Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back from the Dead - Extinction

Back from the dead: One third of 'extinct' animals turn up again

David Derbyshire Environment Editor
29th September 2010
Daily Mail

Conservationists are overestimating the number of species that have been driven to extinction, scientists have said.

A study has found that a third of all mammal species declared extinct in the past few centuries have turned up alive and well.

Some of the more reclusive creatures managed to hide from sight for 80 years only to reappear within four years of being officially named extinct in the wild.

The shy okapi – which resembles a cross between a zebra and a giraffe – was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1901.

After increasingly rarer sightings, it vanished from the wildlife radar for decades from 1959, prompting fears that it had died out.

But five years ago researchers working for the WWF found okapi tracks in the wild.

Other mammals ‘back from the dead’ include the rat-like Cuban solenodon, the Christmas Island shrew, the Vanikoro Flying Fox of the Solomon Islands, the Australian central rock rat and the Talaud Flying Fox of Indonesia.

The revelations come as the world’s leading conservationists prepare for a major United Nations summit on biodiversity in Nagoya, Japan, next month.

Many scientists believe the world is going through a new ‘mass extinction’ fuelled by mankind – and that more species are disappearing now than at any time since the dinosaurs vanished 65million years ago.


•The Australian central rock rat (pictured)

•The rat-like Cuban solenodon

•The Christmas Island shrew

•The Vanikoro Flying Fox of the Solomon Islands

•The Talaud Flying Fox of Indonesia

.According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, 22 per cent of the world’s mammals are at risk of extinction. In Britain, more than two plant and animal species are being wiped out each year.

But while the report does not play down the threat from deforestation, overfishing or habitat destruction, it raises questions about the way species are classified as extinct.

Dr Diana Fisher, of the University of Queensland, Australia, compiled a list of all mammals declared extinct since the 16th century or which were flagged up as missing in scientific papers.

‘We identified 187 mammal species that have been missing since 1500,’ she wrote in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

‘In the complete data-set, 67 species that were once missing have been rediscovered.

More than a third of mammal species that have been classified as extinct or possibly extinct, or flagged as missing, have been rediscovered.’

Mammals that suffered from loss of habitat were the most likely to have been declared extinct and then rediscovered, she said.

Species spread out over larger areas were also more likely to be wrongly classified as extinct.

The mistakes cannot be blamed on primitive technology or old fashioned scientific methods.

‘Mammals missing in the 20th century were nearly three times as likely to be rediscovered as those that disappeared in the 19th century,’ Dr Fisher added.


Asteroid: Global Warming, Meteors, Asteroids ... end of the world

Astronomers spot 'potentially hazardous' asteroid just ONE month before it is due to pass close to Earth

By Daily Mail Reporter
28th September 2010

Astronomers have spotted a 'potentially hazardous' asteroid less than one month before it is due to pass close to Earth.

The object, given the name '2010 ST3', is 150 metres in diameter and will pass within four million miles of Earth in mid-October.

It was discovered using the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) PS1 telescope in images taken on September 16th, when it was about 20 million miles away.

It is the first 'potentially hazardous object' (PHO) to be discovered by the Pan-STARRS survey, using a new telescope designed to scan the skies for dangerous asteroids.

'Although this particular object won't hit Earth in the immediate future, its discovery shows that Pan-STARRS is now the most sensitive system dedicated to discovering potentially dangerous asteroids,' said Robert Jedicke, a University of Hawaii member of the PS1 Scientific Consortium, who is working on the asteroid data from the telescope.

'This object was discovered when it was too far away to be detected by other asteroid surveys,' Jedicke noted.

Most of the largest PHOs have already been catalogued, but scientists suspect that there are many more under a mile across that have not yet been discovered.

These could cause devastation on a regional scale if they ever hit our planet. Such impacts are estimated to occur once every few thousand years.

Timothy Spahr, director of the Minor Planet Center (MPC), said, 'I congratulate the Pan-STARRS project on this discovery.

'It is proof that the PS1 telescope, with its Gigapixel Camera and its sophisticated computerized system for detecting moving objects, is capable of finding potentially dangerous objects that no one else has found.'

Pan-STARRS expects to discover tens of thousands of new asteroids every year with sufficient precision to accurately calculate their orbits around the sun.

Any sizable object that looks like it may come close to Earth within the next 50 years or so will be labeled 'potentially hazardous' and carefully monitored.

NASA experts believe that, given several years warning, it should be possible to organize a space mission to deflect any asteroid that is discovered to be on a collision course with Earth.

PS1 and its bigger brother, PS4, which will be operational later in this decade, are expected to discover a million or more asteroids in total.

They will also spot more distant targets such as variable stars, supernovas, and mysterious bursts from galaxies across more than half the universe. PS1 became fully operational in June 201.


The End of Times (really, or 50% chance)

The end really is nigh... but don't panic, there's only a 50% chance of it coming in the next 3.7BILLION years

By Niall Firth
30th September 2010
Daily Mail

There is a 50 per cent chance that time will end within the next 3.7 billion years, according to a new study.

Some physicists believe that our universe - and everything in it - will continue to expand at an ever-increasing rate, splitting into newer universes as it goes.

This is known as theory of 'eternal inflation' and has spawned the idea of the 'multiverse' in popular science-fiction.

But a group of scientists have argued that the laws of physics do not work in a universe that is never-ending and continues to expand – it must end at some point.

A star explodes in a Hubble space image. Some scientists believe that our universe is not never-ending and will finish suddenly one day in the future

And Raphael Bousso, at the University of California, Berkeley, has worked out when this is most likely to happen.

His team’s argument is that in an infinite universe any event that can happen, will happen. Furthermore it will happen an infinite number of times.

The problem with this is that if there are an infinite number of instances of everything happening it is then impossible to determine the probability of them happening at all.

This means that the laws of physics, as we know them, no longer work.

We're stuck between a rock and a hard place,' says Bousso. 'If you don't like the cut-off, then you have no way of making predictions and deciding what's probable in eternal inflation.'

The only way to make our current universe work is to include a catastrophe at some point in the future which ends time - and takes us with it.

Using complicated theoretical physics and advanced mathematics the team calculated when this is most likely to occur.

Bousso says: in the study: ‘Time is unlikely to end in our lifetime, but there is a 50 per cent chance that time will end within the next 3.7 billion years.’

This means that time and the universe would end before our own Sun has died.

Other physicists give us slightly longer, calculating the end of time to occur within the next five billion years.

But there is some good news. The research team say that, due to physics, we will not know when the end of time is approaching before it actually takes place.


Global Warming - FAR from settled

Royal Society issues new climate change guide that admits there are 'uncertainties' about the science

By Niall Firth
30th September 2010
Daily Mail

The UK’s leading scientific body has been forced to rewrite its guide on climate change and admit that it is not known how much warmer the Earth will become.

The Royal Society has updated its guide after 43 of its members complained that the previous version failed to take into account the opinion of climate change sceptics.

Now the new guide, called ‘Climate change: a summary of the science’, admits that there are some ‘uncertainties’ regarding the science behind climate change.

