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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 14, 2007

All Mixed-Up Over Iran

By Victor Davis Hanson
Last week’s U.S. National Intelligence Estimate states, with “high confidence,” that Iran quit trying to get a nuclear bomb in late 2003. That’s exactly the opposite of what the NIE reported just two years ago, when it claimed Iran’s ruling mullahs were still developing nuclear weapons.

The reaction here at home to the new NIE was a good deal clearer than the often mealy-mouthed wording of the report. By an overwhelming margin, according to a Rasmussen poll conducted after the new NIE report’s findings were made public, Americans don’t buy that Iran has quit trying to go nuclear.
Read on.

Linda Chavez:
Hillary: Too Clever by Half

For the past year, Hillary Clinton's Democratic presidential nomination has seemed inevitable. She raised more money than any presidential candidate in history. She performed well in an endless series of debates.


Democrats' Tax Package Would Cost Consumers
By Paul M. Weyrich

When oil and gas prices are high, what does the Democratic leadership in Congress want to do? Raise taxes on oil and gas companies, of course. Nothing could be more logical than to increase the amount of money the federal government demands from oil and gas revenue. Oil and gas companies then would pass these taxes on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Democrats also want to require utilities to acquire more of their electricity from renewable energy sources; and they plan to raise fuel efficiency standards in cars. These proposals reveal the great contempt the liberal Congressional leadership has for the average American consumer. All three of these ideas are hidden taxes that would raise prices and hurt the middle class...

“The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among old parchments, or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.”

—Alexander Hamilton

CAIR Instructs the Media

Do It Our Way
by Robert Spencer:
In its continuing effort to impede freedom of the press in the United States, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a new media guide -- available only to “media professionals” -- that purports to “educate the media and disabuse journalists of misinformation” about Islam. The notorious Islamic advocacy group, which has seen several of its officials convicted on various terrorism-related charges, and which was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror funding case, asserts that “common misperceptions in the media include the notion that Islam is not compatible with democracy or modern culture, that the Quran teaches violence, that Muslims around the world hate the US, that Islam does not respect women’s rights, and that all Muslims are Arab.”
Read on.

Climate Bill Will Devastate American Families and Jobs

By Sen. James Inhofe

For the first time in history, a fatally flawed global-warming cap-and-trade bill passed out of the United States Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. Democrats, led by Chairman Barbara Boxer (D.-Calif.), approved the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2007 (S 2191) by a vote of 11 to eight December 5.

Serious Flaws

While the outcome of the vote in committee was never in question -- since Democrats hold the majority -- it did provide Republicans the opportunity to expose many of the serious flaws of this bill. The fact is this bill is simply all economic pain for no climate gain: Numerous analyses have placed the costs at trillions of dollars. Even if one accepts the dire claims of man-made global warming, this bill will not have a measurable impact on the climate. Read more.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Bill Clinton Outraged Over Obama Poll Surge

Report: Feds Probing Sharpton Finances

Bill to Hill: Turn Up the Heat

With presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers sinking, campaign staffers are increasingly questioning the cautious approach taken by her top political aide, Mark Penn.

Sources say Penn has counseled moderation in the belief that an aggressive attack on Barack Obama would alienate voters and drive Hillary too far to the left to win the general election, Newsday reports.

But now Hillary’s husband Bill is advising her to take a far more aggressive approach now that Obama has climbed into a virtual dead heat in the polls in three early primary and caucus states.

Read on.

Happy Holiday

Mary Did You Know

Huckabee vs Obama May Lead to 3rd Party

By John LeBoutiller:
As usual, the so-called TV talking-head political pundits/experts are — once again — wrong!

Do you recall their fawning over the quarterly fundraising totals and how they pontificate that “money is the mother’s milk of American politics” and this one, “you have to have $100 million to even compete in this newly front-loaded race”?

Oh, really?

Mike Huckabee has vaulted to No. 1 in the GOP race basically without one red cent!

If Huckabee and Obama (the two hottest candidates at the moment) were to win their respective party's nominations, LeBoutiller says:
If ever there was a perfect set-up for an independent third candidate to drive right up the center and win this election, this is it.

