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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Feds Accused Of Renting From Radical Mosque

The Federal Government's U.S. Census is currently (Aug. 16) leasing a 6,600 square-foot corner of an old, back-road building in Virginia. Land records that Channel Two obtained confirmed that this location is owned by the Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center and rented by the Census Bureau, reports WSBTV

"Imam Johari Abdul-Malik showed McFarlane around the worship area and even acknowledged that Dal Al-Hijrah is not a typical Islamic center. It has been a hotbed of controversy. Its worshipers have included two of the Sept. 11th hijackers and Nadal Hassan, the man believed responsible for the massacre at Fort Hood. Most alarming to critics is its former Imam, Anwar Al-Awlaki.
Al-Awlaki is now considered a leading terrorist recruiter and is believed to have plotted with the would-be underwear-bomber and the Times Square bomber. Now he is a wanted man by U.S authorities and is on the loose in Yemen, U.S officials believe.
"If you have one branch of government saying this is a terrorist organization and another branch giving them a half-million dollars a year, there is a disconnect here," said Landman.
The mosque said it collects $500,000 a year in rent from the Census Bureau. They accuse bloggers and watchdogs of race baiting and state that they long ago disowned Awlaki..."(Continue Reading)

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Terror Suspects were Active in Obama's Socialist "New Party"

On September 24, about 20 FBI agents spent most of the day searching the Logan Square residence of Chicago activists Stephanie Weiner and her husband, Joseph Iosbaker, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Working for Willie Delgado


In 1998 the duo worked as leaders of the Chicago New Party, alongside Frankie Torres, Deborah McCoy, Jose Kader, Bob Palmer, Rafael Rodriguez (Board of Directors, Rosenberg Fund for Children), Yakira Nunez, Vinnie Izurieta, Pryianka Basu, Dave Rolston, and Mary Robles. Joe Iosbaker was at the time serving as Precinct Captain for Miguel del Valle in the 13th Ward (Remember that name, we investigate del Valle a little further down). He had been working election day at this same precinct for "progressive" candidates for about a decade - since far left Chicago mayor Harold Washington won re-election in 1987. Weiner and Iosbaker supported New Party candidate and member, Willie Delgado in his bid for the 35th Ward seat in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Delgado had signed up to the New Party in 1995, along with Barack Obama, Lou Pardo and Communist Party supporter Alice Palmer. Like Obama himself, Delgado was also endorsed by the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America. In 1998 won the seat against Elba Rodriguez by a very slim 241 votes. Delgado was to hold the seat until 2006.

Willie Delgado supported (and succeeded) Miguel Del Valle


As at 1995, Delgado was a key supporter of Illinois State Senator Miguel Del Valle. Del Valle had also enjoyed the endorsement of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America. He met Barack Obama in 1992, when the latter was directing a voter-registration drive called Project Vote. In 1993 he was listed as a "contact or potential member" of Progressive Chicago (parent and sister-organization of the Chicago New Party). Then in the mid-90s, he was listed as a member of Friends of Alice Palmer, alonside Danny K. Davis, Tony Rezko, Timuel Black and Barack Obama. While both Illinois State Senators, Miguel Del Valle and Barack Obama, along with State Rep. Mary Flowers were to work closely together with ACORN representative, April Troope on the passage of "energy assistance legislation".

In 2006, Del Valle left the Illinois State Senate, rewarding Willie Delgado's ongoing support by appointing him to his old seat.

What was the New Party, and what was Obama's involvement?


The New Party was an electoral alliance dedicated to electing leftist candidates to office-usually through the Democratic Party. It dissolved in 1998. Three organizations formed the backbone of the New Party - the Democratic Socialists of America, the U.S.'s largest marxist organization, ACORN and radical labor union SEIU. Also heavily involved were the Communist Party USA breakaway group Committees of Correspondence and far left "think tank" the Institute for Policy Studies.

Obama not only worked closely with these New Party candidates, he himself was a both a member of the New Party and its parent organization Progressive Chicago.  New Party News Spring 1996 page 1, celebrated the Danny K. Davis’s Congressional victory and went on to say;
"New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary)..."these victories prove that small 'd' democracy can work' said Obama".



New Party News Spring 1996 page 2: "Winners! NP-endorsed candidates Patricia Martin (far left), Danny Davis (center), and Barack Obama (far right), celebrate with Chicago New Party members Ted Thomas and Ruth Schools after their victories in the Democratic Primary last month. (click here for full page)
What goes around comes around. In 2004, Barack Obama was able to win his 2004 U.S. senate race by stitching together a coalition of socialist/communist dominated unions and "community organizations".
He also received the backing of several independent Latino elected officials led by State Sen. Miguel del Valle, Rep. Cynthia Soto and Alderman Ray Colon. Alderman Joe Moore also backed Obama, as did USAction leader and Communist Party sympathizer William McNary. Returning the favor once again on the event of del Valle's election as Chicago County Clerk in 2006, Obama stated, "I am thrilled that Miguel Del Valle is now our City Clerk and I can think of nobody better to serve out a full term than Miguel Del Valle."

The New Party folded in 1998 after its voting tactics were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. The FBI is now undertaking what has become a high-profile investigation of former members of the organization. Was Barack Obama a member? Undoubtedly. Will the FBI investigate him? What do you think?

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Communists, Danny Glover, Invited to "Progressive March"

The indefatigable Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media draws our attention to the “One Nation Working Together” protest which is scheduled for October 2, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

“I’m proud and excited to be a part of One Nation Working Together," says prominent leftist actor, Danny Glover. "Exciting news! We're thrilled that Mr. Glover will be participating," say the organizers. Hardly surprising when you take a look at the celebrity's activites and affiliations. In August 2004 he endorsed an anti “Bush Team” Protest at the Republican National Convention in New York, organized by Not In Our Name, an organization closely associated with the anti-capitalism, Maoist Revolutionary Communist Party. A good friend of Hugo Chavez, Glover also signed a statement circulated by the Partisan Defense Committee calling for the release of convicted “cop-killer” Mumia Abu-Jamal (who by the way, serves on the National Exec for the National Lawyers Guild). Glover also joined with Barbara Ehrenreich and others in initiating Progressives for Obama.

