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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, October 08, 2005

Is War With Iran Inevitable ?

A reader commenting on my posting of a news article about the Mullahs turning their nuclear program over to the military, was left wondering whether it was better, or worse, than having the Mullahs controlling them? He called it a "very uncomfortable situation." He also felt it was quite clear that Iranians want more democracy than what they presently have and was hoping that we (the U. S.) have the resources devoted to supporting a popular resistance in Iran. He then asked, "How can we help them?"

My initial response was that it, indeed, was an uncomfortable situation and as to whether it's better for the army or the mullahs' to control the nuclear material, was a tough question. I've read that Iran could be as far as 6 years from actually having nuclear missiles, and some analysts say it could be much sooner than that.

But no one knows really. But it does underscore what any rational, objective, honest, and clear thinking person should have been able to deduce on their own; and that is that this talk about "non-military use only" was bunk.

The younger Iranian population is very pro West from everything I see, but I think we are many years away from any civil war/revolt. I feel "something else" will happen before then. I don't know that we can sit idly by and wait for this revolution to happen.

Dr. Jack Wheeler, whose opinion I respect, has a somewhat similar opinion and he seems to agree with me in large part. Let's set the table:

He thinks it's probably wishful thinking that a Democratic Revolution will take place and overthrow the Mullahs and their fascist beliefs in the short term. He wonders if we are running out of time for this revolution take place? So far we have resisted a military confrontation; but will our ability to resist confrontation with Iran be overtaken by events?

Overtaken by events? What, pray tell, do you mean?

Well, you see, Marx believed in an idea -- "a correlation of forces" -- which can be loosely defined as a convergence or coming together of a number of factors or a set of circumstances the right way at the right time causing a particular and an almost unavoidable event or outcome to occur.

No matter how much we would like to avoid a war with Iran, especially with our hands full in Iraq, soon we'll have no other choice. While trying to hold Iran to account for being "an enemy of civilization," George Bush has been able to shy away from any sort of actual military confrontation with the Tehran Mullacracy.

But his efforts will be in vain for it is soon to be overtaken by events.

Wheeler predicts, "War is coming between America and Iran because the mullahs in Tehran see war as their only hope of keeping their power. They see war as the only way to prevent the coming democratic revolution that will sweep them away. They have convinced themselves that - – get ready -– that it is a war they can win, that Iran can militarily defeat the United States of America."

While the U.S. positions, makes threats, and warns Iran about their "bad behavior" and their nuclear quest, Tehran thumbs its' nose, thusly:

Iran sponsors Al-Zarqawi’s terrorism upon Iraqi Shias; Iran orders Muqtada al-Sadr to have his Shia militia attack British troops in Basra; Iran announces that the Revolutionary Guards will be running Iran’s nuclear program; Iran orchestrates the coordination of the alliance between Hamas, Islamc Jihad, and Hezbollah to wage terror in Israel.

Just as some believe that the U.S. fell into Bin Laden's trap of getting the U.S. involved in a war in Iraq, Tehran may be goading the U.S. into an overt military attack, so they have an excuse to initiate an all-out Hezbollah and Hamas rocket and suicide attack on Israel, while at the same time, "closing the Straits of Hormuz so no oil gets out of the Gulf, pouring in Revolutionary Guard troops (already pre-positioned) invading southern Iraq to 'protect our fellow Shias' from chaos caused by Iran in the first place."

If Israel or the US does not oblige them by attacking its nuke plants, the mullahs will use other tactics to draw us into war, such as "invading southern Iraq in response to the US bombing terrorist sanctuaries in a 'brother Islamic state', Syria, or sponsoring civil war chaos in southern Iraq to completely intolerable levels."

"However much Bush wants to avoid it, however much he hopes his rhetoric will be dissuasive, war with Iran is coming fast. The mullahs see they have no choice but to force the war in Iraq to a head by a war with them."

Democrats to force Dobson to testify?

Senator wants to know if he's hiding Miers' pro-life views

"Citing "insiders," the weblog (Ankle Biting Pundits) says Salazar believes Dobson should be called before the panel to answer what he knows about Miers, when he knew it and who provided him with the information."

This is unbelievable. The Dems keep stepping in it.

Big Easy cleanup a foreign affair
Many of those engaged in the huge cleanup and reconstruction effort in New Orleans -- nobody has an exact count -- are immigrants, both legal and illegal, from Mexico and Central America.

Zarqawi justifies killing of civilians
Iraq's al Qaeda leader Abu Musab Zarqawi said militants were justified under Islam in killing civilians as long as they are infidels, according to a new audiotape attributed to him yesterday.

DeLay seeks quashing of indictment
Rep. Tom DeLay asked a court yesterday to set aside an indictment against him, charging that prosecutor Ronnie Earle engaged in misconduct.

Senate OKs homeland security bill
Congress yesterday approved hiring 1,000 new Border Patrol agents in fiscal year 2006 with Senate passage of the homeland security spending bill.

Friday, October 07, 2005


"Is this a nominee who will protect and expand our constitutional rights, or will she neglect and narrow those rights? Learning the answer will be at the core of what the American people and the Senate need to know from the hearings on this nomination."

---Sen. Patrick Leahy,

sounding as if he were talking about some junior high science experiment on the effects of heat and cold rather than on the constitution.


"[T]he fact remains that on the major legal debates of her time, Ms. Miers has remained largely silent, perhaps this is because she hasn't had the public opportunity to express her views, but a rational worry is that she doesn't have well developed opinions about the reach into state prerogatives of the Commerce Clause, the separation of powers, the First Amendment's Establishment Clause, the breadth of the right to privacy, and so on. The lesson of other Republican nominees without such fixed views—Harry Blackmun, [David] Souter, Anthony Kennedy—is that they always drift to the left once they get on the Court."

