Sunday, December 31, 2006

Some Minneapolis Somalis unhappy with America/Ethiopia.

Africa: AS Ethiopia goes after the Islamists, some Somali in America are unhappy about it.

More than a thousand Somalis gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday to call for Ethiopian troops to withdraw immediately from Somalia. Their protest capped a week in which transitional government troops retook Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, with the backing of Ethiopian infantrymen. The U.S. government "gave the green light" to Ethiopia to work in concert with the transitional federal government in Somalia, and that action was "totally wrong," said Hassan Mohamud. He is the president of the Somali Institute for Peace and Justice in Minneapolis, which organized Saturday's rally. "We ask the president of the United States, Mr. Bush, and his administration to stop supporting the terrorists. Ethiopian troops are terrorists," Mohamud said to a cheering crowd. Somali men, women and children gathered Saturday morning in Peavey Park in Minneapolis, and they carried an array of signs. Some said "No more war" and "Islam is the solution."
Not everyone is unhappy with the Islamists being put on the run.
When that Islamic group took over the capital in June, many people were optimistic about the future, said Omar Jamal, executive director of the Somali Justice Advocacy Center in Minneapolis. "They brought back security," Jamal said in a telephone interview. "We were all hoping that the moderates would be able to take the lead in the organization of the UIC. But unfortunately, the radicals hijacked the process." Jamal said the large Somali community in Minnesota "is divided," adding that many local Somalis supported the overthrow of the Islamists over the past few days.
Pioneer Press:
After news hit that Somali government forces and their Ethiopian allies marched into the capital city of Mogadishu on Thursday, Somalis in the Twin Cities flocked together — but in two camps. Many of those who supported Ethiopia's response to an "invitation" from Somalia to restore order went first to the Somali Justice Advocacy Center on Selby Avenue in St. Paul, then to a Starbucks in Minneapolis. "People are celebrating," said Abdulahi Ahmad of Minneapolis inside a Starbucks packed with Somalis. "The Ethiopians are there for our safety and order." Those opposed to an Ethiopian "invasion" gathered at the Village Market at 912 24th St. E. in Minneapolis. Men crowded around a wide-screen TV in a coffee shop, listening to news reports from Al-Jazeera. "We don't need Ethiopia," said Nimo Abraham, 54, of New Hope, who lost her father and brother to fighting between the two nations. "They are there to attack and kill our people and to commit genocide." Many, like Abraham, said decades of animosity and bloodshed between the two nations cannot be forgotten. Others said they've lost family to Ethiopian wars, too, but that Ethiopia is Somalia's best chance for stability. Emotions among local Somalis, who number as many as 25,000 in the Twin Cities, are running high. Minneapolis police were called to the Village Market on Tuesday to quell fighting between the two camps.
The other hand, Somalis in Norway seems to be overall unhappy and want to go back and fight.
"If the Ethiopians continue to occupy Somalia, we won't sit here. We will go back to Somalia and fight as one!" says Zakharia Ahmed, banging his fist on the table. The scene is the Café Bolsho in Oslo's downtown immigrant district Grønland. Dozens of compatriots are gathered round in the noisy café, and Ahmed clearly has full support. "Yes, we will go back and fight," the others shout. Aftenposten has chosen this Somali café at random. The conversation is animated, takes place in Somali, English and Norwegian, and here there is total agreement.
Other opinions Some Somalian leaders in Norway do take an opposing stance. Shirdon M. Abdikarim, head of the Somalian Council in Norway, which includes 11 member organizations, said his group wholeheartedly backs the UN-approved government in Somalia. "Somalia has never been a sharia (Islamic) state and will not be one in the future," Abdikarim told Aftenposten. Abdikarim has heard that some Somalians with Norwegian citizenship support the sharia tribunals, as Prime Minister Mohamed Ali Gedi was quoted as saying in an interview with Norwegian web site Nettavisen on Thursday. Gedi also was cited as saying significant sums of money were being transferred to the Islamists via Norway. "There are 8,000 Somalians with Norwegian citizenship. Quite a number of Somalian refugees have gone back to their homeland from Norway, but no one knows how many. Somalia's borders have been open in recent years, and there has been no checks of who has traveled in and out of the country," Abdikarim said.
Keep an eye on Norway.

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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Starter Hoes come to Long Island middle school.

Culture: Then people whine about the lack of values and morals in the country.

It’s hard to write this without sounding like a prig. But it’s just as hard to erase the images that planted the idea for this essay, so here goes. The scene is a middle school auditorium, where girls in teams of three or four are bopping to pop songs at a student talent show. Not bopping, actually, but doing elaborately choreographed re-creations of music videos, in tiny skirts or tight shorts, with bare bellies, rouged cheeks and glittery eyes. They writhe and strut, shake their bottoms, splay their legs, thrust their chests out and in and out again. Some straddle empty chairs, like lap dancers without laps. They don’t smile much. Their faces are locked from grim exertion, from all that leaping up and lying down without poles to hold onto. “Don’t stop don’t stop,” sings Janet Jackson, all whispery. “Jerk it like you’re making it choke. ...Ohh. I’m so stimulated. Feel so X-rated.” The girls spend a lot of time lying on the floor. They are in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. As each routine ends, parents and siblings cheer, whistle and applaud. I just sit there, not fully comprehending. It’s my first suburban Long Island middle school talent show. I’m with my daughter, who is 10 and hadn’t warned me. I’m not sure what I had expected, but it wasn’t this. It was something different. Something younger. Something that didn’t make the girls look so ... one-dimensional.
The glaring fact the writer Downes does a semi-apology at the beginning tells you how far we have dropped as a society he doesn't come out with fire and brimstone decrying the obvious sexualization of young kids and they are getting younger.
What surprised me, though, was how completely parents of even younger girls seem to have gotten in step with society’s march toward eroticized adolescence — either willingly or through abject surrender. And if parents give up, what can a school do? A teacher at the middle school later told me she had stopped chaperoning dances because she was put off by the boy-girl pelvic thrusting and had no way to stop it — the children wouldn’t listen to her and she had no authority to send anyone home. She guessed that if the school had tried to ban the sexy talent-show routines, parents would have been the first to complain, having shelled out for costumes and private dance lessons for their Little Miss Sunshines. I’m sure that many parents see these routines as healthy fun, an exercise in self-esteem harmlessly heightened by glitter makeup and teeny skirts. Our girls are bratz, not slutz, they would argue, comfortable in the existence of a distinction.
Bratz(as in dolls) are clearly designed to show which parent has morals/values and which are bring up the next generation of pole dancers and welfare queens because they have to let their hoes in training be hoes in training not killing off their self-esteem. Its going to get worse and it will not get better since these kids will have kids doing even worse since they have grown up with parents that allow and encourage this sort of behavior.

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Nytimes praises Saddam painful grip on Iraq.

Media: Even for the NYTIMES this is astonishing.

Those developments, so unwelcome to the Americans who so easily conquered this nation, showed that Mr. Hussein was also a unifying force whose painful grip held together Iraq’s many ethnicities and sects. Now, three years after his fall, Iraq has descended further into chaos.
I could unify a country if I ruled with an iron fist and started killing anyone for any given reason.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Barbara Boxer runs away from CAIR activist.

Politics:It must have taken something big to make Boxer pull this move?

Dec. 29, 2006 - In a highly unusual move, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California has rescinded an award to an Islamic activist in her home state because of the man’s connections to a major American Muslim organization that recently has been courted by leading political figures and even the FBI. Boxer’s office confirmed to NEWSWEEK that she has withdrawn a “certificate of accomplishment” to Sacramento activist Basim Elkarra after learning that he serves as an official with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). After directing her staff to look into CAIR, Boxer “expressed concern” about some past statements and actions by the group, as well as assertions by some law enforcement officials that it “gives aid to international terrorist groups,” according to Natalie Ravitz, the senator’s press spokeswoman. CAIR, which has 32 offices around the country and bills itself as the leading Muslim-American civil- rights group, has never been charged with any crimes, nor have any of its top leaders. But a handful of individuals who have had ties to CAIR in the past have been convicted or deported for financial dealings with Hamas—another reason cited by Boxer for her action. The senator directed her staff to withdraw the certificate—which she routinely gives to community leaders in California—and asked that a statement she had previously made endorsing CAIR be stricken from the group’s Web site, Ravitz said in an e-mail.
CAIR is pissed and blames David Horowitz.
The move outraged CAIR officials who charged that the liberal Democratic senator was responding to the writings of Joe Kaufman, a blogger who has expressed sympathy for slain Jewish extremist Meir Kahane in the past , and whose columns regularly appear on the Web site of conservative activist David Horowitz. CAIR has formally asked for a meeting with Boxer and demanded that she withdraw the action—which one top CAIR official said smacks of “Islamophobia.” “This is an attempt to marginalize the largest and most mainstream Muslim organization in the country,” says Hussam Ayloush, executive director of CAIR’s office in southern California. “This is absolutely unacceptable.” Nihad Awad, CAIR’s top Washington official, vigorously denied the charges that CAIR has any links to terror groups and said the allegations are based on a “deliberate smear campaign” by individuals who cannot brook any criticism of the Israeli government. “We feel that the same crowd who is pushing these smears against CAIR is the same crowd as the neocons that pushed us into the Iraq war,” he says. “They are trying to smear the Muslim community and they are trying to silence its voice. This takes us back to the McCarthy era.”
I just can't see Boxer or her staff actually looking at the stuff Horowitz writes as the main reason. Awad comes off making Boxer look like she did the right thing by blaming Israel supporters and the "Neo-Cons."
But CAIR Executive Director Awad refuses to say whether he would also condemn Hamas—which has taken credit for similar attacks in Israel—as a group or even whether he considers it a terrorist organization like the U.S. State Department does. “We condemn these groups when they committed acts of terrorism,” he says. “But I’m not going to play the game of the pro-Israel lobby just so they can put words in our mouth. Our position is very clear. "The entire issue is going back to Israel," Awad adds. "If you love Israel, you're OK. If you question Israel, you're not. If that is the litmus test, no American Muslim and no freedom-loving person is going to pass that test."
If you can't condemn Hamas, you already lose whatever credibility you thought you had and Boxer comes out looking good moving away from CAIR.

