Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Do we need more proof that he's terminally ill?

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez promised on Tuesday to accelerate his drive for socialism in Venezuela as he recovers from surgery that removed a cancerous tumor.

He's acting like a man without long to live.

I thought they were all dead

Al Qaeda's powerful branch in Yemen has provided weapons, fighters and training with explosives over the last year to a militant Islamic group battling for power in Somalia, according to newly developed American intelligence, raising concerns of a widening alliance of terrorist groups.

Leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in Yemen also have urged members of the hard-line Shabab militia to attack targets outside Africa for the first time, said U.S. officials who were briefed on the intelligence.

Weren't we told last week that Al Qaeda was defeated?

Monday, July 18, 2011

More broken promises from Obama

Two years ago, President Barack Obama launched what he called a “historic” campaign to bolster the nation’s community colleges. These days, however, the sour economy seems to have left a far deeper imprint on community colleges than the president’s American Graduation Initiative.

The economic funk sparked a surge in students enrolling at community colleges, but downsized state budgets made it hard for schools to add enough classes to serve everyone. And the $12 billion in federal funding that Obama promised community colleges never arrived.

That will be history's verdict on the Obama administration - - Obama's promise never arrived.

What they aren't saying about the debt ceiling debate

Every Democratic senator (including Obama) voted against raising the debt limit in 2006.


It passed on a straight party line vote, with no Democratic support in the senate, and no one ever mentioned cutting off social security checks or military pay, or otherwise destroying the "full faith and credit" of the American economy.  It was considered no big deal.

Political prisoners in Venezuela

At a time when President Hugo Chávez is receiving the optimal care available to treat his cancer, more than a half-dozen Venezuelan seriously ill political prisoners are in jail without any medical assistance, some suffering the same disease as the president.

It is an incongruity beginning to be noticed around the world.

"It is an incongruity beginning to be noticed around the world"?

Unfortunately, Chavez' "progressive" friends, allies and supporters (including those in the Obama administration) will take no notice.


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is back in Cuba to undergo further treatment for cancer.

Doctors had found no more malignant cells after he had surgery to remove a tumour, he said.

Mr Chavez said his chemotherapy would start on Sunday and he would be away for a "few days".

It couldn't happen to a more deserving fellow.

But, it's kind of funny that he doesn't trust his own health to the "Bolivarian socialist" medical establishment which he created in Venezuela.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Taking away fat kids from their parents

If a parent beats their child, the state can step in and remove the child from the harmful situation.

But if a parent allows their child to become overweight to the point that their health is affected, should the state have the same right to intervene?

In a commentary posted in the Journal of the American Medical Association, professor Lindsey Murtagh and Dr. David S. Ludwig, of Harvard University, argue that severely obese children should be removed from their homes. They also say that government involvement may be justifiable because of the imminent health risks, and the parents' chronic failure to address medical problems.

Some people have no understanding of the concepts of limited government and personal freedom.

If the government can take away your kids for being fat, they can take them away for any reason, social, religious or political.

They got who they wanted . . .

but they don't want what he's giving them.
New York’s prestigious teaching hospitals could lose more than $1 billion a year as part of President Obama’s plan to reduce the deficit, which the hospitals say will lead to drastic reductions in services.

The proposed cuts would reduce the Medicare subsidy for training doctors and for providing intensive medical services like trauma centers and burn units and sophisticated equipment that the teaching hospitals offer. The plan would apply to teaching hospitals nationwide but would have its most profound impact in cities like New York and Boston, where medical schools and their affiliated hospitals have a significant presence.

It's kind of funny to watch New York and Boston college-affiliated professors and intellectuals complain about the negative impacts of the policies of the candidate they backed almost unanimously.

Chavez to get chemotherapy?

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said he may need to receive chemotherapy or radiation treatment after undergoing surgery in Cuba last month to remove a cancerous tumor he described as “almost like a baseball.”

“A third stage may be needed, probably radiation or chemotherapy that could be difficult, but it’s precisely to try to armor my body from the malignant cells,” Chavez, 56, said today in a phone call to state television. “My colon and stomach aren’t destroyed like the opposition is saying. Today cancer isn’t death.”

Supporters of democracy in Venezuela are not unhappy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Everyone loves Obama!

Not really.

The hope that the Arab world had not long ago put in the United States and President Obama has all but evaporated.

Two and a half years after Obama came to office, raising expectations for change among many in the Arab world, favorable ratings of the United States have plummeted in the Middle East, according to a new poll conducted by IBOPE Zogby International for the Arab American Institute Foundation.

