Thursday, March 19, 2009

Terrorists Coming To Your Neighborhood - Is THIS what you voted for?

MARCH 19, 2009, 3:00 A.M. ET Guantanamo Detainees May Be Released in U.S.

(from the Wall St Journal)

WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Eric Holder said some detainees being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may end up being released in the U.S. as the Obama administration works with foreign allies to resettle some of the prisoners.

Mr. Holder, in a briefing with reporters, said administration officials are still reviewing individual cases of the approximately 250 detainees to determine which will be put on trial and which may be released to comply with plans to close the detention facility by next year.

Six weeks into his tenure, Mr. Holder is still trying to assemble much of the Justice senior leadership, with several nominees awaiting Senate confirmation. He said he has reviewed the department's handling of white-collar criminal cases in response to the financial crisis and is considering ways to increase coordination on financial fraud among federal prosecutors and state officials. He said he is trying to increase the budget dedicated to white-collar crime, while maintaining funding for national security.

European justice ministers met with Mr. Holder earlier this week and pressed for details on how many Guantanamo prisoners the U.S. planned to release domestically, as part of any agreement for allies to accept detainees. Mr. Holder said U.S. officials would work to respond to the questions European officials have over U.S. Guantanamo plans.

For "people who can be released there are a variety of options that we have and among them is the possibility is that we would release them into this country," Mr. Holder said. "That process is ongoing and we've not made any determinations or made any requests of anybody at this point."

Among the detainees whose fate remains undetermined are 17 ethnic Uighurs, from the Central Asian region of China, who have been ordered released by a judge. The U.S. has refused to turn the men over to China, which considers them part of an separatist group.

Mr. Holder is planning to visit Mexico next month to meet with his counterparts and discuss efforts to fight the trafficking of guns from the U.S. into Mexico and the drug trade from Mexico into the U.S.

"The Mexican government has been courageous in the way it has confronted the problems that now challenge it," Mr. Holder said, noting the violence that has resulted from battles against the drug cartels in Mexico.

And Now Obama Goes After Our Pilots

(From the Washington Times)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

EDITORIAL: Guns on a plane

After the September 11 attacks, commercial airline pilots were allowed to carry guns if they completed a federal-safety program. No longer would unarmed pilots be defenseless as remorseless hijackers seized control of aircraft and rammed them into buildings.

Now President Obama is quietly ending the federal firearms program, risking public safety on airlines in the name of an anti-gun ideology.

The Obama administration this past week diverted some $2 million from the pilot training program to hire more supervisory staff, who will engage in field inspections of pilots.

This looks like completely unnecessary harassment of the pilots. The 12,000 Federal Flight Deck Officers, the pilots who have been approved to carry guns, are reported to have the best behavior of any federal law enforcement agency. There are no cases where any of them has improperly brandished or used a gun. There are just a few cases where officers have improperly used their IDs.

Fewer than one percent of the officers have any administrative actions brought against them and, we are told, virtually all of those cases “are trumped up.”

Take a case against one flight officer who had visited the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles within the last few weeks. While there, the pilot noticed that federal law enforcement officers can, with the approval of a superior, obtain a license plate that cannot be traced, a key safety feature for law enforcement personnel. So the pilot asked if, as a member of the federal program, he was eligible. The DMV staffer checked and said “no.” The next day administrative actions were brought against the pilot for “misrepresenting himself.” These are the kinds of cases that President Obama wants to investigate.

Since Mr. Obama's election, pilots have told us that the approval process for letting pilots carry guns on planes slowed significantly. Last week the problem went from bad to worse. Federal Flight Deck Officers - the pilots who have been approved to carry guns - indicate that the approval process has stalled out.

Pilots cannot openly speak about the changing policies for fear of retaliation from the Transportation Security Administration. Pilots who act in any way that causes a “loss of confidence” in the armed pilot program risk criminal prosecution as well as their removal from the program. Despite these threats, pilots in the Federal Flight Deck Officers program have raised real concerns in multiple interviews.

Arming pilots after Sept. 11 was nothing new. Until the early 1960s, American commercial passenger pilots on any flight carrying U.S. mail were required to carry handguns. Indeed, U.S. pilots were still allowed to carry guns until as recently as 1987. There are no records that any of these pilots (either military or commercial) ever causing any significant problems.

Screening of airplane passengers is hardly perfect. While armed marshals are helpful, the program covers less than 3 percent of the flights out of Washington D.C.'s three airports and even fewer across the country. Sky marshals are costly and quit more often than other law-enforcement officers.

