Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy 2008!

It's old news already Down Under.

Iran Ushers in 1996

Always on the cutting edge of scientific breakthrough...

Iran says first cloned sheep thriving
ISFAHAN, Iran - Iranian scientists said Monday that the country's first cloned sheep is thriving 15 months after birth, eating well and frolicking among a flock of normal sheep. The cloned male sheep named Royana was born Sept. 30, 2006 in the historic central city of Isfahan, less than two months after the country's first cloned animal, also a lamb, died within minutes of birth.

But unlike it's predecessor, Royana survived the postnatal complications typical for cloned animals and is now celebrated as Iran's scientific breakthrough and achievement.

The effort is part of Iran's quest to become a regional high-tech powerhouse in western Asia by 2025. Tehran has also launched an ambitious space program, while its controversial uranium enrichment has the West worried it is masking Iran's attempts to build a nuclear weapon.

"Royana is a successful scientific achievement. We are all proud of it. The sheep is the result of many years of efforts in stem cell research," Mohammad Hossein Nasr e Isfahani, head of the Royan Research Institute in Isfahan told The Associated Press on Monday.

Isfahani, an embryologist whose team oversaw Royana's birth and that of its cloned predecessor, said his institute conducted 30 successful stem cell transfers but that only two led to birth.

His team members say that out of 10 animal cloning pregnancies, only one or two can be expected to lead to birth.

In 1996, British scientists made international headlines with Dolly, the first cloned sheep, which lived six years.

Would-be Ford Assassin Freed

Happy New Year!

A leftwing radical who tried to murder President Ford walks free.

Woman who tried to kill Ford freed
SAN FRANCISCO - Sara Jane Moore, who took a shot at President Ford in a bizarre assassination attempt just 17 days after a disciple of Charles Manson tried to kill Ford, was paroled Monday after 32 years behind bars. Moore, 77, was released from the federal prison in Dublin, east of San Francisco, where she had been serving a life sentence, the Bureau of Prisons said.

Bureau spokeswoman Felicia Ponce said she had no details on why Moore was let out. But she said that with good behavior, inmates sentenced to life can apply for parole after 10 years.

Moore was 40 feet away from Ford outside a hotel in San Francisco when she fired a shot at him on Sept. 22, 1975. As she raised her .38-caliber revolver and pulled the trigger, Oliver Sipple, a disabled former Marine standing next to her, pushed up her arm. The bullet flew over Ford's head by several feet.

Two weeks earlier, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, a follower of Manson's, tried to kill the president in Sacramento.

In recent interviews, Moore said she regretted her actions, saying she was blinded by her radical political views and convinced that the government had declared war on the left.
In the 1970s, Moore began working for People in Need, a free food program established by millionaire Randolph Hearst in exchange for the return for his daughter Patty, who was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974.

Moore soon became involved with radical leftists, ex-convicts and other members of San Francisco's counterculture. At this time, Moore became an informant to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

She has said she fired at Ford because she thought she would be killed once it was disclosed that she was an FBI informant. The bureau ended its relationship with her about four months before the assassination attempt.

"I was going to go down anyway," she said in a 1982 interview with the San Jose Mercury News. "If the government was going to kill me, I was going to make some kind of statement."

Moore was sent to a West Virginia women's prison in 1977. Two years later, she escaped but was captured several hours later.
OK, so the woman is 77 and has served a long stretch. Still, I think an attempt on the life of a president deserves life.

Via the Moore Wikipedia entry.
I do regret I didn't succeed, and allow the winds of change to start. I wish I had killed him. I did it to create chaos.”
Check out Making of a Misfit.
Through her involvement with PIN, Sara Jane Moore soon became a kind of radical groupie. During the next 18 months, as she wandered through the small, semiclandestine parties, splinter groups and cells that make up "the Movement" in the Bay Area, Moore turned from enchanted novice into an FBI informer and then into a Marxist convert, only to be ostracized as a despised pariah after she confessed her informant role. The atmosphere of conspiracy and danger provided a sense of action and purpose that her life was lacking. "I was really nervous, but I was intrigued by the whole thing," she once said. "It was like a grade-B movie."

Iraqis Ring in 2008 as Civilian Casualties Plummet

The news keeps improving in Iraq as noted in a pair of stories via Reuters.

Civilian casualties drop dramatically in Iraq
Violent civilian deaths in Iraq in December were down 75 percent from a year ago, new figures released on Monday showed as Iraqis partied in the streets of some parts of the capital Baghdad to bring in the New Year.

A year ago, the scenes of unrestrained revelry would have been unthinkable in a country racked by savage sectarian violence that by the most conservative estimates has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced some 4 million.

According to figures compiled by the interior, health and defense ministries, 481 civilians died violently in Iraq in December, a 75 percent drop from the 1,930 who were killed in December 2006, when the country was on the brink of civil war.
Actually, we were told emphatically by the American media it indeed was a civil war.

Of course, they're not man enough to admit they were wrong.

Then there's this:
In a safer Baghdad, Iraqis party for 2008
2008 arrived in a less-violent Baghdad, and residents said it was the first real party they had seen in years.

While the city is still far from peaceful and many of the festive gatherings had a tentative feel, many said it was a happier occasion than they could have dared to hope just a few months ago.

"The security has changed and it took us by surprise. We're very happy. Especially us young people," said al-Azzawi, a 22-year-old student taking a break from dancing to a traditional Iraqi band in the ballroom of the Palestine Hotel.

"I haven't seen a happy place like this in so long. I wanted to see if I could maybe meet a few girls!" he said. "I only hope the Iraqi people can enjoy more happy times like this."

Salah al-Lami, 27, the singer who performed at the Palestine ballroom and then for another New Year's Eve crowd at the Sheraton Hotel across the street, said it was the first time he had sung before a live audience in four years.

"This will be the year that we take our freedom!" he told Reuters after singing through a boisterous set in front of a packed dancefloor.
A despondent Dingy Harry was unavailable for comment.

Mrs. Clinton: I Risked My Life With Sinbad

The Pantsuit is really getting desperate.

Now we're hearing about harrowing tales of heroism while flying around as First Lady.
Ever since Barack Obama suggested Hillary Clinton's eight years as first lady were a glorified tea party a few days back, she's looked for an opening to strike back.

On Saturday night in Dubuque she pounced, arguing she risked her life on White House missions in the 1990s, including a hair-raising flight into Bosnia that ended in a "corkscrew" landing and a sprint off the tarmac to dodge snipers.

"I don't remember anyone offering me tea," she quipped.

The dictum around the Oval Office in the '90s, she added, was: "If a place was too dangerous, too poor or too small, send the first lady."

It turns out that Clinton wasn't quite flying solo into harm's way that day.

She was, in fact, leading a goodwill entourage that included baggy-pants funnyman Sinbad, singer Sheryl Crow and Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, then 15, according to an account of the March 1995 trip in her autobiography "Living History."
Guffaws all around with this one.

Truly pathetic.

Via Memeorandum:

Michelle Malkin: Hillary the Superhero! More daring than Jack Bauer…

Weekly Standard: The Quiet Heroism of Hillary Clinton

Captain Ed: Hillary, The Geraldo Of National Politics

S&L: How hilarious (or rather, Hilliarous)

Macsmind: More Hillary Re-Writing of History

Suitably Flip: First Lady Hillary Risked Her Life For Her Country

Gateway Pundit: Superhero Hillary's Got Experience...

Sister Toldjah: It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s SuperHill!

Maybe this is why Chelsea isn't talking.

UPDATE: Now she's politicizing New Year's.

A new beginning, huh?

