Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bad Bad People - Everywhere.

The men involved - life in prison.  The young males involved - prison and counselling.  The sister who sold the younger sister - prison.  No leniency.  None.  Zero.

Bad bad people.

Why can this happen.

Police: NJ teen sold stepsister, 7, for party sex

Mar 31, 2010
Associated Press Writer

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A 15-year-old New Jersey girl prostituted herself and her 7-year-old stepsister to have sex with as many as seven men and boys at a weekend party near their home in a crime-plagued neighborhood, police said.

Trenton police Capt. Joseph Juniak said Wednesday that the older girl started by taking money to have sex with several men at the party of a high-rise apartment. The teen then gave some of the money she had collected to the younger girl to let the men start touching her, Juniak said.

"It went from touching to straight out assault and rape," Juniak said. "They threatened to kill her if she screamed or told anyone."

The child later put on her clothes and left the apartment; her sister stayed. Two women found the child crying outside the apartment and walked her home.

The teen is charged with aggravated sexual assault, promoting prostitution and other crimes. Her name was not released because of her age. She was being held in a juvenile detention facility in Mercer County, but police did not know whether she had an attorney.

A spokeswoman for the county prosecutor's office, Casey DeBlasio, said prosecutors would seek to have the teen tried as an adult.

Police believe as many as a dozen people were at the party. They are trying to track down the men and boys who attended and are reviewing building surveillance videos and additional arrests are expected.

Police said the girls were outside Sunday afternoon in the neighborhood when the 15-year-old ran into two young men she knew who invited her to a party at the apartment. Rather than leave the 7-year-old behind, the teen took her along.

At the party, the 15-year-old starting having sex with several of the men for money and then gave the younger girl some cash to let a group of men touch her, Juniak said. He would not say how much money was exchanged.

The girls' parents reported them missing late Sunday afternoon. Police had just arrived at the home when the 7-year-old returned, Juniak said, and told her parents what happened.

The child was treated at a hospital, and police said child protective services is working with the family to get her psychological help.

Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer called the crime "sickening" and said it was among the worst he's seen in his 20 years as mayor.

"The police are taking this personal," the mayor said. "I know there's a place in hell for all the people that participated in this and I'm sure they will get there."

"Personally as a father with a 7-year-old daughter, I can't imagine the horror," Palmer added.

The apartment building where the assault took place, Rowan Towers, sits in the shadow of the Statehouse and is well-known to police, who are hired by the building to handle security at night from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Last week alone they responded to a home invasion there and shots fired outside the building.

It's unclear when the girls entered the building and whether any screams or cries were heard by anyone.

Police Director Irving Bradley Jr. said police have been meeting with building management, who recently agreed to have two officers work the night shift so that one could patrol the building's floors and hallway.

Many of the apartments are vacant. The renter of the 13-floor apartment where the party was held had not been home for quite a while, and investigators were trying to find out how the partygoers got in, Juniak said.

Juniak indicated that the 15-year-old previously had contact with child services, but he declined to elaborate or discuss the family's makeup, except to say the girls "considered themselves sisters." The state Department of Children and Families declined to say whether officials had interacted with the family, citing agency policy.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Americans are Confused Poll Results Show Schizophrenia

Health care law too costly, most say

March 30, 2010
By Susan Page, USA TODAY

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government's role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.

Those surveyed are inclined to fear that the massive legislation will increase their costs and hurt the quality of health care their families receive, although they are more positive about its impact on the nation's health care system overall.

Supporters "are not only going to have to focus on implementing this kind of major reform," says Robert Blendon, a professor of health policy and political analysis at Harvard. "They're going to have to spend substantial time convincing people of the concrete benefits of this legislation."

The risk for them is that continued opposition will fuel calls for repeal and dog Democrats in November's congressional elections. The bill was enacted without a single Republican vote.

In an interview airing Tuesday on NBC's Today, Obama acknowledges concerns about cost. "It is a critical first step in making a health care system that works for all Americans," he said of the law, adding, "We are still going to have adjustments that have to be made to further reduce costs."

Obama's approval rating was 47%-50% — the first time his disapproval rating has hit 50%.

In the survey:

• A plurality predicts the law will improve health care coverage generally and the overall health of Americans. But a majority says it also will drive up overall costs and worsen the federal budget deficit.

• When it comes to their families, they see less gain and more pain: Pluralities say it will make coverage and quality of care worse for them. By 50%-21%, they predict it will make their costs higher.

Opponents of the health care bill are a bit more likely than supporters to say the vote will have a major impact on their vote for Congress in the fall. Three in 10 are much more likely to vote for a candidate who opposes the bill. One in four are much more likely to vote for a candidate who supports it.

The poll of 1,033 adults, taken by land line and cellphone Friday through Sunday, has a margin of error of +/–4 percentage points.

Half call passage of the bill "a bad thing" and 47% "a good thing." That differs from a one-day USA TODAY poll taken March 22 — a day after the House approved the legislation — in which a 49%-40% plurality called the bill "a good thing."

"Any one-day poll in the immediate aftermath of a major event is likely to be subject not only to sampling error but also to very short-term effects," says political scientist Charles Franklin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the time, "the news cycle was dominated by the positive side of the story, and only a little bit by the Republicans' rebuttal to that."

There was a strong reaction against the tactics Democratic leaders used to pass the bill. A 53% majority call Democratic methods "an abuse of power;" 40% say they are appropriate.

And when asked about incidents of vandalism and threats that followed the bill's passage, Americans are more inclined to blame Democratic political tactics than critics' harsh rhetoric. Forty-nine percent say Democratic tactics are "a major reason" for the incidents, while 46% blame criticism by conservative commentators and 43% the criticism of Republican leaders.


UK: When Laws take Precedent Over Common Sense

It is not enough to say this is an oddity, an anomaly ... for it is not.  Laws have taken the place of common sense.  In a country that allows sex between 16 year olds or between 30 year olds and 16 year olds, who do they think they are finding offense selling fish to 14 year olds.  I am offended.

Her offence was to unwittingly sell a goldfish to a 14-year-old boy taking part in a trading standards 'sting'.

At most, pet shop owner Joan Higgins, 66, expected a slap on the wrist for breaking new animal welfare laws which ban the sale of pets to under-16s.

Instead, the great-grandmother was taken to court, fined £1,000, placed under curfew - and ordered to wear an electronic tag for two months.

The punishment is normally handed out to violent thugs and repeat offenders.

The prosecution of Mrs Higgins and her son Mark is estimated to have cost taxpayers £20,000 and has left her with a criminal record.

Mark, 47, was also fined and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Our Future in 10 Years

Dying Patient Was Refused A Glass Of Water

Monday March 29, 2010
Steve Davies, Sky News Online

A dying patient had to ring a hospital switchboard on his mobile to ask for a glass of water, after nurses ignored his pleas.

Officials from the South London NHS Trust have apologised to the family of Derek Sauter, who later died in hospital of pneumonia.

The 60-year-old did not receive a "proper and professional standard of care" when he was admitted with a chest infection in June 2008.

A formal investigation is being conducted into his death, after it was found his oxygen levels went unchecked for 11 hours and were 35% lower than recommended.

Ruth Sauter, the patient's daughter, said she was disgusted by the treatment her father had received.

She told The Daily Mail: "His condition was not life threatening, and nurses had specific instructions to keep close tabs on him.

