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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, May 06, 2006


Went to a wedding today. The wedding was at 5:00 P.M. My twin daughters were in the wedding. One was a bridesmaid, the other was maid of honor. Went to the reception at 6:15. Ate at around 7:30. Had numerous scotch and waters. Had a good time, but a bit tired. Typing seems to be a bit cumbersome. I think I need sleep.

Democracy (?) at it's finest.............

Chavez Proposes Referendum to Stay President Until 2031
Chavez Says He May Seek 'Indefinite' Re-election

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chavez said that if opposition parties boycott December's presidential election he would call a referendum asking voters to decide whether he should govern Venezuela for the next 25 years.

Speaking Saturday at a stadium packed with supporters in central Lara state, Chavez rejected allegations he was a power-hungry tyrant but said he might seek to extend his rule beyond current term limits if the opposition pulls out of the presidential vote, as it did last year's congressional election.

"I am going to call a referendum," Chavez said. "I am going to ask you, all the people, if you agree with Chavez being president until 2031."

The Venezuelan Constitution allows a president to be re-elected only once in immediate succession. Chavez is eligible for re-election to another six-year term in December, but if he wins he wouldn't be able to run again in 2012.

Bird Flu




There is a question I have been pondering the last couple of days. It centers around socialism. It is popular theory by many (espoused by President Bush and Rush Limbaugh, to name two) that democracy and freedom is a basic desire of all people, and given a choice, a chance at it, people will grab onto it, because it is a basic desire of all people. With democracy and true and complete freedom, comes capitalism.

If that is the case, my perplexity is this: Why does socialism continue to exist? Socialism has shown time after time, that it does not work. When one looks at what is going on in Latin America these days, what you see is countries with the freedom to vote sliding back into socialism (and worse yet, perhaps communism) by knowingly electing socialist leaders. Why?

Why would someone with a choice, choose socialism (or communism or Marxism for that matter) if we have this basic innate desire for freedom. Surely we are less free under socialism and communism since the government is much more controlling under this form of government.

Does our desire of "fairness" and "equality" overide our desires for complete individuality and freedoms? Do we have a basic desire to be "taken care of" that is stronger than our desire to be an individual and our desire to have complete freedom?

Today I stumbled across "Why Isn't Socialism Dead?" It said, in part:
"It may well be that socialism isn't dead because socialism cannot die. ....... [The] revolutionary [socialism] myth may, like religion, continue to thrive in "the profounder regions of our mental life," in those realms unreachable by mere reason and argument, where even a hundred proofs of failure are insufficient to wean us from those primordial illusions that we so badly wish to be true. Who doesn't want to see the wicked and the arrogant put in their place? Who among the downtrodden and the dispossessed can fail to be stirred by the promise of a world in which all men are equal, and each has what he needs?"

And later adds,
"Furthermore, as populism spreads, it is inevitable that the myth of socialism will gain in strength among the people who have the least cause to be happy with their place in the capitalist world-order, and who will naturally be overjoyed to put their faith in those who promise them a quick fix to their poverty and an end to their suffering."

It is worth reading the complete article. It did help put some things into perspective, but I am still not satisfied. Thoughts/articles anyone?

Another sign that Congress's intelligence reform is a mess.

"Has there ever been a more practiced group of Monday morning quarterbacks than the 9/11 Commission?"

"Perhaps this shrinking of the CIA is necessary if the agency has become as politicized and ungovernable as it sometimes seems from the outside. In that case, Mr. Bush would be better off shutting Langley altogether and rebuilding an intelligence service from the ground up under the DNI."

Read the complete editorial, Gossed Over at Opinion Journal.


By Jack Kelly

Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the al Qaeda chieftain in Iraq (or maybe not, see below) is changing tactics, says London's Sunday Times (4/30).

Mr. Zarqawi "is attempting to set up his own mini-army and move away from individual suicide attacks to a more organized resistance movement," writes Michael Smith.

Col. John Gronski of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard indicated Monday (5/1) why the change in tactics isn't such a good idea. Col. Gronski is commander of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the Pennsylvania Guard's 28th Infantry Division, stationed in Ar Ramadi.

Iraqi troops supported by Col. Gronski's soldiers killed more than 100 insurgents in a battle last week, Col. Gronski told CNN. Two Iraqi soldiers died in the battle. No Americans were killed.

The battle started when Coalition forces noticed insurgents removing weapons from a train station in the southeastern part of the city. Col. Gronski slammed them with an air strike, and then the Iraqi troops moved in.

"The Iraqi army is conducting aggressive operations here based on human intelligence from the people of Ramadi themselves," Col. Gronski said.

A 50 to 1 exchange ratio against you is not a good thing for a guerrilla force. Read on...

PKK threatens attacks on 'devious' Iran
Aljazeera.net - Qatar
Kurdish separatists have threatened hit-and-run attacks on Iran , which it says plans to bomb their positions in Iraq to gain Turkey 's support against the US ...

Use of force in Iran divides UN
Times of India - India
NEW YORK: The proposed use of force in dealing with Iran's nuclear defiance became a red line dividing the UN Security Council as it discussed a draft ...

Iraq warns on Iran border moves
BBC News - UK
... Outgoing foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari said Iran had been told of Iraqi concerns but said his country wanted to resolve any problems through dialogue. ...

Support for Roe v. Wade at lowest point ever

Harris Poll finds 1973 abortion decision enjoys slender 49% to 47% plurality
--Life News

Internationalist manifesto causes stir

Progressives propose 'fresh political alignment,' reject anti-Americanism, terror
--BBC News


Immigration issue pushes toward 'top concern'Zogby survey finds illegals crisis eclipses economy, gas prices

Just as the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, awakened the U.S. to the threat of terrorism, the publicity surrounding the May 1 boycott by illegal aliens and their supporters appears to have made the immigration issue one of Americans' top concerns, according to a new Zogby Interactive survey, and they're taking it out on President Bush.

