All the News The Times Wants You to Know

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By Alan Caruba

In a long career as a journalist, full time and freelance, I have sometimes said that I knew something was seriously wrong with The New York Times when I began to see my byline show up on stories that appeared briefly.

It’s been decades since I have held The Times in my hands though I have read an article or column on occasion via the Internet because I have long since concluded it cannot be trusted for anything it prints with the possible exception of obituaries.

During the early years when Stalin was the dictator of the Soviet Union, a Times reporter named Walter Duranty, based in Moscow from 1922 to 1936, would deliberately fail to report outrages such as the starving of the Ukrainians to force their capitulation to Moscow. Duranty would win a Pultizer Prize in 1932 which, to this day, the Times has not repudiated. Duranty, like The Times, harbored a lot of sympathy for Marxism.

My own opinion of The Times was shaped during the Vietnam War when it became apparent that the newspaper was rooting for the Vietcong. This culminated in the revelations of the famed Pentagon Papers, purloined by an anti-war activist. They revealed the many misconceptions that drove the conflict. Neither President Lyndon Johnson nor his advisors come away from that period with honor, but American soldiers fought with honor for what they believed was their nation’s struggle against communism.

I remember thinking that the Times would probably have published the plans for D-Day, the WWII invasion of Europe, if they had gotten their hands on them.

I was not surprised that The Times and some foreign newspapers published the latest WikiLeak’s “dump” of purloined U.S. State Department internal cables; some of which were marked Top Secret while others had lower ratings of secrecy.

Prior to posting and publication of the cables, The Wall Street Journal had been offered the trove and refused it. A previous WikiLeak’s release of data regarding U.S. combat efforts in Afghanistan raised the stakes against troop safety.

The Obama administration gives little indication that it has made any effort to use whatever means at its disposal to find and neutralize the man behind WikiLeaks, Julian Assange. He is an Australian (former?) computer hacker with little to indicate he would emerge as the leading activist attempting to embarrass and alter U.S. policy. He has now become a major threat to the nation’s ability to function in peace or war.

If there are no present laws regarding Assange’s acts, some need to be quickly crafted and passed. A nation needs to protect its secrets and punish those that reveal them.

The alleged source of the Afghanistan data is U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, a sexually confused young man drawn to the Lesbian Bisexual Gay and Transgender movement and yet granted a security status sufficient to have given him access to secret information. He is under arrest and awaiting trial.

Clearly, there are way too many people cleared to read secret and top secret information. This is not a new situation. In the early 1960s even I was cleared to handle secret information by the U.S. Army though I was not much older than Manning. Wars, after all, are fought by young men.

The New York Times published a defense of its actions regarding the previously secret diplomatic documents, aggregating for itself the right to “illuminate aspects of American foreign policy” even if it meant that it would be a very long time before any foreign representative would speak candidly to a U.S. diplomat again.

Is foreign policy replete with duplicitous behavior? Yes. The world is a very dangerous place in the best of times and we are now living in times when Iran, led by a small band of lunatics taking their orders from Allah, is closing in on making nuclear weapons.

The cables revealed that the missiles to threaten the whole of the Middle East and parts of Europe transited from North Korea through China with its blessing. North Korea has been a case study in communist repression and aggression since the 1950s. The U.S. briefly fought a war there and settled for a stalemate. Gen. Douglas MacArthur once famously said there is no substitute for victory and he was right.

One could make a long list of nations that are essentially just waiting around for either the U.S. or Israel to solve the Iranian problem for them.

“For The Times to ignore this material would be to deny its own readers the careful reporting and thoughtful analysis they expect when this kind of information becomes public.” How modest of The Times and how thoroughly hypocritical.

Contrast this with the way The Times danced around the November 20, 2009 revelations when thousands of emails between the main perpetrators of the global warming hoax were posted online for all to see. Since the 1980s The Times has been one of the leading advocates of “global warming” despite the fact it had no basis in climate science or any science.

Its chief environmental hack reporter, Andrew C. Revkin, was very unhappy about what he called “the unauthorized distribution of the climate files.” The fact that those exchanging their plots and schemes were the recipients of British and U.S. governmental funding clearly meant they had an obligation to be transparent. Instead, one of the e-mailers, a Brit, admitted to destroying files to avoid his nation’s Freedom of Information laws, not dissimilar from our own.

Revkin’s description of what came to be called the “Climategate” emails was filled with words like “purloined documents” that were “uploaded surreptitiously” or “acquired illegally”, was intended to cast the revelations in the context of something quite evil. The Times continues to mislead readers about “climate change” in its quest for a one-world government, presumably run from the bowels of the United Nations.

The contrast between its assumption of noble journalistic laurels regarding the WikiLeak criminality and its view that the exposure of the Climategate emails was a corrupt act reveals an essential hypocrisy that belies The Times motto of “All the news that’s fit to print.”

It should be “All the news we want you to know” even if it is severely tainted by bias, inaccuracy, and an anti-American agenda.

© Alan Caruba, 2010
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Lame Ducks Threaten Economic Recovery

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By Alan Caruba

As if the forcing of Obamacare on a nation vastly opposed to it was not enough, the lame duck session of Congress between now and December 31st has the potential to harm economic recovery still more.

Congress includes sixty Democrat Representatives in the House who will not be returning and six in the Senate who were also voted out of office or who have announced their retirement. If the world made any sense, none would be permitted to vote on anything at this point.

If, indeed, Congress functioned in a reasoned and rational fashion, the nation would not be forced to wait until the last month of the year for it to resolve a range of fiscal and other issues despite the fact that Fiscal 2011 has begun. It has not passed a budget and it will need to pass a continuing resolution to fund the federal government until it does.

Americans and the business community in particular are still waiting to see if Congress will extend the Bush tax rates. They have been in effect for nine years. Everyone understands maintaining the existing rates is essential to avoid worsening an ailing economy.

For the President and Democrats in Congress, the issue has to do with “billionaires” and “millionaires” when the real issue is whether small to medium-sized businesses will be able to hire and expand. The issue is whether millions of Americans who are still employed will see their take-home pay reduced in January by additional taxes. It’s worth noting that those high earners already pay some 70% of the income taxes collected every year.

Another problem is Sen. Harry Reid’s intention to bring the “Dream Act”, yet another amnesty effort, to a vote. Here again, Americans overwhelmingly oppose any easing of laws regarding illegal aliens.

Democrats are also discussing a ban on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, a policy that permits gays to serve in the military, but to keep their silence regarding their sexual orientation. In an all-volunteer military corps morale should trump this issue, but thanks to political correctness, it does not.

Medicare, who most agree was in need of repair, but not the bureaucratic monster of Obamacare, is required to reduce reimbursement rates for physicians every year and, to avoid that, Congress has always passed legislation to avoid the cut, called “the doctor’s fix.” If Congress does nothing in the lame duck session, reimbursement rates would plunge 23 percent. Those on Medicare would have to dig into personal funds as doctors would understandably raise their fees to make up for the loss.

