Monday, March 29, 2010

Agreement to acquire Aviation Worldwide Services (AWS) from Xe Services LLC (Formerly Blackwater)

The company formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, known for its security work in Iraq, is selling its aircraft company. (2007 Photo By Marko Drobnjakovic/associated Press)

Ft Lauderdale, Florida 3/27/2010 05:20 AM GMT (TransWorldNews)

AAR Corp. (NYSE: AIR) has signed an agreement to acquire Aviation Worldwide Services (AWS) from Xe Services LLC. AAR is acquiring the business as part of its long-term strategy to expand its products, services and capabilities in support of government customers.

The purchase price for the acquisition is $200 million, which will be funded by a combination of available cash, a new 270-day credit facility and a 5-year term loan secured against certain aircraft. The business is expected to generate about $175 million of revenue on an annual basis and to be accretive to earnings and margins within the first year of ownership....

Federal prosecutors (click here) are considering weapons charges against former executives at Blackwater Worldwide over allegations that the private security company illegally stockpiled automatic rifles, including AK-47s, at its North Carolina headquarters, people close to the case said. Justice Department officials are reviewing a draft indictment against former Blackwater president Gary Jackson, former general counsel Andrew Howell and a third employee, the sources said. The company has changed its name to Xe.

With Iraq winding down and progress in Afghanistan the country doesn't need any so called expertise by them.

Gates concerned about Blackwater's conduct: Pentagon (click here)

(Reuters) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates will review allegations of misconduct in Afghanistan by the company formerly known as Blackwater and shares concerns raised by a top senator, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin had made a personal appeal to Gates last week for the Pentagon to consider blocking a potential $1 billion contract with Blackwater, which has changed its name to Xe, to train Afghan police.

Levin cited what he called evidence of misconduct in a previous subcontract awarded to a Blackwater affiliate to conduct weapons training for the Afghan National Army.

"He is looking into it and he takes it seriously," Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said of Gates. "He shares (Levin's) concerns," Morrell told reporters.

But Morrell played down the chances of any swift action to bar Blackwater from contracts, citing Pentagon rules and the company's unique capabilities....

... was also evidence Blackwater may have misappropriated government weapons, carried weapons without authorization and hired unqualified personnel with backgrounds that included assault and battery, as well as drug and alcohol abuse, Levin said.

Xe was not immediately available for comment on Friday....

Experts: Christian militia part of growing trend. I don't know, Sarah, looks like your electorate will be in prison come November.

A New Name in American Paranoia: The Hutaree Militia (click here)

By Steven Gray / Detroit Monday, Mar. 29, 2010

A U.S. Marshal composite photo of some of the suspects tied to Hutaree, a Christian militia that was preparing for the Antichrist, were charged with conspiring to kill police officers.

U.S. Marshal / AP


Posted: 3:29 p.m. March 29, 2010

By Niraj Warikoo
Free Press Staff Writer
The actions of the Christian militia group (click title to entry - thank you) raided in Michigan are part of a growing trend of militant activity across the U.S. because of the weak economy and an African-American president, experts and a civil rights group said today....

Who is David Brian Stone, leader of the Hutaree militia? (click here)

A picture of Hutaree militia leader David Brian Stone is slowly emerging. His interest in guns and religion gradually spiraled out of control, reports suggest, leading to his arrest on charges of conspiring to kill police officers and oppose the US government by force.

By Will Buchanan, Contributor / March 29, 2010

Members called him "Captain Hutaree" or, somewhat cryptically, "RD." A federal indictment calls him the “principal leader” of the Hutaree militia – an extremist group federal authorities say was preparing to "levy war" against the US government by killing police officers....

Hutaree Militia: Parallels To Tim McVeigh; Cable News’ Next Big Story? (click here for video)

...Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment...

Jesus and equipment, huh? Wow.

Sympathies to the Russian people.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Monday visited the scene of a deadly suicide bombing in the Moscow subway and laid flowers at the site.

