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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, September 24, 2005

On the Homeland Security front...

In Tennessee, a University of Memphis student from Egypt, Mahmoud Maawad, 29, has been arrested and ordered held without bond after federal authorities obtained a search warrant for his apartment. There they found an airline pilot's uniform, a chart of the Memphis International Airport, and DVDs including "How an Airline Captain Should Look and Act," "Ups and Downs of Takeoffs and Landings," "Airplane Talk," "Mental Math for Pilots" and "Mastering GPS Flying."

Maawad is charged with being in the U.S. illegally, as well as with wire fraud and the fraudulent use of a Social Security number. He has been present in the U.S. for seven years. U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Thomas Anderson said at Maawad's hearing, "It is hard for the court to understand why he has a large concentration of those [aviation] items, and nothing else to indicate Mr. Maawad plans to stay in the community."

Of note, the only way Maawad's presence became known to authorities was when the company from which he purchased the aviation materials informed them—and then only because he hadn't paid.

From The Federalist Patriot

Senator "Pea Brain" says

"I'm not too sure if his heart is as big as his head." —Demo minority leader Sen. Harry Reid, on his reason for voting against the appointment of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court (this, of course, would be the same big-hearted Harry who called President Bush "a loser" while speaking to high school students earlier this year)

From the Federalist Patriot

This would be nice, but......

I am having a hard time getting overly excited about these prospects:

Hamas chief hints at compromise

THE militant Islamic group Hamas could one day accept the existence of the state of Israel and negotiate, one of its political leaders said yesterday in an unprecedented sign of compromise.

This is Good

Jordan's king reaches out to Jews, hits radical Islam
Jordan's King Abdullah II told a gathering of American rabbis yesterday that Jews and Muslims are irrevocably "tied together by culture and history" and that he is willing to take radical measures to combat Muslim extremists.

Poll Rage -- II

From Opinion Journal:

So it turns out that we were right after all when we said, on "Hannity & Colmes" last Friday, that there were some polls that showed President Bush's approval rating almost as high as his disapproval rating. A reader calls our attention to the Rasmussen daily tracking survey, whose results we've reproduced nearby for the week leading up to the appearance. On five out of those seven days, the approval rating was within five points of the disapproval rating, on three out seven days it was within three points, and on one day--just two days before "H&C"--the approval rating was a mere two points below the disapproval rating.


From Opinion Journal:

Searchlight's Dim Bulb
"Democratic critics said the preparations for [Hurricane] Rita seemed to exceed those for Katrina, and called anew for an independent panel to investigate why," the Associated Press reports from Washington:

"It's nice to have the Bush administration recognize the importance of a federal response to Rita, but why weren't they proactively mobilizing and organizing like this for Katrina?" said Rebecca Kirszner, a spokeswoman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

"These are the questions that need to be asked by an independent commission," Kirszner said.

So Harry Reid needs a commission to explain to him why people are less complacent about a big hurricane a few weeks after a big hurricane strikes? And he has the nerve to insult Clarence Thomas's intelligence.

RACE AND CULTURE: Fear and loathing on the Left
Too much ethnic diversity destroys social cohesion
My basic argument is that lifestyle diversity and sustained mass immigration bring cultural and economic dynamism, but without a compensating reinforcement of the ‘we’ of common citizenship and values they can also erode feelings of mutual obligation. This in turn may reduce willingness to pay for a generous welfare state — diverse and individualistic America has a thin welfare state, homogeneous Sweden has a fat one."
Read more here. Registration required.

Bill Would Encourage New Refinery Building
– Rep. Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican, has introduced a bill intended to speed the process of building more oil refineries in this country, something that would boost the supply and possibly lower the price of gasoline. The bill calls on the Bush administration to identify three U.S. military bases slated for closure where oil refineries could be located...

Defiant Iran Displays Military Might
– Savoring yet another reprieve in its nuclear standoff with the West, Iran has flexed its muscles with a show of military might and a warning that any nation considering attacking the Islamic republic would face a “destructive and fiery” response...

"Among the pictures from New Orleans were lots of heart-rending shots of displaced mothers and children, but few of fathers and husbands. Liberal critics say Hurricane Katrina ripped aside the veil on America's extreme poverty. What it really ripped aside was the veil over the collapse of family, particularly among inner-city blacks, that lies at the heart of poverty."

---Thomas Bray

"I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious."

