"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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

American Combat Deaths in Iraq at 3-Year High

The Iraq War.  The gift from George Bush that just keeps giving.

Fifteen American soldiers have been killed in June, 14 of them in hostile incidents. According to icasualties.org, an online database, this was the highest number of combat fatalities since June 2008, when 23 soldiers and Marines were killed.

The biggest attack came on June 6, when militants fired rockets at Camp Loyalty in Baghdad, killing six soldiers. Kataib Hezbollah, a militia that American officials believe is supported by Iran, claimed responsibility for that attack.

The casualties are particularly striking given the diminishing numbers of American forces and their reduced combat role. Fewer than 50,000 troops remain, compared with more than 160,000 at the height of the war.

Three more American soldiers were killed this week. 

The deaths occurred Wednesday in southern Iraq. A military spokesman confirmed that the soldiers were killed by enemy attack. Recently, the increase in casualties has been attributed to rocket or mortar attacks on American bases by Shiite militias. American convoys have also come under increasing threat from improvised explosive devices.

Militants have stepped up their attacks, the military said, so as to claim credit for pushing out the American forces, who are to withdraw by the end of the year.

Defend our Borders

A radical thought.  Bring our brave troops home to seal and defend our wide open borders.  While our politicians play war with the lives of our troops literally millions and millions of people, from drug lords to terrorists, just walk into the United States when they feel like it.

Our military exists to defend the United States.  Period.  We are not defended when our troops are sent thousands of miles away from home to "secure" the borders of other nations.

For more on this story

Chinese local government debt at $2.04 trillion


Chinese local governments are racking up huge debts that they may have trouble paying off.

Chinese local governments held $1.65 trillion (S$2.04 trillion) in debt by the end of 2010, the state auditor said on Monday, warning that there was a risk that some could default.

Excessive borrowing by authorities to fund infrastructure and other projects has sparked fears among China's leadership about the risks the loans pose to the country's financial stability and the overall economy.

The amount is about 27 per cent of China's 2010 GDP of 39.8 trillion yuan (S$7.62 trillion).

'The ability of some areas and industries to repay debt is weak and potentially risky,' the NAO said.

The announcement represents the first time China has given an overall figure for local government debts, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

The state auditor said some local governments had to make new borrowings in order to pay back old loans, and some are depending heavily on revenue from land sales to meet their debt payments.

-- AFP

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pawlenty attacks GOP "isolationists"

"We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security."

- - - General Dwight Eisenhower

“Our enemies in the war on terror . . .  respond to strength.  Sometimes strength means military intervention." 
- - -  Tim Pawlenty

By Gary

In a strong attack on his rivals in the 2012 Republican presidential field, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty criticized the growing isolationist sentiments being expressed by some in the GOP ranks.  In this attack Pawlenty is in the bi-partisan American mainstream.  There is little difference between the two American political parties on war. 

“America already has one political party devoted to decline, retrenchment and withdrawal. It does not need a second one,”  Pawlenty said.

Governor Pawlenty, in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said some Republicans are pivoting away from the party’s legacy of “strength” in the foreign policy arena, while trying to “outbid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments.”

“This is no time for uncertain leadership in either party. The stakes are simply too high, and the opportunity is simply too great,” he said.  “History repeatedly warns us that, in the long run, weakness in foreign policy costs us and our children much more than we’ll save in a budget line item,”  Pawlenty said.

“Our enemies in the war on terror, just like our opponents in the Cold War, respect and respond to strength,” Mr. Pawlenty said. “Sometimes strength means military intervention. Sometimes it means diplomatic pressure. It always means moral clarity in word and deed.”

“That is the legacy of Republican foreign policy at its best — and the banner our next Republican president must carry around the world,” he said.

Shocking News:  Wars weaken nations

The modern GOP has become the party of war.  Republicans eagerly support the bombing and / or invading Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The Republicans want to wage wars around the world, but they refuse to pay for them.  Instead of raising taxes to pay for the wars, Republicans want us to borrow money from China or Brazil or have the Federal Reserve run the print presses.  Those policies leave a weakened not a stronger America.

BRITISH EMPIRE:  Back to back wars bankrupted and
imploded the empire to where it vanished almost overnight.

What Republicans do not understand is that in general wars do not strengthen a nation but in fact weaken a nation making it vulnerable to an outside enemy or internal revolution.  World War II did not strengthen the United States.  We only looked stronger in comparison because WWII had reduced all the other important nations to rubble and near starvation.

Some examples:

RUSSIAN EMPIRE:   Czarist Russia was bankrupted, gutted and starving because of World War I.  The result was the Communist Revolution, mass slaughter and former Russian provinces such as Finland and Latvia becoming independent nations.  If Russia had remained neutral in the war there would have been no Lenin or Trotsky.

GERMAN EMPIRE:   The great Empire of the Hollenzollerns was up ended by World War I.  The overseas colonies were lost, the monarchy was overthrown in a revolution, there was hyperinflation of the currency, economic depression and and rise of the Nazi Party.

BRITISH EMPIRE:   The combination of two world wars bankrupted and brought down the greatest empire since ancient times. 