---The Wall Street Journal


Terror in Mogadishu

"On a recent drive in downtown Mogadishu with ten heavily armed bodyguards, I passed the site of the old US embassy, and observed a melancholy scene that Britain and the USA might ponder if they decide to bale out of Iraq early. The embassy has been totally demolished, either out of hatred or because Mogadishu’s benighted inhabitants need bricks with which to build their hovels. The site is now a forest of thorns browsed by camels. Washington has long regarded Somalia as nothing but a nasty backwater populated by ungrateful Africans, but the continuing violence there — much of it directed by Islamic extremists — suggests that the country may become the springboard for an Africa-wide Islamic jihad.

When the Somali government fell in 1991 and civil war broke out, US navy helicopters were diverted from the Gulf to pull out the American diplomats. One Somali who witnessed the evacuation was a friend of mine, Abdulkadir Yahya, who worked at the embassy. As gunmen scaled the walls, Yahya gathered his wife and children to wait to be rescued with the foreigners. Just as the helicopters were about to lift off, the Americans told Yahya that he and his family would have to stay behind. One tossed him the keys to the ambassador’s office and yelled, ‘Here, what’s left of the money and food is all yours!’

I met Yahya a few days after he had been left behind by his American employers and he managed to laugh about it. He was kind, clever and, like many Somalis, he had a stoical sense of humour. Ignored by the world, Somalis were committing what Yahya drily called ‘geno-suicide’. Once, over a plate of lobster in the ruins of the Lido Beach Club — which still served lunch despite the lack of a roof and mortar-bomb holes in the wall — Yahya told me, ‘In Somalia, if you have nothing you starve. If you have something you are attacked. Either way, you get killed.’ "

Full story.


"It is a duty certainly to give our sparings to those who want; but to see also that they are faithfully distributed, and duly apportioned to the respective wants of those receivers. And why give through agents whom we know not, to persons whom we know not, and in countries from which we get no account, where we can do it at short hand, to objects under our eye, through agents we know, and to supply wants we see?"

-- Thomas Jefferson

‘Right Wing’ Questions About Miers are ‘Sexist,’ Dem Charges
– While many conservatives continue to complain about President Bush’s choice of Harriet Miers for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court, two Democratic senators Thursday offered their own interpretations as to why those conservatives are unhappy...

Dems Promote ‘Smart, Sensible’ National Security Legacy
– Their party has often been attacked for lacking conscience and conviction on national security issues, and now a group of Democrats has announced an effort to train the current crop of congressional candidates on how to use military issues in their campaigns. Selected congressional candidates will learn how to connect with voters on defense issues...

Bush, Blair Warn Iran on Terrorism
– President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have both signaled a new level of impatience with Iran, accusing the Islamic regime of supporting terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere....

Bush Praised for Finally ‘Naming the Enemy’
– President George W. Bush clearly identified the enemy for the first time in a speech he delivered on Thursday. So say a number of conservative commentators reacting online to the president’s speech, in which he spoke of the ideology behind Islamist terror and attempts to create a “radical Islamic empire.”

Vaccine blocks cancer cause

A trial involving more than 12,000 women from 13 countries has found an experimental vaccine "100 percent effective" in blocking a sexually transmitted virus that is the most common cause of cervical cancer, the vaccine's maker announced yesterday.

Storms double heating costs

Many U.S. households will face a near doubling of home heating costs this winter because of severe disruptions in Gulf of Mexico supplies of natural gas and home heating oil, energy analysts say.

Democrats let the right lead attack on Miers nod

Democrats are holding their fire on Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers because conservatives already are grinding away at her thin judicial record, a top Democrat said yesterday.

DeLay accuses Earle of taking corporate funds

Rep. Tom DeLay said District Attorney Ronnie Earle, who is prosecuting him for trying to involve corporate money in Texas politics, has taken such contributions himself.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Cindy Goes Home

"Tell the Fat Lady She's on in Five"
The end of the Sheehan saga

More Thoughts on Meiers, Part II

Peggy Noonan in writing a piece for the Opinion Journal questions the Harriet Miers pick for SCOTUS. While I can understand the concerns coming from the right on the selection, after all I too would like to see a conservative court for a while, and I do agree with some of her opinions and observations, there are some things bugging me.

First, and somewhat unrelated to her article, but related to the SCOTUS issue, this notion and all this talk about the "swing vote" (and it comes from both right and left) is overblown, if not misguided. Where do we get this idea that we must have 4 liberal justices, 4 conservative justices, and one "moderate/swing vote" justice? Hell, we then might as well have just one justice, and send the other eight packing.

Anyway, back to Noon's article. She says, "This choice will live beyond his presidency. It's important to get a justice who will add to the wisdom of the court, who will make it more likely that America will get a fair hearing before the bench."

I agree.

Noonan wonders, "Would she? I don't know, you don't know, the president who appointed her doesn't know. Presidents are always being surprised by what losers they put on the bench."

Well, I have read or heard nothing that indicates that she won't bring wisdom to the court. I like the fact that she is not "Ivy League."

She adds, "I wonder in fact if Harriet Meirs knows what Harriet Meirs will be like on the court. I am referring to more than the fact that if confirmed she will be presented with particular cases with particular facts that spring from a particular context and are governed, or not, by particular precedents. And I'm referring to more than the fact that people change, in spite of the president's odd insistence that she won't. People do, for good and ill. Sometimes they just become more so. But few are static."

That's the problem Peggy. We will never know for SURE (nor can any President). GW's crystal ball is not any clearer than any other preceeding President. There are no guarantees. But in those instances, where the choices by a Republican have turned into complete failures (from the conservative rights' perspective) the President didn't know them well, if at all. As someone pointed out, President George Bush, the first, would not have been able to pick Justice Souter out of a police lineup.

Justice Kennedy, on the other hand, was a known commodity. He had a conservative track record. What happened to him? Who knows? Sucked in by the glamour of D.C., D.C. politics, and the pressure of media scrutiny, and a desire to be accepted by the community? Maybe. Who knows. There is no guarantee. No sure thing, Peggy.

