OTBL - "Thanks Estonia" ATBL "Thanks President Bush"

Recent developments Source

  • Lithuania was reported to be considering withdrawing its troop contingent of 53 troops from Iraq.
  • On February 21, 2007, Denmark announced that it would withdraw its 460-strong contingent of troops from southern Iraq by August 2007
  • On February 21, 2007, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that 600 British troops would return home within the next few months, with another 500 to follow by the end of 2007, leaving approximately 5,000 troops on the ground; from a high of approximately 40,000 troops during the major combat operations phase.
  • Slovakia's Prime Minister announced in late January 2007, that the country's contingent had effectively been withdrawn from Iraq
  • Armenia's parliament voted on December 6, 2006, to extend the mandate of its troops contingent in Iraq by an additional 12 months. The contingent was reported to be made up of three staff officers, two military doctors, 10 men making up an engineering unit, in addition to a transport platoon composed of 31 drivers
  • Georgia, on Nov. 4, 2006, deployed a contingent of 300 servicemen from the 31st Light Infantry Battalion to Iraq as part of a normally scheduled troop rotation.
  • South Korea announced on November 25, 2006, that the deployment of its contingent of troops to Iraq would be extended for one year, but its size would be reduced. Media reports suggested that it would decrease by approximately 1,200 troops from its current size of ~2,300 as of late-November 2006.
  • The last contingent of Italian troops in Iraq, numbering between 60 and 70 troops was due to leave the country during the last week of November 2006.
  • Georgia completed on the rotation of an infantry battalion from Iraq. The battalion returned to Georgia on November 27, 2006. It was replaced in Iraq by the 31st Light Infantry Battalion which left for Iraq on November 4, 2006 with a size of 300 servicemen. Some 850 Georgian troops were reported to be deployed in Iraq.
  • On November 27, 2006, UK Defence Secretary Des Browne announced that Britain's contribution to operations in Iraq would be significantly reduced by next year's end.
  • As of November 24, 2006, Australia's Department of Defence reported that it had 1,400 troops taking part in Operation Catalyst. 221 of these were assigned to HMAS Warramunga and Commander Task Force 158. 330 Australian troops were assigned to 2 C-130 Hercules and AP-3C Orion detachments. 518 troops from multiple regiments making up Overwatch Battle Group West Two began deploying in mid-November 2006 to relieve Overwatch Battle Group West One troops stationed in Iraq for 6 months.
  • Poland, in mid-November 2006, authorized the extension of the deployment of its contingent in Iraq through mid-2007. Poland's President was quoted as saying that the contingent would be fully withdrawn by the end of 2007.
  • On October 11, 2006, the Mongolian contingent in Iraq held a ceremony to mark the rotation of a new contingent of troops. 100 Mongolian Infntry Company soldiers were reported to be tasked with providing security for Camp Echo and MND CS
  • On September 2, 2006, Slovakia officially rotated in its 7th contingent of troops into Iraq. That contingent is composed of 103 troops
  • On August 10, 2006, Lieutenant General Ts. Togoo, Chief of the Generaly Staff of the Mongolian Armed Forces reported that Mongolia would continue to maintain soldiers in Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Mongolia forces will complete their sixth combat rotation on September 26, 2006, and a seventh rotation will take their place.
  • On July 17, 2006, Japan completed a full withdrawal of armed forces from Iraq. This withdrawal was announced in June 2006.
  • On June 7, 2006, The Guardian Unlimited reported that Italy would withdraw all forces from Iraq by December 2006.
  • On May 9, 2006, VOA reported that South Korea was beginning to withdraw some of its force from Iraq. On May 9, 2006, the Korea Times reported that Korea maintained a force of 3,277 soldiers in the Kurdish city of Irbil but would soon be withdrawing 40. Both articles reported that by the end of 2006, South Korea would withdraw a total of approximately 1,000 troops.
  • On February 22, 2006, the Bulgarian Parliament approved a measure to send a 150-person non-combat contigent to Camp Ashraf on a humanitarian mission designed to oversee control of the camp. On March 29, Bulgaria sent its first contingent to the camp.
  • In late December 2005, Ukraine completed its withdrawal of troops from Iraq. RFE/RL reported that the withdrawal was almost complete on December 20.
  • In October 2005, Norway announced that it would begin withdrawing its forces from Iraq. It soon completed a full withdrawal.
  • In March 2005, the Netherlands completed a full withdrawal of its troops from Iraq. RFE/RL reported on the withdrawal in January.

