Sunday, September 30, 2007

Must Read

3393 Americans Dead is your must read assignment.

FISA IS A Perversion Of Privacy Rights

Al Qaeda and other Terrorist groups have sworn to destroy us and our way of life. This is not meant to be a "scare you" statement, or an over exaggeration of fact. These facts come from the Terrorist leaders written and spoken words. As a result we, The American Public, need to revise our legal tools, and our attitudes if we really don't want to loose the Global War on Terror.

Two recent articles have highlighted this need for a revision in our thinking about National Security and Privacy. One of the most important considerations is this fact. Without Security, Privacy doesn't matter. We, as Americans, have a right to expect a certain amount of Privacy in our daily lives. However, some of the current laws REQUIRE us to give up both in a flawed attempt to protect privacy.

The first article for your consideration comes from the AP. OK to Spy on Kidnappers Took 9 Hours describes the ridiculous lengths to which our Government must go to protect our basic freedoms. In the name of privacy, we have failed to permanently revise the laws relating to the FISA Court to reflect technology advances.
Last spring, with insurgents apparently holding three American soldiers in Iraq, it took the U.S. government more than nine hours to begin emergency surveillance of some of the kidnappers' electronic communications.
Why did surveillance of the kidnappers' electronic communications take over 9 hours? The answer is Technology, and specifically the American Communications Networks. These Networks are the most efficient in the world, and as a result the kidnappers communications passed though them on US Soil. This prevented our Government from intercepting them without a warrant.

To be Clear, we could not listen to FOREIGN KIDNAPPERS, ON FOREIGN SOIL, because the Electronic Communications passed through DOMESTIC COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS ON AMERICAN SOIL. This is lunacy, and extremely dangerous. We were prevented from monitoring the Electronic Communications of foreign kidnappers who held 3 Americans Hostage.
The delay was a centerpiece of the Bush administration's argument to Congress in late July that the law requiring court orders to conduct electronic surveillance inside the United States was dangerously restrictive.

Congress subsequently approved an amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that removed the requirement for a court order to intercept foreign communications on U.S. soil. The original law was written to protect Americans from inappropriate government surveillance.
But this amendment expires after 6 months and Democrats have vowed to prevent this essential tool from being made permanent. What are they thinking? Shouldn't it be the First Priority of our Government to protect our security and thereby insure our Privacy? Makes Sense to me.

The Second article is Today's Featured Article at the OpinionJournal of the Wall Street Journal. (Surveillance Showdown) The opening paragraph of this article asks the question we should all be required to answer.
Would any sane country purposefully limit its ability to spy on enemy communications in time of war?
Congress will soon take up this question again, and the answer seems clear to all but the Democrats. The permanent reform of the FISA Court Legislation must be brought up to current technology capabilities.
Privacy activists, civil libertarians and congressional Democrats argue that both foreign and domestic eavesdropping must be subject to judicial scrutiny and oversight, even if this means drastically reducing the amount of foreign intelligence information available to the government, without ever acknowledging the costs involved. [emphasis mine]
What kind of insanity is this? Foreign Intelligence is specifically granted by Constitution to the Executive Branch of Our Government. For this Foreign Intelligence Gathering process no warrant should be necessary.
Warrantless surveillance is also constitutional. The Fourth Amendment prohibits only "unreasonable" searches and seizures. Although today's privacy advocates routinely claim that warrantless searches are inherently unreasonable, that position is insupportable. The Supreme Court has repeatedly approved numerous warrantless searches, balancing the government's interests against the relevant privacy expectations. Thus drivers can be subjected to sobriety checkpoints and international travelers are liable to search at the border.
Fear of "Big Brother" Government listening to our communications is warrantless (pun intended).

For several years I Prepared Income Tax Returns for a living. Certainly the returns I completed contained very sensitive and confidential Personal information. Obviously, this was a reasonable warrantless search I conducted to lawfully complete the Return. Many of those individuals whose returns I completed fully expected that I remembered their most intimate Tax Details. The truth was I did not specifically remember many details because it was a job, not a thrill seeking adventure.

More importantly, my reputation was at stake. My reputation developed through trust, was my source of continued business and therefore my means of support. I earned trust and therefore grew my business.

Reputation and Trust is the business of the Government too. Many of us remember the disgrace of Richard Nixon and more recently Congressman Duke Cunningham. No politician wants this to be his legacy. Even more important, many of the people involved are not political appointees. They are Honest, trustworthy citizens and members of the Military. For the most part, these are individuals who try to do the best job they can, because they believe in what they do.
The government does utilize a series of "minimization" procedures governing how foreign intelligence information is handled to prevent its inappropriate use or disclosure. As explained by CIA Director Michael Hayden in 2006, referring to the post-Sept. 11 terrorist surveillance program before it was subjected to FISA: "if the U.S. person information isn't relevant [without foreign intelligence value], the data is suppressed." The fact that senior U.S. government officials (unlike their counterparts in other countries) do not routinely have access to the unredacted surveillance-generated information about American citizens, and that the system is operated largely by career civil servants, provides an additional layer of privacy protection. [brackets and ellipsis in original]
In a nutshell, if we prevent electronic monitoring of foreign communications for National Intelligence purposes because they pass through US soil based Networks, we will limit the Intelligence to low level operatives. This is because the higher levels are not stupid. They know the best way to prevent interception is to insure US legal protection by using US Based Networks.

National Security and Privacy, in this case, are 2 ends of the same sliding scale. There is a balance point which can insure both, but if the slider is moved too far towards one end, we will loose both.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Henry Waxman: Democratic with Political Agenda

Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has a Political Agenda. This agenda is detailed in a published article by Oliver North. (Henry Waxman: Witch Hunter in Chief)

Based on Mr. Waxman's actions, the Congressman believes that the real enemy in America is The Republican Party Generally, and President George Bush in particular.
Since becoming committee chairman, Waxman has initiated numerous investigations into the activities of the Bush administration. According to his own news releases, he has probed -- if that's the right word -- the case of Valerie Plame, the celebrity CIA operative; Karl Rove; medical treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center; Karl Rove; Defense Department and State Department contracting practices; Vice President Dick Cheney; Karl Rove; construction and hiring practices at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad; and the democratically elected government of Iraq, and he has tried to smear the White House over erroneous reports on the tragic death of Pat Tillman and the rescue of Jessica Lynch. Other than reducing entire forests to pulp for the paper to print his reports, the American people, in whose name all this is being done, have precious little to show for his tireless work.
Mr. Waxman is, according to some, a person who is very good at writing laws. But the record does not exactly reflect that fact. In fact it shows otherwise.
Notwithstanding Waxman's billing as a legislator who loves to "write laws, and he has been extraordinarily good at it," only three of the 95 bills he has sponsored in the past decade have been enacted. Seventy-seven of them were so good that they didn't even make their way out of committee. [emphasis mine]
According to a Time Magazine article published shortly after the November 2006 National Elections, Congressman Waxman is the Eliot Ness of the Democrats, and Waxman's supporters claim he is a strong supporter and advocate for transparency in Government. But the record does not exactly reflect that fact either.
Waxman's supporters describe him as a crusader for transparency in government. But the Time magazine flattery feature failed to disclose that the Time Warner Political Action Committee was the number one donor -- $13,500 -- to his 2006 re-election campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Perhaps this revelation will prompt him to investigate the Federal Election Commission.
As I recall, the real Elliot Ness didn't ask the Political Affiliation of those who were the targets of his investigations. A look at Congressman Waxman's actions don't show this same Political Indifference.
Apparently Waxman's quest for full accountability in government contracting applies only to Republicans. According to Politico, a Capitol Hill publication, the FBI and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service have been exploring whether Reps. Paul Kanjorski and Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania -- both cronies of Waxman -- improperly earmarked millions of dollars in defense contracts to a firm owned by members of Kanjorski's family. Thus far, Waxman has indicated no interest in the matter.
That same Time article claimed that the Congressman's staff is one of the most highly regarded staffs on Capitol Hill. But the record does not exactly reflect that fact either.
In July, while investigating hiring abuses in the construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, this vaunted staff "invited" -- to use Waxman's word -- Mr. Rory Mayberry to testify about how the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad was being built by kidnapped Filipino workers.

