Saturday, October 25, 2014

Senate Saturday: Gillespie Gives Up in Virginia

"GOP’s Gillespie ditches ads in Senate race in Va." by Alan Suderman and Philip Elliott | Associated Press   October 17, 2014

RICHMOND — Ed Gillespie has one of the sharpest political instincts of any of the Republicans’ recruits for Senate races this year. But that and a thick Rolodex of GOP donors have not helped him close a massive campaign cash deficit against incumbent Senator Mark Warner of Virginia.

Warner has a 4-to-1 advantage in banked cash going into the final weeks of the campaign. Gillespie’s limited budget was on display this week when his campaign started ditching reservations for TV time for ads across the state. His spokesman said a new round of TV ads was coming soon — but those ads probably will not overcome Warner’s long-built advantage.

The low-key Virginia race pits Gillespie, a former high-powered political operative, against Warner, a popular former governor.

While a handful of competitive Senate races have gained national attention and millions of dollars in ads from outside groups, the Virginia contest has largely dodged the heavy spending because of Warner’s perceived invincibility.

Warner, who had a fund-raising head-start as an incumbent, is blanketing the state with ads, a campaign aide said.

They thought that of Cantor, too.

Meanwhile, Gillespie is all but silent on television.

Reports filed with the Federal Communications Commission show Gillespie’s campaign cutting or drastically reducing the amount of money it plans to spend on television ads this week.

Following a report by Associated Press about the drop-off in advertising, Gillespie campaign spokesman Paul Logan said Thursday it would launch a $300,000 round of TV ads Saturday with more to come.

That amount probably will not make a dent in expensive Northern Virginia near Washington, where television advertising this time of year can cost about $1 million per week.

Other markets in the state are less expensive. In an interview Wednesday, Gillespie insisted his campaign will have enough cash to finish the race but declined to comment on specific plans.

‘‘We’ve got the resources to get our message out,’’ Gillespie said. ‘‘We’re implementing our ad strategy as we intended.’’

Machines rigged?

Airtime becomes more expensive as Election Day nears and more candidates clamor for more spots. Last-minute efforts to buy ads leave campaigns at the mercy of station owners

Gillespie has been one of the most influential Republican lobbyists and, for years, was a constant presence in presidential bids, most recently in 2012 as Mitt Romney’s link to some quarters of the GOP establishment.

That's why he is going nowhere. Gille$pie part of the problem.

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Senate Saturday: Ayotte's Off Year

Yes, all the talk and print has been taken up by Brown-Shaheen, and the schedule never has both Senate seats of a state up for grabs in the same year (barring special elections, of course, wink).

"Kelly Ayotte thwarting effort to retire old Air Force jet" by Bryan Bender | Globe Staff   October 23, 2014

WASHINGTON — Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says the Air Force plane nicknamed the Warthog is too old and too costly. So the Pentagon is pushing to retire the fleet of 283 Cold War-era combat jets and shift billions of dollars to more modern weapons.

But the aircraft has survived the budgetary ax so far due primarily to the efforts of an unlikely defender: Senator Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican.

No New Hampshire defense contractors rely on the jet, and the military doesn’t base its fleet in the Granite State. Yet Ayotte has a special tie: Her husband, Joe, flew the plane known formally as the A-10 Thunderbolt II in Iraq, a connection she said has helped in “building a coalition” that includes Senator John McCain, whose home state of Arizona hosts many of the planes.

Ayotte and her supporters argue that an adequate replacement for the jet is not yet available, and their efforts could reverse plans to retire the Warthog fleet by 2019. The campaign to save the plane has annoyed top Pentagon officials and spending watchdogs who see it as a prime example of how Congress is handcuffing the military — requiring it to make cuts in defense spending, but forcing it to keep flying outdated jets.

The Pentagon “has endeavored to make smart, strategically informed reductions,” said Todd Harrison, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, a nonpartisan Washington think tank. “And Congress steps in and says, ‘No, you can’t cut that.’ . . . Congress can’t have it both ways.”

Pentagon officials, including Hagel, have testified that if they can’t retire the A-10, the Air Force will have to make cuts elsewhere, including weapons and military training. The Obama administration maintains that retiring the planes will save an estimated $4.2 billion and has told Congress it “strongly objects” to the efforts to keep the planes, insisting that the military will retain several types of aircraft that can do the same job as the Warthog.

The White House has also indicated that President Obama may veto any defense bill that forces the Air Force to retain the A-10 fleet.

None of this has deterred Ayotte. She is pressing her campaign to save the aircraft on grounds that lives could be lost if the A-10 is retired before there is an adequate replacement.

Over the past year, she has enlisted the support of hundreds of fellow lawmakers in both chambers, organized a chorus of current and former A-10 pilots and veterans, and at times played hardball, including temporarily holding up the nomination of the secretary of the Air Force, Deborah James — a move officials are still fuming over.

“In the beginning I was the lone voice on this,” Ayotte, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said in an interview. “My husband obviously flew the A-10, so I am very familiar with the airframe because of that. It obviously made me acutely aware of what the A-10 can do.”

She said the 1970s-vintage aircraft, designed to fly “low and slow” and credited with coming to the aid of countless soldiers pinned down by enemy forces in recent conflicts, is an aircraft that “those who serve on the ground believe in.”

“If there was an equivalent to give that kind of close air support to our troops I wouldn’t be making the same argument,” she added.

The A-10 was developed during the height of the Cold War to destroy Soviet tanks. It found new life after 2001 supporting ground troops, and a squadron of A-10s from the Indiana Air National Guard was recently deployed to Afghanistan.

The Warthog is no longer manufactured; the primary expenses today are hundreds of millions of dollars in annual maintenance and operational costs.

After the Air Force decided a year ago to phase out the plane, Ayotte confronted military officials in hearings and through letters, put a hold on the secretary of the Air Force nomination, and undertook what one of her aides later called a “one-on-one, Ayotte-Air Force battle.”

Meanwhile, supporters took to social media. A Facebook page titled “Save the A-10,” begun in August 2013, has more than 18,000 followers and appeals to the public to contact their senators and US representatives to urge them to vote to restore funding for the program.

The battle over the A-10 has showcased Ayotte’s influence. Elected in 2010, she has becoming an increasingly prominent voice in issues related to military spending.

Ayotte is known in Congress as a disciple of McCain, the former Republican presidential candidate who has long been popular in New Hampshire.

McCain represents the state where one-third of the A-10s are based and which stands to lose much if the planes are mothballed.

McCain, notwithstanding his reputation for supporting Pentagon efforts to phase out weapon systems, remained mostly silent on the A-10 until Ayotte built the momentum for a reversal.

McCain did not respond to a request for comment. His press secretary, Brian Rogers, said his boss “appreciates Senator Ayotte’s efforts on this issue” but also insisted that McCain’s support for retaining the plane is not driven by parochial interests.

“Senator McCain supports keeping the A-10 in the fleet not because so many are trained and stationed in Arizona, but for the good of the country,” Rogers said.

Some analysts have praised Ayotte’s effort.

“I am not a big fan of Kelly Ayotte on a lot of issues but she deserves a huge amount of the credit,” said Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project at the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington watchdog group. “She was an important part of making this a motherhood issue: ‘If you are against it you are against the troops. If you are for it, you are for cheap and effective weapons.’ ”

Do I salute now? 

I'm not a big fan, either.

The plane’s fate now depends on deliberations between the House and the Senate, which will both have to vote on a final budget that addresses the future of the A-10.

Ayotte said she is confident, noting that she has helped to gain the support of four key congressional committees that oversee the Pentagon.

“It is not over,” she said, “but the momentum is there.”

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RelatedScott Brown Surges Past Jeanne Shaheen

I actually hate to see it (not that it really matters), because Brownie a captive of Wall Street and other intere$ts. Go back to my special election posts on Brown and see how I was against a guy who stood with Bush and for torture.

RelatedHealthy Economy in New Hampshire Helps Hassan

What might not be:

"N.H. special education school faces abuse allegations" by James Vaznis | Globe Staff   October 23, 2014

Two families filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against a highly regarded residential and day school for special education students in New Hampshire, alleging that several staff members verbally or physically abused their children.

In one instance, a classroom aide at the school run by the Crotched Mountain Foundation, in Greenfield, N.H., is accused of taking a picture of a naked 7-year-old boy on a toilet and posting it temporarily on the Internet while another aide laughed about the picture with colleagues, according to the civil lawsuit filed in the federal courthouse in Concord, N.H.