FRENCH EMPIRE:   Stretching from South America to Africa to Asia this great empire was also massively weakened and brought down by two world wars.

SOVIET EMPIRE:   The massive military spending of the Cold War combined with the endless war in Afghanistan caused the fall of the Soviet empire.  The Communist Party was overthrown, the Warsaw Pact nations escaped the control of Moscow and many of the Soviet provinces became independent nations.

BYZANTINE EMPIRE:  The most successful of all Westnern nations lasted for
over 1,100 years from 330 to 1453.  They faced far worse enemies than America
has ever had to deal with.

A Byzantine foreign policy for America

The United States is totally bankrupt.  There is no more money nor will there be any for years to come.  But politicians like Obama and his supporters still want to keep fighting expensive wars.  Modern Republican politicians try to out do Obama and are still beating the war drum.

I know this is a radical thought, but how about just leaving other nations alone?  The assorted countries of the world managed to exist for the last 10,000 years without the United States sending in troops to help them "solve" their problem of the moment.  Let's bring our brave troops home to defend our wide open borders against an invasion of drug lords, illegals and terrorists who simple walk into the United States at will.

My area of historical study is the most successful nation in the history of the Western world, the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. 

The Byzantines were not afraid of war.  For 1,100 years war is all they knew having to deal with endless invasions of Persians. Germanic tribes, Slavs, Arabs or Turks.  Being the surviving half of the Roman Empire they also had the most powerful army and navy in the world.  They used their military many, many times over the centuries. 

But they Byzantines did everything in their power to avoid or minimize any possible wars.  Their foreign policy was dedicated to buying off possible enemies or buying allies to help avoid wars.  There are two main reason for this.
  1. Wars are hugely expensive causing a drain of the resources of the state that could be used elsewhere.
  2. In war you cannot guarantee the outcome.  Combat can go against you making matters worse or cause internal unrest.
The foreign policy of Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan followed the basic Byzantine model.  Both Presidents built a powerful military, but did their best to avoid major combat, build alliances and build a strong American economy through peace.  Both Eisenhower and Reagan knew that the real power of America was the power of our free economy.  With money you can buy friends and avoid war.

Peace through strength.  The American political Elite need to re-think their ideas about war.

Pakistani woman villager is forced to 'parade naked'

Police in Pakistan say they have arrested two men for stripping a woman naked and parading her in a village.

One of the offenders had accused the woman's son of having illicit relations with his wife, the police said.

The incident is rare in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa - one of
Pakistan's most conservative provinces
Public dishonoring of women is not uncommon in Pakistan and other parts of South Asia, but the incident is rare in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Police said villagers where the incident took place did not try to stop it because the offenders were armed.

Haripur district police chief Mohammad Ali Gandapur told the BBC that a resident of Nilor Bala village had complained to village elders that two men had had sexual relations with his wife.

According to the police, a village council advised the complainant to divorce his wife.

Instead, he and four armed men stormed the house belonging to the mother of one of the men alleged to have slept with his wife in order to kill her son.

Because the son was not there, the men dragged the mother out, stripped her and made her walk through the village, the police said.

They have now registered a case against seven people, but only two have been arrested so far. They say they are looking for other offenders.

Campaigners say achieving justice for women who are abused in Pakistan is difficult.

In 2002, Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped by members of a tribe in the village of Meerwala in Punjab province after her brother was accused of having sexual relations with a local woman.

Ms Mai launched legal proceedings against the alleged offenders. Six men were convicted but five were acquitted on appeal by the Pakistani Supreme Court in April.

--- BBC

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Jerry Brown wants more taxes,taxes (and yes) taxes

The good old days of the 1970s.  Governor Moonbean with Hanoi Jane
Fonda and her Commie-Pinko husband Senator Tom Hayden.  You know
people by the friends they keep.

"We have to crush the opposition"   - - -  Jerry Brown

They say a leopard does not change his spots.  That is ever so true in politics.  Jerry Brown was a Commie-Pinko nut case in the 1970s and is a Commie-Pinko nut case today.

Brown, like all Democrats, is an insane Statist and Socialist.  They never have met a government program that did not need more funding or an "oppressed" minority that did not need help through the forced re-distribution of wealth.

1978 saw the bursting into American politics of the modern tax revolt.  The people of California under the leadership of Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann passed Proposition 13 against bi-partisan opposition of the Elites of the two political parties. 

Proposition 13 froze property taxes so the common people would not be thrown out of their homes in order to fund the Black Hole of government.  Brown is still bitter to this day about that defeat.  And a bitter old man is an ugly thing to see.  Now he wants to "reform" Proposition 13 and jack up taxes on businesses.  Perhaps he wants to see how many more businesses he can drive out of the state. 

California Governor Jerry Brown hinted that if the budget talks with Republicans break down, the initiative fight that would follow would not be limited to Brown's plans to raise sales, vehicle and income taxes. He said he expects labor groups to pursue changes to Proposition 13, tweaking the current caps on commercial property taxes, if no bipartisan deal can be reached the Los Angeles Times reported.

"I would expect there will be efforts to accelerate the reassessment of commercial property tax," Brown said.

