Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ category

Border Security Confiscating Laptops

August 3, 2008

We shouldn’t let this story slide under the radar even though it’s not really new. Customs Agents have apparently increased the number of laptop computers that they seize and “detain” indefinitely at border crossings. They’re also detaining Ipods, cell phones, and other digital storage devices in case the boogie man is hiding in your memory card. The devices are being confiscated from foreign and American citizens alike.

As the Washington Post reported yesterday, Border Patrol and Customs agents can now “detain” laptops “for a reasonable period of time” to “review and analyze information.” Article here.

They don’t need probable cause under the new policy. Doesn’t matter if you’re a U.S. citizen or foreign visitor. Officials can hold the laptops indefinitely. Or hard drives, flash drives, cellphones, iPods, pagers, beepers, video and audio tapes. Ditto papers, documents, books, pamphlets, even litter.

What have they found so far? Some videos of bombs going off in Iraq, some Jihadhist literature, whatever that is, and some intellectual property violations. OMG!!

This begs the question, what about leftist blogger files. I have backup files full of anti Bush articles and pictures. Do I need to delete these before I visit in December? I suppose I should play it safe and clean up my hard drive.

But isn’t it a shame that I have to? I seem to remember when we all had the freedom to dissent, even against our own government or president. And there was a time when personal privacy was a given. Not to mention freedom of speech. Not anymore. Now what we have is the re-emergence of Nazism. All Bush lacks is the moustache.

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A Last Throw of the Dice…?

July 13, 2008

I rarely read the US press anymore as I find that, when the biased reporting isn’t downright outrageous, it is often just plain silly. It’s also frequently behind the times. I read first about Tony Snow on the BBC Online. It was another hour before I saw the first article from a US source.

New Zealander, Bob Rigg, writing freelance for The Asia Times, sums up the US strategy in Iraq-Iran very nicely. In 13 paragraphs, his summary puts it in a perspective that even I might understand.

…architects of the Project for a New American Century, including luminaries such as John Bolton, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz.

The neo-conservative scenario was clear: a devastating military strike would knock out Iraq’s powerful armed forces, and its population would welcome US liberators with open arms. The US would then immediately strike at Iran…Before the world could collect its wits, both Iraq and Iran would have been under direct US control. But the best laid plans of mice and men …

He explains how the Middle Eastern countries, instead of kowtowing to the US since the invasion of Iraq, are doing exactly the opposite. They are flexing their muscles and becoming bolder.

…its [US] pre-eminence has been eroded by misguided neo-conservative adventures in the Middle East, and by the emergence of a new international constellation of powerful and assertive states, including in the region. Their assertiveness has increased in proportion to the decline in the political and moral standing of the US, which is now less in control of the world and the Middle East than at any time since the turn of the new century.

This entire master plan for control of Middle Eastern oil reserves, which has been in play and passed down from one administration to the next since the Shah, finally settled in the incapable hands of one George W. Bush. He surrounded himself with those who were already involved in the plan, indeed I’m sure they are the same ones who worked behind the scenes to insure his election,  and he gave them free reign to finally complete it.

But now that the plan is falling apart, what with the Iraqi government demanding a timetable, the American public strongly against expansion, the economy going in the toilet while Bush continues to spend millions daily in Iraq, and the incompetence and impotence of the Bush White House, he is becoming desparate to make something happen before he leaves office. Or I should say, the powerful repubs who pull his strings, fearful that the Bush clone, McCain isn’t going to pull off the election, are scrambling to position the US so there will appear to be no alternative other than war with Iran.

I think we better be careful in these final days of Bushco just what we believe about Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria and everyone else in that region. The propoganda and fabrications are going to get heavy. I don’t think ANY major decisions should be allowed in these final few months before the next president. The chances of Bush actually improving the situation are nil. He hasn’t done one positive thing for the country yet. Don’t believe he is going to start now.

