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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A daring rescue calls for reward
It was a hostage rescue right out of a first-rate spy thriller.

Colombian government agents disguised as FARC guerrilla fighters - some of them sporting Che Guevara T-shirts, no less - rescued 15 hostages Wednesday via helicopter. The freed hostages included three American military contractors and Ingrid Betancourt, a dual French and Colombian citizen captured in 2002 during her presidential run. The three Americans, who were on an anti-narcotics mission, were captured in 2003.

The Marxist-inspired guerrillas have waged war against the Colombian government for nearly four decades, part of that time with help from Venezuela’s

The Politics of Can't-Possibly-Do
This week the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey issued a stunning document to explain why Ground Zero has remained nothing but a hole for some seven years.

It is arguably the greatest political and bureaucratic fiasco in the history of the world. Remember the line about how if we don't rebuild the towers "the terrorists will win"? The terrorists will be dead of old age before this project is finished.


Hard to believe, isn't it? Well, I guess maybe not.

Iraq's Oil Surge - WSJ.com
Here's a thought experiment: Assume that Iraq's democratic government declared it was nationalizing its oil industry, a la Venezuela or Saudi Arabia, while excluding American companies from the country. How do you think U.S. politicians would react? With angry cries of "ingratitude" and "this is what Americans died for"?

Of course they would, led no doubt by that critic for all reasons, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York. So it is passing strange that Mr. Schumer and other Senators are now assailing Iraq precisely because it is opening up to foreign oil companies, especially to U.S. majors like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. For some American pols, everything that happens in Iraq is bad news, especially when it's good news for the U.S.

Netherlands bans Iranian students from nuclear studies
The Netherlands will ban Iranian students from studying nuclear technology, a source of tension between Iran and world powers, at its universities, the government said Friday.

"It is forbidden... to grant Iranian nationals access to special training or teaching that could contribute to nuclear proliferation activities in Iran and the development of systems for transmitting nuclear arms," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

There is no evidence man-made CO2 causes climate change
During 2008, have we seen many stories in the newspapers about 2007 being particularly warm as a result of global warming?

During 2006, the doomsters were predicting that 2007 would be the hottest year on record, so why have we seen no reports about this?

The answer is simple – 2007 turned out to be the coolest year for 30 years. It is also the case that there has been no global warming since 1998. In fact, since 1998, there has been steady cooling.

Even more dramatic is the fact that the most recent computer model predictions indicate that there will be no more global warming for the next ten years. But the doomsters say that, after this ten-year period, global warming will come back with a vengeance...........

Engineer Gets 110 MPG Out Of '87 Mustang

WKMG Orlando
Doug Pelmear said he isn't toying with the engine of 1987 Ford Mustang for the money.

The engineer's tinkering, however, could earn him $10 million and save him plenty more in gas money.

Pelmear, who lives in Napoleon, Ohio, has tweaked his Mustang to get 110 mpg, making the engine nearly five times as efficient as a traditional gas engine, he told the Toledo Blade newspaper. (Read more)


Sharia law SHOULD be used in Britain, says UK's top judge
Mail Online (UK)
The most senior judge in England yesterday gave his blessing to the use of sharia law to resolve disputes among Muslims.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said that Islamic legal principles could be employed to deal with family and marital arguments and to regulate finance.

He declared: 'Those entering into a contractual agreement can agree that the agreement shall be governed by a law other than English law.'

Forgery Revealed in Kos Publication of Obama 'Birth Certificate'

American Thinker
By Rick Moran
This is an issue that isn't going away for the Obama campaign and unless they address it in an effort to put it to bed, it will become one of those "distractions" the candidate really hates:

Socialism has a home in the Democrat Party

Schoolboys punished with detention for refusing to kneel down and pray to Allah

Mail Online (UK)
Two schoolboys were given detention after refusing to kneel down and 'pray to Allah' during a religious education lesson.

Parents were outraged that the two boys from year seven (11 to 12-year-olds) were punished for not wanting to take part in the practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped.

They said forcing their children to take part in the exercise at Alsager High School, near Stoke-on-Trent - which included wearing Muslim headgear - was a breach of their human rights. (Read more)

2007 Coolest Year In 3 Decades: After 20 Years Of Global Cooling James Hansen Still Screams “Fire”!

UN rights investigator blasts US justice system

UNITED NATIONS (Agencies): A senior UN human rights investigator on Monday criticized the US justice system as flawed and called on authorities to ensure it does not execute innocent people. Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary and arbitrary executions, blasted the administration of President George W. Bush for lack of transparency at the Guantanamo detention camp, and slammed state authorities in Alabama and Texas for being "strikingly indifferent" to the risk of putting... READ FULL ARTICLE

But hold on a minute: The World-Wide Web could get you killed (In Iran)

Iran's parliament is set to debate a draft bill which could see the death penalty used for those deemed to promote corruption, prostitution and apostasy on the internet, reports said on Wednesday.

