Israel will always be considered to be one of our most important allies and dearest friends, regardless of who may reside at the White House, and we don't believe in ever snubbing our allies and friends at dinner time.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Israel will always be considered to be one of our most important allies and dearest friends, regardless of who may reside at the White House, and we don't believe in ever snubbing our allies and friends at dinner time.
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Earth apparently still here: Tinfoilers omelette-visaged
Posted in Physics, 30th March 2010 11:45 GMT
It's official: as this is written, the most powerful particle collisions ever achieved by the human race are taking place inside the great subterranean detector caverns of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
An initial hiccup this morning saw an overly-jumpy automatic protection system quench a magnet and dump one of the beams, but boffins at the colossal 27-km machine's controls fought back to re-establish a ring of lightspeed 3.5 tera-electron-volt (TeV) protons in the affected magno-doughnut in time for lunch.
Shortly after 12:00 UK time, with both beams up and running at 3.5 TeV - several times any previous collision energies achieved - controls were cautiously tweaked to cross the two proton streams inside the detector arrays. Jubilant boffins packing the several control rooms involved cheered and clapped as the human race's first 7 TeV collisions appeared on the screens.
Tinfoilclad doom prophets around the world - fearing some kind of planet-imploding black hole mishap, planetary soupening or custardisation event etc - no doubt found it a trouser-moistening moment, but in fact as we write everything seems to be nominal at CERN. Evidently, as it turns out, all the world's top physicists were right and the tinfoilers were wrong.
Science fans can now look forward in the immediate future to a volley of excellent collision pictures from the various detectors. Thereafter, once the enormous supercomputing arrays of CERN get to crunching on the resulting stream of data, various promised scientific treats are to be expected: the Higgs boson (or "God particle") may make its appearance, or not, so settling the long-running feud between Professors Higgs and Hawking.
Top CERN boffin Sergio Bertolucci has also predicted the opening of some kind of portal into a bizarre extra-dimensional continuum of some kind; though sadly he expects this to be too small and shortlived to allow for any regrettable but of course excitingly newsworthy parallel-universe portal invasions or similar.
After a year+ of proton billiards at 3.5TeV, the LHC will be shut down for a year or so for upgrades necessary to let it run at its design maximum power of 7TeV, allowing truly outrageous 14 TeV collision energies.
Geneva looks set to be the party town of Europe tonight, as roistering boffins take to the streets to celebrate their triumph.
"We could not contain the joy," reported a CERN spokeswoman as riotous scenes took place in the control rooms earlier on. ®
Violent Liberal Hate Rhetoric: Fifteen Quotes
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Editors' Note: This column contains language some may find offensive.
In an effort to distract people from the destructive, illegitimate power-grab-of-a-bill masquerading as health care reform that the Democrats just passed over the objections of the American people, liberal members of Congress have spent days over-hyping threats against them. Of course, the sad reality is that EVERYONE who achieves any notoriety at all in this business gets death threats, but it's only treated as noteworthy by the press when it happens to liberals. Had the exact same events that followed the health care debate happened to Republicans instead of Democrats, it wouldn’t have been a page one story in any major paper in the nation.
Meanwhile, if conservatives truthfully refer to Barack Obama as a socialist or encourage people to fight back against the takeover of 1/6 of our economy, we're hysterically accused of inciting violence, while liberals who actually call for violence and publicly wish death upon conservatives are given a free pass.
