BMEWS
 
Sarah Palin's enemies are automatically added to the Endangered Species List.

calendar   Monday - January 19, 2009

Snagged From Theo’s

A man arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport with two large bags.

The customs agent opens the first bag and finds it full with money in different currencies.

The agent asks the passenger, “How did you get this money?”

The man says, “You will not believe it, but I travelled all over Europe, went into public restrooms, each time I saw a man pee, I grabbed his organ and said - ‘donate money to Israel or I will cut-off your b***s’.”

The customs agent is stunned and mumbles:

“Well… it’s a very interesting story… what do you have in the other bag?”

The man says, “You would not believe how many people in Europe do not support Israel...”




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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/19/2009 at 10:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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YES !!

Bush Commutes Border Agent’s Sentences




Took him long enough, and half a loaf is better than none - a full pardon on day one would have been more appropriate. But I’ll take what’s given.

Bush Commutes Agents’ Sentences

By DAVID STOUT
Published: January 19, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Monday commuted the sentences of two former border patrol agents who had been sentenced to more than a decade in prison for shooting and seriously wounding a Mexican drug dealer in Texas in 2005.

With a day left in his presidency, Mr. Bush exercised his constitutional power to grant clemency — for the last time, according to a senior White House official — in a case that has touched off fierce debate in the Southwest. The two former agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean, had attracted considerable support among advocates of tougher border security, who argued that the agents were just doing their jobs.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” the lead prosecutor in the case said in 2007, scoffing at the idea that the defendants were defending themselves. The agents said at trial that they had scuffled with the dealer, Osvaldo Aldrete Davila.

“These agents shot someone whom they knew to be unarmed and running away,” said the prosecutor, United States Attorney Johnny Sutton. “They destroyed evidence, covered up a crime scene and then filed false reports about what happened. It is shocking that there are people who believe it is O.K. for agents to shoot an unarmed suspect who is running away.”

The incident touched off heated debate about law enforcement and illegal immigration. A Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in 2007 brought out the fact that Mr. Aldrete-Davila had crossed the United States-Mexican border illegally and driving a van containing 743 pounds of marijuana worth almost $1 million.

Nor did the furor over the case break along neat liberal-conservative lines, as demonstrated by statements made in 2007 by Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat of California who is considered moderate to liberal. “It is true that the bullet left Aldrete-Davila permanently injured and that what the agents did was wrong,” the senator said. “But it is also true that Aldrete-Davila was not likely a low-level wrongdoer who got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Those who rallied behind the defendants were furious that Mr. Aldrete-Davila was granted immunity from some drug crimes in return for his testimony against the defendants.

The defendants were convicted of shooting Mr. Aldrete-Davila in the buttocks as he fled across the Rio Grande, away from the van. Not only did the defendants not report the shooting, but they tried to conceal what they had done by picking up spent cartridge casings, Mr. Sutton said.

Both agents were convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon and several other crimes. Mr. Compean was sentenced to 12 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised released, with a $2,000 fine. Mr. Ramos was sentenced to 11 years, with the same supervised release and fine.

Several members of Congress in both parties, including Senator Feinstein, have said they thought the sentences excessive.

The commutation granted by President Bush means the prison sentences of the men, both from El Paso, will expire on March 20, the Justice Department said. The supervised release and fines will still apply.

From what I recall, there was a lot of CYA going on at the Border Patrol office ... these two were the fall guys IIRC. Either way, I’m glad Mr. Bush cut them some slack, since it was his buddy the prosecutor that got them sent to jail in the first place. Pity that these two agents are likely out of a job, and an even greater pity that Bush left them in jail for another 2 months. But that still beats another 10 years in the pokey. Thank you, Mr. President. Now go away.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/19/2009 at 09:02 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimePolitics •  
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Gun Porn

The .38 Special +P Ruger LCR

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Ruger introduces a 21st century revolver unlike anything you have ever seen before




Yes, I know. I said I was only going to do pretty gun porn. And I was halfway done writing about the new Little Sharps rifle from Charles Daily, but I concluded that it was too expensive for it’s very minor amount of pretty, and that there were several other cartridges it should have been chambered in that would make it into a far more practical hunting rifle. It’s a nice little showpiece for the rifle range, but for the same money you can buy the real deal. If Daily had chambered it in .307 Winchester, or the highly practical but nearly forgotten 9.3x53R Finnish, this would have been a magnificent hunter, but as they sell it it makes for a cute conversation piece and that’s about all. Darn.


