Friday, August 31, 2007
Porter ties U.S. withdrawal from Iraq to $9 gasoline.
WASHINGTON -- Gasoline prices could rise to about $9 per gallon if the United States withdraws troops from Iraq prematurely, Rep. Jon Porter said he was told on a trip to Iraq that ended this week.
The Nevada Republican, who returned Tuesday from his fourth trip to Iraq, met with U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Iraqi Deputy President Tariq al-Hashimi and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh.
"To a person, they said there would be genocide, gas prices in the U.S. would rise to eight or nine dollars a gallon, al-Qaida would continue its expansion, and Iran would take over that portion of the world if we leave," Porter said Wednesday in a phone interview from Las Vegas.
-------A week ago I commented (see below - But Wait Checkermates) on gas hitting $9 per gallon.
The "left" jumped Porter's comments with the standard sarcasm i.e. the US is already committing genocide killing 1,000,000 Iraqi, the Democrats are not doing enough, Porter is fearmongering, kill more Iraqi to keep gas cheap, etc., you know the drill, or perhaps, as it all reads the same, you know the wordprocessing macro the "left" pulls up for its usual rebuttal.
Can I heave a big disgusted sigh ? ... today's "left" uses the tactical playbook from the '60s - minus the boycotts, riots, fires, beatings, death, sacrifice - as if a tepid imitation of flower power rhetoric will end man's inhumanity to man. Today's "left" compare themselves to Rosa Parks and/or googles quotes from MLK. It's enough to piss off a real progressive person.
Also this week, the French oil company Total …. "announced that it has received approval from the Vietnamese government to acquire a 35% interest in the production sharing contract for offshore exploration Block 15-1/05, alongside PetroVietnam Exploration and Production (PVEP – operator, 40%) and SK Corporation of South Korea (25%)."
You do know Vietnam was about geo-oilitics too? Right? (As was WWI, II, Korea, Bosnia, etal.) Total has also "signed a contract with China National Petroleum Corporation to appraise, develop and produce natural gas resources in the South Sulige block in China."
Imagine that, took the French 50 years to get their Vietnamese oil. In 2000 the French oil company Elf Aquitaine merged with Total Fina to form TotalFinaElf, which changed its name to Total in 2003. (Elf scandal, BNP Paribas, 1990s Oil-For-Food, and - my personal favorite threat to sue me - Nadhmi Auchi.)
When the US "ends" its war on Iraq, and the Anglos divide and sign deals for the oil plunder – not many of those contracts will benefit Joe Merican, and why should they boys and girls – it was your idea to go for the Afghani throat after 9/11, and then SH, and then withdraw from Iraq, bring the troops home, end the war. Bad dog. Bad, bad dog. You will pay for that mistake, yessirree you will. Next time, keep your government on a shorter leash.
When the US leaves Iraq, declaring the war a lost cause – the sweetest deals will go to globoanglo corporations, and a few brown folks who have sucked up real hard to the white folks running the plantation (or have video evidence). And in case it's went unnoticed, those globoanglo corporations have found greener pastures than USA.
Honestly though, it's not your fault the US will lose Iraq - 99 percent chance it was planned that way, just as Vietnam went the way the ruling class dictated.
But don't say you were tricked or lied to - most of you knew in your gut Bush the Boy was full of shit the first time you watched the twitching, blinking lying twerp in the 2000 debates. And the rest of you weren't interested - but you soon will be when it finally comes home to roost.
Of course Rep. Porter is the standard lying pol, that's the only type the ruling class issues you boneheads, but in this particular instance, Porter's been sent to let ya know what's on the horizon - so when it hits - you can't say you weren't warned. Batten down the hatches – the wind blows a storm this way.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:31 PM
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- Hike up those pants. Droopy drawers that bare skin or underwear might soon be forbidden fashion on the streets of several cities, and violators could be forced to part with some cash.
"I'm tired (of) looking at behinds," Shreveport, Louisiana, Councilwoman Joyce Bowman said after Tuesday's 4-3 vote to ban fanny-flaunting trousers.
Nobody can be arrested just for violating the ordinance, but they could be fined or required to perform community service. The maximum fine for a first offense is $100.
Elsewhere, Atlanta's City Council held a hearing on a measure to outlaw saggy pants that reveal shorts or thongs. The Atlanta measure will likely face another hearing before it comes to a vote, and some sponsors say it is already starting a debate that's long overdue in the city's schools, community centers and churches.
R.E. Williams, a veteran Atlanta police officer, said he views the saggy pants trend as a measure of sorts because "the lower the pants are, the lower the self-esteem."
A similar proposal in Stratford, Connecticut, was soundly rejected this week after critics argued it would be unconstitutional and unfairly target minorities.
Some opponents cite other objections.
"Are you going to have a 'sagging' court?" Michael Williams asked Shreveport's council. "The police have more important things to do than chase young boys and girls and say 'pull your pants up."'
------I sang a song to my grandchildren as toddlers, if caught naked or their pants down: "I see your hinney, all black and shiney, if you don't hide it I'm gonna bite it" and they would run screaming as I do bite. But my biggest concern, with this type of legislation, is the nationwide ramifications it could have on plumbers.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:20 PM
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
An Inside Look at How U.S. Interrogators Destroyed the Mind of Jose Padilla.
"What happened at the brig was essentially the destruction of a human being's mind," said Dr. Hegarty. "[Padilla's] personality was deconstructed and reformed." She said the effects of the extreme isolation on Padilla are consistent with brain damage. "I don't know if he's guilty or not of the charges that they brought against him," said Dr. Hegarty. "But, already - before he was ever found guilty - he's paid a tremendous price for his trip to the Middle East."
----(Hmmm, Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in solitary confinement without any brain damage.)
A Miami, Florida jury found US prisoner Jose Padilla guilty Thursday on three terrorism-related counts. Padilla, a 36-year-old American citizen from Chicago, faces a possible life sentence. The verdict is a travesty of justice and a testament to the growth of police state measures and the advanced state of decay of democratic rights in the United States.
Perverse Justice Yadayadayada more of the same.
Brief bio of Padilla, now known as Abdullah al Muhajir (common name chosen by warriors for Islam) : Poor, fatherless child of a 16 y/o mother. A thug at 14 Padilla was involved in an armed robbery, his accomplice fatally stabbed the victim and Padilla kicked the victim in the head "because he felt like it," according to records. At 20, Padilla shot at motorists in a fit of road rage. He was charged with battery against a jail guard. He repented, pled guilty, found Jesus, found Mohammed. After getting out of jail he found work, found a girlfriend, had a son, married. In 1998 he went to Egypt to get closer to Islam and teach English, although he spoke poor English himself. He became engaged to a 19-year-old in Egypt, divorced American wife, married the Egyptian one. Leaves child and again pregnant wife to teach English in Yemen, travels through the Middle East, to Pakistan and then to Switzerland. Obviously, teachers like Padilla make very good money so as to support a family and travel extensively - until his 2002 arrest in Chicago, carrying $10,000 in cash.
- Padilla's wife, Shamia'a, at the couple's home near Tanta, Egypt. (Photo Barry Iverson NYT)
Just because Mrs. Padilla is sealed tighter than King Tut doesn't mean she and Jose were fanatics, there might be chic Nordstrom wear beneath all that wrapping.
Some state there is little direct evidence linking Padilla to a "dirty bomb" plot, it's circumstantial. That the government relied on mentioning Al Qaeda and OBL a lot during the trial; that Padilla's trial and treatment are a chilling sign of this administration's slow erosion of civil rights.
But are these people out of their friggin' mind – making this thug the poster boy for a travesty of justice? Wanna know what's a mockery of justice? It's a woman who can drown her 5 babies and get 2 years in a psych unit. It's the old scums who murdered Black teenagers and are finally arrested 40 years later. It's Arnold Swartzenazi executing Tookie Williams because Williams wasn't sufficiently contrite, according to Arnold. It's the thousands of pedophiles released back into society over and over again. It's the Rodney King jury finding the cops not guilty and the jury finding OJ not guilty. It's all the pardons from every president who has sat in the oval office.
Padilla finally has what he searched for as he trotted around the Middle East post 9/11; has what he was searching for when he kicked a dying man in the head because he felt like it; has what he's looked for since a little boy – attention.
Used by both right and left pundits to make their political talking points, Padilla will now disappear down the memory hole.
Posted by Kate-A at 5:58 AM
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Hector Montenegro took a break from election campaigning in Guatemala last week - to bury his murdered teenage daughter. Her killers had pulled out her fingernails, tied her hands behind her back, slit her throat, then stuffed the corpse into the boot of a taxi with two other victims of similarly brutal attacks.