Besides being redundant, there was a new beginning back in 1993 as well.

In fact, that was the theme of Clinton's first inaugural.
In charge of the events are Mr. Clinton's best fund-raiser and image-makers: Rahm Emanuel, the 32-year-old Clinton campaign finance director, and two close friends of the President-elect, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason. They are the husband-wife team that created the television hits "Designing Women" and "Evening Shade," as well as the film biography of Mr. Clinton, "The Man from Hope," shown at the Democratic convention.

Mr. Emanuel said the occasion would emphasize "change, hope, opportunity -- a new beginning and also the reunited states."
There is still lingering evidence. Get a load of this one.

Light blue felt pennant, colored jugate ovals of Clinton & Gore. "A New Beginning" at top w/eagle logo


UPDATE II: Happy New Year! Suitably Flip has even more Clinton corruption.
Today, the Clinton campaign is trumpeting an endorsement milestone, as Maria Cantwell (D-WA) became the 10th Senator to throw her weight behind Hillary. A statistic the campaign doesn't mention is that Cantwell is now the 6th Senator with financial backing from Norman Hsu and/or his network of alleged straw donors to endorse Senator Clinton.

Other Hsu-greased Democratic Senators already in the Clinton camp include Dianne Feinstein (CA), Robert Menendez (NJ), Mark Pryor (AR), Debbie Stabenow (MI), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI). Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), one of Hsu's most richly funded politicians, has not made a formal endorsement, but his wife Ruth endorsed Clinton in July.

Iowa Voters Cowering in Fear

I realized Iowa has been overrun in recent weeks by marauding hordes canvassing the state in search of voters, but I had no idea the contest would turn to such violence.

We may need to bring in the National Guard to restore order.

Candidates hone message and hunt voters in Iowa

Last week it was Mike Huckabee shooting over the heads of the press. That we can understand. Now, apparently, even potential voters are in danger.
White House hopefuls honed their closing messages and targeted undecided voters in Iowa on Monday, three days before the state opens the presidential nominating battle in a too-close-to-call race.

Candidates rolled across the snowy back roads of Iowa to drum up support, while campaigns prepared to unleash a mammoth effort to find voters..."

Press TV Hearts Ron Paul

I wonder how much the mullahs are donating to the crackpot?

Get a load of this drivel.
Kent Snyder, Paul's campaign chairman described the progress they had made in 11 months as phenomenal and added that 'the dedication, creativity, generosity, and just plain hard work by you and tens of thousands of other Americans have already made history'.

"But we are not finished making history! First, Ron Paul becomes the Republican nominee. Second, Dr. Paul becomes President Paul. Third, our country becomes America again," Snyder continued.

Paul's campaign ended up raising nearly 19 million dollars in the fourth quarter after setting a goal of 12 million.

The libertarian-leaning Texan's success has led to an increase in attacks from paid propagandists.

Fox News excluded Paul's campaign from its upcoming debate scheduled for January 6, just two days before the New Hampshire primary.

Paul who has been running a multi state campaign for months is likely to win the GOP nomination if he succeeds in the New Hampshire primary.
This loon is very popular at Press TV, garnering top of the page coverage.

Muslims Seethe Over German Television Show

One day it's teddy bears, the next day it's cartoons.

Today it's a television show.

Is there anything these whining babies won't seethe over?

Muslim Minority Marches Against German Crime Show
The popular German TV series "Tatort" has provoked an uproar within a segment of its Turkish community. Alevi Muslims, who practice a tolerant offshoot of Shiism, say the show has revived a centuries-old incest libel and may inflame immigrant tensions in Germany.

Up to 20,000 Alevi Muslims in Germany gathered in front of the Cologne cathedral on Sunday to protest a broadcast of a popular TV series called "Tatort" (Crime Scene). Alevi leaders said the show played on a centuries-old prejudice against Alevis by showing a character involved in incest.

The protest "was absolutely peaceful," said a police spokesman according to Agence France-Presse. An Alevi leader in Germany, Mehmet Ali Toprak, told the Tageszeitung newspaper: "The Alevis respect freedom of press and freedom of opinion and are opposed to any ban on cultural expression. But these values must not be used to harm the dignity of a minority."
There's always a BUT.

Maybe the show should focus more on recent incidents in the lives of Muslims, such as honor killings.

Or is that also off-limits to the delicate sensibilities of the tolerant Muslims?
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that the episode shouldn't be "an excuse for a cultural war," and that the story dealt with individuals rather than Alevis in general. But he added that scriptwriters had a responsibility to show "respect, discretion, and caution for the religious feelings of all people, regardless of which faith they follow."

Blockbuster Ratings for Giants-Patriots

As expected, Saturday night's Patriots-Giants game racked up huge ratings, with the game coming in as the most watched regular season NFL game since 1995.
The historic New England Patriots-New York Giants game pushed past this year's Patriots-Indianapolis Colts thriller to become the most-watched regular-season NFL telecast since 1995.

At least 34.5 million people tuned in to various outlets, including both CBS and NBC, to watch the Pats earn a place in NFL history Saturday by completing a perfect 16-0 regular season with a 38-35 victory over the Giants, according to preliminary estimates released Sunday by Nielsen Media Research.

That tops everything since the Thanksgiving 1995 Kansas City Chiefs-Dallas Cowboys game that averaged 35.7 million viewers. It also was ahead of CBS' 33.8 million viewers for the November 4 Patriots-Colts game.

Saturday's game was the first time since Super Bowl I in the mid-1960s that an NFL game was simulcast on more than one network. It also was available on three channels in New York (the local CBS and NBC outlets as well as Fox-owned indie WWOR) and all three of the Big Three in Boston (CBS, NBC and ABC).

CBS averaged 15.7 million viewers, which was the largest share of any of the networks simulcasting the game. NBC averaged about 13.1 million viewers, with 4.5 million viewers for the NFL Network nationwide and the rest spread across the three over-the-air channels in the New York and Boston markets (WWOR, Boston's WCVB and New Hampshire's WMUR).

Where do you want to live?

From time to time I post about local issues here in the metro Atlanta area, but I think this set of headlines from todays AJC (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) pretty sums it up. The county I live in is Cobb a Republican stronghold and the people that brought you Newt Gingrich. Dekalb is festering cesspool of liberal democrats that used to be home to one Cynthia McKinney. Clayton is located on the south west side and is also a strong Democrat hangout.


* Trail-blazing chief moves on
* Georgia 'cheapskate' is millionaire author at 28
* Kennesaw researchers discover ancient chocolate use
* Mableton 4th-grader wins laptop, national prize for school
* King celebration in Cobb scheduled


* Assistant principal stabbed to death
* Fallen tree causes Decatur power outage
* DeKalb court puts focus on mental health
* Police seek shooter of restaurant manager
* Gunmen at large after deadly robbery
* Jailbreak try by man charged in restaurateur's murder


* Box of cereal, not bomb, prompted Clayton Courthouse evacuation
* One killed, two injured in Clayton wreck
* Alpharetta man shot outside Riverdale pizzeria
* Clayton school board struggle flares again

So Cobb county is lauding a woman fire chief who is retiring after 30 years, a self made millionaire at the age of 28, and a young girl who helped to win some money for her school as well as winning a laptop for herself. Oh yeah did I mention she is the child of Russian immigrants. Meanwhile Dekalb and Clayton is just a police blotter report.
If you want to see the difference between Democrat and Republican policies in action in microcosm the metro Atlanta area is a great test lab.

