January 24th, 2011

looming from behind. ♥ utada hikaru

The Shawna Forde trial: Will the mainstream media bother to notice?


The Shawna Forde trial: Will the mainstream media bother to notice?
By David Neiwert

There's another infamous shooting of a nine-year-old girl that is making headlines this week in Tucson. This time, we wonder if the rest of the media will bother to cover it.

The little girl's name was Brisenia Flores. She lived near the border with her parents and sister outside the town of Arivaca, Arizona. On May 30 of 2009, a woman named Shawna Forde, who led an offshoot unit of Minutemen who ran armed border patrols. for patriotic "fun". Forde's gang had decided to go "operational," which meant they concocted a scheme to raid drug smugglers and take their money and drugs and use it to finance a border race war and "start a revolution against the government". They targeted the Flores home, which had neither money nor drugs, based on dubious information. They convinced Flores to let them in by claiming to be law-enforcement officers seeking fugitives, then shot him point-blank in the head when he questioned them and wounded his wife, Gina Gonzalez. And then, while she pleaded for her life, they shot Brisenia in cold blood in the head. (Her sister, fortunately, was sleeping over at a friend's.)

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it seriously breaks my heart that this happened two years ago without so much as a blip from cnn, abc, etc. also, apparently, that monster shawna forde, has some supporters and protesters. apparently, they're upset that she's being treated unfairly in jail rather than recalling that she, you know, orchestrated the murders of a little girl and her father.

just like with the tuscon shootings, this will not stop me from going on with my daily life. these monsters will never, ever win.

also, mods, this is my first post... i'm not quite sure how the tag system works but i apologize for my stupidity.
Da Good Book

Hipster Faith

To remain relevant, many evangelical pastors are following the lead of hipster trendsetters. So what happens when 'cool' meets Christ?

Here's a riddle: A young man walks into a building. From the outside, it looks like a nondescript, run-down, abandoned warehouse. Inside he finds mood lighting, music with throbbing bass, and young people wearing skinny jeans and superfluous scarves. A bar off to the side offers drinks of some sort, and a frenetically lit stage is shrouded in fog. Jumbo screens display what appear to be music videos. Everywhere people text on their iPhones.

A young woman with a nose ring and a vaguely Middle Eastern tattoo comes up andintroduces herself. She makes awkward (but refreshingly earnest) small talk about her passion for community gardens and food co-ops. She asks him if he has heard Arcade Fire's new album, and compliments him on his bushy beard and lumberjack look. Beards like that are cool, she says. Eventually she asks him for his contact information.

Question: Is the man in a bar? Or is he in a church?

It could go either way.

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The rest of the article at Christianity Today
Shaun of the dismayed

The extraordinary life and death of David Burgess



Last October, detectives were called to investigate the death of a woman under a London tube train. But as they traced her final moments, they discovered that she was, in fact, David Burgess, one of the most brilliant immigration lawyers of his generation. Here, Burgess's family and friends tell, for the first time, the complicated story of the loving father, brilliant colleague, sensitive woman and courageous person they knew

On an autumn evening last October, a slight, pretty woman with a mass of curly hair fell underneath a tube train during rush hour at King's Cross underground station. The driver of the eastbound Piccadilly Line train applied the brakes as soon as he saw the woman lose her balance, but a whole carriage passed along the platform before the vehicle shuddered to a halt. It was shortly after 6.30pm on 25 October when the British Transport Police started trying to recover the body, a gruesome task that lasted late into the night.

The line was closed, the platform cleared. London's Underground network was severely disrupted as commuters struggled to make their way home. And yet, in the sprawling urban mass of the capital, many of those passengers – crushed against each other in scarves and coats, clutching their copies of the Evening Standard and adjusting their iPods – probably reflected that, depressing though it might be, a person throwing themselves in front of a tube train was not particularly out of the ordinary.

But all was not as it seemed. The ensuing media coverage revealed that the police suspected that the woman had not fallen but had been pushed by her 34-year-old female companion, who was later charged with murder. It then turned out that the woman who died, 63-year-old Sonia Burgess, was living a double life. Once the police had established her identity (from her railcard), it was discovered that Sonia was biologically a man – a man named David Burgess, one of the finest immigration lawyers of his generation, a man responsible for a succession of trailblazing judgments in the House of Lords and the European Court of Human Rights.

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The rest of the article at The Guardian
LOL

PUTTING THE ONTD BACK IN ONTD_POLITICAL IIIIIIIS...

