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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, April 30, 2005


"The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms has justly been considered the palladium of the liberties of the Republic, since it offers a strong moral check against usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them."
--- Joseph Story, 1833 U.S. Supreme Court Justice

"What is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
--- George Mason, father of the Bill of Rights

Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes...such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
--- Thomas Jefferson quoting from 'On Crimes and Punishment' by criminologist Cesare Beccaria, 1764

Asia and the Pacific

China’s Influence in the Western Hemisphere by Peter Brookes
Heritage Lecture #873

"When the People's Republic of China unleashed its unprecedented economic reforms almost 20 years ago, no one could have imagined the effect it would have on China--or the world. Finally freed from the shackles of an inefficient Soviet-style command economy, China would experience a remarkable expansion in economic growth, including near double-digit growth for the last 10 years, according to PRC government statistics.

These economic reforms have transformed China into a rising power in world politics. In fact, some would argue that, today, China is no longer a "rising power"--but a "risen power." Chinese leaders believe that if its economic growth continues apace, China will overcome 150 years of "humiliation" at the hands of foreign powers, returning to its past glory as the 'Middle Kingdom."

Read the entire lecture here.


Books I have read recently:

'From Time Immemorial' by Joan Peters

'What's So Great About America' by Dinesh D'Souza

'The Ten Things That You Can't Say in America' by Larry Elder

'Their Blood Cries Out' by Paul Marshall & Lela Gilbert

'The Embarrassed Believer' by Hugh Hewitt

'Hazardous Duty' by Col. David H. Hackworth

'The O'Reilly Factor - The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Ridiculous in American Life' by Bill O'Reilly

'Who's Looking Out For You?' by Bill O'Reilly

'The Savage Nation' by Michael Savage

'Attack on America' by John Hagee

'Battleground' by Samuel Katz

'Hollywood vs. America' by Michael Medved

'The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places' by Laura Ingraham

'The Enemy Within' by Michael Savage

'When Bad Things Happen to Good People' by Harold S. Kushner

'Who Needs God' by Harold S. Kushner

'Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism from Inside the Bush White House' by Bill Sammon

Books I'm presently reading:

'Benjamin Franklin: An American Life' by Walter Isaacson

'The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History' by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

Books on the shelf, waiting to be read:

'A Patriot's History of the United States : From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror' by Michael Allen and Larry Schweikart

'A History of the American People' by Paul M. Johnson

'Tower of Babble : How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos' by Dore Gold

'The French Betrayal of America' by Kenneth Timmerman

'Preachers Of Hate: Islam & The War On Terror' by Kenneth Timmerman

'The Purpose Driven Life' by Rick Warren

Suggestions welcomed!

Friday, April 29, 2005


By Dr. Jack Wheeler

"Budapest, Hungary, October 1997. It was a gorgeous fall day, the sun sparkling off the Danube, the domed Royal Palace glinting on Buda Hill, smartly dressed shoppers strolling along the Vaci. Just a few years ago this place had been a fear-ridden Russian colony. Now everyone on the street was chattering away on a cell phone. Back in the Soviet days, only the Nomenklatura – the Communist elite – could get a telephone, and even they were terrified of talking freely.

I was in Budapest speaking to a conference of international business leaders. Another speaker was a Moscow television news commentator well-known in Russia, Boris Notkin. He informed his audience about how humiliated Russians felt, losing their Empire and the Cold War, not winning many medals in the Olympics, and having their Mir space station go belly-up. He warned of a dangerous anti-Americanism emerging among Russians, who resentfully blamed America for their problems.

A gray-haired gentleman with a Central European accent stood up and asked Boris a question: “In addition to their feelings of humiliation and resentment, do Russians have any feelings of remorse for inflicting Communism upon so many countries? After their defeat in World War II, the Germans apologized to the world for being Nazis and for the horrible atrocities Nazism committed. After their defeat in the Cold War, will the Russians ever apologize to the world for being Communists and the equally horrible atrocities Soviet Communism committed?”

Boris looked straight at the man and coldly answered, “No. Russians feel no remorse. They will not apologize.”

This past Monday, April 25, Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed this absence of remorse and refusal to apologize for the genocidal horror perpetrated by Soviet Communism upon so many countries and peoples. In a nationally televised speech to the Russian Federal Assembly in Moscow, he declared that “the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.”

