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Hi there, ! Thursday December 15th, 2011 

US drone may have come down in Afghanistan, not Iran Iran hijacked US drone, says Iranian engineer
Vladimir Putin blasts John McCain as a war criminal U.S. War in Iraq Declared Officially Over
Saviour of 2,000 Afghans who saved
a baby's life executed by the Taliban
Iran claims to have four Israeli and three American drones
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Top Posted by Beavis 12/15/2011  15:32 5 Comments 267 words Link to article
Iowa is not flat as a pancake, despite what most people think. Northeast of Cedar Rapids is actually pretty hilly, like the undulating waves of a waffle, or perhaps a misshapened blintz or flapjack johnnycake. It's an agricultural (corns and soybeans), landlocked state, which may come as an unpleasant surprise to those, like me, who first come here in search of exciting urban beach vacations. While Iowa's landmass is a little larger than England's, its population is only three million, about 17 times smaller than Britain's, and with 786 times fewer castles. The state's name derives from the Ioway Indians, which translates as "casino people." Of Iowa's 99 counties, 88 are classified as rural, and God only knows why the other 11 aren't. Iowa's capital and largest city is Des Moines (pop: 203,000), whose primary business is insurance. The state is 96 percent white. So if you're looking for uncultured white insurance agents, you just hit the jackpot.

On the state's eastern edge lies the Mississippi River, dotted with towns with splendid names like Keokuk, Floopsboro, Quankadoorf, Chumbawumba, Bananarama, Kajagoogoo, Millivanilliville, and Right Said Fred. Each once was a booming city on the swollen turgid banks of that Ol' Man Ribbah, flowing down to dem' Ol' Cotton fields in Alabammysaw. Not much travels along the muddy and polluted Ol' Mississippi no mo' dese ol' days, no suh, ceptin' dem ol' rusty-bucket barges of grain and an occasional Eskimo kayaker weeping -- as only a noble, nature-loving savage can -- as he circumnavigates the garbage, beer cans, dead dreams and assorted debris left by the 96% white insurance agents who stole it from him.

#1: He's good, but sorely in need of an editor.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2011-12-15 18:56 ||Top

#2: He has too many notes.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain|| 2011-12-15 19:11 ||Top

#3: Is it any coincidence that the Hawkeyes were beat by Iowa State Cyclones, and that there was a tornado outbreak?! Its actions like this which will inspire the country yokals to riot and burn coffee shops and skinny jeans outlets.
Posted by: swksvolFF|| 2011-12-15 20:00 ||Top

#4: "the uncultured white insurance agents"

-great name for a punk-ska alternative band...
Posted by: Broadhead6|| 2011-12-15 21:43 ||Top

#5: NOT a dance band, tho
Posted by: Frank G|| 2011-12-15 23:34 ||Top

Top Posted by Gloth Glesh3340 12/15/2011  14:02 0 Comments 4 words Link to article

Top Posted by Beavis 12/15/2011  13:35 1 Comments 929 words Link to article
The federal government issued a scathing report Thursday that outlines how Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office has committed a wide range of civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and discrimination and carrying out heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged citizen complaints.

The report, obtained by The Associated Press ahead of its release, is a result of the U.S. Justice Department's three-year investigation of Arpaio's office amid complaints of racial profiling and a culture of bias at the agency's top level.

The Justice Department's conclusions in the civil probe mark the federal government's harshest rebuke of a national political fixture who has risen to prominence for his immigration crackdowns and became coveted endorsement among candidates in the GOP presidential field.

Apart from the civil rights probe, a federal grand jury also has been investigating Arpaio's office on criminal abuse-of-power allegations since at least December 2009 and is specifically examining the investigative work of the sheriff's anti-public corruption squad.

The civil rights report said federal authorities will continue to investigate complaints of deputies using excessive force against Latinos, whether the sheriff's office failed to provide adequately police services in Hispanic communities and a large number of sex-crimes cases that were assigned to the agency but weren't followed up on or investigated at all.

The report took the sheriff's office to task for launching immigration patrols, known as "sweeps," based on complaints that Latinos were merely gathering near a business without committing crimes. Federal authorities single out Arpaio himself and said his office, known as MCSO, has no clear policies to guard against the violations, even after he changed some of his top aides earlier this year.

"Arpaio's own actions have helped nurture MCSO's culture of bias," wrote Thomas Perez, who heads the Justice Department's civil rights division, adding that the sheriff frequently gave such racially charged letters to some of his top aides and saved them in his own files.

"MCSO is broken in a number of critical respects. The problems are deeply rooted in MCSO's culture," he said Thursday.

The Justice Department's expert on measuring racial profiling said it's the most egregious case of racial profiling in the nation that he has seen or reviewed in professional literature, Perez said.

Investigators interviewed more than 400 people, including Arpaio, reviewed thousands of documents and toured county jails as part of its probe, he said.

If the sheriff's office doesn't turn around its policies and practices, the federal government could pull millions of dollars of federal funding.

Arpaio's office did not immediately respond to AP requests for comment.

The report will require Arpaio to set up effective policies against discrimination, improve training and make other changes that would be monitored for compliance by a judge. Arpaio faces a Jan. 4 deadline for saying whether he wants to work out an agreement. If not, the federal government will sue him and let a judge decide the complaint.

Arpaio, the self-proclaimed toughest sheriff in America, has long denied the racial profiling allegation, saying people are stopped if deputies have probable cause to believe they have committed crimes and that deputies later find many of them are illegal immigrants.

Arpaio has built his reputation on jailing inmates in tents and dressing them in pink underwear, selling himself to voters as unceasingly tough on crime and pushing the bounds of how far local police can go to confront illegal immigration.

The report also said he and some top staffers tried to silence people who have spoken out against the sheriff's office by arresting people without cause, filing meritless lawsuits against opponents and starting investigations of critics.

One example cited by the Justice Department is former top Arpaio aide David Hendershott, who filed bar complaints against attorneys critical of the agency along with bringing judicial complaints against judges who were at odds with the sheriff. All complaints were dismissed.

The anti-corruption squad's cases against two county officials and a judge collapsed in court before going to trial and have been criticized by politicians at odds with the sheriff as trumped up. Arpaio has defended the investigations as a valid attempt at rooting out corruption in county government.

The civil rights report said Latinos are four to nine times more likely to be stopped in traffic stops in Maricopa County than non-Latinos and that the agency's immigration policies treat Latinos as if they are all in the country illegally. Deputies on the immigrant-smuggling squad stop and arrest Latino drivers without good cause, the investigation found.

A review done as part of the investigation found that 20 percent of traffic reports handled by Arpaio's immigrant-smuggling squad from March 2006 to March 2009 were stops — almost all involving Latino drivers — that were done without reasonable suspicion. The squad's stops rarely led to smuggling arrests.

Deputies are encouraged to make high-volume traffic stops in targeted locations. There were Latinos who were in the U.S. legally who were arrested or detained without cause during the sweeps, according to the report.

During the sweeps, deputies flood an area of a city — in some cases, heavily Latino areas — over several days to seek out traffic violators and arrest other offenders. Illegal immigrants accounted for 57 percent of the 1,500 people arrested in the 20 sweeps conducted by his office since January 2008, according to figures provided by Arpaio's office.

Police supervisors, including at least one smuggling-squad supervisor, often used county accounts to send emails that demeaned Latinos to fellow sheriff's managers, deputies and volunteers in the sheriff's posse. One such email had a photo of a mock driver's license for a fictional state called "Mexifornia."

#1: anything from our corrupt politicized DOJ should be disbelieved until proven
Posted by: Frank G|| 2011-12-15 18:45 ||Top

Top Posted by Durnham Freebody 12/15/2011  12:54 0 Comments 4 words Link to article

Top Posted by tipper 12/15/2011  12:44 5 Comments 469 words Link to article
Vladimir Putin accused the United States of masterminding the murder of Libyan dictator Col Muammar Gaddafi as he mounted an extraordinary personal attack on Senator John McCain.

In his strongest outburst against America in years, the Russian prime minister alleged that Col Gaddafi's death had been meticulously planned and executed by Washington.
Actually we didn't, but thanks for blaming us, the CIA's reputation can always use the advertising...
"Who did this?," he asked rhetorically when discussing the late Libyan leader's death during a televised question and answer session designed to smooth his return to the Russian presidency next year. "Drones, including American ones. They attacked his column. Then using the radio - through the Special Forces, who should not have been there - they brought in the so-called opposition and fighters, and killed him without court or investigation."

The Pentagon dismissed Mr Putin's claim out of hand.

"The assertion that US special operations forces were involved in the killing of Colonel Gaddafi is ludicrous," Capt John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said.

"We did not have American boots on the ground in the Libya operation. All our support was done through the air and on the seas."

A former KGB spy famous for his hostility towards Washington, Mr Putin made it clear he was generally opposed of US foreign policy and its imperious attitude.

"Sometimes it seems to me that America does not need allies, it needs vassals," he commented. "People are tired of the dictates of one country."
Oh, the irony...
He saved his most vicious comments for Mr McCain, the US senator, however after clearly taking huge offence at a tweet composed by the US politician which read "Dear Vlad, The Arab Spring is coming to a neighbourhood near you."
Once again John McCain demonstrates his ability to get under ANYONE'S skin...
Casting any pretence of diplomacy aside, Mr Putin suggested that Sen McCain was a crazed military veteran.

"Mr McCain fought in Vietnam," said Mr Putin. "I think that he has enough blood of peaceful citizens on his hands. It must be impossible for him to live without these disgusting scenes anymore. Mr McCain was captured and they kept him not just in prison, but in a pit for several years," he continued. "Anyone (in his place) would go nuts."

Mr McCain responded on Thursday with another tweet: "Dear Vlad, is it something I said?"
Anti-Americanism strikes a chord among many ordinary Russians who still blame Washington for the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

#1: sore losers of the Cold War.
Posted by: 3dc|| 2011-12-15 13:16 ||Top

#2: I might agree with some of this but "meticulously planned"? I don't think so.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 15:49 ||Top

#3: Anti-Americanism strikes a chord among many ordinary Russians who still blame Washington for the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union.

Those anti-Americans would be speaking German if Americans hadn't helped them in the 20th Century's World Wars. But they're not the first to take help from Uncle Sam and then kick him in the shins.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 15:52 ||Top

#4: *** cough **** cough **** cough **** ....

Boy, that AM Roll just sticks to ya.
Posted by: JosephMendiola|| 2011-12-15 21:12 ||Top

#5: coming from the former KGB agent...this is classic...shut up Putty, you had me at criminal.
Posted by: Broadhead6|| 2011-12-15 21:46 ||Top

Top Posted by Anonymoose 12/15/2011  11:53 2 Comments 0 words Link to article

#1: So Meyer gets a job with a defense contractor, goes public complaining they're sending the good stuff to Pakistan, thence to the Taliban. Gets fired. His employer goes public--this is illegal as hell--about drunk and not a team player and so forth--to ruin his prospects for another job.
Coincidence? You be the judge.
Posted by:|| 2011-12-15 13:44 ||Top

#2: Paging Courtney Massengale...

That once an eagle, stricken with a dart,
Said, when he saw the fashion of the shaft,
"With our own feathers, not by others' hands

This is the "Perfumed Princes" closing ranks. And it is disgusting - if we had an honest Inspector general and a real leader as CinC, they would have put a stop to this BS quick fast and in-a-hurry.
Posted by: OldSpook|| 2011-12-15 13:56 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  10:32 7 Comments 206 words Link to article
[NY Times] The United States military officially declared an end to its mission in Iraq on Thursday even as violence continues to plague the country and the Muslim world remains distrustful of American power.

In a fortified concrete courtyard at the airport in Baghdad, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta thanked the more than one million American service members who have served in Iraq for "the remarkable progress" made over the past nine years but acknowledged the severe challenges that face the struggling democracy.

"Let me be clear: Iraq will be tested in the days ahead -- by terrorism, and by those who would seek to divide, by economic and social issues, by the demands of democracy itself," Mr. Panetta said. "Challenges remain, but the U.S. will be there to stand by the Iraqi people as they navigate those challenges to build a stronger and more prosperous nation."

The muted ceremony stood in contrast to the start of the war in 2003 when an America both frightened and emboldened by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, sent columns of tanks north from Kuwait to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

As of last Friday, the war in Iraq had claimed 4,487 American lives, with another 32,226 Americans wounded in action, according to Pentagon statistics.

#1: Over for us maybe.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 11:21 ||Top

#2: Can we declare the Afghan war officially over too so we can leave that hellhole? Stop payments to Pakistan in the bargain...will save us $$billions and, far more importantly, the lives of our best and bravest.
Posted by: remoteman|| 2011-12-15 11:53 ||Top

#3: I'd like to quarentine about a dozen countries over there. No one in, no one out till they're toilet trained.
Posted by: AlanC|| 2011-12-15 13:08 ||Top

#4: I'd like to quarentine about a dozen countries over there. No one in, no one out till they're toilet trained.

I'm afraid the reason we don't is oil. But I still think it's a good idea.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 13:30 ||Top

#5: Do the Militants know?
Posted by: JosephMendiola|| 2011-12-15 21:07 ||Top

#6: Sure they do Joe - they are rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the slaughter to come.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2011-12-15 22:01 ||Top

#7: Panetta; the latest in a string of Bambi stick puppets. Right down to the ' Let me be clear,' Hope and Changey quote.
just another self-important POS selling our country downriver.
Posted by: USN, Ret.|| 2011-12-15 22:40 ||Top

Top Posted by tipper 12/15/2011  09:50 4 Comments 84 words Link to article
Dr Karen Woo was with nine others in the Kuran Wa Munja district of Badakhshan when they were killed.

