Thursday, October 22, 2009

We see why Obama is desperate to brainwash the captive audience of schoolchildren

  • Gallup shows adults find Obama an obvious failure:
10/21/09: "President Obama's push for health care reform during the third quarter of 2009 has seriously damaged his public standing, according to new data from the Gallup Daily tracking poll. His job approval rating dropped nine points from the second to the third quarter,
  • from 62 percent to 53 percent."...Washington Examiner, "Devastating Drop in job approval numbers for Obama in new Gallup survey," via

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

US citizens post 10th Amendment on Obama street sign

  • Citizens in Henry County, Georgia respond to the joke of Obama stealing our money and calling it an economic stimulus program. He also forgot his campaign promise to post all bills for 5 days on the internet so we could read them. photos from via RedState

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ACORN owns $50 million in NY City housing

New York ACORN and a tangled web of affiliates own or manage nearly 1,500 housing units across three boroughs and draw in an estimated $5.7 million in rents, fees and profits from sales.

Many have generic names, like the 385 Palmetto Street Housing Development Fund or the Mutual Housing Association of New York,

  • leaving no clue of their ties to the national ACORN conglomerate.

Founded in 1987, MHANY now owns more than 80 homes and apartment houses across Brooklyn and brought in some $2.5 million in revenue in 2007, according to a Post review of state and federal filings.

Such income helps support at least 18 local ACORN affiliates largely based at the 2-4 Nevins St., Brooklyn, address

Among them is New York ACORN Housing Company, which was thrust into a political firestorm last week after two of its employees were caught in a national hidden-camera sting giving shady financial advice to two conservative activists posing as a pimp and prostitute.

  • Local ACORN housing companies share a president, Hazel Desant, an executive director, Ismene Speliotis, and identical boards.

ACORN reports no compensation for the board members, although it disclosed that 10 directors -- all save Desant -- hold leases in ACORN-owned buildings ranging in value from $5,900 to $11,000 annually.

Six of the directors owed a total of $8,700 in rent as of June 2008, according to the agency's most recent filing. Speliotis reported an annual salary of $60,773 in 2007.

  • An ACORN spokesman says all of the community group's properties were acquired through city, state and federal affordable-housing programs and, as such, lack any resale value.

"New York ACORN Housing is one of the top providers of managers of affordable housing in this city or anywhere in the United States," spokesman Jonathan Rosen said.

"The Bloomberg administration has turned to New York ACORN housing again and again to help realize the city's vision of developing more affordable housing for New York's working families."

  • New York ACORN Housing Company owns or manages several ACORN properties, including four multi-family dwellings in East Harlem and
  • two sparkling new Brooklyn housing complexes.

Since 2000, ACORN has managed an 85-unit housing complex in the Mott Haven section of The Bronx. " 9/21/09, NY Post by Brendan Scott, "'Nut' House Empire"

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Obama to US soldiers: DROP DEAD

Bill Gertz: "Three intelligence reports warned that Taliban insurgents were planning an attack just days before this month's raid on two remote military outposts in eastern Afghanistan that killed eight U.S. soldiers,
  • As a result, military officials did not send additional troops or make preparations to protect the 140 U.S. and Afghan troops

at the combat outposts near Kamdesh in Nuristan province by the Pakistan border, the officials said."...

  • from Washington Times, "US Ignored Warnings before Deadly Afghan Attack," via, photo from


  • and for trying so hard now to re-elect him!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

McCain-controlled GOP ready to re-elect Obama

  • Simple: If you advocate cap and trade, you should be in jail or a mental hospital.
Wall St. Journal, 10/16/09: "The rise of conservative "tea party" activists around the country has created a dilemma for Republicans. They are breathing life into the party's quest to regain power. But they're also
  • waging war on some candidates hand-picked by GOP leaders as the most likely to win.

In upstate New York, Dede Scozzafava, 49 years old, is the choice of local party leaders to defend a Republican seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, an abortion-rights candidate who could appeal to independents.