At the time, Mayberry was described as a whistle-blower who had courageously come forward to describe how unwilling Filipinos were dragooned into building our diplomatic mission. All the major news networks covered his shocking "revelations." But this week, The Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" revealed that the committee's star witness "has a string of convictions going back to the mid-1980s, including two for forgery, one for burglary and a fourth for welfare fraud." So much for good staff work.
Corruption in Government is something over which neither party has a monopoly. Therefore, Congressman Henry Waxman is not to be applauded for attempts to smear the Republican Party in General, and the Bush Administration specifically. There is plenty of real Corruption which Mr. Waxman's Committee could legitimately investigate. If he would do so, Congressman Waxman would be doing the Country a real Service. As it is he is creating more division and Political Point Scoring at a time when we need to come together, united.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Global Warming is Debunked,
Democrats Propose New Taxes

Carbon dioxide did not end the last Ice Age is the title of a research study Press Release from the University of Southern California. As may be deduced from the title, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) does not have the Greenhouse Gas Effect the "Chicken Little" Global Warming Alarmists are claiming.
Deep-sea temperatures rose 1,300 years before atmospheric CO2, ruling out the greenhouse gas as driver of meltdown, says study in Science.
This press release supports the idea that CO2 is more of an indicator of Global Warming than a cause, which supports previous posts on the subject. (CO2 Again and Gore - It's CO2)
“The climate dynamic is much more complex than simply saying that CO2 rises and the temperature warms,” [USC geologist Lowell] Stott said. The complexities “have to be understood in order to appreciate how the climate system has changed in the past and how it will change in the future.”
Evidence is mounting that reducing carbon emissions (mainly CO2) will not have a serious effect on Global Warming. Yet as evidenced by the recent remarks of Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), we need to increase taxes to prevent Global Warming by controlling CO2 emissions. Congressman John Dingell Proposes 50-cent Gas Tax Hike to Fight Global Warming is available from Here's the summary of the article ...
Dealing with global warming will be painful, says one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress. To back up his claim he is proposing a recipe many people won't like — a 50-cent gasoline tax, a carbon tax and scaling back tax breaks for some home owners.
Another Democrat who wants to raise taxes for more "Big Government", Great. Representative Dingell has been in Congress since 1955, and is Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Let's repeat the proposed areas of tax increases and credit reductions.
—A 50-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline and jet fuel, phased in over five years, on top of existing taxes.

—A tax on carbon, at $50 a ton, released from burning coal, petroleum or natural gas.

—Phaseout of the interest tax deduction on home mortgages for homes over 3,000 square feet. Owners would keep most of the deduction for homes at the lower end of the scale, but it would be eliminated entirely for homes of 4,200 feet or more.
From the way Congressman Dingell frames the issue, the reader comes to the conclusion that the increased tax revenue money would be used to reduce Global Warming through Carbon Emission Reductions. But here is where the Congressman would allocate the increased taxes.
Some of the revenue would be used to reduce payroll taxes, but most would go elsewhere including for highway construction, mass transit, paying for Social Security and health programs and to help the poor pay energy bills. [emphasis mine]
I don't follow the Michigan Democrat's reasoning. He claims we need to reduce Carbon Emissions to control Global Warming, which we have just seen probably is not dependent on these emissions. Then the increased Tax Revenue will partially reduce payroll taxes, highway construction, mass transit, Social Security and health programs!? What do these issues have to do with Global Warming? And won't highway construction increase the vehicles on the road, thereby increasing Carbon Emissions?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Democracy Finance

The Soros Threat To Democracy is an interesting article published in last Monday's edition of Investors Business Daily. George Soros, a billionaire who has directs the Radical Left's Politics and Agenda through organizations like, is against anything Geroge Bush. He uses his money and influence to manipulate Public Opinion.
On the political front, Soros has a great influence in a secretive organization called "Democracy Alliance" whose idea of democracy seems to be government controlled solely of Democrats.
Soros has pledged at least $5 Million since 2004 to, and indications are that he would be willing to give more, if that's what it takes to win Elections. He is one person the Democrats are afraid to anger. In fact he has indicated that he gives about $400 Million Annually.

It is not just political organizations that gets his blessing and financial Support.
How many people, for instance, know that James Hansen, a man billed as a lonely "NASA whistleblower" standing up to the mighty U.S. government, was really funded by Soros' Open Society Institute [OSI], which gave him "legal and media advice"?

That's right, Hansen was packaged for the media by Soros' flagship "philanthropy," by as much as $720,000, most likely under the OSI's "politicization of science" program.
Mr. Hansen is responsible for publicizing the flawed figures which showed 1998 to be the warmest year ever; and that 5 of the warmest 10 years have happened since 1990. Flawed because a mistake in his calculations, when corrected, showed 1934 to be the warmest year, and 5 of the 10 warmest years occurred prior to 1940. That shot a big hole in the arguments advanced by Global Warming "Chicken Little" Alarmists.
That's not the only case. Didn't the mainstream media report that 2006's vast immigration rallies across the country began as a spontaneous uprising of 2 million angry Mexican-flag waving illegal immigrants demanding U.S. citizenship in Los Angeles, egged on only by a local Spanish-language radio announcer?

Turns out that wasn't what happened, either. Soros' OSI had money-muscle there, too, through its $17 million Justice Fund. The fund lists 19 projects in 2006. One was vaguely described involvement in the immigration rallies. Another project funded illegal immigrant activist groups for subsequent court cases.

So what looked like a wildfire grassroots movement really was a manipulation from OSI's glassy Manhattan offices. The public had no way of knowing until the release of OSI's 2006 annual report.
George Soros is behind and funding Left Wing Radical Causes, Agendas and Organizations. His influence is also funding Terrorist enabling activities.
Do people know last year's Supreme Court ruling abolishing special military commissions for terrorists at Guantanamo was a Soros project? OSI gave support to Georgetown lawyers in 2006 to win Hamdan v. Rumsfeld — for the terrorists.

OSI also gave cash to other radicals who pressured the Transportation Security Administration to scrap a program called "Secure Flight," which matched flight passenger lists with terrorist names. It gave more cash to other left-wing lawyers who persuaded a Texas judge to block cell phone tracking of terrorists.

They trumpeted this as a victory for civil liberties. Feel safer?
Because individuals like George Soros stay behind the scenes, the General Public is only vaguely aware, if at all, how much Soros controls the Democratic Party. His activities are not at all transparent. It is only with the release of annual reports that the extent of OSI's involvement in Politics of the Democratic Party. This is usually long enough after the event that people don't readily make the connection.
Soros' "shaping public policies," as OSI calls it, is not illegal. But it's a problem for democracy because it drives issues with cash and then only lets the public know about it after it's old news.

That means the public makes decisions about issues without understanding the special agendas of groups behind them.

Without more transparency, it amounts to political manipulation. This leads to cynicism. As word of these short-term covert ops gets out, the public grows to distrust what it hears and tunes out.
The reach of George Soros is vast. According to this George Soros: The Man, The Mind And The Money Behind MoveOn article also from Investors Business Daily, published Last Thursday, George Soros fills the coffers of many Political Agenda Groups.
The first groups Soros supported back in the 1980s did play a role in undercutting the rickety communist regimes of Eastern Europe. But his motives seemed less than idealistic. All Soros groups tend to tear down tyrannies rather than build up democracies.

And since 2003, tearing down what he views as the "fascist" tyranny of the United States, as he has put it, is "the central focus of my life."

Through networks of nongovernmental organizations, Soros intends to ruin the presidency of George W. Bush "by any legal means necessary" and knock America off its global pedestal. "His view of America is so negative," says Sen. Joe Lieberman, who, like Gen. David Petraeus, has been a target of Soros' electoral "philanthropy." "The places he's put his money are . . . so destructive that it unsettles me." Soros' aim seems to be to make the U.S. just another client state easily controlled by the United Nations and other one-world groups where he has lots of friends. [emphasis mine]
This is truly a person who sees the World in terms of the Glass Half-Empty. It appears to me that the mind of George Soros is open only to ideas he has planted through the groups he supports, and the Radical Left has embraced their ideas and talking points.
Best known among these groups is, a previously small fringe-left group to which Soros has given $5 million since 2004. Bulked up by cash, the group now uses professional public relations tactics to undercut the Iraq War effort, with its latest a full-page New York Times ad that branded Gen. Petraeus "General Betray Us."

It ran Sept. 10 in the New York Times, the same day Petraeus delivered his progress report on the surge in Iraq. previously put out ads depicting Bush as a Nazi, something that certainly echoes Soros' sentiment.

"We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process," he told this year's Davos conference in Switzerland. was instrumental in Howard Dean's election to Chairman of the Democratic Party because Soros saw this as another opportunity to move the Democratic Party further to the Left.
Soros acolyte Arianna Huffington is on record as advocating that outcome. Berating Democrats for their electoral losses in 2004, she wrote: "Have these people learned nothing from 2000, 2002 and 2004? How many more concession speeches do they have to give — from 'the center' — before they realize it's not a very fruitful place?"
However, is just the tip of the Soros funding Iceberg.
Soros also has financed spin outfits such as Media Matters that specialize in providing distorted conservative political statements as grist for leftist politicians and media.

Media Matters (and succeeded last year in denying incumbent Lieberman the Democratic nomination for Senate in Connecticut and effectively drove the moderate out of his own party. Net result: Fewer Democrats, including today's crop running for office, are willing to challenge any Soros-financed pressure group.
Soros wants to use every legal means to influence the outcome of Elections. Can you tell by this time that he supports those who, if elected, will move the US further left? Spin is not the only method used by George Soros.
He has also bankrolled groups involved in the manipulation of elections, an activity that has increased since his money came into the picture. Two groups — Americans Coming Together and the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — were sanctioned recently by the Federal Election Commission for fraud.

Soros pledged $10 million to ACT, which has since been fined $775,000 for illegally funneling $70 million set aside for voter registrations to Democratic candidates.