Subsidized Adult Kindergarten a Hit @ OTBL

Enroll before classes are full.

Republican Faithful Endorse New Official Beverage

RINOs Find Safe Haven from the Borderline Stormtroopers

Local Democratics organized a fund raiser to assist the recent flood of RINO refugees from ontheborderline.nut's Freedom Brigade. As they say, Freedom is never free.
Recent comments by N.Onimous prove that neither is thought contrary to the party line free or tolerated in the OTBL "Freedom Zone". So the OTBL troops keep thinning their herd trying to maintain that ethnic thought purity that is the mark of all true OTBL Ubermenchen. Soon there will be none!!!!!!!

Britney Spears Crowned "Miss OTBL"

Sometimes, 15 minutes of fame is too much. Want proof, check out ontheborderline.net.

Harsdorf co-sponsors move to require divestment in Sudan

E-mail Shelia Harsdorf with your thoughts and concerns the divestiture issue.

In a bi-partisan effort to divert investments that support the state-sponsored genocide taking place in the Durfur region by the Sudanese government, Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Representative Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) have called on the state to remove from investments by the Wisconsin State Investment Board any company that provides support to the military in Sudan.

Since early 2003, Sudanese troops and government-sponsored militias have carried out the coordinated and targeted killing of the black African population in Sudan’s Darfur region. For the first time in history, the U.S. Congress, State Department, and Executive Branch have all declared that an ongoing massacre amounts to genocide and that the Sudanese government is directly responsible.

To date, 400,000 people have been slaughtered, 2.5 million more have been driven from their homes and 70 percent of all Darfurian villages have been destroyed. Furthermore, a systematic policy of rape has maimed and humiliated scores of Darfurian women, while the government’s blockade of humanitarian aid to the displaced has left over three million in danger of starvation.

Read more!

Additional links to sites detailing the situation in the Durfur region.
Sudan Genocide Info
Durfur: A Genocide We Can Stop
Genocide in Sudan

Warren Buffett plays dumb on Darfur

Warren Buffett's investment holding company, Berkshire-Hathaway, owns a chunk of the Chinese oil company PetroChina. PetroChina is a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned oil company, CNPC. CNPC has a 40 percent stake in a Sudanese oil venture.

The ongoing horror of genocide in Sudan has inspired a divestment campaign that is apparently generating some genuine heat on Berkshire and Buffett. On Wednesday, Berkshire took the unprecedented step of responding to critics by posting a defense of its PetroChina investment on the Berkshire Web site. The Berkshire argument can be summed up simply: PetroChina is a domestic Chinese oil company and is not directly involved in the Sudan. And even it was, divestment wouldn't make any difference, anyway.

Whether divesting from PetroChina would influence the actions of Sudan's rulers is a question that can be debated. But Berkshire's assertion that PetroChina is untainted by its parent company's actions is suspect.

Read more on UC divestment.

Judge voids Illinois law barring Sudan investment
By Andrew Stern

CHICAGO (Reuters) - An Illinois law barring state-backed investments in non-U.S. companies doing business in Sudan to protest genocide in the Durfur region was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge on Friday.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly could impact similar laws enacted in the past year in at least eight other U.S. states and proposals being considered by several other state legislatures.

Illinois, in 2005, was the first state to pass such a law concerning Sudan, but all in some way are designed to mirror the disinvestment campaign against South Africa during the apartheid era.

The ruling "means pension funds won't have to sell assets" in order to comply with Illinois' law, said William Reinsch, president of the National Foreign Trade Council, a trade group representing international companies that filed a federal lawsuit last year against the Illinois law.


