September 29, 2005

one year

Jesus said to her,
"I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.
Do you believe this?"
John 11:25-26

Posted by Kyer at 12:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005

Saudis export women & children, Bush to look other way

A few days old, but the news disapointed me very much: Bush Waives Saudi Trafficking Sanctions.

President Bush decided Wednesday to waive any financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia, Washington's closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism, for failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers.

[...] In addition to Saudi Arabia, Ecuador and Kuwait — another U.S. ally in the Middle East — were given a complete pass on any sanctions, Jordan said. Despite periodic differences, oil-rich Saudi Arabia and the United States have a tight alliance built on economic and military cooperation.

H/T: Patrick

There is so much that could be said about this, but it's all wasted breath.

If you want to find out more about human-trafficking, click the expandable image/blogroll on my left sidebar (the hands in shackles).

Posted by Kyer at 09:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"This Great Arab Silence"

Fouad Ajami: Heart of Darkness.

The remarkable thing about the terror in Iraq is the silence with which it is greeted in other Arab lands. Grant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi his due: He has been skilled at exposing the pitilessness on the loose in that fabled Arab street and the moral emptiness of so much of official Arab life. The extremist is never just a man of the fringe: He always works at the outer edges of mainstream life, playing out the hidden yearnings and defects of the dominant culture. Zarqawi is a bigot and a killer, but he did not descend from the sky. He emerged out of the Arab world’s sins of omission and commission; in the way he rails against the Shiites (and the Kurds) he expresses that fatal Arab inability to take in “the other.” A terrible condition afflicts the Arabs, and Zarqawi puts it on lethal display: an addiction to failure, and a desire to see this American project in Iraq come to a bloody end.

Zarqawi’s war, it has to be conceded, is not his alone; he kills and maims, he labels the Shiites rafida (rejecters of Islam), he charges them with treason as “collaborators of the occupiers and the crusaders,” but he can be forgiven the sense that he is a holy warrior on behalf of a wider Arab world that has averted its gaze from his crimes, that has given him its silent approval. He and the band of killers arrayed around him must know the meaning of this great Arab silence.

Via: Charles.

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China: It does a commie good.

China Wants Only 'Healthy' News on Web.

China said Sunday it is imposing new regulations to control content on its news Web sites and will allow the posting of only "healthy and civilized" news.

The move is part of China's ongoing efforts to police the country's 100-million Internet population. Only the United States, with 135 million users, has more.

The new rules take effect immediately and will "standardize the management of news and information" in the country, the official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday.

Sites should only post news on current events and politics, according to the new regulations issued by the Ministry of Information Industry and China's cabinet, the State Council. The subjects that would be acceptable under those categories was not clear.

Only "healthy and civilized news and information that is beneficial to the improvement of the quality of the nation, beneficial to its economic development and conducive to social progress" will be allowed, Xinhua said.

"The sites are prohibited from spreading news and information that goes against state security and public interest," it added.

Power to the people, to each according to his or her own need, long live the proletariat, etc. etc. etc.

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Firefighters looking out for eachother --- online.

Database Seeks to Lower Firefighter Deaths.

It's a scene that plays out in firehouses every day: Firefighters return from a blaze or rescue call and talk about a close call that could have injured or killed someone. The International Association of Fire Chiefs wants firefighters nationwide to learn from such stories through the National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System.

The national database went online last month after the completion of a pilot program involving 38 fire departments across the country. The Web site lets firefighters report such incidents anonymously and without fear of punishment.

"You come back from a call and you talk about something that happened and you learn," said John Tippett, a Montgomery County, Md., fire battalion chief who helped the group develop the site. "The guys on the next shift don't always hear about it, other companies don't hear about it."

Online: The National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System Task Force

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September 25, 2005

A Marine with a Message

...and he's from, Nebraska, no less! (Can ya dig it, Eric?)

Rock the mothatruck out.

Image Hosted by
Once Marine Gunnery Sgt. Michael Burghardt realized he could wiggle his toes and fingers, he had one message for the insurgents who wounded him - defiance.

Burghardt, of Huntington Beach, Calif., disarmed two bombs that were found - quick action that probably saved the lives of several Nebraska soldiers. But he couldn't get to a third.

Via Matt (BlackFive), via Toni (ViewfromTonka).

To read more about the article, visit the Omaha World-Herald, and of course, don't sign up...use bugmenot, homie.

UPDATE: Free Republic has much much more.

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USS Iowa: Gay Sailor Central


There's a new battle plan for bringing the battleship Iowa to San Francisco," the Chronicle reports.

The battleship's supporters now hope to gain the support of city leaders by turning part of the vessel into a museum about the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and the contributions of gays, lesbians, ethnic minorities and women to the military.

The Board of Supervisors rejected the ship in July, and two supervisors explained their "no" votes by saying they objected to the military's policies toward gays and lesbians, while others opposed the war in Iraq.

First, as cited on Wiki, "In 2005 San Fran[c]isco's city council, citing opposition to the Iraq War and the military's policies regarding homosexuals, voted 8-3 against maintaining Iowa in the city, paving the way for Stockton, California to acquire the battleship" they changed their mind because they want to defame the ship.


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Honore: "Terminator in Aviators"

Charmaine's other half, Jack, breaks down Honore's media smackdown in little bite size pieces so they can understand: Leadership and Honore: A Reverse Fisking of "Stuck on Stupid".

The sunglasses normally don't work for normal people making a presentation. Eye contact is necessary to establish trust in a small group. But The General is not normal; nor is the situation. The General doesn't need this rule due to this caveat: In this setting the shades are intimidating.

