April 30, 2006

Europe: "Killing is part of your culture? We're cool with that."

Steyn on Gloria's The Force of Reason: Celebrate tolerance, or you're dead.

Over in Sweden, they've been investigating the Grand Mosque of Stockholm. Apparently, it's the one-stop shop for all your jihad needs: you can buy audio cassettes at the mosque encouraging you to become a martyr and sally forth to kill "the brothers of pigs and apes" -- i.e. Jews. So somebody filed a racial-incitement complaint and the coppers started looking into it, and then Sweden's chancellor of justice, Goran Lambertz, stepped in. And Mr. Lambertz decided to close down the investigation on the grounds that, even though the porcine-sibling stuff is "highly degrading," this kind of chit-chat "should be judged differently -- and therefore be regarded as permissible -- because they were used by one side in an ongoing and far-reaching conflict where calls to arms and insults are part of the everyday climate in the rhetoric that surrounds this conflict."

In other words, if you threaten to kill people often enough, it will be seen as part of your vibrant cultural tradition -- and, by definition, cool with that.

Definitely read the rest (as if you needed to be told!)

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Precious little Vinnie turns 2 years old today!

Happy Blogoversary to Mad Dog Vinnie --- Watch out hipsters! It's time for the terrible twos!


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Ratzinger: Children merely tolerated.

Pope: Lack of Love Behind Failed Marriages:

Pope Benedict XVI said Friday that a lack of true love was behind an increase in failed marriages and a decrease in birth rates in much of the developed world.

Benedict told members of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences that children nowadays also aren't as valued as they once were, in part because of the economic, social and cultural changes in the globalized world.

"Often, instead of feeling loved and cherished (children) appear to be merely tolerated," he said.

The pontiff said the increase in life expectancy and decline in birth rates were "linked to a disturbing deficit of faith, hope and indeed love."

"Perhaps the lack of such creative and forward-looking love is the reason why many couples today choose not to marry, why so many marriages fail and why birth rates have significantly diminished," he said.

Benedict was speaking to the academy's annual plenary session, the topic of which is "Vanishing Youth? Solidarity with children and young people in an age of turbulence."

Forward-looking love meaning, the"deep-seeded, fully committed and emotionally invested" type of love, I assume is how you translate that phrase. Not "it feels good now so I'll do it" type love.

I think I like Ratzinger more and more as his pontificate progresses. I'm even starting to understand some of the basis for his fierce opposition to "liberation theology" (though I've still not fully investigated his defense, as of yet) during the 80's.

And I'm not even Catholic.

I mean, seriously, who'da thought a Pope would have his own fan club?

Seriously now.

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April 29, 2006

United93: wk?'s reaction

Before I get to a few of my points, I wanted to include a few remarks from some of Ace's readers (from this post) I very much agreed with:

"I felt pure, unadulterated RAGE. My jaws are still clenched." - Posted by Crash

(in response) "Determination, not rage. Determination not to give in if confronted with terrorism face to face. Determination to vote in November, to prevent appeasement of these monsters." -- Posted by p. thadz

"However, to me it was not as impactful as the absolutely magnificent portrayal of the confussion surrounding the FAA and Military response. The movie made perfectly clear that no contingency plan was available for an event of that magnitude. No personal blame was assigned because no one ever planned for anything like it.

Even after AA11 had hit the tower, FAA thought it was still flying. An honest portrayal and a very good movie. It is time to remind ourselves of that day." - Posted by Ron LaCanne at Ap

"The box office totals will be, I believe, a good barometer of the state of the union.

Did we forget? Do we still care? Has our resolve dissipated?

These questions will be answered by the reaction to this movie, both in attendance/revenue and reviews.

And it's always a good time to bring out the moonbats, who wear tin-foil hats and hate the Right, to show how appeasement and "peace" does not work when fighting evil." - Posted by Bart

"For me the statement "We are at war! and until we know who we are at war with, I am grounding all air traffic" just kept resounding in my head. That statment acknowledge that this was not "just" a movie about "a high jacked" plane and some heroic passengers. That statement acknowledged these were passengers that became citizen soldiers and were the first to defend the USA against this attack on the USA." - Posted by bodaciousflirt

All EXCELLENT points.