Rep. Duncan “keep transgenders and hermaphrodites out of the military” Hunter, Jr. (R-CA) allegedly accepted bribes during his campaign, faked his resume, and is funded by the porn, alcohol, and defense industries, according to Joe Ryan, an Independent watchdog and former Congressional candidate, who has apparently made it his mission in life to uncover the misdeeds of Hunter and his “corrupt” and “dynastic” family.

Ryan’s website is a scathing indictment of Hunter, implying that his powerful family and friends rigged the 2010 election to assure the young and inexperienced junior Hunter won his father’s old Congressional seat.

Hunter recently introduced a measure in the House to thwart the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. The measure would require four military service chiefs from the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corp to sign off on repealing the policy before it can be officially eliminated. The measure was introduced last Tuesday, and so far has the support of only 15 Republicans. The DADT repeal was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Obama in December 2010.

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Source.

(OP NOTE: Source was deleted after I posted, it seems. O_o Alternate info here, though.)
king rad

OOPS

Andy Gray and Richard Keys suspended from Bolton v Chelsea match as backlash escalates over Sky duo's sexist rant



Sky Sports have suspended Andy Gray and Richard Keys have been suspended from tonight's Bolton v Chelsea clash as the furore surrounding their sexist comments escalates.

Presenter David Jones and analyst Jamie Redknapp are expected to stand at the Reebok Stadium for the Monday Night Football regulars.

Sky are attempting to take the heat out of the controversy that has raged since their shocking comments about assistant referee Sian Massey before the Wolves v Liverpool match.

Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis confirmed in a statement: 'I have spoken directly to both Richard Keys and Andy Gray this morning.

'It has been made clear to each of them that their comments were totally unacceptable.

'Those views are inexcusable, entirely inconsistent with our ethos as a business and employer, and will rightly offend many of our customers, our people, and the wider public.

'They are inexcusable from anyone at Sky, regardless of their role or seniority.

'We have dealt with this matter by taking immediate disciplinary action. As with any employee it would not be right to go into detail on those proceedings.

'However, they have been clearly warned about their behaviour and reminded of their responsibilities.

'In addition, Richard and Andy will not be involved in any way with tonight’s live Monday Night Football.'

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source has green innit

It's only for today's Chelsea game but it's still somewhat of a statement. Then again, missing Chelsea wouldn't be that big of a blow to me...
SAY

Ethnic slur inventor/Sheriff Woody lookalike to run for Senate again, LULZ predicted

George Allen to announce 2012 Senate bid
Republican George Allen is expected to make his Senate plans official in a video to be e-mailed Monday to longtime supporters.

By ANDREW CAIN, WESLEY P. HESTER
Published: January 24, 2011

Former Sen. George Allen will announce today that he is seeking to reclaim the Senate seat he lost to Democrat Jim Webb in 2006.

Allen, a Republican, will e-mail a video to supporters in a "soft announcement" that will be followed by a more formal rollout at a later date, said a national Republican consultant who is familiar with Allen's plans. The video is a way to "get out there and start the conversation," the consultant said.

State Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, was not surprised by the news.

"I talked to George last week, and he told me he would be announcing soon," he said.

Allen has been coy in public about his intentions. His website on Sunday showed only two words, "Stay Tuned," the same message he has given reporters in public appearances in recent days.

But Allen, who served as Virginia's governor from 1994 to 1998 and in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2007, has maintained a public schedule around the state that left political observers with little doubt that he would seek a rematch.

Tea-party activist Jamie Radtke has already announced her intent to seek the 2012 GOP nomination. Others considering a bid for the Republican nomination are Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William (this is that cray-cray dude, BTW); Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors; and Bert Mizusawa, who last year sought the Republican nomination for the 2nd District House seat won by Scott Rigell.

On tour with Americans for Prosperity last week, Allen stopped by a Glen Allen eatery to voice support for U.S. House Republicans' effort to repeal President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul.

Asked about recent criticism from Radtke on his votes for budgets that increased federal spending, Allen defended his record.

"I don't know what she has said," he said. "I know my record, and it's one of a conservative in Congress."

He also declined to respond directly to Radtke's invitation to participate with her in a series of town-hall meetings ahead of a primary.

In 2008, Marshall nearly defeated former Gov. Jim Gilmore for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination. Gilmore lost the general election to Democrat Mark R. Warner in a landslide.