"'But their appalling lack of care, and cruel behaviour killed my father...It's so much worse knowing that he died alone, thirsty and scared on that ward."

After being admitted in the morning, he was given antibiotics and oxygen, but was later forced to ring his wife to tell her that he was not allowed any more water as he had earlier knocked over a cup.

After ringing the switchboard, a doctor was called to the ward, only for a nurse to tell him that the patient was "overreacting".

The hospital was unable to comment directly on the case, as it is part of the family's legal proceedings.

A spokeswoman said: "South London Healthcare NHS Trust would like to apologise to the Sauter family for the failings in care that Derek Sauter received.

"The trust believes that Mr Sauter did not receive a proper and professional standard of care that he and his family had a right to expect."


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Afghanistan: Obama Speaks

He made a very good speech and presentation to the troops - telling the truth, whether he belives it or not:

Associated Press, March 28, 2010

"If this region slides backwards," Obama told the troops, "if the Taliban retakes this country, al-Qaida can operate with impunity, then more American lives will be at stake, the Afghan people will lose their opportunity for progress and prosperity and the world will be significantly less secure. As long as I'm your commander in chief, I'm not going to let that happen."


US and Israel: Relationship is nearly extinguished

This is the first time in more than 35 years that Israel needs to worry about the US.

28 March 2010 15:56 UK


US 'may not veto UN resolution on Jerusalem'

Israel considers areas within the Jerusalem municipality as its territory

The US is considering abstaining from a possible UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement expansion in East Jerusalem, the BBC has learned.

The possibility surfaced at talks in Paris last week between a senior US official and Qatar's foreign minister.

The official said the US would "seriously consider abstaining" if the issue of Israeli settlements was put to the vote, a diplomat told the BBC.

The US usually blocks Security Council resolutions criticising Israel.

But relations between the allies have been severely strained by the announcement of plans to build 1,600 homes in an East Jerusalem settlement during a recent visit to Israel by US Vice-President Joe Biden.

The move prompted the Palestinians to pull out of the US-brokered indirect "proximity talks" that had only just been agreed in a bid to revive the peace process, which has been stalled for more than a year.

Nearly half a million Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They are held to be illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

Guarantee sought

The exchange between the US official and Qatar's foreign minister came to light during a meeting at an Arab League summit in the Libyan town of Sirte.

A diplomatic source told the BBC that Qatar's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jasim Al Thani - who is also the prime minister - had recently met an official high up in the Obama administration during a visit to France.

During their talks, Sheikh Hamad asked the US official whether Washington would guarantee not to veto a UN Security Council resolution that was critical of Israel's ongoing settlement construction in East Jerusalem.

The diplomat said the US official had replied that the current feeling in Washington was that they would "seriously consider abstention".

An Egyptian official is said to have confirmed his knowledge of the US position during a meeting at the Arab League summit, which was held behind closed doors.

The US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell, was in Paris last week to hold talks with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas.

The US is one of five permanent members of the Security Council with veto power and has a history of blocking any resolution condemning Israel.

The BBC's Rana Jawad, in Sirte, says that many people will see the comments as yet another sign of Washington's recent dispute with Israel.

In November, Israel announced a 10-month suspension of new building in the West Bank. But it considers areas within the Jerusalem municipality as its territory and thus not subject to the restrictions.


Mexico and US

U.S. lobbies a hurdle in Mexico drug war: Calderon

March 28, 2010

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Powerful groups in the United States appear to be blocking efforts to stem the flow of assault weapons fueling Mexico's drug war, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

Calderon, who has deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and police to fight drug cartels, told Fareed Zakaria's "GPS" program on CNN that there was resistance in Washington to Mexico's demands that sales of such weapons be stopped.

"They (U.S. officials) say that they are facing strong opposition and there is powerful lobbies in the Congress in order to change that situation," Calderon said in a pre-taped interview in Mexico City.

Interesting.  All those lobbyists still in DC.  We need to do a good cleansing.  The fact any American Congressman or White House does not step in to salvage the relationship between the US and Mexico and instead allows and permits these weapons of death to take not only Mexican lives, but also American is ... immoral. 

Obama Foreign Policy: Destroy relationships

For more than sixty years we have had a rather unique and special relationship with the United Kingdom.  That time has passed.  For more than sixty years we have had a special relationship with Israel - that time has passed.  For much longer than sixty years we have had a very close relationship with Canada - that time has passed. 

Building relationhsips or destroying decades of friendship.  And his supporters dare criticize Bush and his handling of the world community.  You have no right, no right to speak, no right to even open you mouth - not when Obama is busy destroying relationships.

No 'special relationship' between Britain and US: MPs

Mar 27, 2010
08:03 PM US/Eastern
Agence France Presse
President Barack Obama's administration was taking a "more pragmatic tone" towards Britain than had been the case for some previous US administrations.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said in response to the report: "It doesn't really matter whether someone calls it the 'special relationship' or not.

The first thing that should be done on January 20, 2013, is to make phone calls to England, Canada, and Israel and apologize - and then send out emissaries to rebuild relations with our allies.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Obama: How much worse can he make US/Israeli relations

The Times
March 26, 2010

Binyamin Netanyahu humiliated after Barack Obama 'dumped him for dinner'
Giles Whittell, Washington, and James Hider, Jerusalem

For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.

After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said.

“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.

Left to talk among themselves Mr Netanyahu and his aides retreated to the Roosevelt Room. He spent a further half-hour with Mr Obama and extended his stay for a day of emergency talks to try to restart peace negotiations. However, he left last night with no official statement from either side. He returned to Israel yesterday isolated after what Israeli media have called a White House ambush for which he is largely to blame.

Sources said that Mr Netanyahu failed to impress Mr Obama with a flow chart purporting to show that he was not responsible for the timing of announcements of new settlement projects in east Jerusalem. Mr Obama was said to be livid when such an announcement derailed the visit to Israel by Joe Biden, the Vice-President, this month and his anger towards Israel does not appear to have cooled.

Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, cast doubt on minor details in Israeli accounts of the meeting but did not deny claims that it amounted to a dressing down for the Prime Minister, whose refusal to freeze settlements is seen in Washington as the main barrier to resuming peace talks.

The Likud leader has to try to square the rigorous demands of the Obama Administration with his nationalist, ultra-Orthodox coalition partners, who want him to stand up to Washington even though Israel needs US backing in confronting the threat of a nuclear Iran.

“The Prime Minister leaves America disgraced, isolated and altogether weaker than when he came,” the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz said.

In their meeting Mr Obama set out expectations that Israel was to satisfy if it wanted to end the crisis, Israeli sources said. These included an extension of the freeze on Jewish settlement growth beyond the ten-month deadline next September, an end to building projects in east Jerusalem and a withdrawal of Israeli forces to positions held before the second intifada in September 2000.

Newspaper reports recounted how Mr Netanyahu looked “excessively concerned and upset” when he pulled out a flow chart to show Mr Obama how Jerusalem planning permission worked and how he could not have known that the announcement that hundreds more homes were to be built would be made when Mr Biden arrived in Jerusalem.

Mr Obama then suggested that Mr Netanyahu and his staff stay at the White House to consider his proposals so that if he changed his mind he could inform the President right away. “I’m still around,” the daily newspaper Yediot Aharonot quoted Mr Obama as saying. “Let me know if there is anything new.”