MPs on Wednesday voted to discuss as a priority the draft bill which seeks to "toughen punishment for harming mental security in society," the ISNA news agency said.

The text lists a wide range of crimes such rape and armed robbery for which the death penalty is already applicable. The crime of apostasy (the act of leaving a religion, in this case Islam) is also already punishable by death.

However, the draft bill also includes "establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy", which is a new addition to crimes punishable by death.

Those convicted of these crimes "should be punished as 'mohareb' (enemy of God) and 'corrupt on the earth'," the text says. READ FULL ARTICLE

Apparently this is acceptable to the UN.

Freaks!! Corrupt Freaks.

YouTube - Barack Obama Makes Shocking confession!!

Does Barack have the experience needed to run as President?

Of course not.

He says so himself.


"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms."
- Thomas Jefferson -


"To disarm the people -- that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them."

- George Mason -


"What, sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. … Whenever governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins."
- Elbridge Gerry -

"Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive."
- Noah Webster -


"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."
- Samuel Adams -


"The peaceable part of mankind will be continually overrun by the vile and abandoned while they neglect the means of self-defense. … (Weakness) allures the ruffian (but) arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order in the world. … Horrid mischief would ensue were (the good) deprived of the use of them. … The weak will become a prey to the strong."
- Thomas Paine -

Mexican Cartels and the Fallout From Phoenix

Terrorism Intelligence Report

By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

Late on the night of June 22, a residence in Phoenix was approached by a heavily armed tactical team preparing to serve a warrant. The members of the team were wearing the typical gear for members of their profession: black boots, black BDU pants, Kevlar helmets and Phoenix Police Department (PPD) raid shirts pulled over their body armor. The team members carried AR-15 rifles equipped with Aimpoint sights to help them during the low-light operation and, like most cops on a tactical team, in addition to their long guns, the members of this team carried secondary weapons — pistols strapped to their thighs.

But the raid took a strange turn when one element of the team began directing suppressive fire on the residence windows while the second element entered — a tactic not normally employed by the PPD. This breach of departmental protocol did not stem from a mistake on the part of the team’s commander. It occurred because the eight men on the assault team were not from the PPD at all. These men were not cops serving a legal search or arrest warrant signed by a judge; they were cartel hit men serving a death warrant signed by a Mexican drug lord.

The tactical team struck hard and fast. They quickly killed a man in the house and then fled the scene in two vehicles, a red Chevy Tahoe and a gray Honda sedan. Their aggressive tactics did have consequences, however. The fury the attackers unleashed on the home — firing over 100 rounds during the operation — drew the attention of a nearby Special Assignments Unit (SAU) team, the PPD’s real tactical team, which responded to the scene with other officers. An SAU officer noticed the Tahoe fleeing the scene and followed it until it entered an alley. Sensing a potential ambush, the SAU officer chose to establish a perimeter and wait for reinforcements rather than charge down the alley after the suspects. This was fortunate, because after three of the suspects from the Tahoe were arrested, they confessed that they had indeed planned to ambush the police officers chasing them.

The assailants who fled in the Honda have not yet been found, but police did recover the vehicle in a church parking lot. They reportedly found four sets of body armor in the vehicle and also recovered an assault rifle abandoned in a field adjacent to the church.

This Phoenix home invasion and murder is a vivid reminder of the threat to U.S. law enforcement officers that stems from the cartel wars in Mexico.

Violence Crosses the Border

The fact that the Mexican men involved in the Phoenix case were heavily armed and dressed as police comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed security events in Mexico. Teams of cartel enforcers frequently impersonate police or military personnel, often wearing matching tactical gear and carrying standardized weapons. In fact, it is rare to see a shootout or cartel-related arms seizure in Mexico where tactical gear and clothing bearing police or military insignia is not found.

One reason for the prevalent use of this type of equipment is that many cartel enforcers come from military or police backgrounds. By training and habit, they prefer to operate as a team composed of members equipped with standardized gear so that items such as ammunition and magazines can be interchanged during a firefight. This also gives a team member the ability to pick up the familiar weapon of a fallen comrade and immediately bring it into action. This is of course the same reason military units and police forces use standardized equipment in most places.

Police clothing, such as hats, patches and raid jackets, is surprisingly easy to come by. Authentic articles can be stolen or purchased through uniform vendors or cop shops. Knockoff uniform items can easily be manufactured in silk screen or embroidery shops by duplicating authentic designs. Even badges are easy to obtain if one knows where to look.