And it says that it impossible to know for sure how the Earth's climate will change in the future nor what the possible effects may be.

The 19-page guide says: ’It is not possible to determine exactly how much the Earth will warm or exactly how the climate will change in the future, but careful estimates of potential changes and associated uncertainties have been made.

‘Scientists continue to work to narrow these areas of uncertainty. Uncertainty can work both ways, since the changes and their impacts may be either smaller or larger than those projected.’

And it avoids making any predictions about the possible impacts of climate change and advises caution in making projections about rising sea levels.

It says: 'There is currently insufficient understanding of the enhanced melting and retreat of the ice sheets on Greenland and West Antarctica to predict exactly how much the rate of sea level rise will increase above that observed in the past century for a given temperature increase.

'Similarly, the possibility of large changes in the circulation of the North Atlantic Ocean cannot be assessed with confidence. The latter limits the ability to predict with confidence what changes in climate will occur in Western Europe.

The new guidance still makes it clear that human activity is one of the likely causes for climate change but now does so in a more considered way.

It states: 'There is very strong evidence to indicate that climate change has occurred on a wide range of different timescales from decades to many millions of years; human activity is a relatively recent addition to the list of potential causes of climate change.'

The working group behind the new book included two Royal Society fellows who were part of the 43-strong rebellion that had called for the original guide to be rewritten.

Professor Anthony Kelly and Sir Alan Rudge are both members of an academic board that advises a climate change sceptic think-tank called the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Professor Kelly said: "It's gone a long way to meeting our concerns.

‘The previous guidance was discouraging debate rather than encouraging it among knowledgeable people. The new guidance is clearer and a very much better document.’

And Benny Peiser, Director of The Global Warming Policy Foundation also welcomed the Royal Society's decision to revise.

He said: 'The former publication gave the misleading impression that the 'science is settled' - the new guide accepts that important questions remain open and uncertainties unresolved.

'The Royal Society now also agrees with the GWPF that the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt in the last 10 years.

'In their old guide, the Royal Society demanded that governments should take "urgent steps" to cut CO2 emissions "as much and as fast as possible." This political activism has now been replaced by a more sober assessment of the scientific evidence and ongoing climate debates.

'If this voice of moderation had been the Royal Society's position all along, its message to Government would have been more restrained and Britain's unilateral climate policy would not be out of sync with the rest of the world.'

The new book is certainly very different in tone that the original and takes into account some of the problems that have arisen in climate change science over the past year.

The new version sets out its objectives by saying: ‘In view of the ongoing public and political debates about climate change, the aim of this document is to summarise the current scientific evidence on climate change and its drivers.

‘It lays out clearly where the science is well established, where there is wide consensus but continuing debate, and where there remains substantial uncertainty.’

The Royal Society’s decision comes in the wake of a scathing report into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which called for it to avoid politics and stick instead to predictions based on solid science.

The review, which focused on the day-to-day running of the panel, rather than its science, was commissioned after the UN body was accused of making glaring mistakes.

These included the claim that the Himalayan glaciers would vanish within 25 years - and that 55 per cent of the Netherlands was prone to flooding because it was below sea level.

Earlier this year an email scandal involving experts at the University of East Anglia had already fuelled fears that global warming was being exaggerated.

global warming

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Obama: I am my brothers keeper (which brother)

When Bush mentioned Jesus, when Bush said the words of Christ played a role in his life - the Left laughed, went into hysteria, apoplexy, and finally a catatonic state.

Obama says something slightly different, but not significantly.  I sure hope the same left are mocking Obama, otherwise they would show themselves for the ... HYPOCRITES that they are.

Just sayin.

ALBUQUERQUE — President Obama expounded Tuesday on the reasons he became a Christian as an adult, telling a group of residents here that he was a “Christian by choice” and that “the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead – being my brother and sister’s keeper.”


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Los Angeles 2000

Colour-coded based on race: whites = pink.  blacks = blue. Hispanic = orange.  Asians = green.

Los Angeles 2000

Click on map to make it larger.



Friday, September 24, 2010

Iran and the Bomb

Amidinejad again states, he is not trying to get a bomb:

He briefly touch on the four sets of sanctions imposed on his country by the United Nations over Tehran's refusal stop enriching uranium and to prove Iran is not trying to build an atomic bomb.

Some members of the Security Council have "equated nuclear energy with nuclear bombs," Ahmadinejad said.

He accused the United States of building up its nuclear arsenal instead of dismantling it and reiterated his call for a nuclear-free world.

"The nuclear bomb is the worst inhumane weapon which must totally be eliminated. The NPT (Nonproliferation Treaty) prohibits its development and stockpiling and calls for nuclear disarmament," the Iranian president said.


Amidinejad: 9/11 was perpetrated to save Israel

And Obama wanted to sit down with this man, no conditions.  He attacked Bush for not having done so earlier, and his supporters picked up on the theme - that Obama won't be afriad to talk to people he disagrees with, as a contrast to Republicans who are afraid of people and consequently won't talk to them,

An entirely idiotic paradigm for anyone, but understand that Retardicans had their reasons - they argued Am indinejad was a loose nut, sought the destruction of Israel and a world war, was not stable, and would lie and deceive to get a nuclear bomb.  Obama and his minions rolled their eyes.

The U.S. delegation left the hall after Ahmadinejad said there were three theories about the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks:

_That "powerful and complex terrorist group" penetrated U.S. intelligence and defenses.

_"That some segments within the U.S. government orchestrated the attack to reverse the declining American economy and its grips on the Middle East in order also to save the Zionist regime. The majority of the American people as well as other nations and politicians agree with this view."


Boehner and the Boneheads: Doing Lobbysists versus Girlfriends

If an elected official is having an affair, they should stay out of the spotlight, avoid public contact, say nothing that would get them noticed.  If they do, and they are noticed and people do follow them about and they are discovered - they need to resign.  Regardless of party. 

If however the congressman is single, and he is seeing someone - the very idea you would smear him because the person he is sleeping with happens to be a lobbyist is so low, I have no problem with a policy of tit-for-tat, rip through the Democratic ranks and uncover who everyone is sleeping with gay and straight, and publish it all, regardless of consequences.  Then, those public figures in the media - you know the ones, whether on FOX or CNN, or maybe the Washington Post or New York Times - and yes, those reporters and journalists do become public figures (or at the very least quasi-public or public figures for purposes of one issue) - expose them all.  Broadcast to the world who they just slept with and let their lives collapse and their families suffer. 

The Democratic response - ah, but she is a lobbyist.  And my response is - when you are a cop, who is it you could possibly have an affair with: a) other cops, b) victims of crimes you meet while a cop, c) prostitutes or other sorts who sit borderline or maybe not borderline - straight up criminals, d) a nice person from church, or e) A through C.   The answer is C.  And as a congressman, who do you have most contact with:  a) beautiful New York Times reporters, b) beautiful bloggers c) lobbyists d) other congresspeople e) interns named Monica.   C and D and given the look of the congress, doubtful. 

