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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, December 10, 2005

"Economic ignorance, misconceptions and superstition drive us toward totalitarianism because they make us more willing to hand over greater control of our lives to politicians. That results in a diminution of our liberties."

--- Walter Williams

China breaks silence on protest deaths

China broke its silence on violent protests in the south, acknowledging demonstrators were killed when police opened fire but giving a far lower death toll than the dozens claimed by residents. The official Xinhua news agency said police fired into a mob of explosives-lobbing protesters on Tuesday after being blockaded near Shanwei city, Guangdong province.

About the Desire to Acquire

From Robert Ringer, writer and best selling author:

"Though it possessed many flawed premises and opinions masquerading as facts, the recent "Time" magazine front-cover story on ambition prompted me to reflect on the subject. The essence of the article was to explore the factors that are most responsible for some people being ambitious and others not.

The Time authors asked, "Why are some people born with a fire in the belly, while others ... need something to get their pilot light lit? And why do others never get the flame of ambition going?"

Every family - particularly every large family - has its extremes when it comes to ambitious children and those who seem mentally lethargic. Sometimes, children can be so different that it's hard to believe they came from the same parents. I've had six children, so I can vouch for this phenomenon.

Unfortunately, the Time article also stated, "Of all the impulses in humanity's behavioral portfolio, ambition - that need to grab an ever bigger piece of the resource pie before someone else gets it - ought to be one of the most democratically distributed. Nature is a zero-sum game, after all. Every buffalo you kill for your family is one less for somebody else's; every acre of land you occupy elbows out somebody else."

I feel morally obliged to temporarily sidetrack myself here, because this kind of Marxist rhetoric is precisely what deters the underprivileged from doing the very things they need to do to lift themselves up. Ignorant, left-wing college profs have been teaching such gibberish to malleable-minded college kids since the days of the Greek Empire, while at the same time shameless and/or ignorant politicians have been brainwashing the parents of those same children.

Tinseltown celebs, of course, are also quite vocal when it comes to this class-warfare con. But since they have such large slices of the pie themselves, most people don't take the showbiz crowd seriously.

In truth, any honest, half-intelligent person in this day and age of highly visible entrepreneurial wealth creation certainly realizes that neither nature nor business nor life itself is a zero-sum game. In every country where the zero-sum game has been played out, the results have been catastrophic.

The list is a long one and includes, among others, the former Soviet Union, Albania, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, China, North Korea, Cuba, and Mozambique. And everyone on the list has three things in common: torture and suffering for the masses, special treatment for the anointed privileged class, and failed economies. Unfortunately, Western societies seem intent on following the loud voices of the zero-sum-game crowd down an egalitarian path that leads only to real communism (as opposed to theoretical communism, which is but a fairy tale).

What these pinheads cannot seem to grasp is that those who create wealth almost always do so by creating value for others. Or, to continue the metaphor, they increase the size of the pie. That's why the poorest families in the U.S. have the means to buy state-of-the-art television sets, DVD players, video-game consoles, computers, cellphones, and an endless collection of other electronic products that are strictly discretionary in nature - i.e., they are not necessities by any stretch of the imagination."

"One of the reasons government programs don't work, they can't produce good parents."
--- Thomas Sowell

What converted him from a young man believing in Marxism to the firm believer in free markets that he is today?

"I took a job in the government. ... One summer of working in the government was enough to change my thoughts. ... I realized that the government was nowhere close to being capable of doing what people on the left wanted the government to do. And, in fact, we'd be lucky if they didn't make things worse."

Pacifier curbs deaths in cribs, study indicates
Putting a baby to sleep with a pacifier can reduce an infant's risk of dying of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) by 90 percent, federal health researchers report.

Sunni cites more secret prisons
Sunni leader Saleh al-Mutlaq said yesterday that a second and possibly a third secret prison had been discovered in an upscale Baghdad neighborhood, charges that threaten to ratchet up Sunni-Shi'ite tensions just days before Thursday's election of a new.....

Sunnis defy Zarqawi's violence with confidence in ballot box

Insurgents believed unlikely to disrupt poll Iraq

Their candidates have been assassinated, their party offices attacked, but hopes are mounting among Iraq's Sunni Arab politicians that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, will not make a serious effort to disrupt next week's national elections. Read more at The Guardian.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Weird stuff man.

