August 2007

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation has delayed plans to open the border to long-haul Mexican trucks until at least Thursday, after earlier reports that it could happen over Labor Day weekend.

In a filing yesterday in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, government attorneys said the agency expects to get the OK from its inspector general on Wednesday that would allow it to begin the controversial cross border trucking experiment.

The agency “anticipates that the program will not begin before Thursday,” the U.S. Justice Department said in its response to a Teamsters union lawsuit that seeks an emergency injunction to block the border opening.

Attorneys for both sides said last night they had no indication of how soon the court might act.

The disclosure marks the first time the agency has publicly given a specific date when the long-delayed program might begin.

The government court filing said that on the first day of the program only two Mexican carriers operating a total of seven trucks will be granted permission to cross the border.

One is Luciano Padilla Martínez, a Tijuana-based company that said it will send five trucks into the United States.

The other firm that would get immediate operating authority is Fernando Páez Treviño, a carrier in Apodaca, Nuevo Leon.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters in February announced plans for a one-year pilot program to test the safety of Mexican trucks in the United States. The agency now appears on the verge of commencing the project, in which up to 100 pre-approved Mexican carriers would be able to send hundreds of trucks throughout the United States for the first time since 1982.

American truckers who receive approval from the Mexican government would be able to travel in Mexico for the first time under the program.

The Bush administration is pushing to start the experiment as soon as possible as a step toward a wider opening of the border to commercial traffic, as required in the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Critics, including several trucking and safety organizations and dozens of lawmakers, complain the administration has failed to guarantee the trucks will be safe.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, blasted the Department of Transportation for “demonstrating complete disregard for the safety of vehicle motorists and the security threat created by granting Mexican truckers unrestricted access into the United States.”

He accused the agency of ignoring congressional requirements.

“We feel like we have met the requirements,” said John H. Hill, who oversees the program as administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. He added that an upcoming assessment from the inspector general might identify some “issues and concerns” that the agency will have to address.

The pilot program cannot go forward until the inspector general certifies it has met congressional requirements.

Hill said the agency also must file a report with Congress responding to the assessment before it can start.

The inspector general’s office has confidentially briefed congressional staff about the upcoming report this week.

One staff member familiar with the briefings said the inspector general had some concerns but they were “not huge issues.”

The lawsuit filed by the Teamsters and a handful of other groups Wednesday alleges the agency has failed to comply with several congressional requirements – including giving U.S. carriers simultaneous access to Mexican highways and marshaling a statistically valid sample of drivers for the project.

The government responded that the project will satisfy all congressional requirements, while requiring Mexican carriers to pass pre-certification inspections and comply with the same requirements as American truck drivers.

In an interview, Hill said no Mexican trucks would be allowed to cross the border until U.S. trucks get the same privilege.

“We will not start it unless Mexico grants authority at the same time” to U.S. truckers, he said.

The agency defended its sample of up to 100 carriers, which it said is one-tenth of the number of Mexican trucking companies that applied to cross the border.

The agency estimated the 100 carriers would send 540 trucks into the United States.

The government said further delays to the program could jeopardize diplomatic and trade relations with Mexico.

Hill said up to 44 Mexican trucks would come into the United States in the first few days of the program. “And by month’s end, maybe a total of 174,” he added.


"The government said further delays to the program could jeopardize diplomatic and trade relations with Mexico".  Who the hell cares about relations with an illegitimate child (Mexico)! We’re already dealing with whore’s offspring (millions of illegal aliens) and many who are driving unlicensed/uninsured on our streets…murdering and maiming US citizens. Allowing these Mexican trucks in will bring millions of illegal aliens (think these trucks won’t carry illegals across the border?) to be let loose on US citizens. 

By David Harsanyi
Denver Post Staff Columnist

While many of you have a tendency to romanticize the ’60s, clearly, there are certain events no one wants to relive: Vietnam. Assassinations. Abbie Hoffman.

This 2008 Democratic convention is beginning to shape up to be a royal pain. It has nothing to do with the Democrats – a peace-loving bunch – but rather those fringe groups demanding that the city capitulate to their whims.

The outfit making the most noise has been Re-create 68. The "68," is a reference to the violent 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. This group has a call out to "all the grassroots people who are tired of being sold out by the Democratic Party."

Power to the people!

Re-create 68 claims to be anti-war, anti-racism, anti-imperialism, and though all of it is framed in boilerplate freshman-year Marxist inanity, like any other group they deserve all the protections provided by the First Amendment.

But they don’t deserve exclusive perks.

