Saturday, May 20, 2006

CAMPAIGN FOR AFGHAN WOMEN AND GIRLS


While there has been a fair amount of attention being paid to America’s failed invasion and occupation in Iraq very little is being said about the debacle in Afghanistan. I don’t pretend to know as much about it as I would like to but I have gleaned a few pertinent facts over the past few years. Outside of the capital, Kabul there is very little that is actually “under control.” Warlords dominate the landscape and the Taliban is conducting a spring offensive in the south.

Even though the United States is conducting a “War on Terror” it is also still conducting another failing war, the “War on Drugs.” Since we invaded Afghanistan the major source of income is heroin. We seem to have turned a blind eye on this perhaps because this cash crop appears to be supplying mostly Europe and as we all know France is in Europe and for some reason the right wing believes France supports terrorism. (I would give you their argument but I can’t grasp it.) Not hard to see, however that if Europe is getting all the heroin it can handle that the US would be well stocked as well.

Laura Bush contends that we liberated women when we “defeated” the Taliban. This is not the case and certainly had nothing to do with why we invaded.

Protecting a Fragile Peace
Since December 2001, the United Nations, the Afghan
government, Afghan women leaders, and the Feminist
Majority
have called upon the Bush Administration
and the international community to support expansion
of international peacekeeping forces throughout Afghanistan.
The current force of 8,500 troops is woefully
inadequate. As a result, deteriorating security has caused
the postponement of the first post-Taliban parliamentary
elections from June 2004 to September 2005. After two
delays, the Presidential election was held in October 2004.
Women and girls continue to be the focus of violence
and intimidation. More than 40 girls’ schools have been
set on fire, bombed, or violently attacked. Four women
registering women to vote were killed. Warlord restrictions
on women and threats against women who dare to exercise
their rights continue with impunity. The Taliban has reemerged
and is gaining strength. Urge an immediate and
full-scale expansion of the size and mandate of international
peacekeeping troops to include disarmament and
protection of women’s rights and human rights.
Rebuilding Afghanistan and Women’s Lives
Afghanistan is still waiting for the Marshall Plan that
President Bush promised in April 2002. Restoring Afghanistan
to merely a subsistence economy in which extremists
can again prosper will neither improve the status of women
Freeing Afghan Women: Unfinished Work
nor provide global security. Urge the Bush Administration
to support adequate reconstruction funding.
In 2002, women’s organizations, led by the Feminist
Majority, succeeded in having Congress authorize $60 million
for women’s programs, resulting in $5 million actually
appropriated for the Ministry of Women’s Aff airs in 2003.
The Afghan Women Security and Freedom Act of 2004,
introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative
Carolyn Maloney, sought $300 million per year for three
years for programs to aid Afghan women including direct
funding of $60 million for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs
and $30 million for the Afghan Independent Human
Rights Commission. Th e Act also specifi ed that not less
than 25 percent of funding for women in the overall bill
should be provided to Afghan women-led non-governmental
organizations and called for the expansion of international
peacekeeping forces. While this bill did not pass
Congress before it adjourned, it is anticipated that similar
legislation will be introduced in 2005. Congress did include
$50 million for programs that benefi t Afghan women and
girls and $7.5 million in direct funding for Afghan womenled
NGOs in its 2005 appropriations, provisions strongly
advocated by the Feminist Majority. Urge your Senators
and Representatives to support legislation to increase
funding for programs for Afghan women and girls, direct
funding for the Ministry of Women’s Aff airs, the Afghan
Independent Human Rights Commission and Afghan
women-led non-governmental organizations.
When the Taliban militia seized control of Afghanistan in 1996,
it violently took away the basic human rights of women and
girls to education, work, healthcare, and freedom of movement.
Afghan women lived under a brutal system of gender apartheid
until November 2001.
In January 2004, Afghanistan adopted a new constitution
providing equal rights for women and guaranteeing women
25% of seats in the lower house of the Parliament and 12% of
the upper house. Even under the new constitution, women’s
rights and human rights remain vulnerable to extremist judicial
interpretation. Failure to suffi ciently expand international
peacekeeping forces and the lack of sufficient funding for
reconstruction and governmental institutions threaten these
rights. Over one million people are homeless in the streets of Kabul. Worst of all, the Taliban and the warlords are re-emerging.


