Earth

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spanish Police Use Excessive Force on a Peaceful Demonstration

This week in Spain, a group of protesters staged a sit-in to show their disapproval with the high unemployment rate and the corrupted political party system.  Watch this clip and see if you can spot a protester posing a threat enough that it would warrant the police, in full riot gear, to start swinging their batons at the protesters.



Felipe Puig, the regional Interior Ministry said the area needed to be cleaned by the sanitation workers in preparation for the possible celebration after the UEFA Champions League Match Saturday.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Leaked Britney Spears Video

I know this is a little step away from the usual content of this blog, but it's worth taking a look.
Courtesy bite.ca

Britney Spears on Jackass 3D Deleted Scene <--Click Here

Alabama State Rep Switches Party

On Thursday it was reported in the Tuscaloosa News that state Representative Daniel Boman has changed his party allegiance, becoming a Democrat.  In an almost unprecedented move, Boman changes parties during his first term, only about 6 months after being elected as a Republican. 
Courtesy legislature.state.al.us
Bowman said the reason he switched was because of Sunday's vote on a bill to change the state's tenure and fair dismissal laws for educators. 
Courtesy irregulartimes.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

Outraged By Cuts, Superintendent Asks Gov. Snyder To Convert Schools Into Prisons To Get More Funding

The following text was taken directly from thinkprogress.org.  I thought this was such a great article I wanted to get it up and able to read asap.


The conservative governors who were elected across the country last November have championed huge cuts to public education spending while resisting efforts to raise revenues from the wealthiest among us. In Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder (R) proposed cutting millions of dollars from the public education budget, and this week the GOP-controlled state senate passed a “contentious K-12 budget that cuts $470 per student from school districts.”
Outraged by these cuts, Nathan Bootz, the superintendent of Ithaca Public Schools, wrote a letter to the editor in a local paper proposing an idea that could come out of a Jonathan Swift novel: if Snyder intends on draining funding from public schools, maybe Bootz should convert the schools in his district into prisons to get funding.
Noting that Michigan spends “between $30,000 and $40,000″ on each prisoner but can barely provide $7,000 per public school student, Bootz says that maybe we need to start treating “our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding“:
In these tough economic times, schools are hurting. And yes, everyone in Michigan is hurting right now financially, but why aren’t we protecting schools? Schools are the one place on Earth that people look to to “fix” what is wrong with society by educating our youth and preparing them to take on the issues that society has created. [...]
This is why I’m proposing to make my school a prison. The State of Michigan spends annually somewhere between $30,000 and $40,000 per prisoner, yet we are struggling to provide schools with $7,000 per student. I guess we need to treat our students like they are prisoners, with equal funding. Please give my students three meals a day. Please give my children access to free health care. Please provide my school district Internet access and computers. Please put books in my library. Please give my students a weight room so we can be big and strong. We provide all of these things to prisoners because they have constitutional rights. What about the rights of youth, our future?!
At the end of his letter, Bootz strikes a more serious note, writing that we need to give “our schools the resources necessary to keep our students OUT of prison.” According to statistics from city-data.com, his city, Ithaca, Michigan, has a higher poverty rate than the state average, and much of that poverty is concentrated in children under five years of age and teenagers.

Technically, The USA Should Be Out of Lybia Right Now

Courtesy tarkus-magikmac.blogspot.com

Friday marked the 60th day of US involvement in the conflict in Libya.  During the first week of this conflict, President Obama said "it will be a matter of days", in regard to the length of time the US will be involved.  Friday marks the 60th day of US involvement, and that is an important number, because as specifically laid out in the United States Constitution, in the War Powers Resolution, which was passed into law on November 7, 1973, if a conflict is ongoing for more than 60 days without the approval of Congress, it must cease at the 60th day. 

Courtesy 123rf.com

Here is a little history about the War Powers Resolution.  It was in response to the huge opposition of the American people to the Vietnam War.  It is to prevent a sitting president from having too much authority to declare war.  It was passed by the House on July 18, 1973, and by the Senate on July 20 of that same year.  When it got to President Richard Nixon's desk, he vetoed it on October 24, 1973, but was then overridden by the House and Senate on November 7th. 