The truth, of course, is that the existence of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century.

It was only because the Germans went through a mea culpa emotional purge of the Nazi poison that they were able to create a prosperous free market democracy. The Russians will never be able to do the same until they can summon the moral courage to say to the world, “We’re sorry.”

Until Russians can take responsibility for their history and stop blaming everyone else for it, they can never overcome it. Until they can admit they created a monstrously evil tyranny, they can never create a morally decent society. Until they can stop yearning for past imperial glory, their former colonies will always hate them, and never trust them.

For these colonies know that the “Soviet Union” was a fiction, a Hollywood-set country that didn’t really exist. What actually existed behind the façade was a Russian Imperial Empire with the secular religion of “Marxism-Leninism” as its ideological justification. The justification may be gone, but the dream of empire has not. This was confirmed by Putin asserting in his speech that “Russia should continue its civilizing mission on the Eurasian continent.”

Continue civilizing? The mass slaughter of millions, the Gulag concentration camps enslaving millions more, imprisoning a score of nations behind the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain – this is civilizing? Ask any Latvian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Pole, Czech, Hungarian, et al, and they’ll tell you Russia’s historic mission has been un-civilizing to the horrific extreme.

Thus Russia remains determined to march resolutely towards cultural and national extinction. Putin may fly off for photo-ops in Egypt and Israel this week, and have George Bush and other world leaders stand next to him in Red Square week after next (commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII) – but it’s all for show.

Because in the meantime, in spite of Russia’s being the world’s second largest oil producer (after Saudi Arabia), of all fifteen now-independent nations that once comprised the Soviet Union, Russia is next to last in current economic growth. Only Tajikistan is lower.

An extremely high-placed source in the Kremlin tells To The Point that capital flight has reached flood levels. The government’s public admission was that $8 billion flew out of Russia last year. “The true figure,” our source said, “is four times that: $32 billion. It will be much more this year.”

So no matter how much Pootie-Poot struts on the world stage or on Red Square, the disintegration of Russia and its influence will continue unabated. Just before he goes to Moscow, Bush will be in Riga meeting with the presidents of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, once “Republics” of the Soviet Union and now members of NATO; just after Moscow, Bush will be in Tbilisi meeting with the president of Georgia.

A central focus of both meetings will be to cooperate on ending the “last dictatorship in Europe,” that of Aleksandr Lukashenko in Belarus by exporting the “Orange Revolution” from Kiev to Minsk. This regime is the last ally of Russia’s on the entire European continent. Think about that. Soon, quite possibly before 2005 ends, Belarus will dump Lukashenko and Russia will be alone in Europe.

Russia doesn’t have to be. All she has to do is apologize. But she can’t. With no apology, there’s no future in Russia. A pure Greek tragedy based on an inescapable tragic flaw in the Russian character. Aeschylus and Sophocles would have understood." (All emphasis mine -HH.)

It should also be noted that with Hitler and Germany, it was a case where Hitler rose to power out of nowhere; unlike that of Stalin, for example, who was every bit as evil as Hitler and actually committed more atrocities than Hitler, but was also a continuation of a long line of despots. Russia has alot more to apologize for than Germany ever did. And for this reason, as demonstrated by Putins' remarks, more to be feared and/or concerned about in the future.


Uninsured And Unlawful

Health Care: "One thing the Clintons brought to Washington in 1993 was perpetual fretting over the uninsured. They're out of the White House, but the seed of fear they planted has become a Washington institution."

Many of the 19 million Americans who go without insurance for a full year are illegal immigrants, say observers...

"The Census Bureau's Survey of Income and Program Participation found that 19 million Americans go without insurance for a full year. Many, however, are illegal immigrants, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

States with the highest concentrations of uninsured tend to be the border states with Mexico and their neighbors, and other states where there are large populations of illegal immigrants (New York, Florida, Illinois).

Those who count say there might be as many as 11 million illegal immigrants in this country. Of the 19 million (or whatever figure is chosen for the point of argument) who go without insurance for a full year, how many of them are undocumented workers? It's impossible to know exactly. But in any case, it would be a large share, says IBD.

What we do know is uninsured undocumented workers are breaking local governments:

  • In Southern California they have contributed to the $1.2 billion deficit that is plaguing the Los Angeles County Health Department.
  • Last year alone the county spent $340 million to treat uninsured patients while the state was saddled with $1.4 billion in unreimbursed health care costs.
  • Texas spent $850 million for the same reason, while in Arizona, the price tag was $400 million.

