Thursday, April 28, 2011

Syria’s crackdown on protesters leaves hundreds dead

While the storyline in the Middle East is still developing the plot centers around the sustainment of government protests by oppressed citizens that has captured the world’s attention.

In recent years it has been the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that dominated the headlines, but something has changed, the people have risen up, ousted brutal dictators and they’ve done it with the help of social media- not military invasions.

There is no question the Internet has sustained these revolutions and provided a podium for oppressed peoples to question authority and change their destinies.

Protesters in countries like Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Egypt have demanded their authoritarian leaders step aside and give the people a say in their own government. Even the lukewarm reception from the Obama Administration hasn’t stopped these young people from risking their lives in order to enact change.

The latest, and perhaps most surprising country to stir the caldron, is Syria.

It’s been subjected to nearly 50 years of brutal and barbaric rule by the Ba’ath Party and the Assad dynasty. Perhaps more astonishing is the fact that the ruling Assad party makes up less than 10 percent of the country’s total population.

“The Syrian people are ready to reclaim their country,” says Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the founder of American Islamic Forum for Democracy.

Syria fell into dictatorship 1970, when Hafez Assad swept the thriving European-style country into a vacuum and begin a powerful totalitarian regime that remains in power today. Under the Assad rule, Syrians that speak out in opposition to the ruling party are subject to torture and death.

Dr. Jasser, whose family hails from Syria, contends that the country “has been tragically immune to the world attention, opinion and pressures.”

“The time is now for America to act. Syria is a republic of fear. The dissenters in the streets have now begun to breach the divide of its own government’s terror.”

Like many of the regions’ dictatorships, President Bashar Assad has promised the western world change and said the regime would lift the 40-year emergency rule and acknowledged that the Syrian people have “legitimate grievances.”

However, Assad announced a severe warning to the protesters already in the streets that further unrest would be deemed sabotage. And as such the government would use a heavy hand to end the protests. “We will not tolerate any attempt at sabotage,” he lamented.

Meanwhile the European Union called for President Assad to “change his ways” or face stiff sanctions. The EU will meet again tomorrow to discuss sanctions against Syria’s government. This threat carries serious financial implications for Syria as 23 percent of its trading, $7.9 billion, is with the EU.

Perhaps more concerning for the anti-government protesters in the streets, is the United Nation Security Council’s inability to put forth a statement condemning the violence and deaths of hundreds of dissenters.

According to Al Jazeera, “Russia insisted that the violence in Syria did not meet certain criteria that justified international action against the Syrian government- namely that it was not a threat to international peace and security- and that foreign intervention would pose a threat to regional security.”

However, hundreds of Ba’ath Party members have already announced their resignation after reports of regime henchmen murdering hundreds of innocent protesters began circulating within the media.

The Wall Street Journal released a portion of one letter and it read in part; “Considering the breakdown of values and emblems that we were instilled with by the party and which were destroyed at the hand of the security forces… we announce our withdrawal from the party without regret.”

As news of the defections and murders continue to be released via social media networks, primarily Facebook, the world is finally able to see how an authoritarian regime operates in the face of adversity.

One of those sites was started in the United States. “Save Syria Now,” was created by influential U.S. individuals with a Syrian descent. The Facebook page provides the latest Syrian uprising information for those inside the country and provides a conduit for Americans who wish to lend a hand or follow the events unfolding in the repressive country.

“It is precisely the social media that is providing a platform for Syrians to stay connected. Many are getting the posts out by using technology and satellites from neighboring countries,” Jasser said.

Also Jasser cautions the Obama Administration to not let this opportunity slip away. “The Syrians you see on the street protesting are not only putting their lives on the line, but their families. If the U.S. allows Syrian leaders to stay in power and squash the protesters, the American people will be reading about hundreds of Syrians that have ‘gone missing’ over the next year. That’s how this dictatorial government operates.”

Dr. Jasser as well as 21 others wrote the Obama Administration a letter explaining the urgency that the Syrian revolt represents and the importance of U.S. support.

Even Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) stepped into the fray and said, “We should use the diplomatic weight and authority of the United States to undermine the Syrian dictatorship. I think we are witnessing the slow end of the Assad dictatorship, and we should stand with the people of Syria.”

Dr Jasser agrees with the senator and goes further in explaining the importance of democratic Syria. “A democratic change in Syria could create one of the greatest obstacles to the continuing dangerous ascendancy of Iran, Hezbollah and other pan-Islamist interests in the Middle East.”

“The deep diversity of Syria with its Sunni, Christian, Druze and Alawite populations has been significant reason for its predominantly secular history.”

At the behest of Dr. Jasser, Syria needs to be held accountable for its actions and the best way for that to happen is for the U.S. to place tough economic sanctions on Syria. “These sanctions need to cripple the regime’s ability to inflict harm upon her people; the international media must be allowed to fully cover the protests; and the American government must insist the entire Syrian government resigns and welcomes U.N. observers to oversee a clear roadmap toward democracy.”

So far the 2011 Middle East uprisings have seen Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya successfully fight dictatorial regimes. The question remains will Syria be added to that list?

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Obama asks lawmakers to end oil subsidies to ease gas prices

President Obama released a letter today addressed to the nation’s top four lawmakers, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, encouraging them to immediately draft legislation to end government subsidies to the oil industry.

The letter pointed out that American families are feeling the pain of surging fuel prices and the need for lawmakers to address the issue immediately.

“The recent steep increase in gas prices, driven by increased global demand and compounded by unrest and supply disruptions in the Middle East, has only added to those struggles,” Obama wrote.

While Obama said there is no “silver bullet” to bring down the cost of fuel in the short term, eliminating unwarranted tax-breaks for oil and gas companies could free up $4 billion per year to invest in alternative energy.

Commodities traders say taking money from oil and gas companies will do only one thing – force companies to pass the cost onto the consumers.

Oil and gas companies continue to face an uphill battle from the Obama Administration when it comes to drilling domestically. Shell Oil is the latest victim of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and will scrap their plans to drill this summer in the Arctic Ocean.

Shell spent five years and roughly $4 billion on their plans only to meet road block after road block from the EPA. Shell paid the government $2.2 billion for the leases only to have the EPA conclude that drilling would be hazardous for people who live in the area. The nearest village is 70 miles off shore and has a population of 245 native Alaskans.

Also a month ago the President came under fire for giving Brazil $2 billion to explore for oil and even said “America will be your best customer.” And more recently the Obama Administration gave Columbia a $2.84 billion loan to expand and build oil refineries in their country.

