"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with
power to endanger the public liberty." - - - - John Adams

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teenager stoned to death for entering beauty contest

The religion of peace strikes again

Attractive Muslim teenager Katya Koren was murdered because she took part in a beauty contest.

Terrified Katya, 19, was stoned to death and murder police are investigating claims that three youths killed her before claiming her death was justified under Islamic law.

One of the three, named as Bihal Gaziev, told police that she had “violated the laws of Sharia”.

Local Moslems saw women like
Lyudmila Bikmullian, Miss
Ukraine Universe, as a threat
Gaziev, 16, who is now under arrest, allegedly added that he had no regrets about Katya being killed.  She was found murdered in a village near where she had lived in the Crimea region of Ukraine.  Katya’s battered body was discovered in woodland a week after she was brutally killed.

Friends said she liked wearing fashionable clothes.  She had finished seventh in the regional beauty contest.

The majority of Muslims in Ukraine are ethnic Crimean Tatars and live in the Crimean peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea.  Different groups in the Muslim faith believe death by stoning is a punishment that can be carried out on adulterers.  Others take the view that it is not an Islamic law.

Lyudmila Bikmullian, Miss Ukraine Universe 2007
The death penalty for a beauty contest?  An act of insanity.
Some advice to Miss. Bikmullian, don't visit the Crimea.
For more on this story

UK NHS gold-plated pension millionaires

  • Strategic health authority managers have pension pots between £1.2m and £2.6m
  • Average private sector worker would have to work 1,720 years to accrue same amount

NHS fat cats are enjoying pension pots worth more than £2.5million, and some chief executives will retire on annual payouts of up to £110,000.

Big Government always manages to protect their own at the expense of the taxpayer.

While final salary pension schemes have all but disappeared in the private sector, it is those employees who will end up footing the health service pension bill through their taxes.

Details of the gold-plated pensions come after evidence of lucrative payments to health service managers, even though the whole system is under severe financial strain.

It emerged last month that the bonuses of senior executives at the Department of Health had doubled in five years. Some received £27,500 on top of their six-figure salaries.

And around 1,600 managers of hospitals and health trusts are now earning in excess of £150,000 a year, more than the Prime Minister’s salary of £142,500.

Yet many hospitals are being forced to axe doctors, nurses and midwives to save money, and there are concerns that the cuts are having an effect on patient care.

The average NHS worker retires with a pension of just £7,000.

Figures reveal that the chief executives of the ten strategic health authorities in England have gold-plated final salary pension pots of between £1.2million and just under £2.6million.

Conservative Party poster promising to protect socialized
medicine.  Right-wing parties the world over try to
protect Big Brother programs and buy votes.
The biggest belongs to Sir Neil McKay of the East of England authority, and is currently valued at £2.59million.

Charlotte Linacre, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ‘It’s utterly scandalous that NHS bosses can make an absolute fortune and dump the bill on to future generations of taxpayers.

For more on this story

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Afghan leader Karzai issues 'last warning' to Nato

We need to face the facts.  Many airstrikes and drone attacks are carried out simply because we do not have enough troops to make war in a huge nation.  When mistakes are made it turns into a public relations nightmare. . . . . and mistakes are being made over and over.

A NATO airstrike targeting insurgents inadvertently hit two civilian homes in the volatile southwestern Helmand province, killing 14 women and children, an Afghan government official said Sunday.

Dawood Ahmadi, a spokesman for the provincial government, said the alliance launched the airstrike late on Saturday in retaliation for an attack earlier in the day on a U.S. Marine base in Helmand's northwest district of Nawzad. He said NATO hit two civilian houses, killing five girls, seven boys, and two women.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has forcefully condemned the killing of 14 civilians in the south-west of the country in a suspected Nato air strike.

Mr Karzai said his government had repeatedly asked the US to stop raids which end up killing Afghan civilians and this was his "last warning".

"The president called this incident a great mistake and the murdering of Afghanistan's children and women, and on behalf of the Afghan people gives his last warning to the US troops and US officials in this regard," his office said.

A group from Sera Cala village travelled to Helmand's capital, Lashkar Gah, bringing with them the bodies of eight dead children, some as young as two years old, says the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Kabul.

President Hamid Karzai
 "See, they aren't Taliban," they chanted as the carried the corpses to local journalists and the governor's mansion.

While insurgents are responsible for most civilian deaths in Afghanistan, the killings of Afghans by foreign soldiers is a source of deepening anger, our correspondent adds.

President Hamid Karzai has criticised Nato for not doing enough to prevent such deaths, especially during "night raids" and has called on the country's ministry of defence to stop what he described as "arbitrary" operations by foreign forces.

For more on this story

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Brazil: America's #4 Creditor

America, meet Brazil, your newest creditor. 

While modern Americans often complain and demand more and more Big Government Socialist corporate and individual handouts, our neighbor to the south is creating a powerful capitalist economy.  In other words, unlike Americans the Brazilians are working for a living.

Brazil.  The future of Capitalism?
In fact they are working so hard that Brazil is loaning billions of dollars to the United States to cover our insane national debt.  Currently Brazil is the number four holder of U.S. Treasury debt after China, Japan and the United Kingdom.