While it now appears that the three men arrested in Phoenix were not former or active members of the Mexican military or police, it is not surprising that they employed military- and police-style tactics. Enforcers of various cartel groups such as Los Zetas, La Gente Nueva or the Kaibiles who have received advanced tactical training often pass on that training to younger enforcers (many of whom are former street thugs) at makeshift training camps located on ranches in northern Mexico. There are also reports of Israeli mercenaries visiting these camps to provide tactical training. In this way, the cartel enforcers are transforming ordinary street thugs into highly-trained cartel tactical teams.

Though cartel enforcers have almost always had ready access to guns, including military weapons such as assault rifles and grenade launchers, groups such as Los Zetas, the Kaibiles and their young disciples bring an added level of threat to the equation. They are highly trained men with soldiers’ mindsets who operate as a unit capable of using their weapons with deadly effectiveness. Assault rifles in the hands of untrained thugs are dangerous, but when those same weapons are placed in the hands of men who can shoot accurately and operate tactically as a fire team, they can be overwhelmingly powerful — not only when used against enemies and other intended targets, but also when used against law enforcement officers who attempt to interfere with the team’s operations.


Although the victim in the Phoenix killing, Andrew Williams, was reportedly a Jamaican drug dealer who crossed a Mexican cartel, there are many other targets in the United States that the cartels would like to eliminate. These targets include Mexican cartel members who have fled to the United States due to several different factors. The first factor is the violent cartel war that has raged in Mexico for the past few years over control of important smuggling routes and strategic locations along those routes. The second factor is the Calderon administration’s crackdown, first on the Gulf cartel and now on the Sinaloa cartel. Pressure from rival cartels and the government has forced many cartel leaders into hiding, and some of them have left Mexico for Central America or the United States.

Traditionally, when violence has spiked in Mexico, cartel figures have used U.S. cities such as Laredo, El Paso and San Diego as rest and recreation spots, reasoning that the general umbrella of safety provided by U.S. law enforcement to those residing in the United States would protect them from assassination by their enemies. As bolder Mexican cartel hit men have begun to carry out assassinations on the U.S. side of the border in places such as Laredo, Rio Bravo, and even Dallas, the cartel figures have begun to seek sanctuary deeper in the United States, thereby bringing the threat with them.

While many cartel leaders are wanted in the United States, many have family members not being sought by U.S. law enforcement. (Many of them even have relatives who are U.S. citizens.) Some family members have also settled comfortably inside the United States, using the country as a haven from violence in Mexico. These families might become targets, however, as the cartels look for creative ways to hurt their rivals.

Other cartel targets in the United States include Drug Enforcement Administration and other law enforcement officers responsible for operations against the cartels, and informants who have cooperated with U.S. or Mexican authorities and been relocated stateside for safety. There are also many police officers who have quit their jobs in Mexico and fled to the United States to escape threats from the cartels, as well as Mexican businessmen who are targeted by cartels and have moved to the United States for safety.

To date, the cartels for the most part have refrained from targeting innocent civilians. In the type of environment they operate under inside Mexico, cartels cannot afford to have the local population, a group they use as camouflage, turn against them. It is not uncommon for cartel leaders to undertake public relations events (they have even held carnivals for children) in order to build goodwill with the general population. As seen with al Qaeda in Iraq, losing the support of the local population is deadly for a militant group attempting to hide within that population.

Cartels have also attempted to minimize civilian casualties in their operations inside the United States, though for a different operational consideration. The cartels believe that if a U.S. drug dealer or a member of a rival Mexican cartel is killed in a place like Dallas or Phoenix, nobody really cares. Many people see such a killing as a public service, and there will not be much public outcry about it, nor much real effort on the part of law enforcement agencies to identify and catch the killers. The death of a civilian, on the other hand, brings far more public condemnation and law enforcement attention.

However, the aggressiveness of cartel enforcers and their brutal lack of regard for human life means that while they do not intentionally target civilians, they are bound to create collateral casualties along the way. This is especially true as they continue to conduct operations like the Phoenix killing, where they fired over 100 rounds of 5.56 mm ball ammunition at a home in a residential neighborhood.

Tactical Implications

Judging from the operations of the cartel enforcers in Mexico, they have absolutely no hesitation about firing at police officers who interfere with their operations or who dare to chase them. Indeed, the Phoenix case nearly ended in an ambush of the police. It must be noted, however, that this ambush was not really intentional, but rather the natural reaction of these Mexican cartel enforcers to police pursuit. They were accustomed to shooting at police and military south of the border and have very little regard for them. In many instances, this aggression convinces the poorly armed and trained police to leave the cartel gunmen alone.