In most countries surveyed, favorable attitudes toward the United States dropped to levels lower than they were during the last year of the Bush administration. The killing of Osama bin Laden also worsened attitudes toward the United States.

In Saudi Arabia, for instance, 30 percent of respondents said they had a favorable view of the United States (compared with 41 percent in 2009), while roughly 5 percent said the same in Egypt (compared with 30 percent in 2009).

“The very high expectations that were created in 2009 – there’s been a letdown since then,” said James Zogby, the president and founder of the Arab American Institute, of which the foundation is an affiliate.

Got that? Favorable attitudes toward the United States in Arab countries under Obama are lower than they were during the last year of the Bush administration.

Pakistan is not our friend

Pakistani authorities have jailed a doctor who helped the CIA by creating an elaborate plot to get DNA samples of Osama bin Laden's family before the al-Qaida leader was killed in a special forces raid.

The doctor, who holds a senior government health post in Pakistan, used nurses, who were able to gain entry to the residence on the pretext of giving vaccinations to children living there, according to Pakistani and U.S. officials and local residents.

The U.S. special forces operation that found and killed bin Laden on May 2 severely damaged relations between the United States and Pakistan, which was kept in the dark about the CIA's discovery that the al-Qaida leader was living in a town filled with active-duty and retired Pakistani military.

The doctor's detention has added to the tension, and American authorities are thought to have intervened on his behalf.

Apparently, it's a crime in Pakistan to help capture bin Laden.

Let the character assassination begin

With a penchant for tough talk and polarizing positions, Republican presidential contender Michele Bachmann is a magnet for controversy — and there's a trail of police reports to prove it.

She and her staff over the years have requested police protection or investigations when her house was egged; when protesters threw glitter on her or held up critical signs; when her campaign yard signs were stolen; when a man wrote an email perceived as a threat; and when she screamed that two women were holding her hostage "against my will" in a city hall restroom.

There's plenty to dislike in Bachmann's politics.

But, that doesn't mean she should be criticised for calling the cops when an emailer threatens her husband or two "activists" follow her into the restroom and block her exit.

Can we all agree that you don't follow people into the john and harangue them while they're doing their business?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Victory in Afghanistan?

At least four of the 28 mine sweepers who were abducted by unknown gunmen in western Afghanistan have been found dead, local officials said Sunday.

Elsewhere, three NATO soldiers were killed in a wave of attacks.

Of course, the administration is busy declaring victory.

Pakistan is not our ally

Pakistan’s Army said Monday that a US military aid cut worth some $800 million won’t affect its ability to conduct combat operations. Analysts call the cuts the strongest indicator yet of the deteriorating nature of the relationship between the two countries and say it could cause the Pakistani military to retreat to a more hostile anti-US position.

Unless we give them billions in military aid, the Pakistani military will "retreat to a more hostile anti-U.S. position"?

Then they're not our ally in the first place.

Another ally gone

During a face-to-face meeting in Saudi Arabia on Sunday, a top Obama administration official told Yemen's president to step aside and allow the political transition he had once approved but never ratified to move forward, according to a statement by the White House.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security, met President Ali Abdullah Saleh at a hospital in Riyadh, where he is recovering from wounds suffered in an attack in Sanaa, Yemen's capital, early last month.

Saleh has clung to power in the face of large-scale demonstrations in Yemen calling for his ouster and despite agreeing to sign a plan brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), a regional grouping of countries, that would grant him immunity from prosecution in exchange for his resignation.

. . . Saleh was flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment of burns and shrapnel wounds after the attack on his palace, which came during fierce street fighting in Sanaa.

We're great at deposing our allies.

We're not so good at deposing our enemies.

If you were a foreign authoritarian leader, what would that tell you to become?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pakistan is not our ally

With ties between the two nations strained after American commandos killed Osama bin Laden in a Pakistani garrison city, the Obama administration said it will suspend more than one-third of the $2 billion in annual U.S. aid to Pakistan's military.

President Obama's chief of staff, William Daley, confirmed Sunday that the United States will hold back $800 million of the money the administration had committed to assist the Pakistani military.

Pakistani authorities have pulled back on the country's level of cooperation with the U.S. in recent months.

It is obvious that the weapons we give Pakistan today will be used against us in the future.

Premature declaration of victory

New US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has said the US is "within reach of strategically defeating al-Qaeda".

Mr Panetta said that following the killing of Osama Bin Laden, key leaders in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere had been identified and would be targeted.

He offered the upbeat assessment during his first visit to Afghanistan since taking over at the Pentagon last week.

That was not a military assessment.

That was a political statement designed to give cover to various troop movement decisions.

