FTL 3/23/7

VNN’s FTL 3-16-7

Gordon boyd “they were just waiting for this example to
happen”

Particulars

Wednesday’s show was great

Contacting the show:

Phone number:

660-675-4388

SKYPE ID: VNNFREETALKLIVE

News Bits

Opening

TOPICS TONIGHT:

New Hush Crime: White Slavery in the
U.S.
A shocking story of a young white girl held captive by a mudshark and her
mud while being made to work and be used as a sex toy.
Uniforms
Implications for the rally in Tenn.
Looking for callers on the topic
Iranian seizure of British Marines In Iranian territorial waters
Spring Bling
Areas along the East Coast brace for random acts of TNB as darkies descend
on our towns.

Quick News

Some breaking news

This may simply be a misunderstanding, but it is probably a bit of cynical
maneuvering by the Americans to prevent Ahmadinejad from speaking.

March 23, 2007, 6:05PM
Iran’s president cancels U.N. appearance

UNITED NATIONS — Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad canceled a trip to New York to address the U.N. Security
Council before it votes on whether to impose further sanctions against his
country for refusing to stop enriching uranium, a Foreign Ministry spokesman
said Friday.

The decision came as diplomats from
the five veto-wielding members of the Security Council — the U.S., Britain,
France, China and Russia — and Germany held a flurry of last-minute
negotiations in New York on a draft resolution seeking to pressure Iran to
comply.

The six powers want a vote on the
resolution by Saturday, but diplomats said that could be delayed by efforts to
reach consensus to give the sanctions more weight.

The sanctions, agreed on last week
by the six powers, would ban Iranian arms exports and freeze the assets of 28
additional individuals and organizations involved in Iran’s nuclear and missile
programs. About a third of those are linked to the Revolutionary Guard, an
elite military corps.

Ahmadinejad said earlier this month
that he wanted to take his case for pursuing nuclear power to the Security
Council himself. Earlier Friday, a council diplomat said the Iranian president
would arrive in New York at 1 a.m. Saturday, just hours before the council is
expected to meet.

But Iranian Foreign Ministry
spokesman Mohammed Ali Hosseini told Iranian state television later in the day
that the trip had been scrapped because of “America’s obstruction in
issuing visas” to the Iranian delegation that was to travel to New York.

Hosseini said that instead of
Ahmadinejad, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki will attend the Security
Council meeting and “explain Iran’s position regarding its nuclear
activities.”

“Due to open failure by the
United States to issue visas for members of the Iranian delegation accompanying
President Ahmadinejad and the air crew, American authorities have effectively
prevented President Ahmadinejad from attending the U.N. security council
meeting,” Hosseini said.

Mohammad Mir Ali Mohammadi, press
secretary of Iran’s mission at the U.N., told The Associated Press that the
U.S. did not deliver a visa to the U.S. Embassy in Bern, Switzerland, in time
for Ahmadinejad to pick it up before flying to New York for the Saturday
session.

He said Russia and China were trying
to postpone the session until Monday and if the session was put off Ahamdinejad
would decide whether to come.

Tom Casey, a State Department
spokesman, said in Washington that 39 visas had been issued for Ahmadinejad and
other Iranian officials and their passports had been returned to Iranian
diplomats in Bern by Friday morning. He said another 36 passports with visas
were ready later in the day.

The U.S. says Iran’s nuclear efforts
are cover for a weapons program, but Tehran insists it only wants electricity.

In December, the Security Council
voted unanimously to impose limited sanctions on Iran, ordering all countries
to stop supplying Iran with materials and technology that could contribute to
its nuclear and missile programs and to freeze assets of 10 key Iranian
companies and 12 individuals related to those programs. Iran responded by
expanding its enrichment program.

Several non-permanent members of the
Security Council have resisted the draft resolution, agreed upon last week by
the five council powers and Germany.

In an effort to overcome their
concerns, Russia proposed a compromise Friday over a proposal by Indonesia and
Qatar calling for the Middle East to be free of weapons of mass destruction and
the missiles to deliver them. Including such an appeal could have implications
for Israel, a U.S. ally widely believed to possess nuclear weapons, though it
has never officially acknowledged it.

The Russian proposal would include a
recognition that “a solution to the Iranian nuclear issue would contribute
global non-proliferation efforts, including those in the Middle East.”

France and Britain approved of the
wording, while the United States was considering it, said Axel Crau, a
spokesman for France’s U.N. mission.

“It’s definitely a key point
and probably the key to unanimity,” Crau said.

He said the resolution’s co-sponsors
— France, Germany and Britain — still wanted to call a vote Saturday but may
delay it to seek consensus. “For the sake of unanimity we are willing to
make some efforts because unanimity has a value,” he said.

Alejandro Wolff, the acting U.S.
Ambassador to the United Nations, said the nuclear debate should not be
affected by the Iranian seizure of 15 British sailors and marines in the
Persian Gulf Friday.

Bush Chimproval at new low

President Bush’s overall job approval rating and the rating of his handling
of the economy have dropped from to levels last seen in May 2006 as gasoline
prices increased, according to the latest survey from the American Research Group.”Among all Americans, 32% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as
president and 63% disapprove. When it comes to Bush’s handling of the economy,
32% approve and 64% disapprove. In February, 39% of Americans approved of the
way Bush was handling his job and 56% disapproved and 40% approved of the way
Bush was handling the economy and 54% disapproved.”

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Pakistan on
Thursday successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable cruise missile with the
capability to avoid radar detection, the military said.

 

The missile, named Babur has a range
of 434 miles and is capable of carrying various types of warheads, including
nuclear, the military-run Inter-Services Public Relations Directorate said.

Pakistan routinely tests various
nuclear-capable missiles in its arsenal, believed to be designed mainly to
match that of neighboring archrival India.

The two countries have a history of
hostile relations. Both carried out underground nuclear tests in May 1998.

However, in 2004 they began a series
of negotiations to normalize relations and settle their dispute over the
Himalayan territory of
Top of
Form

Kashmir, the main cause of bitterness between them.

Pakistan and India have fought two
wars over Kashmir since their independence from British rule in 1947. Kashmir
is split between the two countries, but each claims the whole of it.

India and Pakistan have an agreement
under which each country informs that other ahead of its missile tests.

But Pakistan did not inform India of
the test Thursday because the accord does not include providing prior
information on cruise missile tests, a military official said on condition of
anonymity because he was not authorized to comment to media.

In February, Pakistan successfully
test-fired a new version of its long-range nuclear-capable missile, (Shaheen
II), which has a range of 1,245 miles.

CONTEXT: compare/contrast Pakistan/Iran –3 wars in the last
century, tons of discord with a nuclear neighbor.

Also, not concerned because this
missile can only hit Iraq, not Israel. Also,
Pervez Musharaff is a Jew-tool.

Racial Discord (symphonies are racist)

Aaron Dworkin is founder of
something called the Sphinx Organization. Apparently he pays himself a lot of
money to “build diversity in classical music.”

Minorities make up 14 percent. The
New York Philharmonic has but one black member. However, Asian-Americans total
less than 4 percent of the U.S. population, but make up 10 percent of elite
orchestras.

Despite its many efforts to recruit minority students –including the
establishment of an office of diversity — the Julliard School (the nation’s
premiere institution of higher learning for artists and musicians) can boast of
a mere 17 black or Latino students out of a student body of 501. Julliard
Director of Diversity Allison Scott-Williams blames an unsupportive climate,
telling Newsday that because American’s orchestras have so few black
musicians, few blacks are interested in becoming classical musicians. The Newsday
reporter goes farther, citing racism as the cause. “Discrimination is
discrimination…whether it affects orchestras or jails,” Justin Davidson
opines a paragraph later. The author then drags out the mummified excuse that
blacks and Latinos cannot afford musical instruments and lessons, conveniently
ignoring the fact that so many other musicians become accomplished on their
own, or work to pay for their lessons.

SO ARE BLIND AUDITIONS the answer? No, says Dworkin. “I believe that more
information about the candidate should be incorporated, in the same way that
institutions of higher learning take cultural and racial background into
account.”


