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Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Friday - January 16, 2009

This sends me the wrong message

There will be more security forces working the Obama Inauguration

than there are soldiers in Afghanistan




Hey Mr. Uniter, world’s most popular politico - just who is it you don’t trust? Who do you think is out to get you, before you even start Day One? Whassamatta, you don’t think you can trust your fellow citizens? You think all yo peeps is just gonna run wild and need to be contained and kept in line? Wat up wid dat holmes?

Washington Assembles Largest Inauguration Security Force Ever

The U.S. Secret Service is overseeing a security force of more than 40,000 people, including 7,500 active duty soldiers, 10,000 National Guard troops and 25,000 law-enforcement officers. If, as expected, a record crowd turns out for Barack Obama’s inauguration, Washington will be ready with the largest number of security people ever assembled in the nation’s capital. The U.S. Secret Service is overseeing a security force of more than 40,000 people, including 7,500 active duty soldiers, 10,000 National Guard troops and 25,000 law-enforcement officers.

That surpasses the 31,000 troops serving in Afghanistan. Intelligence officials say there are no specific threats, but they acknowledge that the high visibility of the inauguration, the presence of dignitaries and the significance of swearing in the first black president make it a vulnerable target.

“We have to be prepared for the lone individual who will try to interrupt the event all the way up to a terrorist organization,” Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told FOXNews.com.

The Metropolitan Police Department will deploy 4,000 officers, and it will have help from an additional 4,000 officers from 99 federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies across the country.

Last week, MPD officers started working six-day weeks with 12-hour shifts in anticipation of the inauguration.

“The great thing about the MPD is we’re in the nation’s capital, so we’re accustomed to dealing with mass scale events,” said Traci Hughes, a police department spokeswoman.

“The department is quite capable and accustomed to dealing with crowds. We are very good at preparing for these types of events.”

Bridges into Washington and about 3.5 square miles of the capital’s downtown will be closed Tuesday. The security perimeter covers more of the city than in previous inaugurations.

Thousands of extra police, military troops and law enforcement agents, including plainclothes officers roaming among the crowds, will be on hand to handle the estimated 2 to 4 million people who are expected to come to Washington.

“This is going to be an historic inauguration,” said Sgt. Robert LaChance, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police. “It’s going be an event larger than anything we’ve seen. We expect to have a large crowd, and we’re prepared.”

The security effort goes into full effect when Obama starts making his way to Washington from Philadelphia by train Saturday.

Thousands of officers from 40 police jurisdictions will line the 137-mile route. Crowds are expected to gather at numerous spots along the way, including overpasses, parking lots and commuter train stations.

I think the last time there was a “security force” this large working in Washington DC was when General Meade was in charge of them, shortly before they walked north to Gettysburg.

Oh, and somebody please tell me this pretender isn’t taking Lincoln’s train to DC as well? It’s just too fucking much already. Da new messiah done come to town. Horseshit.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2009 at 09:58 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat Leftists •  
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Guest Post #1, by Doc Jeff

Requiem for Sayeed Sayyam

Recently splattered Hamasshole

Burn in hell you bastard




In which Doc has a go at giving the AP news release a good fisking.



Hamas vows revenge after IDF kills Gaza Interior Minister Said Sayyam

> OK, I’m sure we’re all impressed by this.  When was the last time anyone from Hamas vowed anything except revenge against Isreal?  Congratulations to the IDF, another successful surgical strike against Hamas.

An Israel Air Force strike in Gaza on Thursday killed Hamas’ Interior Minister Said Sayyam, one of the Islamist militant group’s three most senior leaders in the coastal strip.

> Good start.  Read on so you can see what a sweet benevolent man Sayyam was.

A Hamas official vowed vengeance for Siam’s death. “The blood of Said Sayyam will be a curse on the Zionist entity,” Mohammed Nazzal told Al-Jazeera television.

> Very colorful.  Was he doing the monkey pump with an AK47 as well?  It would play well on TV.  This makes reason 483,726 why Hamas doesn’t like Zionists, aka Israelis.

Sayyam, 50, was killed in an air strike that targeted the home of his brother Iyad. Also killed in the attack were his son, his brother, as well as Salah Abu Shreich, head of internal security in the organization and the person responsible for the liaison between the political and military wings of Hamas.

