Saturday, December 15, 2012

Obama Moving To Criminalize Criticism Of Islam

December 15, 2012

Western Journalism:

The whole “conspiracy theory” of the Obama administration being infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, purging government documents critical of Islam, and seeking to criminalize the criticism of Islam is just that—a conspiracy theory—isn’t it?

Sadly, it isn’t.

If you simply pull back the curtain and look at what Obama has been doing in plain sight—inviting groups convicted of terrorism into the White House, having Muslim Brotherhood members within the State Department, purging training materials of anything critical of Islam–you would find that this whole “conspiracy theory” goes by another term: the truth.

How America got to this point and whether we can return to that Shining City on a Hill instead of on our way to the trash heap of history remains to be seen.

I have a feeling the American people, as they have done in the past, will rise up and take back this country…

After Jesse Jackson Jr. quit, Sandi changed campaign reports

December 15, 2012

Five days after Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned from Congress, his wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson, filed a series of amendments to her ward committee’s campaign fund, revealing dozens of previously undisclosed transactions that went back three years. That includes at least $13,000 in previously undisclosed transfers from her husband’s congressional account into her ward organization account, a Sun-Times review of campaign records show.

Among the undisclosed transactions shown in the amended reports were monthly transfers of $1,250 to his wife’s 7th Ward Independent Political Organization — or SWIPO. In a federal disclosure, Rep. Jackson’s campaign fund indicates a $1,250 payment to SWIPO is for rent — he and his wife share campaign office space on Chicago’s South Side. However, the 7th Ward disclosure did not list the purpose of the $1,250 transfers.

On Nov. 27, one of the corrections Sandi Jackson’s 7th Ward committee filed was for the final quarter of 2010. The corrected document submitted after her husband’s resignation showed an additional $20,000 in expenditures for that period and revealed $8,200 in transfers out of her husband’s congressional account.

Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned on Nov. 22, citing a federal probe and an ongoing battle with health issues. The Sun-Times first reported in October that federal authorities were investigating Jackson’s finances. The couple’s finances have been under intense scrutiny since at least before June of this year.

In all, Sandi Jackson’s ward organization filed eight amended reports, dating back to 2009.

Some of the corrected reports now indicate negative balances — something that an official with the Illinois State Board of Elections said could result in a review.

In the second quarter of 2011, for instance, the committee originally filed a report showing nearly $12,000 cash on hand. The amended report showed the committee was actually $7,000 under water. It also did not originally disclose $3,750 in transfers from Jesse Jackson Jr.’s congressional fund.

Typically, negative balances call for follow-up from the board of elections.

“It’s something that we would potentially put an inquiry out to the political committee to see what the circumstances were behind this,” said Andy Nauman, deputy director of the division of campaign disclosure with the State Board of Elections.

A notation on some of the reports blames computer and staff issues.

“To Whom It May Concern, Per our recent conversations, I am amending this file to reflect corrections made to this report reflecting contributions and disbursements that were not included in the original report due to staff transitions and computer errors,” the filings from the 7th Ward committee indicate.

While filing corrections to campaign reports isn’t uncommon, the number of corrections, the extent of initially undisclosed information and the length of time taken to correct the errors indicates: “recurring accounting lapses,” said David Morrison, Deputy Director of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

Morrison said usually an amended report is for one or two reporting periods, errors are caught relatively quickly. “It’s clarifying a street address … or a finger slip,” he said. “The problems are far more serious than they just had software issues. These are substantially new reports,” Morrison said. “There’s more going on here than I think they’ve acknowledged.”

A message left with Sandi Jackson’s committee was not returned. Neither a spokesman nor an attorney for the Jacksons could be reached for comment on Thursday.

source: Chicago Sun Times

Obama can't say 'no' to Hamas talks

December 15, 2012

WND Exclusive

Egypt aims for discussions with terror group at start of 2nd term

JERUSALEM – The White House did not reject an Egyptian plan for the U.S. to open public dialogue with Hamas at the start of a second Obama term, an Egyptian security official told WND.

The State Department did not immediately return a request for comment on the claim.

Yesterday, WND broke the story that the Egyptian government is leading diplomacy with the U.S. and European Union aimed at opening official direct Western talks with Hamas, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.

The officials said Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Egypt is pushing for the continued flow of international aid in the event of a future Hamas-led Palestinian government. Hamas, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, is expected to do well in any upcoming Palestinian elections.

There is also a drive by Egypt, Turkey and Qatar to wean Hamas entirely off of Iranian money to help rid the Gaza Strip of Shiite Islamic influence, the officials said.

Hamas believes distancing itself more from Iran could prompt a crisis with the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad group in Gaza, added the officials.

Islamic Jihad and Hamas are quietly discussing creating a united political front following future elections, the officials said. However, Islamic Jihad set as a precondition for joining any Hamas coalition that such a future government cannot recognize the existence of Israel.

Regarding U.S. dialogue with Hamas, the State Department has several times iterated a set of preconditions: Hamas first must recognize Israel, renounce violence and abide by previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Hamas has several times claimed it talked with U.S. surrogates about eventually establishing open relations.

Sources within Hamas previously disclosed to WND a June 2009 meeting with former U.S. diplomat Thomas Pickering. The sources claimed the meeting was about opening future talks with the West.

The gathering allegedly took place in Geneva with two Hamas leaders, Bassem Naim and Mahmoud al-Zahar. Naim is Hamas’ health minister, while al-Zahar is one of the main Hamas leaders in Gaza.

Pickering’s meeting with Hamas in 2009 served as an “important step” to open eventual dialogue between the Islamic group and the Obama administration, Hamas’ chief political adviser in Gaza, Ahmed Yousef, told WND that year.

At the time, the State Department told the Jerusalem Post the meeting between Pickering and Hamas was not sanctioned by the White House.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly stressed Pickering acted as a private citizen. Kelly said he was unaware of any prior U.S. governmental coordination with the former diplomat about the meeting with Hamas.

Pickering is currently President Obama’s lead investigator on the Benghazi attacks.

Also in February 2009, there were reports Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., now a favorite for secretary of state, accepted a letter for President Obama from Hamas leaders in Gaza. Kerry had visited Gaza to tour United Nations camps there.

U.N. relief agency chief Karen Abu Zayd told the BBC the letter had been received by his agency and passed on to an unnamed American official.

US Muslims to reclaim 'jihad' with ad campaign

December 15, 2012

Here come the brainfuckers....

AFP - US Muslims launched an advertising and social media campaign Friday in the hopes of reclaiming the word jihad from extremists who insist on equating the spiritual quest with terrorism.

The campaign features Muslims describing their personal struggles -- the meaning of jihad -- on bus ads, Twitter, Facebook and a dedicated website:

"#MyJihad is to build friendships across the aisle," says one ad showing an African American man leaning on the shoulder of a Jewish friend.

"#MyJihad is to march on despite losing my son," says another ad, featuring a portrait of a mother with her three remaining children.

"#MyJihad is to not judge people by their cover," says a third, framed by two women in headscarves.

