THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: Updates To Previous Posts
† Faster Internet For Islamofascists: A Washington Post editorial advocates a Congressional commission” to study the roots of homegrown radicalism and to craft appropriate countermeasures” but New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman just saved us all a lot of time and tax dollars with this column, which explains that “moderate” Muslims tolerate – and political leaders in the Middle East ignore or reward – violent jihadis who think it’s their G-d given right (duty, even) to murder infidels (that is to say, Christians and Jews) and other Muslims who do not submit to their extreme interpretations of Sharia law. Until the cancer of extremism is cut from the body of Islam it will keep metastasizing via the Internet. As Friedman puts it:
Whatever surge we do in the real Afghanistan has no chance of being a self-sustaining success, unless there is a parallel surge - by Arab and Muslim political and religious leaders - against those who promote violent jihadism on the ground in Muslim lands and online in the Virtual Afghanistan. …
The Obama team is fond of citing how many “allies” we have in the Afghan coalition. Sorry, but we don’t need more NATO allies to kill more Taliban and Al Qaeda. We need more Arab and Muslim allies to kill their extremist ideas, which, thanks to the Virtual Afghanistan, are now being spread farther than ever before.
Only Arabs and Muslims can fight the war of ideas within Islam. We had a civil war in America in the mid-19th century because we had a lot of people who believed bad things - namely that you could enslave people because of the color of their skin. We defeated those ideas and the individuals, leaders and institutions that propagated them, and we did it with such ferocity that five generations later some of their offspring still have not forgiven the North.
Meanwhile, in a brazen hack attack, a group calling itself the Iranian Cyber Army disabled social networking site Twitter for several hours, reports The Sun (London):
They defaced the site with their own logos and images and even posted a message boasting about the attack.
Users hoping to find their latest Tweets were instead greeted by a black screen with a green flag.
Above the flag, a message in Arabic read: "Hezbollah is victorious."
The hackers also wrote in English: "This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army. U.S.A think they controlling and managing internet by their access, but they don't, we control and manage internet by our power..."
So taking all this together, can anyone explain why the Obama administration wants to use taxpayer funds to pay for wider access to broadband service in the Middle East?
† Why We Need Gitmo: Critics of President Barack Hussein Obama’s plan to have the Defense Department lease a portion of a super-maximum-security prison in northwestern Illinois so that a “limited number” of Guantánamo detainees can be incarcerated there, are concerned that once these terrorists and jihadis are physically on American soil “their lawyers will have the ability to tap into the full array of constitutional and other legal protections enjoyed by every American citizen and resident,” reports The Christian Science Monitor:
“The main argument the government has had as to why these men don’t have rights is that they are held outside the sovereign territory of the United States,” says David Remes, legal director of the Washington-based group Appeal for Justice and who represents 20 Guantánamo detainees. [Contextual link added by The Stiletto.]
“The Supreme Court rejected that,” he says. “But the government is still arguing that the detainees have no constitutional rights beyond habeas rights because they are offshore.”
Mr. Remes adds, “If the men are brought to the US, the government will no longer have that argument, and it will be possible for the detainees to raise a wider set of constitutional claims.” …
Remes, who has spent years litigating on behalf of the detainees, says he doesn't support transferring the men from Guantánamo to Thomson Correction Center Illinois. …
Remes says he is concerned that the transfer to Illinois may worsen the day-to-day living conditions of his clients. He says he is worried that men now living in “relatively humane conditions of confinement” at Guantánamo may find themselves transferred into bleak supermax prison conditions. [Emphasis, The Stiletto.]
In a post for the New York Times blog “Room for Debate,” National Review’s legal affairs editor Andrew McCarthy calls the administration’s justification for repurposing the currently unused Thomson Correctional Center - creating 3,000 new jobs - “half-baked” and adds, “the fact that we are thinking about jihadism as a shovel-ready jobs program rather than a national-security challenge speaks volumes.” A former federal prosecutor, McCarthy predicts that moving the detainees to IL “brings closer the day that federal courts will begin releasing trained terrorists to live, and plot, among us.”
In another post, American University law professor Kenneth Anderson calls Obama’s decision “hopelessly muddled” because it is either symbolic – which will be seen as a pointless gesture by the rest of the world – or it is meant to give a green light to the federal courts to “extend to the detainees rights that go along with physical presence in the territory of the United States” – which “will show that the Obama administration did not step up to the challenge of Guantanamo and the serious trade-offs involved in national security versus rights.” Either way, “the Obama administration tried to make a public relations gesture with various constituencies - and when that failed, decided to split as many differences as possible, producing as many muddles as possible, and then kick the can down the road for the courts to decide.”
