This is by far the coolest and most comprehensive visual break down I have ever seen on how the Govt uses your taxes throughout the system.
What Ron Paul is going against is Mt Olympus on top of Mt. Everest on top of Mt, St Helen and through about a continents width of Lava. Good Luck Paul.
Friday, December 28, 2007
This is by far the coolest and most comprehensive visual break down I have ever seen on how the Govt uses your taxes throughout the system.
Real talk from McCarthy on CNN:
A recent CNN poll showed that 46 percent of Pakistanis approve of Osama bin Laden. Aspirants to the American presidency should hope to score so highly in the United States. In Pakistan, though, the al-Qaeda emir easily beat out that country’s current president, Pervez Musharraf, who polled at 38 percent.
President George Bush, the face of a campaign to bring democracy — or, at least, some form of sharia-lite that might pass for democracy — to the Islamic world, registered nine percent. Nine!
If you want to know what to make of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s murder today in Pakistan, ponder that.
There is the Pakistan of our fantasy. The burgeoning democracy in whose vanguard are judges and lawyers and human rights activists using the “rule of law” as a cudgel to bring down a military junta. In the fantasy, Bhutto, an attractive, American-educated socialist whose prominent family made common cause with Soviets and whose tenures were rife with corruption, was somehow the second coming of James Madison.
Then there is the real Pakistan: an enemy of the United States and the West.
Ok some people really don't know WTF they are talking about. Its sad to see people comment that have not a clue about Pakistan or Bhutto. I am seeing this all over the net. What McCarthy is saying is SPOT ON.
First of all in her presidency she was NOT the savior that all of you are claiming she was, she was popular, like royalty because of her father before her, but she was corrupt, very much so. But she was a better alternative to Musharraf which as has been said prior by others was playing both sides for his own gain. A Norega if you will. The US govt knew what Musharraf was/is doing, they didn't like it, so they wanted Bhutto back since she is popular enough to take the lead as PM without much effort.
SECOND, why the hell would the CIA be part of an attack on killing her (as has been suggested by idiots around the net), when it was WASHINGTON that was pushing for her to come back to Pakistan and be the better alternative then Musharraf has been, which by the way, he has to lead a tight rope of sorts. He has to balance his allegiance with the US meanwhile acknowledging that he needs to keep the radical elements at arms length as well, since his military in some cases is loyal to these tribal areas. We saw that a few weeks back with the police stations that were taken over easily to the North.
These accusations that somehow the CIA was involved in Bhutto's assassinations are OUT THERE, to say the least, but who they come from as no surprise to me. Even Bhutto acknowledges in a interview with Parade Magazine that she "is terrorists biggest nightmare" since she promotes moderate positions. Positions that radical elements do not like, they need desperation and strife to keep their movement going.
Third, the reason we are doing this is because unfortunately we HAVE TO. We don't have any choice BUT to support Musharraf because the alternative is to shun him and have the same problems we had in the late 90's where nuclear technology are being spread like candy on Halloween throughout the middle east. Libya proved how wide spread this program was. People were asleep at the wheel in the 90's when Pakistan was developing nukes in response to Indias development. And now moving forward we have to suffer the consequences of those incompetent actions.
If we do NOT support him, he can let the nation plunge further into radicalism and then the obvious target is the US. We are not liked in Pakistan by no means, we never have been, even when we were helping the Mujahadeen we were not liked, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend, so they accepted the arms and the support.
Our BEST SHOT ant getting things to turn was to have a a very popular person take the hard line that is needed on the radicalism. AQ knew this, they knew Bhutto was a threat and needed to take her out ASAP. NOW we have no choice but to go back to the status quo OR the even worst alternative of going to war with the northern region of Pakistan (which I think may be inevitable) if Musharraf does nothing about the growing radicalism in his nation.
Pakistan again has NEVER been a true ally.
People need to understand something, that IF a nuke hits a US city it CHANGES EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING is changed and if you think that laws were being abused, and civil rights are being taken away (which I don't) then you wait and see what will happen if we let AQ get a nuke and it goes off here.
Posted by CP at 9:22 AM
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
So we need a National Health Care system right?
That is what is being touted by democrats and liberals alike.
I can't tell the difference anymore.
This case was brought forth by a woman that had to wait 1 year or more for hip replacement. Nice right? What an efficient system. Instead she went to France and wanted the bill to be paid by Britain.
The EU court decided that she is correct.
Anyway, hear this in the morning on NPR, thought I would post it.
The European Commission made a new health care proposal allowing people to travel to another E.U. country to get treatment and bring the bill home. Scott Jagow talks to European report Megan Williams about why.
So who are we going to cross borders with when National Health Care takes hold here? Canada? Mexico? Seriously? Even Clinton's buddies are coming over here for health care.
The worst implication comes for the UK which already has a crappy system and one that is already becoming under funded and its paying too much as it is. Now they have to pay for those people that opt to go to another country for the procedure. Nice... Should be interesting to see the impact of this moving forward.
Posted by CP at 10:53 AM
By David Deming
December 19, 2007
Al Gore says global warming is a planetary emergency. It is difficult to see how this can be so when record low temperatures are being set all over the world. In 2007, hundreds of people died, not from global warming, but from cold weather hazards.
Since the mid-19th century, the mean global temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius. This slight warming is not unusual, and lies well within the range of natural variation. Carbon dioxide continues to build in the atmosphere, but the mean planetary temperature hasn't increased significantly for nearly nine years. Antarctica is getting colder. Neither the intensity nor the frequency of hurricanes has increased. The 2007 season was the third-quietest since 1966. In 2006 not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S.
South America this year experienced one of its coldest winters in decades. In Buenos Aires, snow fell for the first time since the year 1918. Dozens of homeless people died from exposure. In Peru, 200 people died from the cold and thousands more became infected with respiratory diseases. Crops failed, livestock perished, and the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency.
Unexpected bitter cold swept the entire Southern Hemisphere in 2007. Johannesburg, South Africa, had the first significant snowfall in 26 years. Australia experienced the coldest June ever. In northeastern Australia, the city of Townsville underwent the longest period of continuously cold weather since 1941. In New Zealand, the weather turned so cold that vineyards were endangered.
Last January, $1.42 billion worth of California produce was lost to a devastating five-day freeze. Thousands of agricultural employees were thrown out of work. At the supermarket, citrus prices soared. In the wake of the freeze, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked President Bush to issue a disaster declaration for affected counties. A few months earlier, Mr. Schwarzenegger had enthusiastically signed the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, a law designed to cool the climate. California Sen. Barbara Boxer continues to push for similar legislation in the U.S. Senate.
In April, a killing freeze destroyed 95 percent of South Carolina's peach crop, and 90 percent of North Carolina's apple harvest. At Charlotte, N.C., a record low temperature of 21 degrees Fahrenheit on April 8 was the coldest ever recorded for April, breaking a record set in 1923. On June 8, Denver recorded a new low of 31 degrees Fahrenheit. Denver's temperature records extend back to 1872.
Recent weeks have seen the return of unusually cold conditions to the Northern Hemisphere. On Dec. 7, St. Cloud, Minn., set a new record low of minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. On the same date, record low temperatures were also recorded in Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Extreme cold weather is occurring worldwide. On Dec. 4, in Seoul, Korea, the temperature was a record minus 5 degrees Celsius. Nov. 24, in Meacham, Ore., the minimum temperature was 12 degrees Fahrenheit colder than the previous record low set in 1952. The Canadian government warns that this winter is likely to be the coldest in 15 years.
Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri are just emerging from a destructive ice storm that left at least 36 people dead and a million without electric power. People worldwide are being reminded of what used to be common sense: Cold temperatures are inimical to human welfare and warm weather is beneficial. Left in the dark and cold, Oklahomans rushed out to buy electric generators powered by gasoline, not solar cells. No one seemed particularly concerned about the welfare of polar bears, penguins or walruses. Fossil fuels don't seem so awful when you're in the cold and dark.
If you think any of the preceding facts can falsify global warming, you're hopelessly naive. Nothing creates cognitive dissonance in the mind of a true believer. In 2005, a Canadian Greenpeace representative explained “global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter.” In other words, all weather variations are evidence for global warming. I can't make this stuff up.
Global warming has long since passed from scientific hypothesis to the realm of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo.
Posted by CP at 10:50 AM
With a hidden FBI camera rolling inside a New York hotel suite in 2003, an unsuspecting Rev. Al Sharpton, Democratic candidate for president, spoke candidly.
Sharpton offered to help Philadelphia fund-raiser Ronald A. White win a multimillion-dollar business deal, if White helped him raise $50,000 for politics.
White offered $25,000. "If you bring my guys up on this hedge fund, and I have the right conversation," White said, "I'll give you what you need."
"Cool," Sharpton said.
YES I was being sarcastic.
