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New translation, the Magna Carta

'Y

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This article has been incorporated into the briefings document, humans killing humans.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#milgram_281206





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losing your history: pot-pourri of ‘interesting things’

some history of trickle down

“[...] There are those who believe that if you only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.”
William Jennings Bryan, 1896 (Cross of Gold speech)

There was much talk about a ‘trickle down economy’ during the Reagan era, but very little mention of a ‘trickle up economy’. It’s strange how long it takes people to learn.

This poor analysis of “them and us”, typical of marxist dogma, continues to muddle thinking. All parts of society are interdependant in optimising production. Binary approaches to economics project adversarial malfunctions on human behaviour.

marker at abelard.org

chesterton? well not quite

“It’s drowning all your old rationalism and scepticism, it’s coming in like a sea; and the name of it is superstition. [...] It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense and can’t see things as they are. ”
[The Oracle of the Dog, in The Incredulity of Father Brown]
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
Or, as Cammaerts paraphrases it:
“The first effect of not believing in God is to believe in anything.”

marker at abelard.org

and here is a precedent for the oft-quoted aphorism of John Adams

“Matters of fact, which as Mr Budgell somewhere observes, are very stubborn things”.
The Will of Matthew Tindal (1733) p. 23, Matthew Tindal (1657–1733), English deist

Note, like the Chesterton item above, this is usually misquoted or given slipped precedence.

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,
December 1770 , John Adams (1735 - 1826), US diplomat & politician

 

The Complete Father Brown
by G.K. Chesterton

Penguin Books Ltd, 1986, 014009766X

$17.62 [amazon.com]

£8.83 [amazon.co.uk]

The Complete Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#pot_pourri_261206

some amazing figures of u.s. democrat selfishness and foolishness

“[...] Republican and Democratic views drew closer once the war began. Majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and independents supported the action through the first two months of the war. Then, sometime during May and June 2003, the trendline of Democratic support fell below 50 percent. It never recovered. Support for the war among independents trended above 50 percent until sometime between January and March 2004. It, too, never recovered. During all this time, however, the trendline in Republican support never sank below 75 percent.

“The partisan gap on support for the Iraq war, Jacobson goes on, "reaches an average of about 63 percentage points in the last quarter of 2004 before narrowing a bit to an average of about 58 percent during 2005." He found that the most radical divergence occurred in an October 2004 Los Angeles Times poll question that asked "whether Bush had made the right decision to go to war, in light of the CIA's report that Saddam had no WMD and no active program to produce them." Ninety percent of the Republicans who answered this question said the war remained the right decision. Ten percent of Democrats agreed.

“More than anything else, the 2004 presidential election was about the war. National Election Survey data show that a person's vote was inextricably tied to whether he thought the war in Iraq had or had not been worth the cost. "In total," Jacobson continues, "89 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans and independents" cast votes consonant with their stance on the war. The polarization trend continued throughout the 2006 election campaign. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press in early November 2006 found that 77 percent of Republicans still agreed that the United States "made the right decision" to use military force against Iraq. Just 20 percent of Democrats agreed that it was the right decision.”

“[...] This was the case when respondents were asked whether they would approve of using U.S. troops to protect oil supplies (10 percent of Democrats said yes versus 41 percent of Republicans), to spread democracy (7 percent versus 53 percent), to destroy a terrorist base (57 percent versus 95 percent), to intervene in a humanitarian disaster such as a genocide or civil war (56 percent versus 61 percent), and to protect American allies under attack (76 percent versus 92 percent) [...].”

What really interests me is more Democrats are more greedy for oil than they are for democracy, while Republicans show the reverse tendency; and that only three-qarters of Democrats would even wish to defend Americans under attack, let alone act to stop genocide or other disasters.

So much for the pseudo-moral posturing of the Left.

