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Egyptian police publicly beat to death man suspected of killing officer
Today's Headlines
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19:18 4 22:26 Frank G [840]
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10:20 12 22:37 Water Modem [959]
10:01 2 17:40 GolfBravoUSMC [615]
08:35 42 22:07 badanov [895]
08:25 11 19:21 Glenmore [416] 
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00:00 2 06:08 trailing wife [412]
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00:00 1 08:21 Redneck Jim [405]
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00:00 2 15:03 Bill Clinton [389]
00:00 1 22:36 JosephMendiola [959]
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00:00 1 01:57 Shipman [497]
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00:00 32 21:08 Barbara [638]
00:00 10 22:59 Zhang Fei [846]
-Short Attention Span Theater-
Tiger tees off with Champ - Rooters
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 19:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [840 views] Top|| File under:

#1  It'll be interesting to see if Obama is allowed to win, I don't know if Tiger has enough ego.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 21:11 Comments || Top||

#2  "Speaking on behalf of the White House Correspondents Association, I can say a broad cross section of our members from print, radio, online and TV have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to the president of the United States this entire weekend," said WHCA President Ed Henry, a Fox News correspondent. "There is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead: transparency."

You don't know how hard it was to post this; I couldn't see the keyboard through the tears of laughter.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/17/2013 21:48 Comments || Top||

#3  the White House Correspondents Association

The rubes self identify. Like any good socialist state, you exist to serve the state, not the other way around, fools. Shocked, shocked they say, to discover they're not among those favored by the Plantation house owners.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2013 22:20 Comments || Top||

#4  "he doesn't beat me....much. I'm so lucky to be with him"
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 22:26 Comments || Top||

Upcoming Michael Murphy Documentary
Michael Murphy. Barack Obama. Compare and contrast.
Posted by: Matt || 02/17/2013 11:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [359 views] Top|| File under:

Iran Brig. Gen. Hassan Shateri killed in last Israeli bombing in Syria?
This is about the twelfth story we've had sent to the Burg in the last few days about Shateri. May I ask that future posts and referrals focus on anything new that comes up?
The Free Syrian Army, one of the main rebel forces battling to topple Assad's minority Alawite regime, claimed Thursday that Shateri, along with several aides, was killed in Israel's Jan. 30 airstrike on Jamraya, near Zabadani.

There were unconfirmed reports at the time that there had been Iranian casualties in the air raid but FSA officials said the death of Shateri and his officers weren't disclosed at the time because to have done so would have had "consequences."

This wasn't explained but the Israelis claimed they blasted a convoy that was transporting Syrian-provided, Russian-built SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles to Lebanon for Hezbollah which would have directly challenged Israel's long-held absolute air superiority over Lebanon for the first time.

Direct Iranian involvement in that alleged operation would have raised the stakes in the 22-month-old Syrian civil war to dangerous levels, that could trigger an Iranian response against the Jewish state at a time when the two rivals were locked in a potentially explosive confrontation over Iran's nuclear program.

It's not clear whether the FSA's purpose on this is to emphasize the extent of Iran's involvement in the war in hopes of persuading the reluctant Americans and their European allies they must drop their refusal to intervene militarily to support the rebel campaign to oust the 43-year Assad regime.

But the welter of often contradictory reports concerning the slaying of Shateri reflects the increasing complexity of the Syrian civil war.

It also sheds a glimmer of light on the clandestine nature of the conflict that many believe threatens a regional sectarian war and the subterfuge that permeates it.

For one thing, the killing shows Shateri's security was penetrated by his enemies, a serious setback for the Iranians.

The one sure thing that seems to be emerging in the aftermath of Shateri's assassination, although it's still not clear who was behind it, is that he was a man of importance in Iran's efforts to retain its power and influence in the Levant through Syria and Hezbollah.
This article starring:
Posted by: Water Modem || 02/17/2013 10:20 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [959 views] Top|| File under:

#1  ...Shame about the General. Popcorn, anyone?

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 02/17/2013 11:30 Comments || Top||

#2  Sniff. I love a story with a happy ending.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 02/17/2013 11:39 Comments || Top||

#3  “The trick is not to get killed. That's really the key to the benefits program.” Vincent Riccardo, CIA

The late Peter Falk as Vincent Riccardo: The In-Laws.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 11:47 Comments || Top||

#4  More good details about the gentleman at the link. He was a senior Al Quds officer, a member of Hizb'allah's Revolutionary Council as Iran's "Special Representative of the President of the Islamic Republic." since 2006, and controlled a budget of US$200 million/year....pretending to be a civil engineer.

I wonder If Israel had his cell phone bugged? Goodness knows they found him easily enough...
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 13:37 Comments || Top||

#5  It's either the Mossad or Uncle Vinny, if you owe Vinny money, he'll find you, you owe the Mossad ANYTHING they will find you.

Too bad some field officer didn't get to do the honors with a skull tap. That sends a more subtle and disturbing message than an air strike that oh by the way happened to whack this guy.
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/17/2013 14:40 Comments || Top||

#6  This. This is what happens to those pretending to be Civil Engineers. The penalties are .....stiff
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 14:44 Comments || Top||

#7  Serpentine Hassan! Serpentine!

whoops, nvr mnd.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 15:05 Comments || Top||

#8  Snark o'the Day to Frank G. Even if, possibly, it's not snark at all.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 16:04 Comments || Top||

#9  Heck. I would have been a civil engineer if it hadn't been for the calculus. Or maybe the algebra.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey || 02/17/2013 16:16 Comments || Top||

#10  ....or in my case, multiplication and division.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 16:21 Comments || Top||

#11  LINK Debka is saying the IRGC is vowing "Dire Revenge".
Posted by: Water Modem || 02/17/2013 22:34 Comments || Top||

#12  In Tehran, the influential IRGC preacher, Hojjat-ol-Eslam Mehdi Ta’eb, declared Wednesday in a sermon that Syria’s importance to the Islamic Republic is greater even than the oil region of Khuzestan in southern Iran.
Posted by: Water Modem || 02/17/2013 22:37 Comments || Top||

Good morning
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 10:01 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [615 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Damn, next Broooderbund when shut down the Turnip Twadling Channel and the end of the garden will commence.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 15:01 Comments || Top||

#2  Kelly Carlson[Filmography](age 37)

NSFW Women Who Bathe, Water Displacement Experiment "Eureka!" Archimedes was such a scamp.

Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 02/17/2013 17:40 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Culture Wars
Where Have All the Good Men Gone?
h/t Instapundit
...Once upon a time, there was a war on women, by women, and women lost. This war was called radical feminism, and today we inhabit the wasteland of a post-feminist nightmare. It is a world where manhood is not valued by many and fatherhood is absentee. So men are not men, and women are confused that men, having no models for how to behave, cannot tell the difference between attractive womanhood and common sluttery, or the difference between honorable manliness and unrelenting braggodocio.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/17/2013 08:35 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [895 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This is a good story to be told. Where are the good men?. They choose to be by themselves. Many young and old men find the dating scene a terrible experience. The least little perceived flaw and you are trashed. While the women have several children hanging on them. Thanks for the dinner, bye, bye. Many men are going overseas to secure a wife. Problem is they become Americanized fast. Some have married three times as a result. Men are the same as always. It is women who have changed. Women look and act like men now. I wouldn't want to make a living selling stockings now.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2013 9:15 Comments || Top||

#2  Where have all the suckers gone?

You don't just "Go-Galt" financially. When the government suckers you for work, you work less. When women give you a suckers deal, you don't take it.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/17/2013 10:41 Comments || Top||

#3  The linkee Instapundit's Instawife has a running PJMedia column, Dr. Helen, that covers the War on Men chronicling the situation. Most of the available Good Men(c) have already been picked up by Good Women(c). New ones that come on the market are snatched up rather quickly, leaving a very scarce resource out there. Somewhere along the way to feminist independence, men have also discovered they too can live without the threat of ancient and anachronistic cultural laws that treat them as property and serfs.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2013 11:04 Comments || Top||

#4  Procopius2k, Hello. "Snatched up",That may be true but I know of many men of different ages that women pay no attention to. Women go for the trouble makers. It's like some men don't exist. So men go on with their lives single. The fairytale of a lasting relationship is gone. I know many will disagree with me, especially women, but I have studied human interaction for years. These are the worst of times now.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2013 11:41 Comments || Top||

#5  Tom T. Hall had it about right.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 11:55 Comments || Top||

#6  I'll have to try that Watermelon wine. I absolutely love Dandelion wine.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2013 12:05 Comments || Top||

#7  They choose to be by themselves

Also there's the "Peter Pan syndrome".
Posted by: Pappy || 02/17/2013 12:33 Comments || Top||

#8  Victims of PPS appear to be emotionally stunted at an adolescent level. Their impulses take priority over any internalized sense of right and wrong. They cope with their problems by engaging in a great deal of primitive denial, e.g. “If I don’t think about it, the problem will disappear.” This attitude frequently leads to alcohol and drug abuse, since getting high makes their problems disappear, at least as long as they are high. They excel at blaming others for their shortcomings, and are often extremely sensitive to rejection from others. The PPS sufferer desperately needs to belong, as he feels very, very lonely. There seems to be an immense vacuum in his life unless he is around people, preferably the center of attention.

Lots of time on the links and frequent visits to urban America as well ?
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 12:39 Comments || Top||

#9  That may be true but I know of many men of different ages that women pay no attention to.

Ergo, they're not part of the 'market'. They are the 'dark side of the moon' to that element which probably doesn't in the end meet the criteria of Good Women(c). Instead of feeling out of it, they should count their blessings they are not tied to someone who wouldn't appreciate them for who they are, but considered nothing more than a harnessed work horse to deliver till they die.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2013 12:52 Comments || Top||

#10  These are the worst of times now.

Good to hear things are about to get better.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 02/17/2013 12:57 Comments || Top||

#11  "They excel at blaming others for their shortcomings, and are often extremely sensitive to rejection from others."

Bambi is Peter Pan?
Posted by: Barbara || 02/17/2013 13:05 Comments || Top||

#12  Those with a bent toward marriage tend to marry young. The ones who picked well stay married. The others keep trying.

Thus, I am still with my first husband; my baby brother married well, twice -- the first one discovered she was unable to have children, and loved him enough to set him free, he's had two kids with the second one; and the older of my younger brothers married a bitch who literally and deliberately drove him to suicide, which gave her his money without the burden of dealing with him.

Dale, foolish women go for troublemakers...and foolish men, ditto. But I'd bet that none of the Rantburg women do. Actually, I do have a girlfriend like that; she satisfied the need by getting serious with a retired Marine sergeant in a steady job, who loves the idea that she's a martial arts instructor on the side. We're quietly hoping for wedding bells in a year or two -- his second, her third.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 13:14 Comments || Top||

#13  Best comment I've seen on this issue, ever, to follow.

(Rantburg women excluded, of course.)

Postmodern feminists would make me laugh at their presumptuousness and cluelessness, if what they said wasn't simultaneously so sickening. Yes, lots more men don't want to marry, but it’s not because they want to stay "man children." It’s because women and the divorce industry have made marriage a legal and social and economic nightmare for men. And yet these harridans want to make it even worse for men - so that it will be "equal!"

Marriage is voluntary, toots. Make it attractive to me or shove it. Or do without it, like more and more men seem to be able to do.

Trouble is, women pine away for it. They dream of it. Long for it. Plot and scheme and manipulate for it.

"How do I get him to 'commit?'"

"How do I get my boyfriend to propose to me?”

"He went to Jareds!"

Do you see men doing anything like this? No. Where are the men's "Groom" magazines? Nowhere.
And why is that, dumbass? Because marriage is a bad deal for women? How stupid can you be! No, because it is a GREAT deal for women - too great a deal. So great that it stinks for men. I don't have the stats for the US, but in the UK the marriage rate sinks to its lowest ever since recording began every new year.

Men are refusing to be controlled. They are refusing to die in harness so m’lady can sit on her fat ass and try to "discover" herself at age 40. Men are refusing to do all the work, pay all the freight, and then have everything they worked for, and their kid, snatched from them because Ms. Thang has decided she has "fallen out of love" with him. Yes, there are a few bad lazy men. They are vastly and totally outnumbered by this issue.

It wasn't men who brought about this state of affairs. It was women. You all told yourselves you shouldn't marry in your teens, 20's, or even early 30's (you know, when a man might actually want to marry you). And you bought it. No. You had to put your "careers" first. Then, when you are no longer young, hot, sexy, fertile and desirable, you bitched and moaned because Captain Save-a-Ho isn't sailing in to rescue you from a life of unending work, your credit card debts, and your cats! You're now too old to have kids safely and surely. Or you already had them with Mr. Wrong and now you expect Mr. Right to come in and pay for them! No wonder he would rather play with his Wii!

From Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem and Naomi Wolf, right down to the postmodern era we’re suffering through today, we’ve heard the feminist chant. La, La, La, La, La, I can have it all. I can live my life any way I want to without a man or anyone else telling me what to do. I don't care about society or my nation. I don't care about what men want. I only care about me. Look at me, listening to NPR, hanging with my cool friends, and our fancy pocketbooks and shoes and dresses and status and “education” and Sex in the City lifestyle. La, La, La, La…..

Then La, La, La turns to Waaaah, Waaahh, Waaaaah, call me a Waaahmbulance! Because, after a certain point, nobody gives a sh!t about you. Your ”career” was a joke all along, which you only got because your boss hoped you might put out, your attractiveness brightened up the office, or the EEOC was on his ass about affirmative action. You waaaaaaaaaaaant to get married and have baaaaaaaaaaaabies. But those immature "man children" are either soured on the opposite sex altogether, or are looking for a younger, superior version of you to pump and dump, or if they are foolish, to marry.

If the old rules and laws were in place, most men would happily work all their lives for their wives and children. Young men adore women. Many of them long for a real girlfriend, never mind a wife. They would marry young and have kids and be faithful, till death did them part. But THAT is not the world the feminists wanted. THIS is the world they wanted. Well, you got it sweetheart. You got your own cigarette now, baby, you've come a long, long way!

Hope you like it!
Posted by: no mo uro || 02/17/2013 13:57 Comments || Top||

#14  So the liberal few ruined marriage for everyone else?

Same with schools.



You name it.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/17/2013 14:27 Comments || Top||

#15  Hear, hear, #13 nmo!
Posted by: Barbara || 02/17/2013 14:28 Comments || Top||

#16  well, as far as marriage, raising kids, been there done that. Kids completed me far more than the ex. That's probably why I'm still single now in my low 50's and my ex is on husband #4. Being pretty set financially I find being friends with the wymyns at my age is best, cuz the benefits most're looking for are dental, medical, and vision, and a chunk of my retirement. That ain't happening. I'll likely NEVER get married again
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 14:42 Comments || Top||

#17  Oh well, I am on wife #3.

Not to bad.

First wife couldn't take the knocks at the door in the middle of the night and the long absences.

Second wife just couldn't put up with my crap...she was a good mother though and gave me two great, but completely lost in the general state of the current generation.

I finally learned how to be a good husband and a good partner with #3. I think Socrates, or maybe it was Plato, that said we should marry three times, once to an older woman to learn how to be a man, once to a younger woman to teach her how to be a woman and have your children, and finally to a woman of your own age for the years after children and old age.

Those Greeks figured that out pretty well, what happened to their understanding of finance or are they just too right brained for numbers?
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/17/2013 14:48 Comments || Top||

#18  Yes, BC I have heard that before. A woman said this, first you marry for good sex. Next you marry for good children. Finally you marry for money. She did exactly that. I tell a story that goes like this; Once upon a time a long long time ago in a land far far away there two who were seeing each other. Well as things will happen he asked to marry her and she said no! and they lived happily ever after.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2013 15:26 Comments || Top||

#19  I'm becoming divorced, not by choice, but because my wife want's it, she's Blind, and can't get around, SO, I'm building a home (For me and my Grandchildren) and the hell with her.

She lives in a Seniors Apartment House (Don't know how she's going to afford it now)

She lies, without thinking, or regret, and it's taken me years to understand this, I think the last thing was to buy her a BIG color (High definition) TV, she wanted one to see (She has trouble seeing) and so I bought one at Wall World, (On sale) and she loves it.

Then I had to have an operation, (Pituary Tumor, Non-Cancerous) and while recovering, she blew up, lied about whatever she could, and had the Apartment locks changed, locking me out.

(I feel hurt, when I needed her the most, she deserted me, stabbed me in the back, so to speak)

So, Im going back to my Grandmother's old Farm, (20 acres lightly wooded, I own 10)
and build a home, this will be the third time I've needed to leave and build, Sooo, it's not that uncommon.

