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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, January 28, 2006


From Gerard Baker’s column entitled, "Prepare yourself for the unthinkable: war against Iran may be a necessity" in The Times Online.

If Iran gets safely and unmolested to nuclear status, it will be a threshold moment in the history of the world, up there with the Bolshevik Revolution and the coming of Hitler. What the country itself may do with those weapons, given its pledges, its recent history and its strategic objectives with regard to the US, Israel and their allies, is well known. We can reasonably assume that the refusal of the current Iranian leadership to accept the Holocaust as historical fact is simply a recognition of their own plans to redefine the notion as soon as they get a chance (“Now this is what we call a holocaust”). But this threat is only, incredibly, a relatively small part of the problem.

If Iran goes nuclear, it will demonstrate conclusively that even the world’s greatest superpower, unrivalled militarily, under a leadership of proven willingness to take bold military steps, could not stop a country as destabilising as Iran from achieving its nuclear ambitions.

No country in a region that is so riven by religious and ethnic hatreds will feel safe from the new regional superpower. No country in the region will be confident that the US and its allies will be able or willing to protect them from a nuclear strike by Iran. Nor will any regional power fear that the US and its allies will act to prevent them from emulating Iran. Say hello to a nuclear Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia.

Iran, of course, secure now behind its nuclear wall, will surely step up its campaign of terror around the world. It will become even more of a magnet and haven for terrorists. The terror training grounds of Afghanistan were always vulnerable if the West had the resolve. Protected by a nuclear-missile-owning state, Iranian camps will become impregnable.

And the kind of society we live in and cherish in the West, a long way from Tehran or Damascus, will change beyond recognition. We balk now at intrusive government measures to tap our phones or stop us saying incendiary things in mosques. Imagine how much more our freedoms will be curtailed if our governments fear we are just one telephone call or e-mail, one plane journey or truckload away from another Hiroshima.

Something short of military action may yet prevail on Iran. Perhaps sanctions will turn their leadership from its doomsday ambitions. Perhaps Russia can somehow be persuaded to give them an incentive to think again. But we can’t count on this optimistic scenario now. And so we must ready ourselves for what may be the unthinkable necessity.

Because in the end, preparation for war, by which I mean not military feasibility planning, or political and diplomatic manoeuvres but a psychological readiness, a personal willingness on all our parts to bear the terrible burdens that it will surely impose, may be our last real chance to ensure that we can avoid one. Read the rest.

Canada issues warning to US over Arctic passage

Canada's Prime Minister- elect has issued a blunt "hands off" warning to the US over territorial rights in the Arctic - increasingly coveted now that global warming threatens to open up new waterways in the once solidly frozen far north. Read on.

Hard Line State

Big Labor's war on Wal-Mart claims casualties among poor Marylanders.

BALTIMORE--In Big Labor's war against Wal-Mart, "collateral damage"--in the form of lost jobs and income for the poor--is starting to add up. Of course, since the unions and their legislative allies claim that their motive is to liberate people from exploitation by Wal-Mart, these unintended effects are often ignored.

Read on about how "wrongheadedness" can have consequences to those who you claim you're "watching out" for.

'China's Reform Model May Not Work for North Korea'
Korea Times - South Korea
WASHINGTON (Yonhap) -- The hard core communist nation North Korea may not be able to pursue economic reforms mimicking China, due to key differences in ...

DAVOS - US, China agree no nuclear arms for Iran - US official
Reuters India - Mumbai,India
DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The United States and China still agree on the principle that Iran should not develop nuclear arms, a spokesman for US Deputy ...

Google Meets with US on China
Red Herring - CA,USA
Government invites Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Cisco to Capitol Hill for a meeting on US business practices and censorship in China. ...

China's economic ties to Iran complicate nuclear issue

San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA
... Iran, for its part, ships supertankers filled with crude oil back to China. Trade and commerce between the nations is soaring. That ... READ ON.

US-China trade, investment benefit US greatly, US report

Among the censures of US-China unbalanced trade, a US authoritative organization issued the latest research report, which gives a contrary conclusion. After China's entry into WTO, US-China trade and investment pushes the United States' economic growth by 0.7 per cent. This translates into an increase of up to 1,000 US dollars in real disposable income per US household per year.


The report finds that despite that US-China unbalanced trade draws attention, from a long-term point of view, the United States will achieve pragmatic and sustainable benefits from its trade and investment with China. The increase in US trade with China will boost US GDP by up to 0.7 per cent and will reduce prices by up to 0.8 per cent by 2010. Together, this translates into an increase of up to 1,000 US dollars in real disposable income per US household per year by 2010.


It's Happening Everywhere......

£5 billion pensions deficit in Scotland's top firms

SCOTLAND'S leading companies are facing a total pension deficit of more than £5.5 billion, The Scotsman can reveal.

Houston police arrest eight from New Orleans

A multilevel gang task force in Houston yesterday announced the arrests of eight hurricane refugees from New Orleans -- a group Houston police say is responsible for at least 11 slayings and numerous burglaries and thefts in the metropolitan area since Nov.... Read on.

Democrats concede Judge Alito victory

Sen. John Kerry dashed home from the Swiss Alps yesterday to man the barricades of a futile filibuster against Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. Well before he reached the battlefield, however, Democrats had waved the white flag and agreed to... Read on.

Muslim states wary of Hamas' success

Arab and Muslim states across the Middle East yesterday greeted the stunning electoral triumph of the radical Palestinian Hamas party with a mixture of elation and caution, with many warning the party will have to soften its fiercely anti-Israel platform... Read on.