A British doctor shot dead by the Taliban was part of a humanitarian mission that had helped 2,000 Afghans, an inquest heard yesterday.

Dr Karen Woo was executed alongside nine other aid workers after they tried to cross a mountain river in August last year. The 36-year-old, who was due to get married a fortnight later, suffered 'catastrophic' injuries from two gunshot wounds in the attack.

#1: She was murdered because she was:

A. Not a muslim
B. Female
C. A Doctor
D. Not a muslim.

Any question? Can we get some of these leftist organizations to EVER say anything except praise of the religion of peace?

Even this article skirted around the nature of killing aide workers...the article handled the taliban with kid gloves.
Posted by: Bill Clinton|| 2011-12-15 10:27 ||Top

#2: Need to start calling them what they are: tribal savages not worthy of parlay or quarter.
Posted by: OldSpook|| 2011-12-15 14:43 ||Top

#3: Karen Woo:

Posted by: Zhang Fei|| 2011-12-15 15:19 ||Top

#4: Just another Human Sacrifice to Allah....

And that is exactly what it is - an unwilling Human Sacrifice.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2011-12-15 18:55 ||Top

Top Posted by tipper 12/15/2011  09:40 12 Comments 123 words Link to article
RUSSIAN Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says he regrets that the leaders of the USSR did not fight to the last to prevent its collapse two decades ago.

"The USSR should have started timely economic reforms and changes as well as reforms to strengthen democratic change in the country," ex-KGB agent Putin told Russian television viewers in a phone-in.

"They should have consistently, fearlessly and steadfastly - without burying their heads in the sand or waving their arses in the air - fought for the territorial integrity of our country," he said.

Putin's comments were his latest expression of regret that the USSR collapsed 20 years ago in December 1991, after he in 2005 memorably described its demise as the "greatest geopolitical catastrophe" of the 20th century.

#1: What. A. Putz.
Posted by: Zhang Fei|| 2011-12-15 12:23 ||Top

#2: Less a case of seeking to make a silk purse from a sow's ear, more like trying to turn cancer into candy...
Posted by: M. Murcek|| 2011-12-15 12:33 ||Top

#3: At least the Botox/Plastic Surgery helps him say that with a straight face.
Posted by: dk70 the scantily clad|| 2011-12-15 12:34 ||Top

#4: Like the McCain bash, it's a remark designed to appeal to a sector of his voter base.

Not that tactics like that have been used in the US....
Posted by: Pappy|| 2011-12-15 13:04 ||Top

#5: I think he's sincere, Pappy---he really wants to rebuild the Russian Empire.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2011-12-15 13:31 ||Top

#6: Hat tip to Drudge for this picture. I think it makes him look a little puffy. Not that I'm as trim as I used to be...

Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 13:41 ||Top

#7: Ice cold eyes though.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 13:42 ||Top

#8: Putin encourages compliance from the President of the Ukraine with a dental drill.

... oughta be part of the rantburg stable of representative images.
Posted by: OldSpook|| 2011-12-15 13:50 ||Top

#9: Russia was once a great power, now they have an economy about equal to Italy and the value of their oil and natural gas reserves is diminishing as North America becomes an energy exporter.

I think there is a bit of hurt pride in his bluster as well as trying to convince the riotious folks in Russia to concentrate on a foreign enemy.

After the fall of the wall Russia could have become great, another Germany. Instead under Putin they tried to be another USSR and that's just not possible in the modern era.
Posted by: rjschwarz|| 2011-12-15 14:17 ||Top

#10: If Putin is paying attention to tweets, he's got too much time on his hands:

He saved his most vicious comments for Mr McCain, the US senator, however after clearly taking huge offence at a tweet composed by the US politician which read "Dear Vlad, The Arab Spring is coming to a neighbourhood near you."
Posted by: Zhang Fei|| 2011-12-15 16:45 ||Top

#11: Ithink he's sincere, Pappy---he really wants to rebuild the Russian Empire.

I don't doubt it. However, he has to keep his voting base happy to do so.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2011-12-15 18:57 ||Top

#12: **** cough **** cough **** cough ....

Posted by: JosephMendiola|| 2011-12-15 21:10 ||Top

Top Posted by tipper 12/15/2011  09:34 0 Comments 425 words Link to article
The English-language Tehran Times reports that Iran claims to have four Israeli drones that it has shot down, and that it says that it will put them on display, along with an American RQ-170 that mysteriously fell in Iranian territory two weeks ago and two other American drones.

According to the source close to the Tehran Times, the foreign unmanned aircraft that Iran has are four Israeli and three U.S. drones.

The most advanced spy drone in Iran’s possession, which was recently downed, is RQ-170 unmanned U.S. plane, which the Islamic Republic announced on December 4 had been brought down by the country’s armed forces.

The first video footage of the RQ-170 Sentinel, nick-named the Beast of Kandahar, was broadcast on Iranian television on December 8.

The drone had entered Iran from the eastern neighboring country of Afghanistan.

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in a recent exclusive interview with Fox News, said that the stealth drone campaign along the Iran-Afghanistan border will “absolutely” continue.

The interview was published on December 13.

A number of countries have reportedly asked for permission to inspect the aircraft.

According to the source, the four Israeli drones that are now in Iran’s possession had violated the country’s airspace along the eastern borders, and the three U.S. unmanned aircraft had penetrated into the country’s airspace along either the eastern or southern border.

In an interview published on January 2, 2011, the commander of the Aerospace Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, announced that the Iranian military forces had brought down two foreign spy planes over the Persian Gulf, not mentioning the exact date and location of the events.

“They (the Westerners) have made limited aggressions against the country and we have shot down a number of their highly advanced spy planes so far. For example, we have brought down two spy planes over the Persian Gulf,” Hajizadeh said at the time.

“We have constant clashes with the enemy’s surveillance and reconnaissance aircrafts,” Hajizadeh stated, adding that the Iranian experts had reverse engineered and manufactured some of the planes that had been shot down.

In addition, Hajizadeh announced on June 28, 2011 that Russian experts had inspected the two foreign spy planes, which he said belonged to the United States.

Hajizadeh said at the time that Russian experts had requested Iran to inspect the places where the planes were shot down.

Seeing is believing. And in the case of the Israeli drones, they could well be drones that were sold to Turkey....

Top Posted by 12/15/2011  06:54 3 Comments 570 words Link to article
By Michael Ledeen

It just has to be Israel, according to the pundit class.  You know, that warmonger Netanyahu.  Or maybe it’s us.  Maybe it’s Obama, who after all killed bin Laden and Qadaffi, toppled Mubarak and bin Ali, and has proclaimed that “Assad must go.” Who else could be behind the “mysterious” wave of assassination, sabotage and explosions all over the country, from military bases to factories, from pipelines carrying natural gas to the Turks to automobiles in downtown Tehran carrying nuclear physicists to or from work?

Before we get to the whys and wherefores, a bit of detail:  the huge detonation at Karaj, which, as I have explained, surprised the attackers and distorted our understanding.  The operation was aimed at the Revolutionary Guards Corps, specifically at General Hassan Tehrani Moghadam, who was both the architect of the national missile program and one of the nastiest officials in that legendarily nasty organization.  The attackers did not know that there was a large quantity of rocket fuel on the base that day (which was the reason Moghadam was there).  The special fuel came from North Korea, and it was supposed to double tne range of Iran’s missiles.  The explosion that killed Moghadam and scores of his comrades ignited the rocket fuel, with dramatic results.  To date, 377 dead have been reported to the supreme leader’s office.  Among the dead are the attackers–they couldn’t escape the big explosion–and at least four North Korean officials, who were there for the celebration.

The attackers came from the internal opposition, and so far as I know they had no ties to any foreign anything, not a foreign intelligence service, not a foreign military organization, not a foreign government.

I’ve been a lonely voice for quite a while, saying that the opposition (call it the Green Movement, for lack of an updated logo) would become more violent, that the movement was, if anything, more powerful than it was at the time of the big demonstrations a year and two years ago, and that the regime was full of opposition sympathizers and collaborators.

Because it’s obvious that whoever’s blowing up Iran, they’ve got a lot of help from some very important insiders.  Don’t take it from me;  ask Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.  He knows that if his enemies can blow up those installations, they can blow up most anything.  Of late, Khamenei hasn’t been particularly active in public events.  Like his buddy, Hezbollah chief Nasrullah, he’s keeping his head down and his profile low.

The sources upon whom I rely for such information tell me there is more to come, and I’m sure that the supreme leader believes just that.  He may not know the provenance of the army amassed against him and his regime, and he may well convince himself, as our own entrail readers have convinced themselves, that he is under siege from the satanic forces in Washington and Jerusalem.  But I don’t believe it.  Maybe–probably, even-Stuxnet.  I don’t think the Greens are up to that one.  Maybe, if you insist, some of the assassinations of the physicists, although I rather suspect they were suspected of disloyalty and were rubbed out by the regime.

But this is a major campaign, and I think it represents the revenge of the Iranian people against their torturers, murderers and oppressors.

#1: I'm not a chemist, nor even a rocket scientist. But I have a problem with new fuel doubling the range of a missile. That means the fuel contains more energy per unit of mass or volume. To, say, double the blast in the combustion chamber means the combustion chamber may not hold it. The acceleration would be substantially higher. The missile structure would be stressed beyond the design limits unless there had been a substantial fudge factor built in, which means extra unnecessary weight.
Or they could burn it more slowly so the same energy is exerted from less fuel and thus burn it longer.
But that would require completely rejiggering the plumbing, valving, and aiming or controlling mechanism.
Anything's possible, I suppose, but this is stretching it.
OTOH, it did blow up satisfactorily, so there's that.
Posted by:|| 2011-12-15 13:58 ||Top

#2: Look RA, Ledeen is one of these people who think that because they've been to a place and spoken to locals, they are experts on it. Actually, he knows as much about Iran as Tom Friedman knows about China---diddly squat.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2011-12-15 15:02 ||Top

#3: Who’s really blowing Up Iran?

Who cares, as long as they keep it up.
Posted by: Barbara|| 2011-12-15 22:09 ||Top

Top Posted by Anguper Hupomosing9418 12/15/2011  06:02 4 Comments 32 words Link to article
It does give us a chance to run our favorite pic of Jacques one more time.

#1: I guess crime DOES pay in France.
Posted by: Cincinnatus Chili|| 2011-12-15 08:28 ||Top

#2: Only two years? How do I get such a deal? His bank account is full and now he gets 2 years at club med.
Posted by: newc|| 2011-12-15 09:49 ||Top

#3: A culture of Men, not of Laws, just like the US. Get some rope and a tree.
Posted by: Hellfish|| 2011-12-15 14:32 ||Top

#4: 2-year suspended = 0 years.
Posted by: Ulose Munster2089|| 2011-12-15 14:41 ||Top

Top Posted by Anguper Hupomosing9418 12/15/2011  05:28 6 Comments 160 words Link to article
An avalanche of more than 100 apples rained down over a main road in Keresley, Coventry on Monday night. The street was left littered with apples after they pelted car windscreens and bonnets just after rush-hour.

One driver said: "The apples fell out of the sky as if out of nowhere. They were small and green and hit the bonnet hard.

Keresley parish councillor Sandra Camwell said a freak black-out happened on the same road last year. She said: "Strange things do happen in this part of the world. I think it's highly likely that apples did fall from the sky. We're in an area with a spooky history, where there have been witches for centuries, after all."

Jim Dale, senior meteorologist, from British Weather Services, said: "We've all heard of the fish and frogs falling from the sky and apples is certainly unusual because they have some weight to them but it is not out of the realms of possibility."

#1: 'Ow ya like 'em apples?
Posted by: M. Murcek|| 2011-12-15 12:34 ||Top

#2: Charles Fort rules! Believe! cf: "The Book of the Damned".
Posted by: borgboy|| 2011-12-15 13:06 ||Top

#3: "...and it don't rain little green apples in the wintertime..."

Speaking of which, why would apples be green at this time of year? Maybe they were transported from the southern hemisphere. Maybe they were transported from another dimension!

Posted by: Angie Schultz|| 2011-12-15 16:58 ||Top

#4: Or maybe they're Granny Smiths.
Posted by: lotp|| 2011-12-15 18:13 ||Top

#5: sounds like common road apples
Posted by: Frank G|| 2011-12-15 18:26 ||Top

#6: So that's where they are!

Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain|| 2011-12-15 19:12 ||Top

Top Posted by ryuge 12/15/2011  04:20 0 Comments 614 words Link to article
31 days of testimony ended today as the defense team for accused terror supporter Tarek Mehanna called its last witness in his federal trial in Boston. Defense lawyers insisted they had shown that the young man was not an Al Qaeda sympathizer.

The jury in US District Court could begin deliberating the case Friday afternoon, following what should be dramatic closing arguments from both the prosecution and defense.