In a capitalist world someone has to first earn the money before it can be spent.  Americans love to spend, but they are not as interested in earning it through hard work.  Ring up the national credit card and party all night is now the motto of the USA.  Don't worry Americans say.  Someone else will pick up the check.

So here is a sincere thank you to our friends in Brazil.  Without you we Americans might have to go to work for a living.

Brazil's Low Unemployment

Brazil's unemployment rate fell in April.  The month's 6.4% jobless rate was the lowest for April since 2002, when the current statistical series began, the Brazilian Census Bureau, or IBGE, said Thursday. Labor minister Carlos Lupi was cited by local Estado newswire as saying Brazil may enjoy its lowest-ever unemployment rate this year.

Economists said that the currently tight labor market, with a shortage of skilled workers, should intensify inflationary pressures. "The Brazilian economy is working at full employment, and should continue that way in the medium term," said Tatiana Pinheiro, of Santander Economia. "We believe the effects of the monetary tightening could be more significant in 4Q11."

Jankiel Santos of Banco Espirito Santo said that "Given the clear dearth of workers, one can expect wage negotiations in the coming months may add to current inflationary pressures."

Growth, Growth and More Growth

Brazil's economy increased 7.5 percent in 2010, a record high since 1986, authorities announced Thursday.

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the Latin America's biggest economy reached 3.67 trillion reais ($2.21 trillion) in 2010, according to the figures released by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

It is the highest GDP expansion registered in Brazil since 1986, the IBGE said, attributing the high growth rate to the increase of domestic demands in the country.  Industry, which expanded 10.1 percent in 2010, was the most benefited sector from the economic recovery.

The IBGE said among the countries which had already announced their 2010 GDP results, Brazil had the third highest expansion after China and India.

Brazil's economic growth surpassed countries such as South Korea, Japan, Germany and the United States and also exceeded the five-percent world average GDP growth.

Growing Middle Class Fuels Brazilian Economy

As the developed world struggles, Brazil grows faster, on the strength of its export economy, but also rising domestic demand. Its middle class continues to expand — and spend. An estimated 35 million people joined the middle class between 2003 to 2009, and 20 million more are expected to be included by 2014. Unemployment is at a relatively low 6.5 percent.

From the bustle of Sao Paulo, where a vista of modern steel and glass skyscrapers seems endless, to its vast farmlands, Brazilian optimism is on the rise and so is its growing consumer class.

They are consuming everything from cell phones and laptops to Coca-Cola and Nikes, and they were out en masse at the Morumbi shopping center in Sao Paulo on a recent Sunday.  There are 210 million registered cell phones in Brazil, 10 million more than the estimated population of the entire country.

President Dilma Rousseff's chief of staff announced plans to hand over the country's five largest airports to the private sector in an effort to speed up much needed upgrades.

Brazil is also saddled by huge infrastructure needs — and costs. Some private economists forecast that the country will have to spend some $700 billion to a trillion dollars to get roads, airports, sewers and sports facilities ready for both the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

For more on this story

Open Borders in Mexico

Stop.  It is not open borders with Mexico, but open borders in Mexico.

Migrants from Latin America and Asia are seen in an X-ray
image packed into a truck as they were being smuggled through
Mexico on their way to the United States.
(Chiapas Public Security Secretary / May 28, 2011)

I am not sure what to make of this.  Mexico has problems with poverty and exports its poor to the United States.  The immigrants in turn send billions of dollars back to Mexico.  This part I understand.

But now Mexico has effectively legalized illegal immigration into Mexico. 

President Felipe Calderon, his administration chastised by foreign governments for how their citizens are treated, this week signed a new immigration law aimed at reducing the risks.

The measure decriminalizes the act of entering the country without papers and entitles the undocumented to education and health services. It also promises a major overhaul of the scandal-plagued federal immigration agency.

Is the new law just for public relations?  Will many Central Americans now stay in Mexico?

"Migration puts people in a very serious situation of vulnerability," Calderon said. "It puts them in humiliating conditions, exposed to every kind of abuse."  Not only has the journey across Mexico become more dangerous for migrants, it has also become more expensive — and wildly lucrative for those controlling the routes and arranging the kidnappings and extortions.

Nearly 500,000 people from Central America and beyond traverse Mexico each year en route to the U.S., according to the Mexican government human rights office.

The American 2010 Decennial Census counted 50.5 million Hispanics.  The census shows large numbers of Central Americans are coming over the border.

Among them, 31.8 million, or 63%, are of Mexican origin. They are followed by Puerto Rican-origin Hispanics, who number 4.6 million, or 9.2%, of all U.S. Hispanics. Next are Cubans at 1.8 million or 3.5%, Salvadorans at 1.6 million or 3.3%, Dominicans at 1.4 million or 2.8%, Guatemalans at one million or 2.1% and Colombians at 909,000 or 1.8%.

  • Salvadoran-origin population grew by 152% since 2000.
  • The Dominican population grew by 85%.
  • The Guatemalan population by 180%.
  • The Colombian population by 93%.
  • The Cuban and Puerto Rican populations grow more slowly -- 44% and 36% respectively.
  • The Mexican-origin population grew by 54%.

Criminals regularly target thousands of migrants passing through Mexico, Amnesty International said in a statement Wednesday, noting that immigrants "face a variety of serious abuses from organized criminal gangs, including kidnappings, threats and assaults."

