The usual suspects are all in a dither over the Senate's passage of drilling for oil in ANWR. Most of these hand wringers have never been to the North Slope, let alone ANWR, to see the environmeantal controls in place. Nor have they managed to do any research into how well the local flora and fauna have co-existed with the drilling and the pipeline. Alsaka Govenor Frank H. Murkowski looks at the facts of drilling in ANWR.
"The benefits to Washington state's economy will continue to grow if Congress approves oil development in a small section of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Not that these econuts would take note of the lower standards of foreign oil production. Nor do they seem to care that America is far too dependent on oil from non-American sources. "Alaska's environmental standards are the highest in the world, and yet Washington Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray — opponents of ANWR drilling — have repeatedly declined my invitations to visit ANWR and see firsthand this area of national importance.
Washington's five oil refineries process billions of dollars of Alaska crude, supplying consumers throughout the Northwest with energy. Washington alone consumes 18 million gallons of petroleum daily. Apparently, not everyone is traveling to their destinations on bicycles. If Alaska's crude oil were not available, Washington state would be getting its oil supply from Middle Eastern nations in foreign ships with foreign crews, built in foreign shipyards.
More than half of this country's oil comes from foreign sources, particularly OPEC. America needs American oil — to reduce our dependence on the foreign oil that threatens our national security. We must develop energy sources in America, for the American consumer, while safeguarding American security."
Your senators would have witnessed that Alaska mandates the highest environmental standards in the world. Technological advances in environmentally friendly drilling, developed in Alaska, have been transferred to other locations around the globe, lifting the bar for the entire industry." As I posted upfront, the great majority of those opposed to drilling in ANWR have never seen any of the North Slopeoperations or the strict environmenatl standards Alaska imposses. They blindly say no and tow the leftist line.
"Protecting the environment is a global issue, not just an Alaskan issue. Stopping the exploration of ANWR only shifts oil production to other parts of the world where environmental standards are lower.Once again, as I posted up front, the environment has not been damaged. In the case of the caribou, they appear to have thrived.
Advances in directional drilling make the footprint in ANWR extremely small. Use of only 2,000 acres for ANWR development is authorized in the House energy bill, yet ANWR is 19 million acres, about the size of Colorado.
Federal biologists began surveying the Central Arctic caribou herd in 1978, after the Alaska pipeline began operation. Since then, the herd has grown from 5,000 to over 32,000 animals. Alaska has proven it can be responsible; wildlife in ANWR will continue to coexist with cautious oil and gas exploration."
"Critics falsely claim ANWR will only produce six months of oil. This incorrectly assumes ANWR would be the only oil field in operation in the world. In fact, ANWR oil will make significant contributions to the nation's energy supply for decades, replacing what we import from Saudi Arabia for the next 20 years. To bring this statistic home, ANWR alone would supply the state of Washington with all of its oil needs for 15 years.As always they econut crowd tries to make figures lie to their advantage. The figures sited by the Governor is for current technology. There is no reason to expect that technology will remain stagnant, so there may be more recoverable oil in the future.
Some estimates use the most pessimistic production figures by counting only 3.5 billion barrels of oil. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates between 12 billion and 32 billion barrels exist in the ANWR "1002 area," of which between 6 billion and 16 billion barrels are recoverable using current technology."
The Governor goes on to say that he supports finding alternative energy solutions, as do I. But we need to have enough energy to get us through the time frame it will take to develop these alternative energy sources. We must drill in ANWR. - Sailor
Thursday, March 31, 2005
Syria has promised to withdraw from Lebanon. Well, at least it's poorly trained draftees. But what about it's intelligence people? Ralph Peter's has a few points and suggestions on Lebanon's Peril.
"The question now is: How much damage does Syria intend to do on the way out?Assad Jr. has agreed to quickly, in my opinion, to withdraw from Lebanon. He must have something up his sleeve.
While a commitment from Damascus to the U.N. has a whiff of a pimp's promise to a hooker, international pressure will force the Syrians to honor their word. The problem lies in what the agreement omits. Getting the 12,000 or so remaining Syrian troops out of Lebanon certainly matters. But ridding the country of Bashar Assad's 5,000-plus intelligence operatives is what really counts. And Damascus has been coy about their removal.
Syria's troops are bums with guns — largely undertrained draftees with unreliable equipment. They can't act without being seen by all. They'd be hard to use effectively.
The intel and security boys are another matter. Some function overtly, an acknowledged presence. But many work in the shadows. And there's no place on earth where the shadows grow longer and darker than in the Middle East.
If the intelligence personnel — overt, covert and clandestine — aren't removed, the Syrian menace remains as grave as ever. Their agents don't merely spy and report. They bribe, bully, blackmail — and kill."
"Syrian intel operatives were behind the assassination of Lebanon's former prime minister, Rafik Hariri. Even if they worked through Hezbollah or contract killers, Syrian agents doubtless sponsored the recent terror bombings in Christian enclaves, as well.There is no doubt in my mind that Assad Jr. will try to dosome thing to keep his influence over Lebanon. Syria has always veiwed Lebanon as a part of Greater Syria, much like Saddam viewed Kuwait as another provence of Iraq.
What does Syria want? Enduring control of Lebanon, its people, its foreign policy, its wealth and its strategic location. Assad and his cronies regard Syria as Saddam Hussein regarded Kuwait: an integral part of the homeland, hewn off by outside powers.
How will Syria try to get what it wants? Subversion. Terror. Resurrecting yesteryear's fears and hatreds. By bribing, blackmailing and murdering. By igniting a new civil war, if Damascus can get away with it.
Who will do it? Those intelligence operatives, if they stay behind. Along with Hezbollah dead-enders who want nothing to do with true democracy, civil liberties or a just peace with Israel.
Like the 21st-century IRA and Saddam's Baathists, Hezbollah has become a deadly mafia whose immediate goals are self-perpetuation and power.
Even if there's a formal withdrawal of Syrian intel agents, it's extremely unlikely that the undercover operatives would go home. And Syria will continue pulling the strings in Lebanon's own penetrated and compromised security services — which need to be purged. "
"If Assad and his henchmen try to destabilize Lebanon, the Syrian government must pay a painful price. Even if that requires military action.There is another point Peters has made. We have not been holding Assad Jr's. feet to the fire on Iraq. A very large percentage of these so called "insurgents" are foreigners that have come to Iraq through Syria. Then of course there are the French. Who knows what Chirac will do to try to keep French influence in Lebanon? It will be a difficult task to keep the French from trying to cut a deal. Just look what the French did with Iraq.
Thus far, Assad has literally gotten away with murder in Iraq by feigning innocence and intermittent cooperation. Our reluctance to call him to account may have led him to believe that he can pull a sleight-of-hand trick in Lebanon, withdrawing troops publicly while attacking the country in the netherworld of terror.
There's an impressive international consensus for getting the Syrians out — lock, stock and hookah. Terrified of being deprived of influence in the changing Middle East, even the French have aligned themselves with America on this issue. Assad will try to divide us, to cut backroom deals. We must hold the French to an Anglophone standard of reliable behavior — no secret handshakes between Paris and Damascus."
Peters concludes with a rather strong recommendation on how to deal with Syrian duplicity and any attempt to destabilize Lebanon.
"Our successes in the Middle East have changed the region's political direction. Freedom and democracy are gathering momentum. But the course of reform could still be reversed among the failure-haunted Arabs. Lebanon is the next potential crisis and a critical test of our will. President Bush must continue to make our resolve explicitly clear, if we hope to prevent the ruin of Lebanon's convalescent society and economy.I find myself in agreement with Peters. Syria must not be allowed to have any more influence over Lebanon and may need to be hit militarily, if they try to destabilize Lebanon. - Sailor
If the Syrian government attempts to destroy Lebanon, the Damascus regime itself must be destroyed. "
Thursday, March 31, 2005
PINELLAS PARK, Fla. - Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman whose final years tethered to a feeding tube sparked a bitter feud over her fate that divided a family and a nation, died Thursday, her husband's attorney said.
Schiavo, 41, died quietly in a Pinellas Park hospice 13 days after her feeding tube was removed despite extraordinary intervention by Florida lawmakers, Congress and President Bush — efforts that were rebuffed at every turn by the courts.
People for the leftist, err, American Way are about to launch an ad campiagn in support of filibustering judicial nominees. RadioBlogger is on top of this and reports on their press conference, and has some things to say about their poster boy.