He also gave at least $150,000 to ACORN, the left-wing group best known for pushing minimum-wage hikes, marching for illegal-immigrant amnesty and harassing Wal-Mart. ACORN has been accused of voter fraud in 13 states since 2004 and was convicted of falsifying signatures in a voter registration drive last July, drawing a fine of $25,000 in Washington state.

Soros says he has ended funding to voter-drive organizations, but he still heads a secretive rich-man's club called "Democracy Alliance" that has doled out $20 million to activist groups like ACORN.

It's also noteworthy that the Soros-funded advocates "paper-trail" electronic voting in the U.S., the same kind used in Venezuela, where allegations of electronic fraud and ballot secrecy violations have ended confidence in the system and sealed Chavez's dictatorship.
And the list continues with funding to support Terrorists.
Soros additionally finances groups best described as helpful to terrorists. Since 1998, he has given the American Civil Liberties Union $5 million to empower criminals, including lawsuits on behalf of terrorists' "civil rights."

Soros' Open Society Institute gave $20,000 for the legal defense of radical attorney Lynne Stewart. She was convicted in 2002 of abetting jailed terrorists after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Soros is also involved in the financing of a 9/11 memorial at ground zero, the World Trade Center Memorial Cultural Complex — which critics say blames the U.S. for 9/11.
Even eco-terrorist groups are supported.
He has handed $3.1 million to the left-wing Tides Foundation, which funds organizations, such as the Sea Shepherds, Earth First! and the Ruckus Society, that have condoned or engaged in eco-terrorism.
Soros has said that The war on terror cannot be won. He supports International groups which have ...
Soros-backed groups have undercut important U.S. allies, including Israel and Colombia, which have aligned with the U.S. rather than the U.N.
As if that's not enough, Soros believes in a One World Government.
Soros additionally finances groups supporting the interests of one-world government. While he has criticized the United Nations occasionally, he favors U.N. dominance in world affairs, sees the European Union as a model for "open society" and has called for a global central bank.

Anyone who doesn't agree with this vision, or who doesn't fit cozily into his multilateral model, gets a visit from Soros-backed groups., for example, led the charge to keep John Bolton out of a permanent seat in the U.N., and Bankwatch piled on to topple Paul Wolfowitz at the World Bank.
Despite working against all things American, Soros does not usually endorse any particular candidate. This tactic keeps the Democrats on their toes and in line with his philosophy.
His chief aim seems to be tearing down Bush, driving the Democrats to the far left and enforcing party discipline through fear. In fact, he seems to like keeping Democrats guessing whether or not he's offended.

The strategy seems to be working. No Democrat had the courage to cross after its libelous Petraeus ad. On Thursday, a symbolic vote in Congress censuring for the Petraeus ad passed, but with the notable absence of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Election looming, neither wants to cross Soros'

Soros himself does not believe in victory in Iraq and wants to keep America from achieving it.
George Soros has been very successful, but his lack of transparency is not good for Free Speech Democracy. Free Speech is good only when the Speaker's backers and agendas are revealed. Only with the knowledge of motivational bias, can the listener judge the value of the speaker's presented ideas. It is only in this way that most of the Voting Public can elect those candidates who best represent his or her views.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Nuclear Material Was In Syria!

Follow-Up to What was in Syria?

Since last Sunday, 2 posts have discussed a Military Air Operation conducted early this month in Syria by Israeli F-15s. Meanwhile reporting of this September 6th bombing of a Secret Syrian Storage Facility, has been almost non-existent in the Main Stream Media. Yet this event may have great significance in the Politics of the World. The reason is explained in this article for the Sunday Times of London on-line (Israelis seized nuclear material in Syrian raid).
Israeli commandos seized nuclear material of North Korean origin during a daring raid on a secret military site in Syria before Israel bombed it this month, according to informed sources in Washington and Jerusalem. [emphasis mine]
In view of the 6 party talks aimed at getting North Korea to stop its Nuclear Weapon Production, North Korean Nuclear Material in Syria is a Big Deal. The material has been confirmed as North Korean and Several North Koreans were killed in the raid.

Why were North Koreans and North Korean Nuclear Materials in Syria? Two possible reasons come to mind. First, the North Koreans have recently agreed to dismantle their Nuclear Facilities. Therefore, North Korea may have sent part or all of the dismantled facilities to Syria for storage for later re-activation. Second, Syria and Syria's proxy Iran have expressed interest in developing Nuclear Weaponry. The Nuclear Material may have been shipped from North Korea to jump start Syrian and Iranian Programs.

On the other hand, maybe the North Koreans, Syrians and Iranians were trying to kill 2 birds with one stone. Hiding dismantled equipment and assisting Syria and Iran is a very possible scenario. It is also interesting that Israel and the US are sharing information about the activities in Syria and the Connections to North Korea.
Evidence that North Korean personnel were at the site is said to have been shared with President George W Bush over the summer. A senior American source said the administration sought proof of nuclear-related activities before giving the attack its blessing.
Snatched: Israeli commandos ‘nuclear’ raid is another related article from the same source. This article also claims there exists an agreement for intelligence sharing and co-operation between the US an Israel. But before the Bush Administration would give its approval for offensive operations, the US wanted proof that nuclear activities were involved. The Conclusive proof was provided and ...
Today the site near Dayr az-Zawr lies in ruins after it was pounded by Israeli F15Is on September 6. Before the Israelis issued the order to strike, the commandos had secretly seized samples of nuclear material and taken them back into Israel for examination by scientists, the sources say. A laboratory confirmed that the unspecified material was North Korean in origin. America approved an attack.
Details and additional information about this operation are still not being discussed by Israel, now being called the 'North Korean Project'. Israel's Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, who once commanded the Sayeret Matkal, was personally in charge of this operation.

Syria likely will retaliate for the Israeli attack. But if Nuclear Technology, weapons or manufacturing equipment was destroyed, the World is likely safer today than it was before September 6th.
But details of the raid are still tantalisingly incomplete. Some analysts in America are perplexed by photographs of a fuel tank said to have been dropped from an Israeli jet on its return journey over Turkey. It appears to be relatively undamaged. Could it have been planted to sow confusion about the route taken by the Israeli F-15I pilots?
What's the long term effect of these actions? How deep are the ties between North Korea and Syria. There have been other incidents of co-operation between North Korea and Syria involving Chemical War heads at least since 2004, but this is the first evidence of Nuclear activity between the two countries.

What is Iran's role in the mix? We do know that Iran trains, equips and finances Terrorist Groups in Syria, but do they fit into this puzzle?

These questions magnify the importance of our current role in Iraq. It no longer matters why we went into Iraq, because the question of what we do now is much more important. To me it becomes even more essential that we complete the process we started in Iraq now more than ever.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rathergate - Dan's Waterloo

Byron York writes about the surprise move on Dan Rather's part to sue CBS News. Return to Rathergate exposes several interesting claims by Dan.
First, he claims that, after the report stirred controversy, top CBS management conducted a sham investigation of the story for the purpose of making sure that damaging information about George W. Bush be kept secret.

“CBS announced that it was conducting a thorough independent investigation into the underlying story of the broadcast and its production,” the lawsuit says, “when in fact its intention was to conduct a biased investigation with controlled timing and predetermined conclusions in order to prevent further information concerning Bush’s Texas Air National Guard service from being uncovered.”

This fake investigation, Rather charges, was done so that CBS could “pacify the White House” by making Rather the “scapegoat” of what would become known as Rathergate.
Mr. York is as surprised as I was to learn that CBS was interested in pacifying the Bush White House. It will certainly be entertaining to see Dan Accuse CBS of being a friend of George Bush, while CBS makes the case for being non-biased.
Meanwhile at the Huffington Post, Mary Mapes Congratulates Dan because Rather still has more reportorial testosterone than the entire employee roster at FOX News in her post Courage for Dan Rather

Mary was Dan's associate who, as I recall, obtained the documents for the Story. She makes a big deal about the Right Wing Bloggers who attacked the authenticity of the documents concerning George Bush's National Guard Service.

Whether President Bush was ducking Vietnam Service or not was not any more of a story than President Clinton's Draft Dodging. Unlike John Kerry, George Bush did not try to use his Military Service as a stepping stone to the Presidency. Actually Senator Kerry's Senate Testimony which criminalized the US Military was his downfall.

But Mary's most revealing statement is this paragraph.
We reported that since these documents were copies, not originals, they could not be fully authenticated, at least not in the legal sense. They could not be subjected to tests to determine the age of the paper or the ink. We did get corroboration on the content and support from a couple of longtime document analysts saying they saw nothing indicating that the memos were not real.
On the one hand she says the originals could not be produced, therefore, they could not be authenticated. On the other hand Mary claims a couple of document analysts saw nothing indicating the memos were not real, but neither did or could they say they were real. She fails to mention that many more document analysts strongly felt they could not be authentic.

One expert was able to reproduce the document letter for letter with Microsoft Word default settings. Strange coincidence since Microsoft Word was not available when the memos were claimed to have been written.

What was in Syria?

