War on the News, 16 - 22 March, 2008
Although fuel and other prices surged up and down this week, there
was little in the news about it while the incredible antics of
Barak and Hillary and their friends dominated the talk shows, and antiwar
protests got little coverage. For many lovers of liberty, attention was
on DC and the arguments on the DC Vs Heller case on the Second Amendment.
The end of the week was dominated by flooding stories from heavy rains
in the Midwest: of which we shall no doubt hear more next week. Let us
start with some news from the Mideast, not the Midwest.
Five occupation troops killed in attacks
Times Online [UK]
Four Nato soldiers have been killed and four injured in a suicide
car bomb attack on their armoured convoy in southern Afghanistan today.
In a separate incident, a Canadian NATO soldier was shot and killed while
on foot patrol near Kandahar. (03/17/08)
were Danes, who among other things are paying back the Brits and Amis
and Canadians for the liberation of Denmark from the Nazis a half-century
Canada confident of extra NATO troops
Canada expects NATO allies to soon offer 1,000 more soldiers
to support the Canadian contingent in Afghanistan, the foreign minister
said Sunday. Canadas Parliament agreed last week to extend Canadas
2,500-troop mission in Kandahar province to 2011, provided NATO sends
more troops and equipment to back them up in the former Taliban stronghold.
on the other hand, doesnt need to pay back anything to anybody:
Canada bled itself dry for King and Empire in WW1 and WW2, and helped
liberate millions more than, say France ever did (the French didnt
even liberate themselves). In a lot of ways, the Afghan situation is like
a running sore. Even if the bandage doesnt seem to be working, and
the wound is not healing, you dont rip the bandage off while you
figure out how to treat the problem. Sadly, I suspect that NATO, the US,
and the UN have not the slightest idea how to treat the underlying problem.
Note: Which is, I maintain, simply one more reason for ALL of them to
go home and leave these people to manage their own affairs. The running
sores were there before the invasions, and will be there long years from
now - provided anyone on earth survives, of course.
US: Yemen blast aimed at embassy
Three mortar rounds targeting the U.S. Embassy crashed into a
high school for girls next door Tuesday, killing a Yemeni security guard
and wounding more than a dozen girls, officials said. The embassy issued
a statement in Arabic saying none of its employees was wounded, adding
that we pray for the victims and their families. (03/18/08)
we find the so-called Arab patriots busy killing their own
people, even when they actually are not intending to do so.
Rights group challenges
Israels airport security
Israels renowned airline security faced a legal challenge
Wednesday from a civil rights group charging that its practice of ethnic
profiling is racist because it singles out Arabs for tougher treatment.
At a Supreme Court hearing, civil rights lawyers demanded an end to the
policy, which they say violates Israeli law. Such profiling is illegal
in the U.S., where passengers must be singled out for security checks
on a random basis. (03/19/08)
more sense, whether we are talking government security or private security?
This is insane to say that when the threat is primarily people of one
ethnic, cultural, or religious set, to randomly choose to
investigate anyone. Yes, Ive heard the arguments that a person of
a completely different profile can be forced into carrying
out the bombing attack or whatever, but they still do not constitute the
Tibet: Unrest spreads
BBC News [UK]
Protests in Tibet over Beijings rule have spread to neighbouring
parts of China, after days of demonstrations and violence in Tibets
main city, Lhasa. Clashes between Tibetan protesters and police in Aba,
Sichuan province, saw a police station and cars attacked. Rights groups
said several people had been killed in the clashes. Protests were also
reported in Gansu province. The unrest came after exiled Tibetan leaders
said a Chinese crackdown had killed at least 80 people in Lhasa.
realized I should stop assigning Tibet to the Chinese Front category.
More and more, it seems that people are unwilling to accept 58 years of
injustice, just as has happened in Eastern Europe and the old Soviet Union.
When it comes to speaking out on Tibet, China has just got too much
economic clout for Western powers to talk too loudly. In contrast to Western
condemnation of a crackdown on demonstrations in Myanmar (Burma) last
year, Western criticism of China's handling of protests in Tibet have
been much more muted.
words, easy living is preferable to standing for the truth and having
Tibetans continue to defy Chicom occupiers
New video from China suggests that security forces have yet to
gain complete control of Tibet and neighboring provinces which have suffered
eruptions of anti-Chinese violence since last week. Film of a crowd
some on horseback attempting to storm a government building has
been shot by a Canadian television crew that managed to gain access to
a Chinese town in Gansu province despite attempts by Chinese authorities
to keep foreign media away from the region. (03/19/08)
if accurate, is telling: Tibet seems to be in active rebellion, and the
Chicom government has to Regain control. Hopefully, they will not, and
the West will again be reminded that Communism is as much an evil as Islam
and our regular varieties of dictatorship.
AZ: Traveling aborted fetuses
display upsets ASU students
The Raw Story
A graphic display of aborted fetuses is causing concern at Arizona
State University. The traveling exhibit is sponsored by Justice for All,
a group that aims to train thousands against abortion. Our
goal is to educate the college campus of what the choice of abortion entails,
Rebeccah Wagner, a representative for the group told Phoenixs ABC
affiliate. Its a shock campaign, I honestly think its
less effective, I dont want to walk around campus and see that stuff,
ASU student Mike Zocchi tells the network. A March 14th letter printed
in a New Mexico college newspaper argues that the Justice for All exhibit
displays false information. (03/18/08)
disturbing; taking life away from the innocent SHOULD be more disturbed.
This is not the only place Justice for All is making a splash: U-Georgia
and UNM both have numerous calls for censorship of the group and for creating
Women's Study Centers to combat the evils, but
the false information claimed to be displayed seems to be
of the same nature as false information regarding Creation,
abiotic origins of oil, and climate change: subject to bias and interpretation.
A 2006 letter at UNM claims to
present the truth but seems to me to be nothing but an advertisement
for abortion services. Clearly these people are creating the kind of furor
that pro-abortion groups do NOT want, in the abortion groups most lucrative
Death by environmentalism
Review of Eco-Freaks: Environmentalism Is Hazardous to Your Health
by John Berlau: For the last half century, the environmentalist
movement has been a dominant influence on the cultural and political scene.
This is widely viewed as a blessing, whose progressive result has been
without exception the improvement of our society. John Berlau has written
a book aimed at kicking that smug sense of green achievement smack in
the teeth. (For publication 04/08)
worth looking at in detail.
CA: Junking stuff has gotten more
San Francisco Chronicle
The junk-hauling business is starting to think outside the box
er, dump. A growing number of small Bay Area hauling firms are
promising to recycle or find new homes for peoples unwanted stuff
rather than sending it straight to the landfill. They market themselves
as environmentally friendly and often boast green-sounding names such
as EcoHaul, iReuse and Blue Sky Hauling. But their business models and
approaches to recycling vary widely from one company with a sophisticated
Web site that matches unwanted corporate furnishings with needy nonprofits,
to another that simply leaves items outside its facility for low-income
neighbors to take. (03/16/08)
the mainstream media doesnt have a cue. This kind of thing has been
going on for years but it isnt sexy enough for the papers and TV
stations. Oh, and it isnt a dump, you turkeys, it is
a landfill. Your office and your house may be a dump, but
where solid waste is processed, reused, recycled, and sometimes buried
in federally-mandated coffins is a landfill. Many of which have their
own recycling center/shops for people to keep things out of
the big tombs.
Fed cuts interest
rate; stocks soar
The Federal Reserve slashed a key interest rate by three-quarters
of a point Tuesday, capping its most aggressive two months of action in
a quarter-century in a battle to halt a spreading credit crisis. Wall
Street loved it, bursting to its biggest gain in five years. The strong
Fed action seemed to convince investors, at least for now, that the central
bank will do whatever it can to keep the country out of a steep recession.
definitely living up to the predictions of several knowledgeable friends,
working our way down to zero and a collapse that is not going to be pretty,
for much of the country. The attitude of too many people is that we WILL
dodge the bullet because we have to. Bad attitude.
Stocks slip on profit taking a day
after big rally
Stocks closed lower Wednesday in volatile trading as oil prices
plunged and investors took profits a day after a Federal Reserve rate
cut spurred a powerful rally. News that the government plans to free up
billions of dollars at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a move that could help
struggling homeowners, appeared to quell some of the markets fears.
10% drop does NOT constitute a plunge, especially when the root causes
are still not resolved.
Netherlands: Dollars tough to sell
The U.S. dollars value is dropping so fast against the
euro that small currency outlets in Amsterdam are turning away tourists
seeking to sell their dollars for local money while on vacation in the
Netherlands. Our dollar is worth maybe zero over here, said
Mary Kelly, an American tourist from Indianapolis, Indiana, in front of
the Anne Frank house. Its hard to find a place to exchange.
We have to go downtown, to the central station or post office. Thats
because the smaller currency exchanges despite buy/sell spreads
that make it easier for them to make money by exchanging small amounts
of currency dont want to be caught holding dollars that could
be worth less by the time they can sell them. (03/18/08)
other stories make you wonder if the fall is being engineered. This also
points out a theme that the BBC and other British and Continental analysts
have been making: a worthless dollar is a disaster for Europe, as well,
no matter what that does to the price of oil for them. Tourism, electronics,
and many other things come with dollars.