With the atmosphere so soured by the end of the evening, the Israelis decided that they could not trust the telephone line they had been lent for their consultations. Mr Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, his Defence Minister, went to the Israeli Embassy to ensure that the Americans were not listening in.

The meeting came barely a day after Mr Obama’s health reform victory. Israel had calculated that he would be too tied up with domestic issues to focus seriously on the Middle East.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

People who should not be allowed to vote

Having insurance 'going to be like Christmas'

March 22, 2010

Durham, N.C. — Uninsured Triangle residents said Monday that they eagerly await the overhaul of the nation's health care system.

"It's just going to be like Christmas," said DeCarlo Flythe, who lost health coverage for his family when he was laid off almost three years ago. "It's going to be great. You know, no worries (about) the bills. We are going to go ahead and pay our co-pay and be alright."


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chavez Speaks and Blames the US for Everything

Chavez is cutting power to businesses that have failed to reduce power usage.

Reuters, March 21, 2010

"Indeed, I would love to have the powers I'm accused of by the opposition to defeat this situation which not only hurts Venezuela but the whole world as a result of the destructive voracity of the capitalist system."


Climate Change - Why Government isn't Working

White House report cites gaps in climate change strategy

Improved risk assessments, more scientific study and better coordination between federal and local governments are needed, the report says.

March 15, 2010
By Jim Tankersley
Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Washington — The federal government has "significant gaps" in its strategy to cope with the increasing effects of climate change on the country, according to a White House report scheduled to be released Tuesday.

The report will call for better risk assessments, more thorough scientific research and improved coordination of federal and local governments in order to handle the effects of warming temperatures, according to a draft of the report.

Adapting to warming temperatures, the report concludes, "will require a set of thoughtful, preventative actions, measures and investments to reduce the vulnerability of our natural and human systems to climate change impacts."

The report urges federal agencies to fundamentally change how they plan for the future, by factoring the potential risks and opportunities of a changing climate into their decision-making. It also advises agencies to rely less on historical climate data when making plans for transportation, energy, infrastructure and natural resource use.

[And instead, they should use fortune tellers or computer modeling based upon flawed data.]

The task force that produced the report includes the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Science and Technology Policy and representatives from nearly every corner of the federal government.

The report comes at a time when global warming skeptics are increasingly criticizing the science of climate change, fueled by a string of controversies surrounding leading climate scientists.

President Obama has asked the task force to lay the groundwork, by this fall, for an explicit federal strategy to adapt to climate change.

The draft report is a first step in that process and is light on specific recommendations.

It concludes that climate change "is affecting, and will continue to affect, nearly every aspect of our society and the environment" through increasingly severe floods, droughts, wildfires and heat waves, along with rising sea levels.

Those impacts are already "affecting the ability of federal agencies to fulfill their missions," the report said.

[Yes, this much is clear.  Roads have disappeared, planes cannot fly, vehicles do not work, people are unable to get organized, computer systems are under water ...   Or, perhaps this will explain why Obama has not accomplished anything as of Saturday March 20, and is putting all his eggs into one basket for his health care.  Climate change.  That's why.]
climate change

Russian Protests

Russian 'Day of Anger' rallies tests Putin's rule

Alissa de Carbonnel
Sat Mar 20, 10:52 am ET

MOSCOW (AFP) – Thousands of protesters rallied in dozens of Russian cities on Saturday against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's government as opposition groups mobilised anger over economic woes.

Riot police in Moscow massively outnumbered some 100 activists who took to the streets for an unsanctioned rally. They detained a few dozen activists and blocked the street to prevent demonstrators from marching.

"Today our movement is in solidarity with the other protests in the country where they are calling for the resignation of Putin's government. His policy during the crisis is not working!" youth activist Sergei Udaltsov told reporters shortly before being arrested.

Police also detained a handful of activists in the Russian cities of Arkhangelsk and Novosibirsk, news agencies reported.

Dubbed the "Day of Anger", the nationwide rallies are being organized by a mishmash of groups -- rights activists, the Communist Party, the opposition Solidarity movement and the Federation of Motorists -- in a bid to transform scattered discontent into something bigger.

The string of protests opened in the far east port of Vladivostok where more than a thousand protesters gathered in the snow holding placards screaming "No to Taxes" and "Enough Coddling Oligarchs at the Expense of the People!".

In Saint Petersburg, around 1,000 protesters cheered a list of demands ranging from the government's resignation to lower prices on municipal services.

"If there are no changes in Russian leadership in the near future, then our country will cease to be.

"It will collapse from corruption and bad domestic politics," Vadim Alexandrov, 43, told AFP at the Saint Petersburg rally.

[One can hope, but me thinks he is slightly unaware.  The Soviet Union, corrupted to its core, with very bad domestic policies, struggled on for 30 years past its expiration date - taking with it, millions of innocent people.]

Protests in Irkutsk meanwhile drew some 500 environmental activists angry at Putin's approval of the reopening of a paper mill, which is to dump waste into Lake Baikal, the world's deepest fresh water body.

Defying a ban on demonstrations in Russia's western-most city, some 500 activist wearing surgical masks held a silent protest in Kaliningrad.

The opposition has gained momentum mainly over bread-and-butter issues after the global downturn brought short a decade of growth in Russia, with recent local elections showing an ebb in support for the ruling United Russia party.

Many protesters said they were galvanized over a hike on car owners' taxes and unhappy over the government's anti-crisis policies.

"I came because I'm worried about the rising prices of electricity and gas; I have a small pension and I have to live somehow," 72-year-old Ivan, who gave only his first name, told AFP.

Authorities have used a variety of tactics to stem the protests. The opposition group Solidarity said its website hosting forums on the planned rallies was shut down Saturday by police who deemed it extremist.

Last year, the government pumped billions into supporting failing Soviet-era industries in its regions, fearing that mass layoffs amid a more than eight percent contraction in growth could snowball into wider social unrest.

The Kremlin was caught off guard in January when around 10,000 people rallied in Kaliningrad calling for the resignation of Putin and the regional governor in the largest protest since the crisis first hit Russia in 2008.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hollywood and the Unbelieveable Gymnastics Required

Idiots on Parade.  I am amazed.  Yes, Steven, it failed because the American people do not appreciate being lectured on Iraq.  Hurt Locker is not proof this is not the case.  Hurt Locker is not a run away money maker.  Few people went to see it, and quite likely, the same ones who saw it will buy it on DVD, which means still no one saw it.  The fact it won anything has nothing to do with the American people, and their interest or desire to see make believe reality, it has more to do with Hollywood make-believing anyone cares.

Why 'Green Zone' failed

March 15, 2010
Steven Zeitchik
LA Times Blogs

It's dispiriting to sit back today and soak in just how poorly "Green Zone" performed over the weekend, earning a meager $14.3 million. Depression sets in because the Paul Greengrass movie is legitimately great, a potent thriller and action picture that entertains no matter your politics (we're not the only ones who feel this way -- the movie is the second best-reviewed wide release of the year according to meta-review site Movie Review Intelligence).

But what's even more discouraging about the results is that they offer definitive proof that even the highest-quality filmmaking and the most palatable marketing hook can't save a movie set in a tumultuous Middle East. This was a movie retailed as a Jason Bourne-like thriller made by the director and the star of same, with all the double-crosses, chases and explosions one would want from such a union. And yet no matter how deftly it was executed, audiences didn't see past the topicality. The simple presence of Iraq kept people home, as it has before for films of so many different stripes, tones and budgets.

