Friday, November 9, 2012

MP From Pakistan Survives Assassination Attempt

A Pakistani MP from Pakistan Muslim League-Q party survived a shoe bomb attack last Friday, while attending mosque prayers.

Ahmedan Bugti had left his shoes outside, as is the custom for Muslims going in for prayers.

Someone planted explosives in his shoe, and detonated it as he was outside putting his shoes back on.

His leg was badly wounded as were twelve other people, who were nearby.

Violence has been on the increase in the Baluchistan area with separatist's demanding more autonomy, greater gas revenue sharing, Islamic militancy, and the fighting between the Sunni majority and the Shiite minority.

CIA Director Petraeus Resigns

CIA Director David Petraeus has resigned from the CIA.

The White House has accepted the resignation.

Petraeus has been the head of the CIA since September 2011, following his role as General in charge of allied forces in Afghanistan.

The following was released to staff at the CIA:

Yesterday afternoon, I went to the White House and asked the President to be allowed, for personal reasons, to resign from my position as D/CIA.  After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation.

As I depart Langley, I want you to know that it has been the greatest of privileges to have served with you, the officers of our Nation’s Silent Service, a work force that is truly exceptional in every regard. Indeed, you did extraordinary work on a host of critical missions during my time as director, and I am deeply grateful to you for that.

Teddy Roosevelt once observed that life’s greatest gift is the opportunity to work hard at work worth doing. I will always treasure my opportunity to have done that with you and I will always regret the circumstances that brought that work with you to an end.

Thank you for your extraordinary service to our country, and best wishes for continued success in the important endeavors that lie ahead for our country and our Agency.

With admiration and appreciation,

David H. Petraeus

The White House issued a statement from President Obama:

David Petraeus has provided extraordinary service to the United States for decades. By any measure, he was one of the outstanding General officers of his generation, helping our military adapt to new challenges, and leading our men and women in uniform through a remarkable period of service in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he helped our nation put those wars on a path to a responsible end. As Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, he has continued to serve with characteristic intellectual rigor, dedication, and patriotism. By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger.

Today, I accepted his resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. I am completely confident that the CIA will continue to thrive and carry out its essential mission, and I have the utmost confidence in Acting Director Michael Morell and the men and women of the CIA who work every day to keep our nation safe. Going forward, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work. I wish them the very best at this difficult time.

The Director of National Intelligence released a statement as well:

Today, CIA Director David Petraeus submitted his letter of resignation to the President. Dave’s decision to step down represents the loss of one of our nation’s most respected public servants. From his long, illustrious Army career to his leadership at the helm of CIA, Dave has redefined what it means to serve and sacrifice for one’s country.

Since he took over as Director in September of last year, he and I have worked together to tackle some of the most challenging issues faced by the Intelligence Community in more than a decade. Under his leadership, the CIA remained instrumental in providing our policy makers decision advantage through the best possible intelligence. I’m particularly thankful for Dave’s unwavering support and personal commitment to my efforts to lead the Intelligence Community and integrate our intelligence enterprise.

Whether he was in uniform leading our nation’s troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, or at CIA headquarters leading the effort to generate intelligence used to keep our nation safe, Dave inspired people who had the privilege of working with him.

I have spent more than five decades serving our country–in uniform and out–and of all the exceptional men and women I have worked with over the years, I can honestly say that Dave Petraeus stands out as one of our nation’s great patriots.

On behalf of the entire Intelligence Community, I thank Dave for his service, his support and his continued friendship.

James R. Clapper

Tranformers 4 Release Date and Logo Unveiled

On Wednesday, Michael Bay confirmed that Transformers 4, would be happening.

Over Thursday, he added a little bit more to the information that we already knew.

Yes, Mark Wahlberg will be starring in it, as a completely new character.

It seems Wahlberg will be playing a father of a teen who, if the movies keep coming, will take over the starring role.

A release date was given of June 27, 2014.

Bay also unveiled the logo for the film.

Are We Losing Our Second Amendment Rights?

The title question is one on many people's minds especially these few days following the announcement that the socialist tyrant Barack Obama has been re-elected.

The answer is "yes". However, the answer isn't really as simple to understand as that simple word.

Will Barack and his minions start confiscating weapons? Most likely not.

There are too many citizens who legally own firearms. Attempting to seize them will also be Constitutional violations of the Forth Amendment and the prohibition of ex post facto laws.

However, that right, seen essential to maintaining all other constitutional and natural rights, is in jeopardy.

Some may question that statement given that almost all states now allow for citizens to obtain concealed carry permits. Some may question that statement now that some of those states now also allow those with concealed permits to open carry firearms.

Therein lies the answer itself. Requiring a permit to bear arms is an infringement of the rights to keep an bear arms. Those rights, per the second amendment, are to never be infringed. Yet they already are, in most states.

There are some states that allow open carry without requiring a permit. Those states actually follow the second amendment. You also have a couple of states, such as Arizona, that do not require a permit to bear arms, be it concealed or open.

