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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

Friday, December 08, 2006

Dem Health Care Plans: Piecemeal Socialism

By Herman Cain

"Future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) “Six in ‘06” policy agenda includes just one health care provision – allowing the federal government to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. In truth, Pelosi and her big government allies are taking a piecemeal approach toward their larger socialist goal of universal health care. As some conservatives in Congress have shown, however, the only way to lower health care costs is through free market solutions." Continue...

Will we ever win another war?

By Ben Shapiro

"Popular consensus has it that we are losing the war in Iraq. Robert Gates, the White House nominee to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, stated on Tuesday that the United States was categorically not winning in Iraq. 'What we are now doing is not satisfactory,' Gates said. Popular consensus also has it that we are losing the war in Afghanistan. '[B]ecause of the Bush administration's inattention and mismanagement,' wrote The New York Times editorial board on Tuesday, 'even the good war is going wrong.'

America has not 'won' a major 'hot' war since World War II. The Gulf War cannot be considered a full-fledged victory; it returned the situation in the Middle East to the status quo. The aggressor in that war, Saddam Hussein, would remain in power for another dozen years. The Vietnam War was surely a devastating loss. The Korean War ended in stalemate; North Korea, the aggressor in that war, remains militant and dangerous 50 years later." More...

North Koreans kept in the dark

By Richard Spencer

"Today I return unapologetically to the subject of North Korea. I have reported a number of times for the paper on the terrifying experiences of North Korean refugees who flee hunger, risk the gulag and brave the Chinese police, in the hope of making it to South Korea.

Many of their tales would be unbelievable if they did not match up with each other and independent evidence - such as satellite photos of labour camps - in such detail that they couldn't have been made up." Read more.....

Seoul charges five with spying for North Korea

Guardian Unlimited

"Five suspected North Korean agents were indicted in Seoul today in what South Korean prosecutors are calling the biggest espionage case in more than five years.

Investigators accused Chang Min-ho, a Korea-American businessman, of leading a spy ring that passed on secrets about a realignment of US forces on the peninsular, as well as profiles of hundreds of politicians.

The alleged ring's members include two senior officials in the leftwing Democratic Labour Party, which has a small presence in parliament." Read on....

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Giving Up Ground in the Terror War

By Christopher G. Adamo

Having had his fill of liberal backstabbing, America’s UN Ambassador John Bolton is stepping down. Though President Bush had vowed to fight for his position, Bolton decided that he wants no more of it. Who can blame him? On numerous fronts, the plans of the Islamists continue to advance while Western Culture ponders nothing less than a full retreat.......

They Got Bolton

By Robert D. Novak

Over lunch in New York two weeks ago, John Bolton told me he was thinking about abandoning his long struggle for confirmation as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and leaving government service. But he asked me to defer writing about his situation. The White House felt anything I wrote would undermine last-ditch efforts at confirmation. That reflects continuing failure by George W. Bush and his team, six years in power, to perceive the implacable nature of Democratic opposition. The White House was still eager not to offend Sen. Christopher Dodd, the Democrat most determined to block Bolton. Dodd’s campaign has been relentless and unfair. An ardent supporter of normalizing relations with Cuba, Dodd is inexorable in blocking any nominee hostile to Fidel Castro’s dictatorship…

Democrats Talked to Hamas, Palestinian Source Says

Jerusalem (CNSNews.com) - "A Hamas delegation recently met with American Democrats, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported on Wednesday. Quoting an unnamed Palestinian governmental source, the agency gave few details, saying only that the meeting had taken place in a third, unnamed country. Ma'an is a nongovernmental organization funded by the foreign ministries of Holland and Denmark, its website says. The report also said the Europeans are softening their stance toward Hamas and the Palestinian government. Following the Hamas victory in P.A. elections last January, the international community imposed sanctions on the P.A., demanding that it recognize Israel, halt terrorism and abide by previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements. Both Europe and the U.S. consider Hamas to be a terrorist organization."

CAIR Seeking Redress for Imams Kicked Off Airplane

The Council on American-Islamic Relations says it will serve as legal counsel for five of the six Muslim imams recently removed from a US Airways flight in Minnesota. Airline and law enforcement officials say the imams were removed from a flight on November 20th for "suspicious activity." According to CAIR, since the imams' removal from the flight, a number of charges have circulated in the media and on the Internet that the imams say are false, distorted or a misrepresentation of actual events. Full Story.

Facing Lawsuit, University Agrees to Recognize Christian Fraternity

"Two days after Christian lawyers filed a discrimination lawsuit against the University of Georgia, administrators announced Thursday they would recognize a Christian fraternity and consider eliminating the school's non-discrimination policy regarding religious groups.

The Alliance Defense Fund and the Christian Legal Society on Tuesday sued the university after it denied official recognition to Beta Upsilon Chi, a Christian fraternity.

The group was denied recognition, because it refused to sign the school's non-discrimination policy that would have required to the group to accept non-Christian members and officers." Continue...

Mohammed Cartoon Editor Sees 'Clash of Cultures' Underway

Washington - "Islamic criticism directed against newspapers' decisions to publish cartoons depicting Mohammed stemmed from hypocritical reasoning and anti-democratic attitudes, the editor at the center of the row said on Wednesday.

To suggest that newspaper editors should have anticipated the intense reaction to the cartoons is hypocritical and disingenuous, Flemming Rose, cultural editor of the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten, told a forum at Georgetown University.