One of Mehanna's lawyers, Janice Bassil, said, "I think we're going to be able to show that the government never proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. They did a lot to try and exaggerate things to scare the jury, but this case is about what happened, not what he said or what he thought. There is still freedom of speech in this country."
When it comes to the arc to jihad, what one says and thinks are part of what happened.
The defense's last witness was Marc Sageman, of Sageman Consulting LLC, a sociologist who said he served as a spy in the CIA, and who worked with the Afghan commanders who defeated the Soviet Union's occupation of their country. Sageman, also a certified doctor and psychiatrist, has become a leading analyst in studying the definition of a terrorist from a social science perspective,
What on earth does that mean?
and he has worked as an advisor to national security agencies ranging from the FBI to the CIA, the Secret Service, and Army special operations units.
He sounds awfully impressive...was his advice followed, after they listened to him very politely?
Defense attorneys attempted to use his testimony to show that Al Qaeda does not seek to recruit members or raise money on the Internet, thereby weakening the argument that Mehanna provided "material support" to the organization.
Everybody knows Al Qaeda puts the materials out there, then waits for people to persuade themselves. Active recruiting is too dangerous, given all those interested agents of the FBI, the CIA, MI6, the Germans, the French, etc and so forth -- surely Dr. Sageman MD, PhD has not forgotten Inspire magazine?
Sageman was also used in an effort to refute the testimony of Evan Kohlmann, a analyst for the prosecution who told jurors that Al Qaeda seeks to inspire and recruit its followers by reaching them on the Internet. Sageman said he uses a "scientific method" for his studies, while Kohlmann "tells stories."
Well, then. Nothing more to be said. Except, of course, that the best way to convey information to others is to tell stories, after which they can dig into the data for themselves.
He also claimed that Al Qaeda's most successful recruitment period was before the Sept. 11 attacks, and it occured in countries where the Internet was rarely used. He said with a straight face the distribution of information on the Web has not worked. He said, "Al Qaeda is basically vanishing right now. It's bankrupt."
That would be the original group in Pakistan. The associated groups are doing fine, bolstered as they are by drug and crime money. It's surprising such an expert as Dr. Sageman MD, PhD was unaware of that.

Top Posted by ryuge 12/15/2011  04:03 2 Comments 97 words Link to article
Deserters from the Syrian army killed at least 27 soldiers and security force personnel in a series of clashes in the southern province of Deraa at dawn on Thursday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The British-based group said the deserters fought forces loyal to Assad's regime in two locations in the city of Deraa itself, as well as a checkpoint at a crossroads about 25 km to the east of the city.

Rami Abdulrahman of the Observatory said in clashes near Musayfrah, east of Deraa, all 15 personnel at a joint army and security checkpoint were killed.

#1: God strategy to attack checkpoints and make the roads unsafe.

Wonder if they thought it up on their own?
Posted by: phil_b|| 2011-12-15 04:31 ||Top

#2: Moby troll!
Posted by: Beavis|| 2011-12-15 06:28 ||Top

Top Posted by tipper 12/15/2011  03:53 0 Comments 34 words Link to article
China's credit bubble has finally popped. The property market is swinging wildly from boom to bust, the cautionary exhibit of a BRIC's dream that is at last coming down to earth with a thud.

Top Posted by ryuge 12/15/2011  03:37 1 Comments 140 words Link to article what may have been a terrorist 'work accident'
A bomb went off aboard a motorized rickshaw near a municipal building packed with visitors in the southern Philippines Thursday, killing the two men on board. The bomb exploded less than a kilometer away from the town hall in Maguindanao.

"The (rickshaw) was moving when it suddenly exploded. The two people aboard were killed," provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Marcelo Pintac said.

Pintac added that investigators were looking into the possibility that the two men may have been planning to leave the bomb elsewhere but that it detonated prematurely. He said celebrations marking the founding anniversary of the town were going on and there were many people in the area when the explosion occurred, although no one else was wounded.

#1: FYI a lot of Malayo-Indonesian Jihadis are off training + fighting wid the various ME, North African, East African. AFPAK + Central Asian MilTerr Groups = Islamist Insurgencies, to include the "Arab/Muslim Springs" Popular Movements agz long-established Regional Govts-Regimes.

Once trained + blooded, many will undoubtedly return back to their homelands to form veteran Cadres for the pourpose of waging Jihad agz the PHILIPPINES, INDIA + SE ASIA.
Posted by: JosephMendiola|| 2011-12-15 21:53 ||Top

Top Posted by g(r)omgoru 12/15/2011  03:08 3 Comments 4 words Link to article

#1: The opinion piece in the WSJ was called, by the authors, a "Manifesto for Sustainable Capitalism".

I love the fact that they used the word "manifesto" because it pretty much gives away the fact that this is liberal fascism.

Also I like the fact that they used the word "sustainable" because it gives away the fact that that the argument for their idea is gibberish.

Posted by: Lord Garth|| 2011-12-15 09:21 ||Top

#2: I read this blather yesterday morning. It must have been because the caffeine hadn't hit my bloodstream yet...but I have to admit that the "Blood and Gore" authorship reference went over my head :-(
Posted by: Ricky bin Ricardo (Abu Babaloo)|| 2011-12-15 10:19 ||Top

#3: I thought according to the news, algore is too fat to effectively unleash his chakra. Or lead.
Posted by: swksvolFF|| 2011-12-15 19:59 ||Top

Top Posted by Steve White 12/15/2011  00:00 1 Comments 501 words Link to article
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani President Ten Percent Asif Ali Zardari was discharged from a hospital in Dubai late Wednesday, and will stay in his house in the Gulf state before returning home, his spokesman said.
Just to make sure he can return home alive, and no, that isn't about his stroke...
Farhatullah Babar couldn't say when Zardari would fly to Pakistan, but expressed "no doubt" that he would do so.
As soon as his arms are strong enough...
He said he was not sure whether doctors had given the 56-year-old leader permission to travel yet.

Zardari's illness and his sudden trip abroad have triggered rumors and media reports that Zardari could be set to resign, or even be ousted in a military coup. Officials have denied this, saying he will remain president of the nuclear-armed, violent and politically unstable nation.
Why he would want to is anyone's guess. You'd think he'd have enough stashed away from the ten percent commissions all these years, even allowing for expenses.
So long as the president remains out of Pakistan, the media, his opponents and political observers are likely to continue to wonder whether he is being forced from power.
Once he returns they'll continue to wonder whether he is being forced from power...
A close associate of Zardari has said the president suffered a "mini-stroke," but there has been no official diagnosis.
"I dunno, Quincy, what do you think?"
"Well Sam, given the eye-rolling, face-making, gibbering, twitching, beet red complexion and incoherence, it's either a stroke or he's in an islamic rage."
Earlier, the presidency faxed a statement bearing the letterhead of the American Hospital in Dubai, giving details of Zardari's health. Signed by a doctor at the hospital, it said on admission the president was complaining of numbness in the left arm, twitching and had suffered a "loss of consciousness that lasted for a few seconds."

The statement did not give a diagnosis, but said Zardari was to continue taking his regular heart medication.
Wonder if he has some atrial fibrillation and what he had was an embolic event? Oh my, those can be devastating...
It said doctors performed procedures including an MRI scan of his brain and a lumbar puncture taking fluid from his spine, and that results "were within normal range."
They found his spine?
Zardari was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 6. His absence conveniently coincided with domestic political attacks against him over a memo delivered to US officials, asking for Washington's help in reining in Pakistan's powerful military.

#1: It said doctors performed procedures including an MRI scan of his brain and a lumbar puncture taking fluid from his spine, and that results "were within normal range."

You mean there's a baseline for Zardari?
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain|| 2011-12-15 02:23 ||Top

Top Posted by Beavis 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 389 words Link to article
DENVER - A commercial U.S. satellite company said it has captured a photo of China’s first aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea off the Chinese coast.

DigitalGlobe Inc. said Wednesday one of its satellites photographed the carrier Dec. 8. A DigitalGlobe analyst found the image Tuesday while searching through photos.

Stephen Wood, director of DigitalGlobe’s analysis center, said he’s confident the ship is the Chinese carrier because of the location and date of the photo. The carrier was on a sea trial at the time.

DigitalGlobe, based in Longmont, Colo., sells satellite imagery and analysis to clients that include the U.S. military, emergency response agencies and private companies. DigitalGlobe has three orbiting satellites and a fourth is under construction.

The aircraft carrier has generated intense international interest because of what it might portend about China’s intentions as a military power.

The former Soviet Union started building the carrier, which it called the Varyag, but never finished it. When the Soviet Union collapsed, it ended up in the hands of Ukraine, a former Soviet republic.

China bought the ship from Ukraine in 1998 and spent years refurbishing it. It had no engines, weaponry or navigation systems when China acquired it.

China has said the carrier is intended for research and training, which has led to speculation that it plans to build future copies.

China initially said little about its plans for the carrier but has been more open in recent years, said Bonnie S. Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“It wasn’t until the Chinese actually announced they were sending it out on a trial run they admitted, `Yes, we are actually launching a carrier,’” she said.

China publicly announced two sea trials for the carrier that occurred this year, she said.

The carrier’s progress is in line with the U.S. military’s expectations, said Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Defense Department spokeswoman.

A Defense Department report to Congress this year said the carrier could become operationally available to the Chinese navy by the end of next year but without aircraft.

“From that point, it will take several additional years before the carrier has an operationally viable air group,” Hull-Ryde said in an email.

She declined to comment on the DigitalGlobe photo, saying it was an intelligence matter.

Top Posted by trailing wife 12/15/2011  00:00 1 Comments 313 words Link to article
Detained officials had invited Iran's supreme leader to visit weapons depot same day as kaboom, Al Arabiya reports.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hoseyni Khamenei has ordered the arrest of a number of senior members of the Revolutionary Guards he suspects of planning to assassinate him, pan-Arab news Channel Al Arabiya reported Tuesday.

Khamenei demanded an investigation of the detainees, "and others," about the alleged liquidation plot, an "informed source in Iran" told the Emirati news station.

According to the source, "some of those" jugged had invited Khamenei to come and visit the same weapons depot near Tehran where a large blast killed 17 people, among them the head of Iran's ballistic-missiles program.

Khamenei was invited to visit on Novemeber 12, the same day as the blast, according to the Al Arabiya report.

Mojtaba Khamenei, Khamenei's son and an ardent supporter of Iran's diminutive President Mahmoud Short Round Ahmadinejad, was one of the officials that was tossed in the slammer, according to the report.

The kaboom at Bidganeh, near the city of Karaj, was the first of three mysterious blasts to occur in Iran in the last few months.

Khamenei survived an attempt to assassinate him in 1981 which paralyzed his right arm.

#1: Who can you trust, Imam?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 16:00 ||Top

Top Posted by Steve White 12/15/2011  00:00 1 Comments 1298 words Link to article
BAGHDAD: After billions of dollars and nearly nine years of training, American troops are leaving behind an Iraqi security force arguably capable of providing internal security but unprepared to defend the nation against foreign threats at a time of rising tensions throughout the Middle East.

Building up an Iraqi military and police able to protect the country became a key goal of the United States and its allies after they defeated and then disbanded the Saddam Hussein-era force in 2003. As America’s role in Iraq fades, the results appear at best incomplete.
By 2012 we thought the Iraqis would do 99% of their own internal security while we spent the next few years teaching them the basics of western-style external security. Looks like we won't have that. Too bad for Iraq.
Iraqi forces — currently about 700,000 strong — have been largely responsible for security in Baghdad and other cities since 2009, carrying out their own raids and other combat operations against insurgents.

More than 10,000 Iraqi soldiers and police have been killed since the new force was established — more than double the number of American military deaths. Few if any military forces in the Arab world have as much combat experience within the ranks.

“They can kick a door in and knock out a network’s leadership as good as anybody I’ve seen,” said US Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen, commander of the NATO training mission, which will soon be disbanded. “I would say that they have the discipline and the tenacity to fight as well as anybody I’ve ever seen.”

Nevertheless, Iraqi forces have their work cut out for them. They will be operating in a country which, although quieter than a few years ago, saw more people killed, wounded and kidnapped last year than in Afghanistan, according to US figures. The departure of American forces this month also leaves Iraq vulnerable to threats from its neighbors — Iran to the east, Turkey to the north and Syria to the west. A major Arab country of about 30 million people with some of the world’s largest proven petroleum reserves is incapable of defending its borders in one of the most unstable parts of the world.

The Iraqi military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Babaker Zebari, has said it would take until at least 2020 for Iraq to defend its airspace. Without a well-trained and equipped air force, Iraqi ground forces would be hard-pressed to defend against incursions across borders with few natural barriers and little cover from vegetation.

“An army without an air force is exposed,” Zebari was quoted as saying in a report last October by the US agency responsible for overseeing Iraqi reconstruction.

Even though a full-scale ground invasion from its neighbors may seem remote, the possibility of incursions from Turkey against Kurdish rebels, or Iranians along disputed border stretches or even from a Syria facing an internal revolt cannot be ruled out, especially at a time when the Arab Spring and the looming showdown between the West and Iran are raising tensions throughout the region.
Question is, if any of those scenarios brewed up would the U.S. come back to help Iraq? President Romney likely would. President Perry certainly would. President Obama? Not a chance in hell.
External defense seemed a low priority in the early years of the Iraq war, when tens of thousands of American troops, tanks, planes and artillery served as a deterrent. During those years, the main threat was posed by extremists, including Al-Qaeda in Iraq, who were battling the Americans and their allies in the streets of Baghdad and other major cities. Iraqi forces were organized and trained primarily to augment the US-led force, using the American military as a rough model.

Soon, Iraqi commanders were giving Powerpoint briefings, and their generals were handing out specially made coins emblazoned with their names and units as souvenirs. Iraqi soldiers at street checkpoints were wearing kneepads slouched down around their ankles, again just like their American counterparts.

