Friday, December 31, 2010

France and their Annual Property Destruction

Europeans are rarely overtly racist.  They would never put a bedsheet on their head and go prancing about like Casper.  Yet, I would proffer they are more racist than any random American albeit, they would make it sound entirely non-racist even while they would argue for the most racist idea since eugenics and the Nazis.  How do they do it?  Often it is not what they say or write but what they fail to say or write.

The depressed neighborhoods referenced in the Reuters article below - immigrant neighborhoods and a vast majority are Muslim.

France braces for annual New Year's car torchings

Fri Dec 31, 5:52 am ET

PARIS (Reuters) – France will deploy extra police and keep vandalism statistics under wraps on New Year's Eve to fight what authorities say has become an annual "sweepstakes" of disaffected youths competing to see who can burn the most cars.

Youths in depressed suburbs of French cities have been torching hundreds of vehicles on New Year's Eve and Bastille Day since the early 1990s. Police say the annual rite has turned competitive, with youths tracking the news in the first days of the new year to see which neighborhood did the most damage.

"I have decided to put an end to the competition, the sweepstakes, and will longer publish the number of burned vehicles," Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said this week, adding that publishing statistics encouraged vandalism.

Opposition politicians described the move as an attempt by President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government to cover up the violence.

"The government tends to eliminate unfavorable indicators. The interior minister has been publishing trumped-up statistics for years, and now Hortefeux is going even further," Socialist deputy Delphine Batho, a security specialist, told Reuters.

Last year, the Interior Ministry said 1,137 cars had been torched, a 30 percent rise on 2008. French media reported at the time that several thousand cars had been burned.

Nearly 54,000 police officers will be deployed across France, a rise of some 6,000 compared to normal New Year's Eve staffing levels, and additional command posts set up in several cities, Hortefeux said on Friday.

The image of burning cars remains particularly evocative in France in the wake of urban riots in December 2005. Sarkozy came to power in 2007 promising to quell violence, but crime and vandalism have inched up in the past year.

Arson in France's "sensitive urban areas" rose by 17.2 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a 2010 study by the Observatory of Sensitive Urban Zones. In 2009 a total of 12,874 cars were burned, it reported.

Why buy a car?  In fact, come December 30, you may want to hide your car!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Hero to us all: Someone we all wish worked for us

Man quits job, makes living suing e-mail spammers

Dec 26, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Daniel Balsam hates spam. Most everybody does, of course. But he has acted on his hate as few have, going far beyond simply hitting the delete button. He sues them.

Eight years ago, Balsam was working as a marketer when he received one too many e-mail pitches to enlarge his breasts.

Enraged, he launched a Web site called, quit a career in marketing to go to law school and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his e-mail inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable vacations.

"I feel like I'm doing a little bit of good cleaning up the Internet," Balsam said.

From San Francisco Superior Court small claims court to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Balsam, based in San Francisco, has filed many lawsuits, including dozens before he graduated law school in 2008, against e-mail marketers he says violate anti-spamming laws.

His many victories are mere rain drops in the ocean considering that Cisco Systems Inc. estimates that there are 200 billion spam messages circulating a day, accounting for 90 percent of all e-mail.

Still, Balsam settles enough lawsuits and collects enough from judgments to make a living. He has racked up well in excess of $1 million in court judgments and lawsuit settlements with companies accused of sending illegal spam.

His courtroom foes contend that Balsam is one of many sole practitioners unfairly exploiting anti-spam sentiments and laws. They accuse him of filing lawsuits against out-of-state companies that would rather pay a small settlement than expend the resources to fight the legal claims.

"He really seems to be trying to twist things for a buck," said Bennet Kelley, a defense lawyer who has become Balsam's arch nemesis over the years in the rough-and-tumble litigation niche that has sprung up around spam.

Kelley created a website with a similar name,, that was critical of Balsam's tactics. Kelley let it expire.

"There is nothing wrong per se with being an anti-spam crusader," said Kelley, who has sued Balsam twice for allegedly violating confidentiality terms in settlement agreements. "But Dan abuses the processes by using small claims court.

"A lot of people will settle with him to avoid the hassle," Kelley said.

Balsam started small in 2002 in small claims court. By 2008, some of his cases were appearing before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal and he was graduating from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

"What started just as kicks turned into a hobby, which turned into a career," Balsam said. "It's what triggered me to go to law school."

Balsam mostly sues companies he accuses of violating California's anti-spam law.

Among other restrictions, the law prohibits companies from sending spam with headers that misleads the recipient into believing the e-mail is noncommercial or comes with offers of "free" products that aren't true.

The law also requires a way for Internet consumers to "opt out" of receiving any more spam from a sender.

Balsam said he has more than 40 small claims victories and several more in higher courts, mostly alleging the receipt of misleading advertising.

In November, he won a $4,000 judgment against Various Inc., an "adult-oriented" social media company that controls

A judge sided with Balsam, who sued after he received four identical e-mails sent to four different accounts with the identical subject line "Hello my name is Rebecca, I love you." It's the fourth time he's beat Various in court.

The company is appealing the latest ruling and a hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5 in San Francisco Superior Court.

Balsam certainly isn't the average Internet consumer.

When San Mateo Superior Court Judge Marie Weiner in March ordered Trancos Inc. to pay Balsam $7,000 for sending spam that recipients couldn't stop, she noted that he has more than 100 e-mail addresses.

Balsam has filed lawsuits and got settlements and judgments from companies small and large.

He has sued the Stockton Asparagus Festival and embroiled himself in contentious litigation with, the country's third largest social networking site. Balsam noted in his lawsuit that Time magazine dubbed it "the world's most annoying Web site." shot back with a lawsuit of its own, accusing Balsam of threatening to violate terms of an earlier settlement by telling the company he was planning to post terms of the agreement on his website.

Balsam is fighting the lawsuit and a lawyer for didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

Balsam has also been sued by Valueclick Inc. for allegedly breaching settlement agreements by exposing confidential terms, which he denies.

"Balsam, who in his anti-spam zeal frequently views matters in absolutes such that anyone who disagrees with him must be villainous," lawyers for Valueclick Inc. stated in a 2007 lawsuit accusing Balsam of disclosing terms of a settlement.

The lawsuit was later dismissed in San Francisco Superior Court and Balsam declined to discuss the case other than to say it was "resolved."

He said, generally speaking, those who sue him are "retaliating" for lawsuits he filed against them.

"I feel comfortable doing what I'm doing," Balsam said of the lawsuits against him. "And I'm not going away."

[On the other hand - winning against some of these companies means nothing.  They pay the $5,000 or $10,000 and make $50,000 in the hour they lost 10 ... with those numbers, and the odds few others would sue, I would do it again and again and again and spam everyone ...  So do his actions help us?]


Friday, December 24, 2010

Russian Crime Syndicates AKA the Russian Government

Prior to reading, Wikileaks - cables from Moscow concerning the gangster / mafia controlled government.  A country rife with corruption and controlled by crime bosses.

