|Already in some circles, Muslims have raised issues of Islamophobia and racism connected with the arrests (though a majority of the men are white). Some younger Muslims who grew up with the men arrested have posted Facebook comments claiming the men are innocent and the arrests part of a coordinated law-enforcement set-up.|
It's hard to say how widespread those feelings are, but there is certainly concern about the way law-enforcement agents have used informants to penetrate Muslim communities.
"There's a pattern here that the government sends informants into their midst and they act as agent provocateurs," said Ebrahim Moosa, professor of Muslim studies at Duke University.
Just this past May, four Muslim men arrested in a plot to bomb two synagogues and fire a missile at a military jet in Newburgh, N.Y. may have been coaxed into their plan by an undercover FBI informant, several New York City newspapers reported.
With this and other events in the background, it's no surprise the Muslim community is concerned.
"We are worried how the FBI will treat these people," said Elhentaty. "In other cases, they've dragged it on and on. I hope it will be fast and efficient."
Saturday, August 1, 2009
|California's largest state employees' union voted on Saturday to approve a strike authorization measure to protest furloughs of state workers and pressure state officials to ratify its labor contract.|
A spokesman for Service Employees International Union Local 1000 said a strike was not imminent but that the vote authorized union officers to initiate certain job actions, including a strike if necessary.
The SEIU represents about 95,000 state employees, including clerical workers and teachers.
The group's labor contract with the state expired last year, SEIU spokesman Jim Zamora said. The union negotiated a new deal with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's administration in February, but the contract has not been ratified by the state Legislature.
|U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan calls it "the toughest work in urban education today" -- fixing neighborhood high schools filled with students who have languished in failing elementary and middle schools.|
You cannot have a functionally acceptable school system if you do not fix the entire system. That means reform starts at the beginning at elementary schools. You can stop the bleeding at bad high schools if you start there but that is about it.
|This summer, Friends of Bedford, which operates a Brooklyn public high school that has become New York City's most successful, has taken control of Coolidge and Dunbar senior high schools. Friendship Public Charter Schools, which serves about 4,000 students on six D.C. campuses, is running Anacostia Senior High School. |
Rhee has also started discussions with Steve Barr, founder of Green Dot Schools, which operates Locke Senior High School in Los Angeles, one of the city's largest and most troubled schools, about working in the District. Barr recently toured Eastern High School on Capitol Hill, although District officials said discussions are in an extremely preliminary stage.
Anacostia, Coolidge and Dunbar are all stark examples of the challenge Duncan describes, places where scholarship and discipline flicker weakly at best. Fewer than a third of students read and write proficiently, according to citywide tests. A 2008 review of Dunbar by District officials said, "Evidence of effective teaching and learning was limited to a few individual teachers." On a single day in November, 19 girls were arrested for fighting.
At Anacostia, where last fall five students were injured, including three with stab wounds, after a melee, District evaluators were told by a student focus group that teachers "make it easy" for them to pass. Coolidge classes were "consistently interrupted by students coming in and out . . . oftentimes to look for friends," according to a 2008 review.
The problem they are going to have in fixing these schools? The usual suspects.
|Friendship and Friends of Bedford will face that challenge at Anacostia, Dunbar and Coolidge. Although they have autonomy on matters of curriculum, instruction and teacher professional development, the schools' staff members will remain school system employees, subject to District laws and union rules.|
That means the bad and ineffective teachers/employees will still be there and if you are taking over a bad company or school the first thing you need to do is get rid of those people to bring in your own. If you don't any change around will be stunted. Good luck to them.
|Six people were killed in Pakistan on Saturday when Muslim demonstrators set fire to houses in a Christian enclave and fighting broke out, local police said.|
Police said Muslims were enraged over an alleged desecration of pages in the Quran at a Christian wedding last Saturday, and held a rally to protest. The Quran is the Muslim sacred text.
The Muslims went to the Christian community in Gojra City, 160 kilometers (100 miles) southwest of Lahore, and burned 40 to 50 houses. Muslims and Christians exchanged gunfire.