How to solve this? One answer is to deny treatment to patients who cannot prove their citizenship or show that they have health insurance. That is likely to prove to be politically impossible, explains IBD.

A better answer is to secure our borders and to put a lot of pressure on Mexico to fix its economy. As long as opportunities here are so much better than opportunities there, desperate people will take the risk to cross illegally. And our health care problem will only get worse, says IBD."

Global Warming

There has been some interesting research being done at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base where researchers were taking core samples of soil to determine what the temperatures in the Lake Champlain Basin were like when the glaciers receded and separated this region from the Atlantic Ocean. They are trying to determine if changes in water currents and the saliency of the water had an impact on the change in climate at the time.

Nobody disputes there have been temperature fluctuations globally and there are some great examples in the Champlain Valley. And, from those examples we know there was global warming when there weren’t humans. Now, why is that? It raises the question "is what we’re seeing today cyclical or caused by humans?"

Additionally, we also know that "the temperature of the atmosphere fluctuates over a wide range, the result of solar activity and other influences. During the past 3,000 years, there have been five extended periods when it was distinctly warmer than today. One of the two coldest periods, known as the Little Ice Age, occurred 300 years ago. Atmospheric temperatures have been rising from that low for the past 300 years, but remain below the 3,000-year average."
Arthur Robinson and Zachary Robinson are chemists at the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

More thoughts on global warming and the Kyoto Treaty by Dr. Jack Wheeler:THE TRILLION DOLLAR SCAM: Kyoto leaves Oil-for-Food in the dust.

"One of the busiest guys on Capitol for the next six months will be Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), whom House International Relations Chairman Henry Hyde and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay have put in charge of the new subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight.

Dana’s assignment: Expose the entire slimy mess of the UN Oil-for-Food scandal and feed it to the fishes. Saddam Hussein demanded that all the monies of the UN program be run through one particular obscure French bank, the Banque Nationale de Paris-Paribas. What he forgot was that the UN is in New York, so the whole $64 billion of Oil-for-Food went through the BNP-Paribas branch in Manhattan.

That means Dana gets to subpoena every bank record BNP-Paribas has. And that just gets him warmed up. “Kofi Annan said he was ‘shocked’ by the Volker report,” he told me. “Right – just as shocked as Claude Rains in Casablanca.” Kofi should stop worrying about how he can keep his Secretary-General job, and start worrying about whether he’s going to do time. His son Kojo is headed for the slammer, and Kofi seems eager to toss in the crook who administered Oil-for-Food, Benon Sevon, in with him to save his oily hide.

No dice. For Kofi doesn’t understand he’s only a milestone on the way to the ultimate goal – destroying the moral legitimacy of the United Nations, which the Left uses to compromise America’s sovereignty. “Ever since the UN was founded, the Left has waged a never-ending struggle to turn over our sovereignty to it,” said Dana. “John Kerry became the poster boy for this effort. Well, we’re going to put an end to their struggle.”

Doing so will be rewarding for Dana – and frustrating at the same time. For only when his committee is finished gutting Oil-for-Food can he turn to a scandal that leaves it in the dust – the multi-trillion dollar scam of the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty.

Taking effect yesterday, February 16, the treaty has been signed by 141 countries – but only 30 of them are legally bound to it, forcing them to masochistically damage their economies by reducing their CO2 emissions to several percent below 1990 levels. These 30 countries (mostly Old Europe plus Japan – and not the US – account for only 10% of the world’s population and 25% of emissions. China, India, and the entire Third World are exempt.

To give you an idea of the lunacy of “Man-Made Global Warming,” take a look at this:

I took this picture in northeastern Niger, the heart of the Sahara Desert. 8,000 years ago, Paleolithic tribesmen carved figures of elephants on this rock face – for the Sahara abounded with them back then. During the Holocene Maximum thousands of years ago, global temperatures were about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than today, and much of the Sahara was forested. Here is an ancient remnant of those forests, high in a plateau called the Tassili n’Ajer. I took this two years ago:

Ever since the end of the last Ice Age about 11,000 years ago, the earth’s climate has swung between warmer and colder periods. During the Medieval Climactic Optimum between 1000 and 1300 AD, farmers grew wine grapes in northern England and raised sheep and dairy cattle in Greenland – it was warmer then than now.

