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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Overnight Music video - Neil Diamond - Cherry, Cherry

Obama Administration’s advancing its own agenda by circumventing Congress trough Strings-Attached NCLB Waivers.

Obama Administration’s advancing its own agenda by circumventing Congress trough Strings-Attached NCLB Waivers.(Heritage).Yesterday, the Obama Administration announced that eight more states will receive waivers to opt out of the onerous provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).However, the message of “relief” and “flexibility” the Administration is pushing is a far cry from what the waivers actually represent. Sure, states may receive temporary relief from one flawed federal policy, but they are doing so at the cost of agreeing to even greater federal encroachment. To receive a waiver, a state must sign on to a set of conditions set forth by the Administration.
“One of the most concerning conditions attached to the waivers is the requirement for states to adopt common standards and tests,” wrote Heritage’s Lindsey Burke earlier this year. “Having national organizations and the Department of Education dictating standards and tests will effectively centralize control of the content taught in local schools. It’s an unprecedented and dangerous federal overreach.”
Interestingly, as Klein points out, most of the eight states receiving waivers have already signed on to the Administration’s education reforms as part of the Race to the Top grant competition:
Except for Connecticut and Louisiana, all of the waiver recipients were among the dozen states that won a slice of the $4 billion Race to the Top fund. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. To get a waiver, states must embrace certain Obama administration reform priorities. And many of those requirements… are similar to the policies embraced by the administration’s Race to the Top competitive grant program.
Undoubtedly, states need relief from NCLB, but waivers fraught with heavy-handed demands from Washington are far from the best interest of states. The Administration’s approach of advancing its own agenda by circumventing Congress shows blatant disregard for the proper lawmaking process. While the Obama Administration has been attempting to impose its own education agenda on states, other reforms that provide true flexibility are currently being considered in Congress, such as the A-PLUS proposal, which would allow states to completely opt out of No Child Left Behind.
Instead of kowtowing to the White House’s demands, states should reject strings-attached waivers and insist on real flexibility.Hmmmm..........Obama Blames “Founding Fathers” For Making It Difficult For Him To “Bring Change”But..."I will keep plotting".Read the full story here.

Google Warns Million Users Could Lose Internet Access in July.

Google Warns Million Users Could Lose Internet Access in July.(Matzav).Google has warned that hundreds of thousands of internet users may be unable to access the web on July 9 if they do not get rid of malicious software, also known as malware, from their computers. Google has been alerting users to the threat of DNSChanger with the message “your computer appears to be infected” on machines infected by the software. The company had successfully alerted a million users last summer to a different type of malware. This time the method has been repeated with Google showing a special message appearing at the top of the Google search results page for users with affected devices. Google has warned that as many as one million computers may be infected with malware. The Domain Name System (DNS) converts web address names like into numericals that enable computers to send traffic to the right place. DNSChanger changes the DNS settings and forces users to use malicious servers that redirect them to fake and other harmful sites. The malware also alters the settings on home routers and can infect other computers and mobile devices.A really good freeware Anti-spyware program can be found here @ Emisoft.Read the full story here.

'Obama ... Stressed He Probably Knows About Judaism More than Any Other President'.

'Obama ... Stressed He Probably Knows About Judaism More than Any Other President'.(WS).President Obama met yesterday with "about 20 Conservative Jewish community leaders, thanking them for the work they do to improve communities around the country and discussed their shared commitment to rebuilding the U.S. economy," Haaretz reports.In the meeting, Obama reportedly boasted about his knowledge of Judaism, telling the leaders that he thinks he knows more "about Judaism" than all past presidents. "[He] wondered how come no one asks Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner or Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel [sic] about their support to Israel."
Similarly, he said to the group, "I [am] not going to tell you again how I even feel about Israel, but why [are] we still talking about it?"
He then suggested that he should not be questioned about his commitment to the Jewish state because "all his friends in Chicago were Jewish - and at the beginning of his political career he was accused of being a puppet of the Israel lobby," Haaretz reports.
According to Ynet's account of the meeting, President Obama insisted that the perception that he's not a friend of Israel is the work of Republican bigotry:
During the meeting, Obama told the rabbis that when he was running for Senate some accused him of being the Jewish lobby's "puppet" because of his many Jewish associates in Chicago. Now, he said, the Republicans are trying to portray him as not being supportive of Israel by stressing the fact that his father was Muslim and he has a Muslim name, as well as by claiming that he had been overly aggressive in pushing Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahu to promote the peace process with the Palestinians.Hmmmm.....Not mentioning all the knowledge he got on Judaism from "The Holy Koran"?Read the full story here.

Ahmadinejad: Iran 'not afraid' of Israeli strike.

Ahmadinejad: Iran 'not afraid' of Israeli strike.(JPost).Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he is "not afraid" of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear programs in an interview with the television channel France 24 on Wednesday. He said that only Israel wants to attack Iran, but that the West does not and if the "Zionist regime" does not "attack Iran, there is no problem."Ahmadinejad hit back at demands that Iran cease enriching uranium to 20%, claiming that 20% enriched uranium was no more threatening than 3.5% enriched uranium. He posed a question to the West as to why it was pressuring Iran about 20% enriched uranium when western nations already have the atom bomb. In that light Ahmadinejad asked "who is more dangerous," Iran or the West? The Iranian president refused to answer the question as to whether Iran would recognize Israel if the Palestinians and Israel's other Arab neighbors recognized it. Avoiding the question, he merely responded that the issue should be decided by the Palestinian people. Regarding Syria, he said that western governments should not interpret the events. We know that they have their own interests and are against Syrian President Bashar Assad. We cannot trust them because their goal is to push him out of power. The Iranian president also denied sending any weapons to Syria in violation of sanctions.Ahmadinejad denied that he suffered any political defeat in the recent Iranian elections, claiming that there were no political candidates specifically linked to him, despite media reports that his political allies were handily defeated by Supreme Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Kamenei's allies.Hmmmm........"Time is on my side".Read the full story here.

Hundreds of Cherokees form new group to challenge "Dances with Deceit" a.k.a. Elizabeth Warren.

