Friday, February 28, 2014

Al-Qaida plots comeback in Afghanistan: US

Barack Hussein "Loser" Obama has given Iraq back to al Qaeda, why not Afghanistan, too?

The story comes from Times of India.

Al-Qaida plots comeback in Afghanistan: US

WASHINGTON: Al-Qaida's Afghanistan leader is laying the groundwork to relaunch his war-shattered organization once the United States and international forces withdraw from the country, as they have warned they will do without a security agreement from the Afghan government, US officials say.

Farouq al-Qahtani al-Qatari has been cementing local ties and bringing in small numbers of experienced militants to train a new generation of fighters, and US military and intelligence officials say they have increased drone and jet missile strikes against him and his followers in the mountainous eastern provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. The objective is to keep him from restarting the large training camps that once drew hundreds of followers before the US-led war began.

The officials have said that the counterterrorism campaign — a key reason the Obama administration agreed to keep any troops in Afghanistan after 2014 — could be jeopardized by the possibility of a total pullout.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers said the number of al-Qaida members in Afghanistan has risen but is not much higher than the several hundred or so the US has identified in the past.

"I think most are waiting for the US to fully pull out by 2014," he said.

The administration would like to leave up to 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after combat operations end on December 31, to continue training Afghan forces and conduct counterterrorism missions. But without the agreement that would authorize international forces to stay in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama has threatened to pull all troops out, and Nato forces would follow suit. After talking to Afghan President Hamid Karzai this week, Obama ordered the Pentagon to begin planning for the so-called zero option.

US military and intelligence officials say unless they can continue to fly drones and jets from at least one air base in Afghanistan — either Bagram in the north or Jalalabad in the east — al-Qahtani and his followers could eventually plan new attacks against US targets, although experts do not consider him one of the most dangerous al-Qaida leaders.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss publicly the secret counterterrorism campaign or intelligence.

Administration officials have hoped that the US could eventually wind down counterterrorism operations like drone strikes in the region after reducing the al-Qaida network, leaving local forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan to control the remnants.

But al-Qaida is not weakened enough yet, and US officials have testified that the inexperienced Afghan forces aren't ready to take over the task unaided.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden this week said that "as the possibility of a full withdrawal has grown in Afghanistan", the administration was "undertaking a methodical review of any US capabilities that may be affected and developing strategies to mitigate impacts".

"The United States will take the steps necessary to combat terrorism and protect our interests," she added.

Some administration officials have said that al-Qaida in Afghanistan is less of a threat than when the war began, estimated to be as many as several hundred forced to shelter in the remotest part of the country.

They say that al-Qahtani is so remote; he is nearly irrelevant to the larger al-Qaida movement. Two US intelligence officials say his group has been so cut off that it has been forced to rely on the Taliban for funding and weapons at times, where it used to be the other way around. Those officials are far more concerned about al-Qaida's new offshoots fighting in the Syrian civil war.

"It's really hard to get to New York City from northern Kunar or southern Nuristan", where al-Qahtani is based, said Douglas Ollivant, a former senior US military adviser in eastern Afghanistan, now with the New American Foundation.

"We do want to keep them bottled up there," he said, adding that that's something Afghan forces can do on their own. "The Afghan forces are not capable of going up there and hunting them, but they are capable of containing them," the former US military officer said.

Other experts see al-Qahtani and his kind as the main reason to push for at least a minimal security force in Afghanistan.

"There's an influx of Jihadist groups — not massive — now active in Afghanistan," said Seth Jones of the Washington-based RAND Corp., who once worked for US Special Operations Command in Afghanistan. He listed the most dangerous as al-Qaida; the Pakistan Taliban; Lashkar-e-Taiba, blamed for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks; and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, which has strong links to al-Qaida.

"Not having US forces in Afghanistan would embolden these groups and be counterproductive for US national security," he said.

Those tracking al-Qahtani say he has survived by following some of the same rules that helped Osama bin Laden avoid capture for so many years: He stays off cellphones and radios to hide from spy satellites and airborne radars, instead using couriers or face-to-face meetings, and he stays on the move.

When he travels to populated areas, he stays among women and children, which he knows the US will avoid striking.

The local tribesmen do not aid the US effort, nor does the barren, mountainous terrain where incoming raiders are visible for miles.

"When helicopters went in, you can hear the whistles go up," from the villages, echoing across the valleys and sending militants fleeing for cover, one of the US military officials said.

The officials say US special operators have all but given up capturing al-Qahtani and have traded fruitless and dangerous helicopter-borne raids for air strikes by drone and jet, averaging three to five a week.

To their knowledge, they have never come close to striking him.

The reports give added ammunition to a comprehensive intelligence analysis on Afghanistan completed in December. The report predicted the country will largely disintegrate along ethnic lines after the US departs, with the central government controlling Kabul and a few other key cities.

Ukraine accuses Russia of 'armed invasion' in Crimea

 Armed men patrol at the airport in Simferopol, Crimea, Feb 28, 2014. — Photo by Reuters

Is this how World War III starts?

The story comes from DAWN.

Ukraine accuses Russia of 'armed invasion' in Crimea

SIMFEROPOL: Ukraine accused Russia of staging an “armed invasion” of Crimea on Friday and appealed to the West to guarantee its territorial integrity after pro-Moscow gunmen took control of the peninsula's main airport.

Amid the spiralling tensions in the ex-Soviet state, the country's ousted president Viktor Yanukovych prepared to emerge defiant from five days of hiding after winning protection from the Kremlin.