Think Terminator in Aviators.

Read it all.

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Jordan, Jews & Jihad

Via Laer:

King Abdullah II of Jordan is staking a bold position against radical jihadist Islam, seeking a reform to moderation for the religion that even includes closer ties with Jews.

WashTimes reports that Abdullah met with American rabbis Wednesday and told them:

"We face a common threat: extremist distortions of religion and the wanton acts of violence that derive therefrom. Such abominations have already divided us from without for far too long."
Abdullah also attacked the jihadists, in effect saying Muslims and Jews are closer than Muslims and the likes of bin Ladin or Zarqawi:
"Muslims from every branch of Islam can now assert without doubt or hesitation., "that a fatwa calling for the killing of innocent civilians -- no matter what nationality or religion, Muslim or Jew, Arab or Israeli -- is a basic violation of the most fundamental principles of Islam."
It's not his first venture down this road (here's a WaPo report on his recent speech at Catholic University), and I hope it's not one of his last. He is taking a very courageous position, one that could easily result in his death -- but it is voices like his that are needed now. To turn Islam around will require multiple Martin Luthers.

We have one in Jordan's King. Where are the others?

Muy interesante, mis amigos.

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September 21, 2005

Blog reality

Via Alex @ Law & Ordance:

[...] To the bloggers who consistently churn out ten posts a day, I ask you: does nothing EVER come up in your life, or do you just bring a wireless laptop with you everywhere you go? Because if I could punch out just TWO posts a day for a month, without getting fired or left by my wife, it would be a freaking miracle.

Please, someone. Tell me the secret. Inquiring minds want to know.

Yep. That sums it up pretty well.

And you wonder why I didn't post for nearly a week.

(That little thing called life keeps getting in the way...)

Posted by Kyer at 09:31 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

"Don't get stuck on stupid"

Chairman Alday posted this little gem about Katrina disaster-relief bossman, Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who had this to say at a press conference today:

Let’s not get stuck on the last storm. You’re asking last storm questions for people who are concerned about the future storm. Don’t get stuck on stupid, reporters. We are moving forward. And don’t confuse the people please. You are part of the public message. So help us get the message straight. And if you don’t understand, maybe you’ll confuse it to the people.

Stick it to 'em, General. Afterall, the media is the message, right?

UPDATE: The Political Teen has video

Cross-posted @ VINCE AUT MORIRE

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September 16, 2005

US Embassy Employees Involved in Human-Trafficking?

Eritrea holds U.S. embassy staff for trafficking:

Eritrea has arrested two local employees of the U.S. embassy in Asmara on charges of human trafficking, the government said on Thursday -- the latest in a series of diplomatic difficulties between the two countries.

"These parties are accountable to the law for their illicit engagement in activities of human trafficking and, as such, like all other wrongdoers, they are being held under custody for their offence," Information Minister Ali Abdu Ahmed said.

The minister, speaking to Reuters in Nairobi by telephone, would not give more details of the incident.

Several weeks ago Eritrea's rebel movement-turned-government asked the U.S. government's overseas development agency, USAID, to leave without any public explanation.

The two countries are also still at odds over the arrest in 2001 of two other local employees of the embassy.

The U.S. mission in Asmara would not confirm or deny the latest arrests. A spokesman added that the two employees arrested in 2001 were still being held without charge despite Washington's repeated demands for their release or trial.

Abdu said Eritrea, which lies in the Horn of Africa, had a sovereign obligation to act in its national interests. "Like in any other sovereign states, citizens, irrespective of where they work, are accountable to the laws of the land," he said.

I don't buy this...

Again, like the article stated, Eritrea-US relations have been a bit diplomatically-iffy, needless to say, especially since Eritrea believes neighboring Ethiopia receives more international aid/attention then they do.

Countries ruled by "rebel movements" don't rank high on my legitimacy scale, either --- especially when the make claims such as these.

If anyone runs across further developments of this incident, drop me a line. Since the names of the embassy staff members were not released, it might prove difficult to track this case.

Posted by Kyer at 07:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Paleswinian Vandalism Sets Back Economic Growth

Settlement looters set back Gaza development hopes:

GANEI TAL, Gaza Strip, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Palestinian destruction of greenhouses in vacated Jewish settlements in Gaza has dented hopes of a quick economic windfall from Israel's withdrawal, Palestinian officials said on Wednesday.

They had expected the settlement greenhouses left behind would provide thousands of jobs to boost a meagre job market in Gaza, where unemployment and poverty rates exceed 50 percent.

But looters and revellers converged on the area after Israel's army pulled out on Monday after 38 years of occupation, stripping greenhouses of critical supplies from rubber hoses to water pumps and rendering many of them temporarily unusable. "All of us are angry at the looting that took place. It is a shame. These greenhouses were supposed to be used to feed the children of thousands of families," would-be farmer Abdullah Ali, 32, said of the damage in the former Ganei Tal settlement.

Basil Jaber, chairman of the Palestine Economic Development Company, said looters had damaged about a third of the state-of-the-art hothouses left behind by Israel and donated to the Palestinians by Jewish-American philanthropists.

He had hoped at least 4,000 Palestinians could work at the greenhouses, but only 1,500 had been recruited since Israeli troops left the Gaza settlement bloc on Monday. Even their work has now been suspended pending repairs.

Fearing that the looting has sent the wrong signal to a world that sees Gaza as a testing ground for future Palestinian statehood, security authorities restricted movement into the former Gush Katif settlement area on Wednesday.

Is anybody really surprised by this story?