Notice the caveat - - al-Qaida is not "defeated", they are "within reach" of being "strategically" defeated. The caveat destroys the apparent meaning of the word "defeated".

Monday, July 11, 2011

More immigration disputes

Civil rights groups sued Friday in federal court to block Alabama's new law cracking down on illegal immigration, which supporters and opponents have called the strictest measure of its kind in the nation.

The lawsuit, filed in Huntsville, claims the new law will make criminals out of church workers who provide shelter to immigrants and even citizens who give their neighbors a ride to the store or to the doctor's office.


I'll never understand why it is considered controversial to enforce the law.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Black economic gains reversed

Growing up black in the segregated 1960s, Deborah Goldring slept two to a bed, got evicted from apartment after apartment, and watched her stepfather climb utility poles to turn their disconnected lights back on. Yet Goldring pulled herself out of poverty and earned a middle-class life — until the Great Recession.

. . . But for Goldring and many others in the black community, where unemployment has risen since the end of the recession, job loss has knocked them out of the middle class and back into poverty. Some even see a historic reversal of hard-won economic gains that took black people decades to achieve.

. . . Since the end of the recession, the overall unemployment rate has fallen from 9.4 to 9.1 percent, while the black unemployment rate has risen from 14.7 to 16.2 percent, according to the Department of Labor.

If Hillary Clinton or John McCain were president, wouldn't Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson be leading protests and attributing this to racism at the top?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The U.S.A. is better than other country

India's health minister has derided homosexuality as an unnatural "disease" from the West, drawing outrage Tuesday from activists who said the comments set back the country's campaign for gay rights and its fight against HIV.

The comments Monday by Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad at a conference on HIV/AIDS in the Indian capital echoed a common refrain in the conservative South Asian nation that homosexuality is a Western import.

"Unfortunately this disease has come to our country too ... where a man has sex with another man, which is completely unnatural and should not happen, but does," Azad said.

It can't be said often enough - - anyone who has a problem with how the U.S.A. treats racial, ethnic, religious and sexual minorities needs to look at the rest of the world.

The U.S.A. is not perfect, but we're better than any other country.

Defeat in Afghanistan by another name

British Prime Minister David Cameron urged the Taliban Tuesday to follow the lead of former militants in Northern Ireland and join the political process to end the Afghan war.

. . . At a news conference with Karzai, Cameron said Britain's experience of drawing Irish Republican Army terrorists into Northern Ireland's political process could guide Afghanistan's own efforts to reconcile Taliban insurgents.

Cameron's message to the Taliban: "Stop killing. Stop bombing. Stop fighting. Put down your weapons. Join the political process and you can be part of the future of this country."

We invaded Afghanistan in order to dislodge the Taliban-led government.

Now, we're begging the Taliban to rejoin the government so that we can leave.

What did we accomplish?

Dissident arrests rising in Cuba

Dissident groups in Cuba say harassment and detentions by police have recently increased as part of a new tactic by the authorities.

Rights activist Elizardo Sanchez said he believed the aim was to deter dissidents from marking International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

The Cuban government says dissidents are mercenaries funded by the US.

Church leaders meanwhile say officials have apologised for arresting several people at a church on Tuesday.

Wherever Obama has "reached out in friendship" in an attempt to "reset the relationship", things have gotten worse for freedom seeking people.

Why are we loosening restrictions on a regime that arrests people in church during services?

Friday, July 8, 2011

When is withdrawal from Iraq not withdrawal from Iraq?

When you offer to keep thousands of troops stationed in Iraq after you "withdraw".

The White House is offering to keep up to 10,000 troops in Iraq next year, U.S. officials say, despite opposition from many Iraqis and key Democratic Party allies who demand that President Barack Obama bring home the American military as promised.

Any extension of the military's presence, however, depends on a formal request from Baghdad, which must weigh questions about the readiness of Iraqi security forces against fears of renewed militant attacks and unrest if U.S. soldiers stay beyond December's pullout deadline.

Iraq is not expected to decide until September at the earliest, when the 46,000 U.S. forces left in the country had hoped to start heading home.

Already, though, the White House has worked out options to keep between 8,500 and 10,000 active-duty troops to continue training Iraqi security forces during 2012, according to senior Obama administration and U.S. military officials. The figures also were noted by foreign diplomats in Baghdad briefed on the issue.

Face it - - Obama failed

Hiring slowed to a near-standstill last month, raising doubts that the economy will rebound in the second half of the year after a spring slump.

The economy generated only 18,000 net jobs in June, the fewest in nine months. The unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, the highest rate of the year.

He was elected to address unemployment and the housing crisis.

He's done neither successfully.

Time to reevaluate Israel?