Well today, that free pass has run out because people are going to get just a taste of the violent rhetoric that has been coming from the Left for years in this country. Conservatives have long since been willing to stand up and say that they oppose political violence and threats coming from our side – as well we should. So, when will Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama finally stand up and condemn the ocean of violence and hatred being spewed by their friends, supporters and ideological allies?"A spoiled child (Bush) is telling us our Social Security isn't safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here's your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little b*stard. [audio of gun being cocked]." -- A "humor bit" from the Randi Rhodes Show"I want to go up to the closest white person and say: 'You can't understand this, it's a black thing' and then slap him, just for my mental health" -- New York city councilman Charles Barron"..And then there's Rumsfeld who said of Iraq 'We have our good days and our bad days.' We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days' and pull the trigger." -- From a fundraising ad put out by the St. Petersburg Democratic Club"I believe in ecoterrorism." -- James Cameron"...In an ideal world, American consumers could be convinced to do the right thing through an appeal to logic with public service messages like the 'What Would Jesus Drive?' TV campaign, but the kind of people who would buy a car that increases the risk to other motorists in an accident can't be reasoned with. They're selfish and stupid. It's unfortunate that drivers must worry that their SUVs are being targeted by insulting stickers and Molotov cocktails, but one thing's for sure: It couldn't be happening to a more deserving group of people." -- Ted Rall winks at ecoterrorism"F*** God D*mned Joe the God D*mned Motherf*cking plumber! I want Motherf*cking Joe the plumber dead." -- Liberal talk show host Charles Karel Bouley on the air."Republicans don't believe in the imagination, partly because so few of them have one, but mostly because it gets in the way of their chosen work, which is to destroy the human race and the planet. Human beings, who have imaginations, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don't give a hoot about human beings, either can't or won't. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm." -- The Village Voice's Michael Feingold, in a theater review of all places(Rush Limbaugh)" just wants the country to fail. To me that's treason. He's not saying anything different than what Osama Bin Laden is saying. You might want to look into this, sir, because I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight. ... Rush Limbaugh, I hope the country fails, I hope his kidneys fail, how about that?" -- Wanda Sykes"You guys see Live and Let Die, the great Bond film with Yaphet Kotto as the bad guy, Mr. Big? In the end they jam a big CO2 pellet in his face and he blew up. I have to tell you, Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet. But we’ll be there to watch. I think he’s Mr. Big, I think Yaphet Kotto. Are you watching, Rush?" --Chris Matthews"I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn't be dying needlessly tomorrow....I'm just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That's a fact." -- Bill Maher"If I got (Condi Rice) a— on camera, I would put my Mars Air Jordans so far up her butt that the Mayo Clinic would have to remove them." -- Spike Lee"O&A - 'Condoleezza Rice'"
Charlie - "I'd love to f--- that b*tch dude" (laughter)
Charlie - "She's the F---in man"
O&A - "yeah"
Charlie - "I'd F...that b*tch...."
O&A - "I just imagine the horror in Condoleezza Rice's face...."
- "(laughter) ..... as she realizes what's going on"
- "...as you were just holding her down and F'n her."
Charlie - "punch her all the F'n face, shut the F--- up b*tch"
O&A - "that's exactly what I meant" (laughter in background)
Charlie - "you know F--- it .... and George Bush wife? I'd F--- that b*tch to death" -- "Shock Jocks" Opie & Anthony talk rape & violence with their guest "Homeless Charlie.""For those of you who do, as a matter of principle, oppose war in any form, the idea of supporting a conscientious objector who's already been inducted [and] in his combat service in Iraq might have a certain appeal. But let me ask you this: Would you render the same support to someone who hadn't conscientiously objected, but rather instead rolled a grenade under their line officer in order to neutralize the combat capacity of their unit?" -- University Professor Ward Churhillon supporting soldiers who frag their officers"Drudge? Aw, Drudge, somebody ought to wrap a strong Republican entrail around his neck and hoist him up about six feet in the air and watch him bounce." -- Liberal radio host, Mike Malloy"I know how the 'tea party' people feel, the anger, venom and bile that many of them showed during the recent House vote on health-care reform. I know because I want to spit on them, take one of their 'Obama Plan White Slavery' signs and knock every racist and homophobic tooth out of their Cro-Magnon heads." -- The Washington Post's Courtland Milloy
Copyright © 2010 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.
Monday, March 29, 2010
I don't have any money or investments or whatever and I absolutely cannot stand this type of attitude. It's just terrible. Who said they get to decide what is the appropriate amount of whim-based confiscation? I don't care how broke one is, they'll be feeling this one -- and worse than the wealthy will. When jobs and competition start to really dry up...
Hot Air � Blog Archive � Dean: Of course ObamaCare is wealth redistribution!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Plus+Breitbart's $10,000 offer, and Bambi and Bibi and Zechariah... oh my.
Live at 3pmE/2pmTX/NoonP
Call-in number: 347-327-9710
Breitbart Rocks: 2010: A Race Odyssey — Disproving a Negative for Cash Prizes or, How the Civil Rights Movement Jumped the Shark
As I have said over and over and over, the left has one trick that it will use again and again when its back is in the corner: shout ‘racist’ in a crowded country.
On Saturday, during the peaceful and patriotic tea party protest at the Capitol, the Democrats staged a series of symbolic acts meant to manipulate the media to do its bidding. The Congressional Black Caucus pulled the Selma card and chose to walk through the crowd in the hopes of creating a YouTube incident.
There is no reason in 21st century America on an issue that is not a black or white or a civil rights issue to have a bloc of black people walk slowly through a mostly white crowd to make a racial point. The walk in and of itself — with two of the participants holding their handheld cameras above their heads hoping to document “proof” — was an act of racism meant to create a contrast between the tea party crowd and themselves.