(First wife gave me two children, One of which turned out very well, the other is shit)

Wish me well. I'm 65 and reasonably healthy, I figure I've got 30-40 Years left, then my Daughter inherits and away we go, Wish me luck, I'll need it, I plan to live alone.

Long story, bye now.

Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 16:12 Comments || Top||

#20  Your grandkids are fortunate to have you. We'll keep you in our thoughts and prayers Jim.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 16:20 Comments || Top||

#21  RJ Sorry for your pain. When the chips are down some bolt. She will qualify for government programs. Income based payments. She will be happy alone with her cat if they allow that. The grandchildren will be worked over with guilt. When are you going to see me. Why haven't you called. It never ends. She will become a stranger to you. Like a part of her memory was erased. The women on her side will blame you. Don't look for any support there. She can do whatever she wants and they will support her over you and your family. Absolutely no interest in fence mending. Watch out on your bank accounts. What is ours is hers. You owe her in her mind. Thats where the kids will help her sometimes.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2013 16:58 Comments || Top||

#22  Sorry to hear that, RJ. Your soon-to-be-ex doesn't know what she'll be missing.

For what it's worth, you'll always have us.

(Yeah, I know - scary thought.)
Posted by: Barbara || 02/17/2013 16:58 Comments || Top||

#23  Think about it for a second. You see a young lady your interested in. You approach her. You could be pepper sprayed, she could say you are a stalker or she could call for security. You are always wrong. P2k is correct, "count your blessings". Remember what Spock said "having is not so great as wanting". OK, beam me up Scotti.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2013 17:22 Comments || Top||

#24  Redneck Jim, you have my sympathies. I know it's been hard for you, healthwise, these past few years, but I think you are one of the good ones.

Don't forget to join a church when you settle down -- in your age group there are a lot of many-hungry women... and the ratio is only going to get worse for them.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 17:47 Comments || Top||

#25  man-hungry PIMF!!
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 17:55 Comments || Top||

#26  Life of Julia/Julian. Life. Marriage is like a box of chocolates, you just never know what you are going to get!
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/17/2013 18:02 Comments || Top||

#27  Where have all the good men gone? Maybe gender reassignment operations?

Redneck Jim. Hang in there. There are a lot of good women in the world as evidenced by the comments of the women at this site. There are single women or widows who would enjoy the company of a good man such as you. Church is often a good place to meet people as T.W. suggested. Of course there are the Russian women too.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/17/2013 18:17 Comments || Top||

#28  JohnQC that was sad but good. TW I hear you but what I have found is you don't date church members. Its like dating someone at work. Your degree of faith also is constantly tested by her.
They always look for flaws or potential failure. The ones who are single usually are single for a reason. Like my joke about 72 virgins like that is going to happen. My Romanian friend said never trust Russian women. Goggle virgin Russian adult women- sorry we cannot process your request.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2013 18:19 Comments || Top||

#29  Many {are indeed} hungry as well, wahahahaha
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 18:20 Comments || Top||

#30  Where have all the good men gone?
Hiding, perhaps after being chased by benefits hungry or just a quickrollinthehay cougar.
At a dance recently with Spousal Unit, and the resident coug (no relation to WSU) made a full on attack run. it wasn't pretty, but she and her sisters in kind scare away any potential 'targets.'
After 40 years I am going to keep what I got, thank you very much.
Posted by: USN,Ret. || 02/17/2013 18:26 Comments || Top||

#31  RJ best to leave sleeping dogs lie. So much anger, fear, hatred and old baggage. I know men have a hard time moving on but women do also. Stay away from a widow on the anniversary death of her spouse. They don't want to go through that all again.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2013 18:31 Comments || Top||

#32  Thank you all, I don't Church, otherwise I'm glad for your support.

I don't mean to whine.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 18:44 Comments || Top||

#33  You're not whining, RJ. Anyway, what are friends for? ;-p
Posted by: Barbara || 02/17/2013 18:49 Comments || Top||

#34  I've run across a source of cheap houses/homes (With some work), the portable buildings, some can be bought quite large, large enough to live in (With some work) and that's what I plan.

A 16/28 seems large enough for me, But with NO utilities, I'll have to put them in, the price is good however.

So I'll buy that, in 6 months (I have about 1800.00 a month income, Unattached in any way) So, a shell first, followed by a bathroom, then a kitchen and a well for water (Ther's one, but too far away) Then a septic system and I'm done.

There'll be other things later, that will do for now.

One relief, I'm under the minimum I'll have to pay income tax on, and I can live very comfortably on that.

NO bills, No debt.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 19:04 Comments || Top||

#35  RJ, hermitude has its appeals.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 19:24 Comments || Top||

#36  Where have all the good men gone?

In the Friend Zone where the feminazis left them!
Posted by: badanov || 02/17/2013 19:50 Comments || Top||

#37  q: What's the four most horrible words in the English language?

a: Let's Just Be Friends...
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 02/17/2013 20:03 Comments || Top||

#38  Your "career" was a joke all along, which you only got because your boss hoped you might put out, your attractiveness brightened up the office, or the EEOC was on his ass about affirmative action.

Gee, and here I thought it was because of my degrees and publications and research and proven development of profitable products.

Silly me.
Posted by: lotp || 02/17/2013 20:32 Comments || Top||

#39  yeah, that was dumb
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 20:34 Comments || Top||

#40  I forgot to mention the House would cost 5,800.00 If I finance it it'll cost 12k. (Interest is hell)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 21:15 Comments || Top||

#41  Very sorry to hear your story Redneck. I've known people like that. :( Wishing you the best.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/17/2013 21:33 Comments || Top||

#42  RJ: Your ex sounds like she has Alzheimers.
Posted by: badanov || 02/17/2013 22:07 Comments || Top||

Most Americans Will Retire Worse Off then their Parents
For the first time since the New Deal, a majority of Americans are headed toward a retirement in which they will be financially worse off than their parents, jeopardizing a long era of improved living standards for the nation's elderly, according to a growing consensus of new research.
Any of this 'research' note the growing number retiring compared to the smaller number working?
The Great Recession and the weak recovery darkened the retirement picture for significant numbers of Americans. And the full extent of the damage is only now being grasped by experts and policymakers.
Obviously, none of these wizards read Rantburg.
There was already mounting concern for the long-term security of the country's rapidly graying population. Then the downturn destroyed 40 percent of Americans' personal wealth, while creating a long period of high unemployment and an environment in which savings accounts pay almost no interest. Although the surging stock market is approaching record highs, most of these gains are flowing to well-off Americans who already are in relatively good shape for retirement.
I have a little money in the stock market, but I am 40% less well-off than I was before the great let-down.
Liberal and conservative economists worry that the decline in retirement prospects marks a historic shift in a country that previously has fostered generations of improvement in the lives of the elderly. It is likely to have far-reaching implications, as an increasing number of retirees may be forced to double up with younger relatives or turn to social-service programs for support.
Moving back in with the children? Shades of the 1930's!
Advocates for older Americans are calling on the federal government to bolster Social Security benefits or to create a new layer of retirement help for future retirees.
Maybe Obama can re-invent Bush's 401k plan.
Others want employers and the government to do more to encourage retirement savings and to discourage workers from using the money for non-retirement purposes. But those calls have been overwhelmed by concern about the nation's fast-growing long-term debt, which has left many policy­makers focused on ways to trim Social Security and other retirement benefits rather than increase them.

By the 1960s, retirees also benefited from universal health insurance through Medicare and Medicaid, sharp increases in Social Security benefits and new protections enacted by the federal government for workers who received traditional pensions, which for decades were a standard employee benefit.
Benefits which now have overwhelmed the 'system'. So let's get more benefits! What could possibly go wrong?
The changes rescued millions of retirees from poverty, while lifting millions of others to prosperous retirements symbolized by vacation cruises, recreational vehicles and second homes.
Wait -- so the people who haven't enough in retirement savings paid for such luxuries for the children of the Depression? How is that fair?
Overall, people ages 55 to 64 have a median retirement account balance of $120,000, Boston College researchers have found, which is enough to fund an annuity paying about $575 a month, far short of what they will need. Officials at money-management firms that handle 401(k)-type investments argue that the tools are in place for Americans to retire comfortably. The problem, they say, is that employers and workers are not using them correctly.
Which is where, I suppose, we need The Lightbringer to step in.
Recent policy changes aimed at bolstering Americans' retirement prospects have only contributed to the growing inequality.
Divided into the savvy and the stoopid. But now the bottom line of this front-page WaPo "news" -
The government grants at least $80 billion a year in tax breaks to encourage retirement savings in 401(k)-type accounts. But the biggest benefits go to upper-income people who can afford to put aside the most for retirement, allowing them to reap the biggest tax breaks. Someone making $200,000 a year and contributing 15 percent of pay to a retirement account would receive about a $7,000 subsidy from the federal government in the form of a tax break, whereas workers earning $20,000 making the same 15 percent contribution would get nothing because they don't earn enough to qualify for a deduction. Someone making $50,000 and making the 15 percent contribution would receive only about a $2,100 tax deduction.
Gee, that's not 'fair'. We need to redistribute that!
Some lawmakers and other advocates say the best way to cope with the growing gap would be to further expand Social Security and Medicare benefits, or to add another layer of taxpayer-subsidized savings that workers could use only for retirement.
More government to help those too stoopid to think for themselves!
"We need to do more to help American families cope with this looming retirement crisis," Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, said at a hearing late last month. "Hard­working middle-class Americans deserve to be able to rest, take a vacation and spend more time with their grandkids when they get older."
Let's build up the middle class, while we're at it!
I deserve to weigh what I did on my wedding day, and to have the energy to go with it. After all, I am considerably older than I was then. Also, a pony! Get on that right away Senator Harkin.
With the Social Security retirement age moving to 67 under a federal law passed in 1983, people who leave the workforce earlier -- and the vast majority do -- will see smaller payouts.
Another poor choice made by the 'average' worker. Retire now with less, or later with more? Adults will wait.
Health-care costs continue to outpace inflation, meaning more out-of-pocket expenses for future seniors. Retirees are also slated to pay more for their health care with Medicare premiums, which are deducted from the Social Security checks of senior citizens, set to rise from 12.2 percent to 14.9 percent by 2030.
Huh? I thought ObumbleCare was going to fix that? The article concludes with the sad tale of a guy who lost his high-paying job ten years ago and can't afford to retire.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/17/2013 08:25 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [416 views] Top|| File under:

#1  redistribution is their answer to everything. It's kinda like "Starving? we need more Islam!"
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 10:13 Comments || Top||

#2  It's even worse than it looks - that example of $120,000 saved generating a $575/mo annuity is not adjusted for inflation. That $120,000 (or the $575) is losing value as new dollars are created to compete, at a rate of ~10% per year for the last 5 years.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 10:33 Comments || Top||

#3  That's what happens when you sell your own children.

Government debt is slavery.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/17/2013 10:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Back in the day, most American families cooked from scratch and ate out rarely. Children moved out only after getting married. Today's families spend money like there's no tomorrow. It's no surprise that their savings are being depleted rapidly. Means-tested increases in benefits are also a disincentive to save. The reality is that the more benefits increase, and the greater the means-testing, the greater the motivation to spend your savings down to the last penny before retirement, or hand it off to your children via large annual gifts.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/17/2013 14:54 Comments || Top||

#5  I swear to hell if I could take my eyes off Angry Burds Nimrod Edition I'd damn shoot that Zhang sucker.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 15:34 Comments || Top||

#6  Shoot me too, Ship, Because he's exactly correct.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 15:42 Comments || Top||

#7  I'm standing behind Glenmore. Make certain you get us both.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 16:28 Comments || Top||

#8  I'd love the idea that somewhere there's a guy playing Belligerent Avians we could blame everyone on because he's not paying attention. But the big problem is when he puts down Angry Birds and actually watches the News, it's Stephen Colbert, or Comedy Central, or NBC News...
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 02/17/2013 18:08 Comments || Top||

#9  Retirement? What's that?
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/17/2013 18:13 Comments || Top||

#10  "Retirement? What's that?"

DamnifIknow, tu. People keep asking me when I'm going to retire, but never offer to support me for the next 30 years. :-(
Posted by: Barbara || 02/17/2013 18:48 Comments || Top||

#11  You can retire, Barbara. The death panels will ease your exit when you run out of money.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 19:21 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Posers Over Shekau's Whereabouts
[LEADERSHIP.NG] Uncertainty has continued over the whereabouts of Sheik Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram sect also known as Jama'atu Ahalis Sunna Lidda Awati Wali-Jihad. Sheik Shekau is feared to have died sometime last year from the injuries he sustained after he was attacked in his hideout in Yobe State.

Security operatives told LEADERSHIP WEEKEND yesterday that Shekau, who relied heavily on propaganda in the past to advance his cause, had not made any statements in recent times, leading credence to the belief that he is dead.

Unlike before, Shekau has not claimed responsibility for any major attack by the sect in recent times, especially the killing of nine polio vaccination workers in Kano on February 8, 2013.

Security personnel said that Shekau's obvious absence from the scene led to the emergence of the relatively unknown, Sheik Mohammed Abdulazeez, who recently declared ceasefire on behalf of the sect, claiming to be Shekau's second in command.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has refuted a report in a national daily that "democracy breeds Boko Haram," which was credited to the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal A.S .Badeh.

In a statement yesterday, NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Y. Anas, said while "the caption was catchy and no doubt capable of attracting attention, it was equally misleading and capable of sending wrong signals to the public about the commitment of the NAF to the entrenchment of democracy in Nigeria."

The NAF notes that while the content of the story was a true account of what the CAS said, the caption was misleading and injurious to the sensibility of thousands of service men and women who put their lives on the line every day in combating the Boko Haram menace.

"It is more curious that the content of the story is totally at variance with the caption. Furthermore, the NAF as a responsible member of the Nigerian Armed Forces and its commitment to the Nigerian project will in no way through its leadership condone the perpetration of any act of illegality in any disguise and by anybody," he said.

It is noteworthy that the NAF has played and will continue to play important role in government's efforts to bring peace in Borno State in particular and to other parts of the country. Therefore, the Service cannot in any way talk about democracy in the way portrayed by the caption.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [786 views] Top|| File under: Boko Haram

Nigeria: Boko Haram - Cease-Fire or Ceaseless Fire?
[ALLAFRICA] EIGHTEEN days after a faction of the Boko Haram Islamic sect announced a cease-fire following a 42-month multi-prong attack on military, police and security facilities and churches among others that claimed about 3000 lives there is still fear in the land.

Continuing attacks by gunmen and counter-attacks from security forces, which have led to the death of 53 Nigerians including nine policemen and a soldier, indicate that the country is still a long way from bidding terrorism good bye.

This is in spite of the fact that no one has claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks affecting four states that cut across two geo-political zones of the country.

How cease-fire was brokered

The January 28 peace deal was brokered after a marathon meeting between some leaders of the group, which has been terrorizing some states in the North, particularly Borno since July 2009, and the Borno State Government led by Governor Kashim Shettima with other top government officials and religious leaders from the state in attendance.

Why we're sheathing our sword - Boko Haram commander

Briefing newsmen after the marathon meeting in Maiduguri, Sheikh Abu Mohammad Abdulazeez Ibn Idris a commander of Boko Haram in-charge of North and Central Borno, said after due consultation with the leader of the sect, Shiekh Abubakar Shekau, as well as intervention and pleadings from respected individuals and groups in the state, we "have all come to terms and agreed to lay down our arms."

The Boko Haram Commander however, insisted that, government should immediately release all their members from custody unconditionally, re-build their places of worship and compensate them among other demands.

Sheikh Abdulazeez said that, the sect observed that during the lingering insurgency, a lot of Muslim women and children had suffered untold hardship, adding that, they also decided to lay down their arms for peace to reign in Borno and the country at large.

"I am appealing and calling on all our members through this medium to lay down their arms henceforth, till further notice," Abdulazeez stated.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [424 views] Top|| File under: Boko Haram

#1  Catch em, skin em alive, hang them by their heels in the town square, and don't let anyone bury their bodies.

Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/17/2013 14:43 Comments || Top||

Hasina: Jamaat has no right to do politics
[Bangla Daily Star] Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since 1981. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide...
yesterday said Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir
... the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh...
have no right to do politics in Bangladesh, as they believe in terrorism, not democracy.

