Daily Archives: January 7, 2008

Ex-KGB spy Putin has no soul: Clinton

President Clinton meets with President Putin in Brussels, June, 2000

The Australian | Jan 7, 2008

DEMOCRATIC White House hopeful Hillary Clinton joked Sunday Russian President Vladimir Putin, as an ex-KGB agent, had no soul, in the latest swipe at Russia from the 2008 campaign trail.

The former first lady mused on the Russian leader’s spiritual chemistry as she savaged President George W. Bush here for his tactic of trying to forge warm personal bonds with foreign leaders.

“This is the president that looked into the soul of Putin, I could have told him, he was a KGB agent, by definition he doesn’t have a soul, I mean this is a waste of time, right, this is nonsense,” Clinton said at a campaign rally.

Clinton, battling rival Barack Obama ahead of tomorrow’s New Hampshire primary, complained Bush had put too much emphasis on forging personal relationships with foreign leaders.

“I just don’t think that’s the way a great country engages in diplomacy. Yes, you might have good relationships, but most leaders are not going to make decisions based on their personal relationships,” she said.

Bush famously said after his first meeting with Putin in 2001 that he had looked in Putin’s eyes and got “a sense of his soul” – a remark still used by the president’s critics to ridicule his foreign policy.

Since then, US-Russia relations have soured markedly with Washington concerned about what it sees as rollbacks of democracy and basic freedoms, and belligerence by the Kremlin on the world stage.

Clinton’s remarks were a variation on a refrain used by Republican presidential candidate John McCain who has several times lashed Russia on the campaign trail.

“I looked into Putin’s eyes, and I saw three things, a ‘K’ a ‘G’ and a ‘B,”’ McCain says frequently, drawing guffaws from his audiences.

SWAT officers invade home, take 11-year-old at gunpoint

The sheriff said the decision to use SWAT team force was justified because the father was a “self-proclaimed constitutionalist”

WorldNetDaily.com | Jan 7, 2008

Police demand boy go to doctor because of fall during horseplay

By Bob Unruh

Nearly a dozen members of a police SWAT team in western Colorado punched a hole in the front door and invaded a family’s home with guns drawn, demanding that an 11-year-old boy who had had an accidental fall accompany them to the hospital, on the order of Garfield County Magistrate Lain Leoniak.

The boy’s parents and siblings were thrown to the floor at gunpoint and the parents were handcuffed in the weekend assault, and the boy’s father told WND it was all because a paramedic was upset the family preferred to care for their son themselves.

Someone, apparently the unidentified paramedic, called police, the sheriff’s office and social services, eventually providing Leoniak with a report that generated the magistrate’s court order to the sheriff’s office for the SWAT team assault on the family’s home in a mobile home development outside of Glenwood Springs, the father, Tom Shiflett, told WND.

WND calls and e-mails to Garfield County Social Services were not returned, and Leoniak, who earlier served as a water court clerk/referee, also was not available.

Sheriff Lou Vallario, however, did call back, and told WND he ordered his officers to do exactly what the magistrate demanded.

“I was given a court order by the magistrate to seize the child, and arrange for medical evaluation, and that’s what we did,” he said.

According to friends of the family, Tom Shiflett, who has 10 children including six still at home, and served with paramedics in Vietnam, was monitoring his son’s condition himself.

The paramedic and magistrate, however, ruled that that wasn’t adequate, and dispatched the officers to take the boy, John, to a hospital, where a doctor evaluated him and released him immediately.

The accident happened during horseplay, Tom Shiflett told WND. John was grabbing the door handle of a car as his sister was starting to drive away slowly. He slipped, fell to the ground and hit his head, Shiflett said.

He immediately carried his son into their home several doors away, and John was able to recite Bible verses and correctly spell words as his father and mother, Tina, requested. There were no broken bones, no dilated eyes, or any other noticeable problems.

The family, whose members live by faith and homeschool, decided not to call an ambulance. But a neighbor did call Westcare Ambulance, and paramedics responded to the home, asking to see and evaluate the boy.

The paramedics were allowed to see the boy, and found no significant impairment, but wanted to take him to the hospital for an evaluation anyway. Fearing the hospital’s bills, the family refused to allow that.

