Wednesday, April 30, 2008
A little more than two years ago, Juliana Rizzo was a real estate agent living in Long Island, N.Y., with her two children, Angelo and Amanda, when she decided it was time to fulfill her childhood dream. That dream was to join the United States Army.
“As a little girl, I always wanted to join the Army, because my father and grandfather spent several years in the military and served their country proudly,”
“When we were in (Hohenfels, Germany) going through ‘Iron Warrior’ training, she went up to the Iraqi role players and started talking to them in their own language,” said Army Command Sgt. Maj. Chad Cuomo, “Nobody knew that she spoke Arabic, and it especially shocked the role players; she was definitely the hero of the battle out there.”
Rizzo was promoted to specialist shortly after arriving in Iraq and went to the sergeant’s promotion board four months later.
Basra - Young women are daring to wear jeans, soldiers listen to pop music on their mobile phones and bands are performing at wedding parties again. All across Iraq’s second city life is improving, a month after Iraqi troops began a surprise crackdown on the black-clad gangs who were allowed to flourish under the British military. The gunmen’s reign had enforced a strict set of religious codes. (Snip) “All these men in black [who imposed the laws] just vanished from the university after this operation,” said Ms Ahmed.
Raids are continuing in a few remaining strongholds but the Iraqi commander in charge of the unprecedented operation is confident that his forces will soon achieve something that the British military could not – a city free from rogue gunmen...
['stepping up' happens a step at a time. Here's one.]
Washington - Iran has been increasing its support for militants in Iraq and terrorism throughout the Middle East, the top US military officer said Friday. Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon that Tehran has failed to live up to previous commitments to stop supporting Shiite militants responsible for attacks against coalition and Iraqi forces. (Snip) Iran's elite al-Quds force has continued providing weapons to militants and trains Iraqis on Iranian soil to fight and kill US and Iraqi soldiers...
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell gave his annual national security threat assessment to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week.
Al Qaeda is improving the last key aspect of its ability to attack the U.S.: the identification, training, and positioning of operatives for an attack in the Homeland. We assess that al Qaeda's Homeland plotting is likely to continue to focus on prominent political, economic, and infrastructure targets designed to produce mass casualties, visually dramatic destruction, significant economic aftershocks, and/or fear among the population.
... al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are attempting to acquire chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons and materials (CBRN). We assess al Qaeda will continue to try to acquire and employ these weapons and materials -- some chemical and radiological materials and crude weapons designs are easily accessible, in our judgment.
[and that's the kicker, so 'distasteful' nobody wants to talk about it: the bad guys are right now working on acquiring WMD, and they'll use them when they get them, and as suicide bombers can't be deterred - they'll need to be be interdicted. To do that, our intelligence communities must be doing anything and everything to that end. I.e., progressive attempts to ham string their efforts technically or in the courts is literally placing many American lives at risk.]
The House on Friday [March 14] approved a Democratic bill that would set rules for the government's eavesdropping on phone calls and e-mails inside the United States.The bill, approved as lawmakers departed for a two-week break, faces a veto threat from President Bush. The margin of House approval was 213-197, largely along party lines. Because of the promised veto, "this vote has no impact at all," said Republican Whip Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri.
[incorrect: it delayed, once again, reimplementation of this authorization which is currently expired ...]
Fifteen planned terrorist attacks in Britain have been foiled since the 2005 London bombings, Met chiefs said today. The revelation came as Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair warned that the country was being threatened by dangerous extremists who were emerging from "left field" to attempt terrorist attacks. Sir Ian added that some suspects were moving "very fast" to carry out their plots, forcing police to make pre-emptive arrests to protect the public...
['preemptive', as in learning of it before hand and acting. interdiction, via intelligence. fifteen ]
It's a good thing that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's U.S. visit was upstaged by the dramatic reception Americans gave Pope Benedict XVI. Brown might have been booed if he hadn't delivered what aides called his "signature" speech within the cloistered walls of Harvard's Kennedy Center. Brown's tedious, hour-long speech impudently demanded that we issue a "Declaration of Interdependence" in order to submit to global governance. That's another way of calling on the United States to repeal the Declaration of Independence.