"They don't believe in democracy. They believe in terrorism and practise politics of terrorism," Hasina told journalists after consoling the bereaved family of slain Rajib Haidar, a blogger and activist of Shahbagh movement, at Rajib's Pallabi house.

"They don't have any right to do politics in independent Bangladesh," Hasina said in an emotion-choked voice.

The prime minister said she would do whatever is necessary to tackle this force. "I will not let them have that right as long as I am alive. I can assure you this."

Seeking people's cooperation to save Bangladesh from the clutches of Jamaat-Shibir, she urged all to stand beside the Shahbagh protesters. "We have expressed solidarity with the Shahbagh protesters."

Hasina reached Rajib's tin-roof house at Palash Nagar in Pallabi at about 3:45pm and stayed there for about 20 minutes. She consoled Rajib's bereaved family members and assured them of justice.

She later told journalists that the government has taken all measures necessary to ensure security of the Shahbagh protesters.

The youths have awakened the whole nation after 1971. "Rajib's killing happened at a time when the youths have united the whole nation."

Everyone can guess who were behind the killing, said Hasina. "But I promise that we will not spare the killers."

Referring to Rajib's murder, Hasina said she had feared that something bad might happen. "And it finally came true."

Blaming Jamaat-Shibir for the killing, Rajib's father Dr Nazimuddin told The Daily Star, "My son became their target, as he used to write against Jamaat-Shibir."

Nazimuddin, a freedom fighter, demanded that Jamaat-e-Islami be banned in Bangladesh.

Locals brought out processions in the area demanding exemplary punishment to Rajib's killers.

The body of Rajib, a blogger and activist of the Shahbagh movement calling for capital punishment to all war criminals, was found with stab marks near his Pallabi house on Friday night.

...back at the Council of Boskone, Helmuth had turned a paler shade of blue. Star-A-Star had struck again...
National Human Rights Commission Chairman Prof Mizanur Rahman told ATN Bangla that Jamaat-e-Islami should be banned for the sake of security of the people and maintaining peace in the country.

"A state and a government cannot tolerate such violent and confrontational attitude [of Jamaat]. Considering the importance of maintaining peace and safety of people, such illegal and violent party should be banned," the TV channel quoted him as saying.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [412 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami

#1  Hasina: Jamaat has no right to do politics

Because she's female?
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 0:11 Comments || Top||

#2  Hasina: Jamaat has no right to do politics

Because they're a jihad-by-riot-and-murder group. From Fred's yellow in-line:

...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 6:08 Comments || Top||

Blasts Kill Senior Iraq Intelligence Officer, Four Others
[An Nahar] Back-to-back suicide kabooms in northern Iraq killed the head of the country's intelligence academy and two of his guards on Saturday, officials said, in the latest in a surge in nationwide violence.

The blasts, the deadliest in a series of bombings that left five people dead across Iraq, come as the country grapples with nearly two months of anti-government protests and a political crisis.

The first bomber went kaboom! in front of Brigadier General Aouni Ali's home in Tal Afar, north of Storied Baghdad
...located along the Tigris River, founded in the 8th century, home of the Abbasid Caliphate...
, killing two of his guards including his brother Murad and wounding four others.

A second attacker killed the general himself, according to a colonel in the town's police force.

Ali, a Shiite Turkman, commands the Storied Baghdad Intelligence Academy, the main school for the country's intelligence service.

His house in his hometown of Tal Afar had minimal security, with a small guard shack at the gate, the colonel said.

Though lower-ranking officers and enlisted personnel are typically the victims of attacks on Iraqi security forces, senior officers including generals have also been targeted and killed.

No group grabbed credit for the violence.

But Sunni hard boyz linked to al-Qaeda often target security forces and government officials in a bid to erode confidence in the government and push Iraq back towards bloody the sectarian conflict of 2006-2007.

Also north of the capital on Saturday, a judge was killed by a magnetic "sticky bomb" attached to his car in the village of Sulaiman Pak, according to security and medical officials.

Ahmed al-Bayati, a Sunni Arab who is now a judge handling civil cases, had previously received threats when he worked as an anti-terror investigator, and had to pay kidnappers a $150,000 ransom after his son was snatched last year.

Elsewhere, a roadside kaboom killed an army lieutenant and maimed two soldiers in Heet, northwest of the capital.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [528 views] Top|| File under: al-Qaeda in Iraq

#1  so one Sunni, one Shia down
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 9:38 Comments || Top||

#2  The celebrations continue.
25 killed in series of bombings, gunfire in Iraq
Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2013 13:37 Comments || Top||

Home Front: Politix
Obama bemoans hometown gun violence
[Bangla Daily Star] US President Barack Obama on Friday returned to his hometown of Chicago to bemoan the epidemic of murderous gun violence that took 443 lives in the city last year.

Obama, speaking less than a mile from his house, said that "senseless" gun violence showed the urgency for Congress to pass his package of gun control reforms, which include a proposal to renew a ban on assault weapons.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [612 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Gun banning doesn't work Hunh?
Chicago has the strictest gun laws, but they don't work. (Whine, Whine)
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 0:07 Comments || Top||

#2  probably 70-80% of the homicides are gang related in Chicago

Posted by: lord garth || 02/17/2013 0:20 Comments || Top||

#3  None of what he is proposing will likely impact the gang and drug violence in Chicago one iota. He could have easily have spoken out about these tragic events from Washington at any time over the past four years. Anyone see a renewed commitment to provide Federal Law Enforcement investigatory support and assistance to the Chicago Police Department's crime fighting efforts? Of course not. It's about guns and poverty, not criminality and enforcement.

Returning to Chicago allows the Champ to leverage yet another crisis to his political advantage using his proven celebrity status and media theater. Periodic pilgrimages to his urban bases are always savvy political and media events as well. Champ has now checked the Chicago gun violence box while at the same time touching base with old friends from the hood and faithful political confidants. All in all, a very nice trip.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 0:37 Comments || Top||

#4  murderous gun violence that took 443 lives in the city last year.

How many involved licensed guns?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/17/2013 5:25 Comments || Top||

#5  Much of what is called 'senseless' gun violence is not - it makes sense to the shooter, you just disagree with his motives.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 7:44 Comments || Top||

#6  I categorically refuse to argue either "motives" or "sense" as both may have merits. I do know what it isn't; it isn't about guns or poverty, as we have plenty of bother where I live. It appears to be a localized, urban phenomena which requires local solutions, or not. In other words, until they climb over my fence, it's none of my fok'n business!
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 8:34 Comments || Top||

#7  How's the gun grabbing working in Chicago? How effective are the police? No surge, why? And you think you're going to do it to the nation? If you can't make it work in Chicago, what make anyone but a posturing preening politician think it will happen?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2013 8:42 Comments || Top||

#8  It's not about 'Gun Violence' with these people. It never was an never will be.
It's about control. And always has been.

The fact that Obumbles can make such a statement and not mention the fact that Chicago already has very strict gun control shows how much he has the media/press so much in his pocket.

A real press would have shreaded his statement and held him up to much deserved public ridicule - but not this one.
They are so used to being on their knees before him that they don't even need kneepads anymore.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/17/2013 9:32 Comments || Top||

#9  Chicago: the fur trader equivilant of a pirate cove. N'Orleans with ice and hot dogs and bears, oh my.

Accidentally did the color car doesn't match the neighborhood move; felt more threatened actually on the interstate/transport roads.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/17/2013 10:08 Comments || Top||

#10  if he wanted to provide an example, he would've publicly disarmed his SS staff and police security.
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 10:18 Comments || Top||

#11  When seconds count, umpires are only minutes away

btw, those guys had knives recovered at scene.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/17/2013 10:31 Comments || Top||

#12  How effective are the police? No surge, why?

One Chicago Tribune reporter went on a cable news show.

When prompted to give the usual gun-control-drivel, he mentioned that Chicago's mayors had p*ssed away millions of dollars, things that would have reduced the number of deaths (like police) were affected, and this is what you get.

And then he gave an iconic deadpan stare. which means both nothing and everything.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/17/2013 10:31 Comments || Top||

#13  I had to read Frank's reference to Obama's 'SS staff' twice to realize it was Secret Service and not Schutzstaffel (Social Security did not come to mind, but in light of recent ammo purchases, I guess it should.)
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 10:36 Comments || Top||

#14  :-P
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 10:42 Comments || Top||

#15  He could have easily have spoken out about these tragic events from Washington at any time over the past four years.

President Obama’s choice of venue had absolutely nothing to do with policy advancement. It was for one purpose only – self-promotion. It provided the perfect narrative for the fawning press to portray the President as courageously silencing his critics head on.
Posted by: DepotGuy || 02/17/2013 10:54 Comments || Top||

#16  Gun control hasn't worked here, so we need to roll it out nation wide!
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/17/2013 11:44 Comments || Top||

#17  Maybe Chi-town gun violence has something to do with Project Gangwalker? Link.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/17/2013 17:41 Comments || Top||

Africa Subsaharan
Tear Gas Used to Disperse Pro-Gbagbo Protest in Abidjan
[An Nahar] Police fired tear gas to disperse a banned protest Saturday in the economic capital of the Ivory Coast by supporters of former president Laurent Gbagbo
... Former President-for-Life of Ivory Coast from 2000 to 2011. Laurent lost to Alassane Ouattara in 2010 but his representtive tore up the results on the teevee and he refused to vacate the presidential palace. French troops assisted the Oattara forces in extricating him from his Fuhrerbunker...
, an Agence La Belle France Presse news hound said.

Fifty young people shouting "Free Gbagbo" were pushed back while they tried to charge a barrier set up by police, who fired tear gas and caused the protesters to disperse before they reached Yopougan square, in a part of Abidjan that has long been a pro-Gbagbo stronghold.

Police, equipped with riot gear, sealed off the square, while a strong contingent of the UN's Ivory Coast operation blocked the main road leading to the demonstration with the help of four-wheel drives and armored vehicles.

Traffic resumed around the square after a few minutes of disruption.

Gbagbo, who first came to power in 2000, refused a decade later to acknowledge defeat by Alassane Ouattara
...the current president-for-life of Ivory Coast. He actually beat his predecessor in an election before having to eject him from the presidential palazzo....
in a presidential election, triggering a bloody showdown that lasted from December 2010 to April 2011, when Gbagbo was ousted at the cost of some 3,000 lives.

The former head of state has since 2011 been held by the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
in The Hague, where he has been charged with crimes against humanity.

In a statement broadcast on state television
... and if you can't believe state television who can you believe?
RTI on Friday night, Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko endorsed the protest ban, because of the "risk of serious misbehavior". He also warned that police would be present to ensure the ban was respected.

The youth-wing of Gbagbo's party, the Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), staged the protest to demand the release of the former head of state.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [369 views] Top|| File under:

Thousands Rally against Portugal Austerity
[An Nahar] Thousands of protesters rallied in Portugal on Saturday against austerity measures imposed on the country by its international creditors.

Answering a call from the CGTP, Portugal's leading union, some 5,000 protesters marched in Lisbon and organizers said tens of thousands rallied in about 20 cities across the country.

"We want to break with the commitments made in return for the rescue plan, break with right-wing policies, demand the resignation of the government and new elections," union chief Armenio Carlos said.

Crushed by a soaring public debt load, Portugal has implemented tough austerity measures in return for rescue loans from the European Union
...the successor to the Holy Roman Empire, only without the Hapsburgs and the nifty uniforms and the dancing...
and International Monetary Fund.

Under the weight of cutbacks in public spending, the unemployment rate rose sharply in the fourth quarter of last year to 16.9 percent while the economy contracted by 3.2 percent in 2012.

"We can feel the lack of money every day, the cost of transportation has gone up, along with school fees. This policy has no future, it is destroying the country's economy," said protester Maria Manuel Reis, a 55-year-old civil servant.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [477 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "We want to break with the commitments made in return for the rescue plan, break with right-wing policies, demand the resignation of the government and new elections," union chief Armenio Carlos said.

Any grownups left in Europe?
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/17/2013 5:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Any grownups left in Europe?
Yes, a few Bundesbankers and a lot of Friday temple goers..
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 6:41 Comments || Top||

#3  No, actually a too big state and its borrowing destroyed the countries future. It also allowed it to pretend to be wealthier than it really was. What you are seeing now is how productive the country is with all that metastatic government.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/17/2013 6:55 Comments || Top||

#4  If the government stops providing for its unemployed - and unemployable - young men they will likely take matters into their own hands, and form roving gangs of predators. (See Somalia for a case study.) Desperation gets very ugly.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 7:40 Comments || Top||

#5  This policy has no future, it is destroying the country's economy.

Look at this way comrade. Austerity isn’t simply a misguided economic policy. Think of it as the inevitable symptom of decades of borrowed promises from a bloated state. Hope that helps?
Posted by: DepotGuy || 02/17/2013 11:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Glenmore

I suppose you think paying the DaneGeld gets rid of the Dane...
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/17/2013 11:23 Comments || Top||

#7  No, BP, just pointing out the consequences. Unless there is the willingness of the people to face the 'Dane', society will be better off paying the geld. (Not to mention, after living off the geld for long enough the Dane will get soft, and more likely to lose quickly in the final confrontation.)
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 11:39 Comments || Top||

#8  The "right wing" Government are just social democrats and centrists. So for communists they are "right wing". They are socialists just less.
The "austerity" doesn't exist we are still borrowing at 5-6% defict year.
This Government is helpless they attack the people with taxes, and penalizations that made this week an ex-secretary of this own government say that if any fiscal police would check him if he got a bill to any transaction, he would say to them "take in the ass".

Btw 5000 in Lisbon in city with 1 million is nothing. They are the unions, unions btw that made the Public Railway Company have had some sort of strike in more than 200 days of the last year.
Posted by: Phaith Grique4599 || 02/17/2013 14:01 Comments || Top||

#9  When will we make economics a required course in school, but without the critical theory class warfare crap?

Its all about limited resources and marginal cost and opportunity costs.

Since no one that writes monetary policy and formulates national budgets understand this, we are going to see an endless string of shattered economies thanks to all of these clowns that did not get past Chapter 5 of Maynard Keynes (who by the way NEVER said you could spend your way out of a recession. He said there was a balance between deficit spending, tax rates, unemployment, interest rates, and inflation, you break the relationship the whole thing goes haywire.)

What we need is more economics in high school and less self esteem training. If the little dumbasses coming out of school understood a few things about economics and less about being "important" we might have a chance.
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/17/2013 14:58 Comments || Top||

#10  Well then you'd have to teach maths.

In reality all economics AKA study of wealth creation boils down to comparative advantage i.e. exchanging our time.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/17/2013 15:30 Comments || Top||

#11  you DO know that high school teachers would teach economic justice, not what you're expecting? The change needs to start in the educational base.
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 15:44 Comments || Top||

#12  Thank you for reporting from the belly of the beast, Phaith Grique4599. That does change ur u derstanding of the article.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 15:55 Comments || Top||

#13  #11 Frank I'm sorry but you're correct.

I've been substitute teaching in middle & high school since I retired. Kids are generally better than I expected. Teachers? Some are really good, some are pretty bad, most are middle of the road; BUT, the most problems (not all) for teachers are the rules and curriculum that they are forced to live under. They are buried in PC administrivia and can't change the curriculum provided by the State "educators".

The econ text I had to teach from (basically baby sit, little teaching) barely touched on the idea of supply and demand except in the context of proper government control of both. I spoke to the econ teacher one other day and she was doing her best to include some reality but.......... At least she skipped the unit in the approved book on Islamic banking.

Social Studies is by far the worst. Everything is based on white guilt and cultural relativism. Yeeecccchhhhhhh!
Posted by: Alanc || 02/17/2013 17:04 Comments || Top||

8 detained for questioning
[Bangla Daily Star] Police yesterday enjugged
... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not...
eight persons for interrogation in connection with the murder of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haidar.

The Detective Branch of police, Criminal Investigation Department and Rapid Action Battalion are trying to unearth the mystery behind the murder, said DMP sources.

Of the eight detainees, three were rounded up by detectives on specific information.

Police, however, did not give identities of the detainees.

Rajib was found dead on the road near his house at Palash Nagar in the capital's Pallabi on Friday night.

The victim's father, Md Najim Uddin, yesterday filed a murder case with Pallabi Police Station without naming any accused.

Autopsy of Rajib's body was done at Dhaka Medical College morgue. The body bore eight stab marks, said morgue sources.

Contacted, Abdul Latif Sheikh, officer-in-charge of Pallabi Police Station, said a CID team has collected evidence of the murder from the spot. The case will be transferred to DB today.

