An Afghan police officer turned his gun on NATO troops at a remote checkpoint in southern Afghanistan before dawn Sunday, killing four American service members, according to Afghan and international officials.
It was the third attack by Afghan forces or insurgents disguised in military uniforms against international forces in as many days, killing eight troops in all.
Recent months have seen a string of such insider attacks by Afghan forces against their international counterparts. The killings have imperiled the military partnership between Kabul and NATO, a working relationship that is key to the handover of security responsibilities to Afghan forces as international troops draw down.
Meanwhile, according to Afghan officials, airstrikes by NATO planes killed eight women and girls in a remote part of the country, fueling a long-standing grievance against a tactic used by international forces that Afghans say causes excessive civilian casualties.
Villagers from a remote part of Laghman province’s Alingar district drove the bodies to the provincial capital, claiming they were killed by NATO aircraft while they were out gathering firewood before dawn. (Who gathers firewood in the dark?)
‘They were shouting ‘Death to America!’ They were condemning the attack,’ said Laghman provincial government spokesman Sarhadi Zewak.
Seven injured females were also brought to area hospitals for treatment, some of them as young as 10 years old, said provincial health director Latif Qayumi.
NATO forces at first said that about 45 insurgents and no civilians were killed in the attack but spokesman Jamie Graybeal stressed later that they took the charge of civilian deaths seriously and were investigating the allegations. (We’ll never find out the truth, because that is not important. It’s the mere allogation that counts. Gee, I wonder where the Taliban learned that accusatory technique? From the American left perhaps? Remember this quote from the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings: “The nature of the evidence is irrelevant. It’s the seriousness of the charge.”)
‘Protecting Afghan lives is the cornerstone of our mission and it saddens us when we learn that our action might have unintentionally harmed civilians,’ Graybeal said. (Excuse me? That’s our U.S. military’s freaking mission?!)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the airstrike and said a government investigation had been opened.
The recent violence also comes amid an international uproar about an internet video mocking the Prophet Muhammad that many fear could further aggravate Afghan-U.S. relations. (but, of course, we all know that’s a lie. Even the brother of al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri admitted he hadn’t see the video.)
The video has sparked protests throughout the Muslim world and the Afghan government blocked the YouTube site that hosts the video and its parent company, Google, over the weekend in a move to prevent violent protests. So far, protests in Afghanistan have remained peaceful.
Details of Sunday’s attack were slow to come out because it took place in a remote area, said Graybeal, the NATO forces spokesman.
‘The attack took place in the vicinity of an outpost in southern Afghanistan. It is my understanding that it was a checkpoint,’ said Graybeal.
International forces often work with Afghan police to man checkpoints as part of the effort to train and mentor the Afghan forces so that they can eventually operate on their own.
The goal is to turn over all security responsibility for the country to the Afghans by the end of 2014, though numbers of NATO forces have already been reduced in many areas.
Graybeal said one police officer was killed in the clash with NATO troops but that the other officers at the site fled and it was unclear if they were involved in the attack or not.
Two international troops were wounded and were receiving treatment, Graybeal said. He did not say how serious the injuries were.
Afghan officials said the checkpoint in Zabul province’s Mizan district came under attack first from insurgents sometime around midnight. American forces came to help the Afghan police respond to the attack, said Ghulam Gilani, the deputy police chief of the province.
It was not clear if some of the Afghan police turned on their American helpers in the middle of the battle with the insurgents, or afterward, or were somehow forced into attacking the American troops by the insurgents, Gilani said.
‘The checkpoint was attacked last night. Then the police started fighting with the Americans. Whether they attacked the Americans willingly we don’t know,’ said Gilani. (my money is on willingly)
He said all four of the dead were American. A U.S. official speaking on anonymity because the information had not been officially released confirmed that the four killed were American.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi said the police who attacked were not affiliated with the Taliban insurgency. (the terrorists have spokesmen?)
‘But they are Afghans and they know that Americans are our enemy,’ Ahmadi told The Associated Press. In an emailed statement, he said the police who fled have joined up with the insurgency.
The coalition said in a statement that they were investigating what happened.
So far this year, 51 international service members have died at the hands of Afghan soldiers or policemen or insurgents wearing their uniforms. At least 12 such attacks came in August alone, leaving 15 dead.
On Saturday, a gunman in the uniform of a government-backed militia force shot dead two British soldiers in Helmand district in the southwest.
Britain’s defense minister said the two soldiers, from 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, were killed at a checkpoint shooting in Nahri Sarraj district of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban have their strongest roots.
NATO said earlier that the gunman was wearing a uniform used by the Afghan Local Police, a village-level fighting force overseen by the central government.
