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11001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: February 03, 2008, 04:20:33 PM
http://formerspook.blogspot.com/

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 01, 2008

Leading for Patriotism or Lust?

John McCain scored the most memorable soundbite in the recent GOP debate, repeatedly telling rival Mitt Romney that "led for patriotism, not profit." The Arizona Senator was referring to his tour as executive officer (and later, commander) of a Navy Replacement Air Group in Jacksonville, Florida during the late 1970s, contrasting that experience with Mitt Romney's career in the business world.

There is a slight irony in McCain citing that assignment as proof of his leadership abilities. While he was, by most accounts, an effective commander, the Jacksonville assignment also marked a dark chapter in McCain's personal life, a period marked by serial philandering and the end of his first marriage.

Those events are described--delicately--in Robert Timberg's The Nightingale's Song, a best-selling chronicle of the U.S. Naval Academy, as viewed through the lives (and military service) of five graduates: McCain; Virginia Senator Jim Webb; former National Security Advisers Robert McFarlane and John Poindexter, and Iran-Contra figure-turned-media personality Oliver North.

Of the five, Timberg provides the most flattering potraits of Webb and McCain; Poindexter and McFarlane receive less laudatory treatment and the author can barely contain his contempt for Ollie North. While acknowledging the personal--and professional--problems of his subjects during their military careers, Timberg offers a (slightly) charitable explanation for the poor personal conduct that plagued McCain's assignment as group commander.

There was a dark side to the Jacksonville tour. The storybook marriage that had survived separation, pain and prison began to fray. Off-duty, usually on routine, cross-country flights to Yuma and El Centro, John began carousing and running around with women. To make matters worse, some of the women to whom he was linked by rumor were his subordinates. In some ways, the rumors were an extension of the John McCain stories that had swirled in his way since Academy days--some true, some with an element of truth, some patently absurd. Asked about them, he admitted to a series of dalliances during this period, but flatly denied any with females, officer or enlisted, under his command.

Though officially frowned upon, romantic relationships between officers of different grades are not uncommon and for the most part, free of a superior-subordinate element. Many have led to marriage. But fraternization between officers and enlisted members is considered over the line, not because of caste discrimination, but because the color of authority is too vivid, almost impossible to soften.

At the time, the rumors were so widespread that, true or not, they became part of the McCain persona, impossible not to take note of. What is true is that a number of POWs, in those first few years after their release, often acted erratically, their lives pockmarked by by drastic mood swings and uncharacteristic behavior before achieving a more mellow equilibrium.

More troubling, sad beyond words, was the failure of the marriage. If there was one couple that deserved to make it, it was John and Carol McCain. They endured nearly six years of unspeakable trauma with courage and grace. In the end, it was not enough. They won the war, but lost the peace.

To his credit, McCain has admitted his indiscretions during this period. And, Carol McCain has refused to publicly criticize her former husband, or discuss the end of their marriage in detail. She told Robert Timberg that "I attribute it more to John turning 40 and wanting to be 25 again than I do anything else." So, chalk it up as another middle-aged man suffering a mid-life crisis.

But we'd say the Jacksonville tour raises questions about McCain's judgment and leadership, issues that have never been fully explained. True, John McCain wasn't the first fighter jock to lose a marriage due to extra-curricular activities. It's also true that he had a reputation as a wild man, dating back to his time at the Academy and early tours as an attack pilot.

Still, the John McCain who led a naval training group wasn't the same junior aviator of the early 1960s. As the unit commander, McCain was supposed to set the example, both on and off-duty. Military regulations on adultery, fraternization and improper relationships don't differentiate between those that begin in the workplace, or in the Officers' Club. And, as one of the Navy's best-known officers (thanks to his heroism as a POW), you could argue that McCain had a special responsiblity to uphold standards.

If Timberg's description is correct--and McCain has never disputed it--then the Senator was potentially guilty of multiple violations of military law as a senior officer. Yet, there is no account of Captain McCain being investigated on accusations of adultery and fraternization, despite those "widespread rumors" that became a part of the McCain persona. Did he get a pass because of his POW status or family ties, as the son and grandson of Navy admirals? That's another question that has never been answered.

