Friday, February 28, 2014

Just plucked off the street for no reason…

UK ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg faces terror charge

Moazzam BeggMoazzam Begg was arrested along with three other people on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences

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Former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg and a 44-year-old woman have been charged with terror offences related to Syria, West Midlands Police have said.
The force said Mr Begg, 45, of Hall Green, Birmingham, is accused of providing terrorist training and funding terrorism overseas.
The woman, Gerrie Tahari, of Sparkbrook, Birmingham, is charged with facilitating terrorism overseas.
They will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on Saturday.
Both were arrested on Tuesday. Two other men arrested the same day remain in police custody.
They are a 36-year-old man from Shirley, Solihull, and a 20-year-old man from Sparkhill, Birmingham, who were held on suspicion of facilitating terrorism overseas.
Camp transfer
Mr Begg was held in the US-run military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for nearly three years.
He is a British citizen who moved to Afghanistan with his family in 2001, before moving again to Pakistan in 2002 when the Afghanistan War started.
He was detained in Islamabad in January 2002 and taken to Bagram internment centre in Afghanistan for about a year before being transferred to the Guantanamo camp.
He was released in January 2005 along with three other British citizens and returned to the UK.
Mr Begg was never charged with any offence while detained at Guantanamo Bay.

Will the 1 percenters be at his door?

Residents Explode on Superintendent, School Board During Emergency Meeting: ‘This Is Crazy!’

A school superintendent in California got an earful earlier this week when parents were given the chance during an emergency meeting to question his supposedly excessive salary.
“You should all step down and walk away from this! This is ridiculous! This is nuts, this is crazy! I give my wife everything! I do anything I can for my wife! I’m sleeping with her! Who are you sleeping with?” one man shouted during the meeting.
Jose Fernandez, who oversees the Centinela Valley Union High School District in Lawndale, Calif., reportedly earned $663,000 in 2013, according to KCAL-TV.
His district includes only three high schools with a combined total of 6,500 students.
The district also reportedly floated Fernandez a loan of more than $900,000 at 2 percent interest over 40 years. The loan was granted at a time when the superintendent had already declared bankruptcy.
“I propose that there be a special recall election of this whole damn board, and a criminal investigation into the board for breach of fiduciary responsibility,” one man yelled during the emergency meeting held Tuesday.
“Not only is it wrong, it’s unethical, it is immoral to pay anybody that amount,” a woman added.
For his part, the superintendent said he’s mindful of the needs of the people in his district.
“I do hear you. I’ve listened very carefully, and I will sit and work with the board to deal with your concerns and the concerns they may have, and I think we’ll go through a process,” he said during the meeting.
He continued, claiming he lifted the district from its previously derelict state.

“The facilities here were…my God…some of them were similar to the situation in Haiti,” he said.
Caryn Charles is a high school teacher in Hawthorne, Calif., and she says she has to pay out of pocket for paper for her students while the district lavishes the superintendent with handsome loans and a massive salary.
“It’s really embarrassing as a teacher that we don’t have any paper at our department at our school. With all due respect to all of you, but it’s embarrassing when I have to go to Office Depot and buy paper, and I read that other people don’t have to worry about things like that,” she said.
Sandra Suarez, a former board member, said Fernandez should resign from his post immediately.
“I think the superintendent needs to resign and give back everything he’s taken. It’s morally and ethically wrong, and it’s affecting our children,” she said.

Follow link in headline for video/

(H/T: IJReview)

Why gun-free zones are bad for your health

How gun control helped a stalker kill my husband

In April 2009, my husband was shot six times in front of me in the middle of a busy restaurant by a man who was stalking me. I have a permit to carry a handgun but because of the law at that time in my home state of Tennessee, I had to leave the gun that I normally carried for self defense, locked in my car that night. 
My husband Ben and I ran our mobile karaoke business out of a restaurant that served alcohol and my gun was forbidden there. I  obeyed the law but my stalker, who was carrying a gun illegally, ignored it.

I noticed my stalker (a former karaoke customer) in the crowd that night and I knew something was not right. This was a man that I had blocked from my social network account due to inappropriate messages he had sent me.
He had never threatened me or my husband but he was definitely creepy.
My husband Ben had asked him to leave me alone before he showed up at this venue where I had never seen him before.
I realized at that point I was being stalked.
I asked the management at the restaurant to remove him.When they approached him and asked him to leave, he pulled out a .45 semi-auto and shot Ben. He then stood over him and continued to fire five more rounds into my husband.
I could only watch in horror and helplessness.

Since that terrible night I have learned that gun free zones are a predator's playground. This is where my stalker found us and where we were defenseless.
We all have a fight or flight response when we sense danger. We make decisions based on the options we have at that moment. Decisions must sometimes be made in a matter of seconds.
My only option that night was flight. Fight was not something I would have been able to follow through with because I was denied that chance. That basic human right was taken from me by a Legislature that unintentionally helped a predator hunt down his prey.