Amnesty International today accused the Syrian regime of crimes against humanity over its crackdown on civilians and called on the UN Security Council to refer the government to the International Criminal Court.

Amnesty gathered evidence by phone from Syrian residents and from Syrians who fled their country.

While the government denies the charges, it would not allow the human rights group inside Syria to investigate for itself and Amnesty's report coincides with more claims of a security crackdown on protests in the town of Hama.

In light of the recent brutal and dictatorial actions by most Arab regimes, isn't it time for "progressives" to reevaluate their constant criticism of Israel?

Africa's triangle of hunger

Thousands of families are walking for days in search of food in a triangle of hunger where the borders of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia meet. Hundreds already have died, and images of children with skinny, malnourished bodies are becoming commonplace in this corner of Africa.

Even Somalia's top militant group is asking the aid agencies it once banned from its territories to return. Thirsty livestock are dying by the thousands, and food prices have risen beyond what many families can afford.

Hawo Ibrahim said she and her seven children trekked 15 days from a town in southern Somalia before reaching a refugee camp in northeast Kenya.

"We have seen misery and hunger on our way," said Ibrahim, 32, who said her husband went mad after the family lost its livestock to drought. "The most painful thing was when you don't get anything for your thirsty and hungry children."

Aid agencies are appealing for tens of millions of dollars in emergency funding. Oxfam — which hopes to raise $80 million, its largest ever appeal for Africa — says 12 million people are affected by hunger. At least 500 Somalis are known to have died from drought-related diseases, though Oxfam says the actual number is likely higher.

Some nations are hopeless basket cases, which no amount of foreign aid can cure.

A different solution - - emigration?  resettlement? - - is required.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Do you still think airport security is too strict?

A new worry for air travellers in the heart of the summer vacation season: The government is warning airlines that terrorists are considering surgically hiding bombs inside humans to evade airport security. And as a result, travellers may find themselves subjected to more scrutiny when flying, especially to the United States from abroad.

Bombs-in-the-body is not a brand new idea, but recent intelligence indicates a fresh interest in using this method because people-scanning machines in airports are not able to detect explosives hidden inside humans. Still, there is no current information that points to a specific plot involving surgically implanted explosives, a U.S. security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

As airport security has increased since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, so has the terrorists’ creativity in developing methods to get around it. Aviation continues to be a special target and evidence from Osama bin Laden’s compound showed that the al-Qaida leader retained his fascination with attacking airplanes until his death in May.

They put bombs in wheelchairs.

They strap bombs to 8 year olds.

Now, they want to surgically implant bombs in their bodies.

Everyone needs to stop complaining about "over zealous" airport security.

If anything, airport security is too lax.

You can't fool all of the people all of the time

Despite lingering anxiety over the Great Recession, Americans by a large margin want their federal government to focus more on cutting debt than on increasing spending even temporarily to boost the economy, according to a new McClatchy Newspapers-Marist poll.

Given a choice, 59 percent of Americans prefer reducing debt even if that slows the economic recovery, while 33 percent prefer new government efforts to stimulate the economy even if it means more federal spending.

If only our leaders were as wise as our citizens.

Still not pursuing regime change in Libya?

Rebels fighting to end the 42-year rule of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have received a diplomatic boost by winning recognition from regional power Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday Ankara recognizes the rebel Transitional National Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people. He was speaking on a visit to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, the stronghold of the rebels who launched an uprising against Mr. Gadhafi in February.

Davutoglu also said the Turkish government will provide another $200 million in aid to the TNC, in addition to a $100 million fund for the rebels, announced in June.

And Obama still insists we are not in Libya to pursue regime change.

Racist Americans

The Sudanese army appeared poised Thursday to launch a ground offensive in central Sudan, spiking fears of another violent crackdown on a non-Arab ethnic group.

Aid workers fleeing South Kordofan state told harrowing tales of Nuba tribesmen being gunned down in the streets of the region's capital, Kadugli, and of women and children seeking refuge in the Nuba Mountains.

"Those coming in are saying, 'Whenever they see you are a black person, they kill you,'" according to one aid worker who recently left the area, but asked not to be named because she hopes to return.

It's kind of funny - - when they're not killing each other because of their ethnic backgrounds, Arabs and Africans verbally attack Americans for being racist.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Protesting immigration laws

Thousands of marchers stormed the Georgia Capitol on Saturday to protest the state's new immigration law, which they say creates an unwelcome environment for people of color and those in search of a better life.

We cannot let in everyone on earth who is "in search of a better life".

Otherwise, everyone would move here.  And, our lives would get worse.

There have to be restrictions, limits and qualifications for permanent residency.

