Saturday, May 26, 2012

Syrian Forces Use Artillery to Massacre Civilians

Saturday saw at least ninety people were killed in the village of Taldo, Syria when government troops opened fire and shelled for hours. It is possibly the single most deadly event during the fourteen month uprising in.

The shelling only goes to prove how ineffective the UN cease fire is. All UN observers could do was confirm that the attack took place.

Iranian state news, while not mentioning the bombardment, said that Al Qaeda linked terrorists were responsible for the deaths. SANA went on to call them horrible massacres.

A UN release stated, "This appalling and brutal crime involving indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force is a flagrant violation of international law and of the commitments of the Syrian Government to cease the use of heavy weapons in population centers and violence in all its forms. Those responsible for perpetrating this crime must be held to account."

Reports also have come that government infantry opened fire on crowds as they left mosques after Friday prayers. Armed civilians fired back, killing several soldiers.

New Mexico Wildfire Covers Neighboring States in Smoke

Firefighters in New Mexico are battling a huge fire, in the south west of the state.

The fire is a result of the combination of two fires, that were created by lightning strikes.

Closing in on 100,000 acres, and being spread by winds, the fire is nowhere near contained.

Winds are spreading ash and sparks from the fire, more than thirty miles ahead of the current lines, making fighting it nearly impossible.

Smoke from the fire has spread to cover not just New Mexico, but Arizona, Colorado, and parts of several other states.

Health officials are warning people in the smoke affected areas to limit their outside activities due to the potential health risks.

US State Department Joins Al Qaeda Sites

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bragged that the State Department had begun campaigning on Al Qaeda websites.

They specifically targeted Al Qaeda websites in Yemen, that were heavy with anti American messages.

Joining the sites was simple, and they even listed themselves as members of the US government.

After doing so they began posting message after message showing all the damage that Al Qaeda had caused in Yemen.

The State Department's Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications was begun at the beginning of 2010, but this is their first big mission.

Hopes are high for them to continue success in combating Al Qaeda, in their own forums, all around the world.

Most notable about this group is that they are non hackers, nor ever will be. Hacking is the domain of intelligence agencies.

Okay Quebec Student/Faculty Protesters; Enough is Enough!

Student protests, in Quebec, began on February 13, 2012, over 100 days ago. At the time they were over the increases to university tuition. The current tuition cost is $2,168 and is to be raised to $3,793 by 2017. This averages to an increase of $325 per year. Quebec (23.6% of the Canadian population) has the lowest rate for tuition in Canada and is a "have-not" province which means it receives equalization payments from the Federal Government, money paid by the "have" provinces.

Where do these students think the money is going to come from to cover the costs? The Province of Quebec is currently on a spending spree (subsidized daycare, etc.) and there is only so much money to go around. Education is a privilege not a right; no one is forcing them to go. They go to university to get the degree to get the better paying jobs.

So why do students assume that they should not have to pay slightly more for this education? How long do they think that things can continue the way they are before the province would have to increase the fees? Students pay nowhere near what the cost of the education really is. Do they expect staff to cover these costs if they don’t pay the increase? Do they expect other provinces to pony up more money for Quebec transfer payments? If they expect the 1 percenter's to pay more taxes to help pay for this, do they not realize that with their university degrees, many of them have the possibility of becoming a 1 percenter (making over $360,000) themselves.

Many students, who are not involved in the strikes, are having their education stalled and basically have become tuition hostages, if they could not complete their programs. Quebec passed the bill titled "An Act to enable students to receive instruction from the post-secondary institutions they attend", which restricts freedom of assembly, protest, or picketing on or near university grounds, and anywhere in Quebec without prior police approval.

The bill also places restrictions upon the right of education employees to strike. Many of the students and faculty were angry about the passing of this bill. They vowed to disregard the law and continue protesting. Wednesday, May 23rd saw 518 arrests, the most in one day (as of May 25th, there have been 23 injuries and 2,500 arrests).

Businesses in the area have been affected as people have been steering clear, also there are concerns coming this summer with tourist events, conventions, etc. would be cancelled further hurting these businesses. No one wants to venture into areas where there is a potential for rioting.

How long are the police/politicians going to let it go on? If they give in to the protesters where do things stop? The next group will just step things up to get what they want in a faster timeline. Riots will happen at a more increasing rate if they believe this will further their cause. The Government of Quebec needs to get a serious game plan and get it now before they set the template for further strikes, etc.

