"Hezbollah now claims that it doesn't shoot rockets from Qana. Yeah, right. Blog of the Week Vital Perspective has video of rockets being launched from that town. One thing puzzles me, though. The whole purpose of a terrorist organization is to commit mass murder in the most cowardly, dishonorable way possible. So...why would anyone ever believe anything said be terrorists?
Vital Perspective also Article 28 of the 4th Geneva Convention:
The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.
So the civilian casualties are, under the Geneva Convention, Hezbollah's responsibility.
No wonder Kofi is siding with terrorists, and given the UN's enabling the funneling of bribes to its members ... makes you wanna go hmmmmmmm.................
Just remember this is the organization that wants to take away our right to bear arms, to control the internet, to impose a tax on us ... yes a tax to cure world poverty (another slush fund since Saddam's Oil For Food bribery scheme has been ended), yada, yada, yada ..... and Democrats want to surrender US sovereignty to the UN so we can walk lock step behind it. And just think we can be subject to Sharia law too.
"Farewell to the United Nations? From the desk of Fjordman on Fri, 2006-07-28 07:07 Source The Brussels Journal
Historian David Littman is a representative to the United Nations (Geneva) of the Association for World Education. He has spent years tracking the rise of Islamic influence at the UN. According to him, “In recent years, representatives of some Muslim states have demanded, and often received, special treatment at the United Nations.” “As a result, non-diplomatic terms such as ‘blasphemy’ and ‘defamation of Islam’ have seeped into the United Nations system, leading to a situation in which non-Muslim governments accept certain rules of conduct in conformity with Islamic law (the Shari’a) and acquiesce to a self-imposed silence regarding topics touching on Islam.”
On August 5, 1990, the 19th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. According to the official English version, “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Shari’a.” The CDHRI has since then become “a quotable source at the United Nations.”
David Littman warns that “The new rules of conduct being imposed by the OIC [the Organization of the Islamic Conference], and acceded to by other states, give those who claim to represent Islam an exceptional status at the United Nations that has no legal basis and no precedent.” “Will a prohibition of discussion about certain political aspects of Islam become generally accepted at the United Nations and beyond, contradicting ‘the right to freedom of opinion and expression’ promised by Article XIX of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights? Unless farsighted states, both Muslim and non-Muslim, make it their business to assert and reassert the need for freedom of speech, this precious liberty is at risk of being eroded throughout the system of international organizations.”
Fifty-seven Muslim governments are pressing to include a “ban on the mocking of religions” in a new U.N. human rights body by pushing a resolution under the agenda item “Racism” condemning what they called the “Defamation of Islam.” In a clear reference to the Muhammad cartoons controversy, the proposal stated that “defamation of religions and prophets is inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression.”
The United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour involved herself in the discussion during the tensions caused by the Danish cartoons. In a letter to the 56 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), she stated: “I understand your concerns and would like to emphasize that I regret any statement or act that could express a lack of respect for other people’s religion.” In a complaint to the High Commissioner, the 56 Islamic governments asked Louise Arbour to raise the matter with the Danish government “to help contain this encroachment on Islam, so the situation won’t get out of control.” Two UN experts, on religious freedom and on racism and xenophobia, were said to be working on the case.
Danish toy maker Lego was later upset with the United Nations, after the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights published an “anti-discrimination” poster that used a Lego building block as an illustration of racism. At the same time, David Littman documents the relative UN inaction regarding hateful material used in public schools in Islamic countries. An example is an extract from a book approved by al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, widely viewed as maybe the most important centre of learning for a billion Sunni Muslims. Pious justifications are offered to Egyptian Grade 11 students concerning the reasons for beheading infidels:
“When you meet them in order to fight [them], do not be seized by compassion [toward them], but strike the[ir] necks powerfully […] Striking the neck means fighting, because killing a person is often done by striking off his head […] This expression contains a harshness and emphasis that are not found in the word ‘kill’, because it describes killing in the ugliest manner, ‘i.e. cutting the neck and making the organ – the head of the body – fly off [the body]’.”
This is now commonplace in Iraq, where more than one hundred foreign hostages have been ritually beheaded. It is also used by Muslim Jihadists against, among others, teachers in the troubled southern provinces of Thailand, since they are viewed as infidel representatives of the predominantly Buddhist state. As scholar Andrew Bostom demonstrates, the Islamic practice of beheading originates from Islamic core teachings, such as the Koran sura 47, verse 4, which says: “When you encounter those [infidels] who deny [the Truth=Islam] then strike [their] necks.” Muhammad and his followers also beheaded some 600 to 900 men from the Jewish tribe of Banu Qurayza outside of Medina, enslaving their women and children.
While Islamic nations are trying to get the UN to outlaw criticism of Islam on an international basis, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan assures Americans that the plan of leaving the UN in charge of the Internet is nothing to worry about, it is only to make the Internet more efficient. “One mistaken notion is that the United Nations wants to ‘take over,’ police or otherwise control the Internet. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The United Nations wants only to ensure the Internet’s global reach,” according to Annan.
Even as they were passing six resolutions condemning Israel, the United Nations General Assembly failed to define terrorism because the Organization of the Islamic Conference demanded exceptions for terror gangs like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the head-hacking Al Qaeda holy warriors in Iraq. Still, Secretary General Kofi Annan praised the OIC, an organization consisting of some of the world’s worst human rights abusers, stating that “Over the years, and especially the past decade, the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference have worked to promote tolerance, equality, development and the peaceful resolution of conflict.”
In contrast, Kofi Annan’s deputy assailed the United States for withholding support from the United Nations, encouraging its harshest detractors. Mr Malloch Brown said that although the United States was constructively engaged with the United Nations in many areas, the American public was shielded from knowledge of that by Washington’s tolerance of what he called “too much unchecked U.N.-bashing and stereotyping.” “Much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors such as Fox News,” he said. UN Ambassador from the United States John Bolton strongly rebuked the remarks, calling the speech by Annan’s deputy a “very grave mistake.”
Leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran have repeatedly called for the annihilation of fellow UN member Israel. Announcing the advancement of the Iranian nuclear program, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad reiterated Iran’s goal of “wiping Israel off the map.” The day before, the UN’s Disarmament Commission, the organization that is supposed to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, elected Iran’s Mehdi Danesh-Yazdi as one of its three vice-chairs. Iran denounced the election of Israel to that same commission, calling the Jewish state a threat to peace in the Middle East.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said no UN Security Council resolution could make Iran give up its nuclear program. “The Iranian nation “won’t give a damn about such useless resolutions” he said, hours before an expected finding that Tehran has failed to meet a Security Council deadline to suspend uranium enrichment. The Islamic Republic of Iran has murdered tens of thousands of its own citizens and is the source of grotesque human rights abuses. It is also the long-time sponsor of Islamic terrorist organizations abroad and has openly threatened to wipe out another country with nuclear weapons. Despite all of this, the country is still a full member of the United Nations, technically treated the same was as Switzerland.
The old UN Human Rights Commission was a body so discredited that it was eventually disbanded. UN critic Anne Bayefsky warned, however, that the new design “promises an institution more contemptible than its predecessor.” The election of some of the world’s worst violators of free expression – Algeria, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia – to be members of the UN’s new Human Rights Council was called a “scandal” by organization Reporters Without Borders:
“There is no difference between the composition of the former Human Rights Commission – whose work was unanimously condemned by NGOs, and by many countries as well – and that of the new council,” Reporters Without Borders said. “They have taken the same countries and started over. What is more, seven of these 10 countries have been elected for three-year terms, the longest envisaged under the council's rules, terms that can be renewed once. So the reforms adopted by the United Nations are clearly insufficient. The UN will not guarantee respect for human rights in the world in the future any more than it has in the past.”
British Prime Minister Tony Blair wants to reform the UN. He states that “it is time the world’s governments faced up to the fact that the world bodies founded in the aftermath of World War II have become moribund and ineffective. Whereas 60 years ago the world was divided into nation states that could operate more or less independently of each other, now international leaders are confronting an ever diminishing world brought intimately together by globalization, a technological revolution that has led to revolutionary approaches to labor employment, and greater economic interdependence between states.” “Yet the world bodies have not kept up with the economic and social progress of the last 60 years.”
Mr. Blair has said he believes that world bodies like the United Nations have not only an important but a leading part still to play in extending freedom to the whole world. But if the United Nations is to take up this task, it must reform itself so that it becomes a body that inspires respect from the world because of the wisdom of its leadership. Mr. Blair will demand that Mr. Annan be replaced by a strong successor as Secretary General, who should be granted greater independence from the General Assembly in intervening in world crises.
Still, the question remains whether the UN is simply so fundamentally flawed that it is beyond repair. Given the Islamic infiltration of the organization, granting more power to it probably isn’t a very good idea.
Hugh Fitzgerald of website Jihad Watch compares the UN to its failed predecessor, the League of Nations: “The League of Nations was not a mess in the 1920s. It became a mess when, in the 1930s, it could not handle Mussolini or Hitler, and failed. The U.N. was not originally a mess when founded, with such tutelary spirits as Rene Cassin and Eleanor Roosevelt. It became a mess sometime when more and more ‘countries’ that were primitive despotisms became members.” “Only a fool nowadays would use a phrase such as ‘international community,’ which attempts to treat Syria and Iceland as the same kind of members, or Costa Rica and Saudi Arabia, as similarly situated and behaving. There are no ‘united’ nations.”
He also points out the Palestinian fetish and the ridiculous amount of time spent at the UN on denouncing one single country, Israel. “How is it that the behavior of tiny Israel has become the Central Question of the Age, while the Jihad is pursued in Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, Kashmir, the Sudan, the Balkans, Central Asia, West Africa, everywhere, without a single resolution denouncing [it]?” This monomaniacal attention to Israel means that there is far less attention paid to other issues:
“A sensible policy requires that the American government every day make efforts to promote among Infidel countries and peoples an understanding of how the UN has been infiltrated, and essentially commandeered, by the forces of Islam: the Islamintern, it might be called. And then to minimize the power, the respect, and the legitimacy still accorded to the UN, this most corrupt and corrupting of institutions. And finally, it must seek not to do the impossible – to truly reform this organization – but to treat it as it should be treated: as hopeless, useless, and irrelevant as was the League of Nations when confronted with the Nazi-Fascist attacks in Spain, Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia, and Nazi Germany’s annexation of the Saarland and re-militarization of the Rhineland.”
Fitzgerald thinks that “Unlike the League of Nations, it will not be closed down. But it should be ignored or mocked.” For once, I am not sure I totally agree with Hugh Fitzgerald, a man I otherwise hold in very high esteem. There are those who argue that the UN is useless, that it costs billions of dollars to maintain, without any proof that this helps to ensure world peace. I disagree. I think the UN can be quite useful. To our enemies, that is. It is easy to say that we should remain members of the UN and just “ignore” it, but I’m afraid this won’t work out. There will always be people within the West who take the UN seriously, and in reality, some of its resolutions will influence our domestic policies.
Roger Scruton points out that the UN granted to the Soviet Union “the kind of legitimacy that it could never have acquired through the conduct of its leadership.” “The Soviet Union used the U.N. and its ancillary institutions as a front. It supported the capture of the United Nations Association (an independent nonprofit organization which was founded to rally support for the international idea) by the peaceniks and encouraged the transformation of UNESCO into an instrument of leftist and anti-Western propaganda.” Soviet Communists recognized the UN “only as a way to neutralize Western defenses.”
Some would argue that Islamic countries are copying this strategy now. As Scruton states, there is another, more dangerous effect of the UN institutions, and one that is insufficiently pondered by Western politicians:
“Both the U.N. and many of its ancillary and subordinate institutions have legislative powers. They can use the original force of the Charter to bind national legislatures to measures that may be profoundly against the national interest. These measures will often be a huge burden to law-abiding states but no burden at all to dictatorships. Yet the dictatorships have as much right to press for them as the law-abiding states. In effect, the lawless have acquired, through the U.N., the power to bind the law-abiding in chains that they themselves escape.”
“One pertinent example is the U.N. Convention on refugees and asylum, ratified in 1951, which obliges every signatory to offer asylum to those fleeing from persecution. This means that Western states, which are bound by their own laws, are forced to admit hundreds of thousands of unwanted immigrants every year, simply because well-briefed lawyers invoke the convention on asylum on their behalf. Most of these immigrants stay even when their claims to asylum are exposed as bogus. The result, in Europe, is a demographic crisis that threatens to rock the foundations of domestic policy.”
To use my own country, Norway, as an example, some UN Conventions are directly incorporated into Norwegian law. This can have serious practical consequences. UN representatives have, for instance, criticized Norwegian anti-racism laws for not being strict enough. And the Norwegian Minister of Justice responded by saying the Norway would work to get more in line with UN recommendations. When we know that Islamic countries in the UN are working hard to get “Islamophobia,” meaning basically anything remotely critical of Islam, to be accepted as a form of “racism,” it becomes extremely dangerous to allow UN authorities to influence domestic policies on such critical issues. Recommendations from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees have also been used to influence Norwegian immigration policies. Admittedly, Norway is one of the more naïve, if not plain stupid countries of the world, but this still illustrates a genuine problem common to all Western nations.
There is usually a close correlation between those in the West who champion Multiculturalism and those who champion the United Nations as in important tool of international affairs. We have an internal enemy that is post-democratic or even post-Western. They believe in Multiculturalism at home, transnational organizations, “international law” and the United Nations abroad. They are weakening Western civilization from within.
Multiculturalism essentially means that all countries should become just like the UN, with hosts of cultures living together on equal terms and without any core culture. Multiculturalism states that all cultures are equally worthy or respect. The basic principle of the UN is that all nations are equally worthy of membership. Which means that the Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran should be accepted on equal terms with, say, New Zealand. This is obviously ridiculous. Not all countries are worthy or respect, just as not all cultures are worthy of respect. It is an insult to human dignity that peaceful, democratic states should be treated the same way as terror sponsoring states that oppress their own population.
Our external enemy is the Islamic world. Our internal and our external enemies converge at the UN. Islamic countries want to use the UN as a tool to influence Western and infidel policies, bogging us down with regulations that make it more difficult to avoid being demographically overwhelmed by Muslim immigrants, placing obstacles in the way of stopping terrorist supporters in our countries and from dealing with nations supporting terrorism and Jihadist activities. Meanwhile, Islamic countries will ignore any “human rights” resolutions and will continue with impunity their oppression of Hindus, Christians or other non-Muslims in their own lands. All cultures are equal, but some are more equal than others. There can be no United Nations with Canada and Syria since these countries have absolutely nothing in common.
By discrediting or withdrawing from the UN, we will thus weaken both our external and our internal enemies. It would be more difficult for Islamic countries to influence infidel policies, and it would deal an ideological blow to Multiculturalists and transnational progressives, since the UN is the ultimate symbol of their world view of and a cornerstone of their ideology. It is easier to oppose Multiculturalism on a national scale if we first oppose it on an international scale.
So yes, I agree with Hugh Fitzgerald that we should starve the United Nations for funds, we should ridicule it at any given opportunity and we should de-legitimize it as much as possible. But I’m not sure whether this is enough in the long run. At some point, I think we need to pull the plug on the entire organization, make a clean break and withdraw from it.
Which brings us to the next question: How should international affairs be managed in this post-UN world?
As website EYE on the UN points out, “at the foundation of the UN in 1945, democracy dominated the character of the majority of member states, despite pockets of instability. Nevertheless, democracy was not made a pre-condition for membership in the UN. Sixty years later, the majority of UN members are not full-fledged democracies. The consequences for UN operations and outcomes are profound.”
The number of UN member states that are full-fledged democracies or “fully free” according to Freedom House is 88. The total number of UN member states is 191, which means that less than half of UN member states are full-fledged democracies. Any workable organization needs to be united around something that the member states actually have in common.
We could create a Democratic Union, where only democratic states could become members. This would automatically exclude pretty much all of the Islamic world, which would by itself be a great step forward. However, there is always the possibility that such an organization could become too much like the United Nations or the League of Nations, and become just as impotent and inefficient as its predecessors.
Some would argue that we need an organization for the entire world to “engage” the non-democratic states and spread democracy through interaction with them. This is a naïve view of world politics. There is little evidence that the UN has contributed to “spreading democracy.” On the contrary, it could have the dangerous effect of giving influence over democracies to the world’s worst regimes. Besides, if we want organizations that span the entire world, we already have non-political organizations for this. I don’t mind playing volleyball against Egypt or football against Saudi Arabia, I just don’t want either of them to have any political influence over my country.
Another possibility is an expansion of NATO. Jose Maria Aznar, former Prime Minister of Spain, has argued along these lines. Although not saying that we should dump the UN, he has advocated strengthening and renewing NATO:
“The main purpose of NATO should remain to collectively preserve our democracies. The new mission should be clear: to combat jihadism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.” “I don’t believe in appeasement against terrorism. I don’t believe in negotiation with terrorism. I believe in the necessity to fight against terrorists. It is a very serious mistake to negotiate with terrorism. Terrorists should be frightened and defeated, and this is possible. No other policy exists for me.”
“If defending our own values against the radical Islamists is the future of NATO, we must change the way the Alliance is conceived geographically and open its doors to those nations that share our values, that defend them on the ground, and that are willing to join in the fight against jihadism. Thus, NATO should invite Japan, Australia, and Israel to become full members.” “For me, Israel is a vital part of the Western world.”
Expanding NATO geographically to Japan could be a good idea. I have earlier stated that we have probably arrived at the end of the Western world order, meaning that no one civilization will alone be able to manage world affairs in the 21st century, the way the West did for some time. What the West should do is to enter into strategic alliances with non-Western states that share some of our political ideals and goals. We might consider some other Asian nations besides Japan. India, for instance. Maybe the UN is one holy cow the Hindus of India would be willing to slaughter. The greatest flaw with India as a potential ally is its huge Islamic fifth column.
Still, there are problems with this option, too. There are those who think NATO is just a relic from the Cold War. NATO countries would theoretically be bound together by culture. In practice, this is made difficult by the existence of the European Union, which is by many viewed as a vehicle for countering the United States. The EU also serves as an instrument for our internal enemy of Multiculturalism and transnational post-democrats, as well as a bridgehead for our external enemy, Islam. Maybe we need to get rid of the EU, too, for NATO to function properly.
Besides, NATO hasn’t always worked that well in practice, either. The attacks on the embassies of NATO member Denmark following the Muhammad cartoons didn’t trigger any response from NATO, although it was pretty close to an act of war. The Western world did not rally around Denmark, nor did NATO declare that these attacks on one member state would be viewed as an attack on all member states. This inaction confronted with physical attacks by Islamic thug states such as Iran and Syria was a shameful act of appeasement that is going to cost us dearly.
Kosovo, which has become a hotbed of international crime and Jihadist activities, could soon become an independent state, courtesy of NATO. Western powers bombed the Christian Serbs to pave for ethnic cleansing and the burning of churches and monasteries, all under the auspices of NATO soldiers. NATO thus directly established a Muslim state in Europe, but did nothing when the Islamic world launched a frontal assault in Western core values such as freedom of speech. We shouldn’t kid ourselves into believing that this has gone unnoticed in the Islamic world.
Another issue with both the Democratic Union and the expanded NATO options is what to do with Russia and China. Russia under Putin is hardly a model democracy, and China under the Communist Party certainly isn’t. But both countries are simply too important to ignore in international affairs. China in particular is probably, next to the Islamic world, our greatest challenge in the future. There is, however, a big difference. The Islamic world always has been our enemy and always will be. China does not have to be our enemy, although our relations will be complicated because of her size and her own Great Power ambitions.