It was sparked by a series of hateful ads calling Muslims "savages" and urging people to "defeat jihad" that were plastered on buses and trains in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

But it also speaks to a larger frustration among "mainstream" Muslims with how a basic tenant of their faith has been distorted and demonized, said Ahmed Rehab who helped launch the campaign.

"Jihad is a term that has unfortunately been widely misrepresented by the actions of Muslim extremists first and foremost, and by attempts at public indoctrination coming from Islamophobes who claim that the minority extremists are right and the majority of Muslims are wrong," said Rehab, who is the executive director of the Chicago branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations."

"The MyJihad campaign is about reclaiming Jihad from the Muslim and anti-Muslim extremists who ironically, but not surprisingly, see eye to eye on Jihad."

The ads have been placed on buses in Chicago and Rehab hopes to raise funds to expand the campaign to buses and trains in New York, Washington, San Francisco, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Cleveland and Oklahoma City.

Organizers are also working to get the ads on buses in Toronto, London, Manchester, Sydney and Melbourne.

Retarded arsonist gets 10 years in Ontario

December 15, 2012

From the world of accountability:

TORONTO, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- A homeless retarded man a judge called "sad and tragic" was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for several arsons in Toronto.

A prosecutor had requested a 12-year term for Stewart Poirier, 53, the Toronto Star reported. Poirier pleaded guilty in October to attempted murder and four counts of arson.

"The circumstances of Mr. Poirier's life are sad and tragic. It's hard not to feel sympathy for Mr. Poirier ... an impulse-ridden man with the brain of a boy," Justice Rebecca Rutherford said. "It's hard to believe such a sad and tragic man can do such damage."

In January 2011 Poirier set fire to a historic building completed in 1888 that once housed the Empress Hotel. The blaze took 125 firefighters to extinguish.

He later told investigators he "got a kick" out of the fire. At the time, he was on probation for two earlier arsons.

Poirier later set fires to other buildings, including one where he was living, and in dumpsters. He also torched a wood chipper owned by the city and left death threats on his probation officer's answering machine.

Investigators say Poirier was physically and sexually abused as a child while he was in an institution. He has spent much of his adult life behind bars.

"He states that he does get some kind of enjoyment out of seeing people suffer," Sheldon Melodick, a forensic neurologist who examined Poirier, said.

Mainstream Incompetence

Dec. 15, 2012

School shooting: Media mistakes Ryan Lanza Facebook page for Newtown killer

Shortly after authorities identified the shooter in the Newtown, Conn., elementary school massacre as Ryan Lanza, media pointed to the Facebook page of a man with matching details. It wasn't the same man--or his brother.


Just after 2 p.m. Friday, a 24-year-old New Jersey man named Ryan Lanza was identified as the perpetrator of a horrific massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

It turns out that the shooter, identified by authorities later Friday, was Adam Lanza--not his brother, Ryan--a 20-year-old.

Lanza allegedly walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday morning, killed a classroom full of kindergartners before killing their teacher--his mother--and then himself.

Almost immediately, a Facebook profile photo of Ryan began circulating online, on social networks and television. The gleeful subtex: we got the guy.

Except--whoops--despite the unlikely coincidence that there was another Ryan Lanza, from Hoboken, who lives in Newtown, the profile was the wrong person.

Slate, after initially linking to (the wrong) Lanza's page, tweeted a correction that included a screenshot of him updating his Facebook page.

"Everyone shut the f*** up it wasn't me," Lanza posted. "I'm on the bus home now it wasn't me... IT WASN'T ME I WAS AT WORK IT WASN'T ME."

Media sites removed the photos quickly, but not before thousands of people had shared the image and widely perpetuated the falsehood.




Huffington Post

Huffington Post

Another Ryan Lanza, @Ryan__Lanza on Twitter, has also been the subject of the false attention, gaining thousands of followers in the hours after the name began to circulate.

source: UPI

Venezuelans Fall Hook, Line & Sinker for MSM's Deception on Obama's Views, Goals

December 15, 2012

Venezuela furious at Obama's comments on ailing Chavez
Military personnel attend a mass to pray for Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, December 13, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
By Andrew Cawthorne and Daniel Wallis
CARACAS | Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:44pm EST

(Reuters) - Venezuela's government reacted with fury on Friday to U.S. President Barack Obama's criticism of ailing Hugo Chavez's "authoritarian" government at a time of national anxiety over his battle to recover from cancer surgery.

In an interview with U.S. network Univision, Obama declined to speculate on the 58-year-old socialist president's health in Cuba, where he is in a delicate state after his fourth operation since mid-2011 for cancer in the pelvic region.

But he did say U.S. policy was aimed at ensuring "freedom" in Venezuela. "The most important thing is to remember that the future of Venezuela should be in the hands of the Venezuelan people. We've seen from Chavez in the past authoritarian policies, suppression of dissent," Obama told Univision.

Those remarks were a red cloth to officials in Caracas where emotions are running high over the future of Chavez and his self-styled revolution in the South American OPEC nation.

In power since 1999, Chavez is due to start a new six-year term on January 10 after winning re-election just weeks before Obama did. His health crisis has thrown that into doubt, and Chavez has named a successor in case he is incapacitated.

"With these despicable comments at such a delicate moment for Venezuela, the U.S. president is responsible for a major deterioration in bilateral relations, proving the continuity of his policy of aggression and disrespect towards our country," the Venezuelan government said in a statement.


During his tumultuous 14-year rule, Chavez has taken former Cuban leader Fidel Castro's mantle as the U.S. government's main irritant in the region - though oil has continued to flow freely north to the benefit of both nations' economies.

Adored by poor supporters for his charismatic style and channeling of Venezuela's oil resources into a wide array of welfare projects, Chavez is regarded as a dictator by opponents who point to his often harsh treatment of political foes.

Officials said doctors had to use "corrective measures" to stop unexpected bleeding caused during Tuesday's six-hour surgery on Chavez, but his condition had since improved.

A medical update was due later on Friday.

Chavez's situation is being closely tracked around the region, especially among fellow leftist-run nations from Cuba to Bolivia who depend on his generous oil subsidies and other aid for their fragile economies.

"The president is battling hard - this time for his life, before it was for the Latin American fatherland," said President Evo Morales of Bolivia, a Chavez friend and ally who announced he was flying to Havana overnight for an "emergency" visit.

"This is very painful for us."


Chavez has not divulged details of the cancer that was first diagnosed in June 2011, sparking endless speculation among Venezuela's 29 million people and criticism from opposition leaders for lack of transparency.

"They're hiding something, I think," said Venezuelan housewife Alicia Marquina, 57. "I'm not convinced by the announcements they're making. I'm not a 'chavista', but neither am I cruel, I hope he does not suffer much and finds peace."

If Chavez has to leave office, new elections must be held within 30 days. Chavez has named his vice president, Nicolas Maduro, a 50-year-old former bus driver and union leader, as his heir apparent.

Opposition flagbearer Henrique Capriles, who lost the presidential race against Chavez in October, is the favorite to face Maduro should a new vote be held, though first the governor of Miranda must retain his post in local elections on Sunday.