Abusing the neediest children

May 28, 2008

As a sociology grad student I had the opportunity to work with victims of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. It’s all absolutely heart wrenching but the abuse of children is so emotionally charged that I ended up quitting the program and changing my vocational direction completely. When I realized that I was much more interested in beating the abuser than I was in counseling him (or her), I knew that field was not for me.

This article came out today about a study concerning the abuse of the neediest children in the poorest locations by foreign aid workers.

A new report by Save the Children U.K. accuses some aid workers and peacekeepers of sexually exploiting children living in countries affected by conflict and natural disaster. As Tendai Maphosa reports from London, the report says the general silence surrounding the abuse is also shocking.

I can’t even imagine being in a place where there is so much despair, hunger and death, and exploiting that need for personal gratification. How could a person possibly become aroused in those surroundings? Another article goes on to say,

The report details a “litany” of sexual crimes against children as young as six, based on field research in Sudan, the Ivory Coast, and Haiti. The sexual crimes include: being forced to have sex or participate in child pornography; being subjected to improper touching and kissing; or being withheld food unless one performed a sexual favor.

So in other words, aid workers, who have the food to give a desperately hungry child as young as six, will only give that child the food if the child performs a sexual act. I’m not sure I can think of anything more repulsive than that. They ought to be whipped and then shot.

I also ran across this video of workers in a Vietnamese orphanage. It certainly can be muchworse than this but its little wonder why some children grow up to be socio and psychopaths.

I’m speechless as to how to end this post. It’s just so fucking sad.

Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love?

January 31, 2008

Or City of Hate and Murderguns.jpg

At the risk of sounding macabre, I am amused by this story out of Philadelphia. While Americans are huddling in fear of unseen “Muslim terrorists” and are being brainwashed into believing that as long as they send their young troops to be blown apart in Iraq, the fight will be there and not at home, while they suck up the bullshit that Bush is keeping them safe, they are actually slaughtering each other in their own neighborhoods and city streets much faster than al Quaeda could ever hope to.

The city(Philadelphia)  of 1.4 million people had 392 homicides in 2007, down slightly from a nine-year high of 406 in 2006. That high rate, fueled by drugs, poverty, and the easy availability of guns, has led civic and community leaders to repeatedly call for an end to the killings.

Now, I haven’t researched it, but I think the total number of killings by “Muslim terrorists” in Philadelphia in 2007 was ZERO and that was neither up nor down from the 2006 total of ZERO. 

Police plan to put 200 more officers on the streets, boost the number of surveillance cameras to 250 from the current 26, and apply a “stop and frisk” strategy targeting people suspected of carrying illegal guns.

In other words, all black males between the ages of 12 and 65.   

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Americans, with their sickeningly liberal gun laws, create their own terrorism every day in every city in their country. And folks, your president, that jerk who says his illegal war is “protecting you from terrorists” does nothing about it.  The national stats and comparison to al Quaeda for 2006 are here.

Final note. For comparison sake, in my city, indeed in my country,  which has THREE TIMES THE POPULATION of Philly, there were 18 murders in 2007. And every one of them was solved.

Keep your guns. Murder each other. Leaves more for the rest of us.

UPDATE

I just finished the story above and saw this one. Also out of Pennsylvania.

A woman’s body was cut into pieces and dumped along lengthy stretches of two busy highways in eastern Pennsylvania, police say.

Jesus!

The Morning Call says highway workers reported discovering a bag of body parts yesterday morning on Interstate 380 in the Poconos.

State police then found a severed head. Over the next few hours, they recovered six more bags of body parts, some on Interstate 80. “There’s still quite a bit (of the body) missing,” said police.

And you’re worried about foreign terrorists????? Hell, I live 40 miles from the largest population of Muslims in the world and I’m afraid to come to the US!