Hundreds of Cherokees form new group to challenge "Dances with Deceit" a.k.a. Elizabeth Warren.(LI).By William A. Jacobson.A new group of over 150 Cherokees and growing has formed with the purpose of forcing Elizabeth Warren to give up her false claim to Cherokee heritage.
The group has a new blog, Cherokees Demand Truth from Elizabeth Warren, and corresponding Facebook page:Mission Statement
Cherokees Demand Truth from Elizabeth Warren is a group of authentic Cherokees and descendants devoted to sharing the truth about our history. Our mission is to help people understand what a real Cherokee is and to show why Elizabeth Warren claiming to be Cherokee without proof is harmful and offensive to us.
The group presently consists of 156 Cherokees and is growing:
We are a group of concerned enrolled Cherokees and descendants from the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes; the Cherokee Nation, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; who demand that Elizabeth Warren tell the truth about her “Cherokee” ancestry and identity. Our group, 149 members strong and growing each day, is in it’s infancy so we are, at this time, an informal one with no specific organizational structure. Spokespeople for the group are Twila Barnes and David Cornsilk….
This is NOT a political group, but instead, a group that demands Elizabeth Warren and others like her understand OUR history belongs to us and no one has the right to try to rewrite it or make up fictitious stories so they can fit in it or take advantage of it. Only those who meet the requirements under Cherokee law should claim to be Cherokee. We hope to help educate the public on what is and is not true about our history and also why the false claims like Elizabeth Warren is making are harmful to the Cherokee people.
The first blog post is Elizabeth Warren – The Cherokees Will Not Be Silenced:
Many wonder why we Cherokees are so insistent on Elizabeth Warren coming clean about her false claims of Cherokee ancestry. This is not a political issue to us. We don’t care if Elizabeth Warren is a Democrat, Republican, or an Independent. We do care, though, if she goes around claiming to be Cherokee and has tried to benefit from that claim….
Hmmm....As i said before i hope the Indian Nation go's after her with all legal means to their disposal.Read the full story here.More here @ Breitbart.

IAEA sees new 'activities' at Iran's Parchin site.

IAEA sees new 'activities' at Iran's Parchin site.(JPost).VIENNA - The UN nuclear watchdog showed new satellite imagery on Wednesday indicating that Iran may be cleaning a site where inspectors suspect it has carried out tests relevant to developing atomic bombs, participants at a closed-door briefing said. One person who attended the presentation by senior UN nuclear agency officials for diplomats accredited to the International Atomic Energy Agency said a May 25 image showed "ground scraping activities" at the Parchin military site. Another envoy said one building also appeared to have been removed from the site, compared with earlier images of the same place. Last week, the IAEA said in a report issued to member states that satellite images showed "extensive activities" at the facility southeast of Tehran. It did not elaborate, but Western diplomats say they suspect Iran is trying to remove any incriminating evidence from the site, which the UN agency wants to visit as part of its probe into possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear program. Iran, which denies Western accusations it is seeking to develop nuclear weapons capability, has dismissed charges aired about Parchin as "childish" and "ridiculous."Read the full story here.

Stubborn Infection, Spread by Insects, Is Called ‘The New AIDS of the Americas’.

Stubborn Infection, Spread by Insects, Is Called ‘The New AIDS of the Americas’.(NYTimes).By Donald G. McNeil Jr.Chagas disease, caused by parasites transmitted to humans by blood-sucking insects, has been named “the new AIDS of the Americas” in a lengthy editorial published in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The authors, several of whom are tropical disease experts from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, argue that the dangerous spread of Chagas through this hemisphere somewhat resembles the early spread of H.I.V.
Chagas is also known as American trypanosomiasis, because the bugs carry single-celled parasites called trypanosomes. (Their best-known relative, spread by tsetse flies in Africa, causes sleeping sickness.)
Like AIDS, the authors say, Chagas disease has a long incubation time and is hard or impossible to cure. Chagas infects up to eight million people in the hemisphere, mostly in Bolivia, Mexico, Colombia and Central America. But more than 300,000 of the infected live in the United States, many of them immigrants.
The disease can be transmitted from mother to child or by blood transfusion. About a quarter of its victims eventually will develop enlarged hearts or intestines, which can fail or burst, causing sudden death. Treatment involves harsh drugs taken for up to three months and works only if the disease is caught early.
The human disease occurs in two stages: an acute stage, which occurs shortly after an initial infection, and a chronic stage that develops over many years.
The acute phase lasts for the first few weeks or months of infection. It usually occurs unnoticed because it is symptom-free or exhibits only mild symptoms that are not unique to Chagas disease. These can include fever, fatigue, body aches, headache, rash, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. The signs on physical examination can include mild enlargement of the liver or spleen, swollen glands, and local swelling (a chagoma) where the parasite entered the body. The most recognized marker of acute Chagas disease is called Romaña's sign, which includes swelling of the eyelids on the side of the face near the bite wound or where the bug feces were deposited or accidentally rubbed into the eye. Rarely, young children, or adults may die from the acute disease due to severe inflammation/infection of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or brain (meningoencephalitis).The acute phase also can be severe in people with weakened immune systems.
If symptoms develop during the acute phase, they usually resolve spontaneously within three to eight weeks in approximately 90% of individuals. Although the symptoms resolve, even with treatment the infection persists and enters a chronic phase. Of individuals with chronic Chagas disease, 60–80% will never develop symptoms (called indeterminate chronic Chagas disease), while the remaining 20–40% will develop life-threatening heart and/or digestive disorders during their lifetime (called determinate chronic Chagas disease). In 10% of individuals, the disease progresses directly from the acute form to a symptomatic clinical form of chronic Chagas disease.
The symptomatic (determinate) chronic stage affects the nervous system, digestive system and heart. About two-thirds of people with chronic symptoms have cardiac damage, including dilated cardiomyopathy, which causes heart rhythm abnormalities and may result in sudden death. About one-third of patients go on to develop digestive system damage, resulting in dilation of the digestive tract (megacolon and megaesophagus), accompanied by severe weight loss. Swallowing difficulties (secondary achalasia) may be the first symptom of digestive disturbances and may lead to malnutrition. 20% to 50% of individuals with intestinal involvement also exhibit cardiac involvement.Up to 10% of chronically infected individuals develop neuritis that results in altered tendon reflexes and sensory impairment. Isolated cases exhibit central nervous system involvement, including dementia, confusion, chronic encephalopathy and sensitivity and motor deficits.
The clinical manifestations of Chagas disease are due to cell death in the target tissues that occurs during the infective cycle, by sequentially inducing an inflammatory response, cellular lesions, and fibrosis. For example, intracellular amastigotes destroy the intramural neurons of the autonomic nervous system in the intestine and heart, leading to megaintestine and heart aneurysms, respectively. If left untreated, Chagas disease can be fatal, in most cases due to heart muscle damage.Read the full story here.

Turkey the next Iran?Turkey's state channel warns Lebanese singer to dress appropriately.