"Ted Nonini, a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department. I know you are getting weak in the knees, knowing a rank and file Republican firefighter is withdrawing his support for ending the Senate filibuster against judicial nominees, but let me add something to the mix that will shore up your support."Nonini is the treasurer of local 112 of the IIAF. Do recall that the IIAF endoresed Kerry for President, without polling it's membership.
"Now here's what Mr. Nonini says in the new PFAWL ad:
That's the Mr. Smith who went to Washington filibustering the Senate to do what's right and fair. Hi. I'm a Republican. A common sense Republican. I like that my party controls the White House and the Congress. But I also know that our democracy works best when both parties are speaking out and being heard. Mr. Smith knew it, too. That's why he was using the filibuster. So that the other point of view could be heard. The filibuster has been around 200 years, and God knows our party used it whenever we needed it. but we're a two party system. And America works best when no one party has absolute power. It's plain common sense. So write your Senators today. Don't let anyone kill the filibuster."
As RadioBlogger points out, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is fiction. Seems a great many of those on the left like their little fantasy world. I find this ad to be quite dishonest. This is not about doing away with the filibuster for legislative issues, it is about doing away with filibustering on judicial nominees. What filibustering judicial nominees is doing is keeping the voice of the majority from being heard as well as defying the will of the people. After all, it was the American people that sent a majority of Republicans to the Senate.
"This campaign is a sham. I don't believe Mr. Nonini is a true Republican for a minute. He may be registered that way, but I don't believe his position in the Union gives him standing as a "common sense" Republican. He certainly has enough of a conflict of interest that wasn't disclosed in the commercial.This indeed a sham brought to us by another organization involved in hoodwinking us on campaign finance reform. Listen to RadioBlogger and myself, Mr. Frist, push the damned button already! - Sailor
If he would have said, "Hi. I'm a Republican, and I am an office holder in my local union. And I side with the Democratic activists this time," it wouldn't have had the same desired effect.
Press the button, Mr. Frist. If this is the best the Democrats have to defend it, press the button."
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Another day and another deepening scandal at the UN. This time the outgoing UN Inspector General, Dileep Nair, claims that the second-ranking official at the United Nations of impeded his efforts to take his concerns about the Iraqi oil-for-food program to the Security Council. The Washington Times story by Betsy Pisik looks into this accusation.
"Mr. Nair, who is responsible for rooting out corruption and mismanagement through the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), said Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette had prevented him from sharing reviews of the oil-for-food program with the 15-nation council.Remember that Benon Sevan has had his legal expenses paid by the UN. Which makes one wonder if there was some quid-pro-quo here. Louise Frechette cannot remember ever talking to Nair. It could be some thing in the water at the UN that causes amnesia.
"I was blocked by the deputy secretary-general from putting my reports into the Security Council," said Mr. Nair, who himself is being criticized by investigators for his handling of the oil-for-food account.
"I wanted to put my reports to the Security Council so it will get visibility and accountability," Mr. Nair said. "But Benon [Sevan] turned it down. And Louise Frechette said no, I shouldn't do it." Mr. Sevan is the former administrator of the oil-for-food program."
" Mr. Nair, of Singapore, was harshly criticized by the Volcker committee on Tuesday for hiring a special assistant using funds earmarked for management of the oil-for-food program.This could just be a false accusation by Nair to cover himself from the investigation of his involvement in the oil-for-food scandal and the sexual impropriorties. Either way, this does not bode well for the UN. - Sailor
The assistant, also from Singapore, estimates he spent less than 10 percent of his time on program-specific tasks.
Mr. Nair also has been under investigation for improper hiring and sexual harassment.
U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters yesterday that the charges substantiated by the Volcker panel "supersede" the previous complaints, and vowed that still-unspecified disciplinary proceedings are "inevitable."
The accusations against Mr. Nair have been an embarrassment to Mr. Annan, who has spoken repeatedly of creating new accountability and transparency in the organization."
Here is another item that is sure to make the leftists whine and gnash their teeth some more. The Financial Times is reporting that Paul Wolfowitz has gained the support of the EU as the new head of the Wolrd Bank.
"Mr Wolfowitz is expected to be officially elected on Thursday, following a vote among the 24-member executive board of the World Bank.Looks like another international win for the Bush Adminstration. - Sailor
“I understand that I am, to put it mildly, a controversial figure,” he said. “But I hope that, as people get to know me better, they will understand that I really do believe deeply in the mission of the bank. It is a mission that is a unifying mission.”
Concerning future appointments to the bank, he added: “I intend to look for the best talent from all around the world and I look forward to having a truly multinational senior staff.”"
Once again, the ACLU is about to show their true colors come April 1st. That is the date that the Minuteman Project begins. The Minuteman Project will be sending groups to watch the Arizona-Mexico border and they will report any illegal activities to law enforcement. The ACLu dosen't like this at all. Seems they objuect to American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights. The ACLU is more concerned about the "rights" of those trying to enter this country illegally. Michelle Maklin has quite a few things to say about this in her article.
"In doing so, the Minutemen will be exercising their constitutionally protected freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Those would be fundamental civil liberties found in something called the, uh, First Amendment, of which the ACLU is supposed to be the foremost expert and champion. Or so the group and its celebrity supporters say. In sanctimonious new fund-raising ad campaigns, the organization features the likes of liberal actress Holly Hunter, who asks:There was a time when the ACLU stood up for everyone's First Amendment rights. Now it seems the ACLU has decided to become selective, thus staying within their political agenda.
"Do you want to be heard without fear? I am not an American who believes that questioning or criticizing my government is unpatriotic."
Uh-huh. "Dissent is patriotic," the Left likes to preach. Except, apparently, if the questioning and criticizing deals with the government's abject failure to enforce immigration laws. Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist has been harassed by open-borders activists at his home. The group is reportedly being targeted by savage illegal alien gangsters from Mara Salvatrucha (a.k.a. MS-13). Mexican government officials are lobbying American law enforcement officials to suppress the Minutemen's rights to speak and assemble.
But instead of coming to the defense of the Minutemen who are challenging our government, the ACLU has warned the 1,000 volunteers that it will send monitors to document the Americans' activities. Moreover, the ACLU has already threatened lawsuits against the American dissenters for exercising their rights."
" This bullying of pro-immigration enforcement activists comes as no surprise to those of us who have followed the ACLU's aggressive open-borders agenda -- from its support for driver's licenses for illegal aliens, to its opposition to detaining illegal alien terror suspects after 9/11 and profiling foreign visitors from terror-friendly countries, to its efforts to stop local and state law enforcement officers from helping federal homeland security efforts.The ACLU continues to hold to their leftist agenda. Some one needs to remind the ACLU, that American citizens have rights as well and that those attempting to enter this country illegally are breaking the law and thus, any American citizen has the right to relay this criminal activity to the appropriate authorities, which is exactly what the Minuteman Project has stated is it's intent. Michelle concludes with this:
ACLU of Arizona spokesman Ray Ybarra argues that the mere presence of the Minutemen at the border constitutes "unlawful imprisonment" of illegal (excuse me, "undocumented") aliens (excuse me, "migrants"). Ybarra told the Washington Times that the ACLU will have lawyers on standby ready to file civil cases against the volunteers. He warned that the Minutemen could "come to our state as 'vigilantes' and end up leaving as 'defendants.'"
The Minutemen have made it clear on their website and in repeated statements that they "will not violate anyone's civil rights, and will not abuse anyone from any country. . . . We will alert border patrol to the location of illegals, and wait for [the Border Patrol] to come and pick them up. We will follow illegal aliens from a distance and continue spotting them until authorities answer our cell phone and/or back-pack radio calls. All spotting, calls for assistance, and the response from the appropriate authorities will be chronicled and provided to any media representative."
Contrary to the ACLU and mainstream media representations of the group as racists and immigrant-bashers, the Minutemen are a diverse volunteer group that includes Americans of Mexican, Armenian, Russian, Lebanese, Indian and Cuban descent; and black and Native American minorities. Also among the volunteers are 19 legal immigrants from Mexico, Peru, Russia, New Zealand, England, Australia and the Philippines."
