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9851  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 30, 2008, 06:32:33 AM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Israel Targets Terror Labs Funded by U.S. Islamic Group
Posted By Patrick Poole On December 30, 2008 @ 12:00 am In . Column2 02, . Positioning, Homeland Security, Israel, Middle East, US News, World News | 3 Comments

The Jerusalem Post [1] reported on Monday that Israeli Defense Forces aircraft bombed suspected Hamas terror laboratories located at the Hamas-run Islamic University of Gaza (IUG).

According to the article, IUG professors were using the labs to build explosives for the terrorist organization. A BBC [2] report confirmed that the IUG science building was the target of the Israeli retaliatory strikes.

Thus far unreported is that the IUG science and technology lab was financed and constructed with the assistance of the Dublin, Ohio-based [3] Arab Student Aid International (ASAI). In fact, the IUG website has a [4] page dedicated to ASAI’s ongoing contributions to the Hamas institution and specifically mentions the labs financed by the Ohio Islamic group. Additionally, the ASAI website [5] promotes its assistance in creating the IUG science and technology center, which was completed in 2002.

In a previously published [6] article I revealed ASAI’s extensive financial ties to the IUG, including direct cash payments to the Hamas school in addition to the facilities construction projects supported by ASAI. The Washington Post also [7] revealed in April 2006 that ASAI had financed the Western education of a number of top Hamas leaders.

The organization’s primary benefactor is Prince Turki Ben Abdul Aziz, a former high-ranking Saudi government official and half-brother to King Abdullah. Prince Turki has lived in exile in Egypt since the 1970s following a highly-publicized marriage scandal, his 100+ entourage occupying the top three floors of the Cairo Ramses Hilton. The prince serves as ASAI’s chairman of the board, and the labs built by ASAI at the IUG bear his name.

The ties between Hamas and the IUG have been long established. The university was founded by Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, and many Hamas leaders hold faculty and administrative positions at the school.

In an August 2007 policy report for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy entitled “[8] Better Late than Never: Keeping USAID Funds out of Terrorist Hands,” Matthew Levitt, former deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Treasury Department and author of Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale Univ. Press), detailed the integral role that IUG plays as part of the Hamas terrorist infrastructure:

Indeed, Israeli and Palestinian scholars alike characterize the IUG as a Hamas institution. Meir Hatina described it as one of the key institutions that “coordinated [Muslim] Brotherhood activities in the Gaza Strip and later constituted a springboard for Hamas.” Similarly, in his book Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza, Ziad Abu Amr depicted the IUG as “the principal Muslim Brotherhood stronghold,” referring to the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, which became Hamas in December 1987. “The University’s administration, most of the employees who work there, and the majority of students are Brotherhood supporters,” he concluded.

Hamas itself has corroborated these ties. In a 2003 interview in the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal boasted of the group’s participation in building the IUG in 1978. And according to FBI surveillance of a 1993 Hamas meeting in Philadelphia, Muin Kamel Muhammad Shabib, a member of the organization’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, briefed attendees on “the situation in Palestine” and the status of “Islamic works” tied to Hamas, naming the IUG as one of “our institutions.” In fact, even a cursory search of articles on LexisNexis through March 2007 produces 149 articles mentioning the IUG and Hamas together. Yet, only after congressional and media scrutiny exposed the taxpayer-funded awards to the Hamas-linked institution was USAID funding for the university terminated.

Other reports have detailed how the IUG has also been used for weapons storage, launching rockets, and holding hostages. In February 2007, Palestinian security forces [9] captured seven Iranian military trainers and confiscated 1,000 Qassam rockets located at the IUG. Another [10] article reported that 2,000 AK-47s were also confiscated, as well as evidence that captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, abducted by Hamas in June 2006, had previously been held at the university.

A May 2007 International Herald Tribune [11] article described IUG’s centrality in the Fatah-Hamas factional fighting in Gaza, with the university used to launch attacks against their rivals and for military training:

Hamas fighters have been inside Islamic University for days, trying to protect it from another Fatah attack like one last year that badly damaged the school, one of the prime means for Hamas to convert Palestinians to its Islamist cause. Hamas guards at the university have been killed by snipers in previous days, and on Friday, Fatah fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades and mortars at the school, setting a building on fire, and exchanged gunshots with Hamas men inside.

Fatah said that Hamas fighters were using the university as a base for attacks on nearby police stations.

After the IUG strikes on Monday, IDF spokeswoman Avital Leibovich gave an [12] interview to investigative reporter Aaron Klein, characterizing the militant nature of the IUG and the use of its facilities for the manufacture of Hamas explosives. “This is the first university in world that gives out bachelor’s degrees in rocket manufacture,” she said.

IUG figured prominently in the recent Holy Land Foundation [13] terrorism finance trial, with federal prosecutors entering documents into evidence showing that Holy Land officials used the IUG to [14] funnel funds to Hamas.

With Israel declaring “all-out war” against Hamas, the present conflict will hopefully provide incentive for law enforcement officials to further roll back the extensive Hamas support network in the U.S. Considering the success that prosecutors had in securing convictions on all 108 counts against the Holy Land Foundation defendants, investigating the degree of involvement of Arab Student Aid International in the financing and construction of the IUG Hamas terror labs might be a good place to start.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/israel-targets-terror-labs-funded-by-us-islamic-group/

URLs in this post:
[1] reported: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111723191&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer
[2] report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7802515.stm
[3] Arab Student Aid International: http://www.arabstudentaid.org/index.htm
[4] page: http://www.iugaza.edu.ps/external/eng/stab.asp
[5] promotes: http://www.arabstudentaid.org/achievements.htm
[6] article: http://www.fsmarchives.org/article.php?id=1344813
[7] revealed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/29/AR2006042900125_pf.html
[8] Better Late than Never: Keeping USAID Funds out of Terrorist Hands: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2653
[9] captured: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54062
[10] article: http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3361595,00.html
[11] article: http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?id=5773548
[12] interview: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/?pageId=84806
[13] terrorism finance trial: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/the-us-terror-support-network-exposed
[14] funnel funds: http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/IUG_hlf_trial2.pdf
9852  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 30, 2008, 06:31:18 AM
- Pajamas Media - http://pajamasmedia.com -

Israel Targets Terror Labs Funded by U.S. Islamic Group
Posted By Patrick Poole On December 30, 2008 @ 12:00 am In . Column2 02, . Positioning, Homeland Security, Israel, Middle East, US News, World News | 3 Comments

The Jerusalem Post [1] reported on Monday that Israeli Defense Forces aircraft bombed suspected Hamas terror laboratories located at the Hamas-run Islamic University of Gaza (IUG).

According to the article, IUG professors were using the labs to build explosives for the terrorist organization. A BBC [2] report confirmed that the IUG science building was the target of the Israeli retaliatory strikes.

Thus far unreported is that the IUG science and technology lab was financed and constructed with the assistance of the Dublin, Ohio-based [3] Arab Student Aid International (ASAI). In fact, the IUG website has a [4] page dedicated to ASAI’s ongoing contributions to the Hamas institution and specifically mentions the labs financed by the Ohio Islamic group. Additionally, the ASAI website [5] promotes its assistance in creating the IUG science and technology center, which was completed in 2002.

In a previously published [6] article I revealed ASAI’s extensive financial ties to the IUG, including direct cash payments to the Hamas school in addition to the facilities construction projects supported by ASAI. The Washington Post also [7] revealed in April 2006 that ASAI had financed the Western education of a number of top Hamas leaders.

The organization’s primary benefactor is Prince Turki Ben Abdul Aziz, a former high-ranking Saudi government official and half-brother to King Abdullah. Prince Turki has lived in exile in Egypt since the 1970s following a highly-publicized marriage scandal, his 100+ entourage occupying the top three floors of the Cairo Ramses Hilton. The prince serves as ASAI’s chairman of the board, and the labs built by ASAI at the IUG bear his name.

The ties between Hamas and the IUG have been long established. The university was founded by Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yasin, and many Hamas leaders hold faculty and administrative positions at the school.

In an August 2007 policy report for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy entitled “[8] Better Late than Never: Keeping USAID Funds out of Terrorist Hands,” Matthew Levitt, former deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Treasury Department and author of Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad (Yale Univ. Press), detailed the integral role that IUG plays as part of the Hamas terrorist infrastructure:

Indeed, Israeli and Palestinian scholars alike characterize the IUG as a Hamas institution. Meir Hatina described it as one of the key institutions that “coordinated [Muslim] Brotherhood activities in the Gaza Strip and later constituted a springboard for Hamas.” Similarly, in his book Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza, Ziad Abu Amr depicted the IUG as “the principal Muslim Brotherhood stronghold,” referring to the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, which became Hamas in December 1987. “The University’s administration, most of the employees who work there, and the majority of students are Brotherhood supporters,” he concluded.

Hamas itself has corroborated these ties. In a 2003 interview in the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal boasted of the group’s participation in building the IUG in 1978. And according to FBI surveillance of a 1993 Hamas meeting in Philadelphia, Muin Kamel Muhammad Shabib, a member of the organization’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, briefed attendees on “the situation in Palestine” and the status of “Islamic works” tied to Hamas, naming the IUG as one of “our institutions.” In fact, even a cursory search of articles on LexisNexis through March 2007 produces 149 articles mentioning the IUG and Hamas together. Yet, only after congressional and media scrutiny exposed the taxpayer-funded awards to the Hamas-linked institution was USAID funding for the university terminated.

Other reports have detailed how the IUG has also been used for weapons storage, launching rockets, and holding hostages. In February 2007, Palestinian security forces [9] captured seven Iranian military trainers and confiscated 1,000 Qassam rockets located at the IUG. Another [10] article reported that 2,000 AK-47s were also confiscated, as well as evidence that captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, abducted by Hamas in June 2006, had previously been held at the university.

A May 2007 International Herald Tribune [11] article described IUG’s centrality in the Fatah-Hamas factional fighting in Gaza, with the university used to launch attacks against their rivals and for military training:

Hamas fighters have been inside Islamic University for days, trying to protect it from another Fatah attack like one last year that badly damaged the school, one of the prime means for Hamas to convert Palestinians to its Islamist cause. Hamas guards at the university have been killed by snipers in previous days, and on Friday, Fatah fighters fired rocket-propelled grenades and mortars at the school, setting a building on fire, and exchanged gunshots with Hamas men inside.

Fatah said that Hamas fighters were using the university as a base for attacks on nearby police stations.

After the IUG strikes on Monday, IDF spokeswoman Avital Leibovich gave an [12] interview to investigative reporter Aaron Klein, characterizing the militant nature of the IUG and the use of its facilities for the manufacture of Hamas explosives. “This is the first university in world that gives out bachelor’s degrees in rocket manufacture,” she said.

IUG figured prominently in the recent Holy Land Foundation [13] terrorism finance trial, with federal prosecutors entering documents into evidence showing that Holy Land officials used the IUG to [14] funnel funds to Hamas.

With Israel declaring “all-out war” against Hamas, the present conflict will hopefully provide incentive for law enforcement officials to further roll back the extensive Hamas support network in the U.S. Considering the success that prosecutors had in securing convictions on all 108 counts against the Holy Land Foundation defendants, investigating the degree of involvement of Arab Student Aid International in the financing and construction of the IUG Hamas terror labs might be a good place to start.

Article printed from Pajamas Media: http://pajamasmedia.com

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/israel-targets-terror-labs-funded-by-us-islamic-group/

URLs in this post:
[1] reported: http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1230111723191&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer
[2] report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7802515.stm
[3] Arab Student Aid International: http://www.arabstudentaid.org/index.htm
[4] page: http://www.iugaza.edu.ps/external/eng/stab.asp
[5] promotes: http://www.arabstudentaid.org/achievements.htm
[6] article: http://www.fsmarchives.org/article.php?id=1344813
[7] revealed: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/29/AR2006042900125_pf.html
[8] Better Late than Never: Keeping USAID Funds out of Terrorist Hands: http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2653
[9] captured: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=54062
[10] article: http://www.ynetnews.com/Ext/Comp/ArticleLayout/CdaArticlePrintPreview/1,2506,L-3361595,00.html
[11] article: http://www.iht.com/bin/print.php?id=5773548
[12] interview: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/?pageId=84806
[13] terrorism finance trial: http://pajamasmedia.com../../../../../blog/the-us-terror-support-network-exposed
[14] funnel funds: http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/IUG_hlf_trial2.pdf
9853  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 30, 2008, 06:26:18 AM
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/12/30/bon-voyage-jihad-cindy-mckinney/

At least Obama wasn't on the boat. Not yet, anyway....
9854  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 30, 2008, 04:01:40 AM
http://www.asharqalawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=1&id=15194

Iran Hardliners Register Volunteers to Fight Israel

29/12/2008

TEHRAN (Reuters) - A group of Iranian hard-line clerics is signing up volunteers to fight in the Gaza Strip in response to Israel's air strikes that have killed at least 300 Palestinians, a news agency reported on Monday.

"From Monday the Combatant Clergy Society has activated its website www.rohaniatmobarez.com for a week to register volunteers to fight against the Zionist regime (Israel) in either the military, financial or propaganda fields," the semi-official Fars news agency said.