This is the same failed symbolism that Janeane Garofalo and MSNBC have been trying to implant for the last year. The only supposed evidence of white-on-black racism at a tea party that MSNBC was able to find was a man carrying a gun at an Arizona Obama rally. But, wait, MSNBC cut off the man’s head with a photo editing software. That Second Amendment fan was actually black. Never mind.
Saturday’s “never mind” moment will live in infamy as the Congressional Black Caucus claimed the N-word was hurled 15 times. YouTube video shows that at least two of the men in the procession were carrying video cameras and holding them above the crowd. They have not come forth with evidence to show that even one person hurled the vile racist epithet. The video also shows no head movement one way or another. Wouldn’t the N-word provoke a head turn or two? Is it really possible that in 2010, in a crowd of 30 or 40 thousand people — at the center of a once-in-a-lifetime media circus — not one person’s flipphone, Blackberry, video recorder or a network feed caught a single incident? And if not, then at least someone could have found an honest tea partier to act as an eyewitness — or the Congressional Black Caucus would have confronted the culprit(s). If that had happened, there would be an investigation to see if the perpetrator was a left-wing plant....
It’s time for the allegedly pristine character of Rep. John Lewis to put up or shut up. Therefore, I am offering $10,000 of my own money to provide hard evidence that the N- word was hurled at him not 15 times, as his colleague reported, but just once. Surely one of those two cameras wielded by members of his entourage will prove his point.
And surely if those cameras did not capture such abhorrence, then someone from the mainstream media — those who printed and broadcast his assertions without any reasonable questioning or investigation — must themselves surely have it on camera. Of course we already know they don’t. If they did, you’d have seen it by now.
THOUSANDS OF TIMES.
Rep. Lewis, if you can’t do that, I’ll give him a backup plan: a lie detector test. If you provide verifiable video evidence showing that a single racist epithet was hurled as you walked among the tea partiers, or you pass a simple lie detector test, I will provide a $10K check to the United Negro College Fund.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Here's another one to be dismissed as well.
Healthcare Reform Passes
Following months of heated public debate and aggressive closed-door negotiations, Congress finally cast a historic vote on healthcare late Sunday evening. It was truly a sad weekend on the House floor as we witnessed further dismantling of the Constitution, disregard of the will of the people, explosive expansion of the reach of government, unprecedented corporate favoritism, and the impending end of quality healthcare as we know it.
Those in favor of this bill touted their good intentions of ensuring quality healthcare for all Americans, as if those of us against the bill are against good medical care. They cite fanciful statistics of deficit reduction, while simultaneously planning to expand the already struggling medical welfare programs we currently have. They somehow think that healthcare in this country will be improved by swelling our welfare rolls and cutting reimbursement payments to doctors who are already losing money. It is estimated that thousands of doctors will be economically forced out of the profession should this government fuzzy math actually try to become healthcare reality. No one has thought to ask what good mandatory health insurance will be if people can’t find a doctor.
Legislative hopes and dreams don’t always stand up well against economic realities.
Frustratingly, this legislation does not deal at all with the real reasons access to healthcare is a struggle for so many – the astronomical costs. If tort reform was seriously discussed, if the massive regulatory burden on healthcare was reduced and reformed, if the free market was allowed to function and apply downward pressure on healthcare costs as it does with everything else, perhaps people wouldn’t be so beholden to insurance companies in the first place. If costs were lowered, more people could simply pay for what they need out of pocket, as they were able to do before government got so involved. Instead, in the name of going after greedy insurance companies, the federal government is going to make people even more beholden to them by mandating that everyone buy their product! Hefty fines are due from anyone found to have committed the heinous crime of not being a customer of a health insurance company. We will need to hire some 16,500 new IRS agents to police compliance with all these new mandates and administer various fines. So in government terms, this is also a jobs bill. Never mind that this program is also likely to cost the private sector some 5 million jobs.
Of course, the most troubling aspect of this bill is that it is so blatantly unconstitutional and contrary to the ideals of liberty. Nowhere in the constitution is there anything approaching authority for the Federal government to do any of this. The founders would have been horrified at the idea of government forcing citizens to become consumers of a particular product from certain government approved companies. 38 states are said to already be preparing legal and constitutional challenges to this legislation, and if the courts stand by their oaths, they will win. Protecting the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, should be the court’s responsibility. Citizens have a responsibility over their own life, but they also have the liberty to choose how they will live and protect their lives. Healthcare choices are a part of liberty, another part that is being stripped away. Government interference in healthcare has already infringed on choices available to people, but rather than getting out of the way, it is entrenching itself, and its corporatist cronies, even more deeply.
