Saturday, March 31, 2007

Weekly Thailand appeasement check in.

Terrorism: The coup led government plan with the Muslim General is going along perfectly.

SUSPECTED Islamic rebels shot dead four Buddhists while three others were injured in separate attacks in Thailand's Muslim-majority south.

An elderly couple were shot at point-blank range yesterday by four militants who posed as customers at their grocery shop in Ra Nage district of Narathiwat, one of three restive southern provinces bordering Malaysia, police said.

Militants then placed a bomb inside the shop that was aimed at killing police officers investigating the crime.

The bomb exploded but no one was injured.

In neighboring Pattani province, a 61-year-old Buddhist was shot dead in a drive-by shooting while he was riding a motorcycle.

A 49-year-old man was also gunned down late Friday in front of his house by two people on a motorcycle in Pattani.

Elsewhere, a 37-year-old Buddhist was injured in a drive-by shooting in nearby Yala province, and a Buddhist couple were also wounded in a small roadside bomb explosion in the province.

More than 2000 people have been killed since separatist violence erupted three years ago in the south.

The violence has worsened since a September coup, despite a series of peace initiatives by the army-installed Government.

Perfectly for the terrorists I mean.

Union allies in Los Angeles defeat charter expansion.

Edumaction: Unions vs the well being of kids in a horrible area? Unions will always win.

A split Los Angeles Board of Education on Thursday rejected the expansion plans of one of the city's leading charter school operators — a move that almost certainly violates state law and firmly sets back future collaboration between the charter group and the school district.

The unexpected 3-3 vote by the Los Angeles Unified School District board defeated Green Dot Public Schools' application for eight new charters. The group had planned to use several of the charter licenses to open new schools this fall in the Watts neighborhood around Locke High School — one of the city's worst. The board's seventh member, David Tokofsky, recused himself because he works for Green Dot.

Board members and teachers union allies Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, Jon Lauritzen and Julie Korenstein voted against the charters, saying that despite the promising results Green Dot has produced at its other charters, they remain skeptical of the group's reform model.

Their vote enraged Green Dot founder Steve Barr, who said it essentially ended months of talks between him, Supt. David L. Brewer and board President Marlene Canter aimed at a joint reform plan for Locke.

"There is nothing to collaborate on … now we're outsiders," Barr said. "We've spent hours and days and nights trying to collaborate…. I really have a hard time finding any reason to continue talking with this district."

Charters are publicly financed, independently run schools that are freed from many of the restrictions imposed on traditional schools in exchange for improving student performance.

Barr is the largest charter operator in Los Angeles and has won strong support from such wealthy philanthropists as Eli Broad. He has clashed in the past with district officials over his aggressive push to expand.

The rejection also infuriated board member Mike Lansing, who represents Watts voters and has pushed unsuccessfully for dramatic reforms there. Lansing accused his colleagues of bending to the wishes of the influential United Teachers Los Angeles, which largely opposes the charter movement.

"It's really disappointing that we keep talking about wanting to do what's best for children first, when without a doubt that vote was about a teachers union and three board members not having the backbone to stand up and do the right thing for kids over their ties to the union," Lansing said after the vote.

Britons oppose military action to free sailors.

UK: Talk about a nice piece of propganda to shove in the faces of the sailors to further demoralize them. Their own people oppose action to save them.

Most Britons oppose immediate military action to free 15 navy personnel detained in Iran, and believe the government will resolve the crisis peacefully, a poll released Saturday suggests.

Only 7 percent of respondents to the survey for the Sunday Telegraph newspaper said Britain should prepare to use military force at this stage, nine days into the crisis. Asked if force should be used as a last resort, 48 percent were opposed and 44 percent in favor.

Eight British sailors and seven marines were detained by Iranian naval units March 23 while patrolling for smugglers near the mouth of the Shatt al-Arab, a waterway that has long been a disputed dividing line between Iraq and Iran.

Tehran says the crew was in Iranian waters, but Britain insists its troops were on the Iraqi side of the maritime border.

Forty percent of Britons polled backed the government's current strategy of quiet diplomacy but no apology to Iran, while 17 percent felt Britain should impose sanctions and 26 percent felt Britain should apologize and ask for the captives back.

I would make a joke that the 26% were all Londoners, but this is a pathetic showing of the British public and their support for their own military force. 48% of them could give a damn. Ironic that the Telegraph would also put up a leader editorial saying If the Iranians hate us, let them also fear us

Why should they fear when the public will say leave them alone.

Pelosi mission to Syria a nice gift to them.

Politics: The slamming and excuse making for Pelosi and her band of useful idiots trip to Syria.

"....Pelosi can expect a warm welcome in Damascus, said Josh Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma.

"Syria is going to be thrilled," he said. "Syria has been in deep isolation. They're embattled. There are many people that wish them ill."

The Syrians may not expect anything concrete to arise from Pelosi's visit, Landis said -- at least, so long as President Bush is in the White House. But they are likely to see her visit as an opportunity to make their case to future U.S. leaders on issues such as the continuing U.N. investigation into Syria's meddling in Lebanon and Syria's perennial struggle with Israel over possession of the Golan Heights.

"They want her to see Syria as a potential positive actor ... they are going to say we are important in the region. We can help you," Landis said.

Pelosi, in return, will need to be tough with the Syrians, pressuring them to stay out of Lebanese affairs, to stop supporting Hamas against Israel, and to promise to stay out of Iraq's civil war, especially if U.S. forces leave. But Pelosi, too, probably expects to leave with little of substance, he said.

"Nothing significant is going to come out of this. She's not going to come back with anything in her hands from the Syrians," Landis said. "But it is significant in that it means things are going to change in the Middle East."

Any agreement Pelosi does get from Damascus -- especially to help stabilize Iraq -- is likely to be placed in a congressional spotlight upon her return, said Wayne White, former senior Middle East analyst at the State Department.

"If she comes back with anything significant, she can use it to argue that the president's more narrowly focused approach to Iraq is outdated, unpopular and likely to fail, thereby casting a more positive light on the upcoming Iraq legislation the president plans to veto," he said.

