"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

World leaders dine in style as they discuss financial crisis

The global economy may be undergoing a significant downturn, but the White House's dinner budget still appears flush with cash.After all, world leaders who are in town to discuss the economic crisis are set to dine in style Friday night while sipping wine listed at nearly $500 a bottle.According to the White House, tonight's dinner to kick off the G-20 summit includes such dishes as "Fruitwood-smoked Quail," "Thyme-roasted Rack of Lamb," and "Tomato, Fennel and Eggplant Fondue Chanterelle Jus."To wash it all down, world leaders will be served Shafer Cabernet “Hillside Select” 2003, a wine that sells at $499 on Wine.com.The exceedingly pricey wine may seem a bit peculiar given leaders are in Washington to discuss a possible world financial meltdown, but Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for Laura Bush, said it "was the most appropriate wine that we had in the White House wine cellar for such a gathering.McDonough also said the White House purchased the wine at a "significantly lower price" than what it is listed at."Of course the White House gets its wine at wholesale prices," she said. "Given the intimate size of the group, it was an appropriate time for The White House to use this stock."The leaders of the U.K., France, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and 11 developing economies have all come to Washington at the behest of President Bush in an effort to express confidence in the fundamental underpinnings of the world's economy.
-CNN's Becky Brittain contributed to this report
As in the days of Noah...

Barack Obama is warned to beware of a ‘huge threat’ from al-Qaeda

Barack Obama is being given ominous advice from leaders on both sides of the Atlantic to brace himself for an early assault from terrorists.General Michael Hayden, director of the CIA, this week acknowledged that there were dangers during a presidential transition when new officials were coming in and getting accustomed to the challenges. But he added that no “real or artificial spike” in intercepted transmissions from terror suspects had been detected.President Bush has repeatedly described the acute vulnerability of the US during a transition.The Bush Administration has been defined largely by the 9/11 attacks, which came within a year of his taking office.His aides have pointed to al-Qaeda’s first assault on the World Trade Centre, which occurred little more than a month after Bill Clinton became President in 1993. There was an alleged attempt to bomb Glasgow airport in Gordon Brown’s first days in Downing Street and a London nightclub attack was narrowly thwarted.Lord West of Spithead,the Home Office Security Minister, spoke recently of a “huge threat”, saying: “There is another great plot building up again and we are monitoring this.”
Intelligence chiefs on both sides of the Atlantic have indicated that such warnings refer more to a general sense of foreboding than fear of an imminent or specific plan.Referring to the attacks in 1993 and 2001, General Hayden told a Washington think-tank on Thursday night: “For some people two data points create a trend line. For others, there may be more hesitation to call it that.” He said that the chief danger comes from remote areas in Pakistan that border Afghanistan.“Today virtually every major terrorist threat that my agency is aware of has threads back to the tribal areas. Whether it’s command and control, training, direction, money, capabilities, there is a connection to the Fata [Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas].”
General Hayden said that al-Qaeda remained a “determined, adaptive enemy” operating “from its safe haven in Pakistan”. He added: “If there is a major attack on this country it will bear the fingerprints of al-Qaeda.”He said that the border region remained the base of al-Qaeda’s leadership, which had developed a more durable structure and a deep reserve of skilled operatives. “AlQaeda, operating from its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas, remains the most clear and present danger to the safety of the United States,” General Hayden said.The hunt for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden “is very much at the top of CIA’s priority list,” he added. “Because of his iconic stature, his death or capture clearly would have a significant impact on the confidence of his followers.”The CIA chief also suggested that the terror group was seeking to recruit Western-looking operatives who would not cause attention if they were standing in airport screening queues....
Source: Times archive
Tom Baldwin in Washington and Michael Evans, Defence Editor
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LOS ANGELES-Southern Californians endured a third day of destruction Saturday as wind-blasted wildfires torched hundreds of mobile homes and mansions, forced tens of thousands of people to flee and shut down major freeways.No deaths were reported, but the Los Angeles police chief said he feared authorities might find bodies among the 500 burned dwellings in a devastated mobile home park that housed many senior citizens."We have almost total devastation here in the mobile park," Fire Capt. Steve Ruda said. "I can't even read the street names because the street signs are melting."The series of fires has injured at least 20 people and destroyed hundreds of homes from coastal Santa Barbara to inland Riverside County, on the other side of the Los Angeles area. Smoke blanketed the nation's second-largest city Saturday, reducing the afternoon sun to a pale orange disk.As night fell, a fire fed by a sleet of blowing embers hopscotched through the winding lanes of modern subdivisions in Orange and Riverside counties, destroying more than 50 homes, some of them apparently mansions...
Los Angeles ringed by wildfires...
600 mobile homes burned...
Updates, Maps, Details...
Wildfire chases patients from hospital...

As in the days fo Noah....

World asked to help craft online charter for religious harmony

A website launched Friday with the backing of technology industry and Hollywood elite urges people worldwide to help craft a framework for harmony between all religions. The Charter for Compassion project on the Internet at http://www.charterforcompassion.org springs from a "wish" granted this year to religious scholar Karen Armstrong at a premier Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference in California."Tedizens" include Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin along with other Internet icons as well as celebrities such as Forest Whittaker and Cameron Diaz.Wishes granted at TED envision ways to better the world and come with a promise that Tedizens will lend their clout and capabilities to making them come true. Armstrong's wish is to combine universal principles of respect and compassion into a charter based on a "golden rule" she believes is at the core of every major religion.The Golden Rule essentially calls on people to do unto others as they would have done unto them."The chief task of our time is to build a global society where people of all persuasions can live together in peace and harmony," Armstrong said."If we do not achieve this, it seems unlikely that we will have a viable world to hand on to the next generation."Charter for Compassion invites people from "all faiths, nationalities, languages and backgrounds" to help draft statements of principles and actions that should be taken.

As in the days of Noah...