That strike came a day after insurgents wearing U.S. Army uniforms attacked a military base, killing two American Marines, wounding nine other people and destroying six Harrier fighter jets, military officials said. Fourteen insurgents were killed. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack and said that it was revenge for the video insulting Prophet Muhammad.
In the capital on Sunday, several hundred university students chanted ‘Death to America!’ and ‘Long life to Islam!’ over several hours to protest the video.
Riot police cordoned off the area and the protest ended without incident in the early afternoon. A smaller protest went forward in the western city of Herat.
Enough is enough. We have no mission or purpose over there. We’re going to leave anyway. Let’s just pack up and bring every man and woman home. They already know our politicians don’t have the stomach to win at any cost, or even what winning would look like. The terrorists will just continue to attack us with impunity, receiving little or no reprisal. On our way out we can burn down all the poppy fields and chemical treat them so they can’t be regrown.
Attribution: Daily Mail
by: Sam Shead
Experiments with echoes of Frankenstein suggest electricity could one day be used to regenerate tissue and regrow lost limbs.
Scientists believe electric currents and fields hold the key to major advances in tissue engineering.
In the distant future they may even help people with severed limbs, such as victims of industrial accidents or soldiers, to grow new arms and legs.
Electrical stimulus has already shown some success in stimulating sensory nerve regrowth in people with damaged spinal cords.
There is also evidence that bio-electric fields play a role in regenerating lost fingertips, especially in children.
But the importance of electricity in wound healing and tissue repair has been largely overlooked because of its association with Victorian quackery and Frankenstein, according to Dr Ann Rajnicek.
‘Electricity is key; its something that has been under-appreciated,’ she said. ‘But people still think of Frankenstein and the Victorian age. Even when you try to sell the idea to a research funding agency, they say ‘oh no, I’m not sure about that’.’
In Mary Shelley’s novel, electricity provides the spark that brings Frankenstein’s monster to life.
The idea of using electricity for tissue engineering has been dismissed due to the connotations it holds with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein novel.
During the Victorian era, when the novel was written, electricity and its biological effects gripped the public imagination.
Electrical devices were built that were supposed to treat all manner of ills, from depression to kidney disease and impotence.
Macabre stage experiments were also common in which the dead were apparently brought to life using electricity to make limbs jerk or teeth chatter, said Dr Rajnicek.
In a show conducted in Glasgow in 1818, the corpse of a man hung for murder suddenly sat up, causing members of the audience to flee in terror. One man fainted.
Dr Rajnicek’s research at the University of Aberdeen has demonstrated the effect of electricity on flatworms rather than human corpses.
Geckos have the ability to regrow their tails with a surplus of stem cells that migrate towards parts of the body that need healing
‘Each half reforms, and this is something that has perplexed scientists for hundreds of years. How does a tail know it needs a head or a head know it needs a tail?
‘We believe the natural electrical field that’s associated with the wounding process acts like a compass to tell cells where to migrate. You get a field that points towards the wound and directs cells there.
‘We’ve also found that there’s a gradient – the electrical field is positive but at the very tip of the head of the worm its much less positive, so the animal has natural electrical polarity. We think the stem cells are being directed to build either a head or tail because one end is more positive and the other end is more negative.’
When a flatworm is cut, electricity leaks out of the wound – and the same thing occurs in all other animals, including humans, said Dr Rajnicek. ‘The skin [is] like a battery,’ she said.
In animals that regenerate limbs, such as flatworms and amphibians, the leakage produces an electrical potential that causes cells at the ‘stump’ to regress to an embryonic state. They can then mature into different kinds of new regenerated cells.
By reversing the polarity of the electric field at the wound site, Dr Rajnicek was able to produce worms with heads where their tails should be, and vice-versa. Manipulating the field led to worms with two heads or two tails.
The scientists know there is much more to the story because flatworms are not completely simple creatures. They have complex nervous systems with two parallel nerve cords and a brain, eyes, a gut, and around 40 different cell types.
‘We are still at the early stages, but we want to look at the genes that are switched on or off by the presence or absence of this field,’ said Dr Rajnicek, who gave a presentation on her work at the British Science Festival at the University of Aberdeen.
There is evidence that the leakage of electricity from wounds aids healing in humans, she added.
In the 1980s, researchers studied cases of children who regrew the tips of their fingers after having them sliced off in car doors.
They found that younger children healed better, and also leaked the most current from their wounds. When the wounds were sutured and sealed up, it prevented regeneration.
