You Decide

Always decide for yourself whether anything posted in my blog has any information you choose to keep.

Friday, December 23, 2005

 

"Victory Cheer"

        Hurray!    Banana    Patriot

Click on the picture for his commentary.

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"Victory Cheer"
http://www.sacredcowburgers.com/fresh/showpics.cgi?victory_cheer


Friday, December 23, 2005

 

Previous uses of surveillance

"Why Ron Brown
feared the NSA

Posted: December 22, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Source: WorldNetDaily.com

"The late Ron Brown was not particularly paranoid. In fact, for most of his career, he conducted his business dealings cavalierly, smug in the knowledge that as a splendidly well-connected, black Democrat he was all but immune to criticism from either the media or the law.

That began to change when he assumed his job as Bill Clinton's secretary of commerce in early 1993, and it changed absolutely when he ran afoul of the Clintons nearly three years later.

As Brown learned upon taking office, the Department of Commerce was home to the Office of Intelligence Liaison. This sub-department received intelligence reports from various agencies about pending international deals. It then discreetly forwarded this information to companies that might benefit. Among the best sources of intelligence was a global spy system, codename ECHELON, which was created by the National Security Agency, or NSA. This is the agency, of course, that congressional Democrats have scolded the Bush administration for employing to monitor potential terrorist communications.

ECHELON was capable of scrutinizing just about every fax, e-mail, phone call and telex message in the world. And like every other system during the Clinton years, especially the two desperate years preceding the election of 1996, it was fully capable of being abused.

As the Washington Times' Insight Magazine reported in a series of articles, the Clinton administration wasted no time in securing trade information from foreign rivals and then bartering that info back to high-level Democratic Party contributors competing for contracts. This activity reached a crescendo at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Seattle in 1993. There, according to classified records reviewed by Insight, American agents collected raw economic data on Asian businesses through a variety of sources: the FBI, the Customs Service, Naval Intelligence, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the NSC and especially the NSA.

The FBI was reported to have bugged more than 300 locations at the APEC summit. As many as 15,000 conversations were then bounced from satellites to the NSA in real time. At the time, no one was more aware of the NSA's capabilities than Ron Brown, who was the administration's point man for Asia and later, under duress, its "bag man." It is not at all impossible that the information gleaned at the summit warned him off a bribe he had been privately negotiating with the Communist government of Vietnam.

In May 1995, Janet Reno called for an independent counsel on another issue, namely to assess whether Brown had "accepted things of value" in exchange for his influence from his confidante and business partner, Nolanda Hill. In November of that same year, Janet Reno sent the request to court for the independent counsel to add Ron's beloved son, Michael Brown, to the case.

In late December 1995, after Michael had been officially but quietly targeted, Ron Brown turned serious. He was the one person in America capable of bringing down the Clinton administration, and the Clintons knew it. His knowledge of their Asian dealings, which had not yet erupted into scandal, was the only real leverage he had in pressuring them to subvert the independent counsel.

"I know the Clinton administration's NSA was eavesdropping and recording millions and millions of electronic communications on Americans," Hill tells me. "Ron wouldn't talk on any phone about really sensitive things with a bearing on the independent counsel investigation because he knew his calls and mine were monitored. Data transmission such as credit card transactions were also monitored and the information passed on to FBI."

In April 1996, Ron Brown solved his problems and the Clintons' by dying in a plane crash that the Air Force still writes off as "inexplicable." Before he died, he shared all his legal complications with Hill as a condition of her not seeking a separate deal with the independent counsel. The Clintons knew this. Although they let Michael Brown off with a slap on the wrist – he is running for mayor of Washington, D.C., as I write – they persecuted Hill for years to keep her quiet.

"I never talked to my lawyers on the phone," says Hill of this troubled period. "Always in person. I put a lot of miles on my autos going to Kentucky and Washington. And of course, I didn't use a cell phone for three years."

Although the story is too complicated to summarize here, congressional leaders who are concerned with the misuse of the NSA should begin their inquiry with Ron Brown's Commerce Department and follow the trail to Ron Brown's death.

"This 'eavesdropping' isn't a Bush administration phenomenon," says Hill, a lifelong Democrat. No, she and Brown knew much better than that. "

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48029

__________________________

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/CRASH/BROWN/bullet.html

http://www.warriorsfortruth.com/news-ron-brown-clinton-gore.html


Thursday, December 22, 2005

 

More on the Surveillance Issue

Very interesting clear, in depth discussion about statutes and rulings which have concurred with the legality of President Bush's actions under the authority granted to him by the Constitution.

___________________________

"On the Legality of the NSA Electronic Intercept Program

................" There is no mystery about the legality of the NSA intercept program. It is intended to capture foreign intelligence information, including information about potential terrorist threats, and as such, every federal court that has addressed the issue has held that it is within the inherent constitutional power of the President as Commander in Chief. Everything else is immaterial.

This brings us back where we started, i.e., the Constitution. The only constitutional limitation on the President’s power to intercept communications by Americans for national security purposes is that such intercepts be “reasonable.” Is it reasonable for the administration to do all it can to identify the people who are communicating with known terrorists overseas, via the terrorists’ cell phones and computers, and to learn what terrorist plots are being hatched by those persons? Is it reasonable to do so even when—rather, especially when--some portion of those communications come from people inside the United States? I don’t find it difficult to answer those questions; nor, if called upon to do so, would the Supreme Court.

There are, of course, liberal law professors who would like the law to be different from what it is. They are free to develop theories according to which the Supreme Court, should it someday address this issue directly, would rule as they wish. But the administration is entitled to rely on the law as it currently exists. And there is simply no question about the fact that under the Constitution and all controlling precedents, the NSA intercept program is legal. "

Posted by John at 12:34 PM | Permalink  "

Thursday, December 22, 2005

 

Why they broke the story

No surprise here.......  ThudWonderful to discover exactly what the "benevolent left" really thinks about our national security, protecting American citizens since the NYT has acted one of their main mouthpieces.
 _________________________
"Fit to Print?
Neither the Bush administration nor the NSA broke the law, so why did the New York Times break the story?

by Edward Morrissey
12/21/2005 12:00:00 AM
"THE REVELATION by the New York Times of an NSA program to review international communications could only cause surprise among those unfamiliar with the history and mission of the agency. The National Security Agency descended from various post-WWII military signal agencies, a centralized and civilianized intelligence service focused on one task: the exploitation of international communications to keep the United States from suffering another Pearl Harbor."............

............."As the New York Times undoubtedly discovered during its research, the NSA probably never broke the law at all, and certainly nothing uncovered in their article indicates any evidence that they did. Neither did President Bush in ordering the NSA to actually follow the law in aggressively pursuing the intelligence leads provided by their capture of terrorists in the field. The only real news that the Times provided is that the government didn't need the 9/11 Commission to tell it to use all the tools at its disposal.

 

 SO WHY PUBLISH the story at all? The Washington Post published a behind-the-scenes look at the Times's editorial decision and found a couple of motivations for the decision to dust off the story which had been spiked during the election year. With the Patriot Act up for renewal, the current headlines finally provided a political context that would make the story a blockbuster--not because it describes illegal activity, but because it plays into fears about the rise of Orwellian Big Brother government from the Bush administration. The second impetus to publish came from the upcoming release of James Risen's book, State of War, due to be released in less than a month.

It had to dismay the editors at the Times, then, when an angry President Bush came out the next day, the day after that, and the day after that to take personal responsibility for the NSA effort. Bush called the Risen/Lichtblau bluff. Had there been any scandal, the president would hardly have run in front of a camera to admit to ordering the program. He changed the course of the debate and now has the Times and his other critics backpedaling."

The timing and questionable news value of the story opens the question about the motivation of the Times's editors. Has the Times allowed its anti-Bush bias to warp its judgment so badly that it deliberately undermined a critical part of America's defenses against terrorist attack to try to damage the president? "

 

Edward Morrissey is a contributing writer to The Daily Standard and a contributor to the blog Captain's Quarters.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/512zmkjb.asp?pg=2


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

 

"It's Legal"

Much discussion among many concerning surveillance without a warrant as if it were limited to this administration only.  Think again!! 

Have waited until the dust settles and competent legal opinions were forthcoming. 

Below is a direct quote from Powerlineblog.com, plus several individual live links accessible with Internet Explorer if no other browser works. 

Hosing the BS from concrete reality ..... I'll to defer to those who have a clear understanding of prior court rulings instead of mob rule mentality "gotcha factions" who light their hair on fire running around like Chicken Littles. 

_________________________________________

http://www.nationalreview.com/mccarthy/mccarthy200512201735.asp
Hugh Hewitt's separate commentary.  Google him if unfamiliar with his credentials.   
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http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012612.
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John Schmidt, associate attorney general of the United States in the Clinton administration, (live link)  superbly explains why the NSA intercept program is legal under all authorities and precedents:

President Bush's post- Sept. 11, 2001, authorization to the National Security Agency to carry out electronic surveillance into private phone calls and e-mails is consistent with court decisions and with the positions of the Justice Department under prior presidents.

In the Supreme Court's 1972 Keith decision holding that the president does not have inherent authority to order wiretapping without warrants to combat domestic threats, the court said explicitly that it was not questioning the president's authority to take such action in response to threats from abroad.

Four federal courts of appeal subsequently faced the issue squarely and held that the president has inherent authority to authorize wiretapping for foreign intelligence purposes without judicial warrant.

 

Schmidt quotes the same language from the 2002 decision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review that we have cited repeatedly:

the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, composed of three federal appellate court judges, said in 2002 that "All the ... courts to have decided the issue held that the president did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence ... We take for granted that the president does have that authority."

This morning, I sent the following email to New York Times reporters Eric Lichtblau and Adam Liptak (other Times reporters who have participated in the NSA stories do not publish their email addresses):

In your reporting in the Times you appear to have tried to create the impression that the NSA's overseas intercept program is, or may be, illegal. I believe that position is foreclosed by all applicable federal court precedents. I assume, for example, that you are aware of the November 2002 decision of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, in Sealed Case No. 02-001, where the court said:

"The Truong court [United States v. Truong Dinh Hung, 4th Cir. 1980], as did all the other courts to have decided the issue, held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information. *** We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power."