During his remarks to about 250 apartment owners and developers at the Moscone Center, he acknowledged some of his failures in budget talks, particularly over his proposal to eliminate redevelopment agencies.  "I wouldn't be ready to write the obituary of redevelopment agencies," he said. "They're very powerful and they're still alive and well despite my best efforts."

He also talked about his experience as mayor of Oakland, and how that convinced him of the need to tweak some of the state's environmental laws. He said he "never had such a sustained experience with mindless resistance," than he did as mayor, but he quipped that the constant antagonism taught him an important political lesson.

"So what did we learn? We have to crush the opposition."

Typical of political hacks, Jerry Brown has spent his entire life sucking on
the government tit.  Making a payroll or even earning a private paycheck from his
labor is an alien thought.

Mauritanian army destroys al Qaeda camp in Mali

Mauritanian soldiers attacked a terror camp inside Mali

The Mauritanian army said it had destroyed a camp in neighboring Mali Friday night that was sheltering militants linked to al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

By Jemal Oumar

Mauritanian military forces killed 15 al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) terrorists inside Mali, the army announced on Sunday (June 26th).

"[The] operation began Friday with the objective to dislodge and destroy a fortified AQIM camp installed in the Wagadou Forest," Colonel Brahim Vall Ould Cheibani said at a press conference in Nouakchott.

The attack, which left two Mauritanian soldiers dead and five wounded, was a joint manoeuvre with Mali aimed at a terrorist base 70km from the Mauritanian border. Nine terrorists were captured, Ould Cheibani said.

"The Wagadou region is completely under control of the Mauritanian army, which continues to search for al-Qaeda," Colonel Tayeb Ould Brahim told reporters.

A high-level Mauritanian military official in the border town of Bassiknou told Magharebia that the army had "killed scores of AQIM fighters, burned tens of their vehicles and completely destroyed a base camp inside the forest".

The official attributed the prolonged battle to "many land mines that AQIM fighters planted at the entrances of the forest... that made the Mauritanian military units wait on storming the forest in full and to take instead an accurate death toll of the terrorists' losses."

"This military operation has revealed an extremely important issue – al-Qaeda has had access to sophisticated weapons as a result of the Libyan crisis," said Mokhtar Salem, an expert in armed groups. "The proof of that is the organization's use of land mines, Grad rockets and rocket launchers. The Mauritanian forces were able to destroy a location that housed an arms cache, and as a result, there was a strong blast that could be heard 30km away."

Mokhtar Salem noted that the "Wagadou Forest is located just 65km away from Mauritania. It extends for a distance of 120km, and therefore, the Mauritanian army's intervention was necessary to prevent the formation of a mini-state for AQIM along its border.

"The attack indicates Mauritania's determination to confront AQIM," analyst Mustafa Ould Yacoub told Magharebia. "It is one of the biggest military operations ever to be launched by the Mauritanian army on the terrorist organization."

Ould Yacoub added: "The Mauritanian army is now in a running battle deep inside enemy lines, after AQIM was able to penetrate the Mauritanian border several times and carry out their operations because of a failure to control them." 
A  Mauritanian soldier stands guard 

"This operation is part of the Mauritanian army's commitment to the plan adopted by the chiefs of staff of Sahel countries," said Sid Ahmed Ould Tfeil, a specialist in armed groups. "Such a plan focuses on pre-emptive strikes from time to time with the aim of confusing AQIM and undermining its military power and its co-ordination efforts with other groups, especially the Sunna and Jama, which is known as Boko Haram, in Nigeria."

He added that the terrorists could have acquired weapons from Libya. "Mauritania has certainly succeeded in limiting the recruitment of young people into terrorist groups. However, it is still facing real difficulties in shutting off its vast borders in the face of suicide infiltrators from AQIM," Ould Tfeil said.

"I believe that it is politically justified for any state that has the ability to get rid of a danger threatening it to do so," political science professor Sidi Ould Ibrahim said.
---- From Magharebia

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hot Women Soldiers

Libyan women wear army fatigues in Tripoli

Libya unveils its latest weapon against Nato: women at arms

"I will kill myself if Muammar Gaddafi is killed. I know our people will kill themselves if he dies."

Screaming and chanting his name, the 500 women and girls vowed their undying love for one man. Not a pop star or Hollywood actor, but Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

"Kill all the people in Libya first, then come for Muammar Gaddafi," said 14-year-old Fatima Hassan. "I will kill myself if Muammar Gaddafi is killed. I know our people will kill themselves if he dies," writes the UK Guardian.

The event in Tripoli on Sunday was billed as a graduation ceremony for women who had been given weapons training in defense of the regime. Around 50 international journalists, invited and escorted by government minders, arrived to find them clapping, singing, ululating, punching the air and waving green flags in a tented hall set up with chandeliers and two colossal flatscreen TVs.

There were elderly women and little girls in the hall, and every age in between. Some held aloft pictures of a luminous Gaddafi, one framed in green Christmas tinsel. A woman waved a green flag and wore a sparkly green cape, green scarf and green bandana with badges showing Gaddafi's face. Next to her was a woman wearing a watch that displayed his image.