The trip is not without its political hazards for Pelosi, said Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College.

"The White House will resent what it regards as congressional meddling in executive territory. Republicans will see an opportunity to attack her for reckless behavior. They may also use the trip as a way to peel Jewish voters from the Democratic Party," he said. "The attack ad writes itself: 'Neville Chamberlain in an Armani pantsuit.' "

Flying Imams lawyer makes changes to "John Does"

Nation: After the bone-headed move of trying to sue passengers and the national outcry over such tactics, the CAIR led lawsuit for the flying imams got changed around to something even worse.

The lawsuit filed earlier this month targeted "passengers who contacted US Airways to report the alleged 'suspicious' behavior of plaintiffs performing their prayer at the airport terminal."

The amended lawsuit identifies possible John Does as individuals who "may have made false reports against plaintiffs solely with the intent to discriminate against them on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity and national origin."
"The only individuals against whom suit may be raised in this litigation are those who may have knowingly made false reports against the imams with the intent to discriminate against them," Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a letter this week to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest law firm. The Becket Fund had publicly condemned CAIR for supporting the case.

Becket Fund chairman points out this is even worse than the original line of sueing the passengers.

Becket Fund Chairman Kevin Hasson criticized the amended changes in a letter to CAIR on Thursday.

"There is no way Mr. Mohammedi can possibly determine whether the John Does 'knowingly made false reports' against his clients 'with the intent to discriminate against them' without taking their testimony under oath, at least during pretrial discovery," Mr. Hasson said.

"That prospect alone, of being dragged into court proceedings, will certainly provide a great disincentive for other citizens to come forward with their own suspicions," he said.

This proves that CAIR and the Imams are trying to make a precedent that will chill passengers on a plane or people anywhere else to not report suspicious activities.

Chicago Tribune cheerleading for Obama

Media: So says their public editor in not so many words. You can say the same for the Chicago Sun Times.

".... Recent photos of Obama accompanying the front-page stories have been large and flattering. But how critical has the newspaper been in its coverage of Obama? Not very, at least thus far.

The lengthy article Sunday, accompanied by two secondary stories, was the first time Obama's self-descriptions were challenged on the front page. I would expect to see more of that.

Not that the Tribune has ignored his flaws. Last November, the paper was the first to report on Obama's long association with the indicted political fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko and it revealed a small real estate deal for a piece of the property that Rezko owned adjacent to Obama's house.

Three days later Obama said it was a mistake to be involved in the transaction and he regretted his actions. His mea culpa appeared, however, on the front of the Metro section. Other stories raising questions about Obama's investments, his judgment and political weaknesses also have appeared, but all inside the paper.

That was also true of a story by Tribune national correspondent Dahleen Glanton anticipating Obama's first trip to South Carolina in more than two years. The article explained how Obama is likely to find his greatest political challenge in the South, particularly among black voters who retain allegiance to former President Bill Clinton, and presumably to Obama's rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

One questioning article that did make it to the front page aimed at explaining some of Obama's religious beliefs and his association with Trinity United Church of Christ.

There is nothing easier than second-guessing story placement. But there have been other bits and pieces of Obama criticism that have not yet appeared at all.

Questions exist, for instance, about Obama's portrayal of his early community-organizing role in Altgeld Gardens on the South Side. Another issue is why Obama used composite characters and fictitious names in his first memoir, "Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance." While that may be a perfectly legitimate literary device (and he did acknowledge it in the book's introduction), Tribune readers would benefit from a discussion of the topic."

Both Chicago papers have become cheerleaders for Obama while downplaying or ignoring any subject that would show him in a bad light. Minneapolis Star Tribune does the same for Keith Ellison. I am going to be cynical and say all three papers are doing major excuse making because they are black and in Ellison case because he is the first black Muslim from the state.

I am still waiting for some MSM paper in America to tackle this story that appeared in January from the UK's Evening Standard calling Obama's stories about his father a myth.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Rosie O'Donnell says the Brits did it on purpose.

Entertainment: Going into Iranian waters as the prelude to all out WAR!!!! and says Anderson Cooper needs to wake up.

anderson cooper
wake up

False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities.

the british did it on purpose
into iranian waters

we will be in iran
before summer
as planned

come on people
u have 2 c
i know u can

So this is how a crackup from reality plays out. Amusing.

Screw Mbeki and the rest of the SADC.

Africa: South Africa's gutless wonder Thabo Mbeki has shown himself to be a suck up to China/Russia and the worst enabler of Mugabe reign of terror on Zimbabwe.

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe's ruling party endorsed incumbent Robert Mugabe on Friday as its candidate for next year's presidential elections, handing the 83-year-old leader his second political victory in two days in the face of international criticism over a brutal clampdown of the opposition.

Outside observers had said the ruling party was divided over whether Mugabe should remain at the helm of a country he has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980. But the party's central committee endorsed him as a candidate for the 2008 elections, party spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira told state television.

Mugabe received a major boost Thursday when southern African leaders publicly backed him at a summit despite appeals from the United States and other Western countries to denounce his treatment of the opposition.

Clearly emboldened, Mugabe was defiant when he addressed supporters Friday, saying the opposition got what it deserved when police crushed a planned demonstration earlier this month, killing at least one activist.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was wounded, "asked for it," Mugabe said, speaking in the local Shona language. Tsvangirai's supporters say police smashed his head against a wall repeatedly while he was in detention.

Thursday's summit in Tanzania ended with the appointment of South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate in Zimbabwe's crisis. Mbeki has been criticized at home and abroad for his insistence on a quiet diplomacy that has had no effect.

African leaders called for an end to Western sanctions that Zimbabwe has blamed for its economic crisis. Western governments say the sanctions, including asset freezes and a travel ban against Mugabe and 100 of his top associates, don't hurt most Zimbabweans.

This is why Africa is nothing more than a cesspool of corruption. Worthless African leaders who refuse to stand up for African people when the evidence is clear something horrible is going on in Zimbabwe. They fall back on blaming whitey and going on with "quiet diplomacy" which means jack to some one like Mugabe.