My jaw clenched as soon as soon as the FAA specialist noticed the first plane disappear off the radar. I just knew that was the first tower, and even though I knew what had just happened, I was filled with such dread as if it happened again.

One scene really took me, personally, and I have not read anyone else commenting on this:

What about the scene where the people in the NYC air traffic control tower actually WATCHED the planes hit though binoculars? To see planes reinacted through the windows of the control tower just rocked me. What an utter sense of helplessness! To watch and be able to do nothing!

Finally, from a story-telling perspective, I think one of the most important elements of the film is that they did not seem to focus on any one particular passenger in general.

There are a few names that seem to stand out when we think of Flight 93, Todd Beamer being one of them. When Beamer said "Let's roll...", it was almost subtle and I dare say, you might have even missed it.

I really really appreciated the fact that the film took almost an all-encompassing perspective and really let the viewer focus on the actions and emotions of the passengers as a collective. To do otherwise, I believe, would have been a disservice to those who died.

At the end of the film, it was dead silent for almost a minute --- no one knew how to react when the screen went blank. My heart just stopped. I wanted to clap, but I was almost afraid I think, that the audience would misconstrue my applause for the terrorists, rather than the heroes. Thankfully, someone behind me slowly started, and many others followed suit.

When the crowd filed out and headed to for the exits or the bathrooms, once gentleman who was waiting for his son, turned to me and said, "You know, they'll never do that again."

A bit startled, I asked him what he meant.

He said he has a good buddy who just retired after 25 years as a pilot and his friend told him, "...because they'll never let it happen again."

At first, I wasn't quite sure what he meant by "they", but then I nodded and said, "With the increased use of air marshalls and sealed cockpit doors and all that other stuff aside, 9/11 created a new form of airline security, built in to every flight... let us just hope, in the event that such an attempt is made again, passengers will act with the same resolve of those on United 93.

See it. Again and again.

Never forget.

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April 28, 2006

David Beamer to free people everywhere, "See 'United 93'"

An article by David Beamer in the WSJ: United 93: The filmmakers got it right..

God bless him.

I encourage my fellow Americans and free people everywhere to see "United 93."

Be reminded of our very real enemy. Be inspired by a true story of heroic actions taken by ordinary people with victorious consequences. Be thankful for each precious day of life with a loved one and make the most of it. Resolve to take the right action in the situations of life, whatever they may be. Resolve to give thanks and support to those men, women, leaders and commanders who to this day (1,687 days since Sept. 11, 2001) continue the counterattacks on our enemy and in so doing keep us safe and our freedoms intact.

May the taste of freedom for people of the Middle East hasten victory. The enemy we face does not have the word "surrender" in their dictionary. We must not have the word "retreat" in ours. We surely want our troops home as soon as possible. That said, they cannot come home in retreat. They must come home victoriously. Pray for them.

I feel like I have been emotionally preparing to see this film for weeks now... and I am finally going to see it tonight with the future-Mrs.

You should, too.

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U.N. decreases aid to Sudan, cites "donor fatigue"

Yea, and countless people are suffering from "slaughter fatigue".

U.N. cuts Sudan food aid due to lack of funds:

GENEVA - The United Nations said on Friday it would cut food rations for more than 6 million people in Sudan, half of them in Darfur, due to a severe lack of funds.

Many donor countries appear to have tired of the long-term conflict in Darfur, despite signs that malnutrition is again on the rise among people living in squalid camps, the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) said.

WFP said it was halving food aid from the minimum daily requirement of 2,100 calories to 1,050 calories as of May.

“This is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made. Haven’t the people of Darfur suffered enough? Aren’t we adding insult to injury?” WFP executive director James Morris said.

“This is a measure we should simply never have to take,” said Morris, who heads the world’s largest food aid agency, feeding 90 million people worldwide.

TIRED of the long running conflict?

I'm speechless.

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April 27, 2006

Not what we mean when we say "The Most High"...

Woman Charged With Sending Cocaine-filled Bibles To Inmate:

Authorities in Indiana say they found cocaine hidden in the spines of two Bibles that a woman allegedly bought and tried to send to her husband in jail.

Anthony Duckworth, who's been in the Huntington County jail for months, and his wife, Amy, have been charged with two counts of trafficking with an inmate.

The cocaine was found in the Bibles last month.