Fatah faithful cast blame

Supporters of the defeated Palestinian party Fatah staged demonstrations in Gaza City last night that boiled into a near-riot as thousands of young men demanded the resignation of corrupt officials who led their movement to a crushing election defeat and..... Read on.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Friday, January 27, 2006

India Back in the Spotlight Ahead of Iran Nuclear Vote
(CNSNews.com) – A political row has erupted in India over concerns that the country may lose out on a nuclear cooperation deal with Washington unless it backs a U.S.-European Union effort next week to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council...

Hamas, Like Fatah, Wants All of ‘Palestine’
(CNSNews.com) – A Hamas leader said late Thursday that the terrorist group’s victory in the Palestinian legislative elections would “complete the liberation of other parts of Palestine.”Ismail Haniyeh, addressing a victory press conference, did not elaborate, but his pledge echoes Hamas' covenant, which says Hamas will work “to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine.”

Wal-Mart Foe Takes on FedEx
(CNSNews.com) - One of the labor unions deeply involved in a campaign against Wal-Mart has launched a new project, “standing with FedEx workers to demand dignity, respect and good pay.” A representative for FedEx called the effort part of the union’s “long history of using distortions and misinformation.”

Democrat Barrage Underway As Bush Speech Nears
(CNSNews.com) – Congressional Democratic leaders went on the offensive Thursday, criticizing President Bush and the Republican-led Congress on numerous issues, five days before the president goes before Congress and the nation to deliver his State of the Union address...

House Republicans Want Mexican Military Incursions Explained
(CNSNews.com) - Members of the House Committee on Homeland Security have sent letters to top Mexican and U.S. officials, requesting information about recent incursions into the United States by members of the Mexican military...


"As someone who came from the Arab world and knows how they think, it frustrates me to see self-appointed self-righteous politicians and media pundits, oblivious to Arabic culture and thinking, criticizing America's actions at Guantanamo.

Actually Gitmo is a joke as far as the Arabs are concerned. Prison? You call that a prison? You know what prisoners call Guantanamo among themselves? Al muntazah al-dini lilmujaheden al Moslemin, or The Religious Resort for Islamic Militants."

--- Brigitte Gabriel
A former news anchor for "World News" the evening news broadcast for Middle East Television seen weeknights throughout Israel, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Cyprus and Lebanon. She relocated to the United States in 1989. She speaks four languages, Arabic, French, English and Hebrew.

Why President Bush is right about warrantless surveillance

Al Gore and other hyperventilating Democrats equate warrantless searches with a police state. But the Fourth Amendment forbids unreasonable searches and seizures, not warrantless ones. Many warrantless searches are reasonable. The Customs agent who checks your luggage when you return from an overseas trip didn't get a warrant first. If you don't have an expectation of privacy when you cross an international border, why should your telephone call?

Read the rest of Jack Kelly's column here.


On January 15, 2006 I posted Sweet Dreams OBL?. In it, Michael Ledeen stated that his good Iranian sources said Bin Laden departed this world around the middle of December.

When OBL's latest tape came out, what struck me most, right away, was a statement made by our intelligence saying that it was indeed Bin Laden's voice; but that his voice sounded weak, or something to that effect.

Sources say now that the tape was spliced, and poorly at that. The most recent historical event Bin Laden referenced on the tape was President Bush telling PM Tony Blair that he would like to bomb Al Jazeera; and that was in November.

Al Jazeera initially said they received the tape on December 5th. The time line fits. OBL, deathly ill, gives his one last short speech in an ill sounding voice referencing the Bush-Blair meeting, which is taped and spliced with previous recordings and delivered to Al Jazeera on December 5th and he goes to the Great Beyond on December 17th as earlier reported.

The conclusion: OBL is still dead.


Most of us are irritated with Google, and have so expressed; and have been left to wonder why Google is cooperating with China and their quest to restrict the Chinese population from a completely open and unresticted access of the internet. Here's a thought.

If congress holds hearings next month, as threatened, for Google caveing in to the demands of the Chinese governmnet, and subsequently the CIA starts to strong arm Google as well, Google executives just might turn cooperative. There is an intelligence opportunity here of massive proportions.

By threatening congressional subpoenas, the Google boys might decide to work with the CIA. Google programmers and Langley analysts could work together and do an awful lot of data mining. We should all know about data mining by now. See Able Danger. Or, just "Google" it and you will get endless hits.

At any rate, they could utilize this information to great advantage, to find out just what it is that the Chicom government wants kept out. By doing so, this allows them to proceed to the next step - namely to develop IT tools, which they can then use to allow the Chinese population to avoid the internet censorship. This could result in a counter-intelligence goldmine.

US ambassador to the United Nations speaks at University of ...
WAVY-TV - Portsmouth,VA,USA
The United States' ambassador to the United Nations says he expects the organization's nuclear watchdog agency to refer Iran to its security council over its ...

"[Judge Robert] Bork's nomination to the Supreme Court was derailed so effectively that 'bork' became a verb meaning to ruthlessly savage a nominee's record in order to defeat his confirmation. And now [Sen. Ted] Kennedy complains that judicial nominations are too politicized? If chutzpah were an Olympic event, he would walk away with the gold."
—Jeff Jacoby


"[Democrats are] prepared to eavesdrop wherever and whenever necessary in order to make America safer."
—John Kerry, who is also against eavesdropping , doing his usual flipflopping.

