Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Shifting in Iraq

Heard this report this morning

There has been a shifting of alliances in a violent district of Baghdad as Sunni militants in the Amiriya neighborhood on the west side of the capital begin fighting alongside U.S. and Iraqi government forces against al-Qaida.

These former insurgents, who now call themselves the "Amiriya Revolutionaries," are helping to kill or capture al-Qaida members who were their allies just a few weeks ago.

Saad Abu al-Abed is a slightly built man with short, neat hair and a moustache. He is the only man not in uniform at a recent joint operations meeting between Iraqi and American soldiers working in Amiriya.

Sweating in an air conditioned office, the soldiers go through a list of suspected al-Qaida members still at large. This former Sunni insurgent smiles and says one of those men was killed last week. Another was captured and handed over to the Iraqi army. Everyone is relaxed, glad the ranks of the enemy are thinning. The atmosphere is friendly.

Later - sitting with only a reporter, a U.S. soldier and an interpreter in the room - al-Abed says he used to work as an intelligence officer in Saddam Hussein's army. Like a million other Iraqi soldiers, al-Abed found himself unemployed in 2003, when Paul Bremer, the American viceroy at the time, dissolved the Iraqi army.

"I went to work with my father," he says. "He had a photo studio. We had bakeries."

The stores were in Amiriya, once an upscale part of Baghdad that has now been overrun by sectarian militias. Al-Abed says the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, stole the family businesses. He says he started fighting the Mahdi Army after four of his brothers were killed by the Shiite militiamen.

"This isn't the way we were raised. If they're bad, that doesn't mean we behave like them," al-Abed explains. "I killed Mahdi Army. I didn't kill Shiites. I killed people who kill innocents and people who expelled people from their homes."

While he is determined to battle Shiite militiamen over the last remaining mixed neighborhoods in west Baghdad, al-Abed says that fight has to be put off for now. On Tuesday, he is preoccupied with ridding Amiriya of al-Qaida.

"I believe the cause of all the problems in Iraq right now is al-Qaida. They threatened the Sunnis, told them not to vote, so they didn't enter the political process," he says. "It allowed other people to take power, take charge of the security forces, it all goes back to al-Qaida

Al-Abed claims he has about a 100 men operating as a neighborhood watch in Amiriya, weeding out alleged al-Qaida operatives. Employing past skills, he provides intelligence to the U.S. and Iraqi army forces working in this area.

But relying on al-Abed's help is a risky gambit for U.S. forces because the new alliance could be used to settle old scores, says U.S. Army Capt. Peter Sulewski.

Sulewski says U.S. forces cannot be certain that al-Abed and his group are not just picking off individuals that they want to get rid of in their own fight for supremacy in the region. However, he says it is worth the risk.

Once he and his men have rid Amiriya of al-Qaida, al-Abed plans to go back to fighting the Mahdi Army. He knows the Iraqi security forces that he is currently cooperating with are filled with Shiites loyal to the Mahdi Army. He looks at the American soldier standing in the room and speaks through an interpreter. "My strength right now is dependent on the coalition forces being here," he says. "So, right now, I'm not afraid of the Mahdi Army.

When asked if he is afraid of the day the U.S. forces leave, he answers in plain English. "Yeah," he says.

Interesting to see that perspective is it not?

A War We Just Might Win

When I saw where this came from I needed to read it twice to make sure I was not going crazy. But this story comes from the NY TIMES of all places. I am surprised they printed this. Its just not their MO. Even though this is an OP-Ed piece.

Published: July 30, 2007

VIEWED from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

After the furnace-like heat, the first thing you notice when you land in Baghdad is the morale of our troops. In previous trips to Iraq we often found American troops angry and frustrated — many sensed they had the wrong strategy, were using the wrong tactics and were risking their lives in pursuit of an approach that could not work.

Today, morale is high. The soldiers and marines told us they feel that they now have a superb commander in Gen. David Petraeus; they are confident in his strategy, they see real results, and they feel now they have the numbers needed to make a real difference.

Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.

In Ramadi, for example, we talked with an outstanding Marine captain whose company was living in harmony in a complex with a (largely Sunni) Iraqi police company and a (largely Shiite) Iraqi Army unit. He and his men had built an Arab-style living room, where he met with the local Sunni sheiks — all formerly allies of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups — who were now competing to secure his friendship.

In Baghdad’s Ghazaliya neighborhood, which has seen some of the worst sectarian combat, we walked a street slowly coming back to life with stores and shoppers. The Sunni residents were unhappy with the nearby police checkpoint, where Shiite officers reportedly abused them, but they seemed genuinely happy with the American soldiers and a mostly Kurdish Iraqi Army company patrolling the street. The local Sunni militia even had agreed to confine itself to its compound once the Americans and Iraqi units arrived.

We traveled to the northern cities of Tal Afar and Mosul. This is an ethnically rich area, with large numbers of Sunni Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens. American troop levels in both cities now number only in the hundreds because the Iraqis have stepped up to the plate. Reliable police officers man the checkpoints in the cities, while Iraqi Army troops cover the countryside. A local mayor told us his greatest fear was an overly rapid American departure from Iraq. All across the country, the dependability of Iraqi security forces over the long term remains a major question mark.

But for now, things look much better than before. American advisers told us that many of the corrupt and sectarian Iraqi commanders who once infested the force have been removed. The American high command assesses that more than three-quarters of the Iraqi Army battalion commanders in Baghdad are now reliable partners (at least for as long as American forces remain in Iraq).

In addition, far more Iraqi units are well integrated in terms of ethnicity and religion. The Iraqi Army’s highly effective Third Infantry Division started out as overwhelmingly Kurdish in 2005. Today, it is 45 percent Shiite, 28 percent Kurdish, and 27 percent Sunni Arab.

In the past, few Iraqi units could do more than provide a few “jundis” (soldiers) to put a thin Iraqi face on largely American operations. Today, in only a few sectors did we find American commanders complaining that their Iraqi formations were useless — something that was the rule, not the exception, on a previous trip to Iraq in late 2005.

The additional American military formations brought in as part of the surge, General Petraeus’s determination to hold areas until they are truly secure before redeploying units, and the increasing competence of the Iraqis has had another critical effect: no more whack-a-mole, with insurgents popping back up after the Americans leave.

In war, sometimes it’s important to pick the right adversary, and in Iraq we seem to have done so. A major factor in the sudden change in American fortunes has been the outpouring of popular animus against Al Qaeda and other Salafist groups, as well as (to a lesser extent) against Moktada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army.

These groups have tried to impose Shariah law, brutalized average Iraqis to keep them in line, killed important local leaders and seized young women to marry off to their loyalists. The result has been that in the last six months Iraqis have begun to turn on the extremists and turn to the Americans for security and help. The most important and best-known example of this is in Anbar Province, which in less than six months has gone from the worst part of Iraq to the best (outside the Kurdish areas). Today the Sunni sheiks there are close to crippling Al Qaeda and its Salafist allies. Just a few months ago, American marines were fighting for every yard of Ramadi; last week we strolled down its streets without body armor.

Another surprise was how well the coalition’s new Embedded Provincial Reconstruction Teams are working. Wherever we found a fully staffed team, we also found local Iraqi leaders and businessmen cooperating with it to revive the local economy and build new political structures. Although much more needs to be done to create jobs, a new emphasis on microloans and small-scale projects was having some success where the previous aid programs often built white elephants.

In some places where we have failed to provide the civilian manpower to fill out the reconstruction teams, the surge has still allowed the military to fashion its own advisory groups from battalion, brigade and division staffs. We talked to dozens of military officers who before the war had known little about governance or business but were now ably immersing themselves in projects to provide the average Iraqi with a decent life.