Bar-code stickers led authorities to a Wal-Mart, where they found one Bible had been bought with cash and the other with a credit card.

Police say the receipt was signed by Amy Duckworth and a surveillance video showed her making the purchase.

She later admitted buying the Bibles but said someone else supplied the cocaine and that she enlisted two other people to deliver them to the jail, where her husband planned to sell the drugs.

Stevin said it best, "Is it just me, or is there a missing Tarantino movie here?"

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Found this when I tried to click on the Drudge link to the article, "Chinese Internet writer charged with subversion": (click image to enlarge)

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Update: The real non-hi-larious article is up now.

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April 26, 2006

United 93 at Tribeca

'United 93': Sobs and Applause

"United 93" is a movie of firsts. It was made from the heart and not to make money, certainly. It’s a short movie but one that you never want to see end — not because the story is so appealing, but because you know what the end is, and you never want it to come.
Lord willing, and though it is with grim anticipation, I plan on seeing this film on opening night.

Just reading the reviews and commentary is wrenching enough. Nevertheless, if the film is as "tastefully" done as most reviewers say, I believe everyone should see this film...

...if for any reason, to remember. I can only imagine how the families and friends of the heroes of Flight 93 felt when they left the theather.

Friedman ponders, "I don’t know if 'United 93' has given them closure or permission to keep reliving this horror."

While I prefer not to speak of anything regarding how the survivors cope with this tragedy... for the rest of us, I say we keep the wounds open.

Never submit. Never forget.

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April 24, 2006

Wang Wenyi: "Consistent with the American spirit"

White House heckler says protest against Chinese president unplanned.

A woman who heckled Chinese President Hu Jintao on the White House lawn, said her protest was a spontaneous reaction to China's suppression of the Falungong spiritual movement. [...]

"[sic] when I saw President Bush shake hands with Hu Jintao, I couldnt help but cry out," she said.

"I cried out for those who have been tortured and suffered genocidal persecution," she added.

Specifically, Wang said she was motivated by Falungong claims that hundreds of its practitioners detained in China were being "dissected alive" and their organs sold on the international transplant market.

"I acted in a way consistent with the American spirit. I also acted to protect the dignity of America and human kind," she said.


Pray that any charges against Ms. Wang would be reduced or better yet, dropped.

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ANZAC Day 2006

Anzac Day services draw thousands.

Thousands of Australians around the nation have gathered at dawn services to commemorate Anzac Day.

It is the 91st anniversary of the Gallipoli landing after which more than 8,000 Australian troops lost their lives.

It is also the 90th anniversary of the arrival of Australian troops on the Western Front.

The traditional services coincide with the pre-dawn hour the first Anzac troops waded ashore at Gallipoli in 1915.

In Brisbane, a group of ex-servicemen marched through the city to Anzac Square and the Shrine of Remembrance.

There, they listened to 14-year-old Ipswich girl Elissa Coates, whose great-grandfather was among those who took part in the ill-fated landings.

"Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn," she recited.

"At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them."

In Sydney, Martin Place has been the focus of the ceremonies.

There are no World War I diggers left but some of their descendants have turned out.

The are also veterans of other wars and thousands of the young and old who just wanted to pay their respects.

Canberra's main dawn service has been held at the National War Memorial.

Many people carried candles as they listened to the Anzac dedication and observed a minute's silence as dawn crept over the horizon.

At Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance, thousands are expected to line up for hours after the dawn service to place floral tributes in the shrine sanctuary.

Prayers of thanksgiving for all of the brave Australian and New Zealand servicemen and women who have served their nations well in the name of freedom.

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Prince Harry has the royal cajones to serve

Prince Harry: Send me to war or I'll quit.

From: The Daily Telegraph

PRINCE Harry has threatened to quit the British Army if commanders refuse to send him to the frontline.

The prince and his older brother William have both made it clear they want to see active service with their units.

Earlier this month Harry, 21, was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals, the army's oldest and most senior regiment.

The Blues and Royals have been deployed in almost every major operation of the past 25 years, including the Falklands, Bosnia and both Gulf wars.

And now it has been revealed the determined prince told top brass at the Sandhurst military academy: "If I am not allowed to join my unit in a war zone, I will hand in my uniform."

