Saturday, January 2, 2010

French New Year: Cars Burned by Youths

It is a sign of a deteriorating West. Poverty and despair always lead to bad things.

Youths burned 1,137 cars across France overnight as New Year's Eve celebrations once again turned violent, the French Interior Ministry said on Friday.

Car burnings are regular occurrences in poor suburbs that ring France's big cities, but the arson is especially prevalent during New Year's Eve revelry.

The number of vehicles torched was only 10 short of the record 1,147 burned this time last year, even though the Interior Ministry mobilized 45,000 police during the night -- 10,000 more than 12 months ago.

It said police detained 549 people overnight, compared with 288 in 2009 New Year celebrations. However, unlike in previous years, there were no direct clashes between police and youths. "The few disturbances that did take place were brought swiftly under control," the ministry said in a statement.
It's that same terrible poverty that leads people to do terrible things to other people:
Tribal elders in a Pakistani village where a suicide car bomber killed nearly 100 people insisted Saturday that residents will keep defying the Taliban, even as the bloodshed laid bare the risks facing the citizens' militias that make up a key piece of Pakistan's arsenal against extremism.

The New Year's Day attack on the northwest village of Shah Hasan Khel was one of the deadliest in a surge of bombings that has killed more than 600 across Pakistan since October. Police believe the attacker meant to detonate his 550 pounds (250 kilograms) of explosives at a meeting of tribesmen who supervise an anti-Taliban militia. Instead, the blast went off at a nearby outdoor volleyball court, killing at least 96 people.

The explosion leveled some three dozen mud-brick homes and covered the village with dust, smoke and the smell of burning flesh. On Saturday, numerous homes received visitors offering condolences, and funeral prayers were held. Many of the residents in the village of 5,000, which lies near Pakistan's militant-filled tribal belt, were too scared to name any possible culprits, but others were defiant.

"The people are in severe grief and fear -- it is a demoralizing thing," said Raham Dil Khan, a rifle-toting, 70-something member of the tribal council. "We want the government to provide security, but one thing is very clear: The committee will stand against every type of terrorism and despite this great loss we will continue our work."

None of the elders at the gathering was killed. The 28-member council had been debating punishing relatives of militants suspected in the recent killing of a fellow tribal leader, Khan said.

Across Pakistan's northwest, where the police force is thin, underpaid and under-equipped, various villages and tribes have taken security into their own hands over the past two years by setting up citizen militias to fend off the Taliban.

The government has encouraged such "lashkars," and in some areas they have proven key to reducing militant activity. In the Bajur tribal region, for instance, the militias helped turn the tide against militants during a 2008-2009 army offensive. And in the northwest's Swat Valley, citizens have set up militias to prevent militants from staging a comeback as the army continues an offensive there.

Rush Limbaugh: I Got the Best Medical Treatment Money Could Buy

Rush Limbaugh once got into trouble because of getting access to powerful medication from different sources to treat an addiction that would not have been possible for you and I.

Now he is bragging about getting superior medical treatment from the best health care system in the world. You can bet he did not spend 8 hours waiting to be taken care of. He did not die because he was waiting for medical care in a hospital that was overwhelmed. And he doesn't have to worry about insurance or medical bills. After all, he's a millionaire.

In turned out Limbaugh was not having a heart attack. But you can bet he got a battery of tests. Just to make sure:

...Those tests can include an EKG to test the heart's electrical rhythm, a blood test for enzymes that may indicate damage to heart tissue, and a chest X-ray.

Patients could be given a stress test to see how the heart functions under pressure.

Doctors could also order an angiogram, in which dye is injected to examine the coronary arteries.

"Sometimes there may be one that's blocked and one or two, it's amenable to a stent. Put a stent in there to allow the blocked area to open up," Zunin said.

Treatment could involve a stent or angioplasty to open a clogged artery. The patient might have open heart surgery with a multiple bypass.

People with an angioplasty usually stay in a hospital for a day or two and are then asked to avoid strenuous activity for two weeks. Bypass surgery usually means several days in a hospital and a six to 12-week recovery.
And how many of us can afford to be vacationing in Hawaii at the time we're feeling chest pains. That's what you call going in style:
The Republican Party here in Hawaii says Limbaugh had been staying in Kona, not far from another high ranking democrat, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. And since President Obama is also here so is the national press corp. who have been staking out the hospital following the Limbaugh story.