This candidate paints these two as the extremists they are: Huckabee is not a fiscal conservative. He is a big government liberal masquerading as a Republican. Plus he is seen by many as a religious extremist.

Obama can easily be painted as a way-out left-winger who can’t be trusted to run the country.

Thus, this so-far hypothetical independent third candidate could run against these two extremists who cannot be trusted with power and have a real shot at winning.

Full article.

Obama: Hillary Reaches New Low
Barack Obama’s campaign has sent an urgent e-mail to supporters Thursday saying an “increasingly desperate” Hillary Clinton and her campaign “have reached a new low” with personal smears, including dredging up Obama’s written admission that he experimented with drugs.
Read more.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

“The United Nations Global Warming Conference got underway on the island of Bali. It’s located in the Indonesian archipelago. Who else but the United Nations would go to a tropical island in December and then complain about warm weather.”

-- Argus Hamilton --


“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”
—Albert Einstein


“Nothing is as terrible to see as ignorance in action.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


“Raising taxes on capital formation reduces the rate of capital formation. Raising taxes on income reduces incentives to work. Unfortunately, because so many Americans buy into the politics of envy, politicians have a leg up in enacting measures that cripple economic growth.”

-- Walter Williams --

“Climate change is a non problem. The right answer to a non problem is to have the courage to do nothing. The UN conference is a complete waste of our time and your money and we should no longer pay the slightest attention to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).”

-- UK climate researcher Lord Christopher Monckton --

Racial Hoaxes and the NAACP
By Walter E. Williams

Last May, firefighters at a Baltimore, Md., fire station came under scrutiny for displaying a deer with an afro wig, gold tooth, gold chain and a cigarette hanging from its mouth. Marvin “Doc” Cheatham, president of the Baltimore chapter of the NAACP, went ballistic, charging, “There is now and has been a culture of racism and white supremacy within the Baltimore City Fire Department.” As it turns out, it was a black fireman who dressed up the critter. But Cheatham refused to apologize for his accusations. Doc Cheatham is a poster boy for demonstrating a much larger problem, namely that the once proud and useful NAACP has outlived that usefulness and has in some instances become an impediment to black progress…

Meltdown for Hillary: Obama Now Ties Hillary in New Hampshire

New Details in CIA Waterboarding

WASHINGTON -- The CIA's waterboarding of a top al-Qaida figure was approved at the top levels of the U.S. government, a former CIA agent said Tuesday as agency director Gen. Michael Hayden prepared for questioning by congressional panels about the destruction of videotapes of terror suspect interrogations.

According to the former agent, waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah got him to talk in less than 35 seconds. The technique, which critics say is torture, probably disrupted "dozens" of planned al-Qaida attacks, said John Kiriakou, a leader of the team that captured Zubaydah, a major al-Qaida figure.

Read more of this article.

Related story:
Some Senators Wary of Waterboarding, Even to Save Lives
With a vote pending to restrict the interrogation techniques of the Central Intelligence Agency, many senators were non-committal Tuesday on whether they would agree to outlaw waterboarding after a former CIA officer said the method of simulated drowning helped save American lives. Full story with audio...

Hezbollah: Signs of a Sophisticated Intelligence Apparatus

By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart
Terrorism Intelligence Report

On Dec. 4, Samar Spinelli, a U.S. Marine captain, pleaded guilty in U.S. district court in Detroit to conspiring to commit citizenship and passport fraud. By pleading guilty, Spinelli admitted to having conspired with her former roommate, Nada Nadim Prouty, to fraudulently obtain U.S. citizenship. Prouty, a former FBI agent and CIA case officer, pleaded guilty in the same court in November to accessing a federal computer system to obtain information about the Lebanese-based militant group Hezbollah and conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, among other charges. Spinelli's other former roommate, Elfat El Aouar -- Prouty's sister -- is serving an 18-month prison sentence for tax evasion. All three women were born in Lebanon.