Mr. Hoffman has siphoned so much support from Ms. Scozzafava that their Democratic rival has vaulted into the lead, according to a poll released Thursday. The election is Nov. 3.

"I am not your run-of-the-mill politician, and maybe that's

sponsored by the Upstate New York Tea Party. In an interview, Ms. Scozzafava acknowledged her discomfort at the event. "I knew it wasn't going to be an easy audience for me," she said.

  • Republicans are poised to pick up a number of seats in next year's congressional elections, pollsters estimate, on the back of a deep recession, public unease about the growth of government and the size of the nation's deficit. Anti-Obama activism manifested in rallies and town-hall meetings has galvanized conservatives, injecting enthusiasm into the Republican base.

But these newly energized conservatives present GOP leaders with a potential problem: The party's strategy for attracting moderate voters risks alienating activists who are demanding ideological purity,"....

  • ***This is an understandable mistake. The GOP and people like Gingrich want to label these people as 'ideological purists' which is false. It is first and foremost, stop cap and trade. Gingrich ignores this reality as he and others have jumped on the global warming gravy train. This is about facts, not ideology.

(Wall St. Journal continuing): "who may then gravitate to other candidates or stay at home. It's a classic dilemma faced by parties in the minority -- tension between those who want a return to the party's ideological roots and those who want candidates most likely to win in their districts.

  • "The potential that the Republican Party puts up candidates that fail to excite the support of this movement is very real," says Lawrence Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, University of Minnesota.

The race in upstate New York is a somewhat extreme example of this phenomenon. No one is suggesting the tea-party movement will cause the GOP to lose seats overall next year. As the only congressional election this fall, the race stands an early test of the party's ability to navigate these conflicting impulses.

  • When Democrats were in the minority, they turned more pragmatic in their choice of candidates starting in 2006, and were rewarded with two election victories. In preparation for 2010, many of the picks of Republican leaders in key races have records designed to appeal to middle-of-the-road voters, which also make the party faithful cringe.

In Florida, Republican leaders were elated when popular Florida Gov. Charlie Crist agreed to run for the Senate. He has adopted policies such as an aggressive approach to global warming that appeal even to Democrats.

"He was Judas to the Republican Party in the state of Florida and across the country," says Robin Stublen, 53, of Punta Gorda, co-state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, a loose national coalition. "He sold us out for 13 pieces of gold."

A spokesman for Mr. Crist said the governor made sure stimulus dollars went to items important to Florida voters.

The GOP scored another potential coup when Republican Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk decided to seek Mr. Obama's former Senate seat, now held by Democratic Sen. Roland Burris. Mr. Kirk, however, voted for a Democratic climate-change bill in the House, prompting about 30 people to hold a tea-party protest at his office. Many activists vow never to support him." (McCain supports him).

  • Wall St. Journal, continuing: "In New Hampshire, Republican leaders praise Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte as a new breed of telegenic Republican, even while some conservatives attack her record as state attorney general. Former Rep. Rob Simmons, who is seeking a Senate seat in Connecticut, and Rep. Mike Castle, who just announced his Senate candidacy in Delaware, face similar scorn.

"Personally, I'm just as fed up with the Republican Party as the Democratic Party," says Catherina Wojtowicz, coordinator of the Chicago tea-party group. "The Republican Party looks great on paper.

Republican leaders in Washington, such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, are trying to align the GOP with the protesters' frustrations, praising their actions and echoing their arguments.

But the tea-party movement appears aggressively nonpartisan, much like Ross Perot's supporters in 1992. "The tea-party movement, in my judgment, has proven to be very real, but it's precisely the fact that it's real that makes it difficult to take advantage of," says Vin Weber, a former Minnesota congressman and now a top Republican strategist.

  • "They don't want to be co-opted by the Republican Party."

New York's 23rd Congressional District, which borders Canada, comprises roughly one-quarter of New York State. Sparsely populated, it is dotted by small towns and dairy farms and stretches across much of the Adirondack Mountains. The district leans conservative, with some 46,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats. Mr. Obama, however, captured it with 52% of the vote.