Earlier this month, Israel sent F15s into Syria to take out a target. There has been little information broadcast about this incident. Middle East Volcano is Charles Krauthammer's look at the situation.
On Sept. 6, something important happened in northern Syria. Problem is, no one knows exactly what. Except for those few who were involved, and they're not saying.

We do know that Israel carried out an airstrike. How do we know it was important? Because in Israel, where leaking is an art form, even the best-informed don't have a clue. They tell me they have never seen a better-kept secret.
So can we assume that this was a Super-Secret operation? Probably. This was no accident. Rather it was a well planned military operation against something which Israel considered a serious threat.
Circumstantial evidence points to this being an attack on some nuclear facility provided by North Korea.
When a North Korean freighter docked at the Syrian Port City of Tartus, Israel re-directed its Spy Satellite to photograph the area. The North Korean Ship was officially loaded with Cement.

Speculation is that the cargo was actually Nuclear Weapon related. Probably not a bomb, but rather dismantled equipment from a North Korean Facility. Coincidentally, after the nuclear speculation, the September 19th 6-party talks about the dismantling of North Korean nuclear facilities was canceled.
Apart from the usual suspects -- Syria, Iran, Libya and Russia -- only two countries registered strong protests to the Israeli strike: Turkey and North Korea. Turkey we can understand. Its military may have permitted Israel an overflight corridor without ever having told the Islamist civilian government. But North Korea? What business is this of North Korea's? Unless it was a North Korean facility being hit.
So the plot thickens. Mr. Krauthammer clearly enumerates the reasons for concern and implications of North Korean Nuclear involvement in the Middle East. It is known that Syria has Chemical Warheads for its missiles, and that Iran is aggressively pursuing the development of Nuclear Weapons. Syria also has Nuclear desires, and relies on Iran to train, equip and finance Syrian Terrorist Groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
This is an extremely high-stakes game. The time window is narrow. In probably less than two years, Ahmadinejad will have the bomb.
Unless the World gets serious about Syria and Iran, as well as North Korea, we will have Nuclear Weapons being used. This situation makes it all the more important to achieve success in Iraq.

Previous post on the subject: (Middle East Tension).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Hillary's Health Care Plan

The American Health Choices Plan is Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's current plan for Universal Health Coverage. This is a refinement of her failed 1994 HillaryCare, or as some have called it HillaryCare II. While Hillary's Plan is not initially totally Government Run, logically it will be in the near future. She does see it in the following terms.
The former first lady's 1993-94 health-care overhaul ended disastrously. Still, it poured the philosophical and policy foundations of the current health-care debate. As she unveils HillaryCare II, Mrs. Clinton likes to joke that it's "deja vu all over again"--and it is, unfortunately. Her new plan is called "Health Choices" and mentions "choice" so many times that it sounds like a Freudian slip. And sure enough, "choice" for Mrs. Clinton means using different means that will arrive at the same end: an expensive, bureaucratic, government-run system that restricts choice. [emphasis mine]
That quote is from the Editorial pages of OpinionJournal of the Wall Street Journal (HillaryCare's New Clothes). Hillary's new plan would require everyone to have Health Care through what she's calling "choices". Yet a look at the "choices" will show that exercising them will likely result in fewer choices.
Begin with the "individual mandate." The latest fad after Mitt Romney's Massachusetts miracle, it compels everyone to have insurance, either through their employers or the government. Not only would this element of HillaryCare require a huge new enforcement bureaucracy, it is twinned with a "pay or play" tax on businesses that don't, or can't afford to, provide health insurance to their employees. [emphasis mine]
New enforcement bureaucracy is another way to increase the cost of any program. This is an expansion of needless "Big Government" and waste of the taxpayers dollars.
The plan also creates a new public insurance option, modeled after Medicare, and open to everyone, regardless of income. To keep insurance "affordable," HillaryCare II offers a refundable tax credit that limits cost to a certain percentage of income. Yet the program works at cross-purposes, because coverage mandates always drive up the price of insurance. And if the "pay or play" tax is lower than a company's current health insurance costs, a company will have every incentive to dump its employee plan and pay the tax. [emphasis mine}
Are you hearing more money, more waste, more, more, more...
Meanwhile, the private insurance industry would be restructured with far more stringent regulations. Mrs. Clinton would require nationally "guaranteed issue," which means insurers have to offer policies to all applicants. She would also command "community rating," which prohibits premium differences based on health status. [emphasis mine]
These "Choices" are beginning to sound VERY EXPENSIVE.
Both of these have raised costs enormously in the states that require them (such as New York), but Mrs. Clinton says they are necessary nationwide to prevent "discrimination" that infringes "on the central purposes of insurance, which is to share risk." Not quite. The central purpose of insurance is to price, and hedge against, reasonably predictable risks. It does not require socializing every last expense and redistributing wealth. [emphasis mine]
As the Editorial also points out, Hillary, like the Democrats in general, wants to end Bush's Tax Cuts. Ending the Cuts would be part of the funding, and would bring the additional cost down to a modest $110 Billion in new government spending according to Hillary. Hillary claims that $35 Billion of this would come from modernizing" health-care delivery and "promoting wellness. We all know how well the government handles modernizing and promoting in order to save money.

Someone once said that the definition of a Government Bureau is where the Taxpayers Shirt is kept. Hillary's American Choices Health Care Plan is a lot of bureaucracy, and will take a lot of our shirts.

There are others weighing in on HillaryCare II. Read A Bad Idea Then, A Bad Idea Now by Mark Davis for more reason why HillaryCare II is a solution to a problem which is not broken, only slightly cracked.
In 1993 and today, she pays lip service to American health care, calling it the best in the world. In the same breath, she still proposes meddling in ways that can only denigrate that quality.

Her zeal is based on one of the great myths of modern times, the mistaken belief that we have a health care "crisis."
While there are 47 Million uninsured people in the US, a large number of them are uninsured by choice. Primarily they are young, healthy and see the expense of Health Care as unnecessary. They are gambling but it is by their choice that they do not have Health Care.
We can consider that a dangerous gamble, but it does not constitute some blight of victimization requiring a government solution.
The question should be - "Is the present Health Care System broken?" The answer is No. We still have the best Health Care System in the World despite what the Democrats and Michael Moore say. We do have problems, but they won't get better by making Health Care Mandatory and Government Run.
What we need is not so much health care reform as insurance reform. We are miles detached from the real costs of care in a system where the $12 Tylenol still gets routinely paid.
This is the real problem with our present system. This is where the fix should be aimed.
But how many people are truly "denied care" in America? Mrs. Clinton's reference Monday to Americans dying for lack of care is largely fiction in a nation with the biggest and busiest system in world history for providing care to those who cannot afford it.

True, some people cannot afford health insurance. But the seemingly noble instinct of fixing its cost and making it mandatory is a recipe for disaster. It is the open marketplace that has given us the best doctors, hospitals and technology in world history. Make those things a government-managed resource, and they will become a commodity just like every other line item in a government budget - vulnerable to whim and bureaucratic oversight, leading to rationing, delays and reductions in quality and availability of service. [emphasis mine]
Health Care costs have skyrocketed and therefore so too have premiums for Health Care Coverage. This is due first to the Cost of Malpractice Insurance the Caregivers (Doctors, Nurses, Clinics and Hospitals) must pay.

Second, to avoid costly court judgments against them, the Health Care Professionals and Service Providers go to extreme length to cover their asses. They do this by ordering every test and diagnostic procedure available.

Professional Medical Judgment should be free to make decisions based on a cost-benefit analysis as to what tests and procedures are indicated. Instead, we have a system which demands perfect judgment. To compensate, Medical Professionals order Tests and Procedures to cover the one in a million lottery. That routine drives up costs exponentially.

And third, at the bottom of the list are the enablers of the lawsuit happy population. Of course I am referring to the personal injury lawyers who reap millions of dollars from all of us. Limits on jury awards would be a better start to Health Care reform than a Government Health Care Mandate.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sally Field's Emmy Performance

If mothers ruled the, ruled the world, there would be no god-damned wars in the first place, Field bleated.
That's what Sally said during her acceptance speech at the recent Emmy awards. Michelle Malkin does not agree with Sally one iota. Sally Field Doesn't Speak for Me is Michelle's answer to Sally's comment about Motherhood.
Motherhood and peace-making are not synonymous. Motherhood requires ferocity, the will and resolve to protect one's own children at all costs, and a life-long commitment to sacrifice for a family's betterment and survival. Conflict avoidance is incompatible with good mothering.
The Animal world is full of mothers who fit Michelle's model much better than Sally's.
On the playground of life, Sally Field is the mom who looks the other way when the brat on the elementary school slide pushes your son to the ground or throws dirt in your daughter's face.

She's the mom who holds her tongue at the mall when thugs spew profanities and make crude gestures in front of her brood. She's the mom who tells her child never to point out when a teacher gets her facts wrong.

She's the mom who buys her teenager beer, condoms and a hotel room on prom night, because she'd rather give in than assert her parental authority and do battle.
On the other hand in a way Sally and Michelle are both right. Sally didn't realize when she said If mothers ruled the world, there would be no god-damned wars in the first place she was right. Right because most mothers would not hesitate to react viciously to any attack on her young. There would be no warning, no diplomacy, no empty threats, and no retreat from confrontation. The offender would be pulverized immediately and completely. In this sense Sally is correct.