Posted by Ron Paul (03-22-2010, 10:27 AM) filed under Healthcare
The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
~ Winston ChurchillGovernment does not cause affluence. Citizens of totalitarian countries have plenty of government and nothing of anything else.
~ P.J. O'Rourke
Jackson talks about how Democrats may be trashing their own buildings, which is not outside the realm of possibility -- it was a Dim who vandalized the Denver headquarters just a few months ago (Meet Maurice Schwenkler, Left-wing Vandal of Denver Dem Party HQ, Staged Smear of GOP ObamaCare Protesters (video)).
And maybe someone should remind Shuster that it was a Democrat that first came up with the Obama-as-Joker poster too (Obama Joker artist unmasked: A fellow Chicagoan [Kucinich supporter]).
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Howlingly Funny: Did George Bush Wipe His Hand On Bill Clinton's Shirt After Shaking Hands In Haiti?
YouTube - hand shake
Found at Breitbart: http://www.breitbart.tv/did-bush-wipe-his-hand-on-clintons-shirt-after-greeting-crowd-in-haiti/
Mischa Barton is a girl who doesn't seem to learn from her fashion mistakes.
Having been snapped in a similar pair of shorts last summer, the actress had no qualms about going down that unflattering fashion route again.
The former O.C star was pictured relaxing in a park in California yesterday in floral-print shorts that clearly looked like they'd seen better days.
Source: Mischa Barton sports some unflattering shorts as she relaxes with her dogs in the park | Mail Online
Secular Extremism Alert: You Can't [Play] "Ave Maria" at Graduation, Says High School; Can't Sue Either, Says Supreme Court
WASHINGTON (CBS/AP) So apparently playing an instrumental version of "Ave Maria" during graduation at Henry M. Jackson High School, in Everett, Wash., is not allowed.
More importantly, according to the Supreme Court, suing Henry M. Jackson High School for not letting you play an instrumental version of "Ave Maria" during graduation is also not allowed.
The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Kathryn Nurre, a former student at Henry M. Jackson High School. Nurre, who was a senior in 2006, wanted to play "Ave Maria" - Hail Mary for all those who don't speak Latin like me (Quomodo vales?) - with the band's wind ensemble at the graduation.
Administrators raised red flags at the school when they heard about the idea from the wind ensemble seniors, who had played Franz Biebl's uptempo 1964 rendering of "Ave Maria" without controversy at a winter concert.
A year before, choral performance of the song "Up Above My Head" at the 2005 commencement drew complaints and protest letters to the town's newspaper. Therefore, school officials said the seniors could not play the song since the title alone identified "Ave Maria" as religious and that graduation should be strictly secular.
Nurre sued, claiming unspecified damages from infringement of First Amendment rights. The federal courts threw out the lawsuit, with judges saying it was reasonable for a school official to prohibit the performance of an obviously religious piece.
The court's majority turned away her request for appeal without comment. But Justice Samuel Alito said he would have heard her case.
There are nearly 10 million students under the jurisdiction of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Alito said. The decision by the San Francisco-based appeals court could lead to censorship of other forms of student expression outside of music, like student speeches and other school events.
And now here's an interesting factoid, according to a FReeper:
The State of Washington clearly lacks members of the bar who are conservative and have any familiarity with classical music.
There is no "instrumental version" of Ave Maria.
The music is Ellens dritter Gesang III (Ellen's Third Song) composed by Franz Schubert in 1825 as a setting of a song from Walter Scott's epic poem, The Lady of the Lake.
Kathryn Nurre should have asked to been placed on the graduation program in 2006 to perform Schubert's Ellens dritter Gesang III. Her attorney should have been primed to capture the evidence when school officials demonstrated their cultural ignorance and religious bias by objecting to the performance.
I am certain that Miss Nurre would have been a superb witness and made a compelling case on the stand proving the severe emotional distress imposed by the manifestly ignorant, malicious, and incompetent school administrators.
Any attorney who did not simply send away two box tops and $0.50 for his or her law degree should have been able to make each and every school administrator who acted or complained about Schubert's masterpiece as so ably performed by Miss Nurre, unemployed and unemployable; after seizing all of their assets on behalf of Miss Nurre (while keeping at least one-third for their own efforts.)
If said attorney was at all competent, the school officials could probably have been made to function as a private network of ATMs on behalf of Miss Nurre for the rest of their lives.[snip]
“I must study politics and war, that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy, natural history and naval architecture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, tapestry, and porcelain.”
“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.”