Then I saw the new Ruger LCR. That stands for Light Carry Revolver, and that’s exactly what it is and what it’s for. The little 5 shot pistol only weighs 13 ounces, and it’s mostly made from aluminum and plastic. There is no exposed hammer. It doesn’t even have one. It’s nearly as narrow as a small semi-automatic, like their own extremely popular LCP. And the really amazing part is that, even though it’s a Ruger, it has a glass smooth trigger that’s easy to pull and doesn’t stack up. This is a miracle. Ok, it’s the first miracle.

The Ruger Lightweight Compact Revolver (LCR) is an evolution in revolver design and boasts the following features:

** Long-fiber, glass-filled polymer fire control housing helps reduce recoil.

** Aircraft quality aluminum monolithic frame with a black synergistic hard coat provides sturdy, rigid support for the cylinder and barrel.

** Extensively fluted 400 series stainless steel cylinder is lightweight and compact, but strong and durable enough to handle .38 Special +P loads. It is treated with an advanced form of Ruger’s Target Grey® finish.

** Cylinder front latching system uses titanium components, optimized spring tension, and enhanced lockup geometry to ensure that the LCR’s cylinder stays locked in place during firing.

** Friction-reducing cam fire control system results in non-stacking, smooth trigger pull for this double-action-only revolver.

** Replaceable ramp front and fixed U-notch rear sights.

** Internal lock is hidden unobtrusively under the grip and does not interfere with the fire control mechanism in any way when disengaged.

** Hogue® Tamer™ grip helps reduce perceived recoil. Crimson Trace® Lasergrip® model offers the advantages of a laser sighting system.

The second miracle is how the gun is made. While the barrel and the cylinder are cut from good stainless steel, those two parts are held together by an aluminum alloy upper frame. The revolver is modular in the extreme: the trigger, the springs, and all the little cogs and pawls that make a revolver revolve are built into a polymer casting, which is the lower frame. The lower part of the gun is plastic! No side plates. Ok, I think this thing is butt ugly. Who cares? Looks don’t matter here at all. This is the next generation of pistol design. It works, it’s tough, it’s very lightweight. And if you take out 2 or 3 little pins or screws the whole thing falls apart for easy cleaning. Want bigger grips? One screw and they come off the grip peg. Neat. But the nicest part is, it’s a Ruger. And that means it’s built like a tank, and will eat max loaded +P ammo forever, without a hiccup.

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Ruger has put the “evolve” back in the revolver



There is an extensive animated presentation online at the Ruger factory web page. The gun won’t hit the market until March. $525 MSRP. Read the short but happy review over at GunBlast.com, from whom I lifted the above picture. They have lots of pictures of it. This new Ruger LCR weighs just two ounces more than the titanium S&W 340, which is the same size but double the price.

Ruger has been extremely successful selling their little .380 LCP semi-automatic. That gun has been on the market less than a year, but Ruger has made more than 65,000 of them. All the other little “mouse guns” from the other companies are selling like hot cakes too. Funny. You’d think that the citizens of the 40 states with CCW are buying little pistols as fast as they can, along with citizens in other states that don’t have CCW (and perhaps those folks are intending to ignore the law?). Maybe it has something to do with a certain crop of leftists coming into power in Washington DC? I couldn’t say. The LCR is a little bigger than the LCR, but the LCR is so small that it can be hard to hold onto.

For a tiny little mouse gun, a .38+P is hard to beat. Especially if you live in one of those states (NJ) that don’t like hollowpoint bullets; a 148gr plated swaged soft lead double ended wadcutter at 900fps makes quite an impact. Much much more than you can get from a .380, or even from a 9mm with a 2” barrel.

Oh, and while I’m on the topic of guns ... in this month’s Blue Press, Barrett Tillman suggest we re-arm ourselves in the never ending war of words against the anti-gun crowd. That’s right. No longer are they “anti-gun”, which sounds like they’re in favor of safety, now they’re “anti-freedom” which is more correct. And we aren’t “gun nuts” any more. Not even “gunnies”. No, we’re “marksmen”. That makes sense, and it’s a term I’m sure would get Kim’s NOR stamp of approval. Read Tillman’s whole article online ... start up an IE session and go here. After you’ve recovered from the heart attack caused by the front cover, flip forward to page 64. Then enjoy pages 60, 40, and 17. You can’t turn pages while zoomed in. (I suggest IE because I went there in Firefox and it crashed. I had 10 other tabs open, so who can say?)


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/19/2009 at 06:28 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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Woman, 81, killed in street mugging ‘ignored by passers-by as she called for help’.