Friday, November 14, 2008


Fidel Castro sees little change under Obama

HAVANA-Without naming U.S. President-elect Barack Obama, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro cast doubt on Friday on the possibility that a new president would bring much change in U.S. policy.In an obtusely worded column published on the Internet, Castro said "many dream that with the simple change of command in the leadership of the empire, it will be more tolerant and less bellicose." "The most intimate thoughts of the citizen who will take the helm are not yet known," he wrote.But, he went on, "It would highly nave to believe that the good intentions of one intelligent person could change what centuries of interests and selfishness have created. Human history shows another thing."Obama, who was elected November 4 and takes office on January 20 as the first black to lead the United States, has raised hopes of better U.S.-Cuba relations by saying he would hold talks with the Cuban government and ease the 46-year-old U.S. trade embargo against the Communist-led island.Before the election, Castro praised Obama as intelligent and humanitarian in the columns that have become his primary form of public communication since undergoing intestinal surgery for an undisclosed ailment in July 2006.Since Obama's victory, neither he nor his brother, President Raul Castro, had commented on the new leader, who will replace President George W. Bush.Fidel Castro ruled Cuba for 49 years after taking power in a 1959 revolution, but his brother replaced the ailing 82-year-old in February.Fidel Castro has not been seen in public since shortly before his surgery, but looked thin and tired in a recent photo of his meeting with a leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.
As in the days of Noah...

Bush Welcomes World Leaders to Washington

Friday evening at the White House President Bush welcomed world economic leaders to dinner, ahead of the G20 economic summit Saturday in Washington.

Chavez: Venezuela Working With Russia to Develop Nuclear Power

CARACAS, Venezuela-President Hugo Chavez says Venezuela is already working with Russia to develop nuclear power for peaceful purposes.Chavez says Venezuelan and Russian technical teams have begun working in preparation for Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit later this month.Venezuela would use nuclear energy to fuel the health and electricity sectors, he said Friday.Venezuela has strengthened ties with Russia under Chavez, purchasing more than $4 billion in Russian weapons since 2005.Medvedev's arrival on Nov. 26 will mark the first time a Russian president has visited Venezuela.
As in the days of Noah...

Russian Lawmakers Approve Presidential Term Extension

MOSCOW-Russian lawmakers moved to lengthen the presidential term from four to six years on Friday with a vote that opponents called a step toward Vladimir Putin's return to power.
The change means that the powerful prime minister could serve a total of 20 years as president if he returns to the position as many expect.The office of Russian president "already has more power than the General Secretary (of the U.S.S.R.), the czar and the pharaoh together," Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov complained shortly before the State Duma voted 388-58 to approve the constitutional amendment.
It faces two more votes in the Duma, or lower house of parliament, and appears certain to be enacted. The Communists were the only Duma faction to vote against it.Political analysts and Kremlin foes predict that President Dmitry Medvedev could step down as early as next year, making his former patron acting president and triggering elections in which Putin would run and likely win.Vladimir Ryzhkov, a liberal democratic critic of the Kremlin and former member of parliament, described the amendment as just the first step in Putin's choreographed return to the presidency."Absolutely, I believe that," Ryzhkov said. "There is a small group of people in the Kremlin who want power for life."State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov denied that Medvedev planned to leave office before his term ends in 2012."Everyone must work to the end of his term," he said, according to the state-owned Russian news agency RIA-Novosti.Asked whether the longer term was intended to benefit Putin in an interview broadcast on state television earlier this week, Medvedev avoided the question."I can say only one thing for sure, and that is that the new terms will benefit only whoever is elected to the office of President once the necessary amendments have entered into force," Medvedev said.The former chess champion Garry Kasparov called the proposed change "a cynical message to the Russian population and the rest of the world. This regime — this clique — is saying, 'We are staying no matter what."'Kasparov joined about 100 opposition activists at a Moscow demonstration. They chanted and held banners with slogans such as "Hands off the Constitution!" and "Enough lies, enough blood, enough Putin!"Putin stepped down as president in May after serving two four-year terms. He was succeeded by Medvedev, a lawyer and former aide.In the run-up to the March presidential elections, Putin refused repeated calls to seek a constitutional amendment allowing him to run for a third consecutive term, saying the constitution was sacrosanct.But Medvedev proposed extending the presidential term last week in his first state-of-the-nation address this month. Putin had earlier endorsed the same idea.
Supporters say the change will bring Russia in line with other Western democracies that have presidential terms of similar length.But the speed with which the proposal is sailing through parliament has left many wondering whether Putin's allies are already preparing for Medvedev's departure.If Putin is planning an early return, he may find his path eased by the current financial crisis, some observers say.Putin is widely credited with having rescued Russia from one crisis — the aftermath of Russia's default on its debts in 1998.The legislation also requires approval by the upper house of parliament and by two-thirds of Russia's regional legislatures. The Kremlin-backed United Russia party — led by Putin — dominates all of Russia's legislatures. Ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky said the measure would bring Russia "into conformity" with other nations, such as France, where the president is elected for five years.But Zhirinovsky suggested other legislators were merely rubber-stamping the Kremlin's proposal."The only thing that makes me upset is that had the president offered to cut the term to three years, we would have applauded and voted the same way," he said.Lawmakers also voted to extend Duma terms from four to five years.
As in the days of Noah...

No communion for Obama supporters:SC priest

COLUMBIA, S.C.-A South Carolina Roman Catholic priest has told his parishioners that they should refrain from receiving Holy Communion if they voted for Barack Obama because the Democratic president-elect supports abortion, and supporting him "constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil."The Rev. Jay Scott Newman said in a letter distributed Sunday to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville that they are putting their souls at risk if they take Holy Communion before doing penance for their vote."Our nation has chosen for its chief executive the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to serve in the United States Senate or to run for president," Newman wrote, referring to Obama by his full name, including his middle name of Hussein."Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ's Church and under the judgment of divine law. Persons in this condition should not receive Holy Communion until and unless they are reconciled to God in the Sacrament of Penance, lest they eat and drink their own condemnation." During the 2008 presidential campaign, many bishops spoke out on abortion more boldly than four years earlier, telling Catholic politicians and voters that the issue should be the most important consideration in setting policy and deciding which candidate to back. A few church leaders said parishioners risked their immortal soul by voting for candidates who support abortion rights.But bishops differ on whether Catholic lawmakers—and voters—should refrain from receiving Communion if they diverge from church teaching on abortion. Each bishop sets policy in his own diocese. In their annual fall meeting, the nation's Catholic bishops vowed Tuesday to forcefully confront the Obama administration over its support for abortion rights.According to national exit polls, 54 percent of Catholics chose Obama, who is Protestant. In South Carolina, which McCain carried, voters in Greenville County—traditionally seen as among the state's most conservative areas—went 61 percent for the Republican, and 37 percent for Obama."It was not an attempt to make a partisan point," Newman said in a telephone interview Thursday. "In fact, in this election, for the sake of argument, if the Republican candidate had been pro-abortion, and the Democratic candidate had been pro-life, everything that I wrote would have been exactly the same."Conservative Catholics criticized Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004 for supporting abortion rights, with a few Catholic bishops saying Kerry should refrain from receiving Holy Communion because his views were contrary to church teachings. Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said she had not heard of other churches taking this position in reaction to Obama's win. A Boston-based group that supports Catholic Democrats questioned the move, saying it was too extreme.
"Father Newman is off-base," said Steve Krueger, national director of Catholic Democrats. "He is acting beyond the authority of a parish priest to say what he did. ... Unfortunately, he is doing so in a manner that will be of great cost to those parishioners who did vote for Sens. Obama and Biden. There will be a spiritual cost to them for his words."A man who has attended St. Mary's for 18 years said he welcomed Newman's message and anticipated it would inspire further discussion at the church."I don't understand anyone who would call themselves a Christian, let alone a Catholic, and could vote for someone who's a pro-abortion candidate," said Ted Kelly, 64, who volunteers his time as lector for the church. "You're talking about the murder of innocent beings."