What's less clear -- and, indeed, what gets under our skin -- is the debate over how specific politics are responsible for the film's failure. "Did politics sink Matt Damon's 'The Green Zone'?" an Atlantic blog asks. Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood compares the opening of "Green Zone," unfavorably, to the Damon-Greengrass collaborations "The Bourne Supremacy" and "The Bourne Ultimatum" and implies that politics did this one in. "Gee, I wonder what the difference was [compared to those films]?" the piece asks sarcastically. (Never mind that those two movies were sequels based on a huge Robert Ludlum franchise.)

And in a New York Times op-ed column today, Ross Douthat faults "Green Zone" for "refus[ing] to stare real tragedy in the face, preferring the comforts of a 'Bush lied, people died' reductionism." (Incidentally that's not true -- sure, there's a one-note Paul Bremer-Douglas Feith character played by Greg Kinnear. But the movie is rolling in nuance and is particularly adept at showing internecine Iraqi tribal politics, something no scripted feature has previously done well.)

But even accepting Douthat's one-dimensionality argument, it's hard to see how that played a role in the picture's dismal box office. Douthat draws a contrast to a little Iraq movie that just swept the Oscars. " 'The Hurt Locker,' of course, was largely apolitical," he writes. "Throw politics into the mix, and there seems to be no escaping the clichés and simplifications that mar Greengrass’s movie."

But "Hurt Locker," for all of its character study of one outlaw type, was hardly apolitical -- it just showed the effects of politics (a battle whose enemy we don't understand and can't fight) instead of the causes. Yes, Damon speechifies in "Green Zone." But there's an argument to be made that by showing the toll politics has taken, "Hurt Locker" is far more ideological. Besides, it's not like "Hurt Locker" lighted up the box office either, just as Iraq-set movies that are decidedly less political, like "Body of Lies" or "Brothers," underwhelmed too.

"Green Zone" does plenty of things that are policy-neutral. The film traffics in the slipperiness of intelligence-gathering and the shadowy nature of foreign enemies -- a staple of thrillers long before the current Middle East conflict. Even the film's main message -- that the U.S. government bungled the immediate post-war operation -- is a fact that can be tossed off by pretty much any high schooler. Sure, there's a cardboard character and some wooden moments. But the film is not, by most measures, an ideological provocation.

What the film does achieve lies with its formal rigor. Greengrass' masterful editing and neo-verite camera work make us feels like we're in Iraq, for perhaps the first time in a studio feature. And that may be the true problem: It wasn't the ideology that was the issue for filmgoers, it was that it all just felt so real. And American moviegoers -- as one look at the receipts for "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland" show -- aren't much in the mood for real these days.

It can take months or even years for a movie with difficult subject matter to catch on with the public. This seems like a syndrome that particularly afflicts Greengrass, who's been the victim of his own success before. The director's "United 93" was condemned by many for some of the same reasons as "Green Zone." "I don't want to feel like I'm on that plane," people said. "Why would I pay money to see that?"

Of course putting us on the plane, just as he puts us in Iraq, is exactly what makes Greengrass so skilled and his movies so great. "United 93" went on to land two major Oscar nominations and do nicely on DVD. Here's hoping "Green Zone's" battle is also far from over.

Iraq and Hollywood

Murderers and Others - Sneak in, and get funding.

Panamanian murderer caught in D.C., lived off federal subsidies
By: Freeman Klopott
Examiner Staff Writer
March 18, 2010

A Panamanian murderer who escaped a prison in the Central American country has been captured in the District, where authorities say he used a fake Social Security card to obtain federally subsidized housing and cruised around town in three luxury cars.

The FBI was led to 36-year-old Juan Barrera by an anonymous caller who claimed Barrera was planning to fire a rocket launcher at a Metro train, according to an affidavit recently filed in Greenbelt's federal court.

The tip began an around-the-clock investigation, the affidavit said. The FBI staked out Barrera's third-floor apartment at 1405 Montana Ave., NE, for two days in late January before detaining him. Authorities said in court documents that Barrera did not own a rocket launcher and had no plans to attack Metro.

Barrera was then immediately transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, spokeswomen from both agencies confirmed. The convicted murderer has been wanted on a warrant from Panama since escaping from La Joya prison in early 2008, news reports and Interpol said. Details regarding Barrera's murder conviction were not readily available, an ICE spokeswoman said. English language media organizations in Panama contacted by The Examiner found little information through what they described as Panama's "broken" court system.

Meanwhile, the FBI is investigating Barrera for identity fraud, court documents said.

Federal agents have executed search warrants on Barrera's apartment and his Hyattsville Bank of America safety deposit box, an FBI spokeswoman confirmed.

The returned warrants show that Barrera kept $21,200 in cash at the bank along with a Panamanian birth certificate issued for Barrera's alias, Antonio Armando Acuna. They also found a fake Social Security card in that name and a D.C. driver's license.

Barrera reportedly told authorities he used the bogus Social Security card to get the driver's license and secure his U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidized apartment, court documents said. A property manager for Brookland Manor Apartments told authorities Barrera paid his rent for one year in advance.

Authorities also found that Barrera had three cars registered to his alias in the District: a 1998 Lexus, a 2003 Infiniti and a 2008 Acura.

Barrera reportedly told authorities he entered the United States by sneaking in through Mexico, the affidavit said.

bad guys

The Beginning

In November 2000, Bush won, and Democrats refused to accept the fact. They fought it for quite a few weeks, and the bitterness remained. Yet, when the smoke cleared the day after the election and Republicans had taken control of the House by a slim majority of either 7 or 9, I cannot recall the 2 independents. In the Senate it was 50 – 50, 49-50, and 50 – 48. Regardless – very close, but Republicans still had control, and what do you think they did that day in November after winning the election and control of Congress? Slap kick the Democrats down the hallway? Nyet. Boot them out and lock the doors? Nope. They allowed them to keep control of all the committees until the 20th, which is only right, but given the election, the Republicans would have been within their right to prevent legislation that was opposed by Republicans. It was very civil – and Republicans deferred to the Democrats, went quiet, and gave them the last 70 or so days to do as they wished – and the Democrats wished a lot. The comments from Democrats about Bush during that time, the attacks on his person, and the atmosphere Republicans brought to Washington – the attacks were relentless and Republicans did little to nothing to respond. That should have been the hint, but Republicans didn’t catch on.

They attacked Bush from Day 1 until he left office. They attacked his Iraq policy and did everything they could to interfere with his handling of foreign policy. When Republicans rebuffed their bills, the Democrats screeched about being locked out.

Through the Bush administration the behavior of Democrats was always bothersome, sometimes I believe traitorous (Kuchinich standing in the House saying publicly that the US had troops in Iran – I have no idea if we sent special forces into Iran, but he claimed we did). They called Bush every vile and mean name one can imagine, and each negative claim was a reinforcement of more malicious attacks – each piece of hate was evidence of why they should hate him, and not only hate – for they did not call it hate – they identified their animus as legitimate – Bush was the evil-doer.