---Thomas Jefferson

15 years for foiled al-Qaeda terrorist

A BRITISH-BORN "international warrior" who waged jihad across the globe before being caught at the Channel Tunnel with explosives on his socks was jailed for 15 years.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

"As we hear calls for a 'compassionate' response to the victims of this tragedy, it is important to remember that you can't be compassionate with other people's money."

The Christian Science Monitor (not a conservative magazine despite the name implication) has an article discussing charity towards the Katrina victims. Somewhat surprising, it takes a positive look at American's generosity, including the big bad corporations ... those evil profit seekers worthy of malediction.
Within two weeks of the disaster, Americans had already contributed more than $600 million to relief efforts. They've kicked in another $100 million of "in-kind" donations. Private schools are offering tuition-free education to the children of survivors. Countless Americans have volunteered time and effort. Others have opened their homes to the displaced, donated blood, and helped in other ways large and small.

American business is doing its part, too. Wal-Mart, so reviled by the American left, not only donated $20 million in cash, 1,500 truckloads of free merchandise, and food for 100,000 meals, it promised a job for every one of its displaced workers no matter where in the country they end up. At least 90 corporations have donated at least $1 million each, many far more than that. Many companies in Louisiana and Mississippi have promised to continue paying their workers, even if their stores or businesses were wiped out."

(Emphasis mine - H.H.)
Full article.

"I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic - it is also a truth, that if industry and labour are left to take their own course, they will generally be directed to those objects which are the most productive, and this in a more certain and direct manner than the wisdom of the most enlightened legislature could point out."

-- James Madison

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Couric the Green Climatologist Frets Seven Hurricanes "A Lot," Ignores Historical Data

It was just a comment made in passing, but it was very revealing in its own way.

On this morning's Today show, in discussing incipient Hurricane Rita, Katie Couric observed "if Rita turns into a hurricane, it will be the seventh." She then added pointedly added "there have been a lot this year!"

We can all read Katie's 'subliminable' message:

"Gotta be the global warming/Bush's failure to sign the Kyoto Treaty/hole in the ozone layer/Halliburton/VRWC/Republican SUVs and who knows, probably the lack of 'free' national health care."

There's only one small problem with Katie the Climatologist's theory. Far from being "a lot," seven hurricanes in a year is very typical, and far from the recent high of 12, which occurred 36 years ago.

Source: NewsBusters

Syria linked to Zarqawi offensive

Intelligence analysts say Syria is directing Iraqi terrorist attacks against Shiite targets, U.S. convoys, the Iraqi military and police.

A source in Amman said there is undisputed proof of frequent communications between Iraq’s main terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and the Syrian Mukhabarat intelligence unit.

The intercepted communication included wireless phone and short-range radios. Drivers crossing the border en route from Damascus to Baghdad also carry verbal coded messages, the sources say.

The Syrian intelligence Iraq desk is in touch with the Islamic Jihad and uses the organization’s ties with other jihadi groups to recruit Arab-Muslim volunteers for the so-called "jihad in Iraq." Another intelligence source said same of the foreign terrorists killed lately in Iraq are Palestinians. The source also said foreign volunteers were using forged documents giving them North African identities.

Source:G2 Bulletin

"Soft-Spoken" Cindy Sheehan

"The Times keeps following Cindy Sheehan's anti-war parade as it winds through the New York City boroughs. But, as Shadi Rahimi reports Tuesday, the left-wing bandwagon hit a roadblock around 14th street in Manhattan in "An Antiwar Speech in Union Square Is Stopped by Police Citing Paperwork Rules."

That "paperwork" turned out to be a necessary permit for audio equipment the protest lacked: "An antiwar speech by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq, was cut short yesterday after the organizer of the event was arrested and police officers confiscated his audio equipment. The claps and cheers that had greeted Ms. Sheehan's arrival at the rally in Union Square quickly turned to furious chants of 'Let her speak!' as officers ushered away the organizer, Paul Zulkowitz, who the police said lacked audio permits for the event."

The Times lets the left-wing protesters give their own unlikely version of events: "But many people attending the event, dozens of whom yelled accusations into the faces of the more than 20 police officers who blocked them from following Mr. Zulkowitz, interpreted the arrest as a demonstration of citywide disdain for free speech, referring to last year's arrests of protesters at the Republican National Convention."

The Times relays more of the same "rock star" vibe it did on Monday: "The crowd of New Yorkers had waited more than an hour to catch a glimpse of Ms. Sheehan, who was thrust into the national spotlight in August when she sought a meeting with President Bush by camping out for days near his ranch in Crawford, Tex. Though soft-spoken, Ms. Sheehan has not shied away from controversy, opening her New York visit on Sunday night in Brooklyn by accusing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of failing to challenge the Bush administration's policies in Iraq."