The distraught congressional candidate for the leading party was in no doubt that 15-year-old Marta Cristina was the latest victim of a particularly violent election campaign, even by the standards of a country that endured a bloody 36-year civil war.
Forty candidates or senior party officials have already been murdered during the campaign - a grim tally that does not include supporters or relatives such as Mr Montenegro's daughter. With two weeks to go before the September 9 poll, the death toll makes this the bloodiest election in the country's history, as drug lords, crime gangs and political rivals seek to buy power, settle scores and intimidate enemies.
-----Drug traffickers, organized crime, former paramiltary …. Yep, those are usually the folks with highly vested interests in keeping the "left" from winning in Guatemala.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:17 PM
The developers behind Central Park, one of India's most expensive new gated communities, were elegantly lyrical in their promises of the luxurious existence awaiting new residents.
'When you buy into Central Park you are not doing something as mundane as buying a flat, you are buying into a lifestyle,' the brochure read. The development would offer an escape from the dust, heat and pollution of Delhi, shutting out the bleaker realities of modern India, the slums and the squalor, with an unbreachable security system. The residents' children would even breathe cleaner air than their counterparts outside the gates.
Across India, developers are advertising similarly extravagant, fenced-off refuges from the poverty and chaos that still blight everyday urban life here.
Attracted by the booming economy, thousands of expatriate Indians have returned to take up high-paid jobs at home. After years in Silicon Valley or in European capitals, they are no longer willing to tolerate the routine power cuts and water shortages which most citizens endure without complaint. Instead, they buy homes in American-styled developments (with names such as Malibu Town and Flamingo Heights) that offer on-site power generators and water plants.
Frustrated by the failure of urban India to keep pace with the modern economy, these residents are seething at their inability to shut out the daily irritants of existence. Most had hoped that they would never have to leave the complex, except to travel in chauffeured cars to work.
Beyond the confines of the development, women carry piles of bricks in baskets on their heads while malnourished, semi-clothed children bang on car windscreens. Slum dwellings constructed of patched-up plastic sheeting are dotted by the roadside.
'The idea of these gated communities is to create a cocoon. Everyone understands that there are things outside that you don't want to expose your children to. The idea is to have the area sealed and sanitised. The apartment costs are huge, but it's worth it to protect yourself from the violence and crime outside,' says Rajesh Jadhav, an IT businessman.
-----Ahhh, modern "democracy" and the "free market" at its finest.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:58 PM
Donor rescinds pledge after poor job review.
RENO, Nev. - The chancellor of the University of Nevada, Reno, says he and his family will no longer consider donating $3 million to the school after a regent’s negative comments in his job performance evaluation.
John Rogers said he had talked to UNR President Milton Glick earlier this summer about making the donation to help build a new math and science center, but the talks ended after a regent questioned his integrity.
In his June 22 written evaluation, regent Ron Knecht wrote that Rogers’ claims of being “totally honest and known for his integrity” were false, and that “he is known primarily as a self-absorbed, self-indulgent bully and tyrant, given to rashly going off at little or no provocation.”
---- Hellfire Bubba. What's the world coming to when $3,000,000 won't even buy a chancellor a little butt kissing from a regent.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:41 PM
Friday, August 24, 2007
There was cleavage on display Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. It belonged to Sen. Hillary Clinton.
She was talking on the Senate floor about the burdensome cost of higher education. She was wearing a rose-colored blazer over a black top. The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable.
----I'm a bit late with this one, but what the hay. Is someone's career sagging? (Photo from RogueJew blog.)
Posted by Kate-A at 2:36 PM
A senior Republican senator, John Warner, last night urged President George Bush to begin bringing troops back from Iraq by Christmas, as US intelligence agencies published a bleak assessment of the chances of progress in the country in the next 12 months.
Mr Bush criticised the Iraqi president, Nouri al-Maliki on Tuesday, but 24 hours later in a piece of damage limitation, he praised him. Mr Maliki, on a visit to Syria, had said he could turn to friends elsewhere if the US ditched him - almost certainly a reference to Iran.
----- "... US intelligence agencies published a bleak assessment ......."
..... this the same incompetent intel agencies who have admitted they bungled so much pre-9/11? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?
Nouri has been bee-bopping over to Iran quite a bit this past year, but Tehran is where he spent part of his years in exile from Iraq, so he has old friends there. Kinda makes a person wonder what were "they" thinking when they installed Maliki, buttbuddy of Ahmadinejad.
Lemme see if I have this straight now. The US progressive / Democrats / antiwar faction "wins" and the US pulls out of Iraq, then Afghanistan.
Al-Maliki, as stated, has no choice but to turn to friends in the region, Iran, Syria, Libya, etc. The ensuing bloodbath between Sunni and Shia demands intervention from somewhere, and China and/or Russia have so invested in Iran/Iraq that the US dare not intervene again in the region, dare they? Didn't China and Russia aid Vietnam way back when? Once again, the world plays chess and Amerikuns only know give-away checkers.
This could be leading up to the big one. US comes home, Russia/China step in. US forced to return to protect its friends Israel, Saudi, India, Egypt, Dubai, etc. Besides, gas is $9.00 a gallon at the pump as the US has fewer oily friends; President 4Life Hugo castrates the US supply.
But wait, can the US tolerate this geopolitical shift in fortunes? Voilà! Hillary has to declare WW3, 4, and 5.
But wait! That's impossible! The national treasury has been looted. Our military is weak, sapped, exhausted, spent, in tatters. Confrontation with anyone is no longer an option. Tuck in your tail, there will be no dogfight. National bankruptcy demands US neutrality.
But wait! If the fight is East versus West over the Middle East – and China the biggest factory on the plantation - which axis will Wal-mart align with? Will Americans be forced to give up affordable flip-flops and wife beater shirts? In the coming oil crunch will bicycle ownership become a status symbol?
Will the US have no friends in the world other than Euro-fops and millions of Mexican immigrants? Will the coming austerity put an end to illegal immigration? Cana-meri-mex
unite, we need your oil. Nogales – tear down that wall!
As the Muslim hoards advance, Cuba will be evacuated and replaced with Israel. The world must whip US to save us.
Let us sing and sway to camp songs and eat homegrown berries and resist the hardcore fascism that inevitably arises from economic depressions. Kumbahya my lord, kumbahya.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:40 AM
Thursday, August 23, 2007
(CBS/AP) Officials at an Arizona school suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching what looked like a gun, saying the action posed a threat to his classmates.
"My son is a very good boy [who] doesn't get into trouble," the boy's mother, Paula Mosteller, told CBS affiliate KPHO correspondent Mary Valenzuela. "There was nothing on the paper that would signify that it was a threat of any form."
"He was just basically doodling and not thinking a lot about it."
The Chandler Unified School District declined to give more details about the incident. Spokesperson Terry Locke said in a statement, "Federal privacy law forbids the school or district from discussing student discipline."
There's nothing in a portion of the student handbook that addresses conduct to indicate the drawing of a weapon poses threat, KPHO reported.
There is, however, a rule that says students should not engage in "threatening an educational institution by interference with or disruption of the school."
-----Ahhhhh, the kind of story the "left" loves to yell about as "eroding your freedom" mind control, thought police, etc. Onward rage, onward. A 3 day suspension! When will the madness end! After all, the boy's parents are not even gun advocates and don't have guns in the home!
And the kind of story the "right" can sneer and utter a moral tidbit, i.e. a posted response to the above story "What can you expect from our public school system? It has been completely overrun by liberal teachers and administrators, I had to take my children out of those schools so they could be educated rather than brainwashed."
Reality probably hides somewhere, in between the phallic long barrel of a magnum and the silly smiley faces – bring in the psychologists, quick.
Perhaps zero tolerance is being used in public schools now 'o days for kids whom the powerless teachers/babysitters find disagreeable.
My future son-in-law is an elementary teacher, 10 y/o students. If he sends a student to the principal's office for being constantly disruptive the child's momma or dad, liberal and conservative, Black or white or brown (usually white), will promptly call the principal and/or school board to dump a lot of angry bile because their baby boy was "humiliated." Good luck with all that prideful self-importance later in life little Billy.
Perhaps the young artist should join JROTC – but I would wager the artist is a smartass who consistently does what he knows will irritate the hell out of the adults around him, what we used to call a little prick.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:10 PM
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The number is shocking and sobering.
It is at least 10 times greater than most estimates cited in the US media, yet it is based on the only scientifically valid study of violent Iraqi deaths caused by the U.S.-led invasion of March 2003.