Webb has said that he will announce sometime in the year's first quarter whether he will seek a second term.

Allen was once touted as a likely candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. But he lost his 2006 re-election bid to Webb by about 9,000 votes, in part because of the "macaca" incident.

In August 2006, at a campaign rally in Breaks, in Southwest Virginia, Allen referred to a Webb aide of Indian descent as "macaca." Some cultures view the term as an ethnic slur. The Webb aide videotaped the comment, which was posted on the Internet, and made headlines worldwide.

Since losing the seat, Allen has worked for the American Energy Freedom Center, an industry-backed group that decries what it considers excessive regulation.

source
Citadel

German doctors: No sodium thiopental to U.S.

Germany's leading medical association called Monday on the nation's pharmaceutical companies to refrain from selling a drug used in lethal injections to the United States.

Frank Ulrich Montgomery, vice president of the German Medical Association, told The Associated Press on Monday the nation's doctors are throwing their support behind a call by the health ministry for German drug companies and distributors to reject U.S. requests for the drug, sodium thiopental.

"We are calling on the German pharmaceutical industry to send a clear signal that it recognizes its ethical responsibility and refrain from selling any drugs to the United States that could be used in carrying out the death penalty," Montgomery said.

"This is not about money, but ethical principles," he added.


Last week the sole U.S. producer of sodium thiopental — which is used as part of a three-drug combination for lethal injections in 35 states — said it was ceasing production due to objections by authorities in Italy, where the company had been making it.

Several states started facing shortages in the fall, causing them to search abroad for sources of the drug. One source dried up in November when the British government banned exports of sodium thiopental for use in executions.
Story: Key death penalty drug discontinued by U.S. maker

Planned executions in the U.S. states of Arizona, California, Kentucky, Ohio and Oklahoma are currently facing delays or disruptions, due to the shortage.

Over the weekend, Germany's health ministry said Minister Philipp Roesler wrote a letter to the nation's pharmaceutical companies urging them to ignore any possible U.S. requests for deliveries of the drug.

Germany, along with Italy and Britain, banned capital punishment after World War II. In 2008, the European Union issued a declaration against the death penalty and has lobbied for its abolition worldwide.

Source.

lmao! The fuuuck?

World Net Daily: Gay Parents Are Going To Abort Their Straight Babies!

Even though all good Christians know that homosexuality is a choice, today World Net Daily warns that thanks to "mushrooming genomic advances," it won't be long before gay parents are going to selectively abort heterosexual babies.
If two homosexual men want to use in vitro fertilization to conceive a baby and then use genetics technology to ensure the baby is also "gay," while disposing of any "straight" embryos, would the law have any ethical problems with that? John A. Robertson of the University of Texas Law School is the chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and an advocate of what his book "Children of Choice" calls "procreative liberty." In a paper for the Washington, D.C., think tank Brookings Institution, Robertson presents a futuristic scenario where advancing science and society's evolving morality could create a once only dreamed-of ethical dilemma:

"Larry, a pediatrician, and David, a wills lawyer, meet in their late 20s, fall in love, and marry on June 15, 2025, in Indianapolis," Robertson writes. "By 2030, they are well-enough established in their careers to think about having their own child. Larry's 24-year-old sister Marge has agreed to donate her eggs, and David will provide the sperm, so that each partner will have a genetic connection with the child. … In the process, Larry and David come to realize that they would prefer to have a male child that shares their sexual orientation." He continues, "The clinic doctors are experts in embryo screening and alteration, but cannot guarantee that the resulting embryos will in fact turn out to be homosexual. To increase the certainty, they will insert additional 'gay gene' sequences in the embryos."
In today's article, World Net Daily manages to refrain from raising the scenario of Christians aborting gay babies. That wasn't the case in 2007 when columnist Jill Stanet predicted the mass abortion of "swishy blastocysts" and the "annihilation of lots of little lesbians," should the gay gene ever be identified.

Source

Rahm Emanuel thrown off Ballot

Court: Rahm Emanuel Can't Run For Mayor, Not Chicago Resident





DEVELOPING:

The Chicago News Cooperative is reporting that an Illinois Appellate Court has overturned a decision regarding Rahm Emanuel's Chicago residency. The court reportedly decided Emanuel is not eligible to run for mayor of Chicago because he has not been a resident of the city for one year.

"We conclude that the candidate neither meets the the municipal code's requirement that he have 'resided' in Chicago for the year preceding the election in which he seeks to participate nor falls within any exception to the requirement," the ruling stated.

