Monday, April 30, 2007

Say what?

It's clean and efficient...
Nuclear power will save the world, UN scientists claim
Last updated at 10:35am on 30th April 2007

Leading scientists are today expected to back a major expansion of nuclear power as a way of saving the world from global warming.

Other measures in a United Nations report include the use of GM crops to produce biofuels and the "capture and storage" underground of harmful CO2 gases.

More than 2,000 scientists have contributed to the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) report and 400 of them met today in Bangkok to finalise it before publication on Friday. The report is the biggest to study the practical actions that could reduce emissions and its findings will play a key role in Kyoto negotiations which will take place in December.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Tax Freedom Day

The Tax Foundation has announced that today (the 120th day of 2007) is Tax Freedom Day® -- Americans will work four months of the year, from January 1 to April 30, before they have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels.

April 30 is the national average -- the Tax Freedom Day® in individual states range from the state with the highest tax burden -- Connecticut (May 20) -- to the states with the lowest tax burden -- Oklahoma and Alabama (April 12).

Here are the ten states with the heaviest tax burdens and the latest Tax Freedom Days®:

1. Connecticut (May 20)
2. New York (May 16)
3. New Jersey (May 10)
4. Vermont (May 9)
5. Rhode Island (May 9)
6. Nevada (May 8)
7. California (May 7)
8. Washington (May 6)
9. Massachusetts (May 6)
10. Minnesota (May 4)

Here are the ten states with the lowest tax burdens and the earliest Tax Freedom Days®:

1. Oklahoma (April 12)
2. Alabama (April 12)
3. Mississippi (April 13)
4. Alaska (April 13)
5. Tennessee (April 15)
6. New Mexico (April 15)
7. Louisiana (April 16)
8. South Dakota (April 16)
9. Texas (April 19)
10. Idaho (April 19)


Powered by ScribeFire.

Someone notify Rosie!

But wait, the steel melted? By fire? No way! It must have been demolition charges!
Fiery Crash Collapses California Freeway

Apr 29, 4:45 PM (ET)

By MARCUS WOHLSEN

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A heavily traveled section of freeway that funnels traffic off the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed early Sunday after a gasoline tanker truck overturned and erupted into flames, authorities said.

Flames shot 200 feet in the air and the heat was intense enough to melt part of the freeway and cause the collapse, but the truck's driver walked away from the scene with second-degree burns. No other injuries were reported.

"I've never seen anything like it," Officer Trent Cross of the California Highway Patrol said of the crumpled interchange. "I'm looking at this thinking, 'Wow, no one died - that's amazing. It's just very fortunate."

Authorities said the damage could take months to repair, and that it would cause the worst disruption for Bay Area commuters since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake damaged a section of the Bay Bridge itself.

Nearly 75,000 vehicles use the portion of the road every day. But because the accident occured where three highways converge, authorities said it could cause commuting problems for hundreds of thousands of people.

Transportation officials said they already had added trains to the Bay Area Rapid Transit light rail system that takes commuters across San Francisco Bay, and were urging people to telecommute if possible.

State officials said motorists who try to take alternate routes Monday instead of relying on public transportation would face nightmarish commutes.

The tanker carrying 8,600 gallons of gasoline ignited around 3:45 a.m. after crashing into a pylon on the interchange, which connects westbound lanes of Interstate 80 to southbound I-880, on the edge of downtown Oakland about half a mile from the Bay Bridge's toll plaza.

A preliminary investigation indicated he may have been speeding on the curving road, Cross said.

The fire melted a second interchange from eastbound I-80 to eastbound I-580 located above the first interchange, causing a 250-yard section of the roadway to collapse onto the roadway below, according to the highway patrol.

Witnesses reported flames from the blaze reached up to 200 feet high.

Late Sunday morning, the charred section of collapsed freeway was draped at a sharp angle onto the highway beneath, exposing a web of twisted metal beneath the concrete.

The Bay Bridge consists of two heavily traveled, double-decked bridges about two miles long straddling San Francisco Bay.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the accident showed how fragile the Bay area's transportation network is, whether to an earthquake or terrorist attack, and has the potential to have a major economic effect on the city.

"It's another giant wakeup call," Newsom told reporters at the California Democratic Party convention in San Diego.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Jumpin Joe?