One cop wants a Coca Cola. Partner does not want to stop. Argument ensues. They struggle over steering wheel. One copper gets tasered. Taser happy partner gets fired. AP story can be found at KCCI8, Des Moines.

Story posted in "Just the facts, m'am" format.

But damn-it, leave our kites alone!

Kite ban sparks violent protests

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Many residents, outraged that the Pakistani Supreme Court upheld a ban on kite-flying, have staged a massive protest outside the courthouse in Lahore, which turned violent after police attempted to disperse the crowd.
A man carries a kite for flying from a roof during annual festival in Lahore.

So hillarious...yet SO SAD....

From Opinion Journal

Zero-Tolerance Watch
Zach Rubio got in trouble at school over something he said, the Washington Post reports from Kansas City, Kan.:
"It was, like, totally not in the classroom," the high school junior said, recalling the infraction. "We were in the, like, hall or whatever, on restroom break. This kid I know, he's like, 'Me prestas un dolar?' ['Will you lend me a dollar?'] Well, he asked in Spanish; it just seemed natural to answer that way. So I'm like, 'No problema.' "
But that conversation turned out to be a big problem for the staff at the Endeavor Alternative School, a small public high school in an ethnically mixed blue-collar neighborhood. A teacher who overheard the two boys sent Zach to the office, where Principal Jennifer Watts ordered him to call his father and leave the school.
Watts, whom students describe as a disciplinarian, said she can't discuss the case. But in a written "discipline referral" explaining her decision to suspend Zach for 1 1/2 days, she noted: "This is not the first time we have [asked] Zach and others to not speak Spanish at school."
But forget about the Spanish phrase; look at the way young Zach speaks English. He's all, "It was, like, totally . . . he's like . . . so I'm like." Principal Watts is like totally focusing on the wrong things, you know? We're like so sure!

Heavy says: Our tax dollars at work. Public education. Where do we go from here?

Great Moments in Socialized Medicine

London's Daily Telegraph reminds us why the idea of government-controlled health care is a terrifying one:
People who are grossly overweight, who smoke heavily or drink excessively could be denied surgery or drugs following a decision by a Government agency yesterday.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) which advises on the clinical and cost effectiveness of treatments for the NHS, said that in some cases the "self-inflicted" nature of an illness should be taken into account.

"If you aren't scared by the idea of Hillary Clinton or Mike Bloomberg deeming you unworthy of medical care because of your bad habits, imagine how the "religious right" would treat AIDS patients if they gained power under such a regime."

From Opinion Journal

Beyond Osama?

How is Al Qaeda doing? Why the differences between bin Laden and Zawahiri? Would the latter succeed the former? Or is Zarqawi the rising sun and OBL the setting?

In an interesting opinion piece, B. Raman, Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai asks these questions, and more, and tries to answer some of them.

He notes that there have been several important events since Osama bin Laden's last appearance....typically the kind of events that would have inspired him to communicate to the world...but he has not. Why?

One such example is the disastrous earthquake that struck the region, struck heavily in parts of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province....a province where the majority of the victims were Pashtuns - the traditional supporters of bin Laden both in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Of course there has been some speculation that OBL died in that quake. Questions abound.

He also points out, " For nearly eight months now, Al Qaeda had chosen to ignore with contempt all speculation regarding the fate of OBL. The fact that Zawahiri has now felt constrained to refute this speculation is indicative of his and Al Qaeda's concern over the likely impact of this speculation on the morale of their followers. The tenor of the message of Zawahiri also shows that the US is not doing as badly against Al Qaeda as it is alleged to be by the critics of the Bush Administration. Its ground operations in Afghanistan and Iraq are making an impact on the terrorists. The impact is not yet substantial or tide-turning, but is definitely worrisome for Al Qaeda leadership. The US' Psywar against the jihadi terrorists is showing a wee bit more sophistication than in the past, though it is not as sophisticated as one would have liked it to be.

The entire opinion piece can be read here at Outlook India.

UN investigator claims Annan lied about son's role.

Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations, lied about what he knew of his son's business activities at the time of the Iraq oil-for-food programme, according to the senior investigator charged with examining his conduct.