Obviously, no one is demanding that McCain be court-martialed for events that happened 30 years ago. But his misconduct in Jacksonville is relevant to McCain's subsequent political campaign. Those extra-marital "dalliances" reflect faulty judgment and poor choices, traits that have been evident in the Senator's subsequent legislative record. Anyone remember the Keating 5? McCain-Feingold? McCain-Leiberman? McCain-Kennedy? Voting against the Bush tax cuts on more than one occasion? Blocking conservative judicial nominees as part of the "Gang of Fourteen?"

That's why the Senator's repeated references to his Jacksonville tour struck us as a bit puzzling. If command of that group represented John McCain at his best (as a leader), then it highlighted some of his worst personal qualities as well. That's the "rest" of the Jacksonville story, which should provide some campaign grist for the Democratic attack mill.

We also wonder if McCain's reputation in Jacksonville is one reason that the area rejected him overwhelmingly in last week's Florida primary. Of the state's four major military regions, Jacksonville (the third-largest Navy town in the United States) was the only one that McCain lost, and by double-digit margins.

***

ADDENDUM: We disagree with Timberg's explanation that McCain's conduct was "typical" of erratic behavior among former POWs in the late 1970s. During the early stages of our military service, we had the opportunity to meet--and know--several men who had been held in the Hanoi Hilton. While most suffered re-adjustment problems (to varying degrees), all the POWs we knew remained faithful to their wives.
11002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: February 03, 2008, 09:19:52 AM
http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/new-mayor-rudy-1971979-republican-war