In view of the controlling federal court precedents, I do not see how an argument can be made in good faith that there is any doubt about the NSA program's legality. Therefore, I wonder whether you are somehow unaware of the relevant case law. If you know of some authority to support your implication that the intercepts are or may be illegal, I would be interested to know what that authority is. If you are aware of no such authority, I think that a correction is in order.

Thank you.

John Hinderaker

 

I will post any response I receive.

Posted by John at 10:29 AM | Permalink  "
 http://powerlineblog.com/print.html

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

 

Surveillance, searches without court order

The latest news first. 
________________________________________
 
"CLINTON ADMINISTRATION SECRET SEARCH ON AMERICANS -- WITHOUT COURT ORDER

CARTER EXECUTIVE ORDER: 'ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE' WITHOUT COURT ORDER

Bill Clinton Signed Executive Order that allowed Attorney General to do searches without court approval

Clinton, February 9, 1995: "The Attorney General is authorized to approve physical searches, without a court order"

Jimmy Carter Signed Executive Order on May 23, 1979: "Attorney General is authorized to approve electronic surveillance to acquire foreign intelligence information without a court order."

WASH POST, July 15, 1994: Extend not only to searches of the homes of U.S. citizens but also -- in the delicate words of a Justice Department official -- to "places where you wouldn't find or would be unlikely to find information involving a U.S. citizen... would allow the government to use classified electronic surveillance techniques, such as infrared sensors to observe people inside their homes, without a court order."

Deputy Attorney General Jamie S. Gorelick, the Clinton administration believes the president "has inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches for foreign intelligence purposes."

Secret searches and wiretaps of Aldrich Ames's office and home in June and October 1993, both without a federal warrant.

END "
http://www.drudgereport.com/flash8.htm

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

 

" Redneck Scrap Book "

Just for fun, a pretty large list of pictures .... mostly of relatives we don't claim!!!!  Added cautionary statement .... not for the easily offended or ultra PC mindset.
 
                        ROFL             ROFL          ROFL             ROFL
________________________________
 
 
 
" Redneck Scrap Book "
http://boortz.com/more/funny/redneck_pics.html

Monday, December 19, 2005

 

"Clinton NSA Eavesdropped on U.S. Calls

Lefties despise NewsMax because they always come up with the dirt.  Been reading them quite awhile and find their stories check out .... they also have excellent archives.

__________________________________

"Clinton NSA Eavesdropped on U.S. Calls

During the 1990's under President Clinton, the National Security Agency monitored millions of private phone calls placed by U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries under a super secret program code-named Echelon.

On Friday, the New York Times suggested that the Bush administration has instituted "a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices" when it "secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without [obtaining] court-approved warrants."

But in fact, the NSA had been monitoring private domestic telephone conversations on a much larger scale throughout the 1990s - all of it done without a court order, let alone a catalyst like the 9/11 attacks.

In February 2000, for instance, CBS "60 Minutes" correspondent Steve Kroft introduced a report on the Clinton-era spy program by noting:

"If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency."
NSA computers, said Kroft, "capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world."

Echelon expert Mike Frost, who spent 20 years as a spy for the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, told "60 Minutes" that the agency was monitoring "everything from data transfers to cell phones to portable phones to baby monitors to ATMs."

Mr. Frost detailed activities at one unidentified NSA installation, telling "60 Minutes" that agency operators "can listen in to just about anything" - while Echelon computers screen phone calls for key words that might indicate a terrorist threat.

The "60 Minutes" report also spotlighted Echelon critic, then-Rep. Bob Barr, who complained that the project as it was being implemented under Clinton "engages in the interception of literally millions of communications involving United States citizens."

Source: NewsMax.com

 


Monday, December 19, 2005

 

"WeHireAliens.com

Worried about Illegal Aliens and don't know what to do other than complain???? 

This website may help through a bit of grassroots American activism, turn them in and expose them then boycott.   US Flag

Credit goes to a friend for sending the link.

______________________

"WeHireAliens.com

 

"The biggest incentive for illegal aliens to come to the United States is to find work. If there are no employers willing to hire the illegal aliens, then the flood of illegal aliens will subside.

So the purpose of this website is to expose "alleged" employers of illegal aliens. In this effort we need your help. First, if you know of a suspected employer of illegal aliens report them here.

Second, search or browse the "alleged" employers of illegal aliens and email them telling them you will no longer patronize their business. In the same email, make sure they know that you will also tell everyone you know NOT to patronize their business. We've got pre-written emails to help you do this.

Third, DO NOT patronize the businesses you see listed here.

Finally, use our website to report these "alleged" employers to the proper authorities. Again, we've got emails already written that you can send off at the touch of a button."

http://wehirealiens.com/


Monday, December 19, 2005

 

"Eavesdropping" & "Media Bias"

""EAVESDROPPING

"As you know, there has been much gnashing of teeth and rolling of eyes since The New York Times disclosed last Thursday that President Bush ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on American citizens after 9/11 --- without first getting a warrant.  It is the administration's contention that the eavesdropping orders were only given in cases where there was a clear link with terrorism.

OK .. before we get into this, let's explore a scenario.  Some reports over the weekend have suggested that this scenario might be more fact than fiction.  U.S. Intelligence agencies overseas discover the phone number of Osama bin Laden's satellite phone.    Osama makes a satellite phone call to a U.S. citizen living outside of Chicago.  Nobody's home.  Intelligence operatives are certain that bin Laden will try to place the call again, but it may be from a different phone.  They know that Osama changes phones frequently, so there is no time to waste in mining this resources.  Their best chance to intercept bin Laden's next phone call is to place a tap on the U.S. citizen's phone.  The next phone call may be in a matter of minutes, or hours.  There is no time to go before a court to get a wiretap order.  So ... what do you do?  Do you put the wiretap in place immediately, or do you take the chance of missing the next phone call from Osama while trying to get a court order?  Now, before you answer, imagine that this might have been a phone call from bin Laden to Mohammed Atta an hour before Atta was to board that American Airlines flight in Boston.  The call was bin Laden giving Atta the final go-ahead for the attacks of 9/11.  Without a court order you intercept the call, discover the plot, and save 3000 lives.  Wait for a court order and the 9/11 attacks go forward.

OK .. there's your scenario.  You're the president.  You've taken an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and to uphold its laws.  Obviously this character living outside of Chicago has some ties to Osama bin Laden. Something may be in the works:  another terrorist attack may be just hours away.  Do you spend those hours trying to get a warrant?  Or do you spend those hours trying to prevent the impending terrorist attack.

Now, with Bush there is, of course, no way he can win on this.  In retrospect, if he goes ahead and orders the wiretaps on people who have clear ties to terrorism, he will be assailed by the left for violating the law and ignoring our rights.  If it is later discovered that he was aware of someone in this country with direct ties to terrorism but didn't take immediate action to monitor their activities, he will be accused of ignoring clear threats to our country. 

If you consider this situation fairly, you will probably come to the realization that you are just happy that it isn't you that has to make the decision as to how to proceed.

Now .. my feelings (as if you cared).  From what I've learned thus far I'm not convinced that there was no way to get a court order for these wiretaps.  I know that the administration is claiming that these wiretaps absolutely did prevent terrorist attacks in our country, and that they are critical to save American lives.  They cite one particular plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge.  If the laws of this country are not adequate to allow the president and our security agencies to act when a clear threat is present, then those laws should be considered by the congress.  First and foremost the United States is a government of law.  Everybody, from the urban outdoorsman seeking money for his next pint in Omaha, to the highest officials in our government, including the president, must abide by these laws.  If you think that the laws aren't sufficient to allow you to do your job, try to get them changed.  But follow the law.  This rule-of-law thing is what makes this country so unique and so extraordinary.

Now .. has Bush broken those laws?  Don't know.  Not enough information yet.  It should be looked into though, not in some partisan Washington show, but quietly in talks and discussions between members of the congress and the Justice Department.  Oh, and speaking of members of congress.  One thing does seem clear.  The leading Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate intelligence committees were briefed on these wiretap activities and knew that they were going on.  These partisans cannot now step up to the microphones and condemn Bush for his actions.  They knew, they are complicit. 

In his radio address on Saturday President Bush criticized the media for disclosing the wiretaps.  He was wrong.  This is exactly what the media should be done.  This is the value of the free press. While The New York Times can certainly be criticized for sitting on this story for a year, this is precisely how the American people are protected from the excesses of government and government officials by an active free press.  In countries ruled by despots this news story would never make it to print.  Give thanks that it is not so in our country.   

"LIBERAL BIAS?  PRETTY MUCH A SETTLED MATTER NOW

Now here is one amazing story.  It would seem that there is no longer any room for doubt that the mainstream American media leans quite heavily to the left.  The study was managed by a political science professor from UCLA named Tim Groseclose.  Groseclose claims to be surprised at the results.  Study co-author Jeffrey Milyo, an economist and public policy scholar from the University of Missouri says that ".... there is quantifiable and significant bias in that nearly all of them lean to the left."

We won't get into the methodology of the study here -- it's actually quite confusing --- but the results were interesting.  What is the most liberal major media outlet out there?  That would be the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.  This is flat-out amazing considering the fact that the editorial page of the Journal is just about as conservative as it gets for major outlets.  Behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal, we have CBS News, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times as the next most liberal news organizations.  There were only two major news source that scored to the right of the American people,  Fox News Channel's "Special Report with Brit Hume," and The Washington Times.  Hume's program is only so slightly to the right that it is also listed in the study as being essentially "centrist."  The study found that the most centrist outlet was "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" followed by CNN's "NewsNight with Aaron Brown" and ABC's "Good Morning America."  Hume was fourth in the centrist category.

I think it's rather interesting that this study found that the only major media broadcast outlet that was identified as being to the right, Brit Hume's program, was also identified as "centrist."  Other than The Washington Times the rest of the media is to the left. 

Isn't this the place where I say "I told you so?" "

http://boortz.com/nuze/index.html


Saturday, December 17, 2005

 

"Defeat the Defeatists!"

I love the refreshing clarity of Tech Central Station writers whom I've enjoyed reading for the past couple of years.  From what this article says the MSM has been "reporting" agenda as news back a lot farther than Viet Nam.  Love the internet ... gets us out of the MSM mushroom farm.  Jester

______________________________

"Defeat the Defeatists!"