Obama also claims that CEO’s of the big oil companies stated that high fuel prices means they will make enough profit to invest in domestic exploration and no longer need subsidies.

According to American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard, “It’s no surprise the administration is proposing yet again to raise taxes on the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. But it’s still a bad idea and comes at one of the worst times in our economic history.” He goes on to explain that the industry is among the nation’s largest job creators and pays more than $100 million per DAY in taxes to the government.

More speeches

Last week the President spoke to more than 1,000 students at elite Georgetown University (one of the most expensive colleges in America) and reminded them of his presidential bid when soaring gas prices help secure a White House victory.

“Remember, it was just three years ago that gas prices topped $4 per gallon…You had all kind of gimmicks and outraged politicians – they were waving their three-point plans for $2 a- gallon gas (drill, baby, drill),” Obama told the students.

Today’s letter reaffirmed Obama’s push for reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil that leaves the U.S. vulnerable to price fluctuations.

“Without a comprehensive energy strategy for the future we will stay stuck in the same old pattern of heated political rhetoric when prices rise and apathy and neglect when they fall again,” Obama said.

The President called on lawmakers to focus on a new energy plan and referred to oil-base fuel as “yesterday’s energy sources,” and the need to “invest in tomorrow’s” 21st century clean energy. “That’s the key to helping families avoid pain at the pump and reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” he finished.

One thing is certain, high fuel prices hurt economically-challenged families who are unable to purchase “the green cars” the President often speaks of as the solution to the energy crisis.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

IED device found outside Brownsville, Texas closes highway on Easter

The Brownsville Police Department confirmed reports that an IED device was disarmed by bomb disposal experts on Easter Sunday.

The Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was located by a passerby who alerted authorities about the Highway 77/83 location. The scene of the IED bomb is located just 15 minutes north of the Texas/Mexico border.

Bomb squad personnel used a robot to successfully dismantle the explosive that closed the highway for several hours on Sunday afternoon.

Public Information Officer for the Brownsville Police Department, Eddie Garcia said the device had no detonation mechanism attached.

However, authorities say they are taking the IED device seriously as Mexico has seen an increase in the use of bombs by the drug cartels in Mexico.

So far there are no leads in this case and an investigation is ongoing. Additional reports will be made available as officials release new details.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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U.S. federal land provides a safe haven for drug and alien smuggling

Last week former Border Patrol Agent, George Taylor, testified before a Congressional Committee hearing regarding America’s growing border security issues. After 43 years law enforcement experience Taylor calls it like he sees it and this former BP Agent points to the National Parks and designated Wilderness Land along the southern border as the main culprit in the uptick of cartel smuggling activities.

“The root problem remains, Federal Wildlife Refuges, Wilderness and Designated Wildernesses of various varieties that serve to keep Border Patrol Agents from effectively and safely securing the border on these federal lands,” Taylor explained.

Retired Border Patrol Agent Taylor, who testified on behalf of an organization he co-founded, National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFPBO), a non-political group committed to securing the nation’s borders, gave Congressional members a frank assessment of the unrelenting violence along the border region.

The designation of millions of acres in Wilderness Parks means one thing- keeping Border Patrol out. The result is much more ominous- drug cartels can now operate without law enforcement distraction.

“The violence continues to escalate. Thousands of pounds of illegal drugs and thousands of illegal aliens from all over the world are traversing the area,” Taylor contends. With this new right-of-way, the smugglers are now free to commit atrocities like rape, murder and robbery as well as considerable environmental damage.

This vast federal land set the stage for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December of last year.

On that fateful day, Terry’s Border Patrol team was responding to reports that “rip crews” (those who rob/rape illegal aliens making their way into the U.S.) were operating in the area. It is well-known to Border Patrol Agents that “rip crews” are heavily armed and very dangerous.

“As the violence becomes more common it begins to spread out and become more prevalent. Wounded, robbed, raped and murder humans have begun showing up in the periphery, on streets, in yards and at homes,” Taylor says.

So what’s the solution? Taylor educated the Congressional panel that Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) has put a bill forward that would tackle the Border Patrol’s inability to monitor these Wilderness areas.

“This legislation takes the necessary and responsible steps to address the unacceptable restrictions that prevent Border Security experts from doing their jobs,” Bishop said.

Currently there are more than 20 million acres of federal land along America’s southern border most of which is off limits to Border Patrol Agents.

“Allowing public land managers and restrictive environmental policies, not Border Security experts, to dictate how we secure our nation’s borders and keep our country safe is counterintuitive, and as a result, has jeopardized the safety and security of all Americans,” Bishop said.

Bishop also contends that these “protected lands” inadvertently creates a safe haven for criminals to operate. “The same environmental policies that are supposed to be protecting the lands are actually allowing them to be destroyed.”

As for the solution, Taylor says it is imperative that Border Patrol Agents have unencumbered access to every inch of land along the southern border. “Also they must be willing to give Border Patrol Agents on the ground all the tools necessary to secure the border.”

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Texas snatches 1,000 high-paying eBay jobs from California

On a recent trip to Los Angeles, Texas governor, Rick Perry, met with wealthy business types to boost the number of companies doing business in the Lone Star State. The trip paid off as eBay, formerly run by Meg Whitman, agreed to tax incentives in exchange for relocating to Texas.

The average salary for these “green economy” jobs is $122,500 and they would have made California’s progressive peddlers very happy. Austin City Council members referred to the coup as “green software programming jobs” that will provide sustained economic growth in the state.

The Internet giant eBay says they will employ approximately 1,000 new workers at their new location.

“This is precisely the kind of company we would like to see expand in Austin. This project will include great jobs for Central Texans,” Mayor Lee Leffingwell said.

Gov. Rick Perry's office claimed the eBay move would bring an estimated $5.1 million in capital investment to the state.

“Austin’s high-tech economy and skilled workforce are perfect for eBay, and I’m pleased to welcome this expansion and the more than 1,000 quality jobs it will bring to Texas,” he said.

By moving to Texas eBay will not only save money they will avoid those pesky regulations that plague California’s business sector.

“Austin is a vibrant, exciting city with a strong heritage for technology expertise and lots of growth potential,” says eBay Vice President Mark Carges. “Our state-of-the-art facility there has room for expansion and the support we have received from the state of Texas and the city of Austin reinforces our commitment to attracting top talent in regions where we operate.”