" By recklessly linking the Minutemen to white separatists and casting them as outlaws, the civil liberties crowd engages in the very guilt-by-association smear tactics it has so loudly condemned. And in putting the protection of illegal aliens' rights over law-abiding Americans' civil liberties, the ACLU demonstrates on which side of the border its true allegiances lie."So typical of the left, when they are opposed to a group, they resort to smears. Let's face it, the Minuteman Project is operating well within their legal and Constitutional rights. Those that call those illegally entering this country "undocumented workers", do not like that fact that others are calling them what they are, illegal aliens and law breakers. - Sailor
Investor's Business Daily has a few things to say about the fraud called Campaign Finance Reform and the involvement of Pew Charitable Trust and seven other liberal organizations. All the more reason for Congress to launch an investigation into whether Pew and their "co-conspirators" attempted to loby Congress, which would be quite illegal for them to do.
"Free Speech: Was the campaign for campaign finance reform just another big-money front? It seems that those who complain most about the corrupting influence of money in politics know whereof they speak."A good deal of this money provided by George Soros' Open Society Institute.
"A tape obtained by Ryan Sager of the New York Post gives it away. Sean Treglia, a former program officer for tax-exempt Pew Charitable Trust, is heard on the tape telling students at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communications last year that Pew essentially functioned as a money-laundering operation for large left-of-center foundations interested in the passage of campaign finance reform legislation.Try and deny that this is fraud and it strikes me that it may be a violation of the law and money laundering as well.
"The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot," Treglia said, and that everywhere Congress looked, "people were talking about reform."
At another point Treglia said: "By law, the grantees always have to disclose. But I always encouraged the grantees never to mention Pew," with the purpose "to convey the impression that this was something coming naturally from outside the Beltway.""
"So what we have here was an attempt to use big money to manipulate the political process to pass legislation designed to prevent big money from manipulating the political process.This appears to qualify as a conspiracy. In this case, a conspiracy to hoodwink the American people an Congress. If anything cries out for a full investigation, this does. By the way, where is the MSM on this? The silence from them is deafening. Of course, they are exempted from all of this reform, so perhaps they have a conflict of interest here. I continue to urge all of you to contact your Congressional representatives and demand a full investigation into this fiasco. - Sailor
The passage of McCain-Feingold did nothing of the sort, however, since Soros and his cronies found a way around the law, with Soros alone funneling at least $24 million through a variety of issue advocacy groups known as 527s.
According the nonpartisan Political Money Line, Pew spent an average of $4 million a year over 10 years to promote campaign finance reform; of the $140 million spent to promote it in the last decade, $123 million came from eight left-of-center foundations.
Not only is this attempt to curb political speech transparently hypocritical, and borderline illegal, it is doomed to fail. As we have noted before on this page, money is like water. It finds its own level and if you dam it up in one place, it merely finds another route."
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Doc Farmer has another of his excellent and timely articles. I have wondered for some time why President Bush has not takenmore concrete action to stem the tide of illegal immigration from Mexico. To the usual leftists etal, these are not "undocumented workers", theu are illegal alieans. As such, they should be rounded up and deported. No ifs ands or buts about it. They should not be allowed any social services other then emergancy medical care, only in cases of life threatening emergencies. Once stabalized, they should be deported to their home country. As for Vincente Fox, listen up dude, get your economy moving, get rid of the corruption and take care of your people. We are tired of doing it for you. - Sailor
America's New Minutemen
Written by Doc Farmer
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
An estimate published by the Pew Hispanic Center last week gave a disturbing insight into how porous America's borders have become. Their estimate (more like a guesstimate, really) stated that we currently have 10.3 million illegal aliens roaming around our streets. That's UP from 8.4 million illegals only four years earlier, a 23% increase.
about this for a minute. In the span of 1,461 days, around 1.9 million people broke the law and entered our country illegally. That's just about the population of the Cincinnati area, and just over the headcount in Kansas City. One Thousand, Three Hundred illegal aliens per day.
Now consider the fact that the numbers from Pew are almost certainly low. Very, very low.
America's population is hovering around 300 million. Assume that Pew's off by about half (it's probably more, but humor me). That means that we've got around 20 million illegal aliens in our country. So just under seven percent of our population would be illegals. Not "undocumented aliens" or "guest workers" or whatever politically correct (and factually incorrect) euphemism the lib/dem/soc/commies are shoving down our throats today. My dad
taught me to call a spade a spade - not a digging implement, not an entrenching tool, not even a shovel (there is a difference, believe me!). So let's call these people what they really are.
Think about the possibility that six or seven out of every 100 people in this country are criminals. Criminals you are paying for with your taxes. Criminals who are taking money out of your pocket every single day.
What are the folks in Washington, D.C. doing about this? Well, the 535 crooks we've got in Congress and the nine spokespersons for Depends Undergarments we've got in SCOTUS have been working very hard to make this situation even worse. Now, we've got President Bush (a guy I like and respect) who is actually pushing an ill conceived, insecure and frankly idiotic "guest worker" program here.
And then you've got us. Everyday Americans. The folks who have to pay for the mistakes (and in many cases, the
crimes) of all of the above. The folks who are pig-sick of having our government, during a time of war, actually aid and abet this not-so-gradual invasion of our country. The folks who will pay the price, in taxes or in their own blood, of having these felonious jerks wandering our streets.
Some everyday Americans are now saying "Enough!" They're tired of the lies, the false promises, the false hopes, the legal wrangling and the blatant stupidity that is our nation's policy regarding illegals. So, they are doing the only thing they can do. They're taking action. The action their government refuses to take.
On April 1st, around a thousand American Citizens will begin to monitor our southern border in something called the Minuteman Project. Like their namesakes of old, they will be ready to defend their country, their homes, at a moment's notice from the open invasion that their government is supposed to prevent. They will
monitor the borders at first, contacting local authorities when they see folks sashay over here from Mexico. They will not take direct action, nor do they plan to try to "do a Rambo" to capture illegals on their own.
And this has a lot of folks in Washington hopping mad. How DARE these people! The audacity to actually exercise their rights under the Constitution. What few they have left, that is. President Bush complains about the possibility of vigilantes. There's a difference between vigilantism and vigilance, Mr. President. These folks will not arrest. They are not a posse from the Old West. They are homeowners and ranchers and farmers and shopkeepers. They are people who are fed up to the back teeth of watching America bend over and grab its ankles for folks who are criminals, while they (the law abiding) are being abused by a government whose priorities,
in this case, are ass-backwards.
Some folks have decried the fact that some of the volunteers in the Minuteman Project might be (Shock! Horror!) ARMED. Apparently, if the ACFLU had been around in the late 1770s, we'd still be singing God Save the Queen. Those who choose to be armed have the legal right to do so, under both State and Federal law. Don't believe me? Check these words out -
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Ah, there's that pesky Constitution again. These folks have the right to keep and bear arms. They also have the right to form a well-regulated militia.
Most importantly, they have the right to defend themselves, their homes, and their country. Something Washington has failed to do as regards our borders. Failed, and failed miserably.
I'm sure, President Bush, you will argue that your "guest worker" program is not an amnesty. Well, sir, I can put lipstick and a bikini on a pig, but calling it Pamela Anderson won't make it anything other than a pig. Your plan is, not to put a fine point on it, foolish. A guest worker program will just create loads more bureaucracy, cost more money, and encourage more illegal entry. It won't secure our borders - indeed, it will make an already rotten situation even worse.
You've said that these "guest workers" will take jobs that American's won't take. Really? So, we're so much better than these illegals, eh? Americans will work if the jobs are out there, Mr. President.
Giving the jobs to illegals so that we can prop up a corrupt government and a crippled economy south of the border is not my idea of helping America. Which, if I'm not mistaken, is the FIRST duty of the President and Congress.
I don't really care how much you like Vicente Fox. I don't care if he shared his secret recipe for Goat Enchiladas with you or not. I don't give a rat's rump if he's promised all kinds of "reforms" and initiatives to stem the tide of illegals. He's as crooked as a dog's hind leg that's been run over by a semi. His second largest cash crop is sending illegals here (the first is pot). He's not going to give up that kind of revenue just because you think he's your chum. His government is actually providing INSTRUCTIONS on how to invade our country, sir.
And you're complaining about American Citizens who are exercising their legal and constitutional rights?
Time to get your priorities straight, Mr. President. It is time for you to support the Minuteman Project, effectively defend the borders of this nation, kick out every single illegal alien we can find, and tell Vicente Fox what he can do, along with the burro he rode in on. Your job is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Not Mexico. Your duty is to safeguard America during this time of war. Not invite God-only-knows who to come in and put this nation at potential risk.
