Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Nine Terror Arrests in England

Early this morning, English counterterrorism police arrested nine men in an alleged kidnapping plot during pre-dawn raids in Birmingham, England. More arrests could follow, police said. While reports alleged that the suspects wanted to abduct a British Muslim soldier and behead him, British police refused to comment about that, or about a plan to post the beheading on the Internet.

Counterterrorism officials — speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the investigation — said the plot was the first of its kind to be uncovered in Britain.

The targeted victim remains in protective police custody. British news reports claim that the kidnapping was going to be an "Iraq-style" execution.

Birmingham has been the site of several recent terrorism sweeps, including summer raids that unveiled an alleged plot by several British suspects to use liquid explosives to blow up as many as 10 trans-Atlantic flights.

Birmingham is also the hometown of Britain's first Muslim soldier to be killed in Afghanistan last year — a death that prompted militant Islamist Web sites to denounce Cpl. Jabron Hashmi, 24 (pictured above), as a traitor. One site — that of extremist British sect al-Ghurabaa — posted an image of the soldier surrounded by flames.

There are 330 Muslim personnel serving in the British armed forces, according to the Defense Ministry, which would not comment on reports that the intended victim was a Muslim soldier.

UN to Downgrade Estimates of Man's Role in Global Warming!

The Sunday London Telegraph reports that when the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases its upcoming report this February, they will downgrade their estimates of man's role in global warming by 25%. The Telegraph says that the report will reduce its estimate of man's role in global warming by 25 percent. However, the IPCC will still project global temperatures to climb by 4.5 C during the next century and rising sea levels, albeit by half the amount -- 17 inches instead of 34 inches by 2100 -- forecast by the IPCC's 2001 report.

The report will also claim that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have indeed continued to climb over the past five years but that the overall human effect on global warming since the industrial revolution has been dampened by cooling caused by particulate matter and aerosol sprays, which accumulate in the upper atmosphere and reflect heat from the sun.

The UN will explain that the findings are the result of more refined estimates based on new data rather than "a reduction in the risk posed by global warming." The reduced anthropologic impact on climate change is expected to produce ammunition for newly-emboldened global warming skeptics who've recently been beleagured by proponents of anthropomorphic global warming.

Climate change has occured throughout human history. Historical records show that grapes grew in England as recently as 650 years ago, requiring much warmer temperatures than we have now. Global temperatures have been estimated to have been even warmer than that 2,000 years ago, during the early years of the first Millenium AD.

In between that point, especially during the Middle Ages Europe's temperatures sunk to some of the lowest in recorded human history.

Check out the good news for yourself;

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Court Reinstates Most Serious Charge Against Abdullah al-Mujahir (the former Jose Padilla)

A federal appeals court overturned lower court judge, Marcia Cooke’s decision, reinstating the most serious charge against Abdullah al-Mujahir, formerly known as Jose Padilla.

The 11th circuit court in Atlanta has reinstated the only charge (conspiracy the murder, kidnap and maim people overseas) that carries the possibility of a life sentence.

All this brings the trial closer to its scheduled date of April 16, 2007. Padilla, 36, is charged with being part of a North American terror support cell that provided personnel, materiel and money to extremist Islamic causes. He and his co-defendants _Adham Amin Hassoun, 44, and 45-year-old Kifah Wael Jayyousi — have pleaded not guilty.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Debt Crisis...or Not

There’s certainly no shortage of people clamoring about America’s current and growing national debt crisis.

For instance, financial expert Jim Jubak asks, “What are the odds that the Bush tax cuts, set to expire in 2010 will be made permanent or at least extended beyond 2010? Pretty good, I'd say, given the desire of politicians to hold onto their jobs. That would cost about $1.5 trillion in lower revenues through 2016, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. Because making the cuts permanent isn't certain, that figure isn't included in any official estimate of the budget deficit.”

Jubak goes on, “This ban on including costs that are probable but not legislatively certain and the prohibition on looking further than five years out -- even though politicians routinely push the costs of their most expensive programs "off budget" by delaying the worst for more than five years -- has led to a veritable industry of alternative budgeting in Washington. Many of these have been created by groups with agendas to push -- higher social spending, lower taxes, more tax cuts, fewer tax cuts for the "rich." But what's most interesting to me about them is that any that look out more than five years see an absolutely predictable budget deficit crisis looming somewhere between 2015 and 2040.”

Mr. Jubak closes by wondering aloud “Or I suppose the government could just run the printing presses. Printing new currency is one thing Washington is good at.”

But noted financial guru Larry Kudlow counters, “Parsing through a dozen or so newspapers and websites this morning, I was stunned not to find a single reference to the very strong economic state of the union... I did manage to find one article, buried deep in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Class of ’07 Gets Plenty of Job Offers.” It talked about employers planning to hire 17 percent more graduates this year than they did last year. This happens to top the college-hiring peak of the last economic boom in 2000.

There’s also an interesting op-ed by Deputy Treasury Secretary Bob Kimmet (an old friend with lots of supply-side blood in his veins), who notes the positives of “job churn.” More than 55 million Americans, or four out of every ten workers, left their jobs in 2005. Since there were more than 57 million new hires that same year, this is good news. It also means that new hires exceeded employee separations by an average of 364,000 per month. Per month!

"Eat your heart out Lou Dobbs.“The fact is, jobs continue to boom. So do real incomes, productivity, and profits. Economist Michael Darda points out that real wages over the first five years of the Bush expansion are actually growing more rapidly than over the first five years of the Papa Bush/Bill Clinton boom.”

That much is undeniable. By every appreciable measure, the current economy is not just very good, it’s GREAT! With very low inflation (2.4%), near record low unemployment (4.5%), strong GDP growth, rising GDP, a rollicking Dow and rising personal income, this economy is booming.

Kudlow goes on, “Meanwhile, unemployment today is only 4.5 percent. Federal, state, and local tax collections are soaring through the roof. Budget deficits are plunging. Inflation-adjusted GDP is averaging just more than 3 percent. Family wealth stands at a record of slightly more than $54 trillion. Total employment is at a record 146 million.“Stock markets, as you might have noticed, also continue to rise. They have done so, almost without interruption, for four years, on the shoulders of a remarkable surge in business profits — which itself is a function of the high-tech, knowledge-based product explosion.“These corporate profits, along with our record-setting stock markets, have enriched the more than 100 million investors who are participating in this prosperity...

“...While the American free-market model is often derided as “cowboy capitalism,” imitation remains the sincerest form of flattery. And it isn’t just China, India, and Russia who are acquiescing to the worldwide spread of American capitalism. It’s also Eastern Europe and parts of South America. Heck, even the socialists in Old Europe — like France and Germany — are getting into the act by reducing individual and corporate tax rates to promote growth.”

Larry Kudlow closes with almost the opposite conclusion reached by Jim Jubak, “Of course, Bush gets very little credit for this in the mainstream media or in the polls, which is a shame. The truth is, the president has had the economic story basically right for six years. His overall economic record is rather solid.“But the bottom line is the bottom line: As we enter 2007, the economic state of the union is excellent.”