The same Muslims who raise this point, he said, are working to impose their own set of taboos on societies where those taboos are not traditionally observed.

'For the first time ever in recorded history, Muslims have insisted on applying Islamic law to non-Muslims in non Muslim countries,' Rose said." More...

Iraq Surrender Study Group: Failed to impress Iraqis

According to the Washington Post, reports that Iraqis are not overly excited over the work of the Iraq Surrender Study Group would be an understatement:

Iraqi politicians and analysts . . . said the report is a recipe, backed by threats and disincentives, that neither addresses nor understands the complex forces that fuel Iraq's woes. They described it as a strategy largely to help U.S. troops return home and resurrect America's frayed influence in the Middle East.

Iraqis also expressed fear that the report's recommendations, if implemented, could weaken an already besieged government in a country teetering on the edge of civil war.

"It is a report to solve American problems, and not to solve Iraq's problems," said Ayad al-Sammarai, an influential Sunni Muslim politician. . . .

"If the Iraqi government does not make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government," the report's executive summary says.

For some Iraqis, the statement suggested that the report's authors did not grasp, or refused to acknowledge, the diverse ambitions, rivalries and weaknesses that plague the government. The Kurds have dreams of creating an independent state. The Sunnis appear leaderless, yet seek a political voice. The Shiites are riven by feuds. There are disagreements over partitioning Iraq, over whether to restore members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to their old jobs, over whether amnesty should be given to opponents of the government and the U.S. occupation.

Our Pearl Harbor

By Victor Davis Hanson: "On Dec. 7, 1941 — 65 years ago this week — pilots from a Japanese carrier force bombed Pearl Harbor. They killed 2,403 Americans, most of them service personnel, while destroying much of the American fleet and air forces stationed in Hawaii.

The next morning, an outraged United States declared war, which ended less than four years later with the destruction of most of the Japanese empire and its military.

Sixty years after Pearl Harbor came another surprise attack on U.S. soil, one that was, in some ways, even worse than the “Day of Infamy.”

Nearly 3,000 people died in the Sept. 11 attacks — the vast majority of them civilians. Al-Qaida’s target was not an American military base far distant from the mainland. Rather, they suicide-bombed the United States’ financial and military centers." Continue.

Decision time

"With the Congressional elections behind us, and the Baker-Hamilton commission's report published at last, the stage would now seem set for a major national debate on the central question: Should the United States continue to seek 'victory' in Iraq (however that is defined), or withdraw its forces from that country and leave it to whatever its fate may be?" More.

We can run but we can't hide

"In the next few months, perhaps in the next few weeks, we, as a nation, must make a decision. A decision that will affect not only our lives but those of our children and grandchildren." More.

This way out?

"By its own admission, the Iraq Study Group (ISG) has submitted a 'flawed' report to the president, to Congress and to the American people.

While the report properly calls for the Iraqi government to do more to reconcile warring factions, take greater control over its defense and defeat insurgent-terrorists, the ISG falls into a trap set by panel co-chair James Baker, who has long believed that what the United States and Israel do determines the behavior of unelected dictators and religious fanatics." More.

Incoming Congress prepares to launch 'Operation Surrender'

"The 'bipartisan' Iraq panel has recommended that Iran and Syria can help stabilize Iraq. You know, the way Germany and Russia helped stabilize Poland in '39.

Now that Democrats have won the House, they can concentrate on losing the war. Despite all the phony conservative Democrats who got elected as gun-totin' hawks, the Democrats will uniformly vote to dismantle every aspect of the war on terrorism. They've started a runaway train and can't stop it now." More.

"I acknowledge, in the ordinary course of government, that the exposition of the laws and Constitution devolves upon the judicial. But I beg to know upon what principle it can be contended that any one department draws from the Constitution greater powers than another in marking out the limits of the powers of the several departments."

-- James Madison

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Beware the Return of the ‘Fairness Doctrine’
By Paul M. Weyrich

In 1982, the Federal Communications Commission repealed a major broadcasting restriction, the Fairness Doctrine. There were howls of protest from conservatives who did not understand the effect this would have upon the broadcast industry – and on their own efforts to get their message out. In fact, the FCC action paved the way for Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mike Reagan, Mark Levin, Janet Parshall and a host of other syndicated talk-radio shows. Now that Democrats have majorities in both Houses of Congress, they may attempt to re-instate the Fairness Doctrine, which would effectively shut down conservative talk radio. How do I know? Because liberals in Congress have said so…


Hezbollah said to use civilians as shields

Analysts: Bin Laden alive but hamstrung

The Washington Times

"U.S. intelligence agencies think al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri are alive and still plotting attacks, even though both have eluded a massive manhunt for more than five years since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Bin Laden's few appearances and statements in recent months, and two recent bombing attacks in Pakistan aimed at killing al-Zawahri prompted recent intelligence reports that both may be dead."

Sacre bleu: France says Iran will face UN sanctions

Rocky Mountain News

PARIS (AP) -- "France's foreign minister said Wednesday that Iran will face U.N. sanctions for refusing to halt its nuclear program, but major world powers remain divided over exactly how far punishment should go.

Philippe Douste-Blazy said on RTL radio that the measures would fall under a part of the U.N. Charter - Article 41 of Chapter 7 - that authorizes the Security Council to impose nonmilitary sanctions, such as severing or limiting diplomatic and economic relations, transportation and communications links.

