Saturday, June 30, 2007

Commentary by Ralph Peters

Myths of Iraq

During a recent visit to Baghdad, I saw an enormous failure. On the part of our media. The reality in the streets, day after day, bore little resemblance to the sensational claims of civil war and disaster in the headlines. No one with first-hand experience of Iraq would claim the country's in rosy condition, but the situation on the ground is considerably more promising than the American public has been led to believe. Lurid exaggerations and instant myths obscure real, if difficult, progress. I left Baghdad more optimistic than I was before this visit. While cynicism, political bias and the pressure of a 24/7 news cycle accelerate a race to the bottom in reporting, there are good reasons to be soberly hopeful about Iraq's future.

Much could still go wrong. The Arab genius for failure could still spoil everything. We've made grave mistakes. Still, it's difficult to understand how any first-hand observer could declare that Iraq's been irrevocably "lost." Consider just a few of the inaccuracies served up by the media:

Claims of civil war. In the wake of the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, a flurry of sectarian attacks inspired wild media claims of a collapse into civil war. It didn't happen. Driving and walking the streets of Baghdad, I found children playing and, in most neighborhoods, business as usual. Iraq can be deadly, but, more often, it's just dreary.

Iraqi disunity. Factional differences are real, but overblown in the reporting. Few Iraqis support calls for religious violence. After the Samarra bombing, only rogue militias and criminals responded to the demagogues' calls for vengeance. Iraqis refused to play along, staging an unrecognized triumph of passive resistance.

Expanding terrorism. On the contrary, foreign terrorists, such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, have lost ground. They've alienated Iraqis of every stripe. Iraqis regard the foreigners as murderers, wreckers and blasphemers, and they want them gone. The Samarra attack may, indeed, have been a tipping point--against the terrorists.

Hatred of the U.S. military. If anything surprised me in the streets of Baghdad, it was the surge in the popularity of U.S. troops among both Shias and Sunnis. In one slum, amid friendly adult waves, children and teenagers cheered a U.S. Army patrol as we passed. Instead of being viewed as occupiers, we're increasingly seen as impartial and well-intentioned.

The appeal of the religious militias. They're viewed as mafias. Iraqis want them disarmed and disbanded. Just ask the average citizen.

The failure of the Iraqi army. Instead, the past month saw a major milestone in the maturation of Iraq's military. During the mini-crisis that followed the Samarra bombing, the Iraqi army put over 100,000 soldiers into the country's streets. They defused budding confrontations and calmed the situation without killing a single civilian. And Iraqis were proud to have their own army protecting them. The Iraqi army's morale soared as a result of its success.

Reconstruction efforts have failed. Just not true. The American goal was never to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure in its entirety. Iraqis have to do that. Meanwhile, slum-dwellers utterly neglected by Saddam Hussein's regime are getting running water and sewage systems for the first time. The Baathist regime left the country in a desolate state while Saddam built palaces. The squalor has to be seen to be believed. But the hopeless now have hope.

The electricity system is worse than before the war. Untrue again. The condition of the electric grid under the old regime was appalling. Yet, despite insurgent attacks, the newly revamped system produced 5,300 megawatts last summer--a full thousand megawatts more than the peak under Saddam Hussein. Shortages continue because demand soared--newly free Iraqis went on a buying spree, filling their homes with air conditioners, appliances and the new national symbol, the satellite dish. Nonetheless, satellite photos taken during the hours of darkness show Baghdad as bright as Damascus.

Plenty of serious problems remain in Iraq, from bloodthirsty terrorism to the unreliability of the police. Iran and Syria indulge in deadly mischief. The infrastructure lags generations behind the country's needs. Corruption is widespread. Tribal culture is pernicious. Women’s rights are threatened. And there's no shortage of trouble-making demagogues.

Nonetheless, the real story of the civil-war-that-wasn't is one of the dog that didn't bark. Iraqis resisted the summons to retributive violence. Mundane life prevailed. After a day and a half of squabbling, the political factions returned to the negotiating table. Iraqis increasingly take responsibility for their own security, easing the burden on U.S. forces. And the people of Iraq want peace, not a reign of terror.

But the foreign media have become a destructive factor, extrapolating daily crises from minor incidents. Part of this is ignorance. Some of it is willful. None of it is helpful.

Random Thoughts

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Did you know that the temperature on the Moon can hit 250 degrees Fahrenheit, while nighttime lows can plummet to -450 degrees? Luckily, NASA has decided on a way to colonize our neighbor without using alot of materials; it's called inflatable buildings. See here for more.

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Charlie Rose
Holy Hannah! Charlierose.com and PBS has released an online video archive--3,600 hours stretching back to 1994. I cannot wait to check it out!



On Ralph Peters
Following the 2006 US Congressional election, Peters wrote: It's going to be hard. The political aim of the Democrats will be to continue talking a good game while avoiding responsibility through '08. They'll send up bills they know Bush will veto. And they'll struggle to hide the infighting in their own ranks - Dem unity on this war is about as solid as the unity of Iraq. Now that they've won on the issue, the Dems would like Iraq to just go away. But it won't. And they've got to avoid looking weak on defense, so the military will get more money for personnel, at least. But we won't get a comprehensive plan to deal with Iraq or, for that matter, our global struggle with Islamist terrorists. No matter how many troops we send, we're bound to fail if the troops aren't allowed to fight - under the leadership of combat commanders, not politically attuned bureaucrats in uniform. At present, neither party's leaders want to face the truth about warfare - that it can't be done on the cheap and that war can't be waged without shedding blood.



Google Earth a Security Risk says US Military
The head of U.S. Air Force intelligence and surveillance on Thursday said data available commercially through online mapping software such as Google Earth posed a danger to security but could not be rolled back. See here for more info. (I said this months ago).



China on the Rise
How is it that China is spared the kind of international criticism that has flayed the Bush administration since the buildup to the Iraq war? The United States, by comparison with any other great power in history, is unusually law-abiding, respectful of the rights of others and open to criticism. And yet it is consistently portrayed as a callous and selfish bully. China, by contrast, seems to get waiver after waiver in the court of world opinion. See here for more.


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China Targets US Carriers
The Chinese military press has published numerous articles on how to defeat U.S. Navy carrier task forces. For example, China is known to be developing terminal guidance systems for its ballistic missiles. This would enable a Chinese ballistic missile to be fired to an area, about a hundred kilometers in diameter, believed to contains an American carrier. If the carrier was there, the conventional warhead would come right down on the carrier. For this kind of job, the ballistic missile could use an armor piercing (non-explosive) warhead. At the high speed of an ballistic missile warhead (several times faster than a rifle bullet) plunging back to earth, the damage to the carrier would be enormous. At the very least, flight operations would be halted. This tactic is not new, both the United States, and the defunct Soviet Union worked on the technical aspects of this.

Chinese officers also discuss the use of high-altitude nuclear explosions to produce an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) that would damage communications on U.S. warships below. By using EMP at sea, there would be less damage to civilian infrastructure. China also appears to be continuing work on anti-satellite satellites. China is already a major player in the Internet warfare area, and is believed to be actively attacking American military networks.

China also discusses using their ballistic missiles, with conventional warheads, against headquarters and communications facilities, both on Taiwan, and American bases in the region. Less often discussed is how China would cope with similar attacks on its own headquarters and infrastructure. China is also still at a major disadvantage when it comes to ICBMs. It cannot reach the United States with any of these, while the U.S. has enough ICBM warheads to obliterate China. But the bet here is that a vigorous grab for Taiwan would not bring down an American ICBM attack. So if China can defeat the U.S. Navy in a battle for Taiwan, a war is won without risking the destruction of China itself.