In August, authorities found the bodies of 72 slain immigrants from Central and South America on an abandoned ranch near the Mexico-U.S. border.

At least 11,333 migrants were kidnapped in the six-month period from April through September 2010, according to an investigation by Mexico's National Commission for Human Rights.  A map of high-risk areas for immigrants in the commission's February report highlights areas across the country along the unofficial path known as "the migrant's route."

Mexico no longer has a nationwide passenger rail system, but thousands of immigrants hitch rides on freight trains heading north. They huddle on rooftops and cram into spare spaces between cars.

As reports of drug-gang raids and kidnappings become increasingly common, many call it "the train of death." But they say the journey is worth the risk.

"As I tell my friends, we're all going to die one way or another," said Carlos, an immigrant from El Salvador who stopped at a shelter in central Mexico this week. "The thing is, we have to face reality. Because they tell you so many things about what's happening up there, but the need is very great, and with the help of God nothing is impossible."

Others said threats at home are far worse.

"In our countries, the situation is very hard. They're killing for 200 quetzales (about $25), and one can no longer have a business, have a bus, a truck, because if you don't pay the taxes, they attack, and this is the motivation of all the Central Americans who are trying to reach the United States," Guatemalan immigrant Eddie Marroqui said.

Many from Central America have paid $7,000 each for passage to the United States, authorities said.

"It points to how profitable these operations are for the organized syndicates that move people for profit. And it also points to the need for governments to really target that crime in their legislation," said Demetrios Papademetriou, president of the Migration Policy Institute in Washington.

"We (Mexico) are still chasing immigrants as though they are a threat. We are a racist country," said Perseo Quiroz of Sin Fronteras, the Mexican immigrant-rights organization.

For more on this story

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Justice Department lied to the Supreme Court so Japanese-Americans could be shipped to internment camps

It is the same old story from Big Brother Government:  "We need to do this for national security."   But it was a lie.  Racial hatred long pre-dated Pearl Harbor.  The war was used as an excuse to confiscate private property.

So Americans of Japanese heritage were rounded up.  But why was the Army not sent into New York's Little Italy to round up those "dangerous" Italians who might help Mussolini?  What about the German immigrants?  The Axis Powers had many willing allies such as Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Spain.  Where were the Concentration Camps for those groups?

To me it came down to race.  No more, no less.

The New York Times, February 17, 1935
Anti-Asian Laws were Nothing New

On October 11, 1906, the San Francisco, California Board of Education had passed a regulation children of Japanese descent would be required to attend racially segregated separate schools.

The California Alien Land Law of 1913 prohibited "aliens ineligible for citizenship" (all Asian immigrants) from owning land or property, but permitted three-year leases. It affected the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, and Korean immigrant farmers in California. It passed thirty-five to two in the Senate and seventy-two to three in the Assembly and was co-written by attorney Francis J. Heney and California state attorney general Ulysses S. Webb at the behest of Progressive Republican Governor Hiram Johnson.   Japan's Consul General Kametaro Iijima and lawyer Juichi Soyeda lobbied against the law.  The law was invalidated in 1952 by the Supreme Court of California as a violation of the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Douglas Daily Dispatch, September 4, 1934
The state of California passed a new Alien Land Law of 1920 that made the restrictions of the 1913 law even more stringent. Up to that time, many Asian immigrants had circumvented California’s land law by purchasing agricultural land in the names of their American-born children and made themselves the managers of the land.

California’s 1920 law was designed to make it even harder for Asians to own land. It required all persons purchasing land in someone else’s name to prove they were not doing so to circumvent the terms of the 1913 law. The 1920 law also prohibited naming as trustees persons ineligible for citizenship and effectively reversed the traditional burden of proof, requiring people to prove themselves innocent.

Ten other American states passed restrictive land-ownership laws during the decade 1913–23.  States that added or modified such laws and provisions during the 1920’s included Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. During World War II, anti-Japanese fervor caused Arkansas, Utah, and Wyoming to enact such laws. Most of these states’ laws remained in effect until at least the 1950’s.

Justice Department Lies to the Supreme Court

The US Justice Department said last week that "mistakes" were made in its legal defense of the forced relocation and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Following the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii by the Imperial Japanese Navy, the United States forcibly displaced over 110,000 people of Japanese descent and held them at internment camps during the war. Most were US citizens.

Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal said that his predecessor many years ago ignored a US Naval Intelligence report that found that only a small portion of Japanese Americans may pose a threat.

"Instead, he argued that it was impossible to segregate loyal Japanese Americans from disloyal ones... And to make matters worse, he relied on gross generalizations about Japanese Americans, such as that they were disloyal and motivated by 'racial solidarity,'" added Katyal.

Then-Solicitor General Fahy defended the “military necessity” of an executive order by FDR that cleared the way for the government to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps. Katyal acknowledged that had it not been for Fahy’s suppression of key evidence, the Supreme Court may have well ruled differently in the landmark cases brought to them by Gordon Hirabayashi and Fred Korematsu, where the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans was deemed constitutional.