Outside Baghdad, one of the biggest factors in the progress so far has been the efforts to decentralize power to the provinces and local governments. But more must be done. For example, the Iraqi National Police, which are controlled by the Interior Ministry, remain mostly a disaster. In response, many towns and neighborhoods are standing up local police forces, which generally prove more effective, less corrupt and less sectarian. The coalition has to force the warlords in Baghdad to allow the creation of neutral security forces beyond their control.

In the end, the situation in Iraq remains grave. In particular, we still face huge hurdles on the political front. Iraqi politicians of all stripes continue to dawdle and maneuver for position against one another when major steps towards reconciliation — or at least accommodation — are needed. This cannot continue indefinitely. Otherwise, once we begin to downsize, important communities may not feel committed to the status quo, and Iraqi security forces may splinter along ethnic and religious lines.

How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Yo Homie! I'll see you in court!

O.G.'s better hire some good lawyers for real this time!
Fort Worth, TX is using the court system just a tad differently.
Here's the full story.

Cities sue gangs in bid to stop violence

By ANGELA K. BROWN FORT WORTH, Texas - Fed up with deadly drive-by shootings, incessant drug dealing and graffiti, cities nationwide are trying a different tactic to combat gangs: They're suing them.

Fort Worth and San Francisco are among the latest to file lawsuits against gang members, asking courts for injunctions barring them from hanging out together on street corners, in cars or anywhere else in certain areas.

The injunctions are aimed at disrupting gang activity before it can escalate. They also give police legal reasons to stop and question gang members, who often are found with drugs or weapons, authorities said. In some cases, they don't allow gang members to even talk to people passing in cars or to carry spray paint.

"It is another tool," said Kevin Rousseau, a Tarrant County assistant prosecutor in Fort Worth, which recently filed its first civil injunction against a gang. "This is more of a proactive approach."

But hold on folks! Guess who is opposed to this action to keep criminals off the street!
Yep the good ole ACLU!

But critics say such lawsuits go too far, limiting otherwise lawful activities and unfairly targeting minority youth.

"If you're barring people from talking in the streets, it's difficult to tell if they're gang members or if they're people discussing issues," said Peter Bibring, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. "And it's all the more troubling because it doesn't seem to be effective."

OHHH NOOOO!!! How dare you try to keep gangmembers from talking to each
other! lol The ACLU says it doesn't seem to be effective! No? Well the journalist
seems to say so!

Los Angeles now has 33 permanent injunctions involving 50 gangs, and studies have shown they do reduce crime, said Jonathan Diamond, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

The injunctions prohibit gang members from associating with each other, carrying weapons, possessing drugs, committing crimes and displaying gang symbols in a safety zone — neighborhoods where suspected gang members live and are most active. Some injunctions set curfews for members and ban them from possessing alcohol in public areas — even if they're of legal drinking age.

Those who disobey the order face a misdemeanor charge and up to a year in jail. Prosecutors say the possibility of a jail stay — however short — is a strong deterrent, even for gang members who've already served hard time for other crimes.

"Seven months in jail is a big penalty for sitting on the front porch or riding in the car with your gang buddies," said Kinley Hegglund, senior assistant city attorney for Wichita Falls.

Last summer, Wichita Falls sued 15 members of the Varrio Carnales gang after escalating violence with a rival gang, including about 50 drive-by shootings in less than a year in that North Texas city of 100,000.

Since then, crime has dropped about 13 percent in the safety zone and real estate values are climbing, Hegglund said.

Crime has dropped about 13 percent! Real Estate values are going up! Sounds like it works to me! But wait! There is another dissenting voice against suing the gangsters!

Usamah Anderson, 30, of Fort Worth, said he began stealing cars and got involved with gangs as a homeless 11-year-old. He was arrested numerous times for theft and spent time in juvenile facilities.

Anderson says if a civil injunction had been in place then, he and his friends would have simply moved outside the safety zone.

"That's the life you live, so you're going to find a way to maneuver around it," said Anderson, a truck driver who abandoned the gang life about seven years ago and has started a church to help young gang members.

Of course! I mean busting caps in the hood is always much better! At least you're forced to take the battles somewhere maybe where little innocent children aren't struck by stray bullets, you know!

Democracy at risk in Russia

I see and hear alot from loonie left-wing nutjobs on various loonie left-wing nutjobs sites that Bush is a fascist dictator this and Giullini is that too. Funny. Just plain hilarious. However today I came about an article in today's London's DailyMail. Please read the article in its entirety. You can view the original here.
Now the articles title and first couple of pargraphs is somewhat bizzare as it describes a youth movement in Russia called "Nashi", however finish it out and you will see what is really behind this youth movement's purpose is. Now, the question of the day is folks, can anybody tell me any similarities (besides Bush, loonie left-wing nutjobs) is to America?

Sex for the motherland: Russian youths encouraged to procreate at

By EDWARD LUCAS - Remember the mammoths, say the clean-cut organisers
at the youth camp's mass wedding. "They became extinct because they did not have enough sex. That must not happen to Russia".
Obediently, couples move to a special section of dormitory tents arranged in a heart-shape and called the Love Oasis, where they can start procreating for the motherland.

With its relentlessly upbeat tone, bizarre ideas and tight control, it sounds like a weird indoctrination session for a phoney religious cult.

But this organisation - known as "Nashi", meaning "Ours" - is youth movement run by Vladimir Putin's Kremlin that has become a central part of Russian political life. Nashi's annual camp, 200 miles outside Moscow, is attended by 10,000 uniformed youngsters and involves two weeks of lectures and physical fitness.

Attendance is monitored via compulsory electronic badges and anyone who misses three events is expelled. So are drinkers; alcohol is banned. But sex is encouraged, and condoms are nowhere on sale.

Bizarrely, young women are encouraged to hand in thongs and other skimpy underwear - supposedly a cause of sterility - and given more wholesome and substantial undergarments.

Twenty-five couples marry at the start of the camp's first week and ten more at the start of the second. These mass weddings, the ultimate expression of devotion to the motherland, are legal and conducted by a civil official. Attempting to raise Russia's dismally low birthrate even by eccentric-seeming means might be understandable. Certainly, the country's demographic outlook is dire. The hard-drinking, hardsmoking and disease-ridden population is set to plunge by a million a year in the next decade.

But the real aim of the youth camp - and the 100,000-strong movement behind it - is not to improve Russia's demographic profile, but to attack democracy. Under Mr Putin, Russia is sliding into fascism, with state control of the economy, media, politics and society becoming increasingly heavy-handed. And Nashi, along with other similar youth movements, such as 'Young Guard', and 'Young Russia', is in the forefront of the charge.

At the start, it was all too easy to mock. I attended an early event run by its predecessor, 'Walking together', in the heart of Moscow in 2000. A motley collection of youngsters were collecting 'unpatriotic' works of fiction for destruction.
It was sinister in theory, recalling the Nazis' book-burning in the 1930s, but it was laughable in practice. There was no sign of ordinary members of the public handing in books (the copies piled on the pavement had been brought by the organisers).
Once the television cameras had left, the event organisers admitted that they were not really volunteers, but being paid by "sponsors". The idea that Russia's anarchic, apathetic youth would ever be attracted into a disciplined mass movement in support of their president - what critics called a "Putinjugend", recalling the "Hitlerjugend" (German for "Hitler Youth") - seemed fanciful.

How wrong we were. Life for young people in Russia without connections is a mixture of inadequate and corrupt education, and a choice of boring dead-end jobs. Like the Hitler Youth and the Soviet Union's Young Pioneers, Nashi and its allied movements offer not just excitement, friendship and a sense of purpose - but a leg up in life, too.

Nashi's senior officials - known, in an eerie echo of the Soviet era, as "Commissars" - get free places at top universities. Thereafter, they can expect good jobs in politics or business - which in Russia nowadays, under the Kremlin's crony capitalism, are increasingly the same thing. Nashi and similar outfits are the Kremlin's first line of defence against its greatest fear: real democracy. Like the sheep chanting "Four legs good, two legs bad" in George Orwell's Animal Farm, they can intimidate through noise and numbers. Nashi supporters drown out protests by Russia's feeble and divided democratic opposition and use violence to drive them off the streets.

