As Solyndra Talk Quiets, DOE Issues $1 Billion In Solar Loans

As headlines about the Department of Energy’s (DOE) backing of a now bankrupt solar firm cool down, the department announced on Wednesday that it has finalized about $1 billion in guarantees for two other solar projects.

The DOE announced a $737 million loan guarantee to help finance construction of the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, a 110-megawatt solar-power-generating facility in Nye County, Nev. The project is sponsored by Tonopah Solar, a subsidiary of a California-based company called SolarReserve. DOE officials claim the loan will create 600 temporary construction jobs and 45 permanent jobs in the area.

“If we want to be a player in the global clean energy race, we must continue to invest in innovative technologies that enable commercial-scale deployment of clean, renewable power like solar,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a press release. “Solar generation facilities, like the Crescent Dunes Solar Energy Project, help supply energy to local utilities and create hundreds of good, American clean energy jobs.”

The Energy Department also announced that it had finalized a separate $337 million loan guarantee to Sempra Energy for a 150-megawatt photovoltaic solar generation project in Arizona.

Solyndra, the now infamous government-backed solar panel manufacturer that shut down last month, is under investigation by the Department of Justice and several governmental wasteful spending committees.

Alabama Federal Judge: Tough Immigration Law Not In Violation

A Federal judge in Birmingham, Ala., upheld most portions of the State’s highly controversial immigration law on Wednesday. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit seeking to block the law.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn upheld some provisions in the tough immigration legislation which were under DOJ scrutiny. The provisions allow police to stop and detain suspected illegal aliens, permit schools to check the immigration status of students and allow the nullification of contracts that have been knowingly entered into with illegal aliens. She also upheld a section making it a felony for “an alien not lawfully present in the United States” to apply for a license plate, driver license, business license or other business license.

The law was set to go into effect on Sept. 1, but the judge issued a temporary injunction to consider it provisions before ruling on its legality.

The Department of Justice had argued that the State law takes away from the Federal government’s right and ability to enforce immigration legislation. But legislators in the State argued against the DOJ, saying that the Federal government has done little to enforce immigration law, leaving it up to the States. The Republican-led Legislature also contends that passing the law was the follow-through to many campaign promises during successful GOP campaigns of the 2010 election cycle.

Massachusetts Airport Sues For Obama Visit

A Marlborough, Mass., airport filed suit against the Federal government on Tuesday alleging that a 2010 visit by President Barack Obama caused $676,048 in damages to the tarmac.

The President landed at the Marlborough Airport on April 1, 2010 to visit an emergency bunker in the State, according to the Boston Business Journal.

The airport’s complaint alleges that the while the President’s helicopter, Marine One, did not cause any damage, the Secret Service negligently damaged the runway with vehicles brought in for Presidential security.

“[G]round vehicles brought onto the airport by or under the Secret Service, such as, but not limited to, a ‘foam truck,’ which weighs approximately 44,000 pounds, (were) negligently driven onto the airport and proximately caused property damage in an amount of $676,048.13,” the complaint says.

The airport has reportedly asked the Federal government for compensation to recoup the damages, but has been denied.

“They stated we haven’t shown or proven any negligence,” Evans J. Carter, the lawyer for the airport operator, told the Boston Business Journal.

An UN-Acceptable Proposal

A good friend of mine is a citizen and resident of another country. A fine fellow, he shares very few of my political ideals. That said, he seldom engages in direct debate with me — mostly because every time he visits, we leave politics at the door. Also, we both agree on the merits of good wine and good food — an issue we both consider far more important than President Obama’s latest attempt to impersonate a competent executive. More importantly, he’s a better cook; and I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow the U.N. to cost me a good meal.

Among the areas in which we get crosswise to each other is the proper role of that august assemblage of the Upper East Side: the United Nations. He thinks the U.N. is a valuable diplomatic tool and potential military bulwark against the forces of tyranny, bloodshed and oppression. I think the U.N. takes up what might otherwise be fabulous East River real estate which could be put to better use as a landfill or secret mob graveyard. It is difficult for me to take seriously an organization whose biggest contribution to their host city is unpaid parking tickets.