Saturday, February 2, 2008
Mark Steyn: It's a shame one of them has to win

MARK STEYN
Syndicated columnist


President McCain? Or Queen Hillary? Henry Kissinger said about the Iran/Iraq war in the '80s that it's a shame they both can't lose. Conservatives have a slightly different problem: It's a shame that neither of them will lose – that, regardless of who takes the oath come next January, the harmonious McCain-Clinton consensus policies on illegal immigration and Big Government solutions to global warming will prevail. Where's Neither-of-the-Above when you need him?
Alas, the only Neither-of-the-Above in the offing is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose candidacy would shake things up only insofar as we'd all suddenly be demanding: OK, where's None-of-the-Above when you need him? Mayor Bloomberg is a former Democrat, former Republican, and current Independent, if by "Independent" you mean "Man who agrees with the conventional wisdom on illegal immigration, global warming, health care and everything else."
Democracies get the political leaders they deserve, and that's particularly true in the United States, where the primary system allows rank-and-file citizens to choose not merely which party to vote for (as in Britain, Canada and Europe) but also which individuals will be the candidates of those parties. True, it helps to be wealthy – up to a point. But it wasn't enough for John Edwards, the curiously unconvincing "angry populist" muttering darkly that "they" would never stop him telling the truth about 9-year-old girls shivering without a winter coat because daddy had been laid off at the mill. "They" didn't need to stop him. The champion of America's mythical Coatless Girl laid himself off last week. High on a hill, the Lonely Coatherd suddenly realized he was yodeling to himself.
Yet Sen. Edwards can't even claim the consolation prize of Most Inept Candidate of 2008. The Rudy Giuliani campaign went from national front-runner to total collapse so spectacularly that they'll be teaching it in Candidate School as a cautionary tale for decades to come. As each state's date with destiny loomed, Giuliani retreated, declining to compete in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, South Carolina. "America's Mayor" turned out to be Hizzoner of a phantom jurisdiction – a national front-runner but a single-digit asterisk in any state where any actual voters were actually voting.
Giuliani's fate unnerves me because, unlike the Coatless One, Rudy had the support of a lot of my columnar confreres: John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary; Andy McCarthy and Lisa Schiffren at National Review; and David Frum, author of the new book "Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again." Yet he backed a candidate who took off and barely cleared the runway before nose-diving into the sod.
Rudy's views on abortion were always going to be a deal-breaker for a key segment of the Republican base. And his views on gun control were likewise beyond the pale for another big faction. That didn't leave much except his cleanup of New York (whose problems were blessedly alien to Iowa and New Hampshire) and, more recently, his "war on terror" credentials, which boils down to his marvelous performance on 9/11, barreling through the dust-choked streets of Lower Manhattan and showing leadership amidst the chaos – plus a splendid coda a couple of weeks later when he told some unsavory Saudi prince to take his gazillion-dollar donation and shove it. Every malign check from the House of Saud ought to meet the same fate: perhaps we could have a constitutional amendment to that effect.
As for his performance on Sept. 11, well, yes, he was good, and he was effective on a day when so many agencies of government, at least at the federal level, had failed spectacularly – FAA, INS, FBI, CIA, all the fancy-pants money-no-object acronyms, none of whose mediocrities paid any political price for their failures.
In 2000, Rudy had been in full public meltdown. His wife learned she was heading for divorcee status from a mayoral news conference. But, unlike so many officials on 9/11, in his rendezvous with history, Rudy Giuliani rose to the occasion. You would hope that would not be so exceptional, but apparently it is.
In contrast to the moral clarity Rudy showed in returning the Saudi check, the repugnant mayor of London, after the 2005 Tube bombings, artfully attempted to draw a distinction between Muslim terrorists blowing up his own public transit (which he didn't approve of) and Muslim terrorists blowing up Israeli public transit (which he was inclined to be sympathetic to).
In contrast with Giuliani's take-charge attitude, the boob presiding over New Orleans, Ray Nagin, raged as wildly as Katrina: "To those who would criticize, where the hell were you?" roared Mayor Culpa, pointing the finger in all directions. "Where the hell were you?" We were in a town you're not the mayor of, happily.
If Rudy's performance was "exceptional," that's less a reflection on him than on the general standards of officialdom. It seems odd to me that so many experts would expect the "America's Mayor" pitch to outpunch abortion and guns with the Republican base: 9/11 will be seven years old by Election Day 2008. A lot of voters have moved on, including a lot of Republican voters. And many of those Republican voters who still regard the forces unleashed that day as an ongoing threat want something different from the Orange Alert remove-your-shoes security-state approach. If this is a "long war," as the administration took to calling it, "America's Mayor" seemed in large part to embody an early phase that has already receded into history.
Another colleague of mine, Michael Ledeen, suggests that the rise of McCain through New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida indicates that for many voters "the war" is still the issue, because, after all, what else has the senator got going for him? Surely, it's not his global-warming hysteria or illegal-immigration amnesty or demonization of capitalism. It's because he's Mister Surge.
Well, maybe.
The senator is an eloquent defender of the U.S. armed forces. A President McCain will not permit a military defeat in Iraq. But it's not clear to me he has much of a strategic vision for the ideological struggle, for the real long-term battlefield in the mosques and madrassahs of Pakistan and Indonesia and Western Europe. McCain's lead is no evidence of popular commitment to "the long war," and, absent any surprising developments, this will not be a war election.
The Clintons are nothing if not lucky, and Hillary must occasionally be enjoying a luxury-length cackle at the thought of being pitted against a 71-year-old "maverick" whose record seems designed to antagonize just enough of the base into staying home on Election Day. In the 2000 campaign season, running in a desultory fashion for the New York Senate seat, Rudy Giuliani waged a brief half-hearted campaign just long enough to leave the Republican Party with no one to run against Hillary except a candidate who wasn't up to the job.
Has he managed to do the same this time round?
11003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: February 03, 2008, 08:54:13 AM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=511963&in_page_id=1770&in_page_id=1770&expand=true#StartComments

Asian PCs 'blocking crackdown on honour killings'
By MILES GOSLETT and DANIEL BOFFEY - More by this author »
Last updated at 13:56pm on 3rd February 2008
 Comments (15)

Some Asians in the police and in Government jobs have been accused of blocking the crackdown against so-called honour killings.
It is alleged they are not only failing to help desperate women trying to flee abuse and arranged marriages but are actively encouraging punishment for those they believe are breaking traditional taboos.

Terrified victims who seek official help are even being tracked down by a network of Asian men working in Government departments and social services, according to a study written by the think-tank Social Cohesion.

One woman was found by her family after she signed on at a Jobcentre where a member of the Asian community was working.