Some are speculating that the Senate vote today on the Iraq Surrender bill will be the last straw for Joe Lieberman. After the Senate votes to set a withdrawal date for US troops in Iraq, a surrender date, Sen Lieberman may be pushed over the line and switch parties to Republican due to his parties ownership and celebration of defeat.

Think of the implications of a move like this. Sen Harry "we lost" Reid would no longer be the majority leader and all of the Senate committee chairmans would switch back to Republican control.

It certainly be a site to see...

Powered by ScribeFire.

Carbon Offsets, a big scam!

I must say I am shocked and outraged!
Industry caught in carbon ‘smokescreen’

By Fiona Harvey and Stephen Fidler in London

Published: April 25 2007 22:07 | Last updated: April 25 2007 22:07

Companies and individuals rushing to go green have been spending millions on “carbon credit” projects that yield few if any environmental benefits.

A Financial Times investigation has uncovered widespread failings in the new markets for greenhouse gases, suggesting some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place.

Others are meanwhile making big profits from carbon trading for very small expenditure and in some cases for clean-ups that they would have made anyway.

The growing political salience of environmental politics has sparked a “green gold rush”, which has seen a dramatic expansion in the number of businesses offering both companies and individuals the chance to go “carbon neutral”, offsetting their own energy use by buying carbon credits that cancel out their contribution to global warming.

The burgeoning regulated market for carbon credits is expected to more than double in size to about $68.2bn by 2010, with the unregulated voluntary sector rising to $4bn in the same period.

The FT investigation found:

■ Widespread instances of people and organisations buying worthless credits that do not yield any reductions in carbon emissions.

■ Industrial companies profiting from doing very little – or from gaining carbon credits on the basis of efficiency gains from which they have already benefited substantially.

■ Brokers providing services of questionable or no value.

■ A shortage of verification, making it difficult for buyers to assess the true value of carbon credits.

■ Companies and individuals being charged over the odds for the private purchase of European Union carbon permits that have plummeted in value because they do not result in emissions cuts.

Francis Sullivan, environment adviser at HSBC, the UK’s biggest bank that went carbon-neutral in 2005, said he found “serious credibility concerns” in the offsetting market after evaluating it for several months.

“The police, the fraud squad and trading standards need to be looking into this. Otherwise people will lose faith in it,” he said.

These concerns led the bank to ignore the market and fund its own carbon reduction projects directly.

Some companies are benefiting by asking “green” consumers to pay them for cleaning up their own pollution. For instance, DuPont, the chemicals company, invites consumers to pay $4 to eliminate a tonne of carbon dioxide from its plant in Kentucky that produces a potent greenhouse gas called HFC-23. But the equipment required to reduce such gases is relatively cheap. DuPont refused to comment and declined to specify its earnings from the project, saying it was at too early a stage to discuss.

The FT has also found examples of companies setting up as carbon offsetters without appearing to have a clear idea of how the markets operate. In response to FT inquiries about its sourcing of carbon credits, one company, carbonvoucher.com, said it had not taken payments for offsets.

Blue Source, a US offsetting company, invites consumers to offset carbon emissions by investing in enhanced oil recovery, which pumps carbon dioxide into depleted oil wells to bring up the remaining oil. However, Blue Source said that because of the high price of oil, this process was often profitable in itself, meaning operators were making extra revenues from selling “carbon credits” for burying the carbon.

There is nothing illegal in these practices. However, some companies that are offsetting their emissions have avoided such projects because customers may find them controversial.

BP said it would not buy credits resulting from improvements in industrial efficiency or from most renewable energy projects in developed countries.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"I choose not to vote"

Even though I went through the trouble of traveling to the polling place? Oh brother!
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Maybe a congressional race was so nasty that a large number of voters simply didn't want to check the box next to either candidate.

That's what state Sen. Mike Bennett said he believes happened in the now-infamous District 13 congressional race.

Hoping to prevent a repeat, he persuaded the Senate Ethics and Elections committee to approve a bill, SB-494, on Monday that would require ballots to have the additional option of "I choose not to vote."

That option could not win a race, and the actual candidate with the highest number of votes would win the election.

Bennett, R-Bradenton, said the no-choice option would enable uninformed or disgusted voters to opt out in a way that clearly displays their intention to abstain for elections officials.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.


Powered by ScribeFire.

He's not stupid!

Realizing that his money train is seriously at risk of derailing, Russell Simmons is now, predictably, calling for certain words to be stricken from the lyrics of rap songs. It's such an empty and transparent maneuver its laughable.