Editorial Note: When a lawyer so committed to representing Gitmo terrorists that he quit his job as a partner at Covington & Burling characterizes the conditions at Gitmo as “relatively humane,” how can The New York Times continue to insist that the military prison is “a shameful symbol of illegality and inhumanity?”
† Mama, Don’t Take My Incandescent Bulbs Away: Cities that switched to traffic lights that use LED bulbs are discovering that they are so energy-efficient that “they don't burn hot enough to melt snow and can become crusted over in a storm - a problem blamed for dozens of accidents and at least one death,” reports The Associated Press:
Many communities have switched to LED bulbs in their traffic lights because they use 90 percent less energy than the old incandescent variety, last far longer and save money. Their great advantage is also their drawback: They do not waste energy by producing heat.
Authorities in several states are testing possible solutions, including installing weather shields, adding heating elements like those used in airport runway lights, or coating the lights with water-repellent substances.
Short of some kind of technological fix, "as far as I'm aware, all that can be done is to have crews clean off the snow by hand," said Green Bay, Wis., police Lt. Jim Runge. "It's a bit labor-intensive."
In St. Paul, Minn., for example, city crews use air compressors to blow snow and ice off blocked lights.
Wanna bet fixes like heating elements and air compressors use up more energy than the old incandescent traffic lights? Wanna double down on a bet that no municipality did a trial run of the LED traffic lights to see how they would perform in a variety of weather conditions before jumping in with both feet?
† Employers Hiring Forged Documented Aliens Are Lawbreakers In Other Ways, Too): Wage theft – employers paying workers less than minimum wage, or not paying them for the number of hours they worked – is becoming increasingly prevalent, reports The Associated Press:
In the absence of aggressive federal action, some states and local governments have begun to tackle the issue on their own. They say employers who don't pay overtime or minimum wage are unlikely to pay into state workers' compensation or unemployment insurance funds - bilking taxpayers even as they're cheating workers.
Workers rights centers say wage theft has become the No. 1 complaint they've heard in recent months. …
About 68 percent of low-wage workers reported wage theft in 2008, regardless of citizenship status, according to a study released earlier this year that surveyed 4,400 low-wage workers in major U.S. cities, the first such extensive review in years.
"It's not confined to the margins, or a few rogue employers. Employers realize that workers are desperate," said Nik Theodore, a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and lead author of the study conducted with the University of California, Los Angeles and the City University of New York. "It looks like standard business practice in many industries." …
Low-wage immigrant workers are particularly vulnerable because most are paid in cash, making record-keeping difficult. Many fear a call to immigration authorities, even if they have legal status to work in the U.S.
† How Much Is That Doggie In The Window? Priceless. (last item): Denis and Sarah Scheele’s quest to have pets recognized as companions and not possessions has reached VT’s highest court, which will hear the civil suit that the childless Annapolis, MD, couple filed against Lewis Dustin, a neighbor of a relative they were visiting, who fatally shot their dog with a BB gun when the dot wandered onto his property, reports The Associated Press:
[T]he Scheeles are asking the court to carve out a new legal doctrine that a dog's owners can sue for emotional distress and loss of companionship, just like parents can when they lose children.
"We're still working toward having the courts recognizing the true value of companion animals. They're members of the family, not mere property," Sarah Scheele, 58, said from her home in Annapolis, Md., on Wednesday before flying north for the court hearing. …
[Dustin] pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty and was given a year probation. He also was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay $4,000 in restitution to the Scheeles.
† Updates To Previous Posts (ninth item, Scientists Who Refuse To Toe The Line On Global Warming: Part II): Howard Bloom, author of "The Genius of the Beast: A Radical Re-Vision of Capitalism" (Prometheus Books 2009), makes the case that climate change is “Mother Nature's way” and that the changes are so radical that “[w]e have to be prepared for fire or ice, for fry or freeze” in this Wall Street Journal op-ed:
In the two million years during which we climbed from stone-tool wielding Homo erectus with sloping brows to high-foreheaded Homo urbanis, man the inventor of the city, we underwent 60 glaciations, 60 ice ages. And in the 120,000 years since we emerged in our current physiological shape as Homo sapiens, we've lived through 20 sudden global warmings. In most of those, temperatures have shot up by as much as 18 degrees within a mere 20 years.
All this took place without smokestacks and tailpipes. All this took place without the desecration of nature by modern man. …
Our planet has a peculiar wobble - its precession. And that precession produces upheavals in our weather, weather alterations we cycle through every 22,000, 41,000 and 100,000 years. …
Meanwhile, the sun itself is going through a cycle from birth to death. As a result of its maturation, good old reliable sol is 43% warmer today than it was when the Earth first gathered itself into a globe of planetesimals 4.5 billion years ago.
