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Today: 67 articles and 138 comments as of 2:15.
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Libya bans religious, tribal or ethnic parties
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
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Page 1: WoT Operations
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Page 2: WoT Background
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Page 4: Opinion
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2 11:28 Frozen Al [271]
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Page 6: Politix
1 22:50 JosephMendiola [375]
1 08:42 rjschwarz [269]
7 14:33 Rjschwarz [261]
-Lurid Crime Tales-
TSA officers charged in drug smuggling conspiracy
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/26/2012 08:06 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [605 views] Top|| File under:

-Short Attention Span Theater-
Swiss woman dies after attempting to live on sunlight
Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger reports that a woman starved to death after embarking on a spiritual diet that required her to stop eating or drinking and live off sunlight alone.
Only Kimmie could have done that. But now he's dead.
The Zurich newspaper reported Wednesday that the unnamed Swiss woman in her fifties decided to follow the radical fast in 2010 after viewing an Austrian documentary about an Indian guru who claims to have lived this way for 70 years.

Tages-Anzeiger says there have been similar cases of self-starvation in Germany, Britain and Australia.

The prosecutors' office in the Swiss canton (state) of Aargau confirmed Wednesday that the woman died in January 2011 in the town of Wolfhalden in eastern Switzerland.
Posted by: gorb || 04/26/2012 19:17 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [659 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Prolixin, Abilify...not necessarily in that order would have saved her from her delusions. Too sad
Posted by: texhooey || 04/26/2012 22:50 Comments || Top||

Devilish DMV Revokes Virginia Man’s F.Osama License Plate
A Virginia man says his Osama bin Laden-inspired license plates are being taken away by the Department of Motor Vehicles for being offensive. But he says the DMV’s new plates are even worse.

Rick Sanders has had his “F.OSAMA” license plates for seven years. He received a letter this week from the DMV saying the plates would be replaced because they are “profane, obscene or vulgar in nature.”
But, but, so was Osama ....
“Right after the attacks of 9/11, I decided I wanted to do something to show that I’m patriotic,” Sanders told ABC affiliate WVEC.

The plates are being replaced with “6668UP.”

“I’m offended by this,” Sanders told the station. “I don’t like anything with 666 on it.”

The numbers 666 are widely viewed as a satanic symbol and Sanders said he reads his new license plate as, “The devil ate you up.”

According to the Virginia DMV website, the “DMV reserves the right to recall and cancel any personalized license plate that was issued if the agency subsequently determines or discovers that the personalized license plate was not in compliance with these guidelines when issued or if, due to changing language usage, the personalized license plate has become non-compliant with these guidelines.”

“Language is an ever changing thing,” Pam Goheen, a spokeswoman for the Virginia DMV told ABCNews.com. “Sometimes are we overly cautious? Sure, but we rely on the public to notify us when they see messages that are potentially objectionable.”
Personally, I think someone should investigate whoever called it in.
Although Goheen said she could not discuss Sanders’ case specifically, she said anyone whose plates are deemed offensive can work with the DMV to come up with an alternative message.

Sanders told WVEC he will probably exchange the plates for new ones, but is also considering challenging the DMV’s decision to pull his plates.
How about changin it to "F.Obama"?
“People come up behind me, they’re laughing, they’re giving me the thumbs up. They’re laughing at me. I’ve never had anybody look at me and tell me I can’t believe you have that on your license plate,” Sanders said.
Ever see anyone sporting a turban, beard, and pajamas glowering in your rear-view mirror?
Sanders says “F.OSAMA” can mean anything you want, but for him it’s a symbol of his patriotism.

“I didn’t want to offend anybody by it. I wanted people to realize that I don’t want you forget what those folks did to us.”
I only wish I had thought of it. That way I could offend any terrorist sympathizers.
Posted by: gorb || 04/26/2012 18:48 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [372 views] Top|| File under:

#1  G27734 can be interpreted as Go to Hell.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 04/26/2012 20:17 Comments || Top||

#2  8008135
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 04/26/2012 21:18 Comments || Top||

Portrait of Lotte
Nothing to do with WoT or anything else serious, except that this is the speed they seem to grow at...
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [276 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I saw this last night. It's pretty cool.
And doesn't everybody wish they did this?
Posted by: tu3031 || 04/26/2012 0:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Anyone recall marking door jams with small pencil marks and dates? Of course that was back when folks lived in the same houses for more than 3-5 years.
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/26/2012 7:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Still got the door, frame and marks. 2 kids run from 1/92 (6yr) to 2/09 (23) heights from 46 to 75 inches. Lost the first few years of the eldest when we re-modeled but he's the 75"+.