Rajib's family members said he joined Shahbagh protesters and spent whole Thursday night with friends, younger brother and brother's wife. He returned home in the morning and wanted to go back to Shahbagh around 3:00pm. But very tired, he could not do so.

In the evening, Rajib went outside to take tea with one of his friends and was killed on his way back home.

Some neighbours told his family members that they saw two unknown youths near of his house since the evening. They were acting suspiciously and seemed waiting for someone. According to witnesses, killers left the place using a road to Baishtek.

...back at the pool hall, Peoria Slim swung his cue at Hurley's head...
locals in Mirpur yesterday staged demonstrations demanding arrest and exemplary punishment to the killers of Rajib.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [472 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami

Israeli Army Says it Treated Wounded Syrians
[An Nahar] The Israeli army on Saturday evacuated seven Syrians wounded in clashes on the Golan Heights and took them to a hospital inside the Jewish state, where they were being treated for their injuries.

A spokeswoman for the Ziv hospital in Safed told Agence France Presse the army had on Saturday afternoon brought in seven wounded people, all of whom have been operated on.

"One is seriously wounded, even critically wounded; the other six are in moderate condition," she said, adding that they were all still in hospital.

A military spokeswoman earlier told AFP that Israeli "soldiers provided medical care to five injured Syrians adjacent to the security fence" on the Golan Heights and transferred them to a hospital for further medical treatment."

The army later corrected the number of wounded Syrians to seven.

Neither the army nor the hospital would provide details on the nature of their wounds or any political affiliations.

An unnamed military official was cited on public radio as saying that Israel had a policy of providing humanitarian aid to refugees, while keeping the border sealed tight against hostile elements.

The official also told public radio Israel had prepared designated zones near the border to receive Syrian refugees, under the auspices of the United Nations.

Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon told Channel 2 television that Saturday's intervention was "an isolated incident on humanitarian grounds of wounded people who reached the border."

He stressed that this did not reflect a change in Israel's stance which does not wish to be involved in the Syrian conflict, nor does it welcome a possible deluge of refugees from the war-torn land.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday that rebels overran a military police checkpoint at the Golan Heights town of Khan Arnabeh just beyond the outer ceasefire line along the demilitarized zone bordering Israel.

Regime forces responded by shelling Khan Arnabeh and the nearby village of Jubata al-Khashab, inside the ceasefire zone.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [460 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  Neither the army nor the hospital would provide details on the nature of their wounds or any political affiliations.

Perhaps I can help here:
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 1:59 Comments || Top||

Africa North
Egyptian police publicly beat to death man suspected of killing officer
[Al Ahram] Egyptian coppers beat to death in public a man they believed was the killer of a police officer who was shot on Saturday morning in the Upper Egypt governorate of Beni Suef, according to Ahram's Arabic news website news hound.

Investigations officer Captain Hesham Kamal El-Din Ta'ma was shot in Beni Suef city in the early hours of Saturday morning while he was breaking up a brawl involving firearms between two families in El-Ghamrawi and Ezbet El-Safih areas.

Ta'ma was transported to Al-Zahra' Hospital in Beni Suef city, but departed this vale of tears an hour later.

During the slain officer's military funeral, several coppers and personnel, who had jugged
Keep yer hands where we can see 'em, if yez please!
Hossam Abo El-Regal, a man they accused of killing Ta'ma, in an apartment in Beni Suef city, then led him to the site of the funeral, tied him down in a mini-truck, and beat him to death as tens of mourners watched.

According to Ahram Online's news hound on the scene, the officers and police personnel attacked Abo El-Regal in the presence of senior security and political officials in Beni Suef who were leading the procession, including General Ahmed Shaarawi, the governorate's security director and and Maher Beybers, Beni Suef's governor.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [1063 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

#1  skipped the trial , did they?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 9:35 Comments || Top||

#2  "Hello, it's me. Remember me? I'm just sitting in this cell, doing very little. A nap here and there, an occasional visit to the doctor. Not much, But I'm available just in case, you know... need something?"
Posted by: Hosni Mubarak || 02/17/2013 10:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Taking lessons from the LAPD, it would seem....
Posted by: USN,Ret. || 02/17/2013 10:49 Comments || Top||

#4  Beat me to in USNRet.

My question is what kind of truck did he have?
Posted by: Alanc || 02/17/2013 11:32 Comments || Top||

Nuggets From The Urdu Press
Police catches nude men and women
Daily Nawa-e-Waqt reports that Peerwadai Police raided Biradari Hotel in Rawalpindi and placed in durance vile
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
four nude women and two men. Police have started the paperwork but haven't done much else against them under Hudood Laws.

Cleric kept Jhang safe from Shias
Daily Islam reports that Maulana Esaar Qasmi, a religious leader and also a parliamentarian, used to guard the streets of Jhang in the night to monitor the activities of Shias. He was assassinated on Jan 10, 1991. His mission of declaring Shias non-Moslems will not stop.

'Sheikhul Islam' is a joke
Famous columnist Attaul Haq Qasmi writes that he is not an admirer of Tahirul Qadri, and refers to him as Sheikhul Islam not out of respect but to make fun of him. Every Pak writer calls Qadri Sheikhul Islam out of jest.

Judge wanted cybersex with litigant
Reported in daily Islam, a senior civil judge of Faisalabad
...formerly known as Lyallpur, the third largest metropolis in Pakistain, the second largest in Punjab after Lahore. It is named after some Arab because the Paks didn't have anybody notable of their own to name it after...
has been made OSD for sexually harassing a woman whose case was pending in his court. He would call the lady in the night and force her to have cybersex with him. The woman approached the Lahore High Court and the action was taken.

Tahirul Qadri is a friend of Hindus
Daily Ummat says that Tahirul Qadri is a friend of the Hindus. In India, he made speeches on the blessings of Geeta. He was also a special guest of the terrorist Narendar Modi in February 2012. In a live TV program, he held Geeta in his hands and spoke about its blessings continuously for two hours.

Sherry Rehman won't come back
Daily Islam claims that Ambassador Sherry Rehman has sought a political asylum in the US. She fears for her life and won't return to Pakistain.

Bridegrooms of Delhi
Daily Ausaf quotes Prof Abdur Rehman Makki as saying that Delhi will be adorned like a bride very soon. Mujahideen will conquer the city and enslave Hindu women. He said that he needed 10,000 hands to defeat the Indian army in the Occupied Kashmire.

No Taliban in Karachi
Reported in Ausaf, Allama Shah Owais Noorani, senior vice president of Jamaat Ulema-e-Pakistain Noorani Group, said there are no Taliban in Bloody Karachi. Taliban control 80% of Afghanistan. They can occupy Bloody Karachi any time they want but they will not do it because they are Pakistain's friends. Some groups are using the name of the Taliban to extort money in Bloody Karachi.

Agents selling votes in tribal areas
Daily Mashriq reports that votes are being auctioned in the tribal areas. The rate is between Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000. The condition is that the selling agent must have at least 500 votes. The newspaper urges the Election Commission to take action.

Jihad will disintegrate La Belle France
Shamim Akhtar predicts in daily Islam that after the UK, the USSR and the US, another superpower is going to disintegrate. La Belle France has entered Mali without learning any lessons from Afghanistan, and very soon it will break apart with the power of jihad.

Why must a journalist be secular?
In his column in Jang, famous news hound Ansar Abbasi responded to criticism by his former boss and veteran journalist M Ziauddin, who had reportedly accused him of believing he was the 'sole proprietor' of Islam.
Abbasi said he was an honest journalist and could never be influenced by anyone. He took pride in being an Islamist. Why must a journalist be secular?

Protect Paks, not Shahrukh Khan
Religious figure Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi advises Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
...who would be wearing a canvas jacket with very long sleeves anyplace but Pakistain...
in Ausaf that instead of inviting Shahrukh Khan to come to Pakistain and providing him Jamatud Dawa's protection, he should protect Pak citizens who are being killed every day.

CEC doesn't want to annoy MQM
Daily Ummat reports that chief election commissioner Fakhruddin G Ebrahim is not involving the army in the verification of voter lists at the behest of the MQM, because he belongs to the Bohra community. The Bohra community is a recent target of sectarian violence. Only MQM can provide them protection. Therefore he does not want to annoy the MQM.

Ban on Turkish plays will not help Pak dramas
Writer and intellectual Amar Jalees wrote in Jang that Pak filmmakers and artists persuaded President Ayub Khan in the 1960s to ban Indian films in Pakistain. At that time there were 2,000 cinemas in Pakistain. The local film industry was producing only 20 films per year. Then, holy mans demanded that English films should also be banned because they promote obscenity. They were banned too. As a result, a majority of cinemas were converted into shopping plazas. More than 100,000 families lost their livelihood. The Pak film industry did not benefit from these decisions. Today, Pakistain does not even produce two films per year.

Pak drama industry will suffer the same fate if the producers and artists persuade the government to ban Turkish dramas. They should not be afraid of competition, and must improve their production.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [451 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Pak drama industry
I knew it, I just knew it. But would they listen? No. I told ya back in '04 that the Paks had a rapidly evolving Drama Industry, but did they listen? No! All the pre-cursor signs were there, eye-rolling, frantic hand gestures at odd times, strangely sculpted teefs, C4 and a thriving cross-border goat industry. It was all there, it was just a matter of connecting the dots. But did they listen? NO!
But is was a long time ago....
Things were different then.
A car bomb was a Pinto.
We had Kodachrome then....
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 2:16 Comments || Top||

Bahrain Police Fire Tear Gas at Protester's Funeral
[An Nahar] Clashes broke out on Saturday at the funeral in Bahrain of a teenager killed in protests marking the second anniversary of a Shiite-led uprising, with police using tear gas against mourners, witnesses said.

The security forces blocked access to Hussein al-Jaziri's funeral in the Shiite-populated village of Daih near the capital Manama, firing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse dozens of people trying to push their way through.

Jaziri, 16, died on Thursday after being shot in the stomach by security forces, according to al-Wefaq, the main Shiite opposition bloc, during Shiite-led protests against the kingdom's Sunni rulers in which a policeman was also killed.

The BNA news agency reported late Friday that two coppers had been placed in "preventive detention" in connection with Jaziri's death.

After the burial, which witnesses said was attended by thousands of people, a crowd of protesters tried to march on "Pearl Square" in Manama, the focus of the February-March 2011 uprising.

Witnesses said several people were maimed when police fired tear gas to disperse them. One was seriously maimed when hit by buckshot fired by security forces, al-Wefaq said on Twitter.

The authorities earlier said four people were tossed in the calaboose
Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up!
after an overnight attack on security forces that maimed four coppers.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [479 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

Africa North
Arrests in Egypt Anti-Morsi Clashes
[An Nahar] Egypt's interior ministry said on Saturday police tossed in the slammer
Book 'im, Mahmoud!
60 people across the country during violent protests the night before targeting government and police buildings.

In Cairo, police arrested 30 people in festivities outside one of the presidential palaces, the ministry said in a statement.

Opposition activists have organised almost weekly protests every Friday which often dissolve into festivities at a presidential palace.

Last Friday, Islamist supporters of Mohammed Morsi, a former Moslem Brüderbund leader, staged their own rally in Cairo in support of the president.

The country is divided between Morsi's supporters -- many of them Islamists -- and liberal-led opposition groups that want more representation in government and amendments to an Islamist-drafted constitution.

The opposition organised mass rallies in November and December when Morsi adopted now-repealed powers placing his decisions beyond judicial review.

ars longa, vita brevis...
the protests have now dwindled in size to hardcore Morsi opponents and dozens of activists who target presidential palaces with petrol bombs, prompting police to respond with tear gas and birdshot.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [444 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

Afghan forces banned from calling Nato air strikes
[Dawn] Afghan ground forces will be barred from calling in NATO
...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A cautionary tale of cost-benefit analysis....
air strikes after an attack killed a number of children this week, President Hamid Maybe I'll join the Taliban Karzai
... A former Baltimore restaurateur, now 12th and current President of Afghanistan, displacing the legitimate president Rabbani in December 2004. He was installed as the dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001 in a vain attempt to put a Pashtun face on the successor state to the Taliban. After the 2004 presidential election, he was declared president regardless of what the actual vote count was. He won a second, even more dubious, five-year-term after the 2009 presidential election. His grip on reality has been slipping steadily since around 2007, probably from heavy drug use...
said Saturday.

"I issue a decree, from tomorrow none of the Afghan forces are allowed to ask for foreign air support under any conditions," he said in an address to young officers at a military academy in Kabul.

"Our forces ask for air support from foreigners and children get killed in an air strike," he said.

This was apparently a reference to an attack during an overnight raid by combined Afghan and NATO ground forces on a Taliban hideout in a remote eastern region on Wednesday.

Initial reports said 10 civilians, including five children and four women, were killed when the air strike was called in.
There was absolutely no mention of the bloody-handed Taliban savages who were using them as human shields.
Three Taliban capos, including a notorious Al-Qaeda-linked thug leader called Shahpoor, were also killed in the raid, Afghan officials said.
Ah ha! There WAS some mention of the bloody-handed Taliban savages who were using the civilians as human shields. Fancy that.
Civilian casualties caused by NATO forces fighting Taliban Islamist Orcs and similar vermin are a highly sensitive issue and are regularly condemned by Karzai.
Because it works so well with NGOs, the UN, and hand-wringing apologists wielding pseudo-moralistic tropes.
"We are happy the foreign troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan," he said, referring to the scheduled withdrawal of US-led NATO combat troops by the end of next year.

"I have been arguing with the foreign troops, don't bombard our houses, don't go to our villages, don't disrespect our people. And we hear our forces partnered with foreign forces are violating human rights
One man's rights are another man's existential threat.
Karzai said Afghan forces would be able to defend the country after the foreign troops withdraw.
Because Afghan troops have been ever-so effective... starting -- NOW!
"I agree we are passing through a challenging phase, but we are the owners of this country.

"America is not the owner of this country, Pakistain is not the owner of this country, Germany is not the owner of this country, La Belle France is not the owner of this country.
And NO country with half a brain would want anything to do with a bunch of sub-human savages like us, unless we have been nuked beyond the stone-age first!!! (Thankfully for us, no one has done that yet -- because it would be hard to take primitives like us beyond the stone-age. And we're already familiar with life in the stone-age! Bwahahahaha!!!!)
"And fortunately, we will show to the world that we can protect our country, and we can defend our country."More than 3,200 NATO troops, mostly Americans, have died in support of Karzai's government in the 11-year war since the Taliban were ousted by a US invasion in 2001, but relations between the president and the US are often prickly.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [959 views] Top|| File under: Taliban

#1  Yeah-h-h ri-i-ght.

IMo this is Kabul's PCorrect, anti-US = pro-Peace Talk way of telling the post-2014 Afghan Army to "D *** ng it, tell your Grunts to make use of our own Afghan Air Force - dats why we have one".
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2013 22:36 Comments || Top||

Khamenei: Iran not seeking nuclear weapons
Taqqiya or kitmen? We report, you decide.
[YNETNEWS] Iran's supreme leader stresses that though Islamic Republic is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons, if it did, 'no power could stop us'
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [817 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

#1  "We are not seeking nuclear weapons, but if we happen to stumble over some, we'd sure like to blow up the Juices!"
Posted by: SteveS || 02/17/2013 0:30 Comments || Top||

#2  My first thought too, SteveS
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 02/17/2013 11:08 Comments || Top||

#3  Methinks he doth protest too much.
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/17/2013 14:42 Comments || Top||

#4  Kitmen? Something tells me that ain't about early Sixties, debonair Heath product fanciers.

I am forced to Goog.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 15:16 Comments || Top||

#5  Hadn't heard of it b4: (Arabic kitmān كتمان "secrecy, concealment") is the act of paying lip service to authority while holding personal opposition.
Posted by: Dopey Sinatra9196 || 02/17/2013 19:06 Comments || Top||

#6  "Kitmen" > Gaaawd, haven't heard that term since the very early 1970's. I'm suddenly feeling old now.

As for IRAN,

* WAFF > [Russia Today] NORTH KOREA TESTED ENGINE FOR 5000-KM ICBM, one day before it conducted its third underground nuclear test.

Once again, the "MUSUDAN" KN-08.


Yuuup, I'm sure they are.

Iran delegates includ Scientists repor observed the test.



Not that Iran is officially interested in dev or acquiring NucWeaps, but even iff it were THE US CAN'T STOP IRAN FROM DOING SO.




Ditto for the US vee IRAN [+ DPRK].
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2013 21:48 Comments || Top||

#7  More IRAN NEWS ....