Twin blasts occurred on Monday morning in the Moscow metro, killing at least 38 people and injuring more than 70. Following the attacks, which drew international condemnation, Medvedev ordered enhanced security measures across Russia.

The first blast took place at 7:52 a.m. (03:52 GMT) at the Lubyanka station near the former KGB headquarters, which now houses the Federal Security Service. The second bomb was detonated some 40 minutes later four stops along the line at Park Kultury station, which is also within walking distance of the Kremlin.

Medvedev laid a wreath at the spot on the Lubyanka station platform where the doors of the second carriage opened and the first bomber detonated her explosives, killing at least 24 people.

The president said those behind the terrorist attacks would be tracked down and eliminated.

"These are simply beasts, and regardless of their motives, what they did is a crime by any legal or moral standard," Medvedev told reporters on hand for the occasion.

"I have no doubts whatsoever that we will find them and eliminate all of them," he said, adding that everyone involved in the November bombing of the Nevsky Express had been killed. Twenty-seven passengers died in that attack, the first major terrorist incident beyond Russia's North Caucasus since 2004.

He also said he would soon sign a decree to establish a modern transport control and warning system in Russia.

Full service has by now been restored on the Sokolnicheskaya metro line, including for the stations where the bombings occurred.

Two women and a man are wanted in connection with the terrorist attack, a law enforcement source said.

Eyewitnesses described the chaos and panic that followed the blasts.

"I was in shock. I was deafened by the sound of the blast, but at first I didn't think it was a terrorist attack. Then I saw all the smoke and realized it had been an explosion. My only thought was to get away as quickly as possible," said Alexandra Antonova, who was at the Lubyanka station when the first explosion occurred.

Another witness said that some of the wounded were pushed along in the crowd of around 1,000 people trying to leave the station via one escalator.

"At the exit near the escalator two wounded women, who had been carried along in the crowd, overtook me. They had cuts on their faces and burnt hair. There was also a man with a wound on his neck."

Putin returns to Moscow

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin vowed that the terrorists behind the attack would be eliminated.

"As you know, today in Moscow we saw a terrible crime against peaceful civilians," Putin said in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk before canceling his engagements and returning to Moscow, where he visited one of the Moscow hospitals where some of the injured are undergoing treatment.

"I am certain our law enforcement agencies will do everything to find and punish these criminals. The terrorists will be eliminated," he added....

I also consider the issue of Jerusalem a simple one.

The problem at hand is a 'shifting baseline.' In many of the diplomatic efforts to achieve peace between Palestine and Israel, the topic of Jerusalem has always revolved around 'demographic' composition of the city.

It has become a 'strategy' of both Palestinians and Israelis to 'effect' the demographics of the city.

That directive needs to end. There needs to be a 'target date (historical or otherwise)' of 'census' that clearly illustrates the 'true demographics' of Jerusalem. The difference of population growth between the two peoples is due to cultural differences. Those cultural differences are allowed to exist without effecting the authority of the two states in the city.

Stability is the answer to not only Jerusalem, but, all areas these two peoples share. The sooner the stability is reached the sooner a SINCERE peace can be reached and not just one for the sake of politics and arguments.

...Jerusalem’s Palestinian growth (click title to entry - thank you) rate has been high. Jerusalem’s Arab population is growing by 3 percent a year.

In contrast, Jerusalem’s Jewish population is growing by a little over 1 percent a year, and this primarily due to Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox population. On average, ultra-Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem – about a quarter of the city’s population - have more than seven children.

The expansion of Jerusalem’s Arab and ultra-Orthodox communities has contributed to increased political and religious tensions in the city. At the same time, it has weakened the city’s tax base and strained municipal services. Consequently, secular, middle-class Jews are moving out of Jerusalem....

It is obvious Ed Koch will never receive a Nobel Peace Prize. Perhaps that should be left up to Secretary of State Clinton.