Same old death-cult destruction

Posted by Kyer at 07:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

"By their posters you will know them."

An article about an evangelical group using a pop-culture advertising approach for...well..uh... evangelizing.

I'll translate it sometime/day when I have time/feel like it, but it's short enough to post in its entirety so if you are that curious/impatient, copy/paste it something like, o/k?

From BBCMundo: Por sus afiches los conoceréis.

Image Hosted by "25 de diciembre, la Revolución comienza. Celebra el nacimiento de un héroe".

Con esta frase arranca una de las campañas evangelizadoras más insólitas en la historia reciente del cristianismo.

La idea es tan simple como contundente, y no está exenta de riesgos: mezclar dos de los íconos más famosos de toda la historia de la humanidad.

Y ahí lo tiene... el afiche más polémico del momento: el Niño Jesús transformado en Che Guevara, próximo a exhibirse en calles y edificios británicos esta navidad.

Esta es la más reciente campaña publicitaria de la Red de Promoción de las Iglesias (CAN, por sus siglas en inglés), una organización cristiana británica que no le teme a la controversia para buscar fieles para la religión.

Mesías modelo 1999

La organización religiosa ya había intentado algo parecido en 1999.

En aquella ocasión difundió un afiche de Jesús adulto, coronado con espinas, en la típica pose desafiante del Che Guevara, y enmarcado con la leyenda: "tímido, callado, cómo no".

Las reacciones no se hicieron esperar.

Un ex parlamentario británico afiliado al conservatismo describió entonces a los afiches como "vulgarmente sacrílegos".

La iglesia católica de Inglaterra y Gales se retiró de la campaña, cuestionando la idea misma de usar instrumentos de mercadeo para promover la fe.

"No tenemos un producto para mercadear", afirmaron sin ocultar su molestia.

Eso no fue obstáculo para la resurrección de la idea en 2005, pero ahora con la cara infantil de Jesús sustituyendo a la del símbolo rebelde, con el familiar trasfondo del afiche del Che.

Héroe moderno

CAN espera que la imagen desafiante del Niño Dios vuelto guerrillero latinoamericano le envíe un mensaje potente a los creyentes.

Su director, Francis Goodwin, dijo al diario londinense Metro:

"Nuestras campañas siguen enfocadas en Jesús antes que en la Iglesia, pues hemos encontrado que la mejor manera de interactuar con la gente es hablar de Jesucristo y de lo que quiere decir para la gente de hoy".

Un vocero de CAN defendió la elección del Che como inspiración a su campaña, recordando que Jesús "fue una imagen retadora, un héroe, un revolucionario de verdad".

"Fue Jesús el que retó al mundo, no el Che. Y no fue un Jesús gentil, tímido o suave".

Posted by Kyer at 06:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2005

Muslim on Muslim Violence

Zarqawi declares war on Iraq Shi'ites.

A suicide bomber killed 114 people in a crowd of Shi'ite laborers in the bloodiest of a wave of attacks in Baghdad, and a statement attributed to Iraq's al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi declared war on Shi'ites.

[...] Zarqawi said his declaration of war on Iraq's majority Shi'ite Muslims was in response to the offensive mounted by U.S. and Iraqi forces against insurgents in the town of Tal Afar near the Syrian border, according to an Internet audio tape.

[...] "Al Qaeda Organization in Iraq ... has declared war against Shi'ites in all of Iraq," said the voice on the audio tape, sounding like that on previous recordings attributed to Zarqawi. No immediate verification was available.

The big difference between Sunni on Shi'ite violence in the Sandbox and Protestant vs. Catholic violence in (N)Ireland is the lack of justification for such behavior in Christian scriptures.

Show me where in the Holy Bible you will find a justification for Prods and Caths to riot and fight each other?

<AP: A Protestant youth passes a burning bus in north Belfast, Northern Ireland Monday Sept 12, 2005.

Now go on and tell me the "Noble Qur'an" doesn't advocate the killing of ...well...anybody...

Free Image Hosting at

Go ahead. I dare you.

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Arms Tunnel to, you guessed it, Gaza.

Honestly, is anybody really surprised? Egypt Discovers Tunnel Under Gaza Border:

El-ARISH, Egypt - Egypt said Wednesday it had found an arms-smuggling tunnel under the Gaza border, and Palestinians crossing the frontier were warned to return by sunset when passport controls will be reimposed.

Egyptian border guards discovered the tunnel in the al-Duhniya area, 2 1/2 miles south of the Rafah crossing point, on Tuesday evening, a security official said.

The tunnel contained 38 firearms and three rocket-propelled grenades, the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The tunnel penetrated to the Palestinian side of the frontier, and Palestinian security forces seized the weapons Wednesday, the official said.

The smuggling of weapons from Egypt was a major concern of the Israeli military administration that ruled the Gaza Strip from 1967 until Monday. The Israeli withdrawal was conditional on Egypt's deploying troops along the border to prevent arms smuggling.

I am sure both the Egyptian and Paleswinian "border police" will try their darndest to prevent arms smuggling...

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Lawyer: Saddam Trial Is Political Gimmick

Lawyer: Saddam Trial Is Political Gimmick:

AMMAN, Jordan - A top member of Saddam Hussein's defense team said Monday the deposed dictator's upcoming trial was a political gimmick by the new Iraqi government as it tries to generate support for next month's constitutional referendum.

Saddam and seven other members of his toppled regime are due to stand trial in the Iraq Special Tribunal on Oct. 19. They are charged with ordering a massacre of 143 people in Dujail, a town north of Baghdad, in 1982 after a failed assassination attempt against the ousted leader. If convicted, Saddam could be sentenced to death.

