Archive for June, 2006

As if it were a more “humane” ending if your Maine lobster were entagled in the tenticles of an Octopus with its parrot-like beak tearing it to shreds. All without the benefit of clarified butter and garlic sauce!

AUSTIN, Texas – Customers craving fresh crustaceans will have to look beyond Whole Foods Market Inc. after the natural-foods grocery chain decided Thursday to stop selling live lobsters and crabs on the grounds that it’s inhumane.

The Austin-based grocer spent seven months studying the sale of live lobsters from ship to supermarket aisle, trying to determine whether the creatures suffer along the way.

In some stores, they experimented with “lobster condos,” filling tanks with stacks of large pipes the critters can crawl inside. And they moved the tanks behind seafood counters and away from children’s tapping fingers.

Ultimately, Whole Foods management decided to immediately stop selling live lobsters and soft-shell crabs, saying they could not ensure the creatures are treated with respect and compassion.

“We place as much emphasis on the importance of humane treatment and quality of life for all animals as we do on the expectations for quality and flavor,” John Mackey, Whole Foods’ co-founder and chief executive, said in a statement.

Animal rights activities were thrilled with the decision, not just because of the way lobsters are harvested, shipped and stored but because of the fate that awaits many of them — being dropped alive into a pot of boiling water.

“The ways that lobsters are treated would warrant felony cruelty to animals charges if they were dogs or cats,” said Bruce Friedrich, a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

In making its decision, Whole Foods pointed to a November report from the European Food Safety Authority Animal Health and Welfare panel that it said concluded all decapod crustaceans, including lobsters and crabs, appear to have some degree of awareness, feel pain and can learn.

Well I guess I can cross Whole Foods of my list of favorite places to purchase 10 dollar boxes of “organic” oatmeal.

Wonder when the Food Police will intervene in the ultimate fate of Bi-valves. After all it must scare the bejeeses out of oysters and clams to have a sharp knife shoved between their shells. In the “bi-valve world” I bet a knife is classified as a Weapon of Mass Dissection (WMD)! Not to mention it must hurt like hell for an oyster to have his ass scraped off that pearly white shell.

What about the very large market for yogurt with active cultures? “Active” equates to live in my book. Where is PETA when you need them?

Oh wait, they’re over here with axe in hand! Thankfully a judge is keeping some of them in place.

UPDATE: Now this is a form of protest PETA should adopt more often. Sarah Harley, a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sat inside a cage along the highway, her nearly nude body painted like a tiger in orange and black stripes.
Her message? “Wild animals don’t belong behind bars.

”Harley, from Virginia Beach, Va., said it was the fifth time she’s protested this way.

“We have done this in other cities, and the reaction has been a positive one,” she said. “I am simply showing people what 90 percent of animals go through every day. Some are caged in smaller cages than this.”

And of course the “positive reaction” just HAD to be because of agreement with her cause and not for the fact she had her naked ass hanging out for all to see! (DISCLAIMER: Unless she looked like a cross between Oprah and Tammy Faye Baker)

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Most rational people are aware sovereignty was turned over to the Iraqi interim government on 30, June 2004. Granted, there was an valid argument that could have been made as to the effectiveness of that interim government but the fact remains at that point Iraq was a sovereign State under a duly elected government.

Since that time as we all know an election was held for the final formation of the government. Just last week – and almost overshadowed by the al-Zarqawi death – the Iraqi parliament approved the final new ministers of defence, the interior and national security, ending a three-week stalemate among sectarian and ethnic parties.

There are holdouts of course that still believe Iraq is under an “evil” occupation by the Multi-National forces led by the U.S. Government and Military. A quick cruise through the websites of Code Pink, International A.N.S.W.E.R, Amnesty International and several other anti-war sites all feature the phrase “Iraqi occupation” and use it as a rallying point to foster dissent and assist recruiting those of similar political persuasion.

I also suspect many that reside in the U.S. Senate and House of representatives also believe Iraq is under “occupation.” They may not have expressed it using that precise term but at times their rhetoric seems to indicate where their true sympathies lay.

However in the best traditions of the late and unlamented TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire the United Nations offers “the final answer” on the Iraqi “occupation.” (emphasis mine)

The following statement to the press was delivered today by Security Council president Ellen Margrethe Løj ( Denmark):

As required under resolution 1637, members of the Security Council discussed on 15 June the mandate of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Iraq, and certain arrangements for the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI) and the International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB).

