Saturday, January 19, 2008

Real ID: fighting it in Pennsylvania!

I've had quite a lot of positive reaction to my letter published in the Inquirer yesterday regarding the Real ID scam.

One e-mail I received had a lot of information about a move in the Pennsylvania legislature to block implementation of DHS's latest boondoggle and I'd like to pass it along.

An admirer of my letter writes:

"Sam Rohrer, (R) 128th district-PA, has been WAY out front on this topic, even publishing a 4 page glossy newsletter informing his constituents of its imminent danger. He is co-sponsoring legislation in the PA House that will have PA opt out of the federal Real ID mandates. He needs supporters. I would encourage you to email him at They are forming an alliance of conservative repubs and dems along with the ACLU to block the implementation of this act. Yes, the ACLU and conservatives have formed an alliance!

As a side, the PA Dept of Transportation has been using 24 bit digital cameras since October 2006 for collecting images to be used on driver’s licenses. It has now come to light that this 24 bit technology is being used to map your face with 15 key biometric points. PennDOT, with the blessing of Governor Rendell, has been quietly shipping this biometric data to a company called LS2 in New York State . LS2 has a contract to collect this data and it will be sent to the new underground FBI biometric data center in Clarksburg , WV .

(see link to Washington Post article) .

. . . It is illegal to collect your DNA or fingerprint information without a warrant or arrest, but Governor Rendell’s position has been that there is no PA Statute governing the collection facial biometric data, so he is thumbing his nose at the law. And ALL of this is being promoted by Michael Chertoff, DHS Director, who has a financial stake in a company that assists states in the Real ID Act implementation."

John Yoo waging lie-fare against the American people.

John "torture memo" Yoo is a real funny guy. In an Op-Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer (aka a fifth-rate right wing rag) he writes that terrorists (actually American lawyers, same thing really) are using the courts to "harass the men and women in our government, force the revelation of valuable intelligence and press novel theories." [He's one to talk about "novel theories!"] These "terrorists" by bringing suits against members of the Bush administration, the ones who had a hand in violating their client's constitutional rights, are simply fifth columnists for al-Qaeda who are conducting "lawfare" against the United States (i.e. members of the Bush administration accused of war crimes).

That's rich!

Surely, anyone who would dare defend the likes of Jose Padilla, Yoo contends, is working for al-Qaeda. Remember, he warns, "Padilla is no innocent:" Not only was he convicted of working for al-Qaeda in Miami (home of the dumbest jurors in the world) but "the conviction did not even address his detention in 2002 at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on allegations that he returned from Afghanistan to carry out a 'dirty bomb' attack on a major U.S. city."

The way Yoo makes it sound like this guy was so guilty that the government didn’t even have a chance to get around to charging him with the dirty bomb thing. The fact is, the government detained an American citizen at a military brig for three years without any charges and denied him recourse to the right of Habeas Corpus, the 700 year-old common law protection against being detained without charge.

For good measure, Yoo adds that a court in South Carolina upheld his detention but omits the fact that Alberto "waterboard" Gonzales and his masters were afraid that the Supreme Court was on the verge of blowing all Yoo's crackpot legal theories out of the water, so the government decided to hastily charge Padilla and combine his case with two other al-Qaeda suspects with Arab names. The government's case against Padilla rested solely the evidence of Padilla's finger prints on an al-Qaeda job application.

But, forget about all that, it's all in the past, we're at war damn it, something Padilla's lawyers and the foes of the president [i.e. the terrorists] don't understand. Padilla and Salim Hamdan and all those "worst of the worst" types at Gitmo are all of sudden prisoners of war, not enemy combatants, after all. Yoo informs us that "capturing prisoners has been a permanent feature of war throughout human history. . . Sometimes, unfortunately, the enemy has included U.S. citizens --- in the Civil War, every Confederate soldier was a citizen."

What Yoo seems to forget is that Confederate soldiers, until the very end of the war, were regularly paroled after a number of weeks in exchange for U.S. prisoners. They weren't held in solitary confinement for years on end while being bombarded with loud music, exposed to extremes in temperatures and waterboarded to within an inch of their lives. And his contention that the taking of prisoners is specious anyway, because prisoners of war have legal rights, the very rights Yoo's various memos and legal musings have been denying them all along. (You can't have it both ways, John!)