Earlier this week, the U.N. followed up another red-carpet event for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, evil midget and President of the Islamofascist “Republic” of Iran, with the announcement that it is nearing success in its bid to expand its domain to include the Robert Moses Playground. Already in the midst of a $2 billion renovation (which was supposed to cost around $600 million, but who’s counting?), the U.N. wants to purchase the park in order to construct a more than $400 million high rise next to its current shrine to peaceful diplomacy — or bureaucratic incompetence and appeasement, depending on which newspaper you read.

Truth be told, if the U.N. is going to vacuum up American oxygen (not to mention prime parking spaces), I suppose it’s fair for the organization to enjoy nice digs. After all, we wouldn’t want Lil’ Mahmoud to rant about whatever while standing on shabby carpeting, would we? It’s tough work to murder thousands of your fellow countrymen, rig elections and grind your country’s culture down to Paleolithic levels. Mahmoud’s tootsies deserve plush pile. In addition, if the U.N.’s Manhattan palace is nice, then Ahmadinejad and the rest of his fellow super-creeps (I’m looking at you, Hugo Chavez, presuming the chemo works) are more likely to stay in Manhattan rather than bother the rest of us.

But here’s the rub: The American taxpayer shoulders the burden of nearly a quarter of the U.N.’s budget. We’re on the hook for 22 percent of every failed negotiation, every unprevented genocide, every stalemated military conflict which cost thousands of lives and every half-billion-dollar real estate boondoggle designed to prevent lunatics like Lil’ Mahmoud from bloviating like a character from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in less-than-4-star environs.

Even in an economy which hasn’t been driven into a bridge abutment on the Alinsky Expressway by the profligate morons in the Democratic Party, I hardly think an institution as corpulent as the U.N. should redecorate its crib on the American taxpayers’ dime.

I’m not suggesting that the U.N. doesn’t serve a theoretically valuable purpose. If the nations of the world didn’t have a place to come and pay lip service to global peace and freedom, their various leaders would be forced to lie to the same flunkies all the time; and the flunkies would be forced to pretend they believe them without the benefit of the occasional vacation. But, surely, there are better locales and sources of funding than the United States and the contents of the wallets of U.S. taxpayers.

Instead of sponging off the beleaguered people of its least-favorite country, the U.N. should put the arm on those who are sympathetic to its cause (the real cause, not the stated cause). For example, George Soros is loaded. The Democratic Party has cash, and it will probably blow it on Obama 2012. For that matter, what happened to the billion dollars Ted Turner promised the U.N.? It obviously wasn’t spent on the victims of Islamofascism, Chinese purges or African genocide.

It is long past time to evict the U.N.’s collection of globalist riffraff, one-world buffoons and terrorist apologists. I hear Tehran, Iran, is lovely this time of year.

–Ben Crystal

Threat From Pakistan Increases, Fear Of Jihad Escalates

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday to detail the current situation within the country.The strained relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan has not improved in recent weeks, as influential religious leaders in the Asian nation have threatened a jihad if Americans attack their country, Fox News reported.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday to detail the current situation within the country. While she advocated cooperation, security analysts from the U.S. noted that the religious leaders wanted the nation to break ties with America.

“This must not be discounted,” an analyst told Fox News. “This is 50 very influential Imams and religious leaders who want a holy war against the U.S. …and they call for scholars, religious leaders to start urging the military rank-and-file to participate or prepare for jihad or holy war against the U.S. Use of Trojan horses or insiders like we have seen with the CIA will likely increase. ”

Reuters reported that part of the reason that the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan has become strained is mutual suspicion.

The news source noted that the Pakistanis have selectively cooperated with America, as they take billions of dollars in aid to fight terrorism, despite producing limited results.

Small Business Group Asks High Court To Overturn Healthcare Law

The attempt by the NFIB came as another national precedent may be set, as an Arizona woman is fighting for healthcare for her husband, who happens to be an illegal immigrant. A group of small businesses opposed to the heathcare overhaul that took place in Washington is asking the Supreme Court to strike down the entire law, The Associated Press reported.

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is filing an appeal of a portion of the recent ruling given by a Federal court in Atlanta, which struck down the individual insurance requirement. Leaders from the group want to get rid of the rest of the law, not just the part that was ruled upon previously.