Police said efforts to settle the concerns with dialogue so far have failed.
On Thursday, 15 Christian houses in the region were also torched.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
|I've had people come to us and complain, "Well, if you do that, I can't make any money." The answer is that's not my job. We're not here to help you make money. We are here to help have a system in which you will make money as an incident of your providing funds to those who will use it productively.|
That means you make money, Frank taxes and takes it because the government knows how to spend your money better.
|They were elected on the promise of delivering prosperity to Argentina, but statistics showing a stunning economic turnaround have come with a catch.|
New figures show that since Nestor and Cristina Kirchner came to power in 2003, they have presided over a remarkable sixfold increase in their own wealth.
The couple have racked up a fortune through property speculation and investments that have thrived even as the economy has faltered. Last year alone their wealth jumped 158% to £7.3m.
Opponents have accused the Kirchners of exploiting political connections in their home state of Patagonia to buy municipal land cheaply and sell it at a vast profit. "It's a scandal," said Patricia Bullrich, a member of congress.
The couple, lawyers by training and leftists in the Peronist movement, denied any wrongdoing and through a spokesman said that being in office did not impede business deals: "That is the essence of capitalism."
|Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday there had been some progress toward reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in the "near future" and announced $200 million in U.S. aid to the Palestinians.|
Clinton said the money, which is part of a $900 million pledge she made in March at a donors conference in Egypt, was transferred directly to the Western-backed Palestinian Authority and would help it meet a budget shortfall.
The infusion of U.S. funds comes ahead of a visit this weekend to Israel and the Palestinian territories by U.S. special envoy George Mitchell, who is trying to create conditions to get stalled talks resumed between both sides.
"I believe we are making progress to create the environment for a successful resumption of negotiations in the near future," Clinton said at a news conference, without providing a timeline of when talks could resume and under what conditions.
|A man who threatened to stab four police officers in the heart and held a two-hour stand-off is launching legal action because a police sergeant swore at him.|
The sergeant has been sent to a Management Advice course and Northumbria Police face the threat of a civil action from the 35-year-old thug, who had to be subdued with a Taser gun.
.....Francis, now of Wallsend, North Tyneside, said he was discussing legal action with his solicitor and planned to lodge a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights.
He said: 'I was a toe-rag when I was younger, but I'm trying to go straight.
'I'm really scared of the police now - I'm like a bag of nerves.
'I want to take legal action because they just get a telling off for what they did.
'It was an insult when I heard how the officer who swore at me got off - it upset me to hear someone say that.
'I've got a hole in my heart and they used a Taser, which could have killed me.'
Documents from the PSD state the sergeant was pushed into making an 'inappropriate comment' following Francis' tirade of abuse.
It states: 'The police officer openly admits he made the inappropriate comment about Mr Francis after the strip search had been conducted.
'He admits this was unprofessional, although it was never his intention for Mr Francis to hear this comment.
'He stipulates this comment was a result of the violence and abuse from Mr Francis.'
Does it even pay to be a cop in the UK when this sort of nonsense is encouraged?
|House Democratic leaders conceded Monday that concerns raised by fiscally conservative Democrats known as Blue Dogs will prevent the chamber from voting on a health care reform bill before its August recess begins at the end of the week.|
"We would have like to have passed a bill through the House by Friday," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland said after meeting with Blue Dog members. "That clearly will not be possible at this point in time."
Earlier, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California had softened her timetable for a vote, saying House members need more time to complete the bill and review it while waiting for some sign of what the Senate will do on the issue.
"We're on schedule to either do it now or do it whenever," said Pelosi, who previously predicted the bill would win approval before the August break.
