Children of British pensioner sentenced to 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia call on PM

As reported on The Guardian by Ben Quinn on October 12, 2015

Karl AndreeThe children of a British man have called on David Cameron to intervene to save their father from being subjected to 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia. Karl Andree, 74, faces being publicly flogged as part of a punishment imposed after bottles of homemade wine were reportedly found last year in his car by Saudi police enforcing strict laws prohibiting alcohol.

The family of the oil executive, who is being held at Jeddah’s Briman prison, say he is already weak as a result of cancer and fear that the flogging will kill him. They said in a statement reported by the Sun: “Our father has given 25 years of his working life to Saudi Arabia, and this is how he is treated. Until his arrest, he has always been happy working there and felt safe.

“He is 74 years of age, has had cancer three times and his wife is dying in a home in the UK. He now needs medical care for his cancer and asthma, and there is no doubt in our mind that 350 lashes will kill him. We implore David Cameron to personally intervene and help get our father home. The Saudi government will only listen to him.”

The Foreign Office said: “Our embassy staff are continuing to assist Mr Andree, including regular visits to check on his welfare, and frequent contact with his lawyer and family. Ministers and senior officials have raised Mr Andree’s case with the Saudi government and we are actively seeking his release as soon as possible.”

Andree’s three children, Hugh, 46, Kirsten, 45, and Simon, 33, are reported to have been lobbying discreetly for their father for more than a month but have now decided to go public.

The campaign by the family comes at a time when Britain’s diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia is under new scrutiny. The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, last month used his keynote speech at his party’s annual conference to call on the prime minister to secure the release of a Saudi protestor, Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who has been condemned to execution. Al-Nimr was arrested in 2012 for reportedly being involved in Arab spring protests in Qatif, in the country’s eastern province.


ISIS Crucifies 8 Christians in Syria for Apostasy From Islam


sharia unveiled

8 Christians Murdered by ISIS Tweet 1

by, Dennis Lynch | International Business Times (IBT)

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) reportedly killed and crucified eight men in a town near Aleppo, Syria.

The independent monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the men were executed for being too moderate as members of a rival rebel group. They were crucified on Saturday and will be on display for three days in the town square in Deir Hafer.

 It is not clear whether or not they were killed prior to the crucifixion. A ninth man in Al-Bab was nailed alive to a cross for eight hours for giving “false testimony.” He survived.

ISIS has used crucifixions as punishment for a number of crimes in the past. It executed one of its own members for “extorting money at checkpoints by accusing drivers of apostasy.” Apostasy is the term for leaving or renouncing one’s faith, particularly…

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Death to Afghanistan?

Everyone wants their pound of flesh, and perhaps with 30 dead in the wake of the desecrated Koran burnings there will be hundreds of pounds of flesh.  Will that sate the appetite of the Afghanistan people?  Apparently not.

At what point do human beings feel that they have really bested the other guy?  How much punishment has to be meted out to meet an arbitrary offense?  How many hangings, beheadings, stonings and other cavemen like behaviors have to occur before someone says “enough’?

Common sense has left the building, or perhaps the desert.  The constant killing certainly has the world community wondering when will enough blood be shed.  Until someone with an ounce of compassion and thought about the future of humanity steps up to the plate in Afghanistan, no amount of blood shed will ever be enough.  And when Afghanistan is done, I’m sure Iran will be ready in the wings, gleefully waiting for their chance  to amp up the misery.

If this is the behavior the Koran inspires, all hope is lost. 

Soaring Gas Prices Spell Disaster for the Economy

If you think that windmills and electric cars are the answers to America’s energy problems, read no further.

Sure, I support the idea of creating more energy efficient cars and possibly electric cars could be part of the answer, but they aren’t the right answer for NOW.  Trying to force car companies to instantly create a new type of car and have it work efficiently is laughable – ask any electrical engineer.   It takes years of research, planning and testing to create a car that is both affordable and efficient – something that the current battery operated cars are not.   Many Volt owners report that even if the car is charged overnight, 19 miles is about as far as it can go solely on the battery power.   Not very encouraging for the American consumer shelling out $42K, not to mention the $8.5K battery charger.

Another important point to consider, which no one is really talking about, is who can afford these battery operated cars and hybrids.  How many people do you know who work in the service sector, such as at restaurants and retail stores, can afford one of these cars?  These people are lucky to make $18K in a good year.  What bank is going to give these people a loan for a car that costs more than twice their annual salary?