Occupation troops clash with Serb protesters
NATO troops came under fire during Serb riots in the northern
Kosovo flashpoint of Mitrovica on Monday, in the worst violence in the
territory since the Albanian majority declared independence last month.
The rioting was a challenge to the authority of NATO, the United Nations
and a fledgling European Union justice mission, underscoring fears that
Kosovo could be heading for ethnic partition exactly one month after breaking
away from Serbia. Reuters witnesses in the town reported hearing gunfire
as hundreds of Serbs clashed with the NATO peacekeeping force KFOR, and
with U.N. police. (03/17/08)
As in Afghanistan,
NATO troops in Kosovo are facing the problem of an internal struggle fueled
by religious tensions masked by ethnic issues. Blessed are the peacemakers
Note: Indeed, but "peace" cannot be imposed on people by invaders
with guns. Peace must start and grow in the hearts of the people themselves
to be worth anything or to last.
Kosovo: NATO occupiers clamp down
Al Jazeera [Qatar]
The Kosovan city of Mitrovica has in effect been put under military
control, with NATO-led peacekeeping troops on the streets after riots
which left a UN policeman dead and 130 people injured. French troops with
the NATO-led KFOR force fired warning shots and a shock grenade in an
attempt to disperse stone-throwing Serbs on Tuesday. There was a tense
standoff following the incident but no repeat of the previous days
violence when rocks, hand grenades and Molotov cocktails were thrown at
the NATO-led troops and UN police. The clashes began after the police
took back UN court buildings seized by Serb protesters on Friday.
of dominating the minorities, the Serbs are now the minority in newly
independent Kosovo and misbehaving in the same way that they used to fight
against. Does it ever occur to anyone that it might be better to have
NO coercive, authoritarian government at all, but let people work out
things with their neighbors in a voluntary manner? It might not always
be peaceful, but peacefulness does not seem an option here WITH government.
Arthur C. Clarke, 1917-2008
BBC News [UK]
British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died in
Sri Lanka at the age of 90. Born in Somerset, he came to fame in 1968
when a short story The Sentinel was made into the film 2001: A Space Odyssey
by director Stanley Kubrick. Once called the first dweller in the
electronic cottage, his vision of future space travel and computing
captured the popular imagination. A close aide said he died after a cardio-respiratory
Clarke was one of the three deans of Science Fiction, and if not as liberty-oriented
as Robert A Heinlein, he was certainly a proponent of human freedom and
no fan of the state (unlike the third, Isaac Asimov).
Note: I've not read much SF, aside from most of what Heinlein wrote, so
can't say I'm well read in this genre... but I have read some of Asimov's
work and can't see him as a "fan of the state." He wrote about
highly state dominated societies (as did Heinlein) and explored other
kinds, but his heroes always seemed to be those who thought for themselves
and went about their lives in spite of the state when they were not frankly
at war with it. His non-fiction (he's a real scientist first) sparkles
with humor and stimulation for rational thought.
Kenneth Gregg, RIP
Hit & Run
Im sorry to report that the libertarian historian Kenneth
Gregg died Friday of congestive heart failure. Gregg was especially interested
in recovering the precursors to modern libertarianism, and he found antistatist
currents in places ranging from the cooperative movement to the Georgists;
he also explored topics ranging from radical puppetry to the life of the
early civil rights activist Timothy Thomas Fortune. (03/17/08)
lost this week: no where as well known as Arthur C. Clarke, but still
important. Like Clarke, his legacy will live on.
UK: Free children from national curriculum,
The head of the body responsible for monitoring teaching standards
will make an impassioned plea today for ministers to release pupils from
the stranglehold of the national curriculum and give teachers the freedom
to decide what should be taught. Keith Bartley, chief executive of the
General Teaching Council (GTC), will warn that the current primary school
timetable presents pupils with lessons that are too formal, too
early. A relaxation of the strict regime based on tests, targets
and league tables may be the best way to motivate and inspire children,
he argues. (03/17/08)
like it is time for Marshall Frtiz to set up a branch of his Separation
of School and State society in the UK. For most of a century, the Brits
prided themselves that their education system was NOT like that of the
French: now they are running it the same way as the French do. President
Charles DeGaulle had a special cabinet in his office, with a schedule
on it. He could look at the schedule and open and take out a book and
know exactly what page students of a particular age were reading in a
specific test at the time he pulled out the book. I wonder, does the High
Chancellor do this now?
Houston Indept. School District under
The federal government has provided millions of dollars called
E-Rate funds to school districts across the country for years. The money
is designed to improve technology and wire schools for the internet. For
six years, HISD used Micro System Enterprises of Houston as a vendor.
But now, that relationship is at the center of a federal investigation.
breeds corruption, a situation pointed out in a variety of ways over the
States to get leeway on school sanctions
The Bush administration is trying to address one of the most
common complaints about the No Child Left Behind education law: It treats
schools the same, regardless of whether they fail to meet annual benchmarks
by a little or a lot. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings plans to
announce Tuesday that she wants states to submit proposals for assigning
different consequences to schools based on the degree to which they miss
annual progress goals. Those goals are largely based on reading and math
tests given in grades three through eight and once in high school.
can we violate that basic principle of nanny-state government, One
size fits all? We need to continue to emulate Procrustes
at all levels of government, do we not? Especially in education; surely
we do not want children who stand out among their peers to any meaningful
UK: Big brother schooling
BBC News [UK]
Education in England could soon become Orwellian
under a regime of targets, testing, tables, inspections and observation,
teachers leaders warn. Julia Neal, president of the Association
of Teachers and Lecturers, said this was the likely outcome of over-measured,
over-monitored schools. The focus is on tests and targets, not personalised
learning, she told her unions annual conference in Torquay. Ms Neal
imagined a sinister future with CCTV surveillance in every classroom.
already? Of course, the question is WHO is Big Brother. Ms. Neal and her
ilk think that they, not Home Office bureaucrats, should be. Of course,
he who pays the gold (or fiat money) makes the rules.
Note: And, heaven forbid, we can't let lowly parents into the process...
even though they really do ultimately pay the bills.
IL: HS student
threatens to sue school
An Illinois high school senior is threatening to file a discrimination
lawsuit against his school district after he says a teacher told him he
fit the stereotype of a terrorist and humiliated him in front of his peers.
Maysam Amanishourbariki, 17, who was born in the United States and is
of Iranian heritage, claims his Italian language teacher told him last
semester that he fit the stereotype of a terrorist during an exchange
in class over his clothing, said Tamara Holder, his attorney. Two other
students also called him a terrorist, which was reported to school officials.
Everyone started to laugh, Amanishourbariki told the Waukegan
News-Sun. I just sat there. I was confused. I didnt know what
to do. I was angry and upset. (03/18/08)
me as a tempest in a teacup. If someone dresses or behaves in a manner
that gives the appearance of being a gang-banger, a thug, or a terrorist,
then is told that is what he looks like, there is no discrimination or
crime committed (except that in public schools, telling the truth often
IS a crime). If an Anglo kid showed up in a black uniform, jackboots,
and a high-peaked hat, even without any insignia, and was told he fit
the stereotype of a Nazi, would THAT be discrimination? Kids who wear
long black dusters and boots are regularly dragged into school admin offices
and grilled for being Columbine-wannabes and Matrix killer-imitators.
The kid needs to learn that people respond to you according to what you
look like, how you dress, and how you act: there aint no free lunch.
US eases No Child law
as applied to some states
New York Times
The Bush administration, acknowledging that the federal No Child
Left Behind law is diagnosing too many public schools as failing, said
Tuesday that it would relax the laws provisions for some states,
allowing them to distinguish schools with a few problems from those that
need major surgery. We need triage, said Margaret Spellings,
the secretary of education. In a speech in St. Paul, Ms. Spellings said
she would use her executive powers to allow potentially far-reaching changes
to the way some states carried out the law this year, at a time when efforts
by Congress to rewrite the law have stalled. (03/19/08)
you think that the NCLB might be right? That a lot more public schools
ARE failing. Heaven forbid. Honestly, all public schools need major surgery:
cutting the apron- and purse-strings that tie them to the state. But that
sort of life-saving surgery isnt what Bush and Spellings have in
mind, of course. By the way, can someone point out to me just WHERE in
the Constitution Ms. Spellings is given executive powers?
hide teacher misconduct, incompetence
School Reform News
New reports show teachers nationwide are allowed to continue
teaching, or are paid not to teach, after being found guilty of misconduct.
Expensive, difficult, union-mandated rules prevent them from being dismissed.
Over the course of a two-year investigation culminating in mid-December
2007, Floridas Herald Tribune newspaper uncovered what likely is
the tip of an iceberg a confidential, nationwide list of 24,500
teachers who have been punished for a wide array of offenses. (03/08)
As I said,
it just might be that NCLB actually IS right: that massive numbers of
public schools are failing even by the ridiculous standards of political
action. And also, as pointed out earlier, welfare breeds corruption
of all kinds. The public school system is corrupt, and getting more so
with each year.
Note: Did you ever work in a place dominated by a union? I did once, for
a very short time. Talk about a "hostile work environment,"
and don't even mention trying to get rid of the well connected incompetent.