Neither Russia nor China would be happy about the loss of their vetos on the UN Security Council. We will need some understanding with and some mechanism for consultations with both of them. It is nice to talk about lofty ideals about democracy and human rights, but in the real world, we still need a good dose of Machiavellian realpolitik as well. Perhaps, instead of any new and formalized organization, the most important countries will simply form ad hoc alliances to deal with issues as they arise.
I do not have all the answers to how such a post-UN world will be like. The most important principle at this point is to isolate and contain the Islamic world. We simply cannot allow our enemies to have direct influence over our policies, which they partly do have through the UN.
Is it unrealistic to talk about the collapse of the EU and the UN? I don’t know. The UN was created in the aftermath of WW2. It survived the Cold War, but now we are rapidly entering into a new world war. My bet is that we will see huge changes in world affairs in the near future, at least as large as those which laid the foundations for the UN to begin with.
Whatever usefulness the UN may have had was lost decades ago. It is today of little use to us, but of significant use to our enemies. The time has come to say farewell to the United Nations.
"Howard Dean is losing his mind, and it ain’t pretty
By John Burtis
Source Canada Free Press
Saturday, July 29, 2006
"Sadly, for his family and the Democratic Party, which is hard pressed for heroes lately, Howard’s not ensconced at home simply seeing coelacanths in his bathtub or six foot bunny rabbits dressed as SS men eating Fruit Loops from his favorite bowl and leaving it, unwashed, in the sink for Mr. Dean clean up.
Nope, Howard Dean, physician, DNC Chairman, father, Sky Captain, former Vermont governor, health care guru, is going nuts publicly, on stage, in front of millions on television, with his ravings being broadcast to everyone awake at the particular time of his "speech," or later, to folks with a radio.
And with the sad state of today’s media, his noxious slurrings, outrageous bawlings, vicious stammerings, sheer insensate balderdash, and malicious imputations are transmitted as the learned offerings of an utterly sane man.
In fact, this crass lunatic is treated as a man of knowledge and import, whose crazed ideas are viewed as mainstream by a media straddling the same creaky bridge to an inchoate nowhere as Mr. Dean.
Imagine that it is 2017. And a family is entering the public restrooms in a large urban parking structure in, oh, say Santa Monica, California. As the father and his two boys walk in they are met by a disheveled, unkempt and wild eyed man who, it appears, has been awakened from a nap on the floor under the hand dryers.
Surprised, they back towards the door as this ghastly apparition staggers towards them, his arms waving in uneven circles, his wet shoes squeaking on the damp floor.
Suddenly he begins a guttural holler, unintelligible at first, but as he begins to yell more loudly, the words finally become clear.
"They’re all Stalinists and crooks and criminals! They have destroyed me and they’ll destroy you! The end is near! Nobody listened to me! Not to old Howard! Nooo! They did for awhile! But they threw me away! They said I was an idiot! But I’m here to tell you that I see them! They’re here! They’re everywhere! The Democrats are as bad as the dirty filthy Republicans! They’re all criminals and mafia! Are you people here to interview me? Eeeeeyyaaaaaah!"
The family quickly leaves and calls the police.
Within a few minutes four officers approach the man, who can offer no identification other than a small card on which is printed Brooks Brothers, 666 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY, and after a few minutes of a similar high decibel discussion, punctuated with shadow boxing, kicking, and some biting, the officers take the man into custody and transport him to jail.
There the watch commander decides the man needs a 72-hour involuntary commitment to a state hospital, and the subject, who claims to a medical doctor, and who also alleges that he is Howard Dean, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, among other wild and frightening stories, is loaded into a police car for immediate transport.
Although his family is finally located, they claim the man in question does not in any way resemble the Dr. Howard Dean they know and who is, by the way, on a lengthy sabbatical.
Today the only difference is that Mr. Howard Dean has handlers and that the Democrats, the media, and his family still listen to him, at least occasionally, and his off-color badinage.
But just imagine if these support mechanisms simply fell away and left Mr. Dean alone on a street corner in some city. How would he manage on his own? How would he get around? What would this poor sorry broken lunatic of a wreck of a man do for meaningful work? How would he express himself to common folk?
Mr. Dean has called Katherine Harris "Stalin" and a "crook" for simply doing her job and certifying the voting results that Mr. Dean’s Democratic paladins turned into her. If anybody in this mix is the criminals, it would be the Democrats who manned the polls, counted the ballots and forwarded them and their numbers, to say nothing of the chads, to Ms. Harris from the predominantly Democratic counties in question from the great Democratic hoax of their 2000 election sham.
But those small distinctions would matter only to a sane man and Mr. Howard Dean has proven over and over that he is no more sane than the real Mr. Stalin was.
It would be nice to see if Mr. Dean has marked up anybody’s electoral lists with a green pencil calling for more dead, more felons, and more illegal aliens to be added to the tallies like Mr. Stalin would have done in the margins.
Mr. Dean, it’s time to get help. Can you employ the wherewithal to seek the help you need before you end up wandering around yelling and sleeping in your suits and shoes on restroom floors like the poor unfortunates who inhabit so many nooks and crannies in our inner cities?
Physician, can you heal yourself or have things gone too far? "
"The House of Representatives voted passed -- by a margin of 317 to 93 -- a bill that would outlaw the use of credit cards on Internet gambling sites, and even allow service providers to block access to the sites themselves. And federal prosecutors recently busted online gambling site BETonSPORTS executive David Carruthers in a U.S. airport as he was changing flights.
Presumably the House and federal prosecutors had hopes for helping folks like me, gambling addicts, in mind when taking action. But my experience with online gambling may help shed some light on what if anything the political class should do about eBetting.
My habit began fairly innocuously at the age of 18 while I was studying for my university degree. I'd bet a little on big sporting events -- soccer, mostly. I occasionally stayed up nights to gamble on baseball. I didn't really understand the rules, but I was more than happy to stay awake in the hope that the team in the white shirts would run around the diamond more than the team in the blue shirts. It was a fun hobby, and it didn't cost much.
I couldn't say exactly when my gambling became a problem. Sometime in my second year of university I began staying up every night to watch US sports -- gambling a hundred, two hundred pounds on football, basketball and baseball. I missed classes and turned in my work late, if at all. Meanwhile, the stakes kept getting higher. I'd find myself betting £500 ($900) on a football (soccer) match -- more than I could hope to earn in a month. When there was no football being played I'd bet on things I knew nothing about: ice hockey, golf, cricket -- even the closing value of the New York stock exchanges. The day I discovered online casinos I graduated to a new level at which I could place a wager every minute, day or night. I made and lost fortunes, plummeting from unbelievable highs to almost suicidal lows in the blink of an eye.
I won't take you through all the tawdry details of my addiction, but online gambling cost me around £25,000 ($45,000) over three years. I had to drop out of university for a spell, and by the time I re-enrolled I'd fallen so far behind I had to repeat a year of study. I destroyed friendships. I damaged my relationship with my family almost beyond repair. I forfeited the right to trust and respect. It was only blind luck that I had people around me who still cared enough to bring me back from the edge.
You'd think, then, that I'd support any measures that might save others from going through the same agony. You'd think I'd hate gambling for what it did to me. Well, no. You see, what I learned is that it wasn't gambling that almost ruined me. It wasn't the flashing banner ads that enticed me at every turn on the Internet. It wasn't the temptation of easy money. I don't blame the bookmakers, websites or casinos one bit.
The fact that I gambled was my own fault. I worried obsessively about my life, and the only avenue of escape I could imagine was to gamble. You shouldn't expect solid logic from a compulsive gambler, but in my head I truly expected to win enough money so that I wouldn't need a degree; enough so that I'd never have to work. I wanted to escape from the pressures of university, and the uncertainty of what would come afterwards.
The same goes for every other gambler I spoke to. During my long (and still ongoing) recovery I spent hundreds of hours on compulsive gambling forums on the Internet. Almost every compulsive gambler I have spoken with believes that the reason they gamble is to escape problems in their personal life. A mortgage, a bad job, an unhappy marriage -- they all gamble for the moments of escape it brings -- moments in which they can forget what they have to go back to, and fantasize about a life without difficulties and complications. I've never spoken to a single compulsive gambler who claims to have started just for fun.
Based on my experience both as a compulsive gambler and a member of addiction support groups, I've always found the reasoning behind arguments to ban gambling misguided. The people who advocate it seem to see gambling as the antecedent of all social ills -- the cause of such things as crime, violence and suicide. I don't subscribe to that belief. Compulsive gambling isn't the cause, but rather the manifestation of pre-existing problems. We gamblers start off with something wrong with our heads -- the addiction is just the visible symptom. If you were to take away the gambling, the root causes of our dysfunction would still be there. I can't prove this, of course. It's simply a belief based on my experience.
Those who are against gambling can, perhaps, draw some comfort from that. If you agree with my view then you'll understand that widespread availability of gambling won't turn us all into an army of drooling simpletons who lose the grocery money playing online baccarat. Some will be more susceptible than others to the lure of easy money, but most will see gambling as what it is: a rather expensive form of entertainment, best used as an occasional pastime rather than a day job.
Instead of vilifying the gambling industry, then, it seems a more productive use of our resources would be to look into the reasons so many people find their lives so hopeless and unfulfilling that they feel their only option is to gamble them away. How should we fund our investigation, you ask? Well, taxes from legalized online gambling may put a few extra dollars in the government coffers. Just a thought.
A former National Security Agency employee has been subpoenaed by a U.S. grand jury as part of an investigation into leaks of classified information.
The subpoena -- issued Wednesday by two FBI agents to whistleblower Russ Tice outside his Maryland home -- was drawn up by federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia, and the letter accompanying it is signed by an attorney from Justice Department headquarters -- a sign that the investigation is being overseen in Washington.
The subpoena says only that the grand jury is "conducting an investigation of possible violations of federal criminal laws involving the unauthorized disclosure of classified information." But it is believed to be the first public sign of the Bush administration's promised aggressive investigation into leaks about the National Security Agency's highly secret program of warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorists.
Excellent. Tice has virtually confessed in the press, and his testimony may lead to other criminals who can also be charged. This UPI article does its best to cast Tice as a hero, calling him a "whistleblower." That's wrong, of course. There is a federal whistleblower statute, which prescribes specific procedures if a federal employee thinks he has wrongdoing to report. Those mechanisms do not include leaking to the terrorists via the New York Times. That isn't "whistleblowing," it's a federal crime. And here, the NSA's international terrorist surveillance program was plainly legal under all federal appellate court precedents, as we've pointed out countless times. So let's get on with the criminal prosecutions.
Drunk or sober I don't trust either as far as I could throw 'em. Then again that could be a version of a bull-chip tossing contest.
"2008 May Test Clinton's Bond With McCain By ANNE E. KORNBLUT WASHINGTON, July 28 - Two summers ago, on a Congressional trip to Estonia, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton astonished her traveling companions by suggesting that the group do what one does in the Baltics: hold a vodka-drinking contest.
Delighted, the leader of the delegation, Senator John McCain, quickly agreed. The after-dinner drinks went so well - memories are a bit hazy on who drank how much - that Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, later told people how unexpectedly engaging he found Mrs. Clinton to be. "One of the guys" was the way he described Mrs. Clinton, a New York Democrat, to some Republican colleagues.
Mrs. Clinton and Mr. McCain went on to develop an amiable if professionally calculated relationship. They took more official trips together, including to Iraq. They worked together on the Senate Armed Services Committee and on the issue of global warming. They made a joint appearance last year on "Meet the Press," interacting so congenially that the moderator, Tim Russert, joked about their forming a "fusion ticket." ..........
I love capitalism, competition in a free market. Consumers win every time.
If you get a new computer with XP, be sure and get one loaded with XP Pro. After Vista OS is released Microsoft is going to discontinue support for regular XP in 2 years.
Support for "XP Pro will continue for 7 years. This info via Kim Komando's newsletter.
"Big bargains ahead for desktop PC buyers Falling prices on LCDs and microprocessors should bring users the best PC bargains in years
By Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service July 28, 2006
"A battle between the world's two biggest microprocessor makers and oversupply in the LCD (liquid crystal display) panel industry have sent prices tumbling. Users should see the mark downs showing up in stores any time. "Over the next few months buyers can expect to continue to see PC bargains as the industry clears stock of older inventory," said Charles Smulders, managing vice president of Gartner's client computing group. He said the fourth quarter might also offer good buying opportunities as PC makers try to keep up sales prior to the launch of Windows Vista early next year.
Longer term, price declines and performance improvements will return to a more normal rate, meaning users should take advantage of the current window of opportunity. "......
"KOFI ANNAN'S DRUG DEALERS Source New York Post July 28, 2006 -- What's this? Another scandal at the United Nations?
"Alas, it is so.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is so busy hectoring the United States and its allies on their supposed moral shortcomings, he cast a blind eye to the international drug-trafficking operation that was being run out of his mailroom.
Say this for Annan: On his watch, the United Nations has become an equal-opportunity corrupter of the first order: Fraud, sleaze and criminality can be found at all levels, not just the highest ones.
Remember the Oil-for-Food scandal, the multibillion-dollar ripoff that enriched Saddam Hussein, any number of U.N. officials and other diplomats - and even Annan's own son?
The drug dealing doesn't approach that level - what could?
But officials this week busted a ring that's smuggled tons of khat - an illegal East African stimulant - into this country over the past year and a half. The stash has a street value of some $10 million, and the proceeds reportedly helped finance Somali warlords.
In all, 44 people were indicted on federal drug charges (14 remain at large). Named as one of the four ringleaders was Osman Osman, a Somali clerk in the U.N. mailroom, where he's worked since 1977.
According to the federal indictment handed down in Manhattan, the ring used U.N. diplomatic pouches to smuggle the narcotics into the United States.
All of this comes less than two months after Annan's deputy, Mark Molloch Brown, publicly blasted the Bush administration for "failing to stand up for [the U.N.] against its domestic critics." Annan, needless to say, applauded his aide's remarks.
Maybe, just maybe, all that criticism is justified.
And, this time, could a drug-smuggling scheme operating right in the heart of the world body possibly be enough to spark efforts at reform, no matter how modest?
Nah, never happen.
America's U.N. ambassador, John Bolton, has been one of the most outspoken in calling for a revamping of the organization's structure - but Democrats denounce him as a "bully" and vow to block any effort to reappoint him.
(Just what is it that the Democrats like about the United Nations, anyway? It's a perplexity.)
Whether it's Oil-for-Food - the biggest economic-political scandal in history - or the world body's impotence in dealing with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and rogue regimes like Iran, the United Nations has earned all the scorn that's been heaped upon it.
And now it's running drugs out of the mailroom.
Back in 1998, the General Assembly issued a lofty political declaration that established a worldwide "Office on Drugs and Crime" and pledged to "eliminate or significantly reduce both the demand for and supply of illegal drugs by 2008."
Wouldn't it be something if copies of that high-minded document were sent out from the U.N. mailroom in diplomatic pouches that then carried smuggled drugs back to the United States?
No surprise, though. The United Nations, like Annan himself, knows no shame. "
This plan smells like something hatched up by "intellectual world banker elitist" who believe we aren't smart enough to decide our own destiny ... or that we don't want to be invaded and overrun just to keep them rich.
Were it not for conservative news sites like World Net Daily we'd be kept in the dark completely until the fat lady hit the high note.
"Feds finally release info on 'superstate' Asked to disclose details of plan that could form 'North American Union' Posted: July 26, 2006 1:00 a.m. Eastern
After missing a deadline, the U.S. Department of Commerce finally has granted a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain complete disclosure of a congressionally unauthorized plan to implement a trilateral agreement with Mexico and Canada that critics say could lead to a EU-style alliance in North America.
The plan is being implemented through an office within the Department of Commerce called the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America," under the direction of Geri Word, who is listed as working in the agency's North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, office.
Corsi said the Commerce Department's compliance with the request is a major breakthrough.
"We're now going to get the documentary evidence to determine if the working groups in SPP.gov are creating new memoranda of understanding and trilateral agreements that under our Constitution should more appropriately be submitted to Congress as new treaties or laws," he said.
Corsi added that if this turns out to be the case, "we're going to present that evidence to the American people and let them make up their own minds."
Freedom of Information Act Officer Linda Bell mailed the "first interim response" yesterday and promises more response as batches of documents are processed, according to Brenda Dolan, a departmental officer.
Robert McGuire, attorney for Corsi, e-mailed Commerce July17, notifying the agency of the statutory violation in its failure to respond. He then received an e-mail from Dolan indicating the request was being processed. But McGuire asserted the response was unacceptable, saying the department "skipped a deadline required by law."
"Israel deeply regrets deaths of 4 UN observers in air strikes targeting Hizballah positions at Khaim, Eastern Sector of S. Lebanon
July 26, 2006, 2:26 PM (GMT+02:00)
Jerusalem wants UN secretary Kofi Annan to apologize for accusing Israel of deliberately targeting the UNIFIL post and promises a thorough inquiry.
DEBKAfile adds: The holier-than-thou tone of outrage taken by Annan is surprising when it generally known that many UN missions are exploited as the cover for foreign agents, often hostile, to carry out spying operations in war zones. The inadvertent Israeli air strike revealed the fact that the UN force in Lebanon includes Chinese observers. " More...http://debka.com/headline.php?hid=2986
"In Bint Jubeil, Israeli forces killed Khalil Amin Shivli, 44, commander of the Central Sector in South Lebanon, with four lieutenants Tuesday
July 25, 2006, 11:48 PM (GMT+02:00)
DEBKAfile: He is the most senior Hizballah officer to die in the Lebanon war. His function paralleled a regional brigade commander of the Israeli army."
"DEBKAfile Exclusive: Rice learns in Beirut that neither the Lebanese government nor its parliamentary majority wants a ceasefire
July 25, 2006, 12:56 AM (GMT+02:00)
Speaking privately to PM Fouad Siniora Monday, July 24, the secretary of state said, according to DEBKAfile’s exclusive Middle East sources: You don’t want to be like the Palestinian Authority which stands by and watches its people go to ruin.
She rejected pro-Syrian leaders’ demand for a ceasefire without first establishing its components. Washington is willing to consider a multinational force, or even a NATO presence, but would insist on the full implementation of Security Council resolution 1559, namely the disarming of Hizballah."..........
" Better late than never? On CNN's Reliable Sources on Sunday, CNN's senior international correspondent Nic Robertson added all of the caveats and disclaimers that he should have included in his story last week that amounted to his giving an uncritical forum for the terrorist group Hezbollah to spout unverifiable anti-Israeli propaganda. Back on July 18, Hezbollah took Robertson and his crew on a tour of a heavily damaged south Beirut neighborhood. The Hezbollah "press officer" even instructed the CNN camera: "Just look. Shoot. Look at this building. Is it a military base? Is it a military base, or just civilians living in this building?" In his original story, Robertson had no complaints about the journalistic limitations of a story put together under such tight controls, and Robertson himself at one point seemed to agree with the Hezbollah propaganda claim that Israeli jets had targeted a civilian area: "As we run past the rubble, we see much that points to civilian life, no evidence apparent of military equipment."
[This item, by Rich Noyes, was posted Monday afternoon on the MRC's blog, NewsBusters.org: newsbusters.org ]
Challenged by Reliable Sources host (and Washington Post media writer) Howard Kurtz on Sunday, Robertson suggested Hezbollah has "very, very sophisticated and slick media operations," that the terrorist group "had control of the situation. They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn't have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath," and he even contradicted Hezbollah's self-serving spin: "There's no doubt that the [Israeli] bombs there are hitting Hezbollah facilities."
But the closest Robertson came to making any of these points in the taped package that aired last week was admitting that "we [he and his CNN crew] didn't go burrowing into all the houses," after pointing out (for the second time) that "we didn't see any military type of equipment" in the area Hezbollah chose to let them tour.
