The Education Bubble

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(Sultan Knish) Flip through enough of the 99 percent signs and you realize that the majority of that demographic aren't complaining about the lack of financial regulation or income inequalities, so much as they're upset that they took on loans to pay for college degrees to get jobs that don't actually exist.
The fault here isn't Wall Street's, it's a policymaking apparatus that decided the way to deal with the loss of manufacturing jobs was to get as many college graduates out there as possible to create the industries of tomorrow.
This was Clinton's platform and it's Obama's "Winning the Future" platform, pump enough money into education and the jobs will create themselves. The Dot Com boom in the nineties seemed to back up that policy with entirely new companies springing to life with valuations in the hundreds of millions and twenty somethings at the helm. But a good deal of those companies were nothing more than the foam on another bubble-- and more problematically the cream of the tech companies were created by college dropouts. Even more problematically, the tech companies liked to save money by importing Chinese and Pakistani employees on H1-B visas as cheap labor, while their lobbies insisted that this would protect "American" innovation.
But the real problem was that swapping manufacturing for college degree jobs solved nothing. American companies that manufacture anything become the tip of an outsourced iceberg. All the companies with the shiny logos depend on Chinese manufacturing and raw materials. They can't create anything that the People's Republic of China can't take away from them when the time is right.
American companies aren't outsourcing labor to China, China is outsourcing design and marketing to them and allowing them to serve as middlemen between Chinese manufacturers and American consumers, until a Chinese company decides to buy their product unit or its reverse engineered copies of their products are good enough that they invest the money in a marketing campaign to establish their own trusted brand.
And yet the tech industry is the closest to a college degree success story that we have. The failures are legion.
The problem with the "college degrees for everyone" approach is that creating more college graduates does not proportionally create more jobs, it creates more unemployed college graduates and devalues the worth of a college diploma. Too many college graduates mean that employers will look for higher degree levels. High school diplomas used to be a certificate of competence, then that was devalued through promotion in a system where teachers were expected to move students up to the next class no matter what. When college became the new high school, it was devalued in the same way. There are city and state colleges with students who are barely literate, not in the "kids these days use too many abbreviations" way, but in the "functionally illiterate" way.
If the goal is to move everyone to the highest level of education possible, the result will not be a more educated population, but an educational system with lower standards and a population that is less educated than ever because actual education becomes more inaccessible as the standards are lowered.
Make sure that everyone can "afford" to take out college loans and the marketplace will compete for students with traditional universities offering a large buffet of "educational choices", most of which are not educational or represent any kind of career path outside academia, and private colleges offering useful sounding degrees that no employer will look twice at.
For the liberal politicians it's a triple score. Money pours into academia which they can use as their own think tanks. The educational system gets four years or more to process students through more sophisticated indoctrination mechanisms. And then the students who can't find jobs join the ranks of the usefully disaffected because somebody must be to blame... and it can't possibly be the people pulling the strings of the people shouting at them through megaphones.
Clinton told working class voters that the manufacturing jobs were gone, but their kids would all have college degrees. Obama went one better by telling working class voters that they would be retrained to hold down "Green Jobs", even as they're falling faster than the Green companies and their sweetheart government pork. Those lies are what make the class warfare rhetoric out of DC so doubly despicable.
Politicians have never honestly talked to voters about what happened to the American economy, instead they fell back on the same mantra of opening up new markets through globalization and creating new jobs through education./
None of this is new. The country with the highest degree rate in the world is Russia. The USSR ran its citizens through its educational system at a rate that Elizabeth Warren could only gasp in awe at. But what was its education actually worth? About as much as American degrees are becoming worth. If you throw enough money and manpower at the educational system, you will have a really big educational system. What you will not have is anything of worth to go with it.
Only one country that has a higher degree rate than the United States has a higher per capita income and that country has its own oil industry. The usual handwringing that liberal pundits and politicians engage in over how the American educational system is failing compared to countries with higher degree ratios is wasted noise.These same statistics are trotted out to justify dumping more money into the black hole of an educational system under the pretext of job creation. But do the statistics even matter?
According to the OECD (another useless globalization organization wrapped around a WW2 fossil) the Israeli educational system is a hopeless failure. In its 2009 evaluation claimed that Israeli students were behind Turkey, Dubai and Russia in math and science. Yet peculiarly enough Israel keeps collecting Nobel prizes and turning out minor things like instant messaging, drones and Kinect. When reality contradicts statistics, it's wise to go with reality. That's a skill most politicians haven't learned, but it's a rather valuable one.
The universalization of education is not about remaining competitive in a global marketplace or any of that other nonsense piously repeated by politicians with their hands in more pockets than a thieving octopus-- it's about promoting the homogeneity of ideas across a population. Which is why the importance placed on universal education increases as a country becomes more culturally diverse or internally divided.
The original Department of Education was created two years after the Civil War. The Kalamazoo School Case, which set the precedent for forcing taxpayers to fund public education and created the entire system of property tax school robbery we live under today, took place during the same period. As was the National Education Association whose Committee of Ten played a key role in the standardization of the national curriculum.
A better name for universal education is federalized education, and there is very little difference between the two in the United States. The growing federal control of education is a mechanism for maintaining control of increasingly divided populations. It may be a failed mechanism, but like the rest of the government's boondoggles, it long ago created a class of people who depend on the system and have a vested interest in its expansion.
When this is understood, the failure of innovation in the system is also obvious. The educational system is not a means of empowering thinkers, but of standardizing a static consensus of ideas. It's a great way to learn liberal dogma, but an inefficient way of learning anything else. The expansion of the system is not about remaining competitive with China, just as funding more "Green Jobs" is not about "Winning the Future", it's about shaping the voters of tomorrow.
We're not falling behind due to a lack of college graduates, but because we're smothered by a system of stifling bureaucratic conformity that is far more concerned with its grip on power than with jobs or income. The resemblance to the USSR is not at all accidental.
The system would rather have 10,000 subsidized jobs that it creates than 10,000,000 jobs in the free market. It would rather have a middle class of 5 million college graduates, (40 percent of them government employees), than have a free market middle class of a 100 million, (only 30 percent of them college graduates and less than 0.5 percent of them government employees.) And it would rather have an angry mob camped out near Wall Street, than have a viable economy.
The educational bubble isn't creating a new Middle Class that will keep social security viable, it is creating dissatisfied people who feel that they are entitled to better and don't know who to blame. Like the rest of the government, the education bubble is too big to fail, which means that by the time it fails, so will the whole country.
oh... the pain! the pain! if only I had listened to myself instead of what my parents forced me to do.