I hope that lawmakers around the nation will begin to understand that when you disarm law abiding citizens, you do not help protect law abiding citizens. Instead, you actually make it easier for those with evil intentions to be met with no little or no resistance.
In one way, I was lucky on the night my husband was shot and killed -- and so was everyone else in the restaurant.  A United States Marine happened to be in the crowd, he tackled the man who killed my husband and held him until the police came.
I have been told the police arrived within 3 minutes after getting the 911 call. I can tell you that when something so terrible is happening to yourself or someone you love, even three minutes  seems like an eternity. The familiar saying "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away" is very true.
I respect law enforcement. They have a very difficult job but even they know they cannot be anywhere and everywhere at anytime.
The majority of rank and file police officers I have spoken with support right to carry laws. They would much rather find an innocent person with a smoking gun and a dead bad guy than the other way around.
Unfortunately, most law enforcement officers fear speaking out in support of right to carry laws for fear of retaliation by their superiors, who, more often than not, are attuned to politics and not inclined to support self defense laws.
Then there are those who fear gun permit holders might do something wrong with a gun or hurt an innocent bystander.
I personally am more concerned about a bad guy shooting indiscriminately with no regard for innocent life rather than a permit holder who has had state certified training and fears criminal and civil penalties. Those penalties act as very real deterrents for good people. Less than one percent of permit holders ever do anything wrong with a gun. I can't think of any segment of society that is more law abiding.
It's time for law abiding people, who have taken proper legal measures to provide for their own self defense, to be allowed to carry a gun to places where they have a right to be present. 
Evil can visit us anywhere. Signs posted on doors declaring "no guns allowed" do nothing to protect any of us.
Since my husband's murder, the law has been changed in the state of Tennessee. Handgun carry permit holders can now carry their guns into establishments that serve alcohol -- as long as they are not drinking alcohol and as long  as the establishment has not posted a "no guns allowed" SIGN.
At least this gives law abiding citizens the ability to try to protect themselves. A right that my husband, Ben and I were tragically denied on the night he died. 

I propose that the US adopt the exact same immigration policies used by Mexico. If you don't know how harsh they are you're clueless

Mexican president 'indignant' at U.S. deportations


Mexico's President Pena Nieto gives a speech during a news conference at the North American Leaders' Summit in Toluca
View photo
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto gives a speech during a news conference, next to U.S. President …
By Julia Symmes Cobb
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said he is "indignant" at the United States' deportation of Mexican migrants and described U.S. lawmakers as demonstrating a "lack of conscience" in failing to pass immigration reform.
In a television interview aired late on Wednesday Pena Nieto said he and U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the issue during their meeting at a North American leaders' summit held last week in Mexico.
His emboldened comments to U.S. Spanish language channel Univision followed days after his administration announced it had captured Mexico's most wanted man, drug lord Joaquin "Shorty" Guzman.
Pena Nieto has said any extradition of Guzman to the United States is likely to take time, underscoring the fact the drug lord still has outstanding time to serve in Mexico after a daring 2001 jail break, reportedly in a laundry cart.
"Yes it makes me indignant, and it makes Mexicans indignant," Pena Nieto said in the interview, when asked whether deportations angered him.
"There's a lack of conscience, something which shouldn't only alert and worry Mexicans, it should also worry the American government and they should take up the issue," said Pena Nieto.
Pena Nieto added that he sees a willingness on the part of the Obama administration to change immigration laws, and that reform which provides a path to citizenship should "have the backing and aid of the various political forces" in the United States.
A bill that would have provided ways for the approximately 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally to obtain citizenship recently stalled in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.
Many opponents of comprehensive immigration reform in the United States argue that Obama's position would reward lawbreakers and deportations are warranted since the immigrants entered the country illegally.
Under Obama, deportations have hit record highs.
Mexican government officials last week criticized the U.S. Border Patrol for the use of deadly force in a confrontation in which a Mexican migrant was killed.
A U.S. Border Patrol agent shot the man near San Diego after being pelted with rocks while trying to apprehend a group of suspected illegal border crossers.
(This story was corrected to fix in third sentence to show Univision is U.S. Spanish language channel, not a Mexican channel)
(Editing by Simon Gardner and Andrew Hay)