Israel patrols the coastal waters around Gaza and has declared areas around the enclave a "closed military zone."

The hard-line Iranian group, which is headed by some leading clergy, says it has no affiliation with the government and was formed shortly after Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a religious decree to Muslims around the world on Sunday, ordering them to defend Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks "in any way possible."

A religious decree is an official statement by a high-ranking religious leader that commands Muslims to carry out its message. While there is no religious and legal force behind it, Khamenei is respected by many Iranian and non-Iranian Shi'ites.

Iran refuses to recognize Israel, which accuses Tehran of supplying Hamas Islamists with weapons. Iran denies the claim, saying it only provides moral support to the group.

Israel said the strikes, that have killed 307 Palestinians, were launched in response to almost daily rocket and mortar fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip after the Islamist Hamas group ended a six-month ceasefire a week ago.

Fars said the hard-line group provided volunteers with a registration document called "Registration form for dispatching volunteers to Gaza." It said more than 1,100 people so far had registered for military service against Israel.

Khamenei said on Sunday that whoever was killed in the fight to defend Palestinians was "considered a martyr."

Iran will send its first ship carrying aid to the Gaza Strip on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi said.

"Iran has dispatched its first plane load of aid, including medicine, to Gaza on Sunday. The second cargo is on the verge of being dispatched," Qashqavi told reporters on Monday. "The first aircraft arrived in Egypt last night."

Israel, which patrols the coastal waters around Gaza, tightened its blockade of the Gaza Strip two years ago after Hamas won a parliamentary election.

The Jewish state turned back a Libyan ship from delivering humanitarian supplies to Gaza earlier this month.

Tens of thousands of Iranians protested on Monday to condemn the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, which began with air strikes on Saturday.

Protesters burned Israeli and U.S. flags and demanded a stronger response from international organizations to stop Israel's raids, a Reuters witness said.

They also called on Islamic countries to boycott "Zionist companies."
9855  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 30, 2008, 03:57:49 AM
I think this open question is part of why Israel has made it's move now.
9856  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 30, 2008, 03:05:00 AM
Groundhog Day for the Fifth Column of Malice   
By Melanie Phillips
Spectator.co.uk | Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So there is indeed now a war. In Gaza. Actually, there are two wars going on: one involving rockets and warplanes, and the other involving the media, as Barry Rubin notes:
Nothing is clearer than Hamas’s strategy. It gives Israel the choice between rockets and media, and Hamas thinks it is a situation of, ‘We win or you lose.’...The smug smiles are wiped off the faces of Hamas leaders. Yet they have one more weapon, their reserves, they call up the media. Those arrogant, heroic, macho victors of yesterday--literally yesterday as the process takes only a few hours--are transformed into pitiful victims. Casualty figures are announced by Hamas, and accepted by reporters who are not on the spot. Everyone hit is, of course, a civilian. No soldiers here. And the casualties are disproportionate: Hamas has arranged it that way. If necessary, sympathetic photographers take pictures of children who pretend to be injured, and once they are published in Western newspapers these claims become fact.

All too predictable – and going to plan, with assistance from the
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who condemned ‘excessive use of force leading to the killing and injuring of civilians’, and Navi Pillay, the ludicrous UN High Commissioner for ‘Human Rights’, who ‘strongly condemned Israel’s disproportionate use of force.’ Of course, the UN has been silent about the actual violations of international law by the Palestinians, as pointed out here by Justus Reid Weiner and Avi Bell:

The Palestinian attacks violate one of the most basic rules of international humanitarian law: the rule of distinction, which requires combatants to aim all their attacks at legitimate targets - enemy combatants or objects that contribute to enemy military actions. Violations of the rule of distinction - attacks deliberately aimed at civilians or protected objects as such - are war crimes.

Furthermore, say Weiner and Bell, Israel actually has a legal duty to take action against Hamas under the Genocide Convention:

In carrying out their attacks on Israeli Jews as part of a larger aim to kill Jews, as demonstrated by the Hamas Covenant, many of the Palestinian terrorists are also violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. Under Article 1 of the Genocide Convention, Israel and other signatories are required to ‘prevent and punish’ not only persons who carry out such genocidal acts, but those who conspire with them, incite them to kill and are complicit with their actions. The Convention thus requires Israel to prevent and punish the terrorists themselves, as well as leading figures that have publicly supported the Palestinian attacks. Article 2 of the Convention defines any killing with intent ‘to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such’ as an act of genocide.

But for exercising its legal duty in accordance with international law, Israel is condemned and told to stop by politicians such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband. The moral inversion is staggering. Miliband has called for an immediate ceasefire by Israel. The implication is that Israel should suffer the Palestinian rockets attacks indefinitely.

If anything has been ‘disproportionate’, it’s been Israel’s refusal to take such action during the years when its southern citizens have been terrorised by rockets and other missiles raining down on them from Gaza. No other country in the world would have sat on its hands for so long in such circumstances. But whenever Israel defends itself militarily, its response is said to be ‘disproportionate’. The malice, ignorance and sheer idiocy of this claim is refuted here comprehensively by Dore Gold, who points out that Israel’s actions in Gaza are wholly in accordance with international law. This permits Israel to launch such an operation to prevent itself from being further attacked. Moreover, it defines ‘disproportionate’ force as when

force becomes excessive if it is employed for another purpose, like causing unnecessary harm to civilians.

But Israel has demonstrably not been targeting civilians but Hamas terrorists. Despite the wicked impression given by the media, most of the casualties in this operation have been Hamas operatives. Even Hamas itself has admitted that the vast majority of sites Israel has hit were part of their military infrastructure. UNRWA officials in the Gaza Strip have put the number of deaths at 310, of whom 51 were civilians. The rest were Hamas terrorists.

Certainly, some civilian casualties are regrettably inevitable in any such situation – but particularly so in Gaza, since Hamas has deliberately sited its terrorist infrastructure amongst the civilian population.

Those who scream ‘disproportionate’ think – grotesquely -- that not enough Israelis have been killed. But that’s in part because Israel cares enough about human life to construct air raid shelters where its beleaguered civilians take cover; Hamas deliberately stores its rockets and other apparatus of mass murder below apartment blocks and in centres of population in order to get as many of its own people killed as possible as a propaganda weapon. Hamas is thus guilty of war crimes not just against Israelis but against the Palestinian people. Yet on this there is – fantastically, surreally – almost total silence in the west, which blames Israel instead. Historical resonances, anyone?

In any event, if by ‘disproportionate’ is meant merely an imbalance in the numbers who are killed on either side, this is actually inescapable if the infrastructure of aggression is to be defeated. Many more died in Afghanistan than in the 9/11 attacks; yet that war was necessary to destroy the Taleban. Many more died in Nazi Germany or Japan than in Britain or America during World War Two. Yet the scale of the Allied offensive was necessary to defeat Nazism and prevent yet more carnage amongst its designated victims.

The disgusting fifth column in the Gaza conflict, however, is – as ever – the western media. It was telling to witness the sight of British TV camera crews heading out to Israel on Saturday night. The point was that they weren’t already there – because their editors had not thought it necessary to send them to cover the resumed rocket attacks on southern Israel. Indeed, hardly anyone in Britain is aware that Israel is only now finally responding to some 6000 rocket attacks since 2001, with a fifty per cent increase after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. British journalists were only dispatched to the battle zone when Israel finally retaliated – because, appallingly, it is only Jewish violence that is ever the story.

As a result, Israel is painted – wholly unjustly and untruthfully -- as the aggressor. The ineffable BBC reported in radio bulletins on Saturday that Israel’s attack had ‘put back the chance of peace in the region’. Most sane people would think that the reason peace in the region had been put back was that Hamas was continuing to wage aggressive war. And indeed, even now it is still firing rockets at Israel, including Katyushas and Iranian Grads which are reaching as far as Ashkelon and Ashdod. Today they killed another Israeli in Ashkelon and injured many more -- including several Israeli Arabs.

If the media have mentioned the attacks on Israel at all, they have done so as an afterthought. The main story is ‘disproportionate’ Israeli violence. As far as I can see, there has been no mention of the extraordinary fact that on the day prior to the start of the Israeli operation, a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip was admitted to hospital in Israel for medical treatment for a severe wound -- inflicted upon him by a stray Hamas rocket which had been fired at Israel.

What other country would treat its enemies in own hospitals – which Israel does routinely with Palestinians from Gaza -- even when they are wounded as a direct consequence of their own side trying to murder yet more Israelis? What other country would provide or enable the supply of electricity, gas and other essentials to people who use such facilities to continue trying to murder as many Israelis as possible? On Sunday, for instance, as Ha’aretz reported, the Kerem Shalom crossing was opened to let through 26 trucks carrying food and medical equipment. Today it was opened again and about 40 trucks had entered with food and medical supplies by midday. Yet organizations such as Amnesty International have condemned Israel's imposition of all ‘blockades’ on the Gaza Strip as ‘collective punishment’, and Jeremy Hobbs, Director of Oxfam International, has called on Israel ‘immediately [to] lift its inhumane and illegal siege’.

Yet it is Hamas that is refusing wounded Gazans access into Egypt for treatment -- and indeed the Egyptians even opened fire on them. So where are the screams about Egyptian and Hamas brutality? Where are Amnesty and Oxfam’s condemnation of Hamas and Egypt? And might all those from the Foreign Secretary down screaming about a ‘humanitarian disaster’ in Gaza pause for one second and look at the well-fed, healthy Gazans parading across their TV screens? If that’s a ‘humanitarian disaster’ – with supplies constantly pouring through the illegal tunnels from Egypt, along with billions of dollars-worth of missiles with which to commit mass murder -- what do they call what’s happening in Zimbabwe, which for some unaccountable reason inspires among the high-minded merely indifference?

Such bigotry and malice are not confined to British media and NGOs. On Salon, Glenn Greenwald whines about

America’s one-sided support for whatever Israel does from our political class, and one-sided condemnation of Israel's enemies (who are, ipso facto, American enemies) -- all of it, as usual, sharply divergent from the consensus in much of the rest of the world.

Oh really? Well, Hamas has been blamed for this war by Mahmoud Abbas, who said Hamas could have avoided this attack if it had prolonged its ‘cease-fire’. It has been blamed for this war by Egypt; and Arab states which are terrified of Islamism in general and Iran in particular are privately rooting for Israel to wipe Hamas out. Even the Israeli left is supporting this operation. The only people taking the side of the genocidal terrorists of Hamas are the western media, parroting their propaganda and thus inciting yet more to join the murderous rampage against Israel as well as ratcheting up the pressure on world leaders to force Israel to stop before Hamas is destroyed.

Isn’t there a case for legal action against these media outlets on account of their blood libels, for indirectly aiding the perpetrators of attempted genocide?

Melanie Phillips is a British social commentator and author and a columnist for the Daily Mail. Her articles can be found on her website, www.melaniephillips.com.
9857  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: December 30, 2008, 12:42:12 AM
Year of Leg Thrills   
By L. Brent Bozell III
MediaResearch.org | Monday, December 29, 2008

Sean Hannity marks 2008 as the year journalism died. But it could just as easily be the year journalism felt a thrill going up its leg. That Chris Matthews announcement in February, that a Barack Obama speech caused him a mild ecstasy, represented the everyday “mainstream” media view. Reporters didn’t so much produce “news” during this election year as they tried to make a sale. Every story seemed to say “You know you want Obama.”     

Chris Matthews won the “Quote of the Year” for 2008 in the Media Research Center’s annual tally of the year’s worst reporting, or “The Best of Notable Quotables.” The only quote that came close to Matthews in summing up the year in liberal tilt was this bizarre post-election headline from the Reuters wire service: “Media bias largely unseen in U.S. presidential race.”
   
The “Obamagasm Award” went to Nancy Gibbs, Time’s senior writer in charge of obsequious fawning, for using her post-election cover story to compare Obama to Jesus Christ, only better: “Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope.”
   
A Kool-Aid-abstaining Obama critic might see in that line a reference to how Obama’s memoirs are a melange of biographical fact and self-serving literary invention, as authors from David Freddoso to Jerome Corsi have revealed. But no, Gibbs was celebrating the Obama victory as a massive crusade to save America: “He won because in a very dangerous moment in the life of a still young country, more people than ever spoken before came together to try to save it.”
   
Even anchormen couldn’t resist the urge to “save the country” by selling Obama. NBC’s Brian Williams won the “Let Us Fluff Your Pillow Award” for soft and cuddly interviews for trying to help Michelle Obama identify the worst Republican lie about her husband: “What of the attacks has busted through to you? What makes you angriest at John McCain, the Republicans? What’s being said about your husband that you want to shout from the mountain tops is not true?”
   
Do you remember Cindi McCain being asked claptrap like that?
   
Hillary Clinton was also lionized, most egregiously as she finally packed up her long-spoiled campaign in June. The day after the last primary, ABC’s Diane Sawyer won the “Media Hero Award” by conflating Hillary’s presidential campaign to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ: “This woman, as we said, forged into determination and purpose her whole life. As someone said, ‘No thorns, no throne; no gall, no glory; no cross, no crown.” (The quoted “someone” was William Penn, who wrote a book on Christianity and Quakerism in 1669 titled “No Cross, No Crown.”)
   