The special election was prompted by the president's June appointment of the district's Republican Rep. John McHugh as Army secretary.

  • The next month, the district's 11 Republican county chairmen gathered at a pizzeria in Potsdam to pick a nominee. They were looking for someone with name recognition who could prevail in a shortened campaign when the economy was voters' top concern. Ms. Scozzafava, a former small-town mayor who has served for a decade in the state legislature, seemed the right choice.

Ms. Scozzafava spent 20 years as a stockbroker. Her family has owned the same auto-parts store in Gouverneur, N.Y., for decades. In March 2008, upset at the sex scandals surrounding former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his successor, David Paterson, Ms. Scozzafava sent a letter to her colleagues blasting an Albany social life "that is somewhere between 'Girls & Boys Gone Wild' and a sorority-fraternity style mixer."

  • She appealed to the Republican chairmen. "We asked, is it possible to put in place a Republican candidate that uniformly stands for all the conservative values of the far right, but is unelectable?" says William Farber, the Hamilton County chairman. "I would much rather have a candidate like Dede Scozzafava that I don't agree with 100% of the time, but always has been honest and forthright."

Mr. Hoffman, who'd been passed over, was rankled by his rival's ascent. He teamed up with the Conservative Party, which has a long history in New York. After growing up in Plattsburgh, he had parlayed an accountant's degree into a flourishing financial firm and branched out into other businesses. He opened a campaign headquarters on the site of a former gas station where he'd pumped gas as a 14-year-old.

  • Ms. Scozzafava, he noted, was pro-choice, backed gay marriage, supported Mr. Obama's stimulus plan and favored making it easier for unions to organize. The New York Conservative Party gave her a rating of 15 out of a possible 100, based on her votes in the state assembly.

"I really felt that the Republican bosses who selected her were misrepresenting her as a Republican," said Mr. Hoffman in an interview.

  • "I felt the voters in this district, number one, deserve to know what her real record is, and number two, deserve a choice besides a liberal Republican and a liberal Democrat that's going to support Nancy Pelosi," the Democratic House Speaker.

GOP leaders were outraged, especially since Mr. Hoffman, like other congressional hopefuls, had pledged to support the nominee. "He did say it repeatedly," said Sandra Corey, the former GOP chairwoman of Jefferson County. "And then all of a sudden, it's a no-go, like he hadn't understood her background, which is a falsehood. I would never, ever trust him."

  • Mr. Hoffman says that during the selection process, he didn't realize that Ms. Scozzafava was as liberal as she is.

The contest, the only congressional race to be held this Election Day, is attracting attention from the national parties. Democrats have spent $130,200 to run ads blasting Ms. Scozzafava for voting for "more taxes" 190 times. The Scozzafava campaign dismisses that claim, saying it includes routine sales-tax rate extensions requested by counties.

  • Mr. Obama is scheduled to hold a fund-raiser for lawyer Bill Owens, the Democrat in the race, in New York on Oct. 20. The Republicans have shelled out $247,332 for ads painting Mr. Owens as Ms. Pelosi's "gift" to upstate New York.

The Club for Growth, a fiscally conservative group, has announced it's spending $250,000 -- and may spend more -- in support of Mr. Hoffman, depicting Mr. Owens and Ms. Scozzafava as equally contemptible liberals. Mr. Hoffman has attracted the endorsements of several conservative and antiabortion groups.

  • "The fact that [the tea-party groups are] out there is going to help my candidacy, because there are people just like me that are feeling the same frustrations and the same disappointment with our leadership and doing something about it," says Mr. Hoffman.

A poll released Thursday by the Siena Research Institute showed Mr. Owens leading Ms. Scozzafava 33% to 29%, with Mr. Hoffman at 23%. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points. In a poll released by the same organization on Oct. 1, Ms. Scozzafava had led her Democratic opponent 35% to 28%, with Mr. Hoffman garnering 16%.

  • Republicans, worried a winnable seat is slipping away, are scrambling.
  • Mr. Boehner, the House Minority leader, promised to support Ms. Scozzafava for a seat on the House Armed Services Committee -- important in a district that's home to Fort Drum, an army base.