The bottom line? Weather changes and the occasional meteor have tossed this planet through roughly 142 mass extinctions since life began 3.85 billion years ago. That's an average of one mass extinction every 26.5 million years. Where did these mass die-offs come from? Nature. There were no human capitalists, industrialists or cultures of consumerism to blame. …
We need to prepare for far more than just the changes we think we make. … [W]e have to realize that Mother Nature is not nice.
Editorial Note: Despite the repeated claims of global warming zealots that there is a “consensus” that the science on global warming is “settled,” a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 60 percent of Americans think that scientists disagree on the causes of climate change and that 40 percent don’t trust what scientists have been telling us about what the data shows. And 57 percent do not agree with the U.S. and other industrialized nations forking over $10 billion a year to help developing countries curtail the amount of greenhouse gases they release – even 45 percent of Dems don’t like the idea.
† Updates To Previous Posts (third item, Obama: “Our Healthcare System Is Broken.” Oh, Really?): Average life expectancy in the U.S. is at an all-time high of almost 78 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Center for Health Statistics. Since the 1960s the number of deaths from heart disease, stroke and cancer have been decreasing, which has pushed the overall death rate down to a record low of 760.3 deaths per 100,000 people, reports HealthDay News:
The five leading causes of death, accounting for 64 percent of all deaths, are heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lower respiratory diseases and accidents.
"This is great news," Dr. William O'Neill, executive dean for clinical affairs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said of the overall findings.
Many people say the United States health care system is broken, O'Neill said. "But, this is kind of great evidence to show there has actually been some dramatic improvements in the health of Americans over the last 20 years."
† Updates To Previous Posts (seventh item, Why Shouldn’t Illegals Get Government Healthcare?): Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural D. Glanville abruptly dismissed a lawsuit by illegal aliens to force Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital to continue providing free dialysis to them, reports The New York Times:
When the struggling hospital closed the clinic for fiscal reasons in early October, it agreed to pay for three months of dialysis for the patients at private clinics, either in the United States or in their home countries. That reprieve has nearly expired, and most of the patients have not taken steps to seek treatment elsewhere. …
The patients’ lawyer, Lindsay Jones, had contended among other claims that Grady had illegally abandoned the patients. A lawyer for the hospital, Bernard Taylor, said the patients were asserting a constitutional right to medical care that does not exist in law.
A lawyer representing the nearly four dozen illegal aliens whose ongoing care bankrupted Grady Memorial’s outpatient renal clinic, leaving elderly and impoverished Americans in the community without these services, plans to appeal.
† Updates To Previous Posts (last item, 10 Reasons Michelle Obama Should Be Proud – Really Proud – Of America): This latest installment in The Stiletto Blog’s ongoing series meant to help instill the necessary pride of country in Michelle Obama’s consciousness to enable her to serve as an unofficial ambassador focuses on Lee Jost and Bill Porter, retired engineers who spend their days fixing and fashioning assistive devices for special needs kids in VA. The Washington Post reports:
Kilmer Center in Vienna and Key Center in Springfield serve students ages 5 to 21 who have severe disabilities, often birth defects or disorders that affect their brains and bodies. The specialized schools have small classes, each with a teacher and two health aides, and students get extra help from physical therapists, occupational therapists, a speech therapist, a psychologist, a social worker, a registered nurse, a vocational coordinator and, not least, a handyman.
"We created a job description, which is Mr. Fix-it," said Kilmer Principal Michael Marsallo. "If things break down, we can take care of it on site and make sure students are using the right equipment … that will lead them to be more independent." …
Porter, 76, came to Kilmer in the early 1990s with the volunteer group the Telephone Pioneers, which was asked to design and build an indoor playground that would be safe for students with disabilities.
He was nervous at first. "I didn't want to be around handicapped kids," he recalled. But his discomfort faded, and his admiration grew for students who were "doing the best they could" and teachers whose affection for them was clear. "Pretty soon, you realize that you are in love with these kids," he said. …
Jost, 74, had a personal connection to Key Center: His grandson went to school there. Carson, now 17, was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare condition caused by missing genetic material on the fourth chromosome. What's missing, Jost explained, is "all the instructions for living." …
In 1997, not long after he retired, Jost thought he'd like to volunteer at Key Center. But he came home after the first day feeling unsettled. He wasn't sure that he had the medical know-how to volunteer in classrooms with students whose conditions were so fragile. He soon saw another way he could help: A flier was sent home advertising back-to-school night. "If you have a wrench or a hammer or a screwdriver, please bring it along," the flier stated. "We have lots of things that need to be fixed."
Jost was there the next morning, his trunk filled with tools. A physical therapist had amassed a list of 27 things that needed to be fixed. By noon, 11 of them were.