I think Al is an opportunist, leaching of the poor black communities in America and lending a hand to be in the spot light. I would even go as far as to say that Al is narcissistic. He has done nothing to change what Black America has become and if anything has been at the forefront of its slow self loathing. As more and more people take the BLAME the white man route instead of solving the problems within themselves and their own communities.
WHY DO I CARE?
Perhaps because I would like to see a world where there is less blame on the man and more people taking responsibility for their own fucking actions. As opposed to not getting anywhere in life and seeking some external factor as the cause, instead of their own incompetence.
I'll take a page from Whitlock and Cosby......
Minorities have failed the Civil Rights activists of the 50's-60's and have many have squandered the opportunities given with a self loathing attitude that won't be corrected by continuing down the same fucking path.
Silly me wanting such a world or rather country.
There will always be self loathers I guess. Just not as many as it is quickly becoming the trend.
But Sharpton has helped so many.
That is great, so Sharpton has helped people that have been victims of a racist bunch. But Sharpton has not helped the black people that are killing themselves. NEVER HAS, NEVER WILL. To Sharpton and his supporters the problem lies in white America, not in the FACT that black Americans kill each other at a far higher rate then white Americans either kill each other or hell kill black folks.
The inherent problem is as I have stated thousands of times before, is that we are killing each other on our city streets, we are slowly turning our areas into battle grounds for gangs and a cesspools of violence bred from the lack of parenting by many parents, the lack of care by the kids, and the hip hop culture that admires and pushes out the thug life as a lifestyle.
Gangs are on the increase in America, and its not from white folks interloping, its from our own self hate, our own lack of moral responsibility and loss of reality.
Look racist fuckers exist, we know this. But they are not the problem, they are not TODAY what is destroying our inner cities. Folks getting all upset over shit like nooses hanging on doors are fucking stupid, those nooses from whites aren't the damned problem, the ones that we tie around out own necks is! Sharpton and Jesse both focus on problems that have no real deep effect on black America or for that matter Latino American issues. The NAACP is a joke as its only purpose has been to help black folks meanwhile completely disregarding the other "colored" people that exist in the US.
Not that we need it. I rather not have their help personally but that is just me.
That being said, its kinda ridiculous that Sharpton and Jesse are the self appointed black leaders of today, as though a leadership is needed for a race of people? Why is that? If so many express that they do not like them (blacks that is), or what they stand for, how do they keep getting into the spot light? I'll tell you why, because they SEEK IT. They relish in this spot light and know that the donations continue to flow with the spot light.
Go ahead blame the "media" for giving them the spot light.
After all its what you folks do, you blame someone ELSE for the problem.
Posted by CP at 8:50 AM
Friday, December 14, 2007
Anyone still have any doubt that the whole purpose of this Global Warming thing is to redistribute wealth globally? Anyone?
A global tax on carbon dioxide emissions was urged to help save the Earth from catastrophic man-made global warming at the United Nations climate conference. A panel of UN participants on Thursday urged the adoption of a tax that would represent “a global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations.”
“Finally someone will pay for these [climate related] costs,” Othmar Schwank, a global tax advocate, told Inhofe EPW Press Blog following the panel discussion titled “A Global CO2 Tax.” Schwank is a consultant with the Switzerland based Mauch Consulting firm
Schwank said at least “$10-$40 billion dollars per year” could be generated by the tax, and wealthy nations like the U.S. would bear the biggest burden based on the “polluters pay principle.”
The U.S. and other wealthy nations need to “contribute significantly more to this global fund,” Schwank explained. He also added, “It is very essential to tax coal.”
The UN was presented with a new report from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment titled “Global Solidarity in Financing Adaptation.” The report stated there was an “urgent need” for a global tax in order for “damages [from climate change] to be kept from growing to truly catastrophic levels, especially in vulnerable countries of the developing world.”
The tens of billions of dollars per year generated by a global tax would “flow into a global Multilateral Adaptation Fund” to help nations cope with global warming, according to the report.
Schwank said a global carbon dioxide tax is an idea long overdue that is urgently needed to establish “a funding scheme which generates the resources required to address the dimension of challenge with regard to climate change costs.”
'Diminish future prosperity'
However, ideas like a global tax and the overall UN climate agenda met strong opposition Thursday from a team of over 100 prominent international scientists who warned the UN that attempting to control the Earth's climate was "ultimately futile."
The scientists wrote, “The IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions." The scientists, many of whom are current or former members of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sent the December 13 letter to the UN Secretary-General. (See: Over 100 Prominent Scientists Warn UN Against 'Futile' Climate Control Efforts – LINK)
‘Redistribution of wealth’
The environmental group Friends of the Earth, in attendance in Bali, also advocated the transfer of money from rich to poor nations on Wednesday.
“A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources,” said Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth. (LINK)
Calls for global regulations and taxes are not new at the UN. Former Vice President Al Gore, who arrived Thursday at the Bali conference, reiterated this week his call to place a price on carbon dioxide emissions. (LINK)
In 2000, then French President Jacques Chirac said the UN’s Kyoto Protocol represented "the first component of an authentic global governance." Former EU Environment Minister Margot Wallstrom said, "Kyoto is about the economy, about leveling the playing field for big businesses worldwide." Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper once dismissed Kyoto as a “socialist scheme.” (LINK)
'A bureaucrat's dream'
MIT climate scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen warned about these types of carbon regulations earlier this year. "Controlling carbon is a bureaucrat's dream. If you control carbon, you control life," Lindzen said in March 2007. (LINK)
In addition, many critics have often charged that proposed tax and regulatory “solutions” were more important to the promoters of man-made climate fears than the accuracy of their science.
Former Colorado Senator Tim Wirth reportedly said in 1990, "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing — in terms of economic policy and environmental policy." (LINK)
Yeah its all about controlling the CO2 and saving the "Earth". You keep believing that and I'll go bring you some Kool Aide. BRB...
Posted by CP at 3:39 PM
That is the message a HS principal is giving to his teachers in a Memo sent last week.
Its great to see how the staff meetings really go now.
Have teachers at an East Harlem school been ordered to lower their standards because many students there are poor?
That's the impression some got from their principal's memo.
And now City Hall has stepped in.
The weather was gloomy Thursday outside Central Park East High School, but the talk was about a controversial memo from the school's principal.
"I don't think he thinks we're dumb," 12th grader Crystal Scarlett said. "He just thinks we can do much better than we're doing."
But not everyone agreed.
Last month, Principal Bennett Lieberman sent off a stern memo to teachers.
"If you are not passing more than 65 percent of your students in a class, then you are not designing your expectations to meet their abilities, and you are setting your students up for failure, which, in turn, limits your success as a professional."
Was he ordering teachers to dumb down their classes?
The memo continued:
"Most of our students come from the lowest third percentile in academic achievement, have difficult home lives, and struggle with life in general. They DO NOT have a similar upbringing nor a similar school experience to our experiences growing up."
Some students took offense.
"That's not the way to pass," 12th grader Richard Palacios said. "That's not the way to get your education, so you're basically cheating yourself."
CBS 2 HD made several requests to speak with the principal and he refused. But he is standing by his comments.
Lieberman told a newspaper Thursday he "confidently stands by" his words.
But late Thursday, the Department of Education weighed in. It sent him a letter demanding he clarify his views and state that he is not ordering his teachers to lower their standards.
No word back yet from the principal.
Teachers at the school stand to receive $3,000 bonuses if their school improves.
Seems like even money isn't a motivating factor for shitty teachers.
Thank goodness for teachers unions right? Riiiight....
Posted by CP at 11:06 AM
Here is an interview with Paul back in June I believe.
It was a Google interview. Below is my synopsis on Paul's positions.
- Doesn't like a war in ANY situation. (To me that would include not getting involved in a war unless we are attacked literally on our shores)
- Would have voted against Going into Afghanistan or declaring a war on Afghanistan even though AQ and OBL are there.
- Would bring the Troops back immediately. Next DAY.
- Unsustainable to continue welfare and warfare.
- Wants to be similar to Switzerland in terms of engagement and in the form of their military.
- Wants Excise taxes to fund the military much like was done before 1913.
- Reverse the trend of defending another nations. ALL nations.
- Believes that Habeous Corpus has been slowly gotten rid of (?????)
- Supports prostitution and any or all forms of contracts between any two people or companies. If its an agreement govt should not regulate it.
- Supports Gun laws to the MAX
- Wants people to even be able to carry a gun on a plane, where that is regulated by the airline company not by the govt or its restrictions of doing so.
- Doesn't believe in gay rights or african american rights just PEOPLES rights. In that form you would not need all these additional protectionist forms of regulation.
-Getting rid of the Income tax completely
- Believes that Global Warming is Overblown
- That the problem should be taken care of by corporations NOT by governments.
- Like immigration, with a free market more immigration would flow into the nation just legally.
- Get rid of all illegals - No citizenship for them at ALL.
- Wants to lift the Cuban Embargo
- Wants to conduct business with Venezuela openly
- Wants low tariffs but was against NAFTA because it created more govt control over trade.
