McCain ceded too much ground - refusing to fill in the blank slate that Obama presented. McCain's Prez campaign was a disgrace. Similar to our current ROE in Afghanistan. We shall remain "gentleman" while the Talibs hid out in "civilian" houses and no night raids. It loses the fight and American lives without the opposition bending a knee. I've had it, and I'm happy to see a hard-nose Romney campaign. I might even contribute
Posted by: Frank G ||
Apparently Romney also moved his speech up, 15 min before Obama was due to start. They're inside Axelrod's OODA loop. The O campaign whined that they said they were going to Ohio first, so there. LOL
A massive swarm of grasshoppers has invaded a rural town in Sacramento County, eating foliage, hopping around and creating a nuisance. Well, grasshoppers do hop. And fiddle, too, and then want to live of the ant's earnings. So I guess California is the place they should be.
Folks in Herald, about 30 miles southeast of Sacramento, say their new neighbors moved in at the beginning of June.
They brought their appetites and their friends. Scientists haven't done a head count yet, but locals have a pretty good estimate. Somebody will probably blame on the Joos.
"Umm, 50 million," said 7-year-old Moe Gunter.
And with that many bugs jumping all over the place and eating their own body weight every couple days or so, vegetation is getting worked over. I hear Fried Grasshopper is good.
"The roses on this side are about half-way gone," said Denae Gunter, pointing out plants in front of her home. "The hedges here are slowly going..."
But if residents and farmers in Herald are fed up with them, UC Davis bug experts are kind of excited. A bug expert's paradise!
Entomologist Steve Heydon said these types of swarms are rare. Go to Somalia. Or is it the Sudan?
The working theory: This winter was dry and warm, so there's less vegetation around for the bugs to eat. But the winter before saw a lot more precipitation than usual, so with plenty of food there were a lot of extra little bugs born. Ah-Ha! Global Worming! I knew it would come up sooner or later.
People in rural Sacramento County can look forward to seeing their "friends" around for as long as another month.
Good catch, abu do you love -- thanks! Rantburg really is a group effort. :-) I googled the first sentence of the article and came up with an LA Times blog link, which now has been added, hopefully successfully.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Zim-bob-wean army generals have threatened unspecified action against Finance Minister Tendai Biti for refusing to release funds for the recruitment of an additional 5,000 soldiers.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Wednesday said Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa told Mr Biti he would let the generals loose on him if Treasury does not release $2.5 million for the recruitment exercise and other operational expenses.
But the MDC said the recruitment of additional soldiers was not necessary as the government was struggling to pay those already in service.
Mr Mnangagwa is a member of President Bob Muggsy Mugabe's Octogenarian President-for-Life of Zim-bob-we who turned the former Breadbasket of Africa into the African Basket Case... Zanu PF while Mr Biti is the MDC secretary general.
"The statement by the Defence minister is in bad taste as it comes barely two weeks after the murder (by Zanu PF supporters) of Cephas Magura, MDC the MDC Mudzi North chairman," the party said in a statement.
"The country has already started recording an increase in cases of politically-motivated violence and we must rely on the likes of (Mr) Mnangagwa, as a senior government official to denounce unruly behaviour.
"The Defence minister must know that there are other means of solving challenges other than by threats and intimidation." Four years ago, the inclusive government froze the recruitment of civil servants citing a severe cash squeeze.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga, convicted of using child soldiers in his rebel army, should be sentenced to 30 years in jail, the International Criminal Court's ... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ... chief prosecutor said on Wednesday.
"The prosecution requests the chamber to impose a sentence of 30 years in prison," Luis Moreno-Ocampo told judges before the court in The Hague, adding he was asking for a "severe sentence".
Lubanga, 51, was convicted in March of war crimes for using child soldiers in a brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the ICC's first verdict since it started work a decade ago.
He was found guilty of abducting children as young as 11 and forcing them to fight and commit atrocities in 2002-3 in the DRC's northeastern gold-rich Ituri region. During the trial prosecutors told how maidens of tender years served as sex-slaves, while young boys were trained to fight.
