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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 17, 2005

UN ends food aid to China

Monsters and Critics.com - Glasgow,UK
BEIJING, China (UPI) -- The United Nations World Food Program officially ends aid to China on Dec. ... China has been receiving assistance for 26 years. ...Read on


Economic Review: Hybrid-bus drives its way in China market
People's Daily Online, China
A flagship self-designed hybrid bus just drove off the China FAW Group Corporation production line, announcing the start of the industrialization of ...

Now HeavyHanded does not have anything against good old common sense conservation policies, it's just the fringe loonies I have a problem with. Afterall, even Bush wants to breathe clean air and drink clean water. At any rate, you can click on the above link and read more about the hybrid bus in China that will have the ecology wackos doing cartwheels.


CAMP KATRINA, one of my favorite blogs says, "A pair of recent articles from the Associated Press about the prescription drug problems of two celebrities - one a Hollywood playboy, the other a conservative icon - are worth a closer look."

Go here to read his take.


Shots fired into cars at carol service

SHOTS were fired at teachers' cars, and parents and children were abused at a primary school Christmas carol service in Sydney, the Catholic Church has said.

The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, George Pell, said people at a service on Monday night at St Joseph the Worker Primary School in Auburn were abused by men of Middle Eastern appearance.



EU tells Spain to tax Catholic Church
European body threatens suit unless value-added exemption overturned
--Sunday Business Post, Ireland


Smoking foes try to stop parents from lighting up

Anti-smoking activists who are driving cigarettes from public places across the country are now targeting private homes -- especially those with children.

Their efforts so far have contributed to regulations in three states -- Maine, Oklahoma and Vermont -- forbidding foster parents from smoking around children. Parental smoking also has become a critical point in some child-custody cases, including ones in Virginia and Maryland.


Friday, December 16, 2005


I came up with my own theory, using the old HeavyHanded instincts, about this new revelation, this new non-story of the moment, produced by the Old Gray Lady. She published the story about eavesdropping on Americans, and non-Americans, here in the U.S., and abroad.

I wondered about the timeliness of the story. How convenient that they "sat on the story" for a year to help out the administration. When's the last time that they had any such concerns? Six years ago when Clinton was in office might be a reasonable guesstimate.

So they sat on this story for a year, just to be nice and helpful, you know, because that's just the way they operate; and then released it two weeks before parts of the Patriot Act would expire and at a time they knew heavy discussions would be taking place as to whether it should be extended or not.

I see that the guys at Powerline were of like mind:
This morning, I wrote about the New York Times' publication of leaked classified information about a National Security Agency program involving monitoring of international communications between persons in America and known terrorists overseas. Many have wondered about the timing of the story; the Times says that it sat on the story for a year. Some have surmised that the Times was trying to take yesterday's election in Iraq off the front page. I think a more plausible theory is that the paper wanted to give cover to the Democrats' filibuster of the Patriot Act.

I am going to take this conspiracy theory of mine one step further. The New York times writer of the NSA article was written by James Risen. Mr. Risen also has a new book ("STATE OF WAR: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration") that just COINCIDENTALLY is being released that addresses this very same subject. The Gray Lady conveniently forgot to disclose this information.

The NYT reporter James Risen says the paper delayed publication of the story for a year to conduct "additional reporting", according to the Drudge Report. I say hogwash. What additional reporting would this be? More accurately, it was delayed for a year so he could write his book and time it so both the book and the article could be released at its most critical time: when contentious discussions would be taking place on the fate of the Patriot Acts extensions. The paper neglected to mention that the "urgent" story was "timed" to the release of a new book.

How dumb do they think we are? My tin-foil hat doesn't fit that tight that it prevents all critical thinking. Does anyone remember the Richard Clark bible book? It came out at the exact moment of the 9/11 commission hearings (the same publisher as Mr Risen's book - just another coincidence, I'm sure - oh yea, same editor too. More coincidence). If you recall, the book was treated as gospel and was referred to repeatedly by certain commissioners.

More evidence that our political system has run amok. It is no longer what's best for the American people - in this case the safety of the American people. But has become, "how can we turn this situation into a political football, and use it to damage the other party."


Despite the House voting this week to renew 14 of 16 provisions to the USA Patriot Act (set to expire) by a vote of 251-174, the provisions appear doomed as the Senate dropped the ball by not being able to overcome a filibuster by the Democrats.