Unidentified armed men were patrolling outside of Crimea's main airport early Friday while gunmen were also reported to have seized another airfield on the southwest of the peninsula where ethnic Russians are a majority and where pro-Moscow sentiment runs high.

Ukraine's parliament on Friday appealed to the United States and Britain to uphold a 1994 pact signed with Russia that guaranteed the country's sovereignty in return for it giving up its Soviet nuclear arsenal.

Interim president Oleksandr Turchynov also told agitated lawmakers that he was convening the country's security and defence chiefs for an emergency meeting over the unfolding crisis.

Western governments have been watching with increasing worry as Kiev's new pro-EU rulers grapple with dual threats of economic collapse and secession from Russified southern and eastern regions that had backed fugitive ex-president Viktor Yanukovych.

Russian President Vladimir Putin this week stoked concerns that Moscow might use its military might to sway the outcome of Ukraine's three-month standoff by ordering snap combat drills near its border involving 150,000 troops and nearly 900 tanks.

Interim president Turchynov responded on Thursday by declaring that any movement of Russian troops out of their Black Sea bases in Crimea “will be considered as military aggression”.

US Secretary of State John Kerry attempted to relieve diplomatic pressure that has increasingly assumed Cold War overtones by announcing that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had assured him that Moscow “will respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine”.

Putin also appeared to take a more conciliatory approach late on Thursday by vowing to work on improving trade ties with Ukraine and promising to support international efforts to provide Kiev with funds that could keep it from declaring a debt default as early as next week.

Yet tensions continued to soar by the hour in the Russian-speaking Crimea — a scenic Black Sea peninsula that has housed Kremlin navies for nearly 250 years and was handed to Ukraine as a symbolic gift by a Soviet leader in 1954.

'Armed invasion'

Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov accused the Russian armed forces of being directly involved in armed dawn raids on an airport in Crimea's main city of Simferopol as well as an airfield on the southwestern coast.

AFP reporters saw dozens of men armed with Kalashnikovs encircle the Simferopol airport on Friday morning after reports suggested that they had briefly seized control of its runway.

An administrator told AFP the “airport was operating normally” on Friday morning despite the presence of the armed men in battle fatigues.

Unconfirmed reports by Ukrainian media said armed men had also seized the Belbek airfield near the city of Sevastopol, which is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet.

Avakov accused the Russian armed forces of being behind both incidents.

He said gunmen at the Simferopol airport “are not even hiding the fact that they belong to the armed forces of the Russian Federation”.

The interior minister added that the Belbek airfield was “blockaded by military units of the Russian navy”.

“I consider what is happening to be an armed invasion and an occupation,” Avakov said in a statement posted on his Facebook account.

But Russia's Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed source as saying that the Belbek air field was under the control of local pro-Russian self-defence units who had no links to the Black Sea fleet.

The peninsula of nearly two million people has been in crisis since dozens of pro-Kremlin gunmen seized and raised the Russian flag over Crimea's parliament and government buildings on Wednesday.

Crimean lawmakers appointed Russian Unity party member Sergiy Aksyonov as regional premier in place of Kiev-allied Anatoliy Mohilyov in a vote held late on Thursday under the watchful eye of the pro-Kremlin militia.

Aksyonov said on Friday that he still recognised Yanukovych as Ukraine's legitimate head of state.

Yanukovych emerges in Russia

The fugitive leader had not been seen since making a brief taped television appearance last Saturday that was aired only hours before parliament stripped him of power for a week of carnage in Kiev that claimed nearly 100 lives.

Ukraine's bloodiest crisis since its 1991 independence erupted in November when Yanukovych made the shock decision to ditch an EU trade pact in favour of closer ties with old master Russia.

The 63-year-old fugitive issued a statement to Russian news agencies from an undisclosed location on Thursday announcing that he was "compelled to ask the Russian Federation to ensure (his) personal security".

A source later told the same agencies that Yanukovych's request for protection "was satisfied on Russian territory".

The ousted leader is now expected to appear before the media at 1300 GMT in Rostov-on-Don — a Russian city less than two hours' drive from the Ukrainian border.

Yet his personal problems do not appear to be over even if Yanukovych pronounces himself to be the head of a Ukrainian government in exile.

Swiss bank accounts

Switzerland said on Thursday said it was prepared to freeze any funds the Yanukovych family might have in the Alpine country's banks.

It is unclear whether Yanukovych himself has funds in Switzerland. But his 40-year-old son Olexandr opened a branch of his Management Assets Company (MAKO) in Geneva in late 2011.

The Swiss weekly L'Hebdo estimates that Olexandr had amassed a personal fortune of around half a billion dollars (365 million euros) in the past three years alone.

Ukraine's new leaders meanwhile are suffering from Moscow's decision to freeze a $15-billion bailout package Putin promised to Yanukovych.

The leadership in Kiev won some reprieve when Kerry promised quick delivery of $1 billion in loan guarantees "with some other pieces" to follow.

Kerry said the EU was looking at loan guarantees worth some $1.5 billion for the nation of 46 million people.

Ukraine's new rulers have appealed for $35 billion for the teetering economy.

Video: This Wasn't the Day To Be a Syrian Rebel

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Socialism Spill on Aisle 9

From Family Security Matters.

A Socialism Spill on Aisle 9
February 27, 2014

The working class in the United States has no better champion than Barack Obama. Like most champions of the working class, he has never actually worked at a real job and instead divided his time between academia, non-profits and politics which explains his current work ethic in which he tries to get a speech in between every two vacations..

