25 Şubat 2013 Pazartesi


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Photograph of the future of Britain
From Avi Green at the Astute Bloggers:
The UK Guardian won't get into clear details about the religious mindset that led to this shocking crime, but they do acknowledge the names of the perpetrators:
A young woman has told the Old Bailey that when she was 12 years old she was branded with the initial of a man so other men who raped her would know she "belonged" to him.

The jury was earlier told that the woman, now 19, had been sold to the man as an 11-year-old. She told the court that until she was 15 he repeatedly and brutally raped her, organising for other men to have sex with her.

The woman, known as girl D for legal reasons, said on several occasionsMohammed Karrar and his brother Bassam Karrar forced her to have sex with one of them while performing a sex act on the other.

The woman is the fourth witness to give evidence at the Old Bailey in the trial of nine men accused of offences including rape, trafficking and child prostitution against children as young as 11 in Oxford.
If you have the stomach for this, read more, but be forewarned that it's as repulsive as you can expect.


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From Atlas Shrugs:

Op-Ed: Hagel’s $160 Billion 'West Bank' US Troops Deathtrap, Mark Langfan, February 23, 2013 Hagel, at Obama's bidding, plans to send troops to Judea and Samaria (the "West Bank") where they would soon be victims of Hamas terror. It's in writing. An investigative report. There is only one reason that Chuck Hagel was picked by President Obama to be US Defense Secretary, and why Obama will go nuclear to get him confirmed: Hagel is the only person alive now dumb enough to deploy US “peacekeeping” troops to what is surely a "West Bank" deathtrap. Don’t believe me??! Well, in early 2009, two years after Hamas violently took over Gaza, Hagel along with a ragged has-been crew of “Israel Lasters” had some strong “recommendations” for the incoming President Obama. I will let Hagel’s 2009 “recommendations” speak for themselves. But to lend a note of rationality, Florence Gaub, a NATO researcher, in 2010 published a NATO Research paper outlining some of the problems of such a deployment. (I.e. it would need about 60,000 US/Nato troops and about 160 billion Dollars over 10 years) I and I will excerpt her report as well. Obama’s determination in confirming Hagel is based on Obama’s belief that Hagel will cripple Israel at any price: including the deaths of  thousands of US soldiers at the hands of Hamas suicide bombs in the Palestinian Authority.
START OF HAGEL’S 2009 REPORT: “A Last Chance for a Two-State Israel-Palestine Agreement,” April 2009. “Submitted to the administration of President Barack Obama” by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Chuck Hagel, et al. The U.S. parameters should reflect the following fundamental compromise: [A] non-militarized Palestinian state, together with security mechanisms that address Israeli concerns while respecting Palestinian sovereignty, and a U.S.-led multinational force to ensure a peaceful transitional security period. This coalition peacekeeping structure, under UN mandate, would feature American leadership of a NATO force supplemented by Jordanians, Egyptians and Israelis. We can envision a five-year, renewable mandate with the objective of achieving full Palestinian domination of security affairs on the Palestine side of the line within 15 years. Page 6 III. Substantive Issues to be Resolved: Israel-Palestine Security. The borders between the two states must be physically secure and fully controlled for their entire length. A U.S.-led multinational force would likely be essential for a transitional period once a peace agreement is concluded. Palestine would likely be non-militarized. No doubt Jerusalem will require a special security and administrative regime of its own and special arrangements will be needed for the use and regulation of Palestinian airspace. Page 12 Israel-Syria Security. Demilitarization of the Golan Heights and limited forces zones on both sides – all likely to be supervised by multinational forces featuring American leadership – will be mandatory. Page 13
Annex: Addressing Israel’s Security Challenges Beyond the current efforts we expect that, upon the full agreement of the parties, there will be a robust international effort involving outside armed forces for a period of indeterminate length assisting Palestinian authorities in executing their responsibilities in the security sphere and helping them build capacity in order eventually to act without outside assistance. Page 14 Naturally, the U.S. will play a large and perhaps decisive role. Yet it should not act alone – there should be broad participation reflecting international consensus on the importance of supporting the emergence of a truly sustainable two-state outcome. Page 14 Although General Jones’ mandate has focused exclusively on the Israel-Palestine track, clearly there would also be a robust American role in implementing the security-related aspects of any Israel-Syria accord. Beyond helping the IDF with improving capabilities designed to compensate for full withdrawal from territory occupied on the Syrian front since 1967, the U.S. would undoubtedly play a vital role in monitoring a demilitarized Golan Heights and providing early warning services to both parties. Page 16 In our view there is no avoiding a central U.S. role in helping the parties (especially the Palestinian side) meet their security-related responsibilities to each other in the context of two states. Page 16

Cracks in The Liberal Wall?