As Warm and Cuddly As Her Mother

Just a bit obnoxious, don't you think?
It's one thing for Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign to turn down interview requests for the candidate's daughter, Chelsea. But can't a 9-year-old reporter catch a break?

Sydney Rieckhoff, a Cedar Rapids fourth grader and "kid reporter" for Scholastic News, has posed questions to seven Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls as they've campaigned across Iowa this year. But when she approached the 27-year-old Chelsea after a campaign event Sunday, she got a different response.

"Do you think your dad would be a good 'first man' in the White House?" Sydney asked, but Chelsea brushed her question aside.

"I'm sorry, I don't talk to the press and that applies to you, unfortunately. Even though I think you're cute," Chelsea told the pint-sized journalist.
Oh, and I don't want to hear any caterwauling that she's being picked on. You put yourself into the campaign, you're fair game.
But onstage, Chelsea never speaks; she stands next to her mother and applauds but utters not a single sentence and doesn't even say hello. And reporters covering the campaign have been put on notice that Chelsea is not available to speak to them. An aide follows the former first daughter as she works the crowd, shushing reporters who approach her and try to ask any questions.
Nice way to reach out, isn't it?

Forget 2008, AP Looking Ahead to 2009

I don't quite recall such eagerness as we entered the final year of the Clinton presidency back in 2000.

I guess the Y2K hype was all the rage back then.

New Years Ramblings from Just A Grunt

Well it is that time of the year. A time to look back at the year slipping into posterity and a chance to look forward to the year ahead.

This last year for me, like a lot of folks was a mixed bag. It marked the passing of my mother, but a reunification of the remaining siblings. In looking at the 3 of us you would never guess we came from the same parents. My brother is active in the Masons and pretty much defines your image of the good 'ol southern boy. My sister is a punk rock/new age bass player in a rock band with ties to all things in the entertainment business. Me? I am the retired veteran of the Army now working in corporate America.

Three separate people all from common roots but who have made our own paths through life. All those years that I was globe trotting I was separated from them and once I got out and came home I hoped we would be the Norman Rockwell type of family. Alas that didn't happen, for whatever reasons. After the passing of my mother however we seem to be coming together. I certainly hope it continues to move forward.

This year was time when my wife thought she had beaten the specter of breast cancer only to have it show back up forcing her back into treatment. Through it all she was fantastic, and while the treatment was taking its' toll on her she never tolerated anybody fawning over her or trying to treat her any different then when she is 100% healthy.

The specter has been beaten back once again but it is always there in the background, lurking, waiting to strike again, but she refuses to allow it to control her life. Oh and honey, yes your hair is fine and it is long enough now so if you want to cut it or something feel free.

This was a year in which I really started to get into the deep end of the blogging pool. A sincere thanks goes to Jammie for giving me the opportunity and the push to get into it all the way rather then limiting myself to merely posting comments on other blogs. He has never directed or forbid me from posting anything, even at those times when some of my posts might have been less then stellar.

This year showed the greatness of this generation in regards to how the men and women of our Armed Forces handled the situation in Iraq, even though at times it looked like they faced more hostility at home then they did from the insurgents. It is my sincere hope that the fragile peace that is spreading continues and that Iraq truly evolves into a free and democratic country, even though it may not be a mirror image of America, it should be what serves their purposes.

This year that passed included one in which I would get outraged beyond belief at some of the actions of our citizens, mostly the Hollywood crowd who seem to live in some sort of alternate universe but on the other hand it was also a year in which I would be brought to tears by the humanity from other citizens shown to their fellow man.

The year ahead is shaping up to be one revolving around politics. Our country has turned this Presidential campaign into some sort of fantasy league sports game. I hope and pray that at the end we have elected somebody who is concerned about the country and not simply adding a feather to their hat with which to cap off their resume.

The year ahead will continue to be perilous from the enemies of all freedom loving people. They do not enter into debate with opponents they simply kill. The spread of Islamic fascism must be stopped and rolled back. I think it is the most serious challenge to our world and will probably continue to be so for another decade.

For the coming year I hope our country can shed some of this idea that it is all about image, whether they are talking about a person or a country. Nothing grates my nerves more then some entertainer talking about their figure or latest plastic surgery or folks that think the country must be well liked by all peoples of the world. Neither is going to work and just like plastic surgery, once you start down that path you can't stop it. Let's just settle for being respected whether you like us or not in both our person and our country.

For the coming year I hope it is one full of peace and hope even while it is one full of challenges. For as we have seen it is the challenges which bring out the best in man.

Well I guess I have rattled on enough. Let me close by saying I wish each and every person out there a year filled with fun, laughter, success and hope. May you attain your goals, so that you can set new ones to strive for.

2007 Man of the Year

This one's a no-brainer, although the establishment media refuses to acknowledge it, with one notable exception.

Ralph Peters talks with General David Petraeus.
GEN. David Petraeus evokes the late Warren Zevon's line, "I'll sleep when I'm dead": His idea of downtime on Christmas Day was to answer a series of questions from The Post - after spending 11 hours out visiting our troops.

Relentless in his pursuit of our enemies and tireless in his pursuit of enduring results for Iraq, Petraeus is on track to become America's most successful four-star general since 1945.
Read the interview.

Meanwhile, Gateway Pundit tracks the numbers for 2007, and December shows the fewest casualties, despite the media's relentless effort to portray things negatively.

As for loser of the year, we're keeping that choice local.

Well deserved.

UPDATE: Great piece from Ben Johnson on Petraeus at Front Page.
Undoubtedly, our “Man of the Year” award will come as little remittance for a man who has already received a “Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and the Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm.” History will award him greater honors than any of us can bestow. This presidential election will go a long way toward determining if the War on Terror is won or lost, specifically on the Iraq front. However, civilian leadership cannot create battlefield victories, nor diplomatic missions clear the war theatre of enemies. Only keen military strategists can do that. If America prevails in the War on Terror, much of the credit will go to General David H. Petraeus – a brilliant but simple man who simply did his duty.
(HT: ted at LGF).

Spitzer Investigator Leaves for Argentina

The Eliot Spitzer follies continue, as the man appointed to head the investigation into the Dirty Tricks Scandal has headed south for a few weeks, this after getting a secret pay raise.

How convenient.
THE man supposedly leading a key state probe of Gov. Spitzer and the Dirty Tricks Scandal has abruptly taken a 21/2-week vacation in South America - after secretly receiving a $15,000 pay raise, The Post has learned.

Recently hired Public Integrity Commission Executive Director Herbert Teitelbaum's extended vacation in Argentina has left stunned commission employees questioning his commitment to a probe aimed at determining if Spitzer and his aides broke the law by using the State Police in an effort to politically damage Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R-Rensselaer.)

"People can't believe Teitelbaum just took off in the middle of the investigation," said a source close to the commission.

"This is the biggest scandal in a generation, and he leaves in the middle of the investigation, before the governor has undergone questioning?"

Teitelbaum, a longtime Manhattan lawyer with close ties to Spitzer's aides, was named in mid-July by another Spitzer appointee, commission Chairman John Feerick, as the $140,000-a-year head of the Ethics Commission.

He was then appointed to head the Public Integrity Commission in October, after the Ethics and Lobbying commissions merged into the new entity, with Feerick again as chair.

It's unclear if Teitelbaum has earned enough vacation and personal leave days to have 2½ weeks' paid time off.

Commission spokesman Walter Ayres contended that Teitelbaum was hired with the understanding that he would take a long vacation in December and said he would take unpaid leave, if necessary.

Ayres also claimed Teitelbaum was able to do his job from Argentina since "he's in contact almost on a daily basis."

But a second commission source insisted, "The whole place is adrift."
Massive conflict of interest anyone?