The evidence, allegations and related cases suggest that Hezbollah has established a sophisticated intelligence apparatus that reaches into the United States. Moreover, it is possible -- though certainly not proven -- that Spinelli and Prouty used their positions in government agencies to provide Hezbollah with sensitive information. If these women were indeed Hezbollah plants, the magnitude of the information they provided to Hezbollah and Iran could be similar in importance to the information Robert Hanssen provided to the Soviets and Russians -- and the damage could prove to be just as great. Full article.

GOP Primaries

From the Evans-Novak Political Report:

"The rise of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee makes the outcome of the Republican presidential nomination totally unpredictable. Huckabee is so out of phase with the conservative mainstream (and even with the evangelical movement) that it is still hard to see how he can be nominated. But if he defeats former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Iowa, the outlook becomes blurred. In Republican ranks, the contest is seen as a battle between Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani."

Paying More at the Pump: Energy Bill Would Increase Gas Prices
By The Heritage Foundation

CNN: Gore Still 'Bitter' Over Presidential Defeat

Hollywood Execs Call for 'Subliminal' Green Messages

Two Views of Mortgage Solution

From the Business Media Institute:

Is the mortgage plan a “bailout” or a “rescue”? Does it help homeowners and lenders? How involved was the Bush administration? BMI presents two views of the plan from economists in the know.
MSM Misses on Mortgage Rescue by Jerry Bowyer
A Mortgage Bailout? by Brian Wesbury and Robert Stein


From The Wall Street Journal-
“After three days of screaming headlines about the CIA destroying videotapes in 2005 of the ‘harsh’ interrogation of two terrorists, it now comes to light that in 2002 key members of Congress were fully briefed by the CIA about those interrogation techniques, including waterboarding. One member of that Congressional delegation was the future House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi... Porter Goss, the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee who later served as CIA director from 2004 to 2006 is explicit about what happened in these meetings: ‘Among those being briefed, there was a pretty full understanding of what the CIA was doing. And the reaction in the room was not just approval, but encouragement.’ In all, the CIA provided Congress with some 30 briefings on waterboarding before it became a public issue... One certainly may hold as abhorrent the idea of aggressively interrogating any terrorists ever, either for fear of what they might do to our people, as John McCain does, or because one thinks this violates our values. What one may not do—at least not if one wants the system to function—is assent to such a policy in 2002 and then, when the policy is made public, put up the pretense that one is ‘shocked’ and appalled to learn of it. This is bad faith.”

“[T]o model our political systems upon speculations of lasting tranquillity would be to calculate on the weaker springs of human character.”

—Alexander Hamilton

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

-- John Jay --

Huckabee's Rise

By Hugh Hewitt

Mike Huckabee's November rise in the polls has brought increased scrutiny in December. While the former Arkansas governor is certainly a pro-life and pro-marriage candidate, he is not a traditional conservative. His economic polices are decidedly populist, his proprosal to give in-state tuition to illegal immigrants is conspicuously outside the GOP mainstream, and his position in 1992 that people with AIDS should be isolated was a stunner. Quarantines weren't mainstream then, and Huckabee's refusal to admit as much now suggests a stubbornness about past policy mistakes that could easily be exploited in the general election.

The Huckabee boomlet may well have faded before Iowa caucuses on January 3, but if it hasn't, Hawkeye voters and those that follow in Wyoming, New Hampshire and Michigan have to realize that a Huckabee candidacy could put the GOP on the path to a general election wipe-out that would rival that of the Dems in 1980 or 1972. Populism combined with radical proposals does not carry the American center, and not even much of the American right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Las Vegas Sun/AP:
Poll: More in US See Progress in Iraq

Skeptical Scientists Descend on UN Climate Conference

Canada Free Press/EPW Blog:
Skeptical Scientists Urge World To ‘Have the Courage to Do Nothing’ At UN Conference

Father killed daughter for not wearing hijab, her friends say

Following in the steps of his buddy, Hugo Chavez.

Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Says He'll Hold Recall Referendum

Buenos Aires - Following days of violence prompted by a government attempt to rewrite his country's constitution, Bolivian President Evo Morales is proposing a recall referendum.