They attacked him and every action he took – unless they approved, like the Education Bill crafted by Ted Kennedy … until much later when they attacked him on his failure on education. They did not care what the consequences of their political pettiness were around the globe. Today China tells us we have no right to criticize their human rights policies – not after Abu Ghraib and Hurricane Katrina. Neither of which are legitimate complaints.

Yet through all of this, Democrats and Republicans could act and did act, at times, with pettiness and vindictiveness. They could play games with Congressional rules and push bills onto the floor for a vote after only a few hours debate. They could exclude amendments and invoke filibusters (something Biden said would be used against several Bush acts). They have not until now, been willing to bend the Constitution. They have not, until now threatened everything we (they included) have, and want to keep – a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Pushing through bills without a vote, voting on amendments before the bill is even a law, manipulating numbers to convince a few while knowing the numbers put us deeper in the hole, ready to bankrupt America, beyond the point we are at already, ready to fundamentally change America, violate the Constitution, act in direct opposition to the will of the people, and do so for political purposes only – this we haven’t seen before. We have been given glimpses, but never witnessed. I suppose the Alien and Sedition Acts would have been a concern for the Congress when Adams pushed the bills through – providing power to the Executive beyond what most Americans believed legitimate. The Constitutional over-reaching by the Roosevelt Administration was another such concern. We have had few of these moments in our history, yet on Sunday, March 21, 2010, we will be forced to enter into a whole new time, a new world – one Obama has decided we must all enter together.

He knows how he will handle the deficit created by most of what he is forcing upon us, he has yet to make it clear though – if you study Marx, or review any of the European states, you will see where he will cut to get the money. Marx argues for this because his clash is one of economics and equals – all workers being subjugated by the wealthy who control enterprise and who wage war for power and wealth. One way to end all of this is to make war very nearly impossible – cut our budget dramatically.

Of course Republicans would not go along and neither would many Democrats, BUT if you implement a program that creates a gaping hole you cannot close, in order that the health and welfare of the people is realized, you must cut from any and all budgets to find the funds. When confronted with the dire – either cut it or be unable to provide health care to the poor in your district – Democrats will reluctantly agree, as will a few Republicans. Once you cut the budget and redirect those funds, it will become very nearly impossible to ever re-redirect the funds. He doesn’t even need control of Congress to accomplish this. He simply allows the numbers to become public – here $200 billion, there $400 billion – without the money people will die … and then he will make a very good argument for why we need to cut the military.

At that point, it would nearly be irreversible, and that is his plan. It begins on March 21, 2010. He will push the immigration bill forcefully, to get these illegals made legal by 2012, if possible, or at the very least the election after in 2014. I was tempted on my census to discover that 10 more people were living here (and no, I did not provide birthdates or names – if they aren’t happy with what information I did provide, fine. The government is charged with doing a Census, I am not required to answer – if I was, then the idea of uncounted thousands would be thousands of violations of the law).

I am not very happy tonight.


Unconstitutional march off the cliff

Amazing - Democrats are re-writing the laws as they go along.  Amazing.  I would strongly warn against this in the most serious and significant effort, for if they do this thing, this very bad thing, it will be ruled unconstitutional, they will lose the House, they will lose the Senate, and they will lose the White House, after which they will be banished.  This is beyond simply playing games with the rules - this is intolerable and each day the American people become less tolerant.  In the end, the Congress who have supported these unconstitutional efforts will lose their jobs, and that thing they vote for will be neutered by the Courts, and the Congress.

Now - is something unconstitutional simply because I say it is?  Absoluetly not, any more than if Obama wags a finger at the Justcies sitting in front of him, and lectures them on what is and is not Constitutional.  

No question.  Absolute certainty.

Imagine passing a bill, it is not yet the law, it goes to the President who signs it, at which point it can be amended.  It cannot be amended before it becomes law.  Until now.

I would be ashamed.  Anyone who identifies as a Democrat should be, terribly so.  If they are smart they will pass the bills separately.  It doesn't change much - they would have if they could have, but they can't.  The voters will decide ultimately.

Rules Committee meeting descends into chaos

By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
Washington Examiner
03/20/10 12:42 PM EDT

At the House Rules Committee meeting, Democrats desperate to pass their national health care plan are running into the barrier of basic civics. Here is the problem: The Senate has passed its HCR bill. If the House passes the same bill, it goes on to the president; once he signs it, the bill becomes law. But House Democrats, when they vote for the Senate bill using the "Deem & Pass" dodge, also want to simultaneously pass a package of amendments to the law. Except HCR will not, at that point, be law. It will only become law when the president signs it. Congress can amend the law -- it does so all the time -- but can it amend something that isn't law?

Which is where Democrats are tripping up. Passage of their HCR proposal should be very simple: Senate passes it, House passes it, president signs it. But House Democrats are terrified of voting for the unpopular bill, so they hope to pass it by "Deem & Pass," in which they will vote, not for the bill, but for a rule that both deems the Senate bill to have passed and, in the same vote, passes the package of amendments. So House Democrats will have two fig leaves: 1) they didn't vote directly for the Senate bill, and 2) they voted to simultaneously amend -- to "fix" -- the Senate bill.

The problem is the sequence. Can the House vote to amend something that isn't the law, as the Senate bill will not be law before the president's signature? The Rules Committee meeting turned into mass confusion when Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman said, "We're not going to 'deem' the bill passed. We're going to pass the Senate bill…I would be against the idea of 'deeming' something -- we either pass it or we don't."

To Republican ears, that sounded as if Waxman was speaking out in support of a direct vote on the Senate plan. "I hope we're making news here," said Republican Rep. Joe Barton. If so, Barton added, "Praise the Lord!" Other Democrats jumped in to say that no, there would not be a direct vote on the Senate bill.

Barton then asked whether there would be some period of time between House passage of the Senate bill and House passage of the HCR amendments. During that period of time, the president would sign the Senate HCR bill into law. For the House to amend the HCR law, Barton said, it has to be law, which means the president has to have signed it. "If he doesn't, it ain't a law," Barton said.

Democratic Rep. Sander Levin jumped in. "We're going to be amending the law," he claimed. Waxman added, "We change current law, and the current law will be the Senate bill once it's voted on in the House."

But it won't be law until the president signs it. Obviously, Democrats are performing such strange contortions because many of their members are scared of voting for a bill that will likely mean defeat for them in November. But their attempts to avoid responsibility have created some very basic problems.

UPDATE 1: Faced with nervousness within their ranks, Democratic leaders have decided to drop the "Deem & Pass" strategy. That satisfies one Republican demand, which was that House should have a standalone vote on the Senate national health care bill.

But Democrats are apparently determined to vote for their package of amendments to the Senate bill before they vote for the bill itself. (They remain terrified of voting for the deal-laden Senate measure without having already voted to "fix" it.) That plan still runs afoul of the second Republican objection, which is that the House cannot vote to amend a law that isn't a law. The Senate national health care bill can only become law after it is passed by the House and signed by the president, and without the president's signature, it isn't law. Republicans argue that the House cannot amend a law that isn't yet law.

During a break in the proceedings, Ranking Republican member Rep. David Dreier told me the Democrats' decision to hold a standalone vote on the Senate bill is a "positive" one, but he cannot predict what comes next. "This is clearly a work in progress," he said. "This thing right now is very, very fluid, so I don't know exactly what they're going to plan to do now."