A more multihued orchestra can also be a more multitalented one, he
tells Newsday. A greater variety of musicians will bring
more versatile orchestras, able to play a broader range of music. Translation:
whites and Asians can’t swing.

Traditionally government and academia have been the testing grounds where
theories of social engineering are put into practice. Social engineers,
however, have been less successful making inroads into professional sports, the
arts and the military. Perhaps that is why our government and schools run like
an Edsel, while the San Francisco Symphony and the U.S. Marines are beyond
compare.

If ever there was a case for elitism it should be made on the world’s great
orchestral stages, where perfection should never be held hostage to political
correctness. If you want mediocrity, look to the government and the public schools.
Plenty there to go round.

King allows pope to be main draw

Don King has been fond of using the phrase “only in America,” but
maybe now he’ll start talking about “only in Italy.”

Or, more accurately, “only in Vatican City.”

The flamboyant and controversial boxing promoter had a front-row seat for
Pope Benedict XVI’s general audience yesterday. King even dressed down for the
occasion, wearing a conservative suit and flattening his customarily
finger-in-a-light-socket hair.

“I was thrilled to be there. It was a deep spiritual experience,”
King said.

King made it to the audience through his boxing connections. One of his
fighters is Italy’s Luca Messi, a super welterweight champion whose brother is
a priest.

Afterward, King announced that the pope will be fighting George Foreman in
Las Vegas for the World Boxing Organization heavyweight crown.

French Jews petition U.S. for asylum

 

More than 7,000 French Jews have signed a petition asking for political
asylum in the United States because of anti-Semitism in France.

“Following the barbarous murder of a young Jew because he was Jewish, in
the context of the rise in anti-Semitic acts committed by Islamic
fundamentalists, numerous members of the community no longer feel safe in
France,” reads the petition, which was sent to the U.S. Congress. The
reference was to Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Parisian Jew who was kidnapped and
tortured to death last year by an anti-Semitic gang.

The petition asks Congress to enact a law according refugee status to French
Jews. “We believe that the United States, known for its traditional
welcome to those under threat in their native lands, must open its doors to
us,” the petition says.

French communal officials reacted with outrage. “This petition is bizarre,
stupid and out of place,” Haim Musicant, director of CRIF, the umbrella
organization of secular French Jewish groups, told Israel’s Ma’ariv newspaper.
“I don’t feel threatened in France, and the authorities are doing
everything they can to protect the Jewish community. French Jews don’t need
this kind of petition.”

Mel Goes Ballistic — “Lady, F**k Off!”

Posted Mar 23rd 2007 10:40AM by TMZ Staff
Filed under: Movies, Mel Gibson

TMZ has learned (TMZ acquired the video and broke the story of Michael “Kramer”
Richards’ verbal fireworks lat last year)
Mel Gibson exploded in anger last night on a college campus after an
expert on Mayan culture accused him of racially stereotyping the Mayans in the
movie “Apocalypto.”It happened last night at Cal State University at Northridge in the San Fernando
Valley. Gibson was speaking to a film class about his movies, and several
members of the Mayan community came to hear the famous director.

After Gibson’s presentation, the crowd was allowed to ask questions. Alicia
Estrada, an Assistant Professor of Central American Studies at CSUN, challenged
Gibson, asking him if he had read about the Mayan culture before shooting the
controversial film. Gibson said he had.
Estrada persisted, stating that representations in the movie that the Mayans
engaged in sacrificial ceremonies and had bloodthirsty tendencies were both
wrong and racist. Estrada and others tell TMZ that Gibson exploded in anger,
responding, “Lady, F**k off.”

We’re told Gibson also became extremely angry when members of the Mayan
community protested on how they were portrayed in the film. The emotional Mayan
members were escorted out of the room, and we’re told Gibson screamed a parting
shot — “Make your own movie!”

Around the Blogsphere

From Aryanawakening.blogspot.com

A great quote under an article entitled “Heroes of National Socialism.”

Where are the men behind the scenes of this
virulent world movement? Who are the inventors of all this madness? Who
transplanted this ensemble into Russia and is today making the attempt to have
it prevail in other countries? The answer to these questions discloses the
actual secret of our anti-Jewish policy and our uncompromising fight against
Jewry; for the Bolshevic International is in reality nothing less than a Jewish
International. It was the Jew who discovered Marxism. It is the Jew who for
decades past has endeavoured to stir up world revolutions through the medium of
Marxism.
It is the Jew who is today at the head of
Marxism in all the countries of the world. Only in the brain of a nomad who is
without nation, race and country could this satanism have been hatched. And
only one possessed of a satanic malevolence could launch this revolutionary
attack. For Bolshevism is nothing less than brutal materialism speculating on
the baser instincts of mankind. And in its fight against West European
civilisation it makes use of the lowest human passions in the interests of

International Jewry.

“Communism with the Mask
Off”

Dr. Paul Joseph
Goebbels, 1935.

YOU CAN CATCH
MORE CONTENT SUCH AS THIS ALONG WITH SOME OF THE BEST WHTIE NATIONALIST
COMMENTARY ON THE ‘NET BY SUBSCRIBING TO “ARYAN MATTERS” ON GOVNN.COM’S MEDIA
PAGE.

News 14 reports on a White Pride rally !?!? in Scottsdale Az.

‘White Pride’ backers demonstrate in downtown Scottsdale

Brian Powell, Tribune

Scottsdale motorists traveling through one of the city’s
most congested intersections Wednesday came across a small group of people
holding banners promoting “White Pride Worldwide.”

Cars honked going through the intersection of Camelback and Scottsdale roads,
and a number of obscene gestures by passing motorists were witnessed. A
passenger threw ice out the window at the group of four to six people. At
times, people would approach the group on the sidewalk in front of P.F. Chang’s
and engage in a debate, criticizing the “White Pride” message.

Dana Arnold, who spoke on behalf of the rally, said the group chose the
Scottsdale and Camelback intersection “because there’s a lot of white people
here.”

Joel Breshin, associate director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Phoenix
office, said the rally was organized by the neo-Nazi group National Vanguard,
Arizona Unit. The ADL is a civil rights organization that monitors hate groups.

“Usually with these white power events they’re really trying to recruit,”
Breshin said. “They’re trying to show their strength in a particular area.”

The choice of a high-traffic intersection in Scottsdale for the demonstration
is an attempt to maximize the dispersion of their message, he said.

Arnold said the group is not preaching hate, but Whites should be allowed to
celebrate their culture the same as Blacks or Mexicans, and ideally have their
own land “to evolve and prosper.”

“I believe if there were no white people in America it would be total chaos,”
Arnold said. “White people are the backbone of the country.”

The demonstrators’ use of rhetoric claiming they stand for anti-discrimination
against white people is not a new phenomenon, Breshin said.

“That’s been around for years. It’s just the same message that manifests itself
in different ways every year. It’s a fallacy,” he said.

The rally came on the day the United Nations celebrates the International Day
for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, or Harmony Day. In response,
Stormfront White Nationalist Community promoted White Pride World Wide Day on
its Web site, encouraging displays like the one seen in Scottsdale.

Tribune writer Ari Cohn
contributed to
this report

Anti-rape device made available to women *from SA is Crap.blogspot

By Odette Ismail
20 March 2007

After much controversy, a South African female condom-like, anti-rape
device will be made available soon.

According to reports the device, known as rapex, had wide reaction when it was
launched one and a half years ago.

Inventor Sonnet Ehlers told the Cape Argus that she is currently busy with the
final pre-production phase after waiting for seven years. She says the product
will be on the market soon.

The debate is around whether it is a
medieval device made to impose
hatred on
males or if it will indeed help reduce rape cases.

Ehlers has also made news in other countries after debates of her invention and
the merits thereof.

She says the device will give women a chance to escape harm while the rapist is
dealing with the pain. She says her aim is for the male to be identified and
evidence of penetration to be detected.

Main

IRAN

Iran
confirms seizure of British marines

 

 

TEHRAN,
March 23 (Xinhua) — Iranian foreign ministry confirmed on Friday that its
country had seized some British marines earlier in the day when they entered
its territorial waters illegally, the state television reported.