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Kirsten Powers: Obama Is “The Puppet Master of the Media” Who Doesn’t Want Tough Questions 

From Gateway Pundit: Speaking truth to power…
Liberal pundit Kirsten Powers agreed with POLITICO’s assessment that President Obama is a “puppet master” who “only wants to talk to people who aren’t going to give him tough questions.” For that reason, Powers said Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace,
“Should be be proud that the president won’t go on his show at this point. What it says, is he only goes on shows of people that go easy on him and so that means these other people who call themselves journalists should start asking ‘why is the president so willing to come on my show so often?’”
Via FOX News News Watch:


MSNBC, With Ex-Obama Aides, Now Almost ‘A Bona Fide Organ of State Propaganda

From Daily Download:
MSNBC has long been as bad as Fox News when it comes to ideological bias. But with the hiring of longtime Team Obama loyalists David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs, it’s official: MSNBC is worse. The cable channel that flies under the banner of NBC News is now all but a bona fide organ of state propaganda, an information channel that speaks in the same dominant voice as the folks running the government–and tries to mask what it is up to. I didn’t plan on getting all free-press-and-democracy amped up about the hirings until I saw Axelrod with Andrea Mitchell last week in his first appearance on MSNBC. It was Echo Chamber Politics 101 with Axelrod characterizing some Republicans in Congress as irrationally wanting the draconian cuts of the sequester –as “dangerous” as that thinking is. Mitchell starts out a remote interview with Axelrod, who was in Chicago, by asking about the sequester set to take effect Friday. “Remember,” he says, “the cuts put into place were so odious it was thought no rational legislator, no rational government official, would allow it to happen.” As Mitchell starts to pivot to another issue with a new question, Axelrod interrupts her with, “One more thing, Andrea. There is a belief among some Republicans in Congress that maybe this sequester’s all right. Maybe this is another way of shrinking government in a dramatic way. That’s a dangerous idea, but it’s not uncommon in some quarters on Capitol Hill.” “No doubt,” Mitchell says, placing a cherry atop this propaganda sundae. Rhetorical Criticism 101:  Republican members of Congress are not rational, they have “dangerous” thoughts and they do “odious” things to the American people. What is this if not exactly the spin Team Obama seemed to be working on all week? And the White House doesn’t even have to bring in a bunch of out-of-town anchormen for quickie interviews with Obama so that they can carry his message back to their local audiences in the heartland. Now the message can go forth from the president’s mouth straight to our ears–via Axelrod, the so-called analyst, and MSNBC, the so-called news channel.

Is Juan Williams closer to switching sides?

Juan Williams is a bit of a conundrum; he makes ridiculous left-wing arguments that make you want to scream but he somehow maintains a characteristic of likability and gets along quite well with those whom he disagrees with. At some point, one would think he would wake up and free himself from the grips of left-wing ideology. Perhaps the best case in point was when he was fired by NPR for expressing an opinion about how he felt with sharing a plane with passengers that consisted of men in Muslim garb.

Fox News didn't fire him; it embraced him.

That leads to this very interesting interview between Williams and Ginni Thomas (wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas). As I watched Williams in this interview, I found myself asking one simple question:
How is it that you can have this perspective and yet still be liberal?
For some reason, Juan has identified and acknowledged the groupthink dynamic in the liberal media while not seeing the corresponding flaws in all of liberalism's premises. He doesn't seem to understand that the reason groupthink exists is because liberalism can't exist without it.

One interesting takeaway from the interview happens at the beginning when Williams makes an Archie Bunker reference, admitting that he used to believe that character represented conservatives. As an example of Williams not connecting one more dot, the man who created Archie Bunker's character (Norman Lear) is a hardcore liberal, which makes Bunker a caricature (not just a character) of the right, created with left-wing bias and preconceptions.

It would seem that Williams isn't far from an awakening. Then again, I thought the same thing after he was fired by NPR.

Via Daily Caller:

la comedie est finie - Biden: Americans ‘No Longer Worried’ About Economy

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In remarks today at the White House, Vice President Joe Biden said that Americans don’t have the same economic worries they did when President Barack Obama came into office: “The are no longer traumatized by what was a traumatizing event, the great collapse of 2008,” said Biden. ”They are no longer worried, I think, about our economy being overwhelmed either by Europe writ large, the EU, or China somehow swallowing up every bit of innovation that exists in the world. They are no longer, I think, worried about our economy being overwhelmed beyond our shores. But, and I don’t think … there is very little doubt in any circles out there about America’s ability to be in position to lead the world in the 21st century. Not only in terms of our foreign policy, our incredible defense establishment, but economically.”
I suppose to those of us who have to live real lives, this kind of thing is now a boring long denouement of a finale which will last another 1300 days of them and their minions in the so called critical press telling us things are getting better while we manage with a new normal of one economic Khe Sanh after another until they are no longer responsible for committing acts. And here is the BEST THING history can ever say about this administration .. as Barney Frank put it: THEY MADE IT SUCK LESS But we all out here leading real lives know the truth. They were and are too busy executing their ideology of fundamental transformation of America too even find the truth, tell the truth, and then formulate practical steps to solve the difficulties of the middle class, the lower class, or any class they can make a difference to irrespective of ideology and their eternal war on Republicans. And in their hearts, and in the moments before they fall asleep, and in the shower in the morning, THOSE PEOPLE DON’T EVEN KNOW THIS TRUTH

Wanna know why Zero Dark Thirty didn't make it at the Oscars?