Khmer Rouge Trials: Update

January 9, 2008

cambodialandsilence.jpgMonday marked the 29th anniversary of the fall of the murderous Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia that ended 4 years of genocide during which some 2-3 million people perished. Only recently have the much anticipated war crimes trials begun for the few remaining Khmer Rouge cadre who are still alive.

Most of them have been allowed to live freely and comfortably since the overthrow in 1979 even though, like Charles Taylor (see below) they were torturers, mutilaters and killers. At least one is now complaining about his “uncomfortable” detention facilities.

Khieu Samphan’s lawyer had complained the room was too small, according to tribunal spokesman Reach Sambath.

Cambodian PM Hun Sen disagrees.

“He was offered a place with good conditions but he still complains about the difficulties of staying there,” Prime Minister Hun Sen said, noting the facility was nothing like the murderous Khmer Rouge’s infamous torture center, Tuol Sleng.
“He ordered people jailed at Tuol Sleng for interrogation and torture, but he never discusses the difficulties of those people,” Hun Sen said.

Detention cells at the tribunal have fans, beds with mattresses, radio, television, a window and a private toilet. I doubt that even one of the hundreds of thousands who were imprisoned by the Khmer Rouge had such luxuries.

Four other surviving Khmer Rouge officials are in custody at the tribunal, including Kaing Guek Eav — alias Duch — who ran Tuol Sleng, Ieng Sary, the Khmer Rouge’s ex-foreign minister, and his wife Ieng Thirith, its social affairs minister. All three were charged with crimes against humanity; Ieng Sary was also charged with war crimes.

Former Khmer Rouge ideologist Nuon Chea is also awaiting trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Like most of those who are perfectly willing to inflict unimaginable horrors on others, when it comes to their own treatment, they are wimps and cowards.

Charles Taylor Trial: Update

January 9, 2008

taylor.jpgThe trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor got back on track with the testimony of a pastor who was witness to some of the horrors in Sierra Leone but managed to survive. He was pulled from a group of over 100 men who had been herded into a mosque just before they were all slaughtered.  

Taylor is on trial for war crimes in his efforts to secure the diamond wealth of that nation in order to arm and fund the rebels. In describing one incident involving a group of boy soldiers, the pastor says, 

“I saw another group of SBU(Small Boys Unit) boys with a small boy,” said Teh. “He was screaming, what have I done. They didn’t say anything. But the boy was screaming. At first, they put his right arm on a log. They took a machete and amputated it at the wrist. The boy was screaming and shouting, asking them, ‘What have I done that you are doing this to me?’ They took the left arm again and put it on the same log and sliced it off. He was still screaming and shouting. They took the left leg, put it on the same log and cut it off at the ankle. At last, they took the right leg again and put it on the log and cut it off with a machete.”
In the end, they took the screaming and mutilated boy and threw him into a toilet pit.

The whole article is here. This is just another madman, like Idi Amin or Pol Pot. I for one think that they should be made to suffer the same types of horrific deaths that they were so willing to inflict on their victims. And that these executions be public and televised.

I also believe that any footage of these killings and all of the other horrors happening around the globe be shown on worldwide TV. I really don’t think we in the west, in the safe and free countries, will ever actually do anything about the terror in the rest of the world unless we are forced to see it with our own eyes.

Christmas Around the World

December 25, 2007

So, I thought I would search YouTube for something nice to post for Christmas. Something light and fun. A nice Christmasy music video perhaps. Maybe something old like Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole. Or children building snowmen in the front yard, giggling and throwing snowballs, or a family, warm near the fireplace, decorating the tree.

I couldn’t bring myself to do that.

I realized that I was just going to do what I do the other 364 days a year. Avoid the discomfort and unease I might feel if I had to think of Christmas in most of the world.

And I realized that if there is one day, all year, that we need to be thinking about real life in the rest of the world it is today, Christmas.

The leaders of the world have proven over and over again that they are not capable, not good enough to stop this. It just gets worse. Is there anyone, anywhere, who can put an end to this fucking madness?

Merry Christmas