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Story of swift Somali victory

Africa: Via Reuters as the Ethiopian army just ran over the Islamists or the Islamists ran over each other to get away.

MOODE MOODE, Somalia, Dec 28 (Reuters) - The bloated corpses of Islamist fighters and an unbroken line of tank tracks along the Baidoa-Mogadishu highway tell the story of a swift advance for the Somali government and its Ethiopian allies. For at least 80 km (50 miles) east of the government's base Baidoa, spent shells from heavy guns litter the road along which the battle for control for the Horn of Africa nation has played out over the last 10 days. At least two dozen bodies of Islamist fighters, swollen by the sun, lie in the thorny bush of Moode Moode, the closest the Islamists reached to the government seat before being thrashed back by combined Somali-Ethiopian military might. Some 50 km (30 miles) east of Baidoa, residents of Buur Hakaba said the gunmen of the Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) had left the town far faster than they arrived. "We thought they would be fighting back and equipping themselves, but they were busy changing clothes," said 40-year-old local Deros Mohammed Ibrahim.
There was also a box of dates marked "Gift from the Government of Saudi Arabia", perhaps lending credence to a United Nations commission report accusing at least 10 foreign nations of fuelling the battle for the anarchic nation.
The Islamists had controlled Buur Hakaba for more then two months and massed troops there for their assault on Baidoa. But residents -- who complained the SICC had drastically cut the highway commerce the town survives on and imposed a brand of Islam too harsh for local customs -- said its fighters had been quick to swap their fatigues for civilian clothes. Many said they were happy to see the back of them. "I am very glad. I did not expect them to lose so swiftly and I thank Allah for their failure," said one local. Another resident, 56-year-old Sheikh Ali Hassan, agreed. "They have been here 65 days and I have never seen such abuse and harassment," he told Reuters. "We have been Muslims for thousands of years. We have not been missing religion, we have been missing a government."

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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Nick Coleman whining about Red Star-Tribune being sold.

Media: Amusing bitter rant.

Mercifully, Mr. McClatchy passed away in May and did not live to see the Sacramento-based company that bore his name disgrace his legacy by dumping its largest newspaper -- the most important one between Chicago and the West Coast, the one that serves 5 million Minnesotans and that can be a conscience, a scold, a cheerleader and an interpreter of life on the tundra.
The interpreter always seemed to fall on the left and protected those like Keith Ellison who had questions that the conscience of the tundra if it were a fair and objective newspaper would have answered instead of scolding those who did ask the questions about the person you became a cheerleader for during the elections. Considering McClatchy sold the Red Star at a major loss. The question you should be asking is why has the value of this paper gone down so much perception and circulation wise that they saw you as a drag on the company.

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UK sucks, celebrate Castro!

UK: This is a sad commentary on the state of the once mighty British empire.

Ken Livingstone is planning a "massive festival" across London to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Fidel Castro's Cuban revolution. The event, to be staged in 2009, will involve street parties, sports venues and some of London's leading museums as well as the closure of Trafalgar Square. Although the Mayor's office refused to provide budget estimates, it could cost up to £2 million. The festival was agreed on the Mayor's controversial trip to Cuba last month. But Mr Livingstone's lavishing of public money to honour one of the last dictatorships in Latin America was condemned today. "Forking out to celebrate a totalitarian regime is a choice that most Londoners will find bizarre," said Angie Bray, leader of the Conservative group on the London Assembly. "The Mayor associates himself with some of the most odious people around and it's Londoners who are being asked to pay out. Sooner or later, there will be a reckoning." .....Mr Livingstone said: "The Cuban revolution of 1959 was an extraordinary event not just for Cuba but for the region as a whole and I have never concealed my support for this fact. "There is no reason why Cuba should be singled out for controversy except for people coming at international issues from a very Right-wing perspective." The Mayor pointed to Cuba's "excellent healthcare", high literacy rate and "Cuban sporting prowess" as reasons to celebrate.
Other side of the coin.
The 300th birthday of Great Britain is to pass next year without any major celebrations. January 16 sees the tricentenary of the Act of Union which merged the parliaments of England and Scotland in 1707. Historians consider it one of the most important events in the nation's history, laying the foundations for imperial expansion a century later. But beyond striking a commemorative £2 coin and staging an exhibition in the House of Lords, there are no plans for anything more celebratory south of the border. By contrast, £20m is being spent on commemorating the abolition of slavery, which will also be marked by a £2 coin. The Scottish parliament is organising a series of events involving schools, museums and galleries. Patricia Ferguson, the Scottish minister of culture, said the union was a pivotal moment in Scottish history, and it was important to recognise the anniversary. But when the Earl of Caithness asked how the Government planned to mark the event, Lord Davies, a minister, replied that he was not aware of any plans beyond the commemorative coin. Philip Hollobone, the Tory MP for Kettering, received a similar reply in the Commons. He said he could think of no other country which would so underplay what is essentially the foundation of the modern state. "It is extraordinary that this tricentenary, which was the basis of the British Empire, should be almost ignored. Striking a coin is not enough and there should be a meeting of both Houses of Parliament and the Scottish parliament, addressed by the Queen in Westminster Hall, to mark this properly. "We could also have services of thanksgiving in Westminster Abbey and St Giles in Edinburgh. "It is almost as if the Government is embarrassed about our history."
Via Tim Blair.

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Keith Ellison on Islam being his political guide.

Politics: Via the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit native Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, told a group of metro Detroiters on Wednesday that he will not impose Islam on others, but will use the religion to help inform his politics. "I'm not a religious leader ..." Ellison said inside Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Detroit. "I'm not here to be a preacher. But in terms of political agenda items, my faith informs these things." Ellison spoke to a group of Arab-American, Muslim, labor, and Catholic leaders at a meeting sponsored by Metropolitan Organizing Strategy Enabling Strength, MOSES, a Detroit-based coalition group.
Goofy part is the article originated from the Free Press but it has been edited down. Full article shows up in other papers.
And Ellison was criticized this week for his appearance Sunday in Dearborn, Mich., at the annual convention of the Muslim American Society.
That is news to me since it wasn't covered by any of the major papers who were still forming a protective circle around him from Goode's comments.

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Somali Islamists withdraw from Mogadishu

Africa: Ethopia deserves some praise.

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Islamist forces who have controlled Somalia's capital for months abandoned the city to clan rule on Thursday after government forces advanced to within striking distance. An AP reporter in Mogadishu saw gunmen taking off their Islamist uniforms and submitting to the command of traditional elders. Gunfire echoed through the streets as people began looting Islamist bases and buildings belonging to Islamist officials, witnesses said. "I have seen that the Islamists are defeated, I'm going to rejoin my clan," said gunman Mohamed Barre Sidow. "I was forced to join the Islamic courts by my clan, so I now I will return to my clan and they will decide my fate, whether I join the government or not." Residents south of the city reported seeing Islamist forces in a long convoy heading south. The Council of Islamic Courts seized the capital in June and went on to take much of southern Somalia, often without fighting. They were later joined by foreign militants, including Pakistanis and Arabs, who supported their goal of making Somalia an Islamic state.
Reuters seems a bit sad the Islamists are leaving.
The retreat came hours after a joint force of Ethiopian and Somali government troops advanced to just 30 km (18 miles) from Mogadishu, threatening to besiege the capital rather than attack it. Witnesses reported looting late on Wednesday in Mogadishu which has enjoyed a semblance of law and order since the Somalia Islamic Courts Council (SICC) seized it from U.S.-backed warlords in June. Gunshots echoed in the air early on Thursday, in a sign the city may descend back into anarchy.