So it’s been irritating watching Re-create 68 members constantly in "talks" with the mayor’s office, or the Denver Police Department and even federal officials. Is their cause any nobler than any other protester in this city for the past 30 years? Or has the implicit threat of violence moved elected officials to take meetings?

Former Councilwoman Kathleen MacKenzie, quite pathetically, sponsored a ludicrous motion "reaffirming" the First Amendment for protesters in Denver. The document (drafted with the help of Re-create 68, incidentally) was, thankfully, spiked by council.

Habitually demanding things, as revolutionaries are wont to do, this group now wants the city to alter laws regarding protests so, I assume, they can tie up rush-hour traffic during the convention to make their point.

For me, traffic is the true measure of imperialism.

Believe it or not, the majority of Denverites won’t be attending the convention, and most sensible people won’t be watching any conventions at all.

As the parameters of demonstrating in this city are clearly laid out to protect citizens as well as protesters, police negotiations should be wrapped up in a couple sentences:

Follow the law. Protest in designated areas. Protest peacefully. Peace out.

"What stands between the people and power are the party machines," reads the Re-create 68 website, featuring a clenched fist held high. "The parties were devised as a means to represent the people. Today they represent nobody, not even party members, but only party bureaucracy. The people have been left without appropriate institutions for their representation. We intend to create those institutes!"

Now dear comrades, I’m not sure how many of you are interested in these apparatchiks re-creating our "institutions," but anyone with even a passing historical acquaintance with 1968 knows very well the group’s name implies violence. In that sense, I’m sure no decent person in Denver wants to re-create the event.

I have no idea who was at fault for the Chicago riots in 1968. (I typically blame hippies for most things, but boy, those Windy City cops were sort of quick to crack open a skull.) And obviously, I hope that Denver avoids the New York and Boston 2004 convention model, featuring high fences, barbed wire, spies and questionable arrests. Yet allowing protesters to dictate in what manner this city deals with protests is an affront to the law-abiding Denverite.

Democrats, obviously, have the most to lose from a violent confrontation. As Denver convention host committee co-chairman Chris Gates, who was at the 1968 convention, recently said, "Part of the reason (Hubert) Humphrey lost that election was because of the chaos in the streets of Chicago in 1968. So if you believe in progressive values and progressive causes, their argument doesn’t really make sense."’

No, it doesn’t make sense. Not only for progressives but for anyone.

Few things that groups like Re-create 68 espouse make much sense to me. That’s fine. I support their right to protest.

But that shouldn’t give them the license to shut down the city or inhibit your right to live in peace.

Hundreds of students in Arizona are trying to learn English from teachers who don’t know the language, state officials say.

The kids are taught by teachers who don’t know English grammar and can’t pronounce English words correctly. Last year, for example, a Mesa teacher stood in front of a class of language learners and announced, "Sometimes, you are not gonna know some." A teacher in Phoenix’s Creighton Elementary District asked her kids, "If you have problems, to who are you going to ask?" A Casa Grande Elementary District teacher asked her kids to "read me first how it was before."

Each year, the state evaluates a sampling of classrooms where kids are learning English. Last year, officials visited 32 districts and found similar problems at nine. Some teachers’ English was so poor that even state officials strained to understand them. The state also found that students learning English at all ages were being taught by teachers who did not have appropriate training or materials. At a dozen districts, evaluators found teachers who ignored state law and taught in Spanish.

Each year, fewer kids who are still learning English pass the reading, writing and math AIMS test.

For the past five years, state monitors have evaluated a sampling of language classes to help find out why.

Here are some of the problems they found inside the classrooms at the 32 districts they visited for one to three days last year.

Teachers speak poor English. At nine districts, some teachers did not know correct English grammar or pronunciation. In one classroom, the teacher’s English was "labored and arduous." Other teachers were just difficult to understand. Some teachers pronounced "levels" as "lebels" and "much" as "mush."

At one school in Humboldt Unified, a teacher asked, "How do we call it in English?" Another teacher in Marana Unified told students, "You need to make the story very interested to the teacher." A teacher at Phoenix’s Isaac Elementary explained, "My older brother always put the rules."

Teachers still use Spanish in the classroom. Twelve districts had to be reminded that Arizona law requires teachers to use only English in the classroom and bans all texts and materials in any language but English. Monitors found teachers who used too much Spanish translation to help students and used storybooks, textbooks, posters and bulletin boards that were written in Spanish.

State officials allow Spanish-language books only in school libraries.