"The regime change is already occurring," Jefferies' managing director Siobhan Morden said in one of numerous Wall Street analyses of events in Venezuela. "The question is whether the alternative is Chavista-light or the opposition."

Even if he dies, Chavez is likely to cast a long shadow over Venezuela's political landscape for years - not unlike Argentine leader Juan Peron, whose 1950s populism is still the ideological foundation of the country's dominant political party.

There are parallels with Cuba too, where Chavez's friend and mentor, Fidel Castro, suffered a health downturn, underwent various operations in secret, and eventually handed over to his brother Raul Castro.

(Additional reporting by Mario Naranjo in Caracas, Carlos Quiroga in La Paz; Editing by Paul Simao)

Left ,Again Avoids Root Issues of Violence to "Forward" Their Agenda

December 15, 2012

More than 25,000 sign petition calling on Obama administration to address gun control, introduce legislation

Immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress.

The goal of this petition is to force the Obama Administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns. While a national dialogue is critical, laws are the only means in which we can reduce the number of people murdered in gun related deaths.

Powerful lobbying groups allow the ownership of guns to reach beyond the Constitution's intended purpose of the right to bear arms. Therefore, Congress must act on what is stated law, and face the reality that access to firearms reaches beyond what the Second Amendment intends to achieve.

The signatures on this petition represent a collective demand for a bipartisan discussion resulting in a set of laws that regulates how a citizen obtains a gun.

Created: Dec 14, 2012


Friday, December 14, 2012

Attention Bob Costas: Knife attack at Chinese school wounds 22 children

Dec. 14, 2012

Dear Bob,
        In light of your views on gun control, maybe you could widen your spectrum to include silverware and household utensils. Thanks in advance.

Sincerely, X-Viewer

Beijing (CNN) -- Twenty-two primary school children were wounded in a knife attack Friday in central China, authorities said.

The attack took place at the entrance to the Chenpeng Village Primary School in Henan province, according to the public information department of Guangshan county, the area where the school is located. An adult was also wounded, it said.

Several of the children are in critical condition, the state-run website said, citing local authorities.

Read more: Malala is face of global attacks on schools

Police say they have detained a suspect, a 36-year-old man from the village, state media reported.

Initial assessments suggest the man is mentally ill, said, citing Guangshan authorities.

China was hit by a spate of knife and cleaver attacks that targeted school children in 2010.

A number of measures were introduced at the time, including increased security at schools across the country and a regulation requiring people to register with their national ID cards when buying large knives.

CNN's Shao Tian in Beijing and journalist Pan Xinlei in Hong Kong contributed to this report.

Google chairman Schmidt 'proud' of tax avoidance

Dec. 14, 2012

Search giant's tax reducing efforts are just 'capitalism'

Eric Schmidt, chairman of search giant Google, has said his company's approach to corporation tax is just "capitalism" and that he is "very proud" of the structure in place.

The company is one of many big organisations currently embroiled in arguments over what tax it pays. According to reports Google generated sales in the UK in 2011 of $4.1bn, around 11% of its total revenue. However it paid only £6m in corporation tax after using a variety of legal methods to reduce its payments.

It was also recently revealed that Google shifted nearly $10bn in worldwide revenue to its operations in Bermuda, where there is no corporation tax. This saved the company around $2bn in tax, it is claimed.

Now Google chairman Eric Schmidt has defended his company's tax procedures, claiming the company abides by all local tax laws.

Speaking to Bloomberg, he said: "We pay lots of taxes; we pay them in the legally prescribed ways. I am very proud of the structure that we set up. We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us to operate. It's called capitalism. We are proudly capitalistic. I'm not confused about this."

Alongside Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks have all faced questions over how much tax they pay in recent weeks. Coffee chain Starbucks has reacted to the furore by saying it will pay £20m in tax over the next two years, more than it is legally required to do so.

However Schmidt appeared to rule out Google doing something similar. In an earlier interview, quoted in the Independent, he said: "It's very good for us, but to go back to shareholders and say, 'We looked at 200 countries but felt sorry for those British people so we want to [pay them more]', there is probably some law against doing that."

Margret Hodge, chairperson of the Public Account Committee that tackled Google over its tax arrangements, said Schmidt's comments were "arrogant."

"For Eric Schmidt to say that he is 'proud' of his company's approach to paying tax is arrogant, out of touch and an insult to his customers here in the UK," she said, according to the Independent. "Ordinary people who pay their taxes unquestioningly are sick and tired of seeing hugely profitable global companies like Google use every trick in the book to get out of contributing their fair share."

She added that Google should, "recognise its obligations to countries like the UK from which it derives such huge benefits, and pay proper corporation tax on the profits it makes from economic activity here. It should be ashamed, not proud, to do anything less. "

source: cbr online

Dan Rather On Obama And Susan Rice: "He Made A Lot Of Tough Talk, Didn't Back It Up"

Dec. 14, 2012

Real Clear Politics Video December 13, 2012

On tonight's broadcast of MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow" show, guest Dan Rather was disappointed with President Obama after Susan Rice decided to withdraw herself from Secretary of State considerations. Rather said Obama talked tough, but didn't back it up.

"He indicated in his press conference just after the election -- he made a lot of tough talk, didn't back it up," Rather said. "So there are people who say, 'Listen, the kind of leader we want is one who will fight to the finish, never give in.' On the other hand, one could make the case that President Obama has said to himself, 'Yes, I could probably force this to a vote, and win the vote. But it would cost me down the road.'"

"But I think it raises very, very serious questions about what the president's second term is going to be," Rather added.

"Talk is cheap, it's what you do that counts," Rather said to a confused Maddow, who made the case that Obama had done enough.

Rather added that this shows Obama can be "rolled" by Republicans in the future.

"What has happened today plays into the perception, the perception that has been growing among the Republicans that, in street language, President Obama can be rolled for his wallet and his watch. He's not a guy that's going to put up much of a fight," Rather said.

NOT a Polish Joke: Man mistakes hot iron for phone

Dec. 14, 2012

ELBLAG, Poland, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- A Polish man said he was distracted by boxing on TV and mistook a hot iron for the telephone, burning the side of his head.

Tomasz Paczkowski, 32, of Elblag said he was helping his wife with housework while he was off work for a few days when he made the error, the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

"After breakfast I started to work. I turned on the boxing channel on the TV, opened a beer and started ironing," he said.

"I was really getting involved in the boxing and was not really thinking about what I was doing," Paczkowski said. "Suddenly the phone rang and I mucked things up: instead of grabbing the receiver I picked up the iron and put it to my ear."

Paczkowski said he was further injured when his head struck the doorframe of the bathroom while he was running to pour cold water in his head.

The man said he will continue to help his wife with the ironing, but not while watching boxing on TV.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.

Vladimir Putin calls on Russian families to have three children

Dec. 14, 2012

President Vladimir Putin has urged Russians to have at least three children as he said a resurgent nation should be a confident and “influential” power on the world stage.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin Photo: AP
By Tom Parfitt, Moscow
Telegraph uk

In a bullish state-of-the-nation address in Moscow on Wednesday, Mr Putin promised to smite corruption, create millions of new jobs and boost Russia’s military might while warning that foreign meddling in the country’s internal affairs was unacceptable.