The extension of unemployment insurance is going to prove a very difficult issue, which is why the Democrat-controlled Congress put it off until after the elections. Benefits averaging $310 per week are due to expire on November 30 and this affects some two million Americans. It is a disincentive to seeking employment.

Republicans and a contingent of Democrats are demanding that the cost of extending unemployment compensation be financed through budget cuts, but how does Congress achieve any savings when Obamacare creates a federal bureaucracy of more than 150,000 new employees? It will even provide insurance to non-U.S. residents whether they are here illegally or not. If that’s not bad enough, it gives the government real-time access to your bank account and the authority to make electronic fund transfers from it! That's not government, that's gangsterism.

Outside of Congress, another threat exists in the form of the Environmental Protection Agency’s illegal and obscene effort to regulate “greenhouse gas” emissions. The agency plans to initiate this power grab by January 2nd and it must be stopped.

After an orgy of borrowing for stimulus legislation that has failed to generate new jobs, the further devaluation of the U.S. dollar looms as the Federal Reserve undertakes a second “quantitative easing.” The first did not increase bank loans to businesses and others. The Russians and Chinese have just announced they will conduct bilateral trade using their own currencies, not the U.S. dollar that until now has been the global standard.

Further threatening an economic apocalypse is the question of whether more European nations will join the ranks of failed economies from Greece to Ireland to Spain and Portugal. England and France are imposing much needed budget cuts while Germany, the strongest European economy, appears to be understandably reluctant to bail out the Euro.

The arrogance and incompetence of the Democrat Congress and Administration defy the imagination and the clear intention of a growing legend of Americans is to put an end to their liberal legislative abominations.

© Alan Caruba, 2010
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Less Talk, More Action - Send North Korea a Message

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The Climate Mafia Gather in Cancun

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By Alan Caruba

On November 14, 1957, leaders of the American and other Mafia organizations gathered at the home of Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara in Apalachin, New York; approximately one hundred Mafiosi from around the United States, Canada, and Italy attended.

Up to then, J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, had refused to acknowledge that the Mafia even existed, but a succession of prime time television appearances before Congressional committees by members of the Mafia made it abundantly clear that crime in America was, indeed, organized and led by some very colorful and ruthless descendents of the Sicilian Mafia.

It is time for the U.S. government to acknowledge that a climate mafia has existed since the gathering in Kyoto, Japan, to establish the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The December 11, 1997 treaty was, upon ratification, to go into force on February 16, 2005. Its expressed purpose was to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the purpose of avoiding “global warming”, but its real purpose was to create an entirely bogus system of emissions trading to be known as “the carbon market.”

On July 25, 1997, the U.S. Senate, responsible for the ratification of international treaties, unanimously passed (95-0) a resolution rejecting the Kyoto Treaty on the grounds that it “would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States.”

As this is written, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is striving to secure authorization to regulate GHG emissions despite massive evidence that they pose no threat to the environment and despite the fact that this authority would, as in 1997, cripple and likely destroy an already ailing economy.

There was no “global warming” then or now. Carbon dioxide (CO2) was deemed the chief cause of “global warming” when, in fact, it plays little or no role in climate change.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a criminal enterprise set up as a mechanism to facilitate the sale of bogus “carbon credits” and to transfer billions from industrialized, developed nations to those that have failed to keep pace. This latter scheme is little more than extortion.

In 2007, the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to Al Gore and the IPCC for their efforts to further this fraud. This demonstrates just how vast the effort to impose it had become. In the U.S., “Cap-and-Trade” legislation, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, sponsored by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) was passed in the House and sent to the Senate. Political pundits say it is unlikely to come up for a vote.

In November 2009, the leak of thousands of emails between the scientists leading two university-based climate research centers responsible for the data published by the IPCC demonstrated they had deliberately rigged the data to assert a “global warming” that did not exist then or now. It was quickly dubbed “Climategate.”

The Climategate revelations doomed last year’s conference in Copenhagen that was intended to further the “global warming” fraud. It was attended by President Obama who said, “Today we’ve made (a) meaningful and unprecedented breakthrough here in Copenhagen. For the first time in history all major economies have come together to accept their responsibility to take action to confront the threat of climate change.”

There is no threat of climate change beyond those natural climate events such as hurricanes and blizzards over which humankind has no control.

Abandoning the term “global warming” and substituting “climate change” does not change the fact that there has been NO dramatic increase in the Earth’s overall temperature and ignores the fact that, since 1998, the Earth has entered a predictable and natural cooling cycle.

The President was lying then and continues to lie today about “climate change.”

Billions worldwide have been wasted on the needless reduction of GHGs. Billions here in the U.S. have been diverted to two of the most unpredictable and least effective means of energy production, wind and solar power.

Billions have been wasted on the U.S. mandate that ethanol be mixed with the gasoline Americans purchase, despite the fact that ethanol releases more CO2 into the environment than gasoline without it. Due to expire on December 31st, it would save an estimated six billion dollars. Even Al Gore has disowned ethanol.

The IPCC meeting in Cancun begins on November 29 and will generate a lot of hot air for two weeks.

The Earth doesn’t need less carbon dioxide; vital to all crops, forests and vegetation. It needs more. The world doesn’t need less energy production. It needs more; vital to the economies of developed and developing nations.

The future of six billion people on planet Earth depends on the failure of the Cancun conference.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

Editor's Note: If tracking the weather where you live interests you, check out .
as your one-stop source of great weather measurement devices of all kinds. They make great Christmas gifts.
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Cartoon Round Up

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Parish Notice

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Blogging will be virtually non-existent until December 7th at the latest as I'm away off to Devon to be there for the birth of my first Grandchild, a daughter.

Try not to trash the place whilst I'm gone.
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Climate Change Idiocy and The Economist

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By Alan Caruba

For a brief period I subscribed to The Economist, the London-based internationally distributed magazine, but I stopped as it became obvious that its editors are idiots and the general purpose of the magazine is to ignore any and all facts that might contradict their obsession with “global warming” and now “climate change.”

Last year, The Economist had a cover that said, “Stop Climate Change.” That’s like saying stop the Earth from circumnavigating the Sun. The issue came out about the same time as the entire fictitious infrastructure of “global warming” came undone and resulted in the collapse of the last United Nations conference of liars who had gathered in Copenhagen to impose the purchase, sale and trade of “carbon credits” on the world.

A year later, the Chicago Exchange that had been set up to cash in on the scam had closed its doors. The one in Europe is selling carbon credits for pennies these days. Naturally, California, besotted with global warming idiocy, is preparing to have its own exchanges.