Turkey the next Iran?Turkey's state channel warns Lebanese singer to dress appropriately.(HD).Lebanese singer Jehan Barbur refused to attend a TRT show after she was asked to be careful about her clothes, daily Sabah reported. The singer complained of the incident on her Twitter account, saying: "I was asked to be a guest on one of TRT's channels. But I was asked to be careful about my clothes. Who do you think you are dominating?" Barbur's press agent confirmed the incident. "We were asked on for a show on TRT's Arabic channel," the press agent said. "The host of the show told us to be careful about the clothing, since this was an Arabic channel. And we told them that that was out of the question." The agent also told reporters that a similar warning was made for guitarist Kemal Evrim Aslan's vocalist. "They put a table cloth over her because her shoulders were showing," the agent said.Hmmm.....Erdogan .....Obama's advisor on how to raise his daughters.Read the full story here.

Saudi king vowed to obtain nuclear bomb after Iran.

Saudi king vowed to obtain nuclear bomb after Iran.(Haaretz).Former senior U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross confirmed for the first time on Tuesday night that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has explicitly warned the U.S. that if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia will seek to do so as well. “If they get nuclear weapons, we will get nuclear weapons,” Abdullah told Ross during a meeting between the two in April 2009. Ross said he responded to the King’s assertion with a lengthy appeal against nuclear proliferation, but after hearing him out, the king responded by repeating the same line: “If they get nuclear weapons, we will get nuclear weapons.”
Ross’ on-the-record confirmation of Abdullah’s threat was made in a joint public appearance with Washington Institute researcher David Makovsky at New York’s 92nd Street Y. The two co-authored a book on the Middle East peace process entitled Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East. Ross’ direct quote of the Saudi king appears to be the first public confirmation of the Saudi position and the threat of a Middle East nuclear arms race if Tehran acquires a nuclear bomb. It was reported previously, though not confirmed, that Abdullah had made a similar assertion in his February 2007 summit in Riyadh with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In June 2011, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior NATO military officials that the existence of an Iranian bomb "would compel Saudi pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences." In February of this year, the London Times quoted a “senior Saudi official” as saying that Riyadh would launch a “twin-track nuclear weapons program” should Tehran realize its ambition of obtaining a nuclear weapon. The Saudi threat is one of the prime factors motivating Washington’s campaign to stop Tehran’s nuclear program. Extending the non-proliferation regime is one of U.S. President Barak Obama’s most cherished foreign policy and national security goals, analysts in New York said Tuesday night.Hmmmm.....And me thinking all this time the Saudis would just buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan.Read the full story here.

U.N. agency plans major warning on ‘Flame’ virus risk.

U.N. agency plans major warning on ‘Flame’ virus risk.(AA).A United Nations agency charged with helping member nations secure their national infrastructures plans to issue a sharp warning about the risk of the Flame computer virus that was recently discovered in Iran and other parts of the Middle East, as Israel stepped up its supervision over computer systems of commercial banks. “This is the most serious (cyber) warning we have ever put out,” said Marco Obiso, cyber security coordinator for the U.N.’s Geneva-based International Telecommunications Union. The confidential warning will tell member nations that the Flame virus is a dangerous espionage tool that could potentially be used to attack critical infrastructure, he told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. “They should be on alert,” he said, adding that he believed Flame was likely built on behalf of a nation state. The warning is the latest signal that a new era of cyber warfare has begun following the 2010 Stuxnet virus attack that targeted Iran’s nuclear program. The United States explicitly stated for the first time last year that it reserved the right to retaliate with force against a cyber-attack. A top Israeli minister said on Tuesday the use of cyber weapons, such as the newly uncovered Flame virus, to counter Iran’s nuclear plans would be “reasonable,” hinting at Israel’s possible involvement, AFP reported. “For anyone who sees the Iranian threat as significant, it is reasonable that he would take different steps, including these, in order to hobble it,” Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon told army radio, just hours after the virus was discovered by Russia’s Kaspersky Lab. “Israel is blessed with being a country which is technologically rich, and these tools open up all sorts of possibilities for us,” said Yaalon, who is also Israel's strategic affairs minister. Evidence suggests that the Flame virus may have been built on behalf of the same nation or nations that commissioned the Stuxnet worm that attacked Iran’s nuclear program in 2010, according to Kaspersky Lab, the Russian cyber security software maker that took credit for discovering the infections. “I think it is a much more serious threat than Stuxnet,” Obiso said. He said the ITU would set up a program to collect data, including virus samples, to track Flame’s spread around the globe and observe any changes in its composition. Kaspersky Lab said it found the Flame infection after the ITU asked the Russian company to investigate recent reports from Tehran that a mysterious virus was responsible for massive data losses on some Iranian computer systems. So far, the Kaspersky team has not turned up the original data-wiping virus that they were seeking and the Iranian government has not provided Kaspersky a sample of that software, Obiso said. A Pentagon spokesman asked about Flame referred reporters to the Department of Homeland Security.Jeff Moss, a respected hacking expert who sits on the U.S. government’s Homeland Security Advisory Council, said that the ITU and Kaspersky were “over-reacting” to the spread of Flame. “It will take time to disassemble, but it is not the end of the Net,” said Moss, who serves as chief security officer of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, which manages some of the Internet’s key infrastructure. “We seem to be getting to a point where every time new malware is discovered it’s branded ‘the worst ever,’” said Marcus Carey, a researcher at with cyber security firm Rapid7.Read the full story here.

Iran to launch monkey into space in July.

Iran to launch monkey into space in July.(Trend).Iran will launch its Kavoshgar-5 rocket with a 300-kg capsule with monkey inside to space this July, head of Iranian Space Agency, Hamid Fazeli said, IRNA reported. He added that as of now, the monkey is undergoing special training for the upcoming launch. Iran, which launched its first satellite into orbit in 2009 and sent a rat, turtles, and worms into space aboard a Kavoshgar-3 rocket in 2010, unveiled its space monkey mission back in February 2011 as a prelude to launching a man into space by 2020. Speaking about the Fajr satellite launch, Fazeli said the necessary work is being conducted to launch the satellite to orbit in the near future. On May 13, Iran's Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said that Fajr satellite will be placed in elliptical orbit of 400 km in radius and will remain in space for a year and a half.Read the full story here.

Afghan man tries to cut out pregnant wife’s tongue during an argument.

Afghan man tries to cut out pregnant wife’s tongue during an argument.(AA).An Afghan man has been arrested for trying to cut off his pregnant wife’s tongue when he attacked her during an argument, police said on Wednesday. The woman later lost her baby, police spokesman Sher Jan Durani told AFP. “The suspect is in our custody and his wife has been taken to a safe house. She has received eight stitches on her tongue,” he said. The man, identified only by his first name Saleh, reportedly attacked his wife with a knife during the argument on Tuesday in Balkh province, in the north of the country. Physical abuse of women is rife in Afghanistan, where women are often seen as second-class citizens despite a Western-backed constitution that guarantees equal rights for both sexes. In March, President Hamid Karzai indicated support for an edict by the Ulema Council, the nation’s highest Islamic authority, saying “men are fundamental and women are secondary”. Earlier this month, the case of a tortured child bride whose treatment shocked the world led to three members of her husband’s family being jailed for 10 years. Sahar Gul, 15, who refused to work as a prostitute, was burned and beaten and had her fingernails pulled out while locked in the basement of her husband’s house for six months. According to figures by the British charity Oxfam, 87 percent of Afghan women report having experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage.Read the full story here.