Sheehan's hardly "soft-spoken," as her recent call to get U.S. troops out of "occupied New Orleans" indicates. But you wouldn't know that by reading the Times, which faithfully edits out her inflammatory comments on Israel and Bush.

Again the Times describes her comrades while not hinting at their left-wing nature: "Ms. Sheehan's message has been heard across the nation on television ads sponsored by antiwar groups and at well-publicized stops on her bus tour, which was launched from Crawford on Aug. 31 and has visited 51 cities in 28 states. She has been joined on her journey by families of soldiers and veterans, many of whom have been working for years to rally people against war."

As on Monday, one has to go to the New York Sun for less flattering details about the protest, such as the fact that protesters "pressed up against police officers and called them 'pigs,' 'fascists,' and 'Stalinists.'"

Source: Times Watch


The Brit's and the French:

A long time ago, Britain and France were at war. During one battle, the French captured an English major. Taking the Major to their headquarters, the French General began to question him.

The French General asked, "Why do your English officers all wear red coats?" "Don't you know the red material makes you easier targets for us to shoot at?" exclaimed the French General.

In his bland English way, the Major informed the General that the reason English officers wear red coats is so that if they are shot, the blood won't show, and the men they are leading won't panic.

This little-known historical fact clearly explains why, from that day until now, all French Army Officers wear brown pants.

Senate Panel Hears Concerns About Private Property Seizures
– Champions of private property rights were watching closely Tuesday, as the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the “takings of homes and other private property.” The hearing stems from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Kelo v. City of New London...

China’s Abusive Population Policies in the Spotlight Again
– Washington’s decision to once again withhold funding for a U.N. agency because of its links to controversial population control practices in China comes at a time when Chinese authorities are trying to focus more attention on incentives rather than punishment for enforcing its “one child” policies...

German Politician Says Time to Check Mosques

He wants to root out Islamists with surveillance.

Guenther Beckstein, a conservative politician, who has hopes of becoming Germany's next interior minister thinks security officials need to be watching "every mosque" in order to root out all the militant Islamists.

Germany has an estimated 3 million Muslims.

"I say we must know what's happening in every mosque. There are considerable difficulties. Let me say clearly this is not a breach of religious freedom, it's a necessity that one knows what kind of Islam is being preached in a mosque."

"When I look at (Islamist group) Tablighi Jama'at, where it was said in mosques under our surveillance that every devout person must strive to enter paradise and the most devout action is to spill one's own blood on German soil, then that can only be seen as propaganda for suicide attacks. When you have that kind of information, the security agencies need to be there."

Beckstein did go on to say that most Muslims in Germany were "decent, tolerant and hard-working."

"A State, I cheerfully admit, is the noblest work of Man: But Man, himself, free and honest, is, I speak as to this world, the noblest work of God...."

--- James Wilson

Why Should This Surpise Anyone ?

North Korea hedges on nuclear deal
"North Korea said today that it would not dismantle its nuclear-weapons program until the United States first provides an atomic energy reactor, casting doubt on its commitment to a breakthrough agreement reached at international arms talks."

I cannot count the number of times NK has done this; to say one thing, only to reverse or hedge on the "commitment" they made. Often times, a mere 24 hours later. This has to be extremely frustrating for those diplomats who have to work this nonsensical regime; at least those who are trying to negotiate seriously.

I am not so sure this includes China. I tend to believe that they are just going through the motions to appeal to the "global community."

Opinion Journal has a different view than I do. Progress in Beijing China finally leans on Kim Jong Il.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Germany's Elections

"This is one of the things that drives the rest of the world mad- but it is a simple fact- most Americans don't live their lives in a constant state of preoccupation with the internal politics of other countries. I am not saying it is a good thing, or a bad thing. But does anyone on main street USA care who will lead the next ineffective government in Germany? I doubt it."

"Whatever the eventual outcome of this electoral mess in Germany I am certain of a few things. Unemployment will still be high. The Turkish issue will not be resolved. The same nation that we had to twice go to war with in the last century and which we tried to teach democracy, and then protected from the USSR for over four decades will still continue to trade America bashing for actual policy. And not many people in America will know, or care, who heads the German government."

From The Daily Demarche by Smiley & Dr. D, 2 members of the State Department Republican Underground- conservative Foreign Service Officers serving overseas commenting on foreign policy and global reactions to America.