“When you talk to our members and other small-business owners about what is the biggest problem they’re facing, they say uncertainty,” Karen Harned, executive director of the NFIB’s legal division, told the AP. “When you ask what, one of first answers is the healthcare law.”

The attempt by the NFIB came as another national precedent may be set. An Arizona woman is fighting for healthcare for her husband, who is an illegal alien.

According to Fox News, Evelyn Saenz-Cornelio is fighting to get the Arizona Medicaid program to cover her husband’s $120,000 medical bill, despite the fact that he is not a citizen.

Supreme Court May Get Involved In Healthcare Debate

In its upcoming term, the Supreme Court may formally address a multi-State challenge to the Democrat-backed Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Two Federal courts of appeals have ruled on the Constitutionality of the mandate that requires all individuals to purchase health insurance; one has upheld the mandate, and another has struck it down. Lower courts are also divided on the question of whether the rest of the bill can survive if the mandate is unConstitutional.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) headed up an effort to file a petition for a writ of certiorari to the court on Wednesday and issued a statement on its website.

“The 11th Circuit ruling confirmed NFIB’s view that the individual mandate in the health-care law is unconstitutional. It is now imperative that the Supreme Court rule on whether the entire law can stand without the mandate,” said Karen Harned, executive director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center in the release. “The sooner the Court takes up this case, the sooner small businesses and individuals will know whether they will have to bear the full weight, financially and economically, of this bad law.”

The court’s consideration of the case will likely take place during the height of the 2012 election season.

Student Threatens Man Passing Out Constitution Copies

The video below was recorded by Phil Cleary, a National Guardsman and field representative for The Leadership Institute. Cleary filmed this at the University of Minnesota Duluth on Constitution Day. The characters in this real-life glimpse into the twisted minds of today’s liberals offer at least as much entertainment as their intellectual equals on reality television, albeit with neither the moral gravitas of an episode of “The Jerry Springer Show” nor the academic loftiness of “The Real Housewives of… Wherever.”

The self-proclaimed defender of the supposedly threatened “multicultural center” and devotee of the late terrorist and convict Huey P. Newton is a UMD student named Blair Jordon Moses. Moses (who I suspect would be ecstatic with the nickname “Baby Huey,” although the real Baby Huey allegedly murdered a woman for calling him “Baby”) takes up most of the screen time. However, his asinine rants are noteworthy only for the overt nature of the threats they contain.

In fact, I’m tempted to forgive Baby Huey, if only because he’s clearly a victim of the teachers’ unions and their apparatchik accomplices in what passes for higher education. Granted, he did threaten Cleary, so he’ll probably be expelled, or not. He is a member of one of America’s protected classes; so for all I know, he may ride this video of what appears to be his mental breakdown to the Presidency of the student senate.

Give Baby Huey credit for some remarkable logical calisthenics. First, he threatened to shoot Cleary: “I just want to let you know, that if you ever threaten the multicultural center, I will exercise it (my 2nd amendment rights).” Then — if you’ll pardon the turn of phrase — he shoots himself in the rhetorical foot by proclaiming that he doesn’t “believe” in the Constitution. Is that how that works? You just refuse to believe in it. He would be better off refusing to believe his idol was gunned down in a crack deal gone awry. Let me check… nope, Newton is still dead.

When I was in school, threatening to shoot another student usually resulted in a one-way ticket home, although I can’t remember any junior-varsity racists actually threatening to kill people back then. But I attended one of the finest colleges in the nation.  Baby Huey attends one of the finest colleges in northeastern Minnesota.

The real treat in this live-action dramedy arrives at 2:19. Witness the sweeping entrance of UMD senior administrator Susana Pelayo-Woodward, the director of the Office of Cultural Diversity. From her role in the incident, I glean that she clearly needs remedial education on not only diversity and tolerance, but basic adult responsibility — not to mention the U.S. Constitution. Although she was undisturbed by Baby Huey threatening another UMD student’s life, she was worried about something: Cleary was handing out copies of the Constitution. Pelayo-Woodward asked: “Is this a white supremacist group? It looks like one.” In yet another remarkable intellectual milestone for the peculiarly circular logic of liberalism, she ignored the death threat from the budding terrorist in order to smear the document which allows her the right to smear the document which allows her the right to smear… forget it.