The group's leaders insist that the only connection to officialdom is loyalty to the president. If so, they seem remarkably well-informed.

In July 2006, the British ambassador, Sir Anthony Brenton, infuriated the Kremlin by attending an opposition meeting. For months afterwards, he was noisily harassed by groups of Nashi supporters demanding that he "apologise". With uncanny accuracy, the hooligans knew his movements in advance - a sign of official tip-offs.
Even when Nashi flagrantly breaks the law, the authorities do not intervene. After Estonia enraged Russia by moving a Sovietera war memorial in April, Nashi led the blockade of Estonia's Moscow embassy. It daubed the building with graffiti, blasted it with Stalinera military music, ripped down the Estonian flag and attacked a visiting ambassador's car. The Moscow police, who normally stamp ruthlessly on public protest, stood by.

Nashi fits perfectly into the Kremlin's newly-minted ideology of "Sovereign democracy". This is not the mind-numbing jargon of Marxism-Leninism, but a lightweight collection of cliches and slogans promoting Russia's supposed unique political and spiritual culture. It is strongly reminiscent of the Tsarist era slogan: "Autocracy, Orthodoxy and Nationality".

The similarities to both the Soviet and Tsarist eras are striking. Communist ideologues once spent much of their time explaining why their party deserved its monopoly of power, even though the promised utopia seemed indefinitely delayed.
Today, the Kremlin's ideology chief Vladislav Surkov is trying to explain why questioning the crooks and spooks who run Russia is not just mistaken, but treacherous.

Yet, by comparison with other outfits, Nashi looks relatively civilised. Its racism and prejudice is implied, but not trumpeted. Other pro-Kremlin youth groups are hounding gays and foreigners off the streets of Moscow. Mestnye [The Locals] recently distributed leaflets urging Muscovites to boycott non-Russian cab drivers. These showed a young blonde Russian refusing a ride from a swarthy, beetle-browed taxi driver, under the slogan: "We're not going the same way."

Such unofficial xenophobia matches the official stance. On April 1, a decree explicitly backed by Mr Putin banned foreigners from trading in Russia's retail markets. By some estimates, 12m people are working illegally in Russia.

Those who hoped that Russia's first post-totalitarian generation would be liberal, have been dissapointed. Although explicit support for extremist and racist groups is in the low single figures, support for racist sentiments is mushrooming.

Slogans such as "Russia for the Russians" now attract the support of half of the population. Echoing Kremlin propaganda, Nashi denounced Estonians as "fascist", for daring to say that they find Nazi and Soviet memorials equally repugnant. But, in truth, it is in Russia that fascism is all too evident.

The Kremlin sees no role for a democratic opposition, denouncing its leaders as stooges and traitors. Sadly, most Russians agree: a recent poll showed that a majority believed that opposition parties should not be allowed to take power. Just as the Nazis in 1930s rewrote Germany's history, the Putin Kremlin is rewriting Russia's. It has rehaabilitated Stalin, the greatest massmurderer of the 20th century. And it is demonising Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically-elected president. That he destroyed totalitarianism is ignored. Instead, he is denounced for his "weak" pro-Western policies.

While distorting its own history, the Kremlin denounces other countries. Mr Putin was quick to blame Britain's "colonial mentality" for our government's request that Russia try to find a legal means of extraditing Andrei Lugovoi, the prime suspect in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.

Yet the truth is that Britain, like most Western countries, flagellates itself for the crimes of the past. Indeed, British schoolchildren rarely learn anything positive about their country's empire. And, if Mr Putin has his way, Russian pupils will learn nothing bad about the Soviet empire, which was far bloodier, more brutal - and more recent.

A new guide for history teachers - explicitly endorsed by Mr Putin - brushes off Stalin's crimes. It describes him as "the most successful leader of the USSR". But it skates over the colossal human cost - 25m people were shot and starved in the cause of communism.

"Political repression was used to mobilise not only rank-and-file citizens but also the ruling elite," it says. In other words, Stalin wanted to make the country strong, so he may have been a bit harsh at times. At any time since the collapse of Soviet totalitarianism in the late 1980s, that would have seemed a nauseating whitewash. Now, it is treated as bald historical fact.

If Stalin made mistakes, so what? Lots of people make mistakes.
"Problematic pages in our history exist," Mr Putin said last week. But: "we have less than some countries. And ours are not as terrible as those of some others." He compared the Great Terror of 1937, when 700,000 people were murdered in a purge by Stalin's secret police, to the atom bomb on Hiroshima.

The comparison is preposterous. A strong argument can be made that by ending the war quickly, the atom bombs saved countless lives. Franklin D Roosevelt and Harry Truman-may have failed to realise that nuclear weapons would one day endanger humanity's survival. But, unlike Stalin, they were not genocidal maniacs.
As the new cold war deepens, Mr Putin echoes, consciously or unconsciously, the favourite weapon of Soviet propagandists in the last one.

Asked about Afghanistan, they would cite Vietnam. Castigated for the plight of Soviet Jews, they would complain with treacly sincerity about discrimination against American blacks. Every blot on the Soviet record was matched by something, real or imagined, that the West had done.

But the contrasts even then were absurd. When the American administration blundered into Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of people protested in the heart of Washington. When eight extraordinarily brave Soviet dissidents tried to demonstrate in Red Square against the invasion of Czechoslovakia, in 1968, they were instantly arrested and spent many years in labour camps.

For the east European countries with first-hand experience of Stalinist terror, the Kremlin's rewriting of history could hardly be more scary. Not only does Russia see no reason to apologise for their suffering under Kremlin rule, it now sees the collapse of communism not as a time of liberation, but as an era of pitiable weakness.

Russia barely commemorates even the damage it did to itself, let alone the appalling suffering inflicted on other people. Nashi is both a symptom of the way Russia is going - and a means of entrenching the drift to fascism. Terrifyingly, the revived Soviet view of history is now widely held in Russia. A poll this week of Russian teenagers showed that a majority believe that Stalin did more good things than bad. If tens of thousands of uniformed German youngsters were marching across Germany in support of an authoritarian Fuhrer, baiting foreigners and praising Hitler, alarm bells would be jangling all across Europe. So why aren't they ringing about Nashi?

Hmmmm. Excellent question there. Why aren't they ringing the bells about kashi, oops... I mean NASHI!
Russia is in big trouble folks and that is not good for us in the U.S.A either!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Former Gitmo detainee was really a terrorist?

What a shocker....

Pro-Taliban militant killed in Pakistan

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani security forces killed a pro-Taliban militant leader in an early morning raid near the Afghan border, a Pakistani Interior Ministry official said.

According to the official, Abdullahah Mehsud blew himself up after Pakistani forces surrounded him in a house in the Baluchistan province city of Zhob. Three other militants were arrested during the same raid.

Mehsud was held by the U.S. military at the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, but was released in 2004. Later that same year, he was involved in the kidnapping of two Chinese engineers working in South Waziristan, also along the Afghan border. -- From CNN's Syed Mohsin Naqvi (Posted 4:50 a.m.)

Do you know where I found this. Buried DEEP in the CNN website.
Then Over on Washington POst

NOT Surprisingly NO ONE in the mainstream media is talking about this. Where are the daily questions about torture now? About those poor detainees and how they are their and did nothing wrong. Booo Hooo...

Friday, July 20, 2007

Forecasts all up in the air

KEVIN Trenberth is head of the large US National Centre for Atmospheric Research and one of the advisory high priests of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
A New Zealander by birth, Trenberth has had a distinguished career as a climate scientist with interests in the use of computer General Circulation Models (GCMs), the basis for most of the public alarm about dangerous global warming.

When such a person gives an opinion about the scientific value of GCMs as predictive tools, it is obviously wise to pay attention.