Secretary of Energy Chu states that the goal of the administration is not to lower the price of gas and other fossil fuel, but to make people accept wind, solar and other forms of energy.

Glad to know that Chu and other members of the current administration have the best interest of the American people at heart.   We don’t care if you can afford it or not, we don’t care if you suffer, because we know what is best for you.  Accept our ideology or be damned.

Well, I guess we are damned in a way.  Come this summer the poor and borderline poverty stricken Americans will stay home and not spend their money on their children’s activities or travel.  The farmers will, as usual, struggle to afford to pay for gas for their tractors, and the cost of goods (especially agricultural) will go up.   But the suffering, we will be told, is all for a good cause.

For those who are suffering, my apologies for the “hopeless change” you’re enduring.  For those who are not suffering, enjoy it while you can.

Obama Admin Thanking Military by Raising Health Care Premiums

Thank you for serving – here is the bill for your healthcare, which will be rising up to 300 percent.

Wow, it kind of makes those hokey commercials featuring Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden thanking the military families joke-worthy.

What isn’t being discussed is that the majority of people who serve in the military A) aren’t making as much as people working in the public, private or government sectors, and B) may have much higher healthcare costs overall because so many of them are returning home injured.  Comparing civilians and the military is like comparing apples and oranges.

Another point is that the military, in regard to this healthcare issue, are being singled out for budget cuts when other government employees aren’t.  No one is asking other government employees to pay up to 300 percent more in premiums.  Unfair?  Ask a military family what they think, and if they have an additional $300-$400 per month to pay for these healthcare hikes.   Many military families are already borderline poverty level, and some are barely hanging on by utilizing the food stamp program.

If this administration is determined to raise the military’s Tricare premiums, they had better be prepared to raise the wages in return.  Of course, they aren’t making any such plans.  That would require actually thinking of the welfare of those serving their country and spilling their blood in foreign lands, something those making arbitrary budget proposals would never have the guts to do.

Many people outside of the military don’t realize how little the military makes, in addition to having to provide many of the items they need in the theater of war by paying for these items out of their own pockets.   The government is not doing right by these soldiers already, and raising their healthcare premiums is just pouring more salt in the wound.

Apparently, for those serving in the military, it truly is a thankless job.

Obama Bows to Environmentalists and Hammers the Unemployed – Again

Big surprise, Obama once again bows to environmentalists and says no to the Keystone pipeline permit.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also got her two cents in and urged Obama to nix the permit – ironic in light of Clinton’s connection to New York State and the stopping of natural gas drilling permits there as well.  Who needs a job when you can collect food stamps and welfare benefits?

Despite a 3-year study, the President just couldn’t wrap his head around putting people back to work – it is better to create a nation of people that have to depend on their government for sustenance than to let a free market work.  His base consists of the most wealthy 1 percent of wage earners, as well as those who are content to live on government subsidies.  Throw in the wealthy environmentalists who want to protect their summer homes in poor farming areas, and you have a group of unemployed people primed for exploitation.

Progressivism is a misnomer – it should be called regressivism.  It is a trip backwards in time to when people had fewer rights, less money, and an overbearing government.  Citizens of the United States once battled to end their association with a King, and now some of them want to go back to that kind of rule.  Oligarchy or monarchy, they are both the same for those are under it.


Good Time to Approve Keystone Pipeline and Gulf Drilling

With Iran rattling their sword over the Strait of Hormuz and threatening to stop 17% of the world’s oil reserves, it is time to re-think approving the Keystone Pipeline and Gulf drilling permits.  In addition, it is time to allow drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale region of New York.

It is counter-intuitive to continue to buy America’s oil from countries that wish us dead, when we have our own, as well Canada’s, natural gas and oil.  At some point the American people have to realize  that throwing our money down a rat hole isn’t helping our economy or those who can barely afford expensive gas to get to work at their minimum wage jobs. (Please don’t say they could use battery powered cars instead – as those who make minimum wage cannot get a loan for those cars.)

Now is a great time to call Iran’s bluff and cut their funding by not buying their oil.  Our current administration should put their money where their mouth is and push special interest groups aside in order to put a paycheck in people’s hands. Let’s really put America back to work and put an end to funding terrorism by using our own resources.