"Many people surmise that one of the reasons we haven't been attacked here, is because they are being so successful at doing what they need to do to attack us in Iraq and elsewhere."
—John Kerry

Remember this one?
"I think the United States should have offered the opportunity to provide the nuclear fuel. Test them. See whether or not they were actually looking for it for peaceful purposes. If they weren't willing to work a deal, then we could have put sanctions together."
—John Kerry

Israel to U.S.: Where to from here?

Israel, not happy with the Hamas election victory, says it will wait for the United States to formulate a policy on a Hamas takeover before they make a substantive response.

Both the U.S. and Israel were surprised at the Hamas victory. They expected them to win some seats, but not the majority that they did.

"Israel preferred to cave in to U.S. pressure," said former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom. "The result is that Israel does not have a Palestinian partner. Israel is in a very difficult position."

Read more.

Mexico nixes border maps for migrants

Mexico canceled plans yesterday to distribute 70,000 border maps with safety instructions and tips to migrants aiming to cross illegally into the United States, but denied that the decision was a reaction to criticism by Bush-administration officials.

Why the change of heart, you might wonder. Well because, "This would be practically like telling the Minutemen where the migrants are going to be," said NHRC spokesman Miguel Angel Paredes. "We are going to rethink this, so that we wouldn't almost be handing them over to groups that attack migrants."

As you have most likely surmised already (sighing loudly), emphasis is mine. (H-H).

Read the rest of the article here.

Strategy targets terror WMDs

By Bill Gertz

The Pentagon's
latest four-year strategy report calls for setting up a special military task force to prevent weapons of mass destruction from being transferred to terrorist groups, The Washington Times has learned. Read on.

Leader likely to cut ties to Israel

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar has proposed a dramatic shift of Palestinian policy -- ending security cooperation with Israel, cutting most trade links with the Jewish state and refusing to engage with the "Christian-Zionist" U.S. administration. Read on.


Interesting news and post from fellow blogger Lost Budgie. My Canadian pal is yet another example, as this post shows, of how internet blogging is turning the information media upside down. The power of the internet is overwhelming, despite of what the dinosaurs are saying.

Kind of makes you wonder how long it will be before every country tries to emulate China and restrict the power of free expression on the internet.


"The current scandals in Washington should remind us just how far we have strayed from the vision of limited government the Founders handed down to us."

—John Fund

"The Founding Fathers did not foresee a permanent political class, out of touch with the people and in touch only with their careers and self-interests."

—Cal Thomas

"When you spread food out on a picnic table, you can expect ants. When you put $3 trillion on the table, you can expect special interests, lobbyists and pork-barrel politicians. As long as the federal government has so much money and power to hand out, we'll never get rid of the Abramoffs. Restrictions on lobbying deal with symptoms, not causes."

—David Boaz

Thursday, January 26, 2006

So who is mainstream? Alito, or the Senators Opposing Him?

With a tip of the hat to RedState, this chart shows the results from a recent Rasmussen poll of 19 states and whether they favor an Alito confirmation or not.

Date Favor Confirmation Oppose Confirmation
New Jersey Jan 18 53% 28%
Colorado Jan 17 50% 37%
California Jan 15 51% 35%
Connecticut Jan 15 51% 32%
South Dakota Jan 15 57% 26%
West Virginia Jan 15 51% 29%
Kansas Jan 15 65% 23%
Michigan Jan 15 50% 31%
Pennsylvania Jan 15 50% 31%
Arkansas Jan 15 57% 24%
Virginia Jan 10 58% 23%
Montana Jan 9 50% 31%
Georgia Jan 4 56% 19%
Ohio Nov 16 44% 28%
Maryland Nov 16 44% 36%
Florida Nov 15 45% 27%
Pennsylvania Nov 12 44% 24%
Washington Nov 11 44% 27%
Missouri Nov 9 49% 27%

The Byrd Chirps In

My position is that I need to acknowledge when someone I normally disagree with (and perhaps poke fun at from time to time) takes an unexpected position - and a position I agree with.

Today is one of those times. Senator Byrd is backing Alito for Supreme Court Justice. And today, he gave a blistering (and well deserved) tongue lashing to those senators and their behavior at the Alito hearings. Kudos to you Senator Byrd.

Senator Byrd claimed that he was swamped with emails from his constituents who did not support Alito, but nonetheless, were very upset with the tone and of the hearings. My inclination is that the majority of Americans (not withstanding the far left) who watched this latest farcical theatre, agree. FlexBlue has one example of this.

Michelle Malkin has the CSPAN video link of Byrd today expressing his disapproval. Hat tip The Political Teen.

Don't Need No Stinkin' WalMart

This story, Thousands apply for jobs at new Wal-Mart, is hillarious. Rush Limbaugh mentioned this story today, coming out of Evergreen Park, a suburb of Chicago.

A year and a half ago, the city of Chicago spurned an effort by WalMart to build a large store in Chicago because, well, ahhhh... they're ahhh .. evil ... ummm.. capitalists, yeh capitalists, and they umm... well they aren't union and they're evil ... and big.. big capitalists... And Chicago thrives on socialism social programs, and WalMart is well...big ... big capitalists and evil.....and Chicago is healthy and thriving and flush with money, and they don't need no stinkin' WalMart!

So what is WalMart to do? Fold up? Tuck tail and go home. Hell no. Sensing that there is a need or want, for what they do and can provide; the well run, successful large business will come up with a plan "B". They go next door; in this case, to Evergreen Park, a suburb of Chicago.