A report published by the US Congress also alleges that senior members of the UN's separate Volcker inquiry into the programme resisted printing any conclusion which might have forced Mr Annan's resignation. More.

"It is a singular advantage of taxes on articles of consumption that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit, which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end purposed—that is, an extension of the revenue."

--- Alexander Hamilton

Allies see benefits in Iraq missions

"We want to show the United States we will be with them when we are needed"

Joining the U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq has brought real military and diplomatic benefits that help offset the cost in blood and treasure, top officials from three East European allies said in interviews this week.

Even as President Bush finds himself under pressure to defend the U.S. mission in Iraq, these officials -- from Poland, Ukraine and Georgia -- say the argument that Iraq has been an unmitigated drain on their forces is much too simplistic.

"We supported the war in Iraq and have our troops there now not because we felt threatened directly by Saddam Hussein," said Polish Defense Minister Radek Sikorski.
"We are there because of our investment in a strong U.S.-Polish relationship. We want to show the United States we will be with them when we are needed," he said. "To that extent, we have done what we hoped to do."

Read the rest at The Washington Times.


Rice satisfies NATO on torture
Washington's NATO allies said yesterday that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "cleared the air" and "covered all the fields" regarding U.S. treatment of detainees in the war on terrorism.

Pentagon sticks with 2-war plan

The Pentagon, in a major four-year decision, has decided to stick with having the capability of being able to fight two major conflicts at once, The Washington Times has learned.


Keeping an Eye on China While Fighting the War on Terror

Arguably, the War on Terror is the most serious issue facing our country today. But our government cannot afford to have tunnel-vision when it comes to national security threats. Islamofascism isn’t the only threat facing our nation today. As the United States struggles to bring democracy to the Middle East it would be foolish to ignore or underestimate the potential threat that is China.

Japan & Australia Will Not Cut and Run

Japan, Australia to Extend Troop Deployment in Iraq

(CNSNews.com) - Japan has agreed to extend its deployment of troops in Iraq for another year, prompting confirmation from Australia that it will follow suit, since Australian forces are providing security to Japanese military engineers in southern Iraq.

Clinton's Trip to U.N. Climate Change Conference Annoys Bush Administration

Bill Clinton Heats Up UN Climate Conference

Montreal (CNSNews.com) - Former President Bill Clinton is expected to address the U.N. Climate Change Conference on Friday, the final day, after the Sierra Club reportedly raised the money to pay for Clinton's trip.

Clinton's visit is intended to help draw more media attention to the U.N. meeting and to pressure the U.S. delegation to make more concessions on climate issues, according to the Canadian Press.

Bush administration officials reportedly were "annoyed" that Clinton chose to come on the last day of the conference to try to influence the negotiations, according to the Associated Press.

Iran's Nuclear Threat to the U.S.

Iran’s Space Launch Program Puts US at Nuclear Risk
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com)
– Iran’s nuclear project is not the only Iranian technological pursuit that should worry the international community. the former head of Israel’s anti-missile program said. “Anyone who can launch satellites has the potential to [drop] a bomb anywhere in the world,” Uzi Rubin said in a telephone interview...

Americans Told to Bypass Govt. in 'Global Warming' Fight
Montreal (CNSNews.com)
- As many industrialized nations struggle to comply with the greenhouse-gas-limiting Kyoto Protocol, American citizens are being told to bypass the Bush administration and support a grassroots "ratification" of the treaty...

Ha, ha. It keeps getting wackier...and wackier....

Warm Homes Causing Arctic Ice Melt, Eskimo Charges
Montreal (CNSNews.com)
– An Arctic Inuit representative said the lower 48 states have a mild climate, and therefore Americans should have no problem turning down their thermostats in the winter to stop Arctic ice from melting...

Law Enforcement Group Defends TASERs, Blasts ACLU
– Law enforcement supporters defended the electronic immobilization device known as the “TASER” Thursday, dismissing a claim that it was responsible for nearly 150 deaths since 1999. The Law Enforcement Alliance of America called a report by the American Civil Liberties Union “junk science (that) puts cops’ lives at risk.”