Rev. Wright on Obamas: “Church is not their thing. It never was their thing.”

Rev. Wright on Obamas: “Church is not their thing. It never was their thing.”.(CNS).By Fred Lucas.In speaking about Barack and Michelle Obama, their longtime pastor, the Rev. Jermiah Wright said, “Church is not their thing. It never was their thing.”President Obama and the first lady were married by Rev. Wright, and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, were baptized by the controversial pastor. As head of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Ill., Wright sometimes delivered sermons critical of U.S. foreign policy and asked whether God should bless or damn America. (Rev. Wright is now pastor emeritus of the church.)
The issue of the relationship between Rev. Wright and Barack Obama recently resurfaced because of a new Obama biograpny, The Amateur, by former New York Times Magazine Editor Edward Klein. He conducted a nearly three-hour interview with Rev. Wright for the book. The audio of that interview was released by Klein’s publicist.
During the interview, Rev. Wright talked about the first couple’s time in his church, and rejected the premise that they attended because Michelle Obama wanted to attend.“Well, people that go to church, the brides normally have their wedding at their church, which is why I think Michelle joined,” Wright told Klein. “Now that’s been my sneaking suspicion because she didn’t grow up in the church. Where have you heard or read about her family raising her in the church?
Wright continued, “That’s my point. My point has been – and that’s it, I haven’t said this publicly to anybody -- that, like, you talk about Toni Morrison, or you talk about Maya Angelou, you talk about these black women, they grew up in a church, most of them. She didn’t. She grew up in a Hyde Park kind-of Jack and Jill, links, middle income, who think they’re middle-class, environment. She didn’t go to church.
And when she came to the church, both of them came to the church -- their kids weren’t raised in the church like you raise other kids in Sunday school,” Wright said. “No. Because church is not their thing, it never was their thing. We knew it wasn’t his but she was not the kind of black woman whose mamma made her go to church, made her go to Sunday school. … She wasn’t raised in that kind of environment, so the church was not an integral part of their lives.”Barack Obama and Michelle LaVaughn Robinson were married on Oct. 3, 1992 by Rev. Wright at the Trinity United Church of Christ. Their first daughter, Malia, was born in 1998; the second daughter, Natasha (Sasha), was born in 2001.
Newsweek continued: “Around the time Obama was baptized, he says he studied the Bible with gifted teachers who would ‘gently poke me about my faith.’ As young marrieds, Barack and Michelle (who also didn't go to church regularly as a child) went to church fairly often -- two or three times a month. But after their first child, Malia, was born, they found making the effort more difficult.”
Though church was not their thing, according to Wright, the pastor believes that Barack Obama is a Christian. He recalled that when he met Obama, the future president communicated with him as a community organizer. Wright remembered that Obama asked him to help study Christianity.
I think I convinced him that it was okay for him to make a choice in terms of who he believed Jesus is,” Wright said. “And I told him it was really okay and not a putdown of the Muslim part of his family or his Muslim friends.”
Hmmm.......Was President Obama Baptised or not ? Is he a Christian ? In another account of this event, Manya Brachear, writing in the Chicago Tribune, describes the event thusly: "When Obama sought his own church community, he felt increasingly at home at Trinity. Before leaving for Harvard Law School in 1988, he responded to one of Wright's altar calls and declared a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
In the interview, Obama said, “One of the churches that I became involved in was Trinity United Church of Christ. And the pastor there, Jeremiah Wright, became a good friend. So I joined that church and committed myself to Christ in that church.”Obama began attending the church in 1988 and formally joined Trinity in 1992. (But he left for Harvard in 1988?)
Newsweek continued: “Around the time Obama was baptized, he says he studied the Bible with gifted teachers who would ‘gently poke me about my faith.’
Madeline Brooks cites the research of a pastor, Usama Dakdok, who had called Obama’s church to ask about membership:
Do I have to be baptized to join the church?” asked Pastor Dakdok. “No, you don’t,” was the answer. “You can be a member without being baptized.”
“And what exactly is required to become a member?” 
The answer: “You attend two Sunday school classes in a row about membership, and then you walk the aisle.”.....Some 'Bible Study' with gifted teachers.
Nobody, except Obama knows if his conversion to Christianity is real or not. Although some reports and even Obama have referred to a "baptism", there doesn't appear to be any record of a baptism.Chicago-based journalist, broadcaster and critic Andy Martin, when asked about Obama's baptism, wrote, "I have never been able to obtain any evidence that he was baptized, although I asked for those records."Read the full story here.

Greek Cypriot presidency must be respected by all, EU’s Van Rompuy says.

Greek Cypriot presidency must be respected by all, EU’s Van Rompuy says.(TZ).Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council, has joined a chorus of EU officials defending Greek Cyprus’ upcoming presidency of the bloc, despite Turkish protests. The rotating presidency “is a fundamental feature of our union, based on the EU Treaty, and must be fully respected by all,” Van Rompuy said after talks with Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias during a visit to the island on Monday. Turkey does not recognize the Greek Cypriot government and has said it will suspend dialogue with the EU presidency during the term of Greek Cyprus, which begins on July 1. EU officials have criticized the Turkish stance, calling it interference in the EU’s internal functioning by a candidate state. The dispute over the Greek Cypriot presidency stems from the decades-long Cyprus issue. UN-backed talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders aimed at reuniting the island have so far failed to yield progress on any of the substantial issues under dispute, such as property rights in a reunited Cypriot state. Christofias said that “I reaffirmed our full readiness to continue the dialogue for a solution even during the Cyprus presidency of the Council of the EU” and said his government has an “unshakable will not to allow the Cyprus presidency to be affected by the problems that occupying Turkey is creating,” the Greek Cypriot daily Financial Mirror reported.Van Rompuy said efforts to reunite the island must continue. “The EU continues to attach the utmost importance to the continuation of the negotiations and calls on both sides to make every effort to pave the way for a comprehensive settlement,” he was quoted as saying by the Financial Mirror, adding that the “status quo is in no one’s interest.”Hmmmm........Apparently Van Rompuy has no idea whom he's dealing with........Just wait and see.Read the full story here.

Video - American Crossroads: Public Equity.