I honestly hate to post things like this story.  I get no joy out of it.  I don’t think that things are any better back home in the states, as I recall last year when a man was hit by a car in CT. and nobody went to help. It seems to be the way the world is today.  What a damn shame.

What really gets to me as well about this, is that I vividly recall England about 25 years ago when the streets were safe even at night. Sure, not 100 percent. No place is.  But it was safer then most streets back home.  And it was sure safer then it is today.

Just what sort of an animal attacks an old lady?  And least you think this is the first, think again. And it isn’t the first death of an old person either.
The law has almost no teeth.  Many crimes go unanswered and unpunished.  Gee.  From what ppl tell me who write from home, this is just like home.
Mores the pity then.

btw ... the bastards got her umbrella. Gosh. What a haul.

My fear is that things will only get worse as the financial thing brings on more problems.
This really,really was a nice place.  Once upon a time.


Woman, 81, killed in street mugging ‘ignored by passers-by as she called for help’

By Benedict Moore-bridger
Last updated at 1:41 PM on 19th January 2009

An 81-year-old woman, who died after being mugged in the street, was ignored by passers-by as she cried for help.

Police said that Molly Morgan sus­tained head injuries suffered in the attack on her from behind - yet people who could have helped her thought she was drunk.

She was left on the pavement for 10 minutes before eventually being taken to hospital on Thursday evening, but died the following day from her injuries.

A post-mortem examination gave cause of death as head injuries. She also had a broken left arm and mul­tiple fractures to the left side of her face after being dragged to the ground during the attack.

Her bag contained just an electrical exten­sion lead and a Primark umbrella.

Today her only daughter Hilary, an artist from Surrey, pleaded for anyone with information about the mugging in Harrow to come forward.

She also released a painting of her mother’s bag, which police are searching for.

She said: ‘My mum was so active and full of life. I still can’t believe she has been taken away from me. I am her only daughter and we were close. She encouraged me in my dream of going to art school.

‘If this painting helps to catch the person who killed her, it’s the most important painting I’ve ever done.’

Mrs Morgan, who had lived in the area for more than 50 years, was on her way to Kenton Library for a lecture.

The ‘active’ and ‘agile’ pensioner had trained as an architect but gave up work to become a full-time mother.

She was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and sat on the London committee of the Worker Education Association, a group that supports adult education.

For more than 40 years she was married to William Morgan, who died in November 1997.

Detective Chief Inspector Jessica Wadsworth - from the Met’s Homi­cide and Serious Crime Command, which is leading the investigation - said some passers-by refused to help Mrs Morgan because they thought she had been drinking.

She said: ‘When Mrs Morgan was attacked she fell to the ground, and we believe she was on the pavement for about 10 minutes before anyone came to her aid.

‘While at hospital, Mrs Morgan told police that a man walked right past her and didn’t stop, even when she asked for help.

‘I need to trace this man, and any other people who saw Mrs Morgan lying on the pavement, since they are vital witnesses and will be able to help me find who killed her.

‘It is our belief that this man, and other people in the area who didn’t assist the victim, may tragically not have realised that Mrs Morgan had been attacked and was in consider­able pain.

‘We know from some witnesses that they had assumed she was merely a drunk on the street.’

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 020 8358 0300 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

PHOTOS HERE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/19/2009 at 04:16 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeScary StuffUK •  
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MLK Day 2009

Martin Luther King Jr Day 2009 might be a bit overshadowed, or even usurped, by the Obampalooza going on right now. But it was the success of the former that opened the door for the latter to walk through all these years later. Although I rarely link to him any more, I’ll make an exception today. Michael Zak reminds us again that MLK was a Republican, and that it was Republicans who were behind the civil rights movement, while it was Democrats that were against it. Nearly 100 years before that, it was the Republican Party that was formed expressly to fight for freedom and equality, while it was the Democrat Party that was pro-slavery. It was those same Democrats who put Jim Crow laws into place post-war, and the grandsons of those same Democrats who kept segregation and the disdainful “separate but equal” laws in place. Keep that in mind today and tomorrow, because it is going to be a truth lost in the mist in DC. Oh, and today is a holiday because Ronald Reagan signed the bill. Not Jimmy Carter.

“The first Republican I knew was my father, and he is still the Republican I most admire. He joined our party because the Democrats in Jim Crow Alabama of 1952 would not register him to vote. The Republicans did. My father has never forgotten that day, and neither have I.”