He claimed the country shared universal democratic values, adding: “Russian democracy is the power of the Russian people with their own traditions of national self-government, and not the realisation of standards foisted on us from outside.”

In characteristic rhetoric, Mr Putin also addressed internal as well as external enemies while suggesting a link between the two, saying that “chinovniki” (state officials) — often seen as corrupt caste bent on self-enrichment — should be prevented from keeping their money abroad.

“What trust can there be in a ‘chinovnik’ or a politician who says big things about the welfare of Russia while trying to take his means, his money abroad?” he asked MPs and senior officials. “I ask you to support legislation to limit the rights of state officials and politicians to foreign bank accounts and shares.”

He added: “Direct or indirect external interference in our internal political processes is unacceptable. Any person who receives money from abroad for his or her political activity and by doing so serves alien national interests, cannot be a politician in Russia.”

The president’s remarks came after a controversial law was recently introduced obliging non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in “political activity” to call themselves “foreign agents” if they receive funding from abroad. NGOs have said the rule makes them look like spies.

Also in his speech, Mr Putin lauded recent measures to give cash payments and other benefits to mothers having a second child. Current birth rates show an average of 1.7 children are born to each Russian woman, but the president urged a huge leap in family-building.

New payments for those having a third child would begin next year, he said. “Demographers affirm that choosing to have a second child is already a potential choice in favour of a third,” he added. “It’s important that families make that step... I am convinced that the norm in Russia should become a family with three children.”

To achieve that goal, he said, women needed to be provided with the opportunity to continue work, so that they “did not fear that having a second and third child would close the path to a career”.

Mr Putin has long equated Russia’s demographic decline over recent decades with a potential threat to security. On Wednesday, he added: “In order for Russia to be a strong and sovereign country, there must be more of us and we must be better in morality, in our competences, our work and our creativity.”

To applause, the president said there were already signs that Russia’s long term demographic decline was reversing, and the population had grown by 200,000 in the first nine months of this year. “The birth rate is at last above the mortality rate,” he said.

A 2010 census put the total population of Russia at 143,000,000.

Announcing a raft of other social and economic measures, Mr Putin said he hoped to create 25m jobs by 2020.

He made sweeping promises to develop industry, including aircraft and shipbuilding, and said the country’s military and space sectors must be modernised. “Our military might is the guarantor of Russia’s security and independence,” he said.

Florida to Be First to Reach 1 Million Concealed-Gun Permits

Dec. 14, 2012

Florida will be the first state to have issued 1 million permits allowing people to carry concealed firearms, said Adam Putnam, Florida’s commissioner of agriculture and consumer affairs.

Florida had issued 993,200 active permits as of Nov. 30, according to state data. Of those, 875,600 were for state residents, accounting for 4.6 percent of its 19.1 million population. The state will pass the 1 million mark next week, Putnam said at a news conference today in Tallahassee.

“Floridians have a great respect and appreciation for their Second Amendment rights,” Putnam said.

Florida was among the first states in 1987 to require approval of concealed-carry licenses for any applicant who meets certain criteria, instead of giving local police discretion over those decisions. Today, 38 states have “shall issue” laws similar to Florida’s, according to the National Rifle Association, a firearms-rights group based in Fairfax, Virginia.

Florida, the fourth-most-populous state, had 887,000 active permits as of Dec. 31, 2011, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Pennsylvania had the second-most with 786,000.

In Florida, permits are issued to anyone who, among other things, is at least 21 years old and has never been convicted of a felony crime.

The number of concealed permits in Florida has nearly doubled since 2008. Putnam said he didn’t know what accounted for the increase in permits.

© Copyright 2012 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Obama's Electronic Medical Records Scam

Dec. 14, 2012
Michelle Malkin

(Townhall) - Here's more evidence that government "cures" are inevitably worse than the "diseases" they seek to wipe out. Buried in the trillion-dollar stimulus law of 2009 was an electronic medical records "incentive" program. Like most of President Obama's health care rules, this top-down electronic record-sharing scheme is a big fat bust.

Oversight is lax. Cronyism is rife. The job-killing and privacy-undermining consequences have only just begun.

The program was originally sold as a cost-saving measure. In theory, modernizing record-collection is a good idea, and many private health care providers have already made the change. But as with many government "incentive" programs, the EMR bribe is a tax-subsidized, one-size-fits-all mandate. This one pressures health care professionals and hospitals across the country into radically federalizing their patient data and opening up medical information to untold abuse. Penalties kick in for any provider that hasn't switched over by 2014.

So, what's it to you? Well, $4 billion has already gone out to 82,535 professionals and 1,474 hospitals, and a total of $6 billion will be doled out by 2016. But the feds' reckless profligacy, neglect and favoritism have done more harm than good.

Don't take my word for it. A recent report released by the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General acknowledged that the incentive system is "vulnerable to paying incentives to professionals and hospitals that do not fully meet" the program's quality assurance requirements. The federal health bureaucracy "has not implemented strong prepayment safeguards, and its ability to safeguard incentive payments postpayment is also limited," the IG concluded.

Translation: No one is actually verifying whether the transition from paper to electronic is improving patient outcomes and health services. No one is actually guarding against GIGO (garbage in, garbage out). No one is checking whether recipients of the EMR incentives are receiving money redundantly (e.g., raking in payments when they've already converted to electronic records). No one is actually protecting private data from fraud, abuse or exploitation.

Little is being done to recoup ill-gotten payments. In any case, such "pay and chase" policing after the fact is a crummy way to run government in lean times -- or in fat times, for that matter.

As for the claim that the EMR conversion will reduce paperwork, many doctors say the reality is just the opposite. In Greensboro, N.C., Dr. Richard Aronson told local TV station FOX 8 that the mandate doubled the amount of paperwork in his private practice. Everyone from optometrists to general practitioners to chiropractors to podiatrists must divert precious time and resources to conforming with Washington health bureaucrats' imposed vision. Some medical professionals are now warning that the dangerous phenomenon of "distracted doctoring" is on the rise as a result of data-driven imperatives that direct health care providers' attention away from their patients and onto their screens and hand-held devices.

You know who is benefiting from the initiative? Put on your shocked faces: Obama donors and cronies.

Billionaire Judith Faulkner, Obama's medical information czar and a major Democratic contributor, just happens to be the founder and CEO of Epic Systems -- a medical software company that stores nearly 40 percent of the U.S. population's health data. Another billion-dollar patient-record database grant program has doled out money to the University of Chicago Medical Center (where first lady Michelle Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett both served in high-paid positions). As I've previously reported, these administration grants circumvent any and all congressional deliberation as part of Team Obama's election-year "We Can't Wait" initiatives.

Even as the White House touted the move toward gee-whiz 21st-century electronic databases, health care professionals in the know have debunked that claim, too. Companies like Faulkner's, which lobbied loudest for the mandates and "incentives," represent traditional hard drive-dependent software firms that are already dated. As Athenahealth Chairman and CEO Jonathan Bush, who advocates cloud-computing alternatives, put it: The Obama electronic records mandate is "healthcare information technology's version of cash-for-clunkers."