The progressive law professors, who are currently the only thing standing between the working class and the abyss, at least according to other progressive professors, not only haven't worked for a living, but don't know what working for a living entails and don't even understand the concept. Other things that they don't understand include personal responsibility, consequences, elementary arithmetic and human free will.

That last one never fails to throw them for a loop. No sooner do they pass some comprehensive plan intended to ameliorate a terrible problem then they discover that the working people have made a hash out of it. But they never despair because they are certain that there is no progressive solution that cannot be fixed by an even more comprehensive progressive solution.

ObamaCare isn't working? Go Single Payer? There are no more doctors? Outlaw illness. People are still getting sick? Fine them for sabotaging progressive medicine. Like the island whose colonial overlords tried to solve their rat problem by dropping snakes only to discover that it now had a snake problem, progressives always have solutions. The trouble is that they never understand the problem.

The protectors of the working class, currently presiding over a country where over 90 million adults are not in the workforce, keep dropping snakes on the island without ever figuring out why so many people are dying of snakebites. B.O. or Before Obama, 63 percent of working age Americans had jobs. Today it's 58 percent. And Obama is trying to see if he can drop the country below the 50 mark.

The latest snake that Obama is trying to drop on the island is a minimum wage hike. A minimum wage hike sounds like a great idea to a progressive professor who, like Marie Antoinette, wonders why the poor can't just eat cake during a bread shortage. If the poor aren't making enough money, just raise their salaries. If their salaries go up, they'll have more money and the government will be able to spend more money creating jobs that it can then tax using a magic perpetual motion machine.

The first casualty of the minimum wage hike will be some 500,000 jobs. While just 19 percent of the minimum wage increase will go to those below the poverty line, the same isn't true of that 500,000. The most disposable workers also tend to be the poorest in the new economy. They are the first ones out the door when a small business comes up against the ObamaCare employer mandate or a minimum wage hike. It doesn't take much to push them out from full time to part time and from part time to the unemployment line and from the unemployment line to permanent unemployment.

Purge six figures worth of workers and suddenly income inequality becomes an even bigger problem that the Harvard and Yale Friends of the Working Class can use to run for reelection. It doesn't occur to progressive professors slash community organizers that the living standard of the poor is not defined by an infographic comparing their income to Bill Gates' spectacles budget or George Soros' villain lair complete with lasers and piranhas.

It isn't even defined by their salary, but by the buying power of that salary.

A salary is just a number. It was once possible to buy a meal for a dime and a politician for a hundred dollars. Today dinner with a politician will cost you that hundred and the politician may cost you a hundred thousand.

The businesses that minimum wage workers depend on are peopled with other minimum wage workers. Even assuming that the pay hike were employment neutral, which it most certainly is not, it would rebalance once the businesses they patronize pass on the pay hike as a price hike. And then before you know it everyone is making more money that still buys about the same amount that their old paychecks did.

Income inequality is class warfare, a subject of interest to Marxist professors and sober news anchors who are deeply concerned about the words scrolling across their teleprompters, but of very little relevance to the price of a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk and a pound of ground beef. The prices of basic staples have risen sharply under the Friend of the Working Class in Washington. While he dines on faux Wagyu beef at White House dinners, the working class victims of his class warfare are standing in Aisle 9 trying to assemble a puzzle that consists of their upcoming paycheck, a Payday loan and a grocery list.

The woman weighting a can of beans in one hand and her pocketbook in the other trying to decide what she can afford to take home doesn't need income equality with a Harvard Law prof. What she needs a living standard that will allow her to afford what working Americans used to be able to afford. A minimum wage hike is a blunt instrument that looks good until it puts her out of a job or until she comes back to Aisle 9 and sees that the price hikes match her new paycheck.

Progressives don't particularly care about the woman in Aisle 9. They eat up hard luck stories on NPR and CNN the way that their great-grandparents marveled at hunger in Africa because of the way that it makes them feel, not because they understand how those people live or care about them. They use them to feel charitable and to win elections. Each progressive solution makes life worse in Aisle 9, but they never visit Aisle 9. If they did, they would outlaw the other half of the products in it that they haven't already outlawed through various contrived legalisms.

In the Venezuelan Aisle 9, mobs are fighting over powdered milk in government stores in a country that has 85 percent of the oil reserves in the region. Everyone is entitled to powdered milk and other price controlled staples. But being entitled to something doesn't mean that you can get it. Not until the government seizes control of the entire production process of powdered milk and then when that is done, no one will ever drink powdered milk again.

The path to Venezuela's Aisle 9 is surprisingly similar to America's Aisle 9. It began with a series of blunt force measures that were meant to address the standard of living problem in a country with runaway inflation. Governments can raise wages or lower food prices, but they can't enforce the availability of food or jobs and they can't control how the working class will work around the consequences of foodless government supermarkets and minimum wage jobs that have been priced out of the marketplace.

Venezuela's Friend of the Working Class, Hugo Chavez, kicked the golden bucket with an estimated net worth of 2 billion dollars. The Friends of the Working Class are also doing comfortably well in D.C. where it pays to be an expert on poverty and an advocate for helping the working class by adding 12 million illegal aliens to the job market with illegal alien amnesty, shutting down jobs with environmental regulations and freeing the people still working from that dreaded "job lock".

For the Washington Friends of the Working Class drifting from one cocktail party and fundraising
dinner to another, the minimum wage hike is their latest gimmick for winning in 2016. They are as ignorant of the lives of the waiters who bring them their Wagyu beef and the vagaries of a working class budget as they are of Ancient Sanskrit or the geography of the moon.