But those who insist on thinking for themselves and telling the truth?
HAH! You're fired...
UK: Excessive testing making kids
The excessive testing regime in schools is making children mentally
ill, a teachers leader warned yesterday as she condemned the Governments
hands-on approach to primary education. Pupils were branded failures
even before they moved up to secondary school, said Mary Bousted, general
secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Children
suffer stress and anxiety as the test looms and the rise in childrens
mental health problems cannot be divorced from their status as the most
tested in the world, she added. The tests label young people
as failures, and this leads to one of the lowest rates for staying on
post-16 of any industrialised country. (03/20/08)
her boss comments, I guess; frankly, I suspect this is more about
teachers not wanting to have their success (or lack thereof) measured
and monitored. It appears to me that it is their failure to teach that
results in low student scores on tests more than any student anxiety.
Note: Sounds to me more like the PC crap about eliminating "winners
and losers" so as not to bruise their little psyches with any perceived
"failure." This, of course, only teaches children that it doesn't
matter what they do because they should expect "rewards" whether
they work or not, and regardless of their natural talents or strengths.
Of course, when failure is rewarded, you get more and more of it.
theft-funded schools: NOT!
Private colleges proliferating worldwide
Inside Higher Ed
With the demand for higher education ever-growing and unmet internationally,
the private sector continues to grow. A paper to be presented this week
at the Comparative and International Education Society conference in New
York explores global patterns in the growth of private higher education
how it increases access and who for, how private institutions expand,
and what the worries are. Fewer and fewer countries disallow private
higher education, whereas many did several decades back, writes
Daniel C. Levy, a professor and director of the Program for Research on
Private Higher Education at the State University of New York at Albany.
as it may seem, yes, many countries have exercised a government monopoly
on higher education, stemming (as I recall my history) a reaction to church-run
colleges and universities. (The reaction was such that even seminaries
were operated by the State for many years in some countries.) This was
as true in the West as in Communist countries, where presumably, private
schools are still illegal. But this can change: as last weeks article
about K-20 education reminds us, and the judges ruling in California
from several weeks ago, most people still believe that only the State
should control education. Too, licensing and financial aid., and the regulations
that accompany it, have made most private schools in much
of the US nothing but government-run schools anyway. Still, this is good
Predict End of Conservative Movement
The conservative era that began with Ronald Reagans presidency
in 1980 is dead, according to a liberal advocacy group. At a press conference
last week in the nations capital, the Campaign for Americas
Future drew parallels between the Carter-Reagan years and the current
conservative movement is dead, it is a suicide. The liberals are not really
winning so much as the conservatives are surrendering without a fight,
because they have betrayed all their basic principles while keeping the
name. (It reminds me of many (if not most) so-called christian
churches and colleges.)
Note: Since Reagan was no real friend of individual liberty, I'm not sure
just what "basic principles" were being conserved. Hopefully,
the death of the "conservative movement" will make room for
more individual sovereigns. But I won't hold my breath.
Poll: More see government as secretive
Nearly nine in 10 Americans say its important to know presidential
and congressional candidates positions on open government, but three
out of four view the federal government as secretive, according to a survey
released Sunday. Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University conducted
the survey in conjunction with Sunshine Week, a nationwide effort by media
organizations to draw attention to the publics right to know.
Can you possibly imagine why?
Note: Far too much emphasis on the "right to know." It's far
more important to eliminate the government power to pry and spy than to
know - sort of - who or why. After all, if government has this power,
what good does it do to know what was done after the fact? The damage
is already done then.
Veterans recall horrors of war in
Liz Jacksons eyes were fixed on a screen showing a live
broadcast of anguished testimonies by Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans
describing what they had seen and done during their combat tours. Jeffery
Smith recalled how his Army unit beat and humiliated Iraqi prisoners.
Former Marine Bryan Casler recounted how fellow Marines urinated and defecated
into food and gave it to Iraqi children. Former Marine Matthew Childers
talked about how he used to humiliate Iraqi civilians during predawn raids
on their homes. When he described turning away an Iraqi father who was
asking American troops to help the badly burned baby he carried in his
arms, Jackson began to weep silently. These soldiers are saying:
Im complicit, said Jackson, 29, a community organizer
from Cambridge. But every American citizen who saw this happen and
isnt out there protesting is complicit. I include myself.
everything is hearsay surely they can provide some proof of their
statements? Only then can things like this (if they happened) be corrected.
Note: Seems to me that personal experience and confession is pretty powerful
proof. How would you go about "proving" much of this otherwise?
Protests to mark 5th anniversary of
Opponents of the Iraq war [sic] will gather for vigils across
the country today in the culmination of a series of protests marking the
fifth anniversary of the conflict.
A variety of liberal groups,
including MoveOn.org, are hosting 800 vigils across the country today,
including one this evening in front of the White House. (03/19/08)
were a lot, but the total number of people participating indicates that
the vast majority of people in this country either (a) dont agree
with the opponents or (b) just plain dont care. The opposition to
occupying Mesopotamia is nowhere near the critical 1/3 needed for anything
beyond answering poll questions.
Note: Seems to me that there are a lot of people who DO care and DO oppose
the "war," but don't believe that street demonstrations are
of any use to effect change.
War protesters halt traffic, recall
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Protesters blocked traffic and government buildings in Washington,
acted out a Baghdad street scene in Syracuse, N.Y., and banged drums in
a parade through San Francisco on Wednesday to mark the fifth anniversary
of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. In other, more somber observances, organizers
set up a 2-mile display of about 4,000 T-shirts in Cincinnati, meant to
symbolize the members of the U.S. military killed in Iraq, while in Louisville,
Ky., demonstrators lined rows of military boots, sandals and childrens
tennis shoes on the steps of a courthouse. (03/19/08)
of the many protests, well-displayed on the media but also all carefully
coached and orchestrated actions, hardly the stuff of the heady days of
the 1960s. And in fact, several sympathetic commentators have pointed
out that the now grey- and bald- 60s peace protesters
have co-opted this modern movement and are destroying it for the sake
of reliving their childhood (assuming they ever grew up), as the next
Grannies, occupation supporters clash
Grannies holding a knit-in to protest the war in Iraq clashed
in a shouting match with pro-war activists in Times Square on Wednesday,
the fifth anniversary of the start of the conflict. About 30 member of
the Granny Peace Brigade, some sitting in rocking chairs and wheelchairs,
were knitting stump socks for veteran amputees and baby clothes for Iraqi
families at the Times Square military recruiting station that was damaged
by a small bomb on March 6.
You want a piece of granny?
Frederick Olbrey, 70, yelled at about half a dozen war supporters gathered
across the way as the grandmothers sang God Bless America.
Olbrey, a 1950s air force veteran, was campaigning with the granny brigade
to demand that troops be brought home now.
Granny groups in 20
cities were holding similar protests at recruitment centers and veteran
hospitals, the brigade said. (03/19/08)
the story doesnt point out that there are just as many grannies
firmly in support of the continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
as these who showed up to protest against it: many grannies are warmongers
as well. This is typical: the country is indeed split, as even polls are
showing. (And Mr. Olbrey doesnt sound like exactly a poster child
for peace, does he? Lets see, he is 70, which means that in 1972, he was
34: nope, he cant use being a child of the 60s as an excuse.)
SCOTUS upholds top two primary
Washington voters might again enjoy free-for-all primary election
ballots, thanks to a Supreme Court decision that struck a blow to political
parties long-running battle to control the rules of such elections.
The high court voted 7-2 Tuesday to uphold the states Top
Two primary, which allows voters to select freely among political
parties for various contests without pledging even temporary allegiance
to a party. While the political parties said their legal battle is far
from over, Secretary of State Sam Reed said Washington will use the Top
Two system for the first time in August.
Under a Top
Two system, whichever two candidates get the most votes advance
to the general election, regardless of party affiliation or the preference
of the state party organizations. Handily approved by voters in 2004,
the system has never been tried here because of the parties lawsuit.
this Top Two system just continues to support the two-party
system while giving lip-service to anything else. The only possible way
to advance to the general election is to have a massive party machine
behind you; the one exception to that might be a very popular, charismatic
demagogue the proverbial man on a white horse. I am frankly amazed
that the Demons and GOPers even fought this.
MO: Paul supporters
seize control at GOP caucuses
Kansas City Star
Ron Pauls Missouri supporters arent giving up. Despite
his distant fourth-place finish in the states presidential primary,
with just 4.5 percent of the vote, more than a thousand Paul supporters
crowded into Republican county caucuses last weekend, electing hundreds
of delegates to upcoming congressional district and state conventions.
Those caucus results arent expected to change Missouris votes
at the partys national convention they should still go to
Sen. John McCain. But theyre a complication for McCain, the presumptive
nominee, and an embarrassment for party regulars across Missouri.
Some county conventions passed resolutions endorsing some of Pauls
positions, including repudiation of the Federal Reserve and income taxes.
Theres a potential for embarrassing press coverage,
said state Republican committeeman David Buie, with no substantive
effect on the outcome. (03/17/08)
wisdom or folly? Now, if the Paul supporters REALLY took over the Missouri
GOP machine and spent the next two years working it over, they might have
a chance to get some of their agenda passed. But at the same time, I suspect
that they would lose their souls in the process.