And then this article / interview:

Khodorkovsky says Putin is ‘pitiable’

By Isabel Gorst in Moscow
Financial Times
December 24 2010 14:27

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the jailed Russian tycoon, has lashed out at Vladimir Putin, describing his nemesis as a pitiable but dangerous leader steering his country towards degradation and chaos.

In a newspaper article published on Friday, three days before a judge begins reading the verdict in a fresh trial that could keep him in jail until 2017, Mr Khodorkovsky said the Russian prime minister was trapped in the cynical political establishment he had created, indifferent to the fate of its people.

“I suddenly realised I was sorry for this man – no longer young, but vigorous and horribly lonely in the face of a vast and unsympathetic country,” he said.

The latest trial reaches its conclusion before the expiry of an eight-year sentence handed down after a first trial for fraud and tax evasion. After his conviction in 2005, Yukos, the giant oil producer he founded, was confiscated and sold, mainly to state oil companies, to help settle alleged tax debts.

Critics say the new charges are aimed at keeping Mr Khodorkovsky, who emerged as a champion of democracy before his arrest, behind bars long after presidential elections in 2012.

Together with Platon Lebedev, his business partner, Mr Khodorkovsky is now being tried on fresh charges of embezzlement that even his critics have slammed as absurd. On Monday, a Moscow judge will begin reading out a verdict that is expected to hand the two men additional prison sentences of six years.

The publication of the stinging article comes after Mr Putin suggested during a nationwide phone-in with Russians last week that Mr Khodorkovsky could have blood on his hands after Yukos’ former security chief was convicted for murder.

Defence lawyers for Mr Khodorkovsky accused Mr Putin of putting pressure on the judge to pronounce a guilty verdict and threatened to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

In his article, Mr Khodorkovsky said corruption had increased tenfold since Mr Putin came to power in 2000 and disputed the prime minister’s claims to have boosted stability in Russia.

He drew a direct link between rising corruption and the outbreak of racial clashes in Russian cities this month that has exposed a dangerous surge in ultra-nationalism in the country.

“Don’t fool yourself. Thousands and thousands of suddenly brutalised youngsters are a clear signal that our children see no future for themselves. This is clearly the threatening result of Putin’s stability,” he wrote.

“They are our future, they are our grief, they are the most tragic result of the decade of ‘getting back on our feet’ when there was money in abundance but no compassion.”

Mr Khodorkovsky has said in the past he would stay out of politics after his release and dedicate his life to social and charitable projects. But on Friday he hinted of a possible return to politics. “ We will develop the country ourselves ... We can do it. We are the people after all. And it is ours. Russia.”

Mr Khodorkovsky’s second trial is seen as a litmus test of Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president’s pledge to reform the judiciary and uproot corruption.

Speaking to television journalists on Friday, Mr Medvedev, a lawyer by training, refused to comment on the trial.

“Neither the president, nor any other official, has the right to express his or her position on this case or any other case before the verdict is passed, regardless of whether it is a guilty or an innocent verdict,” he said.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

There will be no Christmas in Iraq

There is little to say.  The excuses given, the number of dead ...

Iraqi churches cancel Christmas festivities

Wed Dec 22, 9:24 pm ET

.KIRKUK, Iraq – No decorations, no midnight Mass. Even an appearance by Santa Claus has been nixed after Iraq's Christian leaders called off Christmas celebrations amid new al-Qaida threats on the tiny community still terrified from a bloody siege on a Baghdad church.

Christians across Iraq have been living in fear since the assault on Our Lady of Salvation Church as its Catholic congregation was celebrating Sunday Mass. Sixty-eight people were killed. Days later Islamic insurgents bombed Christian homes and neighborhoods across the capital.

On Tuesday, al-Qaida insurgents threatened more attacks on Iraq's beleaguered Christians, many of whom have fled their homes or the country since the church attack. A council representing Christian denominations across Iraq advised its followers to cancel public celebrations of Christmas out of concern for their lives and as a show of mourning for the victims.

"Nobody can ignore the threats of al-Qaida against Iraqi Christians," said Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako in Kirkuk. "We cannot find a single source of joy that makes us celebrate. The situation of the Christians is bleak."

Church officials in Baghdad, as well as in the northern cities of Kirkuk and Mosul and the southern city of Basra, said they will not put up Christmas decorations or celebrate midnight Mass. They urged worshippers not to decorate their homes. Even an appearance by Santa Claus was called off.

"It's to avoid any attacks, but also to show that people are sad, not happy," said Younadim Kanna, a Christian lawmaker from Baghdad.

Even before the Oct. 31 church attack, thousands of Christians were fleeing Iraq. They make up more than a third of the 53,700 Iraqis resettled in the United States since 2007, according to State Department statistics.

Since the church attack, some 1,000 families have fled to Iraq's safer Kurdish-ruled north, according to the United Nations, which recently warned of a steady exodus of Iraqi Christians.

The latest threats were posted late Tuesday by the Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida front group, on a website frequented by Islamic extremists. The group said it wants the release of two women it claims are being held captive by Egypt's Coptic Church.

Muslim extremists in Egypt accuse the Coptic Church of detaining the women for allegedly converting to Islam, an accusation the church denies. The message posted Tuesday was addressed to Iraq's Christian community and said it was designed to "pressure" Egypt.

Few reliable statistics exist on the number of Christians remaining in this nation of 29 million. A recent State Department report says Christian leaders estimate there are 400,000 to 600,000, down from a prewar level of some 1.4 million.

For those who remain, Christmas will be a somber affair.

In the northern city of Kirkuk, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of Baghdad, Sako said there will be no Christmas decorations outside churches and a traditional visit by Santa Claus has also been called off. Money usually used on celebrations or gifts will instead go to help Christian refugees.

Ashour Binyamin, a 55-year-old Christian from Kirkuk said he and his family would not go to church on Christmas and would celebrate at home.

At Baghdad's Our Lady of Salvation Church, where more than 120 parishioners were held hostage by gunmen during the four-hour siege, all Christmas Masses have been canceled. Only a modest manger display will mark the occasion.

"We have canceled all celebrations in the church," said Father Mukhlis. "We are still in deep sorrow over the innocent victims who fell during the evil attack."

In Baghdad's Karradah neighborhood, where many of the city's remaining Christians live, churches were guarded by security forces Wednesday and surrounded by razor wire. Shop owners said few people were buying the Christmas trees and Santa Claus toys on sale.

Ikhlas Bahnam, a Christian in the neighborhood, vowed to go to Mass on Christmas Day, despite what she called the government's failure to protect her small minority. But she won't be visiting friends during the holiday season because all of them have fled the city.

"We did not put any decorations inside or outside our house this year," Bahnam said. "We see no reason to celebrate."

In Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, the Rev. Faiz Wadee, a Syrian Orthodox priest, said there will be no public Christmas celebrations there.

And Christians in Iraq's second-largest city of Basra have also called off all celebrations, said Saad Matti, a Christian legislator on the Basra provincial council.

"There will be only a small Mass in one church in Basra without any signs of joy or decoration and under the protection of Iraqi security forces," he said. "We are fully aware of al-Qaida threats."