“This
is not the first time for British military personnel to enter the Iranian
waters illegally since they occupied Iraq,” Ibrahim Rahimpour, director
general for Western European affairs of the foreign ministry was quoted as
saying.

“The
Iranian border authorities have detained 15 British soldiers and marines for
further investigation of blatant aggression into Iran’s water,” he
added.

Meanwhile,
the official disclosed that Tehran had summoned the top British envoy and
demanded the London administration to explain it as soon as possible.

“We
have summoned British charged’ affaires Kate Smith to the foreign ministry to
receive the firm protest for the illegal entry of British sailors into Iranian
territorial waters,” said Rahimpour, adding the British government
should ensure “not to do this again” in the future.

The
British Ministry of Defense (MOD) said earlier Friday that 15 British naval
personnel were seized by Iranian forces.

The
incident took place at approximately 10:30 Iraqi time (0730GMT) Friday when
the British soldiers were engaged in routine boarding operations of merchant
shipping in Iraqi territorial waters in support of UN Security Council
Resolution 1723 and the government of Iraq, the MOD said in a statement.

“The
UK boarding party had completed a successful inspection of a merchant ship
when they and their two boats were surrounded and escorted by Iranian vessels
into Iranian territorial waters.” Said the MOD.

“We
are urgently pursuing this matter with the Iranian authorities at the highest
level,” said the MOD, adding that “on the instructions of the
Foreign Secretary, the Iranian ambassador has been summoned to the Foreign
Office.”

“The
British Government is demanding the immediate and safe return of our people
and equipment,” the MOD said.

In June
2004, the Iranian forces detained eight British sailors for the same reason
at the same area. The military personnels were paraded blindfold on television
and forced to apologize for their “mistake.” The Iranian authority
released them after three days in custody.

Spring
Bling influx puts beach city on alert

 

South
Florida Sun-Sentinel

March 22, 2007

Riviera
Beach – As thousands of college students descend on Singer Island this weekend
for BET’s “Spring Bling” to dance on the beach to the driving beat of
hip-hop headliners, some residents say they will either bolt their doors or
leave town.

And while some business owners say they might close for the three-day blowout,
others say they have hired security guards and stockpiled beer and beach food.

“There’s no alcohol on the beach and we’re going to get slammed with
college kids,” said Debbie Pepe, a bartender at Johnny Longboats Tropical
Grill, overlooking the public beach.

Pepe’s mind festered with questions: “It’s a nightmare. Where are all
these kids gonna stay? How do we ID them? And how do you control that many
kids?”

Starting Friday, hip-hop and r&b artists such as Young Jeezy, Ne-Yo, and
Ludacris will hit the beach to perform before more than 3,000 college students
glorying in their moment in the sun as extras in music videos that will be
taped and then aired on BET the first week of April.

The cable TV network, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc., is the nation’s largest
provider of entertainment and news programming targeted for African-American
audiences. According to Nielsen media research, the network reaches more than
80 million households across the United States, the Caribbean and Canada.

The City Council, which wooed BET for the event, hopes it will boost the local
economy and put Riviera Beach on the map. BET hopes the event, which is
advertised online as “Black Beach Week,” will draw legions of 18- to
25-year-olds.

Last year, the event was held in Miami and, before that, Daytona Beach. BET is
inviting 3,000 students from black colleges for the free event but thousands
more, black and white, are expected to crash. In past years, the event has drawn
up to 100,000 people.

Spring Bling is being held on Singer Island, a mostly white and affluent
seaside swath of Riviera Beach, which is mostly black and economically
depressed.

The Singer Island Civic Association has widely circulated a newsletter that
gives statistical shape to the fears of some residents and business owners.
Members of the association contacted however, refused to comment on the record
about the beach event.

The flier claims to cite statistics from the 2006 event in Miami.

It also claimed there were thousands of calls for service and more than a
thousand arrests.

“This is scaring some people,” said Lenny Fortune, who owns Longboats
and has heard crowd estimates rumored as high as 20,000. “Everyone is
either closing or hiring security guards.”

Riviera Beach police could not be reached for an official comment on the claims
or on the department’s specific preparations, despite repeated phone calls.

The City Council meanwhile has approved $40,000 to pay overtime for police, fire
rescue workers and lifeguards. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office and the
federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are providing
officers.

In addition to supplying about 70 security guards, BET is responsible for beach
cleanup. BET is also putting up $120,000 in advertising to hawk the city’s Jazz
and Blues festival in April.

Bart Berling, the owner of a nearby health food store called Nature’s Way
Pantry, said, “We’re staying open. There is nothing to be afraid of.”

Berling said he plans to sell loads of bottled water, soda and grilled garden
burgers to the beach crowd.

“The police, the sheriff and ATF will be all over the place. I just don’t
see a problem,” said Berling, who plans to bunker in a back room if chaos
erupts.

Robin Czajkowski, a retired professional motorcycle racer who owns the nearby
Down Lo Pub, is more wary.

“As soon as I see fights or racial issues, I’m gonna shut down,” said
Czajkowski, who usually doesn’t run from a fight but says she sees no up side
to the Bling.

Czajkowski said that Riviera Beach police told her it would be safer to shut
down for the weekend.

Despite the numbers hysteria, Longboats’ Fortune, a tough guy with fierce blue
eyes and a barbed wire tattoo who tucks his reading glasses in the collar of
his T-shirt, sees the event as a business opportunity.

“This isn’t Woodstock and they’re not singing about peace and love,”
said T.K. Bryant, a country singer who happens to be a regular at Longboats.
“These groups are singing about shooting people. It’s violent and it
denigrates women. It’s not the music I have a problem with, it’s the
attitude.”

Greg Kindert, who plans to leave town for the week, interjected: “Where is
Jimmy Buffett when we need him?”

Carla Johnson, a black woman, watched her 5- and 6-year-old grandchildren on
the swings at nearby Phil Foster Park.

“I’m hoping for the best,” she said. “I’m hoping these children
will just have a good time and conduct themselves in an orderly fashion. And I
hope security is in the right place if it’s needed.”

Hate Crimes legislation is back


Federal Hate Crimes Bill
Re-Introduced in Congress


by GayWebMonkey.com

 

More than 210 law enforcement, civil rights, civic and religious
organizations support

   

WASHINGTON,
D.C. – Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Mark Kirk, R-Ill.,
re-introduced the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (LLEHCPA), a
critical piece of legislation providing local police and sheriff’s departments
with federal resources to combat hate violence, in the U.S House of
Representatives on Tuesday night.

Gay groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and the Matthew Shepard Foundation
hailed the bill’s introduction and joined with more than 210 law enforcement,
civil rights, civic and religious organizations actively supporting its
passage.

More than 100 other members of Congress joined Conyers and Kirk in introducing
the bipartisan bill. The Senate is expected to introduce a bipartisan
companion bill next month.

“Each year, thousands of Americans are violently attacked just because
they are black, female, Christian or gay. These crimes not only harm
individuals, but they terrorize entire communities. It’s the
responsibility of our government to protect all Americans. After more than
a decade of delay, it’s time for Congress to provide local police and sheriffs’
departments with the tools and resources they need to put away society’s most
vicious criminals,” Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese said in
a release.

“The reintroduction of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention
Act in the House of Representatives last night marks a very important moment
for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community,” added Judy
Shepard, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation and mother of
Matthew Shepard, in a separate release. “For far too long violence
motivated by hatred against GLBT individuals has gone unrecognized by the
Federal Government as well as many local agencies.

“The LLEHCPA will provide local law enforcement with the added resources
and support needed for investigating and prosecuting serious hate crimes that
are not currently included in existing law,” she continued. “The
investigation of Matthew’s murder and the trial of his killers cost Albany
County in Wyoming more than $150,000. This unplanned financial burden
forced the Sheriff’s Department to furlough five of its employees. If the
LLEHCPA had been the law of the land in 1998, this reduction in vital staff
could have been averted, while still ensuring that justice was served for my
son.”