But there wasn’t enough time to develop the full package — logistics, intelligence, medical services and a fully integrated command structure — for the Iraqis to operate as effectively without US support. A budget crisis in 2009 and a lengthy political stalemate the following year “crippled both the qualitative development of Iraq’s forces and its ability to implement its own development plan,” wrote analyst Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The head of Iraqi military intelligence, Hatem Al-Magsousi, said it takes the Iraqis a week to plan and carry out a military operation that they could execute in a day with American help.

Such delays could be costly if Al-Qaeda — as expected — takes advantage of a security vacuum to reconstitute itself following major defeats on the battlefield in the final years of the war.

“Unless the Iraqi security forces continue to put pressure on Al-Qaeda, they could regenerate capability and come back in an even worse way than they have in the past,” said a US military spokesman, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan.

Another key concern is keeping the security forces free of any political pressure or sectarian interference. For over a year now, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has effectively controlled the Ministries of Interior and Defense while conflicts between political blocs have delayed the appointments of permanent ministers. That leaves both key ministries leaderless and without direction at a crucial time.

It also has allowed Al-Maliki to pack some units with members of his tribe and appoint political favorites to command positions with no effective checks and balances.

“That means Maliki is making all these senior officer decisions, and that’s not a healthy modus operandi for a vibrant democracy,” said retired Lt. Gen. James Dubik, who was in charge of training Iraqi forces in 2007 and 2008.

The role of Al-Maliki, who spent years abroad as a leader of the underground resistance to Saddam’s regime, also threatens to worsen sectarian tensions in the ranks. Those tensions nearly tore the country apart in the dark days of intense communal fighting in 2006 and 2007.

Public trust is further undermined by corruption, including selling fuel for military vehicles on the black market or pocketing the salaries of nonexistent soldiers.

“The widespread practice of buying command appointments is particularly destructive because it places corrupt officers at the head of divisions, brigades and battalions. Such commanders then commit theft and fraud to recoup their ‘investment’ in the job,” wrote Iraq analyst Michael Knights in a report this summer for The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Despite the US military withdrawal, Iraq and the United States will still maintain a security relationship. Gen. Caslen is in charge of a $10 billion weapons sales program that will be run out of the US Embassy next year with nearly 160 military personnel. Hundreds of civilian contractors will train Iraqi troops on equipment they’ve bought from American companies, including 18 F-16 fighter jets which Baghdad ordered this year.

That will give Washington some leverage with the Iraqis — but hardly to the degree it enjoyed when there were nearly 170,000 US troops on Iraqi soil.

What remains unclear is whether without the Americans, the Iraqi military will continue the transition to a well-oiled professional force, free of political influence and capable of integrating their various weapons systems and units into an effective machine capable of defending the nation.

“Left to their own devices, the transition does not occur,” Dubik said.

Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, deputy commander of US Forces-Iraq, told reporters last week that there is a “question mark right now for external security, but for the internal security we’ve done all we can do.”

“We really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Helmick said.

#1: Iran will begin annexing territory and the current administration will piss away all of the fine efforts of our troops, contractors, aide workers, private citizens, employees of the Corps of Engineers. And they'll, with the help of MSNKGB paint it as a result of Bush's failed foreign policy.

The only foreign policy that will fail in Iraq, the LACK of a coherent foreign policy toward the Middle East by our administration...that and electing a closet muslim POTUS.
Posted by: Bill Clinton|| 2011-12-15 10:30 ||Top

Top Posted by Steve White 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 574 words Link to article
JERUSALEM —In a shift, Israeli officials are welcoming the prospect that Syria’s embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, will be overthrown, an event Defense Minister Ehud Barak says could be weeks away.

The officials’ new tone contrasts with conventional thinking here in years past, when Assad was credited with maintaining calm along the frontier with the Israeli-held Golan Heights and considered a stable alternative to a possible takeover by Islamic fundamentalists.

As Assad has come under mounting pressure from a revolt at home and moves to isolate him abroad, initial wariness by Israeli officials of speaking publicly about the fate of his regime has given way to open speculation about how long he can hold on to power, who might replace him and the possible risks of a chaotic disintegration of his rule.
Nice way to ratchet up some pressure. Keep it up...
“Basically, it’s inevitable,” Barak said in a telephone interview before flying Wednesday to Washington for meetings with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other administration officials. “The Assad family, through their own behavior, have lost their last drop of legitimacy and put themselves beyond the point of no return with their brutal slaughter of their own people. He has ceased to be something relevant.”

“It might take many weeks,” Barak added, “but it’s not a matter of months or years.”

In a separate interview, Moshe Yaalon, the minister of strategic affairs, said: “It’s a matter of time and bloodshed before we will witness Assad’s departure. That is our assessment.”

Obama administration officials have expressed equal certainty that Assad will eventually leave, but they and Arab countries that are trying to persuade him to stand down anticipate a far longer timeline extending well into next year.
I prefer that Pencilneck have a Ceauşescu moment...
“Our view is that this regime is the equivalent of [a] dead man walking,” Frederic Hof, the State Department’s point man for Syria, told a congressional subcommittee Wednesday. “But the real question is, how many steps remain?”
However many steps remain, we could help quicken the pace at which they're trod...
“I think it is very, very, very difficult to predict or project how much time this regime has,” Hof said.

Hof fended off calls by lawmakers to provide military support to the Syrian opposition, saying it is not yet unified and needs to gain the support of frightened minorities convinced by Assad that their rights won’t be respected in any new government. Promoting a violent response from heretofore peaceful demonstrators would play into Assad’s hands, he said.

Barak predicted that an eventual ouster of Assad would undermine an alliance of Israel’s enemies, including militant Islamist groups in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, backed by Iran and Syria, that have fought Israel across its northern and southern borders.

“When the Assad family falls, it will be a major blow to the radical axis led by Iran,” Barak said “It will weaken Iran, it will weaken Hezbollah and weaken the backing for Hamas, and it will deprive the Iranians of a real stronghold in the Arab world. It will strengthen Turkey, which is a natural rival to Iran’s hegemonic intentions. . . . This is something positive for Israel.”

Top Posted by badanov 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 138 words Link to article
For a map, click here. For a map of Coahuila state, click here
Four unidentified armed suspects were killed in an exchange of small arms fire in the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Wednesday afternoon, according to Mexican news accounts.

The gunfight and apparent pursuit was initiated in Las Palmas colony, continuing in Nueva Americana and Real del Norte colonies and ended on Avenida Prolongacion Perez Treviño. A Mexican army patrol ran into several vehicles manned by armed suspects.

Reports say an unknown number of soldiers were wounded in the chase and firefight.

The area approaching Piedras Negras is considered Los Zetas territory, which the group uses as a staging area for smuggling operations into the United States.

Top Posted by Steve White 12/15/2011  00:00 5 Comments 16 words Link to article
Cool photo, minor update newswire.

#1: Is it vodka powered?
Posted by: gorb|| 2011-12-15 03:10 ||Top

#2: With sails unfurled.

Shaka, when the walls fell.
Posted by: Mizzou Mafia|| 2011-12-15 06:44 ||Top

#3: Bravo, Mizzou.
Posted by: Anonymoose|| 2011-12-15 09:36 ||Top

#4: Doubt it is fully operational. Dat's a big ship tho. Looks kool.
Posted by: newc|| 2011-12-15 10:00 ||Top

#5: If they fitted it with parts of the same quality as the glut of Chinese-made copies of european auto parts, it will rust away in 6 months ...
Posted by: Ackoopmed|| 2011-12-15 20:23 ||Top

Top Posted by trailing wife 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 658 words Link to article
Jailed Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, bomb maker eyes PA election run

Abdallah Barghouti, a Hamas bomb maker who is serving 67 life sentences for his role in the killing of dozens of Israelis, is planning to run in the next Paleostinian parliamentary election, which is slated for May 2012, sources close to Hamas said Tuesday.

Paleostinian Authority President the ineffectual Mahmoud Abbas
... a graduate of the prestigious unaccredited Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow with a doctorate in Holocaust Denial...
recently announced that the presidential and parliamentary elections would be held next May, although representatives of the two parties said they were skeptical about the prospects of holding the vote on time.

Mahmoud Zahar, a top Hamas official in the Gazoo Strip, said Tuesday he expected his movement to score a landslide victory both in the West Bank and Gazoo Strip during the planned elections.

In a letter to the Hamas leadership, the 39- year-old Barghouti expressed his desire to present his candidacy for membership of the Paleostinian Legislative Council, the sources said.

Barghouti has also signaled his desire to contest elections held inside prison by Hamas inmates, the sources added.

In his letter, Barghouti claimed that he had refrained from engaging in political activities over the past nine years. But now, he explained, “I personally feel the need to participate in elections, whether those held inside prison or outside.” Barghouti appealed to the Hamas leadership to help him fulfill his wish of contesting the elections.

Barghouti, who is from the Ramallah area, was tossed in the slammer by the IDF in 2003. A year later, the IDF military court sentenced him to 67 terms for preparing bombs used in a number of terrorist attacks in which 66 Israelis were killed and many others injured.

Barghouti was involved in the 2001 Jerusalem Sbarro restaurant suicide kaboom in which 15 non-combatants were killed and 130 maimed. He was also involved in the terrorist attack on the pedestrian mall on Jerusalem’s Ben Yehuda Street the same year.

A year later, he prepared the bombs that were used in the terrorist attack in the Sheffield Club in Rishon Lezion in which 15 non-combatants were killed and 59 maimed.

Barghouti was also found guilty of involvement in the 2002 Moment Café suicide kaboom, in which 11 non-combatants were killed and 65 maimed, the Hebrew University attack that killed nine civilians and maimed 81, and the terrorist attack on a bus on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv the same year that killed six civilians and maimed 84.

Top Posted by badanov 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 219 words Link to article
For a map, click here
The cabinet of Mexican president Felipe Calderon Hinojosa was shaken up again for the second time in three months as three officials announced their departure, according to Mexican news accounts.

Rosalinda Juarez Velez was named Minister of Labor to replace Javier Lozano Alarcon.

Rosalinda Juarez Velez is a lawyer by trade who has held several posts in federal service including Federal attorney for environmental crimes or Delitos Ambientales en la Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (PROFEPA) and most recently head of Procuraduría Federal de la Defensa del Trabajo (PROFEDET) or Labor Defense unit.

Salvador Vega Casillas resigned his post as Secretaria de la Funcion Publica or Civil service.

Vega Casillas was replaced by Rafael Morgan Rios, who worked as an undersecretary under Vega Casillas.

Morgan Ríos is a native of Sinaloa state, and a business school academic by trade. He has functioned as an auditor in Calderon's government.

Roberto Gil Zuarth resigned his post as private secretary to be replaced by Jose Guadalupe Tarcisio Martinez, who previously held several elective posts in his native Jalisco.

Jose Guadalupe Tarcisio Martinez is a close friend of the Calderons, Felipe and his wife, Margarita Zavala.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 4 Comments 24 words Link to article

#1: Happy Birthday/Daily Gam Shot

Helen Slater aka Kara Zor-El / Supergirl / Linda Lee in "Supergirl (1984)" aka Sandy Kessler in "Ruthless People (1986)" aka Bonnie Rayburn in "City Slickers (1991)" aka Christy Wills in "The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)" aka Billie Jean in "The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)" aka Ellie West in "Betrayal of the Dove (1993)" aka Alex Weaver in "A House in the Hills (1993)" aka Laura Turner in "Lassie (1994)" (age 48)

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC|| 2011-12-15 00:23 ||Top

#2: Bad monkey ....
Posted by: gorb|| 2011-12-15 03:30 ||Top

#3: Apparently, nature makes up for being negatively effected by Kryptonite:

Posted by: Uncle Phester|| 2011-12-15 19:53 ||Top

#4: errrrr there's a way to make that easier....
Posted by: Frank G|| 2011-12-15 20:05 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 274 words Link to article
[Pak Daily Times] Two Frontier Corps (FC) personnel were killed and five others sustained injuries in a landmine blast in the Mand area of the Kech District near the Pak-Iran border, some 900 kilometres from the picturesque provincial capital, on Wednesday, Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
Levies said.

According to Mujeeb Ahmed, an official of Balochistan Levies in Mand, a vehicle of the paramilitary troops was on a routine patrol some 60 kilometres from Turbat, when it hit a landmine placed by faceless myrmidons. In the resulting kaboom, two personnel were killed on the spot while five others sustained injuries. The vehicle was also destroyed in the incident. A large number of Frontier Corps troops rushed to the spot soon after the incident and the dear departed and injured were taken to the District Headquarters Hospital for an appointment with Dr. Quincy and treatment, respectively.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 758 words Link to article
[Pak Daily Times] Pakistain's Taliban say they have started peace talks, but in a mountain camp young recruits learn how to mount ambushes, raid military facilities and undertake the most coveted missions - suicide kabooms.

"America, NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions...
and other countries could do nothing to us despite having nuclear weapons," said Shamim Mehsud, a senior Taliban capo training the fighters who hold AK-47 assault rifles and cover their faces with white cloth. "Our jacket wallahs turn their bones into bullets, flesh into explosives and blood into petrol and bravely fight them, and they have no answer to that," he said.

On Saturday the deputy commander of the Tehreek-e-Taliban said exploratory peace talks with the US-backed government were underway. The prime minister denied this and said Pakistain would negotiate only if the group, which has been waging a four-year insurgency, laid down its arms. There are no signs they intend to do that in the camp in South Wazoo near the Afghan border. It is in unruly tribal areas like this where the umbrella group is entrenched.