> Good shot!  Got lots of birds with one rock!

Palestinian sources said Hamas’ military commander in Gaza City, Mahmoud Watfah, was also killed in the attack.

> And another guy who needed killing.  The Palis seem to be telling the truth.  What’s wrong?  They’ve got to be up to something.

Six other Hamas operatives were wounded in the air strike in the heart of Gaza City, the sources said. The IDF Southern Command ordered the airstrike on the basis of precise intelligence provided by the Shin Bet security service.

> Only wounded?  Tsk.  Gonna need another air strike.  In any case, let’s hear it for the Shin Bet, knowing the right time and place to clean up so many bad guys in one blow.  I think they’re still the best spy agency in the world.  Overall it was a good deal.  Three members of Hamas’ upper echelon deleted plus at least half a dozen (if not more) assorted Hamas operative out of action.  Nice.

Sayyam was the effective founder of the Hamas-led police force. He pushed for Hamas’ bloody 2006 coup in Gaza, during which it ousted the rival Fatah faction from power.

> Nice guy, he even kills other Palis if he doesn’t get his way.  I never thought I’d feel any amount of sympathy for a member of Fatah.  This guy’s making me consider it.  He controlled the police force as well.  Nice, it gives him more opportunity to order killings.

As interior minister in Hamas’ government in Gaza, Sayyam oversaw thousands of security agents and was widely feared.

> I like this phrase.  In other words, he ran the Gestapo in Gaza.  Salah Abu Shreich runs the internal security apparatus and reports to Sayyam.  Thousands of undercover agents plus the uniformed police can give a guy a lot of power....and terrify any possible dissenters into silence.

He was the number three behind Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Zahar, and was seen by many as the most extreme of the triumvirate.

> Yeah, ok, whatever you say.  What made the other two moderate?

The airstrike on Sayyam was apparently an attempt by Israel to deliver an image of victory in its offensive against Hamas. The Israel Defense Forces understands that Hamas’ agreement in principle to the Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire in Gaza signals that the campaign is nearing its end.

> What’s this about “...an attempt...to deliver an image of victory”?  Deleting someone like Sayyam and a few of his friends is a pretty positive advance.

In an interview with Haaretz in November 1995, Sayyam said, “I do not hate [Israelis] for being Jewish or Israeli but because of what they have done to us. Because of the acts of occupation.”

> “Done to us....” Guess who’s killed thousands more Palestinians than the Israelis have?  Answer:  King Hussein of Jordan when the Palis tried to go after him like they’re now going after the Israelis.  Now watch for his idea of the “acts of occupation”.  Remember, Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza a few years ago, even leaving buildings and farms for the use of the Palestinians.  Buildings and farms that the Palestinians immediately destroyed.

In response to a question about whether he saw a chance for change in relations between Palestinians and Israelis, he said, “It is difficult to forget what was done to us. If the reason for the hate will not exist, everything is possible.

> He won’t forgive or forget anything.  The reason for his hate is the existence of Israel.  He wants to destroy Israel.  Read Hamas’ platform.  It hasn’t changed since the beginning. 

“But if the reason remains, it is impossible to love. First we must convince in general and in principle that we have been wronged, then we can talk about ‘67 or ‘48. You still do not recognize that we have rights. The first condition for change is recognition of the injustice we suffered.”

> This paragraph is nice and twisty.  “...if the reason remains, it is impossible to love.” Remember the reason that remains is the continued existence of Israel.  Then he wants people to understand that he, the bloodthirsty murderer of Israelis and Palestinians alike only acts because the Palestinians are victims.  So, what does he want to change about 1948 or 1967?  Does he want to remake history so that the combined might of the Arab world couldn’t destroy Israel?  Does he want to remake history so that the Arabs weren’t fools?  What could he be talking about when he references those years other than deleting Israel from history?  What does he propose will be enough?  An autonomous Gaza?  An autonomous West Bank?  Wait a minute, don’t they pretty much have that already? OK, his people have suffered an injustice.  Almost true.  Arab refugees were allowed to return to Israel after 1948 until they started killing Israelis.  Since 1948 their brother Arabs held them in camps, with no land of their own.  The Israelis gave them a land of their own and the Israelis are still the bad guys - got it? 