I wonder if the fact that rap CD sales are down 21% from last year, last years top 10 albums did not contain a single rap album and currently there are only 4 rap albums on the top 20 albums chart?



Nah....couldn't be that. Could it?

NEW YORK, New York (AP) -- Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons said Monday that the recording and broadcast industries should consistently ban racial and sexist epithets from all so-called clean versions of rap songs and the airwaves.



Currently such epithets are prohibited in most clean versions, but record companies sometimes "arbitrarily" decide which offensive words to exclude and there's no uniform standard for deleting such words, Simmons said.



The recommendations drew mixed reaction and come two weeks after some began carping anew about rap lyrics after radio personality Don Imus was fired by CBS Radio and NBC for referring to the players on the Rutgers university women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos."



Expressing concern about the "growing public outrage" over the use of such words in rap lyrics, Simmons said the words "bitch," "ho" and "nigger" should be considered "extreme curse words."



"We recommend (they're) always out," Simmons, the pioneering entrepreneur who made millions of dollars as he helped shape hip-hop culture, said in an interview Monday. "This is a first step. It's a clear message and a consistency that we want the industry to accept for more corporate social responsibility."


Of course rap artists counter that the use of these words is ok by them because they are just using terms that the encounter in their everyday lives. But only rap artists are allowed to use these terms. Of course hip-hop music is marketed directly at white teens and if a white teen hears these lyrics and begins to use these terms, well you know what happens. Think Don Imus.



And its borders on insanity to think that all of hip-hops problems will be solved by simply removing these three words from rap music lyrics and replacing them with new words that have the same meaning or with silence where the listener can determine the word that was meant to be there.



Rap music's problem is that it has embraced and glorified the culture of violence and degradation of women. Simply eliminating three words will not turn around the downward spiral of hip-hop's image as a negative influence on Americas youth.





Powered by ScribeFire.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Letters for Harry

Michelle Malkin has the latest batch of letters for Sen. Harry Reid and the White Flag Dems from military service men. Here's one;
Sir,

We have attack helicopters, the insurgents don't and this unit does not take prisoners. There is no such thing as a fair weather warrior, but you have become a fair weather Senator, a disgrace to our country and a hero to spineless people who will not fight anyone. Let us fight an enemy who will not quit fighting us even if you succeed in pulling us out of this country. The Iraqis overwhelmingly support us as their allies.

What you are saying to the Iraqis is what? "Go to hell."

How dare you say that this war is lost.

You had better thank President Bush for getting rid of Saddam Hussein and insuring that Iraq will not have WMDs for the foreseeable future.

You and Feingold are a piece of work when you assume to direct the commander in chief with your misguided defunding bills. I will follow our President, I will not follow you and your guidance.

Decide to fund the warriors here in Iraq and those lined up to take our place; quit supporting the spineless ones who have bribed you into kissing bin Laden's ass.

SSG Hinz, Daniel
1-82 ARB 25 CAB
COB Speicher




Powered by ScribeFire.

Maybe size matters...

From BlameBush;
School Shooting Reveals the Need for Bigger Gun-Free Zone Signs

One day after the deadliest shooting rampage in American history, many are left wondering why it happened and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Certainly, more thorough background checks would reveal whether a prospective gun owner had gone on any wild murder-suicide sprees in the past. Mandatory creative writing classes for all firearm purchases would also be a way to determine if someone has an unhealthy obsession with violence and gore, or is simply applying for a job at CBS.

Whether you’re in favor of such sensible gun control laws, or a mind-numbed minion of Chuck Heston, everyone can at least agree that Gun-Free Zones as they currently exist don’t quite work. Although Virginia Tech was a proud “Gun-Free Zone”, firearms still somehow found their way onto the campus. Obviously the so-called “gunman” wasn’t aware that he had entered such a zone, or else he would have thought twice about gunning down 33 innocents before shooting himself in the face. Bigger, bolder “Gun-Free Zone” signs would be harder to ignore, but renaming the entire school “Gun-Free Zone Tech” would send a clear message to any suicidal maniacs that bringing guns to school will NOT be tolerated, and that slaughtering scores of your classmates could result in expulsion and possibly even the forfeiture of all your credits. To discourage individuals from cleverly standing just outside the Gun-Free Zone and firing into the campus, the zone’s boundaries should also be expanded to encompass all 50 states, and as rigorously enforced as gun control laws currently on the books.