The working class that they preach about is an unreal abstract to them that is reducible to their party, their movement and their agenda. Their legislation is blessed by their empathy. It does not occur to them that their programs can backfire and that unintended consequences follow from confusing magical thinking with hard numbers. In Aisle 9, things are simple and inflexible, but in politics and academia everything is subjective.

Weighing a can of food in your hands that you need but cannot afford wonderfully focuses the mind on the real, but at the cocktail parties of the Friends of the Working Class, everything is wonderfully unreal. Life is full of possibilities, vacations, conferences and elections. There are no hard facts, only ideas and slogans. Everything and everyone does what you want them to.

Like The Great Gatsby's Tom and Daisy, the progressive law professors and community organizers inhabit a "vast carelessness" of conferences and cocktail parties from which they emerge to carelessly smash things up before retreating back into it with no real awareness of what they have done and a certainty that the people on Aisle 9 whose lives they have smashed up ought to be grateful to them.

Photo of the Day: If Only Our Classrooms Were.....Smaller?

I've noticed lately how the Teachers' unions across America are now blaming every student failure and sub par testing results on the fact that their classrooms are too full...that the student to teacher ratio is just flat out too high.  Lord knows a teacher can't expect to get the job done with too many children in their class!  Right?

"The United States is living on its past. Among the oldest group in the study (those aged 56–65), U.S. prose skills rose to second place. For those attending school in the 1950s, SAT scores reached an all-time high.

For those educated in the fifties, the United States not only managed to achieve the second-highest literacy scores but, on the inequality index, scored no worse than average"



Video: Call Me.....

(Hat Tip: Henry Bowman)


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hezbollah vows response to 'Israeli air strike'

Well, well, well....we finally hear from the brave souls at Hezbollah regarding the Israeli strike on their missile base on the Lebanon/Syria's what they had to say....

"This new attack amounts to blatant aggression against Lebanon, its sovereignty and territory," the militant group said, adding that "it will not stand without a response from the Resistance, which will choose the appropriate time, place and means."

The operative words there are "will choose the appropriate time, place and means." - that basically means "we're too damn scared to do ANYTHING about it and maybe, just maybe, 10 years from now when we get lucky and are able to grab an Israeli soldier or kill a Jew in Europe, we'll blame it on this strike.

Go ahead Hezbollah - unleash some response against Israel - do it big boys.  They won't dare, they take after their yellow-bellied masters in Iran.  All talk, no action.  The pussies of the world.

The story comes from Times of India.

Hezbollah vows response to 'Israeli air strike'

BEIRUT: Hezbollah on Wednesday threatened to retaliate after Israel's first reported air raid targeting a position of the Lebanese Shia movement since a 2006 war.

The statement comes two days after Israeli warplanes struck a Hezbollah position in eastern Lebanon, amid fears that the region may be dragged into further conflict.

"On Monday night ... the Israeli enemy's warplanes bombarded a Hezbollah position on the Lebanese-Syrian border, near the area of Janta in the Bekaa Valley" of eastern Lebanon, Hezbollah said.

Wednesday's statement was the group's first admission that it had been the target of the raid, although Lebanese sources had previously reported the attack.

"This new attack amounts to blatant aggression against Lebanon, its sovereignty and territory," the militant group said, adding that "it will not stand without a response from the Resistance, which will choose the appropriate time, place and means."

Hezbollah said: "This aggression did not, thank God, cause any deaths or injuries. There was only some material damage."

The movement's backer Iran also said the movement had the right to respond.

Hezbollah, which brands itself a resistance movement against Israel, was formed in 1982 by Iran's Revolutionary Guards and was the principal actor in ending Israel's occupation of southern Lebanon in 2000.

Hezbollah is Lebanon's only movement that has not disarmed since the small Mediterranean country's brutal 15-year civil war ended in 1990.

It has bases in the south of Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley in the east, and in its southern Beirut bastion.

The group denied earlier reports that Israel's raids had hit "artillery positions or missiles".

On Monday night, a Lebanese security source told AFP two raids had hit a Hezbollah target near the Lebanese-Syrian border.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar television channel had denied any raid had hit Lebanese territory.

On Tuesday, Israeli officials refrained from commenting specifically on the raid, although they confirmed a policy of interdiction of suspected arms deliveries from Syria to Hezbollah.

"We are doing everything that is necessary in order to defend the security of Israel," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

"We will not say what we're doing or what we're not doing." Meanwhile in Damascus, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, who chair's Iran's parliament committee on foreign policy and national security, echoed Hezbollah's threat to retaliate.

"I think the resistance (Hezbollah) knows its lesson well and how it should behave," Boroujerdi told reporters.

"There is no doubt whatsoever ... that it was the Zionist entity that started in this game, and Hezbollah maintains the right to respond ... and there is no doubt that the Zionist entity's losses will multiply," he added.

It was the first Israeli attack against Hezbollah in Lebanon since their 2006 war that killed more than 1,200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Hezbollah acknowledged last spring that it is sending fighters into neighbouring Syria to support President Bashar al-Assad's forces as they battle a nearly three-year uprising.

According to Waddah Charara, a sociology professor and author of "The State of Hezbollah", the raids could mark an important turning point.

Now "Israel can attack Lebanon because it knows there will be no reaction at the national level," Charara said.

The movement enjoyed widespread support in Lebanon during the 2006 conflict with Israel, but its popularity has diminished in recent years, and its decision to intervene in the Syrian conflict is controversial.

Syria has long provided arms and other aid to Hezbollah, and also served as a conduit for Iranian military aid to the movement.

In May, Israel launched two raids targeting what it said were arms convoys near Damascus destined for Hezbollah.