- No safety net for people.
- No welfare
- No unemployment payments from the federal govt.
- Get rid of Social Security and its govt collecting of that money
- Get rid of Medicare
Licensing and corporations
- Get rid of Govt Licensing practices. (So your neighbor can prescribe to you prozac)
- Believes that you cannot have monopolies without Govt assistance. Basically if you own 99% of the market share its because you are putting out a product the people want.
- Doesn't want to get rid of public education but wants to get rid of federal control of the govt. (Basically no funding for public schools from the federal govt)
- Believes that public schools are better off with local inequalities in schools then federally created measure to stop it.
- Opposed to student loans.
- Believes that in a free market you would not need student loans.
- Said "The best schools came from private institutions and churches not govt."
Wants to get rid of the following agencies
- Dept of Education
- Dept of Homeland Security
- Dept of Commerce
- Dept of Energy
- Dept of Environment
Seems to me like he wants something where its Corporations that rule everything. Hell it seems like in some cases he may be in agreement with a Corporation starting its own military or militia and have its own standing army.
After listening to him, I can honestly say that SOME (and its only a hand full if that) things I agree with but other things I think he has lost his flippn mind.
I also wonder does he want to get rid of NORAD or the CIA, or the FBI?
If you for a SECOND believe that he can get rid of all those departments.
Can destroy decades of trade deals by simply being president you are very very mistaken. There is not WAY democrats are going to stand for their POWER to be removed from them in education. And no WAY republicans in the senate are going to let go of their Commerce department. NO WAY!
I like Paul, I really do. I think he really means what he says. But his ideals are in no way up with the times. I like his talk of removing the military from all countries. I LOVE that in fact. I like his illegal immigration talk. But on everything else he looses me, by a mile. And I would be that demographic he is looking for being only 27.
I fail to see how ANYONE can logically support Paul with some of these positions. I would like to know from those that do HOW they can.
Posted by CP at 9:22 AM
Democrats in Debate Urge Taxes on Rich
Democratic presidential hopefuls called for higher taxes on the highest-paid Americans and on big corporations Thursday and agreed in an unusually cordial debate that any thought of balancing the federal budget would have to wait.
"We're not going to be able to dig ourselves out" of Bush-era deficits in the next year or two, said Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, one of six Democratic rivals sharing a stage for the final time before Iowa's leadoff Jan. 3 caucuses.
Asked about the importance of eliminating deficits, Democrats responded by criticizing President Bush's economic policies, including some of his tax cuts.
"I want to keep the middle class tax cuts" that Congress passed during President Bush's tenure, said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. But she said she favors raising taxes for the wealthiest.
Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina readily agreed. "The truth of the matter is the tax policy has been established by the big corporations and the wealthiest Americans," he said. "What we ought to be doing instead is getting rid of those tax breaks."
Across 90 minutes, the fierce competition between the two Iowa front-runners shone through only once - when Obama was asked how he could offer a new type of foreign policy since several of his advisers once worked for President Clinton.
Talking of raising taxes during an economic slow down as was said this week by the Fed is both irresponsible and stupid. Of course there is a part of this whole talk of raising taxes as part of a way to pander for votes from people that feel like the rich don't pay enough in taxes. Those that think that way are complete blithering idiots, seeing as most taxes in the nation are paid by the top 10% of wage earners with the remainder coming from Corporate Taxes.
Its funny how NO BODY and Republicans included are not talking about the ENORMOUS PINK ELEPHANT in the room, Social Security. Perhaps the largest problem that is facing the future of this country and no one wants to mention it.
The proverbial shit is going to hit the fan really soon as more of these Baby Boomers start to collect. Its coming fast folks. Really fast, and the solution is not to raise more income taxes, the solution lies in privatizing the system.
Posted by CP at 9:07 AM
Monday, December 10, 2007
This is what the fringe left has reduced itself to on this supposed Climate Change thing. Notice how I said Climate change, it has changed from Global Warming to Global Climate Change, as though the earth has an average temperature it should stay at forever or something.
Anyway, now we get this claim from a "professor" on how we should halt all child bearing essentially and tax people to even have a child. For this guy even breathing is a problem:
"Every newborn baby in Australia represents a potent source of
greenhouse gas emissions for an average of 80 years, not simply by breathing but by the profligate consumption of resources typical of our society," he wrote.
"Far from showering financial booty on new mothers and rewarding greenhouse-unfriendly behaviour, a 'baby levy' in the form of a carbon tax should apply, in line with the 'polluter pays' principle."
Now before I start getting comments about well this is just the ramblings of 1 left wing cook, consider the woman that recently sterilized herself in an effort to save on Global Carbon emissions.
This is why I call this Global Climate scare thing a very BIG cult.
These folks truly believe that their BREATHING is bad for the earth, that somehow BILLIONS of years of earth creation is at risk by some humans. LOL.. WOW, talk about being arrogant as hell.
But at the very least we can take comfort in one thing, this moron wont be procreating more morons. NOW THAT is worth its carbon foot print in spades!
Posted by CP at 11:34 AM
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Bill Clinton said Tuesday that if reporters covered the candidates' public records better, his wife's presidential bid would be far ahead of her rivals.
During a campaign stop on behalf of his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former president said he can't understand why so much of the media coverage of the campaign ignores her experience—and, without naming him, the relative lack of experience of her closest Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.
"One percent of the press coverage was devoted to their record in public life. No wonder people think experience is irrelevant. A lot of the people covering the race think it is (irrelevant)," Clinton said to students at Keene State College.
Clinton referenced a study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism that indicated much of the coverage of the race is dominated by daily horse race reporting rather than about policy issues.
"Sixty-seven percent of the coverage is pure politics. That stuff has a half life of about 15 seconds. It won't matter tomorrow. It is very vulnerable to being slanted and rude. And it won't affect your life," Clinton said.
Clinton also said his wife's bipartisan work in the Senate proves she can accomplish her campaign's message of change, and that records matter more than rhetoric. He said that when voters look at records and accomplishments, they will see clear choices between the New York senator and her rivals.
"I would pick her and be here if we weren't married," Clinton said.
Clinton recalled that this western New Hampshire town was the place he first thought he stood a chance of winning his Democratic Party's presidential nomination. He did not win the 1992 New Hampshire primary, but his second-place finish helped him position himself as "the Comeback Kid."
Hillary Rodham Clinton began the current campaign as the Democratic front-runner, but now faces a tightening race here and in Iowa. Her husband is one of several marquee surrogates trekking through snowy New Hampshire. Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling planned to join Republican Sen. John McCain on Wednesday. Oprah Winfrey planned to join Obama on Sunday.
You know for years I wondered who was the woman in the relationship?
And for the life of me I simply cannot tell.
The reality is that Hillary has literally done NOTHING while holding the senate seat in NY. NOTHING. She has not put forth any bills, she has not been the head of any committees and in her life prior to this senate run she didn't even have experience in the business world. She has never run anything. I can't find any experience on this lady at all. And even at this talk Bill had he didn't mention any experience she had in any capacity.
Posted by CP at 4:18 PM
Christian groups slam new Kidman children's movie
Christian groups are up in arms here over a new children's film starring Nicole Kidman and based on an award-winning novel by British author Philip Pullman, accusing it of being anti-religious.
"The Golden Compass" which opens here Friday is the film version of "The Northern Lights," the first book in Pullman's "Dark Materials" fantasy trilogy aimed at teenage readers.
The books by confirmed agnostic Pullman trace the fate of a young girl, Lyra, as she becomes drawn into an apocalyptic battle of good against evil, meeting a host of strange characters along the way including a polar bear, voiced in the film by Ian McKellan.
Evil in Pullman's books is represented by the church, called the Magisterium, whose acolytes kidnap orphans across England to subject them to horrible experiments in the frozen northern wastelands.
"The Northern Lights" won Pullman the 1995 Carnegie Medal for children's fiction in Britain, and the final volume in his trilogy, "The Amber Spyglass" was the first ever children's novel to be awarded the prestigious British Whitbread Book of the Year award in 2002.
With its 180-million-dollar big budget movie, New Line studios is hoping to repeat the box-office success of its "Lord of the Rings" series.
And it aims to tap into the young audiences of cinema-goers who flocked to the five "Harry Potter" films making them big earners for Warner Bros.
But already "The Golden Compass" is whipping up the same controversy which saw the "Harry Potter" series based on the novels by British author J. K Rowling, accused by some on the religious right of promoting witchcraft.
The author's attack on organized religion has been toned down for the film, in a bid to attract as wide as audience as possible, something director Chris Weitz has acknowledged.
"In the books the Magisterium is a version of the Catholic Church gone wildly astray from its roots," Weitz wrote in the British Daily Telegraph.
But "if that's what you want in the film, you'll be disappointed," he warned.
However, the sanitized version of Pullman's book has failed to appease the Catholic League, which gathers some 350,000 members, and which has already been sending out leaflets denouncing the film.