The concept of Gun-Free Zones is a noble one, and with a little revamping it can be far more effective. 33 out of the 34 people that died in Virginia Tech’s Gun Free Zone were actually following the rules. There’s no reason to believe that expanding the program nationally won’t provide the same results


Powered by ScribeFire.

Yale bans fake weapons

Not sure what this is expected to accomplish...from the Yale Daily News;
Weapons to go offstage
Trachtenberg cites Virginia Tech attack

Courtney Long
Staff Reporter and Copy Editor

In the wake of Monday’s massacre at Virginia Tech in which a student killed 32 people, Dean of Student Affairs Betty Trachtenberg has limited the use of stage weapons in theatrical productions.

Students involved in this weekend’s production of “Red Noses” said they first learned of the new rules on Thursday morning, the same day the show was slated to open. They were subsequently forced to alter many of the scenes by swapping more realistic-looking stage swords for wooden ones, a change that many students said was neither a necessary nor a useful response to the tragedy at Virginia Tech.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Reid was against it before he was for it...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was among those who denounced yesterday's Supreme Court ruling upholding the Federal Partial Birth Abortion Act. Commenting on the decision, Reid said "A lot of us wish that Alito weren't there and O'Connor were there," indicating his desire that there has been a fifth vote to invalidate the statute, as Justice O'Connor had provided the fifth vote to invalidate Nebraska's partial-birth abortion ban in Stenberg v. Carhart.

What is curious about Reid's statement, as NPR and some news outlets have noted, is not Reid's criticism of Alito -- Reid opposed Alito's confirmation -- but the fact that Reid supported, and voted for, the federal statute upheld in yesterday's decision. Reid was one of 17 Senate Democrats voting in favor of the bill in 2003. Reid also voted in favor of a ban on partial-birth abortion in 1999 (see here) and , as indicated in this "Meet the Press" interview, Reid was one of only two Democratic Senators to vote against a resolution reaffirming Senate support for the holding of Roe v. Wade.

So, despite his repeated support of legislative restrictions on abortion, Reid's latest comment suggests that he believes the Supreme Court's decision was regrettable and wrongly decided, and that a law that he supported is unconstitutional. To me, the latter is of greater concern. Call me old fashioned, but I believe that if a member of the Senate believes a law is unconstitutional, he or she should vote against it. While I believe it is permissible to vote in favor of a bill that one believes the Supreme Court will invalidate (a Senator need not agree with the rulings of the Supreme Court), I do not believe that a Senator should vote in favor of a bill the he or she believes should be struck down by the Supreme Court, and it is more than a minor inconsistency when a Senator laments a Supreme Court decision upholding a law which that Senator supported.


Powered by ScribeFire.

General Reid has spoken

The war in Iraq "is lost" and a US troop surge is failing to bring peace to the country, the leader of the Democratic majority in the US Congress, Harry Reid, said Thursday.

"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week," Reid said, on the same day US President George W. Bush was giving a speech at an Ohio town hall meeting defending the war on terror.


Powered by ScribeFire.

NBC feeling the heat...

As well they should. Parents of some of the victims were scheduled to appear on the Today Show this morning but canceled after NBC decided to air the videos, photos and writings of the VT gunman that were sent to NBC after the first shooting on Monday, April 16.

I must say I found it distasteful myself that NBC aired this material. I was hoping for some sense decency from NBC and hoped that they would refrain from doing this, although I would have been shocked if they actually didn't air any of it. I guess ratings matter more than the victims families grief.

What I find even more offensive and laughable is NBC's defense that they immediately notified the FBI when they realized what they had in their possession. Immediately after they had made copies of everything, apparently. And they add the fact that all persons who handled these materials wore gloves.

Gloves? Oh great! Thanks for doing that!

Oh and they are only featuring the material during 10% of their airtime. That's 6 minutes per hour.

On the other hand Fox News has decided to stop running any of the videos, thank goodness.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's always global warming...

Ok, so let me see if I understand this.

Killer hurricanes = global warming
No hurricanes = global warming

Ok, got it!

Global warming may spur wind shear, sap hurricanes
Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:02pm ET17

By Jim Loney

MIAMI (Reuters) - Global warming could increase a climate phenomenon known as wind shear that inhibits Atlantic hurricanes, a potentially positive result of climate change, according to new research released on Tuesday.

