Friday, March 28, 2008
Iraqi soldiers and policemen graduated from Task Force Marne Noncommissioned Officer Academy training.
The soldiers were part of the second class to graduate from the Task Force Marne Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
“You must now ‘leave and lead,’” Army Command Sgt. Maj. Gabriel Berhane, command sergeant major for the 3rd Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, told the graduates, echoing a motto of the 3rd Infantry Division NCO Academy at Fort Stewart, Ga. “As you return to your units, you must constantly remind yourself what being a leader is about.”Building a sense of leadership and a strong NCO corps in the Iraqi security forces is a main goal of the academy.
"I explained the program to my soldiers, and they understood as well as I do that amidst all this turmoil, there are still good, kind people who have not been tarnished by this war," ... "Your ‘e-boxes’ have stretched out far beyond what I think you intended them to. ... “Above all, you've allowed us to keep our humanity, which is something that is easily lost here.”
Gross has seen both sides of this effort. He became a volunteer while in Iraq, receiving some of the packages and distributing them to local communities. The reactions of the Iraqis inspired him to want to do more.
"I really enjoyed putting a smile on the faces of the children," he said. "It made me homesick for my own family, but in a good way -- reminding me of the important things in life."
The Vets for Freedom Heroes Tour was scheduled to stop at Forest Lake Area High School this morning, but school officials told them not to come.
Principal Steve Massey said the event was supposed to be an educational opportunity for about 150 social studies students to hear the stories of veterans who served in various wars. But he received six emails suggesting some might turn it into a political event by protesting the war, he said, and administrators canceled the visit Monday afternoon.
"We just wanted to come in and talk about service and sacrifice ... not whether the war is right or wrong. If we don't have room for patriotism in our high schools, then what do we have room for?"
[six emails. home of the brave]
[where would the above teacher ever get such a misguided view of patriotism...]
"Rather than bar lawsuits against companies for doing their patriotic duty by helping the U.S. government prevent terrorist attacks, the Pelosi plan would ensure that they remain vulnerable to new litigation: House Democrats would create a bipartisan congressional commission with subpoena power to issue a report on U.S. terrorist surveillance programs. They would leave the issue of immunity to the federal courts -- ensuring that it becomes the subject of protracted litigation that could go on for years."
Nasrallah: The Zionist entity can be wiped out of existence
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Monday told tens of thousands of supporters in Beirut that Israel could be eliminated and that the prowess of its army had been exaggerated by "Zionist-American propaganda." "The Zionist entity can be wiped out of existence," Nasrallah said in his address via video link, referring to Israel. "Our nation is stronger now than ever before," he added. Nasrallah's speech was broadcast live at a rally marking the end of the 40-day mourning period for slain Hezbollah military chief Imad Mughniyah...
US Rewarding Arab Terrorism
The Bush Administration’s search for partners to promote ''peace'' and ''democracy'' within the Palestinian Authority (PA) resembles Lord Charles Bowen’s ''blind man in a dark room looking for a black hat – which isn’t there''. For the first time, the Bush Administration plans to give $150 million in cash directly to the Palestinian Authority (PA) Treasury, as part of a $496.5 million ''aid'' package, including $410 million for development programs. This added to the $86.5 million for CIA “security training”, which Congress authorized in April 2007.
Engineer gets 24 1/2 years in prison
Santa Ana, Calif. - A Chinese-born engineer convicted of conspiracy to export U.S. defense technology to China was sentenced Monday to 24 1/2 years in federal prison. Chi Mak, 67, was also convicted last year of acting as an unregistered foreign agent, attempting to violate export control laws and making false statements to the FBI. He worked on highly sensitive submarine propulsion systems in his job as an engineer for the Anaheim-based naval defense contractor Power Paragon.
On Feb. 11, the United States announced that four individuals were arrested on charges of conducting espionage operations for the Chinese against American interests. One employee, who worked for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, was hours from meeting his Chinese intelligence service contact when he was arrested.
While there is little broad agreement about U.S. defense and trade policy toward China, there is widespread agreement among security experts that China is systematically seeking classified information about the United States. These arrests were not isolated incidents, but rather just public examples of a long string of events that have been building over the last decade.
There are three prudent steps the United States can take now to responsibly address China and Chinese espionage...