~ John Adams
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. -- Winston Churchill
Without question, people who zealously guard their freedoms, love their country, and want a better future for their children lost a big battle on Sunday. Yes, Republicans in the House fought skillfully and won the battle with the public, but the legislative chicanery, bribery, and utter disdain for the will of the people won the day for the Left.
Democrats in extremely red districts proved ready and willing to sacrifice their jobs in November to pass the bill. The Stupak block, which held firm for weeks, joined hands with the pro-abortion crowd to federally fund abortions for the first time in our history. The Democrats in Congress didn't care about the rules, they didn't care about the consent of the governed, and they didn't care about what is good for the country. This is a socialist power grab, pure and simple, and a little bit of what has made this a great country died writhing on the floor of the House last night.
The Democrats are calling this a historic moment. So it is. Of course, the same could be said of the crash of the Hindenburg, the sinking of the Titanic, and the start of the Civil War. This is an unconstitutional bill that will increase taxes, increase premiums, hurt Medicare, explode the deficit, federally fund abortions, lead to rationing, reduce quality of care, and dramatically increase the government's control over your life.
Moreover, unlike Social Security and Medicare, which were both popular bills that were passed with large bipartisan majorities, this bill is unpopular, passed without Republican support, and most of the "benefits" don't come into effect until 2014. That gives us an opportunity to do something that rarely happens in American politics: We have a legitimate chance to repeal an entitlement program.
Some people in the heat of the moment are talking about repealing Obamacare like it's a given that's bound to happen. It's not. It's going to be hard work, the results will be uncertain, and it will take years of political combat against utterly amoral opponents who have no qualms about lying, handing out bribes, or shredding the Constitution to get their way.
Here's a basic outline of what it will take to get it done:
1) Fight the Democrats on Reconciliation. Republicans are saying that they're going to do anything and everything in their power to block the further damage Democrats want to do to our country via reconciliation. That's the right attitude to have. However, at the end of the day, if Joe Biden is willing to disgrace his office to prevent the Republicans from offering legitimate amendments, eventually the Democrats will get something through. But, the more Republicans can block, the more discontent there will be on the Democratic side with the bill and less noxious provisions there will be to repeal.
2) Challenge the bill in court. It's clearly unconstitutional to force people to buy insurance. If the government can force you to buy insurance as a condition of citizenship, why couldn't the Congress just as easily write a bill forcing you to buy a car from GM? Numerous states will end up challenging the bill in court on that point. Given that we have four Supreme Court justices who believe in following the law, four who generally vote liberal regardless of the Constitution, and Anthony Kennedy who votes based on what side of the bed he gets up on this morning, it's impossible to say whether these legal challenges will work, but they're worth trying. If they succeed, suddenly, the whole health care bill, as written, will become unfeasible. That would give us the opportunity to roll it back.
3) Win the public relations war. So far, we've won the public relations battle over this bill, but that doesn't mean we're guaranteed to win it forever. It's entirely possible that Obama and health care reform will get a temporary bump from passing health care reform. That's not the least bit unusual after a big bill like this passes. Happily, that bump will be destined to fade, but expect Democrats to play the PR for all it's worth. There will also be a limited number of benefits that will kick in immediately. Expect the Democrats and their allies in the mainstream media to tout them endlessly while shamelessly lying and deflecting blame about the negatives. If we're going to repeal this bill, the truth has to win out over the lies because if the public is tricked into supporting this bill, it's simply not going to be repealed.
4) The Republican Party has to win big in the next two elections. Here's the sad reality: Republicans need to win 10 seats to take back the Senate, 40 seats to take back the House, and we need to defeat Barack Obama in 2012. Some people are taking it for granted that all those things will happen. Some people even think we'll take the House in a walk in November. Maybe that'll be the case. But, the Democrats have a big cash advantage, the American people have short memories, and eventually, the economy almost has to improve. So, there are no guarantees. If we do take back the House in 2010, it will be because legions of Americans who care about their country were inspired by a despicable bill to put up yard signs, contribute money, make phone calls, and do the rest of the grunt work it takes to get people elected. Are you going to be one of those people?
5) Repeal, replace, and refuse to fund. To completely repeal this bill, we're probably going to need to control the House, have 60 votes in the Senate, and hold the presidency. Obviously, that's a heavy lift -- particularly getting to 60 in the Senate. However, in the interim, if we can control Congress, we can start tearing this bill apart, piece-by-piece. We can try to get unpopular parts of the bill, like the tax hikes and the individual mandate, repealed. Congress also controls the purse strings; so we can shut down large parts of the plan by simply refusing to fund it. Moreover, we can suggest popular conservative ideas to replace unpopular parts of the bill and force the Democrats to either continue to go against the will of the people or vote them in. Then, if and when we get the votes and the presidency, we can try to repeal the whole thing. Don't let anyone tell you that this will be easy. But, don't let them tell you it's impossible either.