"The Catholic League wants Christians to stay away from this movie precisely because it knows that the film is bait for the books," said president William Donohue.
"Unsuspecting parents who take their children to see the movie may be impelled to buy the three books as a Christmas present. And no parent who wants to bring their children up in the faith will want any part of these books," he added.
The League already took on the movie world in 2006 to denounce the blockbuster "The Da Vinci Code" and its central tenant that Jesus Christ had a child by Mary Magdalene whose descendants still survive today.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops however has been more nuanced in its approach warning in a review of "The Golden Compass" of its "anti-clerical subtext, standard genre occult elements, character born out of wedlock, a whiskey-guzzling bear."
But it adds that "taken purely on its own cinematic terms, (it) can be viewed as an exciting adventure story with a traditional struggle between good and evil, and a generalized rejection of authoritarianism."
"The Golden Compass" will be released in some 3,000 cinemas and only 60 have so far refused to screen it, according to the industry daily Variety.
"It's this undisguised anti-religious theme that has numerous groups in a lather, but perhaps more of an issue for some ... will be the film's lack of exciting uplift and the almost unrelievedly nasty treatment of the young characters by a host of aggressively unpleasant elders," Variety added.
I mean seriously its just a book.
There is no depiction of Jesus in the book. Hell (excuse the pun) for that matter I don't even think it mentions any religious denomination in the book. But religious fundamentalists are up in arms over it.
Same way they were up in arms over the Harry Potter Books.
I mean REALLY! Harry Potter is a problem? Witch craft is the problem afflicting the faith? Seriously?
The Church has lost its way long before this book or Potter came along.
Perhaps instead of dealing with superficial things like the fictitious books that writers with vivid imaginations are writers, they should be dealing with the problems of Priests that are not allowed to marry, Priests abusing kids and the dwindling number of faithful that are going to church.
It has little to do with Books and Movies.
Its not at the level of the Sudan problems over a Teddy Bear. But its still pretty overblown.
Posted by CP at 10:36 AM
Friday, November 30, 2007
Well well well.
Seems like Murtha is eating crow.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
By Jerome L. Sherman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. John Murtha today said he saw signs of military progress during a brief trip to Iraq last week, but he warned that Iraqis need to play a larger role in providing their own security and the Bush administration still must develop an exit strategy.
"I think the 'surge' is working," the Democrat said in a videoconference from his Johnstown office, describing the president's decision to commit more than 20,000 additional combat troops this year. But the Iraqis "have got to take care of themselves."
Violence has dropped significantly in recent months, but Mr. Murtha said he was most encouraged by changes in the once-volatile Anbar province, where locals have started working closely with U.S. forces to isolate insurgents linked to Al Qaeda.
He said Iraqis need to duplicate that success at the national level, but the central government in Baghdad is "dysfunctional."
Mr. Murtha's four day-trip took him to a Thanksgiving dinner with troops in Kuwait last Thursday, and he then made stops in Iraq, Turkey and Belgium.
Murtha conceding that progress is being made?
I thought the troop surge was not going to work Murtha? Hmmm.... Guess once again you were wrong.
This is going to be an interesting election season as more progress is made in Iraq. So much so that even the New York Times could not ignore it last week in an article. The rest of the MSM media has not jumped on board yet. But eventually they will have no choice BUT to take notice and actually report on it.
Slowly we will start to see the shift of posturing by the Democrats on this issue.
Watch as they move the bar now from Military solutions they said were not possible to the new tactic of BUT LOOK there is not political triumph. To that I say. NOT YET!
Much like many conservatives have been saying. You need to provide SECURITY FIRST in order to let the political take hold. Now that security has taken hold of the country, the new focus is on seeing that talks resume and that the political process in Iraq brings the nation forward.
Now I just will go ape shit when Dingy Harry Reid actually acknowledges that the troop surge has worked!
Posted by CP at 11:15 AM
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The crying part was not what got to me in this story. I personally think he should rot in hell. What did however was the following:
Until 9/11, Saddam thought UN sanctions would go away and he could make a nuclear bomb. His prewar weapons of mass destruction deceptions were a ruse to convince Iran - whom he feared - that he had an arsenal.
This is exactly what I have been saying since the war began back in 2003.
Saddam had kicked out the inspectors to hide the weapons somewhere in that country and or move them into Syria then invite the inspectors back to then reconstitute his Nuclear Program.
With the watching eye of the US and the UN sanctions he could not start that program up again. The last thing Saddam wanted to do was loose power of his country. He wanted to hold it as long as possible.
My contention then as it is now is that the War should NEVER have happened and continuing Sanctions were all the deterrent needed to keep Saddam in check.
What is worrisome however is the fact that he did have plans to start up the nuclear plan again. But we know it would have been decades for him to acquire them if at all with continuing sanctions.
Also of note is the fact that the news media has focused VERY VERY little on Iraq in the last few months. Positive news is NO NEWS.
Posted by CP at 12:43 PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I told you once, i told you twice, I told you a thousands times! So-called public schools are failing our kids!
Instead of teaching our children the fundamentals we have school admins distributing condoms and birth control pills, diversity/multicutural classes, a now yoga and de-stress periods!
Give me a break!
Now an article shows that goverment school are "dropout factories." Gotta love it folks.
WASHINGTON- It's a nickname no principal could be proud of: "Dropout Factory," a high school where no more than 60 percent of the students who start as freshmen
make it to their senior year. That description fits more than one in 10 high schools across America.
"If you're born in a neighborhood or town where the only high school is one where graduation is not the norm, how is this living in the land of equal opportunity?" asks Bob Balfanz, the Johns Hopkins researcher who coined the term "dropout factory."
There are about 1,700 regular or vocational high schools nationwide that fit that description, according to an analysis of Education Department data conducted by Johns Hopkins for The Associated Press. That's 12 percent of all such schools, about the same level as a decade ago.
While some of the missing students transferred, most dropped out, says Balfanz. The data look at senior classes for three years in a row to make sure local events like plant closures aren't to blame for the low retention rates.
The highest concentration of dropout factories is in large cities or high-poverty rural areas in the South and Southwest. Most have high proportions of minority students. These schools are tougher to turn around because their students face challenges well beyond the academic ones - the need to work as well as go to school, for example, or a need for social services.
Utah, which has low poverty rates and fewer minorities than most states, is the only state without a dropout factory. Florida and South Carolina have the highest percentages.
"Part of the problem we've had here is, we live in a state that culturally and traditionally has not valued a high school education," said Jim Foster, a spokesman for the South Carolina department of education. He noted that residents in that state previously could get good jobs in textile mills without a high school degree, but that those jobs are gone today.
Washington hasn't focused much attention on the problem. The No Child Left Behind Act, for example, pays much more attention to educating younger students. But that
appears to be changing.
House and Senate proposals to renew the 5-year-old No Child law would give high schools more federal money and put more pressure on them to improve on graduation performance, and the Bush administration supports that idea.
The current NCLB law imposes serious consequences on schools that report low scores on math and reading tests, and this fallout can include replacement of teachers or principals - or both. But the law doesn't have the same kind of enforcement teeth when it comes to graduation rates.
Nationally, about 70 percent of U.S. students graduate on time with a regular diploma. For Hispanic and black students, the proportion drops to about half.
The legislative proposals circulating in Congress would:
-Make sure schools report their graduation rates by racial, ethnic, and other subgroups and are judged on those results. That's to ensure that schools aren't just graduating white students in high numbers, but also are working to ensure that minority students get diplomas.
-Get states to build data systems to keep track of students throughout their school years and more accurately measure graduation and dropout rates.
-Ensure that states count graduation rates in a uniform way. States have used a variety of formulas, including counting the percentage of entering seniors who get a diploma. That measurement ignores the obvious fact that kids who drop out typically do so before their senior year.
-Create strong progress goals for graduation rates and impose sanctions on schools that miss those benchmarks. Most states currently lack meaningful goals, according to The Education Trust, a nonprofit group that advocates for poor and minority
The current law requires testing in reading and math once in high school, and those tests take on added importance because of the serious consequences for a school of failure. Critics say that creates a perverse incentive for schools to encourage kids to drop out before they bring down a school's scores.
"The vast majority of educators do not want to push out kids, but the pressures to raise test scores above all else are intense," said Bethany Little, vice president for policy at the Alliance for Excellent Education, an advocacy group focused on high schools. "To know if a high school is doing its job, we need to consider test scores and graduation rates equally."
Little said some students pushed out of high schools are encouraged to enroll in programs that prepare them to take the GED exam. People who pass that test get certificates indicating they have high-school level academic skills. But the research shows that getting a GED doesn't lead to the kind of job or college success associated with a regular diploma.
Loretta Singletary, 17, enrolled in a GED program after dropping out of a Washington, D.C. high school that she describes as huge, chaotic and violent. "Girls got jumped. Boys got jumped, teachers (were) fighting and hitting students," she said.
She said teachers had low expectations for students, which led to dull classes.