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Ethopia gets backing from African Union

Africa: Ethopia is going to be more about taking hearts and minds instead of winning them over in this conflict.

The African Union says Ethiopia has the right to intervene militarily in Somalia as it feels threatened by an Islamic militia operating there. An official also admitted the African Union had failed to "react properly and adequately" to the Somali situation. Ethiopian jets bombed two airports in Somalia on Monday in support of the transitional government's battle against the Union of Islamic Courts. Ethiopia's prime minister has said his country is "at war" with the Islamists. Fighting had flared last week between the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), which holds most of central and southern Somalia, and Somali government forces, based around the southern town of Baidoa. Ethiopia admitted for the first time on Sunday its troops were fighting in the country. The UN estimates at least 8,000 Ethiopian troops may be supporting the transitional government.

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Here comes the illegal alien amnesty bill.

Politics: Gut the fence and basically everyone who is here illegally gets all sorts of passes.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 — Counting on the support of the new Democratic majority in Congress, Democratic lawmakers and their Republican allies are working on measures that could place millions of illegal immigrants on a more direct path to citizenship than would a bill that the Senate passed in the spring. The lawmakers are considering abandoning a requirement in the Senate bill that would compel several million illegal immigrants to leave the United States before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship. The lawmakers are also considering denying financing for 700 miles of fencing along the border with Mexico, a law championed by Republicans that passed with significant Democratic support. Details of the bill, which would be introduced early next year, are being drafted. The lawmakers, who hope for bipartisan support, will almost certainly face pressure to compromise on the issues from some Republicans and conservative Democrats.
Here is the new lie.
House Republicans blocked consideration of the bill that passed the Senate this year, saying it amounted to an amnesty for lawbreakers and voicing confidence that a tough stance would touch off a groundswell of support in the Congressional elections. The strategy largely failed. Hispanic voters, a swing constituency that Republicans covet, abandoned the party in large numbers. Several Republican hardliners, including Representatives John Hostettler of Indiana and J. D. Hayworth of Arizona, lost their seats. After the dismal showing, House Republicans denied F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin, the departing chairman of the Judiciary Committee and an architect of the House immigration approach, a senior position on any major committee in the new Congress.
Let me point out that Hayworth lost in a state that passed four of the toughest illegal alien laws in the nation. The National Journal points out that Hayworth lost because of changing demos in his district and became a one issue candidate. Lots of others including Dems won being hard on illegal immigration which the Times points out lower in the article.
The prospects for a bill that contains such a proposal remain particularly uncertain in the House, where many prominent Democrats want to ensure broad bipartisan backing as part of their efforts to maintain their majority in 2008, Congressional aides said. The House Democrats are concerned about protecting newly elected moderate and conservative Democrats, some of whom had campaigned against legalizing illegal immigrants. It is also unclear whether Mr. Gutierrez and Mr. Flake will produce the only House legislation on immigration and whether their plan will ultimately become the basis for the bill that emerges.

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Keith Ellison: Muslims here to teach America.

Politics: Once this gets around, looked over and scrutinized Goode is probably going to get more fan mail. There is so much red meat its like herd of cattle.

Speaking in Dearborn late Sunday night, the first Muslim elected to Congress told a cheering crowd of Muslims they should remain steadfast in their faith and push for justice. "You can't back down, you can't chicken out, you can't be afraid, you got to have faith in Allah, and you got to stand up and be a real Muslim," Detroit native Keith Ellison said to loud applause.
But Ellison said in Dearborn that Muslims can help teach America about justice and equal protection, suggesting that Muslim activists may be part of God's plan. He spoke at the annual convention of two Muslim groups, the Muslim American Society and the Islamic Circle of North America. The convention ended Monday morning. "Muslims, you're up to bat right now..." he said. "How do you know that you were not brought right here to this place to learn how to make this world better? How do you know that Allah, sallalahu aleyhi wasallam, (meaning peace be upon him) did not bring you here so that you could understand how to teach people what tolerance was, what justice was? How do you know that you're not here to teach this country?" The convention, which ends today, drew more than 3,000 Muslims from across the country for an event aimed at revival and reform. It featured workshops and panels on a range of topics from civil rights to politics to how to spread Islam in the U.S.
He cautioned though that there might be more anti-Muslim attacks in the future. "We're going to continue to face them," Ellison said. "They're not going to stop right away. But if you, and me too, stick together, if we believe in Allah, sallalahu aleyhi wasallam, if we turn to the Quran for guidance, we'll find an answer to the questions we have. And we will find that we are an asset and a plus not only to our own community, but to this country, and to this whole world." Ellison vowed to use the Quran during his swearing in ceremony next month. "On Jan. 4, I will go swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. I'll place my hand on the Quran," Ellison said while placing his hand on the lectern, to loud applause and cries of "Allahu akbar." He urged Muslims to thank God for testing them over the past several weeks. "Before you begin to think that some hardship has befallen you, you need to stop and thank Allah," Ellison said. "Because this controversy has...made people dust off their Constitution and actually read it ."
#Update: This story has hit the AP wire so it will get around. One other point I made in the post below was I didn't think he was going to go Galloway on us but going over the comments I would say he did especially about teaching America. That will not go over well as people could gleefully make a point of saying how can Muslims teach us anything when nearly all Muslim-dominated countries intolerance of others seems to be the norm. I have a feeling these comments are going to bite him hard.

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

About Keith Ellison and Goode's comments.

Politics: I am not going to rehash the whole thing, but Goode's remarks were over the top and all over the place. As for Ellison, I don't think he is going to turn into the American version of George Galloway and the Respect party pushing a Muslim first agenda. There are more than enough tripwires to call him out on such as will he be supporting John Conyer's HR 228 bill or how much he will involve himself with the flying imans along with CAIR. I did find it interesting he seemed to have kept quiet about the same airport that was thinking of giving special treatment to Somalia Muslim cab drivers refusing to carry passengers with alcohol based on sharia law. What people better focus on about Ellison is his far left views that he will try to push as he is a grad of the Paul Wellstone school of politics. That concerns me more than anything else.

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Somalia Islamists call for more Muslim fighters

Africa: As this could turn the horn of Africa into a regional warzone.

MOGADISHU, Dec 23 (Reuters) - A Somali Islamist defence chief appealed to foreign Muslim fighters for the first time on Saturday to join his movement's holy war against Ethiopia "We're saying our country is open to Muslims worldwide. Let them fight in Somalia and wage jihad, and God willing, attack Addis Ababa," said defence chief Yusuf Mohamed Siad "Inda'ade", a hardliner who has made inflammatory remarks in the past.

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Checking in on Thailand's Islamist appeasement mission.

Terrorism: The military backed government started to grovel when they pulled the coup, so how is it going so far?

BANGKOK, Thailand – Muslim insurgents in southern Thailand have intensified their deadly attacks and imposed greater control over the local populace despite offers of peace and reconciliation by the country's military-backed government. Reversing the previous iron-fisted policy, which included death squad killings, the new regime has apologized for past misdeeds, offered to hold peace talks and even opened the way for Muslim-dominated provinces to apply some tenets of Islamic, or Shariah, law. In response, the separatist rebels have stepped up killings and recruitment, and there has been deeper infiltration into community life and silence on the peace talks overtures, analysts say. “The government deserves credit, but it's too little, too late. It's not working,” says Zachary Abuza, an American expert on Southeast Asia's Islamic insurgencies. “The insurgents want to show people that they will continue no matter who is in charge in Bangkok, that they can attack at will.”
Good job Thailand.

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Friday, December 22, 2006

Al Qaeda's Zawahri says they helped the Democrats

Politics: win the mid-term elections.

Al Qaeda has sent a message to leaders of the Democratic party that credit for the defeat of congressional Republicans belongs to the terrorists. In a portion of the tape from al Qaeda No. 2 man, Ayman al Zawahri, made available only today, Zawahri says he has two messages for American Democrats. "The first is that you aren't the ones who won the midterm elections, nor are the Republicans the ones who lost. Rather, the Mujahideen -- the Muslim Ummah's vanguard in Afghanistan and Iraq -- are the ones who won, and the American forces and their Crusader allies are the ones who lost," Zawahri said, according to a full transcript obtained by ABC News. Zawahri calls on the Democrats to negotiate with him and Osama bin Laden, not others in the Islamic world who Zawahri says cannot help. "And if you don't refrain from the foolish American policy of backing Israel, occupying the lands of Islam and stealing the treasures of the Muslims, then await the same fate," he said.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Rosie O'Donnell vs Donald Trump.

Entertainement: This is one you sit back and watch with glee.