Because there is no federal law mandating states and municipalities to report
hate crimes, they are often underreported. However, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation’s own statistics, based on voluntary reporting, show that since
1991, more than 100,000 hate crime offenses have been reported to the FBI, with
7,163 reported in 2005, the FBI’s most recent reporting period. Violent
crimes based on sexual orientation constituted 14.2 percent of all hate crimes
in 2005, with 1,017 reported for the year.


The LLEHCPA gives the Justice Department the power to investigate and prosecute
bias-motivated violence where the perpetrator has selected the victim because
of the person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin,
gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. It provides the
Justice Department with the ability to aid state and local jurisdictions either
by lending assistance or, where local authorities are unwilling or unable, by
taking the lead in investigations and prosecutions of violent crimes resulting
in death or serious bodily injury that were motivated by bias. It also
makes grants available to state and local communities to combat violent crimes
committed by juveniles, train law enforcement officers or assist in state and
local investigations and prosecution of bias-motivated crimes.A wide coalition of national organizations has called for the passage of the
LLEHCPA legislation. Some of those supporting this legislation include:
the National Sheriffs Association, the International Association of Chiefs of
Police, 31 state attorneys general and the National District Attorneys
Association.

Both the Senate and House have voted in favor of legislation to combat
bias-motivated violence in the prior Congresses. Most recently in the
109th Congress, the House of Representative approved its hate crimes bill as an
amendment on a bipartisan vote of 223 to 199. House and Senate votes were
held in the 106th and 108th Congresses as well. In the 108th Congress, the
Senate passed the measure by an overwhelming vote of 65-33, with 18 Senate
Republicans voting yes, and the House approved it on a bipartisan vote of
213-186, with 31 Republicans voting yes.

Sophisticated
mongrel found guilty for
rape, murder of retired white headmistress

The Grahamstown High Court found a man guilty on Thursday of
the rape and murder of a retired headmistress. Theoniel “Gansie”
Smith raped Madge Fergusson, 82, former principal of Victoria Park Primary
School, and then murdered her in cold blood.

Smith, 25, had admitted only to raping and robbing the former principal four
years ago. He said he had smoked drugs and had gone to Fergusson’s house to rob
her because he was hungry. Smith said the only time he hit Fergusson was when
she was struck by the door as he forced it open. He said he had never intended
to kill her.

However, Judge Clive Plasket disagreed. He found Smith guilty of the murder.

“It is obvious following Dr Daniel de Gouret Villets’ testimony that
considerable force must have been used to result in the head trauma of the
victim,” said Plasket.

Smith claimed to have only hit Fergusson once after which she fell onto a sofa,
but testimony by witnesses contradicted this claim. Smith’s advocate, Deon
Geldenhuys, had argued that Smith was not guilty of murder because there was a
possibility that someone else entered the house after Smith had left, and also
that the state had not shown that Smith had the necessary intent to kill.

Plasket disagreed. “There is no evidence that anyone else could have
assaulted the deceased once the accused had raped her. The accused, through his
actions, appeared to have acted with a direct purpose to murder. If I am wrong
in this finding, then at least it is apparent that the accused through the
framework in which the crime was committed, acted with intent to commit
murder,” Plasket said, convicting Smith of murder.

Smith stared blankly ahead.

The court then heard testimony in aggravation of sentence.

State advocate Nico Henning called Fergusson’s daughter, Gwynne Nieuwoudt.

“She was an amazing person, very strong willed, but with a heart of
gold,” said Nieuwoudt, who spoke of the tragedy and the heartbreak her
mother’s murder had caused the family.

“We always told her don’t open the door! But she would reply: ‘They know
me, and if they need food and water I will give it to them’.”

Holocaust Victims Get Compensation From Insurance Companies

An international commission has wrapped up its work after more than $300
million (225 million euros) was paid on tens of thousands of claims by
Holocaust victims and their families in the past decade.

According to the International Commission on Holocaust Era
Insurance Claims’ final report, “306.24 million was offered or awarded to
more than 48,000 claimants.”

The ICHEIC, created in 1998, aimed to make sure insurance
companies were sticking to their commitment to process and pay World War II-era
claims.

“I fully recognize that no amount of compensation can
redress the suffering inflicted during the Holocaust,” said the
commission’s chairman, former US Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger.

“Nevertheless, I believe that ICHEIC has achieved its
goal of bringing a small measure of justice to those who have been denied it
for so long,” his statement said.

The ICHEIC grouped representatives of several dozen European
insurance companies with US insurance regulators, Israeli officials and Jewish
groups whose goal was to help victims of the Nazi concentration camps obtain
unpaid insurance claims.

 

More than 90,000 people were able to file free requests for
compensation, with more than half receiving some sort of payout.

 

Slightly more than 14,000 victims shared an overall sum of
238 million dollars from insurance companies, while 2,900 people from central
and eastern Europe whose insurance companies closed after World War II received
30 million dollars.

 

The ICHEIC distributed another 31 million dollars between 31,000
victims whose claims were deemed credible but could not be substantiated due to
“the ravages of war and the passage of time.”

Violent riots in Utrecht – Exploding
democracy in Europe

Written by Franck Biancheri

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

ImageViolent riots in Utrecht – the multicultural “Polders
model” is exploding in pieces as well as democracy in Europe. But don’t
search for this information in your mainstream medias. It just has not been
reported at all….


Why? Well, make your own opinion about that. But have a look at the
following blog which
compiled many different English speaking comments about the very violent
riots which had part of Utrecht under ‘état de siege’ last week-end. This
time the riots were made by “native Europeans” against people of
recent immigrant ascents, triggered by a police shooting.

For Newropeans-Magazine, the international media “non-coverage” of
this event which made the first pages of several top national Dutch
newspapers (such as Volkskrant,
the leftist national newspaper), and the very active blogsphere coverage
of the case (NM was informed by some of its Dutch readers about the whole
thing), are emblematic of the current crisis increasingly affecting press and
democracy in our societies.

Mainstream medias have become the channels of pure political correctness
serving the current elites, which require that those medias never ever
mention or put emphasis on anything which can lead the majority of our fellow
citizens to question the way they have been runnning our societies for the
past 2/3 decades (whether on economic, social, cultural, political issues).
Meanwhile, the fast growth of Internet based individually managed new medias
(such as blogs or volunteer magazines as NM) is creating a vibrant
information circulation net totally out of control of any single force (our
elites included).

The combination of both trends is creating a very dangerous situation :
society at large is now able to measure the growing distance between
‘reality’ and the dominant system (and its servants : our elites). Meanwhile,
this ‘reality’ becomes a perfect playground for all kind of extremist forces,
who try to describe a ‘reality’ serving their own agenda … and get success
because less and less people trust mainstream medias as they choose to ignore
reality. That’s how political correctness directly leads to extremists ‘
dominance.

The USA is at that that stage a prefect example of the process : a
“politically correct society” gave itself to a bunch
of extremist leaders.

The way mainstream medias decide to ignore this event in Utrecht, which
obviously seems important to many Dutch citizens and is now echoing worldwide
on Internet, is sadly showing that a similar chain of events can take place
in Europe too.

In democracy, mainstream medias and ruling elites cannot afford to stay
long outside the “real world” where the vast majority of the
citizens are living. They are supposed to be key pillars of the democratic
process. If they are not deeply rooted in people’s reality, then, not only
will they wiped out by the very same people, but they will take democracy
away too.

Last but not least, a simple idea to keep in mind if journalists in
mainstream medias want to prevent that scenario to happen (and they can make
a difference) : free press in a democratic society is doing its job when it
talks about issues which are difficult to grasp, uneasy to address, and whose
outcome is uncertain – that’s what some call life and future.

In the war of words, The Times is Israel’s ally

The paper consistently adopts Israel’s language, giving
credence to an inaccurate, simplistic and dangerous cliche.

By Saree Makdisi, SAREE MAKDISI, a professor of English and
comparative literature at UCLA, writes frequently about the Middle East.
March 11, 2007

 

‘AS SOON AS certain topics are raised,” George Orwell
once wrote, “the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to
think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: Prose consists less and less
of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases
tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse.” Such a
combination of vagueness and sheer incompetence in language, Orwell warned,
leads to political conformity.