Pressure on Iran Mounts from Multiple Fronts

The West Drives for Sanctions and Iranian Opposition Groups Take Aim as Shah’s Son Plans Coup

It is expected today that Britain, France, Germany and the US will address the UN Security Council regarding the path of addressing the Iranian nuclear crisis. With the Iranian regime in their crosshairs, their scope is sighted on firm sanctions...

U.S. Participating in Massive Military Exercise with Middle East, Gulf States

Vital Perspective notes that, "the largest military exercise this year in the Gulf region is underway to improve skills and confront conventional and insurgency threats. Until May 18, the U.S., Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE will all be participating in the exercise 'Eagle Resolve'."

Enemies of Freedom Must Face it: Iraq is No American Quagmire

According to this op-ed article from Kuwait's Arab-Language Al-Seyassah, the nations surrounding Iraq that have turned that country into a huge terrorist killing field have been defeated, both by the courage of the Iraqi people and by the most powerful nation on earth, the United States of America.

The regional powers that felt threatened by Iraqi democracy and transformed that nation into an open field for terrorists, have failed to undermine Iraq's political process or inhibit the formation of the basic components of a new and democratic Iraqi State.

In spite of the killing fields, which are widespread, the Iraqi people have been able to exercise their democratic rights as voters, and have managed to achieve success, after overcoming the painful stages of transition, showing amazing courage and the will to survive.

Friday, May 05, 2006

At Least Strikers in America Don't Get Shot

Demanding Your Rights in Mexico Can Be Hazardous to Your Health, as Striking Steel Workers in Central Mexico Learned Apr. 20. The Aftermath of a Steel Plant Strike (Above) and the Funeral for One Worker, Killed By Federal Police (Below).

May 1st was a day of exceptional work. In Mexico, a great number of workers from different unions expressed their demands for the resignation of Labor Secretary Francisco Javier Salazar, to heal relations between the government and unions, and to demand an explanation for the deaths of two unionists during a government assault on striking steelworkers in Lazaro Cardenas in Michoacan, on April 20.

Almost at the same time, in major American cities where the presence of Mexicans is remarkable, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas, millions of Hispanic workers sought to vigorously reiterate their presence in the political, social, and economic life of the United States. It was a victorious day.

In defense of the United States, it must be said that at least it is possible in that country for laborers, when questioned by immigration authorities, not to be penalized; they can speak freely and request in a loud voice that they want their labor or residential visa, without the consequences being bloody.

In Mexico, on the contrary, legally recognized workers cannot choose the leaders they desire, and must avoid the unjust and abusive interference of federal authorities, who are legally authorized to decide which unions to recognize and which are their leaders.

And if a strike affects a business too much, like the Siderurgica Lazaro Cardenas-Las Truchas [a steelmaking company in Lazaro Cardenas], the military police show up and fire on the strikers, backed up by intelligence transmitted from official helicopters, which [on April 20] killed two and injured thirty, without anyone being reprimanded over it.

More Meddling by Chavez

Nicaragua asks Venezuela's Chavez to stop interfering in presidential campaign

MANAGUA, Nicaragua – Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Norman Caldera has asked Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to butt out of his country's political affairs after Chavez signed a favorable oil pact with dozens of leftist Nicaraguan mayors.

Peru and a Mexican presidential candidate also have recently accused Chavez of interfering in internal affairs.


Reuters Photo: Cuban President Fidel Castro waves the national flag during May Day celebrations in Havana, May...

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cuban President
Fidel Castro was furious when Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $550 million last year. This year, the magazine upped its estimate of the communist leader's wealth to a cool $900 million.

Castro, who says his net worth is nil, is likely the beneficiary of up to $900 million, based on his control of state-owned companies, the U.S. financial magazine said in its annual tally of "Kings, Queens & Dictators" fortunes on Thursday.

Kings and sheikhs of the oil-rich Gulf Arab states still top the Forbes list, to be published in its May 22 edition.

Saudi King Abdullah is number one with an estimated $21 billion, followed by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei at $20 billion and United Arab Emirates' President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan at $19 billion.

Hawaiian sovereignty groups seek help from United Nations
HONOLULU (AP) _ Three Hawaiian sovereignty groups claim the United States has made human rights violations that should be examined by the United Nations. ...

Federal Spending

"Today, the federal government spends $2.47 trillion—that's 2,470 billions of dollars—each year. Adjusted for inflation, that's 50 percent larger than the big-government Clinton-era budgets of only a decade ago, about which Republicans constantly complained. Of that, only 21 cents of every taxpayer dollar goes to national defense and homeland security. By contrast, 54 cents goes to entitlements like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and 8 cents goes to servicing the federal debt."

Source: The Patriot

One brave woman takes on the U.S. and China propaganda machines

By Lev Navrozov

In China, Hu Jintao said (and was quoted by the Chinese press) that democracy is a blind alley. But as I watched CNN on April 20, I heard Hu Jintao repeating the word "democracy" respectfully several times and explaining that it would come to China. In 10, 100, or 1,000 years? Well, what's the hurry? Read on.

China bad loans may reach total of $900bn

By Richard McGregor in Beijing

China’s total liabilities for non-performing loans may be as high as $900bn, dwarfing official estimates and outstripping the country’s massive foreign exchange reserves, according to a study of Beijing’s bad debt problem.

The study, part of Ernst & Young’s annual global survey of NPLs, says China’s big four state banks alone have bad loans worth $358bn, or more than twice official estimates.

The firm’s estimate of NPLs in the big four banks will be of interest to foreign investors, who have put billions of dollars into three of the lenders as part of overseas initial public offerings. More.