Jordanians plan to sue Netanyahu

From Ammon News:
Jordanian farmers from the Jordan Valley intend to file a lawsuit against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in international courts over the fires Israel reportedly sets ablaze at the borders with Jordan, causing major damages to Jordanian border farms.
Head of the Jordan Valley Farmers' Union Adnan Khaddam said that the farmers also intend to file lawsuits against Israeli Ambassador in Amman Danial Nevo over the fires that Israeli authorities regularly set ablaze at border regions with Jordan.
Khaddam said that farmers are seeking financial compensation for damages to their farms and equipment as a result of the repeated fires, Assabeel daily newspaper reported.
The latest fire was occurred last Friday in the border Manshiyyeh region, which extended to over 15 dunums burning over 90 citrus trees and woodland areas, and damaged irrigation infrastructure of Jordanian farms in the border region.
Khaddam added that most of the fires in the past several years were caused by light bombs fired by the Israeli army to monitor the borders, and to detonate mines and burn weeds off wire fences of border patrol sites, citing "security reasons, border patrol, and preventing smuggling."
Jordanian farmers have repeatedly complained about the fires which extend to Jordanian farms and cause major damages. The Jordanian government had also voiced objection over the fires and the material damages caused to Jordanian farms, yet Israel continues to refuse to compensate Jordanian farmers, UPI reported.
I don't know where the Manshiyyeh region is. Practically the entire border between Israel and Jordan is the Jordan river and the Dead Sea, so while I suppose it is possible for burning embers to go across the water and start fires, this seems strange.
It took sixty some years for the Arabs to figure out that lawsuits were more debilitating then tanks. It will taken another thirty to figure out that suicide bombs only spike the emotions of those who already were haters. The Arabs might have attrition, but it always seems to hit a brick wall of common sense. The only real danger for the Jews is when they start believing the hateful libels themselves... with the amount of so called Jews who claimed to be Jews (or might of had a relative who was Jewish)... they came close enough that they put Obama in office, but the Jews will overcome this as well.

Halloween Costume by Intolerant Fox

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She majored in womyn's studies and doesn't know why she can't find a job. Sadly I can relate with my BA that got me put in jail. Uh oh, forgot... can't legally talk about that.

Bill Declares Sovereignty in Judea, Samaria - Inside Israel - News - Israel National News

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Judean Hills
Judean Hills: Israel news photo: Wikipedia
( Deputy Knesset Speaker MK Danny Danon (Likud) will formally propose a law Monday that would make Israel sovereign over Judea and Samaria. The proposal will be placed before the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, which will decide whether the governing coalition supports the bill. Bills that gain the Committee's backing are usually passed into law, while those that do not usually fail to become laws.
Israel liberated the Judea and Samaria region – which has been the Jewish heartland since Biblical times – from a brief 19-year Jordanian occupation in 1967. Since then it has formally declared sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights – also liberated in the 1967 Six Day War – but Judea and Samaria continue to be administered by military governors.
The bill would place Jewish communities under Israeli law, while leaving other areas under Palestinian Authority (PA) control. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's attempts to gain UN recognition of a state of "Palestine" creates "a historical opportunity" for Israel "to right a protracted wrong," said Danon.
Using an arboreal metaphor, Danon said that "The tree that Abbas climbed up could produce the fruit of the Zionist endeavor." In the US, lawmaker Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) has introduced a bill in US House of Representatives expressing congressional support for Israel’s right to annex Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria. The bill is modeled closely on Danon's bill and has been signed by more than 40 lawmakers.
better get down from that tree Abbas! and fast. he is losing credibility

As Crime Skyrockets in NYC, Bloomberg Focuses on Gun Control ... in Virginia

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Hey wasn't the Holocaust nice? would of been nice if the Jews were for gun rights... then they might of had a chance. yeah that's right... they don't teach this in schools because it is offensive to Mommy and Daddy Socialist Yenta Jews, but the fact is that most of us were dumb asses and thought the state would protect us.
(Jammie wearing fool) With the NYPD tied up babysitting the Wall Street "occupiers" and crime spiraling out of control, the pipsqueak mayor of New York has decided to focus on the issue most important to New Yorkers. Gun control in Virginia. Is this guy for real?
Mayor Bloomberg is crossing state lines - and opening his wallet - in his latest salvo in his war to keep guns off city streets.
Bloomberg has donated $25,000 apiece to the campaigns of six Democratic candidates for the Virginia state Senate who share his strict beliefs on gun control, officials told the Daily News Friday.
The deep-pocketed mayor, who drew the ire of the Virginia attorney general when he ran gun stings there five years ago, will travel to Old Dominion to campaign for the candidates next week, the officials said.
It might be better if Bloomberg focused on rapist control in Zuccotti Park. One Virginia resident summed it up nicely.
"He's an arrogant bastard who shouldn't be meddling."
(image: Colossus of New York (1958))

Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad:Western action against my country would cause an "earthquake" that would "burn the whole region"

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(ibloga) From Will at The Other News:
(TheTelegraph). In his first interview with a Western journalist since Syria's seven-month uprising began, President Assad told The Sunday Telegraph that intervention against his regime could cause "another Afghanistan". 
Western countries "are going to ratchet up the pressure, definitely," he said. "But Syria is different in every respect from Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen. The history is different. The politics is different.
"Syria is the hub now in this region. It is the fault line, and if you play with the ground you will cause an earthquake … Do you want to see another Afghanistan, or tens of Afghanistans?"Any problem in Syria will burn the whole region. If the plan is to divide Syria, that is to divide the whole region."
Thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets in two Syrian cities on Friday to demand the imposition of a Libyan-style no-fly zone over the country. According to the United Nations, at least 3,000 civilians, including 187 children, have been killed during protests against the regime. Thousands more have been imprisoned.
The government says 1,200 members of the security forces have also died.President Assad admitted that "many mistakes" had been made by his forces in the early part of the uprising, but insisted that only "terrorists" were now being targeted."We have very few police, only the army, who are trained to take on al-Qaeda," he said. "If you sent in your army to the streets, the same thing would happen. Now, we are only fighting terrorists. That's why the fighting is becoming much less."
On Friday alone, however, opposition groups claimed that 40 people were killed by the regime, and government troops shelled a district of Homs, a centre of opposition.Seventeen soldiers also died in overnight clashes with suspected army deserters in the city, which foreign journalists are forbidden to enter.Syria was condemned yesterday by Arab League foreign ministers for its "continued killings of civilians".
The number of protesters appeared to fall earlier this month, but has increased again after the death of Col Gaddafi gave opposition groups new heart. A general strike affected much of the southern part of the country.President Assad insisted that he had responded differently to the Arab Spring than other, deposed Arab leaders.
"We didn't go down the road of stubborn government," he said. "Six days after [the protests began] I commenced reform. People were sceptical that the reforms were an opiate for the people, but when we started announcing the reforms, the problems started decreasing e_SLps This is when the tide started to turn.
This is when people started supporting the government."Some Damascus-based opposition leaders say the reforms, which include laws ostensibly allowing demonstrations and political parties, are a start, but not enough. However, the leaders of the main protests say they are meaningless and President Assad must go."The problem with the government is that their dialogue is shallow and just a tool to gain time," said Kadri Jamil, of Kassioun, a Damascus-based opposition group.
"They have to act to begin real dialogue because the security solution has failed. We have one to two months before we pass the point of no return."One Homs-based opposition activist said: "Killing people is not an act of reform. We aren't calling for economic or even political reform under Assad, but for the departure of this bloodstained president and free elections."
President Assad said: "The pace of reform is not too slow. The vision needs to be mature. It would take only 15 seconds to sign a law, but if it doesn't fit your society, you'll have division … It's a very complicated society." 
He described the uprising as a "struggle between Islamism and pan-Arabism [secularism], adding: "We've been fighting the Muslim Brotherhood since the 1950s and we are still fighting with them."
In interviews in Damascus, some without government minders, secular Syrians and members of the country's substantial Christian and Alawite minorities said they supported the Assad regime for fear of their positions under a new government. Those attending a large demonstration in support of the regime last Wednesday did not appear to be coerced, according to independent observers.However, interviews, even some with minders present, revealed widespread and vocal discontent over corruption and living standards.
Read the full story here.
I hate to say this, but he is right, but he also lying. Hamas is in fact the Muslims Brotherhood and he has been supporting them, sheltering and funding them. 2 things that concern me: (1) His chemical arsenal will be used on both his own civilians and of course Israel. (2) the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists that would take over would be worse then he is.