None of the Obama Administration or any peoples wanting a definitive peace for the region are NOT antisemitic. It is grossly wrong to even imply that. Those that do should be ashamed. Secretary Clinton is sensitive to the Jewish Community both in Israel and of the diaspora.

The Former Mayor's abysmal attitude is hate mongering at its worst.

What any other diplomacy has failed to garner is a sincere definition of Palestinian sovereignty. Coming to terms with that will result in a peace between Israel and Palestine.

No one in the USA has deaf ears, however, there are some in Israel.

...In portraying Israel (click title to entry - thank you) as the cause of the lack of progress in the peace process, President Obama ignores the numerous offers and concessions that Israel has made over the years for the sake of peace, and the Palestinians' repeated rejections of those offers. Not only have Israel's peace proposals, which include ceding virtually the entire West Bank and parts of Jerusalem to the Palestinians, been rejected, but each Israeli concession has been met with even greater demands, no reciprocity, and frequently horrific violence directed at Israeli civilians. Thus, Prime Minister Netanyahu's agreement to suspend construction on the West Bank - a move heralded by Secretary of State Clinton as unprecedented by an Israeli government - has now led to a demand that Israel also halt all construction in East Jerusalem, which is part of Israel's capital. Meanwhile, Palestinians are upping the ante, with violent protests in Jerusalem and elsewhere. And the Obama administration's request that our Arab allies make some conciliatory gesture towards Israel has fallen on deaf ears....

The peace settlement between Palestine and Israel can go a long way if there was agreement on what exactly defines Palestinian lands. Negotiations should never be this difficult.

Working with Fatah to limit the impact of Hamas is the best way to a peace settlement, so long as a Palestinian sovereignty can be agreed upon.
The violence has to stop. Fatah has been trying diligently to bring Hamas to justice to end the extremism. Mr. Dahlan is one of the best hopes for the Palestinians.

Dahlan: Hamas jails fighter involved in Friday clashes (click here)
Monday 29/03/2010, 23:48 (Jerusalem)
Bethlehem – Ma'an – Fatah Central Committee member Muhammad Dahlan said Monday the de facto government has detained an operative involved in Friday's deadly clashes in the Gaza Strip, killing two Palestinian fighters and two Israeli soldiers.

The detainee, a member of Hamas' security forces, has been jailed in Gaza, Dahlan told students at the An-Najjah University, who refused to reveal his name.

Dahlan told students at the Nablus university that Hamas has yet to build anything substantial for Gaza throughout its rule over the coastal enclave "except for the total destruction of Gaza and murder."

Friday's deadly clashes in southern Gaza were the most violent since Israel ended its devastating assault on the coastal enclave 14 months ago....

There is still a lot of fear of Israel by Hamas for the offensive that was conducted under Bush when White Phosphorus was used. It is known it was supplied by the USA military under Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld. That level of determination to kill Hamas Palestinians is over kill. The offensive was far to aggressive for the issue at hand. The violence has to stop and using such extreme weaponry only solidifies the extremist views of Israel and destabilizes Palestine further, while radicalizing other militant groups in the region.

January 15, 2009

Spent shells prove Israeli use of white phosphorus, Gaza doctors say (click here)

Remnants of an Israeli white phosphorus shell, identified by the marking on the outer casing — M825A1 — have been found in the village of Sheikh Ajilin in western Gaza.

Witnesses in Gaza said that the shell was fired on January 9 and was taken indoors as evidence. They recalled seeing thick smoke and smelling a strong odour in keeping with the garlic-like smell associated with white phosphorus...

Simply denying these issues while complaining about Palestine isn't solving anything.

Apology to Rep. Eric Cantor. Violence is never the answer.

No, no. Violence does not 'stabilize' a democracy. Quite the contrary.

...Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert K. Reed (click title to entry - thank you) said Cantor and his family were not harmed as a result of Leboon's alleged activities. Reed added that there was no evidence LeBoon was involved in the shot fired at Cantor's Congressional office in Richmond after last week's vote on health insurance reform....

Before I do further reading of the new health care law...