- Condoleezza Rice, speaking at the 2000 Republican National Convention





Update: There is an opinion that this holiday was a sop; a bone thrown to the dogs. There may be a grain of truth in that, but I think it is worth remembering this man for what he accomplished. He did it with the help and sacrifice of a whole lot of other people, we know that too, but every movement needs it’s icon. And you’ll recall that this holiday cost us one presidential holiday. We used to have both Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthday; now we have President’s Day (which sort of seems like it could be applied to any President) and thus history is again lost in the fog. And I never really knew just how “official” this holiday was. My banks seem to be open, and when I worked in the corporate world those offices were open too. But all holidays seem less important than they used to. Remember how no stores, not even food stores, were open on Thanksgiving and Christmas? Or there would be one drug store, one grocery store, and 3 gas stations open per county on that day? Now everybody is open, always. Holidays are hardly more than a reason for stores to have sales these days. That’s a shame.
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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/19/2009 at 01:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Racism and race relations •  
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Obama’s utter folly.  ( From the Sunday financial page of the Telegraph)

It’s all Obama all the time now.  There’s even a mens health thing in the paper and they captioned it the Obama Diet.

Man oh man do we have a hell of a lot to overcome before the next national election. 
Heard an edited version of a speech he gave this wkend on radio.  He comes over well even when he isn’t saying anything.

Obama’s utter folly

By Liam Halligan
Last Updated: 6:56PM GMT 17 Jan 2009

Barack Obama’s inauguration on Tuesday is, of course, an event of huge political and cultural significance.

For the first time, a non-white man will control the White House, sitting at the apex of power.

But, for global financial markets, the dawn of a new US administration holds major economic significance too. Anyway, that’s the hope.

Across the world – not least in the City and on Wall Street – fingers are crossed that Obama’s new stimulus plan, worth a staggering $800bn over two years, will rescue the global economy.

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that even without this package, the US budget deficit will hit $1,200bn this year – or 8.3pc of national income. Such a massive gap between spending and taxation already amounts to an unprecedented fiscal stimulus.

Cranking up spending even more is the last thing the US should do.

Excessive government largesse is never a good idea. The demand boost takes time, the inefficiencies are enormous and the scope for cronyism bigger still.

But turbo-charged state spending is especially bad in a country facing massive demographic pressures, with a fragile currency and already servicing debts equal to a mind-boggling 368pc of GDP.

I wish Obama well, but his plan is utter folly
.

FOLLY


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/19/2009 at 11:57 AM   
Filed Under: • Finance and InvestingObama, The One •  
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Hamas declares victory in Gaza.  Some vow to continue the fight.

Hamas declares victory in Gaza claiming it lost only 48 fighters
Hamas has declared victory over Israel claiming it lost just 48 fighters during the 22-day onslaught in Gaza.


By Damien McElroy in Jerusalem
Last Updated: 10:08AM GMT 19 Jan 2009

A masked gunman from the Islamic group’s armed wing vowed the groups would rearm as its leaders proclaimed it had achieved a holy victory in the confrontation.
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“We announce to our people the martyrdom of 48 Qassam fighters,” Abu Obeida, spokesman for the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades said.

The frontman, whose face was wrapped in an Arab Keffiyah scarf, dismissed Israeli attempts to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza, a declared aim of the war.

“Do whatever you want. Manufacturing the holy weapons is our mission and we know how to acquire weapons,” he said.

Israeli officials have estimated that up to 500 Hamas members were killed during Operation Cast Lead.

A tenuous ceasefire has held since Israeli troops withdrew from key areas of the densely populated strip. A total of 40,000 tonnes of food and medicines had been transported into Gaza since the offensive began, a spokesman for the Israeli humanitarian effort said.

Palestinians used the calm to dig bodies and possessions from the rubble of the deadliest assault the Hamas stronghold has ever seen.

No air strikes, rockets or major clashes were reported in the coastal enclave.

With the halt to fighting, Palestinian ambulance workers were able to work in areas which had been unsafe to enter.

“We have pulled out the bodies of 15 children and women from under their house,” said Abed Sharafi, 40.

“They were so badly decomposed that we couldn’t distinguish boys from girls. Some had been there for 15 days,” along the road north from Gaza City to Beit Lahiya. “There are so many.”

Nearly 100 bodies were recovered on Sunday as the truce came into effect.

The discoveries brought the overall death toll of Operation Cast Lead to more than 1,300, including more than 400 children, medics said. Another 5,300 were wounded. Israel reported a death toll of 13.

Arab leaders met in Kuwait today after weeks of squabbling over Israel’s offensive. Seventeen Arab heads of state are attending the two-day summit while another five countries are represented at senior official level.

The summit is set to approve a two-billion-dollar fund for the rebuilding of Gaza which was badly battered by the Israeli offensive.