Outside of Persian Gulf in Sea of Oman/Arabian Gulf in Pasabandar.

Iran Navy seeks to develop Makkan Coasts which it historically had ignored or underutilized.

IMO more indication that Iran's anti-USN, anti-Aircraft Carrier strategeery is too contain or isolate any US or US-led intervening = invasion? forces to outside the Persian Gulf AMAP ALAP where they can be attacked by Iran's LR Conventional Airpower + LRBMS [TLCMS, SCUDS, DF-21's or Copy]. DESPITE THEIR PAST RHETORIC TO THE CONTRARY, IRAN'S MULLAHS WOULD LIKE THEIR ANTI-INVASION/GROUND WAR "LAST-RESORT" OPTION OF DETONATING NUKES-WMDS ON IRANIAN SOIL DOESN'T OCCUR AMAP ALAP.

By the same token, its prolly safe to say that in any US-Iran war, the USN Fifth Fleet Base, HQ at Bahrain will Iran's first target in Preemptive or Conventional, Limited TacNuke? "First-Strike"???


Straits of Malaccas + prob HAINAN andor SHANGHAI - Hong Kong? Macau?




Broadly true asper China's influence in Indian Ocean + IOR Trade, but we must remember that in China's = Beijing's mind IT WON'T MEAN ANYTHING WIDOUT THEIR DE FACTO CONTROL OF TAIWAN UP IN NE ASIA. China's "post-US", future "World #1", "Manifest Destiny" + its "String of Pearls/Turtles of War" strategy is based on their control of Taiwan.

"MANIFEST DESTINY" FOR CHINA, at least for most or all of the 21st century.

Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2013 22:27 Comments || Top||

Jamaat men fight with cops in Sylhet
[Bangla Daily Star] At least 40 people were maimed, two of them bullet-hit, as activists of Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir
... the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh...
clashed with police in Sylhet yesterday.

Twelve coppers were also among the injured.

Against such backdrop, the government yesterday decided to deploy four platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh at different strategic points of the district town from Sunday 6:00am, Lt Col Shafiul Azam, commanding officer of BGB-5 battalion confirmed.

...back at the pond, the radioactive tadpoles grown into frogs. Really big frogs, in fact...
of the two bullet-hit Shibir activists, condition of Ali Asgar Khan alias Rahat was stated to be critical. Rahat, a student of accounting at Madan Mohan (MC) College, was airlifted to Dhaka from Osmani Medical College Hospital, Sylhet.

Sadik Ahmed, the other maimed Shibir activist from the same college, received bullet in his leg, said police and party activists. He was admitted to a local clinic.

Twenty others with minor injuries were under treatment at different hospitals, said Sylhet city unit Jamaat Assistant Secretary Fakhrul Islam.

Police had to fire around 50 gunshots and teargas canisters during the nearly 25-minute clash, said Abdullah Al Azad Chowdhury, additional commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police.

Azad said the clash ensued around 11:45am when over 250 activists of Jamaat and Shibir brought out a procession from Chouhatta and faced police resistance.

They were protesting against the deaths of three Jamaat-Shibir men killed in Cox's Bazar during a shootout with police on Friday. Fifty people including a number of coppers were maimed during the clash.

As yesterday's procession reached Naya Sarak, some 400 feet off Chouhatta, police barred the Jamaat-Shibir men, Azad added.

Infuriated by the police resistance, unruly Jamaat-Shibir men hurled brick chips at the law enforcers, forcing the police to retaliate to dislodge them, he said.

...back at the pond, the radioactive tadpoles grown into frogs. Really big frogs, in fact...
the Barisal unit Nayeb-e-Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami was incarcerated
Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'!
from Port Road area in the city yesterday afternoon, reports our Barisal correspondent.

Officer-in-Charge of Kotwali Police Station Shakhawat Hossain said they had arrested Bazlur Rahman Bachchu in a case filed with the cop shoppe in connection with January 25 attacks on police.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [485 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami

Arms dumped by militants in fields recovered
[Dawn] Security forces claimed on Friday to have recovered arms and ammunitions dumped in a field at Mastorai and Kas villages of Maidan.

Briefing news hounds Colonel Zulfiqar Bhatti, operational commander in Maidan, said security forces searched fields at Mastorai and Kas villages the other day after they got information from locals about dumping of arms and ammunitions in the fields.

He said one 12.7MM anti-aircraft gun, a machine gun along with 183 rounds and two hand grenades had been recovered from the fields. He said cut-throats had dumped these weapons in the fields while fleeing the area. The Maidan operational commander said efforts would be intensified to clear the area of illegal weapons.

...back at the wreckage, Captain Poindexter wished he had a cup of coffee. Even instant would do...
addressing a qaumi jirga at Lal Qilla on Friday, the Maidan operational commander called upon cut-throats to surrender to security forces. He also asked local people to equip their children with modern education and technology so that the area could be saved from destruction.

He said presence of the army was not aimed to rule this area but the only objective was to protect local people and maintain lasting peace. The operational commander said peace committees would be made functional again as they had played positive role in the past. He also asked parents to send their children to schools and colleges so that they could become doctors, engineers, lawyers and teachers.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [469 views] Top|| File under: TTP

#1  He also asked parents to send their children to schools and colleges so that they could become doctors, engineers, lawyers and teachers taxpayers.

Modified to echo what one of our leading lights sed in Caliphornia recently (regarding making immigrants legal.)
Posted by: Pappy || 02/17/2013 10:12 Comments || Top||

'Hundreds Held' in Syria Tit-for-Tat Kidnappings
[An Nahar] More than 300 people were kidnapped by gangs in northwestern Syria over two days in an unprecedented string of sectarian kidnappings, a watchdog and residents said on Saturday.

The spate of abductions, involving large numbers of women and kiddies, began on Thursday when upwards of 40 civilians from the majority-Shiite villages of Fua and Kafraya were kidnapped by gangs in Idlib province.

Hours later, more than 70 people from Sunni villages and towns were seized in retaliation by gunnies from nearby Shiite villages.

Subsequently, dozens of people from mostly Sunni opposition towns including Sarmin, rebel-held Saraqeb and Binesh and embattled Maaret al-Numan were captured by pro-regime gunnies, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"In two days, the number of abductees has risen to over 300 people," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence La Belle France Presse by phone.

The majority of the rebels fighting the regime are Sunni, while the ruling clan and many of its most fervent supporters are members of the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.

A 29-year-old resident of Fua said that the kidnappings began when an gang from Sarmin kidnapped more than 40 people, mostly from Fua and Kafraya, from a passenger bus bound for Damascus
...The City of Jasmin is the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world. It has not always been inhabited by the same set of fascisti...
He said that dozens of Sunni civilians were kidnapped in retaliation, although most of the women and kiddies were later freed.

The resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said kidnappings between the rival villages are a regular occurrence and usually end in an exchange.

Kidnappings have multiplied in Syria since the start of the nearly two-year revolt, driven by insecurity and a hunger for ransoms amid a deepening financial crisis.

But the scale of recent abductions is unprecedented, according to the Observatory, which called the mass kidnappings a "war crime."

"There is no more state authority in this region in particular," Abdel Rahman said.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [497 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

#1  Awesome! Phred's got the auto-picture device working.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 1:57 Comments || Top||

Africa North
Egypt's court shuts down belly dancing channel, religious cleric
[Al Ahram] Egyptian administrative court rules in two separate cases on Saturday to cut the broadcast of a channel and a programme amid the recent rise in media-related cases.
The Islamo-fascist program proceeds apace. Not that it will help against the inevitable financial decline...
In the first case, the court orders that the popular Al-Tet belly dancing channel be taken off air for broadcasting on satellite without a license.

The court ruling also accused the channel of airing "provocative advertisements" for sexual products and for facilitating escort-like services.

In May, the owner of Al-Tet, Baleegh Hamdi was arrested on suspicions of facilitating prostitution through his channel, but was later released. Anyone involved in prostitution could face three years in jail under Egyptian law.

In the other case, the administrative court rejects an appeal on Saturday by Sheikh Abdullah Badr and Atef Abdel-Rashid, the owner Al-Hafez religious channel, against a ruling on 12 January that barred Badr's programme Fi Al-Mizan for 30 days.

Prominent actress Elham Shahin and TV anchor Hala Sarhan filed the original lawsuit, demanding the Al-Hafez channel be shut down for insulting Shahin on his programme.

"Elham Shahin is cursed and she will never enter heaven," Badr said on air.

Badr was slammed on 17 December with a year in jail and bail set at LE20,000 (roughly $3,000) by a misdemeanour court.

In November, Masr El-Gedida TV host and Salafist preacher Khaled Abdullah, known for his vocal criticism of liberals and opposition protesters, was taken off the air for 25 days by court order.

In August anti-revolution Al-Faraeen channel, owned by controversial TV anchor Tawfiq Okasha, was shut down after the Muslim Brotherhood filed a lawsuit accusing Okasha of inciting violence against the Brotherhood and encouraging attacks on President Mohamed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood's ranks. Al-Faraeen was brought back on air in October.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [717 views] Top|| File under: Arab Spring

#1  a whole channel for belly dancing?

Posted by: lord garth || 02/17/2013 0:16 Comments || Top||

#2  What's not to like? I say we give the producer and his 'talent' refugee status and a cable channel. Multicultural understanding, ya know? :D
Posted by: Nero || 02/17/2013 1:01 Comments || Top||

#3  a whole channel for belly dancing?

Kinda beats the daylights out of TLC, doncha think?
Posted by: Pappy || 02/17/2013 10:22 Comments || Top||

#4  "Egypt's court shuts down belly dancing channel, religious cleric"

If they'd actually shut down ALL their "religious clerics" they'd be a lot better off. :-(
Posted by: Barbara || 02/17/2013 10:32 Comments || Top||

#5  Who needs a television channel when there's the internet, in all its glory?

Oh, right. Most Egyptians don't have internet, which is why they aren't secularists, or something.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 12:01 Comments || Top||

#6  This is a popular form of entertainment. Like the Tango in Argentina. Belly dancing is popular in many countries in this part of the world. Russian belly dancers are very good for example. This is an art form to them. Hey, belly dancing is very popular here also. Good aerobic exercise.
Posted by: Dale || 02/17/2013 12:14 Comments || Top||

#7  The Islamo-fascist program proceeds apace. Not that it will help against the inevitable financial decline...

They just don't understand how profitable it could be, unlike some freedom-loving Lebanese. Brazzers was launched in early 2005 by Ouissam Youssef and Stephane Manos, friends at Concordia University, and Matt Keezer. While their website is managed from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the majority of their scenes and photographs are shot in Las Vegas, Nevada; San Antonio, Texas; Los Angeles, California; and Miami, Florida. Brazzers.com is frequently ranked as one of the top 500 most-viewed websites on the internet.
Posted by: Kojo Wholuse5660 || 02/17/2013 12:37 Comments || Top||

#8  #3 Pappy:
Kinda beats the daylights out of TLC, doncha think?

I was thinking more about replacing the Oxygen channel with BDC (Belly Dancing Channel). It would definitely get more eyeballs.

Posted by: Frozen Al || 02/17/2013 12:54 Comments || Top||

#9  "I was thinking more about replacing the Oxygen channel with BDC (Belly Dancing Channel). It would definitely get more eyeballs."

Than the Oxygen channel? You're setting a pretty low bar there, Al.
Posted by: Barbara || 02/17/2013 13:08 Comments || Top||

#10  Brazzers.com is, apparently, pron. Of course it is profitable.

Belly dancing, on the other hand, is art. That it, like all forms of dance, is sensual, does not move it into the ick category.

And belly dancing already is profitable, as well as an established career path for Egyptian girls. That's why a non-government television was able to support the channel, until the Third Wayers of the Muslim Brotherhood started enforcing their narrow interpretation of Shariah.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 15:43 Comments || Top||

#11  If Egyptians become more devout, Allah will create vast oil wells under Egyptian soil, and newly-pious Egyptians can party like the Gulf state Sunnis. Hey, it worked for the Gulf Arabs...
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/17/2013 16:19 Comments || Top||

#12  If the Egyptians become more devout, and Allah creates vast lakes of oil underneath their sand...

It will all drain out via the Gaza tunnels, there to mix with the vast Gazan poo ponds, becoming both unavailable and a helath and safety threat to the populace.

Somehow Israel will apply a technology newly invented for the purpose to make money and benefit the entire region, would they only accept what she has to offer...

Which they wouldn't.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 20:45 Comments || Top||

#13  Barbara, why go to Egypt when you've got Sophie Mei
Posted by: tipper || 02/17/2013 21:41 Comments || Top||

Pakistan in contact with Afghan Taliban, former Northern Alliance
[Dawn] As the United States withdraws from Afghanistan for the second time, Pakistain is looking for a role in Afghan politics once again. This time, though, it's putting its eggs in more than one basket.

Reports of Islamabad attempting to control proxies in Afghanistan are nothing new. For decades Pakistain has been involved in power politics next door, from supporting the mujahideen against the Soviets and Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
... who used to be known in intelligence circles as The Most Evil Man in the World but who now seems merely run-of-the-mill evil...
and the Taliban against the Northern Alliance to allowing Mullah Omar
... a minor Pashtun commander in the war against the Soviets who made good as leader of the Taliban. As ruler of Afghanistan, he took the title Leader of the Faithful. The imposition of Pashtunkhwa on the nation institutionalized ignorance and brutality in a country already notable for its own fair share of ignorance and brutality...
's presence in Pakistain and arresting Afghan Taliban who could have facilitated intra-Afghan reconciliation talks.

But conversations with senior Pak security officials and security and foreign policy analysts indicate that as the Western withdrawal from Afghanistan draws closer, direct and more active contact has been established not just with the Mullah Omar-led Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, but also with members of the former Northern Alliance.

These contacts are a last-minute bid to prevent even more instability this side of the border and seem designed to indicate to the Taliban and the United States that Pakistain supports an intra-Afghan rather than a fundamentalist Islamist government in Kabul.

The conversations revealed that the Pak military now prefers a coalition government in Kabul to Taliban rule, making communication with multiple groups essential preparation for the uncertain post-2014 political scenario. A Taliban administration is considered a risky option carrying the potential for both civil war in Afghanistan and new safe havens there for Pak thugs, and the best-case scenario is seen as being a loose federation of autonomous regions with a coalition set-up at the centre.

That thinking would indicate a move away from the state's policy of banking on the Taliban as the primary, if unreliable, ally in Afghanistan. "The shift came about when it became clear that 2014 was a genuine deadline," says former foreign secretary Najmuddin Sheikh.

But direct contact with multiple Afghan groups has not openly been admitted to despite increased public activity on the reconciliation front, including Pakistain's release of Taliban prisoners and the Chequers summit last week where the Pak and Afghan presidents and military and intelligence chiefs indicated a six-month timeframe for a "peace settlement" but provided no further details about a desired political outcome.

And while in public the Taliban have said they are only willing to talk to the United States, Pak security officials tell Dawn the cut-throats are open to talking to the northern, non-Pakhtun leaders, their traditional rivals, as the Western withdrawal draws closer.

Pakistain's outreach, which adds to the publicly known reconciliation efforts facilitated to various degrees by several countries including the Afghan government, the United States, Germany, Japan and La Belle France, is unlikely to sit well with President Karzai.
These separate strands of talks came about, according to Mr Sheikh, because international donors and Isaf members were eager to "get out with some honour" long before the US decided it made sense to talk to the Taliban. But he points out that Mr Karzai has felt sidelined by these efforts and wants his government to be considered the sole Afghan interlocutor.

In Pakistain, though, domestic instability has changed views, says Moeed Yusuf, South Asia adviser at the United States Institute of Peace, a Washington-based think tank. The security establishment "wants to get the Taliban back into Afghanistan in an inclusive reconciliation and power-sharing process," he says. "They don't want to attack Taliban sanctuaries or give the Taliban power. This has been the policy for some time, and other countries are now moving closer to Pakistain's game plan."

The Pak strategy is in part driven by the belief that both the Taliban and the northern leaders remain formidable groups.
Pak intelligence estimates that the Afghan Taliban are a well-organised force of 40,000-50,000 fighters grouped into thug, political and finance wings with significant funding from the narcotics trade and extortion along transport routes in their areas.

But the northern leaders are also financially strong and highly motivated, controlling a wide expanse of land and commanding the support of several different ethnic groups. Leaving the two to divvy up power in Afghanistan would be a recipe for another bloody civil war.