How low will they go.  It is not extramarital so now they are seeking to destroy him solely on politics and simply because she is a lobbyist.  That demonstrates very clearly what they are doing and why.

So, I say - let the games begin, expose ALL of them, congress and media, and let the ruined lives begin, and when leftist bloggers squeal about how lives are ruined - let it be known that it started here.  NOT with Bill Clinton, for Bill lied to a jury, lied to the American people and did so blatantly, clearly, and unequivocally.  By the way, how did Teresa Heinz ever meet Senator Heinz?  And, maybe we could look within the assembled folks Obama brought to Washington for ... lobbyists.  Maybe??

Let it begin.

Liberal media goes on attack against GOP's Boehner

September 24, 2010
NY Post

The heat is on Republican leader John Boehner.

Liberal media outlets are trying to smear the highest-ranking Republican in the House just weeks before the midterm elections with a deal-breaking scandal before he has a chance to take the speaker's chair from Nancy Pelosi.

A blogger from liberal Web site The Daily Kos pierced through Boehner's security detail at yesterday's unveiling of his leadership policy "Pledge to America" to ask if he was sleeping with a lobbyist from the Printing Industries of America.

The congressman ignored the pesky blogger with a flip camera and kept moving to his fleet of black Suburbans.

The lobbyist who was named in the confrontation and then was contacted by he Daily Kos blogger Lisbeth Lyons denied the accusations. "As you can imagine, I was stunned by such a question," Lyons said. "I found it to be highly insulting, particularly as a female political professional, as well as unfounded. Beyond that, I have no further comment on the matter."

Insiders on Capitol Hill are buzzing about an upcoming New York Times exposé that will detail an alleged Boehner affair. Sources say the Times is looking for the right time to drop the story in October to sway the election, similar to how the Times reported during the 2008 presidential campaign on an alleged John McCain affair that supposedly had taken place many years before and that was flatly denied by the woman in question.

"Catching Boehner with a mistress is the only way to destroy him politically before the election," a source said.

A rep for Boehner's office said, "This is bull[bleep]. The American people oppose Washington Democrats' job killing, so their desperate liberal allies are resorting to outright lies. It's low, and it's dirty."


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

OBAMA'S WARS: A Couple Thoughts

I am not sure about the degree to which it shows OBAMA in a negative light, so much as it shows others negatively.  If you accept the premise - Obama wants out of ther war(s) and everything he does and says is to that end, then what I have read does not show him as misguided, rather his minions are an infighting rabble.

Bob Woodward book details Obama battles with advisers over exit plan for Afghan war

By Steve Luxenberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 22, 2010; 12:11 AM

President Obama urgently looked for a way out of the war in Afghanistan last year, repeatedly pressing his top military advisers for an exit plan that they never gave him, according to secret meeting notes and documents cited in a new book by journalist Bob Woodward.

Frustrated with his military commanders for consistently offering only options that required significantly more troops, Obama finally crafted his own strategy, dictating a classified six-page "terms sheet" that sought to limit U.S. involvement, Woodward reports in "Obama's Wars," to be released on Monday.

According to Woodward's meeting-by-meeting, memo-by-memo account of the 2009 Afghan strategy review, the president avoided talk of victory as he described his objectives.

"This needs to be a plan about how we're going to hand it off and get out of Afghanistan," Obama is quoted as telling White House aides as he laid out his reasons for adding 30,000 troops in a short-term escalation. "Everything we're doing has to be focused on how we're going to get to the point where we can reduce our footprint. It's in our national security interest. There cannot be any wiggle room."

Obama rejected the military's request for 40,000 troops as part of an expansive mission that had no foreseeable end. "I'm not doing 10 years," he told Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a meeting on Oct. 26, 2009. "I'm not doing long-term nation-building. I am not spending a trillion dollars."

Woodward's book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them. During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

But most of the book centers on the strategy review, and the dissension, distrust and infighting that consumed Obama's national security team as it was locked in a fierce and emotional struggle over the direction, goals, timetable, troop levels and the chances of success for a war that is almost certain to be one of the defining events of this presidency.

Obama is shown at odds with his uniformed military commanders, particularly Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. David H. Petraeus, head of U.S. Central Command during the 2009 strategy review and now the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan.

Woodward reveals their conflicts through detailed accounts of two dozen closed-door secret strategy sessions and nearly 40 private conversations between Obama and Cabinet officers, key aides and intelligence officials.

Tensions often turned personal. National security adviser James L. Jones privately referred to Obama's political aides as "the water bugs," the "Politburo," the "Mafia," or the "campaign set." Petraeus, who felt shut out by the new administration, told an aide that he considered the president's senior adviser David Axelrod to be "a complete spin doctor."

During a flight in May, after a glass of wine, Petraeus told his own staffers that the administration was "[expletive] with the wrong guy." Gates was tempted to walk out of an Oval Office meeting after being offended by comments made by deputy national security adviser Thomas E. Donilon about a general not named in the book.

Suspicion lingered among some from the 2008 presidential campaign as well. When Obama floated the idea of naming Clinton to a high-profile post, Axelrod asked him, "How could you trust Hillary?"

'Can't afford any mistakes'

"Obama's Wars" marks the 16th book by Woodward, 67, a Washington Post associate editor. Woodward's reporting with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate coverup in the early 1970s led to their bestselling book "All the President's Men."

Among the book's other disclosures:

-- Obama told Woodward in the July interview that he didn't think about the Afghan war in the "classic" terms of the United States winning or losing. "I think about it more in terms of: Do you successfully prosecute a strategy that results in the country being stronger rather than weaker at the end?" he said.

-- The CIA created, controls and pays for a clandestine 3,000-man paramilitary army of local Afghans, known as Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams. Woodward describes these teams as elite, well-trained units that conduct highly sensitive covert operations into Pakistan as part of a stepped-up campaign against al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban havens there.

-- Obama has kept in place or expanded 14 intelligence orders, known as findings, issued by his predecessor, George W. Bush. The orders provide the legal basis for the CIA's worldwide covert operations.

[Oooh ooh call CODE PINK, let them know, and Soros, and whats that other leftist org ... MOVEON.  Let them all know about Obama's dramataic shift.]

-- A new capability developed by the National Security Agency has dramatically increased the speed at which intercepted communications can be turned around into useful information for intelligence analysts and covert operators. "They talk, we listen. They move, we observe. Given the opportunity, we react operationally," then-Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell explained to Obama at a briefing two days after he was elected president.

-- A classified exercise in May showed that the government was woefully unprepared to deal with a nuclear terrorist attack in the United States. The scenario involved the detonation of a small, crude nuclear weapon in Indianapolis and the simultaneous threat of a second blast in Los Angeles. Obama, in the interview with Woodward, called a nuclear attack here "a potential game changer." He said: "When I go down the list of things I have to worry about all the time, that is at the top, because that's one where you can't afford any mistakes."

-- Afghan President Hamid Karzai was diagnosed as manic depressive, according to U.S. intelligence reports. "He's on his meds, he's off his meds," Woodward quotes U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry as saying.