No issue better illustrates Orwell’s point than coverage of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the United States. Consider, for example, the
editorial in The Times on Feb. 9 demanding that the Palestinians
“recognize Israel” and its “right to exist.” This is a
common enough sentiment — even a cliche. Yet many observers (most recently the
international lawyer John Whitbeck) have pointed out that this proposition,
assiduously propagated by Israel’s advocates and uncritically reiterated by
American politicians and journalists, is — at best — utterly nonsensical.

First, the formal diplomatic language of “recognition” is
traditionally used by one state with respect to another state. It is literally
meaningless for a non-state to “recognize” a state. Moreover, in
diplomacy, such recognition is supposed to be mutual. In order to earn its own
recognition, Israel would have to simultaneously recognize the state of
Palestine. This it steadfastly refuses to do (and for some reason, there are no
high-minded newspaper editorials demanding that it do so).

Second, which Israel, precisely, are the Palestinians being asked to
“recognize?” Israel has stubbornly refused to declare its own
borders. So, territorially speaking, “Israel” is an open-ended
concept. Are the Palestinians to recognize the Israel that ends at the lines
proposed by the 1947 U.N. Partition Plan? Or the one that extends to the 1949
Armistice Line (the de facto border that resulted from the 1948 war)? Or does
Israel include the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which it has occupied in
violation of international law for 40 years — and which maps in its school
textbooks show as part of “Israel”?

For that matter, why should the Palestinians recognize an Israel that refuses
to accept international law, submit to U.N. resolutions or readmit the Palestinians
wrongfully expelled from their homes in 1948 and barred from returning ever
since?

If none of these questions are easy to answer, why are such demands being made
of the Palestinians? And why is nothing demanded of Israel in turn?

Orwell was right. It is much easier to recycle meaningless phrases than to ask
— let alone to answer — difficult questions. But recycling these empty phrases
serves a purpose. Endlessly repeating the mantra that the Palestinians don’t
recognize Israel helps paint Israel as an innocent victim, politely asking to
be recognized but being rebuffed by its cruel enemies.

Actually, it asks even more. Israel wants the Palestinians, half of whom were
driven from their homeland so that a Jewish state could be created in 1948, to
recognize not merely that it exists (which is undeniable) but that it is
“right” that it exists — that it was right for them to have been
dispossessed of their homes, their property and their livelihoods so that a
Jewish state could be created on their land. The Palestinians are not the
world’s first dispossessed people, but they are the first to be asked to
legitimize what happened to them.

A just peace will require Israelis and Palestinians to reconcile and recognize
each other’s rights. It will not require that Palestinians give their moral
seal of approval to the catastrophe that befell them. Meaningless at best,
cynical and manipulative at worst, such a demand may suit Israel’s purposes,
but it does not serve The Times or its readers.

And yet The Times consistently adopts Israel’s language and, hence, its point
of view. For example, a recent article on Israel’s Palestinian minority
referred to that minority not as “Palestinian” but as generically
“Arab,” Israel’s official term for a population whose full political
and human rights it refuses to recognize. To fail to acknowledge the living
Palestinian presence inside Israel (and its enduring continuity with the rest
of the Palestinian people) is to elide the history at the heart of the conflict
— and to deny the legitimacy of Palestinian claims and rights.

This is exactly what Israel wants. Indeed, its demand that its “right to
exist” be recognized reflects its own anxiety, not about its existence but
about its failure to successfully eliminate the Palestinians’ presence inside
their homeland — a failure for which verbal recognition would serve merely a
palliative and therapeutic function.

In uncritically adopting Israel’s own fraught terminology — a form of verbal
erasure designed to extend the physical destruction of Palestine — The Times is
taking sides.

If the paper wants its readers to understand the nature of this conflict,
however, it should not go on acting as though only one side has a story to
tell.

(mis-drawn swastika alert) European Jewish body to meet German
Chancellor over anti-Semitism rise

Original article:
www.ejpress.org/article/15359

   

http://www.ejpress.org/img/dot_transparent.gif

 

PARIS (EJP)—The European Jewish
Congress will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel next Tuesday in Berlin
to raise its concerns about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, discuss
proposals to harmonise hate crime legislation throughout the European Union,
and to discuss the future of the 27-member bloc.

Germany currently holds the EU rotating presidency.

The announcement of the meeting, made by the Jewish body on Friday, came as the
EU was set to this weekend celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome
which established the European Economic Community, the fore-runner of the
European Union.

“Europe’s Jewish communities have always been full partners in the European
project and this weekend is an opportunity for them to celebrate their European
identity,” Pierre Besnainou, president of the European Jewish Congress, said.

“Like all other Europeans, we too will reflect on the future of the Union and I
look forward to sharing our contributions, concerns and ideas with the German
Chancellor.

“On the fiftieth anniversary of the European Union, this heavily symbolic
meeting between the highest representative of European Jewry and the German
Presidency of the European Union is a testament to the laudable progress that
Europe has made.”

The Paris-based EJC is a federation of 38 national Jewish communities in
Europe.

Holocaust denial

Despite repeated appeals by EU leaders to fight it, anti-Semitism has been
reported as being on the rise in Europe in the latest years, especially in
France, the UK and Germany, the countries with the largest Jewish communities.

Citing its particular historic responsibility due to its Nazi past, Germany has
proposed the other EU member states adopt a EU-wide legislation that would make
Holocaust denial a crime in the whole European Union.

But while unanimous in their condemnation of those who deny the Holocaust, EU
leaders are split over whether to criminalise such acts.

Two years ago, Luxembourg tried to use its EU presidency to push through
legislation to unify legal standards for Holocaust denial but was blocked by
Italy, Britain and Denmark on the grounds that the proposed rules breached
freedom of speech and civil liberties.

Such legislation requires unanimity among the 27 EU member states.

Against a backdrop of increasing racist attacks in Europe, a German blueprint
says that racist declarations or Holocaust denial would not be prosecuted if
they were expressed in a way that did not incite hatred against an individual
or group of people.

 

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the EU German Presidency condemned all
forms of racism, racial discrimination, intolerance and discrimination. It
urged member states “to adopt effective measures to combat the symptoms and
causes of racism and discrimination” and “to effectively guarantee the freedom
of thought, conscience, religion and belief to all without distinction.

The declaration was made on the occasion of the International Day for the
Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Racial ignorance was bliss for
Turner

By the Mercury News

Article Launched: 03/18/2007
01:45:13 AM PDT

For a marquee speaker at the Bay
Area Council’s recent conference on clean energy, media mogul Ted Turner
sure left a dirty mess in his wake.

Asked about U.S. cooperation with
China in global-greening efforts, Turner told the crowd of 1,000 business and
political leaders: “The Chinese are very smart. Just think: Have you ever
met a dumb Chinaman?”

Putting his foot further into his
mouth, Turner rhetorically asked on-stage interviewer talk-radio host Ronn
Owens
whether he’d ever seen a Chinese restaurant close. “The Chinese
are very smart, very hard workers,” Turner was heard to say.

Turners’ words sent an immediate
chill through the crowd, which up to that point had been in stitches over the
CNN founder’s hyperkinetic commentary on world affairs. State Sen. Leland
Yee
, D-San Francisco – who came to the United States from China as a
toddler – condemned the remark as racist, and the council received several
complaints during and after the March 8 event.

“We sent a formal note to
Turner on Monday, thanking him for speaking but telling him the comments were
derogatory,” said council spokesman John Grubb. “Of course,
the comments don’t reflect the views of the Bay Area Council. We encouraged Mr.
Turner to apologize, which he did.”

In his statement, Turner wrote that
he was “unaware that the term `Chinaman’ was derogatory and hurtful to the
Asian Pacific American community.” Maybe Ted can


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get some pointers from Rosie
O’Donnell
, who in December memorably imitated Chinese people with the
phrase, “ching chong, ching chong chong.”

Unlike the other seven U.S.
attorneys who lost their jobs, Ryan’s dismissal hasn’t provoked a peep of
protest from Democrats or just about anyone else familiar with his situation.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a judiciary committee member whose home turf is
San Francisco, has not defended Ryan despite raising vigorous objections to the
firing of the other top prosecutors, especially San Diego’s U.S. attorney, Carol
Lam
.