Cliff Kincaid writes of the protest,

The “peace director” of the October 2 “One Nation Working Together” rally says that the U.S. should immediately withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, military aid to Israel should be ended, and that Iran has the right to develop nuclear weapons as long as the U.S. has them. He also says that Marxists are invited to participate at his upcoming rally.

Michael McPhearson, one of the key organizers of the event and former executive director of Veterans for Peace, tells Accuracy in Media, “I’m not all that concerned if you’re a Republican, Democrat, or Marxist or Communist, whatever,” he said. “I just want us to work together to make our country better. That’s what I look at—not if you’re a socialist.”

The October 2 rally in Washington, D.C. is designed to counter the Tea Party, a grass roots movement of citizens devoted to limited government, and the recent “Restoring Honor” rally in the nation’s capital sponsored by Fox News personality Glenn Beck.


Below I have listed a mere handful of the plethora of leftist organizations which are backing this march:

“This one is going to be big!” say the organizers of the planned demonstration. “Be there and help write a new page in the history of social struggle in the U.S.” The demands of the protest will be as follows:
  • Jobs, Peace, Justice
  • Bring Our Troops and War Dollars Home
  • Fund Jobs, Not War
  • End War, Rebuild America
  • End the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Now!—Bring Our War Money Home
Kincaid's article continues,

The “national campaign manager” of the October 2 demonstration is Reverend Leah Daughtry, described on her website as “a nationally recognized teacher, preacher, speaker, organizer, leader, and Democratic strategist.” Her work for the Democratic Party includes serving as Chief Executive Officer of the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee and Chief of Staff of the Democratic National Committee.

The mainstream media, however, can be expected not to highlight the fact that the Democratic Party and its constituency groups, which are running the rally, have made common cause with communist groups dedicated to the destruction of the American system and withdrawing U.S. military power from the Middle East in the face of global Islamic terror.

McPhearson, controversial in his own right, confirmed his participation in the 2008 national convention of the Black Radical Congress, a gathering that included representatives of the Communist Party, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, and the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America. The theme of the event was “Forging a Black Liberation Agenda for the 21st Century.”

Be sure to visit Cliff's original article and read the entire thing - I've only posted small excerpts here.

Ahmadinejad Condemns Capitalism; "We Need to Revert to the Divine Mindset"

"Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Tuesday that capitalism faces inevitable defeat and called for the overhaul of "undemocratic and unjust" global decision-making bodies. He blamed capitalism and transnational corporations for "the suffering of countless women, men and children in so many countries." His speech came on the second day of a 192-member UN anti-poverty summit." - TVNZ

Right, so capitalism (read, "The West", infidel United States of America) is responsible for the oppression of countless women, men and children in so many countries. Is it just me, or does this comment sound ignorant and ironic. But Ahmadinejad is not ignorant. Rather he is employing the tactic of sidling up to the raft of leftist anti-capitalist groups established in the West - themselves dedicated to the dismantling and destruction of capitalism.

The article continues,

Ahmadinejad said world leaders, thinkers and global reformers should "spare no effort" to make practical plans for a new world order that would reform international economic and political institutions.
To spotlight the importance of this effort and the need for all countries to participate, Ahmadinejad proposed that the United Nations name the coming 10 years "the decade for the joint global governance."
In his brief speech, intertwining philosophy and religion with the current state of the world, Ahmadinejad declared: "The undemocratic and unjust governance structures of the decision-making bodies in international economic and political fields are the reasons behind most of the plights today humanity is confronting."
"It is my firm belief that in the new millennium, we need to revert to the divine mindset ... based on the justice-seeking nature of mankind, and on the monotheistic world view...," the Iranian leader said. "Now that the discriminatory order of capitalism and the hegemonic approaches are facing defeat and are getting close to their end, all-out participation in upholding justice and prosperous interrelations is essential."

Intriguing really, isn't it. Ahmadinejad the humanitarian. He cares so much for the oppressed of the World that he is seeking to free them all through a new form of global governanace, one that has reverted to "the divine mindset". Capitalism has failed the World he maintains - so it's time for something new. What is the Iranian President's mission here? Is it soley to promote the overthrowing of capitalism - friend of freedom and independence? Or is it merely a thinly masked attempt at citing the ideology of Islam as the answer to the World's woes?

I don't know about you, but I'm convinced that a global-governance based in the principles of Islam is the last thing the World needs.

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Busted! Anti-American Terrorism Supporters — in Chicago and Minneapolis

Cross-posting Brenda J. Elliott's article at the Real Barrack Obama blog.

“Under Democrat Harry Truman, it was the Communist bogeyman that was used to destroy the Left that had built the labor movement; today Democrat Barack Obama uses the terrorist bogeyman to try to destroy the peace movement, both actions for the same goals: To maximize the profits of the capitalist class.”Bay Indymedia


September 24, 2010 interview with Mick Kelly of Minneapolis

According to the Chicago Tribune report, Federal agents, under the auspices of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, “searched homes of anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis . . . in an investigation of possible links with terrorist organizations in the Middle East and South America.”

About 20 FBI agents spent most of the day searching the Logan Square residence of activists [and spouses] Stephanie Weiner and Joseph Iosbaker, Weiner said... In Jefferson Park, neighbors saw FBI agents carrying boxes from the apartment of community activist Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network. In addition, Chicago activist Thomas Burke said he was served a grand jury subpoena that requested records of any payments to Abudayyeh or his group.

...Melinda Power, an attorney for Weiner and Iosbaker and a longtime friend, said agents took about 30 boxes of papers dating to the 1970s, including a postcard from an old girlfriend of Iosbaker’s.

“They said they would determine what was evidence later,” Power said.

Weiner, who said she and her husband for years have been active in labor causes and the anti-war movement, complained the search was an attempt to intimidate her and other activists.

“We aren’t doing anything differently than we have in 20 years,” said Weiner, a teacher at Wilbur Wright College. Iosbaker is a staff member at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a union steward for Service Employees International Union Local 73.