'The question is about the scope of sanctions, but there will be sanctions,' Douste-Blazy said."

Kagame accuses France of supporting Rwanda genocide


LONDON - "Rwandan President Paul Kagame accused France on Wednesday of actively supporting the 1994 genocide in his country when 800,000 people were slaughtered.

Speaking during a visit to Britain, Kagame rejected French claims that he was involved in the death of a former leader -- an event widely regarded as the trigger for the genocide -- and accused Paris of fuelling the mass killing.

'It's France that supported the genocidal forces, that trained them, that armed them, that participated in fighting against the forces that were trying to stop the genocide,' he told BBC radio.

'France did not at any one time attempt to stop the genocide,' he added. 'On the contrary, they actually participated in the period leading to that genocide in supporting the government of Rwanda.' "

U.S. hurricane aid fraud likely tops $1 bln


WASHINGTON - Fraud involving payments supposed to help victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita likely exceeds earlier estimates of $1 billion and only a tiny fraction of the money has been recovered, according to a U.S. government report released on Wednesday.

A February estimate that improper payments could be $1 billion 'is likely understated,' the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said in the report to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee." More.

Two held by Hezbollah badly wounded: Israeli sources


JERUSALEM - "Two Israeli soldiers were seriously wounded during their capture by Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas in July and at least one of them could now be dead, senior Israeli security sources said on Wednesday."

Iraq Panelists Spent 'Limited Time' There, Group Says

(CNSNews.com) - A conservative group said Wednesday the bipartisan Iraq Study Group had compiled its report on policy options for Iraq after spending a "limited time" in that country. "The principals of the group never once stepped foot in the one region in Iraq where things are actually going well - in the northern region of Iraqi Kurdistan," said Move America Forward chairwoman Melanie Morgan. "It is slipshod work to search for a path to success when you ignore those who have already found a formula for such success." Morgan also said the ISG's suggestion that Iran and Syria could be "helpful allies" was "absurd." "It is more reminiscent of Neville Chamberlain's capitulation to Hitler than Ronald Reagan's resolute stand against Communism during the Cold War," she said.

I know it is hard to believe, I could scarcely believe my own ears; but, I heard a soundbite on the radio today, and I believe it was a CNN reporter, asking Hamilton and Baker, why should we take their report and recommendations to heart when they never left the Green Zone and while we have many men (and women) already spread all over Iraq who have an up close view of the situation. There was a lengthy pause before they tried to answer the question. It was truly remarkable. It was a very valid question coming surprisingly from "the old media."

Gates Confirmed By Senate as Defense Secretary

(CNSNews.com) - In a vote of 95 to 2, former CIA chief Robert Gates was confirmed Wednesday by the Senate as the next secretary of defense, on the same day that the Iraq Study Group formally released its recommendations on how to proceed in Iraq. The two votes against Gates were Republican Sens. Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Fox News reports. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend Gates' confirmation. He won Democrats over with his declaration that the U.S. was not winning the war in Iraq, contrary to President Bush's claims that the U.S. is "absolutely" winning. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) said Gates "recognized the high price" U.S. troops "are paying for the current policy." Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said Gates and Democrats agree that "only a political settlement by the Iraqis can end the violence in Iraq, and that the military force that we have there cannot do that for the Iraqis." Gates also solidified support from Democrats by promising to consider alternative options in Iraq.

Denying Conspiracy, Russia Pledges to Solve Mysterious Deaths
By Sergei Blagov

Moscow - Russia's top law enforcement is pledging to solve high-profile mysterious deaths and assassinations which have marred the country's international image.

Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika said Tuesday he would help a British investigation into the death of former spy Alexander Litvinenko.

'We will do everything possible to help our British colleagues,' Chaika told journalists, referring to a team of British law enforcement officers who arrived in the Russian capital Monday to investigate." Read more....

Virginia Attorney General Has Sights on Predators, Land Seizure Powers
An expanded mandatory minimum sentence for sexual offenders and additional protections for property rights are among the mix of legislative priorities Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell has pursued, in what he says is an effort to enhance public safety and advance economic freedom...

Liberal Groups Holding Democrats to Their Promises
It’s hard to tell who’s watching congressional Democrats more closely -- conservatives? or liberals who say the Democrats have a lot of promises to keep. When House Democrats launch their legislative agenda, they’ll have dozens of progressive groups standing firmly behind them, ready to nudge them if necessary...

Israelis Wary of Baker’s Report
– An influential bipartisan panel presented its recommendations Wednesday on U.S. options in Iraq, but some Israelis worry that the report could have significant and harmful repercussions for their country. Some experts here, citing James Baker’s background and approach, believe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will again be dragged into the fray...

Why the New Congress Should Not Fix Drug Prices
by Greg D'Angelo

"In the first hundred hours of the 110th Congress, the new Congressional leadership is expected to introduce legislation to fix the prices of prescription drugs in the massive Medicare drug entitlement program. The Medicare drug benefit is a costly entitlement, and its design, particularly the congressionally ordained gaps in coverage, has no analogue in the private markets. But government price fixing is not a viable solution to any of these shortcomings.

While the design of the drug entitlement has its flaws, the basic structure, in which private plans compete free of government interference, is a constructive feature of the Medicare program. In devising this framework, Congress initially acknowledged that market competition and consumer choice are necessary to ensure that seniors have access to quality pharmaceuticals at affordable prices. Thus far, the performance of the drug program has ratified that initial assumption—in the first year alone, the projected average monthly drug premiums dropped by nearly 40 percent.[1] A government-controlled Medicare drug purchasing program, in contrast, would prove ineffective, inflexible, and unresponsive to the highly diverse personal needs of America’s seniors." Read on..