Time to start on the grand-kids.
Posted by: AlanC || 04/26/2012 9:13 Comments || Top||

#4  Congratulations AlanC
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/26/2012 9:15 Comments || Top||

#5  Thanks B, they're great boys (is 30 still a boy?). Unfortunately their wives have corrupted them politically but this is the PR of Massaholia so they're not too bad.
Posted by: AlanC || 04/26/2012 11:02 Comments || Top||

Zookeeper Crushed to Death by Elephant
[An Nahar] A New Zealand zookeeper was crushed to death Wednesday when an elephant sat on her, emergency officials and media reports said.

Police confirmed they were called to an incident involving an elephant and its keeper late in the afternoon at Franklin Zoo, near Auckland, but said no further information would be released until the woman's family were informed.

Television Three news said the woman died when the elephant sat on her.

A fire service front man said when they arrived at the zoo "the elephant had been secured and paramedics were working with the patient" who had since died.

In an article posted on the zoo website in 2010, sanctuary director and veterinary surgeon Helen Schofield said Jumbo had settled in well and developed close and affectionate relationships with her team of keepers.

"She is responding well by presenting feet for care, all parts of her body for washing, rub downs and other health care procedures," Schofield said.

"Our dream for Jumbo is to get her in a situation where she can have other African elephants for company."

"It is a tremendous privilege to take care of Jumbo. I feel personally humbled and flattered by the big ear flapping purrs she gives me as a greeting when I return to see her from other activities in the sanctuary. She is so affectionate and responsive."

The zoo negotiated the release of the 40-year-old elephant in 2009 from a circus where it had lived in shackles for 30 years.
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [285 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Awwwwww, how cute, she was crushed in elephant love.

Its either that or the 'Phant was jealous.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/26/2012 1:22 Comments || Top||

Africa North
Egypt plans 'farewell intercourse law'
Egyptian husbands will soon be legally allowed to have sex with their dead wives - for up to six hours after their death.

The controversial new law is part of a raft of measures being introduced by the Islamist-dominated parliament.

It will also see the minimum age of marriage lowered to 14 and the ridding of women's rights of getting education and employment.

Posted by: tipper || 04/26/2012 12:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [385 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "It's OK - she's always been a bit frigid"
Posted by: Frank G || 04/26/2012 14:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Enjoy your disenfranchised hell, Egypt. It's a one-way ticket.
Posted by: gorb || 04/26/2012 14:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Oh. My. God. I'm speechless. Just OMG.
Posted by: RandomJD || 04/26/2012 15:03 Comments || Top||

#4  NOW can we stop giving them money?
Posted by: Steve White || 04/26/2012 16:32 Comments || Top||

#5  At least his entree used during the entire marriage need not change, "Honey, just lie there and I'll do the rest".
Posted by: jack salami || 04/26/2012 17:12 Comments || Top||

#6  ...and, who said that Islam will never have a reformation?
Posted by: jack salami || 04/26/2012 17:13 Comments || Top||

#7  Morbid curiosity gives rise to a body of questions:
Where does the 6 hour limit come from?

Is it a stiff deadline? What if you start at 5h 58min after time of death, do you have to stop when the timer goes off?

Suppose you come home and just happen to find one of your wives is dead. Can you guestimate the time of death or do you need something more forensic like liver temp? Do you call 911 before getting started or after?

If you can find a imam willing to do the temporary marriage of convenience thing, is it OK to boink any recently dead person of the female persuasion?

And finally, does this give new meaning to having your buddies over for a cold on?
Posted by: SteveS || 04/26/2012 17:37 Comments || Top||

#8  FORWARD --- Into the Past.....

That is sick!
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 04/26/2012 21:01 Comments || Top||

#9  Awwww, #1, I wanted to sat it.

That being said, a righteous EEEEEEEWWWWWWWW is warranted here.

Lest we fergit, Muslims can be forced under Sharia to marry an animal(s) iff they are caught have sex wid it - I'LL LET THE OTHER RB'ERS COME UP WID THE IMPLICATIONS/INFERENCES ON THAT.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/26/2012 22:42 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Swazi king gets birthday jet amid financial crisis
Swazi King Mswati III has received a jet for his 44th birthday, despite the tiny country's crippling financial crisis, the prime minister said on state radio Wednesday.

Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said the king now owns a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 twin-engine jet, but insisted the plane was a gift to be used by Mswati and his 13 wives.

"His majesty's government has the honour to announce to the nation that the king has received a gift of a DC-9 aircraft from development partners and friends of the king, to be used by their majesties for travels abroad," Dlamini said.

Mswati celebrated his birthday on April 19 with a three million rand ($386,000, 293,000 euros), partly paid by the state.

He is rated by Forbes magazine as the world's 15th richest monarch with a personal fortune of $100 million, but he reins over one of the world's poorest nations.

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform, a human rights
...not to be confused with individual rights, mind you...
group based in South Africa, has rejected the government's explanation for the jet.