The only person of note to come out strongly against Mugabe is Desmond Tutu and even he makes a minor excuse for Mugabe's behavior before launching into him. This is why Africa will never move forward and South Africa has lost its moral authority.

Nancy Pelosi and her band of useful idiots.

Terrorism: Nothing says stupidity or ignorance than sucking up to Syria.

ABC News has learned Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi plans to visit Syria next week to meet with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The visit will make Pelosi the most senior U.S. official ever to meet with President Assad.

Pelosi will be traveling to Syria has part of Congressional delegation. On the trip, she also plans to visit several other countries in the region, including Israel, where she will deliver a speech to the Knesset.

Pelosi's visit to Syria would come as the United States has severed high-level contacts with Assad's government.

The administration recalled the U.S. ambassador to Damascus after the February 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri in Lebanon. There has been very little high- or mid-level U.S. contact with Syria since then.

Last December, a delegation of four Senators visited Syria, a trip that was made over the objections of the Bush Administration. At the time, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized the trip as unhelpful.

Traveling with Pelosi will be Congressmen Keith Ellison (D-MN), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and David Hobson (R-OH).

Of course taking over Ellison in her mind is some sort of statement to show how America is not hateful towards all Muslims but it will play to the press over there. I can't wait for the Memri clips from this trip.

UN human rights body says limits to Press freedom.

Media: I expect a firestorm of protests from the Romenesko minions and Greg Mitchell's groupies over at Editor and Publisher. Wait.. it focused purely on Islam? Never mind, both sites would agree with it.

The United Nations top human rights body condemned "defamation" of religion on Friday and, in an apparent reference to the storm over the Prophet cartoons, said press freedom had its limits.

With the support of China, Russia and Cuba, Moslem and Arab states comfortably won a vote on the 47-state Human Rights Council to express concern at "negative stereotyping" of religions and "attempts to identify Islam with terrorism."

"The resolution is tabled in the expectation that it will compel the international community to acknowledge and address the disturbing phenomena of the defamation of religions, especially Islam," said Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

The resolution was opposed by Western states which said it focused too much on Islam. The job of the Council was to deal with the rights of individuals not religions, they said.

"The European Union does not see the concept of defamation of religion as a valid one in a human rights discourse," a spokeswoman for the delegation of Germany, which holds the EU presidency, told the Council.

The resolution urged countries to ensure their laws gave adequate protection against acts of "hatred, discrimination, intimidation and coercion resulting from defamation of religions."

While everybody had the right to freedom of expression, this should be exercised according to limitations of the law and respect for others, including respect for religions and beliefs, it said.

Austria's five star min security prison.

Crime: I guess some small crimes do pay.

More pictures here.

Kids beat up homeless man in Daytona Beach.

Crime: This is just a bunch of jaw dropping sad facts of this case involving two 10 year olds and a 17 year old beating up a homeless man.

DAYTONA BEACH -- John D'Amico dabbed a tissue to sop up blood seeping from his left eye -- the spot where he said a 10-year-old dropped a cinder block on his face.

The 58-year-old homeless man with deep blue eyes and salt-and-pepper hair said he didn't fight back as three boys -- two 10-year-olds and a 17-year-old -- attacked him near one of Daytona Beach's grittiest streets Tuesday night, not far from where another homeless man was beaten to death by bored teenagers two years ago in Holly Hill.

They wanted to kill him, the day laborer said of his attackers Wednesday from his hospital bed.

"I'm not going to start fighting a 10-year-old," he said. "Then I'd be in jail."

While violence against the homeless is on the rise, national advocates said they've never heard of children as young as 10 taking part in an attack.

All three boys are charged with felony aggravated battery. They're being held at a juvenile detention center for the next three weeks while prosecutors decide how to handle their cases.

The State Attorney's Office would not comment on whether the boys will be charged as adults.

They made their first court appearance Wednesday, handcuffed, shackled and, in the case of the 10-year-olds, wearing white jail jumpsuits that were too long and too loose for their young frames.

The younger boys were fidgety, whispering to each other as they waited their turn before County Judge Peter Marshall at the Volusia County Branch Jail.

When Marshall asked the boys whether their parents were present, they looked at each other and shook their heads.

The 17-year-old, Jeremy Woods, of Daytona Beach, asked for a public defender, and the two younger boys nodded in agreement.

Find the parents and sterilize them before they spawn again.

Fox News and CBC team up for debates

Politics: How long will it take the nutters to get up to full indignation speed?

"FOX News and the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute (CBC Institute) have jointly announced that they will present two 2008 primary debates, which are expected to attract the top Democratic and Republican contenders for President of the United States. The debates will be presented live on FOX News Channel (FNC) and FOX News Radio.

The first of the two debates will be among Democratic candidates and will be held on September 23rd at the Fox Theater in Detroit. The second debate will be among Republican candidates and will take place in the fall of 2007 at a location to be determined. Both debates will serve as a forum for the candidates to make their platforms known.

The fight over who has the absolute moral authority between mostly white condescending liberals and the CBC ought to be fun.

Three New Mexico polits indicted.

Politics: It also ties in with the whole attorney nonsense going on in Washington.

ALBUQUERQUE -- Former Senate President Manny Aragón and former Albuquerque Mayor Ken Shultz are among seven people named in an alleged corruption scheme in the construction of the Metro Court building in Albuquerque.

Aragón was one of four people indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday while Shultz and two other people have already pleaded guilty to crimes in the design and construction of the courthouse.

The U.S. Attorney's office said state taxpayers lost more than $4 million in the design and construction of the project thanks to the alleged wrongdoing of Aragón, Metro Court Administrator Toby Martinez. Martinez’s wife, Sandra Mata Martinez, and engineering firm partner Raul Parra.

The have all been indicted on charges of conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering.

According to the U.S. Attorney's office, those four people schemed with others to defraud the state during the building of downtown's metro courthouse through kickbacks and padded contracts.

Federal prosecutors have already reached plea agreements with a subcontractor named Manuel Guara, project architect Marc Schiff and Schultz who worked as a lobbyist for one of the project contractors.