We're waiting, Mr. President.
About the Writer: Doc Farmer is a writer and humorist who is also a moderator on ChronWatch's Forum. He formerly lived in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but now resides in the Midwest. Doc receives e-mail at email@example.com.
This Article Was First Published In ChronWatch At: http://www.chronwatch.com/content/contentDisplay.asp?aid=13772
In what has been a long time coming, Moderate Muslims are finally letting their voices be heard. Contrary to what some would have us believe, support for bin Laden is not universal in the Muslim world. An article in the Washingtion Times puts that myth to rest. One Islamic scholar has even gone as far as to say that this may be "a counter-jihad."
"In a recent interview with the Qatari daily newspaper Al-Raya, for example, Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, the former dean of Shariah and law at the University of Qatar, urged his fellow Muslims to purge their heritage of fanaticism and adopt "new civilized humane thought."This is positive sign that Islamic scholars are aware that the hatred spewed forth by bin Laden and extremist Muslim groups is hurting the Faithful and is a pervesion of Islam. Recently, the Islamic Commission of Spain issued a fatwa against bin Laden.
Such humane thought, he said, "must be translated [into deeds] in educational ways, via the media, tolerant religious discourse, nondiscriminatory policy and just legislation."
"We must purge the school curricula of all sectarian implications and elements according to which others deviate from the righteous path and the truth is in our hands alone. We must enrich the curricula with the values of tolerance and acceptance of the other who is different [in school of faith, ethnic group, religion, nationality or sex]. "
"A group calling itself al Qaeda in Iraq -- the name Jordanian-born militant Abu Musab Zarqawi gave his organization after he aligned himself with bin Laden -- mocked it in the familiar religious rhetoric. "Allah has promised us victory," it said in a posting on its Internet Web site. "... Terrorizing enemies of God is our faith and religion, which is taught to us by our Koran."This will give the leftists and terrorist supporters and appeasers some thing else to upset their stomachs. - Sailor
Nevertheless, the reaction to the Spanish fatwa astonished its authors, who were swamped with e-mail messages of congratulations.
"I couldn't even read them all -- there's at least a thousand, maybe more," said Mansur Escudero, secretary-general of the Islamic Commission of Spain. "The tone was nearly all the same: 'It's about time someone did it. Bravo!' "
Says Khaled Abou El Fadl, an authority on Islamic law at the University of California at Los Angeles: "The long and painful silence of moderate theologians and experts in Islam jurisprudence -- who had been bought off or intimidated into silence -- is finally starting to break apart. We are seeing signs of a counter-jihad.""
Monday, March 28, 2005
A South Carolina politician is introducing legislation to impose criminal penalties on those who maliciously slander political candidates. Democrat Bill Elliott says, "something needs to be done to end over-the-top campaign tactics."
"Lawsuits are an option for people who feel slandered or libeled, but the standards for proving that are higher for public officials. But, Elliott said, if the person making the false charges has no assets, the slandered candidate would get nothing. His proposed criminal penalty would target those offenders.Now, who determines if malice is involved? The courts? We all know how subjective they courts can be. What if the person accused is found innocent? Will there be provisions in this law to punish the accuser? After all, if Elliott is so worried about slander, isn't bringing charges on this the same thing if the accused is not guilty?
He said people who demonstrate actual malice, knowing a statement is false or having reckless disregard for it being false, would face a criminal charge that could bring a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison. A candidate still could pursue a civil lawsuit."
""I understand his frustration, but it's a slippery slope you're starting down here," said Bill Rogers, executive director of the S.C. Press Association.So it would be okay acording to what Elliott is proposing for the media to slander candidates. This is just another load of nonsense. Elliott needs to get a does of reality. - Sailor
Courts have always protected political speech, he said. A criminal penalty could discourage people from raising issues that are true."
"Lt. Col. James Hutton, Gen. Chiarelli's spokesman, said another promising development is the proliferation of Iraqi newspapers and radio and TV stations that avoid the anti-U.S. propaganda viewed on Al Jazeera. "The Iraqi media is really thirsty for facts out on the street," said Col. Hutton, who made it a point to offer a weekly briefing to the Iraqi press that sometimes featured Gen. Chiarelli. "They want to expose corruption."
If you rely on the MSM, you would have no idea that any progress is being made in Iraq. Along comes this article in the Washington Times with a little bit of good news from Iraq. The article, by Rowan Scarborough lloks at what some at the Pentagon are seeing as positive signs in Iraq.
"Military officials and analysts say the clearing out of enemy-infested Fallujah in November, the Jan. 30 elections and the increasing willingness of Iraqis to fight and die for a democratic country are contributing to the momentum.The Iraqi security forces are rising to the occassion as evidenced by their recent assaults on camps set up by the terrorists. These are not insurgents as the MSM loves to call them. Insurgents do not specifically target civillians. Terrorists and criminals go after civillians.
"This is still a tough fight. We don't want anyone to think that it is not," said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, a military analyst who strongly supports Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. "But the momentum is in our direction." "
" A Pentagon official said the more that intelligence agencies analyze the insurgency, the clearer it becomes that a large part is criminal, not nationalistic.More evidence that the Iraqi security forces are begining to hurt these bastards is the shift in attacks from American forces to Iraqi forces.
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein released tens of thousands of hardened criminals, including murderers, before the March 2003 invasion, meaning that as the ex-convicts are recaptured, insurgent leaders might have an increasingly smaller pool from which to recruit attackers.
"We have always realized there was a criminal element in the insurgency that wasn't driven by devotion to Saddam. The numbers may be higher than we first estimated," the official said."
"An analysis by Reuters shows that U.S. combat deaths in March so far have averaged barely one per day, the lowest figure since February 2004. All told, 1,520 U.S. personnel have died in Iraq, including 1,164 killed in action.Even with the increased attacks and deaths, Iraqis are fighting back and appear determined to defend their new found freedoms.
"They're clearly going after Iraqi security forces more," Army Gen. George Casey, the top commander in Iraq, said earlier this month. "That's kind of a steady thing. And the attacks against coalition actually have dropped off." "
"On Thursday, 11 Iraqi policemen were killed by a single suicide bomber, most likely a terrorist in the employ of Jordanian-born Abu Musab Zarqawi.In conclusion, Scarborough notes this:
But Iraqis continue to sign up. After an even bloodier attack in January against Iraqis in line to apply for police jobs, a still-longer line formed the next day at the same spot, said a U.S. Army officer in Iraq.
And last week, merchants and residents on one of Baghdad's main streets joined the fight by using their own guns to kill three terrorists, who were firing on passers-by. "
All in all this psoitive news from Iraq is most welcome. Those who said that democracy could not flower in the deserts of Iraq are begining to be proven wrong. - Sailor
Gen. Chiarelli is also touting the carrot and stick. Attacks in the Shi'ite Baghdad slum Sadr City fell to nearly zero after Army units crushed insurgents and then quickly put hundreds of dwellers to work building basic comforts of home: water, sewer and electric service. "
"Lt. Col. James Hutton, Gen. Chiarelli's spokesman, said another promising development is the proliferation of Iraqi newspapers and radio and TV stations that avoid the anti-U.S. propaganda viewed on Al Jazeera.
"The Iraqi media is really thirsty for facts out on the street," said Col. Hutton, who made it a point to offer a weekly briefing to the Iraqi press that sometimes featured Gen. Chiarelli. "They want to expose corruption."