Reality, what a concept.

[ Drew: I can’t wait until Hamas rejects the cease-fire proposal they just made, if Israel accepts it. I’m kind of hoping the Izzys vote it down tomorrow. ]


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2009 at 09:50 PM   
Filed Under: • RoPMAWar On Terror •  
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Guest Post #2, by Carol

The Ammunition Coding/Numbering Kerfuffle

This is going on. In more than a dozen states very similar bills have been introduced. You know as well as I do that this is totally unworkable, and it’s just as stupid as the case imprinting idea. And you know it won’t do a G_d damned thing to eliminate, reduce, or even slow down crime. Not a thing. But the well coordinated asshats in many parts of the country just keep pushing. Time to look up the pending bills in your state, and get out the writing paper, stamps and envelopes, along with the phone directory. You can’t turn your back on these rabid little chipmunks for a jolly second.

Remember what Hitler did in WWII.  Read on.

Here ya go.

Nobody can sell any unmarked ammunition after June 30, 2009

And so it begins.

It has already started…

Ammunition Accountability Legislation.

Remember how Obama said that he wasn’t going to take your guns? Well, it seems that his allies in the anti-gun world have no problem with taking your ammo!

The bill that is being pushed in 18 states (including Illinois and Indiana) requires all ammunition to be encoded by the manufacture a data base of all ammunition sales. So they will know how much you buy and what calibers. Nobody can sell any ammunition after June 30, 2009 unless the ammunition is coded.

Any privately held unmarked ammunition must be destroyed by July 1, 2011. (Including hand loaded ammo.) They will also charge a .05 cent tax on every round so every box of ammo you buy will go up at least $2.50 or more!

If they can deprive you of ammo they do not need to take your gun! This legislation is currently pending in 18 states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington. And Georgia too

Send to your friends in these states AND fight to dissolve these bills!

To find more about the anti-gun group that is sponsoring this legislation and the specific legislation for each state, go to:

http://ammunitionaccountability.org/Legislation.htm

Spend a few minutes and find out what sneaky shit your state is trying to push. It’s a good bet they are. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2009 at 09:35 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentGuns and Gun Control •  
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Guest Post #3, by Carol

image



Selected quotes: the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson



‘I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers
conquered.’

Liberty is the great parent of science and of virtue; and a nation will be great in both in proportion as it is free.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe .

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.




No wonder the left has to bring this guy down - his words and works are meaningless because he owned slaves, you know. The guy was an anti-government radical! Plus he was a gun nut! (yes to both; you mean he was a normal American, right?)


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2009 at 09:21 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Hey Lardass

Obese Americans now outweigh the merely overweight



Two thirds of adult Americans are at least chubby, and more than half of those folks are BFFers. 

The number of obese American adults outweighs the number of those who are merely overweight, according to the latest statistics from the federal government.

Numbers posted by the National Center for Health Statistics show that more than 34 percent of Americans are obese, compared to 32.7 percent who are overweight. It said just under 6 percent are “extremely” obese.

“More than one-third of adults, or over 72 million people, were obese in 2005-2006, the NCHS said in its report.

image

“Although the prevalence of obesity has more than doubled since 1980, the prevalence of overweight has remained stable over the same time period,” it said.

Obesity and overweight are calculated using a formula called body mass index. BMI is equal to weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. Someone with a BMI of 25 to 29 is classified as overweight, 30 to 40 counts as obese and people with BMIs of 40 or more are morbidly obese.

In May, the CDC reported that 32 percent of U.S. children fit the definition of being overweight, 16 percent were obese and 11 percent were extremely obese.

In the rest of the world, mostly, it’s the rich people who are overweight, while the poor starve. In America it’s the rich people who are in good shape, while the poor are portly. Amazing. And according to Yahoo, it’s only going to get worse for them, as they start putting on the “recession pounds”!

Americans may reduce the amount they spend on food in response to a sour economy but some experts fear they may pick up weight in the process.

The specter of “recession pounds” is a concern weighing on health professionals, who point to numerous studies linking obesity and unhealthy eating habits to low incomes.