Yoo makes the outrageous assertion that by Padilla's lawyers going after him and his co-conspirators in the courts is equivalent to Abraham Lincoln being made to worry about being held legally liable for issuing the Emancipation Proclamation on his sole authority as Commander-in-Chief. [That plow won't scow, John!] This neatly aligns the GWOT and all its abuses, fully enabled by him and his wacky legal theories, with the freeing of the slaves. And, as if that's not chutzpa enough, Yoo writes that by making "soldiers, agents and officers who have to respond to the next 9/11" have to "worry about personal liability [and] hiring lawyers" lawsuits create "exactly the conditions that make a nation susceptible to a surprise attack, whether a Pearl Harbor or a 9/11."

Apparently, this is a nation of men, not laws anymore. In John Yoo's brave new world seeking to hold him and his cronies accountable for breaking the law is tantamount to attacking the United States, a la 9/11. One might argue that if these "soldiers, agents and officers" weren't breaking the law, they'd have nothing to worry about, but ultimately soldiers don't make the rules, they just follow them. Yoo is attempting to muddy the waters in order to shield himself in the name of protecting out troops (how low can you go?). Yoo signed off on the rules and he's responsible for the all the deleterious consequences that have befallen our once great nation, considered now to be a pariah nation by many around the world.

If we don't hold the likes of Yoo and Cheney's Rasputin David Addington to account for the egregious abuses and rampant violations of the law they've overseen these past seven years, then we might as well just pack it up and get used to living in a country that locks up its citizens on a whim and rewards those that prey on them with a forum in newspapers to propagate their self-serving justifications.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The drop in abortions, the new baby boom and W.'s big bill coming due.

The NYT reports:

"In a statement before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, the official, Emilio T. Gonzalez, the director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, said that from now until 2010 the agency would take an average of 18 months to process petitions from legal immigrants for citizenship, up from 7 months or less last year. Visas for permanent residents sponsored by relatives in the United States will take one year, up from the current average of six months or less, he said. . . Under questioning from subcommittee members, Mr. Gonzalez said he could not guarantee that immigrants who applied to become citizens last summer would be naturalized in time to vote in the November elections." [My italics]

Gosh, that's a real shocker. I mean, which party might the majority of these immigrants be most likely to vote for? The GOP, right? The Party that hates immigrants. No?

Well, I say let them wait, it looks like Mike Huckabee is going to get his way and we won't have to worry about filling all our low-wage jobs with foreigners.

Remember, Huckabee, the candidate running for the GOP nomination for president (fyi all you immigrants out there) said just recently that if it weren't for all those abortions in the 70's due to Roe v. Wade we'd have enough red blooded underclass Americans to pick our fruit, vegetables and to clean our hotel rooms.

He said: "Sometimes we talk about why we're importing so many people in our workforce. It might be for the last 35 years, we have aborted more than a million people who would have been in our workforce had we not had the holocaust of liberalized abortion under a flawed Supreme Court ruling in 1973." [Thanks John Seery]

Looks like that holocaust has run its course, though.

AP reports:

"The number of abortions in the United States fell to 1.2 million in 2005, down 25 percent from the all-time high of 1.6 million in 1990, dropping the abortion rate to its lowest level since 1974, a report says. The Guttmacher Institute, which surveyed abortion providers nationwide, said there were probably several reasons for the decline, including more effective use of contraceptives, lower levels of unintended pregnancy and greater difficulty obtaining abortions in some places."

I'm thinking greater diffculty in obtaining abortions was probably the leading cause. In conjunction with this decline in abortions is a new baby boom.

The Daily Telegraph reports:

"The figure for 2006 - nearly 4.3 million births - was the largest number born in the US since 1961. The rise was due mostly to a bigger population, especially a growing number of Hispanics [ahg!], but non-Hispanic white women and other racial groups were also having more babies [whew!]. . . The American rate - the number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime - has reached 2.1, the 'magic number' cited by economists as necessary for a population to replace itself. Experts cite various reasons for the US increase, including a decline in contraceptive use, falling access to abortion, poor education and poverty."