The Scozzafava campaign issued a flier headlined: "What conservatives need to know about Dede," including such points as "Dede believes government spending is out of control." She's touted her conservative credentials, including an endorsement by the National Rifle Association.

  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is endorsing her, according to a letter provided by her campaign.

Mr. Owens, the Democrat who would benefit if his rivals split the Republican vote, has largely stayed out of the fray. He didn't appear at the candidates' forum sponsored by the Upstate New York Tea Party.

  • Throughout that event, Mr. Hoffman sought to make a virtue of his awkwardness, saying that unlike Ms. Scozzafava, he wasn't a professional politician. "If you want polish and pizazz, I'm not your guy," he said. Ms. Scozzafava assured the audience she was just as fed up with government spending as they were.

Even before the forum began, it was clear which candidate had the audience's heart. "I've never met the man, and he's got my vote," Gary Barber, 69, a retired schoolteacher from nearby Au Sable Forks, said of Mr. Hoffman. "He's conservative and he's not a lawyer.""

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

School: Obama songs should've been kept secret

10/12/09, "NJ School Official: Obama Song Video Violated Students' Privacy," Philadelphia Inquirer, Matthew Spolar

"The superintendent of a South Jersey school district stands behind the student performance of songs about President Obama that created a national stir last month.

The video that captured the children is another matter.

Burlington Township Superintendent Christopher Manno today discussed the results of an internal investigation concerning the controversial songs. He and Denise King, principal of B. Bernice Young Elementary School, were "deeply disturbed" by the posting of a video that featured second-graders at the school, he said. He added that he had apologized to the students' parents at a recent meeting.

The video was taken on March 23 during an "impromptu" performance of two tunes the youngsters learned in honor of Black History Month for a school assembly in February, Manno said. The lyrics, which describe Obama's accomplishments and his views on equality, are punctuated with the recitation of the president's name, Barack Hussein Obama.

The school had sent the songs' lyrics to parents in advance and received no complaints before or after the assembly, which family members attended, Manno said.

Charisse Carney-Nunes, author of I Am Barack Obama, a biography for young readers, was visiting the school and the

video was taken by her sister in violation district policy, Manno said. The district forbids a student from being photographed or videotaped without parental permission, he said.

Manno said today that he has sent a reminder to staff members that

visitors are not to record students' images on school property.

He said that teachers and administrators did not realize that the video was being taken at the time.

Manno said he was "not exactly sure" if the district would take action against the videographer. The administration has been in talks with its attorney, he said.

A memo also had been sent to teachers reminding them to be "extra vigilant . . . so as not to give the impression of promoting" a political ideology in their lessons, he said.

Manno said that teacher Elvira James, whose students are seen in the video, had "no intent whatsoever" to take a political stand with the songs. James' recent retirement, after a 33-year career, was not related to publicity surrounding the video, he said.

About 70 people gathered outside of the school this morning

to protest the children's performance, which conservative political commentators have said were an attempt to encourage idolatry of the president.

The rally was organized by Ocean County resident Fredy Lowe, a supporter of the anti-tax Tea Party political protest group, at the behest of Gina Pronchick, whose son was a member of the class that was videotaped.

The group defied a request by Manno not to demonstrate while school was in session, which the

superintendent said could intimidate the children.

Lowe carried a sign that read "We're Here for the Children" and

"Reassign Principal King" as

fellow protesters sang "America the Beautiful" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and chanted "Education not indoctrination" and "Free children, free minds."

There were also about 10 counter-protestors, including Andrea Ciemnolonski, whose daughter Kaitlin was in the class. Ciemnolonski said she was fine with the song and that her daughter doesn't even remember the words.

"They sang it twice, it's over," she said.

At the February assembly where Manno said the song was first performed, other classes sang songs honoring George Washington and Abraham Lincoln in honor of President's Day.

Protestor Jim Isaia, a member of the 9-12 Project founded by Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, said that the fact that Obama is the current president politicized the song.