Matti said Christians were also toning down their celebrations out of respect for a Shiite holiday going on at the same time. The majority of Iraqis are Shiite Muslims, especially in the south.

Even among Iraqi Christians who've managed to escape the violence, the mood was subdued.

Maher Murqous, a Christian from Mosul who fled to neighboring Syria after being threatened by militants, said his relatives are still at risk in Iraq, and since they cannot celebrate, neither will he.

"We will pray for the sake of Iraq. That's all we can do," he said from his home in Damascus.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Words have meaning

Like Obama, whatever, you know what I mean.

According to a Marist poll - all of the above words (except for Obama) made the top of the list of most irritating words for 2010.

You know what I mean

and I would add - for a majority of Americans, the name:  Obama

I will have to use these words when next I have the chance.


Obama and his continued trampling of our Civil Liberties

Reconsidering the election promises of 2008 - Obamessiah was the anti-Bush.  He was character to Bush's dirt.  He would shine a light on all the dark corners.  He would do housecleaning - as he joked, when he moved in.  No more government in secrecy.  No more intrusion into the lives of Americans - we were not criminals, the government should not be spying on Americans - we have rights after all, and he made comment after comment about the Bill of Rights and Constitution.  During the long campaign, he was in Philadelphia and he pulled the Constitution out of the closet where Bush had neglectfully stuck it.  He shook it off and told the people that he would uphold this Great Charter.

Obamessiah went on to tell the crowd in Philadelphia and everywhere he stopped, that he would rebuild relations with the countries of the world - relations that had been neglected or abused under Bush.

Two years later life is considerably different.  The world community is no closer than it was on October 30, 2008; the world community no longer fears or respects the United States.  We are not friends or allies, respected, or feared.  Bad.

Biden holds meetings in secret, even meetings on the transparecy of government are held in secret.  Rarely is anything Biden does not secret.  Yet no liberal groups are demanding access to those records like they did Cheney's meeting with energy executives (1 meeting of energy company executives with Cheney versus scores of meetings Biden holds in secret). 

Congress and the White House are not transparent - from Biden's secret meetings on everything to the intentional failure by Pelosi/Reid and Obama to post the bills up for debate on the internet for everyone to see and read before voting / signing.  Failed every time.  In fact, Obama has stopped using Congress and simply governs by fiat - he is coming close to using Executive Orders more than George H Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W Bush combined.

This is the difference liberals wanted?  A president who governs by fiat.  Liberals were apoplectic over Bush and the ruination of government as they saw it - with Obama, his appearance gives off the impression he doesn't care that he is ruining government.  With Bush - his actions were consistent with his values and the policies of one section or another of the American people.  Obama has lost the right, middle, and the left - he governs by fiat, unconcerned about his promises to anyone - but the big money donors.

Meanwhile, back here on earth, his cavalier attitude toward infringement of our rights has had an impact -

Govt 'creating vast domestic snooping machine'

Dec 20 07:27 AM US/Eastern

The government is creating a vast domestic spying network to collect information about Americans in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks and subsequent terror plots, The Washington Post reported Monday.

The government is using for this purpose the FBI, local police, state homeland security offices and military criminal investigators, the daily added.

The system collects, stores and analyzes information about thousands of US citizens and residents, many of whom have not been accused of any wrongdoing, the report noted.

The government's goal is to have every state and local law enforcement agency in the country feed information to Washington to buttress the work of the FBI, noted the paper, which has conducted its own investigation of the matter.

According to the report, the network includes 4,058 federal, state and local organizations, each with its own counter-terrorism responsibilities and jurisdictions.

At least 935 of these organizations have been created since the 2001 attacks, The Post said.

The probe has revealed that technologies and techniques developed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan have migrated into the hands of law enforcement agencies in the United States, the paper pointed out.

In addition, the FBI is building a database with the names and personal information of thousands of US citizens and residents, the report said.

The database is accessible to an increasing number of local law enforcement and military criminal investigators, the report noted.

In a bid to counter what is seen as a threat from radical Islam, some law enforcement agencies have hired as trainers people whose extremist views on Islam and terrorism are considered inaccurate and counterproductive by US intelligence agencies, the paper pointed out.

The cost of the network is difficult to measure, the paper said. But the Department of Homeland Security has given 31 billion dollars in grants since 2003 to state and local governments for homeland security and to improve their ability to find and protect against terrorists, The Post said.

Only this year, it gave 3.8 billion dollars to local law enforcement agencies.

civil rights

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Britain: Coldest since 1910 and Endless Snow.

Coldest December since records began as temperatures plummet to minus 10C bringing travel chaos across Britain

By Daily Mail Reporter
18th December 2010

Swathes of Britain skidded to a halt today as the big freeze returned - grounding flights, closing rail links and leaving traffic at a standstill.

And tonight the nation was braced for another 10in of snow and yet more sub-zero temperatures - with no let-up in the bitterly cold weather for at least a month, forecasters have warned.

The Arctic conditions are set to last through the Christmas and New Year bank holidays and beyond and as temperatures plummeted to -10c (14f) the Met Office said this December was ‘almost certain’ to become the coldest since records began in 1910.

                                                                    Central London

He said: ‘A significant amount of snow will fall over the next 24 hours, particularly across southern England.

‘Further snow showers are likely to hit Wales and the west before moving eastwards on Sunday.



Belfast International, Belfast City, Inverness, Aberdeen, Norwich, Isle of Man and Exeter airports were all closed today.

Newcastle, Birmingham and Luton airports were experiencing disruption. London City was closed earlier but reopened.

Possibility of disruption at Gatwick and Heathrow over the weekend. Budget airline easyJet has cancelled all its flights in and out of Gatwick airport between 6am and 10am tomorrow.


Delays on the M1 in Bedfordshire, the A12 in Suffolk, the A5 in Buckinghamshire, the A595 in Cumbria and the A303 in Somerset.

A series of accidents meant tailbacks on the A14 in Cambridgeshire, the M40 in Buckinghamshire, the A20 in Kent and the A12 in Suffolk.

A 50-mile stretch of the A9 in Scotland was blocked by snow and many roads north of the border were in a poor condition.


All rail routes through York were disrupted today, with Northern Rail having to replace trains with buses between Cattal and York.

Problems at Romford in east London led to morning rush-hour delays to National Express East Anglia train services into London's Liverpool Street station.

Southeastern will be running a contingency timetable tomorrow following difficulties in the Ramsgate and Ashford areas in Kent, while overhead wire problems are causing delays on the c2c London to Tilbury and Southend line.

In Wales, no services were running today between Newport and Hereford and bad road conditions meant that replacement buses could not operate. There was also no service between Holyhead and Bangor.

‘It is going to remain very cold right through to the middle of next week with widespread overnight frosts and ice.

‘Temperatures are likely to drop into the minus teens in places, with towns and cities as cold as -8c (18f).

‘It’s going to stay like this throughout Christmas and New Year, but by the middle of next month things will slowly return to normal and we could perhaps see the beginning of the end.

‘Nevertheless, this December is almost certainly going to become the coldest since records began in 1910.

‘It’s already a lot colder than the previous record which was set in 1981.’