Scroll down for more


The study follows the horrific case of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod whose body was found in a suitcase after she was raped and strangled with a bootlace by hitmen hired by her family

The report also claims some Asian police officers actually return women to their abusive families or refuse to act against men enforcing 'traditional' roles.

Meanwhile, non-Asian officials and police officers are scared of acting against families who abuse their relatives for fear of being branded as racist, the report says.

The study follows the horrific case of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod, from Mitcham, South London, whose body was found in a suitcase after she was raped and strangled with a bootlace by hitmen hired by her family.

She was killed for falling in love with a man the family disapproved of – despite unsuccessfully asking police for help five times.

In one plea she recorded a video message that helped convict her father and uncle of her murder.

Controversially, the report accuses one of the Government's closest advisers on Muslim matters, the Muslim Council of Britain, of hampering attempts to criminalise forced marriage.

It said: "The MCB has sought to block legislation aimed at ending honour-based violence. Almost all women's groups interviewed for this report say that the MCB has done little or nothing to end honour-based violence...

"In many northern towns...South Asian women are often afraid to seek help because they know that Asians working in local government believe that women who break traditional taboos deserve to be punished."

Report contributor Nazir Afzal, of the Crown Prosecution Service, added: "Domestic violence is not an issue the Muslim Council of Britain wants to know about."

David Davies, the Tory MP for Monmouth who is on the Home Affairs Select committee investigating forced marriages and domestic violence, said: "Thousands of girls are being taken to Pakistan every year for marriage, although it is best described as abduction and rape."

James Brandon, one of the report's authors, said: "It is estimated that ten women a year in Britain die through honour killings and honour violence. The Government must change the way it approaches this problem."

The MCB said: "Our position has always been clear: so-called honour killings are murder. They are severe criminal offences which we condemn."
11004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: February 02, 2008, 09:57:39 PM
**"America Alone" continues to be proven accurate. It's wonderful how well "multiculti" is working out. Keep in mind that under sharia law, no non-muslim is ever justified in self-defense and any muslim has the right to rob, rape, enslave and murder any non-muslim.**


SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 1, 2008, 10:32 AM
URL: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,532423,00.html

'WE'RE SITTING ON A POWDER KEG'
Immigrants Protest Death of Moroccan Teenager in Cologne

By Barbara Schmid and Andreas Ulrich
Following the violent death of a Moroccan teenager in Cologne, hundreds of immigrants have taken to the streets in nightly demonstrations to protest what they see as evidence of their second-class status in Germany. Police warn the city could be ready to explode.


Ikhlas Abbis
Members of the immigrant community have been protesting the death of a teenager in Cologne.

The owner of an electronics shop on Cologne's Kalker Hauptstrasse had rolled down the shutters on the windows in case there was unrest. Now they have photos of a 17-year-old Moroccan boy taped to them. The teenager, whose name was Salih, was killed in front of the shop two weeks ago.
The sidewalk is a sea of candles as hundreds of people chant: "Salih! Salih! We want justice!" They feel that Salih was one of them -- a youth from an immigrant family.

For the police, the case is clear cut. According to their version of events, Salih allegedly wanted to mug a 20-year-old German man, who tried to defend himself. But he panicked and pulled out a pocketknife that he plunged into Salih's heart with an unlucky stab. Prosecutors said it was a clear case of self-defense, and there are witnesses. But none of that matters any longer.

Every night last week, up to 300 protestors gathered at the spot where Salih died to demand "justice" instead of letting his killer walk free. They are protesting against "racism in Germany" -- but since it appears clear that this case involves self-defense, it's obviously about more than just the unfortunate Salih. It's more about how immigrants and their children feel they are currently being treated in Germany.

FROM THE MAGAZINE

Find out how you can reprint this DER SPIEGEL article in your publication.
The incident has struck a chord with those who feel disenfranchised from German society -- those without a proper education or vocational training, those without a future. The frustration is palpable. "We're sitting on a powder keg," warns former police commissioner Winrich Granitzka, who is also head of the Christian Democratic group in Cologne's city council. "There's the danger we could see a situation like in the suburbs of Paris."
Cologne certainly isn't Paris and the district of Kalk can't be compared with the high-rise suburban ghettoes surrounding the French capital. But Kalk, which used to be home to a chemical plant, is certainly depressing. The only bright spot is the large and colorful new shopping center, which stands out from its gray surroundings.