The members of the Security Council received a briefing from Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and an update on MNF activities from United States Ambassador John Bolton. The members of the Council further noted Foreign Minister Zebari’s letter of 9 June 2006 (document S/2006/377). As requested by Iraq’s constitutionally elected Government in that letter, the members of the Council agreed upon the continuation of the mandate of the MNF and of the arrangements for the DFI and IAMB, in accordance with resolution 1637.

The members of the Security Council welcomed the recent appointment of Iraqi Ministers of Defence, Interior and National Security Affairs, completing the formation of Iraq’s constitutionally elected Government. They also welcomed the progress made in recruiting, training and equipping Iraqi security forces and their increasing responsibilities on the ground. Members of the Security Council continued to look forward to the day Iraqi forces assume full responsibility for the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, thus allowing the completion of the MNF mandate.

They also reiterated the importance for all forces promoting the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq to act in accordance with international law, including obligations under international humanitarian law.

No occupation; Who knew!?

As I stated at the beginning, rational people have known for two years. It’s the Barking Moonbats and political hacks looking to further their political careers that have clung to that very leaky lifeboat.

And despite official word the U.S. and it’s Multi-National partners in Iraq have been invited to stay at the request of the constitutionally elected Government and approved by the United Nations, I harbor no illusions the phrase “Iraqi occupation” will fade away.

But when I do read or see it I’ll very quickly give them the U.N.’s “final answer.”

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Tell me I shouldn’t be surprised by anything the NYT does or writes?

Thank you, I’m not in the least.

The latest disgrace comes on the heels of the recent suicides at Gitmo Bay and calls for the prison to be shut down. The NYT has printed an editorial by Mourad Benchellali, “Detainees in Despair, that appeared in the 14 June edition. Here is a sample (emphasis mine):

In the early summer of 2001, when I was 19, I made the mistake of listening to my older brother and going to Afghanistan on what I thought was a dream vacation. His friends, he said, were going to look after me. They did — channeling me to what turned out to be a Qaeda training camp. For two months, I was there, trapped in the middle of the desert by fear and my own stupidity.

As soon as my time was up, I headed home. I was a few miles from the Pakistani border when I learned with horror about the attacks of 9/11. Days later, the border was sealed off, and the only way through to Pakistan and a plane to Europe was across the mountains of the Hindu Kush. I was with a group of people who were all going the same way. No one was armed; most of them, like me, had been lured to Afghanistan by a misguided and mistimed sense of adventure, and were simply trying to make their way home.

I was seized by the Pakistani Army while having tea at a mosque shortly after I managed to cross the border. A few days later I was delivered to the United States Army: although I didn’t know it at the time, I was now labeled an “enemy combatant.” It did not matter that I was no one’s enemy and had never been on a battlefield, let alone fought or aimed a weapon at anyone.

After two weeks in the American military base in Kandahar, Afghanistan, I was sent to Guantánamo, where I spent two and a half years. I cannot describe in just a few lines the suffering and the torture; but the worst aspect of being at the camp was the despair, the feeling that whatever you say, it will never make a difference.

It goes without saying one has to be pretty stupid to believe a trip to Afghanistan would be a “dream vacation” even in the pre-war period. As a self professed “quiet Muslim” and claiming to have “never waged war, let alone an asymmetrical one” he had every opportunity to learn of the conditions there. After all the man is a French citizen, they do have newspapers and dailly TV newscasts there.

This part of Benchellali’s story is only important in the sense it puts on display how far the NYT will stoop to show it’s distain for journalistic integrity. Here’s the rest of Benchellali’s story.

France recently put on trial 27 people suspected of planning terrorist attacks in France. As the case developed 2 cases were dropped, but 25 were convicted of various terrorist related charges. (emphasis mine)

A court on Wednesday convicted 25 people for their roles in preparing an attack in France in support of Islamic fighters in Chechnya.

The five top defendants received prison terms of 8 to 10 years, while the others received lesser sentences. Two were acquitted. All but one defendant had been accused of helping Islamic fighters in Chechnya in what prosecutors said underscored the “globalization of the jihad movement.”

Prosecutors were unable to prove strong suspicions that the attack was to have involved chemicals, even though investigators found equipment, including a protective suit, and chemicals including the highly toxic ricin.