The Met Office tonight issued heavy snow warnings for northern Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and south-west England.

The arrival of yet more snow and ice increased fears that the four million Christmas parcels yet to be delivered would almost certainly grow in number over the coming days.

Simon Veale, director of parcel and carrier management firm Global Freight Solutions, said dealing with the backlog - up to three days in places - was like ‘bailing water out of a sinking ship’.

‘This year, in Scotland and the North East, it is likely Father Christmas won’t be coming,’ he added.

‘There are likely to be more than four million new parcels in the system every day this week on top of several million more which still had to be cleared from the recent extreme weather.

‘If there are additional falls of snow, as the weather forecasts are suggesting, the unhappy situation will be compounded further still.’

The Royal Mail said it was planning to deliver 7,000 rounds on Sunday to around one million addresses.

‘This is already the worst December weather the UK has seen for almost 30 years,’ said managing director Mark Higson.

‘Like other essential services, we have faced major difficulties with items moving in and out of areas most impacted by snow and ice, particularly Scotland and north-east England.

‘We will continue to do everything in our power to deliver as quickly as possible.’

But the AA warned of ‘possibly the worst driving conditions imaginable’ - raising fears that millions of packages and mail would fail to be delivered in time for Christmas.

The AA’s Gavin Hill-Smith said: ‘There are horrendous driving conditions in some parts with driving, drifting snow and bad ice making for possibly the worst driving conditions imaginable, even for experienced drivers.

‘The weather will undoubtedly cause disruption for people heading off for an early Christmas break, if they live in one of the affected areas.’

The breakdown service said it expected to deal with 18,500 call-outs yesterday.

Mr Hill-Smith urged people to adapt their travel plans but added: ‘The trouble is that the closer we get to Christmas, the greater the pressure on people to travel - Christmas shopping, visiting family and friends.’

Douglas McWilliams, chief executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said the prolonged freeze could also lead to up to 1,000 businesses going bankrupt.

Many shoppers would be forced to stay at home because of treacherous roads, he added.

There are also concerns that heating oil - used by around two million homes, schools and hospitals - are nearing ‘crisis levels’. The Government is said to be considering rationing.

In a further development, the NHS issued an urgent appeal for blood donors as stocks ran low.

Supplies of O negative blood have fallen below ‘preferred levels’, with just 1,928 units left in store (each unit is just under a pint).

Although only 7 per cent of the population are O negative it is a key type that can be given to anybody.

It is the only safe option when a patient’s blood group is unknown or not immediately available and is therefore vital in emergencies and for procedures on unborn babies.

A total of 69 donor sessions were cancelled in one week during the worst of the recent weather in England and North Wales, figures show.

The Local Government Association said councils had plans in place to share grit if the big freeze continued into next month and supplies dwindled.


Back to the Future with The Independent: Snow is Gone from England

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

By Charles Onians
Monday, 20 March 2000
The Independent

Britain's winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Britain's winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters - which scientists are attributing to global climate change - produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

The first two months of 2000 were virtually free of significant snowfall in much of lowland Britain, and December brought only moderate snowfall in the South-east. It is the continuation of a trend that has been increasingly visible in the past 15 years: in the south of England, for instance, from 1970 to 1995 snow and sleet fell for an average of 3.7 days, while from 1988 to 1995 the average was 0.7 days. London's last substantial snowfall was in February 1991.

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

The effects of snow-free winter in Britain are already becoming apparent. This year, for the first time ever, Hamleys, Britain's biggest toyshop, had no sledges on display in its Regent Street store. "It was a bit of a first," a spokesperson said.

Fen skating, once a popular sport on the fields of East Anglia, now takes place on indoor artificial rinks. Malcolm Robinson, of the Fenland Indoor Speed Skating Club in Peterborough, says they have not skated outside since 1997. "As a boy, I can remember being on ice most winters. Now it's few and far between," he said.

Michael Jeacock, a Cambridgeshire local historian, added that a generation was growing up "without experiencing one of the greatest joys and privileges of living in this part of the world - open-air skating".

Warmer winters have significant environmental and economic implications, and a wide range of research indicates that pests and plant diseases, usually killed back by sharp frosts, are likely to flourish. But very little research has been done on the cultural implications of climate change - into the possibility, for example, that our notion of Christmas might have to shift.

Professor Jarich Oosten, an anthropologist at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, says that even if we no longer see snow, it will remain culturally important.

"We don't really have wolves in Europe any more, but they are still an important part of our culture and everyone knows what they look like," he said.

David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes - or eventually "feel" virtual cold.

Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. "We're really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time," he said.

The chances are certainly now stacked against the sortof heavy snowfall in cities that inspired Impressionist painters, such as Sisley, and the 19th century poet laureate Robert Bridges, who wrote in "London Snow" of it, "stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying".

Not any more, it seems.

snow fall

Palestinians = Just like us, or maybe more like Mexico

They are just like us.

Tourist's body found near Jerusalem

After overnight search, Christine Logan's body found in wooded area; Kaye Susan Wilson, who was found stabbed and bound on Saturday, regains consciousness and recounts terrifying incident. 'Arabs came to kill,' she says

Ynet reporters Latest Update: 12.19.10, 09:59 / Israel News

Israeli police said the body of a female tourist who they feared was kidnapped by Arab assailants while hiking with a friend outside Jerusalem was found Sunday morning.

The woman has been identified as Christine Logan. Her identity has been given alternatively as British and American. Ynet has learned that her body was found in a wooded area, between bushes, a few hundred meters from the road connecting Beit Shemesh and Moshav Mata. Police suspect she was carried to the bushes by the assailant or assailants.

Logan's friend, identified as Kaye Susan Wilson, a 46-year-old tour guide, was also found bound with her hands behind her back Saturday in a mountainous area outside Jerusalem, bleeding from multiple stab wounds. She was hospitalized in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital critical condition. On Sunday hospital officials said she had regained consciousness and that her condition has stabilized.

Speaking to Ynet Sunday morning, Wilson, not yet aware of her friend's death, recounted the incident. "Christine and I walked down a path in order to climb a small hill. We sat there, and two Arabs passed by and asked 'Do you have any water?' I said, 'I wish.' I felt something was wrong. I turned to (Christine) in English and told her something doesn't feel right and that we should return to the path.

"I pulled out a small knife from my pocket – a women's knife – and we began heading back. I saw that they (Arabs) weren't around, and I told her, 'Wait a second, I'll check to see where we are.' Suddenly I heard a noise. It happened so quickly – they came and attacked us. One of them pulled out a very long knife – like a bread knife with a sharpened edge," Wilson added.

"I was very scared, but my friend became hysterical. I told her to be quiet, but she told them, 'Take the money, take everything,' and they took everything. One of them took the Star of David necklace off my neck like a gentleman, and then they stabbed me 12 times. They came to kill. Nobody walks around with a knife like that for no reason. He stabbed me, but I sensed the knife did not penetrate my heart. I pretended to be dead; I thought they were waiting for someone else to come so I waited a few minutes and then threw myself onto a slope, my hands tied behind my back, and there was something covering my mouth," Wilson recalled.

