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calendar   Tuesday - November 28, 2006

Through The Looking Glass

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“Cape Town - South Africa”
BigFoto.com

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The first known people of the Western Cape area arrived from the north around 100,000 B.C. Little is known of the history of the region’s first residents, as there is no written history of the area before it was first mentioned by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias in 1486. Vasco da Gama recorded a sighting of the Cape of Good Hope in 1497, but the area did not have regular contact with Europeans until 1652, when the Netherlands’ Jan van Riebeeck and other employees of the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Verenigde Oost-indische Compagnie, VOC) were sent to the Cape to establish a way-station for ships travelling to the Dutch East Indies. The city grew slowly during this period, as it was hard to find adequate labourers. This labour shortage prompted the city to import slaves from Indonesia and Madagascar; many of whom would come to form the first of the Cape Coloured communities.

The British successfully gained outright control of Cape Town in 1795, during the Battle of Muizenberg. Under the terms of a peace agreement negotiated after the war, the Cape was returned to the Dutch in 1803. The war resumed later that year, and British forces re-occupied the Cape, after winning the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806. In the 1814 peace treaty which ended the war in Europe, the Cape was permanently incorporated into the British Empire. As the territory under British control grew even larger outward from the city, it became the capital of the newly formed Cape Colony.

The discovery of diamonds in Griqualand West in 1869, and gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886, near the present-day city of Johannesburg prompted a massive gold rush. Johannesburg grew rapidly as the country was flooded with immigrants. Tensions also emerged between the Boers, who had taken part in the Great Trek and established republics in the centre of the country; the new migrants, known as uitlanders; and the British colonial government. This conflict resulted in the Second Anglo-Boer War. After the British won this war and acquired control of the gold and diamond industries, they unified the Cape Colony with the two defeated Boer Republics (the South African Republic and the Orange Free State) and the British colony of Natal to form the Union of South Africa, which was proclaimed in 1910 with Cape Town as its legislative capital, a function it has continued to serve for the Republic of South Africa from 1961 to the present.

-- Wikipedia, “Cape Town”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/28/2006 at 09:51 PM   
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Falcons Finger Wave

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Mike Lester - Rome News-Tribune (GA)


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/28/2006 at 08:58 PM   
Filed Under: • SportsStoopid-People •  
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The Old Rugged Cross

This story probably needs no explanation. It involves a cross erected in the Mojave Desert over 70 years ago by private citizens, an atheist and the ACLU. The result is a cross covered in plywood, a satisfied godless madman and $63,000 in the pockets of the ACLU.

It’s enough to bring tears to my eyes. I need to go visit the firing range to clear my vision and take out a little anger. Be back later ....

In 1934, a gritty prospector named J. Riley Bembry gathered a couple of his fellow World War I veterans at Sunrise Rock. Together they erected the cross, in honor of their fallen comrades. The memorial has been privately maintained ever since.

A wrinkle developed in 1994, when the federal government declared the surrounding area a national preserve. With the cross now located on newly public land, ...the ACLU demanded that the National Park Service tear down the cross.

Mr. Buono insists that his seeing the monument ("two to four times a year") violates his civil rights. A federal district court found in his favor, and the decision was subsequently upheld by the Ninth Circuit.

The ACLU, however, has made out quite nicely. Not only has it prevailed in the courts to date, but it has managed to pocket $63,000. Owing to a quirk in civil-rights law, the taxpayer once again ended up paying the ACLU for pressing a highly controversial church-state lawsuit.

-- FreeRepublic.com (May 27, 2005)

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I was in Las Vegas at the end of September and called into Jay at his e-radio show on WideAwakesRadio. I mentioned that I was going to go searching in the Mojave Desert to find a small cross that I’d read about that had been ordered removed by a federal judge after the ACLU sued. Jay mentioned that he’d like to see a picture of it, so here it is.

Seeing a cross covered in plywood is startling to me. It is celebrated by the ACLU as a victory. To me it…what word can I use to describe this anti-religious display? It offends.

-- StopTheACLU (November 28, 2006)


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/28/2006 at 08:31 PM   
Filed Under: • Corruption and GreedJudges-Courts-LawyersReligion •  
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Cowardly Lions

The New York Times helped push Iraq to the brink of civil war by encouraging the insurgents, publishing classified information and doing everything in its power to discredit the Bush administration. Now that their goal is almost realized, they are taking time out to celebrate and to gloat over their victory ...

The Cowards Turned Out to Be Right
-- by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
(NY TIMES) - November 28, 2006

For several years, the White House and its Dobermans helpfully pointed out the real enemy in Iraq: those lazy, wimpish foreign correspondents who were so foolish and unpatriotic that they reported that we faced grave difficulties in Iraq.

“Dobermans"? Have you poor babies in the media been bitten or chewed on? Nope. And why didn’t the reporters report any of the good news? All bad news all the time. “I told you so” just seems so tacky for a “newspaper of record”.