Senate Democratic leaders already have said they will not have a bill ready before the upcoming recess. President Obama had called for both chambers to pass bills before the break, but now says he is satisfied that progress is occurring.
| According to the indictment, Daniel Boyd, Zakariya Boyd, Dylan Boyd, Hassan, and Yaghi are U.S. citizens and residents of North Carolina. Subasic is a naturalized U.S. citizen and North Carolina resident, and Sherifi is a Kosovo native and U.S. legal permanent resident living in North Carolina.|
According to U.S. Department of Justice release, all were arrested at various locations this morning by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. The indictment alleges that Daniel Boyd "is a veteran of terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan who, over the past three years, has conspired with others in this country to recruit and help young men travel overseas in order to kill," said David Kris, an assistant attorney general in the Justice Department's National Security Division.
According to the indictment, Daniel Boyd travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992 where he received "military-style training in terrorist training camps for the purpose of engaging in violent jihad," the justice department release stated.
From approximately November 2006 through July 2009, Daniel Boyd and the others "conspired to provide material support and resources to terrorists," the release said, including currency, training, transportation and personnel.
The indictment says that Daniel Boyd and several of the accused travelled to Israel in June 2007 to engage in "violent jihad" but subsequently returned to the U.S. having "failed in their attempt."
|The US government patted itself on the back for slashing 265 million dollars from the federal budget -- more than twice the amount President Barack Obama urged his cabinet to cut over the past 90 days. |
The White House's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said 77 cost-saving measures identified by cabinet members included savings of 243 million dollars from now through fiscal year 2010, and another 22 million dollars beyond 2010.
In his debut cabinet meeting on April 20, Obama commanded his government to cut 100 million dollars from the US federal budget within 90 days, in a move ridiculed at the time by critics who derided the miniscule savings when compared with a deficit that is now expected to tip 1.8 trillion dollars in fiscal year 2009.
Orszag said that in the face of a ballooning deficit, "these savings reflect the president's belief that even small savings can add up."
Its late of this posting but someone do the math and point out what a throwaway amount this is in terms of the federal budget.
Monday, July 27, 2009
|The members penned a scorching letter today calling on NRA vice-president Wayne LaPierre and executive director Chris Cox to reconsider their decision to oppose the first Latina nominated to the high court.|
The NRA said they were disturbed by Sotomayor's failure to assert universal gun ownership rights during her confirmation hearings.
"[W]e are mystified as to why the NRA is characterizing Judge Sotomayor as hostile to the rights of the gun owners and evaluating Judge Sotomayor by a different standard than that to which you have held previous Supreme Court nominees," wrote Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.), arguing that Sotomayor would have prejudiced future rulings by commenting specifically on her Second Amendment views.
Co-signees included Silvestre Reyes (D-Tx.), John Salazar (D-Colo.) and Solomon Ortiz (D-Tx.).
"We are concerned that your opposition will alienate Hispanic NRA members and dismayed that you may unnecessarily force some well-intentioned Senators to choose between disappointing the NRA or infuriating their Hispanic constituents. We hope that you will reconsider your position on Judge Sotomayor."
NRA didn't have to oppose Roberts or Alito because they had a pretty good idea they were not gun control nuts. Sotomayor even though she was using supreme court precedent looks to be very squishy(legal term somewhere) on gun rights. But again you see the Hispanic Dem reps play up race to strongarm people to agree with them.
If that is your best argument, I would say shame on you and shove off.
| Swedish-made anti-tank rocket launchers sold to Venezuela years ago were obtained by Colombia's main rebel group, and Sweden said Monday it was demanding an explanation.|
Colombia said its military found the weapons in a captured rebel arms cache and that Sweden had recently confirmed they originally were sold to Venezuela's military.
The confirmation strengthens Colombian allegations that Hugo Chavez's government has aided the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, and exacerbated tensions between the neighboring nations over an imminent agreement to expand the U.S. military's use of Colombian air and naval bases.
The bazooka-like AT-4 single-use launchers, made by Saab Bofors Dynamics, lack the precision and range of surface-to-air weapons and there is no evidence FARC rebels have used any in combat.
President Alvaro Uribe complained over the weekend that if Colombia had kept quiet about the weapons "they'll fire them and obtain more and no one in the international community will halt their sale."