Another case in 2008 involved American Lee Spievak who chopped half an inch off the end of a finger in the propeller of a model aeroplane. The finger tip was lost, but Mr Spievak treated himself with a powder obtained from a tissue engineering lab at the University of Pennsylvania where his brother worked. The media described the regrowth of his finger tip as a ‘medical miracle’.
Mr Spievak put his recovery down to the powder, prepared from pigs bladder cells, which he called “pixie dust”. Dr Rajnicek believes growth factors in the powder may have worked in conjunction with the electrical effect of the open wound.
Covering up open wounds might help prevent infection, but could also hinder recovery, she suggested.
She added that early work had already shown that manipulating electricity can help repair damaged spinal cords.
A team from the University of North Texas improved sensory nerve function in 10 patients using electrical stimulus, although no effect was seen on motor function.
‘We’re not saying electricity is the only thing that matters, but it is one piece of the puzzle that has been neglected,’ said Dr Rajnicek.
Reuters: GM Is Losing Nearly $50K on Each Electric Volt
by: Becket Adams at the Blaze
General Motors posts a $49,000 loss for each new Volt plug-in hybrid it produces, Reuters reports.
And on top of that, rock bottom lease offers made during the summer may have inflated the above number. According to the report, some motorists paid only $5K to drive around in a new $80K Volt for two years. Oh, yeah, and Volt production has been put on hold at GM’s Detroit-Hamtramck plant.
What we’re trying to say is that it will be a very, very long time (if ever) before GM makes a profit on the Volt.
The problem with the car is that “the Volt is over-engineered and over-priced,” according to Dennis Virag, president of the Michigan-based Automotive Consulting Group.
But hey! If it’s any consolation to GM, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi are all having a hard time marketing their electric and hybrid models as well. But even that minor bit of consolation disappears when you consider the fact that Toyota has had great success with its Prius model (meaning it’s possible to have a successful electric-hybrid).
“GM’s quandary is how to increase sales volume so that it can spread its estimated $1.2-billion investment in the Volt over more vehicles while reducing manufacturing and component costs — which will be difficult to bring down until sales increase,” the Reuters report reads.
“But the Volt’s steep $39,995 base price and its complex technology — the car uses expensive lithium-polymer batteries, sophisticated electronics and an electric motor combined with a gasoline engine — have kept many prospective buyers away from Chevy showrooms,” the report adds.
But more than just steep prices, many Americans simply prefer a car that gets better mileage and has the infrastructure in place to help charge and maintain it.
“It’s true, we’re not making money yet” on the Volt, Doug Parks, GM’s vice president of global product programs and the former Volt development chief, told Reuters in an interview. The Volt “eventually will make money. As the volume comes up and we get into the Gen 2 car, we’re going to turn (the losses) around,” he added.
But some analysts disagree with Parks.
It currently costs GM “at least” $74K to produce the Volt, including development costs, Munro added.
“That’s nearly twice the base price of the Volt before a $7,500 federal tax credit provided as part of President Barack Obama’s green energy policy,” Reuters notes.
Again, as stated earlier in this article, with these type of costs tied into the vehicle’s production, it may be a very, very long time (if ever) before GM sees a profit on the Volt.
By: Robert Bowen
With comments by the Common Constutionalist [ ]
Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan staffer Peggy Noonan said in a Wall Street Journal video released Thursday that Mitt Romney “looked Weak today.” She added, “At one point, he had a certain slight grimace on his face when he was taking tough questions from the reporters. And I thought, ‘He looks like Richard Nixon.’ ”
On Fox News Wednesday Noonan said “I don’t feel that Mr. Romney has been doing himself any favors, say in the past few hours, perhaps since last night,” She added, “Sometimes when really bad things happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go.” [ And sometime things just have to be said, whether moderates recoil from it or not ]
She tried to give Romney some advice saying “I think… that in times of great drama and heightened crisis, and in times when something violent has happened to your people, I always think discretion is the better way to go,” Noonan said. “When you step forward in the midst of a political environment and start giving statements on something dramatic and violent that has happened, you’re always leaving yourself open to accusations that you are trying to exploit things politically.” [ Hey Peggy; news flash. Romney will not get a fair hearing from the press, no matter what he says or does not say, as plainly demonstrated by last weeks audio of reporters colluding against him. ]
Noonan knows what she is saying. She worked for Ronald Reagan. In 1980 when the effort to free the hostages in Iran failed because U.S. helicopters crashed in the desert, Reagan did not come out blasting President Carter. Instead, he said that “this is a time for all Americans to come together and mourn the dead Americans and pray for the hostages.” [ There is a difference. Carter was just wholly inept. Obama doesn’t care, nor, it appears, does Hilary Clinton.]