The study, to be published on Wednesday in Geophysical Research Letters, found that climate model simulations show a "robust increase" in wind shear in the tropical Atlantic during the 21st century from global warming.

Wind shear, a difference in wind speed or direction at different altitudes, tends to tear apart tropical cyclones, preventing nascent ones from growing and already-formed hurricanes from becoming the monster storms that cause the most damage.

The effect of global warming on wind shear is similar to the impact of El Nino, the periodic eastern Pacific warm-water phenomenon that tends to put a damper on Atlantic storms. The sudden development of El Nino was credited for an unexpectedly mild Atlantic season last year, when only 10 storms formed.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

More Whitlock

From another column that appears in the Kansas City Star;
It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Sharpton & Jackson should step down

So says Jason Whitlock;
Rather than inspire us to seize hard-earned opportunities, Jesse and Al have specialized in blackmailing white folks for profit and attention. They were at it again last week, helping to turn radio shock jock Don Imus’ stupidity into a world-wide crisis that reached its crescendo Tuesday afternoon when Rutgers women’s basketball coach C. Vivian Stringer led a massive pity party/recruiting rally.

Hey, what Imus said, calling the Rutgers players "nappy-headed hos," was ignorant, insensitive and offensive. But so are many of the words that come out of the mouths of radio shock jocks/comedians.

Read the whole thing.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Sharpton

Drudge says;
SHARPTON VOWS MORE: 'It is our feeling that this is only the beginning. We must have a broad discussion on what is permitted and not permitted in terms the airwaves'... Developing...

The more Sharpton ( and Jackson ) talks, the more people will start rooting for Imus...


Powered by ScribeFire.

Snoop clears everything for us...

Snoop has chimed in with his completely incoherent take on the Imus controversy...
"It's a completely different scenario," said Snoop, barking over the phone from a hotel room in L.A. "[Rappers] are not talking about no collegiate basketball girls who have made it to the next level in education and sports. We're talking about ho's that's in the 'hood that ain't doing sh--, that's trying to get a n---a for his money. These are two separate things. First of all, we ain't no old-ass white men that sit up on MSNBC [the cable network home to Imus] going hard on black girls. We are rappers that have these songs coming from our minds and our souls that are relevant to what we feel. I will not let them mutha-----as say we in the same league as him."


Powered by ScribeFire.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Katie Couric busted!

Ok, so she didn't actually write the piece herself, it was written by her staff for her "Couric & Co." video blog posts. Well, stolen by her staff from the WSJ. These videos are also offered to CBS radio and TV stations and the transcripts posted at CBSNews.com. But she did participate in creating a video where she talks about her fond memories of getting her first library card. Apparently fake memories.
NEW YORK - A CBS News producer was fired and the network apologized after a Katie Couric video essay on libraries was found to be plagiarized from The Wall Street Journal.

The essay was removed from the CBS Web site and an editor’s note was posted saying the item should have credited Jeffrey Zaslow of the Journal, the network said Tuesday.

The essays are carried regularly on “Couric & Co.,” the anchor’s blog on the CBS News Web site. Couric and producers meet once a week to decide on topics and the producers write them for Couric to read on camera.

An editor for The Wall Street Journal called CBS News to point out the similarities of the April 4 notebook item to Zaslow’s article, headlined “Of the Places You’ll Go, Is the Library Still One of Them?” The pieces talk about how libraries are seen differently by children from their parents.

“We were horrified,” CBS News spokeswoman Sandra Genelius said. “It was almost verbatim.”

CBS would not identify the producer fired for the transgression.




Powered by ScribeFire.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Carl Levin is listening...

According to Red State, there is a reason why Carl Levin changed his tune on cutting funding for the troops...Apparently he is doing what the Dems have been telling Bush to do for the last 4 years...











Powered by ScribeFire.



Powered by ScribeFire.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Col Jack Jacobs rips the British Sailors/Marines

No fan of the way the administration has handled Iraq, Col Jack Jacobs rips the Brits;

Nancy Pelosi is loved...

Rooting for Nancy to keep winning elections...
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Syria Wednesday – in which she called for dialogue with Damascus – was “brave” and “very appreciated” and could bring about “important changes” to America’s foreign policy, including talks with “Middle East resistance groups,” according to members of Palestinian terror organizations whose top leaders live in Syria.

One terror leader, Khaled Al-Batch, a militant and spokesman for Islamic Jihad, expressed hope Pelosi would continue winning elections, explaining the House speaker’s Damascus visit demonstrated she understands the Middle East.