By contrast, liberal journalists loathed Gov. Sarah Palin from the moment she took the stage in Dayton as John McCain’s running mate. Chris Matthews won the “Half-Baked Alaska Award for Pummeling Palin” for insisting in October that comparing Palin to Hillary Clinton “is the comparison between an igloo and the Empire State Building!” 

Liberal reporters often assumed that anyone who criticized these sainted Democrats must be inventing things out of whole cloth. Deborah Solomon of The New York Times Magazine won the “Damn Those Conservatives Award” by trying to shame T. Boone Pickens for backing the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against John Kerry in 2004.

She asked if he regretted funding them, and when he responded “Why would I?,” Solomon shot back: “Because it’s such an ugly chapter in American political history.”

Boone protested: “Everything that went into those ads was the truth.” Solomon retorted: “Really? I thought it was all invented.” Thus proclaimeth a scribe for that bastion of objective news, The New York Times. 
   
But Solomon was no Bill Maher, who’s in his own category of viciousness. On his little HBO show in February, Maher earned the “Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh” by reveling in P.J. O’Rourke’s mockery of Rush Limbaugh’s old OxyContin addiction. Asked Maher: “Why couldn’t he have croaked from it instead of Heath Ledger?”

Maher’s HBO rants also won the “Barbara Streisand Political IQ Award for Celebrity Vapidity” when he railed against the Catholic Church as both “a child-abusing religious cult” and “the Bear Stearns of organized pedophilia.”
   
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann ran away with the “Madness of King George Award” for yelling at President Bush in May to “shut the hell up” and attacked him for “a final crash of self-indulgent nonsense.” (That would pretty much describe the entirety of Keith’s not-so-special comments during the Bush era.) Olbermann also insisted Bush was a “fascist” who was “urinating on the Constitution.”

Up until convention season was over, MSNBC thought this kind of commentary qualified Olbermann for “objective” anchorman duties sitting beside ecstatic Chris Matthews. That also sums up the media’s year in review.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center in Alexandria, Virginia, and is a syndicated columnist.
9858  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 29, 2008, 10:34:49 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=23053_MSNBC_Footage_of_Palestinian_9-11_Celebrations&only

A quick reminder of the savages' regard for us.

If they are looking for sympathy, they can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis.
9859  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 29, 2008, 10:21:04 PM
http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2008/12/woe-is-me-pity.html

"Death to all juice"!  cheesy
9860  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 29, 2008, 06:02:08 PM
September 21, 2001

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Hama Rules

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

 

   

In February 1982 the secular Syrian government of President Hafez al-Assad faced a mortal threat from Islamic extremists, who sought to topple the Assad regime. How did it respond? President Assad identified the rebellion as emanating from Syria's fourth-largest city — Hama — and he literally leveled it, pounding the fundamentalist neighborhoods with artillery for days. Once the guns fell silent, he plowed up the rubble and bulldozed it flat, into vast parking lots. Amnesty International estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 Syrians, mostly civilians, were killed in the merciless crackdown. Syria has not had a Muslim extremist problem since.

I visited Hama a few months after it was leveled. The regime actually wanted Syrians to go see it, to contemplate Hama's silence and to reflect on its meaning. I wrote afterward, "The whole town looked as though a tornado had swept back and forth over it for a week — but this was not the work of mother nature."

This was "Hama Rules" — the real rules of Middle East politics — and Hama Rules are no rules at all. I tell this story not to suggest this should be America's approach. We can't go around leveling cities. We need to be much more focused, selective and smart in uprooting the terrorists.

No, I tell this story because it's important that we understand that Syria, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have all faced Islamist threats and crushed them without mercy or Miranda rights. Part of the problem America now faces is actually the fallout from these crackdowns. Three things happened:

First, once the fundamentalists were crushed by the Arab states they fled to the last wild, uncontrolled places in the region — Lebanon's Bekaa Valley and Afghanistan — or to the freedom of America and Europe.

Second, some Arab regimes, most of which are corrupt dictatorships afraid of their own people, made a devil's pact with the fundamentalists. They allowed the Islamists' domestic supporters to continue raising money, ostensibly for Muslim welfare groups, and to funnel it to the Osama bin Ladens — on the condition that the Islamic extremists not attack these regimes. The Saudis in particular struck that bargain.

Third, these Arab regimes, feeling defensive about their Islamic crackdowns, allowed their own press and intellectuals total freedom to attack America and Israel, as a way of deflecting criticism from themselves.

As a result, a generation of Muslims and Arabs have been raised on such distorted views of America that despite the fact that America gives Egypt $2 billion a year, despite the fact that America fought for the freedom of Muslims in Kuwait, Bosnia and Kosovo, and despite the fact that Bill Clinton met with Yasir Arafat more than with any other foreign leader, America has been vilified as the biggest enemy of Islam. And that is one reason that many people in the Arab-Muslim world today have either applauded the attack on America or will tell you — with a straight face — that it was all a C.I.A.-Mossad plot to embarrass the Muslim world.

We need the moderate Arab states as our partners — but we don't need only their intelligence. We need them to be intelligent. I don't expect them to order their press to say nice things about America or Israel. They are entitled to their views on both, and both at times deserve criticism. But what they have never encouraged at all is for anyone to consistently present an alternative, positive view of America — even though they were sending their kids here to be educated. Anyone who did would be immediately branded a C.I.A. agent.

And while the Arab states have crushed their Islamic terrorists, they have never confronted them ideologically and delegitimized their behavior as un-Islamic. Arab and Muslim Americans are not part of this problem. But they could be an important part of the solution by engaging in the debate back in the Arab world, and presenting another vision of America.

So America's standing in the Arab-Muslim world is now very low — partly because we have not told our story well, partly because of policies we have adopted and partly because inept, barely legitimate Arab leaders have deliberately deflected domestic criticism of themselves onto us. The result: We must now fight a war against terrorists who are crazy and evil but who, it grieves me to say, reflect the mood in their home countries more than we might think.
9861  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 29, 2008, 05:56:23 PM
It's really bothersome to have rockets rain down on you day and night. If it were only during the day you could get some sleep at night or if only at night, you might get some work done during the day. But day and night is inadmissible. No wonder the IDF struck back.

I think that is why the world is objecting; no one questions the right of Israel to exact retribution, but it seems to be a disproportionate reaction.  If I read correctly, less than
5 Israeli's have been killed and/or injured, yet there are over 400 dead and hundreds of wounded Palestinians, many of them innocent women and children.
Not to mention supplies, first aid, etc. not getting through; is there any wonder why Israel is being condemned?



Do me a favor and find the protests from when Saddam was using WMD on the Kurds and Shiites, or when Syria destroyed Hama.

**Cricket sounds**
9862  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 29, 2008, 09:11:51 AM
http://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/190943.php

Here is some more "reporting" from IMEMC.  rolleyes
9863  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 29, 2008, 09:00:35 AM
http://www.imemc.org/about_us

About the International Middle East Media Center

IMEMC is a media center developed in collaboration between Palestinian and International journalists to provide independent media coverage of Israel-Palestine.
IMEMC was founded by the Palestinian Centre for Rapprochement between People in 2003. (www.pcr.ps)

Being a joint Palestinian-International effort, IMEMC combines Palestinian journalists' deep understanding of the context, history, and the socio-political environment with International journalists' skills in non-partisan reporting.

IMEMC provides fair and comprehensive coverage of events and developments in Israel-Palestine.

Recently, IMEMC Started to provide Spanish Language coverage as an attempt to outreach a wider readership. The Spanish edition of IMEMC is completly run by volunteers, from Barcelona, Palestine and other places.

IMEMC started to provide News in Arabic through the Palestine News Network (PNN) website, Click arabic.pnn.ps.

The cooperation between IMEMC & PNN, provides a more comprehensive coverage of the Palestine-Israel conflict..
IMEMC is a founding member of the network of United Radio and TV Stations (NUR Media) english.nurmedia.org

IMEMC provides coverage of news, political developments and daily incidents combined with feature stories, political analysis, interviews and selected opinion pieces.

IMEMC provides a daily news cast in English and Italian languages, which provides nearly five minutes featuring main incidents of the day.

In addition IMEMC produces a weekly audio summary of socio-political developments in Israel-Palestine to keep you updated.

IMEMC also provides field reports on main issues of interest to its targeted audience.

What you need to know to make the most of the IMEMC news website:

In the center of the IMEMC site, the most recent news articles, covering the main socio-political developments, are shown.

The 'latest news' section provides an up to the hour coverage of developments. The list is meant to update readers on incidents taking place in all West Bank and Gaza Strip areas. Information is mainly provided by IMEMC affiliates and collaborators in the field.

The human interest section presents stories which give a more personal side to the conflict.

Opinion/Analysis articles can be contributed to the site by any number of contributing writers, from both inside and outside Palestine. Including you!

As you open any article, a list of articles related to the topic presented is available in a sidebox. These are meant to provide readers of specific interests with a convenient and easy way to look at other developments related to a specific issue. You can also use the filters to view all articles of a certain type, area, or topic that particularly interests you.
9864  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: December 28, 2008, 10:16:10 PM
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/89690a7e-d36d-11dd-989e-000077b07658.html

New threats to online security
By Richard Waters in San Francisco
Published: December 26 2008 17:20 | Last updated: December 26 2008 17:20

Internet security has deteriorated markedly this year as a new generation of invasive computer attacks, often masterminded by criminal gangs, has reached a heightened level of sophistication, according to the latest studies of online threats.

“It’s getting worse year after year,” warned Pat Peterson, chief security researcher at Cisco Systems, who blamed the deterioration on the fact that computer “hacking” is quickly turning into big business. “Capitalism is working against us,” he said.

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Tech blog - Dec-26

Lex: Spam, spam, spam - Dec-26

Personal view online: the security debate - Oct-07

“It’s a step back after things had gotten better,” added John Pescatore, a security analyst at Gartner.

In particular, computer security experts warn that so-called botnets, or networks of “slave” PCs whose owners do not know their machines have been infected, have become both more prevalent and sophisticated.

By planting a piece of software on an unguarded PC, criminals are able to assemble large networks of machines to carry out tasks for them, such as launching attacks on other internet users.

PCs that are part of botnets, some of which span 1m or more machines, have become harder to identify and root out in recent months as the rogue software has burrowed deeper into the machines, said Paul Wood, a senior analyst at MessageLabs.

Botnets have also become more dangerous as their controllers have learnt how to repurpose the slave networks to carry out different tasks, Mr Peterson said. One network that was originally used to steal users’ passwords and send out spam was given an overhaul this year so that it could attack legitimate websites, according to Cisco.

A second big new threat that has become notable this year has been the commandeering of legitimate websites and e-mail accounts to spread malicious software. Rogue software is used to scrutinise public websites and “inject” code into those that are found vulnerable, so that later visitors to the sites can be infected.

The setback for internet security follows several years in which the biggest online threats were successfully held at bay or, in some cases, pushed back. The use of the internet to exploit vulnerabilities in millions of PCs first emerged as a significant threat in 2001, after an outbreak of fast-spreading computer viruses and worms.

Those threats were largely thwarted after a concerted effort by Microsoft and other software makers to plug flaws in their code, and after anti-virus software became more widely used. A subsequent wave of spyware that emerged in the middle of this decade was also pushed back.

However, the prospect of making large amounts of money by stealing sensitive information from millions of users, such as their passwords or financial data, has led to a new and more insidious outbreak of mass internet attacks.
9865  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: December 28, 2008, 06:58:39 PM
**I've already heard "National People's Radio" doing this.**

- Works and Days - http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson -

Life At New Animal Farm Won’t Be All That Bad
Posted By Victor Davis Hanson On December 27, 2008 @ 3:31 pm In Uncategorized | 18 Comments

By July, we will come to feel that 2009 will be one of the most upbeat years in our history, as what used to be the news media? begins to get behind America and report on all the mysteriously wonderful things that are suddenly taking place.

All the campaign talk of the Great Depression, a Vietnam-like war, and our shredded Constitution will now thankfully subside as the Obama administration assumes office and solves problems with conciliation, dialogue, and multilateral wisdom, rather than shrillness, unilateralism, preemption, and my-way-or-the-highway dogmatism. We will hear that by historical levels unemployment is still not that bad, that GDP growth is not historically all that low, and that deficits, inflation, interest rates, and housing starts are all within manageable parameters. “Depression” will transmogrify into “recession” which in turn by July will be a “downturn” and by year next an “upswing” on its way to boom times.

Indeed, almost supernaturally crises will be solved with the departure of the hated Bush: no more flooding streets from cracked water mains that were a result of a President’s neglect of infrastructure, and no more spontaneous crashes of Mississippi River bridges due to diversions of critical federal aid from cash-strapped states to Iraq. And when the temperatures rise or drop, the wind howls, the clouds burst forth or go away, the snow melts or piles up, it will be, well, nature that caused the havoc, not the current occupant of the White House who failed to sign Kyoto.