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Friday, June 29, 2007

Hillary's Army of Flying Monkeys

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Look! Is that Hillary and her army of flying monkeys out to conquer the world? Quick! March to the Right! March, march, march......

What I Believe

What I Believe
My political outlook currently includes the following planks: oppose the false man-made global warming movement; completely (morally and financially) support the War on Terror; opposing a national health-care system that will quickly bankrupt the country; full funding of the US military, especially anti-missile defenses and the Airborne Laser (ABL); firm support of 1st and 2nd amendment rights; pre-emptively moving against nations that are ready to declare war on the United States (specifically Iran and Venezeula); a change from current TSA security measures to a greater focus on individualized profiling instead of mass-sweeps and restrictions (grandmas don't blow up airlines); defunding of abortion on a nation-wide level (let the individual states decide); real immigration reform which starts with building a border fence (Saudi Arabia, India, Israel, and our southern neighbor Mexico have them and they work); make English the official language of the United States; close down sanctuary cities; stop illegals from using public services or receiving welfare; allowing more freedom in this country (more individual freedoms not less); stop efforts to keep religious people from exercising their political rights by loonies on the Left; and oppose forcing young school children to view homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality in a positive light (parents get to decide what their children are taught, not anyone else). I am proud of these beliefs :)

AIRBORNE LASER
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Executed for Using a Cell Phone
A new report from a South Korean think tank has charged that the regime of North Korean “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il has stepped up the number of public executions for cell phone users and those who circulate foreign information within the Stalinist State. While North Koreans are officially banned from communicating with the outside world, the Associated Press cites the study as saying, many still dare to listen to foreign news and use cell phones through Chinese communication networks.


Muslim Rebels Whacked in Philippines
Military cooperation between the United States and the Philippine government over the past two years has made major headway in rooting out one of the region’s most dangerous terrorist groups, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Abu Sayyaf. The Wall Street Journal reports that the return of U.S. forces to the island nation in 2005 provoked concerns among locals, but the results have been marked; Abu Sayyaf has weakened noticeably and the threat of terrorism has receded in the country’s Muslim-dominated south, once notorious as a breeding ground for terrorists. With help from the U.S., the Philippine army has forced the group into remote corners of Jolo and whittled its active membership – which stood at over 2,000 just six years ago – down to some 300 guerrillas. Officials credit this success to a combination of military training and sophisticated intelligence technologies provided by the Pentagon to the Philippine military. U.S. involvement extends further, however, with Washington providing financial and community support to help revive the local economy and improve public perception of the West. However, the U. S. experience in the Philippines "isn't a universal model for the war on terror," warns Col. David Maxwell, the commander of U.S. forces in the Philippines. Rather, "it's a model of how to aid an ally which is dealing with terrorism."


Daily Ann Coulter Quote: "Liberals are driven by Satan and lie constantly."



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Monday, June 25, 2007

The Senate, Free Speach, and Russian Madness

Round Two
The Senate is expected to take up the “grand compromise” bill on comprehensive immigration reform this week with another vote to cut off debate scheduled for tomorrow. While proponents of the bill predict they have the votes to proceed, it will be close as more and more senators have announced their opposition. Friday, Senator John Cornyn of Texas said opposition to the bill was growing, and even previous supporters, such as Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, were backing off.

Assuming 60 votes can be found to limit debate, the Senate will then have to dispatch nearly two-dozen amendments, some of which may be “deal breakers” for the fragile coalition that has produced this overwhelmingly unpopular piece of legislation. For example, Republican leaders McConnell and Lott, who have supported the Kennedy bill, now say that they may vote against final passage depending on which amendments are agreed to or shot down. We will keep you posted. But if the administration needed more evidence of why the American people simply don’t trust the government when it comes to enforcing our immigration laws, we got yet another example last week when a video was publicly released showing an attorney literally coaching American employers on how “not to find a qualified and interested U.S. worker” so they could take advantage of certain visa programs that allow foreign workers to come into the country. According to the Labor Department’s own statistics, a foreign engineer in the country on an H1-B visa earns 23% less than an American engineer. As a result of this video, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa and Representative Lamar Smith of Texas are demanding an investigation into potential abuses of the H1-B visa program.


Victory For “Freer” Speech
Today the Supreme Court issued a 5-to-4 decision taking a major bite out of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. We are still analyzing the ruling, but it appears as though the high court stuck down the 30/60 day “blackout” period, during which grassroots groups were prohibited from airing issue advocacy ads.

Wisconsin Right to Life filed suit in 2004 when it was prohibited from running ads just before the election asking citizens to contact Wisconsin’s Senators Feingold and Kohl in opposition to the filibusters of President Bush’s judicial nominees. The ads were rejected by broadcasters because Senator Feingold was up for reelection. In today’s majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “Discussion of issues cannot be suppressed simply because the issues also may be pertinent in an election. Where the First Amendment is implicated, the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor.”

It’s worth noting that the court’s four conservative members – Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito -- plus moderate Anthony Kennedy sided with the free speech rights of grassroots organizations, while the court’s liberal bloc – Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer – voted for more government regulation of speech and advertising. That’s an interesting dynamic given the current liberal push in Congress to regulate the content of talk radio.

What is behind the liberal impulse to control the discourse of public debate? Perhaps it is the fact that the Left has struggled to find broad support for its agenda in the public square, but has had more success in the courts – the most undemocratic method of changing public policy. After all, it was the judiciary that legalized abortion-on-demand, that banned prayer in our schools, and that foisted same-sex “marriage” on the people of Massachusetts. It seems that the liberal champions of “tolerance” have a problem with free speech and expression when they can’t win the debate!

Let me be even clearer, friends: This victory today wouldn’t have been possible without the nomination and confirmation of conservative judicial nominees. Thankfully, our support for Justices Roberts and Alito has been validated so far. God Bless em.


Those Crazy Russians
President Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia will target Europe if the U.S. deploys anti-missile installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. “If part of the strategic nuclear potential of the United States ends up in Europe and, in the opinion of our military experts, threatens us, then we will be forced to take corresponding reciprocal steps,” he said in an interview with journalists from G8 member countries posted on the Kremlin’s website. “What steps? Of course, we must have new targets in Europe.” Putin also said the U.S. missile shield is not needed counter an Iranian threat because Iran has no missiles with ranges of 5,000- 8,000 kilometers. “In other words, we are told that the ABM system is aimed at protecting against something that does not exist,” he said.

In the same interview, Putin spoke positively about Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov’s suggestion that the presidential term be lengthened. “Maybe five, maybe seven, but four years is, of course, quite a short term,” Putin said. Still, he said that the number of presidential terms should be limited and reiterated that he will step down when his second term ends next year. Putin also charged that human rights abuses are taking place in “North America,” including “the sheer horror of torture, the homeless, Guantanamo and keeping people in custody without trial or investigation,” and in Europe, including “the harsh treatment of demonstrators, the use of rubber bullets and tear gas in one capital or another, the killing of demonstrators in the streets.”


OTHER NOTES
US Navy Continues to shoot down missiles

State of Canadian oil Extraction

China's Takeover of Africa Unabated

US ABM Defenses Work


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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Who is a Hero?