Still what about that looming national debt?

Well according to Brian M. Riedl of the Heritage Foundationn, “When measured properly, the federal govern­ment’s debt burden is actually below the post–World War II average. It is lower than it was at any time during the 1990s. However, unless Social Security and Medicare are reformed, lawmakers risk allowing debt levels to increase until they cause the highest intergenerational tax increase in history.”

Riedl goes on, “During World War II, the debt ratio surged from 40 percent to 109 percent, meaning the nation’s debt was actually larger than its GDP. After drop­ping down to 23 percent of GDP by 1974, the debt ratio increased to 49 percent by 1994 before drop­ping to 38 percent in 2004...

“...There is no mystery to why the debt ratio has dropped so much since World War II: Economic growth has dwarfed the amount of new debt. Since 1946, inflation-adjusted debt has grown by 84 percent, but the economy has grown by 429 percent— more than five times as fast. (See Chart 2.) Just as a family with rising income can afford to buy a more expensive home and take on more mortgage debt, the growing American economy has been able to absorb its new debt."

Last week, Brain Terminal’s Evan Coyne Maloney said, “On Friday, it was reported that the December US federal budget showed a surplus of $44.5 billion. This was well above the expected $24 billion.

“The twelve month trailing deficit is now down to $208 billion.

“This is amazing. The US federal deficit is now down to just 1.5% of GDP (through fourth quarter estimates).

“At the end of 2003 the deficit was running at over 3.8% of GDP and was in excess of $420 billion. The forecasts were for “$400 to $500 billion yearly deficits as far as the eye can see.”

“That conventional wisdom has been proved COMPLETELY WRONG. Yet, the belief seems to linger on...

“...The fact is, the accumulated deficit as a percentage of GDP has fallen from 75% in 1994 to about 61% today. The deficit is shrinking not just on a current year basis, but also as a burden to future generations...

“...Speaking of which, Italy, Germany, Japan, and France continue to run deficits in excess of 3% of GDP. That is far higher than the US percentage of 1.5%, or 1% for all government. Italy’s accumulated deficit is 100%, Japan’s is 100%, and the EU as a whole is close to 65%.

“It can easily be argued that there is in fact no current budget crisis in the US.”

Evan Coyne Maloney

Right now America’s national debt stands at around 66% of GDP, but its deficit spending has been cut dramatically over the past few years.

Our current deficit, about 1.5% of GDP should be cut even further, but it’s far from disastrous, and in fact it’s less burdensome than most of the Industrialized West’s.

When the current national debt, as well as our deficit spending is viewed in light of a necessary, though hugely expensive military war against Islamic extremism and the rogue states that have supported and sponsored it, as well as a huge security build-up at home, along with the fiscal drag created by the corporate scandals that broke in 2001, the attacks of 9/11/01 and Katrina, it’s astounding that the national debt ratio (appx 65% of GDP) is as low as it actually is.

(Thanks to GZ for stimulating discussion)

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Dog...It's What's for Dinner!!!

A 23 foot long, 70 kilogram (almost 160 pound) Burmese Python killed and ate 11 guard dogs in a Malaysian fruit orchard before being discovered and captured by locals. It took six men, three hours to catch the snake.

"I was shocked to see such a huge python," orchard-keeper Ali Yusof told the New Straits Times

According to the New Strait Times, "Ali said he had four dogs to guard his orchard, but for the past three months the canines had disappeared one after another, and he had to replace them. He suspected his guard dogs were being eaten by a beast after he found footprints of the dogs disappearing into a swampy area. Ali and the villagers contacted the Wildlife and National Parks Department in Segamat and the officers collected the python yesterday."

The snake was released into the wild unharmed, the dogs, of course, weren't as fortunate.

All I Need to Know About the Recent Washington, D.C. Anti-War Rally

Jocelynn Raddick got a standing ovation from the folks at the anti-war march in Washington, D.C. 1/26/2007 with;

“I am the whistleblower in the case of the so-called American Taliban, Johnny Walker-Lindh, the first person prosecuted in the WoT and an American citizen.”

Great! A John (Taliban Johnny) Walker-Lindh supporter! Walker-Lindh was the American traitor, captured in Afghanistan while fighting WITH the Taliban AGAINST American forces. CIA officer Mike Spann was killed during the operation that led to the capture of Walker-Lindh and yet this woman laments that the first person prosecuted in America's WoT was an American citizen!

Apparently not anti-American, just more nuanced.

Privacy Rights and Terrorism

Gen. Michael Hayden, nominated by President Bush to become the director of the CIA, headed the NSA from March 1999 to April 2005.



The opponents of the Patriot Act and the NSA wiretaps claim they “dismantle our Constitutional and shred our privacy rights.”

How do they dismantle the Constitution?

By shredding our privacy rights.

How do they shred our privacy rights?

By violating the 4th Amendment.

Unfortunately these opponents seem under the very mistaken impression that America’s Constitution guarantees its citizens “absolute privacy,” when in fact, it does not.

Perhaps many of these opponents are unfamiliar with the 4th Amendment. It’s possible, so here it is,
“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.”

The key phrase there is “UNREASONABLE search and seizure,” leaving what is “reasonable” very much up to interpretation. An extremely restrictive interpretation would make it virtually impossible to prosecute crimes, while a very loose interpretation would allow both government and individuals to violate our privacy at will. It would seem than that "reasonable" is best defined in between those two extremes in a very "moderate" way, one that allows government's law enforcement to be intrusive enough to catch and compile evidence on bad guys, but restrictive enough that it deters things like identity theft and the sale of private cell phone records.

One thing is very certain and that’s that this Amendment does not imply anything close to absolute privacy for American citizens.

Here's the problem with absolute, sacrosanct privacy - with it, there'd be no way to effectively gather evidence to prosecute any crimes, let alone have any chance of stopping crimes before they occur.

Historically, America's law enforcement has generally been reactive (responding after the fact) to criminal acts and to minor, even to individual acts, that works fine.

However, beginning with our drug policies, disruption and deterrence through pre-crime interdiction have been increasingly been used. Drug smugglers and suppliers have been arrested on carrying/transporting charges and put away based on the weight of the contraband in their possession. RICO statutes now allow federal prosecutors to confiscate all the “allegedly illicit gains" (houses, cars, etc) from an illegal enterprise, while police have increasingly relied on the “No-knock” warrant to go after particularly dangerous felons.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) spurred the use of deterrence through pre-crime interdiction to drunk driving and its use has grown ever since.

In recent years, law enforcement has come to determine and the public has accepted random roadside sobriety checkpoints are the only way to stop drunk drivers BEFORE they kill.

Online pedophile stings, that run very close to what many Civil Libertarians call "entrapment," are the only way to effectively stop pedophiles BEFORE they rape children.