...I am taking the time to proof read a bit.

Thank you.

The DNC needs to hire the original 'tough guy' to promote their candidates in 2010.

Snoop Dogg Has 'Believable' Superpower In 'Malice N Wonderland' Movie (click here)

'I'm able to deflect bullets and cause a great range of sound that can blow your eardrums out,' he tells MTV News.

Snoop Dogg is re-releasing his Malice N Wonderland album as a two-part project, a suite of new music and a pre-packaged movie, which, according to the veteran rapper, will help explain the concept behind the collection. Snoop told MTV News last week that More Malice, featuring new collaborations with Jay-Z and Kid Cudi, should provide fans with more than enough Snoop....

Caption: Snoop Dogg (Picture) Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards - Arrivals held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion Los Angeles, California ....

"I think he (President Obama) is doing a great job." said "Malice in Wonderland."

Freedom Schooner Amistad in Cuba

The U.S.-flagged vessel Amistad nears the port of Havana. The Connecticut schooner Amistad, a replica of the infamous Cuban slave ship, has arrived in Cuba for a 10-day visit. The ship is to drop anchor in Havana on March 25 to observe the Amistad's 10th anniversary and commemorate the day in 1807 when the British Parliament outlawed the slave trade. Photo: AP

HAVANA TIMES, (click title to entry - thank you)

March 23 – The Freedom Schooner Amistad arrived Monday in the port of Matanzas, some 100 kilometers east of the Cuban capital, on its last leg of a tour of the Caribbean to commemorate the abolition of slavery, reported the local press.

The vessel is a replica of a similar one that left in 1839 from the port of Matanzas with a shipment of slaves, who rebelled and finally obtained their freedom by decision of the US Supreme Court, reported IPS.

In a public display of diplomacy, (click here) aka PDD, a U.S.-flagged ship will share its mast with the Cuban National banner in a united tribute against the ravages of the historical slave trade.

On March 25, 2010, the Amistad will commence a 10-day, two-city tour of Cuba. Even the 10-year-old vessel has a duel meaning for its use and a U.S. vessel in Cuban waters intends to show a thawing of rigid relations. Gregory Belanger knows the powerful image of a vessel displaying home and host flags docking in Cuba. Belanger is the CEO and president of Amistad America Inc., the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the ship.

"We're completely aware of all of the issues currently surrounding the U.S. and Cuba," he said. "But we approach this from the point of view that we have this unique history that both societies are connected by. It gives us an opportunity to transcend contemporary issues."...

The Amistad's presence was an opportunity to demonstrate the passions of the people of Cuba.

For Cubans, transition ahead (click here)

By Ted Mann

Publication: The Day

Published 03/28/2010 12:00 AM
Updated 03/28/2010 11:32 AM

...And while the political subtext of U.S.-Cuban relations was constantly on the mind of American and Cubans alike during the course of the Amistad visit, the treatment of internal political dissidents here was treated with a notable silence.

Scarcely a word about the Damas de Blanco, or Women in White, who were in the midst of seven days' worth of marches through Havana as the Amistad's support crew arrived in the capital. The marches, which were reportedly disrupted by counter-demonstrators loyal to the government and by police, mark the seventh anniversary of the Castro regime's imprisonment of more than 100 dissidents considered by Amnesty International to be political prisoners....

Hannity is lying.

On her show, "State of the Union," Candy Crowley EXPOSED the lies of Hannity in regard to the less than civilized behavior of the Tea Baggers that ? VISITED ? Capital Hill during the passage of the "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

Murdoch's Shawn Hannity stated there was no proof of the uncivilized behavior of the Tea Baggers as they spit on a Congressman, whom by the way did not press charges.

Well, there was proof, but, the manipulative Hannity CHOSE not to show the video.

Evidently, the only PROOF Hannity understands is video, eyewitness accounts, including Police reports don't matter.

I was pleased Ms. Crowley thought enough of the integrity of the Congressman to dispell the lies Hannity was weaving.

