Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Persistence does indeed pay off

Ron Paul (R, Texas) is gaining sudden popularity in Congress. Why?

The libertarian/constitutionalist who was for the longest time disregarded as a crackpot by fellow party members not has "the GOP House leadership on his side -- backing a measure that generated paltry support when he first introduced it 26 years ago. Paul, as of Tuesday, has won 245 co-sponsors to a bill that would require a full-fledged audit of the Federal Reserve by the end of 2010" (FOXNews.com) due to fears of overspending, the exercise of poor monetary policy, and Obama's federalization of the financial industry.

Simply put, Obama and Capitol Hill democrats in the last 5 months spent trillions of dollars, increased regulation, and gave more authority to federal agencies which would make Lennin and Marx smile in their graves. Republicans are seeking transparency - an ideal stressed by Obama while running for office but has thus far become a false campaign promise. "If they give them a lot more power and there's no more transparency, that'll be a disaster," Paul said.

The bill (The Federal Reserve Transparency Act) would call for the comptroller general in the Government Accountability Office to audit the Fed and report those findings to Congress. The GAO's ability to conduct such audits now is severely restricted.

The current status of the bill is that it is sitting, collecting dust on the desk of the House Financial Services Committee. If you need to ask why it's just collecting dust, take a look at the two most powerful members of this committee who are stalling this bill from moving it forward: Osama Bin Kanjorski (Paul Kajorski, D, PA-11) and Barney (Barney Frank, D, Mass). Both are responsible for destroying the economy.

Premature withdrawal may save face, but leads to a big mess

BAGHDAD — Iraq officially took control of its fate Tuesday as the U.S. pulled its combat troops out of Baghdad and other cities and towns, handing over security responsibilities to Iraqi forces.

The withdrawal completed the Status of Forces agreement signed last November, and touched off celebrations in Baghdad and other cities.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki declared Tuesday to be "National Sovereignty Day," complete with a military parade to display to Iraqis — and a still stubborn insurgency — its ability to maintain order in a nation ravaged by six years of war.

"This day, which we consider a national celebration, is an achievement made by all Iraqis," al-Maliki said in a televised speech.

"Our incomplete sovereignty and the presence of foreign troops is the most serious legacy we have inherited (from Saddam). Those who think that Iraqis are unable to defend their country are committing a fatal mistake," he said.

But the dangers facing Iraq were brought into stark focus Monday as U.S. military officials reported that four American soldiers were killed in combat on the eve of the withdrawal.

Officials said the four soldiers served with the Multi-National Division-Baghdad, but did not provide further details pending notification of their families. The soldiers died as a "result of combat related injuries," officials said.

The withdrawal that was completed late Monday is part of a U.S.-Iraqi security pact and marks the first major step toward withdrawing all American forces from the country by Dec. 31, 2011. President Barack Obama has said all combat troops will be gone by the end of August 2010.

President Jalal Talabani said the day could not have happened without the help of the United States, which invaded Iraq in 2003 with the aim of ousting Saddam Hussein — who was later convicted by an Iraqi court and executed in Dec. 2006.

"While we celebrate this day, we express our thanks and gratitude to our friends in the coalition forces who faced risks and responsibilities and sustained casualties and damage while helping Iraq to get rid from the ugliest dictatorship and during the joint effort to impose security and stability," Talabani said.

Describing June 30 as a "glorious page" in Iraq's history, Talabani warned that "security will not be achieved completely without proper political environment and without a real national unity and reconciliation."

Iraq marked the day with an overnight display of fireworks, while thousands attended a party in a park where singers performed patriotic songs.

The midnight handover to Iraqi forces filled many citizens with pride but also trepidation that government forces are not ready and that violence will rise. Shiites fear more bombings by Sunni militants; Sunnis fear that the Shiite-dominated Iraqi security forces will give them little protection.

If the Iraqis can hold down violence in the coming months, it will show the country is finally on the road to stability. If they fail, it will pose a challenge to Obama's pledge to end a war that has claimed the lives of more than 4,300 U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqis.

Despite Tuesday's formal pullback, some U.S. troops will remain in the cities to train and advise Iraqi forces. U.S. troops will return to the cities only if asked. The U.S. military will continue combat operations in rural areas and near the border, but only with the Iraqi government's permission.

The U.S. has not said how many troops will be in the cities in advisory roles, but the vast majority of the more than 130,000 U.S. forces remaining in the country will be in large bases scattered outside cities.

There have been some worries that the 650,000-member Iraqi military is not ready to maintain stability and deal with a stubborn insurgency.

Privately, many U.S. officers worry the Iraqis will be overwhelmed if violence surges, having relied for years on the Americans for nearly everything.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Madoff gets the MAX!!!

NEW YORK — Convicted Wall Street swindler Bernard Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison Monday for a fraud so extensive that the judge said he needed to send a message to potential imitators and to victims who demanded harsh punishment.

Scattered applause and whoops broke out in the crowded Manhattan courtroom after U.S. District Judge Denny Chin issued the maximum sentence to the 71-year-old defendant, who said he lives "in a tormented state now, knowing all the pain and suffering I've created."

Chin rejected a request by Madoff's lawyer for leniency and said he disagreed that victims of the Ponzi scheme were seeking mob vengeance.

"Here the message must be sent that Mr. Madoff's crimes were extraordinarily evil and that this kind of manipulation of the system is not just a bloodless crime that takes place on paper, but one instead that takes a staggering toll," Chin said.

The judge said the estimate that Madoff has cost his victims more than $13 billion was conservative because it did not include money from feeder funds.

