FUBAR

This guy is one of our allies?

So these are our allies in the war against terrorism?

A 17-year-old Pakistani girl is unmercifully and publicly flogged by a Taliban thug for leaving her house without a male escort and when authorities are asked to explain, they reply that it was wrong to do it in public. Afghan Shiite women face the prospect of arrest under a new law adopted by the government of Hamid Karzai that critics charge would allow their spouses to incarcerate them at home.

‘Inhuman’ treatment of detainees

A new report sheds disturbing light on how the Central Intelligence Agency subjected detainees to "inhuman" treatment while doctors abandoned their medical ethics and stood by, watching the torture and abuse.

A dying racist struggles to deal with his past sins

Elwin Hope Wilson leans back in his recliner at his home in Rock Hill, SC, a sad, sickly man haunted by time.

Antique clocks, at least a hundred of them, fill his neat ranch home on Tillman Street. Grandfather clocks, mantel clocks, cuckoos and Westministers, all ticking, chiming and clanging in an hourly cacophony that measures the passing days.

Why clocks? his wife Judy has often asked during their 49 years together.

An 18-year media ban comes to an end

The Pentagon’s 18-year ban on media coverage of fallen U.S. service members returning home ended quietly, with only an officer’s sharp order to salute accompanying a single flag-covered casket being unloaded from a cargo plane.

After receiving permission from family members, the military opened Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to the media Sunday night for the return of the body of Air Force Staff Sgt. Phillip Myers of Hopewell, Va.

G-20′s shortcomings may be a good thing

The G-20 economic summit fell short of expectations — and that’s probably just as well.

President Obama did not get a coordinated, massive global stimulus initiative and with it the threat of global inflation. The summit did approve $1.1 trillion in lending authority and cash for the International Monetary Fund and that sum alone, coursing through the smaller economies of Eastern Europe and Latin America, will have to be carefully monitored for its inflationary impact as the recession begins to ease, which it will.

The beginning of the end or an opportunity?

The Congressional Budget Office, the economic forecasting arm of the Congress, now reports that the Social Security trust fund is almost in the red. They project that the fund’s surplus next year will be a scant $3 billion.

For perspective, CBO just 12 months ago projected that this same surplus would be $86 billion — almost 30 times larger. Plus, the CBO estimated then that the fund would not be in the red for another ten years. Now it looks like it may be next year.

Don’t look now but Uncle Sam is taking over

Unless you wandered off the beaten path in the business pages you probably missed this dispatch out of Detroit that President Obama’s auto task force participating in meetings that "have focused on educating the Treasury on the world of auto manufacturing."

This is ominous news indeed, especially coupled with the Obama administration forcing out General Motors’ CEO. The Treasury is sidling into the auto business — Ford, Chrysler, GM, Toyota, Treasury.

As crisis loomed, Geithner ignored warning signs

Timothy Geithner, President Barack Obama’s embattled Treasury Secretary, ignored warning signs of the impending banking and economic crisis because he, as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was too close to the industry he was supposed to regulate.

Others saw it coming and the warning signs were there but Geithner missed the signs and ignored the warnings of others.

Today’s America: A socialist state

Anyone who doubts that the Bush and Obama administrations collectively transformed America into a socialist state should consider this: For every dollar American citizens generated last year, the federal bailout consumed more than 90 cents in outlays, loans, and commitments.

A not-so-upbeat cherry blossom season

Thousands of digital cameras are snapping that famous shot of the cherry blossoms framing the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin here despite bouts of chilly, rainy weather, but, somehow, the mood is not the same this year.