Apparently, despite glaring headlines in British newspapers, no one at The Economist was aware that the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of East Anglia University had been found to be rigging the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change data for years.

Did the Economist’s editors learn anything in the past year? No. Indeed, its latest issue sports a cover that says “How to Live with Climate Change.” In a year’s time, they have gone from saying stop climate change to learn to live with it. Is there a choice?

This is not the most original idea given the fact that human beings have been living with climate change since we climbed down from the trees and began walking upright, developing language, and spreading across the face of the Earth.

Eskimos found ways to survive in the Arctic. Polynesians learned to travel among Pacific islands. Everywhere civilizations came and went while agriculture was introduced to feed more and more people who, in turn, preferred living in cities as opposed to plowing the soil. The art and science of war flourished.

The Economist focused its attention on next week’s “meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”, the subject of a conference to be held in Cancun, Mexico.

You may recall that President Obama attended last year’s conference in Copenhagen that foundered on the news that there never was any dramatic increase in the Earth’s temperature.

Leaked emails revealed that the only “proof” of “global warming” could be found in corrupt, falsified computer models churned out by the CRU and a coordinated climate scam out of Pennsylvania State University, the recipient of comparable “climate research” funding.

The President had to depart early because of a massive blizzard that enveloped Copenhagen.

Even the Economist had to admit that “in the wake of the Copenhagen summit, there is a growing acceptance that the effort to avert serious climate change has run out of steam.” That’s also likely due to the fact that there is no way to “avert serious climate change.”

The Economist, however, held out hope that “a few climatic disasters” might get the scam going again.

It is an act of journalistic criminality to publish outright lies, but The Economist is not deterred by anything resembling the truth. It asserts a “likelihood “ that “the Earth will be at least 3 degrees Celsius warmer at the end of this century than it was at the beginning of the industrial revolution, less warming is possible, but so is more, and quicker.” So there could be less, but there could be more

This is utter rot.

It is typical of the way “global warming” was always predicted to arrive twenty, fifty or a hundred years from now; all based on manipulated and mendacious computer models. The usual predictions of heat waves, droughts, along with melting poles and glaciers are cited in its cover editorial.

Just as the Cancun festival of climate lies will do, The Economist rhapsodizes about a massive redistribution of wealth from industrialized developed nations to those in the grip of despots, Islam, communism or other systems that keep them poor. When interviewed recently, IPCC official, Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist, bluntly said that “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy,”

So what is climate change policy really about? It is about how “we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth….” If this sounds like the usual communist claptrap, it is.

© Alan Caruba, 2010
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Support "Warning Signs"

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Black Friday is the beginning of a few weeks when merchants hope for enough sales to make a profit by the end of the year. You can help keep the lights on here at "Warning Signs" with a donation. A convenient Paypal "donate" button makes it easy to give what you can. Thanks!
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Took you long enough.

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The UK as a whole is largely EUsceptic, a lot of us want out as we believe we could do far better for ourselves outside rather than inside, selling to all rather than subsidising a trade cartel. The UK has always in the past been a trader on a world scale, rather than on a local scale, which is what mainland Europe tended to do, particularly the further inland you got. Largely EUsceptic means the public at large of course, the political classes on the whole aren't, never have been either, they see it as aggrandising their power rather than giving away our sovereignty, after all the bigger the block, supposedly the more power it has, though in the case of the EU, power resides in the hands of a few apparatchiks rather than politicians. Still it's nice to see that one of the MSM have finally caught up with the thinking of the common folk.

THE Daily Express today becomes the first national newspaper to call for Britain to leave the European Union.
From this day forth our energies will be directed to furthering the cause of those who believe Britain is Better Off Out.
The famous and symbolic Crusader who adorns our masthead will become the figurehead of the struggle to repatriate British sovereignty from a political project that has comprehensively failed.
After far too many years as the victims of Brussels larceny, bullying, over-regulation and all-round interference, the time has come for the British people to win back their country and restore legitimacy and accountability to their political process.
Following the debacle of the Lisbon Treaty – disgracefully imposed upon the public without the referendum they were promised by the three main political parties – many had expected matters European to take a lower profile in British politics.
But the opposite has been true as those on board the European gravy train have mounted one power grab after another.
At a time of austerity throughout Europe they have expanded their bloated budgets, pushing Britain’s disproportionate contributions even higher.
And despite not being part of the failing eurozone, British taxpayers have learned that under Brussels rules agreed to by Labour after it had lost the election they are liable to help bail out economies wrecked by the single currency.
I wonder how long this will last, most newspaper campaigns fizzle out after a week or two, but still it's nice to see them announcing what the majority have been feeling for about 20 years or so, still I suspect some critical threshold has been passed in some private poll for the Express group, though I'd have laid odds on it being the Daily Mail first.
It will be interesting too, which of our politicians break ranks (other than the obvious ones of Carswell and Hannan) to support this campaign, the better off out group will be one, but will any of the big names come out and support it? I guess it will depend on how much pressure can be brought to bear, if they see votes going to it they'll follow the votes. If not I suspect a possible UKIP landslide in the next EU elections possibly pushing the Tories into second place, now there's a nice thought.

Their petition can be signed here.
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Cutting It Down to Size

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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North Korea, China's Hidden Dagger

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By Alan Caruba

The Korean War ended in a stalemate in 1953. Having begun on June 25, 1950 with the blessings of Joseph Stalin, an armistice agreement on July 27, 1953 left the peninsula divided between the Republic of South Korea and the Peoples Republic of North Korea. How long ago was that? Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected largely on the promise to go there and secure an end to the conflict

By the time it was over the Red Chinese had intervened and American casualties were around 54,000 with 103,000 wounded. The North Koreans and Chinese were estimated to have lost ten times that number. The war was immensely unpopular with an American public that was still recovering from World War Two that had ended in 1945.

To his credit, President Truman did not hesitate to commit troops. Within two days after the invasion, Americans were fighting another war in Asia. The United Nations provided cover and the conflict was officially a UN action.

It was a proxy war, part of the long Cold War that had begun at the end of World War Two. The Chinese got involved when Gen. Douglas McArthur’s strategies put U.S. troops close to their border. He wanted to finish off not just the North Koreans, but the fledgling communist Chinese government as well. Truman relieved him of command after he neglected the fact that U.S. armies fight under civilian control in the form of an elected Commander-in-Chief and authorization from Congress.

In time, China for reasons of proximity and other factors became the power that controlled North Korea. Under Kim ill-Sung, known as the “Great Leader”, a Soviet protégée of Stalin’s, and his son Kim Jong-il, the “Dear Leader”, North Korea has evolved into the classic rogue nation. It was named one of George W. Bush’s “axis of evil.”

China provides life support for North Korea, the supplier of food and energy. In his 2004 book, “Rogue State: How a Nuclear North Korea Threatens America”, William C. Triplett II, noted that “communist China is central to all North Korean issues, from human rights to weapons proliferation.”