The proponents of the European Union claim that it is a “peace project.” But the EU is not about peace, it is about war: A demographic and cultural war waged against an entire continent, from the Black Sea to the North Sea, in order to destroy European nation states and build an empire run by self-appointed and unaccountable bureaucrats. This is supported by national politicians in order to enhance their personal power, by creating a larger political entity than their individual nation states and by ridding themselves of the constraints of a democratic society. The EU thus corrupts national political elites into betraying the people they are supposed to serve and protect. Anthony Coughlan, a senior lecturer at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, notes:
At a national level when a minister wants to get something done, he or she must have the backing of the prime minister, must have the agreement of the minister for finance if it means spending money, and above all must have majority support in the national parliament, and implicitly amongst voters in the country. Shift the policy area in question to the supranational level of Brussels however, where laws are made primarily by the 27-member Council of Ministers, and the minister in question becomes a member of an oligarchy, a committee of lawmakers, the most powerful in history, making laws for 500 million Europeans, and irremovable as a group regardless of what it does. National parliaments and citizens lose power with every EU treaty, for they no longer have the final say in the policy areas concerned.The European Union is basically an attempt by the elites in European nation states to cooperate on usurping power, bypassing and abolishing the democratic system, a slow-motion coup d’état. Ideas such as “promoting peace” or “promoting free trade” are used as a pretext for this, a bone thrown to fool the gullible masses and veil what is essentially a naked power grab...
Public buildings, including job centers, schools and hospitals, are to be encouraged to fly the union jack and other national flags to boost national identity. Ministers will this week announce the lifting of restrictions on flag flying that have been in force since 1924. They will allow public buildings to erect flagpoles and fly the union jack and national flags, including the cross of St George, the Saltire of Scotland and the red dragon of Wales every day. At present, flying national flags from public buildings is restricted to 18 days a year...
[methinks Brussels won't be enthused...]
Climate Change: When new facts emerge, the open-minded tend to alter their views. This is what has happened to a Hungarian environmental scholar whose position on global warming has been transformed.
Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist at NASA's Langley Research Center with three decades of experience, had found that researchers have been repeating a mistake when calculating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on temperatures. As has been noted elsewhere, Miskolczi's theory could explain why the warming that models have been predicting
for decades has never materialized.
NASA's response to the new results? It refused to publish them, reports DailyTech.com. Miskolczi quit, citing in his resignation letter a clash between his "idea of the freedom of science" and NASA's "practice of handling new climate change related scientific results."
Business & Media Institute's new report, "Global Warming Censored," shows that network news shows routinely shut out debate on climate issues, even from scientists' perspectives. In fact, in 80 percent of the stories studied an alternate viewpoint wasn't even mentioned.
And when network news shows did feature dissenting views, those people were often branded as "deniers" or "flat Earthers." Scott Pelley, a reporter for CBS, continued to report on climate change for that network despite his 2006 comparison of global warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers.
[Re: some companies going 'green':] "All businesses have marketing departments. Their whole job is to make the business look good," ... "If you do things that are going to make the business look bad, or you're going to get beaten up about it then you try to, then you try to adapt. And so I don't blame companies for trying to do that."
The indications are that even the relatively trivial emissions targets set under the Kyoto Protocol are likely to be missed by many signatory nations, including Canada, New Zealand and various European countries, which are looking for ways to avoid the penalties involved for so doing.
Germany and France, the EU's two most powerful members, have been unhappy and vocal about the effect on their energy-intensive industries, including the steel and car industries, of targets such as a 20 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020.
Ironically, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who chaired last year's EU spring summit (where she was all for the adoption of such targets), did an about-face this month...
[and so it unravels. This was always about forcing the US to redistribute its wealth - not other counties']
A couple have been told their children must lose weight – or they could be taken into care. Social workers warned the parents they have only three months to help three of their six children shed the pounds. They want to see an improvement by June in the 12-year-old boy and two of his sisters, aged 11 and three. The family, from Dundee, have been ordered to send their children to dance and football lessons...
[the inevitable course of socialist nannyism - we're on it...]
Cell phone shutdown angers Afghans
Kabul, Afghanistan - Taliban attacks on telecom towers (10 last month, ~2M$ in damage) have prompted cell phone companies to shut down service across southern Afghanistan, angering a quarter million customers who have no other telephones. Even some Taliban fighters now regret the disruptions and are demanding that service be restored by the companies...
[let me guess: 'disproportionate response' - expect a UN resolution against the phone companies]