A Gaddafi supporter holds up her gun

There was also much idolatry, most of all from the teenager Fatima, who said her father is an engineer and she attended an international school near Edgware Road in London. "We love Muammar Gaddafi and we want to save our country," she said.

"He made us happy. He makes us eat and makes the country free to do what we want. Before, we weren't free. My grandparents tell us that before Gaddafi, it was bad, there was no bread. He saved us."

Pledging to fight for the man depicted on her necklace, she explained: "There are no women and children now."

Fatima claimed her five brothers have gone to fight for the regime against rebels in Benghazi and Misrata. Asked how she would feel if they were killed, she replied: "It doesn't matter. I don't care. It's for the leader."

With government minders hovering nearby, there was similar fervour from Habib Abdul Qasem, 39, a nanny dressed in military fatigues. "Of course I will defend myself and my country," she said. "We are an armed nation; everyone in this country has weapons. I keep a gun in my house. I've never used it but if the conditions change I will use it against the Crusasders."

Well, maybe not so hot, but she can still beat you at arm wrestling.

Moussa Ibrahim, a government spokesman, said: "Libyan women are now joining the armed forces against Nato. We are training them. Their main role is defending homes. We have no plan to send them to the front line. They are not trained for that, and our army is very effective."

But he added with a rhetorical flourish: "We are going to make sure that every mother, the symbol of love and creation, is a bomb, a killing machine."

Women raise their fists in the air and cheer during the Tripoli ceremony

For more on this story

China launches economic projects in North Korea

Capitalism vs. Socialism
Korea from space at night is the perfect contrast.  In the Capitalist south they have light bulbs. 
In the Socialist north if they have any food at all they eat in the dark.


China signs a 50 year lease with North Korea for an entire island on the Yalu River

In the aftermath of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's visit last month, Chinese companies in recent days have held a series of low-key groundbreaking ceremonies across the border for projects designed to jump-start the moribund North Korean economy.

The North Korean regime, largely out of desperation, has leased parcels of its territory to the Chinese reports the Los Angeles Times. The parcels include grassy islands in the Yalu River, near the crossing made famous in 1950 when China intervened in its communist neighbor's behalf in the Korean War; and ports at the northern tip of the country that will give China access to the Sea of Japan through North Korea for the first time in 150 years.

A group of North Korean women wait to escort North Korean and
Chinese officials for a groundbreaking ceremony on Hwanggumphyong,
an island in the Yalu River.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Jang Song Taek, Kim's brother-in-law, attended a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for an industrial park on Hwanggumpyong, an island on the Yalu River, that is supposed to take advantage of Chinese capital and cheap North Korean labor.

Businesspeople working in North Korea say a similar ceremony was supposed to be held Thursday at Rajin, the seaport where Chinese companies are building another industrial zone, as well as a new road that leads to the port.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry issued a brief news release Thursday saying that Chinese and North Korean officials had reached a consensus during three days of meetings this week that the economic development zones would be "government-guided, enterprise-based and market-oriented." Details remained sketchy.

Pyongyang publicized the ceremonies, but official Chinese news outlets did not send reporters attend and carried just brief dispatches based largely on news releases. The lack of publicity in China may reflect Beijing's ambivalence about doing business with an unreliable neighbor and a desire to avoid international criticism for propping up a nuclear-armed country with an abysmal human rights record.

"North Korea is under sanctions by countries such as the U.S., so they are looking for a way out," said Joeng Hyung-gon, a research fellow at the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy in Seoul. "China is the only place they can go to ask for help."

In North Korean propaganda, this will be shown as Kim Jong Il's brilliance," said John Park, a specialist in North Korea-China relations at the Washington-based U.S. Institute for Peace. "They will say these are the seeds that will blossom into economic reform."
North Korea needs to make up for the near-collapse of various joint ventures with South Korea since last year, when the sinking of a South Korean ship and an artillery barrage on an island brought inter-Korean cooperation to a halt.

STOP:  Light bulbs and extra food are not allowed in the Worker's Paradise.

In structure, China's long-term leases of border territory are much like the deals North Korea struck with South Korea in the area just north of the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries.

China reportedly signed a 50-year-lease for the 4.6-square-mile Hwanggumpyong, where a 30-minute ceremony was held Wednesday. The South Korean Yonhap news service reported that large balloons flew overhead with the slogans "Friendship between China and North Korea" and "Joint Development." The low-lying island, south of the Chinese city of Dandong, is currently used for farmland and a North Korean military installation. A smaller island called Wihwa is also part of the deal.

The Chinese are also building a new bridge to the islands that is eventually supposed to be extended to reach to the North Korean mainland.

No doubt the most attractive part of the package for China is the access to the port in Rajin, part of a larger special economic zone known as Rason. In 1860, China's weak Qing dynasty signed a treaty that ceded a long strip of coastline to Russia, leaving Chinese Manchuria landlocked. The use of the port in Rajin makes it easier to transport raw materials from the resource-rich region of northeastern China to the industrial hubs in southern China. In December, the Dalian-based Chuangli group, which had spent $3.6 million renovating the port, shipped 20,000 tons of Manchurian coal through the North Korean port to Shanghai.