A provision sponsored by Arlen Specter that "would have given the Secret Service broader authority to charge protestors who disrupt major events like political conventions and sporting events, including the Olympics", rankled the ACLU.

The bill was designed to prevent people from "willfully and knowingly" entering a restricted area "where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting" and includes gatherings "designated as a special event of national significance." Senator Arlen Specter didn't think there was any reason to believe that the new directive would have infringed on civil rights.

In fact, "there have been no verified civil-liberties abuses in the four years of the act's existence." Additionally, the new bill would have added 30 new safeguards in an effort to protect privacy and civil liberties.

Thanks to the Senate, many of these provisions, will now expire on 1 January 2006. We will now go back to a "pre 9/11" footing, which will prevent us from having better information sharing and coordination in the government - a coordination that we enjoyed post 9/11 - but did not have before 9/11. This coordination is vital in our endeavor to prevent more attacks in the U.S.

"The 9/11 Commission drew a distinct line from the lack of cooperation between the FBI and the CIA to the attacks of September 11, 2001." It would be insane for us to return to that pre-9/11 mindset.

Well, the Senate just proved how insane "they" are. The "wall" that was in place prior to 9/11, that did not allow information sharing between the CIA and the FBI, and that was roundly criticized by the 9/11 Commission, and was taken down, has now been reconstructed.

Have the morons forgotten that the building they work in was one of the targets of the 9/11 commandeering, murderous, jihadist thugs? Don't they know that one of the central roles of the Federal government is the protection and welfare of its citizens?

Elitist morons all. Enough of the politics! They should all be impeached. Let's start over. I want a mulligan - no check that - 100 mulligans. Like a damn Etch-a-Sketch board. Let's shake the hell out of it. Wipe it clean. Start from scratch. 'Ta hell wid' 'em!


EU is warned against tariffs on China-made shoes
International Herald Tribune - France
... igniting a more damaging trade dispute than the clash over Chinese textile imports this year awaits if it imposes anti-dumping duties on footwear from China. ...
See all stories on this topic

China rebukes Iran over Holocaust remarks
IranMania News - Iran
LONDON, December 16 (IranMania) - China mildly rebuked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over his description of the Holocaust as a "myth," saying it ...
See all stories on this topic

China, again
Indian Express - New Delhi,India
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s four-day sojourn in Kuala Lumpur has brought India’s twin Asian challenges into sharp focus: trade liberalisation and China’s emerging primacy in the region. The very fact that India has been invited to the first East Asian Summit (EAS) amidst Asia’s growing expectations of a deeper partnership with Delhi is good news. But the bad news is that India does not yet have its Asian act together. Unless India’s economic and security policy makers wake up to address challenges on these fronts quickly, India could find itself increasingly marginalised in the rapidly evolving Asian dynamic.
See all stories on this topic

China, India to work on border dispute
Science Daily (press release) - USA
Koizumi still hopes for China summit (October 25, 2005) -- Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said Tuesday he still hopes to hold summit talks with China ...
See all stories on this topic

China's economy is bigger than previously reported
San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA
By Tim Johnson. BEIJING - China's economy may suddenly catapult past those of Italy, France and Britain in size. How suddenly could the leap occur? Try Tuesday. ...
See all stories on this topic

Police call halt to China's first gay cultural festival
Times Online - UK
By Jane Macartney, China Correspondent. LIU CHUNXIAO and his partner were calm when police shut down the opening of China's first ...
See all stories on this topic

China plans tariff on select India goods
Rediff - India
China will honour its Free Trade Area agreements with its trading partners, levy negotiated tariffs on some Indian goods and will also offer special ...
See all stories on this topic

Tort lawyers have set their sights on "Big Soda," suing Coke and Pepsi for childhood obesity

From the Leftjudiciary, In case you've been wondering exactly where the anti-"Big Tobacco" litigators will be training their sights next, wonder no more. They plan to go after "Big Soda," suing Coke, Pepsi and their bottlers as contributors to childhood obesity and later ill health. Apparently, America's parents can't be held responsible for what they allow their children to ingest. The suit is planned for early 2006 in Massachusetts.

Source: The Patriot

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it."

--- Thomas Paine

Now THIS is Justice......