Social Security Reform Is Not Just About Solvency

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael Tanner is director of health and welfare studies at the Cato Institute and editor of Social Security and Its Discontents (2004).

"Now that the elections are over, Democrats are suggesting a new willingness to address the need for Social Security reform. Max Baucus, D-Mont., incoming chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, announced plans to hold hearings on proposals to fix the program's looming financial crisis.

'All options are on the table,' according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., including tax increases, benefit cuts and changes in the retirement age.

Well, maybe not all options. Democrats remain unwilling to even discuss President Bush's plan for allowing younger workers to privately invest a portion of their Social Security taxes through personal accounts." Continue .....


Econ 101: Who Benefits from Boost in Student Grants?
'Round and 'round the taxpayer money goes ... and where it stops, nobody knows. Oh, and tuition will go up, too.

By Gary L. Wolfram, Ph.D.
Business & Media Institute

"One of the priorities of the new Congress, and something approved of by most of the media, is to expand federal grants and loans to college students. While this may sound like a good way to increase access to higher education, it is another case where people, in Sherlock Holmes’s words, see but do not observe.

Before Congress increases spending on financial aid to college students, it should think about what the end result will be. That result will certainly be higher tuition costs for all students, and may result in no net tuition reduction for those who receive the aid."

Top 10 Media Myths of 2006
From The Business and Media Institute

It’s been another year of wild media predictions, slanted stories and glaring omissions. What were the biggest whoppers? Be sure to check our list twice to find out who’s been naughty.

It's a myth that the U.S. hasn't alreadY engaged Syria and Iran.

From The American Spectator


Grievance theater at Minneapolis International Airport.

Probes dismiss imams' racism claim
Three parallel investigations into the removal of six imams from a US Airways flight last month have so far concluded that the airline acted properly, that the imams' claims they were merely praying and their eviction was racially inspired are without....

Report expected to alter policy
The Iraq Study Group will submit its report to the White House early today and expectations are running high, with Democrats saying it should be a watershed moment of change in U.S. policy in Iraq, though the White House says change is not imminent and ......

We know best on North Korea, South's president says

Washington Post
... The United States has been pressing South Korea to take a stronger stand against North Korea following Pyongyang's October 9 nuclear test and a UN Security ...

US Offers North Korea Aid for Dropping Nuclear Plans

New York Times
... The United States has offered a detailed package of economic and energy assistance in exchange for North Korea's giving up nuclear weapons and ...

Report: North Korea may disarm if US removes its nuclear weapons ...

China Post - Taipei,Taiwan

North Korea may offer to dismantle its nuclear weapons program if the United States removes its nuclear weapons from South Korea and other countries in the ...

IAEA urges immediate talks on North Korea

The News - International - Pakistan

BEIJING: UN atomic watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei called on Tuesday for international talks on North Korea's nuclear programme to restart immediately, as ...

Broadcasting to North Korea

In North Korea, radios are strictly controlled so only state-run broadcasts reach its people. According to defectors, however, many North Koreans modify their radio receivers and secretly listen to broadcasts from outside. ...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New twist in Litvinenko murder

MI6 believes he knew identity of Putin's master spy in Europe

LONDON -- "MI6 believes Alexander Litvinenko was murdered for keeping secret the identity of a senior KGB officer is the real reason why Alexander Litvinenko was murdered.

The officer is linked to a powerful spy ring of politicians, scientists and members of criminal gangs operating throughout Europe.

Code-named Uchitel – 'the Teacher' – the spy is described my MI6 as 'a very highly placed political figure who is still active. His many successes have included obtaining the plans of the Tornado fighter jet while it was being developed. He is also believed to have used his high office to obtain defence secrets from inside NATO, including its plans to deal with a Russian invasion of the West during the Cold War.'

Many members of the spy ring are known to have joined the Communist Party in Italy, France and Germany after World War II.

Some of the ring's members were singled out by the KGB in the 1950s to be high-level informers. Others became sleeper agents."

From the G2 Bulletin.

Radioactive spy Islamic convert?

LONDON – "Reports that KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko converted to Islam before his mysterious poisoning with radioactive polonium 210 is raising suspicions that he may have been involved in a plot to smuggle the deadly substance to terrorist groups willing to pay millions even for a gram, Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin is reporting today.

Scotland Yard detectives are now trying to discover if Litvinenko had any secret links with Islamic extremist terror groups, the London Sunday Express is reporting.

Their biggest fear, the paper reports, is that Litvinenko, who died of polonium-210 poisoning in a London hospital, may have been helping al-Qaida or other extremist groups get hold of radioactive material to be used in a devastating 'dirty' atom bomb.

Britain's secret intelligence service MI6 had earlier learned that al-Qaida was prepared to pay $3 million a gram for polonium 210, G2 Bulletin reported last week."

The Iraq Surrender Group

By Frank J. Gaffney, Jr.

"On Wednesday, an unelected, unaccountable and substantially unqualified commission will formally report what hasn’t already been leaked about its recommendations with respect to the conflict in Iraq. The title of the commission is the Iraq Study Group (ISG). Given the nature of its contribution, a better name would be the Iraq Surrender Group.*

Led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, the ISG’s members have reportedly decided that the United States must withdraw its forces from Iraq, that we must start doing so in substantial numbers by 2008 and that we have to open negotiations with Iran and its wholly owned subsidiary, Syria." Continue....