"It is faster and cheaper to ship through North Korea's port than to use the railroads," said a businessman who was in Rajin this week as preparations were underway for the groundbreaking. "Everybody in Rajin is very excited about what the Chinese are doing. They think it will bring jobs."

For more on this story

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rape used by Iran to punish political enemies

Opposition protests in 2009: political activists have accused the intelligence ministry and
revolutionary guards of harassing inmates with sexual assaults.

Authorities are using mass rape against political prisoners as a weapon inside Iran's most notorious prisons

Prison guards in Iran are giving condoms to criminals and encouraging them to systematically rape young opposition activists locked up with them, according to accounts from inside the country's jail system reports the UK Guardian.

A series of dramatic letters written by prisoners and families of imprisoned activists allege that authorities are intentionally facilitating mass rape and using it as a form of punishment.

Mehdi Mahmoudian, an outspoken member of Iran's Participation Front, a reformist political party, is among those prisoners who have succeeded in smuggling out letters revealing the extent of rape inside some of the most notorious prisons.

Mahmoudian was arrested in the aftermath of Iran's 2009 disputed presidential election for speaking to the press about the regime's suppression of the movement and is currently in Rajaeeshahr prison in Karaj, a city 12 miles (20km) to the west of the capital, Tehran.

"In various cells inside the prison, rape has become a common act and acceptable," he wrote in a letter published on Kaleme.com, the official website of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

According to Mahmoudian and letters published on various opposition websites, political prisoners are locked up with some of the most dangerous criminals – murderers and ex-members of armed gangs.

Iranian protesters on the streets of Tehran.  The Obama Administration
is nowhere to be seen on the rape of political prosoners.
 Meanwhile, 26 prominent political activists who have been in jail since the 2009 election have written to an official prison monitoring body accusing the government's intelligence ministry and the revolutionary guards of harassing inmates with unlawful tactics that included sexual assaults.

Mohsen Aminzadeh, a senior deputy foreign minister, Mohsen Mirdamadi, a leader of a reformist party and Behzad Nabavi, a veteran activist are among those who put their signatures on the letter.

Speaking to Jaras, a website run by opposition activists, families of political prisoners have alleged that prison guards are failing to protect them from rape or sexual assault.

"During exercise periods, the strong ask for sex without any consideration. Criminals are repeatedly seen with condoms in hand, hunting for their victims," an unnamed family member told Jaras.

"If the inmate is not powerful enough or guards would not take care of him, he will be certainly raped. Prison guards ignore those who are seen with condoms simply because they were given out to them by the guards at first place," the family member said.

The family members say prison guards are turning a blind eye to the systematic rape and have ignored complaints made by rape victims.

Amnesty International, which has documented rape inside Iran's prisons and interviewed victims for a 2010 report, called on Iran to launch an investigation into the recent allegations.

Kristyan Benedict, Amnesty International UK's Middle East campaign manager, told the Guardian: "Rape is a terrible crime and these allegations [mentioned in the letters] should be thoroughly investigated. Amnesty International has also documented the rape of male and female detainees by security officials. Many of those detained for taking part in post-election protests were tortured and did not receive fair trials. The Iranian authorities still continue to punish and persecute those who peacefully speak up against them."

According to Mahmoudian, who has been transferred to a solitary confinement after his letter attracted attention, one young prisoner was raped seven times in a single night.

Rape victims in Iran usually stay quiet in order to protect the honor of their family but at the time when journalists based in the country are facing strict restrictions, these letters have become one of the only sources of information about the situation of hundreds of imprisoned activists.

Iranians in America are free to protest.

For more on this story

The Republic is Dead, Long Live the Empire

Congress proves yet again they could care less about freedom and the Constitution

"We have been sliding for 70 years to a situation where Congress has nothing to do with the decision about whether to go to war or not, and the president is becoming an absolute monarch.  And we must put a stop to that right now, if we don't want to become an empire instead of a republic."

- - - Congressman Jerrold Nadler  (D-New York)

There were a lot of big speeches and pontificating coming out of Congress this last week on Caesar Obama's Imperial War in Libya.  But it was all hot air and cowardice.


0    -    The Constitution

1    -    Caesar Obama

The cowards in Congress again refused to obey their oath to protect and defend the Constitution.

In a vote of 295 - 123 the House voted not to authorize Obama's self-proclaimed war in Libya.  That is well and good.

But minutes later, in a 238 - 180 they refused to cut off funding for Obama's illegal war.  In other words, they told Obama to go right on spending money to bomb Libya.

Cowards.  Worse than cowards.  They are willing to let Obama go ahead and kill people in another nation and do nothing.  But Congress is also more than willing to abdicate their Constitutional power to declare war.

Our Federalist Founding Fathers are rolling in their graves.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Conservative Supreme Court guts the Bill of Rights

Your freedoms are at the mercy of insane Supreme Court justices who appear
to never have read the Federalist Papers or the Constitution.

Conservatives along with Justice Sotomayor gut the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights.

Both the left and the right like to pick and choose which parts of the Constitution that want to enforce on any given day.

This time the so-called "Conservatives" used the 1st Amendment as the pretext to massively expand the power of the Federal government over the states and gut the 10th Amendment.