“Even more striking is the apparent polarization on democracy promotion. The 2006 Transatlantic Trends survey asked whether the European Union and the United States should help establish democracy in other countries. Sixty-four percent of Republicans said they should; 35 percent of Democrats agreed. The pollsters told respondents to imagine an authoritarian regime in which there is no political or religious freedom. They asked whether the United States and the European Union should take certain actions with regard to such a regime. Asked whether they would support Europe and the United States sending military forces to remove the authoritarian regime, 65 percent of Democrats said they would not support such a policy; 37 percent of Republicans said they would not do so.”

“[...] In 2004 the pollster Scott Rasmussen asked respondents whether America is "generally fair and decent." Eighty-three percent of respondents planning to vote for George W. Bush agreed with that sentiment; only 46 percent of those planning to vote for John Kerry thought so. Rasmussen also asked whether respondents thought the world would be better off if other nations were more like the United States. The data were similar: Eighty-one percent of those planning to vote for Bush thought so; just 48 percent of Kerry voters agreed. When Rasmussen asked the "fair and decent" question again in November 2006, he found similar results.”

Is it possible that Democrats just don’t like America?

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#selfishness_241206

some interesting figures on victimhood in the usa or among ‘blacks’

“[...] Although the unemployment rate among African Americans (in 2002, approximately 11% [15]) has typically been twice the rate among European Americans (app. 5% in the same year[17]), it is still comparable to rates found in France and Spain [18], [5], and is slightly higher than the overall rate of the European Union [6]. When compared to populations outside of the United States and European Union, the collective affluence of African Americans is even more striking and disproportionate. Based on worker income alone (excluding purchasing power parity and extra wealth, both of which would accentuate the comparative affluence of African Americans), African Americans produced $586 billion in 2004[7],[8], slightly smaller than the GDP of Brazil in 2006 (even though Brazil's population is about 5 times the size of the African American one) [9], and approximately 80% the size of Russia's 2005 GDP (even though Russia's population is nearly 4 times the size of the African American one [10]. In 2004 this amount would have been ranked as the 15th largest GDP internationally (out of 177 ranked) [11], compared to a population ranking of 33 in 2005[12].

“In 2005, the populations of Poland and African Americans were roughly equal, but the 2004 earnings of the latter group would have been nearly 2.5 times the size of the former's GDP in 2005[13]. In 2005, the Ukraine's population was approximately 10% larger than the African American population, but its GDP was over 8 times smaller than the 2004 earnings of the latter group. Argentina, arguably the most developed country in Latin American (with an overwhelmingly European population (97%)), has an unemployment rate slightly higher than that of African Americans as a group, the poverty rate is almost twice the rate [14], and the 2004 earnings of African American workers were nearly 3.5 times the size of Argentina's 2005 GDP, even though Argentina's population is slightly larger than the African American population [15]. In Mexico, whose human development index is comparable to those of most former Second World countries, and whose economy ranks as a mid-income one, the poverty rate is twice the rate of African Americans as a group [16], and even though its 2005 population was nearly 3 times the population of African Americans, Mexico's GDP from the same year exceeded the 2004 earnings of African American workers by only 25%[17] [...] ”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#afro_americans_141206

on the circus surrounding the ipswich slimeball

There is a fine lesson in sense and nonsense to be had watching this circus in Suffolk, England.

  1. The reporters, the psychologists etc are talking almost invariable bollox while the police are talking sound measured sense.
    This should be highly instructive to those taken in by psycho-babble

  2. Is this circus a ‘good thing’ on balance?
    1. It gives hints to would-be loonies.
    2. Imitation is a damned nuisance in human behaviour.
    3. Public assistance is obviously useful.

I’d like thoughts on the second issue.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#ipswich_circus_131206

george the robot learns to hunt people! - but so innocent is the report

“ "George, go hide," Schultz orders the robot in a cluttered room at the naval research lab. George's "head" rotates around several times. Computer codes zip by on the monitor as George is thinking.

“Finally, George announces in a mechanical, definitely non-human voice: "I will hide now."

“He ducks behind some boxes and declares: "I made it to the goal."

“Schultz finds George easily. George has a harder time spotting Schultz, but eventually succeeds.”