For those of you who watch any cable news as much as I do, you've probably noticed that there is little, if any talk about this conflict coming to an end.  It is expressly stated in the Constitution of this United States of America that any involvement of the US must cease at the 60th day.  The President says this doesn't apply, because the power was handed over to the UN.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wisconsin Judge Reverses Anti-Collective Bargaining Law



Courtesy the centristworld
Earlier this year in Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker drew national attention when he tried to deny the public sector unions (teachers, state employees) from having the right to collectively bargain.  Thousands of people a day would visit the capital building in Madison, many of whom were not even in the unions that were in question.  Walker said the law needed to be passed because the state was in such dire financial times.  Even with the unions all agreeing to all fiscal concessions, Walker demanded that he wanted to remove the collective bargaining element from the unions.  This is when the state Democrats fled to Illinois to prevent a vote from being cast on the bill.  Through a series of loopholes, Walker had the bill passed and signed it into legislation in March.

Courtesy AP

Move ahead to this week.  Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi has ruled the law to be illegal, citing the lack of the Republican legislators 24-hour notice when bringing up the bill in the statehouse.  The judge said the state's open meetings law was violated.  In her 33 page decision, she stated “The court must consider the potential damage to public trust and confidence in government if the Legislature is not held to the same rules of transparency that it has created for other governmental bodies.  Our form of government depends on citizens' trust and confidence in the process by which our elected officials make laws, at all levels of government."  The state's Supreme Court has scheduled meetings for June 6 to decide if it too will take on the same suit against the law. 

Congratulations Wisconsin workers, you won!

Courtesy zazle.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Liberal Radio Host Suspended By MSNBC

Courtesy Mediaite.com
Liberal talk show host Ed Schultz was suspended today by MSNBC, for calling right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham a "right wing slut" and then a "talk slut".  The comments were made on Schultz's radio show, not affiliated with MSNBC.  In a meeting between Schultz and MSNBC execs, MSNBC took the offer to have Schultz take one week of unpaid leave for his remarks.  Ed will address this all on his show tonight and then his suspension will begin immediately thereafter.  Here is the clip:

Mitt Romney Flip Flops on the Auto Bailout

Remember in 2008 when President Obama gave the auto industry in Detroit several millions of dollars in an effort to prevent them from going out of business?  At that time, almost along party lines, Republicans said that the bailout would do nothing to save the auto-makers.  Some even went as far as to say that Detroit should be left to go into bankruptcy.  One of those Republicans was Mitt Romney.  At that time, Romney was going on every news outlet he could find to voice his disapproval with the administrations plan to bail out the Big 3 (GM, Chrysler and Ford).

After only about 3 years later, the auto industry is booming, showing profits and even paying back in full what they had received in bail-out money.  Earlier this week, Chrysler paid back almost in full, the $7.5 billion dollar loan the government had given them.  General Motors announced the creation of 2,500 jobs in Detroit alone, and Ford's stock has been on the upswing since 2009, as seen here:
Courtesy Yahoo! Finance
 Romney was so sure that the bailout wouldn't work, he wrote an op/ed in a newspaper, titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt", in which he said "you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.  It won't go overnight, but it's demise will be virtually guaranteed."

Courtesy Google Images

Yesterday Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney's spokesman said, Mitt Romney had the idea first.  You have to acknowledge that.  He was advocating for a course of action that eventually the Obama administration adopted."  The bailout is definitely working, it's creating jobs, it saved jobs, and prevented one of the biggest sectors in America from going broke.  It's like these people who are either in the news, or are the news themselves, don't remember that almost everything is on record nowadays. 


UPDATE

Ford was never bailed out by the government.  In fact, they were quite proud to not have taken any money.  My apologies for the misinformation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

TEA Party Prohibits Press From Covering Event In Michigan

Continuing the ongoing trend, an event in Grand Rapids, Michigan had hundreds of people show up voicing disapproval with the Paul Ryan GOP budget.  The new budget proposal would effectively end Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher program.  This particular event was at Calvin College in Grand Rapids.  The event was publicized as a town hall meeting, but when many seniors arrived, they were turned away at the door, the organizers claiming the event was a private meeting. 

In the last week, the GOP has been prohibiting press from covering the events, in hopes the public backlash wouldn't be captured on video camera, and later shown to the rest of the world.  These signs have been posted on the doors of some TEA party meetings recently:
Courtesy thinkprogress.org



The video clip to the left shows the security a the event talking to the press.  The officer said he was called because of reports of objects being thrown at the organizers.  The officers were called back after the event, for reports of the press causing security issues.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Video Shows Cops Slamming Handicapped Man To The Ground

This video may be found offensive to some viewers.  The video posted on youtube shows an African American male being removed from his electric wheelchair, and thrown to the ground by two police officers.  The policemen say the man was drinking in public, a petty crime I'm sure doesn't warrant the type of reaction that was shown in this clip.  The It isn't known where this video was taken. 