Lessons from life. Don't pull on Superman's cape, and don't make a Mother mad.

School Children Next 9-11?

The Homeland Security National Terror Alert Response Center is currently featuring a series of Articles which may portend a very serious possibility. The Terrorist Threat To Our Schools Pt. 1 is a compilation of articles about what may be in al Qaeda's play book for another 9-11 style attack.
Over the past couple of years, National Terror Alert has featured several seemingly unrelated news events and stories, all with a common thread… A potential terrorist threat to our nations children and schools.

With each news story it appears that the planning of a new attack, one with potentially horrific consequences, could be in the works. We’ll let you decide for yourself.
I strongly suggest you read the entire piece with an open mind. Be aware of the possibilities.
Could all of these stories amount to nothing more than incredible coincidence? Certainly, but there are several elements of 9/11 that prior to the attack would have also been attributed to the same and we are all too familiar with the end result.
With the caution about incredible coincidence noted, the author proceeds to list the coincidences. When put into one basket the weight of circumstantial evidence demands at least an admission that it could happen.
One word of caution… Don’t allow yourself to dismiss certain stories because of their age (3-4 years). al Qaeda is known for having operational planning windows varying up to 5 or 6 years. They are patient and methodical in their planning. Several reports related to Beslan indicate that terrorists may have actually been involved in the construction of the school, years earlier.
The author presents evidence for consideration. I am generally not an alarmist. But at the same time, I believe we need to be aware of possibilities. Very few considered the possibility of 19 men hijacking airplanes and flying them into Buildings before 9-11. We should all be aware and Report Suspicious Activity.
  1. The Beslan Massacre
  2. Think it won’t happen here…
  3. Cleric Supports Taking Children Hostage
  4. Permission To Take The Lives of 2 Million American Children
  5. al Qaeda Video Shows Mock Siege of An American School
  6. Iraqi Insurgent In Possession of Computer Disk With Detailed Information On The Emergency Plans For 6 U.S. Schools
  7. FBI Issues Warning To Schools
  8. School Bus Terrorism
  9. So how difficult would it be for a terrorist to get their hands on a school bus?
  10. Extremists Sign Up to Become School Bus Drivers
  11. School Bus Terrorism Dry Run?
  12. Gov’t: Terrorists Could Target School Food
  13. 2000 Missing School Bus Radios
  14. 17 School Buses Missing In Houston
  15. How It All Ties Together
  16. Glenn Beck Perfect Day
    • Part 1
    • Part 2
    • Part 3
    • Part 4
  17. “Jihad Boom” Postcards With Threatening Cartoon Sent To Nine Schools
Each of the items in the list is expanded and the weight of circumstantial evidence mounts with each expanded item. Will an al Qaeda attack on our schools take place? You decide. At this point, I am optimistic about our ability to discover and neutralize this and similar threats before they can become finalized.

These incidents underline the very good reasons we need the surveillance capabilities provided by the Patriot Act and the NSA Electronic Monitoring Programs. But our best defense is an informed public. A public which is not afraid to get involved by reporting suspicious activities. If this is in the works, we must not fail to connect the dots this time. Be alert. Report suspicious activity.

Health Care Plans

The Democratic Presidential Candidates have proposed some form of Mandatory Government Health Care. John Edwards estimates cost of his proposal at $120 Billion per year, while Hillary's proposal is estimated to cost $110 Billion. I think we can do better. One way is NOT to let the Government run the program, because anytime the Government runs a program, the cost soars through incompetence and waste.

Karl Rove outlines some ideas for a GOP plan which allows Income Tax Incentives, but is NOT run by the Government. Today in the on-line Editorial OpinionJournal of the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Rove outlines an excellent strategy for Health Care in an article titled Republicans Can Win on Health Care.
Liberals see the concerns of families as a failure of private insurance, and want the U.S. to move toward a government-run, single-payer model. This is a recipe for making problems worse. Socialized medicine inevitably leads to poor quality, inefficiency, rising taxes and rationing. The waiting lines and poor care that cause people from other countries to come here for treatment are not the answer.
Ask someone from Canada or England what their Socialized Medicine Society is like. Cost, Waste, long Waits and poor quality does not sound like my idea of a good thing. Despite what Michael Moore's Sicko Movie claims, even our present system is better than what they have.
In short, the best health reform proposals will be those that recognize and build on the virtues of our market-based medical system. Sick people around the world come here because they can't get quality care in their home countries. Many health-care professionals come here to practice, leaving behind well-meaning health-care systems where government is in charge, bureaucrats make the decisions, and where the patient doesn't have the choice he or she does in the U.S.
Mr. Rove outlines several principles which will lead to a better system, cover everyone, and cost less, because the Government does not dictate price, a market based system does. How do we do it? Here is the outline for success.
  • Level the tax playing field
  • Tax-free savings for health costs
  • Portability
  • Arming consumers through more competition
  • Pool risk, lower costs
  • Greater transparency
  • Stop junk lawsuits
  • Build on the progress already made by putting patients in charge and letting competition work
Read the full editorial for details of each point.

The Democrats believe the Government must take care of society Cradle to Grave. I believe we can do a better job of taking care of ourselves.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Congressional Ethics Reform in an Oxymoron

Wikpedia defines Oxymoron thusly:
An oxymoron (plural oxymorons or, more rarely, oxymora) is a figure of speech that combines two normally contradictory terms. Oxymoron is a loanword from Greek oxy ("sharp") and moros ("dull"). Thus the word oxymoron is itself an oxymoron.
That's a definition which fits the current Congressional Legislation on Ethics Reform.

Lets review this quote! This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history – Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Press Release, November 16, 2006

Veto fake ethics reform bill is one article which illustrates the true nature of the Legislation passed by the "Most Ethical Congress In History".

Frankly the Democrats are no more interested in Ethics Reform than their Republican predecessors were. It will only be when the Electorate (you and me) decide to demand Reform, that we will get it.
That Congress is trying to con the American people is illustrated by the fact that the same Senate and House majorities that voted for a bill named “The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007” did so only after effectively gutting the legislation of virtually all meaningful reforms. What the senators and congressmen praise with their words, they kill with their votes.

The majority that passed the ethics reform bill gutted it by, among much else:
  • Removing a provision requiring lists of all earmarks contained in legislation to be posted in searchable format on the Internet for public examination.
  • Watering down the provision banning earmarks that benefit relatives and staffers of senators and representatives.
  • Giving the Senate majority leader the power to exempt earmarks from public disclosure.
  • Allowing passage of bills stuffed full of earmarks without prior public disclosure of those earmarks.
Congressional Politicians have learned to speak about the Need for Ethics Reform, but continue to vote against any real meaningful Legislation.
The ethics truly favored in Congress was shown by the Sept. 11 vote of 82 senators against an amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., to direct tax dollars to fixing all dangerous bridges on the nation’s interstate highways before paying for things such as bike paths in Minnesota, Bridges to Nowhere in Alaska or rain forests in Iowa. Similar votes were recorded earlier this year in the House.

The Sept. 11 Senate tally — coming only weeks after the Interstate 35 Bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, killing 13 motorists and injuring another 125 — was more proof that the first priority of most congressmen in both political parties is preserving their ability to spend our tax dollars on their personal projects.
When Politicians are given the choice between serving the public interest or their own interest, this is the result.

Firecrackers or Terrorist Bombs?

A Few weeks ago 2 University of South Florida Students were arrested in South Carolina. They claimed to have some relatively harmless fireworks, but according to this article (Case against pair shown) published in the St. Petersburg Times, one has to wonder how harmless the "fireworks" were.
Pipes stuffed with fertilizer, Karo syrup and kitty litter. Bullets and fuses. A laptop with Internet searches about martyrdom, Hamas and Qassam rockets. Video instructions for turning a child's toy into a detonator.
The two students were studying Engineering at the University. Both are citizens of Egypt and were originally stopped for speeding in Goose Creek, South Carolina.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Hoffer laid out the government's case, saying they view the men as dangerous and at risk of fleeing to their home country of Egypt, a place that doesn't always return fugitives to the United States.
There are a number of events, items and activities that are suspicious. Suspicious because of past activities and the potential harm that could be caused by these "fireworks". The key here is INTENT. What was the intent of the Students?
The question of intent has been the biggest puzzle since Aug. 4, when Megahed, 21, and Mohamed, 26, were pulled over for speeding in Goose Creek, S.C., and arrested after a deputy became suspicious and searched the pair's car.
Time will tell.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Middle East Tension

From a report in the Times of London on-line that about 10 days ago Israel sent F-15s into Syria to destroy Nuclear Materials imported from North Korea. Israelis ‘blew apart Syrian nuclear cache’ is a report of actions taken by the Israeli Government against suspected military grade nuclear materials. But this highly secretive military mission was kept quiet for some time.
Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.
At least 2 theories as to why North Korean nuclear weaponry would be in Syria. The most likely scenarios are that Syria wanted to bolster its military posture with a nuclear threat or Syria is acting as a conduit for Iran.
An expert on the Middle East, who has spoken to Israeli participants in the raid, told yesterday’s Washington Post that the timing of the raid on September 6 appeared to be linked to the arrival three days earlier of a ship carrying North Korean material labelled as cement but suspected of concealing nuclear equipment.
The instability of the Middle East will not be helped by adding Nuclear Fears to the Equations. It is only a matter of time before a General Middle East War becomes a reality, unless some sense of compromise returns to the Iran, Syrian and North Korean leaders.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Irresponsible Politicians - Kucinich (Part 2)

A couple of days ago I wrote a post and created a new category label {Irresponsible Politicians}. Dennis Kucinich was the first subject for this category. Today I became aware of another Kucinich stupidity. I am posting this additional information as a new post because it needs more highlighting than an Update.