And on November 1 last year, there were reports of an Israeli strike against a Syrian air base where missiles to be supplied to Hezbollah were located.

Government Power is an Economic Inequality

From Family Security Matters.

Government Power is an Economic Inequality

The liberal defenders of government power attack concentrations of wealth, but in the true concentration of wealth is not found in the hands of a few billionaires, but in the hands of the government.

The editorialists talk about income inequality and the 1 percent, but they focus on individuals rather than institutions, and it is the concentration of wealth and power in institutions that threaten civil liberties.

The top 10 wealthiest men and women in America barely have 250 billion dollars between them. Federal budgets run into the trillions of dollars, and the national debt approaches 15 trillion dollars. And that's not taking into account state budgets. Even Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union, with a population of barely a million, has a multi-billion dollar budget.

As the 10th richest man in America, Michael Bloomberg wields a personal fortune of a mere 18 billion dollars, but as the Mayor of the City of New York, he disposed of an annual budget of 63 billion dollars that was three times his own net worth. Spending so much money would wipe out the net worth of any billionaire in America.

That is the difference between the wealth wielded by the 10th wealthiest man in America, and the mayor of a single city. And that is the real concentration of wealth. Not in the hands of individuals, but at every level of government, from the municipal to the state houses to the White House.

Monopolistic power in 20th century America lies not in the hands of a few industrialists, but in the massive monopolistic trust of government, and its network of unions, non-profits, lobbyists and SuperPAC's. The railroads are broken up, offshore drilling is banned, coal mining is in trouble and Ma Bell has a thousand quarreling stepchildren-- now government is the real big business.

The 2008 presidential campaign cost 5.3 billion dollars. Another 1.5 billion for the House and the Senate. And that's not counting another half a billion from the 527's and even shadier fundraising by shadowy political organizations. In 2012, the price tag went up to 6.3 billion with 1.7 billion for the House and Senate.

But that's a small investment considering that the political players and their union and corporate allies were spending billions to get their hands on trillions.

Do you know of any company in America where for a few billion, you could become the CEO, run up trillion dollar deficits and parcel out billions to your friends who will then pay the money back to you so you can take over the company again four years later without the shareholders being able to force you out or have you arrested?

This company will allow you to indulge yourself, travel anywhere at company expense, live the good life, and only work when you feel like it. It will legally indemnify you against all shareholder lawsuits, while allowing you to dispose not only of their investments, but of their personal property and that of their children while obligating them to a debt slavery that will run for generations?

There is only one such corporation. It's the United States Government.

Under an ideological cloak of darkness, politicians act as if they can do anything they want. Public outrage is met with alarmist news stories about the dangers of violence, as if this were the reign of the Bourbon kings, not a democratic republic whose right of protest is as sacrosanct as its flag and its seal. Instead the republic is dominated by political trusts, party machines, media cartels, public sector unions and a million vermin who have sucked the cow dry and are starting in on its tender meat.

Consider that in 2008, Obama pulled in 20 million from the health care industry. (McCain took in 7 million). Afterward, he conspired to pass a law which mandated that every American be forced to buy health insurance from the industry. There is no definite figure for how much money the industry will make from this, but it will be a whole lot more than the mere 20 million they invested in him. During the days of the robber barons, the government never mandated that everyone must buy a product from them. Private companies might have contrived such control over the marketplace, but the IRS was never enlisted to collect their bills for them.

How much money has flowed from the Obama Administration to its friends in the private sector in just the last year alone and how much of it was used to secure jobs for its allied unions, which they then kicked back to liberal politicians running for office.

Entire states are going bankrupt because of political trusts formed by politicians and public sector unions which pass money back and forth to each other in the plain sight of the taxpayers they are robbing blind.

This is not merely a concentration of wealth, but a ruthless concentration of power. The real money isn't coming from that top 1 percent, it's coming from unions, lobbies and companies which use political power to extract public money.

And that money goes to the party which is so determined to keep on extracting that money no matter what it takes.

The big government left keeps playing the class warfare card, but even the worst company in the world isn't as larcenously extortionate as the worst politician. Some of the greediest and abusive companies were either created by the government or operate in close partnership with it.

HMO's were created by the government. Banks fed off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's subsidized mortgages like vultures. Do we really need to go into insurance companies, defense contractors or Sallie Mae. AT&T is considered one of the worst companies in America, and it's also one of the biggest political donors. Is there a connection there? Only that companies close to the government don't need to worry as much about what the public thinks of them.

Hate the airlines? They've both been overregulated and subsidized into incompetence. Airlines have been bailed out and protected from competition too many ways to count, because of the unions riding on their coattails.

And those unions are destroying airline after airline, while the non-union airlines prosper.

American business is looking a lot like Soviet business did, full of companies with contempt for their customers, and an unctuous smile for the government. They know where the money is coming from. And in an era of cut throat price competition, and high labor and regulation costs, it's just easier for them to extract the public's money by going over their heads to the politicians. Don't feel like paying for any of it? It's no longer a free market in which individuals make economic choices, but a collective economy with government fixing prices and then turning around and taking more of your money to pay back the companies to cover the difference. That's how ObamaCare works.

The new trusts operate out of Washington D.C. for the benefit of the public. Much like the food markets of Venezuela or the hospitals of Cuba. The money goes back and forth, lobbyists, unions, politicians, consultants, contractors, activists and lunatics huddling together and passing bills that no one has read. And still the defenders of big government treat any calls for reform as a conspiracy of the rich. Yet the two richest men in America, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, were holding fundraisers for Obama. And the tenth richest man in America runs one of the biggest bastions of liberalism. And number 14 on the list, George Soros, is the left's sugar daddy.