An attorney who argued on Emanuel's behalf told the Chicago Sun-Times that they will appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.

An attorney for two voters objecting to Emanuel's candidacy argued again last week that the Democrat doesn't meet the one-year residency requirement because he rented out his Chicago home and moved his family to Washington to work for President Barack Obama for nearly two years.

"If the house had not been abandoned by the whole family ... we wouldn't be here today," attorney Burt Odelson told the panel of judges, all three Democrats.

Odelson so far has had little luck trying to keep Emanuel off the Feb. 22 ballot. The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and a Cook County judge have both ruled in favor of Emanuel, a former congressman, saying he didn't abandon his Chicago residency when he went to work at the White House.
Story continues below
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The Sun-Times reports that appellate judges Thomas Hoffman and Shelvin Louise Marie Hall ruled against Emanuel. Justice Bertina Lampkin voted in favor of keeping him on the Feb. 22 ballot.

"We ... order that the candidate's name be excluded (or if, necessary, be removed) from the ballot from Chicago's Feb. 22, 2011," Hoffman wrote in the decision.

Emanuel's attorneys are expected to use Lampkin's dissenting opinion to appeal the case to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Source

Yes, gays have often been the victims of prejudice. But they now risk becoming the new McCarthyites

 By Mad MelMELANIE PHILLIPS

Here’s a question ­shortly coming to an examination ­paper near you. What have mathematics, geography or science to do with homosexuality?

Nothing at all, you say? Zero marks for you, then.


For, mad as this may seem, schoolchildren are to be bombarded with homosexual references in maths, geography and ­science lessons as part of a Government-backed drive to promote the gay agenda.

In geography, for example, they will be told to consider why homosexuals move from the ­countryside to cities. In maths, they will be taught ­statistics through census ­findings about the number of ­homosexuals in the population.

In science, they will be directed to ­animal species such as emperor ­penguins and sea horses, where the male takes a lead role in raising its young.

Alas, this gay curriculum is no laughing matter. Absurd as it sounds, this is but the latest attempt to brainwash children with propaganda under the ­camouflage of ­education. It is an abuse of childhood.

And it’s all part of the ruthless campaign by the gay rights lobby to destroy the very ­concept of normal sexual behaviour.

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Source: The Daily Hatemail

Disclaimer for people unfamiliar with OP: I am queer. I in no way agree with Mel; in fact I despise the woman with an intense passion. I'm just posting this to let you see how vile she actually is.

Somalia Is Likely to Cut Ties to Mercenaries, Official Says

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The minister of information for the transitional federal government here said Sunday that Somalia was likely to end its relationship with Saracen International, a private security company in which South African mercenaries and the founder of Blackwater Worldwide are said to be involved.

Saracen has offered to train the beleaguered government troops and battle pirates and Islamist insurgents in Somalia, which has been steeped in civil war for two decades. But after the recent disclosure of an African Union report that said Erik Prince, Blackwater’s founder, provided seed money for the Saracen contract and was “at the top of the management chain,” many of Somalia’s biggest financial supporters, including the United States, have questioned the wisdom of the deal. Somali officials, in turn, have cooled to the idea of working with Saracen.

“At this point, our collective thinking is that this is not a good thing,” said the minister of information, Abdulkareem Jama.

“We don’t want to have anything to do with Blackwater,” he said, mentioning accusations that Blackwater employees had killed civilians in Iraq. “We need help, but we don’t want mercenaries.”

Mr. Jama’s word will not be the last concerning Saracen, whose clandestine operations have incited controversy in Somalia’s Parliament. Several representatives have accused the government of striking secret deals that could open Somalia to private security companies and worsen the nation’s instability. Other Somali officials were said to be debating, on Sunday night, how to handle Saracen.
----------------------------

this issue was raised in a post here a few days ago, so I wanted to post this update from today's New York Times
Citadel

Gibbs nearly ends news conference over marriage questions

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs nearly shut down a news conference on Monday following inquiries about President Obama’s position on same-sex marriage.

Gibbs was responding to questions from the Washington Blade on whether Obama had “backtracked” from a statement of support for same-sex marriage in a 1996 questionnaire during his campaign for an Illinois state Senate seat.

“I think there’s a whole host of issues that I would direct you to the campaign on — on different questionnaires and I would again reiterate what the president has said recently on that issue,” Gibbs said.