That study, published in prestigious medical journal The Lancet, estimated that over 600,000 Iraqis had been killed as a result of the invasion as of July 2006. Iraqis have continued to be killed since then. The graphic above provides a rough daily update of this number based on a rate of increase derived from the Iraq Body Count.
This devastating human toll demands greater recognition. It eclipses the Rwandan genocide and our leaders are directly responsible. Little wonder they do not publicly cite it.
-----I blogged a couple of years ago that BushCo would eventually catch up to the 1 million dead during the years between 1992 and 2003. But I did expect it to take a bit longer than 5 years. So I did some math. According to figures above between 2003 and 2006 the US was killing approximately 550 Iraqi per day. If the above toll is correct, in the one year and five months, March 2006 to August 2007, the US stepped up the pace – 825 Iraqi dead per day. The Iraq Body Count gives a number of 76,000 civilian deaths, which is where the "rate of increase" is derived from. Looks like fuzzy math somewhere.
I'm not going to bother to research the reliability of the higher figures, nor am I impressed with the name The Lancet publishing the study, which I have read for years and find it more often than not aiding and abetting the same agenda as the FDA and Big Pharma, i.e. pushing the same money making fears of AIDS, bird flu, etc.
But here's what irritates me, aside from whether or not to believe any of these numbers, past or present : when supposedly the same numbers of Iraqi were dying under 12 years of air strikes and sanctions, predominantly Clinton's watch, where was the outrage?
Where were the anti-war policy guys? Men like Murtha, Kucinich, Ron Paul, Joe Biden, Edwards, Gravel, Obama, or bigmouth conservatives like Limbaugh, Weiner, Coulter, Malkin, etc. - they weren't demanding Clinton remove the sanctions and stop the killing.
Bill Clinton's 1 million dead Iraqi received almost zero recognition. The infamous 1996 comment of Madeleine Albright regarding 500,000 dead Iraqi children – "we think the price is worth it" only received attention years later.
The numbers weren't "shocking and sobering" back then - folks were just too numbed and drunken in the Clintonian era of "peace and prosperity."
Posted by Kate-A at 11:29 PM
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I do the dirty work so you won't have to.
That's what I think when reading anything from Townhall. Today's rant is once again on Thomas Sowell, a white man's man. Previously, he was a February 2005 recipient of KAB's There Are Black Conservatives Out There Hoax Award. Given to the biggest, glibbest Black liars for America's reichwing. In July 2005 KAB actually agreed with Sowell on Black America taking it's cue from Israel.
Sowell's recent Townhall article An Investment in Failure states the "political left has an investment in failure."
Well, you may have noticed with blog posts recently that I've come to a similar conclusion. But I've concluded both right and left politics invest in failure, specifically in regard to the Iraq war.
SOWELL: " …. there have been some remarkable developments in some Third World countries within the past generation that have allowed many very poor people to rise to a standard of living that was never within their reach before."
He speaks of the advancements in Latin American countries, China, and India. What he doesn't tell you is that there are not really that many uplifted or that most of those who have risen "to a standard of living never within their reach before" is code for an extra chicken clucking through the shanty and little Jose gets a day off from selling Chicklets on the street.
In all my years in Central America I've seen only two products that minimally lifted the standard of living for the very poor. 1) Tourism, catering to gringos. 2) Family members working in the US to $end it home.
Seventy hours for a $30 work week in a shirt factory doesn't lift anyone no matter what country they live in. Drive a bit further out and most of Latin America is today pretty much what it was 50 years ago. Sowell mentions Argentina as an example but that's another bird, transformed 60 years ago by both fleeing Jews and Nazis. He conveniently forgot to mention lefty Chavez is lifting the very poor, or that Brazil's president is the lefty Workers Party's Lulu da Silva.
SOWELL: The August 18th issue of the distinguished British magazine "The Economist" reveals the economic progress in Brazil, Argentina, and other Latin American nations that has given a better life to millions of their poorest citizens. Some of the economic policies that have led to these results are discussed in "The Economist" but it is doubtful that members of the political left will stampede there to find out what those policies were. They have shown no such interest in how tens of millions of people in China and tens of millions of people in India have risen out of poverty within the past generation."
Well, Tom Snob, maybe the political left didn't stampede the Economist because you fail to mention the specific article in the August 18 issue and I didn't see one that seemed to discuss the economic policies you're referring to. Is the material online or only in the print edition?
In developing nations a "better life" for "their poorest citizens" is still poverty – but better poverty, i.e. the hunger pains are less frequent and the kids get immunizations and a pencil.
And Tom, some on the left know the policies that have lifted many in China and India out of poverty. They call it outsourcing. Global investors. You're an economist - if there's an appreciation of the yuan and hikes in interest rates, which Beijing has to do to avoid an economic meltdown – there's gonna be a lot of unhappy and angry Chinese peasants and some very, very unhappy global bankers. What's a country gone capitalist to do?
(Sowell wouldn't be Sowell if he did not end his tripe with the usual - Blacks are nothing more to the left than pawns in an ideological game. It's a rightwing talking point from the Reagan era.)
SOWELL : "The poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994 but the left has shown no more interest in why that is so than they have shown in why many millions of people have risen out of poverty in Latin America or in China and India."
Thomas, I have to say you're juggling statistics. Every chart I found gave figures of double digits for 1994 Black married couples (11-13% poverty rate). But I do agree that illegitimate births are a problem; all children need a stable environment with both a mom and a dad; unless you're a romaticized celeb, then kids need only a nannie and photo-ops.
Of course married couple of all races fare better – two incomes. And lets not forget to mention the "poverty rate" cutoff in the US for a married couple with 2 children is around $20,000 a year. Whoopee. If one cannot support a family and save for the future on 20K then what's wrong with a person. Americans should not look at the income gap – they should celebrate having indoor plumbing and a playstation.
By the way, illegitimacy in Latin America accounts for 25 to 40 percent of all births. It's often the cultural norm to have a wife and an outside woman, and a pack of kids with both. But, using your conservative logic I suppose sex created third world poverty – not colonialism and oligarchy.
Tom, you seem to be all over the place with this article about leftists, third world success, Black poverty, pawns, and something to do with "policies" that I can only assume have to do with the glorification of capitalism as the cure all.
SOWELL: Retrogressions in the wake of the policies of the 1960s are studiously ignored -- the runaway crime rates, the disintegration of black families, and the ghetto riots of the 1960s that have left many black communities still barren more than 40 years later.
You got me there. We are socially retrogressing. And yes, a good deal of it is self-inflicted. But you must be kidding me when you claim social failure is the agenda of the left. In case you haven't noticed, the predominantly conservative white owned and operated prison industry, white owned media glorifying immorality and thuggery, white owned educational system, and a few uncle toms have done more for "retrogressing" than any policies from the '60s.
And if not for those "ghetto riots of the 1960s" more than likely you wouldn't be where you are today – pretending concern with poverty/social malaise while defending the ideology of greed is good.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:33 AM
Monday, August 20, 2007
MONTEBELLO, Quebec (Reuters) - U.S. President George W. Bush met the leaders of Canada and Mexico at a luxurious cedar chateau on Monday to bolster economic and security ties, but protesters decried the gathering's secrecy and shouted for Bush to go home.
Dubbed the "Three Amigos summit," the two-day meeting of Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon was also expected to look at the credit crunch and turmoil gripping global financial markets.
Canada and Mexico have been frustrated that growth in trade among the partners to the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, has been held back by the U.S. crackdown on the border following the September 11 attacks in 2001.
To try to tackle that problem, the countries have developed the Security and Prosperity Partnership, or SPP. But the agenda has upset activists on the left and the right who contend it will erode national sovereignty.
As Bush and Calderon arrived at the resort in Montebello, Quebec, more than 2,000 demonstrators descended on the village as well and squared off with police in riot gear.
Some were dressed in black with their faces covered by kerchiefs. They banged on drums and chanted, "Arrest the criminals inside the fence" and "George Bush go home."
But Harper dismissed the demonstrations. "I've heard it's nothing. A couple hundred? It's sad," the Canadian prime minister said just before leading Bush into the log-cabin resort.
Further raising the ire of the summit's critics is a 3-metre (10-foot) fence put up around the hotel to keep protesters at bay.
-----Get used to it folks. When Hillary arrives to officially "end" the Iraq War, the economic boa-squeeze on the peasants will be tighter than Joan Rivers forehead, introducing the mantra that we must annex Canada and Mexico … er … I mean unite, to ensure our joint safety and economic viability. There will be no border fences per se but 10-footers will contain those few sad souls who, for some unknown reason, still believe the unwashed masses will leave their ergonomic chairs and keyboards to fill the street.