No development partner would want to be anonymous, by their nature development agencies are transparent.
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [278 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It's good to be King.
Posted by: Bobby || 04/26/2012 7:25 Comments || Top||

#2  Yet another lovely invention of old Albion. No mention of the 50% HIV infection rate of men under 30. Rock on King Mswati, Rock on!
Posted by: Besoeker || 04/26/2012 7:41 Comments || Top||

Attack by Gbagbo Supporters Kills 6 in Ivory Coast
[An Nahar] Six people were killed in an overnight attack on a village in Ivory Coast's restive south-west bordering Liberia, a military source said Wednesday.

The source said four attackers were tossed in the slammer, all of them sympathizers of ousted strongman Laurent Gbagbo
... Former President-for-Life of Ivory Coast from 2000 to 2011. Laurent lost to Alassane Ouattara in 2010 but his representtive tore up the results on the teevee and he refused to vacate the presidential palace. French troops assisted the Oattara forces in extricating him from his Fuhrerbunker...
, currently in jug at the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
in The Hague, where he faces charges of crimes against humanity.

The attack took place in Sakre, the source said, speaking from Guiglo, a town about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of the village. Other military and local sources confirmed the attack.

A local said two others were maimed and several homes were torched.

The attackers were based in Liberia and aimed "to loot the villagers of their belongings," the source said, adding that the situation was under control.

The claim could not be independently verified.

Gbagbo's refusal to cede power to Alassane Ouattara
...the current president-for-life of Ivory Coast. He actually beat his predecessor in an election before having to eject him from the presidential palazzo....
after 2010 polls sparked a bloodbath. According to the United Nations
...where theory meets practice and practice loses...
, some 3,000 people died in the violence -- 1,000 of them in the west, a region that is prone to ethnic tensions.

The region still faces security problems, and some 170,000 people remain displaced, the U.N. says.

About 20 people were killed in September 2011 during an attack the authorities blamed on "Liberian mercenaries".

Clashes in the region have pitted pro-Gbagbo militias and mercenaries against President Ouattara's forces.

Ouattara promised reconciliation and accountability during a visit to the region, and on Wednesday the new national assembly opened its session in front of a banner saying: "Sorry".

"I ask for your forgiveness and invite you to go to camps and villages and ask for your own forgiveness," assembly president Guillaume Soro told colleagues.
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under:

Hadi Promises To Promote Freedom Of Press In Yemen
[Yemen Post] President Abdurabu Mansour Hadi
...the second and possibly the last president of Yemen, successor to former President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh...
said on Wednesday he and the Yemeni government will do their best to promote freedom of press in the future in Yemen.

At his meeting with President of International Federation of Journalists Jim Boumelha and head of the Yemeni Journalist Syndicate, Hadi said it is important to promote freedom of press within the efforts to boost development and fight corruption.

Hadi also promised to look into the case of journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye, who was captured two years ago on al-Qaeda links accusations. Boumelha and the Yemeni Journalist Syndicate renewed the call to release this journalist, who used to cover al-Qaeda issues and was placed in durance vile by the systems of the former regime.

Shaye was sentenced to five years in jail on terrorism-related charges and when the turmoil started here in 2011 he was about to be pardoned by the US President Barack Obama
The campaign's over, John...
urged to keep him behind bars.

Meantime, the Yemeni journalists are demanding to reconsider the bylaw of the syndicate in the way it allows to every journalist to participate in making decision and to ensure the independence of press in Yemen.

Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

Al-Janadi urges Saleh to step down from GPC
[Yemen Post] Abdu Janadi, the spokesperson for the General People Congress Party (GPC) and one of the biggest aides of the former President President-for-Life Ali Abdullah Saleh
... Saleh initially took power as a strongman of North Yemen in 1977, when disco was in flower, but he didn't invite Donna Summer to the inauguration and Blondie couldn't make it...
, called on Saleh himself to step down as the head of the GPC, which he founded and led since 1986.Al-Janadi called on Saleh to quit his post as the head of the GPC in order to give way to the new President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi to lead the party.The paper said that Araf al-Zawka, a leading figure in the party, rejected al-Janadi's request while Saleh said that it's the party which can decides who remains and who leaves.According to sources, Saleh said his nephew, Tariq Mohammed Saleh, who was dismissed by a presidential decree early this month, does not want the job reassigned to him by Hadi. He was sacked from his post as the head of Presidential Guard, and reappointed as the commander of 3rd Armored Brigade.Tariq will lead the guards of his uncle, Saleh, who is still the head of the GPC, said the paper.Saleh and Hadi relationship has sharply deteriorated when Hadi refused to attend the meeting of the GPC party, which was headed by Saleh.
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [268 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

Amini prays for Hasina's doom
[Bangla Daily Star] Chairman of a faction of pro-opposition Islami Oikya Jote
... a political party in Bangladesh. In the 2001 elections the party won 2 out of 300 elected members in an alliance with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. It has a focus on building an islamic state, and has used the madrassas to gain support...
(IOJ) Mufti Fazlul Haque Amini has begged in public to Almighty Allah for making the children of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina victims of "forced disappearance".