Five days later, Robertson argued that "journalistic integrity" required skepticism: "When you hear their [Hezbollah's] claims, they have to come with more than a grain of salt, that you have to put in some journalistic integrity. That you have to point out to the audience and let them know that this was a guided tour by Hezbollah press officials along with their security, that it was a very rushed affair."
While some viewers undoubtedly deduced out that it was "a guided tour" from the numerous soundbites from the Hezbollah press officer, it's not as if Robertson ever complained about his limitations or explicitly warned viewers that there was no way he could confirm any of the claims.
The July 20 CyberAlert recounted: Tuesday night (July 18) on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, senior international correspondent Nic Robertson touted his "exclusive" exchange with a Hezbollah propagandist who led Robertson on a tour of a bombed-out block of southern Beirut. Hezbollah claimed to show that Israeli bombs had struck civilian areas of the city, not the terrorist group's headquarters. The Hezbollah "press officer," Hussein Nabulsi, even directed
CNN's camera: "Just look. Shoot. Look at this building. Is it a military base? Is it a military base, or just civilians living in this building?" A few moments later, Nabulsi instructed CNN to videotape him as he ran up to a pile of rubble: "Shoot me. Shoot. This is here where they said Sheikh Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, is living. This is wrong!"
For more, including an audio/video clip of Robertson's piece which will be added to the posted version of this CyberAlert: www.mediaresearch.org
Nic Robertson, of course, isn't the only correspondent going on these Hezbollah-arranged tours, as CNN's Reliable Sources noted. In a set-up to his interview with Robertson, Kurtz played clips of NBC's Richard Engel and CBS's Elizabeth Palmer relating their trips into the damaged areas, with Palmer providing the sort of disclaimer that Robertson failed to include last week: "This morning, Hezbollah showed journalists around the ruins of its former stronghold, but Hezbollah is also determined that outsiders will only see what it wants them to see."
Now, more of Robertson's live interview from Lebanon (10:15am EDT) on the July 23 Reliable Sources (transcript corrected against the actual broadcast):
Howard Kurtz: "I want to go now to CNN's Nic Robertson, who joins us live from Beirut. Nic Robertson, we were speaking a moment ago about the way journalists cover Hezbollah and some of these tours that Hezbollah officials have arranged of the bomb damage in the areas of Southern Lebanon. You, I believe, got one of those tours. Isn't it difficult for you as a journalist to independently verify any claims made by Hezbollah, because you're not able to go into the buildings and see whether or not there is any military activity or any weapons being hidden there?" Nic Robertson: "Well, Howard, there's no doubt about it: Hezbollah has a very, very sophisticated and slick media operations. In fact, beyond that, it has very, very good control over its areas in the south of Beirut. They deny journalists access into those areas. They can turn on and off access to hospitals in those areas. They have a lot of power and influence. You don't get in there without their permission. And when I went in, we were given about 10 or 15 minutes, quite literally running through a number of neighborhoods that they directed and they took us to." "What I would say at that time was, it was very clear to me that the Hezbollah press official who took us on that guided tour -- and there were Hezbollah security officials around us at the time with walkie-talkie radios -- that he felt a great deal of anxiety about the situation....But there's no doubt about it. They had control of the situation. They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn't have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath." "So what we did see today in a similar excursion, and Hezbollah is now running a number of these every day, taking journalists into this area. They realize that this is a good way for them to get their message out, taking journalists on a regular basis. This particular press officer came across his press office today, what was left of it in the rubble. He pointed out business cards that he said were from his office that was a Hezbollah press office in that area." "So there's no doubt that the bombs there are hitting Hezbollah facilities. But from what we can see, there appear to be a lot of civilian damage, a lot of civilian properties. But again, as you say, we didn't have enough time to go in, root through those houses, see if perhaps there was somebody there who was, you know, a taxi driver by day, and a Hezbollah fighter by night...." Kurtz: "To what extent do you feel like you're being used to put up the pictures that they want -- obviously, it's terrible that so many civilians have been killed -- without any ability, as you just outlined, to verify, because -- to verify Hezbollah's role, because this is a fighting force that is known to blend in among the civilian population and keep some of its weapons there?" Robertson: "Absolutely. And I think as we try and do our job, which is go out and see what's happened to the best of our ability, clearly, in that environment, in the southern suburbs of Beirut that Hezbollah controls, the only way we can get into those areas is with a Hezbollah escort. And absolutely, when you hear their claims they have to come with more than a grain of salt, that you have to put in some journalistic integrity. That you have to point out to the audience and let them know that this was a guided tour by Hezbollah press officials along with their security, that it was a very rushed affair, that there wasn't time to go and look through those buildings." "The audience has to know the conditions of that tour. But again, if we didn't get all -- or we could not get access to those areas without Hezbollah compliance, they control those areas."
Excerpted, this is a very powerfully worded article about the corrupt UN, its mindset toward democracy, freedom, Israel defending its very life.
Taking it one step further it shows why the UN is so anti-US ... it only gives lip service to democracy and freedoms which are built into the fabric of the US.
Yes the UN is anti-Israel, anti-US because those two nations are what the current UN will never be without a house cleaning from the ground up. I don't foresee that happening within my lifetime. Hope I'm surprised.
"How the UN legitimizes terrorists
By Alan M. Dershowitz Published July 25, 2006
Source Chicago Tribune
"If anyone wonders why the UN has rendered itself worse than irrelevant in the Arab-Israeli conflict, all he or she need do is read UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's July 20 statement. Annan goes to great pains to suggest equal fault and moral equivalence between the rockets of Hezbollah and Hamas that specifically target innocent civilians and the self-defense efforts by Israel, which tries desperately, though not always successfully, to avoid causing civilian casualties. In his statement, Annan never condemns, or even mentions, terrorism, which is a root cause and precipitator of the conflict."..................
......"The UN peacekeepers on the Lebanese border have turned out to be collaborators with Hezbollah, videotaping the Hezbollah kidnapping of three Israeli soldiers in 2000 and then refusing to release the video--which could have helped in the rescue--on the grounds that it might compromise their "neutrality."
This is a real test for the UN. If it cannot--or will not--distinguish between terrorists who target civilians and a democracy that seeks to stop the terrorism while minimizing civilian casualties, it has become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution."
(July 23, 2006) — The Democrat and Chronicle editorial "Israel overreacted" (July 14) denounced Israel for an "overwrought military response" — but failed to criticize Palestinian terrorists for the bombings, shootings and kidnappings of Israelis that precipitated the confrontation.
Some context is in order. In 2000, Israel unilaterally withdrew from territory along its northern border, relying on United Nations assurances that it would protect Israel from further Hezbollah attacks. (It has not.)
In 2005, Israel again unilaterally withdrew, this time from the Gaza Strip. However, instead of leaving Israel alone after getting what they purportedly wanted, the terrorist factions running Gaza and southern Lebanon were emboldened to fight on to destroy the Jewish state.
And it was precisely the European Union and the United Nations, cited approvingly in this paper's editorial for their anti-Israel condemnations, that pressed Israel the hardest to withdraw. And now it is the European Union and United Nations that refuse to take any responsibility for Hamas' and Hezbollah's increased blood-thirst, and that would prevent Israel from protecting itself in a manner marked by more restraint than any other democracy facing comparable threats would ever be asked to muster.
More importantly, it is attitudes like the Democrat and Chronicle's that make it almost impossible for Israel to withdraw further from the occupied territories. Israel will only risk withdrawal if it is confident that, should it leave Palestinians to create their own state, Israel will be able to adequately defend itself against its new, hostile neighbor.
How, then, should Israel behave when the Palestinian government fires rockets into Israeli population centers? Though this paper calls Israel's response "overwrought," it never suggests an alternative. Must Israel withdraw even further, on the principle that terrorists only attack land to which they claim entitlement? Of course not.
The Wall Street Journal is less timid in advancing concrete scenarios so as to pinpoint the absurdity inherent in the "proportionality" critique. Its July 14 editorial asks: "Since hostage-taking is universally regarded as an act of war, what 'proportionate' action do they (the U.N.) propose for Israel?"
It continued: "In the case of Hamas, perhaps Israel could rain indiscriminate artillery fire on Gaza City, surely a proportionate response to the 800 rockets Hamas has fired at Israeli towns in the last year alone. In the case of Hezbollah, it might mean carpet bombing a section of south Beirut, another equally proportionate response to Hezbollah's attacks on civilian Jewish and Israeli targets in Buenos Aires in the early 1990s."
The point of raising those extreme possibilities is to make clear that Israel would never stoop to the level of its enemies. Israel has never acted with even proportional harshness, let alone excessive force, toward Palestinian terrorists or their military backers in Damascus and Tehran.
Indeed, many believe that Israel's failure to respond to terrorist atrocities with anything but intermittent and relatively mild retaliatory operations only encourages Hamas and Hezbollah to continue their terror campaigns.
The double standard — denouncing Israel for doing what every other nation does as a matter of course, and far more heavy-handedly — is alive and well at the E.U. and United Nations. In a world full of North Koreas and Irans, Sudans and Chinas, these international bodies are only interested in condemning the single real democracy in the Middle East.
Their antipathy toward Israel bears no relation to what Israel does — as evidenced by the fact that their antipathy only increases when Israel makes its greatest concessions. Rather, its real criticism is directed at what Israel is.
They will never abide the Jewish state. It would be unfortunate if the Democrat and Chronicle signs on to their agenda. "
Dershowitz is an attorney, author and professor of law at Harvard University. Webber, of Pittsford, is his student and research assistant."
Looks like Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame may have filed a personal damages lawsuit to deflect attention away from something else more sinister as attention is focused William Jefferson's documents and they dig deeper.
This article which is excerpted is well worth clicking the link and reading.
"The African Connection: Rep. Jefferson and Joe Wilson July 25th, 2006
By Clarice Feldman is an attorney in Washington, DC and a frequent contributor.
"The documents seized in the FBI raid on the offices of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) remain unread by Justice Department investigators, pending a federal Appeals Court ruling scheduled for August 27. Jefferson is anxious to overturn the ruling of federal Judge Hogan of the Washington, DC federal District Court, who allowed the raid. One can only surmise that the seized documents contain material even more embarrassing than the discovery of $90,000 in cash in Jefferson’s freezer.
But we already know a bit about the charges and some of the alleged partners of Congressman Jefferson. Two people have pleaded guilty to bribing him. One of them is Vernon L. Jackson, owner of a technology company called iGate. The Washington Post reported:
Federal authorities have alleged in court documents that Jefferson took more than $500,000 in bribes in exchange for using his official position to promote iGate’s technology in Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon. The FBI said it videotaped Jefferson taking a $100,000 payoff on July 30, 2005.
The affidavit discloses an alleged scheme in which Jefferson introduced officials from Netlink Digital Television (NDTV), a Nigerian company, to Jackson.
NDTV agreed to pay iGate nearly $45 million for the right to use its technology and to distribute it in Nigeria. The affidavit alleges that Jefferson, without iGate’s knowledge, separately negotiated with NDTV officials to receive $5 for each subscriber in “return for Jefferson’s official assistance if the deal was successful.”
The Post also reports that investigators are examining a number of other companies linked to Jefferson, his wife, and various other relatives. While no details have leaked, and the seized documents have not yet yielded their secrets, it is quite probable that the bribery iGate’s owner has acknowledged is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the dubious business associations of Representative Jefferson."......
......... "The Jefferson-Joe Wilson Connection
Macsmind first mentioned this in May. I have been thinking about this possibility and reviewing the detailed and well-documented research publishedat Free Republic by a poster known as “Fedora,” who has examined public domain information and connected some very interesting dots. Joe Wilson, it turns out, left the State Department and became a business promoter with some rather intriguing connections before he went on his infamous mission to Niger. "..........
Clinton, Lewisnski, and Africa
Recall the trip to Africa conducted by Bill Clinton in the wake of the embarrassing Monica Lewinski affair, playing to his most reliable voting base, and bringing with him a very large number of African-American business figures, politicians, and other influential individuals.
The trip cost almost $50 million and was tagged as the most expensive foreign trip by a US President. Much of this expense was for transportation for the Clinton’s took a large delegation with them. The delegation included Jesse Jackson, prominent Black businessmen such as Bob Johnson and the following Congressional delegation: Congressmen Payne ,William Jefferson and Rangel and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, as well as Secretary Slater. (Source)
What is less well known is that the man who orchestrated this trip was Joseph C. Wilson IV co-star of the long-running Plame comedy hour. ".....
Someone told me that Art Bell had his audience pray for/visualize (according to their beliefs) rain during a drought year a few years back and they began getting results. It scared everyone so they quit the experiment.
Important part is that it did work.
"Lubbock, Texas, plans to pray for rain
LUBBOCK, Texas, July 24 (UPI) -- Public officials in Lubbock, Texas, are organizing a day to pray for rain.
"Nobody is going to tell God what to do and what not to do, but we are in a serious drought in West Texas and since he is the man who controls the rain clouds, we're asking him for his mercy and his help," Mayor David Miller told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal." .....
Knew I'd read about research being done about the mind influencing RNG outcomes.
Otherwise these brief articles deal with our minsets affecting our health.
"The Power of the Mind By Patricia A. Muehsam, M.D. Special to The Epoch Times This four-part series describes how the mind can keep us well or make us sick, and offers tools for harnessing this power.
Part I: What We Can Learn From the Scientists and Mystics
........."For over 25 years, scientists at Princeton University's Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR) Laboratory have demonstrated powerful correlations between human intention and machine behavior. They have shown that untrained individuals can influence the output of random mechanical and electronic number generators, just by thinking in which direction the numbers should go. These effects were found to be independent of space and time. Effects also occurred when the individual was thousands of miles away.2 "......
"The Power of the Mind, Part 2 ..................."In Parts 3 and 4, techniques for harnessing the powers of our minds, for healing ourselves and even impacting situations and circumstances in our lives will be discussed." http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/6-7-24/44225.html
"God's army has plans to run the whole Middle East
Source Times Online UK
"Hezbollah, the group at the heart of the Lebanese conflict, is the spearhead of Iran's ambitions to be a superpower, says Iranian commentator Amir Taheri ‘You are the sun of Islam, shining on the universe!" This is how Muhammad Khatami, the mullah who was president of Iran until last year, described Hezbollah last week. It would be no exaggeration to describe Hezbollah - the Lebanese Shi'ite militia - as Tehran's regional trump card. Each time Tehran has played it, it has won. As war rages between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, Tehran policymakers think that this time, too, they can win. "I invite the faithful to wait for good news," Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last Tuesday. "We shall soon witness the elimination of the Zionist stain of shame."
What are the links between Hezbollah and Iran? In 1982 Iran had almost no influence in Lebanon. The Lebanese Shi'ite bourgeoisie that had had close ties with Iran when it was ruled by the Shah was horrified by the advent of the clerics who created an Islamic republic.
Seeking a bridgehead in Lebanon, Iran asked its ambassador to Damascus, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, a radical mullah, to create one. Mohtashamipour decided to open a branch in Lebanon of the Iranian Hezbollah (the party of God).
After many meetings in Lebanon Mohtashamipour succeeded: in its founding statement it committed itself to the "creation of an Islamic republic in Lebanon". To this end hundreds of Iranian mullahs, political "educators" and Islamic Revolutionary Guards were dispatched to Beirut.
Within two years several radical Shi'ite groups in Lebanon, including some with Marxist backgrounds, had united under the Hezbollah name and became the main force resisting the Israeli occupation of Lebanon after the expulsion of Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in 1983.
Terror has been its principal weapon. Throughout the 1980s Hezbollah kidnapped more than 200 foreign nationals in Lebanon, most of them Americans or western Europeans (including Terry Waite, the Archbishop of Canterbury's envoy). It organised the hijacking of civilian aircraft and more or less pioneered the idea of suicide bombings against American and French targets, killing almost 1,000 people, including 241 US marines in Beirut and 58 French paratroopers.
The campaign produced results. After Hezbollah's attacks, France reduced its support for Saddam Hussein. America went further by supplying Iran with TOW anti-tank missiles, shipped via Israel, which helped to tip the Iran-Iraq war in favour of Iran. In exchange Iran ordered Hezbollah to release French and American hostages.
Once the Iran-Iraq war was over, Tehran found other uses for its Lebanese asset. It purged and then reshaped Hezbollah to influence the broader course of regional politics while using it to wage a low-intensity war against Israel.
In 2000, when the Israelis evacuated the strip they controlled in southern Lebanon, Tehran presented the event as the "first victory of Islam over the Zionist crusader camp" and Hezbollah was lauded across the Arab world. Hezbollah taunted the Israelis with billboards on the border reading, "If you return, we return".
To prop up that myth, Tehran invested in a propaganda campaign that included television "documentaries", feature films and books and magazine articles. The message was simple: while secular ideologies - from pan-Arabism to Arab socialism - had failed to liberate an inch of Arab territory, Islamism, in its Iranian Khomeinist version working through Hezbollah, had achieved "total victory" over Israel in Lebanon.
Since 1984 Iran has created branches of Hezbollah in more than 20 countries. None has equalled the success of the Lebanese branch, which until recently enjoyed something akin to cult status among Arabs, including non-Muslims, because of the way it stood up to Israel.
It has not even cost Iran very much. Hezbollah was launched with just £13m. After that, according to best estimates, Iran spent £32m to £54m a year on its Lebanese assets. Even if we add the cost of training Hezbollah fighters and equipping them with hardware, Hezbollah (the strongest fighting force in the Middle East after Iran and Israel) has not cost Iran more than £1.3 billion over two decades.
According to Naim Kassem, Hezbollah's number two, the party has an annual budget of £279m, much of which comes from businesses set up by the movement. These include a bank, a mortgage co-operative, an insurance company, a travel agency specialising in pilgrimages to Muslim holy places, several hotels, a chain of supermarkets and a number of urban bus and taxi companies.
In its power base in southern Lebanon, particularly south Beirut and the Bekaa valley, it is possible for a visitor to spend a whole week without stepping outside a Hezbollah business unit: the hotel he checks into, the restaurant he eats in, the taxi that takes him around, the guide who shows him the sights and the shop where he buys souvenirs all belong to the party. ".......
"Maybe, when this Lebanon thing is over, we'll finally get it:
Guerrillas like to hide behind civilians.
Muslim guerrillas take it a step further: "Civilians" are a weapon to them -- as much a part of the fight as the AK-47 or RPG they carry.
Those who have visited any Hezbollah installation in Lebanon over the years always remark on the fact that there are always families, women and children, in and around the place. "Secret" installations are usually hidden in plain site -- in houses or apartment buildings.
Seldom, if ever, has a guerrilla movement been able to so openly and exquisitely weave itself into the fabric of a society as Hezbollah has done in Lebanon.
If the civilians in and around these operational bases happen to be of Hezbollah's own brand of Islam they automatically become a part of the "sacrificial," suicidal equation. Often without choice or foreknowledge, they die an "honorable" death in the battle against infidels or apostates.
If the civilians happen to be of some other persuasion, Islamic or otherwise, their deaths are not even worth a shrug. However, these mangled bodies and wailing women with arms outstretched do provide an immense propaganda payoff, especially in the Western "crusader" media -- which still places a quaint value on human life.
As Israel continues to "shape the battlefield" in Lebanon with its air strikes, the toll of civilian casualties mounts. How many of these are really hapless civilians and how many are Hezbollah fighters and their sometimes willing and sometimes fearfully compliant or resigned human shields will take a long time to sort out.