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I am soooo sick and tired of hearing that anyone who is anyone is a "hero". The real heroes are the ones who don't risk their lives for money, as in paid positions like police and firemen. They are average everyday people who perform deeds beyond that of any other person. Villains too need to be highlighted, so here is a list of both:

HEROES
Adam Silvis: Here is a true hero's story: a young man comes across a woman (Ms. Conner) who is leaning over another woman (who is bleeding) in the woods. Ms. Conner tells Adam that the other lady is just having a miscarriage but Adam is suspicious and runs home, calling the police. He saved the bleeding womans life and Ms. Conner is arrested for trying to cut the unborn baby out of the bleeding ladys womb. Here is more.

Liviu Librescu: At age 76, Librescu was among the thirty-two people who were murdered in the Virginia Tech massacre. On April 16, 2007, Seung-Hui Cho entered Norris Hall Engineering Building and opened fire on classrooms. Librescu, who taught a solid mechanics class in Room 204 in the Norris Hall during April 2007, held the door of his classroom shut while Cho was attempting to enter it. Although he was shot through the door, Librescu prevented the gunman from entering the classroom until most of his students had escaped through the windows. He was struck by five bullets, with a shot to the head ending his life. Of the 23 registered students, one, Minal Panchal, died. A number of Librescu's students have called him a hero because of his actions. One student, Asael Arad, said that all the professor's students "lived because of him." Here is more.

Mark Bingham: He died at age 31 in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on board United Airlines Flight 93. Bingham is believed to have been among the passengers who attempted to storm the cockpit to try to prevent the hijackers from using the plane to kill hundreds or thousands of additional victims in Washington DC. Here is more.

Matt Drudge: Brilliant online newsman and blogger, Matt Drudge now has over one billion online hits. Here is his website. He paved the way for all bloggers on the Web. Thanks Matt!

Jesus of Nazareth: No one has done more for more people than Him......



VILLAINS
Vladmir Putin: Why is he a villain you might ask? Well, he has destroyed democracy in Russia and decided to engage in a series of world-wide assassinations (including some in America and England) and also pointedly stated that he will now point nuclear-armed missiles back at Europe. A real monster who will hopefully leave the scene soon, Putin has apointed KGB agents to nearly 80% of the federal posts within his government; a devastating blow to democracy in Russia.

Michael Moore: Nuf said......

Crystal Magnum: False accuser of the Duke Lacrosse Team, Crsytal has done more damage to women than anyone I can think of in the last 20 years. Because of her, many women will not be believed when they claim they were raped. Sadly, the innocent Lacrosse team also endured being ostracized from their peers and threatened with death by the new Black Panthers during the process of being exonerated. Truly a evil woman.

Moqtada al-Sadr: Radical Shiite muslim cleric in Iraq, this man is responsible for many deaths of US soldiers and a significant part of the deterioration of the situation in Iraq. Also, he is the possible "False Prophet" of the New Testament (he introduces the world to the Anti-Christ).

Rachel Corrie: A dispicable left-wing disciple who went to the Palestinian territories to burn US flags in front of our enemies. Here is the picture, YOU decide if I am correct. Here is a more detailed article on the looney lefty woman.


An Unnatural State of Affairs
There are now a dozen refugee camps in eastern Chad,
holding nearly 400,000 people (30 percent from Chad, the rest from
Darfur.) There are only 235 Chadian police providing security, meaning there
is no security at all. Various Chad and Darfur irregulars and bandits
raid the camps at will. A lot of the violence is from locals, who find
themselves competing with large numbers of refugees for scarce
resources, like wood for cooking, or water. The Chadian army is in the east, but
its main concern are rebel groups that might head for the interior,
the capital and an attempt to overthrow the government. The refugees are
someone else's problem. The trouble is that "someone else" doesn't have any soldiers.
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SIGNIFICANT GAINS
Well, America has seen some real significant gains in the last week:

First, the Democrats (shockingly) have passed good legislation banning foreign aid to Saudi Arabia. Of the 19 men that attacked the US on 9/11 a total of 15 were Saudis and that country continues to massively fund Wahabi radicals around the world, including within the United States. Here is the rest of the article.


Second, teachers in Washington state now have the right to say where their union dues are going. Some teachers filed suit because their union was supporting radical agendas that they disagree with. The Washington state supreme court said that groups had more rights than individuals, but the federal Supreme Court reversed this decision. Here is more of the article.

Third, Colorado Representative (and Presidential runner) Tom Tancredo has finally got his bill through the loopy Congress. After blasting so-called "Sanctuary Cities" for years, he finally got the Congress to ban funding to cities that refuse to work with federal law enforcement officials in deporting illegal aliens and possible terrorists. See here for more.



American Inventor
Well, a new TV show called "American Inventor" has been on for awhile but I didn't see it until two days ago. One of the very best inventions was (foolishly) passed up by the reviewers. The "finger piano" is brilliant and I would buy one, once the technology is more developed. Here is a more detailed article on this way cool item.

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Stealing the Past
The end of the Cold War turned out to be something of a
bonanza for military historians and archeologists. That was because,
after eighty years of hot and cold war, many military bases, on both
sides of the Iron Curtain, were finally being closed down. This meant that
many military warehouses were to be emptied. Some of these, it turned
out, had not been opened for decades, and some contained crates of
weapons and equipment half a century (or more) old. Not a lot of treasures,
unless you were a military historian. But lots of interesting stuff nonetheless.

Actually, there were some treasures. Some of the older weapons were,
technically (as they were more than 25 years old), antiques. This was
especially the case with pistols, bayonets and ceremonial swords. Some old
Russian warehouses yielded czarist era uniforms. These quickly
disappeared into the black market, which sometimes happened on the other side
of the Iron Curtain as well. In Eastern Europe, and especially Russia,
weapons were quickly snapped up, for a bribe or a proper payment, by
gunrunners. While most of these recycled weapons, that largely ended up
in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, were AK-47s and RPGs, there were
some elderly machine-guns, machine-pistols and mortars from the 1940s and
50s, and even earlier. The Russians, in particular, preferred to store
old weapons, rather than throw them away. That was OK with guns, but
not with their ammo. That stuff went bad over time, becoming unstable
and prone to exploding if disturbed. As in moving it out of an old
warehouse. This caused many anxious moments, and provided lots of work for
the EOD (Explosives Ordnance Disposal) teams. Some of the older ammo was
sold, at bargain prices, to uninformed buyers. This later led to some
spectacular spontaneous explosions at some Asian and Arab ammo dumps.

Not a lot of press releases were put out about these activities. It was
not a glorious moment, and often embarrassing. Some of the
housecleaning turned into criminal activity, when rare weapons, or other items got
looted. In short, the brass were eager to get those old warehouses
cleaned out, and often torn down, as quickly as possible. Too bad, as a
lot of interesting history disappeared along the way.



The Left has been Hijacked by the Radicals

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Commentary by Gary

They Are Coming After Conservative Talk Radio
The signs are unmistakable. The newly empowered radical Left that controls Congress is looking for ways to muzzle or render ineffective conservative talk radio. A liberal think tank, the Center for American Progress, issued a report yesterday charging that 91% of weekday talk radio is conservative, compared to the nine percent that is liberal. They then ominously suggest that this imbalance is a violation of the license standards which require radio stations to act "in the public interest". To these ideologues, "public interest" means espousing liberal propaganda! Almost immediately liberal members of Congress announced that they would reintroduce legislation to regulate the content of radio shows, legislation ironically misnamed the "Fairness Doctrine." (By the way, the Supreme Court struck down that doctrine in 1987.)