As we watch the innocent die from natural mayhem, it will be due to the breakdown of local responders who now suddenly kill people, not federal inaction—except perhaps for an occasional few Bush federal holdovers that have not yet been rooted out. Human nature, of course, now will be seen more culpable, more selfish, as in needlessly resisting wise and caring federal interventions, rather than being inherently noble but shunned by an uncaring Washington. Yes, when dikes collapse and planes collide on crowed run-ways, it will be due to a cruel and unpredictable nature, or intrinsic design flaws, or improper local use and maintenance, or the past President’s nefarious legacy, not current government policies. (But if you still must bash the government, it will be wise to do it in 1950s style of inattentive state and local officials, prone to regional and tribal prejudices, blocking the infinite wisdom of a caring federal government.)

Some military action abroad could be necessary—and necessarily reported on as measured and reluctant, rather than cowboyish and gratuitous. European whining will be a result of miscommunications or the Euros’ unfair caricatures of Americans, not Bush’s alienation of allies. If radical Islam strikes, it will be, well, radical again and sometimes even dangerous, not a figment of neocon pipe dreams. If an administration official quits, goes on 60 Minutes, and writes a nasty tell-all book about Obama’s insensitivity and his government’s directionless ennui, he will be a heretic, a whiner, a turncoat, not a truth teller or brave maverick who blew the whistle in need of a bestseller hyped from NPR to the New York Times. We will come again to hate the filibuster, obstructionist Congressional policies, and the occasional loud-mouthed Senator who voices slurs against our nation in unpatriotic fashion.

Those around Barack Obama understand that precisely those measures most derided during the campaign—wiretaps, the interrogation of prisoners in Guantanamo, the decimation of al Qaida members in Iraq and Afghanistan, overseas detentions—probably account likewise most for the absence of another 9/11-like attack. In other words, as the Obamians privately ignore the media hype about flushed Korans and hundreds of innocents caught in the cauldron of war and unfairly detained, and instead examine the sort of killers who are presently in Guantanamo, the type of intelligence gathering that led to prevention of dozens of planned attacks since 9/11, and those who turned up and were killed or arrested in Iraq and Afghanistan, they will realize how dicey it will be to follow through with campaign rhetoric about Bush, Inc. torching the Bill of Rights, fighting made-up enemies abroad, and generally alienating our allies.

So all that will change for now will be the sudden absence of shrill complaints that we live in an America without a Constitution. Static, same-old, same-old government policy will, of course, be said to have altered radically (”hoped and changed”), but it will also be refashioned in the media as “sober” and “judicious”, as the administration moves “in circumspect fashion” to probe and explore “complex” and often “paradoxical” matters of national security that “indeed at the end of the day have no easy answers”.

Expect much of the same on the economic front. For all the campaign hysteria about greedy Bushites who destroyed the economy, Obama realizes that in fact the seeds of the current financial weeds were sown years ago, and watered and fertilized by an array of both Democratic and Republican facilitators in Congress and hacks in government-affiliated mortgage sinecures. So expect the bailouts to continue. We will see Wall Street in about 24 hours after January 20 transmogrified from Gordon Gecko’s habitat into a sort of the old Robert Rubin/Warren Buffet-like necessary institution about which a Sen. Schumer or Chris Dodd can offer invaluable advice and consultation.

Socially, we will get a mix of Maya Angelou, Oprah, and Rick Warren, a rich diversity of therapeutics that appeals to everyone’s popular feel-my-pain tastes. Rev. Wrights and Father Plegers are “that was then, this is now” has-beens (not that they and their Blago-ilk with a memoir or wierd disclosure won’t try to crash the party from time to time), replaced by the bromides of the Purpose-Driven Life. The Left will once again see the U.S. as the last, best hope for mankind, a flawed, often errant nation that nevertheless in its heart always showed the world what was right in the end. “Diversity” and “progressive” themes will replace Bush’s hokey old-time patriotism, as we return to a more nuanced and sophisticated love of country that at last “came home.”

In other words, one can also at last enjoy that nice wood-floored study, tastefully granite-countered kitchen, with plenty of stainless steel appliances, in a mostly un-diverse neighborhood, still send your kids to a mostly predetermined racially-appropriate school, and still make a pretty good salary, drive a comfortably large car (though please—preferably a Volvo or Mercedes SUV rather than a Tahoe or Yukon), and feel like you are out there on the barricades of radical environmental, cultural, and political change (and hope too!).

Al Gore will be courted, get an occasional photo-op head-pat—but when he gets too loud quietly sent back upstairs to the closet. Ditto the uncouth Sharpton and Jackson, snapping pit bulls muzzled and dispatched to the kennels. Jimmy Carter will once again be wierd old jet-setting Jimmy Carter, a meddler, a spoiler, a PR junkie on the verge of senility rather than the principled Nobel laureate of the Carter Center.

Those inside the big house change, the commandments on the barn wall subtly are crossed out and updated, but the farm for us animals stays about the same.

______________

? I say used to be the news media, since when they report good news about the Divine Obama we have no idea whether it’s encomium or fact; and if they are ever slightly negative, we don’t know whether the complaint derives from His real error or merely that they are stung by past criticism and ostensibly trying to be periodically balanced. In short, the age of Murrow is over—and the divine era of Augustus with his Livy and Dio is upon us.

Article printed from Works and Days: http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson

URL to article: http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/life-at-new-animal-farm-won%e2%80%99t-be-all-that-bad/
9866  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 28, 2008, 06:46:35 PM
Ok, are we in agreement or not? I can't tell....   grin
9867  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 28, 2008, 09:43:02 AM
Israel needs to hammer the savages until they cry "uncle".
9868  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: India and India-Pak on: December 28, 2008, 09:41:01 AM
**I expect the jewish females hostages suffered very deliberately sadistic sexual assaults, including the use of foreign objects, as is standard jihadi procedure for the treatment of hostages.**

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/link/120684_Terrorists_sexually_Humiliated_guests_before_killing_them

Once again, proven correct.
9869  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: December 27, 2008, 07:16:07 PM
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123033898448336541.html#

There's No Pain-Free Cure for Recession
Belt-tightening is required by all, including government.

 
By PETER SCHIFF

As recession fears cause the nation to embrace greater state control of the economy and unimaginable federal deficits, one searches in vain for debate worthy of the moment. Where there should be an historic clash of ideas, there is only blind resignation and an amorphous queasiness that we are simply sweeping the slouching beast under the rug.

With faith in the free markets now taking a back seat to fear and expediency, nearly the entire political spectrum agrees that the federal government must spend whatever amount is necessary to stabilize the housing market, bail out financial firms, liquefy the credit markets, create jobs and make the recession as shallow and brief as possible. The few who maintain free-market views have been largely marginalized.

Taking the theories of economist John Maynard Keynes as gospel, our most highly respected contemporary economists imagine a complex world in which economics at the personal, corporate and municipal levels are governed by laws far different from those in effect at the national level.

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Individuals, companies or cities with heavy debt and shrinking revenues instinctively know that they must reduce spending, tighten their belts, pay down debt and live within their means. But it is axiomatic in Keynesianism that national governments can create and sustain economic activity by injecting printed money into the financial system. In their view, absent the stimuli of the New Deal and World War II, the Depression would never have ended.

On a gut level, we have a hard time with this concept. There is a vague sense of smoke and mirrors, of something being magically created out of nothing. But economics, we are told, is complicated.

It would be irresponsible in the extreme for an individual to forestall a personal recession by taking out newer, bigger loans when the old loans can't be repaid. However, this is precisely what we are planning on a national level.

I believe these ideas hold sway largely because they promise happy, pain-free solutions. They are the economic equivalent of miracle weight-loss programs that require no dieting or exercise. The theories permit economists to claim mystic wisdom, governments to pretend that they have the power to dispel hardship with the whir of a printing press, and voters to believe that they can have recovery without sacrifice.

As a follower of the Austrian School of economics I believe that market forces apply equally to people and nations. The problems we face collectively are no different from those we face individually. Belt tightening is required by all, including government.

Governments cannot create but merely redirect. When the government spends, the money has to come from somewhere. If the government doesn't have a surplus, then it must come from taxes. If taxes don't go up, then it must come from increased borrowing. If lenders won't lend, then it must come from the printing press, which is where all these bailouts are headed. But each additional dollar printed diminishes the value those already in circulation. Something cannot be effortlessly created from nothing.

Similarly, any jobs or other economic activity created by public-sector expansion merely comes at the expense of jobs lost in the private sector. And if the government chooses to save inefficient jobs in select private industries, more efficient jobs will be lost in others. As more factors of production come under government control, the more inefficient our entire economy becomes. Inefficiency lowers productivity, stifles competitiveness and lowers living standards.

If we look at government market interventions through this pragmatic lens, what can we expect from the coming avalanche of federal activism?

By borrowing more than it can ever pay back, the government will guarantee higher inflation for years to come, thereby diminishing the value of all that Americans have saved and acquired. For now the inflationary tide is being held back by the countervailing pressures of bursting asset bubbles in real estate and stocks, forced liquidations in commodities, and troubled retailers slashing prices to unload excess inventory. But when the dust settles, trillions of new dollars will remain, chasing a diminished supply of goods. We will be left with 1970s-style stagflation, only with a much sharper contraction and significantly higher inflation.

The good news is that economics is not all that complicated. The bad news is that our economy is broken and there is nothing the government can do to fix it. However, the free market does have a cure: it's called a recession, and it's not fun, easy or quick. But if we put our faith in the power of government to make the pain go away, we will live with the consequences for generations.

Mr. Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of "The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets" (Wiley, 2008).
9870  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Islamic Countries: on: December 23, 2008, 08:45:54 PM
I think anyone with a basic sense of right and wrong can see how horrific sharia law is to live under.
9871  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Happy Holidays, whatever your version on: December 23, 2008, 05:17:50 PM
What Miguel said....  grin
9872  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: December 23, 2008, 05:07:42 PM
Anyone know if Al Gore's private jet was unable to fly due to snow and ice conditions ?
9873  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: December 22, 2008, 03:14:19 AM
On the point of values and California:

More than most, California faces serious threats from natural disasters, especially "the big one". In the case of "the big one" happening, it will be weeks before you see a in depth response from police/fire/ems/nat'l guard. So, do the survivors just ignore the screams from the trapped and injured?
9874  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: December 21, 2008, 04:23:46 PM
http://www.danzfamily.com/archives/2005/02/sgt_rafael_pera.php

"be proud of me, bro...and be proud of being an American."
9875  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: December 20, 2008, 08:45:35 AM
As a side note, in the post "Knife Fight in my Apartment"" the guy put the individual in a crude choke hold"; it worked.
And he stopped the fight.

But what happened if he didn't do it right and the guy died?  Or was permanently injured.  The "good samaritan is liable
for all he's got... and then some.  And maybe should be...?  Choke holds are tricky.  LAPD stopped doing it
due to "problems"; and the City paid out millions.

**Someone using a knife on others is deadly force. I'd be justified in shooting someone to stop them from attacking others with a knife. Using a restraint hold would be lesser force than shooting the attacker, given that you don't crush the windpipe or induce brain damage. Even if you do, depending on state statute, it's probably quite justifiable, under most circumstances.**
9876  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: December 20, 2008, 08:40:53 AM
I understand; back to your anyone can sue anyone comment.

But rarely is a peace officer personally liable except in truly extreme egregious circumstances.
Going back to the issue of liability, a peace officer could accidental kill an innocent
bystander in a shootout; of course sad, but still within the scope of his/her duties.
The city/governmental agency might end up paying, but not the police officer.
In contrast, at least under CA law, the non peace officer would not have the "protection" of acting within the scope
of their duties.  Therefore, personal liability...  house and savings gone...
Better to stay out of it...?

**As I've said before, this is an individual decision everyone must make. You face criminal and civil liability for stepping in to defend others. You might be injured or killed in the confrontation as well. I know what I'll do, you have to decide your own rules of engagement.**
9877  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: December 19, 2008, 10:41:25 PM
People can still sue a peace officer as an individual. The peace offivcer then has to demonstrate the he/she should be covered by qualified immunity as he/she was acting within the scope of his/her duties.
9878  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: December 19, 2008, 10:02:26 PM
Anyone can be sued anytime, for anything. As a peace officer or citizen, you face potential liability for anything and everything. Aside from not really having any assets, there isn't much you can do to avoid getting sued. Keeping that in mind, I do what I think is right and let the chips fall where they may.
9879  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: December 19, 2008, 08:49:46 PM
America's New Foreign Legions
The U.S. should grant citizenship to foreigners who serve in the military.
by Stuart Koehl
12/17/2008 12:00:00 AM


Max Boot was very happy to report that the Department of Defense is at long last going to allow the military to recruit foreigners to fill "critical need" positions such as translators and cultural affairs specialists. He notes that

Under a pilot program the armed forces will be authorized over the next 12 months to recruit 1,000 individuals who do not currently have American citizenship or permanent resident status.

Boot is gung-ho for the proposal, because

I believe that there are?lots of high-quality recruits around the world who would gladly serve in?return for expedited citizenship. They would bring with them the kind of?linguistic and cultural know-how which is lacking in our forces today but?is a vital prerequisite for success on battlefields such as Afghanistan and?Iraq. Even those who do not necessarily speak a "strategic" language could?be a valuable asset, as so many immigrant soldiers were in our past wars.
If anything, Boot believes that the program is too small, too limited--too timid:

It is limited to a tiny number of foreigners who speak one of?three dozen "critical" languages (ranging from Albanian to Yoruba) and have lived in the U.S. legally for two years or more on certain types of visas.?One third of the total must be medical professionals because of a current?shortfall of doctors and nurses. That's all fine and good, but it slights?the needs of the U.S. Special Operations Command, which is eager to recruit more foreigners as was previously done under the Lodge Act in the 1950's. And it slights needs of the regular army which could use more high-quality recruits, even if enlistments are increasing in these trying economic times.