Then there's the still-growing and untold number of doctors nationwide who are closing up shop or limiting their practices and converting to "concierge care" to escape this and myriad other Obamacare intrusions. My own primary care physician in Colorado Springs quit her regular practice and converted to "concierge care" because of the EMR imposition. Creve Coeur, Mo., doctor Shari Cohen made the same move.

"The demands of caring for my patients while navigating through the current health care delivery systems dictated that I take more and more time away from patient care and spend an increasing part of my day on the system itself," she told the Creve Couer Patch. "Electronic Medical Records was the final shove for me. It added another whole layer in interference in the doctor-patient relationship and one I was not sure I wanted to take on."

More paperwork. More waste. Less accountability. Less care. Government malpractice at work.


Dec. 14, 2012


Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, starting at 10 a.m.

[There will be no formal evening event as previously announced]

10:00 a.m. - Dedication of the Bill of Rights Monument at the Arizona State Capital



The complete Bill Of Rights will be read aloud from Stone Tablets!

The monument will be unwrapped and unveiled Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, Bill of Rights Day, at 10 a.m.

Do not miss this historic event.

[Major news media has been unresponsive to requests to attend.]

"The complete political spectrum will be present." From Karen Johnson to Kyrsten Sinema -- these politicians led the fight to erect this monument. Karen is about as conservative, and Kyrsten is about as progressive, as our state legislature has ever seen.

This is a free event.
Wesley Bolin Plaza, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix, Arizona

Governor Jan Brewer will be accepting this gift on behalf of the people of Arizona.

Governor Brewer will read the Tenth Amendment

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton will welcome the monument to America's largest capital city.

All the dignitaries will be reading one of the ten amendments aloud

Meet your representatives

hat tip: Neil

Tour of an Obama-Endorsed Muslim Brotherhood Torture Chamber


Obama famously ignored pleas for help from the Green Movement in Iran, which offered hope of overthrowing a terrorist regime on the brink of acquiring nuclear weapons that has been at war with the USA since 1979. Yet when our ally Hosni Mubarak sailed into rough water, Obama shoved him overboard, putting Egypt in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. Arab journalists discovered what that entails by taking a tour of a Muslim Brotherhood torture chamber:

We entered the chamber with a great difficulty, after a fellow journalist from the Misr 25 TV channel facilitated. The channel is owned by the Brotherhood. There are brigades and police officers in military uniforms, as well as others in civilian clothes from al-Nozha police station, who oversee the beatings, whippings and torture. Fifteen others from the group, distinguished by their strong bodies, are supervised by three bearded and well-dressed men who decide who will be in the chamber and who may leave, even if the person is a member of the Brotherhood.

The torture process starts once a demonstrator who opposes President Mohammed Morsi is arrested in the clashes or is suspected after the clashes end, and the CSF [Central Security Forces] separate Morsi’s supporters from his opponents. Then, the group members trade off punching, kicking and beating him with a stick on the face and all over his body. They tear off his clothes and take him to the nearest secondary torture chamber, from which CSF personnel, members of the Interior Ministry and the State Security Investigations Services (SSIS) are absent. …

The health conditions of some of the prisoners was very bad and they were unable to answer questions. Some of them were bleeding all over their bodies, severely exhausted and not receiving any medical aid.

Why would Obama’s Muslim Brotherhood buddies invite reporters to expose their brutality? The Blaze explains:

[W]hat could possibly ever serve as better warning for those even thinking of resisting Morsi’s push for a totalitarian regime based on sharia law than to know what will happen to them if they do?

It’s not as if Morsi et al. have to worry about an interruption in the massive flow of American taxpayer money into their pockets. Egypt’s rulers are clearly pursuing the same agenda as ours, whatever that may be.

Arab Spring
On tips from Ummah Gummah and Dr. 9.

By Dave Blount @ Moonbattery

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finally: Dems Read ObamaCare. Request Delays.


As Nancy Pelosi famously said, “You’ve got to pass the bill, so you can learn what’s inside…” Democrats are finally getting around to reading the ObamaCare law. And they’re surprised at the findings. Unknown taxes, hidden fees. Who would have guessed that within those 2,000 pages of hastily put together legislation would be ‘job killing taxes’ (as emphatically stated this Monday by Al Franken, D-MN)?

Well of course it’s true. Those of us who urged caution and debate anticipated this massive bill would impact people far more than House and Senate leaders would admit.

So here we are, as more parts of the law are being enacted, and Congress has just now learned about some of those unexpected fees. Acting as though they were blindsided, sixteen Democratic Senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asking for delays because they have just now realized that the medical technology field will be severely impacted by taxes levied through the new law.

It’s true, some of the Senators, including Franken, did express concerns when the bill was written about these very taxes. Unfortunately, these same senators did not see the problems as significant enough to vote no on the bill. Today as ObamaCare and its funding methods are about to become actuality they are responding to their constituents and finally, questioning elements of this new and expensive law.

You can read the letter below as provided by the Wall Street Journal.

Source: Conservative Daily News

600 Workers To Be Fired As Controversial Activist Judge Sides With Obama-NLRB & SEIU Strikers

Red State

Judicial activist chooses Democratic party pals over patient care...

A Democrat-appointed federal judge with a controversial past and a “weird record of empathy for those accused of sexual crimes involving children” has sided with Barack Obama’s National Labor Relations Board and the Service Employees International Union by ordering a nursing home chain whose SEIU workers are striking to reinstate the strikers. The judge’s decision to side with the NLRB and SEIU will cause more than 600 replacement caregivers’ employment to be terminated.

To make matters worse, among those who will be reinstated will be SEIU strikers who are alleged to have committed acts of sabotage against nursing home residents (including Alzheimer’s patients) when the union struck back in July.

On Tuesday, federal judge Robert N. Chatigny weighed in on a nearly two-year old labor battle between SEIU-affiliated New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199 and New Jersey-based Healthbridge Management by granting an injunction to temporarily halt to Healthbridge Management’s June implementation of its “last, best and final offer.”

At issue is whether Healthbridge management and the union were, after 19 months of negotiations, at a lawful impasse when the company implemented its final offer in June.

Despite the union-controlled NLRB’s contentions that the company unlawfully implemented its offer, the NLRB stated in a Wednesday press release that:

The petition seeking the injunction alleged that after 19 months of bargaining, in June 2012, the company unilaterally implemented contract proposals affecting wages, hours, benefit eligibility, and retirement and health benefits without first bargaining to a good faith impasse. [Emphasis added.]

[Apparently, to today's union-controlled NLRB, 19 months' worth of bargaining (much of it concerning withdrawal from an under-funded union pension plan as well as other concessions) is no longer long enough to prove that the parties are at impasse.]

On July 3rd, after 19 months of negotiations with the SEIU-affiliated New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199, nursing home workers struck five nursing homes in Connecticut operated by New Jersey-based Healthbridge Management.