Israel intercepts shipment from China to Gaza


TEL AVIV — Israeli customs authorities found night-vision systems and other dual-use equipment in a container sent from China and bound for the Gaza Strip.

The shipment arrived to the Israeli port of Ashdod, where the military equipment was identified Tuesday by a scanner system.

Officials said Israeli customs authorities have been on alert for attempts to ship combat and dual-use equipment to the Palestinian Authority, Middle East Newsline reported.

Officials said the Palestinian importer claimed that the Chinese shipment contained hats and clocks. Instead, they said, customs officers found 300 telescopes, including those with infrared sights meant for assault weapons.

"We are speaking of a quantity that could upgrade the fighting ability of an entire brigade in the PA security forces," an official was quoted by the Israeli news website Ynet as saying. "A telescope of this kind, fitted on an M-16 rifle, for example, improves the lethality of the weapon."

Officials said several allies of the PA have sought to export this equipment under the guise of civilian goods to Palestinian security forces.

Israel has banned the shipment of military equipment to PA security forces amid their refusal to disarm insurgency groups. China and Russia have sought to sell weapons and platforms to the PA, but Moscow suspended the plans amid Israeli and U.S. pressure.

Prodigal State

Tort reform brings doctors back to Texas.

DALLAS--The Senate is once again taking up the issue of medical justice reform. If senators want to expand access to health care by increasing the number of physicians and lowering costs, they need to look at Texas.

What's Wrong With This Picture?
"The fact that American troops are pulling out of southern Afghanistan in the coming months, and handing matters over to NATO peacekeepers, who have repeatedly stated that they are not going to fight terrorists, has given a lift to the insurgents, and increased the fears of Afghans."--New York Times

Amnesty International Targets Israel, US, Ignores China
By Monisha Bansal

The human rights group Amnesty International has "squandered its reputation," according to a new think tank report, by focusing on the alleged misdeeds of Israel and the United States while practically ignoring rights violations by China, North Korea and other notorious regimes.

Russia Bristles at Cheney’s Speech
Moscow (CNSNews.com)
– Russia has reacted angrily to a speech by Vice President Cheney, in which he criticized Moscow’s record on democracy and accused it of using its vast energy supplies to bully its neighbors...

Bush, Merkel: We need to Stand Together on Iran
Zaman Online - Istanbul,Turkey
... The two leaders emphasized unity is imperative to successfully deter Iran from manufacturing nuclear weapons, and called for a "diplomatic solution". ...

A growing economy without jobs

No, all you lefty naysayers, this does not describe the U. S. economy.
Mexico's economy grows, but job creation 'missing'
Mexico's economy this year is growing at its fastest clip since 2000, but new job creation is lagging while many workers are underemployed and earn only a fraction of what they can make in the United States.

To whom, dear Russia, to whom?

Maybe you should ask Israel if they feel threatened.
Russia unsure if Iran is a threat
Aljazeera.net - Qatar
should be considered a threat, saying it would be guided by UN nuclear experts. The Russian foreign minister has said that Moscow has not decided whether Iran...

Iran seeks euro-denominated oil market
Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA
TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's oil ministry took a step toward establishing an oil trading market denominated in euros, rather than the US dollar, by granting a...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

"When I talk to liberals, I don't expect them to understand my positions on various issues. I spend most of my time trying to help them understand their own."
—Mike Adams

"John Kerry announced this week's John Kerry Iraq Policy of the Week the other day: 'Iraqi politicians should be told that they have until May 15 to deal with these intransigent issues and at last put together an effective unity government or we will immediately withdraw our military.' With a sulky pout perhaps? With hands on hips and a full flip of the hair? Did he get that from Churchill? 'We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, at least until May 15, when I have a windsurfing engagement off Nantucket'." —Mark Steyn

"Nobody knows more about gas production than a senator, but there's a difference in 'gasbaggery' and 'refining gasoline'." —Wesley Pruden

Head Scratching Economics

"[Senator Chuck] Schumer and most of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate—the very crowd shouting the loudest about 'obscene' gas prices—have voted uniformly for nearly 20 years against allowing most domestic oil production. They have vetoed opening even a tiny portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas production. If there is as much oil as the U.S. Geological Survey estimates, this would increase America's proven domestic oil reserves by about 50%. They have also voted against producing oil from the Outer Continental Shelf, where there are more supplies by some estimates than in Saudi Arabia... If [environmentalists have] discovered some new law of economics in which a fall in output with rising demand can cause a reduction in price, we'd love to hear it. The dirty little secret about oil politics is that today's high gas price is precisely the policy result that Mr. Schumer and other liberals have long desired. High prices have been the prod that the left has favored to persuade Americans to abandon their SUVs and minivans, use mass transit, turn the thermostat down, produce less consumer goods and services, and stop emitting those satanic greenhouse gases... So how do the sages on Capitol Hill propose to reduce gas prices? They want to slap a profits tax on Big Oil because of alleged price gouging. Here we have another head-scratcher that seems to defy even junior-high-school economics. Usually when you tax something, like tobacco, you get less of it. But somehow a tax on oil will magically lead to more oil."

The Wall Street Journal

"The bottom line is that while these demonstrations, I am told, are supposed to make me feel better about illegal immigrants, I feel angry when I see thousands of people who knowingly break American law, yet somehow feel entitled to do so and outraged that they have not been sufficiently rewarded for it."
—Debra Saunders

"According to the Tax Foundation, over the past 25 years—in inflation adjusted dollars—oil and gas companies have paid in royalties and state and federal taxes $2.2 trillion dollars. At the same time they have made a little over $630 billion dollars in profits. So their taxes and royalties are three times greater than their profits. The real question...is who is gouging whom?"
—Michael Reagan

"Regarding the...pleasure of spending other people's money, many Senate Republicans adhere to Oscar Wilde's advice on how to deal with temptation: Succumb to it. That is how many conservative voters will respond to the growing temptation to boycott this November's elections."
—George Will

Viet Nam protests inclusion in US's religious freedom blacklist
Viet Nam News Agency - Hanoi,Vietnam
Answering a Viet Nam News Agency correspondent's question on the recommendation by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom to the US Secretary of ...