No word yet of whether Harper, Calderon, and Bush have exited the republican log-cabin resort - or whether the men are log-cabin republicans resorting to a 2 day summit.
Posted by Kate-A at 6:50 PM
Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir has started posting professionally produced video clips on YouTube. Propaganda or truth - you decide.
Produced by the group's Malaysian branch, the clips call on Muslims to "arise and shake off the dust" of European colonialism and show members marching in support of Palestinians to the commentary "O armies of the Muslim world, we wait for your help."
Posted by Kate-A at 1:51 PM
Extended Buildup Would Exhaust US Forces
Sapped by nearly six years of war, the Army has nearly exhausted its fighting force and its options if the Bush administration decides to extend the Iraq buildup beyond next spring.
When asked what units will fill the void in the coming spring if any need to be replaced, officials give a grim shake of the head, shrug of the shoulders or a palms-up, empty-handed gesture.
----What?! Sapped, shrugs, palms-up, empty-handed. I got your grim palm - bitchslaps for the ruling "opposition" class for using deliberate gestures of "we dunno, we failures" to gradually ease out of the mess they helped create. And how stupid does one have to be to believe we'll attack Iran when we can't even make progress in Iraq?
If you're not a regular reader, I am antiwar and believe wars are staged for the benefit of a few. I also believe and taught my children - careful what you choose to begin, finish what you start, to the best of your ability and with results that don't shame you.
May there be a big whopping pox-o-shame on the 80% of polled American lemmings who supported BushCo and were barking for blood post 9/11, as if they personally knew all the WTC dead.
Especially the Heartland lemmings who didn't giveashit about yuppie New Yorkers but thought kicking ass somewhere would relieve their petty personal misery. The same lemmings who now believe, after a few sound bytes, that "bring the troops home" will lower gas prices, create social lemming programs; create jobs, will save the economy, will bring good will and respect from the rest of the world; it will work miracles and shit cucumbers.
If US politicians, corporate suits, and military brass would stop jocksucking the new world order we would see progress in Iraq, but apparently - success is not an option.
Posted by Kate-A at 1:14 PM
LONDON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - The powerful Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said on Monday he would welcome a planned expansion of the United Nations mission in Iraq if it was designed to help Iraqis rebuild their country.
In an interview in Britain's Independent newspaper, Sadr - whose Mehdi Army militia is in fierce conflict with American and British coalition forces -- stressed the U.N. must not become "just another face of the American occupation" in Iraq.
"I would support the U.N. here in Iraq if it comes and replaces the American and British occupiers," he said. "If the U.N. comes here to truly help the Iraqi people, they will receive our help in their work."
-------(UN – front for CIA/Anglo,Inc cleaners.)
Moqtada al-Sadr is the thirty-something cleric, son of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, a clerical Shiite dynasty. Initially not taken seriously by mainstream Shiites – support has grown for al-Sadr, especially among younger Iraqi.
Some analysts believe al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army will decide America's fate in Iraq – due to his black-clad ruthless protection militia and popular support, and of course the usual hunger for top-dog spot. He's a self-proclaimed hojatolislam, the first major rank for a cleric on the path to becoming an ayatollah, although al-Sadr is minus the decade of religious training – he breaks the rule of Shia religious behavior – but what the heck, he's the Don of Baghdad slums. John Gotti in a turban.
Al-Sadr's "rival" for the hearts and minds of Iraqi Shiites is His Eminence Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid Ali al-Hussani al-Sistani.
Sistani calls for unity among all parties, factions, and tribes in Iraq. On a regular basis those around Sistani are assassinated, possibly by his rival al-Sadr. And it is claimed that "Al-Qaeda Wants the Head of the Grand Ayatollah Sistani because he is the key man for a free and peaceful Iraq."
(Al-Qaeda – front for CIA wetworkers.)
Some analysts claim it was US ignorance of al-Sadr's potential brand of fire that led to his becoming more powerful – but come on folks. US empire planners are many things but ignorance is not one of them.
The question is why was al-Sadr and his radical militia allowed to grow powerful?
Both the elderly moderate Sistani and the ruthless young al-Sadr are willing for the UN to play a wider role in Iraq, but which fist would CIA/Anglo,Inc want?
Hint: US past favorites included Saddam, bin Laden, Noriega, Pinochet, Khmer Rouge, Somoza, Papa Doc, Trujillo, Mobutu, Charles Taylor ….
Posted by Kate-A at 10:39 AM
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Medicare will stop paying the costs of treating infections, falls, objects left in surgical patients and other things that happen in hospitals that could have been prevented.
The rule change announced this month is among several initiatives that the administration says are intended to improve the accuracy of Medicare's payment for hospital patients who receive acute care and to encourage hospitals to improve the quality of their services.
The rule identifies eight conditions — including three serious types of preventable incidents sometimes called "never events" — that Medicare no longer will pay for.
Those conditions are: objects left in a patient during surgery; blood incompatibility; air embolism; falls; mediastinitis, which is an infection after heart surgery; urinary tract infections from using catheters; pressure ulcers, or bed sores; and vascular infections from using catheters.
Hospitals in the future will be expected to pick up the cost of additional treatment required by a preventable condition acquired in the hospital. "The hospital cannot bill the beneficiary for any charges associated with the hospital-acquired complication," the final rules say.
----Some will shill this change is awful; the patient will pay, the patient will suffer. Not so fast there cowboy Bubba. This could prove to be a good thing. How? you ask. Well Bub, every one of those events occur through negligence. Objects left in, wrong blood type, embolism - misuse of equipment, dirty catheters, etc.
First, lets define "acute care" as : Short-term medical treatment, usually in a hospital, for patients having an acute illness or injury or recovering from surgery.
For 3 decades Medicare and Medicaid created millionaires – physicians, hospital administrators – by simply "short-term" hospitalization of the elderly, especially those throw-aways in nursing homes, and ordering unnecessary tests and procedures – just because.
Getting that pacemaker stay extended and getting staph just because grandpa has 3 more days of billable Medicare benefits available. Or when 86-year-old semi lucid prone to falls gramma is admitted for pneumonia - let's order a mammogram because it's billable.
The rules would have physicians and hospitals think twice before admitting Grandma Gaspains to the hospital where she gets an enema and antacid prescription – after ordering dozens of needless procedures and tests - simply to milk dollars from Medicare reimbursement as has been done for decades.
(My dad was of an era when hospitals were where you went to die. Trauma/acute care was rare. Today the typical ER caters to Medicaid head colds, drug seekers, and little Johnny's earache. No need to wonder why or how genuine emergencies die on the ER floor.)
But, don't worry, HillaryCo will give you universal healthcare, then, as long as pharma, hospitals, and physicians are reimbursed - hospitals and physicians can doctor you to death – and it will all be "free" Bubba, free for everyone!
However, not covered, and something so many Americans suffer with - are headupassto thenecktomies.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:55 AM
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Josif Poro pats his new sofa, points with pride to his carpets and runs a wrinkled hand over a gleaming white refrigerator. He and his wife barely scrape by on their $220 monthly pension. They'd have to do without many of the items in their cramped apartment if their son, a factory worker in Greece, didn't faithfully send home part of his earnings.
"We call him our golden boy," said Poro, 83, a retired textile mill worker.
Around the world, millions of immigrants are sending billions of dollars back home. One sweaty wad of bills or $200 Western Union moneygram at a time, they form what could be called Immigration, Inc. — one of the biggest businesses on the planet. If these guest workers incorporated as a company, their migrant multinational would rank No. 3 on the Fortune 500 list, trailing only Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil in annual revenue.
And unlike the conventional economy, more cash tends to change hands in an economic downturn, political crisis, natural disaster, famine or war.
The U.S. lost $41.1 billion in 2005, according to the World Bank, while Switzerland watched $13.2 billion trickle out of the country that year. Meanwhile, from Poland to the Philippines, remittances are throwing lifelines to families combating poverty and helping to keep some national economies afloat:
Across Latin America, remittances hit $62 billion last year and are projected to top $100 billion by 2010, the Inter-American Development Bank says. Mexicans wire home the most cash — nearly $22 billion — most of it earned in the U.S.
India is the world leader in remittances, taking in $23.7 billion in 2005 and an estimated $26.9 billion last year, the World Bank says. Western Union, traditionally one of the most frequently tapped money transfer companies, says its share of Indian transactions has grown at least 90 percent over each of the past six quarters.
"Without the money we get from our son, who lives and works in Austria, my family and I would simply starve to death," said Jovana Acimovic, a housewife struggling to make ends meet in Belgrade, Serbia.