Burke said he received a grand jury subpoena requesting records of payments to Abudayyeh’s organization as well as two groups among the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The subpoena also requested “items relating to trips to Colombia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian territories of Israel.” Burke said he toured Colombia eight years ago with members of an oil workers union there.

Burke, a former school custodian-turned-stay-at-home father, belongs to the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, a group mentioned in subpoenas and search warrants issued Friday to activists in Minneapolis.

Burke said he knows Weiner, Iosbaker and Abudayyeh from years of involvement in demonstrations and activities in Chicago. Most of the people whose homes were searched or who were issued subpoenas attended anti-war rallies at the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., he said.

The World Socialist Web Site adds: “The two reported Chicago raids targeted the homes of antiwar and gay rights activist Andy Thayer and Tom Burke of the Columbia Action Network.“

In Minneapolis, according to the Pioneer Press, the homes of Minnesota Anti-War Committee “organizers Mick Kelly, Jess Sundin and Meredith Aby were among those searched. The organization’s office also was searched.”

The Michael Kelly subpoena can be seen here and the search warrant for his apartment here.

“I have no idea what all this is about,” said Kelly’s attorney, Ted Dooley. “Mr. Kelly is an activist; he’s a socialist or perhaps a communist and has been forever. He never hides his political views. They’re fishing. They’re casting big nets into the sea of political activism.” . . . The home of Tracy Molms, 29, who works with Students for a Democratic Society [at the University of Minnesota], also was searched. The fifth person whose home was searched didn’t want the name made public, Sundin said.

RBO wrote in September 2008 about the “new” SDS here.

Molms said she’d traveled to “Palestine” in 2004. She said she’d raised money for the trip in the Twin Cities activist community.

Yet another Freedom Road member from Minneapolis has been named by NBC Chicago as having received a search warrant for her home — Sarah Martin. (See RBO’s follow up article here for info on Martin.)

A press release by Burke was posted at the Workers World web site. It includes the name of Steff Yorek, “one of the activists whose homes was searched.”

Yorek, a member of AFSCME who is also an organizer for the Minnesota Coalition for a People’s Bailout, as well as a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, is with the University of Minnesota.

Burke writes:

“The government hopes to use a grand jury to frame up activists. The goal of these raids is to harass and try to intimidate the movement against U.S. wars and occupations, and those who oppose U.S. support for repressive regimes,” said Colombia solidarity activist Tom Burke, one of those handed a subpoena by the FBI. “They are designed to suppress dissent and free speech, to divide the peace movement, and to pave the way for more U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and Latin America.”

SDS, in its statement following the raids, said it would “stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters across the country in the face of FBI repression of progressive causes.”

The SDS item included the name of another radical group raised in the raids, National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera. Palmera is a FARC revolutionary who was convicted in July 2007 “in federal court of helping hold three Americans hostage for years in jungle prison camps.”

Fox News Chicago reports:

"Among the targets of the raids were Jessica Sundin, who led a 10,000-person anti-war march on the opening day of the Republican National Convention in 2008, and Mick Kelly, who was part of Sundin’s 2008 protest and who has planned to march in Minneapolis if the Democratic National Convention is held there in 2012."


The World Socialist Web Site “clarifies” the identities of these groups:

"FARC is a nationalist, peasant-based organization at war with the US-backed regime in Columbia; the PFLP is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a faction of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, or PLO; and Hezbollah is a mass Islamic political party in Lebanon with a paramilitary wing that has fought off invasions by Israel.

The political nature of the raids was barely concealed. The warrant to raid Kelly’s home specifically cited his membership in a group calling itself socialist, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO)."

The Communist-affiliated International ANSWER Coalition adds:

"The targeted activists have done nothing wrong. They are long-time organizers in the struggle for justice in the United States and against U.S. wars and repression abroad. They are leaders of organizations like the Twin-Cities Anti-War Committee, the Palestine Solidarity Group, the Colombia Action Network and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, among others. Many of the targeted activists helped organize the successful mass mobilizations at the RNC in Minneapolis, Minn. in 2008. Now, the government is attempting to implicate them in a bogus federal “terrorism” investigation. These allegations are baseless, reactionary and wrong.

The aim of the FBI raids is clearly the suppression of free speech and dissent. The government wants all activists to be afraid to speak out. And the Obama administration’s Justice Department is now leading the charge. But we cannot allow the government to stamp out the right of people to advocate for political beliefs that do not align with the aims of the Pentagon war machine. We cannot allow them to continue to erode our civil rights and civil liberties.

ANSWER encourages all anti-war activists to follow the example of the targeted activists if you are confronted by the FBI or other police agencies. The activists have refused to engage in conversations with the FBI about their political beliefs and anti-war organizing."

P.S. The radical Left has turned on the Chosen One. Where once he was cheered, he is now reviled. Just saying.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chinese Govt. Clamp Down on Obama Merchandise

A story from November 2009 that you may not have seen yet.

"With President Obama scheduled to visit Beijing on Monday, city authorities have banned souvenir vendors from selling a popular t-shirt depicting the president as a Mao-era red guard," reports Foreign Policy.


"The T-shirts have Obama’s image in a Red Guard uniform. Since he was elected the US president last year, the T-shirt has had a ready market. According to some business owners, they got calls last week from Beijing Municipal Government demanding them to stop the sale of this kind of T-shirt immediately. And inspection officers even came to stores to make sure the T-shirts are off the shelf. Business owners have been notified that after Obama ends his visit to China, they can resume the sale." - China Digital Times


More photos here, and the original story at China Digital times is here.

DC Insider Interview Part 2: "The President Needs to Grow Up"

Yesterday I published Part 1 of an interview with a "Washington D.C. insider". Below is Part 2 of the interview. Please note that because the alleged source remains anonymous, there is no way of verifying for sure if the interview is legitimate, or if it was fabricated.

So you still wish to keep your name hidden from the public? Why? I intend to remain working in this town for a bit longer. A public disclosure might complicate that just a bit given who is in power right now. But I won’t be the last one from the current administration coming forward. After the midterms, there will be a number of us speaking about what is really going on in the Democrat Party, if for nothing else because it’s such a damn mess right now.