Hey, that's just great! The only reason we've been somewhat able to keep a lid on crime and manage to keep the already overwhelmed public school system from not completely melting down is because there were all those extra poor kids who weren't born. Now we've got a whole bunch of extra kids coming down the pike who are going to need medical care, education and, in about 20 years, they're not only going to be using our already crumbling infrastructure but they're going to need jobs. too.

Something is telling me with the strain on our already rickety economy and with the bill for the older baby boomers' coming due, there's going to be hell to pay. Keep in mind the bill for the Iraq war is also in the mail to the tune of some 1 trillion dollars. Linda Bilmes and Joseph E. Stiglitz estimate that by using "current and expected troop deployment to make a reasonable projection of the likely costs. . . Looking purely at direct budgetary costs to the taxpayer, we estimate that the total cost of the Iraq war is in the range of $750 billion to $1.1 trillion."

Remember, the hundreds of thousands of 20 year-old vets from the Iraq War, suffering with amputations, PTSDs and Traumatic Brain Injury (the most common injury of the war) will in twenty years only be slightly half way through their lives and still in need of government assistance.

How are we going to pay for all of this? Ask the Chinese? The Kuwaitis? Make another call to Singapore?

Bush announces shot in the ass. Market tumbles.

AP reports:

"WASHINGTON - President Bush, acknowledging the risk of recession, embraced about $145 billion worth of tax relief Friday to give the economy a 'shot in the arm.'"

Upon this news, the market took a nose dive. But it's not like there's anything seriously wrong with our financial system or anything. He's just doing this because "There is a risk of a downturn."

Just because three of the five largest banks in the country have lost almost a trillion dollars in value and they've had to go cup in hand to countries like Singapore and Kuwait for a bail-out shouldn't make anyone think we're in any kind of trouble. And the stock market loses over the past few days are merely a blip. I'm sure minutes after W. spoke this morning the market re-bounded.


AP reports:

"NEW YORK - Wall Street resumed its downward trek Friday as skittish investors, unable to hold on to much optimism about the economy, drew little comfort from President Bush's stimulus plan. Investors had already pulled back from a big early gain, with the major indexes trading mixed as Bush began to speak. By the time the president finished announcing a plan for about $145 billion worth of tax relief, the indexes were well into negative territory. . . With the banking industry trying to fix its shrinking portfolios and preparing for more distress in consumer debt, the economy may only have the government to fall back on — and Wall Street didn't hear enough from Bush Friday to placate investors." [My itlaics]

What ever happened to the theory that anything the government could do business could do a hundred times better? Now that these investors and banking mogols have royally fucked things up and taken us all down with them, all in the name of stupidity and greed, now they're unhappy the government isn't doing more!

Talk about chutzpa!

W.'s new plan calls for the government to put about $150 billion, or 1% of GDP, into the economy by giving out $100 billion in tax refunds to individuals and $50 billion to business, the ones who drove us into this ditch in the first place). W. says he's "Letting Americans keep more of their money should increase consumer spending."

Right. That's what he said about his tax cuts for the rich, and how did that work out?

How far is $150 billion going to go between several tens of millions of tax paying Americans, anyway? I remember, back in the 90's I got one of those checks from W. & co. which was for about $300. That went right into my rent and I still owed another $300! Big whoop!

Seems to me, the way things normally go, that $50 to big business will wind up going a lot further towards feathering their own nests. W. claims giving money to his rich mucky muck base will an "incentive to invest now will encourage business owners to expand their operations, create new jobs and inject new energy into our economy in the process."

And I've got some land in Florida I'd like to sell you!

No matter what happens with the economy over the next you know who's going to take it in the jaw. Those of us working for a living.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

UFOs in Texas?

AP reports:

"STEPHENVILLE -- In this farming community where nightfall usually brings clear, starry skies, residents are abuzz over reported sightings of what many believe is a UFO. Several dozen people -- including a pilot, county constable and business owners -- insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it."

NPR reports:

"Pilot Steve Allen saw the object when he was out clearing brush off a hilltop near the town of Silden. Allen described the unidentified object as being an enormous aircraft with flashing strobe lights — and it was totally silent. He said the UFO sped away at more than 3,000 mph, followed by two fighter jets that were hopelessly outmaneuvered. Allen said it took the aircraft just a few seconds to cross a section of sky that it takes him 20 minutes to fly in his Cessna. The veteran pilot said the UFO, an estimated half-mile wide and a mile long, was "bigger than a Wal-Mart."