In impoverished Tajikistan, the National Bank says migrant laborers sent home $1.1 billion last year — more than the country's GDP. Filipinos working overseas sent home a record $13.6 billion in 2005. So much cash is flowing that mobile phone operators make it possible to transfer money over a cell phone.
In Albania, where the average monthly wage is only $250, a third of the population of 3.2 million have left for better jobs in the U.S., Britain, Greece, Italy and elsewhere.
Much of the world's migration is illegal, and although many immigrants work at menial jobs, some are doctors, engineers and other professionals. Their departure can mean a brain drain of highly trained personnel and create an immigration culture.
"Migration creates more migration," said Ilir Gedeshi, director of the Center for Economic and Social Studies in Albania, whose emigrants have stashed an estimated $14 billion in foreign banks. "It's a cycle. The next generation has to leave because there are no jobs being created for them here."
Elvin Meka, secretary-general of the Albanian Association of Banks, offers a blunt warning: "We export human beings, and they send us cash," he said. "Young people are addicted to the idea of leaving. That's the biggest crime in this country. The government is killing their dreams."
For Ismet and Safija Helja, retired in impoverished Bosnia, the cash their carpenter son, Nedzad, sends from America boils down to this: not having to eat at a soup kitchen. Like clockwork, it arrives every three months. "Sometimes $1,000, sometimes $500, depending how good he does," said Ismet Helja, 67. "If it wasn't for Nedzad's money," he said, "we would die."
----------The globalists gotta love it. Cheap transient labor, no messy unions or benefits to deal with; no lawsuits for wrongful deaths due to working conditions; no hungry masses storming the palace if Johnny keeps sending home cash. And doesn't "guest worker" sound so much better than "destitution by design."
Remember Third World White, I told you "That's where Johnny White America is headed, but with the American flare for things: Out to the shanty, with TV, prescriptions and foodstamps, to squat with the rest of the world, gaze at the party lights in the big house and wait for a few dollars from Johnny's allotment check."
America's all volunteer be all you can be army of "guest workers" around the globe, golden boys/girls to send home money. America's new sweaty wad of middle-class.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:47 AM
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Kate/A/blog's summer fundraising drive began yesterday. So far we have raised $2.60 – but we have a long long long way to go. That isn't enough. At this rate, I will fail to reach my goal – and the cutbacks in my lifestyle will have to start immediately.
For instance – with your generous donations - I plan to purchase this very modest Lagoon 500 (5 cabin version) so that KAB may better serve readers after each satisfying vacation.
Maybe it's because it's summer and lots of people are on vacation, or my readers' attention is directed elsewhere, but, for whatever reason, my fundraising appeals have fallen on deaf ears. Do I have to shout louder? OK, then, I will:
Unless I raise $925,000 by Monday, KAB will have to consider significant cutbacks in lifestyle.
Our war-crazed rulers and their supporters in the media don't have to worry about paying the bills: the War Party never lacks for funding. I, on the other hand, must go to my readers four times a year and beg for money. This year, it's been a hard sell. Won't you help?
Your contribution is 100% not tax-deductible – but Kate/A/blog promises to take you for a ride - what more incentive do you need? You can make your contribution – email KAB for details, but, whatever you do make your contribution today, right now – before it's too late.
(Please hurry, my birthday is coming soon and there's a couple or three custom alterations I want on the Lagoon.)
Posted by Kate-A at 10:40 PM
Last year, the Pentagon paid $998,798 to a small parts-supply company in South Carolina to ship two 19-cent washers to an Army base in Texas.
Oh, it gets worse. Much worse. The company, run by twin sisters Charlene and Darlene Corley, managed to scam the eagle-eyed U.S. government out of $20.5 million in an oh-so-delightful business relationship stretching back nearly 10 years.
Among the other mind-reeling charges paid to the sisters, according to The Washington Post -- $445,640 to ship a single elbow pipe valued at $8.75; $492,096 for a machine thread plug worth $10.99; and $403,436 for six machine screws valued at $59.94.
Pentagon officials caught onto the scheme last fall, but -- alas -- they had already paid 112 bogus invoices. And the sisters, it appears, had already spent much of the money on what an assistant U.S. attorney described as "excessive personal enjoyment."
Among other things, the sisters excessively enjoyed the purchase of beach houses, luxury vacations, expensive jewelry, plastic surgery, 10 vehicles (including a BMW and a Mercedes) and a cookie store.
On Thursday, 47-year-old Charlene Corley pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money. She was fined $750,000 and faces up to 20 years in prison on each count, according to Bloomberg News. Darlene Corley committed suicide last year, shortly after the feds began asking how much it really costs to ship a couple of 19-cent washers to Texas.
-----The twins got nose jobs, boob jobs, flashy cars and beach vacations, got confident, careless, and caught. And how eagled is the eye if this went on for 10 years?
I say ship the remaining twin to that Army base in Texas, from whence she will ship out with the next unit to Baghdad, where she will perform 12 months of community service searching for 2 washers worth $998,798, an elbow pipe worth $445,640, and six $403,436 machine screws.
Posted by Kate-A at 4:59 PM
GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Three people were missing on Friday after a 200-foot-deep hole opened up in the middle of a Guatemalan neighborhood, likely due to a burst sewer pipe.
"It sounded like a bomb was dropping. Boom!" said Carlos Gutierrez, 58, of the crater, which measured 130 feet in diameter.
The crater appeared in the capital's San Antonio neighborhood on Thursday night. Authorities evacuated hundreds of people on Friday fearing more land could collapse into a fast-flowing river of sewage below.
Neighbors said the ground had been shaking for weeks after a huge sewer pipe burst, making the ground underneath the houses unstable.
----With decades of "diverting funds" I can see this happening in an American town, city, neighborhood.
Is that Michael Vick's career I see at the bottom of that shithole? Hope so.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:18 AM
IN A NEW TREND, BRIDES ARE PHOTOGRAPHED GETTING DOWN AND DIRTY IN THEIR WEDDING GOWNS
The bystanders thought she'd lost her mind. But when Chris Kibler ran through the water fountains at Old Town Square -- her wedding gown on and her hair styled -- she knew exactly what she was doing. It's called "trash the dress," and it's a new trend in wedding photography that's catching on across the nation.
A "trash-the-dress" session usually takes place a few weeks after the wedding. The bride puts her wedding gown back on and poses for magazine-style photos in locales that would make her mom nervous -- at an amusement park, in a grungy alley, wading in the water, rolling in sand.
In some of the more extreme sessions, documented on the Web site trashthedress.wordpress.com, brides are photographed underwater in their wedding attire, smearing themselves with paint or attacking their dresses with a pair of scissors.
------Our youngest daughter is marrying next July and we've been happily looking at wedding dresses for months - there will definitely be no trashing. I suppose this new "tradition" should come as no surprise as sheople seem to wallow like happy hogs in every crude trend slopped in the trough; particularly when it involves trashing anything - as ruin seems to be truly an American art.
Posted by Kate-A at 9:09 AM
Thursday, August 16, 2007
From Rawstory. Conyers: FBI director notes prove Bush officials tried 'to goad a sick, medicated Ashcroft' to approve warrantless wiretapping.
Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that Mueller's notes "confirm an attempt to goad a sick and heavily medicated Ashcroft to approve the warrantless surveillance program."
"Saw AG," Mueller writes in his notes for 8:10 p.m. on March 10, 2004. "Janet Ashcroft in room. AG in chair; is feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed."
----(BTW Mueller was not in the room when "Bush officials" spoke to Ashcroft.)
Ashcroft had routine laparoscopic cholecystectomy, on March 9, 2004. It was not emergency surgery. Ashcroft's entire gallbladder course was routine including the few days before surgery (cooling off the gallbladder), the days in ICU postsurgery, and the hospital discharge 5 days after surgery. Ashcroft's gallstones led to a bout of pancreatitis, which is more often than not caused by a fatty diet and booze.
The once hated-by-the-left Asscroft has now become poor little feeble victim Ashcroft, who a day and a half after routine uncomplicated surgery should have been feeling no pain on meds and still kissing BushCo's policy - not being goaded by mean ol' Bush toadies.
Even if Ashcroft was "in no condition to decide issues" the creepy zealot never "decided" BushCo issues anyway – he's a "sign off here" man. And all aging neocons, as they deflate each evening on their beds, are feeble and barely articulate. It's stressful wearing two faces all day long.
Conyers could be reminding us that Ashcroft gave "instructions to United States Attorneys around the country to step up the number of cases in which they ask juries to impose the death penalty. … that Ashcroft had ordered them to count the mosques in areas under their jurisdiction, with the clear implication that the number of terrorism investigations undertaken by each U.S. Attorney should be proportional to the number of mosques." The wiretapping program wouldn't go against the grain of a man like Ashcroft. If he balked at all over the program it was his inflated ego thinking he could bargain for a bigger chip to play in the game - got him resignated (fired) instead.