What do you mean “it’s a damn mess”? I mean just what I said. The Democrat Party is the most chaotic I have ever seen it – and that goes back almost 30 years.

So who is to blame? We all are. By we I mean those of us who were working within the party power structure the last ten years or so. We got so caught up in the hate Bush mentality, we let the party get hijacked by our own far left. That was disaster the moment it happened. The disaster that will be the midterm election in 2010 started in November of 2006 when Pelosi and Reid took over the Democrat Party. Those two have only brought trouble to the Democrat Party since day one of that time.

How do you mean? (A long pause…) Look, I’ve been in the Democrat Party in one way or other, be it campaigns, fundraising, lobbying, whatever…we lost our way in 2006. We put in place a Speaker of the House who is an absolute public relations train wreck. The lady is a… She’s tough. Yeah, she’s real tough. But outside of the halls of Congress, forget it. She’s a nut to the American people because America was and is a right of center country. As a Democrat I say that, because I understand it. Bill Clinton understood it. Pelosi, Reid, Obama… they don’t accept that fact."

Continue Reading Part 2 of the interview...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Become a Freedom Fighter, Get Behind DeMint

I've encouraged you before to get behind Senator Jim DeMint in his campaign for U.S. Senator for South Carolina. Jim has been dubbed "America's Most Conservative United States Senator" by the National Journal, and his record backs it up. He writes,

"We’ve been duped into believing government alone can solve our country’s problems. I believe often the government is the problem. America’s greatness is found in its people and its values not in its government…with every round of new regulation and increased spending our country slides further away from liberty and closer to socialism."

Supporting Jim has just got better! For a donation of $10 and up, his team will send you a free "Freedom Fighter" t-shirt, as well as a copy of his book, "Saving Freedom".

Bob Hamer of Andrew Breitbart's Big Hollywood website reviews the book which was only released in July,

"The book doesn’t whine about our nation’s problems. He provides an action plan for the nation and the individual to reclaim our freedoms. As Fox News says, “We report, you decide.” I would encourage everyone to take a look. “Saving Freedom” provides knowledge and some practical ways of doing and serving. Become informed and get involved. It is our country but it may not be the country we think we know if we don’t act soon...

...He acknowledges socialism begins with good intentions but becomes a government by force taking from some to give to others with the unintended consequences of destroying individual responsibility and creating an even greater dependency on the government."

For donations over $25, Jim will personally sign the book for you. Would encourage you all to chip in.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Change of Course in Cuba and Venezuela?

A very insightful article on Cuba, Venezuela, and their relationships with the U.S., Russia, and China, by George Friedman and Reva Bhalla.

Strange statements are coming out of Cuba these days. Fidel Castro, in the course of a five-hour interview in late August, reportedly told Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic and Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations that “the Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.”

Once that statement hit the headlines, Castro backtracked. Dressed in military uniform for the first time in four years (which we suspect was his way of signaling that he was not abandoning the revolution), he delivered a rare, 35-minute speech Sept. 3 to students at the University of Havana. In addition to spending several minutes on STRATFOR’s Iran analysis, Castro addressed his earlier statement on the Cuban model, saying he was “accurately quoted but misinterpreted” and suggesting that the economic model doesn’t work anymore but that the revolution lives on.

Castro, now 84, may be old, but he still seems to have his wits about him. We don’t know whether he was grossly misinterpreted by the reporter during the earlier interview, was acknowledging the futility of the Cuban model and/or was dropping hints of a policy shift. Regardless of what he did or did not say, Castro’s reported statement on the weakness of the revolution was by no means revolutionary.

Sustaining the Revolution

There is little hiding the fact that Cuba’s socialist economy has run out of steam. The more interesting question is whether the Cuban leader is prepared to acknowledge this fact and what he is prepared to do about it. Castro wants his revolution to outlive him. To do so, he must maintain a balance between power and wealth. For decades, his method of maintaining power has been to monopolize the island’s sources of wealth. All foreign direct investment in Cuba must be authorized by the government, the most important sectors of the economy are off-limits to investors, foreign investors cannot actually own the land or facilities in which they invest, the state has the right to seize foreign assets at any time and foreign investors must turn to the government for decisions on hiring, firing and paying workers. Under such conditions, the Cuban leadership has the ultimate say on the social welfare of its citizens and has used that control to secure loyalty and, more important, neutralize political dissent.

But that control has come at a cost: For the revolution to survive — and maintain both a large security apparatus and an expensive and inefficient social welfare system — it must have sufficient private investment that the state can control. That private investment has not been forthcoming, and so the state, unable to cope with the stresses of the economy, has had to increasingly concern itself with the viability of the regime. Since Soviet subsidies for Cuba (roughly $5 billion per year) expired in the early 1990s, Cuba has been seeking an injection of capital to generate income while still trying to leave the capitalists out of the equation in order to maintain control. There is no easy way to resolve this paradox, and the problem for Castro in his advanced age is that he is running out of time.

Many Cubans, including Castro, blame the island’s economic turmoil on the U.S. embargo, a politically charged vestige of the Cold War days when Cuba, under Soviet patronage, actually posed a clear and present danger to the United States. There is a great irony built into this complaint. Castro’s revolution was built on the foundation that trade with the imperialists was responsible for Cuba’s economic turmoil. Now, it is the supposed lack of such trade that is paralyzing the Cuban economy. History can be glossed over at politically opportune times, but it cannot so easily be forgotten.

What many seem to overlook is how Cuba, in spite of the embargo, is still able to receive goods from Europe, Canada, Latin America and elsewhere — it is the state-run system at home that remains crippled and unable to supply the island’s 11 million inhabitants. And even if U.S.-Cuban trade were to be restored, there is no guarantee that Cuba’s economic wounds would be healed. There are a host of other tourist resorts and sugar and tobacco exporters lining the Caribbean coastlines aside from Cuba, which has largely missed the boat in realizing its economic potential. In other words, the roots of Cuba’s economic troubles lie in Cuba, not the United States.