I submit that a case can be made that this pick is one of the "safest" picks made by any President, for a justice of SCOTUS, in history from a standpoint of personal knowledge and a close working familiarity. In fact, his fathers blunder in selecting Souter, an unknown, maybe a driving force for him in picking someone he is completely at ease with and feels safe with, and feels reasonably sure that she won't morph into something else, so as not to repeat his fathers mistake.

She opines, "The president would have been politically better served by what Pat Buchanan called a bench-clearing brawl. A fractious and sparring base would have come together arm in arm to fight for something all believe in: the beginning of the end of command-and-control liberalism on the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Democrats, forced to confront a serious and principled conservative of known stature, would have damaged themselves in the fight. If in the end President Bush lost, he'd lose while advancing a cause that is right and doing serious damage to the other side. Then he could come back to win with the next nominee. And if he won he'd have won, rousing his base and reminding them why they're Republicans."

I am not sold on this argument that losing a serious fight to the Dems would cause serious damage to them (the Dems) which would then enhance President Bush's chances so that he "could come back and win the next nominee."

A loss is a loss and that could embolden the Democratic party which does seem to be reeling a little bit now. But, I don't see the Dems rolling over on this pick. And the failure to get her nominated, which somehow would put the Republicans in a stronger positon on getting the next nominee confirmed, is a bit perplexing to me.

Noonan: "And that might explain why a Harriet Meirs has reached the age of 60 and no one seems to know what she thinks."

We are falling into the hyberbole trap now. There are people out there that know what she stands for. The President for one. And he gets to choose. Granted, she may not be a household name to many conservatives, but I have heard some very complimentary things said about her from the conservative side. "No one seems to know"? C'mon Peggy. No guarantees.

Noonan: "...... it's going to come down to Harriet Meirs's ability to argue her own case before the Senate Judiciary Committee. If the American people decide she seems like a good person--sympathetic, wise, even-keeled, knowledgeable--she'll be in; and if not, not."

Well, yes, and that's the way it should be. And, as John Fund points out:

"Conservatives should start to realize the fun and political gain that liberals are having at their expense. While skepticism of Ms. Miers is justified, the time is fast approaching when such expressions should be muted until the Senate hearings begin. At that point, Ms. Miers will finally be able to speak for herself. And those on both sides of the political spectrum will be able to make a more informed judgment."

Noonan sums it up this way: "And so the historical irony: Supreme Court justices are more powerful than ever while who and what they are is more mysterious than ever. We have a two part problem. The first is that no one knows what they think until they're there. The other is that they're there forever."

I concur wholeheartedly with this. Too powerful, too mysterious, and on the bench too long.

"Of course, when they confirmed Justice Ginsburg, liberals did not worry about balance. Actually, if not for their double standard, one might think that they had no standards at all."

---Manuel Miranda

"USA Today reported Friday that gasoline sales are down fifteen percent. They said high gas prices are wiping out cigarette, candy and soft drink sales. There's a risk everyone could live to a hundred and bankrupt the entire Social Security system."

---Argus Hamilton

I Like to Breathe Clean Air ......

..... as much as the next guy, but I don't recall just exactly where in the constitution it guarantees us this right.

"The Democrats are willing to fight for the people, fight for their rights, their right to privacy, their right to be treated equally, their right to be protected from polluted air... That's what we're interested in. It's not about how you try to phrase it, you know, liberal, left, right. It's about...rights and freedoms." —Sen. Barbara Boxer

Chalk This Up As Misinformation

It may be too much to predict an upsurge of progressive government, [but] the Republican agenda of tax cuts, Social Security privatization, and slashing government programs is over."

---Eleanor Clift, Newsweek

Slashing government programs? Huh? Did I pull a Rip Van Winkle?

Iran supplied weapons that killed 8 Britons

IRAN supplied Iraqi insurgents with the explosive devices used to kill eight British soldiers this year, the UK government said yesterday.

Landowners must yield to ballpark
The District will begin using eminent domain to acquire parcels of land at the site of the Washington Nationals' ballpark by the end of this month, after unsuccessful negotiations with nearly half of the landowners.

"....it's clear that Democrats are no closer to solving the internal contradictions within their party than Republicans are. Right now, both parties seem to be doing a pretty good job of presenting a picture of disarray and confusion to the American people.


Bush Slammed for Linking Poverty to Racism
- President Bush, already under fire from some conservatives for offering a blank check for the rebuilding of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, faces more heat for linking the poverty in New Orleans to the history of racism in the United States. "There is no connection between racism and poverty today," former welfare recipient-turned-conservative activist Star Parker told Cybercast News Service...

Republican Senator Defends Support of ‘Hate Crimes’ Bill
– Sen. George Allen, a Virginia Republican who is mentioned as a possible contender for his party's 2008 presidential nomination, is accused of breaking a campaign promise by supporting pro-homosexual federal “hate crimes” legislation. Allen denies that he broke any promise...

White House Spying Claims Roil Philippines
– Allegations that a former U.S. Marine may have stolen classified information while posted at the White House are resonating in the Philippines, an important U.S. ally in the campaign against terrorism, prompting raging speculation about the likely identities of the politicians who received the top-secret information...

Bill Banning ‘Wrongful Birth’ Lawsuits Advances in Wisconsin
– A Wisconsin Senate committee has approved a bill that would prohibit “wrongful birth” and “wrongful life” lawsuits in the state. Pro-Life Wisconsin said such lawsuits discriminate against those born with disabilities, but pro-abortion groups say SB 71 is intended to “place a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman who might choose an abortion.”

Activists File Anti-Dairy Lawsuit Against Milk Retailers
– An animal “rights” group plans to file a class-action lawsuit against Safeway, Nestle and other dairy retailers for failing to warn consumers that milk can cause serious digestive problems...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Claudia Rosett: Taiwan succeeds despite being shunned by the U.N.--or maybe because of it.