The boy, who lives in Sunapee, N.H., and has a disorder that limits his ability to communicate and comprehend, was also subjected to other physical abuse, such as pinching of his genitals and other body parts, the suit alleges.

The boy’s parents are joined in the lawsuit by the grandmother of a 12-year-old girl who also has limited communication abilities and who shared the same teacher and classroom aides. The suit alleges the teacher slapped the girl’s buttocks and an aide slapped her face.

The school, according to the lawsuit, failed to promptly inform the families about the alleged incidents, depriving them of the ability to comfort the children or get counseling....

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Yeah, torture is the right word and what has happened to those in authority in AmeriKa these days? Why are they monsters?  

Back to the campaign: 

Nothing but silence

The war must be over then, and even I do not want her anymore.

Senate Saturday: Landrieu Looking Like a Loser in Louisiana

Because she's a lady?

"In Louisiana, both sides claim defense of Medicare" by Bill Barrowand Melinda Deslatte | Associated Press   October 22, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. — An old political standby — the future of Medicare — is emerging as the go-to issue in Louisiana’s bitter Senate race as the candidates woo seniors who typically wield strong influence in midterm elections.

The challenge for voters is to figure out which side, if either, is telling the whole truth.

Which I will not be finding here.

***************

The issue is so powerful that it’s cropping up in North Carolina and Iowa, too, amid a national battle for control of the Senate.

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu got hundreds of seniors grumbling at a recent forum when she told them her top Republican rival, Representative Bill Cassidy, wants to turn Medicare into a ‘‘voucher system’’ and has voted to raise the retirement age to make Americans wait longer for benefits.

‘‘No wonder Bill Cassidy didn’t come today, because he didn’t want you to know this,’’ said Landrieu, who finds herself in another tough reelection bid as she seeks a fourth term.

Landrieu has made the issue of entitlement programs for the elderly a centerpiece of her campaign, traveling Tuesday to three senior centers across south Louisiana to announce a new endorsement from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, a Washington advocacy group.

The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm has aired an ad against Cassidy featuring three older white women — a crucial demographic for Landrieu in a state that President Obama twice lost badly — bemoaning Cassidy’s plan that ‘‘(requires) seniors to buy private insurance with fewer benefits and higher costs.’’

Same as Obummercare (not wanted in Louisiana). 

Isn't that ad kind of racist?

Cassidy and his backers answer that it’s Landrieu who cut Medicare when she voted in 2010 for Obama’s signature health care overhaul, which reduced payments for private policies under the Medicare Advantage program.

Americans for Prosperity, the political action organization backed by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David, cites that Affordable Care Act vote in similar ads opposing Landrieu and her North Carolina colleague, Senator Kay Hagan.

$ome choices we got here.

The three races are among the handful that will decide which party controls the Senate for the final two years of Obama’s presidency. Republicans must net six more seats for a majority.

The back-and-forth reprises a major theme of the 2012 presidential election.

I thought I had seen all this before. $ame $how every two years.

Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney leveled the same attacks, with Romney prevailing among voters older than 55. The issue also helped Republicans in 2010, when the GOP used dissatisfaction and confusion over the new health care law to win a House majority.

Same at work today, even if ma$$ media is minimizing the issue. Re-enrollment begins in three weeks!

While Republican Medicare attacks are based on the health care law, the Democratic attacks are based mostly on House Republicans’ budget blueprint, the Paul ‘‘Ryan Budget,’’ so-named for the Wisconsin congressman and budget chairman who was Romney’s running mate.

The Affordable Care Act changed how Medicare pays doctors and hospitals and included reductions — the $700 billion in cuts the GOP cites — in Medicare Advantage, which allows seniors in certain markets to purchase coverage from private insurers.

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What if no one wins?

Coakley Falling

Related: Baker Rising

"Coakley strikes a defiant note as polls tip" by Frank Phillips | Globe Staff   October 25, 2014

Democrat Martha Coakley and her advisers, facing new polling that shows her losing ground to rival Charlie Baker, are fighting to prove she is still in the race, hastily convening two late-night conference calls to rally her troops and striking a note of defiance during a rally Friday with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

That is what usually happens before a loss. 

"More than 1,500 stalwart Coakley supporters, some of whom had traveled from Worcester and Lynn, packed into the Imperial Ballroom at the Park Plaza hotel, where they heard Clinton encourage them to “knock on doors. Send those e-mails. Make those phone calls. Talk to every voter you can find.” Clinton’s appearance was one of many she has made for Democrats around the country this election season. Her Friday schedule also included an appearance for US Representative Mike Michaud, the Democratic candidate for governor in Maine. Next weekend, she plans to appear at a rally for US Senator Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire."

Honestly, I don't think it helped.

“We are in a dead heat,” Coakley said at the rally, despite a series of polls in the governor’s race showing Baker gaining momentum, including a Globe survey that gave the Republican a 9-point edge less than two weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

After the poll was released Thursday night, her advisers immediately put together the conference calls at 9:30 p.m. with about 50 political supporters, financial backers, and union leaders to blunt the survey’s impact and fortify her coalition of top supporters.

Senior campaign adviser Doug Rubin, in the conference call and in an interview Friday, sought to douse the growing perception, even among Coakley loyalists, that Baker is gaining momentum. He particularly zeroed in on the Globe poll, saying it was an “outlier” that would only energize Coakley’s supporters.

During the conference calls, Rubin and campaign manager Tim Foley walked the Coakley supporters through the campaign’s internal polling, which shows the race closer, and emphasized their superior strength in getting voters to the polls on election day.

I've seen this all before.

Rubin and Foley told the group that the notion that Baker was moving into the lead is “spin’’ by the political establishment.

You guys are the political establishment in Massachusetts!

“We have thousands of volunteers working the grass roots, knocking on doors, talking to their friends and neighbors, and engaging on social media,’’ Rubin said in a statement Friday. “They understand that Martha is fighting for all of us, while Charlie Baker is the darling of the insiders and special interests.”

Rubin said the Coakley campaign pollster, Tom Kiley, a respected Democrat veteran of Massachusetts polling, showed Baker leading by only two points, 44 to 42, in a recent sample of 1,200 likely voters.

“If anything, the Globe poll being such an outlier has fired up our supporters and caused them to redouble their outreach efforts in support of Martha,’’ he said. “Our supporters and volunteers know that the results of the Globe poll are not what they are seeing on the ground, and they are more motivated then ever to make history by making Martha Coakley the first women elected governor of Massachusetts.”

A WBUR poll this week gave Baker a 1-point lead, 43-42, well within the margin of error. That survey also showed momentum in Baker’s favor.

Baker’s campaign tweaked Coakley for criticizing the polls.

*********

With just over a week to go, Coakley is entering the toughest part of her long quest to redeem her stature — how to change the dynamics of the race without seeming desperate.

This all comes in the last frenetic week in which Republicans have an almost 3-to-1 advantage in television advertising. Despite speculation that their effectiveness is waning, such ads have proven to be a major factor in this race.

Call it balan$e (Massachusetts is 3-to-1 Democrat over Republican).

Campaign analysts and some Democratic supporters say Coakley faces a huge task in making sure Baker does not continue to build a lead. “The opportunity to do something is quickly passing,’’ said Lou DiNatale, a Democratic pollster. “She is in a stall and she needs to throw the long ball.’’ 

I love the football analogies.

Maurice Cunningham, a political science professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, agreed. He said it is very rare for there to be a game-changer in the final days of a statewide campaign.

He also said it will be tough for Coakley to energize Democrats, particularly because any sense that she may be on the verge of losing another race raises the memories of her US Senate campaign in 2010.

“Democrats are going to be discouraged and that complicates her problem, particularly because of the memories of the US Senate race,’’ he said.

At about this point in that Senate race, Coakley began to see Republican Scott Brown gain ground and eventually pass her in the final run-up to the election. Her loss shook the national political world and was a huge humiliation for her. Since then, she has restored her political standing among Massachusetts Democrats, easily winning reelection and then a three-way Democratic gubernatorial primary this year.

And now it will cop me crashing down again.

Grossman voters left for Baker. Blame them.

Meanwhile, Baker, who himself is trying to resurrect a damaged political career following his clumsy 2010 race against Governor Deval Patrick, is trying to reach Election Day with as little controversy as possible.

Advisers say his closing message will play on his dual strategy — energizing his antitax, tough-on-welfare fiscal conservative base while trying to lure moderate and even liberal Democrats and independents who can buy into his stance he can balance budget-efficiency with compassion.

The challenge for Baker will be to make it through the final days without making a misstep that would play into the Democrat’s hands.