“Collectivism was (and is) fundamentally incompatible with the vision that undergirded this country’s founding. The New Deal, however, inoculated the federal Constitution with a kind of underground collectivist mentality. The Constitution itself was transmuted into a significantly different document...”

“Protection of private property was a major casualty of the Revolution of 1937...Rights were reordered and property acquired a second class status....Something new, called economic rights, began to supplant the old property rights...With the advent of ‘economic rights,’ the original meaning of rights was effectively destroyed. These new ‘rights’ imposed obligations, not limits, on the state. It thus became government’s job not to protect property but, rather, to regulate and distribute it.”

“Once again a majority of this court has proved that ‘if enough people get together and act in concert, they can take everything and not pay for it.’ But theft is theft. Theft is theft even when the government approves of the thievery...The right to express one’s individuality and essential human dignity through the free use of property is just as important as the right to do so through speech, the press, or the free exercise of religion.”

“We are heirs to a mind-numbing bureaucracy; subject to a level of legalization that cannot avoid being arbitrary, capricious, and discriminatory. What other outcome is possible in a society in which no adult can wake up, go about their business, and return to their homes without breaking several laws?”

Will she be the President's next choice? The wacky left would explode. There would be such an explosive uproar that even the "not-so-wacky" Dems would have to join the chorus. I have to believe that it would trigger a filibuster. It might be fun to watch. I wonder if Judge Brown would want to go through the process of character assassination.

Is Constitution Day Constitutional? Law School Asks
- A new federal law requires every American school that receives taxpayer funding to teach students about the U.S. Constitution on or around Sept. 17, the anniversary of the document’s signing in 1787. New York Law School announced that it will comply with the requirement -- but with a contrary twist...

I keep asking, and I think the time is getting closer, just when will the constitution be examined to see if it is "constitutional"?



"The author of Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them, Al Franken, appears to be caught in a little prevarication of this own. Several weeks ago The Patriot reported on his Air America scandal, whereby the Leftist start-up radio enterprise "borrowed" $875,000 from the taxpayer-subsidized Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx.

Air American later refused to pay it back, insisting the loan was the responsibility of the previous owner. On 8 August, Franken told his listeners, "I didn't know anything about this until late last week."

However, new documents would indicate Franken certainly did know about the transfers, or so he attested in November, 2004. The document in question is a settlement agreement between Air America's former and present owners, with Franken's notarized signature, outlining the company's liability to Gloria Wise. For somebody has made a career of accusing conservatives of lying—Franken now appears to have full knowledge of shady loans from a tax-funded urban children's charity to subsidize his rant-radio outlet. Perhaps a revised edition of Lying Liars is in order. "


NEWS FROM THE SWAMP..............

An energized and revitalized "hate-crimes" measure (actually, left over from the Clinton regime) passed in the House by a 24 vote margin (223 to 199 ). This bill was an amendment to HR 3132 (the "Children's Safety Act") and extends "protection" to people victimized on the basis of sexual orientation and gender by including them into the already existing federal hate-crime legislation.

I do not see how this subdividing of crime victims even further into "special categories" will help serve our justice system. Clearly, it rejects the concept of equal protection under the law that our justice system (supposedly) searches for.

All violent crimes against people are motivated by hate. This piece of legislation, like all prior "hate-crime" legislation, is saying that some victims are "more entitled" to protection than others. Oh, really? Why should this be? Does this make sense? Of course not. This makes no sense, at all. Nada. Zip.

The thought police are getting stronger every day, and our rights to free speech are being curtailed. If you don't agree with the homosexual agenda, be careful of what you say...or what you think.

"Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of publicliberty and happiness."

--- Samuel Adams

John Fund of Opinion Journal writing about Germanys election results: "The muddled result, with neither major party able to form a stable parliamentary majority, means that Germany will not be taking decisive action anytime soon to reform its unwieldy welfare state, which has helped bring it 11% unemployment and zero economic growth That will not be good for the world. Germany, the third-largest economy in the world, represents 30% of the output of the European Union. The "sick man of Europe" is likely to remain bedridden for a while longer."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Blair blasts BBC over US 'hatred'

TONY Blair has sparked another furious row with the BBC after claiming the corporation's coverage of the hurricane Katrina disaster was anti-American.

Greens Blocked Plan That May Have Saved New Orleans

You haven't seen this in the headlines of newspapers, but it should have been.

America Still Beckons

By Joel Kotkin

The American dream may be a musty old relic in the minds of some American elites. But to thousands of European immigrants each year, the dream still rings true.