Of course, all these people are nuts, right? What would a pilot know about observing something flying in the air?

I found a PDF file on 1300+ reports from civilian and military pilots over the past fifty years compiled by the NARCAP which points out that:

"Training and experience make pilots and crews much more reliable witnesses than others. They are used to unusual meteorological phenomenons. They have the added advantage of being able to approach the phenomenon. Sometimes they can even overfly the object, observing it between themselves and the earth below. Military pilots are trained to estimate distances,
shapes and speed of flying machines. Sometimes, pilots’ sightings are confirmed by radar detection, observers on the ground (control tower personnel, Ground Observer Corps, civilians."

What about radar detection? I haven't read any news of what the local airport saw in the past week over Stephenville. Some flak from the Air Force flak can say "I'm 90 percent sure this was an airliner," or it was the glint of the sun playing tricks on people, all the usual BS, and they can claim they didn't scramble fighters, even though a bunch of people saw them, but did air traffic controlers see anything? I'm sure any record by now is already on its way to some vault somewhere at Langley or something.

As USAF Capt. Edward J. Ruppelt is quoted as saying in 1956:

" . . . Of these (UFO) reports, the radar-visual sightings are the most convincing. When a ground radar picks up a UFO target and a ground observer sees a light where the radar target is located, then a jet interceptor is scrambled to intercept the UFO and the pilot also sees the light and gets a radar lock only to have the UFO almost impudently outdistance him, there is no simple answer. . ."

Oh, sure there is, those 40 or so people in Stephanville who think they saw something are cleary deranged.

You know, I ran out this morning to check this story out in the Inquirer, but here was nothing, so then I schlepped down to the Wawa to get the NYT and, again, there was nothing. I guess this is the kind of news that's not fit to print.

These folks apparently saw something. What leads to me to believe their story is the Air Force denial.

It's a cover up! Roswell, Roswell!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

War with Iran off the table? Don't bet on it.

Since Dec. 3, when the Intelligence Community delivered the bombshell in its latest NIE that Iran mothballed its nuclear weapons program in 2003, any discussion in the media of W. & Co. starting another war in the Middle East has pretty much dried up. The consensus of all the "experts" nowadays is that the same administration that brought us Saddam's WMD would find it politically impossible to launch an attack on Iran, not only because of the lack of nukes but because the US military is already stretched almost beyond the breaking point with its heavy commitments of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Starting another war now would be total lunacy, so the thinking goes. Surely, this administration with slightly more credibility than the boy who cried wolf with just a little more than a year to go in office wouldn't dare try to pull another pre-emptive adventure at this late date. Not only would such a move likely risk what little "progress" is being made in Iraq, but it would also enflame the entire region from Lebanon to Pakistan, dash W.'s dreams of securing his legacy as the great peace maker in the Arab/Israeli conflict and would surely doom any chance the Republicans have of holding on to the White House; even possibly keeping the GOP out of power in Washington for at least another generation.

Such reasoned thinking by the reality based community, however, presupposes that W. & Co. subscribe to Sanity Fair magazine. Proof that they do not comes in the current edition of NEWSWEEK in which Michael Hirsh reports that W., unsurprisingley, isn't buying what his own Intelligence Community is selling. Hirsh writes that during his private meetings with Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, W. "all but disowned the document [the NIE], said an administration official who accompanied Bush on his six-nation trip to the Mideast. 'He told Israeli officials that he can't control what the intelligence community says, but that the [NIE's] conclusions don't reflect his own views' about Iran's nuclear weapons program." (Don't confuse W. with the facts, he generally gets his Intel from the big guy upstairs when it comes to launching biblical conflagrations.)

In fact, when W. briefed Olmert on the NIE before the Annapolis meeting in November he "told Olmert he was uncomfortable with the findings and seemed almost apologetic." Hirsh writes that Bush has signaled our allies in the region that he still considers Iran a threat and thinks that the NIE is "a dead letter." So much for the theory that W. is done starting new wars.

How far will W. go to start a war?