Currently Texas offers one of the country’s best tax environments for corporations. The state tax burden in Texas is 8.40 percent and in California it’s 10.50 percent. Texas also offers healthy double-digit personnel income growth 67.6 percent versus 56.6 percent in California.

With no personal state income taxes in Texas, eBay should be able to recruit California’s best and brightest minds to relocate in a state looking to expand commerce and provide lucrative jobs for young families.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Terrorism’s down-payment in the form drugs and U.S. aid money (part 4)

Afghanistan’s corruption is legendary (see Part 3 in this series). The war-torn tribal nation provides fertile fields for training terrorists and growing poppies, is home to al Qaeda, and is where the 9/11 plotters hatched their terrorist attack on America. But sadly, in the worst kept secret in Central Asia, the U.S. condones and encourages the growing of poppies, the base ingredient for heroin and cocaine. We do so, not to keep the poor farmers happy, but to line the pockets of the Taliban, warlords, and the Karzai government. In other words Americans are fighting and dying protecting the poppy fields.

According to Colonel (ret) Eugene Khrushchev (son of the former Soviet Premier) writing for the, “What Secretary of State (Hilary Clinton) called the ‘best decision in the face of an array of less-than-perfect options’ has set in motion the worse-case nightmare scenario- a boon for the drug lords, a bane for the drug busters.” Colonel Khrushchev contends that America’s drug eradication policy is nothing more than a ruse. Instead it supplies criminal elements with the means to destabilize the Afghan government while destroying the tribal population to ensure terrorists sympathy in the region forever.

The incentive for narcotic trafficking is the $2.7 billion in annual sales, according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). And in Afghanistan, the drug trade accounts for more than half the country’s entire GDP.

Making matters worse is Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government’s involvement. Afghan Parliament member, Amanullah Paiman has studied the illicit drug-trade and claims the government runs approximately 70 percent of the narco-fields. “The chain of narco dollars goes from the districts to the highest levels of government.”

Perhaps the most well-known trafficker is President Karzai’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai. A Newsweek article described it this way; “He (the president’s brother) is the unofficial regional governor of southern Afghanistan and leads the whole trafficking structure,” said a senior Interior Ministry official. However, Ahmed Karzai flatly denies any involvement in the drug trade.

One US argument for letting the farmers grow their lucrative poppy crops rings hollow. Skeptics point out that those farmers could turn to insurgents to earn a living without the poppies. The second focuses economic hardship farmers would suffer if they were forced to grow another crop. Both arguments are false.

The New York Times reported in July of 2008 that Afghanistan was already a narco-state. “Karzai had long opposed aerial eradication. Why? More than 95 percent of the residents of the poppy growing provinces of Helmand and Kandahar- voted for Karzai.”

“Poppy cultivation was becoming limited to the south, more associated with the insurgency and disassociated from poverty…UNODC convincingly demonstrated that poor farmers were abandoning the crop and that poppy growth was confined to the wealthiest parts … ‘poverty doesn’t appear to have been the main driving factor in the expansion of opium poppy’,” according to the NYT.

“UNODC shattered the myth that poppies are grown by destitute farmers…Eighty percent of the land under poppy cultivation in the south had been planted with it only in the last two years …these farmers didn’t need an alternative livelihood. They had abandoned their previous livelihoods…to take advantage of the security vacuum [which coincides with the UK military presence] to grow a more profitable crop: opium…Yet Afghan officials continued to say that poppy cultivation was the only choice for its poor farmers,” the UNODC states. The truth is the insurgents pay the poppy farmers an advance in pay to plant poppies, according to the latest 2011 report.

“The ‘starving farmer’ was a convenient myth. [NATO] …wanted to avoid any uptick in violence from [counternarcotics] strategy; even if the strategy would result in long-term success…the Taliban loved it because their propaganda campaign consisted of trotting out farmers whose fields had been eradicated and having them say that they were going to starve.”

The question of what to do with the poppy fields has plagued every commander in the now 10-year-war. A Newsweek article describes the fear of Afghan officials who fear, “We are losing the fight against drug traffickers. If we don’t crack down on these guys soon, it won’t be long until they’re in control of everything.”

The question remains will the program that started under the Bush Administration and continues with the Obama Administration be the albatross that sinks the war effort? Or does President Obama realize his mistakes and correct them before the American people cry foul?

Part five; Afghanistan- the counterinsurgency- will it work?

Part three; Billion-dollar corruption within the U.S. picked Afghan regime

Part two; U.S. payments to Taliban & Afghan warlords threaten American/NATO troops

Part one; U.S. troops fight and die to preserve Sharaih Law in Afghanistan

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Welfare checks can be used to buy alcohol and cigarettes in California

On a straight party-line vote California lawmakers gave the green light for welfare recipients to purchase alcohol and tobacco products using taxpayer money. The insanity in the Golden State continues despite the state’s $23 billion deficit and double-digit unemployment.

Recently California changed the way it disperses food stamps. In an effort to take the stigma away from food stamps the state issues welfare beneficiaries with an Electronic Benefits Card which look and work like an ATM card.

The Golden State doles out welfare benefits through the CalWORKS program. In the past welfare recipients were not allowed to buy beer and cigarettes, but compassionate state lawmakers decided it wasn’t fair to stop TAXPAYER money from being used to subsidize non-essential bad habits.

“You would think a simple common sense reform like trying to make sure taxpayer money is not used for the purchase of alcohol and tobacco would find bi-partisan support,” said GOP State Senator Bob Dutton.

No such luck in California, Dutton, SB417’s sponsor saw his legislation to save taxpayer money fail on a straight party-line vote.

California’s EBT/ATM card caught national attention last year when the Los Angeles Times uncovered several documents proving the welfare cards were being used for vacations to Hawaii, Las Vegas and strip clubs. Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger quickly quashed the vacation perks, but failed to stop the alcohol or cigarette buying ability.

“These funds are designed help the neediest in California meet their basic requirements of providing food, clothing and shelter,” Senator Dutton quipped. “I doubt there’s not a taxpayer in this state who believes purchasing alcohol or tobacco with welfare money constitutes a basic need and should be allowed.”

Senator Dutton also explained that more than half of welfare beneficiaries are parents who are no longer eligible for state aid, but still receive cash assistance on behalf of their anchor baby children.

“With over half of the caseload consisting of ‘child-only’ cases, it is unconscionable to allow designated caregivers the ability to purchase tobacco and alcohol products on behalf of a minor,” Senator Dutton said. “I was quite frankly surprised that Democrats believe that this practice should continue. I remain committed to continue working on real reform measures, like SB 417, to ensure that all taxpayer money is used as it is intended,” Senator Dutton concluded.