Americans being loaded into railroad cars and shipped
to Government Concentration camps.  It not only can
happen here, it did happen here.
 The decisions are two of only a few cases where the high court ruled that the government met standards of strict scrutiny for racial discrimination, and are widely viewed as some of the worst decisions in Supreme Court history. The rulings were overturned in the 1980s after political scientist and civil rights lawyer Peter Irons unearthed the government files that proved that the U.S. military did not, in fact, see Japanese Americans as a threat in 1942.  Judge Marilyn Patel noted that critical evidence had been “knowingly concealed from the courts”.

Japanese Americans Reaction

"For me, it confirms what we knew back in the 1940s," said Kerry Yo Nakagawa of Fresno, whose grandparents and parents were interned in Jerome, Ark.

"It's so unbelievable that just a handful of people could do that by suppressing the truth."

The admission also "was not surprising" to Marsha Auchard of Fresno, whose mother was interned at the Gila River camp near Phoenix. "But it's sad because [the internment] didn't have to happen."
Big Brother Concentration Camps, confiscation of
private property and racial identity cards.  The only
thing missing was a final solution plan.

Nakagawa's grandparents lost a restaurant and general store they ran in Fresno's Chinatown. When his grandfather returned to Fresno, the lease on his store had changed hands. Also, his grandmother had died while they were interned in Arkansas.

"They got their civil liberties and homes and businesses taken away. Once they came back, they couldn't start over," Nakagawa said. "A lot of people [at the time] said it was a land grab."

For more on this story

Did Hollywood Brainwash America?

From "Twelve O'Clock High" to "The Dirty Dozen" to "Band of Brothers" to "Saving Private Ryan" have major Hollywood World War II films brainwashed Americans and influenced our foreign policy?   The answer is YES. 

Didn't you know that America won the war?
We all like to cheer for the home team.  That goes for our love of Hollywood war movies.  But the endless re-runs of World War II films and cable TV shows have also influenced American foreign policy. 

Because most of the programs center on American troops there is a pervasive attitude among modern Americans born after 1945 that we won World War II almost by ourselves and were thus crowned the Super-Power Leader of all the free world.

Oh Americans are vaguely aware that there were some British and Russians involved somewhere doing something.  But Hollywood spends little time on these allied troops.  In the eyes of Hollywood and the fans it was Gregory Peck, Lee Marvin and Tom Hanks who won the war.  That slanted Hollywood viewpoint of a Super America has encouraged an aggressive almost go it alone foreign policy in places like the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The American view becomes that the USA is all-powerful and can do anything.

Indian Army at Monte Cassino, Italy
But the fact of the matter is the United States did not have the military strength to invade Western Europe, let alone defeat the Axis Powers, without the massive contributions of the British Empire and other allies.

U.S. had a smaller role in Italy

The Germans in Italy would have had no problem repelling an invasion by American forces only. 

Any review of the troops on the front line tells a different story of the war.  (see link at the bottom)  The troops from the British Empire alone outnumbered the Americans. 

British Empire:  In Italy the British had huge numbers of divisions and brigades from all over the Empire.  Along with the British units there were many divisions from India, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada.
The Jewish Brigade fought the
Germans in Italy

Polish Corps:  The Poles were major players in Italy with two infantry divisions, an armored brigade and an artillery unit.

French Expeditionary Corp:   The French Empire was in Italy in full force.  Multiple colonial divisions were on the front line from Algeria, Morroco and the Free French.

Polish Soldiers at Monte Cassino

Other Allies:  The Allied Armies in Italy also included a division from Brazil, five Royalist Italian divisions, the 3rd Greek Mountain Brigade and the Jewish Brigade.

D-Day in Normandy

It is much the same story in the invasion of France.  The majority of the D-Day troops were from the British Empire.

53%   -   United Kingdom and Canada
83,115 troops

47%   -   United States
73,000 troops

Overall, the British 2nd Army contingent consisted of 83,115 troops (61,715 of them British).  In addition to the British and Canadian combat units, eight Australian officers were attached to the British forces as observers. The nominally British air and naval support units included a large number of crew from Allied nations, including several RAF squadrons manned almost exclusively by foreign air-crew.

D-Day in Normandy
Canadian troops moving towards Juno Beach

The Canadian forces that landed on Juno Beach faced 2 heavy batteries of 155 mm guns and 9 medium batteries of 75 mm guns, as well as machine-gun nests, pillboxes, other concrete fortifications, and a seawall twice the height of the one at Omaha Beach. The first wave suffered 50% casualties, the second highest of the five D-Day beachheads. The use of armor was successful at Juno, in some instances actually landing ahead of the infantry as intended and helping clear a path inland.

The American First Army contingent totaled approximately 73,000 men, including 15,600 from the airborne divisions.

German General Otto Fretter-Pico, Commander of the
148th Infantry Division, and General Mario Carloni
surrendering to Brazilian FEB - Italy, 1945.
 The Americans at Omaha Beach had their problems.  Omaha was also the most heavily fortified beach, with high bluffs defended by funneled mortars, machine guns, and artillery, and the pre-landing aerial and naval bombardment of the bunkers proved to be ineffective. Difficulties in navigation caused the majority of landings to drift eastwards, missing their assigned sectors and the initial assault waves of tanks, infantry and engineers took heavy casualties.

Of the 16 tanks that landed upon the shores of Omaha Beach only 2 survived the landing. The official record stated that "within 10 minutes of the ramps being lowered, [the leading] company had become inert, leaderless and almost incapable of action. Every officer and sergeant had been killed or wounded [...] It had become a struggle for survival and rescue".