To Paul Wolfowitz, the essential problem was that journalists were cowards. “Part of our problem is a lot of the press are afraid to travel very much, so they sit in Baghdad and they publish rumors,” Mr. Wolfowitz said in 2004. He later added, “The story isn’t being described accurately.”

Don Rumsfeld agreed but suggested that the problem was treason: “Interestingly, all of the exaggerations seem to be on one side. It isn’t as though there simply have been a series of random errors on both sides of issues. On the contrary, the steady stream of errors all seem to be of a nature to inflame the situation and to give heart to the terrorists and to discourage those who hope for success in Iraq.”

As for Dick Cheney, he saw the flaw in journalists as indolence. “The press is, with all due respect — there are exceptions — oftentimes lazy, often simply reports what someone else in the press says without doing their homework.”

Mr. Cheney and the others might have better spent their time reading the coverage of Iraq rather than insulting it, because in retrospect those brave reporters based in Baghdad got the downward spiral right.

“Brave reporters”? If you’re referring to Michale Yon then you’re right but if you’re referring to the mob of drunks hanging out in the bar at their hotel in the Green Zone then you’re full of shit, pardner. As for Cheney and the others (including yours truly), we got fed up with all the slanted news a long time ago. Nothing ever goes 100% right in war but by the same token nothing ever goes 100% wrong, as your reporters tried to tell us.

“Many correspondents feel a sense of vindication that the administration finally accepts what we were screaming two years ago,” notes Farnaz Fassihi, who provided excellent Iraq coverage for The Wall Street Journal. Now Ms. Fassihi wonders how long it will take for the administration to acknowledge the reality of 2006 that Iraq correspondents are writing about: the incipient civil war.

“Civil war”? Yes, if you wish for something hard enough and long enough and provide aid and comfort to the enemy by interviewing them and providing them a supposedly legitimate platform for their propaganda, then you will eventually get your bloody, damned civil war. There is really no need to be so smug about it though. The media have only shown how willing they are to be complete, utter tools.

Dexter Filkins, who covered Iraq brilliantly for this newspaper until his departure this summer to take up a fellowship at Harvard, says he was constantly accused of reporting only the bad news, of being unpatriotic, and of getting Americans killed.

“I don’t think it ever affected our reporting,” he said. “But I did find it demoralizing, the idea that the truth — the reality on the ground that we were seeing every day — did not matter, that these overfed people sitting in TV studios and in their living rooms could just turn up the volume on what they wanted to be happening in Iraq and that that could overwhelm the reality.”

Mr. Filkins added: “I have almost been killed in Iraq 20 or 30 times — really almost killed. “I’ve lost count. Do these people really believe that we were all risking our lives for some political agenda?”

Yes, as a matter of fact I do believe the media has a political agenda but no, I don’t think any of them actually risked their lives like the brave troops they disparaged and whose courage and conviction have been downplayed from the beginning.

Richard Engel of NBC says he was taken aback when pundits accused him of standing on a balcony in the Green Zone and simply feeding the world bad news. “Like most journalists in Iraq, I have never lived in the Green Zone,” he notes, adding: “To imply from afar we were just lazy was missing the point, and also dangerous. I know several reporters who were so incensed by similar criticism, they took extra risks.”

While it’s the right that led those toxic attacks, the left is also vulnerable to letting ideology trump empiricism. Mr. Filkins notes that while he used to get nasty letters and e-mail primarily from conservatives, much of the fire more recently has come from liberals accusing him of covering up atrocities — all of it from people whose ideological certitude is proportional to their distance from Baghdad.

Catching heat from both sides. Did you ever stop to think that you might be wrong and the rest of the world might be right. Get a clue, asshats. Stop being so self-righteous and convinced that you’re always right.

As we try to extricate ourselves from Iraq, a basic lesson for the administration is that it should deal with bad news in ways more creative than clobbering the messenger. From the beginning of the war, the Pentagon has had an incredibly sophisticated news operation (now including its own news channel, carried on some cable networks), but it has often seemed more concerned with disseminating propaganda than with gathering facts.

Take the Defense Department’s Early Bird news clipping service, which traditionally had been a dispassionate collection of outside articles to keep senior military officers informed. Lately it has been leading with in-house spin. The Early Bird of Nov. 20, for example, began with three separate unpublished letters to the editor by Pentagon officials before getting to the news from around the world.

So how about if the administration devotes itself less to managing the news and more to trying to manage Iraq?

I’m sure President Bush would appreciate having the chance to manage the war without all the biased, subversive coverage and Monday morning quarterbacking being done by the ignorant media. Also it might help if you didn’t publish all of the confidential plans the administration has put in place in their attempt to actually manage the war.