In yesterdays opinion section of The Morning Journal Newspaper, you can read this article (Kucinich drapes himself in shame, dishonor with Syria visit, 9/11 'no' vote). For what it's worth, The Morning Journal is in the heart of Congressman Kucinich's home district (Cleveland, Ohio). And Mr. Kucinich is a former Mayor of Cleveland.
Normally, Rep. Dennis Kucinich is best ignored simply because it's impossible to take him seriously, and why waste one's time.

But his deluded anti-American behavior this past week has been so grotesque and offensive it demands attention.
One instance of that behavior relates to Congressman Kucinich's trip earlier this month to Syria. This trip was what inspired me to post the first opinion article in the Category {Irresponsible Politicians Kucinich (Part 1)}.

But then last Tuesday, on the sixth anniversary of 9/11, Mr. Kucinich was back in Congress for a vote on a resolution honoring 9/11 heroes and victims. Irresponsible Politician Kucinich voted in the minority.
Congress on Monday passed a resolution honoring the victims and heroes of Sept. 11 and ''reaffirming the commitment to defending the people of the United States against any and all future challenges.'' The vote was 334 to 1.

The sole ''nay'' was cast by Kucinich.

In a statement issued from his alternate universe, Kucinich insisted that he really honors them all and really supports the troops, but found it impossible to support the resolution because it fails to condemn President Bush for lies, lies, lies (in the squinty eyes of Kucinich). [emphasis mine; ellipsis in original]
It has been said that we always get the elected leaders we deserve, but what did the people of Ohio do to deserve this disgraceful action? I think they deserve a recount.

H/T Kim Priestap of Whizbang Blog for Kim's Blog Post on the subject (Newspaper in Kucinich's District Rips Him a New One)

Elvira Arellano Is Like Jesús

Surprised? According to EAST BAY express news columnist Gustavo Arellano, Elvira is not like a Mexican Rosa Parks, she is like Jesús (The Mexican Rosa Parks). It appears that Mr. Arellano writes the column "Ask A Mexican". One of the letters he received, and his answer, follows.
Dear Mexican: Do you agree with immigration rights activists calling Elvira Arellano, who is an illegal immigrant AND a criminal, I might add, the Mexican Rosa Parks? The very idea that these people refer to her as such is deeply disturbing. Rosa Parks was a legal resident of this country and took a stand against the injustices against African Americans AND, by extension, all other minorities in this country. I can't imagine what goes through the minds of some of these people when they made ludicrous statements comparing Arellano to Parks. I have a problem with illegal immigrants, period! I don't care where they come from on this planet, illegal IS illegal.
Swing Low, Sweet Migra

Dear Gabacha: You're right. How dare yaktivists compare Elvira Arellano (an recently deported illegal Mexican immigrant who earned national attention this year by seeking sanctuary in a Chicago church) to Rosa Parks! Besides, everyone knows the better historical counterpart is Jesus. Think about it: Like Jesús, Arellano was a brown-skinned alien who sparked equal parts rage and praise while promoting their movement. Both lived in defiance of authorities who obsessed over laws that ignored the Segundo Coming. Arellano and the Nazarene knew their ultimate martyrdom yet met grim destiny with serenity, asking followers not to react angrily but rather allow God's will. I already hear the gnashing teeth of Know Nothings — but what about the fake Social Security number? The breaking of federal law? The fact that ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL? — but let the record show that no matter how you spin it, Arellano's tale is biblical in its intentions, and she sure as hell ain't Jezebel. Only time will tell if Arellano's efforts will convert the Pharisees or cause the exile of her people to Babylon — er, Mexico.
Only in America could a common criminal be elevated to this level. Ms. Arellano is a National Celebrity in Mexico. In the USA she was an Illegal Alien with no respect for the laws of the US.

Border security is one of the failures of the Government. Failure because we have not enforced the laws which govern who is allowed into this country legally. Failure because we have allowed legal aliens to stay in this country beyond the period of their visa thereby becoming illegal aliens. Failure because we have not penalized employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. Failure because we have allowed illegal aliens to enjoy the benefits of our social programs, hospitals, schools and other government services which should be available only legal residents. Failure because some cities do not report the criminal activities of illegal aliens and deport them. Failures which we need to fix without amnesty.

Ms. Arellano believes she has been deported unfairly. She believes she is entitled to remain in the USA. She does not think our laws apply to her. If she wants to be re-admitted to this country, she needs to stand in line and follow the application policy and laws of the United States of America.

Global Warming Takes Another Hit

According to a Press Release at, Global Warming is a 1,500 year Natural Cycle of events (Challenge to Scientific Consensus on Global Warming: Analysis Finds Hundreds of Scientists Have Published Evidence Countering Man-Made Global Warming Fears).
A new analysis of peer-reviewed literature reveals that more than 500 scientists have published evidence refuting at least one element of current man-made global warming scares.
This information is published in a new book (Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years) by Dennis Avery and climate physicist S. Fred Singer.
More than 300 of the scientists found evidence that 1) a natural moderate 1,500-year climate cycle has produced more than a dozen global warmings similar to ours since the last Ice Age and/or that 2) our Modern Warming is linked strongly to variations in the sun's irradiance. "This data and the list of scientists make a mockery of recent claims that a scientific consensus blames humans as the primary cause of global temperature increases since 1850," said Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Dennis Avery.

Other researchers found evidence that 3) sea levels are failing to rise importantly; 4) that our storms and droughts are becoming fewer and milder with this warming as they did during previous global warmings; 5) that human deaths will be reduced with warming because cold kills twice as many people as heat; and 6) that corals, trees, birds, mammals, and butterflies are adapting well to the routine reality of changing climate.
Note to Al Gore: It is not settled.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Petraeus Gets Headlines, But Crocker Has Answer

While most of the Attention is focused on General Petraeus and his report of the Military Situation in Iraq, it is Ambassador Ryan Crocker who may have revealed the best news. While the Maliki Government stagnates, the local Politics and Political Leaders have the potential to yield a Democratic Iraq. This article details how (The Real Patreaus-Crocker Story).
Ambassador Crocker delivered the day's real news with his description of Iraq's slowly simmering political development. In his testimony, Ambassador Crocker revealed that federalism, or decentralized governance, is a concept now beginning to find favor with Iraq's Sunni-Arabs. In spite of passing a constitution by referendum in 2005, Iraqi society still has not achieved a consensus on how to govern itself. But a growing acceptance of a decentralized Iraq by the Sunni-Arabs, a previously unimaginable thought, offers a glimmer of hope for a political settlement to the war.
The local Political Theater makes sense from a Historical Perspective too. It has been local Sheiks who have historically been the Political Leaders in Iraq. If the Iraqi people can form a decentralized Democracy, that's good news. It won't be exactly like ours, but it is Democracy.
The switch by the Anbar tribes to the American side began before President Bush announced the surge strategy and was to some extent an "accidental victory." Al Qaeda's ruthless incompetence combined with American persistence to produce something positive for President Bush to tout last week.

But the "Anbar Awakening" tribal movement has created a new concept for Iraq's Sunni-Arabs to consider, namely the advantages of federalism and political decentralization.
A Troop draw-down is inevitable, at least to the pre-surge levels because we don't have the manpower to maintain 170,000 Troops without extending the Troops beyond 15 months. But, General Petraeus needs to continue to secure Iraq so the Political Solution can develop. Whether it be a centralized or decentralized Government makes no difference and should be the Iraqi decision by way of the Vote.
Decentralized governance offers a way for a political settlement in Iraq. But in order for this hopeful solution to work, both the Americans and Iraqis will have to make some significant changes to their current policies. The Bush administration (and its successor) will have to de-emphasize the goal of a unified Iraq under a strong central government. It would also have to avert its eyes as some population transfers (a.k.a. "ethnic cleansing") around the Baghdad area occurred.

For their part, the Iraqis would have to redesign their method of government finance. And they would have to accept an army recruited, trained, and commanded on a regional basis.
There are risks to this policy, however. In many respects, decentralized Iraq Government is putting all the eggs in one basket.
Such a solution obviously carries many risks. Decentralized governance may lead to a way for Iraqis to live in something like harmony. Or it may instead provide a basis to more effectively organize for renewed warfare.
The real test will come next March when General Petraeus will have to decide how the Troops will be deployed. That's when the proverbial crap hits the fan if the situation on the ground will not allow a troop reduction.