About 1450, global temperatures started dropping, all the way to a “Little Ice Age” that lasted for centuries. The Thames River in London would freeze almost solid, and New Yorkers could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island on the ice in the winter. The Little Ice Age ended little more than 100 years ago, so we’re getting warmer – that is back to normal.

Yet these swings for the last 1,000 years are ignored by proponents of Man-Made Global Warming (MMGW) so they can argue that an alleged spike in global temperatures since 1900 coincides with a rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide caused by human activity (such as burning fossil fuels). This spike, known as the “Hockey Stick,” is the primary argument for the Kyoto Treaty. On February 14, The Wall Street Journal exposed the Hockey Stick as a fraud.

The Hockey Stick was invented by Michael Mann of the University of Virginia. Mathematicians have now shown they can reproduce it with random “red noise” data just as easily as with Mann’s data. Michael Mann’s problem, however, goes way beyond the mathematical flaws in his study exposed by the Wall Street Journal. He may be guilty of criminal research fraud.

It turns out that Mann’s Hockey Stick is derived from an algorithm – a secret algorithm that he claims to have invented himself and which he refuses to disclose. “Giving them (his critics) the algorithm,” Mann declared, “would be giving in to their intimidation tactics.”

Get ahold of this. The scientific research most cited as justification for the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty – a treaty which, if the US signed would cause, according to James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the loss of five million jobs and $400 billion a year to the US economy – is based on a secret mathematical formula that nobody knows is true or false.

How can the depth of this insanity be described? I don’t have the words for it, except that the secular religion of global warming has damaged the brains of a significant fraction of the world’s scientists. Of course, the billions of dollars governments pay to these scientists to believe in global warming (they call it “research” – research which won’t get funded unless it “proves” global warming and evil humans are responsible) could be a cause of such brain damage.

At least Dana will put those government dollars to use when he calls Michael Mann to testify at a hearing. The University of Virginia is a tax-supported institution and Mann’s research was funded by taxpayer dollars. That means Congressional subpoena power can be used to force Mann to reveal his algorithm, its source code, and all the data sets.

This will show if Mann “dry-labbed” (faked) his research. Was the data set on higher temperatures in the Antarctic Peninsula played up while the set on colder temps in the rest of the Antarctic continent dismissed? Was there a focus on reports from weather stations near airports which used to be out in the toolies but are now in urbanized heat sinks? Just how could the Medieval Climactic Optimum and the Little Ice Age be smoothed over to produce the 20th century hockey stick spike?

In other words, by refusing to disclose his math, Mann can be suspected not just of making mistakes, but making them on purpose. This is criminally-prosecutable research fraud. This fraud has been used to try and scam hundreds of billions of dollars a year from you and me and all Americans, to try and irreparably damage our economy. The global warming industry is a criminal enterprise, and criminally insane to boot.

The good news is that the Kyoto Treaty may have been still-born. What allowed it to take effect on Wednesday was Russia’s ratification last fall. Yet on that day, Andrei Illarionov, Russian President Putin’s economics advisor, announced to reporters that Russia will eventually withdraw from the treaty. Illarionov denounced Kyoto as “an anti-human document restricting economic growth,” and hoped that “common sense will prevail, and our country, together with other nations, will abandon this crazy idea.”

Sanity may be too much to ask for from all the politicians who signed on to Kyoto – but it is not too much to ask from the scientists who did. Perhaps they will regain it when they see that Kojo Annan’s cell mate is Michael Mann."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it."
--- John F. Kennedy, 1961

Media lose their monopoly on news

In an op-ed piece about the media and bloggers, written by HELEN CONNELL, for the London Free Press, she writes this conclusion:

This doesn't mean media giants are in any danger of being made extinct by bloggers and podcasters. If anything is keeping the business side of the media awake at nights, it's trying to figure out how they can cash in on this new technology.

It does, however, challenge those arrogant enough in the mainstream media to believe people can't become informed without them. (Emphasis mine -HH)

This new medium requires more vigilance and a healthy dose of cynicism for those who use it. You have to challenge everything you read and hear online because there are no rules governing fairness or accuracy. In the world of the Internet, facts, fancy, thoughtful debate and deliberate hate propaganda dressed up as science all coexist. (Emphasis mine - HH)

It remains to be seen if MSM will be able to overcome their arrogance about new sources of information available to the public. As for "challenging everything you read and hear online", what's new about this approach? I have been doing this for years when reading MSM newspapers and watching MSM "newscasts". And to think that there are "no rules governing fairness or accuracy" (of online news and bloggers), I sure am glad that we can trust MSM to do due diligence and report only accurate and unbiased "news". (Dripping in sarcasm.)