But Cuba is in the midst of a political transition, and Fidel will eventually pass the revolution on to his (not much) younger brother, Raul. If Fidel is the charismatic revolutionary, able to sustain a romanticized political ideology for decades in spite of its inherent contradictions, Raul is the bureaucratic functionary whose primary purpose at this point is to preserve the regime that his brother founded. This poses a serious dilemma for 79-year-old Raul. Not only does he lack the charisma of his older brother, he also lacks a strong external patron to make Cuba relevant beyond Cuba itself.

It must be remembered that the geographic location of Cuba, which straddles both the Yucatan Channel and Straits of Florida, gives it the potential to cripple the Port of New Orleans, the United States’ historical economic outlet to the world. If these two trade avenues were blocked, Gulf Coast ports like New Orleans and Houston would be, too, and U.S. agricultural and mineral exports and imports would plummet.

Cuba has been able to pose such a threat and thus carry geopolitical weight only when under the influence of a more powerful U.S. adversary such as the Soviet Union. Though the Castros maintain relations with many of their Cold War allies, there is no middle, much less great, power right now with the attention span or the will to subsidize Cuba. Havana is thus largely on its own, and in its loneliness it now appears to be reaching out to the United States for a solution that may not hold much promise.

While Fidel has been making statements, Raul has been fleshing out a new economic strategy for Cuba, one that will lay off 500,000 workers — 10 percent of the island’s workforce. The idea is to develop private cooperatives to ease a tremendous burden on the state and have implementation of this plan in progress by March 2011. This is an ambitious deadline considering that Cuba has little to no private industry to speak of to absorb these state workers. The feasibility of the proposed reforms, however, is not as interesting as the message of political reconciliation embedded in the plan. Alongside talk of Raul’s economic reforms, Cuba has been making what appear to be political gestures to Washington through the release of political prisoners. But these gestures are unlikely to be enough to capture Washington’s attention, especially when Cuba is neither a significant geopolitical threat nor a great economic opportunity in the eyes of the United States. Cuba needs something more, and that something could be found in Venezuela.


Continue reading...

Is the President "Losing It"?

An author named Ulsterman writes at NewsFlavor.com, publishing an interview that he says he held with a former advisor to the Obama election campaign and transition team. The insider speaks out on an administration in crisis, and a president increasingly withdrawn from the job of President. I have posted below an excerpt from this interview which is now going viral:

2008 gave America an incredibly charismatic candidate for President of the United States. Speech after speech showed a candidate with increasing momentum as primary race after primary race concluded. And then came the nomination, more speeches, culminating in an election night victory.

According to the person sitting across from me, those were incredibly exciting times, even for one who had been a participant with three previous presidential hopefuls. Barack Obama appeared to move from one city to the next effortlessly, gaining confidence and motivation with each campaign stop. He was remarkable to watch. He took the script, elevated it with his oration, left the crowds screaming for more, and then would do it all over again, time after time after time. On the campaign trail, Obama is a machine.

When I asked this insider if the media gave candidate Obama an assist throughout his campaign, it elicits a sly smile. Sure – we definitely had people in the media on our side. Absolutely. We went so far as to give them specific ideas for coverage. The ones who took that advice from the campaign were granted better access, and Obama was the biggest story in 2008, so yeah, that gave us a lot of leverage.

Could Obama have succeeded without the media’s help? Yeah, I think so. As I said, on the campaign trail he is very-very good. The opposition didn’t have near the energy, or the celebrity attraction that Obama brings. Plus, the country was burned out after eight years of Bush. We knew that going in. We knew that if we won the Democrat nomination, we were likely going to cruise our way to the White House – and that is exactly what we did.”

But after Obama was sworn in, things began to change? Almost immediately. Obama loved to campaign. He clearly didn’t like the work of being President though, and that attitude was felt by the entire White House staff within weeks after the inauguration. Obama the tireless, hard working candidate became a very tepid personality to us. And the few news stories that did come out against him were the only things he seemed to care about. He absolutely obsesses over Fox News. For being so successful, Barack Obama is incredibly thin-skinned. He takes everything very personally.

Continue reading...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cass Sunstein, Healthcare, and The Constitution

In June the YourDaddy's Politics blog broke the news of comments made by Obama's "Regulatory Czar", Cass Sunstein on his views on healthcare and The Constitution. I've reposted it again here because this story really needs to get out there...

I want to open your eyes to a concept. The concept of basic human needs. Food, water and shelter. These three items are by far the most important things to human existence. Right? So if these are the most important items to sustaining human life, keep in mind you can live without health care, then why is health care a mandate? The fact mankind walks the earth still today is proof of that we can survive as a species without health care. The same cannot be said for food, water and shelter.

You should be aware of Sunstein’s words on this very subject. These words need to be applied to the upcoming court battles that will take on the federally mandated ObamaCare law. Cass Suntein’s own words in this video should play a role in how those hearings go. These words particulary from this man should help move America closer to a repeal of the ObamaCare law.

The video is from an interview that took place with Cass Sunstein on Nov 13th 2005. It has particular importance when understanding his reasoning about basic human needs and his derisive view of the republican party point of view. I think it is clear in the fact we are having to sue the Federal Government to repeal ObamaCare shows the Obama Administrations disdain for the Republican party and quit frankly the vast majority of the US population.

Cass Sunstein states “But I think it would be a huge mistake, an abuse a form of arrogance for the supreme court to understand the Constitution to require everyone to have food and a place to live.” “What I am objecting to is an approach to the Constitution that reads it to reflect the views of the Republican party.”
So lets look at this. The legislated or Congressional mandate to call for a ‘right’ to food and shelter on its face would be an arrogant abuse of power. Hmmm…

Continue reading...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Disinformation? What Does Fidel Castro Really Think About Cuba's Economy?

Upon receiving a phone-call from Fidel Castro's office in Cuba inviting him to interview the Cuban dictator, Jeffrey Goldberg, a journalist for The Atlantic got in touch with his Institute for Policy Studies friend Julia Sweig, who is currently working for the Council on Foreign Relations. Together they travelled to Havana, Cuba for the interview with the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba.