W.'s big misadventure to the Middle East began with the story line that he was going to Israel and Palestine to "nudge" the two sides to bury the hatchet and settle all their outstanding issues. He made some not so pleasing noises to Israeli ears about Israel having to end its 40-year occupation (no doubt with his fingers crossed behind his back) and said he was optimistic he'd have the whole thing wrapped up by the time he leaves office next year.

After having solved the Arab/Israeli conflict in short order, something the Saudis in particular were anxious for him to do, it was on to the Gulf nations and the real reason for his trip, cutting Iran down to size. Even after he brought the Saudis a few billion dollars worth of weapons sales, though, he still couldn't get any of the Arabs to sign on the dotted line for, at least, their acquiescence for a US attack on Iran. Hannah Allam of the McClatchy newspapers writes today that he pretty much came away empty handed.

"Arab critics deemed Bush's peace efforts unrealistic, his ant-Iran remarks dangerous, and his praise of authoritarian governments disappointing, and his defense of civil liberties ironic." Ouch!

The main point W. seems to be missing about his Arab friends is that they have to live next door to Iran. They don't want to get caught in W.'s crossfire. Another factor, as Allam points out, is that, "Iranian investors play vital roles in the economies of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq."

With that in mind, it's probably not a big surprise that W.'s oft repeated remarks about keeping all options on the table regarding Iran -- though naturally he's prefer a diplomatic solution, that and a dime will buy him a cup of coffee -- spooked our oily allies. That, and the nonsense going on all week involving the US Navy the Iranians, which seems to have backfired on him.

In connection with this, I found the timing of the "confrontation" between three US Navy warships and five Iranian speed boats in the Strait of Hormuz just two days before he began his trip to the Mideast kind of interesting. What a fortunate coincidence Iran decided to pull something like this just as W. was about to visit all the important capitals in the Gulf trying to convince our Arab friends to hop aboard the war train before it leaves the station. The threat to their oil sales posed by a potentially violent confrontation in the Strait of Hormuz was just what the doctor ordered to help focus the Gulf state's attention on the "threat" of Iran to the entire world.

Monkey business in the Gulf?

Unfortunately for W. & Co., despite their best efforts to turn this into another Pearl Harbor, as the facts have begun to trickle out about what really happened in the Strait on Jan. 6th, it's become to appear more and more like the farce it really was. Not that this prevented the administration from keeping the story of Iran's "provocative act" alive the whole time he's been in the region.

The media, naturally, lapped it up. Numerous articles in the press whipped up the hysteria over this non-incident that featured Iranian speed boats "swarming" three US warships -- only one of which would have been needed to easily blast the Iranians to Allah without much effort -- and a mysterious radio message that supposedly threatened to blow someone up "in minutes." According to Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrel, "No one in the military has said the transmissions emanated from those boats," [WaPo] but you sure would have got that impression listening to anyone the Pentagon trotted out to talk about it.

Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, no less, said even if the threatening message didn't come from the boats their behavior was still "overt and very threatening." And, although, he couldn't prove where the message come from he decided to take a major leap and speculate -- just for laughs -- that it might have come from the shore which he said would show a new level of Iranian tactical sophistication. (Uh huh.)

Or not . . . It turns out now that the source of the message was probably one or more radio pranksters in the Gulf known collectively to those who ply the Gulf on a regular basis as the "Filipino Monkey." Ivan Watson reported on this a few days back on ATC and Robin Wright reports in the WaPo today that since 1982 navy ships traveling through the Gulf have been "taunted by mysterious radio transmissions that are alternately obscene, nonsensical, racist, infantile, misogynistic, and menacing. Some times they have threatened U.S. ships; other times they have simply babbled away, all night, in falsettos." (Clearly, a provocation worthy of "serious consequences" for Iran.)

Not that any of this talk about Filipino Monkey business is deterring the Pentagon from continuing to imply that the transmission came from the Iranians. The LA Times reported on Monday that the 5th Fleet held a press conference with the commanders of two of the three US ships involved, one of whom said that though the transmission "may have been a coincidence . . [it] was taken seriously because it came at the same time Iranian vessels swarmed the American fleet."

Yet another spokesperson for the 5th Fleet Cndr. Lydia Robertson quoted in Wright's article today says, "While we don't know where the transmissions came from, we do believe it is related to the aggregate of actions. It could be a coincidence, but it would be a pretty significant coincidence in the midst of five boats speeding rapidly." (That's why they call them coincidences Lydia!)