US-Funded Palestinian Authority TV Plays Music Video Glorifying Attacks On Israel, In Direct Violation of Aid Requirements From Congress.

PA TV glorifies armed attacks against Israel.(PW).By Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik. Palestinian Authority TV recently broadcast a music video glorifying and calling for armed attacks against Israel. The official PA TV broadcast, which resembles videos that were common on PA TV during the 5-year PA terror campaign (the Intifada, 2000-2005), shows masked fighters shooting automatic weapons, launching rockets and RPGs, and blowing up an Israeli tank. While showing numerous armed attacks, the song's refrain is: "The revolution calls to its men."

The Alashekeen band, which wrote and performed the song, has performed other songs on PA TV promoting violence against Israel. Palestinian Media Watch documented a song by the band that presents Israeli cities like Lod and Ramle as Palestinian cities to be liberated through "Jihad." The song also includes the verses "we replaced bracelets with weapons" and "pull the trigger."

Despite the violent content of their songs, the Alashekeen band was honored by PA Chairman Abbas in 2010 and declared a Palestinian national band. Hmmmm........Now that the Palestinians have 'their Supporter' in the WhiteHouse, they will get their money no matter what they do, Congress no longer matters.Read the full story here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Overnight Music video - Henry Mancini - Moon River

US Commerce Department to label Arab-Americans a 'disadvantaged minority'?

US Commerce Department to label Arab-Americans a 'disadvantaged minority'?(IsraelMatzav).Silly me. I thought the influence of Arab Americans in the US was based upon their middle and upper class status. Apparently not. The US Commerce Department is now considering labeling Arab-Americans a 'disadvantaged minority' (Hat Tip: Joe L).

The Commerce Department is considering naming Arab Americans a socially and economically disadvantaged minority group that is eligible for special business assistance.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) petitioned Commerce earlier this year to ask that Arab Americans be made eligible for the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), which helps minority entrepreneurs gain access to capital, contracts and trade opportunities.

The ADC petition cited “discrimination and prejudice in American society[,] resulting in conditions under which Arab-American individuals have been unable to compete in a business world.” The group claimed discrimination against Arab Americans increased after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
You have until June 27 to let the Commerce Department know how you feel about this.

I think it's pretty hard to argue that there is significant anti-Arab discrimination, at least based on the hate crime statistics. The FBI hate crime statistics for 2010 are here. See for yourselves.The ADC wants any “American who traces his or her ethnic roots to one of the countries in the Arab World, including Algeria, Bahrain, Djoubti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen” to be eligible for MBDA services. Palestinians would also be included. .Hmmmm........I thought the black community was disadvantaged considering the unemployment numbers but apparently not for Barack HUSSEIN Obama.Or is it 'payback' for leading in Michigan?Read the full story here.

Israel Security Agency Shin Bet uncovers conspiracy by radical, Hamas-linked terror group 'Holy Warriors Brigades' to kidnap Israelis

                Why wouldn't they be laughing with U.S. Taxpayer Funding guaranteed?

Israel Security Agency Shin Bet uncovers conspiracy by radical, Hamas-linked terror group 'Holy Warriors Brigades' to kidnap Israelis.(Ynet).The Shin Bet has recently thwarted a terror group's attempt to abduct Israeli citizens. According to information released Tuesday, the Israel Security Agency (ISA) foiled an attempt by a terror group calling itself the "Holy Warriors Brigades," whose members planned to kidnap Israelis and use them as a bargaining chip to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners.The group's operatives are from Hebron and the Gaza Strip. The ISA suspects that the operation, which was partially planned from behind prison walls, was meant to mitigate the life sentences being served by some of the terror group's members.

"The Holy Warriors Brigades" is a radical splinter group of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Fatah's military wing. It is headed by Assad Ibrahim abu Shariya, whose brother, Omar, is imprisoned in Israel.

The group reportedly receives substantial funds and weapons form Hamas.According to available information, it was Omar who instructed his brother to form a terror cell to carry out the abduction. The operation was to be funded by a Saudi contact.

The Shin Bet said that "The Holy Warriors Brigades" have been involved in several terror attacks against Israeli targets over the past few years, including RGP fire at IDF troops, planting roadside bombs and explosives near the security fence and firing rockets at Israeli communities.Hmmmm....Will Obama keep funding Palestine with taxpayer money against Congress its wishes when Hamas is in their unity gov?Read the full story here

Video - Judge Napolitano At His Best......Sounds familiar what he says?

Congressional investigators Probe Fast-Track Approval for Obama Connected Green Companies.

Congressional investigators Probe Fast-Track Approval for Obama Connected Green Companies.(Heritage).Congressional investigators are probing potential cronyism in a pair of federal green energy programs, including the Energy Department loan program that guaranteed a $535 million loan to now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra.
In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar sent on Tuesday, embedded below, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), chairman of the Budget Committee, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, ask for information on federal support for six different companies: Abengoa Solar, BrightSource Energy, First Solar, Nevada Geothermal, NextEra Energy Resources, and SolarReserve.
Sessions initially requested the information last year, but DOI has yet to respond. The letter calls the department’s silence “unacceptable.”
Session and Issa are wondering whether DOI fast-tracked regulatory approval for a spate of green energy projects with notable political connections and ties to the Obama administration.
According to a Republican aide on the Senate Budget Committee, Salazar’s department has created a two-tiered system for energy companies looking to secure federal support.Politically favored, and often connected, renewable energy plans [receive] less rigorous review than traditional energy projects,” the aide asserted.
Each of the companies mentioned in the letter has a significant political footprint. For instance, former BrightSource CEO John Bryson is now Commerce Secretary. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was instrumental in securing federal backing for Nevada Geothermal, even pressuring Interior to fast-track the company’s loan guarantee approval process.
Steve Black, a senior official at DOI, leads the Renewable Energy Policy Group, which also includes NextEra lobbyist Manal Yamout. Black and Yamout are reportedly in a romantic relationship.
The lead lobbyist for First Solar, vice president of government relations Kathleen Weiss, has had numerous meetings at the White House, according to visitor logs. She has met with senior White House official Valerie Jarrett, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Heather Zichal, among others.

While Interior has yet to respond to the request for information on these and other companies, the appearance of political favoritism in DOI’s review of green energy projects fits with a pattern of cronyism in the administration’s “green” initiatives.Here is the full text of the letter to Salazar:
Sessions Issa Letter to Salazar.
Read the full story here.

AG Eric Holder, the IRS, and the liberal lawyers at the ACLU to brief black pastors on what may be said during campaign 2012.