The duo met with Castro on and off over a period of three days  (August 29 - 31). During their first meeting, Goldberg asked Castro if he believed the Cuban model was still something worth exporting.

Castro replied, "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore".

Later in the day, Goldberg asked comrade Sweig what she thought Castro meant by this comment. Julia has known Castro for over twenty years. Sweig replied that,

"He wasn't rejecting the ideas of the Revolution. I took it to be an acknowledgment that under 'the Cuban model' the state has much too big a role in the economic life of the country."

Joel Wendland of the Communist Party USA's newspaper, the People's World wrote about Goldberg and Sweig's interview with Castro:

Cuba's leading institutions of governance have set the stage for a number of important systemic changes toward a market-oriented economy, Sweig explained. New proposals include private ownership of land, the shift from collective farming to cooperative farming with private ownership rights, the licensing of the 250,000 to 500,000 small businesses with non-family employees (as long as social security taxes are paid), and introduction of limited foreign investments in real estate.

Just this week, the Cuban government announced a plan to shift 500,000 government workers into the private sector in order to cut unsustainable budget expenditures.

Sweig said Cuba's internal changes and other global realities show that U.S. attempts at economic isolation of Cuba have failed and are unnecessary.

The embargo is not a foreign policy; it is a domestic policy aimed at nothing more than addressing "a perception of the Cuban American vote" in Florida, she said. "I think it's time for the United States to recognize that 50 years of one policy haven't achieved the intention which was to block the revolution, stop them from exporting it, and overthrow etc.," she noted. "I think it is time to take 'yes' for an answer."

Many US anti communists have seized on Castro's remarks as a a sign that communism is finally on the way out in Cuba. That even a fanatical communist and mass murderer like Fidel Castro can see the error of his ways.

Yes and I own a large statue in New York Harbor I'd like to sell you.

Castro's statement is pure disinformation - channelled through Cuba's allies in the Institute for Policy Studies, Council on Foreign Relations and the Communist Party USA.

Castro knows that Obama Administrations wants to drop US trade and travel restrictions regarding Cuba - a long time goal of the Castro regime. Castro knows he has to throw Obama a bone. If Castro can create the impression that Cuban communism is crumbling, conservative opposition to easing sanctions on Cuba will be neutralized.

Communists have used this ploy countless times from the time of Lenin's New Economic Policy in the 1920s, right up to the present day.

Castro knows that a few well chosen words to some sympathetic journalists could reap huge rewards in strategic terms.

A simple rule of thumb when evaluating communist propaganda: when communists beat the war drums and pose aggressively, they are usually weak. When communists tell the world they are weak and their system is faltering, they have a major prize in their sights.

Michael Moore: "I Want Mosque Built on Ground Zero"

The Communist Party USA's newspaper, People's World reposts Farenheit 9-11 director Michael Moore's blog post entitled, "If the 'Mosque' Isn't Built, This Is No Longer America". In a particularly painful exhibition of immaturity, Moore writes:

"I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built on Ground Zero.

Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you."

"The JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of Manhattan" is helping the Muslims organize their plans for the community center says Moore. That doesn't come as a huge surprise when you take a look at the Center. The following currently work for the center:


Moore goes on to ignorantly state that the founding fathers declared that the United States must be a secular country. This is absolute garbage, as they made no such statement. What they did establish in The Constitution however, was:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

And I think you all know where to find that. Someone should remind Michael.

He states, "There is a McDonald's two blocks from Ground Zero. Trust me, McDonald's has killed far more people than the terrorists..." Moore finishes off his blog post, "Let's each of us make a statement by donating to the building of this community center! It's a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization".

The Jewish Community Center of Manhattan may have its lgbtq program which enjoys "special events celebrating Gay Pride", but their Islamic buddies don't have the same liberty. As a friend once pointed out - Western men get stoned and then have man love. Muslim men have man love and then get stoned.

Not for long though, because Greg Gutfield is in discussion with a number of investors to start up a new Islam-themed gay bar right next to the mosque Park51, in an available commercial space.

I wonder what Michael Moore has to say about that.

Colonel West and Obama on Islam

The Impeach Obama Campaign website links to a video that was put together on September 11, 2010, in which President Barack Obama and Colonel Allen West comment on the nature of Islam. Obama states "We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith which has done so much over the centuries to shape the World, including in my own country." Listen to West's comments on the subject, and like me you'll be saying - why isn't that man president?


NB. this video is not actually a debate between Obama and West - it is pieces of relevant video that have been put back to back.

Monday, September 20, 2010

1.5 Million Hits on New Zeal blog

On July 2, 2010 I posted to let everyone know that the New Zeal blog had been visited one million times. Today, less than nine weeks later, I'm privileged to announce that we've just got up to 1.5 million hits. This has been achieved through all you readers who share the articles I post on the New Zeal blog, whether it's through Facebook, Twitter, email, or word of mouth. Of course thanks too, go to Glenn Beck, the Noisy Room blog, and many others.

A few more stats:
Of course, all this is made possible through the many donations of generous readers and all those out there in the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Many donors give $5 - every little bit helps, and enables me to give more time to the research that I do here at the New Zeal blog, and over at KeyWiki - an encyclopaedia on the covert side of U.S. and Global politics.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

DeMint: "I Don't Want the Majority Back if We Don't Believe Anything"

The Senate Conservative Fund is a political action committee dedicated to electing true conservative leaders to the United States Senate. Senator Jim DeMint, who is the chairman of the fund has recently spoken out in the media about how weak the Republican Party has become, and of the need for true conservatives to be elected to the Senate.

"It's got to a point where I'd rather lose fighting for the right cause, than win fighting for the wrong cause."


The video below is well worth viewing. Please watch it and pass it on, and donate towards the critical work that this fund is doing.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"The Greatest Threat to America is Not Obama" - Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager delivers a powerful explanation of what it is that is wrong with America. "Obama," he says "is not the greatest threat to America." Then what is?...