And intrusive electronic and financial surveillance is the only way to effectively stop terrorists BEFORE they carry out their acts of unconventional warfare.

But it's taken terrorism (an act of unconventional warfare), like the act of terrorism that on 9/11/01 killed nearly 3000 American, and could take many times that in the near future if we fail in our vigilance, to fully put privacy rights into a better perspective.

The fact of the matter is that privacy threats have changed, especially in the electronic age. While an individual’s illicit actions cannot/should not be shielded by law from the government (ie. intersection surveillance cameras, roadside sobriety checkpoints and the like), we can and must be increasingly protected from individual intrusion (ie. identity theft and selling of our cell phone records by disreputable individuals).

Terrorism is not a criminal act. It is an act of unconventional warfare directed at civilian populations and as such it cannot be responded to reactively, or “after the fact.” It must be interdicted prior to the event or massive civilian casualties and incredible economic dislocation may result.

In arguing in favor of the most restrictive privacy rights, the favored argument of Civil Libertarians is to attack the argument, "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear," BUT that is NOT what advocates of reasonable surveillance (the NSA being able to track calls into and out of the U.S. to "suspect foreign portals") and reasonable intrusion (like those roadside sobriety checkpoints and those online pedophile stings) are arguing.

The argument is that "absolute and sacrosanct privacy" can be a detriment to public safety and that a balance must be struck and "reasonable" must be reasonably defined and it is unreasonable to consider terrorism a mere variety of “violent crime.”
On this issue, it seems that either you "get it" or you don't.

Ed Koch gets it, while Dennis Kucinich doesn't.

Rudy Giuliani gets it while Michael Moore doesn't.

I really don't understand how anyone can still "not get it," at this late hour, but perhaps its a function of priorities.

Like those "man in the street" interviews sometimes done by CNN and by Talk radio, showing how few people can identify Iraq on a blank map and how many more people can recognize Paris Hilton than know who Condi Rice is.

Hell, few people can identify Iowa on a blank map.

Many people seem to kick into gear only after an idea reaches critical mass. Sadly, the mainstream media (MSM) has done such a relentless job of separating Iraq from the broader WoT and hammering the idea that "Iraq was not our enemy," to get those ideas to critical mass.

Thankfully much of the public is (A) lazy and (B) both wary of the MSM and bereft of the time to soak in a full message in anything other than small bits.

Still, those ideas certainly seem to be reaching critical mass now, at least to some extent.

The MSM seems to be very deliberate and focused on their goals - Iraq first, then the NSA wiretaps, then the closing of GITMO and then a gutting of whatever remains of the Patriot Act.

That agenda amounts to an unconditional surrender on the WoT.

Think about it, the NY Times, like most of the MSM quickly surrendered in the wake of "the Danish cartoons controversy," they folded and publically admitted that it was unwise to be making fun of, or even be thought to be making fun of the "religion of peace."

I don't see it as pure defeatism, but the universal mantra of the "peace & love" crowd - "Angry people just need a hug."

Their view on crime ("thugs need therapy and hugs rather than punishment") is the same as their view on terrorism ("we just need to be more nice to them and show them we mean them no harm").

Lots of kindred spirits sought to give the likes of John Wayne Gacey and Ted Bundy hugs, unfortunately they didn't live to tell of it.

Same scenario, different mechanism.

(Thanks to Jeremayakovka for stimulating discussion.)

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Victim of Police Shooting Rebuffs the Race Charge Made by Others

This past Wednesday (January 24, 2007), NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly was grilled by the New York City Council on the November 25th Sean Bell killing, in which undercover cops fired fifty shots at a car Sean Bell was driving.

In Kelly’s opening statement he said, “However it should be noted that the first officer who fired his weapon that night was black and of the five officers who fired their weapons that night, three were black and two were white.”

He added, “...we strongly contest that the Department engages in any racial profiling.”

As expected, Commissioner Kelly’s remarks sparked outrage among some of the Council members.

Helen Foster (D-Bnx) said, “This is real. SO when you say it’s not racially doesn’t matter because you’re not the one being racially profiled.”

Charles Barron (D-Bklyn) said, “You have sent a signal to your department that they can kill us, brutalize us with impunity. They know that 99% of the time they’re going to get away with it, whether it’s 41 bullets (a reference to the 1999 Amadou Diallo killing) or 50 bullets, no matter what it is, they’re going to get away with it.”

Ironically enough, Joseph Guzman, who was in the car and was hit with 16 of the 50 shots, said “I’m not going to sit here and play the race card, I don’t think this was racial, but I do think a crime was committed.”

Of course Guzman’s testimony means nothing to the likes of Charles Barron, to Barron, black police officers “are Blue.”

Military Manual Allows Both Coerced and Hearsay Testimony to be Used Against Terror Suspects

According to a recent report, the Pentagon has drafted a manual for upcoming detainee trials that would allow suspected terrorists to be convicted on both hearsay evidence and coerced testimony and imprisoned or put to death.

According to a copy of the manual, a terror suspect's defense can’t reveal classified evidence that could be used in the person's defense until the government has had a chance to review it.

The manual, sent to Capitol Hill on Thursday and scheduled to be released later by the Pentagon, is intended to track a law passed last fall by Congress restoring President Bush's plans to have special military commissions try terror-war prisoners. Those commissions had been struck down earlier in the year by the Supreme Court.

As required by law, the manual prohibits statements obtained by torture and "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" as prohibited by the Constitution. However, the law does allow statements obtained through coercive interrogation techniques if obtained before Dec. 30, 2005, and deemed reliable by a judge.

Nearly 400 detainees suspected of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban are still being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, while about 380 others have been transferred or released.

The Defense Department is currently planning trials for at least 10 suspects. Under the law, only individuals selected for military trial are given access to a lawyer and judge; other military detainees can be held until hostilities cease.

Jordanian Court Upholds Iraqi Woman’s Death Sentence

Jordan's highest court rejected an appeal by an Iraqi woman sentenced to hang for her role in the al-Qaida-led triple hotel bombing that killed 60 people in Jordan's worst terror attack, according to court documents obtained Saturday.

Thirty-five year old Sajida al-Rishawi (photo left) was supposed to be one of the suicide bombers in the Nov. 9, 2005 attack on a Jordanian Wedding party. She entered a hotel ballroom with her husband, both strapped with explosives belts. Her husband set off his belt, ripping through a wedding party in the room.

In a televised confession al-Rishawi initially admitted that her own belt had failed to detonate and she fled, but she later changed her story, claiming that she was an unwilling participant in the attacks and never tried to set off her blast belt.

Al-Rishawi was one of seven defendants in the case and like the other six, who remain at large and were tried in absentia last year, all were sentenced in Jordan's military court. Like al-Rishawi, the other six were sentenced to death by hanging last September. Al-Rishawi appealed her sentence immediately.

But Jordan's Appeals court said it "ratified" the military court's death sentence because al-Rishawi was "guilty beyond doubt of possessing explosives and having had the intention and the will to carry out terrorist attacks whose outcome is destruction and death."