Taliban capos escorted a small group of journalists, including a Rooters news hound, to the remote camp. To get there without running into army checkpoints, they drove to North Waziristan, where the army has limited control, and then walked uphill for 15 hours over rugged terrain. On the way they came across fighters from Turkmenistan, a reminder that parts of Pakistain are a global hub for jihad boys.

What they discovered at the training ground is that the Taliban are highly disciplined and determined. They rise at dawn for prayers and then have a simple breakfast of tea and flatbread before the training starts. The forces of Evil jog in the high-altitude valley, and do push-ups, somersaults and jumping to hone the skills necessary for fighting in the harsh conditions on the border. In close-quarters combat training, fighters slam each other on to the rocky ground and then spring back up and chant "God is greatest." In another drill, one of the fighters wears a Pakistain Army uniform. Others sneak up, take him down and snatch his weapon. "It is my good fortune that I have been chosen for this holy task," said a 22-year-old fighter. When they are not training or praying, the fighters help carry supplies and ammunition to frontlines by mule and travel long distances to cities to buy food and other goods.

To relax, they play volleyball on a makeshift court and have wrestling matches where the contestants are cheered and taunted. One wrestler was asked how he would wage war when he could not wrestle. At night they tune in to the Pashtu services of Western radio outlets and usually don't like what they hear. "Why do they call us terrorists? America is the terrorist because it drops bombs on Mohammedans," said a 17-year-old called Malang, or free spirit.

A DVD player that is connected to a car battery offers fighters the chance to watch TTP videos of successful operations against the military. Sometimes the terrorists' communications radios cross signals with nearby army radios. One night the news hounds overheard a conversation between the enemies. "If you are so brave come out and fight us," said one fighter. "Don't worry," a soldier replied, "We are coming."

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 357 words Link to article
[Pak Daily Times] Two peace lashker volunteers killed in Bara and a khasadar
...a rural policeman in Pakistain or India...
is missing. Two pro-government forces of Evil have been killed and three others sustained bullets injuries in the fresh shoot out between the Death Eaters and Khasadars along with peace lashker volunteers here in Shalober area of tehsil Bara, official and local sources said on Wednesday. The political administration official on the condition of anonymity said that at night hours fighting erupted between the Death Eaters and Khasadar force backed by peace lasker armed persons in Shalober area. Two volunteers of the peace lashker were killed while three maimed, who were shifted to health centers for medical aid, he added. He also confirmed missing of a Khasadar person in the clash. However,
we can't all be heroes. Somebody has to sit on the curb and applaud when they go by...
the local and other independent sources said that Death Eaters had kidnapped five Khasadar personnel and shifted to non-disclosed destination. The official sources also rejected the abduction of the five Khasadar personnel from Shalober area of Bara. Meanwhile a kaboom has injured two elders of Koki Khel tribe in upper Tirrah valley at Wache wane area.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 345 words Link to article
[Pak Daily Times] At least four people were killed and a woman sustained injuries in two separate firing incidents in the bustling provincial capital and Kalat district on Wednesday. According to the police, two persons were killed and a woman sustained injuries in the Killi Kamalo area of Quetta on Wednesday morning. According to sources, unidentified gunnies entered a house and opened fire on the inhabitants within. Resultantly, two people were killed on the spot and a woman sustained injuries. Police rushed to the spot soon after the incident and the dear departed and the injured were taken to the Civil Hospital for an appointment with Dr. Quincy and treatment, respectively. The dear departed were identified as Jalil Ahmed and Pukar Khan and the injured woman as Samina Bibi. In a separate incident, two people were killed in the Dasht Guran area of the Kalat district, some 150 kilometres from Quetta. According to sources, unidentified gunnies on a cycle of violence opened fire on people in Dasht Guran. Resultantly, two was struck down in his prime. The attacker managed to flee from the scene after committing the crime. The dear departed were identified as Ahmed Jan and Kifayatullah. According to the police, the incident was caused by an old enmity. Separate cases have been registered and investigations are underway.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 135 words Link to article
[Pak Daily Times] At least 70 suspects were tossed in the slammer and a torture cell was recovered during separate overnight search operation in different vicinities of the metropolis on Wednesday.

The search operation was carried out by the law enforcement agencies in Pak Colony, Bahadurabad and North Nazimabad from where the police apprehended about 70 suspects and shifted them to undisclosed locations. According to sources, few of the detainees were later released after initial course of interrogation. The gangsters belonging to the notorious Arshad Pappu group of Lyari were also among the detainees.

The first operation was launched at Pak Colony's different localities, including Jehanabad, Old Golimar, Bhutta Village and Ghulam Mohammad Village.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 1 Comments 468 words Link to article
[Bangla Daily Star] Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged Leader of the Opposition in parliament 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 refrain from trying to save the war criminals as people might one day seek her trial if she takes a stance in favour of these criminals.

"Don't try to save the war criminals by betraying the bloods of thousands of people who had sacrificed their lives for the independence of the country. One day people may demand your [Khaleda] trial for assisting the war criminals," she said at a discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.

"You [Khaleda] tried a lot to save the killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, but you could not do it. You won't be able to save the war criminals too since the people have been raising their voice for trying the war criminals," said Hasina, also president of the ruling Awami League.

Trial of the war criminals would be held on the soil of the country, she told the discussion organised by the AL to mark the Martyred Intellectuals' Day.

...back at the Senate, Odius Sepulcher called for war against the Visigoths...
Chairperson of BNP and former premier Khaleda recently demanded release of all those leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
and her party now facing trial on charges of crimes against humanity during the Liberation war. She also demanded an immediate halt to the trial proceedings, which she said were politically motivated and intended to eliminate the opposition parties.

#1: from one corrupt battle-axe to another
Posted by: Frank G|| 2011-12-15 14:52 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 792 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Members of the international peacemaking Quartet
... The Quartet are the UN (xylophone), the United States (alto), the European Union (soprano), and Russia (shortstop). The group was established in Madrid in 2002 by former Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, as a result of the escalating conflict in the Middle East. Tony Blair is the Quartet's current Special Envoy....
appeared to make little progress on Wednesday after separate talks with Israeli and Paleostinian officials in a bid to kick-start stalled peace talks.

Envoys and Quartet representative Tony Blair "stressed the important objective of a direct exchange between the parties without delay or preconditions," a statement from the diplomatic grouping read.

The envoys, representing the United Nations
...boodling on the grand scale...
, Russia, the United States and the European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
, met the Paleostinian team headed by Mohammed Shtayeh in the morning at the U.N. headquarters in east Jerusalem, and the Israelis at the same place in the early afternoon.

Speaking to Voice of Paleostine radio ahead of Wednesday's talks, Paleostinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said that Ramallah's stance "had already been presented to the Quartet" and it was now the Quartet's turn to answer the questions they had posed during their last meeting on November 14.

But Mark Regev, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's front man, put the onus of the impasse on Erakat, who Regev said not only refused a recent Israeli proposal to meet directly with his counterpart Itzhak Molho, but also did not attend the Wednesday meeting.

"If the Paleostinians continue to boycott the negotiations, this will raise severe questions about their sincerity and commitment in reaching a negotiated solution," he told Agence La Belle France Presse.

There was little progress to report after the November meeting either, with the envoys saying only that they had "continued to encourage the parties to resume direct bilateral negotiations without delay or preconditions."

Direct Israeli-Paleostinian talks have been on hold for more than a year, grinding to a halt over the thorny issue of settlement construction shortly after they restarted in September 2010.

Last week, the U.S. State Department said its Middle East peace envoy David Hale was going to Jerusalem to further "efforts to get the two parties to put forward concrete proposals and to agree to come back to the table together."

The Quartet laid out a proposal in September aimed at reaching a peace agreement in a year.

But there has been no visible sign of progress, with the Paleostinians demanding that Israel halt settlement construction before the talks can resume.

On Tuesday, a coalition of 20 international aid groups and rights organizations published a report detailing a sharp rise in the number of Paleostinian homes destroyed by Israel in which they also criticized the Quartet.

"There is a growing disconnect between the Quartet talks and the situation on the ground," said Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of Oxfam International, with similar sentiments expressed by Human Rights Watch
... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world...
"The Quartet should call ongoing settlement expansion and house demolitions what they are: violations of international humanitarian law that Israel should stop," said Sarah Leah Whitson, director of the Middle East region at HRW.

Amnesia Amnesty International took an even stronger line, saying the Quartet's approach was a failure.

"Israel's escalating violations show the fundamental failure of the Quartet's approach," wrote Philip Luther, interim director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program.

"It is time for the Quartet to understand that they cannot contribute to achieving a just and durable solution to the conflict without first ensuring respect for international law," he said.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 3 Comments 561 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Iran on Wednesday deflated a rumor about it closing the Strait of Hormuz -- one of the world's most strategic transit points for oil -- by saying such a move was "not on the agenda."

But foreign ministry front man Ramin Mehmanparast reiterated Tehran's line hinting that the strait, a narrow stretch along Iran's Gulf shoreline, could be threatened if current rising tensions ever spilled over into war.

"The Islamic republic has repeatedly said that the issue of closing the Strait of Hormuz is not on the agenda, because Iran believes the region must have peace and stability to allow all regional countries to advance and develop," Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

those who apply themselves too closely to little things often become incapable of great things...
he accused the United States and Israel of threatening Iran so as to create "a climate of war ... and in such a climate there is the possibility of some reactions."

Oil prices spiked dramatically Tuesday -- ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna on Wednesday -- on an unfounded market rumor that Iran had closed or was looking at closing the Strait of Hormuz.

The rumor appeared to stem from a comment by an Iranian politician who said Iran was "soon" to hold a military exercise on closing the strait.

"We will soon hold a drill to close down the Strait of Hormuz. Because if the world tries to make the region insecure, then we will make the world insecure," Parviz Sorouri, the head of the parliamentary national security committee, was quoted on Tuesday as saying by ISNA.

No Iranian official or media confirmed Sorouri's announcement, which seemed to add to defiant posturing commonly heard from hardline politicians.

Mehmanparast addressed that issue, saying: "Certain people who do not have any official political position, such as politicians or representatives of a group of people, may declare their personal opinions. However,
there's more than one way to skin a cat...
Iran announces its official stances through official political authorities."

More than a third of the world's tanker oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, making it a vital transit point. The United States maintains a navy presence in the Gulf to ensure it remains open.

Oil prices quickly returned to normal late Tuesday after the rumor was discounted.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January delivery, fell 31 cents to $99.83 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for January delivery was off 34 cents at $109.16.

OPEC, which has Iran as its current rotating president, was expected Wednesday to maintain current official oil production quotas, with key members saying they were satisfied with current prices.

#1: Lying $acks of theocratic $hit.
Posted by: gorb|| 2011-12-15 03:06 ||Top

#2: To be Theocratic they would have to serve GOD, which they do not.

I wonder what transpired between them and the Saudis this week. I bet they will not pull this stunt.
Posted by: newc|| 2011-12-15 09:45 ||Top

#3: It's a no brainer that denial is admission of intent by these psychopaths.
Posted by: Bill Clinton|| 2011-12-15 10:32 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 362 words Link to article
[An Nahar] A roadside kaboom killed an anti-Taliban district governor and two of his bodyguards Wednesday in southern Afghanistan's volatile Helmand Afghan province populated mostly by Pashtuns, adjacent to Injun country in Pak Balochistan...
province, an official said.

The governor of Khan Neshin district, Massoud Khan, was a fierce opponent of drug smugglers and the Taliban, who issued him with death threats, provincial front man Daud Ahmedi told Agence Francce Presse.

The governor, aged in his early 30s, was driving to work when his vehicle hit the device, Ahmedi said.

"The district governor Massoud Khan along with two bodyguards were martyred in the blast," Ahmedi said, adding that two other bodyguards were also maimed.

The Taliban was not immediately reachable for comment but roadside kabooms are the weapon of choice for the Islamic fascisti in their decade-long insurgency against international forces and the Kabul government.

Parts of Helmand remain highly unstable although bustling provincial capital Lashkar Gah is under the control of Afghan forces and three other districts are due to switch from NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization....
to Afghan security control.

There are around 140,000 international troops, mainly from the United States, in Afghanistan helping government forces combat the insurgency.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 1 Comments 223 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Turkish police jugged six people over alleged ties to the al-Qaeda turban network in western Turkey, Anatolia news agency reported on Wednesday.

Police tossed in the slammer the suspects, including the alleged regional head of the outlawed organization, during simultaneous raids at different addresses in western town of Kemalpasa and province of Manisa, Anatolia said.

Turkish security forces have regularly targeted suspected al-Qaeda supporters since twin suicide kabooms hit Istanbul five days apart in November 2003.

A Turkish cell of al-Qaeda was held responsible for the attacks, in which explosive-laden trucks first targeted two synagogues, and then the British consulate and a British bank, killing a total of 63 people, including the British consul.

Seven men were tossed in the clink for life in 2007 over the bombings, among them a Syrian national who criminal masterminded and financed the attacks.

#1: Okay. But when will Turkish leaders stop funding Al Qaeda?
Posted by: American Delight|||| 2011-12-15 19:25 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 2 Comments 444 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Crisis-hit Greece is still losing billions of euros (dollars) to corruption in spite of efforts to stamp out graft and maximize the state's tax revenue, a report said on Wednesday.

