai, but they were also planning to conduct an attack against a newspaper in Denmark that had absolutely no relation to the cause of Kashmiri independence from India. That said, despite having a highly trained surveillance operative and operational planner living inside the United States, these groups did not appear to task him to use his terrorist tradecraft to conduct target surveillance or plan and conduct attacks inside the United States.

According to court documents, HUJI leader Ilyas Kashmiri appears to have been the force driving the Denmark attack plans, and Headley seems to have been frustrated when his LeT contacts did not want to proceed with the Denmark attack after Kashmiri was reportedly killed in an American unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) strike in Pakistan. LeT wanted Headley to help them plan another attack in India instead. The report of Kashmiri’s death was ultimately proved false, but the UAV attack apparently caused Kashmiri to go to ground and for Headley and his LeT contacts to lose communication with Kashmiri for a period of time. It is known that Kashmiri is closely affiliated with al Qaeda, and the plans for the Denmark attack are an indication that HUJI has become more closely aligned with the transnational jihadist targeting philosophy as a result of Kashmiri’s contacts with bin Laden and company. It appears that LeT, on the other hand, has retained more of a focus on India. So, while the two organizations continue to cooperate, they do have some differences in targeting philosophy, and it would seem that HUJI is creeping further into the al Qaeda orbit than LeT.

The information released to date in this case also underscores the importance of interpersonal relationships in the jihadist milieu and how these relationships, which are based on family, friendship and trust, often lead to an overlap in which people interact with different groups, and groups such as LeT and HUJI share resources and work together. The jihadist world can be a very murky place and operatives can work with different “companies,” to use Headley’s term.

Protective Intelligence Implications

This case also has some significant protective intelligence implications, and it underscores much of what we have been saying about surveillance and countersurveillance for several years now.

While Headley is a U.S. citizen and changed his name in order to camouflage his heritage and religious affiliation, he conducted an inordinate amount of surveillance activity by himself. Conducting a surveillance operation with only one person is among the most difficult — and risky — activities that any surveillance operative can be tasked to perform. Any time a person conducts surveillance he or she is vulnerable to detection. That vulnerability is mitigated somewhat if the surveillance is conducted by a team of individuals and the team members can take turns exposing themselves to potential countersurveillance. Doing a solo surveillance operation means that the surveillance operative is forced to show his face time and again to anyone watching.

Furthermore, activities such as taking photographs and making video recordings are far riskier than simply observing a target. Having one single surveillance operative visit two offices of the same newspaper and then take dozens of photos and make 13 video recordings of the offices — in a one-week span, no less — is terrible surveillance tradecraft. Had someone been conducting countersurveillance on one of the targets Headley was studying — or, better yet, countersurveillance of more than one of these potential targets — the countersurveillance assets almost certainly would have noticed his abnormal behavior. American tourists may frequently take photos and shoot videos while visiting foreign capitals, but they do not take the time to capture extensive still and video images of newspaper offices.

Even people who have conducted thousands upon thousands of hours of surveillance would have a hard time creating cover for action and status that would justify that much surveillance activity — especially when the surveillant is a foreigner and working alone. The only rational explanation for why Headley was not noticed while conducting his surveillance is that nobody was looking.

The use of an American citizen to conduct surveillance once again illustrates the importance of focusing on the “how” of terrorist attacks and not just the “who.” And when considering the actor, the focus must be placed on his or her behavior, not just nationality or religious creed.

This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

islamo fascists

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Sarkozy and Obama: Yet further Evidence of the Cooling Relationship

MAIS NON, it was not supposed to be this way ... He was rebuilding our relations around the world!  Although, from anyone not blinded by The Light, it is clear Obama has damaged our relations almost everywhere he has tread.

Sarkozy cool on relationship with Obama

By Ben Hall in Paris
Published: December 27 2009 18:02
Financial Times

Nicolas Sarkozy, the most pro-American president of France for half a century, has gone cold on Barack Obama, the most popular American leader in France in generations.

A year ago Mr Sarkozy was engaged in a tussle among European leaders anxious to be the first to secure a meeting with the freshly elected Mr Obama. Mr Sarkozy described Mr Obama as “my friend” after meeting him just once as a senator.

But the French president has since clashed with his US counterpart on a series of issues, raising the question of whether Mr Sarkozy is reverting to the more Gaullist, anti-American posture of his predecessor, Jacques Chirac.

“He has now shifted from a pro-Bush position to an anti-Obama position,” said Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, international affairs spokesman for the opposition Socialists. “Neither France nor the western world have anything to gain from Barack Obama’s failure. It seems as if the president is betting on this failure, which isolates France in Europe.”