Call it a sense of patriotic civic duty or perhaps a glimmering ember of hope that our country won’t someday be consigned to the stewardship of a generation which is cerebrally outmatched by currently lower life forms like cockroaches, amoebas and Rosie O’Donnell, but I actually expressed my concerns over the ordeal in an email to members of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, the President of UM and senior personnel at UMD. I pointed out the obvious distress they should experience over one student threatening another, the fact that the aggressor was motivated by the unhinged hate which he appears to have picked up while imprisoned in their institution, and the fact that a member of their senior administration was unruffled by Moses’ verbal assault because she was too busy proving she wears the same idiotic blinders. I also noted that should they eschew disciplinary action against both Moses and Pelayo-Woodward, they would be exposing themselves to a lawsuit which would treat their funding like Godzilla treated downtown Tokyo. In fact, should Baby Huey decide to act out on his threats, not an impossibility if he’s trying to emulate Newton, then they may well be criminally liable as well as civilly so.

Wonder of wonders, someone at UMD is checking the mail. I received the following response:

At UMD, we place a priority on creating a positive and inclusive campus climate. In fact, advancing equity, diversity, and social justice is a core value of our university and is a goal of the UMD Strategic Plan. Freedom of expression, diverse views and opinions, and philosophical debate are part of the treasured tradition of this country’s public universities and the University of Minnesota Duluth. Moreover, UMD takes very seriously its zero tolerance for violence.

Regarding your specific concern, the September 16 incident involved people exercising their constitutional right to express their personal opinions and philosophies. UMD’s Office of Student Life is working to resolve any issues resulting from the encounter.

The representative from Youth for Western Civilization is not a UMD student. Like others who are not students at UMD or groups not registered as student organizations at UMD, he was welcomed to express his views and to distribute information on our campus within the guidelines established for such activities. This welcome continues for all who want to have a public forum to express views.

That qualifies as the most Byzantine babble which has ever appeared in my inbox, and I’m counting that sweet deal the Nigerian barrister clued me into. They are on the case, and they are planning nothing. UMD considers Baby Huey’s threat to Cleary’s life a “constitutional right.” As for Pelayo-Woodward, the email gave nary a hint as to her fate. After I read UMD’s simpering pablum, I called my brother and told him to scratch UMD off the list of possible schools for my nephew, who happens to be an exceptionally gifted hockey player. Actually, the little guy is also a smart cookie, so UMD was unlikely to make the list.

In the past, I and my colleagues at Personal Liberty Digest™ have often reminded you of the essential hypocrisy of liberalism. Although some of the other writers might be more diplomatic about it, I will simply say: Liberal ideology is pure excrement. (Actually, I was going to use more vivid terminology; but each time I do, Mr. Livingston says things like: “How’s your resume looking, Ben?”)

It’s not as if Baby Huey and his hyphenated-American consort are isolated in their appalling hatred. Just last week, a liberal named Stephen Hanks verbally assaulted Bristol Palin in a New York bar. Hanks’s rant was classless and obscene — or, as Bill Maher would call it, “brilliant.” However, it translates from the liberal hate speech as: “I hate your mother so much, I can’t stop myself from attacking her children.” Head union thug Jimmy Hoffa Jr. wants to “take out” the Tea Party. When a Teamsters Union thug talks about taking someone out, he doesn’t mean to dinner and movie. Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said the Tea Party is destined for “hell.” The last time I checked, that decision is above her pay grade. And Mad Maxine should probably focus on her own upcoming judgment; odds are, she is far from guaranteed a ticket upward in eternity. Common Cause members have demanded the enslavement and/or lynching of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Lest we think UMD is alone in its madness, consider pretty much everything that’s ever happened at Berkeley.