"They were teaching me stuff I already knew ... basic nouns, simple adjectives."
Singletary said a subject she loved was science but she wasn't offered it, and complaints to administrators went unanswered. "I was interested in experiments," she said. "I didn't have science in 9th or 10th grade."
A GED classmate of Singletary's is 23-year-old Dontike Miller, who attended and
left two D.C. high schools on the dropout factory list. Miller was brought up by a single mother who used drugs, and he says teachers and counselors seemed oblivious to what was going on in his life.
He would have liked for someone to sit him down and say, "'You really need to go to class. We're going to work with you. We're going to help you'," Miller said. Instead,"I had nobody."
Teachers and administrators at Baltimore Talent Development High School, where 90 percent of kids are on track toward graduating on time, are working hard to make sure students don't have an experience like Miller's.
The school, which sits in the middle of a high-crime, impoverished neighborhood two miles west of downtown Baltimore, was founded by Balfanz and others four years ago as a laboratory for getting kids out on time with a diploma and ready for college.
Teachers, students and administrators at the school know each other well.
"I know teachers that have knocked on people's doors. They want us to succeed," 12th-grader Jasmine Coleman said during a lunchtime chat in the cafeteria.
Fellow senior Victoria Haynes says she likes the way the school organizes teachers in teams of four, with each team of teachers assigned to a group of 75 students. The teachers work across subject areas, meaning English and math teachers, for example, collaborate on lessons and discuss individual students' needs.
"They all concentrate on what's best for us together," Haynes said. "It's very family oriented. We feel really close to them."
Teachers, too, say it works.
"I know the students a lot better, because I know the teachers who teach them," said 10th-grade English teacher Jenni Williams. "Everyone's on the same page, so it's not like you're alone in your mission."
That mission can be daunting. The majority of students who enter Baltimore Talent Development in ninth grade are reading at a fifth- or sixth-grade level.
To get caught up, students have 80-minute lessons in reading and math, instead of the typical 45 minutes. They also get additional time with specialists if needed.
The fact that kids are entering high schools with such poor literacy skills raises questions about how much catch-up work high schools can be expected to do and whether more pressure should be placed on middle schools and even elementary schools, say some high-school principals.
"We're at the end of the process," says Mel Riddile, principal of T.C. Williams High School, a large public school in Alexandria, Va. "People don't walk into 9th grade and suddenly have a reading problem."
Other challenges to high schools come from outside the school system. In high-poverty districts, some students believe it's more important to work than to stay in school, or they are lured away by gang activity or other kinds of peer or family pressure.
At Baltimore Talent Development, administrators try to set mini-milestones and celebrations for students so they stay motivated. These include more fashionable uniforms with each promotion to the next grade, pins for completing special programs and pizza parties to celebrate good attendance records.
"The kids are just starved for recognition and attention. Little social rewards matter to them," said Balfanz.
Balfanz says, however, that students understand the biggest reward they can collect is the piece of paper handed to them on graduation day.
Without it, "there's not much work for you anymore," he said. "There's no way out of the cycle of poverty if you don't have a high school diploma."
Posted by LRO at 9:32 AM
Monday, October 15, 2007
We were getting life altering world ending predictions for the hurricane season again this year and yet it was TAME to say the least. Not that I was not greatful for mother nature to bless us with a calmer season but all the alarmists in the MSM media were calling for a dire season.
So this year was one of the warmest years on record right?
Several records broken just last week in North East and The Chicago Marathon was canceled because it was too hot.
Yet where are all the Hurricanes.
Dr. Gray made his annual predictions for Hurricanes back at the beginning of the year. It was also revised downward from 17 named storms, nine hurricanes and five high-intensity storms to 13 named storms, 8 Hurricanes and 3 High intensity storms.
So far Gray has not gotten it all right after all. Mind you however, Dr. Gray is the leading Hurricane forecaster in the US if not the world and he got it wrong even with years of research and analysis.
Yet just last week Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. Which is an absolute joke and a mockery of such a prestigious award. An award that is supposed to embody great scientific work for the betterment of man kind and in some ways bringing more peace to the world and you give it Al Gore? Who's only real accomplishment is making OODLES of money touting Junk Science Global Warming.
I didn't get it.
In Gores film (An Inconvenient Truth) he talked about the intensity of Hurricanes being directly related to Global Warming and how many more Katrina's are waiting to happen. He made it sound so factual despite there being no real correlation to that notion.
In fact a Judge in the UK Ruled the film had 9 errors that it touts as facts. And that is just the proverbial tip of the ice berg.
In a stinging rebuttal to Gores claims of man made global warming and on the day of Gores announcement of winning the Peace Prize, Dr. Gray ripped Gore and his film a new one:
ONE of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works".
"We're brainwashing our children," said Dr Gray, 78, a long-time professor at Colorado State University. "They're going to the Gore movie [An Inconvenient Truth] and being fed all this. It's ridiculous."
"The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures," Dr Gray said.
He said his beliefs had made him an outsider in popular science.
"It bothers me that my fellow scientists are not speaking out against something they know is wrong," he said. "But they also know that they'd never get any grants if they spoke out. I don't care about grants."
So far gores winning of the Peace Prize has been seen as ridiculous and getting plenty of flak. Soon the rest of Al's message will ring as just as ridiculous to folks as well.
But not yet, lets wait till after the Hurricane season this year is over. Watch all the light bulbs go off in peoples heads, hopefully they are Fluorescents.
Posted by CP at 11:44 AM
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Yes folks, as though the Global warming BS could not get any weirder not Greenpeace wants everyone to eat more Kangaroo's. I am shaking my head here too folks.
MORE kangaroos should be slaughtered and eaten to help save the world from global warming, environmental activists say.
The controversial call to cut down on beef and serve more of the national symbol on our dinner plates follows a report on curbing greenhouse gas emissions damaging the planet.
Greenpeace energy campaigner Mark Wakeham urged Aussies to substitute some red meat for roo to help reduce land clearing and the release of methane gas from flatulent cattle and sheep.
"It is one of the lifestyle changes we can make," Mr Wakeham said.
"Changing our meat consumption habits is a small way to make an impact."
The eat roo recommendation is contained in a report, Paths to a Low-Carbon Future, commissioned by Greenpeace and released today.
It also coincides with recent calls from climate change experts for people in rich countries to reduce red meat and switch to chicken and fish because land-clearing and burping and farting cattle and sheep were damaging the environment.
Posted by CP at 9:47 AM
Hey the DEA should take some pointers from the Canadians.
Makes perfect sense to me. But I am sure the ACLU would be all over this here in the US as some sort of right infringement here.
It's not hard for police to identify the pot growers in this western Canada town: They merely scan residents' utility bills to determine who is using a lot more power than the average homeowner.
Armed with that information, local authorities cut the power off to the home of the suspected offender, often leaving scores of pot growers without the artifical light and water needed to cultivate their home-grown cash crop.
British Columbia, with a population of four million, has an estimated 20,000 inhabitants who raise a potent local marijuana known here as "B.C. Bud."
The plants, collectively worth nearly seven billion dollars each year, account for a whopping six percent of this province's power consumption.
The labor-intensive crop is an energy sponge thanks in large part to the 1,000 watt halogen lights, fans, irrigation pumps and other equipment needed for their cultivation. As a result, the pot growers' energy bills are about three times that of the average consumer.
Those energy consumption patterns drew the notice of authorities, who have benefitted from a 2006 law allowing BC Hydro, the area's main power company, to share its residential power consumption records with local officials.
Armed with a list of likely offenders, a team of inspectors -- including a firefighter, an electrician, an admistrative employee and two policmen -- is dispatched to each suspect residence.
"We inspect between 70 and 80 homes a month, said Len Garis, head of firefighters in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver.
Inspectors are looking to verify, first and foremost, that the power lines' insulation coating is in good condition and that the circuit breakers are working properly.
About 90 percent of the time, this is not the case: Inspections often reveal serious problems in the electrical connections as a result of the high demands placed on them. According to the city, pot growers' homes have a 24 times greater chance than the average home of catching fire and burning down.
In the event of electrical problems, the current to the home is cut and cannot be reestablished until repairs are made.
The inspection team rarely sees the real target of the operation -- the pot plants -- because authorities are obliged by law to notify residents at least 48 hours prior to an inspection. The early tip usually gives the home pot grower more that adequate time to stow away his illicit crop.
"It's not about a criminal operation, but simply a means of insuring security for the people," said Joel Giebelhaus, an aide to Surrey's mayor.
Since the beginning of inspections in 2006, the number of home cannabis plantations has dropped by 65 percent in Surrey and 14 other towns in the province participating in the power-cutoff approach to the war on drugs.
"I'm afraid of these inspections," one local marijuana farmer told AFP, under condition of anonymity, acknowledging that without power, it would be impossible to operate the powerful lights he has going 18 hours a day to keep his pot plants growing.
It is not a one-sided battle however.
