Is L.A. A War Zone?

With about 40 arson fires across Los Angeles in the last three days, the wave of intentional blazes that started in Hollywood on Friday is the worst since the 1992 riots, officials said.

Authorities said they remained unsure whether the fires were the work of one arsonist or several people, perhaps including copycats. Although the majority of the fires have occurred in the Hollywood area, some also were reported in the San Fernando Valley, Westside and as far south as Lennox near the 105 Freeway.

At least four new fires were reported on New Year’s Eve, including one caught on tape at the Hollywood & Highland shopping center on Hollywood Boulevard.

Firefighters responded after 7 p.m. to a report that a car inside the Hollywood & Highland parking deck was on fire, said Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Brian Humphrey. By the time they arrived, the fire was out, but a suspect’s image may have been captured by one of the structure’s video cameras. Police were broadcasting a description of a white man in his mid-30s with a receding hairline and a ponytail.

In West Hollywood, Los Angeles County firefighters were called to 1035 N. Sweetzer Avenue around 8:30 p.m. They found an apartment house carport with two vehicles ablaze and spent 25 minutes dousing the flames, said Don Kunitomi, an on-scene fire inspector.

“Whoever is doing this is really messing with people’s lives,” said Fire Capt. Jamie Moore.

Read more here.

Police Use Pepper Spray, Rubber Bullets on Occupy Denver Protesters Trying to Storm Capitol

Police used pepper spray and rubber bullets to try to quell an Occupy Denver demonstration Saturday as protesters attempted to occupy the Colorado Capitol building.

The Denver Post reported at least 20 arrests were made, including for assault and for disobedience. Police confirmed pepper spray and either rubber bullets or pepper balls were used to break up the marching crowd, which may have numbered up to 2,000.

Denver Police Lt. Matt Murray told the Post some protesters received medical treatment at the scene and one was taken to the hospital.

Murray said one officer was knocked off his motorcycle and others were attacked and kicked by protesters.

“Unfortunately at one point, that group did try to occupy the capital, which is illegal. We made sure that they knew that, it was pretty clear that they were not allowed to do that, they tried to do it anyway,” Murray said. “We had to step in and push them off. Things escalated; we did have to call out city-wide for assistance.”

Read more here.

Concealing black hate crimes

Investor’s Business Daily joins American Thinker in responding to Eric Holder’s challenge to avoid cowardice on racial issues. The esteemed publication writes:

Across the U.S., mobs of black youths are organizing on Facebook to loot stores and beat whites. Yet none dare call the “flash mob” attacks hate crime, least of all the attorney general.

The Associated Press is reporting that at least one of those arrested in the Wisconsin State Fair beatings said the mob was targeting whites, making it a hate crime. Where is Eric Holder’s civil rights division? About this epidemic of black-on-white assaults, we hear nothing.

America has watched the UK explode into riots, and meanwhile we have our own symptoms of riot potential showing up, and the American media is turning a blind eye. This is very scary territory, where the our news organs become fully propagandistic in nature, actively ignoring obvious realities.

As always, IBD does not pull its punches:

To Holder, blacks are the permanent victims. But his department’s own data say otherwise. In most cases of interracial crimes, the victim is white and the perp is black. Black criminals choose white victims 45% of the time, while whites victimize blacks 3% of the time. More than twice as many whites are murdered by a black than cases of a white murdering blacks.

This is one to savor. Honest voices are telling the truth about the serious race problems we have now, and the Obama administration’s heinous role in exacerbating them.

London Olympic Ambassador Arrested For Rioting

A teenage girl accused of trashing a police car during the ongoing London riots has been arrested — after her parents allegedly spotted her doing it on TV and called the police.

Adrienne Ives told the Sun she has no regrets about turning her daughter, Chelsea, over to the police. She said she and her husband were watching television coverage of the riots Sunday when they recognized their daughter attacking the car.

“We were watching the riots. It was sickening. Then we saw her. To say we were shocked…” Adrienne said. “I love her. But look at what she’s done. These riots have cost people their jobs and even lives. We are going through hell.”