There’s an object lesson in all that for the U.S. – our civilian courts should follow Jordan’s example and accept our Military Tribunal’s rightful authority in terror cases.

Monday, January 22, 2007

A Neanderthal Skeleton in the Homo Sapien Closet?

That possibility was revived last week when two groups of scientists reported that they had deciphered DNA from the thigh bone of a Neanderthal man who lived in Croatia 38,000 years ago. From their analysis of genetic material in the bone, the scientists estimated that Neanderthals and the modern people who supplanted them had 99.5% of their genes in common.

Since the discovery in the 19th century of Neanderthal remains in Germany's Neander Valley, scientific opinion has seesawed between the idea that Neanderthals were an evolutionary dead end only distantly related to modern humans and the view that at least some Neanderthals felt the urge to merge with smarter, nimbler modern humans who left Africa about 100,000 years ago. Unfortunately, the new revelations about Neanderthal DNA don't settle the question.

A skull was recently found in Pestera cu Oase — the Cave with Bones — in southwestern Romania, along with other human remains. Radiocarbon dating indicates it is at least 35,000 years old and may be more than 40,000 years old.

The researchers said the skull had the same proportions as a modern human head and lacked the large brow ridge commonly associated with Neanderthals. However, there were also features that are highly unusual among modern humans, such as frontal flattening, a fairly large bone behind the ear and exceptionally large upper molars, which are seen among Neanderthals and other early hominids.

"Such differences raise important questions about the evolutionary history of modern humans," said co-author Joao Zilhao of the University of Bristol, England.

That view is not without its critics and Dr. Richard Potts of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, while noting that the skull represents the earliest modern human ever found in Europe added “It's a big deal in that sense,” he said,
“but the combination of characteristics doesn't necessarily indicate interbreeding between populations.”

“Overall there is no strong evidence for mixing of Neanderthal and modern human populations and this doesn't add any," said Potts, who wasn't part of the research team.

“None of the features cited as unusual in modern humans is exclusively Neanderthal,” Potts said, adding
“Rather, they could be features passed down from earlier populations in Africa.”
Oponents point to the fact that humans and chimpanzees have 96% of their genes in common, but as more Neanderthal remains become available for genetic testing, the question will no doubt be studied further.

Obama’s Muslim Roots?

We in the West are now, and for the foreseeable future, at war with Sharia-based (a/k/a “radical Islam”), so it’s wrong that any of us allow political correctness to get in the way of our examining uncomfortable truths.

The fact is that rumors have been rampant that Barrack Hussein Obama was reared a Muslim and attended a radical Madrassa in Indonesia, so it's important to separate rumors from fact.

The question isn't whether that's a politically motivated smear, but only whether it is true, but is Insight Magazine's recent claims (that Barack Obama Jr attended a Wahabi madrassa) valid, or not?

Certainly Barack Obama has taken great care to conceal his Muslim background (his father and setp-father were both Muslims). He’s quick to point out that, "I was once a Muslim, but I also attended Catholic school."

Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black Muslim from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white atheist from Wichita, Kansas, who’d met as students at the University of Hawaii.
When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced.

His father separated from Ann Dunham, and they later divorced. Barack Obama Sr., then returned to Kenya. His mother then re-married, this time to Lolo Soetoro, a radical Muslim from Indonesia. When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia. Obama attended a Muslim school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama's political operatives have attempted to make it appear that Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. It seems that his father, who left the family when Barack Jr., was just two had little influence upon his son, as the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.

It was actually Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, who introduced his stepson to Islam.

Insight magazine has claimed that Osama was enrolled in a Wahabi madrassa in Jakarta. Wahabism is the radical teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world. CNN however, recently did a pretty thorough investigation of this charge and they've claimed that they've found that Barack Obama Jr. went to a private school with a large Muslim student body, but not a Wahabi madrassa. CNN went to the school, talked to people there, they even found an old classmate of Obama’s and showed pictures of Obama and his former teaches at the school. So, unless Insight comes up with something to show otherwise, I owuld agree that the charge that Obama attended a Wahabi madrassa is unsupportable.The school Obama attended was founded in 1934 by the Dutch and is in a wealthy part of town there.

Many have speculated that since it's politically expedient to be a Christian when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama joined the United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background, but the fact is that he joined Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ well before he embarked on his political career.

On religion, Barack Obama's said, "I was drawn to the power of the African American religious tradition to spur social change. [...] In the history of these struggles, I was able to see faith as more than just a comfort to the weary or a hedge against death; rather, it was an active, palpable agent in the world. [...] It was because of these newfound understandings–that religious commitment did not require me to suspend critical thinking, disengage from the battle for economic and social justice, or otherwise retreat from the world that I knew and loved–that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and be baptized. It came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God's spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth."

While his religious background is not clear-cut, his political pedigree certainly is.

Sen. Obama’s political background is clearly “secular-progressive” and accordingly, very liberal. He opposes the death penalty and school vouchers, supports race/gender-based preferences, gun control, and the right to partial-birth abortions.

Human Events notes that Obama has a 100% rating from Americans for Democratic Action, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Organization for Women, the NAACP and the National Education Association.

He says he believes that marriage should be a union of one man and one woman, but voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006.

While an Illinois state senator, Obama voted “present” on a bill that would keep pornographic books and video stores 1,000 feet away from schools and churches. In 1999, he voted against a requirement to make schools filter internet pornography from school computers.

As a state senator he also voted “present” twice on a bill that would ban partial-birth abortion and was absent on a third vote. In 2001, he voted “present” on a parental notification bill and in 2002 he voted against a bill to protect babies that survived failed abortions.

While there's nothing to suggest that Barack Obama IS a "radical Muslim," there's also very little to suggest that he is at all "bi-partisan" and a "new kind of politician," unless, by "new politician," one means a died-in the wool Liberal extremist who trys to sound as moderate as possible.

Look who’s polluting

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According to a new World Wildlife Fund, the average human in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), puts more demand on the earth’s resources than any other, but the Emirates is considered a “developing nation,” and as such, even as a Kyoto signatory, is not required to cut emissions.

According to Jim Krane’s recent AP report, “Energy consumption in the Emirates runs high for many of the same reasons found in the United States: a feeling that the good life requires huge air-conditioned houses and cars, and a disdain for public transportation.”

“Making matters worse are Dubai's audacious developments, including artificial resort islands that have destroyed coral reefs and an indoor ski slope that still creates snow when it is 120 degrees outside.”

The UAE puts the USA back to second in terms of its “ecological footprint," but the folks in the UAE’s government, embarrassed by the report have taken exactly the wrong tack on this flawed report.

The fact is that living well and producing wealth, requires a large amount of energy, places with “large ecological footprints,” like the UAE, the U.S., England, Germany, Kuwait, Japan and Qutar all produce much, so it’s only logical that they also consume much energy in the process.