In handing down sentences, the court followed the prosecutor’s office by giving the maximum 10-year term to the group’s alleged chemicals expert, Menad Benchellali. However, Menad’s father, Chellali Benchellali, an imam, or prayer leader, in the Lyon suburb of Venissieux, received only an 18-month suspended prison term — far lower than the prosecution’s demand for six years behind bars.

The court convicted 24 defendants of criminal association in relation with a terrorist enterprise, a broad charge used by France to sweep wide in bringing terror suspects to justice. One other was convicted of using false papers.

The Benchellali family was at the center of the case, with Menad’s mother, Hafsa, and brother, Hafed, also on trial for roles in the plot to carry out an attack in France.

So I ask you, what are we to believe, the NYT version of someone who should have owned a Frommer’s Guide to Afghanistan before his “dream vacation?”

Or should we believe Mourad Benchellali’s family is knee-deep in terrorist activities and have been convicted of same? I tend to believe the later. In Benchellali’s editorial he note’s that “I will go on trial next month in Paris to face charges that I’ve never denied, that I spent two months in the Qaeda camp.”

What he has denied, or avoided mentioning, along with the NYT is his background.

This BBC report provides more background on “The French 25’s” intent to use chemical weapons. It also reports that one of the Benchellalis’ sons (Mourad) was one of six French detainees heGuantánamold at at Guantanamo on suspicion of ties to al Qaeda.

“Suspicion of ties to al Qaeda;” I’d say so, real close ties. As close as any of the Sopranos.

I’d also say the NYT isn’t through painting terrorists and Guantánamo detainees as victims. They follow up the next day with Jihadist or Victim: Ex-Detainee Makes a Case that tells the story of Moazzam Begg who was released from Guantánamo last year on the orders of President Bush. He has become quite the celebrity in Briton with Human rights groups and University students tripping over themselves to here him speak.

I can’t vouch for his guilt or innocence, he may in fact be a victim. What is apparent is the NYT have taken it upon themselves to fill their editorial pages with “victim stories” whether merited or not.

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Top White House aide Karl Rove has been told by prosecutors he won’t be charged with any crimes in the investigation into leak of a CIA officer’s identity, his lawyer said Tuesday, lifting a heavy burden from one of President Bush’s most trusted advisers.

And don’t you know the DUmmies are goin’ WILD!

And oddly enough (guess that isn’t true it it?) Atrios fails to note this news. It’s been two hours since Fitzmas was cancelled and not a single word. Wonder why? You know he rolled his fat ass out of bed, he’s posted a breaking story about Bush in Iraq that broke after the Rove story.

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In Short: FUCK YOU!

You knew it had to be coming. They just can’t keep their pie holes shut.

[Dim]ocratic’s comments on Zarqawi’s “sudden demise.” Some Democrats, breaking ranks from their leadership, today said the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi in Iraq was a stunt to divert attention from an unpopular and hopeless war.

The first is not a surprize coming from someone that that wants a “Department of Peace.” Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, Ohio Democrat, said Zarqawi was a small part of “a growing anti-American insurgency” and that it’s time to get out. “We’re there for all the wrong reasons,”
Mr. Kucinich said.

Yea, and you’re on the wrong freakin’ planet so get the hell off it!

“This is just to cover Bush’s [rear] so he doesn’t have to answer” for Iraqi civilians being killed by the U.S. military and his own sagging poll numbers, said Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat. “Iraq is still a mess — get out.”

“Our troops have done their job in Iraq,” said Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry.

Unlike you asshole the current troops are staying (and the job isn’t done) and not bugging out at the slightest and earliest oppotunity. AssHat.

So it’s a “stunt” used to cover Bush’s ass. How did these mental midgets get to be the age they are? What devine intervention kept them from wondering in front of a bus at some tender age and getting flattened like a 2 dollar frozen pizza?

It damn sure wasn’t any inherent intellect or awareness of what’s around them.

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This can’t be anything but good news: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida-linked militant who led a bloody campaign of suicide bombings, kidnappings and hostage beheadings in Iraq, has been killed in a U.S. air raid north of Baghdad, Iraq’s prime minister said Thursday.

“Today, al-Zarqawi was eliminated,” al-Maliki told a news conference, drawing loud applause from reporters as he was flanked by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and U.S. Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Other than al-Zarqawi’s much deserved vaporization another significant item in this report is the source of the intelligence that aided this operation.

With increasing frequency the local population has been providing information that has assisted both U.S. and Iraqi military forces track down the ihadist cut throats. And that seems to be the case here. The residents in the area of the safe house hit ratted out al-Zarqawi and 7 of his cohorts.