Future Hollywood Movies:   Will Hollywood any time soon release a film featuring the major sacrifices of the Polish Corps in Italy?  or the Canadians at Normandy?  or the Indian Divisions in Italy?  I doubt it and that means future generations who get their history from a TV screen will have a slanted one-sided view of the world.

For more on this story

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sign up today: Hindu Kush Action Holidays

"I would rather work as your servant, cut grass and tend to your garden than be the ruler of Afghanistan."
- - - - Yaqub Khan, (Amir of Afghanistan) to a British Viceroy in the 19th Century  

Yaqub Khan

The politicians talk and talk about the "progress" they are making in Afghanistan.  The light at the end of the tunnel pep talks to voters.  But the war goes on and on and on.

The fact of the matter is the United States is bankrupt and we cannot afford to be at war.

The time has come to sign a peace treaty and come home.  A Peace Treaty appears to be a "radical" idea to modern Americans, but throughout our history signing a treaty to end a war was standard.  The Americans have signed treaties twice with England, with Mexico, with Spain and with Vietman.  It is time to move on.

STORY #1:  
Insurgents kill six in attack on Afghan police outpost

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan—
In what has become a near-daily drumbeat of insurgent attacks on Afghan government and security installations, a team of gunmen and suicide bombers on Sunday stormed a police outpost in an eastern city, killing six people, most of them Afghan police and soldiers.

The four assailants died as well, officials said.

The early-morning onslaught in the city of Khowst typified a pattern of insurgent strikes that has taken hold as the spring "fighting season" gathers force — a coordinated assault on a site that somehow symbolizes the authority of the central government. And in what has become an increasingly common tactic, the attackers wore Afghan police uniforms to confuse the defenders and gain initial entry.

British soldiers in Afghanistan 1879
They did not stay for long.
 The six men killed by the attackers were three police officers, two Afghan soldiers and a civilian worker in the compound, according to police. At one point, in what has become another hallmark of such attacks, the assailants used the upper floors of the commandeered building to fire on arriving government reinforcements, police said.

STORY #2:  
Suicide Bomber kills six at Kabul Hospital
The medical trainees were just settling in for lunch when the bomber struck.

The suicide attack Saturday at a well-guarded Afghan military hospital complex in the center of the capital killed at least six people, injured about two dozen others and revived persistent fears about insurgents' ability to infiltrate sensitive government and military installations.
The midday explosion, on the first day of the Afghan work week, took place in a part of the sprawling 400-bed hospital compound mainly devoted to medical training, Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammed Zahir Azimi told reporters.

As word of the attack spread, frantic relatives of patients and workers clustered outside, denied entry by security forces guarding the hospital compound.  "My brother is an army officer and works inside," said Ahmad Shah, a shopkeeper. "I've been calling and calling his cellphone, but it's not answering, and they won't let me in. What kind of government is this, that can't even protect itself?"

British troops from India in 1890s Afghanistan
STORY #3:  
36 Afghans killed in attack on work crew

Insurgents massacred 36 workers at a road-construction encampment in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, provincial and company officials said, marking one of the most lethal assaults of its kind in recent years.

The Taliban and other insurgents sometimes target work crews on infrastructure projects, regarding the building companies as collaborators with the central government and foreign forces. But most such projects have substantial security contingents, and it is unusual for militants to be able to kill so many in a single strike.

The construction company's owner, Noorullah Bidar, one of 20 people injured in the attack, said from his hospital bed that all those slain in the predawn attack in Paktia province were Afghans.

Rohullah Samon, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the dead included laborers, technical personnel and security guards. Eight assailants died in the attack as well, he said.  President Hamid Karzai  condemned the attack as the work of "terrorists … enemies of the development of our country." A government investigation team was dispatched to the site, officials said.

The Amir Yakub Khan, General Daod Shah, Habeebula
Moustafi, with Major Cavagnari C.S.I. & Mr Jenkyns (1879) 

STORY #4:  
Camp Pendleton honors 125 Marines and sailors killed in Afghanistan last year

For 78-year-old Harry Mixer, a retired Marine master gunnery sergeant who served in Korea and Vietnam, the event Friday hit all the important notes.

In a brief ceremony after the morning raising of the American flag, Marine brass remembered all the Marines who died in the last year in Afghanistan. An Afghanistan battle streamer was attached to the 1st Marine Division colors -- linking Afghanistan with battles of the past.

Both actions were important to Mixer -- respect for the fallen, and a reminder of the Marine Corps history of battles won, losses suffered and heroes recognized.

“It’s important for these young Marines to remember the heritage,” Mixer said. “They’re the tip of the spear at the front of the column now. The old Corps was tough, but these young Marines are just as tough.”

The Marines honored the 125 Marines and sailors killed in Afghanistan in the last year -- and another 2,000 wounded -- Mixer and other former Marines were in a place of honor as a bugler played taps, followed by a bagpiper playing "Amazing Grace."

For more on this story

Polish population in the UK soars from 75,000 to more than HALF A MILLION in eight years

The United States is no longer the only nation of immigrants.  The United Kingdom and many other European nations are seeing a major movement of peoples looking for a better life.