Marc Emery, who heads the "BC Marijuana Party," a small political group pushing for the legalization of pot, insisted that the province's offensive will prove futile, as growers figure out new methods to grow their crops without overtaxing the power infrastructure.
For example, one company selling hydroponic crop equipment also stocks a lamp that consumes 80 percent less energy than the traditional grow lamps.
In a counter-punch however, officials in some localities decided in late September to impose tighter restrictions on the companies selling hydroponic growing equipment.
Posted by CP at 9:40 AM
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Wow I am like Totally Shocked.....
Few things I agree with Whoopi on an and this is one of them.
Sharpton responds to Whoopi's demand for Duke lax apology
Posted by CP at 12:47 PM
I stumbled across another bloggers post about Michael Medveds recent Townhall.com article.
Round of applause for the Spin of the blog. Nice indeed. The Blogger falls WAY short of being anywhere near coherent or for that matter factual. In fact his liberal spin starts from the very Tittle of the post.
White conservative says slavery is exaggerated
Here are the basic FACTS that Medved lays out.
SLAVERY WAS AN ANCIENT AND UNIVERSAL INSTITUTION, NOT A DISTINCTIVELY AMERICAN INNOVATION.
SLAVERY EXISTED ONLY BRIEFLY, AND IN LIMITED LOCALES, IN THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC – INVOLVING ONLY A TINY PERCENTAGE OF THE ANCESTORS OF TODAY’S AMERICANS.
THOUGH BRUTAL, SLAVERY WASN’T GENOCIDAL: LIVE SLAVES WERE VALUABLE BUT DEAD CAPTIVES BROUGHT NO PROFIT.
IT’S NOT TRUE THAT THE U.S. BECAME A WEALTHY NATION THROUGH THE ABUSE OF SLAVE LABOR: THE MOST PROSPEROUS STATES IN THE COUNTRY WERE THOSE THAT FIRST FREED THEIR SLAVES.
WHILE AMERICA DESERVES NO UNIQUE BLAME FOR THE EXISTENCE OF SLAVERY, THE UNITED STATES MERITS SPECIAL CREDIT FOR ITS RAPID ABOLITION.
THERE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT TODAY’S AFRICAN-AMERICANS WOULD BE BETTER OFF IF THEIR ANCESTORS HAD REMAINED BEHIND IN AFRICA.
---But if you are one of those African Americans that feel you would be there is always expedia.com---
Medved also lays out facts to his points made.
At no point in time does he even TRY to say that the horrors of slavery were exaggerated. Simply that the exaggeration is Americas complete and sole culpability in slavery as it is made out to seem by liberals and those seeking reparations.
I find the blog interesting in that in Point 2 he wants to point to the beginning of slavery from the point of the BRITISH COLONIES and not from the point of the US emancipation from Britain. Interesting indeed. Also interesting how Britain is never held culpable by any African Americans that are so gung-ho about the slave trade in the Americas. No blame rests ever on the Portugese that enslaves millions, none on the Spaniards either. Just on America itself but only to point the finger at America.
Fact is that the colonies were extensions of the British Empire and it is FACTUALLY correct and Historically correct to talk about America from the point of its emancipation from Britain.
LMFAO.... In the blog in part 3 he says basically that Medved used the true definition of genocide and then in part 4 blames him for not defining wealthy. LMFAO... This blogger is a moron.
In part 5 he solidifies his stupidity in this blog. Again discounting the fact that Slavery was not a American invention yet says it should not have happened. Fact is that again it did happen and happened often throughout history from the Sumerians all the way till TODAY with the sex slave trade around the globe. All are deplorable but America was the FIRST of the western Nations to stop Slavery in its tracks. Which is again Medveds point but the blogger loves to spin. Residual problems persisted in it yes as in Indentured Servitude and Civil Rights violations but that again has been sped up by Americans when even in Latin America and even in African countries being too dark is shun and those folks are treated differently.
On point 6. Africa MAY have been a different continent today had it not been for Slavery but it would PROBABLY I would venture to say it would be almost as savage as it is today. Probably more so. Still to this day you have tribes and regions killing each other but don't believe me just look at Rwanda, Somalia and the Congo.
Posted by CP at 8:42 AM
Monday, October 08, 2007
Federal officers in Southern California over the last two weeks have arrested more than 1,300 immigrants, most of whom either have criminal records or have failed to abide by deportation orders -- part of an intensifying but controversial effort across the nation to remove such violators.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which plans to announce the operation at a news conference in Los Angeles today, called the sweep the largest of its kind in the U.S. Nearly 600 of those arrested at homes, workplaces and in jails have already been deported.
"Where these laws may not have been enforced in the past, that has changed," said Jim Hayes, Los Angeles field office director for ICE.
Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, pressure has been growing on the federal government to crack down on illegal immigrants, especially those who have committed crimes. And ICE has been waging a public relations battle to show that it is addressing the problem.
In the recent ICE operation, nearly 90% of the immigrants arrested had criminal records, deportation orders or had reentered the United States after being removed. The rest, 146, were "collateral" arrests -- people who encountered the agents and could not prove they were in the United States legally. Officers arrested 530 immigrants in their homes and workplaces and took custody of nearly 800 others from jails in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The 1,327 arrests surpassed the 1,297 undocumented immigrants arrested by ICE agents at meat processing plants in six states last December, part of an investigation into identity theft.
The enforcement is the latest example of the how some local law enforcement agencies are cooperating with federal authorities to ensure that criminals are identified and deported, rather than simply released from jail. ICE recently created a 24-hour command center, complete with a specific e-mail address and phone number, where local law enforcement officers can exchange information with immigration agents to identify possible deportees.
Though Los Angeles police, under a controversial policy, do not routinely inquire about suspects' immigration status, Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange and San Bernardino counties have formal agreements with ICE that allow local sheriff's officials to check the immigration status of inmates. ICE agents also work in some city jails, including Costa Mesa and Anaheim.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca called the partnership between ICE and jail personnel "very successful." He said his department had identified and interviewed 8,000 illegal immigrant inmates in the county jail system between January and September.
"It shows the volume in Los Angeles County is significant when it comes to the managing of illegal immigrants that have committed local crimes," Baca said.
In Orange County, officials found that about 10% of the 46,000 inmates that have gone through the system since mid-January were illegal immigrants.
"It's exceeding our expectations," Sheriff Michael S. Carona said of the screening program. "The communities are slowly but surely" buying into it. "We are not going down the street asking people for their immigration status."
In many cities, there has been a rising backlash to special treatment of illegal immigrants, including in Los Angeles, where officers have long interpreted the department's Special Order 40 as prohibiting them from asking the immigration status of suspects in most routine cases. Anti-illegal immigrant groups are suing to overturn the order.
The federal arrests also signal a change in how Immigration and Customs Enforcement deals with absconders and violators. In the past, most immigrants simply ignored their deportation orders, knowing there was little chance of arrest. Even those who were detained often posted bond and hid in plain sight in the community.
"There is no question that the immigration problems that our country is facing are problems that have grown over a long period of time," said ICE Assistant Secretary Julie L. Myers. "Historically, the agency was not aggressively focused on detaining those who posed a risk of flight."
But Myers said the agency is expanding bed space, detaining more immigrants and increasingly using alternatives to detention, such as electronic monitoring.
In 2003, ICE created 17 fugitive operations teams to target specific immigrants. As of this week, there are 75 such teams around the nation, including five in the Los Angeles area. Since the program's inception, ICE teams have arrested more than 61,000 immigrants, including 17,331 who had criminal convictions.
Overall, there are an estimated 595,000 immigration fugitives in the United States, down 37,000 from a year ago -- marking the first-ever decline, ICE authorities said.
About 1,100 of the recent arrestees were from Mexico. An additional 170 were from Central America, and others were from countries including Vietnam, Indonesia and Ireland. They had committed crimes such as burglary, domestic violence, assault and transportation of drugs, agents said. Some of them were legal, permanent residents who were deportable because of the crimes they committed.
The U.S. attorney's office plans to prosecute more than 45 of the arrestees for reentry after deportation, a felony that could land them in prison for up to 20 years.
"These are people who, No. 1 , have no right to be in the United States legally and they've exacerbated that crime by committing additional crimes," Hayes said. "These aren't people that we want in our communities. These aren't just people looking for work."
At 5:15 a.m. last Thursday, several armed officers wearing bullet-proof vests met at a Food 4 Less parking lot in Maywood. Supervisory Agent Jorge Field ran through the list of targets they were seeking.
Among them was Ramon Yac Mahik. Field showed the officers his photo and recited his information: Male from Guatemala. Thirty-five years old. Previous convictions for vehicle theft and domestic violence. An Immigration Court ruled against him. His appeal was denied by the Board of Immigration Appeals.
Several ICE vehicles pulled up quietly on his street in Los Angeles and within seconds the officers had surrounded the house. They knocked on the front door, but the people living at the apartment didn't know him. Then a woman came down a side stairway leading to an upstairs apartment.