"Allah, please vacate Hasina's lap the same way she has emptied laps of several mothers," said Amini, an ally of the BNP-led opposition alliance, while offering prayers at a discussion in the city yesterday.
If anyone deserves a visit from the RAB tonight...
Islami Ain Bastobayan Committee (IABC) organised the programme in protest against the "killing, forced-disappearance, hijacking and violence by the government" at its Lalbagh office.

Amini, chief of IACB, also prayed to Allah for putting Hasina under house arrest and ouster of the government within the next three days.

"We have a major weapon -- offering doa (prayers), which is being offered against Hasina at different mosques, madrasas and other places across the country. Waking up from sleep one sudden day, Hasina will discover her throne gone."

Regarding the "disappearance" of former BNP politician Ilias Ali, Amini urged Khaleda Zia
Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ...
to enforce non-stop countrywide shutdown if the government fails to trace him within the BNP's four-day ultimatum that ends Saturday.

Ilias along with his driver disappeared in the early hours of April 18 from the capital's Banani area.

There is no alternative to the government's removal as it has failed to ensure security of the people, said Amini.
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [280 views] Top|| File under:

Britain slides back into recession
h/t Gates of Vienna
Britain was back in recession Wednesday after its economy shrank in the first quarter while Prime Minister David Cameron said the country was being buffetted by the European downturn.

Gross domestic product fell 0.2 percent between January and March, after a 0.3-percent drop in the fourth quarter of 2011, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

That technically placed Britain in recession, which is defined as two successive quarters of contraction, amid a broader downturn that appears to be taking hold across Europe and notably in members of the eurozone.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/26/2012 10:31 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [270 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wow guess the one world government New World Order thing ain't going to work after all! The America with a K thing people were in Texas in the 1990's! Careful kids!
Posted by: Omeash Thud4791 || 04/26/2012 12:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Is it just me, or have we been invaded?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/26/2012 12:03 Comments || Top||

#3  It's only just one person, g(r)omgoru, who doesn't keep the nym from post to post.
Posted by: trailing wife || 04/26/2012 12:09 Comments || Top||

#4  A nym snatcher!
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 04/26/2012 12:19 Comments || Top||

Border patrols in EU countries
Posted by: tipper || 04/26/2012 00:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [286 views] Top|| File under:

Home Front: Culture Wars
Grandson of Malcolm X: US Carried Out 9/11; Slavery Still Exists in the US
Posted by: tipper || 04/26/2012 12:58 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [374 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Quit shoving back there!"
Posted by: Gabby Cussworth || 04/26/2012 15:20 Comments || Top||

#2  Slavery Still Exists in the US

As seen on COPS. However, it doesn't usually feature white Southerners as the perps or pimps.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:3
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/26/2012 15:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Keep beating that dead horse, dumbass.
Posted by: DarthVader || 04/26/2012 16:25 Comments || Top||

#4  Oh, that is cute...except grandpa would have had the creativity to add in something like, "And the Kock Bros ruined Oprah's network!". According to this book I'm going through, the author states that more Europeans were captured by mohammatons and put into slavery during the 16th century than Africans to the New World. Now of course I do not have the numbers but that is a bold statement I think intelligent people do research for when writing books, Mr. Malcom XII, not just tasting what was in Mr.s. O'Donnel's mouth.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 04/26/2012 17:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Mr Malcom X11 might want to look at this article:
The Scourge of Slavery.
Very interesting article. Basically, Muslims took slaves from wherever they could find them - East and West Africa, Europe, wherever. The females were used as sex slaves. The males were castrated (both penis and testicles removed) so they could be used as eunuchs. Then they were forced marched through the desert to their destinations. Many didn't make it.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 04/26/2012 19:43 Comments || Top||

#6  ..there's an article titled "Islam’s place in British history" that covers that issue swksvolFF, but the Burg won't accept the link post with the uk-altermedia-info address.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/26/2012 19:46 Comments || Top||

#7  Empires of the Sea is where I heard it. 16th century struggle of Med and Europe. One of the reasons pointed for the Ottoman/Islam ability at sea was the great enslavements of Europeans for service as oarsmen.

The Great Game covers the other virtures (spit) of mohommatons vs Britain and Russia, 19th century Asia. They had enslaved so many Russians that Russia not only had reason for invasion, it was quite justified.

Then of course the round up of Africans for sale to the New World.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 04/26/2012 21:56 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Is Social Security really "exhausted?" Not at all
It's rare to see a federal official publicly beg reporters to get a story right, but the commissioner of the Social Security Administration seemed ready to get down on his hands and knees at a Monday press briefing. Michael Astrue was cautioning journalists not to scare the public about the meaning of the word "exhaustion."

"Please, please remember that exhaustion is an actuarial term of art and it does not mean there will be no money left to pay any benefits" he warned in issuing the trustees' annual report on the financial health of the Social Security program.