Suffice it to say the Israeli bombing operations are not indiscriminate. The targets, even those in downtown Beirut, are from painstakingly prepared lists compiled over years of watching the Hezbollah military buildup. The IDF is making often sacrificial efforts to pinpoint known Hezbollah installations and use precision guided weapons. They are making mistakes, yes, and they are probably victims from time to time of Hezbollah efforts to purposely mislead them into bombing completely innocent buildings.
But progress is being made, and Hezbollah will find it increasingly difficult to operate offensively with its Iran-Syrian missile inventory, especially the larger weapons. (The Katyusha rockets are inaccurate short-range artillery shells, often more annoying than deadly.) Hezbollah's greatest asset right now lies in the fact that it has been all but impenetrable to spies. However, the Israeli pounding is forcing it into movement without real freedom of movement, and that will play into the hands of the IDF in the air and on the ground.
Meanwhile, the headlines are filled with the shedding of blood, some innocent, some not so obviously innocent. But all the blood of this terrible struggle is on the hands of Hezbollah. As they have grown tactically and operationally wise in their hatred, they have shown more fully their utter disregard for human life. They have calculated the bloody effect of what they and their mentors in Tehran and Damascus have started. So what if a beautiful city, Beirut, is destroyed? So what if thousands of the hapless, the ignorant, the innocent die? The Islamofanatic "vision" of submission or extermination is worth any cost. To Hezbollah -- high on the hatred of centuries -- this is total war, and the very term "civilian" -- except for its temporary value in gulling the West -- does not apply. "
Featured on Atlanta tv quite some time ago this site is still up, but no longer being updated, as of this posting. There are pictures of some of our Einstein drivers, plus others of a similar caliber from other areas. Older stuff but funny.
People who fear our involvement in the Middle East have done so because of historical predictions of Armageddon. I again defer to my metaphysical reading that Armageddon didn't happen on schedule because dynamics changed on 9-11 which set the world on a whole different course of humanity deciding its own outcome. Armageddon won't happen although some are planning their lives around it as they did the Millenium.
Sometimes a less popular course of action is best when someone has the foresight to see the end result of freedom and democracy in an area which has lived under tribal rule for centuries and which revels in beheadings, torture like our own youth do watching music videos or the stupidity of Jackass.
Democracy which a conservative president has envisioned as a dynamics change for that region is allowing human enterprise and commerce to flourish and that region of the world to overcome self imposed ignorance and poverty that perpetuates ignorance. If someone has a job they don't volunteer to be a suicide bomber to create money for their family.
I continue to support our actions in Iraq, our growing influence in that area which became decimated under Carter's impotency and Clinton's focus on selling the US out to China.
President Bush has the foresight, patience, guts to do what the world knows is correct against Islamafascism so that lasting world peace can begin to be put into place.
The main problem we have now is mainstream media/press which is far leftist revisionist, hate-America because we allowed them to have that much power.
"Shaken And Stirred
By Josh Manchester
Source Tech Central Station Daily
"The US invasion of Iraq has so shaken and stirred the Middle East that some exceptionally strange things are happening. More importantly, these things unequivocally favor the US in influencing the outcome of the Israeli-Hezbollah War now taking place in Lebanon.
What sorts of strange things? Well, consider an Arab League meeting in Cairo over the weekend, where a fight of sorts broke out. Jed Babbin described it best:
"This meeting began with the Lebanese foreign minister Fawzi Salloukh proposing a resolution condemning Israel's military action, supporting Lebanon's 'right to resist occupation by all legitimate means' ... The Lebanese draft also called on Israel to release all Lebanese prisoners and supported Lebanon's right to 'liberate them by all legitimate means.' ... The Syrian foreign minister, Walid Moallem, strongly supported Lebanon and Hizballah. But an historic obstacle was raised that blocked the Lebanese endorsement of terrorism.
"The Saudi foreign minister, al-Faisal, led a triumvirate including Egypt and Jordan that, according to the AP report, was '...criticizing the guerilla group's actions, calling them 'unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible acts.'' Faisal said, 'These acts will pull the whole region back to years ago, and we simply cannot accept them.' . . . The Arab leaders are frightened that the acts of the terrorists they have coddled for decades might have consequences for them. And they are very frightened of what Iran may do next.'
These regimes would most certainly not be afraid of what Iran may do next if Saddam Hussein still ran Iraq, providing for the Arab world a deterrent against Iran.
In fact, this leads to the second strange event of late: Saddam's own comments, as reported in Deutsche Presse-Agentur, about the war in Lebanon:
"Toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein has issued a warning to the Syrian leadership 'not to go too far in its alliance with Iran,' blaming Tehran for the current flare-up of violence in the Middle East, the head of Saddam's defence team claimed Tuesday ... 'I am convinced that the Iranian and US agendas have met in Iraq and elsewhere in the Arab world and Arabs are now placed between the US-Israeli hammer and the Iranian anvil,' Duleimi quoted Saddam as saying."
This is a man whose prized dictatorship was overrun by US forces, who was captured by US forces, and who as a result is on trial for his life. He blames Tehran primarily for the current flare-up, not some Zionist-US conspiracy in the standard rhetoric of the region. Remarkable.
In fact, Saddam is quite astute when he notes that the Arabs are placed between the US-Israeli hammer and the Iranian anvil. Before the US invasion, Iraq was the geostrategic pivot of the Middle East. All of the fault lines in the area's politics converge there. The Sunni-Shia split; the Arab-Persian split; the Ba'athist-Wahhabist split; and the Muslim-Israeli split: each of these ran through Iraq via its ethnic and religious makeup; its geographic location; and its former interests, alliances, and enemies.
The 'big bang,' as invading Iraq has sometimes been called, was meant to reorder the nature of politics in the region. This has been accomplished in a fundamental way. The idea of dividing an enemy force into its constituent parts and then dealing with it piecemeal is at least as old as Caesar's actions in Gaul. It applies no less to US strategy in the Middle East. Every faction there has been made to reconsider its relationship with every other. Rather than there being a monolithic clash of civilizations, thus far the US is dealing with the area in pieces -- in whatever way it sees fit to do so -- whether making it tacitly clear to Syria that what happened in Iraq could more easily happen to it, or threatening Iran on behalf of the region and world, or seeking cooperation with the Saudis in hunting down al Qaeda.
Far from being a bit of belated triumphalism about the invasion, all of this has immediate and direct consequences. While the success of Iraq's democracy hangs in the balance from an operational perspective, the strategic advantages created by the invasion of Iraq are working very favorably for the US in the current Israeli-Lebanon crisis in very tangible ways.
Were Saddam still in power, the Arab world would not feel nearly as threatened by Hezbollah, the Frankenstein's monster of Iran's creation. Instead, they would have sided with the Syrian foreign minister's strong support for Hezbollah. Saddam himself might even have offered cash rewards to anyone attempting martyrdom against the Jews.
Instead, they came to no consensus. The leading Arab League states, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt, call Hezbollah's actions "inappropriate and irresponsible." This lessens the urgency of calls from the international community, whether the G8, UN, or EU, for a ceasefire. That lessened urgency creates something very precious indeed: a moment in time and space wherein Israel has the most fleeting of opportunities for decisive action against Hezbollah, an avowed foe, a terrorist organization, and a constant threat to the security of its populace.
Decisive action is what has traditionally been missing from the wars of the Middle East. Land changes hands, blows are exchanged, and peace eventually is negotiated. But the underlying dynamic never changes because the sides are rarely faced with a decisive defeat, the only condition that can force the most avowed of men to abandon the ideas they hold dear.
Israel now has the chance to destroy Hezbollah. Only time can tell what Israel will do with the opportunity it possesses. Opportunities forsaken are opportunities lost forever, as MacArthur was sometimes rumored to say. But let there be no mistake: this moment would not have been possible without the invasion of Iraq, and the destruction of Hezbollah is very much in the interest of the United States and that of any other nation that abhors terrorism.
Josh Manchester is a TCS Daily contributing writer. Find more of his writing here.
* U.S.A. v. Mohamad Youssef Hammoud et al., Charlotte, North Carolina: 25 individuals charged in connection with cigarette smuggling, money laundering, credit card fraud, marriage fraud and immigration violations. Four individuals were charged with providing “material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization,” Hizballah, specifically providing “currency, financial services, training, false documentation and identification, communications equipment, explosives, and other physical assets to Hizballah, in order to facilitate its violent attacks.” In 2003, Mohamad Hammoud was sentenced to 155 years in prison, while his brother, Chawki, was sentenced to 51 months.
* U.S.A. v. Elias Mohamad Akhdar et al. (pdf), Dearborn, Michigan: 11 co-defendants charged with racketeering related to the Charlotte, North Carolina scheme. In January, 2004, Akhdar was sentenced to 70 months in prison and was fined over $2,000,000 after having pled guilty in July, 2003.
* U.S.A. v. Imam Mohamad-Musbah Hammoud, et al., Michigan, Canada (Ontario, Quebec), Lebanon: In March, 2006, 19 co-defendants charged with a racketeering scheme involving contraband cigarettes, counterfeit Zig Zag rolling papers and counterfeit Viagra, counterfeit cigarette tax stamps, transporting stolen property, and money laundering. A percentage of the profits derived from the illegal enterprise were given to Hizballah. On July 7, two of the defendants, Imad Majed Hamadeh and Theodore Schenk, 73 pled guilty (pdf). Hamadeh and Schenk face a maximum possible penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
* U.S.A. v. Ali Boumelhem, Dearborn, Michigan: Man convicted in September 2001 of attempting to smuggle two shotguns, 750 bullets and assault weapon parts in a conspiracy to aid Hizballah, and 5 weapons violations. He was sentenced to 44 months in jail.
* U.S.A. v. Talal Khalil Chahine et. al, Dearborn, Michigan: Restaurant owner and wife, Elfat El Aouar, in May 2006, charged with four counts of tax evasion and the concealment of more than $16,000,000 of cash from the federal government. The U.S. government, in a written proffer of evidence (in U.S.A. v. Elfat El Aouar, Cr. No. 06-20248, EDMI, 5/22/2006), states that Chahine and his wife attended a fundraising event in Lebanon in August 2002 with Hizballah Sheikh Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, a Specially Designated Terrorist (see page 8), where the two men were the keynote speakers. The proffer also claims that a search of El Aouar’s residence turned up a “thank you letter” for sponsoring 40 “orphans,” as well as images of Chahine and his family in front of a Hizballah outpost. According to the proffer, “[t]he government is aware that the sponsorship of orphans is a euphemism used by Hizballah to refer to the orphans of martyrs. This is a common public relations and recruitment tool used by Hizballah. Hizballah gains favor with the public in Lebanon by supporting ‘orphans,’ while at the same time recruiting others into the terrorist organization willing to sacrifice their lives in terrorist operations based in part on the promise that Hizballah will take care of their families.” The government has yet to charge Chahine or his wife with any terrorism-related offense.
* U.S.A. v. Mohammad Shabib, Cleveland, Ohio: Federal prosecutors charged Mohammad Shabib with hiding his role in a drug ring which profits were funneled to Hizballah. Shabib, a gas station owner, had $8,000,000 in a Chicago bank account, which authorities say Shabib amassed by shipping roughly 3 tons of pseudoephedrine from Canada to California, which he would sell to Mexican gangs who would use the drugs to produce methamphetamine. (See: Amanda Garrett, “Terrorists’ Money Takes Convoluted Path in U.S.,” The Cleveland Dealer, January 18, 2004).
Mexico: Human Trafficking:
* Mexico v. Salim Boughader Mucharrafille, Tijuana, Mexico: Boughader, proprietor of a Lebanese restaurant in Mexico, ran a smuggling ring into the U.S. Before he was arrested in December 2002, Boughader had trafficked roughly 200 Lebanese nationals, including Hizballah-linked individuals, across the border and into the U.S. Boughader admitted transporting a former employee of al-Manar television, which is owned and operated by Hizballah and currently designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist entity. Boughder is quoted as saying, “[f]or us, Hezbollah are not terrorists."
* U.S.A. v. Nemr Ali-Rahal et. al. (pdf), Dearborn, Michigan: Husband and wife pled guilty in January 2006 to credit card and bank fraud worth more than $500,000. Ali-Rahal was sentenced to 33 months in prison (see right side text box). While he was not charged with any terrorism related offenses, when FBI agents arrested Ali-Rahal, they discovered, in his home, Hizballah-related materials including a videotape of a 2002 Hizballah rally in Lebanon at which Rahal was present in Lebanon, as well as a collection of books, posters and videos including one titled “A Martyr Speaks About Martyrs” and a photo showing Rahal burning an American flag.
* Hizballah-linked Counterfeit Goods Ring in Los Angeles (pdf), Los Angeles, CA: Testimony of Lieutenant John C. Stedman, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, May 25, 2005: “There are also indicators that some associates of terrorist groups may be involved in (Intellectual Property Right/)IPR crime. During the course of our investigations, we have encountered suspects who have shown great affinity for Hezbollah and its leadership. The following are just two examples: during the search of a residence pursuant to an IPR related search warrant, I saw small Hezbollah flags displayed in the suspect’s bedroom. Next to the flags was a photograph of Hassan Nasrallah whom I recognized as the leader of Hezbollah. The suspect’s wife asked me if I knew the subject of the photograph. I identified Nasrallah and the wife said, ‘We love him because he protects us from the Jews’. Also in the home were dozens of audio tapes of Nasrallah’s speeches. During the search, one of my detectives also found a locket which contained a picture of the male suspect on one side and Sheik Nasrallah on the other. In 2004, detectives served an IPR search warrant at a clothing store in Los Angeles County. During the course of the search, thousands of dollars in counterfeit clothing was recovered as were two unregistered firearms. During the booking process, the suspect was found to have a tattoo of the Hezbollah flag on his arm.”
* In 2003, Hizballah’s website carried a page on Hajj with Hizbollah, complete with contact information for regions around the world. The page listed a Canadian phone number soliciting Muslims interested in going on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Other phone numbers included Beirut; Conakry, Guinea; Sweden; Switzerland; Ivory Coast; Denmark; Sierra Leone; Togo; Ghana and Gambia for people interested living in those places.
July 19, 2006 08:28 PM "
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The most interesting point about this article is quoted directly below about Israeli intelligence watching Syria so closely. Brings it full circle as to how they knew Saddam's WMD's were moved to Syria and Lebanon prior to the US going into Iraq.
......"Will Syria jump in? How? With its army? Not with its air force (which Israel humiliated and destroyed in 1982). Israel has been taking pictures and gauging the Syrian armed forces for a long time now. It knows things about them that even the Syrians don't know." ......
"More Than Hezbollah Can Chew?
By Ralph Kinney Bennet July 17, 2006
Source Tech Central Station
"The Israeli dismantling of Iran's expeditionary force in Lebanon -- Hezbollah -- began in earnest over the weekend.
Hezbollah played its big card when it carried out the carefully planned kidnapping of the Israeli soldiers.
Now it's Israel's turn.
The bombing of the Beirut International Airport was brilliant. It had heretofore been used routinely to bring in weapons and supplies for Hezbollah and to move forces. It was the main "bridge" between Syria and Iran and its client "army." With the airport down and a naval blockade in place the IDF is able to concentrate on anything that moves on the ground in the Bekka Valley and throughout Lebanon. They have already interdicted the bridges and road system and are now able to use their electronic intelligence (ELINT) assets to watch for any movement off the roads and under the cover of darkness.
It will be interesting over the next few days to see how many large ground-to-ground missiles Hezbollah can fire. Some stores of these missiles have already been destroyed in air strikes and the movement and preparation of these missiles to fire is difficult to hide. Now we will have a firmer sense of just how many missiles Hezbollah has beyond the small rockets which are in effect relatively inaccurate artillery shells.
Hezbollah's Chief, Hassan Nasrallah, who is known as a pompous blowhard even on the Arab "Street," which has always been culturally predisposed to histrionic posturing, is now on the run and may have to decamp to Damascus for relative safety.
If he can get there.
His armed forces, despite all their goose-stepping parade marches and RPG-rattling, will prove to have a lot of "Iraq Republican Guard" hollowness to them. Unfortunately, a lot of gullible, poor, Lebanese kids who have been conned and whipped into a hateful frenzy by Nasrallah and his lieutenants, will lose their lives when they come up against IDF training and firepower. There may be a lucky shot from a shoulder-fired SAM here and there, and there will probably be a lot of mines or improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as everyone now likes to call them. But pitched battles with the IDF, which Hezbollah propaganda seems to thirst for, will be nasty, brutish and short.
This is not to say Hezbollah will be eliminated, but that it will be forced back into its old cowardly and treacherous pattern of routine, discrete terrorism.
Israel has made some real tactical mistakes recently, mistakes they cannot afford to make when living as they do in a constant state of war. The kidnapping of the soldiers near the Lebanon border probably should never have happened. Nor should that warship have been off its guard when the missile attack came. But there will not be many mistakes now. While press headlines have seemed to concentrate on civilians killed by Israeli strikes in Lebanon, the fact is that these attacks are cutting deep into the flesh and muscle of Hezbollah.
The question now is how many missiles and how much other weaponry Hezbollah has managed to stockpile (often hidden in places with civilian population for cover) before embarking on this venture. It will not be easy to bring in more supplies from the big boys in Damascus and Tehran.
Will Syria jump in? How? With its army? Not with its air force (which Israel humiliated and destroyed in 1982). Israel has been taking pictures and gauging the Syrian armed forces for a long time now. It knows things about them that even the Syrians don't know. And what the Syrians do know must make they feel very uneasy. You would not want to be going into action in a Syrian tank, for instance, knowing what everybody now knows about precision guided munitions.
How about Iran? Not in a direct military way. It isn't ready and it cannot afford to suffer the destruction its armed forces would have to absorb. Neither its long range missile nor air forces can deliver enough bang unless they resorted to chemical weapons, which would result in... However, since in Iran we are dealing with a leader who is every bit as crazy as that Pyongyang midget with the high-heeled shoes, we have to say, "Who knows?"
The world terror war will continue. But Hezbollah's reputation is in for a big deflation, and this chance for the Islamofascists to try yet again to live up to their own military fantasies will go down in flames.
Perhaps Nasrallah's hope is to "bog down" the IDF in a war of attrition in Southern Lebanon to help is Hamas brothers in Gaza. In any case, when the dust clears, and it will, Hezbollah will be back to its squalid, pathetic tactics of the suicide bombers and assassination teams. Thus the struggle between freedom and mind-imprisoning hatred will grind on. "
I've read in metaphysical circles that "As go the Jews, so goes the world" which I believe is true, and apparently Larry Elder does also in the following article.
I am not Jewish, but do stand solid with Israel in the fight for her very life because it represents a microcosm of the larger battle we infidels are engaged in to the end ... one way or another.
It's clear that the UN stands with any terrorist organizations or would have been more forthcoming in its support of the US in our war on terror AND support for Israel as a state..... but highlighted in red below the UN clearly wants Israel wiped off the map in the Middle East.
It's becoming very clear to me that the UN stands for nothing other than corruption, graft, bribes and as a governing body is incapable of leading a herd of ants to a sugar cube because it somply doesn't possess any form of moral compass other than one sold to the highest bidder.
"UN Wipes Israel Off the Map - Photos - November 29, 2005 UN Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People
"Iran wants to buy time -- time to continue pursuing its nuclear program, in the wake of growing international opposition. So to distract the world's attention, let's start a proxy war.
Hamas, the Palestinian terror group, on June 25, 2006, tunneled into Israeli territory, kidnapped one Israeli soldier, killed two more, and have since launched hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel.
Nearly three weeks later, the Iranian- and Syrian-backed terrorist group in Lebanon, Hezbollah, entered Israel, killed eight Israeli soldiers and kidnapped two others. The terror group then launched over 1,400 rockets into Israel during the first five days of the conflict, and even struck an Israeli ship with a missile -- showing more capability than experts assumed.