On the Net:
St. Mary's Catholic Church: http://www.stmarysgvl.org/
PS:I truly celebrate the fact that this priest said what he said to his parishioners...At least somebody has the guts to say it.....It's appalling that many so called"born again christians"voted for Obama...When you associate with evil,you are partaker of it....Either you are a christian or you are not....
And how UNBELIEVABLE to hear of that african american reverend in the video to DISAGREE with the priest.....MY GOD....!How deceived...!!!!!!
It's surprising how FEW are REALLY christians in this day and hour....may God help our nation......
As in the days of Noah...

Medvedev: ready to respond if U.S. ends missile plan

PARIS-Russia could cancel its deployment of missiles near the Polish border if U.S. President-elect Barack Obama scraps plans for a missile defense system in central Europe, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said.In an interview with French daily newspaper Le Figaro published on Thursday, Medvedev said Moscow had no choice but to react to U.S. plans to set up a network of missiles and radar systems near its own frontiers."But we are ready to abandon this decision to deploy the missiles in Kaliningrad if the new American administration, after analyzing the real usefulness of a system to respond to 'rogue states', decides to abandon its anti-missile system," he said."We are ready to negotiate a 'zero option'. We are ready to reflect on a system of global security with the United States, the countries of the European Union and the Russian Federation."Washington says the missile defense system it plans to set up in Poland and the Czech Republic is needed to protect the United States against missile strikes from what it calls rogue states, notably Iran.Russia believes the system poses a threat to its security and last week announced plans to deploy Iskander tactical missiles in the Kaliningrad region bordering Poland in response.Medvedev said he had spoken with Obama by telephone and hoped to meet him in person soon."We hope to create frank and honest relations with the new administration and resolve problems that we were not able to resolve with the current administration," he said.Asked about his response to the global financial crisis, which has hit the Russian banking sector hard, Medvedev said there had been a flight of capital out of Russia and moves to protect key banks and private savings were necessary.He said the government might take stakes in certain banks, as had been done in the United States and Britain but he said "nationalization is not the solution" and added that any government stakes would be sold as soon as possible.
As in the days of Noah....

U.S. critical of Russia's Baltic missile threats

TALLINN-The United States views Russian threats to place tactical missiles in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad as provocative and misguided, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday.Russia made the move in response to U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Europe, which Moscow sees as a threat to its security. Washington says the system is needed against missile strikes from what it terms rogue states, notably Iran.Gates, speaking after a NATO meeting with Ukraine, said the Russian threats were "hardly the welcome a new American administration deserved," referring to the fact they were made immediately after Barack Obama won the presidential election."Such provocative remarks are unnecessary and misguided," Gates told a news conference in the Estonian capital Tallinn.At the same time, Washington would continue to seek a constructive and positive relationship with Russia, he said.Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told French daily newspaper Le Figaro, in an interview published on Thursday, that Moscow could cancel its deployment of the Iskander missiles if Obama scrapped plans for the missile defense system."I don't think that is a credible offer," Gates said, adding that Washington had put forward detailed proposals to Russia for partnering in missile defense. "Quite frankly I am not clear what the missiles would be for in Kaliningrad. After all the only real emerging threat on Russia's periphery is Iran and I don't think the Iskander missile has the range to get there from Kaliningrad," he said."So, this is an issue apparently between ourselves and the Russians. Why they would threaten to point missiles at European nations seems quite puzzling to me," he added.
As in the days of Noah...

Sarkozy urges U.S., Russian missile freeze

NICE, France-French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he won Russian backing on Friday for talks on security in Europe next year and urged a freeze in missile deployments by Moscow and the United States until then.His call was immediately questioned by the Czech Republic, which is due to host a tracking radar as part of a U.S. missile shield in eastern Europe that has angered Moscow. It said he had no mandate to make such remarks.Speaking after an EU-Russia summit, Sarkozy said he voiced concerns about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's threat to deploy missiles in an enclave near Poland in response to U.S. plans for an anti-missile shield in Europe. "I indicated to President Medvedev how concerned we were about this declaration and how there should be no deployment in any enclave until we have discussed new geopolitical conditions for pan-European security," Sarkozy told a news conference."As president of the European Union, I proposed that in mid-2009 we meet ... to lay down the foundation for what could be the future of European security," he said. France holds the rotating EU Presidency till the end of this year.Sarkozy said such a summit, possibly under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) security body, which includes the United States and Russia, would not be conclusive but could lay the foundations for a future European security pact."Between now and then, don't talk about deployment of a missile shield, which does nothing to bring security and complicates things," he said referring to U.S. plans to deploy an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic.In the latest display of the difficulties the EU has in speaking with one voice to Russia, Prague promptly distanced itself from the remarks."France had not consulted such a standpoint with us in advance," Czech Deputy Prime Minister Alexandr Vondra said in a statement to reporters."As far as the French Presidency's mandate for the EU-Russia summit is concerned, it contains no mention of the anti-missile shield," he added.Czech Republic is due to take over the rotating presidency of the 27-member bloc from France in January for six months.Last month Medvedev called on the European Union, which relies heavily on Russian energy supplies, to work with Russia on a new security pact, arguing that Washington had forfeited its place at the heart of the world order.Sarkozy said then he was prepared to discuss the proposals and suggested a summit on the issue at the end of 2009.
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First Photos of Distant Planets Unveiled