Chelsea, described as smart and athletic and among a group of Londoners picked to serve as “ambassadors” for the 2012 Olympics, cried when her parents confronted her, her father Roger said.

“There were a lot of tears. She did not try to stop us phoning the police, she knew there was no point,” he said. “The policeman said we had been brave. It was devastating when she was led away. I don’t want my daughter to prison. But we would do the same thing again.”

Prosecutors say she threw a rock through a store before yelling to her friend, “This is the best day ever!” Then, along with a group of a dozen rioters, she is alleged to have started attacking a squad car, throwing a brick and hitting it with a plastic road barrier.

Riots in London

These riots in London have taken on a socio-economic bent, pinning the achievers in Great Britain against the moochers. The more we hear from these people who are rioting, the more we realize that many are using this as an excuse to act out and show those evil rich people that “we can do what we want.” Yeah, those evil rich people .. it’s all their fault that our government benefits are being cut! This is our way of showing that “we’re redistributing the wealth.” Interesting that they would blame the rich people for their benefits being cut, because without the taxes paid by rich people, there wouldn’t be any money for their precious government benefits.

Usually in this case, I would ask one simple question of these moochers who are blaming their problems on rich people: If, by chance, you were to decide to become employed, would you go try to get a job from a poor person? But we have this “if you were to decide to become employed” problem here. The argument can be made that Great Britain has become such a cesspool of welfare moochers that its citizens are no longer concerned with actually earning a living. They are owed a living by the government. These rioters are acting with little concern as to how their actions affect their fellow citizens who are trying to make it: the bus boys at the restaurants that they are vandalizing, the cashiers at the groceries they are stealing from, the local business owners whose livelihoods they are sending up in smoke. These people are trying to earn a living and are currently unable to do so because of the selfish and criminal actions of these rioting moochers. This is what happens when a society becomes reliant on a government for its survival … take a look at this insight from Brendan O’Neill on the welfare state of Great Britain:

What we have on the streets of London and elsewhere are welfare-state mobs. The youth who are shattering their own communities represent a generation that has been suckled by the state more than any generation before it. They live in urban territories where the sharp-elbowed intrusion of the welfare state during the past 30 years has pushed aside older ideals of self-reliance and community spirit. The march of the welfare state into every aspect of urban, less well-off people’s existences, from their financial wellbeing to their child-rearing habits and even into their emotional lives, with the rise of therapeutic welfarism designed to ensure that the poor remain “mentally fit”, has undermined individual resourcefulness and social bonding. The antisocial youthful rioters are the end-product of this antisocial system of state intervention.

As Thomas Sowell says in his latest collection of random thoughts: “Today, the welfare state shields people from the consequences of their own mistakes, allowing irresponsibility to continue and to flourish among ever wider circles of people.”

Police arrest more than 400 after vandalism at Toronto economic summit

une 26: A protester kicks a burnt-out car as a police vehicle burns in the background during an anti-G-20 demonstration in Toronto. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

TORONTO (AP) — Police made more than 400 arrests after black-clad demonstrators broke off from a crowd of peaceful protesters at the global economic summit and went on a rampage in downtown Toronto that lasted into the early morning hours, authorities said Sunday.

The roving band of protesters torched four police cruisers and shattered shop windows with baseball bats and hammers for blocks, including at police headquarters, then shed some of their black clothes, revealing other garments, and continued their rampage.

Police used shields, clubs, tear gas and pepper spray to push back the protesters who tried to head south toward the security fence surrounding the Group of 20 summit site. Some demonstrators hurled rocks and bottles at police.

The vandalism occurred just blocks from where U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders were meeting and staying.

“What we saw yesterday is a bunch of thugs that pretend to have a difference of opinion with policies and instead choose violence to express those so-called differences of opinion,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s chief spokesman Dimitri Soudas said Sunday.

Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows said Sunday that at least 412 people had been arrested in the rampage that began Saturday afternoon. Those arrested were taken to a temporary holding center constructed for the summit.