This poses serious problems for advisers tasked with protecting William and Harry, the second and third in line to the throne, and those fighting alongside them.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said: "Harry is very clear that he is joining the Army to serve his country as an operational soldier."

But she added: "There may be circumstances in which his presence could attract attention, which could lead to additional risk to those he commands or himself.

"In these instances it is a judgment call made by his commanding officer."

Good for them.

I applaud their willingness and determination to serve regardless of their royal status.

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April 23, 2006

Socialist-led coalition wins in Hungary

Hungary's Socialists achieve historic election win.

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary's Socialist-led coalition won a general election on Sunday with an increased majority in parliament to become the country's first government to retain power since communism fell in 1989.

With 98 percent of the vote counted in the second round of polling, the election commission projected the Socialist Party and its Free Democrat allies would increase their majority from 198 to 210 seats in the 386-member parliament.

It was a personal triumph for 44-year-old Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, who rescued the Socialists from what looked certain defeat when he became premier in 2004, and provides him with a stronger platform to push through reforms.

"We understand the responsibility we have been given. We have to create a better, more successful Hungary that is better to live in," Gyurcsany, a millionaire businessman, told hundreds of ecstatic supporters, some of them waving the national flag. [Maybe my knowledge of Euro-socialism is a bit foggy... but something about a "millionaire businessman" and "socialism" seems odd to me. --ed.]

Gyurcsany now faces a test to convince investors holding billions of dollars of Hungarian bonds and the European Union that Hungary will finally take action to cut its budget deficit, the biggest in the EU relative to the size of the economy.

His charisma played a role in his victory and, unlike many other leaders across central Europe, he did not have the stigma of having held a senior post under communist rule.

He has so far avoided taking the tough decisions that are needed to reform the economy but which could have turned off voters, and gained from rifts in the right-wing opposition.


Conceding defeat, opposition leader and former Prime Minister Viktor Orban told supporters: "Those who join forces win and the losers are those who are unable to cooperate."

[...]No government had been re-elected in the four other free elections since the collapse of communist rule.

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Fmr. President Ford on the Circus of Generals, Rumsfeld.

Gerald Ford 'troubled' by former generals' Rumsfeld complaints.

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - Former President Ford said Friday he is troubled by the efforts of retired generals to force the ouster of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

Ford, who appointed Rumsfeld as his White House chief of staff and then chose him to be defense secretary during his administration, said in a statement that President Bush was right to keep Rumsfeld in his post.

The statement was released by spokeswoman Penny Circle as Bush arrived in California for the weekend.

Ford, 92, said the decision on keeping Rumsfeld is the president's alone.

"Allowing retired generals to dictate our country's policies and its leadership would be a dangerous precedent that would severely undermine our country's long tradition of civilian control of the military," Ford said.

"It would discourage civilian leaders at the (Defense) Department from having frank and candid exchanges with military officers. And, today, at a time of war, such an effort sends exactly the wrong message both to our troops deployed abroad and to our enemies who are watching for any signs of weakness or self-doubt."

Ford suggested that the issue stemmed from Bush's efforts to change the military.

"He knew that Don, who had been in the job before, was extremely well-suited to take on this challenge and contend with a bureaucracy that has a built-in resistance to change. The president knew that successfully carrying out these missions, against stiff resistance, takes someone with a certain amount of steel," Ford said.

Thank you, President Ford, for speaking up about this ridiculous circus. If only other former presidents had the same respectful decency.

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April 20, 2006

Hu, China publicly accused of being... murderous freedom-hating communists.

Hu knew having a commie leader visiting the free U. S. of A. could be a GOOD thing? Protester Disrupts Hu Arrival Ceremony

Associated Press Writer


President Bush expressed personal regret to Chinese President Hu Jintao for a protest during an elaborate welcoming ceremony on the White House lawn Thursday.

The protester interrupted the ceremony by shouting to Bush to stop the Chinese president from "persecuting the Falun Gong."

Bush later addressed the matter when he met with Hu in the Oval Office. "He just said this was unfortunate and I'm sorry it happened," said Dennis Wilder, acting senior director for Asian affairs on the National Security Council staff.

Wilder said Hu was gracious in accepting Bush's apology. The two leaders moved on in their talks and it was not mentioned again in several hours of meetings.