But as political columnist Parker Barss Donham summed it up: "The Internet promises to achieve what no charter of rights can -- putting printing presses in the hands of many."

Father Arrested After Opt-Out Request Denied by School

(CNSNews.com) - A man in Lexington, Mass., was arrested after he refused to leave his son's school until they agreed to opt-out his son from classroom discussions of homosexuality, the Boston Herald reports. Read News on the Web

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Frist Turns Down Dem Deal on Judicial Nominees

(CNSNews.com) - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Tuesday he is not interested in any deal offered by Democrats that does not ensure that all of President Bush's judicial nominees receive Senate confirmation, the Associated Press reports." Read News on the Web

I'm glad to hear it.

UPDATE: Captain Ed makes a good point:

It cannot have taken 100 days of this session to reach the same positions that existed at the beginning of this session -- that the GOP would insist on majority vote, and the Democrats would block appellate nominees any way they could. If it takes that long for both Reid and Frist to get back to square one, then maybe both caucuses need to question the efficacy of their leadership."

CIA can't rule out WMD move to Syria

The CIA's chief weapons inspector said he cannot rule out the possibility that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were secretly shipped to Syria before the March 2003 invasion, citing "sufficiently credible" evidence that WMDs may have been moved there. FULL STORY.

Oil-for-food probe has not cleared Annan, Volcker says

Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker says his investigation into the scandal-plagued oil-for-food program has not cleared U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan of wrongdoing, despite Mr. Annan's claims to the contrary. FULL STORY.

Advocates call for better treatment of illegal immigrants

Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The debate over immigration reform is heating up. Advocates for illegal immigrants say they deserve the same chance as the ancestors of most Americans. But Mario Johnson, with National People's Action, says that "instead of the American dream, they're getting the American nightmare." The advocacy group says U-S immigration policy is so complicated that many people could starve to death before they could immigrate legally. But Mike Hethmon of the Federation for American Immigration Reform says illegal immigrants can't be tolerated. Hethmon says the problems that drove them from their countries must be addressed there, not in the U-S....

(Emphasis mine - HH)
American nightmare.....and.....so complicated.
There, I got that off my chest. I feel better now.

"Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell."

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A French 'no' to EU constitution would mean the 'fall of Europe'

If this is not illustrative of the ridiculously false, self-importance that France has for itself, than nothing is..................

By Honor Mahony Former European Commission president Romano Prodi has warned that a French "No" to the European Constitution would mean the "fall of Europe".

In an interview with French newspaper Journal du Dimanche (24 April), Mr Prodi said that a French rejection of the document on 29 May would result in "no more Europe".

"We will go through a great period of crisis. The problem will not only be a catastrophe for France, but the fall of Europe.

"A No would be catastrophic for Europe, from a social and economic point of view, not only political. And that is the whole contradiction: everybody knows very well that there is no Europe without France, yet France does not realise the chance it has with Europe. She should reflect on that because an isolated France would be very weak", said Mr Prodi who presided over the Commission during the making of the Constitution.
Yup... without France, Europe has no chance. UH, huh.

Pro-Life Activists Question Hillary Clinton's Sincerity

OOOPS... It's so hard to remember to be a centrist.
(CNSNews.com) - A pro-life activist says he's "profoundly disappointed" that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has "snubbed a dialogue with pro-life groups" - after she expressed interest in finding common ground with them.
Full Story

Middle East News

Analysis / Syria quits Lebanon - Damascus got the message
By Zvi Bar'el

CAIRO - Some five years after the Israel Defense Forces's withdrawal from Lebanon, Syria is following suit. A handful of Syrian soldiers will remain today in Lebanon to participate in a modest ceremony to mark the occasion; but immediately thereafter United Nations envoys will be able to report that, in the field at least, Syria has fulfilled its obligations vis-a-vis the section of Security Council Resolution 1559 that demands it withdraw its forces from Lebanon.