From the Analphilosopher:

"The reaction among conservatives is almost universally negative. I don't understand why. Some say they don't trust President Bush. Why not? He knows Miers well. He knows what kind of justice she will be. I also think there's some snobbishness involved. Miers is not an Ivy Leaguer, like John Roberts. She didn't clerk for a Supreme Court justice. She hasn't been a law professor. So what. She brings something just as important to the Court, namely, real-world legal experience. She's a practitioner, not a professor or a theorist. Law professors, especially those who have never practiced, tend to take an external view of the law, which inclines them to manipulate it. Practicing attorneys take an internal view of the law, which inclines them to respect it. As for this nomination being a case of cronyism, who cares? President Bush knows and trusts Harriet Miers. Should he have nominated someone he doesn't know or trust?"

I Thought it was for Civilian Use Only

Army takes control of Iran nukes
Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has placed the military firmly in control of his nation's nuclear program, undercutting his government's claim that the program is intended for civilian use, according to a leading opposition group.

'He Was Extremely Rude'
The Yale Daily News reports on a campus appearance by John Bolton, ambassador to the U.N.:
"He was extremely rude, extremely belligerent, everything the Democrats called him in confirmation hearings," Jed Glickstein '08 said. "He was all those things, but in the end he won the debate."

Presumably the Democrats (and that crybaby Voinovich) want the country to be represented by the exact opposite: someone who is extremely polite and loses the debate.

From Opinion Journal

"Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

---John Adams


As I commented to a reader, "I want a Justice who can put aside their PERSONAL beliefs, put aside their political ideologies, and rule on the point of law. MY preference is someone who is a constructionist, then as you say, "politics wouldn't matter. This idea that the Constitution is a living, breathing document, and needs to be redefined constantly as we 'progress' or 'evolve' is garbage."

The founders realized that they could not foresee the future, but yet they wanted a document, a constitution that would stand the test of time. A document, yes, that could change to accommodate that which they could not foresee, but one that would change slowly; and they provided that mechanism through the amendment process.

We don't need Justices that every time a case comes before them, try to reinvent the wheel so to speak. They constantly try to "get into the mind" of the founders and then use their own politically and ideologically biased positions to persuade us that this is what the founders "would have meant" in "today's world".

Then of course, if this exercise fails them, they go "overseas" for their "intellectual minds" and look for cases and laws to support them because they couldn't twist our Constitution enough to push their agenda.

This story, Tsunami report criticizes UN's relief efforts in wake of disaster

THE United Nations failed to adequately co-ordinate the relief effort in the wake of the Boxing Day tsunami, according to a report commissioned by the International Federation of the Red Cross.

comes as no surprise to HeavyHanded. You can go back into my archives and see several posts on their utter failure. The blogger Diplomad (who unfortunately quit blocking and was one of my favorites) works for the State Department and had first hand knowledge and posted on their (UN) incompetence.

"[T]he propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained."

-- George Washington

GOP ‘Spending Spree’ Threatens Party’s Grip on Power
- Eleven years after Americans routed Democrats at the ballot box over undisciplined spending habits, breaking the party’s monopoly on power in Washington, voters may be leaning toward a similar punishment for the Republican Party, with the issue again revolving around the dominant party’s spending of taxpayer dollars...

Assisted Dying No Longer ‘Back-Alley Practice,’ Activists Say
- Supporters of Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, which authorizes physicians to prescribe fatal overdoses to terminally ill but mentally competent patients, gathered in Washington Tuesday to declare that assisted dying is “no longer a back-alley practice.”

Next Up in the Netherlands: Euthanasia for Babies
Paris (CNSNews.com)
– Four years after becoming the first nation formally to legalize euthanasia, the Netherlands is set to amend its legislation to provide for the euthanasia of newborn babies, under certain circumstances...

Black Activists Tackle ‘Racism,’ Reparations, Ruptured Levees
– Louis Farrakhan’s Millions More Movement, formed to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Million Man March on Washington, plans to focus on “justice” for Hurricane Katrina victims, slavery reparations, and the war in Iraq at its Oct. 15 gathering on the National Mall in Washington. Nation of Islam leader Farrakhan is spreading the word that the breached levees in New Orleans may have been intentionally sabotaged...

Southeast Asia Braces for More Terror as Ramadan Looms
– Indonesian police, helped by Australian experts, continued investigations Tuesday into the weekend bombings in Bali, amid new terror warnings in Southeast Asia and as the Muslim world enters the month of Ramadan...

For anybody that has followed my blog for awhile, you probably know I am not a believer in a "MANMADE global warming." There is an article, in PDF format, that can be found here (Hattip to MoverMike) that has this Executive Summary:

"The Earth currently is experiencing a warming trend, but there is scientific evidence that human activities have little to do with it. Instead, the warming seems to be part of a 1,500-year cycle (plus or minus 500 years) of moderate temperature swings.

It has long been accepted that the Earth has experienced climate cycles, most notably the 90,000-year Ice Age cycles. But in the past 20 years or so, modern science has discovered evidence that within those broad Ice Age cycles, the Earth also experiences 1,500-year warming-cooling cycles. The Earth has been in the Modern Warming portion of the current cycle since about 1850, following a Little Ice Age from about 1300 to 1850. It appears likely that warming will continue for some time into the future, perhaps 200 years or more, regardless of human activity.

Evidence of the global nature of the 1,500-year climate cycles includes very long-term proxies for temperature change — ice cores, seabed and lake sediments, and fossils of pollen grains and tiny sea creatures. There are also shorter-term proxies — cave stalagmites, tree rings from trees both living and buried, boreholes and a wide variety of other temperature proxies.

Scientists got the first unequivocal evidence of a continuing moderate natural climate cycle in the 1980s, when Willi Dansgaard of Denmark and Hans Oeschger of Switzerland first saw two mile-long ice cores from Greenland representing 250,000 years of Earth’s frozen, layered climate history. From their initial examination, Dansgaard and Oeschger estimated the smaller temperature cycles at 2,550 years.