The streets of downtown Toronto were quiet at daylight, but Burrows said police were expecting a large protest later Sunday morning at a park near the detention center.

Burrows said many of the violent protesters were Canadian. He added that authorities had known of their plans for some time.

“We’re not sure we have the leaders, but we have a large proportion of those people and the people who decided they wanted to be influenced by these violent protesters and join with their cause,” Burrows said. “A lot of them were home grown. There’s a lot of Canadian talent in the group.”

Thousands of police headed to Toronto to reinforce security there after the smaller Group of Eight summit ended Saturday in Huntsville, Ontario, about 140 miles (225 kilometers) away. Security was being provided by an estimated 19,000 law enforcement officers drawn from across Canada, and security costs were estimated at more than US$900 million.

Saturday’s protests began with a peaceful march, sponsored by labor unions and dubbed family friendly, that was the largest demonstration planned during the summit weekend. Its organizers had hoped to draw a crowd of 10,000, but only about half that number turned out on a rainy day.

Police in riot gear and riding bikes formed a blockade, keeping protesters from approaching the steel and concrete security fence a few blocks south of the march route. Police closed a stretch of Toronto’s subway system along the protest route and the largest shopping mall downtown closed after the protest took a turned for the worse.

The black-clad demonstrators broke off from the larger crowd of peaceful protesters and began torching police cars and smashing shop windows.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said the goal of the militant protesters was to draw police away from the security perimeter of the summit so that fellow protesters could attempt to disrupt the meeting.

Some police officers were struck by rocks and bottles and assaulted, but none was injured badly enough to stop working, Blair said.

“We have never seen that level of wanton criminality and vandalism and destruction on our streets,” Blair said.

Previous global summit protests have turned violent. In 1999, 50,000 protesters shut down World Trade Organization sessions in Seattle as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. There were some 600 arrests and $3 million in property damage. One man died after clashes with police at a G-20 meeting held in London in April 2009.

At the September G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, police fired canisters of pepper spray and smoke and rubber bullets at marchers.

Thousands protest summit in Canada; vandals smash windows, torch police cars

June 26, 2010: Riot police walk by a burning police car in downtown Toronto during anti G20 protests.

TORONTO (AP) — Black-clad demonstrators broke off from a crowd of peaceful demonstrators protesting a global economic summit in Toronto, torching police cruisers and smashing windows with baseball bats and hammers.

Police with shields and clubs earlier pushed back another small group of demonstrators who tried to head south toward the security fence surrounding the perimeter of the Group of 20 summit site. Some demonstrators hurled bottles at police.

“This isn’t our Toronto and my response is anger,” Toronto Mayor David Miller told CP24 television. “Every Torontonian should be outraged by this.”

The roving band of protesters in black balaclavas shattered shop windows for blocks, including at police headquarters, then shed some of their black clothes, revealing other garments, and continued to rampage through downtown Toronto.

Protesters torched at least two police cruisers in different parts of the city, including one in the heart of the city’s financial district.

Police in riot gear and riding bikes formed a blockade, keeping protesters from approaching the security fence a few blocks south of the march route. Police closed a stretch of Toronto’s subway system along the protest route and the largest shopping mall downtown closed after the protest took a turn for the worse.

A media bus taking photographers and cameramen to a hotel where the G-20 leaders will have dinner was turned back after police deemed it unsafe.

Dozens of police officers later boxed in a number of protesters from both sides of a street in a shopping district. The protesters encouraged the media to film it and they sang ‘O Canada’, Canada’s national anthem, before being allowed to disperse.

At another location at the provincial legislature police also boxed in demonstrators before tackling some and making arrests.

A stream of police cars headed to Toronto to reinforce security there after the smaller Group of Eight summit ended in Huntsville, Ontario. The vandalism occurred just blocks from where President Barack Obama and other world leaders were meeting and staying.

“These images are truly shocking to Canadians,” Canadian Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said in a statement. “We are taking all measures necessary to ensure Canadians, delegates, media and international visitors remain safe.”

Previous major world summits also have attracted massive, raucous and sometimes destructive protests by anti-globalization forces.