That's not all. Conservative Senator Jim Inhofe said this week that he overheard two liberal colleagues discussing how they wanted to control conservative radio shows, and the sentiment appears to be bi-partisan. Senator Trent Lott shocked his conservative friends when he said we have to "do something" about talk radio because of the criticism of the immigration bill from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

This would be laughable if it weren't so dangerous. Academia is already dominated by the Left and every other media venue “ the big three networks, cable, public radio, newspapers, etc. -- dish out a constant stream of liberal pabulum. Another study this week showed that nearly 90% of political giving by journalists went to Democrats. Talk radio is conservative because it is virtually the only place half the country can go to hear a conservative world view. To put it another way, friends, conservative talk radio IS the Fairness Doctrine.

This is just the latest attempt by the liberal majority to squelch freedom. First, it was "lobbying reform". that targeted grassroots communications. Then it was "hate crimes" legislation aimed at our pulpits. Next, it's payback to the big labor unions that will take away the right of employees to secret ballot elections on unionizing the workplace. And, of course, once you're forced to join the union, you'll pay an additional tax on your wages in the form of compulsory union dues, part of which will be spent on electing more liberals to public office. How "democratic" is that?


"Good News For America"
While liberals in Congress insist the war in Iraq is "lost" and a "grotesque mistake," the first major operation of the surge ordered by President Bush is underway in Diyala province, north of Baghdad. Our soldiers are going on the offensive, routing Al Qaeda terrorists, but the fighting is fierce. Here's a description from Brigadier General Mick Bednarek: "It is house to house, block to block, street to street, sewer to sewer. These thugs are fighting to death, which is actually a good thing because if they don't cut and run like cowards, I have full confidence in our military to eliminate them."Reports today suggest nearly 70 Al Qaeda fighters have been killed, and every one of these thugs that our troops kill is one fewer homicide bomber, one fewer jihadist coming here and plotting another 9/11. Our soldiers are fighting vicious enemies who would love nothing more than to bring America to its knees. They are defending our freedom, and their mission is a noble cause “not a grotesque mistake". Every red-blooded, patriotic American should be able to comprehend that.

In his most recent column, retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters offers this assessment of the current offensive: "And let's not lose sight of our own national-security priority, which is defeating al Qaeda. Terror International is having a really bad time in Iraq these days: More and more Sunni Arabs are breaking with al Qaeda and its affiliates over their insufferable brutality. The Baquba-area operations involve former enemies now fighting on our side against the foreign terrorists. That's not just good news for Iraq. It's good news for America."



“Evil Bush, Trying To Force His Religion On Everyone, Vetoes Research, Condemns All Americans”
Yes, I know that is an unusually long headline, but it accurately sums up virtually every story in the Big Media today about President Bush’s veto yesterday of the embryonic stem cell research bill. And, of course, it is 100% wrong. I happened to be in the East Room of the White House yesterday when the president vetoed the legislation. I’m not happy with several recent decisions by the president – the immigration bill and funding of Fatah being at the top of the list. But on this issue, President Bush is absolutely right. Here’s the truth you won’t hear from the Big Media propagandists.

1. The veto does not prevent or block embryonic stem cell research. It does prevent the government from forcing you to pay for it with your tax dollars. The research continues around the country.

2. Embryonic stem cells are not the only option for life-saving cures. Stem cells from umbilical cords, placentas and amniotic fluid show just as much, and in many cases more, promise for cures. In fact, adult stem cells have actually provided successful treatments for scores of individuals with a variety of illnesses.

3. The evidence is overwhelming that many of those pushing for the right to destroy human embryos in order to harvest cells have a larger agenda – unregulated human cloning.

The ink from the president’s veto pen was barely dry yesterday by the time Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and Howard Dean had all condemned the president with the same theme Big Media has used in the last 24 hours: science should not be limited by morality. They are wrong. That is one dangerous idea, my friends. Of course science must be restrained by moral thinking just as every other aspect of life – from economics to politics – should be. German scientists helped develop the gas chambers of the Holocaust. American scientists used poor blacks as guinea pigs without their knowledge. Australian scientists have fertilized a pig’s ovum with human sperm. The “pig-man” that started growing was killed in a few days. Science without moral guidelines ought to frighten us all.


Speaking Of Your Money…

As I reported yesterday, the administration’s initial response to the outbreak of violence in the Palestinian territories is to throw more money at the problem. The administration has announced plans to funnel $40 million through the United Nations for relief in Gaza, and it is also requesting another $86 million from Congress. But, apparently I’m not the only one uncomfortable with the decision to send American tax dollars to the terrorist thugs in Gaza and the West Bank. Representative Mike Pence of Indiana reportedly plans to introduce legislation to block these efforts to open up your check book given the chaos there. In an interview yesterday, Rep. Pence said, “I have grave concerns that we would set aside our current preconditions for support in the wake of this emergency. What we ought to be doing is reconsidering our policy. Right now we’re at a time when Hamas is sitting behind the desk of government buildings in Gaza City wearing ski masks and holding AK-47s. It’s hard for me to see where we can provide any funds directly or indirectly to supplement or support what is an emerging terrorist Palestinian state.” I couldn’t agree more. Kudos to Rep. Pence!



Cracks In The Coalition
The leftwing coalition of usual suspects behind most of the aggressive efforts for the liberal agenda is cracking up as a result of competing interests in the immigration “reform” debate. Yesterday, the AFL-CIO announced its opposition to the Senate’s “grand compromise” bill, as did several “immigrant-advocacy” groups, such as the Hispanic Federation and the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC. Richard Trumka of the AFL-CIO blasted the bill, saying, “This takes a problem we have and, instead of solving it, makes it worse.” Brent Wilkes of LULAC said, “It’s important for us to be able to walk away from a bad bill, and that’s what we’re asking Congress to do.” The AFL-CIO is concerned that the temporary worker program creates a new source of cheap labor that will depress American wages. The “immigrant-advocacy” groups say the bill is “too harsh” on illegal aliens, and they object to the proposed visa point system that favors English proficiency and job skills over family ties. As opposition to this “grand compromise” increases, support for the bill becomes increasingly indefensible, and the arrogance of the politicians promoting it becomes more and more obnoxious.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Iran, Stem Cells, and Cleaning Up Congress

PUTTING PRESSURE ON IRAN
How should the United States respond to the proliferation of deadly roadside explosives in Iraq manufactured and developed in Iran? And how to react to the capture by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard of 15 British Marines and sailors in Iraqi territorial waters? What should we do about Iran’s continued refusal to halt its nuclear enrichment program even in the face of twice-imposed United Nations sanctions?

We should pass — and the president should sign — the Dodd-Lantos bill mandating economic sanctions on any foreign company that aids Iran’s energy industry. Domestic companies are already prohibited from such investments. This Democratic bill, cosponsored by Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Rep. Tom Lantos (Calif.), is a bold piece of legislation that strikes at the core of Iranian vulnerability. And, in a singular act of courage and dedication to principle, Republican presidential candidate Congressman Duncan Hunter (Calif.) has added his name to the legislation as a cosponsor. Hunter’s action is particularly admirable since the bill is designed to force the Bush administration to impose sanctions passed in the 1990s but disregarded by both presidents, Clinton and Bush, ever since.

The Dodd-Lantos bill would omit the national security waiver Clinton used twice to stop the sanctions from taking effect. The waiver was inserted at the insistence of then-National Security Advisor Sandy Berger (before he started stealing documents in his socks). For his part, President Bush has not even waived the law, he just hasn’t applied it at all. The original sanctions legislation provided a variety of punishments that the president had to impose on foreign companies that invest in Iran’s oil and gas industries. These ranged from barring their participation in underwriting Treasury issues to prohibiting them from receiving export-import financing, as well as certain government contracts. The sanctions were so effective that they triggered howls of outrage from European governments that objected to what they called “extraterritorial” assertions of American power.