By Stephen Schwartz

Source: Tech Central Station Daily 

"The successful completion of the parliamentary election in Iraq represents a multiple victory for the faith of Islam, the people of the Middle East, and global democracy, and an obvious defeat for the enemies of responsible religious and civic values -- everywhere, in the U.S. as well as in Mesopotamia.

Voting was so popular with the Iraqis that the terrorists of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi effectively observed a ceasefire during the balloting. The Western mainstream media (MSM), with their usual ignorant obtuseness, completely misconstrued this remarkable development. To the MSM, Zarqawi called off his murderous lackeys to encourage his Sunni constituency to elect representatives to defend their interests.

In reality, the decision of the Zarqawi gang to let the process go forward without a horrific orgy of bloodshed had nothing to do with a sudden access of democratic and electoral enthusiasm in the mind of the terrorist chief. Rather, it embodied the clear demand of the Iraqi masses, Arab Sunnis no less than Shias and Kurds, that nobody interfere with their right to exercise a political choice. Zarqawi and Co. knew that if they were to fight the vote with bombs and bullets they would lose what little credibility they retain among Iraqi Sunnis.

In terms of Islamic theology and ideology, however, this tactical setback for the terrorists was much more: it represented a confession that their jihadist strategy has failed, and is thoroughly bankrupt.

Zarqawi’s terrorism, as seen in the battle for Fallujah and elsewhere, has rested on three pillars, all drawn from the doctrines of the Wahhabi sect, the state religion in Iraq's southern neighbor, Saudi Arabia:

  • Hatred of Shias, condemned by Wahhabis as heretics;
  • Rejection of popular sovereignty, especially of voting and contested elections, in the name of a pure Quranic governance that has been a topic of controversy, and seldom realized, throughout Islamic history;
  • Enforcement of Wahhabi canons of conduct, including bans on Sufism, or Islamic spirituality, long established in Iraq and especially its Kurdish zone; music; and any form of female attire short of the all-covering Saudi abaya. Zarqawi had Sufis, music lovers, and women caught with their garments too short to cover their feet, executed in the streets of Fallujah. That was one reason the Fallujans, including many who opposed the U.S.-led intervention, turned against Zarqawi.

By acceding to Sunni participation in the parliamentary election, Zarqawi and his mob of killers admitted that they cannot impose their bogus theory of Islamic political science on their alleged adherents. Sunnis elected to the parliament will sit alongside Shias and cooperate with Kurdish Sufis in the construction of the new state, economy, and society.

Zarqawi and his criminals may continue their terrorist spree, thanks to financing, incitement, and recruitment by the Wahhabi clerics of Saudi Arabia. But I predict the onslaught will soon end. It would end within days if President George W. Bush were to telephone Saudi King Abdullah and back him in ordering his pro-Wahhabi royal peers to sever the link between the state and the extremist sect.

Let me add another prediction, as easy as looking out the window and checking the weather. Peace and reform will prevail in Iraq, even with U.S. and other coalition troops still on the ground, but the story will end for the MSM. I will never forget the comment of the then-city editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, who I will spare embarrassment by preserving anonymity, after Violeta Chamorro, leader of the anti-Sandinista civic movement in Nicaragua, won that country’s presidential election in 1990. “Nicaragua is no longer a story for us,” the editor declared. Without violence that could be blamed on the U.S., there was no news. In reality, there had been little news from Nicaragua in the Chronicle for some time, because the paper, like an overwhelming majority of MSM organs in the U.S. and Canada, erroneously and smugly forecast that the Stalino-Sandinistas would sweep the vote. They were wrong.

“If it bleeds, it leads,” is an MSM cliché. But I have to add that the bloodshed is only relevant when the MSM can use it to boost their individual fantasies about Vietnam and thus propagandize against the U.S. Atrocities in Iraq count more than atrocities in Chechnya.

The degree to which the MSM, academia, and other members of the Western intelligentsia live in a fantasy world of narcissistic self-righteousness is extraordinary. But the phenomenon is not new. It first became visible during the Spanish civil war of 1936-39, the original exemplar of what I call a theory of “two wars, two worlds.” The Spanish war as experienced by the people of that tormented country, involving deep-going social issues, unresolved history, and the impact of what we now call globalization, was entirely different from the war as it was experienced by intellectuals -- mainly leftists -- in place s like London and Manhattan. For this reason, when George Orwell published a veridical account of the war, Homage to Catalonia, it sold few copies in Britain, although it is now considered one of the greatest political works of the 20th century.

A many-sided paradigm was established in Spain. The populace saw themselves fighting desperately and unrelentingly for a radical, even libertarian view of freedom, which is why they held out for three years. But their authentic voices were seldom heard; by contrast, foreign leftists projected the view that the harmless Spanish were defending peace against German and Italian aggressors. In this way, the American vs. European conundrum on which I have written elsewhere -- defense of freedom vs. the quest for peace -- was also manifested.

In Spain, the foreign left, and such avant-la-lettre paragons of the MSM as Herbert Matthews of The New York Times, presented Stalin as the best friend of the antifascists when in reality, as immortally chronicled by Orwell, the Muscovite tyrant’s secret police minions worked to undermine their Iberian allies. When the Spanish war became a conflict between Franco and Stalin, it was lost for the left, since the Spanish workers and peasants would not risk their lives for the Kremlin dictator. But a legend about Spain had grown up among the Communists of Brooklyn, who were then numerous, and it remains the dominant narrative about the Spanish war for non-Spanish intellectuals. It is a “second Spanish civil war” that has almost nothing in common with the real war in which real people were killed.

The phenomenon was repeated in Nicaragua and the former Yugoslavia. The genuine conflict between Sandinistas and contras in the Central American post-revolutionary republic was utterly unlike the propaganda war between the two sides’ supporters in Washington. The contras, indigenous Nicaraguan peasants who fought for little more than beans and rice, were portrayed in the U.S. media as mercenaries incited by Ronald Reagan to loot and rape. But more violence was committed by the armed bodies of the Sandinista regime, instructed by East Germans, than by the contras. In the end, the Nicaraguan people voted for Mrs. Chamorro, whose party was associated with the contras. Once again, reality on the ground had nothing to do with the verbiage in the North American and European media.

In the Balkans, local victims of air bombing, artillery fire, pillage, rape, and other terror crimes witnessed extensive aggression by the Serbian fascist regime of Slobodan Milosevic. But a large section of the Western media, led by the London Times, but also supported, in my experience, by such papers as the San Francisco Chronicle, preferred to report abstractly on “the collapse of Yugoslavia,” to proclaim moral equivalence between the Serbs and their victims, or to recycle Serb claims that they were avenging Nazi acts committed three generations before.

So the MSM, after getting several major chapters in modern history wrong, from Spain through Central America and the Balkans, have now gotten Iraq wrong. They have developed an apparently incurable weakness for totalitarianism: for Stalinism, Sandinismo, Serbianism, and now for the “slaughterers,” as Zarqawi’s fanatics style themselves.

When will it end? Perhaps never. One thing is certain: the MSM, which has impudently demanded accountability from the Bush administration for errors in Iraq, will not admit its own errors. They will move on to the next iteration of their fantasy about Vietnam, and continue seeking fame as defeatist scandal-mongers. Defeatism is all that leftists have to offer today. But in Iraq, and elsewhere, defeatism will be defeated! "

Stephen Schwartz is the author of The Two Faces of Islam.
 
 

Friday, December 16, 2005

 

A Young Hero Speaks Out

"Rep. Murtha is causing casualties
Posted: December 16, 2005
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Source: WorldNetDaily.com

"Editor's note: David Bellavia is a former U.S. Army staff sergeant who served in the First Infantry Division for six years. He has been recommended for the Medal of Honor by his leadership, and has been nominated for the Distinguished Service Cross. He has received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Conspicuous Service Cross (New York state's highest combat valor award) and was recently inducted into the New York State Veteran's Hall of Fame. His Task Force 2-2 Infantry has fought on such battlefields as Al Muqdadiyah, An Najaf, Al Fallujah, Mosul, and Baqubah. His actions in Fallujah, Iraq, were documented in the Nov. 22, 2004, cover story "Into the Hot Zone" by award-winning journalist Michael Ware. He is 30 years old.

 

"As the debris continues to settle from the explosion detonated by Representative John Murtha's, D-Pa., continued rapid fire defeatist comments this past week, I wonder how he expected his statements to be perceived. As an infantryman whose boots are still caked with blood and dust from Iraq, I am beyond confused with the Democratic Party's "Prada Pant Suit Posse" of Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Louise Slaughter's insistence that he preserve his title as a combat visionary.

As rancor and hyperbole have reached its peak, we continue to be fed bastardized statistics and a complete denial that Iraq – according to al-Qaida intercepts – is indeed the front line in the War on Terror. Murtha's outrage seems to be concerned with the massive amount of American youth far from home and in harm's way. There is no outrage that we have 1,700 troops patrolling Kosovo's tranquil streets. No complaints from the left when asked about the 3,000 troop presence in Bosnia or why there is a need for 1,754 troops in Iceland. "Mr. President, bring home our boys from Iceland NOW"!

When President Clinton sent 15,000 troops into post-hostile Bosnia to get the job done, it was the equivalent of keeping 585,000 troops in Iraq post invasion, when equating terrain and population. Tellingly, the silence from the left is deafening. To the leftists in America, Clinton understood war like no other. The template is simple: Pull out when the blood starts to flow (Somalia) and over commit when there is no chance of loss (Kosovo and Bosnia).

As Congress jockeys for their individual credibility in who has eaten more meals at Halliburton chow halls, Murtha stands and wears his lone Bronze Star with Valor (BSV) as his badge of authority. On behalf of every veteran of Iraqi Freedom who has exchanged hot lead with this enemy, allow me to state: "Mr. Murtha you don't know 'Jack' about the mujahadeen."

Rep. Murtha quotes an unscientific poll that concludes arrogantly that "80 percent of Iraqis want us out." I am no John Zogby, but I conclude 100 percent of Iraqi's want us out ... eventually. They very much want us there while Islamo-fascists continue to blow them up as they worship and apply to serve the cause of freedom.

My peers are not appreciative of the Sen. Kennedy and Kerry elitists who daily attempt to uncover mistakes made by this administration, while my brothers under fire bleed to death thousands of miles from their homes. In the era of digital satellite, these senators have put us on daily trial for executing a war as it unfolds, without delay and in its entirety.