MicHELLe Bachman: Nuclear option still on the table

Rep. Michele Bachmann, who claimed in a recent interview to know of an Iranian plan to partition Iraq and turn half of it into a "terrorist haven" to launch attacks in the Middle East, said Friday that she was "sorry if my words have been misconstrued."

"Although it is difficult to ascertain Iran's intentions toward Iraq, they are clearly not in the U.S. interest - for example, the Iranian weapons that have fallen into the hands of insurgents," Bachmann, a freshman Minnesota Republican, said in a statement after media coverage of her earlier comments.

"If Iran is allowed to freely operate in Iraq and continues to thwart the U.S. and the Iraqi government, then we may very well see a de facto partition in which the western Anbar province continues to house and develop terrorists."


A blizzard of videos to warm your soul...

Lookout Iran and Venezuela...
MicHELLe is hot for the nukes...

Lookout you heathen devil worshipors...
MicHELLe is hot for God...

Look Laura Bush...
MicHELLe is hot for W...

Ted Haggart exposes it all...
Is MicHELLe hot for the "root of all evil?"

Evangelical sex is hot...
Will MicHELLe give Ted?

The Book of Hypocrisy Chapter 69...
We are right, because the Bible says so!

Mark Foley on sickos...
He's hot on their trail!

Some are Christian hypocrites
and some are just plum crazy for Jesus!

Have you noticed MicHELLe, Ted, etc...
Things aren't always what they seem...

Is anybody hot for freedom?

Bush Leadership Principle: Go Shopping...

George Santayana:
"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

"Patriotism ruins history."

1/14/2003: Lead Up To War...
...The president and others in the administration began to mine the war metaphor for its political utility. Whatever the administration wanted to accomplish politically or economically it would seek justification for in the "fact" that America was "at war."
Orwellian images and language began to appear. "War" became "restoring international peace."
Bush did nothing to mobilize public opinion to accept the sacrifices that war implies — the first thing a leader would do. Tax cuts could go ahead as planned, and energy saving was dismissed out of hand. "Go shopping" was the administration's message.
Letting this conflict become a broad war on "terror" has led to a loss of focus. The terrorists of Sept. 11 were criminals, pure and simple. They cannot be seen as freedom fighters struggling against injustice or occupation or for self-determination.

Read more: Confusion in America : Try clearer thinking about 'terrorists'.

George Wilhelm Hegel:
"What experience and history teach is this -- that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles."

Dwight D. Eisenhower:
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

Ludwig von Mises:
"The essence of so-called war prosperity; it enriches some by what it takes from others. It is not rising wealth but a shifting of wealth and income."

"The question in my mind is how many additional American casualties is Saddam worth? And the answer is not very damned many."

Dick Cheney
Secretary of Defense


Timely criticism...

Finally, Republicans find something to differ on...

Dec. 15, 2006

President Bush praised Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's supervision of the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and his attempts to revamp the Pentagon bureaucracy. "I'm pleased with the progress we're making," Mr. Bush said during the interview in the Oval Office.

The President's praise was echoed by the Vice President.

"I believe the record speaks for itself - Don Rumsfeld is the finest secretary of defence this nation has ever had," Vice President Richard B Cheney said at today’s Pentagon farewell to Rumsfeld. Cheney said that Rumsfeld emanates loyalty, integrity and love for the United States and a devotion to its cause. “The record of the years 2001 to 2006 only confirms the good qualities and the gift for leadership that Don Rumsfeld has shown all his life,” the vice president said.

Cheney said, “Under Secretary Rumsfeld, we've struck major blows against the al Qaeda network that hit America," and added that under Rumsfeld’s leadership, the United States has toppled two totalitarian regimes, liberated 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq, and “stood by young democracies as America always does."
Feb. 21, 2007

British Prime Minister Tony Blair's announcement that British troops will begin withdrawing from Iraq would appear to be bad news for the Bush administration.

Blair said today that Britain will cut its forces in Iraq to 5,500 by summer, down from 7,100 currently. And additional cuts to as few as 5,000 British troops in Iraq are possible by the end of summer, Blair said.