The 141,000-square-foot store has 36 departments and is trying to fill 325 jobs. Almost unbelievably, they received 25,000 applications for these 325 jobs. All but 500 applicants listed Chicago as there address. But Chicago didn't need no stinkin' WalMart.

So just what does this mean to the city of Evergreen Park? Heretofore, this village collected about $3 million buckeroos in sales taxes for the year. In the first year of operation, WalMart is expected to bring in another $1 million in sales tax and property tax.

But remember, Chicago is flush with cash and don't need no stinkin WalMart.

"Anticipating the usual protests over wages, benefits and anti-union practices, the Evergreen Park store was union-built. A protest over minority set-asides was defused in one day. Wal-Mart also came bearing gifts -- Tuesday night, the corporation donated $35,000 to the village library, local hospital, churches and other village institutions, Sexton said."

And as we all know by now, Chicago doesn't need donations towards libraries and hopitals because they are flush with cash and don't need no stinkin' WalMart.


Lost Budgie links to a post stating that Muslims are leaving Islam "in droves" for Christianity.

Net Firms Working in China Urged to Respect Free Expression
– As another leading Internet company bows to pressure to accept Chinese government restrictions, media freedom campaigners have stepped up calls for Internet firms to respect freedom of expression when working in repressive countries...

More Diplomacy, As Iran Works to Avoid Security Council Referral
– A week before the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog considers whether Iran should be brought before the Security Council for its nuclear activities, diplomatic lobbying for and against the move are intensifying...

UK Muslim Group Won’t Attend Holocaust Commemoration
London (CNSNews.com)
– As Britain prepares to mark Holocaust Memorial Day with a national ceremony Thursday, controversy surrounds a prominent Muslim group’s decision not to take part...

Hamas Victory May Lead to War, Analyst Says
Jerusalem (CNSNews.com)
– Hamas’ strong showing in Palestinian parliamentary elections will likely lead to an all-out war with Israel, a leading expert here said...

Sheriff demands probe of incursions

A Texas border sheriff yesterday demanded that the U.S. and Mexican governments investigate incursions into the United States by heavily armed drug escorts dressed in Mexican military uniforms "before someone gets killed." Read on.

White House slams Mexico for aid maps

The Bush administration yesterday accused the Mexican government of facilitating illegal entry into the United States after Mexican officials said they would distribute maps of dangerous border areas and posters with safety instructions and other tips. Read on.

Armed Mexicans Make 5 Incursions into U.S.

Armed Mexican government personnel made five unauthorized incursions into the U.S. in the last three months of 2005, according to confidential Department of Homeland Security records.

The incursions involved police officers or soldiers in military vehicles and were among 231 such incidents recorded by the U.S. Border Patrol in the past 10 years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"It's clear you're dealing with a large number of incursions by bona-fide Mexican military units, based on the tactics and the equipment being used," said T.J. Bonner, a Border Patrol veteran and president of the National Border Patrol Council, the agents' union.

Bonner told the Washington Times that it was "common knowledge" along the border that some Mexican military units, federal and state police and former Mexican soldiers are paid by smugglers to protect shipments of cocaine and other drugs into the U.S. Read on.

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." —Aesop

"When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."
—Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders."
—Mark Twain

United Nations Sends Legal Team to Lebanon
New York Sun - New York,NY,USA
UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations yesterday sent legal officials to Lebanon, with an eye to future trials of suspects in the murder of a former Lebanese ...


Thank you, Ted Kennedy and Ralph Neas, for making the Roberts-Alito court possible.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Iraqi political leaders request assistance from United Nations ...
Kuwait News Agency - Kuwait
BAGHDAD, Jan 25 (KUNA) -- Envoy of the UN Secretary General to Iraq Ashraf Qazi said here on Wednesday that Iraqi political leaders requested assistance from ...

Rising Oil Prices Skirt Poorer Nations
Asian Tribune - Bangkok,Thailand
United Nations 26 January, (IPS): Contrary to expectations, the sharp increase in world oil prices has not had any devastating consequences on the fragile ...

Top United Nations Security Council members to meet on Iran
NewKerala.com - Ernakulam,Kerala,India
He said Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany would strive to overcome differences before the 35-nation board of the International ...

From Tuma Abdallah, United Nations, New York
Daily News - TSN - Dar Es Salaam,United Republic of Tanzania
East Timor has requested the United Nations to establish a special political office in that country to facilitate the process to restore peace, stability and ...

HeavyHanded says,"Establish a special political office there? Hell. Move the whole UN there.

Why fear Iranian nukes?

By Tony Blankley

A growing number of nations and international interests are expressing alarm at Iran's seeming intent to develop nuclear weapons. But why the world thinks Iran is developing such capacity, and what is to be feared from it, remain matters in wide dispute.


Turkey, an historic adversary of Persia/Iran, is expressing increasing concern over Iranian pretensions. If Iran moves much further down the nuclear path, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt might all feel the need to join the nuclear club, with all the potential for catastrophic miscalculations inherent in such a condition. Read on.

History 101 Revisited

Return of the anti-federalists
By Paul Greenberg

You may dimly remember them from your high school American history class: the anti-federalists. Th-e-y're back.

That's the name given those leaders of the American Revolution who fought for independence, but then were unwilling to establish a new government strong enough to protect it.
And so, year by year, the infant republic under the old, impotent Articles of Confederation grew weaker and weaker.

The center wasn't holding, and for good reason: There was no real central government capable of forceful action -- just an agglomeration of states that had begun to drift apart. The American experiment was ending before it had really begun. Historians would call these years of drift The Critical Period, and it was. Continue the history lesson.