In an effort to reform welfare Senator Dutton sought the assistance of the California Grocers Association to implement a ban on alcohol and tobacco purchases with the state’s EBT/ATM card.

This year California taxpayers will support nearly 600,000 families by enrolling them into CalWORKS. The program disperses more than $100 million to help welfare recipients purchase groceries.

Something else taxpayers should consider is that California Governor Jerry Brown is seeking to raise the tobacco tax another dollar in order to fund cancer research; while Democrat Senator Alex Padilla already introduced a bill to raise the cigarette tax by a whopping $1.61 to be used to curb smoking. Neither program will cut the $23 billion deficit.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Billion dollar corruption within the U.S. picked Afghan regime

After reviewing Afghan custom records, the Wall Street Journal reported that during a three-year period more than $3.1 billion in U.S. dollars left Afghanistan through the airport destined for Middle Eastern countries like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. More than $3 billion has been shipped from a country the CIA Fact Book claims only collected $1 billion in taxes annually.

However, U.S. officials believe the number to be much higher. A senior U.S. official said one courier alone removed $2.3 billion in the second half of 2008 and into 2009.

Investigators believe the cash is being siphoned from legitimate Western aid programs and being declared, placed in suitcases and pallets, and shipped to safe havens with the knowledge of the U.S. and NATO officials. For example, NATO gave Afghanistan approximately $14 billion last year.

“More declared cash flies out of Kabul each year than the Afghan government collects in tax and customs revenue nationwide. It’s not like they grow money on trees here,” said one U.S. official investigating the corruption and Taliban. “A lot of this looks like our tax dollars being stolen. And opium (poppies), of course.”

President Karzai’s brother, Mahmood, who coincidentally is a U.S. citizen (under investigation for racketeering in the U.S.), contends it is the political opponents who are skimming money and sending it out of the country.

“Yes, millions of dollars are leaving this country but it is all taken by politicians. Bribes, corruption, all of it,” Mahmood Karzai says.

Even more perplexing is the fact Mahmood Karzai fears nothing and even dares the U.S. to investigate. “Let’s find out who is taking it. Let’s not go on rumors.” He continues to explain that he has talked with U.S. officials about this corruption and maintains his innocence when it comes to profiting from U.S. contracts.

Afghanistan’s Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal confirmed there is missing money at a press conference, “We do not even know about it. We don’t know whose it is, why it is leaving, or where it is going.”

Senior officials are complaining that money is leaving faster than anyone realizes. “You get boxes loaded on the back of airplanes. You get guys, literally, bringing boxes of cash onto the plane.”

Another method used to get money out of Afghanistan is the airport’s VIP area. Often the VIPs are driven straight to their planes where they load their cash directly on board and fly off, according to Afghan General Asif and U.S. officials.

General M. Asif Jabar Khail, the chief customs officer at Kabul airport, described a recent incident where he came across one VIP who was taking undeclared millions out of the country and when they tried to stop the VIPs flight to Dubai, they were met with fierce opposition from higher-ups in the Afghanistan government. “It came from very, very senior people. They told me there was an arrangement with the central bank and told me to let it go.”

President Hamid Karzai sees the money changing hands differently. “Making money is fine and taking money out of the country is fine. The relatives of government officials can do this, starting with my brothers. But there’s a possibility of corruption.” If this is true why does America and NATO continue to send billions to such a corrupt country?

Middle men just making a buck

The preferred method of money transfer in Afghanistan moves through “hawalas.” This is a system the Muslim countries have used for many centuries.

The rules surrounding the money changers or “hawala” are sketchy and the handlers keep track of millions/billions in a simple notebook. There is no electronic process for the centralized government to monitor the money exchanging hands.

According to U.S. officials, Afghan couriers reportedly name the hawala responsible for handling the first transfer of the money as well as the second handler accepting the cash in other countries like Dubai.

These hawala’s are the backbone of the Afghan financial sector and the State Department discloses that 80-90 percent of all the monetary matters pass through the primitive hawala system.

While this fraud is sure to anger the U.S. taxpayer, there is even more money being carried through Afghanistan’s porous borders. Afghan officials claim there is more than $10 million that crosses the border each day. This adds up to an additional $3.65 billion a year.

Officials agree that much of the insurgency money is derived from the illicit opium trade, as drugs have long been an easy way for rebels to earn the capital needed to fight a war.

Part four; Terrorism’s down-payment in the form drugs and U.S. aid money

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tax-Day Tea Party ignites citizens to stay involved in politics

More than 2,000 citizen’s show-up for the 'Stop Taxing Us' annual Tax-Day Tea Party held at the Oceanside Pier, just north of San Diego.

The speakers at the event were not elected politicians, just community activists making the trek to the beach to show their solidarity with the movement that spontaneously erupted shortly after Barrack Obama became president and rammed through the very unpopular “stimulus” bill.

The weather was a balmy 75 degrees and attendees were treated to a wide-range of speakers.

After the traditional Pledge and National Anthem, Mary York, a college student spoke to the crowd about the youth in America and the need for the most “plugged in” generation to learn history and get involved in their own destinies. She explained her “sound-bite” generation needed to learn from the past while engaging in the future.

“Im2moro’s mission is to educate, inspire and rally young American’s to get active and use their voices and votes to preserve and defend our nation’s first principles… Generations before us remember and cherish the good old days of the past, and rightly so. In fact, they will stand and say, ‘I am yesterday and I will never forget. But I am also today and I will actively engage to preserve these truths.’”

Crowd favorite Ted Hayes, electrified the audience and started off saluting the “hippest flag in the world.” He continued to go after the Obama Administration especially on foreign policy. “We’ve lost our spirit," he says. "We are letting every punk nation pick on the U.S. and it ain't right.”

Yet Hayes pointed out that every time the world gets into trouble, “who do you think they call? Yep, us.”

Hayes, who has his own radio program and website talks a lot about the black guilt this country continues to feel. “We have been bamboozled by the Democratic leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, who continue to give us more Jim Crow politics. We need to stop following their welfare agenda. Name me a nation that’s perfect?"

Unlike many leaders Hayes is not afraid to talk about slavery. "I’m not going back to Africa where black leaders sold us into slavery. No way.”

And what would a Tea Party be this year without mentioning the ‘tell it like it is,’ Donald Trump?

“Let me tell you about Trump," Hayes said. "This white boy is making that cat (Obama) sweat.”