Subsequent research shortened the estimated length of the cycles to 1,500 years (plus or minus 500 years). Other substantiating findings followed:

● An ice core from the Antarctic’s Vostok Glacier — at the other end of the world from Greenland
— showed the same 1,500-year cycle through its 400,000-year length.
● The ice-core findings correlated with known glacier advances and retreats in northern Europe.
● Independent data in a seabed sediment core from the Atlantic Ocean west of Ireland, reported in 1997, showed nine of the 1,500-year cycles in the last 12,000 years.

Other seabed sediment cores of varying ages near Iceland, in the Norwegian and Baltic seas, off Alaska, in the eastern Mediterranean, in the Arabian Sea, near the Philippines and off the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula all also showed evidence of the 1,500-year cycles. So did lake sediment cores from Switzerland, Alaska, various parts of Africa and Argentina, as did cave stalagmites in Europe, Asia and Africa, and fossilized pollen, boreholes, tree rings and mountain tree lines.

None of these pieces of evidence would be convincing in and of themselves. However, to dismiss the evidence of the 1,500-year climate cycle, it is necessary to dismiss not only the known human histories from the past 2,000 years but also an enormous range and variety of physical evidence found by a huge body of serious researchers. "

NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS had this to say about the report:

"Considered collectively, there is clear and convincing evidence of a 1,500-year climate cycle. And if the current warming trend is part of an entirely natural cycle, as Singer and Avery conclude, then actions to prevent further warming would be futile, could impose substantial costs upon the global economy and lessen the ability of the world's peoples to adapt to the impacts of climate change."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Walter Cronkite: U.S. Too Ignorant to Vote

The man once known as the most trusted journalist in America no longer trusts Americans to vote for their own leaders, saying average citizens are just too ignorant to cast their ballots wisely.

"We [as a nation] are not educated well enough to perform the necessary act of intelligently selecting our leaders," CBS News legend Walter Cronkite told the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication last week.


A pretty good article can be found here that analyzes Pres. Bush's latest choice for the SCOTUS. Much of the to-do over Ms. Miers as his choice has been criticized by many on the right because she did not go to a top level law school. This is such a disappointing position to take, because it is an elitist position to take. It should be obvious now, if it wasn't already, that the left does not have a monopoly on elitism.

What's more, is the right has been very critical of the left for having a litmus test; and now they have done, and are now doing, the same ... applying a litmus test for this nomination.

This is another good opinion piece listing 10 reasons why Miers is a good pick.

There are different degrees of conservatism just as there are varying degrees of liberalism. Again, as tempting as it may be, applying a litmus test, i.e, "how conservative is she?" is not a good way to to pick your nominee. Someone who is right of center, but maybe not as far right as you would like, but has a constructionist view of the constitution, and is firmly against judicial activism, should be acceptable to the right ... a hell of alot better than a Sandra Day O'Connor.

If she is against the idea of using overseas laws and cases to base U.S. cases; if she is against the recent Kelo eminent domain decision; if she ends up voting in agreement with Justices Scalia and Thomas 80% of the time; if she is against the twisted and perverted form that the Commerce Clause of the Constitution has taken, then this is a victory for the right.

Speaking of Eminent Domain.........

A powerful article on the impact of property rights destruction. Read it. That's an order.

"Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves."

-- Thomas Jefferson

Abbas' Cabinet dissolved by vote
The Palestinian legislature voted yesterday to dissolve Mahmoud Abbas' Cabinet, acting after gun-firing police officers stormed an auxiliary parliament building in the Gaza Strip to protest being asked to confront Hamas without adequate arms and equipment....

Green-card quota seen as undercutting security
Immigration officials said yesterday that every application for a green card is subject to background checks, but union officials said managers' efforts to reduce a backlog of applicants mean adjudicators cut corners and could be letting in the wrong people....

Monday, October 03, 2005


Wife of dissident beaten on street
Josefa López Peña, wife of ex political prisoner Miguel Sigler Amaya, was beaten on the street five days after she and her husband were taken off a plane bound for the United States.

Liberals Express Concern; ‘Miers Must Answer Questions’
– The person who replaces Sandra Day O’Connor could dramatically tilt the balance of the court,” and that’s the main concern of Sen. Patrick Leahy, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Find out what liberals are saying...

Katrina Cash Could Create 'Slush Fund' For Left
– The dark clouds of Hurricane Katrina may have produced a silver lining for the struggling liberal civil rights establishment. One critic has warned that relief money might become "a giant slush fund for the left."

Homosexuals Challenge Ban on Blood Donations
– A Red Cross division in Australia will be forced to defend its refusal to accept blood donations from homosexuals after an anti-discrimination group agreed to take up a legal complaint...

Westerners, Moderate Muslim Gov’t Targeted in Bali Bombing
– Terrorism returned to Bali over the weekend, when suicide bombers killed up to 27 people in a pre-Ramadan attack that appeared to target both Indonesia’s moderate government and Western tourists...


"[Ruth Bader] Ginsburg [doesn't] like the idea that she might be the only woman on the Court. She said that the president should nominate a 'fine jurist' to replace Sandra Day O'Connor, and that she—Ginsburg—had 'a list of highly qualified women,' but, she continued, 'the president has not consulted me.' I wonder under which penumbra she fits this idea... Ginsburg has her list of prospective women nominees, because, as she said, the president must be particular to choose which woman, and just 'any woman will not do.' She said there are 'some women who might be appointed who would not advance human rights or women's rights.' Advance. Not interpret. Not apply the Constitution according to its principles to protect. Advance... Because Ginsburg believes her job is to 'advance human rights [and] women's rights,' she is, [under Title 28, US Code, Section 455], disqualified from ruling on those cases. Which means that she may not legally vote on any case that may affect Roe v. Wade or—for example, in the 'human rights' arena—any case that might affect the manner in which America treats terrorist prisoners in places such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."