"Objectively speaking, the fraud here was staggering," he said.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Iran's Revolutionary Guard warns online media

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran's opposition announced a third day of street demonstrations Wednesday as the country's most powerful military force warned of a crackdown against online media in its first pronouncement on the deepening election crisis.

Blogs and Web sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been vital conduits for Iranians to inform the world about protests over Friday's disputed election. Pro-reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi and his supporters accuse the government of rigging the election to declare hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner.

The Web became more essential after the government barred foreign media Tuesday from leaving their offices to report on demonstrations on the streets of Tehran.

The Revolutionary Guard, an elite military force answering to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei , said through the state news service that Iranian Web sites and bloggers must remove any materials that "create tension" or face legal action.

Fortunately, I'm not Iranian so I guess I can keep this post up ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nuclear War Imminent?

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea's communist regime has warned of a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula while vowing to step up its atomic bomb-making program in defiance of new U.N. sanctions.

The North's defiance presents a growing diplomatic headache for President Barack Obama as he prepares for talks Tuesday with his South Korean counterpart on the North's missile and nuclear programs.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told security-related ministers during an unscheduled meeting Sunday to "resolutely and squarely" cope with the North's latest threat, his office said. Lee is to leave for the U.S. on Monday morning.

A commentary Sunday in the North's main state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, claimed the U.S. has 1,000 nuclear weapons in South Korea. Another commentary published Saturday in the state-run Tongil Sinbo weekly claimed the U.S. has been deploying a vast amount of nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan.

North Korea "is completely within the range of U.S. nuclear attack and the Korean peninsula is becoming an area where the chances of a nuclear war are the highest in the world," the Tongil Sinbo commentary said.

Kim Yong-kyu, a spokesman at the U.S. military command in Seoul, called the latest accusation "baseless," saying Washington has no nuclear bombs in South Korea. U.S. tactical nuclear weapons were removed from South Korea in 1991 as part of arms reductions following the Cold War.

South Korea's Unification Ministry issued a statement Sunday demanding the North stop stoking tension, abandon its nuclear weapons and return to dialogue with the South.

On Saturday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry threatened war on any country that dared to stop its ships on the high seas under the new sanctions approved by the U.N. Security Council on Friday as punishment for the North's latest nuclear test.

It is not clear if the statements are simply rhetorical. Still, they are a huge setback for international attempts to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions following its second nuclear test on May 25. It first tested a nuclear device in 2006.

In Saturday's statement, North Korea said it has been enriching uranium to provide fuel for its light-water reactor. It was the first public acknowledgment the North is running a uranium enrichment program in addition to its known plutonium-based program. The two radioactive materials are key ingredients in making atomic bombs.

On Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported South Korea and the U.S. have mobilized spy satellites, reconnaissance aircraft and human intelligence networks to obtain evidence that the North has been running a uranium enrichment program.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said it could not confirm the report. The National Intelligence Service — South Korea's main spy agency — was not available for comment.

North Korea said more than one-third of 8,000 spent fuel rods in its possession has been reprocessed and all the plutonium extracted would be used to make atomic bombs. The country could harvest 13-18 pounds (6-8 kilograms) of plutonium — enough to make at least one nuclear bomb — if all the rods are reprocessed.

In addition, North Korea is believed to have enough plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs.

North Korea says its nuclear program is a deterrent against the U.S., which it routinely accuses of plotting to topple its regime. Washington, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, has repeatedly said it has no such intention.

The new U.N. sanctions are aimed at depriving the North of the financing used to build its rogue nuclear program. The resolution also authorized searches of North Korean ships suspected of transporting illicit ballistic missile and nuclear materials.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the new U.N. penalties provide the necessary tools to help check North Korea's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The sanctions show that "North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver those weapons through missiles is not going to be accepted by the neighbors as well as the greater international community," Clinton said Saturday at a news conference in Canada.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Yeah, this is freakin' wonderful. Let's kiss the ass of those who want to destroy us, especially from a President who knows so much about Islam, but fails to admit that he himself is a muslim. He did a wonderful job quoting from the koran, like any other scholar of the islam religion. Yet, this man claims to be a Christian under the guidance of Reverend (AKA, white men must die) Wright.

He also speaks very highly of innovation from muslim communities. He's right about the mathematic principles, but so deadly wrong about the art of printing. Yay! let's erase Gutthenberg's press and rewrite history why don't we? If Bush said anything this stupid, the media would be all over this - how come they're not all over the Obamessiah??? Ooops, I forgot: the media wants us to rewrite history. A few examples:
All white people (regardless of when they came over to the United States) are responsible for slavery and racial oppression; the Jews were the only ones sitting in and exterminated in concentration camps in Europe; UFOs exist and carried away Elvis, etc.

Another falacy: the muslim world supported the American Revolutioin. Less than .05% of people living on this continent were of muslim decent. No muslim country helped us in our cause. The two nations that deserve any credit were Poland and France.

Oh and a stretch of the truth: Jefferson kept a koran in his personal library and used it to guide his life. While it may be true that Thomas Jefferson did have a koran in his personal library, it was mainly because the koran, the torah, and the bible were used to formulate what we know now as common law. It was a requirement of law schools, such as the College of William and Mary, to apply religious law to legal thinking in the 1700s. Jefferson and Adams also used various religious sources in their memoirs to formulate their stance against slavery. Both were devout Anglicans.

Folks, this bullshit is only in the first 8 minutes of his 55 minute speech!!!

Let's fast forward to my favorite part of this speech where he talks about "one world order" - yeah, that's just what we want: one world order. Uhmm... Hitler, Alexander the Not-So-Great, and others have tried that. They all failed. What maked the Obammasiah to f*cking special?