They fear that as people cut food spending they will cut back on healthy but relatively expensive items such as fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and whole grains, in favor of cheaper options high in sugar and saturated fats.

“People ... are going to economize and as they save money on food they will be eating more empty calories or foods high in sugar, saturated fats and refined grains, which are cheaper,” said Adam Drewnowski, the director of the Nutrition Sciences Program at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“Things are going to get worse,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview. “Obesity is a toxic result of a failing economic environment.”

Drewnowski’s own research has highlighted the link between income and obesity.

“In Seattle we have found that there are fivefold differences in obesity rates depending on the zip code—the low-income zip codes have a much higher proportion of obese people,” he said.

A little bit of study will show you that the BMI is not perfect, since it doesn’t allow for people who are heavily muscled or have larger bones than average. But it is still a reasonable indicator. To calculate your own BMI, multiply your weight in pounds by 703, then divide that number by the square of your height in inches. Thus is you weighed 250 and were 5’10” tall, that would be (250*703) / (70*70) = 175,750 / 4,900 = 35.865, halfway to being a seriously BFFer. Yup, that’s me. Time to diet again. There are lots of BMI calculators online, and several variations on the theme which give you a comfortable “ideal” weight for your age and so forth.

But the bottom line is that most of us have more bottom line than we need. By far.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2009 at 08:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Fine-Dining •  
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bizzy bizzy

Running around all over the place today. No time to do anything. Will try and blog some later. Open Thread time!!

$845 stimulus package, chock full of pork, but it isn’t pork because the bits aren’t actually called earmarks? WTF. WTF.

$50 million on Obama’s inauguration party, and that’s not enough, but $40 million or less when Bush had his was too much? The press sucks.

The pilot of that airliner is being praised up and down by all the media. Good. He deserves it. A real hero, who just did his job properly when the excrement impacted the oscillator.

Peace in Gaza? Israel to vote on it this weekend. Hamas still being a pain in the ass. US gets a role in it, keeping the tunnels into Egypt closed? That ain’t right. We should have no part in it.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2009 at 03:45 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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From silly to asinine

This has got to be some kind of world record

Zimbabwe releases $Z100 Trillion note



That’s $Z100,000,000,000,000. Originally worth $30, but deflated to $10 by the time you read this.



Zimbabwe is introducing a Z$100 trillion note, currently worth about US$30 (£20), state media reports.

Other notes in trillion-dollar denominations of 10, 20 and 50 are also being released to help Zimbabweans cope with hyperinflation.

However, the dollarisation of the economy means that few products are available in the local currency.

There you go: a little truth sneaks out. The local scrip is worthless, so they’re using US dollars. No kidding. Of course, that’s probably illegal, but nobody cares.

I wonder how many more spins around the bowl this country has before it completely goes down the drain? What’s left to fail at this point? What actually works in that nation? Even if they just took Mubabe out and shot him, along with the rest of the joke of a government, it couldn’t make anything better. Or worse.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2009 at 11:54 AM   
Filed Under: • AfricaTyrants and Dictators •  
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A REALLY HUGE AND MAJOR MOONBAT ALERT AND AWARD. WHERE DO THEY FIND PPL LIKE THIS?

They have to live someplace. 

What brain thinks up this dumb and even embarrassing sort of nonsense?

Granted it’s funny but how can something so stupid and over the top not be funny.

You’ll want to remember this one.

batbatbat

Strike threat as librarian title changed to ‘audience development officer’

By Andrew Picken
IT would be difficult to find a more appropriate title for someone who works in a library.

But city council chiefs appear to have decided the term “librarian” does not fit the bill any more.

As part of a major shake-up of the city’s library service, staff are set to be re-branded as “audience development officers”.

It is one of many changes which have infuriated staff and led to the prospect of strike action.

LINK FOR MORE

Source: Edinburgh Evening News
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

MOONBAT AWARD TO:  City Council Chiefs, Edinburgh.


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/16/2009 at 10:00 AM   
Filed Under: • Stoopid-PeopleUKUnions-Laborwork and the workplace •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

Is this just one reason the war on terror can be lost?  Alleged terrorist freed to walk in the park

There are youngsters out there in foreign lands that are dying and losing limbs in our armed forces.  So it must be a war of some kind.