According to Pak security officials, December's intra-Afghan talks outside Gay Paree -- which included representatives from the Taliban, the government, and, significantly, members of the former Northern Alliance -- were particularly important in terms of demonstrated Taliban willingness to consider a coalition and put forward specific demands related to such a set-up.

It remains, unclear, though, how Mullah Omar's status in the eyes of the Taliban as Amirul Momineen, the leader of the Moslem ummah, could be reconciled with a power-sharing system.

Other well-known challenges remain, including the extent to which various factions and commanders within the Taliban, including Mullah Omar, agree on talks, let alone the notion of sharing power. They are also unlikely to accept even the residual American presence in Afghanistan that Washington and Kabul are negotiating. And the long-standing rivalry between the Taliban and the former Northern Alliance could scuttle any power-sharing agreement. For this reason, Pakistain's preferred post-2014 scenario also includes a complete American withdrawal and a regional understanding in which neighbours, particularly Iran, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, agree not to play favourites in Afghanistan.

In one example of the fears about rivals next door, the security establishment appears to believe that Iran has spread its influence beyond the Persian-speaking Herat
...a venerable old Persian-speaking city in western Afghanistan, populated mostly by Tadjiks, which is why it's not as blood-soaked as areas controlled by Pashtuns...
region and is simultaneously supporting the Taliban with arms, safe havens and support for the narcotics trade as a way to get America out of the region, maintain its own influence in Afghanistan and contain that of Pakistain, which it sees as being too accommodating of American demands.

Journalist and Afghanistan expert Ahmed Rashid cautions that talk of a coalition set-up is premature. "The Pak military is now interested in a power-sharing arrangement in Afghanistan. But the talks are very far from anything like that," he says, adding that they are still at the stage of trying to agree on confidence building measures. He also points to significant roadblocks and open questions. "The Taliban say they won't talk to Karzai. They are opposed to a residual US force. And what about the upcoming elections? Can power-sharing be worked out before then?"

Pakistain may be interested in a coalition government next door, but whether the Taliban are interested in sharing power is another matter altogether. And if they aren't, the consequences for Pakistain's security situation could be disastrous.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [445 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Gaps exposed as five-day polio drive ends
[Dawn] While a five-day mop-up polio
...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set...
vaccination campaign ended on Friday in Bin Qasim Town without any violent incident, the drive exposed gaps in government strategy and raised serious questions over its commitment and success of an immunisation drive scheduled to begin shortly across the country.

Contrary to what the government had claimed in official meetings, delayed arrival of vaccine at targeted areas and inadequate security hampered the efforts on the first and second day of the door-to-door campaign, sources said, adding that no security was provided to vaccinators on the concluding day.

At least two vaccinators complained of having been threatened during the five-day drive.

"One of the vaccinators was threatened on her way back home whereas the other was administering polio drops to a child at a home when her uncle, who had accompanied her in the absence of official security, saw an armed person and alarmed her. They had to flee from the spot. The incident took place on Road No 6 in Cattle Colony," said a town health official while speaking to Dawn.

A number of polio teams, he said, had to be on their own during the initial days due to inadequate police personnel providing security to the teams.

death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate...
according to the staff, delayed delivery of the vaccine was a major setback.

The vaccine, which was supposed to be delivered to vaccinators before 8am, was brought at noon, sapping their vigour, said a team member. "There was no arrangement for any refreshment either."

The staffer was of the opinion that lack of coordination between the EPI (Extended Programme for Immunisation) cell of the government and World Health Organisation staff was responsible for the delay in vaccine delivery.

Referring to the government meetings held before the start of the mop-up campaign in the town, he said that a number of promises were made in the meetings but little was delivered.

"I can't ask a volunteer to risk her life for Rs250," said another town health staffer while sharing his grievances.

It is noteworthy that the mop-up campaign in Bin Qasim Town after a two-year-old resident of Cattle Colony, Musharraf, was diagnosed with polio virus -- this year's first case in the country.

The campaign was run in five union councils (namely UC 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) during which more than 6,000 children were vaccinated against the virus, while more than 50 families refused to get their children vaccinated during the first three days.

Top officials, including the Sindh EPI director and the executive director health, were not available for comments on the issue. Also representatives of non-governmental organizations, including those of the WHO, did not attend phone calls.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [354 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Iranian students complain of discrimination overseas
[GUARDIAN.CO.UK] Sanctions blamed as bank accounts frozen, student loans denied and university applications rejected
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [349 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Iran

For KP's new governor, talks with Pakistani Taliban 'top priority'
[Dawn] With peace talks with the Pak Taliban on the agenda, newly-appointed Khyber Pakthunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah Khan does not plan to shy away from the traditional tribal jirga system as a platform for dialogue.

The media's focus on him is not without reason -- Khan is the first civilian from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) to be appointed governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
... formerly NWFP, still Terrorism Central...
in Pakistain's restive northwest.

Listing peace as his top priority, Khan is in favour of talks with the Taliban even if they are unwilling to lay down their arms, citing tribal customs.

"I believe the grinding of the peace processor is heading in a successful direction. I would be willing to take on any task to hold peace talks with the cut-thoats," he said. "Peace is our priority and we shall go for it."

At the age of 42, Khan, who hails from an influential family of Nawagai in Bajaur Agency, aka Turban Central
...Smallest of the agencies in FATA. The Agency administration is located in Khar. Bajaur is inhabited almost exclusively by Tarkani Pashtuns, which are divided into multiple bickering subtribes. Its 52 km border border with Afghanistan's Kunar Province makes it of strategic importance to Pakistain's strategic depth...
, is the youngest among his predecessors to have governed the region, hit badly by militancy and unrest.

The engineer, with a political background, is well accustomed to politics in Pakistain's tribal areas.

A graduate of the University of Engineering and Technology in Taxila, Khan first contested and lost the NA-43 Bajaur Agency seat in the 2002 elections. However,
if you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning...
he won the same seat in the 2008 elections as an independent, and was made Federal Minister for Sports. He was later nominated Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions.

His family's political legacy is also impressive: his father, Bismillah Khan, had twice won the NA seat from Bajaur Agency, while his elder brother, Hidayatullah Khan, is a senator.

Now, with dialogue between the government and the Taliban becoming a greater possibility, the governor's appointment is considered the key to success.

Unconditional talks

The governor believes that the traditional tribal jirga, which equally allows for negotiations with or without guns, is the best way to resolve the longstanding conflict between Islamic fascisti and the Pak government and military.

"If we go by tribal bylaws of resolving conflict, we should be holding peace talks whether one does or does not lay down arms. There is no bar on it," he said.

"I believe first we have to kick start the process. Then we shall discuss the conditions, as in the tribal way to resolving disputes, you may not start with pre-conditions or guarantees," he explains. "When you start talking, then you enter the next phase of guarantees."
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [411 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

Large blast rips through Quetta; 63 killed
[Dawn] At least 63 people were killed and almost 200 maimed Saturday when a large kaboom shook Quetta, the capital of restive Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
province, police officials said.

The kaboom occurred near a market at the busy Kirani road area of the city, located close to Hazara Town, where a large population of the ethnic Hazaras community resides.

"At least 63 people have been killed by the blast. The dead include women and kiddies," Mir Zubair Mehmood, police chief of Quetta city, told news hounds. "The kaboom completely destroyed a two-storey building."

Earlier Wazir Khan Nasir, a police brass hat, had said that almost 200 people had been injured in the attack.

"It was a sectarian attack, the Shia community was the target," said Wazir Khan Nasir.

A front man for the banned
The word "banned" doesn't mean the same thing in Pakistain that it does in other places. I'm not sure what it actually does mean, but it doesn't mean 'forbidden,' and any 'prohibition' is purely theoretical.
... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
grabbed credit for Saturday's bloodshed, news agency Rooters reported.

"We fear more casualties. We have announced an emergency in hospitals," said provincial home secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani.

Durrani said the bomb was planted near the pillar of a building in the market.

Officials and witnesses said an angry mob surrounded the area after the blast and were not allowing coppers, rescue workers and news hounds to reach the site.

"They were angry and started a protest, some of them pelted police with stones," said Durrani.

"Some of them were armed and were firing gunshots in the air, now they have allowed police and rescue workers to reach on spot," he added.

Governor Balochistan Zulfikar Magsi has announced Sunday to be a province-wide day of mourning. The Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Mohammedaneen and the Hazara Democratic Party (HDP) have also called a strike in Quetta on Sunday in protest of Saturday's blast.

The lovely provincial capital has become a flashpoint for sectarian linked violence, where at least 93 people were killed in a series of bombing last month. A majority of the people killed in the Alamdar Road blasts on Jan 10 belonged to the Hazara Shia community.

It was Pakistain's worst sectarian attack, claimed by the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Later that month, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf sacked the provincial government after relatives and Shia demonstrators refused to bury the blast victims for four days in protest.

The protestors demanded greater protection from the government and military.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [504 views] Top|| File under: Lashkar e-Jhangvi

14-party vows to avenge Rajib's killing
[Bangla Daily Star] The ruling Awami League-led 14-party alliance yesterday vowed to avenge the murder of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haidar by ensuring capital punishment to war criminals and banning Jamaat-Shibir.

They made the pledge at a gathering in Tongi before bringing out a procession to Uttara.

"Rajib, your bloodshed has strengthened the movement. We swear we will ensure that these traitors, Jamaat-Shibir-Razakar, are hanged till death," Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said.

AL Joint General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said the main opposition BNP still seemed confused about its alliance with Jamaat.

"I would like to thank Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir [acting secretary general of BNP] through this rally for exposing the true character of his party. By his words, he has proven that they are the protector and defender of the war criminals," he added.

Apart from Uttara, procession was organised at two other points in the capital.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [343 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami

Intelligence Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) after Afghanistan
An Excellent short article on current developments and the future of ISR from Air Force Magazine.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [420 views] Top|| File under:

Rajib was targeted for his blog
[Bangla Daily Star] Online Jamaat-Shibir activists had branded the slain blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider as an atheist who they said should have been resisted.

Rajib, better known by his online identity as Thaba Baba, was one of the main initiators of the movement at Shahbagh, demanding death penalty for war criminals, according to a web post on Sonarbangla, a blog run by Jamaat-Shibir activists.

An image of Rajib's Facebook page was also posted on the same blog.

On February 11, a Sonarbangla blogger with a pseudonym, Sporsher Baire (Out of Touch), wrote about the organisers of the ongoing Shahbagh movement.

Rajib was also named on the site.

After Rajib was brutally murdered in Mirpur in Dhaka on Friday, the Facebook page was not found on the site.

The Daily Star, however, had captured an image of this blog page.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission blocked the Sonarbangla blog yesterday morning.

The Bloggers and Online Activists Network has been demanding that the government block the page since it launched the protest on February 5 hours after an international crimes tribunal awarded Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah life term for war crimes.

Ahmed Rajib Haider used to write as Thaba Baba on different blogs. In his last Facebook status posted Friday afternoon, he called for banning the institutions owned by the Jamaat-e-Islami
...The Islamic Society, founded in 1941 in Lahore by Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, aka The Great Apostosizer. The Jamaat opposed the independence of Bangladesh but has operated an independent branch there since 1975. It maintains close ties with international Mohammedan groups such as the Moslem Brotherhood. the Taliban, and al-Qaeda. The Jamaat's objectives are the establishment of a pure Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. It is distinguished by its xenophobia, and its opposition to Westernization, capitalism, socialism, secularism, and liberalist social mores...
, an ally of the BNP-led 18-party opposition, in Bangladesh.

But mysteriously, most of the writings by Thaba Baba are not available on the internet from yesterday. A few of his writings are available, but whether those were written by Thaba Baba is not clear.

According to different bloggers' posts in Facebook, Shibir cadres have continued campaigning against the activists of the movement.

For example, a person named Dhansiri Wahid in his status on Facebook termed several of Shahbagh activists as atheists.

"It is a duty of all Moslems to kill those atheists," he said.

Wahid named Thaba Baba, Asif Mohiuddin, Bami Shial, Arif Jebotik, Doctor Aizu, Nijhum Majumder and other bloggers, saying he wanted to kill them himself.

Another Facebook account holder Farabi Shafiur Rahman in a post said the imam who conducted the namaz-e-janaza of Rajib yesterday at Shahbagh would also be killed.

This person also suggested throwing Rajib's body to tigers at the Mirpur Zoo.

Last month, another blogger Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed at Uttara in the capital by some unknown people but he survived. Asif is a friend of the activists of Shahbagh movement.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [452 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami

Africa North
Diesel shortage pushes Egyptians to the brink
Via the Instapundit. A few days old but worth noting.
CAIRO - Fathy Ali is beyond anger as he queues for hours in a line of 64 trucks and buses to fill his tank with scarce subsidized diesel fuel, known in Egypt as "Solar."

"This has become part of my life. I come and wait for hours or days, depending on my luck," the chain-smoking bus driver said at a besieged gas station on Cairo's Suez High Road, wrapped in a scarf and thick coat for the long ordeal. "At the start it used to upset me a lot but now I've kind of given up."

Diesel supplies are drying up as a cash-strapped government struggles to cap a mounting bill for subsidies it has promised the IMF it will reform to secure an elusive $4.8 billion loan desperately needed to keep a sagging economy afloat.

The situation appears near breakdown with growing shortages, unsustainable subsidies and foreign exchange reserves running out, raising the risk that fuel bottlenecks lead to food shortages and pose a risk to political stability.

Foreign reserves are down below $15 billion, less than three months' imports, despite deposits from Qatar and Turkey. The Egyptian pound has lost 8 percent of its value this year and a black market has emerged for hard currency.

The nation's strategic reserve of diesel fuel is down to three days' supply, the official MENA news agency quoted a government official as saying last week. Bakeries that use diesel to make staple subsidized bread have been told to keep 10 days' fuel supply but not all have the capacity.

The Muslim Brotherhood-led government of President Mohamed Mursi this week postponed for up to three months a rationing system for subsidized fuel due to start in April in what looks like an attempt to avoid upsetting voters before parliamentary elections due that month.

But reforms cannot be delayed for long, economists say.

"Fuel shortages are a symptom of the strains on Egypt's unsustainable subsidy system," said Simon Kitchen, an economist at EFG-Hermes in Cairo.

Two government measures have aggravated the problem. In December, the subsidy on 95-octane petrol used by the wealthiest Egyptians was scrapped. That drove some motorists down-market to buy lower-grade fuel, raising the demand for subsidized 92-octane gasoline.
Super octane in the U.S. is 93 octane, though a gas station near us sells 115 octane (at $6.89 a gallon) for reasons that I can't fathom...
Then in a drive to curb theft, smuggling and other abuses, the government restricted distribution of heavily subsidized low-grade gas oil used by trucks, tractors and buses to filling stations owned and operated by the military. That caused longer lines at the pumps and increasing economic disruption. At several filling stations, queues led to fights breaking out this week, Egyptian media reported.

The situation is so serious that Mursi held an emergency meeting with ministers about it on Tuesday night and instructed the energy minister to ensure sufficient supply, according to presidential spokesman Yasser Ali.
Ah yes, instructions. That should do it. Kimmie did that in North Korea all the time. He'd visit a place and provide personal instruction. That's why Nork-land is a paradise, you know...
Minister for Petroleum and Mineral Resources Osama Kamal said subsidizing Solar, sold at a give-away price of 1.25 Egyptian pounds ($0.19) a liter, costs the government $35 million a day. Altogether, energy subsidies will cost 120 billion Egyptian pounds in the fiscal year to end-June, up from 115 billion pounds the previous year, he said. They account for almost all of the forecast 135 billion pound budget deficit.

Until Tuesday evening, when the diesel shortage became the number one topic of television and radio talk-shows, the government seemed to be in denial.

"There is no shortage," Kamal said. "There is a crisis in the distribution of Solar, not in the availability of it."

Asked whether a shortage of hard currency was constraining fuel imports, he said: "Financial resources are still available for imports but they must be reserved for the most important priorities."

To drivers and tour operators, the result is the same.

Khaled el-Manawi, a senior board member of the Egyptian travel agents' association, said the government was harming his industry, already hard hit by political turmoil, by withdrawing subsidized fuel from tourist boats.

Businessman George Bishoy, who owns a fashion accessories store in the affluent Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, said his business had suffered a lot from delays in the delivery of imported goods.

The daily al-Ahram quoted drivers complaining about the emergence of a black market in which a liter of diesel is sold at double the normal price.

The spokesman of the independent drivers' union, Tarek el-Bahary, told Reuters: "The Solar problem is devastating. Drivers are suffering daily and the elected president has failed to solve this crisis."