HAMAS DEFIANT


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/19/2009 at 11:12 AM   
Filed Under: • IsraelPaleswineTerrorists •  
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oh Bama!

Less than 36 hours until His official Coronation, and then we’ll have the great and mighty Wizard of O to rule us all and save the world.

America, this is our moment. This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past. Our time to bring new energy and new ideas to the challenges we face. Our time to offer a new direction for the country we love.

The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment - this was the time - when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.




Obama ... it’s for your own good you know. For those who have been waiting for themselves, he is the person he has been waiting for.




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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/19/2009 at 02:51 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat Leftists •  
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calendar   Sunday - January 18, 2009

Better Bowling

We won all 7 against team 5 tonight. So my team is still in first place by a small amount, but it’s a long way to go until the end of the season. Anything could happen.

More fun and games with Team 5. The two new kids didn’t show up tonight, and they didn’t pre-bowl. But the alley found us a new person for that team, and she was there. So in theory team 5 now has 3 members out of 4 positions. I like that, but I secretly fear that once again this team only has 1 member, and that we’ll never see those 2 new kids again. Which would be the 3rd time this season that Team 5 has gone belly up. Must be a curse on them or something.

I bowled pretty well tonight, making a 561 series. And I was actually getting the ball to hook. I did something radical ... I got my thumb out of the ball and let the ball do the work. And it did, just fine. All this time - for 4 years now - I’ve just been relaxing my thumb in the hole. And not getting much ball reaction at all. So I’d try to force some reaction by twisting my wrist, flicking my fingers, whatever. None of which really did much. Tonight I finally allowed my hand to do the obvious: to get your thumb out of the ball you pull your thumb out of the ball. Duh! Short bus, seat reserved for Drew, here’s your sign and your duct tape. And it was just about that easy. 

[assumes you roll a fingertip grip ball] Before the push away, with your fingers in the ball and your hand under the ball, spread your index finger out about 2/3 as wide as it can go, and keep the other fingers together. Laterally turn your hand a little so you point the index finger forward, which means the other fingers are at the 10 o’clock position (as if you are looking down on the ball from above). Stiff wrist held straight. Push away forward until your arm is straight, let go of the ball with your offside hand and let your arm swing back. Don’t change your hand position or soften the wrist. Elbow locked. As the ball swings forward past your knees relax your thumb and pull it out. You feel the weight of the ball on your fingertips as it starts to roll off your hand. Fingers stay stiff and you try to lift up with them as the ball comes off. With the elbow still locked the arm swings up, and your hand goes “through the ball” as bowlers say. You don’t stop your arm when the ball comes off. That’s all it takes to impart enough “rev” (side roll) on the ball so that it slides through the oil to the outside boards, catches on the dry at about 45 feet, turns, and rolls right into the 1-3 pocket. Nice big late hook; goes out 8 boards and comes back 16. Duh. It’s EASY. Now let’s see if I can keep on doing it. Maybe a little practice tomorrow, so I can do it well at Monday league. I want a 600 series this season. I want a 700 series this season!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/18/2009 at 02:48 AM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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calendar   Saturday - January 17, 2009

Britain to send warships to Gaza as Israel prepares for ceasefire.(oh damn. and leave hamas alive?)

OK, if there’s a ceasefire and things are quiet for a short time, and then terrorists from Gaza (Hamas) either carry out suicide attacks or else fire rockets into Israel, then maybe just maybe Israel will finally and at long last be able to go in and clean out that rats nest without the rest of the hand wringing world getting in their way.
Stay Tuned on this one.

Britain will send warships to the eastern Mediterranean to prevent arms being smuggled into the Gaza Strip after an Israeli ceasefire.

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent, and Damien McElroy in Jerusalem
Last Updated: 6:57PM GMT 17 Jan 2009

The Prime Minister, Gordon Brown also appeared to suggest that Britain might put people on the ground to help secure the crossings into Gaza.

“Germany, France and Great Britain have just sent a letter to Israel and Egypt to say they will do everything we can to prevent arms trafficking which is at the root of some of the problems,” Mr Brown said. “I believe that will help get a solution to this crisis.”

His declaration came as the Israeli government appeared poised to end its three-week assault on the Palestinian territory by adopting a unilateral ceasefire plan.

Intense fighting marked the closing hours of Operation Cast Lead as Israel sought to entrench its military superiority over the radical Islamic movement Hamas.

The Prime Minister said that he had been in talks with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and with European leaders over the last few days.