Granted, we conservatives have a few rotten eggs floating in the barrel, like the heckler who recently called President Obama “The Antichrist.” Obama wishes he was that big-time. I’m not even convinced Satan would hire him as an intern; although, perhaps George Soros could put in a good word for him with the lord of evil. We conservatives make fun of our loose screws; the Democrats send theirs to Congress, elect them President and watch them on MSNBC. Moreover, the Democrats give them influential positions shepherding young minds. Judging by the incident at UMD and the school’s lack of concern, that’s where they are inflicting the most damage.

–Ben Crystal

Federal Government Spent $10,612 Per Person In 2010

If the District of Columbia were to be counted as a State, this region would have led the list of recipients, with more than $100,000 being spent on each individual.According to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Federal government spent $10,612 per person domestically last year, including more than $5,000 for each individual for safety-net programs such as unemployment benefits, Social Security and housing assistance, The Washington Times reported.

States like Alaska and Virginia fared the best, receiving an average of $18,000 and $17,000 per person, respectively. Nevada was given the smallest allotment; the government spent less than $8,000 for each individual there.

If the District of Columbia were to be counted as a State, this region would have led the list of recipients, with more than $100,000 being spent on each individual, according to the Times.

The Oklahoman reported that the Federal government spent $3.3 trillion domestically in the fiscal year 2010, with $1.6 trillion of the funding going to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Spending in Oklahoma rose by $233 million from 2009, and from 2001 to 2010 it increased by up to 70 percent.

Overseas Military Engagements

During his campaign for President in 2000, George W. Bush said he would be judicious in his use of the military and opposed using it for nation building. Yet by the end of his Presidency, the U.S. had invaded Afghanistan and Iraq and was rebuilding those countries; and the military was being used without a declaration of war in a number of other countries that had not attacked us.

As a candidate for election in 2008, Barack Obama promised to remove troops from Afghanistan and Iraq and to end America’s involvement in foreign wars. Now we are fighting wars in those two countries, plus Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; and we currently maintain about 900 military bases in more than 100 countries.

The Founders warned us about the dangers of overseas military engagements.

In his farewell address, President George Washington said:

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course… Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

Later, in a letter to Patrick Henry, he wrote:

My ardent desire is, and my aim has been … to comply strictly with all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the United States free from political connections with every other country. To see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home.

And in a series of tracts called The American Crisis, Thomas Paine wrote:

Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to ‘bind me in all cases whatsoever’ to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?

The Founders believed we should stay away from foreign entanglements and involve ourselves only in wars in which there was an expressed vital U.S. interest or in response to an attack.

As you evaluate who you will support in the next Presidential election, ask yourself which of the candidates demonstrates that he or she understands the proper use of the military as envisioned by the Founders. They didn’t believe the U.S. should police the world, and we can certainly no longer afford it.


Campaign Treasurer For Democrats Comes Under Scrutiny

This arrest of Durkee has left California Democrats feeling strapped for cash, as the coming 2012 election may expose the fact that the candidates will have to scramble to find funding.The Associated Press reported that the campaign treasurer for several Democratic lawmakers has been targeted for embezzlement charges by Federal prosecutors.

Accusations arose following the confrontation between authorities and campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee. She was suspected of siphoning up to $700,000 from a California assemblyman.

According to the news outlet, Durkee also noted that she had been appropriating money from her many Democratic clients for years. Her list had several hundred names on it, including the campaigns of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Representative Susan A. Davis (D-Calif.) and Representative Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.).

“The underlying issue is: Were there systems in place to prevent this from happening or was this essentially an accident waiting to happen?” Kenneth Gross, a Washington-based attorney who advises candidates on campaign law compliance, told the AP. “No one assumes they hire a crook, but it’s a good idea to have procedures in case someone is tempted by having just one person with their hands on the control.”

This arrest of Durkee has left California Democrats feeling strapped for cash, as the coming 2012 election may expose the fact that the candidates will have to scramble to find funding, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Chechen Leader Bans Own Birthday

GROZNY CITY, Russia, Sept. 28 (UPI) — Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov said he will not allow any celebrations of his birthday and any officials who give him gifts will be fired.

Kadyrov, who will turn 35 on Oct. 5, said he will not allow any celebrations of his birthday, which coincides with Grozny City Day, RIA Novosti reported Wednesday.