"It shouldn't have been about a standing president," said Isaia, of Vincentown. "If it had been about Clinton it wouldn't have been objectionable.""NJ School Official: Obama Song Video Violated Students' Privacy" 10/12/09, Matthew Spolar

Monday, October 12, 2009

Nobel Prize committee cited Obama in part to push global warming hoax

internationally and in the United States to throw his weight behind climate-change legislation, which advocates fear has suffered in light of the president's sweeping domestic agenda.

was a fresh reminder that much of

  • the world expects him to lead the way toward a global climate pact.
  • the great climatic challenges.""....
from Washington Post report, "Obama Urged to Intensify Push for Climate Measure," 10/12/09. via

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Honduras Radio Globo Host raped own daughter--2 sources

  • Anti CNN demonstration in Honduras, July 2009, sign notes "Chavez News Network," via Mark Levin show. Below video from Honduras anti CNN, anti Zelaya demonstration
Honduras' Radio Globo supports the return of dictator Zelaya as does Obama. Radio Globo host David Romero praised Hitler in a recent broadcast, later says he regrets the statements. The station lost its license recently but is expected to get it back and is reported to be airing on the internet (by an impressed Christian Science Monitor).
  • and Canada Free Press report the same Radio Globo host raped his own daughter: "A few years ago he was convicted and served time in prison for raping his own daughter. " 9/25/09, from article "Revolutionary Anti-Semitism" by Mary Anastasia O'Grady
All that fell apart in 2002 when his own daughter filed sexual abuse charges against him. and continued doing it for over a decade, including raping her at his own birthday party.

“From an early age I’ve identified him as a powerful person, because of his influence, his violence, his firearm, his friends and his ability to dominate us. His domineering power meant that my relationship with him was one of fear. He always frightened me. I never understood why he was touching me. I never wanted it, but I put up with it out of fear, out of subjection, until it became intolerable. When he penetrated me, my whole life collapsed around me. I decided to leave. I was frightened, but I left.”

That is the voice of the daughter of the chief propagandist of the Zelaya regime, whom

  • the media has done its best to try and turn into a hero.

The same man who suggested that Hitler should have been allowed to finish off the Jews.

10/1/09, from article, "Zelaya's Chief Propagandist Endorses Hitler and the Holocaust," by Daniel Greenfield

CNN airs children selling Obama and his Cuban health system. It beats learning how to read and write, I guess.

  • "Kids from the Ron Clark Academy are on CNN singing for health care reform set to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the USA." The song mentions "Obama says everyone needs health care now." " via Drudge
Why can't citizens have the same access to doctors that Obama has? There are no elected representatives willing to protect US citizens. Couple that with a mass media who believes it's fine to use children for business interests, and there's nothing left to discuss.
  • Thanks again to the republican party for all of this.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

$2 million food stamp fraud finds some but others may have traveled back to Middle East country of origin

We're tolerant in the US--some of the perps we allowed to rob us owned stores. All perps either owned stores or were employees of same.
  • Police say those indicted were accepting food stamp benefits in exchange for cash, which is a violation because these benefits are only to be used for eligible food products. A federal grand jury indicted the 12 Tuesday.

Only eight were actually arrested and charged Tuesday with defrauding the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program formerly known as the Food Stamp Program. They include:

  • Muteea Alfahdd, 41
  • Najeeb Abdullah, 44
  • Hamoud Yafal, 60
  • Ali Hamoud Yafal, 21
  • Yaser Saet, 27
  • Bakri Ali Samet, 33

  • Setha Samnang, 42
  • Rina Samnang, 36
Authorities say they are trying to track down the other four people including

Everyone arrested was either a store owner or store employees at the six Utica convenience stores listed here:

  • Sure Save Market, 1400 Kemble Street, Utica

  • Manhattan Plaza #2, 1321 Oneida Street, Utica

  • C&M Deli, 1029 West Street, Utica

  • William Street Food Corp., 627 William Street, Utica

  • 1038 Food Corp., 1038 Court Street, Utica

  • Phnom Penh Market, 1633 Oneida Street, Utica

"Those arrested today are some of the worst profiteers that we encounter, preying on government program that ensures a very basic need is met. Adequate food for those persons who cannot provide for themselves," said USDA Special Agent-in-Charge Brian Haaser."....