“I believe there is general understanding that the appalling violence and the tragedies that have happened should come to an end as quickly as possible,” he said.

Israel’s defence minister, Ehud Barak, declared the country had achieved its goals for the 22-day conflict as he toured military units involved in the offensive.

“After three weeks of Operation Cast Lead, we are very close to reaching the goals and securing them through diplomatic agreements,” he said. “The defence forces must continue their operation and be ready for any development.”

Israel appeared to have come to its decision after reaching a bilateral agreement with America to establish a tough monitoring regime to stop weapons being smuggled to Hamas through tunnels under Gaza’s border with Egypt.

The Egyptian government has said the tunnels are mainly used for food while most arms are being smuggled into Gaza by sea.

Mr Brown said that if the ceasefire held, Britain would send in extra humanitarian aid. “We’re prepared to help move children, to take them out of the area so they can be treated elsewhere.”

Thousands of people gathered in Britain yesterday to demonstrate against the continuing Israeli attacks on Gaza.

While Israel has conceded that Hamas has not been wiped out by Operation Cast Lead, it is determined to deprive the Islamic group of any attempt to claim a victory.

Israeli officials said their decision to declare a ceasefire unilaterally would make Hamas responsible for any fresh clashes.

“It doesn’t matter what Hamas says now, its what they do,” said Mark Regev, an Israel government spokesman. “The world will see that after this Hamas will be responsible for what happens.”

The ceasefire announcement was expected to be made after a meeting of the security cabinet at the end of the Jewish Sabbath holiday.

The government’s key figures - Mr Barak, the prime minister Mr Olmert and foreign minister Tzipi Lipni - presented a united front to push for a cessation of the campaign.

However a top Hamas official vowed the group would continue its attacks on Israeli forces. Osama Hamdan, who is based in Lebanon, said: “If any vision does not achieve these things, then we will continue in the battle on the ground.”

CEASEFIRE


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/17/2009 at 08:57 PM   
Filed Under: • IsraelMiddle-EastTerrorists •  
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Arab states are unmoved by plight of Hamas: most fear Muslim militancy.

Well, as for the UN commission on human rights, they and the entire UN can drop dead. Puffed up pompous dick heads who most likely can’t hold down a regular job in their own countries. Anyway .. you know they haven’t any brains, right?
I mean lets face it.  If those jerks had brains they’d have been born Americans.  Conservative ones. I only have to see those letters (you en) to see red.

So, is their commission going to try and arrest any Israelis?  Wouldn’t that be a sight to see. 

Red Cross can take a flying leap as well btw.  It’s war. Period. As long as terrorists hide among a civilian population, this is what you’re gonna get.

Why Arab states are unmoved by plight of Hamas: most fear Muslim militancy despite their dislike of Israel
In New York a United Nations human rights chief alleges Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza.

By Tim Butcher in Jerusalem
Last Updated: 6:57PM GMT 17 Jan 2009

In Geneva the normally silent International Committee of the Red Cross goes public to condemn the Jewish state. And in Kensington barriers have to be erected by police to stop protesters reaching the embassy of Israel.

By contrast, the reaction in the Arab world seems almost mute. There are a few rallies in countries such as Syria and Yemen where Israeli flags are burned but that happens after Friday prayers on high days and holidays anyway.

The Arab League splinters over which member state should host an emergency summit on Gaza. Even in the West Bank, just 40 miles from Gaza and home to 2.5 million fellow Palestinians, a call by militants for mass protest rallies dubbed “days of wrath” passes largely unheeded.

Why is it that, as Israel prepared to announce a cessation of offensive operations in Gaza, the Arab Street remained so apparently unmoved by its assault on the tiny territory?

The answer lies in the way many Arab regimes view militant Islam, as represented by Hamas. The West has come to view Muslim militancy as one of its biggest threats in the 21st century but for many Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia the same threat has existed for much longer.

Egypt’s secular, military leaders have been struggling with the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1920s. They have tried arresting leaders, invoked emergency powers to stop popular demonstrations and banned members of “the Brothers” from standing in elections. President Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship remains in power in Egypt but militant Islam remains one of the most clear and present dangers to his rule.

The links between Hamas and “the Brothers” are strong, deep and long-standing. The Gaza Strip, which is the powerbase of Hamas, abuts Egypt and in the eyes of many the Palestinian movement is little more than the “North Sinai Branch” of the Muslim Brotherhood. So just as Cairo needs to keep “the Brothers” in check, it also has an interest in seeing Hamas weakened.

As Amotz Asa-El, an Israeli commentator, put it: ”Gullible Westerners can delude themselves that a Sharia (Islamic rule) state in Gaza will care only about itself and Israel. Mubarak evidently knows better than that.”