Whatever North Korea does is sanctioned by China. This fact has been largely shielded by U.S. policy from the American public. North Korea is known in diplomatic circles as “China’s hidden dagger.” The phrase is taken from an ancient Chinese military text called “36 Srategems.” It means the covert use of another country to annihilate your enemy. North Korea threatens South Korea and Japan, and by extension the U.S. which is committed to come to its defense.

American administrations have negotiated with North Korea and each has learned that they will not adhere to any agreement, using negotiations to secure bribes of all kinds, including one in which the U.S. agreed to build two nuclear facilities there! Recent news revealed they have increased their ability to produce nuclear weapons to the utter astonishment of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Its nuclear program was begun by Moscow and Beijing converted it to a weapons program. Triplett said that Beijing uses North Korea as a proxy distributor of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles to terrorist nations that include Iran and Syria. They in turn, provide weapons to their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas.

Like Iran, no sanctions and no threats of military reprisal have ever had any serious affect on North Korea.

Writing during the George W. Bush administration, Triplett said “There is no endgame strategy. North Korean aggression and provocations still go unpunished.” Together, the North Koreans and China “have successfully bogged any progress in endless diplomatic meetings and conferences while North Korea’s nuclear research marches on.”

America is in no position to fight another war on the Korean peninsula and is dependent on China (and Japan) to purchase its securities to keep its economy functioning in the wake of the 2008 economic crisis. America’s manufacturing base has largely been undermined by the transfer of many of our industries to China.

Americans have largely forgotten the threat of communism.

The latest North Korean attacks are China’s way of reminding the U.S. of its dilemma and dependence.

The failure to secure a victory over North Korea in the 1950s, too much dithering since then, and too much distraction fighting recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have combined to render America a paper tiger who, despite our vast military power, will not or cannot pull the trigger.

© Alan Caruba, 2010
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Whatever Happened to the Fourth Amendment?

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"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no Warrants shall issue, but upon propable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
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This is what climate extremism has brought us too.

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Fuel bills are high in the UK, some of it is down to the fact that foreign ownership of UK energy firms is used to subsidise foreign fuel prices, but a lot of it has to do with the climate levy that's added on to every household and industrial bill to "save the planet from climate change." The higher costs to industry also mean that higher costs of other services are passed on to us, it's a vicious cycle. What it means in reality is that people, particularly the old and vulnerable die as they count the pennies and make decisions on the grounds of stay warm or eat.
One of the measures of civilisation is how we treat our old folk, in the UK, it's not terribly well.

THOUSANDS of pensioners died from cold-related illnesses last winter as heating bills soared and temperatures plummeted, official figures reveal.
The number of deaths linked to the cold between December and March reached 25,400 in England and Wales, with another 2,760 in Scotland.
The figures are equivalent to nine deaths every hour.
The total gave Britain the highest winter death rate in northern Europe, worse than much colder countries such as Finland and Sweden.
There are fears the death toll could increase this year following energy price rises which may frighten elderly people into not turning on their heating.
Michelle Mitchell, of Age UK, said: “It’s unacceptable that tens of thousands more older people die in this country every winter from the effects of the cold weather. The fact that the UK has one of the highest winter mortality rates in Europe makes it clear this is very much a home-grown problem.
“Behind these statistics lie deep-seated social issues, such as one in three over-60s living in houses which fail the ‘decent home’ standard.”
 According to the weather forecasts we're in for a particularly cold winter, though as they struggle to tell us what the weather will be like the day after tomorrow such predictions can be taken with a pinch of salt, or not, only time will tell, though I do reckon we're overdue a bad winter.
There's no doubt though, pensioners will die this winter due to the cold, it could be worse if we have a flu epidemic on top of it too. However government and environmentalists are adamant that better insulation rather than cheaper electricity and gas is the way to go, though few pensioners can afford either. Of course there's the suspicion that some environmentalists want a cull of the human race anyway, though pensioners is the wrong target group, still I suppose it would reduce the pensions deficit too from a strictly pragmatic government view.
A large majority in the UK now either totally disbelieve man made climate change, or think it doesn't matter, it's time the government caught up with this view too. Remove the green levy and keep our pensioners warm this winter and bring prices down elsewhere, give us all a break from the holier than thou environmental movement who should never have been put into a position to influence policy on this scale ever.
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Learn about Mortgage Rates and Points

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Video Description: Video explains with examples why mortgage points matter. Points are what actually move each business day since the actual rate is always available. It's just a matter of how much it will cost you to obtain the rate. The video tutorial also publicizes a ne

Tags: learn about mortgage rates and points, choosing rates vs. points in a mortgage loan, how to compare mortgage loans, mortgage points, mortgage rate calculator, rate alert now, mortgage, mortgageslearn about mortgage rates and points
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An Alternative to Securitization for Funding Mortgages

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Covered Bonds: An Alternative to Securitization for Funding Mortgages
Covered bonds are a relatively common method of funding mortgages in Europe, but uncommon in the United States. A covered bond is a recourse debt obligation that is secured by a pool of assets, in this case mortgages. The holders of the bond are given additional protection in the event of the bankruptcy or insolvency of the issuing lender. They have some features, such as pooled mortgages, that resemble securitization, but the original lenders maintain a continuing interest in the performance of the loans. Because some believe that the subprime mortgage turmoil may have been influenced by poor incentives for lenders using the securitization process, some policymakers have recommended covered bonds as an alternative for U.S. mortgage markets......
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Barack the Barbarian

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By Alan Caruba

In the film, Conan the Barbarian, his father asks him what is best in life and Conan answers “Crush your enemies. See them driven before you and to hear the lamentations of their women.”

Fortunately, Barack Obama has not been able to crush his “enemies” which, in the run-up to the midterm elections, he identified as “Republicans.” Nor have the independents and the Tea Party movement been driven from the political battlefield. They’re gaining ground.

The Obama administration has been able to inflict a great deal of damage to the nation and, if it was an invading army, Americans would have taken up arms long ago against it.

They may have to form militias to protect themselves along the nation’s southern border while the administration sues Arizona and does little to stem the flow of illegal aliens and an invasion of narco-warriors. Meanwhile, half the States are suing the federal government supporting Arizona and, of course, in opposition to Obamacare.

Americans, accustomed to obeying the law, are beginning to look like the Jews of Europe in the 1930s and 40s who were told they were being “relocated” and voluntarily boarded cattle cars to the Nazi death camps. Aggressive airport scans and searches are generating anger against an increasingly intrusive and coercive government. Are ID cards far behind?

The response is predictable. According to the most recent Zogby polls, “President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has dropped to the lowest point of his presidency at 39%. The percentage of likely voters who say the nation is on the wrong track “is now the highest since Obama took office at 69%.” Nearly as high, are the 61% oppose the airport security measures.