Realism and Iran

OpinionJournal - Featured Article:
However sincere Tehran's moderates may be, its hardliners have torpedoed deals.

"Realism is an academic theory that holds that nations should, and typically do, conduct foreign policy with greater regard for their interests than their values. But realism is also an ordinary word that tells us that good sense and experience are better practical guides to action than theory. That's a distinction worth bearing in mind as the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group releases its report this week and we debate whether the U.S. should engage diplomatically with Iran." More.

Steve Forbes: Tax Cuts saved U.S. Economy

"When Steve Forbes speaks about money, people listen.

Not only is he editor in chief of the nation's leading business magazine, Forbes, he has also become the nation's evangelist for free market policies, notably tax cuts and a 'flat' income tax. And Forbes is a former presidential candidate, having made bids for the GOP nomination in 1996 and 2000.

Though Forbes didn't win in either year, his agenda may have 'rubbed off' on the Republican platform.

President Bush, for instance, has fully embraced the view that tax cuts stimulate the economy. Bush proposed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, which Congress passed. It will cut taxes by an estimated $1.3 trillion by 2010. Another bill in 2003 cut taxes a further $60 billion a year, focusing on dividends and capital gains taxes.

So far, the effects have been clear. In the first 33 months after Bush signed the 2003 tax bill, the American economy increased by 20 percent and nearly 5.3 million new jobs were created." Read on...

Still Dead

-- From Opinion Journal

"Cuba Democracia y Vida, a Sweden-based exile site, claims that Fidel Castro is dead, attributing the information to, as Google's rough translation puts it, "a source near the Cuban regime of total credibility." Havana has been holding back the announcement, the story says, while awaiting the results of the election in Venezuela, where Hugo Chavez, a younger, less dead version of Castro, is leading his challenger by 62% to 37%.

The Associated Press, however, reports that "Cuba's Communist newspaper on Tuesday published a message reportedly from ailing leader Fidel Castro congratulating Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on his weekend re-election victory":

"The victory was resounding, crushing and without parallel in the history of our America," read the brief message published in the online edition of the Communist Party daily Granma.

Without parallel? Is Castro admitting that his own "elections"--whose results are even more "resounding" by virtue of their 100% victory margins--are a sham?"

Whether he is room temperature or gravely ill, just barely hanging on, the question is, 'What becomes of Cuba, post Fidel?' Stratfor Geopolitical Intelligence Report has written their analysis, "Cuba After Castro." It is written by George Friedman.

He asks can the Cuban government survive. The government will, the regime will not. Fidel had a vision. His regime, he believed, had a greater purpose. His vision was to not only transform Cuba, but to revolutionize and mobilize Latin America to confront "American imperialism."

"Fidel did not rule for the sake of ruling. He ruled for the sake of revolution."

For Raul and others, "the Cuban regime was an end in itself. Their goal was to keep it functioning. Fidel dreamed of using the regime to reshape the world." The new regime "will not be able to claim the imaginations of the disaffected and the politically ambitious around the world."

With the rise of the far left in South America, notably Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, with its' natural resources, something greatly missing in Cuba, Chavez is the perfect one to take the torch from Castro, even if it has to be a post mortem handoff.

Cuba because of its location, just 90 miles from our shores, poses significant threats to the U.S. because of its' potential as a base for missiles (deja vu anyone) and also because of shipping lanes. To read more of Mr. Freidman's analysis, "Cuba after Castro," go here.

Fiji Military Chief Stages Coup

Fiji's Commodore Frank Bainimarama (left) and Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase
The army chief and PM have been at loggerheads for months
Fiji's military commander has seized control of the country, marking the fourth coup in two decades.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama said in a televised address he had assumed executive powers and dismissed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase. Read on...

America's Opinion Not the Only One That Matters, NYT Says

The New York Times says it's good John Bolton is leaving his diplomatic post. Of course, they opposed him having that post to begin with.

"Mr. Bolton's withdrawal gives the president a chance to improve his relationship with both the U.N. and Congress. There are plenty of experienced, internationalist Republicans who could get near-unanimous support in the Senate and send a signal to the world that Mr. Bush understands that the United States is not the only nation on the planet whose opinion matters."
It seems to me that the NYT has forgotten one small fact: His job is to represent the U.S., and its' interests, and not all the other countries around the globe. But why let little details such as this get in their way. They don't believe in America, nor factual information for that matter. Why should this matter be any different.


How to End Terrorism
By Daniel Pipes
The success of moderate Islam ultimately represents the only effective form of counterterrorism. Terrorism, begun by bad ideas, can only be ended by good ones...

Ahmadinejad Wants EU to Butt Out

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday warned Europe against trying to stop Tehran's nuclear progress...

Israelis Sorry to See Bolton Go, Paper Says

Israeli officials, speaking off the record, praised U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton as a “great friend of Israel” and expressed their appreciation for Bolton’s support of Israel at the U.N., the Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday...

Bolton's Resignation Reverberates, Unsettles Conservatives

John Bolton's resignation as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations spurred strong reaction from across the political spectrum on Monday, with a Democratic leader calling the resignation "a chance for change" while conservatives wondered whether the development signaled "the death knell" of the U.N. Read on.....