He has made a few in the course of the campaign, mostly coming in off-hand comments. While he has been gaffe-free in recent weeks, the tensions and the building weariness from a long campaign can test the best of candidates.

And down the stretch they come!

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RelatedMartha Coakley bests Charlie Baker on early education

But not in the polls. 

Anyone else to vote for?

"Gubernatorial candidates differ on role of state in immigration" by Travis Andersen | Globe Staff   October 25, 2014

The three independents on the Nov. 4 ballot, Evan Falchuk, Scott Lively, and Jeff McCormick, also offered their thoughts. The candidates did not engage each other, but answered questions posed by the panelists and audience members at the forum, which was billed as “A Conversation with Our Next Governor.’’

Like the other hopefuls, McCormick steered clear of specifics when asked about state solutions on immigration, but he appeared to leave the door open for Massachusetts officials to have a say in the matter.

“People cannot live their lives in fear,” he said to applause from the crowd.

Why not? Been doing it since 9/11.

Falchuk maintained that forming a coalition to pressure Washington is “not an answer” for undocumented residents of Massachusetts.

“We have to have the common sense to figure out how to handle this here in our state,” he said.

Lively drew groans when he said that people who “cheat their way’’ into the country should not be rewarded.....

:-) 

He's my guy.

On the housing front, Lively tied housing shortages to “a breakdown” in the traditional family structure.

Even housing is a war, and we know who is winning.

Before the forum began, Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, received an award from El Mundo for his efforts on behalf of the Latino community.

No wonder Lively was booed.

“You should expect your governor to see you,” Patrick told the crowd in brief remarks when he accepted the award. “You are an important part of our Commonwealth.”

*************

But before Coakley could continue, a woman in the audience of more than 200 spectators leaped to her feet and shouted, “Why aren’t you talking about undocumented people?”

She quickly exited the auditorium with a group of supporters, leaving the candidates to continue discussing whether Massachusetts should play a role in addressing immigration issues at the state level, or its elected leaders should focus on pressing Washington....

Related: Hou$e Politics 

Not a winning issue for Democrats.

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"Partners HealthCare leader to step down" by Shirley Leung | Globe Staff   October 25, 2014

Gary Gottlieb said Friday that he will step down next year as chief executive of Partners HealthCare, which is facing stiff opposition to expansion plans that would give the state’s largest hospital system even more clout.

Gottlieb, who has held the job for five years, will leave in July 2015 to become the chief executive of Partners in Health, the Boston-based nonprofit that provides medical care in Haiti and other impoverished countries.

The Partners HealthCare network comprises 10 hospitals, including Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General hospitals in Boston, and more than 6,000 physicians. It is separate from Partners in Health.

In an interview in his office in the Prudential Tower, Gottlieb said he serves on the board of Partners in Health and was asked to consider leading the organization after its executive director announced in May she would leave that role.

Gottlieb said he plans to stay fully in charge of Partners HealthCare until he leaves. “I am the CEO,” he said. “Nothing has changed in terms of my responsibilities.”

In particular, Gottlieb will stay involved with hammering out Partners’ pending settlement to expand. “I’m the final word around that,” he said.

Partners HealthCare said Gottlieb, 59, is not being pushed out, despite having a contract with five more years on it.

At the same time, it is no secret that the health care giant is an unsettled place these days, in part because of a contentious settlement negotiated with Attorney General Martha Coakley over Partners’ plan to take over....

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Lopping Lies to End the Evening

Is Former Israeli IDF Officer Behind Fake Videos of Beheadings?

Both videos when viewed are strangely similar. In both, a black-hooded executioner, nicknamed in the British press as “Jihadi John” for his strong London accent (!)

Professionally staged. Look for yourself.

Then a further examination reveals that both beheading videos were actually released by a Washington D.C. “anti-terrorist” think-tank with ties to the US Government’s Homeland Security. It is named the SITE or Search for International Terrorist Entities. Its head is an Israeli citizen who served in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and whose father was killed in Iraq in 1968 as an Israeli spy. Her name is Rita Katz.

On September 2, it was Katz’s SITE that released the video of Sotloff’s murder to the world. A fake video. Hmmmmm. They claim that they discovered the video of Sotloff’s execution on what they called “a file-sharing site” and released it. Interesting, the same SITE Washington group of Rita Katz released a fake video of Osama bin Laden....

To add more to the boiling pot, CNN holds an interview with a young woman who claims she is James Foley’s sister, to apparently create human interest in how horrible the Foley video is. It turns out the “sister” is a crisis actress who is named Alex Israel in an earlier TV interview, the “elementary school classmate” of the so-called US Sandy Hook mad killer rampage of the alleged killer, Adam Lanza. Alex Israel who talked about how her “classmate” was a loner (in elemenraty school!) in reality is the same woman as the “sister” of James Foley the ISIS video subject. By the way the Government has yet to release one single death certificate from Sandy Hook. Another fake to terrorize Americans to a new unwanted war?

What is becoming increasingly clear is that a dirty nest of neo-conservatives and warhawks in Washington and Tel Aviv, people embedded in the Obama Administration in high places during the Dick Cheney neo-con heyday, are desperately trying to entice Barack Obama as US Commander in Chief, to again order a war of destruction against Syria’s Assad. It is part of a larger war agenda which includes Ukraine and also provocations against China in Asia. Their major ally in using videos staged with actors to rally a war fever in the American public is the utterly corrupt mainstream media in the USA as well as in Germany. Take a few minutes to actually study the short videos I have linked in this piece and decide for yourselves....

--MORE--"

RelatedN.H. family, friends remember slain journalist James Foley

Crisis actors, nothing more.

"British group stirs debate in decrying terror killings" by Kimiko De Freytas-Tamura | New York Times   September 28, 2014

LONDON — With concerns growing in the West about the recruitment of young people by extremist Islamic groups, President Obama brought new attention last week to Muslims who have condemned the radical movement when he singled out a British group for praise in his speech at the United Nations.

The group, the Active Change Foundation, a community organization in East London, began a campaign this month built around the Twitter hashtag #notinmyname, which has denounced the beheading of the British aid worker David Haines and other brutal acts committed by the radical group the Islamic State.

The hashtag has been tweeted tens of thousands of times, and a YouTube video promoting the campaign has more than 200,000 views.

This is reminiscent of the Nigerian propaganda campaign.

But the campaign has spawned a satirical reaction from Muslims who say it presumes that they are somehow collectively responsible for Islamic extremism.

Using the hashtag #Muslimapologies, they have tweeted mock apologies for advances by Muslims in the fields of mathematics and medicine, as well as for creations such as coffee, shampoo, cameras, and chess.

While the tweets are sarcastic and playful, they underline frustration among some Muslims with Western misperceptions of Islam. The hashtag #Muslimapologies at one point topped the trending list on Twitter in Britain.

“Sorry for Algebra #Muslimapologies,” tweeted @AnaziNasser, beneath a picture of the Persian mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, whose ninth-century treatise, Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah, laid the foundation of algebra.

The Not in My Name campaign was not intended as an apology for Islam, its supporters say, but rather to express outrage about killings and other violence committed by groups like the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Who are the enablers of ISIS?

Western countries have grappled with trying to prevent young people from joining radical Muslim forces.

The Not in My Name campaign is among a number of efforts by British Muslims to speak out against the Islamic State, which analysts estimate has attracted about 500 British fighters.

Recently, in an open letter, more than 100 imams called the militant group “un-Islamic” and pleaded for the release of Alan Henning, a British hostage whom militants have threatened to behead. They said Henning, a cabdriver who had volunteered to deliver humanitarian aid in Syria, had tried to help Muslims and should live.

Did they shoot all those videos at the same time?

In the past week, thousands of Muslims in sympathy with the Not in My Name campaign, from mosques in places like France, Germany, and Norway, held demonstrations to condemn the Islamic State’s ideology and actions.

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"New video indicates extremists beheaded British captive; Another US man also threatened by Islamic State" by Jon Gambrell and Jill Lawless | Associated Press   October 04, 2014

CAIRO — An Internet video released Friday purports to show an Islamic State fighter beheading British hostage Alan Henning, the fourth such killing carried out by the extremist group now targeted in US-led airstrikes.

Yawn. 

It's losing its shock effect, guys.

The video mirrored other beheading videos shot by the Islamic State group, which now holds territory along the border of Syria and Iraq, and ended with a militant threatening a man they identified as an American named Peter Kassig.

‘‘Obama, you have started your aerial bombardment of Shams [Syria], which keeps on striking our people, so it is only right that we continue to strike the neck of your people,’’ the militant in the video said.

Two US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity out of concern for not having permission to release information, confirmed Kassig was being held by Islamic State militants.