Trump told Access Hollywood: "She says things that come to her mouth, she's not smart, she's crude, she's ignorant and to be honest I look forward to suing Rosie. I'm gonna sue her and I look forward to it. She's really very dangerous for the show." He didn’t say on what grounds he will sue O’Donnell but insisted his legal team is already in motion. "Rosie will find out what we're suing her for,” he told the show. "Rosie's been a loser for a long time.” Trump also warned O’Donnell to keep a close eye on her partner Kelli Carpenter. "Rosie is somebody out of control who really just doesn't have it and she ought to be careful because I'll send one of my friends to pick up her girlfriend and I think it would be very easy," he told Access Hollywood.
ouch.

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Angelina Jolie concept of family is balance

Entertainment: Get one black baby, you get another black baby to make sure it fits the decor.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Open border sheriff and commissioner in Minnesota?

Crime: Who is pressuring who or are they both supporters of illegal immigration and not working with the feds on anything related to immigration?

The Ramsey County jail is imposing a moratorium on accepting undocumented immigrant prisoners from the federal government, Sheriff Bob Fletcher said today. The move comes as the Ramsey County Board considers a policy that would potentially prohibit Fletcher and the jail from taking any more prisoners who are undocumented immigrants. The proposal from Commissioner Rafael Ortega comes after recent raids that left hundreds of alleged illegal immigrants confined in Minnesota jails awaiting immigration deportation hearings.
Ortega wants to end the practice of accepting federal detainees seized in raids by immigration officials. Canceling the federal contracts could cost the county about $1.7 million per year, said Fletcher, who supports Ortega's plan. "It's a small statement Commissioner Ortega is making, but probably an important one," Fletcher said Monday. Said Ortega: "I want to open up the discussion. What I'm trying to tell the federal government is that we as a county are not participating in a broken system."
Yep, both illegal alien supporters.

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Swift hiring more white people.

Immigration: I knew it! This was just a plan by the MAN to get more white people into the meat industry to get higher wages and better benefits. Evil.

OMAHA, Neb. -- Fewer Hispanic immigrants are being hired to replace meatpacking workers arrested at Swift & Co. plants in Grand Island, Neb., and Greeley, Colo., during last week's immigration raid, union officials said Tuesday. Local 22 union president Dan Hoppes said Tuesday that 40 to 50 new workers have been hired at the Grand Island plant since the raids. "The lion's share of those people were Caucasian," Hoppes said. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested nearly 1,300 people, most Hispanic, at six Swift & Co. plants in the sweep. Some experts say the raids could lead to a shortage of meatpackers, higher wages, and higher prices for the beef in homes and restaurants. Several union officials said Swift, which has denied knowingly hiring illegal workers and has not been charged, improved its wages, benefits and bonuses before the raids. "They're trying to staff up their plants and they've been raising their wages the past few weeks," said United Food and Commercial Workers spokeswoman Jill Cashen. "To me, it's an example that when you make the job more attractive you get a different kind of applicant."

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Rape epidemic in Norway and Sweden?

Crime: Brussels Journal and GatesofVienna has the details.

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German Opera "Idomeneo" goes off without a hitch.

Culture:The opera looked to have sucked, but that wasn't the main point in having it staged.

BERLIN, Dec. 18 -- Just before the curtain dropped on an otherwise uneventful opera, the grisly scene that everyone came to see finally transpired. The King of Crete pulled the severed head of the prophet Muhammad out of a sack and triumphantly placed it on a wooden chair, next to three decapitated deities. A few loud shouts of "Jawohl!" or "That's right!" erupted from the audience, along with some scattered jeering, as the long-delayed production of Mozart's "Idomeneo" came to a conclusion. Dozens of security men wearing earpieces scanned the crowd for trouble. But much to the relief of the anxious German authorities, no physical violence or terrorist threats were reported. Nor did any organized protests occur outside.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

More Swift immigration fallout: Bleeding Heart edition.

Immigration: Cute Pic to tug the heart, still illegal sorry. You may not be able to deport all illegals, but as I said before you don't have to if you enforce the law. NYTIMES editorial deplores the law being enforced at Swift. In good news, former employees are suing Swift for the hire of illegals.

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DREAM act to reward illegal students in play.

Edumacation: Just because your parents made a bad choice doesn't mean the taxpayer should have to subsidize your education by getting tuition breaks not afford to citizens and legal residents.

A bill known as the DREAM Act would give illegal immigrants a conditional visa that would turn into permanent residency if they complete two years of college or serve honorably for two years in the armed forces. It also would allow them to qualify for in-state college tuition. Cecilia Munoz, vice president for policy at the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights organization, said the DREAM Act — short for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors — is "very, very likely to be on the table" as part of a larger overhaul of the nation's immigration laws. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., a principal sponsor of the legislation in the House, is planning to introduce a new version early next year.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

AP's Israel hating Diaa Hadid glosses over Hamas conditions

World: Amusing throwaway line at the end of this article about the clashes between Hamas and Fatah.

The Hamas government has drawn crushing international sanctions over its militantly anti-Israel stand, but has steadfastly refused to recognize Israel as demanded by the West.
Actually that is just one minor condition, the others being
Hamas is required to recognise Israel, renounce violence and abide by past peace agreements, under the conditions.
Just saying they are under sanctions for refusing to recognize Israel does not tell the whole story which is understandable for Hadid. She already points out she hates Israel and Jews which makes her the perfect unbiased reporter to cover this for the AP.
The intensity of Hadid’s involvement over the last nine months has had a strong impact on her views. When she first arrived in the Middle East, Hadid expressed a desire to make more Israeli friends. Now she has trouble separating the personal from the political. “I can’t look at Israelis anymore. I can’t separate your average Israeli citizen from the occupation, I don’t want to be friends with them, I don’t want to talk to them,” says Hadid.

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Horrors Of The Holocaust on 60 minutes.

Holocaust: Must see segment on 60 minutes tonight.

(CBS) One man holds his fate in his hands: a list of inmates — his name among them, but crossed off — who were sent to a notorious slave labor camp few ever emerged from. Another holds the very card he signed as a teenager upon his entry to a concentration camp. A third sees a form the Nazis created to track the mail he never received in Buchenwald because the rest of his family had already been murdered at Auschwitz. All three Holocaust survivors are viewing for the first time the records the Nazis meticulously kept on them and 17 million other victims of Hitler's Third Reich. Their stories and other revelations from the secret archives previously closed for 60 years are part of correspondent Scott Pelley's report, this Sunday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. ET/PT on 60 Minutes. Seized when Germany fell to the Allies in 1945, the documents were deposited in an archive in the German city of Bad Arolsen and have been tightly controlled for privacy reasons ever since. Sitting on 16 miles of shelving, they number 50 million pages covering 17.5 million victims, not only Jews but also millions of slave laborers, political prisoners, homosexuals and Roma. They reveal the horrible: For 90 minutes on Hitler's birthday, a prisoner was shot every two minutes as a gift to the Führer. They tell the mundane: Lice on prisoners were counted and classified as small, medium and large. They contain a few familiar names, Anne Frank, for one, and a famous list, the one belonging to factory owner Oskar Schindler, who put prisoners' names on his list to save them from death. Both stories were immortalized in literature and film. But the records mainly hold the names of millions of unknown victims, some of whom survived to tell their stories, like Miki Schwartz, Walter Feiden and Jack Rosenthal. 60 Minutes was able to secure a private viewing of the records for these three men before they are made more accessible within a year.
But people like Bari of the Muslim Council of Britain says its not right to remember this because it shows people are more worthy based on their religion.

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UK is the nazi Germany of our time!

UK: I am not surprised that Bari said this and you have to understand why he said it.