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'Zero Dark Thirty' stars support release of jailed doctor who helped U.S. find Usama Bin Laden 

"Zero Dark Thirty" actress Jessica Chastain has thrown her support behind the effort to free the jailed Pakistani doctor who was integral in helping the U.S. track down and kill Usama Bin Laden.

"[It ] breaks my heart he's still in prison," Chastain told Fox News on Sunday on the red carpet of the 85th annual Academy Awards, referring to Dr. Shakil Afridi.

Chastain played a C.I.A. agent who directed the operation to find Bin Laden, but told Fox news "there are hundreds of unsung heroes" in the successful operation and she didn't think there was "one person who should be credited."

Fellow actor Jason Clarke, who played an agent who used enhanced interrogation methods in the film, agreed with Chastain on the plight of Dr. Afridi, saying "it's wrong that he's being held."

The actors responded to questions following an ad placed by activists in the trade publication The Hollywood Reporter that urged the “Zero Dark Thirty” cast and crew -- as well as the teams behind all of the Best Picture-nominated films -- to draw attention to the jailed doctor.

Bob and Kira Lorsch and their RHL Group took out a full-page ad with the headline: “Oscar, Help Free Afridi. America’s Abandoned Hero.”

The ad, part of the group's “Free Dr. Afridi” campaign, read in part: “Dr. Shakil Afridi is the man who verified Usama bin Laden’s location in Pakistan for the United States. Without Dr. Afridi’s sacrifice, we may not have pinpointed the location of the world’s most dangerous terrorist. His Reward… he was abandoned, captured and is still being tortured by Pakistan ever since Bin Laden was killed in May 2011. After all, who will stand up to help America next time if this is how we treat our friends?”

The advertisement also acknowledged a number of individuals and organizations it says have championed the issue, including Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the cast and crew of "Zero Dark Thirty," and Fox News Correspondent Dominic DiNatale and Producer Sib Kaifee, whose exclusive reporting has helped shed light on the Afridi case.

It also gently asked those nominated for Best Picture to use the spotlight that the Academy Awards provides to inform the public about Afridi’s heroism and subsequent incarceration: “As you celebrate the Oscars, please consider spending a few moments of your limelight to draw attention to Freeing Dr. Afridi. Since the real star of 'Zero Dark Thirty' is not here to accept his award for best True American Hero, perhaps you can accept yours partially on his behalf."
Dominic DiNatale contributed to this report.

24 Şubat 2013 Pazar

Who is (or isn't) Counted as Unemployed?

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This little 2 minute video does a good job in explaining how the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures who is Unemployed, who is not in labor market, who is marginally in the labor market and who is working part time for economic reasons.

Only people who are "Unemployed" are counted in the (10%) unemployment rate. The other 3 categories may or may not be included in the U-6 Broader measurement of unemployment (~17%). The video pokes fun that the government would rather have the public and media focus on the smaller number in order to keep optimism high.

What's the Maximum Weekly Unemployment Benefit?

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If you're recently unemployed, you may be wondering what the maximum weekly amount of money that you may be getting from the government. Fortunately, MSN Money published a comparison of how much your UI benefits could be... Note: The amount you get depends on the state in which you worked, not the state that you may move to during your jobless time.

Maximum Weekly Unemployment Benefit By State
  1. Alabama - $255
  2. Alaska - $370
  3. Arizona - $240
  4. Arkansas - $409
  5. California - $450
  6. Colorado - $475
  7. Connecticut - $519
  8. Delaware - $330
  9. District of Columbia (Washington DC) - $359
  10. Florida - $275
  11. Georgia - $330
  12. Hawaii - $545
  13. Idaho - $362
  14. Illinois - $385
  15. Indiana - $390
  16. Iowa - $443
  17. Kansas - $423
  18. Kentucky - $415
  19. Louisiana - $284
  20. Maine - $496
  21. Maryland - $380
  22. Massachusetts - $628
  23. Michigan - $365
  24. Minnesota - $566
  25. Mississippi - $230
  26. Missouri - $320
  27. Montana - $407
  28. Nebraska - $308
  29. Nevada - $362
  30. New Hampshire - $427
  31. New Jersey $584
  32. New Mexico - $455
  33. New York - $405
  34. North Carolina - $494
  35. North Dakota - $385
  36. Ohio - $372
  37. Oklahoma - $392
  38. Oregon - $482
  39. Pennsylvania - $539
  40. Rhode Island - $528
  41. South Carolina - $326
  42. South Dakota - $285
  43. Tennessee - $275
  44. Texas - $378
  45. Utah - $444
  46. Vermont - $409
  47. Virgina - $378
  48. Washington - $541
  49. West Virginia - $424
  50. Wisconsin - $363
  51. Wyoming - $387
The amount of money received during Tier 2 and Tier 3 payouts are the same as what is received during the first phase of unemployment. The numbers above do not include the extra $25/week that Obama approved, so your checks may actually be slightly higher, as long as the stimulus plan is still in affect.