Venezuela's justice minister, Tareck El Aissami, on Monday dismissed the report of the missiles, denying that "our government or institutions have ever collaborated with any type of criminal or terrorist organizations."
| Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation's largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.|
Both senators have said that at the time the mortgages were being written they didn't know they were getting unique deals from Countrywide Financial Corp., the company that went on to lose billions of dollars on home loans to credit-strapped borrowers. Dodd still maintains he got no preferential treatment.
Update: Both are saying no way, this guy is a liar.
| After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits a requirement for businesses to offer coverage to their workers and lacks a government insurance option that President Barack Obama favors, according to numerous officials.|
Like bills drafted by Democrats, the proposal under discussion by six members on the Senate Finance Committee would bar insurance companies from denying coverage to any applicant. Nor could insurers charge higher premiums on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions.
But it jettisons other core Democratic provisions in a reach for bipartisanship on an issue that has so far produced little.
The effort received a boost during the day from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, normally a close ally of Republicans. In a letter to committee leaders, the business group called for the panel to "act promptly, preferably before" the Senate's scheduled vacation at the end of next week. In doing so, the business organization dealt a blow to the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other GOP lawmakers who have called repeatedly for Democrats to slow down.
In yet another boost for the drive to enact legislation, PhRMA, which represents drug companies, has purchased more than $500,000 worth of television ads to air during the week in nine states.
Getting support from the chamber and PhRMA is going to drive the left nuts because that is proof this health care bill with two key items dropped stinks. But don't get cocky because they can always add it on during committee dead of night or add back provisions with amendments later on. But there is a big problem just as bad as the public option.
|Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NY, told reporters Thursday that a system of nonprofit cooperatives could pass as a “public option,” or government-run health care, depending on how they are set up.|
“We’re going to have some type of public option, call it ‘co-op’, call it what you want,” Reid said, adding that Democrats are working on “some verison of a co-op that may satisfy everyone.”
This is not likely to please the legions of liberal Democrats clamoring for a plan fully-setup and managed by the federal government…
The co-op plan, authored by Sen Kent Conrad, D-ND, is still being tinkered with, but, working with Sen Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and other Democrats, some changes have been agreed to — like a major infusion of federal dollars at the beginning and an initial governing board set up by the feds with federal involvement. One point of contention, however, has been how long government officials remain on the board. Conrad has contended that the board should eventually be run solely by participants. Schumer and others have sought a continued government presence, trying to create a quasi-public option.
The government is still going to have its claws in the health industry making it worse but its not the public option the left wants so it will be glorious to see how that goes over with those people.
But it is amazing in little over a month how badly Obama and the Dems have screwed up their momentum on this takeover of the health industry and its kudos to non MSM media for being able to get around the filter to drive this issue into the ground.
Tip HOT AIR.
|A company director has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after confronting a gang of yobs who were attacking his stepson.|
Colin Philpott, 58, allegedly stabbed a 16-year-old in the chest during the incident in the front garden of his £500,000 Tudor-style house.
He had awoken late on Friday night to discover stepson Alex Lee being beaten by the group of teenagers.
Mr Lee, 25, had gone outside to stop the gang from vandalising Mr Philpott’s Jaguar car. Mr Lee was said to have then been punched and kicked in the head, suffering a broken nose and concussion for which he needed hospital treatment.
Speaking after his release on bail, his stepfather Mr Philpott, who owns an escalator cleaning company, described how he had gone downstairs to find the gang on the doorstep.
'I was asleep and I awoke to hear a noise outside. When I appeared at the door I was set upon by them, as a result of which one of the youths received several stab wounds,' he said
'My wife appeared and I asked her to call the police and the ambulance service. They arrived shortly afterwards and I was arrested.
'It was traumatic but I was very well treated by the police. I have to return to the police station in September.