[This 'diagnosis' is interesting.  Assume for a second it is accurate.  Karzai went to a doctor while we followed him, and while the doctor evaluated him, prescribed him meds, we watched or listened - on a 'friendly' leader - we spied!  Otherwise, how would we know this???  Unless someone within the WH, which loathes Karzai, threw this story in, knowing he would hear of it and flip out.  And you can't exactly quiz the intelligence agencies as they would never reveal whether they had or not, any reports attesting to this statement.  Win-Win.  But I would guess more likely than not, it is not accurate but another effort by the Obama WH to discredit and punish Karzai.]

'The cancer is in Pakistan'

Obama campaigned on a promise to extract U.S. forces from Iraq and focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, which he described as the greater threat to American security. At McConnell's top-secret briefing for Obama, the intelligence chief told the president-elect that Pakistan is a dishonest partner, unwilling or unable to stop elements of the Pakistani intelligence service from giving clandestine aid, weapons and money to the Afghan Taliban, Woodward writes.

By the end of the 2009 strategy review, Woodward reports, Obama concluded that no mission in Afghanistan could be successful without attacking the al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban havens operating with impunity in Pakistan's remote tribal regions.

"We need to make clear to people that the cancer is in Pakistan," Obama is quoted as saying at an Oval Office meeting on Nov. 25, 2009. Creating a more secure Afghanistan is imperative, the president said, "so the cancer doesn't spread" there.

The war in Iraq draws no attention in the book, except as a reference point for considering and developing a new Afghanistan strategy. The book's title, "Obama's Wars," appears to refer to the conflict in Afghanistan and the conflicts among the president's national security team.

An older war - the Vietnam conflict - does figure prominently in the minds of Obama and his advisers. When Vice President Biden rushed to the White House on a Sunday morning to make one last appeal for a narrowly defined mission, he warned Obama that a major escalation would mean "we're locked into Vietnam."

Obama kept asking for "an exit plan" to go along with any further troop commitment, and is shown growing increasingly frustrated with the military hierarchy for not providing one. At one strategy session, the president waved a memo from the Office of Management and Budget, which put a price tag of $889 billion over 10 years on the military's open-ended approach.

In the end, Obama essentially designed his own strategy for the 30,000 troops, which some aides considered a compromise between the military command's request for 40,000 and Biden's relentless efforts to limit the escalation to 20,000 as part of a "hybrid option" that he had developed with Gen. James E. Cartwright, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In a dramatic scene at the White House on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, Obama summoned the national security team to outline his decision and distribute his six-page terms sheet. He went around the room, one by one, asking each participant whether he or she had any objections - to "say so now," Woodward reports.

The document - a copy of which is reprinted in the book - took the unusual step of stating, along with the strategy's objectives, what the military was not supposed to do. The president went into detail, according to Woodward, to make sure that the military wouldn't attempt to expand the mission.

After Obama informed the military of his decision, Woodward writes, the Pentagon kept trying to reopen the decision, peppering the White House with new questions. Obama, in exasperation, reacted by asking, "Why do we keep having these meetings?"

Along with Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan at the time, they kept pushing for their 40,000-troop option as part of a broad counterinsurgency plan along the lines of what Petraeus had developed for Iraq.

The president is quoted as telling Mullen, Petraeus and Gates: "In 2010, we will not be having a conversation about how to do more. I will not want to hear, 'We're doing fine, Mr. President, but we'd be better if we just do more.' We're not going to be having a conversation about how to change [the mission] . . . unless we're talking about how to draw down faster than anticipated in 2011."

Petraeus took Obama's decision as a personal repudiation, Woodward writes. Petraeus continued to believe that a "protect-the-Afghan-people" counterinsurgency was the best plan. When the president tapped Petraeus this year to replace McChrystal as the head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Petraeus found himself in charge of making Obama's more limited strategy a success.

Woodward quotes Petraeus as saying, "You have to recognize also that I don't think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. It's a little bit like Iraq, actually. . . . Yes, there has been enormous progress in Iraq. But there are still horrific attacks in Iraq, and you have to stay vigilant. You have to stay after it. This is the kind of fight we're in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids' lives."



Hey - start marching against Obama and his usurpation of your civil liberties.  if not, you have no right to ever protest a Republican president when he once again, infringes upon the civil liberties of some people living in the US.  You will have lost all credibility among all sentient beings.

Feds: Privacy Does Not Exist in ‘Public Places’

By David Kravets September 21, 2010
3:29 pm

The Obama administration has urged a federal appeals court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move.

The Justice Department is demanding a federal appeals court rehear a case in which it reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month, without a court warrant. The authorities then obtained warrants to search and find drugs in the locations where defendant Antoine Jones had travelled.

The administration, in urging the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to reverse a three-judge panel’s August ruling from the same court, said Monday that Americans should expect no privacy while in public.

“The panel’s conclusion that Jones had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the public movements of his Jeep rested on the premise that an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the totality of his or her movements in public places, ” Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Smith wrote the court in a petition for rehearing.

The case is an important test of privacy rights as GPS devices have become a common tool in crime fighting, and can be affixed to moving vehicles by an officer shooting a dart. Three other circuit courts have already said the authorities do not need a warrant for GPS vehicle tracking, Smith pointed out.

The circuit’s ruling means that, in the District of Columbia area, the authorities need a warrant to install a GPS-tracking device on a vehicle. But in much of the United States, including the West, a warrant is not required. Unless the circuit changes it mind, only the Supreme Court can mandate a uniform rule.

The government said the appellate panel’s August decision is “vague and unworkable” and undermines a law enforcement practice used “with great frequency.”

The legal dispute centers on a 1983 U.S. Supreme Court decision concerning a tracking beacon affixed to a container, without a court warrant, to follow a motorist to a secluded cabin. The appeals court said that decision did not apply to today’s GPS monitoring of a suspect, which lasted a month.

The beacon tracked a person, “from one place to another,” whereas the GPS device monitored Jones’ “movements 24 hours a day for 28 days.”

The government argued Monday that the appellate court’s decision “offers no guidance as to when monitoring becomes so efficient or ‘prolonged’ as to constitute a search triggering the requirements of the Fourth Amendment.”

The appeals court ruled the case “illustrates how the sequence of a person’s movements may reveal more than the individual movements of which it is composed.”

The court said that a person “who knows all of another’s travels can deduce whether he is a weekly churchgoer, a heavy drinker, a regular at the gym, an unfaithful husband, an outpatient receiving medical treatment, an associate of particular individuals or political groups — and not just one such fact about a person, but all such facts.”

obama administration

We can - absorb an attack.

"We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger."

So said Obama, according to a Bob Woodward account from his just about to be published 'Obama's Wars'.

No, Mr. Obama we cannot accept or absorb.  You will be impeached and every Democrat who stands with you will be washed out of Congress.  We can not and we will not absorb any attack.


Monday, September 20, 2010

Hallelujah - The Recession Ended ... last year.

September 20, 2010

Recession Ended in June 2009

The National Bureau of Economic Research, the arbiter of the start and end dates of a recession, determined that the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009.