Lubanga risks 30 years in jail or, if judges decide the crimes are exceptionally grave, life in prison.
In a submission in May, Moreno-Ocampo asked judges to take into account the scale and brutality of Lubanga's crimes, the vulnerability of his victims and the impact on them.
"The prosecution will request a sentence in the name of each child recruited, in the name of the Ituri region," the outgoing prosecutor told the court on Wednesday.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Thousands of Ivorians are fleeing into neighbouring Liberia following news of the failed coup attempt announced by the Ivorian authorities.
Cote d'Ivoire's interior minister Mr Hamed Bakayoko accused forces loyal to the ex-president 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... of perpetuating the failed coup which he said was planned in Ghana and Togo by exiled Ivorians.
Following the killing of the UN troops early this week, the two countries closed their borders while Monrovia assured Abidjan that it would never let its territory to be used a breeding ground for attacks into Cote d'Ivoire.
An initial exodus began on Monday with the killing of seven UN soldiers inside the Ivorian territory by gunnies who allegedly cross the border from Liberia.
Since the aborted coup on Tuesday night, residents in the capital, Abidjan as well as in several parts of the country and the regions along the Liberian border are engulfed in panic and are scampering for safety.
Humanitarian workers said the exodus was especially heavy all along the estimated 200 kilometer-long northwestern and south western borders heading for towns and villages inside Liberia.
On Monday, Albert Brooks of the Danish Refugee Council who is working in the region, told news hounds that the Ivorian refugees fled murders committed by unidentified gunnies who set their houses ablaze.
[Bangla Daily Star] The government is taking measures to resist arson and vandalism centring on hartal ... a peculiarly Bangla combination of a general strike and a riot, used by both major political groups in lieu of actual governance ... s called by the opposition, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since 1981. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide... in parliament yesterday.
Besides increasing police patrol and involvement of intelligence agencies, it will set a plan to maintain law and order during hartal hours, she said. Patrolling of police has already been increased at some sensitive points in the capital and law enforcers have also been deployed to frisk people upon suspicion, Hasina added.
She informed politicians that a total of 59 cases had been filed across the country in connection with "untoward incidents" in the recent hartals enforced by the main opposition BNP and its allies. Five people were killed and 83 others injured while 79 vehicles were torched and vandalised during the hartal hours.
The BNP-led opposition enforced a series of hartals across the country after BNP Organising Secretary M Ilias Ali went missing around midnight of April 17 from Banani in Dhaka.
The number of people enjugged Maw! They're comin' to get me, Maw! in the cases so far is 304, 18 cases are under trial and 41 cases are under investigation, she told the House, adding coppers had been given orders to bring people, who were involved in arson and vandalism, under speedy trial tribunal.
Families will be told that they should work at least 35 hours a week, rather than rely on state handouts, if they want to avoid their children living in poverty.
Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, will say that Labour's strategy to spend more than £150 billion in extra benefit payments for poor families had failed to stop child poverty.
Figures to be published today are expected to show that the Government failed to meet its statutory target to halve the problem by 2010 - despite the huge amount of taxpayers' money spent on tackling it.
Mr Duncan Smith will unveil a new analysis which will show that hundreds of thousands of children will be lifted out of poverty if at least one of their parents works 35 hours a week earning the minimum wage.
The introduction of the universal credit, under the Government's welfare reforms, will mean that people returning to work from benefits will continue to receive some state support. Mr Duncan Smith will also set out plans to change the definition of child poverty so that a more sophisticated analysis is used.
Any child living in a household which earns less than 60 per cent of the typical income is defined as living in poverty. This is likely to be changed so that children living in workless households or those with drug-dependent parents are highlighted.
Speaking at the Abbey Community Centre in London, Mr Duncan Smith will accuse Labour of "pouring vast amounts of money" into increased benefit payments to tackle poverty. He is expected to say that the strategy has failed and parents need to be helped back to work rather than simply subsidised by the state.