Until the 1960s, the UAE was, like the rest other oil-producing Gulf states, an impoverished desert country whose residents survived through subsistence fishing, farming and very small-businesses.

Now, the government's energy subsidies give the citizens of the UAE free water and cheap electricity, and gasoline sells for about $1.70 per gallon.

While the Emirates’ state oil company has eliminated 80 percent of its wasteful flaring off of natural gas at oil wellheads and has considered some other projects involving renewable energy, unlike in the U.S. and most of Western Europe energy consumption has not been looked at as a problem.

Another factor in the region’s “large footprint” is its hevary reliance on the energy intensive process of desalinization. A focal point for Dubai's emissions is the red-and-white smokestacks jutting from gas-fired power plants and an aluminum smelter that line the beach on the city's outskirts. The plants also serve to distill fresh water from the Gulf’s seawater, a process that accounts for 98 percent of the fresh water in a country with no rivers and little usable groundwater.

Ecologists complain that in places like Dubai (above left, one of the seven Emirates that make up the UAE) and Abu Dhabi desalinated water is lavished, Las Vegas-style, on fountains, artificial lakes, swimming pools, resort greenery and golf courses sitting atop once drifting desert sands. Desalination also produces most fresh water in Saudi Arabia, Qutar and Kuwait, Gulf countries that also showed high footprints.

"Really, we're happy to be rich now," said Majid al-Mansouri, who heads the environment agency serving Abu Dhabi.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More about those studies on men and women...

Barry's theory certainly seems right on the mark to me and dan o makes the point that even more pictures might be in order to...uh...stimulate more discussion.
I found another interesting study (commissioned by Esquire and Marie Claire Magazines- WoW! Sure beats Harvard!) that says, among other things, that 60% of men and 17% of women surf the Net for porn, 59% of men and 52% of women said their BlackBerrys, PDAs and cell phones HELPED rather than HURT their sex lives...and perhaps most interesting of all, "Republican men would rather have a woman on top during sex, while Democratic guys favored doggy-style!
WoW!!! I really AM a Democrat!

Could It Be? Bias-related Rape Spree Goes Uncovered by the Mainstream Media...

One of the few outlets to touch on an incredible story of a black on white rape spree has been The Baytown Sun (( of Baytown Texas, the town where this bizarre rape spree’s occurred, Cindy Horswell’s December 16th, 2006 article in the Houston Chronicle ( and in the blogosphere, Nicholas Stix (A Different Drummer - ( has done an excellent job of relating the full story.

What is known about this highly unusual case is that the rapist, a large black male, attacks only smaller, young (18 to 21 y/o) white men and also robs his victims. He’s victimized at least five young white men, so far, though local police believe the number to be higher as they believe that many of the victims have been too ashamed to come forward.

Nicholas Stix notes, “In an December 18th story, Houston-based Associated Press reporter Joe Stinebaker refused to identify the race of the Baytown rapist’s victims, even though they were almost surely chosen based on their race, and knowing that the black rapist attacks only smallish, frail, young white men is an essential piece of information for potential victims to protect themselves, and for residents to look out for, in preventing further rape/robberies, and possibly helping to catch the assailant.”

Surely the race of the attacker would’ve been a central part of the story had the races of victim and attacker been reversed! Yet here, the AP doesn’t consider the races of the victims and attackers pertinent at all, hmmmm.

Moreover with the attacker as yet apprehended it is unknown what diseases the victims have been subjected to, from some of the more virulent STDs to HIV.

Ironically enough, despite the fact that the attacker(s) are black and the victims are all white, there is no talk of “racist hate-crimes,” “bias- crimes,” or civil rights violations in this case.

Baytown (areial view above left) is a small (appx. 66,000) Texas town in the penninsular near Galveston. It’s primarily dominated by oil refineries and chemical plants.

According to the AP story, local police seem perplexed, "‘I wish we had a link between the victims, because we might have a better chance of catching him,’ said Lt. Richard Whitaker of the police department in Baytown, where took of the attacks took place. ‘We don't have any affirmative links at all.’”

An interesting quote considering that all the victims have been described as, “white, smallish, frail, between the ages of 18 and 21, and mostly students living in their parents’ homes,” while the attacker(s) have been described as “a light-skinned black male, clean-cut and nicely dressed, in his late 20s. He stands 5-foot-6 to 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds.”

The fact that a police spokesman would assert that there are “no affirmative links” in such a case isn’t very surprising considering that most police departments have been inundated with “sensitivity training” and political correctness, to the point that there is often very little difference between statement from a police spokesman and a copy editor at the NY Times or the Associated Press.

The most surprising, even shocking thing about this story is that homosexual rape is generally considered rare outside of prisons and inter-racial rapes are even more rare.
There’s absolutely no question that had the races of the victims and attackers been reversed this would be a national news story, the fact that it’s not even been reported by the major news outlets is troubling to say the least.

Giuliani Track Record is Alright With Conservatives

Recently Dick Morris wondered aloud, “When did the Christian Right’s agenda come to include litmus tests on immigration, guns and race/gender preferences?”

I don’t know, but I like it a LOT, probably because I agree with their positions on all three – enforcement first, respect of the Second Amendment and no to preferences.

Of course, many pundits feel that two of the currently leading prospective GOP candidates for 2008, McCain and Giuliani, will beach themselves on the shoals of those issues.

In a January 11th piece (“ “Liberal” Rudy? Not on Qutas”), Deroy Murdock makes a much overlooked point about Rudy Giuliani – not only is Rudy excellent on the issue of crime control and he gets the fact that international terrorism is beyond the scope of American law enforcement, he also gets it right on race/gender-based preferences and welfare reform and in so doing, makes the case that Giuliani may navigate those issues far more effectively than can McCain.
Murdock notes that, “In his first month, Mayor Giuliani scrapped New York’s 20 percent set-asides for minority- and female-owned contractors, and a 10 percent price premium that City Hall let such companies charge above the bids of white, male competitors.” Giuliani saw the policy as not only discriminatory, but fiscally unsound costing New York City millions of dollars each year, at a time when the city was running a $3 BILLION deficit!

Giuliani replaced those set-asides (quotas) with contractor workshops on how to prepare more competitive applications, while a number of projects were divided up into smaller units, so that newer, less-capitalized bidders could qualify.Giuliani also quickly shuttered the city’s offices of African-American/Caribbean Affairs, Asian Affairs, European-American Affairs, Gay Community Affairs, Jewish Community Affairs, and Latino Affairs, as he saw these as fiefdoms that sought favor, not fairness.

Giuliani appointed Herman Badillo as Chancellor of the City University of New York and together they ended the “open admissions” that had plagued CUNY for over two decades. By increasing graduation requirements and other academic standards, they generated reams of gloom and doom predictions, but in fact, CUNY’s minority enrollment and graduation rates actually grew after Giuliani and Badillo raised standards across the board for all students.
The welfare reform enacted in New York City by the Giuliani administration immediately cut the city’s welfare rolls by over a third! Proving what many social Conservatives had suspected for decades, that much of the city’s inordinate welfare expenditures were due to things like “double-dipping,” (collecting welfare from different Municipalities) and outright fraud.
And as Murdock notes that Rudy Giuliani,
“did not manage all this in lily-white Provo, Utah or right-wing Colorado Springs. Rudolph W. Giuliani courageously accomplished these things in a largely minority city notorious for its liberalism. That’s leadership.”