"I found myself between the bushes, and I didn’t know if they had left already. I just wanted to sleep and felt as though I were about to collapse, but I knew I could not fall asleep. I managed to walk away and made my way to a parking lot, where a strange thing happened. An Israeli vehicle arrived and parked 10 meters from me. (The driver) was looking straight at me, but I couldn't yell so he continued driving. I had to walk another 20 meters, then I saw children; I turned around so they would see that my hands were tied, and they called the police."

A massive manhunt for Logan was launched after Wilson was discovered. Hundreds of police officers and volunteers, accompanied by soldiers from special IDF units, searched every cave and pit in the area.

During the overnight search, a police official told Ynet, "It doesn't look good. The woman has been missing since 4:30 pm and is feared dead. If she were fine we would have found her by now."

During the search the army set up roadblocks and inspected vehicles travelling to the West Bank. Choppers and a number of drones also assisted in the search.

No arrests have been made as of yet. "So far we have searched a number of areas. The first was near the injured woman's car, where blood stains, hairs and signs of a struggle were found. Unfortunately, these signs could not lead us to the assailants' possible escape route," a senior Border Guard officer said.

"The woman (Wilson) was agitated and had trouble speaking, and refused to tell us anything beyond her first name," one eyewitness from the town of Mata, who summoned rescue forces, told Ynet.

"Her clothes were dirty and showed signs of a struggle."


Friday, December 17, 2010

Julian Assange: To Rape or Not

Men can be many things, but most males would never force a woman to have sex - most especially against her will.  Julian Assange did NOT rape those women or any women.  He is not a rapist.  The women should be brought up on charges of filing a false police report, and given the maliciousness of the effort by these women - slander, libel, and theft - taking from him money he would otherwise have earned but for this smear attack, he is unable to satisfy those business agreements.  They took from him, they lied, and he was forced to flee and hide like a common criminal.  An apology is not enough - the women should be charged criminally and prosecuted.

This guy does not need to force anyone to have sex with him, women line up.  It is absurd on so many levels - yet the judicial offices in Sweden and the UK fell all over themselves lining up charges against Julian.  Bad bad bad.

Their intent is important in determining the ultimate disposition of Julian Assange and these two liars who accused him.  What was their intent - and that is clear by what has been done to Assange:  malign his reputation, cause him pain and suffering, loss of income, humiliation, vast expenses to defend himself against unlawful charges.  Their intention was clear.

Julian Assange opened a can of worms with his 'wikileaks' - he exposed the intent of the Obama administration, he exposed the truth about 2.5 years of double-speak from the Obamessiah.  He said one thing 'when I get elected I will send former presidents on a world tour to let the world know we are back, we want to rebuild relations, develop new relations, and mend fences' (or something very very close).  Obama never had that intention - he was manipulating and telling lies from day one and Assange exposes the dirty secrets in the US arsenal of lies. 


Julian Assange did not rape those women.  He went to the land of long, dark winters, Greta Garbo, and IKEA, to give a speech on some insipidly idiotic topic.  He was paid to go, and provided a place to stay and transportation - it happened that he stayed with one of those idiotic Swedes who are enablers - she loved the idea of being fucked by a man of passion and openness and tolerance, a man who sought "an interaction (that) would produce an interesting friendship."  He simply needed a place to stay and a body to fuck, and that is basically his opinion of women (makes me wonder about that mother of his) and each of the women obliged.  He never said he was going to have anything more to do with her than some "well intentioned amusement".    He never told her he was interested in her "messy reality" - and he moved on to another city and another woman he fucked and immediately left, as he should - he was finished in that city and only needed her for the night, and off he went, back to Stockholm, to spend another night or two with the first female, before returning to his rock. 

It is only because these pathetic women just can't understand - he never promised you a rose garden, he just wanted to fuck you like an animal (NIN) and leave.  Isn't that what men do - spread their DNA everywhere they possibly can.  It is genetic, we have a need, and it isn't simply sexual - it is biological, we have no control.  And comes the 2nd female, upset Assange did not offer her loving words and kisses, and she retaliates by calling the first female and telling her, and then both women, scorned - go to the police.

Assange is entitled to go from bed to bed - he never forced or demanded anyone have sex with him - they wanted him and he simply obliged.  What is a man to do.  How can he be expected to restrain himself when it is biological?  No promises were made, no assurances while banging her head against the bedboard or under the pillow.  He did nothing wrong, but bring some light to their dark world.  He gave of himself, the man who brings light to dark places - transparency.  The intent of the two women is clear - revenge.

But if the intent of the women is clear, is not intention also relevant when considering why Assange exposed all the top secret cables he did?  It is most certainly not to end an unjust war - for 198,000 cables had nothing to do with war of any kind.  Most were far more prurient in their revelations.  They dealt with FARC and Venezuela, Gordon Brown and whether he was an idiot, members of Parliament and their rentboys, an over eager Royal who won't shut his mouth and treats people like they are cardboard.  The cables reveal a dark side to the Obama administration - spyng on people, finding out personal details and having embassy staff follow up on mistresses and misters.  Not unlike Assange informing one female he wanted to fuck, that he knew her car license plate, secured her phone number from some unknown source, and otherwise seemed to secure all types of secret data on her personal life - to be used by him to impress her or otherwise get in her pants.   His intention was clear also - use whatever means to accomplish his goal.

In his case, to fuck the 19 year old.  Ok in all our books because it is an adult relationship.

The US uses all information at its disposal to secure a goal - the US determines as national security, just as Julian Assange would be the judge of whether or not he raped the women, for their involvement is not relevant, just his intent, and who better to determine intent than Julian Assange.  It is with no less ability that Assange determines the intention of the US government through the cables he has in his possession, and who better to decide what is and is not critical to security than a man who seeks transparency, openness.

So if 198,000 cables have nothing to do with the war, then what is the intent of Julian Assange - when he decides what is and is not relevant, what is and is not transparent ... what is his intent.  Unfortunately for his defenders - the criminal, the rapist, the murderer does not get to decide intent.  The law does.  A jury does. 

He is a criminal - the release of the cables have led and will lead to the deaths of scores of people around the world - including some CIA assets or perhaps CIA agents (remember the apoplexy of the left regarding Valerie Plame - a non-agent who was as unimportant as a hang nail - oh, Cheney or Bush or ... they put the lives of agents at risk and ...) ... Assange has most certainly caused the deaths of agents already or will be the cause soon enough.  Intent. 

He is a liar - he claimed his interest was to end unjust wars, but he releases stuff about sex partners and petty worries, marriage issues, and other insipidly idiotic meanderings.  He released the material to hurt the US government and to make himself relevant.  Intent.

Rapist - it is a crime in those enlightened countries to have sex with women and do so under false pretenses, that is, to hide your intention (I just want to fuck you like an animal and then leave).  Valid or not, those enlightened countries do believe that a valid use of their laws (unlike Switzerland  where the Parliament is voting to abolish laws against incest). 

Murderer - he will be an accomplice to murder or is now, as a result of the revelations.  Not 1st degree, not even close - but negligence for sure.