A Bolivian constitutional assembly has approved a package of "reforms" including allowing the president to seek re-election as often as he likes, the nationalization of hydrocarbon industries, and a greater inclusion of indigenous people in government.

Among other things, critics say that the changes will reduce the powers enjoyed by Bolivia's nine provinces.

Read on.

Next Piece in Putin's Puzzle Revealed as He Names Favored Successor

Moscow - Russia's next president looks set to be a close and longtime ally of Vladimir Putin, after the majority United Russia party and three minor parties on Monday named Dmitry Medvedev as their candidate in the election next March.

Putin promptly backed the choice of .....

Read more.

What a shocker....

Sun, Not Man, Main Cause of Climate Change, New Study Says

In a new study on global warming, climate scientists at the University of Rochester, the University of Alabama, and the University of Virginia found that the climate-change models based on human influence do not match observed warming..

China and the Arabian Peninsula as Market Stabilizers

By George Friedman
Stratfor Intelligence

The single most interesting thing about today's global economy is what has not occurred. In 1979, oil prices soared to slightly more than $100 a barrel in current dollars, and they are approaching that historic high again. Meanwhile, the subprime meltdown continues to play out. Many financial institutions have been hurt, many individual lives have been shattered and many Wall Street operators once considered brilliant have been declared dunderheads. Despite all the predictions that the current situation is just the tip of the iceberg, however, the crisis is progressing in a fairly orderly fashion. Distinguish here between financial institutions, financial markets and the economy. People in the financial world tend to confuse the three. Some financial institutions are being hurt badly. Those experiencing the pain mistakenly think their suffering reflects the condition of the financial markets and economy. But the financial markets are managing, as is the economy.

What we are seeing is the convergence of two massive forces. Oil prices, along with primary commodity prices in general, have soared. Also, one of the periodic financial bubbles -- the subprime mortgage market -- has burst. Either of these alone should have created global havoc. Neither has. The stock market has not plummeted. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell from a high of about 1,565 in mid-October to a low of 1,400 on Oct. 19. Since then, it has rebounded as high as 1,550. Given the media rhetoric and the heads rolling in the financial sector, we would expect to see devastating numbers. And yet, we are not. Read more.

Pay-Go: Fiscal Responsibility or Political Cover to Raise Your Taxes?

By Rep. Eric Cantor

When the new majority implemented "pay-go" spending rules last fall, the American people thought they were getting a check on runaway congressional spending - not an excuse to raise taxes. Congress would offset any dollar of new government spending, we were told, with spending reductions in other areas.

Sadly, this year the majority has done nothing to change its profligate ways. Congress’ spending proposal came out $23 billion over the president’s budget request, an overall increase of over 10 percent from last year’s levels. Instead, Democrats have used pay-go as a pretext for a wave of new tax increases. Their strategy, disguised in the garb of “fiscal responsibility,” threatens to.....

Read on.

George Will:
Political Speech Is Not Free Speech

The six-person FEC -- three members from each party -- enforces the rules it writes about how Americans are permitted to participate in politics. You thought the First Amendment said enough about that participation? Silly you.


Interestingly, Daniel Pipes writes "That NIE Makes War against Iran More Likely"
With the Dec. 3 publication of a completely unexpected declassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities," a consensus has emerged that war with Iran "now appears to be off the agenda." Indeed, Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claimed the report dealt a "fatal blow" to the country's enemies, while his foreign ministry spokesman called it a "great victory."

I disagree with that consensus, believing that military action against Iran is now more likely than before the NIE came out.
Read more.

Dennis Prager:
In Politics Values Matter, Not Theology

There are some Americans -- presumed usually to be evangelical Christians -- for whom voting for a Mormon for president of the United States is difficult, if not impossible.


The National Intelligence Estimate failed to anticipate the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Opinion Journal

Two Presidents in the White House?

Bill Clinton's mere presence in the West Wing would be intimidating.

Opinion Journal

For many years, one of Bill and Hillary Clinton's closest friends, TV producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, has been fond of saying that when the Clintons "are dead and gone, each of them is going to be buried next to a president of the United States."