The business-cycle dating committee met by phone on Sunday and came to the determination. “In determining that a trough occurred in June 2009, the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, the committee determined only that the recession ended and a recovery began in that month,” the committee said in a statement. The 2007-2009 recession is the longest in the post-WWII period.

The decision by the NBER means that any future downturn in the economy would be considered a new recession and not a continuation of the recession that began in 2007.

“The committee waited to make its decision until revisions in the National Income and Product Accounts, released on July 30 and August 27, 2010, clarified the 2009 time path of the two broadest measures of economic activity, real Gross Domestic Product (real GDP) and real Gross Domestic Income (real GDI). The committee noted that in the most recent data, for the second quarter of 2010, the average of real GDP and real GDI was 3.1 percent above its low in the second quarter of 2009 but remained 1.3 percent below the previous peak which was reached in the fourth quarter of 2007,” the committee said.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Obama versus Boehner

I would make a guess and say that Mr. Obama grew up wealthier than Mr. Boehner.  That BP and corporate interests have donated far more to Senator Obama and now President Obama than have contributed to Mr. Boehner.

John Boehner: the second of 12 kids from Ohio who is Barack Obama's elitist target

The White House is attempting to cling on to Democratic control of Washington by portraying an Ohio congressman who grew up in near poverty as an elitist country club Republican controlled by wealthy lobbyists.

By Toby Harnden, Reading, Ohio
17 Sep 2010
The Daily Telegraph

President Barack Obama is doing his best to turn Representative John Boehner, the House minority leader, into Public Enemy Number One. If Republicans win back the House of Representatives in November, as polls indicate, he will replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

In a recent speech, Mr Obama mentioned Mr Boehner by name nine times. A fundraising email sent out from this week stated that corporate interests and lobbyists “have put all their chips on one man: Congressman John Boehner”.   [I think this says it all about Obama and the Democrats, but ... maybe not enough given their new lows each week.]

Democrats have started a website that claims he spent $1 million on "luxury hotels, exclusive golf resorts and gourmet dining for himself and his fat-cat contributors". On the I-75 freeway outside Cincinnati, a huge poster showing a tanned Mr Boehner playing golf accuses him of teeing off 119 times in a year.

Yet Mr Boehner's life story is the type of classic up-by-the-bootstraps tale of the American Dream that can put a tear in a voter's eye. As his story becomes better known, the Democrats could even be drawing favourable attention upon him. Right now, most Americans have never heard of Mr Boehner, and fewer still can pronounce his name, which rhymes with Rayner. The alleged elitist country club Republican is an Ohio Congressman who grew up in near poverty.

His sister Lynda Meineke, who is 51, is a waitress and bar tender at Andy's Cafe in Carthage, Ohio, a family business that was founded by their grandfather Andy Boehner in 1938. As a child, one of Mr Boehner's jobs was to mop the floor.

Sitting outside the bar this week, sipping a bottle of Bud Light and smoking a cigarette, Mrs Meineke described her childhood as "cramped" but happy. "We learned how to share. If there was a toy, it wasn't just for you but for all the younger ones."

Mr Boehner, 61, is the second of 12 who grew up in a German-Irish family in Reading, Ohio, just outside Cincinnati. All but two of them still live within a few miles of each other. Two are unemployed and most of the others have blue-collar jobs.

The future Congressman started work as a janitor and took seven years to get his degree – the first in the family to do so – because he had several jobs to pay his way. He joined a plastics and packaging company, rising to president before entering local politics by being elected to the town board.

The family house on Hill Street initially had two bedrooms with Mr Boehner and three brothers sleeping in one, their sister in another and their parents on a pull-out bed in the living room. Their father Earl later built a three-bedroom extension.

Mrs Meineke, whose husband is an unemployed builder, still lives in the modest house. She remembers her father rising at dawn to go off to the café, which he ran with his twin brother and was a favourite with truck drivers.

"Then my mother would get up before all of us, and drink coffee and listen to the radio, packing our lunches and writing our names on all the brown bags.

"Then she'd start waking us up. You knew that if you didn't get up you'd be cutting your time in the bathroom in half. Sometimes, the boys had to go outside and pee by the tree."

Mr Boehner's deep tan is often mocked by Democrats. At a dinner last year, Mr Obama said: "He is a person of colour, although not a colour that appears in the natural world."

Like Mr Obama, Mr Boehner is a keen golfer and a smoker. His sister sniggered at the suggestion her brother might ever have been on a tanning bed. The "dark hair and olive skin", she said, came from her mother.

Bob Boehner, 62, the oldest of the 12, who sells real estate and is "looking for work", said: "We were conservative because we had to be. There wasn't the money to spend frivolously on things. We grew our own vegetables up on the hill. We learned early on that if you wanted something you had to go out and work for it."

His brother's childhood, he thinks, was good training for Congress, where, if he becomes Speaker, he will have 435 members to control. "He tried to make the younger ones do their homework and get the room cleaned up. He was somewhat of an authority figure to the younger ones.

"John is still an everyday person and we need more people like that in Congress because too many people there have never had a job and never had to balance a budget before."

Some Republicans believe that Mr Obama has allowed his personal animus to drive an anti-Boehner campaign that could well backfire. Shortly after Mr Obama won the 2008 election, Mr Boehner described him as a "chicken shit" for voting "present" so many times in the Illinois Senate. Reacting to Mr Obama's health care bill, which narrowly passed but appears to be an electoral millstone around Democratic necks, Mr Boehner shouted "Hell, no you can't!" on the House floor.

Liberal elements of the American press have enthusiastically taken up the Democratic theme of Mr Boehner as an out-of-touch plutocrat.

When the "New York Times" ran a front-page story this week under the banner "A GOP Leader Tightly Bound to Lobbyists", Robert Gibbs, Mr Obama's press secretary, sent a web link to article via Twitter, stating: "Headline says it all."

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank obliged by a description of Mr Boehner's "polished tassel loafers and perfectly tailored suit, a quarter-inch of white cuff revealed at the wrist".

Mrs Meineke said that at family gatherings at Andy's Bar Mr Boehner's nephews were more impressed by his Secret Service guards than the Congressman himself. "You see how he talks to Obama. He tells it how it is, right there in black and white. If all they can find on him is that he plays golf and he has a tan, well, whatever."


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Egyptian media - tells the truth, sort of.

Of course Egyptian / Arab media is honest and presents such accurate insights into all matters without bias.

15 September 2010
BBC News

Egyptian newspaper under fire over altered photo

Egypt's state-run newspaper has come under fire for altering a photograph to suggest President Hosni Mubarak was leading the Middle East peace talks.

Al-Ahram showed Mr Mubarak walking on a red carpet ahead of US President Barack Obama as well as the Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian leaders.

The original image, taken at the White House when talks were formally re-launched, shows Mr Obama leading the way and Mr Mubarak trailing behind.

The original image from the White House, taken on 1 September

Talks resumed in Egypt on Tuesday.

The manipulated photograph ran above an article on page six of al-Ahram's Tuesday edition, entitled The Way to Sharm el-Sheikh.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and US peace envoy George Mitchell travelled to the Egyptian Red Sea resort to mediate the discussions, which were hosted by President Mubarak.