Not only is there a conflict of interest, there's also a curious lack of interest in this story outside of the New York Post, other than a passing mention here.

We're certainly not hinting there's anything nefarious about Teitelbaum taking a vacation supposedly planned long in advance, but this does add to the ever-growing suspicion of a cover-up in this case and that nothing will ever come of the investigation, especially since Spitzer and his aides have been stonewalling from day one.

Instapundit links. Thanks!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Pining Away For Paradise Lost

Proposal to abolish Czech totalitarian regimes institute at court

Brno- The Czech Constitutional Court (US) has received a proposal to abrogate the law on the basis of which the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes has been established, CTK has learnt.

The proposal to abolish the state-established facility that is to research into Nazism and communism in Czech history was signed by 57 opposition deputies from the Czech Social Democratic Party (CSSD) and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM).

They say the institute could politically influence the interpretation of history.
By all means, let us not forget about the influences that stem from the political interpretation of history.
They also object to labelling the whole period of communist rule as totalitarian, it ensues from the proposal.It is difficult to say when the Constitutional Court will rule on the proposal.

The left-wing deputies fear that people will consider the results of the research conducted by a state-established institution as the "official" and sole possible interpretation of history.

"This will factually restrict the constitution-guaranteed freedom of scientific research," the proposal says.
This is beginning to smell of George Soros.
The deputies also object to what they call ideological terminology.

"The law authoritatively describes the section of Czechoslovak history between February 25, 1948 [when Communists seized power in then Czechoslovakia] and December 29, 1989 [end of communist regime in Czechoslovakia] as a period of communist totalitarian power. It does not consider the fact that the period was changeable from the point of view of ways of exercise of state power and was not compact in this respect," the deputies write.

They write that the 1950s saw a real totalitarian regime while in the 1960s the regime was gradually democratised, and they say that it did not fully return to the repressive practices from the times of the cult of personality in the 1950s even after the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops in 1968.
That's why so many Czech ex-pats returned home; overwhelming the borders, just to see the 5000-7000 Soviet tanks that were now in the Czech Lands to guarantee their freedom.
"This state also carried out a number of measures that were generally positive for society, particularly in the social sphere," the deputies write.

They use as "a partial example the deepening of the practical equalisation of women in political, economic and family life, as well the abandoning of the practice of making differences between children according to their origin."

The left-wing deputies recommend to the Constitutional Court to abrogate the law as a whole, or to at least delete the words "totalitarian" from a number of passages of the law.
Nácek a komunista svině would work.
The right justified the establishment of the institute by an effort to concentrate and process the written documents of all security forces of the communist regime.

It said the processing of data and making them available should contribute to the comprehension of the communist regime and at the same time to the prevention of a biased interpretation of history.

The institute's activities will be supervised by a council that has elected historian Pavel Zacek as the institute's first head. He will formally assume his post on January 1.
David Irving was unavailable for comment.


Black Hole Death Ray

I wonder if this is akin to hair rays?
It's a real-life death ray.

A supermassive black hole blasting is destroying everything in its path with a deadly beam of energy.

Scientists captured images of a jet of radiation shooting out of a black hole at the center of one distant galaxy and striking the edge of its neighboring galaxy 20,000 light-years away. [The distance from Earth to the center of the Milky Way.]

Dubbed the 'death star' by NASA scientists the death ray destructive beam can obliterate the atmospheres of planets but may also trigger the birth of new stars.

Fortunately, 3C321 is approximately 1.4 billion light years away from Earth.

Happy Anniversary, Saddam!

Has it been a year already?

Naturally, Reuters finds as many fans as possible.
Black graffiti lauding Saddam Hussein appeared overnight in his home town and small groups of mourners turned out at his grave on Sunday, the first anniversary of the former Iraqi leader's execution.

"There is no life without the sun and no dignity without Saddam," read one painted slogan in his home town, Tikrit, north of Baghdad. "Paradise for the hero Saddam," read another.

The graffiti appeared on buildings including the town's police station and its agriculture and electricity directorates.

Saddam was hanged for crimes against humanity in a rushed execution criticized by the international community. Fellow Sunni Arabs were also angered by illicitly filmed footage that showed Shi'ite officials taunting him on the gallows.
Don Surber also has fond memories and links. Thanks!

More Outsourcing to India

Not jobs. Pregnancies!
Every night in this quiet western Indian city, 15 pregnant women prepare for sleep in the spacious house they share, ascending the stairs in a procession of ballooned bellies, to bedrooms that become a landscape of soft hills.

A team of maids, cooks and doctors looks after the women, whose pregnancies would be unusual anywhere else but are common here. The young mothers of Anand, a place famous for its milk, are pregnant with the children of infertile couples from around the world.

The small clinic at Kaival Hospital matches infertile couples with local women, cares for the women during pregnancy and delivery, and counsels them afterward. Anand's surrogate mothers, pioneers in the growing field of outsourced pregnancies, have given birth to roughly 40 babies.

More than 50 women in this city are now pregnant with the children of couples from the United States, Taiwan, Britain and beyond. The women earn more than many would make in 15 years. But the program raises a host of uncomfortable questions that touch on morals and modern science, exploitation and globalization, and that most natural of desires: to have a family.
Read the rest.

Latino Gangbangers Targeting Blacks

Ethnic cleansing comes to LA. Let's see how quickly the racial hucksters jump all over this one.

LA Gang F13 Accused of Targeting Blacks
LOS ANGELES -- In a murderous quest aimed at "cleansing" their turf of snitches and rival gangsters, members of one of Los Angeles County's most vicious Latino gangs sometimes killed people just because of their race, an investigation found.

There were even instances in which Florencia 13 leaders ordered killings of black gangsters and then, when the intended victim couldn't be located, said "Well, shoot any black you see," Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said.

"In certain cases some murders were just purely motivated on killing a black person," Baca said.

Authorities say there were 20 murders among more than 80 shootings documented during the gang's rampage in the hardscrabble Florence-Firestone neighborhood, exceptional even in an area where gang violence has been commonplace for decades. They don't specify the time frame or how many of the killings were racial.

Los Angeles has struggled with gang violence for years, especially during the wars in the late 1980s and early '90s between the Crips and the Bloods -- both black gangs. Latino gangs have gained influence since then as the Hispanic population surged.

Evidence of Florencia 13, or F13, is easy to find in Florence-Firestone. Arrows spray-painted on the wall of a liquor store mark the gang's boundary and graffiti warns rivals to steer clear.

The gang's name comes from the neighborhood that is its stronghold and the 13th letter of the alphabet -- M -- representing the gang's ties to the Mexican Mafia.

Federal, state and local officials worked together to charge 102 men linked to F13 with racketeering, conspiracy to murder, weapons possession, drug dealing and other crimes. In terms of people charged, it's the largest-ever federal case involving a Southern California gang, prosecutors say. More than 80 of those indicted are in custody.
Read the rest.

It would be interesting how know how many illegals are involved with this vicious outfit.

This charming crew even appears on YouTube. They're quite popular.

Sarkozy Suspends Ties With Syria

There are a lot of American politicians who should take a cue from Nicolas Sarkozy.
France is to suspend diplomatic contacts with Syria, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has announced.

Links will be restored only when France has proof that Syria is not blocking progress towards installing a consensus president in Lebanon, Mr Sarkozy said.

Lebanon has been without a president since November, as rival pro- and anti-Syrian factions argue over who should fill the post.

"I ask Syria to... work to create agreement," said Mr Sarkozy.