“[...] George is not a breakthrough. He's an off-the-shelf robot reprogrammed at the Navy Center for Applied Research in Artificial Intelligence, which Schultz directs.”

What a surprise.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#george_robot_011206

slavery and rape are “basic muslim behaviours” according to convicted saudi - the auroran sunset

A few years ago, a well-connected Saudi, Al-Turki, came to America with his wife to do his PhD. Together they imported a twenty-something Indonesian girl ostensibly to be their maid/nanny. The Saudi has now been convicted of keeping her as a slave and sentenced to “20 years to life” in prison. His wife has been deported after paying the victim $64,000 in back pay.

“During the trial, the 24-year- old victim testified that she was brought to Colorado from Saudi Arabia by the Al-Turki family in 2000 and worked and lived with them in Aurora for four years. She worked seven days a week and was paid $150 a month, but Al-Turki and his wife kept most of that money.

“She also testified that Al-Turki took her passport and that he repeatedly sexually abused her.”

Al-Turki had an interesting excuse:

“At his sentencing, Al-Turki said he would not apologize for "things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit."

“"The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors," he told the judge. "Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution."”

It seem the Saudi authorities take a similar view, given what they were putting in the state-controlled media of that country:

“Al-Turki has been portrayed in the Saudi press as a victim of the U.S. judicial system's bias against Muslims. Many Saudis say Al-Turki would not have been convicted in his own country.”

In fact the Saudi government were whipping up such a fuss about the ‘unreasonable’ treatment of Al-Turki that the US State Department sent the Colorado Attorney-General, John Suthers, to Saudi Arabia. There he had to explain to the Saudi royal family, and to Al-Turki’s family, why the American legal system has so extreme a reaction to such petty things as slavery and rape.

“Suthers said he was questioned aggressively by King Abdullah for 3 days about whether Homaidan Al-Turki was treated fairly when he was convicted in Arapahoe County of sexually assaulting an Indonesian maid and keeping her as a virtual slave in his Aurora home.

“"One of the brothers of the defendant that I had met sat through the trial and they simply cannot understand that a jury can give credibility to an Indonesian maid," Suthers said. "And the only possible explanation that is some sort of anti-Muslim bias."”

The Saudi government paid Al-Turki’s bail and probably paid for his lawyers. Al-Turki’s is not the first Saudi family to be convicted of slaving in the US. Supposedly slavery has been illegal in Saudi Arabia since 1962, but apparently not much has changed since. Is this what is meant by the Islamists when they talk of introducing Sharia ‘law’?

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#islamic_slavery_271106

an essay on the long-standing christianist leadership of scientific progress

“Most Christians will deny it, but there is a long tradition of warfare between science and Christianity. The source of this conflict stems from the fact that both attempt to do the same thing: to explain the world around us, and offer solutions to our problems. The difference between these two attempts is basically one of age. Religion comprises very old explanations and solutions; science, newer ones. And because they differ, they enter into conflict.

“For example, all human societies have attempted to answer the question: "Where do we come from?" In ancient Israel, the answer was God and Creation, as described in the book of Genesis. But as human knowledge has advanced and grown, different explanations have arisen: namely, the Big Bang and evolution. Because people loathe being proven wrong, the appearance of new explanations has been threatening, and they react with hostility to these rival accounts.

“The threat was all the greater for the Christian Church, because it prided itself on being the source of All Truth, guided by an omniscient God. (The term "Christian Church" in this essay refers to its spiritual leaders, leading theologians, writers of sacred canon, and any members defending the orthodox or fundamentalist viewpoint.) Being proven wrong on any count therefore had disastrous implications for the Church, not only because it undermined its authority, but its political and economic power as well. Not surprisingly, the Church moved energetically against scholars attempting to make scientific progress, branding their work as "heresy" and persecuting them to the fullest extent that they could. The full range of the Church's actions included harassment, discrimination, censorship, slander, scorn, abuse, threats, persecution, forced recantations, torture and burning at the stake. The list of great scientists opposed by the Church reads like a Who's Who of Science: Copernicus, Bruno, Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Halley, Darwin, Hubble, even Bertrand Russell. At no time has the Church been on the cutting edge of science -- it has opposed virtually all scientific progress for nearly 2,000 years. And Protestants would prove to be just as hostile to science as Catholics.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#scientific_progress_261106

interesting summary taking apart moonbat vanities

Worth ploughing through.