The problem such teams pose for the average U.S. cop on patrol is that the average cop is neither trained nor armed to confront a heavily armed fire team. In fact, a PPD source advised Stratfor that, had the SAU officer not been the first to arrive on the scene, it could have been a disaster for the department. This is not a criticism of the Phoenix cops. The vast majority of police officers and federal agents in the United States simply are not prepared or equipped to deal with a highly trained fire team using insurgent tactics. That is a task suited more for the U.S. military forces currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

These cartel gunmen also have the advantage of being camouflaged as cops. This might not only cause considerable confusion during a firefight (who do backup officers shoot at if both parties in the fight are dressed like cops?) but also means that responding officers might hesitate to fire on the criminals dressed as cops. Such hesitation could provide the criminals with an important tactical advantage — an advantage that could prove fatal for the officers.

Mexican cartel enforcers have also demonstrated a history of using sophisticated scanners to listen to police radio traffic, and in some cases they have even employed police radios to confuse and misdirect the police responding to an armed confrontation with cartel enforcers.

We anticipate that as the Mexican cartels begin to go after more targets inside the United States, the spread of cartel violence and these dangerous tactics beyond the border region will catch some law enforcement officers by surprise. A patrol officer conducting a traffic stop on a group of cartel members who are preparing to conduct an assassination in, say, Los Angeles, Chicago or northern Virginia could quickly find himself heavily outgunned and under fire. With that said, cops in the United States are far more capable than their Mexican counterparts of dealing with this threat.

In addition to being far better trained, U.S. law enforcement officers also have access to far better command, control and communication networks than their Mexican counterparts. Like we saw in the Phoenix example, this communication network provides cops with the ability to quickly summon reinforcements, air support and tactical teams to deal with heavily armed criminals — but this communication system only helps if it can be used. That means cops need to recognize the danger before they are attacked and prevented from calling for help. As with many other threats, the key to protecting oneself against this threat is situational awareness, and cops far from the border need to become aware of this trend.


Eliminating Tax Cuts will Dampen Economy


Canadian Health Care We So Envy Lies In Ruins, Its Architect Admits
Investors Business Daily

"Americans should know that one of the founding fathers of Canada's government-run health care system has turned against his own creation. If Claude Castonguay is abandoning ship, why should Americans bother climbing on board?"

'Energy Independence Day': Take Two

It’s been a year since Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared July 4 “Energy Independence Day.” In that time, gas prices have soared while journalists and politicians attacked oil companies and opposed domestic energy exploration. Meanwhile, the push for “alternatives” led to ethanol and a worldwide corn crisis. Read more.

Echoing my sentiments:

A Sad Day for America
By Robert Ringer

"Those who are celebrating the recent pro-gun "victory" are blinded by the reality of what it really means. It was, in fact, a sad day in the waning years of the American Empire when the Supreme Court voted 5-4 that the D.C. ban on handguns is unconstitutional.

I say that because when the U.S. was still the home of the free, the vote would have been 9-0. Actually, there would not have been a vote, because there would not have been a ban in the first place. There was a time when the government would not have dared to tell a person he didn't have the right to protect his family.

In the next few years, one of the two McBamas running for president will easily move the Supreme Court enough to the left to tilt the 5-4 pro-gun vote in the other direction. Doesn't every straight-thinking individual realize that the real goal of those in power is to ban all firearms?

As the country continues its economic tailspin, look for more and more legislative decisions from the judiciary. Ultimately, as people scream for government solutions to their problems, the Constitution will be thrown out the window and the only question that will remain is whether or not the rascals in power will use the National Emergencies Act to impose a 'constitutional dictatorship.' "

Our Worst Justice

By Rich Lowry
Why did the Founders bother toiling in the summer heat of Philadelphia in 1787 writing a Constitution when they could have relied on the consciences of Supreme Court justices like Anthony Kennedy instead?

Kennedy is the Supreme Court's most important swing vote and its worst justice. Whatever else you think of them, a Justice Scalia or Ginsburg has a consistent judicial philosophy, while Kennedy expects the nation to bend to his moral whimsy. With apologies to Louis XIV, Kennedy might as well declare "la constitution, c'est moi!"

In a 2005 interview, Kennedy said of the court, "You know, in any given year, we may make more important decisions than the legislative branch does -- precluding foreign affairs, perhaps." (He was wise to include the "perhaps," in light of the recent Guantanamo Bay decision.) He went on to note how judges need "an understanding that you have an opportunity to shape the destiny of the country." (Read on.)

Beware the Supreme Court

By William Rusher
It must be fun to be Justice Anthony Kennedy. You show up for a conference at the Supreme Court and almost always find that four of your colleagues (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David Souter, Stephen Breyer and John Paul Stevens) are lined up on the liberal side of every ideological issue, while the other four (John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas) are on the conservative side. So all you have to do is make up your mind, and presto! -- your opinion becomes the supreme law of the land. (Read on.)