It is not for Julian Assange to decide what is worth being exposed and what not, who can and who can't be played with ... what the US government does and has been shown to do, is absolutely NO different than anything all the others do - which is why we must.  For the others are not bound by the strict sets of laws we have - they are bound by whatever their Parliaments may deem to be legal or not at the time.

Julian Assange is a criminal and needs to be tried and if found guilty - put away for a long long time.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Obama's 2nd term chances

With the Greeks rioting, the French protesting, the Italians marching, the Swiss abolishing laws against incest, Spain and Portugal on the economic brink of collapse, Ireland has fallen into the abyss, Belgium is teetering, Italy is following Spain over the precipice, Germany is tired of propping up failed economic models, Britain is awash in protests and demonstrations against fee hikes, in Russia demonstrations against the government and against Muslims, in Pakistan a government that is embattled and incompetent while in Afghanistan a bunch of child molesters run the government, while over in North Korea a dictator is falling even while he demonstrates how unstable he really is with his attacks on South Korea, and Japan reacts by pushing for changes to their constitution preventing a military of potential offensive capacity in addition to one possessing nuclear weapons.  In Iran a man with a size complex holds sway over possible nuclear weapons and blusters he will destroy Israel while he arms hizbollah and hamas.  In Egypt, a president for life (AKA a dictator) is nearing the end and the country is as unstable as it was in October 1981 after the death of Sadat.  I forgot to mention Saudi Arabia's intention to begin development of a nuclear program.

Meanwhile -

Poll: Most see Obama losing in 2012

By: Jennifer Epstein
December 16, 2010 03:57 PM EST

Most voters don’t believe President Barack Obama will win reelection, or that he deserves to, according to a new poll released Thursday.

Just 29 percent of the registered voters surveyed by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics said they believed Obama would win in 2012; 64 percent said they expected him to lose.

Views of Obama’s ability to get reelected broke down along party lines, with 49 percent of Democrats and 10 percent of Republicans saying Obama would win.

In a similar poll a year ago, 44 percent of the voters said Obama would win.

In a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released earlier this week, Obama led a generic Republican presidential candidate, 43 to 39 percent, and specific candidates by even larger margins.

Views of whether Obama deserves a second term also broke down along partisan lines. [NO, because it would be 40-45% saying he should have a 2nd term.  No, what you have is 10-15% of Democrats do not want him back, and 40-45% of Republicans do not want him back, and the remaining 10-15% who would be independents are nearly split  - which means there is no way he can be re-elected without a miracle and he hasn't been to church in several years so that may not be forthcoming, plus he also secured some Republicans last time which he will never get again.  Outlook:  Massive Electoral Loss]

Overall, 35 percent of those surveyed said he deserves reelection. Among Democrats, it was 67 percent and among Republicans just 7 percent.

Among independents, 32 percent said Obama deserves reelection.

The national telephone survey of 900 registered voters poll was conducted Dec. 14-15, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Mexico: Drug War Deaths

Mexico's Drug War Leaves 30,196 Dead in Four Years

By Jens Erik Gould and Thomas Black
Dec 16, 2010

Mexican Attorney General Arturo Chavez said that 30,196 people have been killed in drug-related violence nationwide since President Felipe Calderon took office four years ago.

The number of deaths from January to November this year was 12,456, Chavez said today in Mexico City. This year’s toll is the highest since Calderon took office, showing that violence is increasing instead of waning.

Despite the violence, Mexico’s economy will grow around 5 percent this year on the back of exports to the U.S., according to a central bank forecast. The government estimates the violence shaves 1.2 percentage points off economic output annually.

“It’s a serious problem and it matters,” said Ricardo Aguilar, an economist at Invex Casa de Bolsa in Mexico City. “But as long as private property and the rights of investors aren’t at risk, the economy doesn’t have any reason to stop growing.”

The violence hasn’t slowed a rally in Mexican equities this year. The benchmark IPC index has climbed 17.6 percent in 2010, helping the gauge advance to a record level on Dec. 14. That compares to a 2.1 percent decline for Brazil’s benchmark Bovespa index and an 11.3 percent advance for the S&P 500 in the same period.

Benchmark Index

The IPC added 0.2 percent to 37,749.89 at 2:52 p.m. New York time.

The Mexican peso has climbed 5.3 percent this year against the dollar. Today, the peso gained 0.3 percent to 12.4261 per U.S. dollar.

Calderon sent military troops to quell violence mostly in northern states and the western state of Michoacan shortly after taking office. While Calderon’s stance against drug traffickers has won praise from U.S. officials, the strategy has caused infighting within crime groups and between drug cartels.

In the border states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, a dispute between the Gulf Cartel and a former allied group known as the Zetas has sparked shootouts in the streets of Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest metropolitan area, and the abandonment of small Mexican cities near the Texas border, such as Mier. A feud between the Sinaloa cartel and the Juarez Cartel has made Ciudad Juarez the deadliest large city in Mexico.

‘La Barbie’

Calderon, whose term ends in December 2012, has vowed to continue to target organized crime. The government has highlighted the capture of drug kingpins and hit men, including Edgar ‘La Barbie’ Valdez and Sergio ‘El Grande’ Villarreal, and the deaths of Arturo Beltran and Ezequiel ‘Tony Tormenta’ Cardenas in the last year.

Last week, Nazario ‘El Chayo’ Moreno, a leader of Mexico’s La Familia drug cartel, was killed by authorities in Michoacan, according to Alejandro Poire, a government security spokesman. Moreno’s body hasn’t been recovered.

Authorities are seeking the arrest of Julio Cesar Godoy, a congressman with the Democratic Revolution Party who is accused of having ties with La Familia in his home state of Michoacan, Chavez said today. Godoy’s whereabouts are unknown, he said.

Legislators this week stripped Godoy of his immunity from prosecution after a recorded phone call of Godoy allegedly speaking with a La Familia member was made public. In a news conference on Sept. 23 Godoy said he is innocent and denied any ties to illegal groups.

The lower house of Congress yesterday passed legislation to help crack down on organized crime by stiffening jail sentences for the use of grenades or car bombs and making it a crime to hang banners with drug-cartel messages. Lawmakers have stopped short of approving other Calderon initiatives, including a measure to unify local police forces under state control to combat police corruption and help out-gunned rural forces.

The Anger of Obama

He also rejected the idea that he had failed to make good on a series of promises he made to the left (and the country) during the 2008 campaign. "There is not a single thing that I said I would do that I have not done or tried to do," Obama asserted.

Obama, to be fair, didn't only single out Democrats for criticism. He compared negotiating with Republicans to negotiating with hostage takers and said he only did so because of the danger that the hostage -- aka the American public -- would be harmed.

obama gets angry

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Science and Extinction

Extinction is not forever.

This fish is back and so is the Ocopy ... amazing how extinction works.  Isn't science wonderful.

Scientist says he found Japan fish thought extinct

December 15, 2010
TOKYO – A Japanese salmon species thought to be extinct for 70 years is alive and well in a lake near Mount Fuji, a science professor said Wednesday.