“Now, picture yourself in this chair, at 40,000 feet, travelings at one and a half times the speed of sound. Now imagine that someone has painted the windows white - you are flying on instruments. Now imagine that not only do you have to be able to fly blind, by referencing these instruments, but that you also have to stare into that orange jack-o-lantern of a radar, and interpret a squiggle that will lead you to your target. Now imagine that in addition to not hitting the ground, or your wingman, and watching the squiggle, you also have to turn those switches on the right side panel to activate weapons systems, to overcome enemy countermeasures... without looking outside, as you hurtle through air at -40 degrees F, air so thin that should you lose pressure, you have about 4-6 seconds of consciousness before you black out and die.

“I maintain that the instant George W. Bush closed that canopy and took off on the first of his many solo hours in an F-102, it is quite impossible that he was either an idiot or a coward.”

“What I do see are barbarian forces closing in and sacking Rome because the Romans no longer had the will to defend themselves. Payments of tribute to the barbarian hordes only funded the creation of larger and better-armed hordes. The depredations of Viking Raiders throughout Northern Europe produced much in the way of ransom payments. The more ransom that was paid, the more aggressive and warlike the Vikings became. Why? Because it was working, thatÂ’s why. And why not? Bluster costs nothing. If you can scare a person into giving you his hard-earned wealth, and suffer no loss in return, well then you my friend have hit the Vandal Jackpot. On the other hand, if you are, say, the Barbary Pirates, raiding and looting and having a grand time of it all, and across the world sits a Jefferson - you know, Mr. Liberty and Restraint - who has decided he has had enough and sends out an actual Navy to track these bastards down and sink them all" well, suddenly raiding and piracy is not such a lucrative occupation. So, contrary to doomsayers throughout history, the destruction of the Barbary Pirates did not result in the recruitment of more Pirates. The destruction of the Barbary Pirates resulted in the destruction of the Barbary Pirates.

“And it is just so with terrorism. When the results of terrorism do the terrorist more harm than good, terrorism will go away. We need to harm these terrorists, not reward them, if we ever expect to see the end of them.” [Quoted from ejectejecteject.com]

[link from Limbic]

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#moonbat_madness_231106

or is it ‘researchers’ getting the results they believe in?

[With some graphs]

Does religion make you ‘good’? Or ‘happy’? Or does being ‘bad’ make you religious? Or does pre-occupation with sex and death warp your mind?

“Despite the best efforts of "pro-life" Americans, abortion rates are much higher in our Christian nation, and lowest in relatively secular ones such as Japan, France, and the Scandinavian countries (Figures 3 and 4). In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies (Figures 5 and 6). This would seem to indicate that there is a positive correlation between religiosity and dysfunctionality, but what does that mean?

“The question is one of causation, and there is no clear answer. Whether religion leads directly to dysfunctionality, or religions merely flourish in dysfunctional societies, neither conclusion from this study flatters religion. The first tells us that religion is a hindrance to the development of moral character, and the second that religion hinders progress by distracting us from our troubles (with imaginary solutions to real problems). This study is complicated enough that I do not think that we can draw definitive negative conclusions about religion. But we can at least conclude, contrary to popular belief in this country, that it is not a given that religious societies are better, healthier, or more moral. What we can be clear about from this study is that highly religious societies can be dysfunctional, whereas by comparison secular societies in which evolution is largely accepted display real social cohesion and societal well-being. As is always the case in science, more data and additional research will help clarify our conclusions.” [Quoted from skeptic.com]

Yet what about this?

