Monday, March 05, 2012

When there is indecision that does not alleviate suffering, everyone decides to act on their own.

Syrian workers clean a street at the Baba Amr district of Homs on Sunday. Prince Saud Al Faisal of Saudi Arabia said the Syrians have the right to take up arms to defend themselves against a regime that is imposing itself by force.

The lack of action is driving decision makers in different and possibly covert directions.  The authority is fragmenting rather than standing in allegiance of each other.  Add, to this Iran and Israel and the region is facing uncertainty.

Analysts disagree whether foreign minister is advocating arming of fighters (click title to entry - thank you)

By Jumana Al Tamimi, Associate Editor
Published: 00:00 March 6, 2012
Dubai: Saudi Foreign minister's statement that Syrians have the right to defend themselves reflects Riyadh's firm stand over bloody developments in the country, analysts said.
However, they disagree whether the statement could be interpreted to include arming the Syrian opposition.
At a news press conference on Sunday, Prince Saud Al Faisal said Syrians have the right to take up arms to defend themselves against a regime that is "imposing itself by force".
"Is there something greater than the right to defend oneself and to defend human rights?" he asked, adding that the Syrian people want to defend themselves. "The regime is not wanted by the people," he said....

Mr. Annan, I presume.

Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during their meeting in Moscow on Monday (AP photo)

AMMAN — Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh (click title to entry - thank you) on Monday reiterated Jordan’s rejection of any foreign military intervention in Syria, stressing that the crisis there must be resolved within the Arab League.
During a meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow yesterday, Judeh discussed bilateral relations, the situation in Syria, the peace process in the Middle East and the latest regional developments, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
Judeh also stressed the importance of safeguarding the unity, integrity and security of Syria, noting that Jordan’s stand on the Syrian crisis is in full harmony with the Arab consensus.
Meanwhile, the foreign minister outlined Jordan’s efforts to revive the peace process and break the deadlock in Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, noting that establishing an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the two-state solution and addressing all final status issues lie at the heart of Jordan’s interests....
The estimate of refugees from Syria to Jordan is 80,000.  However, there are now some reports that Syrian troops are stopping the border crossing into Jordan.

"We have not registered a single family in nearly a week (click here)," Hafeth Mufeeth, head of the Islamic Charitable Society Centre's northern branch, told dpa. 

"They simply cannot cross over, legally or illegally."...

Rastan shelled as envoys aim to end Syria killings (click here)

Annan to travel to Damascus on Saturday

AFP | Mar 05,2012 | 23:16

DAMASCUS — Syrian forces on Monday bombarded the city of Rastan for a second day running, monitors said, as former UN chief Kofi Annan and other world envoys prepared a diplomatic drive to end the year-long bloodshed.
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, meanwhile, said Damascus had finally approved a visit, to take place from Wednesday to Friday, following protests over President Bashar Assad’s refusal to let her in.
And the Red Cross negotiated for a fourth day with Syrian authorities to be allowed to deliver aid and evacuate the wounded from the battered Baba Amr rebel district of the city of Homs in central Syria.
Rastan, which activists expect to be the next target of a drive by regime forces to expel rebels who have regrouped from Homs, 20km away, came under renewed shelling, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
It said seven civilians, including four children, were killed on Sunday in shelling of the city, which like Homs straddles the main highway linking Damascus to the north....

By ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY, Associated Press – 3 hours ago
QAA, Lebanon (AP) — Syrian refugees fleeing to neighboring Lebanon on Monday said they feared they would be slaughtered in their own homes as government forces hunted down opponents in a brutal offensive against the opposition stronghold of Homs.
With world pressure at a peak in the boiling crisis, U.S. Sen. John McCain called for airstrikes against Syria. He said the United States has a moral and strategic obligation to force out Assad and his loyalists.
"The only realistic way to do so is with foreign airpower," McCain said from the Senate floor. "The United States should lead an international effort to protect key population centers in Syria, especially in the north, through airstrikes on Assad's forces."
The U.N. refugee agency said Monday that as many as 2,000 Syrians crossed into Lebanon over the last two days to flee the violence in their country. In the Lebanese border village of Qaa, families with women with small children came carrying only plastic bags filled with a few belongings.
"We fled the shelling and the strikes," said Hassana Abu Firas. She came with two families who had fled government shelling of their town al-Qusair, about 14 miles (22 kilometers) away, on the Syrian side....