'At the moment I am not too worried about it but has been difficult, particularly for my wife, I must say.'
|The Civil Rights group Southern Poverty Law Center is calling on CNN to remove Lou Dobbs from the air. In a letter sent to CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein on Friday, Richard Cohen, the president of SPLC writes that Dobbs is "trading in falsehoods and racist conspiracy theories."|
Klein even waded into Dobbs' coverage of the story when he wrote this email, obtained by TVNewser, to the Dobbs show staffers.
Dobbs has been making a point of telling his viewers he believes Obama is a U.S citizen. Still, the SCLC, the Alabama-based law firm known for tracking hate groups, wants action. Cohen concludes, "Respectable news organizations should not employ reporters willing to peddle racist conspiracy theories and false propaganda. It's time for CNN to remove Mr. Dobbs from the airwaves."
As if this won't give more air to birthers which I put in the same area of nonsensical discussions as 9/11 and moon landing is fake conspiracies. What is going to irritate a lot of people is that its going mainstream. I suspect most are convinced that Obama is not eligible to be President but there are others using this as a proxy to attack him as well as another angle to nick him politically. Don't ask me how that is even logically. This does feel like the press is killing time as the summer months roll on even with Obamacare and the Skip Gates nonsense on the front pages. I can't wait till it goes back to the fringes.
|Inside Cable News discovered a few rather interesting tweets by Sanchez on Friday which are sure to raise a few eyebrows -- especially from Hispanics working at Fox (h/t NBer Thomas Stewart):|
if i didn't believe in doing right thing, i'd be rich anchoring at fox news
do u know how much money i'd make if i'd sold out as hispanic and worked at fox news, r u kidding, one problem, looking in mirror
Sanchez after getting slammed doesn't back down as he believes if your are Hispanic and work for Fox you must be a sellout.
|wow, really getting heat from neocons and far right wing fox viewers for saying truth. must have hit nerve|
about 23 hours ago from web
The South Florida region had to endure this type of idiocy back when he and Sally Fitz ruled the airwaves at WSVN 7, good to see he still hasn't grown up or get more intelligent after all these years.
|As 44 people walked before cameras last week, their hands in cuffs, after they were arrested in the state’s biggest corruption scandal in years — but not, to be sure, that many years — even their most scandal-fatigued constituents, from the gritty precincts of Journal Square in Jersey City to the glittering new condominiums on the Hudson in Hoboken, began to wonder: Why is New Jersey so unshakably corrupt? |
That answer, it turns out, has as many nuances as corruption itself. Interviews with law enforcement officials, prosecutors and, perhaps the best authority on the subject — those arrested in previous sweeps, like Mr. Botti — reveal a culture of corruption so ingrained that it has become impossible to resist when the envelope appears.
A decade-long building boom has flooded towns with millions of development dollars, as well as wealthy businessmen eager to secure sewer permits and zoning waivers. The Democratic Party firmly dominates local politics, turning most elections into sleepy coronations. The state’s news organizations, once vigorous watchdogs, have been decimated by a deep industry downturn.
Add to all that the fact that New Jersey is divided into hundreds of tiny fiefdoms, where part-time elected officials without much education and with small salaries wield considerable power, and the heady mix of arrogance, control and promised payoffs dissolves the will of even the most determined reformer.
It also seems to dissolve their intelligence and caution, because often enough, the man with the envelope is wearing a wire.
“In New Jersey, you are encouraged to break the law,” said Alan C. Marcus, a longtime Republican operative who has worked in the state for decades, observing all matter of malfeasance.
What? Make sure the guy you are arresting is not a friend of the POTUS who will then slam you and the police department you work for as racists?
|On today’s Fox News Sunday, presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs admitted President Obama had been prepared to answer questions about the Henry Louis Gates arrest at his press conference last week. Bret Baier, filling in for regular host Chris Wallace, asked Gibbs, “Before Wednesday’s news conference, did you prepare [the president] for a question about Henry Gates’s arrest in Cambridge?”|
“Well, look,” said Gibbs, “Let’s just say it’s safe to say we went over a whole lot of topics that we thought might come up, and certainly this was a topic that was, has been in the news . . .” He then went on to try to un-ring the bell by repeating the line that the president “hadn’t calibrated his words well,” and blah, blah, blah, beer at the White House, blah, blah, blah.