The job of the press is to report the news - all of it, good and bad - and to keep the public informed about actions in the war. The job of the press is NOT to propagandize for the enemy or to continuously look for ways to discredit an administration that it obviously loathes with a hatred that the entire public acknowledges exists.

The media in this country is ultimately going to discredit itself entirely if this pattern persists. Get a clue ... or move your offices to Teheran where this bullshit will be welcome.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/28/2006 at 07:35 PM   
Filed Under: • Media-Bias •  
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Most Ridiculous Item Of The Day (so far)

What next? China to host international dog show? Russia to host free market capitalist conference? France to host international conference on war strategies? Sweden to host international African heritage month? PUH-LEEZE!

I have finally decided that I must have fallen down the rabbit hatch sometime around 1989 and the world I knew has disappeared. I am surrounded by Cheshire cats and leprechauns and barking mad idiots. How do I get off this planet and back to where things make sense?

I am a stranger in a strange land. Can you grok?

Iran To Host Holocaust Conference
(BREITBART) - Nov 28 6:20 AM US/Eastern

imageimageIran, which disputes that Jews were slaughtered by the Nazis, is to hold a conference next month to allow historians to clarify “hidden angles” of the Holocaust, the foreign ministry has revealed.

The December 11 and 12 international gathering aims to “create opportunities ... for a suitable scientific research so the hidden and unhidden angles of this most important political issue of the 20th century become more transparent,” said a statement on the Iranian foreign ministry’s website.

Iran’s fiercely anti-Israeli regime is supportive of so-called Holocaust revisionists, who maintain that the systematic slaughter by the Nazis of mainland Europe’s Jews and other groups during World War II was either invented or exaggerated.

The event is organized by the ministry’s Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS) which has called on researchers and lecturers to take part in the conference.

The gathering, titled “Study of Holocaust: A Global Perspective”, has been scheduled to coincide with international Human Rights Day on December 10, it said. “This conference fully respects the Jewish religion and is away from politicization and propaganda,” the statement said.

Topics include “anti-Semitism, Nazism and Zionism: collaboration or animosity; the concept of Holocaust and its roots; views of revisionists; denial or admittance of gas chambers,” it added.

“The laws against those who deny Holocaust and killing of the Palestinians,” are also to be discussed. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has prompted international anger by dismissing the Holocaust as a “myth” used to justify the creation of Israel.

In mid-August, Tehran staged an international contest of cartoons on the Holocaust, in response to the publication in Western papers last September of controversial caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/28/2006 at 06:36 PM   
Filed Under: • Middle-EastOutrageous •  
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Into The Lion’s Den

The Pope Visits A Muslim Country - Turkey

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The Muslims There Are Offended And Want To Kill Him

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So The Turkish Government Has To Call Out The Army To Protect Him

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Yet radical Imams all over the free West are allowed to preach hatred, jihad and violence all day and all night long without any fear of harm from Christians or the governments they seek to destroy. Are you as confused by all this as I am?

Pope’s Visit to Turkey Highlights Tensions
ANKARA, Turkey (NY TIMES) - November 28, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI offered a message of brotherhood and of support for Turkey’s membership in the European Union today as he began a visit to Turkey, amid lingering anger over his remarks about two months ago that were widely interpreted as suggesting that Islam was prone to violence.

The Pope’s trip is mainly aimed at reaching out to Orthodox Christians. But after he apologized for the way the speech mentioning Islam was received, expectations are high for him also to reach out to Muslims while he is here — though with measured words that are unlikely to express the full range of his complex concerns about Islam or the possibilities of meaningful dialogue with Christians.

“All feel the same responsibility in this difficult moment in history — let’s work together,” Benedict said during his flight to Ankara from Rome, according to The Associated Press. We know that the scope of this trip is dialogue and brotherhood, and the commitment for understanding between cultures,” and for reconciliation, he told reporters on his plane.

The Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, greeted the pope at the Ankara airport and held a short meeting with him the popebefore leaving on a journey of his own, to the NATO summit in Riga, Latvia. I asked his support for our membership into the European Union,” said Mr. Erdogan after the talks. “The Pope said they did not have the political power to intervene but they would like to see Turkey as a member of the E.U.”

In another relevant event on his schedule, Benedict met today with Turkey’s chief Muslim religious figure, Ali Bardakoglu, who had been one of the most outspoken critics of the Pope’s speech about Islam. Street protests and anger over Benedict’s the popeearlier speech continued in the hours before the pope’s arrival, complicating the event for Turkey, which has to ensure his safety during the four-day visit and to maintain the image of a secular and moderate Muslim nation that wants to join the European Union.