Thursday, December 08, 2005



Iran president expresses doubt holocaust happened

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday expressed doubt the Holocaust took place and suggested the Jewish state of Israel be moved to Europe.

His comments, reported by Iran's official IRNA news agency from a news conference he gave in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, follow his call in October for Israel to be "wiped off the map", which sparked widespread international outrage.

Poll: Four Years After the Fall of the Taliban, Afghans Optimistic About the Future

Dec. 7, 2005 (ABC NEWS) Four years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghans express both vast support for the changes that have shaken their country and remarkable optimism for the future, despite the deep challenges they face in economic opportunity, security and basic services alike.

An ABC News poll in Afghanistan — the first national survey there sponsored by a news organization — underscores those challenges in a unique portrait of the lives of ordinary Afghans. Poverty is deep, medical care and other basic services lacking, and infrastructure minimal. Nearly six in 10 have no electricity in their homes, and just 3 percent have it around the clock. Seven in 10 Afghan adults have no more than an elementary education; half have no schooling whatsoever. Half have household incomes under $500 a year.

Yet despite these and other deprivations, 77 percent of Afghans say their country is headed in the right direction — compared with 30 percent in the vastly better-off United States. Ninety-one percent prefer the current Afghan government to the Taliban regime, and 87 percent call the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban good for their country. Osama bin Laden, for his part, is as unpopular as the Taliban; nine in 10 view him unfavorably.

Progress fuels these views: Despite the country's continued problems, 85 percent of Afghans say living conditions there are better now than they were under the Taliban. Eighty percent cite improved freedom to express political views. And 75 percent say their security from crime and violence has improved as well. After decades of oppression and war, many Afghans see a better life.

The Left's Agenda

An excerpt from an article "Socialism's Trojan Horse" appearing in The American Thinker.

"All environmental efforts thus lead – in one way or another – to a government that has more and more control over the private sector until it inevitably becomes its supreme arbiter. By incessantly expanding its powers at business’s expense, environmentalism is furtively realising the essence of socialism – a strong state which oversees and controls society’s means of production.

In short, a careful look at the policies and measures advocated by environmental activists cannot but lead us to the conclusion that the movement is being used as a cover for advancing a leftist agenda.

The movement’s true nature can be seen not only from its effects, but also from its appeal to credentialed leftists." Read the rest here.


Immigration Bill Has a Hole in It

The immigration reform bill just voted out of the House Judiciary Committee and now headed for a full House vote in the next few days has a hole in it -- a hole about 2,000 miles wide.


House Conservatives Want End to Birthright Citizenship

House conservatives today announced plans to amend a Republican-sponsored immigration reform bill with language calling for the construction of a 2,000-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and a provision that would deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. whose parents aren’t citizens.

Former Greenpeace Co-Founder Praises US for Rejecting Kyoto
Montreal (CNSNews.com)
– A founding member of Greenpeace, who left the organization because he viewed it as too radical, praised the United States for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Patrick Moore also noted that many of the industrialized nations that ratified the treaty limiting greenhouse gas emissions are now failing to comply with those emission limits...


Bush Plan: Social Security for ‘Legalized’ Illegal Aliens
– Illegal aliens who work under borrowed, stolen or fraudulent Social Security numbers could collect retirement benefits based on their illegal earnings as the result of a Bush administration plan. Critics charge the federal government has grossly underestimated the cost of the proposal, which they believe could run be billions of dollars a year...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Media and Iraq

A good commentary Why aren't the media telling the whole story about Iraq? by Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld can be see at Opinion Journal.

"I know people who hate Wal-Mart. I've interviewed the founders of anti-Wal-Mart web sites and leaders of protests... And whenever possible I try to interrupt their petition gathering and sign waving and protest marching to get them to answer the same question: 'Why not just shop somewhere else?' The simplicity of the question seems to startle them. They act as though I've asked a starving Ethiopian family why they don't just send out for pizza."

--- Michael Graham

John Bolton

U.S. firm on U.N. budget threat
U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton said yesterday that U.N. reforms are lagging far behind Washington's expectations, and affirmed the Bush administration's intention to delay the U.N. budget if necessary.

Eminent Domain and the Loss of Our Property Rights

Commentary: Heritage's Ronald Utt argues the President and Congress have been too slow in curtailing abuse of eminent domain. Read the full commentary here.