“There will be no festivities devoted to my birthday. I strongly forbid to devote any celebrations to my birthday, regardless of where they are held. I also warn that anyone, who even tries to make me a present on this day, will be sacked immediately,” Kadyrov said.

“We will have a major holiday on Oct. 5, we will celebrate the Day of the City of Grozny and inaugurate the Grozny-City business center,” he said.

Study: Dumped Britons Spend Nearly $800

LONDON, Sept. 28 (UPI) — British retailer Superdrug said its research indicates women spend an average of nearly $800 reinventing themselves after the end of a relationship.

Superdrug said its study of 2,000 newly single women found they spent an average $776 on items and services including hairdressing, tanning, clothing, shoes, gym memberships and manicures.

“Being dumped, whether it was on the cards or not, will make even the toughest woman feel awful,” said Simon Comins, director of toiletries for Superdrug. “This research shows that women start to question what went wrong with the relationship, and feel self-conscious about their looks. So indulging in a new hair-do, a change of hair color, beautiful bronzed skin and a lovely new wardrobe of clothes can be just the tonic for those who have been heartbroken.”

The research indicated the most money went toward new clothes, with the women spending an average $191 on their wardrobes.

City Bans Bra-Hanging Breast Cancer Event

SAVANNAH, Ga., Sept. 28 (UPI) — Officials in a Georgia city have banned the hanging of bras across major intersections to draw attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Savannah city officials said they decided not to allow the “Bras Across Broughton” event, created by Clear Channel Communications, because they believe stringing bras across the four Broughton Street intersections would be in poor taste, the Savannah Morning News reported Tuesday.

“We have always closely scrutinized for appropriateness any private use of our public spaces,” City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney wrote in a memo to City Council members last week. “In this case, we weighed the goal of increased breast cancer awareness with the appropriateness of hanging underwear across one of our main streets.”

The event was to be aimed at raising awareness of breast cancer, with O.C. Welch Ford Lincoln pledging to donate $1 per bra up to $5,000 to breast cancer charities.

Caroline Keller, president of the board of the Coastal Georgia Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, has written a letter to the city asking for the decision to be reversed.

“Similar campaigns have been executed successfully and tastefully in other cities in the Southeast such as Columbia and Greenville, S.C., and Richmond, Va., and are repeated each year as annual events,” Keller wrote.

Georgia Tech Seeks To Stop ‘T’ Thefts

ATLANTA, Sept. 28 (UPI) — The Georgia Institute of Technology said it has spent more than $100,000 replacing the letter “T” on various signs after repeated thefts.

Undergraduate President Elle Creel said stealing the “T” from Tech Tower is a tradition stretching back to the 1960s, but it has recently spread to taking the “T” from signs all over campus, including stadium signs and library book return boxes, WAGA-TV, Atlanta, reported Wednesday.

The student government is encouraging thieves to return the pilfered letters with its “Keep the T in Tech” campaign, which is allowing those who take the letters to return them Wednesday with no questions asked.

“They can come by our student government office all day. We are also going to have the Rambling Wreck our mascot. You can come by Skiles Walkway and drop off the T in the wreck. There will be no questions asked. We don’t care why you stole the T or when. We just want to know where you got it so we can restore it to its rightful place,” Creel said.

Woman Finds Profanity On Starbucks Cup

NEW YORK, Sept. 28 (UPI) — A New York woman said she was shocked to find a derogatory name written on the side of the cup she received from her usual Starbucks.

Vicki Reveron said she often visits the Starbucks on 8th Avenue at 35th Street because it is near her workplace and she was shocked when an employee labeled her cup with a “b-word” meaning a female dog, WABC-TV, New York, reported Wednesday.

“I feel degraded actually. It’s a degrading word here,” Reveron said.

Reveron said there had been a mixup with her order of a caramel frappuccino just prior to the incident.

“We made light of the mistake the order taker had made so I mean no harm no foul, but unfortunately he took it another way,” Reveron said.

Reveron said a manager gave her free vouchers in compensation on the condition she not “associate the cup with the location.”

However, Reverson said she has instead decided to switch to a different coffee shop.

A manager at the location described the incident as a “mistake” and a company spokesman said officials “have apologized numerous times for this unfortunate misunderstanding.”