The other part of the resolution, which demands the disarming of Hezbollah and "the remaining militias" still awaits its turn.

Russian President Putin set to arrive in Israel for historical visit.
Gov't sources: First trip by Russian head of state shows Moscow wants to take a higher profile in the region.

AIPAC Fires Two Senior Officials in FBI Spy Probe
Aipac, one of Washington’s most influential pro-Israel lobbying groups, has fired two senior employees in an effort to distance itself from an FBI inquiry into suspected spying for Israel.

British government rolls out red carpet for anti-Israel BBC reporter
BBC reporter Orla Guerin, who has been criticized for her strong anti-Israeli bias, will receive an MBE honor from the British government.

Negotiating with the Palestinians with eyes wide open
Dr. Aaron Lerner
Israel could approach final status talks with the sober attitude that the Palestinians are never going to be serious about dropping the terror option.

Moscow to sell Strelets missiles to Syria
PM Sharon had intended to dissuade President Putin from making the sale to Syria on his arrival to Israel tomorrow. Looks like he may be one day too late.

New Palestinian security chief known as 'collaborator hunter'
Israel agreed to remove Abu Shabak from list of wanted terrorists as a goodwill gesture toward Abbas.

Dubai researcher urges dialogue with Israelis
But Abdulaziz Sager has also castigated US pro-Israel activists as 'hate-mongering' forces.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Malaria & Earth Day

From The Daily Demarche:

The left has their Silent Spring legacy- as Al Gore said in his preface to the 1994 edition:

Without this book, the environmental movement might have been long delayed or never have developed at all," declared then-Vice President Albert Gore in his introduction to the 1994 edition. The foreword to the 25th anniversary edition accurately declared, "It led to environmental legislation at every level of government."

As a result of that legislation no American diplomat is making the case for the renewed use of DDT in Africa or any other malaria stricken region, regardless of the veracity of the science. So called “liberal” nations like those found in the EU are willing to see countless children die of malaria- and even threaten the existence of those who manage to survive if they do so through the use of DDT..................

...................... Stopping malaria in Africa is easy. Admitting that science- liberal approved science in any case, might be wrong is hard. And so we have Kyoto at all costs, euthanization of children, and of course prohibitions against DDT.

While the Al Gore's of the world celebrate Earth Day and bask in the warm fuzzy they get from saving birds while children die needlessly, the mothers and fathers of countless dead children in Africa have their own legacy of the lessons learned from the book that launched the modern environmentalist movement. They would glady take the infinitesmal risk posed by DDT to have their children alive."

Sunday, April 24, 2005

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
--- Benjamin Franklin, July 4, 1776

Lobbyist paid for Jones' '01 trip

By Charles Hurt

Stephanie Tubbs Jones, an Ohio Democrat who sits on the House ethics committee, took a 2001 trip to Puerto Rico that was paid for by a registered lobbyist firm -- an apparent violation of the chamber's ethics rules -- according to documents that she filed with the House clerk."

“Exalt the straight, set aside the crooked, the people will be loyal. Exalt the crooked, set aside the straight, the people will be disloyal.” --- Confucius

Revelation Time

Breaking News! (Shaking head)

UN Not Delivering, Support Needed for Reform-AnnanUN Not Delivering, Support Needed for Reform-Annan
"JAKARTA (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on Thursday told ministers and senior officials from Asia and Africa the world body had lost its way..."


More Kofi leadership.
("He that is not with me is against me." Matthew 12:30)
Annan presses for UN reforms Annan presses for UN reforms
"Pressing for the UN reform, Secretary General Kofi Annan on Thursday hoped member states will be able to overcome their differences to secure an agreement on the "vital issue" before September even as he called for a "comprehensive anti-terrorism strategy" to deal with the menace."

If only we could define terrorism, because, well, you know "one mans' terrorist is another mans' freedom fighter."

Emerging Asia looking for bigger role

In the hustle and bustle of the world stage, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India earlier this month had some special significance for geopolitics observers.

A strategic partnership between the two most populous nations, two rapidly growing economies and two of the oldest civilizations in the world is an historic issue by anyone's standards.

Long Yongtu, secretary general of Boao Forum for Asia, and other directors of the forum walk to a conference room for a meeting in Boao, Hainan Province April 21, 2005. The theme of this year's forum is new role of Asia. [newsphoto]

Now a warm handshake between the two biggest countries in the region naturally leads to the anticipation of more co-operative steps.