Although the Vatican had never opposed Turkey joining the E.U., Benedict had personally expressed reservations about the idea before he was elected Pope, telling the French newspaper Le Monde in 2004 that Turkey stood in “permanent contrast” to Europe. The shift in his tone today seemed intended as a small, specific gift of reconciliation, blunting the criticism and enhancing the stature of Mr. Erdogan at home.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi, the chief spokesman for the pope, said: “The Holy See has neither the power not the specific political task of intervening on the exact point regarding the entry of Turkey into the European Union. It is not its scope.” Before the visit, some experts said Benedict could go far in pleasing Turks merely by being friendly, and the pope seemed to want to do that. On Sunday, he sent “cordial greetings to the dear Turkish people.”

Benedict originally wanted to visit Turkey a year ago, in hopes of helping to heal the 1,000-year rift between the Roman church and Orthodox Christians, who now number 220 million around the world. The pope planned to celebrate the Feast of St. Andrew on Nov. 30 with Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual head of the worldwide Orthodox Church, who lives in Istanbul, and then return to Rome.

But for various reasons having to do with the Turkish government’s own complex relationship with Orthodox Christianity, officials raised objections and the trip was postponed. No doubt the nation’s leaders now wish they had approved a Papal visit then, before the controversial remarks about Islam that the pope made in September in a speech to academics and theologians in Regensburg, Germany.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/28/2006 at 05:59 PM   
Filed Under: • Religion •  
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Union Games At TSA

If the Democrats can’t destroy this country all by themselves they can always count on the unions to help. The AFGE has been fighting to get TS screeners unionized ever since the group was created - in spite of the fact that Congress decided it was not in national security interests to give them the right to walk off the job or strike.

So the AFGE went to Europe and the Swiss-based ILO seeking assistance. Didn’t work. Now, they’re waiting for the Donks to descend on Washington in January and give them the right to unionize TSA screeners. It will probably happen and the TSA screeners will be protected by union bosses and outrageous contracts and if they decide to walk out during a holiday season we’re all screwed.

Isn’t that just a fine mess we’ll be in then? All flights will be grounded ... except those carrying critical members of Congress back and forth between their district and DC. Count on it.

Union Looks to Democrats on TSA Screener Rights
(WASHINGTON POST) - Tuesday, November 28, 2006

imageimageBaggage and passenger screeners at the Transportation Security Administration are not allowed to bargain over the terms and conditions of their employment, but the largest federal union hopes to get the Democratic majority in the next Congress to take another look at whether that ban is justified.

The American Federation of Government Employees, headed by John Gage, won a favorable opinion from a Geneva-based, U.N. agency, the International Labor Organization, on the issue of screener rights.

The ILO’s Committee on Freedom of Association, in an opinion this month, said that it was concerned that the TSA’s decision in 2003 to invoke national security considerations to block union representation “may impede unduly upon the rights of these federal employees.”

Screeners, the committee said, are not engaged in “making national policy that may affect security” and are not engaged “in the administration of the state.” Under those criteria, the committee said, TSA’s 45,000 screeners should have collective bargaining rights.

The United States is a member of the ILO, which seeks to set worldwide labor standards. But ILO committee opinions are not binding, and the TSA said that the opinion will not change the agency’s stance toward union representation.

In a statement, the TSA said Congress left it to the agency to decide whether to grant bargaining rights. The leeway to ban unions is contained in the 2001 Aviation Transportation Security Act, which created the agency after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

“Given the critical national security mission of our security officers, collective bargaining is not appropriate, and would reduce TSA’s ability to make changes rapidly in response to threats,” the TSA statement said.

Proposals to allow TSA screeners to unionize have not gained traction in Congress, but AFGE officials hope that will change when Democrats take control of the House and Senate next year. Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.), who lost a vote on an amendment that would have let screeners engage in bargaining, plans to push the issue, her spokeswoman said.

Efforts by the AFGE to overturn the TSA ban through litigation also have been rebuffed by the government and in U.S. courts. A key ruling came in 2003, when a regional director for the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which hears labor-management disputes inside the government, found that screeners were not entitled to a vote on union representation and that “Congress intended to treat security screeners differently than other employees of the agency.”


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/28/2006 at 04:47 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsUnions-Labor •  
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calendar   Monday - November 27, 2006

Tick-Tick-Tick ….

The current issue of TIME magazine looks at the Iraq war and using its staff of highly trained, professional political strategists and military staffers, TIME offers four options for “fixing” the war in Iraq. The only problem is all four options are W-R-O-N-G! TIME is simply repeating all the same old ideas that have been floating around for months. Big hairy deal. It’s time for a fresh idea and I have just the one to solve it all and the obvious solution evolves around two simple words: Britain - India.

The first thing we need to do is quit pussyfooting around with a democratic government in Iraq that is going nowhere fast. Let the Iraqis have their shadow government to play at governing and trying to figure out what they want to do. In the meantime it’s past time for America to impose a modern-day version of the British Raj in Iraq. Yes, you heard that right. here’s the deal ....