And all it proves to be is another sorry day when this load of pointless he said/he notes is the worst accusation Democrats can come up with on BushCo.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:01 PM
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Once a poverty-stricken afterthought for much of the world, India has been transformed by the past decade's economic boom into a burgeoning world power whose wealth can be seen everywhere: New cars cruise the streets, high-end apartment blocks are rising on the edges of cities, luxury shops fill the seemingly endless supply of new shopping malls.
But the inequality in this country of 1.1 billion people is as often as conspicuous as the consumption - Indian children are more likely to be malnourished than African ones and the country is home to about a third of the people in the world living on less than $1 a day.
"India cannot become a nation with islands of high growth and vast areas untouched by development, where the benefits of growth accrue only to a few," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the nation in his traditional Independence Day speech. "We have moved forward in the many battles against poverty, ignorance and disease. But can we say we have won the war?"
In the six decades since, the South Asian rivals (India/Pakistan) have fought three wars and engaged in tit-for-tat nuclear tests. While relations have improved since the start of a peace process in 2004, mutual animosity still lingers across the subcontinent, a region stretching nearly 1,900 miles from Pakistan's mountainous north to India's steamy southern tip.
Any talk of Pakistan was conspicuously absent from Singh's speech.
He spoke from behind a bulletproof screen atop the ramparts of the historic Red Fort, the massive 17th-century sandstone structure built by the Mogul emperors who ruled much of India before the British arrived.
His speech, the main event of the day, touched on a range of domestic issues - from plans to invest $6.25 billion in agriculture, which provides a livelihood for two-thirds of Indians, to improving schools in the country where a third of the people remain illiterate.
"Gandhi's dream of a free India will only be fully realized when we banish poverty from our midst," Singh told a crowd of thousands of dignitaries and schoolchildren dressed in the orange, white and green of the Indian flag, referring to independence leader Mohandas Gandhi.
He also pledged to press ahead with industrialization and build "first-rate infrastructure" - moves that in the past year have led to repeated clashes between police and farmers who don't want their land plowed under to make way for factories.
Security was tight across India for the festivities, especially in places where insurgencies are simmering. Police stepped up security around the Taj Mahal, India's famed white-marble monument to love, saying there was a specific threat to attack the site.
Authorities also shut down mobile phone service in the restive Himalayan region of Kashmir in a bid to prevent violence. An Islamic insurgency has raged for nearly 20 years in the predominantly Muslim region split between India and Pakistan.
Five bomb blasts were reported in the northeast state of Assam, where there are dozens of rebel groups operating. No one was killed or wounded in the attacks.
Ethnic Assamese rebels have in the past week killed 32 people, most of them migrant workers from others parts of India who speak a different language and have different customs.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:22 PM
Hugo Chavez today will present constitutional reform - proposing sweeping changes which include "the need to do away with presidential term limits that currently prevent him from seeking re-election in 2012."
------Hugo has been prez since 1998. Imagine the outrage if Bush attempted a constitutional reform to allow him to run for life. I can't wait to hear the "left" justification of Hugo's power play. Ever wonder why Chavez was pardoned after only a couple of years in prison for his 1992 failed coup attempt against then President Carlos Andrés Pérez?
Caracas - World oil prices are headed for US$100 ($133) a barrel, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez predicted yesterday, and said he would cut supplies to the United States if the US Government "attacks" the South American nation again.
"I've always said that oil prices are headed straight to US$100 per barrel," he said during a televised speech. "We should prepare ourselves for those prices."
------For sure it will hit $100/barrel – as soon as the US limps home from Iraq or "attacks" Venezuela - Hugo has gotta love BushCo, and vice versa as Hugo helps prod the sheople even further into the new world of economic socialism – you know, where beloved State corportocracies own and administer and determine all things the people need.
Yessiree, sometimes ruling class assets are who you least expect Bubba.
Posted by Kate-A at 12:35 PM
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
WT: Last week, The Washington Times disclosed a confidential DEA report substantiating the link between Islamist sleeper cells in the U.S. and Mexican drug cartels. The report, which included several documented U.S. investigations into the terrorist/cartel connection, stated that Middle Eastern operatives funded terrorist groups with drug money linked to Mexican cartels.
WT: Furthermore, the 2005 document suggests that some Islamist terrorists are disguising themselves as Hispanics.
----Confidentially, in all my years and dealings in Central America/Mexico I never once caught an Islamic terrorist disguised as Hispanic. Although I did find an Oklahoman DEA agent smoking sinsemilla in Puerto Escondido; he was disguised so long he forgot he wasn't really a goodtime surfer dude.
WT: During his three years at the DEA, he said (Hutchison), intelligence agents discovered that Middle Eastern gangs were having pseudoephedrine, an over-the-counter drug, shipped from China and smuggled into the U.S. from Canada, to Mexican drug syndicates for manufacturing methamphetamine.
----So, ME gangs smuggle drugs to Canada and then into the US and down to Mexico? Wouldn't it be easier and less risky to just go straight from China and dock in Mazatlan and unload all that Sudafed? Doesn't the DEA know that most meth labs are here in the mullet head Heartland, in trailers, barns, and that self-storage unit that Darrell rents?
WT: Afghanistan, he said, may be one of the most obvious examples of narcotics profits funding terrorist groups, particularly the Taliban militia that harbored Osama bin Laden before the September 11 attacks. According to the U.N. World Drug Report for 2007, which was issued last month, Afghanistan is responsible for 92 percent of the opium produced in the world last year.
----Yep, and India produces over ½ the world's Big Pharma opium and absolutely none of India's poppy harvest ever finds its way to the illicit drug trade. Nosiree Bubba.
WT: The 2005 DEA report includes photographs of known Middle Easterners who "appear to be Hispanic; they are in fact all Spanish-speaking Arab drug traffickers supporting Middle East terrorism from their base of operations" in the southwestern United States.
----Well, there's your proof enough Bubba - they have photographs of Arabs in the southwest speaking Spanish. I guess anyone with dark hair, skin, and speaking Spanish could be a potential threat. Both my Hispanic daughters-in-law are very white skinned, but my sons! They've always been asked if they were Cuban or Puerto Rican – now they could be mistaken for Middle Easterner Islamofascist narco-terrorist gang member smugglers posing as Hispanics.
Gotta wonder how so many evil-doers have their "base of operations" right under the US government nose. Ever get the feeling Bubba the sheople are supposed to feel under seige by dark people with evil intentions?
Posted by Kate-A at 8:25 AM
Monday, August 13, 2007
Just like regular folks.
Romney worth as much as $250 million. Republican Mitt Romney, by far the wealthiest presidential hopeful, is worth as much as $250 million, with holdings spread among scores of investments, a document released today shows.
Romney's investments are detailed in a 47-page public financial holdings disclosure. Because of the complexity of his holdings, Romney failed to meet the May 15 deadline for filing the document and obtained two 45-day extensions.
According to his attorney and campaign staff, Romney's holdings are worth between $190 million and $250 million. The figures include holdings for both himself and his wife, as well as a charitable trust the Romneys have established.
When he became governor in 2003, Romney placed his holdings in a blind trust. The federal government, however, required a list of his holdings, forcing him to unveil his investments. The report says his lawyer, R. Bradford Malt, is trustee of the blind trust and oversees all investment decisions.
The report shows Romney has numerous offshore holdings. But in the news conference, Malt said those holdings "don't reduce income taxes."
Clintons Dissolve Blind Financial Trust. Millions in Stock Converted to Cash to Avoid Campaign Conflicts.
The listing of stocks that had been in the Clintons' blind trust provides a glimpse of the type of questions the former first couple might have faced if they decided to remain invested in the stock market - even with a blind-trust adviser making investment choices without their knowledge or input.
For instance, the blind trust managed by Citigroup was heavily invested in overseas companies, including $30,000 to $100,000 in two Asian companies -- Hong Kong and China Gas, and Hutchison Whampoa. The latter was involved in a controversy last year because of it received a U.S. contract to scan some U.S.-bound ships for nuclear material. Some lawmakers worried that the work could allow China to gain access to sensitive U.S. technologies because Hutchison Whampoa executives have business connections to the Chinese government.
The Clintons' broad investment portfolio also included a stake of at least $1.6 million in blue-chip U.S. drugmakers such as GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Abbott Laboratories and Eli Lilly. Sen. Clinton has long been a proponent of overhauling health care and making drugs less expensive. The couple also had significant investments in large oil companies such as Anadarko Petroleum, Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil and chemical makers Dow Chemical and DuPont at a time when questions at Democratic debates focused on gasoline prices, global warming and pollution.