Listen in the video for the officers saying "Move along."  This happened on a public street, and the videographer wasn't impeding the police in any way.  Then near the end of the clip, the cops start trying to prohibit the cameraman from recording, getting between the man on the ground, and the forming crowd.

Mitch Daniels Won't Run In 2012

Courtesy Realclearpolitics.com
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R) is the latest to take his name out of the list of presidential hopefuls looking for the Republican nomination in 2012. Following the withdrawal of Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. 

With many of the major names already out of the race, and some that haven't even announced their candidacy, it leaves one of the weakest groups of presidential hopefuls.  Tim Pawlenty (R), the former governor of Minnesota, Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-Minnesota) and former governor of Alaska Sarah Palin are some noteworthy names, but only Pawlenty has officially put his name in the ring.  After the first official debate among Republican presidential nominees, Pawlenty came in third out of 5 who debated, according to a Foxnews poll.  Rush Limbaugh is another vying for the nomination, but after a disastrous first week of his campaign, it is hard imagining him getting the nod.

So remember, on Tuesday November 6th, 2012, vote for whoever you think would lead this country in the direction you'd like to see it go.  Do your part and vote!
 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Help Stop Animal Cruelty In US Laboratories

In an effort to help prevent chimpanzees from being subjected to miserable lives in the cages of a laboratory, I ask you to support the passage of The Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (H.R. 1513/S. 810).  This act will put a permanent end to the torture that chimps, and all other apes are put through in the name of science, when in fact we know that chimps are out closest living genetic relatives, and lead rich emotional lives.  Chimpanzees are social, intelligent creatures that have shown incredible memory, and compassion for their friends and families. 


The "life" lead by chimps in the labs' often undersized cages leaves lifelong emotional scars.  Psychological disorders can be experienced, causing depression leading to self-mutilation.  Chimps are used as models and often injected with AIDS, hepatitis, cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, leprosy, heart disease, and other human health problems, which they would never encounter in their natural habitat.  The United States is the only industrialized nation still carrying out these cruel and disgusting experiments on the chimps.  Passage of HR 1513 would allow chimps to lead fruitful lives, and even send 500 captive chimps to sanctuaries throughout the US.








Friday, May 20, 2011

Tennessee Bill Infringes On Freedom of Speech In Schools

Today, news came out that in Tennessee, a piece of legislation was drawn up by the state's Senate committee, which would prohibit teachers in public schools from saying the word "gay".  It goes as far as to make illegal teachers from talking with students about any sexual orientation other than heterosexuality.  It seems as though the state legislators feel that if people are not allowed to say the word "gay", it will somehow make gay people go away.  Are people in Tennessee really so scared of homosexuals that they think it would be okay to make a law preventing even the utterance of a word related to homosexuality?
Courtesy twimg.com
Homosexual celebrity George Takei, of Star Trek fame, came out in support of the LGBT community in Tennessee.  He's poking fun at the bill, by starting the "It's OK To Be Takei" campaign.  There are shirts, coffee mugs and even mouse pads available for purchase.  All proceeds go to charity, and can be purchased here: www.itsoktobetakei.com

Courtesy zcache.com
Don't let the homophobic law makers in Tennessee get away with this blatant infringements on our First Amendment rights. 







Watch the whole video of George Takei talking about this cause.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Guns and Alcohol Apparently DO Go Together

This week in the state of Ohio, the Republican-led House of Representatives approved a bill that would allow Ohioans with concealed-carry permits to carry guns into bars, restaurants, and open-air arenas, such as a sports stadium.  One of the supporters of the legislation, Republican Representative Danny Bubp, said it was necessary for the bill to be passed, so law abiding citizens would be on equal footing with criminals.  Bubp added, "you can't always count on law enforcement to be there to protect you.  You have to be able to protect yourself." 
Courtesy thinkprogress

It should be known that the bill also stipulates that persons carrying the weapons are not allowed to drink, and that the owners of the establishment are allowed to post signs disallowing guns at their particular business.  The first question that popped into my head was 'is the guns are concealed, how would a bar owner/bartender know if the person is carrying a gun when drinking?'