Not only is it leadership, but it’s a common sense course and a proven record that should resonate with Conservatives.

It’s also something that could put Rudy Giuliani in a much better position than John McCain.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Since I'm so easily amused...

It turns out that a recent study has found that women find men more interesting/attractive when other women are interested in him.

The reverse does not appear to be true.

Purely in the interest of scence, I decided to try an experiment using myself as the test subject and it turns out wife hits pretty hard!
This also gave me an excuse to upload a gratuitous picture of an attractive woman.
Man, those newspaper editors sure have a great job!

Edward Cardinal Egan announces ten parishes closing in New York area

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Edward Cardinal Egan, the titular leader of the Archdiocese of New York announced the closing of ten New York area parishes today with this rather oddly worded explanation, “We could have just looked at the numbers, of how many people went to church every Sunday, how many Weddings, how many Funerals, how many Baptisms in each parish and made our calculations based on the numbers, but that’s not the way we did it.”

An odd statement indeed.

Especially in that it fails to mention exactly which, of any number of possible archane “ways” the Archdiocese DID use to determine which parishes would get shuttered.

In fact, it turns out that they used an ancient Catholic rite called Primata Feciata.

That’s where they put three monkeys in a small, windowless room with a large pile of feces and an oversized map of the area to be...uh...transformed.

Sure, it’s messy.

Sure it’s stinky too.

But it is crudely effective, not to mention a lot less stressful than say 54 straight hours of numbers crunching.

A spokesman for the three monkeys involved could not be reached for comment by this blog, because I don’t have that phone number.

(And yes, I do realize that I’m going to hell for this...or at least Washington, D.C.)

What’s With Pace University’s "Obsession" Against Free Speech?

At New York City’s Pace University, a Jewish group (Hillel) sought to show the film Obsession (what I’ve called “the best documentary on what America’s up against in the WoT”), a film many Muslim students at Pace find “objectionable,” for a variety of reasons.

The New York Post recently (“Pace University’s Film Police,” Jan 10, 2007) reported on this flap and published a letter-to-the-editor from Pace University’s President, David A. Caputo, which went;

“The President of Pace University’s Hillel group appears to have misconstrued the intentions of the dean who brought our Muslim student group together with Hillel to engage in a constructive dialogue about the proposed showing of the film “Obsession.”

"Because our campuses have been troubled by hate and bias-related incidents this Fall, our dean hoped to start a discussion about postponing it to a calmer time.

"As your recent editorial notes, she tried to address the potential for disruption in events about contentious issues like terrorism. If disruption seems possible, we get ready to protect orderly civil discourse.

"Pace condemns anti-Semitism, hate crimes, attacks, acts of vandalism against any group.

"We welcome a highly diverse and richly opinionated student body and events that help students learn about the world.

"Campuses are the crucible where ideas are challenged and discussed openly and freely and we are committed to staying that way.

"Obsession, the students tell us, will be shown next semester.”

But according to the NY Post, Hillel President Michael Abdurakhmanov claims that school staffers threatened him with sanctions and physically restrained him when he tried to defend the film.

A writer for the Pace University paper, Chris Cory claims that officials were looking to keep the film from being aired, at least until tensions over some recent anti-Muslim “hate crimes” dissipated.

As the Post Editorial (Pusillanimous Pace Jan 16, 2007) notes, “In any event, if the school were truly committed to freedom of expression, the only "dialogue" needed would be to convey one simple message: Anyone thinking of disrupting the film or committing violence will face severe repercussions.
End of discussion.

“Officials could have used the occasion to make it absolutely clear that no one at Pace can be barred from showing a film - even if it's not a left-wing film. But that wasn't the goal.”

Completely correct!

A closer look at President Caputo’s letter shows a very specific agenda;

“The President of Pace University’s Hillel group appears to have misconstrued the intentions of the dean who brought our Muslim student group together with Hillel to engage in a constructive dialogue about the proposed showing of the film “Obsession.”

TRANSLATION: The President of the Hillel group misconstrued the dean’s bringing in a raucous mob of Arab & Muslim students denouncing both the Hillel group and the film Obsession as some form of threat or an attempt at intimidation. Obviously neither the Hillel group, nor the NY Post understand the meaning of “constructive dialogue.”

“Because our campuses have been troubled by hate and bias-related incidents this Fall, our dean hoped to start a discussion about postponing it to a calmer time."

TRANSLATION: There have already been some acts of vandalism around our campuses that we’ve considered “bias-crimes” or “hate crimes” and we felt that the airing of this film might stir up even more anti-Muslim sentiment. Therefore the dean merely sought to postpone the film’s airing to a “calmer time,” like after the Caliphate is imposed upon New York City, in the wake of our inevitably loosing the “War on Terror,” or should I say, “illegal, immoral war on terror.”

“As your recent editorial notes, she tried to address the potential for disruption in events about contentious issues like terrorism. If disruption seems possible, we get ready to protect orderly civil discourse.

“Pace condemns anti-Semitism, hate crimes, attacks, acts of vandalism against any group.”

TRANSLATION: We condemn ALL hate, but it must be remembered that some hate is worse than other hates.

Anti-black hatred is most strongly condemned, anti-Semitic hatred is also condemned, just not as strongly as anti-black and now anti-Muslim hatred, while anti-white hatred is not really condemned at all.

I mean it’s just common sense to hate whites.

So, in the event of any disruptions (riots, general thuggery, etc) we are ready to protect orderly civil discourse, according to the hierarchy of hate, of course. So if a group of whites sought to disrupt a black anti-white event, we’d come down very hard, if a group of blacks sought to disrupt a Jewish event we’d come down pretty hard, but if a group of Muslims seeks to disrupt a white, or Jewish event, then we either side with the Muslims, or simply ignore the disruption.

What part of that policy do you not understand?!

“We welcome a highly diverse and richly opinionated student body and events that help students learn about the world.

“Campuses are the crucible where ideas are challenged and discussed openly and freely and we are committed to staying that way.”

TRANSLATION: Look, we’re a “diversity first” institution!

We’ve long ago replaced academic standards with feel-good embraces of emotionalism, and buzz-words like “diversity” (an umbrella term used to rationalize admitting students who are sub-par academically, over more academically gifted candidates in the name of “diversity”).

Here, Christians are “Christo-fascists and free market advocates are “cruel social Darwinists,” and the worst thing that anyone can be is a straight, white heterosexual male, because they’re all that is evil in this world. THAT’S what we call an “open and free discussion.”

“Obsession, the students tell us, will be shown next semester.”