Obama's Leftist Armies

By David Limbaugh
Be afraid; be very afraid. If you think Barack Obama is arrogant and leftist, you ought to see those he will have to cater to if elected -- and, according to them, even to get elected in the first place.

These leftist "netroots" are none too pleased with Obama's feint to the center the past few weeks, his "capitulation" on retroactive immunity for telecoms for cooperating with the government to monitor terrorist communications, his alleged disagreement with the Supreme Court for invalidating the death penalty for child rapists, and his flip-flop on the D.C. handgun case.

They are abuzz about the messiah's apparent abandonment of their orthodoxy. Interestingly, though, not many of the complainers really believe Obama has left them. Like Obama's longtime pastor, Jeremiah Wright, they realize Obama is quite willing to mask his inner self to get elected. But many are disgusted that he's even playing the game. (Read on.)

High-Stakes Courts

By Thomas Sowell
Recent landmark court decisions are reminders that elections are not just about putting candidates in office for a few years.

The judges that elected officials put on the bench can remake the legal landscape, change fundamental social policies and even affect the way wars are fought, long after those who appointed them have served their terms and passed from the scene.
(Read on.)

Obama Stands Against Traditional Marriage

By Hugh Hewitt

"Last week Michelle Obama appeared before the Democratic national Committee's Gay and Lesbian Leadership Council Dinner and announced that Barack Obama favored the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the defeat of the California constitutional Amendment aimed at restoring the definition of marriage in California as between one woman and one man.

While we couldn't disagree with her more adamantly, we appreciate Mrs. Obama's candor and clarity. Unlike even John Kerry, Barack Obama is now on record as favoring the end of traditional marriage, a reversal of a stand he took in February,

Make no mistake, Barack Obama is the most radical presidential nominee of a major party in American history. His views on marriage provide just one of many available confirmations of this simple statement of fact."

Friday, July 04, 2008

Why America Is The Greatest Country On Earth
By Ben Shapiro

I was sitting at lunch with a colleague a few weeks back, and he mentioned that he did not understand the general media hubbub over Michelle Obama’s unpatriotic statements. The typical liberal talking point states that patriotism is jingoism because America’s founding principles are so much claptrap -- that modern values trump those old-fashioned ideas. But that should be an automatic disqualifier for political victory in this country.

Real Independence Means Secure Borders
By Alan Caruba

As we celebrate our nation’s independence, it is worth keeping in mind that real independence depends on having secure borders. A nation that cannot or will not protect itself from a massive and intentional invasion for the purpose of changing its population and politics is a nation that will not exist very long.

US, Poland agree on outline deal for missile bases


WASHINGTON—The United States and Poland have tentatively agreed to base American missiles in Poland for a future missile shield against Iran, U.S. and Polish officials said Wednesday.

An America First Energy Plan

By Lawrence Kudlow
President Bush was on message Wednesday in a Rose Garden news conference when he kept up the pressure on his a drill, drill, drill offensive. He said he knows Americans are worried about gasoline prices, and said he wants them "to understand fully that we have got the opportunity to find more crude oil here at home in environmentally friendly ways." He specifically mentioned opening up ANWR, the outer continental shelf, and oil-shale exploration. He also took a whack at lawmakers, saying "the Democratically controlled Congress has refused to budge."

That's spot-on correct. But it has me wondering. Where in the world is John McCain on this very same issue? It's simple: Sen. McCain should be pummeling Barack Obama daily on drill, drill, drill. Why? Because oil and gas pump prices are potentially the single-biggest wedge issue in the presidential campaign. Mr. McCain has to pound the point home.
Read more.

When Will Democrats Heed America's Call For More American Energy?

By John Boehner
Prior to leaving Washington, D.C. for the Independence Day district work period, I promised Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democratic leaders that my Republican colleagues and I would be right back on the House floor on July 8, fighting for a vote on our “all of the above” plan to increase American energy production, encourage more efficiency and conservation, and promote the use of alternative fuels and biofuels. I spent the first part of this Fourth of July week in Washington state with my GOP colleagues Reps. Doc Hastings, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Dave Reichert, and what we heard from their constituents has made us even more eager to resume the fight next week on Capitol Hill.
Read more.

Obama Protesteth Too Much

By David Limbaugh
Sen. Barack Obama spoke on the subject of patriotism this past week in an effort to undo some of the damage he has already inflicted on his own image -- through his associations, his statements and policy positions -- and to obscure his liberalism.
Read more.