By all accounts, Ryan lost his job
because of concerns in the Justice Department about his poor management of the
office and sagging morale.

The Justice Department completed an
internal audit of Ryan’s performance last fall, and by all accounts he was
widely criticized. In December, he was added to the Justice Department’s hit
list and fired.

Interestingly, Ryan was not on the
Bush administration’s radar as a target of the U.S. attorney purge until late
in the process, based on e-mails posted this week on the House Judiciary
Committee’s Web site. In fact, Ryan was not on the list in a Nov. 15, 2006,
e-mail exchange among top officials.

Ryan has refused to comment on his
ouster. In the meantime, a committee of Bay Area Republican lawyers is
interviewing potential successors.

During the city’s first charter
review in 15 years, committee members appointed by the city council are
weighing everything from limiting council terms to requiring long-range
financial planning.

The committee invited the public to
weigh in last week, and several residents asked why committee members aren’t
planning to recommend changing the city’s election system. Currently, council
hopefuls run for numbered seats; some at the meeting suggested an open election
where all candidates would run against one another at once.

Santa Clara County Assessor Larry
Stone
said the system shouldn’t be changed because having to run against
fewer people makes campaigns more focused and promotes more debate.

“Politics is about contest,
it’s about competition,” said Stone, a former Sunnyvale mayor.

But when there’s only one person
running for a seat, there’s next to no debate, said Dianne McKenna, a
former Sunnyvale mayor and Santa Clara County Supervisor.

Two seats were uncontested as
recently as 1999. Ten years before that, three seats were uncontested –
including Stone’s – and Sunnyvale canceled its election to save money.

None of that has gotten U.S.
Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont, the star status he received last week, when
he was named the highest-ranking elected official in the country who does not
believe in God. He was awarded the honor – or place in hell, whichever you
believe – by the Secular Coalition for America.

Most of his constituents from the
liberal Bay Area are slapping Stark on the back, he told IA this week from his
car phone in Washington, D.C. He even got about 50 campaign contributions from like-minded
godless souls.

So, who’s whispering he’ll spend his
days in Hades?

“Oh, I suppose the same people
who always thought I was going to hell,” he quipped. “Now they’re
even more convinced than ever.”

Noting he was surprised at how
“elevated” the issue became, Stark said the last time he received
such attention was when “I called the guy from Colorado a fruitcake,”
referring to the name he called Republican and former Rep. Scott McInnis
during a tense 2003 discussion about a controversial pension bill.

So, when IA pressed him to describe
whom he prays to as a Unitarian Universalist, Stark countered: “I don’t
really pray to, I pray on. Actually, I prey on Republicans. But
you spell it a different way.”

‘Social Democrats invited known anti-Semite to seminar’

Published: 23rd March 2007 12:15 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/6777/

The Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism (SCAA) has criticized the Social
Democrats for inviting controversial British-Israeli musician and political
commentator Gilad Atzmon to speak at a seminar on Iraq, the Palestinian
territories and Afghanistan, which was held in Stockholm on March 18th.

Writing in newspaper Expressen on Thursday, SCAA chairman Jesper Svartvik urged
the party to distance itself from the decision of its Christian organization,
Broderskapsrörelsen, and the Workers’ Educational Association (Arbetarnas
Bildningsförbund – ABF) to bring Atzmon to the capital.

Atzmon, a jazz musician regarded as one of the finest saxophonists in the
world, has long been accused of anti-Semitism.”We must begin to take the accusation that the Jewish people are trying to
control the world very seriously,” he said in 2003.

“American Jewry makes any debate on whether the ‘Protocols of the elder of
Zion’ are an authentic document or rather a forgery irrelevant. American Jews
(in fact Zionists) do control the world, by proxy,” he added.

The ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’, a document describing a Jewish plot to
achieve world domination, is widely accepted to have been an anti-Semitic
forgery drafted by the Russian secret police in 1903. It was later used as a
propaganda tool in Nazi Germany.

Atzmon, himself born a secular Jew, is also credited with having said that
“the victim strategy is the latest and most sophisticated form of Jewish
supremacist segregation.”

According to Jesper Svartvik, Azmon describes Israel as a Nazi state that must
be eradicated.

“It is of course legitimate to criticize Israel’s politics, but democratic
forces need to react when debate about the Middle East is used to legitimize
the hatred of Jews,” he said.

Svartvik concluded by requesting that the Social Democratic party leadership
clearly distance itself from the seminar.

In a statement released to The Local, Ulf Carmesund, international secretary of
the Christian Social Democrats, rejects the allegations made by SCAA.

“Gilad Atzmon is himself a Jew, and when the Swedish Committee Against
Anti-Semitism starts calling Jews anti-Semites there is a risk that they
undermine the term anti-Semite and do the fight against anti-Semitism a
disservice,” said Carmesund.

“Atzmon is critical of the state of Israel’s politics and of Jewish
organizations that support the state of Israel’s politics in the name of all
Jews. Atzmon belongs to that group of Jews that refuses to be associated with
the Israeli occupation and the state of Israel’s breaches of international law.

“He aims his criticism not at Jewishness but at the politics and ideology
that lead to breaches of international law,” he added.

Blackstone’s Billions

Private Equity IPO Lifts the Curtain on Uberwealthy Takeover Titans

By DAN ARNALL and BILL MCGUIRE
ABC News Business Unit

March 23, 2007 — – The fabulously wealthy will get even
richer as Blackstone Group LP, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms,
plans to raise up to $4 billion in a highly anticipated initial public
offering.

The New York-based firm, known for marquee takeovers such as February’s $23
billion buyout of Equity Office Properties, is headed by former Lehman Brothers
Holdings Inc. bankers Stephen Schwarzman and Peter Peterson. Schwarzman, 60, is
one of the world’s wealthiest people, with a fortune estimated at more than $3
billion.

The world of private equity, which works by taking public companies private
with investors’ and borrowed money, is one of secrecy because few of the firms
are exchange listed. Schwarzman, though, doesn’t hide from the spotlight.

Last month, for example, his multimillion-dollar birthday bash at an armory
building in New York included hundreds of his closest friends and performances
by Rod Stewart and Patti LaBelle. According to Fortune, which ranks the
Blackstone chief as the 249th richest in the world, Schwarzman has a $30
million apartment in a building that once housed members of the Rockefeller and
Vanderbilt families.

Until Blackstone filed to go public, its finances were cloaked in the fog of
being a private company. But consider that Blackstone’s funds own companies
with 375,000 employees and $83 billion in annual sales. That would put
Blackstone among the Top 15 in public U.S. companies.

“They’ve operated in their own stealth realm for so long that this
really does take advantage of the flip side of the coin. They have an
opportunity to benefit by being a public company,” said Denise Valentine,
senior analyst at business consultancy Celent LLC’s securities and investment
group. “This is going to be a big IPO, oversubscribed, and it will give
Blackstone a bigger kingdom.”

Blackstone, founded in 1985, said the initial public offering would allow it
to tap new sources of capital for buyouts. In addition, it would help extend
Blackstone’s brand name and gives management a way to profit from the increased
value of its stakes.

Details revealed in the firm’s SEC filing show it has enjoyed an amazing 40
percent annual return on its various investments since 2001.

“We intend to continue to follow the management approach that has
served us well as a private firm of focusing on making the right decisions
about purchasing and selling the right assets at the right time and at the
right price,” the company said in the prospectus, which did not reveal the
possible timing of an IPO or how many shares would be issued.

How did it do it? The Blackstone Group business is really four different
businesses cobbled together under one roof.

The biggest part of the company’s growth comes from its investments in hedge
funds and other alternative investment vehicles. That part of the business has
shown a better than 51 percent annual growth in the value of its investments.

It also invests in real estate, growing annually at 41 percent, corporate
buyouts and restructuring — annual compound growth of more than 31 percent.
The firm also offers advisory services to other Wall Street players, with a
growth rate of almost 23 percent.

According to Thursday’s filing, Blackstone has 57 top partners and an
additional 335 investment gurus on the payroll in New York and 10 offices
around the world. Schwarzman and other top management don’t plan to cede
control of the company or the collection of companies it has acquired.

