http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Spain-debt-downgraded-by-apf-1816859080.html?x=0&.v=27Europe's debt crisis flared again Wednesday as Spain saw its credit rating lowered...* I KEEP ON TELLING YOU FOLKS... (*SIGH*) (*SHRUG*)Stock and bond markets had begun to regain their composure caused by stinging downgrades of Greece and Portugal the day before when the Standard & Poors ratings agency delivered more bad news by cutting Spain's rating to AA from AA+.The downgrade raises the ominous prospect of market contagion hitting another countrys' finances.Spain's economy is much larger than that of Greece or Portugal and many think it's simply too big to bail out if it gets into serious trouble, as Greece has, by facing unsustainable costs to borrow money on bond markets.* AS I NOTED THE OTHER DAY VIA NEWSBITES, DON'T FOOL BY MISTAKELY BELIEVING THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY WILL BAIL OUT SPAIN (OR GREECE... OR PORTUGAL... OR IRELAND...) BY ITSELF; NOPE, THE IMF WILL BE INVOLVED. GUESS WHO THE LARGEST FINANCER OF THE IMF IS... (*SMIRK*)* FOLKS... THE PONZI SCHEME IS BREAKING DOWN ON A GLOBAL BASIS...!
http://www.toledoblade.com/article/20100428/NEWS02/4280343/-1/rssAn FBI agent who led the investigation of nine Michigan militia members charged with trying to launch war against the federal government couldn't recall many details of the two-year probe yesterday during questioning by defense lawyers.Even the judge who must decide whether to release the nine until trial was puzzled."I share the frustrations of the defense team … that she doesn't know anything," U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said after agent Leslie Larsen confessed she hadn't reviewed her notes recently and couldn't remember specific details of the case.The nine lawyers asked specific questions about each defendant. Ms. Larsen said she had not listened entirely to certain recordings made by an undercover agent who infiltrated the group.She said that because they were still being examined, she didn't know if weapons seized by investigators last month were illegal.At other times, Ms. Larsen couldn't answer questions because she said she hadn't reviewed investigative reports.Defense lawyer William Swor asked if the No. 1 defendant, Hutaree leader David Stone, had ever instructed anyone to make a bomb."I can't fully answer that question," the agent replied.* MAKE OF THIS WHAT YOU WILL...
http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/politics/Rep-Wants-AZ-Immigration-Law-in-Texas-92305354.htmlA Republican Texas lawmaker plans to introduce a tough immigration measure similar to the new law in Arizona...* GOD BLESS...!Rep. Debbie Riddle of Tomball said she will push for the law in the January legislative session, according to Wednesday's editions of the San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle.(*CLAP-CLAP-CLAP*)
http://cbs3.com/local/Philadelphia.Police.Officers.2.1660475.htmlStarting this coming Monday, Philadelphia Police officers will no longer be responding to minor fender benders.Motorists will have to fend for themselves and call the nearest police district on their own.* ANOTHER DAY OF NEWS AS THE AGE OF OBAMA KEEP ROLLING ALONG...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/7646540/Baby-boy-survives-for-nearly-two-days-after-abortion.htmlThe 22-week infant later died in intensive care at a hospital in the mother's home town of Rossano in southern Italy.The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans suggested that her baby was disabled. Most abortions at 22 weeks simply involve the induction of the birth which normally results in the death of a young fetus.(The case is causing uproar in Italy because it is the second involving a fetus of that age surviving the procedure in just three years. The other involved a baby in Florence who weighed just 17oz when he was aborted at 22 weeks because of a suspected genetic disorder but lived for three days.) [This] infant survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabria hospital, and was left by doctors to die. * WHY CALL IT A "PROCEDURE?" SERIOUSLY. CALL IT WHAT IT IS - AN ABORTION. He was discovered alive the following day – some 20 hours after the operation – by Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, who had gone to pray beside his body. He found that the baby, wrapped in a sheet with his umbilical cord still attached, was moving and breathing. The priest raised the alarm and doctors immediately arranged for the infant to be taken to a specialist neonatal unit at a neighbouring hospital where he died on Monday morning. In 2005 a baby boy in Manchester was born alive at 24 weeks after surviving three attempts to abort him. He is now a five-year-old schoolboy.