San Jose Mercury News
Demonstrators marched through downtown San Francisco today holding
signs, chanting antiwar slogans and handing out unhappy birthday
cake as part of a day of nationwide protests to mark the fifth anniversary
of the U.S. Invasion of Iraq. About 100 protesters had been arrested by
early afternoon for blocking traffic and chaining themselves to buildings,
police said. The rallies, which drew hundreds to the citys busy
financial district, were mostly peaceful, though some demonstrators threw
glass Christmas ornaments filled with paint at police, said Sgt. Steve
Mannina, a San Francisco police spokesman. Black balloons were tied to
trees along the citys main downtown thoroughfare, and protesters
at a table offered coffee and oranges and a cake reading Unhappy
5th Birthday Stop the War Now to passers-by. (03/19/08)
I suppose, civil disobedience although Ive never understood
how things like this do anything for their cause except gain a bit more
press-time. This is different from actually breaking the law you are protesting,
as Rosa Parks and others have.
Saudi Arabia is to retrain its 40,000 prayer leaders - also known as
imams - in an effort to counter militant Islam. The plan is part of a
wider programme launched by the Saudi monarch a few years ago to encourage
moderation and tolerance in Saudi society.
do NOT have any liking whatsoever for Islam, militant or not
it is an evil religion. However, I have far LESS liking for any
government program to encourage moderation and tolerance by
mandatory training of religious leaders. Whether it is the Saudi gang
or any other government, this leads to worse and worse. We are seeing
a training of the new religious caste of a new Islamic caliphate, with
its goal to dominate and eventually absorb the world. I love the retraining
word the Soviets have permanently tainted that word, indeed.
Bin Laden slams EU over prophet cartoons
La Crosse Tribune
Osama bin Laden, in a new audio message posted Wednesday, condemned
the publication of drawings that he said insulted the Prophet Muhammad
and warned Europeans of a severe reaction to come. The message,
which appeared on a militant Web site that has carried al-Qaida statements
in the past and bore the logo of the extremist groups media wing
al-Sahab, showed a still image of bin Laden aiming with an assault rifle.
the problems with these folks, including the elusive Osama, is that they
seem to have a single response to ANYTHING they view as an attack or evil.
Whether it is a few pen-and-ink drawings (see
the display elsewhere on TPOL) or an air attack on a village or a
massive invasion, they respond with threats to kill the infidels
and then actually go out and maybe kill a few infidels but
in reality kill a lot more of their old fellow Muslims, including those
blowing themselves up to kill still more Muslims.
Note: Sadly, this is not unique to the Muslims. I've just been reading
the history of Britain and Europe of the 12th century with the new "Christians"
- private efforts and those officially sanctioned by both church and state
- doing their best to eliminate everyone who practiced the "old religions,"
including any Christians who opposed the massive campaigns of arson and
torture/murder, which wiped out men, women, children and even their animals.
Obama attacks racial divide in speech
Trying to quell a firestorm that threatens his presidential
chances, Barack Obama delivered a sweeping address yesterday that bluntly
challenged Americans to move beyond the racial stalemate that weve
been stuck in for years. He repeated his criticism of racially charged
remarks by his former pastor that, he acknowledged, have raised nagging
questions about his candidacy. But he also used the controversy
as a springboard for wide-ranging remarks that touched on the nations
legacy of racial division and long-simmering animosities that, he said,
have hindered social progress. Before an invited audience in downtown
Philadelphia, near where the Declaration of Independence was signed, Obama
spoke sympathetically about the way that affirmative action has stoked
racial resentment among whites. But he also called on whites to recognize
the burdens that blacks still face, almost a century and a half after
slavery was outlawed. (03/19/08)
to this speech are a stark contrast with each other, but he certainly
did not lay to rest the firestorm over his pastor and his
hateful and racist views, nor explain why he has been associated with
the fellow for 20+ years. Nor can he address the fact that he would NOT
be where he is if he were not passing for black. Though I am very much
a detractor of Martin Luther King, Jr., the impression that Obama left
with this speech can in no way be compared to the efforts of that arch-demogogue.
Besides, the politics of groups (racial or otherwise) is a major part
of our modern political and national problems. His speech just plays on
Desperate, Clinton presses Obama for
New York Daily News
Hillary Clinton rolled into Detroit Wednesday and pressured Barack
Obama to agree to primary do-overs in Michigan and Florida, declaring
anything short would be an un-American disenfranchisement
of voters. Sen. Obama speaks passionately on the campaign trail
about empowering the American people, Clinton told a crowd of hundreds
at a Detroit union hall. Today I am asking him to match those words
with actions. Michigan and Florida were stripped of their delegates
to the Democratic National Convention because both states held their primaries
before Feb. 5 in violation of party rules. (03/20/08)
heard claims this week that both Clinton and Obama are toast, while McCain
continues to surge against either of them.
Note: That has the comfort of being given a choice between hanging, drowning
or being shot. Guess I'd rather be shot... but dead is dead. I think I'll
puke on the next person who gushes about how much McCain is "for"
second amendment rights. What do I care what he's "for?" Why
should he have anything to say about my rights either way?
McCain, Obama, Clinton in dead heat
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton would both statistically tie
Republican John McCain in a general election matchup, a new CNN/Opinion
Research Corporation poll indicates. According to the poll released Tuesday
morning, both Obama and Clinton are locked in a dead heat with the Arizona
senator. If Obama were to win the nomination, he would get 47 percent
of the vote compared to 46 percent for McCain a statistical tie
given the polls 3 percentage point margin of error. Should Clinton
win the nomination, the poll suggests she would get 49 percent compared
to McCains 47 percent another statistical tie. (03/18/08)
that the poll is really valid, this points out that the country is once
again very deeply split, and opens the door for another Nader or Perot
type spoiler candidate. The question is, are we seeing a repeat of 2000?
Or of 1860?
MI: Primary do-over plan
Las Vegas Review-Journal
The drive for a second Michigan presidential primary collapsed
Thursday, and a fresh dispute broke out between Barack Obama and Hillary
Rodham Clinton over the fate of the states 156 national convention
delegates. Obamas campaign said a fair resolution would be to split
them evenly with Clinton. Aides to the former first lady instantly rejected
the idea and said they would consider a mail-in primary even though
Obama has raised concerns about the security of a vote by mail organized
so quickly. (03/20/08)
oh dear. My heart just bleeds for those people.
old blood no good [?]
The common practice of storing blood for more than two weeks could
be proving fatal for thousands of heart surgery patients, according to
a major study. Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio have found that
patients who receive blood that is more than 14 days old are nearly two-thirds
more likely to die than those who get newer blood.
note that in the US the average age of transfused blood is more than two
weeks - and that around half of all heart surgery patients receive blood
leave this to Mama Liberty to comment on fully, but it seems that one
mystery about survival of heart patients MAY be solved: this makes it
more critical than ever that people volunteer to donate blood regularly,
and that a NON-government system continue to manage blood supplies.
Note: Nathan and I exchanged so much about this that it grew into an independent
article. See Can
Guarantee the Safety of Donated Blood?
Bush says Iraq war was worth it
President Bush says he has no doubts about launching the unpopular
war in Iraq despite the high cost in lives and treasure, arguing
that retreat now would embolden Iran and provide al-Qaida with money for
weapons of mass destruction to attack the United States. Bush is to mark
the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on Wednesday with
a speech at the Pentagon. Excerpts of his address were released Tuesday
night by the White House. (03/18/08)
As a military
commentator pointed out, the problem was not so much with the initial
war, as it is with the occupation. Even when the US foolishly engages
in an aggressive war, he advocates that it never be followed by an occupation.
Bush, of course, is self-serving here, but people are believing him. And
with the current Obama-Clinton mess, McCain is doing much better, and
this supports his candidacy.
Reconciliation conference stalls
Major Sunni and Shiite political blocs Tuesday boycotted a national
conference aimed at reconciling Iraqs rival communities underscoring
the deep divisions tearing at the country despite a decline in violence.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, opened the two-day conference,
pledging that no religious or ethnic group would suffer as Iraq tries
to heal its internal rifts. (03/19/08)
sat on a wall, Humpty-dumpty had a great fall, and all the kings
horses and all the kings men, couldnt put Humpty together
Bush to public: Dont believe
your lyin eyes!
President Bush sought yesterday to convince a skeptical public
that the United States is on the cusp of winning the war in Iraq, arguing
in a speech that the recent buildup of U.S. forces has stabilized Iraq
and opened the door to a major strategic victory in the war on terror.
Vice President Cheney said separately that it did not matter whether the
public supported a continued U.S. presence in Iraq, and likened Bushs
leadership to that of Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. After a reporter
cited polls showing that two-thirds of Americans opposed the Iraq war,
Cheney responded: So? (03/20/08)
is right: as long as all people do is answer poll questions, it doesnt
matter. The antiwar demonstrations this week clearly demonstrated
that this opposition is paper-deep. And despite the headline, things ARE
going much better in Mesopotamia, even though it is not well enough to
overcome the really bad problems, most internal and some imposed by the
US. Nor does it take into account the cost in treasure (not in lives;
4,000 dead and 50,000 maimed is a drop in the bucket in 300 million Americans,
to anyone but people raised in our sanitized, risk-adverse society of
the early 21st Century) that is bleeding the US monetarily dry.