“This apparently did not go over well with one of the paramedics and they started getting aggravated at Tom for not letting them have their way,” a family acquaintance told WND.

“The paramedics were not at all respectful of Tom’s decision, nor did they act in a manner we would expect from professional paramedics,” the acquaintance said.

So the ambulance crew, who also could not be reached by WND, called police, only to be told the decision was up to the Shiflett familiy.

The paramedics then called the sheriff’s office, and officers responded to the home, and were told everyone was being cared for.

Then the next day, Friday, social services workers appeared at the door and demanded to talk with John “in private.”

They were so persistent Tom ended up having to get John out of the bathtub he was just soaking in, to bring him to the front porch where the social workers could see him, the family reported.

Then, following an afternoon shopping trip to town, the family settled in for the evening, only to be shocked with the SWAT team attack.

The sheriff said the decision to use SWAT team force was justified because the father was a “self-proclaimed constitutionalist” and had made threats and “comments” over the years.

However, the sheriff declined to provide a single instance of the father’s illegal behavior. “I can’t tell you specifically,” he said.

“He was refusing to provide medical care,” the sheriff said.

However, the sheriff said if his own children were involved in an at-home accident, he would want to be the one to make decisions on their healthcare, as did Shiflett.

“I guess if that was one of my children, I would make that decision,” the sheriff said.

But he said Shiflett was “rude and confrontational” when the paramedics arrived and entered his home without his permission.

The sheriff also admitted that the injury to the child had been at least 24 hours earlier, because the fall apparently happened Thursday afternoon, and the SWAT attack happened late Friday evening.

Officials with the Home School Legal Defense Association reported they were looking into the case, because of requests from family friends who are members of the organization.

“While people can debate whether or not the father should have brought his son to the ER – it seems like this was not the kind of emergency that warrants this kind of outrageous conduct by government officials,” a spokesman said.

Tm Shiflett said when John was evaluated by the physician, “they didn’t find anything wrong with him.”

He said the paramedics never should have entered his home, but they followed his wife in the front door when she came in.

“My attention was on my son,” Shiflett said.

He said the SWAT team punched a hole in his door with a ramrod, and the first officer in the home pointed a gun right in the face of Tom’s 20-year-old daughter.

“I don’t know where social services ever got started, or where they got their authority,” he said. “But I want to know why we have something in this country that violates our rights, that takes a parental right away.”

He said he saw a multitude of injuries in Vietnam, and while he recognized that his son needed to be watched, he wasn’t willing to turn his child over to the paramedics.

With 10 children, most of them older than John, it’s not as if he hasn’t seen a bruise or two, either, he said.

“Now I’m hunting for lawyers that will take the case … I’m going to sue everybody whose name was on that page right down to the judge,” he said.

Mike Donnelly, a lawyer with the HSLDA, told WND the case had a set of circumstances that could be problematic for authorities.

“In Doe V. Heck, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held that parents have a fundamental right to familial relations including a liberty interest in the care, custody and control of their children,” he said.

He also said man social services agencies apply “a one size fits all approach” to cases, regardless of circumstances.

. . .


SWAT team-seized boy refuses doc’s painkillers 

Warning: Vacate room when a “green” lightbulb breaks

Thomas Edison, inventor of mercury-free light bulb

Energy-saving devices called so dangerous everyone must leave for at least 15 minutes

WorldNetDaily.com | Jan 6, 2008

Less than a month after the U.S. Congress passed an energy bill banning the incandescent light bulb by 2014, the UK Environment Agency issued guidelines calling for evacuation of any room where an energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulb is broken, releasing toxic mercury.

The warning comes a month before the British government begins its phase-out of tungsten bulbs, scheduled to be completed in 2011. The switchover to CFL bulbs will save at least five million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year, the government said.

Health experts warned this week that people with certain skin ailments will suffer from the new eco-friendly bulbs which cause conditions such as eczema to flare up. Additionally, the bulbs have been linked to migraine headaches in some people.

The Environment Agency’s latest advice focuses on the 6 to 8 milligrams of toxic mercury in each bulb.

Users who break a bulb should vacate the room for at least 15 minutes, the new guidelines say. The debris should not be removed with a vacuum cleaner, which could put toxic dust into the air, but with rubber gloves. The broken glass and all residue is to be placed into a sealed plastic bag and taken to a local official recycling site for proper disposal.