"The number of trucks has not increased, the number of trips has not increased but the government is unable to provide the Solar and unable to come up with creative solutions to solve the problem," he said.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [638 views] Top|| File under:

#1  No matter what you encourage Morsi to do, he re-invents islamic wheels and the Judiciary. Business was business. Now it collapses.

The Country of Egypt has been collapsed since he took charge. The economics continue to degrade. It sounds familiar to many other Nations.

ohh :(
Posted by: newc || 02/17/2013 0:13 Comments || Top||

#2  Super octane in the U.S. is 93 octane, though a gas station near us sells 115 octane (at $6.89 a gallon) for reasons that I can't fathom...

Why now, if you mill off say a half inch (more or less) from yur heads thar, and run your compression up to 22 tah 1, then you likely wanting that 115.
I won't vouch for the timing tho.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 2:05 Comments || Top||

#3  Seriously tho, 115 is aviation +.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 2:05 Comments || Top||

#4  Muhammad meet Malthus.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 02/17/2013 5:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Mmmm, Mmmm, Mmmm.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man || 02/17/2013 5:38 Comments || Top||

#6  The nation's strategic reserve of diesel fuel is down to three days' supply,

Wake me in three days. I wan to watch the fireworks.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 8:17 Comments || Top||

#7  Is this the same "brink" I've been hearing about for cash and food or is this a new "brink"?

It's so hard to keep up.
Posted by: Alanc || 02/17/2013 8:37 Comments || Top||

#8  Hosni: "miss me now?"
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 9:58 Comments || Top||

#9  I know what would fix this: more Islam
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 10:04 Comments || Top||

#10  Frank - exactly. If they swore off cars and trucks, and used only camels and wagons, like Mohammed did, there would be no fuel shortage.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 02/17/2013 10:09 Comments || Top||

#11  used only camels and wagons, like Mohammed did

I was going to say "feet" but they have a propensity for shooting themselves there.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/17/2013 10:17 Comments || Top||

#12  Redistribution at it's finest.

the government seemed to be in denial.

"There is no shortage," Kamal said. "There is a crisis in the distribution of Solar, not in the availability of it."
Posted by: Bobby || 02/17/2013 11:08 Comments || Top||

#13  Any snowmobile, ice racers or motocross enthusiasts around you there Dr. White?

115 Octane is the fuel of champions (or folks who think they are).

Engines may not last as long, but they'll sure get there quicker.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 02/17/2013 11:14 Comments || Top||

#14  Mullah Richard: aha. Hadn't thought of that. I thought those devices used plain old regular just like my snowblower.
Posted by: Steve White || 02/17/2013 11:31 Comments || Top||

#15  …raising the risk that fuel bottlenecks lead to food shortages and pose a risk to political stability.

Yikes! At this critical juncture can you just imagine if Egypt was to lose its...political stability?
Posted by: DepotGuy || 02/17/2013 11:34 Comments || Top||

#16  Engines may not last as long, but they'll sure get there quicker.

Speaks for nitro-methane too.
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 11:34 Comments || Top||

#17  The one thing I thought I remembered from my long, long ago Organic Chem class was that Octane was the percent of a certain type of Carbon ring and therefore it couldn't ever be higher than 100. The prof claimed that anything higher was marketing hype. This was back in the days of "Keotane" rating from, I think, Sunoco.

Am I having weird flashbacks......again? 8^(
Posted by: Alanc || 02/17/2013 11:37 Comments || Top||

#18  But reforms cannot be delayed for long, economists say. "Fuel shortages are a symptom of the strains on Egypt's unsustainable subsidy system," said Simon Kitchen, an economist at EFG-Hermes in Cairo.

Geithner and Bernanke would surely disagree.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 12:07 Comments || Top||

#19  You got me curious, Alanc - For example, petrol with the same knocking characteristics as a mixture of 90% iso-octane and 10% heptane would have an octane rating of 90.[2] A rating of 90 does not mean that the petrol contains just iso-octane and heptane in these proportions, but that it has the same detonation resistance properties. Because some fuels are more knock-resistant than iso-octane, the definition has been extended to allow for octane numbers higher than 100.

So it no longer means what you were taught!
Posted by: Bobby || 02/17/2013 12:44 Comments || Top||

#20  Once upon a time, a co-worker dumped about 5 gallons of 115/145 AVGAS into his F150 tank ( said there was aleady 15 gallons of pump gas in it) about 2 days later he had the nicest small block paperweight in the neighborhood. Ford Blue and everything......
i limit my hi octane in my motorsporting to the 93 ; works just fine.
Posted by: USN,Ret. || 02/17/2013 14:31 Comments || Top||

#21  Why thank you Bobby. That was from the dim mists of the past, about 45 yrs. ago to be precise. 8^(
Posted by: Alanc || 02/17/2013 14:41 Comments || Top||

#22  drink up!
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 14:43 Comments || Top||

#23  I'll have Bacardi 151 and Clammato.
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 15:10 Comments || Top||

#24  Eq=gyot is in economic denile...
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/17/2013 15:17 Comments || Top||

#25  Egypt was a corrupt socialist state during Mubarak's reign. Morsi campaigned on promises of more socialism. Is it any surprise that Egypt's finances are worse than they have ever been?
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/17/2013 15:45 Comments || Top||

#26  Diesel shortage pushes them to the brink? Schlocky bad movie trailers also pushes them to the brink.
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/17/2013 16:44 Comments || Top||

#27  Egypt was a corrupt socialist state during Mubarak's reign. Morsi campaigned on promises of more socialism

"Corrupt, socialist and Islamic is no way to go through life, son."
Posted by: Pappy || 02/17/2013 17:43 Comments || Top||

#28  Slightly off topic: I don't know what happened to USN,Ret's neighbor but since higher octane burns slower (resists detonation) than the regular gas you need to address timing and jetting when using 115 octane race gas. Gives a longer duration thrust for a given power cycle and lets the engine run cooler if the engine is properly set up. Cooling was why high performance (especially air-cooled) aircraft engines were designed for up to 130 octane fuels.

Want to grenade an engine? Use gasohol in an engine not designed for it and/or in an infrequently used motorcycle or classic car. Cuts oil films, gathers moisture in heads, bores, bearings (promotes rust), rots fuel lines and pump diaphragms not designed for alcohol.
Posted by: tipover || 02/17/2013 17:44 Comments || Top||

#29  Tipover, While it was many years ago, i think the reson Tom's motor seized was because he did mess with the timing and it ran hot. he had been using smaller amounts of this AVGAS for some time. it was during the 70's oil embargo and the gas was from the daily fuel samples out of our station S-2's and T-28's. wonder if the high lead content helped?
Posted by: USN,Ret. || 02/17/2013 18:14 Comments || Top||

#30  Instructions: "I'm here to put you back on schedule."

Good luck with that.
Posted by: KBK || 02/17/2013 21:02 Comments || Top||

#31  "...Egypt was a corrupt socialist state during Mubarak's reign..." - Zhang Fei

Actually, they were moving away from socialism with some govt industries sold and others transferred to various private consortia. Unfortunately, the cronyism was pretty obvious and friends of Mubarek ended up with stuff at very favorable terms and other friends of Mubarek ended up with sweet commissions for their role in the transaction. This gave capitalism (or liberalism) a bad name.
Posted by: lord garth || 02/17/2013 21:04 Comments || Top||

#32  "Unfortunately, the cronyism was pretty obvious"

You mean Bambi = Mubarak?
Posted by: Barbara || 02/17/2013 21:08 Comments || Top||

Paramedics to boycott polio drive in Bajaur
[Dawn] The paramedical staff in Bajaur Agency, aka Turban Central
...Smallest of the agencies in FATA. The Agency administration is located in Khar. Bajaur is inhabited almost exclusively by Tarkani Pashtuns, which are divided into multiple bickering subtribes. Its 52 km border border with Afghanistan's Kunar Province makes it of strategic importance to Pakistain's strategic depth...
on Friday announced to boycott the coming polio
...Poliomyelitis is a disease caused by infection with the poliovirus. Between 1840 and the 1950s, polio was a worldwide epidemic. Since the development of polio vaccines the disease has been largely wiped out in the civilized world. However, since the vaccine is known to make Moslem pee-pees shrink and renders females sterile, bookish, and unsubmissive it is not widely used by the turban and automatic weapons set...
campaign in the region in protest against the World Health Organisation officials' alleged misbehaviour.

The announcement was made after a meeting of Bajaur Paramedical Association here.

BPA chairman Ghulam Hazrat chaired the meeting, where office-bearers of the association and senior staff of the local health deportment also showed up.

Participants showed concern over the WHO officials' alleged misbehaviour with paramedical staff in the region and decided that paramedics would not take part in the polio drive beginning on Monday (Feb 18).

"We condemn the misbehaviour of our colleagues by the WHO officials and our boycott of polio activities will continue until they are not transferred from the agency," Mr Ghulam Hazrat said.

He said paramedics were the backbone of health services, especially polio vaccination, and that they always did their job with commitment.

"We are not ready to take part in the upcoming polio activities in the agency under the command of Dr Shaukat and Dr Sher Khan from WHO," he added.

Mr Ghulam Hazrat said the local administration, health department and WHO would be to blame if paramedics boycotted polio vaccination and therefore, they all needed to properly address the matter without delay.

"We have already informed all the people concerned about our boycott," he said.

Local health officials have expressed concern
...meaning the brow was mildly wrinkled, the eyebrows drawn slightly together, and a thoughtful expression assumed, not that anything was actually done or indeed that any thought was actually expended...
about the paramedics' decision, which, they said, would have negative bearing on vaccination.

"The decision of boycotting polio campaign by paramedical staff is a matter of serious concern for us because the health deportment can't run the campaign without their," an official said.

The official said around 224,690 children in the region could be adversely affected if polio campaign was not carried out.

...back at the Esquimeau village Jack was learning how to rub noses with Nootka's wife......
an official of the local administration said the administration had taken note of the matter and was trying to convince paramedics to review their decision.

He said if paramedics didn't take part in the vaccination campaign, then strict action would be taken against them.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [389 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan

#1  Make sure that you and YOUR kids are vaccinated, then strike.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 8:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Wow, so it is unislamic to innoculate your kid against a crippling disease?

What do you suppose will happen next, small pox?

If you have any doubt about how the Islamist want to drive the world back into the 7th Century, this polio drive is exhibit A.

Or is it our fault again? Or is it because Jonas Salk was Jewish? American? Not a knuckle dragging goat fucker from Balkh?
Posted by: Bill Clinton || 02/17/2013 15:03 Comments || Top||

State blamed for failing to control attacks against Hazaras
[Dawn] Three members of the minority Hazara community were rubbed out in Quetta on Thursday. This, barely a week after two brothers were targeted in the same city.
Ridiculous. What obligation does a state have to ensure the safety of its citizens?
The second and third weeks of November saw an attack on the Shia Hazaras every other day.

While the Human Rights Commission of Pakistain has stated that more than 800 Hazaras have been killed since 2001, the figure must surely have gone up given the increasing number of attacks. As it is, around 112 people have been killed and more than 148 Hazaras were maimed in 58 incidents in 2012 alone.

Majority of the concerned parties remain aloof to the situation in Pakistain, with the perpetrators of this violence roaming freely. Amidst an increasing sense of insecurity among the members of Hazara community in Quetta, human rights
When they're defined by the state or an NGO they don't mean much...
groups and Hazara diaspora have been busy raising the issue in the West.

At a recent conference held in Gothenburg, Sweden aimed at highlighting the "genocide of Hazaras in Pakistain," more than 200 people were in attendance, including human rights activists and members of civil society.

Historian, writers and rights activists spoke at the conference including Ali Dayan Hassan of Human Rights Watch
... dedicated to bitching about human rights violations around the world...
and Professor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed of Stockholm University.

"The Human Rights Watch believes that Hazara face a double jeopardy due to their sect and ethnicity. This has created a sense of extreme insecurity among the Hazara community, particularly in the city of Quetta," Hassan said, while speaking to the conference via a video link.

Blaming the state's inability to deal with the problem, Hassan said: "A third of all Shias killed in Pakistain over last one year are Hazara. Such a disproportionately high number of such a small community has been targeted repeatedly and with impunity."

While the human rights situation in Balochistan
...the Pak province bordering Kandahar and Uruzgun provinces in Afghanistan and Sistan Baluchistan in Iran. Its native Baloch propulation is being displaced by Pashtuns and Punjabis and they aren't happy about it...
has been deteriorating over the years, the rights watch group's official said "militant groups, including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
... a 'more violent' offshoot of Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistain. LeJ's purpose in life is to murder anyone who's not of utmost religious purity, starting with Shiites but including Brelvis, Ahmadis, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Rosicrucians, and just about anyone else you can think of. They are currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of al-Qaeda ...
target Shias across Pakistain and Hazaras in particular."

He said it were the same cut-thoat groups that attacked Hazaras in Mazara-e-Sharif of Afghanistan in late 1990s as well and "have found safe haven in Quetta and target the Hazara community."
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [671 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan


Iran MP Monadi claims that negligence on the part of Pakistan's Govt. is all but allowing violent, anti-Shia, Pak Sunni hardliners seemingly effortless ability to harass, persecute, + miurder Pak Shias in an attempt to change the demographic patterns of Pak Society to the detriment or loss of Shias.
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 02/17/2013 21:28 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
One Killed in Car-Bomb at Somali Capital Restaurant
[An Nahar] At least one person was killed Saturday by a boom-mobile in the latest of a string of attacks in Somalia's war-ravaged capital, set off outside a popular beachside restaurant, police said.

"We have reports that one person was killed and another was injured in the blast," said police officer Hussein Ali, who was nearby when the car went kaboom!.

The kaboom took place close to Mogadishu's famous Lido beach, which is usually crowded on a weekend with families enjoying the sand, playing football or swimming in the Indian Ocean waves.

"The car was laden with explosive and set off in the parking area... it was a huge blast," Ali added, noting that several other cars and the building were also damaged.

No group immediately grabbed credit for the blast, but Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab Islamic fascisti have launched a series of guerrilla-style attacks in Mogadishu in recent months.

The Islamic fascisti have vowed to topple newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamuod, who took office in September after being chosen by the country's new parliament.

But the once powerful-Shabaab
... the Islamic version of the old Somali warlord...
are on the back foot inside Somalia, having fled a string of key towns ahead of a 17,000-strong African Union
...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful...
force which is also fighting alongside Somali soldiers.

Æthiopian troops are also battling the Shabaab in the southwest of Somalia.

On Thursday, AU troops and government forces seized the towns of Janalle, Aw Dhigle and Barire, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of the capital Mogadishu, the latest Shabaab bases to fall.

it was a brave man who first ate an oyster...
the Shabaab remain a potent threat, still controlling rural areas as well as carrying out guerrilla attacks in areas apparently under government control.

Some, retreating ahead of AU-led assaults, have relocated to the northern Golis mountains in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland
...a region in northeastern Somalia, centered on Garowe in the Nugaal province. Its leaders declared the territory an autonomous state in 1998. Puntland and the equally autonomous Somaliland seem to have avoided the clan rivalries and warlordism that have typified the rest of Somalia, which puts both places high on the list for Islamic subversion...
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [474 views] Top|| File under: al-Shabaab

Home Front: WoT
Backlash against new US medal for drone pilots
[Dawn] Should US drone pilots or cyber warriors thousands of miles from the battlefield be eligible for a more prestigious combat medal than soldiers maimed or killed in action?
I think they ought to get a medal hickey for every corpse.
The Pentagon concluded this week the answer is "yes" -- at least in extraordinary circumstances, and announced the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal, outranking even the Bronze Star.

While supporters cheered America's nod to the changing nature of warfare, it has triggered an angry backlash with some veterans and active-duty troops upset over the most substantial shakeup in the hierarchy of military medals since World War Two.

Opponents say the new medal's rank is too high and sends a signal -- inadvertently, perhaps -- that the Pentagon does not sufficiently value the sacrifices of front-line troops.

For Brian Jopek, whose 20-year-old son, Ryan, earned a Bronze Star when he was killed by a roadside kaboom in Iraq in 2006, the debate is intensely personal.

"To me it's just a slap in the face, not only for my son, me, other members of my family," Jopek, who also served in Iraq and is now a journalist in Wisconsin, told Rooters.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [835 views] Top|| File under:

#1  they should get little burning stick figure decals for their controllers
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 10:01 Comments || Top||

#2  I don't mind the military issuing a medal for drone pilots, but it should definitely rank lower than any combat medal.
Posted by: Rambler in Virginia || 02/17/2013 10:11 Comments || Top||

#3  I don't know Rambler. Hemorrhoids can be pure hell! :)
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/17/2013 10:46 Comments || Top||

#4  outranking even the Bronze Star.