Lebanon's Tragedy

"Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, used to be affectionately called the Paris of the Middle East. But that was more than 30 years ago, before sectarian strife among Christians and Sunni and Shiite Muslims almost tore the country apart.

Lebanon's neighbor Syria at first was welcomed when its troops entered the country some 30 years ago to restore order in the civil war. Since then, however, Syria has been a bully in Lebanese politics and apparently the instigator of the murder of several Lebanese politicians opposed to it. In response, Hezbollah--the pro-Syrian political and terrorist group--has waged massive street demonstrations aiming to bring down the Siniora government.

Poor Lebanon. With a neighbor like Syria, what chance does Beirut have of being Paris again?"

—By David Aikman

Monday, December 04, 2006

U.S. Middle Class Mans U.S. Military

Contrary to the claims of Rep. Charlie Rangel (D.-N.Y.), U.S. military recruits are not poorer and less well educated than their contemporaries. Quite the opposite is true. They tend to be better off and...

Back to Socialism in Central Europe

Central Europe's four-pack of liberated former Soviet colonies -- Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic -- have been drifting away from free markets and democracy and back toward socialism and...

Key U.S. justice opposes use of race in school cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A justice who may cast the decisive vote on the closely divided U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sharply criticized using race to decide where students go to school.

"You're characterizing each student by reason of the color of his or her skin," Justice Anthony Kennedy told a lawyer for one of two school districts arguing before the high court. More...

The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness

"Like all other human beings, the modern liberal reveals his true character, including his madness, in what he values and devalues, in what he articulates with passion. Of special interest, however, are the many values about which the modern liberal mind is not passionate: his agenda does not insist that the individual is the ultimate economic, social and political unit; it does not idealize individual liberty and the structure of law and order essential to it; it does not defend the basic rights of property and contract; it does not aspire to ideals of authentic autonomy and mutuality; it does not preach an ethic of self-reliance and self-determination; it does not praise courage, forbearance or resilience; it does not celebrate the ethics of consent or the blessings of voluntary cooperation. It does not advocate moral rectitude or understand the critical role of morality in human relating. The liberal agenda does not comprehend an identity of competence, appreciate its importance, or analyze the developmental conditions and social institutions that promote its achievement. The liberal agenda does not understand or recognize personal sovereignty or impose strict limits on coercion by the state. It does not celebrate the genuine altruism of private charity. It does not learn history’s lessons on the evils of collectivism."

-- Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr, MD

Dr. Rossiter nails it. The above is a partial excerpt .... an excerpt of an excerpt, if you will, of his book. (Read more of the excerpt here). His book's title is, The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness. You can read more at his website libertymind.com.

Fighting to win in Iraq

By Jeff Jacoby

"As secretary of state from 1989 to 1992, James Baker was involved in some of the worst foreign-policy blunders of the first Bush administration.

One such blunder was the administration's stubborn refusal to support independence for the long-subjugated republics of the Soviet Union, culminating in the president's notorious 'Chicken Kiev' speech of August 1991, when he urged Ukrainians to stay in their Soviet cage. Another was the appeasement of Syrian dictator Hafez Assad during the run-up to the Gulf War in 1990, when Bush and Baker blessed Syria's brutal occupation of Lebanon in exchange for Assad's acquiescence in the campaign to roll back the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait.

When Chinese tanks massacred students in Tiananmen Square, Bush expressed more concern for the troops than for their victims: 'I don't think we ought to judge the whole People's Liberation Army by that terrible incident,' he said. When Bosnia was torn apart by violence in 1992, the Bush-Baker reaction was to shrug it off as 'a hiccup.'

Worst of all was the betrayal of the Iraqi Shi'ites and Kurds who in the spring of 1991 heeded Bush's call to 'take matters into their own hands' and overthrow Saddam Hussein -- only to be slaughtered by Saddam's helicopter gunships and napalm while the Bush administration stood by. Baker blithely announced that the administration was 'not in the process now of assisting . . . these groups that are in uprising against the current government.' To Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell’s plea that some of the 400,000 US troops in the area put a halt to the massacre, Bush dismissively replied, 'Always glad to have his opinion. Glad to hear from him.' Then he went fishing in Florida.

If Bush the Elder is remembered for a rather heartless and cynical foreign policy, then much of the credit must go to Baker. And what Baker did for the father, he is now poised to do for the son." Read on....

Flickering signs

By Thomas Sowell:
"Despite years of getting a steady diet of 'non-judgmental' attitudes from our educational system and the media, we have not yet lost all sense of right and wrong.

We have been imposed on so often that it is understandable how some would think that we had reached the point where we would stand for anything."
Read on...

When someone accuses you of being 'judgemental,' and I have been so accused on more than one occassion, what they are telling you is, "you're too opinionated ...... you don't agree with me ..... so shut the hell up!" - HH.

Global Warming Gag Order


Senators to Exxon: Shut up, and pay up.

"Washington has no shortage of bullies, but even we can't quite believe an October 27 letter that Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe sent to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. Its message: Start toeing the Senators' line on climate change, or else.

We reprint the full text of the letter here, so readers can see for themselves. But its essential point is that the two Senators believe global warming is a fact, and therefore all debate about the issue must stop and ExxonMobil should 'end its dangerous support of the [global warming] 'deniers.' ' Not only that, the company 'should repudiate its climate change denial campaign and make public its funding history.' And in extra penance for being 'one of the world's largest carbon emitters,' Exxon should spend that money on 'global remediation efforts.' " Read more...