This isn't a battle of billionaires. Mere money no longer means what it once did. The billionaire is a dinosaur. The wealthiest men in America can't wait to get rid of their holdings. In the free market, money made you king. But under socialism, money just buys you access and leverage. The leverage to force every man, woman and child to buy your product.

The real concentration of wealth is no longer among men, but among institutions. Like electricity passing along copper wire, it jumps among unions, political machines, companies, non-profits and back again. Its function is to provide the motive power for the great beast of government to grind on. And the American taxpayer is left lying flat in the street.

Video: The Final Moments

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Boko Haram Attacks Another Nigerian School, Slaughters Students

Apparently Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram has thrown their hat in the ring for the most despicable human beings on the planet award ...challenging incumbent, the Taliban.

Another Nigerian school.  Another mound of dead kids.  Another "victory" for Mohammed.

The story comes from Times of India.

Nigerian Islamists attack school, kill students

KANO (Nigeria): Suspected Boko Haram Islamists on Tuesday opened fire on secondary school students as they slept in a dormitory in Nigeria's troubled northeastern Yobe state, the military said.

Casualty figures from the attack in the town of Buni Yadi, roughly 60km (40 miles) from the state capital Damaturu, were not immediately available but scores of students have been killed in similar attacks in the state last year.

The military spokesman in Yobe, Lazarus Eli, said the raid occurred at 2am (0100 GMT) at the town's Federal Government College, a school for students aged 11 to 18.

The gunmen "opened fire on student hostels", Eli said. "Details are still sketchy due to lack of telephone access and it is still not clear how many students were affected in the attack", he added.

The name Boko Haram means "Western education is forbidden" and the Islamist rebels have carried out waves of attacks at schools across the north during their four-and-a-half year insurgency.

At least 40 students were killed in September at an agriculture training college in the Yobe town of Gujba after Boko Haram gunmen stormed a series of dorms in the middle of the night and sprayed gunfire on sleeping students.

Yobe is one of three northeastern states which was placed under emergency rule in May last year when the military launched a massive operation to crush the Boko Haram uprising.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in the region since the emergency measures were imposed, despite the enhanced military presence.

Boko Haram, declared a terrorist organisation by Nigeria and the United States, has said it is fighting to create an Islamic state in Nigeria's "Muslim" north.

What is wrong with people like this?

She should be kicked out ASAP!! But, this is exactly the kind of person Obama and his minions want in the military. It's a damn shame. 

Couple in Pakistan Suspected of Adultery Stoned To Death by Hardline Muslims

 Illustrative photo from the film "The Stoning of Soraya M."

According to Islam, it's aokay for a man in his 30's to marry a 6 year old girl but hey, don't be fooling around with a grown woman or you are going to pay with your life. Please note in the article below that these two from Pakistan were stoned to death based on an ACCUSATION.

The story comes from The Clarion Project.

Suspected Adulterers Stoned to Death in Pakistan

The stoning of Daraz Kahn, 24 and Hayat Bibi, 27, is the third case in recent months of a couple being stoned by local mobs in Pakistan.

A couple was stoned to death for the crime of suspected adultery in Pakistan. The young couple, Daraz Kahn, 24 and Hayat Bibi, 27, each of whom were married to other people, were accused by the woman’s husband.

An Islamic cleric issued a fatwa according to sharia (Islamic) law that they should both be stoned to death and a mob, led by Bibi’s husband, carried out the sentence.

Although stoning is legal in Pakistan, it is only legal if ordered by a federal or provincial court. No date, no stonings have taken place legally in Pakistan.

Locals in Loralai, where two other couples were recently stoned to death, report that Bibi went into hiding about a week ago when the charges became known. She reportedly emerged when she heard that the mob had taken Kahn. The mob forced her to watch Kahn being stoned to death, after which – led by her husband and brothers -- they set upon her, hurling bricks and rocks at her until she died.

Six people were arrested in the aftermath for the stoning: Bibi’s husband and the cleric who issued the fatwa, as well as Bibi’s father and brother and Kahn’s father and uncle.

Sarfaraz Bugti, the home minister for the region, ordered the local police chief be dismissed for not taking action at the time of the stoning.

“It is a shameful act and the people involved in stoning the man and the woman will be brought to justice,” said Bugti.

However, it is widely expected that police will take no action against those arrested. Federal courts have little jurisdiction in remote areas of the country and even if charges are brought, conviction rates in honor killings such as these are between 5 and 10 percent. Such cases are typically tied up in the courts for years.

In addition, according to the law, the victim’s family can forgive the killer, exonerating him from all charges. When the victim has been killed by family members, there is simply no case.

Stoning is legal in 15 Muslim countries that base their legal systems on sharia law.

Last year in Punjab, another region of Pakistan, a young mother of two was stoned to death by a mob led her uncle for the offense of carrying a cellular phone.

Pakistani Fighter Jets Continue Pounding of Taliban in Waziristans....30 More Killed

It's a beautiful thing.

The story comes from DAWN.

Jets pound militant hideouts in Waziristan; 30 killed

PESHAWAR: The Army targeted militant hideouts in the border area of South and North Waziristan tribal regions Tuesday in the fourth wave of recent airstrikes that killed at least 30 people.

“The militants had captured a stretch between South Waziristan and North Waziristan and had established training centres where they were also preparing suicide bombers,” said one military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another security official said at least 30 militants had been killed in early morning air strikes.