(1) Appoint a military governor for the country and give him absolute power, to include public executions if necessary. (2) Send in 100,000 more troops for a six month deployment and wipe out the “insurgency” once and for all. (3) Close and seal the borders with Syria and Iran - station troops on the borders to shoot first and ask questions later. (4) Start pumping oil as fast as possible to pay for all this. (5) Divide the country into three states: Sunnistan, Shiastan and Kurdistan and appoint a regional government over each - US military at first, gradually transitioning to Iraqi civilian control as soon as they act like they really want to govern properly. (6) Send half of the already “trained” Iraqi battalions to Afghanistan to fight Al-Qaeda there and tell them they can come home as soon as they wipe out the Taliban. (7) Disband all Iraqi militias and completely destroy any who object - and that includes Al Sadr’s goons.

There you go. The solution to Iraq. it worked for the Brits in India and it will work for the US in Iraq. Before the Brits left India, they had divided the country into Pakistan, India and Bangladesh to separate the warring factions, created a stable government in each and had made a tidy profit from their venture. We need to understand that, like the Brits, we may need to stay and “govern” Iraq for decades. That would be decades of cheap oil plus a forward-base in the region if Syria and Iran decide to get uppity. What everyone needs to understand is that if you can’t introduce democracy and stability with a ballot then it behooves us to establish those goals at the point of the spear if necessary.

Take a look at TIME’s wussy solutions below and compare it to my solution above. Tell me which one you think stands a better chance of success and be sure to factor out the screaming voices that will come from the United Nations, Amnesty International, the Arab League, OPEC and Lunatic Leftists at home. In this new plan, they will all be quietly ignored. Peace and quiet - and cheap oil ... a winning combination if ever I saw one ....

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Jack Ohman - The Portland Oregonian (OR)



TIME: Mr. Gates’ Options
Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006

Bob Gates is all things to all people in Washington these days. To the hard-liners who want to preserve what’s left of George W. Bush’s policy in Iraq, Gates is an ardent patriot, a determined anticommunist who thought the Soviet Union was an evil empire, who backed aggressive measures against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in the early 1980s--and who during the first Bush Administration sided most often with a Defense Secretary named Dick Cheney.

To the new realists, who want to tear up this Administration’s failing bid to bring democracy to Iraq and replace it with a strategy for an exit, Gates is a secret ally, an agent of change who rocked the CIA he grew up in by shifting it out of covert action and into open-source programs at the cold war’s end--and then became a reformist president of Texas A&M, tossing a beloved football coach and reducing admissions.

The problem facing Gates is that the options being considered may already be obsolete. The conditions on the ground in Iraq are deteriorating so rapidly that even the Baker commission is struggling to keep up, several well-placed national-security sources told TIME. October was the deadliest month yet for Iraqi civilians since the start of the war, and November seems destined to surpass it. A Thanksgiving Day onslaught by Sunni militants killed more than 200 Iraqis, wounded hundreds and spurred a round of Shi’ite reprisals. As the Iraqi capital erupted in another frenzy of sectarian violence, the U.S. lost eight service members in a span of six days, bringing its death toll to nearly 2,900.

The Options:


- More ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/27/2006 at 02:23 PM   
Filed Under: • Iraq •  
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calendar   Sunday - November 26, 2006

Al-Qaeda On Trial In Britain

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond in what may one day be Eurabia, the trial of the “Crevice Seven” is underway and what is being revealed is shocking to say the least. Shocking to us here in America but not to most people in Britain and other parts of Europe. They are already in a war against brainwashed young Muslim fanatics within their own borders.

You all need to read this and absorb the information about how the enemy operates. If this group had succeeded, it would have been another “9/11” or similar act of terrorism like the Madrid train bombings or the London tube bombings. These Islamofascist enemies will not rest nor will they quit until every last one of them is in prison or dead.

I prefer them dead. After all, the only good Muslim fanatic is a dead Muslim fanatic. I wish our Brit friends would understand that and take these f**kers out and hang them after the trial. And if Cherie Blair, George Galloway and Ken Livingstone object, hang them too. Then and only then would we have “peace in our time” ...

imageimageBritish Terror Trial Traces a Path to Militant Islam
LONDON (NY TIMES) - November 26, 2006

More than half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer suitable for making bombs was locked in a rented storage warehouse. A cookie tin of aluminum powder was hidden behind a garden shed. Young British Muslims underwent military training at guerrilla camps in remote parts of Pakistan. Suspects, surreptitiously taped by the police, talked about bombing targets in Britain.

Enter a computer technician in Canada experimenting with remote-controlled detonation devices and a collaborator-turned-informer from Queens testifying about secret meetings with operatives of Al Qaeda. For eight months, the tale of the Operation Crevice Seven has been unfolding in a cramped, windowless courtroom in the Old Bailey in London.