Mexican drug run thwarted at border

U.S. law-enforcement authorities confronted several men in Mexican military uniforms and a camouflaged Humvee with .50-caliber machine guns who had crossed into Texas with suspected drug smugglers 50 miles southeast of El Paso, forcing an armed standoff along the Rio Grande, says a Texas sheriff. Read on.


Google Now Censoring In China
Search Engine Watch - USA
... the US government in part to defend its users, now comes news that Google will cave into the Chinese government's demands for its new Google China web site. ...

China turns screws on media as Google self-censors
Reuters - USA
BEIJING (Reuters) - China's propaganda mandarins closed an outspoken supplement of a respected newspaper, as Web search leader Google announced restrictions on ...

HeavyHanded says: Let me get this straight. Google will help the Chinese government censor news and searches via the net, but will not help its' own U.S. government fight terrorism by fighting requests from our government on accessing searches by those who may be plotting to harm us. Go figure.

China reports 70,000 new HIV infections in in 2005
National Post - Canada
BEIJING -- China said Wednesday another 70,000 people contracted HIV last year, bringing the country's total to 650,000, as international health organizations ...

China's banking on the slow boat to change
Financial Times - London,England,UK
China's banks have dealt with the problem of non-performing loans but changing the culture of the state-owned lenders' workforces will take many years ...

China has world's 4th-largest economy
Toronto Star - Canada
SHANGHAI -- China's economy expanded by a stunning 9.9 per cent in 2005, according to data released Wednesday that suggests it may now rank fourth-biggest in ...

Chemical plant risks threaten China's rivers
The Age - Melbourne,Victoria,Australia
AT LEAST 100 chemical plants alongside China's main rivers pose an unacceptable threat to drinking water, the country's environment chief has revealed. ...

HeavyHanded wonders:Where is the left wing eco-wackos on this issue? Why are they silent? Why are they not over there protesting, and doing their usual rabble rousing? Oh yea. I forgot. They would be imprisoned or shot. Silly me. But if you really believed in your cause...............

FOCUS China looking solid bet as Japan equity markets stumble
Forbes - USA
LONDON (AFX) - Investors looking for returns from Asian portfolios this year would do well to look towards a newly stable China as growth in the Japanese ...

China starts drafting energy law, appoints NDRC chief as task ...
Forbes - USA
SHANGHAI (AFX) - China has started drafting an energy law as part of efforts to meet the country's energy demand in line with its rapid economic growth, the ...

No divide between US and China on Iran: Zoellick
Reuters - USA
CHENGDU, China (Reuters) - A senior US official gave a positive assessment of China's role in the standoff over Iran's nuclear program on Wednesday, saying ...


China has been very busy in the last 6 months or so from what I can tell, building relationships in many different corners of the world. If you research my site diligently on China news, you will see countless stories of China going to Africa, the Middle East, Russia, the EU, South America, etc. They have been very aggressive and it is worth keeping an "Eye on China".

Richard Russell has an editorial on the Chinese/Saudi relationship OIL FOR MISSILES: Our friends the Saudis make friends with the Chinese.
It was no coincidence that Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah this week chose China for his first official trip outside the Middle East since acceding to the throne in August. With five agreements signed during the visit, including a pact for closer cooperation in oil, natural gas and minerals, the two countries are laying the foundations for a strategic relationship that challenges U.S. interests.
Thr rest can be read here.


Brian C. Anderson has written an excellent article in Opinion Journal Shut Up, They Explained; The left's regulatory war against free speech.
The rise of alternative media--political talk radio in the 1980s, cable news in the '90s, and the blogosphere in the new millennium--has broken the liberal monopoly over news and opinion outlets. The left understands acutely the implications of this revolution, blaming much of the Democratic Party's current electoral trouble on the influence of the new media's vigorous conservative voices. Instead of fighting back with ideas, however, today's liberals quietly, relentlessly and illiberally are working to smother this flourishing universe of political discourse under a tangle of campaign-finance and media regulations. Their campaign represents the most sustained attack on free political speech in the United States since the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts. Though Republicans have the most to lose in the short run, all Americans who care about our most fundamental rights and the civic health of our democracy need to understand what's going on--and resist it.


If the Democrats take back Congress or the White House, watch out. Nothing would please them more than to drag the country back to the good old days, when liberals didn't have to put up with Rush Limbaugh and Laura Ingraham and Bill O'Reilly and Matt Drudge and the countless other upstarts recasting our public debate.
It is worth reading all of it... I gotta' warn you though, it's a long one.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

U.S., Israel to attack Iran nukes 'before April'

Pre-emptive strike all but inevitable, say military, intelligence sources.

A pre-emptive U.S. and Israeli military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities is nearly inevitable, reports Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

The incapacitation of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has made a pre-emptive attack on Iran more likely in the next nine weeks, Israeli sources tell the premium, online intelligence newsletter published by the founder of WND.

It was Sharon who vetoed the nearly unanimous recommendations of Israel's generals that a quick strike was the Jewish state's only chance at preventing Iran from building a significant nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile, in Washington, there is growing concern that Iran's ultimate target is the U.S.
Read on.

Cindy Sheehan Drowns Her Sorrow in a Long Drink of Celebrity

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez now rivals Fidel Castro as the Western Hemisphere's most visible symbol of anti-Americanism, which explains why "peace activist" Cindy Sheehan is climbing abroad the Venezuelan firebrand's bus. She has announced plans to attend the World Social Forum in Caracas, which kicks off today and will celebrate, among other things, Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution.