Requirement of the permits may raise a question concerning the Tenth Amendment. If you read the Tenth Amendment, the Second is an individual right that is explicitly stated in the US Constitution. States do not have the right to limit the rights to own or carry (keep and bear) to those with permission, nor can they limit it through taxation or collection of fees.

Some may make statements concerning drivers' licenses. There is no constitutional right to drive a vehicle on publicly owned roads. In fact, there is no constitutional right to drive, except on your own private property. States can charge for use of the roads and can enforce laws governing safe conduct and good order on those roads. The second amendment prohibits them from restricting the bearing of firearms on those roads, though.

So, the general attitude of the ignorant, uniformed, ambivalent, and apathetic have allowed those who seek absolute power and detest the US Constitution to convince them that requiring permits are not an infringement.

In addition, special taxes on firearms and ammunition are also an infringement. Cook County, Illinois, home to the commisar in chair, has passed a county tax on firearms and ammunition. It's a so called "violence tax". The idea is that lawful gun owners, who are less likely to commit a violent crime than those who do not legally own firearms, must pay for the violence that firearms cause.

Read that again. An inanimate object allegedly commits violence. No it doesn't. Those who use firearms to commit crimes usually acquire them through illegal means. A good portion of them are already convicted felons who have lost their second amendment rights. They will not be paying taxes on the weapons. They will steal them or smuggle them. Even if they were able to take all the guns away from non-military and non-police citizens, those criminal would still have weapons. In fact, Cook County, Illinois has the strictest infringements on the Second Amendment in the country. Yet, they feel they need to add a "violence tax" because those infringements obviously do not prevent criminals from obtaining firearms through illicit means.

If not challenged quickly, this move could serve as what may become a national policy enacted by executive order. This is just extrapolation as no evidence of such an order exists.

Obama has directed the State Department to re-enter negotiations with the UN over their proposed Small Arms Treaty, though. This treaty was postponed and shot down in the past, including this past summer. The treaty will require member nations to register all small arms weapons owned or produced by private citizens and report that data to the UN. All transfers and sales will also have to be reported to the UN. The treaty could direct limitations on calibers, numbers of weapons allowed to be owned, and the amount of ammunition allowed to be purchased in a given time period. It may even require accounting for each round expended. the excuse is that it will deter illicit weapons trade across international borders, such as the illicit trades the Obama Administration committed during Operation Fast and Furious. Criminals will still conduct illicit trade. This will not stop them. It will just infringe upon our Second Amendment rights and eliminate our national sovereignty.

You may think that gun owners are "bitter clingers". Perhaps we are. We are bitterly clinging to what it means to be an American and retain the liberties we hold most dear: Life, Liberty and Property (The Pursuit of Happiness). The reason for the Second Amendment is simple, but often ignored and overlooked. It is not for the purposes of hunting. It is for defense of self, family, and property, though. It is for defense against crime and to insure those natural rights are not infringed. However, the main purpose is to avoid tyranny. The whole reason was because the federal and state governments are allowed armed militia (the military and law enforcement agencies), private citizens must have the means to protect their rights should those armed militia start to overstep their bounds and be used as a tool to forcibly infringe upon those natural rights and other rights guaranteed by the US Constitution. When you look at it that way, they are to protect against the police, should they become a force to inflict tyranny. The Supreme court ruled, more than once, that it is not the job of law enforcement agencies to protect you. Add that together, and the vital necessity of the Second Amendment is more than clear. Now that amendment needs defending, since it is the most infringed upon and violated part of the US Constitution.

 Article originally published at P-G Matuszak's Mental Aikido. Reprinted with permission.

From the Mouth of Matuszak: Is That Atlas Shrugging?...

The day after Obama's re-election, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted three hundred points. The morning of November 8, 2012, it continued its spiral lower.

The trend actually started late last week, prior to the election. While this demonstrates that the electoral news was not the only factor in the continued drop,  it did impact its continued trend.

The reasons analysts give are varied. In reality it is an aggregate of many factors coming to a head at once.

I want to caveat this by stating I am not an economist. I studied economics and once pursued that degree in college. I understand the basics better than your average citizen. But I am not an expert. This is just my lay analysis based upon what I have observed and what actual experts are saying.

The European economic situation is one of the largest causes. Greece appears even less able to pay off its debts as they report an all time record high unemployment rate. This caused market problems and market timidity with European businesses and European banks. The news fed into American investors who backed off, or attempted to sell short. The market fell more. Many investors around the world still look to the US market. Seeing the DJIA and NASDAQ fall here just increased the trend on the world scale.

Then we had elections on Tuesday, November 6, 2012.

The re-election of Obama alone is not what is affecting the market. Some investors and funds may consider that a large decision to "Go Galt" and liquidate. By and large, though, Obama's re-election, alone, is not the cause.