Israeli ex-soldier faces prison over leaks - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

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Kamm copied more than 2,000 military documents from army computers between 2005 and 2007 [Reuters]
She deserves worse then she is getting. Her arrogance is disgusting. It is a shame she is attractive looking, her real punishment should be to live with those that she is so concerned about saving the lives of. Better yet... they should send her to Jullian Assange... he seems to know how to treat the idealistic pretty ladies.
(Al Jazeera) h/t (Bat-Zion Susskind-Sacks) An Israeli court has sentenced a former soldier to four and a half years in prison for leaking classified military documents to a newspaper, which later reported allegations of a policy to assassinate Palestinian fighters.
A three-judge panel handed Anat Kamm a 54-month sentence and an additional 18-month suspended term on Sunday, with judges writing in the court document that they had found "the motive behind taking the documents was mainly ideological".
Kamm, 24,copiedmore than 2,000 military documents from army computers between 2005 and 2007, when she served as a junior clerk in the office of the Israeli commander responsible for the illegally occupied West Bank.About 700 were classified.
Avigdor Feldman, one of Kamm's lawyers, said at the time she was convicted that she had "believed she stumbled onto [evidence of] war crimes."
She later passed some of the information,including operational plans, personnel lists and lists of targetsto Uri Blau, a correspondent for Israel's Haaretz daily.
The newspaper subsequently reported in 2008 thatsenior army officers had authorised the assassination of Palestinian fighters, in a possible violation of Israeli law.
Press freedom questioned
All ofBlau's stories were approved by Israel's military censor before they were published, but the information contained within them led to a search for his source.
Kamm was arrested in December 2009, though her detention was made public only four months later. She has remained under house arrest throughout the proceedings against her.
Kamm was convicted in February of possessing and distributing secret information, after striking a plea bargain
with Tel Aviv District Court, where judges agreed in exchange to drop more serious charges of harming state security.
Her case has sparked debate in Israel on the limits of press freedom in a nation where most men and women are subject to compulsory military conscription at 18, and go on to serve in the reserves, and many become privy to classified information.
In summing up Kamm's sentence, the judges appeared to point at her case as a lesson to other soldiers.
"The military establishment is built on the service of young, motivated people who fill complicated and secret roles," they wrote."If the army cannot trust the soldiers serving in various units and exposed to sensitive issues, then it cannot function
as a regular army."
Israel has justifiedits assassination practice as necessary to combat and deter potential attackers, while saying it has refined its methods to kill its targets more precisely.

Scenes From Zuccotti Park: 'Pervert! Pervert! Get the F--k Out'

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(Jammie wearing fool) As the freak snow storm descended upon the Northeast Saturday, one Zuccotti Park occupier decided it would be a good idea to try and occupy one of the female protesters. There's been a lot of this going on amidst the peaceful occupiers. Apparently this time, however, the fiend was chased off, however.
Wall Street protesters in Zuccotti Park battened down the hatches yesterday as the early October snow turned their tents into igloos, but the close quarters also made easy pickings for one predator.
A sex fiend barged into a woman’s tent and sexually assaulted her at around 6 a.m., said protesters, who chased him from the park.
“Pervert! Pervert! Get the f--k out!” said vigilante Occupiers, who never bothered to call the cops.
“They were shining flashlights in his face and yelling at him to leave,” said a woman who called herself Leslie, but refused to give her real name.
She said that weeks earlier another woman was raped.
“We don’t tell anyone,” she said. “We handle it internally. I said too much already.” Way to fight the man, by not reporting rapes. I guess all this crime might hurt their image.

From an Arab Spring to an Islamist Winter: Demonstrators Dispatched by Mosques

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Arab Spring
Arab Spring
(Hudson) The "revolutionaries" who sodomized and lynched Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi chanted the famous Islamic battle cry "Allahu Akbar!" [Allah is Greater].
When the leaders of the revolution announced Gaddafi's death at a press conference, even secular Muslim journalists started chanting "Allahu Akbar!"
A few days later, the leader of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, declared at a rally in Benghazi that his country would now become an Islamic state.
"As a Muslim country, we have adopted the Islamic Sharia as the main source of law. Accordingly, any law that contradicts Islamic principles with the Islamic Sharia is ineffective legally."
At this stage, it is still not clear what version of Islamic law the new rulers of Libya are planning to enforce.
Will Libya take example from Iran, Sudan and Saudi Arabia where adulterers are stoned to death and convicted thieves have their hands cut off and beheaded in public squares?
Or will Libya endorse a more "moderate" version of Islam, as is the case in many Arab and Islamic countries?
Either way, what is clear by now is that the post-Gaddafi Libya will be anything but a secular and democratic country, but one where there is no room for liberals and moderates.
Those who thought the Arab Spring would bring moderation and secularism to the Arab world are in for a big disappointment.
The results of the first free elections held under the umbrella of the Arab Spring have now brought the Islamists to power in Tunisia.
But the Islamists who won the election in Tunisia are already being accused by their rivals of being too "moderate" because they do not endorse jihad and terrorism against the "infidels."
What happened to all those young and charismatic Facebook representatives who told everyone that the uprisings would bring the Western values and democracy to the Arab countries? Some of the secular parties that ran in the Tunisian elections did not even win one seat in parliament.
What many Western observers have failed to notice is that most of the antigovernment demonstrations that have been sweeping the Arab world over the past ten months were often launched from mosques following Friday prayers.
This is especially true regarding Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Jordan.
Thanks to the Arab Spring, the Islamists in these countries are beginning to emerge from their hiding places to become legitimate players in the political scene.
The writing on the wall is very big and clear. In a free and democratic election, those who carry the banner of "Islam is the Solution" will score major victories in most, if not all, the Arab countries.
The Palestinians were the first to experience this new trend back in 2006, when Hamas defeated the secular Fatah faction in a free and fair parliamentary election held at the request of the US and the EU.
The leaders of the Arab Spring have failed to offer themselves to their people as a better alternative to the Islamists. As far as many Arabs are concerned, this is a faceless Facebook revolution that has failed to produce new leaders. The Arab Spring is becoming the Islamist winter.