The redundancy of Brown's outrageous semantics was oppressive. His speech used the word global 69 times, globalization 7 times, and interdependence 13 times. Brown rejected the traditional concept of national sovereignty, which means an independent nation not subservient to outside control, telling Americans to replace it with "responsible sovereignty," which he defined as accepting what he calls our global "obligations." Hold on to your pocketbook... [snip]
Brown even slipped in an attempt at thought control: "Americans must learn to think inter-continentally." He declaimed, "We are all internationalists now." Using the rhetorical device of inevitability, Brown warned Americans that his vision of the globalist future is "irreversible transformation." He wants to "transcend states" and "transcend borders" as he builds the "architecture of a global society."
Brown wants to increase the power of the United Nations to become the source of "an international stand-by capacity of trained civilian experts, ready to go anywhere at any time," and even be able to exercise "military force." Americans do not intend to cede such authority to the corrupt United Nations... [snip]
No thanks for the advice, Mr. Brown. Brave Americans rose up and rejected Britain's royalist rule in 1776, and we've gotten along mighty well without trans-Atlantic interference in our government for more than two centuries. We certainly don't want to reinstate any foreign supervision today.
[you want to talk about special interest money?]
One of the traits of a cult is its refusal to consider any evidence that might disprove the faith. So it is doubtful the global warming cultists will be moved by 400 scientists, many of whom are current or former members of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that shares the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Mr. Gore, for publicizing doubt on a "scientific consensus" that human-caused global warming endangers the planet. [snip]
Like most cultists, the true believers struck back, not by debating science, but by charging that a small number of the scientists mentioned in the report have taken money from the oil industry. A spokeswoman for Al Gore said 25 or 30 of the  scientists may have received funding from Exxon Mobile Corp. Exxon Mobile spokesman Gantt H. Walton dismissed the claim, saying, "The company is concerned about climate-change issues and does not pay scientists to bash global-warming theories." [snip]
The pro-global warming cultists enjoy a huge money advantage. Paleoclimate scientist Bob Carter, who has testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, noted in an EPW report how much money has been spent researching and promoting climate fears and so-called solutions: "In one of the more expensive ironies of history, the expenditure of more than $50 BILLION on research into global warming since 1990 has failed to demonstrate any human-caused climate trend, let alone a dangerous one," he wrote on June 18, 2007.
The $19 million spent on research that debunks the global warming faith pales in comparison.
In recent weeks, the correlation between government biofuel mandates and rapidly rising food prices has become undeniable. At a time when the U.S. economy is facing recession, Congress needs to reform its "food-to-fuel" policies and look at alternatives to strengthen energy security. [snip]
The best way to lower energy prices, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, is to accelerate production of all forms of domestic energy. Expanding biofuels while refusing to take other measures, such as lifting the ban on oil and natural gas production in Alaska and the Outer Continental Shelf, is counterproductive.
We should be tapping into a broad portfolio of energy options, including clean coal, nuclear power and wave energy. The key is increasing energy supply. By taking these measures, we can enable biofuels to be part of the energy solution, instead of contributing to the energy problem.
As the international disaster of ethanol begins taking its toll on the planet -- and, maybe more important, as press outlet after press outlet finally begins recognizing it -- will media remember that Vice President Al Gore cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate requiring this oxygenate be added to gasoline?
After all, regardless of recent reports blaming ethanol for world hunger problems, rising food costs, and increased greenhouse gases, it seems highly unlikely green media will want to tie any of these problems to Nobel Laureate Gore.
A Taunton representative wants to make Massachusetts the first state to declare driving under the influence of alcohol - even one green beer - flat out illegal.
Rep. James Fagan’s legislation would slash the current .08 blood-alcohol limit recognized nationwide as the standard for being legally drunk to .02. Federal government research indicates a 160- to 240-pound man would register .02 sipping one glass of wine over the course of an hour.
He simply believes that allowing people to imbibe and drive up to a point encourages “legalized alcohol gambling” by those raising a bottle to their lips and guessing when enough is enough - if at all.
[we letting governments become our parents]