In a remarkable contribution to Nature magazine's Climate Feedback blog, Trenberth concedes GCMs cannot predict future climate and claims the IPCC is not in the business of climate prediction. This might be news to some people.

Among other things, Trenberth asserts ". . . there are no (climate) predictions by IPCC at all. And there never have been". Instead, there are only "what if" projections of future climate that correspond to certain emissions scenarios.

According to Trenberth, GCMs ". . . do not consider many things like the recovery of the ozone layer, for instance, or observed trends in forcing agents".

This is what I and others have been saying.
There is no way to predict the weather 10-20-50 years from now because there are so many variables that can come into place. We cannot even get computer models to be accurate with weather forecasts for 5 days people really believe a temperature forecast for the next 40 years?

Be real here people!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Gangs getting stronger?


Report: Gang Suppression Doesn't Work

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Anti-gang legislation and police crackdowns are failing so badly that they are strengthening the criminal organizations and making U.S. cities more dangerous, according to a report being released Wednesday.
Mass arrests, stiff prison sentences often served with other gang members and other strategies that focus on law enforcement rather than intervention actually strengthen gang ties and further marginalize angry young men, according to the
Justice Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C., think tank that advocates alternatives to incarceration.
"We're talking about 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds whose involvement in gangs is likely to be ephemeral unless they are pulled off the street and put in prison, where they will come out with much stronger gang allegiances," said Judith Greene, co-author of "Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies." The report is based on interviews and analysis of hundreds of pages of previously published statistics and reports. And though it is valid and accurate, the ideas raised in it are not new, said Arthur Lurigio, a psychologist and criminal justice professor at Loyola University of Chicago. "These approaches, although they sound novel, are just old wine in new bottles," he said. "Gang crime and violence in poor urban neighborhoods have been a problem since the latter parts of the 19th century."
Lurigio, other academics and gang intervention workers have echoed elements of the report that found gangs need to be viewed as a symptom of other problems in poor
communities, such as violence, teen pregnancy, drug abuse and unemployment.
The report says Los Angeles and Chicago are losing the war on gangs because
they focus on law enforcement and are short on intervention.
It cites a report this year by civil rights attorney Connie Rice, who was hired by Los Angeles to evaluate its failing anti-gang programs. Her report called for an initiative to provide jobs and recreational programs in impoverished neighborhoods.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton both commended Rice's report. But in February, they unveiled a strategy that focused on targeting the city's worst gangs with arrests and civil injunctions that prohibit known gang members from associating with one another in public.
Rice describes the city's policy on arresting the city's estimated 39,000 gang
members as "stuck on stupid."
Wes McBride, executive director of the California Gang Investigators Association, dismissed the findings of the report, which he said was written by "thug-huggers." The investigators association is a professional organization for police officers.
"Are they saying we can't put a thief in jail, we can't put a murderer in jail, that we should spank them, put a diaper on them, pat them on the bottom, hug them and let them go?" McBride said. "It's obviously a think tank report, and they didn't leave their ivory tower and spend any time on the streets."
"Gang Wars" also criticizes politicians who overstate the threat of criminal gangs and seek tougher sentences.
Greene specifically criticized a bill introduced by Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that would make it illegal to be a member of a criminal gang and would make it easier to prosecute some minors as adults.
But Feinstein spokesman Scott Gerber said the bill also calls for spending more than $400 million on gang prevention and intervention programs, which he said would be the largest single investment of its kind.

Yes scary, but I'm with Wes McBride here in that what does this think tank want? Hold gangmember's hands and ask them to stop the violence. How much intervention is needed?
When should it start? What is going on in the jail system after the gang members are convicted?

This is not a European vacation, BUT....

Staying along the line of the bosses post of Europe's plight with it's taxes and welfare system, I came along this article on Boortz's website today.

Irritation grows over taxes

Norwegians are among the most heavily taxed people in the world, and that in turn has made Norway one of the most expensive countries in which to live. Most accept the taxes they're ordered to pay on income and even net worth and property, but growing numbers are publicly complaining about sky-high taxes on everything from cars to fuel to consumer goods.
Norwegians differentiate between skatter (taxes) and avgifter (duties, fees or user taxes) and the latter is the most hated. They're what causes a glass of house wine at an Oslo restaurant to cost the equivalent of nearly USD 16, or a gallon of gas to cost nearly USD 9 at current exchange rates.
"It's clear that taxes are much too high in oil-rich Norway," Oslo resident Gro Pettersen told newspaper Aftenposten. "It's sick!"
The taxes placed on new cars, which can more than double the price of the car itself, are another bone of contention, even though most Norwegians support measures to protect the environment. "The car tax is much too high, but so are most all the other avgifter also," said Ernst Bendiksen of the northern city of Vadsø, where Norwegians are far more dependent on their cars than those living in cities with good public transit systems. "We certainly don't get anything in return for them."
A study conducted by research firm MMI for the Norwegian Tax Payers Association (Skattebetalerforeningen) showed that the most hated taxes are those on new cars and a transfer tax levied when real estate changes hands. The so-called dokumentavgift on real estate transactions, which implies that it's meant to cover the costs of property registration, costs homebuyers around 2.5 percent of the purchase price.
Three of four Norwegians believe that's too high, according to the MMI study, and absolutely no one believed it was too low. With even a modest flat in Oslo costing a few million kroner these days, the tax amounts to a fair bit of change.
Regressive inequalityThe study also showed that 67 percent of the population think Norway's inheritance taxes are too high, while 63 percent think fuel taxes are too high. Norway's hefty 25 percent VAT (like a sales tax) on nearly all consumer items is considered too high by 53 percent of the population. Only 32 percent, meanwhile, believed tobacco taxes are too high, while 44 percent believed liquor taxes are too high.
The user taxes, or avgifter, are also unpopular because they're largely regressive taxes that hit people with low incomes much harder than those with high incomes. Filling the car's gas tank, and paying the taxes that requires, is much more expensive for someone earning NOK 300,000 than it is for a car owner earning NOK 900,000.
The head of the tax payers' association, Jon Stordrange, said he thinks user taxes should be adjusted to reflect actual costs inflicted on society. "Then I think people would have more respect for the system," he said.

WOW!!! "skatter (taxes) and avgifter (duties, fees or user taxes)... dokumentavgift on real estate transactions, which implies that it's meant to cover the costs of property registration, costs homebuyers around 2.5 percent of the purchase price."
That's just friggin bananas. I would start a damn riot on that shit there! 2.5 percent on taxes just to sell a house and cover expenses for filing paperwork and such! Lets do some easy math on this!
Lets say for a Norweigan to sell his house of $100, 000 (keeping the number simple for the mathematically inclined!), the taxes would be $2500! That goes right to the government folks! Not the mortgage companies, lawyers, etc! This is just highway robbery!

Now! What i wanted to know is where do these taxes REALLY pay for, so I looked around a bit on the web (I just can't fly over there and ask you know!). Here's what I found courtesy of Thinkquest:

The Norwegian welfare system

The welfare system in Norway is made to take care of all the inhabitants of the nation, “from the cradle to the grave”. From the day they are born, all Norwegians are members of National Social Insurance. Being a member of the National Social Insurance is in fact mandatory. The National Social Insurance guarantees a number of benefits for the population: Free health care, free hospitalization and immunizations.
A 100% wage compensated maternity leave for 42 weeks for the mother, 4 weeks’ fully paid leave for the father. (Alternatively one year on 80% of salary) Almost 70% of the fathers take this opportunity to be home with their newborn child. Every family receives child allowance for each child, until the child is 16 years old.
Single parents receive double child allowance. Children receive free dental care until they are 18 years old. For 19 - and 20-year-olds the Social Insurance gives a 75% discount. (This dental care does not include braces or other orthodontics.)
A minimum pension when a person retires. Retirement age: normally 67, lower for some professions.The welfare system is financed through taxes. A working Norwegian pays between 30% and 40 % of his income in taxes (depending on how much he earns). A part of the taxes goes to the National Social Insurance fund and secures the insurance and benefits for the person himself and the non-working persons (children, the elderly).
The welfare system is run by the state. Norwegians have a loyal, friendly relationship with the state, as it is looked upon as someone you can turn to for help. Receiving welfare benefits is not regarded as shameful; it is something everyone receives and takes advantage of.