"After 2033, even if Congress does nothing, there will still be sufficient assets (from payroll taxes) to pay about 75 percent of benefits. That's not acceptable, but it's still a fact that there will still be substantial assets there," Astrue insisted.
I'm curious, is this in present dollars or in inflated dollars?
This year's report shows some acceleration of the drawdown of Social Security's vast trust fund reserves. Absent Congressional action, the trust funds of the retirement and disability programs are expected to be exhausted in 2033 as baby-boomer retirements accelerate - three years sooner than projected a year ago.

But Astrue went out of his way to emphasize that the program is far from broke. Social Security took in $69 billion more than it spent last year, according to the report, when you include tax receipts and interest on bonds held in the Social Security Trust Fund (SSTF). The SSTF had reserves of $2.7 trillion last year.

Yet the press plowed right ahead with stories warning that the Social Security retirement program is running out of money. "There won't be much money left for you" after 2033, warned a public radio reporter - a line that pretty well summed up the coverage and nearly forced me to run my car into a ditch.

Americans need to get this right, because Social Security is the primary source of retirement security for most Americans -- and it will be even more important in the future as we continue to dig our way out of the rubble of the Great Recession.

So, what's really going on with Social Security?

1. Social Security isn't running out of money.
I suppose that depends on whether or not benefits keep up with true inflation.
The long-range actuarial shortfall is projected to be 2.67 percent of taxable payroll - in other words, 2.67 percent of all the earnings subject to Social Security contributions. That's a modest shortfall - and it fluctuates over time due to economic cycles and changes in assumptions about growth in taxable earnings. For example, the projected year of SSTF exhaustion was as far off as 2042 in 2003 in the wake of the dot-com bubble; it was as close as 2029 in 1994 due to changed expectations about real wage gains.
Wasn't 1994 about 18 years ago?
2. Yes Virginia, there is a Trust Fund.
In name only. IIRC, Reagan raided it. God might be able to keep up with all the accounting smoke and mirrors and redefinitions of simple key terms in the original idea of SS concept.
Social Security's critics love to argue that the SSTF is a myth, but it's not. Although Social Security was designed as a pay-as-you-go program, every penny it receives is credited to the SSTF, which has been building enormous reserves following benefit cuts enacted in 1983.

The Trustee report confirms - again - that the surplus funds are invested in "special issue Treasury bonds" and that they are "full faith and credit" obligations of the government to Social Security. Since Social Security can't borrow money by law, it uses those reserves to pay benefits whenever cash on hand runs short.

3. This year's news is not about our aging population.

The accelerated SSTF exhaustion date stems from two factors: a 1.6 percent drop in taxable earnings due to the ongoing depressed economy, and a 3.6 percent cost-of-living adjustment awarded for this year.

Our aging demographics do play a role in the longer range imbalance after 2033, because we have not raised revenue sufficient to match the projected growth in our retired population.
Nor have we honored the agreement not to spend those funds on other things, I'll bet.
"The choice is to either reduce benefits 25 percent, or raise revenues 33 percent to adapt," says Steve Goss, chief actuary of the Social Security Administration. Making reforms sooner rather than later would allow for a more gradual phase-in, giving the public plenty of time to plan and adjust accordingly.
Whatever happened to the 2.6% fix mentioned above?
I'm in favor of a modest, graduated payroll tax increase. Social Security benefits are modest, averaging $1,230 per month this year. It's the main source of income for most people over age 65 - more than half for nearly one in two married couples and two in three unmarried individuals, according to the National Academy of Social Insurance.
So forty of fifty years of seizing 7.5% of my income and an additional 7.5% from my employer's ability to pay me comes to $1,230/month? I call that a terrible investment. Where did all the rest of my money go?
A gradual increase in payroll taxes over the next decade would eliminate a sizable portion of the imbalance; another approach is to lift or remove entirely the cap on wages subject to payroll taxes, which currently is set at $110,100.
And jail the politicians who enabled the funds to be misappropriated.
Perhaps that won't be too exhausting an idea for Congress and the media to embrace.
Not to mention too stupid even for them to try to pawn off on the citizenry.
Posted by: gorb || 04/26/2012 02:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [540 views] Top|| File under:

#1  another approach is to lift or remove entirely the cap on wages subject to payroll taxes, which currently is set at $110,100

BLUF: Bad news about anything in Gov't is not to be exposed during an election year.

Are they referring to the "cap" which has been being lifted every year or so for as along as I can remember? This scheme will help the gov't on the payment end as well...as if you don't PAY the cap each year...your total "high years" computations purposes are reduced as well. More money in the front end, less money out the back.

Achieving the "needs based" gov't goal could more easily be acheived by increasing the income tax formula levied against social security earners who have.... God forbid, other sources of income.

I blame the $250. grave marker death benefit for all of the fiscal troubles of the agency.