From Opinion Journal

History disputes global-warming activist forecasts
Hamilton Spectator (subscription) - Hamilton,Ontario,Canada
... were covered by ice. Some 30,000 years ago, global warming increased the temperature by 5 C in 20 years. At its present rate, it ...


AKI - Rome,Italy
Baghad, 24 Jan. (AKI) - A number of insurgent groups have refused to take orders from al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, since elements linked to ...Read on.

Abuse of Power?

By Brendan Miniter
If President Bush were really abusing power, he would pay a price. Read on.


The United Nations asks for the disarmament of Hezbollah
AsiaNews.it - Italy
Lebanon must have sovereignty over its' territory and Syria must collaborate. "Regret" expressed for the lack of organization ...

Our Wonderful United Nations ................

United Nations Investigating 200 Charges of Procurement Abuse
Washington File - Washington,DC,USA
United Nations -- Internal UN investigations have uncovered 200 instances of alleged procurement mismanagement and fraud in peacekeeping operations and at UN ...


By Hugh Hewitt
Beyond the News

In a startling example of how unreliable and ideologically-driven mainstream media has become, The New York Times recently ran with a photo of what it said were the remains of a "missile" in the Pakistan village where American intelligence had hoped to find the criminal Zawahiri. But the photo turned out to be a crude fraud: It was really just an old artillery shell, instantly recognized as such by even amateurs.

The New York Times did not recognize the fraud for the same reason that the Los Angeles Times didn't recognize an April Fools' prank as such and went with a quote from the joke on a front-page story about endangered species, and for the same reason that CBS fell for the fake documents during the 2004 presidential election: The elite mainstream media wants to believe some stories so badly that it abandons even the thinnest veneer of distance.

This is left-wing agenda journalism. The sooner a repair project founded on balance and fairness gets underway, the better.

Commentary on Iran

Our Military Options
By Peter Brookes

Diplomacy and "soft power" options such as economic sanctions are always more effective when backed up by the credible threat of force. When it comes to dealing with Iran, there are no easy answers, only tough choices… Read on.

Commentary: In Government We Trust

By Walter E. Williams

What lessons should we have learned from last summer’s deadly and destructive hurricanes? The primary lesson is that we shouldn’t have much faith in a federal bureaucracy like the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA amply demonstrated its incompetence, but what’s our response? We’ll give them more money and more authority. That’s not smart… Read on.

Activists to provide migrants Ariz. maps

MEXICO CITY - Mexico's human rights agency says it will give out detailed maps of the Arizona desert, including rescue beacons and water stations, to guide migrants safely through the most popular and deadliest corridor into the United States. Read on.

Dirty Harry Reid ......

.........Tells President Bush How to Act.
Reid to Bush: Less 'Swagger,' More Humility in State of the Union Speech

US Optimistic About Referring Iran to Security Council

(CNSNews.com) - Even if the U.S. and its European allies succeed next week in having Iran referred to the U.N. Security Council, that would not be the end of diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis over Tehran's suspect nuclear programs, top U.S. officials say. An early push for sanctions against the Islamic republic therefore is not expected... Read on.



True to form and as expected, the judicial committee voted along party lines on Alito, passing him unto the Senate floor for full senate voting. The Dems rehashed all the lies and half-truths about Alito that they threw at him during the committee hearings, despite their debunking.

They made Alito sound like the second coming of Hitler G.W. Bush. America is now doomed. Alito will set us back. He will take us back to a time - a dark time in history. We are destined to become like England of 1400 A.D. A time of slavery and grave social injustices. A time when women had no rights - they were either wives, or concubines or burned at the stake like Joan of Arc. All this because of President Bush and his "stacking the court" tactics.

Judiciary Committee Has Final Say on Alito Nomination
(CNSNews.com) - Judge Samuel Alito is an “activist” who is out to strike down dozens of federal laws; he would not be courageous enough to tell the president when he is out of bounds; he will further erode the checks and balances that have protected our constitutional rights for more than 200 years. That’s what Democrats on Tuesday before the committee voted on Alito’s Supreme Court nomination…

Canada moves to right in vote

Canada took a tentative step to the right in yesterday's federal election, ousting the Liberals after 12 years in power and voting in a fragile minority Conservative government, television networks said. Read on.

And there is some optimism that a Conservative victory in Canada may bring warmer ties with the U.S. as twelve years of Liberal rule ended in Canada as opposition leader Stephen Harper led his Conservative Party to victory and defeated Prime Minister Paul Martin announced he would step down as Liberal leader...


Measure restores vote to all felons. Democratic lawmakers, who have long pushed to restore voting rights to Maryland felons, say racial politics and election-year considerations make this the year they open the polls to every ex-convict. READ ON.

Bush hits foes who say spying broke the law

President Bush yesterday took direct aim at Democratic critics on Capitol Hill who charge that a secret spy program he ordered in 2002 is illegal, saying, "If I wanted to break the law, why was I briefing Congress?" READ ON.



I am glad that my guest contributor Anotmo has made his second contribution to the Heavy-Handed Politics site. His first post was an exceptional piece on environmentalism and can be read here if you missed it.

His second article takes on the issue of the separation of church and state and which appears, at this time, to be a 2 part
exposé and perhaps more.

Religion and the Constitution of the United States of America

Part I

The Wall of Separation Between Church and State

This is the first of at least two posts regarding Religion and the U.S. Constitution. My original intention had been to address the entire matter in a single post but it is just too big an issue and the blogosphere too instantaneous a medium for that to be productive. This elephant needs to be eaten one bite at a time.