Pray for the Liberators

By Chuck Colson
It is easy to grow weary over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As for me, a former Marine, I ache for the families of the men and women who have paid the ultimate price. But I also know why our military personnel are doing what they are doing. They enlisted, as I did many years ago, to defend our nation and to defend liberty. And in Iraq and Afghanistan, they truly do see themselves as liberators.
Read more.

Obama Flips and Flops

By Charles Krauthammer
WASHINGTON -- You'll notice Barack Obama is now wearing a flag pin. Again. During the primary campaign, he refused to, explaining that he'd worn one after 9/11 but then stopped because it "became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism."

So why is he back to sporting pseudo-patriotism on his chest? Need you ask? The primaries are over. While seducing the hard-core MoveOn Democrats that delivered him the caucuses -- hence, the Democratic nomination -- Obama not only disdained the pin. He disparaged it. Now that he's running in a general election against John McCain, and in dire need of the gun-and-God-clinging working-class votes he could not win against Hillary Clinton, the pin is back. His country 'tis of thee.

Read more


Bill of Rights

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Thankful for the Fourth

By David Aikman

I am an immigrant deeply grateful for US citizenship. When I arrived in the US a few decades ago, an English friend of mine used to say that July Fourth was England's Thanksgiving Day. His joke was that on July 4, 1776, England was free of responsibility for America.

My friend was joking, but I think he was closer to the truth than he realized. Every single foreigner who has immigrated to the US since 1776 should consider July Fourth a day of Thanksgiving. Without America having become prosperous, free and strong, those of us born outside it would not even have wanted to come here. But it did, and we did.

As an immigrant, of course, I enjoy America's Thanksgiving. But I give special thanks for the Fourth.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

From The Archives

With the gas prices being what they are today, I thought this column was worth revisiting:

Gas Prices and Price Controls by Walter Williams
Gas Prices and Price Controls
by Walter Williams (December 7, 2005)

With all the recent hype and demagoguery about gasoline price-gouging, maybe it's time to talk about the basics of exchange. First, what is exchange? Exchange occurs when an owner transfers property rights or title to that which is his.

Here's the essence of what transpires when I purchase a gallon of gasoline. In effect, I tell the retailer that I hold title to $3. He tells me that he holds title to a gallon of gas. I offer to transfer my title to $3 to him if he'll transfer his title to a gallon of gas to me. If this exchange occurs voluntarily, what can be said about the transaction?

One thing we know for sure is that the retailer was free to retain his ownership of the gallon of gas and I my ownership of $3. That being the case, why would we exchange? The only answer is that I perceived myself as better off giving up my $3 for the gallon of gas and likewise the retailer perceived himself as better off giving up his gas for the $3.

Otherwise, why would we have exchanged? (Read more.)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."

-- John Adams

Does Patriotism Matter?
By Thomas Sowell

The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday but patriotism has long been viewed with suspicion or disdain by many of the intelligentsia. As far back as 1793, prominent British writer William Godwin called patriotism "high-sounding nonsense."

Pentagon: Lithuania good site for missile defense

Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON - The Pentagon said Tuesday that Lithuania would be a "good alternative" to Poland as the site for a U.S. missile defense base if negotiations with the Poles fail.

Poll: Public cool to Michelle, doesn't know Cindy

Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON - The public hasn't taken to Michelle Obama yet, especially whites. And it's got a question about Cindy McCain: Who is she?

Formed on the Anvil of His Captivity

By Tony Blankley
As of today, Sen. Barack Obama is about halfway through his "patriotism theme week" message cycle. As of 2008, Sen. John McCain is about seven-ninths through his patriotism theme life cycle. I guess that is the difference between the new politics and the old patriotism.

The Obama campaign launched its new politics patriotism week last Sunday, with ....

New Iraq report: 15 of 18 benchmarks satisfactory

Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON - No matter who is elected president in November, his foreign policy team will have to deal with one of the most frustrating realities in Iraq: the slow pace with which the government in Baghdad operates.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Among the U.S. public as a whole, a poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found support for ANWR drilling on the rise. According to a survey report released by Pew : "The survey finds that the rise in energy prices also has had a perceptible impact on public views of the tradeoff between boosting the energy supply and protecting the environment. A solid majority (57%) now says it is more important to develop new energy sources than to protect the environment, up from 49% who expressed that view in March. Support for oil and gas drilling in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) also has gained, from 42% in March to 50% currently.1

No, this was not Pew's most recent poll. This was a poll from Sept. 2005.

Compare that to Pew's most recent poll as summarized in this Yahoo news article: High gasoline prices have dramatically changed Americans' views on energy and the environment with more people now viewing oil drilling and new power plants as a greater priority than energy conservation than they did five months ago, according to a new survey.

The poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center shows nearly half of those surveyed — or 47 percent — now rate energy exploration, drilling and building new power plants as the top priority, compared with 35 percent who believed that five months ago.