  • (Blah Blah Blah. ed.)

continuing: "These charges carry a maximum sentence of imprisonment of five years and a fine of not more than $20,000."

  • via Free Republic (a commenter to which wondered if the poor souls had health care, hence the title of this post). framus

Where did the money come from to finance the stores? Did the cruel US taxpayer subsidize loans for the poor unfortunates? The investigators only took a year and a half to round up the poor souls. How mean.

  • 35 million people in the US now get food stamps, 9/3/09 (1 in 9):

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "More than 35 million Americans received food stamps in June, up 22 percent from June 2008 and a new record as the country continued to grapple with the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

  • The food stamp program, which helps cover the cost of groceries for one in nine Americans, has grown in step with the U.S. unemployment rate which stood at 9.4 percent in July.

The Labor Department will release August employment figures on Friday.

  • June was the seventh straight month in which food stamp rolls set a record.
"At $133 per person we’re talking about
Just more tax burden for those who still have jobs."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fox News summoned for second meeting about Obama treatment

  • Fearing Obama cannot succeed on his own merits along with 99% of sycophantic media, his stooge David Axelrod met with Fox News exec Roger Ailes 2 weeks ago to apply pressure. A
  • Time blog reports Obama himself met with Ailes and Fox owner Rupert Murdoch last summer to discuss their treatment of him. The 'Soros left' is obsessed with 100% control of media but they needn't worry, as
Rupert Murdoch, is a big admirer of Obama.
  • Just heard audio from Fox wherein Shep Smith tries to convince someone of the benefit of OBAMA PUBLIC OPTION, 7:44PM, 10/6/09, audio played on Michael Savage radio show. Not that Smith would do otherwise given a choice, but his plea was quite impassioned. For those at Media Matters, Dr. Savage merely played the sound and suggested listeners make up their mind (regarding editorial slant).
Politico, 10/6, "Axelrod Meets with Ailes": "At a time of tension between their organizations, White House senior adviser David Axelrod met with Fox News chairman and chief executive officer Roger Ailes two weeks ago, sources tell POLITICO.

  • The two discussed news coverage and the relationship between the organizations.

An FNC spokesperson tells POLITICO that Ailes and Axelrod had a “cordial conversation” over coffee while the president was in town.

  • Ailes is the founder of Fox News. A key part of
  • Axelrod’s portfolio is the president’s image and broad message.

White House officials have expressed pique with what they consider heavy coverage of Obama critics by opinion shows on the news channel.

Noting coverage on cable’s Fox News Channel, the Fox broadcast network declined to carry Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress, or his most recent prime-time news conference.
  • White House officials did not like that, but say it is not their primary problem with Fox."
The left used to be big on tolerance and free speech, but no more. The Soros way is to stifle all differing views.
  • via mention on Michael Savage show
(I do not watch Fox TV. I do not get any news from tv.-ed.)
11/7/09 Post on Radio Equalizer blog, "Fox News Channel Engages in Chinese Style Self-Censorship"

Friday, October 2, 2009

Middle East IOC member publicly sticks Obama

  • Ha! The area of the world Obama made his first priority, pointedly for whom he delivered his first speech as president,
groveled repeatedly before in the belief that his mere existence would make things better (a belief he couldn't have had without the US media's help):
  • Syed Shahid Ali, noted that going through U.S. customs can be harrowing for foreigners.
Obama responded that he wanted a Chicago Games to offer "a reminder that America at its best is open to the world."" AP sportswriter John Leicester in Copenhagen, 10/1/09, from, Iowa, "IOC votes for 2016 Olympic host"
  • P.S. A joke anyway, US Customs is a piece of cake. There are 30 million people here illegally, how tough could it be? (framus)

Taliban mobs completely control US in Afghanistan--story not on page 1 of NY Times

  • Paul McGeough and SBS Dateline (Australia) cameraman David Brill travelled to Afghanistan's south-east, where
  • insurgents get their cut of the money through a protection racket.