Associated Press could not immediately verify the video’s authenticity, though it was released in the same way as other Islamic State group videos and the masked militant sounded similar to the one who carried out the other slayings.

In a statement, the British Foreign Office said it was working to verify the video. ‘‘If true, this is a further disgusting murder,’’ the statement read. ‘‘We are offering the family every support possible; they ask to be left alone at this time.’’

What, no crisis actors this time?

Britain has been supporting US military efforts against the Islamic State group by using British forces to help with logistics and intelligence gathering, as well as recently taking part in airstrikes in Iraq.

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Henning’s apparent slaying showed ‘‘how barbaric and repulsive these terrorists are. Alan had gone to Syria to help get aid to people of all faiths in their hour of need,’’ Cameron said in a statement. ‘‘The fact that he was taken hostage when trying to help others and now murdered demonstrates that there are no limits to the depravity of these . . . terrorists. We will do all we can to hunt down these murderers and bring them to justice.’’

How are those airstrikes over a self-created, self-serving phantom going, Dave?

President Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, Lisa Monaco, said the United States had seen the video and was evaluating it.

‘‘This is again yet another just very clear example of the brutality of this group, and why the president has articulated and is moving out in a comprehensive way to . . . destroy ISIL,’’ she said, using an acronym for the group. ‘‘Our hearts go out to the British aid worker who we believe is in that video, and to the remaining hostages and to their families.’’

Now this is starting to stink.

This is the fourth such video released by the extremist group. The full beheadings are not shown in the videos, but the British-accented, English-speaking militant holds a long knife and appears to begin cutting his victims, who include American reporter James Foley, American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff, British aid worker David Haines, and Henning.

Did you know Sotloff was Mossad? 

By way of deception....

FBI chief James Comey has said US officials believe they know the identity of the masked militant.

So do I.

Kassig, a 26 year-old American now threatened by the group, enlisted in the Army in 2004, and became a Ranger, ultimately serving in the 75th Ranger Regiment, an Army special operations unit.

Hmmmmmmmmm! 

He's a SPY!! This is a PSYOP!

According to his military record, Kassig trained at Fort Benning, Ga., in 2006, and deployed to Iraq from April to July 2007. He was medically discharged at the rank of private first class in September 2007.

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"Cameron says British hostage’s killers must be found" by Jon Gambrell | Associated Press   October 05, 2014

CAIRO — The Islamic State extremists who have beheaded another Western hostage are deaf to reason and must be destroyed, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Saturday as Muslims worldwide were urged to pray for the victim on one of Islam’s holiest days.

So is Israel's leadership, but I don't hear any calls of that sort regarding them.

Cameron, speaking after a security briefing at his rural retreat Chequers, said Friday’s slaying of 47-year-old English aid worker Alan Henning demonstrated that Islamic State militants were committed to inflicting horror for horror’s sake.

Asked whether he believed Islamic State fighters would kill more hostages, Cameron said they would have to be hunted down to be stopped.

He declined to say whether Britain would extend its involvement in US-led airstrikes on the Islamic State group to Syria, where the hostage killings are believed to have occurred.

‘‘The fact that this was a kind, gentle, compassionate and caring man who had simply gone to help others, the fact they could murder him in the way they did, shows what we are dealing with,’’ Cameron said. ‘‘This is going to be our struggle now. . . . We must do everything we can to defeat this organization.’’

I'm so glad EUSraeli intelligence agencies created them with help from Middle East oil sheikdoms.

Henning, a taxidriver from the town of Eccles in northwest England, was abducted minutes after his aid convoy entered Syria on Dec. 26. He was the fourth Western hostage to be killed by Islamic State since mid-August, after two US journalists and another British aid worker.

In their latest video, Henning’s killers linked their action to a vote Sept. 26 in British Parliament to deploy the Royal Air Force against Islamic State positions in Iraq, but not Syria.

The video mirrored other beheading videos shot by the Islamic State group, and ended with a militant threatening a 26-year-old American hostage, Peter Kassig.

‘‘Obama, you have started your aerial bombardment of Sham [Syria], which keeps on striking our people, so it is only right that we continue to strike the necks of your people,’’ the masked militant in the video said.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden confirmed that Islamic State militants had Kassig. ‘‘We will continue to use every tool at our disposal — military, diplomatic, law enforcement, and intelligence — to try to bring Peter home to his family,’’ she said.

In Indianapolis, Kassig’s parents released a video message Saturday, pleading with their son’s captors to free him.

In the family’s video, Ed Kassig says his son, who now goes by the first name Abdul-Rahman after converting to Islam during his captivity, was captured Oct. 1, 2013, in Syria, where he was providing aid for refugees fleeing that country’s civil war.

‘‘We implore those who are holding you to show mercy and use their power to let you go,’’ Paula Kassing said in the video, holding a photo of her son.

The militant video on Friday was the fourth such video released by the Islamic State group. Previous victims were reporter James Foley of New Hampshire, American-Israeli journalist Steven Sotloff of Florida, and British aid worker David Haines.

Once you realize all these video are fake it sure makes the ma$$ media look bad.

FBI chief James Comey says federal officials believe they know the identity of the masked militant, who speaks in a London accent. Comey has declined to name the man or reveal his nationality.

Because he's an Israeli, right?

Kassig served in the US Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment, a special operations unit, and was deployed to Iraq from April to July 2007 and medically discharged later that year at the rank of private first class.

His parents issued a statement calling for the world to pray for their son. They said he had been working for the relief organization he founded, Special Emergency Response and Assistance, or SERA, when he was captured a year ago on his way to Deir Ezzour in east Syria.

Britain’s former army chief of staff, General Richard Dannatt, called for British air power to be deployed in Syria as well as Iraq, but not for Western ground forces. ‘‘This is a fight for the soul of Islam. This is their fight,’’ he said, pointing to Jordan and Turkey.

Oh, is that what this production is all about?

Farooq Siddique, ex-leader of a British government initiative to combat extremism, said Western involvement plays into the extremists’ hands. ‘‘Saudi Arabia has 700 jets. They are using only 10 of them. Why do they need the West to go and help them?’’ Siddique said.

Speaking of the Saudis, beheadings are state policy.

--more--"

"Parents release letter from US hostage threatened with death" by Alan Cowell | New York Times   October 07, 2014

Pfffft!

LONDON — Days after the apparent beheading of a British hostage held by Sunni militants in Syria, the parents of a 26-year-old American similarly threatened have released parts of a letter from him in which he says he is “obviously pretty scared to die.”

But the American, Abdul-Rahman Kassig, an aid worker and medic, said in the letter that “the hardest part is not knowing, wondering, hoping, and wondering if I should even hope at all.”

I thought his name was Peter.

Kassig converted to Islam last year and stopped using his birth name, Peter. 

Oh. So the government wasn't worried about him be a jihadist?

The letter, released late Sunday, was said to have been dated June 2, more than two months before the militants first claimed publicly in August to have decapitated a Western captive, journalist James Foley of New Hampshire.

Last week, Kassig was shown in a video from the Islamic State militant group that purported to show the decapitation of a British taxi driver, Alan Henning. Henning was taken prisoner last December as he tried to deliver humanitarian relief supplies in Syria.

The news of his death dominated newspaper headlines and talk show conversations in Britain, increasing pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to extend Britain’s participation in the air war against the Islamic State and join US warplanes in attacks on targets in Syria.

Oh, STINK!

Cameron, like President Obama, has ruled out the deployment of ground forces.

Just call them advisers.

Last month, Parliament limited the role played by British Tornado warplanes, which are based in Cyprus, to hitting targets in Iraq.

But in the anger roused by Henning’s death, some Britons have called for the deployment of Special Forces to hunt down the man portrayed in successive Islamic State videos as the killer so far of four captives: two Americans and two Britons.

The masked figure speaks with what seems to be a British accent.

And we know who he is!

In a statement accompanying the portions of the letter they released, Ed and Paula Kassig of Indianapolis, the captive’s parents, urged people to refer to their son by the name he adopted upon converting to Islam, Abdul-Rahman, and not by his birth name.

The parents have said that their son spent “a brief time in the US military” before traveling to Lebanon in 2012 on spring break from college “to work there as a medic and humanitarian worker.”

The guy stinks of spy.

In his letter, Kassig wrote: “I am very sad that all this has happened and for what all of you back home are going through. If I do die, I figure that at least you and I can seek refuge and comfort in knowing that I went out as a result of trying to alleviate suffering and helping those in need.”

Taking it in stride, is he?