'Crossed the line'

The opposition 6 April Youth Movement has accused al-Ahram, Egypt's biggest newspaper in terms of circulation, of being "unprofessional" for publishing the doctored image without mentioning the alteration.

"This is what the corrupt regime's media has been reduced to," it said in a statement on its website, adding that the paper had "crossed the line from being balanced and honest".

The independent daily, al-Masry al-Youm, reported that the state-run daily had "carried out surgery" on the photo "to show Mubarak leading and the rest behind".

Al-Ahram has since replaced the image on its website with a picture of the assembled leaders seated on chairs in the Red Sea resort.

Officials at the paper could not be reached for comment.

Israeli officials said Sharm el-Sheikh was chosen for Tuesday's meeting in recognition of Egypt's key role in regional peace efforts.

The negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas are the first direct talks between the two sides in almost two years.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Democrats in Violation

A SENIOR Democratic Congresswoman, law degree, professor of law at Georgetown, and a Congresswoman since 1990 ... has, at the very least violated quite a few ethical duties in the following phone conversation.  Perhaps even several laws ...

The lobbyist apparently didn't see eye to eye with her, or this would never have been released!

Whether Reid, Pelosi, Waters, Rangel, Jefferson ... the Democrats have a real pantheon of ethical violators.  Makes the Republicans look less weaselly.


This is, uh, Eleanor Norton, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Uh, I noticed that you have given to uh, other colleagues on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I am a, um, Senior Member, a twenty year veteran and am Chair of the Sub-committee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management. I’m handling the largest economic development project in the United States now, the Homeland Security Compound of three buildings being built on the uh, old St. Elizabeth’s hospital site in the District of Columbia along with uh, fifteen other, uh, sites here for, that are part of the stimulus .

I was, frankly, uh, uh, surprised to see that we don’t have a record, so far as I can tell, of your having given to me despite my uh, long and deep uh, work. In fact, it’s been my major work, uh, on the committee and sub-committee it’s been essentially in your sector.

I am, I’m simply candidly calling to ask for a contribution. As the senior member of the um, committee and a sub-committee chair, we have (chuckles) obligations to raise, uh funds. And, I think it must have been me who hasn’t, frankly, uh, done my homework to ask for a contribution earlier. So I’m trying to make up for it by asking for one now, when we particularly, uh, need, uh contributions, particularly those of us who have the seniority and chairmanships and are in a position to raise the funds.

I’m asking you to give to Citizens for Eleanor Holmes Norton, PO Box 70626, DC, 20024. I’ll send you a follow-up note with appreciation for having heard me out. Thanks again.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

9 Years On

It is true, the Koran burning and the anti-mosque sentiment.  However, the Times Square bomber and the 5 in Virginia, occur BEFORE these issues.  The shooter at Fort Hood - BEFORE.

Nine years on Dawn Editorial

Saturday, 11 Sep, 2010
Nine years since the tragic events of Sept 11, 2001 there is an unmistakable sense that Islamophobia is on the rise in the West, a development that could have dangerous consequences on the fight against militancy across the world. Consider that in the early years after 9/11, the Muslim community in the US was heralded as an example of how followers of Islam could find a comfortable niche for themselves in western society. That is no longer true, with the furore over the ‘ground zero mosque’ and a malevolent attempt by a fringe pastor in Florida to deliberately hurt Muslim sentiments dominating the news in recent weeks.

Of course, not all of this is happening in a vacuum. Faisal Shahzad (the young man of Pakistani origin who attempted to bomb Times Square in New York) and the ‘Virginia Five’ (young Muslim men who travelled to Pakistan in search of jihadi inspiration before being caught and convicted by an anti-terrorism court here) are just two examples of disaffected Muslims in the US turning to militant Islam — a dangerous development for security in the West.

Nevertheless, it remains true that while the overwhelming majority of Muslims in the West do not in any way identify with the violence of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, Muslims as a whole are being tarred by the brush of terrorism and violent jihad. The worst offenders, strangely enough, are politicians, ostensibly the ones who are supposed to uphold the values of tolerance and inclusivism of western society. Having figured out that Islamophobia may be a potent vote-getter, Republicans have been keen to exploit the issue of the ‘ground zero mosque’ and continue to peddle the ‘suspicion’ that President Obama may be a closet Muslim. The problem goes beyond American shores of course, there being a real fear among western Muslims that right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiments in Europe may be whipped up again. Looking at this uncomfortable state of affairs, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Al Qaeda must be pleased: what better way to prove that the West is out to undermine Islam than to expose its intolerance towards Muslims?

Gert Wilders - New York is the Line in the Sand

Dutch anti-Islam MP addresses NY mosque rally

Sunday, 12 Sep, 2010

NEW YORK: Dutch anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders told thousands of people protesting against plans to build a mosque near Ground Zero on Saturday that it was time to take a stand.

“This is where we have draw the line,” Wilders said before some 2,000 people fiercely opposing a Muslim organization’s plans to build an Islamic cultural center close to the site where the World Trade Center once stood.

“America, New York, and Sharia are incompatible. New York stands for freedom,” he told the crowd.

“That is why we are here today to draw a line today on this sacred spot. We are here in the spirit of America’s founding fathers, we are here in the spirit today in the spirit of freedom.”

“We must never give a free hand to those who want to subjugate us,” Wilders added.

“Draw this line so that New York... will never become New Mecca.”The firebrand Dutch politician, who calls Islam fascist and wants to stop Muslim immigration and the building of new mosques, walked out of talks earlier this month to form a rightist coalition government in The Netherlands.

He has been under 24-hour protection since 2004, after receiving death threats for his radical beliefs.

Wilders appeared at the New York rally as the city marked the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in which the World Trade Center was destroyed by Al-Qaeda militants riding hijacked planes.

He was joined at the protest by former US ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, as well as ultra-conservative radio chat show host Mike Gallagher.

Earlier a rally in support of the mosque project drew about 1,500 people. A tight police presence kept the two groups apart, though tensions were high with fierce arguments breaking out on the sidewalks. – AFP

the line is drawn

Obama Speaks: It was not a religion that attacked us, it was a sorry band of men

US will ‘never’ be at war with Islam: Obama

Sunday, 12 Sep, 2010

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama, marking the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks at a time of bitter religious tensions, pledged Saturday the United States will “never” be at war with Islam.

In the wake of tense controversy surrounding a renegade Florida pastor’s threat to publicly burn hundreds of copies of the Koran to mark 9/11 and debate over plans to a Muslim community center and place of worship near Ground Zero, Obama urged his compatriots to be “tolerant.” As Americans, we will not and never will be at war with Islam,” he said at a memorial service at the Pentagon to remember the 184 people who were killed after a hijacked plane slammed into the Defense Department headquarters.

“It was not a religion that attacked us that September day. It was Al-Qaeda, a sorry band of men, which perverts religion.” The extremists who ordered and carried out the attacks that ultimately brought down the World Trade Center in New York, slammed into the Pentagon and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania “may wish to drive us apart but we will not give in to their hatred and prejudice” the president added.