The corruption case is already sparking strong reaction from state leaders in Santa Fe especially in regard to the indictment of Democrat political strongman Aragón.

“I'm really sad,” Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, said. “This is a bad day for the New Mexico Legislature that somebody who led us for 20 years is having these kinds of problems.

“We hope that everything is done according to the law and that these indictments are not politically influenced.”

The FBI forwarded the high-profile and publicly known case to the U.S. Attorney's office last October.

Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias recently testified before Congress that he refused to rush the indictments despite alleged political pressure from Republican Sen. Pete Domenici, and his House colleague, Rep. Heather Wilson.

Both Domenici and Wilson have acknowledged calling Iglesias to inquire about corruption investigations in the weeks before the November election, but both have denied doing so to pressure Iglesias. Senate and House rules allow members to make general inquiries of U.S. Attorneys.

Schiff, Schultz, and Guara all entered their plea agreements earlier this year.

German courts helping to make a Muslim Parallel Society

Germany: Via SPIEGEL ONLINE a long and informative article on how the German courts are helping due to misplaced tolerance and a liberal stance allowing behaviors of fundamentalist Muslims to be on par with the rest of society. The authors argue this has helped some to game the law system to make legal customs and norms that are at odds with the rest of German society.

"...For far too long, Germany's muslim immigrants were not asked to put much effort into integrating. For decades, German judges essentially paved the way for Islamic fundamentalists to form a parallel society. They raised little opposition to the strategy employed by Islamic groups to demand their supposed religious freedom in court until they got it. But the judges must have known, argues Johannes Kandel, that "giving preferential treatment to groups violates the principle of equal treatment in a secular legal system." Kandel heads the intercultural dialogue group at the political academy of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is closely alligned with the center-left Social Democrats.

Citing the freedom of religious expression guaranteed under the German constitution, judges in Germany permitted Muslims to withdraw their children from swimming lessons or to forbid them from taking part in school celebrations or school trips. This allowed outdated concepts of chastity from places like Turkey's highly traditional eastern Anatolia region to survive in an otherwise enlightened Europe. But religious freedom, says Udo Di Fabio, a judge on Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, the country's highest judicial institution, is no "basic right deluxe," but rather one of many constitutional rights -- and one that constantly has to be weighed against other rights.

"We were far too negligent for much too long," says Andreas Jacobs, the coordinator for Middle East policy and Islamic countries at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which is aligned with the conservative Christian Democrats. Wolfgang Bosbach, the deputy chairman of the CDU's parliamentary group says he sees the ruling as an indication "that we are gradually putting our own concepts of the law and values up for grabs." But Jacobs believes it is instead a kind of aftershock of the naïve multicultural illusions of recent decades."

It sounds just like what is happening in Minneapolis with Somalian Muslims and other fundie groups determined to use our own laws against us to make normal certain cultural and religious norms that would help created two Americas.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

So.. David Hicks going to be given to India now?

Terrorism: He admitted he is a little terrorist snit though for some reason Aussies got sucked in with the whole media he is a misunderstood guy trying to find his way in life stuff. But he has some answering to do for his "misunderstood" adventures shooting at Indian soldiers.

DAVID Hicks, already facing the possibility of 20 years' jail on terrorism charges in the US, is the subject of a new investigation by the Indian Government over his alleged attacks on their armed forces in Kashmir.

The investigation has been triggered by disclosures in US prosecution files about the involvement of Hicks with a terrorist group that has killed thousands of people in the disputed Indian territory of Kashmir.

The prosecution file states that the former kangaroo skinner and father of two who converted to Islam joined the terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba in Pakistan, travelled to the border with Indian Kashmir in 2000 and fired on Indian troops.

The information was sent to New Delhi this week by the Indian deputy high commissioner to Australia, Vinod Kumar.

Senior officials in New Delhi yesterday confirmed they were examining that material. "We're looking into it and finding out the facts," an official said.

"If Mr Hicks was involved with them at any level, and if he was indeed firing weapons at our troops, then, most certainly, we'd like to talk to him about it ... We don't take kindly to attacks on our soldiers - even attacks by people like Mr Hicks."

The US file is consistent with a letter Hicks wrote to his family in Adelaide in which he admits to firing hundreds of bullets in Kashmir at the enemies of Islam.

In a March 2000 letter, Hicks said "don't ask what's happened, I can't be bothered explaining the outcome of these strange events has put me in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in a training camp. Three months training. After which it is my decision whether to cross the Line of Control into Indian-occupied Kashmir."

Battle of Gare du Nord rocks Paris

EU: As the "youths" found an excuse to go on a rampage again, sadly the socialist candidate Royal blamed the government for creating an atomosphere where the sad little scums can't help but lash out.

It began with a routine ticket check at a Paris train station. What happened next _ rioting, looting, tear gas _ showed the anger that erupted into violence in France’s troubled neighborhoods in 2005 still smolders beneath the surface.

The rampage by youths, many apparently of African or North African descent, at a major rail hub Tuesday became an instant campaign issue in the French presidential race. It was a jarring reminder of the social tensions France’s new leader will contend with when he or she takes power in May.

Front-runner Nicolas Sarkozy of the governing right called the violence at the Gare du Nord unacceptable. His main rival, Socialist Segolene Royal, blamed Sarkozy’s camp, saying the right’s policing policies were an utter failure.

Anger erupted after a 32-year-old man without a Metro ticket punched two inspectors during a routine check, police said. The man, an illegal alien from Congo who has challenged France’s efforts to expel him, had been convicted in 2004 for insulting a magistrate, police unions said.

Dozens of youths gathered to defend the man from ticket agents, and the group swelled to 300 people and grew more and more aggressive, police said.

The youths wielded metal bars, smashed windows, looted stores and injured eight train agents and a police officer, police authorities said.

Via the Telegraph
Mr Sarkozy, presidential candidate for the right-wing UMP party who stepped down as interior minister on Monday, defended the police's handling of the incident.