He observes that

The program was kept deliberately small so as to avoid a nativist backlash.?Assuming that there is no groundswell of opposition--and who would be?churlish enough to protest people volunteering to put their lives on the?line to defend America?--let us hope that this initiative will expand in the?future.

I entirely agree. We should go well beyond this very limited program, and offer full citizenship to any foreigner willing to enlist in our armed forces for a period of no less than six years, who successfully completes such service, and earns an honorable discharge. We could begin by extending that invitation to the foreigners who already reside within our borders illegally.

Boot may, however, have underestimated the extent of opposition to such an idea. Already several distinct arguments have been put forward against it in response to Boot's original article. The most common is a variation on this theme:

If memory serves me right, the Romans tried this when native Italians no longer wanted to fight Rome's wars, and they recruited troops from among the Teutonic barbarians, and we all know how well that turned out. A bad idea.

Well, if there is one thing everybody "knows" about the fall of the Roman Empire, it's that the use of barbarian mercenaries undermined the army and left Rome ripe for conquest. But, as is frequently the case with such matters, "everybody" is wrong.

Going back to the days of the Republic, the Roman army consisted of the Legions and "Auxiliary" cohorts". The Legions were heavy infantry formations composed entirely of Roman citizens. But the Auxiliaries were non-citizens, either provincials or specialists recruited from places outside the Empire. Mostly they were light infantry and cavalry, often recruited by tribal chieftains or client kings in lieu of taxes. They had a twenty-five year term of service, at the end of which the Auxiliaries would receive Roman citizenship, which also extended to their children. Because the social, legal and economic benefits of citizenship were so substantial (not unlike the benefits of American citizenship today), the Auxiliaries had every incentive to serve honorably and complete their service. And the vast majority did so.

Caesar Augustus maintained a standing army of twenty-eight legions (before the disaster of the Teutoburgerwald in AD 9 in which three were wiped out). At a nominal 6000 men per legion, this amounted to 168,000 men. But at the same time, Rome had at least that number of Auxiliaries on its rolls. Without the Auxiliaries, the Roman army would have been seriously unbalanced. Where would it have been without its Balaeric slingers, or Germanic and Mauritanean cavalry or Celitberian light infantry? Those who say that the Roman Empire fell because its army recruited "barbarians" are not thinking of the classic auxiliary system, but rather the late Empire of the fifth and sixth centuries, when, strapped for manpower, the Roman army abandoned its longstanding force structure of Legions and Auxiliaries, and began recruiting foreigners under contract as "foederati". These men were mercenaries, pure and simple, serving under their native officers, to whom they owed their allegiance, while Rome merely provided the gold that kept them under the colors. When Rome could not pay--or when someone else could pay more--then of course their loyalty proved dubious.

Yet even then, there were foederati who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Palatini and other Roman regulars in battles against the barbarians. And let us not forget that such foederati were very much a part of the army of the Eastern Roman Empire, which, morphing into the Byzantine Empire in the 7th century, endured for 1000 years after the last Emperor in Rome was deposed. If, through the recruitment of foreigners to fight in the ranks of our military, the United States lasts half as long, it would be a very good deal indeed.

Those opposed to enlisting foreigners in the U.S. military are also rather ignorant of their own history. During the Civil War, the Union sent recruiting agents to Ireland, offering (sometimes under fraudulent terms) passage to the United States and citizenship in return for service in the Union Army. There were literally tens of thousands of such Irish immigrants in the Northern ranks, and their role became ever more important in the last year of the war, when casualties made recruiting native-born soldiers very difficult indeed.

The second largest group of immigrants in the Union Army were the Germans, who formed the backbone of many regiments from "Germania"--that swath of territory that included New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois. So important were the German immigrants--especially in the first two years of the war--that Lincoln had to extend general officer commissions to the political leaders of the German community, such as Carl Schurz and Franz Sigel. They fought pretty well, considering that many could barely speak English and that they were cordially loathed and despised by the "real" Americans. Between the Irish and the Germans, it's not a stretch to say that immigrants won the Civil War for the Union.

Let us also not forget that the despised Regular Army that policed the frontiers after the Civil War was manned very largely by immigrants. Since the general attitude of the time was that soldiering was an occupation suitable only for criminals and misfits, where else was the Army going to get its recruits but from those men just off the boat with few if any prospects?

Finally, if we look back to the American Revolution, it is rather hard to see how we could have gained our independence without the assistance of foreign born volunteers such as Frederich Steuben, Thaddeus Kosciusko, Johan Kalb and Kasimir Pulaski, as well as the much better known Marquis de Lafayette.

Rather than looking down on foreigners who would freely serve in our military, we should welcome and honor such men and women. Unlike many native-born Americans, they will have demonstrated their dedication to and love for this country by putting their lives on the line to defend it. We should have no doubts as to where their loyalty lies, and reward such devotion with the inestimable honor of United States citizenship. This is an idea whose time is long past due. This pilot program can be the foundation of something much greater. Let us hope it is not too little and too late.

Stuart Koehl is a frequent contributor to THE WEEKLY STANDARD Online.
9880  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Citizens defend themselves/others. on: December 19, 2008, 07:42:56 PM
http://www.kfsm.com/global/story.asp?s=9541680&ClientType=Printable

Reported by Jared Broyles
Concealed carry permit comes in handy for woman in Fort Smith
Posted: Dec 17, 2008 05:45 PM
Updated: Dec 17, 2008 10:36 PM

FORT SMITH - She's a woman who knows how to protect herself as two men who tried to rob her found out. What they didn't know was the woman is licensed to carry a concealed weapon...and yes, she was packing heat.

"A lady was flagged over Sunday evening about 6 p.m. on the interstate between Kelley Highway and the Arkansas river bridge." Lt. Steve Coppinger with State Police says that two men in a car signaled that the woman was getting a flat tire.

"When she pulled over to check her tires one of those person in that other car got out and attempted to rob her at knife point."

But what the thief didn't expect happened next. Coppinger says the female driver pulled out her handgun.

"She pointed that at her attacker and he backed away, got in the car and they fled."

Investigators say the would-have-been victim was able to turn the tables because she had a concealed carry permit. State police are keeping some details of the investigation close to their vest so they will know when they get the right guys. Right now, officials are saying they believe this to be an isolated incident.

As for advice, Lt. Coppinger says to always pull over in a well-lighted public area. And if you are pulled over by someone you don't know, don't get out of the car. Use your cell phone to call 911 and ask for assistance.

Investigators for the Arkansas State Police are trying to track down the alleged suspects and what's been described as a black Toyota Camry with Oklahoma plates. If you have any information that could be helpful to their investigation, please call Troop H in Fort Smith.
9881  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: December 18, 2008, 08:47:26 PM
http://www.1adsi.com/Pics.htm

Slalom 36-42 Mph

The Slalom drill allows the student to learn and practice many skills however the most important of these lessons would be to experience the lateral forces acting on the car. By forcing the student to keep there speed stable we are isolating the steering wheel. As the speed increases more and more steering input needs to be used. When the student becomes comfortable and proficient with controlling the forces produced by a certain speed the instructor will increase the speed by just two miles an hour. This does not feel like much of an increase, but remember small increases of speed act greatly on forces applied to the vehicle. This rule is especially true when reaching the vehicle's maximum limitations. A proficient driver who understands vehicle dynamics will be able to use a higher percentage of the vehicles capabilities.

This does not imply higher speeds, since potential accidents need to be avoided at all speeds. Notice the top speed in our slalom videos only reaches 40 MPH. 42 MPH. is impossible for even the best driver in the world. Successfully completing our 60-foot slalom with a police package Crown Vic. would be an act that defies the laws of physics.

As you look at the following video pics take notice to the small speed increases and the dramatic differences in the forces acting on the car. (All speeds and reactions based on maximum limit .85G 's Police Package Crown Vic) At 36 MPH you will hear a slide tire squeal and see moderate lateral weight transfer. At 38 MPH that tire squeal will become much more apparent as the added force causes the tires to begin to lose adhesion. At 40 MPH the vehicle will actually be on the edge of control. As the vehicle starts to lose control (sliding sideways) an aggressive and fast reacting driver will be able to regain control. At 42 MPH it is not possible to for the best driver in the world to negotiate the 60' slalom in our .85 G Crown Vics.
9882  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: December 18, 2008, 08:32:26 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/12/18/rapist-surprised-to-find-victim-is-ardent-second-amendment-supporter/

Too bad she didn't shoot him the first time.
9883  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: December 18, 2008, 08:26:56 PM
http://www.virginiasafetycouncil.com/Stopping.htm

Good data on speed vs. braking distance here.
9884  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: December 18, 2008, 08:19:39 PM
http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/pdf/nrd-30/NCSA/TSF2005/SpeedingTSF05.pdf
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http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/driving/articles/43810/article.html

Driving Tips

Keep Your (Braking) Distance: More Than Just Slowing Down
By Scott Memmer and Joanne Helperin
Email
Date Posted 11-23-2000

Although we at Edmunds.com spend a lot of time writing about rpm, torque, 0-to-60-mph acceleration, etc., nothing is more important than your car's ability to stop itself. Knowing something about braking distances (how much ground a vehicle covers before it can fully stop) can make for safer and more enjoyable driving.

Let's start with the basics. A vehicle traveling at 60 mph covers 88 feet per second. But stopping that vehicle takes over 4.5 seconds and covers a distance of 271 feet. Why? Because there's more involved in braking than the actual time your brakes are applied to the wheels (called "effective braking"). In particular, "perception time" and "reaction time" add considerable distance to stopping your car.

Perception time is the three-quarters of a second it takes for you to realize that you need to brake. Reaction time is the three-quarters of a second it takes to move your foot to the brake pedal. When you combine perception and reaction time, a full 132 feet will pass before your car even begins to slow down from 60 mph. So from the time you perceive a braking situation until the time your car comes to a complete stop, a total of 4.6 seconds elapses. During that time your car travels — it bears repeating — a total of more than 270 feet. That's almost the length of a football field. Of course, the faster you go, the more time and distance it takes to stop.

There are other factors as well, such as road conditions. When weather is bad, your braking distance grows exponentially. On wet pavement, total braking time increases from 4.6 seconds to 6.1 seconds, and total braking distance shoots up from 271 feet to 333 feet. And it gets worse. In snowy conditions, even with snow tires, total stopping time jumps to 10.6 seconds and 533 feet. As a basis of comparison, this is roughly the same distance — actually, a little further — as the same vehicle coming to a complete stop from 90 mph on dry pavement, an effective doubling of the braking distance. Let us repeat that: a 100-percent increase.

So what do we do with all these numbers? There's nothing we can do about the weather or about road surfaces, but we can do something about the way we drive. Arming ourselves with knowledge can prevent the loss of property and human life.

First, if you drive a truck or SUV, be especially cognizant of your speed in bad weather. Sitting higher off the road than everyone else only means you'll have a better view of the passing countryside as you slam sideways into a snowbank.

Second, remember this law: That which makes you go won't make you stop. If you drive a four-wheeler, you're not immune to the laws of physics, in fact you're a bit more susceptible (if for no other reason than your overconfidence). Whether you drive an Escort or an Excursion, it doesn't matter. In fact, the heavier weight of a truck or SUV means it will take much longer to come to a stop, given its greater momentum. Repeat: four-wheel drive does not help you stop. We're tired of seeing you folks spun around on the side of the road facing the wrong way. Slow down before you hurt somebody.

Third, remember to keep a "space cushion" around your vehicle at all times — ahead, to the sides and behind your car. This can be difficult to accomplish, especially in heavy traffic where everyone is darting in and out. How close is too close when it comes to following the car ahead of you? There's a handy "3-second rule." When the vehicle ahead of you passes a certain point, such as a sign, count "one-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three." This takes about 3 seconds. If you pass that certain point before you finish counting, you are following too closely. We suggest a 4-second (or more) cushion in inclement weather.

Fourth, the tires you choose and their condition are another important, yet often overlooked, factor. See our articles, "Tire Safety: Don't Ignore the Rubber on the Road" and "Tires: Traffic Safety Tips" for all the details on tire selection and maintenance.

There are a few other factors that affect braking distances. As stated before, the heavier your vehicle is, the longer it will take to stop. Bear that in mind when you shop for a car or when you load it up. Also, the looser the road surface (gravel, dirt, mud), the harder it is to stop.

Finally, we strongly recommend that buyers choose a car equipped with antilock brakes (ABS), which, with few exceptions, help decrease braking distances on any road surface and in any weather. Whenever a driver slams on the brakes (and it's happened to everyone), the tires have the potential to lock up, sending you skidding. In a skid, tires have little traction, you lose steering control and braking distance is greatly increased. Antilock braking systems are designed to prevent tire lockup by automatically and rapidly "pumping" the brakes, potentially decreasing braking distances in extreme situations.