Iraqi veterans are without apologies for not finding weapons of mass destruction today in Iraq. As former administrations ignored the present danger in this region for years before 9-11, we in the trenches pay the price for our past inability to confront our brazen enemies. Each day, the enemy hopes that one more 10-plus death toll inflicted against the coalition via a roadside bomb will be the last straw of the American collective will.

Voting against the immediate pull out of the troops and then carpet bombing every TV program that offers an invite by supporting Murtha's ignorance is a political attack that is aiding the enemy. Congress has had multiple opportunities to pass official articles of war against al-Qaida and her assets to end once and for all the bipartisan bickering of why we fight in Iraq today. They have yet to act.

Make no mistake: This is a middle- to lower-class war, fought by volunteers of the greatest generation of American Warriors ever born. I personally have written over 47 Bronze Stars with Valor awards for the members of my 34-man infantry platoon. The BSV is alarmingly growing more and more common during this fight and yet my peers cannot use their awards as a platform to defend their noble struggle, because they are still deep in the fight. Neither Mr. Murtha, nor any other congressional representative, has held a position in a skirmish line under fire in Iraq, yet they pontificate to the masses from "their war" experience.

Not one has borne witness to the extreme close quarter nature of this fight or commented on the tearful thanks from a deserving and proud people who need us to stay the course. Yet Rep. Murtha has the extreme audacity to call my peers "broken."

The testament to the American soldier is the attrition on the other end of the battlefield in Iraq, and it is almost biblical in proportion. Hundreds of thousands of Iranian-trained Hezbollah, Chechnyan, Wahabbi and local mujahadeen militants have been pacified by our young patriots and their continuation of the legacy of the American Warrior Ethos. Funny how a man like Murtha – who made his career on detailing his heroism under fire – is the first to chip at away at my generation's valor.

As my peers continue to bleed for the acceptance from a growingly cynical media, it must be stated: We are not "broken," we have never "terrorized Iraqis in their homes" and we are most certainly not "living hand to mouth."

Each day, the Iraqi War veteran grows closer to the embarrassing disrespect of the Vietnam warrior. Each day, legislators like Rep. Murtha move us closer to losing a winnable war and abandoning a worthy ally. Democratic leadership feels the need to apologize for our nation's ability to deliver unrelenting prudent lethality onto our deserving enemies. Instead of supporting the cause of my peers, they stoke the fires of the al-Jazeera faithful, who would see a pullout in Iraq as a greater victory than the Soviet retreat in Afghanistan.

Though soldiers bleed for the very right to dissent from the truth, we must remember that at times our dissent will embolden our desperate Islamo-fascist enemy when they read accounts of the growing fecklessness of the American people and her policymakers.

"Staying the course" isn't a campaign slogan – it is a life-support message to my peers. Congressman Murtha – above all others – should know the perils inherent in dictating military policy from across the Potomac in a time of war. I imagine he can still taste the hated partisan spittle of the war protestors 30 years ago. Like Vietnam, the American soldier cannot be defeated on the field of battle, only by the failure of the political class to stomach the hardships of combat. "

David Bellavia "

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=47936

Friday, December 16, 2005

 

"Christmas Yet To Come"

  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh Green laugh

 

"Christmas Yet To Come"
http://www.sacredcowburgers.com/fresh/showpics.cgi?christmas_yet_to_come


Thursday, December 15, 2005

 

Don King on Bush

Life is not a popularity contest .... it's refreshing to have a president who makes decisions and sticks with them instead of staying glued to winds of polls twisting in it. 
______________________________________

 

"BOXING PROMOTER DON KING: 'BUSH IS A REVOLUTIONARY'
Wed Dec 14 2005 19:23:37 ET

CNN, THE SITUATION ROOM 4:00 PM EST

WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Don king is known worldwide as a big-time boxing promoter. But has also taken some new fights on recently...

You love George Bush?

DON KING; I love George Walker Bush because I think he's a revolutionary. He's a president that comes in with conclusiveness. What they're doing in tomorrow in Iraq is a demonstration of that for the vote for democracy. The fundamental process of democracy is freedom of speech, law and order, being able to have freedom, working with people and working and governing yourselves. George Bush is that. He included in...

BLITZER: Do you have any regrets supporting him? Take a look at that picture when you and I were there at the diner last year. Do you have any regrets supporting him as enthusiastically as you did?

KING: No, I don't. In fact, I want to support him more now because it seems like everybody is punching him. You know what I mean? But he's fighting back, and he's throwing great combinations. And I think he's the guy that is really a revolutionary president.

I think he's a president that cares about the people he represents, but doesn't compromise himself to the extent that he acquiesce and accommodate. He goes out there and says like it is, and tries to make things better. Inclusiveness, education, is fighting for that.

These are the things that many guys that don't fight for -- George Walker Bush is a tremendous advocate to America, a great president for the great American people, and he's decisive. He's doesn't equivocate.  "

END 
http://www.drudgereport.com/flash9.htm


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

 

''Trying to bury it......

Seems we're finally getting down to why the Dems have been screaming to the top of their lungs as a diversion to detract attention from among other things, an independent counsel's findings they're trying to bury deep as they can. 

Goes back to Travel Gate, to Cisneros and to the Justice Department and IRS under Clinton.  Have links to Powerline commentary, plus an article by Tony Snow. 

Nice try guys .... the "Barrett Report" needs to be published, congressional investigation following and let the rule of law take it where it needs to go. 

_______________________ 

 

Found these links to this on Powerline, 
"Cover-Up of Scandal at Justice and IRS? http://powerlineblog.com/archives/012541.php   
"Uncovering the Barrett report"  Permalink. 
_________________________
Tony Snow writes ......
"Reveal the Truth, Frist and Hastert

"Department officials were actively interfering with the probe and even conducting surveillance of Barrett and his office. Worse, there were indications that Team Clinton was using key players at the IRS and Justice to harass, frighten and threaten people who somehow got in the former president's way.

The pattern was set early on, when the White House sicced the FBI on Billy Dale, who had served as the director of the White House Travel Office since the days of John F. Kennedy. They mounted a baseless probe of Dale's finances, while chasing after his daughter, his sister and others. Dale was guilty of holding a job coveted by presidential pal Harry Thomasson. But rather than simply firing Dale, the Clinton White House chose to destroy him.

By all accounts, the 400-page Barrett report is a bombshell, capable possibly of wiping out Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential prospects. At the very least, it would bring to public attention a scandal that would make the Valerie Plame affair vanish into comical insignificance.

Democrats know this. Using provisions in the independent-counsel statute that permit people named in a report to review the allegations against them and file rebuttals, attorneys close to the Clintons have spent the better part of five years reviewing every jot and tittle of the charges arrayed against their clients and friends.

This careful and continuous monitoring of the report explains why Sens. Byron Dorgan, Dick Durbin and John Kerry took the highly unusual step earlier this year of trying to slip into an Iraq-war spending bill an amendment to suppress every word of the Barrett report. (Every other independent counsel finding has been printed in its entirety, with the exception of small sections containing classified material.)

Alert Republicans, pushed by talk-radio listeners and bloggers, managed to short-circuit that effort, but Democrats patiently pursued their goal. They got what they wanted recently, when the House and Senate met to iron out differences in yet another appropriations bill. Democrats inserted language that would prevent public release of the 120 pages of the report listing the Clinton transgressions. They offered what may have looked like a good deal. They promised not to object to letting Barrett continue with any prosecutions already underway.

Republicans negotiators, led by Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Mich, took the bait. They agreed to keep the public in the dark about the important stuff in exchange for a big, fat nothing. Unbeknownst to Bond and Knollenberg, Barrett shut down his grand juries three years ago.

The move represents more than just boneheaded politics. It's grossly irresponsible. If the report contains the kind of bombshells that have been hinted at in reports published by The Wall Street Journal and National Review, among others, the public not only has a right to know, Congress has a duty to investigate.

If Barrett has found evidence that officials at Justice and the IRS served as a praetorian guard, that means some bureaucrats felt it appropriate or beneficial to ignore their duty to the public and instead to perform dirty work for the people who oversee their budgets.

Another big "if": If such behavior were covered up, the malefactors would conclude that they may do the same thing again for other presidents.

Something stinks, and the only way to get at the truth is to release the full report. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who fought a lonely battle to ensure the document's publication, is furious. So is House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc. The question is whether Republican leaders Bill Frist and Denny Hastert will step in and ensure the report's publication, or whether they'll just sigh and look the other way."

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,178223,00.html 

 

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

 

"Benevolent Greens" captured

I'll quote directly from the site as to its purpose.  Article about FBI captures of ELF members at bottom.
_______________________
DiscoverTheNetworks.org 
A guide to the political left
http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/default.asp
"What This Site Is About
(The resources on this page are devoted to defining the left, which is one of the purposes of this website. For additional conceptual articles about the left, see ISSUES: "Progressive" and "Liberalism," and particularly the articles by Barry Loberfeld and David Horowitz.)

Welcome to DiscoverTheNetwork. This site is a "Guide to the Political Left." It identifies the individuals and organizations that make up the left and also the institutions that fund and sustain it; it maps the paths through which the left exerts its influence on the larger body politic; it defines the left's (often hidden) programmatic agendas and it provides an understanding of its history and ideas.

The site is made up of two principal data elements along with a powerful search engine to locate and explore the information stored. The first of these elements is a database of PROFILES of individuals, groups and institutions, which can be accessed through the heptagram on the home page, or the DTN DIRECTORY on the navigation bar. The PROFILES provide thumbnail sketches of histories, agendas and (where significant) funding sources. More than 1,500 such groups and individuals have already been delineated in the PROFILES sections of this base. The information has been culled from public records readily available on the Internet and other sources, whose veracity and authenticity are easily checked." ............................