The black kokanee, or "kunimasu" in Japanese, was thought to have died out in 1940, when a hydroelectric project made its native lake in northern Akita Prefecture more acidic.

Before then, 100,000 eggs were reportedly transported to Lake Saiko but the species was still thought to have died off.

But Tetsuji Nakabo, a professor at Kyoto University, said his team of researchers found the species in Lake Saiko, about 310 miles (500 kilometers) south of the native lake.

"I was really surprised. This is a very interesting fish — it's a treasure. We have to protect it and not let it disappear again," he said.

He posed for pictures and video with a specimen that was dark olive with black spots on its back. The kunimasu grow to about a foot (30 centimers) in length.

Nakabo said the lake had sufficent kunimasu for the species to survive if the current environment is maintained, though he said in interviews he hoped fishermen would not catch it.

Lake Saiko is in a region popular with tourists for its Fuji views and hot spring baths.

The salmon is still listed as extinct in the public records of the Environment Ministry. Yobukaze Naniwa, an official at the ministry, said Nakabo's claim would be investigated before records are due to be updated in 2012.

Other species, including shellfish and plants, have also been discovered in Japan after being declared extinct, Naniwa said.


Obama Vacation on Hold

Does it matter if he takes a Christmas vacation?  Nope.  Does it matter that he takes a week off here and there - nope.  Does it matter if he spends 2-3 hours per week playing basketball - nope.  Does it matter if he spends on average of 1-2 hours per week playing golf - nope.  I won't mention we are at war, two wars he is allowing to continue, two wars and an economy that is not turning around with 17-20% unemployment when the full figures are counted, increases in foreclosures, and skyrocketing gas prices - nope, doesn't matter.

But if none of that matters, why did liberals have apoplexy when Bush played golf or went to his ranch.

Congress and Obama likely to delay start of their holiday breaks

December 13, 2010
By the CNN Wire Staff

President Barack Obama will remain in Washington for as long as Congress stays in session, and that likely means later than the scheduled start of his Christmas break, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

Saturday is supposed to be the start of the Senate's Christmas recess and the day Obama and the first family head for Hawaii.

However, Gibbs told reporters that a Saturday departure appears unlikely.

"I think the Senate is going to be in longer than this week," he said, adding that Obama will stay in Washington for "as long as the Congress is here."


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pedophiles on Parade in England : Just Don't Hurt Them

The boy will be punished in the hereafter, but not for a mortal sin.  The pedophile will be raped in hell for all eternity by Saddam.  I would help pay for the boy's defense if his case was still going.  Was killing the guy right - the law should have taken action, not dropped the case.

When the law fails and does so knowing the crimes it is ignoring ....

I hope the kid spends 9 years or less.

Teenagers jailed for killing suspected paedophile

A 15-year-old boy who killed a suspected paedophile ''to teach him a lesson'' has been given a life sentence.

12:08PM GMT 17 Nov 2010
The Telegraph

The teenager was told he must serve at least nine years behind bars for the murder of Robert Daley, 45.

A girl aged 15 - who said she had been abused by Mr Daley - was given a six-year sentence for his manslaughter.

The 45-year-old victim was stabbed five times in April at his flat in Brixton, south London, hours after a separate sex abuse case against him was dropped.

His killers, who were both 14 at the time, were convicted last month by an Old Bailey jury, each by a majority of 10-2.

The court heard that the girl, her 16-year-old sister and a woman had complained to police that Mr Daley had abused them.

Only the 16-year-old had been willing to proceed with her allegations, leading to his arrest. But lawyers decided there was a lack of evidence.

It was after a phone call in which Mr Daley rang the 16-year-old and "gloated" that the case had been dropped that the boy - who was the 16-year-old's boyfriend - and the girl went to his home and killed him.

A struggle broke out in his kitchen and he was fatally injured when two of the five knife wounds pierced his heart.

Judge Anthony Morris told the boy: "You saw what you were doing as acting in revenge for what you saw as an insult to your girlfriend."

The killers disposed of the blade, a mobile telephone, and bloodstained clothing, the court heard, and the judge said: "You both showed chilling criminal sophistication for 14-year-olds."

He added that he was prepared to accept that the allegations against Mr Daley were true.

But he said it was "understandable" in the circumstances of the case that the Crown Prosecution Service had dropped the case.


German Rape isn't so serious

If I had any money left after the taxes are deducted, I would send him some money for his defense.

German man castrates teenage daughter's 57-year-old boyfriend

An enraged father who disapproved of his daughter's older boyfriend went to his home and castrated him with a bread knife.

By Allan Hall
10:11PM GMT 12 Dec 2010

Helmut Seifert, 47, an ethnic German originally from Russia, was enraged when he heard his 17-year-old daughter was having a relationship with Phillip Genscher, 57.

He went to police in the town of Bielefeld where he lives but officers said they were powerless to intervene.

"The man then recruited two work colleagues at his factory and then went to the house of the victim," said police.

"The man was forced to remove his trousers and, fully conscious, he was castrated. The severed testicles were taken away by the perpetrator."

The man was close to bleeding to death but managed to call police. His life was saved but he remains a eunuch for life.

Seifert pleaded guilty and will be on trial for attempted murder next year. But he has remained silent on who his accomplices were.

He told police: "I received a phone call anonymously that my daughter was involved with a guy 40 years older than her. You said you couldn't stop him - so I did.

"I saw it as my duty as a father."

And rightly so.

Genocide is Rare - we should abolish the laws against it

Of course all cultures, all governments, all societies are equal, who are we to judge.  War is bad, sex is good, even with your mother or brother.

Switzerland considers repealing incest laws

Switzerland is considering repealing its incest laws because they are "obsolete".

Allan Hall in Berlin
13 Dec 2010

The upper house of the Swiss parliament has drafted a law decriminalising sex between consenting family members which must now be considered by the government.

There have been only three cases of incest since 1984.

Switzerland, which recently held a referendum passing a draconian law that will boot out foreigners convicted of committing the smallest of crimes, insists that children within families will continue to be protected by laws governing abuse and paedophilia.

Daniel Vischer, a Green party MP, said he saw nothing wrong with two consenting adults having sex, even if they were related.

"Incest is a difficult moral question, but not one that is answered by penal law," he said.

Barbara Schmid Federer of The Christian People's Party of Switzerland said the proposal from the upper house was "completely repugnant."

"I for one could not countenance painting out such a law from the statute books."

The Protestant People's Party is also opposed to decriminalising the offence which at present carries a maximum three year jail term.

A spokesman for the party said: "Murder is also quite rare in Switzerland but no one suggests that we remove that as an office from the statutes."


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sweden is Attacked, and their Prime Minister .........

But Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt later cautioned against drawing hasty conclusions.

"It's completely unacceptable for this to happen in Sweden but a lot of questions still have to be answered before we can draw any conclusions," he said.

"Three things happened last night, a car exploded ... a man died and Saepo and (news agency) TT received a message threatening Sweden. The three events are not confirmed as having any link to each other," he told reporters.