Somebody tell me this is a joke
Posted by: john frum || 02/17/2013 10:58 Comments || Top||

#5  If you have any delusions about how much the Pentagon values front line troops I suggest you look at the current Rules Of Engagement in Afghanistan.

Like my mom used to say Actions speak louder than words.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 02/17/2013 11:09 Comments || Top||

#6  People are going to be outraged.

Purple Heart for Carpal tunnel?
Posted by: DepotGuy || 02/17/2013 11:22 Comments || Top||

#7  What not-so CrazyFool said.

US Army Infantry School, 1972:

Highly decorated Infantry Advanced course students newly returned from Vietnam, some making trips to Martin Army Hospital for treatment of war wounds; week 12 or so of 26, handed Reduction in Force (RIF) letters informing them that had 90 days remaining on active duty. As nieve young basic course students, we all watched in disbelief.

I never forgot it. I never will.
Posted by: Besoeker || 02/17/2013 11:39 Comments || Top||

#8  The skill level on some of the pilots and gunners is extreme. You might be dealing with 3 or so seconds of latency which is hard to compensate for. Getting the mission completed takes more skill than piloting a plane from the cockpit would.

It depends whether you think the medals should be for merit, or for taking risks?
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 02/17/2013 11:51 Comments || Top||

#9  It depends whether you think the medals should be for merit, or for taking risks?

Are there daily, weekly, or quarterly performance goals involved?

Does the recipient fully support the military's diversity policy?

Are the proper demographic boxes checked off?
Posted by: Pappy || 02/17/2013 12:27 Comments || Top||

#10  It depends whether you think the medals should be for merit, or for taking risks?

We have badges for skill - paratroopers have different badges depending on skill. We could do the same thing for drone pilots.

The idea of giving this a higher precedence than the silver star is absurd.

Posted by: Frozen Al || 02/17/2013 13:31 Comments || Top||

#11  We've had truck drivers who've had their vehicle blown out from under them get less than a bronze star, why should the jockeys back in the states get something more?

As Al points out, we have proficiency badges for jumpers with accoutrements so they tell whether the individual just past school or did combat jumps.

There are existing medals that can fill the function if they'd quit using them as 'end of tour' awards and use them as impact awards instead. Just add a new device [service term for a modification to an award ribbon*], to signify a difference.

* ie - oak leaf cluster (bronze and silver), 'V', numerals, etc
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2013 15:03 Comments || Top||

#12  So schools have been handing out 'participation' ribbons, seems the military is following suit.
Posted by: Jan at work || 02/17/2013 17:28 Comments || Top||

#13  No, the USAF has a leg up on the schools.
Posted by: Pappy || 02/17/2013 17:45 Comments || Top||

#14  Oh, and the Army too.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2013 19:01 Comments || Top||

#15  What are these fancy medals for?

Well, this one, is, uh, shorthand. And, uh, this one over here is MVP. And, uh, this is for surfing.

Well, how'd you lose your eye?

F'n around in the office. We were shooting paper clips at each other, and one of the dm fools hit me in the eye!
Posted by: swksvolFF || 02/17/2013 20:36 Comments || Top||

#16  Sure, give 'em a medal. Should be equivalent to what you would get for the final level in Starcraft.

This is just an (amusing) job. You're no fearless warrior.
Posted by: KBK || 02/17/2013 21:14 Comments || Top||

#17  It's simple: you get a merit badge for being good at something. You get a medal for being heroic. Any questions?
Posted by: SteveS || 02/17/2013 23:10 Comments || Top||

Shahbagh protesters attend janaza of murdered blogger
[Bangla Daily Star] The brutal killing of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haidar has strengthened the Shahbagh protesters' resolve and made them more confident of winning their battle.

"Touching our co-fighter's coffin, we now swear not to return home leaving our demands unfulfilled," Imran H Sarker, one of the key organisers of the movement, said after Rajib's namaz-e-janaza at the venue yesterday.

"The soul of our friend will not rest in peace until the spirit of the Liberation War is upheld, Jamaat and Shibir eliminated and their politics banned," said Imran, also a blogger.

The protesters called upon the nation to fight for the justice for the killing of Rajib, who was found murdered near his house at Pallabi in the capital Friday night.

They termed Rajib a martyr and a freedom fighter of new generation and vowed to carry out his mission which was to see the war criminals hanged.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
...Bangla dynastic politician and current Prime Minister of Bangladesh. She has been the President of the Bangla Awami League since 1981. She is the eldest of five children of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh. Her party defeated the BNP-led Four-Party Alliance in the 2008 parliamentary elections. She has once before held the office, from 1996 to 2001, when she was defeated in a landslide...
visited his residence in the capital's Pallabi yesterday afternoon and vowed to bring the murderers to trial.

...back at the Council of Boskone, Helmuth ordered the space pirate fleet to attack Zemblonia...
through separate statements, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and International Committee for Democracy in Bangladesh (ICDB) expressed their solidarity with the movement.

Students and teachers of University of Asia Pacific and Institute of Architects, Bangladesh, yesterday joined the movement. Rajib was a student of the university and a member of the institute.

Spearheaded by a group of bloggers and online activists, the demonstration started on February 5, hours after Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah was given life imprisonment in a war crimes case.

The 12th straight day of the demonstration passed with protesters venting outrage at the murder of Rajib, known in the Bangla blog community as Thaba Baba.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [405 views] Top|| File under: Jamaat-e-Islami

#1  I would think touching your companion's coffin would teach you something, guess not.
Posted by: Redneck Jim || 02/17/2013 8:21 Comments || Top||

Africa Horn
Britain Urges Chad to Arrest Sudan's Bashir
[An Nahar] Britannia called on Chad on Saturday to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir
Head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister Sadiq al-Mahdi and eventually appointed himself president-for-life. He has fallen out with his Islamic mentor, Hasan al-Turabi, tried to impose shariah on the Christian and animist south, resulting in its secessesion, and attempted to Arabize Darfur by unleashing the barbaric Janjaweed on it. Sudan's potential prosperity has been pissed away in warfare that has left as many as 400,000 people dead and 2.5 million displaced. Omar has been indicted for genocide by the International Criminal Court but nothing is expected to come of it.
while he visits N'Djamena for a regional summit and to hand him over to the International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
Chad is one of the countries signed up to the ICC's founding treaty which are legally bound to arrest Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the long-running Darfur conflict.

But several signatories have failed to do so, and Bashir visited Chad on Saturday for talks with central African leaders on security, including the operation against Islamists in Mali.

"If President Bashir is not incarcerated
... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not...
, this will be the third time the government of Chad has failed to implement warrants issued by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide," British minister for Africa Mark Simmonds said.

"Chad has committed itself to full cooperation with the ICC, and I reiterate the importance that the British government places on such commitments.

"The UK expects Chad to stand by its obligations and will be disappointed if it does not do so."
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [362 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Sudan

Home Front: WoT
After 15 years in solitary, convicted terrorist pleads for contact with others
Ramzi Yousef, convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, asks a judge to move him into a more open prison environment. Some agree his treatment is unconstitutional.
All those things we are told happen to people in supermax apparently do. And Mr. Yousef, nephew of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, doesn't like it.
Posted by: trailing wife || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [846 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Firing squad, 7 am tomorrow morning.. problem solved.
Posted by: Mikey Hunt || 02/17/2013 1:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Some agree his treatment is unconstitutional.

...and some don't.
Posted by: tu3031 || 02/17/2013 1:48 Comments || Top||

#3  What else do they want in hell?
Posted by: Shipman || 02/17/2013 2:06 Comments || Top||

#4  He might not like the {sub}human contact he would get...
Posted by: Glenmore || 02/17/2013 7:36 Comments || Top||

#5  Add some pigs to his cell. I'm sure they'll get along great. And if you toss in some monkeys, all his relatives will be there.
Posted by: Silentbrick - Schlumberger Squishy Mud Division || 02/17/2013 8:35 Comments || Top||

#6  Some agree his treatment is unconstitutional.

In the Venn Diagram of political thought, those same people articulate that the Constitution is something made up by a bunch of old/dead white men, several of whom owned slaves, and is inappropriate as a basis to rule for government. So what.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 02/17/2013 8:48 Comments || Top||

#7  "Yes, I am a terrorist, and proud of it," Yousef told Duffy at his January 1998 sentencing. "You are butchers, liars and hypocrites."

Why would even think such pigs and monkeys would listen to you? Go back and read your crayon.
Posted by: Bobby || 02/17/2013 11:12 Comments || Top||

#8  Ramzi Yousef? I'd forgotten about him. But then again, why not?
Posted by: JohnQC || 02/17/2013 16:40 Comments || Top||

#9  he should get contact with others. Is Friday pillow-biter night?
Posted by: Frank G || 02/17/2013 16:55 Comments || Top||

#10  he should get contact with others. Is Friday pillow-biter night?

Maybe he should get some conjugal visits from other prisoners. That qualifies as contact, doesn't it? Voluntary or otherwise, contact is contact.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 02/17/2013 22:59 Comments || Top||

Clashes near Syria Airports as Army Bombs Golan
[An Nahar] Clashes erupted at dawn on Saturday around Aleppo airport and a nearby airbase, as Syrian troops bombarded the Golan ceasefire zone bordering Israel in response to rebel attacks, a watchdog said.

The rebel fighters "clashed with government troops in the vicinity of Aleppo international airport and Nayrab military airbase on Saturday morning as shelling was heard in the area," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The gunnies are pressing for more gains in the northern province of Aleppo after seizing Al-Jarrah military airport and a military complex tasked with securing the international airport this week.

They see the capture of the airports as a way of seizing large amounts of ammunition and to put out of action warplanes used by the regime to bombard rebel-held areas.

The latest violence in the area comes after more than 150 combattants from both sides were killed in the battle for Base 80, the now rebel-held military complex that was tasked with protecting the strategic airports.

Also on Saturday, fighting erupted in the Golan Heights as rebels overran a military police checkpoint at Khan Arnabeh, a town just beyond the outer ceasefire line along the demilitarised zone bordering Israel, said the Observatory.

The rebels captured weapons and a tank after seizing the checkpoint, and blew up the tank when regime forces began to retaliate.

The army shelled Khan Arnabeh and the nearby village of Jubata al-Khashab, located inside the ceasefire zone.

The Golan has been tense since the outbreak two years ago of the anti-regime uprising in Syria that has turned into a bloody insurgency, at times spilling over with mortar and gunfire into the Israeli-held zone.

Regime forces meanwhile killed a key commander of the jihadist Al-Nusra Front on Friday night, also losing seven of their own men when they attacked his safehouse near the rebel-held city of Shadadeh, said the Observatory.

The Al-Nusra Front seized Shadadeh on Thursday after three days of fierce fighting and car kabooms that left more than 100 troops dead.

The festivities come a day after 170 people -- 39 civilians, 53 soldiers and 78 rebels -- were killed nationwide, according to the Observatory, which relies on a network of activists, medics and lawyers on the ground for its reports.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [467 views] Top|| File under: Govt of Syria

Fata people forcing TTP to seek peace, says WP report
[Dawn] Pressure from Pakhtun rustics has forced the Pak Taliban to seek a negotiated settlement of their war with the Pak military, says a Washington Post report published on Friday.

The report describes Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistain as a "fractured and cash-strapped", group which is losing support of local rustics frustrated by a protracted war..

TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud recently offered to start peace talks with the government, raising the prospect of a negotiated end to Pakistain's war against bad turbans.

After interviewing analysts, Fata residents and turban experts, the Post concluded that Mehsud heads a narrow network of faceless myrmidons who often have links to criminal gangs and have only limited influence in a vast tribal region.

The report calls TTP a collection of "scores of bad turban groups led by commanders with disparate agendas and varying loyalties".

But the Post warns that Mehsud's offer to talk peace may be "an attempt to regain stature, silence critics and gain concessions from a weak government heading into nationwide elections".

The report points out that some of Mehsud's most powerful commanders have broken away and set up their own fiefdoms in other parts of the tribal area.

Besides thousands of Pak Taliban and local rustics, Mehsud also has a large number of imported muscle, including Uzbeks and other Central Asians.

The foreigners are "mostly disliked by local residents" who also have started voicing their frustration with the war which has forced thousands of rustics from their homes. Many people in Fata see Mehsud's Taliban as killers and criminals.

"The TTP in North Wazoo is looking for talks because it is losing the support of the local people," an Islamabad-based think-tank, Fata Research Centre, told the Post.

"They are weak, there is infighting," FRC director Mansour Mehsud said. They used to have the support of most people but not anymore," said Mansour Mehsud. "People used to think that they would bring justice based on the holy Koran but instead fighting has displaced hundreds of thousands of people."

He said the Pak Taliban also were running out of money and that extortion and kidnappings had become one of their biggest sources of income.

A wealthy trader living on the edge of the tribal area, who was afraid of giving his name because he feared retribution, told the Post the Taliban swindled thousands of dollars from him.
He said he was threatened, his family was terrorized and then a bomb went kaboom! at his home, seriously wounding his niece.

Commenting on the TTP's peace offer, the Post notes that "in brazen disregard for Pak law, the video in which they offered peace talks featured convicted killer Adnan Rashid, who beat feet from death row during a jailbreak by the Taliban last year," the report points out.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [358 views] Top|| File under: TTP

Hariri to Nasrallah: Protectors of Rafik Hariri's Assassins Mustn't Discuss His History
"Shut up," he explained kindly.
[An Nahar] Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri stated on Saturday that those "protecting the killers of late PM Rafik Hariri have no right to talk about his history".

Hariri's Twitter statement came as a response to Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's Saturday speech during which he said the late PM was supportive of the party's arms until "peace was reached in the Middle East".

"Hariri had told me he would resign from the premiership to avoid being in conflict with Hizbullah," Nasrallah stated during the commemoration of the party's "martyr leaders".

Hizbullah's leader lashed out at Saad Hariri, accusing him of trying to strike a settlement over backing him for the premiership.

He revealed: "You proposed to neutralize the arms of the resistance if we agreed to support you as a premier".

"We will not support you because we want a president who is present in Lebanon," he expressed.

Referring to Hizbullah's controversial arsenal of weapons, Hariri had said on Thursday during the March 14 commemoration of late PM Hariri that "today, every Lebanese is able to see that the problem is not a fatal mistake in (the Bekaa town of) Arsal, the problem lies in fatal weapons widespread across Lebanon, because there is a mini-state more powerful than the state.

Hariri had also addressed the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, saying: "But is it possible that Hizbullah continues to bury its head in the sand and refuses to see the state of anxiety, alienation and division that exists in the Islamic arena as a result of its refusal to hand over the suspects. Is it possible that Hizbullah refuses until now to hand over the accused in the assassination attempt against (MP) Butros Harb?"

Four Hizbullah members have been named suspects by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in the Beirut truck bombing that killed Hariri and 21 others on Feb. 14 , 2005.
Posted by: Fred || 02/17/2013 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [452 views] Top|| File under: Hezbollah

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Two weeks of WOT
Sun 2013-02-17
  Egyptian police publicly beat to death man suspected of killing officer
Sat 2013-02-16
  Bomb kills at least 20 in Pakistani city
Fri 2013-02-15
  Meteorite Hits Urals, Up to 500 Injured
Thu 2013-02-14
  Pakistan asks Taliban to announce 30-day cease-fire for talks
Wed 2013-02-13
  Syrian rebels say they captured military air base near Aleppo
Tue 2013-02-12
  KCNA confirms: Pudgy sets off a nuke
Mon 2013-02-11
  Seven killed, 11 injured in attacks across southern Thailand
Sun 2013-02-10
  Syrian troops, rebels clash over Damascus highway
Sat 2013-02-09
  India Executes Man Convicted in 2001 Attack on Parliament
Fri 2013-02-08
  Suicide bomber hits north Mali, troops clash in capital
Thu 2013-02-07
  Syrian Army Launches 'All-Out Attack' on Capital Region
Wed 2013-02-06
  Fat Lady Sings for Abd el Kader Mahmoud Mohamed el Sayed
Tue 2013-02-05
  Second big turban nabbed in northern Mali
Mon 2013-02-04
  Ansar Dine #3 arrested in northern Mali
Sun 2013-02-03
  Yemen Troops Kill 12 'Qaida Militants' in Restive South

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