Note: I'm afraid I can't discount those dead and maimed quite so casually.
They were and are real people. This tragedy involves far more than money.
It represents a seemingly final destruction of America's dignity, integrity
and spirit of independence. America was sick for a very long time, of
course, but death seems to be approaching fast now.
Court to White House: Three days to
A federal court on Tuesday gave White House officials three days
to explain why they should not be required to make copies of all e-mails
on computers in the Executive Office of the President. In a three-page
order, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola expressed concern that a large
volume of electronic messages may be missing from White House computer
servers. Thats the allegation made by two private groups that are
suing the White House. Facciolas proposal would require the White
House to make copies of all e-mails from the period of March 2003 to October
2005. [Editors note: Proposal? Ive never
heard a court order called a proposal - TLK] (03/18/08)
Note: It's been a long time since a "court order" to the executive
branch had any kind of "or else" attached to it. Neither the
court or congress seem to have any real teeth anymore. The Imperial President
must enjoy that very much. And can you even imagine Hillary with that
much raw power?
Feds OK LNG terminal between NY, CT
Federal energy regulators on Thursday approved a $700 million
liquefied natural gas terminal proposed for Long Island Sound, a facility
opposed by the state of Connecticut and other critics who say it would
damage the environment and be vulnerable to a terrorist attack. The Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission voted 5-0 to approve the terminal, which
would be located 9 miles from Long Island and 10 miles from Connecticut.
surprise is that it was a 5-0 vote; the opponents want to see nothing
built anywhere that might allow energy supplies to be more efficiently
delivered, of course. ANYthing, including your house and your car, can
have potential to damage the environment, and Anything (especially in
the Greater New York area) can be a terrorist target. But all things considered,
this site makes sense.
Japan, Peru join hands in fight against
Leaders of Japan and Peru on Monday in Tokyo signed a joint statement
to strengthen cooperation in the fight against global warming in their
first summit talk in nine years. The statement stipulates that Japan and
Peru would focus on mitigation and adaptation measures, and pollution
issues. Japan promised financial aid to Peru in its effort to fight against
climate change. Ahead of a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo
Fukuda and Peruvian President Alan Garcia, foreign ministers from both
nations agreed on 785 million yen (7.8 million dollars) in aid to rebuild
schools and water towers destroyed in an earthquake last August.
the new buzzword climate change is increasingly replacing
global warming as global warming is increasingly debunked
(whatever the political scientists and leaders say). Japan thus extends
more control over the Peruvian economy (which sometimes resembles a Japanese
colony, even now).
Thickest, oldest Arctic ice is melting
The thickest, oldest and toughest sea ice around the North Pole
is melting, a bad sign for the future of the Arctic ice cap, NASA satellite
data showed on Tuesday.
This adds to the litany of disturbing news
about Arctic sea ice, which has been retreating over the last three decades,
especially last year, when it ebbed to its lowest level. Scientists have
said the trend is spurred by human-generated climate change. Melting Arctic
ice does not raise sea levels as the melting of glaciers on Greenland
or Antarctica could, but it does contribute to global warming when reflective
white ice is replaced by dark water that absorbs the suns heat.
as weve talked about time and again. Again, this is cyclic:
Arctic ice has grown and shrunk over the centuries it was just
that we didnt have anyone with satellites to measure each and every
gain and loss. But this builds NASAs credibility (no matter how
much a losing battle THAT is) and revs up the masses and the Congressional
Drug trade tyranny on
More than 20,000 Mexican troops and federal police are engaged
in a multi-front war with the private armies of rival drug lords, a conflict
that is being waged most fiercely along the 2,000-mile length of the U.S.-Mexico
border. The proximity of the violence has drawn in the Bush administration,
which has proposed a $500 million annual aid package to help President
Felipe Calderón combat what a Government Accountability Office
report estimates is Mexicos $23 billion a year drug trade.
just send in the troops? Well, for one thing, we dont have enough
of them. For another, we dont want to destroy Mexicos government
OR its economy (sensible as both might be, because something could emerge
from the ashes that is much, much better). Of course, with the new North
American Union, maybe it could be Canadian troops withdrawn from Afghanistan
that are sent to clean up Mexico. That would be a hoot.
Border fence still bogged
down in court
Some resistant South Texas landowners and a federal judge have
come between the government and its goal of nearly 700 miles of Mexican-border
fencing by the end of the year. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen has ordered
the government to negotiate with owners over the price of access to the
land, an extra step that has slowed the project. (03/16/08)
see: crossing into the country without a permission slip is illegal. Trespassing
is illegal and immoral. Stealing someones land is immoral. Stealing
someones land, unless you are the government, is illegal. Hmm, so
who are the worse criminals?
UK: July 7 inquests
could be secret
BBC News [UK]
Relatives of those who died in the 7 July bombings fear the inquests
into their deaths could be heard in secret. Proposals in the governments
Counter Terrorism Bill could see a special coroner appointed for an inquest
where national security is an issue. The Justice Secretary could also
ensure the coroner could sit in secret and without a jury.
clauses involved are clauses 64 and 65 of the Counter Terrorism Bill currently
going through Parliament.
If it became law, it would allow the
justice secretary to decide that an inquest needed special measures for
reasons of national security. The coroner could be replaced by a government-appointed
coroner and could take place in secret, without a jury. (03/19/08)
a jury? Things are bad in the UK.
to defend ourselves:
81-year-old defends self, wife
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Eighty-one-year-old Robert Jenkins said he loaded his wife's handgun
and tried to scare off a burglar in his Tucker home, but he fired when
the intruder rushed him, according to a family friend. DeKalb police said
the shooting was justified, and Jenkins will not be charged in the death
of the suspect, a man possibly in his 20s who had not been identified
Wednesday. "He defended his home, defended his wife," police
spokesman J.T. Ware said. "He did what everybody would hope to do
in a situation like that." Jenkins was being treated at a hospital
Wednesday for a minor gunshot wound. His 78-year-old wife was unharmed.
great is not only did he protect his wife, but the POLICE guy thought
he did a great job. Tucker and DeKalb are lucky to have a cop system that
isnt so much into the victim disarmament system.
Note: Maybe if he had kept the gun loaded, he wouldn't have been injured
at all. It takes time to load a gun, even a semi-auto - and spare time
is what you don't have in an emergency like this. I'm glad they had a
gun. Now they need to learn a lot more about self defense, both of them.
to defend ourselves:
fights off purse snatcher
An 83-year-old great-grandmother thwarted a would-be purse snatcher
with a gas nozzle and an iron grip. Bernie Garcia said a young man approached
her at a gas station as she was buying fuel for her van and asked for
money. When she told him she had spent all her spare change on gas, he
tried to grab her purse. But I had it wrapped around my wrist twice,
Garcia said, and he was unable to pull it away. She fought back, spraying
his shirt with some gasoline. (03/15/08)
isnt spraying gasoline on someone a felony? It is assault, with
a cancer-causing chemical, at the least. Watch this would-be mugger sue
her for illegal dispensing of gasoline and probably a dozen other things.
Note: I suspect it was not intentional, but simply the result of the struggle
while she held the gas nozzle. But gasoline is a poor substitute for an
intelligent self defense tool.
to defend ourselves:
IL: House committee defeats ammo trace
Legislation intended to help solve gun-violence crimes that opponents
said could have shut down a major ammunition plant in Alton was defeated
Wednesday. It was among a handful of gun-related legislation acted on
by lawmakers in a House committee. One plan, proposed by state Rep. Will
Davis, D-Homewood, would have required ammunition in Illinois to carry
a laser-inscribed code on both the casing and bullet. Davis said the matching
codes could help identify killers at crime scenes. But opponents said
that the process of etching the codes would cost the ammunition industry
millions and all but force the Winchester Ammunition plant in Alton to
but dont think Davis and his backers are going to give up. The issue
here is not whether it would help solve crimes. (Hardly will it deter
them: professional gunners will remove the inscriptions or get their ammo
elsewhere; people who kill in passion wont think about being traced;
suicide-school-shooter types wont care.) No, this is about pricing
ammo higher and higher and closing plants like the Alton one. Nice as
it is to buy cheap Wolf ammo or some other brand made in the Russias or
Romania, we NEED ammo plants close to home indeed, in every state
Note: More than one way to skin a cat... Since elimination of the guns
seems to be such a difficult task, those who wish us dead will simply
work underground to make it almost impossible to use those tools effectively.
