Sunday, January 10, 2010

job Recovery in 20 Years, Iraq Confiscates Private Contractor, Sheik Issa Set Free to Torture

Helene Cooper
Christopher Buckley
Robert Reich

"Perhaps we need a security czar. What about Dog the Bounty Hunter?" - Christopher Buckley
"Of course, accusations that Democrats are genetically softer on threats to the Republic are nothing new. After World War II, Republicans mostly stopped attacking the Democrats as the party that had gotten America into two world wars, and began calling it soft on Communism. " - Helene Cooper
"The most painful political truth for Democrats is the nation won't possibly be out of this jobs hole by the presidential election of 2012, even if the recovery is vigorous." - Robert Reich

The most painful opinion piece to read from the links above is Robert Reich's, who's assessment on the job market I agree with only I am more pessimistic: "The Labor Department reports that 85,000 jobs were lost in December. The official rate of unemployment (which measures how many people are looking for jobs) held steady at 10 percent nonetheless. That's because so many more people have stopped looking. Reportedly, 661,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force last month, deciding there was no hope of finding a job."

The numbers suck, but hey, we're not as bad off as Spain is, with 44% unemployment. Worldwide, the job economy is worse than in the United States, and the road to recovery will be even longer, if at all. About the only long term jobs available in places like Iraq and Afghanistan will be looking for live boms that have been left behind by the US and the Taliban. A similar situation exists in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Some 30 years after we have left those countries, they are still finding unexploded ordinance, farmers and villagers are still getting arms and legs blown off while tending their fields...

Here in the US we are going towards a bartering economy, with jobs paid under the table and flea markets gaining in popularity. Our economy won't be considered healthy again until mom and pop businesses make a comeback and the banks start making small business loans over $35,000... The rule of thumb is that it usually takes a small business about five years to establish itself and customer base, and if people can't save up enough money or secure it through a loan, then our local communities and tax base will continue to shrink and we will all end up shopping at Walmart and eating at McDonalds... and complaining about it through our computers. So I don't see us recovering for about 20 years and it won't matter who controls Congress, they are just going to get in the way, hysterical objectionist reactionaries that they are... and no recoveries at all in places in Europe and the former Soviet satellite countries and Africa...

xe xe means thank you...
The US court threw out charges against 5 Blackwater employees who were accused of killing Iraqi civilians. To make matters worse, many of the victims families accepted the bribe money offered to them by Blackwater. This pissed off some in the Iraqi government, and yesterday they decided to retaliate, kinda.
"We are not reacting to the (Blackwater) judge's decision."
Instead of attacking Blackwater directly, they raided the properties of a contractor who's license to operate in Iraq had expired and confiscated all of their equipment: "Authorities raided the headquarters of a foreign security contractor, whose name could not be immediately confirmed, on Friday night and confiscated 20,000 rounds of ammunition and more than 300 armored shields... In another location they found 400 rifles, helmets, radio devices and more than 35 vehicles believed to belong to the same company, officials said. No one was arrested."

There are still plenty of private contractors that have contracts with the Iraqi government, one of the most recent ones is for security at the Baghdad Airport. They haven't kicked anyone out of the country yet because they can still extort them to get their equipment back and pay off Iraqi families. It's good to keep a cash cow tied up where you can see it...

more justice deferred...
Whenever I read about life in places like the Middle East and the lives of the sheiks, I often feel like a simpleton like the Mullah Nasruddin: Mullah Nasruddin had visited a town for some personal business. It was a frigid winter night when he arrived. On the way to the inn a vicious looking dog barked at him. Mullah Nasruddin bent down to pick up a stone from the street to throw at the animal. He could not lift it, for the stone was frozen to the earth.

- What a strange town this is! Mullah Nasruddin said to himself. They tie up the stones and let the dogs go free."

A UAE Sheik, Issa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, who is brother to the emir of Abu Dhabi, has been acquitted in charges that he tortured another man using whips, cattle prods, and wooden planks with nails sticking out, poured salt in his wounds, then ran over him in his Mercedes SUV. This man is a sadist, a drug fiend, and a sociopath, who filmed it all for later viewing in his palace, used the excuse that he was under the influence of prescription drugs, therefore the Great Satan made him do it: "The court acquitted Sheikh Issa after establishing he was not responsible," for the torture, lawyer Habib al-Mulla said on Sunday. "The court accepted our defence that the Sheikh was under the influence of drugs [medicine] that left him unaware of his actions," al-Mulla said."

To make matters worse, the two brothers who were his former business partners, who filmed the tape of him torturing an Afghan grain merchant, then kept the tape and quickly left the country, were accused of drugging the sheik and sentenced to five years in jail each, should they ever come back. They conned a wacked out innocent sheik to commit these acts just so they could later blackmail him..."The incidents depicted in the video tapes were not part of a pattern of behaviour," the interior ministry's statement said." No, they are part of a full set, and if the sheik ever gets tired of them we'll be able to acquire the whole set on Ebay, in the mature section, of course... I'm beginning to wonder if there is any country that has an honest judicial system... Next we will learn the sheik will be taking a goodwill trip to Yemen and Somalia with his new good friend Dick Cheney...

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