"The court isn't even halfway ready to try the case," Abdel Haq Alani told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from Britain. "It's simply political capital being used to follow the referendum on the constitution."

Yea...and killing thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians was just a parlor trick...

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September 11, 2005

9:03 a.m.

Posted by Kyer at 09:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

8:46 a.m.

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"We'll go forward from this moment..."

By Leonard Pitts Jr. of the Miami Herald, September 12, 2001:

We'll go forward from this moment

It's my job to have something to say. They pay me to provide words that help make sense of that which troubles the American soul. But in this moment of airless shock when hot tears sting disbelieving eyes, the only thing I can find to say, the only words that seem to fit, must be addressed to the unknown author of this suffering.

You monster. You beast. You unspeakable bastard.

What lesson did you hope to teach us by your coward's attack on our World Trade Center, our Pentagon, us? What was it you hoped we would learn? Whatever it was, please know that you failed.

Did you want us to respect your cause?
You just damned your cause.
Did you want to make us fear?
You just steeled our resolve.
Did you want to tear us apart?
You just brought us together.

Let me tell you about my people. We are a vast and quarrelsome family, a family rent by racial, social, political and class division, but a family nonetheless. We're frivolous, yes, capable of expending tremendous emotional energy on pop cultural minutiae - a singer's revealing dress, a ball team's misfortune, a cartoon mouse. We're wealthy, too, spoiled by the ready availability of trinkets and material goods, and maybe because of that, we walk through life with a certain sense of blithe entitlement. We are fundamentally decent, though - peaceful, loving, and compassionate. We struggle to know the right thing and to do it. And we are, the overwhelming majority of us, people of faith, believers in a just and loving God.

Some people -- you, perhaps -- think that any or all of this makes us weak. You're mistaken. We are not weak. Indeed, we are strong in ways that cannot be measured by arsenals.


Yes, we're in pain now. We are in mourning and we are in shock. We're still grappling with the unreality of the awful thing you did, still working to make ourselves understand that this isn't a special effect from some Hollywood blockbuster, isn't the plot development from a Tom Clancy novel. Both in terms of the awful scope of their ambition and the probable final death toll, your attacks are likely to go down as the worst acts of terrorism in the history of the United States and, probably, the history of the world. You've bloodied us as we have never been bloodied before.

But there's a gulf of difference between making us bloody and making us fall. This is the lesson Japan was taught to its bitter sorrow the last time anyone hit us this hard, the last time anyone brought us such abrupt and monumental pain. When roused, we are righteous in our outrage, terrible in our force. When provoked by this level of barbarism, we will bear any suffering, pay any cost, go to any length, in the pursuit of justice.

I tell you this without fear of contradiction. I know my people, as you, I think, do not. What I know reassures me. It also causes me to tremble with dread of the future.

In the days to come, there will be recrimination and accusation, fingers pointing to determine whose failure allowed this to happen and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. There will be heightened security, misguided talk of revoking basic freedoms. We'll go forward from this moment sobered, chastened, sad. But determined, too. Unimaginably determined.


You see, the steel in us is not always readily apparent. That aspect of our character is seldom understood by people who don't know us well. On this day, the family's bickering is put on hold. As Americans we will weep, as Americans we will mourn, and as Americans, we will rise in defense of all that we cherish.

So I ask again: What was it you hoped to teach us? It occurs to me that maybe you just wanted us to know the depths of your hatred. If that's the case, consider the message received.

And take this message in exchange:
-You don't know my people.
-You don't know what we're capable of.
-You don't know what you just started.

But you're about to learn."

(emphasis mine)
photo by: Bill Wolfrom

UPDATE: Rememberance Sites:
WTC Victims
Pentagon Victims
Wall of Americans
America Attacked Photofilm
Sept. 11 Digital Archives

FDNY: Blood of Heroes

President Bush declares Sept 10-12 as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance
The President's radio address can be found here.

Some words to reflect upon...

2 Corinthians 1:9-11
Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.
He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,
as you help us by your prayers.
Then many will give thanks on our behalf
for the gracious favor granted us
in answer to the prayers of many.

Matthew 12:21 "In his name the nations will put their hope."

Psalm 9:1-10
I will praise you, O LORD , with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

My enemies turn back;
they stumble and perish before you.
For you have upheld my right and my cause;
you have sat on your throne, judging righteously.
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
Endless ruin has overtaken the enemy,
you have uprooted their cities;
even the memory of them has perished.

The LORD reigns forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.
He will judge the world in righteousness;
he will govern the peoples with justice.
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD , have never forsaken those who seek you.


Posted by Kyer at 08:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 10, 2005

9/11 Families Fight Back Against "IFC"

Families Rally Against 9/11 Museum:

Holding up pictures of their loved ones and signs that read "Preserve Sacred Ground," more than 500 relatives of Sept. 11 victims rallied at the World Trade Center site Saturday against a proposed museum.

Family members worry the International Freedom Center will take attention away from those who died in the attack. They said the museum should not be allowed to show exhibits about struggles for freedom around the world.

"These are important stories to tell," said Jack Lynch, whose firefighter son Michael Lynch is one of the 2,749 people who died at the trade center. "Elsewhere, not at America's memorial."

The rally by more than a dozen family groups came a day before the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. A bouquet of white flowers and several single, red roses were tucked into the metal fence surrounding the site, while huge American flags hung outside nearby office buildings.

"The IFC threatens to turn ground zero into a place of endless controversy rather than a place of honor," said Anthony Gardner, whose brother Harvey died at the trade center.