By exhibiting the poorest of leadership in Syria, it places burdens on Israel to know how to act to protect itself.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on March 2, 2012 (AFP Photo / Dimitar Dilkoff

Israel to take ‘independent’ decision on Iran strike (click title to entry - thank you)

Published: 05 March, 2012, 01:08

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has said his government will make decisions on Iran independently. The statement comes on the eve of a US-Israel summit in Washington where Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program will take center stage.
“Clearly, the United States is the biggest world power and the biggest and most important country that is a friend of Israel, but we are an independent state,” Lieberman said on Israeli radio.
Israel is keen to push for an attack on its Muslim neighbor in a bid to curtail the country’s military capabilities. Leiberman cited the international community’s failure to stop the bloodshed in Syria as evidence that Israel would have to take matters into its own hands to “protect itself.”...

It would appear President Ahmadinejad won't be appearing at the UN before too much longer.

From Haaretz:

Israel would be wise to listen to Obama's advice on Iran (click title to entry - thank you)

Israel would do well to internalize an important statement by Obama: 'As president and commander in chief, I have a deeply-held preference for peace over war.'

U.S. President Barack Obama didn't wait for his private meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to clarify his position on Iran's nuclear program. Speaking at the annual conference of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the U.S. leader urged everyone to set the war drums aside.
After reiterating his commitment to Israel's peace and security, the president made it clear that the United States would consider using military force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons only after it was convinced that sanctions and other diplomatic tools had been exhausted. He also promised to keep up the pressure on Iran and deepen its isolation....
For real?  Attacks into Iran would actually succeed? 
Saudi Arabia and Israel are good friends, I am sure the Saudis would not interfere.  If I were an Israeli General, now is the best time because all the other countries nearby have no military capacity that can interfere or ally with Iran.
A ground war by Iran would be unrealistic all considering.  Non-proliferation has to be the venue.  Iran is the place the world turns the corner on nukes.  I sincerely believe it contains the opportunity.
It is reasonable to approach Khamenei after these elections to find a way to reduce the Iran's nuclear threat.  Khamenei ain't a stupid guy.  It is not an Ahmadinejad.  He doesn't stop annihilation of Israel.  I really think there is a strong possibility for sanctions to work and any improvement in Iran's economy would be a welcome relief.  I am sure Khamenei, especially after the riots, see Ahmadinejad as ineffective and too extreme.

UPDATE 1-Khamenei allies trounce Ahmadinejad in Iran election (click here)

By Parisa Hafezi and Hashem Kalantari
TEHRAN, March 4 (Reuters) - Clerical Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has tightened his grip on Iran's faction-ridden politics after loyalists won over 75 percent of seats in parliamentary elections at the expense of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a near-complete count showed.
The widespread defeat of Ahmadinejad supporters - including his sister, Parvin Ahmadinejad - is expected to reduce the president to a lame duck after he sowed divisions by challenging the utmost authority of Khamenei in the governing hierarchy.
The outcome of Friday's vote, essentially a contest between conservative hardline factions with reformist leaders under house arrest, will have no big impact on Iranian foreign policy, notably its nuclear stand-off with the West. But it will boost Khamenei's influence in next year's presidential election.
With 90 percent of ballot boxes counted, Khamenei acolytes were expected to occupy more than three-quarters of the 290 seats in the Majlis (parliament), according to a list published by the interior ministry on Sunday....

The instability in Syria is causing instability elsewhere. The Arab Nations want action, not stall tactics.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah holds talks with Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani in Riyadh on Monday. They discussed major regional and international issues as well as ways of boosting bilateral ties. (SPA)

I love those words.  "...shoulder its moral responsibility..."