Muhammed Abdul Bari accused ministers of stigmatising Britain's Islamic community and fuelling xenophobia. Mr Bari, the head of the Muslim Council of Britain, criticised the Government for "unfairly targeting" Muslims, and said that it was undermining their status as "equal citizens". He warned that blaming extremism on "a small, largely deprived community" leads to a "deterioration of community cohesion and fuels xenophobia". In a presentation to MPs, Mr Bari went so far as to ask: "What is the degree of xenophobia that tipped Germany in the 1930s towards a murderous ethnic and cultural racism?" His comments have drawn criticism from Jewish leaders, angry at what they believe is a "crass" comparison. Jon Benjamin, the chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: "To try to recast modern Britain as equivalent to Nazi Germany is equally offensive and disingenuous, but also dangerous in that it will fuel alienation and anger, particularly at a time when conciliation is vital."
It is the typical hyperbole you expect from groups like the MCB, they still haven't figured out comparing themselves to Jews in Nazi Germany is just a dumb comparison outside of the paranoid few who suck up whatever they push out. But for the first time, Bari is not the one saying it first. On December 10th, the Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain had this to say.
Osama Saeed, Scottish spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain and a former Scottish National party candidate, said the growing number of attacks on Muslims echoed the state-sponsored persecution of Jews in pre-war Germany. Saeed said many middle-class Muslims were considering leaving the country because they feared that they or their families would be attacked because of their religious beliefs. He fears tensions could spill into violent confrontations unless the government tackles souring relations with the Muslim community. “We didn’t get to the situation in world war two out of nowhere,” said Saeed.
Now being cynical, I could point out this is just another angle to water down the holocaust so it is not such a potent issue anymore. You keep saying it enough, it becomes old hat. Look at what Bari says about Holocaust Memorial Day.
He also defended the council's controversial decision to boycott Holocaust Memorial Day. In October, the council was criticised by Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, for that decision. She threatened to withhold the council's funding, about £50,000 a year, if it did not back down. But in his presentation to MPs on the All Party Group on Race and Community last month, which included Labour's Diane Abbott and Harry Cohen, Mr Bari defended the decision. "The MCB would be honoured to participate in such a commemoration provided it gave equal respect to the innocent victims of all genocides around the world. But we cannot accept that some people are more worthy of remembrance than others purely on the basis of their religion."
Problem for him is that the basis of the holocaust was the actions taken by the Nazi regime against Jews, gays, gypsies and anyone else that didn't fit in with the reich view of the world. But he does show that the reason MCB hates the Holocaust day is because its too Jewish for him and others to stomach. Never mind the fact the Memorial does mention recent acts and is used to educate that something like it must never happen to anyone else.

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Dallas Muslim leaders very thin skin about things.

Culture: Interesting recap by Rod Dreher about a meeting the Dallas Morning News editorial board had with Muslim leaders from the area. Basically ended up with the conclusion that the paper should not talk about Islam or Muslims in general.

Trying to get at the heart of the matter, I asked if they thought sharia should be the law of the land in our secular pluralistic democracy. Another round of long-winded answers, amounting to, "It would never happen here." That's not what I'm asking, I said; should it happen here. Someone explained that Muslim community would never be big enough in this country to make that happen. Which is, of course, entirely beside the point, but we moved on. I had my answer. The group complained that the DMN editorial page picked out small faults in the Muslim community locally, and highlighted them. Among their complaints: our editorial criticizing the Dallas Central Mosque for stocking anti-Jewish, anti-Christian hate literature in its library. And the Dallas Central Mosque's teaching the violent, revolutionary, jihad-promoting writing of Sayyid Qutb to its teenagers. Members of the group said Qutb was an "obscure" writer who had some good ideas for improving Islam, but had some fringe ideas.

They tried to portray him as a marginal oddball. Which is b.s. -- Osama bin Laden has cited Qutb as his spiritual godfather, and his work is at the intellectual center of the Muslim Brotherhood. It is no small thing that the largest mosque in Texas is having its teenagers read Qutb's work. One of my colleagues, a reporter who covered the British subway bombings when he was stationed in London, said to the group that he'd visited Islamic bookstores, and discovered Qutb's books and other Islamic extremist literature there on the shelves -- and this was where the subway bombers and radicalized Islamist youth in Britain were getting their ideas. The group rejected the implications of this, with someone even suggesting that it was the West's fault that these youth were becoming radicalized. And so forth. The conclusion I drew from this meeting is that the Muslim community's leaders here will not accept any criticism, no matter how legitimate, considering it to be bigoted. They will not admit to any radicalism going on in their community, and try to minimize it, even as it goes on. They said we were wrong to criticize the DCM's imam for turning up at a "Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary, The Ayatollah Khomeini." Which is just nuts.

It sounds they are taking hints from the MCB.

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Matt Damon is an ignorant whore.

Politics: What is it with leftists who have don't understand the term "volunteer" army.

NEW YORK With talk of President Bush sending more troops to Iraq in the air, the media debate in the coming week will likely be quite intense. One person likely to fan the fires may come as a surprise: actor Matt Damon, who has never had a high political profile. His main point, in a segment of MSNBC's "Hardball" to be aired on Monday -- he is paired with Robert DeNiro before a college audience -- is that is that the president, to share the burden in Iraq, should send his two daughters over there in any escalation. But in saying that, he may also be accused of stepping in the same kind of trouble visited by Sen. John Kerry back in October in his now famous "botched" joke. Damon suggests in the segment that there is a "fighting class" in the U.S. and people join the military "either for financial reasons or --" but he never got to reason number two, which may come back to haunt him. Here is the transcript of that portion of the interview. * I don't think that it's fair as I said before, that it seems like we have a fighting class in our country. That's comprised of people who have to go for either financial reasons or -- I don't think that that is fair. And if you're gonna send people to war, ahh, if, if we all get together and decide we need to go to war, then that needs to be shared by everybody. You know, and if the President has daughters who are of age then maybe they should go too.
1) The old liberal John Kerry/Charles Rangel line that people who go into the military are poor and/or stupid. Heritage Foundation says otherwise as the Philly Inquirer summarizes it. If you think about it Damon advocates forcing people against their will to go into the military and jeers at those who sign up willingly. Bizarro liberal thinking. 2) A conscription force makes for a poorer military force than those who sign up. 3) Why doesn't Damon sign up for military service or the rest of Hollywood to prove they are willing to share the burden? Hell I would take some major Hollywood stars to point out Islamic terrorism instead of ignoring it. 4) Financial reason or....what? Come on, you went this fare showing your ignorance don't stop. 5) Does Damon realize sending leader's children to war only puts whatever unit they are in more danger than before since it now becomes a prized target? I never understood that line because it makes no logical sense.

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Barack Obama and his big ears. no teasing

Politics: Sun Times columnist has it as he was half joking, Rush says he was serious, Hotair says he was kidding.

Obama is very sensitive about his press. After his press conference, he headed toward New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and chided her -- in a kidding way -- for a comment in the 12th of 14 paragraphs in an Oct 21 column. She wrote that Obama's "ears stick out." "I just want to put you on notice," he said. "I was teased relentlessly when I was a kid about my big ears."
This gave Rush a perfect way to slam Obama
OBAMA (off mic): You talked about my ears, and I just want to put you on notice: I'm very sensitive about -- What I told them was, ''I was teased relentlessly when I was a kid about my big ears.'" DOWD (purring): We're trying to toughen you up RUSH: "We're just trying to toughen you up." Here is what Barack Obama said."You talked about my ears, and I just want to put you on notice: I'm very sensitive about -- What at I told them was, 'I was teased relentlessly when I was a kid about my big ears.'" Now, there are many aspects of this, folks, that we need to delve into and explore. For one thing, I mean you know me, if the guy's sensitive about his big ears, we need to give him a new name, like Dumbo. But that doesn't quite get it. How about Barack Obama Hussein Odumbo. Well, if he's sensitive -- stop to think about this. This is a man being lauded as the savior of the country, a presidential candidate ready to be anointed, and he can't handle being teased about his big ears? He goes out to Maureen Dowd and says, I am putting you on notice? Is that a threat? I want to put you on notice?
If he was kidding or not, it was really stupid of him to make a move to Dowd who will back him to the hilt in 2008 if he runs with mindless gushy articles her readers have come to love. I think he wasn't kidding but tried to make it out to be a joke. He could have waited away from the event or passed along disapproval. No matter what it makes him look thin-skinned. If he is that fragile, Hillary and her boys will make him ground chuck by the end of the primary.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Needham High School abandons printing honor roll.

Edumacation: Another touchy feely nonsense move by a principal who thinks he is doing the students a favor.