The number of Polish people being born in the UK has increased from 75,000 to 521,000 in eight years.  The seven-fold increase comes as it is revealed that one in five workers in low-skill jobs was born outside the UK.  Poles make up the majority of people to have migrated to the UK since Poland and seven other Eastern European countries joined the EU in 2004.

Over the last nine years the number of low-skill workers in retail, hospitality and catering from outside the UK has more than doubled.

During the same period, the number of British-born workers in those sectors has fallen from 3.04million to 2.56million.

The increase in workers from outside the UK was driven by those coming from the eight eastern European countries that were the latest to join the EU.

A total of 239,000 people from these countries now work in low-skill jobs in the UK - almost 60 times the 4,000 who were in such jobs in 2002.

Workers from these countries - the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovak Republic, and Slovenia - who moved to the UK were also more likely to take low-skill jobs rather than those that required higher qualifications.

Polish shop in the UK
 There are now 223,000 fewer British workers in the UK than a decade ago, while the number of non-UK born workers rose by 1.7 million.

Immigration minister Damian Green said: 'We accept that employers need to attract the brightest talent from across the world to fill jobs gaps but this should never be at the expense of UK workers.

Illegal Immigration

More than 1 million illegal immigrants are living in Britain — double the government’s most recent estimate, according to a study.

The report warns that a proposed amnesty for illegal immigrants could add a total of 2.2 million to the population because each of the 1.1 million illegals would be entitled to bring at least one spouse, child or other family member into Britain.

The report is a direct challenge to Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, who has proposed an amnesty for long-term illegal residents who have been here for 10 years.

The study for Migration Watch, a think tank that lobbies for stricter immigration controls, updates earlier studies from the Home Office and the mayor of London.

For more on this story

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A miracle, Supreme Court upholds State's Rights on Immigration

The 5-3 decision gives states more authority to act against illegal immigrants.  Justices rule that states can take away the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Many observers were in shock that the court which has blown holes in the Bill of Rights and supported many Big Brother laws would rule in favor of a modest level of State's Rights.

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave Arizona and other states more authority to take action against illegal immigrants and the companies that hire them, ruling that employers who knowingly hire illegal workers can lose their license to do business.

The 5-3 decision upholds the Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007 and its so-called business death penalty for employers who are caught repeatedly hiring illegal immigrants. The state law also requires employers to check the federal E-Verify system before hiring new workers, a provision that was also upheld Thursday.

Thursday's decision is a defeat for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, several civil-rights groups and the Obama administration, all of whom opposed the Arizona law and its sanctions on employers. They argued that federal law said states may not impose "civil or criminal sanctions" on employers.

Our Federalist Founders insisted that States have Rights

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said another portion of the same law made clear that states were free to use their "licensing" laws to punish employers.  Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito formed the majority.

The Big Brother Supreme Court still does not understand the Constitution.  So-called "Conservative" Justice Roberts said that a portion of a law passed by Congress allows states to control their own local business license laws and codes. 

Modern Conservatives can't seem to get their minds around the fact that the 10th Amendment exists.  Under the Constitution States have rights.  Period.  Our Federalist Founding Fathers did not put into the Constitution that States need to ask the central government for permission to write and enforce their own laws.

Armenia expects Russian support in Karabakh war

The 1988 to 1994 war between Armenia and Azerbaijan threatens to start up again.  The last conflict resulted in 30,000 dead and 85,000 wounded on both sides combined.  In seeking support Armenia has granted Russia a military base until 2044.

Middle East media outlets say Armenia is counting on support from its ex-Soviet military allies, including Russia, if war breaks out with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, the defense minister said Thursday.

A member of the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, or CSTO, which has been touted as a post-Soviet answer to NATO, Armenia is locked in an increasingly tense dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

“Given Armenia’s membership in the CSTO, we can count on an appropriate response and the support of our allies in the organization, who have specific responsibilities to each other and the ability to react adequately to potential aggression,” Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian told a security conference in Yerevan.

A flashpoint of the Caucasus, the Nagorno-Karabakh region is a constituent part of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia since the end of 1994. While internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory, the enclave has declared itself an independent republic but is administered as a de facto part of Armenia.

The Armenian Army
Azerbaijan has repeatedly threatened to use force to win back Karabakh if peace negotiations do not yield satisfactory results, while Yerevan has warned of large-scale retaliation if Baku launches any military action.

Nikolai Bordyuzha, the general secretary of the CSTO – whose members are Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – told the conference that the organization opposed any attempts to resolve the Karabakh conflict by force.

Moscow is Yerevan’s main economic and military partner, and the Armenian parliament last month ratified a deal to allow Russia to maintain a military base in the country until 2044.

Officials said this would ensure Armenia’s security and protect Russian interests in the former Soviet region, where the Kremlin wants to play a leading role.

QUESTION: Are Republicans idiots or just on the take?

"The three reasons a Democrat was elected to Congress in the district were Medicare, Medicare and Medicare,"   ----- Steve Israel, (D-NY)

Are Republicans idiots or just on the payroll
of the Democrat National Committee?

Democrats picked off a heavily Republican upstate New York congressional seat Tuesday in a special election that became a referendum on Medicare and may have blunted further GOP efforts to cut popular entitlement programs as a way to close the federal deficit.

But the real question of the day should be:  "Is Paul Ryan an idiot or is he on the payroll of the Democratic National Committee?"