The union’s strike was in response to Healthbridge’s implementation of it’s “last, best and final offer” in June.

The Health Care Centers had 35 negotiation meetings with the Union, and each Center made more than 150 proposals and counter-proposals. The parties became deadlocked, and neither made any changes to their positions or movement over the last four bargaining sessions. There also had been no movement by either party on the Health Care Centers’ proposals to replace the Union pension plan with a 401(k) Plan since negotiations began on January 25, 2011.

As strikers left their jobs, numerous instances of sabotage occurred at three of the five nursing homes. The sabotage in July was very similar to instances of sabotage that occurred when the same union conducted a statewide strike in 2001.

In October, Healthbridge management filed a RICO lawsuit against the SEIU calling the union’s actions ”a shake-down by a lawless enterprise.”

Rather than let the appeals court hear the merits of the parties cases against each other to their finality, Judge Chatigny chose sides in an ongoing labor dispute—something that was a wholly unnecessary thing to do. However, it’s not the first time Chatigny used his position to advocate instead of adjudicate.

Once considered by the American Spectator to have crossed over to being more advocate than judge, Chatigny–who once defended Woody Allen against charges Allen molested one of his minor stepchildren–once argued that the sexual sadism of a serial killer should be a mitigating factor in the killer’s death penalty case.

As AmSpec noted in 2010:

Chatigny’s record shows a disturbing willingness to pick sides. His record also shows a disturbing view of sexual sadism as a mental condition that excuses a defendant’s criminal action. Even as an opponent of the death penalty, I find it unacceptable that a judge would go to such measures to impose his view of the morally right outcome. [Emphasis added.]

While the company has filed a notice to appeal, in the Healthbridge case, by choosing to require Healthbridge to reinstate the SEIU strikers, in addition to causing 600 replacement caregivers to lose their positions, he is also putting elderly patients back into the hands of alleged saboteurs.

Unfortunately, Judge Chatigny’s siding with the SEIU and the union-controlled NLRB is but another example of a nation where Chicago-style political partisanship and subjectivity has overcome objective law.

“Truth isn’t mean. It’s truth.”
Andrew Breitbart (1969-2012)

The Kwanzaa Con: Created by a Rapist and Torturer

-By Warner Todd Huston

Every year I post a piece on the troubled history of Kwanzaa. This year will be no exception. Note that some of the newspaper articles I quote are several years old and may no longer be online.

Each year, with the onset of Christmas, we are treated to another gauzy, fluff piece about how great Kwanzaa is by yet another PC spewing columnist. This year, among many others, we find aggrandizement such as that in The Record from New Jersey with, “Kwanzaa sheds light on pride, heritage; Celebration of African-American culture spreads,” and the Huffintgon Post with its titled, “Kwanzaa Detroit 2011: Events Celebrate Holiday’s 7 Values .” We even find such helpful sites as’s, “Kwanzaa Resources for Teachers.” Yes, the world is filled with celebratory lionization of Kwanzaa.

Several years ago, the Houston Chronicle got in the act with a piece by Leslie Casimir titled “Learning about Kwanzaa from the holiday’s creator.” This one, though, was a bit off the usual track of the how-great-is-Kwanzaa theme because this particular piece celebrated the inventor of the faux holiday, Maulana Karenga, himself. So, instead of merely celebrating this manufactured holiday Casimir amazingly made a hero of the rapist, race monger and violent thug who created it! To Casimir, Kwanzaa creator “Maulana Karenga” was a hero.

Casimir waxed all a’glow about how wonderful Karenga was and her column found a gullible parent who, with kid in tow, went to see the man at a local community center.

Thomasine Johnson needed to get the record straight about Kwanzaa, a cultural holiday steeped in African traditions that celebrates family, ethnic pride and community.

With her 11-year-old grandson in tow, the Missouri City interior designer on Saturday brought her video camera to S.H.A.P.E. community center to hear from Father Kwanzaa ” Maulana Karenga ” in the flesh.”

But just like the manufactured holiday he invented out of whole cloth, this “Maulana Karenga” is also a false front created out of fluff and nonsense. As it happens this supposedly great man’s real name is not really “Maulana Karenga,” but is instead Ronald McKinley Everett, AKA Maulana Ron Karenga. We’ll soon see that subterfuge, reinvention and smoke-and-mirrors are “Karenga’s” stock in trade.

Casimir gave us her version of the history of this “holiday.” It has only a short history, at that.

Created in 1966 by Karenga, a professor of black studies at California State University at Long Beach, Kwanzaa was born out of the black freedom movement of the 1960s, when the Watts riots rocked Los Angeles. It starts the day after Christmas and ends on the first day of the new year.

I love how Casimir employed the euphemism “black freedom movement” for the group that Ronald McKinley Everett “Karenga” belonged to when he created Kwanzaa. In the 60s, “Karenga” was in an organization called US (as in “us” — blacks — against “them” — whites), a black power militant group that he founded, one that frequently clashed in violence with police and even other black power groups. Members of his group even killed two Black Panthers in 1969.

Sounds like they really cared about “freedom,” eh? And what a role model for the kiddies. Yes, kindly professor Maulana Karenga. What a great guy.

Casimir seemed not to understand why people would doubt this man, though.

Still, many people don’t know much about Kwanzaa or the elusive Karenga, who shuns giving interviews to the mainstream press.

Well, it’s not surprising that he doesn’t want to give too many interviews what with his disgusting record as a violent felon and sexual criminal and all. You see, Karenga has a long criminal record. A look at his real history finds that in 1971 Everett served time in jail for assault. By then Everett had changed his name to Maulana Ron Karenga and began to affect a pseudo African costume and act the part of a native African — even though he had been born in the USA.

It wasn’t mere assault Karenga was convicted of, either. It was the sexual assault and torture that he perpetrated against some of his own female followers. The L.A. Times then reported that he placed a hot soldering iron in one woman’s mouth and used a vise to crush another’s toe, of all things.

As writer Lynn Woolley wrote of Professor “Karenga”:

And so this is Kwanzaa. The militant past of the creator is now ignored in favor of the so-called seven principles of Nguza Saba ” principles such as unity, family and self-determination that could have come from Bill Bennett’s “Book of Virtues.” The word “Kwanzaa” is Swahili, meaning something like “fresh fruits of harvest.”

No one remembers the part about “re-Africanization” or the sevenfold path of blackness that Dr. Karenga once espoused. Hardly anyone remembers the shootings, the beatings, the tortures and the prison terms that were once the center of his life. It’s just not PC to bring that sort of stuff up now that Kwanzaa is commercialized and making big bucks.

But, Casimir offers us Karenga’s prattle anyway, treating it as the advice of a sage:

“As part of the black freedom movement, we were using this to return to our history and culture,” Karenga said.

He spoke to a crowd of about 100 people ” young and old ” at the Third Ward community center, headed by Deloyd Parker, an avid promoter of Kwanzaa’s Afrocentric traditions and beliefs.

“We have to wake up that history, we have to remember ourselves in a more expansive way,” Karenga said. “To liberate ourselves as ghetto dwellers.”