And no, they will never stop trying to disarm us all.
to defend ourselves:
Homeowner shoots man in stomach
The citys first homicide of the year occurred Saturday
morning when police said a 72-year-old man shot his 37-year-old housemate
in the stomach. Police were called to the scene about 7 a.m. and found
Jonathon Joseph Stevens dead on the sidewalk next door to the home where
hed been living. Police have not released the name of the accused
shooter. Flint police Sgt. Roderick LeGardye said Stevens and the older
man got into an argument early Saturday morning inside the home at 2518
Bagley St. During the fight, Stevens allegedly hit the elderly man with
a large wooden stick. The 72-year-old then pulled out a gun and shot the
victim at least once in the stomach, LeGardye said. (03/16/08)
to be doing well; here we are at the end of the first quarter, and their
only homicide is a justifiable one!
to defend ourselves:
Supreme Court hears arguments on gun
The Supreme Court on Tuesday took up gun control, hearing arguments
concerning a District of Columbia ban on handguns more than two centuries
after the Second Amendment gave Americans the right to keep and
bear arms. Lawyers for both sides tried to strike a moderate tone
before the court, arguing that there was an individual right to own a
weapon, but that governments could impose reasonable gun-control legislation.
the one stem from the other? Can we have reasonable speech-control
legislation? How about reasonable religious control legislation?
Lets limit free-speech to only certain small areas of towns or campuses,
on regular schedules. Lets limit worship only to certain buildings
on certain days of the week. Oops, we already do, at least in some places
in what used to be a land of liberty.
to defend ourselves:
agree on right to own guns
Americans have a right to own guns, Supreme Court justices declared
Tuesday in a historic and lively debate that could lead to the most significant
interpretation of the Second Amendment since its ratification two centuries
ago. Governments have a right to regulate those firearms, a majority of
justices seemed to agree. But there was less apparent agreement on the
case they were arguing: whether Washingtons ban on handguns goes
. Inside the court, at the end of a session extended long
past the normal one hour, a majority of justices appeared ready to say
that Americans have a right to keep and bear arms that goes
beyond the amendments reference to service in a militia.
The basic issue for the justices is whether the amendment protects an
individuals right to own guns no matter what, or whether that right
is somehow tied to service in a state militia. A key justice, Anthony
Kennedy, seemed to settle that question early on when he said the Second
Amendment gives a general right to bear arms. He is likely
to be joined by Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and
Clarence Thomas a majority of the nine-member court. Gun rights
proponents were encouraged. (03/18/08)
a very optimistic report, but I really hope it is accurate.
to defend ourselves:
SCOTUS gun case draws protesters
Advocates of gun rights and opponents of gun violence demonstrated
outside the Supreme Court Tuesday while inside, justices heard arguments
over the meaning of the Second Amendments right to keep and
bear arms. Dozens of protesters mingled with tourists and waved
signs saying Ban the Washington elitists, not our guns or
The NRA helps criminals and terrorist buy guns. Members of
the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence chanted guns kill
as followers of the Second Amendment Sisters and Maryland Shall Issue.Org
shouted more guns, less crime. (03/18/08)
really entertaining. I suppose it gains publicity, but really, what other
purpose does it serve? I support their right to do it, but it seems to
be a waste of time that could be used to educate people better.
to defend ourselves:
TX: Homeowner shoots intruder
Dallas Morning News
A homeowner shot an intruder early Friday morning, and North
Richland Hills police were investigating whether criminal charges would
The 30-year-old homeowner heard some noises outside and
confronted a person in his backyard. The homeowner told the person to
stay put, but the man advanced, police said. Samuel Thomas Ford, 27, was
shot in the shoulder and taken to John Peter Smith Hospital with a non-life
threatening injury, police said. (03/14/08)
the investigation is to figure out what charges the man who was shot will
be given, and NOT what the landowner will get. He seems to clearly be
in the right.
to defend ourselves:
UT: Man shoots intruder
A man shot an intruder in the stomach after the suspect attacked
his girlfriend in her South Salt Lake home. The woman was sleeping in
her home in Mountain Shadows Apartments on 3900 south and 700 west, when
around 5:45 a.m., she was awakened by a loud bang. A man, who police have
identified as 18-year-old, Daniel Glen Larson, allegedly kicked in the
apartment door and shattered the door frame. The woman immediately alerted
her boyfriend, who was also in the apartment and began calling 911. Just
as she was dialing the numbers into her phone, Larson allegedly grabbed
the woman and began attacking her. Seconds later, the womans boyfriend
retrieved his loaded handgun and shot Larson in the abdomen.
like the boy-friend shot a little too high.
to defend ourselves:
Homeowner returns fire, intruders flee
According to investigators, two or three men entered the home
in the 3000 block of Hourglass Road by an unsecured ground-floor door
about 2 a.m. When the intruders were confronted by the homeowner, one
of the intruders fired a gun at him. The homeowner returned fire at the
suspects using a handgun, Barnett said. After several shots were fired,
the intruders fled without taking anything. (03/18/08)
apparently, but at least some crime was prevented, because the homeowner
was prepared. Are you?
Note: I wouldn't call this homeowner particularly prepared. Yes, it's
good he has a gun, but leaving a door unlocked like that is just plain
stupid. He also obviously needs some training and serious practice with
the gun. Self defense involves a great deal more than gun ownership.
to defend ourselves:
MO: Man thwarts
three would-be burglars
Kansas City Star
The pounding of feet against his front door awoke a 56-year-old
Kansas City man early Tuesday. Was that you? Les Daniel called
to his 10-year-old grandson in another bedroom. No, the boy
replied. Daniel climbed from bed, grabbed two handguns and prepared for
. When he peered into his darkened dining room, fish
tank lights illuminated a hooded stranger slinking across the room to
inspect a home computer. Who is it? Daniel asked. KCP,
the stranger replied, an apparent reference to Kansas City police. Daniel
saw a second stranger and heard a third. He wondered whether to confront
them or just kill them. I was behind two of them, and they didnt
even know it. I could have killed them really quick, he recalled.
But they looked young. And if I start shooting, theyre gonna
shoot back. Not wanting to endanger his wife and grandson, Daniel
called out: "Whatever you think I got, youre wrong! There aint
anything in here! Youre about ready to die over $8! He chambered
a round in his .357-caliber Glock with a loud click. The intruders fled.
to the previous story, and again, a wise and prepared man. And no shots
Note: Big difference I can see is that this guy really used his head and
took rational defensive moves. The sound of any autoloader being chambered,
however, would help motivate most criminals to leave. Most wouldn't stick
around to learn the caliber or the brand name of the gun.
to defend ourselves:
IN: Man shoots intruders on fathers
Police are investigating after a Southern Indiana man shot two
people on his property late last night. It happened just outside of Austin,
Indiana. A business owner near Austin says hes been robbed recently,
and last night his son shot two men on the property that he thought were
trying to rob his Modular Home business. The police were called and when
they got there, they found two men in a nearby field with gunshot wounds.
It is not clear at this point whether or not the two were just trespassing,
or trying to rob the man. (03/19/08)
seem to merit more investigation. Hopefully, the son was careful to establish
and follow some basic rules of engagement to be able to defend himself
against claims that he overreacted. Frankly, the benefit should be given
to the shooter: why would they be trespassing if not to either steal or
Note: "JUST trespassing?" In the middle of the night? So what
were they doing trespassing at all? I've lived for 61 years without once
ever trespassing anywhere, let alone in the middle of the night. Of course,
in a society where nobody really OWNS anything, the idea isn't as strange
as it would have been a hundred years ago when "just trespassing"
was plenty of reason to be shot dead - even in broad daylight.
to defend ourselves:
KY: Judge issues
injunction over non-citizens carrying guns
A federal judge has stopped enforcement of a Kentucky law barring
non-citizens from carrying concealed deadly weapons. U.S. District Judge
Thomas Russell said the law is written too broadly and violates the rights
of attorney Alexander M. Say, a British national who has lived in Kentucky
for 15 years.
The [ACLU] sued the Jefferson County Sheriffs
Department and Kentucky State Police on behalf of Say. The ACLU challenged
the citizenship requirement, saying Kentucky lawmakers should not have
passed the law.
Say argued that no federal law requires U.S. citizenship
for people to be licensed to purchase, carry, transport or carry a concealed
deadly weapon, and neither should state law. (03/15/08)
Human rights are NOT based on such ephemeral things as citizenship or
voting power but upon being created in the image of God, responsible
to Him and made free.
to defend ourselves:
rallies planned on campuses
TMJ 4 News
A number of so-called empty holster rallies are being planned
next month at college campuses around the country. The gatherings are
planned to protest licensed and trained gun holders not being able to
carry guns on campuses. Some of those holsters are to be collected and-or
donated by a Green Bay company. It is T-G-S-Com Incorporated, which runs
more than 100 gun and sporting goods Web sites. Thats the same firm
that sold a gun to the campus shooter at Virginia Tech and some accessories
to the Northern Illinois shooter. Eric Thompson of T-G-S-COM says
and we quote These killers are going into their classrooms
and lecture halls with the full intention to kill as many people as possible
and the full intention of killing themselves before the police can get
there. And theyre doing it in minutes. And no matter how good the
law enforcement is, theyre still late. (03/19/08)
you just LOVE unbiased reporting? Kathy DeLong certainly makes her position
clear. This seemed to spark debates and some moves to get changes started
last time, and I expect it will do even more this time. This is far more
effective than throwing ornaments with paint at cops or chaining yourselves
to meaningless buildings (see antiwar protest arrests in separate
to defend ourselves:
NY: Resident shoots at robbers
A resident of Elmont shot at two suspects who broke into his
residence in an attempted burglary. According to police, at approximately
1:25 a.m. on Feb. 28, two male suspects kicked open the side door of a
Post Avenue home and ordered the 36-year-old male resident not to move.