As of Saturday afternoon, 40 summit-related arrests had been since June 18, police said, with security being provided by an estimated 19,000 law enforcement officers drawn from all regions of Canada. The security costs are estimated at more than US$900 million.

Saturday’s protest march, sponsored by labor unions and dubbed family friendly, was the largest demonstration planned during the weekend summits. Its organizers had hoped to draw a crowd of 10,000, but only about half that number turned out on what was a rainy day.

Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows said before Saturday’s protest that authorities were pleased by the demonstrators’ orderly behavior. Hundreds of protesters moved through Toronto’s streets Friday, but police in riot gear intercepted them, preventing them from getting near the summit security zone downtown.

Ontario’s provincial government quietly passed a regulation earlier this month allowing police to arrest anyone who refuses to show identification or submit to searches if they come within five meters (five yards) of a security fence.

Toronto’s downtown resembles a fortress, with a big steel and concrete fence protecting the summit site.

Previous global summit protests have turned violent. In 1999, 50,000 protesters shut down World Trade Organization sessions in Seattle as police fired tear gas and rubber bullets. There were some 600 arrests and $3 million in property damage. One man died after clashes with police at a G-20 meeting held in London in April 2009.

At the September G-20 summit in Pittsburgh, police fired canisters of pepper spray and smoke and rubber bullets at marchers.

Over 75,000 Uzbeks flee ethnic violence in Kyrgyzstan in worst ethnic violence in 20 years

June 13: Ethnic Uzbeks residences burn after being torched by Kyrgyz men, in Jalal-Abad, Kyrgyzstan. In Jalal-Abad on Sunday, thousands of Kyrgyz men brandishing sticks, metal bars and hunting rifles gathered at the city's horse racing track and marched out to burn Uzbek property while frightened police stayed away (AP).

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — Kyrgyz mobs burned Uzbek villages and slaughtered their residents Sunday in the worst ethnic rioting this Central Asian nation has seen in 20 years, sending more than 75,000 Uzbeks fleeing across the border into Uzbekistan.

Most of the Uzbek refugees were elderly people, women and children, and many had gunshot wounds, the Uzbek Emergencies Ministry said in a statement carried by Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency. It said refugee camps were being set up for them in several areas of Uzbekistan.

Fires set by rioters have destroyed most of Osh, the second-largest city in Kyrgyzstan, and food was scarce after widespread looting. Triumphant crowds of Kyrgyz men took control of Osh on Sunday as the few Uzbeks still left in the city of 250,000 barricaded themselves in their neighborhoods. Fires continued to rage across Osh and shots were heard but police were nowhere to be seen.

The rioting has significant political overtones. Former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in a bloody uprising in April and fled the country. Uzbeks have backed Kyrgyzstan’s interim government, while many Kyrgyz in the south support the toppled president.

Interim President Roza Otunbayeva blamed Bakiyev’s family for instigating the unrest, saying it aimed to derail a June 27 constitutional referendum and new elections scheduled for October. A local official in the south said Bakiyev supporters had attacked both Kyrgyz and Uzbeks to ignite the rioting.

From his self-imposed exile in Belarus, Bakiyev denied any role in the violence and blamed interim authorities for failing to protect the people.

The interim government has ordered troops to shoot rioters dead but even that failed to stop the spiraling violence that has left more than 100 people dead and over 1,250 wounded since Thursday night. Doctors say that toll is far too low because wounded minority Uzbeks are too afraid of being attacked again to go to hospitals.

The rampages spread quickly Sunday to Jalal-Abad, another major southern city, and its neighboring villages, as mobs methodically set Uzbek houses, stores and cafes on fire. The rioters seized an armored vehicle and automatic weapons at a local military unit and attacked police stations around the region trying to get more firearms.

Police and the military appeared to be on the defensive across the south, avoiding clashes with mobs. Flights to both Osh and Jalal-Abad were canceled.

“Bakiyev’s entourage has funded and organized these riots,” Otunbayeva’s deputy Omurbek Tekebayev told The Associated Press.