Cheney: Putin Restricting Rights in Russia

Vice President Dick Cheney, in remarks that caused a stir in neighboring Russia, accused President Vladimir Putin Thursday of restricting the rights of citizens and said that "no legitimate interest is served" by turning energy resources into implements of blackmail.

"In Russia today, opponents of reform are seeking to reverse the gains of the last decade," Cheney told a conference of Eastern European leaders whose countries once lived under Soviet oppression, and now in Russia's shadow. Details...

A possible Mexico-Venezuela-Cuba alliance?

A surge by the conservative candidate in Mexico's 2006 presidential race has prompted rampant speculation that top U.S. political strategist Dick Morris may be advising his campaign.

With ten weeks to go in the race, the pro-American Felipe Calderon had been trailing leftist Andres Manual Lopez Obrador, with third party candidate, Roberto Madrazo, bringing up the rear. Current President Vicente Fox cannot run again under Mexican law.

Last month, however, the Lopez Obrador campaign was bombarded by a tsunami of negative TV ads, a development that catapulted Calderon into a slim lead - 38 to 35 percent - according to one newspaper survey. The Washington Post notes that the ad campaign had a decidedly American flavor - with a message that linked Lopez Obrador to Venezuela's anti-U.S. president Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro.

Meanwhile, as most of the U.S. press remained oblivious, Morris used his column in the New York Post to point out the dangers of a possible Mexico-Venezuela-Cuba alliance. Read on...

Crude Economics: Windfall profits taxes hurt consumers at the pump.
(Tax Foundation)

Ethanol, a tragedy in three acts.

Windfall profits tax would hardly be revenue gusher.
(Cato Institute)

Political tampering is to blame for high energy prices.
(National Review)


Econ 101: Counting on the Government
Why does everyone expect the president and Congress to ‘fix’ gas prices?

Ignoring Growth, Eyeing Gas Gauge
Economic growth is the best it’s been in 2½ years. But the media can’t take their eyes off gas prices, which they insist will take the economy down despite a 4-year high in consumer confidence.

No amnesty for illegal immigrants
Jackson Clarion Ledger - Jackson,MS,USA
President Bush has said we cannot send all 11 million or more illegal immigrants back to Mexico. We don't have to; cut off the jobs ...

House backs withholding money for work using illegal immigrants
Patriot-News - Harrisburg,PA,USA
would face steep penalties under a bill that the state Recipients of state grants for economic development projects who are caught employing illegal immigrants...


Strategic Insomnia
By Peter Brookes

Tossing a little fat on the fire before this week's U.N. Security Council deadline calling on Iran to suspend uranium enrichment, Tehran upped the ante by offering to share its nuclear know-how with others. Iran "is prepared to transfer the [nuclear] experience, knowledge and technology of its scientists," Iran's Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said last week. That bone-chilling comment highlights the less-discussed dilemma of Iran's nuclear aspirations: Once the ayatollahs become atomic, with whom might Tehran share its nuclear knowledge?


Friends of Teddy Kennedy
By Robert D. Novak

Rich, oceanfront residents of Cape Cod do not want their view of Nantucket Sound faintly obstructed by offshore protrusions of a proposed wind farm. So, they have hired high-priced lobbyists to kill Cape Wind, a project providing an environmentally sound source of energy. Their most important ally in this venture is a fellow wealthy Cape Cod landowner, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy – the liberal lion of the Senate...

New Canadian Govt. Promises Better US Border Security
By Howard Williams

Ottawa - In its first major move to improve relations with the United States, Canada's new Conservative government has announced plans to improve security along its border with the U.S., and to beef up defense spending.

Never Mind: Mexico Won't Legalize Recreational Drug Use

Mexico's president has demanded changes to a bill passed by Congress that would see some drugs decriminalised, a day after saying he would sign it into law.

The bill, as it stands, would legalise possession of small amounts of cocaine, marijuana and heroin for personal use.

President Vicente Fox has returned the measure to Congress, saying it should make clear that possessing and using drugs will remain a criminal offence.

Mr Fox has been accused in the Mexican media of bowing to US pressure. US officials had voiced concern that more lenient policies in Mexico could lead to a wave of drugs-related tourism across the border.

Grim Outlook for Makeup of New UN Rights Council
Almost half of the members of the United Nation’s new Human Rights Council will be countries with poor records in holding free elections and respecting civil liberties. That dashes hopes that the new body will be a significant improvement on the one it replaces...

Scholar detained in Iran
National Post - Canada
OTTAWA -- A prominent Iranian-Canadian scholar is being detained in Iran after writing an article earlier this year in which he challenged Iranian President ...

New push for direct talks between US and Iran
ABC News - USA
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - As major powers struggle to curtail Iran's nuclear ambitions, the United States is coming under fresh pressure to engage in direct ...

Immigrant rallies fail to shift views on illegal aliens
Monday's immigrant boycott didn't do much to shift the public debate on immigration in either direction, according to a new survey that polled before and after the walkouts.

State control of resources raises oil costs
A principal reason fuel prices are high and likely to remain so is a trend worldwide toward state ownership and control of oil resources that is raising questions about how quickly large tracts of oil and gas will be developed and made available to.....

Blacks slam immigration bias
Black leaders say Mexicans and other Hispanic nationals are getting preferential immigration treatment, as the U.S. systematically turns away people from countries with largely African-descended populations, such as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

France says military action won't solve Iran
Reuters - USA
PARIS (Reuters) - Military action is not a "magic wand" that can be used to resolve the international community's standoff with Iran over its nuclear programme ...