------ Blind trust : So you can't see what rich folks are doing when they pay high-priced advisers to do it for them. Offshore holdings: To completely eliminate or greatly reduce taxes and all with confidentiality. Bubba, ain't it just real upright and honest for Bill and Hillary to cash in all those war4oil chips?
Posted by Kate-A at 5:31 PM
Spotted on WhatReallyHappened, from Guardian columnist: Military families live in dread, while the rest of America is busy shopping.
"On Friday the president's new war adviser, Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, said it was time to think about restoring the draft.
There is gruesome irony in the fact that such a possibility should come from an administration headed by a president who dodged the draft and a vice-president who "had other priorities" than serving in Vietnam. But American conservatives have a curious inability to put their children where their mouth is when it comes to the war. All of the main Republican contenders back it; none of their children are in it."
------But, that last sentence is not quite true.
John "the war backer" McCain has 2 military sons. James McCain reported July 2006 to Camp Pendleton and son Jack was a freshman last year at the Naval Academy. So I guess at least one conservative put his children where his mouth is. We can only hope that they "serve their country" in the Middle East and not a DC desk job or WH duty. Or, a la Romney Boys - serving the country in daddy's Winnebago.
Nor do I see "liberal" politicians rushing to enlist their children, or any of the dem front runners, all cowards who kept their mouths shut during Bush's first term as the "war president" - everyone of them supporting war on Afghanistan; pretending they didn't know the US was headed for Baghdad. A seemingly curious inability of liberal / progressive pols to use a little foresight.
Posted by Kate-A at 2:29 PM
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Is America Becoming a Police State?
Ron Paul: In 2002 I asked my House colleagues a rhetorical question with regard to the onslaught of government growth in the post-September 11th era: Is America becoming a police state?
The question is no longer rhetorical. We are not yet living in a total police state, but it is fast approaching.
The seeds of future tyranny have been sown, and many of our basic protections against government have been undermined. The atmosphere since 2001 has permitted Congress to create whole new departments and agencies that purport to make us safer- always at the expense of our liberty. But security and liberty go hand-in-hand.
------Dr. Paul, Tyranny coming? Police State coming? WTF have you been, fool?
Fred Hampton – December 4, 1969
Rodney King - March 31, 1991
Posted by Kate-A at 5:11 PM
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Iraq war czar: Consider a draft.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Frequent tours for U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer force and made it worth considering a return to a military draft, President Bush's new war adviser said Friday.
Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute is the president's war adviser. Several retired generals turned down the post.
"I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
"And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another," said Lute, who is sometimes referred to as the "Iraq war czar." It was his first interview since he was confirmed by the Senate in June.
-----Hmmm ... keepin' us safe "by one means or another" .... is a little concerning.
Posted by Kate-A at 8:29 PM
Rand Report : The United States should focus its political, security and economic efforts in Iraq toward the single goal of reducing sectarian strife and other violence, but should also start planning now for the possibility that these efforts will not succeed, according to a RAND Corporation study released this week.
The report recommends the United States reassess its efforts in Iraq, concluding that the single biggest issue in Iraq is the daily violence faced by the nation's population. That violence is now caused primarily by sectarian fighting, rather than from insurgents or criminal violence, according to researchers.
PDF version. Rand, the "original think tank" lists 5 solutions in this report U.S. Policy Options for Iraq.
1. Use overwhelming force to pacify the country and prevent further fighting.
2. Pick and support one or more “winners” of the civil war and help them gain control of Iraq, thus ending the conflict.
3. Help to partition Iraq into three separate states.
4. Leave Iraq and wait for one or more victors to emerge.
5. Maintain current efforts by seeking to broker a deal to reduce violence while Coalition troops focus on combating the insurgency and supporting the central government.
In February 2003 my sons were sitting, had been for months, on the Iraq border, waiting for UN approval to wage war. I knew with or without UN blessing the US was going to war. My daughter, granddaughter, and I froze our buns in rain and sleet holding signs. There was maybe 20 other protestors every week. I knew we would see a Vietnam repeat of break it, profitmonger it, leave it, let the peons pay for it.
Americans in 2002/2003 were not looking at the long-term effect of waging war and today they're not looking at the long-term effect of quitting war.
But lets look at options the think tank above offers. Number 5, current effort, is obviously not working. I don't believe the US mis-planned this war. Mr. and Ms. Average American may be dense, easily distracted, stupid - but the ruling class planners are not. If the US loses in Iraq - that was the plan – and suggests the design all along was to economically break the bank, similar to the collapse of the "evil" Soviet empire. Who benefits with the fall of American empire?
Leave and wait for "victors" to emerge (#4) could be a serious problem as the "victors" are going to be overtly or covertly armed and supported by other players on the chess board. China, Russia, Saudi, Iran, US, Latin America; everyone with a fork ready for a piece of the pie. You must consider the consequences of an Iraq government backed by other non-friendly global players. If you think those players will be more benign in Iraq than the US - then you need to think again. Or maybe you believe pseudobenevolent leaders like Hugo Chavez will rush to aid Iraq, nevermind that $50-72 per barrel war profit makes Hugo what he is today.
Number 3, partition into 3 separate states. Divide and conquer. According to Rand researchers the majority of Iraqi want a unified country. The US could wage a smaller war/occupation for decades or "generational war" as Condi put it, until Iraq, and/or perhaps more of the Middle East is carved into weaker, manageable units, a horrendous price for the people but long-term dividends for the profiteers.
Number 2, "pick and support one or more “winners” of the civil war and help them gain control of Iraq, thus ending the conflict" … This solution is #4 made simple, and with the guarantee that the US wins control of Iraq without other players stepping in to support their choice of "victor." It also would require "support" by means of massive armament and/or air strikes. Basically it's pick and support one side from a comfortable distance and let them kill off the opposition (method used often by US). But again, other players will pick and support a side. Just another war by proxy.
The current anti-war movement isn't looking at the long-term. The "peace movement" says end the war now but give no details on the aftermath of this strategy. Face it people, the long-term effect of winning or losing, or abandoning this war is not going to be simple, easy, or pretty. Most, if not all, of the same peace folks are okay with US trooping around in Africa, even beg Washington for intervention in Africa - that war is presented as humanitarian righteous aid and on the surface appears to be of smaller scale, or by proxy.
The majority of America is not "anti-war" – it's the packaging. Americans won't play if their team can't kickass quick and hold up a trophy. Americans need their war in a drive-through window. A Big Mac, a Whopper. It will still smell like a crotchburger but with the right wrapper Americans will swear it's delicious.
The majority of America's anti-war movement is not about saving lives – it's a platform for phonies like Markos and Huffington, a collection plate for blowhard bloggers, another book deal for pandering liberal and conservative writers. The movement does nothing more than maneuver potential progressive phonies into future position. The '60s gave us John "Toss Medals" Kerry, Daniel "Leaking All the Way to the Bank" Ellsberg, Tom "Progressive Democrats of America" Hayden, Jane "Staying Fit & Still Against War" Fonda, etc.
One of 3 things happen to radicals: They die young. They voluntarily fade away. They serve the established system while pretending not to.
Today there are no radicals, there are popularity contests. The movement's leader thinks a hunger strike is 3 days, no Cindy, that's fasting. Peace movement leader says she will camp out until Bush meets with her, then travels the world, puts a for sale sign on Camp Casey, quits the movement, returns to the movement, announces she wants to hold office in the same corrupt system she's been bull-horning. That's not leadership – that's PTSD.
My choice of the 5 Rand options would have to be number 1 - overwhelming force to pacify and stop the fighting. Stop the war profiteering (tax it) and corruption (hard prison time) at home. Rebuild Iraq and return it to Iraqis. Overwhelming force would likely require at least 600,000 troops patrolling Iraq, but it would have the capacity to disarm all sects and combatants in Iraq and keep the peace until Iraqis eventually form a unified government. Such a force would likely require a military draft at home.
The first called to serve should be family members of politicians, congress and the corporatocracy. All while instituting some immediate serious changes at home: term limits, campaign finance reform, US policy toward Israel, stop corporate global "destitution by design" - by any means necessary.
But – America ain't gonna do it that way.
Posted by Kate-A at 11:04 AM
Friday, August 10, 2007
From BuzzFlash Hypocrite of the week. Bob Allen the Florida Republican who offered an undercover cop a twenty dollar blowjob.
"Allen is now claiming it was his fear of black men in the area that made him offer to pay a couple of ten spots to blow someone. As Jon Stewart said (and we are paraphrasing here) of Allen's "excuse": "I thought if I had a c*ck in my mouth, the black men wouldn't hit me."