Presumably neither Bush nor Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice wants to rekindle the war of words with European governments, so they have not applied the sanctions that remain on the books. They probably worry that to do so would shatter Western unity in the face of Iranian aggression and the threat of nuclear-weapons development. But as Dodd, Lantos, and Hunter all realize, once the president and the secretary of state are stripped of the ability to waive the sanctions, they become a potent tool to stop European companies like Royal Dutch Shell, BNP, Total and Repsol from helping Iran tap its massive oil and gas reserves. The Bush administration people can plead that Congress is forcing their hand and foreign governments would just have to live with the consequences. Like the old Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which forced presidents to deal harshly with the Soviet Union as long as it barred Jewish emigration, the Dodd-Lantos bill would be a very effective tool in bringing Iran to heel.

We tend to overlook how vulnerable Iran is to economic pressure. Blessed with the second largest oil reserves in the world — after Saudi Arabia — its petroleum production has, nevertheless, dropped from 6 million barrels per day under the shah to a mere 3.9 million today. As a result of surging domestic demand — growing at a rate of 10 percent annually — and falling production, Iranian oil and gas revenues are dropping from $55 billion in 2006 to a projected $44 billion this year. Since these funds account for four-fifths of total government revenues, this falloff directly translates into cutbacks on the government subsidies and social programs the government uses to maintain its slender margin of support among the largely young, unemployed, and restive population. Since less than half of the Iranian population is Farsi and there is no ethnic cohesion to hold the nation together, subsidies like that which keeps gasoline at 35 cents per gallon are vital cogs in the regime’s bid for stability. The U.S. can undermine the regime’s ability to rule and trigger its overthrow by imposing tough economic sanctions, and nothing makes more sense than the legislation Dodd, Lantos, and Hunter are urging on the Congress.

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ON STEM CELLS

Well, President Bush vetoed a portion of federally-funded stem cell research today, overriding the Democrats efforts in Congress. He had warned anyone trying to pass this form of stem cell research (called embroynic stem cell research) that he would veto it in a heartbeat. In his words, destroying human life to save human life is unethical, and he is correct. However, we are not getting the whole story from the mainstream media so I will give a few tidbits of information that the media is avoiding:

1)Rats and other science animals that have been injected with embroynic stem cells caused massive tumors growths (they died). This disastrous side effect is called teratomas (monster tumors).

2)Stem cell research is legal; there is nothing to stop private investment but stem cell advocates want government funding (the chances of success are not good and the smart money knows that).

3)Adult stem cells have cured numerous diseases, embroynic stem cells have cured nothing. Research on adult stem cells has been going on since the 1950s, treating dozens of diseases including Type 1 diabetes, liver disease, and spinal cord injuries. Currently, adult stem cells are used to treat more then eighty different diseases.

4) Stem-cell researchers have a clear financial incentive to lie about embroynic stem cells, and their singular lack of successes should disallow any funding. This reminds me of Brave New World....


Also, many Americans today are convinced that the main obstacles to curing diseases lies in our politics, instead the opposite is true; it is our limited understanding of cell biology which truely hinders this sort of research. But, religious obstructionism, after all, is a more appealing adversay than a deficit of understanding. Such people are called "anti-science".

Many people believe that life begins at conception and destroying viable human embryos is criminal and morally wrong and I am glad that President Bush is keeping these millions of people in mind in vetoeing embryonic stem cell research. In fact, Germany has the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe; why? Becuase when youa re able to devalue any huamn life, can can devalue all human life. It's the traditional "slippery slope", one that has been proven over and over again in this century. Pre-Nazi Germany allowed unlimted abortion and then that nation progressed to euthanizing (murdering) the mentally retarded, then the elderly, then mass destruction of humans because they were not German by heritage: Jews, gays, Poles, etc. That is the main reason why Germany today has very very strict abortion laws.

Once of the most important things that people need to realize in the stem cell debate is the Scientific Imperative. The Scientific Imperative is whan can be done, will be done must have a balance (ethics). When science can clone people, genetically engineer supersoldiers, create bodies without heads (to harvest the organs), etc then we must balance out the insane capabilities that science can do with ethical standards that should not be crossed. When they can create people who are sexual toys, human-animal hybrids, animals that can speak, and other genetic horrors then we need nation-wide and planetary laws to not allow the destruction of the basic germline of humanity. The interesting thing is that liberals always take the side of anything or anyone who wants to destroy human life. However, science is the study of the world as it exists, which, to their constant annoyance, is not the world liberals would like it to be. :)



INTERESTING MAP OF ISRAEL
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CLEANING UP CONGRESS
Nancy Pelosi said she would clean up the "corruption" that the Republicans had committed while in office but apparently the Dems are just as corrupt! I have a few ideas for cleaning up the Democratic Congress:

•Ban anyone who is an immediate relative of a member from lobbying Congress.

•Ban members from hiring spouses and other immediate relatives on their official, campaign committee or political action commi ttee payrolls.

•Ban taxpayer-paid travel by anyone but the member himself.

•Get Congress to stay in session full time, not just 32 weeks a year.

What do you think?



NASA'S UNIMAGINATIVE NEW SPACE MODULE
(replaces the Space Shuttle)
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ON GLOBAL WARMING
Did you know:

1)The Earth has often been hotter than it is now,

2)The media only recently abandoned the "global cooling" scare,

3)Climate is always changing--with or without Man,

4)Many big businesses lobby for global warming policies that will increase their profits--and our costs,

5)There is no scientific consensus on global warming,

6)The Medieval Warm Period wassignificantly warmer than temperatures today--and it was a golden age for agriculture, innovation, and lifespan.



ANN COULTER QUOTE
"We fought a civil war to force Democrats to give up on slavery 150 years ago. They've become so desperate for servants that now they're importing an underclass to wash their clothes and pick their vegetables. This vast class of unskilled immigrants is the left's new form of slavery".



CALIFORNIA
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Commentary by Gary

Why Gaza Should Scare Us
I suspect many Americans have only a passing concern about the events in Gaza this week. Nobody actually wants to see more pictures of masked gunmen shooting up the streets, forcing men to kneel and executing them in front of their families. But as distasteful as those images are, they have nothing to do with our lives here, right? Wrong! What we have been witnessing this week is another victory for Islamofascism. The Hamas fighters, as they routed the numerically superior Fatah forces, immediately knelt and praised Allah for their victory. They converted a Fatah office into a mosque. They attacked a Christian center, collected the Bibles and burned them.

Columnist and warrior Ralph Peters hit a grand slam home run again this morning in his column in the New York Post with his analysis of the Hamas victory. He points out that from Gaza to Baghdad, from Lebanon to London, we are witnessing men who have given their lives to Allah and who are willing to die and kill with impunity. Hamas fighters “at the height of last week’s fighting in Gaza” only numbered “one Palestinian in 300,” but as Peters notes, today they control Gaza and 1.5 million people.