This first bite addresses the infamous ‘wall of separation between church and state’ which the left uses to support so much of their mischief. Unlike many on the right, I do not object to the phrase just because it does not appear anywhere in our Constitution. Many other phrases such as ‘checks and balances’ and ‘separation of powers’, etc., do not appear in our Constitution either but they are clearly valid constitutional concepts. My objections to the phrase lie elsewhere.

The first problem I have with the phrase is that it is less illuminative than the actual words within the Constitution that it is presumed to clarify. It works better the other way around. What, exactly, does ‘a wall of separation between church and state’ mean? Well, it means that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…’. The former is a convenient generalization of the latter but it is the latter which is specific, more definitive and, therefore, most useful. Otherwise, it is as though, having been told by a sales person that the price of a new car is $74,675 and hearing one bystander ask “How much did he say?’‘ and another respond “Mucho dinero, my friend, mucho dinero”, that you then proceed to attempt to obtain financing for the car in the amount of ‘mucho dinero’. Less sarcastically, but more to the point , it is exactly as though new rules regarding the ‘separation of powers’ or ‘checks and balances’ were being invoked to advance current political correctness while the specific relevant words in the Constitution were being ignored.

The second reason I object to the phrase is that the left implements it not so much as a ‘wall of separation’ but as a kind of ‘semi-permeable membrane of separation’. That is, it imposes all kinds of restrictions on religion but apparently none on the state. If the wall were as solid and impermeable as the left supposes when they use it to restrict religious expressions then, it seems to me, it can as well be argued that if and when, say, the Supreme Court is presented with a case involving religion, they would have no alternative but to refuse to hear it on the basis that they are constitutionally forbidden to do so by the principle of ‘A wall of separation between Church and State’. Personally, I would be quite happy with that. In effect it would just mean that in matters regarding religion we the people need to find other ways to deal with it than via the Federal Government.

The third problem I have with that phrase is that it is, itself, as replete with its own ambiguities and contextual controversies as the actual First Amendment words. What can be said about it as factual is that:

  1. The phrase was authored by Thomas Jefferson in his response to a letter he received from the Danbury, Connecticut Baptists shortly after Jefferson’s’ election to President of the United States of America in 1800 at which time,

  2. the State of Connecticut had, as did most of the original thirteen States, a state supported religion which, in Connecticut’s case, was Congregationalist and,

  3. because of which the Danbury Baptists and others in Connecticut who were not Congregationalists were subject to taxation that went to support the Congregational Church unless

  4. they and those others followed the ‘degrading’ practice of filing an ‘exemption certificate’ and that

  5. the Danbury Baptists were concerned that since their religious freedom was granted within the Constitution it could be understood as granted by government and therefore alienable rather than coming from the Creator and therefore inalienable.

Beyond that comes mostly opinion and interpretation. Without laboring over the details:

  1. There is controversy over whether the references to a ‘Constitution’ in the Danbury Baptists letter to Jefferson referred to the Federal Constitution or to that of the State of Connecticut.

  2. There is controversy over whether Jefferson understood his response to be a clarification of fundamental Constitutional meaning or whether he understood it to be just a political exercise to placate potential political foes without offending political friends.

  3. There is controversy over whether the Danbury Baptists, who were glowingly complimentary of Jefferson in their letter, were so because they genuinely felt an affinity with him or whether it was because they understood that Jefferson was a Deist whereas his predecessor, John Adams, was a Christian, and since they therefore could not predict his opinion and its effect regarding their concern they sought first to butter him up.

  4. There is controversy over whether Jefferson was really all that concerned with the Danbury Baptists issue at all, whatever one thinks it was, or whether Jefferson was just using the opportunity to advance an agenda item of his own; that of not favoring national days of fasting and thanksgiving, as his predecessors, Adams and Washington, had done.

  5. There is controversy over some of the words that Jefferson deleted from previous drafts of his letter as well as over who and why he sent drafts and solicited feedback before publication.

Regardless of where one comes down on these matters, and here again I sometimes disagree with the Right, it simply does not make sense to attempt to clarify controversy over the specific words the Founders included in the Constitution by reference to other less specific but equally
controversial words one Founder included in a subsequent letter. The only reason to do so is if the latter allows a view that the former does not.

The fourth and final reason I object to the phrase is that it contributes to the lefts intellectual vacuousness. ‘A wall of separation between Church and State’ has not just become a major point in the lefts argument regarding religion, it has become the sum total of that argument. I challenge the left to make their point without using that phrase. With notable exceptions, most could not because that phrase is their argument, uttered with an ill disguised intellectual cadence reminiscent of ‘nah, na nah, na nah nah’.

One point the Left ignores regarding Jefferson’s’ letter is that in it he made no objection to the inherent issue of the State of Connecticut, as well as most others, having a state supported religion. This was some twelve years following ratification of the U.S. Constitution and its first ten amendments. Is it, therefore, the Lefts’ view that individual states can have a state supported religion? Try that and listen to them howl. Perhaps, in his otherwise definitive, deeply felt, scholarly and exhaustive pronouncement on the matter Jefferson just overlooked this fundamental point? Or, perhaps, it is just not the definitive, nor even useful, statement on the matter that the Left otherwise supposes.