Be sure also to watch the 37 minute speech by Dennis Prager about America's exceptionalism and uniqueness. It is the second from the bottom on that page. Also many other videos well worth watching on this page.

Why Is Napolitano Doing Nothing About Hezbollah on the U.S. Border?

On August 28 I shared a video in which Glenn Beck spoke about the presence of Hezbollah in Mexico near the U.S. border. On June 23, 2010, Republican Representative Sue Myrick had written to Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, requesting that she,
"Engage U.S. and Mexican law enforcement and border patrol officials about Hezbollah's presence, activities, and connections to gangs and drug cartels."
Myrick has yet to receive a response. However her office have put together the following very informative video, which I would encourage you to spread far and wide.

Obituary for Red Rev. Lucius Walker


Renowned pro-Cuba activist, the Reverend Doctor Lucius Walker stepped off the planet on September 7. He left a throng of mourning socialist and communist colleagues and followers who have been pouring out their sorrow, and memories of him over the last week. The Communist Party USA's newspaper, People's World published an obituary in his honor, in which they quoted the pro-Cuba Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization:
"It is with immeasurable sadness that we write to let you know of the passing of our beloved, heroic, prophetic leader the Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. this morning. We will write with more information as soon as arrangements are made. Please keep his family and his IFCO family in your prayers."


The Monthly Review said that Walker had been "a tireless fighter for the freedom of the five Cuban prisoners held in the United States." And Ricardo Alarcon, president of the Cuban national parliament also shared his condolences:
"We Cubans are eternally grateful to Lucius Walker, to IFCO and to Pastors for Peace for their constant struggle against the cruel blockade against our people, and for the liberation of our five compatriots who have been unjustly imprisoned for 12 years for having tried to avoid terrorist actions...Lucius will always be with us, he will be reborn in the struggle until victory."
Who was this humanitarian reverend? And why are the left so distraught at his death?

Walker has long been involved in leftist organizations. In May, 1964, he was listed as a sponsor of Communist Party USA-front the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee. In 1967 he founded the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, out of which in 1988 was formed Pastors for Peace. Walker served as executive director to both organizations.

In 1994, two years after founding the US/Cuba Friendshipment Caravan Campaign which flouted the blockade, delivering aid to Cuba, Walker initiated the International Peace for Cuba Appeal which was affiliated with the Workers World Party-dominated International Action Center. Other initators of the appeal included Cuban Intelligence agent Philip Agee, academic Noam Chomsky, Congressional Progressive Caucus member, Congressman John Conyers and Charles Rangel. The appeal was signed by Alice Walker, Obama appointee Quentin Young, Teresa Gutierrez, and many others.

In June, 2003, Walker spoke at a meeting on "US-Cuba Relations" which was held at a Unitarian church in Washington, D.C. In his talk, Walker spoke of "the valiant effort of the Cuban people to maintain free education and health care in the face of the oppressive US blockade. His talk was followed by some in the audience chanting, "Cuba Si, Bloqueo No!" The event was sponsored by the No War On Cuba Movement, a coalition of groups which includes IPS program, Social Action & Leadership School for Activists and the National Lawyer's Guild.

Walker also served alongside Howard Zinn, and DSAer Ed Asner on the Advisory Committee for the Independent Progressive Politics Network. Affiliates of the organization include the National Lawyer's Guild, Committees of Correspondence, and the Socialist Party USA.

During the recent healthcare financing debate, Walker served on the board of directors for Healthcare Now!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Christchurch Earthquake Update

My family and I are currently travelling around the United States, so we are quite safe from the ongoing aftershocks, or the possibility of another major earthquake. I have been blown away by the words of support I have received from all over the World - particularly from the United States. People wanting to know how my family and I are, people wanting to know of a worthy relief effort they can donate to, and people wanting to let me know that they're concerned for us here in New Zealand.

(from left) Christchurch Mayor, Bob Parker, Prime Minister, John Key,
National MPs, Gerry Brownlee, Nicky Wagner

The Government has estimated that the cost of the cleanup could top 4 billion, and that New Zealand's GDP could take a 0.8% drop. New Zealand's Earthquake Commission which deals only with claims from house owners, not businesses, has received 49,024 claims and it is expecting around 100,000. Prime Minister John Key stated today that "The Canterbury earthquake will be the most costly natural disaster New Zealand has ever faced". Still, for a country the size of New Zealand we're doing pretty darn well, pulling together as a nation and without other nations rolling in to help, - as so often tends to happen.


Flyover of the Fault-line

There have been over 400 aftershocks over magnitude 2 or more, including three 5.4 magnitude aftershocks. Some of these aftershocks have done futher damage to the city. Regularly updated details of the ongoing aftershocks can be viewed here.

Politically, the earthquake is set to majorly shake up the City Council election in Christchurch which will take place on October 9, 2010. Communist, and current member of Parliament, Jim Anderton had been leading in the polls against incumbent, National Party-endorsed, Bob Parker. However following the earthquake, and with Parker being dubbed as the "Rudolph Giuliani of Christchurch", it is looking very likely that Parker will take the mayoralty. Add to this the controversy over Anderton's stated intention to remain a member of Parliament while he took on his new job of mayor, and you can see that things are not looking very rosy for him.Sadly this is nothing to get very excited about, as Bob Parker surely enjoyed overspending rate-payers' money just as much as Anderton would if he got the chance.

Click here for a recent update from one of New Zealand's better newspapers, the NZ Herald.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Perspective on Gaza You Won't See on CNN

This is the best video about Gaza that you’ve never seen. It was released on July 25 but has had relatively little exposure, so I'd encourage you all to pass on this important video.

The producer of the video, Ronen, says about it:
"It's a non-sugar coated, eye opening look at the REAL conflict in Gaza. One that is concealed from the Western world on how the Gaza siege truly begins from within Gaza itself via Hamas, before ever factoring Israel's blockade for security reasons. Hamas has all of Gazan's hostage and silences their opposition at gunpoint. Gaza is one massive human shield and the only road to a free Gaza, is a Gaza not under siege by a Terrorist mafia posing as a government authority."