Kassig is a former Army Ranger who formed the aid organization Special Emergency Response and Assistance, or SERA, in Turkey to provide aid and assistance to Syrian refugees, his family said.

That was his mission, huh?

He began delivering food and medical supplies to Syrian refugee camps in 2012 and is also a trained medical assistant who provided trauma care to injured Syrian civilians and helped train 150 civilians in providing medical aid.

--more--"

Of course, this government nor media would ever present a forgery as evidence.

"4 arrested in UK anti-terror raids, stun gun fired" Associated Press   October 08, 2014

LONDON — London police have arrested four suspected Islamic terrorists in raids throughout the British capital.

Police said Tuesday that officers fired a stun gun at one 21-year-old suspect, but he did not need medical treatment. The four suspects are ages 20 and 21. Police said they were arrested on suspicion of preparing or instigating acts of terrorism.

Arrested on suspicion? Not enough for a warrant, or so I was taught.

Armed police from a specialist unit took part in one of the raids, indicating that the situation was deemed potentially dangerous to officers.

What were they going to do?

Police said no shots were fired when the search warrant was executed.

The suspects remain in custody, and homes and vehicles in west and central London are being searched as part of what police called an ongoing investigation into Islamic-related terrorism.

The terror threat in the country was recently raised to ‘‘severe’’ because of the increase in the number of Britons traveling to Syria to join up with the Islamic State group. The government has said the militant group plans to strike targets inside Britain.

--more--"

"Britain arrests 6 in terrorism raids" by Alan Cowell | New York Times   October 15, 2014

LONDON — The British counterterrorism police arrested six people Tuesday in raids across southern England following other detentions in London and the English Midlands.

The detention of three men and three women in Portsmouth and Farnborough, both in Hampshire, and in Greenwich, in southeast London, reflected heightened concerns that the rise of the Islamic State has helped foment jihadism, particularly among young Muslims opposed to British military actions in Muslim regions.

In fact, Britain has been relatively restrained in its support for the US effort to build a coalition against the Islamic State. The British Parliament has approved the deployment of a handful of Royal Air Force warplanes on combat missions against targets, but only in Iraq and not in Syria.

Fearful of being drawn back into a broader conflict after its withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq in 2009, Britain, like the United States, has ruled out sending ground forces. But it has sent a dozen specialist soldiers to Iraqi Kurdistan to train Kurdish soldiers in the use of 40 heavy machine guns delivered earlier, along with ammunition, equipment, and arms supplies from other countries.

So there are BRITISH BOOTS on the GROUND!

The arrests in Britain on Tuesday came a day after three men were detained in central London, part of a series of detentions since Britain raised its terrorism threat assessment to “severe” — its second-highest level — in August.

A police spokesman said that the latest arrests were “in relation to conflicts overseas” and that they were “not linked to any immediate threat to local communities or anywhere else in the UK.”

Two women, ages 23 and 29, and two men, ages 23 and 26, were arrested on charges related to suspected terrorism, the police said, while a 57-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman were detained on suspicion of failing to disclose information about terrorism.

The charges seem awfully flimsy.

The 57-year-old was held on suspicion of “engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and arranging availability of money and property for use in terrorism,” police said.

The suspects were not identified by name.

The Press Association news agency said a Portsmouth house that had apparently been raided by police was the family home of a British Muslim killed in Syria in December while fighting government troops.

Separately, the sister of John Cantlie, a British journalist held by the Islamic State, appealed to his captors to re-establish “communication through a channel started by you.”

--more--"

"UK suspect extradited to US to face terror charges"  Associated Press   October 22, 2014

LONDON — A mentally ill British man accused of trying to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon was extradited to the United States on Tuesday after losing a nine-year legal battle.

London’s Metropolitan Police said Haroon Aswat was taken from Broadmoor psychiatric hospital west of London and escorted onto a plane by US officials.

Aswat is accused of conspiring with radical cleric Mustafa Kamel Mustafa — also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri — to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Ore., 15 years ago.

And now he is among us again.

Aswat had been fighting extradition since his arrest on a US warrant in 2005, and has been treated for paranoid schizophrenia.

Last month, Britain’s High Court ruled that Aswat could be extradited after receiving assurances from US authorities that he would continue to be treated for his condition.

Prosecutors have linked Aswat to Mustafa, long prominent in the British media because of his fiery sermons at London’s Finsbury Park Mosque. Mustafa was extradited nearly two years ago and convicted in New York in May of terrorism charges.

Ever hear of Mr. Aswat or Mr. Khan, readers?

--more--"

At least he can plead insanity.

Also seeMay Day Memories: British Patsies

May Day Memories: The U.S. Connection

Terror Expert: London Bomber Was Working For MI5
Insane!

"British woman held in suspected plot" by Alan Cowell | New York Times   October 23, 2014

LONDON — As Western concerns mount over the number of young Muslims seeking to join jihadist forces in the Middle East, British police said Wednesday that a 25-year-old woman had been arrested in Bedfordshire, north of London, on suspicion of preparing “terrorist acts” related to the fighting in Syria.

You guys are really reaching the bottom of the barrel with the propaganda.

The nature of the accusations was not specified, but the police operation was the latest in a string of raids intended to thwart attacks in Britain or to restrain young people drawn to the militant group Islamic State, which is waging a bloody campaign to create a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

Police said they were searching two properties in Bedfordshire and had taken the woman to a police station in central London. She was not identified.

The arrest came days after US law enforcement authorities intercepted three teenage girls from the Denver suburbs at the international airport in Frankfurt as they tried to travel to Syria. News reports said two of the girls, sisters of Somali descent, and a third, a friend of Sudanese descent, had been reported missing by their families Friday.

Whatever you say. First and last I've seen of it.

The families did not know why the teenagers had left, according to the Arapahoe County sheriff’s office in Colorado, and they have been reunited. It was not clear whether they would face criminal charges.

Pfffft!

Britain is part of a US-led coalition conducting airstrikes against Islamist State forces, but it has restricted its campaign to striking targets in Iraq and to helping train and supply Kurdish forces in the north. The United States is also attacking the militants in Syria, most significantly in recent days to contain jihadist forces seeking to overrun the town of Kobani on the Turkey-Syria border.

British authorities are fighting a parallel battle at home, where at least 500 young Muslims have reportedly traveled to Syria to join jihadist forces. Last week, Mark Rowley, an assistant police commissioner who is Britain’s most senior counterterrorism officer, said the police had disrupted several plots inspired by the Islamic State to kill people on the street.

“The volume, range, and pace of counterterrorism activity has undergone a step-change,” Rowley said in a statement, with more than 200 terrorism-related arrests this year and “exceptionally high numbers of counterterrorism investigations the likes of which we have not seen for several years.”

“These plots are of varied sophistication,” he said.

--more--"

Speaking of plots and scenarios:

"Prosecutor: Terror suspect had Tony Blair address" by JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press | Oct. 14, 2014

LONDON (AP) — A man suspected of plotting a terrorist gun or bomb attack in Britain had former Prime Minister Tony Blair's address in his car, a prosecutor said Tuesday during opening arguments in a trial held under contentious conditions of secrecy.

Why waste time and energy on that? 

Related: “Your Lies Killed My Son’’ 

So where is that report anyway?
Erol Incedal, a 26-year-old Londoner, is accused of preparing a terrorist act and possessing bomb-making instructions. He denies the charges.

In opening arguments at London's Central Criminal Court, lawyer Richard Whittam said the Blair address might be significant, though prosecutors don't argue that Incedal "had settled on a specific target or a particular methodology" for an attack.

He said Incedal may have been planning to attack a "significant" individual or to stage indiscriminate Mumbai-style shootings.

As leader, Blair took the U.K. into the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a decision that remains widely unpopular in Britain.

That's why you want to keep him alive. Let him live with the legacy of reprobation.

Whittam said the piece of paper with Blair's address was found in a glasses case in Incedal's car when he was stopped for a traffic offense in September 2013. He said that during the search police placed a listening device in the car, which picked up snippets of chatter about "bin Laden, fatwa, Syria and jihad."

The prosecutor said other evidence includes a notebook containing the words "Oh you who believe. Fight those of the infidel who are near to you," and Internet searches on Incedal's phone for the Islamic State militant group.

This is feeling like a frame-up to get sympathy for that war-criminal Bliar (sic).

Incedal was arrested in October 2013, and prosecutors sought to have the trial held in secret on national security grounds.

Meaning he was SET UP and SHEPHERDED by some MI5 agent!

British judges often impose reporting restrictions while trials are underway, usually to avoid prejudicing future proceedings, and portions of trials have previously been held without media or the public present. But lawyers said an entire secret criminal trial was unprecedented.