Unions first, radical egalitarianism and the kids suffer

Choking charter schools is cheating underprivileged kids

By unilaterally reversing co-location for several charter schools, including one that has existed since 2008, Mayor de Blasio just snatched the building blocks of upward social mobility from the hands of underprivileged children.
Co-located charter schools must share rent-free space with non-charter public schools, in part because charters receive significantly less operating funds per student and zero funds for bricks and mortar.
Alternative schools like charters and parochial schools can succeed where traditional public schools fail, and they deserve our support. But de Blasio is attacking them.
The situation is dire. Citywide, just 30 percent of students are proficient in math, and 26 percent are proficient in language arts. (It’s even worse upstate. In Buffalo, just 11 percent of third-to-eighth-graders are proficient in language arts and math. In Syracuse, only 7.5 percent are proficient, and in Rochester, just 5 percent.)
Compare those numbers with these: In the Success Charter Network, the city’s largest network of public schools, 82 percent of students are proficient in math, and 58 percent are proficient in language arts. All three schools whose co-location were confiscated are in the Success Charter Network.
It’s no secret that New York City’s teachers unions despise the Success Charter Network and its leader Eva Moskowitz, precisely because Moskowitz has created a system of educating children that works better than New York’s system of failing public schools, and has done so without unionized teachers, thereby demonstrating the huge burden that a union contract puts on public schools.
The incontestable success of charter schools makes de Blasio’s open opposition to them outrageous. In the tale of two school systems, one works and one doesn’t. And Bill de Blasio is siding with the ones that don’t.
For de Blasio, education in New York City isn’t a means of providing children with the skills and background they need to succeed — it’s a means of providing de Blasio with the political coalition that he needs to succeed. De Blasio’s betrayal of New York’s youth cements his support from teachers unions.
In a similar vein, de Blasio’s persistent shill for a tax hike to cover the cost of universal pre-K cements his support from the liberal base of the Democratic Party, who cannot resist a pied piper armed with a “tax the rich!” siren song.
Of course, both State Education Commissioner John King and a Citizens Budget Commission report have warned that universal pre-K in New York City will cost three times what de Blasio is asking for.
The mayor’s education policies are primitive in their support of failing inner-city schools and destructive of superior charter schools, which give choice and hope to ­inner-city families.
The success of many alternative schools can be attributed to a number of factors, including school discipline, innovative curriculums, longer school hours and years and freedom from bureaucratic regulations and union contracts.
I speak from my experience as a founder and former chair of both SUNY’s Charter School Committee and the Student Sponsor Partners organization, which sponsors inner-city high-school students for admission into parochial schools. Our SSP program scrupulously selects average inner-city students for sponsorship, and every year they graduate from their parochial high schools at more than double the rate of inner-city public schools — and for less than half the cost per student.
Studies of the program have proven that the problem with underachieving inner-city students isn’t the student — it’s the system. Charter schools offer high-performing alternatives for parents without the expense of parochial-school tuition.
Educating underprivileged children is the great civil rights issue of our time, and our alternative schools prove that education can be the great equalizer for inner city youths.
But de Blasio’s politically motivated anti-charter bias protects the status quo of special interests and undermines the American promise of equal opportunity for all.

Democrat hypocrisy on display. Why didn't he return it? Why did the Koch's do it in the first place?

Pryor Takes Koch Money; Attacks 'Koch Brothers' Reckless Agenda'

Black racism from a rich man who lives on the white upper East Side. The perpetually aggrieved.

Spike Lee’s Racism Isn’t Cute: ‘M—–f—– Hipster’ Is the New ‘Honkey’

What’s really bothering Lee is that he doesn’t like seeing his old neighborhood full of white people, which makes him historical detritus.
Director Spike Lee attends a screening of "OldBoy" in New York City, November 11, 2013.
Jim Spellman / WireImage / Getty Images
Director Spike Lee attends a screening of "OldBoy" in New York City, November 11, 2013.