I thank Xoites for his guest blogging. He is a gifted writer and if you haven't checked his blog out yet, you surely should!!!


Question Girl




IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY ANYMORE

I've been begging my brother to contribute to the blog, and he has. Thank you Bro!

It's not even funny anymore............time to get serious. Having been a fan of "The Daily Show" ( even before Jon Stewart arrived ), and "The Colbert Report," I'm having a hard time laughing about this shit any more. Even though they are obviously on our side, aren't they just exploiting the situation? When our so called leaders are lying to us daily and ignoring any and all domestic and international law, parody and mockery are no longer legitimate forms of entertainment for me. I'm finding myself feeling like I did back in the Nixon era, when just the sight of Nixon's talking head on the TV screen was repulsive to me. I'm thinking the time for civil disobedience is now; before Halliburton can build those detention centers for the illegal immigrants ( yeah, like Bush and the multi-natl. corps (MNCs) will put their cheap labor in jail ). Haven't people figured out that OUR military is being used to aquire assets for the MNCs? Iran will be next, not because of the nuclear threat they pose, but because the oil MNCs want to build a pipeline from the Caspian sea region to the Persian gulf. Why? China. The potential oil and natural gas market in China dwarfs the U.S. market. Right now China is the largest buyer of fibre-optic cable in the world. Once that fibre cable infra-structure is in place the MNCs that are currently outsourcing all those jobs (that Americans used to have)to India and other cheap Asian labor markets, they will move those to China, eventually raising thier stardard of living to the point where the Chinese will abandon thier bicycles for automobiles. Obviously with the massive numbers of soldiers and nuclear weapons China has, the MNCs have come to the conclusion that military dominance is not an option, so having control of the oil/natural gas that China will need to sustain it's viability is the next best way to dominate them. Laughing about it doesn't make it go away, it doesn't even ease the pain......................................................Bro


Question Girl




Friday, May 19, 2006

IRAQI TRADITION FALL TO THE WAYSIDE IN VIOLENT TIMES

I think this is so sad. It will be a miracle if these people don't hate Americans when all is said and done.

Violence Changes Rituals of Death in Iraq
By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer
11:54 AM PDT, May 19, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Jassim al-Kinani, a 34-year-old car mechanic, did all he could to follow Shiite Muslim traditions when his brother and three cousins were slain. But like so much in Iraq, the rituals of death have been knocked awry by violence.

Al-Kinani's efforts to honor his dead relatives provide a glimpse of the new Iraq, where even attending a funeral can be dangerous.

The agony began when a car carrying his brother, Hakim, 40, and three cousins was stopped one night last month at about 9:30 at what they thought was a police checkpoint in the capital's mostly Sunni Arab neighborhood of Azamiyah


Continue reading here


Question Girl




THE TRUE COST OF WAR

We can talk about the trillion dollars the war in Iraq is costing. But in the big picture, the greatest cost is the loss of life. Of Fathers, Mothers, sisters, brothers. A greater loss there is not. So many American and Iraqi families now know the true consequence of war, and will suffer it for the rest of their days.

In Baghdad, a family loses all 4 of its men
By Sabrina Tavernise The New York Times

FRIDAY, MAY 19, 2006


BAGHDAD The Lazim family lost all four of its men this week. They were getting out of a pickup truck at a house they were building shortly after 7:30 a.m. Wednesday when a man walked up to them and sprayed them with bullets.

The youngest of the Lazims killed that day, 12-year-old Ali, was asleep in the back of the truck when the two bullets tore through his chest.

In the patterns of violence in this city, sectarian killings like this one - the Lazims are Shiites and relatives blame Sunni insurgents for their deaths - have become routine, barely registering as blips on the screens of the authorities and often vanishing without being counted. But behind each number is a story of piercing loss. One of fresh hardships for those who survive and of unexpected scraps of memories of the dead.