So now we know that President Obama didn’t properly “calculate” his words about the Cambridge police “acting stupidly” even after being prepared for such a question in advance. Thus is revealed the president’s tone deafness in failing to anticipate the backlash such an answer might provoke.
And now we are told, in a further attempt at damage control, that the Gates arrest can serve to educate all those mouth-breathing cops out there who may yet stumble into an unpleasant encounter with some other Ivy Leaguer. It’s our hope, said Gibbs, invoking that insufferable locution that one hopes will soon fade from common usage, that the Gates arrest can be “part of a teachable moment.”
Lynn Sweet said she was going to ask the question and given that Obama was prepared if it came up, he was giving her a 50/50 shot at giving him the softball question. Too bad for him that he let his true feelings out in his answer which made him look as I said before as the community organizer from the south side of Chicago instead of the POTUS.
|I tracked down Gates by phone at J.F.K. on Friday after he had talked to the president and agreed to go to the White House for a symbolic beer with the man he labeled “a rogue policeman.” Gates, coughing from a cold he picked up in China, said he wondered if perhaps “fate and history chose me for this event.” He was pleased with the thousands of empathetic e-mail notes he’s getting, material for a PBS documentary on racial profiling.|
He says he’s ready for “marriage counseling” from the “Solomon” in the Oval, who wrote in his memoir that the police pulled him over “for no apparent reason.” “If Sgt. Crowley and the president and I meet, it’s clearly not going to be like Judge Joe Brown, OK? ‘You tell your side, you tell your side.’ We have to agree to disagree. But I would be surprised if somebody didn’t say, ‘I’m sorry you were arrested.’ ”
How can they ever reconcile their accounts? Crowley says he asked Gates to come outside and the professor replied, “Ya, I’ll speak with your mama outside.” Gates wryly suggests Crowley got the line from watching “Good Times” as a child.
“Does it sound logical that I would talk about the mother of a big white guy with a gun?” he asked. “I’m 5-7 and 150 pounds. I don’t walk on ice, much less (expletive) with some cop in my kitchen. I don’t want another hip replacement.”
I asked how he felt when he learned that Crowley was the one who gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Reggie Lewis, the black Celtics basketball star, in a vain attempt to save his life after a heart attack in 1993. He replied: “I don’t stereotype. I never saw him as the head of the Ku Klux Klan. Maybe he was just having a bad day.”
Really? Taken from his interview on theroot.com
|Now it’s clear that he had a narrative in his head: A black man was inside someone’s house, probably a white person’s house, and this black man had broken and entered, and this black man was me.|
So he’s looking at my ID, he asked me another question, which I refused to answer. And I said I want your name and your badge number because I want to file a complaint because of the way he had treated me at the front door. He didn’t say, ‘Excuse me, sir, is there a disturbance here, is this your house?’—he demanded that I step out on the porch, and I don’t think he would have done that if I was a white person.
....It escalated as follows: I kept saying to him, ‘What is your name, and what is your badge number?’ and he refused to respond. I asked him three times, and he refused to respond. And then I said, ‘You’re not responding because I’m a black man, and you’re a white officer.’ That’s what I said.
....A crowd had gathered, and as they were handcuffing me and walking me out to the car, I said, ‘Is this how you treat a black man in America?’
But he doesn't stereotype or jump to conclusions to fit his paranoia. Okay then. He is reveling in the attention and now sees himself as the teachable moment in American history at this about race even though the facts doesn't support his narrative.
BTW, the term "teachable moment" has reached the end of my last nerve.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
|In other words, AT&T has just opened perhaps the most vindictive, messy can of worms it could have possibly found. Blocking any site is an extreme breach of user trust, but the decision to block 4chan in particular just seems stupid. Expect the web equivalent of rioting if this doesn’t change soon.|