[snark off]

Posted by: Besoeker || 04/26/2012 7:08 Comments || Top||

#2  Those "special issue Treasury bonds" are just the government's IOUs to itself. Imagine you have a bill to pay and you reach into your wallet to find a piece of paper that says "I owe myself $100". Then you go out and borrow the money to pay the bill. That's the SSTF in a nutshell.
Posted by: Spot || 04/26/2012 7:55 Comments || Top||

#3  Do not say its exausted until after the election, at that point they will reevaulate and adjust the numbers as needed. Hopefully there will be no hot-mic incidents when they mumble "suckers" to the American people.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 04/26/2012 8:38 Comments || Top||

#4  Michael Astrue, Governments own Jon Corzine.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 04/26/2012 9:29 Comments || Top||

#5  Since when does Yahoo try to do serious news?
Posted by: newc || 04/26/2012 11:27 Comments || Top||

#6  I've seen this movie.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/26/2012 12:54 Comments || Top||

Man held for chopping up two women
[Dawn] Police on Tuesday claimed to have tossed in the clink a man for allegedly killing at least two women, chopping off their body parts and dumping them at different places.

The body parts of at least two women were found in different places in March and earlier this month.

DSP Qaiser Ali Shah said the suspect, Muhammad Rafiq Soomro, was tossed in the clink in Patel Para.

He said the held suspect and his friend Iqbal were rickshaw drivers and were involved in chopping off the bodies of two women during the last two months. They threw away the body parts of the victims within the remit of the Soldier Bazaar and Jamshed Quarters cop shoppes, he added. The recovery of all parts of a body took three days.

The police said the suspect allegedly killed a woman, Nasreen, and started using her cellphone. The police traced the location and carried out a raid and tossed in the clink the suspect. However,
a lie repeated often enough remains a lie...
his accomplice was not present at the time of the raid.

The DSP said the held suspect disclosed to the police that he and his accomplice killed those women since they did not like "their profession".

The police said Rafiq originally hailed from Sukkur and was a father of two. He appeared to be a psychopath, they added.
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iraq

Entire cabinet to accompany Gilani for contempt verdict
[Dawn] Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani
... Pakistain's erstwhile current prime minister, whose occasional feats of mental gymnastics can be awe-inspiring ...
on Wednesday said he would appear before the seven-member bench of the Supreme Court on April 26.

"I will appear before the Supreme Court tomorrow," Gilani told his cabinet, while chairing the weekly cabinet meeting here at the PM Secretariat.

Gilani said he had always honoured the court's decisions and fully respects its verdicts.

Moreover, the prime minister announced during the meeting that if any other cabinet member wished to accompany him, he was welcome.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik
Pak politician, current Interior Minister under the Gilani administration. Malik is a former Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) intelligence officer who rose to head the FIA during Benazir Bhutto's second tenure. He later joined the Pak Peoples Party and was chief security officer to Bhutto. Malik was tossed from his FIA job in 1998 after documenting the breath-taking corruption of the Sharif family. By unhappy coincidence Nawaz Sharif became PM at just that moment and Malik moved to London one step ahead of the button men.
said the entire cabinet would accompany the prime minister when he appears before the apex court.

Gilani will be making his third appearance on Thursday in front of the SC bench, headed by Justice Nasirul Mulk, hearing a contempt case against him.

The court is expected to either exonerate the prime minister of all charges, or slap him with contempt.

Gilani had earlier appeared before the Supreme Court on Jan 19 and Feb 13.
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [272 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Science & Technology
Chicken Little Changes His Mind, Sky is OK
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 04/26/2012 11:33 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [274 views] Top|| File under:

Southeast Asia
Lady Gaga warned not to offend Indonesians
Posted by: ryuge || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This should be vwery intehwesting.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/26/2012 1:20 Comments || Top||

#2  She shouldn't go. They're just doing it to see what they can get away with.
Posted by: gorb || 04/26/2012 2:25 Comments || Top||

#3  I hope she does it. It would be entertaining beyond all measure to see her blown up by a suicide bomber. One of her music videos is her being killed again and again, so I'm sure she's used to the idea.
Let's not go there, shall we? Lady Gaga may be a lot of things, few of them particularly good, but she doesn't deserve death at the hands of crazed killers. Few people do.

Posted by: gromky || 04/26/2012 3:17 Comments || Top||

#4  She should just cut Indonesia out of her world tour and let the rabid muslims take the heat for it. See who has more support. If the rabid muslims do she's just putting her fans at risk, if her fans do it might do some good to show that.

She should also announce that she'd be happy to meet any Indonesian fans when her tour hits Singapore or Australia.
Posted by: rjschwarz || 04/26/2012 8:41 Comments || Top||

#5  I see her in a total burka, veil whatever just a little eye slit.