We are still in denial about the Islamofascist fanatics. Many conflicts can be settled by negotiations, but not wars in which one side believes it is taking orders directly from its god. That is why the Bush Administration should stop pressuring Israel to make more concessions. No amount of land will satisfy Palestinian Muslims’ thirst for Jewish blood. That is why the Baker Commission and the diplomatic community are wrong when they say we must get Iran’s cooperation through talks. They keep forgetting, or are willfully ignoring, that Iranian “president” Ahmadinejad believes the Muslim messiah is coming soon to kill all the Christians and Jews, and that he has been assigned the holy task of paving the way for his arrival. What possible incentive could we offer for Ahmadinejad to compromise this mission?

Across Europe there is but a remnant of Judeo-Christian civilization. Here, Americans are more religious, but our elites, from the media to our foreign policy establishment, seem to be incapable of understanding the murderers who kill for Allah. These elites are more frightened by George Bush praying than they are by the Islamists who cut off heads and send women to blow up hospitals. ABC News played a video last night of a “graduation” ceremony at a terror school in Afghanistan that was sending off its “graduates” to France, England, Canada and the U.S. to wage jihad, while at American universities leftwing educators work nonstop to keep military recruiters off our campuses.

So what can we do?

“We the people” must first come to grips with the reality confronting us. While our Marines are at war, most Americans are at the mall, unfazed by the threat to our civilization. That disconnect is dangerous, and that is what allows some politicians to declare the war “lost” or to denounce it as “George W. Bush’s war.” We must teach our children what is unique and good about America, and why our values are worth defending. We must inform our policymakers about the “gathering storm” threatening our civilization and warn them against the siren song of appeasement. And we must demand that our government do all that is within its power to defend our homeland and crush the Islamofascists who have declared war on us.

This is the mission to which I have devoted American Values, and, my friends, your support is absolutely essential to our success. If you share our vision of a strong, free and prosperous America, please stand with me today. Help us defend our values by making an investment in our work. We don’t have billionaire benefactors, nor do we receive seven figure grants from “elite and prestigious” foundations. We rely solely upon the voluntary contributions of Americans who share our belief in faith, family and freedom.



Spending In The Spotlight
There was some political theater in Washington last week that you might have missed when conservatives succeeded in temporarily shutting down the House of Representatives – an unusual feat given the structure in that chamber, where the majority party generally rules with an iron fist. The issue was an attempt by the liberal majority to change a rule allowing for challenges to pork barrel spending projects. While Republicans embraced the big spending ways of Washington when they held power, they paid a high price for it at the ballot box and perhaps have learned their lesson that voters do care about restraining government spending. Rather than rolling over, it was encouraging to see conservatives actually fight for lower taxes and less spending.

House conservatives got a bit of a boost last Wednesday when President Bush announced that he was prepared to veto as many as nine spending bills, starting with the appropriations bill for the Department of Homeland Security, which increases spending for that department by 14% -- well above the 7% increase the White House requested. The conservative House Republican Study Committee has collected signatures from 147 lawmakers pledging to support the president’s vetoes, which, according to columnist Bob Novak, could reduce federal spending by $20 billion. It’s a small amount by Washington’s standards, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.



Immigration Reform Update
The Senate is set this week to take a second shot at passing Ted Kennedy’s immigration “reform” bill over the objections of the American people, but the battle is far from over. While we are concerned that the process in the Senate appears to be rigged in favor of this “grand compromise,” there is mounting speculation that the bill may face higher hurdles in the House of Representatives, where members are more responsive to their constituents. Indeed, there was an encouraging sign in the House Friday when Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) succeeded in passing an amendment that would withhold certain federal funds from cities that have adopted “sanctuary policies” for illegal aliens in violation of federal law.

Rep. Tancredo has tried repeatedly in recent years to pass this amendment, but it has always failed. So you can imagine the shock in Washington when 49 Democrats crossed over to support the Tancredo amendment! Those 49 Democrats provided the necessary margin of support to pass the amendment on a vote of 234-to-189. It is also worth noting that a similar amendment proposed in the Senate during last month’s debate on comprehensive immigration “reform” failed to pass by one vote.

What does that tell us about the fate of the Senate’s immigration plan in the House? As Rep. Tancredo suggested, “If I were [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi, I’d be asking if she [sic] could pass a vote on amnesty on the House side. If she lost 50 Democrats on this one, and she says she needs 70 Republicans to pass the immigration plan, this is an interesting indicator of things coming down the pike, and that the times, they are a-changing.”



The Religious Left
Did you hear about the recent Presidential Forum on “Faith, Values and Poverty,” in which the three top Democrat candidates for president discussed how their faith informs their politics? If not, don’t worry—you didn’t miss much. Yes, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards spoke candidly about how their religious beliefs affect their personal lives. And yes, the very fact that the candidates were speaking in a religious forum can be seen as something of a watershed moment for the Left, a political movement that until now saw any utterance of religious belief in public as a violation of the separation of church and state. Unfortunately, however, the event didn’t generate the one thing necessary for liberal policymakers to have a prayer of winning over conservative Christians: a moderation from their extreme positions on the issues that matter most to religious voters. While recent events like the presidential forum have caused the media to predict that significant numbers of religious voters may soon support leftwing candidates, in my most recent column for Human Events, I explain why the religious left still doesn’t get most Christians.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Immigration, Nuclear War, and Russia

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The REAL Immigration Numbers

The immigration debate is something that I have really been interested in. From the enormous amount of illnesses that illegals bring across the border (the the resulting sicknesses and deaths) to the overall costs of allowing these people to stay ($1 trillion dollars in Social Security funds by 2040 alone), this issue has been at the forefront of my thinking and I will be blogging for several days on this point. I have several questions that I would like you (the reader) to ponder:

Can we successfully absord 20-30 million people all at once? The answer is probably no. In large areas of Denver, Colorado and especially so in neighboring Aurora, entire neighborhoods and businesses are written in Spanish. It is very clear that they do not want to assimilate. Spanish speaking radio and TV is booming in Colorado, again showing their lack of wanting to become Americans.

Can America successfully absorb the costs of the health and social security needs of 20-30 million new people? Definately not. The entire Social Security system is in jeapardy and will certainly be bankrupted by adding millions more to the rolls. Also, huge numbers of latinos take advantage of the medical system in the United States; hospitals cannot turn away people seeking help, local health care services are being used soley by latinos, etc. Actually, when you go to the local hospitals here in Denver, almost all of the people in the waiting rooms are latinos. Illegal immigrants know how to use the system, and according to information from the government and think tanks, they take far more then what they give into the system:

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Another major problem of the immigration debate is that large numbers of latinos do NOT want to become US citizens. I have spoken to many of them here in Denver and they don't want to become citizens, just take our jobs and this idea that they take low-paying jobs is just not true. Many high paying jobs here in Denver, including construction, are almost exclusively latino. This huge rise in cheap labor is also gutting the pensions and unions in this country. Since the 1990s, pensions have been slashed (see below).

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Also, wages in the United States have been flat for more than ten years, coinciding with the large influx of immigrants into the United States since the Clinton presidency. In fact, if wise investors hadn't moved their money from the nearly flat investment of banks into high-yield stocks then the US middle class would have been utterly decimated in the last ten years.

It is more apparent than ever that big business and their government allies want a whole slew of cheap labor, under-cutting the middle class here in America. Evil wage-cutting corporate leaders are not only outsourcing US jobs: they are allowing low-wage illegal immigrants into this country. We need to begin classic populist measures: term limits, initiatives and referendums at the national level, and uncompromising cultural warfare against media and political elites. Thee media and elites wholesale abandonment of patriotism and core middle-class values show them who they really are: enemies of the people of the United States.