[to read the rest of the article, click on the title link]


Our Economy on a Sugar High: About to Melt, again.

The government feeding a false high by supplying us with sugar!!!

Stocks higher? Famed investor says don't bet on it

Dec 27, 1:08 PM (ET)

NEW YORK (AP) - Homes are selling at their fastest clip in nearly three years, the unemployment rate is falling and stocks are up 66 percent since their March lows - the best performance since the 1930s.

What's not to like?

Plenty, according to Mohamed El-Erian, chief executive of giant bond manager Pimco. The investor says the recovery may be gaining steam but is no different than a kid who eats too much candy at one of the birthday parties his 6-year-old daughter attends.

"We're on a sugar high," El-Erian says. "It feels good for a while but is unsustainable."

His point: This burst of economic activity fed by government spending and near-zero interest rates will soon peter out.

As CEO at Newport Beach, Calif.-based Pimco, El-Erian, 51, oversees nearly $1 trillion in assets, more than the gross domestic product of most countries. So when he talks, people listen.

What he's saying now:

_Stocks will drop 10 percent in the space of three or four weeks, bringing the Standard & Poor's 500 index below 1,000 - though he's not predicting when.

_The unemployment rate will be hovering above 8 percent a year from now.

_U.S. gross domestic product will grow at an average 2 percent or so for years to come - a third slower than we're used to.

El-Erian and his famous partner, Pimco founder Bill Gross, are watched closely because they've made investors a lot of money over the years. The Pimco Total Return Fund, which at $203 billion is the world's largest mutual fund, has returned an average 7.6 percent annually over 10 years, after fees, versus 6.3 percent for Barclays Capital U.S. Aggregate fixed income index fund.

The hotshots at Pimco have made money by anticipating big moves in the economy and interest rates way before other investors. In the depths of the financial crisis last year, for instance, Pimco sold some of its Treasury bonds to panicked investors looking for a safe haven and put the proceeds into government-backed mortgages and bank debt - in time to catch the big upswing in prices of those and other riskier securities this year.

Now Pimco is once again changing tack. El-Erian says people are fooling themselves if they think all the bullish data of late means a strong recovery is in the offing. So he's buying Treasurys and selling riskier stuff.

His bet: Investors will get scared again and want U.S.-guaranteed debt so they know they'll get repaid.

At Total Return, government-related securities, including Treasurys and corporate debt backed by Washington, comprised 48 percent of the fund's holdings in September. That was up from 9 percent at the beginning of the year. One of Pimco's newest funds, the Global Multi-Asset Fund, a hybrid stock-bond offering, is 35 percent in equities now, down from 60 percent earlier this year.

Investors betting on stocks or high-yield bonds are likely to be disappointed, El-Erian says.

Markets for those securities are rallying not because people like them but because they hate the puny yields of safer investments like money markets and feel they have no choice but to buy, he says. He quips that that makes the bull market as likely to last as a forced marriage.

The danger: If stock and junk bond prices start falling, lots of investors are likely to bail, feeding the drop.

Of course, there are plenty of true believers in the bull who are not buying the El-Erian line.

James Paulsen, chief strategist at Wells Capital Management in Minneapolis, with $355 billion under management, has been pounding the table for months to buy stocks. Just like in the early 1980s, the recovery will take the form of a "V," he says. The reason: Companies have cut inventories and payrolls to the bone, so just a little revenue growth could translate into a bumper crop of profits.

El-Erian says many of the bulls don't appreciate just how much the government props still under the economy are masking its weakness. Instead of focusing on the fundamentals today, he says, they're looking to the past, expecting a quick economic rebound because that's what's happened before.

We're trained to think the "farther you fall, the higher you'll bounce back," El-Erian says. "We're hostage to the V."

El-Erian says he learned to be open to many different views on the world (and markets) from his father, an Egyptian diplomat who insisted on reading several newspapers everyday, both on the right and the left. El-Erian had hoped to become a college professor. But when his father died, he took a job at the International Monetary Fund to support the family. He rose through the ranks, eventually becoming deputy director.

In 1999 he joined Pimco, where he quickly made a name for himself with some prescient bets on emerging markets.

One of his biggest wins: selling Argentine bonds in 2000 while they were still popular with investors. When the country defaulted the next year, the emerging markets fund that El-Erian managed returned 28 percent versus negative 1 percent for the Emerging Market Bond Index. He eventually left to head the group that manages Harvard University's massive endowment, returning to Pimco in January 2008 in time catch the depths of the financial crisis.