Thinkprogress.org reported that the Columbus City Council yesterday unanimously passed a resolution calling for Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) to veto the bill.  Virginia, Georgia, Arizona, and Tennessee already allow patrons to bring guns into places serving alcohol.  In a poll conducted by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a bipartisan group, it was found that 80% of Ohioans and even 77% of gun owners oppose the proposal to allow guns and alcohol to mix. 
Courtesy Originalprop.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trump and Huckabee Decide This Week Not To Run For President

It must have been quite an easy decision, really. For both Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump, who both made announcements this week that they would not be running in the upcoming presidential election, they had to choose between maintaining their on-air personalities, or form the necessary committes to begin their election campaigns.
Courtesy maximumbio.com
Courtesy technorati.com
Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, used the last 10 minutes of his Sunday show on Foxnews to take his name off of the list of presidential hopefuls.  It was rumored that word came from the top that Huckabee needed to make a decision soon about his choice, due to Federal Election Commission's rule about equal time for all candidates on the air.  Huckabee is paid about $500,000 per year by Foxnews, even though his show has been struggling for ratings as of late.  Huckabee also has business interests in writing books, and online "history" lessons for kids.

For The Donald, he announced that he was not running for president either, even though he said "if I ran, I'd win."  The day after Trump announced he would not be running, NBC said in a press release that it had renewed the contract to keep Trump on The Apprentice.  Trump will now make approximately $3 million per episode.

Knowing that the President of the United States is paid roughly $400,000 annually for his services, was it ever really in question if either of these gentlemen would run for office?  Both men are paid huge sums of money to appear on television.

Courtesy thebestlittleloans.com

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Is "An Eye For An Eye" Really The Right Thing To Do?

After a day of work, an Iranian woman, Ameneh Bahrami came home to a man with whom she decided she did not want to marry.  That man, Majid Movahedi, then took sulfuric acid and poured it on the face of the woman who just turned down his hand in marriage.  This is what she looked like prior to the attack in 2004.
Courtesy picsaweb
After Majid Movahedi threw acid on her face, and after several unsuccessful operation trying to restructure her face, she now looks like this.
Courtesy virginiahaussegger.com.au
According to Sharia law, which has jurisdiction over this case, since it occurred in Iran, the "eye for an eye" principle can be put into effect.  Meaning simply, she (Bahrami) can do exactly to him (Movahedi) what he did to her.  This is the ruling the court made.  Bahrami's lawyer said Saturday that she would drop acid in both eyes, after he is rendered unconscious at a hospital in Tehran, Iran, the Guardian reports. 

Iranian officials even support the decision of the court, in an effort to curb the increase in acid attacks.  Human rights groups from all over the world, and even the British government have asked that Bahrami pardon her attacker, but she has refused.  "They are pressuring me to pardon him", she said, "but I won't do that".

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Armed Services Committee Approves Largest Military Budget Ever

Late Tuesday night, the Republican controlled House Armed Services Committee approved a budget for the military for next year for a total of around $700 billion.  The biggest military budget in the history of the US, a large part of that budget was to fund a extra engine for the F-35 fighter jet. 


Courtesy Wikipedia
The main contractors of the engine project are Rolls Royce and GE, who gave over $200,000 to members of the committee during their respective election campaigns.  Even the Republicans that are claiming to be "fiscal conservatives", like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) are in favor of this project, since it is lining his own pockets.  The Pentagon has gone on record to say that the engine is unnecessary, and that they don't feel it is something that should be included in the budget.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said “Every dollar additional to the budget that we have to put into the F-35 is a dollar taken from something else that the troops may need", and advised President Obama to veto any budget that includes funding for this unnecessary project. 

In this time of fiscal responsibility, shouldn't we consider tightening the belt of all programs?  Or at least the one's that are deemed not necessary by tho who are in charge of running the program itself? 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Star Rapper Common, Michelle Obama, The Latest Targets of Foxnews

Courtesy PETA
This past Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama hosted a poetry reading at the White House.  The guest list included Aimee Mann, Rita Dove, Steve Martin, and Chicago-based hip-hop star, Common.  Common was most likely asked to perform because he, like the Obamas, is from Chicago, and even attended the same church as the First Family. 

But before he even spoke a word, those at Foxnews blasted Common for his violent lyrics, his vulgar language, and his hatred of police.  But Common is, and never was any of this.  He is known as the "Conscious Rapper", and uses his words to promote peace, and to build a stronger community. 
Courtesy GAP
Foxnews regular Karl Rove labeled Common a "thug".  Common is the guy who has done GAP ads, who is a vegetarian who supports PETA, and has appeared on Sesame Street with Elmo.
Courtesy hellobeautiful.com
If those who say that Common is a violence advocate would just read his whole song, instead of a single line or part, they would easily conclude that he is a pro-peace, pro-community advocate.
Comments welcome...