I can't believe that Ryan is on the Demos payroll.  So I must go for option #1.  He is an idiot.

First of all, the Ryan budget cutting plan is a joke.  If every cent of Ryan's "savings" were enacted into law he would take the national debt from $14 trillion to $23 trillion in 10 years.

No sane person thinks running up the national debt another $9 trillion is cutting the budget.  But let's put this to one side for a moment.

Never Give them a Club to Beat You

Somehow the GOP managed to take one of the most Republican seats in the nation and reduce their vote from 73.6% just six months ago down to only 43%. . . . . . a drop of 30 percent.  Now that takes talent.   
Are the leaders of the Republican Party
smarter than a caveman?  Sadly, no.

The fault for the loss can 100% be placed directly at the feet of Paul Ryan.

I have been involved in enough political campaigns over the years to recogzine stone cold stupidy when it looks me in the eyes.

No matter what plan Ryan put forward it was dead on arrival because the Senate is controlled by Democrats and the President has a veto.

But Ryan was eager to strut his ego and tell everyone how much smarter he is than the average Republican.  So Ryan handed the Democrats the Medicare Club and asked them to beat the GOP with it until November, 2012.

But it gets worse than that.  Voters over the age of 50 generally support the Republicans.  So Ryan deliberately and needlessly gave the Democrats a white hot issue to undermine the GOP base.  The results were in New York this week for all to see.  

Rule number one in politics is to never, ever give your enemy a weapon to use against you in an election.  Ryan in an act of egomaniacal insanity has put the House Republican majority in jeopardy and handed the Democrats the gift of a weapon on a silver platter.

Indian Maoists 'kill and dismember' 10 policemen

SOCIALISM IN ACTION:   Ten policemen, including one senior officer, have been killed and dismembered by Maoist rebels in India's Chhattisgarh state, police say.

The BBC said the attack reportedly took place in the densely-forested Gariyaband area on the state's border with Orissa.  The bodies of nine policemen were found on Tuesday. Officials say they were shot and then hacked into pieces.

 India's Maoist insurgency began in the late 1960s, in
the remote forests of West Bengal state
 Maoist rebels say they are fighting for the rights of indigenous tribal people and the rural poor.  They are active in several eastern and central states. In one of the most deadly attacks last year, rebels killed 74 policemen in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district.   India's prime minister has described the Maoist insurgency as the country's biggest internal security challenge.

The team left for a routine patrol on Monday morning and police said they lost contact in the afternoon. After their bodies were discovered on Tuesday, officials said the policemen were first shot and then their bodies were hacked into pieces "by sharp-edged weapons", the BBC's Salman Ravi from Raipur reports.

An inquiry has been launched to find out how such a small number of police ventured into Gariyaband, which is considered to be a Maoist stronghold.   "As per the code of anti-insurgency operations, there has to be a team of not less than 200 when venturing into such difficult areas," an official told the BBC.

Life inside a Maoist forest hideout

BBC's Suvojit Bagchi:

After eight hours of walking in dense forest, in the early evening we entered a narrow, barren stretch of land hemmed in by hillocks.

Somji, one of the men who collected me between a small town in south Chhattisgarh and the thick central Indian forest, picked up speed as we approached.

A tall man standing guard with a rifle flung over his shoulder whistled and people started rushing towards us.

In under a minute, the camp members stood in formation and began singing a welcome song.

Each member in the queue raised their fist to whisper "lal salaam" - "red salute".

Mostly aged between 15 and 30 years old, the men and women in the camp wore rubber sandals, olive green battle fatigues and carried guns of various makes.
The rebels are active in swathes of central and eastern India  

India's Maoist rebels say they are fighting for the rights of indigenous tribespeople and the rural poor. But the battle has been brutal: they frequently launch deadly attacks on India's security forces and those thought to support them.

The relationship with villagers in areas they control is generally positive, but not always. Maoists will kill suspected informers and that has the potential to create a climate of fear. But they are also aware that harming ordinary villagers will simply erode their support base.

But this is a highly polarised area. In areas controlled by the paramilitary units there is little support for the Maoists - and villagers who display such sympathies have uncertain fates.

For more on this story

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

'Sex tapes' used to Blackmail Political Opposition to ruling Islamist Party of Turkey

SEX TAPES:    The ultimate in "opposition research."  The tapes target leaders of a right-wing Turkish nationalist party causing fingers to point.  Many suspect the ruling Islamist party of dirty tricks in order to keep power.  In 2007 the Nationalists came from nowhere to win 71 seats in Parliament.  They feel they are being targeted for extinction in June 12th election.

Faced with a growing scandal centered on the sex tapes of members of the nationalist opposition party, Turkish politicians from across the spectrum are speaking out about a controversy increasingly seen as a threat to the country’s entire political realm.

Istanbul, Turkey
Anonymous figures last week threatened to release R-rated footage of senior Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, officials on the website Farkliulkuculer.com if MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli did not resign.

Bahçeli challenged the threats, saying neither he nor the MHP officials in question would go anywhere and that those making the demands were free to release the images.

A sex tape featuring MHP deputy leader Mehmet Ekici was released on Farkliulkuculer.com on Saturday, with an announcement that fellow deputy leader Osman Çakır would be next. Both men resigned from the party over the weekend, as did deputy leaders Deniz Bölükbaşı and Ümit Şafak; Secretary-General Mustafa Cihan Paçacı; and Chairmanship Council member Mehmet Taytak Bahçeli.