Allen's excuse of blaming "the black man" follows the basic subtext of most Republican "underground" racism. If it's not blame the blacks and Mexicans in the U.S., it's blame the swarthy Arabs in Iraq and the Persians in Iran.
Instead of facing the darkness in their own tortured souls, too many Republicans blame dark people for their own sordid perversions."
-----Hmmm, speaking of hypocrisy … Bob's a hypocrite because he pushed legislation to tighten laws against public sex, lewdness, indecency while indulging himself in public sex, lewdness, and indecency.
But Buzz brand of "progressive" "liberal" or whatever, says the dark soul of Bob Allen, has "sordid perversions" …
So … a male adult propositioning a male adult in a bathroom is a perversion?
Gurl, since when do progressives not defend consenting adults as an "alternative lifestyle" ? Or does that apply only to gays such as Rosie and Barney Frank?
I would expect Bob the Blower, with his career publicly in the toilet, to grab at every justification his weak mind could find. His excuse of "black men would hit me" isn't underground racism – it says Bob prefers a little rough trade activity; wishful thinking if you will. The ol' beat me hurt me prove you love me sex.
But, I'm shocked I tell ya, shocked, that the "left" would label Closet Bob the Toilet Trawler a sordid pervert.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:28 AM
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Islamic extremists embedded in the United States — posing as Hispanic nationals — are partnering with violent Mexican drug gangs to finance terror networks in the Middle East, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration report.
The 2005 report outlines an ongoing scheme in which multiple Middle Eastern drug-trafficking and terrorist cells operating in the U.S. fund terror networks overseas, aided by established Mexican cartels with highly sophisticated trafficking routes.
These terrorist groups, or sleeper cells, include people who speak Arabic, Spanish and Hebrew and, for the most part, arouse no suspicion in their communities.
"It is very likely that any future 'September 11th' type of terrorist event in the United States may be facilitated, wittingly or unwittingly, by drug traffickers operating on both sides of the United States-Mexico border," the DEA report says.
Rep. Ed Royce of California, ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs terrorism and nonproliferation subcommittee, said the DEA document substantiates information that his committee has been given in the past year.
"Hearings I held in Laredo [Texas] last year and this DEA report show that our southern border is a terrorist risk," Mr. Royce said. "Law enforcement has warned that people from Arab countries have crossed the border and adopted Hispanic surnames. The drug cartels have highly sophisticated smuggling and money-laundering networks, which terrorists could access."
Lending credence to Mr. Brown's concern, an El Paso, Texas, law-enforcement report documents the influx of "approximately 20 Arab persons a week utilizing the Travis County Court in Austin to change their names and driver's licenses from Arabic to Hispanic surnames."
------Ah, reminds me of the 2002 superbowl ads : "Where do terrorists get their money?" asks one of the ads, as a terrorist buys explosives, weapons and fake passports. "If you buy drugs, some of it might come from you." (Surely crackheads and stoners around the nation now feel guilty with each fix.)
Two 30 second ads for $180 million, funded by the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy (you), created by New York advertising giant Ogilvy & Mather. A profitable minute for someone.
Remember, there is no truth to the fact that the multi-billion dollar illicit drug trade is owned and operated by intel agencies at the behest of the world's ruling class. Governments and bankers are innocent too.
It's all the work of a handful of non-American cartel kingpins and thousands of Tyrones and Josés on the corner; mega tonnage drugs are smuggled into the country through miles of tunnels, or belly balloons, hubcaps, dirty diapers and small boats – sophisticated routes. Only foreign terrorists and violent inner city gangs get rich from the drug trade.
And now? Beware – the influxing Mexican José mowing your lawn may actually be sleeper Mohamed, buyer of bombs (after a sneaky county court name change).
Aren't we about due for our once a year major bust (market price manipulation) and once a decade kingpin arrest (no longer useful honcho, i.e. Escobar, Noriega, Arellano Felix)?
Posted by Kate-A at 11:40 AM
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Few in South Africa took much notice when five sleeping teenage boys were shot by a military hit squad just days before the country's last white president, FW de Klerk, received his Nobel peace prize for ending apartheid.
Thirteen years later the deaths have returned to haunt Mr de Klerk after a decision to prosecute one of his former cabinet ministers for apartheid-era crimes prompted fresh scrutiny of what South Africa's last white president knew about the campaign of assassinations, bombings and torture against the regime's opponents.
Mr de Klerk has acknowledged that there was a strategy to murder prominent anti-apartheid activists but says it was carried out by rogue elements within the security forces and he was horrified when he found out years later. At a press conference in Cape Town, his voice cracked with emotion as he said he was being unfairly implicated.
But Mr de Klerk has not denied ordering the 1993 raid, in which the five boys were killed, on what was described as a Pan Africanist Congress safe house used to plan "terrorist attacks".
After the attack, the military said the dead were men who were armed and shooting but photographs of the scene showed the boys still in their beds, riddled with bullets and no guns in sight. Mr de Klerk later described the killings as a tragic mistake.
Sigqibo Mpendulo, a PAC activist who was imprisoned on Robben Island for five years and lost his twin 16-year-old sons in the attack, says the former president should be prosecuted because it was the modus operandi of such attacks to massacre everyone in the targeted house, as happened in similar raids on in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. "De Klerk killed my children. They were innocent. They were not [PAC] forces," he said.
Ten years ago, Mr de Klerk appeared before the truth and reconciliation commission to apologise for apartheid and the crimes committed in defence of white rule but to deny any personal knowledge or responsibility.
------Appropriately horrified, de Klerk was just muddling along when he ordered the murder of boys. The not-my-fault "poor intel" excuse. The old not-me "rogue elements" and "tragic mistakes" excuse– I dunno, those excuses sound so Pinochetian, or Bushsonian, as when Dubya finally meandered around to apologize for "Iraqi prisoner abuse".
As an aside, in 1973, when the Nobel Peace prize ($1M w/gold medal) was awarded to Henry Kissinger, it was confirmed that the Norwegian parliament has always selected its 5 most hopelessly unaware citizens to chair the Nobel committee.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:46 PM
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq embedded journalist Mike Drummond, McClatchy newspapers :
The sign taped to the men’s latrine is just five lines: “US Military Contractors Civilians Only!!!!!”
Here at this searing, dusty U.S. military base about four miles west of Baqouba, Iraqis — including interpreters who walk the same foot patrols and sleep in the same tents as U.S. troops — must use segregated bathrooms.
It has been nearly 60 years since President Harry S. Truman ended racial segregation in the U.S. military. But at Forward Operating Base Warhorse, it is alive and well, perhaps the only U.S. military facility with such rules, Iraqi interpreters here say.
“The rule separating local national latrines from soldiers was enacted about two to three rotations ago,” Maj. Raul Marquez, a spokesman for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division, from Fort Hood, Texas, wrote in an e-mail.
There is also disagreement on the reason.
Marquez cited security. “We are at war, and operational security and force protection are critical in this environment,” Marquez wrote. “We screen all our local nationals working and living in the FOB; however, you can never know what’s in their mind.”
Other soldiers traced the regulations to what they called cultural differences. “We’ve had issues with locals,” said Staff Sgt. Oscar Garcia. “It’s not because we’re segregating.”
Garcia said that some Iraqis squatted on the rims of unfamiliar American-style toilets or used showers as toilets. Another soldier at the administrative hub cited conflicts over hygiene habits. “We can’t accept people washing their feet where I brush my teeth,” he said.
But the Iraqis — who are paid $80,000 to $120,000 a year for their interpreting services — are offended.
-------McClatchy newspapers and Drummond are members of the "speaking truth to power" club, hailed by the GayPatriot as the only American papers "covering the real news" in Iraq. Drummond likely noticed this honeybucket segregation on his July 29th jaunt to FOB Warhorse (renamed FOB Freedom 1) to catch the soccer game on TV. Hence Drummond, traveling to Warhorse, is not a fobbit.
(I lean toward thinking the "segregation" is leftover security procedure from earlier rotations at FOB Warhorse, when mortars were fired into camp every night, who could be trusted, etc. Warhorse also has separate gates for military and civilian traffic.)
Butt!!!!! is this the best "real news from Iraq" that an embedded reporter / newspaper can come up with?
Tell you what, for $120,000 a year, millions of Americans (including troops) wouldn't care where, who, or what was designated the official toilet.
However, and we can thank "liberals" for shining a light on this crapper injustice, the clever moral of this story is : one is only truly free when one gets to use the white folks' shitter.
Posted by Kate-A at 10:33 AM