This is part 1. Part 2 should be released any day now.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"There's a Hero on the Way"

Tussing Elementary School in Virginia, has recorded a new song  "There's A Hero On the Way"dedicated to all first responders on 9-11. 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The Ad that will Finish Harry Reid

Americans For New Leadership has released a new advert which delivers a powerful 30 second message, showing that Republican candidate Sharron Angle will be a far better choice for Nevada than re-electing Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid. They state:

"We know that the first step to reversing direction is to remove from office those that will advocate for growth in the size and scope of the federal government. Washington DC is broken and the only way to fix it is to send people there that understand the proper role of government and the power that regular citizens should have. We are dedicated to doing our part to help by letting every single Nevadan know what damage Harry has done to our State and our Country."


Everyone is encouraged to donate to Americans For New Leadership to assist with funding for the screening of the advert.

Red Maxine Waters

Maxine Waters is a far left Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the 35th district of California.

In the news recently over allegations of corruption, Maxine Waters, if the media was doing its job, should be equally well known for her socialist connections.

Waters has consistently attempted to present herself as a mainstream politician. However the facts tell a different story.

In May 1992 Waters put her name to a supplement in the Communist Party's newspaper, the People's Weekly World which called for readers to "support our continuing struggle for justice and dignity." Virtually all other signatories were known Communist Party members or supporters.

In October, later that year, she was the keynote speaker at a Coalition of Black Trade Unionists meeting in St Louis Missouri. The Coalition began as a Communist Party front.

In June 1996, the Communist Party's People's Weekly World held a tribute event for Southern California labor unionists Jerry Acosta and Gil Cedillo. Presentations to the honorees were made on behalf of Maxine Waters and (now U.S. Secretary of labor), Hilda Solis, by their staffers who were present at the event.

In 1997 Waters put her name to a "Jobs Bill" which had been originally introduced to Congress at the request of over 50 prominent labor leaders - many of whom were known members or supporters of the Communist Party.

Waters has been a member of the Democratic Socialists of America - linked Congressional Progressive Caucus from as early as 1998 up til the present. Her mid 1990s press secretary and speech-writer, Patrick Lacefield was  a former National Director of the D.S.A.

Waters also serves on the Advisory Board for Progressive Democrats of America, an activist network within the Democratic Party, which is led by several D.S.A. connected activists, including National Director Tim Carpenter.

In May 2008, Waters made an embarassing tongue-slip during her televised questioning of a Shell Oil Executive. She queried, "...And guess what this liberal will be all about? This liberal will be all about socializing, uh, umm - will be about, basically. taking over, and the Government running all of your companies." The video of this incident can be viewed here.

If Maxine Waters is found guilty of ethics violations, it will one more example of the corruption/socialism connection, now so common in the U.S. Congress.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Frances Fox Piven Advocating Violence

Frances Fox Piven (of the Cloward-Piven Strategy) speaking at the University of Wisconsin in November, 2004, advocating the use of violence - so long as it's "a big part of your strategy".


A couple of excerpts from the video:
  • "I have considerable respect for non-violence, but I don't treat it as intevitably a necessary rule. The reason I have respect for non-violence, is I think it helps to protect the protestors."
  • "Unless you have good reason for breaking the window, probably you shouldn't do that. Unless it's you know, a big part of your strategy."
Read more about the Cloward-Piven Strategy here.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Donating to Rebuild Christchurch

So many of you have been emailing, Tweeting and sending messages on Facebook asking if there's any way you can help in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake which took place here in Christchurch at 4:30am on September 4, 2010.

The Salvation Army, The Red Cross, and the City Mission are doing so much to help, with setting up and running the three welfare centres around Christchurch. People evacuated from their homes now have a wonderful support network, warm clothes, food, clean water, power and shelter.

Those of you wishing to contribute to the Red Cross Earthquake Fund, please click here and choose "Canterbury Earthquake Appeal". Thankyou!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Images of the Christchurch Quake

Our family escaped completely unscathed, but much of Christchurch and surrounding areas was not so lucky.

Up to 20% of the homes in the city may be rendered uninhabitable. Damage is at least $2 billion in a city of 340,000 people.

The University is closed, as will be many schools.

Aftershocks are continuing, with one of 6.0 on the Richter Scale expected anytime.

The original quake was 7.1

We're also expecting gale force winds later today. Sheeeeeesh.

Most of Christchurch looks normal, but some suburbs are flooded and the roads almost impassable. Hundreds of homes have been condemned and many central city businesses are closed.

Many personal landmarks were affected by the quake. A swingbridge I used to cross as a kid in Kaiapoi was wrecked, a place I used to work at in Merivale was demolished.

I used to visit friends in the flat to the right above.



I used to live in this bedroom back in the '80s.












Amazingly, no one was killed.

The damage is huge, but people love this town and we'll be back up and running pretty quickly.

There is a lot of pride in this city. We won't stay down for long.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Krista Branch "Remember Who We Are"



Thanks Robin. I needed this.

Is THAT the Best You Can do Obama?

WE’RE All FINE, THANK YOU FOR YOUR MESSAGES, THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS

A quick note to all our well wishers. We got a huge fright at 4.30 this morning. NZ gets plenty of earthquakes, but this was the worst I’ve ever experienced. As I type this, another aftershock is shaking the house.

We rushed out of bed, grabbed the kids and stood under door jambs. It went on forever.

No damage to our house, other than a couple of broken ornaments. Major damage in parts of Christchurch. The quake was centered 20 miles west of where I sit now.

Buildings are down, pipes ruptured, bridges twisted, roads cracked and flooded. My parents house a little north of here lost a chimney.

Miraculously no reported fatalities so far, but several reported injuries, some serious.

Power has just come back on, as has internet, could be major problems with water in Christchurch as so many pipes are wrecked. Parts of the town are already boiling water.

Airport is closed-flying to US tomorrow, so hopefully it will be open soon.

Big Rugby League game tonight on TV, so glad power is back on. LOL.

Thanks again for all your messages.

Tracey and the children are overwhelmed with your concern and your kindness.

Thank you all

Trevor Loudon

PS Is THAT the best you can do Obama?