TRANSLATION: Thanks to your editorial meddling, we’ve decided to allow the dread film (Obsession) to air this Spring, but both Hillel and you will pay for this.

This ain’t over by a long shot.

By the way, Obsession: The Movie is a GREAT film!

Dinesh D’souza’s Proposition

With his newest book, The Enemy At Home (, Dinesh D'Souza has almost certainly offered his most controversial proposition, that since it’s American Liberalism that’s motivated much of the extremist Muslim rage, a rage that’s been infecting more and more “moderate Muslims,” perhaps by downplaying, even jettisoning things like the “rehabilitative justice” that’s made headlines in Vermont (no time, but “therapy” for child molesters), some of our hyper-sexed entertainment and making major issues out of things like gay marriage and adoption.

Though his proposal has been roundly rebuffed by many Conservatives as “capitulation to radical Islam,” I strongly disagree.

I know many Conservatives believe things like, “Liberals, even far-Left kooks like Michael Moore and Dennis Kucinich are Americans too,” I don’t and the reason is that those on the far-Left, in supporting more government programs, a therapeutic approach to crime and terrorism and honoring (not merely tolerating, but honoring) homosexuality by calling an “alternative lifestyle” of equal value to the heterosexual norm, they oppose the foundation of America – individualism, Capitalism (free markets), limited government and social Conservativism.

I think many Conservatives have prematurely taken D’souza’s proposition as “throwing fellow Americans (Liberals) under the proverbial bus to placate the most radical Muslims.”

I believe that that’s the wrong way of looking at this.

Far-Left Americans are “Americans” in name only. They certainly feel nothing but antipathy for the Conservative majority in this country. Many of them openly call for Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld to be tried at the Hague for imaginary “war crimes.”

Their antipathy for those “Red Staters” who support the Military War on Terrorism and the Conservative agenda at home, isn’t any less virulent.

I have always been and remain against ANY kind of negotiation with the Islamo-fascists, but this proposition is NOT a “negotiation,” it’s merely repudiating something most Americans repudiate and revile already (LIBERALISM), with the possible upside of slowing down the radicalization of much of the rest of the Muslim world.

In my view, you cannot be an American and disdain things like individualism, private property rights, Capitalism (the market-based economy) and extreme punishment for extreme crimes.

For that reason, in my view, people like Michael Moore, Al Franken and Dennis Kucinich are closer in viewpoint and belief to Stalin than they are to Jefferson’s or Franklin’s views and beliefs.

I believe D’souza is right in his premise that it’s the extreme social liberalism (child molesters walking free sans jail time, gay rights and adoption being seriously considered, etc) that most deeply offends, not only Muslims, but most decent and traditional people around the world.

They aren’t MY “fellow Americans," so I’d throw the American Leftist under that proverbial bus for any reason or even no reason at all.

I’ve listened to D’souza make his case and right now, I’m down with D’souza.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mark Cuban lauds Stephon Marbury

Calling New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury's new $15 sneakers (Starburys) "Pure genius," billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban further gushed, "Honestly the #1 business story of the year should've been the Starbury line of shoes."

It's easy to see why.

Remember the days, not long ago, when teens were routinely getting killed over $150 sneakers?

Remember Spike Lee's character Mars Blackman who immortalizing the inanity of that status culture in the film She's Gotta Have It, with the line, "$100 sneakers and I've got no job, tell me how to make it when the times get hard,"?

Cuban added, "The concept of $15 sneakers that are cool and hip for kids to wear could have more impact on family finances and the culture of consumption in many households than anything that's happened in years."

Mr. Cuban plans to go on Stephon Marbury's TV show wearing the Starbury sneakers.

While I'm not nearly as optimistic as Mark Cuban over the prospects of these sneakers reducing crime (violent crime has been down in most major cities a long time now), besides, thugs don't need status symbols to motivate them to violence, because violence is what thugs do, I still like the idea a LOT.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Why Raising the Minimum Wage is Futile

Facts are facts.

Labor is a commodity, nothing more than that.

It IS NOT and CANNOT be valued higher merely because humans provide/produce that commodity via human effort.

The cost of all the commodities used to produce, package, distribute and sell a given good or service determines its market price – the price the consumer pays.

When businesses are hit with higher taxes they are rightly passed onto the consumer, as they MUST be.

Who pays the “Corporate income tax?”

We do, as consumers. It's actually a "stealth consumer tax."

When the cost of steel or plastic goes up, so do consumer prices.When the cost of labor goes up, so do consumer prices.

Even if a large business, say GM made $12 Billion in profits the previous year it would be foolish to even suggest that they take in less profit in order to absorb jumps in commodity prices (oil, plastics, labor, taxes) so that consumers could pay the same price they did before the increases.

Profits, aside from going back into the business in the form of R&D and expanding production (jobs creation), also reward investors with things like stock Dividends.

If a company fails to attract and keep investors (Capital) it won’t be able to expand and compete in the marketplace. Businesses NEED investors. Anyone who’d even suggest that business should take less in profits in order to keep prices lower for consumers as their costs go up, as opposed to attracting/rewarding investors, would be guilty of the worst kind of GREED – that of seeking "something for nothing."

No, as commodity prices increase, so must consumer prices, often companies must even add a little extra padding for increased ancillary costs (additional accounting fees, etc).

That subsequent consumer price inflation impacts the lowest wage earners the most, basically nullifying any increase as their new wages are now paid in dollars worth less than they were when the increase was negotiated.

There’s no way to “help the poor” from the outside,” by giving them more money. I don't even like the Earned Income Tax Credit - bottom line, it's a form of welfare, as people earning less than $32,000/year pay zero income taxes anyway.

Poverty is caused by a dearth of marketable skills, or the inability to maintain gainful employment, usually as the result of a variety of self-destructive behaviors.

No, the only person who can help the poor individual is THAT poor individual him/her-self...and the only way that individual poverty can be remedied is via developing more valuable and marketable skills.

There is no “higher wages” solution to poverty.

That’s just the way it is. It’s like gravity, it’s not going to change simply because we don’t like it.

It's also part of the reason why poverty is such a difficult problem to address. It just doesn't respond to simplistic "solutions."

The Duke Case Gives Clear Window into the Leftist Fantasy View of Crime

No sooner had the charges in the Duke Rape case been made, than the Group of 88 (88 Duke Professors, mostly from the African American Studies and other “humanities” programs) signed onto a letter condemning the Duke Lacrosse (LAX) players and demanding the “swift justice” that Durham DA Michael Nifong had promised.

It seemed immaterial that the Durham police found the accuser’s account unreliable, given the multiple accounts of the alleged rape.

Mike Nifong quickly took the investigation away from the police and then refused to question the accuser (a woman with a long history of mental and emotional problems and at least one similar false accusation) until December.

In the intervening months Nifong rode the role of “crusader for racial justice” to an election victory as Durham County D.A.

As soon as Nifong did interview the accuser the rape charges were dropped.