Mission Accomplished: India fifth in world to reach moon

MUMBAI: The tricolour landed on the Moon at 8.31 pm on Friday, opening a new chapter in the history of India’s space exploration.Other entities which have reached the Moon are the US, former Soviet Union, Japan (albeit via a malfunction that sent its orbiter crashing onto the lunar surface) and the European Space Agency (17 nations). India becomes the fifth member of this club. The tricolour was painted on all sides of the 29 kg Moon Impact Probe (MIP) which was attached to the top portion of the main lunar orbiter, Chandrayaan. The MIP is the brainchild of former President A P J Abdul Kalam who witnessed its separation from the main orbiting craft and its crashlanding 32 km from the Shackleton crater on the moon’s south pole from the mission control room at ISRO’s telemetry, tracking and command network (ISTRAC) in Bangalore. ISRO officials told TOI that the countdown for the MIP’s much-awaited flight to the surface of the Moon began at 7.47 pm. It went off smoothly and at 8.01 pm the command was issued for it to separate from the orbiting spacecraft. The MIP began its flight towards the Moon’s south pole and after a 25-minute flight, crashlanded. During its flight, its video camera took pictures of the Moon, the spectrometer began its analysis and the altitude meter did what is known as a ranging. While approaching the Moon, it slowed down slightly, then spun. While spinning, its three instruments went into action. When it was 5 km above the Moon’s surface, the altimeter did the ‘ranging of the Moon’. ‘‘All this while the atmosphere was pretty tense in the mission control room,’’ said a scientist.Kalam’s rationale for including the MIP was that since Chandrayaan was orbiting the Moon at an altitude of 100 km above the lunar surface, a landing would make India’s presence felt on the Moon’s surface. He believed that if this was done, India could always stake a claim to a portion of the Moon.
As in the days of Noah..

Pentagon Clears Flying-Car Project for Takeoff

Pentagon mad-science division Darpa is helping build thought-controlled robotic limbs, artificial pack mules, real-life laser guns and "kill-proof" soldiers. So it comes as no surprise, really, that the agency is now getting into the flying-car business, too.Darpa hopes its "Personal Air Vehicle Technology" project, announced yesterday, will ultimately lead to a working prototype of a military-suitable flying car-a two-or four-passenger vehicle that can "drive on roads" one minute and take off like a helicopter the next.The hybrid machine would be perfect for "urban scouting," casualty evacuation and commando-delivery missions, the agency believes.Flying cars have been a just-around-the-corner promise for decades, of course. Today, several companies swear that they are just on the verge of manufacturing such machines. Terrafugia claims its folding-wing mini-plane will be ready to deliver by 2009. Pal-V has a three-wheeled gyrocopter thingy. Urban Aeronautics promises to do the whole thing without any wings or rotors at all. And let's not even get into the personal flying saucers.Darpa says its Cessna-sized combo vehicle should be able to cruise at 60 mph on land, and 150 mphin the air. It should be able to stay aloft for two hours on a tank of fuel."The challenge," the agency says, "is to define the major components of such a vehicle that would be suitable for military scouting and personnel transport missions, yet are small enough, inexpensive enough, and easy enough to operate that it can be widely used."To make the flying car work, Darpa believes, makers will have to use "morphing wings" to ease the transition from road to sky; "optimized disk loading" propulsion, "for the combined fly/drive mission"; and strong flight control software. Darpa isn't making an enormous commitment to the flying car, just yet. This is a project aimed at small business; contracts of this type are typically under a million dollars per year. But maybe, with a small Pentagon push, the flying car dream could finally clear the ground.
By Noah Shachtman
As in the days of Noah...

Condemning Islamic terrorism banned on Marine training base:Father of USS Cole victim ordered to remove critical bumper stickers

One of the "offensive" bumper stickers
Another "offensive"bumper sticker
A lawsuit has been filed against two officers at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune Marine base for banning a civilian worker – a 25-year Marine whose son was a victim of the U.S.S. Cole attack – from publicly condemning Islamic terrorists.The lawsuit was filed by the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of Jesse Nieto after base officials first ordered him to remove bumper stickers from his private vehicle then banned the vehicle from all federal installations nationwide.In a statement e-mailed to WND, base spokesman Nat Fahy said the action against Nieto was pursued based on "third party complaints regarding the offensive nature of Mr. Nieto's stickers.""After refusing his supervisor's informal request to remove the stickers, Mr. Nieto was issued two separate motor vehicle citations. After being afforded an opportunity to argue his position in front of the base magistrate, the magistrate told him to remove the stickers from his car. While he did remove several offensive stickers off during this period, he refused to remove all of the offending stickers. Because he remained in violation of the base order, Mr. Nieto's DoD registration decal was ultimately removed from his vehicle."According to the lawsuit, Lt. Col. James Hessen, the base traffic court officer, ruled that the decals on Nieto's vehicle were "offensive," and when asked to explain, said, "'It's just what I think,' or words to that effect," the complaint states.Lawyers for the Thomas More Law Center said Nieto served in the Marines for 25 years, including two combat tours in Vietnam. His youngest son, Marc, and 16 of Marc's shipmates were killed Oct. 12, 2000, by Islamic terrorists who bombed the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen.Nieto has worked as a civilian employee at Camp Lejeune since 1994. It was about 2001 when he started displaying various decals and bumper stickers on his vehicle "expressing anti-terrorist sentiments," such as "Remember the Cole, 12 Oct 2000," "Islam = Terrorism," and "We Died, They Rejoiced,"On July 31, he was ticketed on base by two military police officers for displaying "offensive material."The ticket was issued even though other automobile-mounted slogans such as a Confederate flag with, "If This Offends You … You Need a History Lesson," a "Darwin fish" mocking Christianity, sexually explicit symbols such as silhouettes of nude women, one with "Your Child May be an Honor Student But Your Driving Sucks," and several versions of a cartoon character (similar to Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes) urinating on various symbols were allowed, the lawsuit said.In August, after Nieto refused to remove the "offending" decals, the base magistrate issued a written order that required him to take his vehicle off the base "until all decals were removed" and banning his vehicle from all federal installations nationwide.The order, the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina said, now prevents Nieto from visiting Arlington National Cemetery, where his son is buried.The case alleges the military is violating Nieto's constitutional rights to freedom of speech and equal protection of the law."The banning of these decals is political correctness run amok in the military," said Richard Thompson, president of the law center. "Our troops are being killed by Islamic terrorists, 9/11 was caused by Islamic terrorists, these terrorists want to destroy America, the Islamic countries persecute Christians and now the military is victimizing a father whose son was killed by Islamic terrorists while serving our nation."Thompson said the next move on the part of the Marines might be to "eliminate the Marine's Hymn since the phrase 'to the shores of Tripoli' celebrates the Marine victory over Islamic forces in the Barbary Coast War and the Battle of Derne."The lawsuit alleges viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment, equal protection violations of the Fifth Amendment and claims there are no objective standards for guiding bumper sticker banishments.Also named as a defendant is Col. Richard Flatau Jr., the base commander.The case also alleges that Nieto was threatened with dismissal from his job for having the decals and not only cannot drive to work or visit his son's grave in Arlington, he also cannot use his vehicle to visit the U.S.S. Cole Memorial in Norfolk, Va."During public addresses, the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces, President George W. Bush, has used the terms 'Islamic terrorists,' 'Islamic extremism,' and 'Islamic militants,' noting that the Islamic terrorists responsible for killing Americans on September 11, 2001, are the 'same murderers … responsible for bombing the U.S.S. Cole,'" the lawsuit said."The Commander-in-Chief has indicated that the United States will give no quarter to these terrorists, stating that 'we must pursue them wherever they are' and we '[w]ill not let up until our enemies are defeated and our people are secure," the lawsuit said."Consequently, it is unreasonable to conclude that the words, terms, or political viewpoint expressed by the Commander-in-Chief or those expressed by Plaintiff are prohibited on federal installations in the United States, including military bases such as Camp Lejeune."The lawyer handling the case is Robert Muise, who also has been defending Marine Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, the highest-ranking officer accused in the Rep. John Murtha-instigated prosecution of soldiers for a firefight with terrorists in Haditha, Iraq.
by Bob Unruh
As in the days of Noah...