France "will not make any more contacts with Syria... as long as there is no proof of Syria's willingness to let Lebanon choose a consensus president," he told reporters, during a visit to Egypt.
Speaking of American politicians, an odd pairing of useful idiots are over in Syria making nice-nice with Assad's people.
There is "a real opportunity" for Syria and Israel to resume peace talks with help from the United States, Sen. Arlen Specter said Saturday after arriving for a two-day visit.

Specter said he hoped Syria's participation in last month's Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, Md., was a step toward "a new beginning for real efforts" to reach a Mideast peace, including between Syria and Israel.

"I think there is a very important moment in the Middle East and there is a real opportunity if the parties are ready to move," Specter, R-Pa., told The Associated Press. "It's up to the parties. It's up to Syria and Israel, but the United States, I think, is in the position to be helpful."

Specter, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, spoke in Damascus shortly after arriving with Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Just what we need, a RINO and a Kennedy pandering to the Syrians.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Court Overturns Award in HLF Terror Case

The Islamists must be dancing with joy.

U.S. court overturns $156 million award in terror case
A Federal Appeals Court has overturned a $156 million judgment that had been awarded to the family of an American-born student killed in a 1996 attack in the West Bank.

On Friday, the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a December 2004 ruling that found three U.S.-based Islamic charities and an individual, whom the plaintiffs charged had ties to Hamas, had played a role in the boy's death because they had raised money for Hamas.

Israel, the European Union and the United States regard the Palestinian militant group Hamas as a terrorist group. It is illegal for U.S. citizens to provide funding for terrorist organizations.

The suit was filed by Stanley and Joyce Boim, whose 17-year-old son David was shot and killed by gunmen while standing at a bus stop near Beit El in the West Bank.

The Boims sued Muhammad Salah, a businessman from the Chicago suburb of Bridgeview, the American Muslim Society (AMS) and the Texas-based Islamic charity Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLS).

At the conclusion of the trial in 2004, the jury concluded the Quranic Literacy Institute of the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn was also liable.

The case was brought under a 1992 U.S. law that permits victims of terrorism to seek civil damages against groups deemed responsible for such acts.

A jury in that trial awarded $52 million in damages against the organizations and Salah. U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys tripled the amount to $156 million under the 1992 law.

In Friday's ruling, the court found lawyers representing the Boim family had failed to produce clear evidence the activities of the defendants directly contributed to the fatal attack on David Boim and as a result, caused his death.

The case will be sent back to U.S. District Court for further proceedings, where "the Boims will have to demonstrate an adequate causal link between the death of David Boims and the actions of HLF, Saleh and AMS," according to a ruling written for the court by appelate Judge Ilana Rovner.

The decision is the latest setback for U.S. government efforts to implicate U.S. Muslim charities in funding Islamic terrorism.

A Texas U.S. District Court judge in October declared a mistrial on most of the counts against the Holy Land Foundation and several men linked to it who were accused of funneling over $12 million to Hamas.

Cloying Hag May Try to Disrupt Rose Parade

She really is the thing that wouldn't leave.
PASADENA, Calif. - There could be some discord during the Tournament of Roses Parade as demonstrators promise to raise issues during the holiday spectacle that has been going on for more than a century. Human rights advocates plan to protest a float honoring the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and anti-war activists, including "Peace Mom" Cindy Sheehan, intend to rally for peace.
So what the hell does the Tournament of Roses Parade have to do with her petty agenda?
Sheehan, the outspoken San Francisco Bay area activist whose son was killed in Iraq, is campaigning for Congress against Rep. Nancy Pelosi and calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. She will join other pro-impeachment and anti-war groups at the parade, according to her sister, Dede Miller.

As many as 1,000 supporters are expected to rally before and after the parade and distribute 20,000 pamphlets while flying 300 banners along the parade route, said Peter Thottam, executive director of the Los Angeles National Impeachment Center.
There's a national impeachment center? I guess that dates back to 1998.

Oh, actually, I see it dates all the way back to July. My bad.

NFL Week 17

The final week of the regular season is upon us and the primary hype in the league this week is tonight's Patriots-Giants game, which will be shown on the NFL Network, CBS and NBC. Here in the New York market it's also being shown on Channel 9.

That's what you call saturation coverage. Unfortunately, Bryant Gumbel is calling the game. Life has its tradeoffs, I guess.

New England is aiming for a perfect regular season, while the Giants have locked up the No. 5 spot in the NFC and will visit Tampa Bay next weekend. Hordes of Patriot fans have been snapping up tickets through StubHub and eBay, so it should be a raucous setting tonight.

New England fans will be more ornery once they find out they're parking in satellite lots where you can't tailgate on this lovely day. During construction at the Meadowlands, parking is limited to passholders. That should be amusing.

We've stumbled along under .500 all year, but have made up some ground with a 12-4 mark in Week 15 and a 10-6 tally last week, leaving the 2007 season mark at 107-122-10.

Is it possible to run the table and finish over .500?

Probably not. Let's find out.

GIANTS +13.5 Patriots: Giants have convinced themselves all the pressure is on the Patriots, and that may be true. But they better show up early. If they fall behind by 14 like they did last week in Buffalo, it'll be lights out and the last three quarters will be viewed from the bench. I think the Giants defense will be fired up and should be able to keep it close. In the end though, Patriots just have too much firepower for the Giants offense to keep up with. Patriots 31-20

Bills +7.5 EAGLES: Is this Donovan McNabb's last game with the Eagles? I said a long time ago he'd be the Bears starter in 2008. If anything, his play the past couple of weeks shows he's still got a little game left. Eagles 20-17

BUCCANEERS +3 Panthers: One of the absurd spreads this week, based on the theory teams will sit starters wholesale. Some indeed may. But still, Tampa needs to stay fresh going into the playoffs. Buccaneers 21-17

DOLPHINS +3 Bengals: Big Tuna is watching and a lot of jobs are on the line. Dolphins 20-17

PACKERS -4 Lions: After being smoked in Chicago last week, Packers want to iron out some kinks before the two-week layoff. Packers 31-10

JAGUARS +6.5 Texans: Another absurd spread. Jags playing to get to 12-4 and I doubt Jack Del Rio wants to screw up the huge momentum they have heading into next week's wildcard game, likely at Pittsburgh. Jaguars 20-17

Saints -2 BEARS: Over to 3 wood: "The Bears have the 25th rated offense and the 28th rated defense. The Saints have the 5th rated offense and the 29th defense. So both defenses are equally bad, but New Orleans has a much better offense than the Bears. The weather Sunday in Chicago is supposed to be 35 degrees and cloudy, not so bad. The Bears have absolutely nothing to play for and have IR'd a lot of their players to protect them. Therefore, I take the Saints in a close one. And so it is. Saints 27-24

FALCONS -1 Seahawks: I'm going with the weird spread on this one. Seattle has to fly cross-country twice with a playoff game next week. Maximum rest for these guys. Falcons 16-13

BROWNS -10 49ers: Browns will take frustration out on Niners. They will then pray the Colts show up. Browns 37-13

JETS -6.5 Chiefs: Second-most important game of the weekend at the Meadowlands. A distant second. Jets 24-13

Cowboys +9 REDSKINS: Do the Cowboys want to just roll over and let a hated rival into the playoffs? I don't think so. Still, Washington is on a roll. Redskins 23-20

Steelers -8.5 RAVENS: A poll was released this week that said Rosie O'Donnell is the most annoying celebrity in America. Brian Billick was voted most annoying coach. From 13-3 to 4-12. Great job! Steelers in the mix for the No. 3 seed and would like to avoid Jacksonville. Steelers 27-7

BRONCOS +3 Vikings: Vikings will be looking at the scoreboard. If the Skins are winning handily, they may fold quickly. Last week's loss was a killer. Broncos 27-20

Chargers -8.5 RAIDERS: Pittsburgh can waive goodbye to the No. 3 seed. Chargers 31-10

CARDINALS -6 Rams: Just watch, everyone will again have the Cardinals as a sexy playoff pick again next year. Same old. Cardinals 41-17

COLTS +6 Titans: I have to think the Colts want to avoid the fiasco two years ago where they rested for a month and then got rocked in their first playoff game. That, and why let a heated division rival win a playoff spot in your building? Colts 24-20

UPDATE: We went 7-8-1 for Week 17 making the final record for 2007 114-130-12.