Then every once in a while she's back-lit and the niqab, hijab, gunny sack (whatever the hell they wear) is shown to be mostly see through like a scrim curtain. Now, what's she got underneath, Purina kitty chow??
Posted by: AlanC || 04/26/2012 11:07 Comments || Top||

#6  Howcome nobody tells her not to offend me?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 04/26/2012 11:47 Comments || Top||

#7  "I'm just a girl, little ol'e me"
Posted by: swksvolFF || 04/26/2012 12:49 Comments || Top||

#8  EU, that's because you don't lop people's heads off or blow up foreign tourists invited into your country [for GDP revenue enhancement]. Amazing how a death penalty actually does alter people's behavior.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 04/26/2012 12:50 Comments || Top||

#9  Hack performer. She's basically repeating Madonna's career antics.
Posted by: OldSpook || 04/26/2012 13:59 Comments || Top||

#10  Lady Gaga's continued career offends me.
Posted by: DarthVader || 04/26/2012 18:25 Comments || Top||

#11  Who?
Posted by: Barbara || 04/26/2012 18:49 Comments || Top||

#12  She's insanely rich. I'd do it too, if only I thought I could pull it off. ;-)
Posted by: gorb || 04/26/2012 19:05 Comments || Top||

Philippines, US stage war games in face of China warning
ULUGAN BAY, Philippines: Hundreds of American and Philippine troops waded ashore on Wednesday in a mock assault to retake a small island in energy-rich waters disputed with China, a drill Beijing had said would raise the risk of armed conflict.

The exercises, part of annual US-Philippine war games on the western island of Palawan, coincide with another standoff between Chinese and Philippine vessels near Scarborough Shoal in a different part of the South China Sea.

China said last week the drill would raise the risk of confrontation. On Wednesday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said China was committed to dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the dispute.

“We are certainly worried about the South China Sea issue,” Cui told a news briefing in Beijing, saying “some people tried to mix two unrelated things, territorial sovereignty and freedom of navigation.”

The comments come before high-level talks with the Obama administration. China, which claims the South China Sea based on historical records, has sought to resolve disputes bilaterally but its neighbors worry over what some see as growing Chinese assertiveness in its claims in the region.

“Location (of the drill) is irrelevant,” Ensign Bryan Mitchell, spokesman for the US Marines, told reporters. “These exercises take place on a regular basis. This year it happens to be in Palawan. The planning for this took place months ago prior to any events that are currently in the headlines.”

US President Barack Obama has sought to reassure regional allies that Washington would serve as a counterbalance to China in the South China Sea, part of his campaign to “pivot” US foreign policy toward Asia after wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Philippine military officials sought to play down the exercise. Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, military commander for the western Philippines, said the drill “simply means we want to work together, improve our skills.”

Sabban’s area of command includes Reed Bank and the Spratlys, a group of 250 mostly uninhabitable islets spread over 427,350 sq km (165,000 sq miles) west of Palawan. The Spratlys are claimed entirely by China, Taiwan and Vietnam and in part by Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines.
If we had known oil was there we could have claimed then in 1945...
Proven and undiscovered oil reserve estimates in the South China Sea range as high as 213 billion barrels of oil, the US Energy Information Administration said in a 2008 report. That would surpass every country’s proven oil reserves except Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, according to the BP Statistical Review.

A Philippine exploration firm, Philex Petroleum Corp. , said on Tuesday its unit, Forum Energy Plc, had found more natural gas than expected around Reed Bank, where Chinese navy vessels tried to ram one of Forum Energy’s survey ships last year. The Philippines is due to open oil-and-gas exploration bids in Reed Bank on Friday.

Sabban said the military drill was not focused on China.

“Never was China ever mentioned in our planning and execution,” he told reporters. “China should not be worried about Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises.”

Nearly 7,000 American and Philippine troops were launched from US and Philippine ships in the simulated amphibious assault to recapture an island supposedly taken by militants. Commandos came ashore from US and Philippine ships in a simulated amphibious assault to recapture an island supposedly taken by militants.

Jumping from rubber boats as they hit the shore, the commandos engaged in a mock firefight, making their way inch by inch from the beach to a navy facility to rescue “hostages” and recapture the base.

Four days ago, commando teams rappelled from US helicopters and landed from rubber boats in a mock assault to retake an oil rig in northern Palawan, 18 km (11 miles) off the town of El Nido on the South China Sea.

The annual war games come under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty, part of a web of security alliances the United States built in the Asia-Pacific region during the Cold War. The drills are a rehearsal of a mutual defense plan by the two allies to repel any aggression in the Philippines.

Hundreds of kilometers to the north, a Philippine coast guard ship patrols near Scarborough Shoal, a group of half-submerged rock formations 124 nautical miles west of the Philippines’ main island of Luzon. Philippine and Chinese ships are often in the same areas of the South China Sea, with two Chinese maritime surveillance ships a few miles away from the coast guard vessel and five Chinese fishing boats working the waters nearby.
Posted by: Steve White || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [630 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Again, Zamboanaga Today Artic is claiming that the PHIL may had sold Scarborough Shoal [PHIL = Panatag] to China back during the Macapagal presidency 1961-1965, + that China has a "Deed of Sale" to same???