Our friend Saudi Arabia

The religious police in Saudi Arabia arrested five women on Tuesday for driving in defiance of a ban on women getting behind the wheel in the conservative kingdom, according to activists and local media reports.

. . . The coalition said that the religious police arrested four of the women when they were driving in the Dorat al Arous neighborhood in Jidda, a port city along the Red Sea. The four, ages 21 and 22 and riding in one car, were taken to a police station, where they signed a pledge not to drive again, the group’s report said. A fifth woman was arrested later Tuesday night while driving in the neighborhood of Suleimaniyah.


Why are we allied with a country that promotes crazy medieval fundamentalist religious extremism . . . and exports Islamic terrorism?

No regime change in Libya?

Our C.I.A. is training Libyan rebels.

England is arming Libyan rebels.

A military spokesman says France has sent weapons to Libyan civilians besieged by Muammar Qaddafi's forces — the first NATO country to publicly announce it has armed rebel fighters.
Col. Thierry Burkhard says the deliveries took place in early June in the western Nafusa mountains when civilians were encircled by Qaddafi's forces and his government refused to allow a humanitarian aid corridor there.
Burkhard told The Associated Press Wednesday that the weapons were parachuted in by air and included "self-defense assets" like assault weapons, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and munitions.

Why do we still insist that regime change is not our goal in Libya?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shifting goals in Libya

As NATO struggles to break a deepening stalemate in Libya, the British announced on Tuesday that they were sending military advisers to help build up a rebel army that has stumbled against the superior forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Remember when we were told "regime change" was not the goal?

The fact that half his countrymen wish him dead . . .

tells you something.
Doctors detected and removed a cancerous tumor from Hugo Chavez's body, the Venezuelan president announced in a speech broadcast on state-run VTV Thursday night.

The “abscessed tumor with cancerous cells” was discovered after doctors had already operated and treated a pelvic abscess, he said.

Chavez said he was continuing treatment, but did not specify what that treatment entailed, where the tumor was located or when he would return to Venezuela.

He said there were no complications to his second surgery, and added that his condition continued “evolving satisfactorily.”

Friday, July 1, 2011

Prosecuting ex-dictators is dumb, dumb, dumb

A French judicial official says the Paris prosecutor's office has opened two judicial inquiries into money laundering allegations against the ousted presidents of Egypt and Tunisia.

The official says the inquiries are not exclusively focused on Egypt's Honsi Mubarak or Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, thus allowing the investigating judges to examine the deposed leaders' entourage for evidence of "money laundering in an organized group."

The official says judicial inquiries were opened Tuesday. She was speaking Friday on condition of anonymity, in accordance with French judicial regulations.

Citizens' groups filed the complaints with the French court earlier this year, after Ben Ali and Mubarak were toppled in popular uprisings.

If you want these guys to peacefully resign, you need to leave them alone after they resign.

Otherwise, the next one will go down fighting.


A typical Whac-A-Mole machine consists of a large, waist-level cabinet with five holes in its top and a large, soft, black mallet. Each hole contains a single plastic mole and the machinery necessary to move it up and down. Once the game starts, the moles will begin to pop up from their holes at random. The object of the game is to force the individual moles back into their holes by hitting them directly on the head with the mallet, thereby adding to the player's score. The more quickly this is done the higher the final score will be.
Islamic militants have consolidated their hold over a southern city in Yemen, forcing merchants to lower food prices and helping residents who want to flee shelling by government forces outside the city, residents said Monday.
In contrast, militants in control of another nearby city are enforcing a stringent version of Islamic rule, forcing women to stay home and trying to recruit young men to their ranks, according to residents there.

Government forces do not appear to have the will to fight the Islamists, raising fears that al-Qaida's most dangerous wing is making significant gains as the weakened regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh unravels in the face of an array of opponents.

As soon as we knock them out in one country, they will appear in another.

We will never eradicate them.

Instead, we must focus on homeland security.

Dying 95-year old granny forced to remove her diaper?

U.S. transportation officials now deny a Florida woman's claims that security forced her 95-year-old leukemia-stricken mother to remove her adult diaper during an airport screening.

Jean Weber, the senior's daughter, alleges on June 18 her wheelchair-bound mother, Lena Reppert, was patted down and then Weber was forced to take her to the bathroom to remove her soiled adult diaper because officers said they found "something suspicious."

The Boston Globe reports the Transportation Security Administration now says it didn't require the removal of the diaper and several options were given during the screening.

It's easy to be a critic when the TSA forces granny to remove her diaper . . . until you remember that, within the past 10 days, terrorists strapped bombs onto a wheelchair and an 8 year old girl.