At one Isaac Elementary school, children could not answer simple questions in English. Students told the monitors that much of their instruction was in Spanish. In a class at Humboldt Unified, a teacher reviewed a list of vocabulary words by reciting them in English and having the students respond in Spanish. Some schools provided bilingual education to children whose parents did not fill out state-required waiver forms or did not fill them out properly.

Some schools shortchange language learners. Some schools hadn’t bothered to apply for tutoring grants available to help language learners, and many teachers did not have the appropriate training to teach English as a new language. One high-school teacher had only elementary-school credentials, while some had none at all.

In a classroom in Phoenix’s Cartwright Elementary District, kids still in the early stages of learning English "were found sitting, comprehending very little, and receiving almost no attention."

Deer Valley Unified provided minimal materials and teaching materials for language learners compared to other kids; it also offered little academic guidance to high-school students learning English.

At Maricopa Unified, some language learners were placed in regular classrooms with up to 29 students. The hour of English instruction for these students was provided by a teacher’s aide at the back of the class.

Arizona is revamping the way schools teach kids English. Starting this year, schools must begin putting language learners into four hours of classes each day where these students will learn English grammar, phonetics, writing and reading.

The state recently rolled out a new program to help administrators understand the changes and train teachers in a new prescriptive curriculum they will be expected to follow.


Found this on the Democratic Underground discussion board;

Dear Ted,
I was suitably impressed by your recent brandishment of a "machine gun" to embellish a few back-handed threats against several Democratic politicians. Damn, we could have used a stud like you in the A Shau back in ’70 and ’71. God knows, there were times when I looked over my shoulder hoping to see a little outgoing 50 cal, but it’s funny, every time I looked, you were never there. Hey, you were probably still busy stateside trying to launder those shit-encrusted jeans you wore down to the draft board.
Trust me, Dude, if crapping your drawers was the intent, based on what I know about you, we could have accomodated you in the first 30 seconds of any of the repeated firefights we engaged in during Operation Lam Son 719 and Operation Texas Star.
I hear you’re a big hunter, Teddy. Surely you’ve heard that man is the ultimate game. Of course, you’re probably wired a little differently than I am. You see, Teddy, 35+ years after the fact, I still wake up every now and then haunted by the faces of the two men whom I am certain that I killed. I try not to think about the fact that over my months in the bush there were almost certainly more than two, but these particular NVA grunts were only 50 meters outside our perimeter, and after I lit them up, their comrades were unable to retrieve them. We dragged the bodies in the next morning. I’ve got no problem with rationalizing that it was me or them, Teddy. But, unlike you and every other chickenhawk drum-pounder I’ve ever heard of, I refuse to celebrate their deaths.
Now, why don’t you piss off and blow up a few more animals on a canned hunt? Maybe that’s what you need to get it up with the under-age girls that your own daughters claim you relish. But please remember, you once had a chance to lock and load against someone able to shoot back. You chose to shit yourself instead.

11 Bravo

 Of course, 11 Bravo probably didn’t write a like-minded letter to Bill Clinton for his draft dodging bullshit either. Then again,  Moscow’s Red Square might not have had incoming mail service at the time.  Well, alrighty then!

 U.S. forces killed 12 al-Qaida insurgents and destroyed their two vehicles on Wednesday near the town of Karmah, west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Friday.

    Backed by airstrike and artillery fire, U.S. Marine troops at northeastern Fallujah, some 50 km west of Baghdad, killed 12members of al-Qaida in Iraq network, the military said in a statement.

    "The Marines called for air support and a section of AV-8BHarrier jets dropped two precision-guided bombs, destroying the initial two cargo trucks. Marines called for artillery fire on the dismounted enemy personnel immediately following the air attack," the statement said.

    "Twelve members of al-Qaida were found dead upon investigation of the scene. Numerous weapons and roadside bomb making materials were also found," it added.

    The area in the Anbar province is part of Sunni insurgents’ stronghold, which stretches from the western edges of Baghdad to the Saudi, Jordanian and Syrian borders.


BEIRUT: The Sunni Clerics Council expressed concern on Thursday over the turbulence being caused by uncertainty ahead of presidential elections set to be held in Parliament in mid-September. Presided over by Grand Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani at Dar al-Fatwa, the council released a statement warning that the dispute between the opposition and the majority should not go beyond the Constitution, and should not reach the extent of obstructing the election process.

The council also expressed worry about the tone used by politicians, which it said sabotages the image of Lebanon.

"It is not acceptable to spread offensive accusations through the media with the aim of belittling others politically," it said.

The council also complained that the continuing opposition sit-in in Downtown Beirut was exposing the country to economic and social pressures.