Europe’s Not Working

By Olaf Gersemann

The economies of the major countries on the European continent are basket cases. And unfortunately, there’s not much hope of prosperity returning soon. Continental voters just won’t accept a Thatcher/Reagan-style revolution.

BERLIN—They call themselves “The Happy Unemployed,” and they fight “the dictatorship of wage dependency”—at a very leisurely pace. This German group so far consists of a few amateur humorists, and seems unlikely to grow larger. For while there is persistent mass unemployment in many European countries— with jobless rates hovering near double-digit levels in Germany, France, and other parts of the continent for most of a decade now—it’s unlikely that many Europeans enjoy being unemployed. Like other people, most Europeans strive for the benefits that come with being a member of the work force: financial independence, a feeling of usefulness, self-confidence, and respect from fellow citizens. [FULL ARTICLE ]

Europe Learns the Wrong Lessons

In economics and other areas, Europeans have drawn all the wrong lessons.

By Karl Zinsmeister

Nearly one third of Germans under 30 say that the U.S. government ordered the 9/11 attacks. In France, a book insisting that Americans carried out the assault themselves to increase defense budgets becomes a huge bestseller. In Britain, major newspapers carry headlines like "The USA is Now the World's Leading Rogue State."

Unlike some forms of bigotry, anti-Americanism is most virulent among Europe's elites. Everyday Germans and Brits and Italians tend to be more appreciative of American culture, economic achievement, and government than their political lords. But ordinary Europeans have relatively little influence on the direction of their societies.

This is a good analytical piece about Europe, and I recommend reading the full article.

Aiding and Abetting

By Thomas Dichter

In January 2005 the United Nations issued a massive report calling for a doubling of aid to developing countries between now and 2015 to conquer poverty. This month, it is holding a summit to push that agenda. Despite the noble intent of advocating more aid, developed nations should instead consider a reduction in development assistance funding. Why? Because aid simply does not work to solve world poverty.

I say this as an aid practitioner with close to 40 years experience in developing countries at practically all levels of the international aid apparatus, including the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program.

Like many with long aid experience, I wrestled for years with the evidence of aid's ineffectiveness. For example, community projects that look good while the aid flows, but disappear when it stops; benefits captured by those for whom they were not intended; infrastructure built with aid funds falling apart for lack of a "maintenance culture"; and interventions that look good on paper but turn out to be inappropriate to local customs or beliefs. Reluctantly I have come to believe that the structure of the aid industry is itself one of the obstacles in the development process, with its bureaucracy, and its deeply embedded incentive to get money out the door, usually before the homework is done. Full story.

Specter Seeks Another Roberts-Like Nominee

Chief Justice Roberts

The distinction between law and politics that the Judiciary Democrats do not respect lies at the heart of Roberts's approach to judging. Full story.

The Food Police Finally Get Their Smoking Gun

We have been warning for years that they were using the exact same play book used to destroy the smoking industry. Now the food police have what they’ve been looking for. A special report that says french fries cause cancer. There’s no proof to the claim, of course. Just a Swiss study done three years ago that said Acrylamide, a by product of chemicals and high heat found in deep fried foods might have a link to cancer. In fact, since that study first came out, there have been several more issued to dispute it. There is no peer-reviewed, sound science to prove the statement. But one disputed article is all it took.

Tom DeWeese.

The Tyranny of the ESA and the Threat of Kelo 2

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the worst, most destructive, and most powerful law ever to come out of Congress (with the possible exception of the federal income tax law). For thirty two years the ESA has robbed property owners of their land; killed jobs; destroyed whole industries, and created a government tyranny that would have had our founding fathers in the trenches, locked and loaded.

Americans have clearly seen, through the recent Supreme Court ruling in Kelo Vs New London, that local governments can now take private property for any scheme they can devise. However, the precedent for such cavalier disregard for property rights comes directly from the ESA.

Full article by Tom DeWeese.

Palestinians pass free across the Gaza-Egypt border last week (AP)

PA officials: 100,000 crossed border, tons of drugs and weapons smuggled in.

Palestinian cranes and bulldozers began plugging breaches along the porous Gaza-Egypt border Saturday, after days of chaos, and riot police fired in the air to keep back dozens of stone-throwing trespassers in the first sign of a clampdown. 1200 policemen reportedly deployed. [FULL DETAILS]

Katrina shows effect of climate change

The mad scientist speaks out again.

Hurricane Katrina offered “a taste” of the disasters, and the response to them, that the US could expect as a consequence of climate change, the politician ex-politician mad scientist said on Saturday.