“Because these light bulbs contain small amounts of mercury, they could cause a problem if disposed of in a normal bin,” environmental scientist Dr David Spurgeon told the London Daily Mail.

“It is possible that the mercury could be released into the air or from land-fill when they are released into the wider environment. That is a concern, because mercury is a well-known toxic substance.”

The Environmental Agency noted that neither warnings about the bulbs’ toxicity nor directions for proper disposal is printed on any packaging.

Such warnings aren’t necessary, said one toxicologist who said a number of bulbs would have to be smashed simultaneously before there was a danger.

“Mercury accumulates in the body – especially the brain,” Dr. David Ray, from the University of Nottingham, told the BBC. “The biggest danger is repeated exposure – a one off exposure is not as potentially dangerous compared to working in a light bulb factory.

“If you smash one bulb then that is not too much of a hazard. However, if you broke five bulbs in a small unventilated room then you might be in short term danger.”

The most-immediate hazard from the CFL bulbs may be to Brits’ pocketbooks. It costs about $1,300 to properly dispose of one municipal recycling bin full of bulbs – a figure that is sure to increase residents’ tax bills.

. . .


Why ‘green’ lightbulbs aren’t the answer to global warming

Regulators’ assault plan puts church in crosshairs

Proposal considers taxes, fees, restrictions on numbers, sizes

Bans religious meetings in homes if they involve more than 20 people, children included.

WorldNetDaily.com | Jan 6, 2008

By Bob Unruh

A regulatory plan being considered by a Toronto suburb would put churches in the crosshairs of an assault that would include dramatically higher taxes and fees as well as restrictions on the sizes and numbers of worship centers.

A series of reports by the No Apologies website featuring WND columnist Tristan Emmanuel has revealed the stunning proposals in Brampton that one source confirmed would be used in multiple cities should the Brampton effort prove successful.

WND already has reported how many Biblical standards of behavior are under attack by the “bastardized courts” of Canada, where activists who claim they have “hurt feelings” are demanding – and getting – penalties imposed against those who oppose the homosexual lifestyle.

That description of the courts, also known as the provincial and national Human Rights Commissions, comes from the Canada Family Action Coalition, which is warning that the United States is not far from having similar assaults on traditional family values.

Now comes the report from the site launched by Emmanuel, the founder and president of the ECP Centre – Equipping Christians for the Public-Square as well as the host of “No Apologies,” a weekly web-radio show “dedicated to illustrating the absurdity of political correctness.”

Full Story

Popular Thai website closed down for anti-monarchy comments

The monarchy in Thailand is officially held to be above politics and is protected by well-policed lese majeste laws.

Earth Times | Jan 6, 2008

Bangkok – A prominent Thai political website was shut after being “flooded” with harsh comments about the monarchy, the Bangkok Post online reported Sunday. The move came at a time of heightening royalist fervour in the country, following the death Wednesday of the revered king Bhumibol Adulyadej’s sister Princess Galyani.

It is also a period of political uncertainty and widespread speculation over the role of the palace in deciding the next government.

The monarchy in Thailand is officially held to be above politics and is protected by well-policed lese majeste laws.

The Freedom Against Censorship in Thailand (FACT) lobby group branded the closure of the popular discussion board Sameskybooks.com as “cyberterrorism,” the report said.

It was the website of political magazine Fah Diew Kan, which has a a reputation of exploring touchy political topics. The magazine’s editor, Thanapol Eawsakul, claimed that provocateurs had bombarded the site’s discussion board with derogatory comments about the monarchy.

Thanapol is already facing lese majeste charges for an earlier article he wrote.

The site was closed on Friday when Otaro, the owners of its internet service provider NetService, rejected its client. It is not clear who actually gave the order for it to be shut.

A spokesman for Otaro said it voluntarily decided to suspend service.

Many Thai political analysts say the palace was a supporter of the September 2006 coup that ousted controversial prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. A general election in December saw Thaksin’s proxy Peoples Power Party emerge as the most likely to form a coalition government.

There is much speculation that the forces that distrust and dislike Thaksin – in the military, the urban elite and the palace – may attempt to block his return to power.