Americans have witnessed a take-no-prisoners approach to politics from a president so partisan that even meeting with Republicans was limited to a handful of charades intended to pass for a discussion of the issues, most prominently his meeting to “discuss” healthcare reform.

Obama's condescension regarding his political opposition is beginning to be matched by his growing disenchantment with the press and the feeling is mutual.

The one aspect of life in the Oval Office thus far that hasn’t attracted a lot of attention is the fact that Obama adopted all of George W. Bush’s military agenda. He recently announced that U.S. troops will stay on in Afghanistan through 2014.

His aggressive use of drones to kill Taliban and al Qaeda lurking along the Pakistan border has now been extended to Yemen, so in point of fact Obama has also adopted the Israeli policy of killing terrorist leaders before that make more trouble. There’s a lot of irony in all of this.

If Obama has been hearing the lamentations from Americans who have lost their jobs and homes, it has been mostly rhetorical. Other than seeking to extend unemployment payments to the far horizon, he has been spectacularly incapable or indifferent to job creation. If anything, the moratorium on Gulf oil drilling cast even more thousands out of work and the EPA is hell bent on shutting down coal mines and the utilities, fifty percent of which, use coal to generate electricity.

Why would anyone expect a man wedded to the unions and socialist ideology to have any idea about how to create a job? Or care about workers who are not government employees?

Barack the Barbarian is giving every evidence of being an enemy of the people as the U.S. Constitution is shoved aside to destroy the economy and deprive Americans of their rights.

© Alan Caruba, 2010
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Thinking something doesn't make it so.

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Here we go again, road safety campaigners have called for a 20 mph limit in urban areas because... "86% of children in London think drivers go too fast."
Not that 86% of drivers are going too fast, not that the percentage of death and accidents are on the rise (they aren't) but because young people who can't drive, think drivers are going too fast.

Road safety campaigners are calling for 20mph speed limits in residential areas as a survey shows 86% of children in London think drivers go too fast.
The poll was conducted by the charity Brake of 2,630 children, aged nine to 13, in the London and the South East for Road Safety Week.
The survey also found 9% said they had been knocked down while walking or cycling and 55% have had a near miss.
Brake says a 20mph limit would help cut child road deaths to zero.
In 2009, 37 children were killed and 763 were seriously injured on roads in London and the South East, with 61% of these deaths and serious injuries being youngsters on foot or bicycle.
I wonder what Brake will do if road deaths were actually cut down to zero? Disband? I somehow have my doubts, there's always something new.
Children think they are immortal anyway, they play, they show off and they do stupid things on or next to roads with moving traffic. A lot of accidents are caused by pedestrians walking out in front of cars etc and not looking, rather than the drivers themselves being in any way at fault. During the summer months when the kids were on holiday, we had a bunch of kids playing in the street here, they were doing wheelies on their bikes and running in and out of parked cars playing chasey. Not one was hit by a car, though it's not a busy road, there's a fair amount of cars use it.
Perhaps, if Brake kept kids to pavements and not on roads they could bring the death rate down to zero, just a thought.
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NJ Gov. Christie for President!

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Sunday school

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When I was young, getting on for 45 years ago kids went to Sunday school, there was no real coercion though parents were glad to see the back of us for a couple of hours on a Sunday, plus you also had a club night in the church hall where you played for the most part team sports or learned a musical instrument if the Sunday school teachers had the skill and were patient enough. Sunday school itself was fun, you sang songs, got told stories and if you were lucky got to make stuff or colour it in. For a lot of people that's where their inherent Christianity rubs off from, good guys and ladies with no CRB checks who took time off to teach us about God and Jesus and all the stuff that goes with it including forgiveness, tolerance, mercy and a whole set of moral values that stood civilisation in this country in reasonable stead. And that is what I initially expect anyone who learned of Muslim weekend schools thought they were about, not learning how to remove hands, stone adulterers and write about the reprehensibility of Jews.

Up to 5,000 pupils attending weekend schools across Britain are being exposed to textbooks claiming that some Jews were transformed into pigs and apes, and that some offences could be punished with stoning. One book for six year-olds warns that those who do not believe in Islam will be condemned to “hellfire” in death.
Another text for 15 year-olds teaches that thieves who break Sharia law should have their hands cut off for a first offence and their feet amputated for a subsequent crime. Teenagers are presented with diagrams showing where the cuts should be made.
Tonight’s Panorama on BBC One will claim that the books were discovered at a network of 40 private schools teaching the Saudi Arabian national curriculum. The programme claims to have uncovered evidence apparently linking the schools to the Saudi embassy. Officials at the embassy deny any link.
As you'd expect, there have been the usual "Taken out of context" cries...

In a written response, the Saudi embassy said such materials were often taken out of context and often referred to historical descriptions.
Except that historical descriptions abound in the Koran and Hadiths, with the Koran supposedly being the actual word of God to Mohammed and therefore perfect in every way. So the Koran say cut hands and feet off thieves, what else is a good Muslim supposed to do? If he doesn't then he defies his God and isn't a good Muslim. Christians have a phrase, love the sinner and hate the sin, there's no corollary whatsoever in Islam. It's why Christianity is about forgiveness and Islam is about revenge.
So there you have it, a barbaric fascistic ideology wrapped in religious trappings is taking the message to children and teaching them that hate is good.
Guess we know where the next generation of homegrown jihadi's are coming from.
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It's Muslim Terrorists, Stupid, Not Americans!

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By Alan Caruba

When was the last time an American terrorist got on a commercial airliner and attempted to blow it up mid-flight?

The answer is never.

The 19 hijackers of the 9/11 airplanes were all foreign-born Arab Muslims. They passed through airport screening despite having box cutters on their persons. My suspenders have set off that machine. Now you can’t even carry on nail clippers. Who has ever attempted to seize an airplane with nail clippers?

The infamous “shoebomber”, Richard Reid, was a British citizen, the son of a career criminal who followed in his father’s footsteps. After his release from prison in 1996, the year in which Osama bin Laden announced a holy war against America, he joined the Brixton Mosque, later attending the Finsbury Park Mosque. From 1999 through 2000 he was in Pakistan and trained at a terrorist camp in Afghanistan according to informants.

After being turned away from boarding a Paris to Miami flight on December 21, 2001, the French National Police allowed Reid to be re-issued a ticket for a flight the next day. On December 22, 2001, he boarded American Airlines Flight 63 to Miami wearing shoes packed with plastic explosives. The bomb malfunctioned and it took several passengers to subdue him.

On Christmas Day 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the son of a wealthy Nigerian banker, boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in Amsterdam on route to Detroit. He had purchased his ticket with cash in Ghana. His bomb, sown into his underwear, also malfunctioned. It contained plastic explosive, the same used by Richard Reid. After being taken into custody, he admitted to having obtained the device in Yemen. Earlier, his father had gone to the American embassy to warn against his son’s affiliation with al Qaeda.