On trial are seven men, ages 19 to 34, six of them with family roots in Pakistan. Arrested in 2004, they are charged with involvement in a criminal conspiracy to make explosives to commit murder, allegations that they all deny. Their target, the authorities say, was unclear — a nightclub, perhaps, or a shopping mall, public utilities, a British airliner or even the House of Commons.

But investigators say the evidence reveals the workings of the kind of cell most feared by officials in Europe. Young Muslims, radicalized by local imams and trained at military camps in Pakistan with vague connections to Al Qaeda, plan an attack at home with help from outside terrorists.

The July 7, 2005, London transit bombings and the alleged London-based plot uncovered last August to blow up airliners also involved disaffected British youths of Pakistani descent, some of whom had traveled to Pakistan for family visits, study and perhaps training.

In a speech this month, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director general of the British security service known as MI5, disclosed that intelligence officers were watching 1,600 people “who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas.”

She said they had identified nearly 30 plots that “often have links back to Al Qaeda in Pakistan and through those links Al Qaeda gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here.” She said other countries — Spain, France, Canada and Germany — faced similar threats.

 

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/26/2006 at 06:18 PM   
Filed Under: • Judges-Courts-LawyersTerrorists •  
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Weekend Editorial

imageimageI‘ve just finished reading Mark Steyn’s new book “America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It” (I’ll have a full book review later this week). One of the things that stood out for me in the book was Steyn’s assertion that, when it comes to warfare, there are only two kinds of “exit strategy”: victory or defeat.

When people are trying to kill you, take away your way of life or destroy your home and family there is no third place and no Miss Congeniality award. You either win or you lose. Period. President Bush understands this. He may be the only one who does at this point.

Another point that needs to be made is that as far as Iraq is concerned, if we pull off a “Vietnam-style cut-and-run” strategy then we are doomed as a country and the sun begins to set on the American hegemony. We will have lost all credibility as well as our national dignity ... and, most importantly, the Pax Americana that has kept the world more or less quiet for the last fifty years will have come to an end - with the barbarians at the gates.

I would rather not see that happen. The last time we tucked our tail between our legs and walked away from a fight, the Communists overran Southeast Asia and millions died. In addition, our military was almost destroyed by the backlash and budget cuts of the Democratic-controlled Congress.

That was in the late 1970’s and the Islamofascists were beginning to take advantage of our perceived weakness by grabbing Iran, holding American citizens hostage, jacking up the price of oil to fund their war against the West and beginning to immigrate heavily into Europe as the first stage of conquest.

Then along came Ronald Reagan and all their plans had to be put on hold as America dusted off it’s pride, rebuilt the military and got back on track. Now, twenty years later, we’re back in the same position we were in 1973. We’re about to lose another war and this time we don’t have a Ronald Reagan waiting in the wings to pull us together again.

George Bush is not Ronald Reagan. He’s a good man and he understands the stakes but he just doesn’t have the charisma and communication skills of Reagan. The main problem though is that the Tip O’Neill Democrats have returned to Washington and are about to do the same thing they did in the mid-1970’s.

The difference this time is that we are facing an enemy that has already killed thousands of American civilians in an attack inside our country and whose final goal is world domination. Plus they have plenty of money and are breeding more and more suicidal fanatics every day like rabbits.

Whether you call Iraq a “quagmire” or a “muddle” as Michael Reagan does below, all Americans need to be aware that we are fast approaching a turning point in history and the next five years will decide what direction the world goes in the rest of the century. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Democrat or Republican, the American peoples’ will to fight is being tested for what may be the last time.

The millions of Americans who died in the last 250 years to preserve our freedoms and keep America strong are eyeballing us and they are waiting to see whether we have any backbone left. Are you willing to look them in the eye and say, “We’re sorry but we are weak”? If so, then you need to understand that Bush is not the problem ... you are the problem and you deserve to lose everything ...

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Mike Lester - The Rome News-Tribune (GA)



It’s Not a Quagmire, It’s a Muddle
-- by Michael Reagan

image imageThis is a time for giving thanks, and among the many things for which I am thankful is the fact that I am not George W. Bush. Think about it—in the sixth year of his presidency he is besieged on all sides, not only by his foes, but by his friends and supporters as well.

On the one side are those demanding that the president adopt some kind of face-saving solution that will allow him to withdraw from Iraq without admitting the United States has lost yet another war—the solution once recommended by former Vermont Sen. George Aiken, who advised that we declare victory in Vietnam and get out.

Among those advocating this kind of sleight of hand are members of George Herbert Walker Bush’s administration, perhaps even former Secretary of State James Baker. Baker co-chairs the widely touted Iraq Study Group, which has leaked its recommendations for coping with the war by calling for negotiations with Syria and Iran.

On the other side are the hawks who want not only to remain in Iraq, but have advanced the rather peculiar idea that the ultimate aim in any conflict is to win it. They insist that anything less than total victory over the insurgency would result in unthinkable consequences for the United States, the Middle East and the West.