The European Union urged Israel to show restraint, expressing great concern "about the disproportionate use of force by Israel in Lebanon in response to attacks by Hezbollah on Israel." France's President Jacques Chirac said, "One may well ask if there isn't today a kind of wish to destroy Lebanon. . . . I find honestly -- as all Europeans do -- that the current reactions are totally disproportionate." The Vatican issued a statement saying, " . . . [T]he Holy See deplores right now the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation. . . . "
Restraint? Hezbollah threatens to exterminate Israel and to defeat America. Hamas accuses the Israelis of "stealing" the Palestinians' land. The Hamas Covenant, Article Three, describes the duty of all Muslims: " . . . [To] fear Allah and raise the banner of Jihad in the face of the oppressors." Article Eleven clarifies their belief "that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf [property that generates revenue for mosques and religious schools] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgment Day." Article Thirteen flatly states, "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad."
World Net Daily's Joseph Farah, an Arab-American, years ago wrote a column titled "The Jews Took No One's Land." The Holy Land, writes Farah, was described as a vast wasteland in the 19th century. Beginning in the mid-1800s, Jews were the majority -- often an overwhelming majority, especially around Jerusalem. When Jews began to return to their "promised land" early in the 20th century, the desert literally began to bloom under their industry. Arabs followed, coming in large numbers for the jobs and prosperity. In 1948, when the United Nations partitioned the land into separate Arab and Jewish states, the surrounding Arab states immediately declared war. The Jews urged the Arabs to stay and live peacefully. Many Arabs chose to leave, to be rejected, used and virtually imprisoned by Arab power brokers.
Joan Peters, in "From Time Immemorial," a wonderful book about the history of the Israeli/Arab conflict over Palestine, quotes Khaled Al-Azm, Syria's prime minister after the 1948 war. Years later, Al-Azm wrote, "Since 1948 it is we who demanded the return of the refugees . . . while it is we who made them leave. . . . We brought disaster upon . . . Arab refugees, by inviting them and bringing pressure to bear upon them to leave. . . . We have rendered them dispossessed. . . . We have accustomed them to begging. . . . We have participated in lowering their moral and social level. . . . Then we exploited them in executing crimes of murder, arson, and throwing bombs upon . . . men, women and children -- all this in the service of political purposes. . . . "
Peters also quotes King Hussein of Jordan, who, in 1960, said: "Since 1948 Arab leaders have approached the Palestine problem in an irresponsible manner. . . . They have used the Palestine people for selfish political purposes. This is ridiculous and, I could say, even criminal." Israel withdrew its troops from southern Lebanon in 2000, and pulled completely out of Gaza in August 2005. Following the withdrawal from Gaza, Israel weathered some 700 rocket attacks launched from the former occupied territory. So much for the notion that this crisis turns on the withdrawal from "occupied" territory.
Bombay. Bali. Madrid. London. Cairo. Washington, D.C. And New York, and New York again. Spanish authorities foiled a terrorist attack on its National Court, Spain's center for prosecuting terrorists, after the Spaniards agreed to withdraw from Iraq following Madrid's train bombings. Much of the world, and unfortunately, much of America, refuses to get it. This is World War III. Islamofascism seeks our destruction -- not accommodation, not conciliation, but complete and total destruction. Islamofascism does not end with the "recapture" of "historic Palestine." Our very existence -- democracy, freedom, religious tolerance and gender equality -- threaten Islamofascism.
If the Europeans don't get it, at least some of the so-called "moderate" Arab states do. In a dramatic departure from the past, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and several Gulf states blame Hezbollah, not Israel, for starting the war. Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu notes that the terrorists call Israel "little Satan," and America the "great Satan." But, Netanyahu warns, sooner or later the Europeans will realize that terrorists consider them the "middle Satan."
"Kofi Annan: Hamas? Terrorist? By Joseph Klein FrontPageMagazine.com | February 6, 2006
Secretary General Kofi Annan told the attendees at the 2006 Davos World Economic Conference that he had initiated a "new mindset" at the United Nations on human rights, law, the nature of war, and the role of corporations. To show how hip he was, Kofi surrounded himself with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the conference.
Meanwhile, back at UN headquarters in New York, the real face of the United Nations establishment was revealed in this shocking exchange with the Secretary General's spokesman Stéphane Dujarric at his January 26, 2006, daily press briefing:
Question: Does the Secretary-General consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization?
Spokesman: The Secretary-General has denounced in clear terms every time any organization has done a terrorist act, including when those acts were claimed by Hamas.
Question: But that doesn't answer my question.
Spokesman: There is no United Nations label that I know of, of a terrorist organization.
Question: The last time there was a movie shot here there was a lot of talk that the movie was [being shot at the UN] because it was going to enhance the image of the United Nations in the world, and it was supposed to be supportive of the United Nations. Does a movie on Ché indicate that the United Nations supports Ché Guevara?
Spokesman: [Sigh] I don't know.
The United Nations is still unable to reach consensus on a basic definition of terrorism. But it opens its doors to the filming of scenes for a movie about vicious terrorist and mass murderer Ché Guevara! This follows Annan's participation at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People last November where a pre-1948 map of Palestine - with the state of Israel conspicuously absent - was proudly displayed.
Despite Kofi Annan's attempt to polish his image in front of the world's movers and shakers at Davos as he finishes his term, there is really nothing new at all in the mindset that he has brought to his stewardship of Turtle Bay. Evil acts against freedom-loving peoples the world over are excused and sometimes glorified in the halls of the United Nations. Moral courage to confront the enemies of a secure, peaceful and free world is in very short supply. How else can we explain Annan's years of excuse making for Saddam Hussein and his condemnation of the United States' forcible removal of this genocidal dictator and menace to peace as "illegal"? Is it a surprise that Annan is hiding in the shadows even after Iran's aggressive nuclear ambitions have been exposed to the world amidst its president's repeated threats to destroy Israel? He did not find any time while in London to join representatives from the five permanent members of the Security Council who were discussing a referral of Iran's actions to the Security Council. But he did find time to issue a bromide statement of moral relativism to the symposium on "Human Civilizations and Cultures: from Dialogue to Alliance" held on January 30-February 1 in one of the more repressive countries in the world: Tunisia. He lectures us about the need to "unlearn our collective prejudices, and promote a continuing dialogue among human societies: a dialogue based on the premise that diversity - in thought, in belief, and in action - is a precious gift, not a threat." Fair enough, but we are not the people whose leaders vowed to put a democratic member state into an "eternal coma."
At the Davos conference Annan cited, as one his best accomplishments, the broadening of the UN's constituency, going beyond the member states to bring in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and foundations in order to represent the "people." Aside from the fact that United Nations was set up under the UN Charter as an international body of sovereign member states and not as some sort of peoples' parliament, the NGOs and foundations that Kofi Annan has in mind are most often on the extreme Left of the political spectrum. Along with Annan's chief advisors, they favor global taxes, massive programs for wealth redistribution from successful countries with free market systems to corrupt regimes - all without any accountability.
Foundations set up and funded by George Soros and Ted Turner - including Soros' Open Society Institute and Turner's United Nations Foundation - are bankrolling NGOs and UN agencies that have political agendas hostile to the United States. In turn, such NGOs as Amnesty International and Greenpeace have broad access to UN administrators and conferences that the average citizen can never have. They lobby for - and in some instances even help write - UN measures designed to hurt the United States and take power away from our democratic government. They believe that they have a monopoly on the truth, which makes it easy to reject the legitimacy of organizations that might also want to participate in UN conferences but have a different point of view.
Greenpeace, for example, lobbied for the UN's Kyoto Protocol, which would have cost the U.S. at least 4 million jobs had we been foolish enough to join. While Greenpeace does not make donor information readily identifiable on its website, reports indicate that the Turner Foundation has donated to the NGO.
The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) has lobbied the UN for a measure to outlaw private gun ownership and effectively overturn the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment. Its director, a former employee of Soros' Open Society Institute, called the U.S. "unbelievably selfish" for its opposition. The Open Society Institute is a donor to IANSA.
The multi-year United Nations' Millennium Development Project - directed by Columbia Earth Institute's Professor Jeffrey Sachs and funded in part by a Soros foundation - culminated in a recommendation to the Secretary General and the General Assembly that would entail a massive wealth redistribution foreign development aid program along with global taxes to help pay for them. The total annual cost to Americans could top $150 billion before too long if we succumb to world pressure to fully fund this "take from America" program.
Project Syndicate, an international association of newspapers established and funded by George Soros' Open Society Institute, publishes anti-American propaganda. Turner's United Nations Foundations has helped pay for pro-UN agenda media, including the United Nations Correspondence Association.
These examples are just the tip of the iceberg. Soros and Turner-sponsored foundations, among others, are pouring many millions of dollars into NGOs and UN agencies, which have agendas that are blatantly hostile to the United States and the free enterprise system. They are the embodiment of the true mindset that Kofi Annan has reinforced during his reign. Unfortunately, this mindset will not easily change without fundamental reforms and redirection of priorities at the United Nations."
BetOnSports CEO, Others, Arrested For Conspiracy, Fraud, Racketeering
(Page 1 of 2)FORT WORTH, Texas, July 18, (CBS/AP) Federal officials on Monday charged 11 people, including the CEO of a big gambling Web site, alleging they committed conspiracy, racketeering and fraud in taking sports bets from U.S. residents.
The Justice Department is seeking the forfeiture of $4.5 billion, cars and computers from the defendants, including BetOnSports PLC and three other companies.
BetOnSports Chief Executive David Carruthers and four other defendants were arrested over the weekend. Carruthers was being prevented from boarding a flight Sunday from Texas to Costa Rica, where the company has operations.
The 22-count indictment was unsealed Monday in St. Louis, where a federal judge also ordered BetOnSports to stop accepting bets placed from within the United States.
Several of the defendants live outside the United States, which will make them hard to catch, said U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway in St. Louis.
"This is a tough crime to prosecute," she said.
"...It's very, very difficult to enforce United (States) law in jurisdictions that don't respect United States statutes," Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, who's leading a push for tougher laws, told CBS News in April.
Among those who live abroad is Gary Stephen Kaplan, the founder of BetOnSports, which is incorporated in the United Kingdom and listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Trading of the company's shares was suspended in London on Tuesday. Shares of BetOnSports fell as much as 24 percent Monday following news of Carruthers' arrest, but they recovered to close 17 percent lower at $2.24.
In the fiscal year ending Feb. 5, BetOnSports reported a 65 percent gain in operating profit on continuing operations to $20.1 million. The company said it handled $1.77 billion worth of bets for the year, up 25 percent.".........................
"CardPlayer.com Explains Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act
Amended Bill Doesn't Mention Online Poker Players
Confusion in the Press
There seems to be some confusion in the press regarding what bill just passed in Congress. It has been reported that the “Goodlatte” bill passed in the House. Actually what is referred to as the Goodlatte Bill, introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va, is H.R. 4777, which was fraught with problems previously reported by CardPlayer. Click here for that article. The common name of that bill was the “Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.”
Another milder bill was introduced by Rep. Jim Leach, an Iowa Republican. That bill, commonly known as the “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act,” is H.R. 4411, which basically prohibits credit card companies and financial institutions from sending payment to gaming sites.
The bill that passed was an amended version of H.R. 4411, which is the Leach bill that added some of Goodlatte’s proposals. Before this bill becomes law, it must pass both the House and the Senate. Currently, there is no commensurate bill pending in the Senate.
Poker Players Are Not at Risk
The first thing to note is that the bill does not prohibit a poker enthusiast from playing online poker. One Democrat introduced such an amendment to demonstrate the hypocrisy of the bill, but the amendment failed. There is no mention of the poker player in the bill nor any penalty associated with playing poker.
After almost four hours of debate, the bill passed by a vote of 317-93. In a nutshell, here’s the meat of the statute and the predictable problems associated with each section of the bill.
Online gaming sites are prohibited from accepting payment from a United States financial institution. Since all online sites are outside of the United States, our government has no jurisdiction to enforce this part of the law. Simply stated, the United States cannot make laws or enforce laws regarding business outside the United States.
Financial institutions are forbidden from delivering funds to online gaming sites. However, most banks and credit card companies already refuse to send money to offshore sites. Therefore, offshore third-party companies have already been set in motion to handle United States financial transactions.
The amended 1961 Wire Act modernizes its language by including the Internet and prohibiting games “predominantly subject to chance.” This will be the start of expensive and time-consuming litigation regarding whether poker is predominantly a game of skill or chance.
A burden is placed upon Internet service providers and other technology providers to block access to online gambling sites when requested to do so by a law enforcement agency. This will prove to be an unenforceable nightmare for all involved.
The bill directs the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve to issue regulations outlining policies and procedures that could be used by financial institutions to identify and block gambling-related transactions that are transmitted through their payment systems. If the bill ever becomes law, these entities have 270 days to write such procedures. The implementation is mind boggling.
The bill contains carve-outs for such things as lotteries, horse racing, and the stock market. Every opponent of the bill criticizes the bill because, while it attempts to legislate morality, it prohibits only certain forms of gambling while allowing others.
As a matter of fact, although the proponents of the bill say that online gaming is destroying the moral fiber of society, the bill allows a state to house an online gaming site for its citizens.
The bill was clearly politically motivated by Republicans who are worried about losing control in the House after the November election. Last month, House Republican leaders announced that this bill would be part of a 10-part “American Values Agenda,” which consists of 10 unrelated pieces of legislation, including a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage, tax cuts, a flag burning law, and extensive restrictions on stem cell research.
Furthermore, this is a way our legislators can separate themselves from the now-disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who lobbied against previous versions of this bill using bribes, fraud, and hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist in the bill’s defeat.
The Future Players
As I see it, there are a number of players and organizations to be watching in the near future. Although Senate leaders have not identified the bill as a top priority, Arizona Republican Jon Kyl has pledged to pursue a similar bill in the Senate.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., the American Gaming Association president, recently announced that the AGA supports a study of the feasibility of regulating online gaming.
The White House’s Office of Management and Budget said that although it supports the House’s vote, it has concerns about the bill.
Sam Vallandingham, vice president for the First State Bank in West Virginia has said, “Our concern is that the added burden of monitoring all payment transactions for the taint of Internet gambling will drain finite resources currently engaged in complying with anti-terrorism, anti-money laundering regulations, and daily operation of our bank.”
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, continue to vocally oppose the bill: “Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, and it won’t work for gambling,” Frank said. Paul agreed, adding, “the only thing (prohibition) does is increase the price.”
U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nevada, offered an amendment that would have eliminated what she called the “hypocritical exemption” by completely banning all forms of Internet gambling. It failed by a vote of 114-297.
My favorite Representative, Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, also offered such an amendment. He called all the exceptions and carve-outs “loopholes as big as a barn door.”
The Poker Players Alliance is another group to be watched. Reuters reported that regulating Internet poker instead of banning it could bring the U.S. government $3.3 billion in taxes annually, according to a study by the Poker Players Alliance. Income taxes on winnings from Internet poker alone — which is estimated to have attracted $60 billion in wagers worldwide in 2005 — could amount to $2.5 billion each year. The study also said that a 1 percent user fee on online poker transactions would generate another $800 million to $1 billion in revenue per year for the U.S. government.
Finally, Rep. Jim Kasper from North Dakota should be watched as well. I had the pleasure of speaking with him this morning. He informed me that he was in contact with AGA president Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr., discussing possible ramifications of the bill.
Rep Kasper told me: “I intend to draft the Legislation to allow any Internet company located in North Dakota to be able to do business worldwide, not just in North Dakota. If the DOJ or the Congress try to stop us, it is my intention that the state of North Dakota initiate legal proceedings in federal court, to have the courts rule on the Constitutional issues. And, I am looking for input and help from the gaming industry in the drafting of the new bills.” Representative Jim Kasper can be reached at [email protected].
In conclusion, I will reiterate what I have predicted every year for about the last 10 years. My prediction is that no law will pass in 2006 banning online gaming. The attempts are more complicated but no more feasible than they have ever been. Online gaming is a $12 billion a year business that is here to stay. Show your support for the right to play online by going to www.CardPlayer.com/link/savepoker and sending a letter to your Congressional representatives opposing this legislation. "
Israeli military estimates up to 25% of Hizballah’s rocket assets destroyed in six days. No immediate timeline for ending operation
July 17, 2006, 1:53 PM (GMT+02:00)
They say it is too early to discuss a new international force for South Lebanon. DEBKAfile adds: Hizballah still has three quarters of its 10-13,000 rockets intact, and, moreover, according to our sources, is receiving fresh supplies through smuggling routes across Syria into the northern Lebanese pocket of Hermel. It is therefore impossible to draw up a time table to end the Israeli campaign to crush Hizballah’s war machine.
The IDF still relies mostly on its air force to destroy Hizballah stores and infrastructure. Sunday night saw 60 Israel air strikes over Lebanon, reported to have killed 23 people. Israeli artillery, responding to every-deepening Hizballah rocket attacks, is shelling suspected rockets stores secreted in the homes, garages and schools of south Lebanese towns and villages, after advising southerners to leave their homes. Elite troops also took part in these operations.
Tyre, whence Hizballah fired the 15 rockets that killed 8 civilians in Haifa, was targeted Sunday. Eight Canadian dual citizens were killed. Later 5 Hizballah rocket crews were taken out. Nine Lebanese troops are reported killed in raids to knock out their coastal radar stations which assisted the Hizballah attack an Israeli warship last Friday.
The southern suburbs of Beirut and fuel tanks at the international airport took a pounding too, as did the Hizballah’s logistics and training centers in the Beqaa Valley and roads connecting Lebanon to Syria to cut off Hizballah’s supply routes. "
The timeline stated at the bottom of this article is around the same as I've read predicted elsewhere.
"Why We Will Win the War on Terror By Larry Schweikart Source History News Network "Mr. Schweikart is the author of America's Victories: Why the U.S. Wins Wars and Will Win the War on Terror.
If, in June 1942, you looked at where things stood militarily in the Pacific, you probably wouldn't have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. The U.S. had just handed Japan a solid defeat at Midway, but at the cost of one more carrier, leaving us with just two in the Pacific, one in dock, and one in transit, compared to the Japanese carrier fleet that numbered between 13 and 15, depending on how one counted their "light" carriers. Beyond that, it still looked bleak. The Japanese held everything from Malaya to Attu and Kiska, plus large sections of China. We had yet to liberate anyone, and our fleet had been "attrited" (to use the words of Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf in the Gulf War). More important, the bloody battles of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Tarawa, and Okinawa had yet to be fought.
And yet . . . a historian, looking back, would know that the war was essentially over after Midway. Oh, there was very hard, and very bloody fighting ahead, but after Midway, Japan could not win, only delay the inevitable. Ditto in Europe, where, after June 6, 1944, Germany could not win. The supposed value of history is that it allows one to apply a long-term lens perspective to current events. That, however, seems to be sadly missing in the case of the War on Terror, and, especially, Iraq. Let me say from the get-go that the Bush Administration erred badly in allowing the struggle in Iraq to be labeled a "war." It is a battle, part of the larger War on Terror. It is no more a "war" than Sicily or North Africa were "wars." But Bush fell into the Left's trap and allowed it to be called a "war," and as such it has been separated from the "War on Terror," and the "War in Afghanistan," itself a battle.