Generosity, Red and Blue Style

By Michael Medved
Beyond The News

A Massachusetts group called The Catalogue for Philanthropy just released its 2005 "Generosity Index"--comparing each state's ability to give (in terms of average adjusted gross income) with the percentage of taxpayers who actually report charitable donations. The results reveal a stunning political pattern: all 25 of the most generous states are red states that gave their electoral support to President Bush.

But of the bottom 12--the stingiest states of them all in terms of charity--11 of 12 are blue states that backed John Kerry--with Massachusetts itself second to the bottom.

The reason GOP states are so much more generous is both obvious and profound: conservatives view compassion as a personal responsibility, but liberals tend to see it as the government's job. One approach leads to individual commitment, while the other encourages the belief you can best help others by leaving it up to tax collectors and bureaucrats.

Pelosi Says Dems Won’t Offer Unified Position on Iraq
No surprise here. By the way, when was the last time the Dems offered any plan on anything? Tick...tick....tick....

House Republicans Seek Another Resolution on Iraq

House Approves Border Fence to Keep Out Mexicans
Hooray. It's a step in the right direction. But not an end all solution. To the kool-aid drinkers out there, there is no one end all, magic solution to this problem. This is but one necessary step.

Michigan Lawmakers Adopt Property Rights
Hope other states will follow suit and stop this nonsense of grabbing land from its' rightful owners.


The War on Terror Isn’t A Game
By Frank Salvato

The liberal left still hasn’t come to grips with the fact that the conflict in Iraq is but one battle in the overall War on Terror. The Democrats’ vision doesn’t extend beyond “getting the troops home.”

US Urged to Press for UN Force in Darfur

Nairobi, Kenya (CNSNews.com ) - The United States is a leading supporter of peacekeeping efforts in Sudan's war torn Darfur region, but campaigners are urging more U.S. involvement in an area where the African Union (A.U.) says violence is worsening.

Will The Real Al Qaeda No. 3 Please Stand Up?
- The reported killing of a senior al Qaeda operative in Pakistan on Dec. 1 has sparked debate among terrorism experts over the true identity of the target -- and the accuracy of numerical rankings that the Pentagon and White House have attached to other captured or killed terrorists. Some say the rankings represent public relations run amok, while others say they prove that the U.S. continues to rely on faulty Pakistani intelligence...

Bush’s Efforts in Iraq Succeeding, Israeli Analysts Say
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com)
– Democracy is slowly taking hold in Iraq and the insurgency is losing its Sunni support-base in Iraq, analysts here said on Friday. They spoke after some 11 million of Iraq’s 15 million registered voters cast ballots on Thursday for a 275-seat parliament, the largest voter turnout of the three elections held this year...

'Landmark' Embryonic Stem Cell Claims Unraveling
– The world’s biggest “breakthrough” in embryonic stem cell research is in doubt after South Korean cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk, having already admitted unethical research practices, reportedly confessed to faking key parts of his data...

Pro-Union Protesters Arrested at Florida Wal-Mart
– A group that wants to unionize Wal-Mart is accusing a Florida Wal-Mart of “racial profiling.” It happened after two protesters were arrested at a store in North Lauderdale for allegedly shoving store managers...

Russia Blasts Iranian Remarks on Holocaust, Israel
Moscow (CNSNews.com)
– Russia spoke out Thursday against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s remarks denying the Holocaust, which came as an embarrassment for Moscow given its deepening ties with Tehran...

Call to Condemn Communist Crimes Upsets Party Faithful
– A leading European human rights watchdog will next month consider a proposal calling for the crimes of communism to be condemned internationally and investigated more thoroughly. The proposal’s supporters argue that communism has never been internationally repudiated to the same degree as Nazism was after World War II...

Democrats plan to filibuster Patriot Act
The Washington Times

Senate Democrats say they will filibuster the extension of the USA Patriot Act, which passed the House yesterday on a bipartisan vote, despite some concerns that provisions of the bill trample civil liberties by giving law enforcement too much power.



Today is the anniversary in 1773 of the 'Boston Tea Party', when about 50 members of the Sons of Liberty organised by Samuel Adams boarded ships in Boston Harbor and threw thousands of pounds worth of tea overboard in protest at British tax policies in the colonies.

Sunni voters flock to the polls

SUNNI voters in the notorious rebel city of Samarra turned out in force yesterday, as 15 million Iraqis nationwide went to the polls to elect a new parliament and a new government.

