3 Dead, 12 Wounded at Israeli Gay Youth Center Shooting

Nod to Brad Friedman for this.

From Reuters, via the NYTimes:

Israel’s gay community was rocked on Sunday by the killing of two people in a homosexual and lesbian youth center and the possibility they fell victim to a hate crime in the Jewish state’s most freewheeling city.

“The biggest shock is to think that it happened in Tel Aviv, which is the most tolerant city in the country,” said Avi Sofer, a gay rights activist.

Witnesses said a masked gunman clad in black opened fire on Saturday night in a basement club belonging to the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association, which was hosting a weekly event for teenage gays.

The attacker killed a 26-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl and wounded 13 people before fleeing, hospital officials said.

“He simply fired all over the place,” Or Gil, 16, told the YNet news website. “At first I thought it was prank, or a toy gun. After the killings, it was quiet, completely silent and then people came to help the wounded.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu condemned the attack, telling his cabinet: “We are a tolerant, democratic country governed by the rule of law and we must respect each and every person.”

I found this quite interesting:

Despite anti-gay sentiments among some religious Jews in Israel, gays serve openly in the military. Israel accords same-sex couples a measure of legal recognition and cohabitation rights, though Orthodox religious authorities control formal nuptials in the country.

The whole episode is quite sad.

FBI’s Edmonds: Bin Laden Worked for U.S. Until 9/11

What a bombshell.

From The Brad Blog:

During my recent interview with FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds on the Mike Malloy Show, a caller had asked her opinion on whether she believed 9/11 to have been “an inside job.”

Edmonds replied by first specifying “As I have done for the past 7 or 8 years, I have basically stuck with what I know, first-hand, directly, my own knowledge, based on my own experience, based on what I obtained, which is not a lot, but it is extremely important.”

After explaining the difference between what she does and doesn’t know first hand, she went on to explain: “I have information about things that our government has lied to us about. I know. For example, to say that since the fall of the Soviet Union we ceased all of our intimate relationship with Bin Laden and the Taliban – those things can be proven as lies, very easily, based on the information they classified in my case, because we did carry very intimate relationship with these people, and it involves Central Asia, all the way up to September 11.” …

Her complete response, pulled from the lengthy interview (full, commercial-free audio here) has been transcribed by Luke Ryland, perhaps the world’s foremost expert in all things Sibel Edmonds related.

From Luke Ryland on the Daily Kos:

Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds dropped a bombshell on the Mike Malloy radio show, guest-hosted by Brad Friedman (audiopartial transcript).

In the interview, Sibel says that the US maintained ‘intimate relations’ with Bin Laden, and the Taliban, “all the way until that day of September 11.”

These ‘intimate relations’ included using Bin Laden for ‘operations’ in Central Asia, including Xinjiang, China. These ‘operations’ involved using al Qaeda and the Taliban in the same manner “as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict,” that is, fighting ‘enemies’ via proxies.

Luke’s summary:

The bombshell here is obviously that certain people in the US were using Bin Laden up to September 11, 2001.

It is important to understand why: the US outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years, promoting the Islamization of Central Asia in an attempt to personally profit off military sales as well as oil and gas concessions.

The silence by the US government on these matters is deafening. So, too, is the blowback.

Puts an entirely different spin on Bush ignoring that PDB.

What did George W. Bush know, and when did he know it?

Environmentalists: ‘Green Fuel’ Project in Chicago Heights May Be Full of Smoke

A new experiment in Green Technology in Chicago Heights is generating excitement among some, and raising concerns with environmentalists.

According to the Southtown Star, the project entails turning garbage into fuel.  The net energy produced, however, comes from burning the carbon-based pellets made from the trash.

First, the company’s perspective:

“This serves an environmental problem,” said Jim Ventura, president of Indiana Recycling and Renewable Fuels LLC. “Chicago Heights and the county will be very proud of this facility. As a matter of fact, I think people from all over will come to see our facility.”

On its face, the project – to open as early as December – could live up to Ventura’s forecast. When presented the plan late last year, officials at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency were impressed.

“It was the first time that most of us, if not all of us, had heard of this type of system,” said Charlie Zeal, the IEPA’s bureau of air unit supervisor for permits. “We all thought it was rather innovative.”

The concerns:

But environmentalists aren’t smitten.

The business’s demand for waste goes against what environmentalist strive for – production of fewer materials and a biological process of recycling where the materials we use are made into their original product.

“It has the perverse effect of creating more pollution and reducing recycling,” said Jeff Tangle, a Chicago-based environmentalist. “In fact, they perpetuate the problem to the extent they take the recycled materials and combust them.”

The process:

The operation begins with municipal trash dumped in the yet-to-be-built facility at 1301 S. State St. After an initial sorting, garbage is shredded and run through what Zeal described as a sausage-like grinder.

Inside that large tube, garbage is ground, the friction of which creates heat to form the end product, dime-sized pellets to be sold off to utility companies to burn and help them meet standards for green technology. Liquid collected during grinding would be used to create electricity and run the plant.

Ventura, also an alderman in East Chicago, Ind., estimated 1,600 tons of garbage per day would be processed.

The plant will cost $110 million, and is expected to be operational next year, the company hopes.

Chicago Trib Wants to Help You Sell Your House

The headline is a bit deceptive, but the intent is good.

In an article published Sunday, 6 reasons your house won’t sell, the Trib hits on the six main reasons homes do not sell, and gives advice on turning things around during the Bush Recession:

  1. It looks drab in photos.
  2. It’s overpriced for the neighborhood.
  3. There’s no “wow” factor inside.
  4. No one knows it’s there.
  5. Your commission isn’t high enough or the agent isn’t splitting the commission equally.
  6. Your house won’t pass inspection.

It’s worth clicking the link above and studying each of these carefully. Marketing anything in a recession is difficult, but not impossible.  The only mistake is to stop trying.