As historians (objective ones, that is) look back 30 years from now, and write the history of this war, they will find the battle of Iraq essentially was over after November 2004. I do not say that because Bush won reelection--that was critical, but so was the formation of the Iraqi government at that time--but because those two events then allowed a military victory at Fallujah, which was the tipping point of this battle (or, if you prefer, "war"). At Fallujah, more than 2000 terrorists were killed and the real al-Qaeda back of the so-called "insurgency" broken. Since then, Zarqawi was scrambling, as did the Japanese after Okinawa, to re-stock his ranks of suicide bombers. They were both unsuccessful. Last month, Zarqawi was killed, replicating the shooting down of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto's plane in 1943. Even then, the war in the Pacific was not over--and the bloodiest battles had not been fought--but again, the outcome was further cemented.
Beyond Iraq, the U.S. will win the War on Terror because it's what Americans do: we win military conflicts. Leftists love to point to Vietnam. But again, is that a "war," or a battle within the Cold War, which we won? Either way, Vietnam illustrates one of the strengths our military possesses that our enemies almost never do: the ability to learn from loss. In many (not all) Muslim societies, especially those from Bedouin/Arab cultures, it is shameful to lose, and doubly shameful to admit one lost. How can such a foe possibly adapt to the inevitable battlefield screwups? Japanese admirals went down with their ships out of a code of "honor," while American commanders transferred their command--and their experience--to another ship.
Americans win wars because, despite the claims of Senator Richard Durbin, we have an unusual and almost distinct concern for the sanctity of life--ours, and our enemy's. We take better care of prisoners than most combatants, and unlike any I've ever encountered, we make more efforts to rescue our own (including three planned rescue missions for POWs in wartime over the course of three different wars). We win wars because, despite the claims of the left, our soldiers come from every sector, every lifestyle, and every part of American society (zip code studies have proven this). Our troops are simply the best trained, ever, which virtually all military analysts agree is the most important ingredient in successful military operations.
There is a myth of the War on Terror that we "can't beat an ideology," and "terrorism is an ideology, not a state." It seems to me we defeated three much more powerful ideologies in the 20th century alone--fascism, bushido-ism, and communism. Another myth says we've "never fought a war like this." Quite the contrary, in the Filipino Insurrection and subsequent Moro Wars, we not only fought a guerilla/terrorist enemy very much like al-Qaeda (the Moros were even Muslims who practiced beheading their enemies), but the leader, Emilio Aguinaldo (like Zarqawi) stated that his goal was not to defeat the U.S. militarily but to affect the outcome of the 1900 election. Both of our enemies failed, and al-Qaeda will continue to fail. Just as in the skies over Europe, where our bombers, by becoming a giant sky-borne "roach motel" absorbed some 30% of the total Nazi war effort, we have set up a "roach motel" in Iraq, and are killing terrorists by the bushel. It is worth noting that the media has gone out of its way to avoid reporting enemy numbers killed, but my own sources--and a little basic addition--shows that they have lost upwards of 20,000 already. No military force in history has survived these losses. The Japanese kamikazes ran out, and the suicide bombers will too . . . soon. Look for the battle of Iraq to be over by late 2007, and, if the timetable holds, al-Qaeda to be substantially defeated within the next five to eight years."
"OK ... so the jet lag has me pretty good this morning, so I'm going to fill in some space here with "Headlines from the Year 2029!" sent to me by a listener.
Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia , formerly known as California. White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.
Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.
Baby conceived naturally. Scientists stumped.
Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.
Last remaining Fundamentalist Muslim dies in the American Territory of the Middle East (formerly known as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon).
Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.
France pleads f or global help after being taken over by Jamaica.
Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.
George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.
Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.
85-years, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.
Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.
Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut. (Hummmmmmmmm) Now that's just wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.
Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals, violates their civil rights.
Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.
New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.
Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.
IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.
Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines
In an obscene attempt to obtain political mileage, the Democrats are claiming that President Bush is responsible for the outbreak of war in the Middle East. Howard Dean claims that the war would not have occurred if the Democrats had been in power because the Dems would have worked the past six years to prevent it. And Sen. Dodd has made basically the same assertion. Meanwhile, Rep. Jane Harmon contends that the Bush administration is to blame for our poor to non-existent relations with Syria and Iran which, she says, prevent us from using diplomacy to end the crisis.
Once again, the Democrats are taking partisan politics to a previously unknown low. No past opposition party has attempted to blame the outbreak of an Arab-Israeli war on the party in power. Unless I'm mistaken, the Repubicans didn't blame President Johnson for the war in 1967; the Dems didn't blame President Nixon for the war in 1973; nor did they blame President Reagan for the hostilities in Lebanon that occurred on his watch. Moreover, it is especially reprehensible for the Dems to be taking such a low road now, when unlike before, the U.S. is in the middle of essentially the same war as Israel -- the war on terrorism."...........
....."Remember, though, this is the party that brokered the deal that enabled North Korea to obtain nuclear weapons, yet now blames that regime's nuclear status on President Bush. In terms of the style of its propaganda, this is a party in which Joseph Goebbels would feel at home."...
"Israel lives with three realities: geographic, demographic and cultural. Geographically, it is at a permanent disadvantage, lacking strategic depth. It does enjoy the advantage of interior lines -- the ability to move forces rapidly from one front to another. Demographically, it is on the whole outnumbered, although it can achieve local superiority in numbers by choosing the time and place of war. Its greatest advantage is cultural. It has a far greater mastery of the technology and culture of war than its neighbors.
Two of the realities cannot be changed. Nothing can be done about geography or demography. Culture can be changed. It is not inherently the case that Israel will have a technological or operational advantage over its neighbors. The great inherent fear of Israel is that the Arabs will equal or surpass Israeli prowess culturally and therefore militarily. If that were to happen, then all three realities would turn against Israel and Israel might well be at risk.
That is why the capture of Israeli troops, first one in the south, then two in the north, has galvanized Israel. The kidnappings represent a level of Arab tactical prowess that previously was the Israeli domain. They also represent a level of tactical slackness on the Israeli side that was previously the Arab domain. These events hardly represent a fundamental shift in the balance of power. Nevertheless, for a country that depends on its cultural superiority, any tremor in this variable reverberates dramatically. Hamas and Hezbollah have struck the core Israeli nerve. Israel cannot ignore it.
Embedded in Israel's demographic problem is this: Israel has national security requirements that outstrip its manpower base. It can field a sufficient army, but its industrial base cannot supply all of the weapons needed to fight high-intensity conflicts. This means it is always dependent on an outside source for its industrial base and must align its policies with that source. At first this was the Soviets, then France and finally the United States. Israel broke with the Soviets and France when their political demands became too intense. It was after 1967 that it entered into a patron-client relationship with the United States. This relationship is its strength and its weakness. It gives the Israelis the systems they need for national security, but since U.S. and Israeli interests diverge, the relationship constrains Israel's range of action.
During the Cold War, the United States relied on Israel for a critical geopolitical function. The fundamental U.S. interest was Turkey, which controlled the Bosporus and kept the Soviet fleet under control in the Mediterranean. The emergence of Soviet influence in Syria and Iraq -- which was not driven by U.S. support for Israel since the United States did not provide all that much support compared to France -- threatened Turkey with attack from two directions, north and south. Turkey could not survive this. Israel drew Syrian attention away from Turkey by threatening Damascus and drawing forces and Soviet equipment away from the Turkish frontier. Israel helped secure Turkey and turned a Soviet investment into a dry hole.
Once Egypt signed a treaty with Israel and Sinai became a buffer zone, Israel became safe from a full peripheral war -- everyone attacking at the same time. Jordan was not going to launch an attack and Syria by itself could not strike. The danger to Israel became Palestinian operations inside of Israel and the occupied territories and the threat posed from Lebanon by the Syrian-sponsored group Hezbollah.
In 1982, Israel responded to this threat by invading Lebanon. It moved as far north as Beirut and the mountains east and northeast of it. Israel did not invade Beirut proper, since Israeli forces do not like urban warfare as it imposes too high a rate of attrition. But what the Israelis found was low-rate attrition. Throughout their occupation of Lebanon, they were constantly experiencing guerrilla attacks, particularly from Hezbollah.
Hezbollah has two patrons: Syria and Iran. The Syrians have used Hezbollah to pursue their political and business interests in Lebanon. Iran has used Hezbollah for business and ideological reasons. Business interests were the overlapping element. In the interest of business, it became important to Hezbollah, Syria and Iran that an accommodation be reached with Israel. Israel wanted to withdraw from Lebanon in order to end the constant low-level combat and losses.
Israel withdrew in 1988, having reached quiet understandings with Syria that Damascus would take responsibility for Hezbollah, in return for which Israel would not object to Syrian domination of Lebanon. Iran, deep in its war with Iraq, was not in a position to object if it had wanted to. Israel returned to its borders in the north, maintaining a security presence in the south of Lebanon that lasted for several years.
As Lebanon blossomed and Syria's hold on it loosened, Iran also began to increase its regional influence. Its hold on some elements of Hezbollah strengthened, and in recent months, Hezbollah -- aligning itself with Iranian Shiite ideology -- has become more aggressive. Iranian weapons were provided to Hezbollah, and tensions grew along the frontier. This culminated in the capture of two soldiers in the north and the current crisis.
It is difficult to overestimate the impact of the soldier kidnappings on the Israeli psyche. First, while the Israeli military is extremely highly trained, Israel is also a country with mass conscription. Having a soldier kidnapped by Arabs hits every family in the country. The older generation is shocked and outraged that members of the younger generation have been captured and worried that they allowed themselves to be captured; therefore, the younger generation needs to prove it too can defeat the Arabs. This is not a primary driver, but it is a dimension.
The more fundamental issue is this: Israel withdrew from Lebanon in order to escape low-intensity conflict. If Hezbollah is now going to impose low-intensity conflict on Israel's border, the rationale for withdrawal disappears. It is better for Israel to fight deep in Lebanon than inside Israel. If the rockets are going to fall in Israel proper, then moving into a forward posture has no cost to Israel.
From an international standpoint, the Israelis expect to be condemned. These international condemnations, however, are now having the opposite effect of what is intended. The Israeli view is that they will be condemned regardless of what they do. The differential between the condemnation of reprisal attacks and condemnation of a full invasion is not enough to deter more extreme action. If Israel is going to be attacked anyway, it might as well achieve its goals.
Moreover, an invasion of Hezbollah-held territory aligns Israel with the United States. U.S. intelligence has been extremely concerned about the growing activity of Hezbollah, and U.S. relations with Iran are not good. Lebanon is the center of gravity of Hezbollah, and the destruction of Hezbollah capabilities in Lebanon, particularly the command structure, would cripple Hezbollah operations globally in the near future. The United States would very much like to see that happen, but cannot do it itself. Moreover, an Israeli action would enrage the Islamic world, but it would also drive home the limits of Iranian power. Once again, Iran would have dropped Lebanon in the grease, and not been hurt itself. The lesson of Hezbollah would not be lost on the Iraqi Shia -- or so the Bush administration would hope.
Therefore, this is one Israeli action that benefits the United States, and thus helps the immediate situation as well as long-term geopolitical alignments. It realigns the United States and Israel. This also argues that any invasion must be devastating to Hezbollah. It must go deep. It must occupy temporarily. It must shatter Hezbollah.
At this point, the Israelis appear to be unrolling a war plan in this direction. They have blockaded the Lebanese coast. Israeli aircraft are attacking what air power there is in Lebanon, and have attacked Hezbollah and other key command-and-control infrastructure. It would follow that the Israelis will now concentrate on destroying Hezbollah -- and Lebanese -- communications capabilities and attacking munitions dumps, vehicle sites, rocket-storage areas and so forth.
Most important, Israel is calling up its reserves. This is never a symbolic gesture in Israel. All Israelis below middle age are in the reserves and mobilization is costly in every sense of the word. If the Israelis were planning a routine reprisal, they would not be mobilizing. But they are, which means they are planning to do substantially more than retributive airstrikes. The question is what their plan is.
Given the blockade and what appears to be the shape of the airstrikes, it seems to us at the moment the Israelis are planning to go fairly deep into Lebanon. The logical first step is a move to the Litani River in southern Lebanon. But given the missile attacks on Haifa, they will go farther, not only to attack launcher sites, but to get rid of weapons caches. This means a move deep into the Bekaa Valley, the seat of Hezbollah power and the location of plants and facilities. Such a penetration would leave Israeli forces' left flank open, so a move into Bekaa would likely be accompanied by attacks to the west. It would bring the Israelis close to Beirut again.
This leaves Israel's right flank exposed, and that exposure is to Syria. The Israeli doctrine is that leaving Syrian airpower intact while operating in Lebanon is dangerous. Therefore, Israel must at least be considering using its air force to attack Syrian facilities, unless it gets ironclad assurances the Syrians will not intervene in any way. Conversations are going on between Egypt and Syria, and we suspect this is the subject. But Israel would not necessarily object to the opportunity of eliminating Syrian air power as part of its operation, or if Syria chooses, going even further.
At the same time, Israel does not intend to get bogged down in Lebanon again. It will want to go in, wreak havoc, withdraw. That means it will go deeper and faster, and be more devastating, than if it were planning a long-term occupation. It will go in to liquidate Hezbollah and then leave. True, this is no final solution, but for the Israelis, there are no final solutions.
Israeli forces are already in Lebanon. Its special forces are inside identifying targets for airstrikes. We expect numerous air attacks over the next 48 hours, as well as reports of firefights in southern Lebanon. We also expect more rocket attacks on Israel.
It will take several days to mount a full invasion of Lebanon. We would not expect major operations before the weekend at the earliest. If the rocket attacks are taking place, however, Israel might send several brigades to the Litani River almost immediately in order to move the rockets out of range of Haifa. Therefore, we would expect a rapid operation in the next 24-48 hours followed by a larger force later.
At this point, the only thing that can prevent this would be a major intervention by Syria with real guarantees that it would restrain Hezbollah and indications such operations are under way. Syria is the key to a peaceful resolution. Syria must calculate the relative risks, and we expect them to be unwilling to act decisively.
1. Israel cannot tolerate an insurgency on its northern frontier; if there is one, it wants it farther north.
2. It cannot tolerate attacks on Haifa.
3. It cannot endure a crisis of confidence in its military
4. Hezbollah cannot back off of its engagement with Israel.
5. Syria can stop this, but the cost to it stopping it is higher than the cost of letting it go on.
It would appear Israel will invade Lebanon. The global response will be noisy. There will be no substantial international action against Israel. Beirut's tourism and transportation industry, as well as its financial sectors, are very much at risk.
Send questions or comments on this article to [email protected]
Several years ago the late (R) Sen. Paul Coverdell of Georgia proposed elimination of income tax but died while in office back before 2000.
Had he lived he'd be still working on getting it done and no doubt pushing for a consumption tax"Fair Tax" which is the brainchild of (R) Representative John Linder of Georgia.
Please consider signing this petition which is simply to repeal the 16th amendment which is the amendment upon which income tax and its collection are based.
"The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism.... It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn." --George Washington
Repeal the 16th Amendment and Abolish the Income Tax
"Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." --Ben Franklin
As our nation's Founders understood, the federal government would be constitutionally limited both in the means of collection and expenditure of the tax payer's money. The Constitution afforded citizens this protection in Article I, Section 9, which reads, in part, "No Capitation, or other direct Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken."
This constitutional protection was undermined, however, when the 16th Amendment was passed by Congress on July 2, 1909, and ratified on February 3, 1913: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."
Prior to the 16th Amendment, taxation in America was levied based on consumption, not income. Tax based on consumption (a sales tax) entails limitations to that tax, because an excessive tax rate will itself stifle consumption and give rise to smuggling, black markets and other means of tax evasion. Speaking of taxation on consumption, in the Federalist Papers, the definitive explication of our nation's Constitution, Alexander Hamilton wrote, "It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. ... If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the Treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds." Another author of The Federalist Papers, James Madison, wrote, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...."
Anti-Federalists also understood the need to constitutionally restrict taxation to support only those things constitutionally reserved for the central government: "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical," wrote Thomas Jefferson. "A wise and frugal government ... shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. ... Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated. ... Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands?"
At odds with these strict constructionist intentions was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who did more damage to Federalism than any president in our nation's history. Indeed, he firmly believed in the funding of unconstitutional government growth by way of unconstitutional taxation. "Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle." Of course, Roosevelt's "American principle" was little more than a paraphrase of Karl Marx's maxim, "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs."
And through invasive taxation and regulation, the central government has intruded into every aspect of American life. As Nikita Khrushchev observed, "We can't expect the American people to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."
Contrary to the closet socialism articulated by FDR, national sales tax would be a welcome and constitutionally permissible alternative to the socialist vision and statist implications of the current system. Our present-day progressive income tax not only punishes hard work and free-market success, it also restricts economic growth by stifling consumers and the private sector.
One effort to abolish the income tax comes from Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who recently proposed H.J. Resolution 15, "an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relative to abolishing personal income, estate, and gift taxes and prohibiting the United States Government from engaging in business in competition with its citizens." If passed into law, this measure would eliminate the central government's prerogative to levy inequitable taxes, and would have the added effect of conforming the government's role more closely to its constitutionally defined strictures.
At the same time, economists recognize that legitimate tax reform and tax reductions can be disastrous if not accompanied by comparable reductions in government spending. Spiraling deficits, including those being run up by the current administration, will have dire consequences for long-term economic health. Therefore, it is essential that any meaningful tax reform legislation, including but not limited to the repeal of the 16th Amendment and replacing the income tax with an alternative like a national sales tax, be accompanied by reductions in government expenditures under the guidance of the Constitution's own parameters for central government activity.
Given the limited influence of constitutional constructionists and fiscal conservatives in both chambers of Congress, H.J. Resolution 15 stands little chance of passage on Capitol Hill, or ratification by the states. This hard reality must serve only to bolster the resolve of citizens committed to the Founders' notion of a constitutionally limited government -- a limitation largely enforced by restraints in the collection and expenditure of tax revenue. As the central government continues to encroach upon every sphere of our lives, the time is ripe to bring the issue of fair and just taxation before the public eye.
"We've all seen the "Why oh Why" pieces floating around about the economy? Why, if productivity is booming, GDP growth is strong, oh why is the labor market weaker than we think it ought to be? Why aren't Joe Six-pack's wages soaring and why are profits rising so strongly? Well, here's why: productivity is booming.
A useful introduction to the situation is this by Jared Bernstein over at the blog MaxSpeak:
Let us begin with a few observations:
Over the course of the current economic expansion, real GDP is up 15%.
The Congress is busy killing a moderate minimum wage increase while working diligently to repeal the estate tax.
Profits as a share of national income are at a forty-year high. The share of income accruing to the top 1%, after falling in the wake of the dot.com bust, is again on the rise.
Productivity is up a stellar 15% over this recovery. Real hourly wages of non-managers are up bupkes (-0.6%).
New economy cheerleaders expound on the great job market, yet employment growth is up only 2% over this business cycle. The growth for the comparable period over the 1990s cycle was 7% and the historical average for cycles of this length was 10%.
Rather than try and argue each point separately or in detail (for example, real wages are not the same as real compensation, which has been rising, neither the minimum wage nor the estate tax affect real hourly wages so as you'd notice and so on) let's take the major points as they are.
Real GDP and productivity have risen by the same amount, wages haven't budged, profits have surged and so has the income of the top 1 percent. The interesting question now is exactly the why oh why? one. Why have all of these things been happening?
There are a number of possible theories, of course. Perhaps Karl Rove personally contacts each and every CEO to remind them not to raise wages so as to benefit Republicans? If that were actually happening I tend to think that those of my friends who are CEOs might tell me, perhaps let it slip in a moment of beery introspection: maybe they don't because they'd have to kill me afterwards? Too difficult to get the blood off that mink-lined limo perhaps?