______________________

Earth Liberation Front

  • Environmentalist, anti-capitalist, eco-terrorist organization established in 1992 by radical members of the group "Earth First!"
  • Advocates "economic sabotage and property destruction" designed to "halt the destruction of the environment"
  • Has declared war against "greedy capitalists" and "rich scum"
  • Responsible since 1997 for more than $95 million in property damage
  • Has been declared America's top domestic terrorism threat by the FBI
  • Former ELF spokesman Craig Rosebraugh has stated: "Terrorismcan be O.K., can be justified. . . . It can be effective."
  • Rosebraugh described a 1998 arson of a Vail, Colorado ski resort "not an act of ecoterrorism, but an act of love" aimed at saving the environment from "greedy capitalists."
  The New York Times reports that on Thursday, "after years of investigation, federal officials announced one of the biggest roundups yet of people involved in a string of ecoterrorist attacks in the Pacific Northwest dating to 1998." "Six people from five states," says the Times, "from New York to Washington, were arrested on Wednesday, and indicted on charges related to arson attacks and sabotage in Washington and Oregon, including the millennium eve destruction of a transmission tower owned by the Bonneville Power Administration. The arrests are intended to strike a blow against two related groups, the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front, which have claimed responsibility for burning and bombing research facilities, timber operations and sport-utility vehicle dealers, among other targets." 

ELF is an underground organization with no centralized authority or board of directors. Its membership is composed of autonomous groups of people who embrace ELF's overall objectives and carry out direct actions in pursuit of those aims. Above all else, ELF advocates "economic sabotage and property destruction" designed to "halt the destruction of the environment." Toward that end, ELF candidly advocates "monkeywrenching," a euphemism for acts of sabotage and vandalism directed against industries and businesses that the group deems harmful to wild animals and plants - or as ELF puts it, "those profiting from the destruction and exploitation of the natural environment."

This mission dovetails seamlessly with the organization's self-declared war against "
greedy capitalists" and "rich scum."Among ELF's chief targets are the timber, construction, and automotive industries. The group commonly conveys its contempt for people engaged in those industries via such methods as tree-spiking, the sabotage of logging or construction equipment, arson, and all manner of vandalism. Responsible since 1997 for more than $95 million in property damage, ELF has been declared America's top domestic terrorism threat by the FBI. In many cases, the group carries out its terrorist activities in conjunction with the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a radical and violent animal-rights organization.

 

Notwithstanding its violent and destructive modus operandi, ELF purports to "take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human." Implicit in this statement is the axiom that human beings are just one of a multitude of equally valuable life forms inhabiting the earth, possessing no more intrinsic worth than trees, dogs, or fleas. ELF exhorts people to shed their "anthropocentric" worldview in favor of an "ecocentric" alternative - wherein the well-being of the natural world (and all of its living members) takes precedence over the well-being of mankind. As one leading environmentalist has put it, "Ecocentrism means rejecting the position that some life forms (such as humans) have greater inherent worth than other life forms." Similarly, Gary Yourofsky, a national lecturer for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), says: "What we must do is start viewing every cow, pig, chicken, monkey, rabbit, mouse and pigeon as our family members.

ELF also strives to "reveal and educate the public on the atrocities committed against the earth and all species that populate it." But because the group is an underground, terrorist entity that plots its destructive, illegal deeds in secret, its "public education" consists largely of anonymous press releases disseminated to the media in the wake of its acts of sabotage. ELF operatives also use spray paint and banners to communicate messages and claim responsibility at the sites of their crimes.
Following is a very partial list of criminal acts for which ELF claimed responsibility between 1996 and 2001 (Courtesy, Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise):
Oct. 28, 1996. Detroit, Oregon: A U.S. Forest Service pickup truck is torched on the parking lot of the Detroit Ranger District headquarters. The saboteurs tag the building with "Earth Liberation Front" and other graffiti. A plastic jug rigged as an incendiary device is later found on the roof. It did not detonate. Damages: $15,000. Joint ALF / ELF claim.
October 30, 1996. Near Eugene, Oregon: Arson destroyed U.S. Forest Service Oakridge Ranger Station south of Eugene. Cost estimate, $5.3 million. Not officially recognized as an ELF arson; disgruntled law enforcement officers assert that a joint ALF / ELF claim was received but not published.
March 14, 1997. Near Eugene, Oregon: Tree spiking at Robinson-Scott timber harvest site in the Mackenzie River watershed, Willamette National Forest. Joint ALF / ELF claim.
July 21, 1997. Redmond, Oregon: Arson of Cavel West meat packing plant in Redmond. Estimated cost over $1 million. Joint ALF / ELF claim.
November 29, 1997. Hines, Oregon: Arsonists destroy a U.S. Bureau of Land Management horse barn, chutes, pens and equipment. Four hundred horses are released, but they are later recaptured. The Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front take joint responsibility. Damages: $474,000.
July 3, 1998. Middleton, Wisconsin: Break-in and release of 171 mink and ferrets from United Vaccines laboratory. Joint ALF / ELF claim.
June 28, 1998. Boston, Massachusetts: Sprayed red paint on the Mexican Consulate in Boston to protest the treatment of peasants in Chiapas, Mexico. ELF claim without ALF.
June 2, 1998. Olympia, Washington: Two U.S. Department of Agriculture wildlife stations, miles apart, go up in flames on the same morning. The Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front take joint responsibility for both of the attacks. Damages: $1.9 million.
October 10, 1998. Rock Springs, Wyoming: Would-be saboteurs cut the locks off horse pens at a BLM corral, freeing about 40 wild horses. Failed incendiaries are found next to a pickup truck and a building. The Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front take joint responsibility. Damages: negligible.
October 18, 1998. Vail, Colorado: Fires ravage a portion of the Vail ski resort, destroying seven structures: four ski lifts, a restaurant, a picnic facility, and a utility building. The Earth Liberation Front later claims it torched the resort because of proposed expansion into the declining habitat of lynx. Damages: $12 million. Following the incident, ELF issued this public statement, addressed to the Vail, Colorado sheriff's department and various media outlets: "On behalf of the lynx, five buildings and four ski lifts at Vail were reduced to ashes on the night of Sunday, October 18th. Vail, Inc. is already the largest ski operation in North America and now wants to expand even further. The 12 miles of roads and 885 acres of clearcuts will ruin the last, best lynx habitat in the state. Putting profits ahead of Colorado's wildlife will not be tolerated. This action is just a warning. We will be back if this greedy corporation continues to trespass into wild and unroaded areas. For your safety and convenience, we strongly advise skiers to choose other destinations until Vail cancels its inexcusable plans for expansion."
October 26, 1998. Powers, Michigan: Release of 5,000 mink at Tom Pipkorn's Mink Farm near Hermansville in the upper peninsula. An estimated 500 of the animals are run over on roads, starve, drown in a swimming pool, or disappear. Damages: $100,000. ELF claim of responsibility is faxed to Associated Press offices by North American Animal Liberation Front.
December 27, 1998. Medford, Oregon: Fire ravages the headquarters of U.S. Forest Industries. An Earth Liberation Front communiqué issued weeks later by the Liberation Collective in Portland, Oregon says the strike was payback to a company it accused of razing forests and killing wild animals for profit. Damages: $700,000.
August 7, 1999. Escanaba, Michigan: A fishing boat is set ablaze in the driveway of a veterinarian who once worked as a mink rancher. A garage door is tagged with graffiti 18 inches high, which reads: "FUR IS MURDER. E.L.F." The Earth Liberation Front later claims in an Internet posting that it targeted the veterinarian after finding a "Fur is Enough" sign outside his home. Damages: $15,000.
December 25, 1999. Monmouth, Oregon: Fire burns down a Boise Cascade timber management office. "Let this be a lesson to all greedy multinational corporations who don't respect their ecosystems," the Earth Liberation Front writes in a claim of responsibility to The Oregonian. "The elves [a name by which ELF members frequently identify themselves] are watching." Damages: $1 million.
December 31, 1999. Lansing, Michigan: Arson breaks out in the offices of Catherine Ives, Room 324, Michigan State University's Agriculture Hall, a campus landmark. The Earth Liberation Front later issues a communiqué saying it doused an office with gasoline and set it ablaze because the university had financed the development of genetically modified crops to force developing nations in Asia, Latin America and Africa to switch from natural crop plants to gentically engineered sweet potatoes, corn, bananas, and pineapples. Monsanto and USAID are major funders of the research and promotional work being done through Michigan State University. According to local newspapers, the fire caused some $400,000 in damage. In the wake of this incident, ELF relead a message that read: "Cremate Monsanto, Long live the E.L.F. On to the next GE target!"
January 23, 2000. Bloomington, Indiana: Fire destroys a luxury home under construction at the Sterling Woods Development. Investigators find a cryptic message spray-painted in black on a sign near the house: "No Sprawl - ELF." Damages $200,000. An ELF statement obtained by the Environment News Service says, "The house was targeted because the sprawling development it is located in is in the Lake Monroe Watershed. This is the drinking water supply for the town of Bloomington, Indiana and the surrounding area. It is already being jeopardized by existing development and roads."
April 30, 2000. Bloomington, Indiana: At least six pieces of logging and heavy construction equipment are sabotaged and a trailer full of wood chips is set ablaze at a road construction site just outside the city. A communiqué from the Earth Liberation Front states its plan was to punish those developing wooded areas around Bloomington, which "have turned what was once forested land into parking lots, luxury houses for rich scum and expanded roads." Damages: $75,000.
July 20, 2000. Rhinelander, Wisconsin: Vandals hack down thousands of experimental trees, mostly poplars, and spray-paint vehicles at a U.S. Forest Service research station. The Earth Liberation Front claims the attack was against bioengineering, although researchers say the trees were bred naturally to grow faster and resist diseases. Damages: $1 million.
September 9, 2000. Bloomington, Indiana: Fire erupts at the headquarters of the Monroe County Republican Party Committee headquarters. Investigators say a flammable liquid was poured on the building and ignited. The arson was a reminder, according to the Earth Liberation Front communiqué, that it would not sit quietly as politicians pushed for plans to extend an interstate highway. Damages: $1,500.
October 18, 2000. Shoals, Indiana: Vandals find four pieces of heavy logging equipment in the Martin State Forest and cut hoses, slash seats, destroy gauges, and pour sand in the engines, fuel tanks, and radiators. They leave spray-painted graffiti that reads: "Earth Raper," "Go Cut in Hell," and "ELF." Damages: $55,000.
November 27, 2000. Niwot, Colorado: Arson hits one of the first luxury homes going up in a new subdivision. The Earth Liberation Front later sends a note, made of letters clipped from magazines, to the Boulder Weekly newspaper: "Viva la revolution! The Boulder ELF burned the Legend Ridge mansion on Nov. 27th." The underground group explains in a follow-up communiqué that the arson was driven by defeat of a statewide ballot measure to control growth. Damages: $500,000.
December 9, 2000. Middle Island, New York: Fire erupts in a condominium under construction. The Earth Liberation Front claims responsibility, saying the homes were "future dens of the wealthy elite." The group, announcing "an unbounded war on urban sprawl," claims it checked for occupants - human and animal - in 16 condos before setting incendiaries in them. Damages: $200,000.
December 19, 2000. Miller Place, New York: A house under construction goes up in flames. "Building homes for the wealthy should not even be a priority," the Earth Liberation Front writes in its communiqué. "Forests, farms and wetlands are being replaced with a sea of houses, green chemical lawns, blacktop and roadkill." Damages: $50,000.
December 30, 2000. Mount Sinai, New York: Three luxury homes under construction are set ablaze, and a fourth is spray-painted with graffiti: "If you build it, we will burn it," says the Earth Liberation Front. ELF also issues a communiqué saying, "This hopefully provided a firm message that we will not tolerate the destruction of our island." Damages: $160,000.
January 2, 2001. Glendale, Oregon: Fire ravages the offices of Superior Lumber Company, one of the region's leading employers. The arson is the third holiday conflagration of an Oregon timber firm in as many years. It summons investigators from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Damages: $400,000.
February 15, 2001. Suffolk County, New York: Several ELF members plead guilty to charges of arson and arson conspiracy in connection with the torching of a number of New York homes.
In more recent times, ELF has been responsible for acts of vandalism that damaged crop fields at university research centers in the Midwest, fur farms in the Pacific Northwest, meat vendors in the San Francisco Bay area, and department stores on the East Coast.