UK and France in Security Council move to tackle Iran
Scotsman - United Kingdom
THE UK and France have introduced a UN Security Council resolution demanding Iran abandons its uranium enrichment programme. The ...

Israel must take Iran threats seriously - Olmert
Reuters.uk - UK
... "We must not ignore what the president of Iran says -- he means ... Iran, the world's fourth-biggest oil exporter, says it seeks nuclear energy, not bombs. ...

Venezuela on Alert as US Continues Military Maneuvers in the ...
Periodico 26 - Las Tunas,Cuba
CARACAS - Venezuela is ready to drive back any threat or aggression, reiterated General Raul Isaias Baduel, the Commander of the Venezuelan Army, in reference ...


Viet Nam is world's third most attractive emerging market
Viet Nam News Agency - Hanoi,Vietnam
London (VNA) - Viet Nam rose five places this year to the third place in the list of the world’s most attractive emerging markets, according to the ...

Viet Nam's malnutrition rate reduces sharply
Viet Nam News Agency - Hanoi,Vietnam
Ha Noi (VNA) - Viet Nam's average annual rate of malnutrition reduction ranks third in the region after Malaysia and China. ...

Bulgarian paper praises Viet Nam as rising dragon
Viet Nam News Agency - Hanoi,Vietnam
Berlin (VNA) - The Bulgaria's weekly "TEMA" magazine in its May 1-7 edition carried an article entitled "Viet Nam - a rising dragon", introducing the 10th ...

Viet Nam poised to become world's top cashew exporter
Viet Nam News - Hanoi,Vietnam
HCM CITY - Viet Nam is emerging as the world's biggest cashew exporter, according to a recent report from the HCM City Trade and Investment Promotion Centre ...

Viet Nam, Laos treasure traditional rapport, says Party leader
Viet Nam News Agency - Hanoi,Vietnam
Ha Noi (VNA) - The traditional rapport between Viet Nam and Laos has been a decisive factor in the triumph of the two countries' revolutionary causes and is a ...

Israel highlights growing ties with Viet Nam
Viet Nam News - Hanoi,Vietnam
On the occasion of Israel's National Day, the country's Ambassador to Viet Nam, Effie Ben-Matityau, spoke with Viet Nam News. ...


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Profound headline

Evacuation is the key to Mayor Nagin's updated disaster plan
All you can do is chuckle.

After Protests, Backlash Grows

By Darryl Fears, Washington Post Staff Writer

While a series of marches focused much of the nation's attention on the plight of illegal immigrants, scores of other Americans quietly seethed. Now, with the same full-throated cry expressed by those in the country illegally, they are shouting back.

Congressional leaders in Washington have gotten bricks in the mail from a group that advocates building a border fence, states in the West and South have drawn up tough anti-immigrant laws, and ordinary citizens, such as Janis McDonald of Pennsylvania, who considers herself a liberal, are not mincing words in expressing their displeasure.

U.S. 'disrupted' al Qaeda WMD efforts

By Bill Gertz

U.S. and international programs to defeat al Qaeda have limited the terrorist group's ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction, the No. 2 U.S. intelligence official said.

Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, principal deputy director of national intelligence, said in a recent speech that al Qaeda remains dangerous but has grown more diffuse.

In explaining successes in the global war against terrorists in the past 4? years, Gen. Hayden noted that the United States and its allies "disrupted [al Qaeda?s] efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction."

He and other intelligence officials declined to provide specifics of the disruption.

However, administration officials said operations in Afghanistan and a few recent incidents show that al Qaeda continues to seek nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological weapons.

Hill Impasse Spurs States to Tackle Illegal Immigration

By T. R. Reid, Washington Post Staff Writer

PHOENIX -- State legislatures around the nation are considering hundreds of proposals dealing with illegal immigration, reflecting the exasperation of many local officials with Congress's failure to contend with the millions of undocumented workers who have entered the nation in recent years.


Reconquista Is Real
By Michelle Malkin
The core concepts of reconquista (the "re-conquest" of the Southwest by Mexico) have spread wide and deep -- from San Francisco to Los Angeles to Milwaukee to Arkansas and beyond. While left-wing socialists and anti-war Bush-bashers are indeed helping coordinate the open borders movement, it is a foolish, patronizing mistake to characterize the reconquistadores as hapless pawns of the American Left. The homegrown multiculti-mau-mau-ers aim to mainstream the "Stolen Land" mantra and pervert history. They aim to obliterate America's borders by sheer demographic and political force…


Disappearing Manufacturing Jobs
By Walter E. Williams
According to some pundits and political hustlers, free trade has led to a loss of "good manufacturing jobs." But we shouldn’t always work ourselves into a tizzy over other job losses. Jobs eliminated through the market forces of creative destruction make us all better off…

Weird Dem's at it again....

1. Dems Blast Indiana’s ‘Unfair Voter ID Laws’
– Tuesday’s primary election in Indiana offered Democrats another chance to blast a new state law requiring voters to identify themselves at the polls...

2. Plame’s Outing Damaged National Security, Dems Say
– Following reports that former CIA operative Valerie Plame had been tracking Iran’s nuclear proliferation efforts when her cover was blown, Democrats are demanding to know how much damage Plame’s “outing” did to national security...

Laxity toward immigrants will encourage more illegals
Allentown Morning Call - Allentown,PA,USA
I endorse the decision in Congress to crack down on illegal immigrants in the United States. Our nation was made of immigrants, many ...

Indiana businessman accused of transporting illegal immigrants
WISH - Indianapolis,IN,USA
FARGO, ND An attorney for the owner of an Indiana company accused of transporting and hiring illegalimmigrants says he plans to plead not guilty when he's ...