It is an idea that the Clintons began talking about decades ago. Back in 1974, Bill Clinton told his friend Diane Kincaid that Hillary "could be president someday." During his own presidential campaign in 1992, he said in an interview, "Eight years of Hillary Clinton? Why not?"

We now face the extraordinary possibility of having two presidents in the White House who are married to each other. That prospect is something that never occurred to our nation's founders, and is only now beginning to catch the attention of the public, with Hillary Clinton's position as front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Imagine being asked to serve as her running mate, knowing that her husband would be far more influential than any vice president. What would a potential secretary of state face now that Sen. Clinton has already said she would use her husband as ambassador to the world? As a former president, would Mr. Clinton read the daily intelligence briefing? His unofficial portfolio would potentially overlap with everyone in authority, without his being subject to Senate confirmation.

Read more.

Monday, December 10, 2007


“[T]o the extent that the [National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear-weapons program] undercuts the credibility of the threat of military force, it reduces American leverage over Iran (and over our own allies) and thereby diminishes rather than enhances the prospects for diplomatic success. If indeed Iran stopped its nuclear-weapons program in 2003, is it a coincidence that this was the same year America made good on its threat of military force against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq? Here’s what troubles us about the report, though: If one can have high confidence in the NIE findings, then those findings are good news for America. They mean that a regime that has repeatedly shown its hostility toward our country is less of a threat than we had reason to fear. If Iran had nuclear weapons, it could create a humanitarian catastrophe. Or it could use the threat to do so to do all sorts of mischief that would be destructive to U.S. interests in the region. But we haven’t seen anyone celebrating the NIE as good news for America. The people who profess to believe it all seem to view it as a partisan document, a weapon to be used in their battle against the Bush administration. To the administration’s domestic foes, it doesn’t seem to matter how much of a threat Iran poses; short-term political gain is more important than the interests of America.”

—James Taranto


“[N]one of the [Clinton] scandals were bolder and publicly vexing than the fact that whole cases of FBI files of Clinton opponents or antagonists were missing and mysteriously popped up in Hillary’s possession. The fact that many of the names found in such files were also under special audit from the IRS—many for several years in a row—under the Clinton regime troubled the few Americans who followed the news closely enough to understand it. The willingness that such executive power would be focused to abuse their ideological enemies is revolting and repulsive. In the years since Hillary has repackaged herself as the ‘moderate’ Senator from New York thus further distancing herself from the trouble of the Arkansas days. But make no mistake—everything ugly associated with the word Clinton is back. Rigged appearances, intimidation of the press, and the discovery that research hacks are even now sitting in some campaign office basement putting together strategy hits for the assassination of their current opponents—its all back.”

—Kevin McCullough


“Government allocation of resources enhances the potential for human conflict, while market allocation reduces it. That also applies to contentious national issues such as Social Security and health care. You take care of your retirement and health care as you please, and I’ll take care of mine as I please. If you prefer socialized retirement and health care, that’s fine if you don’t force others to participate. I’m afraid most Americans view such a liberty-oriented solution with hostility. They believe they have a right to enlist the brute forces of government to impose their preferences on others.”

—Walter Williams


“[W]hen you consider why true poverty exists, you realize it’s not simply a matter of pouring more money into this or that government program. ‘There are two main reasons that American children are poor,’ [Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation] writes. ‘Their parents don’t work much, and fathers are absent from the home.’ The typical poor family with children is supported by only 16 hours of work per week. If work in this family were raised to 40 hours per week, he says, nearly 75 percent of poor children would be lifted out of official poverty. As for absent fathers: Nearly two out of every three poor children live in single-parent homes. And each year, another 1.5 million children are born out of wedlock. ‘If poor mothers married the fathers of their children, almost three-quarters would immediately be lifted out of poverty,’ Rector writes. But don’t hold your breath waiting for one of the presidential hopefuls to float that solution.”

—Rebecca Hagelin

British Doubt Iran Report

British espionage experts have serious doubts about a U.S. intelligence report asserting that Iran suspended its nuclear weapons program four years ago.

Security services in London fear that Iran may have hoodwinked the U.S. by feeding misinformation to the CIA.