“The perpetrators of this evil act didn’t simply attack America; they attacked the very idea of America itself.”

idiots speak

Our Friends: The Religion of Tolerance

I am sure this was on all the news stations.

Saudi diplomat seeks asylum in US

Sunday, 12 Sep, 2010
WASHINGTON: A Saudi diplomat in Los Angeles reportedly has asked for political asylum in the United States, claiming his life is in danger if he is returned to Saudi Arabia.

The report Saturday by NBC News quoted the diplomat, Ali Ahmad Asseri, as saying that Saudi officials have ordered him back to his country because he is gay and had become a close friend to a Jewish woman. Asseri in a letter also reportedly criticised the role of militant imams in Saudi society.

NBC said that Asseri, who is first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, was questioned by the Department of Homeland Security after he applied for asylum.

The department declined comment to The Associated Press when asked about the diplomat. A call to Asseri's lawyer was not returned Saturday.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mexico: The Truth is Out There, dear Emperor

Mr. Calderon - this issue is very much akin to the emperor and his new clothes.  Everyone says one thing, but the truth is very different from the common conversation.

To be very clear Mr. Calderon - Mexico has the moral authority of a pedophile speaking out against discriminatory practices against pedophiles.  You have NONE, ZERO ... among all human beings who reason and use logic when they think.

More human beings have been murdered trying to cross the border to the US, by Mexican gangs, police, and soldiers than by the entirety of the US border patrol and all others engaged in trying to stem this illegal tide.

You can't protect your own citizens let alone those who cross illegally into your country for jobs.

You have no moral authority and in fact, control less than 2/3 of your 'country' while the other (more than) 1/3 is controlled by cartels.

This is the truth Mr. Calderon, not the fantasy you wake up each morning trying to blow life into, in order that you not fall into despair over how miserable your government really is. 

Mexico Lashes Out at U.S. Immigration Practices

September 10, 2010

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in an interview Friday that last month’s massacre of 72 migrants doesn't undermine Mexico's moral authority to demand better treatment for its own migrants.

"Of course we have the moral authority, because Mexican officials are not shooting Central American youths at the border, but U.S. agents are shooting Mexican migrants," Calderon said in an interview with the Spanish-language Univision network.

"If we are talking about responsibility, at the root of this, in the case of immigration, is the lack of immigration legislation in the United States that would recognize this phenomenon," Calderon said.

The massacred migrants, most from Central America, were attempting to cross Mexico to reach the U.S. border when they were kidnapped by what is believed to be a group of gunmen from Mexico’s Zeta drug cartel, according to a man who survived the massacre.

In a joint meeting with Calderon, President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador said that the home nations of migrants bear some of the responsibility for immigration problems.

"In part, the greatest responsibility lies with our governments, the Salvadoran government, for not having generated the employment conditions, the welfare conditions, that doesn't leave our migrants any choice but to look for other opportunities in the United States and Canada."

Thirteen Salvadorans were among the dead identified so far in the massacre in late August.

Funes also said, however, that he doesn't blame Mexico's government for the massacre, and called for a joint effort to fight drug cartels.

"We have come to have a conversation with the president of Mexico, not to condemn him or criticize him," Funes said. "Rather the opposite, to show him our support and offer our help in this fight."

Funes said the two countries formed a high-level working group to develop joint strategies for combating the drug gangs.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Of Shredding and Burning

Probably just a few delinquents, one small fraction of a group with no ties to anyone else.

Christians in Gaza Fear for Their Lives as Muslims Burn Bibles and Destroy Crosses

By Kimberly West
June 18, 2007

After defeating their rivals in Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, Muslim extremists are focusing their attacks on Christians in Gaza City. Christians in Gaza City have issued an appeal to the international community and a plea for protection against the increased attacks by Muslim extremists.

Father Manuel Musallem, head of Gaza's Latin church, told the AP that Muslims have ransacked, burned and looted a school and convent that are part of the Gaza Strip's small Romany Catholic community. He told the AP that crosses were broken, damage was done to a statue of Jesus, and at the Rosary Sister School and nearby convent, prayer books were burned.

Gunmen used the roof of the school during the fighting, and the convent was "desecrated," Mussalem told the AP.

"Nothing happens by mistake these days," he said.

Father Musalam additionally told The Jerusalem Post that the Muslim gunmen used rocket-propeled grenades (RPGs) to blow through the doors of the church and school, before burning Bibles and destroying every cross they could get their hands on.

Catholic Online reports that the heads of Christian churches in the Holy Land have urged both sides to put aside their weapons, noting that the infighting diverted international attention from the national goal of Palestinian independence.

"This domestic fighting where brother draws his weapon against brother is detrimental to all the aspirations of achieving security and stability for the Palestinian people," they said. "In the name of the one and only God as well as in the name of each devastated Palestinian, many of whom are still dying, we urge our brothers in the Fatah and Hamas movements to listen to the voice of reason, truth and wisdom."

One young woman told the Catholic News Service that she was concerned the Islamic extremists would "enforce a strict dress code, forcing women to wear veils and robes." One Christian teenager spoke to the Catholic News Service on the condition that her name not be used. She said the days of fighting had been "very difficult" but they were "OK now."

"We all hope it will be better, but it will never ever be good with Hamas," she said.

Approximately 2,500 Christians live in Gaza.

CBN Reports--

Leaders of the Christian community in the Strip expressed deep concern over the fate of the Christians living under Hamas. They said most of them wanted to leave Gaza out of fear for their lives.

[Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas condemned the attack as barbaric and despicable and blamed Hamas militiamen.

'The torching of the church is one of the fruits of the bloody coup that Hamas staged in the Gaza Strip,' he said.

Several Christian institutions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been targeted by masked gunmen over the past few months.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Strange Things Happen In This World: of Mosques and Mice

(I cannot link this story due to the fact it is from a paid service, although it can be located at the NY Post)

• 5 Sep 2010

• New York Post


The mosque money trail has taken another strange turn. The original owners of 45-47 Park Place mysteriously walked away from an $18 million cash offer for their damaged Ground Zero building in 2007, only to accept $4.8 million 18 months later from mosque developer Sharif El-Gamal. El-Gamal also happened to give the building owner’s son a job. The original owners of the Ground Zero mosque site mysteriously spurned dozens of higher bids before selling the prime downtown real estate at a bargain-basement price.

The Pomerantz family, which had owned the building since the late 1960s and fielded offers after the patriarch died in 2006, rejected at least one bid that was nearly four times what prospective mosque builder Sharif ElGamal eventually paid, The Post has learned.

El-Gamal did offer what could be viewed as a sweetener to his $4.8 million bid in July 2009 — a job as a property manager for a son of the family, Sethian Pomerantz.

New York developer Kevin Glodek was livid when he found out the building sold for a fraction of what he offered in 2007 — $18 million cash — and wondered whether money changed hands under the table, according to sources close to the deal.

Glodek and his partners wanted to build a 60-story condo tower with retail space on the Park Place site, had inked a purchase agreement and even had keys to the existing building, according to sources and documents obtained by The Post.