President George W Bush views the plan to cut British forces to about 5,000 by the end of the summer as "a sign of success", according to a US National Security Council spokesman, Gordon Johndroe. Mr Bush spoke to the prime minister about the plans by video link yesterday, Mr Johndroe said.

The President added, "While the United Kingdom is maintaining a robust force in southern Iraq, we're pleased that conditions in Basra have improved sufficiently that they are able to transition more control to the Iraqis."

Vice President Cheney tells ABC News that British P.M.Tony Blair's just-announced troop reduction is a sign progress is being made in Iraq.

"Well, I look at it and see it is actually an affirmation that there are parts of Iraq where things are going pretty well," Cheney told ABC News' Jonathan Karl. Cheney added, "In fact, I talked to a friend just the other day who had driven to Baghdad down to Basra, seven hours, found the situation dramatically improved from a year or so ago, sort of validated the British view they had made progress in southern Iraq and that they can therefore reduce their force levels."

(Admin's note: Today we received the picture below from an obvious Democrat partisan who obviously doesn't drink from the same picture of Kool-aid as Bush and Cheney.)

(Admin's note: Even though I know the reader who send this picture severed his country honorably around the time that such patriots like President Bush and Vice President Bush were doing whatever it took to dodge the Vietnam draft, I'm not sure he has the credentials as Bush and Cheney to evaluate the war. Let's see what other members of the Armed Services had to say about Bush's former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and the Iraq War.)

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has joined the list of prominent figures speaking out bluntly against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s handling of the war in Iraq.

Addressing the annual conference of the National School Board Association in Chicago on Saturday, Powell said: "We made some serious mistakes in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Baghdad.

"We didn't have enough troops on the ground. We didn't impose our will. And as a result, an insurgency got started and ... got out of control."

Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, senior commander during the 1991 Persian Gulf War criticized the Pentagon for providing inadequate armor protection for troops in Iraq.

(Admin's note: Of course, Powell and Schwarzkopf are military men. They try there best to stay above political partisanship, unlike our dear reader who sent us the above picture. Maybe it's time our reader wakes up and smells the bacon and understands Bush's war through the eyes of some highly respected political figures...)

Former Senate majority leader Trent Lott from Mississippi joined a growing chorus of senators that include Chuck Hagel or Nebraska and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine raised public concerns about the management of the war.

(Admin's note: Yes, I know that was two months ago. But, hey, aren't those three senators all Republicans? Tell me something new...)

Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Monday the war in Iraq has been mismanaged for years and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld will be remembered as one of the worst in history.

”We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement - that’s the kindest word I can give you - of Donald Rumsfeld, of this war,” the Arizona senator told an overflow crowd of more than 800 at a retirement community near Hilton Head Island, S.C. ”The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously.”

McCain, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, complained that Rumsfeld never put enough troops on the ground to succeed in Iraq. To applause, McCain added, ”I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history.”

(Admin's note: And what does Vice President Cheney think of McCain's remarks?)

The vice president is on a week-long trip to Japan and Australia and gave a 10-minute interview to ABC’s Jonathan Karl aboard the USS Kitty Hawk, docked off the coast of Tokyo at Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan. Here is their exchange about McCain:

Karl: “You probably heard John McCain again come out and say that your friend Donald Rumsfeld is perhaps the worst secretary of defense ever. What do you make of that?"

Cheney: “I just fundamentally disagree with John. John said some nasty things about me the other day, and then next time he saw me, ran over to me and apologized. Maybe he'll apologize to Rumsfeld.”

(Admin's note: Our Vice President would certainly never say "nasty things." He is a diplomat of the highest standing. Below is a reminder of the kindness of his heart and the compassion he has for his fellow Americans.)

In an interview, he called McCain's comments "hogwash." He said the Bush administration will do whatever it damn well wants even if Congress and the American people don't support the actions.

This is the man who told Sen. Patrick Leahy to "fuck off" on the floor of the Senate, the one who advocates tossing journalists in jail if they dare question the illegal actions of the Bush administration and - as testimony in the perjury trial of his ex-chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby reveals - the man obsessed with destroying anyone who disagrees with the White House.