He plans to structure the company to leave control in the hands of its
partners, not the new investors that will be buying shares when the stock
debuts.

Some of Blackstone’s worker bees — the people who punch the clock there but
are not considered senior directors — will all get shares of the IPO. The
senior directors also plan to start a charitable foundation with about $150
million in stock at the debut.

The filing has raised speculation that this might be the future for private
equity firms, many confronted with a contraction in global stock markets that
could stymie funding. Already, rival Fortress Investment Group LLC raised
$643.3 million when it became the first private equity or hedge fund to go
public.

Private equity funds, which used to be known in the industry as leveraged
buyout firms, use cash raised from investors and from its own coffers to buy
companies. The last few years have seen many of these firms band together to
take over companies on a scale never imagined before, including Harrah’s
Entertainment Inc., energy company TXU Group Inc. and lawn-care company
ServiceMaster Co.

The next step for private equity firms is to profit by taking these
companies public again within five years after the initial deal.

Blackstone has a varied portfolio of companies that includes Madame
Tussaud’s waxwork museums in New York and London. It took German chemical
company Celanese Corp. private, and then relisted it on the New York Stock
Exchange in 2005.

The most recent coup for the firm was February’s $23 billion acquisition of
Equity Office Properties, which is the largest office landlord in the United
States. The purchase was the largest private equity deal on record.

The buyout firms have prospered in an era of cheap money. The $144.7 billion
of private-equity deals and management buyouts announced this year is ahead of
2006’s record pace by 14 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.

Blackstone also said in the filing that there would be no severance
arrangement, or golden parachute, given to Schwarzman as part of the plan to
take the company public. He will receive no compensation other than a $350,000
per year salary.

Schwarzman is said to be the largest single shareholder of the company, but
there are plenty of other major shareholders, some of which average Americans
might have some part of. The filing shows pensions for public employees have
contributed about 49 percent of the total funds that Blackstone manages.
Corporate pensions, insurance companies and other individuals are also major
investors in the private equity firm.

Schwarzman could not be reached for comment.

Morgan Stanley Inc., Citigroup Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co., Credit Suisse
Group, Lehman Brothers and Deutsche Bank Securities are listed as underwriters
for the offering.

No Way Out


By G. Tracy Mehan, III
Published 3/21/2007 12:07:05 AM

The public dialogue on the Iraq War
continues to careen between the heights of optimism and the depths of
pessimism. The bipolar nature of the debate was on display in Washington last
week at the Heritage Foundation’s blue-ribbon panel discussion on “
Iraq: The Way Ahead.” The event was a very downbeat observance of the
fourth anniversary of the conflict in Mesopotamia.

There was plenty of intellectual firepower deployed at this gathering. Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of the
authors of the President’s

http://www.spectator.org/_images/Clintn-web-tile3.giftroop surge plan in Iraq, and an
uber neoconservative, was joined by
Kenneth Pollack
of the Brookings Institution, a well-known expert on the Middle East and an
unabashed proponent of nation-building of the liberal interventionist school.

Rounding out the panel was Anthony Cordesman, Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a
leading military and foreign policy expert of the Realist persuasion.

The only omission on this impressive expert panel might be the full-throated
proponent of the “cut-and-run” school, retired Army Lieutenant
General William
Odom
, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson
Institute, who has written provocative articles such as “Victory Is Not an
Option” and “Know When to Fold ‘Em.” That said, the actual panel
provided an energetic airing of differing views on the current controversy.

On the continuum between sunny optimism and manic depression, Kagan a military
historian, pushes the limits of the former position about as far as one can,
given present circumstances. He was a scathing critic of the Bush Administration’s
conduct of the war until it embraced his own ideas about the surge.

Kagan argues that, historically, America does very badly at the beginning of
its wars, but eventually gets it right in the end. He also believes
interventions such as Bosnia and Kosovo demonstrate that the U.S. can
ameliorate terrible situations abroad. He sees some evidence that the surge is
going well, but he concedes we will not know for some time. He points to the
support of the Iraqi government and the militias’ reluctance to engage U.S.
forces as positive signs. Moreover, he notes that the troop build-up is still
underway.

Kagan simply cannot countenance defeat because that possibility is too awful to
contemplate in terms of the Middle East and the spillover effects of terrorism,
which will look elsewhere for mischief making. He believes that the greatest
danger is “pulling the plug on the operation too early.” He is also
working on a follow-up plan to complement this initial troop surge, a proposal
for expanding the effort, presumably, to non-military areas.

Pollack, another tough critic of the Bush Administration for its failures to
date, hopes the surge will work, believing it is the right approach to fighting
this war. He believes it is the only option “promising a happy
ending.” Like Kagan, Pollack believes the consequences of withdrawal would
be “catastrophic.” It would be the ultimate “booby prize”
for the next president.

Nevertheless, Pollack fears that it may be too little, too late, to succeed. He
has no faith in the Bush Administration’s competence to do this job. He has
even co-authored an alternative to the surge. A recent program at Brookings
referred to it as Plan B: A Containment Strategy for Iraq in Civil War,
which speaks volumes.

Pollack notes that the insurgents’ “going to ground” can be an
indicator consistent with either victory or defeat. “We don’t know what we
will get,” says Pollack. It should be no surprise that the insurgents
would not confront superior U.S. forces.

As good as it is, “the military cannot possibly win this” conflict
alone, argues Pollack. The U.S. is hopelessly underinvested in terms of
personnel and resources to do the job of nation-building for the Iraqis,
regarding whom he has little confidence. The U.S. needs to “stand up to
the Iraqi government” and not hide “behind the charade of Iraqi
sovereignty.”

Cordesman secures the pessimistic end of the continuum. He declared Iraq to be
in a civil war two years before the Pentagon admitted it last week. From his
perspective the surge may or may not work, but he doubts it. If it succeeds, it
will simply establish Shiite dominance to the benefit of Iran.

Regardless of whether or not this new tactic “works,” Cordesman sees
the U.S. consigned to an everlasting purgatory in a region that is, was, and
always will be a geopolitical mess. He believes Iraq was a broken, failed state
since it inception. He first started working there in 1971 and views the
government to be “a command kleptocracy,” which is totally alien to
Americans.

Cordesman does not believe that Iraq will be more of a center of terrorism
than, say, the Afghanistan-Pakistan area. And even if the Shiites win the civil
war, there are 40 or 50 countries in which Al Qaeda can operate. Cordesman
believes ultimate Shiite dominance may be “a kind of victory,” but
hardly optimal for Sunnis. He is also doubtful of any containment strategy. The
best we can manage is “constant damage control.”

In the words of the French existentialist, Jean Paul Sartre, there is No
Exit
for the U.S from a very conflicted region that has vital energy
resources essential to our economy. Indeed, it will be at least ten more years
before the U.S. approaches anything resembling relative energy independence,
which Cordesman characterizes as “an illusion.”

There is a kind of weird convergence between the realist Cordesman and the
neoconservative Kagan in their shared belief that the U.S. will be immersed in
Iraq for the foreseeable future. In the question-and-answer session of the
Heritage program, Kagan conceded that he believes the U.S. should maintain
“an open-ended commitment” in that country (Quaere: would he hold
this position even if the surge failed?). Cordesman basically sees the same
fate for America, but envisions a more modest mitigating role, hardly a
triumphal imposition of Western-style democracy or influence.

Cordesman, along with Pollack and probably Kagan, find it
“refreshing” to see a Secretary of Defense with “the ability to
cope with reality.” This may be the one positive note in this otherwise
depressing discussion. No one along the entire policy spectrum — including the
White House — is chanting the stay-the-course mantra any longer. Indeed, for a
leading conservative establishment such as the Heritage Foundation to sponsor
such a robust debate on the war is, well, refreshing. But that is about all
there is for an optimist to grasp onto.

Emily Nicely

Greensburg family accused of teen enslavement

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/images/empty.gif

   

By Bob Stiles
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Nelson
Williams said he heard his caregiver question a teenager about her bruised
appearance as she stood outside his Hempfield Township door March 10,
delivering his Saturday newspaper.