The "small government" Court ruled that a state is not even allowed to pass laws to regulate businesses within the borders of their state.

The Supreme Court by a 6-3 vote struck down a Vermont law that barred pharmacies, drug makers and others from buying or selling prescription records from patients for marketing purposes. Vermont's physicians had sought passage of the law, arguing that their prescriptions were intended for private use of patients and should not become a marketing tool.

Drug makers buy this data to gear their sales pitches to physicians. Several data-mining firms have made a billion-dollar business out of buying and selling the prescription data to drug makers and researchers.

Writing for the court, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said that "information is speech," and that under the 1st Amendment, the government usually cannot restrict speech because it does not approve of the message.

INSANITY:  Kennedy is out of his mind.  Your private medical information is not speech.  Plus, any sane and educated person who has read the Federalist Papers and the Constitution understands that states have the power to regulate business within their borders.

This is a giant Big Brother power grab by the Federal government.

Maine and New Hampshire have adopted similar laws, in part to deter drug makers from pressing doctors to prescribe newer and more expensive brand-name drugs.

Dissenting were Breyer, Ginsburg and Kagan. Breyer called Vermont's measure "a lawful governmental effort to regulate a commercial enterprise." The case was Sorrell vs. IMS Health Inc.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, criticized the decision for having "overturned a sensible Vermont law that sought to protect the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship."

For more on this story

The Slovakians are taking over the United Kingdom

The view of the United Kingdom has been flavored by classic movies and
TV like the hit 1960s series "The Avengers".  But bowler hats and proper
English gentlemen are gone to be replaced by immigrants from around the world.

With the fall of Communism the peoples of Eastern Europe are pouring into the United Kingdom

A Slovakian take over?  Actually it is a neck and neck race for percentage increase in Eastern European immigration to the UK.  The top five nations fueling the rise in Britain's immigration are all from Eastern Europe.

Slovakia, with a population of just five million, leads the boom in foreigners in the UK.

New figures reveal 49,000 Slovakians came to live here in 2010, a massive 513 per cent increase on the 8,000 who arrived in 2004.

The former Communist bloc country has a 12.1 per cent unemployment rate - almost double that of Britain - and its workers earn around £7,000 a year.

Helpful books for immigrants

And under EU regulations, migrants are entitled to state handouts including jobseeker's allowances and housing benefit.

Many of Slovakia's neighbors like Latvia, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania have joined the rush to live here now they are in the EU.

Poland has 521,000 of its citizens in Britain - 448 per cent up on the 95,000 who arrived here in 2004.

The figures, calculated using data from the government's Office of National Statistics, also highlight the number of foreigners leaving the country.

Nationals from Malta, who have few rights to work in the UK, left the country at a faster rate than any other foreign group.

In 2004, 32,000 of their citizens arrived, but last year, 7,000 - 22 per cent - had left, while 54,000 Irish left, a drop of 12 per cent.


   COUNTRY                 2004                         2010                              RISE
  1, Slovakia                 8,000                       49,000                             513 %
  2, Latvia                     7,000                       39,000                             457%
  3, Poland                   95,000                     521,000                            448%
  4, Romania               14,000                      68,000                             386%
  5, Bulgaria                11,000                      53,000                             382%


   COUNTRY                2004                         2010                              FALL
1, Malta                       32,000                      25,000                             22%
2, Uganda                     62,000                     53,000                             15%
3, Ireland                    452,000                   398,000                             12%
4, Kenya                     143,000                   129,000                             10%
5, Hong Kong               86,000                     78,000                               9%


Immigration in Scotland

On Edinburgh's Royal Mile, the ancient road running from its 12th-century castle at the top down to the Enric Miralles-designed parliament at its bottom, you'll find some unlikely proponents of Scottish nationalism. Sporting tartan turbans and proudly brandishing the Saltire, the Sikh small-shop owners are sometimes viewed curiously by tourists and festival goers. The example is symbolic because at a time when Scottish identity is being appropriated in various arenas, it does raise the question of where ethnic and racial minorities fit into a country dominated by myths and legends of an ostensibly "white" nation dating back millennia.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond with
SNP MSP Humza Yousaf prior to taking the oath of
allegiance at the Scottish Parliament.

Perhaps with the exception of Herman Rodrigues' 2006 exhibition on Scotland's Asian communities, little is said of the "new Scots". It is nevertheless a matter of enormous pride to the SNP that the only ethnic minority MSPs have been members of their party, the most recent being Humza Yousaf who earlier this month swore his oath of allegiance in Urdu, wearing traditional Pakistani clothes supplemented with a band of tartan. Elsewhere, less "visible" minorities, such as the Italians and now eastern Europeans, have stitched themselves into the fabric of Scotland's major cities, as indeed have Chinese groups and other east Asians. Hence one of Edinburgh's most loved Scottish folk musicians is the Kirkcaldy-born Andy Chung.