In a day when the black middle class numbers in the millions and when more whites than blacks voted for a black man for president, for “Karenga” to claim that blacks are still relegated to the “ghettos” smacks of race baiting and trying to “keep hope alive” so that he can continue to cause hatred between whites and blacks.

Sadly each year the Old Media is all too happy to assist him in that “holiday” endeavor.

Happy Kwanzaa, indeed!

But maybe not everyone if fooled by the faux holiday created by a criminal? This year, for instance, Kalamazoo, Michigan decided to dispense with its public Kwanzaa celebration. In fact, few cities worry over much about this so-called holiday.

Even some African Americans are not fooled into accepting Kwanzaa. As Jenice Armstrong from Philadelphia wrote in 2010, the “truth is that Kwanzaa has never caught on with the majority of black Americans.”

Of course if it weren’t for an Old Media establishment that had given this Karenga’s criminality a wholesale whitewashing, this faux holiday could never have gained the little traction it got in the first place. Put it this way, imagine if famed Ku Klux Klan member David Duke had created a holiday. Do you think the Old Media would have happily sold his creation to a misinformed public without mentioning Duke’s personal history? Not a change, and rightfully so.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

MI Union destroys hot dog cart, calls owner an ‘Uncle Tom’ over right-to-work


Clint Tarver’s hot dog cart, which he has operated since 1996, is another casualty of the union protest against the right-to-work law. Union members destroyed the cart and called Tarver an “Uncle Tom,” among other racist epithets, for serving right-to-work proponents.

After destroying the Americans for Prosperity tent, where Tarver was catering hotdogs, the mob turned there attention to the hot dog cart.

“Early today, Clint Tarver, known as “The Hot Dog Guy” here in Lansing had his business attacked by out of line and out of control protesters near the Capitol,” a blog post associated with a fundraiser to restore the hot dog cart explains. “‘It was when he returned to gather his equipment that the taunts and racial slurs began.”

When attacking the cart, the people were “yelling N*gger & Uncle Tom,” according to Michigan Republican State Committee member Nick Hawatmeh. Hawatmeh took a photo of the attack that you can see here.

According to the fundraising blog post, Tarver says (through his wife) that “the working people did not respect the working man. He was not there to be political; he was just there to serve.”

Source: Washington Examiner

Obama administration gives 20 upgraded F-16D fighter aircraft to Islamists in Egypt


Egyptian F-16D Falcon: A gift for Morsi from Obama

Dad sent me this article from Fox News.


Instability in Egypt, where a newly-elected Islamic government teeters over an angry population, isn’t enough to stop the U.S. from sending more than 20 F-16 fighter jets, as part of a $1 billion foreign aid package.

[...]“Should an overreaction [by Egypt] spiral into a broader conflict between Egypt and Israel, such a scenario would put U.S. officials in an embarrassing position of having supplied massive amounts of military hardware … to both belligerents,” said Malou Innocent, a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute. “Given Washington’s fiscal woes, American taxpayers should no longer be Egypt’s major arms supplier.”

[...]The $213 million order, which is paid for by U.S. taxpayers and is part of Egypt’s foreign aid package from America, had to be approved by lawmakers in Washington.While the basic F-16 has been a military workhorse for top air forces for more than 25 years, the cockpit electronics are constantly updated and the models Egypt is getting are the best defense contractor Lockheed Martin makes.

I’m not a big fan of F-16 Falcons in the air superiority role, but they do a fairly good job at air-to-ground strike missions. Egypt is getting the latest “D” variant, which has upgraded sensors and fire control. You don’t just hand these out to Islamic dictators for free, especially during a recession.

source: wintery knight

U.N. Conference Slyly Introduces Resolution to Gain Control of Internet—in Middle of Night


(Weekly Standard) - In the middle of the night at a U.N. conference in Dubai, the presiding chairman of the International Telecommunication Union conference surveyed the assembled countries to see whether there was interest in having greater involvement in the U.N. governing the Internet. A majority of countries gave their approval.

With a sufficient majority supporting the U.N. becoming more active in controlling the Internet, the chairman put forth a resolution. The chairman, though, insisted the survey "was not a vote."

The resolution was supported by Cuba, Algeria, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia; the United States opposed it.

The proposed resolution resolves that the secretary general of the U.N. "continue to take the necessary steps for ITU to play an active and constructive role in the multi-stakeholder model of the Internet," according to a draft of the text.

"While it is our understanding that the resolutions made at the WCIT are non-binding, the Secretary-General might treat them as binding, which effectively creates a dangerous mandate for the ITU to continue to hold discussions about internet policy into the future," writes, responding to this proposed text.

The pro-digital freedom blog writes, "Further, although minor in scale compared to the impact that defining internet in the ITRs and giving control of it to member states, as Russia proposed, this resolution problematically opens the door to further debate over internet policymaking within ITU fora, and away from multi-stakeholder bodies. As Access has made clear, the ITU is government-centric, lacks transparency, excludes key stakeholders including civil society, and fails to promote a multi-stakeholder approach to internet governance that was embraced by the world's governments at the 2005 World Summit on Information Society (WSIS). And in a similar vain as this resolution’s recognition of the WSIS Outcome Documents and Tunis Agenda before it, future ITU documents will undoubtedly cite to this resolution as approving the ITU as a forum for discussing internet governance and justifying a further expansion of its role."

The preliminary draft resolution also states, "To foster an enabling environment for the greater growth of the Internet ... that, as stated in the WSIS outcomes, all governments should have an equal role and responsibility for international Internet governance and for ensuring the stability, security and continuity of the existing Internet and its future development and of the future internet, and that the need for development of public policy by governments I consultation with all stakeholders is also recognized." explains the concern with this article:

it gives governments primacy in the development of internet-related public policy, which is contrary to Paragraph 35 of the Tunis Agenda – a provision cited twice in this resolution. Provision e’s wording could also be read to give preference to discussing internet policy in UN fora, because these are the only institutions that explicitly give “all governments... an equal role and responsibility...”

Provision a of the resolution further invites Member States to discuss internet policy issues in other ITU fora. While this provision is caveated to only refer to internet-related issues that are within the ITU’s mandate, which lessens the impact somewhat, Access does not believe that the ITU is an appropriate institution to discuss internet policy.

Given the shady nature of the middle-of-the-night introduction of the resolution, it's unclear how ITU conference will proceed.

Nevertheless, they are expected to meet again early Thursday morning (local time), and will need to have the resolution finalized, if they decide to go further, before the conference concludes on Friday.