EVERYONE, even the Taliban, gets a slice of the action when it comes to building roads in Afghanistan.

  • High in the Hindu Kush, where bursts of lavender enliven a fading alpine carpet of summer's grasses, winks, nods and timely backhanders make the insurgents a key, albeit unofficial, party when big money is divided.

It is effectively the Taliban who decide which local contractors will work on a project - either by setting a level of protection money that the contractor can afford to pay, or

The Taliban also keep an eye on local individuals who get work on the project -

  • especially those doing the all-important security jobs.

A key construction project in the volatile south-eastern border region is the Washington-funded K-G Road - a $US100 million ($A114 million), 100-kilometre blacktop through wild Taliban country between Khost, on the Pakistan border, and the hub city of Gardez, south of Kabul.

  • The road is part of a grand design to break five strategic centres from economic and social dependency on neighbouring Pakistan. By linking them together and to the national ring-road, they might be hooked back into Kabul's orbit.

Overseeing the K-G Road is US engineer Steve Yahn, a 53-year-old Massachusetts father who has been building roads in Afghanistan since 2002 so that he can afford to send his children to college.

  • He is acutely aware of the challenge ahead. ''On the earlier projects, including the Kabul-Kandahar Road, we had 136 workers killed and 158 wounded," he says. "But that was on open, flat land in the south. This one is much harder in terms of security and engineering."

Since groundwork began on the K-G Road in May last year, Mr Yahn has lost 16 workers - 13 dead and three missing - and 19 have been wounded. The project has about 1000 workers: two security men for each construction worker. Most are Afghans hired by local sub-contractors. But the South-African-run security operation includes Romanians and Gurkhas.

Deals in which the Taliban top up their coffers by

As project manager for the US contractor Louis Berger Group, Mr Yahn is aware of the Taliban pressure on his local contractors - their staff get kidnapped and their vehicles burnt, they are harassed and threatened, and many of their workers fear for their lives.

As he speaks, one of his sub-contractors is in Uzbekistan attempting to buy 20 trucks. ''You could speculate,'' he says, ''that other truck owners have been intimidated into refusing to work for a project that had a big Indian firm working on it.''

  • A foreign security observer who has studied the project, but who cannot be identified in this report, explains the grim reality of relationships in the mountains. "There are lots of local workers - some are Taliban and some of the sub-contractors are Taliban associates," he says. "The project has its eyes and ears on the ground, telling it when not to go on the road. These 'eyes and ears' communicate with the Taliban and they work for the Taliban."

The project tries to make itself as small a target as possible -

  • "playing by the Taliban's rules", the observer notes. All road gangs are cleared off the carriageway to avoid becoming ''collateral damage'' as military or heavily armed private convoys, which are prime Taliban targets, move through.

The Taliban rules insist on maximum local employment and, among other things, that

It is easy to be shocked by all this. But Mr Yahn says he has seen it all before - in another place, at another time.

  • "You do construction work in New York City and you'll find the same thing, just different labels - there, the factions are politicians, the Mafia and labour unions. In New York, Boston, on the Baltimore docks, there's a lot of this stuff at work," he says.

"They're not all bad," he says of the Taliban, drawing a parallel with the

"They have their beliefs and maybe they don't want to send their children to school, but if they're not disrupting my project, they are moderate Talibs."

  • Before work starts each day, the construction corridor is swept for roadside bombs that may have been planted in the night. Arriving on the job, Mr Yahn is not allowed to alight until a security cordon is thrown around his armoured vehicle and one of the guards decides it is safe to open the door for him.

Depending on the terrain, the South African firm's objective is to create a security bubble in which work can proceed - anywhere between 500 metres and two kilometres either side of the road.

Traffic mostly comprises convoys of colourful trucks, crawling over bone-jarring rocky earth that bears little resemblance to a road. Most trucks lumbering down from the mountains are laden with firewood. The wood invariably is piled with near surgical precision - often causing the US forces to wonder about what might be buried under it.