---Jed Babbin

[Emphasis mine - H.H.]

"Nobody doubts that [John] Roberts is a conservative. Presumably he has 'feelings,' conservative ones. The record is pretty clear on that. But this doesn't mean he's playing possum and waiting for the chance to give these feelings the force of law. That's the liberal racket. Liberals celebrate precisely those justices who love women and minorities not wisely, but too well—the ones whose 'feelings' impel them to overturn law and precedent and tradition in search of penumbras formed by emanations unsuspected by the authors of the Constitution. So when liberals ask you if you recognize the constitutional right to 'privacy,' the last thing they want to hear is a politely skeptical, 'Well, it depends what you mean.' Have you no feelings, man? Hence liberals are forever complaining that conservatives 'lack compassion' and are 'mean-spirited.' The only feelings they can imagine conservatives having are nasty ones, primarily 'hate.' Ignoring such childish spite, Roberts has taken a quiet and dignified stand for the sovereignty of reason."

---Joseph Sobran

[Emphasis mine - H.H.]


"If you want to understand the Left, the best place to start is with an understanding of hysteria. Leading leftists either use hysteria as a political tactic or are actually hysterics. Take almost any subject the Left discusses and you will find hysteria... America neglects its poor, beats up its gays, oppresses its women, fouls its environment, ignores its children's educations, denies blacks their votes, and invades other countries for corporate profits: These are common accusations of the Left. No event is free of leftist hysteria. On the third day after Katrina, civil rights activist Randall Robinson reported that blacks in New Orleans were resorting to cannibalism. Indeed, most of the news media coverage bordered on the hysterical. Not to mention the hysterical predictions of 10,000-plus dead in New Orleans... [T]he irony in all of this is that the Left sees itself as the side that thinks intellectually and non-emotionally. And that is hysterical."

---Dennis Prager


"[B]oth compassionate conservatism and welfare-state liberalism alike are uncompassionate. Inheriting from the neocons a basic philosophical comfort with the concept of the welfare state, compassionate conservatism—which also goes by 'big government conservatism' —sees no pressing need to pare government down to its core functions. Traditional conservatism, on the other hand, considers a lean government essential to the task of fulfilling its core responsibilities... Ultimately, this is the core problem with all ideologies that try to make government an extension of the family. Welfare-state liberalism wants the government to act like your mommy. Compassionate conservatives want the state to be your daddy. The problem: Government cannot love you, nor should it try. Love empowers us to do some things government must never have the power to do and other things the government can almost never do well."

--- Jonah Goldberg

"Establishment Republicans all pretend to have seen Reagan's genius at the time, but that's a crock. They wanted to dump Reagan in favor of 'electable' Gerald Ford and 'electable' George Herbert Walker Bush. Newsweek reported in 1976 that Republican 'party loyalists' thought Reagan would produce 'a Goldwater-style debacle.' This is why they nominated well-known charismatic vote magnet Jerry Ford instead. Again in 1980, a majority of Republican committeemen told U.S. News and World Report that future one-termer George 'Read My Lips' Bush was more 'electable' than Reagan. The secret to Reagan's greatness was he didn't need a bunch of high-priced Bob Shrums to tell him what Americans thought. He knew because of his work with General Electric, touring the country and meeting real Americans. Two months a year for eight years, Reagan would give up to 25 speeches a day at G.E. plants—a 'marination in middle America,' as one G.E. man put it. Reagan himself said, 'I always thought Hollywood had the wrong idea of the average American, and the G.E. tours proved I was right.' Because of these tours, Reagan knew—as he calmly told fretful advisers after the Grenada invasion—'You can always trust Americans.' The G.E. tours completely immunized Reagan from the counsel of people like Karl Rove, who think the average American is a big-business man who just wants his taxes cut and doesn't care about honor, country, marriage or the unborn. Reagan knew that this is a great country. If only today's Republicans would believe it."

---Ann Coulter

"I was a Democrat once...for a long time, a large part of my life. But in those days, its leaders didn't belong to the 'blame America first' crowd. Its leaders were men like Harry Truman, who understood the challenges of our times. They didn't reserve all their indignation for America. They knew the difference between freedom and tyranny and they stood up for one and damned the other. To all the good Democrats who respect that tradition...and I hope there are many...you're not alone. We're asking you to come walk with us down the new path of hope and opportunity, and we'll make it a bipartisan salvation of our country."

---Ronald Reagan


"We might have had a faster response to Katrina, and prevented the 9/11 attacks altogether, if only we'd followed the advice of Dick the Butcher. Dick the Butcher is the character in Shakespeare's play Henry VI who says: 'The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.' Dick is a repulsive character. Shakespeare's point is that lawyers are vital to the functioning of civilized society. They are the oil in the gears of commerce, the engine of democracy. But when we have too many lawyers, and we pay them too much deference, that oil can turn into sand. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reportedly was reluctant to order a mandatory evacuation for fear of lawsuits. God knows why Gov. Kathleen Blanco dragged her feet—dithering seems to be her modus operandi—but I suspect lawyers had a lot to do with it. My friend Ralph Peters told me his sources in the Pentagon told him lawyers for FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security spent the weekend before Katrina struck arguing about what they could or couldn't do—the emphasis was on couldn't—absent certain permissions from Blanco. Former members of Able Danger, a military intelligence unit, have claimed they had identified hijack leader Mohamed Atta and the members of his cell more than a year before 9/11, and had tried to pass this information on to the FBI, but were forbidden to do so on the advice of Pentagon lawyers. There are lawyers who can act promptly and decisively in a crisis (see Giuliani, Rudy). But they are the exception rather than the rule. By training and temperament, lawyers are more likely to flash a yellow light than a green one."