“Nancy Pelosi understands the area (Middle East) well, more than Bush and Dr. (Condoleezza) Rice,” said Al-Batch, speaking to WND from Gaza. “If the Democrats want to make negotiations with Syria, Hamas, and Hizbullah, this means the Democratic Party understands well what happens in this area and I think Pelosi will succeed. ... I hope she wins the next elections.” ...

Ramadan Shallah, overall chief of Islamic Jihad, lives in Syria, as does Hamas chieftain Khaled Mashaal. Israel has accused the Syrian-based Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership of ordering militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to carry out terror attacks.

Al-Batch expressed hope Pelosi and the Democratic Party will pressure Bush to create dialogue with Syria and Middle East “resistance movements” and prompt an American withdrawal from Iraq.

“Bush and Dr. Rice made so many mistakes in the Middle East. Just look at Palestinian clashes and Iraq. But I think some changes are happening for the Bush administration’s foreign policy because of the hand of Nancy Pelosi. I think the Democratic Party can do things the best. ... Pelosi is going down a good road by this policy of dialogue,” he said.

Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip, said the willingness by some lawmakers to talk with Syria “is proof of the importance of the resistance against the US. ”The Americans know and understand they are losing in Iraq and the Middle East and that their only chance to survive is to reduce hostilities with Arab countries and with Islam. Islam is the new giant of the world,“ he said.

”Pelosi’s visit to Syria was very brave. She is a brave woman,“ Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, told WND.

”I think it’s very nice and I think it’s much better when you sit face to face and talk to (Syrian President Bashar) Assad. It’s a very good idea. I think she is brave and hope all the people will support her. All the American people must make peace with Syria and Iran and with Hamas. Why not?" Jaara said.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Those Iranians as such nice people...

From NRO:
In a press conference just concluded in England, the recently released British sailors and marines cleared up several things. Right up front, the commander of the group said that no matter what we may have heard them say while in captivity, they were definitely in Iraqi waters when captured.

The senior Royal Marine officer shed light on the tactical situation: They were conducting the search of an unregistered transport vessel when they saw Iranian fast-boats approaching. They descended to their own boats, but were quickly surrounded by the Iranians, who came armed with heavy machine guns and RPGs. The sailors report that they were surrounded instantly and rammed several times; the Iranians trained their weapons on them and seemed very angry ("unstable" was a word one of the sailors used). It was the Royal Marine commander who realized that there was no option but to surrender – to fight back would have been suicide for many of them and would have caused an international crisis. Furthermore, the base ship HMS Cornwall could not have intervened to save them because the waters in which the incident occurred were too shallow. [Intervention was probably impracticable for other tactical reasons as well]. The sailors said several times that it was clear the Iranian operation had been well-prepared and had clear intent.

They soon found themselves bound and blindfolded and put up against a wall; when they heard weapons being cocked in the background, several of them thought they might be summarily executed. The sailors were blindfolded in solitary confinement almost the entire time. They were interrogated nightly, and told that if they didn’t admit wrongdoing and apologize they faced seven years in prison.

The female sailor was the particular target of abuse. She was told by her captors that all the rest of her comrades had been released, and for several days she thought she was alone in Iran.

In general, they were clearly angry at the Iranians, and lamented the whole ordeal as a “media stunt.”

Counting the minutes before the Iranians announce that the Britons have been successfully brainwashed into lying about their captivity! I mean, look how happy they were when they left;

Hey how'd those three on the right get in that picture!

Powered by ScribeFire.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Shh...don't tell Michael Ware, he too drunk to notice anyway.

Looks like the surge is working as has been reported by other news outlets, including ABC News.

Click here....

Powered by ScribeFire.

Yale students burn American Flag

Yale trio charged in city flag burning incident

William Kaempffer, Mary E. O’Leary and Randy Beach, Register Staff
04/04/2007

-NEW HAVEN — Three Yale University students are charged with burning an American flag hanging from the porch of a Chapel Street home early Tuesday in the Wooster Square neighborhood.

When detained by police a few blocks away, they allegedly acknowledged it was a "dumb thing to do," according to a police report on the incident.

Hyder Akbar Said, 23, Nikolaos Angelopoulos, 19, and Farhad Anklesaria, also 19, were arrested on a range of charges including two counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree criminal mischief, second-degree arson, breach of peace, and conspiracy to commit second-degree arson.