US Army Colonel Robert Campbell says: ''Infiltration from Pakistan is a mafia-like operation - apart from fighters coming over, smugglers bring in weapons and cash that finds its way to Kabul and elsewhere.''

The business structure on the K-G project is of a kind seen around Afghanistan, much to the fury of some aid groups. Louis Berger Group is the principal contractor but has sub-contracted an Indian firm to build the road.

A US Government official, who asked not to be named, says that despite being a controversial choice, the Indian company was selected because it was one of only two companies prepared to do the job. Asked about the wisdom of the choice, given virulent anti-Indian sentiment among the local, pro-Pakistan Pashtun population, he says: ''The locals have some reservations about the Indians, but the company is doing its best to employ locals and to mitigate animosity.''

But at the same time, he says, the road is already over budget, mainly because of security. ''Insecurity has increased exponentially since the inception of the project,'' he says.

This road is vital. Long a garrison city, Khost sits strategically just kilometres from the border with Pakistan. But because the track that links it to the rest of Afghanistan is so appalling, the city, its farmers and traders have effectively been a part of the Pakistani economy. Their currency is the Pakistani rupee and much of their summer produce is trucked to Pakistan for cold storage and then hauled back for sale at twice the price in winter - because Khost does not have adequate storage facilities.

Originally, the road was to have metal guard rails, but once the Taliban found they could fix explosives to the metal to target convoys, the rails were scrapped in favour of stone walls with a reinforced slab-concrete core.

In winter, work at the higher altitudes grinds to a halt as freezing temperatures make building impossible and with the summer pasture fading already, the Kuchi are on the move. Like the Bedouin of the Middle East, thousands of these Kuchi nomads, with their herds and camels burdened with the tents that are their homes, are heading back to lower country near Khost. The know that they must stick to the narrow corridor in which Mr Yahn is trying to build the highway because white-painted rocks that speckle the shoulders of the road mark the extent to which Soviet and mujahideen explosive minefields have been cleared.

Already work is behind schedule. The road was to be completed before the coming winter, but the work gangs will be lucky to crest the Satukandav Pass before the winter shutdown. The new completion date is sometime next northern summer.

Mr Yahn talks about the 23-kilometre mark, just short of the Pass, as an ''imaginary barrier''. ''Heading out from Gardez, it's relatively safe up to that point, but from 23 to 70 we've had lots of hits - that's where the provincial governor was nearly killed."

THE military convoy on which we travelled returns to base without mishap. But less than 24 hous later, there is a mighty explosion up the road from where we had been - an IED (improvised explosive device) makes shrapnel of a lumbering truck and kills its driver, who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as insurgents targeted a passing US convoy.

There had been a string of attacks in Khost and Gardez in an attempt to disrupt voting during the August 20 presidential election.

But the bomb that destroys the truck heralds a new burst of insurgency activity the length of the road - in the space of a couple of days, an Afghan National Police station at the 16-kilometre mark is attacked; massed Taliban fighters are reported on the move near Khost; and around Gerda Serai, a bazaar we visited, pro-Taliban commanders are issuing dire new threats to any locals who co-operate with the Americans or the Afghan Government.

Days later, the Afghan counterterrorism chief was gunned down in Khost and five Afghan soldiers died in an IED strike at Barmali in Paktika. The pro-Taliban network also took a severe hit - in adjoining Paktika province, what was described as a ''massive bunker complex used to store arms and shelter foreign fighters'', was destroyed.

The Taliban might be slowing progress on the K-G Road, but they have not forced the project to a halt.

Standing on flat ground outside Gardez, Steve Yahn gazes up to the heights of the Satukandav Pass. "We're marching up the hill," he says with determination.

Paul McGeough and David Brill's report Highway to Hell is on SBS TV's Dateline tonight at 8.30pm." 9/27/09,

9/27/2009, "Insurgents play a perilous mountain game," (Australia), by Paul McGeough and David Brill