Kyrgyzstan hosts both U.S. and Russian military air bases, but they are in the north, away from the rioting. Otunbayeva had asked Russia for military help Saturday to quell the rioting, but the Kremlin refused.

But Russia on Sunday sent a battalion of paratroopers — about 300 people — to reinforce security at its air base, the Interfax news agency reported. The base has about 500 personnel, most air force members.

The U.S. Manas air base in the capital, Bishkek, is a crucial supply hub for the coalition fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, but a Pentagon spokesman said the interim government had not asked for any U.S. military help.

The U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan voiced a deep concern about the raging violence and called for the “immediate restoration of order and a respect for rule of law.” It said it was discussing humanitarian aid with the interim government.

In New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was “alarmed by the scale of the clashes” and the mounting death toll and was discussing what aid the U.N. could send to help the fleeing refugees.

Uzbekistan’s Foreign Ministry condemned the riots and voiced hope that Kyrgyzstan will re-establish order, but the country’s authoritarian President Islam Karimov is unlikely to interfere in the conflict.

In Jalal-Abad on Sunday, thousands of Kyrgyz men brandishing sticks, metals bars and hunting rifles marched together to burn Uzbek property while frightened police stayed away. Uzbeks felled trees on the city’s main street, trying to block their advance. Jalal-Abad is 45 miles (70 kilometers) from Osh.

Kyrgyz mobs tried to storm the city’s hospital, but Uzbeks drove them off after a fierce gunbattle that raged for hours, witnesses said. Mobs also surrounded a local prison, trying to free its inmates and attempted repeatedly to capture the Jalal-Abad police headquarters, but were repelled.

Kyrgyz mobs killed about 30 Uzbeks Sunday in the village of Suzak in the Jalal-Abad region, Talaaibek Myrzabayev, the chief military conscription officer in Bishkek, told the AP. Another Uzbek village, Dostuk, was burned by Kyrgyz assailants, but it was not known how many people were killed, he said.

Ethnic Uzbeks ambushed about 100 Kyrgyz men Sunday on a road near Jalal-Abad and took them hostage, he said. Vehicles on the main highway near Jalal-Abad repeatedly came under fire from unidentified gunmen.

In the nearby village of Bazar-Kurgan, a mob of 400 Uzbeks overturned cars and killed a police captain, local Asyl Tekebayev said. Residents said armed Kyrgyz men were flooding into the village to retaliate.

The fertile Ferghana Valley where Osh and Jalal-Abad are located once belonged to a single feudal lord, but it was split by Soviet dictator Josef Stalin among Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The Stalinist borders rekindled old rivalries and fomented ethnic tensions.

Both ethnic groups are predominantly Sunni Muslim. Uzbeks are generally better off economically, but they have few representatives in power and have pushed for broader political and cultural rights.

In 1990, hundreds were killed in a violent land dispute between Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in Osh, and only the quick deployment of Soviet troops quelled the fighting. With no Russian troops in sight, the interim government announced a partial mobilization of military reservists up to 50 years old.

“No one is rushing to help us, so we need to establish order ourselves,” said Talaaibek Adibayev, a 39-year old army veteran who showed up at Bishkek’s military conscription office.

The official casualty toll Sunday rose to at least 97 people killed and 1,243 wounded, the Health Ministry said. The figure didn’t include the 30 or more deaths Sunday around Jalal-Abad.

Maksat Zheinbekov, the acting mayor of Jalal-Abad, told the AP that Bakiyev’s supporters had triggered the riots by attacking both Uzbeks and Kyrgyz.

Kyrgyz residents interviewed by AP Television News in Osh blamed Uzbeks for starting the rioting by attacking students and Kyrgyz women. Ethnic Kyrgyz from neighboring villages then streamed into the city to strike back, they said.

“Why have them Uzbeks become so brazen?” said one Osh resident, who gave only her first name, Aigulia, because she feared for her safety. “Why do they burn my house?”