Police listed Hyder’s last name as Akbar Said, while Yale has him listed as just Hyder Akbar.

The three students spent the night in jail and appeared dazed at their arraignment Tuesday morning when they entered Superior Court in leg irons and handcuffs. Bail was kept at $25,000 for Angelopoulos and Akbar, but was reduced to $15,000 for Anklesaria. They remained jailed Tuesday night.

Superior Court Judge William Holden rebuffed requests by Deputy Assistant Public Defender Sanford O. Bruce III that the three men be released on a written promise to appear, since none of them had previous arrests.

"Is there probable cause to believe a crime was committed? Yes. Is the (alleged) crime of a serious nature? Yes," Holden said in maintaining the higher bail.

In Angelopoulos’ case, Assistant State’s Attorney Karen Roberg said, "He had a lighter on his person."

Roberg added the arson charges to the initial police charges, substituting it for reckless burning. She refused to explain why, when asked by a reporter.

The two freshmen, Anklesaria and Angelopoulos are foreign students: Anklesaria is British and Angelopoulos is Greek. Akbar, a senior, was born in Pakistan, according to police, but is a U.S. citizen. Both Anklesaria and Angelopoulos had to turn over their passports.

Marc Suraci, 37, owner of the two-story house on Chapel Street where the flag was burned, was upset when informed of the incident by the Register.

He said he always puts flags out front of his rental properties.

"It makes me sick to my stomach to think that someone would burn the American flag," said Suraci, who described himself as "very, very patriotic."

Suraci said several of his relatives fought in American wars to defend the constitutional right to burn the flag as a protest.

"But, it gets to another level when it is somebody else’s flag on their own personal property," Suraci said. He feels flag burning should be illegal.

According to the police report, the students had two encounters with officers.

Officers Stephanija Van Wilgen and Diane Gonzalez were responding to an unrelated call in Fair Haven at about 3 a.m., when they saw the three young men walking on Chapel Street on the bridge into Fair Haven.

They flagged the officers down, said they had been at a friend’s house and asked how to get to back to Elm and High streets downtown, police said. The officers gave directions and continued to the call.

A short time later, the two officers returned to Chapel Street to see if the students had found their way home.

"As they approached 512 Chapel, there was a glow in front of the house which they identified as a flag mounted on a pole to the house and it was engulfed in flames," said police spokeswoman Bonnie Posick. They noticed the three students were a few blocks away.

Van Wilgen pulled down the burning flag to prevent the fire from spreading and Gonzalez tracked down the three men.

The three students admitted igniting the flag, according to the police report, which doesn’t indicate if they gave any reason.

Akbar was wearing a hooded sweatshirt that read in bold letters, "I am Famous in Afghanistan," according to police. The political science major was quoted in a Yale Daily News story last year that he was a native of Afghanistan.

Thomas Conroy, spokesman for the university, said Yale was aware of the incident and officials either had been or would be in contact with the students.

Friends of the two freshmen were shocked when told of the arrests and found the situation totally out of character. Neither was seen as particularly political.

"It would never have occurred to me about either Nick or Farhad. We have political discussions all the time and he is definitely a moderate," said freshman Matthew Smith of Angelopoulos. "Wow. That’s a night that went wrong," Jason Gilliland said.

William Dunlop, a law professor at Quinnipiac University, said it sounds like the situation described in the arrest has nothing to do with Texas v. Johnson, the Supreme Court case that struck down a law that made it a crime to burn a flag.

"Based on the facts as I understand them, this is not conduct that’s protected by the First Amendment. They are being prosecuted under a statute of general implication that prohibits destroying other people’s property and endangering buildings," Dunlop said. "It doesn’t raise constitutional issues."





Powered by ScribeFire.

The tolerant liberal

Ah yes, the tolerant left. I love how the college campuses are full of free thinkers, as long as the invited guests agree with them...
Students Pelt Karl Rove After Speech at American University

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A rowdy protest broke out at the American University in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night after White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove delivered a speech on campus, local media reported.

More than a dozen students began throwing things at Rove and his vehicle as he left a talk with the university's chapter of the College Republicans. Demonstrators prevented "the architect" f President Bush's presidential campaigns' vehicle from leaving the premises by laying on the ground.

Rove was able to safely leave the scene after security officials physically removed the protestors. No arrests were made, officials said.


Powered by ScribeFire.