The underwear bomber was a classic case of information being available and entered into the U.S. intelligence data base, but not coordinated effectively enough to have been acted upon. Suffice it to say, the U.S. receives and must evaluate vast quantities of such data. Despite Abdulmutallab’s lack of a passport, he was still passed through.

Ever since Reid’s attempt, Americans seeking to board a flight originating here have had to take off their shoes. One shoebomber from abroad versus hundreds of thousands of Americans inconvenienced ever since.

The confluence of having spent time in Afghanistan, Pakistan, or Yemen should be enough to deny most people access to a commercial flight for any reason. Issuing such people visas to enter the United States for any reason should be a far more vigorous process.

On the grounds that the lives of those on flights are at risk, a far greater risk exists for all Americans because the Fourth Amendment says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable search and seizures, shall not be violated…”

There have been no arrests of any American getting on a flight in the United States to commit an act of terrorism.

There is little reason to believe that most of the things that the Transportation Security Administration is doing is of much use. The late Senator Ted Kennedy was repeatedly detained because his name was on a no-fly list. The singer, Diana Ross, slapped an agent whose groping was offensive. And every day we hear of people who fit no terrorist profile encountering absurd and often humiliating searches.

Now the Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, wants special procedures for screening Muslim women so they can avoid pat-downs and reportedly Homeland Security is considering letting them pat themselves down!

At $30 million each the machines that technologically strip everyone naked are in direct conflict with the Fourth Amendment as are the idiotic body searches. Both represent an authority the government has asserted for itself and both are a threat to a constitutional freedom guaranteed every American.

Two isolated cases, eight years apart, are slim justification for imposing measures negated both times by the fact that the flights were boarded in other nations and, fortunately, both bombs failed.

The worst terrorist incident in the United States since 9/11 was committed by an Arab-American Muslim, a U.S. Army Major, Nidal Hasan, at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009. Despite donning Arab garb when off-duty and expressing opinions that troubled his fellow officers, nothing was done to flag Hasan before he walked into an infirmary and killed thirteen soldiers and wounded others while yelling “Allahu Akbar.”

The Transportation Security Administration has become yet another federal agency with too many people doing too many things of no value to its mission and to the great annoyance of the people they are supposed to be protecting.

© Alan Caruba, 2010
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Exclusively white?

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You have to wonder at press reports and not just at national level.

Kingston Guardian.
Protesters chanting slogans against Muslim extremists marched through Kingston town centre this morning.
About 60 people, who were exclusively white, walked from Hampton Wick station across Kingston bridge and gathered in front of the Bentall Centre.
They chanted "Muslim bombers off our streets" and displayed Union Jacks and a large wooden poppy.
The 30-minute protest was peaceful and the protesters dispersed quietly.
Organiser Ben Baty, 20, said it was a protest against the burning of poppies.
They denied being linked to any group, but one man carried a St George's cross bearing the letters EDL (English Defence League).
Does it matter what colour the people are? Is "exclusively white" just a hidden code for racist/fascist/Nazi? I suspect that's the point they are trying to make. There's also the attempt to link it to the EDL who "everyone knows" are racist/fascist/Nazi's save perhaps the multi-ethnic EDL and a growing number of people who have watched what they do (and don't do).
Well I have news for the Kingston Guardian, there are other organisations out there who also oppose extreme Islam and were disgusted by the burning of poppies. March for England are one but in this case it was the Casuals who although they have links with the EDL, are not the EDL, they're the football fans that the EDL grew out of.
Other incidents are starting to gain more and more publicity and all the mealy mouthed platitudes spouted off by the authorities are no longer being believed as they jibe against what people actually see and experience.

Sunday Mercury.
POLICE fear Midland Territorial Army recruits who claim they have been racially abused while wearing their uniforms are victims of hate crimes.
The cadets say they have been verbally abused and spat at while walking to training sessions near Blues’ St Andrews stadium in Bordesley, Birmingham.
One recruit has reported that driver slowed down his car, wound down his window and shouted: “I hope you get blown up by an IED.”
Another says he was chased by a group of Asian youths who screamed insults and spat at him.
West Midlands Police said they are investigating the allegations.
Last night a spokesman said: “I am not willing to discuss our security arrangements on an individual basis. I think it is fair to say these were isolated incidents."
Sooner or later the press and media are going realise it isn't just a small minority who are protesting about this stuff and noticing what's going on. It's pretty much the entire country and we're getting very, very angry about it.
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Denying Americans Their Own Energy

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By Alan Caruba

What kind of government deliberately denies its citizens access to the energy they need to live, to conduct business, to transport goods, to travel, and to just turn on the lights? Answer: The United States of America.

In a letter to members of the G-20, the finance ministers and central bankers of leading industrial nations, President Obama said, “We should make sustained effort to carry through with our groundbreaking Pittsburgh commitment to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.”

The result of such action would give international energy companies in other nations a large competitive advantage while penalizing U.S. oil and natural gas companies.

As Dr. Richard Swier noted recently, “In the U.S., support for the oil and gas industry is largely about investment depreciation rules which are available to many industries.” Energy companies routinely put huge amounts of money at risk to explore, discover, and extract the so-called fossil fuels. Take away the subsidies and the cost of all energy use in the U.S. goes up.

Meanwhile, CNN Money reported on November 12 that “President Obama lifted his moratorium on deepwater oil drilling nearly a month ago, but the government still hasn’t issued any new permits in the Gulf of Mexico. And most analysts say permits will be slow in coming through 2011.” (emphasis added)

This is great news for Saudi Arabia and bad news for Americans who think we should be accessing our own vast oil reserves. This failure to revive the oil drilling industry in the Gulf comes at a time when the price of a barrel of oil is rising while leaving thousands of oil industry workers in the Gulf States out of work.

A day earlier in an editorial in The Wall Street Journal it was revealed that while “President Obama continues to advertise the $814 billion stimulus and its green energy subsidy programs in particular as unqualified successes” an eight-page memo from his chief economic advisor, Larry Summers, environment and energy “czar”, Carol Browner, and policy aide, Ron Klain reveals that a $6 billion Department of Energy guarantee of loans and other disbursements was being resisted by the House budget office (OMB) and Treasury had found severe problems with “the economy integrity of government support for renewables.” (emphasis added)

Renewables is a code word for wind and solar energy projects. Loan guarantees, block grants, and government mandates often benefit large administration supporters such as General Electric and other political donors engaged in such projects.

One such project in Oregon would tap taxpayers for $1.2 billion while GE and Caithness Energy LLC would only put in about 11% of the project cost. It is corporate welfare that leaves the public with one of the two worst ways of generating electricity, as opposed to coal-fired and nuclear plants. Even hydroelectric power (generated by dams) is more reliable and less costly.