After criticism from Rush Limbaugh and a jab from Jay Leno, Needham High principal Paul Richards is firing back, defending his decision to stop publishing the high school student honor roll in a local newspaper. "With so much competition these days with print, TV, radio, and the Internet, this issue was easily twisted into a ‘politically-correct move to protect self-esteem,'" Richards wrote Thursday in an e-mail to the Globe. "That would sell much better than an intellectual discussion on student stress." School officials, seeking to lighten the stress load on students in a community from which four youths have committed suicide since 2004, decided last week to end the years-old practice of listing in a local newspaper who made the academic honor roll. Radio talk shows blasted Richards for coddling his students, and Jay Leno made him the butt of a joke in his Tuesday night monologue on "The Tonight Show." Limbaugh chided Richards on Wednesday for caving under parental pressure. "So one parent complained, and the school bent over backwards! They just fell, spine turned to mush," he said on his nationally syndicated radio show. Richards said he never expected that the policy would spark so much attention. "I’m shocked," Richards wrote. "This was simply an FYI to parents, until it was fed to the media by parents who disagreed with this. I had no intention of making a public stand." In light of the backlash, the principal said he hoped the story would spark debate on how schools can reduce stress among teens.
How about looking into the lives of those individual students, it wasn't the honor roll in the paper that drove them to kill themselves. Something in their lives pushed them over the edge, to turn around and not to print the honor roll is a patch on a huge problem. The explanation not to publish the honor roll is his own warped way of coddling the students.
The chief sentiment from those opposed to the decision lies in the portrayal of academic achievement in the media. I agree that too often the focus is on athletics, tragedies, and sensational news stories. Publishing the honor roll can be a counterbalance, albeit a small one, to this bias against non- academic stories and achievement. A supporting rationale for the school’s decision has been the notion that a published honor roll is stressful for students who don’t make it. However, from many conversations we’ve had with students, they appear disinterested in the issue, not caring whether the honor roll is published or not. This perspective is important to consider. I’m writing to explain that neither the opposition nor the proponent’s rationale was the primary intent of my decision. Rather, it had to do with the public nature of academic achievement that is based solely on grades and with the sorting that takes place in schools. I am very thankful to work in a community that values academic achievement. I hold teachers at Needham High School to a high standard and believe quality instruction is the greatest influence on learning. I believe there exists a strong culture centered on learning and achievement at the school. I recognize my responsibility to keep this culture in tact. It is also true, in my opinion, that this high expectations/high achievement culture has a dark side to it. Our stress survey data identifies a sub-culture among students where grades are scrutinized, argued over, compared within groups, and a contributor to a general environment of competition between peers. While any of these behaviors are not extreme when isolated, the cumulative effect can be stress inducing (and not the good kind of stress that helps us all perform, meet deadlines, and grow).
Gee, I know that won't happen in the real world working in a company or in college or in academia pursuits for those that get into that world. If the kids don't care but you go ahead because you see *horror* a culture of competition between the students, he has taken it upon himself to be nanny to try and shield them. Its not like they won't figure out who made the grade or not and contribute to rumors and false stories being made up among them. A stupid move that got called out.

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Al Qaeda leaders now head Somalia's Islamic courts

Africa: It's getting better and better over there.

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Somali Islamists are under the growing control of an al Qaeda cell in East Africa, a U.S. diplomat said on Thursday, as Washington condemned their threat to attack Ethiopian troops backing Somalia's interim government. "The Council of Islamic Courts is now controlled by al Qaeda cell individuals, East Africa al Qaeda cell individuals. The top layer of the court are extremists. They are terrorists," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Frazer told reporters. "They are killing nuns, they have killed children and they are calling for a jihad (holy war)," she added.
And for my macro moment with a CAIR leader saying this.
I respond to the June 20 Dispatch editorial "Out of the frying pan." What has happened in Somalia, for the majority of Somalis inside and those who are abroad, is a positive change. I truly suggest that we should not prejudge this change, or any change for that matter, based on the religious affiliation of those in power.
You have to be a mental midget not to see where this was going for Somalia and its people.

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When will the WWE get its act together.

Entertainment: Good back and forth via Bookerrising on the state of the WWE who linked to Devone Tucker.

Devone Tucker asks: how does one explain the declining popularity of pro wrestling in USA? The black conservative Republican blogger writes: "In the late 1990s it appeared that the so-called 'sports entertainment' industry was an unstoppable financial force. Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Entertainment and Time Warner's World Championship Wrestling grossed millions from pay-per-views, live event ticket sales, and merchandise. The competition between the two companies drove the industry to economic achievements even greater than that experienced during McMahon's early years as head of WWE, during which he promoted Hulk Hogan as his top star.....Mismanagement has defined the WWE for most of this decade. Instead of allowing new stars to shine, many potential box-office draws have been held back by politics. The company has demonstrated an inability to deal with public-relations problems, such as the fallout from the untimely deaths of stars such as Eddie Guerrero. Top stars such as Shawn Michaels and Paul "Triple H" Levesque are being used in pointless storylines, and supposed 'stars of the future' Dave Batista, John Cena and Randy Orton evidently lack the "it factor" that made Hogan, Johnson and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin household names. Can McMahon turn things around?"

My two cents in a barely scratching the surface analysis of the WWE is the problem starts at the top with Vince sticking to his tried and true ways. He is not going to go out on a limb too often, when he does he goes straight over the edge because he has no clue when to say stop.The bigger problems are two people.

Stephanie Mcmahon who has yet to show after all these years she has a clue about leading the creative direction of the company. The other is her hubby Triple H who has undercut over the years every young star to keep himself on top.They need a combination of wrestling experience and creative writing that works within the confines of a wrestling show. Until that point they will just go along making profit till the next big thing falls in their lap.

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Fallout from immigration raid on Swift company.

Immigration: Good going ICE! Remember Swift was part of this story from Cactus, Texas where the mayor basically had his own city-state. Michelle Malkin has the reaction from the raid as Swift employees were under investigation for identity theft and false SS numbers among other criminal charges. Captain Ed also has some thoughts on the raid.

A federal investigation that ended Tuesday in a raid on six meatpacking plants has uncovered criminal groups around the country that steal real birth certificates, Social Security cards and other documents and sell them to illegal workers, federal officials said. One fraud ring mailed dozens of Puerto Rican birth certificates to a Worthington, Minn., man who resold them for as much as $1,000 to illegal workers as part of a set of identity documents. Some of the sets were bought by workers at the meatpacking plants, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spokesman Marc Raimondi said. In its largest workplace raid ever, ICE agents on Tuesday arrested 1,282 workers at Swift & Co. meat-packing plants in Worthington, Minn., Greeley, Colo., Cactus, Texas, Grand Island, Neb., Marshalltown, Iowa and Hyrum, Utah. Workers were from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Laos, Sudan and other countries, Raimondi said. Illegal workers have traditionally forged documents and invented social security numbers, ICE Assistant Secretary Julie Myers said. "The investigation uncovered substantial evidence that hundreds of illegal aliens working at Swift had apparently stolen the identities of U.S. citizens," Myers said. "The illegal aliens had obtained these documents from a variety of document rings and vendors."
Swift whines the system is not good enough.
WASHINGTON — The federal raids on six Swift meatpacking plants point out the difficulty employers have in determining who is or is not a legal worker. Concerns are particularly acute in such industries as construction, agriculture and meatpacking, which depend on a large number of immigrant workers to fill physically taxing or dangerous jobs. "This enforcement, going out and targeting company by company, or sector by sector, is having a real strain on business," says Robert Guenther, senior vice president for United Fresh Produce, a coalition of growers, shippers and retailers. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers temporarily closed Swift operations Tuesday and arrested more than 1,200 people, saying they suspected hundreds of employees had obtained jobs using stolen Social Security numbers or other forms of identification. About 65 now face criminal charges. Swift CEO Sam Rovit, in a statement decrying the raids, noted that his firm was using a federal program under which employee identity documents were checked against a database. It is one of a small number of firms using the system.
The system should be better so companies can't fall on this excuse to say they did not know who was legal or not. Some...question the timing.
"The timing of things happening, they make it more sad -- you know, Christmas coming. It's unbelievable," Gonzalez said.
Greenley Tribune:
In one of the largest federal roundups in the state since the immigration frenzy swept the country, several hundred worried residents protested outside Swift & Co. beef packing plant, angry at officials for their insensitive timing of the raid. "This is an insult to us as Mexicans because today is El Dia de la Vigen de Guadalupe," said Lupe Tapia of Greeley, in reference to Dec. 12, which is celebrated as a religious holiday recognizing the birth of the virgin Mary. "They are acting like (the undocumented workers) are terrorists but they are just coming here to work."
Checking out the Tribune, good coverage of the events from the raid on the plant there. Comments from Colorado lawmakers. We can't have something like this without comparing it to 9/11!
Marsalltown, Ia. --- The mood was somber and agitated among Mexican students who streamed into Marshalltown High School this morning. They remembered Tuesday as clusters of students cried in the halls and in class, hearing that family and friends had been arrested. They more acutely noticed police cars roaming school grounds today. And some wondered aloud if authorities could show up and arrest them. Watching busloads of family and friends being arrested will be a watershed moment in their lives. “When 9/11 came along, everyone remembered it,” said Isis Diaz, 14, and a freshman. “I think everyone will remember this.”
Swift ignorance of not knowing who is legal or not illegal rings false since they fired 400 people at one plant before the raids.
In recent months, ICE agents have arrested members of document rings in Minnesota, Texas, Utah and Puerto Rico. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said federal agents continue to investigate fraud rings tied to Tuesday's arrests. More than 400 former Swift workers thought to be in the USA illegally are missing. In October and November, Swift interviewed 450 employees it suspected were working illegally and found 90% to 95% did not have proper documents, but Swift did not notify ICE, the court documents say. More than 400 workers were fired or failed to show up. "Neither Swift nor ICE knows where those 400 workers are now," U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson wrote in a court ruling on Dec. 7. Agents were tipped to the fraud ring in February while in Marshalltown interviewing workers who had admitted assuming fake identities, Myers said. ICE agents in July reviewed employment eligibility forms for 1,157 workers at the Swift plant in Hyrum. They found 300 people — 26% of the Swift workforce — had suspect identities.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

War on Christmas updates!