Here's the full text of the proposed resolution:

To foster an enabling environment for the greater growth of the Internet

The World Conference of International Telecommunication (Dubai, 2012), recognizing

a) the WSIS Outcome Documents including Geneva (2003) and Tunis Phases (2005);

b) that the Internet is a central element of the infrastructure of the Information Society, has evolved from a research and academic facility into a global facility available to the public.;

c) the importance of Broadband capacity to facilitate the delivery of a broader range of services and applications, promote investment and provide Internet access at affordable to both existing and new users.;

d) the valuable contribution of all stakeholder groups in their respective roles as recognized in paragraph 35 of the Tunis Agenda to the evolution, functioning and development of the Internet.;

e) that, as stated in the WSIS outcomes, all governments should have an equal role and responsibility for international Internet governance and for ensuring the stability, security and continuity of the existing Internet and its future development and of the future internet, and that the need for development of public policy by governments I consultation with all stakeholders is also recognized,;

f) Resolutions 101, 102, and 133 of the 2010 Plenipotentiary Conference.,

invites Member States

1 to elaborate on their respective position on international Internet-related technical, development and public policy issues within the mandate of the ITU at various ITU fora including, inter alia, the World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum, the Broadband Commission and ITU-T and ITU-¬D Study Groups.;

2 to engage with all their stakeholders in this regard.,

resolves to instruct the Secretary-General

1 to continue to take the necessary steps for ITU to play an active and constructive role in the multi-stakeholder model of the Internet as expressed in § 35 of the Tunis Agenda;

2 to support the participation of Member States and all other stakeholders, as applicable, in the activities of the ITU in this regard.

For more, read this post at

Michigan Senate Passes Major Pro-Life Bill Stopping Abortions

Life News

The Michigan state Senate has approved a major piece of pro-life legislation that will stop abortions by protecting women and holding abortion facilities accountable for following basic health and safety standards.

The measures to license and inspect abortion clinics, prevent coercive abortion, and stop so-called telemed abortions are intended to protect women and unborn children and further drive down the number of abortions in the state. The full state Senate approved the bill on a 27-10 vote today.

The chamber approved HB 5711, an omnibus bill, also known as the Prolife Bus. The purpose of the Prolife Bus is to hold the abortion industry to the same health and safety standards as other medical providers. Patients’ safety must be put ahead of abortion profits.

The legislation must now be concurred by the House of Representatives before heading to Governor Snyder for his signature.

Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet says “The best interests of women, their unborn children and the state of Michigan were well-served by the committee members who voted to pass the Pro-life Bus bill.”

On the other side, Planned Parenthood supporters have gathered at Michigan’s Capitol to protest legislation aimed at restricting and regulating abortion practices.

House Bill 5711 is an omnibus bill combining six introduced pro life bills into one large bill (45 pages). Omnibus bills of this nature have become common in Lansing and are referred to by the shortened moniker of a “bus.”

After the vote, pro-life groups applauded the state legislators.

“It is regrettable for a woman to seek an abortion; the least that can be done is to make sure abortion facilities in Michigan are clean and meet basic standards of care, and that’s what this legislation accomplishes,” said Rebecca Mastee, Michigan Catholic Conference Policy Advocate. “Michigan Catholic Conference has said throughout this debate that a woman’s health and safety must be a priority, and we’re thankful that the Senate has placed the dignity of women ahead of the financial interests of the abortion industry.”

The licensing and inspection component of the legislation was recently found to have overwhelming support, with 85 percent of respondents to a statewide survey of likely voters approving the provision while 76 percent of Democrat pro-choice women approved the measure.

Currently, only 4 of the 32 abortion facilities in Michigan are licensed by the state and, as such, the other 28 are rarely or if ever inspected by the state health bureau for basic sanitary requirements that are expected of other outpatient surgical facilities in Michigan. The passage of House Bill 5711 will ensure abortion facilities in Michigan meet Bureau of Health Systems standards that pertain to disaster and emergency procedures, medication and medical storage requirements, waste disposal requirements, sanitary procedures and other basic patient care requirements and administrative rules, such as:

• Patient welfare should be the number one priority (Rule 325.3825)
• Facility should be kept clean and sanitary (Rule 325.3844)
• Facility should be safely constructed with a backup generator (Rule 325.3857)
• Patient rooms must be kept between 70 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit (Rule 325.3871)
• Facility must be connected to a public water supply (Rule 325.3872)
• A qualified physician shall be present and in authority (Rule 325.3826)
• Medical records should be organized, accurate and handled with care (Rule 325.3831)

Bank repossessions hit 9-month high in November

AP Real Estate Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- U.S. home repossessions rose to a nine-month high in November, even as the number of homes starting on the path to foreclosure declined to the lowest level in six years.

Banks completed foreclosure on 59,134 homes last month, an increase of 11 percent from October and up 5 percent from November last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Last month marked the first annual increase in bank repossessions since October 2010, when allegations of abuses by the mortgage industry compelled many lenders to temporarily halt foreclosures.

But the number of homes entering the foreclosure process or scheduled for auction for the first time, so-called foreclosure starts, sank to 77,494. That's a decline of 13 percent from October and a drop of 28 percent from November last year, the firm said.

It's also the lowest number of foreclosure starts since they hit 72,163 in December 2006.

The combination of declining foreclosure starts and a sharp increase in the number of homes taken back by lenders signals that banks are moving to complete foreclosures on homes with mortgages that have gone unpaid for a year or two, if not longer.

And it's likely that the borrowers who owned these homes already tried to refinance, get a loan modification or sell the home as a short sale - when the bank agrees to accept less than what is owned on the mortgage - but did not succeed, said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

"Now foreclosure is the final recourse the banks have to go forward on these properties," Blomquist said.

There are close to 1 million U.S. homes that are in some stage of the foreclosure process, and any of those could potentially end up repossessed by a lender.

But several factors are now working to stem, or in some cases merely delay, foreclosures. That's a stark change from two or three years ago, when the foreclosure crisis was more severe.

Mortgage servicers and banks are increasingly favoring short sales as an alternative to foreclosure. Efforts by federal and state lawmakers to slow down the foreclosure process or make loan modifications a more likely option for homeowners also are having an impact. And borrowers are getting better about keeping up with mortgage payments.

The percentage of mortgage-holding homeowners who were at least two months behind on their payments sank in the third quarter to the lowest level in more than three years, according to credit reporting firm TransUnion.

In addition, an improving housing market, rising home prices and stronger hiring likely has helped some homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Even so, bank repossessions remain elevated and on pace to exceed 650,000 this year, according to RealtyTrac. That would be down from 800,000 last year.

"We're seeing more signs of the light at the end of the tunnel, with foreclosure starts being down," Blomquist said. "But the market still has to deal with the properties that already started foreclosure, and that could keep the (bank repossession) numbers stubbornly high the next year."

Also, lenders are still adjusting to new foreclosure ground rules set forth in a $25 billion settlement reached in February between five major banks and federal and state government officials over claims that many lenders had processed foreclosures without verifying documents.

As banks get a handle on those rules, they may move more quickly against late-paying mortgage-holders, Blomquist said.

All told, banks filed foreclosure-related notices on 180,817 properties last month, down 3 percent from October and down 19 percent from a year earlier.

Foreclosure activity, which RealtyTrac measures as the number of homes receiving a notice of default, scheduled auction or bank repossession, increased on an annual basis in 23 states and Washington D.C.

At the state level, Florida had the highest foreclosure rate of any other state, with one in every 304 households in some stage of foreclosure, or twice the national average.

Rounding out the top 10 states by foreclosure rate were Nevada, Illinois, California, South Carolina, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Indiana.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.