Back in October, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved a 50-megawatt Silver State Solar Project for Clark County, Nevada and three large solar power projects in California, all to be sited on federal land. This is not exactly what conservationists had in mind when such land was set aside. It diverts and wastes billions.

While all this is going on, the Environmental Protection Agency is still demanding that greenhouse gas emissions be reduced, the best known of which is carbon dioxide. They are referred to as “heat-trapping” gas and identified as the source of “global warming.” Only there is NO global warming and hasn’t been for a decade as the Earth’s overall temperatures have slid into a perfectly natural cooling cycle.

Thanks to Climategate, we now know that “global warming” was a complete fiction put forth by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The question no one at EPA wants to answer is this: if greenhouse gases trap heat, why don’t they do it in the winter? If they are so powerful that they can trap heat, how come it gets cold as winter arrives in either the northern or southern hemispheres? Carbon dioxide does not trap heat, but more CO2 would in fact increase crop yields and aid forest and jungle growth worldwide.

According to, “Tough new rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency restricting greenhouse gas emissions would reduce the global mean temperature by only 0.006 to 0.0015 of a degree Celsius by the year 2100 according to the EPA’s analysis.” In plain terms, no reduction whatever and none needed!

Greenhouse gas restrictions are nothing less than a criminal act against the citizens of the United States. It is utterly baseless, a fraud no less than “global warming.”

There are many other examples of what the government, under the present and preceding administrations going back to Jimmy Carter’s, have been doing to choke off the acquisition of American’s vast reserves of coal, natural gas, and oil.

This isn’t a energy policy. It’s a suicide pact to drive up the cost of energy for all Americans, diminishing our competitiveness, and making our lives harsher.

© Alan Caruba, 2010
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It's bad enough the government wasting our money on bird choppers wind farms and solar panels as well as putting an extra enviro-tarrif on top of our fuel bills. It's bad enough them lying through their teeth when they tell us it's good for us and the environment. It's bad enough they know we know they're lying and going ahead and doing it anyway. However it seems they are even using our money to export their madness.

MILLIONS of pounds of British taxpayers’ cash will be spent on developing wind turbines and solar panels in Africa and Asia, it was revealed yesterday.
At a time when the rest of the UK is being told to tighten its belt, the Government will pour money into the schemes abroad as part of a drive to help poor countries to develop green businesses.
Critics angrily attacked the move, which was announced by the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell, branding it a waste of money and inappropriate at a time of austerity at home.
Mr Mitchell said the aid money was vital to help tackle climate change, as well as funding health and education in poor countries. Announcing two public-private partnership projects in Africa and Asia, he said they would help to stimulate investment in renewable energy schemes. And he defended the use of taxpayers’ cash.
“When it comes to tackling climate change across the world, we have to get on with the job,” he said. “We are at the threshold of nothing less than a new industrial, agricultural and technological revolution. That’s why we are acting now to help the world’s poorest countries adapt to and mitigate against climate change.”
The Government has put aside a total of £2.9billion from its overseas aid budget over the next four years to fight climate change worldwide. But the move sparked an angry backlash last night.
Britain is already dishing out more foreign aid than any other European country despite having to make the biggest spending cuts since the Second World War. Our donations outweigh those of Germany and France and come as Britain’s economy shows worrying signs of slowing down.
 Why are we paying out aid for this? Why are we inflicting envirolunacy and spending billions on other nations when people here are going to freeze to death this winter because global warming didn't? Why are so many people being forced into fuel poverty when we can find billions to give to give away abroad?
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell should be amongst the first to be hung from the lampposts come the revolution because it's obvious this and previous governments care more for anyone or anything than their own people.
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Cartoon Round Up

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Model who is Willing to Work on Fashion Glamour

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A great place to network and get advice from others in the modeling industry is to find online communities and social networks specific to modeling. It is a great way to learn from others and get advice on how to improve your portfolio. Spend time reading through forums and do not hesitate to ask others for tips and advice. Real professionals will spend a moment to give you advice. Creating a modeling portfolio will take time and lots of work. Others will recognize your time that you put into having the best photos and an organized portfolio. Remember to update your portfolio as you grow with experience and expertise.

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Asia is a damned big place covers about 8.6% of the Earth's landmass and has 48 countries in it as diverse as China, India and Uzbekistan. The term Asian means different things to different people. Asian to a U.S citizen means Oriental and Asian from our perspective generally means from the Indian sub continent. I suspect though to the Daily Mail Asian simply means "darkie" as does African, though it might read as Muslim too.

Daily Mail.

Police arrest ‘husband and father-in-law after Asian woman is stabbed to death in back of car’

A husband was remanded in custody under the Mental Health Act today after a pretty young woman was knifed to death in a car in what was believed to be a violent family argument.
The 27-year-old victim bled to death on the back seat of the vehicle after the bloody attack which severed an artery was launched while she was travelling with two men, believed to be her husband and father-in-law.
Detectives found a bloodstained knife alongside the body of the young woman in the Volkswagen Passat car which was parked on the road outside the family’s semi-detached home.
Now it might indeed be that the woman was Asian, it could be however that she was British too having been born here.
Today a 30-year-old man, arrested on suspicion of murder, was detained in a hospital secure unit under the Mental Health Act.
His father, aged 51 years, has been released on police bail to return to Crawley police station on January 25.
Police confirmed that the victim and the two men arrested were all Asian and known to each other.
All Asian as coming from Asia or simply a description based on the colour of their skin, after all this was Crawley and it might actually be where they were born, certainly it's more likely than the woman.
The father owns lots of properties around here and is landlord to many families. He is also a painter and decorator,’ she added.
‘There are two sons and the older one, Kashif, got married about a year-and-a-half ago. It was a really big do and the house was all done up - they were so proud.
‘The rumours are that it was his bride who has been murdered and that it was he who was arrested by the police.’
Good hardworking folk then so why the extra description of continent of origin? As I said they may have been born here and lived all their lives here, unless there's something the Mail knows and hasn't bothered to tell us. Not as if they'd use the term British or even English had they been any other colour, though no doubt African or perhaps Caribbean might have been put in there had they been from therethough also used if they were born here.
No, in this case Asian is a euphemism for Muslim...
Neighbours identified them as the Baig family and said that they had been celebrating Eid, the Muslim equivalent of Christmas, last night when the killing happened.
But the Daily Mail like the rest of the MSM is still a bit coy about this sort of thing, it's a sort of a code and I suspect had the family been Hindu's or Sikh's they'd have been identified as such, even if it was by the description Indian. I don't know if the family being Islamic had anything to do with this, I don't know if the family actually were "Asian" had anything to do with this, I suspect though I don't know that they were that some of them were actually born here. I also fail to see what the colour of their skin had to do with this and this is what annoys me about the Daily Mail.
It would have been far more accurate to just say a young married woman had been stabbed to death by her husband, the Mail instead adds in a lot of salacious details designed to make the story read as "Muslim honour killing!" When it might just not be the case.
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November 22, 1963: Changing History with a Bullet

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By Alan Caruba

On November 22, 1963 I was in the office of a human rights organization in downtown Miami, Florida, fresh from service in the U.S. Army.