Liberals clinically mad, concludes top psychiatrist: Eminent doctor makes case leftist ideology is a mental disorder

WASHINGTON – Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder."Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness." "Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to "the vast right-wing conspiracy."For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by both Barack Obama and his Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton can only be understood as a psychological disorder."A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do," he says. "A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do."Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:
--creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
--satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
--augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
--rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
"The roots of liberalism-and its associated madness-can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."
As in the days of Noah....

Ex-Hitler youth's warning to America:'Every day brings this nation closer to Nazi-style totalitarian abyss'

WASHINGTON-Because it has abandoned moral absolutes and its historic Christian faith, the U.S. is moving closer to a Nazi-style totalitarianism, warns a former German member of the Hitler Youth in a new book."Every day brings this nation closer to a Nazi-style totalitarian abyss," writes Hilmar von Campe, now a U.S. citizen, and author of "Defeating the Totalitarian Lie: A Former Hitler Youth Warns America."Von Campe has founded the national Institute for Truth and Freedom to fight for a return to constitutional government in the U.S.-a key, he believes, to keeping America free."I lived the Nazi nightmare, and, as the old saying goes, 'A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument,'" writes von Campe. "Everything I write is based on my personal experience in Nazi Germany. There is nothing theoretical about my description of what happens when a nation throws God out of government and society, and Christians become religious bystanders. I don't want to see a repetition. The role of God in human society is the decisive issue for this generation. My writing is part of my life of restitution for the crimes of a godless government, of the evil of which I was a part."Von Campe grew up under the Nazis, served in the Hitler Youth and fought against the Red Army in the Yugoslavian theater as a tank gunner in the German army. He was captured at the end of the war and escaped five months later from a prisoner of war camp in Communist Yugoslavia."It took me a long time to understand and define the nature of National Socialism," says von Campe. "And, unfortunately, their philosophy continues to flourish under different labels remaining a menace to America and free human society."He writes: "The most painful part of defining National Socialism was to recognize my own moral responsibility for the Nazi disaster and their crimes against humanity. It boiled down to accepting the truth that 'as I am, so is my nation,' and realizing that if every German was like me, it was no wonder that the nation became a cesspool of gangsters. This realization is as valid today for any person in any nation as it was then, and it is true for America and every American now."Von Campe's message is that political freedom and democratic rules alone are not sufficient to govern humanity justly."Democratic procedures can be subverted and dishonest politicians are like sand in the gearbox, abundant, everywhere and destructive," he writes. "What I see in America today is people painting their cabins while the ship goes down. Today in America we are witnessing a repeat performance of the tragedy of 1933 when an entire nation let itself be led like a lamb to the Socialist slaughterhouse. This time, the end of freedom is inevitable unless America rises to her mission and destiny."Von Campe says he sees spiritual parallels among Americans and his childhood Germany."The silence from our pulpits regarding the moral collapse of American society from within is not very different from the silence that echoed from the pulpits in Germany toward Nazi policies," he explains. "Our family lived through the Nazi years in Germany, an experience typical of millions of Europeans regardless of what side they were on. We paid a high price for the moral perversions of a German government, which excluded God and His Commandments from their policies. America must not continue following the same path to destruction, but instead heed the lessons of history and the warning I am giving."Specifically, von Campe warns Americans their political leaders are on the wrong footing, "denying our cultural and traditional roots based on our unique Constitution and Christian orientation as a nation. Christians don't understand their mission."
As in the days of Noah...

Communist Party hails role of labor unions in Obama win:Socialist activist pledges 'no let down' in helping White House bring 'change we need'