Israel set to nuke Iran
The most serious threat in the Middle East is not the war in Iraw, nor the Palestinian conflict, it is the imminent nuclear destruction of Iran by Israel if that country gains nuclear weapons. Iran has basically declared all-out war against Israel, which they have threatened to "wipe off the map". So rants Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It is understandable why Ahmadinejad might want an arsenal of nuclear missiles. It would allow him to shake down a constant stream of rich European emissaries, pressure the Arab Gulf states to lower oil production, pose as the Persian and Shiite messianic leader of Islamic terrorists, neutralize the influence of the United States in the region — and, of course, destroy Israel. Let no one doubt that a nuclear Iran would end the entire notion of peaceful global adjudication of nuclear proliferation and pose an unending threat to civilization itself. Denial of the holocaust is also one of Ahmadinejad's favorite past times.

Holocaust denial is a tired game, but Ahmadinejad’s approach is slightly new and different. He has studied the Western postmodern mind and has devised a strategy based on its unholy trinity of multiculturalism, moral equivalence and cultural relativism. As a third world populist, he expects that his own fascism will escape proper scrutiny if he can recite often enough the past sins of the West. He also understands the appeal of victimology in the West these days. So he knows that to destroy the Israelis, he, not they, must become the victim, and Westerners the aggressors who forced his hand. “So we ask you,” he said recently, “if you indeed committed this great crime, why should the oppressed people of Palestine be punished for it? If you committed a crime, you yourselves should pay for it.”

Ahmadinejad also grasps that there are millions of highly educated but cynical Westerners who see nothing exceptional about their own culture. So if democratic America has nuclear weapons, he asks, why not theocratic Iran? “Your arsenals are full to the brim, yet when it’s the turn of a nation such as mine to develop peaceful nuclear technology, you object and resort to threats.”

However, Israel will not just sit idlely by and let Iran get nuclear weapons. Already, several Arab states have told Israel (under the table, of course) that their aircraft would be allowed to over-fly their terrtories on bombing runs deep into Iran. The destruction of the Iranian capital, Tehran, would most likely result from such an agreement, along with most of Iran's nuclear infrastructure. You see, no one in the Arab world would weep if Tehran was destroyed and Israel must now show (more than ever) their will to defend themselves, whatever the cost. I believe that if America does not attack Iran, then Israel surely will, with devastating nuclear consequences for the entire region and the world.

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Worldwide Natural Gas Reserves
Madman (and Russian President) Vladmir Putin is trying to form a illegal world-wide cartel involving natural gas. The cartel of OPEC already has a strangle-hold on most of the worlds' oil and now Putin is trying to hinder more energy from flowing to the West by creating a new cartel designed to limit the amount of natural gas (thus raising the price) to Europe and Asia. Luckily Russia no longer holds most of Central Asia and the "stans" that make up the region (Uzbekistan, Kazakhistan, etc) need money badly to sustain their floundering economies, thus new pipelines are being built through Turkey to suppliers who want to buy natural gas. One interesting note; cartels are illegal under the world governing bodies of the WTO and G8. This is bad for the world economy and hopefully can be avoided.

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DO NOT FORGET.......
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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Palestine, Bush, and CAIR by Gary

Chaos
There is chaos in the Palestinian territories today. Law and order are virtually non-existent as the two rival political parties, Fatah and Hamas, have yet again resorted to solving their differences at gun point. More than 80 people have been killed in the past few weeks. According to Israeli radio, Hamas has launched a full scale attack on Fatah security positions today after a suspected assassination attempt involving a rocket-propelled grenade fired at the home of the Palestinian prime minister, a Hamas leader, failed to kill him. That attack was likely launched in retaliation for the barrage of mortar shells fired at the compound of President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah. Yesterday, a senior Fatah leader was dragged out of his house and shot 45 times. Hospitals have been turned into war zones. In one grisly incident, a doctor was taken hostage and shot six times in the legs. Bear in mind, friends, that these are the same people that Israel is supposed to negotiate with for peace. These factions signed a peace treaty in Mecca just a few months ago, but they can’t even live with each other. When they stop shooting at one another, they only do so long enough to target Israelis. And our foreign policy elites think it would be a good idea to give these thugs their own state? Israel withdrew from Gaza two years ago, and look at it today.

That’s why I was so surprised to read that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has reportedly offered to surrender the Golan Heights if Syria will end its support for Hezbollah and limit its relationship with Iran. Every time Israel gives up more land, chaos is the result. Syria cannot be trusted, and if it breaks its word, it is inconceivable that Israel would attempt to reclaim the Golan Heights by force. Why Prime Minister Olmert believes this deal would work out any better than previous land-for-peace fiascos is a mystery.


Why?
President Bush went to Capitol Hill today to attempt mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of the Senate’s “grand compromise” immigration bill. In the president’s defense, he is being consistent, if even to a fault. He has always supported immigration “reform,” but the political realities after the September 11th attacks forced him to back off. Unfortunately, those realities are still at work today. Five years after the 9/11 attacks, our borders remain unsecured and millions of Americas are stunned and disgusted by the inability or unwillingness of the government to enforce existing immigration laws.

While his position has not changed, it is nevertheless disappointing to see the president spending what little political capital he has left on this bill. This is the kind of effort that would be justified in defense of his war policy. This is the kind of effort pro-family leaders desperately wanted in support of the marriage amendment. But this issue is dividing the country like few issues can. It’s very telling to me that none of the president’s would be successors campaigning for the Republican nomination support this bill, save one, and his poll numbers are in a free fall, while the bill has been embraced by most of the president’s political enemies on the Left. This bizarre combination of bad policy and bad politics has left the president’s strongest supporters frustrated and asking, “Why?”

On a positive note, I’m pleased to report that some senators do understand that we must secure our borders. Eleven senators sent a letter to President Bush today advocating a “security first” approach and asking the president to send Congress an emergency bill to fully fund all border security initiatives, like the Secure Fence Act that passed last year mandating 700 miles of border fencing.

The senators signing this letter were: Bunning (R-KY), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), DeMint (R-SC), Ensign (R-NV), Enzi (R-WY), Grassley (R-IA), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Sessions (R-AL), and Vitter (R-LA).

If the president would follow this advice, the American people would rally to him in a heartbeat.


CAIR Collapsing
The Washington Times reports today that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has a very checkered past when it comes to its affiliations with terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, is hemorrhaging members and is increasingly dependent upon a handful of major donors to keep its doors open. According to the Times, CAIR has lost 90% of its members since the 9/11 attacks and generated just $59,000 in membership dues last year. Clearly, the organization’s claim to represent the interests of American Muslims is grossly overstated, and I can only hope that politicians and policy makers will ignore this fringe group from now on.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Commentary by Hutch

Punishing The Rich
The liberals are at it again -- punishing the rich with another confiscatory surtax on wealth. While I appreciate what they are trying to do—alleviate the growing burden of the alternative minimum tax (AMT) that is hitting more and more middle class families—the way they are going about it is all wrong. Today's Washington Post reports that House Democrats may impose a 4.3% surtax on the highest earners in order to come up with the money to eliminate the AMT for those under $250,000 a year. Once again, their only solution is raising taxes on the wealthy. My friends, that's exactly how the AMT came about in the first place. It was created in 1969 to specifically target 155 "super-rich" tax filers. And look at the monstrosity it turned into! If Congress fails to address the AMT this year, it could hit as many as 23 million households earning as little as $50,000 a year. Congress simply needs to abolish the AMT, stop the spending and learn to live within its means.