Isn't it time for all nations to shoulder their moral responsibility and act to end violence and nuclear proliferation, especially the threat of it?  Isn't?  This isn't even a leap of faith.  This is about protecting a country's people by instilling the demands for nuclear non-proliferation and the end to totalitarian regimes?  This isn't that difficult.  It is a matter of actually putting a nation's security first before compromising it to economic priorities.  

Every nation on Earth understands how important economic stability is and for that reason alone protecting the peace is absolutely the best priority to ending economic loss.  There ain't nothing worse than war, especially nuclear war, to completely devastate an economy.

Look at Japan.  They weren't even in a war and their nuclear capacity has disabled entire areas of that country.

So is kidding so here?

Ending violence, instilling a sense of democratic principles to empower people that have believed they are helpless to shape their future and shoring up economic stability IS necessary.  

Published: Mar 6, 2012 00:18
Updated: Mar 6, 2012 02:05
Cabinet exhorts Security Council to shoulder its moral responsibility (click title to entry - thank you)
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia yesterday urged the UN Security Council to shoulder its moral responsibility toward ending the bloodbath in Syria, being perpetrated by the regime of Bashar Assad. The Kingdom appealed to the UN to take immediate steps to provide medical and humanitarian assistance to civilian victims.
The Council of Ministers, chaired by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, also welcomed the UN decision to hold a humanitarian forum in Geneva on Thursday to estimate the relief requirements of the Syrian people.
“The council reiterated its call for the Security Council to exercise its legitimate role and shoulder its moral responsibility by taking initiative to call for an end to violence and put an end to the killing of Syrian people,” Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja said....

I am fairly certain the "Iran Nonproliferation Act" dominates the policy of the USA.

The vigilance regarding Iran has been conducted for a very long time. It isn't as though we woke up one day with Israel threatening to bomb the nuclear facility. The efforts to stem all nuclear proliferation by Iran has been ongoing which leads to me believe there is a great deal Israel and the USA know about the potential for nuclear weapon capacity.

...Clinton vetoed a 1998 version of the bill that focused on missile proliferation to Iran because it required the imposition of sanctions on Russian entities unless the president determined that a waiver of sanctions was "essential" to U.S. national security. The administration argued that the legislation, the Iran Missile Proliferation Sanctions Act of 1998, would harm the administration's effort to garner Russian cooperation on a wide range of proliferation issues....

If China and Russia want to lead then be effective and not just oppositional.

I am beginning to believe Russia and China are taking lessons from Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  

I mean that.

There is a clear message from the American Political Right Wing and that is they don't care if Americans live or die.  Basically, if Americans haven't made their lives bullet proof than be prepared to die.  

Now, when the Neocons of the USA speak in those terms, it is economic devastation.  But, in all honesty how can this travesty continuing in Syria be maintained as a reasonable response to such killing.  The position Russia and China have taken is that people are suppose to behave regardless of their oppression.  

Assad is one of those dictators that never minded his own business in the first place.  He actively organized hatred within Lebanon in order to give Hezbollah a target other than him.

The argument of Russia and China is they never bargained for regime change in Libya.  Where did that come from?  To stop the killing it was necessary to stop the regime.  There would have been huge massacres in Libya if nothing was done.

If China and Russia want to be leaders than they have to do more than seek to 'try' to end devastation in the Middle East, they HAVE TO SUCCEED.


March 5, 2012 3:55 PM EST

The Chinese government (click title to entry - thank you) said it will send a diplomat to crisis-torn Syria in an effort to put an end to the nearly year-long rebellion and government crackdown that has claimed at least 7,500 lives.
According to the foreign ministry in Beijing, Li Huaxin, China’s former ambassador to Damascus, will make a two-day visit commencing on Tuesday and will offer a six-point plan as a framework for the resolution to the violence in Syria.
The six-point proposal, which Chinese officials spelled out over the weekend, warned western and other powers not to “interfere” in internal Syrian affairs, while urging both Assad and the Syrian opposition to "immediately, fully and unconditionally" cease hostilities.
China, along with Russia, has repeatedly thwarted moves by western and Arab nations to condemn the brutal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but may now be feeling the pressure to take a more proactive role in bringing peace to the increasingly isolated Middle Eastern nation....