http://michellemalkin.com/2010/04/28/police-state-how-mexico-treats-illegal-aliens/Arizona has nothing on Mexico when it comes to cracking down on illegal aliens.The Mexican government will bar foreigners if they upset “the equilibrium of the national demographics.” How’s that for racial and ethnic profiling?If outsiders do not enhance the country’s “economic or national interests” or are “not found to be physically or mentally healthy,” they are not welcome. Neither are those who show “contempt against national sovereignty or security.” [According to Mexican law, perspective immigrants] must not be economic burdens on society and must have clean criminal histories. Those seeking to obtain Mexican citizenship must show a birth certificate, provide a bank statement proving economic independence, pass an exam and prove they can provide their own health care.Illegal entry into the country is equivalent to a felony punishable by two years’ imprisonment; illegal re-entry after deportation is punishable by ten years’ imprisonment. Foreigners may be kicked out of the country without due process and the endless bites at the litigation apple that illegal aliens are afforded in our country (see, for example, President Obama’s illegal alien aunt — a fugitive from deportation for eight years who is awaiting a second decision on her previously rejected asylum claim).Law enforcement officials at all levels - by national mandate - must cooperate to enforce immigration laws, including illegal alien arrests and deportations. The Mexican military is also required to assist in immigration enforcement operations. Native-born Mexicans are empowered to make citizens’ arrests of illegal aliens and turn them in to authorities.A National Population Registry tracks and verifies the identity of every member of the population, who must carry a citizens’ identity card. Noncitizens cannot “in any way participate in the political affairs of the country.” In fact, a plethora of Mexican statutes enacted by its congress limit the participation of foreign nationals and companies in everything from investment, education, mining and civil aviation to electric energy and firearms. Foreigners have severely limited private property and employment rights (if any).As for abuse, the Mexican government is notorious for its abuse of Central American illegal aliens who attempt to violate Mexico’s southern border. The Red Cross has protested rampant Mexican police corruption, intimidation and bribery schemes targeting illegal aliens there for years. Mexico didn’t respond by granting mass amnesty to illegal aliens, as it is demanding that we do. It clamped down on its borders even further. In late 2008, the Mexican government launched an aggressive deportation plan to curtain illegal Cuban immigration and human trafficking through Cancun.
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Byron-York/A-carefully-crafted-immigration-law-in-Arizona-92136104.html[Arizona's new immigration law] requires police to check with federal authorities on a person's immigration status, if officers have stopped that person for some legitimate reason and come to suspect that he or she might be in the U.S. illegally. The heart of the law is this provision: "For any lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or a law enforcement agency…where reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person…"Critics have focused on the term "reasonable suspicion" to suggest that the law would give police the power to pick anyone out of a crowd for any reason and force them to prove they are in the U.S. legally. What fewer people have noticed is the phrase "lawful contact," which defines what must be going on before police even think about checking immigration status. "That means the officer is already engaged in some detention of an individual because he's violated some other law," says Kris Kobach, a University of Missouri Kansas City Law School professor who helped draft the measure. "The most likely context where this law would come into play is a traffic stop."As far as "reasonable suspicion" is concerned, there is a great deal of case law dealing with the idea, but in immigration matters, it means a combination of circumstances that, taken together, cause the officer to suspect lawbreaking. (It's not race. Arizona's new law specifically says race and ethnicity cannot be the sole factors in determining a reasonable suspicion.)[C]ritics [complain] the law would force some people to carry their papers, just like in an old movie. The fact is, since the 1940s, federal law has required non-citizens in this country to carry, on their person, the documentation proving they are here legally - green card, work visa, etc. The bottom line is, it's a good law, sensibly written and rigorously focused - no matter what the critics say.
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Manhattan-Moment/Teacher-pensions-are-a-ticking-time-bomb-92252764.htmlWhat could be worse news than that public school teacher pensions across the country report an unfunded liability of over $330 billion? How about the fact that these reports understate the size of the liability by a factor of three?Recently, the Manhattan Institute and the Foundation for Educational Choice released a report that scrutinizes the financial statements of the 59 pension plans covering most teachers in the United States. We applied private sector-style standards to their estimates of future liabilities, and adjusted their asset values to fully reflect the last two years' drop in stock prices. The results aren't pretty. Applying more realistic standards, these plans are $933 billion short of the assets needed to cover their promises to retirees - [i.e] more than $18,600 per public school pupil.That figure represents a debt that governments owe to active and retired teachers How did this gap grow so large? Public pension plans made risky bets on equity investments, and assumed that fast gains in the stock market would enable them to cheaply provide generous pensions to teachers.* THERE SHOULD BE NO SUCH THING AS "PUBLIC PENSION PLANS;" PARTICULARLY PLANS THAT ALLOW INVESTMENTS IN ANY VEHICLE OTHER THAN STATE OR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BONDS. INDIVIDUALS SHOULD CONTROL THEIR OWN PENSIONS, DECIDING WHEN, WHERE AND HOW TO INVEST THEIR OWN RETIREMENT SAVINGS.It's obvious why legislators behaved like they did. Increasing pension benefits makes employees happy now and mostly creates problems for future legislatures, years or decades down the line.* LEGISLATORS AND PUBLIC PENSION PLAN ADMINISTRATORS WORKING TOGETHER TO BRING FISCAL CHAOS TO A SCHOOL DISTRICT NEAR YOU... (*MIRTHLESS CHUCKLE*) (GREAT BUMPER STICKER, HUH?!)Unlike pensions in the private sector, public pensions used expected asset returns to estimate how much cash was needed today to pay future benefits. This was despite the fact that those investments were risky, and the risks could not be passed onto pension beneficiaries, whose benefits are guaranteed regardless of what the market does.* HEY... IT'S AFTER 5:00 PM! TIME FOR A DRINK!* AHH...! MUCH BETTER. (NOW... WHERE WAS I...???)On the existing gap, the news is not good. The gap represents promised compensation to employees for work already performed. In general, it can only be closed by cutting checks over the next several decades to pay those benefits. [As to how to prevent future gaps from forming...] There is only one way for states to break the cycle: move employees from defined-benefit pension plans to 401(k)-style defined-contribution plans.Corporate America has recognized that defined benefit pensions are unaffordable and unsustainable. For the good of taxpayers across America, it's time for governments to make the same realization.
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