"For those who are able to work, work has to be seen as the best route out of poverty. For work is not just about more money -- it is transformative. It's about taking responsibility for yourself and your family."
Mr Duncan Smith will indicate that Labour wasted large amounts of public funds as it failed to halve child poverty. "The last Government spoke about the need to tackle poverty, and poured vast amounts of money into the pursuit of this ambition -- £150 billion was spent on tax credits alone between 2004 and 2010.
"Overall, the welfare bill increased by some 40 percent in real terms, even in a decade of rising growth and rising employment," he will say.
Ministers are drawing up plans to introduce a series of measures to gauge whether families are living in poverty, such as whether parents have drug or alcohol problems or whether they are working.
Mr Duncan Smith's call for disadvantaged families to return to work may come at an inopportune time with unemployment rising as the double-dip recession has led to a lack of jobs.
William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, caused controversy recently by telling Britons they had to work harder to help the UK escape from recession.
"For those who are able to work, work has to be seen as the best route out of poverty. For work is not just about more money -- it is transformative. It's about taking responsibility for yourself and your family."
Personal responsibility, social weaning, working for money.... all very controversial.
A quick calculation on my restaurant napkin:
37 hr week on Minimum Wage = approximately £840 pcm after tax and NI.
Money out on that = £820, (conservative figures of £500 rent, £120 Council Tax, £80 travel to work, £120 essential bills), leaving £20 pcm for everything else. Baked potatos breakfast, lunch and dinner!
Dole money = approximately £256 pcm, rent paid, Council Tax paid, no travel to work costs, that leaves £136 pcm after bills. Maybe some canned tomatoes with the baked tatties.
Why attack the unemployed and further reduce their means, when the real problem is slave labour and poverty anyway under an unrealistic Minimum Wage designed to make the rich richer.
Rant off, lunch time, off to forage for some nuts and berries
Oh dear, not an idiot who believes the minimum wage raises wages! It only creates unemployment. Think of it as compulsory unemployment level. i.e. If you add less value than 120%* of the "minimum wage" per hour, you're not allowed to be employed.
*20% Cost of employment overhead, management costs, Employer NI.
I'll wear my idiot badge alongside my other medal if that's the case.
Interesting factoids you state there. Taxed @ more than 100% of earnings, examples please. The benefits system as a Labour ploy? Don't. You don't think the Tory lack of taxing the rich isn't a ploy in the same style? Goose and gander, boyo. As for means testing, I would have thought that was better for your line of thinking or rather no benefit system at all, which was actually originally a safety net to end the appalling poverty in your land.
Now, rather than resorting to name calling, perhaps you can leave your Dark Side and address my point that it is not worth getting out of bed for a job that pays not even £20 pm compared to benefits. And don't tell me the unemployed are workshy, or that they should all become Engineers off their own backs. Your system is stupid, you are, in fact, stupid and are inviting a whole lot more trouble on your once green and pleasant land with your self-righteous, selfish veiws.
I would advise cutting back on the double G&Ts with your lunch, you may not be enjoying them much longer, and they do not encourage coherency or civility.
Deadeye seems to think that wealth and jobs are a fixed pie, so that the only question is who gets how large a slice.
In reality, wealth can be grown for the entire society if capital is well invested and if it is enhanced not only with natural resources but also with human intellectual value. The latter can be as modest as the pleasant demeanor and organization of a receptionist or as broad as a major technology invention.
BrightPebbles is right to say that the minimum wage limits the number of employed. The question from my perspective is whether a given level of minimum wage does so to the degree that it overshadows some social benefit provided by the wages in the earner's pocket. In the US, applying minimum wage indiscriminately is a major reason that 70% of teenagers do not have any job this summer. That means: no spending money, but also no work experience to draw on in the future.
Oh dear, not an idiot who believes the minimum wage raises wages! It only creates unemployment.