Hayes is also very outspoken on the topic of illegal immigration. “We are the home of the free, because of the brave. And the illegal aliens need to start respecting our immigration laws.”

Other speakers included syndicated talk-show host, Rick Roberts, who braved the 5:00 Friday afternoon traffic to enlightened the crowd about the importance of staying involved.

Meanwhile the main stream media has been reporting that the Tea Party movement has faded into the backdrop. However, co-founder of Southern California Tax Revolt Coalition, Sara Bond said, “After the GOP leaders failed to live up to their deal on $100 billion spending cuts, our website and phone lines went crazy.”

She also cautioned recently elected politicians to be careful because the same folks that elected them will insist they run primaries in order to hold them accountable to the people that they represent.

“House Speaker John Boehner is nothing more than an establishment politician and the Tea Party is on to his type of politics. We expect change from our leaders or we will change them,” Bond said.

One thing is certain, this Tax-Day Tea Party saw thousands of supporters who are still watching during this off-election year and promises to gain momentum as the 2012 election nears.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

US payments to Taliban & Afghan warlords threaten American/NATO troops

(Part two of the series on Afghanistan)

According to separate Congressional and Senate reports, the American government pays more than $2 billion for Host Nation Trucking (HNT) or in layman’s terms, private security firms that protect U.S. military convoys and materials in dangerous tribal areas.

Currently the HNT contracts are a $2.16 billion dollar boondoggle that provides indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts ground transportation in Afghanistan for over 70 percent of Department of Defense goods and materiel, including food, water, fuel, equipment, and ammunition.

A report titled “Warlord, Inc., Extortion and Corruption along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan” was published by Congressman John Tierney (D-MA) in June of last year. The report detailed the billions of dollars spent to protect U.S. military supply convoys in Afghanistan- the majority of the money is paid by the DOD through defense contractors and finds its way into the hands of Taliban leaders and warlords.

According to the comprehensive report, the principal private security subcontractors on the HNT contract are warlords, strongmen, commanders, and militia leaders who compete with the Afghan central government for power and authority in the region.

“Providing ‘protection’ services for the U.S. supply chain empowers these warlords with money, legitimacy, and a raison d’ĂȘtre for their private armies. Although many of these warlords nominally operate under private security companies licensed by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, they thrive in a vacuum of government authority and their interests are in fundamental conflict with U.S. aims to build a strong Afghan government,” the Congressional inquiry explains.

The large infusion of U.S. cash into Afghanistan should raise eyebrows because a good number of these warlords and Taliban fighters are also connected to the production of poppies (the illicit opium trade). And according to recently leaked documents from WikiLeaks there are billions of dollars flowing out of Afghanistan that remains unaccounted for due the country's rudimentary banking practices. (See part three of this series)

The eye-opening report comes at a time when Afghan President Hamid Karzi is stirring anti-American passions about U.S. private contractors operating in the warzone and deadly Afghani rioting over the burning of the Quran by a Florida pastor.

The dilemma for both sides regarding the use of private contractors is that U.S. and NATO members operating in Afghanistan, as well as civilian organizations and news media, need private contractors to get around a country with little to no infrastructure.

Taliban fighters and tribal leaders look to the supply line convoys as a source of income; however, the outsourcing of these contractors has significant unintended consequences.

The HNT contract fuels warlordism, extortion, and corruption, and it may be a significant source of funding for insurgents. In other words, the logistics contract has an outsized strategic impact on U.S. objectives in Afghanistan, according to the Congressional report.

Congress also contends that the “Department of Defense has been blind to the potential strategic consequences of its supply chain contingency contracting. U.S. military logisticians have little visibility into what happens to their trucks on the road and virtually no understanding of how security is actually provided. When HNT contractors self-reported to the military that they were being extorted by warlords for protection payments for safe passage and that these payments were ‘funding the insurgency,’ they were largely met with indifference and inaction.”

The Senate Armed Services Committee also sent staffers to investigate the “convoy protection” issue. Their report titled, “Inquiry into the Role and Oversight of Private Security Contractors in Afghanistan” concluded the U.S. pays trucking contractors billions of dollars a year much of it ends up in the hands of local warlords.

Another concern the Senate report highlighted that the U.S. seemed to be unknowingly fostering the Taliban and other militias when the country is struggling to build its own security forces.

“Almost all are Afghans, almost all are armed,” Senior Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) explained. “We need to shut off the spigot of U.S. dollars flowing into the pockets of warlords and power brokers who act contrary to our interests and contribute to the corruption that weakens the support of the Afghan people for their government.”

Like the Congressional Report, the Senate oversight testimony concluded that private security contractors suffered from systematic failures with management and widespread failures in vetting or training armed-security personnel.

Even Secretary of State Hilary Clinton acknowledged the supply line corruption activity during a December, 2009 Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting when she said, “One of the major sources of funding for the Taliban is the protection money.”

Up next, part three “Billion dollar corruption within the U.S.-picked Afghanistan government.”

Read part one of the series; US troops fight and die to preserve Shariah Law in Afghanistan

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

US troops fight and die to preserve Shariah Law in Afghanistan (Series pt. 1)

Most Americans would be shocked to know that THEIR government created an Islamic Theocracy subject to Shariah law when it developed the Afghanistan Constitution. (Link to Afghan Constitution).

That constitution establishes Afghanistan as an Islamic Republic subject to Shariah law: “We the people of Afghanistan With firm faith in God Almighty and relying on His lawful mercy, and Believing in the Sacred religion of Islam; Realizing the injustice and shortcoming of the past, and the numerous troubles imposed on our country; While acknowledging the sacrifices and the historic struggles, rightful Jihad and just resistance of all people of Afghanistan, and respecting the high position of the martyrs for the freedom of Afghanistan.”

Afghanistan is committed to Islamic Law/ Shariah Law as evidenced by Article Three, Chapter 1, “In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.” Any doubt about the commitment to Islam is resolved by the oath of Supreme Court Justices… “In the name Allah, the Merciful and the Compassionate I swear in the name of God Almighty to support justice and righteousness in accord with the provisions of the sacred religion of Islam and the provisions of this Constitution and other laws of Afghanistan, and to execute the duty of being a judge with utmost honesty, righteousness and nonpartisanship (Ch. 7. Art. 4).”