Iran says Gulf is no longer safe for US
Iran Focus - Iran
Tehran, Iran, - Iran said on Wednesday that the Gulf region was no longer safe for the "enemy" and that the people of Iraq had rejected the United ...

Officials predict Europeans will back sanctions against Iran

San Francisco Chronicle - CA, USA
The war of words between Iran and the West grew hotter Tuesday, with US officials predicting European support for sanctions against Iran if it does not curtail ...

UN to demand end of Iran nuclear programme 'soon'
Bangkok Post - Thailand
Paris (dpa) - A resolution demanding that Iran suspend its uranium enrichment programme will be introduced at the UN Security Council later Wednesday or

Iran tops Merkel's agenda in US
BBC News - UK
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel is visiting the US for a two-day trip set to be dominated by the confrontation over Iran's nuclear programme. ...

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The oil world's new bullies
MSN Money - USA
But increasingly, nations like Russia, Iran, Venezuela and even Chad are calling the shots. ... And they're named Russia, Iran, Venezuela and Chad. ...

China's colleges to recruit 10,000 would-be army officers in 2006
People's Daily Online - Beijing,China
About 112 colleges across China now have the task to train more than 10,000 would-be army officers who come from middle schools this year, entrusted by the ...

Why is America so delicate with the enemy? White guilt.

A very good article by Shelby Steele. Read the whole thing. Digest it. Read it again. Very insightful.

On the highway, fuel is in short supply. In Washington, ideas are.


Leftists Lighting a Fire in South America
ABC News - USA
... The announcement came just two days after he signed an alternative trade pack with Cuba and Venezuela, and the bold move is sure to anger both President Bush ...

A New Wrinkle in Immigration Reform

By Janet Parshall
Beyond the News

There's a new wrinkle in the debate swirling around immigration reform. The Associated Press is reporting that U.S. employers, wanting cheap labor, are looking to illegal aliens to recruit family and friends back home. Smugglers then bring the illegals into the country.

Stories of underground employment networks are springing up in states like Wisconsin, Michigan and South Dakota. News of jobs, paying low wages, is passed by word of mouth, and the smugglers are making a killing. One smuggler earned $900,000 over 15 months by placing 6,000 immigrants in jobs. So how to fix the problem?

Laws already exist that fine employers for hiring illegals but they're rarely enforced. Proposals calling for increased fines are useless if the existing laws aren't applied. Employers say that they can't always spot fake documents and are fearful of litigation based on discrimination.

In the complex problem of reforming immigration, the government has to enforce existing law--but business also has to be held accountable.

ACLU Sues Kentucky for Restricting Funeral Protests

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit Monday, challenging Kentucky's new restrictions on protests at military funerals.

The bills, singed into law on March 27, are aimed at members of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., whose protests at the funerals of fallen U.S. servicemen have prompted a national outcry.

The Westboro group says God is punishing American troops in Iraq for defending a nation of homosexual sinners. The group carries banners reading, "God Hates Fags," and "Thank God for Dead Soldiers."

Kentucky law now restricts protests within 300 feet of funerals, wakes, memorial services, and burials. It also forbids the use of bullhorns in such protests. More.

US, Japan Prepare for ‘New and Emerging’ Security Challenges
Washington and Tokyo have agreed to changes that will take their crucial security alliance into a “new phase,” senior officials said. The changes include a major restructuring of the U.S. military presence in Japan...

Move along, everything is fine, there's nothing to see here.

Despite Warnings, Reid Hails ‘Sound’ Social Security System
Medicare's trust fund will be exhausted in 12 years, and Social Security's trust fund will dry up in 34 years, the programs' trustees said on Monday. Labor Secretary Elaine Chao warned of a "looming fiscal crisis," but one Democrat leader was upbeat...

Hunt Intensifies For Al-Zarqawi
cbs4denver.com - Denver,CO,USA
(CBS News) As the search for terror mastermind Abu Musab al-Zarqawi intensifies, US troops raided a suspected al Qaeda hideout Tuesday, killing 10 insurgents ...

Rough Men and al-Zarqawi
ThreatsWatch.Org - USA
There has been much discussion of Task Force 145 of late, and for good reason. TF 145 is the reason why Zarqawi is all alone as, quite ...

Tehran closer to nuke production than previously believed

Iran is close to creating an ultra-sophisticated centrifuge that would dramatically accelerate its ability to produce enriched uranium in half the time of the current intelligence estimates.

The intelligence, gathered by Israel’s Mossad, has been shared with Britain’s MI6 and the U.S.’ CIA this past weekend. It is causing a major re-evaluation of the timetable necessary to stop Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, according to the G2 Bulletin.

In stunning new evidence reported by Mossad Director-General Meir Dagan -- Israel's overall spy chief, Iran has a secret underground site in northern Iran at Ab-e Ali has where over 300 Chinese and North Korean nuclear experts "close to perfecting a new breed of centrifuge that will allow the high-speed purification of uranium to the 90 percent level needed for bomb making."

And just why is it that anybody would think that the Chicoms are going to cooperate with us in any way, or in any form, to halt Iran's march towards nuclear weapons?

G2 Bulletin available by paid subscription only.

You never know when planning ahead might come in handy

"Nagin Outlines New Orleans Evacuation Plan"--headline, Associated Press, May 2, 2006

If you believe this, then I have some ocean front property to sell you......

'Personal Use'
"Three teenagers from the Arab town of Qalansawe [Israel] were arrested after 150,000 detonators were found in the house of one of them. The teenagers, age 15 and 16 were taken to a police station for questioning where they claimed that the detonators meant for their personal use."--Ynet News, May 1

Venezuela and Peru continue war of words
Taipei Times - Taiwan
Relations between Venezuela and conservative-led Peru have spiraled downward amid President Hugo Chavez's repeated endorsement of a leftist Peruvian ...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Shah of Iran's Heir Plans Overthrow of Regime

Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah of Iran, told the editors of HUMAN EVENTS last week that in the next two to three months he hopes to finalize the organization of a movement aimed at overthrowing the Islamic regime in Tehran and replacing it with a democratic government.