Of course, in order to get the most out of ABS in emergency braking situations, you have to know how to use it. And really, it couldn't be easier; you just stomp on the pedal. Some drivers are inclined to ease up on the brake pedal when they feel the vibration (and hear the noise) of the ABS doing its work, but it's important to maintain constant, controlled pressure. Aware that people often don't supply enough braking pressure, many manufacturers now supplement their antilock systems with "brake assist," which senses panic braking situations and automatically provides full power braking to shorten the stopping distance.

Many new cars come with antilock brakes as standard equipment, but you must often purchase them as an option on low- to moderately priced cars. And on some models, you may have to step up to a higher trim level to get ABS. Regardless, antilock brakes are a worthwhile feature and we highly recommend that you spend the extra money to get them.

What about disc brakes? Do they make a difference? Today we usually find four-wheel-disc brakes as standard equipment on most midpriced coupes, sedans, wagons and SUVs. Many economy vehicles and pickup trucks, however, continue to utilize a front-disc/rear-drum brake setup, which in most cases provides adequate performance for the general consumer. Nevertheless, vehicles with four-wheel discs usually deliver shorter stopping distances and are less susceptible to fade (loss of braking performance due to heat).

Whether you're reacting to sudden slowdowns on the highway or to a child darting into the street, nothing is more important than safe, well-maintained brakes (and the tires that work with them). Have them inspected according to the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual, and don't wait to have them checked out if you notice a pedal vibration or excessive noise when braking. That squeal you hear is probably telling you something — something that would be cheaper to fix now rather than later.

Additionally, being aware of all the variables — your proximity to other vehicles, weather conditions, road surface — will help you judge proper speed and give you time to react to whatever comes your way.
9885  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Accident Causes on: December 18, 2008, 03:36:57 PM
I couldn't come up with a better topic to publish this under, so point me toward one if you know of it. As that may be, seems we are always being told that reducing the speed limit will reduce accident, though this recent study shows only about 5% of accidents are speed related. As an admitted speeder, albeit one who signals lane changes, keeps to the right lane except to pass, who doesn't tailgate or or drive aggressively, etc. and who drives a lot, my experience is that the folks who are most dangerous are the ones who are distracted and ego-driven. This report confirms the distracted element, though it appears the methodology doesn't allow for ego issues to be derived. One hopes policy makers will heed the findings rather than reflexively lowering speed limits.

**Speed may not be the cause, but the greater the speed, the greater the damage and potential for injury/death that results from the accident. The greater the speed, the less likely you are to avoid a collision with another vehicle or person.**
9886  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Environmental issues on: December 18, 2008, 02:48:08 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/12/18/global-warming-hits-las-vegas/

Viva Las Snow drifts!
9887  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Waiting for the murders and riots..... on: December 17, 2008, 10:02:12 PM
Where are my hordes of violent christians? Where are the death threats? Why the "riot gap"?
9888  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Dr. Jessica Fridrich on: December 17, 2008, 09:43:27 PM
http://www.city-journal.org/html/15_2_boys_girls.html

Can We Make Boys and Girls Alike?
Stanley Kurtz   

When Lawrence Summers suggested that biology might be partially responsible for the relative rarity of female mathematics professors, he was provoking an academic giant. Powerful as the president of Harvard may be, his influence is as nothing compared with that of the behemoth that is the women’s studies movement. The field of women’s studies originated in the heady sixties and grew exponentially through the seventies and eighties. By the mid-nineties, when Daphne Patai and Noretta Koertge published Professing Feminism, their searing critique of the field, more than 600 undergraduate and several dozen graduate women’s studies programs were up and running at colleges and universities across the country.

The intellectual cornerstone of women’s studies is “gender,” the notion that differences between men and women are not rooted in biology, as Summers had hypothesized some might be, but are cultural artifacts, inculcated by an oppressive patriarchal society. Precisely because the gender idea builds a specific (radical) political orientation into the field, Patai and Koertge point out, women’s studies proved intellectually suspect from the start. You can read that radical politics right in the National Women’s Studies Association constitution: “Women’s Studies . . . is equipping women to transform the world to one that will be free of all oppression . . . [and is] a force which furthers the realization of feminist aims.” True justice for these radical feminists means overcoming gender and establishing an androgynous society. So when Summers asserted that something besides artificial cultural roles—something besides “gender”—might account for the distinct positions of men and women in society, he was undermining the intellectual and political foundation of the entire women’s studies establishment.

The alternatives to feminist orthodoxy don’t end with Summers-style invocations of biology as destiny. Take psychiatrist Leonard Sax’s new book, Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know About the Emerging Science of Sex Differences, for example. Sax begins by arguing that variations in how boys and girls learn result from brain biology. But, unlike many believers in hardwired sex differences, he goes on to argue that we can triumph over biology through single-sex education. If we teach boys and girls separately and in sync with their biologically based learning styles, he claims, they will perform equally well in all academics, including math.

There’s also a fourth possible view on the relations between sex and success—one that no one has systematically articulated to date. If those who assert biological differences between the sexes disagree about whether we can overcome them, the same might apply to those who assert the power of cultural differences. Even if we do provisionally hold that virtually all differences between men and women are cultural, might it not also be true that those differences are impossible to overcome? If so, it wouldn’t be “gender” but the feminist effort to eliminate it that is truly oppressive. This fourth view suggests that the very same cultural forces that make feminists desire androgyny may actually prevent us from achieving it. The cultural sources of “gender” difference, properly understood, would then inform us not that our gender identities are infinitely malleable but that they’re effectively impossible to change.

Sociologists have thought long and hard about the cultural “reproduction of society”—the transmission of deeply held cultural attitudes across the generations. Some social thinkers focus on the conscious transmission of cultural messages through religion and custom, while others highlight the influence of deeper social structures, such as economic organization or family forms. The most sophisticated feminist theories of gender—those that offer the most plausible alternatives to biological explanations—take the latter view. To explain the reproduction of gender differences, they zero in on family structure, especially during the first months and years of life, to a time when the way we care for children is far more important than the words we speak.

A case in point is the work of psychoanalytic sociologist Nancy Chodorow, a women’s studies pioneer who gives flesh to a radically “cultural constructivist” idea of gender. Nearly every feminist plan for engineering a new, androgynous society—from the “egalitarian feminism” of political theorist Susan Okin to the “difference feminism” of developmental psychologist Carol Gilligan—offers a variation on Chodorow’s themes, so it’s worth considering them closely.

Chodorow hypothesizes that the differences between the sexes simply derive from the contingent circumstance that women happen to be the primary caretakers of children. The special, “feminine” empathy required for rearing children, she suggests, becomes indelibly associated in our minds with people who just physically happen to be female. Identifying with their daughters, moreover, mothers tend to stay tightly connected with them for years, drawing them into a circle of mutual dependence and empathy that is the essence of femininity. So it’s not television ads or Barbie dolls that turn little girls into caring women, who themselves want to be mothers. It’s the emotional closeness of mothers and daughters that perpetuates the conventional female sexual role for generation after generation.

Boys learn their gender lessons early, too, Chodorow maintains. Since traditional mothers assume that boys are different from girls, early on they tend to encourage their sons to be independent. As mothers begin to push their sons out of the warm circle of empathy, boys get the message that people with Daddy’s kind of body should act differently from the way Mommy acts. If they want to be men, boys learn, they’ve got to overcome the qualities of emotional empathy of people like Mom. Masculinity thus finds its ground in a rejection of “feminine” qualities.

If we could just break the association between gender and child care, thinks Chodorow—if men as well as women could “mother” children—then we might vanquish gender. Men and women would still have a few distinct body parts, of course, but “masculine” and “feminine” personality differences would no longer have anything to do with bodily equipment. No one would assume that only people with a certain kind of body should be caring and empathic. The speed with which a child became independent would no longer depend on whether it was male or female. A new era would dawn.

Yet even if this understanding of gender as learned behavior is right, androgyny proponents quickly run into a problem. As Chodorow herself underscores, mothering by women produces women who themselves want to be mothers. The mechanism at work may be social and psychological, rather than biological, but it’s no less real for that. How, then, do you get women to mother less and men to mother more, especially when, according to Chodorow, everything in a typical male’s early rearing makes him wrong for the job?

Plato faced this dilemma when he drew up history’s first great plan for a perfectly just society in the Republic—a society that required, among other things, androgyny. His solution: send the members of the old, imperfect city into exile, so that the new, just city could be built from scratch. Otherwise, their recalcitrant mental habits would sabotage the creation of the new order. The fact is, attempts to force a society out of its most deeply held cultural values can be every bit as tyrannical as schemes to override our biological nature.

But what if a society actually existed—not just a theoretical utopia—whose inhabitants yearned for androgyny? What if a society existed whose citizens, motivated by a burning passion for perfect justice, committed themselves to a total reorganization of the traditional family system, with the express purpose of eliminating gender? Such a society has existed, of course: the early Israeli kibbutz movement. The movement wasn’t just a precursor to modern feminism, it’s important to add. The kibbutzniks were utopian socialists who wanted to construct a society where the ideal of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” would govern the production and distribution of goods. It was as part of this larger socialist vision that the kibbutzniks set out to wipe away gender.

Kibbutz parents agreed to see their own children only two hours a day, and for the remaining 22 hours to surrender them to the collective, which would raise them androgynously (trying more to “masculinize” women than “feminize” men). Boys and girls would henceforth do the same kind of work and wear the same kind of clothes. Girls would learn to be soldiers, just like boys. Signs of “bourgeois” femininity—makeup, say—would now be taboo. As if they had stepped out of Plato’s Republic, the children would dress and undress together and even use the same showers.

The experiment collapsed within a generation, and a traditional family and gender system reasserted itself. Why? Those who believe in hardwired natural differences obviously would say that cultural conditioning couldn’t remove the sexes’ genetic programming. Indeed, in his now-infamous conference remarks, Lawrence Summers invoked the history of the kibbutz movement to help make his case that biology might partially explain sex roles.

Feminists, though, say that the kibbutz experiment didn’t get a fair chance. However committed to gender justice the kibbutzniks might have been, they were all traditional Europeans by upbringing. Somehow they must have transmitted the old cultural messages about gender to the children. Perhaps, too, those messages came from the larger Israeli society, from which it was impossible to shelter the boys and girls entirely. What’s more—and Chodorow would doubtless emphasize this fact—the kibbutz child-care nurses were all women. A 50/50 male-female mix might have done the trick.

Yet American androgyny proponents rarely refer to the kibbutz experiment—for understandable reasons. Its failure—even if you accept their own cultural explanation for it—puts a serious damper on the idea of androgynizing America. In the U.S., after all, there’s nothing remotely approaching the level of commitment to surmounting gender found among the early kibbutzniks. If androgyny proved unattainable in a small socialist society whose citizens self-selected for radical feminist convictions, how could one bring it about in contemporary America, where most people don’t want it? It would take a massive amount of coercion—unacceptable in any democracy—to get us even to the point where the kibbutzniks were when they failed to build a post-gender society.

The best account of the experiment’s breakdown, offered by anthropologist Melford Spiro in his books Gender and Culture and Children of the Kibbutz, points out an even bigger obstacle to androgyny. Ultimately, Spiro argues, the kibbutzniks didn’t succeed because the mothers wanted their kids back. They wanted to take care of their young children in the old-fashioned way, themselves. Two hours a day with their kids wasn’t enough. Even among the kibbutz founders, Spiro notes, women often agonized over the sacrifice of maternal pleasure that their egalitarian ideology demanded. He quotes from one mother’s autobiography: “Is it right to make the child return for the night to the children’s home, to say goodnight to it and send it back to sleep among the fifteen or twenty others? This parting from the child before sleep is so unjust!” Such feelings persisted and intensified, until collective pressure forced the kibbutz to let parents spend extra time with their kids.

Spiro holds that a pre-cultural form of maternal instinct subverted the kibbutz’s child-rearing approach. But a plausible cultural explanation is even more devastating to feminist hopes for a gender-free America. What really defeated androgyny on the kibbutz, this interpretation posits, was the profound tension built in to the very culture of modern democratic individualism that the kibbutzniks embraced—the tension between liberty and equality. As part of their insistence on their unique individuality, the kibbutzniks recognized the unabridgeable unique individuality of everyone else. Hence, their insistence on radical equality. Full equality meant that everyone had to treat everyone else the same way. Even the differences between my children and the neighbors’ kids would have to go. They pretended that their children belonged to the collective—“child of the kibbutz,” they would say, not “my child.”

But the other side of democratic individualism is the idea that each of us is uniquely individual. And inseparable from this individualism are certain aspirations—to express yourself personally, and to treat yourself, your possessions, and your family differently from how you treat everyone else. Child rearing doesn’t escape these aspirations. In fact, in modern societies people pay far greater attention to the unique characters of their children than people do in traditional, group-oriented societies. Lavishing intense, personal attention on their kids is a favorite way for modern individuals to exercise personal liberty.

Kibbutz mothers who hoped to treat everyone the same thus also wanted to express their individual characters by molding their own kids. The two goals—reflecting the two sides of modern democratic individualism—were finally incommensurable. Eventually, the desire for personal expression trumped the quest for radical equality. The parents decided to raise their own kids in their own way. No one ever got the chance to find out if further tinkering might have eliminated their children’s gender differences.