In the middle are the great masses of American people who told exit pollsters they weren’t against the war, only against how it was being conducted. Then there is the Congress of the United States, fated to fall into the hands of the liberal-controlled Democratic Party whose leadership is deeply enamored of the idea of cutting and running – a concept they disguise by calling the pullout of the U.S. from Iraq “redeployment.”

To complicate matters, however, powerful Democrats such as Hillary Clinton more or less support the idea of remaining in Iraq until the Iraqi forces can handle the insurgency on their own.

The president’s dilemma arises from his conviction that a pullout before Iraq has been enabled to fight their war on the insurgency would lead to a conflagration that would engulf the entire Middle East, disrupt the supply of the oil that keeps our economic engine running, create a national base for the Jihad that would enable the radical Islamic movement (probably armed with nukes to bring the Jihad to our shores), and eventually drive the West out of the entire area.

Yet the pressure on the president to find a solution that will allow us to leave Iraq, even if it’s with our tail between our legs, is growing more and more intense. Added to the dilemma is the president’s knowledge that negotiations with Syria and Iraq can have only one result – withdrawal disguised as recognition that Iraq is a regional problem meant to be solved by regional interests – in this case, Iran.

The president knows full well that the only negotiating point is surrender to Iran, whose 1979 constitution declares the aim of the Jihad is world conquest by the Islamic revolution which it leads. To Iran, Iraq is the high ground they seek to take in their war against the West.

Should the president continue to stress his role as Commander in Chief, he will find himself facing an obstructive Congress that will use every device available to them, perhaps even to the extent of withdrawing funding for the military.

Given the facts of the matter, should the president cave in to the peace-at-any-price crowd the deaths of almost 3,000 American fighting men and women—and the billions of dollars it has cost—will have been shamefully wasted.

On the other hand, should he stick to his guns, he will find himself the most embattled President since Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln couldn’t find generals who could go out and win the War between the States, had to deal with an obstructive Congress and its Committee on the Conduct of the War, and even fought dissent by members of his own cabinet, one of whom referred to Lincoln as “the original ape.”

That’s why I’m thankful that I’m not George W. Bush.

Mike Reagan, the eldest son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America Network. Look for Mike’s new book, “Twice Adopted.” Order autographed books at http://www.reagan.com. E-mail comments to mereagan@hotmail.com. ©2006 Mike Reagan.


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/26/2006 at 06:30 AM   
Filed Under: • EditorialsIraq •  
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Sunday Funnies

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/26/2006 at 06:24 AM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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calendar   Saturday - November 25, 2006

Through The Looking Glass

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“Mercury In Transit”

Mercury is now visible shortly before dawn, the brightest “star” just above the eastern horizon. But almost two weeks ago Mercury actually crossed the face of the Sun for the second time in the 21st century. Viewed with red/blue glasses, this stereo anaglyph combines space-based images of the Sun and innermost planet in a just-for-fun 3D presentation of the Mercury transit.

The solar disk image is from Hinode. (sounds like “ee-no-day”, means sunrise). A sun-staring observatory, Hinode was launched from Uchinoura Space Center and viewed the transit from Earth orbit. Superimposed on Mercury’s dark silhouette is a detailed image of the planet’s rugged surface based on data from the Mariner 10 probe that flew by Mercury in 1974 and 1975.

-- Photo by Greg Piepol


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/25/2006 at 08:27 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-Photography •  
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Whodunit?

What f**king “riddle” is the Slimes talking about? Has everyone at that paper gone completely stupid all of a sudden? That was a rhetorical question. Of course we all know the entire staff of the Slimes not only made the kool-aid but drank every last drop and sent out for more a long time ago.

Notwithstanding the Slimes ignorance, let me give you all a clue .... PUTIN ORDERED IT! This is classic KGB crap and bears all the hallmarks of that nefarious organization that Putin once headed way back in the dark old days before the US and Russia decided to stop scaring each other’s citizens and started faking everyone out by pretending to play nice.

You just ain’t going to give Putin a hard time and get away with it. Period. Look what happened to Viktor Yushchenko when he tried to defect the entire country of Ukraine over to the West. Putin said, “Get him” and the next thing you know ol’ Vik is poisoned and scarred for life. Make that scared for life. The Ukraine ain’t going anywhere in the near future. End of story.

No, ol’ Pooty-poot don’t play and folks better wise up to that fact. Of course you all realize by my saying this, I may have to go into hiding and be extra careful about what I eat or drink. His Pootness may decide the blogosphere needs to be thinned out a little. Stay tuned. If you don’t hear from me for a few days, call the St. Louis police department and inquire about any recent massive gun battles in West County. I ain’t goin’ down without a fight, Pootman ....

London Riddle: A Russian Spy, a Lethal Dose
LONDON (NY TIMES) — November 25, 2006

imageimageRadiation poisoning killed Alexander V. Litvinenko, the former Russian K.G.B. officer and foe of the Kremlin, authorities here said Friday, further complicating a case that has taken on all the mystery and menace of a political thriller.