El-Erian says we've probably seen the worst of the crisis but consumers, and not just Washington, need to start spending again for the recovery to really take hold.

He doesn't expect that to happen soon. Like in the Great Depression, Americans are saving more and borrowing less - a shift in attitudes toward family finances that Pimco thinks will last a generation.

That, plus the impact of more regulation and higher taxes, El-Erian says, will crimp growth for years to come.

Whatever the merits of that view, Pimco is not exactly knocking the lights out right now. So far this year, the Total Return Fund has returned 14 percent, impressive in normal times but no better than average for similar funds during the rally, according to Morningstar. The 19.1 percent return for Global Multi-Asset, which El-Erian co-manages, lags two-thirds of its peers. El-Erian says he sold equities "too early" but is convinced his view on the market will prove correct - even if it strikes many as a tad too pessimistic.

"I'm calling it as I see it," he says. "I'm not optimistic or pessimistic - I'm realistic."

Nigerian + 1 = Conspiracy

Flight 253 passenger: Sharp-dressed man aided terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab onto plane without passport ( exclusive)

By Sheena Harrison
December 26, 2009, 2:22PM

A Michigan man who was aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 says he witnessed Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab trying to board the plane in Amsterdam without a passport.

Kurt Haskell of Newport, Mich., who posted an earlier comment about his experience, talked exclusively with and confirmed he was on the flight by sending a picture of his boarding pass. He and his wife, Lori, were returning from a safari in Uganda when they boarded the NWA flight on Friday.

Haskell said he and his wife were sitting on the ground near their boarding gate in Amsterdam, which is when they saw Mutallab approach the gate with an unidentified man.

Kurt and Lori Haskell are attorneys with Haskell Law Firm in Taylor. Their expertise includes bankruptcy, family law and estate planning.

While Mutallab was poorly dressed, his friend was dressed in an expensive suit, Haskell said. He says the suited man asked ticket agents whether Mutallab could board without a passport. “The guy said, 'He's from Sudan and we do this all the time.'”

Mutallab is Nigerian. Haskell believes the man may have been trying to garner sympathy for Mutallab's lack of documents by portraying him as a Sudanese refugee.

The ticket agent referred Mutallab and his companion to her manager down the hall, and Haskell didn't see Mutallab again until after he allegedly tried to detonate an explosive on the plane.

Haskell said the flight was mostly unremarkable. That was until he heard a flight attendant say she smelled smoke, just after the pilot announced the plane would land in Detroit in 10 minutes. Haskell got out of his seat to view the brewing commotion.

“I stood up and walked a couple feet ahead to get a closer look, and that's when I saw the flames,” said Haskell, who sat about seven rows behind Mutallab. “It started to spread pretty quickly. It went up the wall, all the way to ceiling.”

Haskell, who described Mutallab as a diminutive man who looks like a teenager, said about 30 seconds passed between the first mention of smoke and when Mutallab was subdued by fellow passengers.

“He didn't fight back at all. This wasn't a big skirmish,” Haskell said. “A couple guys jumped on him and hauled him away.”
The ordeal has Haskell and his wife a little shaken. Flight attendants were screaming during the fire and the pilot sounded notably nervous when bringing the plane in for a landing, he said.

“Immediately, the pilot came on and said two words: emergency landing,” Haskell said. “And that was it. The plane sped up instead of slowing down. You could tell he floored it.”

As Mutallab was being led out of the plane in handcuffs, Haskell said he realized that was the same man he saw trying to board the plane in Amsterdam.

Passengers had to wait about 20 minutes before they were allowed to exit the plane. Haskell said he and other passengers waited about six hours to be interviewed by the FBI.

About an hour after landing, Haskell said he saw another man being taken into custody. But a spokeswoman from the FBI in Detroit said Mutallab was the only person taken into custody.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Fort Hood - Terrorism via Jihad

Of course this was just a man who, haviong been exposed to a few people returning from Iraq, became traumatized and acted out.  Of course he is not a terrorist committing terrorist action in the name of jihad.  Of course not.  The facts cannot be any more clear.

Fort Hood shooter asked about killing Americans in 2008: report

Dec 23, 2009
Agence France Presse

Nidal Hasan, the US soldier who killed 13 people at an attack on Fort Hood military base last month, sought advice about murdering US troops in 2008, a Yemeni imam told Al-Jazeera on Wednesday.

Hasan, a Muslim Army psychiatrist, faces 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in connection with the November 5 shooting attack at the Texas military facility.