The culture of democratic individualism characterizes contemporary America, too, of course, and it still cuts two ways. Feminists insist on radical equality, and androgyny is the logical outcome of that drive for equality. Yet at the same time, especially since the baby boomers came on the scene, many American women have treated the experience of motherhood as an exercise in self-expression—indeed, they do so more fervently than the kibbutzniks.

A modern, self-expressive, committed-to-full-equality American mother might know that her child is getting quality care from a relative, a nanny, or a nursery, but she’ll often feel dissatisfied, since the care isn’t hers. Part of the point of being a parent, she’ll feel, is to express one’s unique personality through how one cares for and shapes one’s children. In practical terms, she’ll be reluctant to give up her kids long enough to break the cycle of “gender reproduction.”

True, the last 40 years have seen tremendous changes in the social roles of men and women—changes that could never have happened were there not significant flexibility in gender roles. From the standpoint of feminism’s ideal of androgyny, though, the shift is still very partial. Until the link between women and child rearing completely breaks down, neither corporate boardrooms nor Harvard professorships of mathematics will see numerical parity between men and women. In the meantime, in disproportionate numbers, at critical points in their careers, women will continue to choose mothering over professional work.

From either a biological or cultural point of view, then, the feminist project of androgyny is ultimately doomed. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t do harm in the meantime. In America, many boys are slipping behind in school; their sisters are significantly more likely to go on to college. Yet thanks largely to the influence of academic feminists, legal and educational resources still flow disproportionately to supposedly victimized girls. In the end, gender won’t disappear, whatever the mavens of women’s studies hope, but the careers of some bright young men probably will.
9889  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Dr. Jessica Fridrich on: December 17, 2008, 09:38:43 PM
So many tasteless jokes that could be made here. I'll just be nice for once....   grin
9890  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: December 16, 2008, 09:56:50 PM
Comment JDN?
9891  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Military Science on: December 15, 2008, 09:59:35 PM
"Terminator vs. haji"

I love it!
9892  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Waiting for the murders and riots..... on: December 15, 2008, 03:16:36 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/12/15/milk-carton-alert-millions-of-rampaging-christians-missing-after-playboy-maria-outrage/

Any predictions as to the death toll and/or riots from the fanatical christians often mentioned by the left here?
9893  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Its not going away , , ,but it should on: December 15, 2008, 01:36:15 PM
These seem like some fair points to me , , ,

"Anyone who relies solely on MSM outlets ... may not even know that Obama has, to this day, not authorized the state of Hawaii to release his Certificate of Live Birth -- the 'long form' -- to prove that he is a 'natural born citizen' (NBC), a Constitutional requirement of all presidents. Instead, We, the People, have online access to an Obama document known as a Certification of Live Birth, which, as Randall Hoven explains at American Thinker blog, is a computer-generated short form that is not even accepted by the Hawaii Department of Home Lands as adequate verification of Hawaiian identity. ... Further dimming the online document's Holy Grail aspects, it has been altered -- the certificate's number has been redacted -- which, according to a statement printed on the document, actually invalidates it. But that's not all. Back on Oct. 31, Hawaii's director of health, along with the registrar of Vital Statistics, released a statement verifying that the Hawaii's Department of Health has Obama's 'original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.' Well, that's just great. But no matter how many times this statement from 'Hawaiian authorities' is cited as the NBC clincher, it doesn't prove a thing. It turns out, as Hoven reports, that Hawaii issues birth certificates even for babies born elsewhere, so simply having an original Hawaiian birth certificate 'on record' doesn't answer the key questions. Namely: What exactly does this original birth certificate say? And why doesn't Obama simply authorize the document's release and be done with the question? ... I think it is nothing less than good citizenship to seek to verify that Obama is a 'natural born citizen' since our elites, which include the major political parties and the MSM, failed to bring the matter to its extremely simple resolution long ago. But while important, this isn't just a story about whether we as Americans are right or wrong to ask our president-elect the question about his original birth certificate. It is about whether our president-elect is right or wrong not to answer it." --columnist Diana West

**Obama obviously had a passport to go to Indonesia as a child and Pakistan as a young man, meaning the US State Department found he was a US citizen long before he had any political connections, yes?**

http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/minors/minors_834.html?css=print

Special Requirements for Children Under Age 16


Before You Start, Please Note:
Minors under age 16 must apply in person
All children regardless of age, including newborns and infants, must have their own passport
There are special requirements for All Minors Ages 16 & 17



STEPS TO SUBMITTING A PASSPORT APPLICATION FOR A MINOR UNDER AGE 16:

Read and understand Steps 1 - 7 before leaving this page.

STEP 1: Complete and Submit Form DS-11: Application For A U.S. Passport

Complete Form DS-11: Application for a U.S. Passport. To submit Form DS-11, the minor:

Must apply in person with both parents/guardian(s)
Must provide the additional documentation required by Form DS-11 (See Steps 2-7)
Must not sign the application until instructed to do so by the Acceptance Agent
Must provide his/her Social Security number
STEP 2: Submit Evidence of U.S. Citizenship

The minor's evidence of U.S. citizenship must be submitted with Form DS-11. All documentation submitted as citizenship evidence will be returned to you. These documents will be delivered with your newly issued U.S. passport or in a separate mailing.

Primary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship (One of the following):
 Previously issued, undamaged U.S. Passport
 Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state*
 Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
 Naturalization Certificate
 Certificate of Citizenship

*A certified birth certificate has a registrar's raised, embossed, impressed or multicolored seal, registrar’s signature, and the date the certificate was filed with the registrar's office, which must be within 1 year of your birth. Some short (abstract) versions of birth certificates may not be acceptable for passport purposes.

NOTE: If you do not have primary evidence of U.S. citizenship or your U.S. birth certificate does not meet the requirements, please see Secondary Evidence of U.S. Citizenship.

STEP 3: Submit Evidence of Relationship

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) must submit evidence of their relationship to the minor applicant.
Evidence of Relationship (One of the following):
Minor's certified U.S. birth certificate with both parents’ names
Minor's certified Foreign Birth Certificate with both parents’ names*
Minor's Report of Birth Abroad with both parents’ names
Adoption Decree with adopting parents’ names*
Court Order establishing custody
Court Order establishing guardianship

*Foreign documents should be accompanied by an official English translation

NOTES:

Previous U.S. passports are not acceptable as evidence of relationship
Evidence of a legal name change must be submitted, if the name of a parent/guardian has changed since the original documents were issued (e.g. photocopy of a marriage certificate, etc.)
STEP 4: Present Identification of Parent(s)/Guardian(s)

When applying for a minor under age 16, both parent(s)/guardian(s) must present acceptable identification at the time of application.

Primary Identification (One of the following):
 Previously issued, undamaged U.S. passport
 Naturalization Certificate
 Valid Driver's License
 Current Government Employee ID (city, state or federal)
 Current Military ID (military and dependents)

NOTE: If none of these items are available, please see Secondary Identification.

STEP 5: Provide Parental Consent

Both parents must provide consent authorizing passport issuance for a minor under age 16. See the scenarios below, and follow the instruction that best applies to your circumstance:


Both Parents MUST:



Appear in person with the minor
Sign Form DS-11 in front of an Acceptance Agent
 

One Parent MUST:

 

Appear in person with the minor
Sign Form DS-11 in front of an Acceptance Agent
Submit the second parents’ notarized Statement of Consent (Form DS-3053)
 

One Parent
(with sole legal custody)
MUST:

 

Appear in person with the minor
Sign Form DS-11 in front of an Acceptance Agent
Submit primary evidence of sole authority to apply for the child with one of the following:
Minor’s certified U.S. or foreign birth certificate listing only the applying parent
Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) or Certification of Birth Abroad (Form DS-1350) listing only the applying parent
Court order granting sole custody to the applying parent (unless child's travel is restricted by that order)
Adoption decree (if applying parents is sole adopting parent)
Court order specifically permitting applying parent's or guardian's travel with the child
Judicial declaration of incompetence of non-applying parent
Death certificate of non-applying parent
NOTE: If none of the above documentation is available, the applying parent must submit Form DS-3053 stating why the non-applying parent/guardian's consent cannot be obtained

A Third Party
(in Loco Parentis applying on behalf of a minor under the age of 16)
MUST:

Submit a notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents or guardians authorizing a third-party to apply for a passport
When the statement of affidavit is from only one parent/guardian, the third-party must present evidence of sole custody of the authorizing parent/guardian.
STEP 6: Pay the Applicable Fee

Please see Current Passport Fees and methods of payment.

STEP 7: Provide Two Passport Photos

We can help you submit clear and correctly exposed passport photos the first time - especially when applying for the U.S. Passport Card. See Quality Requirements for Passport Book & Passport Card Photographs to avoid photo processing delays.

Your Photographs Must Be:

Identical
In color
2 x 2 inches in size
Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
Taken in normal street attire:
Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except religious attire that is worn daily
Do not wear a hat or headgear that obscures the hair or hairline
If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device, wig or similar articles, they should be worn for your picture
Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required)

NOTES:

Vending machine photos are not generally acceptable
See Digitized Passport Photos for information on acceptable digital photos
Professional photographers, see Guidelines for Producing High Quality Photographs for U.S. Travel Documents
9894  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena, Obama, Emmanuel, Blagojevich and Fitzpatrick on: December 15, 2008, 01:10:56 PM
I notice that I am about the only one that believes it was Obama that blew the whistle on the corrupt Gov, setting himself up to be the ethical hero of the century as he takes the oath.

**Then why the stonewalling from Obama and his camp? If he's the hero, he should be out front with it, not circling the wagons.**
9895  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: December 14, 2008, 08:53:05 PM
**Funny how the MSM-Obamedia is ignoring this story.....  rolleyes

http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24799317-5012748,00.html

Barack Obama chief Rahm Emanuel drawn into Rod Blagojevich corruption investigation
Article from: Agence France-Presse

By Jitendra Joshi in Washington
December 15, 2008 08:00am
BARACK Obama's chief of staff is under pressure over reported contacts with Illinois's corruption-tainted governor, who faces impeachment proceedings this week.

Rahm Emanuel, a combative congressman from Illinois who will serve as Obama's political gatekeeper in the White House, was reported to have been in touch with Governor Rod Blagojevich about  Mr Obama's Senate seat.

The Chicago Tribune and New York Times did not suggest any wrongdoing by Mr Emanuel, citing sources as saying he had presented suggested names to take over the seat without offering any inducements to Mr Blagojevich.

But the reports could present a distraction to the president-elect, as the Republican Party released a new advertisement declaring that "questions remain" over Mr Obama's links to the disgraced governor.

The web ad by the Republican National Committee highlighted Mr Obama's past support for Mr Blagojevich and showed commentators questioning why the president-elect had not been more forthright in denouncing the Governor.

Mr Blagojevich has refused to resign after his arrest in an FBI investigation that accuses him of staggering corruption, including an attempt to sell Mr Obama's vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Illinois lawmakers are expected to begin impeachment proceedings today in a hastily called special session, while state Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants the state supreme court to strip Mr Blagojevich of the bulk of his powers.

Ms Madigan noted speculation, reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, that Mr Blagojevich may now be set to resign as early as today or temporarily step aside to fight the corruption allegations.

Commenting on the reports about Emanuel, she told NBC television that it "doesn't appear from what I've heard so far that there is anything improper that has occurred."

Ms Madigan was among the names reportedly suggested by Mr Emanuel for the Governor to appoint as Mr Obama's senatorial replacement.

Others were Mr Obama's senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and Illinois Veterans Affairs director Tammy Duckworth.

"One source confirmed that communications between Emanuel and the Blagojevich administration were captured on court-approved wire-taps," the Chicago Tribune said.

But wire-tap transcripts released by prosecutors suggest that Mr Blagojevich was not being offered anything beyond appreciation from the Obama camp, much to the Governor's foul-mouthed frustration.

Mr Obama has ordered his staff to divulge any contacts they may have had with Mr Blagojevich, while insisting he was "absolutely certain" that there had been no dealings on the alleged scheme to sell off the Senate seat.
9896  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Gender issues thread on: December 14, 2008, 12:28:47 PM
The average age of homicide perps has been dropping every year. Our murder rate would be much worse were it not for our medical technology.
9897  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: December 14, 2008, 12:23:51 PM
Bergen is wrong. We have dodged a bullet multiple times since 9/11 and AQ really wants to make a hit early on in the empty suit's administration.
9898  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: December 13, 2008, 02:03:35 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/12/13/emanuel-blago-had-conversations-on-senate-succession/

Emanuel, Blago had “conversations” on Senate succession
posted at 11:23 am on December 13, 2008 by Ed Morrissey   


The categorical denials coming from Barack Obama on the Rod Blagojevich pay-to-play scandal took another hit today from the Chicago Tribune.  Two sources confirm that Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s new chief of staff, had a number of conversations with Blagojevich chief of staff John Harris to discuss acceptable candidates to fill the rest of Obama’s Senate term.  These conversations got captured by federal wiretaps and will likely be reviewed by a grand jury looking to indict people on corruption charges:

Rahm Emanuel, President-elect Barack Obama’s pick to be White House chief of staff, had conversations with Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration about who would replace Obama in the U.S. Senate, the Tribune has learned.