Christmas: The trees are back up in Seattle-Tac Airport as the rabbie who started it all is everywhere saying its not his fault. In a Louisville elementary school, one grinch of a teach whined about another teach putting up a Christmas tree with the title Santa's Helper because it offended her precious feelings. The principal is one of these multicult twits.

Brandeis Elementary School in West Louisville is all about multi-culturalism. Principal Shervita West-Jordan says she strives to embrace diversity, and respect all beliefs. So when a Jewish teacher said she was offended by a paper Christmas tree put up outside another teacher's classroom, Principal Jordan asked that it be changed. She, and the teacher who complained, were bothered by the fact that the tree was made up of hands which represented all the students in the class. Over the tree was a caption that read: "Santa's Helpers." "Of course, the children in her class room that were Indian and Muslim probably did not believe in Santa Claus," Jordan explained. They "were not 'Santa's Helpers.'" Jordan said the tree could stay, but the wording had to go. Her advice: "Make it say 'Holiday Helpers' or Winter Helpers,'" Jordan said, "to make it a little more inclusive." Instead, the teacher took the whole display down and replaced it with a note that read: "The Grinch has stolen the bulletin board."
Principal Multicult figured out the obvious.
After the Christmas tree at Brandeis came down, Principal Jordan realized she had a new problem. "If we don't include Christmas, we are not truly being multi-cultural." So she issued an apology to the teacher and asked that the kids' tree be put back up. She even approved the use of the words: "Santa's Helpers," although the teacher went with "Happy Holidays" instead. "We want to teach children that's it's OK for you to believe what you believe and for me to believe what I believe," Jordan said. "And how about let's learn from each other."
I feel so warm and fuzzy now.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Spain has been beaten down into submission.

Spain: The pace seems to have accelerated under socialist rule over the last couple of years.

MADRID (Reuters) - A school in traditionally Catholic Spain has cancelled Christmas celebrations so as not to offend children who are not Christians, ABC newspaper reported on Wednesday. The Hilarion Gimeno school in Zaragoza said teachers had put forward various reasons for not celebrating Christmas, but ABC said the worry was that Muslim children might be upset. The school will not put on a nativity play or hand out presents, but pupils will be free to decorate the halls and sing carols. "We are educators and we want our school programme to advance the personal development of our students as much as possible," the school said.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

William Jefferson wins, I got a headache.

Politics: This is irritating beyond belief.

NEW ORLEANS -- U.S. Rep. William Jefferson easily defeated his fellow Democratic opponent in a runoff election Saturday, despite an ongoing federal bribery investigation. In complete but unofficial returns, Jefferson, Louisiana's first black congressman since Reconstruction, received 57 percent of the vote over state Rep. Karen Carter, who had 43 percent. Carter was unable to capitalize on a scandal that included allegations the FBI found $90,000 in bribe money in Jefferson's freezer.
His presence in Washington could be embarrassing for Democrats, who won control of Congress on a platform of cleaning up corruption. In June, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., led a successful effort to remove Jefferson from the powerful House Ways and Means Committee as the probe unfolded. He was accused of taking bribes from a company seeking lucrative contracts in the Nigerian telecommunications market. He has not been charged with any crime and denies any wrongdoing. The scandal turned the race into a debate largely divided along racial lines, an age-old dynamic in this city that has intensified since Hurricane Katrina displaced large numbers of blacks and upended their demographic and political dominance. Whites, who overwhelmingly voted for Carter in the primary and have been her most enthusiastic financial backers, believed a Jefferson win would confirm this city's image as corrupt and untrustworthy as it asks the nation to fund its recovery from Katrina. City Councilman Oliver Thomas said Jefferson's victory would make the recovery more difficult. "People are watching this election all around the country and I can only imagine what they are thinking," Thomas said. "It will be very difficult to go back to them and ask them to trust us with the money we need here."
Here comes the Marion Barry rationale.
"Race is all too often a factor in campaigns in New Orleans," Ken Carter said. "Here we had a candidate that tried to paint this young African-American woman as a pawn of the white establishment." One white voter, George Christen, a registered independent, cast his ballot in a predominantly white precinct in the Algiers neighborhood, just across the Mississippi River from the French Quarter. "I just didn't want Jefferson in. Period," said Christen, 42. "Jefferson is an embarrassment. He needs to be out." Jefferson did get a vote from Jene Allen, who is black. "He started the job. Let him finish it," said Allen, who wouldn't give her age. "I know Karen Carter would be the first black woman, but I think she played it dirty, too dirty." Jefferson, 59, drew widespread support among blacks who are skeptical of the federal government's motives in its investigation of him. He repeatedly suggested the probe is groundless because he has yet to be indicted more than a year after the FBI raided his home in New Orleans. Carter, 37, raised nearly five times as much money as Jefferson, but she was largely outflanked in the endorsement game. Jefferson picked up the backing of Mayor Ray Nagin and other prominent black politicians.
I guess I was expecting too much from Louisiana of all places to clean up its act but that was too much to ask for at this point. Corruption is Louisiana.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

Tony Blair: Conform or get out

UK: I guess he has hit the home stretch of his political run and wants to get certain things off his chest.

TONY Blair toughened his stance on community integration yesterday, telling Muslims they must "conform" to common British values, or leave. In a London speech that surprised many with its uncompromising tone, the Prime Minister continued to shift the government away from its previous belief in a multicultural society. Previously, Mr Blair has insisted that individuals and faith groups should be largely free to observe their own traditions and cultures. But yesterday, he said he was seeking "the right balance between integration and diversity", adding: "The answer lies in precisely defining our common values and making it clear that we expect all our citizens to conform to them." The Tories praised the speech, but the Muslim Council of Britain said the language he used had been "disappointing".

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Muslim-only pool causes problems

UK: The problem here is that its a public pool, if someone wants to dress a certain way according to their religion or customs, fine. But to force everyone else to dress the same is discriminatory and just stupid.

A council has sparked a row after it shut a swimming pool to hold Muslim-only sessions on a Sunday afternoon. The swimming sessions - which are for men only - are held for two hours every week at a leisure centre in London. Non-Muslims may swim during this time but only if they follow the strict dress code of swimming shorts that hide the navel and extend below the knee. Women are completely banned from attending but have their own special swimming sessions outside opening hours. During their sessions bathers must be covered from head to foot with their swimming costume covering their body from the neck down to the ankle. Last night furious members vowed they would hand in their membership at Thornley Heath leisure centre in Croydon, London. Daniel Foley, 44, said: "I turned up and saw a sign saying it was closing early for Muslim afternoon - I couldn't believe it." Alex Craig, 34, said: "I think it is preposterous that a council should be encouraging this type of segregation over municipal facilities. "It seems the issue here is over modesty. Surely if Muslims want to swim then they should just turn up with their modest swimwear at the same time as everyone else. "To make a special provision for them is just ridiculous and strikes me as imposing an 'Us and them' mentality which is wrong."
The mosque defends the move as a right missing the obvious point that no one says they cannot go swimming, but forcing everyone else to bow their needs is wrong.
A spokesman said: "Muslims are not allowed to show intimate parts of their body. This is non-negotiable. Muslims have as much right to go swimming as anyone else." A spokesman for Croydon Council said: "We are keen to ensure sporting facilities in the borough are accessible to the whole community. "We appreciate that certain religious groups, such as Muslims, have strict rules on segregation for activities including sports, so in response to requests from the local community, we have been running these sessions at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre for the past year, with a women-only session on Saturday evening and a male-only session on Sunday evening. These have been successful and well attended. "Croydon is not unique in offering such sessions to minority communities, many local authorities do the same. We are not giving preference to any one group but simply taking practical steps to create access to all."

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Seattle-Tacoma Airport bans Christmas trees

Christmas: Due to several politically correct liberal complaints.