Uganda Torah Project


Rockets continue to fall in South, ceasefire reported

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what cause did they have to shoot rockets right after the trade? Hamas called a cease fire so Israel would not retaliate...
10/30/2011(h/t Docs Talk)
Man killed in Ashkelon from rocket; South pounded by 37 projectiles from Gaza in total; IAF responds with strikes on 6 terror targets; Egyptian officials report that Cairo mediated truce between Israel, Palestinian factions.
According to reports from Egyptian officials late on Saturday night, Cairo mediated a truce between Israel and Palestinian factions in Gaza, set to take effect at 6 a.m. on Sunday. Meanwhile however, another two rockets exploded early Sunday morning, one north of Ashkelon and one just outside of Beersheba.
A man was killed and four people were wounded when southern Israel was bombarded with long-range Grad rockets fired by Islamic Jihad from Gaza on Saturday. The rocket casualty was later named as Ami Moshe, 56, of Ashkelon. Moshe was on his way home to his family when the air raid siren went off. He left his vehicle and ran for cover, but was mortally injured by flying shrapnel from the rocket fired at a residential neighborhood in Ashkelon. He was rushed to the Barzilai Medical Center in the city, but doctors were unable to save his life. Moshe was able to answer a call from his concerned wife and tell her that he had been injured before being evacuated to hospital.
Security chiefs searched for a way to contain the situation on Saturday, as the Air Force went into action to strike terror cells preparing rockets for launch in northern and southern Gaza. The IAF attacked six targets in the Gaza Strip on Saturday night, the IDF declared in a press release. In the northern Gaza Strip it attacked three terror tunnels and three rocket launchers, and in the northern Gaza Strip it attacked two centers of terrorist activity.

"The attack was a response to a barrage of rockets fired over Israel," the IDF stated.
"The IDF will not hesitate to act decisively and forcefully against anyone who uses terror against the citizens of Israel, until quiet returns to area. Hamas is a terrorist organization and bears the responsibility."
IDF confirmed killing 10 Islamic Jihad members on Saturday. It struck four terror targets in Gaza between 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Saturday night. The targets included a terror cell in southern Gaza planning to fire a projectile, a terrorist planning a rocket strike, and two rocket launch sites in northern Gaza. An additional terrorist in southern Gaza planning a rocket attack was also struck from the air on Saturday night. Furthermore, a cell in northern Gaza was also hit by the Air Force.
Some 200,000 school children will stay at home as classes in Ashdod, Beersheba and Kiryat Malachi were canceled by local officials, and the IDF Home Front Command asked people who live within 40 kilometers of the Gaza Strip to stay near structures protected against rockets.
On Saturday, 35 projectiles, including Grads and mortar shells, were fired at southern communities, hitting built-up areas in Ashdod, Ashkelon and regional councils across the region. A number of the rockets caused extensive damages to buildings.
The IDF struck a rocket-launching cell in Rafah, in the southern Strip, following the upsurge in attacks, reportedly killing two terrorists.
“Hamas is responsible for what takes place in Gaza,” the army said.
Ashdod bore the brunt of the attacks, and was targeted by at least three Grad rockets. One slammed into an empty school, and a second struck in the nearby Gan Yavne Regional Council, moderately wounding a man who was searching for his son.
TV footage showed bloodstained pavement where the man had been injured before running indoors and contacting paramedics.
A third rocket slammed into a parking lot between two multi-story residential buildings in Ashdod. It set several vehicles on fire and left behind extensive wreckage. The flames were doused by Israel Fire and Rescue crews, who also broke into homes in nearby buildings to rescue residents.
“This was a miracle, it could have been much worse,” Magen David Adom director-general Eli Bin said.
“Ashdod is under attack, without a doubt,” Mayor Yehiel Lari said.
A rocket fired at Ashkelon sent shrapnel flying that moderately wounded a man.
He was taken by MDA paramedics to the city’s Barzilai Medical Center. A second rocket fired at Ashkelon scored a direct hit on a home, setting gas canisters on fire.
Fire crews doused the flames.
The wave of rockets came after the IDF, working with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), identified and struck an Islamic Jihad rocket cell in Gaza earlier on Saturday, killing five terrorists, including senior Islamic Jihad commander Ahmed Sheikh Khalil, who was responsible for the group’s considerable rocket production facilities.
Army sources said the cell was the same one that fired the unprovoked long-range Grad that struck near Rehovot last week. That rocket was supposedly launched to mark the anniversary of the 1995 assassination in Malta of Islamic Jihad leader Fathi Shikaki, the first person to publish a booklet that legitimized suicide in jihad.
“The cell was preparing to fire another rocket into Israel,” an IDF spokesman said. Other reports added that the cell was targeted at an Islamic Jihad training camp. The terrorist organization vowed a major response to the air strike.
Islamic Jihad’s propaganda wing released a video on the Internet on Saturday showing a multi-rocket launcher mounted on a truck and firing several projectiles in succession.
The video is part of a boast by the Iranian-backed group that its rocket launching capabilities have improved over recent years.
The group’s claim that the video was taken on Saturday in Gaza could not be confirmed.
But the organization has been the recipient of large-scale Iranian support, both military and financial.
Late Saturday night, Islamic Jihad’s Quds Brigades said the first wave of rockets was its “initial response” to the strike on its rocket cell, adding that “the enemy should expect the worst in the coming hours,” Channel 10 reported.
The organization’s leader in Syria, Ramadan Abdullah, recently attended a conference in Iran calling for Israel’s destruction.
During the conference, Abdullah said Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei’s “plan is a road map to the liberation of the occupied territories,” referring to the whole of Israel.
Islamic Jihad has long been Iran’s closest proxy in the Palestinian territories.
In the past, the organization’s leadership described itself as “one of the many fruits on our leader [former Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah] Khomeini’s tree.”
A spokesman for Robert Serry, the UN’s special envoy for the Middle East peace process, said in a statement, “The recent escalations are very worrying. It’s vital to deescalate now, without any delay. We strongly appeal for calm and an end to violence and bloodshed.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was receiving regular briefings on the security situation, officials said.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who was on a trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday, warned that “if the rocket fire isn’t halted, there will be serious consequences in the coming days.”
Lieberman said that Israel hasn’t been insisting that its security needs must be met in any final-status agreement with the Palestinians without good reason.
“Just today we have seen why this is necessary,” he said.
“We are not seeking violence with the Palestinians and we do not want to ‘heat up’ the situation, but we won’t suffer one rocket barrage after another without a response. Therefore I hope that already tonight, the rocket barrages will stop with the intervention of neighboring countries, the international community and the Palestinian Authority,” he said.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (Kadima) visited Gan Yavne, where one of the rockets stuck, on Saturday evening.
“I will support any action the government chooses in order to stop the attacks,” she said. “Residents of the South bravely deal with constant attacks, and we will all try to support them.”
The rockets “remind everyone that the South is full of terrorist extremists, whom Israel must weaken directly and by negotiating with moderates who do not use violence,” Livni wrote on her Facebook page.
“Now, when Hamas feels strong following the Schalit deal, we must be aggressive in order to bring back Israel’s deterrence,” MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said. “We must make the residents of the towns surrounding Gaza, and all of Israel’s citizens, feel safe again.”
MK Arye Eldad (National Union) said, “After avoiding a military attack on the heads of terrorist organizations and instead surrendering to Hamas and freeing hundreds of murderers, we will now have to act.
“The excuse that Schalit will be hurt can no longer disguise the disgrace of our capitulation,” Eldad said.
“Now Israel must stop reacting and start preventing.
Only methodically wiping out the heads of terrorist organizations, especially [Hamas’s Ahmed] Jabari who held Schalit, will bring back our deterrence that was worn out by the deal [for Schalit’s release].”
Police have gone on the second highest level of alert, and have called on members of the public to refrain from gathering at rocket impact zones, to avoid additional injuries.
Tovah Lazaroff and Reuters contributed to this report