Still, Republicans remain opposed to amending the Senate bill before it becomes law. "I'm very, very concerned, but I don't want to anticipate what they're going to do or not do," Dreier said. "The one thing that has happened is that the American people have gotten the message that process is substance. The fact that they have spoken so loudly and so enthusiastically is a positive thing, and that's what has led to this."

Finally, Dreier said he is also focused on the question of how much time the Rules Committee will allot for the final health care debate. Republicans have feared that it might be as little as one hour, but that, like everything else at the moment, is up in the air.

UPDATE 2: I just talked with a Republican rules expert, and it appears that there is nothing in the rules of the House that will prevent Democrats from scheduling the vote for the amendments package before the vote on the Senate bill itself -- that is, voting to amend the law before it becomes law.

"As a technical matter of the rules of the House, you can pass individual bills in any order you want," says the expert. The expert said Republican Rep. Joe Barton, who argued that the House could not amend the Senate bill before it became law, was making an "integrity-based" argument based on what should be done. "But as a strict construction matter of the House rules, there's no bar" to doing what the Democrats intend to do, the expert said.

"To quote Mr. Hastings," he concluded, "they can make it up as they go along."
(You should know Mr. Hastings is a Democrat.)

One final thought Mr. Obama - Presidents gets things done because a) they have the people behind them.  You don't.  43% find you mildly tolerable.  You may interpret this as - 43% approve and 50+% don't until I push healthcare through and then the numbers will rise - you are terribly mistaken.  The numbers will decline. b) they have been around Washington for years and years and years and they know where all the bodies are buried.  You haven't been.  You just arrived in DC a year or two before you were selected as the Demcoratic nominee for president.  You know nothing and relying on Rahm has its advantages but many disadvantages as well. c) the president has been around DC for long enough to build up political capital.  You haven't.  You have bought off people, which does not mean the people like you or care about your legacy.  They wanted something and you wanted something, you paid them, and they performed for you.  You actually used up capital you didn't have.  You have also forced people to use up all the capital they had to buy off votes.  You have forced many Congressmen to walk the plank, and they owe you nothing.  d) the president is generally liked, supported by Congress and the people, media - their ideas are not too offensive or bothersome to anyone.  You are not.  You have forced the events of Sunday March 21.  You shaped it and forced it, but all your political clout ends.  Do you think Landrieu cares about you or your policies as long as she gets her $300 million?  No. 

You have several more years remaining on your lease and you have no authority to do very much of anything, most especially after the Republicans take back control of Congress.

Good-luck with that legacy (via the Supreme Court).


Industry Costs Would rise under Obamacare - passed on to you.

The issue is not Caterpillar - the issue is industry.  As the costs increase and nearly every corporation and business in America would experience dramatic increases in their costs - the result will be?

Caterpillar: Health care bill would cost it $100M

Published on March 19, 2010 7:10 AM
Dow Jones Newswires

Caterpillar Inc. said the health-care overhaul legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives would increase the company's health-care costs by more than $100 million in the first year alone.

In a letter Thursday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio, Caterpillar urged lawmakers to vote against the plan "because of the substantial cost burdens it would place on our shareholders, employees and retirees."

Caterpillar, the world's largest construction machinery manufacturer by sales, said it's particularly opposed to provisions in the bill that would expand Medicare taxes and mandate insurance coverage. The legislation would require nearly all companies to provide health insurance for their employees or face large fines.

The Peoria-based company said these provisions would increase its insurance costs by at least 20 percent, or more than $100 million, just in the first year of the health-care overhaul program.

"We can ill-afford cost increases that place us at a disadvantage versus our global competitors," said the letter signed by Gregory Folley, vice president and chief human resources officer of Caterpillar. "We are disappointed that efforts at reform have not addressed the cost concerns we've raised throughout the year."

Business executives have long complained that the options offered for covering 32 million uninsured Americans would result in higher insurance costs for those employers that already provide coverage. Opponents have stepped up their attacks in recent days as the House moves closer toward a vote on the Senate version of the health-care legislation.

A letter Thursday to President Barack Obama and members of Congress signed by more than 130 economists predicted the legislation would discourage companies from hiring more workers and would cause reduced hours and wages for those already employed.

Caterpillar noted that the company supports efforts to increase the quality and the value of health care for patients as well as lower costs for employer-sponsored insurance coverage.

"Unfortunately, neither the current legislation in the House and Senate, nor the president's proposal, meets these goals," the letter said.


ISI, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Soviet invasions, and Obama

There are times when big things happen and we do not recognize the magnitude of the sea change. We are the tree in the forest and shifting a few trees around doesn't seem a bother least of all a sea change.

Like Obama and his very real efforts to fundamentally change American society. Looked at in bits, they simply look like bits - golly gee, I just want to help everyone. It is often when we step back and consider the broader implications, or the macro, versus the micro, that we should be able to see more clearly this very real, change he wishes to impose on this country. His vision of what He believes we should believe.

This sea change can occur in other places also, and be as significant in different ways as Obama is to Marxism - but very little press in the US for the extension in the term of service for the ISI chief in Pakistan. We are much too busy with health care to worry about whether some Pakistani gets to keep a job or retire.

Perhaps we should care.

One of the lies of the left stems from a failure to understand anything about Pakistan and the Taliban - and then surprise, they are the ones conducting policy now with little to no reality check.

When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December of 1979, the Mujahedeen stood up to them, and ultimately played a role in the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Listening to bin Laden et al, you would think they did it on their own. That these nomadic Arabs, travelled to Afghanistan, with no aid or support, stood unarmed against one of the mightiest armies on earth, and sent them packing in February of 1989.

Yep. Makes real sense to me. Pretty clear they did it on their own. Mounted on the horses, they scared away the Soviets. I would think it was their breath more than it was the horses. Oh, I suppose they found some old rifles and they shot down those Russian gunships. Yep. I believe in fairies and pixie dust as well. Apparently, bin Laden does also.

The United States played a lead role in aiding the renewers of the faith, who fought the Soviets. Ahmad Shah Massoud stood up and led Afghans against the Evil Empire and for it, was called the Lion. The US, UK, and Saudi Arabia played the more significant roles in the opposition to the Soviet invasion supplying arms, and funds to the beleaguered rag-tag gangs of Arabs. I am sure someone will mention China as having played a role - not interested and not entirely accurate so let us leave them out of it. Saudi Arabia paid for everything, while the US and UK supplied the arms, and eventually the training and construction. The Arabs did the fighting and dying, BUT without our weapons and assistance, they would have been eaten alive by the Soviet gunships and armored divisions, missile strikes, and bombs. Of course, someone will suggest I consider the fate of the Taliban with all the US bombs dropping now, and I again say - not interested, wrong story, no real connection. The Taliban of 1980 were not native to Afghanistan. They did not know the region, certainly did not have the bunkers constructed, and had limited skills in the caves and the mountains. The US and UK stepped in and gave them the necessary tools to stay alive and fight. How do I know? Maybe just because - which of course is not academic, nor is it properly cited.

How many citations do you think Obama can drum up for his very unorthodox approach to legislation? Citations and documentation on some issues, means little because it is almost entirely unverifiable. Think micro for a moment. The following is lite and fluffy. It avoids the complex and the details and provides enough I would think to indict the foolish left rabble and clear up the fog they have set upon the whole of Afghanistan.