[...] "We respect those family members who believe that the World Trade Center site should be limited to the memorial and memorial center museum, even as we and other family members believe that a living memorial, reflecting our common resolve to preserve freedom, should also have a place on this sacred ground," Freedom Center chairman Tom Bernstein and vice chair Paula Berry — who lost her husband on Sept. 11 — said in a statement Saturday.

Supporters of the so-called "International Freedom Center" should be placed on the shame same shelf as those dhimmis who proposed this outrageous UAL Flight 93 memorial design:

You have no right, end of conversation.

Posted by Kyer at 10:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Chile's "9/11"

Sept. 11 a Dark Day in Chile, Too:

Sept. 11 is dark day in Chile too: the anniversary of Gen. Augusto Pinochet's bloody military coup. And as in the past, it finds Chileans not just sad, but angry.

Violent protests have broken out in several cities, leaving four people injured and at least 20 detained. The government warned of "zero tolerance" for anyone who tries to incite unrest Sunday.

"This is not the Chile we want to build," said President Ricardo Lagos, urging his South American nation to remain calm this weekend.

Pinochet seized power Sept. 11, 1973, toppling democratically elected Marxist President Salvador Allende, who committed suicide during the military bombardment of the government palace.

The general went on to govern Chile for 17 years. During that time, 3,197 people were killed for political reasons, according to an official report prepared by the civilian government that succeeded Pinochet in 1990. More than 1,000 others — the "disappeared" — remain unaccounted for and were presumably murdered after being picked up by Pinochet's security forces.

But while hundreds of former military officers are being tried on human rights charges, only a few have been convicted, including four generals. Pinochet himself has been indicted twice and still faces hundreds of lawsuits, but has been spared trial because of his poor health.

[...]"One works hard to get a human rights violator indicted and then he is pardoned," complained Lorena Pizarro, who heads a group of relatives of dissidents who disappeared at the hands of Pinochet's security forces.

"Those who are guilty must be punished," she told The Associated Press. "We will continue to fight to gain even more convictions."

Posted by Kyer at 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Generosity of The Iraqi Army

Iraqi Soldiers Donate to Katrina Victims:

TAJI, Iraq, Sept. 9, 2005 — Iraqi soldiers serving at Taji military base collected 1,000,000 Iraqi dinars for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Iraqi Col. Abbas Fadhil, Iraqi base commander, presented the money to U.S. Col. Paul D. Linkenhoker, Taji Coalition base commander, at a Sept. 5 staff meeting. “We are all brothers,” said Abbas. “When one suffers tragedy, we all suffer their pain.”

The amount of money is small in American dollars - roughly $680 - but it represents a huge act of compassion from Iraqi soldiers to their American counterparts, said U.S. Army Maj. Michael Goyne. “I was overwhelmed by the amount of their generosity,” Goyne said. “I was proud and happy to know Col. Abbas, his officers, NCOs and fellow soldiers. That amount represents a month’s salary for most of those soldiers.”

Abbas read a letter he wrote after giving the envelope to Linkenhoker.

“I am Colonel Abbas Fadhil; Tadji Military Base Commander,” Abbas wrote. “On behalf of myself and all the People of Tadji Military Base; I would like to console the American People and Government for getting this horrible disaster. So we would like to donate 1.000.000 Iraqi Dinars to help the government and the People also I would like to console all the ASTs who helped us rebuilding our country and our Army. We appreciate the American’s help and support. Thank you.”

May God bless you and your men, Colonel Fadhil. You truly are our brothers in arms and in freedom.

Posted by Kyer at 09:57 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 06, 2005

Beslan Terrorists Were Just Gunmen...


If you read the Globe AP article carefully, you’ll note something very strange. If ever people had earned the right to be called “terrorists” (and much worse), the Beslan perpetrators had fully earned that right. And yet the AP seems, once again, to bend over backwards to avoid the word. Sure, the word “terrorists” appears five times in the article, but most of these are quotes from Putin’s speech. He, at least, doesn’t pull his punches; he uses the word four times in two sentences.

Mike Eckel, author of the AP article that appeared in the Globe, only uses the word “terrorist” once himself to describe the Beslan attackers. And even then the word is only used in a very general way to say that this is “the anniversary of one of Russia’s deadliest terrorist attacks” (by the way, was it not the deadliest terrorist attack in Russia, not just the less dramatic “one of” them?). When action verbs are used, then Eckel and the AP back off and call them “militants” (twice) and “rebels” (once), as in “militants attacked.”

The focus of media coverage in general was focused on two elements: the grieving families, and the incompetence and negligence of the Russian authorities. Both, of course, are suitable subject matter; it’s the lack of balancing attention paid to the perpetrators, and the inability to call them what they most undoubtedly were, that struck me as odd.

H/T: That Charles character...

Posted by Kyer at 07:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Blackhawks Being Used for... Press Duty?

Let us hope this is not the case.

U.S. Customs' hurricane-relief Blackhawks pulling press duty (link)
By Bill Conroy (NarcoNews)

The crews for three U.S. Customs Blackhawk helicopters stationed at Crestview Airport in Florida are "livid" because they have not been directed to provide full-time support for the ongoing hurricane-relief effort in the nation's Gulf Coast region, according to Mark Conrad, a former regional Internal Affairs supervisor for U.S. Customs.
Conrad says instead of helping people left desperate in the wake of Katrina's wrath, the Blackhawk's actually were slated to transport a CNN news crew to take video shots of those people.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection leadership in Miami is behind the press-play strategy, Conrad says.