AG Eric Holder, the IRS, and the liberal lawyers at the ACLU to brief black pastors on what may be said during campaign 2012.(WE).Attorney General Eric Holder, the IRS, and the liberal lawyers at the ACLU will brief several hundred pastors in the African American community on how to participate in the presidential election -- which the Congressional Black Caucus chair expects will help President Obama's campaign. "We will have representatives from nine denominations who actually pastor somewhere in the neighborhood of about 10 million people, and we're going to first of all equip them with the information they need to know about what they can say and what they cannot say in the church that would violate their 501c3 status with the IRS," Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., told MSNBC today. "In fact, we're going to have the IRS administrator there, we're going to have the Attorney General Eric Holder there, we're going to have the lawyers' organization from around the country, the ACLU -- all giving ministers guidance about what they can and cannot do," he noted. Cleaver said they would not tell pastors which candidate to support. They will let them know who to regard as the bad guys, though (hint: not Democrats). "We're going to talk about some of the draconian laws that have cropped up around the country as a result of the 17 percent increase in African American votes," Cleaver said, describing voter ID laws as a form of Jim Crow-style "poll tax" on seniors and black voters.The CBC chairman is confident that "President Obama is going to get 95 percent of the [African American] vote," and wants to keep that turnout high. "We want to let them know that there is a theological responsibility to participate in the political process, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition," he said.Hmmmm.....Obama "Don't think we're not keeping score, brother."Read the full story here.

Chasing the Sun - German and Chinese Solar Firms Battle for Survival, Obama pushes for Solar Energy.

Chasing the Sun - German and Chinese Solar Firms Battle for Survival, Obama pushes for Solar Energy.(Spiegel).Germany was proud of its supposedly future-proof solar industry and subsidized it to the hilt. But then the Chinese got in on the act and started making much cheaper solar cells. Now, following a glut in production, companies in both countries are fighting for survival.
Michael Zhu gazes at the watch he's placed in front of him on the glass table in his office. He'll have to get a move on. He has to walk over to the factory and continue to work on forcing the Germans out of the very market they've created. Zhu is the vice president of Suntech Power, which has an annual output of 10 million solar panels. No company in the world makes more than his, and no country in the world buys more than Germany. "We really have to thank Germany," says Zhu, whose office is in Wuxi, a city on China's eastern coast. He raves about Germany -- about the clean air, about the politicians who decided early on to subsidize the production of green energy, and about the country's eco-conscious customers. Nearly one-third of the modules from his factory are sold to Germany.
Reiner Beutel stands in his solar technology plant 8,500 kilometers (5,300 miles) away, in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, and says he's not prepared to simply admit defeat. "We intend to undercut the Chinese on price," says Beutel, who is CEO of German solar cell maker Sovello. He raps on the aluminum frame and says, in English: "Made in Germany." Beutel wants to save the German solar panel. Though he's fighting an uphill battle, he still believes he has a chance. Nevertheless, he was hit by yet another setback when his company filed for bankruptcy two weeks ago. Now he's hoping to find new investors who, under the more favorable terms of the insolvency proceedings, are prepared to put money into this future-oriented industry. Beutel is engaged in a fight being waged between two continents and two economic systems. In China, the communist government controls the economy, meaning that it steers and supports large, private companies, including manufacturers of solar panels, like Suntech. Its competitors, German manufacturers of solar technology, suspect that companies like Suntech have only grown so powerful thanks to government assistance and that China is providing its solar companies with cheap loans. In a sense, it's a battle of state capitalism versus market capitalism. But there's not a genuine market for solar modules in Germany, either. Instead, there's a market that politicians created in 2000 with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), which promised tens of thousands of green jobs and now steers half of its €14 billion ($17.6 billion) in annual funding toward the solar industry. People in Germany aren't buying all these solar modules because the sun shines particularly often in their country. They're buying them because they will receive subsidies known as feed-in tariffs for the electricity for 20 years. The state has guaranteed every producer of solar power a price that was initially 50 euro cents per kilowatt hour higher than the market price. Since making solar modules is no longer difficult, more and more companies have entered the sector in recent years, not only in Germany and China, but also in Japan and Korea. However, the subsidies available in Germany have not been limited to electricity produced by German-made solar panels, as politicians did not specify where the modules should come from. In Italy, by contrast, power customers receive a bonus for installing solar panels made in Europe. As a result, the German subsidy program has had an effect across the world, and primarily in Asia. This led to a bubble in the solar-technology market. Manufacturers worldwide were soon making far more modules than customers wanted to purchase, and they started to undercut each other's prices, which fell by 50 percent last year. Since then, one manufacturer after the other has filed for bankruptcy, more than half a dozen in Germany alone since December. 
Many solar-panel production facilities are in eastern Germany, in Brandenburg, Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, where Bitterfeld is located. In April, the town lost Q-Cells, the city's first and best-known solar company. Its production halls are located across from Beutel's factory in Solar Valley.
By contrast, there are 12,000 people working in the production halls underneath Zhu's office in Wuxi. Every morning and every evening, when their long shifts begin, the company picks them up with 55 shuttle buses that circulate through the various districts of this city of over 6 million.Zhu is in charge of product development, which these days mostly means he has to find a way to produce solar panels even more cheaply. Zhu's strategy for combating falling prices -- which, in turn, could lead to yet another deterioration in prices -- is "aggressive cost-cutting." The idea is for the workers to assemble the modules even more quickly. Laminating a solar panel -- that is, gluing the cells between films -- takes 18 and sometimes up to 20 minutes. Perhaps 15 minutes would be enough, Zhu says.
They also have to reduce the amount of materials they use, he says, so they've made the modules' aluminum frames even thinner. Sensing that this could prompt some criticism, he points to a document with a blue and white emblem and the words "top brand." Since just recently, his modules have been allowed to bear this emblem. It's awarded by a company that tests photovoltaic products, and the best thing about it is the fact that the tester is based in the western German city of Bonn. "A German seal of quality," Zhu says, pausing briefly for effect.As the union representative explains, whether men or women, all workers who start out at Suntech should be high school graduates and healthy. The starting wage is 2,500 yuan a month -- a bit more than €300 ($430)  -- without overtime or bonuses and before tax. There are five days of paid vacation per year as well as health insurance.Germany will soon no longer be the most important market for his solar panels, Zhu says. Over the past eight years, Germany's market share of the global photovoltaic industry has dropped from nearly 70 percent to less than 20 percent. But if the Germans decide to continue supporting sales in their country for a while, he'd be happy. Inexpensive modules plus government subsidies add up to excellent deals for his German customers.The Germans have shelled out over €100 billion alone in funding for the solar panels that have been installed to date. This is paid for by all electricity customers, who will soon be shelling out 4 cents per kilowatt hour on their utility bills to support solar power. "Everyone wants to beat the competition -- that's normal," says Zhu in Wuxi. The Chinese-American entrepreneur has learned how capitalism works. When the state intervenes, he says, capitalism is always smart enough to ensure that something other than what the state wanted is ultimately achieved. No, he says, he's not afraid of the Germans anymore. What worries him are the competitors in his own country.Hmmmm.....America better be prepared to pay very high energy bills if Obama is reelected.Read the full story here.