He slammed the bombings as "unwanted and unacceptable," pointing out that Sweden is "open society which has shown it is willing that people with different beliefs and backgrounds and Gods can live side by side with each other in an open society and democracy that functions well."

UNACCEPTABLE and UNWANTED ... as if anyone wants to be on the receiving end of a terrorist attack!
Maybe you idiot, it is the fact your are SO OPEN that they revile you, they loathe you, they want to kill you.  And maybe they have started.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Capital One: We Should All Get Rid of It

A M A Z I N G.

Debtor strikes back at credit card company

By Sam Wood
Fri, Dec. 10, 2010
Philadelphia Inquirier

Patrice Perry's dispute with Capital One had been escalating. Someone called her family and her coworkers, trying to get her to pay. She hired an attorney, but the credit card company kept sending bills.

And then, the big blow.

"Please send your payment of $286,651,237 in the enclosed envelope," read the statement dated August 2009.

What's in your wallet, indeed.

Perry, a hotel clerk, reacted with shock and panic, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Common Pleas Court.

"Essentially, the company told my client that if you don't do what we say, we're going to terrorize you economically," said Perry's attorney, Craig Kimmel. "It's certainly not a laughing matter when a creditor threatens to sue."

Capital One, based in Salt Lake City, did not respond Friday to several calls and e-mails requesting comment.

The fuss began in May 2009 when the credit card company, known for its commercials featuring Vikings and Visigoths, sent Perry a letter seeking $3,845 to pay off $4,807 on her account.

Perry's former lawyer sent the company a letter instructing it to direct all correspondence to him, the suit states. But Perry said Capital One persisted. Employees began calling her at home, calling her friends, calling her family, according to the suit.

In July 2009, Perry received a letter seeking $3,579 on an account of $4,695. The next month, another letter arrived, demanding $4,820.

Then on Aug. 25, 2009, the nine-figure bill showed up in her mailbox: "You have not paid this amount as we agreed," according to the bill. It threatened to destroy her credit history if the amount was not paid off immediately.

Kimmel said the $286 million figure was no random mistake.

The suit claims Capital One used "terroristic debt collection methods" that violated state debt collection laws and used unfair or deceptive acts or practices to create confusion and misunderstanding.

"We are seeking the very amount of money they say she owes as actual damages," Kimmel said. "So, we want $286 million. I'm as serious as they were when they sent that letter."

Kimmel said credit card companies too often think they are immune from cardholders they've put under the gun. He said he hoped the suit sent a warning to Capital One.

"Maybe some of those problems will get addressed," Kimmel said. "I'm just trying to get it to the attention of those who would consider this outrageous."

Perry, he said, has not received any more letters from Capital One.

"Maybe now they believe that silence is better," he said.

credit cards

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Human Slavery: Not my fault you don't understand

Ah, she is a victim.  After all, slavery existed in Europe and Africa, Asia, and the Middle East LONG before it ever began in the Americas.  It's not our fault.  We were just trying to help them out, not enslave them.

Immigrants' lawyers using culture as crime defense

Samantha Henry, Associated Press
Wed Dec 8, 2010

.NEWARK, N.J. – The lawyer for an African woman charged with smuggling young girls from Togo to New Jersey said her trial was about cultural norms that failed to translate in America. Twelve American jurors saw it as a clear-cut example of human trafficking, and she was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Both sides focused on the cultural nuances of the case; the defense arguing the woman was a benevolent mother figure who helped young girls escape a life of poverty; the prosecution accusing her of using the threat of African voodoo curses to keep the girls subjugated.

The case highlighted a legal strategy that experts say immigrants' defense lawyers are using increasingly in the U.S.: the argument that a defendant's actions reflect his cultural upbringing, rather than criminal intent.

"We derive meaning from action, and that meaning is very culturally laden," said Susan Bryant, a law professor at the City University of New York who provides cross-cultural training to lawyers and judges. "If you look out the window and you see someone with an umbrella, you may assume it's raining. In China, it could just as easily mean the sun is out."

Bryant said demand for cross-cultural training among legal professionals has steadily increased over the past decade.

Bukie Adetula represented the Togolese immigrant, Akouavi Kpade Afolabi, who was convicted of human trafficking and visa fraud charges at her 2009 federal trial in Newark. Prosecutors alleged Afolabi brought at least 20 girls between the ages of 10 and 19 from West African nations on fraudulent visas to New Jersey, effectively enslaving them and forcing them to work in African hair braiding salons for no pay.

Adetula argued that what prosecutors called clear-cut signs of modern slavery were considered protective measures in African culture: restricting telephone access, holding the girls' passports, and forbidding them from going out of the house unaccompanied.

"America is supposed to be a country made up of so many different cultures, so, yes, make the laws, and enforce the laws," Adetula said. "Do not make different sets of laws for different people, but look to the interpretations of acts, before you say: 'Oh, it's an offensive act, it's against the law, it amounts to human slavery."

Adetula, a Nigerian native who has been practicing law in New Jersey for more than two decades, is one of many lawyers — often immigrants themselves — who bridge the divide between their clients' cultural or religious backgrounds and the American legal system.

Raymond Wong, a lawyer in New York City's Chinatown neighborhood who has a large Asian immigrant client base, said his challenge is often twofold: explaining a client's cultural customs to Americans, while persuading foreign-born clients who prefer resolving disputes through negotiation to use the U.S. court system.

"There's a serious a lack of legal professionals in China, so all the problems are resolved by friends, relatives, people that you know," Wong said. "To them, going to court is a scary thing, getting arrested by cops is a scary thing, confrontation with authorities is a scary thing."

Defense attorney Tony Serra gained national prominence for his use of cultural defenses in two separate California cases in the 1990s where American Indians were accused of fatally shooting law enforcement officers. Serra's cultural defense tactics included using expert witnesses on American Indian culture to argue the alleged perpetrators were victims of longstanding anti-Indian racial prejudice, historical tragedies, and a deeply rooted fear of authorities. Serra's defense in the 1990 retrial of Patrick "Hooty" Croy, a Siskiyou County Indian accused of killing a Yreka, Calif., policeman, proved persuasive enough for a San Francisco jury to free Croy after 11 years on San Quentin's death row.

Prosecutors at the time derided the strategy — as critics of "culture defenses" do today — arguing that historical accounts are irrelevant to modern-day criminal cases, and a person's cultural background is no excuse for lawbreaking.

"We don't want to water down our rule of law," said Kent Scheidegger, the legal director of the Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, who argues that cultural defenses, in most cases, shouldn't be considered mitigating factors.

"There are some cultures where fathers kill their daughters because they get involved with a man," Scheidegger said. "That would not be exonerating at all in my view — that's a crime and it should be punished as a crime — and punished the same as anyone else who commits that crime."

Lawyers like Adetula emphasize that factoring in someone's cultural upbringing can help juries and judges determine the degree of an offense or the severity of punishment; they say it is not meant to excuse criminal acts.

"There are aspects of American culture that may not be acceptable in other parts of the world also, and we hear stories of Americans hiking in other countries and they get arrested, or taking pictures at places where it's offensive in other countries, and getting arrested," Adetula said. "It's not a one-sided thing."


Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

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