"We are the only country where it is considered abnormal to arrest someone who doesn't pay for his ticket," he said. "If the police force is not there to ensure a minimum of order, what exactly is its role?"

advertisementSégolène Royal, the Socialist candidate, said the riot was a legacy of Mr Sarkozy's time at the interior ministry - including the November 2005 riots - which had worsened animosity between police and young people from ethnic minorities.

"Naturally passengers should pay for their ticket. But for a simple stop-check to degenerate into such violent confrontation proves that something is not right any more," she said.

"Five years of a Right-wing government which made security its campaign theme, and we see that it has failed right along the line."

Prosecutors fired for not backing Bush

Politics: AP with one of the most bias headlines in a while which doesn't match the article's content.

WASHINGTON - Eight federal prosecutors were fired last year because they did not sufficiently support President Bush's priorities, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' former chief of staff says in remarks prepared for delivery Thursday to Congress.

Separately, the Justice Department admitted Wednesday it gave senators inaccurate information about the firings and presidential political adviser Karl Rove's role in trying to secure a U.S. attorney's post for one of his former aides, Tim Griffin.

In a letter accompanying new documents sent to the House and Senate Judiciary committees, Justice officials acknowledged that a Feb. 23 letter to four Democratic senators erred in asserting that the department was not aware of any role Rove played in the decision to appoint Griffin to replace U.S. Attorney Bud Cummins in Little Rock, Ark.

Sampson, in remarks obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, spoke dismissively of Democrats' condemnation of what they call political pressure in the firings.

"The distinction between 'political' and 'performance-related' reasons for removing a United States attorney is, in my view, largely artificial," he said. "A U.S. attorney who is unsuccessful from a political perspective ... is unsuccessful."

The President says one thing and you are doing another won't look well on your performance evaluation.
Sampson, who resigned earlier this month because of the furor over the firings, is to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

In his prepared testimony, he maintained that adherence to the president's and attorney general's priorities was a legitimate standard. He strongly denied Democrats' allegations that some of the prosecutors were dismissed for pursuing Republicans too much and Democrats not enough in corruption cases.

"To my knowledge, nothing of the sort occurred here," he said.

Sweden cutting taxes to boost businesses.

EU: It's a sad thing when Sweden is moving to make their population a bit less dependent on government and encouraging creation of business while America with the Dems are moving in the other direction.

Sweden will abolish its wealth tax this year to boost investments and create jobs, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said Wednesday, the latest in a slew of reforms announced since his centre-right government ousted the Social Democrats from power six months ago.

The move was broadly welcomed in political and business circles.

"We will propose to abolish wealth tax as of 2007 in our spring budget bill," Reinfeldt, the leader of the conservative Moderate Party, wrote in an article published in daily Dagens Nyheter.

The article was co-signed by the heads of the three other government coalition partners, Maud Olofsson of the Centre Party, Lars Leijonborg of the Liberals and Göran Hägglund of the Christian Democrats.

Finance Minister Anders Borg said Sweden also needed to keep pace with developments in other countries.

"When one country after another abolishes wealth tax, and we are left as one of the few countries to still have it, then you have to take this kind of decision," he said.

The government said that of the 30 members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only five countries – France, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland – still have wealth tax.

....Since taking power after September's elections, the centre-right government has introduced a series of measures aimed at getting Swedes into the workforce, including a reduction of unemployment insurance and higher union fees, as well as a tax break on home help.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

French "youths" tear up subway station.

France: The "youths" even give Sarkozy some love for the upcoming election.

The trouble started when a 33-year-old without a ticket jumped the barriers in the subway station and was stopped by railway officials, police said. He tried to resist and is accused of injuring two officials.

Police patrolling the station intervened and arrested him.

However, several young people who witnessed the incident began to gather in protest against what they perceived to be the use of excessive force by police. The passenger was removed from the station but the crowd grew.

Some began throwing plastic bottles at police and shouted insults at Nicolas Sarkozy, the former interior minister and centre-right candidate for president. They also chanted slogans of "police are everywhere, justice is nowhere" and "down with the state, police and bosses".

Police reinforcements soon arrived, but did not dislodge the rioters from the station until tear-gassing them shortly before midnight.

The youths then played a game of cat and mouse with police in nearby streets, setting trash cans and signs on fire.

Calm was restored only one hour later.

Steven Emerson writes about CAIR

Politics: Via The New Republic and that fawning piece by Neil MacFarquhar of the NYTIMES

This year has been a rocky one for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the self-professed "prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy" group. First, Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer rescinded an award her office had issued a CAIR official, stating that she was uncomfortable with many of the organization's positions. Then, two weeks ago, the GOP House Conference objected to the use of a Capitol facility--provided by Democratic Representative Bill Pascrell to host a CAIR forum, labeling the group "terror apologists" (based on CAIR's long track record of extremism and anti-Semitism).

Yet, just as people began to realize this and to ostracize CAIR accordingly, The New York Times arrived with a life raft. Earlier this month, Neil MacFarquhar wrote an incredibly generous profile called "Scrutiny Increases for a Group Advocating for Muslims in U.S." MacFarquhar's piece is so fraught with errors--of commission and omission--that it is a coup of CAIR propaganda.

Senate Dems win surrender bill.

Politics: Large part thanks to Senator Chuck Hagel(R-Hezbollah) He has a fetish for stupidity and is eager to surrender to give Islamic terrorists their biggest propaganda victory yet.

Senate Democrats scored a surprise victory yesterday in their bid to force President Bush to end the Iraq war, turning back a Republican amendment that would have struck a troop withdrawal plan from emergency military funding legislation.

The defection of a prominent Republican war critic, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, sealed the Democrats' win. Hagel, who opposed identical withdrawal language two weeks ago, walked onto the Senate floor an hour before the late-afternoon vote and announced that he would "not support sustaining a flawed and failing policy," adding: "It's now time for the Congress to step forward and establish responsible boundaries and conditions for our continued military involvement in Iraq."

Props to the Dems and Hagel because they proved Osama Bin Laden that America is a paper tiger in their eyes that should surrender at the drop of a dime.