No. It causes inflation as well as unemployment. Every time the minimum wage rises, so does inflation. Think about it: if nobody can afford an item, whoever is selling the item will be forced to lower the price. But if the minimum wage is increased so that people can afford the item, whoever is selling it will keep the price the same or even raise it.
The minimum wage causes unemployment by telling workers and their potential employers that they cannot legally compete against workers in other countries. Then everybody acts surprised when the jobs are shipped offshore. Then the prices for the imported goods are jacked up to whatever those on the dole and minimum wage workers can afford.
Better to cut the dole and let employers pay people what they're worth instead of letting the nanny state determine what the wages will be. The market is smarter than the nanny. It might also help to stop importing dole recipients from Third World countries.
Correct me if I'm wrong, lotp, but what you're trying to say is that people should accept dirt poor wages so that their real wage be wisely invested by some suit? So sorry to tell you, but the trust has evaporated, your assets have been exported and the cheery receptionists smile replaced by the loathing of insecurity. As for your 70% youth unemployment, well, now their parents can't even afford to give them pocket money and, unfortunately, their first language isn't Chinese.
So, yes, let your betters, hell-bent on OWG for their own benefit, degrade your children's. futures. They've really been showing how to do it so well, haven't they?
So Ebang, what caused inflation and unemployment in the pre-Minimum Wage era?
Well, let's see...there was FDR with his socialist policies in the 1930's and then there was LBJ with his socialist policies in the 1960's.
Now, it's true that we had a correction in the stock market in 1929. There were some folks who got caught betting with borrowed money. But at least when they'd jumped out of a window we didn't have to bail them out.
EU, yep, and you forgot the '70's oil crisis which caused a lot of pain. However, I will leave you with the thought that these crises are man-made and occur at predictable intervals for the benefit of very few.
If I remember right, apologies no time for searching, the San Fran Bay area has a local minimum wage of $13, don't quote me, my point is that a popular sandwich place could no longer sell its foot longs for $5 on account of wage costs. I'm sure one of their options was cutting staff therefore working the remainder harder...if layoffs are still legal thereabouts.
I also know that peoples' givashits can rust and break when they find that not working is just the same, only they don't have to go to work. Once anectdote is a fellow whose idea of working is to have a couple cold ones then go into an interview. Auto failure, except for the proof of still looking for work.
Well only an idiot would be looking for a minimum wage job in Nunavut. Anybody with a brain would travel a couple hours south to Ft McMurray (Alberta Oil Sands) where due to extreme labour shortages even a coffee server at Timmys gets to name his/her price.
Britain has opted out of new EU directive on confiscating criminal assets in move described as drawing 'a line in the sand' on interference from Brussels.
Dominic Raab MP, a leading Tory backbencher, said: 'Ministers have drawn an important line in the sand, refusing to give up democratic control over asset freezing because it is not in the British national interest.'
Home Office minister James Brokenshire told MPs that Britain would not accept the proceeds of crime directive because it could undermine domestic rules.
Under the Lisbon treaty, which was formally agreed in December 2009, the UK won the right to opt in or out of any law and order policies by 2014.
The Government's decision to use the opt out is the first time that ministers have used it on one of the 130 new EU measures that the UK must accept or reject by 2014.
In February more than 100 Tory MPs challenged the Prime Minister to take a stand against Europe and particularly the 130 possible opt outs in the Lisbon Treaty.
In the letter to The Daily Telegraph, signed by two former cabinet ministers and several committee chairmen, the MPs warned that if David Cameron failed to act the transfer of powers to Europe will become irreversible.
Mr Brokenshire told MPs Britain has extensive, effective laws governing seizures from organised criminal gangs - much of it on a civil, not criminal, footing.
Mr Brokenshire said Britain would continue to negotiate to try and improve the directive, which he said would be benefit some parts of Europe.
The directive would have created the power to freeze assets without a court order using criminal law, opening the door to legal challenges, Mr Brokenshire said.