In addition, the council expressed it support for the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and denounced reported threats recently made against the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The body also expressed gratitude to the Lebanese Army for its efforts in combating Fatah al Islam militants at the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp near Tripoli.

Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdel-Amir Qabalan, vice president of the Higher Shiite Council, said Thursday during a ceremony of the 29th anniversary of the disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadr: "We demand a government of national unity, and demand a president by agreement. We hold no veto against anyone; the important thing is that the Lebanese people as a whole agree to the president."

"The liberation of Lebanon comes through unity and agreement," he added.

Sheikh Qabalan also congratulated the army for it efforts in fighting Fatah al-Islam  at Nahr al-Bared and called on the remaining militants to turn themselves in.



Islamabad: The pastor of a Christian church and his American wife were shot dead in their home in the Pakistani capital, police said yesterday.

The bodies of Arif Khan, a Pakistani-American citizen in his 50s, and his American wife Kathleen Khan, 45, were found late on Wednesday at their home in a residential neighbourhood of Islamabad, said Munawar Hussain, the local police chief.

Hussain said police had arrested their suspected killer and his wife and that they were also Christians.

The arrested man, Honey Haveed, said during questioning that Khan had an affair with his wife and that he had shot him "for honour", Hussain said.

Police were searching for another man suspected as an accomplice.

Hussain said Khan was the pastor of a small church set up in a private house in Rawalpindi, a garrison city near the capital. He didn’t know the denomination. US Embassy spokeswoman Liz Colton said American privacy laws prevented officials from discussing such crimes.


A Border Patrol agent who was arrested last year on bribery charges and who fled to Mexico while out on bond has been arrested in Mexico, officials with the U.S. Marshals said.

Arturo Arzate Jr., 47, is accused of waving drug loads through the checkpoint on Highway 62/180 east of El Paso, federal court documents state. He had been a Border Patrol agent for 20 years.

Officials said he was arrested by Mexican officials on Aug. 16 in Torreon in the state of Coahuila. He had been a fugitive since February, officials said. He will be extradited back to the United States.


We keep telling you folks that until we stop hiring Mexican nationals/loyalists, the border will continue to be a problem.

HOUSTON—A school district police officer has been suspended as the district investigates his distribution of a "Ghetto Handbook" and a three-month lapse before top district officials were informed about it.

The eight-page booklet, subtitled "Wucha dun did now?", was handed out to about 15 Houston Independent School District police officers at a May roll call meeting, spokesman Terry Abbott said.

A supervisor immediately collected the booklets, Abbott said, but district officials said they didn’t learn about the incident until someone made a complaint to the district’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office in mid-August.

"This publication was completely reprehensible and HISD condemns it in the strongest possible terms," Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra said in a written statement Thursday.

He said he has "mounted a very aggressive investigation."

District Police Chief Charles Wiley "is not doing any interviews because of the fact that it’s an ongoing investigation," Abbott said.

The booklet billed itself as a guide to Ebonics, teaching the reader to speak "as if you just came out of the hood." It included definitions such as "foty: a 40-ounce bottle of beer"; "aks: to ask a question"; and "hoodrat: scummy girl."

The booklet names six district officers "and the entire day shift patrol" as contributors. Abbott said a preliminary investigation has cleared those officers of involvement.

Last year, almost 30 percent of the district’s 202,000 students were black and almost 60 percent were Hispanic.

Carol Mims Galloway, president of the Houston NAACP chapter, said the officer who created the book should be severely punished or fired.

"It was really a slap in the African-American community’s face," said Galloway, who’s running for the school board.

"We’re paying their salaries with our tax dollars," Galloway said of the district police. "It does reflect on the district."

School board member Larry Marshall said the document was inappropriate, even if it was meant to be a joke.

"These are very racially sensitive times," he said. "It was a huge mistake in judgment."



Warsaw: Poland and the United States may be nearing a breakthrough in talks to locate parts of a US anti-missile shield on Polish soil, Poland’s deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying yesterday.

Witold Waszczykowski, who represents Poland in the talks, said a deal could be clinched within weeks after Washington signalled a compromise was possible on a Polish request for Patriot missiles or similar air protection to defend its cities. "I will try to finalise the text of the document within a few, maybe a dozen or so, weeks," Waszczykowski told the Dziennik daily.

"The Americans will promise that if a threat appears, they would give Poland the necessary equipment, including the Patriots (missiles)."

Another round of talks is due early next month.

Washington wants to place up to 10 ground-based interceptor missiles in northern Poland to protect against attacks from what it calls "rogue states" such as Iran and North Korea.


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