"They have three Blackhawk helicopters and crew just sitting there doing nothing, just so they can look good for CNN. The crew is livid," Conrad says. "They made one trip earlier and flew over Biloxi, (Mississippi) where there are dead bodies everywhere. Those are highly trained crews and Blackhawk helicopters can carry a lot of food and water. They could be doing something."

A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official familiar with the Blackhawk operation in Florida confirms Conrad's report. The official, who asked not to be named, says the Blackhawks were flown in from as far away as San Diego to supposedly assist with hurricane-relief efforts. They were stationed in Florida primarily to assure adequate refueling services.

“There are three Blackhawks from various parts of the country with extended tanks, which means they can hang out for four to five hours (in the air),” the DHS official says. “Each has a crew of about five, plus there is a fixed-wing aircraft and a light helicopter.”

The DHS official says the Blackhawks have been in Florida since Tuesday morning and have flown only one mission in two days. The original mission involved “flying a CNN news crew to take photos.” However, the official says maintenance problems led to that plan being “rescinded.”

Instead, the Blackhawks were ordered to fly to Biloxi to deliver supplies, but then were ordered back immediately.

“The helicopters are available, but nothing is happening,” the DHS official says. “They were going to be used for a photo mission, but that was cancelled fortunately.”

The DHS official himself is upset by the apparent indifference of Customs and Border Protection's management in Miami, which oversees the operation. (DHS is the parent agency of U.S. Customs.)

“Those Blackhawks could be used to deliver supplies to people in New Orleans and other devastated areas,” the DHS official stresses. “They could be dropping water, food and radios. That might be the difference between someone holding on a day or two longer, or dying.”

In fact, the DHS official says more of Customs' air assets could easily be redirected to the ravaged Gulf Coast region by “concentrating on that mission” instead of patrolling the Southwest border.

“This is serious,” the DHS official says. “Peoples lives are at stake.”


Posted by Kyer at 07:26 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

"Berlusconi for President '08"

Oh, if only it were possible... Berlusconi: West Superior to Islam.

The West is morally better than the Islamic world and will prevail, eventually. That in a nutshell is what Italian Prime M Silvio Berlusconi said while on a visit to the German capital Berlin. He made these comments in a conversation with journalists just before a press conference with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Berlusconi literally said: We must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation, a system that has guaranteed well-being, respect for human rights and – in contrast with Islamic countries - respect for religious and political rights."

The Western civilisation is superior, Mr Berlusconi added, because "it has at its core - as its greatest value - freedom, which is not the heritage of Islamic culture". The Italian prime minister predicted that "the West will continue to conquer peoples, even if it means a confrontation with another civilisation, Islam, firmly entrenched where it was 1400 years ago".

H/T: P$

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September 05, 2005

AP Misleading Headline of the Day

Most-Wanted Terrorist Dies in Saudi Clash.

DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia - Saudi security forces battled heavily armed suspected al-Qaida members holed up in a sea-front apartment building Monday, a day after two militants — one of them the kingdom's No. 3 most-wanted terrorist — died in clashes across this eastern city.

Zaid Saad Zaid al-Samari, a 31-year-old Saudi, was killed during fighting Sunday in Dammam, a security official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give information to the media. A police officer also was killed Sunday.

Al-Samari was on a list of 36 most-wanted terrorists sought in relation to multiple terror attacks launched in this kingdom since May 2003.

Talk about misleading.

The AP could definitely have said "Most Wanted on Saudi Terror List Killed" or something to that extent.

I checked the news thinking Papa Jihad himself or even Zarcoweeee went down.

Shame on them, getting me all excited and whatnot.

Posted by Kyer at 08:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Call for Jihad on LAPD

Flyer Calls for "Jihad" Against the LAPD.

KFI NEWS has obtained a copy of a flyer that’s been circulated in South Los Angeles, calling on members of two violent street gangs to join the Nation of Islam in a jihad, or holy war, against the LAPD.

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The telephone number listed for the Nation of Islam’s Los Angeles mosque near 87th and Vermont has been disconnected, but a check of a reverse directory reveals the phone number on the flyer is connected to the mosque at the same address.

The NOI’s Los Angeles leader Minister Tony Muhammad has claimed he was the victim of an unprovoked attack by LAPD officers at the scene of a vigil for a murdered gang member.

The LAPD last week released an audio tape of some garbled radio transmissions in which they say Muhammad can be heard challenging officers.

First Mara Salvatrucha, now the Bloods and the Crips...


H/T: Charles

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W to Roberts: "You da man!"

A very good, albeit, ballsy move... Bush Nominates Roberts As Chief Justice:

WASHINGTON - President Bush on Monday nominated John Roberts to succeed William H. Rehnquist as chief justice, and called on the Senate to confirm him before the Supreme Court opens its fall term on Oct. 3.

The swift move would promote to the Supreme Court's top job a man who currently is being considered as one of eight associate justices.

"I am honored and humbled by the confidence the president has shown in me," Roberts said, standing alongside Bush in the Oval Office.

"He's a man of integrity and fairness and throughout his life he's inspired the respect and loyalty of others," Bush said. "John Roberts built a record of excellence and achievement and reputation for goodwill and decency toward others. in his extraordinary career."

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The Crime of Christianisation

CT: Indonesia School Teachers Guilty, Sentenced to Three Years in Prison.

Three women in Indonesia, who were arrested and charged with 'Christianisation', have been convicted by Indonesian judges and sentenced to three years in prison.

Dr. Rebecca Laonita, Mrs Ratna Mala Bangun and Mrs Ety Pangesti of Gereja Kristen Kemah Daud (GKKD), of the Christian Church of David's Camp; were involved in a children's holiday project called ‘Happy Week’ in Haurgelis, West Java.