Holiday Trees Removed From Sea-Tac All Holiday trees at Sea-Tac Airport were removed this morning after several community member complaints. They say the trees don't represent all cultures and religions...The trees will not go up again...the airport policy on decorations will be reviewed after the holidays.
I mean they even named it Holiday trees and it wasn't enough. UPDATE: This story has the details and the radio station got it wrong, it seems one rabbi threaten a lawsuit and the officials overreacted. Even that story is in dispute.
Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky of Chabad Lubavitch organization in the University District threatened a lawsuit after his request for a menorah display at the airport didn't move forward as quickly as he anticipated. Bogomilsky said his organization wants to diversify the airport's display, but removing the trees was not its intention. Chabad Lubavitch provided menorahs for public display in more than 20 locations statewide, including at the Seattle Center. The organization's request is usually met with enthusiasm, Bogomilsky said. "This whole thing is just beyond me -- I'm so appalled and disappointed," he said. "By no means did we want to remove these (trees)." A representative from Chabad Lubavitch started talking with airport officials in October, and a lawyer informed them of a possible lawsuit at least a week ago, Bogomilsky said. But airport officials said the threat of litigation was much more sudden. "It was either, 'put up the menorah,' or they would go to federal court and sue us 18 hours later," Port of Seattle Commission President Pat Davis said. "They wouldn't wait." No matter what happens, Chabad Lubavitch has no intention of filing a lawsuit anymore, Bogomilsky said. Commissioner Bob Edwards said he hopes that after Tuesday's meeting, the trees will go back up along with decorations that represent other holiday celebrations. "It's an international gateway -- why not celebrate other cultures?" he asked. If the trees do stay down, maybe airport officials will consider a different kind of decoration, Edwards joked. "Imagine if we had a blow-up of the Grinch to greet travelers," he said.

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Euro Socialists/ Zapatero want more immigrants.

Immigration: Zappo goes off on his own to bring more headaches to the rest of Europe, while the EU socialists demand more immigration.

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The socialist group in the European Parliament has called for stronger efforts by EU governments to take care of immigrants, just after Spain's centre-left government decided to grant temporary work visas to 4,000 Senegalese people. The socialist plan - with a clear focus on the integration of immigrants rather than on curbing immigration - was launched on the eve of a two-day gathering of member parties of the Party of European Socialists (PES) in Porto on Thursday and Friday (7-8 December). The European centre-left is proposing a "European Charter for the Integration of Migrants" which would commit EU states to language-learning and the "respect for the cultural diversity of both migrants and host communities." Socialist MEPs also want the "recognition, through cultural centres and other public spaces, of the contribution of migrants to the economic development and cultural and social enrichment of host societies." They push for "EU codes of conduct for ethical recruitment" which should lead to sanctions to employers who exploit migrants workers who should gain "full trade union rights." But with social-democratic parties in some member states under pressure to defend western values, the PES plan also says migrants should be informed about "common European values" and a "new European citizenship" should include of "rights and responsibilities." The EU centre left's show of solidarity with migrants comes just after Spain's socialist prime minister Jose Luis Zapatero earlier this week signed a deal with the Senegalese government to grant temporary permits to 4,000 Senegalese workers. "This makes possible the emigration of Senegalese under a legal framework through our Labour Ministry and the job market. Happily, we are in need of labourers," Mr Zapatero said on Tuesday according to AP. The plan appears to form part of broader efforts to regulate the stream of African migrants trying to reach Europe's southern shores, with the European Commission last week proposing a network of job centres in Africa and 'work mobility' packages. Mr Zapatero's move is however likely to raise eyebrows in countries such as France, Austria and the Netherlands which have been criticising Madrid for earlier moves to unilaterally legalise illegal immigrants.
Once they hit EU soil, they are allowed to go legally almost anywhere, the temporary worker ploy is a joke considering Senegal in terms of unemployment and poverty near the top of the list. There is nothing temporary about this in the long run and will only encourage more illegal flight to Europe.

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Howard Dean and the socialist lovefest continues.

World: Howard Dean gets a warm welcome at the European Socialists Convention and demands closer ties to Europe and socialist parties. Dare I say the return of the global test?

OPORTO, Portugal (Reuters) - U.S. Democrats want to rebuild the United States' relationships with the rest of the world and treat allies with respect, party chairman Howard Dean told European socialist leaders on Friday. Many European governments have been angered by Republican President George W. Bush's war in Iraq and what is regarded as his failure to work with allies in international affairs. "It is time for the United States to renew our relationships around the world," Dean said, triggering applause. "It is time we treat our allies with respect and honesty. "The Democratic Party is committed to consensus-building, bilateral and multilateral relationships." The U.S. should start to work with Europe to tackle global warming, defend human rights and adopt a multilateral approach to the conflict in Iraq, Dean said. European leftist leaders, gathered at a conference of the Party of European Socialists, have taken heart from the Democrats' victory in last month's U.S. Congressional elections.
America is once again to be the lapdog of the world. As Thatcher once said "Consensus is the absence of Leadership." In this case Dean and the Democrats would be happen to follow.

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John Conyers vote against resolution condemning Cop-Killer.

Politics: Along with 30 other Democrats. James Taranto brings up the interesting point about Conyers.

Cop Killer's Caucus The House yesterday passed a resolution "condemning the decision of St. Denis, France, to name a street in honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal, the convicted murder [sic] of Philadelphia Police Office Danny Faulkner." The vote was 368-31, with 8 members voting "present." Here's a list of what one might call the Cop-Killer's Caucus, the congressmen who voted against the resolution, all Democrats: Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii) Carolyn Kilpatrick (Mich.) Robert Scott (Va.) William Clay (Mo.) Barbara Lee (Calif.) Jose Serrano (N.Y.) Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.) Cynthia McKinney (Ga.) Fortney Hillman Stark Jr. (Calif.) John Conyers (Mich.) Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) Edolphus Towns (N.Y.) Jim Cooper (Tenn.) Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) Tom Udall (N.M.) Danny Davis (Ill.) James Oberstar (Minn.) Nydia Velazquez (N.Y.) Raul Grijalva (Ariz.) Major Owens (N.Y.) Maxine Waters (Calif.) Maurice Hinchey (N.Y.) Ed Pastor (Ariz.) Anthony Weiner (N.Y.) Mike Honda (Calif.) Donald Payne (N.J.) Lynn Woolsey (Calif.) Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.) Charles Rangel (N.Y.) Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas) Bobby Rush (Ill.) The "present" votes came from Sam Farr (Calif.), Al Green (Texas), Luis Gutierrez (Ill.), Sheila Jackson-Lee (Texas), John Lewis (Ga.), George Miller (Calif.), Janice Schakowsky (Ill.) and Melvin Watt (N.C.). Tellingly, every member of the Pennsylvania delegation who was present voted "yes." The most disturbing name on the "no" list is that of John Conyers. Granted, this is only a symbolic vote, but is it really a good idea to entrust the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee to a man who casts a symbolic vote for a cop-killer and against his victim?

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Update to Muslim gym prayer incident.

Nation: According to frontpage in an update to this story, Wardeh Sultan decided to not only pra in the locker room, but whereever she pleased.

A Muslim woman in Dearborn, Mich., lodged a complaint Tuesday against Fitness USA for an alleged civil rights violation involving a fellow gym patron. According to Jodi Berry, executive director of Fitness USA, Wardeh Sultan was praying in front of another member’s locker when the member wanted access to her belongings inside the locker. The inconvenienced patron tried to interrupt Ms. Sultan, but she remained prostrate in front of the locker and an altercation ensued. A manager was called into the locker room to intervene. Ms. Sultan later complained that the Fitness USA management was unconcerned about the humiliation she suffered when her prayers were interrupted. She stated that the gym personnel were insensitive, rejected her complaints and did not satisfactorily intervene on her behalf. Ms. Sultan further reported that the manager told her, “You have to respect her (the other patron), but she does not have to respect your god.”
I still have a huge problem with her praying in a locker room, but the added detail of being offended when she was in the wrong shows a total lack of class.

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Euro- Socialists love the Democrats congress.

Politics: The last line makes a good anti-dem campaign soundbite.

OPORTO, Portugal (Reuters) - European Socialists promised on Thursday to work to rebuild Europe's strategic alliance with the United States now that the Democrats control Congress after last month's elections. Socialist leaders attending a meeting of the European Socialist Party pledged that with the Democrats on the rise, strong ties could be renewed with the United States after years of cool relations with Republican President George W. Bush. Howard Dean, chairman of the national committee of the U.S. Democratic Party, is attending the two-day conference together with the leaders of leftist governments of several countries and party leaders from across Europe. "We are not anti-American, we want the real America, your America," former Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, president of the European Socialist Party, said in remarks directed at Dean. The Democrats gained control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1994 in the mid-term elections, reshaping the political landscape ahead of the 2008 presidential race. "Europe needs an America that is back on track," said Portuguese Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates, whose country is hosting the meeting. "We need, today more than ever, to reinforce and renew the strategic alliance between the United States and Europe," Socrates said. "We know that a stronger Democratic Party is key for this to happen." Socialists, or centre-left governments, currently hold or share power in just over half of Europe. Many European governments, not just Socialist ones, have above all been angered by Bush's war in Iraq and what has been seen as the U.S. failure to work with allies in international affairs. They expressed hopes after last month's election for a new era of open dialogue on a more equal footing with Washington and the Bush administration during the final two years of his presidency. Socrates said Dean's Democrats "should know that they can count on European Socialists" for support.
One of the many disadvantages of a Dem congress is the mutual sucking between them and the Socialists who stand against everything that makes America a great country.

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