The deaths of the Lazims - Jodeh, 50, Falah, 25, Salah, 20, and Ali, 12 - left behind a family of women: a wife, nine daughters and a daughter-in-law.

On Friday, the women, dressed in long black abayas and carrying sleepy children, received relatives from Kut and Basra in the south in the first day of mourning after the burials Thursday.

Jodeh Lazim's widow, Ghazala Kamel, sat on a mat in the corner of a spare room in Sadr City, a slum of back alleys, open sewage and brightly colored flags, and lamented her family's fate.

Ali was tired that morning and did not want to go to work. His father, however, coaxed him along. They had only two more days of work left on the house, which they had been building for several months in Jamiya, a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in central Baghdad.

Ali had quit school two years ago to help support his family, a practice not unusual for poor Shiites here.

Kamel rose with the men before dawn. She cooked them a breakfast of rice and tomatoes. "I buried these four with my hands," she said, brandishing them. "I saw them, washing their bodies. They were so handsome. So handsome."

"Sunni militias believe Shiites are slaves," said Sattar Awad, 29, a nephew of Jodeh Lazim. "In order to dominate, they have to eliminate them."


Question Girl




PIMP MY RIDE

Feds Seize Armor-Plated Car Bought in Iraq. U.S. Agents Seize Armor-Plated Mercedes From Connecticut Army Reservist Who Got It in Iraq

By MATT APUZZO

NEW HAVEN, Conn. May 19, 2006 (AP)— Federal agents seized a Mercedes-Benz from an Army reservist who said the armor-plated, bulletproof luxury car probably belonged to Saddam Hussein.

First Sgt. William von Zehle said he bought the car while serving in Iraq. U.S. Immigration and Customs enforcement agents said the car, which was also equipped with loudspeakers and hidden microphones, was being treated as a "possible war trophy."

"It belonged to the former Iraqi regime," ICE spokesman Dean Boyd said. He said investigators were unsure whether the former Iraqi dictator actually owned it.

Von Zehle was quoted in news stories last summer as saying he bought the car for about $5,000 in 2003 while serving in Baghdad with the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion. "I can't prove it, but yeah, this was Saddam Hussein's car," he said.

The car was seized Thursday. A call to von Zehle's home in Ridgefield on Friday was not immediately returned.

Federal agents are holding the car while investigating possible violations of federal smuggling laws and an executive order barring the importation of property from the former Iraqi regime.

Von Zehle was not charged with a crime.

The white Mercedes was also equipped with a series of pipes that shoot flames out the side of the car, von Zehle has said.


Question Girl




WE CAN HOLD THEM WITHOUT CHARGING THEM UNTIL THE WAR ON TERROR IS OVER

I heard on CNN today that Bush's response to the UN's request to close Guantanemo and any secret prisons in which prisoners are being tortured was.....we will hold them without charging them until the war on terror is over. In other words, they are lifers. How does this mentally deranged man get away with this shit????? How is it that in his mind it's ok to hold people who haven't been charged and haven't been tried???? How is it that it's ok with the American public that he's doing this???? When is the American public going to wake up and see that his "war on terror" is just a way to use congress as a no limit ATM, to build the wealth of his and his cronies empire, and to wipe out democracy as we know it??? When are they going to see that he is CREATING terrorists, not eliminating them????
I couldn't find any news articles about this today, but did find some older articles where he and Rumsfeld stated this. I'll keep looking....

Read here and here


Question Girl




Thursday, May 18, 2006

ANOTHER PROBE TO NOWHERE

Gee, as the Church Lady would say.....How Convvvvvvvenient. They can't probe Delay because he resigned.

Ethics Panel Starts 3 Probes
Ney, Jefferson And Cunningham Cases End Hiatus

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 18, 2006; Page A01

After 16 months of inactivity and partisan infighting, the House ethics committee launched investigations last night into bribery allegations against Reps. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) and William Jefferson (D-La.) and a separate inquiry into the widening scandal surrounding former congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.).

The committee said it would have ordered another investigation, into the overseas trips of former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), had the once-powerful lawmaker not announced that he will resign from the House on June 9.