More Commentary:Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn asks “Whatever Happened to the Ownership Society?” in the November issue of Imprimis. Read this commentary here.



CEI Senior Fellow Marlo Lewis concludes that windfall profits taxes are “just energy taxes by another name, and cannot but stifle investment and increase U.S. dependence on foreign oil.”
Read it here.


Cato Institute’s Director of Tax Policy Chris Edwards looks at how flat tax reforms have helped countries that adopted them. READ IT HERE.


Global Warming Research

Even though atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased in the same time period, “there was no net change in either the mean onset or duration of snow cover for the entire continent of North America” from 1950 to 2002, reports the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change. Read it.


Econ 101: Has the Economy Been Good or Bad?
No matter how hard the media try, they can’t get the U.S. economy on the naughty list. And as FMP Adviser Gary Wolfram explains, the secret of its continued success is tax cuts.


Media Myths: Global Warming is Causing Stronger Hurricanes
The 2005 hurricane season was destructive and tragic for thousands of Americans. Unfortunately, the media did a disservice by cluttering the coverage with sensationalized portraits of the storm season. Despite scientists’ repeated assurances that global warming wasn’t to blame for this year’s storms, journalists continued to link the two. And those scientists weren’t the only ones who were ignored – the historical record putting the 2005 season in context was also largely absent, as this new Free Market Project analysis shows. READ IT HERE.

Popular Resistance Committees chief in Rafah camp killed by Israeli missile

DEBKA is reporting that "Popular Resistance Committees chief in Rafah camp Mahmoud Arkan was killed Wednesday when an Israeli airborne missile struck his car."

"A number of people also wounded. This was the first targeted assassination promised Tuesday by Mofaz after Palestinians resumed their Qassam missile offensive from Gaza against Israel. The PRC is the umbrella for Hamas, Fatah-al Aqsa Brigades and other terrorist groups in S. Gaza Strip."


Prosecutor seeks two-year sentence for "insult" to Castro.

A prosecutor has requested a sentence of two years imprisonment for former political prisoner Jorge Luis Artiles Montiel, accused of shouting denunciations against President Fidel Castro.


Saddam's trial adjourned for two weeks.

Saddam refused to appear in court today to protest the conditions in which he is be held. The trial proceeded without him. At the end of today's' trial, the judge ruled that court would not be held again until Dec. 21st.

Al-Qaida in Lebanon

Ein Hilwe: A terrorist state within a state

The G2 Bulletin reports, "Palestinian Authority counter espionage agents recently received urgent instructions to investigate new information on al-Qaida talent scouts operating in the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein Hilwe, south of Beirut on the Mediterranean coast."

It is estimated that there are at least 50,000 inhabitants in the camp, plus a large number of others habitating in the immediate vicinity. "Ein Hilwe is for all practical matters an unofficial ex-territorial area in Lebanon." It is a main attraction to jihadi recruiters for young men. "This camp, and probably similar places with a large Palestinian population, is nowadays among the most valuable sources for volunteers going to Iraq."

Today (Dec. 7th) Haaertz also is reporting that Qaida men in Lebanon said directing Gaza terrorists.

"The security establishment believes that activists from Al-Qaida in Lebanon are running Palestinian terrorists based in Gaza, sending them directives for their actions. Meanwhile, the first Palestinian to be charged with undergoing training in an Al-Qaida base in Afghanistan has confessed to most of the charges against him.

Last week Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon said Al-Qaida is trying to send terrorists to Israel and the territories. They apparently were referring to information about Al-Qaida operatives in Lebanon, refugees from the American assault on Afghanistan who are working with Hezbollah to send directives for operations to terrorists in Gaza.

Military Intelligence believes that despite the American operations in Afghanistan, Al-Qaida operatives are still active there and are involved in trying to establish terrorist cells in the territories. Their main route is through Lebanon. Directives to a Lebanese cell of Muslim extremists who tried to blow up the Allenby Bridge and to attack Christian pilgrims on the Millennium eve, also reached them through Lebanon, and with help from the Hezbollah."
Read more.