It was not until six full days later that Ronald Reagan made a political statement about how he disagreed with President Carter’s policies. Reagan is Romney’s hero but perhaps not a role model.
Romney came out Tuesday night with a political statement blasting Obama before he knew any of the facts. The next morning after he knew the identity of just one of the victims, he doubled down on his attacks. [ Yes, and it was much worse after just some of the facts were revealed. Frankly he should’ve heve triple-downed, if there is such a thing. ]
When asked about Romney’s statements, President Obama told CBS’s Steve Kroft “Governor Romney has a tendency to shoot before he aims, and as President I learned you can not do that.” [ Really Mr. President? Not like the time when you’re buddy, the professor from Cambridge was arrested, and before anything was known of the incident, you claimed the police acted stupidly. That was a calculated and thoughtful response.]
Most Republican leaders and politicians have taken a muted posture on the Embassy killings focusing instead on sending condolences and prayers to the families of the slain. However, Romney’s and his running mate Paul Ryan have continued to double down on criticism of the President. [ Well goody for them. We all know, most of the republican leaders are afraid of their own shadows.]
Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Ann Coulter have come to Romney’s defense, however. The problem with that is that the people that listen to Coulter, Palin, and Limbaugh would vote for Romney over Obama even if Mitt were arrested nude on the Capitol steps for a sex crime, high on drugs, shooting at the police.
The people that listen to Peggy Noonan and other sane and thoughtful voices are independents and persuadable voters that Romney needs. He already has the anti-Obama far right wing and the anti-Islam faction. [ Ah yes. Here we go with the beloved independents. That’s where the election is won. NOT! If old Peggy was such an expert on Reagan she would know that’s not what Ronaldus Magnus did. He boldly proclaimed his
conservative ideals and ideas and the people followed him, because they knew he meant it. He did not try to couch his speech or move to the beloved center. Ms. Noonan, you may have been a conservative once upon a time, but you’ve been inside the beltway for too long. You, my dear, are a moderate, which is simply a liberal without the courage to admit it.]
Romney does not look like he is ready for prime time. He looks amateurish and insensitive. He has an empathy problem and this just reinforced that. Obama is President and he is looking Presidential. Romney and Ryan look desperate, political, opportunistic, and unsteady. Romney has failed a test on national TV, in prime time, but he keeps on digging in deeper. [ Wow. Romney is one the most caring and sensistive people in public view that I know of. Here is just one example. From what I understand there are dozens more like it that the general public knows nothing of. ]
Romney’s statement was not a spur of the moment event. He and his campaign had over 12 hours to think it over before he issued the first statement. The reason is conservatives like Limbaugh, Coulter, Palin, and Laura Ingram have been screaming at Romney to “get ideological on Obama.” They want him to attack, attack, and attack–with gloves off. So, that is what he is doing. [ And good for him. Someone needs to call the president out for who he really is.]
Time will tell, but it looks like Romney is getting bad advice. A strong leader would get that advice, but have the wisdom to ignore it given the nature and gravity of the situation. It does not appear right now that Romney is winning hearts and minds with his approach.
[ Peggy, my advice to you is to check in at the nearest moderates nursing home and leave the real conservative thought to those of us that see this country is in real trouble and Romney is our best hope for possibly taking it back from radicals that have taken over. Maybe the home will give you a group discount if you bring some others with you, like John McCain, John Boehner, Bill Kristol, Mitch McConnell, et al.]
So Romney is in big trouble for telling the truth regarding the percentage of Americans on some sort of governmemnt assistance. How scandalous.
Yet, in present-day America the following audio is not scandalous.
Take it away Barack:
Oh, well that was a long time ago, 1998. People change you know.
Well then, if Obama has changed, prove it. Show me one time, where and when he has recanted the above audio. You can’t because he is still the same guy he was in ’98 or ’88 for that matter.
These fascinating underwater pictures reveal the full dazzling spectrum of life deep under the ocean.
The awe-inspiring photographs taken by Bob Cranston include a close encounter with a rare giant jellyfish that is twice the size of a fully grown man and a shimmering image of a five-foot-long jumbo Humboldt squid.
His collection also includes amazing pictures of an inquisitive northern elephant seal bull – which grows up to 14 feet in length – and the extremely rare southern right whale.
Mr Cranston began diving at the age of 13 and has lived on his own commercial fishing boat on the California coast for two years.
He has dedicated his life to underwater photography, while also working as a consultant to the US Military Special Forces, training military divers and developing specialized diving equipment.
The 56-year-old now focuses on underwater cinematography for television and Imax film companies.
He has an impressive seven Emmy awards for his stunning work.