Immigrants and people with at least one non-German parent make up 54.7 percent of Kalk's population. The amount of young people between 15 and 18 living there is above average; education levels, on the other hand, are below average. Some 90 percent of people without a job in the area count as long-term unemployed.

"It seems to me as if they only send losers here," says Kemal Düzardic, a 22-year-old friend of the dead teenager. He and the others gather near the photos and candles even in the cold and the rain. One question weighs heavily on their minds. What if a German had died and the killer had been one of them?

A mere eight hours after the incident happened, the police announced it had been a case of self-defense and no charges would be pressed. The statement was "somewhat unfortunately formulated," admits Cologne police officer Catherine Maus in hindsight.

The "unfortunate" wording came at a particularly unfortunate time. "We have too many criminal foreigners," Roland Koch, the conservative governor of the state of Hesse, said in late December. In his re-election campaign, which many observers considered xenophobic, Koch made clear he thought immigrants should assimilate and shouldn't expect Germans to accommodate their cultural practices.

Of course, many of the Kalk youths who were born and raised within sight of Cologne's towering cathedral and speak the local German dialect don't consider themselves "foreigners." But Koch's populist attacks still resonated throughout the immigrant community.

"Stop this Racist," was the headline in the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, accompanied by a caricature of the Christian Democrat politician with an extra-long nose. The Social Democrats, the left-wing Left party, the Greens and even a few Christian Democrats distanced themselves from Koch. Only the mass circulation newspaper Bild took his side and delighted in featuring new stories about "foreign" repeat offenders with long criminal records on an almost daily basis.

But the people with immigrant backgrounds in Kalk read Bild too. "What's with this crap?" says one irritated young man. "We grew up here, we aren't criminals. So why are we treated differently than other Germans?"

'We Feel like Second-Class Citizens'

For more than 40 years, the German mainstream tried to assert that Germany wasn't a "country of immigration." That attitude has had repercussions. Around 72 percent of Germany's 1.7 million Turks -- the largest group of foreigners living in the country -- don't have proper vocational qualifications. Some 40 percent of young people from immigrant families neither study nor pursue a traineeship after they leave school. They do odd jobs or hang around -- and they make up a disproportionate amount of violent offenders.

"The city of Cologne does a lot for integration," says police director Michael Temme, who has been keeping a careful eye on how his officers have been policing the demonstrations. But he admits there are "hot spots" in the city, including in Kalk. And so every evening he finds himself wondering if this will be the night when a spark finally ignites the powder keg, if this will be the night when shop windows get shattered and cars go up in flames.

"We feel like second-class citizens," says a middle-aged Moroccan man. "It will never stop, maybe it will even get worse," adds a young man. A group of intimidating-looking youths chant: "Salih, Salih!" They want a different kind of justice. It sounds more like a call for revenge.

"Something needs to happen to shake up Germany," says Social Democratic parliamentarian Lale Akgün, quoting a phrase made famous by former President Roman Herzog. "We need, at long last, social policies that are based on acceptance, and we need a fundamental reform of both education and social policy," she says. Germans need foreigners and foreigners need Germans, she says.

FROM THE MAGAZINE

Find out how you can reprint this DER SPIEGEL article in your publication.
It's an opinion shared by demographers and labor market experts. If people aren't given the opportunity to get vocational skills and qualifications, there will be "mass unemployment with a simultaneous dearth of skilled labor," according to the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).
A study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation has calculated that a lack of integration of immigrants in Germany has already cost the country €16 billion. Many immigrants are unemployed, earn less and pay smaller amounts of tax and social security contributions.

The protesters in Cologne's Kalk district know this and that's what makes the situation so explosive. There's a feeling of not getting a fair chance and of being disenfranchised.

Around a fifth of foreign children see themselves as being "strongly discriminated against" or "individually disadvantaged," according to a survey by the Germany Youth Institute (DJI) in Munich. More than half feel they are neither respected nor treated equally. "Those are strong opinions that they have formed based on their own experiences," says DJI researcher Jan Skrobanek.