Perhaps such explanations should be better left to the tinfoil hat brigade. Part of what I think is the true answer comes from The Economist:
But by some other measures, the labour market is weak. Real wages for the median worker in America have been stagnant during this business cycle, although economic growth was running at an annualised pace of 5.6% in the first quarter. Corporate demand for labour has not been growing fast enough, apparently, to drive up wages.
What we need is a mechanism (one that preferably does not involve unlikely and nefarious conspiracies) to explain our observed facts. One that is explained in an essay in this book, Flying on One Engine, a collection of pieces from Wall Street economists from a couple of years ago. John P. Lipskey and James E. Glassman (not to be confused with TCS Daily host James K. Glassman; these writers are both economists at JP Morgan Chase) where they say this:
In particular, total employment will not expand unless the economy grows faster than businesses are able to boost productivity. Thus, the "hurdle" rate for job growth -- that is, the minimum rate of GDP growth needed to produce net job gains -- will vary over time, depending upon how successful companies are in improving their productivity.
...that is, if productivity continued to advance at the exceptional rate of the past year or so [they were writing in 2004-Ed] the implication is that profit margins would soar, despite a starting point of record highs.
I think that provides our answer. Yes, it is true that productivity has been rising strongly.
My own view is that we are going through something of a step change in the economy. While, as we know, a lot of the productivity growth of the 1990s was actually the computer industry itself becoming more efficient at its own manufacturing, the current boom is from people working out what to actually do with the bright shiny boxes. In this view, the internet is as world-changing an invention as the car, and we have now a one-off boost in productivity growth. It might last for another 6 months or another six years, no one really knows.
But that productivity rise is indeed there, all are agreed upon that. As above, in order for there to be strong growth in the demand for labor, GDP growth has to be higher than the rise in productivity. If a company can expand its output to meet the market demands simply by internal efficiency improvements (which is what productivity means to some extent) why should they go out and hire more labor? Further, if there is no strong demand for more labor, why would wages rise?
We can even explain the rise in corporate profits from this model: the extra money has to be going somewhere and if there's no general inflation then it isn't going on physical inputs, if wages aren't rising then it's not going to labor, what is there left: profits. As the top 1 percent get more of their income from profits than any other group in the economy, we can even, with this very simply model, explain why their income is going up too.
However, I will admit to liking this argument precisely because of its circularity. The question as so often posed is, if productivity is rising so quickly, as fast as GDP, why isn't the labor market tight and wages similarly booming? The answer being, the labor market isn't tight and wages are not booming because productivity is rising so quickly, as fast as GDP.
The only question that remains, as far as I can see, is why the original question therefore causes such puzzlement? Why do we have all of those "Why, oh why?" pieces when the answer is "because"?
Tim Worstall is a TCS Daily contributing writer living in Europe.
Another Constitutional right preserved for the time being.
However, the UN will be back again chipping away on the same issue ... that you can bet on.
Emphasis added mine.
"Standing up to U.N. on guns
Source The Hill
July 11, 2006
Conservatives upset with the Bush administration’s performance in many areas should be more than pleased with the president’s continuing willingness to do whatever is required to defend and protect Second Amendment rights.
That willingness was on display last week at the final session of something called the “United Nations Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.”
The delegates have been meeting for five years. The process was originally designed to address the easy availability of military hardware to terrorists, rogue nations and various groups of organized thugs around the world but became a battleground pitting domestic and international anti-gun groups against nations and organizations that believe in the private ownership of sporting, collectible and hunting firearms.
At this final conference, dozens of so-called NGOs, or nongovernmental organizations, milled around doing what they could to advance the anti-gun agenda. Spokesmen for nation after nation pandered to them, parroted their agenda, denounced firearm ownership and in the process took a jab or two at George W. Bush’s United States.
To most of them the United States stands virtually alone blocking the worldwide ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of “small arms” that they so fervently seek. Oh, a few other countries side with us, and some others dare not speak up but silently applaud our intransigence on the issue, but without the opposition of the United States there is little doubt they would have their way.
The simple truth, of course, is that they are dead right. In 2001, when the conference convened for its initial sessions, the Bush administration sent its newly minted Undersecretary of State John Bolton to New York to let the delegates know just what the United States would and would not tolerate. Bolton reminded them that this nation’s citizens enjoy a constitutionally protected right to “keep and bear arms.”
Bolton said then that as long as the conferees focused on military weaponry and its illicit use the United States would be with them. At the same time he warned them that we would not tolerate direct or indirect threats to the rights of Americans or seek to inject the United Nations into our internal affairs.
This was not the sort of speech the conferees came to hear and not one they would have had to sit through if the Democrats had managed to retain the White House in 2000.
At that first conference, it became clear to anyone paying attention that a significant number of those attending, while expressing concern about the availability of military weaponry in Third World nations, were just as interested in restricting the ability of civilians to own firearms of any sort.
If they had their way they would impose by treaty, U.N. mandate or other international edicts the anti-gun regime that the Charles Schumers of this country have been unable to enact through the democratic process "...
Same person they have on tape accepting $100,000 bribe then finding $90,000 of that in his freezer.
"Judge: FBI Raid on Lawmaker's Office Legal
By TONI LOCY Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge on Monday upheld the FBI's unprecedented raid of a congressional office, saying that barring searches of lawmakers' offices would turn Capitol Hill into "a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime."
Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan rejected requests from lawmakers and Rep. William Jefferson to return material seized by the FBI in a May 20-21 search of Jefferson's office.
The overnight search was part of a 17-month bribery investigation of Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat.
In a 28-page opinion, Hogan dismissed arguments by Jefferson and a bipartisan group of House leaders that the raid violated the Constitution's protections against intimidation of elected officials.
Hogan acknowledged the "unprecedented" nature of the case. But he said the lawmakers' "sweeping" theory of legislative privilege "would have the effect of converting every congressional office into a taxpayer-subsidized sanctuary for crime."
A member of Congress is bound by the same laws as ordinary citizens, said the judge, who had approved the FBI's request to conduct the overnight search of Jefferson's office.".........
Now if they'll do something real like making examples out of all of them, perhaps journalists will think twice before giving aid and comfort to the enemy.
"Republican says US readying crackdown on leaks By David Morgan
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration is preparing a crackdown on intelligence leaks to the media and will try to pursue prosecutions in some recent cases, the chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.
Michigan Republican Rep. Peter Hoekstra also suggested some unauthorized leaks could have been deliberate attempts to help al Qaeda. "..............
Referring to Todd's post about the internet being intensely sniffed and probed, also World Net Daily staying on this issue like white on rice it makes me very uneasy.
And the MSM is remaining oblivious per usual. As Tenaj has aptly said .... they could check the back of their *** and find their head stuck in it.
World Net Daily is a source I trust due to their research and tenacity getting to the ugly bottom of an issue. Emphasis mine.
Readers might want to do some research on the Council of Foreign Relations.
"THE NEW WORLD DISORDER "U.S.-Mexico merger opposition intensifies Some see secret efforts to scrap dollar, end U.S. sovereignty, combine nations Posted: July 9, 2006 11:59 p.m. Eastern
By Joseph Farah Source 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
"WASHINGTON – Are secret meetings being held between the corporate and political elites of the U.S., Mexico and Canada to push North America into a European Union-style merger?
Is President Bush's reluctance to control the border and enforce laws requiring deportation of foreigners who enter the country illegally part of a master plan to all but eliminate borders between the U.S., Canada and Mexico?
Does the agenda of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America include a common currency that would scrap the dollar in favor of what some are calling the "amero"?
It may be the biggest story of the 21st century, but few press outlets are telling it. In fact, until very recently, few in the U.S. were aware of the plans and even fewer denouncing what appears to be the implementation of an effort some have characterized as "NAFTA on steroids."
But opposition is mounting.
Perhaps the most blistering criticism has come from Lou Dobbs of CNN – a frequent critic of Bush's immigration policies.
"A regional prosperity and security program?" he asked rhetorically in a recent cablecast. "This is absolute ignorance. And the fact that we are -- we reported this, we should point out, when it was signed. But, as we watch this thing progress, these working groups are continuing. They're intensifying. What in the world are these people thinking about? You know, I was asked the other day about whether or not I really thought the American people had the stomach to stand up and stop this nonsense, this direction from a group of elites, an absolute contravention of our law, of our Constitution, every national value. And I hope, I pray that I'm right when I said yes. But this is -- I mean, this is beyond belief."
What has Dobbs and a few other vocal critics bugged began in earnest March 31, 2005, when the elected leaders of the U.S., Mexico and Canada agreed to advance the agenda of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.
No one seems quite certain what that agenda is because of the vagueness of the official declarations. But among the things the leaders of the three countries agreed to work toward were borders that would allow for easier and faster moving of goods and people between the countries.
Coming as the announcement did in the midst of a raging national debate in the U.S. over borders seen as far to open already, more than a few jaws dropped.
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo. and the chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus as well as author of the new book, "In Mortal Danger," may be the only elected official to challenge openly the plans for the new superstate.
Responding to a WorldNetDaily report, Tancredo is demanding the Bush administration fully disclose the activities of the government office implementing the trilateral agreement that has no authorization from Congress.
Tancredo wants to know the membership of the Security and Prosperity Partnership groups along with their various trilateral memoranda of understanding and other agreements reached with counterparts in Mexico and Canada.
Jim Gilchrist, co-founder of the Minutemen, welcomed Tancredo's efforts.
"It's time for the Bush administration to come clean," Gilchrist said. "If President Bush's agenda is to establish a new North American union government to supersede the sovereignty of the United States, then the president has an obligation to tell this to the American people directly. The American public has a right to know."
Geri Word, who heads the SPP office, told WND the work had not been disclosed because, "We did not want to get the contact people of the working groups distracted by calls from the public."
WND can find no specific congressional legislation authorizing the SPP working groups nor any congressional committees taking charge of oversight.
Many SPP working groups appear to be working toward achieving specific objectives as defined by a May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force report, which presented a blueprint for expanding the SPP agreement into a North American union that would merge the U.S., Canada and Mexico into a new governmental form.
Phyllis Schlafly, the woman best known for nearly single-handedly leading the opposition that killed the Equal Rights Amendment, sees a sinister and sweeping agenda behind the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.
"Is the real push behind guest-worker proposals the Bush goal to expand NAFTA into the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which he signed at Waco, Texas, last year and reaffirmed at Cancun, Mexico, this year?" she asks. "Bush is a globalist at heart and wants to carry out his father's oft-repeated ambition of a 'new world order.'"
She accuses the president and others behind the effort of wanting to obliterate U.S. borders in an effort to increase the Mexican population transfer and lower wages for the benefit of U.S. corporate interests.
"Bush meant what he said, at Waco, Texas, in March 2005, when he announced his plan to convert the United States into a 'Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America' by erasing our borders with Canada and Mexico," she said. "Bush's guest-worker proposal would turn the United States into a boardinghouse for the world's poor, enable employers to import an unlimited number of 'willing workers' at foreign wage levels, and wipe out what's left of the U.S. middle class. Bush lives in a house well protected by a fence and security guards and he associates with rich people who live in gated communities. Yet, for five years, he has refused to protect the property and children of ordinary Arizona citizens from trespassers and criminals."
That's unusually harsh criticism of a Republican president from one of Ronald Reagan's most loyal supporters.
At least one of the nation's daily newspapers has officially weighed in in opposition to the mysterious plans for closer cooperation in security, commerce and immigration between the three North American nations.
Recently, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review questioned the unchallenged momentum toward merger.
"Will Americans trade their dead presidents for Ameros?" the newspaper asked in an editorial last month.
The paper chided efforts at replacing the U.S. and Canadian dollars and Mexican peso with "the amero" – a knockoff of the euro – along with the building of "a looming NAFTA-like superstate." Citing the meeting between the three national leaders at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, in March 2005, the editorial warned: "Canadians, Mexicans and Americans who value the sovereignty of their respective countries should be concerned."
The Tribune Review editorial saw synergy between the plans of the national leaders and the ambitious agenda of the Council on Foreign Relations – seen by many as a kind of secretive, shadow government of the elite. The CFR issued a bold report in the spring of 2005, shortly after the joint announcements in Waco by Bush and his counterparts.
"The Council on Foreign Relations published a report in May -- "Building a North American Community" -- calling for, among other things, redefining the borders of the three nations, creating a super-regional governance board and the North American Paramilitary Group to ensure that Congress does not interfere with whatever the trilateral union feels like doing," said the paper. "Must the Bush administration happily sacrifice every shred of American sovereignty for the greater good of the New World Order?"
In fact, the CFR report is a five-year plan for the "establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community" with a common "outer security perimeter."
Some see it as the blueprint for merger of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It calls for "a common economic space ... for all people in the region, a space in which trade, capital and people flow freely."
The CFR's strategy calls specifically for "a more open border for the movement of goods and people." It calls for laying "the groundwork for the freer flow of people within North America." It calls for efforts to "harmonize visa and asylum regulations." It calls for efforts to "harmonize entry screening."
In "Building a North American Community," the report states that Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin "committed their governments" to this goal March 23, 2005, at that meeting in Waco, Texas.
Alan Burkhart, who describes himself as a free-lance political writer, cross-country trucker "and proud citizen of one of the reddest of the Red States – Mississippi," is another critic seething over these plans that seem to have a life of their own – with little or no real public debate.
"As time passes, American corporations will find it unnecessary to move their facilities out of the country," writes Burkhart. "Our already stagnant wages will be just as low as those of Mexico. The cultures of three great nations will be diluted. Our currency will be replaced with the 'Amero.' And, we’ll be one giant step closer to the U.N.’s perverse dream of a one-world government."
The Amero is not a new concept. It was first proposed by the Fraser Institute, a Canadian think tank, in a monograph titled "The Case for the Amero" in 1999.
Last month, the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America made one of its most visible and public moves since it was first announced last year. In Washington, on June 15, U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, Mexican Economy Minister Sergio Garcia de Alba and Canadian Minister of Industry Maxime Bernier joined North American business leaders to launch the North American Competitiveness Council. It was a major development that showed the March 2005 meeting was no fluke – and that the plans announced by the three national leaders then were continuing to take shape. The NACC was first announced by Bush, Harper and Fox.
Made up of 10 high-level business leaders from each country, the NACC will meet annually with senior North American government officials "to provide recommendations and help set priorities for promoting regional competitiveness in the global economy."
Officially, the council has the mandate to advise the governments on improving trade in key sectors such as automobiles, transportation, manufacturing and services. The three countries do more than $800 billion in trilateral trade.
Gutierrez said the Bush administration is determined to develop a "border pass" on schedule despite worries about its implementation. The new land pass is to be in effect for Canadians, Americans and Mexicans by Jan. 1, 2008.
The U.S. executives involved in the NACC include: United Parcel Service Inc. Chairman Michael Eskew; Frederick Smith, chairman of FedEx Corp.; Lou Schorsh, chief executive of Mittal Steel USA; Joseph Gilmour, president of New York Life Insurance Co.; William Clay Ford, chairman of Ford Motor Co.; Rick Wagoner, chairman of General Motors Corp.; Raymond Gilmartin, CEO of Merck & Co. Inc.; David O'Reilly, chief executive of Chevron Corp.; Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of General Electric Co.; Lee Scott, president of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.; Robert Stevens, chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp.; Michael Haverty, chairman of Kansas City Southern; Douglas Conant, president of Campbell's Soup Co. and James Kilt, vice-chairman of Gillette Inc.
The concerns about the direction such powerful men could lead Americans without their knowledge is only heightened when interlocking networks are discovered. For instance, one of the components envisioned for this future "North American Union" is a superhighway running from Mexico, through the U.S. and into Canada. It is being promoted by the North American SuperCorridor Coalition, or NASCO, a non-profit group "dedicated to developing the world’s first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North America."
The president of NASCO is George Blackwood, who earlier launched the North American International Trade Corridor Partnership. In fact, NAITCP later morphed into NASCO. A NAIPC summit meeting in 2004, attended by senior Mexican government officials, heard from Robert Pastor, an American University professor who wrote "Toward a North American Community," a book promoting the development of a North American union as a regional government and the adoption of the amero as a common monetary currency to replace the dollar and the peso.
Pastor also was vice chairman of the May 2005 Council on Foreign Relations task force entitled "Building a North American Community" that presents itself as a blueprint for using bureaucratic action within the executive branches of Mexico, the U.S. and Canada to transform the current trilateral Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America into a North American union regional government."
No wonder President Bush seemed nonchalant about the little gargoyle shooting off missiles when the press was grilling him.
He'd already pulled out a truckload of [email protected]$$ ..... and began using it. Yes, that's the USA way of getting things done!!
Addendum: For anyone sympathetic with Kim Jong II, have read articles about N Koreans being so starved that children have disappeared and human flesh has been sold in markets. Has been declared illegal to do so but in pure desperation people resort to all kinds of measures to maintain their lives and lives of their families.
"West mounts 'secret war' to keep nuclear North Korea in check Michael Sheridan, Far East Correspondent
"A PROGRAMME of covert action against nuclear and missile traffic to North Korea and Iran is to be intensified after last week's missile tests by the North Korean regime. Intelligence agencies, navies and air forces from at least 13 nations are quietly co-operating in a "secret war" against Pyongyang and Tehran.
It has so far involved interceptions of North Korean ships at sea, US agents prowling the waterfronts in Taiwan, multinational naval and air surveillance missions out of Singapore, investigators poring over the books of dubious banks in the former Portuguese colony of Macau and a fleet of planes and ships eavesdropping on the "hermit kingdom" in the waters north of Japan.
Few details filter out from western officials about the programme, which has operated since 2003, or about the American financial sanctions that accompany it.
But together they have tightened a noose around Kim Jong-il's bankrupt, hungry nation.
"Diplomacy alone has not worked, military action is not on the table and so you'll see a persistent increase in this kind of pressure," said a senior western official.
In a telling example of the programme's success, two Bush administration officials indicated last year that it had blocked North Korea from obtaining equipment used to make missile propellant.
The Americans also persuaded China to stop the sale of chemicals for North Korea's nuclear weapons scientists. And a shipload of "precursor chemicals" for weapons was seized in Taiwan before it could reach a North Korean port.
According to John Bolton, the US ambassador to the United Nations and the man who originally devised the programme, it has made a serious dent in North Korea's revenues from ballistic missile sales.
But the success of Bolton's brainchild, the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), whose stated aim is to stop the traffic in weapons of mass destruction, might also push North Korea into extreme reactions.
Britain is a core member of the initiative, which was announced by President George W Bush in Krakow, Poland, on May 31, 2003. British officials have since joined meetings of "operational experts" in Australia, Europe and the US, while the Royal Navy has contributed ships to PSI exercises. The participants include Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Italy, Spain and Singapore, among others.
There has been almost no public debate in the countries committed to military involvement. A report for the US Congress said it had "no international secretariat, no offices in federal agencies established to support it, no database or reports of successes and failures and no established funding".
To Bolton and senior British officials, those vague qualities make it politically attractive.
In the past 10 months, since the collapse of six-nation talks in Beijing on North Korea's nuclear weapons, the US and its allies have also tightened the screws on Kim's clandestine fundraising, which generated some $500m a year for the regime.
Robert Joseph, the US undersecretary for arms control, has disclosed that 11 North Korean "entities" - trading companies or banks - plus six from Iran and one from Syria were singled out for action under an executive order numbered 13382 and signed by Bush.
For the first time, the US Secret Service and the FBI released details of North Korean involvement in forging $100 notes and in selling counterfeit Viagra, cigarettes and amphetamines in collaboration with Chinese gangsters.
The investigators homed in on a North Korean trading company and two banks in Macau. The firm, which had offices next to a casino and a "sauna", was run by North Koreans with diplomatic passports, who promptly vanished.
The two banks, Seng Heng bank and Banco Delta Asia, denied any wrongdoing. But the Macau authorities stepped in after a run on Banco Delta Asia and froze some $20m in North Korean accounts."............