The revelation does not suggest Obama’s new gatekeeper was involved in any talk of dealmaking involving the seat. But it does help fill in the gaps surrounding a question that Obama was unable or unwilling to answer this week: Did anyone on his staff have contact with Blagojevich about his choice for the Senate seat? …

One source confirmed that communications between Emanuel and the Blagojevich administration were captured on court-approved wiretaps.

Another source said that contact between the Obama camp and the governor’s administration regarding the Senate seat began the Saturday before the Nov. 4 election, when Emanuel made a call to the cell phone of Harris. The conversation took place around the same time press reports surfaced about Emanuel being approached about taking the high-level White House post should Obama win.

Emanuel delivered a list of candidates who would be “acceptable” to Obama, the source said. On the list were Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett, Illinois Veterans Affairs director Tammy Duckworth, state Comptroller Dan Hynes and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Chicago, the source said. All are Democrats.

Sometime after the election, Emanuel called Harris back to add the name of Democratic Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan to the approved list, the source said.

As I wrote this week, no one would be surprised to hear that Emanuel and Obama had enough interest in the latter’s replacement to get in contact with the man who would normally make that appointment, Governor Blagojevich.  After all, the composition of the Senate matters a great deal to Obama, who needs to ensure that his agenda gets the most support possible in the next two years.  Given the corruption in Illinois politics, it might make it even more important to get involved in the process early to avoid getting someone who would embarrass the administration at a later point in time, especially with Patrick Fitzgerald’s years-long probe into Illinois politics still ongoing.

However, Barack Obama and his team chose not to give that honest and common-sense explanation.  Instead, they issued categorical denials that Obama and his staff had contacted Blagojevich or his staff about the succession.  It’s a mystifying claim, and one that will apparently get proven false fairly easily.  Now, instead of just saying that contact existed but that no one had tried making deals, they have thrown away their credibility on a very foolish point — which will lead to the conclusion that Team Obama has something very significant to hide.

Now it comes down to the Watergate question for both Emanuel and Obama: What did they know, and when did they know it?  Did Emanuel’s conversations with Harris or anyone else involve discussions of quid pro quo?  Team Obama will deny it, but they spent all of this week denying any conversations took place, and only the most gullible will believe denials from this point forward.  The wiretaps will go to the grand jury, and we will see whether Emanuel got himself caught in Fitzgerald’s nets.

If he did discuss quid pro quo and didn’t report it to the feds, Emanuel may or may not have committed a crime, but Obama will have no choice but to fire him.  And axing a Chief of Staff before even taking the oath of office does not lend much confidence in either the competence nor the honesty of the new President.

Update: Here’s what Obama said in his December 11th statement:

I had no contact with the governor’s office. I did not speak to the governor about these issues, that I know for certain. What I want to do is to gather all the facts about any staff contacts that may have taken place between the transition office and the governor’s office, and we’ll have those in the next few days and we’ll present them. But what I’m absolutely certain about is that our office had no involvement in any deal-making around my Senate seat. That, I’m absolutely certain of, and that would be a violation of everything this campaign has been about. That’s not how we do business.

So Obama said in one part that he himself hat no contact with the governor’s office or the governor regarding the appointment, which makes sense, because he’s got other issues to handle. He then claims that his office “had no involvement in any deal-making around my Senate seat.” If that’s true, then what was Emanuel discussing with Harris — and how did Blagojevich know that they wouldn’t give him anything but their appreciation? From the complaint, it doesn’t sound like an assumption Blagojevich made. (Hat tip: HA reader David M)
9899  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Our Troops in Action on: December 12, 2008, 10:59:58 PM

The Impact of War
Amputee Wounded in Iraq to Return to Active Duty

by Joseph Shapiro

Capt. David Rozelle with his wife, Kim, and son, Forrest. Courtesy of the Rozelle family

 

Rozelle had always been a competitive athlete in peak condition. After his injury, he trained even harder. Only one other amputee has been found fit to return to active duty in Iraq. Rozelle will be the first to return. Courtesy of the Rozelle family

 
Morning Edition, March 4, 2005 · Capt. David Rozelle of the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment will soon become the Army's first amputee from a wound suffered in Iraq to return to active duty.

In the past, it's been rare for soldiers who underwent amputations to go back to war, but better prosthetic arms and legs are now allowing wounded soldiers to do more.

At Fort Carson in Colorado, Rozelle said he knows he's returning both as a fighter and as a role model -- for the soldiers under his command and for other troops with amputations.

"I'm breaking the ice for them," Rozelle says. "I don't want to be an anomaly. I want to be the first to go back. But I don't want to be the last."

Rozelle was injured in June 2003, when an anti-tank mine destroyed part of his right foot and leg. He recounts the experience in a new memoir, Back in Action: An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith, and Fortitude. The book's first chapter is excerpted below.

Book Excerpt

Note: This excerpt contains language that some may find offensive.

Chapter 1: The Price of Freedom

It's not hard to get your mind focused for a mission when there's a price on your head. It was the day that would change my life forever, 21 June 2003, in Hit (pronounced "heat"), Iraq.

Just a few days before, my translator and I were smoking cigarettes and enjoying some hot tea, waiting with a few sheiks for our weekly situation meeting to begin. I was the de facto sheriff of Hit. As we waited for the rest of the sheiks to arrive, we would discuss the Iran-Iraq war. My translator had been a POW in the war, held for eleven years in an Iranian prison. He had been pressed into military service after his third year of medical school and served as an infantryman. As a POW, he found himself doing procedures in prison with no anesthesia, no sanitary rooms, and few medical instruments. His techniques kept fellow prisoners alive, but were often brutal and crippling.

After getting out of prison, he decided to never practice medicine again. He was a good man, and was proud to be of service to those who had freed him for the second time in his life. After taking a long drag on one of my Marlboros, he looked over at me and said in a low voice, "Captain, do not go on your mission tonight."

I was surprised. "I always lead my men," I responded. "It's still dangerous and I want to command on the ground."

He said, "Your men will be safe, but you will be attacked. If you go, it may be your last mission."

"What the hell are you talking about?" I said angrily. In a loud voice, so that the sheiks in the room could hear, I continued, "You're not trying to threaten me, are you? I will destroy any man who attacks me. Tell me who is saying these things—I'll arrest them today!"

He spoke to me carefully, in a low voice so that others couldn't hear, trying to calm me: "Captain, there are men in town who are planning missions in our mosques, under the command of clerics here and from Ar Ramadi. These men I do not know. But they are dangerous. Some are from Iran, and some are from Syria. It's rumored that they have offered $1,000 U.S. to any man who can kill you, the one who rides in the vehicle with the symbols K6 on the side . . . the one who always wears sunglasses. They recognize you as the leader, and as one who is successful and powerful. . . . Please do not go tonight."

I responded out loud, "You spread the word: I am powerful and I command many men. Out of respect for the people of Hit, I have yet to bring my tanks into this city and show you my full combat capabilities. Let the town know that the whereabouts of these terrorists must be reported in order to protect the innocent civilians of this city. I'm not afraid and I'm not threatened."

On our mission that night, we did arrest several suspicious people and killed two men who tried to attack our tanks with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs). After such a wild night, we decided to stay out of the city for a few days. Unfortunately, we were giving the terrorists more time to prepare their next attack.

It was 1630 hours on the day of my final mission. I could tell when my men were ready because the sounds below changed from bolts charged and orders given during the final pre-combat inspection to laughter and tough talk. I never came down from my command post until I heard the distinctive sound of my high-mobility multi-wheeled vehicle (Humvee), distinctive because each Humvee has its own pitch or hum. Upon hearing that sound, I knew that my windshield and binocular lenses were clean, my maps updated with the most current intelligence, my radios checked, and my personal security detachment was loaded, with weapons pointed outward. With so many antennae and barrels protruding, we must have looked like some strange oversized desert insect. But before I walked down to conduct my final inspection, I continued my tradition of kissing the picture of my wife, Kim, listening to the message she had recorded in the frame, and saying a short prayer to God to take care of my unborn child if I did not return.

I was "Killer 6,"which is the code word for the leader of K Troop, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. I commanded 139 men, nine M1A2 main battle tanks, 13 M3A2 Cavalry fighting vehicles, two tracked vehicles carrying 120 mm mortar guns, three support tracked vehicles, and five wheeled vehicles.

Before heading out on the mission, I would walk the line of soldiers to look at their faces. It wasn't just to make a final inspection. They needed to see me confident and unafraid of our impending mission. We treated every mission the same, whether we were conducting a traffic control point (TCP) or were capturing terrorists. My men had to be ready for anything.

A few weeks earlier, my boss had informed me that now that we had "stood up" an entirely new police force, we had to train them in police work. This tasking was a V Corps requirement. I was excited about it, tired of conducting patrols where I spent most of my time watching over my shoulder. Training leads to confidence and job comfort. We had done something historic. Within weeks of the end of major combat operations, we had rearmed Iraqi soldiers and were now patrolling the streets with them. They certainly needed training, and training was our task for the night.

We had scheduled the first night of training to start at 1700 hours, as it promised to be cooler than midday. The sun did not set until 2030 or 2100 hours, so we had plenty of time to train. We had planned on teaching for two hours, which we knew would turn into three or four. We always planned twice the amount of time to do anything with local forces.

It was about 1640 hours when we finally headed out the gate of our compound. I was traveling with two of my Humvees, my own and an improvised gun-truck, and two military police (MP) Humvees. As I crossed through the wire at the lead of the convoy, I called my departure report to Squadron Operations Center and told my detachment to lock and load their weapon systems.

On the squadron radio, I reported, "Thunder, this is Killer 6 . . . Killer is departing FOB Eden to Hit police academy, vicinity soccer stadium, with one officer and twenty-one enlisted."

Changing hand microphones, I immediately followed, "Killer, this is Killer 6, lock and load your weapon systems and follow my move."

After getting acknowledgments from the three vehicles following me, I charged my 9 mm Beretta, watching as the bullet slipped easily into the chamber. As was my custom, as a deterrent to possible wrongdoers, I had my pistol outside the window in my right hand, and my left inside on the Bible my father had given me just before deploying to Iraq. Inscribed on the inside cover were the words, "Use it as a tour guide," and in the back I had pasted a picture of my wife and me with my parents, taken just after our deployment ceremony.

It was only about five miles from our Forward Operating Base (FOB) to the town of Hit. Just before we reached the roundabout at the north end of the city, I told my driver to turn left down a dirt road we often used for observation by tanks at night.

I intended to avoid the roundabout in order to avoid detection from any spies at the first intersection. The dirt road took us from one paved road to another, and was only about two hundred meters in length. Just as we reached the far side, I noticed that the gradual terrace that normally allowed easy access to the road was now steeper and recently graded. Looking over the edge, I decided that the vehicles could handle the drop and we started to ease over the ledge.

As we began rolling again, everything exploded.

My right front tire, just under my feet, detonated an anti-tank mine. The mine violently lifted the Humvee off the ground and set it back on the three remaining of four wheels. The blast was so powerful that most of it went out and up from the front tire, launching a door and tire a hundred meters away. Blinded by smoke and dust, I wasn't sure exactly what had just happened, but I knew we were either under attack by RPGs or artillery, or had struck a mine -- and that I was injured.

I looked down and saw blood on my arms, and through my glasses I could see that my bulletproof vest seemed to have absorbed a lot of shrapnel. Everything was quiet. I could not speak. I was in terrible pain. I heard noises coming from my driver, screams of pain and fear. I was more confused than afraid.

Finally, I got my voice and asked, "Is everyone okay?"

My driver responded with more screams, and my translator simply gave me a crazy look.

We needed to get out of the Humvee. I began to pull at my left leg, but I couldn't get it free. My left foot was trapped under the firewall and heater. The right front portion of the vehicle's frame was now on the ground, so I set my right foot out into the sand to get some footing, in order to pull myself and my left leg free. But I couldn't get any footing.

I thought, "F--- . . . Oh, God, I am hurt . . . I have to get out of here . . . Why aren't they shooting at me? We're trapped in a stationary vehicle . . . They've got me . . . F---, that hurts . . . Move, David, move now!"

It felt as if I were setting my right foot into soft mud or a sponge. I looked down to see blood and bits of bone squeezing out of the side of my right boot. I gave one big push and turned to dive into the arms of two brave men who ran selflessly into the minefield to save me.

My good friend and fiercest warrior, Sergeant First Class John McNichols, grabbed me and said, "Don't worry, sir, I've got you."

All I could do was look at the ground. I tried to use my feet, but neither one would bear my weight. I could hear First Sergeant Cobal sighing under the burden of my weight.

I looked into his eyes and said, "I can't walk. I'm f---ed up."

Turning now to face Sergeant First Class McNichols, I said, "My feet are messed up."

Sergeant First Class McNichols smiled at me and said, "It's just a walk in the park, sir."

That was the last time I ever used my right foot.

Excerpted from Back in Action: An American Soldier's Story of Courage, Faith, and Fortitude, by Captain David Rozelle. Used by permission of Regnery Publishing.
9900  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: December 12, 2008, 09:17:47 PM
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/12/12/rahm-a-drama-beet-red-and-pissed-with-the-msm/

"Rahm-bo" not so tough now.
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