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is on trial. No country on Earth can afford to relinquish the power this treaty brings.

How committed is the global community to ending the threat of nuclear war?  How much clout does the Non-Proliferation Treaty carry?  Do economic trade relations imperil its importance.  When will Non-Proliferation be taken seriously?

...Recalling the determination expressed by the Parties to the 1963 Treaty banning nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water in its Preamble to seek to achieve the discontinuance of all test explosions of nuclear weapons for all time and to continue negotiations to this end,
Desiring to further the easing of international tension and the strengthening of trust between States in order to facilitate the cessation of the manufacture of nuclear weapons, the liquidation of all their existing stockpiles, and the elimination from national arsenals of nuclear weapons and the means of their delivery pursuant to a Treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,
Recalling that, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, States must refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations, and that the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security are to be promoted with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources,
Have agreed as follows:...

Bush was a lot of trouble.  He monkey'ed around with the balance of power as if it were simply a matter of strategy.  It wasn't and isn't.  George W. Bush and Richard Cheney gave permission for too much nuclear activity on Earth and destabilized most of the confidence the world had that it could be contained.

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
President Bush signed legislation (click here) yesterday permitting civilian nuclear cooperation with India, reversing three decades of nonproliferation policy in the interest of redefining U.S. relations with the world's largest democracy and reshaping the geopolitical balance as China asserts itself in Asia.
Bush, who has made the fight against the spread of nuclear weapons a centerpiece of his foreign policy, persuaded Congress to make an exception for India despite its not having signed the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Although critics warn that the deal could spark a regional arms race, Bush called it a landmark moment that finally relegates Cold War-era tensions to the past.
"The United States and India are natural partners," Bush said at a signing ceremony in the East Room attended by lawmakers, diplomats and Indian Americans. "The rivalries that once kept our nations apart are no more -- and today, America and India are united by deeply held values."...

By that premise, then the USA has natural enemies.  It would seem as though Bush/Cheney wanted to insure that was the case.  Placing nuclear proliferation in the hands of India not only imperils the people of India, it has the boat rocking over "The One China Policy."  When does this gamesmanship with the future of our children and the children of other nation's stop?  Bush/Cheney placed nations in opposition to each other so there were going to be NATURAL ENEMIES come hell or high water.

The circumstances with Iran provide a venue for the global community to set precedent in handling nuclear proliferation.  I hope that is among the highest priorities here along with the safety of Israel, Europe, Arab nations and other continents.  

I would think this would be an opportunistic time for China to work for greater peace without escalation of danger.  It is a time for the USA, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom to actually stand together to reverse the trend initiated by Bush and Cheney.  

The nuclear threat can be handled, but, not if there is going to be opportunistic economies of weapons that continue to destabilize and increase capacity.  The world is a lot smaller and getting even smaller with every ballistic missile built, sold or traded.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)

Today in Japan.  Does anyone actually believe nuclear weapons have a place on Earth anymore?  Do we need another demonstration of the deadly effects, the genocidal effects of the technology?  Do we actually need to covet a 'limited nuclear engagement,' as Richard Cheney carried in his heart.
Considering the devastation that would be visited upon all mankind by a nuclear war and the consequent need to make every effort to avert the danger of such a war and to take measures to safeguard the security of peoples,...(click title to entry - thank you)

Bush would akin any diplomacy to appeasement.

Bush loved to point to Chamberlain as a weak leader that practiced appeasement which made Europe vulnerable to the Nazis.  So, appeasement became a dirty word, one that affirmed cowardice.  