But Kukiko Mitani — whose late husband, Stephen Pomerantz, owned the property — and her brother-in-law, Melvin Pomerantz, a trustee to the estate, went silent at the end of 2007 and Glodek’s deal disappeared, sources said.

Glodek, who owns the ChefsDiet food delivery service and several Manhattan properties, declined to comment.

The property is now at the heart of one of the most divisive issues in the country — whether it should be the location of a $100 million mosque and community center. The location two blocks from Ground Zero has been called insensitive, and questions have been raised about whether extremists will help fund the project. Recent polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers want it moved.

strange bedfellows

Tony Blair makes a point

Tony Blair made at least one significant statement in his memoir.  He may well have written down, for us, many critical and valuable lessons, learned and still to learn.  Who knows, we may find out, if we read it.

What we do know, from excerpts provided by the English press and the Wall Street Journal, is he has made one significant contribution -

To summarize: I profoundly disagree with the statist, so-called Keynesian response to the economic crisis; I believe we should be projecting strength and determination abroad, not weakness or uncertainty; I think now is the moment for more government reform, not less; and I am convinced we have a huge opportunity for engagement with the new emerging and emerged powers in the world, particularly China, if we approach that task with confidence, not fear.

In short, we have become too apologetic, too feeble, too inhibited, too imbued with doubt and too lacking in mission. Our way of life, our values, the things that made us great, remain not simply as a testament to us as nations but as harbingers of human progress. They are not relics of a once powerful politics; they are the living spirit of the optimistic view of human history. All we need to do is to understand that they have to be reapplied to changing circumstances, not relinquished as redundant.

Blair mentions Keynes - a name synonymous with the economy:
Keynes argued for a mixed economy, at least in word, but he argued that private industry was occasionally inefficient and needed government oversight or direction to achieve the action/policy best needed.  He has been a staple since 1936 when FDR picked him up and took off for the races using his program.

Imagine, using the theory of a man who had not written anything substantive, whose ideas had not been tested - and taking a country down that path.

In any case, Keynes also argued for heavy government spending to stimulate whatever lackluster areas of the economy needed a boost. 

Kennedy almost fell for Keynes, but flipped back quickly to a more sane understanding of taxation and spending.

Business/private industry will, more times than not, sort itself out.  Sometimes the sorting out period is painful, but is preferred to government intervention - not so for Keynes, FDR, or Obama (who follows Keynes down this merry road).

Apparently Blair has seen the light.

More government reform:
Blair uses code words, perhaps because he doesn't want to offend, perhaps because he is British.  Reform is more government change, introspection, reform within government of agencies and purpose.  Revise, consolidate, and cut.

It is the next idea I believe profound "we should be projecting strength and determination abroad, not weakness or uncertainty."  This is the state of America today.  Europe has been in this rut for about a century and we see the consequence in nearly every European country - a pathetic assemblage of states afraid of everything, yet emitting bravado with every puff they pronounce, as if they are or should be taken seriously.  This assemblage of states have sold their soul for guilt and remorse, and in the process adopted economic policies they hope will at the very least comfort them while they wallow in their guilt and remorse at colonization and imperialism.  

The very depressing part of this equation is they should feel great guilt for what has transpired, but they should never have allowed that guilt to overwhelm their sense of purpose and mission.  The US today stands at the same point, while Islam is steadfast in its mission and purpose, and is unrelenting in pushing its agenda,

Blair has begun to understand this.  Too late Mr. Blair.  You have contributed to it with the waffling and wavering.  You know the intelligence that existed in 2002-2003 and you know it was more than simply American or Israeli intelligence.  Yet you have allowed the very vocal left dictate your statements on this issue which very nearly invalidates everything else you say.  It is this left wing Mr. Blair, you are striking out against with your statements about Keynes and purpose, yet they will never recognize the message.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Obama: Speak and Mean Nothing

OBAMA:  We have met our responsibility. 

OBAMA:  The surge will fail, it will make everything worse.

OBAMA:  The surge is NOT working.   2008

OBAMA:  The surge will fail, we will fail.  2007 / 2008

Now, some of the Obamessiah supporters will say, he didn't know X and Y back then, and it was only because he was elected that the world became less dangerous (just the opposite actually).

The issue is - if you are running for the highest office in our country, DON'T SPOUT OFF on crap you know nothing about.  It shows how reckless and irresponsible you really are.  Further, it shows off all the stupid fools who cheer you on when you do spout off - how how utterly naive and foolish they are.

When you run, don't talk, and you won't be charged with being a fool.


Top Secret - Everyone and Everything is - TOP SECRET

Post documents growth of intelligence since 9/11

Jul 19, 5:24 AM (ET)


WASHINGTON (AP) - Since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, top-secret intelligence gathering by the government has grown so unwieldy and expensive that no one really knows what it cost and how many people are involved, The Washington Post reported Monday.

A two-year investigation by the newspaper uncovered what it termed a "Top Secret America" that's mostly hidden from public view and largely lacking in oversight.

In its first installment of a series of reports, the Post said there are now more than 1,200 government organizations and more than 1,900 private companies working on counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in some 10,000 locations across the U.S.

Some 854,000 people - or nearly 1 1/2 times the number of people who live in Washington - have top-secret security clearance, the paper said.

[This does not mean everything it purports to mean.  Our intelligence services, military services, and others require certain levels of clearance to work in whatever the industry - some aerospace, R&D, and mapping require at least top-secret, yet the individuals work for a company that does something for the government.  it is not as meaningful as 2/3 of the world probably thinks.]

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Post that he doesn't believe the massive bureaucracy of government and private intelligence has grown too large to manage, but it is sometimes hard to get precise information.

"Nine years after 9/11, it makes sense to sort of take a look at this and say, 'OK, we've built tremendous capability, but do we have more than we need?" he said.

The head of the CIA, Leon Panetta, said he knows that with the growing budget deficits the level of spending on intelligence will likely be reduced and he's at work on a five-year plan for the agency.

The White House had been anticipating the Post report and said before it was published that the Obama administration came into office aware of the problems and is trying to fix them.

The administration also released a memo from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence listing what it called eight "myths" and intended as a point-by-point answer to the charges the Post series was expected to raise.

Among them was that contractors represent the bulk of the intelligence workforce. The memo put the number at 28 percent, or less than a third.

The memo said that 70 percent of the intelligence budget is spent on "contracts, not contractors."

"Those contracts cover major acquisitions such as satellites and computer systems, as well as commercial activities such as rent, food service, and facilities maintenance and security," the memo said.

The Post said its investigation also found that:

_In the area around Washington, 33 building complexes - totaling some 17 million square feet of space - for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since 9/11.

_Many intelligence agencies are doing the same work, wasting money and resources on redundancy.

_So many intelligence reports are published each year that many are routinely ignored.

"There has been so much growth since 9/11 that getting your arms around that - not just for the DNI, but for any individual, for the director of the CIA, for the secretary of defense - is a challenge," Gates told the Post.


Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

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