The inquiries by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, as the ethics panel is formally known, come after the Justice Department intensified corruption investigations of Ney and Jefferson, and after Cunningham pleaded guilty to accepting $2.4 million in bribes and was sent to prison.

But as those and other scandals were unfolding, the ethics committee sat on the sidelines while Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for grinding the ethics process to a halt. Democrats said GOP leaders had changed the rules unfairly to thwart investigations that could have negative ramifications for the party. Republicans charged that the Democrats were dragging their feet on the panel's reorganization to bolster their accusations of a coverup.

That logjam was broken last month when Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (W.Va.), the committee's ranking Democrat, was forced to leave the panel amid accusations that he used his congressional position to funnel money to his own home-state foundations, possibly enriching himself.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi named a fellow Californian and committee veteran, Howard L. Berman, to take the top slot. Berman quickly joined with the committee chairman, Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), to get the panel moving again.

Responding to last night's developments, Ney said in a statement: "For the last 15 months, all I have asked for is an opportunity to have the facts surrounding the Abramoff matter to be reviewed by the appropriate investigative bodies in order to have this matter addressed once and for all. Now that the Committee has been constituted, I am pleased that my request has been heard."

Robert P. Trout, an attorney for Jefferson, said in a statement, "This action is hardly surprising given recent media reports and editorial comment." He added that the congressman believes that "everyone should take a deep breath and allow the judicial process to work."

Trout also said that Jefferson has "never accepted payment from anyone for the performance of any act or duty for which he was elected."

The Cunningham inquiry could hold the most political significance, because it will look into activities that could snare lawmakers who so far have escaped official scrutiny. Cunningham confessed to accepting millions of dollars in bribes from two Southern California defense contractors, Mitchell J. Wade and Brent R. Wilkes.

The case took a new twist last month when Wade told prosecutors that Wilkes had an arrangement with a limousine company, which in turn had an arrangement with at least one escort service, one source said. Wade said limos would pick up Cunningham and a prostitute and bring them to suites that Wilkes maintained at the Watergate and Westin Grande hotels in Washington. Federal investigators are looking into whether other lawmakers also took part.

"There have been continuing reports regarding [Cunningham's] conduct, the conduct of his alleged co-conspirators, and others, that, if true, raise serious issues concerning violations of House Rules and standards," a joint statement from Hastings and Berman said. "Most recently, reports have suggested that federal officials are investigating whether Representative Cunningham and possibly other Members and staff were provided hotel rooms, limousines, and other services in exchange for performing official acts."

Hastings and Berman added that other investigations could be launched against other lawmakers or staff members.

The committee's announcements mark one more setback for Ney and Jefferson. Ney has been a primary target of the federal investigation into the activities of former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In four separate guilty pleas, Abramoff, former DeLay deputy chief of staff Tony C. Rudy, former DeLay press secretary Michael Scanlon and former Ney chief of staff Neil G. Volz all said Ney had used his position to grant favors to the Abramoff lobbying team in exchange for gifts, including a lavish golf trip to Scotland, the use of luxury boxes at sporting events, and concerts and meals.

An ethics investigative subcommittee, headed by Reps. Lamar S. Smith (R-Tex.) and Gene Green (D-Tex.), plans its own inquiry.

For Jefferson, the ethics inquiry is likely to be the least of his concerns. Last week, the congressman indicated his indictment was imminent when he told his New Orleans constituents he would not resign amid worsening bribery charges.

Last week, Kentucky businessman Vernon L. Jackson pleaded guilty to bribery, saying Jefferson began in 2000 to help him market his telecommunications firm, iGate Inc., to federal contractors and African countries. In 2001, Jefferson allegedly told Jackson that he would not continue these promotional efforts without payments to a company belonging to Jefferson's family.


Question Girl




LAME DUCK SUMMIT BUSH/BLAIR

Very interesting..... gee, didn't Rummy just state this week he wouldn't commit to when or how many troops would be withdrawn? And they are going to limit the U.S. deaths to just one a day. Ain't that grand? What does that mean? They're going to limit the deaths they report to one a day? Unfriggin believable. They're going to withdraw troops before the November elections. We all know it....it's their ace in the hole.