A job well done for Task Force 145, the Iraq people and Iraqi security forces.

I wonder… if Michael Berg, father of Nick Berg who was so horribly beheaded by al-Zarqawi will be applauding this development? Somehow I beleve, all things considered, he won’t be.

And BTW, I hope al-Zarqawi’s virgins are a hybrid between Oprah, Tammy Faye Baker and Rosie!

Other References:

Captains Quarters
Counter Terrorism Blog
Iraq the Model
Michelle Malkin
Hot Air
Villainous Company
Mark in Mexico

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If your not familiar with the Benderman story about a year and a half ago he decided it was more important to apply for conscientious objector status due to “viewing too many bodies stored in mass graves and children’s burned limbs” (A patent lie) than do the job he volunteered for. (see related posts here, here, and here)

Just like clockwork, just as his unit is to be deployed to Iraq, a Benderman “clone” steps up in the name of one Lt. Ehren Watada. As expected he’s using the tired old “the Iraq war is ‘illegal’ line of tripe.” The major difference that sets him apart is his rank. He’s the first commissioned officer to pull this despicable stunt. Although that seems to be in dispute. Paul Boyce, a spokesman in the Army’s national public affairs office, said Watada is “not the first officer, not the first enlisted, nor the first soldier” to refuse to deploy.

Watada’s lawyer issued this statement, as written by Watada, during a Wednesday news conference. Watada was barred from attending because it occurred during his duty hours from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PDT. (How ironic is that? Guess he didn’t want an addition to his charge sheet.)

“It is my duty as a commissioned officer of the United States Army to speak out against grave injustices. My moral and legal obligation is to the Constitution and not those who would issue unlawful orders.”

“Although I have tried to resign out of protest, I am forced to participate in a war that is manifestly illegal. As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order.”

“The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of the Iraqi people with only limited accountability is not only a terrible moral injustice but a contradiction to the Army’s own Law of Land Warfare.”

Well OK guy. Whatever, but regurgitating the talking points of International A.N.S.W.E.R and Code Pink will get him no where during his much deserved court martial.

But if he thinks for a hot second trotting out the “Iraq war is illegal” as a defense for his actions, he and his lawyer are sadly misguided. The first Army rebuttal will be offering into evidence the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq. (As an aside to the “rushed” into war crowd, that authorization took almost a years worth of work by the Bush administration to get through the Congress.)

To cover the International Law side of the equation the second and third evidentiary exhibits offered by the Government will be a copy of United Nations Resolution 686 that demanded “Iraq accept relevant SCRs, cease hostilities, and release POWs.” and United Nations Resolution 687 that set out “Iraq’s int’l obligations following ceasefire.” Saddam didn’t comply with either resolution and was subject to the resumption of hostilities at any time.

Sorry Watada it won’t fly and I presume your lawyer is knowlegable enough to realize it as well.

One thing I’m puzzled about, (not really but I’ll explain) why make this charge and official announcement he intended to disobey an Army order in such a public forum? At this point all the published reports I’ve read note Watada first addressed the issue with his command in January. In a letter to the Command he stated he had serious reservations about the Iraq war and felt he could not participate in it.

Why not keep it that way? The answer is simple. First, any trial concerning his guilt or innocence isn’t open to the public. And secondly he has been latched onto by the Barking Moonbats starting with Momma Sheehan supporter Jeff Paterson of Not in our Name (H/T Michelle) Michelle notes “Paterson is ‘a former Kane’ohe Bay Marine who refused to board a transport in 1990 heading to the Gulf War and now works as an anti-war activist with the organization Not In Our Name.'” For those unfamiliar with the organization it is front group for the Revolutionary Communist Party. (Nice crowd Watada keeps)

The press conference is being used by by these people (H/T Kim) to further their anti-war agenda and garner as much print and news camera face time as possible.

In a confirmation the “apple never falls far from the tree” his father, well known in Hawaiian political circles, is a former Vietnam War protester who supports his son. It’s also obvious his father is suffering from a case of terminal BDS

With that background I won’t say this is a plan hatched, either alone, or in concert with his father but I do find the cronology of events suspicious. All reports indicate Watada joined the Army in June 2003, after we had invaded Iraq, and ends December of this year.

A couple final words: Sgt Benderman, who I noted at the beginning of this piece received 13 months prison time for his refusal to obey orders. I fully expect Watada will also be modeling the latest in “Levenworth fashion” when this story comes to it’s inevitable conclusion.