Yet the most fascinating feature of Scottish nationalism is also the least noticed: there's a mighty difference between a nation's identity and people's national identities, which reveals itself in the saying that while England owned the British empire, it was the Scots who ran it. No wonder then that the Indian military has a Scottish tartan in its formal regalia (3rd battalion, the Sikh Regiment, traces its lineage from "Rattray's Sikhs" named after Captain Thomas Rattray of the 64th Regiment of Bengal Infantry). Whatever else people in Scotland think makes up their idea of Scottishness, the identity of Scotland as a historical nation cannot really be understood apart from that of India and other places of empire.

Central Mosque in Glasgow, Scotland

There goes the Neighborhood:

Scottish - Pakistani says Eastern European immigrants are trashing the city.

The area around Govanhill on Glasgow's southside is home to one of the country's largest communities of "new Scots" - people whose families moved here from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh.

There are sari shops, shops selling a wide range of exotic looking sweets, shops that offer money transfer to the sub-continent, food shops and plenty of restaurants and take-aways.

One man, whose family came from Pakistan, told a BBC reporter he'd lived in Govanhill for 20 years. But he's moved away now.

"The area's hit the skids", he explained.

And who did he blame? The government, for letting in too many Eastern Europeans and asylum seekers.

The reporter had not hadn't expected that.

Wasi Khan Wasi Khan:   "I moved out of this area five years ago, but I've still got family here. It's declined massively. There are lots of reasons - the government letting in Eastern Europeans and asylum seekers. That might come across as really racist. But it's not."

The BBC reporter was also surprised by another conversation, with a man who told him he has been living and working illegally in Glasgow for nearly five years.

He insisted he didn't want to claim benefits. But to work and pay taxes.

The man added: "The Asian community here they want only permission for working.  "If you don't give them permission you are losing, financially."

He went on to explain that some businesses exploit workers who they know are in the country without permission, paying them low wages.  - - ( BBC story )

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Three Stooges take over the Republican Party

GOP LEADERSHIP:  Eric Cantor, John Boehner and Paul Ryan  (AP file photo) 

"Congressional and White House officials remained optimistic that higher-level talks could build on the tentative agreements reached by the Biden group. Mr. Cantor said the group had identified more than $2 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years. However, a Democratic official close to the talks said the total was only about $1.2 trillion."   

- - - - Wall Street Journal

The eternal question:  are Republicans idiots or morons?

This takes me back a few years, but let me try my 7th grade math.

Some $2 Trillion in "savings" divided by 10 years   =   a tiny $200 Billion a year.

TRANSLATION:   That means the United States is bankrupt.  Stock up on food, gold and guns.

The Three Stooges have taken over the GOP.  For the Republicans to think they are cutting spending they would have to be idiots or morons. . . . . or they think the people are idiots or morons who will believe anything some liar hack politician says because he has an "R" after his name.

The United States is totally and completely bankrupt.  THERE IS NO MORE MONEY.  Almost no one is buying our debt and the Federal Reserve printing presses are spewing out phony cash day and night.

We all know that Democrats are fools who can't find their backsides with both hands.  But somehow the GOP has presented an image (a false image) that they care about spending.  But the fact of the matter is the GOP is the party of Big Government and the Marxist re-distribution of wealth going back to Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

Nothing has changed to this day.  The Republicans have shown they have no interest in cutting spending.  If they did care they would pass a real budget that truly cut spending.

Unless something is done now we will need to learn Greek.  The party is over.  Someone turn out the lights when they leave.
Bi-partisan Big Government spending no matter which party has power.

China conducts live-fire drills to warn Vietnam

DEXING, CHINA.  Elementary school students link arms to form the Communist
Party flag of China for the party's 90th anniversary on July 1st

China's state-controlled media are warning Vietnam that Beijing will "take whatever measures necessary," including military action, to protect its interests in the South China Sea.

The Chinese navy conducted three days of exercises — including live fire drills — in the disputed waters of the South China Sea this week, escalating tensions over a potentially resource-rich area also claimed by some neighboring countries in Southeast Asia says the Los Angeles Times.

The display of naval might hundreds of miles from China's southernmost border was widely seen as a warning to Vietnam, which this week conducted its own live fire drills near the Spratly Islands. Several countries claim sovereignty over the string of uninhabited volcanic rocks, which are ringed by jagged reefs and crusted with bird droppings but rendered attractive by virtue of the surrounding waters that are fertile fishing grounds and may cover significant reserves of oil and natural gas.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei all claim jurisdiction over some of the territory. But China contends its sovereignty dates from ancient national maps that show the islands to be an integral part of its territory.

On Friday, state television showed video of Chinese patrol boats firing repeated rounds at a target on what looked like an uninhabited island, as twin fighter jets streaked in tandem overhead. The report said 14 vessels participated in the maneuvers, staging antisubmarine and beach landing drills aimed at "defending atolls and protecting sea lanes.''

Vietnamese sailors patrol one of the Spratly Islands. The country's recent military
exercises near the disputed archipelago were answered this week by the Chinese navy.

China has pressed its claim to the outcrops in the South China Sea more assertively in the last two years. Chinese civilian vessels have increasingly confronted fishing and oil-exploration ships from other countries operating in those waters.