Field asked her name and her husband's name. After getting permission to go inside, officers found Mahik. Field told him that he had an immigration warrant for his arrest. After the Guatemalan said goodbye to his children and gave his wife his boss' phone number, he was handcuffed and escorted to a van.
Later that morning, he sat on a metal bench at an immigration processing center in Santa Ana. In an interview, he acknowledged his criminal record but said it was from years earlier and that he deserved to have a chance to stay in the United States. Mahik said he was ordered deported in 1999 after posting bond and then failing to show up in court.
He works in the garment industry and has three U.S.-born children, ages 16, 10 and 5. His wife was injured in a recent car accident and can't work, he said.
"I don't consider myself a criminal," he said in Spanish. "I would like to fight to see if they let me stay here with my children. To leave them abandoned would be horrible for me. . . . And I don't want them to suffer."
The arrests break up families and create an unfair and inaccurate impression of the immigrant community, which is by and large law-abiding, said Reshma Shamasunder, director of the California Immigrant Policy Center. Enforcement actions also cause fear in immigrant neighborhoods and families that may include U.S. citizens.
"It directs public attention away from the real need to reform the immigration system overall," she said. "This is not going to solve our problems. . . . This is just one narrow-minded, mean-spirited way of trying to fix the immigration problem."
Anti-illegal immigration groups, however, said the action showed what the government can do when it is motivated to enforce the law.
"I hate to sound ungrateful, because we're grateful for any enforcement," said Rick Oltman with Californians for Population Stabilization. "But at this point, we're wondering what took so long."
Posted by CP at 12:14 PM
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
An FYI for all readers.
Online videos aren't just for bloopers and rants - some might also be conduits for malicious code that can infect your computer.
As anti-spam technology improves, hackers are finding new vehicles to deliver their malicious code. And some could be embedded in online video players, according to a report on Internet threats released Tuesday by the Georgia Tech Information Security Center as it holds its annual summit.
The summit is gathering more than 300 scholars and security experts to discuss emerging threats for 2008 - and their countermeasures.
Among their biggest foes are the ever-changing vehicles that hackers use to deliver "malware," which can silently install viruses, probe for confidential info or even hijack a computer.
"Just as we see an evolution in messaging, we also see an evolution in threats," said Chris Rouland, the chief technology officer for IBM Corp.'s Internet Security Systems unit and a member of the group that helped draft the report. "As companies have gotten better blocking e-mails, we see people move to more creative techniques."
With computer users getting wiser to e-mail scams, malicious hackers are looking for sneakier ways to spread the codes. Over the past few years, hackers have moved from sending their spam in text-based messages to more devious means, embedding them in images or disguised as Portable Document Format, or PDF, files.
"The next logical step seems to be the media players," Rouland said.
There have only been a few cases of video-related hacking so far.
One worm discovered in November 2006 launches a corrupt Web site without prompting after a user opens a media file in a player. Another program silently installs spyware when a video file is opened. Attackers have also tried to spread fake video links via postings on YouTube.
That reflects the lowered guard many computer users would have on such popular forums.
"People are accustomed to not clicking on messages from banks, but they all want to see videos from YouTube," Rouland said.
Another soft spot involves social networking sites, blogs and wikis. These community-focused sites, which are driving the next generation of Web applications, are also becoming one of the juiciest targets for malicious hackers.
Computers surfing the sites silently communicate with a Web application in the background, but hackers sometimes secretly embed malicious code when they edit the open sites, and a Web browser will unknowingly execute the code. These chinks in the armor could let hackers steal private data, hijack Web transactions or spy on users.
Tuesday's forum gathers experts from around the globe to "try to get ahead of emerging threats rather than having to chase them," said Mustaque Ahamad, director of the Georgia Tech center.
They are expected to discuss new countermeasures, including tighter validation standards and programs that analyze malicious code. Ahamad also hopes the summit will be a launching pad of sorts for an informal network of security-minded programmers.
Posted by CP at 10:29 AM
I mean really he is joking with this garbage about being unpatriotic.
One of the most unpatriotic senators in recent history, joining the ranks of Kerry, Murtha and Schumer, Reid has got to be quite simply on crack!
Here is what he said:
Last week, Rush Limbaugh went way over the line, way over the line. While I respect his right to say anything he likes, his unpatriotic comments I cannot ignore. During his show last Wednesday, Limbaugh was engaged in one of his typical rants. This one was unremarkable, indistinguishable from his usual drivel, which has been steadily losing listeners for years, [sic] until he crossed that line by calling our men and women in uniform who oppose the war in Iraq, and I quote, "phony soldiers." [sic] This comment was so beyond the pale of decency, and we can't leave it alone. And yet he followed it up with denials and an attack on Congressman Jack Murtha, who was a 37-year active member of the Marine Corps, combat veteran.
What Rush was talking about when he said Phony Soldiers was Jesse MacBeth. A man that faked his time in Iraq and his service in order to downplay and break apart the war effort.
MacBeth, 23, of Tacoma, claimed to have killed more than 200 people, many at close range, some as they prayed in a mosque. He spoke at an anti-war rally in Tacoma and appeared in a 20-minute anti-war video that circulated widely on the Internet.
Trouble is, none of MacBeth's claims was true. He made it through only six weeks of Army basic training, was never a Ranger and never set foot in Iraq.
Reid seems to be confused with his own words that have waived the white flag for our troops from the comfort of a press conference earlier this year, in which Reid declared that the surge only 1 week old had failed and that the war in Iraq "Was Lost, the surge has failed".
Here stands Reid condemning Rush but saying ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to Moveon.org for their attack on a decorated war hero in General Patraeus! With their General Betrayus ad that was in the paper. A move which Republicans in the Senate condemned, but Reid and his ILK have not.
The double standard here is clear folks.
Its also very clear now that the Democratic party has been taken over by the Moveon.org crowd, seeing as they get daily conference calls with democrats.
Shame on you Reid, but then again it is what is expected of you now, since you do not have a brain of your own but follow the drum beat of defeatists and appeasers.
Posted by CP at 10:13 AM
You know I wish I could say I was shocked by this but its a growing trend around the US to remove any form of the Christian religion from the foundation of the nation.
OAK LAWN, Ill. A southwest suburban school district has taken action, responding to the concerns of a parent who is Arabic.
But now, as CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot reports, other parents are angry that traditional school holidays will be renamed or even eliminated.
"That does not represent all the Muslims, all of the Arabs at that school," said Qais Nofel, the father of a student in Ridgeland School District 122.
There was some heated discussion between parents outside Columbus Manor Elementary School in Oak Lawn on Friday. The thought of no more traditional holiday celebrations has many parents really upset.
For now, children in Ridgeland School District 122 will celebrate fall festival instead of Halloween and winter festival instead of Christmas.
Brenda Elvidge said, "It's not fair to our kids. This is America and that's an American tradition."
The decision affects the children at four elementary schools in Oak Lawn and one junior high school in Bridgeview.
The district has a 30 percent Arabic population. The superintendent says the reason for the change in tradition comes after one parent wanted Ramadan decorations put up inside Columbus Manor Elementary. They were taken down.
Superintendent Tom Smyth said, "I go back to our policy which says that public schools are to remain neutral in this respect."
Meantime, Arab children are being allowed to pray during what's being called their own time, that's lunch time, during Ramadan.
Parent June Quigley said, "They get to pray in our schools. That is religion in a public school."
Arab-American parents have different views on the issue.
Sala Abour said, "To take away Halloween and Christmas from little kids, that is very wrong."
Nofel said, "We go and we celebrate the holidays and traditions here, but we do have the right to be Muslims as well."
Other parents say the controversy is overshadowing what really needs to be addressed at all five schools in the district.
Ronnie Carroll said, "The fact that they are cash strapped. Our classroom size is way above the average mean, 38 children in our first grade classroom. The concern should be our school, not the whole holiday issues."
Those issues along with the holiday controversy are going to be addressed at a school board meeting on Tuesday. Members will decide if holidays will be celebrated or not.
Meantime, the Illinois PTA district director says the state is now investigating this issue and there's a meeting with the superintendent next week.
Its really simple folks, for the people that want a complete secular nation they need to start young. What better way to get this done then by having kids believe that celebrating Christmas is wrong and a dumbed down version of it is okay.
You have got to love the appeasement mentality.
Posted by CP at 8:32 AM
Round of applause for Dallas Texas!
The phone calls started pouring in at Irving City Hall on Thursday morning.
They were prompted by activists who implored a crowd of more than 1,000 people at a rally Wednesday night to call for an end to a program that turns over arrested illegal immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
But most callers weren't asking for an end to the program – they were voicing their support.
"It was ringing over and over, and by far, the biggest percent was in favor," City Secretary Janice Carroll said Thursday afternoon.