Summit gamble for Blair and Bush
Tom Baldwin, Washington
May 19, 2006

BRITISH Prime Minister Tony Blair is preparing to fly to Washington for a "lame duck summit" with US President George W.Bush where he will tackle the issue of Iraq, which will probably now define both leaders' place in history.
It will be his first trip to Washington for almost a year and is a gamble at a time when he and Mr Bush are at their lowest ebb in the opinion polls.

The summit has been pencilled in for late this month but Downing Street sources say that depends on a new Iraqi government of national unity having been formed by then.

Such a development, expected in the next few days, would allow them to claim a breakthrough. Iraq's incoming prime minister said yesterday he would unveil his cabinet to parliament this weekend.

His comments came as new Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said the invasion had been a "grave error" and that he would propose withdrawing Italy's 3000 troops. The threat was largely symbolic, as a withdrawal had already been pencilled in for the end of the year.

British and US sources say Mr Bush and Mr Blair have other pressing issues to discuss, including the nuclear standoff with Iran and the growing frost in relations with Russia, but Iraq will dominate.

Both men continue to believe Iraq can become a stable, modern democracy, but only if their successors are willing to "stay the course" by keeping at least some support troops there for several more years.

Much thought has been given to developing a military counter-insurgency strategy, heavily influenced by the relative success of the British armed forces, which can be sustained after they have left office.

Pentagon advisers now talk about limiting the deaths of US servicemen to "no more than one killed in action a day".

They are preparing for a substantial withdrawal of up to 50,000 troops by the end of the year, and believe that the remaining force can be kept away from the line of fire by "hunkering down" inside heavily fortified, semi-permanent bases.

Mr Bush could certainly do with some support from Mr Blair, who remains popular in the US and has always articulated the case for war better than the American President.

But Mr Blair will not seek to boost the US's flagging support for the war. "This is not an exercise in backboning," a British diplomat said.

He will instead deliver a speech suggesting that he arrived at the same conclusion as Mr Bush - on the need to remove Saddam Hussein - from a different direction.

He intends to return to the theme of a 1999 speech in Chicago when he set out a doctrine of humanitarian interventionism.

A close ally said: "Tony feels terribly misunderstood. He desperately wants to explain his foreign policy by putting Iraq in the context of previous interventions such as Kosovo, increasing aid for Africa, supporting the Middle East peace process and his position on climate change."

Mr Blair has devoted considerable time over the past month to planning the address. It is expected to emphasise the need to reform multilateral organisations including the UN and the World Trade Organisation.

Friends privately acknowledge that Mr Blair's political fortunes have never fully recovered from his failure to win a second UN resolution authorising military action against Iraq.

Since then, the British Prime Minister's desire to confront his critics has been frustrated by advisers who have urged him to stay away from an issue that they believe is now largely "parked" in Britain.


Question Girl




NEW ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER WILL WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM IRAQ

New Italian PM 'will withdraw from Iraq'
(Filed: 18/05/2006)

Romano Prodi, the new Italian prime minister, has vowed to bring all of Italy's troops home from what he called the "occupation" in Iraq.

Mr Prodi said that Italy needed a clean break from its past, and pledged to undo many of his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi's policies.

"We consider the war in Iraq and the occupation of the country a grave error," Mr Prodi told the upper house of parliament.


Read on here


Question Girl




SWEDISH FREIGHTER GROUNDED OF FT. LAUDERDALE, DAMAGE TO REEF


Because I love the water and reefs......

Grounded freighter refloats self overnight; reef investigation continues

By Robert Nolin
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted May 18 2006, 9:24 AM EDT


BULLETIN: The Coast Guard said the Swedish freighter that grounded itself about a mile off Port Everglades on Wednesday refloated itself during tidal changes overnight and was freed completely by 1:30 a.m. The Spar Orion is now in anchorage off the port with no reports of damage. The ship is expected into port to unload its cement cargo on May 22. The Coast Guard and other agencies continue to investigate to determine if reefs in the area where the vessel grounded were damaged. A dive survey of the sea floor by state and federal agencies is scheduled for today to determine the extent of any damaged caused by the grounding. There were no injuries or pollution reported in conjunction with the grounding.