In the end, we are left with the actual words the Founders included in the Constitution and their subsequent pronouncements and practices regarding the state and religion, of which Jefferson’s letter was only one. These issues will be addressed in a subsequent post regarding this increasingly critical matter. Paraphrasing a point made by Star Parker in a recent column, the problem is not so much that the Ten Commandments have been removed from our courthouse walls; it is that they have been removed from our consciousness.


DAVOS: Western Banks Bet Big On China But Risks Remain
Yahoo! News - USA
BEIJING (Dow Jones)--When China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001 - committing to open its then-struggling banking sector to full competition by 2007 ...

US urges China to use global clout wisely
Financial Express - Bombay,India
BEIJING, JAN 24: US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick urged China on Tuesday to be a responsible global player, as tensions simmered over nuclear stand ...

FedEx to Take Over Joint Venture in China
MSN Money - USA
... venture, FedEx Corp. is poised to take over a package shipping network in China and boost its presence throughout Asia. FedEx announced ...

China tycoon Huang to expand store chain
Malaysia Star - Malaysia
BEIJING: Huang Guangyu, who topped the China Rich List last year, plans to expand his Gome electronics retail chain by more than 200 stores this year as he ...

Saudi visit underscores China's growing dependence on Mideast oil
San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA
BEIJING - China is moving quickly to secure its energy ties with Persian Gulf states, signing an oil deal with Saudi Arabia and offering its king red-carpet ...

Asia eyes diesel outflows as China demand lags
Financial Express - Bombay,India
... and Europe to absorb a growing surplus this year as Indian exports grow, while higher retail prices cut regional consumer demand and China limits imports. ...

China, US usher in major year of bilateral links
Xinhua - China
24 (Xinhuanet) -- China and the United States kicked off a new year brimming with major events in bilateral relations, as senior officials announced here ...

What will China do?
International Herald Tribune - France
... But for all the noise from Tehran, London, Washington, Tel Aviv and Vienna, it is the quiet country, China, that may determine the direction and pace of the ...

Vietnam-China trafficking on rise
BBC News - UK
The number of known cases of women and girls trafficked from Vietnam to China more than doubled last year, China's official Xinhua news agency has said. ...

China focus:mainland pledges ongoing efforts to build links with ...
Xinhua - China
... personnel, economic and cultural exchanges to advance cross-Straits relations towards peace and stability and advance the peaceful reunification of China. ...

China's Hu to visit US in April: US official
Reuters - USA
The confirmation of the April visit came as US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick was in China. ... US President George W. Bush visited China in November.

Law Center Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Take Up Hostility to Religion Case

News from the Thomas More Law Center

Ann Arbor, MI—The Thomas More Law Center, a national, public-interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court, asking the court to review an Establishment Clause case involving a religious display that was hostile to Catholics. In addition to asking the high court to revisit its confusing and inconsistent Establishment Clause jurisprudence, the petition notes that this would be a case of first impression. The Supreme Court has yet to decide a “hostility to religion” case under the Establishment Clause.

Richard Thompson, the President and Chief Counsel for the Law Center, commented, “The Supreme Court’s modern Establishment Clause jurisprudence is in hopeless disarray. Despite giving lip service to the concept that the Establishment Clause prohibits both the promotion of and hostility towards religion, this and several other recent decisions by federal judges have demonstrated that there is a double standard. The Ten Commandments and the Nativity scene are out and public schools can’t mention intelligent design, but an overtly, anti-Catholic display is permissible because it allegedly enhances aesthetics. Apparently, the Establishment Clause protects atheists and secular humanists, but affords no comparable protection for Christians. This disturbing trend in our federal courts must be reversed.”

Monday, January 23, 2006


From Need To Know

At a Presidential summit in Brasilia, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez made a proposal to his Argentine and Brazilian counterparts: The creation of a South American Defense Council, a South American NATO.

After the summit,however, Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, played down Venezuela's sugestion and denied any military alliance in the making .

Chavez has accused the US of planning to invade Venezuela. A military alliance with would difficult such a move. Analysts consider Chavez’s obsession with an American invasion as rhetorical. Chavez, they argue, wants to use Anti-Americanism like Castro, as a convenient pawn. Lula and Kirchner are not playing the same game, but they may change their minds: Kirchner has already resorted to anti-Americanism and Lula is craving for popularity before running for a secod term.

Faultlines in Iraq's Islamist Insurgency

Groups vow to fight al-Qaeda, and Zarqawi's attempts to unite the insurgency.
By Bill Roggio


A Successful Meeting
By Dr. Jackson Janes

Chancellor Merkel left Washington last week after receiving a warm greeting all around town. She might have even wondered how that happened, given that not everyone she met knew her very well and many were seeing her as Chancellor for the first time.

However, there was a pervasive sense of confidence and trust in her and her intentions with regard to the transatlantic relationship. For some in the White House, anyone but Gerhard Schröder would have been welcome. The comments about transatlantic relations Merkel made sounded reassuring to her audiences; for example, the primacy of NATO was something she stressed as the main vehicle for the transatlantic dialogue, even while she emphasized that it is important to define the mission beyond a military alliance. The critical comments she aimed at Guantanamo did not shake the President at the joint White House press conference, which they both seem to have enjoyed. READ ON.

David's Friend Goliath

By Michael Mandelbaum

The rest of the world complains that American hegemony is reckless, arrogant, and insensitive. Just don’t expect them to do anything about it. The world’s guilty secret is that it enjoys the security and stability the United States provides. The world won’t admit it, but they will miss the American empire when it’s gone. Read on.

The Hill: 'Condimania' Is Here

Lieberman: U.S. Prepared for Iran Strike

Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.