He added that "if criminal law procedural protections and a criminal law standard proof were introduced... our law enforcement agencies would find it harder to disrupt the workings of some of the most dangerous organised criminals".
During the debate, Eurosceptic Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg MP said introducing the directive would mean all policies to confiscate assets and tackle money laundering would be dictated by Brussels.
pulled most of my 401K money left in Janus Overseas Fund (JAOSX) this Spring. I see bad things abroad, and no real chance the PIGS+ will make the tough decisions (see: France) for an adult path correction. Before 2008, Janus kicked ass.
Posted by: Frank G ||
The architects of the EMU and the euro asserted that one goal was to "counterbalance" the US and the dollar. In fact, the whole mess was predicated on, assumed, and required continued US strength and growth.
Some counterbalance, that can't hold itself up. I doubt there will be any Marshall Plan this time guys, sorry.
[Dawn] Three people of two rival groups on Tuesday died in an armed clash in Zangikhel village in Lakki Marwat.
Waris Khan told Lakki police that his son, constable Azizullah, and nephew Mohammad Bashir were sprayed with bullets by Baram and his brothers, Mir Aslam and Sultan, in the village's playground. He said the attack critically injured Azizullah and Bashir, who were later pronounced dead.
One alleged attacker, Sultan Ayaz, also died after he was attacked by the rival group in the playground.
His sister, Zar Bibi, lodged an FIR with Lakki police, saying she heard noise from the playground near her house and ran towards it.
"I saw Latifullah armed with a Kalashnikov and his brothers, Idrees and Barkatullah, with pistols running away," she said, adding she found her brother, Sultan, injured. She said her brother died on the way to hospital.
Police blamed the firing on a dispute between children and said they had registered separate cases and began investigation.
Meanwhile, ...back at the wine tasting, Vince was about to start tasting his third quart... assistant coordination officer Liaqat Ali Bhatti on Tuesday distributed goats among poor people of Marmandi Azeem union council in Manjiwala village.
The event was organised by Community Motivation and Development Organisation (CMDO), a nongovernmental organization, with the support of Pakistain Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF) under its Livelihood Enhancement and Protection Programme, which is meant to alleviate poverty, increase livelihood opportunities and improve living standard of rural population.
CMDO programme manager Moamar Jalal, provincial coordinator Azeem Khan, regional programme manager Mohammad Israr, social organiser Ishfaq Ahmad Khan, EDO (health) Dr Abdul Ghaffar Wazir, district livestock officer Mohammad Ayub, former local government representatives and notables of the area were present on the occasion.
The CMDO representatives said besides distributing goats, their organization also provided livelihood opportunities to the poor people of the area. They said CMDO also helped people start small hotel or tailoring businesses and establish general store, medical store and saloon
shop and fertilizer outlets.
"Poor and deserving residents of union council also got horse and hand-driven carts under the programme," Mr Moamar said.
ACO Liaqat Bhatti lauded the efforts of CMDO for poverty alleviation and provision of livelihood opportunities to the residents of the backward district.
[Dawn] Pakistain Moslem League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif ... served two non-consecutive terms as prime minister, heads the Pakistain Moslem League (Nawaz). Noted for his spectacular corruption, the 1998 Pak nuclear test, border war with India, and for being tossed by General Musharraf... on Wednesday said that the nation was fully aware of motives behind conspiracies being hatched against the Supreme Court, DawnNews reported.
The PML-N chief, in a statement issued here on Wednesday, cautioned those 'elements' who were facing the apex court's verdicts, that they will make a mistake by believing to get away from law's clench.
He said that political parties, civil society, intellectuals and masses are standing with the free judiciary and the chief justice.
The president also said that Republicans, not Democrats, caused the current budget crisis. "I love listening to these guys give us lectures about debt and deficits. I inherited a trillion dollar deficit!" he said. Obama compared Republicans to a person who orders a steak dinner and martini and then, "just as you're sitting down, they leave, and accuse you of running up the tab."
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.