He believes the cause is urgent because of the prospect that Iran may soon develop a nuclear weapon or the U.S. may use military force to preempt that. He hopes to offer a way out of this dilemma: a revolution sparked by massive civil disobedience in which the masses in the streets are backed by elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Pahlavi, who lives in exile in the United States, said he has been in contact with elements of the Revolutionary Guard that would be willing to play such a role, and activists who could help spark the civil disobedience.

He also said that the U.S. and other governments can help by imposing “smart sanctions” on the leaders of Iranian regime, but he categorically opposes U.S. military intervention. Read on.

Bolivia's Morales mimmicks Hugo Chavez

Bolivia Moves to Nationalize Gas Industry

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) - President Evo Morales decreed he was nationalizing Bolivia's vast natural gas industry Monday, sending soldiers to occupy gas fields and threatening to evict foreign companies unless they give the Andean nation control over the entire chain of production.

The move fulfills an election promise by the leftist president, who has forged close ties with Cuba's Fidel Castro and Venezuela' Hugo Chavez, to increase state control over Bolivia's natural resources, which he says have been "looted" by foreign companies.

Morales sent soldiers and engineers with Bolivia's state-owned oil company to installations and fields tapped by foreign companies - including Britain's BG Group PLC and BP PLC, Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Spanish-Argentine Repsol YPF SA, France's Total SA and Texas-based Exxon Mobil Corp. The companies have six months to agree to new contracts or leave Bolivia, he said. Read on.

Group rejects 'unfounded' global warming claims
New Zealand Herald - New Zealand
... announced the formation of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, aimed at refuting what it believes are unfounded claims about man-made global warming. ...

Polls: Citizens losing sympathy for illegal immigrants
Boston Herald - United States
... Even 46 percent of the Hispanic respondents said they are less likely to be sympathetic to the cause of immigrants as a result of the protests. ...


What ‘Net Neutrality’ Really Means
By Chuck Muth

Beware of the concept dubbed "net neutrality." If passed into law, this e-Trojan horse could inhibit further development of the Internet for years, putting America at a distinct technological disadvantage with other nations. "Net neutrality" is the camel's nose under the tent, leading to government control of the Internet -- a line most conservatives and libertarians have refused to cross for more than a decade...

In the News

White House Condemns Biden's Divided Iraq Proposal

Sen. Clinton Supports Bill Advancing Statehood for Puerto Rico

Extremism Fears Prompt Proposal for Citizenship Test
– At a time of keen debate surrounding immigration in the U.S., the government of Australia may introduce a compulsory test for prospective migrants that would require both a grasp of English and an understanding of commonly held “Australian values.”

It affected me not......

May Day Immigration Protests Celebrate Communist Uprising
- Monday, May Day, is International Worker’s Day and the communist celebration of the Bolshevik Revolution. By design, it also is a day when many illegal immigrants plan to boycott work, school and shopping in an effort to show their contributions to the U.S. economy...

Western nations vow Iran resolution next week
Houston Chronicle - United States
UNITED NATIONS -- Western nations promised today to introduce a new Security Council resolution next week to demand Iran abandon uranium enrichment after a new ...


After making numerous threats about wiping Israel off the map, and making threats towards the Great Satan we get this story:
Iran asks UN to stop US making military threats
Reuters.uk - UK
TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran on Monday called on the United Nations to stop the United States threatening the Islamic Republic with a military attack against its ...
If it wasn't such a serious situation, it would be humorous.

Wamp Says US Should Consider Leaving United Nations
The Chattanoogan - Chattanooga,TN,USA
Calling the United Nations "one of the most corrupt organizations," Rep. Zach Wamp told the Pachyderm Club on Monday the US should consider exiting the UN. ...

Uganda: United Nations Tries to Reach WFP Plane Wreckage

The Monitor (Kampala)

Frank Nyakairu & Agencies

UN helicopters and foot teams were last evening trying to reach the highest peak of Rwenzori mountains searching for the wreckage of a suspected World Food Programme plane that went missing on Friday.

The WFP regional spokesman said three people; two South Africans and a Canadian were on board the light transport plane.

"Monuc helicopters have been on a searching mission since this morning for a WFP charted caravan plane that went missing on its Goma-Bunia (in DR Congo) route on Friday," Peter Smerdon told Daily Monitor by telephone on Sunday. Read more.

Merkel Heads to US for Talks on Iran
Zaman Online - Istanbul,Turkey
... Angela Merkel will visit the United States for a second time in four months to have talks to determine the policy to be adopted against Iran's nuclear program. ...

Iran Denies Troop Entry to Iraq
Zaman Online - Istanbul,Turkey
Iran has denied reports that its soldiers shelled PKK camps on the Iraqi border and entered five kilometers into north Iraq in order to attack the terrorist ...

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The "Mexicanization" of America

The United States is being “Mexicanized” as we watch. I am not talking about race or demographics at all. I mean that our system of governance is being undermined, and that if we let matters continue, we will end up with a political economy like Mexico’s – unable to provide good lives for most of its people, but very good indeed for the wealthy elite.

I have no objection to any number of immigrants from any nation, if they enter the United States by following the rules. My objections center on the idea that our laws can be ignored by government officials when they deem them inconvenient to their own agenda.

The concept of equal rights for all Americans also revolves around the idea that our laws are applied equally to all of us. When governments ignore certain laws, they are in effect repealing them. They have accomplished through fiat what no one could do in the legislatures or the courts. The Constitution is bypassed.

Once this idea becomes accepted, lodged into theory and practice, your rights as an American are subject to the whim of government officials. Read on.