Oh, the irony of it all

Sen. Chuck Schumer is skeptical of "smart cards," credit cards that "record a transaction by waving the card near a terminal without a swipe or signature," reports AM New York:

"These cards may be convenient but they're a double-edged sword because thieves can use the technology, steal your identity, and use your credit number and name, and go on a shopping spree at your expense," Schumer said.

Chuckie has "hands-on" experience when it comes to credit issues. To my knowledge, Schumer never apologized to Michael Steele when his staffers stole Steele's credit report.

Democrats inspect faith-based initiative - The Boston Globe

The Boston Globe

"WASHINGTON -- Two leading Democrats on the House International Relations Committee said they want to investigate President Bush's faith-based initiative to determine whether taxpayer funds are being used to reward Bush's Christian conservative supporters and whether the faith-based groups are using the funds to help gain converts.

In addition, Democrats on the panel said they could be in a strong position to try to overturn a measure that requires one-third of AIDS prevention money overseas to be spent on 'abstinence-until-marriage' programs"

Congressmen Want House to Probe Conviction of Border Patrol Agents

Republican congressmen are calling on House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) to hold an immediate hearing on two U.S. Border Patrol agents who were convicted and sentenced to 11 to 12 years for shooting a Mexican drug smuggler. Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-N.C.) joined Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and other House colleagues in asking for the hearing on the conviction and sentencing of agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean. "Both Ramos and Compean will appeal these sentences through their counsel," the letter states. "However, their struggle to overturn these convictions would be greatly aided by a congressional inquiry into their case.
Full Story

Hillary Secretly Recruiting Staffers

"Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is secretly moving to secure top Democratic Party operatives to staff a likely run for president in 2008.

The Hotline blog reports 'select members of Sen. Hillary Clinton's political team have started to interview Democrats who might one day fill senior and mid-level positions in Clinton's yet-to-be-announced presidential campaign.'

The report comes amid widespread media speculation that Clinton may be hearing footsteps from Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who has received much attention and hype as the up-and-coming 'it' guy for Democrats in their pursuit of the White House."

Anxious Hillary Makes 2008 Calls

"Despite reports from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's camp that she would not take active steps for a presidential bid until January, Clinton has taken solid moves to round up early support.

Washington insiders suggest Clinton's team is worried that she may lose luster as candidates like Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., have catapulted into the national headlines.

Signs of anxiety among Clinton's camp comes from a spate of press reports, including one in The New York Times, that she has been secretly contacting high-ranking New York Democrats informing them of her 2008 intentions."

Brownback Moves Toward White House Bid

"Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, a favorite of the religious right, said Monday he is taking the first step toward launching a bid for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

A vigorous abortion opponent, the Kansas senator pledged to make 'issues of life,' fiscal restraint and tax reform key components of his effort to woo supporters."

Hillary Hires National Fund-Raising Director

"Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has hired a national fundraising director and a senior campaign spokesman, the latest sign the Democrat is moving quickly toward a likely 2008 presidential bid."

U.S. Rejects Talks With Raul Castro

"The State Department on Monday rejected an offer of talks with Raul Castro, Cuba's acting president, saying it saw no point in a dialogue with what it called the Caribbean island's 'dictator-in-waiting.'

'The dialogue that should be taking place is not between Raul Castro and any group outside or any country outside of Cuba. It's the regime, with the Cuban people, talking about a transition to a democratic form of governance in that country,' State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters.

The offer of talks, made on Saturday, was the most direct overture to the United States by the designated successor to Fidel Castro, who gave power to his brother temporarily after undergoing emergency intestinal surgery in late July."

Saddam May Escape Hangman's Noose

"Saddam Hussein waited until the last minute before filing an appeal to his death sentence, and frequently delayed his trial with verbal tirades.

It all makes sense considering a little-reported Iraqi law, which bars the execution of anyone age 70 and above.

Saddam turns 70 in April.

On November 5, Saddam was sentenced to hang after being convicted of ordering the deaths of 148 Shiites in the village of Dujail in 1982. He is still on trial on other charges.

Saddam’s lawyers had 30 days from the date of sentencing to file an official appeal. They waited until Sunday, December 3."

Congress open to passing bill on immigration

"Congress will approve an immigration bill that will grant citizenship rights to most of the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S. after Democrats take control next month, predict both sides on Capitol Hill.

While Republicans have been largely splintered on the issue of immigration reform, Democrats have been fairly unified behind the principle that the illegals currently in the country should get citizenship rights without having to first leave the country.

'Years of dawdling have worsened our border security and made it harder to fix this broken system,' said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the Vermont Democrat who will lead the Judiciary Committee next year. 'We should not let partisan politics and intolerance continue to delay and derail effective reform.'

Democrats in both chambers say they will start with some form of legislation first drafted by Sens. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, which was the basis for the bill that was approved earlier this year by the Senate." MORE....


Iran welcomes Chavez victory as win against US

Iran hailed on Monday the presidential election victory of fellow US foe Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, saying it reflected Latin America's opposition to Washington's "arrogant attitudes".

Chavez was re-elected by a landslide on Sunday, handing him an ample mandate to broaden his promised socialist revolution and challenge US influence in Latin America. He is the fourth leftist to win an election in the region in the past five weeks.

Even They're Sick of Him:
Pajamas Media

Iran's parliament has a proved a draft bill making the next presidential election more than a year earlier, reducing the four-year presidential term of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by almost one and a half years....