Limbaugh arrived in Hawaii December 23 and planned to stay until January 4. It's unknown if he will return to the mainland sooner. A statement on his website says he appreciates your prayers and well wishes.
The greatful patient even found the time, in a conference room alloted to him, something not done for just anybody, to give medical advice. He conveniently ignored the fact that many millions of Americans neglect their health because they lack health insurance. This is something Mr.Limbaugh didn't mention while opposing health care reform:
With the physician who treated him, Dr. Joana Magno, by his side, Limbaugh made a plea for others who may have a similar experience not to wait around before calling 911.

"I'm 58, will be 59 in a couple of weeks - you start thinking about these kinds of things. Don't mess with it,” he said. “Any time you have heart pain or chest pain and you have no idea what it is and it's something you've never experienced before, turn it over to professionals right off the bat."

Limbaugh thanked well wishers who have reached out to him over the past two days.

Report: Guns Drawn in NBA Locker Room

This is insane. Violence by professional athletes has become an epidemic. We have a sports industry that puts profit above education and personal responsibility. An athlete is basically treated like a god in our culture. That has to change. They are viewed as role models in the poor communities they come from. This behavior sends the wrong message. Is it any it wonder that gun violence has gotten out of control. Although the greatest factor in the profusion of guns in our society is the NRA, and the whore politicians they've bought off. Even this President has remained silent on this issue because of the fear of the powerful gun lobby. If true, both of players should be suspended for at least one year from the NBA. And I guarantee that won't happen. No one wants to do the right thing.

in reference to:

"The last-place Washington Wizards might have wanted a new run and gun offense - but not like this. Star point guard Gilbert Arenas has been tweeting about reports that the locker room of the team (formerly known as the Bullets) almost became the OK Corral, when Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittendon allegedly drew guns on each other during an argument over a gambling debt: Wizards player Mike Miller told reporters he'd never seen Arenas and Crittendon argue in the locker room at the Verizon Center, and had never seen firearms there. Arenas responded with a flurry of messages on Twitter, at times making light of the news but also making one tweet that read somewhat like a denial: "I understand this is serious..but if u ever met me you know i dont do serious things im a goof ball this story today dont sound goofy to me." Arenas later tweeted he couldn't talk about the report the way he wanted to."
- Report: Guns Drawn in NBA Locker Room - CBS News (view on Google Sidewiki)

Obama Ties Failed Plane Attack to Al Qaeda

Not very reassuring. This failure is no where near as that of Bush. But it was bad enough. Can we trust the government to do everything to public us. I'm not convinced. How about hearings about how to fix something that should have been fixed by now. Better yet, we need a non-partisan commission on reform our terrorism fighting strategy. In those hearings, there should be consideration of new agency/department set up specifically to fight terrorism. That's what's really lacking. Homeland Security is a toothless and worthless agency. And CIA and FBI are not cutting it.

in reference to:

"In his first radio and Internet address of the new year, Mr. Obama also rebutted attacks by former Vice President Dick Cheney and other Republicans who since the incident have accused him of not recognizing that the struggle against terrorists is a war. Mr. Obama said he was well aware that “our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.” The president’s speech, taped from Hawaii where he is nearing the end of a 10-day holiday vacation, was the third time he has publicly addressed the failed attack on Northwest Flight 253 bound for Detroit on Dec. 25. Mr. Obama noted that he has received preliminary reports about the incident but gave no more details about how a Nigerian man with known radical views was allowed to board a flight to the United States with explosives in his underwear. Mr. Obama’s comments about the involvement of Al Qaeda, however, were the most direct to date by the highest reaches of the American government. Administration officials and intelligence analysts previously had said they were increasingly confident that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the Yemeni branch calls itself, was involved, as it claimed. But the president until now had shied away from referencing that until analysts were further along in their assessment of the group’s activities and its ties to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian charged with attempting to blow up the airliner. “We’re learning more about the suspect,” Mr. Obama said in the Saturday address. “We know that he traveled to Yemen, a country grappling with crushing poverty and deadly insurgencies. It appears that he joined an affiliate of Al Qaeda and that this group, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America.”"
- Obama Ties Failed Plane Attack to Al Qaeda - (view on Google Sidewiki)