I would also point to this open letter to Pablo Paredes, another “refuse-nik,” on the final consequencies of refusing to live up to a contract that was signed under no duress, disobeying lawful orders and the impact these actions have in the long term.

Lots a luck Watada. Hope you have a nice life picking pineapples in your home State after serving your 1 to 2 year sentence in Levenworth.

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Deborah Schurman-Kauflin, Ph.D. of the Violent Crimes Institute in Atlanta, Georgia has published a study that points out a mostly ignored part of the illegal immigration debate.

Her study was conducted over a 12 month period between January 1999 through April 2006 and makes the claim that the “U.S. public faces a dangerous threat from sex predators who cross the U.S. borders illegally.”

There were 1500 cases analyzed in depth. They included: serial rapes, serial murders, sexual homicides, and child molestation committed by illegal immigrants. Police reports, public records, interviews with police, and media accounts were all included. Offenders were located in 36 states, but it is clear, that the most of the offenders were located in states with the highest numbers of illegal immigrants. California was number one, followed by Texas, Arizona, New Jersey, New York, and Florida.

Based on population numbers of 12,000,000 illegal immigrants and the fact that young males make up more of this population than the general U.S. population, sex offenders in the illegal immigrant group make up a higher percentage. When examining ICE reports and public records, it is consistent to find sex offenders comprising 2% of illegals apprehended. Based on this 2% figure, which is conservative, there are approximately 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in the United States.

This translates to 93 sex offenders and 12 serial sexual offenders coming across U.S. borders illegally per day. The 1500 offenders in this study had a total of 5,999 victims. Each sex offender averaged 4 victims. This places the estimate for victimization numbers around 960,000 for the 88 months examined in this study.

That is only an excerpt from the intro to the full study and I urge you to read the rest.

My first thoughts are, as is my usual, a bit of apprehension because of the small amount of individuals studied. Statistical analysis is a valid science, however it is always open to errors when a small number is extrapolated to represent the larger whole.

That said, whether the Doctors figures are dead on, or you use a figure one tenth the size a much lower number of 24,000 sex offenders are too much and obviously demonstrates a large problem.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons estimates that fully one-third of current prison populations are comprised of non-citizen illegals. That fact taken in concert with Dr. Schurman-Kauflin’s findings seems to give her some support at least at the general law breaking level. The Bureau of Prisons also reported in 2003, alone, 270,000 illegal immigrants had served prison time.

A couple of other interesting points form the Doctor’s study. Of those apprehended and charged for sex crimes nearly “63% had been deported on another offense prior to the sex crime.” And only “2% of the offenders in this study has no history of criminal behavior, beyond crossing the border illegally.”

Question: If only 2% had a prior history of criminal behavior how in the hell will any type of border checks, no matter how stringent, weed them out and disbar their entry to the U.S. permanently? And it goes without saying record keeping in the countries most effected is piss poor at best so relying on their data as a valid determination for immigrant entry is folly.

The fact that a large percentage of offenders have been deported only to return to resume their criminal behavior points to the need for a bio-metric database be kept and available for use at all border crossings.

Fat chance that will happen, at least not with the bloviating buffoons in the U.S. Senate and the Barking Moonbats that reside under the banner of the ACLU in full support of open borders.

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And it came none too soon!

MIDDLEBORO A local veteran who lost parts of both of his arms in Iraq, is suing filmmaker Michael Moore. Sgt. Peter Damon says Moore recycled old news footage and used it in a way that made Damon seem anti-war.

The snip-it appears in Moore�s film “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Sgt. Peter Damon, a father of two from Middleboro, strongly supports the war effort in Iraq and never agreed to appear in Moore�s movie. He is now suing for $85 million.

“I didn’t lose my arms over there to come back and be used as ammunition against my commander in chief,” said Damon.

Damon was interviewed by NBC in 2003 while being treated at Walter Reed Army Hospital. The interview was about a new painkiller being used on injured soldiers. Damon says he did not express any views on the war itself in that interview.

Michael Moore used a clip from that interview in “Fahrenheit 9/11.” It shows Damon lying on a gurney, saying he feels like he�s being “crushed in a vice.”

The scene appears in a sequence that talks about how the government is abandoning veterans.

The lawsuit also names NBC, Miramax, and other production companies.

I sure would love to be in charge of selecting this jury. The fat bastard would be forking over more than $85 million if that were the case.

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