Iran Overhauls Russian-Built Sub Tareq (Kilo SSK) with Russian weapons System?

Iran Overhauls Russian-Built Sub Tareq (Kilo SSK) with Russian weapons System?(OSG).Today, RIA Novosti reported that the Iranian Navy had finished the overhaul of Tareq, one of Iran's four Kilo (SSK) submarines acquired from Russia in the early 1990s. Unfortunately, little is currently known about what type of overhauls and upgrades have occurred since the Kilo went into the dry dock at Bandar-e Abbas. However, it was reported in 2005 that Rosoboronexport had planned to upgrade the submarines for Iran with the potential of receiving the Klub weapon system. Although such an upgrade would substantially enhance Iranian naval capabilities, what's more interesting is that maintenance (and possible upgrades) occurred locally while Iranian engineers have been working simultaneously on constructing Qaaem: Iran's 1,000+ ton submarine reportedly capable of launching subsurface-to-surface cruise missiles. It's very possible Iran may be trying to replicate the Kilo's capabilities in its own submarine construction in addition to the Klub weapon system.
While that's certainly the best case scenario for Iran, little beyond the completion of the overhaul has been actually confirmed. If Iran has been successful at acquiring the Klub, the possibility of an unreported offset agreement may have provided the technology transfer from Russia. In addition, if this type of technology can now be put into newer Iranian submarines, then Iran has certainly moved up the value chain in fabrication capabilities, something OSGEOINT has speculated on for some time.MSI on 29 January 2011 acquired from Geo Eye show Iran's Bandar-e Abbas and the position where Tareq has been under covered storage since at least 2008, possibly earlier. OSGEOINT previously reported on this activity here.
Low resolution MSI on 24 May 2012 acquired from Digital Globe show Iran's Bander-e Abbas dry docks and the absence of the covering where the previous Kilo was being overhauled. Due to low fidelity imagery, it's difficult to confirm if the submarine is still present. However, the absence of the covering may further support Tareq's launching as previously reported.
Possible Iranian upgrades to the Klub weapon system increase Iranian capabilities in the Strait as well as provide a strategic first strike option if Iran is able to acquire nuclear weapons. In addition, certain upgrades may help Iran move up the value chain for future submarine fabrication.Unfortunately, acquiring the Klub, if true, increases Iranian threat perceptions in the West which may lead to a greater risk for conflict.The other two Kilo-class subs are the Nooh (1993) and the Yunes (1997).Read and see the full story here.

'Allah's enemy!'Russian Radio host slash-attacked for anti-Islam rant on air.

'Allah's enemy!'Russian Radio host slash-attacked for anti-Islam rant on air.(RT).A radio host has been hospitalized after being cut 15 times by an unidentified criminal. Two weeks ago the journalist ventured to criticize the founder of Islam, the Prophet Mohammed, on air. ­
Sergey Aslanyan, 46, was brought to Moscow’s hospital with numerous non-penetrating knife wounds to the chest, neck and arm. According to the police report, on late Monday evening an unknown man called to Aslanyan’s flat over the building intercom and called him outside for a talk. When the journalist stepped out of the entranceway he was knocked over the head with a heavy object, after which the assailant brought the knife into play. Aslanyan claimed that the attacker was shouting “you are Allah's enemy!” while slashing at the victim. Police say the abuser was a slim man of about 30, while according to some witnesses there were several attackers.
As of now the journalist is conscious and his condition is stable. His relatives and friends are free to visit him in his flat, which is guarded by police. Investigators say they do not have a primary lead, but hope to identify the perpetrator using porch surveillance camera data. Still, Izvestia newspaper made a guess that the attack could be linked to recent statements made by the journalist in a radio show. While discussing religion in general he made some “from zero to hero” remarks towards the Prophet Mohammed. “The Prophet Mohammed, as we know, was not a religious figure. He was a businessman, but after getting considerable financial support built plans as to how to get to the top,” Aslanyan disclosed.
He also said that the Prophet “rewrote the Bible” so that “now everyone would know the Prophet Mohammed was not a market shopkeeper, but an outstanding political figure.” According to Aslanyan, the idea of Islam was a “business project from the very beginning,” and turned out to be successful due to “handsome financing.”
Besides that, the journalist, who was an external expert at this radio show, speculated that the Prophet had some sort of sexual disorder. Reportedly, the journalist later apologized on air for the harsh statements he had made, but that did not change public opinion much.Despite being disappointed with the journalist’s position, representatives of the Muslim clergy of Tatarstan refused to have anything to do with the assault on the journalist. “Islam does not recognize the resort to force – for this there are authorities and courts,” the spokesperson of the Clerical Administration of the Republic of Tatarstan told Izvestia. The radio host’s colleagues say Sergey Aslanyan was always extremely cautious about what he was saying and, despite being a well-known agitator, had never got into trouble and had even won several cases against him in court – only because of his close attention to the facts he was voicing.Hmmmm......Did you hear of any 'Russian Orthodox' believers slashing up members of the 'Pussy Riot' group?Read the full story here.

Obama’s Memorial Day Photo-Op Blocks Families, Vets From D.C. Vietnam Memorial Wall For 7 Hours

Obama’s Memorial Day Photo-Op Blocks Families, Vets From D.C. Vietnam Memorial Wall For 7 Hours.(5440Fight).Obama’s secret service shut down the memorial for most of the day, as families and veterans who had come to pay their respects to fallen loved ones were forced to stay hundreds of feet away. Why? So that the Narcissist-in-Chief could show up for 15-minute speech and photo-op with his carefully selected fans in the audience.
In his campaign speech remarks, Obama made sure to mention that: “As long as I’m president, we will make sure you and your loved ones will receive the benefits you’ve earned and the respect you deserve,” Obama said. “America will be there for you.
Wow. How did our veterans ever get their benefits before the benevolent Obamessiah came to office? Is that his argument for why they should vote for him? Because their benefits are only available “as long as I’m president?”
Perhaps he’s hoping they’ll forget that he he suspended hazard pay for deployed U.S. troops, terminated 157 Air Force Majors without retirement benefits,, and proposed a budget that would cut healthcare benefits for active duty and retired US military while protecting union benefits.