The Ta Nea newspaper said that tax evasion cost Greece 13 billion euros ($17.4 billion) annually in lost revenue, citing remarks by experts and state officials at a conference on corruption on Tuesday.
A country that has been practicing tax evasion for the last three millennia is suddenly going to start paying its taxes?
The finance ministry's former information systems chief Diomidis Spinellis, who resigned in October, told the conference that the state is often able to claim only 20 percent of fines imposed on tax cheats.

Another 40 percent is commonly written off and the remaining 40 percent is pocketed by the tax official in charge of the procedure, Spinellis said.

And when the state is called upon to repay tax, 10 percent of the sum is similarly embezzled by corrupt officials, the head of investigations at Greece's anti-fraud squad (SDOE) Nikos Lekkas told the conference.

Lekkas added that a bank transparency law adopted in 1995 had been applied only last year.

Earlier this month, the international anti-graft watchdog Transparency International maintained a poor sleaze score on Greece, awarding it 80th place on a list of 182 countries worldwide.

Greece's shadow economy is believed to represent around a third of the official economy, which is mired in a deep recession as the government struggles to apply a tough economic overhaul supervised by its international creditors, the European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
and the International Monetary Fund.

Ta Nea added that a much-touted parallel drive publicly to identify state debtors had so far yielded insignificant results, with most of the businessmen locked away by police employing legal loopholes to evade imprisonment.

Some of them had already filed for bankruptcy, thereby preventing the state from seizing their assets.

"We locked away 17 people who owe 5.6 million euros but only the sum of 50,000 euros was paid," a SDOE source told Ta Nea.

Overall, the state has been able to collect 5.1 million euros from expected gains of 41 billion euros, the daily said.

#1: Greece is still losing billions of euros (dollars) to corruption in

Ahhhh, Greece the US of's the Chicago way.
Posted by: AlanC|| 2011-12-15 08:40 ||Top

#2: I posted a Vanity Fair piece on Greece last year. It is very insightful.

It's our future as with every stupid welfare state on the planet.
Posted by: newc|| 2011-12-15 10:02 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 93 words Link to article
[An Nahar] The first congress of the Syrian National Council, the opposition's most representative grouping, will open in the Tunisian capital on Friday, an official said. The three-day meeting will be attended by SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun and about 200 other members, the outfit's Tunis representative Abdullah Terkmani said on Wednesday. Terkmani said Arab ambassadors and rights activists would also attend the meeting to be held in Gammarth, a northern suburb of Tunis. The congress was originally scheduled to have been held in September but was deferred due to the explosive situation in Syria.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 420 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Tensions were high on Wednesday in the Ain al-Hilweh Paleostinian refugee camp after unknown gunnies assassinated one of the bodyguards of Paleostinian Armed Struggle chief Mahmoud Issa, who goes by the nom de guerre al-Lino, several televisions reported.

The slain bodyguard was identified as Ashraf al-Qaderi.

On August 5 al-Lino himself beat feet an liquidation attempt by two members of the hardline Islamist group Jund al-Sham.

Al-Lino's Fatah Movement has warned that Jund al-Sham and Fatah al-Islam
A Syrian-incubated al-Qaeda work-alike that they think can be turned off if no longer needed to keep the Leb pot stirred.
, another bad boy group, have become like an "octopus" that is seeking wider influence in the camp through recruiting young members.

Al-Lino announced on August 8 that it was time to clear Ein el-Hellhole and other Paleostinian camps from beturbanned goons threatening the Paleostinian people.

By long-standing convention, the Lebanese army does not enter the country's 12 refugee camps, leaving security inside to the Paleostinians themselves.

Ain al-Hilweh, the largest Paleostinian camp in the country, is home to about 50,000 refugees and is known to harbor gun-hung tough guys and runaways.

The United Nations idea whose time has gone...
Relief and Works Agency for Paleostinian refugees (UNRWA) estimates that some 425,000 Paleostinian refugees are living in Leb. Others, however, estimate the number to be closer to 250,000.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 2 Comments 451 words Link to article
[An Nahar] U.N. leader the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon
... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan...
said Wednesday that the international community must now act against the Syrian government's crackdown on protests "in the name of humanity."

Ban told a presser he has sent a U.N. Human Rights Council report on the Syrian regime's crackdown to the U.N. Security Council. This could increase pressure on the 15-nation council to act even though Russia and China vetoed a resolution on the crisis in October.

"In Syria, more than 5,000 people are dead. This cannot go on. In the name of humanity, it is time for the international community to act," the U.N. secretary general said.

Ban said the U.N. rights report, which highlighted that crimes against humanity may have been committed in Syria, had been sent to the Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly and it was now up to member states to take a decision.

"I hope that the United Nations
...a formerly good idea gone bad...
and the international community will be able to take concerted, coherent action."

The U.N. leader praised action taken by the Arab League organization of Arabic-speaking states with 22 member countries and four observers. The League tries to achieve Arab consensus on issues, which usually leaves them doing nothing but a bit of grimacing and mustache cursing...
against Syria.

League foreign ministers will hold an emergency meeting in Cairo on Saturday to respond to Syria's proposal to admit observers in exchange for an end to regional sanctions.

Western nations, which proposed the Security Council resolution that was blocked by Russia and China in October, say they are waiting for the vaporous Arab League meeting to decide their next action.

Diplomats said Russia would almost certainly use its veto again unless there is a strong Arab lead on the Syria crisis.

#1: So, you gonna bomb the sh*t out of Syria, and when watch while Sunnis massacre all the Alawites & Christians, in the name of humanity?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2011-12-15 02:04 ||Top

#2: Of course. It's soooo much easier for the international governing elite to deal with a single power-bloc, instead of a handful of smaller ones.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2011-12-15 11:45 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 1 Comments 711 words Link to article
[Bangla Daily Star] Ten pirates maimed in a shootout with police were later beaten to death by a mob in Bhola's Bhashan Char on Monpura estuary yesterday afternoon, police said.

Also, the police recovered the body of an kidnapped fisherman from the scene. But it could not be independently confirmed whether 28-year-old fisherman Bellal Hossain of Char Nizam was killed in crossfire or earlier by the pirates.

Police insisted that the pirates killed Bellal after his abduction earlier in the day.

Law enforcers launched a hunt -- following the abduction -- for the pirate gang led by one Zakir. The raid by the police prompted a shootout with the pirates that continued for three hours.

Wounded in a hail of bullets, the pirates came to surrender to the police. But angry fishermen and other local people, who had accompanied the law enforcers during the raid, beat the pirates to death, police said.

Two of the dead were Zakir and his second-in-command, Bishu.

As many as 10 others, including two coppers, were maimed during the raid that started around 2:00pm.

Police recovered two firearms and eight sharp weapons, and five trawlers, including two snatched from the fishermen, from the pirates' den. The pirates threw their guns into the sea after they ran out of bullets, police said.

The bodies were kept at Monpura Police Station.

Yesterday's incident took place against the backdrop of an increasing number of attacks on trawlers in Meghna's estuary. According to Monpura police and witnesses, bandidos attacked more than 100 trawlers this month.

Abdur Rahim, deputy inspector general of police (Barisal range), Md Bashir Ahmed, Bhola superintendent of police, and Monpura Officer-in-Charge Mizanur Rahman, visited the scene later in the evening.

The Bhola SP said the pirate gang, Zakir Bahini, opened fire on two fishing trawlers at about 10:00am in the area. They captured the trawlers and kidnapped Bellal and Kasem, both fishermen.

Hearing this, a team of 14 coppers led by Sub-inspector Nurul Alam of Monpura Police Station and Sub-inspector Kamal, in-charge of Char Nizam Police Camp, chased the pirates by patrol boat.

When police reached Bhashan Char area around 2:00pm and asked the pirates to give themselves up, they opened fire on the coppers. Police fired back, SP Bashir told The Daily Star.

At one stage of the shootout, more forces came in. Around 600 rounds were fired from both sides, of which police shot 80, he added.

"We had around 60 law enforcers in the operation," Bashir said.

He, however, could not confirm whether the injured pirates died after being "beaten by the angry fishermen" or in the shootout. But SI Nurul said the angry fishermen beat them dead.

Another policeman, seeking anonymity, said the law enforcers had no choice but stand inactive in the face of agitated fishermen, who far outnumbered them.

Barisal range DIG Abdur Rahim said police found four pirates and an kidnapped fisherman dead, when they searched the area after the shootout. "The six others were beaten to death by locals as they tried to take shelter on a shoal," he said.

On Tuesday, police raided a hideout of pirates at Shahjalal Char on the estuary of Meghna and recovered a huge cache of arms and weapon-making materials.

#1: Hmph. Amateurs.
Posted by: Ptah|| 2011-12-15 14:58 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 433 words Link to article
[VOA News] Rights activists said Wednesday's violence across Syria killed at least 25 people, including eight Syrian troops who died in a retaliatory attack by suspected army defectors.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the defectors ambushed a military convoy traveling through a village near the flashpoint city of Hama.

Hours earlier, rights activists said Syrian security forces opened fire on a car traveling through another nearby village, killing five civilians, while 12 others were killed by security forces elsewhere in the country.

The United Nations
...aka the Oyster Bay Chowder and Marching Society...
says more than 5,000 people have died since March, when the unrest first began. But Syria's U.N. ambassador has rejected that figure as "incredible."

U.N. Secretary-General the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon
... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan...
told news hounds in New York that "the status quo in Syria cannot go on." "In the name of humanity, it is time for the international community to act," he added.

In Washington, a congressional committee on foreign affairs examined U.S. policy toward Syria. Some members questioned whether the B.O. regime should continue to advocate for a peaceful resolution in Syria in the face of widespread violence. Others echoed calls by President Barack I've now been in 57 states -- I think one left to go Obama for Syrian Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir Pencilneck al-Assad
One of the last of the old-fashioned hereditary iron-fisted fascist dictators...
to step down and end the killing, detention and torture of demonstrators.

Syria's uprising has turned increasingly violent in recent months, with defecting soldiers fighting back against the army and once-peaceful protesters taking up arms to protect themselves.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 2 Comments 230 words Link to article
[Washington Post] The B.O. regime is alerting employees to the possibility of a partial government shutdown if talks on bills to fund the government and extend the payroll tax cut collapse later this week.

With Congress facing a midnight Friday deadline to either pass a short-term or final measure to fund government operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, Cabinet secretaries and agency heads planned to send an e-mail message to workers by close of business Wednesday informing them that a shutdown could occur, according to multiple administration officials familiar with the plans.

A shutdown would not apply to a wide swath of agencies and departments that already have full-year funding in place thanks to a partial spending bill that passed in November, including the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, House and Urban Development, Justice, State, and Transportation, NASA, and other smaller agencies covered by separate appropriations measures.

In a statement, Office of Management and Budget front man Kenneth Baer said Wednesday that "There is no reason for the government to shut down."Congress could act quickly to pass a short- or long-term spending measure, Baer said, as they have seven times already this year.

#1: Happy Holidays.
Posted by: Dale|| 2011-12-15 07:11 ||Top

#2: To shut this thuggish POS government down would be the best Christmas present ever.
Posted by: newc|| 2011-12-15 09:48 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 15 Comments 184 words Link to article
In an interview with KOAA-TV, a local news channel from Colorado Springs, Colorado, President B.O. says if Congress is not willing to pass legislation he wants, he will do it himself in order to win another term.
He's got a fundamental lack of understanding about the U.S. government...
Rob Quirk, KOAA-TV: "And one year from today we will know if this a one-term or two-term president. So, I asked the president what will it take from now until then to not only win Colorado again, but reelection as well."

President B.O.: "Well, what we're going to have to do is continue to make progress on the economy over the next several months. And where Congress is not willing to act, we're going to go ahead and do it ourselves. But it would be nice if we could get a little bit of help from Capitol Hill."

#1: screw the constitution. full speed ahead. I only have a year left to kill America.
Posted by: 0bama|| 2011-12-15 00:35 ||Top

#2: Being the first black president is not enough? Trying for another first---the first jailbird president?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru|| 2011-12-15 02:54 ||Top

#3: He's got a fundamental lack of understanding about the U.S. government...

I think you got that sentence backwards. Despite Obummer's alternate shredding of the Constitution and hiding behind it as serves his Marxist goals, our submissive Congress seems entirely unwilling to act whenever he dommes them.
Posted by: gorb|| 2011-12-15 03:15 ||Top

#4: Is this what they call black power. The only thing missing is the raised fist symbol. Years of education programing. Just saying what cannot be said. The old Kennedy joke "it's my football so we play by my rules".
Posted by: Dale|| 2011-12-15 07:20 ||Top

#5: but but he's a Constitutional Scholar™! Despite having written nothing to justify that accolade. He's a tool, and needs to be smacked with checks and balances. Start the oversight hearings!
Posted by: Frank G|| 2011-12-15 08:19 ||Top

#6: He really does think he is some sort of God-King doesn't he?
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2011-12-15 08:35 ||Top

#7: "He's got a fundamental lack of understanding about the U.S. government.."

That is a knock against Harvard, from which I would hire no one. That school (and Cambridge) are highly over-rated and obviously useless in their utility.

Have the GOP prepare articles of Impeachment right now. I cannot stand this little man anymore and someone somewhere needs to call his sorry ass onto the carpet and challenge his nefarious actions.
Posted by: newc|| 2011-12-15 09:52 ||Top

#8: Someone commented that America has learned two things because of the Obama presidency.