Read that last line again! "Receiving welfare benefits is not regarded as shameful; it is something everyone receives and takes advantage of." WHAT KIND OF MINDSET IS THAT! Like Michael Savage says, "Liberalism is a mental disorder!" That it is indeed. One side note; one look thinkquest.org at its website and you'll see where they stand on the side of politics. A little hint is it's not to the right! lmao

Here's Britannica's synopsis of Norway's welfare and government system. No where have I seen how Norway pays its, "Compulsory membership" or it's high rate of taxes for that matter.
Media bias anyone? lol

Now the real question is this folks: can we afford Sen. Hillary Clinton to be our next president so she may try to have her way with convincing the idiots that we need "Universal heathcare?"
I think not folks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sweden of all places having a problem?


Sweden has welcomed immigrants with open arms for decades but now it is grappling with how to integrate them into society, especially in the southern town of Malmoe amid a massive influx of refugees.

Once a thriving industrial town with full employment, Malmoe has seen many of its plants shut down since the 1990s. That, combined with a never-ending stream of foreigners arriving, has led to rising juvenile delinquency and rampant unemployment.

Of the town's 280,000 inhabitants, a third are foreigners and 60,000 are Muslims.

"We are an open city. We see these immigrants as a resource for our society," Malmoe's Social Democratic mayor Ilmar Reepalu told AFP.

"The problem is that we have welcomed too many immigrants at the same time," he said, pointing out that last year Malmoe took in more Iraqi asylum-seekers than Germany, Spain, France and Italy combined.

Reepalu said 5,000 refugees a year seek asylum in Malmoe, Sweden's third largest city behind Stockholm and Gothenburg, though it is really only able to take in 1,500.

The result is many overcrowded apartments as refugees flock to immigrant-heavy areas and an employment rate that has dropped to around 50 percent.

Swedish Integration Minister Nyamko Sabuni -- a Muslim who came to Sweden when she was 12 and the first African to become a member of government in the country -- insists that the only way for immigrants to integrate into society is to learn the language and get a job.

"It is crucial that immigrants get in contact with the labour market as soon as possible after receiving their residence permit. This has to be combined with language courses," she told AFP.

While immigrants to Sweden in the late 1950s and 1960s came as much-needed labourers, the trend has in recent decades shifted toward political refugees, according to Yves Zenou, an economics professor at Stockholm University specialised in integration problems.

"Immigrants to Sweden have become political refugees. First there were people from South America, then Iran, Afghanistan and now Iraq," he said.

"They come seeking asylum and not work," he said.

He recalled the Scandinavian country's generous humanitarian policies which provide immigrants with everything they need once they arrive.

"The famous welfare state takes care of everything on a social level. But that's the limitation of the system -- the country cannot provide any solution when it comes to jobs, which is the key to integration," he said.

(part of the key is that the more people have to be working on order to keep this welfare state going)

And the situation risks getting worse.

New arrivals tend to settle where they already have friends and family members, leading Swedes to desert some areas, such as Malmoe's southeastern neighbourhood of Rosengaard.

"When a lot of people from one ethnic group concentrate together, you always see the same phenomenon everywhere: they become marginalised, with high unemployment and crime rates," Zenou said.

"That's the case in the United States, France and Britain and now in Sweden, although at different levels," he stressed.

If nothing is done, he said, the situation in Sweden could explode within 10 or 20 years, as it already has in other parts of Europe.

Immigrants in Sweden follow a well-established pattern, he explained. Children grow up seeing their parents unemployed and socially excluded and inherit their frustration.

Compared to slums and projects in France or the US, Rosengaard looks like a nice community. But it stands out in a Swedish context.

On a recent visit, veiled women walk behind the men, casting quick glances at their husbands before refusing to speak to AFP's reporter. At the local mall, more Arabic is heard than Swedish and 28 of the 30 shopkeepers are immigrants.

The neighbourhood is clean, with plenty of greenery providing a nice backdrop for the modern brick buildings. But sprouting from every balcony or rooftop is a satellite dish, broadcasting programs for faraway countries.

For the time being, crime levels in Rosengaard are manageable, Malmoe police spokesman Lars Foerstell said.

"We do have a problem with youth criminality, with young people who commit different kinds of crimes," citing minor robberies, assaults, gang fights or rocks thrown at police cars.

"But it doesn't happen everyday."

However, the neighbourhood is stigmatized and even the slightest of incidents is reported in the press.

"The media often make it sound very much worse than it is," he said.

Meanwhile, Bejzat Becirov, the head of Malmoe's Islamic Centre and mosque, Scandinavia's first when it opened in 1984, continues to spread his message of tolerance and integration, as he has for 45 years.

"We have accepted a part of this country, we have accepted its rules and we want to be a part of it," he said, echoing Sabuni's insistence that integration comes through the language.

Discrimination is not a serious problem, he said.

Rather, "the biggest enemy of integration is the satellite dishes which broadcast TV programmes from countries where some children were even not born."

This is not a new development by no means.
This has been reported back in 2004

Mean while we in the US have the same problem with illegal immigrants.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Let the Generals on the ground decide what is right!

July 16, 2007
U.S. General in Iraq Speaks Strongly Against Troop Pullout

BAGHDAD, July 15 — An American general directing a major part of the offensive aimed at securing Baghdad said Sunday that it would take until next spring for the operation to succeed, and that an early American withdrawal would clear the way for “the enemy to come back” to areas now being cleared of insurgents.

Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commanding 15,000 American and about 7,000 Iraqi troops on Baghdad’s southern approaches, spoke more forcefully than any American commander to date in urging that the so-called troop surge ordered by President Bush continue into the spring of 2008. That would match the deadline of March 31 set by the Pentagon, which has said that limits on American troops available for deployment will force an end to the increase by then.

“It’s going to take us through the summer and fall to deny the enemy his sanctuaries” south of Baghdad, General Lynch said at a news briefing in the capital. “And then it’s going to take us through the first of the year and into the spring” to consolidate the gains now being made by the American offensive and to move enough Iraqi forces into the cleared areas to ensure that they remain so, he said.

The general spoke as momentum is gathering in Congress for an early withdrawal date for the 160,000 American troops, as well as an accelerated end to the troop buildup, which have increased American combat casualties in the past three months to the highest levels of the war. In renewed debate over the past week, Congressional opponents of the war have demanded a withdrawal deadline, with some proposing that Congress use its war-financing powers to end the troop increase much sooner, possibly this fall.

General Lynch, a blunt-spoken, cigar-smoking Ohio native who commands the Third Infantry Division, said that all the American troops that began an offensive south of Baghdad in mid-June were part of the five-month-old troop buildup, and that they were making “significant” gains in areas that were previously enemy sanctuaries. Pulling back before the job was completed, he said, would create “an environment where the enemy could come back and fill the void.”

He implied that an early withdrawal would amount to an abandonment of Iraqi civilians who he said had rallied in support of the American and Iraqi troops, and would leave the civilians exposed to renewed brutality by extremist groups. “When we go out there, the first question they ask is, ‘Are you staying?’ ” he said. “And the second question is, ‘How can we help?’ ” He added, “What we hear is, ‘We’ve had enough of people attacking our villages, attacking our homes, and attacking our children.’ ”

General Lynch said his troops had promised local people that they would stay in the areas they had taken from the extremists until enough Iraqi forces were available to take over, and said this had helped sustain “a groundswell” of feeling against the extremists. He said locals had pinpointed hide-outs of Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, an extremist group that claims to have ties to Osama bin Laden’s network, that had been used to send suicide bombers into Baghdad and they had helped troops locate 170 large arms caches. The general said the locals had started neighborhood patrol units called “Iraqi provincial volunteers” that supplied their own weapons and ammunition.