Read entire article here


Question Girl




BEND OVER

Last night on Larry King Live, David O'Reilly of Chevron Oil stated gas prices have risen due to supply and demand. Supplies are low. Read the transcript here. Yet, today, we are told that we have rising supplies. From the Larry King show last night:

CALLER: Yes, hello. I'd like to know please why the second the price of barrel of oil goes up in the world community, why does it go up at the gas station? I know we have tremendous reserves in this country, the oil companies have reserves as do the gas stations.

KING: All right, fair question, David.

O'REILLY: Well it's like any other commodity. It does go up to reflect the concern.

KING: If you have reserves, why does it have to go up?

O'REILLY: Well we don't have reserves. I mean, I think there's a misconception. There's a rapid turnover. I mean, this is just in time delivery. So there's a very turnover to the pump. Also, gasoline goes up because of the local market conditions. It can go up when crude oil prices go down if there's a shortage in one area of the country. Other people think we have just three grades of gasoline, regular, mid and premium.



Oh, no reserves? Ok, even if that IS the case, which I think is a bold faced lie, why do prices go up on gas that's in the ground and already paid for at a lower price? Isn't that where the huge profits come in?

We're getting screwed. Period. And we damn well better get an administration that is going to look into alternative fuel sources. One that doesn't hold secret energy meetings. One that will not cater to the oil companies and will hold them accountable. One that will pass legislation on price gouging. One that will DEFINE price gouging. This administration has fucked us in so many ways.....trying to cope with it all is enough to make one's head explode!!! Need gas? Bend over. Need health insurance? Bend over. Need your privacy protected? Bend over. Need the death and destruction and money pit in Iraq to stop? Bend over. Need your vote to actually count? Bend over. Need secure ports and borders? Bend over. I'll tell ya what...I need a chiropractor from all this bending over!!!


Question Girl




SINKING OF THE USS ORISKANY

Veterans to Reunite for Ship Sinking
USS Oriskany will become a massive artificial reef off Pensacola Beach.

By MELISSA NELSON
The Associated Press


PENSACOLA -- Hundreds of Navy veterans who grew to love the famed aircraft carrier USS Oriskany will see their old ship off on her final voyage -- a trip to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, where she will become a massive artificial reef.

Many, like Boyd Tong of Phoenix, plan to rent boats and watch as the Oriskany is sunk 24 miles off Pensacola Beach on Wednesday morning.

"I expect it will be a little emotional," Tong said as a Navy band played "Anchors Aweigh" at Pensacola Naval Air Station tribute for the Oriskany on Saturday night. More than 500 veterans, spanning the Oriskany's nearly 30 years of service, attended the Navy's tribute to the "Mighty O."

Read the rest here


Question Girl




MAKING FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD

US in secret alliance with Somali war lords fighting Islamic militia
By Alec Russell in Washington and Mike Pflanz in Nairobi
(Filed: 18/05/2006)

America is secretly returning to the scene of one of its greatest military debacles as it backs an alliance of secular warlords engaged in war-torn Somalia's recent eruption of fighting.

Memories of the disastrous 1993 intervention in Somalia, which climaxed in the shooting down of two Black Hawk helicopters and the deaths of 18 US soldiers, depicted in the film Black Hawk Down, still haunt the US military and the American heartland.

But amid escalating concerns that al-Qa'eda sympathisers are seeking to make Somalia a base for Islamist terrorism, it emerged yesterday that America is once again playing warlord politics, siding with a secular alliance of warlords against Islamic militias.


Read on here


Question Girl




Wednesday, May 17, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.


Buck




WHAT A NIGHTMARE......I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THE GULF COAST PROBLEMS

This year's rainy season and hurricane season is going to be a nightmare for many people who have damage caused last year by Wilma and Katrina. With repairs not done, many people are going to end up in shelters or homeless. And the beat goes on in Washington........