There is the easy way and hard way to learn a lesson on not backing down, thinking of ways to win a conflict. Hagel has proven he could give a damn and I guess his next move is to kiss Iran's ass given his past comments.

Florida state Dems come up with crap tax plan.

Florida: Property taxes are out of control in the state and the Florida legislature is trying to find a way to cut back on the taxes which is what the public wants. Here comes the Florida Dems with one of the stupidest ideas yet.

A major provision of the plan would allow existing homeowners to keep their current Save Our Homes tax savings when they move to a less expensive home. For those upgrading to a more-expensive home, they would be able to keep the tax-cap on the first $250,000 of their assessed value.

But in order for that tax break to meet constitutional requirements of fairness and to not make Florida home buying overly prohibitive to those arriving from other states, Geller said the plan calls for a loosening of the Save Our Homes tax cap. Currently, it caps the amount that the taxable value of a homestead property can grow each year at a maximum of 3 percent. Senate Democrats' plan would raise the annual cap to a maximum of 6 percent a year.

Owners of businesses, second homes and even rental properties would, for the first time, enjoy protections from skyrocketing property tax rates. The plan would limit the amount that their taxable value could grow each year to 10 percent.

Cities and counties would be forced to rollback their property tax collections to last year's levels - a change that would immediately force them to cut roughly $1.1 billion statewide. A House Republican plan, by comparison, would force a rollback to 2000-01 levels, cutting local government budgets by $5.5 billion.

The Senate Democrat plan also seeks targeted property tax breaks for certain groups, including first-time homebuyers, owners of affordable housing units, many waterfront businesses, and certain small businesses.

Geller said the proposal is designed to be both ``broad-ranging'' to offer tax savings to every Floridian but also include ``targeted relief'' to groups facing ``critical need,'' such as elderly citizens eager to downsize to smaller, less-expensive properties.

For first-time homebuyers purchasing properties below the median value of homesteaded property in their county, the relief would work like this: In their first year of ownership, they'd pay only half of the property tax bill that otherwise would be due.

In the second year, those homeowners would pay 60 percent of the tax bill. The percent of their tax bill that they'd pay would continue increasing in 10-percent increments each year. Only by the sixth year of home ownership would they begin paying the full amount of property taxes that would otherwise be owed.

Understand, people are demanding a cut to the property taxes. The Dems come up with a plan where existing homeowners(most of us) who stay will have our taxes raised, first time homebuyers gets a discount for a couple of years(but no save our homes,) then pay full price. In reality this plan means nothing except to try and fool people into thinking they are getting real savings. Cities and Counties are going to bitch because they like their expanded spending.

All in all, a horrible plan which is to be expected from the Florida Dems who would never put forth a real plan that cuts back on taxes and spending.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Keith Ellison makes anti-war people unhappy.

Media: When people are unhappy at Keith Ellison.

Ellison under fire from anti-war protestorsKARE, MN - 5 hours agoThey say Ellison broke a promise last Friday, when he voted for a bill that continues funding the war in Iraq. The bill also orders troops home in 18 months ...

Its time for the Minneapolis Red-Star Tribune to come to the rescue.

Ellison voted right way on Iraq appropriation Minneapolis Star Tribune (subscription), MN - 4 hours agoKeith Ellison in the US House of Representatives. His vote for a supplemental appropriation to finance the war was the only responsible option he had. ...

House votes to protect 'John Does' on flights

Politics: Winnar is the House tonight passing this as the backlash against CAIR's flying imams lawsuit continues.

House Republicans tonight surprised Democrats with a procedural vote to protect public-transportation passengers from being sued if they report suspicious activity -- the first step by lawmakers to protect "John Doe" airline travelers already targeted in such a lawsuit.

After a heated debate and calls for order, the motion to recommit the Democrats' Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2007 back to committee with instructions to add the protective language passed on a vote of 304-121.

Republicans said the lawsuit filed by six Muslim imams against US Airways and "John Does," passengers who reported suspicious behavior, could have a "chilling effect" on passengers who may fear being sued for acting vigilant.

No surprise by the rollcall of votes that all the no votes were Democrats including Keith Ellison and John Conyers who have a vested interest in the lawsuit.

USA Today comes out against Imams lawsuit

Terrorism: Unusually tough language from the watercolors paper.

"....Now the reward for being vigilant apparently includes being dragged into a lawsuit and accused of bigotry. The wry adage about how no good deed goes unpunished seems apt, though not so funny.

The lawsuit grew out of an incident last November when six Muslim clerics, returning from a religious conference in Minneapolis, were removed from a US Airways flight after passengers and crew raised alarms. The imams were questioned by authorities and released. The six say they are innocent victims of ethnic profiling for merely praying quietly in Arabic at the terminal.

Their lawsuit, filed earlier this month, accused the airline and Metropolitan Airports Commission of anti-Muslim bias. That was expected. What's unique and especially troubling, though, is the effort to identify an unknown number of passengers and airline employees who reported suspicions so they might also be included as defendants. For example, the imams want to know the names of an elderly couple who turned around "to watch" and then made cellphone calls, presumably to authorities, as the men prayed.

This legal tactic seems designed to intimidate passengers willing to do exactly what authorities have requested — say something about suspicious activity.

The imams' actions last November appeared to be either deliberately provocative or clueless as to how others might perceive them. Several passengers and crewmembers told authorities that the men loudly chanted "Allah" several times, cursed U.S. involvement in Iraq and switched their seat assignments. Three imams asked for seat belt extenders, which include a heavy metal buckle that could be used as a weapon, but left them on the floor."

Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR's legal director gets space to tell their side of the story which ends up proving USAtoday's point that the lawsuit is being used to intimidate passengers.

"....The lawsuit by the imams is seeking damages from US Airways for their alleged discrimination. It is not against any passengers who reported "suspicious" activity in good faith, even when that "suspicious" behavior includes religiously mandated prayers.

However, political cherry-pickers insinuate that the lawsuit punishes travelers who report suspicious activity. Nothing could be further from the truth. American Muslims are committed to the security of our nation. The six imams are signatories to an Islamic fatwa (religious decree) that states: "It is the civic and religious duty of Muslims to cooperate with law enforcement authorities to protect the lives of all civilians."