The hypocrisy of the Israeli Left, perfectly captured

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(h/t writingtw and h/t Guillermo) Elder of Ziyon noted an absurd Ha'aretz op-ed by Alon Idan the other day where he said, among other things:
The Shalit deal is, in fact, a public display of Israel's racist price index. The ceremony occurs every few years, and the index is designed to update the market values of the region's various races. As of October 2011, in the Israeli market, the price of one Jew equals 1,027 Arabs. And the price increases every day.
But a few months ago, during Shalit's fifth anniversary in captivity, here is what Idan wrote:
Shalit will not be freed because, contrary to conventional wisdom, the push for his release is not nonpartisan; it is part of a struggle that falls along classic political lines.
Suffice it to look at reality itself - Gilad Shalit is still in captivity.... The seeming gap between the public's desire to "pay any price" for Shalit's freedom and the government's opposition to doing so is deceptive. The fact that the situation has not changed means there isn't really a gap, that pressure isn't really being exerted from below - and if it is, it's not strong enough to break the ruling paradigm.
The absence of such pressure is no accident. It faithfully reflects the fact that the issue fall along classic political lines: the left is in favor of releasing Shalit, the right is against it, and the center says it's in favor but acts against it.
Besides how obviously wrong he was about how the right were indeed the ones that freed Shalit, Idan is identifying the desire to free Shalit "at any price" with the Left that he is a part of.
But when Israel does release Shalit for 1027 prisoners, he deems that to prove Israel's racism!
So by the calculus of his later article, the Israeli Left must be racist, since in his words they would have been willing to release many, many more prisoners to get Shalit back!
As usual, the anti-Zionist Left will twist whatever facts they can to make a political point, consistency be damned.

Herman Cain will move the US embassy to Jerusalem

(Israel Matzav) Herman Cain is getting an education on the Middle East. Here he is on Fox News in May. Note what he has to say regarding 'Palestinian refugees.'
Let's go to the videotape.
Fast forward five months. Here's what Cain told Yisrael HaYom in Friday's editions. I believe that his lack of a firm stand regarding Israel has emboldened Israel’s enemies, and America's enemies. When I was in Israel in August, I met with the deputy prime minister and he said that this was one of the biggest concerns that they had. Because he threw Israel under the bus with the statement about the 1967 borders. He just threw them under the bus. He threw Prime Minister Netanyahu under the bus prior to his visit to America. In a Cain administration there would be no question in the minds of the world and the American people that we would stand with Israel. No question. It wasn’t the president's right to suggest that they change those borders and I didn’t agree with that. For example, I think that the so-called Palestinian people have this urge for unilateral recognition because they see this president as weak. I haven’t seen all the facts but I think this whole assassination attempt [alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington] was another example of seeing this president as weak, in that regard. So, weakness invites attack and I think that he has projected a sense of weakness. [Emphasis and link added. CiJ] He then went on to say that he would move the US embassy to Jerusalem. And that he'd take Newt Gingrich as his Vice President. Hmmm.
that is good. I tweeted to him last night asking him to do just that. I'm glad he is listening to people online. Next we need to hear from Romney and Perry. Once the primary is over it could be hard to get the winner to return to Israeli promises because they will be facing Obama, however with Obama's policy failing so miserably I could be wrong this election. I'm glad Cain decided to clarify his position on the embassy, because my basic feeling before was that foreign policy would be his weakness. He just put those fears to rest. I'm glad Newt will be available in his administration because he is a veteran of government.

a metaphor for Obama's foreign policy

In need of a revamp: These rusting tracks don't provide visitors with much confidence on the looped rollercoaster( need of a revamp: These rusting tracks don't provide visitors with much confidence on the looped rollercoaster. When Westerners have ventured to the park, they come back with tales of riding the rollercoaster with unlocked harnesses and engineers quickly bashing in a few loose screws on the track beforehand.

Obama BANS WEAPONS SALES TO ISRAEL yet sells $$billions in arms to Arab states

Unexplainedly, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has kept silent about the year long American arms embargo imposed on Israel by the Obama Administration.Is Barack HUSSEIN Obama a terrorist-enabler/sponsor himself?( Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs reported that  the Israeli government was also refusing to protest massive U.S. weapons projects for Arab rivals in the Middle East, which has eroded Israel’s military superiority over its neighbors
Over the last year, the United States refused to approve any major Israeli weapons requests. Government sources asserted that the refusal represented a White House policy to link most arms sales to Israel to progress in the U.S. plan to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

At the same time, Obama has approved more than $10 billion worth of arms sales to Arab League states, including Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. JINSA said Israel, which receives more than $2.4 billion in annual American military aid, refrained from objecting to U.S. plans to sell F-16s, Harpoon Block 2 anti-ship missiles, Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, fast attack craft and helicopters to Egypt.
In a Jan. 27 report, the institute, regarded as close to the Defense Department and U.S. military, said the White House has blocked key weapons projects and upgrades for Israel. JINSA said Obama rejected Israel’s request for AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopters while approving advanced F-16 multi-role fighters for Egypt. “Indeed, Israel’s request for six AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters was blocked by the Obama Administration in June – the same time the Egyptian sale was approved,” the report said.

The administration’s policy, the report said, has violated a pledge given more than 40 years ago to maintain Israel’s military superiority over its Arab neighbors.
“How does Israel compete when the Obama administration announces 24 more F-16s for Egypt and 24 additional F-16s for Morocco,” the report said. “The concept of the Qualitative Military Edge failed to keep up with the changes in U.S. arms sales and training policy over the decades.”

JINSA dismissed Israeli government claims that the White House was ready to address the erosion of Israel’s military superiority. The institute said the January 2010 visit by U.S. National Security Advisor James Jones did not concern Israel’s qualitative military edge.