Police said the suspects then removed cash that was on a piece of furniture
in the living room. Police said the resident was a licensed pistol permit
holder and produced a handgun. The resident then chased after the suspects,
firing one shot, police said. It is not known whether one of the suspects
was struck. (03/20/08)
does it make that he was licensed?
Note: The only difference I can see is that the story takes place in New
York where the "license" is the difference between being thrown
in jail for an "illegal" gun and not having a gun at all.
to defend ourselves:
NC: Home invasion victim shoots, kills
Police say two suspects are dead after an attempted home invasion.
Catawba County sheriffs deputies say two men dressed in black and
carrying pistols forced their way into a home on 33rd Avenue in Hickory
around 11:00 last night. According to a sheriffs official, the homeowner
was armed with his own gun, and shot the suspects. Both suspects were
pronounced dead at the scene.
At this time, no arrests have been
made. [Editors note: And who is left to arrest? - MLS]
Mary Lou. Once more, we see the bias of the media here.
found on distant planet
A carbon-containing molecule has been detected for the first time on
a planet outside our Solar System. The organic compound methane was found
in the atmosphere of a planet orbiting a star some 63 light years away.
Water has also been found in its atmosphere, but scientists say the planet
is far too hot to support life. [Dr Giovanna Tinetti said] "I definitely
think that life is out there. My personal view is it is way too arrogant
to think that we are the only ones living in the Universe." The number
of known planets orbiting stars other than our own now stands at about
presents a dilemma for scientists, especially those who are materialists
(evolutionists): for years they have been viciously attacking anyone who
advocates an abiotic origin even of methane (yes, humans can make methane
without biological materials, but they apparently claim that since WE
are organic, it is still a biotic origin). Now, guess what: either they
have to change the conditions under which life can spontaneously develop
so that it can produce the methane, or they have to decide that methane
CAN form from non-organic sources. I find Dr. Tinettis statement
quite fascinating: we are too arrogant to believe in God, but we can believe
in little green men?
Note: I find it very strange that anyone considers that belief in God
must exclude the possibility that He created other beings in other places.
The universe is a very large place, and we can only see a tiny sliver
of it. Yes indeed, it is incredibly arrogant to think that we know anything
about what God has or can do beyond the bit we see "in a mirror darkly."
Pakistan: 18 killed in missile strike
Los Angeles Times
A missile strike Sunday destroyed the compound of a suspected
militant leader in Pakistans tribal belt, killing at least 18 people,
officials and local residents said. The Pakistani military disavowed responsibility
for the strike in the South Waziristan tribal region, raising the possibility
that it was carried out by U.S. Forces American military officials in
neighboring Afghanistan had no immediate comment, though U.S. troops are
believed to have carried out several similar attacks in recent months.
is the US; the location may or may not be in Pakistan or Afghanistan.
The border between the two countries is vague to say the least.
It isnt like the border between Kansas and Oklahoma, a straight
line marked by the precisely surveyed centerline of a paved road. And
the Pakis arent likely to do anything more than they absolutely
have to, to rile the tribes, Al Qaeda-supporters or not.
Four FBI agents hurt in Pakistan bombing
Four of the 12 people wounded in the weekend bombing of an Islamabad
restaurant are U.S. FBI agents, the bureau confirmed Sunday. The attack
occurred Saturday when a bomb was hurled over a wall surrounding the Luna
Caprese restaurant, an outdoor cafe frequented by Westerners, journalists
and diplomats. (03/16/08)
there enough work for FBI agents in the US, investigating corrupt governors,
bad medical clinics, and whoring judges?
government people tricks:
war US diplomats poorer but proud
In 2003, three senior U.S. diplomats abruptly ended prestigious
careers and gained international attention by noisily resigning in protest
over the U.S. war in Iraq. In interviews on Tuesday on the eve of the
fifth anniversary of the invasion, the three said they have lived more
modestly without government salaries but the chaos that has followed President
George W. Bushs Iraq policy shows their actions were justified.
The three former diplomats did not know each other before, but
have written a joint opinion article they hope to publish on Wednesdays
anniversary. The war happened, with tragic but predictable consequences,
they wrote. The invasion of Iraq had a terrible impact on Americas
relationship with the world. Our gesture earned us a brief
moment in the media and the cautious respect of our colleagues. Five years
later, we do not regret our decision to leave the profession we loved.
us that some people do have and live by their principles. What is sad
about this article is that the giving up of a government salary should
be viewed as such a tremendous hardship and sacrifice. I am glad that
they dont regret it.
Fed cuts discount rate as US banks
The Federal Reserve, in a series of emergency moves to try to
stabilize world financial markets, voted Sunday to cut its interest rate
on direct loans to banks by a quarter of a percentage point, and to provide
a new line of credit to securities dealers. The Fed acted on a day that
saw JPMorgan Chase acquire faltering investment bank Bear Stearns at a
fire sale price. On Sunday night, the Fed also provided financial backing
that facilitated the Bear Stearns sale. (03/16/08)
It is nearing
closer and closer to a ZERO discount and prime rate, as predicted by a
number of insiders. The Fed and the Federal Government are stealing the
savings of hundreds of millions of people, just as they are looting other
banks (or helping them be looted).
Audit: Bush barely trims FOIA backlog
Despite ordering improvements more than two years ago, President
Bush has barely made a dent in the huge backlog of unanswered requests
under the Freedom of Information Act. At the same time, an audit by the
National Security Archive found that Bush has provided citizens someone
to talk to about how long it is going to take to get the government records
they want or to be turned down. (03/16/08)
I get this
(wrong) vision of his desk piled high with requests and documents to be
reviewed, but of course, it isnt the Prez that authorizes money
be spent to deal with the backlog.
Fed cuts interest;
The Federal Reserve slashed a key interest rate by three-quarters
of a point Tuesday, capping its most aggressive two months of action in
a quarter-century in a battle to halt a spreading credit crisis. Wall
Street loved it, bursting to its biggest gain in five years. The strong
Fed action seemed to convince investors, at least for now, that the central
bank will do whatever it can to keep the country out of a steep recession.
didnt think the dollar was worth much last week, now watch and see.
Yeah, the stock market is coming up, but the dollar is dropping so fast
that the tourists cant keep up with it, so in reality, the stock
market is dropping.
Note: What still amazes me is how the price of some electronic merchandise
continues to drop. Maybe some retailers are worried they won't be able
to sell the stuff at all if the dollar continues to free fall, and are
just taking a bit less of a loss now. I don't know, but none of it feels
right. My last trip to the grocery store was painful...
Affirmative action foes point to Obama
Leading opponents of affirmative action are increasingly seizing
on Illinois Senator Barack Obamas historic run for the presidency
as proof that race-based remedies for past discrimination are no longer
necessary. Influential Republicans and a growing number of policy specialists
at conservative organizations, including the Goldwater Institute, Project
21, and the Manhattan Institute, are citing the fact that large numbers
of white voters are supporting Obama, who leads in the race for Democratic
delegates, as evidence that affirmative action has run its course. Ward
Connerly, a black conservative who is leading a national effort to ban
racial preferences, vowed to use Obamas success as evidence for
anti-affirmative action ballot initiatives his organization is promoting
in five states. (03/18/08)
So in other
words, if he LOSES, then will this be proof that MORE affirmative action
is needed? I fear that is what the liberals will take away. Still, the
entire idea of affirmative action is so evil and distasteful, any way
of attacking it should be used, provided it is moral and effective.
States weigh lowering drinking age
Debate over lowering the drinking age is heating up in several
states, fueled in part by legislators who contend that men and women who
are old enough to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan are responsible enough
to buy alcohol legally. Legislation introduced in Kentucky, Wisconsin
and South Carolina would lower the drinking age for military personnel
havent bothered to do their historical research. The argument for
raising the age to 21 (as essentially mandated by the federal government
through the withholding of highway trust funds) was that because some
states had 21 and others had 18, a bunch of young people were killing
themselves going to a state with a lower age and driving home drunk. Of
course, a mandate of 18 would have done the same thing, but government
goons dont ever think that way. This is another indicator of stupid
thinking: to create a special class of person allowed more under the law.
The logic seems to be unmistakable (and echoes that used during the Vietnam
era): military personnel have (theoretically) some self-discipline, and
are under stricter military discipline than your average lazy, carefree
civilian. But things dont always work out logically. Why not consider
just reducing the age to 18 and getting rid of the federal mandate? Or
leaving it up to parents?
Note: There's more to it even than that. Most 18 year olds are no longer
living at home anyway. Parents are a good place to start, but remember
that with all the PC "zero tolerance" a parent can be sent to
jail for giving a child a sip of beer. The "war on drugs" and
the war on people won't change whatever age is chosen as the magic number.
It's not about safety, it's about control.