While realistically, I realize Bush needed to formally save face for this outburst, I hope in his heart he recognized the genuine anguish behind her words.
[...] "I would be extremely surprised if the Chinese blamed us for this," Wilder said.

The woman began shouting from the top of a camera stand that had been erected in front of the two leaders on the South Lawn.

The Secret Service identified her as Wenyi Wang, 47.

Secret Service spokesman Jim Mackin said that she had been charged with disorderly conduct and that a charge of intimidating or disrupting foreign officials was also being considered.

Meanwhile, In the Land of Kyer, a medal of commendation is being considered for her standing up to a successor of Mao Tse Tung.
[...] She shouted in Chinese and in heavily accented English: "President Bush, stop him from killing" and "President Bush, stop him from persecuting the Falun Gong."

Bush, standing next to Hu, leaned over and whispered to him, "You're OK," indicating the Chinese leader should proceed with his opening remarks. Hu, who had paused briefly when the shouting began, resumed speaking.

The protester was waving a banner with the red and yellow colors used by Falun Gong, a banned religious movement in China. She kept shouting for several minutes [Wait, they allowed this for SEVERAL minutes? --ed.] before Secret Service agents were able to make their way to her position at the top of the camera stand. They led her off the stand.

A photographer who was standing next to the protester tried momentarily to quiet her by putting his hand in front of her mouth.

"It's hugely embarrassing," said Derek Mitchell, a former Asia adviser at the Pentagon and now an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

China "must know that this Bush administration is good at controlling crowds for themselves, and the fact that they couldn't control this is going to play to their worst fears and suspicions about the United States, into mistrust about American intentions toward China."

Good. Let it embarass us.

I'm embarassed of that photographer who attempted to silence Ms. Wang.

I mean, how often do you get the chance to (sneak in and) call out the leader of the pseudo-commie tyrannical goverment of Red China for all the world to hear?

Click to see a slideshow of how China
handles such "subversive" forces as Falun Gong.

Images of extreme torture and cruelty

A Woman's Breasts Disfigured and Infected from Severe Electric Shock Torture

Posted by Kyer at 08:29 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 19, 2006

Third World nations prefer Marine trainers over SOF

StrategyPage: "We Prefer The Marines"

April 14, 2006: As good as the U.S. Army Special forces are at training foreign troops, many of these foreign armed forces now prefer U.S. Marines. This began when some U.S. officers, responsible for assisting in the training of military forces in Third World countries, began declining, when offered Special Operations Forces (SOF) personnel. Publicly, the reasons offered are usually couched in terms that suggest the SOF people are needed elsewhere, which is certainly true, given ongoing operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. But privately some of the advisory personnel cite the fact that SOF personnel usually bring with them all sorts of specialized equipment that the host country will never be able to afford. Moreover, the capabilities for which SOF trainers provide training for are often much too sophisticated for local, and usually poorly educated, troops to absorb. An additional objection is that the nature of the way in which SOF operates is just too "undisciplined" for Third World forces. Apparently when asked, experienced advisors will ask for American marines rather than Special Forces. The marines have been helping out with the foreign troops training since the war on terror began, and the more basic and down-to-earth approach of the marines has been more attractive to many nations.

The SOF are still very good at organizing and training irregulars. But when it comes to turning a bunch of civilians into disciplined troops, the marines have an edge.

Speaking of special forces, I still can't get over the fact the DOD is creating SOF for the Marines.

I mean, how do you take something as hXc as the Corps and make it even more bad ass?

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April 17, 2006

Warporn: F-22A Raptor tears up the skies

H/T: Ace.

Death comes like a bolt from the blue:

The aircraft is simply the most advanced ever built. There is nothing on earth to touch it. In simulated dogfights it has wiped the floor with the opposition.

In one such encounter, six F-15 Eagle air-superiority fighters — which the Raptor is replacing and which has a perfect combat record of 101 victories with zero defeats — were sent up to “kill” a single Raptor. All six were shot down.

A bit of perspective is needed here. The Eagle is the most lethal air-superiority fighter in the US arsenal and its pilots are the best in the world.

One of those “aura” pilots I was talking about earlier is Lieutenant-Colonel Paul Huffman, the commander of the 64th Aggressor Squadron.