Dick Cheney is a spiteful, bitter, arrogant, vain little man who was tasked with helping Bush find a running mate in 2000 and managed to eliminate all candidates except himself. This worked perfectly for Bush, whose entire career is built on letting others run interference for him.

Cheney brought in Don Rumsfeld, another believer in absolute power in the executive branch.

Cheney and Rumseld bragged that Americans would be "welcomed as liberators" in Iraq. When it didn't happen, Cheney said "just wait. They will."

When Bush sacked Rumsfeld, White House insiders say Cheney got so mad he refused to speak to the President for weeks. But as Bush's popularity plunged and more and more Republicans defected from the madness of King George, Cheney found himself back in the inner circle as one of the few left who still backed the President's insanity.

Now Republicans wonder if the Vice President might not be as Looney-Tunes as the Prez.

Read more about The madness of Vice King Dick.

(Admin's note: Luckily, W and Dick have the Christian Right praying hard for them. I'm hoping they remember the other 300 million of us poor bastards in their prayers.)

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor, Metamucil

Sign spotted in New Richmond


Luke Speaks...

gif animation

Luke Sings "The Way We Were"

Who said kids are wasting their time?

Surgeons who play video games more skilled: study

CHICAGO (Reuters Life!) - Playing video games appears to help surgeons with skills that truly count: how well they operate using a precise technique, a study said on Monday.

There was a strong correlation between video game skills and a surgeon's capabilities performing laparoscopic surgery in the study published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery.

Laparoscopy and related surgeries involve manipulating instruments through a small incision or body opening where the surgeon's movements are guided by watching a television screen.

Video game skills translated into higher scores on a day-and-half-long surgical skills test, and the correlation was much higher than the surgeon's length of training or prior experience in laparoscopic surgery, the study said.

Out of 33 surgeons from Beth Israel Medical Center in New York that participated in the study, the nine doctors who had at some point played video games at least three hours per week made 37 percent fewer errors, performed 27 percent faster, and scored 42 percent better in the test of surgical skills than the 15 surgeons who had never played video games before.

Read more @Scientific American.

Minnesota schools expand their horizons to meet future needs

Mankato schools likely to offer Chinese in fall

Mankato Area Public Schools will begin offering Mandarin Chinese to high school students in the fall. The program is part of a push to equip students with skills to compete in an era of international business and relations. A one-credit pilot course will be available for 25 students from Mankato East and West high schools (12 from East, 13 from West) in an early-bird class form, meaning students will meet before school.

“China will be one of the countries we do trading with,” Supt. Ed Waltman said.

He said he’s received inquiries about a Chinese language course from parents and area business in the past few years, but the district was unable to get the resources to offer the class.

Read more @ Mankato Free Press.

Kitty Attacks President Bush

Michelle Bachman calls it a cheap stunt...

Tommy Thompson To Speak On The Need For Stem Cell Research

This Friday, Feb. 23

Former Wisconsin Gov. Thompson will speak at UW-Stout on the need for, and advances in, stem cell research. The presentation will be from 10 to 11 .a.m. Friday, Feb. 23, in UW-Stout’s Harvey Hall Theater, 721 3rd Street East. Please try to be seated by 9:45 a.m.

The presentation is free and open to anyone from UW-Stout and the public.

Hillary Targets Confederate Flag

Local www.ontheborderline.nut bloggers protest...

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that South Carolina should remove the Confederate flag from its Statehouse grounds, in part because the nation should unite under one banner while at war.

"I think about how many South Carolinians have served in our military and who are serving today under our flag and I believe that we should have one flag that we all pay honor to, as I know that most people in South Carolina do every single day," Clinton told The Associated Press in an interview.

"I personally would like to see it removed from the Statehouse grounds," the New York senator said during her first trip to the early voting state since announcing her White House bid.