That same month Nifong came under investigation by the NC Bar Association for ethics violations involving both inflammatory comments he made to the media back in April, engineering a rigged line-up and for withholding vital information (DNA evidence) from the Duke LAX defense team.

The rape accusation has been suspect from the very start.

Even the second dancer (Kim Roberts) has said the rape charge was a “crock,” adding that the women were “not apart for more than five minutes.”

Surely there was under-aged drinking at the LAX party and the guys apparently breeched their contract with what both dancers took as a threatening comment by one of the players, but apparently nothing went on that rose to the level of criminality that occurred that night.

The rape charge seems to have stemmed from a money dispute, the women looking to leave after they claimed the LAX players breeched their contract after about ten minutes, while the guys wanted most of their money back. The women’s view can be summed it in what Kim Roberts stated, “They ripped themselves off when they started hollering about a broomstick." (alleging that one of the players hoisted a broomstick and uttered a threat).

Still, the rape charge itself seems, just what Kim Roberts said it was, “a crock,” while the other charges (sexual assault and kidnapping) seem just as ludicrous.

But this case played into, not only Nifong’s plans for re-election, but one of the Left-wing’s favorite fantasies, that of “racist, privileged white criminals going unpunished.”

The Group of 88 (88 Left-wing Professors from Duke) disgraced themselves and Duke University far more than the incident itself did,

For a group of Professors to so utterly fail to understand the presumption of innocence is untenable.

Worse yet is the kind of hyperbole some of the members engaged in. According to Karla Holloway (one of the Group of 88), innocence and guilt, she maintains, must be “assessed through a metric of race and gender. White innocence means black guilt. Men’s innocence means women’s guilt.”

Karla Holloway’s sentiments are echoed every day by the many on the Left.

The LAX players certainly6 exercised poor judgment in even allowing the two strippers into their frat house (some have alleged the dancers were drunk when they arrived) and exercised even poorer judgment in getting into a money dispute with these two women out in the street, but the ONLY crimes that appear to have been committed in this case were the accuser’s filing a false report and Nifong’s many abuses of the law.

North Carolina’s Bar Association is rightfully investigating Mike Nifong for his many abuses of the law in the pursuit of an apparently wrongful prosecution motivated by personal political gain.

Once again, as the prurient Leftist fantasy fades away, reality shines its stark, bright light, exposing the fact that the real racists and bigots are, as usual, on the Left.

Rice Defends Stepped Up U.S. Actions Against Iran

On Saturday, January 14th, 2007, Condoleezza Rice defended U.S. raids that President Bush approved against Iranian targets in Iraq, calling them part of a broader effort to confront Iran's aggression in the region.

"The United States is simply responding to Iranian activities that have been going on for a while now that threaten not just to destabilize the chance for Iraq to proceed to stability but also that endanger our forces," Rice told reporters, before meeting with Israel's foreign minister.

In echoing other Bush administration sentiments, Rice claimed the U.S. has no intentions of crossing the Iraq-Iran border to attack Iranians.

On Thursday, January 11th, Five Iranians were detained by U.S.-led forces after a raid on an Iranian government liaison office in northern Iraq.

The United States has accused Iran of helping provide roadside bombs that have killed American troops in Iraq. A standoff already exists over Iran's nuclear program.

Rice told reporters that the Iranian office was not a diplomatic consulate, which would be protected by international treaty.

The State Department said Friday that U.S.-led forces entered an Iranian building in Kurdish-controlled Irbil because information linked it to Revolutionary Guards and other Iranian elements engaging in violent activities in Iraq.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey said there was no truth to reports that Iran was carrying out legitimate diplomatic activity at the site.

Dems Tackle Drug Boondoggle???

HOUSE Democrats delivered on a campaign promise Friday (January 12, 2007), in passing a Bill that would allow the government to negotiate the price of pharmaceuticals, but only those now covered by the new Medicare drug benefit.

The hope is that government negotiators could force prices down, and in so doing generate significant savings that could improve and possibly expand the benefit more generous.

But the measure may be misguided.

As a model, the Dems point to the Department of Veterans Affairs, which negotiate discounts for the drugs covered by the veterans’ health program.

But the Department of Veterans Affairs is able to do this because it’s allowed to deny coverage for drugs whose makers refuse to provide discounts. As a result, between 3,000 of the 4,300 medicines covered by Medicare are unavailable under the veterans' program.

Democrats know that narrow formularies are unpopular, so their plan doesn’t permit Medicare to establish one, but so long as drug-makers know that Medicare has to buy their medications, what’s their motivation to grant a discount?

This week the Congressional Budget Office estimated that savings from direct negotiation would be "negligible."

So it appears, as the Washington Post recently noted, “Not only are the Democrats too optimistic about government negotiation; they are also too pessimistic about the current system in which private insurers administering Medicare drug benefits do the price bargaining. These private insurers stand to profit if they can secure discounts and cut premiums and thus attract more customers: Witness the fact that the average monthly premium has fallen since the program began a year ago. Private insurers can do this precisely because they are free to establish formularies, but market discipline ensures that these lists are not unappealingly narrow. The insurers need to keep customers.”

Moreover, currently Walmart has done a more effective job of negotiating deep drug discounts than has the Dept of Veterans Affairs, or any other government entity.

Is that because government is so inept, or Walmart just so much better at the basic business of providing value to its customers?


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Oh My God! They’re Looking Over Our Financial Records!!! - The SKY is FALLING!

That’s right, while President Bush, as one New York City tabloid recently misrepresented, is NOT going through your mail, the Pentagon and in some cases, the CIA are going through the financial records of thousands of Americans.

According to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman the Defense Department "makes requests for information under authorities of the National Security Letter statutes...but does not use the specific term National Security Letter in its investigatory practice."

Mr. Whitman didn’t indicate the number of requests made in recent years, but said authorities operate under the Right to Financial Privacy Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the National Security Act.

"These statutory tools may provide key leads for counterintelligence and counterterrorism investigations," Whitman said. "Because these are requests for information rather than court orders, a DOD request under the NSL statutes cannot be compelled absent court involvement."

"It is our understanding that the intelligence community agencies make such requests on a limited basis," said Carl Kropf, a spokesman for the Office of the National Intelligence Director, which oversees all 16 spy agencies in the government.

These national security letters permit the executive branch to seek records about people involved in ongoing terror and spy investigations without a judge's approval or grand jury subpoena.

OK, so you ALREADY HAVE TO BE involved in an ongoing investigation into your possible involvement in terrorism or espionage.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the lead agency on domestic counterterrorism and espionage, has issued thousands of national security letters since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Mr. Whitman said Defense Department "counterintelligence investigators routinely coordinate...with the FBI."

One government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said one example of a case in which the letters were used was the 1994 case of CIA officer Aldrich Ames, who eventually was found to have been selling secrets to the Soviet Union.

Vice President Dick Cheney said today (Sunday, January 14, 2007) that the Pentagon and CIA are not violating people's rights by examining the banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage in the United States.

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