The electoral outcome resulted in what appears to be a repeat of the past two years. We have a House with a Conservative majority who will seek spending cuts, fiscal responsibility, and a balanced budget. We have a Senate with a socialist majority who will not cut that spending unless it means cutting the one thing the US Constitution mandates federal spending be used to provide: the military and national defense. They will block any spending cuts that will affect those whose votes they purchase by providing government subsidies. The result will be a stalemate.

Since Congress will likely continue in a stalemate, the executive branch (Obama) will issue executive orders directing more and higher regulatory fees in order to garner revenue.

Tax cuts that were made temporary, for some unknown and illogical reason, are set to expire. So Capital Gains and Income taxes are set to automatically increase. This includes the return of the 10% income tax bracket, meaning that many working poor will now face taxes they have not faced since the "Bush Tax Cuts" went into effect. That will make it unprofitable to expand many businesses, thus making GDP predictions reflect little to no growth. If companies aren't going to grow, or are punished for growing, production and prosperity will decline. Why would anybody invest int something that looks like it will lose money?

Then this affects not only your wealthy. Most working Americans in lower-middle-income-brackets and higher have some form of retirement fund. That fund may be a 401k or IRAs or Roth IRAs. These are usually linked to mutual funds, stocks, bonds, futures, and the like. When the market declines do to poor economic forecasts or a lack of market stability, those funds suffer. There goes the nest egg for middle-income-workers.

Also, there goes Social Security. Why? Well, less capital means less jobs and lower paychecks. Lower paychecks means less put into those private retirement funds. It also means less Social Security and Medicare revenue. 14% of $100 is $14. 14% of $50 is $7. See how that works? The less you pay into Social Security, the less you receive once you reach retirement age. So, that nest egg faces uncertainty and hard times as well.

Take all of that together with the poor performance of the European market and industries and you are looking at a bleak future. That bleak future becomes a self-licking ice cream cone and becomes a bad today as many employers begin to downsize their companies and lay off more and more people.

Looking at that picture, many investors are scaling back in order to protect what they have left and wait until the market looks better. In essence, they are removing their resources from the pool. They are "going Galt" to a minor extent. The more who do so, the more the situation aggravates. Atlas starts to shrug.

 Article originally published at P-G Matuszak's Mental Aikido reprinted with permission.

Church of England Selects Next Archbishop

The Right Reverend Justin Welby, Bishop of Durham, has been selected as the next Archbishop of Canterbury, or head of the Church of England.

He will be moving into the position in March 2013, after the current archbishop retires.

Right off the bat he is promoting the acceptance of women bishops, and the General Synod will be voting on it later this month.

Welby is a former oil executive, who retired from that after eleven years, when he felt the call of God to join the ministry.

He moved his way up through the clerical ranks, writing papers on whether companies can sin, until being made bishop in November of 2011 and was also made a member of the House of Lords in January 2012.

A father of six children, his wife and him lost a child to a car accident in 1983.

Since joining the ministry he has setup an annual day for parents who've lost a child, to remember that child, and a book filled with the names of the lost is always on display at the Coventry Cathedral.

Lakewood Police Officer Shot and Killed

Early Friday morning, Lakewood, Colorado police responded to a burglary call on Depew Street between West 19th and 20th Avenues.

Sometime after they responded to the scene, shots were fired, from a near by location.

For the next hour shots were randomly heard, and police called for help in locating them.

Edgewater Police, Denver Police, and Jefferson County Sheriffs joined Lakewood officers in the search.

Eventually the location was found, and that's where real confusion began, resulting in one man dead, and three arrested.

Animal control was called in as there were three pit bulls present inside the home.

Originally, the Lakewood Police department said that the dead man was a suspect.

However, at about 7am MST, it was confirmed that it was a six year veteran officer, aged thirty-five, who had been shot and killed.

To make matters worse, just after 8:30am, it was revealed that the officer may have been hit by crossfire from one of his fellow policemen.

At this point no further information is known, and we will continue to update as it becomes available.

Assad Says There is No Civil War

President Bashar al-Assad once again showed his plain lack of connection with reality, on Friday.

During an interview, aired by Russia Today television, he stated that there is no Syrian Civil War.

Assad then said that the conflict is between him and a good portion of the world, but definitely not the Syrian people.

"The problem is not between me and the people. I do not have a problem with the people because the United States is against me and the West is against me and many other Arab countries, including Turkey, which is not Arab of course, is against me. If the Syrian people are against me, how can I be here?"

He also rejected suggestions that he find a safe haven in another country, to end the conflict, saying he would "live and die in Syria".

Syria's nearly twenty month long conflict has led to the deaths of over thirty-seven thousand people.

Rebel forces continue to slowly gain ground, throughout the country.

Meanwhile, reports out of Turkey said that over the last forty-eight hours, nearly ten thousand people have fled over the border, from Syria.

That number includes a group of twenty-seven Syrian military officers, including two generals and eleven colonels, who defected together.

Estimates place the total number of refugees, in Turkey, at over one hundred and twenty thousand people.

Refugees have escaped Syria, to every neighboring country, except Israel, that they could.