Monday, May 9, 2011

More People Equals More Taxes Collected, Right?

In the never-ending debate between Republicans and Democrats in today's society, one of the most highly contested topics is immigration.  The conservative base wants to crack down on the people that are living in the US that got here illegally, and the progressives want to create some form of amnesty for those here, and then reform the system so that they can continue to immigrate here from abroad, (even though is almost exclusively regarding Mexico.

At the same time, there is a debate raging in Washington about how to quell the debt crisis the US is facing, the largest it has ever been.  Republicans want to cut programs they deem unnecessary, while many Dems think that ending the tax breaks for prospering corporations and individuals would reduce the debt gap over the next decade.

There are between 7M and 20M illegal immigrants living in the US today.  At the same time, the US allows more legal immigration than all other countries of the world combined, with the largest influx of people coming from Mexico and the Philippines
Photo Courtesy Wikimedia
Here is a simple way to fix this situation, and make it appealing to both sides of the political aisle.  If the illegal immigrants that are already living here are allowed to stay, that creates between 7 and 20 million more people paying taxes.  Taxes on income, purchases, etc.  Don't misunderstand me, I'm not a fan of opening the flood gates, which reminds me of the opening scene from the move Scarface, but I am in favor of creating a system, or overhauling the system that is currently in place, to allow people to immigrate to the US.  Think of this; how bad must it be where they are coming from, that it makes them want to leave their family, their job, everything they've ever known, to come to a foreign country, where they don't know the language or culture to take a chance that it is better?  I don't think many Americans can even comprehend this idea, that it is so bad in their homeland, that they are willing to give up everything, everything they have ever known, to come to America, to work on a farm, or in a factory to support their families.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Will Prices at the Pump Decline With the Fall in the Price of Crude?

The price of gas at the pump has risen lately.  In fact, it has skyrocketed in the last year or so. To some extent, this is reasonable and to be expected.  The world economies have strengthened considerably over that same period of time.  This growth has been been evidenced by the increased demand in crude oil, a source of energy that powers many aspects of the global economy.  That natural demand, coupled with the rapid decline in the value of the US dollar due to the easy money policies of the US Federal Reserve, lead us to the high price of crude oil which is where we now stand.  So, although it hurts every time we all fill up our gas tanks, at least it makes some sense as to why the gas prices have shot up. 
Photo Courtesy incrediblemiracles.com
However, over the last week, the price of crude oil has plummeted, from $114.83 to $94.63.  That's a decrease of 17.59%.  So, if the price of gas at the pump really is so closely linked to the price of crude oil as so many fraudulent gas station owners have led people to believe, we would assume that the price of gas should drop that same 17 or 18%, right?  That would mean that the national average of about $4/gallon would drop to $3.29 in the coming days, if what we're being told is really true.  If you think that's going to happen, at least at the same pace that the price of gas gone up, you're only kidding yourself.
Photo By Gasbuddy.com
The state attorneys general are supposed to be the authority regulating this type of issue.  But, as any average American would tell you, somebody is evidently not doing their job.  If we want the US economy to continue to grow and stay on track from the depths of the recession, price gouging the cost of a product that nearly everyone uses on a daily basis could be extremely detrimental.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Maryland Men's Basketball Coach Gary Williams To Retire

Photo Courtesy of CBS Sports
The men's head basketball coach at the University of Maryland, Gary Williams, decided to retire from coaching today, as reported first by Fox Sports.  Williams was the head coach of Maryland from 1989 until today, when he ended his tenure at his Alma matre.  He also was the head coach at Ohio State, Boston College, and American University. 

Williams never coached any superstars at Maryland, but with players such as Joe Smith and Steve Francis, he always put together respectable teams.  He won the ACC tournament once, went to the Final Four twice, in '01 and '02, and beat the Indiana Hoosiers to win his one national championship in 2002. 

Playing 3rd fiddle for much of his career to Dean Smith at North Carolina, and Mike Krzyzewski, in the ultra competitive ACC, Williams gained respect from everyone around him, including the media.

Tuesday, the star player at Maryland, Jordan Williams, the teams center, declared he had hired an agent, and intended to stay in the NBA draft, the 22 year head coach of the Maryland Terrapins, Gary Williams, announced his retirement

Why Are Glenn Beck & Rush Limbaugh Such Sore Losers?