After a challenge from media organizations, a judge ruled that some sections should be held in public....

--more--"

Maybe he could play dead:

"UK man faked coma for 2 years to avoid court" Associated Press   October 23, 2014

LONDON — He might have gotten away with it if it hadn’t been for his supermarket loyalty card. A British man who pretended to be quadriplegic and sometimes comatose for two years to avoid prosecution has been convicted after police caught him on camera driving and strolling around supermarkets.

Alan Knight of Swansea, Wales, stole more than $64,000 from the bank account of an elderly neighbor with Alzheimer’s disease, prosecutors said.

When police began investigating, the 47-year-old Knight claimed to be quadriplegic and so sick he sometimes fell into a coma. He checked himself into a hospital to avoid court appearances, saying he was having seizures.

Knight’s deceit was uncovered when police tracked the use of his supermarket card, and produced surveillance camera footage of him walking and driving.

Knight pleaded guilty to 19 counts of forgery, fraud, and theft. He is due to be sentenced Nov. 7.

No honor in that, sir.

--more--"

"UK Conservatives seek TV, online ban on extremists" Associated Press   October 01, 2014

LONDON — Britain’s interior minister on Tuesday proposed new powers to bar people with extremist views from appearing on television or publishing on social media, even if they are not breaking any laws.

Talk about tyranny!!!

Home Secretary Theresa May told a conference of the governing Conservatives that if reelected next year, the party will introduce civil powers to disrupt people who ‘‘spread poisonous hatred.’’

That means Israeli officials will be banned from the country, right? 

Time to dump the conservatives, England.

Under the proposal, police could apply for a court order to disrupt ‘‘harmful activity’’ by restricting an individual’s movements, preventing them from speaking in public, or stopping them from publishing articles online.

Stalin just creamed in his dead pants.

May said that only a minority of extremists are violent, but ‘‘the damage that extremists cause to our society is reason enough to act.’’

What an absolutely totalitarian mindset!

May said that at least 500 Britons have traveled to fight with Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq, and that tough measures are needed to stop people from becoming radicalized.

How do you stop a radical, murderous, bloodthirsty government?

She said the proposed rules could be used against neo-Nazis and other radicals as well as Islamic extremists.

Yeah, lump them together, yup.

Civil libertarians said May’s proposals were repressive and potentially counterproductive.

--more--"

At least it will allow all the elite pedophiles to cover up their evil acts:

"Writers object after UK court bans abuse memoir" by Associated Press, 17 October 2014

LONDON (AP) — Free speech is under threat, prominent writers said Friday, after a British court halted the publication of a well-known performer's memoir of child abuse because his ex-wife argued that it would harm their son.

Last week, three appeals court judges in London granted an injunction stopping the publication of the book, which has already been printed, pending a full trial scheduled for April.

To preserve the child's anonymity, the judgment does not name the author, his ex-partner or their pre-teen son. The author is described as a "talented young performing artist." His ex-wife and son live in a country referred to as Ruritania, the name of a fictional kingdom.

The judges said the book, a semi-autobiographical work dealing with childhood sexual abuse and its traumatic legacy, handles the topic "in an artistic and insightful way" and could encourage other abuse victims to speak about their past.

The ex-wife argued the book would cause serious psychological harm to their son, who has Asperger's syndrome and other disabilities.

Writers including Tom Stoppard, Colm Toibin, David Hare and Stephen Fry signed a letter calling the ruling "a significant threat to freedom of expression." The letter was published Friday by the group English PEN.

"The public is being denied the opportunity of reading an enlightening memoir, while publishers, authors and journalists may face censorship on similar grounds in the future," the letter said.

That is the whole point. 

But lawyer Susan Aslan, who represents the son, said the case "turns on very, very particular facts" that are unlikely to be repeated. She said the book contained "gut-wrenching" descriptions of abuse and self-harm, even though the parents had previously agreed to protect their son from damaging details of their pasts....

--more--"

I wonder if this post even made it throughout British censors.

NEXT DAY UPDATE: 

Queen sends first tweet, signed ‘Elizabeth R.’

Someone should have lopped off that royal head covering for Rothschilds long ago. 

You know, like Chuck the First.

Myanmar Joins War Against Muslims

Maybe that will keep the EUSraeli empire off their back.

"Myanmar and Sri Lankan hard-liners ink agreement" by Krishan Francis | Associated Press   October 01, 2014

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — A Myanmar Buddhist monk and a Sri Lankan ultranationalist both known for campaigning against Muslims signed an agreement on Tuesday to work together to protect Buddhism, which they say is being challenged worldwide.

Ashin Wirathu leads the fundamentalist 969 movement, which has been accused of instigating deadly violence against minority Muslims in Myanmar.

Then he's not a true Buddhist.

He was a special invitee Sunday at a rally of Bodu Bala Sena, or Buddhist Power Force, which also has been accused of instigating violence and claims minority Muslims are trying to take over Sri Lanka by having more children, marrying Buddhist women, and taking over businesses.

‘‘The Buddhist society of the world has awoken to the ground realities of subtle incursions taking place under the guise of secular, multicultural, and other liberal notions that are directly impacting on the Buddhist ethos and space,’’ the agreement said.

It was Zionism that destroyed my nation.

To achieve their goals, the groups agreed to raise their voices against political or religious groups that ‘‘jeopardize Buddhist values,’’ linking Buddhist thinkers and activists, and taking ‘‘collective action’’ when their members are threatened by anti-Buddhist forces.

The groups also agreed to protect Buddhist archaeological and heritage sites. They said the agreement is a preliminary declaration of an eventual ‘‘Buddhist international.’’

‘‘I expect a lot of problems because I have decided to work with Bodu Bala Sena for the upliftment of Buddhism. But we are ready to face anything,’’ Wirathu told reporters.

‘‘The problems will not be from within but from outside,’’ Wirathu said, without elaborating.

He insisted that the partnership was not intended to harm any religious group.

Joining forces with 969 could boost an already soaring support base for Bodu Bala Sena, which, in turn, could exacerbate mistrust and tensions between Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese-Buddhists and its Muslims, who make up 10 percent of the country’s 20 million people.

Politically, President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s credibility among Muslims is likely to erode further after his government allowed Wirathu to visit Sri Lanka despite opposition from Muslim groups.

Hundreds of people died in 2012 sectarian violence in Myanmar, with about 140,000 people, mostly Muslims, forced from their homes. Buddhist monks were accused of instigating and sometimes actively participating in the violence.

The Muslim mistreatment is something the U.N. can hold over them to threaten sanctions if they drift back too closely to China.

Bodu Bala Sena is also accused of instigating violence against Muslims in June that killed two and injured dozens. Many shops and homes were also destroyed by fire.

--more--"

Related: Buddhist Nazis 

If you accept that version of history regarding those guys, then the Muslims are the 21st-century's Jews -- except the Muslim Holocaust is real.

Myanmar declares amnesty and begins freeing prisoners

Did the Nazis do that?

The release came a month ahead of a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Myanmar.

I'm sure they will get back to that.

"Lawyers: Suspects retract claims they killed Brits" AP   October 23, 2014

BANGKOK — Two Myanmar migrant workers have retracted their confessions to killing two British travelers on a southern Thai resort island and now claim to have neither raped the female victim nor slain the pair, the men’s lawyers said Wednesday.

Human rights lawyer Rasada Manurasada said the arrested men claimed they were tortured and forced to confess under police custody, allegations previously denied by the police. Rasada said that Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin, both 21, sent a retraction letter to prosecutors handling their case on Tuesday. ‘‘They are asking for justice and seek to give additional testimony to the prosecutors. They insisted in the letter that they didn’t commit the crimes.’’

The bodies of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller were found on a beach on Koh Tao island on Sept. 15. Police arrested the two migrant workers after weeks of pressure to solve a case that dealt a blow to Thailand’s tourism industry, which has been struggling to recover since the army staged a coup and imposed martial law in May.

Obviously, the agenda-pushing paper didn't approve or promote that coup.

--more--"

I'm sorry the article failed to get me excited.

"Thai leader says polls could be delayed until 2016" AP   October 16, 2014

BANGKOK— Thailand’s interim prime minister, who seized power in a military coup, suggested Wednesday that the country’s next elections may not occur until 2016, although he earlier set a target date of next October.

Prayuth Chan-ocha, who was army commander when he toppled an elected government in May, said he could not control the implementation of his previous timeline, which called for a new constitution next July and a general election about three months later.