1) In the CIA we had maybe 4 people who could speak Pashtu, or the farsi dialect in Afghanistan. Maybe 4. We may have had 10-12 Arabic speakers in the CIA secret agent business. At a desk, back in Langley, perhaps a few more, but none of them were field operatives. In the UK, they had maybe 1/2 as many as we did, and of all of these individuals, maybe 1-2 had ever been to Afghanistan.

2) We had no inside knowledge or inside sources - we had no insight on anything or anyone. We did not know who Massoud was. We did not know who any of them were. We did not know who was running anything.

3) So ... you are the Prime Minister of England or President of the United States - what do you think we should do first, before we deal with weapons and aid? And then, I would ask, how would you accomplish that goal? Who would those individuals see or talk to, how would that vision you have of this working, actually work - the mechanics of it. Explain.

What if I told you that you were more or less correct - we (US and UK) did send people there to learn the language and the culture, and at the same time, to ... make friends with up and coming (possibly) leaders. These people sent to this most miserable place on earth would take weapons, and in the process, begin the befriending of individuals.

I got ahead of myself a little. In the early 1970s, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Pakistan was busy with a war with India, and very disorganized. Pakistan was manpower heavy but very limited on experience and materiale for war. Bodies only go so far. What Pakistan needed was money to build the infrastructure to develop a stable military that would then be able to stand against India or ... another enemy (mainly India). Where to get the money??? The answer arrived indirectly with some help from the Soviets. The US and the UK.

We had the money but no experience in Afghanistan. The ISI had the men and background to get to the renewers of the faith fighting the Soviets. After all, these Mujahedeen crossed the mountains into Pakistan each winter to rest and recuperate until spring. Often they would move into homes in Peshawar or other tribal regions. The big guys moved into Peshawar. Bin Laden had a house in Peshawar, so did Massoud, although they did not know each other as friends or even equals - bin laden was a johnny-come-lately-lazy-here-I-am-give-me-credit-type, while Massoud was the voice and the fist of the Mujahedeen.

So the US and UK had the money and the ISI could get them in to see Massoud and other Mujahedeen leaders (not bin Laden - he was a nobody - it would be like me saying my great-great grandfather won the civil war, when he fought in the war, and didn't quite make it through, but he did fight and that’s all that counts). The US and UK are introduced to the characters involved in the Mujahedeen, and deals are made. However, when Spring comes, the characters are off doing what they do - fighting, while the US and UK bring in supplies. So then now the question - how do we get the supplies to the Mujahedeen? Hmmm.

Easy enough - ISI will help, for a price. The price was a percentage of whatever - money and weapons. For every (my numbers only) $100 to the Mujahedeen, the ISI kept $40, for every 100 rifles to the Mujahedeen, the ISI kept 30. They were using the US and UK as a power station - they plugged into us and within a decade they were THE power in Pakistan. Not the President, not the Prime Minister - the ISI.

In time, our men from the US and UK began developing their own contacts, befriending the mujahedeen and people like Massoud. Maybe one of the befrienders told the story.

In any case - the point is not the details above, but how ISI came to be the power in Pakistan. Often the head of the ISI is at the top of the army chain of command, and in the case of Musharref, he was the head of ISI and the head of the army. There was no civilian control.

Pakistan will claim to have an 86% literacy rate. Brilliant, everyone can read. Compared to the US that is very good unless we winnow it down a bit. Boys who make it to 8th grade have proven they are sufficiently literate and may leave school and do some wonderful bit of service to the world, like join a madrassah. For girls, it is 5th grade. The majority of males are educated up to 8th grade. A very select few make it beyond. Want to guess where these males who make it to 8th grade end up getting much of their education from? Yep. Madrassahs that provide food, shelter, aid, and education in the finer points of life - like fundamentalist ideologies. Want to guess the one job for sure, open to these 8th grade graduates ? No. They join the military, and or, move into the ISI if they are the crème de la crème of the recruits. Where do the officers come from? Yes, they are the ones who take the O and A level exams and get into university.

We now have a conundrum. The working body of the military subscribe to the Taliban philosophy while the officer corps do not. The workers in the ISI are loyal to the Taliban while the officers are not.

How do you fight someone when the bureaucracy invested with the responsibility (ISI and army) to end the reign of the Taliban, is riddled with Taliban supporters?

You do know that the Taliban is like any decentralized organization - different branch officers, different managers, different theories on managing, some may be autocratic, others may be pedophiles. And it is a real possibility that 1-2 of the stronger factions opposed to several weaker groups who oppose them (this may well be evidenced in part by the events north of Kabul on March 6 - fighting between the Taliban and Taliban and Hizb-i-Islami), may well feed intelligence to the ISI, and army knowing it gets fed to NATO who will then bomb and blow up whoever is on the other end. If it kills innocents, oh well - they opposed someone that wanted them gone, and used NATO to remove them and at the same time made NATO look like murdering scum.

Considering the above, read below  .........

ISI chief gets one-year service extension

By Iftikhar A. Khan

Wednesday, 10 Mar, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, has given a one-year extension in service to Lt. General Ahmed Shuja Pasha to allow him to complete his tenure as three-star general and, more importantly, as head of the country’s premier spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Sources told Dawn a summary for Lt. Gen Pasha’s extension, initiated by the Defence Ministry, had been approved by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The summary, they said, had reached the General Headquarters (GHQ) through the Defence Ministry.

The news of extension has become public only a day after the army chief met President Asif Zardari and officials here believe that the matter may have been discussed at the meeting.

Lt. Gen Pasha is the fourth Lt. General to be given extension in service by the present army chief.

Although service extension is always viewed with scepticism, in the case of Lt. Gen Pasha it was widely expected but many believe it meets the merit criterion.

They say that although he reaches the age of superannuation on March 18, more than a year remains in his tenure as a three-star general.

Besides, some senior security analysts said, Gen Pasha was directly involved in major missions, most important of them being the security establishment’s decision to systematically eradicate the militancy culture and jihadi organisations from the country.

Gen Pasha is one of the few chiefs of ISI who have remained in close touch with the administration and have briefed members of parliament on the ongoing military operations in Malakand and tribal agencies.

Regarded by most serving and retired military officials as an upright and dedicated intelligence official, Gen Pasha is also considered to be a close confidant of army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. He served as Director-General Military Operations (DGMO) at the army headquarters and oversaw military engagements in Waziristan, Swat and other areas.

In October 2007, Gen Pasha was selected as military adviser to Secretary-General of United Nations, but due to his commitments as DGMO he did not join the UN.

Soon after coming into power, the present government tried to place the premier intelligence agency under the administrative, financial, and operational control of the Interior Ministry, but it failed to do so and had to shelve the controversial notification.

Lt. Gen Pasha was appointed as Director General ISI in September 2008, replacing Lt General Nadeem Taj, who had been appointed by Pervez Musharraf.

It may be mentioned that Nadeem Taj had been appointed ISI chief in place of the present army chief.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Very Strange

The first part may be strange, but the last few paragraphs make it even stranger.

Computer snafu is behind at least 50 'raids' on Brooklyn couple's home

BY Kate Nocera and John Lauinger
Friday, March 19th 2010, 4:00 AM

Police come to Rose and Walter Martin's home on Thursday - this time to explain reason for years of faulty raids. Take our PollCity's most wanted?

Embarrassed cops on Thursday cited a "computer glitch" as the reason police targeted the home of an elderly, law-abiding couple more than 50 times in futile hunts for bad guys.