“What in the world happened to you?” Williams, 66, remembered the
caregiver asking the teen.

The teen then broke into tears and recounted that she had been beaten and
kept against her will by a Greensburg family for more than six months, said
Williams, who invited the teen inside and contacted authorities.

On Tuesday, members of that family, Mark Pollard, 43; his wife, Cynthia
Pollard, 41; and children Mark Pollard Jr., 18, Jonathan Pollard, 17, and
Tabitha Pollard, 16, all of 506 DelBene Way, were arraigned on charges of
kidnapping, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint,
recklessly endangering another person, false imprisonment and conspiracy.

Mark, Cynthia and Mark Pollard Jr. were jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond after
their arraignments before District Judge James Albert, of Greensburg.

Jonathan and Tabitha Pollard, both of whom have been charged as adults, are
free on $50,000 unsecured bond. Arrangements were being made for them to stay
with relatives.

Greensburg Detective Sgt. Henry Fontana alleges that the Pollards were
keeping Emily Nicely, 19, against her will since September. She told police
that she was beaten with boots, broom handles, a metal pipe, wooden door slats
and other objects if she refused “to do chores,” according to an
arrest warrant affidavit.

Nicely, who had attended Greensburg Salem High School, began living with the
Pollards last summer in the hope of finishing school there after her family
moved out of the district, Fontana said. School district officials said she was
last enrolled during the 2004-05 school year.

The abuse started shortly after she moved in, and the family referred to her
as their “slave,” according to the affidavit.

“Ms. Nicely was not allowed to be alone or have contact with anyone
except the Pollard family. She was not allowed out of the house unless she was
with another family member,” the affidavit said.

Williams said that after he and his male caregiver invited the bruised
Nicely inside, a woman came to the door and demanded the teen come outside. His
caregiver — a tall, muscular man — refused, Williams said, shutting the door
in the woman’s face.

“(Nicely) came in and sat,” Williams recalled. “I felt bad.
She cried. I said, ‘Just sit here, stay warm. You don’t need to go outside. No
one’s going to take you.'”

Two other people were outside his home as Nicely was delivering his copy of
the Tribune-Review, Williams said.

Cynthia Pollard told police that members of the family had confrontations
with Nicely, but only in self-defense, according to the affidavit. She said
Nicely fell down while delivering the newspapers, and that was why she was
bruised, court papers said.

After state police arrived at Williams’ home March 10, Nicely was taken for
medical treatment at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, and
city police were contacted. She is staying with her mother in another county,
police said.

Tribune-Review records indicate Mark Jr., Jonathan and Tabitha Pollard serve
as independent contractors delivering the newspaper. Each delivers on a
different route in Greensburg.

‘Slave’ case neighbors stunned

       

By Bob Stiles
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, March 22, 2007

Tom Sarver
said he was shocked when he heard a Greensburg family — his neighbors —
allegedly kept a woman enslaved in their home and beat her for months.

“I thought it was terrible,” Sarver said Wednesday. “I didn’t
think something like that could go on. And I was wondering about why it didn’t
come to light sooner than it did.”

Since September, Mark Pollard, 43; his wife, Cynthia Pollard, 41; and their
three children, Mark Pollard Jr., 18, Jonathan Pollard, 17, and Tabitha
Pollard, 16, were holding Emily Nicely, 19, against her will at their 506
DelBene Way home, according to Greensburg police.

On Tuesday, the five family members were arraigned on kidnapping and other
charges related to repeatedly beating Nicely with their fists and various
objects and threatening to harm her and her family if she fled or told anyone,
according to court papers. Jonathan and Tabitha Pollard are charged as adults.

 
 
 

Yesterday, other neighbors joined Sarver in voicing their astonishment at the
charges and wondering why no one intervened sooner.

“I was shocked,” said Bill McAfee, a retired Greensburg police
officer. “It’s always been a nice, quiet neighborhood. You wouldn’t think
a block and a half from here that something like that was going on.”

“I don’t understand why someone didn’t notice and do something as far
as counseling,” said another neighbor, Colleen Clark. “I don’t know
why. I guess I’m as guilty (for not noticing).”

Many neighbors living on the 7th Ward hill with a view of the Westmoreland
County courthouse and downtown Greensburg said they tend to keep to themselves
and didn’t know the Pollards well.

Others, who asked not to be identified, said police often responded to calls
about disturbances at the Pollard’s small, ill-kept house.

Greensburg police Capt. George Seranko confirmed that police had visited 506
DelBene Way, but said nothing tipped off officers about Nicely’s alleged
ordeal, which she described as being treated like a slave, according to court
papers.

Seranko said evidence shows that Nicely was beaten extensively over a period
of time.

“It’s not a bruise; it’s hundreds of bruises,” he said. “You
can tell this was a continuous assault. It wasn’t one time.

“It wasn’t bruising from a fall,” he added, referring to a
statement Cynthia Pollard made to authorities. “Almost every part of her
body had some type of a bruise on it.”

Detective Sgt. Henry Fontana said Nicely was staying with the family in
hopes of continuing to attend Greensburg Salem High School after her family
moved out of the school district. However, school officials said she was last
enrolled in the 2004-05 school year.

All three Pollard children dropped out of school, Greensburg Salem officials
said.

At some point, Nicely had dated both Mark Pollard Jr. and Jonathan Pollard,
police said.

Nicely told police that she continued living with the family out of fear,
according to a probable cause affidavit.

“They told her that if she told anyone or tried to leave, they would
put wire around her neck and strangle her,” the affidavit said. “They
would then go after her family.”

Authorities became aware of Nicely’s situation after Nelson Williams and his
caregiver intervened after Nicely delivered a copy of the Tribune-Review to
Williams’ Hempfield Township home March 10. Mark Jr., Jonathan and Tabitha
Pollard all served as independent contractors delivering the newspaper,
according to company records.

The caregiver questioned Nicely about her badly bruised face, Williams said,
and Nicely said she had been beaten and kept imprisoned for more than six
months.

They took Nicely inside, ignored Cynthia Pollard as she demanded that Nicely
come outside, and called state police, Williams said.

Nicely was taken to Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg, and
doctors contacted city police.

Dr. Janet Squires, director of the Child Advocacy Center at Children’s
Hospital of Pittsburgh, said that in many publicized cases in which someone has
been kept a prisoner, people often question why the victim did not try to
escape.

In Nicely’s case, Squires said, even though she was 19, she was still
childlike.

“Many times, one thing that makes people vulnerable is being threatened,”
said Squires, whose center evaluates children and adolescents who may be
victims of physical or sexual abuse, or neglect.

Threats can be very powerful, especially when a victim has no resources and
no friends or family nearby, Squires said.

“I’ve heard horrific things that were said,” Squires said.
“People are belittled. They are told, ‘If only you were good, I wouldn’t
have to hit you.'”

After a while, a victim’s self-worth deteriorates.

“This young lady at least had the ego to articulate (what was
happening) and report (it),” Squires said.

She said the Hempfield Township man who noticed Nicely’s injuries invited
her in and contacted authorities is “a hero.”

“Sometimes the right person in the right place — asking, ‘Are you OK?’
at the right time — can give a victim a chance to ask for help,” Squires
said.

Among the items seized during a police search of the Pollards’ home were a
belt, a yardstick, window slats, a broom and a pole. Seranko said these items
may undergo forensic testing if Nicely says that they were used to beat her.

The Pollards survive on Social Security payments, said Meagan Bilik, who
represented the family at their arraignments before District Judge James
Albert, of Greensburg.

“To my knowledge, there’s no prior (criminal) records,” the
attorney said.

All five Pollards were jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond each.

Tabitha Pollard, who is six months pregnant, was put in jail yesterday after
she could not satisfy authorities about an address where she would live on
electronic monitoring while awaiting her preliminary hearing, court officials
said.

The Pollards’ home is part of a mortgage foreclosure action begun by
Citifinancial Services Inc, according to Westmoreland County court records.

Citifinancial alleges that no mortgage payments have been made since
October. Nearly $42,000 is owed in principal, interest, late charges and other
fees, according to court papers.

End

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