"Unlike people in other countries in Europe and elsewhere, the Albanian people have not forgotten what it is like to live under tyranny and repression. The Albanians for more than 40 years were held in thrall by the repressive forces of the communists, living like prisoners without rights in their own country. It was to the United States that freedom-loving Albanians looked for inspiration during those dark years, and the Americans have not let us down. "We Albanians are a nation of freedom fighters who know something about living under oppression," Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano wrote in a letter to President Bush. "That is why we wholeheartedly support the American-led effort to free the people of Iraq. And though we are a small country with a small military, we are proud to stand side by side with our allies in the fight to end the reign of terror in Baghdad." " "Although it is not fashionable to talk about it, the face of Europe would indeed be much different today were it not for the Americans who died storming the Normandy beaches. Upon committing Albania to the Coalition of the Willing, Prime Minister Nano urged his fellow European leaders to visit Normandy "to see for themselves what the United States has been willing to undertake in the name of freedom. We should all visit Normandy. We should pay homage to those brave Americans who stormed ashore at Omaha Beach and gave their lives for the freedom of others. The wonder of it is that the Americans are willing to do it again," Mr. Nano said. And of course, it was the U.S.-led effort of NATO to rein in Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic and his ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo that proved to the world that, in the name of freedom, the United States was willing to fight for the freedom of the oppressed, regardless of religious belief." "The difference between the United States and the Islamic terrorists is this: The terrorists export death. The Americans export freedom. The surprise is not in Albania's decision to send more troops to fight for freedom in Iraq. The surprise would have been if Albania did not. "
This is an article sure to turn the stomachs of leftists, terrorist supporters and appeasers and the rest of those that want to Iraqi democracy fail. Fatos Tarifa, the Albanian Ambassador to the US, tells why Albania stands with the US in Iraq. The good Ambassador reminds all that the US has always been on the side of freedom.
Albania has sent some 120 of the Special Forces troops to Iraq. Remember that the population of Albania is something like 4 million. The Ambassador further reminds us that if it were not for the US, where would Europe be now?
It is refreshing to hear some one in Europe acknowlege that Europe would indeed be have had a much different future had the US decided not to come to the aid of Europe twice in the last century. Tarifa concludes with this:
Were it not for the Americans, there is a good chance there would be no France, nor a United Kingdom nor a Belgium, as we know them today. Were it not for the United States it also is very possible no Balkan countries would be free.
If only more of our European allies understood this, they might be able to see past the Euros and understand that there is no cost too high to spread freedom to the people of this planet. - Sailor
"Unlike people in other countries in Europe and elsewhere, the Albanian people have not forgotten what it is like to live under tyranny and repression. The Albanians for more than 40 years were held in thrall by the repressive forces of the communists, living like prisoners without rights in their own country. It was to the United States that freedom-loving Albanians looked for inspiration during those dark years, and the Americans have not let us down.
"We Albanians are a nation of freedom fighters who know something about living under oppression," Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano wrote in a letter to President Bush. "That is why we wholeheartedly support the American-led effort to free the people of Iraq. And though we are a small country with a small military, we are proud to stand side by side with our allies in the fight to end the reign of terror in Baghdad." "
"Although it is not fashionable to talk about it, the face of Europe would indeed be much different today were it not for the Americans who died storming the Normandy beaches.
Upon committing Albania to the Coalition of the Willing, Prime Minister Nano urged his fellow European leaders to visit Normandy "to see for themselves what the United States has been willing to undertake in the name of freedom. We should all visit Normandy. We should pay homage to those brave Americans who stormed ashore at Omaha Beach and gave their lives for the freedom of others. The wonder of it is that the Americans are willing to do it again," Mr. Nano said.
And of course, it was the U.S.-led effort of NATO to rein in Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic and his ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo that proved to the world that, in the name of freedom, the United States was willing to fight for the freedom of the oppressed, regardless of religious belief."
"The difference between the United States and the Islamic terrorists is this: The terrorists export death. The Americans export freedom.
The surprise is not in Albania's decision to send more troops to fight for freedom in Iraq. The surprise would have been if Albania did not. "
Sunday, March 27, 2005
Here is another example ofmediabias. I have posted on this already. but Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard has some things to say in his article, which better describes how this latest bias was was presented.
"SENATE MAJORITY LEADER BILL FRIST never saw it. Neither did the Senate Republican whip, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The number three Republican in the Senate, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, didn't get a copy. Nor did the senator with the closest relationship with President Bush, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire. And the senator with the familiar Republican last name, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, didn't see it or read it. The same is true of Senator Mel Martinez, the rookie Republican from Florida.
Yet the infamous memo that argued Republicans stood to gain politically by saving the life of Terri Schiavo was characterized by ABC News as consisting of "GOP Talking Points." True, a few paragraphs were of Republican origin. They had been lifted, word for word, from a Martinez press release outlining the provisions of his legislative proposal, "The Incapacitated Person's Legal Protection Act." This was the inoffensive part of the memo. The offensive part--it didn't come from Martinez--left the strong impression that Republicans are callous and cynical in their attempt to save Schiavo's life, ill-motivated in the extreme."
At best, this is just lazy journalism and at worst, which I believe it is, blatant bias. The only goal of this reported seems to be smearing the GOP.
"Supposedly the memo was distributed only to Republicans on the Senate floor. Ergo, it was a Republican document. ABC correspondent Linda Douglass first reportedAlong with the misspellings and typos, the alleged memo had the wrong Senate Bill number
its existence on March 18, saying the network "has obtained talking points circulated among Republican senators, explaining why they should vote to intervene in the Schiavo case." She mentioned the two offensive passages, and the memo was shown on the screen. The ABC website was explicit about the source of the memo: These were "GOP talking points on Terri Schiavo." Two days later, the Washington Post referred to it as "an unsigned one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators."
There wasn't a hint in these reports the memo could have any other source but Republicans. Yet there was no evidence it had come from Republicans. It was unsigned and had no letterhead or date. Nothing indicated it came from the Republican leadership or the House or Senate campaign committee or from the Republican National Committee or even from a stray Republican staffer. The only evidence was of a dirty trick--and there wasn't much evidence of that. Powerline, the influential blog, found a version of the memo with typos cleaned up on left-wing websites."
"So rather than an example of aggressive reporting, the memo story turns out to be yet another instance of crude liberal bias, in this case against both Republicans and those who fought to have Schiavo's feeding tube restored. Naturally the memo had a second life when the story was picked up by other news outlets, pundits, and columnists. How did ABC and others get wind of the memo in the first place? It came from "Democratic aides," according to the New York Times, who "said it had been distributed to Senate Republicans." Not exactly a disinterested source."This begs the question, of this was supposedly a Republican document, how did Democratic aides acquire it and pass it along to the media?
Barnes ends his article with a blurb about the ABC Poll that was certainly biased.
"Bias seeped into polling. An ABC News poll question said Terri Schiavo was on "life support" and has "no consciousness and her condition is irreversible." "Do you support . . . the decision to remove Terri's feeding tube?" A large majority said they did. But Schiavo was not on life support as most people understand the term, may have some consciousness, and some neurologists believe she has a chance of partial recovery. Given those facts, would you want to stay alive? ABC didn't ask."It would seem that ABC constructed the poll questions in order to get the numbers they wanted, numbers that went against the effort to save Terri Schiavo. It is no wonder that the MSM continues to lose credibility. One would think that the MSM would have learned from the Danny Rather fiasco. Seems they did not. - Sailor
Mark Steyn asks many of the questions I have been asking about the Terri Schiavo issue. In his column, Mark delves into the issue.
"This is not a criminal, not a murderer, not a person whose life should be in the gift of the state. So I find it repulsive, and indeed decadent, to have her continued existence framed in terms of ''plaintiffs'' and ''petitions'' and ''en banc review'' and ''de novo'' and all the other legalese. Mrs. Schiavo has been in her present condition for 15 years. Whoever she once was, this is who she is now -- and, after a decade and a half, there is no compelling reason to kill her. Any legal system with a decent respect for the status quo -- something too many American judges are increasingly disdainful of -- would recognize that her present life, in all its limitations, is now a well-established fact, and it is the most grotesque judicial overreaching for any court at this late stage to decide enough is enough. It would be one thing had a doctor decided to reach for the morphine and ''put her out of her misery'' after a week in her diminished state; after 15 years, for the courts to treat her like a Death Row killer who's exhausted her appeals is simply vile.Indeed why not err in the favor of life.
There seems to be a genuine dispute about her condition -- between those on her husband's side, who say she has ''no consciousness,'' and those on her parents' side, who say she is capable of basic, childlike reactions. If the latter are correct, ending her life is an act of murder. If the former are correct, what difference does it make? If she feels nothing -- if there's no there there -- she has no misery to be put out of. That being so, why not err in favor of the non-irreversible option?"