They were imprisoned on 13th May in Indramayu State Prison and found guilty on 1 September of violating the Child Protection Act of 2002, which forbids "deception, lies or enticement" causing a child to convert to another religion. The maximum sentence for violation of the Act is five years in prison and a fine of 100 million rupiah (US$10,226).

When the verdict was announced at 11am local time, the courtroom filled with Muslim radicals, shouted "Allahu akbar!", which means "God is great!" ...

Murderous threats were made by Islamic extremists inside and outside the courtroom. One was reported to have brought a coffin to bury the defendant if they were found innocent.

H/T: Patrick

Cross-posted @ Warriors of The Way.

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Ben Stein: "A Few Truths..."

The American Spectator: Get Off His Back.

A few truths, for those who have ears and eyes and care to know the truth:

1.) The hurricane that hit New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama was an astonishing tragedy. The suffering and loss of life and peace of mind of the residents of those areas is acutely horrifying.

2.) George Bush did not cause the hurricane. Hurricanes have been happening for eons. George Bush did not create them or unleash this one.

3.) George Bush did not make this one worse than others. There have been far worse hurricanes than this before George Bush was born.

4.) There is no overwhelming evidence that global warming exists as a man-made phenomenon. There is no clear-cut evidence that global warming even exists. There is no clear evidence that if it does exist it makes hurricanes more powerful or makes them aim at cities with large numbers of poor people. If global warming is a real phenomenon, which it may well be, it started long before George Bush was inaugurated, and would not have been affected at all by the Kyoto treaty, considering that Kyoto does not cover the world's worst polluters -- China, India, and Brazil. In a word, George Bush had zero to do with causing this hurricane. To speculate otherwise is belief in sorcery.

Read the rest.

Posted by Kyer at 01:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 04, 2005

C&F: Noms de Guerre

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Here’s an AFP story about the anniversary of the horrific slaughter of children in Beslan, Russia, by Islamic terrorists from Chechnya—in which the word “Islam” does not appear: Minute of silence marks anniversary of Beslan hostage bloodbath.
BESLAN, Russia (AFP) - Stifling anguished cries, survivors of the Beslan tragedy and relatives of more than 300 dead hostages observed a minute of silence at the ruins of School Number One on the anniversary of the disaster.

Gathering under rain clouds, mourners stood in and around the ruins of the school to observe a minute of silence at 1:05 pm (0905 GMT), the precise moment when Russian rescue forces a year ago launched a chaotic attempt to rescue more than 1,100 hostages.

Only the sound of sobbing interrupted the silence.

Then white balloons were floated into the dark sky, one for each of the 319 hostages who perished, including 186 children, and 12 servicemen. All but one of the 32 gunmen, who had been demanding an end to the war in Chechnya, were also killed in the battle.

See, they were just anti-war militants, and all those children and hostages just perished. Somehow. In a tragedy.

H/T: Charles

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September 03, 2005

NYT: Day of Terror in Beslan

Despite all the Grey Lady's flaws, the New York Times has produced a most excellent photo slideshow, complete with detailed narration of the siege, complete with some live footage.

Click Image to Begin Slideshow

If you only check out one piece of wk?'s coverage of the Beslan anniversary, let this be it.

Posted by Kyer at 02:43 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beslan: Archived Coverage

Stan's (Logic & Sanity) unbeatable liveblogging coverage from last year:

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Make sure you check out his archived posts here.

Posted by Kyer at 02:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BBCMundo: Model of Beslan Siege

La tragedia de Beslan, paso a paso:

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Sorry it is in Spanish, but the models explain themselves.

Posted by Kyer at 02:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beslan: Wintery Graves

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Beslan cemetary with fresh graves from September. The two markers on the left hold the bodies of six children belonging to
the two Totiev Brothers who minister in the Beslan Church.
Source: P.O.E.M.

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September 02, 2005

A prayer for the people of Beslan...Redux

This is what the LORD says:
"A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
and refusing to be comforted,
because her children are no more."

This is what the LORD says:
"Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,"
declares the LORD .

"They will return from the land of the enemy.
So there is hope for your future," declares the LORD .

"Your children will return to their own land."

Иеремия 31:15-17
Так говорит Господь: голос слышен в Раме, вопль и горькое рыдание; Рахиль плачет о детях своих и не хочет утешиться о детях своих, ибо их нет.

Так говорит Господь: удержи голос твой от рыдания и глаза твои от слез, ибо есть награда за труд твой, говорит Господь, и возвратятся они из земли неприятельской.

И есть надежда для будущности твоей, говорит Господь, и возвратятся сыновья твои в пределы свои

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September 01, 2005

Beslan: "...shameful for all of humanity"

Beslan wounds still raw:

Hundreds of mourners carrying red carnations and roses filed into the gutted gymnasium of Beslan’s School No. 1 today, gathering to commemorate the anniversary of the hostage tragedy that claimed 331 lives.

Policemen lined the streets of the small town in the southern Russian region of North Ossetia, and mourners had to go through metal detectors to reach the schoolyard.

As priests chanted prayers, some mourners leaned down to place thin wax candles and stuffed animals on the remnants of the gymnasium walls. Sobs could be heard from inside the gymnasium, where more than 1,100 hostages had been forced to sit amid bombs laced around the hall, enduring thirst, hunger and terror.

A large red banner decorated with white doves and the names of children around the world hung on one of the walls of the school. The sound of a bell tolling was broadcast through loudspeakers, following by mournful orchestral and vocal music.