The general declined to be drawn into what he called “the big debate in Washington” over the war, saying American troops would continue to battle the enemy until ordered to do otherwise. But he made it clear that his sympathies were with the Iraqis in his battle area, covering an area about the size of West Virginia, mostly between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, that extends about 80 miles south of Baghdad and includes 4 of Iraq’s 18 provinces. The offensive he commands is part of a wider push by American and Iraqi forces in the areas surrounding Baghdad, and in the capital, that began in February.

“What they’re worried about is our leaving,” he said. “And our answer is, ‘We’re staying,’ because my order from the corps commander is that we don’t leave the battlespace until we can hand over to the Iraqi security forces.” To hold on to recent gains, he said, would require at least a third more Iraqi troops than he now has, and they would have to come from other battle areas, or from new units yet to complete their training. “Everybody wants things to happen overnight, and that’s not going to happen,” he said.

General Lynch’s outspoken approach contrasted with the more cautious remarks made recently by other senior American officers, including the top American commander here, Gen. David H. Petraeus. General Petraeus has said in recent interviews that the troop buildup has made substantial gains. But he has declined to say whether he will urge a continuation of it when he returns to Washington by mid-September to make a report on the war to President Bush and Congress that was made mandatory by war-financing legislation this spring.

General Lynch said he was “amazed” at the cooperation his troops were encountering in previously hostile areas. He cited the village of Al Taqa, near the Euphrates about 20 miles southwest of Baghdad, where four American soldiers were killed in an ambush on May 12 and three others were taken hostage. One of the hostages was later found dead, leaving two soldiers missing. Brig. Gen. Jim Huggins, a deputy to General Lynch, said an Iraqi commander in the area had told him on Saturday that women and children in the village had begun using plastic pipes to tap on streetlamps and other metal objects to warn when extremists were in the area planting roadside bombs and planning other attacks.

“The tapping,” General Huggins said, was a signal that “these people have had enough.”

General Lynch also challenged an argument often made by American lawmakers who want to end the military involvement here soon: that Iraqi troops have ducked much of the hard fighting, and often proved unreliable because of the strong sectarian influence exercised by the competition for power between Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish political factions.

“I don’t know,” he said, how American war critics had concluded that the new American-trained Iraqi Army was not up to the fight. “I find that professionally offensive,” he said, after noting that there were “many Iraqi heroes” of the fighting south of Baghdad. “They’re competent,” he said. “There’s just not enough of them.”

General Lynch said that he and other American commanders were worried that extremist groups under attack by the buildup might retaliate with a spectacular, focused attack on American troops aimed at tipping the argument in Washington in favor of withdrawal.

Instead of having senators score or try to score political points on TV shows. Video here

Some People deserve to be sterilized.

My vote for the cleansing of the Gene Pool for the month are these two:

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A couple who authorities say were so obsessed with the Internet and video games that they left their babies starving and suffering other health problems have pleaded guilty to child neglect.

The children of Michael and Iana Straw, a boy age 22 months and a girl age 11 months, were severely malnourished and near death last month when doctors saw them after social workers took them to a hospital, authorities said. Both children are doing well and gaining weight in foster care, prosecutor Kelli Ann Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Michael Straw, 25, and Iana Straw, 23, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts each of child neglect. Each faces a maximum 12-year prison sentence.

Viloria said the Reno couple were too distracted by online video games, mainly the fantasy role-playing "Dungeons & Dragons" series, to give their children proper care.

"They had food; they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing video games," Viloria told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Police said hospital staff had to shave the head of the girl because her hair was matted with cat urine. The 10-pound girl also had a mouth infection, dry skin and severe dehydration.

Her brother had to be treated for starvation and a genital infection. His lack of muscle development caused him difficulty in walking, investigators said.

The Straws have been given public defenders. Jeremy Bosler, head of the county public defender's office, declined to comment to The Associated Press on Saturday.

Michael Straw is an unemployed cashier, and his wife worked for a temporary staffing agency doing warehouse work, according to court records. He received a $50,000 inheritance that he spent on computer equipment and a large plasma television, authorities said.

While child abuse because of drug addiction is common, abuse rooted in video game addiction is rare, Viloria said.

Last month, experts at an American Medical Association meeting backed away from a proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder, saying it had to be studied further. Some said the issue is like alcoholism, while others said there was no concrete evidence it's a psychological disease.

Patrick Killen, spokesman for Nevada Child Abuse Prevention, said video game addiction's correlation to child abuse is "a new spin on an old problem."

"As we become more technologically advanced, there's more distractions," Killen said. "It's easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children. Whether it's video games or meth, it's a serious issue, and (we) need to become more aware of it."

Can't wait for the pill that cures that huh?
Video Game addiction. WOW. America seems to just be slipping away huh?

Bio Fuels are the answe?

Yeah I guess.
If you don't want to eat!

What’s the connection between ethanol, the biofuel produced from corn, and a cherry vanilla ice-cream?

Answer: the first is responsible for pushing up the price of the other.

This month, the price of milk in the United States surged to a near-record in part because of the increasing costs of feeding a dairy herd. The corn feed used to feed cattle has almost doubled in price in a year as demand has grown for the grain to produce ethanol.

Christina Seid, whose family have been making ice-cream at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for 28 years, said yesterday that she expected to have to raise her prices, along with all competitors in the short term. “We are holding out as long as we can, but prices will rise,” Ms Seid said.

Amy Green’s Ivanna Cone ice-cream emporium in Lincoln, Nebraska, has already raised its prices for a small cone to $3.50 before tax, up from $2.95 a few months ago. She also estimates that she is paying $150 more a week for the butterfat that she uses in her ice-cream.

The squeeze on ice-cream makers, chocolate manufacturers and pizza companies – all of whom use dairy produce as a raw material – is set to tighten as the price of a gallon of milk in the US – up 55 per cent in the past 12 months in some American states – is now the same as a gallon of petrol, with dairy prices accelerating faster than the cost of fuel.

Prices for dairy products have also risen because of increasing demand from China and the Middle East along with the drought in Australia, reduced subsidies in the European Union and the rocketing cost of corn.

So the solution by the eco freaks is to run your car on Corn Oil or rather Ethanol which is a mix of GASOLINE STILL and basically food.

So we are trading what we eat to power our cars.

Again my push and I think many sane persons push is for the most abundant source we have on this planet. H2O! Hydrogen Fuel Cells outside of Electricity which brings about its own problems. I think this is by far the best solution out there.

With electric cars you have a problem with power outages and even in the summer where Electric companies are already stretched thin to now power 150 million cars! Come on people. Think for once!

Not to mention that currently a two seater can only take me 100 miles a charge.
I stick my kids, all the crap for the kids, my wife and I simply CAN'T!
Why? I'll run out of charge to get back home.

What's the use!

I'd like to begin by apologizing to the boss and everyone that reads our blog. I haven't posted in a couple... okay, a few weeks.

No excuse.
However, in my defense! I really really really didn't find anything that I really gave two flying butts about!
After the immigration bill got, thankfully, assassinated in the Senate and (for now!) the fairness doctrine bill in the House, I guess I really haven't been amped up about nada!

I mean, you still have the bush-deranged peace at any cost ultra-liberals out there cryin' and whinin' about the war. blah blah blah What's the use on bloggin about that. Until the dems cut the spending from the war, which they'll never do, it pointless to even aknowledge their existence.

A westler dude offs his family and then himself! And now everybody is like, "the WWE has a steroid problem! " NO FRIGGIN DUH! You couldn't tell by how huge those dudes are! Yeah, like they're all natural! But, the revelence of steroids and Chris Benoit is still not there to me. The family had some serious problems other than steroid use. Another boring story to me.