I was happy that President Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev had not gone to war in October 1962 over Soviet missiles in Cuba. My battalion, part of the Second Infantry Division, had been put on alert to invade. A U.S. naval blockade had stopped any new missiles from being delivered and those that had been were withdrawn.

The Cold War had been going on since 1945 and tensions between the U.S. and Russia had briefly and dangerously reached a tipping point. Fortunately, the leaders of both nations pulled back. Elsewhere a relatively small, backwater conflict was going on in Vietnam, but few were paying it any attention.

John F. Kennedy was incredibly popular. He said that the torch of freedom had passed to a new generation and, at age 26, I was convinced his generation and mine were going to solve all of the world’s problems. I was unaware that JFK had so failed to impress Krushchev when they had met in Vienna in 1961 that the Soviet leader had felt emboldened to put missiles in Castro's Cuba.

On November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, Lee Oswald, a leftist malcontent who had spent some time in Russia, shot and killed the President. Within days I had packed and returned home where I would take up a career in journalism.

Anyone who was alive on that day can probably tell you where they were when they got the news. For later generations, it is just a date in the history books.

After Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn into office to serve out JFK’s term and won election on his own, history took a turn for the worse when he escalated the Vietnam War. Some 58,000 young men died in that conflict and President Johnson, after a huge election victory in 1964, announced on March 21, 1968 that he would not run for a second full term. He had served from 1963 to 1969.

Johnson had unleashed a tidal wave of liberal programs such as “the Great Society” and “the war on poverty”, signed the Civil Rights Act into law, initiated Public Broadcasting, instituted Medicare and Medicaid, and increased aid to education.

The nation turned away from liberalism and elected Richard M. Nixon who would serve from 1969 until forced to resign from the presidency in 1974 as the result of the Watergate scandal. The nation swung back toward liberalism and elected a little known governor from Georgia, Jimmy Carter. He lasted one term and the nation swung back toward conservatism and elected Ronald Reagan. Twelve years later, after Bush 41, it would swing back again and elect Bill Clinton.

For nearly fifty years, America has been seesawing back and forth between conservatism and liberalism without seeming to learn the lessons of the experience.

Liberalism and its many entitlement programs, the expansion of the federal government, the debasement of our educational system, congressional raids on the Social Security fund, and the failure to rein in the “government sponsored entities”, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have brought us to a point of economic collapse not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s..

After November 22, 1963 everything that followed began with a single bullet. It sent the nation careening off on a spending spree that by 2008 took an infusion of billions of public dollars to avoid a banking industry catastrophe. It would be followed by an increase of two trillion in the national debt under a new, young, and briefly popular president.

Did we learn anything from those previous decades? Apparently not.

In 2008, the voters elected a virtually unknown U.S. Senator from Illinois who had barely spent a few months in the Senate before setting out to become the 44th president. Like JFK he was young, charismatic, and eloquent so long as Teleprompters fed him the words to say.

President Barack Obama did not bring a “brain trust” into office with him like FDR or “the best and the brightest” as Kennedy did. Instead, he installed a large group of “czars”, men and women, dedicated socialists and loony environmentalists who mostly bypassed the Congressional vetting process, but who have wielded great power behind the scenes.

Obama’s popularity, like Carter’s, disappeared in less than two years. The recent midterm elections were historic. The Republicans will control of the House and Democrats will have a narrow control of the Senate when a new Congress returns in January. Until then, the political chess game is astonishing as the nation races toward deadlines that include extending the Bush tax cuts and the continued funding of the government.

A remarkable movement, the Tea Party, emerged; leaderless, but composed of millions of Americans determined to take back the power that had been taken from them by a Congress indifferent to their wishes. The damage of the first two years of Obama’s term will take time to repair, but it will be repaired.

History might have been very different had it not been for November 22, 1963, but we shall never know how different.

What we do know is that liberalism, socialism, does not work. It debases fiscal prudence, spreads poverty, and subverts the Founder’s intention of a small central government while shackling the States with unfunded mandates.

For an older generation of Americans, we have lived through a lot of history and, 47 years ago, a single bullet set it in motion.

© Alan Caruba, 2010

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Different Types of Auto Insurance

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Different Types of Auto Insurance
Different Types of Auto Insurance
In case you are a proud car owner you definitely know how annoying and distracting auto insurance might be, especially when you have high rates to pay. Many people complain about their auto insurance policies being too expensive. But do you know that there are different types of auto insurance policies out there on the market? And some of them are much cheaper than the one you carry! That's why before buying a new policy or switching to another provider we recommend learning all types of insurance policies and selecting the one that suits your needs best :

Fully Comprehensive

Fully comprehensive car insurance policies are the most expensive and probably the most widespread policies in the US. A large part of autos in the US are financed through loans or leased, letting auto insurance dealers and lending companies include additional requirements regarding auto insurance, which they gladly apply. Most lending institution require buying fully comprehensive coverage for the vehicles they finance, so if you are the “lucky” one to use this option, be prepared to pay a lot for your auto insurance.

As you can understand from the name, fully comprehensive policies cover the vehicle in virtually all types of insurance situations, starting with collisions to fire and theft. The best part of it is that it will pay regardless of who's at fault in the accident. Even if you had a crash with an uninsured car owner you still can claim against your company.

The hidden catch, however, is the high price of such policies. Moreover, with most insurance companies your policy will cover only a part of the car's cost, not the entire value. Read your policy careful before signing it, as in most cases it will denote a percentage of value, usually around 80%, your car will be insured against.

Third Party, Fire & Theft
Third party, fire & theft policies are the most appropriate type of auto insurance for those who have already settled their loans for financing the purchase of their vehicle, but still having auto car insurance is a middle of the road car insurance package popular with those who have already paid off their auto loans, but who still have a certain level of additional value with the vehicle.

This type of auto insurance is quite similar to fully comprehensive when it comes to insuring circumstances like fire or theft. However, when it comes to collisions with other cars, third party policies will only pay if you are at fault in the accident. In other cases you insurance company won't pay you anything, regardless of how much insurance coverage the other party carries. The same applies to collisions with walls, fences and simple car damage.

Third Party

Third party is probably the most stripped down type of auto insurance. It will cover only a collision with another car when you were at fault. All other situations and circumstances won't be covered by your company. But because of this, it is the cheapest type of auto insurance available on the market and will best appeal to owners of old cars with reduced value.

Different Types of Auto Insurance
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