“Of course, everyone, all Ossetians will mark this mournful day, the saddest day maybe in our history. How could it be otherwise? They shot children in the back – five years old, 10 years old,” said Sergei Zutsev, 65, whose nephew was gravely wounded.

The assault – which began a year ago today and lasted three days – by masked, heavily armed guerrillas stunned Russia and prompted President Vladimir Putin to make sweeping political changes. On the eve of the anniversary, Beslan residents vented their anger at authorities they say have failed to properly investigate the raid or hold officials responsible for letting it occur.

“This was shameful for all of humanity,” said Georgy Gutiyev, 73, whose 15-year-old grandniece died in the attack. “And what’s worse is nothing has changed. Except for the sympathies of the world, absolutely nothing has changed here ... And it’s completely possible that this will happen again.”

[...] [Susanna] Dudiyeva told reporters yesterday that a group of Beslan residents would fly tomorrow to Moscow to meet Putin and air grievances. But she said Putin was unwelcome during ceremonies that begin today “since he is responsible for what happened in Beslan.”

“He is the guarantor of our freedom and our security and therefore, the responsibility (for Beslan) lies with president first and foremost,” she said.

“The man who failed in Moscow, who is to blame for the death of so many people, should not be the president,” said Emma Kisayeva, 41. “It is our tragedy that we make czar and god out of the president. Enough is enough.”


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Beslan: A View Into Tragedy

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Beslan Aid: Psych. Counseling, Public Center Available

Understatement of the year: Beslan survivors need psychological counseling.

MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti correspondent, Dmitry Panovkin) - Thirty percent of families who survived the terrorist attack on school no. 1 in Beslan, North Ossetia (Caucasus) need long-term psychological assistance, according to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Margarita Plotnikova, the coordinator of the program from the International Federation, said the Russian Red Cross together with the International Federation was working to address this need through charity services.

Every week, 20 nurses visit Beslan survivors offering them psychological and domestic help. The Russian Red Cross has also opened a public center in Beslan where people can do all sorts of jobs, and also receive psychological counseling. More than 400 people attend art and computer classes and participate in sports clubs.

"Our efforts have shown that such a versatile approach and involving the local people in social activities has more effect than temporary aid from visiting experts," Plotnikova said.

Posted by Kyer at 12:33 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Beslan Appeal Collects 1 Million Signatures

Moscow Times: Beslan Appeal collects one million signatures from around the world.

MOSCOW, September 1 (RIA Novosti) - More than one million people from 112 countries across the world have signed the Beslan Appeal calling on the global community to unite in the fight against terrorism in the wake of last year's school siege in the Russian republic of North Ossetia.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov handed over the signed appeal to North Ossetian Parliament Speaker Larissa Khabitsova on Thursday - the day marking the first anniversary of the Beslan hostage crisis that left 330 people dead, including 186 children. North Ossetian government officials and foreign diplomats attended the ceremony at the ministry's Moscow headquarters.

The signature campaign, initiated by North Ossetian anti-terrorist activists, lasted several months. Heads of state and government, lawmakers, politicians, community leaders, people in the arts, academics, and members of the general public from across the world responded by signing the appeal and expressing compassion and solidarity with those who lost their loved ones to the unspeakable terrorist act.

The largest number of signatures was collected in former Soviet countries, especially Uzbekistan, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, and Lithuania

Posted by Kyer at 12:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Moscow Increases Beslan Aid

State Increases Aid for Beslan Families:

A year after the terrorist attack on School No. 1 in Beslan, financial aid is continuing to pour into the North Ossetian town.

The government agreed Wednesday to allocate an additional 11.6 million rubles ($400,000) for victims of the attack last September, which left 331 hostages dead, including 186 children, news agencies reported.

The additional assistance will supplement 70.7 million rubles ($2.4 million) of government aid already allocated to families. The additional payment was needed on account of a previous miscalculation of people eligible.

It was not clear how the government plans to distribute the additional funds.

With Beslan attracting much international attention, the village has also received a large amount of assistance from private donors and charities.

Over the past year, over 1 billion rubles ($35 million) in aid has been donated privately, distributed by a special commission in Beslan.

Of those funds, the commission has paid 1 million rubles ($35,000) to compensate the loss of a family member in the tragedy, while 700,000 rubles ($24,400) has being paid to those seriously injured. Those who survived unhurt received 350,000 rubles.

Other private donations included $1,000 per family from power monopoly Unified Energy Systems, as well as 1,000 euros from Belarus, Rossiskaya Gazeta reported.

In addition to the recorded figures, some donations went directly into unmonitored bank accounts set up for victims by charities including Russian Aid Foundation.

In August, a new school was completed to replace School No. 1, which was destroyed in the attack.

The victims of Beslan have received much more than families of those killed in other terrorist attacks. State compensation for victims of two planes brought down by suicide attacks days before Beslan amounted to 100,000 rubles ($3,400).

Despite the large sums directed to Beslan, aid agencies argue the need for assistance remains acute.

None of the victims is in need of a piece of bread, said Tatyana Klenitskaya, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Russia. "But you can't say that people are not in need of money."

The tragedy left behind 107 orphans, some as young as 2 years old, who will need to be provided for many years to come, she said. Klenitskaya also cited the high costs of long-term medical and psychological treatment.

However, the issue is leading to resentment among residents who have not benefited from the influx of aid, she added. "There are men in Beslan who are unemployed, who have no money for food and who are jealous of those who received money," she said.

As a result of the influx of money, property prices have soared in the town of 30,000 residents.

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