But what is this Shariah law the U.S. and its NATO allies are passionately supporting in lives and resources? “Islamic theology divides the world into two spheres locked in perpetual conflict: The House of Islam and the House of War. The House of Islam (dar al-Islam) embraces territory where Islamic law (Shariah) is the law of the land, while the House of War (dar al- Harb) comprises the rest of the world. The House of Islam is enjoined by Allah to make war upon the House of War until the latter is permanently assimilated into the former,” an excerpt from Shariah Law Definition – Religion of Peace, by Gregory Davis.

It continues; “The term jihad, which literally means ‘struggle,’ denotes the military effort to bring new lands into the House of Islam. While the state of war between the Islamic-non-Islamic worlds is sometimes hot or sometimes cold, it is permanent until Shariah law reigns over the entire planet.”

As with any nation building process, the U.S. government usually plays an active role is rewriting or constructing a country’s Constitution and the same is true in Afghanistan. In the past the State Department played a big role in establishing Russia’s Constitution after the Cold War. Yet, a call to the State Department produced coy words to deflect what input the U.S. made to Afghanistan’s new Constitution.

This vision for Shariah Law is shared by some Muslims in America. Check the website Shariah for America and read their plans to use U.S. laws to ensure the Muslim faith is followed worldwide.

It’s been a long war. Afghanistan is a tribal nation trying to transition to a “modern” nation through a small group of “globalists” and with the help of the all-knowing Western world. But what is it about the war-torn region that captivates the hearts and minds of the globalists that the people of Afghanistan are worth the cost?

History knows better. It doesn’t matter how long American/NATO troops occupy Afghanistan to enforce the Shariah Law based Constitution - the end result will be the same - more suffering and corruption. American troops are fighting the Taliban and other al-Qaeda sympathizers to establish an Afghan nation, but the Constitution Americans helped the Afghanis adopt mandates Shariah Law.

Meanwhile on the battlefield, U.S. troops display their heroic bravery and compassion in trying to make a difference in this tribal region. The 10-year conflict the American military has been waging is growing more and more unpopular. Currently only 39 percent of Americans think we are doing the right thing (an all-time low), according to a 3/18-21 CBS News Poll. Another survey from an ABC News/Washington Post Poll confirmed the American people are questioning the cost versus benefits of the war - only 31 percent want America to continue its Middle East wars. A big reason for the dwindling popularity of the Afghanistan War is the corruption within the government that U.S. officials have installed to bring democracy to the war-torn nation (see Part III of this series).

Insurrection in a fragile new country

As the old saying goes, ‘it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks’ and Afghanistan is no exception. The opponents to the “globalist's vision” look for any event to protest the West.

"Clearly the Islamist agenda is to use any tidbit of information out of the West to try to paint America and the West as anti-Islam and anti-Muslim," said M. Zuhdi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and a practicing Muslim.

Take Afghanistan for example, many say President Hamid Karzai was responsible for all the hype surrounding the burning of the Quran by a Florida preacher. Clearly the majorities of Afghanis do not own computers and aren’t glued to the smart phones loaded with social networking apps ready to start the next revolution.

However American leadership gladly complied with the corrupt rulers as they continually disparage westernized countries and incite violence.

The Quran burning episode should provide insight for Americans as the Afghan people embarked on a deadly three days of rioting; this unrest burdens the U.S.-led military against the Taliban.

Running the day-to-day operations of the coalition war is General David Petraeus, and he even scolded the insensitivities of burning the Quran. "Every security force leader's worst nightmare is being confronted by essentially a mob, if you will, especially one that can be influenced by individuals that want to incite violence, who want to try to hijack passions, in this case, perhaps understandable passions," Petraeus said. "Obviously it's an additional serious security challenge in a country that faces considerable security challenges. This was a surprise."

Petraeus also felt the Quran burning was "hateful, extremely disrespectful and enormously intolerant."

In fact it’s been reported that the majority of Afghans learned about the Quran burning from President Karzai who condemned the act as "a crime against the religion and the entire Muslim nation." He went on to demand the U.S. and the U.N. to bring the Florida pastor to justice. Karzai also insisted that Americans provide "a satisfactory response to the resentment and anger of over 1.5 billion Muslims around the world."

President Barack Obama also weighed in and extended his condolences to the people who were killed by the protesters and said burning the Quran "is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry." But cautioned that there was no justification for attacking and slaughtering innocent people, calling it "outrageous and an affront to human decency and dignity."

It didn’t take long for the “peace loving” religious demonstrators in Afghanistan to recite the familiar mantra, "Death to America." In the end the deadly protests claimed dozens of lives, including U.S. soldiers.

Moving forward, the threshold question that remains to be answered is whether Americans wish to continue fighting so Afghanis women can be stoned and caned or thieves can have limbs severed?

Part two of this series: U.S. Pays Afghan Warlords to kill American/NATO Troops

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

U.S. taxpayers foot the bill to upgrade Mexican truck emissions

Now that the Obama Administration has okayed the Mexican trucking industries to do business in America, pesky environmentalists want those trucks to operate within U.S. standards. Lucky for the Mexican truckers, the U.S. taxpayer will pick up the tab to upgrade foreign-owned trucks ensuring their emissions meet environmental standards.

According to air-quality regulators, state or federal agencies cannot force trucks purchased and manufactured in Mexico to operate within the much-higher air-quality standards inside the U.S.

So clearly another problem with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) presented itself. However, the folks at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) decided to implement a new program.

They decided to approach Mexican truck drivers with a compromise, the U.S. taxpayer will pay the approximately $1,600 to install a new catalytic converter that will reduce the harmful diesel emissions by 30 percent and the Mexican truck drivers can drive in the U.S. knowing they are not unnecessarily polluting the environment.

The environmental agency in Arizona simply went to the federal government (who is flush with borrowed cash) and created a new federal grant program. Problem solved- no need to have the Mexican government pay to have the trucks upgraded in order to travel and trade freely in the U.S., nope the taxpayer is happy to pick up the bill.

“It’s about establishing this relationship on environmental issues,” says ADEQ Director Henry Darwin. “It’s especially important on air quality because you can’t stop the air from moving across the border.”

Darwin says the best solution is to use the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) money to fix the Mexican big rigs.

However, independent U.S. truckers are not entitled to the same deal.

“If I don’t pass my smog test I have to pay to fix my truck in order to get it registered,” says Tom Matthews of San Diego. “Not only are these rigs getting taxpayer money to upgrade their trucks, but they are competing with me for work. That’s just plain wrong.”

While Mexico does very little to protect the environment, it remains to be seen if retro fitting their fifth-wheeler trucks will change anything in the grand scheme of things. For example Mexico still burns its trash and the majority of the cars on the road are big-time polluters.