Been up long hours and reading latest news and just shaking sorry head wondering where the hell the Churchills are.

I suppose innocent until proved could apply.  But in this case?

Right. We all go around trying to board flights using a false passport.

This guy belongs to a movement that does not recognize nicy-nice hand holding. They kill and maim and cut throats and enjoy their work. If you can call murder work.  Just where do you find “consideration for humanity” for a person who has NONE himself?

Bin Laden has said that his cause will win just by outlasting us.  Could happen too. Not because terrorists are smarter or even because they value death much as we value life. No. 
They can win because they understand the weakness of the west and mostly ... mostly ...

Because it is this sort of thinking that will simply allow them to win.
In other words, the west will just (slowly) let it happen.  A fraction at a time.

An alleged al-Qaeda terrorist said to be connected to Osama bin Laden has been freed to take regular walks in a park to stop him developing a fear of open spaces.

By Duncan Gardham,
Security Correspondent
Last Updated: 7:01PM GMT 15 Jan 2009

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is claimed to have once been a senior al-Qaeda instructor and one of the world’s most wanted terrorists.

He was arrested in connection with separate plots to blow up Los Angeles airport and the Christmas market in Strasbourg and is said to have “direct links to Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda figures”.

The government says he is a “leading organiser and facilitator of terrorist activity” and is trying to have him deported to his native Algeria but the Telegraph revealed last year that he was to be released on bail and put under a 24-hour curfew.

His bail conditions, similar to a control order, have now been varied to allow him twice weekly walks, for one hour, in a local park in a south coast town and go to a cafe, accompanied by one of four named supporters who have been given security clearance by MI5.

The man’s legal team claimed he was suffering from high blood pressure and was in danger of becoming agoraphobic - scared of open spaces - as he had not been outside often enough.

The Security Service objected to the proposal but a judge at the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) ruled against them.

Mr Justice Mitting told a hearing in central London, attended by the alleged terrorist: “I do not need to be reminded that this appellant is one of the greatest concerns of the Security Service and the commission.”

He admitted there was a “great risk to national security and a modest risk of absconding” and said the man had “not disavowed his previous beliefs” but he said he was allowing the walks “out of consideration for humanity and appropriate consideration for the health of the appellant”.

He said the conditions under which the man was living were “the most draconian” ever imposed by SIAC, which also ordered the release on bail last year of the radical preacher Abu Qatada, said to be Osama bin Laden’s “right hand man in Europe”.

A legal order bans this newspaper from naming the town where he is living but we can reveal that he has a room in a house normally rented out to students.

His landlord, a local councillor, told The Daily Telegraph: “I have let rooms for people at the university for many years and a friend rang and asked if I could take in an asylum seeker for a few months.

“It so happened that I had a room vacant so I said yes. He’s just another student as far as I’m concerned.”

SIAC has said there are “credible grounds” for believing the allegations against the man, referred to as “U”, and said he was a “significant risk to national security”.

Now 45, he arrived in Britain from France in 1994 and claimed asylum but allegedly spent the late 1990s with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.


He was arrested in February 2001 at Heathrow trying to board a flight to Saudi Arabia on a false passport.

It is claimed U met bin Laden at the Khalden training camp in Afghanistan which he is said to have helped run.

He admits attending the training camp and meeting Ahmed Ressam, now in jail for the Los Angeles plot, but denies being part of any conspiracy.

A STROLL IN THE PARK


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/16/2009 at 04:28 AM   
Filed Under: • RoPMATerroristsWar On Terror •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 15, 2009

Gaza hospitals and UN warehouse hit .  Gee, ya know. War is hell.

Insomnia has me up at the ungodly hour of 3am and what do I do?
Boot the PC to see what’s going on.

All day yesterday I was hearing about the Israeli attack on the UN building.

This morning I decided that as long as I was up at this hour, I’d check out the Al Jazeera site to see what they were saying.

They have photos at their site course.  They have people at the scene, right?