China makes its economic strength felt across Africa

IN JOHANNESBURG'S bustling Oriental Plaza, the Chinese are ruffling feathers.

Poorest nations join forces for trade deal

DEVELOPING countries closed ranks yesterday to push their agenda at the World Trade Organisation talks, as the United States and the European Union exchanged accusations of intransigence - with time running out for a global deal that could lift millions out of poverty.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Israel, Jordan on Zarqawi's Radar?

Israel fears it is Zarqawi's next target
United Press International - USA
(UPI) -- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the jihadist terrorist leader in Iraq, is preparing bases and logistics to extend his campaign against Jordan and Israel, a ...


Statistics Suggest Race Not a Factor in Katrina Deaths
– Statistics released by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals suggest that fewer than half of the victims of Hurricane Katrina were black, and that whites died at the highest rate of all races in New Orleans...

More al Zarqawi News

The Bin Laden/al Zarqawi Feud
Strategy Page - USA
December 15, 2005: The apparent feud between Osmaa Bin Laden and Iraq terror boss al Zarqawi seems to boil down to what approach is likely to attract more ...
See all stories on this topic

Zarqawi v Iraqis: Conflict of interest?
Aljazeera.net - Qatar
... Analysists believe that there is indeed a clash of interest between Iraqi fighters and al-Zarqawi group, which mainly consists of non-Iraqi fighters. ...
See all stories on this topic

French Counterterror Agents Arrest Three
Houston Chronicle - United States
... on Thursday arrested three people suspected of belonging to a terror group with "indirect links" to al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a police ...
See all stories on this topic

What's new, what's uncertain in Sunnis' first vote
AsiaNews.it - Italy
... secular and religious Sunni leaders have asked their supporters to vote and publicly distanced themselves from the terrorism of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, al-Qaeda ...
See all stories on this topic

Blowback may bite al-Qaida
Cincinnati Post - OH,USA
... Led by the Jordanian Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and responsible for the grisliest acts of the insurgency, these would-be martyrs have plainly acquired technical and ...

Police arrest more in Zarqawi-linked French probe
Reuters - USA
... two people as part of a probe into an Islamic militant group said to have indirect links to al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, officials said on ...

News on al-Zarqawi

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi disowned by clan
ABC Online - Australia
Jordanian, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, and the country's most wanted man with a $25 million bounty on his head. ...
See all stories on this topic

Baghdad falls quiet as Zarqawi threatens poll
Telegraph.co.uk - United Kingdom
The terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi vowed to disrupt today's general election in Iraq as a nationwide travel ban was imposed to reduce the threat of car ...
See all stories on this topic

Terror suspects have indirect Zarqawi link -France
NewKerala.com - Ernakulam,Kerala,India
... A group of Islamic militants detained on Monday in the Paris region have indirect contact with al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, French Interior ...

"Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories."

-- Thomas Jefferson


From The Scotsman

Today in 1791, the first ten amendments of the US constitution became US law. Known as the Bill of Rights, the amendments protected Americans' freedom of, among other things, speech, religion and press and conferred the right to bear arms. The US constitution was ratified after the War of Independence with Britain following the Declaration of Independence of 1776, itself influenced by the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath written some 450 years earlier.

Sacrifice Honored

—Hugh Hewitt
Beyond The News

Today Iraqis are going to the polls for the third time this year to complete that country's transition to a parliamentary democracy. The road has been long and hard, and the cost, though necessary, has been staggering. More than 2,100 Americans have died to get to this vote, and more than 30,000 Iraqis have perished in the huge effort to throw off the terrible regime of dictator Saddam Hussein.

ABC and Time Magazine polled extensively and found that 70 percent of Iraqis say their life is good--and two of three think that things will improve in the coming year. The poll notes the many challenges Iraqis face, but, contrary to the impression you'd get through mainstream media, 61 percent of Iraqis feel safer today than before the U.S.-led invasion. If their newfound freedoms hold, all of these numbers ought to increase.

At last, freedom has a home in the heart of the Middle East, and the worthy sacrifices made by thousands will be honored in the vote that is taking place today.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Media’s Top 10 Economic Myths of 2005

What’s your vote for the worst distortion of business and economic news in 2005? The bursting housing bubble? Gas prices killing the economy? Americans being stingy with foreign aid? There were plenty to choose from. See how the Free Market Project ranked the top 10 worst media myths of the year – and how [they] debunked them.