Last but not least, what John Boehner said on the House floor before the vote Sunday night should ring in the ears of every American,Shame on each and every one of you who substitutes your will and your desires above those of your fellow countrymen. Around this chamber, looking upon us are the lawgivers from Moses to Gaius, to Blackstone, to Thomas Jefferson. By our action today, we disgrace their values. We break the ties of history. We break our trust with America.
Whatever it takes, we will not let it stand.
Monday, March 22, 2010
By MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press Writer – Tue Mar 16, 5:20 pm ET
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – When the young woman needed to use the toilet, she went out into the darkened tent camp and was attacked by three men.
"They grabbed me, put their hands over my mouth and then the three of them took turns," the slender 21-year-old said, wriggling with discomfort as she nursed her baby girl, born three days before Haiti's devastating quake.
"I am so ashamed. We're scared people will find out and shun us," said the woman, who suffers from abdominal pain and itching, likely from an infection contracted during the attack.
Women and children as young as 2, already traumatized by the loss of homes and loved ones in the Jan. 12 catastrophe, are now falling victim to rapists in the sprawling tent cities that have become home to hundreds of thousands of people.
With no lighting and no security, they are menacing places after sunset. Sexual assaults are daily occurrences in the biggest camps, aid workers say — and most attacks go unreported because of the shame, social stigma and fear of reprisals from attackers.
Rape was a big problem in Haiti even before the earthquake and frequently was used as a political weapon in times of upheaval. Both times the first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was ousted, his enemies assassinated his male supporters and raped their wives and daughters.
But the quake that killed an estimated 200,000 people has made women and girls ever more vulnerable. They have lost their homes and are forced to sleep in flimsy tents or tarp-covered lean-tos. They've lost male protection with the deaths of husbands, brothers and sons. And they are living in close quarters with strangers.
At the camp on Monday where the young mother was gang-raped, a woman in shorts tried to bathe discreetly. Stripped to her waist, she faced her blue tarp tent, her back to the rows of other shelters.
Nearby, a teenage girl squatted behind a pile of garbage, trying to avoid the stench and clouds of flies around tarp-covered latrines that provide the only privacy, but also are places where women are attacked.
In this camp, some 47,000 people live crowded into what used to be a sports ground in a neighborhood that always has been dangerous. Residents include a dozen escaped prisoners, among them a man accused of a notorious murder, according to Fritznel Pierre, a human rights advocate who lives at the camp.
"But nobody says anything because they're scared, scared of the criminals and scared of the police," he said.
Pierre has documented three other gang rapes in the camp, including of a 17-year-old who says she was a virgin before six men attacked her and raped her repeatedly.
"I really worry about the teenager because she has no one to look out for her. She says she sees her attackers but is afraid to report them because she would then have to leave the camp and she has nowhere to go," Pierre said.
Investigators for Human Rights Watch reported the first three gang rapes to U.N. officials. Then, two weeks later, on Feb. 27, the 21-year-old mother was gang-raped.
Only a week later did U.N. police officers begin patrolling.
"For me it seems completely bizarre that for this one camp that everyone knows is unsafe, it's taken them three weeks to get a patrol going," said Liesl Gerntholtz, executive director of the agency's women's rights division. "It's unrealistic to expect patrols in camps all the time, but I think they can identify hotspots and provide security to those spots."
Pierre complained that the U.N. patrols are ineffective. "They only drive their cars down the one road that covers only a small portion of the camp. They never get out of their cars," he said.
In the hilltop suburb of Petionville, where plush mansions look out over slums on hillsides and in ravines, a 7-year-old rape victim was being treated Monday in the hospital of a tent camp set up on a golf course. Another child, a 2-year-old, had been raped in the same camp two weeks earlier.
The toddler is taking antibiotics for a gonorrhea infection of the mouth, according to Alison Thompson, who is the volunteer medical coordinator for a Haitian relief group created by Sean Penn. She helped treat both children.
"Women aren't being protected," Thompson said. "So when the lights go down is when the rapes increase, and it's happening daily in all the camps in Port-au-Prince."
Besides sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, victims face possible HIV infection. Haiti has the highest infection rate for the virus that causes AIDS in the Western hemisphere, with one in 50 people infected.