A senior British official told The Daily Telegraph that British analysts believe Iranian nuclear staffers, knowing that their phones were tapped, deliberately gave misinformation. And American spy chiefs were so determined to avoid giving President Bush a justification for attacking Iran that they were eager to accept the bogus intelligence. READ MORE.

New Study Explodes Human-Global Warming Story
As much of the U.S. is being blasted by vicious ice storms, a blockbuster report published in a prestigious scientific journal insists that the evidence shows that climate warming is both natural and unstoppable and that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant.

Writing in the International Journal of Climatology of the Royal Meteorological Society, professor David H. Douglass (of the University of Rochester), professor John R. Christy (of the University of Alabama), Benjamin D. Pearson and professor S. Fred Singer (of the University of Virginia) report that observed patterns of temperature changes ("fingerprints") over the last 30 years disagree with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability.

The conclusion is that climate change is "unstoppable" and cannot be affected or modified by controlling the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, as is proposed in current legislation.

Is the NIE a LIE?

By Rich Galen

I am a huge fan of America's intelligence officers, who routinely risk their lives, often under dreadful conditions, trying to determine the current state of affairs in states which don't want us to know what their state of affairs might be. Last week the Bush Administration released a portion of a document known as the National Intelligence Estimate -- NIE. Note, it contains the word "Estimate." It is not titled "National Intelligence Certainty." There is always the nagging doubt -- as a former US Secretary of Defense once famously stated -- that "we don't know what we don't know." And when it comes to Iran, we should be very aware that we don't know a great deal...


Lawmakers Want Jailed Border Agents Home for Christmas
Two Democrats and one Republican introduced a House resolution Thursday calling for the release of two jailed ex-Border Patrol agents by Christmas.

The former agents, Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, were sentenced to 11 and 12 years respectively in federal prison for shooting and wounding a suspected illegal alien drug smuggler in the rear.

"President Bush can correct a gross miscarriage of justice with the stroke of a pen," said Rep. William Delahunt (D-Mass.), who co-sponsored a resolution to commute the sentences of the two men.

‘Tax Parents for Children’s Carbon Emissions’

Having babies is bad for the planet, and parents of more than two children should be charged a birth levy and annual tax to offset the “greenhouse gases” their child will be responsible for over his or her lifetime, an Australian professor says...

Robert D. Novak:
GOP's Pork Option

Instead of following the president's hardline on spending, the Republican leader of the Senate was opting for a compromise bill that George W. Bush might be forced to sign because it contains money for Iraq.

Dinesh D'Souza:
Why Atheists Are So Angry

One reason I think is that they are God-haters. Atheists often like to portray themselves as "unbelievers" but this is not strictly accurate.

Nathan Tabor:
Déjà vu All Over Again

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the NAACP have made a practice of using the weapons of racism when it serves their purposes.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Report: Tehran seeking nuke technology from Ukraine

Focused on weapons capability: 'It wasn't about keeping the lights burning in Tehran'

Smugglers build underground world

69 cross-border tunnels have been discovered since 1990

Illegal gets 3 life sentences for raping 10-year-old

Served time in Central America for homicide, admits killing elderly woman in Arizona


Basra's murderous militias tell Christian women to cover up or face death

On her first day at Basra University this year a man came up to Zeena, a 21-year-old Christian woman, and three other Christian girls and ordered them to cover their heads with a hijab, or Islamic headscarf.

“We didn't listen to him, and thought he might just be some extremist student representing only himself,” she said. The next day Zeena and two of her friends returned to class with uncovered heads.

This time a man in the black clothes of the Shia militia stopped them at the entrance and took them aside. “He said, 'We asked you yesterday to wear a hijab, so why are you and your friends not covering your hair?'. He was talking very aggressively and I was scared,” Zeena recalled.

The girls explained that they were Christians and that their faith did not call for headscarves. “He said: 'Outside this university you are Christian and can do what you want; inside you are not. Next time I want to see you wearing a hijab or I swear to God the three of you will be killed immediately',” Zeena recalled. Terrified, the girls ran home. They now wear the headscarf all the time.