"I do not think anything can be done to cheer [Democrats] up. Certainly improvement in the economy is not going to cheer them up. What could be done? If growth were to rise from 4 percent to 5 percent they would only fret about inflation... And do not try to cheer them up with a hearty Merry Christmas. They suffer some bugaboo about that too. The best course is to avoid all serious discussion with them."

--- Emmett Tyrrell

"It seems from their most recent words and actions, that some on the left still do not understand that most of the troops in Iraq want to be there and that all have volunteered for military service. The next time your liberal friends shed crocodile tears over the deaths of 19 and 20 year-olds in Iraq, ask them: Did these heroes join up before or after the war started?"

--- Lisa Fabrizio

"Ninety-six percent of Americans celebrate Christmas. Spare me the diversity lecture."

--- William Donohue

"Why, pray tell, are liberals who want everyone to be liberal considered moral and moderate, but Christians who want everyone to be Christian considered 'zealots' and 'bigots'?"

--- Dennis Prager

Nation-building elevated
The Washington Times

The Pentagon yesterday announced a landmark change in the use of combat troops, elevating "stability missions" -- commonly called nation-building -- to an equal status with major combat operations.

Kare Kristiansen (1920-2005)

By David Aikman

Sometimes in life you have the privilege of meeting a truly great man. I had that honor when I interviewed in 1999 a former Norwegian member of parliament, Kare Kristiansen. Kristiansen, who died recently at age 85, courageously resigned from the Nobel Peace Prize Committee in 1994 after it awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Yasser Arafat. At the time, many people thought that rewarding Arafat would make him behave better.

Kristiansen knew better. He knew that Arafat was a man with blood on his hands and that terrorism would grow worse against Israel after the 1993 Oslo agreements, not better. He was right. Hundreds of Israelis died in the next few years as terrorism escalated.

Kristiansen was a devout Christian and a man of honor, who throughout his life wanted to defend the Jewish people. We should honor his memory.

From Beyond The News

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Well, Mrs. Heavyhanded's mother was laid to rest today. It was a beautiful ceremony. Posting has resumed.

"Granted, the loss of Vietnam was great for the Democrats. But it really wasn't very good for the rest of the country, to say nothing of the Vietnamese. There's a curious nostalgia for the '70s among the old-guard institutional left; America had been humbled, which was good for humanity, and we were facing a future of scarcity and decline, which was good for the planet. Beneath it all runs a rushing river of adolescent nihilism, roiling with contempt for that vast human stain known as Western Civilization. If it hasn't given us universal health care, gay marriage and the replacement of Wal-Marts with local co-ops by 2007, well, to [heck] with it. And those co-ops had better offer reusable bags for our groceries. Hemp bags. This strain of American defeatism never died; it just slank away and chewed its tongue until the time was right. And that's now!"

--- James Lileks

"Congress has become avarice writ large, taking more and more money from the American people for projects the people never see, use, or need but enrich pols and the special interests to which they are allied. In any other context this would be called theft. In Congress it is called outreach to constituents or government services. The real crisis, in other words, is not this or that avaricious clown...but a widely held corrupt political philosophy that normalizes avarice as a routine practice of the federal government. 'Ethics' rules have been multiplying since the Watergate era. Yet they never make politicians any more ethical, because they are detached from any just political or moral philosophy that would impress upon politicians the duty to exercise power modestly. The money scandals of recent years are due not to the absence of enough ethical rules but the presence of a widening federal trough that attracts an absurdly large number of lobbyists to DC each year."
--- George Neumayr

"This is what I fear about our elites in government and media, who will decide our immigration policy. It is that they will ignore the human questions and focus instead, as they have in the past, only on economic questions (we need the workers) and political ones (we need the Latino vote). They think that's the big picture. It's not. What goes on in the human heart is the big picture. Again: What does it mean when your first act is to break the laws of your new country? What does it mean when you know you are implicitly supported in lawbreaking by that nation's ruling elite? What does it mean when you know your new country doesn't even enforce its own laws?... Our elites are lucky people. They were born in a suburb, went to Yale, and run the world from a desk. Which means this great question, immigration, is going to be decided by people who don't know what it is to sleep on a bench. Who don't know what it is to earn your space, your place... The problem with our elites as they make our immigration policy is not that they have compassion and open-mindedness. It is that they are unknowing and empty-headed."