Kristinn at Free Republic confirms the story:

So this is how Obozo honors those who served….I just had this passed on from a friend who was at the wall this morning:
I normally try to avoid political statements, but this one is a bit different. This was received by Colonel Wayne Morris just a few moments ago, who was refused access to the Vietnam War Memorial, where he has visited his fallen comrades for the last 15 years. Today is Memorial Day and I went to the Vietnam Memorial and something happened there that upset me greatly and I want to pass it on. For over 15 years I had been going with my dear Marine buddy, Larry Cullen. Since he passed away last year and was interned at Arlington Cemetery, I went this year accompanied by my grandson, Cameron. I had my list of Recon Marines, school classmates, and Larry’s fallen buddies to visit but, as we got close to the area of the National Mall where the Wall is located, we saw huge white tents. We also saw barricades all along Constitution Ave and for a couple blocks in each direction from the Wall. They even closed down all of Constitution Av from the Lincoln Memorial all the way to the WW-II Memorial and there was a virtual army of uniformed and plain-clothes security everywhere. The biggest tent was right at the west end of the Wall entrance and there was a covered walkway leading right up to The Wall. It was so close, you couldn’t get to the Wall on that side so, my grandson and I went all the way around to the eastern entrance to the Wall and walked down along the Wall to the first of my names and I began telling my grandson about my buddies and how each one died. In short order, a guy in a dark suit and earpiece in his ear told us we had to leave as it was 0730 and they were closing Memorial until at least 1400 so the President could drop by. I asked if he was serious and he assured me he was. We and all the other veterans and families were forced to leave and it was locked down. The Vietnam Memorial is the most visited site on the entire National Mall. Memorial Day has more visitors to the Vietnam Memorial than almost any other day. Even at the rather early hour Cameron and I were there, there were a lot of veterans and family members down there. In the midst of all that, Obama decides to close it for over seven hours just so he can roll by for 30 minutes in the afternoon for a campaign appearance with Democrats, supporters, and campaign donors? This is an incredulously arrogant, egotistical, and inconsiderate thing to do. What in hell was Obama thinking? Hey President Obama: Since you ran me (and all the other veterans and family members) out of the Memorial before we finished our business there, how about doing me a favor. If you can take a short break from all the grippin’, grinnin’, posin’ and pontificatin’, how about taking a minute or two to stop by and say hello to my fellow Recon Marines and other classmates on the Wall. I suspect you’ll be too busy with photo ops, campaigning, and stroking donors to be troubled with a couple minutes doing what the Memorial was built for but, just in case, here’s a list so you can have your man find them and point them out to you. Hope you have a Meaningful Memorial Day. 
Joseph J. JONES; 53-W-02 
Sherwood David Kreis, 42-W-40 
Dale Kagebein, 34-W-50 
Jerry Bock, 25-W-95 
Larry Daniels, 09-E- 66 
Joe Mack Kemp, 09-E-69 
Rhonda L. Raglan, 09-E-70 
Robert L. Studards, 09-E-71 
Jose D. Flores, 09-E-74 
Arthur Willie Greene, 14-E-56 
Eric Barnes, 17-E-41 
Godfried Blankenship, 17-E-48 
Michael Ray Smith, 19-E-113 
Ervin Lovell, 19-E-120 
William D. Martin, 25-E- 87 
Michael L. Laporte, 26-E-1 
Ronald Frederick Kitzke, 32-E-76 
Charles Harris, 34-E-48 
Robert Tracy, 34-E-72 
Michael G. Murdock, 36-E-57 
Maybe it would have been better for everyone if Obama had just gone golfing like last year. Unfortunately, this is what veterans and their families have to suffer when Obama is in full campaign mode.No wonder a recent Gallup poll showed veterans prefer Mitt Romney to Obama, 58% to 34%.Read the full story here.

Obama: “America will be there for you", Rising number of homeless female US veterans.

Obama: “America will be there for you", Rising number of homeless female US veterans.(WP).By Annie Gowen.Four years ago, Veronica Witherspoon was stationed in Baghdad, enduring roiling sandstorms and nearly daily rocket fire as she worked as a Navy petty officer at Camp Victory.

By January, she had left the military, lost her job as a civilian contractor, split with her husband and ended up virtually homeless, bunking with family members. Deeply ashamed of her predicament and desperate for a way out, she ran across a story on a military Web site about a new program for female veterans called Final Salute.
The shelter for female vets opened its doors in a quiet Fairfax County cul-de-sac in November. The group home, the brainchild of an Army captain who was once homeless, is one of a small but growing number of women-only shelters that have opened up across the country to cater to a rising number of women who have wound up on the street after their military service.
In recent years, the Department of Veterans Affairs has made strides in a campaign to end veteran homelessness by 2015. Although the overall number of homeless veterans declined 12 percent between 2010 and 2011, the number of homeless female veterans is increasing, the VA said in a draft report this month. Women are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless veteran population.Officially, homeless female veterans number 3,328, a figure that doubled from 2006 to 2010, according to an estimate from the Government Accountability Office. The GAO says the data are incomplete and that the number is probably higher. Many of these homeless women are mothers, middle-aged or suffering from a disability.
Last year, the VA served an estimated 14,847 female veterans who were homeless, formerly homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, according to Stacy Vasquez, deputy director of the department’s homeless-veterans initiative.Hmmmm........Obama:"As long as I’m president, we will make sure you and your loved ones will receive the benefits you’ve earned and the respect you deserve,” Obama said. “America will be there for you."Read the full story here.

Michelle Obama sponsors Navy’s first submarine with all-female crew.

Michelle Obama sponsors Navy’s first submarine with all-female crew.(TheHill).The USS Illinois, the first Navy submarine to be staffed by an all-female crew, received the support of the White House on Memorial Day. On Monday, First Lady Michelle Obama officially sponsored the Virginia-class submarine, which will be one of the newest nuclear-powered boats scheduled to enter the fleet by 2015, according to a White House statement. “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as sponsor of the USS Illinois,” the first lady said, according to the statement. “This submarine is a tribute to the strength, courage, and determination that our Navy families exhibit every day." The Illinois is the second ship the First Lady has sponsored since coming to the White House. She sponsored the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton, based in Alameda, California, earlier this year, according to administration officials. Former First Lady Laura Bush sponsored another Virginia-class attack sub, named the USS Texas, in 2004. In 1994, then First Lady Hillary Clinton sponsored the Los Angeles-class sub USS Columbia. Obama's endorsement of the Illinois, particularly its all-female crew, comes as women in the military are pushing the Pentagon for a larger role in combat operations. The Pentagon announced in February that it was opening up 14,000 new positions, most in the Army, to women after a review of its policies on women in combat. But the Defense Department kept in place a ban on women serving in units below the battalion level with primary combat roles and specialties like infantry or special-operations units.Read the full story here.
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