The Pew poll, conducted in late June, showed the number of people who consider energy conservation as more important declined by 10 percentage points since February from a clear majority to 45 percent. People are now about evenly split on which is more important.

The number of people who said they considered increasing energy supplies more important than protecting the environment increased from 54 percent in February to 60 percent and the number of people who favor oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge also increased.

The Department of Political Science, and Environmental Studies Program University of California, Santa Barbara published a paper (PDF) which appears to be a little outdated but their findings are still pertinent today.

I can't say their conclusions were earth shattering in their report, Support for Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling among the California Public.

They plotted gasoline prices from 1976 to 2001 on a graph and then plotted on the same graph, the results of Californian public opinion polls on whether to drill or not off the California coast from the same corresponding periods of time. The similarities between the two graphs is evident.

In their report they stated: "We can sum up the trend data by saying that we do not see a public that is strongly pro-environmental or anti-oil drilling. Instead, we see a public that responds to changes in the price of gasoline. When gasoline prices were low or falling, public support for oil development fell; when gasoline prices were rising, public support for more drilling rose. The public was rationally responding to real world events."

They also noted that when drilling approval went up (as gas prices went up) - approval from lower income public increased more dramatically than it did from those with higher incomes. This would seem quite logical since rising energy prices pose more hardship to those with lower incomes.

According to Newt Gingrich, "Over 1.2 million Americans have now signed American Solutions' 'Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less' petition calling on Congress to act immediately to lower gas and diesel prices and help achieve energy independence.

Over 1 million people have already watched Newt's video from last Friday in which he discusses three ways Congress could act to lower gas prices You can watch it on YouTube here.

Oil drilling in the desolate ANWR would be confined to a small 2,000 acre footprint on the massive 19.6 million acre reserve. That's just 0.01% of ANWR's total acreage. Oil exploration would create new jobs and decrease America's dependence on foreign oil without harming the environment. At present, renewable energy sources are woefully inadequate to meet America's energy needs. Solar and wind power, for example, supply a paltry 0.19 percent of America's total energy.1

At present, we most likely don't have enough refining capacity to handle any new increase in supply. We actually have slightly fewer refineries today than we did in the mid-1980s.

One thing is clear: We need to find a way to get our government to listen to the will of the people. We, as a nation, need to become energy independent.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Robert Mugabe’s thugs shout: ‘Let’s kill the baby’

Times Online
A baby boy had both legs broken by supporters of President Robert Mugabe to punish his father for being an opposition councillor in Zimbabwe.

Blessing Mabhena, aged 11 months, was seized from a bed and flung down with force as his mother, Agnes, hid from the thugs, convinced that they were about to murder her.

Bill Clinton: Obama has to 'kiss my *&%!'
Despite Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's show of unity yesterday at a rally in Unity, N.H., a senior Democrat adviser who worked for Bill Clinton said the former president is so enraged by the primary campaign that he has told friends Obama will have to beg for his full support.

The adviser told the London Telegraph even Clinton's closest friends are shocked by his lingering fury.

On Iraq

“[H]istory is a complicated thing. The traits that lead to disaster in certain circumstances are the very ones that come in handy in others. The people who seem so smart at some moments seem incredibly foolish in others. The cocksure war supporters learned this humbling lesson during the dark days of 2006. And now the cocksure surge opponents, drunk on their own vindication, will get to enjoy their season of humility. They have already gone through the stages of intellectual denial. First, they simply disbelieved that the surge and the [Gen. David] Petraeus strategy was doing any good. Then they accused people who noticed progress in Iraq of duplicity and derangement. Then they acknowledged military, but not political, progress. Lately they have skipped over to the argument that Iraq is progressing so well that the U.S. forces can quickly come home. But before long, the more honest among the surge opponents will concede that Bush, that supposed dolt, actually got one right. Some brave souls might even concede that if the U.S. had withdrawn in the depths of the chaos, the world would be in worse shape today.” —David Brooks

Kennedy v. Louisiana

“Even if you agree with their bottom line, do Justice Kennedy and the justices in Kennedy v. Louisiana have a clue about how offensive it is to write this line in rationalizing why a man who has savagely raped his eight-year-old step-daughter should not be executed by the humane process of lethal objection: ‘Evolving standards of decency must embrace and express respect for the dignity of the person’... And as for their ‘proportional’ punishment argue, I think it’s silly on its face—read the almost unreadable (because it’s so excruciating) account of the rape and ask yourself whether it is really ‘disproportionate’ to administer lethal-objection execution to a man who committed this type of barbaric a sexual assault on a child. But let’s give him that one for argument’s sake. The Eighth Amendment talks about punishment that is cruel. First, punishment does not become cruel just because it’s disproportionate. And second, are we really striving here for proportionality? If a crime is cruel—as it clearly was in this case—wouldn’t a proportionate punishment also have to be cruel, and thus in violation of the Eighth Amendment?” —Andrew McCarthy