On August 1, 2003, ELF took credit for torching a 206-unit condominium complex that was under construction in San Diego County; damages exceeded $20 million. Only the quick response of more than 100 firefighters saved the hundreds of nearby homes in the densely populated neighborhood from being engulfed by flames. The attack also destroyed a 100-foot construction crane valued at $7 million, and blew up a 500-gallon fuel tank. At the scene of the crime, the arsonists left behind a 12-foot banner reading, "If you build it, we will burn it - The E.L.F.s are mad."

Three weeks later, ELF operatives vandalized dozens of SUVs and Hummers at car dealerships in east suburban Los Angeles - spray-painting the vehicles with slogans such as "Fat, Lazy Americans" and "I love pollution" - and burned down a warehouse at one dealership. It is believed that these vehicles were targeted because of their poor fuel efficiency, which ELF considers an assault on the environment.
The most recognizable "public face" associated with ELF is that of Craig Rosebraugh, who was the group's spokesman from 1997 to 2001. Rosebraugh, who cultivated his activist roots as an anti-Gulf War protester and animal-rights agitator in the early 1990s (he has been arrested at least a dozen times for "civil disobedience" at demonstrations he has attended over the years), enthusiastically promoted the group's use of violence in spreading its radical message. Rosebraugh made his endorsement of violence plainly evident in his 2003 Master of Arts thesis at Goddard College: "Rethinking Nonviolence: Arguing for the Legitimacy of Armed Struggle." During his years with ELF, Rosebraugh openly advocated property destruction, explaining that "f you can hit them [businesses and capitalists] hard enough in their pocketbook, perhaps they will stop all the unjust acts they're carrying out." He told one reporter from the Williamette Weekly, "Terrorismcan be O.K., can be justified. . . . It can be  effective." On another occasion, Rosebraugh explained that illegal acts of sabotage could serve as crucial agents of social change; he likened the nobility of his cause to that of the abolition of slavery in the United States, the civil rights movement, and the liberation of India.

In early 2002, after his days with ELF were over, Rosebraugh was called to testify before the House Resources Committee's Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health - in a special session called "The Emerging Threat of Ecoterrorism." But when questioned, Rosebraugh would not cooperate, invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than fifty times during the hearing. He did respond to written inquiries, however, and when asked if he had ever feared that an ELF act of terror might result in someone's death, he stated, "No, I am more concerned with massive numbers of people dying at the hands of greedy capitalists if such actions [of sabotage, arson, and vandalism] are not taken."
Rosebraugh described the aforementioned 1998 arson of a Vail, Colorado ski resort as "not an act of ecoterrorism, but an act of love" aimed at saving the environment from those same "greedy capitalists."
http://www.discoverthenetwork.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7159

 


Monday, December 12, 2005

 

"Traitors in the Media

Good bumper sticker idea toward the bottom.... think I might get one.
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"Traitors in the Media
By Cliff Kincaid  |  December 1, 2005
"My visit to a local gun show found one booth full of photos from Iraq that were described as being censored by the U.S. news media. They show American soldiers assisting the Iraqi people, especially children. 

 

Congressman John Murtha, the veteran who turned against the Iraq War, has become a household name. But odds are you haven't heard of Thomas L. Bock. He's a veteran who is critical of media coverage of the war. He says controversial things like "Today's media-hungry war-protest movement is an anti-freedom movement."

Actually, Bock is more than a veteran; he's National Commander of the American Legion, the largest veterans organization. Bock is also a Blue Star dad. His son, Adam, is an Army CH-47 helicopter pilot currently serving in Iraq.

In an editorial appearing in the December issue of the American Legion magazine, Bock writes that "The call to prematurely withdraw U.S. troops from the war on terrorism will quite likely—as public opposition to the Vietnam War showed us—have the unintended consequence of prolonging the fight. Ho Chi Minh described the antiwar movement in the 1960s as a second front in his march to relieve South Vietnam of its freedoms."

Last summer, Bock noted, the Legion adopted Resolution 169, urging veterans to speak out for freedom and "counter a movement that discredits those now serving in harm's way."

A strong voice against the Murtha position comes from Col. Brett Wyrick, a surgeon deployed in Iraq. He says, "I wish there was not a war, and I wish our young people did not have to fight and die. But I cannot wish away evil men like bin Laden and al-Zarqawi…The last thing we need here in Iraq is an exit strategy or some damn time table for withdrawal. Thank God there was no timetable for withdrawal after the Battle of the Bulge or Iwo Jima. Thank God there was no exit strategy at Valley Forge. Freedom is not easy, and it comes with a terrible price." 

Our media enjoy that freedom. They use it to run phony Koran-in-the-toilet stories that kill people and make it harder for our troops to win.

My visit to a local gun show found one booth full of photos from Iraq that were described as being censored by the U.S. news media. They show American soldiers assisting the Iraqi people, especially children. You can view them at the sitehttp://www.kcentv.com/1stcav-arch.html )  of KCEN-TV of central Texas.  The sponsor of the booth said he had five members of his family in the Armed Forces, including two sons in Iraq. The sign over the photos said, "The traitors in the media and Congress want to repeat Vietnam. Don't allow it."

Judging by the number of people viewing the exhibit, there is public interest in what the media are not telling us.

Another message posted on the exhibit said, "The media want Hillary elected. They want you to think the war is bad so you will turn against President Bush."

I purchased a bumper sticker at the booth. It said, "Freedom of the press does not mean the right to lie." Perhaps the public can help stop the lies."

http://www.aim.org/media_monitor_print/4197_0_2_0/


Sunday, December 11, 2005

 

More media bias

An entire site devoted to media bias and deliberate omissions.

_________________

"Bush Quotes Fallen Marine's Letter -- the Part the NYT Left Out
 

    On Wednesday afternoon, the Washington Post filed to its website a quick take on Bush's speech to the Naval Academy, including the president's emotional quotation from  a letter found on the laptop of Marine Cpl. Jeffrey Starr, six months to the day after his death in a firefight in Ramadi.

    "Reading from a letter written by a U.S. soldier on his lap-top computer before his death, an emotional Bush said America owes those who have died in Iraq to 'take up their mantle, carry on the fight and complete their mission.'"

    By contrast, the New York  Times' similar online story from Christine Hauser made no mention of Starr's letter.

    Perhaps one reason why: As Michelle  Malkin first learned last month, the New York Times quoted Starr's letter but managed to miss the point, leaving off the very part Starr's family and President Bush found significant.

    An October 26  story by reporter James Dao quoted only part of Starr's letter, truncating it to make it fit Dao's deadly storyline (the "grim mark" of the 2000th fatality of the Iraq War). The portion of the letter run by the Times captured Starr's fear of death, but not his belief that his sacrifice was worth the goal of securing freedom for Iraq.

    This is the part the Times ran on October 26: "Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances."

    But as Times  Watch and others noted, Dao left off the rest of Starr's letter, which explains why he felt his sacrifice was worthwhile:

    "I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.'"

    The New York  Post has the positive reaction by Starr's family, who originally released their son's letter to the New York Times: "But the Times published only part of the five-paragraph letter, which the family felt distorted Jeffrey's message and made him appear to be a fatalist questioning the war -- when in fact he strongly supported it."

    Neither the New York Times or the Washington Post mention Starr's letter in their Thursday morning hard-copy editions.

You can comment on the paper's treatment of Cpl. Jeffrey Starr's last letter at the MRC's blog NewsBusters.

http://www.timeswatch.org/twarticles/2005/20051201.asp

______________________________

CBS: Most Want "Timetable," But Skip
Most See Pullout "Disaster"

    While CBS Evening News anchor Bob Schieffer on Wednesday night highlighted how, in a fresh CBS News/New York Times poll, President Bush's approval rating has risen five points since October, he pointed out just one other survey finding -- one which matched a Democratic agenda item -- that "58 percent of those questioned said the U.S. should set a timetable for troop withdrawal; 39 percent said no." But Schieffer skipped how the survey also discovered that the public agrees with Bush and rejects the policy urged by Congressman John Murtha and left-wingers, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and DNC Chairman Howard Dean. As reported in the CBSNews.com summary of the poll: "Six in 10 say they would agree with President Bush's statement that removing U.S. troops from Iraq now would be 'a recipe for disaster.'" Specifically, 61 percent responded "yes" compared to 34 percent who replied with a "no" -- a nearly two-to-one ratio.