‘‘Don’t push me too much on this,’’ Prayuth told reporters ahead of his departure for a summit of Asian and European leaders in Italy. ‘‘Everything depends on the road map, so the issue is whether we can follow the road map or not.’’

Reporters asked him about the election date after Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said the polls might not take place until 2016 because of the need to pass legislation for holding elections.

Thailand has suffered from political instability since 2006, when an earlier coup ousted then-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on allegations of corruption, abuse of power, and disrespect for the king.

--more--"

China's Compassionate Courts

"China moves to enact rule of law, with caveats" by Andrew Jacobs and Chris Buckley | New York Times   October 24, 2014

BEIJING — Communist Party leaders, seeking to address widespread dissatisfaction with China’s politicized and corrupt judiciary, endorsed a raft of legal changes Thursday to foster a more predictable legal system while keeping the courts under party control.

The proposals, promoted by the state media as a landmark in “governing the country according to law,” emerged from a secretive, four-day party Central Committee meeting that ended Thursday.

“Fairness is the lifeline of rule of law,” the committee said, according to a summary of the proceedings published by the official Xinhua news agency. “Judicial injustice is fatally destructive of social fairness.”

Although the communiqué was short on specifics, the party’s embrace of a more impartial, rules-based approach to settling legal disputes and prosecuting criminals could have potentially sweeping consequences. Supporters said the changes would bring more order to China’s legal system, while critics said they were unlikely to address the worst abuses.

Experts said that, at best, the proposed changes could temper some of the injustices that have prompted dispossessed farmers, unpaid factory workers, and short-changed investors to take to the streets.

But they warned that the changes would do little to curtail the power of the party, which is increasingly intolerant of challenges to its authority, and were unlikely to strip courts of political influence and meddling by local officials.

At least the Chinese are trying; AmeriKan Ju$tu$ has long since rotted.

In particular, phrases in the communiqué like “people’s rights” and “rule of law” could be misconstrued, analysts said, because the party’s definitions differ vastly from Western ideals of an independent judiciary and inviolable rights.

Indeed, the statement left little doubt that the Communist Party would retain ultimate control over the legal system, but in seeking to reshape the nation’s court system — by improving training and pay for judges and taking court budgets and appointments out of the hands of local officials — President Xi Jinping is trying to prevent the kind of interference in court cases that has angered ordinary Chinese and intensified mistrust in the Communist Party.

The proposals that have been discussed would also transfer the purse strings for judicial operations to provincial governments, depriving the local authorities of their influence when it comes to, say, courtroom repairs or staff salaries, and they would give judges the ability to rule on cases without approval from a higher-ranking judge.

The power to make judicial appointments may also be removed from the local authorities.

“This is something that has to be done if the party wants to maintain legitimacy, because legitimacy is not just made by abstract concepts and buzzwords,” said Flora Sapio, an assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong who studies China’s legal system. “You have to deliver something to the people.”

Hello AmeriKan government, you there?

Since Xi became party leader in 2012, the Chinese government has taken steps to address some of the system’s more glaring deficiencies. The judicial authorities have overturned a string of wrongful convictions of people sentenced to death or long prison terms.

More details about the legal reforms are not expected until next week.

--more--"

Let's face it, there is no need for a war with China, and why would they do it when they are promoting peace in the region?

MBTA’s choice of Chinese firm for rail car contract criticized
MassDOT awards MBTA car contract to Chinese company

I know it hurts, kids, but....

"After weeks of clashes, Hong Kong riveted by debate" by William Wan and Brian Murphy | Washington Post   October 22, 2014

BEIJING — Hong Kong’s political showdown shifted Tuesday from the streets to a drab university hall as prodemocracy student leaders faced off with government officials in a prime-time debate marked by sweeping discourse but few concessions.

The two-hour session — by turns riveting, wildly philosophical, and dense with legalese — came as a breather for the city after more than three weeks of paralyzing unrest that has turned some of the world’s most expensive real estate into arenas of violent clashes.

The debate was closely watched, each phrase and inflection parsed for nuance and subtext as the back-and-forth was broadcast live on TV and streamed online.

But the exchange only accentuated the gulf between the two sides, with the government refusing any electoral reform, and students making arguments for democratic rights but not offering any workable compromise.

From the start, the debate had an unusual, bizarre quality, with five of Hong Kong’s most powerful leaders in business attire on one side and five college students on the other in black T-shirts emblazoned with the message ‘‘FREEDOM NOW!’’

The students pressed with detailed arguments on law and procedure as well as impassioned appeals to the conscience and speeches about the nature of democracy.

‘‘Some say we students were chosen by fate,’’ Lester Shum told the government leaders. ‘‘But you officials were also chosen. . . . Will you go down in history as the ones who deprived Hong Kong of democracy?’’

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s second-ranking official, acknowledged the protests had been of a ‘‘massive scale with far-reaching implications,’’ but chastised the students for what she characterized as unrealistic idealism.

At the heart of the standoff is the demand that Hong Kong residents be allowed to choose their leaders, rather than having only candidates vetted by China’s Communist Party leaders on the ballot.

The five student representatives followed a clear strategy, divvying up their debate duties and ticking off their grievances one by one. First came an overview by one member of the team, then an attack by another on the legality of Beijing’s election rules.

Hong Kong representatives responded gamely, trying to avoid any appearance of bullying. But their tone was occasionally patronizing, as they praised students for doing their homework on constitutional law, and invoked their own days at their alma maters.

*********

The students, however, called it a disappointment, and urged demonstrators to continue their protest at all cost.

In mainland China — where censors have worked overtime to limit coverage for fear that the prodemocracy protests could prove contagious — some state-run media outlets reported the talks in real time, but mostly focused on arguments from the government team, not the students....

The pot-hollering kettle media hurts too much for me to continue commenting.

--more--"

"Hong Kong protesters draw attacks from China, support at home" by Frederik Balfour and Clement Tan | Bloomberg News   October 23, 2014

HONG KONG — China’s media is ratcheting up the rhetoric against Hong Kong’s prodemocracy movement, saying protesters risk becoming foreign puppets, at the same time a poll showed the demonstrations have gained support in the city.

Poll by who?

In an editorial Wednesday in the English-language daily Global Times, the paper linked the protests to other movements that China deems hostile to the Chinese Communist Party’s authority.

‘‘The external political situation concerning Occupy Central is increasingly clear cut,’’ the paper said. ‘‘A mix of traditional forces that are confronting the current Chinese regime — including Tibetan, Xinjiang, and Taiwan separatists, Falun Gong devotees, and prodemocracy activists — have beaten the drums for the Hong Kong protests like cheerleaders.’’

The comments in the Global Times, which is affiliated with the official People’s Daily newspaper, come after Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, said that foreign forces were fanning the protests.

Yeah, and the whole world knows it.

Student leaders have pledged to continue demonstrations unless China reverses a decision to vet candidates for the city’s first leadership election in 2017.

The four-week protest is the biggest challenge to China’s rule over Hong Kong since the end of colonial rule in 1997.

A public opinion poll conducted from Oct. 8 to 15 by the Chinese University of Hong Kong and released Wednesday showed 37.8 percent of respondents ages 15 and older supporting the Occupy movement, with 35.5 percent opposing.

Only a little over a third support it?

The poll has a sampling error of 3.5 percentage points. In mid-September, before protests started, 46.3 percent of the public opposed the planned Occupy movement, and 31.3 percent supported it.

Much of the movement’s support comes from the young, with 62.1 percent of respondents ages 15 to 24 backing the protests, compared with only 28.4 percent of people in the 40 to 59 age bracket, according to the October poll.

‘‘The purpose of the movement is to occupy with peace and nonviolence, and this will encourage support,’’ 18-year-old student leader Joshua Wong said in a telephone interview when asked for his response to the poll. 

As an AmeriKan Occupier, that is insultingly offensive.

Leung told foreign media Monday that giving more voice in government to people at the bottom end of the income scale would lead to populist policies unfavorable to big business.

Must be why they are sabotaged all the time over here, and I wonder if he really said that. 

He's a Communist, fer cry in' out loud. Must have been lost in translation.

Around 200 people took part Wednesday in a march to Leung’s official residence in response to the remarks they perceived as elitist.

‘‘I am extremely angry about our chief executive’s comments,’’ said Yip Wing, 27, who participated in the march in his electric wheelchair. ‘‘It’s an understatement that Leung has lost touch with low-income people. He thinks we don’t exist.’’

We have a whole crop of oligarchs over her.

The Global Times editorial was published a day after student leaders met with Hong Kong’s chief secretary, Carrie Lam, in televised talks to resolve the impasse.