Dangerous Conditions At Hartgrove Psychiatric Hospital

CHICAGO, Sept. 28 (UPI) — A Chicago psychiatric hospital is under fire from child welfare experts who say the understaffed and overcrowded facility is a dangerous place for children.

A report released Tuesday by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services details violence and sexual assaults against young patients at Hartgrove Hospital on the city’s West Side, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s department of psychiatry, who conducted a six-month review of the 150-bed private psychiatric hospital, said children and teens at the hospital expressed fear for their safety, the newspaper said.

About 100 violent incidents were documented between December 2010 and mid-June 2011, including physical attacks, uncontrolled threatening behavior and sexual assaults.

DCFS stopped placing children in the facility in June after seeing a preliminary draft of the report.

“It’s our duty to ensure the safety of children in state care, and we will take whatever action is necessary to keep our kids safe,” DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe told the Tribune.

Woman Wants ‘malicious’ Photos Off The Web

LONDONDERY, Northern Ireland, Sept. 28 (UPI) — A woman in Northern Ireland says a former boyfriend posted photos of her on a Web site advertising sexual services.

Her lawyer, Hilary Carmichael, said the woman, who lives in County Antrim, wants the suggestive pictures removed from the Internet site and is seeking money damages, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The site is based in the United States but operated by a company incorporated in the central American nation of Belize, Carmichael said. She said the woman has been given permission to sue.

“In the event that the photographs are not removed, now that the writ has been served, we reserve the right to proceed in the next couple of days to seek an injunction forcing the defendant to make sure the photographs are removed and forcing an obligation on the defendant to start monitoring this type of site,” Carmichael said.

Carmichael said the former boyfriend acted “maliciously” and that the woman had informed the police but was told they had no power to get involved.

Israeli Bunker-busters Cause Mideast Alarm

TEL AVIV, Israel, Sept. 28 (UPI) — The disclosure that U.S. President Barack Obama approved the sale of 5,000-pound bunker-buster bombs to Israel, which wants them for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear installations, has sent ripples of alarm across the Middle East, including Israel itself.

Fears that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a right-wing hawk who has vowed to eliminate what hard-liners view as an existential Iranian threat to the Jewish state, could order a pre-emptive strike, have been emblazoned in headlines run by the liberal daily Haaretz in recent days.

“Netanyahu’s messianism could launch attack on Iran,” said one.

“Netanyahu must be stopped from attacking Iran,” declared another.

Fifty-five U.S.-made bunker-busters, designated GBU-28 Hard Target Penetrators, were secretly delivered to Israel in 2009.

But despite his determination to defang Iran, Netanyahu hasn’t launched an attack on Iran, even though he had the weapons needed to blast underground nuclear facilities.

However, concerns he could unleash them remain. For one thing, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, himself a former prime minister and chief of staff, have in recent months carried out command changes on an unprecedented scale in Israel’s military and intelligence arms.

Meir Dagan, director of Israel’s foreign intelligence service until he stepped down in January, said commanders who opposed any attack on Iran because of the regional firestorm it would detonate have been dismissed.

Of the 18 living former chiefs of Israel’s security establishment, eight have made known their opposition to Netanyahu’s strategic thinking.

Another four “have made their alarm publicly clear though they aren’t aggressively campaigning right now,” one observer said.

These include Yuval Diskin, until recently director of the General Security Service, and Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, edged out as chief of the general staff earlier this year.

Six of the others retired years ago and are keeping their thoughts to themselves, even though Netanyahu’s reported enthusiasm for hitting Iran is becoming a public issue.

The other two, Barak and another ex-chief of staff, Moshe Yaalon, are serving in Netanyahu’s coalition Cabinet. Yaalon is strategic affairs minister.

Dagan, a hard-charging former army general with a record of ruthlessness against Israel’s enemies, has publicly declared that attacking Iran “is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

He said Netanyahu and Barak were intent on plunging Israel into “a dangerous military adventure in Iran” that was certain to trigger a regional war that would ultimately threaten Israel’s existence.

Dagan told one interviewer: “I decided to speak because when I was in office, Diskin, Ashkenazi and I could block any dangerous adventure. Now I’m afraid there’s no one to stop Bibi (Netanyahu) and Barak.”