Basically, black people are getting paid more money than they’ve ever seen in their lives for their houses, and a once sketchy neighborhood is now quiet and pleasant. And this is a bad thing… why?
It’s interesting that the director of the richest oeuvre of black films in the history of the medium doesn’t understand what the Civil Rights revolution was for. In his expletive-laced comments about the gentrification of Fort Greene during an interview at the Pratt Institute, Spike Lee seemed to think that what we Overcame for was to be grouchy bigots.
Lee seems to think it’s somehow an injustice whenever black people pick up stakes. But I doubt many of the blacks now set to pass fat inheritances on to their kids feel that way. This is not the old story of poor blacks being pushed out of neighborhoods razed down for highway construction. Lee isn’t making sense.
“Respect the culture” when you move in, Lee growls. But again, he isn’t making sense. We can be quite sure that if whites “respected” the culture by trying to participate in it, Lee would be one of the first in line to call it “appropriation.” So, no whites better open up barbecue joints or spoken word cafes or try to be rappers. Yet if whites walk on by the culture in “respectful” silence, then the word on the street becomes that they want to keep blacks at a distance.
In his interview with Anderson Cooper on Wednesday to clarify, Lee mentioned the controversy in Harlem some years ago over park drumming, which new white residents protested. Lee thinks whites were supposed to put up with being woken up on weekend mornings by the drums. That was a subtle issue. I refer to it in my Western Civilization class as a difficult judgment — the kind that shows that real life offers few easy answers.
Lee seems to think it was an open-and-shut case – but then how would he feel if it were whites drumming and blacks moving into the neighborhood and complaining? Maybe he thinks blacks are supposed to be accommodated as payback for the past. But for how long? Pity is not respect. W.E.B. DuBois once said that “Black America needs justice and is given charity.”
But on gentrification Lee doesn’t have time for making sense or trying to, despite the nuance he so brilliantly displays in his films. His comments are instead a tantrum, and an ugly one. What’s really bothering Lee is that he doesn’t like seeing his old neighborhood full of white people.
Or whitey, perhaps. Just as “thug” is a new way of saying the N-word in polite society, Lee’s “m—–f—– hipster” epithet for the new whites of Fort Greene is a sneaky way of saying “honkey.” Lee is less a social analyst than a reincarnation of George Jefferson with his open hostility to whites.
But George had grown up in Jim Crow America. We let his bigotry pass as “cute” because it was just desserts for a nasty past that was barely even past. But it’s been 40 years.
Surely what bothers Lee is not that Fort Greene is now a cushy neighborhood. He just wishes it had gotten that way with all black faces. He’s yearning for the multi-class black communities that people of his generation regret the dissolutions of after the end of institutionalized segregation (when black people like my parents, for example, moved out to mixed or white neighborhoods).
But let’s face it: The reason there were black communities like that was because of segregation. If there still were black communities like that, no matter how beautiful they would look when shot lovingly in films like Lee’s, it would signify racial barriers. The neighborhood would be prime fodder for people like Lee to intone with smug indignation about how non-post-racial America is. “You barely see a white face on the streets. What’s that about? What are they afraid of?”
Enough, Mr. Lee. Enough.
When racial barriers come down, people mingle, cohabitate, and mate. People grumbling on the sidelines about the losses and appropriations and whatnot that this involves are historical detritus. That becomes ringingly clear in how impossible it is to scorn the multiracial children who grow from processes like this, who grow up to be perfectly normal adults — and life goes on.
And black will go on — but hopefully not the way people like Lee would prefer. There are those who think recreational contrarianism is the soul of blackness — surely, if we aren’t mad, we aren’t truly black.
But history records no human group whose core essence was eternal indignation. Lee’s films, ironically, teach much about what black is and what it will be. Odd that in real life he thinks hearkening back to the social politics of Fred Sanford is moving on up.

Obamacare the (Democ)rat trap

Obamacare Enrollees 'Finding it Impossible to Cancel Their Plans'

How the Obama's and sycophants think about the us...too stupid to feed ourselves without them.

( - Apparently it's not the price of the groceries, but the nutrition labels on food packages that make grocery shopping such a difficult and trying experience for the moms of America.

In pitching new, improved nutrition labels at the White House on Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama tried to identify with women who do the grocery shopping for their families. Her message was aimed at mothers who want to buy healthy food and depend on labels to help them do that:

"So there you stood, alone in some aisle in a store, the clock ticking away at the precious little time remaining to complete your weekly grocery shopping, and all you could do was scratch your head, confused and bewildered, and wonder, is there too much sugar in this product? Is 50 percent of the daily allowance of riboflavin a good thing or a bad thing? And how on Earth could this teeny little package contain five whole servings?

"This stream of questions and worries running through your head when all you really wanted to know was, should I be eating this or not? Is this good for my kids or not? And if it is healthy, how much of it should I be eating? But unless you had a thesaurus, a calculator, a microscope, or a degree in nutrition, you were out of luck. So you felt defeated, and you just gave up and went back to buying the same stuff you always buy.

"And that's a familiar scenario for far too many families and parents trying to do the right thing for their kids -- and it's simply not acceptable.

"As consumers and as parents, we have a right to understand what's in the food we're feeding our families. Because that's really the only way that we can make informed choices -- by having clear, accurate information. And ultimately, that's what today's announcement is all about."

Among other things, the revised nutrition label shows the calorie count in large, bold print; it includes the amount of "added sugar," and it reflects more realistic serving sizes.

"Now, I know there will be many opinions on what this label should look like, but I think that we all can agree that families deserve more and better information about the food they eat," Mrs. obama said. "So this is a huge deal, which is why everybody is here. (Laughter.) And it's going to make a big difference for families across this country."
What about the large percentage of her voters who can't either read or understand the labels. Do you think the majority of her food stamp minions know the difference between a carbohydrate and a protein?