“Actually, it was to push Israel into more pointless talks with Palestinians, who declined to cooperate,” the institute said.
The U.S. aid to Arab states, the report said, has hampered Israeli military cooperation with Washington. More than 20 years ago, the Israel Air Force stopped participating in U.S.-sponsored regional exercises to prevent the leakage of combat tactics. ”It’s one thing for our lover to take pictures in the bedroom,” the report quoted an Israeli combat pilot as saying. “It is another for them to sell the pictures on the street.”
JINSA said Israel has lost its advantage over the Arabs regarding the quantity and quality of weapons. The institute said the Arabs also appear to have caught up to Israel in the area of tactics and training. The sole advantage was said to concern the quality of Israeli soldiers and officers. ”Changing Israel’s local security paradigm at the same time as increased sales to the neighbors — and no new sales to Israel – means the balance is pushed further out of whack,” the report said. IUC
Commentary by Emanuel A. Winston, Middle East Analyst & Commentator Perhaps I shouldn’t have been shocked by the news in the following J.I.N.S.A. (Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) Report in the World Tribune that President Obama has embargoed arm sales to Israel for a whole year – nevertheless, I am.
This confirms that President Barack Hussein Obama is in lockstep with Muslim and Arab nations who wish to insure Israel’s evacuation from the world map (not just Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley and those parts of Jerusalem occuppied and desecrated by Jordan) as promised by Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Clearly, Obama is coming out more and more as an Islamist at heart, which explains why he has allowed Iran to move its Nuclear Bomb Research and Development forward – with nothing more than impotent threats from Obama and his advisors.

With Rahm Emanuel, James Baker III, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Gen. (Ret.) James Jones as his security advisors – plus Baker’s Jew-Boys, Dennis Ross, Aaron David Miller and Daniel Kurtzer still operating, it’s little wonder Obama was able to (silently) subvert Israel’s defensive capability.
All Obama needed were three key Israelis to go along in sniveling silence to complete his attack against the Jewish Nation/State. That would include Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres.

Some will recall June 2,1967 when Charles De Gaulle, Premier of France embargoed arms to Israel for which Israel had already bought and paid – in full. That included 50 Mirage jet aircraft and 12 missile boats. The Israelis, with the help of friendly Frenchmen, simply spirited 3 of the boats out of Cherbourg Harbor on January 4, 1969. The remaining five were sailed to Israel on December 24/25, 1969 by some 70 blond, blue-eyed (Hebrew speaking) Norwegian sailors. The traitorous government of France fumed and apologized to the Arabs for their “slippage”.
Let us make certain that the U.S. Congress, every talk show, every newspaper, every news magazine is apprised of Obama’s treachery which seems to be his signature of the way he operates. Perhaps he and his advisors have overlooked what Israel could and should do when he puts Israel’s very survival on line – called “Back To The Wall”. Striking Israel’s self-declared enemies with unconventional weapons would be a “Back-To-The-Wall” option, forced upon her by Obama.
Samson was tricked by the infamous Delilah who cut of his hair and source of strength. When his hair re-grew and he regained his strength (after the Philistines blinded him), although he was chained to the pillars that supported the pagan temple, he pulled down the pillars, killing all the evil priests – giving his life for the Jewish people. You don’t want to mess with the Israelis when survival is on the line.

It’s all happening again – with Barack Hussein Obama as the High Priest of a Pagan Death Cult infiltrating America.

ICC Warns Libya's Saif al-Islam Against Fleeing

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(REUTERS.COM: h/t Libra Bunda) The International Criminal Court said on Saturday Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was in contact through intermediaries about surrendering for trial, but it also had information mercenaries were trying to spirit him to a friendly African nation.
The ICC has warned the 39-year-old, apparently anxious not to be captured by Libyan interim government forces in whose hands his father Muammar Gaddafi was killed last week, that it could order a mid-air interception if he tried to flee by plane from his Sahara desert hideout for a safe haven. » | Aaron Gray-Block | THE HAGUE | Saturday, October 29, 2011
THE GUARDIAN: Gaddafi's son says he is innocent: Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has told the International Criminal Court he is innocent of alleged crimes against humanity » | Reuters | Saturday, October 29, 2011
Part of me is cynical enough to wish he'd get away. He is not worse then the rebels who replaced him. This whole thing is all because the Europeans felt his Dad was bad publicity, had bad fashion taste and Europe wanted the oil. America should of never been involved in this. There are no good guys here. I really could care less if next week this guy would takeover Libya. Anyone have any arguments otherwise?

Another Public Radio Employee Canned for 'Occupy' Activism | #OWS

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(News Busters) Another NPR freelancer has been fired for activism at an Occupy rally. On Gawker, Caitlin Curran laments she was canned from 20 hours a week producing for the public radio talk show The Takeway (co-produced by Public Radio International and WNYC Radio in New York, and supported in part by the taxpayers through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.)
Unlike Lisa Simeone, who served in a very official capacity as a public-relations flack for “Occupy DC,” Curran held up a sign in the Occupy Wall Street march in Times Square on October 15. The plan was for her husband to hold the sign, but she was also photographed with it and posted it to her personal Twitter account. It drew blog kudos – which was her undoing.
Her sign simply quoted Conor Friedersdorf: “It's wrong to create a mortgage-backed security filled with loans you know are going to fail so that you can sell it to a client who isn't aware that you sabotaged it by intentionally picking the misleadingly rated loans most likely to be defaulted upon.” Curran reveled in the little media storm it caused:
The next day, Boing Boing co-editor Xeni Jardin posted the photo as the site's Occupy Wall Street sign of the day, the post circulated around Tumblr, Friedersdorf himself saw it and wrote about it, as did Felix Salmon at Reuters, who called me "one of those protestors that photographers dream of" and the sign "true, and accurate, and touching, and grammatical, and far too long to be a slogan, and gloriously bereft of punctuation, and ending even more gloriously in a mildly archaic preposition." I thought all of this could be fodder for an interesting segment on The Takeaway—a morning news program co-produced by WNYC Radio and Public Radio International—for which I had been working as a freelance web producer roughly 20 hours per week for the past seven months. I pitched the idea to producers on the show, in an e-mail.
The next day, The Takeaway's general manager fired me over the phone, effective immediately. He was inconsolably angry, and said that I had violated every ethic of journalism, and that this should be a "teaching moment" for me in my career as a journalist. The segment I had pitched, of course, would not happen.
Ironically, the following day Marketplace did pretty much the exact segment  I thought would have been great on The Takeaway, with Kai Ryssdal discussing the sign and the Goldman Sachs deal it alluded to in terms that were far from neutral. Curran seems to have no idea that wanting to cause a wave of media reaction to her temporary sign-holding activism could look bad for NPR at congressional funding time. When asked on Twitter if she was an "occupier," Curran replied, "I'm not sleeping in the park or anything, but yes, I support the movement." She doesn't understand how the public would object it's unprofessionalfor her to be on one side of the protest microphone/camera lens, and then turn up on the other.
My thinking ran along the same lines as [Lisa] Simeone's. It's unclear to me how our participation, on our personal time, in a non-partisan movement warrants termination from our jobs. If the protest is so lacking, in terms of message and focus, then how can my involvement with it go against The Takeaway's ethical policies? In other words, if I'm associated with a party-less movement (and barely associated, since that was only the second time I've attended an Occupy Wall Street event), and have never exercised bias in editing The Takeaway's website, what's the harm? On one hand, isn't it great that, as Friedersdorf wrote, our "decentralized networked-era culture" makes a movement like this possible, and as Salmon wrote, "the sentiment behind Occupy Wall Street has resonated worldwide," as a result. But on the other hand, we live in an age where I can carry a sign expressing a non-partisan, seemingly inarguable message at a peaceful protest, unknowingly have my photo taken and disseminated around the world, and subsequently be fired as a result, all within a matter of days. What are the implications of this for a democracy founded on free speech ideals? Are these "teaching moments" like mine going to dissuade people who have jobs they want to keep from expressing their opinions, however benign?
It's disingenuous to argue the Occupy Wall Street protests are "nonpartisan," as if they're non-ideological. You can protest with a "party-less movement" and be incredibly political. Many causes -- gun rights, abortion, even wars -- can be asserted have "bipartisan" support, so opposition could be pitched as "party-less." She knows she was being an advocate and making an argument. Having it be "seemingly inarguable" is beside the point. Does she know how many journalists refuse to wear flag pins or say the Pledge of Allegiance, which to many Americans is "seemingly inarguable"?
But it's beyond disingenuous for Curran to say she "unknowingly" had her photo taken. Her own Gawker post explains she posted the picture on her own Twitter page, and hoped for it to be picked up everywhere.
Clearly, Curran wasn't canned for having liberal opinions. Check out this liberal mind-meld with her then-employer on her Twitter page on October 9: "I think this is a great question. RT @The Takeaway: Columbus Day is a controversial federal holiday. Does he deserve a holiday, in your opin?"
She was canned for promoting herself as an activist instead of a journalist. Her only understandable confusion is that line gets awfully blurry in the liberal land of public radio.
I know I've been critical of #OWS, but I think NPR is actually wrong here and it shows you how petty and untrustable they are as an organization. Yes that means I disagree with Newsbusters as well. Look closer and read her sign and you see that she is stating an apolitical fact. I don't endorse her personal views, but she is correct.  The behavior of many bankers were in fact unethical. My argument against her is that the system that was set up by liberals to encourage loans to the poor was the cause because you really can not legislate morality, however by stating the facts on her sign she really isn't giving a political view. It is amusing that she has to lie about the context of the picture, because if she were brighter and better informed she might of known she isn't actually breaking any journalism rule. This shows you two things. How incredibly unethical and paranoid NPR is as an entity, but it also shows how stupid their reporters are that they can't even save their own skins by pointing out their obvious innocence.