"We're not welcome here," says 14-year-old Fatima from Kalk. She ostentatiously pulls down her headscarf to cover her face as she stands in front of Salih's photo. "After elementary school we all get shoved into the Hauptschule," she says, referring to the lowest level of Germany's three-tier high school system. "None of us go to Realschule (apprenticeship-track high school), only Germans go there," she says. Her three older siblings couldn't find a traineeship after finishing high school. Fatima doesn't believe her luck will be any better.

Experts agree that youth crime in Germany isn't an ethnic problem, but rather a social one. Immigrant children from middle-class families and those that do well in school generally aren't troublemakers. Those that manage to find an apprenticeship or a job have a "significantly smaller feeling of being disadvantaged," according to youth researcher Skrobanek.

"We have to do everything we can to lower the high proportion of 40 percent of young immigrants without vocational qualifications," Maria Böhmer, the German government's commissioner for integration affairs, announced recently.

The federal government wants to spend €350 million over the next three years to work toward that goal. An employer will receive a subsidy of at least €4,000 if they give an apprenticeship to an applicant that has already unsuccessfully applied for one. It's a beginning.

"But immigrants have to do their part as well," insists Social Democrat Lale Akgün. "They have to give up their attitude of rejection and join society."

In a survey carried out by the Center for Turkish Studies in Essen, one-third of immigrant parents admitted that they would have problems with a German son-in-law. Hence, not much can be expected from the older generation -- which makes the future prospects of the children that much worse.

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"Many children experience an inconsistency in the way that they are raised which they find very challenging," says Haci-Halil Uslucan from the University of Magdeburg. At home they might be raised in a patriarchal fashion that puts an emphasis on obedience, while at school they are taught self-responsibility, individual choice and equality. "This disconnect is extremely difficult to deal with," says Uslucan.
Anyone interested in establishing equal opportunities and preventing young immigrants from drifting into criminality has to start promoting language development and education as early as kindergarten, says economist and criminologist Horst Entorf.

Salih, the dead teen from Kalk, had never had any run-ins with the police. "He wanted to get his high school diploma," says his 23-year-old brother Abdallah, who is studying electronics. Abdallah was part of the street protests last week. But the more radical protesters made him uneasy.

A few days ago, the Moroccan consul general visited Abdallah and his parents. He explained to them that the police investigation had been carried out conscientiously. But Abdallah still wonders whether a foreigner would have been released so quickly.

11005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: February 01, 2008, 12:15:15 PM
Someone who isn't McCain could hammer Hillary for statements like that in the general election.
11006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 31, 2008, 07:53:40 PM
When it comes to Iran's nuclear program, it's probably already too late. If it's not, by jan. 2009 it certainly will be. If we are going to move against Iran, President Bush will have to be the trigger puller.

As far as the war against the global jihad, it'll still be there in 2012. We may have a few more 9/11's under our belt by then, but let the dems shut down Gitmo and defang us globally. Much of the casualties CONUS will be in those densely populated blue states. We'll see how reality shapes future politics.
11007  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Ecological Economics on: January 31, 2008, 03:59:26 PM
Dead link. It sounds like the usual marxist tripe hidden under a swath of green.
11008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 31, 2008, 03:55:13 PM
Nominating McAmnesty removes the most powerful wedge issue we have. Illegal immigration. Lose that and indeed we've lost.
11009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 31, 2008, 09:35:01 AM
I think this is a "rebuilding year". Let the dems wins the white house and really FCUK things up. We can then get a good candidate in 2012.
11010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 31, 2008, 09:10:42 AM
Crafty,

I could be wrong, but I think running a "democrat-lite" candidate is the path to ruin.
11011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 30, 2008, 10:07:56 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/28/mccains-campaign-boasts-another-open-borders-zealot/