No historian will assess Chamberlain any differently, but, in reality could he have done anything different?  Europe was unprepared for war and Germany was armed to the teeth with all kinds of war machines never encountered before.  Little did anyone know the price for the German military was paid for by the blood of so many Jews.  It was Russia that discovered the ugly truth.  

Historian Paul Kennedy defines it as "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and compromise, thereby avoiding the resort to an armed conflict which would be expensive, bloody, and possibly dangerous.

The circumstances within the Middle East are vastly different today than in 1933 or 1939.  I so wish the USA hadn't lost the spy drone over Iran.  Pity.

Wednesday, 1 September, 1999, 08:02 GMT 09:02 UK
Prime Minister Chamberlain declares war (click title to entry - thank you)
...I am speaking to you from the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street.
This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that, unless we hear from them by 11 o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.
You can imagine what a bitter blow it is to me that all my long struggle to win peace has failed. Yet I cannot believe that there is anything more or anything different that I could have done and that would have been more successful....

I sincerely doubt there is anything intelligence doesn't know about Iran.  I mean, a virus that ended a nuclear capacity?  Give me a break.  

But, to take an honest look at what this is all about, calling diplomacy appeasement is not getting the free world anywhere.  And Israel is not about appeasement.  They are very able.

Mr. Thomas doesn't listen to his own words.

In this Monday, Feb. 27, 2012 photo, Egyptian lawmaker Anwar al-Balkimy, center, gestures during a session of parliament in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt's ultraconservative Islamic Al-Nour party said Monday one of its lawmakers has resigned from parliament because he got a nose job and then lied about it, claiming he was beaten. Lawmaker Anwar al-Balkimy told police he was attacked last week during an attempt to steal his car while he was driving on a highway on Cairo's outskirts. Then it turned out there was no carjacking, no beating and no robbery. Al-Balkimy just had a nose job. The problem with that is that his party follows a strict line of Islam that forbids cosmetic surgery as meddling in God's work. (AP Photo)

 Mr. Thomas is representative of a large number of the Political Right Wing that actually believes the USA is being stupidly naive about the Muslim Brotherhood.  

They believe Egypt was better off with USA controlled leadership.  If Mr. Thomas only read his own words he would have to reassess his conclusions about how the Egyptian leadership is deceiving The West.  

The West is not deceived and the Muslim Brotherhood ain't all that.  The real problem Mr. Thomas has is that he wants the USA to be the global police.  He wants USA dominated governments.  Well.  That is what got us in trouble in the Middle East in the first place.  Bin Laden's favorite propaganda was that the USA owned the Middle East and Islam would be destroyed and replaced with other pluralities.

Al Qaeda was formed to hate the USA.  Mr. Thomas should actually wonder where his country got the honor to be hated.  If he could answer that question, he could actually understand why the Arab Spring was inevitable.

...Consider a Pew poll conducted last year which showed 48 percent of Egyptians say that Islam plays a large role in politics in Egypt and 85 percent say Islam’s influence in politics is positive. Only 2 percent said it is negative. “Not surprisingly,” writes Schoen, that a Zogby poll found two-thirds of Egyptians think, “Egyptian life would improve when clerics play a more central role in the political life of the country.”...

...I’m betting on the Muslim Brotherhood, or an affiliated organization with similar goals, to eventually gain political power in Egypt.

Now, if Egyptians don't take themselves seriously, why should we?  I find it completely laughable that an Egyptian pursued a facade of violence in order to explain facial bandages from a nose job.  Oh, wait.  If I had only thought this through Mr. Thomas' way, I would have realized plastic surgeon's abound within the ranks of al Qaeda.

So, you see, deceptions come in all sorts of venues and predicting failure to a burgeoning democratic movement in Egypt is silly at best.  Whether women are in favor of what follows is a good question, but, I doubt seriously "The Taliban are Coming."  Perhaps Mr. Thomas should get the Egyptians he is so concerned about a horse and a watch tower.