During the talks, the government said that it is considering submitting a report to China relaying the demands and concerns of the protesters.

Better than what we got.

While such a report would provide Beijing with a reference on the demonstrators’ opinions, the 2017 election has to be done in accordance with the legal framework laid out by Chinese lawmakers, Lam said.

China has said candidates for the election must be vetted by a 1,200-person nominating committee. Leung has said that the method of picking committee members may be open for discussion.

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NEXT DAY UPDATE:

"Thousands remain camped out, nearly monthlong demonstrations, demands were not realistic."

Sound familiar, American Occupier.

North Korea Doesn't Fight Fair

What a Fowle blow!

"North Korea frees US man; two more still detained" by Lara Jakes | Associated Press   October 22, 2014

WASHINGTON — North Korea’s reclusive government abruptly freed an American man Tuesday, nearly six months after he was arrested on charges of leaving a Bible in a nightclub. But Pyongyang refused to hand over two other US citizens who are being held.

There was no immediate explanation for the release of Jeffrey Fowle, who was whisked to the US territory of Guam before heading back to his wife and three children in Miamisburg, Ohio. Relations between Washington and Pyongyang, never warm, are at a particularly low point, and the United States has tried unsuccessfully for months to send a high-level representative to North Korea to negotiate the release of all three men.

******

State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said Fowle was seen by doctors and appeared to be in good health. She declined to give details about his release except to thank Sweden, which has an embassy in Pyongyang, for its ‘‘tireless efforts.’’

******

There was no immediate comment from the government of North Korean leader Kim Jung Un....

See: Kim Jong Un is Ill? 

He is fine, and the CIA got its agent back.

The two others — Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller — were each sentenced to years in North Korean prisons after court trials that lasted no more than 90 minutes. The three entered North Korea separately....

The timing of the release was curious, given an editorial published Tuesday by North Korea’s state-run newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, which described relations with the United States at ‘‘the lowest ebb’’ since a 1994 diplomatic agreement between the two nations. Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of that protocol, which froze Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program in return for the provision of nuclear power reactors and the eventual normalization of ties with the United States. The protocol has since unraveled.

OMG, a peace feeler from the North!

Miller, 24, was convicted six weeks ago of entering North Korea illegally to commit espionage and sentenced to six years of hard labor. North Korea’s Supreme Court said he tore up his tourist visa at Pyongyang’s airport upon arrival on April 10 and admitted to the ‘‘wild ambition’’ of experiencing prison life so that he could secretly investigate North Korea’s human rights situation.

In late September, he spoke briefly to an AP journalist. He said he was digging in fields eight hours a day and being kept in isolation, but so far his health wasn’t deteriorating.

Bae, 46, has been held since November 2012, when he was detained while leading a tour group in a North Korean economic zone. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison for ‘‘hostile acts’’ after being accused of smuggling in inflammatory literature and trying to establish a base for antigovernment activities at a border city hotel.

Bae is a Korean-American missionary and is suffering from chronic health issues. He has said he feels abandoned by the US government.

He knew the risks when he was sent in.

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"North Korean detainee reunites with family in Ohio" by Andrew Welsh-Huggins and Lara Jakes | Associated Press   October 23, 2014

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio — An American arrested and held for nearly six months in North Korea for leaving a Bible at a nightclub returned home to Ohio on Wednesday to tears of joy and hugs from his wife and surprised children.

A plane carrying Jeffrey Fowle, who was released with help from a retired diplomat and former Ohio congressman, landed Wednesday morning at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, where he was reunited with his family.

Moments after Fowle stepped off the plane, his three children and wife ran from a hangar for a shared hug.

Colonel John Devillier said Fowle’s children had not been told why they were going to the base. ‘‘The reaction from his children was priceless,’’ he said.

The surprise was the work of Fowle’s wife, Tatyana, who only told the children they were not going to school.

Tony Hall, a retired diplomat and former Ohio representative who used his connections with North Korean officials on Fowle’s behalf, said a lot of people were involved in obtaining his release, including the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang, China and Japan.

Hall said he got involved at the request of Fowle’s family and attorney, as well as the State Department, which led the push for Fowle’s release.

Fowle arrived in North Korea on April 29 and was arrested in May for leaving a Bible at the nightclub, which Fowle acknowledged. Christian evangelism is a crime in North Korea, and he had been awaiting trial.

ChristIan evAngelism also provides non-official cover.

Two other Americans held separately by Pyongyang were recently sentenced to years in North Korean prisons.

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Also seeState House to get Korean War plaque

Maybe you would like to vent a little?

Speaking of not fair:

"US, S. Korea agree to delay shift in wartime command" by Choe Sang-Hun | New York Times   October 25, 2014

SEOUL — The United States has moved to ease jitters among conservative South Koreans by delaying the return of wartime control of the South Korean military to Seoul until its forces are better prepared to deter North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats or fight it in a war.

This, ironically, as the top military commands have recently met for peace talks. 

Was wondering how the U.S. was going to wreck things, and now I see how. Stick their big butt in there.

The delay, agreed to Thursday at the Pentagon, means that the main US military command will stay in Yongsan, central Seoul, for the time being. The US military’s presence in the heart of Seoul, the South Korean capital, has increasingly become an issue, especially among younger South Koreans.

AmeriKa never leaves, and sometimes we even come back (Iraq).

The US military had been scheduled to vacate 653 acres of prime real estate in Yongsan by 2016, relocating most of its personnel to a base being built south of Seoul. If the main command post stays on, it would significantly reduce the size of land to be vacated, complicating the city’s plan to build a municipal park in Yongsan.

“We must deal with this issue in a realistic and coolheaded manner, considering national security,” Min Kyung-wook, the spokesman for President Park Geun-hye, said Friday.

Min’s comment came as the opposition denounced Park for breaking her election promise to retake control by 2015.

I can't say I'm surprised and not disappointed.

The United States assumed operational control of South Korea’s military in 1950 after it rushed US troops to the peninsula during the Korean War. It returned peacetime control to Seoul in 1994, but was still obligated to command combined US-South Korean forces in the event of war.

That pledge has been a central fixture of the US-South Korean military alliance, but many South Koreans, especially the postwar generations, began seeing it as a slight to their national pride.

At Seoul’s request, the United States agreed in 2007 to return that power to the South by 2012. The plan was for the South Korean military to build its capabilities to play a lead role in defense. But the date was pushed back to 2015, after the South accused North Korea of torpedoing a South Korean warship in 2010 and fears of military conflict rose.

Hmmmm! That event, which North Korea denied, turned out to be an Israeli sub purchased from Germany that sunk the ship. 

And cui bono? Gave the U.S. an excuse to stay?

Conservative South Koreans demanded that Seoul ask the United States for another delay as a sense of vulnerability increased after the North’s successful launching of a long-range rocket in late 2012 and its third nuclear test last year.

Park, reversing her campaign pledge, asked President Obama during a summit in April to consider another delay.

The king of campaign pledge reversals!

After months of negotiations, the United States accepted South Korea’s request during the annual Security Consultative Meeting at the Pentagon on Thursday.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Han Min Koo, the South Korean defense minister, agreed to put in effect Seoul’s proposal for a “conditions-based approach” to transferring control.

Rather than setting a new target date for the transfer, the allies will now “focus on South Korea achieving critical defensive capabilities against an intensifying North Korean threat,” according to statements from both sides. The allies will negotiate details of the new transfer plan by next fall.

What have I been saying?

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Related: U.S. Troops Returning to Japan 

Looks like pre-positioning for WWIII to me.

"Kerry says no apology to North Korea to free Americans" Associated Press   October 25, 2014

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry urged North Korea on Friday to release two detained Americans to build good will with the United States, but ruled out a US apology to Pyongyang to win their freedom.

Kerry said North Korea should free Matthew Miller and Kenneth Bae for humanitarian reasons and because they are being held ‘‘inappropriately.’’

Miller is serving a six-year jail term on charges of espionage, after he allegedly ripped his tourist visa at Pyongyang’s airport and demanded asylum. Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary with health problems, was sentenced to 15 years in jail for alleged antigovernment activities.

North Korea on Tuesday released another American, Jeffrey Fowle, who had been held for six months after he was charged with leaving a Bible in a nightclub.

Since then, North Korean legal specialists have had some unusual advice: that Washington formally apologize to Pyongyang, and the country’s autocratic leader will consider pardoning the other two.

Forget that. AmeriKa never apologizes.

‘‘We have made it clear that no apology or other statement is in the offing,’’ Kerry said after talks between top US and South Korean diplomats and defense officials.

Screw you then.

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