Well, a photo was published in the Telegraph of Hamas rockets which was absent from the Jazeera shots, which showed Hamas rocket launches from their city centers. Or at least from civilian areas.
There were 80 rockets fired into Israel in the last 24 hours.  And NOT ONE photo here.  How could they manage to miss that?

UPDATED ON:
Friday, January 16, 2009
04:56 Mecca time, 01:56 GMT

The attack on the UN warehouse destroyed millions of dollars worth of food and medical aid [AFP]
Explosions in the Gaza Strip have continued after a day that saw some of the heaviest fighting so far in Israel’s war on the Palestinian territory.

Israeli leaders were reportedly considering Hamas’s terms for a ceasefire and Tzipi Livni, Israel’s foreign minister, was headed to Washington for consultations with Condoleezza Rice, her US counterpart, on conditions for a ceasefire.

But Israeli forces continued their offensive in the early hours of Friday – the 21st day of the military campaign.

On Thursday, three hospitals and a UN compound were bombarded by Israeli forces as they continued to advance into the densely-populated Gaza City.

Hospitals hit

I

Around 500 people were sheltering in the Al-Quds hospital in the city’s southwestern Tal Al-Hawa district when it was bombed by Israeli jets and set ablaze on Thursday morning.

Hospital officials said the fire was sparked by a “phosphorus shell”.

“We have been able to control the fire in the hospital but not in the administrative building,” one hospital official said.

“We hope that the flames don’t spread again to the wings of the hospital.”

Two hospitals east of Gaza City were also hit by Israeli shells as Gazans fled tanks advancing into the city.

It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties following the raids.

The Israelis also bombed a UN compound in Gaza City, setting fire to warehouses of badly-needed food and medical aid and prompting international outrage.

Around 700 Palestinians were sheltering in the UN complex at the time of the strikes which left two civilians and three staff members injured.

Adnan Abu Hasna, a spokesman for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (Unrwa), said fires were still raging hours after the attack and “tens of millions of dollars worth of aid” had been destroyed.

John Ging, the director of Unrwa operations in the Strip, also accused the Israelis of using phosphorus shells.

Israel’s bombing of the UN compound in Gaza outraged UN chief Ban Ki-moon [AFP]
“They are phosphorus fires so they are extremely difficult to put out because, if you put water on, it will just generate toxic fumes and do nothing to stop the burning,” he said.

Israel insists all weapons used in the conflict comply with international law.

At least 1105 Palestinians have been killed and 5130 injured in Israel’s offensive so far, nearly half of the dead civilians and more than 330 children.

Thirteen Israelis have died, three of them civilians.

Two buildings housing international journalists in Gaza were also bombarded by Israeli forces on Thursday, as were a Red Crescent office near Gaza City and the main mosque in the southern city of Rafah.

‘Investigation needed’

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, justified shelling the UN headquarters claiming armed Palestinians within it had fired at Israeli troops first.

“It is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place … but the consequences were very sad and I apologise for it,” he said.

“There were no militants in our compound and… [the Israelis] are changing their story saying militants were ‘in the vicinity’”

However, Christopher Gunness, a spokesman for Unrwa, robustly denied that Palestinian fighters were among refugees sheltering there.

“At no stage during the fighting today did any Israeli official pick up the phone and tell us there were militants in our compound.

“We always take action against militants ... there were no militants in our compound and now they [the Israelis] are changing their story, saying militants were ‘in the vicinity’,” he said.

Gunness called for a “proper investigation” into the incident.

Louis Michel, the European Aid Commissioner, also condemned the bombing of the UN complex, branding it “unacceptable”.

“I am deeply shocked and dismayed to learn of this incident ... I have made it very clear that all sides must respect international humanitarian law.

“It is unacceptable that the UN headquarters in Gaza has been struck by Israeli artillery fire,” he said.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, strongly condemned the incident and demanded a full explanation from Tzipi Livni, the Israeli foreign minister, during talks held on Thursday in Tel Aviv.

Ban said Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, had apologised for the attack describing it as a “grave mistake”.

AL JAZEERA


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/15/2009 at 09:49 PM   
Filed Under: • RoPMATerrorists •  
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Gotcha

Hamas confirms Israel strike killed security chief




Security chief? As if. Anywhere else and this guy would be called either a general or a gang leader.