“Netanyahu is completely serious in his desire. And in his preparations to circumvent the warnings of the entire defense establishment in order to implement this desire, which many of those in his inner circle have defined as messianic: to attack Iran before winter,” one Haaretz commentary observed.

Israel had been pressing Washington for GBU-28s since 2005 but the Americans worried the technology would find its way to China, which Israel was selling military systems.

U.S. President George W. Bush eventually sanctioned the enterprise and Obama gave final approval when he took office. Both presidents opposed any unilateral Israeli strike against Iran.

At a Nov. 18, 2009, meeting between U.S. and Israeli military chiefs, a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable stated, “both sides … discussed the upcoming delivery of GBU-28 bunker-busting bombs to Israel, noting that the transfer should be handled quietly to avoid any allegations the USG (U.S. government) is helping Israel prepare for a strike against Iran.”

It was probably not a coincidence that a week later Netanyahu imposed a 10-month settlements freeze in the West Bank at Obama’s request in bid to galvanize the moribund peace process.

So why secretly transfer GBU-28s to Israel and then give the game away?

Some observers say Washington wanted to “hug Israel close” and make it feel secure. Others suspect leaking the transfer would give the Iranians pause knowing Israel could blast their nuclear sites.

Another explanation is that Obama was simply establishing his pro-Israel credentials in advance of a tough 2012 presidential campaign.

But what doesn’t appear to be in doubt is that while U.S.-Israeli diplomatic relations are distinctly strained right now, military cooperation has been stepped up — possibly to keep an eye on the Israelis.

Amanda Knox’s Sister: She Wants To Show Who She Is

PERUGIA, Italy, Sept. 28 (UPI) — Amanda Knox’s parents and sisters said Wednesday they are optimistic she will soon be cleared of murder and released from an Italian prison.

A hearing before an appeals court in Perugia is scheduled to end this week. Knox could learn her fate as early as Saturday, ABC News reported.

Lawyers for Knox, a former University of Washington student, and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are asking the court to overturn their convictions for killing Knox’s housemate, saying they were based on faulty evidence. Prosecutors asked that their sentences be increased to life in prison from the 26 years imposed on Knox in 2009 and the 25 given Sollecito.

Knox’s sisters told ABC’s “Good Morning America” she has been working hard on the statement she will be allowed to give the court.

“She really wants to just show the court who she really is,” one sister, Deana, said. “She doesn’t want them to believe the character that all the prosecutors have played out. She wants them to know who she is.”

Curt Knox said on CBS’s “Early Show” that he hopes to be able to give his condolences to the parents of Meredith Kercher. “You know, we have extended our deepest condolences during interviews such as this, but until they know what we believe the truth to be, and that Amanda and Raffaele had nothing to do with it, I’m not certain how they would accept our condolences in person and I’m hopeful we are allowed to do that very, very soon,” he said.

Knox and Kercher, a student at Leeds University in England, were both spending a year in Perugia. Prosecutors say Knox, Sollecito and Rudy Guede, an immigrant from Ivory Coast, killed Kercher during a drug-fueled sex-game, while lawyers for Knox and Sollecito suggest Guede was the sole killer.

Herbal Doctor Convicted Of Fraud

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 28 (UPI) — A California doctor faces up to 150 years in prison for using phony herbal cures to treat diseases ranging from cancer to Alzheimer’s, prosecutors said.

Christine Daniel, who is also an evangelical minister, was convicted Tuesday on four counts of mail and wire fraud, and six counts of tax evasion related to income tax filings as well as one count of witness tampering, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The 57-year-old is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 5 in Los Angeles.

Prosecutors alleged Daniel used her position of trust in the evangelical community and a program on the Trinity Broadcasting Network to sell the treatments, which cost up to $4,270 for a week’s worth of product, the newspaper said.

Daniel and her employees claimed the products had a 60 percent to 100 percent success rate in curing terminal cancer. She also claimed to be able to reverse a number of chronic and debilitating conditions.

Prosecutors said Daniels made millions of dollars from patients at her Sonrise clinic in Granada Hills, Calif.