British throne Don't Ask Don't Tell [UPDATED]

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

(bbc) On scrapping the ban on future monarchs marrying Roman Catholics, Mr Cameron said: "Let me be clear, the monarch must be in communion with the Church of England because he or she is the head of that Church. But it is simply wrong they should be denied the chance to marry a Catholic if they wish to do so. After all, they are already quite free to marry someone of any other faith."
David Cameron: ''The idea a younger son should become monarch instead of an elder daughter simply because he's a man... is at odds with the modern countries we have become'" The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, said the elimination of the "unjust discrimination" against Catholics would be widely welcomed.
"At the same time I fully recognise the importance of the position of the established church [the Church of England] in protecting and fostering the role of faith in our society today," he said.
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond also welcomed the lifting of the ban but said it was "deeply disappointing" that Roman Catholics were still unable to ascend to the throne.
"It surely would have been possible to find a mechanism which would have protected the status of the Church of England without keeping in place an unjustifiable barrier on the grounds of religion in terms of the monarchy," he said.
"It is a missed opportunity not to ensure equality of all faiths when it comes to the issue of who can be head of state."
In her opening speech to the summit, the Queen did not directly mention the royal succession laws, but said women should have a greater role in society.
"It encourages us to find ways to show girls and women to play their full part," she said.
Retards... <---I like being politically incorrect.
Notice they don't mention anything other then Catholics.
FIONA: They didn't mention anyone other than Roman Catholics because the Act of Settlement 1701 only prohibited the monarch, heir apparent or heir presumptive from marrying a Roman Catholic and still remaining in the line of succession. The heirs... could still marry an RC, but they would no longer be in the line of succession. Theoretically, any heir could marry a Jew (or any other faith) and still be in the line of succession. However, the monarch must *be in communion" with the Church of England as the monarch of the head of the Church (like the Roman Pope is head of the RCs), so if a male monarch married a Jewish woman, that child would presumably need to convert to Anglicanism and hence become an Jewish apostate. This is no way a certainty however as it had never been tested.
Ok... I guess I just didn't care before about these people... all I can say is I wonder why the world doesn't bitch about the British being a Christian state officially and then turn around and make such a stink about Israel.


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Bullshit. Those videos about the Jews controlling Wall street were made by minorities. This is just the NYTimes trying to spin why their movement is a fail. It is a fail because when you glorify terrorists by having kefiyehs... it isn't Left wing... it isn't Right wing. You are a bunch of ASSHOLES! and you deserve to fail (h/t astute blogger) CLICK HERE FOR ARTICLE.
oh... and by the way... if you would open your eyes you might realize why there are so many white people at OWS. It is because the white people are BROKE and the government is discriminating against them. But these youth are indoctrinated by their leftist education so they can't say that the affirmative action culture is killing their opportunity. ...and no I'm not saying we should blame minorities or women... we should blame elitists and their bullshit intentions to social engineer.  Our public relations is killing our lives.

Woman charged with prostituting teenage girl from #OWS

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MANCHESTER - A city woman is accused of pimping out a 16-year-old girl she met in Victory Park during the Occupy NH demonstrations.
Police said the teen’s mother called them Thursday about noon to say her daughter was missing and that her photograph had been posted on a website advertising adult party entertainment.
Investigators looked at the website, found the girl’s photo was posted there, along with pictures of three other women, in an advertisement offering men to “come and have fun with four beautiful ladies” in Manchester.
An undercover officer went to 341 Hanover St. to meet with a woman who negotiated a deal for the officer pay $150 to have sex with the teen.
Whe Justina Jensen, 23, who lives at the address, confirmed she had negotiated the deal with him, the officer identified himself as a police officer. Police said the woman tried to run but was restrained and arrested after a brief struggle.
The missing teen was found inside the apartment.
Police said Jensen was using her residence to facilitate prostitution involving an individual under the age of 18. She is charged with prostitution, a class B felony, as well as resisting arrest.
Why isn't she wearing any clothes in the mug shot?

Aching for That Kent State Moment

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(Jammie Wearing Fool) Two weeks ago Donny Deutsch embarrassed himself when he said what was missing from the Occupy Wall Street freakshow was its very own Kent State moment. Well, he just can't let go of his dreams.

Such concern for his fellow 99%. Now if only some of them could just die, Donny could tell us all he warned us. Such compassion.

Meanwhile, in Syria...