I erred above in the season record and had left off a tie.

Caveman Speaks!

The tape allegedly from Osama bin Laden that we noted the other day has been released.

The usual: blood, death, destruction, blah blah blah.

Bin Laden issues warning on Iraq, Israel
CAIRO, Egypt - Osama bin Laden warned Iraq's Sunni Arabs against fighting al-Qaida and promised to expand the terror group's holy war to Israel in a new audiotape Saturday, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."

Most of the 56-minute tape dealt with Iraq, apparently al-Qaida's latest attempt to keep supporters in Iraq unified at a time when the U.S. military claims to have al-Qaida's Iraq branch on the run.

The tape did not mention Pakistan or the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, though Pakistan's government has blamed al-Qaida and the Taliban for her death on Thursday.

But bin Laden's comments offered an unusually direct attack on Israel, which has warned of growing al-Qaida activity in Palestinian territory. The terror network is not believed to have taken a strong role there so far.

"We intend to liberate Palestine, the whole of Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the sea," he said, threatening "blood for blood, destruction for destruction."

"We will not recognize even one inch for Jews in the land of Palestine as other Muslim leaders have," bin Laden said.
Hmm. Maybe that potassium nitrate had some nefarious purposes?
In the audiotape, bin Laden denounced Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, the former leader of the Anbar Awakening Council, who was killed in a September bombing claimed by al-Qaida.

"The most evil of the traitors are those who trade away their religion for the sake of their mortal life," bin Laden said.

Bin Laden said U.S. and Iraqi officials are seeking to set up a "national unity government" joining the country's Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

"Our duty is to foil these dangerous schemes, which try to prevent the establishment of an Islamic state in Iraq, which would be a wall of resistance against American schemes to divide Iraq," he said.
Too late, pal. Your boys are getting their asses kicked.

No word on who he's rooting for in the Democrat primaries.

UPDATE: In this version, they stress his leftwing talking points.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden said the United States wants to create a national unity government in Iraq to control oil supplies, build military bases and dominate the region.
UPDATE II: Naturally, the inmates at the HuffPost question the timing.
Give Peace A Chance

Strange how these tapes coincide with such things as military funding, Gen Patraeus's testimony, and elections.
Reply | posted 04:45 pm on 12/29/2007

LittleGreenGreaseBalls (See profile | I'm a fan of LittleGreenGreaseBalls)
C'mon people! We all know it's really Dick Cheney behind that green curtain just trying to keep the pot boiling.
Reply | posted 04:38 pm on 12/29/2007

SaddamHeroBushBastard (See profile | I'm a fan of SaddamHeroBushBastard)
Osama bin Laden is Kaiser Sose in ' The Usual Suspects'..

Its amazing how many people spew his name and Al-Qaeda as though they actually exist.

Its amazing how many people still swallow that loony 19 Arab hijacker conspiracy story.

They been drinking the Kool-Aid and wearing those Tin Foil hats WAY too tight.
Reply | posted 05:49 pm on 12/29/2007

But It Was for Peaceful Purposes...

Nice to see that humanitarian aid going to good use.

Israel says finds explosive chemicals in EU aid bags
Israel said on Saturday it had recently seized a truck carrying chemicals used to make explosives hidden in bags marked as EU aid for the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

The army said 6.5 tonnes of potassium nitrate were in bags marked as sugar from the European Union for Palestinians in the coastal enclave.

EU officials in Jerusalem had no immediate comment.

The cargo in a Palestinian truck was travelling in the occupied West Bank and seized several weeks ago at an Israeli checkpoint, the army said.

The EU is the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to Gaza.
Surely the EU will help cover the cost of the 6.5 tons of potassium nitrate and will reimburse Hamas.

For the starving children, of course.

Why Don't I Believe Him?

Another lying sack of Palestinian fecal matter pretends to be cracking down on the terror goons and Reuters laps it up as fact.
The top Palestinian security official said on Saturday his government was dismantling militant groups, including those connected to President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.

"There is no al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades any more," Interior Minister Abdel-Razak al-Yahya told Voice of Palestine radio, referring to the group linked to Fatah.
Just in the nick of time.
Yahya vowed to exert broader security control a day after Palestinian militants killed two off-duty Israeli soldiers who were hiking near the West Bank city of Hebron. Two militants were also killed in the gun battle.

Israel arrested at least five Palestinians in the Hebron area following the shooting, the army said.
If only we threw a few more billion at them sooner, the crackdown would have spared the lives of the Israeli soldiers.

Even the Al-Aqsa thugs aren't buying this BS.
A unit of al-Aqsa issued a statement in the Gaza Strip accusing Yahya of being a "collaborator" who follows "American and Zionist masters".

A splinter group of al-Aqsa in Gaza -- along with the Islamic Jihad militant group -- claimed responsibility for Friday's shooting attack near Hebron.
Such are the travails on the road to peace.

Human Smugglers Getting Creative

It appears the human smuggling racket is big business for those transporting illegals into Europe.
These astonishing pictures show the lengths desperate immigrants go to in order to reach Europe.

In one image, two men have managed to hide themselves inside the front seats of a Mercedes, with their heads jammed into the plastic head rests.

With a pair of human-traffickers sitting right on top of them, on the hollowedout seats, the immigrants had hoped to be smuggled into Europe.
Read the rest of the story and have a glimpse at some of these photos.

Uh, could you move the seat back a bit?

I was just checking the oil!

Peek-a-boo, I see you!

Vermont Kook Seeks to Arrest Bush, Cheney

Have another hit, dude.
When then Vice President George H. W. Bush visited Brattleboro 23 years ago, he was greeted by protesters who booed and heckled him.

But if his son ever comes to town, some residents hope to present the sitting president with an even less friendly reception: a pair of handcuffs and a jail cell.

"We're planning to arrest, detain and extradite him," said Kurt Daims of Brattleboro, an activist who has sought to impeach President George W. Bush and is now trying to up the ante. "There's a fundamental question here. If Congress doesn't do this, shouldn't it be done anyway?"

Daims hopes to gather the 440 signatures necessary to place an article on the Town Meeting warning that would call for the Brattleboro Police Department to arrest Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and cart them off to unspecified foreign entities.

"Shall the Selectboard instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictment for consideration by other municipalities?" Daims' proposed article reads.
Amazing the attention nine people who've probably consumed way too much LSD can attract.
Daims joined a group of eight like-minded activists Friday afternoon for their weekly impeachment march through town. Beating homemade drums and waving signs calling for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney, the protesters walked from the Brattleboro Food Co-op to the Municipal Building and dropped off a copy of the proposed article at the Town Clerk's office.

Daims recognizes the myriad legal barriers between his goal and its coming to fruition, but pointing to the Declaration of Independence as his inspiration, he contends that sometimes the laws of the land take second seat to "a higher jurisdiction."