L.A. Archdiocese to Pay $660M Over Abuse I mean, is that a real big deal there? You guys tell me.

This is pretty funny! US army officer puts 'solution to Iraq war' on eBay.

You see what I'm saying here folks! Nothing! No news out there anymore. Even on good web sources like MM's, Hot Air, Drudge, Boortz, Breitbart; I can't find anything worth putting my two cents on. Everything is so damn negative lately. Am I the only one noticing that the liberal (and the conservative) media is not getting good news out!

The stock market hits record highs and is that all over the news as something good? Nope, not while Bush is president!

Anybody see Transformers the Movie yet!?! If you haven't, You're an idiot! The movie is wicked awesome! lol Go see it!

BSG fans! I heard that there is supposed to be some trailer soon on the next season premier!
Can't wait for that to come back on!

I dunno man! I'm just burnt out on all the negative news I guess. The presidential race means nothing to me right now. The elections are still a year out and nobody is worth my vote yet. I really haven't had a writers itch. (HA! like I can write in the first place!) And I am really forcing myself to write this garbage. LOL, reminds me of college and the proffessor says, "just write what you feel!" lol

Come on guys help me out here! lol

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Michael Moore on CNN....

How the hell do we have the worst health care in the industrial world?
Because its not free? Sure it is. If you are at a certain income level its FREE. Free for the ones using it not the ones paying for it.

I find it rather amusing that Moore believes that the way to solve the problems of health care is to put it into the hands government. A government which he openly says he does not trust. Is that not asinine?

Moore is the classic example of a hypocrite hell bent on creating a socialist economy based on Marxism and removing the free market. The talk of Cuban doctors being the best is BULLSHYT! Straight up. Sorry cubanos I love you guys but its BULL. You cannot possibly be the best if you have not trained on the latest equipment with the most recent data and research into medicine. Haven't studied the recent tests, used the most recent drugs and examined under a damned MICROSCOPE! See if they have an electron Microscope in Cuba! HA!

If they were so damned great why did they have to fly in a Doctor from SPAIN to help save their great saviors life, the longest running dictator in all of the the Western Hemisphere, CASTRO! If they were soooo damned great why did that doctor need to fly in with the latest equipment to save his life!??? Meanwhile people in Cuba have to go into surgery with NO ANESTHESIA, you cannot even find a Tylenol pill in the country yet somehow we are supposed to believe that their health care is the greatest!? So what its free! If I can't get a tooth pulled without having to drink 151 proof to numb the pain, you can keep that ish. And antibiotics? DREAM ON! People mail Advil to Cuban families. You think Vicodine is readily available at the local pharmacy!?

Medicaid and Medicare are one of the largest drains on state governments. Why do you think that States were upset when the Federal Government said they would cut 40 Billion in funding of Medicaid. A program that gives free health care to 52 Million people in this country. On the backs of whose dime? The middle class. The same folks that would have to shell out even more money to fund a Universal system for the remaining 250 million (illegals included). Medicaid is the SECOND largest expense in most state budgets and its only serving 1/6th of the population! Picture that expense with 300 Million.

Not to mention the fact that almost anytime government is involved in paying anything out, it over spends. Time after time from construction to transportation. Hence why we have 300 dollar toilets and 50 dollar hammers and 150 million dollar bridges to the middle of nowhere.

Anyone ever take a look at the correlation between the increased funding by states and federal governments for colleges and the subsequent increase in tuition soon after. Of all places NPR did and without fail every time funding increased in Pell Grants and such, Tuition increased. MORE FREE MONEY. Now what would be the difference with a Universal Health Care system (illegals included). You think somehow magically Government will figure out how to be more fiscally responsible with tax payers money!

Now tell me something if and when the economy turns sour which history and economics say it will eventually (be it 5-10-15 years from now) how exactly is this Universal Health Care system going to be funded? You think we have a Deficit now! LMFAO Wait till something like this is put into place. 300 MILLION+ people all going to the Hospital. You think we have a shortage of Nurses, Doctors and Sugeons now. You just wait when a flu epidemic hits. Try going into a Hospital in say... NYC in say a densely populated neighborhood in say, 100th street in Manhattan. Its a 10 hour wait at least. My wife had what he believed to be appendicitis (luckily it wasn't) we waited for over 8 hours just to see a doctor. My sister when she was younger fell off the playground and had a large cut on her face. Blood and all we waited and waited for over 5 hours for a doctor to give her stiches. Now you mix that with FREE HEALTH CARE across the board and any person with a tummy ache is hitting the ER.

And please do not give me Canada as an example. No offense to Canadians but lets be real here there are only 33 Million people in Canada. We have 10 times that meaning that the expense is probably going to be quadruple what you guys spend annually on health care. You currently spend 150 Billion on Health Care. We would hit the Trillions EASY! Somewhere around 2 Trillion or so. Give or take a Billion here or there.

And how funny is it that this OBESE man is talking about Health Care problems when he does not even watch his own health Apparently.

What was he right on in F9/11? What the hell was he right on about Iraq? The democratic party as well as liberals have been fully invested in the failure of this war from the word go. Soon as the boots hit the ground everyone of them started to change gears. Or rather soon as the polls started to shift they started to change gears. Clear for a another loss. I don't even want to go any further into that we have been there done that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

ACLU "monitoring" the situation.

Despite the ACLU being all over the place when it comes to saying prayer in school. Hell they admit it on their website.

Opposition to school-sponsored prayer is a bedrock principle for the American Civil Liiberties Union. As national board policy #81(a) states in part: "The ACLU believes that any program of religious indoctrination -- direct or indirect -- in the public schools or by use of public resources is a violation of the constitutional principle of separation of church and state and must be opposed."

The policy states further (#81(b)) that the ACLU "opposes the infusion of other types of religious practices and standards into the public schools. These include such practices as baccalaureate exercises in the form of religious services, prayer meetings at athletic events, the taking of a religious census of pupils ... and the profession of religious observance or belief as a consideration in the evaluation and promotion of teachers." [1932, 1962]

But of course that is only if the prayer is to God or Jesus and not Allah.

In San Diego of all places!

A San Diego public school has become part of a national debate over religion in schools ever since a substitute teacher publicly condemned an Arabic language program that gives Muslim students time for prayer during school hours.

Carver Elementary in Oak Park added Arabic to its curriculum in September when it suddenly absorbed more than 100 students from a defunct charter school that had served mostly Somali Muslims.

After subbing at Carver, the teacher claimed that religious indoctrination was taking place and said that a school aide had led Muslim students in prayer.

An investigation by the San Diego Unified School District failed to substantiate the allegations. But critics continue to assail Carver for providing a 15-minute break in the classroom each afternoon to accommodate Muslim students who wish to pray. (Those who don't pray can read or write during that non-instructional time.)

Some say the arrangement at Carver constitutes special treatment for a specific religion that is not extended to other faiths. Others believe it crosses the line into endorsement of religion.

Supporters of Carver say such an accommodation is legal, if not mandatory, under the law. They note the district and others have been sued for not accommodating religious needs on the same level as non-religious needs, such as a medical appointment.

Islam requires its adherents to pray at prescribed times, one of which falls during the school day.

While some parents say they care more about their children's education than a debate about religious freedom, the allegations – made at a school board meeting in April – have made Carver the subject of heated discussions on conservative talk radio. District officials have been besieged by letters and phone calls, some laced with invective.

The issue has drawn the attention of national groups concerned about civil rights and religious liberty. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, Anti-Defamation League, American Civil Liberties Union and the Pacific Justice Institute are some of the groups monitoring developments in California's second-largest school district.

See that "monitoring". Yet if that was a Christian prayer. They would be all over that school like flies on shit!

Sharia Law here we come!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Its about damn time!!!