Among the many rape victims is an 18-year-old girl who lost her parents, grandmother, a sister and three cousins to the quake. She was roaming the streets distraught when a man approached her, promising her his wife would look after her, she said.
The middle-aged man took her to a house, then left and came back with two men. The three raped her repeatedly until she managed to escape.
The teen is among dozens of rape victims who have sought help from KOFAVIV, a group of Haitian women who survived political rapes in 2004. Their offices were destroyed in the quake and they now operate from a tent.
They brought the victims to American volunteer lawyers who came to Port-au-Prince a week ago to identify Haitians who may qualify for humanitarian parole to live in the United States.
"I've been here five days and have spoken to 30 (rape) survivors including a dozen under 18. Their stories are horrific. I would be catatonic," said San Francisco lawyer Jayne Fleming.
Few rapes are reported because women often face humiliating scrutiny from police officers who suggest they invited the attacks and even nurses who contend young girls were "too hot" in their dress style, according to Delva Marie Eramithe, a KOFAVIV leader.
Her own 18-year-old daughter was saved from an attacker who dragged the girl into a dark alley between tents at the downtown camp sprawling across Champs de Mars plaza. The assailant did not see the teen's three sisters, who had been walking behind her, and all four of them managed to beat him and run him off.
Soon after, he returned to their tent with three other men and a gun, Eramithe said.
While a male neighbor argued with the men, Eramithe and her daughters went to a nearby police station to report the attempted rape.
"We told them the man who attacked her was right there at our tent, just two blocks away," Eramithe said. "But one policeman said they had received reports of nothing but raping, thefts and domestic beatings all day and there's nothing they can do. The other police officer said the only person who can do anything is President (Rene) Preval."
When she insisted, they gave her the license plate of a police van patrolling the camp perimeter. Eventually she found the patrol car but that officer "told us to go and get the attacker and bring him to them."
Police spokesman Gary Desrosiers said only 24 rapes have been reported to Haitian authorities this year. Several suspects were detained, but many escaped when prisons collapsed in the quake, he said.
Police Chief Mario Andresol blamed the attacks on the more than 7,000 prisoners who escaped. "Bandits are taking advantage to harass and rape women and young girls under the tents," he told reporters two weeks after the quake.
"We are aware of problem ... but it's not a priority," Information Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said last month.
Today, as we start the radio program, America is hanging by a thread. So we have to see what we can do with a thread. At the end of the day, our freedom has been assaulted. This is the kind of change that people did not think they were going to get when they voted for Barack Obama. Freedom must win the day.
Every single Democrat who voted for this needs to know, safe district or not, that they are going to be exposed and hassled and chased from office. We now have leftist radicals in charge of your health care decisions rather than doctors. I got up today and I said, "We're hanging by a thread," and there's a difficult balancing act on this program today: Dealing with the reality of what has happened, which can't be candy coated, with the need to fight on. The need to fight on and the urging to fight on must have some substance to it and not just be rhetoric and language and lingo. It has to have some substance behind it, because we really are facing the prospect that our country will never be the same after yesterday, if this stands. It will never be the same, and a majority of the American people understood it.
A majority of the American people understand it and know it and are outraged by this. Americans are now eagerly awaiting their insurance premiums to be reduced by $2,500 a year. Obama has been promising this since his presidential campaign of 2008. Americans are now eagerly awaiting for all of the uninsured to magically have health insurance. The American people are now waiting for their premiums to magically go down and for their access to go up. I was listening to some of the Democrats in the media last night. Juan Williams on Fox was just excited. "Oh, my God, this is so wonderful! It's so wonderful! No more preexisting conditions! No more preexisting conditions! Everybody gets insurance," and I'm saying, "Does anybody not understand economics here?" We're not even talking about an insurance business anymore.
What's happened here is not insurance. Insurance is you insure yourself against a catastrophe, something that might happen to wipe you out. This is not insurance. This is simply the insurance companies being captivated or taken over by the government and having their behavior mandated for the express purpose of putting them out of business. Under this bill, as I told you last week, you don't have to buy insurance. You can wait until the accident or the illness happens and then buy it that day, and they have to sell it to you. No matter what. If you get terminal cancer and the doctor gives you three months, they have to sell you your coverage. Except you're not going to have to buy it. If you can't afford it, we -- all your neighbors -- will. No insurance company can stay in business doing this.