DEBKAfiles is also reporting that Al Qaeda from new Lebanese base sends notorious Imad Mughniyeh to recruit Palestinian bombers to strike Israel.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Rumsfeld scores press 'negativity'

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld urged the American press yesterday to reassess what he called repeated negative coverage of Iraq as his commanders in Iraq push an extensive information war to counter terrorists' propaganda.
Read more.

Getty Images


Converts to Terrorism
By Daniel Pipes

Converts to Islam are taking over the terrorist operations previously carried out mainly by Muslim-born immigrants and their children. Islamist terror organizations particularly prize converts because they know the local culture and can blend in…

Blacks Deserve ‘200 Years of Free Education,’ Activist Says
– A group of activists has announced plans to boycott some of the nation’s largest banks for their alleged roles in the 19th century slave trade. The activists are demanding that the banks spend hundreds of millions of dollars on reparations and provide the descendants of slaves 200 years of free higher education...

Kyoto Protocol Declared ‘Dead’ at UN Climate Conference
Montreal (CNSNews.com)
- The Kyoto Protocol on climate change is too flawed to be effective, critics say. The treaty was declared “dead” by several organizations attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Montreal...

Men Warm Globe, Women Feel the Heat, Group Claims
Montreal (CNSNews.com)
- The debate over climate change evolved into a battle of the sexes at a U.N. Climate Change Conference in Montreal, when a feminist environmentalist accused men of being the biggest contributors to human-caused "global warming." Women are bearing the brunt of the negative climate consequences created by men, she lamented...

Monday, December 05, 2005

New Hong Kong Leader Faces Demands for Democracy
– Residents of Hong Kong took to the streets again on Sunday to protest Beijing’s refusal to give the territory the level of democracy they believe they were promised when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997...

Palestinians Doing Nothing to Thwart Terror, Israel Says
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com)
– Israel blamed the Palestinian Authority on Monday for a suicide bombing outside a mall in the Israeli seaside city of Netanya, saying once again that the P.A. is not doing enough to stop the terrorists...


The journal Quaternary Science Reviews in November published a study by Swiss researchers, stating that human impact on the climate may be minimal compared to natural climate variations.

The study noted that natural temperature variations over the past 1,000 years were so large that they would "result in a redistribution of weight towards the role of natural factors in [causing] temperature changes, thereby relatively devaluing the impact of [man-made] emissions and affecting future predicted [global climate] scenarios."

The study also noted that if natural factors played such a significant role in rising temperatures, then "agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol that intend to reduce emissions of anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gases would be less effective than thought."

Emphasis mine. Read the rest at CNS News

"[S]uppressing the language, symbols, or customs of Christians in a predominantly Christian society is not inclusive. It's insulting. It's discriminatory, too. Hanukkah menorahs are never referred to as 'holiday lamps' —not even the giant menorahs erected in Boston Common and many other public venues each year by Chabad, the Hasidic Jewish outreach movement. No one worries that calling the Muslim holy month of Ramadan by its name—or even celebrating it officially, as the White House does with an annual 'iftaar' dinner—might be insensitive to non-Muslims. In this tolerant and open-hearted nation, religious minorities are not expected to keep their beliefs out of sight or to squelch their traditions lest someone, somewhere, take offense. Surely the religious majority shouldn't be expected to either."

--- Jeff Jacoby

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

--- John F. Kennedy

Bush Policy Rules Out a Deal on Zarqawi

WASHINGTON (IPS) - U.S. President George W. Bush's adamant rejection of a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq effectively slams the door on a recent reported offer from Sunni resistance groups to eliminate the al Qaeda terrorist haven in Iraq as part of a negotiated peace agreement.

At the recent Iraqi reconciliation meeting in Cairo, leaders of three Sunni armed organisations -- the Islamic Army, the Bloc of Holy Warriors and the Revolution of 1920 Brigades -- told U.S. and Arab officials they were willing to track down terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and turn him over to Iraqi authorities as part of a negotiated settlement with the United States, according to the highly respected London-based Arabic-language Al-Hayat newspaper.

Infection rates still high despite major NHS hygiene drive

THE full extent of Scotland's superbug crisis was spelled out yesterday in a report that showed a fifth of people who die following surgery were infected by bacteria such as MRSA.