--- Peggy Noonan

"[Democrats] are the same people who rediscover poverty every election and promise to cure it. They've cured it so often that they've now made a profession of it. They thrive on failures, on righting wrongs, aiding victims, and so forth. It must be understood that success in those tasks would put them out of business. No matter how many programs are set up and operating, their proponents never claim success for them. To do so would be to say the problems have been solved, meaning the programs are no longer needed. And the programs, not the problems, are their very reason for being."

--- Ronald Reagan

"The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth, and has accordingly become a primary object of its political cares."

--- Alexander Hamilton

China moves past the U.S. in tech exports
The Washington Times

China last year surpassed the U.S. as the world's top exporter of high-tech communications and information products such as cell phones, laptop computers and digital cameras, according to a study released yesterday.

Oil prices expected to soar to feed global appetite
The Washington Times

The era of cheap oil is over, the government's chief energy forecaster said yesterday as it nearly doubled its previous forecast for world oil prices in the next 25 years.

Bush warns of setbacks in Iraq vote
The Washington Times

President Bush, speaking from the birthplace of the U.S. Constitution, yesterday said Iraq's first parliamentary elections on Thursday "won't be perfect," and warned that no country has formed a democracy without "challenges, setbacks and false starts."


Politely Eliminating Israel
By Daniel Pipes
There is a right way and a wrong way, strangely, to call for the elimination of Israel. Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations, provided an example of each in recent weeks…


Don't attack us; we are your friends. Maybe they will leave us alone.

Putin Calls Russia Islamic World’s Most Reliable Ally
Moscow (CNSNews.com)
– Russia is the Islamic world’s most reliable partner, President Vladimir Putin said in Chechnya on Monday, implying that by attacking Russia, terrorists were doing their cause a disservice...

US Immigration Hits Record High, Increases Poverty Levels
– The U.S. had record immigration levels from 2000 to 2005, a new report said. “This corrects the notion that immigration has really slowed as a result of Sept. 11, or as a result of the economy, or anything else,” said Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies...

"This country and this people seem to have been made for each other, and it appears as if it was the design of Providence that an inheritance so proper and convenient for a ban of brethren, united to each other by the strongest of ties, should never be split into a number of unsocial, jealous, and alien sovereignties."

-- John Jay (Federalist No. 2)

Sunday, December 11, 2005


There has been a death in the family, and Heavyhanded will be out of town. Due to this fact, there will be no new posting on Monday or Tuesday, December 12th and 13th. Thanks to all.

OPEC Prepares to Extend Production Plans as Winter Demand Rises

OPEC, the source of more than a third of the world's oil, is preparing to extend an agreement to pump as much as crude as world markets can take, seeking to meet rising demand during the U.S. and European winter.

Frist Says He's Ready to Block Filibuster

Yahoo News

WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Sunday he is prepared to strip Democrats of their ability to filibuster if they try to stall Samuel Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Ba'athist insurgents to protect Iraq elections

Iraqi insurgents have signalled a major shift on January's parliamentary elections, urging Sunni Arabs to vote and warning al-Qa'eda militants not to attack polling stations.

Ba'athist loyalists boycotted Iraq's last set of elections and intimidated would-be voters out of participation.

Now guerrillas in the volatile Anbar province say they are prepared to protect voting stations from al-Qa'eda fighters.
From the London Telegraph. Read on.

Israel readies forces for strike on nuclear Iran

The Times Online
The Sunday Times

ISRAEL’S armed forces have been ordered by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister, to be ready by the end of March for possible strikes on secret uranium enrichment sites in Iran, military sources have revealed.

The order came after Israeli intelligence warned the government that Iran was operating enrichment facilities, believed to be small and concealed in civilian locations.

Read article here.

Murder of man of peace inspires a voters' revolt

The Times Online
The Sunday Times

THE grand mufti of Falluja, Sheikh Hamza Abbas al-Issawi, knew he was risking his life by urging worshippers to vote in Iraq’s elections this week and by preaching against terrorist violence.

Refusing to be intimidated, he intensified his rhetoric after receiving death threats from radical Islamists for criticising Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. He challenged his shadowy enemies by declaring at prayers: “I know I am targeted.” Full article.