Does anyone else see a contradiction between this headline with the actual story???
Is this agenda = news? One might wonder.
Gay rights groups shot themselves in the foot nation wide by failing to designate their goal as domestic partnership with same rights as marriage.
"Mass. Court Backs Gay Marriage on Ballot
By DENISE LAVOIE AP Legal Affairs Writer
<excerpt> BOSTON (AP) -- The same court that made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage ruled Monday that a proposed constitutional amendment to ban future same-sex marriages can be placed on the ballot, if approved by the Legislature.
The ruling was the result of a lawsuit brought by gay-rights supporters who argued that Attorney General Tom Reilly was wrong to approve the question, saying that the state constitution bars any citizen-initiated amendment that seeks to reverse a judicial ruling.
n a unanimous decision, the Supreme Judicial Court said the constitution does not bar citizen initiatives from making prospective changes to the constitution, even if that effectively overrules the effect of a prior court decision, because that change would not be a reversal. "
Probably going to be as successful as getting blood out of a turnip, but good idea anyway.
"Dallas hospital plans to bill Mexico By Hugh Aynesworth THE WASHINGTON TIMES July 9, 2006
DALLAS -- Parkland Memorial Hospital plans to bill Mexico and other countries to help cover the costs of health care for indigents. The plan, which also seeks payments from adjoining counties in Texas, has brought a negative response from the Mexican government, with a diplomat terming it "an act of discrimination." Last year, hospital officials said, Dallas County spent $76.5 million to treat people from outside Dallas. Of that, almost $27 million was not reimbursed. Much of the cost was for treating patients from adjoining counties in Texas, which Dallas County officials claim is unfair to local taxpayers. Collin County, just north of here and one of the state's richest counties, owed the most of any single entity, Parkland officials said -- about $7.6 million. County Judge Margaret Keliher said she was not hopeful that other counties -- or countries -- would pay up. But, she said, the county commission thought the matter should be made public and bills sent. "If you're not Dallas County residents, we think where you are from should pay for your indigent health care," Judge Keliher said. Hugo Juarez, a consul official at the Mexican Consulate in Dallas, was visibly perturbed. He called the statements made by the judge "a strange posture, a strange reasoning." He said there had been no agreement or contract between his nation and Dallas County that would make such action legal. Lobbyists and county officials last year tried unsuccessfully to get the Texas Legislature to come up with a law that forced counties to reimburse those hospitals that took in large numbers of indigents. "What's wrong with sending them a bill?" commission member Maurine Dickey said. She said officials "hoped" the counties that sent their citizens to Parkland would pay something. "We owe it to taxpayers to at least try."
Been hoping he'd run, and would love to see Guiliani/Rice ticket for '08 because they're totally electable. And Rice ascending to the presidency in 8 years would be a really good thing. She's tough as nails, brilliant and principled ... the hallmark of true presidential material.
Would sure throw a monkey wrench in the Hillary BS machine!! Oh to be a fly on the wall!!
Wouldn't vote for McCain on a bet due to his PRO-AMNESTY stance.
"Rudy for president?
By Robert Novak
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Well-connected public figures report that they have been told recently by Rudolph Giuliani that, as of now, he intends to run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
The former mayor of New York was on top of last month's national Gallup poll measuring presidential preferences by registered Republicans, with 29 percent. Sen. John McCain's 24 percent was second, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich third at 8 percent. National polls all year have shown Giuliani running either first or second to McCain, with the rest of the presidential possibilities far behind."
One point for the good guys, zip for terrorists this time. WTG, FBI!!!! They're functioning like they should!!
"Bomb tunnel, flood city
One man is busted in Beirut, others hunted across globe and terrorists are seen linked to Zarqawi
BY ALLISON GENDAR in New York and JAMES GORDON MEEK in Washington DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
The FBI has uncovered what officials consider a serious plot by jihadists to bomb the Holland Tunnel in hopes of causing a torrent of water to deluge lower Manhattan, the Daily News has learned. The terrorists sought to drown the Financial District as New Orleans was by Hurricane Katrina, sources said. They also wanted to attack subways and other tunnels.
Counterterrorism officials are alarmed by the "lone wolf" terror plot because they allegedly got a pledge of financial and tactical support from Jordanian associates of top terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before he was killed in Iraq, a counterterrorism source told The News.
It's not clear, however, if any cash or assistance was delivered.
The News has learned that at the request of U.S. officials, authorities in Beirut arrested one of the alleged conspirators, identified as Amir Andalousli, in recent months. Agents were scrambling yesterday to try to nab other suspects, sources said.
They didn't indicate how many people were the target of the international dragnet but said they were scattered all over the world."...........
"There's a little conference going on at the United Nations. It's really not getting all that much media coverage. Perhaps that's because America's leftist media really isn't all that interested in preserving our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. There seems to be something the left likes about the fact that if guns are outlawed only the government would have guns.
The U.N. conference is charged with the responsibility to "prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all aspects." U.N. officials and the anti-gun crowd will be quick to tell you that the purpose of this conference is most definitely NOT to work toward a ban on the private ownership of guns. They would be quick to tell you this, but they would be lying. If you have been paying attention to the news reports you will have noted that much of the attention is focused on individuals who get caught up somehow on what is called "gun violence." One woman from Brooklyn tells of a friend being killed in a drive-by. Another woman from South Africa talks of being shot in another drive-by. The message is clear. People should not be allowed to own guns.
The United Nations is not now, nor has it ever been a friend of liberty, a friend of freedom, or a friend of the people of the United States. For decades the U.N. has been after some sort of a program whereby it could levy a direct tax on American citizens, and the citizens of other wealthy nations, to fund its operations. Now they're even proposing a tax on all gun purchases to combat world hunger.
One thing's for sure. When the U.N. tells you that it is not trying to ban the private ownership of guns, you can be sure that the U.N. is trying to ban the private ownership of guns.
Is it the full moon yet or is this just a warm up???????
"Subway Rider Sliced in Power Saw Attack Associated Press <excerpt> "A man grabbed two cordless power saws off a subway station workbench and went on a rampage Thursday, swinging the saws at riders and slicing open a man's chest before running away, police said.
The 64-year-old victim, whose name was not released, was hospitalized in critical but stable condition. Police were searching for the suspect, described by witnesses as a thin man in his 30s, who had earrings in both ears and was possibly carrying a teddy bear. "............
Found this link on another site. Perfect for today ...... Happy 4th everyone, Happy Birthday USA!!
"A MESSAGE FROM AN OLD WARRIOR
Wayne D. Leeper
Quoted from NationalMorality.com
"Real warriors hate war. They hate the conditions, the bloodshed, and the fear that fills every heart. They are not brave and courageous heroes staring death in the face and laughing at it. They are just young men who stepped forward to meet a challenge they did not fully understand, yet in their hearts knew must be faced. They don't want to fight or to take the life of others. Each would rather be back home dating his girl, or loving his wife and playing with his kids. They want to be living life like all the others. But the young warrior is not like all the others. He has answered a call which others have ignored. He understands the concepts of patriotism, duty, and love of family. He understands that there are some things in this world that really are worth fighting for, and yes if necessary, even dying for. Never-the-less, the last thing the young warrior wants is to die for his country. I know; I was a young warrior and I was there.
I remember the nights as if yesterday. I remember the loneliness that fills a young man's heart. Standing high on a cliff after midnight in a land far from home, or on the deck of a ship looking out across the wide expanse of endless sea. Or maybe it is on a desert of sand, or in a foxhole half filled with water. The place and the day are not important because for the young warrior time and place have no meaning. The hours became days and the days months; that's just how it is. Only two days are fixed in the young warrior's heart. The day he left home and the day he will return. He remembers departing among tears and brave words. He remembers a feeling of pride tempered with a large, yet unspoken, feeling of apprehension. In his wallet is a picture of the girl he left behind and in his heart is a vision of her greeting him home. His great sustaining hope is that she will be there when he returns to the "big green island," our name for the United States of America.
I know because I was there. I was at Iwo Jima, Corregidor and Guadalcanal. I was in the Aragon forest, the cold of Korea and in the jungles of Vietnam. I was in the mountains of Afghanistan and on the shores of Guantanamo Bay. I was at Concord and Lexington, Saratoga and Yorktown. I was on the beach at Normandy and in a plane over Germany. Now I serve in the sands of Iraq. I have worn many uniforms but always American; carried many tattered flags but always the Stars and Stripes.
For me the bugles are silent and the sounds of battle have faded into the distant past. I was one of the lucky ones; I came home to marry my sweetheart, raise our children, worship our God, and grow old together in peace. The years have removed the vigor, vitality and energy of my youth and the ability to once again take up arms and go forward to defend the family and nation of my birth. Yes, I walk a little slower these days. Still, I thank God for the young warriors who have taken my place and go forth to do that which I am no longer able to do. Each generation is replaced by others who are able and willing to carry out the task. I know this is true because this is America, the land of the free and the home of the brave.
As I set before my TV set I see two messages competing for my heart. I see young men in the uniform of their country serving in strange lands and on foreign fields and I remember. I remember the friends that did not come home, and the price they paid that we might live in peace, security and freedom. I see the tears streaming down the cheeks of wives and sweethearts and I remember. I see the ships sailing and the planes leaving and I remember. And now as I sit and watch TV in the safety of my home, the home that they have gone forth to defend, I close my eyes and pray that God will protect them and return them safely to their love ones just as He did me so long ago.
But as I view my TV I see another message; the message of the media. I see those who march in protest as the young warriors march forth to defend their right to protest. I see Senators and Congressmen opposing our President as he seeks to remind us of the message of Pearl Harbor and of September 11. I see organizations fighting to remove the name of God from the speech of our nation while the young warriors go forth praying to that same God that He will protect them on the field of battle. I see pacifist bemoaning the fact that young children may die as a result of war while at the same time claiming that the women of our land have a right to slaughter forty-three million unborn babies.
So tonight, as I prepare for bed, I will remember those long ago days and I will pray for our young warriors. I will also pray for those who oppose the war; that their eyes may be opened, to appreciate our great nation, to acknowledge and respect the God of our fathers, and to understand the price in blood that has been, and is being, paid that we might live in freedom and security and have the right to protest. And, finally, I will thank Him that while the world calls it the United States of America, our young warriors have preserved the right for us to call it home.
May God bless them and keep them safe, and may God bless America."
"Don't Believe the Hype Al Gore is wrong. There's no "consensus" on global warming. BY RICHARD S. LINDZEN(Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT ) Sunday, July 2, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
Source Wall Street Journal Editorial
"According to Al Gore's new film "An Inconvenient Truth," we're in for "a planetary emergency": melting ice sheets, huge increases in sea levels, more and stronger hurricanes, and invasions of tropical disease, among other cataclysms--unless we change the way we live now.
Bill Clinton has become the latest evangelist for Mr. Gore's gospel, proclaiming that current weather events show that he and Mr. Gore were right about global warming, and we are all suffering the consequences of President Bush's obtuseness on the matter. And why not? Mr. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over."
That statement, which Mr. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, ought to have been followed by an asterisk. What exactly is this debate that Mr. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over, it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place.
........" Mr. Gore defended his claims by noting that scientists "don't have any models that give them a high level of confidence" one way or the other and went on to claim--in his defense--that scientists "don't know. . . . They just don't know."
So, presumably, those scientists do not belong to the "consensus." Yet their research is forced, whether the evidence supports it or not, into Mr. Gore's preferred global-warming template--namely, shrill alarmism. To believe it requires that one ignore the truly inconvenient facts. To take the issue of rising sea levels, these include: that the Arctic was as warm or warmer in 1940; that icebergs have been known since time immemorial; that the evidence so far suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is actually growing on average. A likely result of all this is increased pressure pushing ice off the coastal perimeter of that country, which is depicted so ominously in Mr. Gore's movie. In the absence of factual context, these images are perhaps dire or alarming." .......
......."So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points.
First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists--especially those outside the area of climate dynamics. Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a "moral" crusade.
Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce--if we're lucky.
Mr. Lindzen is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT. "
Am sure Kim Jong II, Al Qaida agree wholeheartedly with his astute observations.
Also seems he's still not over Reagan defeating him .... guess it runs in the party.
"We Need Fewer Secrets
By Jimmy Carter Monday, July 3, 2006; A21
"The U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) turns 40 tomorrow, the day we celebrate our independence. But this anniversary will not be a day of celebration for the right to information in our country. Our government leaders have become increasingly obsessed with secrecy. Obstructionist policies and deficient practices have ensured that many important public documents and official actions remain hidden from our view.
The events in our nation today -- war, civil rights violations, spiraling energy costs, campaign finance and lobbyist scandals -- dictate the growing need and citizens' desire for access to public documents. A poll conducted last year found that 70 percent of Americans are either somewhat or very concerned about government secrecy. This is understandable when the U.S. government uses at least 50 designations to restrict unclassified information and created 81 percent more "secrets" in 2005 than in 2000, according to the watchdog coalition OpenTheGovernment.org.
Moreover, the response to FOIA requests often does not satisfy the transparency objectives or provisions of the law, which, for example, mandates an answer to information requests within 20 working days. According to the National Security Archives 2003 report, median response times may be as long as 905 working days at the Department of Agriculture and 1,113 working days at the Environmental Protection Agency. The only recourse for unsatisfied requesters is to appeal to the U.S. District Court, which is costly, timely and unavailable to most people. Policies that favor secrecy, implementation that does not satisfy the law, lack of a mandated oversight body and inaccessible enforcement mechanisms have put the United States behind much of the world in the right to information." .........
"Some people seem to carry a computer curse, frustrated by a plague of viruses, hard-drive failures, power surges and software conflicts that appear and disappear without rational explanation.
They blame their machines and suffer the scorn of others who accuse them of doing something wrong. But researchers at Princeton University may have an explanation: these computer users, it seems, could be sending out bad vibes.
"There are some people who seem to have a natural rapport with computers and other complex machines, and there are other people who seem to manage to break everything even without touching it," said York Dobyns, analytical co-ordinator at Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research (PEAR).
The laboratory has for 26 years studied a phenomenon that just might have something to do with it.
Through countless experiments, the researchers have tested whether people, through their consciousness alone, can somehow affect the output of various devices.
The devices - including mechanical and electronic gadgets - produce random outputs when there are no humans around.
The experiments appear to demonstrate a small, but statistically significant, anomaly: study subjects seem to be able to change the output of the machines merely by thinking about them.
"Viewed collectively across all of the experiments, the odds that this is all just a statistical fluctuation are ridiculously small," said Dobyns. "One in a trillion would be the right general ballpark."
The researchers believe the effect might not just be limited to these simple machines. In fact, part of the initial funding that launched the program - founded in 1979 by Robert Jahn, then dean of engineering and applied science at the school - came from a major American aerospace manufacturer trying to protect sensitive equipment from this phenomenon, should it exist at all.
Computer support experts certainly recognize a small, but perhaps statistically significant, number of their clients who could very well be sending out some strong vibes.
"Occasionally you'll come across a person who is just absolutely jinxed," said Lyle Melnychuk, a computer whiz who runs Geeks 2 Go in Kamloops, B.C., and helps people fix their technical problems.
"It's not that they're bad people, it's just that they and technology ... they should just go back to pen and paper."
But he and other experts say the reason for persistent computer problems is likely something simpler than mind control.
"I think it's quite possible that individual people could have statistically noticeable effect on computers, but I don't think it's a vibe," said John DiMarco, information technology director for the University of Toronto's computer science department.
"The presence of strange anomalies in the hardware can often be attributed to the environment," he said.
People whose machines always seem to be working against them may be the same people who are forever zapping their computers with electric shocks because they live in a dry house and have long hair, fuzzy carpets and a penchant for wool sweaters, he said.
DiMarco also said the source of mystery problems can often be traced back to a reluctance to admit misuse - like indiscriminate downloading that can bring on spyware and viruses.
"They're not always readily admitting what they've done, especially if they have the sense they shouldn't have done it. It's an issue of admission of guilt."
Family computers are particularly vulnerable because they have multiple users - including younger ones who might not be particularly concerned about the consequences of their surfing, said Melnychuk.
A failure to perform regular maintenance further aggravates the problem.
"It's a working piece of machinery. It has to be worked on - it's not a toaster," he said.
But Dobyns and other PEAR researchers are accustomed to skepticism and they continue to work on an answer for those who may believe they are better off sticking to pen and paper.
"We are hoping to get to the level of practical application in the near future," said Dobyns.
He refused to offer specifics on what the lab might make - be it a bad-vibe shield or a machine intended for mind control.
"On that topic, I think I would prefer to remain silent for the time being."
"UN chief 'linked to $10m Iraq oil bribe' From James Bone, in New York Source Timesonline.co.uk
"AN AGENT from South Korea who established a "secret backchannel" between a former UN Secretary-General and Saddam Hussein's regime asked Iraq for $10 million "to take care of some people", a New York court was told. Iraq set aside $15 million for the bribery scheme and sent $3 million in cash to New York in the year the UN's Oil-for-Food programme was set up, it was alleged.
It also heard that Iraq's UN ambassador at the time believed that some of the money was destined for Boutros Boutros Ghali, then Secretary-General, although the prosecutors did not suggest that any of it reached him. Dr Boutros Ghali denies any wrongdoing.Samir Vincent, a businessman who has pleaded guilty to working secretly for Iraq, told the court that he had recruited Tongsun Park in 1992 because of his connections to Dr Boutros Ghali. Mr Park is on trial accused of acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
According to Mr Vincent, the secret backchannel was used to pass messages between the UN chief and Iraq. The court was told that Mr Vincent kept note of purported exchanges in which Dr Boutros Ghali allegedly told Iraq to put secret police with UN monitors and that he would try to "neutralise" the UN's chief weapons inspector.
Mr Vincent said that he assumed that Mr Park was referring to Dr Boutros Ghali when he asked for $10 million to "take care of some people". Nizar Hamdoon, Iraq's UN ambassador who has since died, apparently took a similar view, telling Mr Vincent: "I guess he needs to take care of BB."
"Witness: Iraq deal led to suitcase of cash, dilemma in desert
By DAVID B. CARUSO Associated Press Writer
June 29, 2006, 7:54 PM EDT
Source Newsday <excerpt>
"NEW YORK -- A businessman who helped pass millions of dollars in illicit payments from Saddam Hussein's regime in the 1990s testified Thursday about the cloak and dagger methods used to smuggle the cash to the United States.
Samir Vincent, who pleaded guilty last year to being an unregistered agent for Iraq, is the government's star witness in its case against Tongsun Park, a South Korean accused of secretly lobbying the United Nations on Iraq's behalf in the 1990s.
Testifying at a federal courthouse in Manhattan, Vincent said that in 1996 Park asked Saddam's government to give him $10 million for his efforts to influence the design of the U.N.'s oil-for-food program, including money he said was needed to "take care of some people."
Park never explained who needed to be "taken care of," said Vincent, who also lobbied on Iraq's behalf, but he said he assumed it was a reference to then-U.N. Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, whom the South Korean claimed as a close friend.
"I said, 'I don't believe that the Iraqis will go along with something like this, but it's not for me to say,"' Vincent said.
Prosecutors contend that Iraq promised millions of dollars to Park because of his access to Boutros-Ghali. An independent panel concluded last year that Iraq had a scheme to bribe Boutros-Ghali but found no evidence the secretary general was aware of the plot or received the money.
On the witness stand Thursday, Vincent described his shock when Iraq said yes to Park, with a slight modification: Iraq would cough up $15 million. Park would get $5 million. The rest would be split between Vincent and Iraq's ambassador to the U.N., Nizar Hamdoon. "..........