Bush Petraeus Lied, Troops Died - Part 2

Part 1 is here. Also read this related story ( Betrays Democrats Colors)

If you believe as the ad claims, that General Petraeus "Cooked The Books", you do not understand the motivation of men and women who join the Military. Today's Military is all Volunteer. There are no draftees. Most Enlisted soldiers joined the military after 9/11, and realized their Tour of Duty would probably be Afghanistan, Iraq or both. They are smart and most have College Degrees. They serve because they believe in the cause.

I am Proud of our Military and Grateful for their service. I consider it an honor to salute all of them and I pray for them and their cause. I will continue to work to support all our Troops.
Nearly six years into the war on terror--which is being fought by less than 30% of the military and less than one-half of 1% of the nation--and the stark irony of America in modern war has emerged. Our professional warriors who take the most risk believe the nation must commit to a long-term fight that includes Iraq in some form. Overall support for the endeavor wanes with distance.
The preceding quote is part of an Editorial at the OpinionJournal of the Wall Street Journal, which answers the questions of Who, What, Where and Why. Our New National Divide provides insight into the mind and motivations of the Vast Majority of our Military. This story also makes clear that there is a National Divide of civilian opinion which must stop. As Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself, cannot stand".

The article's author is Owen West. Mr. West, a trader at Goldman Sachs and a director of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, served two tours in Iraq with the Marines. Mr. West highlights the service and sacrifice of Major Douglas A. Zembiec.
A Marine company commander during the battle for Fallujah in 2004, Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec was famously profiled by the Los Angeles Times's Tony Perry as an "unapologetic warrior" who was ferocious while fighting al Qaeda in Iraq from house-to-house. "One of the most noble things you can do is kill the enemy," he said, expressing what many soldiers feel but lack the courage to trumpet for fear of being castigated outside the combat zone, as was Marine Gen. James Mattis when he expressed a similar sentiment.
Major Zembiec was a soldiers soldier. He lead from the front, and unfortunately he was killed in Iraq this past May. He understood the cause.
Here in the United States, the vast moral chasm that so clearly separates the combatants in Iraq is too rarely discussed. Disillusion with the entire effort has obscured and in some cases mutated the truth that small numbers of evil men tilt entire populations. Many Americans, including prominent senators, cringe when they hear about warriors like Zembiec going door-to-door, notwithstanding the fact that most Iraqis in the neighborhood greet them as deus ex machina.
This is the disconnect of the General Public in America. The Soldiers on the Ground, understand the truth of evil men tilting entire populations, while the public sees only the lack of progress and the cost of battle. The General public is tired and doesn't truly understand that the evil, like a cancer, must be at the very least contained.
This divergence isn't new. Those who have battled the enemy up close have always been more heavily invested in the cause. What's different is that in past wars, the nation was tied to its soldiers and had a familial barometer. Today most Americans have never met a Gold Star family, let alone shaken the hand of a fallen soldier. The military community is increasingly insulated even as the burden of global war swells. Within it there are those who drift in and out of the fight according to orders. But there is also a group that is distinctive--those who join the military to hunt the enemy for a living, and for the rest of us. Doug Zembiec was such a man.
So why do men and women join and continue to serve in our Military? They do it for Honor. They do it for the respect of their peers. They do it for country.
Men who carry rifles for a living do not seek reward outside the guild. The most cherished gift an infantryman receives is a nod from his peers. When Zembiec, "The Lion of Fallujah," fell this May 11 while commanding a raid on insurgent forces in Baghdad, the loss was symbolic of all those men whom the rest of us aspired to be in combat: fearless guardians of our fellow soldiers and our nation. It's not surprising then that more than 1,000 mourners--generals and enlisted men alike--attended Doug's memorial service in Annapolis, Md. And when Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke of his courage at the Marine Corps Association annual dinner in Arlington, Va., he fought back tears.
General public recognizes the Military's integrity and honesty. Polls consistently show the Military as receiving the highest marks from the public.
It has become commonplace to assert that the nation's most precious resource is our children. [...] But during wartime our greatest asset may be our guardians. We should take solace that while we are off to a terrible start in the long war, having allowed the Iraqi battlefield to embitter and weaken the country, our nation produced men like [...] Zembiec. And right now somewhere some other American walks their tracks.

The public recognizes this blessing. In July's Gallup Poll on America's most trusted institutions, the military ranked highest with a 69% confidence rating. Congress ranked last (below HMOs), with a 14% confidence rating. [emphasis mine]
Based on the Gallup Poll, we should question a Congressional Representative as to motive, not a Distinguished, Career General.
Monday's advertisement, which depicted Gen. Petraeus as a traitor, has been dismissed by Sen. Reid as an inconsequential distraction. But according to the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan research group, the ad reflects the growing distrust of a Democratic Party that may be taking cues from its leadership. Last month 76% of Republicans expressed confidence in the military to give an "accurate picture of the war," while only 36% of Democrats did. [emphasis mine]
There is a real difference in the way Democrats and Republicans view the Governmental actions. Democrats preach big Government, but are afraid of it. Republicans advocate small Government, but see the "Big Picture" collective benefit. Democrats are pessimistic, while Republicans are optimistic. It is really a glass half-empty vs half-full approach. Democrats view things from an individual or my personal privacy is threatened approach. Republicans view things from a collective benefit to society approach.

For Example, look at the NSA Electronic Monitoring Program. Democrats see negative abuse in terms of I could be a target. Republicans see positive benefits in terms of we (Society) will benefit. Democrats don't want to believe the Surge Could Work so General Petraeus must be lying.

Bush Petraeus Lied, Troops Died

The New York Times Editorial "Empty Calories" is an opinion that stops just short of using the word Lie. This editorial implies that 2 career men in fact did lie under oath about the situation in Iraq.
For months, President Bush has been promising an honest accounting of the situation in Iraq, a fresh look at the war strategy and a new plan for how to extricate the United States from the death spiral of the Iraqi civil war. The nation got none of that yesterday from the Congressional testimony by Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. It got more excuses for delaying serious decisions for many more months, keeping the war going into 2008 and probably well beyond.
General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are not Political appointees. They have not shown any reticence in the past to express any differences of opinion. Why would they do so now? They don't owe their jobs to any Politically Elected official. And they did not sugar coat the fact that they too are disappointed with the Iraq Government. But what they did point out is the fact that prematurely leaving will have dire consequences.
The general claimed a significant and steady decline in killings and deaths in the past three months, but even he admitted that the number of attacks is still too high. Recent independent studies are much more skeptical about the decrease in violence. The main success General Petraeus cited was in the previously all-but-lost Anbar Province where local sheiks, having decided that they hate Al Qaeda more than they hate the United States, have joined forces with American troops to combat insurgents. That development — which may be ephemeral — was not a goal of the surge and surprised American officials. To claim it as a success of the troop buildup is, to be generous, disingenuous.
Whether it was a goal of the surge is immaterial. It did happened as a serendipity result of the surge. To claim that it was not a goal of the Surge and should therefore not count as a success is, in the word of Editorial Writer, disingenuous.

The Editorial does make clear that a Military Success is necessary to allow a Political Solution.
The chief objective of the surge was to reduce violence enough that political leaders in Iraq could learn to work together, build a viable government and make decisions to improve Iraqi society, including sharing oil resources.
Previously the Surrender Group has claimed we need to "re-deploy" the Troops first. Then negotiate a Political Solution. What they should have realized is a basic fact of Warfare. All wars are settled Politically by Diplomatic agreement when one side has suffered enough losses by the Military Actions of the Victor. In simple terms, the Loser is the first one to give up militarily.

The Situation in Iraq is not what we want, but if we leave because the Iraqi Politicians aren't measuring up, we loose, they win. As both the General and the Ambassador testified, we are making progress, and we can win. There have been mistakes. There have been set-backs. Success is not going to be achieved as quickly as everyone wants, but we can't leave just because things are not exactly the way we want them, unless we are willing to accept the consequences.

Those consequences are real and serious, and like an antibiotic medicine, "Don't stop taking this medicine until the prescription is used up".

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"I will not surrender/I will not submit."

I will not surrender/I will not submit.

“I will not surrender/I will not submit.” Courtesy of Michelle Malkin.

Fly the Flag. Always Remember.

Irresponsible Politicians Kucinich (Part 1)

After reading this news item in The Jerusalem Post (US Democratic hopeful Kucinich meets Assad, blasts Bush), I decided to create another label for blog posts. Irresponsible Politicians will categorize the irresponsible actions, statements and positions of Politicians.

For a first offering, consider the statements of Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) during a Mideast trip. He will not be visiting Iraq during this visit to the area because ...
"I feel the United States is engaging in an illegal occupation ... I don't want to bless that occupation with my presence," he said in an interview in Lebanon, after visiting Syria. "I will not do it." [emphasis mine]
Kucinich made this statement during a stop in Syria. Is the former Mayor of Cleveland, and hopefully soon former Member of Congress, really interested in the best for America? If so shouldn't he confine his political remarks, as they differ from Established Foreign Policy, to America's Shores? The forum for Political debate is the floor of the House, not in a foreign country.