Stretching the imagination further still, the eventual formation of Asia's answer to the European Union could be on the cards in the future.

For the moment, the partnership between China and India is not only important for the two countries, but also "adds weight to the role of the entire continent," said Zhai Kun, a senior fellow with the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR).

But what is Asia's role in the world?

This is exactly the question that political, business and opinion leaders will ponder in the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia. The theme of the conference is the New Role of Asia.

"More economic activities are taking place in Asia than in any other area. Growth rates here have outpaced elsewhere. This naturally leads to attention on Asia," said Long Yongtu, secretary-general of the forum.

"We should have an appropriate assessment of what kind and how big a role Asia can play," Long added.

"We should not overstate it, nor should we understate it."

To Zhang Yunling, director of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' (CASS) Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, Asia's new role is two-fold.

It is first and foremost economic.

Economic power

In fact, Asia's rise on the world stage started with the so-called "Asian miracle" - the economic success of Japan and then the small "dragons" and "tigers" such as South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

The burst of the economic bubble in Japan and the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis cast a shadow over Asia's success story, but most East Asian economies quickly returned to growth again.

And China's rapid emergence as an economic power on the world stage adds much to East Asia's attractiveness.

Now India, after decades of slow growth, is also catching up.

Both China and India are growing at rates faster than almost all the other major economies in the world in recent years.

The Indian economy is smaller than China's. But given India's size and influence, the emergence of its economic power on the continent is fundamentally changing Asia's position in the world, said CASS' Zhang.

The prospects of a triad of Japan, China and India will make Asia a vital engine for the world economy.

Zhang said the new role of Asia is also that of a more prominent global player in international relations, a player that can be the peer of the European Union and the United States.

Starting from escalating co-operative steps in East Asia, regional co-operation is gaining momentum across the whole continent.

Official dialogue between the 10-member ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea was launched in 1997.

The dialogue has progressed well and created a favourable environment for all sorts of regional co-operation.

Now the 10 plus 3 meeting is evolving into a meeting of 13 members, which is scheduled to have its first East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur late this year.

The smooth progress has interested some neighbours. Both India and Australia have expressed an interest in joining co-operation in East Asia.

The co-operation in this area is not only about the emergence of a unified regional player, but also about the introduction of the "Asian approach," CICIR's Zhai Kun said.

Although they still have unsettled disputes on issues such as territory and history, they can put them aside while beginning to sit down together to talk about co-operation in other areas.

"Instead of resolving the problems right from the start, they tend to create a favourable atmosphere first then co-operate in certain areas while tackling the real thorny issues step by step," Zhai said.

Despite territorial disputes among China, Viet Nam and the Philippines over South China Sea, they recently agreed to put the disputes aside first and explore natural resources there together.

In terms of development, Asia can also provide experience for developing countries in other continents, such as Africa.

Asian and African leaders gathered this week in Indonesia to talk about ways to face challenges in the era of globalization. Asian countries are generally more successful in developing their economies and can share their experiences with Africa.

"So you see, Asia also has a role in its relation to Africa to play," Zhai said.

Japan's role

Japan's integration with Asia will be an important part in the process of Asia developing its new role.

Japan, now the biggest economy in Asia, is closer to the Western world in terms of politics and economic systems.

The increasing significance of Asia has prompted Japan to start "returning to Asia."

However, as Japan has spent decades becoming a "Western country," it will be a long process for it to become a real Asian country again, said CASS' Zhang.

A key problem for Japan is its attitude towards its history of invading other Asian countries, which makes Asian countries worry about the revival of its militarism. This undermines Asian nations' trust of Japan.

In addition, Japan, after being the sole leading economic engine in Asia for decades, also needs to make adjustments and accept the reality of the emergence of China and India as new economic powers.

The two issues every now and then emerge to strain relations between Japan and others. The latest dispute between Japan and other Asian countries over history textbooks is an example.

However, Japan's often uneasy relationships with other Asian countries are not the only obstacle for Asia in its pursuit of a more prosperous and harmonious community."

One look around will find that there are still lots of problems. In the north, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula has not been solved; in the south, there are a series of places still involved in territorial disputes.

In terms of economic development, all countries in the region, including China, Japan and India, still face a myriad of challenges.

"Asia still has a long way to go," said CICIR's Zhai.

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