Asked whether he denies the accuracy of the 1996 questionnaire response, Gibbs ducked the question and replied, “Again, I’m happy to send you the several thousand clips of which went around during the course of 2008 on a whole host of those issues.”


The marriage questions prompted Gibbs to attempt to end the news conference. Following his response to the second Blade question, Gibbs said, “Thanks guys,” indicating that he would take no more questions.

Ending the news conference at that point would have been unusual because Gibbs had not yet finished taking questions from reporters sitting in the third row of the briefing room. Gibbs stayed at the podium only after reporters in the White House press corps protested that the news conference hadn’t gone on for long enough.

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Source.
+3 Sword

1. Kill Everyone 2. ?? 3. Praise for Greenest Man Ever

So Temujin killed a hella lot of people.

His all time high score for mass murder is unequal in terms of global conquest by a single nation. It was only matched then beaten during WW1, when the entire world decided they were gonna get together for a run at the record.Temujin's record was Only truly matched by Hitler's "Kill all Jews" proposal.

Now the global warming freaks are praising The Great Khan for single-handedly lowering the carbon footprint of humanity.

It's no secret that I am having a cultural love affair the Steep-Peoples. I greatly admire the Mongolian People. I just fell in love with them as a people. Though I do find it a hard loss that Temujin killed all the books in addition to all the people.

But this.... Seriously? The hell is wrong with you Green-Freaks?

----------------------------------------

http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/climate-weather/stories/was-genghis-khan-historys-greenest-conqueror

Was Genghis Khan history's greenest conqueror?
The Mongol invasion scrubbed nearly 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere, according to new research.
By Bryan NelsonMon, Jan 24 2011 at 6:44 AM EST 

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PS: no  "Kill em All" or  "Mongolia" tags?

Is This Real Life?

'Steampunk Palin' Comic More Insane Than You Imagined


Jan 20th 2011 By: Chris Murphy

Picture in your mind the most insane possible story that could be contained in a book named Steampunk Palin. Go ahead, take ten seconds or so to imagine it perfectly in your mind's eye. Use this cover image for help.


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Source

There is not enough WTF and LOL in the world right now.
Bolds by moi.
cid

Krauthammer Dismembers Obamacare's Promised Deficit 'Reduction'

Sunday, 23 Jan 2011 07:39 PM

One of the frequent Democratic defenses against the GOP-led effort at repealing the massive healthcare law is that it actually would increase the deficit, not reduce it.

It is an argument that has been backed by the Congressional Budget Office and parroted by the mainstream media with surprisingly little detailed analysis: that President Barack Obama’s signature legislative effort manages to cut the deficit while providing healthcare for everyone. Who could argue with that?

But on Sunday, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer took a good look at the numbers and found them laughable.
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jisookimcandela

Many people will read this while walking around with their cellphone/mobile device

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Attention texting pedestrians and iPod-obsessed runners on the street: You may soon get unplugged.

After targeting drivers who paid more attention to their phone calls and text messages than the road, lawmakers in Arkansas and New York are now looking to crack down on pedestrians equally distracted by their own electronic gadgets.

Lawmakers in both states have proposed restrictions on using cell phones and music players such as iPods by people running and walking on the street or sidewalk. The apparent message: Distracted pedestrians are dangerous.


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Source

IDK, I either go both headphones in or nothing at all.  Hearing music in just one ear actually throws me off more.  My personal defense teacher will love this article, though.
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Detroit women get no help in arrest of alleged car thief

Detroit women get no help in arrest of alleged car thief

An alleged car thief got more than he bargained for when three women yanked him out of the vehicle he was trying to steal, held him down and made a citizen's arrest.

But when the women repeatedly called Detroit Police, they said nobody responded, so they decided to walk the man to the nearby Central District police station. On the way, they said they encountered a Detroit police officer — who they claim refused to take the man into custody.


Lydia Officer complained about the incident at Thursday's meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners; Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee promised to investigate.

The incident began about 1:50 p.m. on Jan. 15, when Officer, 40, was visiting her mother's home on Bethune Street near Woodward and Grand Boulevard, and saw the man breaking into her 2006 Chrysler Sebring.

"My friend (Sanchez Stevens, 38) and I ran outside and dragged him out of the car," Officer said. "There was a struggle — he was hitting us, and we were hitting him. We finally got him to the ground. He must've been thinking, 'I broke into the wrong car.'"