1) We are not a racist country.

2) Let us never again inflict a black liberal president on ourselves.

Unfortunately, the citizenry are a little slow on the uptake, not having learned their lesson from Carter and Clinton. Maybe now they will finally wise up that the problem is not skin color, but that liberalism is a destructive waste and a profound failure.
Posted by: Anonymoose|| 2011-12-15 10:15 ||Top

#9: Yikes, you guys down there have some kind of pharaoh as a |----|----|----|----|*.

It would be an interesting 11 months, per Chinese proverb.

*(The ascii chars represent a ruler).
Posted by: twobyfour|| 2011-12-15 10:50 ||Top

#10: Screw the Constitution and blame the Republicans.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 13:34 ||Top

#11: This is the person to watch:

Leo Gerard

Posted by: Uncle Phester|| 2011-12-15 18:59 ||Top

#12: Every law student is required to spend their first year on the basics: contracts, property, torts, criminal law, civil procedure, Constitutional law, and legal research and writing.

Much of one's view of the US government depends on your Constitutional law professor. I knew mine was a commie douchebag the day he asked me how I felt about a decision we'd had to read. Not "what do you think": "how do you feel."

Years 2 and 3, course selection is up to the student, which generally winds up as one of two tracks:

(A) "I plan to work for a living" (boring but necessary topics like commercial paper, corporate law, criminal procedure, federal taxation, etc.) or

(B) "I plan to agitate, raise consciousness, regulate, and/or shake down others for a living" (exciting revolutionary shit like critical race theory, environmental law, and labor law, which are all just Marxism 101 with a legal veneer).

(A) track students work like dogs, then go out and drink and f*ck like it's their last chance ever.

(B) track students join clubs: Black Law Student Association, Public Interest Law Foundation, Environmental Justice Clinic, etc.

I wouldn't have chosen BHO as a classmate, as a professor, or hired him to represent me - let alone elevate such a loser to President of the United States. I still cannot grasp how we got here.
Posted by: RandomJD|| 2011-12-15 20:22 ||Top

#13: I still cannot grasp how we got here.

Two words RandomJD: Affirmitive Action

Barack Obama was elected solely because he is considered 'black'.

Let me repeat this - this is not a racist statement just a statement of fact: Barak Obama was elected because he was black.

He was woefully unqualified for the job. Had ZERO experience - and still have ZERO experience after 3 years - he is incapable of learning from his mistakes. He had a very dishonorable record - and worse associates.

But the media, tingling legs and everything, covered for him. They said nothing of his record, zip about his associates and history or his record. Never daring to question why his records are sealed. Why? Because of the color of his skin. They called anyone and everyone who questioned his 'qualifications' a racist and was willing to dig deep and even invent things about his opponents for the same reason.

And people voted for him because of the color of his skin - to elect the first 'African-American' President.

Barak Obama is the first Affirmative Action President. Personally I believe he has been 'Affirmitive Action' in every role he has ever had - but we may never know because his records are sealed and the media refuses to ask why.
Posted by: CrazyFool|| 2011-12-15 21:58 ||Top

#14: "And people voted for him because of the color of his skin - to elect the first 'African-American' President."

In other words, CF, the idiots who voted for that *ss are racists - they set a much lower standard for Bambi than they would have for any white person.

Let me repeat that: RACISTS.
Posted by: Barbara|| 2011-12-15 22:04 ||Top

#15: CrazyFool and Barbara, I completely agree. It's just depressing that it's so easy to sell snake oil.

Had ZERO experience - and still have ZERO experience after 3 years

Heh. So just like law school, then. No doubt we can look forward to another vapid post-coital memoir about how it was good for him, so it must have been good for us too.
Posted by: RandomJD|| 2011-12-15 23:18 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 397 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Afghanistan has recalled its ambassador to Qatar for "consultations", the foreign ministry announced Wednesday in an apparent protest at being left out of talks over the opening of a Taliban office in the Gulf state.

The United States has discussed plans for the Taliban to open an address in Qatar by the end of the year in a move designed to allow the West to begin formal peace talks with the krazed killer group.

But a high ranking Afghan government official, speaking anonymously, said while Kabul approved of the move, it was withdrawing its ambassador in protest at not being consulted.

"The Islamic Theocratic Republic of Afghanistan has had brotherly relations with the government of Qatar, which it thanks for its cooperation on the reconstruction of Afghanistan," the ministry's official statement said.

"But regarding recent developments in Afghanistan and in the region, including Afghanistan's relations with Qatar, the Afghan government has decided to recall its ambassador Khaled Ahmad Zekerya from Doha for the purpose of some consultations."

The high ranking official said the Afghan government was aware that Qatar has held talks with the U.S. and Germany on allowing a Taliban office to open, and supported the move as a means of facilitating the grinding of the peace processor.

But he said: "The ambassador has been recalled as a protest over why they did not allow the Afghan government into these talks while there are official diplomatic relations between the two countries."

He added that the opening of such an office "should not be seen as a concession" to the Taliban.

The office of the self-styled Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan would be the first internationally recognized representation for the Taliban since it was ousted from power by the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Western diplomats have said it is hoped the opening of a Taliban office would push forward the prospect of talks intended to reconcile hard boyz with the Afghan government and bring an end to the decade-long war.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 343 words Link to article
[An Nahar] Iran dismissed intimidating remarks by its own officials against Turkey saying Tehran would target NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It's headquartered in Belgium. That sez it all....
's missile shield in its neighbor if threatened, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.

"We reject those views completely," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Anatolia in an interview, adding that those who had made the irresponsible statements had been warned.

"The Islamic Theocratic Republic of Iran's official stance on Turkey is based on deep brotherhood and friendship," he said, adding that only Iran's supreme leader, president and foreign minister were able to pronounce on Iran's official attitude on international matters and foreign policy.

"Other statements are considered personal views," he said.

In November, the commander of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards said Tehran would target NATO's missile shield in neighboring Turkey's southern Malatya province if it were threatened by military action.

"We are prepared to first target the NATO defense missile shield in Turkey if we are threatened. And then we'll move on to other targets," Amir-Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

Earlier this month, an Iranian member of parliament, Hussein Ibrahimi said it was Iran's "right" to hit the missile shield. "Iran will definitely do that," Turkish media quoted Ibrahimi as telling Iranian daily Sharq.

Turkey in December conveyed its concern about the remarks of the Iranian commander to Salehi.

Turkey last year has agreed to host an early warning radar system in its southeast as part of NATO's shield which the United States says is aimed at thwarting missile threats from the Middle East, particularly Iran.

Turkish officials insist that the shield targets no specific country.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 393 words Link to article
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Ivory Coast President 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....
's party was headed for full parliamentary control Wednesday, media reports said, as former 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...
awaits trial in The Hague.

Public television reported that Ouattara's Rally of Republicans (RDR) had so far won 123 out of 225 seats up for grabs in Sunday elections and that its main ally the Ivory Coast Democratic Party (PDCI) had captured 93.

Independents had garnered 12 seats, the media reports said, as many newspapers hailed the RDR as "the big winner" and "new master".

The Ivorian Popular Front, the party of Gbagbo -- who is on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
(ICC) -- boycotted the country's first parliamentary election since 2000.

In presidential elections in November last year, Gbagbo refused to accept defeat, triggering fighting that left about 3,000 people dead in a country that was once a beacon of stability in western Africa.

Gbagbo, who had held on to his job five years after his initial mandate expired in 2005, was captured in his presidential palace by pro-Ouattara forces in April, with support from French and UN troops.

He is the first former head of state to be brought before the ICC.

Ouattara, 69, took office six months after the November 2010 polls.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 2 Comments 1317 words Link to article
[Pak Daily Times] Pak intelligence circles are anxious about the feudal culture, illiteracy and poverty that provide fertile ground for the Punjabi Taliban's terror operations. The province's 20,000 hard boy and religious schools have the potential to convert the southern districts into jihadist nurseries

Radicalisation of Pak students in universities, colleges and religious schools has become a big challenge for the government and its administrative machinery. A half-religious and half-western education system and poverty have compelled the poorer parents in southern Punjab to send their children to sectarian religious schools. The country exhibits cancerous symptoms that point to high potential for youth radicalisation in more than 120 universities, 1,370 colleges and 25,000 religious schools, which now present a big security challenge for the law enforcement agencies.

Extremist infrastructure, widespread networks of myrmidon groups and poor governance have put the national security of the country in danger. A Taliban victory in Afghanistan in 1996 diverted the attention of young Pak students from various colleges and schools to the business of dying in order to kill. The Urdu-medium public schools that serve more than 70 percent of the poorer students play a vital role in their radicalisation. In southern Punjab, a majority of students in these schools come from poor families.

Poverty and the lack of freedom of expression are major factors responsible for the growing number of radicals. Politicisation of religion, the influence of Arab religious culture in society, and the institutionalisation of sectarianism have given rise to a new form of terrorism. Pakistain has entered the wrong process of socio-political transformation.

The madrassa culture in Pakistain has created tensions between Moslems and the followers of other religions. Europe and the west view Pak Islam as a global threat. Jihad against the Ahmedis, Shia Moslems, war among Sunnis, jihad against the Zikris, Hindus and Sikhs and the recent brutal killings of Christians in Punjab present a transmogrified aspect of Islam. These groups have brought isolation and shame upon Pakistain. Emergence of the Punjabi Taliban in southern Punjab is a big threat, and the lack of a sound and well-connected administrative structure has compounded the problem.

The term Punjabi Taliban has come to be widely used for forces of Evil in recent times, but the militancy of the Punjabi Taliban has long been a destabilising factor for civil society. Earlier, recruits from Punjab were used for jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmire. Some Punjab-based politicians and police officials, at the behest of their political bosses, tried to blame the attacks on FATA-based Taliban or on Indian agents, but it is now generally accepted that there are some beturbanned goons who belong to Punjab. The Punjabi Taliban are more lethal than the so-called Pashtun Taliban, as they carry out attacks that need much higher levels of training and coordination. Till analysts recognised the existence of the Punjabi Taliban, these hard boy groups were termed as splinter groups of sectarian organizations.

Intelligence sources estimated around 5,000 beturbanned goons from southern and northern Punjab to have moved to South Wazoo in 2005, while some 10,000 newly recruited young members of the Punjabi Taliban networks returned to the province.

Qandeel Siddique's DIIS Report for 2010 about the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistain (TTP) has warned, "The growing number of US drone strikes in Pakistain's border areas, and expanding US presence and influence inside Pakistain has further aggravated the jihadists -- not only in the northwest of the country, but also in Punjab." The jihadists, Qandeel says, accuse the government of Punjab of facilitating the US 'takeover' of Pakistain.

The newly established military wing of the group, Asian Tigers, is based in Waziristan. Its training camps prepare Punjabi forces of Evil for war against Pak security forces in southern Punjab. The group killed the father of the Afghan Taliban, Colonel Imam, and former ISI officer Khalid Khwaja.

The undemocratic political culture in Pakistain is considered to be another factor of radicalisation. The sectarian and hard boy culture has promoted intolerance and violence. An hard boy bodyguard of Salmaan Taseer Shaheed, Mumtaz Qadri, killed him in Islamabad. He viewed Taseer as a blasphemer for having opposed Pakistain's blasphemy laws. This murder exposed the rising influence of the Punjabi Taliban in government departments.

War against the Soviet Union created a support network in Pakistain for armed hard boy groups. These newly trained forces of Evil and their masters intelligently cashed in on the increasing radicalisation of Pak society, which took place in the 1980s and 1990s. The process of radicalisation continued as myrmidon groups shifted their focus towards Kashmire. Unfortunately, Pak society has developed both internal and external factors of radicalisation. The external, experts say, might be the US and NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A single organization with differing goals, equipment, language, doctrine, and organization....
presence in Afghanistan and their drone attacks inside Pakistain's tribal belts. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989, jihadists continued to flow into Pak Punjab.

Throughout the 1990s, Pakistain's myrmidon groups trained over 25,000 beturbanned goons in terror camps. In his book, Secret Affairs, Mark Curtis says that the Mighty Pak Army trained about 60,000 forces of Evil for the Kashmire jihad, but sources in the Pakistain Army denied it. In 2010, while talking to a private TV channel, former president General Musharraf admitted the army's role in recruitment of jihadis.

Research and official reports by the government of Pakistain have now shown the strong presence of Punjabi Taliban networks across Punjab province, specifically in southern Punjab. Pak intelligence circles are anxious about the feudal culture, illiteracy and poverty that provide fertile ground for the Punjabi Taliban's terror operations. The province's 20,000 hard boy and religious schools have the potential to convert the southern districts into jihadist nurseries.

#1: Punjabis fear the break up of Pakistan more than Sindh,Balochs and pashtuns.
Posted by: Paul D|| 2011-12-15 14:41 ||Top


Also feels Pakistan should give up trying to dominate Afghanistan + instead work wid the latter to take over a number of curren Pak-controled/specific anti-terro activities.



India's Govt. undercounting or missing potens score(s) of Milyuhns of Muslims.
Posted by: JosephMendiola|| 2011-12-15 21:43 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 4 Comments 297 words Link to article
[Pak Daily Times] KOLKATA: At least 36 people died after consuming toxic home-made liquor in an eastern Indian state, officials said on Wednesday.

The deaths were reported from the impoverished district of 24 Parganas in West Bengal state, the officials said. "The corpse count has now touched 36," district administrator N. S. Nigam told AFP by telephone. The victims drank adulterated liquor late Tuesday night, he said and added the deaths occurred earlier Wednesday.