---Jack Kelly


"A committee appointed by the British government, composed of Muslims, wants the nation to scrap its Holocaust Memorial Day, in the name of inclusiveness and sensitivity. No word yet on whether they also want to eliminate Passover—said to be insensitive to Egyptians. The committee recommends replacing the observance (started in 2001 and held annually on January 27) with a Genocide (a.k.a., Victimhood) Day, which would recognize the alleged mass murder of Muslims in 'Palestine,' Chechnya, Bosnia, and wherever else followers of the Religion of Peace have come into conflict with the accursed infidel. In making its case for inclusiveness, the committee somehow neglected to mention the many victims of Muslim mayhem—Armenians, Sudanese Christians, Kosovar Serbs, and Hindus—to name but a few. If an Arab stubbed his toe on the boot of a Christian knight sometime in the 11th century, it's a crime against humanity that must be memorialized throughout the ages, according to the imams. On the other hand, the slaughter of infidels is seen as the will of Allah, and worthy of a Heavenly reward. The committee maintains that Britain's Holocaust Memorial Day fuels feelings of isolation and alienation among Muslim youth. And, well, to have a special commemoration of the systematic slaughter of one in every three Jews on earth (in an effort to annihilate an entire people), is grossly unfair, the committee suggests."

--- Don Feder

Iraqi slurs Saudi official: 'Bedouin riding a camel'
Iraq's interior minister lashed out yesterday at a Saudi minister who voiced worries about growing Iranian influence and Shi'ite power, saying Iraq would not be lectured by "some Bedouin riding a camel."

Florida city considers eminent domain
Florida's Riviera Beach is a poor, predominantly black, coastal community that intends to revitalize its economy by using eminent domain, if necessary, to displace about 6,000 local residents and build a billion-dollar waterfront yachting and housing .....

DeLay: Papers show I'm innocent
Rep. Tom DeLay says he has provided documents to prosecutor Ronnie Earle proving he did not hatch a criminal conspiracy, but admits he is "guilty" of "conspiring to defeat Democrats."

Straw battles to resolve EU's crisis over Turkey
JACK Straw, the Foreign Secretary was last night mounting an 11th-hour bid to prevent a political stand-off with Austria over Turkey's proposed membership of the European Union.

Demolition Man and Money Man hunted
A GLOBAL hunt was last night under way for the terrorist masterminds behind the Bali bombing outrage, one of them a British-educated bomb-maker who may already have been involved with extremists when he studied at a UK university.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Byrd License

"You can't go to heaven if you hate anybody. We practice that. There are white ni**ers. I've seen a lot of white ni**ers in my time." Sen Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia, March 2001.

Byrd was a member of the Ku Klux Klan for a period of time in the early 1940s. In a letter he wrote in 1946, he said, "The Klan is needed today as never before and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia."

Nearly four months after the Senate's most influential Democrat, former majority leader Robert Byrd, defended the Ku Klux Klan in his autobiography, Byrd has yet to offer an apology - and fellow Democrats have not asked him to make one.

According to the eight-term West Virginia Democrat, the Klan he remembers in his autobiographical writings was "a fraternal group of elites – doctors, lawyers, clergy, judges and other 'upstanding' people."




"I'll not take instruction from Teddy Kennedy. A young woman likely drowned because of his negligence."

--- Bill Bennett

Conservative ? Liberal ? Or Libertarian?

Take this political quiz to see your political leanings.

Not So Great Afterall, Eh?

The Washington Post has a piece, "Unoccupied; No Israelis in Gaza. No Jobs,Either" that is worth reading.

For as long as I could remember, it had been dangerous, even lethal, to approach the heavily guarded, shoot-to-kill border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. But on Sept. 12, Israel had pulled its last troops out of Gaza. Now, a few days later, my brother Ahmed was telling me that some militant Palestinians had managed to break through the 25-foot-tall border wall, and a flood of eager Gazans were heading south to visit the Sinai. Ahmed wanted to go, too.

These were exciting days. Desperate and frustrated by years of occupation, we Gazans saw the Israeli withdrawal as a historic moment, and listened eagerly to minute-by-minute radio reports of the evacuation and its aftermath. In our highly factionalized news media, every party attributed "victory" and "liberation" to its own heroic militants.

Amid the fanfare and hurrahs, Ahmed and I made up our minds: We would temporarily escape five years of entrapment in this narrow strip of land. We would make this fantastic trip to Egypt and see what the taste of freedom is like.

We knew the trip would be brief. We should also have realized how short-lived our excited optimism would be. When we got home, "liberated" Gaza would still be overcrowded and poor, and there would still be no jobs for most of its people.

At dusk, we got out of my brother's jeep about 400 yards from the border fence. The scene was joyfully hysterical. A human tide of Palestinians -- men, women and children -- flowed into Egypt from Gaza, and back, through breaches in the fence. Leaving the jeep behind, my brother and I walked from the Palestinian side of Rafah to its Egyptian side. We felt happy and free.

El Arish did not turn out to be as exciting as the idea of visiting it. A small town, it was soon overwhelmed by the deluge of visitors. Shops were soon out of food, water and even cigarettes, consumed by the crowds of Gazans eagerly absorbing new experiences and different conversations. Ahmed and I came back to Gaza before dawn. By the end of that week, the fence at Rafah was repaired and the border was again closed, this time by Egyptian and Palestinian authorities.

The excitement lingered, at least for a couple of weeks. People in Gaza talked about their visit to Egypt, what they did, what they bought. Some of them were able to bring home beloved wives or children who had left Gaza for some reason and, lacking documents that would satisfy the Israeli occupiers, had not been permitted to return. Inside Gaza itself, there were holiday-like crowds on the Mediterranean beaches -- especially in Khan Younis and Rafah, where Palestinian access to the shoreline had been blocked for years by Israeli settlements. A better future for Gaza seemed to be waiting.