    [This item was posted Wednesday night on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org. To share your views, go to: newsbusters.org ]

    Over graphics with the poll numbers, Bob Schieffer announced on the December 7 CBS Evening News:
    "Now to Iraq, and President Bush's campaign to bolster Americans' support for the war. A new CBS News/New York Times poll shows that, so far anyway, the President is not making much headway. On the question of bringing the troops home, 58 percent of those questioned said the U.S. should set a timetable for troop withdrawal; 39 percent said no. Still, the President is getting a better grade on his overall job performance. He's now rated at 40 percent approving now, up from 35 percent in October, 53 percent still disapprove. We have more on the President and the war now, from John Roberts."

    Roberts then began his story on President Bush's admission of setback in the reconstruction effort: "There's another poll number the White House is worried about. Only a third of Americans think President Bush is accurately describing what's going on in Iraq...."

    For CBSNews.com's summary of the poll: www.cbsnews.com  "

http://www.timeswatch.org/twarticles/2005/20051201.asp


Saturday, December 10, 2005

 

Looks like he gets it right.........

Vietnamese-American CA Assemblyman puts Dean in his rightful place.  Neat GOP video Dems are howling about!  Green laugh  Green laugh  Green laugh
_____________________________________ 
Van’s (Tran) family first came to America in 1975, evacuated by the U.S. Army a week before the fall of Saigon. Originally settling in Michigan, the family moved to Orange County while Van was in high school. Politically active during his university days, Assemblyman Tran started as an intern for Congressman Robert Dornan and for then State Senator (now Congressman) Ed Royce.  http://republican.assembly.ca.gov/members/index.asp?Dist=68&Lang=1&Body=Bio
____________________________
"Tran Blast Dean, Calls For Solidarity In Iraq
“Dean’s comments are irresponsible and revisionist”

12/6/2005
For Immediate Release
CONTACT: Paul G. Hegyi
(916) 215-9842

WASHINGTON, D.C.– On Monday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said during an interview with WOAI radio in San Antonio, TX, “Of course, the South Vietnamese couldn’t manage to support their own country.”

“Dean’s comments are irresponsible and revisionist,” said California Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Costa Mesa), the first Vietnamese-American legislator in America. “Instead of undermining our war effort, Dean should focus on joining the rest of Americans in supporting our troops.”

“South Vietnam only fell after Congress lost the will to support our allies. Their terrible decision in 1975 has led to three decades of tyranny in that country, where freedom is persecuted and political choice doesn’t exist. This is something we can not let happen in Iraq. To maintain security in the region and to continue an aggressive prosecution of the War on Terror, American must continue to support the new government in Iraq and help them establish stability there.”

“I am particularly offended by Dean’s attempt to pull the Vietnamese people into his political strategy. Like the oppressed people from Cuba, the Vietnamese people have a strong love of freedom and democracy. Millions have died and more have been imprisoned trying to secure those freedoms.”

“After the January elections in Iraq I wrote:
‘I still mourn the dreadful situation in Vietnam, where human rights are crushed and freedom is a distant dream. Our loss there helps Sunday’s achievement to shine even brighter as a symbol of hope to the world.’

‘Sunday’s vote was a great step toward the promise of democracy, but only one step up the long stairway of a truly democratic society. Remember it took Japan and Germany about ten years to govern independently after their surrender in 1945 (it was four years before the first election in Germany). The progress in Iraq has been heart warming and should help us to reaffirm our values as this troubled nation continues the path to democracy.’”
“The terrorists are trying to win this war by challenging America’s spirit and returning us to a status where we just react to future attacks. They have succeeded in bringing the unwitting Dean to their efforts, but we can not just bury our head and wait.”
http://republican.assembly.ca.gov/members/index.asp?Dist=68&Lang=1&Body=PressReleases&RefID=2998
______________________________________________
EXCLUSIVE: GOP TO LAUNCH 'WHITE FLAG' DEM ATTACK
Thu Dec 08 2005 18:02:44 ET

The DRUDGE REPORT has learned from a top GOP operative that the Republican National Committee will provide state parties with a web video prior to release tomorrow afternoon that shows a white flag waving over images of Democrat leaders making anti-war remarks.

[VIDEO FEED]

The ad is in response to the controversial comments Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean and 2004 Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry made earlier in the week.

A Democratic strategist who had the web ad described to her said, “This is way over the top but we have no one to blame but Dean, Kerry and others who continue to pander to the anti-war activists within our party.”

The web video advances the Republican contention that the Democrats only have a “retreat and defeat” message on the war in Iraq.

The video highlights the effect Democrats can have on the morale of U.S. soldiers.

One Republican strategist familiar with the ad said, “The Democrats, especially Howard Dean have a way of trying to turn the tables and say ‘that’s not what I meant’ – its just those ‘evil Republicans’ This video will make them crazy – it reinforces what they really believe with what they actually said – and that is devastating for the Democratic Party.”

Developing... 

http://www.drudgereport.com/flash2.htm

Friday, December 9, 2005

 

Having a bad day ???

Our worst bad day ever can't compare to some of these photos.      Bang Head

http://www.airmunn.com/oops.htm


Thursday, December 8, 2005

 

Is the AP raising US Casualties???

 

"Is the U.S. Casualty Rate Higher Because of the AP?
by ToddManzi
Source:  Townhall.com

The Associated Press has caused some U.S. soldiers to lose their lives. The terrorists know they cannot defeat us militarily. They understand the only way they can win is if our military withdraws because the American people stop supporting the war. 

Terrorists are trying to get their message across to us, but instead of issuing press releases, they are killing our troops.

We know how important the will of the American people is regarding the war. Doesn’t the will of the terrorists matter also? If their cause looks lost, they will attack less. If they think they have a chance to win, they will attack more. The irresponsible, antiwar-biased reporting from the Associated Press over the last four months can only have encouraged our enemy to keep trying. Terrorists may have been given the false hope that all is not lost for them.

The facts:

The Rasmussen Poll taken July 13th and 14th indicated 44% of Americans thought the U.S. was winning the War on Terror. 

Meantime, the AP’s August coverage of Cindy Sheehan had an extreme antiwar bias. AP reporters propped up Sheehan and issued dispatches that looked more like editorial commentary than news. Like the terrorists, the antiwar movement was motivated to act based on the prospect of getting press coverage. The AP and the mainstream media claimed people rallied to support Sheehan, but they actually scampered down to Crawford because they knew receptive reporters were waiting to greet them. A news cycle friendly to the antiwar movement was in place, and like moths to a flame, the antiwar zealots flew to Camp Casey. 

The antiwar campaign worked. The Rasmussen Poll taken August 10th and 11th indicated a 6% drop down to 38% of respondents who thought we were winning the war. Knowing he had to respond, the president planned an aggressive push for his message. Unfortunately, the hurricanes blew the news cycle in a different direction, and President Bush was forced to wait to make his case.

The president’s speech on October 6th at the National Endowment for Democracy marked the beginning of the administration’s attempt to counter the damage caused by antiwar reporting in August. The speech was followed by the release of an intercepted letter from our enemy’s leadership. A couple of days later, on October 13th, President Bush had a video teleconference with troops in Iraq. The AP did not report anything of substance about the message contained in these three events.  Instead, they created a false news cycle regarding the supposed staging of the teleconference. 

The effect of AP’s antiwar emphasis showed up in the Rasmussen Poll taken October 15th and 16th. There was only a 1% recovery in the numbers: 39% of Americans thought we were winning the war. In early August, Sheehan’s antiwar message was packaged for maximum impact, and poll numbers went down. In early October, the president’s message was not reported and poll numbers stayed down.

In the coming months, the message of congressional Democrats and the antiwar movement were given maximum media attention. The Senate shutdown, Rep. John Murtha's comments, and constant updates of the U.S. death toll, etc. were touted. Conversely, the AP stifled the president’s message. President Bush’s October 25th speech, approval of the Iraqi constitution, President Bush’s Veterans Day speech, Congress’ vote against Murtha, Sen. Lieberman's positive reports from Iraq, etc. were ignored or reported with negative antiwar-bias.

In total, a false impression, a much more negative impression, of American support for the war was conveyed to our enemy. The truth, which could not be ignored, is reflected in President Bush’s powerful speech on November 30th. What did the AP think of the speech? “[The] speech did not break new ground or present a new strategy.” What did the American people think of the speech? The Rasmussen Poll taken November 30th and December 1st indicates 48% of Americans now believe the U.S. is winning the war. The best explanation for the nine-point bounce from the October poll is clearly that the speech provided new information to a large portion of the population.   

Anyone who looks at the events, the news coverage and the Rasmussen polling information must conclude the American people were misinformed about the war.  Ironically, if another industry were to under deliver to this extent, it would be news.  The AP would be all over it and newspapers would print it.

Newspapers are in a position to hold the AP accountable to objectivity. Even if they are rooting for the terrorists to win, you think they would at least be concerned about the credibility of their product. For some reason, the newspaper industry does not care that the AP is biased. Newspaper editors are like ostriches with their heads in the sand.

I asked Scott Bosley, the executive director of American Society of Newspaper Editors, what he thought about the Associated Press’ antiwar bias. Bosely’s opinion:

“The AP is not biased. It covers stories episodically, attempting to put them in context.”

The consequence of the AP’s coverage of the War on Terror: they have allowed themselves to become a pawn of our enemy. The terrorists are as cunning as they are evil, and they have incorporated media coverage as part of their strategy to win the war. Intuitively, the AP and the rest of the mainstream media understand that the promise or hope for press coverage influences behavior. After all, every year the public relations industry spends billions of dollars hoping to position their clients’ message in the media.

http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/ToddManzi/2005/12/08/178110.html

 


Wednesday, December 7, 2005

 

.....

The joke UN not capable of acknowledging its own corruption, taking bribes, engaging in sexual harrassment, never ever dealing with terrorism effectively, never doing anything but pounding its chest  .............. is hair on fire determined to rule the world one scheme at a time.            ROFL  ROFL  ROFL  ROFL  ROFL  ROFL

 

__________________________________________

"TCS COP 11 Coverage: An Unethical Environment?
By Roy Spencer
Source:  TechCentralStation.com
"MONTREAL -- I've been thinking a lot lately about people who - -despite living in industrialized countries -- find affluence and the associated consumption of natural resources troubling. By their lights, wealthy countries like the US are the world's principle consumers -- unfairly rich, winners of life's lottery, polluters of the environment and so on. They claim that rich countries wish to "impose" their way of life on the rest of the world.