WaPo's Useless Racism Analysis

Obama lost around 40% of the vote in primaries held in Kentucky, Arkansas, and West Virginia. Of course, The Washington Compost posted a story providing useless and utterly inane analysis surrounding the reasons why the president did so poorly as the incumbent candidate. Chris Cillizza wrote:
that we know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that Appalachia and portions of the South — particularly those states without large African American populations — have long been hostile to President Obama.
There are any number of data points that make that point plainly.
During the 2008 Democratic presidential primary campaign, Obama lost Kentucky by 35 points and West Virginia by 41(!) points to then Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton even though both states voted late enough in the process that it was already clear Obama would be the nominee.
In the 2008 general election, only five states voted more Republican than they had four years earlier. Those five states were: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia. (In Oklahoma and West Virginia, Obama and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry got the same percentage of the vote but Obama got less raw votes.)
And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s an amazing graphic, courtesy of the New York Times, that shows the counties that voted more Republican in 2008 than they did in 2004.
I'll save you some time with the link:

However, it may surprise some liberals that a significant amount of Democrats have conservative leanings, especially in the region Mr. Cillizza is referring to in this post.  Furthermore, Cillizza quotes
Tom Cole, a Republican House Member, dismissed the idea of race as a major factor in opposition to Obama out of hand.
Said Cole:
Obama fares poorly in states like Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arkansas because he has nothing in common with them. They are rural, he is urban. They are populist, he is elitist. And in case anyone hadn’t noticed, they are conservative while he is liberal. That isn’t just true of Republicans in these states. It is true of Democrats as well.
Well, there you have it Chris.  I can say the same for my home state of Pennsylvania, which is aptly described as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Alabama in-between concerning the political disposition of its electorate.  In a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by 1.2 million, the PA GOP were able to clinch eleven more courthouses,  thus controlling fifty-one  of the sixty-seven counties.  That is up from 40 in 2007.  As Executive Director Mike Barley noted:
Nine of these wins occurred in “blue” counties where Democrats have a registration advantage – Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Elk, Lawrence, Mercer, Monroe and Westmoreland...in all of these counties we witnessed Republicans, Independents and even Democrats rejecting Democratic candidates, their big government agenda and President Obama, proving that great Republican candidates can compete and win even in the Democratic counties in the Commonwealth. The story lines are even more intriguing when looking at each race county-by-county and case-by-case. Consider Westmoreland County, where Democrats out-register Republicans 53% to 38%, yet Republicans won the courthouse for the first time in more than 50 years, winning two commissioners and sweeping all of the row offices... in these cases, we see conservative “Reagan Democrats” coming out in droves for Republican candidates. While each county in Pennsylvania is unique, a universal distaste for President Obama’s failed policies was found everywhere and Republicans were successful in large part because we related the ongoing national debates surrounding spending and taxes to issues at the local level.
These rather embarrassing results for the president is not attributed to his race, but his failed record and liberal policies that are destroying the socio-economic health of the country.  The American people are saying "no thanks" to the president's agenda.  What's more amusing about Mr. Cillizza's piece is when he admits that race cannot be gauged in any shape or form.
simply labeling the 42 percent of Kentuckians who supported “uncommitted” over Obama or the 41 percent of Arkansas who backed Tennessee lawyer John Wolfe over the incumbent as “racists” is a major oversimplification.
Untangling or decoupling how people feel about Obama’s race from how they feel about the policies he has pursued in office and his general beliefs about the size and necessity of government is impossible. No poll or election result can divine voters’ motivations.
So why insinuate that racism was a possibility?  Yes, there are some people in America who are racist and will not vote for Obama because of his African-American roots.  However, this is not a new revelation.  And for most of them to be located in the southern and Appalachian regions; I'm stunned! Although I'm sure you can find, regrettably, plenty of like minded individuals all over the country. Think Boston in the 1970s when local schools were desegregated which led to the forced busing fiasco.

In all, for liberals, it is almost unbelievable that people don't support the president.  It is unbelievable that people don't support his policies and his far left vision for America.  If you're against him, you must be racist. That's their default position to silence the opposition.

However, as demonstrated in key battleground states like Pennsylvania, voters, especially the blue dog, conservative wing of the Democratic Party are beginning to sour on Barry for his failure to get America back on track.  Unemployment has remained above 8% for over thirty-eight months, the national debt has increased by $ 5 trillion dollars, we've ran our third consecutive trillion dollar deficit under this administration. These aren't things that drive the faithful to the polls.  His record is dismal and the people are calling him out on it. It really isn't that difficult left wingers.  A study session isn't needed for everything.