But the energy and enthusiasm of ordinary Palestinians has not been matched elsewhere in the world, not even by our own leaders. Now, only a couple of weeks later, Gazans' yearning for a better future has all but ended. A feeling of hopelessness has returned.

The key to Gaza's future is the restoration of the Palestinian economy. Only this will pull the rug out from under Hamas and eradicate the chaos resulting from poverty and unemployment.

Gazans need help from outside to save the next generations from poverty and extremism. Without such help, Gaza is still a prison -- it has just become a little more spacious.

"I think we were better off before the Israelis left," said Mohammed, my neighbor. "At least we were termed 'occupied,' but now we are not; we have been left alone in this barren land."

It's worth going and reading the whole thing.

Meet Ben Affleck, the Politician

Rumor has it that actor Ben Affleck is being considered as a possible opponent to Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) when he runs for re-election next year.

A spokesman for the liberal activist who moonlights as is also an actor, denies the report; however, sources say Affleck and his wife Jennifer Garner have been shopping for real estate in the Charlottesville, Va. area.

The Washington Post also confirm that his name is being "tossed around" by the Virginia Dems.



Name-dropper: the students' association at Adam Smith College has opted to name itself after socialist Jennie Lee (left) instead of economist Adam Smith.

Picture: Alan Ledgerwood

Alas, Smith is Disowned by Fife Students

HE IS regarded by many as the greatest economist of all time, the man who invented capitalism and paved the way for the greatest period of wealth the world has ever known.

But try telling that to the firebrand students at Adam Smith College, the Fife educational institution recently renamed in his honour.

In an episode some would say is reminiscent of loony-leftism at its glorious worst, the college's students' association has decided Smith represents what they regard as the world's greatest evils - namely, exploitation, greed, Thatcherism and Reaganite economics.

Consequently, students at the Kirkcaldy college have refused to name their association after Smith and plumped instead for the more "right-on" Jennie Lee, the Lochgelly-born socialist, first female Labour MP and wife of Nye Bevan.

The newly named Jennie Lee College Students' Association is even refusing to use Smith's name anywhere in its correspondence.

The row is somewhat embarrassing for local MP Gordon Brown. Last week he was made chancellor of the college which he had invited the most powerful man in the world economy to visit. Alan Greenspan, chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board, delivered last year's annual Adam Smith lecture at the college. Brown hails Smith as one of his heroes.

A spokesman for Brown, whose constituency is Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, said: "It's really up the students' union what they call themselves."

But last night, the London-based Adam Smith Institute criticised what it called a "childish" return to the 1980s, when many student unions and Labour councils changed the names of buildings and streets to honour left-wing icons.

The controversy began when it was decided to merge the former Kirkcaldy and Glenrothes colleges and name the new institution after Smith.

Paul Muirhead, a member of the students' association, said the decision to reject Smith was backed unanimously at a meeting of 30 members.

He said: "Last year, when the name of the college was decided, it appeared to come out of nowhere. We didn't feel that Adam Smith represented the values a students' association should stand for.

"He is associated with socioeconomic policies that work against the people, that were synonymous with Thatcherite and Reaganite governments.

"Jennie Lee would be an excellent role model for the students because of the courage and conviction she showed in achieving the aims she believed passionately in."

He added: "This isn't an attack upon Adam Smith as a person, but upon what his name has come to represent. Adam Smith's name is linked to exploitation and greed."

Although the college's board of governors may still veto the association's name, they are unlikely to overrule the students. Jennie Lee is a well-known local figure as well as a founder of the Open University.

A spokesman for the college said: "They are free to call themselves a name of their own choosing. Our new college is all about people and so it is fitting that they have named themselves after a local person who has done a great deal of good."

But Eamonn Butler, the director of the Adam Smith Institute, said: "On one level it's up to them what name they adopt but it is rather childish and it is based on a complete misunderstanding of what Adam Smith actually believed in. It's actually very hard to pigeonhole him as being right wing.

"His work on the theory of moral sentiment is all about sympathy for people, which isn't really about being left or right wing at all. He believed in free markets because he thought that was the best way to make the poor better off. He is one of the giants of the Scottish Enlightenment and should be remembered."

Born in Lochgelly in 1904, miner's daughter Jennie Lee was interested in politics from an early age. She studied education and law at Edinburgh University, and regularly made socialist speeches on The Mound and in Princes Street. She was elected Labour MP for North Lanark in 1929. At 24, she was the youngest member of parliament at that time.

Adam Smith was born in Kirkcaldy in 1723. Sent to Oxford on scholarship at the age of 17, he learned Greek and read the works of David Hume. In 1751, aged 28, he became a professor of logic at Glasgow before taking the chair of moral philosophy the following year.

In his seminal work, The Wealth of Nations, he studied the "invisible hand of the market" and his book later became the foundation for free-market economics.

Editorial comment

COULD it be the first sign of a return to the spirit of 1968, when radical students took to the barricades? The red flag is fluttering proudly over - of all unlikely venues - the Adam Smith College in Fife, where the Students' Association has rejected the name of its entrepreneurial patron and opted instead to commemorate Jennie Lee, spouse of Aneurin Bevan.

What makes their cause even more célèbre is the fact that Gordon Brown is chancellor of the college, as well as of the Exchequer. He appears to be relaxed about whatever patron the students adopt - except, presumably, Tony Blair. But are the students being adventurous enough?

Jennie Lee, after all, ended up as a baroness - a sinister parallel with Margaret Thatcher. Would the Che Guevara Association not have a better ring to it? Or the Lenin Institute, or the Mao Tse-Tung/Tiananmen Square Memorial Hall?

If the notorious proclivity of left-wing students to dispute how many members of the working class can stand on the point of a pin should prove divisive, individual rooms could have different patrons: the Enver Hoxha Bar, the Pol Pot Lounge...

Nearer home we have such names as Arthur Scargill and Michael Foot, prophets of a more credible economic system than a dreamer like Adam Smith - names for the many, not the few.