Irving police last year began using what's called the 24/7 Criminal Alien Program. It provides for around-the-clock communication with federal authorities and is designed to detain illegal immigrants who have been accused of a crime. It's the latest tool being used by local governments in the absence of a federal overhaul of immigration laws. So far, Irving police have turned over more than 1,600 people to immigration officials.
Mayor Herbert Gears estimates that about 300 people in Irving are being turned over each month – more than in any other city in the nation. He said city officials are obligated to uphold the law and will continue to use the program, which is available to any city that wishes to participate.
"Of the 200 e-mails I've read so far, one is negative and all the rest are positive," Mr. Gears said Thursday afternoon. "People are very overwhelmingly supporting what we are doing."
This program should be something that runs nationally.
Its the only way to solve the illegal immigration problem. Seeing as the Federal Govt isn't doing much about it Local and State govts need to start taking matters into their own hands.
Posted by CP at 8:27 AM
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama told Wall Street investors Monday that several of them have been too focused on their own gain at the expense of struggling Americans and echoed Franklin Delano Roosevelt's call for a "reappraisal of values."
Obama prides himself on delivering tough messages directly to the source, and his address at the NASDAQ Marketsite was another example. He said a "what's good for me is good enough" mentality has crept into parts of the business world while working men and women toil longer hours and still struggle to pay for health care, tuition and taxes.
"If we are honest, I think we must admit that those who have benefited from the new global marketplace—and that includes almost everyone in this room—have not always concerned themselves with the losers in this new economy," the Illinois senator said.
"The danger with this mentality isn't just that it offends our morals, it's that it endangers our markets," Obama said.
Economic experts including former Commerce secretary Bill Daley, former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson and University of Chicago economist Austan D. Goolsbee helped Obama with the speech, which risks alienating some Wall Street supporters. But Obama said in a recent interview with The Associated Press that he is determined not just to campaign by telling people what they want to hear, but to win support for an agenda for change.
Other examples include Obama's lecture to Detroit automakers that they need to build more fuel efficient vehicles and his support for performance-based merit pay before the teacher's union that opposes it.
Obama blamed Wall Street for wasteful and unethical anti-market practices such as corporate boards that allow executives to set the price of stock options to guarantee they'll make money regardless of performance and CEOs who get massive severance packages or perks even when workers lose their jobs or pensions. But he also accused the Bush administration of approving mergers with little scrutiny and maintaining more than $1 trillion worth of corporate tax loopholes.
"This administration has accelerated these trends through its tax policies and spending priorities to the point where there is greater income inequality now than at any time since the Gilded Age," Obama said. He also compared the situation to the Great Depression, when Roosevelt challenged the cynicism by calling for faith in the United States and its institutions.
"We certainly do not face a test of the magnitude that Roosevelt's generation did, but we are tested still," Obama said.
"I am asking you to join me in ushering in a new era of mutual responsibility in America," he said. He said he believes Wall Street leaders want to be part of building a more just nation, but they haven't been asked before.
He used the subprime mortgage crisis as an example, saying it started as a good idea until some lenders and brokers began lowering their standards as they saw how much money could be made. It was tempting to look the other way, he said.
"The consequences are now clear: nearly 2.5 million homeowners could lose their homes" and millions of others could see their homes devalued, Obama said.
Obama said markets need to be more open and transparent to keep the trust of investors and the public. He said that trust can be restored by federal action like:
—New mortgage rules with tough penalties for lenders who trick homeowners into loans they can't afford;
—An investigation of the relationship and business practices of rating agencies and their clients;
—A five-star credit card rating system to inform consumers about the level of risk for their credit card, including how easily the company can change the interest rate;
—A request that lenders show some flexibility to people trying to sell or refinance their homes.
Lets break this down a bit shall we.
• New mortgage rules with tough penalties for lenders who trick homeowners into loans they can't afford;
As a Mortgage Broker myself I can honestly say that people are not TRICKED into anything when it comes to a Mortgage. or should I say 99.99% of the time they are not. EVERYTHING is spelled out in the contract even before closing. On the Good Faith Estimate EVERYTHING is gone over and clients want to know everything about their loan. I get stopped every time like clock work on the APR rate. Every time I need to tell them that this is not your actual rate. Everything is explained to these folks that take out ARMS. How their rate WILL go up a X amount of time and how there are penalties for paying off the loan too soon in some instances.
What a joke. Another way for Democrats to remove blame from the individual and blame companies for offering a service that like it or not has served the market VERY WELL. No one wants to look at the the positive numbers of RECORD number of home owners living in their homes right now.
Here is the reality for this FOOL Obama. John Hope Bryant, founder of Operation Hope says it clearly that Healthy and Responsible Sub-prime lending has lifted more poor people out of poverty then anything in the last 50 years!
That is a reality! Liberals don't get that.
A request that lenders show some flexibility to people trying to sell or refinance their homes.
LOL. What now he wants to make it easier for flippers to get out of property as well?
Hell they are part of the problem with the real estate market. Some of these Foreclosures you are seeing are flippers that are STUCK in their purchases that they can't flip as quickly as they thought. That is the risk with the investment.
—A five-star credit card rating system to inform consumers about the level of risk for their credit card, including how easily the company can change the interest rate;
Give me a damn break.
People need to show fiscal restraint. Can't afford that pair of shoes at the mall. DON'T BUY IT. People know how their interest rates can go up on Credit Cards. They aren't THAT NAIVE, they just act like they are when shit hits the fan.
Posted by CP at 9:36 AM
This is what true conservatism is like.
You adjust things accordingly through the legislature to make people NOT depend on the govt for their living. You then couple that with proper fiscal restraint in the state govt and promote small business and large business. The result is fewer people living off the Govt and taking responsibility for their own lively hood.
What a far out concept!
TAMPA - Florida had the nation's lowest rate of households on welfare last year, according to figures recently released by the U.S. Census.
Just 1.3 percent of Florida households reported receiving welfare payments in the 2006 American Community Survey, a yearly demographic portrait of the nation set to replace the once-a-decade Census long form in 2010.
Welfare experts such as Ron Haskins, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, aren't surprised to find Florida ranked so low.
There are a number of reasons for it, they say. Florida has had higher job growth, tougher welfare eligibility rules and lower welfare payments than many states. And it lies in the South, where tradition - and legislation - more often attaches a greater stigma to welfare than other regions do.
"The South has always been more conservative than the rest of the country, so they're less encouraging to people about welfare … especially as compared to the New England states," said Haskins, author of "Work Over Welfare: The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform."
"The Southern states also tend to have the lower benefits [and] the lower the benefits, the easier to earn your way off welfare."
Florida has ranked low in the category for years. The survey lists it 51st among the states and the District of Columbia. In addition to Florida, there were six other Southern states rounding out the eight with the nation's lowest welfare participation rates: Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Georgia. Wisconsin was the only non-Southern state. In all those states, less than 2 percent of households reported receiving welfare benefits in the survey.
Alaska had the highest rate of households receiving public cash assistance - 6.3 percent - followed by Maine; Washington, D.C.; Oklahoma; and Hawaii.
"Alaska and Hawaii have benefits that are off the scale, because cost of living there is so high," Haskins said. "D.C. and Maine have probably among the lowest-income populations in the country. Oklahoma's kind of surprising."
A U.S. Department of Health & Human Services survey of 2002 welfare benefits for a family of three lists Alaska and Hawaii with the highest monthly payments nationwide: $923 and $712, respectively. Alabama offered the lowest monthly benefit at $164.
Florida's monthly benefit of $303 ranked 43rd in the nation. That is still the maximum benefit today for a family of three, according to Don Winstead, deputy secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, which determines eligibility for welfare payments, also known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
Winstead thinks the lower payments have helped maintain the state's standing among those with the lowest rates for welfare recipients.
"That absolutely plays a role. Depending on the audience, I say Florida has among the lowest benefits in the country, or among the highest in the Southeast," Winstead said.
"Historically, Florida is a state with low benefits. Largely [it's the state] just not wanting to set benefits too high to encourage people to be on welfare rather than working. It's basically a legislative decision."
The federal welfare reform law, passed by Congress in 1996, made changes intended to make welfare more of a temporary benefit. The revamped program required states to set a five-year limit on the time families with an adult could receive cash benefits, with some exceptions. Florida set a stricter limit: four years.
The federal law said beneficiaries had to start working no later than two years after they first receive welfare benefits. Florida requires beneficiaries to start working right away.
Winstead said the tough standards of Florida's 1996 welfare plan, passed in anticipation of the broad federal reforms, require able-bodied adults to get jobs right away. Florida also will cut off all benefits, after 10 days' notice, if an adult in the household refuses to work without a good reason. The federal law allows a partial cut-off.
"The combination of a policy structure that rigorously enforces the requirement for work has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the welfare caseload," Winstead said.
"In 1996, there were over 200,000 families on welfare in Florida. There are less than 50,000 now."
We can all give a round of applause to Jeb Bush and the State Legislature in Florida for a Good Job. Now lets see if Christ can keep that momentum going.
Posted by CP at 8:59 AM