VIVA HUGO!!! They're partying like it is 1899 over the Chavez Win @ The Huffington Post. (HT: LGF)
Pajamas Media

Marc Cooper foresaw this scrofulous outbreak of Bozoitus last Friday with, "Armchair revolutionaries from Madison to Santa Monica will no doubt be cheering for Chavez, fully convinced that from their...

Two-in-three Hispanics Favor English as the Official Language of the United States

Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic adults living in the United States favor making English the official language of the United States, according to a new poll from Zogby...

Litvinenko probe to spread to Europe
British Home Secretary John Reid said the probe into the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko would extend across Europe as police prepared to visit Russia in the hunt for the truth behind his .....

This a Shame......

Bush Accepts Bolton's U.N. Resignation

Unable to win Senate confirmation, U.N. Ambassador John Bolton will step down when his temporary appointment expires within weeks, the White House said Monday. Bolton's nomination has...

Bush, Shiite Leader to Meet in D.C.

Under pressure to change course in Iraq, President Bush will meet on Thursday with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, his closest ally in the U.S.-led war. The meeting comes a day after...

Bush considering Rumsfeld options on Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush is considering a "laundry list" of options for Iraq policy changes suggested by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld before resigning last...

Lebanese army increases forces in tense Beirut

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's army deployed more soldiers in Beirut on Monday after the killing of a pro-Syrian Shi'ite Muslim demonstrator raised fears anti-government protests could turn...

Somalis rally against U.S. peacekeeping plan

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Thousands of Somalis chanted anti-American slogans on Monday at an Islamist protest against a U.S.-backed plan to send foreign peacekeepers to prop up the country's...

Chavez storms to re-election victory

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Anti-U.S. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez headed to re-election on Sunday, according to an exit poll linked to the government that said the leftist had a...

Bolton to exit as U.N. ambassador

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facing opposition from key senators, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton will leave office in a matter of days, the White House announced on Monday.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Chessboard Endgame

Obsessed with Iraq, we've lost sight of the rest of the world.

"For the past few years, the dictators and terrorists have been gaining ground, and with good reason. The deepening catastrophe in Iraq has distracted the world's sole superpower from its true goals, and weakened the U.S. politically as well as militarily. With new congressional leadership threatening to make the same mistake--failing to see Iraq as only one piece of a greater puzzle--it is time to return to the basics of strategic planning.

Thirty years as a chess player ingrained in me the importance of never losing sight of the big picture. Paying too much attention to one area of the chessboard can quickly lead to the collapse of your entire position. America and its allies are so focused on Iraq they are ceding territory all over the map. Even the vague goals of President Bush's ambiguous war on terror have been pushed aside by the crisis in Baghdad." Read on....

Beating back political correctness in the English Dept.

"It’s official: you spend tens of thousands of dollars to send your kids to college. In return, the colleges turn out graduates who are more ignorant than when they enrolled.

According to a recent report from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, seniors at Yale, Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, and several other top schools actually know less about American history and government than entering freshmen.

But students don’t just learn (or unlearn, as the case may be) facts in college. They also learn attitudes and principles. In other words, they form their characters—which, Aristotle pointed out more than 2,000 years ago, means learning to love and delight in certain things and spurn others. For example, American students used to learn more from the Gettysburg address than just the facts of Civil War military history. They also learned to love self-government—and its necessary condition, the courage and sacrifice of the patriotic soldier." Read on....

The Graying of America: An Inconvenient Truth

By Ken Connor:

"Other than the unborn, no single age group in the United States suffers from a diminished view of the value of human life more than the elderly. We have adopted a sliding scale of dignity which depends upon one's functional capacity, quality of life, and level of sentience. Woe be unto the old person who does not score well using this quality of life calculus and who costs more to maintain than they produce.

There is no doubt that the Roe v. Wade ethic has had a striking effect on how we view the aged. Roe teaches us to look at other people in terms of how convenient they are to us. If someone is wanted, then their life has worth; if not, it is permissible to dispose of them. Now that we are facing a future where elderly men and women will be seen as economically inconvenient, where some will be unwanted and unloved, and where many will lack the mental or physical capacity to defend themselves, it is clear that the elderly are in danger of abuse, neglect, or perhaps even worse.

Increasingly, as a society we are demonstrating that we are willing to negotiate whose life is worth living, and whose life is not."

Corporate Social Responsibility is Immoral

"Milton Friedman has been called the most influential economist from the second half of the 20th century. With his passing this month a great deal has been written "Milton Friedman has been called the most influential economist from the second half of the 20th century. With his passing this month a great deal has been written regarding what he did and did not achieve. While Dr. Friedman helped transform the economic world, he also believed that economic freedom was key to creating long-term economic growth, eradicating poverty, and preserving our broader freedoms. This struggle to transform greater society still has a long way to go. The slippery slope toward socialism continues to threaten our freedom, but it does so in a less obvious manner. The vibrancy of the modern Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement stands as a testament to this continued threat.

In response to the rise of CSR principles more than 30 years ago, Milton Friedman wrote that in a free society, “there is one and only one social responsibility of a business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits, as long as it stays with the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”

The modern CSR movement is the next wave of political correctness that ignores the basic free market principles articulated by Friedman........" Read on.

British Cabinet told of Russian espionage

The Russian intelligence services, prime suspects in the death of Alexander Litvinenko, have a network of more than 30 spies operating in Britain........