Maurice Strong, for example -- long an influential executive officer at the U.N. and the head of the 1992 Earth Summit -- once said: "Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?" In his book Earth in the Balance, Al Gore (who could easily be the US president right now) advocated "bold efforts to change the very foundation of civilization."
What motivates these people? Have they tried poverty and decided that poverty is better than wealth? I doubt it. The poor of the world aspire to gain what we have. Many will risk their lives (some will lose their lives) to enter the United States to be able to enjoy what we frequently take for granted.
The single most important underlying theme that unites these critics of affluence is a misunderstanding of basic economics. I'm not talking about the intricacies of economic theories and their associated technical buzzwords. I'm talking about concepts that are so basic to the health and happiness of a society that they should be taught in every high school -- perhaps before. Yet, most college graduates do not understand even the basics of economics.
While one of the most famous definitions of economics is "the study of the use of scarce resources that have alternative uses," I would like to advance a more fundamental definition. The practice of economics is simply "people doing useful things for each other." Anything that makes that process more efficient will contribute to the creation of wealth, which leads to health, longevity, and a more comfortable existence for any given individual. Central to this process is the fact that a person, not the government, is ultimately the most qualified to determine what is 'useful.' The aggregate effect is people in society finding the processes are the most efficient and beneficial without knowing it.
Here's my list of some basic economic principles that must be understood in order keep us from falling prey to popular misconceptions that, when acted upon, hurt the economy -- and thus the processes by which people achieve health and well-being. While these are not new, I have restated them in ways that might be more meaningful to non-economists.
  1. Wealth is created; it is not static. Russia has immense natural resources, but remains a very poor country. Japan has very few natural resources, yet has one of the world's strongest economies. Why is this? Because what people do with the natural resources, not how many natural resources their country has, is what is important. If a society constantly strives to produce what its people want, maximizing efficiency in the process, then that society will develop a rising standard of living. A society that doesn't, won't.
  1. Hard work does not necessarily create wealth. If half of us spent our time digging holes in the ground, and the other half fill the holes up again, we would be doing a lot of work, but we would have a very low standard of living. In a free market, people are paid wages based upon the value of their services and knowledge to other people, balanced against the supply of other people who make the same skills available to the labor pool.
  1. Free markets improve the standard of living. When individuals determine what is of value, through purchases of goods and services whose prices depend upon supply and demand, their standard of living will be improved. The interplay of supply and demand is an impressively self-regulating process. While well-intentioned governmental planners have attempted to do a better job than the market, they have been unable. No subgroup of people can be more knowledgeable about what society wants than the people who make up that society (i.e. those involved in each and every transaction.)
  1. Profits positively motivate free markets. Profits are good for the economy as a whole. On average, transactions in a free market result in about 10% profit and 90% recovery of the costs of doing business. The hope of sharing in that profit, though relatively small on a percentage basis, is part of what motivates people (and companies) to increase efficiency and develop new products or services that the public desires. If someone becomes immensely wealthy, it is because the public has "voted" through their purchases. That means, the products that the wealthy person produces are more valuable to his customers than alternative products or services they could have purchased elsewhere.
  1. Higher prices can spur competition and prevent shortages. No one likes high prices, yet they play a crucial role in a market. When prices rise -- whether due to shortages, the increased cost of raw materials, or increased demand -- free market mechanisms will act in such a way as to reduce those prices. Demand will subsequently go down. New types of materials will be found to replace those that have become too expensive. More efficient production capabilities will be developed. High prices also attract greater investment, which helps to facilitate these changes. If you prefer, call high prices a necessary evil. But they are indeed necessary for the system to work. Government price controls (to prevent prices from going too high) or price supports (to prevent prices from going too low) ultimately hurt the economy. That's because prices have important information in them.
  1. Governmental interference in the economy is almost always harmful. Other than preventing either the formation of a monopoly (which is extremely rare) or collusion to fix prices among companies in a particular sector (which is like a monopoly), the best role for government is to simply stay out of the way. Interference with an economy's price mechanism limits the benefits to be obtained from flourishing free markets.
Yet to this last point, governmental interference is central to the UN's conference on climate change (COP-11) in Montreal this week. In order to reduce mankind's production of greenhouse gases (primarily carbon dioxide), the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (commonly called the Kyoto Protocol) was devised by many of the world's bureaucrats to keep you from producing so much carbon dioxide. And despite the health and well being these people have personally achieved from access to affordable energy, most of them will likely lobby for prosperity-dampening restrictions on energy use.
A presentation by experts in philosophy and ethics at COP-11 this week, sponsored by the Tides Foundation and Penn State's Rock Ethics Institute, made it clear that it is, in their view, unethical for the industrialized countries of the world to threaten the health and well being of poor countries by releasing so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Even if the threat has only a low probability of being realized, they argue, the only ethical course of action is to stop this "risky" activity. But just as command-and-control approaches by governments have historically hurt humanity, we can see that once again governments are ignoring the negative unintended consequences of the proposed "solutions" to the problem.
Access to affordable energy has benefited most of humanity in one way or another. Therefore, the very real dangers of restricting energy use have to be weighed against the potential dangers associated with climate change. An admittedly extreme, but simple, example would be our dependence on food. Even though you risk choking to death when you eat, do you stop eating? Of course not. Yet the majority of the COP-11 participants continue to march humanity toward solutions to a potential environmental problem without realizing that they could, at the same time, be shooting everyone in the collective foot.
It is imperative that people understand what is necessary for the well being of humanity as a whole: political, personal, and economic freedom to do as one chooses. Just as technology has solved past problems as they have arisen, so economic growth will lead to new energy technologies that reduce the risk of global warming. But these solutions will only come about when people are left free to generate the wealth that will be required to invest in the development of these new technologies.

And economic growth, facilitated by the global spread of freedom, is now blossoming in historically destitute countries such as India and China. Somewhere in a poor village in Africa, China, or India may well be a child who will grow up to spearhead the development of a new energy technology that will eventually remove global warming as a threat. As the economist Thomas Sowell put it, our most valuable and scarcest natural resource is human knowledge. If the anti-growth folks at COP-11 have their way, this natural resource will be greatly restricted. The global warming problem (to the extent there really is one) will only become graver.  "

 

http://www.techcentralstation.com/120705D.html 


Wednesday, December 7, 2005

 

"If It Happened Today"

And another excellent one by Mr. Dyson!!  Enjoy .... but guaranteed you won't if you like any of these traitors.

Bullseye again!!  No Pity! 

_______________________

"If It Happened Today"
http://www.sacredcowburgers.com/fresh/showpics.cgi?if_it_happened_today


Tuesday, December 6, 2005

 

"Got Your Back"

Click the picture for Mr. Dyson's sage commentary.  He always nails it ... this one is a bullseye!!

 

_____________________________________________

"Got Your Back"
http://www.sacredcowburgers.com/fresh/showpics.cgi?got_your_back


Sunday, December 4, 2005

 

"World's Smallest Political Quiz"

I keep testing as a somewhat conservative Libertarian Big Grin Santa and have every time I've taken the test over the past 3-4 years.
If you care to you're more than welcome to post your scores here.
________________________   
"World's Smallest Political Quiz"
http://www.self-gov.org/quiz.html

Saturday, December 3, 2005

 

Ugly Side of Bird Flu

Bird flu jumping species to us is something we're all concerned about and am sure authorities in the US are doing all they can to prevent a problem for us.  However, Asia seems to be bearing the brunt of the problem and it is said that China is suppressing numbers .... probably because the'll be hosting the Olympics and want to present a PC face to the world.

 

I picked up the last article a couple of weeks ago on a Chinese site while surfing that shows birds which died from "golden fever" being collected daily and taken to a processor who dresses them out, puts them through a recoloring process and sells them in local markets in Shenyang, mentioned in one article as a center of bird flu epidemic.  Yep you read correctly diseased birds are cleaned, cooked and sold for human consumption.  Perhaps cooking renders them harmless to humans but perhaps close exposure during cleaning may be the hidden link.
________________________________________
"Jakarta: Avian Flu Virus 'All Over City'
by J. Grant Swank, Jr.
Dec 2, 2005

Fear is spreading. So is the bird flu.
In Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, officials admit that "it's very serious. Based on our research, the virus has spread all over the city."
In Tien Giang province, a man was taken to the hospital when saying he had a high fever, the AP reports. He was then taken to isolation. However, he said he needed to get some personal belongings back at his home.
He left the hospital and never returned. Before leaving hospital care, he informed the staff that he had become ill after he had slaughtered his bird flu sick poultry.
More than millions of birds have been killed in Indonesia due to the infection.

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/health/article_2121632.shtml
__________________________________
"China says bird flu virus in humans mutating
Nov 28 9:50 AM US/Eastern
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2005/11/28/051128144954.1qt0p6wv.html
__________________________________

"Official Chinese bird flu deaths could be 'tip of iceberg'
Updated 12:31 25 November 2005
NewScientist.com news service
Debora MacKenzie
A respected Japanese scientist, who works with the World Health Organization, has told New Scientist he fears that China’s official tally of laboratory-confirmed human bird flu fatalities – just three – is only the tip of the iceberg.Masato Tashiro, head of virology at Tokyo’s National Institute of Infectious Disease – a WHO-collaborating centre for bird flu – showed a slide at a meeting of virologists in Marburg, Germany, on 19 November listing “several dozen” outbreaks in people, 300 deaths, 3000 people placed in isolation, and seven human-to-human transmissions. The meeting was reported in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Tashiro has now told New Scientist that the figures were examples of the “unauthorised information” circulating in China, where he was recently helping investigate the outbreak in Hunan for the WHO.
Earlier reports suggested that Tashiro believed 300 to be the true death toll from bird flu in China. “I do not know whether the numbers were based on any evidence,” he says."......
http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8372&feedId=online-news_rss20
______________________________
Asian site which shows a report done in Aug. in or near Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province in China,  about someone gathering dead chickens (called golden fever chickens) to be dressed out cooked and apparently resold for consumption.
If you have a strong gag reflex, weak stomach or are easily offended by reality of another culture .... don't bother hitting the link.
Link live as of posting
http://pop.pcpop.com/default.aspx?MainUrl=http://pop.pcpop.com/051117/1897650.html
Site loads faster with Opera or Firefox but is SLOW LOAD even on dsl.
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