Officer's mother, Toni Grimmett, 63, said she called police three times. "After my daughter and her friend wrestled the man down, I called the police and told them, 'We're holding the man right now — please send somebody.' But nobody came."

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--

Way to go, cops! Just drive off when people want you to do your job, wtf. Or better yet, don't even show.

Also, can I just say how tickled I am that the woman's last name is "Officer"?
normal

Selfish Tea Baggers Support Funding Socialist Program with Other People's Money

Tea Baggers Against Social Security... Cuts: "Gov Get Your Hands Off My Social Security!"

67 Percent Of Tea Partiers Would Rather Raise Taxes Than Raise The Social Security Retirement Age

There appears to be some growing consensus among some of the political elite that there should be major regressive changes to Social Security, like cutting back on benefits and/or raising the retirement age. Building on this consensus, Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) are expected to release legislation soon that would involve raising the retirement age to 69. Yet a new poll from Public Policy Polling (PPP) finds that one group that does not support these regressive cuts is the American people themselves. The PPP poll found that 77 percent of Americans would rather “pay Social Security taxes on salaries above $106,800,” essentially lifting the income tax cap, instead of seeing their “benefits cut and the retirement age increased to age 69.” Surprisingly, however, even 67 percent of self-identified Tea Partiers said they would rather raise the tax cap than cuts benefits and hike the retirement age:

Currently, workers pay social security payroll taxes on up to $106,800 of their salary. To ensure the long-term viability of Social Security, would you rather have people pay social security taxes on salaries above $106,800, or would you rather see benefits cut and the retirement age increased to age 69?

Raise payroll cap Cut benefits
All 77 10

Dem 84 4
GOP 69 17
Ind 77 11

Tea Party 67 20

Those who advocate for raising the Social Security retirement age often claim that they are pursuing “moderate” paths for reform. As this poll and others demonstrate, the course they are choosing is far from centrist.
Huh?  From cail
  • sesmo

Chairman of House Homeland Security Committee thinks we are "under siege by Muslim terrorists"

 WESTBURY, N.Y. - They called it a summit to teach Muslims how to fight prejudice and fear. But all day long, fear was inescapable in the fluorescent-lit meeting hall of the Long Island mosque.

The top issue on everyone's mind this month at the Islamic Center of Long Island was this: What could be done to stop planned congressional hearings on alleged hidden radicalism among American Muslims and mosques?

The House hearings, scheduled to begin next month, have touched off a wave of panic throughout the U.S. Muslim community, which has spent much of the past year battling what it sees as a rising tide of Islamophobia. Conference calls, strategy sessions and letter-writing campaigns have been launched. Angry op-eds have compared the congressional inquiry to McCarthyism and the World War II persecution of Japanese Americans.

But for those who gathered at the Long Island mosque, the coming hearings represented not just a political issue, but a personal one. For the man organizing the hearings was the very lawmaker who was supposed to represent them in Washington - Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.). Long before he had become their enemy, he had been one of their community's closest friends.

"He used to come to our weddings. He ate dinner in our homes," said the mosque's chairman, Habeeb Ahmed, a short medical technologist with graying hair sitting near the front. "Everything just changed suddenly after 9/11, and now he's holding hearings to say that people like us are radical extremists. I don't understand it."

At the meeting that day, Ahmed, a 55-year-old immigrant from India, was surrounded by more than a hundred Muslim leaders from New York and beyond.

There were Sunnis and Shias. There were doctors, engineers and pharmacists who had left Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh to remake their lives in the United States. There were African Americans who had embraced Islam decades ago and new converts who were learning what it meant to be Muslim in America.

Some had flown in from as far away as Chicago. But the majority were regulars at the local Islamic center, including Ghazi Khankan, who had been one of its earliest members and had defended it for years against King's scorn.

"We have nothing to hide," Khankan said. "No matter what King says, others know that we are a peaceful community."

Although no member of the Islamic Center has ever been accused of terrorism, King has singled out the mosque as a hotbed of "radical Islam" and called its leaders extremists who should be put under surveillance. He maintains that most Muslim leaders in this country aren't cooperating with authorities, even as arrests of homegrown terrorists are rising greatly.

Now, as the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, King said he is finally in a position to do something about it.

"My first goal is just to have people even acknowledge this as a real issue," King said. "This politically correct nonsense has kept us from debating and discussing what is one of this country's most vital issues. We are under siege by Muslim terrorists."

Article continues at <A HREF="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/23/AR2011012304448.html?tid=wp_featuredstories">source</a>.