Imagine, the mighty US 5th Fleet getting cranked by a bunch of numbskulls with a CB radio! You tax payer dollars at work again America!

As I mentioned, the reporting on this story has been spotty at best. One AP story on Jan. 9 reported this was "an unusual flare-up of U.S.-Iranian tensions in the Persian Gulf." That was followed on the 12th by a Bloomberg story which revealed that this wasn't the first time after all that the US and Iran had mixed it up in the Strait. In fact, the Navy said that this latest round was actually the third time in the last month.


"The earlier incidents occurred Dec. 19 and Dec. 22, according to Navy Lt. Joe Holstead, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla. In the Dec. 19 incident, one U.S. warship, the Whidbey Island, fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel to turn it away, Holstead said."

It would seem to me the fact that a U.S. ship actually felt it was under enough of a threat to fire a few shots across the bow of an Iranian boat would constitute a much more serious situation. It's sort of odd that the Pentagon kept this little tidbit under its hat until W. was already well into his trip. Why weren't the Pentagon's army of spokespeople falling all over themselves to talk about this last month? Obviously, since they didn't find the Whidbey Island incident sufficiently important to mention until almost a month after the fact, one has to wonder about the motivations for bringing it up now.

This is not to say the Persian Gulf isn't dangerous to our ships, the Iranians did take British sailors and Marines hostage last year, no one is saying the US Navy shouldn't be vigilant as they transit the Strait, but really me thinks the lady doth protest too much in this case. The Navy shouldn't be enabling W.'s political shenanigans and should stay focused on the job at hand -- protecting the world's oil supply.

One thing in particular Admiral Mullen should be worrying a lot about is Iran's little fast boats. He said himself that the fast boat is "clearly strategically where the Iranian military has gone," and you can see why. There's no way they'd ever be able to challenge the US Navy with a conventional fleet, so they've gone for the tactic of mosquito bites. Enough mosquitos can bring down an elephant, or one Russian 3M82 Moskit anti-ship missile launched off one of these boats could turn one of our Aegis destroyers or aircraft carriers into one big burning hulk of a navigational hazard in the middle of Strait of Hormuz, very cheaply and without much real effort.

There's some food for thought the Brains-Trust at the Pentagon should consider before signing on to W.'s personal crusade to knock-off another one of Israel's regional foes. Sure, our Sheikhy allies in the region would love to see a $200 barrel of oil, but our Admirals might find themselves on the unemployment line without any ships to command.

,, ,

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Freedom Agenda, makes another appearance, soon to be forgotten.

The LA Times reports that yesterday during his visit to our good firends the UAE he spoke to "an audience of government officials, business executives, academics and students assembled by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, a think tank," about the danger of Iran.

Bush, after dispensing with the usual boiler plate, calling Iran the "world's leading state sponsor of terror," he did a slight reprise of his ""freedom agenda" declaring a "new era" for countries from Morroc to Pakistan "founded on the equality of all people before God." He didn't say which God, I guess you can leave that up to your imagination.

This new era, W. said, should be built "with the understanding that power is a trust that must be exercised with the consent of the governed - and deliver equal justice under the law."

Right, like in Egypt, where his buddy Hosni Mubarak has Ayman Nour under lock and key with hardly a peep out of W.'s administration. Or our good firends the Kuwaiti royal family. After going to all that trouble to restore all that oil to them you'd think they would have at least made some sort of pretence of becoming democratic, but no go.

And the Saudis, who W. is visiting right now, what about them? While he's siging them up for several billions of American tax payer dollars worth of weapons, including guided missile systems, how about taking in one of the festivities at one of their infamous chop shops? Too bad W. didn't arrive on a Friday!

FOX reported:

"After dropping to 38 last year, the figure [for beheadings in Saudi Arabai] for 2007 is already at least 102, including three women, according to Amnesty International. Beheading has always been the punishment meted out to murderers, rapists, drug traffickers and armed robbers in Saudis Arabia. . . Saudi authorities, facing sustained criticism from foreign human rights groups, insist they are simply enforcing God's law."

Oh, that's the God who deliver's equal justice to all.
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