The Vietnamese government is under pressure from its own intensely nationalist media and its citizenry to stand up to China. The sea skirmish in May sparked an anti-Chinese outpouring in Vietnam, and the government has permitted rare public demonstrations to allow a mostly youthful crowd to vent anger.

Social media are also fueling anti-Chinese sentiments, including an online petition to change the name of the South China Sea to the Southeast Asia Sea.

"Vietnam has always been in a bad position to have such a large and powerful neighbor as China, but we are also angry that the Vietnamese government takes such a subservient attitude toward China," said Thuc Vy Huynh, a 27-year-old activist and blogger.

Chinese officials say they are merely protecting their national economic interests.

"We cannot avoid dealing with this issue. The Vietnamese are collecting gas and encroaching on our territory," said Xu Guangyu, a retired Chinese military officer and analyst with the China Arms Control and Disarmament Assn.

As China adopts a more forceful posture in its international relations, nervous neighbors have become more receptive to U.S. involvement, pushing countries like Vietnam to seek an American counterweight to Chinese power.

A Chinese flag and a satellite dish are prominently displayed in a structure built by China in one
of the islands in the Spratly Islands.

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Islamic Bus Stops and Murder in Pakistan

Pakistani men waiting for transport at a newly installed colorful bus shelter, inscribed with verses of the
Koran and Islamic calligraphy with a public service message in Islamabad.

Billions and billions of your tax dollars at work supporting an Islamic authoritarian state 

Pakistan is decorating bus stops with Quranic verses and Islamic calligraphy to give a more spiritual flavor to the capital Islamabad.

The Capital Development Authority, or CDA plans to roll out 100 new bus shelters – known locally as sunshades – painted with flowers and religious verses to spruce up the 1960s purpose-built capital.

"The new sunshades will not only provide protection to commuters from inhospitable weather but will also project the art of Islamic calligraphy and our rich heritage," CDA official Haji Mehboob Ahmad told AFP.

The CDA intends to erect 30 in the next two months, the hottest and wettest of the year as the monsoon season sets in, at a cost of 400,000 rupees each after the public responded well to a pilot program.

Set up near Islamabad's commercial Blue Area, not far from the seat of government, the first stop has been lavishly painted green, purple and yellow, inscribed with verses from the Quran seeking protection from evil.

The name of God has been painted in Arabic calligraphy and there is a public service message exhorting bus users to respect public property.

"This bus stand belongs to you. Please take care of this sunshade and keep your city green and clean," the message says.

The project has attracted local press attention and residents said they were fans of the new shelters.

"It really looks great to see beautifully designed sunshades with calligraphic art," said Imran Hussain, a telecommunications worker, waiting at the new bus stop surrounded by huge trees.

"I have decided to approach the CDA management to put up one in an area where I live. It really looks beautiful," he said.

The municipality, which is heavily committed to mega building projects such as new under-passes and fly-overs in the growing city of more than one million, says the bus stops have a practical benefit.

"These messages will be meant to enhance awareness among people on crucial issues of water conservation, sanitation and an anti-littering campaign," CDA official Ramzan Sajid told AFP.

Christians at Mass in Pakistan

Pakistan's Christians: "You live with fear. You can't express yourself."

An ever-deteriorating situation for Christians in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. "In the 'Rome of Pakistan,' Christians say they fear speaking out, worry about the future," by Nahal Toosi for The Associated Press, April 22:

KHUSHPUR, Pakistan  (AP)  — A church bell, not a mosque loudspeaker, calls people to prayer along the dung-lined streets and inside the crumbling houses of this village. The body of Pakistan's most recent Christian martyr is buried in its graveyard.

Khushpur is almost entirely Catholic, and for decades it has been an oasis for Christians in a nation where 95 per cent of people are Muslim and Islamist extremism is spreading. The village has produced so many priests and nuns that some call it the "Rome of Pakistan."
But Islamist militants' recent murder of federal minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian son of the village targeted for opposing Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, has rattled the peace. As they prepare to observe Easter, many of the 5,300 villagers say Pakistan's Christians face more pressure than ever.
"You live with fear," said Rose Dominic, 45, a math teacher. "You can't express yourself."...
Khushpur has risen to prominence among Pakistan's Christian villages partly because of its reputation for producing "martyrs."
One of them was Bishop John Joseph, a human rights activist who shot himself in 1998 to protest the same blasphemy laws Bhatti wanted to change. The laws impose the death penalty for insulting Islam, and rights groups say they are frequently used to persecute religious minorities or settle personal disputes.
Joseph's body is buried in the nearby city of Faisalabad, but his bloody clothes were interred in the graveyard in Khushpur under a large marble slab. Just a few meters away is Bhatti's grave, topped with a cross bearing his picture, and still topped with fresh flowers daily.
Bhatti led the ministry for minorities, and what little political power Pakistan's Christians had was almost entirely vested in him. Fliers left at the scene of his March 2 murder in Islamabad were signed by Taliban and al-Qaida militants who said they targeted Bhatti because of the blasphemy issue.
The mention of Bhatti's name still brings tears in Khushpur, where one woman said people loved him more than their own sons.
"People feel and people think their hope died," said Father Anjum Nazir, the parish priest. "If he is killed, what will be security for other people?" 

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