McCain and the serfs

For years now I have been convinced that John S. McCain III, never the sharpest knife in the drawer by most accounts, confuses being a U.S. Senator with being a Duke in the House of Lords somewhere around the time of the Tudor dynasty. This latest is just one more example of his attitude of how dare the voters criticize special people like himself and make them grub around raising money to get reelected. I bought into the media positive assessment of McCain as a conservative outsider until I read The Nightengale’s Song by Robert Timberg. He has never been a conservative, but is rather a throwback to the era when aristocrats steeped in tradition believed they were entitled to run things. Read on.

Republicans Run Dry

Once they surrender their principles and understanding of markets, what's the point of their existence?

US senator says Iran key isssue for US ties with Russia, China

AFP - Influential US senator John McCain warned this weekend that decisions by China and Russia over Iran would be a "key test" for their relations with the United States.
If this is the case, so far they have failed this "key test" Mr. McCain and in my humble opinion will continue to do so.

Kazakhstan aids Louisiana schools

Kazakhstan is giving aid to Louisiana schools damaged by Hurricane Katrina last year. Read on...

Al-Qaida targets Palestinian leaders

Palestinian Authority officials are putting strict security measures in place after reports that al-Qaida is planning to kill top Fatah party leaders. Read on...

US seeks to dismiss AT&T secrets suit

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. government has asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a San Francisco civil liberties group against AT&T because it says the case could reveal military and state secrets.

The class-action suit by the group, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, on behalf of AT&T customers accuses the company of unlawful collaboration with the National Security Agency in its surveillance program to intercept telephone and e-mail communications between the United States and people linked to al Qaeda and affiliated organizations. Read more.

(Emphasis mine - HH)

"United 93", the movie.

HeavyHanded went to the movie United 93 on Saturday - alone. Mrs. HH did not want to go see it. I thought it was tastefully done in that the producer and director obviously decided that it was not necessary to fall prey to the usual Hollywood mindset that 'gore will sell more.'

It was powerful - and disturbing. We cannot allow ourselves to forget that day. I think too many Americans have lost the significance of the event. We were caught sleeping on that day, and I fear we have lost the edge that we need, and we still are not vigilant enough. We have not done enough to protect ourselves, and make no mistake, it will happen again. We seem to be sleep walking our way through our national security issues. What a shame.

Yes, it's our government's fault - Republican and Democrat alike. But, it is also our fault - "we the people" - for not holding their feet to the fire. When are we going to wake up?

The Greatest Story Never Told

Even the oil saga can’t disrupt this upbeat economic page-turner.
By Larry Kudlow

As all the pollsters are telling us, there’s an inverse relationship between rising gasoline prices and President’s Bush’s falling approval ratings — most especially his approval rating on the economy. Of course, these polls describe a certain national angst over energy that harkens back to the dreadful 1970s. But there’s a better reality out there: Namely, the upturn in gas prices simply is not stopping the economy the way it did three decades ago.

Roil over Oil and the U.S. Senate

While Mexico, Venezuela, Cuba, and now even China encroach on rich oil deposits that are well within the waters available to the United States, we are prevented from tapping these reserves because of the environmental lobby. With the questionable exception of Mexico, the other three nations are openly hostile to the United States and are significantly less capable of ensuring environmental protections.

Mexico treats illegal immigrants in its midst harshly

San Bernardino Sun - San Bernardino,CA,USA
As thousands - perhaps millions - of Latinos prepare for the latest grand-scale demonstration aimed at expanding the rights of illegal immigrants in the United ... Read on.

Russia demands "concrete steps" from Iran
IranMania News - Iran
LONDON - Russia warned Iran that Moscow was expecting "concrete steps" from Tehran to reestablish confidence over the nuclear issue, AFP ...

McKinney probe summons staffers
The investigation into the scuffle between Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney and a Capitol Police officer is moving forward, with several Hill staffers being subpoenaed as witnesses.

Peru withdraws ambassador from Venezuela in war of words
Monsters and Critics.com - Glasgow,UK
Lima - Peru on Saturday withdrew its ambassador from Venezuela, accusing President Hugo Chavez of meddling in Peru's election campaign. ...


South America more split than ever
Arizona Daily Star - Tucson,AZ,USA
By Andrés Oppenheimer

BOGOTA, Columbia
How ironic! Less than two years after South American presidents signed a solemn declaration proclaiming the birth of a 10-country Community of South America, which was supposed to become a European Union-like economic bloc, the region is more divided than ever. Read on.

Iran 'attacks Iraq Kurdish area'


Iraq has accused Iranian forces of entering Iraqi territory and shelling Kurdish rebel positions in the north.

Iranian troops bombed border areas near the town of Hajj Umran before crossing into Iraq, the defence ministry in Baghdad said on Sunday.

It said the Iranians targeted the PKK, a Kurdish group that has waged a 15-year insurgency against Turkey.

The PKK is believed to have links with anti-Iranian Kurdish fighters. There are no details on casualties.

The Iraqi defence ministry also says Iran launched a similar attack on Kurdish rebel positions in the same area on 21 April.

There are no reported comments from Tehran on either of the alleged incidents.

Minuteman Volunteers Build Fence; Immigrants Ready for Protests

BOULEVARD, Calif. — As immigrants and their supporters prepared for a massive boycott on Monday, opponents of illegal immigration went to work building a border fence meant to symbolize their support of a secure border.

About 200 volunteers organized by the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps of California began building a 6-foot barbed wire fence Saturday along a quarter-mile stretch of rugged terrain in Boulevard, about 50 miles east of San Diego.

Tim Donnelly, the group's leader, said volunteers ate apple pie and hot dogs as they worked on the fence, which was connected to an existing 12-foot-high fence previously built by the federal government.

The volunteers wanted to send a message to Congress that the government should block entry to the United States and not grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, Donnelly said.