"Michael Schiavo is living in a common-law relationship with another woman, by whom he has fathered children. I make no judgment on that. Who of us can say how we would react in his circumstances? Maybe I'd pull my hat down over my face and slink off to the cathouse on the other side of town once a week. Maybe I'd embark on a discreet companionship with a lonely widow. But if I take on a new wife (in all but name) and make a new family, I would think it not unreasonable to forfeit any right of life or death over my previous wife.This whole case seems to have defied reality. Why is Michael Schiavo in such a rush to see his wife die? Why did he stop any further medical evaluations AFTER he won his lawsuit?Steyn concludes:
Michael Schiavo took a vow to be faithful in sickness and in health, forsaking all others till death do them part. He's forsaken his wife and been unfaithful to her: She is, de facto, his ex-wife, yet, de jure, he appears to have the right to order her execution. This is preposterous. Suppose his current common-law partner were to fall victim to a disabling accident. Would he also be able to have her terminated? Can he exercise his spousal rights polygamously? The legal deference to Mr. Schiavo's position, to his rights overriding her parents', is at odds with reality.
"As to arguments about ''Congressional overreaching'' and ''states' rights,'' which is more likely? That Congress will use this precedent to pass bills keeping you -- yes, you, Joe Schmoe of 37 Elm Street -- alive till your 118th birthday. Or that the various third parties who intrude between patient and doctor in the American system -- next of kin, HMOs, insurers -- will see the Schiavo case as an important benchmark in what's already a drift toward a culture of convenience euthanasia. Here's a thought: Where do you go to get a living-will kit saying that in the event of a hideous accident I don't want to be put to death by a Florida judge or the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals? And, if you had such a living will, would any U.S. court recognize it?"Who will be next? Some one suffering from Alzheimer? A parapalegic? The list goes on, on those whose lives may be inconvenient to others. - Sailor
Saturday, March 26, 2005
So, as they say, the plot thickens. A Washington Post article by Colum Lynch, sites a UN reoprt that casts some light on the Syrian connection to the assasination of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafiq Hariri. It appears that Assad Jr. was not at all happy with Hariri's opposition to a constitutional admendment that would permit Assad Jr.'s puppet, Emile Lahoud, to stay in office 3 more years.
"The report, which calls for an international investigation into Hariri's death, describes an August meeting in Damascus at which Assad ordered the Lebanese billionaire to support amending Lebanon's constitution, according to testimony from "various" sources who discussed the meeting with Hariri. The amendment, approved Sept. 3, allowed Emile Lahoud, the Syrian-backed Lebanese president, to remain in office for three more years.Looks like Assad Jr. thinks he has a right to involve himself in internal Lebanese affairs. Of course, Assad Jr. also thinks he has a right to tule in Lebanon.
Assad said that "Lahoud should be viewed as his personal representative" in Lebanon and that "opposing him is tantamount to opposing Assad himself," the report states. Assad then warned that he "would rather break Lebanon over the heads of" Hariri and influential Druze political leader Walid Jumblatt "than see his word in Lebanon broken." "
The UN report also condemns the Lebanese investigation into Hariri's assasination as inadequate at best, at worst a sham.
"The U.N. team, which was headed by Ireland's deputy police commissioner, Peter FitzGerald, charged that Syrian-controlled Lebanese authorities exhibited a "distinct lack of commitment" to conducting a credible investigation into Hariri's assassination by tampering with evidence and failing to pursue promising leads.It would seem that Assad Jr. needs to keep a pro-Syrian government in Beruit, no matter what the wishes of the Lebanese people are. He needs that to cover his ass. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that Assad Jr. has agreed to pull Syrian troops from Lebanon, in hopes of quieting down the international chorus for a full UN investigation. - Sailor
FitzGerald stopped short of accusing Syria and its Lebanese allies of detonating the 2,200-pound bomb that killed Assad's major political rival in Lebanon. But he charged that Syria "bears primary responsibility for the political tension that preceded" Hariri's assassination.
In the report, FitzGerald said that the international investigative team "would need executive authority to carry out its interrogations, searches and other relevant tasks." But he added that it was "more than doubtful" that an international investigation into the crime could succeed as long as the leadership in Lebanon's Syrian-backed security establishment remains in power."
The FEC is ready to attempt to abridge the free speech rights of bloggers. An editorial in the Manchester Union Leader, points out the direction the FEC is planning on taking.
"In short, the six-member FEC shows no burning zeal for regulating Internet-based political speech made by private citizens who are not part of a political campaign. Its new rules are not intended to apply to independent bloggers. But there are two important catches.This is the first step down that slippery slope to the loss of free speech rights of bloggers. The editorial concludes with:
The first is that the campaign finance laws compel the FEC to regulate speech that is made in coordination with a candidate or party. The question is, what might the FEC, Congress or the courts consider coordination when it comes to blogging?
Would a campaign volunteer or staffer have to report any blogging in support of his boss as an in-kind contribution? If a blogger works as a consultant on a campaign, as happened last year, would the blog be subject to FEC regulation?
The second catch is this: Now that campaign finance laws have infiltrated the Internet, what might Congress do to see that existing or new laws be made to silence criticism of candidates? The McCain-Feingold law was written explicitly to muzzle critics of Congress. There is every reason to expect that Congress would love to muzzle bloggers if at all possible. "
"The FEC is accepting comment on the proposed rules, which be read at The FEC . A letter opposing the expansion of campaign regulations to bloggers could help prevent that frightening scenario from ever happening."Remember, if they can silence the blogosphere, how long will it be before they attempt to silence any critic? I urge you to tell the FEC hands off the blogosphere. Tell your elected officials as well. - Sailor
Friday, March 25, 2005
Hilary Clinton keeps making a move to the center, or so we are led to believe. Now that may have worked for Bill, but then again Bill is a great orator, Hilary is not. Hilary has those inside the Beltway convinced she has moved enough to the center, but let's face it, those inside the Beltway are some times clueless as to what happens outside of the Beltway. Peter A. Brown of the Orlando Sentinal says Hilary is being set up by her friends.
"Hillary Clinton is being set up by her political friends and news-media allies.Hilary would like to think this is true as well, but the people that the left considers to be stupid, are a lot more in tune with what is going on then the leftists know.
Some Washington pundits are rethinking their conventional wisdom. The result is an emerging belief inside the Beltway that she has successfully moderated her political image.
In their view, Clinton has convinced bumpkins in The Great Beyond that she's no longer a loony liberal, but has remade herself into a centrist Democrat."
"Just because she appears to get along with her Senate Republican colleagues does not mean that, in the public's eye, she has become a moderate with a serious chance to win the White House in 2008.Hilary has a clear record on abortion and she cannot hide from it, no matter how much she seems to listen to those who are opposed to abortion. As for her qualifications as commander-inchief, she has none. Unless her contant criticizm of the Pentagon and they way she treated the military when she was First Lady count.
The Hillary-as-centrist crowd believes that because:
She has adopted the technique pioneered by her husband of making a show of understanding the other side's point of view without changing hers -- in this case on abortion -- she can get the votes of social conservatives.
She is visiting Iraq and Afghanistan with GOP senators and recently has been relatively quiet in criticizing President George W. Bush's conduct of the war on terrorism, she can plausibly argue she is commander-in-chief material."
Brown concludes with this:
"Centrist Democrats, who can count electoral votes and don't believe she can convince Americans she isn't the liberal they had always thought, are crossing their fingers Hillary does the same.Quite frankly I believe that some in the GOP are dying to get their hands on Hilary as a candidate. - Sailor
They understand how difficult it would be for her to win any states that Kerry could not, and they realize that, without some states in 2008 that they lost in 2004, the Electoral College will continue to deny any Democrat seeking admission.
Republicans want her to run because they think the centrist Democrats are right.
If Hillary were to put her party's future ahead of her ego, she would listen to her enemies rather than to her friends."
This comes as no surprise to me. The MSM will try and exert what ever influence they can to muzzle the blogosphere. That is I have said that the MSM can not be depended upon to protect the bloggers free speech rights. It becomes more imperative each day that we in the blogosphere continue to apply pressure to our elected representatives to provide legislation that will protect our free speech rights.
James D. Miller at Tech Central Station outlines the areas he sees where the MSM may try and take action to muzzle the bloggers.
"1. Campaign Finance Reform -- Blog entries in support of a candidate could be considered political contributions to that candidate. The danger for most bloggers would lie not in contributing more than the legally permissible amount to a candidate, but rather in having to fill out the paperwork necessary to report their "political contributions".We already know of the move afoot to use McCain-Feingold to regulate political blogs. Since the majority of the MSM were supportive of this, they will likley continue to push for the FEC to make a ruling stiffling the blogosphere.