On Wednesday, Al-Jazeera's Arabic-language website published an interview with US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, who said he and Hasan communicated by email for over a year about the permissibility of killing US soldiers and Israeli civilians.

"The first message I received from Nidal was on 17 December 2008," Aulaqi told the interviewer, adding that Hasan initiated the email communication.

"He asked about killing American soldiers and officers and whether that was legitimate or not," Aulaqi said.

Links between the Muslim cleric and Hasan are already being investigated, but the interview reveals for the first time how long the two men knew each other and communicated, and also offers insight into how early Hasan was thinking about the possibility of attacking fellow servicemembers.

Aulaqi, a US-born preacher, said he met Hasan nine years earlier at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Washington, DC and the pair begin communicating after Aulaqi left the United States for Yemen.

"The first message was on the rules about a Muslim soldier who serves in the American army and kills his fellow (soldiers)," Aulaqi said.

"And in a group of his messages, Nidal explained his view on the killing of Israeli civilians, which he supported," he added.

Aulaqi denied having suggested the attack on Fort Hood, but said he supported Hasan's actions, adding that Hasan was motivated by long-standing grievances against the US military.

"The target that Nidal targeted was a military target inside the United States and not anything else," Aulaqi said.

"I didn't recruit Nidal Hasan and in fact America recruited him with its crimes and injustices and that is something that America does not want to recognize."

Hasan, who is paralyzed from the chest down after being shot by a police officer during the attack, is being held at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio pending trial.

The Pentagon has launched an investigation into the shootings to determine whether warning signs were missed and to prevent such an assault from happening again.

Twelve soldiers and one civilian were killed in the attack. Another 42 people were wounded.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let it Snow let it snow, let it snow ....

European weather deaths pass 100Freezing weather brings death and disruption in Germany, Italy and across eastern Europe

Lizzy Davies
Tuesday 22 December 2009
More than 100 people have been killed in the cold snap across Europe, with temperatures plummeting and snowfall causing chaos from Moscow to Milan.

In Poland, where temperatures have dropped to as low as -20C in some areas, police appealed for tip-offs about people spotted lying around outside. At least 42 people, most of them homeless, died over the weekend.

In Ukraine 27 people have frozen to death since the thermometer dropped last week. Authorities in Romania said 11 people had succumbed to the chill, and in the Czech Republic the toll was 12. In Germany, where temperatures have fallen to -33C in certain parts, at least seven people are known to have lost their lives in the freezing weather.

For millions of others across the continent, the cold snap has brought severe disruption, with flight cancellations and traffic jams thwarting pre-Christmas travel plans.

The resumption of Eurostar services brought some relief to passengers travelling between France, Belgium and England, but many trains across Europe were delayed or cancelled.

Airports were struggling to cope with icy runways, with Ryanair and Easyjet among several airlines to cancel some flights.

In Frankfurt, where snowfall prompted delays and cancellations, 3,000 people were forced to spend last night inside the terminals at the city's main airport. "It is totally chaotic today … no one knows what's going on – neither us nor the staff," Dorothee Schaefle, waiting in line, told Die Welt newspaper.

Roads were not exempt from the chaos. After a weekend that brought the heaviest snowfall in about 100 years, Moscow was gridlocked, with tailbacks snailing around the Russian capital.

In Italy, where winters are usually mild, motorways in the north-east were closed and the Ministry of Defence dispatched helicopters in Sicily to bring medical aid to those in need.

In Milan hundreds of soldiers worked through the night to clear the snow- and ice-covered streets.

global warming

Crimes of the Party fall upon the Voters

$300 million for Senator Landrieu, $100 million for Senator Dodd, unknown hundreds of millions for Senator Nelson.  I am sure it will be at least $500 million to get them to sign the deal.  Amazing. 

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, responded Tuesday to widespread criticism that Democrats only garnered the 60 votes needed to defeat Republican stalling tactics on the health reform bill by catering to self-interest, saying Democrats are focusing on the big picture; "trying to cross a demarcation line."

Harkin dismissed deals dubbed vote-buying by GOP senators as "small stuff" that distracted Americans from the primary focus of the overhaul bill.

"We have to keep our eyes on what we're trying to do here. We're trying to cross a demarcation line," Harkin told "Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez. "On one side is health care as a privilege, on the other side is health care as a right. With these votes, with the vote that we'll take before Christmas, we will cross that line finally and say that health care is a right of all Americans."
December 22, 2009, CBS News.
Just the usual business with an administration that promised change - to not do things like the previous administration, to be open, and up front.  Except when they don't want to be.

Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.