The latest air strikes took place mainly in the remote Shawal valley and Dattakhel areas of North Waziristan, said to be sites of militant training facilities and compounds.

It was impossible to verify how many civilians might have been killed or wounded as journalists and independent observers are not allowed to operate freely in the area.

North Waziristan residents have been fleeing the area on the Afghan border in recent days, anticipating a full-scale military offensive, leaving homes, shops and villages behind and settling in safer areas, such as Bannu, a town on the edge of the region.

It was also hard to estimate how many people were fleeing the region. One tribesman, Naqibullah Khan, told Reuters he was scared for his family because of persistent rumours that the army would soon launch a full-scale offensive.

“Every day heavy arms and ammunition are being shifted to Waziristan and then war planes bomb villages,” Khan said by telephone from Bannu. Two-thirds of the population of his village in the Mir Ali area had fled, he said.

“We were hearing that the government would soon launch a big military operation in Waziristan.” Another tribesman, Gul Jabbar, 48, said by telephone that he had left his shop and home behind in a village after it was hit by fighter jets last week.

“The government is doing nothing to help the people leaving their villages or helping them find accommodation in Bannu,” he said.

Pakistani fighter jets have been pounding targets in the region since the government's efforts to engage Taliban insurgents in peace negotiations broke down this month.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Photo of the Day: Oh Really?

“Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago,”   - Barack Hussein Obama


Did Israel Take Out a Hezbollah Missile Base Today?

Pardon me if I wait a couple of days to sift through the murk on this but there are reports that a Hezbollah missile base on the Syrian border was hit hard today by Israel.  I don't think we can even determine for sure if Israel did this and whether, if the attack was from Israel, the bombing was done by Israeli planes or other methods.

The fact of the matter is that Hezbollah has definitely been hard at work at bringing numerous weapons out of Syria into Lebanon ...presumably to hide from those scrutinizing Syria as well as for future attacks against Israel.  I hope Israel did this.  And I hope it hurt Hezbollah real bad.

The story comes from Times of India.

Israel bombs Hezbollah target on Lebanon-Syria border

BAALBEK: Israel bombarded a Hezbollah position on the Lebanon-Syria border on Monday, a Lebanese security source and a Syrian NGO said.

"Two Israeli raids hit a Hezbollah target on the border of Lebanon and Syria," the source said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the target was a Hezbollah "missile base".

Residents of Nabi Chit, on the Lebanese side of the border, told AFP they saw flare bombs light up the sky ahead of the raids, which shook their houses.

Residents in neighbouring areas said they heard planes flying low before the raids.

Nabi Chit is a bastion of Hezbollah, which is helping the Syrian regime battle insurgents. The Shiite group has a suspected weapons store and training camp there.

The Hezbollah television station Al-Manar said there had been "no raid on Lebanese territory", reporting only the "strong presence of enemy planes over the area north of Bekaa" in eastern Lebanon.

Israel did not immediately confirm or deny responsibility for the raids.

District Court Judge In New Jersey Bitch Slaps Muslim Activist Groups, Sides With NYPD On Surveillance

Good to see there's still at least one judge in the district court system that has a set of balls.

The story comes from Family Security Matters.

Judge Rules Against Muslim Activist Groups in Favor of NYPD

On Thursday February 20th Federal Justice William J. Martini of the United States District Court in New Jersey dismissed a lawsuit brought by several Islamic activist organizations, including the Muslim Students Association and the Muslim Foundation, against the New York City Police Department. The plaintiffs accused the NYPD of violating their civil rights through a program which including surveillance and intelligence gathering of the Muslim community in New Jersey.

The groups along with several individuals stated that the actions had

"caused a series of spiritual, stigmatic, and pecuniary losses."

to them both as individuals and collectively. They also stated that because of the actions of the NYPD they could no longer pray in public or speak in public regarding religion or politics. They accused the NYPD of singling them out solely on the basis of their religion. The judge found otherwise.

The NYPD surveillance and intelligence gathering program was one of the department's counter terrorism programs. It began in early 2002, after the attacks of 9-11 by Islamic terrorists, and with the appointment of David Cohen, former Deputy Director of the CIA, as the Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence for NYPD.

The specifics of the program were brought to the public to the public's attention in the Summer of 2011 when two reporters of the Associated Press wrote an article regarding the NYPD's counter terrorism program. The reporters had obtained un-redacted and confidential documents from several former and current NYPD employees that outlined a program designed to see if their was any terrorist activity within the Muslim community in the greater New York City region including New Jersey. The article failed to articulate that two major terrorist attacks against the United States and New York City specifically were perpetrated by radical Islamists who had ties to the Muslim Community in the geographical area in question.

The Court in this case did understand the logic of the NYPD intelligence program by saying;

"The police could not have monitored New Jersey for Muslim terrorist activities without monitoring the Muslim community itself."

In ruling in favor the NYPD Justice Martini also stated that there was no injury suffered by the plaintiffs by the actions of the NYPD. He went on to say that even if they had suffered an injury it would have been caused not by the actions of the Police Department but in fact by the actions of the Associated Press reporters. He stated that the reporters had

"released unredacted, confidential NYPD documents and articles expressing its own interpretation of those documents."

That was stunning. One could only wonder if the reporters in question would have to return the Pulitzer Prize awarded them for their inaccurate and harmful piece of journalism.

As expected the Muslim activists groups' response to the verdict was predictable.

They decried the ruling as a miscarriage of justice and vowed to appeal.

However in this case the scales of justice have tipped in favor of sound reason and logic when it comes to combating terrorism.