EPA Ignoring Economic Impact in Communities

In the rush to impose federal regulations on individual states, the EPA is ignoring the economic impact in communities.   The head of the EPA, Lisa P. Jackson,  is content to ignore the faceless individuals that she has put on welfare and food stamps.  The processes that are being stalled include natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale in New York, expansion of ports to take advantage of new ships in South Carolina and the elimination of electric plants that rely on coal in Ohio and other coal states.   The EPA claims to be creating jobs, but the only jobs they are creating are paper-pushing jobs and lobbyist positions.

Perhaps the EPA has outlived its usefulness, since each individual state has a Department of Environmental Conservation.  An overseeing federal agency that trumps individual state’s rights has the appearance of being a dictatorship, not a democratic relationship.

With the Presidential election close at hand, voters need to decide what is most important – a government that over-reaches and is putting people in their state on the welfare roles, or one that puts the needs of individuals first.

This writer is for a government that puts people to work and doesn’t punt every issue for another 60 or 90 days for comment periods and self-serving reviews that are only stalling tactics.  We need people who take action, and not just ponder the idea of taking action.   Decisiveness has never been an attribute of the current administration, but perhaps it can be one of the next.  Otherwise, we can expect more pandering to special interest groups associated with the EPA,  and as a result, more people suffering in communities eviscerated by this government agency.

Promises Kept But a Country Lost

President Obama kept his promise by withdrawing troops from Iraq.  All troops were withdrawn, which went against what his military advisers told him to do.  Unfortunately, it appears it happened too soon, and now, within 48 hours of the withdrawal, 14 bombs went off in Baghdad killing 57 people and injuring 200. 

According to Fox News, “U.S. military officials have said they’re worried about a resurgence of Al Qaeda after the American military leaves the country. If that happens, it could lead Shiite militants to fight back and attack Sunni targets, thus sending Iraq back to the sectarian violence it experienced just a few years ago.”

Granted, the U.S. was tired of the 9-year war, but felt we had finally made progress after sacrificing over 4,000 soldiers in the effort to stabilize the country.  Hopefully their own military can crack down on the militants and put an end to the constant bombings over religious differences.  If not, we’ll probably be sending the children of the soldiers who were pulled out in 20 years to try and stabilize the region again.  Then again, maybe we’ll have the Keystone Pipeline and drilling in the Gulf by then so that we can quit worrying about protecting our fuel sources in the Middle East.

Occupy the North Pole?

Just when things couldn’t get any stranger with the occupy protesters, they’ve popped up in an unexpected place – the North Pole.  Christmas pageants of the past either told of the birth of Jesus or perhaps a cute story of Santa’s workshop and of toys coming to life.  In this latest rendition performed in Newtown, PA, the elves have turned against Santa and at one point he is being strangled, then prodded with a cane.

“Little did Santa know, that far and beyond a steady drumbeat, yes a movement was swelling and the masses were organizing and the disposessed were finding their strength and their voices and their power to declare we are one and we are not going to take this any more. Occupy North Pole was born.”

Nothing like co-opting a child’s holiday and promoting your own interests.  Yep, Santa is the bad guy for making and delivering toys to children.   What is next, rolling the local Salvation Army Bell Ringers for having the audacity to collect money for the poor?  Perhaps we should sabotage any company that should dare to give gift cards to their employees during the holidays.  Maybe we could throw people in jail for uttering the words “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas.”

All facetiousness aside, occupy protesters need to find a better venue for airing their problems than hijacking a holiday.  They’re missing the point of the holiday, which is Good Will Toward Men.  Sure, there is an element of greed – it is called supply and demand.  As long as people want to buy things for themselves and their family, corporations are going to try and fill those needs.

Of course, we could always try to become what Russia once was, and we could all suffer for it.  Perhaps that is what would satisfy the occupy protesters.  One town could make a left shoe, another town could make a right shoe, and the two would never meet unless you were an elitist working for the government.  There would be scarcity of much needed items, including food.  We could be shot for picking an ear of corn to feed our starving families, because after all, it belongs to the government and it needs to be re-distributed.

Be careful of what you wish for this holiday season, for you may get it.

If you haven’t already read it, read Harvest of Sorrow, a non-fiction book about Russia before the fall of the Berlin Wall.  It explains how the redistribution of wealth went terribly wrong, and why we should avoid it like the plague.