Maoists in Nepal
The Maoists now propose to halt British and Indian recruiting of Gurkha tribesmen for military service. About two hundred Gurkhas a year get into the British army (some 15,000 apply annually). About 3,400 Gurkhas serve in the British army, and 40,000 in the Indian army. This mercenary arrangement has been going on for two centuries, and is a major source of good jobs for young Gurkhas. This is out of a total population of only about half a million Gurkhas. But a high birth rate produces plenty of young men, and most of them line up each year to try and get a job in the British or Indian armies. While the Gurkhas (actually called Gurungs) have a much larger impact on the country (of 26 million) than their population would imply. The retired Gurkha soldiers make up a large chunk of the countries middle class, and are hostile to many Maoist ideas. However, some of the Maoist leaders in Gurkha areas are Gurungs. This is partly because of the high degree of corruption in the Nepalese justice system. Judges are easy to buy, which leaves most people without legal recourse. The Maoists provide an alternative, with a lot of communist ideology thrown in. A lack of justice and jobs makes leaving the country to be a soldier, or any other kind of job, attractive to young Nepalese. The country is poor, and going abroad to work is very popular. The Maoists appeal to national pride in trying to stop the British army recruiting will not get far when confronted with economic necessity.



What Are the Mullahs Thinking?
There is a growing consensus in the world that Iran getting nuclear weapons is not a good thing. This feeling is led by Iran's Arab neighbors, who have always been nervous about Iran. Now that Iran is concentrating more on developing nuclear weapons, and not trying to hide it, the Arabs see themselves as the first victims of a nuclear armed Iran, who would use nukes to bully them. Russians have noted that Iran is less interested in completing its first nuclear power plant, mainly by not paying the Russians on time. Russian technicians are supervising the plant construction, which Iran has long put forward as its only interest in nuclear science. When the Russians don't get paid, they don't work, and nothing gets done with this nuclear power plant.

The US is holding major naval exercises in the Persian Gulf, apparently for the benefit of the rulers of Iran. Meanwhile, Iran is demanding the release of an Iranian-American nuclear engineer jailed in the United States, and awaiting trial for exporting nuclear engineering secrets to Iran.

Iran is getting ten Russian 96K6 mobile anti-aircraft systems from Syria. This avoids the growing international embargo efforts against Iran. Syria and Russia deny the deal, but then they would. This also explains where poverty stricken Syria got the $730 million to buy fifty 96K6 systems.

The UN accuses Iran of illegally expelling 70,000 Afghan refugees in the past month. Iran doesn't care. It wants to drive a million Afghan refugees back into Afghanistan. Iran believes the refugees harbor criminals, and criminal activity (especially drug dealing). Iran has a big problem with drug addiction, promoted by cheap opium and heroin from Afghanistan.

Responding to negative media reports about religious police beating young women for wearing "un-Islamic" clothing (that shows hair, ankles or hips), the police have now made a big deal of arresting minor criminals and parading them in public places. Meanwhile, the girls are still being harassed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Submarines, Robots, and Evolution

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MOST EXCELLENT QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"John McCain has always prided himself as a man who marches to the beat of a different drummer," Congressman Tom Tancredo said yesterday. "How depressing to learn that the drummer is Ted Kennedy."


SUBMARINE WARFARE
The British Royal Navy has launched an enormous nuclear submarine, the HMS Astute. The Royal Navy's Astute class submarine is a nuclear-powered attack submarine which is to replace the five Swiftsure class submarines, launched between 1973 and 1977 and approaching the end of their operational life. Apparently the Astute's sonar is so advanced that if she was lying in the English Channel she would be able to detect ships leaving New York harbor 3,000 nautical miles away (although the details of how she can do this are classified). It is planned that the first three submarines will enter service in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The keel for the first-of-class Astute was laid in January 2001 and it is planned to be launched in August 2007 and delivered in August 2008. The keel of Ambush was laid in October 2003 and that of Artful in March 2005.

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(FROM DAMON: Actually it is fairly simple, the United States has numerous ocean-bed sonar platforms left over from the Cold War and the British subs are now being allowed to tap into this network at will.) An attack submarine, the Astute will carry 38 Tomahawk cruise missiles in a vertical launch configuration and will not be armed with nuclear weapons. She will be joined by the HMS Ambush, HMS Artful, and HMS Audacious, with an option for a further three subs to come. The US counterpart to the Astute-class is the Seawolf-class, an uber-expensive design.




I ROBOT
A robot has been built to carry injured US soldiers out of the battlezone. See here for more details. One of the most dangerous jobs in a combat situation is the extraction and evacuation of a wounded soldier while still under fire. This is especially true in the current war against terrorism, which features enemies that are not likely to respect the noncombatant status of medics.

A company called VECNA Robotics believes that it has come up with a solution. The company proposes to build, for the United States Army, the Battlefield Extraction and Retrieval Robot (BEAR), which will take over the job of evacuating wounded soldiers from a combat zone. The VECNA Robotics BEAR project has won key seed funding in the form of a grant from the US Army's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), a part of the US Army Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC). The BEAR robot would have three main elements. It would have a hydraulic upper body, with “arms” and a “head”, a mobile platform, and dynamic balancing behavior software and hardware. The latter would partly consist of two independently tracked “legs” which will allow the BEAR robot to balance itself in a variety of positions and to move over difficult terrain. The BEAR robot looks remarkably humanoid. A prototype model of the BEAR robot has already been built and tested. It has proven the ability to pick up a fully weighted human dummy and carry it while in the upright position without break for fifty minutes.

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The production model of the BEAR robot will be capable of carrying a human or other payload up to five hundred pounds over a distance and safely deposit it as directed by a remote operator. The BEAR will initially be operated remotely, but will eventually have autonomous behavior software that will allow it to be controlled more easily. Of course, the applications of a BEAR robot would go beyond extracting wounded soldiers from the battlefield. It can perform other kinds of rescue, from a burning or a structurally compromised building, a nuclear reactor that has gone critical, or any other hazardous situation where it might not be prudent to send in a human medic. Another application of the BEAR robot would involve the care of the mobility impaired. The SCI-BEAR robot could be used in hospitals and nursing homes to help people with conditions like spinal cord injuries. People with spinal cord injuries (SCI) need to be repositioned on their beds at least once every two hours, least they develop ulcerated bed sores. Such patients also need help transitioning from bed to a wheel chair and help with such tasks as using the bathroom. A SCI-BEAR robot would relieve nursing staff from performing these tasks, freeing them for other duties and saving them from back strain. The HomeBEAR robot could perform the same task for the mobility impaired who live at home. The HomeBear could be a domestic assistant to help with Activities of Daily Living (help walking, getting in and out of bed, chairs, bathtub, shower, cars; help getting dressed, and other activities) for the disabled and the frail elderly, helping to keep these large demographic populations living independently with affordable costs.




WIRELESS ELECTRICITY?
Scientists have created wireless electricity. They believe they are 3-5 years away from developing a system to recharge laptops, mobile phones, and other devices wirelessly. See here for more details.




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ON EVOLUTION
Americans do not believe in evolution: those silly Americans! Actually, Darwinistic evolution is nothing more than a badly thought-out 100+ year-old theory and scientists by the thousands are dumping Darwin for more esoteric beliefs, including Intelligent Design and Panspermia. Information from the Hubble Space Telescope as well as numerous new gadgets like COBE (the Cosmic Background Explorer) are disproving Darwin left and right, forcing scientists, astronomers, and biologists to reconsider what they believe. Fortunately, the American public (even after being indoctrinated for decades about evolution) has always believed what was right from the beginning.

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