Life After Kelo: Looking Back and Forward
By Chuck Muth

It’s one of the most hated Supreme Court decisions in decades, and it happened just three years ago. In Kelo vs. New London, a bare majority of the justices decided that it was OK for local governments looking to increase tax revenue to take land from their citizens and give it to a developer. Three years after winning the right to take the property of Susette Kelo and her neighbors, there hasn’t been any public benefit in any form from the land that city officials took. In fact, the city doesn’t even know what to do with the land now that officials’ handpicked developer couldn’t muster the financing necessary to build anything.

Blame Congress for Gas Prices, Consumer Reports Survey Shows

(CNSNews.com) - Seventy-seven percent of consumers blame high gas prices on the government’s failure to implement an effective energy policy. When asked about actions the federal government could take to reduce fuel costs, 81 percent want to allow more drilling in the United States and offshore and 90 percent support increasing alternative energy development.

Backwards Thinking

Repeal the Second Amendment?
- A Chicago newspaper’s call to repeal the 2nd Amendment is an “unconscionable attack on the entire Bill of Rights and the freedoms it protects,” the Second Amendment Foundation says.


“No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms.”
--Thomas Jefferson--

Obama’s for Equal Pay, But Pays Female Staffers Less Than Males

(CNSNews.com) – Obama spoke last week about his commitment to the equal pay issue and his support of a bill to make it easier to sue an employer for pay discrimination. In John McCain’s Senate office, women, for the most part, out-rank and are paid more than men.

Oh Goody: McCain Calls Comprehensive Immigration Reform ‘Top Priority’

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. John McCain told a Latino group, “We also must proceed with a temporary worker program that is verifiable and truly temporary.” Addressing the same conference, Sen. Barack Obama accused McCain of wavering on the issue and vowed that it would also be one of his own top priorities.

‘Iran Preparing Graves for Its Enemies’

(CNSNews.com) – A senior Iranian commander says the country will prepare 320,000 graves to accommodate its slain enemies in the event of an attack on the country. Top Iranians have stepped up their belligerent rhetoric following reports suggesting that Israel or the United States are planning to attack Iran.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


“[W]e constantly hear we can’t drill our way to lower gas prices, but how does anybody know when we haven’t even tried? Despite enormous improvements in extraction technology, the amount of oil produced domestically in America went down in the last eight years. It went down in the 1990s. It went down in the 1980s. In fact, it’s been trending down since the 1970s, back when Barack Obama’s ‘new’ ideas seemed fresh coming from Jimmy Carter. Today, we produce about as much domestic oil as we did in the late 1940s, even though we keep finding, but not utilizing, more proven reserves. That hardly sounds like a country that’s been dedicated to ‘drilling our way’ to anything.”

—Jonah Goldberg


“There is only one way to drive down the rising cost of gasoline for the long term: significantly increase the domestic supply of oil. We are the only nation in the world with access to known oil deposits on our own land or off our shores that essentially refuses to tap those resources. The main stumbling block is a lack of political consensus, which is in especially short supply in an election year. Instead of coming up with real solutions to our growing energy crisis, the Democrats in Congress would rather rail against the oil companies. But oil company executives don’t set the price of oil—and taxing their companies more won’t do anything to lower the cost of gasoline at the pump... It’s time Congress put election-year politics aside and get serious about allowing domestic oil production to solve this crisis.”

—Linda Chavez


“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now... Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”

—John F. Kennedy


“With a few exceptions... when youth get involved in politics in large numbers, it is not a good thing... Having been a young person [in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s] and having watched as my university (Columbia) had its classrooms taken over and teaching interrupted by fellow students; having watched the sexualization of society that followed the ‘Make Love Not War’ generation; having watched America become obsessed with youth rather than wisdom as a result of the ‘Never Trust Anyone Over 30’ mantra of the ‘60s young people; having seen the myriad speech codes that arose, ironically, out of the ‘Free Speech’ movement at Berkeley and elsewhere; having watched pacifist-like doctrines decimate America’s moral compass; having witnessed a selfish preoccupation with an ever increasing number of inherent ‘rights,’ with a commensurate devaluing of inherent moral obligations, I, among many others, am not enamored of the ‘60s and ‘70s youth movement... [and] am not encouraged by the ecstatic reaction of young people to Barack Obama. The track record of politically excited youth movements in modern Western history is not a good one. And I see no reason why this will prove to be the first major exception.”

—Dennis Prager