"There was no legal standing to the document that was written in 1776. It was just people saying 'we've got to get rid of this guy,'" Daims said. "We can't let him get away just because we don't have the proper forms and paperwork."
Who needs proper forms and paperwork when you're a psychotic BDS sufferer?

Doesn't everyone get it?

More from Michelle Malkin and Bryan at Hot Air.

Arab news and more

I seem to be running across this guy from time to time while researching other stories. That somebody is Piers Morgan. Somebody I have written about before.
I was reading the Arab News online and I found a story in which Mr Morgan is highlighted. At first when I saw the name with this description
Piers Morgan, former editor of the UK’s Daily Mirror, gave the keynote address at the Arabian Business Media and Marketing Conference in Dubai last month. He criticized media outlets in the region when he expressed his concerns over the absence of competitiveness that he expected to be present here.

So I went looking and here is what I found. To say Mr Morgan is an interesting fellow is an understatment. I was shocked to read this
He had previously decided to change the Mirror's focus to serious news after the 11 September attacks, reflected by the paper's broadsheet-style front page on 12 September, 2001.

The Mirror took a strong anti-war stance in the approach to the war in Iraq and won the Newspaper of the Year Award 2001.

Mr Morgan lost his job at the Mirror over an incident whereby he published some pictures allegedly showing British soldiers abusing an Iraqi. The photos were fake. Gee where have we heard something like that before.
In light of how this fellow first came to my attention this was surprising. It doesn't change my first praise of his reasons for participating in Donald Trumps show and the charity he is representing, but it certainly adds a lot to profile of this man.

Oh yeah and the original story I was looking into when I got side tracked was this.

2,200 Palestinian Pilgrims Stranded at Aqaba
Abdul Jalil Mustafa, Arab News
AMMAN, 29 December 2007 — More than 2,200 Palestinian pilgrims, mostly affiliated with the Hamas group, were yesterday stranded at Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba after the Egyptian authorities insisted that they pass through an Israeli-controlled crossing point to the Gaza Strip, Palestinian and Jordanian source said.
Wah Wah Wah. Do we hear any outcry about the Egyptians refusing to open the border crossing at Rafah, which these pilgrims want to use and which Egypt shut down after Hamas took control? Of course not. Border controls are fine everywhere but in America and Israel.

Odeur fétide de Hillary

We report. You decide.

And don't miss part two

Also at A Tangled Web

Friday, December 28, 2007

Hillary Sticks Her Beak In

I'll pander to anyone!

Well, that didn't take long.

Maybe Janet Reno and her crack team of super-sleuths are available.
Democrat Hillary Clinton called on Friday for an international probe of Benazir Bhutto's killing and candidates in both parties sparred over foreign policy six days before Iowa kicks off a close presidential nominating race.

Clinton, battling rivals Barack Obama and John Edwards for the lead in Iowa, questioned the reliability of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's government after opposition leader Bhutto's assassination.

"I don't think the Pakistani government at this time under President Musharraf has any credibility at all," Clinton said in an interview with CNN as she campaigned across Iowa. "Therefore I am calling for a full independent international investigation."
Considering Obama threatened to invade Pakistan a couple of months ago, calling for an investigation may be a no-lose proposition.

But seriously, Pantsuit, everyone wants to know what happened.

It's not as if you're going out on a limb here.

And tell us, how exactly would this independent international investigation take place and under whose jurisdiction?
Bhutto's killing on Thursday prompted candidates to flex their foreign policy muscles and, in the case of Clinton and Edwards, tout their experience. Several other Democrats leveled harsh criticism at Musharraf.


I suffered through a couple of Democrat debates and cannot honestly recall Pervez Musharraf's name ever coming up.

Now we're supposed to take these Democrats seriously when it comes to foreign policy and the dire situation in Pakistan and the region?


At least one sober adult weighed in.
Republican Fred Thompson, a former Tennessee senator who is lagging in Iowa polls and trying to make up ground, warned against rushing to a conclusion on Musharraf and said candidates should be more "deliberate" on Pakistan.

"I don't think it would be a good idea to call for him to step down now," Thompson told CNN. "I hope that we as candidates out here don't start lobbing these ideas that get plenty of attention but are not very sound."
At this point when we have several different accounts of what happened Thursday in Pakistan, it's wholly irresponsible for presidential candidates to start sticking their noses into an investigation.

It's to be assumed the White House and State Department are fully informed of developments. Should they choose to brief top candidates, it's their choice.

At this time, however, Mrs. Clinton and the rest of the shameless Democrats ought to step back and stop being so reckless with our foreign policy.

After all, she and her husband's first and foremost priority is to "repair our image" with the rest of the world, no? How exactly will that be accomplished by making reckless statements and proposing absurd ideas as a full independent international investigation?

I'll assume some reporter might flesh this out, but word is she's not taking any questions.

Saudi Arabia detains another blogger

According to this story he was detained on the 10th of DEC and is still being held.
Saudi Arabian officials have reportedly detained a blogger whose writing has criticized religious extremism in the country, according to the two press freedom groups and a regional human-rights organization.
Blogger and IT professional Fouad Ahmed al-Farhan, 32, was taken into custody on December 10, the Committee to Protect Journalistsreported on Wednesday. His Arabic-language site now has a "Free Fouad" banner in English across the top.

Saudi Arabia is no friend of free speech, unless it comes from their creations like OBL.
Reporters Without Borders Thursday released a statement calling for al-Farhan's release; its current list of "13 Internet Enemies" includes Saudi Arabia.

Research into Internet content filtering by the OpenNet Initiative shows substantial blocking activity by the government of Saudi Arabia. The group says that filtering content for political reasons is the common denominator across the Middle East.

And in the meantime we have people in this country trying to force the Pentagon to embrace various Islamic groups of, shall we say questionable character.

Spicoli Divorcing, Announces Engagement to Chavez

I was always a bit suspicious about these two and it appears Sean Penn is fully committing himself, so to speak, to socialist thug Hugo Chavez.

Sean Penn and wife Robin to divorce after 11 years
Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn and his wife, Robin Wright Penn, are divorcing after 11 years of marriage, People magazine reported on Friday.

Penn's publicist, Mara Buxbaum, confirmed the divorce to the magazine but gave no details.
"He is my bitch. I love it when he plays angry. We like to play dress-up sometimes, and he pretends to be a journalist. We also get a good laugh with that," the Venezuelan strongman said.

A devastated Kevin Spacey was unavailable for comment.

Did Bhutto Assassination Affect the Markets?

I know it's been popular the last day or so to point to the Bhutto killing and then to the stock market and try to draw connections. Believe, me, the stock market drop has much more to do with market fundamentals and very little to do with politics around the world.

U.S. stocks fall, pressured by downbeat home sales
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Stocks declined on Friday, giving up their earlier gains, after a disappointing report on new home sales for November rekindled concerns about the U.S. economy and the housing crisis. The DOW fell 55 points, or 0.4%, to 13,303. Earlier, the Dow hit an intraday high of 13,451.38.

The Dow is on track for a yearly gain of 7%, the S&P for a gain of 4% and the Nasdaq for a rise of 10.7%.

The new home sales report was "the turning point and pushed it [the market] lower," said Owen Fitzpatrick, head of the U.S. equity group at Deutsche Bank. "The number was quite a bit weaker than expected."

So the market drop is due to the underlying fundamentals, not to the tragic death of Bhutto.

Don't believe anybody who says anything else.

Bad Advice for Spitzer

Somehow I doubt this is advice New York Governor Eliot Spitzer wants or needs.

Though as his first year on the job concludes and his approval ratings tank, he might just be dumb enough to take it.