The Aggressors are the dogfighting experts of the US Air Force. In aerial combat training they act as the “enemy”. It’s their job to give the opposing fighter jocks a hard time. It’s also their job to “kill” them. A sort of baptism of fire — a wake-up call.

Huffman and his hot-shots were sent up against the Raptor. I’ll let him finish the story.

“We still joke about our missions against the Raptor, because they can be fairly boring.

“We fly to the [designated combat] range. Die. Go to the tanker [to refuel]. Go back out to the range. Die. Go back to the tanker. Go back out. Die. After the third time we go home.”

Same thing the next day, and the next.

As Huffman told Code One magazine, the 64th flew almost 300 sorties against the Raptors “and we never once got to merge [make visual contact] against a single Raptor”.

Another hard-assed air combat supremo, Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Garland, a former F-15 Eagle pilot and now a Raptor jockey, told Code One magazine: “Six adversaries provide a good workout for two F-15 Eagle pilots. But for two Raptors, defeating six adversaries is about as difficult as eating breakfast. We [Raptor pilots] don’t even break a sweat.”


So how do you fight something you can’t see, fire at or out-turn? The short answer is: you don’t. You just die.

UPDATE: The Navy's F-18F's show they can play, too. (Tip again: Ace)

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April 12, 2006

Colombia's AUC "formally" disbands

Last members of feared Colombian militia disarm.

BOGOTA, Colombia (Reuters) - The last fighters of Colombia's most feared paramilitary militia, the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, blamed for the killing of thousands of civilians, laid down their weapons on Tuesday, the government said.

The last 1,765 members of the paramilitary army known by its Spanish initials AUC handed in their arms to the government in the town of Casibare in Meta province, central Colombia, in a ceremony presided over by government peace negotiator Luis Carlos Restrepo.

All of the AUC's 30,140 members have now handed in their arms in a demobilization that began in late 2003, said Restrepo, announcing the end of an organization classified as "terrorist" by the United States and responsible for many of the worst human rights abuses in Colombia in recent years.

"We can say that the AUC formally stopped existing today," Restrepo said.

Keyword: "formally".

Posted by Kyer at 11:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Immigration loopholes & the importation of violence

A most EXCELLENT article on the violence we export to -and import from- from Central America. Deportation Feeds a Cycle of Violence in Central America.

Since the early nineties, criminal gang networks operating across the border between the United States and Central America have exploded in power and number. The gangs take advantage of loopholes in international immigration and deportation policies to spread their influence through extreme violence.

The Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, has become one of the "Most Wanted" of these gangs. What began as a loosely-connected group of Salvadoran immigrant youth banded together for protection in the join-or-die gang culture of Los Angeles has now grown into a transnational criminal hydra involved in murder, extortion, and some gun and drug smuggling.

U.S. deportation policies aggressively send undocumented gang members back to their home countries in Central America. They export U.S. gang culture and hardened criminals to countries whose internal security forces are ill-equipped to deal with the new threat. The street gangs have rapidly grown beyond being just a neighborhood problem to presenting a real national security threat in these countries.

Criminal deportees bring tactics, organization, and other criminal skills learned in U.S. prisons. These abilities translate into more sophisticated networks that have created a web that spans across Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Over time this network has made some links with organized crime, acting at times like foot soldiers to help with smuggling, assassination, and other duties.

Street gangs remain distinct from organized crime. But they have become a leading cause of insecurity in Central America. The region's history with clandestine death squads, drug and gun smuggling, corruption, and violence during the U.S.-supported "dirty wars" provided a propitious culture for the gangs' insertion into society. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as national police in three Central American countries actively seek solutions to break this 20-year-old cycle, but U.S. authorities and their Central American colleagues face a difficult game of catch-up.

MS-13 is no joke --- and if you think they're not coming soon to your backyard, think again.

Posted by Kyer at 11:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

USS New York -- 45% complete

Didn't see too many people talking about this story --- again, several days old:
New Navy Ship Being Built With WTC Steel.

NEW YORK - With a year to go before it even touches the water, the Navy's amphibious assault ship USS New York has already made history — twice. It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center, and it survived Hurricane Katrina.

[...] "It sounds trite, but I saw it in their eyes," Teel said in a separate interview. "These are very patriotic people, and the fact that the ship has steel from the trade center is a source of great pride. They view it as something incredibly special. They're building it for the nation."