A similar sense of wariness towards mass political parties that invoke militancy in the name of Allah joins other diverse Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia and Syria.

The Saudi royal family might follow the conservative form of Islam known as Wahabism but the real strength of the regime stems from extensive interwoven family ties and their traditional links. Jihadist groups like al-Qa’eda represent as big a threat to this clan-based network of elites as they do to America and while Hamas and al-Qa’eda do not share the same jihadist ideology, the Saudi leadership is acutely wary of a mass movement such as Hamas that is motivated by Islam.

Even Syria, the country that sponsors Hamas and gives a home in Damascus to its politburo led by Khaled Meshaal, has learnt to be wary of militant Islam. Syria might provide Hamas with support today but it only does this as an indirect way of putting pressure on Israel, a country that Syria remains officially at war with and from which Damascus hopes one day to win back the Golan Heights lost to the Jewish state in 1967.

In 1982 Syria’s then president, Hafez al Assad, the father of the current president, Bashar al Assad, showed exactly how tolerant he would be towards his country’s Muslim Brotherhood. After the movement started to stage guerrilla attacks on Syrian state organs like the police force, he ordered his army to surround Hama, the town where the group had its de facto headquarters, and shell it with artillery. The death toll, mostly civilian, was never definitively established but some estimates put it as high as 20,000.

So while regimes across the Arab world have condemned the huge loss of civilian life caused by Israel’s military assault on Gaza there are few regimes rushing to offer solidarity with Hamas.

Over in the West Bank, the moderate Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, the Fatah leader, reacted to the opening shots of operation Cast Lead with a very clear accusation that Hamas had brought the attack upon itself. He has since issued hand-wringing condemnations of incidents where Israel has caused mass loss of civilian life but the sense remains that Fatah is not entirely unhappy at Israel’s weakening of Hamas.

In the independence period when the Arab states were created in the early and mid 20th century on often-heard rallying cry was Pan-Arabism, the ideology that said all Arabs from the Atlantic coast of Morocco in the west to the Omani coastline in the east should unite as one.

If nothing else, the Arab reaction to the Gaza assault should serve as a reminder of the folly of believing in that.

TELEGRAPH


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/17/2009 at 08:31 PM   
Filed Under: • Middle-EastPaleswineTerrorists •  
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Gaza: no surprises

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – A Hamas spokesman says the militant group will continue fighting until Israeli troops leave Gaza.

Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum made the statement Saturday as Israeli leaders met to approve an Egyptian cease-fire proposal that would halt Israel’s 22-day-old offensive but leave troops in Gaza for a 10-day cooling-off period. Barhoum did not explicitly say whether Hamas would hold its fire if Israeli forces do leave Gaza. His comments were in a speech aired on Hamas television in Gaza.

...

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s top leadership met Saturday to approve a unilateral cease-fire that would halt the devastating 22-day offensive against the Hamas rulers of Gaza.

The 12-member Security Cabinet is expected to back an Egyptian-brokered proposal for a 10-day cease-fire with no sign of a commitment by Hamas to stop the rocket fire on southern Israel that sparked the conflict.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak indicated Israel’s readiness for a cease-fire, saying the country “was very close to achieving its goals and securing them through diplomatic agreements.” He spoke during a trip to southern Israel, which has been the target of militant rocket fire.

In the hours leading up to the vote, Israel kept up its bombardment of dozens of Hamas targets in Gaza.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers have sent mixed signals on whether the group would reciprocate.




So Hamas cries to Egypt for a cease fire, because they’re getting slammed. So Egypt does what it can to broker a deal, and presents it to Israel. But before Israel can even make a decision, Hamas lets it be known that they’ll keep right on fighting and doing what they damn please, agreement or not.

These are the most infantile people on the planet. Reject the treaty Israel, and go right back to spanking these evil little babies. This is exactly what I said would happen, and it’s completely predictable because it has happened so many times before. Keep the fight going against Hamas. Make it 100 times worse. There is no peace with these vermin. Ever. Drive them into the sea and drown them like the plague rats that they are. Show Obama how a real war on terror should be fought.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2009 at 07:45 PM   
Filed Under: • IsraelWar On Terror •  
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Autmotive Autopilot gets one step closer

Idiot Drivers Rejoice!



Volvo Brings “City Safety” technology to market

Does system allows for “safe” tailgating?