Speaking from his home in California, Mr Cranston recalled his incredible encounter with the terrifying-looking pelagic jellyfish, or Chrysaora achlyos.
He had been diving in the Pacific Ocean off the Los Coronados Islands, near Mexico, when he stumbled across a group of the monster stingers by accident.
He admitted he and diving friend Howard Hall, 58, who can be seen in the picture, got a little too close for comfort – and suffered a sting as a result.
He said: ‘These are wonderful, big, colorful jellyfish.
‘We dived with them for around two hours until we had no more air in our tanks.
‘They are very rare, appearing near California only every ten years, and scientists were surprised and happy to see our photographs.’
He added: ‘We were all very happy to get these rare photographs but sorry to discover they have a painful sting in their tentacles.
‘There were many jellyfish and three divers in the water that day – we got stung.’
Attribution: Emma Reynolds
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said , ‘Where am I, Cathy?’
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!
ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget..
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?
ATTORNEY: Now doctor , isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep , he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?
ATTORNEY: The youngest son , the 20-year-old , how old is he?
WITNESS: He’s 20 , much like your IQ.
ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shitting me?
ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Getting laid
ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?
ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death..
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Take a guess.
ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?
WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.
ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.
ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral , OK? What school did you go to?
ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: If not , he was by the time I finished.
ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.
Obama’s Pentagon Blames U.S. Troops For Afghan ‘Friendly Fire’ Murders: Orders ‘Muslim Sensitivity’ Training
from: Rat’s Right
Why do more and more reports about the Regime continue to sound like something right off SNL’s Weekend Update? I guess some things just can’t be made up. Still – this one would be hysterical – if it weren’t so tragic.
In response to the continuing slaughter of American troops by their Afghan “partners” – 33 this year alone – the Pentagon has responded, by blaming our troops.
Yes, America, top officials in Obama’s Pentagon believe culturally offensive behavior is the motivation behind the killings. So, it’s done what any weak-kneed, apologetic liberal Regime would do – stepped up Islamic sensitivity training for our troops. From the New York Post:
“If you don’t want to be shot in the back by your Afghan training partners,” the Pentagon advises, “don’t offend their religious sensibilities.”
As one might imagine, General. Sher Mohammad Karimi, the Afghan National Army’s chief of staff, echoes the Pentagon’s assessment – arguing earlier this month that both sides need to do more to “teach” foreign troops Islamic traditions and values to reduce the chance of violent reactions to “cultural slights.” Excuse us Mohammad, but we’re not used to being shot, blown up or beheaded over “cultural slights.” Perhaps you could teach Afghans about the cultural habits of the civilized world.
- Wear surgical gloves whenever handling a copy of the Koran. (You can’t make this stuff up.)
- Never walk in front of a praying Muslim. (You might get shot or beheaded – on the spot.)
- Never show the bottom of boots while sitting or lying across from a Muslim, which in Islam is considered an insult. (Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable for maniacal Muslims to jump up and down on burning American flags.)
- Never share photos of wives or daughters. (Even if they’re wearing burqas?)
- Never smoke or eat in front of Muslims during the month of Ramadan fasting. (As opposed to “Never set a church on fire in Africa while parishioners are inside praying.”)
- Avoid winking, cursing or nose-blowing in the presence of Muslims – all viewed as insults in Islam. (It is acceptable, however, to scream “America go to hell!” at the top of your lungs – particularly in large crazed groups.)
- Avoid exiting the shower without a towel. (You know, because these sexually-angry lunatics can’t help but stare at your junk.)
- Avoid offering and accepting things with the left hand, which in Islam is reserved for bodily hygiene and considered unclean. (Obviously, the majority of U.S. troops murdered by these clowns were left-handed.)
Military officials who have done tours in Afghanistan are outraged that the Pentagon would even suggest US troops are partly to blame for their own murders – saying their Muslim “partners” would still resent them even if they followed Islamic protocol to the letter.
“The cultural affronts excuse is a bunch of garbage,” a senior US Army intelligence official said. “The Afghans that know we’re doing all this PC cultural sensitivity crap are laughing their asses off at our stupidity.”
He continued: “They’re killing us because we’re ‘infidels occupying Islamic lands.’ It’s what the Koran and every imam over there is telling them, and no amount of cultural sensitivity is going to stop that or change the fact that we’re ‘infidels.’”
As is the case with the Regime’s laughable spin on the attack on the consulate in Libya which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Stevens and three other brave Americans, to suggest that our troops in Afghanistan are somehow partially responsible for their own deaths at the hands of their Afghan “partners” is to disrespect not only their memory, but their service to our country as well.