Obama with Quentin Young
The official magazine of the Communist Party USA has lauded the important role of labor unions in electing Sen. Barack Obama and quotes socialist-aligned labor leaders hoping the unions can work with the president-elect to enact policies related to jobs, retirement security and health care reform.In a separate article, the Communist Party's Political Affairs magazine quotes a prominent socialist activist and longtime Obama friend petitioning the president-elect to push through a "single payer" health care system, or socialized universal medicine.In an article titled, "Special Interest or Class Consciousness? How Labor Put Obama in the White House," Political Affairs reports on polling data released earlier this week revealing the extent of union support for Obama.The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, or AFL-CIO, sponsored a poll showing union members supported Obama by a 68-30 margin and strongly influenced their family members.According to the survey, Obama won among white men who are union members by 18 points. Union gun-owners backed Obama by 12 points, while union veterans voted for Obama by a 25-point margin. In the general population, Obama lost these groups by significant margins.Political Affairs quoted AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, a longtime member of the Boston chapter of the Democrat Socialists for America, expressing hope labor unions can continue working with Obama."We have taken the first crucial steps to build a better future for our children and grandchildren. And what we've seen – the stunning voter participation and the common call for change – is an indication of the history we can continue to make together," Sweeney said."The election is just step one in delivering the change we need," Sweeney said. "Working men and women are poised to keep the energy pumping to help the Obama administration lead the change we need. There will be no gap or letdown."The communist magazine said priorities for labor unions are "regulating Wall Street and restoring fairness to international trade," as well as "health care reform" to provide coverage to "nearly 50 million people without insurance and make medical care affordable for all."In an adjacent article, the communist magazine features a plea from Quentin Young, a long-time Obama friend and socialist activist, calling for socialized medicine, which is is a major platform issue for both the Communist Party USA and the Democratic Socialists for America. "The only effective cure for our health care woes is to establish a single, publicly financed system, one that removes the inefficient, wasteful, for-profit private health insurance industry from the picture," said Young, who is the national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program."Our country is hailing the remarkable and historic victory of Barack Obama and the mandate for change the electorate has awarded him."Young said the adoption of a single-payer health system should be a "major component of the new president's economic rescue of Main Street."Young noted Obama previously expressed support of a single-payer universal health care program, although he later waffled when asked about his position.As an Illinois state senator representing a mostly black district on the south side of Chicago, Obama publicly supported universal healthcare. He also co-sponsored the Bernardin Amendment, which did not pass but which would have amended the Illinois State Constitution to add health care to the list of basic rights for residents.The New Zeal blog documents how Young has been active in Chicago socialist circles and was previously accused of membership in a communist group. In 1992, Chicago's branch of the Democratic Socialists of America awarded Young, a member, with their highest honor – the Debs Award.
Young has had a relationship with Obama, particularly in the 1990s, when he reportedly advised Obama on issues of healthcare. Young was reportedly present at a 1995 meeting at the home of former Weathermen terrorist Bill Ayers that was said to have launched Obama's political career. In a recent interview, Young said his opinion of Obama changed in 2005 after he voted to confirm Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state and waffled on supporting single prayer health care."I knew him before he was political," Young said of Obama, speaking to the Health Care Now website. "I supported him when he ran for state senate. When he was a state senator he did say that he supported single payer. Now, he hedges. Now he says, if we were starting from scratch, he would support single payer."Barack's a smart man," Young said. "He probably calculated the political cost for being for single payer – the shower of opposition from the big boys – the drug companies and the health insurance companies. And so, like the rest of them, he fashioned a hodge podge of a health insurance plan."When I heard about the vote [to confirm Rice], I wrote him a letter," Young said. "I told him I was disappointed in him. Rice was the embodiment of everything that was wrong with this administration. So, he called me back and he said 'Why didn't you pick up the phone and call me?' And he said, 'Do you think Bush would ever send to the Senate a nominee for secretary of state who I could vote for?' I said you are the constitutional lawyer. It's about advice and consent, right? You should have denied him your consent."The Communist Party USA seems to be thrilled with Obama's win. WND reported earlier this week a newspaper identified with the party hailed Obama's election as a victory for the "working class" and called on the president-elect to carry out his promises, including his noted commitment to "spread the wealth."
By Aaron Klein
As in the days of Noah...

Obama camp:Lawsuits by citizens are 'garbage':Legal challenges spring up across U.S., demand proof of eligibility for office