Rains bring misery to those waiting for Wilma repairs

By Ken Kaye, Bill Hirschman & Macollvie Jean-Francois
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted May 17 2006


It was the deluge that South Florida needed to refresh groundwater levels, quell wildfires and relieve drought conditions.

But for thousands of homeowners who still have blue tarps and leaky roofs, two days of stormy weather has extended Hurricane Wilma's misery.

More than 7 inches of rain fell in some areas on Monday and Tuesday, collapsing roofs and leaving families homeless. Thunderstorms also left 104,000 temporarily in the dark, flooded roads and created rush-hour chaos across the tri-county area.


Read more here


Question Girl




Tuesday, May 16, 2006

LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR BORDERS

49.9 Billion dollar Homeland Security budget and if you think our borders are secure...think again. What is Homeland Security doing with those billions??? Where's it actually going? I'd sure like to know. This immigration talk should not be focused ONLY on the Mexican border. I have news for you..... illegals regularly enter through Florida, along with drugs and whatever else they care to bring in.... and I'm sure this is the case in many other states, too. I live on the coast of Florida, and I'm here to tell you it would be WAYYYYYY to easy for anyone who wanted to enter.....enter. Why is it, when all we've heard from Republicans since 9/11 is they are the ones with the post 9/11 mentality, they have refused to secure our borders? I'll tell ya what.....we haven't been attacked by terrorists because terrorists haven't wanted to attack us. Period. Illegal immigration goes hand in hand with unprotected borders. And 6000 National Guard troops on the Mexican border are going to do nothing to help that. And I'll tell you something else.... I'm more worried about the drugs and possible terrorists and who knows what else that's coming into our country than I the Mexicans who want a job. Why aren't we talking about that?


Border Protection Stretched Thin at Key West

By Stephen Barr
Tuesday, May 16, 2006; Page D04

Yesterday was a typical day for Phil Teitsma , a Customs and Border Protection supervisor at Key West, Fla. He got a call about 7 a.m. from the Coast Guard telling him that two crew members of a speedboat had been detained after they were spotted dropping five people off on an uninhabited island near the Florida coast.

Teitsma started to arrange for CBP officers to formally arrest the two boaters, but the local Border Patrol office said it would take over and seek possible prosecution on charges of alien smuggling. Teitsma did not object.


Read on here

Then there's this and this and this


Question Girl




HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE

Iraqis decry U.S. atrocities
5/16/2006 1:00:00 PM GMT

Top Sunni clerics accused U.S. occupation forces of committing an “atrocity” that killed 25 civilians near Baghdad, Reuters news agency reported

The U.S. army said its forces killed 41 rebels during raids over the weekend in the rural area around Latifya and Yusifiya, south of the Iraqi capital.

A military statement said several Iraqi women and children were “inadvertently wounded by shrapnel" and treated in the site or evacuated, and didn’t mention civilian deaths.

But the Muslim Clerics Association, the main Sunni Arab religious grouping, which often attacks the U.S. occupation, said 25 Iraqi civilians were killed in the recent military operations.

"We hold the Iraqi government and the occupiers responsible for this brutal atrocity”, the association said in a statement.

There have been previous accusations by Iraqi officials that U.S. occupation forces caused numerous civilian deaths since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, especially during the deadly offensive on Fallujah in November 2004.

The recent complaint came at a critical time as Iraq’s new Prime Minister Nour Maliki is trying to form a national unity government, which can help curb sectarian violence that surged in Iraq after the Feb. 22 bombing of a major Shia shrine.

However, after hundreds of deaths and with tens of thousands of people having escaped their homes, some question whether a unity government can reverse a slide to civil war.

In other violence, more than six Iraqi civilians were killed and four wounded Tuesday in Baghdad’s Dora district during clashes between rebels and Iraqi police, officials said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. army said that three soldiers have been killed in roadside bombings over the past two days. One died Tuesday near Rasheed airfield, a former Iraqi air force installation in southern Baghdad. The two others were killed Monday when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb near Balad, 50 miles north of Baghdad.

The latest deaths bring the total U.S. death toll in Iraq to at least 2,448 since the start of the invasion.


You can find this article here


Question Girl