Add this to the self parking Lexus technology, along with the amazing sensor arrays built in to today’s cars, plus the whole “wired” thing with the GPS, DVD, iPod, LoJack, etc., that already exists. Will self directing cars be that far in the future? Tell your dashboard where you want to go, and the car drives itself. At the most efficient speed of course, but also driving around traffic and potholes, while reporting your position and blood alcohol content to the government every 15 seconds. Because driving a car is such an unpleasant and difficult thing, and you might speed or waste gas by excessive idling. It’s for your own good you know. But for now we’ll sell you your loss of freedom incrementally, and we’ll do it in the name of safety and convenience. And you’ll clamor for it, every step of the way.



Volvo has announced more innovative safety technology – a unique ‘City Safety’ system that could help drivers avoid 50 per cent of all rear-end, low speed accidents that often happen in urban environments or slow moving traffic. Statistics reveal that 75 per cent of all reported collisions occur at low speeds of up to 30 km/h (18.7 mph). The Volvo system, called ‘City Safety’, is active up to 30 km/h and keeps a watchful eye on traffic up to six metres in front of the car with the help of an optical radar system integrated into the upper part of the windscreen. If a car in front suddenly brakes or is stationary, the system will automatically pre-charge the brakes to help the driver avoid an accident by slowing down in time, or steering away from a potential collision. However, if a collision is imminent, the system will activate the car’s brakes automatically.

“The system offers benefits to all involved. For the occupants of the car in front, the risk of whiplash injuries is avoided or reduced, plus it can help reduce or even eliminate the cost of repairs to both vehicles,” says Ingrid Skogsmo, director of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre.

The system runs a calculation 50 times per second to determine what braking speed is needed to avoid a collision based on the distance to the object in front and the car’s own speed. If the calculated braking force exceeds a given level without the driver responding, the danger of a collision is considered imminent and ‘City Safety’ helps avoid or reduce the consequences of a collision by automatically activating the car’s brakes and reducing the throttle.

The ‘City Safety’ system works equally well day or night, but will have the same limitations as any other radar systems, so can be limited by fog, mist, snow or heavy rain. If the sensor on the windscreen is obscured by dirt or snow the driver is alerted via the car’s information display.

“It is important to emphasize that the system does not absolve the driver from driving with adequate safety margins in order to avoid collisions. The automatic braking function is only activated when the system assesses that a collision is imminent. The system then steps in to limit the consequences of the imminent collision or, in some cases, totally avoid it,” explains Ingrid Skogsmo.

The ‘City Safety’ system should be available within two years. However, Volvo recently introduced Collision Warning and Brake Support (CWABS) active safety systems with the all-new Volvo S80, which also help to avoid and reduce damage and injuries from collisions. These systems alert the driver via audible and visual signals if the gap to the car in front is reducing so quickly that an impact is likely. It automatically pre-charges the braking system so that braking is as effective as possible in an emergency situation but doesn’t offer full auto-braking.

Volvo is doing a big promotion across the country as it enters the luxury, performance-oriented, small SUV/crossover market with their new XC60. Two Parallel Tours will cross the country with more than 85 events, giving customers the opportunity to see the new XC60 before it goes on sale at dealerships and experience “City Safety” - Volvo’s most extensive safety package ever.

This technology is being promoted across the US under Volvo’s From Sweden with Löv ad campaign. Check it out, and see it in action at a Volvo dealer near you!

I think it’s a great idea. There are too many bad drivers on the road, and far too many who are not paying attention. But I spent my youth on motorcycles, so I have a different perspective: pay absolute attention to everything around you at all times while driving, or die. That’s the motorcycle choice. As far as I’m concerned, the folks who need automatic parking, automatic braking, GPS, traction control, drive by wire, CVT transmissions, and all the rest ... probably should be taking the bus. Not that I’d hesitate to have any of these features on my ride. I just don’t want them to get to the point where they stop me from doing what I want to do.

PS - while on the subject of cars, what gives with the price of gas? It’s shot up 25 cents in the past couple weeks, yet the price of crude is still at historic lows. ($36.51/bbl) Demand is down more than any decrease in production. Maybe the Gaza situation? But they don’t have any oil!! Pirates? They only got 1 tanker, and they let that one go already. Confused and miffed here.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2009 at 06:53 PM   
Filed Under: • Amazing Science and Discoveriesplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
Comments (3) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Weekend Graphics by Rancino

Health & Safety Message

Excessive consumption of alcohol can alter your vision, lower your inhibitions, and distort your judgement.




Rancino provides a visual reminder to this often ignored truth.

See More Below The Fold

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2009 at 03:13 AM   
Filed Under: • HumorPolitically-Incorrect •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
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