I guess there still is hope with State Governments after all.

Gov. Janet Napolitano on Monday signed sweeping legislation against employers of undocumented workers, targeting the state's market for illegal labor with what she called "the most aggressive action in the country."

The penalty for violators: the suspension of a business license on the first violation and permanent revocation on a second, amounting to a death sentence for repeat offenders.

"It's monumental. It's a change from anything we've done in the past," said Speaker of the House Jim Weiers, R-Phoenix. "It's time for the states to start stepping up and stop waiting for Congress." The law takes effect Jan. 1, significantly raising the stakes for more than a quarter-million undocumented workers believed to reside in Arizona and the businesses that employ them.

Between now and then, Napolitano hinted at calling legislators back to the Capitol for a special session this fall to amend flaws in the bill, including a provision that could force the closure of hospitals, power plants and other critical facilities if they're cited for making illegal hires. Her other concerns included "woefully" inadequate funding for enforcement and the lack of a non-discrimination clause to ensure it's enforced fairly.

Napolitano's signature comes just days after the failure of a comprehensive immigration-reform measure being considered by the U.S. Senate. She again lamented that proposal's collapse and blasted Congress anew in saying Arizona could no longer afford to wait.

"We're dealing somewhat in uncharted territory right now - uncharted territory because of the inability of the Congress to act," Napolitano said. "The states will take the lead, and Arizona will take the lead among the states."

But opposition to the new law was swift, led by Latino activists and the business community. Eight minutes after the governor's announcement that she had signed the bill, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce issued a statement calling it "a crippling blow to Arizona business."

That opposition coalesced in a Capitol hearing room where critics vowed a fight.

"We have five months for the business community to rally and come to the table and demand that the House and Senate come back to the table and work on this bill," said Mary Rose Wilcox, a Maricopa County supervisor and Hispanic activist. "People are just incensed about this. This will be disastrous for the state of Arizona."

A legal challenge regarding the constitutionality of the new law is already in the works.

Phoenix employment attorney Julie Pace said that challenge will assert that Arizona has overstepped its authority by moving into the arena of immigration law. The U.S. Constitution gives power over immigration policy to the federal government.

"I will make a prediction that sanctions will never be imposed because they can't ever become workable," said Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Phoenix. "It will never be implemented properly. It will never function."

Beginning Jan. 1, all Arizona employers will be required to check the legal status of their employees through a federal database known as the Basic Pilot Program. The accuracy of that database and its ability to handle 130,000 to 150,000 Arizona businesses that will now use it has been questioned. Napolitano sent a letter Monday to congressional leaders asking for improvements and federal investment to ensure Basic Pilot is up to the task.

But the day was one of relief for those who for years have asked for a set of state sanctions against businesses that dabble in illegal labor. Perhaps chief among them is Rep. Russell Pearce, a Mesa Republican who sponsored the bill and was at the forefront of numerous similar efforts in the past.

"Anyone worried about this bill ought to be worried about their hiring practices," said Pearce, who called the measure "the toughest yet fairest employer-sanction law in the country."

An even stricter set of employer sanctions waits in the wings, led by a citizens group that hopes to get its proposal on the 2008 ballot. That measure, which would revoke a violator's license on a first offense, loomed over the development of Pearce's bill and was again noted on the day of its signing. The hope among many lawmakers is that the new law will short-circuit an initiative some consider too drastic.

"The main concern is you've got an initiative out on the street that's growing momentum every day," Weiers said. "If it goes to the ballot, I suspect it'll win overwhelmingly."

The new law has problems of its own, Napolitano conceded. She has already spoken with Weiers and Senate President Tim Bee, R-Tucson, about the potential of a special session. Bee said he was open to the possibility. Weiers noted that any changes would have to be scripted in advance.

Issues that Napolitano says need to be corrected in the new law include:

• Insufficient funding for enforcement.

• Overbroad language that could cause a chain of businesses to be penalized if a single location was cited.

• Lack of an exemption to ensure that critical facilities such as hospitals don't have to temporarily close their operations if undocumented workers are found among their staffs.

"For an immigration violation for hiring a nursing aide, are you going to close down a nursing home?" Napolitano asked.

Observing that "this is not a doorway for discrimination against anyone," Napolitano said she'd like lawmakers to add a non-discrimination clause to assure residents that they won't be targeted based on their race or ethnicity.

Those problems aside, Napolitano said she viewed it as better to move forward with a new law than back to Square 1 next session with a veto.

Coming off the heals of the now dead immigration bill.
She passes this.

Its similar to what I have been calling for some time now.

Mine was a a 3 strike rule.

First Offense 100K fine per illegal found to work there.
Second Offense 250K fine per illegal found to work there.
Third Offense, business is shut down.

You watch and see how quickly illegals start to go home.

But in order to be able to make it stick you MANDATE an employee verification program for all businesses to make sure they run that persons ID through that system.

Simple supply and demand.
Remove the supply. The demand will handle itself.

Could not have said it better....

Click on the link.
Its simply PERFECT!


Monday, July 02, 2007

Pew Research Center Study on Marriage

Executive Summary

* A Generation Gap in Behaviors and Values. Younger adults attach far less moral stigma than do their elders to out-of-wedlock births and cohabitation without marriage. They engage in these behaviors at rates unprecedented in U.S. history. Nearly four-in-ten (36.8%) births in this country are to an unmarried woman. Nearly half (47%) of adults in their 30s and 40s have spent a portion of their lives in a cohabiting relationship.

* Public Concern over the Delinking of Marriage and Parenthood. Adults of all ages consider unwed parenting to be a big problem for society. At the same time, however, just four-in-ten (41%) say that children are very important to a successful marriage, compared with 65% of the public who felt this way as recently as 1990.

* Marriage Remains an Ideal, Albeit a More Elusive One. Even though a decreasing percentage of the adult population is married, most unmarried adults say they want to marry. Married adults are more satisfied with their lives than are unmarried adults.

* Children Still Vital to Adult Happiness. Children may be perceived as less central to marriage, but they are as important as ever to their parents. As a source of adult happiness and fulfillment, children occupy a pedestal matched only by spouses and situated well above that of jobs, career, friends, hobbies and other relatives.

* Cohabitation Becomes More Prevalent. With marriage exerting less influence over how adults organize their lives and bear their children, cohabitation is filling some of the vacuum. Today about a half of all nonmarital births are to a cohabiting couple; 15 years ago, only about a third were. Cohabiters are ambivalent about marriage – just under half (44%) say they to want marry; a nearly equal portion (41%) say they aren't sure.

* Divorce Seen as Preferable to an Unhappy Marriage. Americans by lopsided margins endorse the mom-and-dad home as the best setting in which to raise children. But by equally lopsided margins, they believe that if married parents are very unhappy with one another, divorce is the best option, both for them and for their children.

* Racial Patterns are Complex. Blacks are much less likely than whites to marry and much more likely to have children outside of marriage. However, an equal percentage of both whites and blacks (46% and 44%, respectively) consider it morally wrong to have a child out of wedlock. Hispanics, meantime, place greater importance than either whites or blacks do on children as a key to a successful marriage – even though they have a higher nonmarital birth rate than do whites.

Its a very interesting study.
Some obvious patterns that many of us already knew about are there and are just as concerning. Such as the children out of wedlock problem we have here in America not only being more acceptable to people but being a larger problem in our Latino and Black communities.

I was a bit surprised at the 57% of people believing in gay marriages.
Thought the number was somewhat positive. And even better about civil unions.

I was a bit surprised on them not being able to adopt seen as a good thing for 50% of people and those thinking it was ok was only at 11%. It reminded me of a debate I recently have had on this issue. In which I really don't see it as much of a problem at all. Especially since most people that are gay (I would say 99%) came from hetro couples.

Its also rather amusing how there is a HIGH importance on Faithfulness yet such a large percentage accepting out of wedlock births.