Vietnam vet holds vigil on border
The Washington Times

Britt Craig poked his head and a 9 mm pistol out the van's door with a start. He had been asleep, as were his two "attack cats." Read on...

Nagin decries Orleans funding
The Washington Times

New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin yesterday called on Congress to fulfill President Bush's promise to rebuild his city and to have levees repaired to withstand a Category 3 storm before the next hurricane season. Read on...

Saddam's victims ready to testify
The Washington Times

At least 10 victims of Saddam Hussein's brutal regime are to face the former dictator today and testify to his role in the 1982 killings of more than 140 people, officials close to the tribunal said.
Read on....

My... How things have changed..........

"So that the executive and legislative branches of the national government depend upon, and emanate from the states. Every where the state sovereignties are represented; and the national sovereignty, as such, has no representation."

-- Joseph Story, 1833

Sunday, December 04, 2005

60% Favor Barrier Along Mexican Border

Rasmussen - Seventy-five percent (75%) of Americans say that immigration issues are somewhat or very important in terms of how they will vote on Election Day.


Rasmussen- The Rasmussen Consumer Index gained two points on Sunday to 116.1. That's the highest reading since August 7. In fact, with the exception of two days in early August, it's the highest level of consumer confidence measured in nine months.

For the first time since August 7, the number of Americans who say the economy is getting better reached 30%. That figure had fallen as low as 17% in September and October.

The Index, which measures the economic confidence of American consumers, has shown increasing confidence since Labor Day. It is up ten points from a month ago and twenty-one points from three months ago.

Currently, this Index is within five points of its 2005 high-water mark and twenty-two points above the lowest level of the year.

48% Say US Winning War on Terror
Rasmussen - Confidence in the War on Terror is up sharply compared to a month ago. Forty-eight percent (48%) Americans now believe the U.S. and its Allies are winning. That's up nine points from 39% a month ago and represents the highest level of confidence measured in 2005.

Just 28% now believe the terrorists are winning, down six points from 34% a month ago. The survey was conducted on Wednesday and Thursday night following the President's speech outlining his strategy in Iraq.

Huge partisan divisions on questions dealing with Iraq remain. Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans believe the U.S. and its allies are winning. That's up from 64% a month ago.

Just 28% of Democrats believe the U.S. is winning while 45% of Nancy Pelosi's party believe the terrorists are winning. Even that is a more optimistic assessment than last month when just 19% of Democrats said the U.S. was winning.

This is further proof that my position is correct in that this administration has been woefully lacking in public relations with the citizens of this country from day one. And not in just in the war in Iraq, but the whole war on terror, the economy, social security, the whole ball of wax, so to speak.

The public needs constant reminders, just as any good manager knows, his staff needs occasional "atta-boys". Whenever Bush does a speech, his ratings go up. You cannot just sit back for 6 months at a time, watch your ratings tank, and then do a speech. You got to stay ahead of the curve. Bush connects with the general public when he speaks (I know... he's not a good speaker).
Perhaps part of his connection, his charm, is that homespun delivery of his.

Of course, it is harder for him to get his message out because of the animosity the MSM has for him, and I certainly would stay away from having press conferences because of this very reason. But every president needs and should want to win the PR war. (HH)

The New Rules of Engagement

Time has has an article on the various "factions" fighting the U.S. in Iraq. And not surprisingly, it is for the most part, a picture painted mostly with dark colors, although I think they tried to do an even-handed analysis.
"The secret meeting took place earlier this year on the outskirts of Baghdad, in a safe house known only to the insurgents in attendance. One of them, an Iraqi known by the nom de guerre Abu Marwan, is a senior commander of the leading Baathist guerrilla group called the Army of Mohammed. Together with a representative of an alliance of Iraqi Islamist insurgent groups, Abu Marwan met aides to Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq. The purpose was to discuss the idea of uniting under a joint command the disparate networks fighting U.S. forces in Iraq. When the conversation turned to leadership issues, Abu Marwan's companion suggested that al-Qaeda replace al-Zarqawi with an Iraqi, "as it would have an enormous impact on the other groups." But an al-Zarqawi aide rebuffed the notion. "Who started our organization?" he asked rhetorically. No one was prepared to ask al-Zarqawi to step aside."

Read the rest here.