USS New York is the fifth in a new class of warship — designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

"It would be fitting if the first mission this ship would go on is to make sure that bin Laden is taken out, his terrorist organization is taken out," said Glenn Clement, a paint foreman. "He came in through the back door and knocked our towers down and (the New York) is coming right through the front door, and we want them to know that."

[...] Months later, New York Gov. George Pataki asked the Navy to commemorate the disaster by reviving the name New York for a ship whose role would include fighting terrorism. That required an exception to Navy policy of assigning state names only to nuclear submarines, as they had been to battleships in earlier era.

Then-Navy Secretary Gordon England, in announcing the decision, said the New York would "project American power to the far corners of the Earth and support the cause of freedom well into the 21st century." Its motto is "Never Forget," a slogan among New Yorkers since Sept. 11.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, La., to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003, "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. "It was a spiritual moment for everybody there."

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair on my neck stood up."

"It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he said. "They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."

Well put, brother.

Posted by Kyer at 11:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Battle Cry held throughout San Francisco

Almost 2 weeks late, but I've been wanting to post on this worthy event: Evangelical teens rally in S.F.

Joe Garofoli, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, March 25, 2006

More than 25,000 evangelical Christian youth landed Friday in San Francisco for a two-day rally at AT&T Park against "the virtue terrorism" of popular culture, and they were greeted by an official city condemnation and a clutch of protesters who said their event amounted to a "fascist mega-pep rally."

"Battle Cry for a Generation" is led by a 44-year-old Concord native, Ron Luce, who wants "God's instruction book" to guide young people away from the corrupting influence of popular culture.

Luce, whose Teen Mania organization is based in Texas, kicked off a three-city "reverse rebellion" tour Friday night intended to counter a popular culture that he says glamorizes violence and sex. The $55 advance tickets for two days of musical performances and speeches were sold out, but walk-up admission was available for $199.

After stops in Detroit and Philadelphia in the next few weeks, Luce wants to unleash a "blitz" of youth pastors into the communities to do everything from work with the homeless to find new ways to bring others to Christ. He challenged youth leaders to double the size of their groups in the next year.

And then he plans to return to San Francisco next year to chart their progress.

That's bad news to Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who told counterprotesters at City Hall on Friday that while such fundamentalists may be small in number, "they're loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco." [This coming from a city that tolerates almost anything... -ed.]

Luce didn't flinch in the face of the counterprotest. The author, host of the "Acquire the Fire TV" cable television program and a President Bush appointee to a federal anti-drug-abuse commission, wants teens to find Bible-based solutions for the spread of sexually transmitted disease, teen pregnancy, drug abuse and suicide.

The villains, Luce said, range from the promiscuity and "sexualization" of young people on MTV and the popular online meeting hub MySpace.com to a corporate culture that spends millions trying to woo the under-21 crowd.

Battle Cry will try to bring them back to God through two days of religious rockers, speakers and the debut of what Luce called a Christian alternative to My Space.com.

"This is more than a spiritual war," Luce said. "It's a culture war." [I disagree...I think any "culture war" is part of spiritual warfare... -ed.]

Military metaphors abound in Luce's descriptions of the struggle. He tells young people of how "an enemy has launched a brutal attack on them." At a pre-Battle Cry rally Friday afternoon on the steps of City Hall, Luce told his mostly teenage audience that "terrorists of a different kind" -- advertisers -- were targeting them and that they were "caught in the middle of the battle."

"Are you ready to go to battle for your generation?" he asked, and the young people roared "yes!" and some waved triangular red flags flown from long, medieval-looking poles.

Luce's approach has been praised by conservative leaders from the Rev. Jerry Falwell to Fox News commentator Sean Hannity. Much of the statistical backing for the horrors Luce sees on TV is provided by the Parents Television Council, which is funded by conservative foundations such as the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

Those alliances weren't lost on the 50 protesters representing a rainbow of San Francisco's left -- from abortion-rights advocates to anti-war activists to atheists -- who staged Friday's counterprotest.

"There is a real intolerancy to homosexuality in a lot of these organizations," said Peter Cobb, an organizer with Not In Our Name. [You mean, in Pro-Hetero organizations? --ed.]

Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the "act of provocation" by what it termed an "anti-gay," "anti-choice" organization that aimed to "negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city."