But Darwin contends, “That it’s really the first step.”

Matthews just wishes he could get the same deal.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A new arrest in for the murder of San Diego Border Patrol Agent Rosas

There has been another arrest for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Robert Rosas. Tijuana Police announced today that Marcos Manuel Rodriguez Perez was arrested in Mexico today for the July 2009 execution of Agent Rosas.

Many BP Agents and law enforcement officers contended from the outset of the Rosas murder that more than one person was responsible for the crime. Today, their suspicions were confirmed.

Mexican authorities, with the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) issued an arrest warrant for the 26-year-old Baja native commonly referred to as “El Virus,” who was stopped in his car and taken into custody without incident.

“El Virus” joins Christian Daniel Castro Alvarez a 17-year-old who surrendered to border agents in April of 2010 and subsequently pleaded guilty of murder while committing a robbery and received 40 years in U.S. prison for his part in Agent Rosas’ murder.

Border Patrol Agent Rosas was lured out of his patrol truck July 23 of 2009 and shot nine times, primarily in the head, and died at the scene just yards from the U.S./Mexico border fence in Campo, California. He was survived by his wife and two young boys.

Law enforcement officials have continued to work behind the scenes to ensure justice for the fallen agent.

Darrell Foxworth, a FBI spokesperson for the San Diego region, reiterated that the investigation into Agent Rosas murder is an ongoing international effort and the case is not closed as they are seeking a third individual connected to the capitol crime.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Immigrants win civil rights settlement money in Iowa

An Iowa employment agency, LF Staffing Services, settle its case with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for improperly pre-screening job applicants during the hiring process.

The complaint states that in some cases LF Staffing rejected valid work authorization documents presented by certain immigrants residing in the country.

“The department found that LF Staffing Services did not permit job applicants to begin the application process unless they were able to present documents sufficient to establish their employment eligibility and further failed to permit at least one individual who presented valid Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) to apply for employment,” a Department of Justice press release said.

Currently, immigrants with recognizable legal papers to work have rights according to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It specifically prohibits employers from refusing valid employment documents on the basis of citizenship status or national origin.

“The INA’s anti-discrimination provision protects all authorized workers from unfair documentary requests during the Form I-9 process,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to stopping workplace discrimination against citizens and work-authorized non-citizens alike.”

As a result, LF Staffing Services Inc. will pay $1,100 in civil penalties as well as full back pay to any injured parties. Under the agreement LF Staffing Services will also train its human resources department regarding the employers’ nondiscrimination responsibilities in the I-9 process, and provide periodic reports to the DOJ.

The Civil Rights Division’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) protects immigrants against discrimination in hiring, firing, retaliation and recruitment or referral for a fee on the basis of citizenship status and national origin.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Virginia Congressman tells concerned veteran to sit down and be quiet

The budget crisis has indeed come down to the eleventh hour and a government shut-down seems imminent, however it’s not the closure of the federal offices that should concern Americans it’s the disregard for the U.S. military.

With three wars raging in the Middle East and humanitarian assistance the over-stretched forces are providing Japan, one would think lawmakers would insist military personnel and their families are taken care of during this very stressful time in their lives.

In fact the Republicans put forth a new budget bill that would fund the military the rest of the year and removing them from the political gamesmanship.

However, the Senate and President Obama said no deal.

This is the point one retired veteran made at a town hall meeting last night in Virginia. Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) was clearly upset that a 27-year veteran wanted his representative to be working harder to avert a government shutdown, one that would unfairly affect the armed forces.

Once the back and forth unfolded the Congressman told the disable veteran his arguments were “caustic.” The entire conversation was caught on video and can be seen here.

The disrespect lawmakers continue hurl onto military personnel is shameful, one that voters of Virginia should remember in 2012.

To view video comments begin to heat up at the four minute mark,

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Clone Border Patrol vehicle

The drug cartels are stepping up their smuggling tactics by customizing vehicles to look just like Border Patrol trucks as a way to smuggle illicit drugs into America. This time the cloned vehicle was detected in Texas and it was loaded with more than 1,500 pounds of marijuana.

Just a few weeks ago a white van with a dozen illegals were arrested at a San Diego Border Patrol checkpoint for falsely impersonating U.S. Marines and using a boosted van with tampered license plates.

It was Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that observed a suspicious BP truck “conducting surveillance at the Del Rio, Texas Port of Entry (PoE),” according to court papers.

The driver of the “fake BP truck” was Felipe Esparza-Cruz, 28, and he is scheduled to appear in court on April 14.

The government case contends that Esparza-Cruz entered the “United States without inspection through the City of Del Rio southbound tollbooth lanes.”

Once the truck entered the country ICE Agents ordered “mobile surveillance in order to verify the authenticity of the vehicle.”

Esparza-Cruz allegedly imitated a process used by Border Patrol when they deport illegal aliens back to Mexico using Border Patrol trucks. Luckily ICE agents observed the BP truck and were able to make the arrest.

“They’d just drive through without presenting themselves for inspection because no one questioned a Border Patrol vehicle,” officials explained.

Like the U.S. Marine imposter van impounded in San Diego, the fake Border Patrol truck’s phony license plates did the drug trafficker in.

“Cloned vehicles, whether Border Patrol or some other frequently seen vehicle, are in my opinion, a serious threat,” says G. Alan Ferguson leader of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers and author of the M3 Report.

He also explained that “for years since 9/11, there have been alerts for terrorists using cloned or stolen vehicles such as ambulances and other cloned vehicles add one more factor in realizing how vulnerable we are.”

While the borders may be more secure than years past, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a long way to go when it comes to protecting the southern boundaries from human and drug smugglers. The increased border fence coupled with more Border Patrol Agents are now responsible for the Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs) to spend more money to get their products into America.

Despite the illegality of human a drug trafficking, these “cartel” businesses in Mexico earn billions of tax-free dollars per year and the Mexican government has yet to stop the cartel’s barbaric violence that has taken more than 35,000 lives in the past four years.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Glenn Beck will leave Fox News this year

Glenn Beck is banking on some “hope and change” of his own as he and Fox News will part ways, sort of.

Today, Fox News said they would end Beck’s highly-popular cable TV show and explained the program would slowly transition off the air later this year.

However, Beck and Fox News are in the process of developing and producing a number of television special projects to be aired on other Fox News digital properties or forums.

“Glenn Beck is a powerful communicator, a creative entrepreneur and a true success by anybody’s standards. I look forward to continuing to work with him,” said Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News.

The conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, Beck, said; “I truly believe that America owes a lot to Roger Ailes and Fox News. I cannot repay Roger for the lessons I’ve learned and will continue to learn from him and I look forward to starting this new phase of our partnership.”

Beck told his audience on today’s show that changes were on the horizon, but provided no details.

The split includes a key Fox News player. Fox News reported that “Joel Cheatwood, SVP/Development at Fox News, will be joining Mercury Radio Arts effective April 24, 2011.” In his new role as EVP Cheatwood will manage the partnership as well as provide a liaison-ship role with Beck and the Fox News Channel.


“Joel is a good friend and one of the most talented and creative executives in the business. Over the past four years I have consistently valued his input and advice and that will not stop as we work with him in his new role,”Roger Ailes explained.

Glenn Beck’s television program has consistently remained the third highest rated program on cable news. “For the 27 months that ‘Glenn Beck’ has aired on Fox News, the program has averaged more than 2.2 million total viewers and 563,000 viewers 25-54 years old, numbers normally associated with shows airing in primetime, not at 5pm.

Fox News has not released any details regarding a replacement for the popular 5pm time slot.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Two Americans murdered in Tijuana waiting to reenter the U.S.

At the nation’s busiest port of entry Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, California, two Americans were murdered as they waited in their car to reenter the United States.

The AP reports the victims were both carrying their U.S. passports making the identification process much easier. Their names were Kevin Romero, 28, and Sergio Salcido Luna, 25, their home cities were not disclosed.

The homicides happened in the early morning hours today near the Rio zone on the road that takes Americans back to U.S. port of entry.

Both American victims were shot in the head and authorities report that the car was riddled with bullet holes. Mexican state authorities said the Mazada B-500 pickup had California license plates and five 9 mm shell casings were recovered from the murder scene.

Mexican officials have not determined the motive for the crime; however both men still had their wallets on them ruling out robbery.

There have been no arrests made for the double murder.

Tijuana, Mexico has seen an increase in murders since the start of the new year and four days into April the sister city to San Diego has already logged in five slayings.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Southern Exposure documentary “exposes” U.S. border inconsistencies

Two words used most often to describe the U.S. illegal immigration problem are – divisive and political. However a new documentary, Southern Exposure, provides a balanced look at the U.S./Mexican border and sheds light on America’s porous southern borders.

If you want a bird’s eye view of the tale of two countries and their respective border problems this two-hour documentary provides the good, the bad and the ugly issues that ranchers, law enforcement and lawmakers contend with on a daily basis.

The film focuses on four prominent topics; the threat to public health (environmentalists), cartels and terrorists, drug smuggling and finally Aztlan and Reconquista (redeeming parts of the southern U.S. land some Mexicans believe was illegally taken from them).

The filmmakers began their journey with one thing in mind - explore all aspects of the southern border. After three arduous years the balanced documentary was finally released. The footage primarily focuses on the Arizona portion of the border and interviewers manage to get U.S. Border Patrol Agents as well as local law enforcement to describe the sometimes harsh conditions that Americans who reside near the border are face with on a daily basis.

What compelled Stan Wald to take three years of his life to document what some call America’s third war? “Being close to the border, Jerry and I saw what was happening locally, but it was never reported by the main-stream media, so we began our research and discovered many untold stories."

“This out-of-pocket project was our way of saying thanks to those who still believe in the values of this great nation,” Wald explains. “Our hope is that those who watch will become better informed and just as angry as we were after investigating the back stories.”

For those who are curious about the painstaking journey that illegal aliens decide to take for a “better life,” Southern Exposure does not disappoint. The devastation illegal border crossers feel when they are apprehended is captured on film.

The documentary also provides an inside look at Border Patrol Agent’s job to track and arrest those entering the country illegally.

However, along with those “coming for a better life,” immigrants are an increasing number of drug smugglers, terrorists and other hardened criminals. Wald points out that this increasing danger along the border is evident with the recent murders of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Arizona rancher Robert Krenz.

“Our southern border may be less porous than in past years, however, if it was as secure as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says, Agent Terry and Mr. Krenz might still be alive today,” Wald said.

Combine these murders with the growing drug cartel/gang crime exploding in large and small cities in America and you have a recipe for disaster.

“The degree of increased violence throughout the country by illegal alien cartel members living here and the unstoppable drug trafficking is far greater now than ever. Napolitano and DHS officials have been misleading the American public with the seriousness of the problems,” Wald finishes.

Perhaps a lesser-known repercussion that illegal immigration brings to the desert is the environmental damage. The coyote (human smuggler) often uses the same path each time they lead a group of illegal aliens deeper into the U.S. and during the desert trek they leave behind an immense amount of litter, old clothes (that would identify them as Mexicans) as well as human feces.

While the environmentalists may not be quick to respond to the desecration of America’s desert region, Arizona lawmakers have been quick to draw up legislation in an effort to curtail the multi-billion dollar industry. Tougher laws, like SB1070, may have sparked a national backlash; it has also put the light a problem that will not go away on its own.

With the help of Wald, Southern Exposure provides lawmakers and the general public with first-hand knowledge of the complex illegal immigration crisis that American’s who live near the border face every day. Many remote desert residents admit that they are afraid to walk alone on their own property due to the increase of heavily-armed drug traffickers.

If there is one thing Wald wants Americans to take away from this documentary it’s the failure of the U.S. government to uphold the laws already on the books and protect the nation’s borders from dangerous criminal elements that not looking for that “better life.”

“The silence from the environmentalist organizations regarding the disease from illegal aliens and the dumping of hazardous waste in wildlife preserves is concerning,” Wald explains. “Also the political push to appease radical Hispanic activist groups for the sake of securing cheap labor and future voting blocs is harmful for Americans. And finally the unwillingness of many illegal aliens to assimilate with Americans” will only continue the border region quagmire.

What's more, at a Senate Homeland Security Committee meeting last week, a Federal Auditor asserted that the Border Patrol was only able to patrol and stop illegal aliens from entering America for approximately 129 -miles of the nearly 2,000-mile border. This well-known fact is not something lost by those who seek illegal entry into the country.

In the past four years there have been more than 35,000 murders related to the drug cartels in Mexico (that’s more than the Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined) and this violence has contributed to many illegals fleeing Mexico’s narco-state. In the end, Southern Exposure’s filmmakers hope their snapshot of border insecurity can assist lawmakers and law enforcement in their quest to protect the country from foreign threats.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.