It's the same thing with preexisting conditions. No preexisting conditions? The liberals keep talking about automobile insurance companies. What happens to you if you have an automobile policy, you're driving around, and you have an accident and you do a lot of damage? Hey, guess what? You are a higher risk. Your auto insurance premium goes up, right? Why shouldn't that happen with health care? Why shouldn't it? (whining) "It's not fair? No, it's not fair!" Well, it won't now. It won't now. So, yeah, preexisting conditions are going to be covered, but who's going to pay for this? Insurance premiums are going to skyrocket in the next couple of years until they are out of business and the government steps in to take over with the...public option. Which is just waiting a couple of months, couple of days, couple years down the tracks. It's just waiting to happen, because this bill mandates the destruction of the private health insurance business.END TRANSCRIPT
Attorney General Abbott: Texas and Other States Will Challenge Federal Health Care Legislation
Following the passage of the health care legislation, the Texas Attorney General provided the following statement:
"The federal health care legislation passed tonight violates the United States Constitution and unconstitutionally infringes upon Texans' individual liberties. To protect all Texans' constitutional rights, preserve the constitutional framework intended by our nation's founders, and defend our state from further infringement by the federal government, the State of Texas and other states will legally challenge the federal health care legislation."
Attorney General of Texas
Sunday, March 21, 2010
How do you feel about global warming?
It's obvious nonsense, but it makes nice people feel good about themselves to do their bit for the planet. It's vanity of a grotesque kind to believe that mankind, and our 'carbon footprint', has more impact on the future of Earth than Nature, which bends our planet to its will, as it sees fit.This would all be a harmless fad, except that it is now costing the West trillions of dollars to go 'greener', with the blessing of caring souls and the Kyoto Protocol, while much of the world still lives in grinding poverty or simply starves to death.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Is the Republic dead? Not quite yet, but our current leaders aren't any Madison or Adams, that's for darn sure.
Headlines are anxious, ignorance abounds, the end seems inevitable. It's really easy to get depressed.
But help is on the way... today we'll quote the founders, toast our modern-day warriors, and spur each other on. Team therapy. Drinks optional.
(Please note... I do not even have a PhD in physiology.)
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010
US First Lady Michelle Obama participates in Newsweek Magazine's Executive Forum on childhood obesity entitled, 'Challenges and Ways to Promote Health and Wellness in America's Communities' on March 17, 2010.
PARIS (AFP) – Game show contestants turn torturers in a new psychological experiment for French television, zapping a man with electricity until he cries for mercy -- then zapping him again until he seems to drop dead.
"" has all the trappings of a traditional television quiz show, with a roaring crowd and a glamorous and well-known hostess urging the players on under gaudy studio lights.
But the contestants did not know they were taking part in an experiment to find out whether television could push them to outrageous lengths, and which has prompted comparisons with the atrocities of Nazi Germany.
"We were amazed to find that 81 percent of the participants obeyed" the sadistic orders of the, said Christophe Nick, the maker of the documentary for the state-owned France 2 channel which airs Wednesday.
"They are not equipped to disobey," he added. "They don't want to do it, they try to convince the authority figure that they should stop, but they don't manage to," he told AFP.
Nick and a team of psychologists recruited 80 volunteers, telling them they were taking part in a pilot for a new television show.
The game: posing questions to another "player" and punishing him with up to 460 volts of electricity when he gets them wrong -- even until his cries of "Let me go!" fall silent and he appears to have died.
Not knowing that the screaming victim is really an actor, the apparently reluctant contestants yield to the orders of the presenter and chants of "Punishment!" from a studio audience who also believed the game was real.
Nick said 80 percent of the contestants went all the way, zapping the victim with the maximum 460 volts until he appeared to die. Out of 80 players, just 16 walked out.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
by David Gibberman
When House Speaker Pelosi said that ObamaCare will allow Americans to realize their dream of being an artist, photographer, or writer without having to work a day job to have health insurance, some of us wondered whether ObamaCare also will cover other expenses, such as for housing and food, that force people to work a job they may not like while they pursue their dreams. Now we know the answer: yes it will.
Monday in Strongsville, Ohio, President Obama said that ObamaCare will reduce health insurance premiums by "3,000 percent." Considering that a 50 percent decrease in premiums would mean that we'd be paying half as much as we now pay for health insurance and that a 100 percent decrease in premiums would mean that we'd be paying nothing for health insurance, President Obama is telling us that insurance companies will actually start paying us money to keep our health insurance.
If your current health insurance policy costs $5,000 a year, insurance companies will pay you $145,000 a year (2,900 percent multiplied by $5,000). If you're fortunate enough to be paying $25,000 a year for health insurance, insurance companies will pay you $725,000 a year. There's no word whether you can purchase a more expensive health insurance policy to increase the amount of money that insurers pay you each year.
Just think, America: These are the people telling us that they know best how to run 1/6 of our economy.