Luce said it was the first time one of his events has been officially condemned.

Read the rest.

Also, visit the Battle Cry website.

Posted by Kyer at 11:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 07, 2006

Idiotic comment of the day: Left Coast Edition

Mayor: City would ignore legislation if it were to pass.

National-origin discrimination is the civil rights issue of our time,” said Rodel Rodis, a member of the City College board and an immigration attorney. “I could go to jail because of helping illegal immigrants.”
NEWSFLASH buddy, you have to BE LEGAL to have CIVIL RIGHTS!

But hey, go right ahead, land yourself in jail.

Posted by Kyer at 01:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 06, 2006

Ace on legalizing illegal aliens...

A most excellent point:

So we're letting in millions of people -- soon to be voting citizens -- dedicated to allowing in further millions, and neither party feels they can afford to alienate them. As those millions become dozens of millions, it will be politically impossible to effect any sort of limits on immigration at all.
Read the rest.

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April 03, 2006

C-5 Galaxy crashes near Dover Air Force Base

*** UPDATED ***

Cargo Plane Crashes at Dover Air Base

Associated Press Writer

A C-5 cargo plane carrying 17 people crashed just short of a runway at Dover Air Force Base early Monday after developing problems during takeoff, military officials said. There was no immediate word on fatalities.

The plane, the military's largest, went down about 6:30 a.m., according to Tech Sgt. Melissa Phillips, a spokeswoman for the base.

Allen Metheny, assistant director in the state Department of Public Safety, said some people were taken to hospitals with injuries, but he did not have numbers or details of the severity. BayHealth in Dover said the hospital received about 10 people from the crash, including some who appeared able to walk, spokeswoman Pam Marecki said.

The plane broke into three pieces, with the cockpit separated from the fuselage and left lying at a right angle to the main part of the plane. The broken-off tail assembly was several hundred yards away, and a wing was shattered.

According to initial reports, it had just taken off and had some indications of a problem, said Col. Ellen Haddock, spokeswoman at the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff. It turned back to land and fell short of the runway, she said.

Maj. Ange Keskey of the Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois confirmed 17 people were aboard and said the crash is being investigated.

The C-5 Galaxy, made by Lockheed, is one of the largest aircraft in the world. It was first delivered to the military in 1970. Even with a payload of 263,200 pounds, the latest version can fly non-stop for 2,500 miles at jet speeds, according to Lockheed Martin Corp.

Dover is home to the 436th Airlift Wing, with more than 4,000 active- duty military and civilian employees, and operates the largest and busiest air freight terminal in the Defense Department. The base is also home to the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs, which processes bodies from the nation's wars.

Thankfully, so far, no deaths have been reported.

Please keep the servicemen and women and the families of the Dover AFB in your prayers. Needless to say, I'm sure the citizens in the Dover area and the rest of the base personnel will be a bit on edge.

UPDATE: Good news!

Thank God Almighty, despite injuries, all 17 people aboard survived!

UPDATE #2: Possible cause identified?

[...] The engine failure may have been the result of birds being sucked into the engines, a known cause of engine failure, a spokeswoman a spokesperson for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Pentagon said.

Officials at the Dover base have warned for years of the danger posed by birds feeding at the Eastern Shore Environmental garbage transfer station on 26 acres off Postles Corner Road just east of the main runway at Dover Air Force Base. That transfer operation is in the process of being relocated to a 20-acre site south of Farmington.

“I can confirm that they [DAFB] are reporting engine failure,” the pentagon spokeswoman said. “The initial suspicion in cases like that is birds. It’s something investigators always look at. It’s a known cause of engine failure.”

It seems, as the story suggests, the pilots prevented a worse crash from occurring:
[...] A former reserve safety officer at Dover said the pilot and co-pilot of today’s C-5 crash likely prevented more serious injuries by steering the plane to the ground with the wings level.

[...] [Lt. Col. Jay] Lacklen credits the pilots for minimizing the damage from the crash.

“The most crucial aspect of the crash is they hit wings level. Had they hit a wing tip first, they’d all be dead. That is the rule, if you are going down, at least go down wings level,” he said. “As always, though, the first reason you suspect for a crash is almost always wrong, so I won’t speculate on why it happened, I can only judge what happened when they hit.”


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