Reporting suspicious criminal activity to law enforcement authorities does not absolve anyone from the responsibility to be factual. False reporting is criminal. We want to find out whether these "John Does" made other false claims against the imams — not just that they were praying, however ignorant complaining about that might be."

Basically everything the "John Does" reported to CAIR ranges from ignorance to bigotry. The whole point of the lawsuit is to shut people up, they don't necessarily have to win, just drag people thru the system to make others wary of reporting anything.

Democrats wanting to boycott Fox news is nothing.

Media: Spain's political parties have them beat in the boycott angle.

MADRID — Spain's right-wing People's Party, the main political opposition, is boycotting the country's biggest media group, the left-leaning Prisa.

The boycott comes after Prisa prexy Jesus de Polanco criticized the party at a Prisa shareholders meeting on Thursday, saying "there are people who want to return to the Civil War" of the 1930s that propelled General Francisco Franco to power.

PP leader Mariano Rajoy hit back Friday, saying that the PP would not give interviews to Prisa-owned media outlets or send party members to Prisa-organized debates.

That's quite a veto. Prisa owns El Pais, Spain's most read quality newspaper, Cadena Ser, its most listened-to radio network, Digital Plus, its biggest pay TV operator, and startup broadcaster Cuatro, which has a 7.5% audience share.

The PP-Prisa standoff captures the state of a nation.

Socialist politicos have already boycotted TV debates at PP-controlled regional web Telemadrid

Another reason why terrorists and Euro justice

Terrorism: Just do not mix well. You get idiotic decisions like this.

"...Mohnhaupt again rattled the public consciousness yesterday when she was released from prison as an unrepentant convicted murderer. Once a brazen and unrelenting mastermind for the anticapitalist Red Army Faction, or RAF, the 57-year-old stepped back into a nation still agitated by a bygone era of bombings, fanatical screeds, and urban guerrillas.

"There is huge debate over her release," said Butz Peters, a lawyer who has written two books about the RAF, a band of disciplined, well-armed radicals who killed 34 people after emerging from the university protests of the 1960s. "The injured German soul of that time has not healed. "

Mohnhaupt was serving five life sentences in southern Bavaria. A court recently ruled that she was eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 24 years. Her release and the prospect that one of her accomplices, Christian Klar, may receive a presidential pardon have outraged conservative lawmakers and prompted calls of forgiveness from left-leaning politicians. German law states that no matter what the crime, a person deserves a second chance.
"Neither Mohnhaupt nor Klar are of any danger to Germany," said Alexander Strasser, a political scientist at the University of Regensburg.

A recent poll, however, found that 66 percent of respondents believed the militants should serve their full life sentences. Known to most of Germany from her wanted poster, which showed a broad-faced woman with light hair and thick mascara, Mohnhaupt finds herself at the center of a debate over a legal system rooted in European liberalism that prides itself on tolerance and compassion.

Her case also has revealed that vestiges of extreme leftist politics resonate among certain intellectuals who never realized their anarchist dreams.

"The people are against releasing Mohnhaupt and Klar," said Gabriele von Lutzau, who was a flight attendant on a Lufthansa jet hijacked by RAF-inspired Palestinian militants in 1977. "The RAF wanted to free the masses, but the masses wanted them thrown into the dungeon and the key tossed away. How many people do you have to kill before they don't let you walk free?"

That pride of tolerance and compassion for every criminal is going to backfire on Germany in the future. Its a lesson they will have to learn the hard way.

Speaking of terrorists, Australia's David Hicks pleaded guilty and may serve out his sentence in Australia. Tim Blair has details.

Islam expert goes off on the Netherlands beings wimps

Terrorism: This won't play well in Rotterdam.

Dutch politicians and media are downplaying excesses of multicultural society and thereby increasing these, in the view of Islam expert Hans Janssen. "The Netherlands should resist, using non-peaceful means", he argues in weekly magazine Opinio.

Jansen, Professor of Modern Islamic Ideology at Utrecht University, characterizes the Dutch as inhabitants of "a peaceful enclave" who have, however, "forgotten that peace sometimes needs to be defended through violence". A peaceful society that wishes to remain existent and stay peaceful "will have to find a way to defend itself through non-peaceful means from people who are not peaceful", as the Arabist writes. "It will be hard to explaining this convincingly to all those respectable and friendly people in the (Christian coalition parties) CDA and ChristenUnie. And to the rest."

As Jansen sees it, the Netherlands is too indulgent to violence of fundamentalist Muslims. But he also suggests that moderate Muslims, too, strive after an Islamic society in the Netherlands. They intentionally make use of the radicals to enforce their wishes, according to the Arabist.

Also pushes for the Dutch security to get their hands dirty if need be to stop the Islamist threat.

"We do not realise that the threat of violence, and violence itself, can only be stopped through the controlled and cunning use of violence". The Dutch secret service (AIVD) should get a special department "that gets its hands dirty, if need be".

Jansen is an authority on the Arabic language and the Koran. Theo van Gogh, who was murdered by a Muslim terrorist in 2004, employed him as his tutor on Islam.

Profile of Mélissa Theuriau.

Entertainment: If she was in place of Katie Couric, I think CBS ratings would be better.

Speaking of Katie Couric and the ruckus by the nutters that she is now a part of the VRWC because she dared to ask tough questions to the Edwards. What did you expect? If she went with softball nonsense, she would have been ripped. Given that John Edwards has come and said the questions were what they expected, grow up a bit.

Settled: Rosie O'Donnell is a flipping idiot.

World: We know Rosie is a 9/11 truther but to try and say the 15 Brits who were captured by Iranians is the new Gulf of Tonkin is amazing.

The bigger mystery is Rosie is not smart enough to think of this on her own, which conspiracy nutter is she reading to come in on a Monday morning trying to be miss mensa? Hot Air has the video. Put it this way, the only one dumber than Rosie is Joy and she comes off look smarter in this case. Take a close look at how Barbara Walters is taking Rosie, she looks highly ticked off.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Africa: Please stop with the aid part 2.