If he does, he's even more hopeless than I imagined.
Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer’s approval rating is at an all-time low of 36 percent, according to a survey by the Siena College Research Institute. This is a far cry from his 69 percent approval rating when he took office. The survey polled about 1,000 voters in December, of which 47 percent said the governor should become a “kinder, gentler governor.” But 41 percent of Republicans said they doubt whether the transformation can be made.

The question I pose is: “How can Spitzer counter his downward spiral and start winning back the voters of New York State?” One answer is to show the citizens of New York that, despite the negativity generated from the trials and tribulations of his governorship, he is still an individual who shows compassion for others. Compassion, a virtue found in many great leaders, is said to be not sentiment but the act of making justice through works of mercy.

This holiday season, I recommend that Spitzer go on a personal rescue mission and grant executive clemency to the large number of Rockefeller Drug Law prisoners who have fully rehabilitated themselves and already have served large amounts of time behind bars under the draconian provisions of mandatory minimum sentencing.

In granting a record number of clemencies, Spitzer would be following in the wake of recent trends that favor reducing racial disparities precipitated by the War on Drugs. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court returned to judges their discretion over following the rigid structure of federal sentencing guidelines in drug cases, and the U.S. Sentencing Commission created changes in crack cocaine sentencing that would retroactively set free 20,000 prisoners.
Granted, those drugs laws may seem harsh to some, but anyone who recalls the crack epidemic of the 1980s and the crime plague that accompanied it would likely be outraged by the commutation of sentences for those imprisoned during or around that time.

It took New York City years to recover from that crime wave and trying to appear compassionate in this fashion is sure to backfire.

Maybe some individual cases can be assessed but releasing thousands of drug felons at once is severely misguided.
Today there are almost 14,000 individuals imprisoned under the Rockefeller Drug Laws; 90 percent of them are black and Latino. Despite two minor reforms in 2004 and 2005, a welcomed first step, the majority of Rockefeller prisoners were not touched by the changes. For many who have fallen through the cracks, their only hope to regain their freedom is through the act of executive clemency.
Such an executive clemency would be a political death sentence for Spitzer.

C'mon Over and Bring A Few Cold Ones

This is supposedly the text of an intercepted phone call between the Al Qaeda members involved in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.
Maulvi Sahib (MS): Asalaam Aleikum (Peace be with you)

Baitullah Mehsud (BM): Waleikum Asalam (And also with you)

MS: Chief, how are you?

BM: I am fine.

MS: Congratulations, I just got back during the night.

BM: Congratulations to you, were they our men?

MS: Yes they were ours.

BM: Who were they?

MS: There was Saeed, there was Bilal from Badar and Ikramullah.

BM: The three of them did it?

MS: Ikramullah and Bilal did it.

BM: Then congratulations.

MS: Where are you? I want to meet you.

BM: I am at Makeen (town in South Waziristan tribal region), come over, I am at Anwar Shah's house.

MS: OK, I'll come.

BM: Don't inform their house for the time being.


BM: It was a tremendous effort. They were really brave boys who killed her.

MS: Mashallah (Thank God). When I come I will give you all the details.

BM: I will wait for you. Congratulations, once again congratulations.

MS: Congratulations to you.

BM: Anything I can do for you?

MS: Thank you very much.

BM: Asalaam Aleikum.

MS: Waaleikum Asalaam.

Selfish Humans Driving Out The Bison

Apparently the moonbats at the BBC want bison walking through your garden.
Almost 80% of the Earth's surface has experienced a sharp fall in the number of large mammals as a result of human activities, a study suggests.

By examining records dating back to AD1500, US researchers found that at least 35% of mammals over 20kg had seen their range cut by more than half.

My first reaction is, so what?

Well, try to keep a straight face when you read this:
In their paper, the scientists explained why large mammals were so important for maintaining the ecological equilibrium.

"Large carnivores frequently shape the number, distribution and behaviour of their prey," the researchers wrote.

"Large herbivores function as ecological engineers by changing the structure and species composition of surrounding vegetation.

"Furthermore, both sets of mammals profoundly influence the environment beyond direct species interactions, such as through [the food chain]."
Dear moonbat scientists. Try to get this through your heads. We have things like houses and streets and office buildings now. The living conditions for people are now a lot better than it was when panthers were chasing deer hither and yon.

It's a bit tough on the rose bushes to have a bison taking a snooze in them, and an elk or two on the expressway can really make the morning rush hour a drag.

Get it?

Plus, some larger animals such as deer and bear have tended to adapt and are quite plentiful in much of the U.S. So if you love the big animals so much, feel free to take a bison home and keep it in your own backyard, but stop telling the rest of us how to live.

Remember fireworks safety this year

But that is only part of the story. You guessed it. The Muslims are outraged I tell 'ya. Why they are seething. To the Islamofascists I say "Get a life" instead of taking one.

Be Wary of the Chinese Economy

Keep a close eye on the economy in China.
The Chinese government backed up its recent words with action Thursday, allowing the yuan currency to appreciate against the U.S. dollar in its tightly controlled foreign-exchange market at the fastest pace since Beijing ended its U.S. dollar "peg" in 2005.
Actually, China has little choice as they have to inflate their yuan value to keep pace with their higher inflation. The international money market would have forced the same thing.
Faster appreciation in the yuan is likely to help offset inflationary pressures from a weaker dollar and rising global commodity prices, Yao reportedly said. He that added consumer inflation will likely ease slightly next year, to a 4.5% rate from this year's projected 4.7%.

China's annual consumer price inflation surged to 6.9% last month, its highest level since December 1996, mostly due to soaring food prices.
Always take the specific quote of econometric data from China with a grain of salt. Communist countries tend to get creative with how they calculate such numbers. But just from logic you can tell that their inflation rate is getting uncomfortably high and probably is still rising.

'Stop Pushing Obama Down Our Throats'

Fans of daytime queen Oprah Winfrey are rebelling against her campaign for Barack Obama, according to a report in the LA Times.

I doubt Winfrey has much to worry about, unless her financial advisers tell her to dummy up at some point.
Although it's true that rallies featuring Winfrey in Iowa and South Carolina have drawn some of the biggest crowds of the campaign so far, Obama's people won't know whether they also triggered a backlash until election day.

Winfrey's website has been buzzing for weeks with angry postings about her involvement in the Illinois senator's campaign, something Hollywood, which always keeps its eye on the public mood, is bound to notice -- this is a town, after all, that measures success by weekly grosses and daily TV ratings.

One posting on her site,, accused the talk diva of being a traitor. (By Thursday, that message string had attracted more than 12,000 views.) Another poster told Winfrey to "stop pushing Obama down our throats." (There were 3,000 hits logged on that one.) Another said: "Do you really know Barack Hussein Obama? Scary & something we have to take into consideration!" (There were more than 4,000 views for that.)

"First of all I want to say that I am a HUGE Oprah fan," one poster wrote. "I love what she stands for. She is a strong woman changing the world. However, I have been extremely disappointed with her recent touring with Barack Obama. It is a manipulation and an abuse of her power and influence on the American culture.

"Let the American people form their own opinion, Oprah."
Prediction: If Obama loses out in the Democrat primaries, expect Winfrey to begin shamelessly fawning and slobbering over the Dragon Lady.

Once celebrity who apparently has gotten a clue is George Clooney.
In a dinner-party conversation in Rome recently, Clooney said that Obama's people have been urging him to go out on the trail. "I've told them that having me out there would hurt more than help. I know they don't see it that way."
Perhaps Winfrey and the rest of Hollywood ought to take a cue from Clooney.