China calling shots in Central, South America now!

Offered control of Ecuadorian airport, Panama opts to teach language

The BBC is reporting that the Panamanian National Assembly has approved a plan to make teaching Mandarin obligatory, "in recognition of China's growing importance in the world economy."

Another report by the World Tribune also notes that Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, has announced he will not renew with the United States a contract that expires in 2009 for operations at the Manta Airport, instead offering the facility to China.

The airfield, one of the last outposts in South America for the U.S. military, would be leased to Beijing if Correa has his way, according to a report on the nation's presidential website.

Correa reported that the airport is part of a plan for his nation to become a "doorway" that would give China access to Latin America.


Iran-Mexico meeting deepens ties to Islam: President Calderon welcomes Khatami in effort to bypass confrontational West

In a little notice meeting reflecting growing ties between South America and the Islamic world, Mexican President Felipe Calderon welcomed former Iranian President Mohamed Khatami to Mexico City.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon welcomed former
Iranian President Mohamed Khatami to Mexico City

Peeping 'tom' frightens Deadwood woman »

Morning hot tub session turns into close encounter with mountain lion.

Canada openly proclaims NAFTA Superhighway

Readers bombard Newsweek with evidence after adverse story on Ron Paul

A Newsweek story critical of Rep. Ron Paul and labeling the NAFTA Superhighway a baseless conspiracy theory has generated approximately 250 adverse reader responses on the "comments" section of Newsweek's website, many citing hard evidence that the proposed transcontinental trade corridor is quite real.

"There is a broad coalition of Americans developing across the United States who are opposed to a North American Union and know that Ron Paul is right and we need to take action now before it is too late," Jesse Benton, national press secretary for the Ron Paul Presidential Campaign 08 told World Net Daily.

Particularly interesting among Newsweek's reader comments were citations of Canadian government websites that openly discuss and declare plans to create a NAFTA Superhighway.

Several readers pointed to a Canadian government video clip gaining wide circulation on the Internet. It involves...

'Imagine no religion,' says atheists' display

Residents irked by city-approved sign in public park blaming faith for 9/11

Connecticut atheists, taking advantage of a town's policy of allowing holiday-season displays in its public park, have erected a 10-foot tall sign in celebration of the winter solstice that includes a message blaming the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on religious believers.

GOP Hopefuls Temper Anti-Immigrant Talk

The Republican presidential candidates sought to embrace Hispanics in a Spanish language debate Sunday, striving to mark common ground with a growing voter bloc while softening the anti-illegal immigration rhetoric that has marked past encounters.

Meanwhile, Congressman and Presidential hopeful Tom Tancredo Says candidates are pandering' at Spanish-Language debate.

Iraq Plans Crackdown in Violent Province

Iraq's defense minister promised on Sunday to wage a new crackdown in a volatile province northeast of Baghdad where militants are trying to regroup after being routed from their urban...

Shas minister: Americans' attitude to report reminiscent of Auschwitz
Shas minister: Americans' attitude to report reminiscent of Auschwitz Yitzhak Cohen says during cabinet meeting 'US intelligence report was ordered by someone who wants dialogue with Tehran. Minister Eli Yishai: 'We must not play dumb in the face of the report's findings'

Oil Min: Iran Has Halted Oil Transactions In Dollars
Oil Min: Iran Has Halted Oil Transactions In Dollars -AFP TEHRAN (AFP)--Major crude producer Iran has completely stopped carrying out its oil transactions in dollars, Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said on Saturday, labeling the greenback an "unreliable" currency.

Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough," said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.

Gordon Brown Gives Festive Xmas message: 'Your Iraq war is over!'
The Sun.co.uk

GORDON Brown yesterday delivered a stirring festive message to Our Boys in Iraq: “Happy Christmas – war is over.”

The PM was cheered as he praised UK troops and revealed combat operations in Basra will end “within two weeks”. Iraqi forces will take over as the 4,500-strong British force switches from front-line duties to a training role.

By early next year, our contingent in Southern Iraq will be cut to 2,500 – and may be withdrawn completely in March.