Armed pilots are a cost-effective backup layer of security. Terrorists can only enter the cockpit through one narrow entrance, and armed pilots have some time to prepare themselves as hijackers penetrate the strengthened cockpit doors. With pilots, we have people who are willing to take on the burden of protecting the planes for free. About 70 percent of the pilots at major American carriers have military backgrounds.

Frankly, as a matter of pure politics, we cannot understand what the administration is thinking. Nearly 40 House Democrats are in districts were the NRA is more popular than House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We can't find any independent poll in which the public is demanding that pilots disarm. Why does this move make sense?

Only anti-gun extremists and terrorist recruits are worried about armed pilots. So why is the Obama administration catering to this tiny lobby at the expense of public safety?

Can anyone be surprised by this? This president is a disgrace. - CJ

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


CONFIRMED:"Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki confirmed Tuesday that the Obama administration is considering a controversial plan to make veterans pay for treatment of service-related injuries with private insurance."

Since we've all been talking about this anyway, here's the scoop:
"The leader of the nation's largest veterans organization says he is "deeply disappointed and concerned" after a meeting with President Obama today to discuss a proposal to force private insurance companies to pay for the treatment of military veterans who have suffered service-connected disabilities and injuries. The Obama administration recently revealed a plan to require private insurance carriers to reimburse the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in such cases.

"It became apparent during our discussion today that the President intends to move forward with this unreasonable plan," said Commander David K. Rehbein of The American Legion. "He says he is looking to generate $540-million by this method, but refused to hear arguments about the moral and government-avowed obligations that would be compromised by it."
Of all the thing's he's said and done, this by far is the most disgusting. We have an obligation to care for the wounded vets who return from DEFENDING THIS COUNTRY. Period. Obama's lack of care for the troops over and over again cements his inability to be Commander in Chief.

He ignored wounded warriors in Germany. Skipped the veterans ball on Inauguration night, the first president to do so in over 60 years. Yeah he cares. Not.

Are unions in demand?

There is quite a bit of talk in the city regarding the contention(s) between the Mayor and many of the city unions. The unions will say that the Mayor never bargains in good faith and hides more information than he shares.

The Mayor states the opposite citing his dedication to holding the line and refusing to not push for an override or debt exclusion.

Quite often the city is told that more people want to join unions and cannot or that the process is unfair - there is even current legislation on capitol hill to supposedly ease the process to organize (although this writer finds it less so).

A little information recently published by Rasmussen shows an interesting poll here on the desire to unionize.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Is this how Massachusetts treats it's Military?

ACORN, Yes! American Soldiers, No!
by Michael Graham October 23, 2008 @ 08:09

ACORN, yes! American soldiers...not so much.

That's the message from Massachusetts Secretary of State Bill Galvin to local members of the US military.

The same Secretary of State who has thus far refused to even investigate ACORN's activities here in Massachusetts--and who supports giving tax dollars to a group committing election fraud--won't do his job to protect the right to vote for men and women fighting for our nation abroad.

One of the problems uncovered during the 2000 Florida fiasco is that American military personnel deployed abroad often don't get their chance to vote. Ballots arrive too late, aren't processed when they return, are disqualified on technical grounds without the soldiers ever knowing, etc. So Congress passed a law in 2002 mandating that election officials like Secretary of State Galvin track track how many soldiers and overseas voters request a ballot, have one sent to them, and how many come back and are actually counted.

Pretty basic stuff, for a very profound cause: protecting the right to vote of people getting shot at while defending ours. But Bill Galvin told the soldiers to get stuffed. Galvin refused to obey the law and make sure Massachusetts military members got their ballots and had their votes counted.

Think there were any guys in Iraq who wanted to vote on Bush vs. Kerry in 2004? Well, tough luck if they lived in Massachusetts. Galvin refused to to his job. The 2006 Congressional election? Same thing. Guys who may have wanted to vote against "Surrender Now!" Massachusetts congressman James McGovern never got the chance.

And that, of course, is the point. Secretary of State Bill Galvin can read the polls. He knows that about 70% of the military vote will go to John McCain. He knows that people willing to put their lives on the line for the USA also tend to vote Republican more than their Cambridge neighbors here in Massachusetts.

So Bill Galvin, who will fight to the death to make sure a "voter" who can't even read the ballot unless its written in Portuguese gets a vote, violated federal law rather than make sure an American soldier serving in Baghdad gets his ballot.

This is the kind of voter Bill Galvin is disenfranchising:

“I just gave John McCain my Purple Heart,” Marine Sgt. Jack Eubanks told me a few minutes after McCain finished a speech at a campaign rally in Woodbridge, Virginia Saturday. “I said, ‘I want to give this to you, sir, as a reminder that we want you to keep your promise to bring us home in victory and honor, so it will mean something.’