I thank her for that.

This is just good reporting. Getting the facts correct and being sure there is at least one place concerned citizens can turn to find 'the truth' is simply taking on the responsibility of journalism.

It is not partisan reporting. It is simply just GOOD reporting and editorial content. "State of the Union," is more or less editorial content RATHER THAN the 'entertainment' show the Murdoch and Rush Shows claims are their 'right.'

While I am driving I listen to the rants of the Right on Rush or Murdoch depending on the tone for the day.

Well, yesterday on my way to Stoneville, the angry airwaves of Rush Radio was hard at work. I have never heard such hatred of human beings in a partisan way before in my life.

There is only one thing I am going to say. It seem more than obvious while I read the
"The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," that the 'exchanges' are where the Public Option lives. It is the exact same thing. The Public Option was going to open up the insurances Federal employees, including the President and Congress, have to chose from.

The exchanges are the same thing, only at a State level with commercial carriers. If there is any reason State Attorney Generals are opposing this law, it is only for political purposes. As far as I am concerned the 'candidates' opposing anyone that voted for the new law or have ambitions in politics, are seeking to defy the law in any capacity through the elections of 2010.

There is a Public Option. It is not called a Public Option, but, it looks remarkably similar. It is the exchanges that provide alternatives to draconian commercial insurance.

This is the tornado that was near the house last night.

I left after this. I drove west past Stoneville until this morning and then returned from that western point. It was an outbreak of about 6 - 7 tornadoes across the state. The storm was really strange. As the Charlotte tornado touched down, High Point was getting torrential rains, over 4 inches in a hour.

When the same Charlotte system arrived in High Point, the wind stopped, there was NO rain and even the birds stayed in the trees as if nothing was going to occur. There was no hail, just think gray to dark gray clouds, very, very low to the ground. I'll say about 100 to 150 feet above the ground. They were moving very fast. I had seen that once before, during a night outbreak on the North Carolina Coastal Plain. The tornadoes could be seen as clouds above the ground, but, the system was moving so fast they never reached the ground. Really strange stuff. The appearance of the clouds were definately meso-tornadic without a funnel appearance, other than the tornado itself.

As the same storm system approached High Point, the line of storms was directly over the town. Getting out of its way was the only recourse. The people of the area have no real place to go to save their own lives. There are no basements or any safe shelters to go to. There are no alarms/sirens that sound. There is a local television station, Channel 12, that has a really interesting 'model' for such emergencies. They stay on the air until the Tornado Watch ends. They tell people there is a funnel cloud on the ground and it is now you should be taking shelter. But, there isn't any real shelter to seek. An inside room of the house. That is just to eliminate flying glass if you don't have the tornado rip up the house.

But, on radar, the line of storms was obvious and it was easy to plot a path out of the way. So, I did. I don't argue with tornadoes, they usually win.

With a real lack of shelter in the area or within their own homes, the folks here don't really react to the emergency. They don't assert a sense of self-preservation. Sad, but, true.

Every building code in any State without basements that are susceptible to tornadoes should have a requirement to have one room, at least, a tornado SECURE, not just safe, SECURE room.

An underground area is always best, but, SOLID brick structure, small, no larger than a 12 by 12, like an entrance way foyer could suffice for a 'tornado secure' room.

A foyer this size could be built at a door to a trailer as well.

In case one does not understand what is occurring when these storms 'hit?' The turbulence is above the clouds. The dew point in the troposphere has moved up and only when the system is spinning fast enough to over comes upper air 'sheer' does it make it to the surface. That is why the 'vortex force' of the tornado itself is diminished. HOWEVER, this is an early set of tornadoes and the northern hemisphere troposphere has yet to heat to capacity (direct solar rays). The torrential rains are the leading edge of the system so it has no 'systemic' issues as the rest of the storm does. It is also typical that tornadoes occur 'worse' and 'more frequently' after sunset when the air is starting to cool and there is more movement up from the ground.

Have a better day.