Their departures bring to 10 the total of senior party members who have now resigned from the MHP due to the release of the tapes. Recai Yıldırım, Metin Çobanoğlu, Bülent Didinmez and Mehmet Taytak all resigned from the party in the past few months due to the release of illegally obtained footage of them with women.

Nationalist Movement Party's office in Igdir 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan slammed the incident Sunday, while also criticizing allegations pointing to his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, as the perpetrator behind the plot.

“Those who blame our party for such tapes are in a serious delusion. It is an attempt for CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who came to power with a similar tape scandal, to conceal his inappropriate position by slandering,” Erdoğan said.

Daily Vatan columnist Ruşen Çakır wrote Sunday that none of the opposition parties have the equipment to pull off such a detailed, professional and well-facilitated plot. He also said the timing of the scandal indicates that those responsible cannot be from within the MHP.

“A plot obviously trying to keep the MHP out of Parliament is not a ‘restoration,’ but a ‘deconstruction.’ They are not only trying to ensure the MHP stays below the 10 percent election threshold, but they are also trying to purge the party,” Çakır wrote.

Ruling Islamist Party Ahead in Polls
Turkish opposition leader Devlet Bahçeli is being
blackmailed.  Resign or sex tapes will be released.

According to some public opinion polls the ruling party has won the hearts and minds of well over 50 percent of the nation and in the upcoming June 12 elections it will tally around 51-54 percent of the vote. Some other polls place the AKP at a far modest below 50 percent, claiming that the ruling party would receive in between 45 percent and its 2007 election level of 46.7 percent. There is not one poll showing the AKP below 45 percent.

The most problematic party so far appears to be the MHP, which has been battling sex-tape scandals, losing four prominent parliamentary candidates, two of them deputy chairmen of the party, to the scandals.

Already there are claims that the party, which has been trailing around 13-15 percent level in public opinion polls, has dipped as low as 11 percent, just a percentage point above the 10 percent national threshold. Naturally, the MHP, as well as many political observers including this writer, consider the sex-tape scandals as a systematic effort by the ruling AKP or some criminal minds close to AKP leadership. There are claims that there were eight such tapes against senior MHP executives or parliamentary candidates. So far four tapes have been released. If some new tapes are released before the election, the MHP might suffer some serious problems in overcoming the 10 percent national electoral threshold.

For more on this story

Supreme Court Punches Another Hole in the Bill of Rights

Creating a 4th Amendment loophole.   The Supreme Court failed to keep a lid on police excesses with its ruling this week in a Kentucky drug case.

50,000 Americans died or were wounded so we could
have a the Bill of Rights

In the American Revolution tens of thousands died or were wounded so we could live under a system of laws and not at the whim of a Big Brother Dictatorship.

But modern Americans live in FEAR on a 24-7 basis.  Fear of crime, fear of rap music, fear of drugs, fear of fast food . . . . the list of fears goes on and on.  But "answer" to all of our fears always comes back to giving more and more power to Big Brother Government.

The U.S. Supreme Court has acted again to slice away another part of our hard won freedoms.  The So-called "Conservatives" on the court joined hand in hand with the Liberals in a giant group hug and then everyone broke into a chorus of Kumbaya.  

The bi-partisan 8-1 decision came in the case of a search of an apartment in Kentucky by police who suspected illegal drugs were being destroyed. The police, who said they smelled marijuana near the apartment, had knocked loudly on the door and shouted, "This is the police." Then, after hearing noises they thought indicated the destruction of evidence, they broke down the door.

Overturning the Kentucky Supreme Court, Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court that as long as the police officers' behavior was lawful, the fact that it produced an exigent circumstance didn't violate the Constitution. That would be the case, Alito suggested, even if a police officer acted in bad faith in an attempt to evade the warrant requirement.

In the lone dissent:   "(Alito's reasoning) arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the 4th Amendment's warrant requirement in drug cases. In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant."   ----  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

As the delegates to the Constitutional Convention wrangled over the precise form of the document for governing their new nation some delegates refused to sign a draft because it did not include a bill of rights, a feature typical of the constitutions of the several states. Those delegates wanted there to be no question that certain rights were to be honored by the federal government, and this issue was so important to the Anti-Federalists that they used the absence of a bill of rights as reason enough to not ratify the Constitution.

Eventually, it was agreed to include a Bill of Rights comprised of 10 amendments in the Constitution of the United States of America.
Sample 1770s armed "thug" representing a Big Brother
Government which is more than willing to kill you and
take away your freedoms. 

The 4th Amendment is about as plain a statement of the sanctity of one’s home, person and personal property as can be made, and it states as clearly as it can be stated that strict procedures must be followed in order to suspend the right of citizens to be free of government intrusion, even when there is legitimate suspicion that a crime may have been committed.

So, how do we explain educated people, trained in the law, and presumably fluent in the King’s English, failing to understand this simple, straightforward, and unambiguous statement — a forthright guarantee of the personal right to privacy?

The 4th Amendment is what separates the United States from tyrannical police states.   But I suspect that our Federalist Founders would not recognize the centralized Big Brother state we have created.

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