From his deathbed, Mr. Litvinenko’s family said, he had accused President Vladimir V. Putin of being behind his poisoning. Outside the hospital where he died late Thursday, alarm spread across London after the police found traces of radiation in three places the former spy had been: a sushi bar, a hotel and his North London home.

Scientists were astounded at the use of the rare and hard-to-produce substance, polonium 210, which is dangerous when breathed, injected or ingested. All the while, diplomats scurried to prevent the case from becoming an international incident.

The cause of his death was so unusual, so baffling and so chilling that a senior British official called it “unprecedented.” The government called a high-level meeting restricted to the most senior ministers — codenamed Cobra — and the Russian ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Office. Rebutting the accusations of foul play, Russian officials hinted at a devious conspiracy to discredit President Putin.

The former agent’s family, citing what they called a statement dictated by the dying Mr. Litvinenko, accused President Putin of a “barbaric and ruthless” murder — a charge the Russian leader promptly rejected. Mr. Litvinenko’s father, Walter, also accused Russian authorities of responsibility, and said his 43-year-old son, who had been inquiring into the killing of a journalist in Moscow last month, was “killed by a little, tiny nuclear bomb.”

But the British police said they were treating the case as an “unexplained death” — displaying some caution about calling it a murder inquiry. Photographs of the dying Mr. Litvinenko showed him hairless and gaunt, wearing a green gown and lying in a hospital bed. Friends who visited him before his death said he had looked ghostly, far removed from the fit figure he presented just weeks ago. Developments in the case over the past week have tantalized Britons, confronting them with the notion that their land might have been used as a theater for sinister machinations more familiar in a James Bond movie.

Mr. Litvinenko’s slow and inexorable death was among the most bizarre since Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident, was murdered in London with a jab from a poison-tipped umbrella in 1978.

It is not the first time that modern-day Russia has been suspected in a prominent poisoning in a foreign land. Doctors said that the Ukrainian president, Viktor A. Yushchenko — who campaigned in 2004 to move Ukraine away from Russian influence and forge closer ties with the European Union — was poisoned with dioxin when he was running for office, leaving his face badly disfigured. Russia, as well as an array of Mr. Yushchenko’s political adversaries, was suspected in the poisoning, but the matter was never resolved.

Word of a possible radiation attack, using what officials identified as polonium 210, a highly radioactive isotope, raised fears of contamination, though many Londoners seemed to take word of the official alert with a degree of stoicism, or even indifference, on a damp Friday evening.

“Spy Radiation: Major Alert,” said a banner headline in The Evening Standard. Still, inured to such scares by acts of terrorism in their city, including the bombings in July 2005 by Islamic militants, many seemed to shrug off the news.

The police searched several locations that Mr. Litvinenko had visited in early November— the Itsu sushi bar on Piccadilly, his home in the white-collar Muswell Hill neighborhood of north London and the Mayfair Millennium Hotel near the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square — and said they had found radioactive traces at each of them. Television showed plainclothes officers carrying away a metal box and several tote bags of evidence from the Itsu restaurant.

At the Mayfair Millennium Hotel, where the lobby and bar were chock-full, the health and safety manager, Brian Kelly, seemed to play down the alarm. “If we had a radiation problem here, do you think my restaurant and bar would be so full of people?” he said.

The authorities said they were also trying to find nurses and other medical staff who had treated Mr. Litvinenko since he began to complain of an unspecified illness on Nov. 1, in case they had been contaminated.

- More ...

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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/25/2006 at 02:29 PM   
Filed Under: • CommiesCrime •  
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Saturday Silliness

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“Over The Hedge” (The Movie) is now available on DVD

A blast of arctic air has spilled over the Canadian border into Montana and temperatures around 10 degrees in Cut Bank and Havre. At the same time Pacific moisture and disturbances continue to stream into the northern Rockies. periods of snow will continue across parts of Idaho and Montana and westward across the Cascades.

Another storm system will ride into Washington, Oregon and northern California Sunday with snow levels ranging from near sea level across the northern Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca to between 3500 and 4000 feet in the Siskiyou and northernmost Sierra. Foot-plus additional snow accumulations are possible in the mountains with more rain for the lowest elevations. Gusty winds will accompany this storm, as well.

This late weekend storm will head through the interior West Monday and then across the central and eastern states Tuesday through late week. Locally heavy rain and some thunderstorms will precede the cold front. Heavy snow and possibly blizzard conditions will hit the Rockies first and then a portion of the north-central states as arctic air plunges southward. Some cities across the Plains and Upper Midwest may see the mercury dive 30 to 40 degrees next week.

-- The Weather Channel, November 25, 2006


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 11/25/2006 at 07:54 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherHumor •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.

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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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