By Aya Batrawy
Associated Press / March 5, 2012

CAIRO—A lawmaker from Egypt's most conservative Islamist party (click title to entry - thank you) resigned from parliament after he was caught lying to cover up a nose job, claiming the injuries to his heavily bandaged face were from a carjacking and beating.
Parliament member Anwar al-Balkimy represented the Al-Nour party, whose members known as Salafis follow a strict interpretation of Islam that forbids cosmetic surgery as meddling in God's work.
The party said Monday that he had resigned and Al-Nour was forced to issue an embarrassing and apologetic statement.
"In light of the regretful incident involving Al-Nour party lawmaker Anwar al-Balkimy, the head of the party, Emad Abdel-Ghafour, went to the hospital with a team of party members to question the lawmaker," it said. The party added that it found his claims of an attack were not true....

With that out of the way, now maybe we can sincerely look at what Israel is so concerned about.

Egypt’s Dim Future

This is an editorial by Cal Thomas from February 14, 2012.  This expresses the view of the Political Right Wing in the USA.  It is also called Islamophobia.  It is what taints the events surrounding Israel as well.  
I am not about to state that Israel is overreaching.  But, there is a falsehood in the air that needs to be cleared up.
...Much of the television commentary (click title to entry - thank you) revealed complete ignorance about the history of the region and of Egypt and especially the clear and present danger of a theocratic coup by the Muslim Brotherhood. First prize for those who are clueless about what is transpiring before their blind eyes goes to James Clapper, director of National Intelligence (though the runner-up prize goes to a TV commentator who compared demonstrators in Tahrir Square to America’s tea party movement.)
Clapper told a congressional hearing that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence and has decried al-Qaida as a perversion of Islam.”
Perhaps Clapper can explain then why the Brotherhood endorsed Hitler’s goal of eradicating the Jews and conspired to assassinate the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and his predecessor Gamal Abdel Nasser.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, “The Muslim Brotherhood no longer openly conducts terrorist operations; it is primarily a political organization that supports terrorism and terrorist causes. Many of its members, however, have engaged in terrorist activities and the group has spawned numerous terrorist groups, such as Hamas and Egyptian Islamic Jihad.”...

It is Monday Night

The Middle East - Land of the Bloody Unknown [We Are Mediocre cover] (click title to entry for official website - thank you)

There were letters unopened at the foot of my bed
When I woke up with you in the morn
There were lions roaring on ships in the harbour
The night my true love was born

There’s a minstrel singing of the holy dove
On the mountain of old St Jerome
There is glass on the floor of the hallway I walk
When the stars bear down from their throne
And the old southern cross is shown
And it points down the sad road home
To the land of the bloody unknown

I heard that your mother took off in the fall
With her pretty curls and her wooden spoon
I heard you whispering to yourself last night
She’ll be coming home some day soon

Well the wine you drink is stained deep in your shirt
And just like the sin in my soul
It is never ever ever ever coming out
While the stars bear down from their throne
And the old southern cross is shown
And it points down the sad road home

To the land of the hunter dancing under the trigger
And the bride washing up on the shore
I could never really dance that well
I can’t raise the flags or ring them bells
But I can shoot my gun down the line towards my home
To the land of the bloody unknown

There’s a black dog watching over me in my sleep
And I stir just to toss him the bone
There’s a red moon rising on the hills tonight
Where the stars bear down from their throne
And the old southern cross is shown
And it points down the sad road home

This is the third major action of a strict constructionist that demonstrates no respect for the Office of the President.

Judge calls his impartiality into question (click title to entry - thank you)
Posted: Monday, March 5, 2012 12:00 am
Judge Cebull has been hoisted by his own petard. His political leanings and questionable sense of humor are his own, except when they are shared from a federal email account during federally paid time. He has rendered himself impotent as a judge.
He has created a situation in which his impartiality in decisions affecting segments of our population will forever be in question. He has opened the door to legal challenges for his past, present and future decisions. He has succeeded in adding needless expense to an already overburdened system. He must step down.
April Potter
April Potter has it exactly correct.  Judge Cebull cannot be trusted with cases involving people of color.  He is the third major figure of the Right Wing Judiciary demonstrating the level of irreverence that exists for the Office of the President unless it is held by a Republican.