“We fought over there, and we want it to mean something,” Eubanks continued. “We don’t want to come back and it just be all for nothing.”

Bill Galvin is treating our soldiers the same way segregationist election officials treated black voters in the Jim Crow South. If you think that's an exaggeration, read the consent order Galvin was forced to sign. Massachusetts is now going to have federal election officials overseeing our treatment of military voters...just like Alabama had overseeing their treatment of black voters 40 years ago.
The people of Massachusetts elected this anti-military moron. Is this really how we want our soldiers treated?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Don't call concerned parents "Bitch" (at least not on video)

From the Eagle Tribune:

By Shawn Regan
Staff Writer

HAVERHILL — Parent Kathleen Victor left the May 28 School Committee meeting feeling insulted that school officials want to close her son's elementary school and they failed to fully answer her questions about the building's future.

But it wasn't until the next day when she began talking to people who watched the meeting on cable television that she realized she missed the worst insult of the night, she said.

A few seconds after Victor walked away from the podium following a heated exchange with School Committee President Kerry Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald looked in Victor's direction, shook her head slightly, squinted her eyes and clearly muttered the word "bitch."

"At first I didn't believe it when people started telling me what she said," said Victor, whose son is a second-grader at Crowell Elementary School. "I kind of shrugged it off at first. But every time I watch it, I get a little angrier."

A neighbor taped the meeting for Victor, who has watched it many times in recent days. She said several people have told her they saw it on television, including Haverhill teachers and other Crowell School parents.

"I don't want to hear any excuses or that she said something else," Victor said, adding that she has complained to Mayor James Fiorentini and other School Committee members about how she was treated by Fitzgerald. "It's clear by audio and visual what she did and said. She should publicly apologize not only to me but to the general public that was disgusted by her actions and words at the meeting."

Fitzgerald does not deny she used the word while running the meeting. But she denies it was directed at Victor.

"I was in the middle of trying to make a point and I was mad at myself for letting Joe (Bevilacqua) interrupt me," Fitzgerald said. "What came out was the end of 'son of a bitch.' I was thinking it in my head and it slipped out.

"I shouldn't have let it slip out. But it was aimed at myself and not the woman. I feel badly she thinks I called her that, but it wasn't directed at her. It was near the end of a long meeting. I was tired and emotionally drained."

Fitzgerald agrees with Victor that she owes the Haverhill community an apology for the remark. She also said she is willing to apologize to Victor, even though the crude epithet was not aimed at her.

"The bottom line is I said something inappropriate and I regret it," Fitzgerald said. "When I first heard the rumor that I said it, I didn't believe it. So I went to view the tape at the school office and when I saw it on the tape I cried. It's awful I did it. That isn't me."

Fitzgerald's remarks to Victor were precipitated by Victor suggesting Fitzgerald no longer cares what happens to young schoolchildren because her two children are in high school now. Fitzgerald's son graduates tonight.

"She was rude to me and my feelings were hurt by comments that I don't care about kids," Fitzgerald said.

At the end of the May 28 meeting, Fitzgerald said she gave Victor a piece of paper with her phone number on it, but that Victor never called her. Fitzgerald said she has also tried to contact Victor in recent days to offer her an apology, but that Victor refuses to speak with her.

"I tried to call her, but her phone is unlisted, and she would not allow ... the mayor to give me her number, so there was no way to resolve this," Fitzgerald said. "She hates me as do the other Crowell parents and are doing this to make me look bad. I am tired of getting blamed for Crowell. I don't even care if it closes. I wasn't the one who brought it up (closing the school)."

Fiorentini, who is the School Committee chairman, attended the May 28 school meeting. He did not run it as he usually does because he also was participating in a City Council meeting going on in the room next door at the same time. The mayor said he did not hear or notice Fitzgerald's controversial remark that night, but that he has heard a lot about it since.

"I didn't hear anyone swear at anyone, which would have been very inappropriate," Fiorentini said. "But I'm very concerned with the general demeanor and lack of civility at School Committee meetings."

At past meetings, Fitzgerald has accused the mayor of lying and acting like a "king" for making decisions that affect city schools on his own.

Fitzgerald also has feuded publicly and privately with other members of the committee, specifically Bevilacqua, Scott Wood Jr. and Shaun Toohey. Fitzgerald said she has recently "mended fences" with each of them, however.

Bevilacqua and Toohey backed Wood for School Committee president, but Wood lost his bid for the leadership position, 4-3. The mayor cast the deciding vote to give Fitzgerald the presidency. Fitzgerald was backed by Erin Francescone and Susan Danehy.

The mayor said he intends to meet individually with members of the committee in the coming days to discuss treating each other and the public better in the future.