Aigulia said her house was destroyed by Uzbeks overnight and all her Kyrgyz neighbors had to run for their safety. She said the area was still unsafe, claiming Uzbek snipers were shooting at them.

A Kyrgyz man, Iskander, said he and others burned Uzbek property to avenge their attacks.

“Whatever you see over there — all the burnt restaurants and cafeterias — were owned by them and we destroyed them on purpose,” he told the AP. “Why didn’t they want to live in peace?”

Does This Regime Want America To Become Like Greece?

by Brad Schaeffer

General strikes in Greece have brought much of the country to a halt as trade unions and government workers stage more protests over austerity measures. A 24-hour work stoppage last week closed much of the country’s public sector and shut down ferries, trains and public transport.

So here is one unfunded social utopia’s score card so far: Three have died already this month in massive riots in the streets of Athens which are in danger of re-erupting anew. Paralyzing strikes from civil servants, so used to getting so much largess for doing so little for so long. A $145 billion bailout is in jeopardy with the big dogs of the EU, Germany chief among them, expressing serious concerns that the austerity measures demanded of Greece as a condition to merit the loans will ever come to fruition. Given the revised deficit projections and a public that seems unwilling to admit that their free ride brand of socialism as expressed in a financially unsustainable pension structure is collapsing, who can blame Europe?

Greece is bankrupt. Their debt is 108% of GDP and will climb to almost 150% by 2013 when the bailout loans would come due. 25% of Greek taxes will go to service its debt — to mostly foreign investors. Currently that nation’s government spending amounts to 50% of its GDP.

Consider then that in 2009 US debt was 86% of GDP and climbing. It will go past 100% by 2012. 20% of U.S. federal taxes go to service the interest on the national debt. That number too will rise. Our major social entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, are bankrupt. We are waging foreign wars almost entirely on our own—so that Europe doesn’t have to. And now we have just enacted the mother of all entitlements in Obamacare that only the most wishful of thinkers (or a cynical Democratic Congress and White House) would argue is anything but a multi-trillion dollar debt dog pile on top of an already strained budget.

Of course our gargantuan economy is much more vibrant, diverse and robust than Greece’s. But we are already seeing within our borders mini-Greeces popping up at the state level. 41 states currently face budget shortfalls and the effects are already being felt. Here in New Jersey, school districts have suffered state aid cuts of 95%. (And in a little taste of the new entitlement mentality, our teachers’ union insisted on ramming through a contractually obligated pay raise anyway that would benefit the union bosses most of all; Trenton’s financial woes be damned. So to make the numbers work, several teachers and other staff got the axe—fortunately without any rioting.)

What is currently unfolding on the chaotic streets of Athens is an immovable force of a deep-seeded entitlement culture unwilling to give up its government goodies standing up to the irresistible force of simple mathematics. Care to bet on what side will ultimately prevail?

I am not saying that the United States is making the exact mistakes as the Greeks. But we are on a parallel course in that we are spending more on government programs than we are taking in in revenue. So whereas Greece is collapsing under the weight of unfunded pensions and ridiculously generous retirement packages and entitlements, while at the same time suffering a shrinking tax base, we have our own issues as I said before with Social Security (bankrupt seven years earlier than predicted just two years ago), Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare.

Edwin LeFevre once wrote that:

“A man, if he is both wise and lucky, will not make the same mistake twice. But he will make any one of the ten thousand brothers and cousins of the original mistake.”

As we watch the inevitable fissures in European style socialism breaking wide open for all to see, this is a most propitious time to turn inward and ask ourselves if the model that American left seems so stubbornly intent on replicating here even works, let alone is best for our nation? The Tea Partiers are but one expression of this necessary dialog — shameful left-wing race-baiting notwithstanding. Ponzi schemes always come to the same dismal end, leaving some poor unfortunates to pay the bill.

I would just like to know what makes liberal Democrats think that the inevitable reality of a seriously flawed socio-economic dogma now violently on display in the streets of Athens (and poised to spread throughout Europe) will somehow pass us by if we follow the same path? And if we continue down their road who do they believe will bail us out when the bill comes?