“The book's basic findings are that conservatives who practice religion, live in traditional nuclear families and reject the notion that the government should engage in income redistribution are the most generous Americans, by any measure.

“Conversely, secular liberals who believe fervently in government entitlement programs give far less to charity. They want everyone's tax dollars to support charitable causes and are reluctant to write checks to those causes, even when governments don't provide them with enough money.” [Quoted from beliefnet.com]

Is it penance for naughty thoughts? Or is it researchers getting the results they believe in!! skeptic.com? beliefnet.com?

related material
Intelligence: misuse and abuse of statistics
Statistical inquiries into the efficacy of prayer: Francis Galton

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#religion_morality_221106

basic advice on choosing schools and on educating ‘your’ child from abelard

When choosing a school, your prime data is to watch behaviour in the ‘play’ground.

Try to assess the competence of the headmaster. Also how long they have been in place.

Watch what is going on in classrooms, if they’ll let you.

I don’t start the way around most others do: I first ask the prospective pupil what they want to do. And I discuss with them as far as possible. If the individual says they want to leave a school, that is what I do or advise.

If they want to go to the school on Monday... and they are tearing their hair out by Friday.... Listen up!

Treat the schools like shops: if they don’t give service, why go there?

Sometimes the young just want to go to school in order to mix with others. Again, listen! ...And still educate them for academic skills at home:

“You go to school to play, you come home to work!”

And,

“You don’t want to go to school? That is your choice... But whichever way, you work.”

Remember, the more they are with outside peers, the more they will pick up the behaviour of those groups. “Eternal vigilance”, sayeth the lord!

There is no reason you can’t supervise their education to GCSE level, if you are sufficiently motivated and can devote a reasonable amount of time to it. Remember that it is the student’s job to learn - you are just there to help and guide.

You may be able to work with other interested parents. You can also usually find tutors at sufficient cost, but most of them are no geniuses.

Concentrate on reading skills. That includes library use and use of dictionaries, references, indexes, etc. Concentrate on basic maths: without it the sciences are a blank wall.

Get the individuals to do as much of the work for themselves as possible, for example reading and doing test papers. Among other matters it teaches them self-reliance rather than expecting to be spoon-fed.

You are able to enter them for the exams yourself - you don’t need a school to do it for you.

Most ‘teachers’ seek quick ‘results’ in preference to laying sound foundations. That way they can ‘show’ that Johnny ‘passed’ this or that, which is what drives the ‘teachers’.

Laying sound foundations means that the individual can sail through the hoops as a side issue when the time comes, as long as the appropriate fact-stuffing is checked in time for the exams.

It’d be useful if you could send them to a school one or two days a week, but the idiots usually scream and scream and scream until they make themselves sick... And you sick.

The schools and government busybodies just love interfering. Be reticent and don’t commit yourself to things you are not fully happy with. Look forward to visits from incompetent jobsworths, who will desperately want to be taken seriously - something that you will probably find very difficult to do!

related material
citzenship curriculum

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#schools_education_061114

successful but negative behaviours, differences between europe and the usa

“"The American way" is human and thus imperfect, but the European way leaves you well and truly stuffed, like a dead parrot after a trip to the taxidermist. In the end, hard wars are won on the hardest ground--at home. Whatever changes America makes in its foreign policy and transnational relationships, the home front is critical. You can't win a war of civilizational confidence with a population of nanny-state junkies. Take Brian Reade's [Daily Mirror (London), November 5, 2004] list of America deformities--gun-totin', sister-marryin', foreigner-despisin', etc. It goes without saying that that's why I supported Bush in 2004 [...]. Mr. Reade, though, does usefully enumerate the distinctions that separate the American republic from the rest of the West, differences that will become even more important in the years ahead.”