Hamas officials are confirming that an Israeli airstrike killed the Hamas interior minister, who oversaw thousands of security agents in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army confirmed the airstrike.

Hamas television says Interior Minister Said Siam was killed in a strike that flattened a home in Gaza City. A top aide, Siam’s brother and his brother’s family were also killed.

Siam is considered to be among Hamas’ top five leaders in Gaza.

One of five? Crap, that means there are 4 more to go.

Ha’aretz says Said Siam (Sayyam) was one of the top three Hamas rats, and that Salah Abu Shreich, their head of internal security, was also turned into pink mist in the attack. Plus 6 other Hamassholes thrown in for free.

Sayyam was the effective founder of the Hamas-led police force. He pushed for Hamas’ bloody 2006 coup in Gaza, during which it ousted the rival Fatah faction from power.

As interior minister in Hamas’ government in Gaza, Sayyam oversaw thousands of security agents and was widely feared. He was the number three behind Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud Zahar, and was seen by many as the most extreme of the triumvirate.

The airstrike on Sayyam was apparently an attempt by Israel to deliver an image of victory in its offensive against Hamas.

Hey, that works for me.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/15/2009 at 06:26 PM   
Filed Under: • PaleswineWar On Terror •  
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Darn

Ricardo Montalban has died. He was 88.

Actor Ricardo Montalban, star of the hit TV series “Fantasy Island,” died Wednesday in Los Angeles, a family spokesman said.

Montalban, 88, was in deteriorating health over the past several days but “died peacefully” at 6:30 a.m. at his home, son-in-law Gilbert Smith said.

He understood “it was his time,” Smith said. The cause of death was not given.

Montalban rose to prominence as one of the most visible Hispanic actors in post-war Hollywood in the 1950s and 1960s. But his star grew as he took on television roles as the mysterious host Mr. Roarke on the hit drama “Fantasy Island” and as Captain Kirk’s archnemesis Khan Noonien Singh in “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.”



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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/15/2009 at 05:18 PM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeHollywood •  
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Plane Crash

Breaking news ... jetliner crashes in NYC, everybody gets off safe. Birds caused crash. Planes settles in shallow water.

A US Airways jet crashed Thursday in the Hudson River in New York City after a flock of birds struck its engines, but everyone aboard survived.

Passengers were sent fleeing into the icy waters when the Airbus 320 went down shortly after takeoff near 48th Street in Manhattan.

Two of the jet’s engines were hit by a flock of birds, according to government officials. The Federal Aviation Administration said everyone on board survived and was off the plane.

“There were eyewitness reports the plane may have flown into a flock of birds,” said FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown. “Right now we don’t have any indication this was anything other than an accident.”

Most of the passengers were quarantined at the New York City ferry terminal at 42nd Street, though at least two were taken away on stretchers. It wasn’t known how many were hurt, though no serious injuries were reported.

Flight 1549 had just taken off from New York’s LaGuardia Airport at 3:26 p.m. Thursday when it went down. The flight is believed to have had 146 passengers and five crew on board, though that wasn’t confirmed, and was heading to Charlotte, N.C.

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UPDATE: Camera phone pictures showing up on Twitter.

Rescue operations began in seconds, with ferries, tugs, harbor police getting to the scene immediately. Most of the passengers didn’t even get wet. They got out of the plane, and stood on the wings. That’s why I thought they were in shallow water, though I didn’t think there were any sandbars in that part of the river. A pair of tugboats ran a cable under the airplane and kept it afloat. Again, no fatalities, no severe injuries, no fire. Outstanding.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/15/2009 at 05:14 PM   
Filed Under: • News-Briefs •  
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Pictures of Conflict

I’ve seen this pic on several blogs that are covering the Gaza mess. I can not figure out what it is. Doc thinks it might be faked. I think it might be a really high speed photo, but of what? Incoming or outgoing? And that sure looks like one of our Hummers. And what’s up with the kaffiya guy in the foreground, taking a picture?



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Quite a number of high speed photos available.

I call this sequence “oops, we missed.”
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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/15/2009 at 04:36 PM   
Filed Under: • War-Stories •  
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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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