Africa: Great comment piece by Nathalie Rothschild on the harmful psychological effects among other things with aid/debt relief to Africa and in this case Ghanaians.

"....But while the pop stars were busy tugging at our heartstrings and tuning their guitars, some decided that the Make Poverty History campaign was unacceptable. Frustrated with the "pity fest" of the Live 8 jamboree and of celebrities crowning themselves saviours of Africa, a crew from the London-based Chew on It Productions set off to Ghana to find out what those at the receiving end of "debt relief" made of it all. Were they glad that Geldof, Bono and the rest had taken up "their cause" and joined forces with G8 leaders to alleviate their poverty? Were they happy with the target levels of development that had been set out for them through the Millennium Development Goals? Chew on It produced a documentary series, Pricking the Missionary Position, in which the answer was a resounding "no".

Ghanaian interviewees in the series believe that Make Poverty History only perpetuated the undignified stereotype of Africans as poor, helpless and hapless and that it was a campaign, not for global equality and modern development, but for miserably low aspirations. Two of the documentaries, A Letter to Geldof and Think Big, premiere today - just weeks after the 50th anniversary of Ghana's independence.

After returning from Ghana the filmmakers tried to get Sir Bob's comments on an early version of A Letter to Geldof, but to no avail. The film shows that Geldof may have been happy to "represent Africa" in front of international film crews, but after being honoured with the position of chief of development in Ajumako-Bisease, a central Ghanaian town of 27,000, in 2004, Geldof seems to have stopped short of the "politics of responsibility" that he himself demanded during a rally in Trafalgar Square.

The film shows that instead of the development initiatives that Geldof promised during his crowning ceremony, he left behind disappointment and crushed hopes.The residents of Ajumako-Bisease were promised a hospital, a covered market, new roads and farming machinery - in other words: modern infrastructure. These residents are not the only ones the Chew on It crew met whose aspirations are not in line with western development programmes championing sustainable development and micro credit schemes. They don't see donkey ploughs as a "cutting edge technology" and they dream of IT facilities, luxury homes and a large-scale tourist industry - not a goat for Christmas.

In Think Big, we meet Ghanaians with "big aspirations and big plans": tomato farmer Lawrence wants to build a factory; Kwame Agyapong is building a film school and has grand visions of hotels and water sports facilities on Ghana's beaches; Patricia Ocloo loves her ice machine, her wide screen TV and big comfy sofa and is not ashamed to flaunt it - just because you're better off doesn't mean you don't care about those who are not, she says; Emmanuel Chance is expanding a luxury tourist resort.

Bizarrely, many westerners who visit Ghana seem to think that big modern facilities are not "authentic", and one tourist resort beside lake Volta has built a "typical African village" to cater for the many visitors who want to experience "the local way of living" - only here the mud huts have electricity and showers. Were these well-off westerners to be stuck in the real, poverty-stricken, rural village shown in Think Big, all their romantic notions of living a "traditional life close to nature" would surely be crushed.

Pricking the Missionary Position is a must-see for anyone who believes that Africans, and people from other parts of the developing world, have the right to aspire to - and reach - the living standards that we in the west take for granted, and that any campaign for equality should not stop short of this demand. As for all those celebrities and charity workers taking it upon themselves to define Africans' aspirations for them, they could do with seeing these films more than once.

Read it and preview of the Channel 4 docu Pricking the Missionary Position.

As shown with the Africa's wireless boom article and micro loans in Bangladesh, what should be happening is just giving the resources to the people and letting them move at their own pace.

Giving them donkey ploughs/goats or demanding like "white condescending liberal" Chris Martin of Coldplay in 2005 they should be protected from imports which means they have to put up with third rate domestic crap is a rotten idea. Rock star economics and well meaning misguided Western aid is helping to keep Africa down.

Some reading material from the last couple of years, I think these three pieces touch on how bad aid relief is in hindsight.

BBC: Forever indebted?

Franklin Cudjoe: Rock-star economics are not helping poor Africans.

James Shikwati: "For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!"

Mugabe slapped down by his own party.

Africa: Its a start.

Speculation is growing that Robert Mugabe's days in power are numbered after he suffered a defeat at the hands of his own party.

Zimbabwe's leader wanted to extend his term in office by two years before facing another election.

He had suggested the presidential election, due next year, should be delayed until 2010 to coincide with a parliamentary vote.

But after opposition from members of his Zanu-PF ruling party, the former guerilla leader, 83, appears to have backed down.

Mugabe told a meeting of the party's women's league there was growing consensus in the party to hold both elections next year, and the issue would be discussed at a meeting of the central committee, the state Herald newspaper - a mouthpiece of the government - reported.

He said: "I think the view is that 2008 is preferable. Some of our lawyers are saying this will not give problems.

"If we are going to have an election (next year), we must start organising and mobilising support now, now, now."

The central committee meeting could be a test of the support for Mugabe following growing signs of rifts within his party.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Cow that likes to eat chicken video

World: Couple of weeks back, AP ran a story about a cow in India that got a taste for chickens. Video has now surfaced and I will be more cautious of cows from now on. It is disturbing.

As the icy north melts, a new sort of gold rush.

Enviro: Countries pushing for position for the untold amount of minerals,oil and other assorted goodies as the icecap melts and seasons get longer. I await the Canada/Denmark fight to the death.

The latest report by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the ice cap is warming faster than the rest of the planet and ice is receding, partly due to greenhouse gases. It's a catastrophic scenario for the Arctic ecosystem, for polar bears and other wildlife, and for Inuit populations whose ancient cultures depend on frozen waters.

But some see a lucrative silver lining of riches waiting to be snatched from the deep, and the prospect of timesaving sea lanes that could transform the shipping industry the way the Suez Canal did in the 19th century.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Arctic has as much as 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas. Moscow reportedly sees the potential of minerals in its slice of the Arctic sector approaching $2 trillion.

All this has pushed governments and businesses into a scramble for sovereignty over these suddenly priceless seas.