More than a half-dozen legal challenges have been filed in federal and state courts demanding President-elect Barack Obama's decertification from ballots or seeking to halt elector meetings, claiming he has failed to prove his U.S. citizenship status.An Obama campaign spokeswoman told WND the complaints are unfounded."All I can tell you is that it is just pure garbage," she said. "There have been several lawsuits, but they have been dismissed."WND is tracking the progress of many cases across the U.S., including the following:
David M. Neal of Turtlecreek Township, Ohio, filed suit in Warren Common Pleas Court in October to force Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to request documents from the Federal Elections Commission, the Democratic National Committee, the Ohio Democratic Party and Obama to show the presidential candidate was born in Hawaii, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported.Warren County Magistrate Andrew Hasselbach denied Neal's request, saying, "The onus is upon one who challenges such public officer to demonstrate an abuse of discretion by admissible evidence – not hearsay, conclusory allegations or pure speculation."
Connecticut resident Cort Wrotnowski challenged the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate on Oct. 31, and asked the court to order Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz to verify Obama's citizenship before allowing the candidate to appear on the state ballot. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers threw out the case for lack of jurisdiction within a half hour of reviewing it."I have not seen the ruling yet," Wrotnowski told WND. "So, in reality, the case was not heard on its merits. … Currently, we are assembling information for another and better try."
As WND reported earlier, Steven Marquis of Fall City, Wash., filed suit Oct. 9 in Washington State Superior Court, calling for Secretary of State Sam Reed to determine whether Obama is a citizen before Election Day. Marquis released a statement saying the state has the authority to "prevent the wholesale disenfranchisement of voters" who might have otherwise had the opportunity to choose a qualified candidate should records show Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen.Marquis said Obama's Hawaii birth certificate isn't evidence that the president-elect is a natural-born citizen because it doesn't reveal the hospital where Obama was born, a doctor's name or the baby's footprint, the Associated Press reported.Superior Court Judge John Erlick dismissed the lawsuit, claiming the secretary of state does not have authority to inquire about Obama's birth certificate. He also said Marquis failed to name Obama as a party to the lawsuit.
Get the book that started it all – Jerome Corsi's "The Obama Nation," personally autographed for only $24.95
New Jersey
In Leo C. Donofrio v. Nina Mitchell Wells, Secretary of State of the State of New Jersey, retired attorney and New Jersey resident Leo. C. Donofrio asked the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay on Nov. 3 prohibiting three candidates from appearing on New Jersey's ballots: Republican candidate John McCain, Democratic candidate Barack Obama and Socialist Worker's Party candidate Roger Calero.Donofrio claimed the candidates are not "natural born citizens " as enumerated in Article 2, Section 1, of the Constitution of the United States, which states, "No person except a natural born citizen of the United States, at the time of adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President."He wrote, Obama is not eligible for the presidency "even if it were proved he was born in Hawaii, since … Senator Obama's father was born in Kenya and therefore, having been born with split and competing loyalties, candidate Obama is not a 'natural born citizen' …""Republican candidate John McCain was born in Panama," the request states. "Socialist Workers Party candidate Roger Calero was born in Nicaragua. And the birthplace of Democratic candidate Barack Obama has not been verified by Respondent."Donofrio said Panama has never been considered U.S. soil, and that McCain is merely a citizen at birth by statute, and not a "natural born citizen."With three ineligible presidential candidates on ballots, Donofrio warned, New Jersey voters will "witness firsthand the fraud their electoral process has become."Justice David Souter denied Donofrio's application on Nov. 6. However, his case is still pending as an emergency stay application. Donofrio is resubmitting his request for an emergency stay of the national election results and Electoral College meeting to Justice Clarence Thomas.
As WND reported earlier, prominent Pennsylvania Democrat and attorney Philip J. Berg filed suit in U.S. District Court three months ago claiming Obama is not a natural-born U.S. citizen.
Berg claimed that by failing to respond Obama has legally "admitted" to the lawsuit's accusations, including the charge that the Democratic candidate was born in Mombosa, Kenya.
U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick dismissed Berg's argument on Oct, 24, ruling that he lacked standing to bring the case. He said Berg's allegations were "too vague and too attenuated.""This is a question of who has standing to uphold our Constitution," Berg told Jeff Schreiber of America's Right blog. "If I don't have standing, if you don't have standing, if your neighbor doesn't have standing to question the eligibility of an individual to be president of the United States – the commander in chief, the most powerful person in the world – then who does?"Berg filed a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct.30, to force Obama to produce his birth certificate. Justice David Souter rejected an emergency appeal on Nov. 3, for the court to halt the tabulation of the 2008 presidential election results until Obama documented his eligibility to run for office. However, Souter set a schedule for a response from Obama, the DNC and all co-defendants on or before Dec. 1."I look forward to receiving Defendant Obama's response to the Writ and am hopeful the U.S. Supreme Court will review Berg v. Obama," Berg wrote in a Nov. 7 statement. "I believe Mr. Obama is not a consitutionally-qualified natural-born citizen and is ineligible to assume the office of the President of the United States."
Rev. Tom Terry of Atlanta, Ga., appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court the day before the election to determine authenticity of Obama's original birth certificate and his qualifications to be president."I bear no personal ill will against Barack Obama," Terry, an independent, said in a statement. "In fact, his election solely on the basis as the first African-American president-elect is a very positive thing for our nation. However, as an American, I have very grave concerns about Mr. Obama's possible divided loyalties since he has strenuously and vigorously fought every request and every legal effort to force him to release his original birth certificate for public review and scrutiny. I think that is significant."On Oct 24, Georgia Superior Court Judge Jerry W. Baxter denied Terry's request for an injunction against Secretary of State Karen Handel."I don't think you have standing to bring this suit," he said. "I think that the attorney general has argued the law. I think he is correct. I think you are not a lawyer."Terry is appealing his suit even though Obama didn't win Georgia because he said he wants to set an example for other states. He is asking the court to direct Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel to decertify all votes for Obama."Hopefully, this action will be noticed by other states and they will also take a serious look at the meaning of Georgia's Supreme Court's actions," he said. "It is apropos that the Latin motto in the Georgia Supreme Court is interpreted: 'Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.' I think if the Court rules in my favor, that motto will come alive with meaning and impact."
On Oct. 17, Andy Martin filed a writ of mandamus in Hawaii's Supreme Court to compel Gov. Linda Lingle to release a certified copy of Obama's vital statistics record. His request to expedite the circuit court was denied on Oct. 22.Martin now has a pending case seeking access to Obama's original 1961 typewritten birth certificate. The circuit court hearing is set to begin Nov. 18.
The saga continues …
Several unconfirmed reports also indicate that citizens of Utah, Wyoming, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Texas, California and Virginia have also filed lawsuits or requested court orders to verify Obama's citizenship status.As reported earlier, WND senior investigative reporter Jerome Corsi traveled both to Kenya and Hawaii to investigate issues surrounding Obama's birth.But his discoveries only raised more questions.The governor's office in Hawaii said he had a valid certificate but rejected requests for access and left ambiguous its origin – leaving some to wonder if the certificate on file with the Department of Health indicates a Hawaiian birth or whether it was generated after the Obama family registered a Kenyan birth in Hawaii.The Obama campaign posted a certification of live birth, a document stating the baby was born on Aug. 4, 1961. However, according to the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, there is a difference between the two documents. A certification of live birth is not an authentication of Hawaiian birth, and critics say the procedure could have allowed Obama's mother to have the baby elsewhere, return to the U.S. and obtain the document in Hawaii.The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands makes a distinction between the two:
In order to process your application, DHHL utilizes information that is found only on the original Certificate of Live Birth, which is either black or green. This is a more complete record of your birth than the Certification of Live Birth (a computer-generated printout). Submitting the original Certificate of Live Birth will save you time and money since the computer-generated Certification requires additional verification by DHHL.
However, Andy Martin has specifically requested verification of the original 1961 type-written certificate of live birth – or, as the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands describes it, the "more complete record" of Obama's birth.Further adding to complications, Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro, has named two different Hawaii hospitals where Obama could have been born. In a November 2004 interview with the Rainbow Newsletter, Maya told reporters her half-brother Sen. Barack Obama was born on Aug. 4, 1961, at Queens Medical Center in Honolulu; then in February 2008, Maya told reporters for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin that Obama was at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children.But a video posted on YouTube features Obama's Kenyan grandmother Sarah claiming to have witnessed Obama's birth in Kenya.
Seeking to settle the issue, Hawaii Department of Health Director Director Chiyome Fukino released an Oct. 31 statement saying, "State law (Hawai'i Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record. Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawai'i, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawai'i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures."
The statement does not clarify whether "the record" is a certification of live birth or a Hawaiian certificate of live birth.Before the election, WND retained a top private investigator in Hawaii with extensive FBI training and tasked him with visiting both the Queens Medical Center and the Kaliolani Medical Center to investigate claims that Obama birth certificates existed at either hospital.However, the private investigator reported that sheriff's deputies were stationed at both hospitals to fend off press inquiries about Obama's birth certificate.When WND asked the Obama campaign spokeswoman why Obama simply hasn't released the original 1961 certificate of live birth to make the lawsuits go away, she replied, "I have no idea. I think they released what they chose to release, and Hawaii has confirmed that he was born in Hawaii, so I don't know what else you want."
By Chelsea Schillling
As in the days of Noah....