Besides Guam + CNMI's Tinian, Tokyo would like JAPAN'S SDF to rotate + use what will likely be sovereign PHIL-controlled Milbases where US Units will also be rotationally camped [Trilateral Base-Sharing].

As per BLOOMBERG, at least 60% of the now-4000 US Marines coming to Guam from Okinawa will allegedly be "rotational", which IIUC infers Guam will only get NMT 1,600 Marines of the 4000 to be permanently based here - rest will be TDY only. IFF THE USDOD-MARINES ARE DOING WHAT I BELIEVE OR THINK THEY ARE DOING, GUAM MAY GET LESS THAN EVEN THE 1,600.

We'll see, as the announcement has repor been delayed due to the concerns of the CODEL that visited Guam recently.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 04/26/2012 0:31 Comments || Top||

#2  part of his campaign to "pivot" US foreign policy toward Asia after wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iraq and Afghanistan are in Asia. Oh, those brilliant minds at Reuters, what would we ever do without them?
Posted by: gromky || 04/26/2012 3:15 Comments || Top||

#3  The area is classified as 'Southwest Asia".
Posted by: Pappy || 04/26/2012 22:29 Comments || Top||

Iran probes diplomat's Brazil groping scandal
[Emirates 24/7] Iran announced on Tuesday it is investigating angry allegations made in Brazil that one of its diplomats fondled underaged girls in a Brasilia swimming pool.

Foreign ministry front man Ramin Mehmanparast told news hounds the accused diplomat had been recalled to Iran and would be "dealt with" according to the ministry's disciplinary rules.

He also said the incident, which occurred in mid-April, was being twisted by some Western and Arab media "for political gain" against Iran.

According to Brazilian media, the diplomat was accused of groping at least four Brazilian girls aged between nine and 15 while swimming in a chic Brasilia sports club, making them cry and attracting the fury of their parents.

"People wanted to kill him. If the club had not deployed security personnel, today they would be looking for me to talk about homicide or lynching," the father of one of the girls, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying by the G1 news website.

Brasilia police tossed in the calaboose the Iranian but quickly released him because of his diplomatic immunity.

Brazilian media identified the diplomat as Hekmatollah Ghorbani, 51, and said he was the third-ranking official in the Iranian embassy in Brasilia. They said he was married, with children, and had been in his post for two years.

The Iranian embassy defended the diplomat by issuing a statement saying the groping allegations were the result of a "cultural misunderstanding" and accusing the Brazilian media of bias.

But Brazil's foreign ministry said it was looking into the case and taking formal steps of notifying the Iranian mission.

On Tuesday, when asked to explain the "cultural misunderstanding", Mehmanparast replied: "On principle, we do not accept this person being at a mixed-sex swimming pool, and it is considered a disciplinary violation and therefore he was summoned home at once and we are reviewing his case."

He added that the diplomat "will be dealt with according to the foreign ministry's disciplinary rules."

In Iran, men and women of any age are not permitted to share swimming pools.

Before the scandal broke, Iran's diminutive President Mahmoud Short Round Ahmadinejad had been making plans to visit Brazil this year.

Mehmanparast confirmed Ahmadinejad will make the trip "in the future," adding that a date would be announced as soon as it was organised.
Posted by: Fred || 04/26/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [263 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

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Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2012-04-26
  Libya bans religious, tribal or ethnic parties
Wed 2012-04-25
  Sacked Yemen Air Force Commander Quits Post
Tue 2012-04-24
  India orders deportation of 10 French nationals over Maoist links
Mon 2012-04-23
  Kazakh court sends 47 men to prison for terrorism
Sun 2012-04-22
  Tons of Explosives Seized from Militants Planning Attack in Kabul
Sat 2012-04-21
  Sudan Rebels Kill 79 Troops, Militia in Blue Nile
Fri 2012-04-20
  8 die in Michoacan state as conflict goes hot
Thu 2012-04-19
  Qaeda leader suicide bombs himself and family in Iraq
Wed 2012-04-18
  Hadi Refuses to receive Former Yemen President
Tue 2012-04-17
  UN Camp in South Sudan Targeted by Sudanese Warplanes
Mon 2012-04-16
  US drone strike kills senior al-Qaeda Militant in Yemen
Sun 2012-04-15
  Afghan capital hit by blasts, gun attack
Sat 2012-04-14
  U.S. drone strike kills 7 al-Qaeda members in Yemen
Fri 2012-04-13
  23 Reportedly Dead as Syria Regime, Opposition Trade Charges of Breaking Ceasefire
Thu 2012-04-12
  Nork rocket launched, then 'breaks up'

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