The day after President Barack Obama gave his speech about the death of Osama Bin Laden, there was a poll conducted, the results of which showed that Obama's approval ratings had jumped 9 points since the day before.  Not that I am a believer that approval numbers mean much, but that's what the poll showed.

Later that day, on his show on Foxnews, host Glenn Beck said "even a shoe would have seen his approval ratings increase as a result of killing Bin Laden."
Photo Courtesy of Hollywood Reporter
George W. Bush had 8 years to find Bin Laden, and honestly never really came very close to doing so.  But Beck says that anyone could have found him.  Later in the same day, conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh said that it was because of former President Bush that Obama was even able to track down and kill Bin Laden.  Limbaugh said that it was the tactics used to interrogate the prime suspects that lead to the Seal Team 6 finding the house in Abbottabad, Pakistan, inferring that the interrogation tactics, which have been considered torture, were just in getting the information needed.
Photo Courtesy of Contact Media
Why, instead of turning this immediately into a partisan political opportunity, doesn't the conservative media congratulate the president on finding the world's most wanted man for the last 10 years?  Please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Obama Says He Won't Release the Bin Laden Photos

Today President Barack Obama said he would not allow the release of the photos of the deceased Osama Bin Laden.  In a statement today, Obama said in an interview on CBS's 60 Minutes "It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. That's not who we are. We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies."
Photo Courtesy of barackobamabiography.org
This will undoubtedly lead to speculation by some that Osama Bin Laden was actually not killed.  Some on the right, including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are already saying that the whole story about the Navy SEALs 6 is a hoax.  That without a picture as proff of his death, Bin Laden could likely still be alive.  But is it really necessary to show the gruesome pictures of a man shot in the face?

"We don't need to spike the football. And I think that, given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk," Obama said in the interview.  Why should the US do anything that could possibly create more of a martyr-type figure of Bin Laden? 

Remember when George W. Bush claimed "Mission Accomplished" aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln? 
Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Even though he hadn't claimed capture of Bin Laden, many people thought that the war on terror was over.  Or how about when that same Bush claimed there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.  Without evidence from the UN weapons inspectors, Bush declared that statement as fact, and proceeded accordingly.

There is no need to show the picture of a man shot in the head.  We (the US government) knows he is dead.  Al Qaeda knows he is dead.  Now the focus can be more set on fixing what is wrong at home. 

Comments encouraged.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Osama Bin Laden Capture Video

Photo Courtest ABC News
Below is a picture taken in the Situation Room of the White House.  You'll see seated are the Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.  Standing Behind President Obama is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen. 

What is presumed they are watching is the live audio and video feed of the attack on the Bin Laden compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  One, if not all of the SEALs was equipped with the audio/video technology that allowed the view of the whole operation from half way around the world.

Now it is just a matter of time before this video somehow gets into the hands of the world media.

Photo Courtesy of The Maddow Blog

Monday, May 2, 2011

What is the US Government Telling Us?

When the news of Osama Bin Laden's death broke late last night, I had the feeling, along with the rest of the country, of some sort of closure.  Not that the war on terror is over, not that Americans should be content, but a feeling of happiness for the families of those who were lost on September 11, 2001. 

Later it was revealed that Bin Laden was at a huge estate, a compound with reinforced walls, barbed wire and fewer than normal windows for security purposes.  This came after years of hearing that Bin Laden was definitely hiding in the mountainous region of the Afghanistan/Pakistan border.  All along the intelligence community was saying that Bin Laden was hard to track because of his suspected remote location and lack of use of electronic devices that give off a location. 

If the military knew where Bin Laden was holed up, is it good that they didn't make that news public?  Is it acceptable that not even the Pakistani government knew what was going on in Abbottabad that night?  Considering for the past 10 years, the Pakistani government said they were equally intent on searching for and finding Bin Laden, hearing the news that Bin Laden's compound was 2.5 km from the city center and 1.3 km from a military training center, it doesn't sound like the Pakistanis were being too vigilant in their searches. 

 
On one hand it is probably good that the US conducts secret missions throughout the world, this most recent case being a proponent of this side of the argument.  On the other hand, the US has their secret prisons in some countries, where prisoners are taken without anyone's knowledge.  This is where the worst of the worst are taken, to get them out of their comfort zone, without bringing them to US soil. 

With good comes bad.  Every coin has two sides.  Since the US has basically been given the role of "World Police" by default, the good seems to be outweighing the bad, in terms of secrets of the military.