The MSM, of course, would never permit their editorials in favor of a candidate to be considered political contributions. So to use campaign finance reform against bloggers, courts would have to distinguish between bloggers and the "legitimate" media. Any definition of bloggers will be imprecise, but this won't stop courts because most legal categories already have fuzzy boundaries. To define a blogger, courts could simply use the "I know it when I see it" approach famously employed by Justice Potter Stewart to determine whether something constituted hard-core pornography.
2. Libel Law -- The MSM used to fight aggressively against any expansion of libel law, but I predict this soon will change. The MSM can handle the burden of defending itself from libel suits much more easily than bloggers can. By increasing the scope of libel law the MSM would impose costs on all journalists which they, but not bloggers, could absorb.
3. Copyright Law -- Blogs often use information from other sources and, from what I have observed, sometimes flagrantly violate copyright laws. Imagine if Congress increased the complexity and penalties of copyright laws. Non-lawyer bloggers could never be sure what constituted legal fair use of MSM stories and information. Enhanced copyright laws could have a chilling effect on blogging."
Using libel law expansion will put a severe financil burden upon bloggers, since most do not have to financial resources to fight back.
Copyright law is another approach, but I think by simply linking to those articles, there would not be a violation of copyright.
You can also expect that the dems will be onboard with the MSM here. Consider what John Kerry had to say:
"The Democratic Party will likely assist the MSM in their attack on blogs, not because most blogs are pro-Republican but because blogs are not as consistently liberal as the MSM. John Kerry, for example, is calling for the government to do something to protect the MSM. As he said in a recent speech:
"The mainstream media, over the course of the last year, did a pretty good job of discerning. But there's a subculture and a sub-media that talks and keeps things going for entertainment purposes rather than for the flow of information. And that has a profound impact and undermines what we call the mainstream media of the country. And so the decision-making ability of the American electorate has been profoundly impacted as a consequence of that. The question is, what are we going to do about it?""
One would hope that the Republicans will see this for what it is, another attempt to keep the MSM as the DNC's propaganda machine. I cannot stress enough the importance of fighting now before the MSM gets untracked and attacks. Free speech is our right! - Sailor
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Here is a defense of the UN by by former Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali. This is the fellow that as said that the US is a "totalitarian regime". I doubt that Boutros Boutros-Ghali would know a free society it it bit him. In the Reuters article, Boutros-Ghali had this to say:
""The American right has seized this scandal as a weapon against the United Nations. It's a scandal created ad hoc. It's not me asserting this, it's clear to everyone," he was quoted as saying in Italy's La Repubblica newspaper on Thursday. "What is clear to most is that the UN is a scandal plagued and inept organization, supported by leftists, despots and assorted other socialists.
"Asked if he would testify in the inquiry into the scandal commissioned by Annan, Boutros-Ghali said: "Yes. I've prepared a defense document. I also want to dispel any doubt: It has nothing to do with me.Why the need for a defense? Of course, where there is smoke, there is usually fire.
"The program was approved on Dec. 5, (1996). On Dec. 22, I had left the (post as UN secretary general)," he said."
"An interim report by Volcker's team last month found lax UN controls, a shortage of audit staff and political favoritism when the program was put in place in 1996. It found no pilfering of money from the UN administration of the program.Time will tell how deep this scandal goes and who in the UN was involved. - Sailor
The best-documented figures to date show Saddam Hussein's government earned close to $2 billion from illicit trade and surcharges through the program, according to CIA adviser Charles Duelfer last September.
George Soros, the man befind campaign finance reform, has had his conviction on insider trading upheld by a French appellate court. He is facing a fine of $2.87 million, which is chump change for Soros and about 10% of what he spent trying to defeat Dubya. CNSNews.com is reporting Soros will continue to appeal his conviction.The article has some other bad news for old George:
"A Soros critic was quick to comment on Thursday's ruling. "This affirmation of Soros's criminal conviction adds to the doubts about Soros's credibility and business ethics," stated Peter Flaherty, the president of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC).A classic example of do as I say, not as I do. Remember, this is the guy that funded a great deal of campaign finance reform, which is also under a cloud considering it was presented by an intentional fraud to Congress and the American People (see 'Buying Reform' and other posts here on this issue).
"Soros is quick to find fault with those [with] whom he disagrees. During 2004, Soros spent millions bankrolling ads that challenged the honesty and truthfulness of other people. The French court action underscores Soros's arrogance and hypocrisy," Flaherty added.
Soros also misrepresented his original 2002 insider trading conviction while speaking at various anti-Bush campaign appearances last year, according to Flaherty.
Flaherty said that during his own questioning of Soros at an Oct. 19, 2004 political event in Harrisburg, Pa., the liberal financier denied that he had been convicted of insider trading or that he had been fined by the French court."
Further, the article has some other things of interest about Soros an possible additional legal problems.
"The insider trading conviction is not Soros's only legal headache. In January, the NLPC filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), alleging "extensive apparent violations by Soros of the Federal Campaign Act" for "fail[ing] to report significant expenditures related to his anti-Bush tour.""Looks like Soros only wanted campaign finance reform for everyone else, but not his pompous, self important self. Also remeber Soros, through his Open Society group, is a major funder of the Reform Institute as well as moveon.org. - Sailor
You would have thought the MSM would have learned from Rahtergate that they can not just go off an try to pass off faked documents as genuine. But here we go again. Both ABC and the New York Times that a so called "talking points" memo was created by the GOP on the Terri Schiavo matter. Powerline, In the Agora, and Fishkite took the lead in debunking the memo. ABC has gone into spin mode on it. The Washington Post claimed that it had confirmed the document's provenance, but could not reveal the source. The American Spectator has a few things to say on this as well.
"Very quietly, Senate Republican leadership aides to both Sen. Rick Santorum and Sen. Mitch McConnell, as well as the Senate Republican Policy Committee, have been using the Senate recess break to reconstruct the purported distribution of a document that media outlets, including ABC News, the New York Times and a number of regional newspapers, identified as Senate "GOP talking points" on the Terri Schiavo fight that unfolded over the weekend.It should be noted that Power Line has a copy of the "document" and it has no letterhead and the wrong Senate Bill number on it.
"There is a process here for documents like this that are passed around down on the Senate floor, which is where the media claimed that the 'talking points' were being distributed last Thursday," says a Republican policy committee staffer. "There was a lot of stuff going on Thursday, but a document like this one was not being distributed. As far as we know, the only documents being handed out related to votes on a series of amendments being pushed through before the recess. Schiavo wasn't part of that package.""
"The document, which was posted online by ABC News, as well as several Democratic-leaning websites, was unsigned, bore no Senate office letterhead, and was rife with errors, including the incorrect Senate bill number and the misspelling of Schiavo's name. For days, Republicans denied any knowledge of the document, and a number of Republican Senators claimed they had never seen it."In addition the Spectator article goes on to say:
"However, Republican leadership staffers now believe the document was generated out of the Democratic opposition research office set up recently by Sen. Harry Reid, and distributed to some Democratic Senate staffers claiming it was a GOP document, in the hope -- or more likely expectation -- that it would then be leaked by those Democrats to reporters. In fact, the New York Times stated that it was Democratic staffers who were distributing the "talking points" document.On it goes, the MSM trying to help the Dems they support by trying to make Republicans look bad, at any cost. No wonder so many are keen to see the blogosphere silenced. - Sailor
"Democrats have tried to pin this document on Santorum's staff, on [Sen. Bill] Frist's staff, on [Sen. Sam] Brownback's staff," says a Senate leadership staffer. "Watching the investigation underway on line has energized us enough up here to want to at least confirm that we weren't the source, and everything we have found would confirm that Republicans didn't generate this memo. This is just amateurish, and perhaps Democratic staffers think we put out work product like this, but it's laughable."
The staffer added that while just about any House or Senate staffer with an email account could readily distribute a document, it was a huge stretch to believe that such a document would end up being widely distributed by or even to Senators in the cloakroom or in the well of the Senate. "This has all the telltale signs of a political dirty trick," says the staffer.
Other Republican staffers blame not only Democrats but also the mainstream media which once again put out a story to embarrass Republicans before checking all the facts first."
As I posted here earlier, Iraqi citizens have risen up and taken on these terrorists. The Christian Science Monitor in their editoral, adds some more opinion on this.