Key TTP (Taliban) commander Asmatullah Shaheen shot dead

The Pakistani Taliban lost a BIG fish today and the biggest mystery is just WHO assassinated him...but who gives a crap, this POS is dead and gone.

A good start to the week, for sure.

The story comes from DAWN.

Key TTP commander Asmatullah Shaheen shot dead

PESHAWAR: A month after unconfirmed reports of his death, senior Pakistani Taliban commander Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani was shot dead Monday by unknown gunmen in North Waziristan tribal region, officials said.

According to sources, the incident took place near Darga Mandi area of Ghulam Khan tehsil.

“Unidentified gunmen in another car shot and killed Shaheen as well as the driver and guards,” a family member told news agency Reuters.

A close relative of Shaheen told news agency AFP that in addition to those killed, two other people travelling in the car were critically wounded.

Security sources also confirmed the death.

The TTP has so far not confirmed his death.

Shaheen was a key member of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan's shura (high council) and was on the Pakistan army's list of twenty most wanted TTP commanders, and had had a Rs10 million bounty placed on his head since 2009.

He served as the acting TTP chief after Hakeemullah Mehsud’s death and also headed the Taliban supreme shura. In late January, unconfirmed reports said he was killed during air strikes on militant sanctuaries in North Waziristan.

Asmatullah hails from the Khichi sub-tribe of Bhittani in South Waziristan and was known for his ruthless predisposition towards those taken prisoners by the TTP.

The battle hardened commander was one of the top deputies of Baitullah Mehsud and previously fought with the force of Haji Turkestan (a pro-government leader) multiple times. Considered a potential successor to Baitullah, Asmatullah wasn’t allowed to ascend the leadership mantle, as he hailed from a different tribe.

Shaheen gained notoriety after he claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on an Ashura procession in 2009 which killed 44 people in Karachi.

He was also considered as the lead figure of an attack on the Frontier Corps - Mullazai Fort in Tank, South Waziristan. In Dec 2011, his militants with highly sophisticated weaponry overran the military bastion, killed an officer and kidnapped 23 other soldiers. Although seven soldiers managed to escape from the militants’ custody, the rest of the abductees were brutally tortured and murdered. The horrifically mutilated bodies – with 40 bullet holes each and signs of torture – were recovered from North Waziristan subsequently.

North Waziristan is one of seven regions in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Area (Fata) governed by tribal laws. An extremist insurgency led by the TTP plagues the region, while the area is known to be infested with militants, including those from Al Qaeda and other armed extremist organisations.

Due to recent onslaught of Pakistani armed forces on the militant-infested areas near the Pak-Afghan border, the locals have started moving towards settled areas in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Video: In Venezuela, You Do NOT Want To Go Into a Military Checkpoint Impound Lot

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Marines raise flag on Iwo Jima

During the bloody Battle for Iwo Jima on February 23, 1945, U.S. Marines from the 3rd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Regiment of the 5th Division take the crest of Mount Suribachi, the island's highest peak and most strategic position, and raise the U.S. flag. Marine photographer Louis Lowery was with them and recorded the event. American soldiers fighting for control of Suribachi's slopes cheered the raising of the flag, and several hours later more Marines headed up to the crest with a larger flag. Joe Rosenthal, a photographer with the Associated Press, met them along the way and recorded the raising of the second flag along with a Marine still photographer and a motion-picture cameraman.

Rosenthal took three photographs atop Suribachi. The first, which showed five Marines and one Navy corpsman struggling to hoist the heavy flag pole, became the most reproduced photograph in history and won him a Pulitzer Prize. The accompanying motion-picture footage attests to the fact that the picture was not posed. Of the other two photos, the second was similar to the first but less affecting, and the third was a group picture of 18 soldiers smiling and waving for the camera. Many of these men, including three of the six soldiers seen raising the flag in the famous Rosenthal photo, were killed before the conclusion of the Battle for Iwo Jima in late March.

In early 1945, U.S. military command sought to gain control of the island of Iwo Jima in advance of the projected aerial campaign against the Japanese home islands. Iwo Jima, a tiny volcanic island located in the Pacific about 700 miles southeast of Japan, was to be a base for fighter aircraft and an emergency-landing site for bombers. On February 19, 1945, after three days of heavy naval and aerial bombardment, the first wave of U.S. Marines stormed onto Iwo Jima's inhospitable shores.

The Japanese garrison on the island numbered 22,000 heavily entrenched men. Their commander, General Tadamichi Kuribayashi, had been expecting an Allied invasion for months and used the time wisely to construct an intricate and deadly system of underground tunnels, fortifications, and artillery that withstood the initial Allied bombardment. By the evening of the first day, despite incessant mortar fire, 30,000 U.S. Marines commanded by General Holland Smith managed to establish a solid beachhead.

During the next few days, the Marines advanced inch by inch under heavy fire from Japanese artillery and suffered suicidal charges from the Japanese infantry. Many of the Japanese defenders were never seen and remained underground manning artillery until they were blown apart by a grenade or rocket, or incinerated by a flame thrower.

While Japanese kamikaze flyers slammed into the Allied naval fleet around Iwo Jima, the Marines on the island continued their bloody advance across the island, responding to Kuribayashi's lethal defenses with remarkable endurance. On February 23, the crest of 550-foot Mount Suribachi was taken, and the next day the slopes of the extinct volcano were secured.

By March 3, U.S. forces controlled all three airfields on the island, and on March 26 the last Japanese defenders on Iwo Jima were wiped out. Only 200 of the original 22,000 Japanese defenders were captured alive. More than 6,000 Americans died taking Iwo Jima, and some 17,000 were wounded.