John Roberts didn't swear President Obama in correctly and that was a slap in the face.

Alito expressed his decent during President Obama's State of the Union Address.

And now this.  The judges appointed by Bush have attitudes.  They have arrogance beyond arrogance and this is another case.  Judge Cebull has proven that if he disrespects President Obama this much, what then will his bias and hate be in his courtroom?

Ms. Fluke is handling her sudden spot light extremely well. She is correct, there has been no apology.

Today, the Right Wing Media is screaming about First Amendment Rights as if their form of communication is actually speech.

There is no integrity in what they do.  It is pure victimization day after day.  This was an all time high for them.

All too often the Right Wing media makes lemonade out of the every lemons they dole out and that is exactly what is occurring now.

There is no respect for Ms. Fluke.  There is no heart felt anything.  There is simply graveling for money with churlish language. 

It is more than obvious, if a woman does not fit the regressive and restrictive mold of the Right Wing then she is a not woman.  The demonstration of lack of respect for women by these broadcasters is more than anyone should have to be subjected to.  

I congratulate Ms. Fluke for continuing to be willing to stand up for her integrity and the integrity of all women.  The attacks are continuing by mispronouncing a her name to make it sound like a sexual act.  The Right Wing media continues to victimize the young lady.

I sincerely appreciated "The View" taking on the responsibility of providing a platform for Ms. Fluke to speak to defend herself and provide more insight to her character. Thank you.

Is it too much to hope for that Ms. Fluke might actually be the next Gloria Steinem.  One can only hope.

In the lower 48 the tragedy of the tornadoes now realizes the loss of an entire family.

Angel Babcock, (click title to entry - thank you) 14 months, died in hospital after being found with severe head injuries following a deadly storm which tore apart her family's mobile home in New Pekin, southern Indiana, on Friday evening.
Her tragic story ignited international sympathy. Twenty members of her extended family including both sets of grandparents were at her bedside as her life support machine was turned off at 4.10pm.
She was discovered by rescuers in the dark near the town of Salem, in a field which some reports suggested was as much as 10 miles from her home.
Other sources said that the distance was less, but that Angel's initial survival remained a miracle given the severity of the winds....

There have been several changes in the lead team, but, the weather is getting rough, too.

Iditarod Homepage (click title to entry - thank you)

Kristy and Anna Berington join ranks of mushing families (click here)

By Heather Hintze
By John Thain, Photojournalist

KASILOF - Any Iditarod veteran knows it’s never a good idea to play favorites.

“I don't like to use the f-word for favorite, but yeah, I do. I don't like to say it in front of them,” said Kristy Berington of her sled dogs.

Kristy readied her team for a training run, mostly rookies and a few vets, all raring to go....

An Iditarod veteran herself with two races under her belt, Kristy will have one more pup tagging along on the trails to Nome this year—her sister Anna, who’s younger by all of five minutes....
Not that the race is conducted at sea, but, there are some considerable gale warnings (click here) along the coast.  That interprets into inland storms.  The 'sheltered coast' is seeing small craft advisories.
The link to this map provides an excellent interactive to the weather conditions.
The race started in Anchorage and ends in Nome.  This year is an even numbered year, so the Northern Route is used.  
Anchorage is in southern Alaska on the map above and Nome is in northwest Alaska.
Right now the racers/mushers are experiencing zero to five below weather.
The field is stated to be the best in it's history.  The twins are not the only women in the race.

Some hints about outcomes according to an expert:

Dan Seavey, age 74, on 13 day race schedule

Check out times later tonight, especially the ones to Yetna. That will indicate the condition of the trail. as I mentioned, a 3.5 hour run is fast trail, 5 hours is slow trail. That will affect strategy.
Secondly, times into Finger Lake will suggest our pack of contenders....