"As if the Jan. 30 elections in Iraq weren't enough of a message to that nation's insurgents to quit, now come reports of angry private citizens acting to stop a terrorist attack before it began.It would seem that the Iraqis have had enough of this constant terror attacks on civilians, markets, schools and mosque. It is imperative that the Iraqi government continue to train and equip both military and police forces to cope with this terror threat. A good start was made just the other day when Iraqi forces, aided and backed up by US forces, killed some 85 of these terrorist bastards. - Sailor
Last Tuesday, a Baghdad carpenter named Dhia and his relatives saw a group of masked gunmen with grenades coming to their shop and quickly opened fire on them, killing three. Their mainly Shiite neighborhood has seen recent attacks by the mainly Sunni terrorists.
This preemptive citizen attack, done in the absence of a strong police presence, sends another signal that Iraqis really do want stability and not sectarian strife. It's a small sign that a measure of civil liberties in the Middle East may just work against jihadist terrorism."
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
"What Mr. Treglia revealed in a talk last year at the University of Southern California is that far from representing the efforts of genuine grass-roots activists, the campaign finance reform lobby was controlled and funded by liberal foundations like Pew. In a tape obtained by the New York Post, Mr. Treglia tells his USC audience they are going to hear a story he can reveal only now that campaign finance reform has become law. "The target audience for all this [foundation] activity was 535 people in [Congress]," Mr. Treglia says in his talk. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot. That everywhere [Congress] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform." The truth was far different. Mr. Treglia admits that campaign-finance supporters had to try to hoodwink Congress because "they had lost legitimacy inside Washington because they didn't have a constituency that would punish Congress if they didn't vote for reform."" "Mr. Treglia isn't talking to reporters about his remarks at USC. But he has released a statement saying "it is incorrect to suggest that [Pew] would attempt to deceive or mislead about its funding efforts. I regret that my comments have led to any confusion." Rebecca Remel, Pew's president and CEO, says that "any assertion that we tried to hide our support of campaign finance reform grantees is false." No doubt Pew did comply with the technical requirements of the law, but it also certainly didn't follow the kind of transparency standards it demands of politicians or corporations. The successful stealth campaign by the eight liberal foundations means we now have to live in the Brave New World of McCain-Feingold. Bradley Smith, a Federal Election Commission member, made news this month by warning that bloggers could face federal regulation because a federal judge had thrown out their legal exemption from campaign finance regulations. The Internet has been burning up with concern that bloggers could be hauled into court for, as Mr. Smith puts it, "any decision by an individual to put a link [to a political candidate] on their home page, set up a blog, send out mass e-mails, any kind of activity that can be done." Mr. Smith warns that "it's very likely that the Internet is going to be regulated" by the FEC unless "Congress is willing to stand up and say, 'Keep your hands off of this, and we'll change the statute to make it clear.' "
Now that Ryan Sager has let the cat out of the bag on how campaign finance reform was bought and paid for by a few liberal organizations, more is coming out on this. John Fund at Opinion Journal has some more in his article on how liberal foundations fooled Congress into passing McCain-Feingold.
Clearly this is an admission that there was a conspiracy amongst these organization to do what ever it took to influence Congress on McCain-Feingold.
"So instead, according to Mr. Treglia, liberal reform groups created a Potemkin movement. A study last month by the Political Money Line, a nonpartisan Web site dealing with campaign funding issues, found that of the $140 million spent to directly promote liberal campaign reform in the last decade, a full $123 million came from just eight liberal foundations. Many are the same foundations that provide much of the money for such left-wing groups as People for the American Way and the Earth Action Network. The "movement" behind campaign-finance reform resembled many corporate campaigns pushing legislation. It consisted largely of "Astroturf" rather than true "grass-roots" support."So it looks like a phony movement was created, funded by some of the liberal organizations trying to frauduently get McCain-Feingold passed. One of the largerst contributors to this effort was George Soros.
It looks like this fraud was successful enough to influence not only politicians, but the Supreme Court as well. Fund concludes with this:
McCain-Feingold did little in last year's elections to limit the influence of money in politics, but a great deal to benefit incumbents and harm true grass-roots politics. Its ban on using soft money to run issue ads in the 60 days before an election mean that such ads will run earlier, make campaigns longer and allow incumbents to avoid criticism of their voting records. David Mason, who serves with Mr. Smith on the FEC, says that the incredible complexity of the bill is likely to lead to "invidious enforcement, singling out disfavored groups or causes" and "subjecting regulated groups to harassment by political opponents." "
"The next time Congress debates further "reform" of the rules for conducting elections, it would behoove all of us to learn who is really behind the effort, and what their true motives might be." As Ryan Sager has said, "Show Me the Money". Unfortunately this is not some thing we can depend on the MSM to cover or investigate. As I have posted before, it is up to us to pressure our representatives into passing legislation protecting the free speech of bloggers and to demand an investigation into how these organizations were able to pull this fraud off. - Sailor
"What Mr. Treglia revealed in a talk last year at the University of Southern California is that far from representing the efforts of genuine grass-roots activists, the campaign finance reform lobby was controlled and funded by liberal foundations like Pew. In a tape obtained by the New York Post, Mr. Treglia tells his USC audience they are going to hear a story he can reveal only now that campaign finance reform has become law. "The target audience for all this [foundation] activity was 535 people in [Congress]," Mr. Treglia says in his talk. "The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot. That everywhere [Congress] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."
The truth was far different. Mr. Treglia admits that campaign-finance supporters had to try to hoodwink Congress because "they had lost legitimacy inside Washington because they didn't have a constituency that would punish Congress if they didn't vote for reform.""
"Mr. Treglia isn't talking to reporters about his remarks at USC. But he has released a statement saying "it is incorrect to suggest that [Pew] would attempt to deceive or mislead about its funding efforts. I regret that my comments have led to any confusion." Rebecca Remel, Pew's president and CEO, says that "any assertion that we tried to hide our support of campaign finance reform grantees is false." No doubt Pew did comply with the technical requirements of the law, but it also certainly didn't follow the kind of transparency standards it demands of politicians or corporations.
The successful stealth campaign by the eight liberal foundations means we now have to live in the Brave New World of McCain-Feingold. Bradley Smith, a Federal Election Commission member, made news this month by warning that bloggers could face federal regulation because a federal judge had thrown out their legal exemption from campaign finance regulations. The Internet has been burning up with concern that bloggers could be hauled into court for, as Mr. Smith puts it, "any decision by an individual to put a link [to a political candidate] on their home page, set up a blog, send out mass e-mails, any kind of activity that can be done." Mr. Smith warns that "it's very likely that the Internet is going to be regulated" by the FEC unless "Congress is willing to stand up and say, 'Keep your hands off of this, and we'll change the statute to make it clear.' "
It would seem that the MSM is once again in a dilemna on whether ornottoreport facts that may not be in line with their agenda. The teen that went on the shooting spree in MN, seems to have several links to radical environut groups. Cybernet News Service is reporting that the teen in question, Jeff Weise, had posted on a neo-Nazi website run by the Libertarian National Socialist Green Party.
""The national press corps now faces a moral dilemma, as they see it either consciously or subconsciously, given this killer's apparent connection to and the Nazis' inarguable praise for green groups, even the so-called 'establishment' gangs at the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) and Environmental Defense," Horner said."Which means you can bet the ranch that the MSM will ignore the connection.
"Horner predicted that if the teenage shooter were in any way linked to conservative groups, the establishment media would have aggressively jumped on the connections.Simply stated, the MSN will not get into the details, less they have to expose the enviro whackos they give all that news space to. As Horner said, if this were a conservative website that Weise had posted on, the MSM would have gone into a feeding frenzy. Remember now, there is no media bias. But into that one and I have a bridge you may be interested in buying in Brooklyn. Sailor
"Things would have been so simple, and the gloves would be off immediately, were the shooter to have instead been found blogging on, say, a conservative political website linking to and praising the NRA (National Rifle Association) and anti-abortion groups," Horner said.
"Instead, despite the obvious issues, the killing spree now is likely destined for light news coverage instead of the frenzy of a competition for cover stories, serial reportage and in-depth worrying over troubling connections," Horner explained.
"So the story will now go without exploration and the press will soon return to Michael Jackson's courtroom wardrobe and spells of the vapors (a reference to fainting spells)" Horner added."