Syrian students shot From Al Arabiya today:
As many as 37 people have been killed when security forces opened fire at demonstrators on Friday, Al Arabiya reported citing Syrian activists as protesters called for nationwide rallies to demand the imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria to protect civilians.
From CNN Thursday:
Three children were among 25 people reported killed Thursday in Syria, an opposition group reported, in the apparent latest round of violence to rattle the turbulent Middle Eastern nation.
From AP Monday:
Syrian security forces killed at least six people in the restive central city of Homs on Monday, while government troops clashed with gunmen believed to be defectors from the military in several parts of the country, killing five including a Syrian soldier, activists said.
via EOZ

Israel's Total Failure: Schijveschuurder Family Plans to Leave Israel

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(h/t Doc'sTalk) (Jameel @ The Muqata)A Palestinian Suicide Bomber entered the Sbarro Pizza restaurant at Jerusalem's busiest intersection (the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road) and detonated a bomb containing 5-10 kilo of explosives, nails, nuts and bolts -- 15 civilians were killed and 130 wounded.
Among those killed were the parents of the Schijveschuurder family from the Neria community: Mordechai (43), his wife Tzira (41) and 3 of their children; Ra'aya (14), Avraham Yitzhak, (4), and Hemda aged 2.

Channel 10 TV aired the regular "Makor" program in which the remaining members of the family were interviewed last week. (Only a promo is available now)
The TV program documented ten years of failure by all of Israel's systems, to adequately care of the orphaned children - social services, Bituach Leumi (Social security) and the educational system. They fell into a non-existent category and no-one seems to have had the presence of mind to work around that.
The program began with a little biographical detail about the family - olim from Holland. It then moved on to the actual terror attack itself. The three older boys, Ben Tzion (who now lives abroad), Meir and Shvuel were not present. Ben Tzion and Meir were both in the army and Shvuel (who was 16.5 at the time) was on his way back from the Klezmer festival in Tzfat.
The program documented their search for the members of their family in various hospitals, without any outside help from any State service. As Meir did not have any ID proving his connection to one of his sisters, he was not allowed to see her as she lay dying in the operating room, yet minutes later was asked to identify her body.
Meir, an 18/19 year old, ended up organizing the funerals all by himself. The Jerusalem Hevra Kadisha (Burial Society) even had the gall to demand money from him (20,000 shekels - later returned) for two additional burial plots, stating that he could only have three (he had to bury 5 members of his family).
He and his older brother took care of the younger surviving children (the youngest was 8) in the family home with no outside help. At some point the social services tried to take the two younger girls into care, but they objected. Afterwards the girls were sent to live with a distant relative in Switzerland for about a year, but were very unhappy there and came back to Israel. Later they were sent to live with another distant relative in Israel, but that didn't last long either and Meir and his wife took them in, whilst also raising their own young family.
Shvuel seems to have 'fallen between the chairs' perhaps most of all. He is obviously in need of psychological help, and clearly knows that himself, but his attempts to get that help from Bituach Leumi have been rejected.
The program ended with a 'right of reply' statement from Bituach Leumi which the presenters said they had fact checked and found to be lacking on certain points.
Apparently there is a serious problem with people who, as children, lost both parents in terror attacks. (A lady orphaned by the Ma'ale Akrabim masscare briefly mentioned similar problems, and the issue was raised regarding the Fogel family).
The system does not cater for them properly and seems to work on the premise that they will be taken care of by the extended family, but in this case there was not much extended family to help. There is an attempt ongoing to try to change the law, but it is clear that this family has already sustained far too much damage because of the system's shortcomings.
And then...comes the final blow.
The terrorists who planned the attack, go free. Translated from Channel 2.
After they realized their lost battle, the Schijveschuurder family went to the graves of their loved ones - to tell them that those responsible for their murder, are now free.
"We have every intention and desire to take what you see here, break the headstones, remove the remains buried here and take them outside the country who betrayed them," says Meir Schijveschuurder -- his parents and three siblings were killed in the attack at the Sbarro restaurant. "Because the State of Israel betrayed everyone who lies here and there are several hundred of them, only in this area [of the cemetery]."
The Schijveschuurder family, originally from Holland, is one of the families that has paid the heaviest price in the history of terrorism against the State of Israel. Two parents and three of their children were killed in the attack at the Sbarro restaurant, and two other children were seriously injured. When Meir Schijveschuurder learned this week that those who planned the attack, drove the terrorist to Sbarro, and were now released from prison, the son desecrated the monument in memory of Yitzhak Rabin in Tel Aviv in protest. He was arrested and released.
The children tried to appeal their arguments to the Supreme Court, but were also rejected. The brothers say the High Court's ruling was predetermined before hearing any of their claims. "We will not allow terrorists to leave the country! And if they leave the boundaries of the country, the residents of the United States and United Kingdom should know that Israel betrays its population," said Shvuel angrily.
"I lost faith in everything that I felt"
Regaining his composure, Shvuel promised he would avenge the death of his family.
"Unfortunately the State of Israel has a bankrupt legal and ethical system, and they have abandoned the issue of upholding justice for the killers and murderers of my parents -- to me. A victim of a crime has the right to go to make a "price tag" for those who committed the crime and punish him, [when the system doesn't do anything]" says Shvuel.
Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon promised the brothers that the murderers would rot in jail until the end of their days, but that promise was broken today. "I feel like I was exploding all over again. I feel that what we built over the past 10 years and everything we've been able to constructively do with our bereavement -- I feel that everything we did in those 10 years, rebuilding our lives, is just in vain. Now I lost faith in anything, everything I felt," says Leah Schijveschuurder, the youngest sister, sadly.
The family is very hurt by the atmosphere of joy and jubilation that enveloped the nation in recent days. It would be better that the Shalit family celebrate quietly in their house -- this festival going on is so difficult for us.
As of the writing of this blog post, the orphans of the Schijveschuurder family have announced they are leaving Israel to Holland within 2 months -- during the Makor program, one point one of the daughters cut her Teudat Zehut, her ID card into pieces telling one of the children that she did not need it anymore.
The Schijveschuurder family has been betrayed by Israel; the Palestinian terrorists have won this battle. They physically slaughtered a family, their terrorists were released from prison, they gleefully watched the State ignore the remaining orphans...and cheer as the broken spirits plan to leave forever.
Postscript: Days before the terrorist release, the JPost reported:
On the eve of Tuesday’s swap for kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reached out to the families of terror victims, many of whom will watch in horror as the murderers of their loved ones are set free.
"I write to you with a heavy heart," Netanyahu said in an open letter to the families of terror victims. "I understand and know your pain."
Writing that he lost his brother in an operation to free hostages, Netanyahu said, "I know that you have a heavy heart, that your wounds have been opened anew these past days; that your thoughts are not at ease."
Netanyahu said the families "were in my thoughts” during the painful decision-making process and negotiations for Schalit’s return."
"The decision regarding the release of Gilad Schalit was among the most difficult I have made," he wrote. "It is difficult for me for the same reasons it is difficult for you."
Meir Schijveschuurder said that to the best of his knowledge, only 200 letters were send out to families of terror victims, explaining the Shalit deal.
The Schijveschuurder orphans did not receive any letter.
Nor were they contacted by any government official during the period before and after the Shalit deal.

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