CA: Olsen released from prison
San Francisco Chronicle
Former Symbionese Liberation Army member Sara Jane Olson, who
hid for years by posing as an ordinary housewife, was released from prison
Thursday after serving time for attempted murder and second-degree murder
in two separate cases, authorities said. Olson, 61, formerly known as
Kathleen Soliah, walked out of the Central Womens Facility in Chowchilla,
prisons spokesman Bill Sessa said. For almost 24 years, Olson was one
of the nations most sought-after fugitives she disappeared
in 1975, the same year two Los Angeles police cars were bombed. She changed
her name from Kathleen Soliah and, over the years, lived as a mild-mannered
Midwestern housewife. (03/21/08)
a lot of cop groups are really ticked off about this believing
that cop-killers (or wannabe killers) are worse than normal
killers. The prison term (which has apparently been made much shorter)
was a plea bargain, and she still insists that she did not build or set
the bombs, but the cops wont let that alone, it seems.
Government warns of danger of crucifixion
The Philippines government has issued an Easter public heath
warning on the dangers of crucifixion. Thousands of worshippers
in the Philippines will this week practice crucifixion and self flagellation
to show their faith. The government is encouraging them to get a tetanus
shot first and be sure to use a clean whip or nails. (03/20/08)
a rather strange custom seemingly unique to Hispanic cultures: you dont
see this sort of thing in Belgian or German or Italian Catholics, but
do in Spain, Mexico, South America, the Philippines, and New Mexico and
even southern Colorado. (I dont hear about it in California, except
in San Francisco, and I suspect those are not Catholics doing it). The
Penitente sects of New Mexico and Colorado still have some adherents,
and this seems to appeal to many Hispanics: their chapels and holy places
reflect this theme to a scary degree, and I personally think it is tied
to the common Hispanic glorification of the military and the state
a trait dating back to the 700-year Reconquista against the Moors in Spain
Note: This always struck me as sick and even sacrilegious. I have talked
to Philippine people about it, and understand they think it is an act
of sincere worship (for those relative few who practice it), but it seems
like blasphemy to me. I know from experience that extreme asceticism is
frowned on by even the Catholic Church because it is not an act of love
for God, but for self aggrandizement.
Kenya passes power-sharing deal
Kenyan lawmakers unanimously approved a power-sharing deal Tuesday
aimed at salvaging a country once seen as one of the most stable and prosperous
in Africa, bringing together two men whose dispute over the presidency
unleashed weeks of deadly violence. President Mwai Kibaki and opposition
leader Raila Odinga both claimed victory in the December 27 presidential
election, which observers said was so flawed by rigging that it was impossible
to say who had won. (03/18/08)
massa-wannabes win and the people lose. And this is good?
UN report: Darfur attacks broke human
Attacks in January and February by Sudanese forces on Darfur
villagers are described in a U.N. report as violations of international
humanitarian and human rights law. Between January and February,
Sudanese forces killed 115 people including women, children and
elderly in air and ground attacks on four Darfur villages, according
to the report. (03/20/08)
hold your breath expecting any Sudanese thugs to be brought to justice,
much less their national leadership.
TN Audit: Over $2 million in lottery
tickets that couldnt win
Tennesseans bought over $2 million in lottery tickets that could
never win last year when a software glitch kept repeat digits from appearing
in winning numbers, according to an audit released Tuesday. The sweeping
audit from Comptroller John G. Morgan reviewed the entire episode last
summer when a programming error in the states new computers for
generating lottery numbers affecting lottery drawings for several weeks.
The audit, which found no fraud associated with the episode, also found
that the lottery had no in-house system for checking its drawn numbers.
Smartplay, the company that created the draw system, had opportunities
to identify the programming error on the first day the computers went
into use, and they did not do so. (03/18/08)
not have been intentional, but it still seems like fraud to me. Bad enough
that the state-run gambling is much more in favor of the state than any
numbers racket run by the mob was in favor of the mob, but now theyve
come up with a way to cut out the prizes completely.
Note: Neat racket, if they can get away with it. I hope nobody is gullible
enough to think this was the first or the last time such a thing happens...
regardless of who was at fault. But there is one surefire way for everyone
to avoid being defrauded by this sort of thing... don't buy the tickets
at all. That would fix their little red wagon.
AL: Have a crack baby, go to jail
Covington County, Alabama prosecuting attorney Gregory L. Gambril
interprets a 2006 child chemical endangerment law to include
the unborn, prompting concern over patient privacy and judicial precedent.
Section 26-15-3.2 (Act 2006-204, §2) of the Code of Alabama makes
it a felony to expose a child to a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia.
The punishment becomes more severe if the child suffers injury or death
as a result. The unborn children are not making the choice,
explained Gambril to the Birmingham News in February. Its
the mothers who are making the choice to do it to them.
[Editors note: Its hard to know where to begin on this one;
how about for starters the fact that the crack baby fear-campaign
was debunked years ago? - SAT] (03/15/08)
I was not
aware that crack babies was yet another hoax of the War on
Some Drugs, until this article, Steve and Mama Liberty enlightened me
that it is like the lie of reefer-maddened killers and others. At the
same time, there IS some serious questions about the psychotropic affects
of many LEGAL drugs administered for combating depression
and other mental illnesses. True, unborn children have no choice as to
what they get (or dont) from their mothers body. Sadly, at
the same time that Alabama has this law, based on a hoax, it has, like
every other state in the Union, allowed the same baby to be intentionally
killed in the name of choice.
Note: Yes, and the children who survive abortion are increasingly force
fed all kinds of chemical poison in the name of "mental health,"
among other things. There ARE some serious potential risks to the unborn
if their mothers take certain herbs, alcohol, medication, drugs, even
some foods without great caution, but none of them are as deadly as the
surgeon's knife and the suction tube that destroys all hope of life for
them. Just another example of the insane hypocrisy all around us.
FL: Move to outlaw hallucinogenic
On Web sites touting the mind-blowing powers of Salvia divinorum,
come-ons to buy the hallucinogenic herb are accompanied by warnings: Time
is running out! and stock up while you still can. Thats
because salvia is being targeted by lawmakers concerned that the inexpensive
and easy-to-obtain plant could become the next marijuana. Eight states
have already placed restrictions on salvia, and 16 others, including Florida,
are considering a ban or have previously. As soon as we make one
drug illegal, kids start looking around for other drugs they can buy legally.
This is just the next one, said Florida state Rep. Mary Brandenburg,
who has introduced a bill to make possession of salvia a felony punishable
by up to five years in prison. Some say legislators are overreacting to
a minor problem, but no one disputes that the plant impairs judgment and
the ability to drive. [Editors note: Of course, merely
expanding the list of intoxicants already prohibited while
driving would only serve to address the problem, without further criminalizing
otherwise peaceful behavior - SAT] (03/16/08)
marijuana? Weve heard that before but cannabis has been grown
by humans for thousands of years. Steve is correct, but doesnt perhaps
go far enough let us see some actual studies that demonstrate that
all these things DO actually impair judgment and driving ability, and
at what level they do so.
Note: I don't know where anyone gets the idea it is inexpensive or easy
to get, except for the fact that it is not YET "illegal." It
does not grow anywhere but a narrow strip of land near the Mexican border,
and it does not often set viable seed so can't readily be grown commercially.
Just repeal the idiot "laws" against cannabis and hemp, and
it would vanish back where it came from. It is an ancient sacred herb
in some native cultures according to what I've read, but it would never
as for driving (or a lot of other things) while "impaired, that's
a highly individual thing. The amount of alcohol (or probably anything
else) that would put me under the table would not even be noticed by a
big man. People are much more often "impaired" by anger, fatigue,
illness, distraction and plain stupidity, but there is no arbitrary blood
test for any of those - at least yet. Preemptive "laws" do little
to inhibit those who have so little sense as to drive or operate machinery
when they shouldn't, of course. But it's not about safety anyway, it's
NH: House votes
to reduce marijuana penalties
New Hampshire residents could possess one-quarter ounce or less
of marijuana without facing jail under a bill headed to the state Senate.
The House voted 193-141 Tuesday to make possessing a small amount pot
a violation subject to a $200 fine. Under current law, possessing that
amount could mean spending a year in jail and paying a $2,000 fine.
law is insane, and used to railroad people when a single seed is found
in the seat cracks of their used cars (at least in other states: dont
know if that has actually happened in NH). But a quarter-ounce? That is
seven grams: seven standard paperclips in weight: For a $2000 fine? And
the state claims that drug-dealers make a fortune?
to boost cyber-protections
The military is beefing up efforts to gather intelligence, fend
off cyber-attacks and improve relations with other nations as part of
a strategy for keeping the U.S. safe while fighting two wars, according
to a Pentagon document. The four-page plan acknowledges there is still
a significant risk that the military cannot quickly and fully respond
to another outbreak in the world and outlines what must be done to counter
that threat. (03/19/08)
plan has long been a staple of American military planning, and it isnt
like there is not already a lot of effort going to deal with cyber-war
(hacker attacks are a daily event on various Pentagon computer systems),
but the military is so spread out and already committed to two occupations
and hundreds of other missions that I am not surprised that the planning
France to reduce
BBC News [UK]
President Nicolas Sarkozy has said France will reduce its number
of airborne nuclear weapons by one third. Mr. Sarkozy said the reduction
to fewer than 300 missiles would leave France with half the maximum
number of warheads we had during the Cold War. But he also insisted
he was committed to Frances nuclear deterrent, saying it was its
life-insurance policy. (03/21/08)
propaganda? There has always been some doubt about exactly how many weapons
France had, and this number is probably no more accurate than any others.
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