He also said some 136 others have been hospitalised. "Some of those critically ill have been shifted for treatment to the state capital, Kolkata." "More and more people are turning up with symptoms of liquor poisoning and one local hospital is now overcrowded," Nigam said. The state administration was rushing medicines and doctors to the government-run Diamond Harbour hospital, located near the village, other officials said.

Police said they have placed in durance vile four alleged bootleggers so far. Local residents ransacked four breweries earlier Wednesday after some of the deaths were reported in Sangrampur, some 30 kilometres (19 miles) from Kolkata, the officials said. The moonshine deaths were the highest since July 2009, when 122 people were killed in western Gujarat
...where rioting seems to be a traditional passtime...
state after consuming toxic alcohol.

Deaths from cheap alcohol are common in India, where nearly 170 people were killed in 2008 in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu after drinking the same batch of adulterated alcohol.

#1: India has a lot of moonshiners, and relatively few good ones, by most accounts. But, in all fairness, it's the same the world over.

Even in the US, though less frequently these days, there would be some dummy who would distill through a lead soldered car radiator and sicken a bunch of people, so there was always extra emphasis on shutting the bad ones down first.

Practically speaking, today you can get a high quality stainless column still that is both simpler and produces a very high quality product.
Posted by: Anonymoose|| 2011-12-15 09:44 ||Top

#2: An excellent link, 'moose.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 11:47 ||Top

#3: Worthy of a bookmark.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 11:48 ||Top

#4: Was it methanol contamination? Did they use lead-based pipes? Or did they add contaminants like antifreeze?
Posted by: Eric Jablow|| 2011-12-15 23:52 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 1 Comments 526 words Link to article
[Pak Daily Times] Egypt's rival religious groups sought more gains in the second round of a parliamentary election on Wednesday, with liberals also fighting for a voice in an army-led transition that began with the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
Egypt's first free election in six decades is unfolding in three stages until January. Even then, the generals who stepped in when an uprising toppled Mubarak in February will not hand power to civilians until after a presidential vote in mid-2012.

The pragmatic Moslem Brüderbund, its hardline Salafi rivals and a moderate faction won about two thirds of party-list votes in the first round. But the Brotherhood has signalled it wants a broad coalition, not a narrow front, in an assembly whose main task is to choose a body to draft a new constitution.

"This is the first time our vote counts," said Fatma Sayed, a government employee voting in Suez east of Cairo, recalling the routinely rigged elections of the 30-year Mubarak era. "We want to retain our rights."

The military will still appoint the government, but the next parliament will have legislative powers. It will also pick a 100-strong assembly to write a constitution that will define Egypt's political framework after decades of autocratic rule. The constitution is already the focus of a tussle between Egypt's newly-assertive political class and the ruling generals, and may also become a battleground for religious and liberals. The army-backed cabinet sparked violent protests that killed 42 people last month after it sought to insert articles to shield the military from any future civilian oversight. That fuelled suspicions that the army wants to cling to power even after the presidential poll now expected in June.

Voting was peaceful in the first round although there was a host of electoral violations, such as parties campaigning outside polling stations or the late arrival of ballots. One district will hold a re-run after ballots were damaged or lost. The committee supervising the poll noted irregularities in the first round but said they were not serious enough to undermine the result and would be addressed in future rounds.

Troops outside a polling station in Suez tore down posters of candidates and parties on Wednesday. The Interior Ministry said the late arrival of supervising judges delayed the opening of 39 of the thousands of polling booths across the country. A party list led by the Moslem Brüderbund's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) came top in the first round, with strict Salafi surprise runners up. Liberals were pushed into third place and are trying to close ranks to fight back. "I think the major trend will continue (in the second round) with some minor changes.

#1: the islamists are employing various dirty tricks according to the Economist.
Posted by: Lord Garth|| 2011-12-15 09:45 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 469 words Link to article
[Pak Daily Times] A Ukraine court on Wednesday threw out a charge against former President Leonid Kuchma alleging involvement in the 2000 murder of an opposition journalist, ruling that secret tape recordings that appeared to incriminate him were not acceptable evidence.

The general prosecutor's office opened the criminal case against Kuchma, president of independent Ukraine from 1994 to 2005, last March on suspicion of involvement in the killing of Georgiy Gongadze, one of his sharpest public critics. The murder of the popular journalist, who was well-known on TV talk shows, became emblematic of the sleaze and violence of post-Soviet Ukraine under Kuchma and led to street festivities in Kiev between protesters and riot police. But on Wednesday a Kiev court ruled as unlawful the prosecutor's case which had alleged abuse of office, leading to the death of the journalist, Ukrainian news agencies said.

Kuchma, 73, had denied any role in the grisly murder of the 31-year-old campaigning editor, whose headless body was found in woods a month and a half after he was kidnapped in 2000. It turned into post-Soviet Ukraine's most notorious crime case and was a turning point in his 10-year rule. Kuchma was once a patron of President Viktor Yanukovich and his case has run in parallel to the prosecution of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko who last October was sentenced to seven years in jail for abuse of office.

A political foe of Yanukovich, Tymkoshenko last March contemptuously dismissed the move against Kuchma as "window-dressing" intended to project the impression that Yanukovich was abiding by the rule of law to justify a vendetta against her. She predicted the case would be dropped against him. News that Kuchma has been cleared came as Tymoshenko's defence counsel formally began an appeal against her seven-year sentence.

Much of the case against Kuchma had been based on alleged secret tape recordings by his former bodyguard, Mykola Melnychenko, which were said to have been made between 1998 and 2000. One of them appeared to indicate that Kuchma had told officials to "deal with" Gongadze. In its ruling on Wednesday the Kiev court said the tapes had been acquired by illegal means and therefore could not constitute acceptable evidence. "An accusation can not be based on proof which has been acquired by illegal means and by a person who does not have the authority to carry out operational investigative work," Interfax news agency quoted judge Galina Surpun as saying. Gongadze, founding editor of the Internet newspaper Ukrainska Pravda, which was sharply critical of Kuchma's rule, was kidnapped in September 2000 in the capital Kiev. His body was discovered in woods, decapitated and partly burned.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 9 Comments 205 words Link to article
[Real Clear Politics] MSNBC daytime anchor Thomas Roberts seizes on Mitt Romney's use of the phrase "Keep America America." The network claims the phrase plays homage to the Ku Klux Klan slogan of "Keep America American." According to left-leaning news outlets, the "Keep America American" expression was apparently used by the KKK in the early 1900s.

Somehow the folks at MSNBC believe Mitt Romney is acknowledging his Klan roots by using a similar phrase in his 2012 campaign for the presidency.

UPDATE: On tonight's edition of MSNBC's "Hardball," host Chris My Thigh is Tingling! Matthews
... the late Tip O'Neill's former gopher who has magazines with centerfolds of Barack My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it Obama in his bathroom...
apologized for the "irresponsible" and "incendiary" attack on Mitt Romney.

#1: some of us liken MSNBC to the video propaganda in 1984 too.
Posted by: 3dc|| 2011-12-15 00:34 ||Top


American Pravda outlets
Posted by: 0bama|| 2011-12-15 00:38 ||Top


If the pic doesn't want to play nice, here's the link:
Posted by: gorb|| 2011-12-15 03:26 ||Top

#4: Whats MSNBC?
Posted by: newc|| 2011-12-15 09:54 ||Top

#5: 404 NOT FOUND, Link's bad, I stole the picture.
Posted by: Redneck Jim|| 2011-12-15 10:33 ||Top

#6: Too bad Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) wasn't around as a subject matter expert.
Posted by: Pappy|| 2011-12-15 12:06 ||Top

#7: Wow if Chrissy boy is apologizing the comments have to be completely unhooked from reality...MSNPMS has to be the last stop for lunatic fringe wacko journalists too nutty for prime time.
Posted by: Bill Clinton|| 2011-12-15 13:21 ||Top

#8: Just when I thought they couldn't get any more tasteless.
Posted by: DarthVader|| 2011-12-15 13:23 ||Top

#9: Silly Darth - they can always get more tasteless. :-(
Posted by: Barbara|| 2011-12-15 16:10 ||Top

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 668 words Link to article
[VOA News] Egyptians working in the tourism industry say they fear conservatives in the nation's next parliament may have a negative impact on their business. About one in eight Egyptians works in tourism and a blow to the sector would further damage the struggling Egyptian economy.

Hotel in Tahrir
Baha Salah has owned and operated the Cairo Inn in central Cairo for three years. Salah says his 10-room hotel has a few big selling points. It is clean and comfortable. And it is only a short walk to attractions like the Egyptian Museum.

But the Cairo Inn is also only a few hundred meters from Tahrir Square.

And that has made it less attractive to tourists.

"They focus on Tahrir, which is not Egypt. It's very - it amazes me. In TV, in the media, when they show Tahrir, people get scared. But Tahrir is not Egypt," said Salah. "I am near Tahrir, like two blocks away and I know the news from the TV."

Egypt's tourism sector has struggled since the massive street protests that shook major cities in January and February and forced the ouster of long-time President Hosni Mubarak
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
. A senior tourism official told Rooters news agency this week that tourism revenue is down by about 30 percent in 2011 from the previous year.

Still, Baha Salah says he could adapt to problems cause by insecurity. He says his bigger worry is Egypt's next parliament.

Egypt is in the midst of three rounds of parliamentary elections. Nine of Egypt's governorates vote in each round. In the first round, conservative parties did unexpectedly well.

Concerns after elections
Egypt's Moslem Brüderbund commanded around 37 percent of the vote. But what surprised many was the success of the more conservative Salafi parties, which took about 24 percent. Salafis want Egypt to adhere strictly to the principles of Islamic law.

For tourists this could mean a ban on alcohol and revealing swimwear on Egypt's beaches. A front man with the Salafi Nour party recently told Egypt's Dream TV that pharaonic monuments like the Sphinx are idolatrous and should be covered up.

Baha Salah says he's not certain that the Salafis know what's best for Egypt.

"It's crazy," said Salah. "I mean, they should get tossed in the clink for things like this. If it's not coming from the head of the party, they should be investigated and not let it happen again, because it really scared people."

Tour guide Rami Aboud is also worried. He says the Salafi party appeared out of nowhere on the political scene - and he wonders if they have the right experience to turn around the struggling economy.

"As for the Salafi, I can't stand these people," said Aboud. "I can't stand those people, they are just new people, appeared suddenly, called Salafi. They have a strong point against tourism, the method of tourists, dealing with the beaches, wearing bikinis.

"I think that's not the problem. That's not the big problem," he added. "The big problem in our country is to live. Most of the people is living from hand to mouth. So, you have to solve the basic problems."

Egypt's Salafis say they don't want to hurt the tourism industry. They have put forth several suggestions for sin-free tourism, including gender-segregated beaches, and allowing tourists to drink alcohol - but only in their hotel rooms.

Top Posted by Fred 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 285 words Link to article
[National Post] A leading ally of Vladimir Putin
...Second President of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits he is the current Prime Minister of Russia. His sock puppet, Dmitry Medvedev, was installed in the 2008 presidential elections. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law. During his eight years in office Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase, poverty decrease and average monthly salaries increase. During his presidency Putin passed into law a series of fundamental reforms, including a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile...
said on Wednesday he was quitting his post as Russian parliament speaker, after polls that saw the ruling party lose support and face protests against vote-rigging.

Boris Gryzlov is the highest-profile casualty yet of the controversy surrounding the December 4 parliamentary elections that has for the first time shaken Putin's decade-long domination of Russia.

"I have decided to renounce my mandate as a member of parliament... It would be wrong to occupy the post of speaker for more than two terms," said Gryzlov in a statement on the website of the ruling United Russia party.

Top Posted by Lord Garth 12/15/2011  00:00 0 Comments 226 words Link to article
From the, the author of the predictions below is an anti American, anti Israel secularist reporter who has lived in and around Cairo since about 2000; he appears frequently on al Jazeera (english).
Attempts by secular forces to coordinate their strategies and pick winners in certain districts will be tried in some places, even if coalitions such as Revolution Continues haev expressed unwillingness to deal with Egyptian Bloc candidates with ties to the old regime. I expect very limited success for this strategy because it was too late to take candidates off the ballot, and no one has the reach to marshall voters into casting their ballot more strategically.

That being said, voters will take their own initiative. I suspect the Egyptian Bloc, being the big winner among the secular parties in the first round, will be the logical choice for tactical voting.

Expect the FJP-Nour battle to intensify, particularly for IC seats
the seats reserved for individuals rather than party list candidates.
the salafists
lost most of those in the runoff last time, while the FJP
the moslem brotherhood
was taken off-guard by Nour's succcess in the first round. I wouldn't be surprised if we see tensions between FJP and Nour supporters, either.

Top Posted by Grunter 12/15/2011  00:00 5 Comments 4 words Link to article

#1: I'm surprised it didn't grab the remote and flip to the nearest sports channel.
Posted by: gorb|| 2011-12-15 03:12 ||Top

Posted by: BrerRabbit|| 2011-12-15 04:35 ||Top

#3: They should import some workmen from Canada.
Posted by: Eric Jablow|| 2011-12-15 07:28 ||Top

#4: There is something fishy about the sofa.
Posted by: SteveS|| 2011-12-15 11:15 ||Top

#5: He wants to know when they're gonna serve dinner.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305|| 2011-12-15 11:43 ||Top