Apparently, the address of Walter and Rose Martin's Brooklyn home was used to test a department-wide computer system in 2002.

What followed was years of cops appearing at the Martins' door looking for murderers, robbers and rapists - as often as three times a week.

After the Daily News exclusively reported on the couple's plague of police raids yesterday, apologetic detectives from the NYPD's Identity Theft Squad showed up at their home.

Rose Martin, 82, said they told her Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered them to solve the puzzle - stat.

By the end of the day, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said the snafu was traced to a 2002 computer test, though he couldn't explain why the couple's address was used as a test case in the first place.

He said that when the Martins complained to cops in 2007 about their scary series of official doorknocks, police tried to wipe their address from the system.

But the raids continued. The most recent, on Tuesday, left 83-year-old World War II vet Walter Martin woozy from soaring blood pressure.

Investigators found yesterday that not every computer file bearing the Martin's address was deleted.

"It wasn't supposed to stay in [the system]," Browne said. "It's been removed."

In order to be "doubly cautious" in the future, Browne said cops have flagged the Martin's address so no officer will be dispatched to the home without double-checking the address.

A skeptical Rose Martin asked the department to write her an official letter, dubious that such a long-standing problem could be fixed in a day.

"It seems like too simple a correction for something that has been going on for eight years," she said.

Meanwhile, The News learned problems with the house go back to before the Martins bought it in 1997: The previous owner sold the modest Marine Park house because police and fire crews kept showing up at his door chasing bogus reports.

In his case, the freaked-out former owner - who fled the city because of what happened at the house - told The News he was being targeted by a still-unknown tormentor who sicced the cops on him 30 times in the three years starting in 1994.

"Someone was calling from different pay phones in the area, calling in fires, domestic disputes, kids screaming - whatever," said the man, who is still so scared he asked his name not be printed. "All totally unfounded."

The ex-owner said he complained multiple times starting in 1994, and his brother, a city firefighter, helped to get fire marshals to investigate.

The calls, which the marshals believed might have been made by a devious vengeful neighbor, stopped about six months before he sold to the Martins, he said.

"I always thought I was being targeted personally - and, to be honest with you, it freaks me out that it's happening again," the ex-owner said.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

I think we're in trouble.

The State of the States -

Venezuela (everyone) is mocking Obama - they hated Bush.

Cuba mocks Obama - they hated Bush..

Canada (govt) doesn't care much for Obama - they liked Bush.

Britain - (govt) really does not much like Obama - they liked Bush.

France (govt) really really do not like Obama - they liked Bush.

Germany (govt) do not like Obama - they liked Bush.

Ukraine (everyone) very much do not like Obama - liked Bush.

Poland (everyone) really really do not like Obama - liked Bush.

Israel (everyone) have grown to really not trust or like Obama - liked Bush.

Syria (govt) mocks Obama - afraid of Bush.

Jordan (govt) do not care about Obama - respected Bush.

Egypt (govt) don't care one way or another about Obama - respected Bush.

Lybia (govt) mocks Obama - respected and feared Bush

Russia (govt and people) are indifferent to and disdain for Obama - respected Bush and as between Putin and Bush, friendly.

Iran - mocks Obama - feared Bush

Australia - disdain for Obama's arrogance - respected Bush.

Honduras - universally loathe Obama and the US admin - liked Bush

Brazil - indifferent to Obama - respected Bush

Mexico - totally indifferent toward Obama - respected Bush

Japan - indifferent toward Obama - respected Bush.

China - contempt for Obama - respected Bush as best China can respect anyone not Chinese.

India - disdain for Obama - respected Bush.

Turkey - indifferent toward Obama - tolerated Bush.

Italy - indifference toward Obama - liked Bush.

Spain - like Obama - indifference toward Bush.

Portugal - like Obama - indifference toward Bush.

Algeria - like Obama - indifference toward Bush.

Morocco - like Obama - indifference toward Bush

Iraq - distrust of Obama - respected Bush

Afghanistan - distrust of Obama - respected Bush.

Pakistan - disdain and distrust of Obama - respected Bush.

Switzerland - do not care about Obam - tolerated Bush.

Georgia - do not like Obama - liked Bush.

Kuwait - are concerned about Obama - liked Bush

Taiwan - concerned about Obama - liked Bush

Palestinians - leaning toward liking Obama - hated Bush.

Ecudaor - like Obama - disdain for Bush

Bolivia - like Obama - disdain for Bush

Colombia - concerned about Obama - liked Bush

Costa Rica - like Obama - disdain for Bush

Sweden - like Obama - disdain for Bush

Norway - like Obama - disdain for Bush

Finland - ?

Lithuania - concerned about Obama - liked Bush

Sudan - indifferent toward Obama - concerned about Bush

Somalia - indifferent / leaning toward concerned about Obama - respected Bush

Soutrh Africa - indifferent toward Obama - respected Bush

There are many more, but Micronesia is not as significant to world affairs as, say, Russia or Iran.

We are in trouble.


There he goes again - Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Biden, the best example

Biden mistakenly blesses Irish leader's mother

(AP) – March 17, 2010

WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden asked for God's blessing for the late mother of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen during a White House celebration of St. Patrick's Day — except the elderly lady is very much alive.

"God rest her soul," Biden said Wednesday night as he introduced Cowen and President Barack Obama. He quickly caught himself and noted that it's Cowen's father who is no longer living. Of the prime minister's mother, Biden said, "God bless her soul."

Biden then cited the Irish proverb that "a silent mouth is sweet to hear" and yielded the podium to the president.

And once again, like Obama, who cares if he made some dumb mistake.  Then again, he is VP - what other dumb mistakes is he making that may impact us?  Yet when Bush made dumb statements, it was all about Bush.  It proved he was an idiot.  It proved he was ... Biden, quite honestly, does it all the time, much more frequently than Obama who does it regularly.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Obama Attorney General

According to the current Attorney General, Osama bin Laden has the same rights as Charles Manson.

Hear him say this at this link.

Mr. Holder.  There is a difference between Charles Manson and Osama bin Laden.  A vast difference and apparently these differences are lost on you.

I think it would be appropriate for you to resign instead of further proving why you are a hack appointed to a job you are unqualified for.


Earthquake in Hawaii

Obama Says ‘Louisiana Purchase’ Will Help With the Earthquake in Hawaii

Obama speaks and screws up a great deal when he doesn't have a teleprompter.  The hundredf of billions that will be saved turns out to be millions.  The jobs created, turns out to be a few ten thousand less ... he never fails to misspeak, misquote, or otherwise, misinform.

Of course he isn't lying.

Makes you wonder who is pulling his strings.  If no one is, God help us.  Certainly not Biden - he gets his strings pulled by someone else.


Ok.  So, we all misspeak, and Obama does occasionally as well.

It is not as big of a deal as some on the right make it to be.  He was nervous and misspoke.  It happens.  With Obama, unless he has a teleprompter, it is quite often, but it is not a big deal.

UNLESS YOU ARE A LIBERAL and Bush is speaking.  Then EVERY bloody statement he makes is a cause in itself.  Point of every mistake, every misstated phrase, word, number.  Highlight them and send them out to ten thousand other people.  If you are a liberal, this is a good thing.

When Conservatives do it ... they are nitpicking.


Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

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