“The British TV historian Simon Schama defined the Bush/Kerry divide as "Godly America" and "Worldly America," hailing the latter as "pragmatic, practical, rational, and skeptical"--which is, naturally, exactly the wrong way around: it's the Christian fundamentalists, Holy Rollers, born-again Bible Belters, and Jesus freaks of Godly America who are rational and skeptical, especially of Euro-delusions. It's secular Europe that's living on faith. Uncowed by Islamists, undeferential to government, unshriveled in its birth rates, redneck America is a more reliable long-term bet.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#europe_usa_111106

the fossil media says bush lied about wmds... - the auroran sunset

In the run up to the liberation of the Iraqi people from Saddam’s reign of terror, the moonbat left and their friends in the fossil media told us not to do it. One ‘reason’ they gave for their idiocy and cowardice was that Saddam would use his chemical and biological weapons on our troops.

Following our successful dismantlement of the Baath Socialist oppression machine, the left changed their ‘reasons’ for not supporting the Iraqi people's right to live free and vote. For three years we have heard about how Saddam in fact had no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) and Bush lied in order to persuade us dupes to arrest the mass murderer of Baghdad. The moonbats further dishonestly claimed WMDs as the only reason for our freeing the long-suffering Iraqi people.

*Sigh*. What can one expect from socialists and jihadists, but dishonesty, idiocy and opportunism?

When the Coalition of the Willing went into Iraq, we found a lot of interesting bits of paper. Tens of thousands of documents. The job of translating and processing those documents is nowhere near complete. In order to help with that enormous task, Congress set up a website [currently offline thanks to the NYT] and started releasing documents for an army of interested peoples to translate and study.

The bloggers have already found many interesting things, including evidence of Saddam-Bin Laden-Al Qaeda links going back to the mid-nineties, continuing research on ricin production in 2002, continuing work on delivery systems for chemical and biological weapons in 2002, and the use of “trusted news agencies” (CNN is mentioned) to spread lies to the effect that Saddam had reeeeeeeeeally reformed, honest!

Now the New York Times has got in on the act. The NYT claim to have ‘authenticated’ a large number of documents, apparently including those mentioned above. Of course, this being the ever ‘balanced’ New York Times, they are trying to use the documents as a dishonest cudgel with which to damage Bush. Their methodology is amusingly obtuse:-

First they claimed Bush set up the website for the released Iraqi documents. In reality it was Congress - you can’t blame something on Bush if it wasn’t him who did it! Then they point to documentation of Saddam’s atomic weapons program and claim that that documentation is so detailed that making it public is damaging national security.

Got that? Saddam’s nuclear weapons program was so advanced that documentation of it can act as easy blueprints for nefarious characters! The NYT also claim that:

“Among the dozens of documents in English were Iraqi reports written in the 1990s and in 2002 for United Nations inspectors in charge of making sure Iraq had abandoned its unconventional arms programs after the Persian Gulf war. Experts say that at the time, Mr. Hussein's scientists were on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away.

As you can see, the NYT article is sufficiently badly written that it is a toss up as to whether they meant the above to refer to “in the 1990s” or to “2002”. If the latter, does this mean that the New York Times and the rest of the moonbats were lying when they claimed that Bush lied in suggesting something similar? In fact, Bush didn’t make any such flat claim - that is but one more of the oft-repeated lies of the fossil media and moonbat left, but let’s not worry about minor details like facts!

The NYT have complained to Congress about the weapons program documents - not to Bush as it isn’t him running the site! :-) - and have got the site yanked for the moment.

To recap:-

  1. “Don't arrest Saddam because he might use WMDs on us.”
  2. “No actually, Saddam didn’t have WMDs - Bush lied, people died.”
  3. “Well actually Saddam’s atomic weapons program was so advanced that he could make a nuclear bomb in about a year.”
  4. “Quick cover up the evidence because it might be bad for our reputation!”
  5. “Sorry, I mean it might be bad for ‘national security’. We at the New York Times really peally care about national security. That why we made public the government’s secret program tracking Al Qaeda’s financial transactions. We care you see.”

One must give these moonbats credit for their brazen bare-faced frigorated cheek!

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/behaviour0611.php#fossil_media_wmds_061103