OBAMA'S"NEIGHBOUR"...:Bill Ayers Breaks Silence on GMA: ‘I Am a Guy Around the Neighborhood’

Afghan Taliban Kill Religious Leader Critical of Homicide Attacks

KABUL, Afghanistan-Suspected Taliban militants killed a religious leader in western Afghanistan after he criticized the use of homicide attacks as a weapon of war in the country, an Afghan official said Friday. Militants kidnapped Shamsudin Agha in Farah province's Anar Dara district on Tuesday, days after he led prayers condemning the practice of using homicide attacks, said provincial police Chief Abdul Ghafar Watandar.Homicide attacks are one of the Taliban's preferred tactics in their assaults against Afghan and foreign troops. Most of the victims of such attacks have been civilians.Authorities recovered Agha's body on Wednesday night, Watandar said. Violence by the Taliban and other insurgent groups has spiked this year to record levels. Attacks are up 30 percent from 2007, military officials say.On Thursday, another homicide car bomber struck a U.S. patrol, killing eight Afghan civilians and one U.S. soldier and wounding 74 civilians, Afghan officials said.Nearly 1,000 civilians are among the approximately 5,400 people killed in insurgency-related violence this year, according to a tally by The Associated Press of figures provided by Afghan and international officials. Most of the reported dead have been militants.Elsewhere, U.S. troops killed four Al Qaeda-linked militants during a raid in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday.The troops were targeting militants who helped local Taliban leaders bring Arab and other foreign fighters into Afghanistan, the U.S. military said in a statement Friday.
None of the militants killed was identified.

NAZI WATCH:Vandals Tag San Francisco Holocaust Memorial With Swastikas;San Jose Police investigate similar attack

Vandals have defaced a Holocaust memorial outside the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco, police said Wednesday.San Francisco police were notified of the vandalism at about 9 a.m. Wednesday when a swastika inside a Star of David was found drawn in black marker on a bench in Lincoln Park, Lt. Neville Gittens said. Similar 4- to 8-inch drawings were found on the nearby memorial; two on a granite plaque bearing the title of the work, "The Holocaust," one on a plaque beneath the words "Never say there is no hope," and one drawn on the right shoulder of a plaster figure standing behind barbed wire.The memorial, a permanent art installation by sculptor George Segal, was dedicated in 1984 and is one of many works owned and maintained by the San Francisco Arts Commission.Jill Manton, director of the city's $80 million collection of public art, said the Arts Commission deals with graffiti on many of its public installations, and that anti-Semitic graffiti has shown up on the memorial in Lincoln Park before."I believe it happens periodically with that sculpture," Manton said.The cost of repairing the damage has not yet been assessed, but Manton said such repairs are always costly and take money away from the commission's other projects."We hire conservators who are experienced in removing graffiti without harming the surface of the figures," she said. "We try to act immediately."Authorities in San Jose Wednesday were trying to determine who marked swastikas and a Star of David on two churches this week.The vandalism there is being treated as a hate crime, San Jose police Officer Jermaine Thomas said.Staff at Trinity Presbyterian Church and Indonesian Christian Church, both located at 3151 Union Ave., reported the vandalism early Monday morning.Thomas said the markings were found on the signs for both of the churches.Jack Longley, a pastor at Trinity Presbyterian, said the combination of the swastika and Star of David was not familiar to him."Those two are certainly not compatible," he said.So far, authorities have found no connection between the crimes in San Jose and San Francisco. Visitors to the Holocaust memorial Wednesday were shocked and horrified that someone had vandalized a monument that pledges its existence to "the creation of a world in which such evil and such apathy will not be tolerated."Phoebe Gaston and her daughter Courtney had come to visit the Legion of Honor from Sonoma."We didn't expect to see this," Phoebe said, reaching through the barbed wire to touch the cheek of the figure that had been defaced. "It just grabs your heart."

As in the days of Noah....

Resumed Gaza terror outcome of Israel’s passivity and over-reliance on Cairo

DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that the foundering of the Gaza truce amid renewed Hamas missile attacks and terrorist plots are the direct outcome of the Israeli government’s passive military stance and over-reliance on Egypt to pull its Palestinian chestnuts out of the fire.That is the predominant view of senior Israeli military officials, including commanders of the Southern Command.Thursday night, Nov. 13, the Palestinians fired five missiles, including two Grads, against Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot and Or Haner. Suspense is building up around the Gaza Strip amid fears of a major Palestinian attack on Israeli forces and civilian locations over the weekend.The last six months, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, defense minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Tzipi Livni counted on Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to heal the quarrel between the rival Palestinian Hamas and Fatah factions, pacify the Gaza Strip and extricate the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit from Hamas captivity. Although Mubarak’s bid flopped and the Palestinians had been clearly preparing to revive their large-scale terror plots and missile blitz for some weeks, the government failed to revise its tactics, pre-empt the rising threat, or explain to the Israeli public what went wrong.It was not until Nov. 11, when intelligence was received of a secret tunnel designed to facilitate a large-scale Hamas kidnap operation that a decision was taken to blow up the tunnel. The soldiers were ordered not to touch the Hamas special force assigned with the abductions or their operational headquarters at el Bureij.Nonetheless, Hamas leaders decided to risk reviving their missile blitz and efforts to kidnap Israeli soldiers or civilians. Senior officers in the Southern Command believe that a serious Hamas cross-border terrorist attack is on the way. Since Cairo’s mediation failure, no one there, in Damascus or even Riyadh exercises any control over the Hamas leadership in Gaza. According to intelligence from Gaza, Hamas leaders have turned their backs on Egypt’s pacification efforts and moved on with their objective, which is to fight their Fatah rival, Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the finish, by dint of factional warfare and major clashes with Israel.Israel’s government heads persist in ignoring this information. Indeed Olmert and Barak are at loggerheads on how to handle the escalating Gaza peril. This was apparent during their joint visit to the IDF’s Gaza division headquarters Wednesday, Nov. 12. The prime minister said that a large-scale military confrontation with Hamas is waiting at the end of the road, whereas Barak said that while action must be taken against terror threats, it is important to preserve the truce.It was clear to the soldiers listening to them that the truce belonged to the past.Suspense ahead of Hamas aggression was so high Thursday, Nov. 13, that Israel revoked the permission given a few hours earlier for a 30-truck convoy to pass through into the Gaza Strip with food and goods for the population. And a handing-over ceremony for the Gaza Division commanders was called off.
As in the days of Noah....