Read more @ News Max


Trickle Up Economics

Companies with the highest number of worker layoffs in 2001 had CEOs who received larger pay increases than companies with fewer layoffs, according to a recent report. Boston-based United for a Fair Economy and the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., sponsored the study to expose injustices in U.S. executive compensation. "One of the most important [themes in the report]," says AFL-CIO analyst Brandon Rees, "is that executives are sheltering their retirement plans from the risks that everyone else is expected to shoulder." There are a few companies, such as Cisco Systems, where the CEOs took pay cuts. Here are the numbers.

  • 6%: U.S. unemployment rate in November 2002, equaling the highest rate since mid-1994, representing about 8.5 million people.

  • 6%: Median CEO pay increase for 365 companies surveyed by Business Week in 2002.

  • 44%: Median pay increase of the CEOs of the 50 companies with the largest numbers of layoffs.

  • 1,612%: Pay increase for AOL Time Warner CEO G.M. Levin in 2002.

  • 100%: Pay decrease for Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers in 2002.

Sources: United for a Fair Economy, Institute for Policy Studies, Los Angeles Times
Read more @ Sojouners Magazine.


After wasting the taxpayers time on wedge issues...

Kitty's Republicans finally decide to do something.

Wis. Attorney General JB Van Hollen is requesting 31 new DNA analysts for the state crime lab to help eliminate the backlog in DNA evidence at lab by 2010. This is double the current staffing level.

Gov. Jim Doyle and the Legislature would have to act on Van Hollen's request, and both are in ongoing talks with the Department of Justice about how to best address the backlog. Doyle had already committed to providing funds for 15 new analysts in the budget he'll submit to the Legislature on Tuesday. Doyle is familiar with the backlog after serving 12 years as attorney general, and will continue to work closely with Van Hollen to address it, said Doyle spokesman Matt Canter.

Rep. Kitty Rhoades (R-Hudson), co-chair of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, said "the mess at the Crime Lab is just unbelievable" and she supports efforts to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible. We can't get on top of this unless we take dramatic steps."
Maybe, if the Republican majority in the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly would have spent more time over the last couple of years dealing with actual issues like the staffing needs at the state crime lab and less time on voter wedge issues that put more guns on the street and anti-family amendments that divide the community, this wouldn't be such an issue.
Concerning Governor Doyle's budget announced last Tuesday, Rhoades said, "I've never seen a budget like this. Evidently, the governor believes taxpayers can pay more now than they've ever before. Call it whatever you want, it's still going to be coming out of your pocketbook."

Rhoades thinks the budget can be balanced without raising taxes if its spending is brought in line with its ability to pay.
Maybe Kitty should clue us in on what spending needs to be brought in line? $7 million for DNA analysts is going to come out of some one's pocketbook. Start talking Kitty, we are all ears. Where are the cuts coming from?

Oldest Resident of Munchkinland Avers Every Detail of Fateful Day

Munchkin City coroner a Wisconsin boy...

The son of Wisconsin dairy farmers, he endured years of schoolyard teasing about what he calls his "abnormal lack of height" before wandering one day into the Midget Village attraction at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair.


PENNEY FARMS - Like any coroner, he has seen some things. But one case stays with him nearly 70 years after the fact, like some old song he can't get out of his head.

He couldn't shake this case even if he wanted to, what with all the videotapes, the DVDs, the television broadcasts replaying the gruesome aftermath over and over, in vivid Technicolor. Those striped socks, curling back like a pair of deflating noisemakers.

The coroner's name is Meinhardt Raabe, and he lives in a retirement community tucked between here and there.

He can't see or hear too well, and his short legs need the assistance of a three-wheeled walker with hand brakes. But none of this means that at 91 he has forgotten much, because he hasn't - especially about that case.

Sitting on his small bed, his coroner's outfit stored in a closet, Raabe recalls a rich and varied life but makes clear that he accepts, even embraces, how his obituary will read: Munchkin City coroner, handled case of woman killed by house that fell from the sky.

It's hard to imagine now, but the freak accident was just one of many wacky events in a wacky, politically charged time, a time when monkeys could fly and trees could talk and life could change on a witch's whim.

Read more @ The New York Times.