Sunday, September 9, 2007 Betrays Democrats Colors

According to the "Weekly Standard" Calls Petraeus a Traitor.
Tomorrow--as General David Petraeus provides his Iraq assessment to Congress--the antiwar group is running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times under the headline: "General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House."
It appears that the reason is making this slanderous claim is because the Democrats with whom is aligned are too "Chicken S**t" to do so themselves. has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership --as an article in today's Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday's Politico: "'No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,' noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. 'The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.' [emphasis mine]
Remember, THIS IS HOW MOST DEMOCRATS SUPPORT THE TROOPS. Consider how despicable these comments are. General Petraeus did not write his report in a vacuum. has not only besmirched the excellent reputation of the Iraq Commanding General, they have also smeared the reputation of every member of the Military.
Let's be clear: is suggesting that General Petraeus has 'betrayed' his country. This is disgusting. To attack as a traitor an American general commanding forces in war because his 'on the ground' experience does not align with's political objectives is utterly shameful. It shows contempt for America's military leadership, as well as for the troops who have confidence in him, as our fellow soldiers in Iraq certainly do.
It is one thing to openly oppose policy. It is repugnant for and the Democrats to do so in this manner.

Byron York has some interesting history of and the Question facing Democrats today. (Has MoveOn Betrayed the Democratic Party?)

Also check out this by William J. Dyer at BelderBlog. ('s new ad campaign: "Nanny nanny boo boo, Petraeus is stinky and Bush is too!")

Another view is at Wizbang. (General Betray Us?)

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Wiretapping Is A NECESSARY Good

Monitoring of Electronic messages is normally thought of as wiretapping. Most people think of this in terms of attaching wires to phone lines to listen to a conversation. But in actuality it can be much more complex. Today's Electronic Message may be carried by many different methods while traveling from point A to point B.
  • Wireless (from a Cell Phone to a Tower or Satelite in space)
  • Fiber Optic Cable (between 2 land points)
  • Phone Wires (between 2 land points)
  • Micro Wave (similar to Cell Phones, but different frequencies)
  • Cordless Phones (Low Power Radio)
All these various methods are interconnected by networks. These networks are set-up so that any message may enter or move to a different network at many different points. Electronic messages are routed through the various networks automatically to yield the most efficient connections. For example my brother calls me from his
  1. cell phone in New York City which connects to
  2. a tower in Manhattan which connects to
  3. a Fiber Optic network in Albany, which connects to
  4. a Satelite up-link in Cleveland which connects to
  5. a down-link in Milwaukee which connects to
  6. a land line in Rockford which connects to
  7. a Micro Wave Tower in Chicago which connects to
  8. a Cell Tower at O'Hare Airport which connects to
  9. my Cell Phone near Chicago
In some parts of the world, certain types of networks may not exist. In other places a direct route may not be the most efficient. All these interconnections take place invisibly, seamlessly and efficiently for both of us. Because the US Networks are so efficient the route will probably not be the same if we talk 10 minutes later. This time the call may go through Atlanta or even Denver.

Generally Electronic Communications originating within the US stay Within the US because of the Advanced Technology of US Networks. It is because our Networks are so efficient, that Electronic Communications outside the US are likely to pass through one or more of the networks in the US. As is apparent, Electronic Message Monitoring of Foreign subjects by the Government is complicated by our efficiency, because it no longer can be done strictly outside the US.

Soon Congress will again ask the following Question. Why shouldn't we require a warrant to Monitor Electronic Transmissions in the USA? The answer depends on who and where.
  • Who is at the end of the Transmission?
  • Where are these ends located?
It should be obvious that not all of these Electronic Transmissions should require a Warrant just because they pass through the US. The fear of the Democrats is that Americans are being monitored without a Warrant. But the Government should not be required to obtain a warrant to monitor al Qaeda or other Terrorist communications. This is Foreign Intelligence Communication and the authority to gather Foreign Intelligence Information, without a warrant, is granted to the President by the Constitution.

We have used Electronic Surveillance to prevented several Terrorist Attacks. Attacks both in and out of the US. Today in the on-line OpinionJournal of the Wall Street Journal editorial page Listening In, highlights a part the US may have played in the recent German Planned Attacks against US targets in Germany.
When the German government announced arrests this week in a terrorist plot against American and German targets inside Germany, one telling detail got little notice: Two of the suspects were identified, in part, based on telephone conversations intercepted by American intelligence.
The Protect America Act which passed last month allowed the Government to use NSA like programs to intercept, without a warrant, certain communications, and protected Telecommunication Companies Like AT&T and Verizon from civil lawsuit if they co-operate with the US Government. But the protection only lasts for the 6 month period of the present law and does not retroactively protect either of the Telecoms.

This is a serious (intentional?) oversight by the Democrats who don't want any monitoring, without a warrant.
The Protect America Act that passed last month gave the phone companies protection from civil liability for the six-month duration of the law, but it offered no protection for their earlier cooperation in the aftermath of 9/11. The White House requested such retrospective immunity, but it was blocked by Democrats. A cynic might conclude this is one more example of Democrats doing the bidding of their tort lawyer financiers. But let's assume their motives aren't that ugly.

That still leaves Democrats tacitly endorsing a strategy of using lawsuits to gut the wiretapping program. Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell has said that the potential liabilities are of an order of magnitude sufficient to bankrupt some of our biggest telcos. And even if the suits are ultimately deemed meritless in court, they could well involve sufficient costs to make the companies wary of cooperating in the future. It has already been reported that at least some phone companies are contemplating suing the government to block the enforcement of any wiretapping law that does not immunize them. That's how seriously they take the liability risk.
We know that al Qaeda wants to carry out an attack even bigger than the 9-11 attack which took 3,000 lives. We have a choice to make. Do we allow the Terrorists to use our fears against us? Do we allow al Qaeda to require us to fight them with one hand tied behind our back?
In this context, this week's debate on Capitol Hill was often out of this world. For example, Florida Democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz took the mic to pose a hypothetical. Suppose her child was emailing with a child in Iraq. Wouldn't current law allow the NSA to read those emails? Former Congressman Bob Barr, who was a witness, allowed that this possibility "ought to be a very major concern for certainly all of us."

University of Virginia Professor Robert Turner--a rare voice of reason during the House hearing--replied that that "If we say [the NSA] can't look at anything that's got [a] U.S. person involved without a warrant, we're going to give [Osama bin Laden] the easiest way to immunize his whole communication system." In other words, all a terrorist would have to do to mask his communications would be to cc: an American email address, putting it off limits to American surveillance. [emphasis mine]
Frankly, if Osama bin Laden is communicating with me, I want the Government asking why. In fact, I demand of our Government the "right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" guaranteed under our Constitution. The Democrats would do well to remember the Words of FDR - "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."
Which brings us back to those Germans and their cell phones in Pakistan. Critics of the surveillance program will argue that they have no problem with America eavesdropping on Germans making phone calls to terrorists, so the example is irrelevant to the controversy. But suppose those Germans were calling their fellow-travelers in America, to plot an attack not against Ramstein, but against Fort Bragg. Does anyone really think that phone call would be less important to intercept than those in Germany?

If Democrats want to vote against warrantless wiretaps, they should do so openly and accept the political consequences. What they shouldn't be able to do is hide their opposition behind lawsuits or the judiciary in such a way that guts the program without having to take any responsibility for doing so.
The Terrorists may succeed in carrying out another 9-11 like attack, but it shouldn't be because we couldn't monitor the suspects.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Counterterrorism and Intelligence Treaty Organization

John Edwards has a flawed and naively bad idea to Combat World Wide Terrorism.
Edwards said the centerpiece of his terrorism policy will be a new multilateral organization called the Counterterrorism and Intelligence Treaty Organization. He said it will be designed to coordinate operations like the recent arrest of three suspected terrorists in Germany who were suspected of plans to bomb airports and other institutions in the country.

"Those nations who join will, by working together, show the world the power of cooperation," Edwards said. "Those nations who join will also be required to commit to tough criteria about the steps they will take to root out extremists, particularly those who cross borders. Those nations who refuse to join will be called out before the world." [emphasis mine]

This astonishing proposal is reported in this Associated Press (AP) article Edwards Proposing Anti-Terrorism Agency. Former Senator and Current Democratic Presidential Candidate Edwards, wants to share top secret intelligence information with countries like Germany, France, and traditional Allies Russia, China and Saudi Arabia.

Someone once said that you can keep a secret only if you keep it to yourself. Our Government cannot control the leaks from within, so how will we control foreign Governments? Sounds like a plan the Terrorists will love.

By the way, don't we already have a World Wide Organization designed to promote World Peace and sanction Nations who harbor/engage in Terror Activities called the United Nations (UN)? As we all know the UN is the World's Model of an Governing Body free full of Scandal, Crime and Corruption.

To people like John Edwards, any Governmental Failure is a call for bigger Government. Typically the Democrats see any Government Organizational Failure as a need to add additional Governmental Organizations to fix the original failure. They almost never fix the original failure.