This is my biggest issue with McAmnesty.
=================

McCain’s campaign boasts another open borders zealotposted at 10:22 am on January 28, 2008 by Bryan
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly His name is Jerry Perenchio, and he’s a national finance co-chair of the McCain campaign. You can find him listed on McCain’s website. Perenchio has a long history of thwarting the people’s will when it comes to border security.
Jerry Perenchio is the man who poured millions of dollars into fighting the California movement to teach schoolchildren English. Does John McCain share Perenchio’s zealous opposition to pro-English immersion initiatives? If he doesn’t, why does he have the nation’s leading opponent of pro-English immersion initiatives serving in the prestigious position of national campaign finance co-chair?
Perenchio aggressively bankrolled opposition to Prop. 227, which dismantled “bilingual education”–the oxymoronic program that holds foreign-language-speaking students hostage and forces them to maintain their native tongues instead of transitioning to English as quickly as possible–in 1998. He donated millions directly to the opponents and also donated millions of dollars in anti-227 “public service announcements” on Univision railing that “The dreams of millions of Hispanic families are being destroyed.” Despite Perenchio’s massive campaign to prop up language segregationism, the pro-English Prop. 227 won in a landslide.
It’s bad enough that McCain has Juan Hernandez as his Hispanic Outreach Director. McCain claims that Hernandez is on the campaign because he agrees with McCain’s policies. But it’s something else entirely to find that McCain is backed by Perenchio. Perenchio isn’t just an open borders advocate; he’s also a global warming crusader and major contributor to Planned Parenthood. Michelle has all the details. McCain is looking more and more like a creature of the radical side of a couple of issues that put him at odds with the vast majority of the GOP base and, in the case of border security, with the general public as well. Personnel is policy, and the personnel on McCain’s campaign offer a strong hint about which policies he would take with him if he’s elected president.
11012  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 30, 2008, 09:31:35 AM
It looks like Silky Pony is going back to hair care and ambulance chasing full time.  evil
11013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 30, 2008, 09:21:51 AM
McCain is an American hero. Having said that, I weep for the republican party and this nation if he's our nominee.

The only thing that makes me smile right now is Dr. Crazy's 3% in Florida.
11014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 27, 2008, 10:54:18 PM
I wish we could transplant Newt's brain into Mitt's body.....
11015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 27, 2008, 06:31:13 PM
I'm thinking Obama will be our next president.
11016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 25, 2008, 10:06:11 AM
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?print=yes&id=24650

Newt: A GOP Dark Horse?
by Michael Reagan (more by this author)
Posted 01/25/2008 ET


Fred Thompson's gone. Duncan Hunter's gone. All these people are gone. Huckabee could become Huckabeen -- gone by next Tuesday. So could Rudy after next's Tuesday's Florida primary.
 
All of a sudden you've got this Republican primary coming down to McCain, Romney and Ron Paul. With all this uncertainty, just where can a conservative go? All of a sudden radio talk show hosts, who reflect the opinions of grass-roots conservative voters, are all over the lot hammering on Rudy, hammering on Romney, hammering on McCain and hammering on Paul.
 
Listening to them you get an idea who they want or don't want. They don't like McCain. Most probably they support either Huckabee or Romney. Although they think Rudy is gone, he could come back if he wins in Florida next Tuesday.
 
If Huckabee is finished, I think they go to Romney, who is somewhat more conservative than the rest. At any rate, conservatives could be faced with backing either McCain, or Romney, or Huckabee or even Rudy.
 
Or they could end up backing none of them.
 
Who, then, could conservatives end up backing? Well, who recently has come out with a new book? Who's doing all the shows talking about his new book? Who is advocating common-sense solutions to the most pressing problems America faces?
 
Newt Gingrich, that's who. He was out of the race for a long time, he toyed with the idea of running until Fred Thompson entered the race, and then he more or less pulled back.
 
Why Newt? Ask yourself why Ronald Reagan won. He won because he was able to excite a group of people in America that the liberal wing of the Republican party has never excited -- the grass roots.
 
Newt Gingrich is the last Republican to have done that -- to reach out to the grass roots, to all those conservative Republicans and Reagan Democrats. Remember, it was Newt who engineered the miraculous Republican take-over of Congress in 1994 -- something that was deemed impossible two years after Bill Clinton won the White House.
 
I wouldn't be surprised if he was out there quietly working the phones and hoping for a wide-open convention where the delegates -- not the primaries that selected many of them -- decide for themselves who they want to carry the GOP banner in the presidential election in November.
 
If Newt throws his hat in the ring he knows that in the blink of an eye he will have the grass roots behind him. 
 
Look at what happened Saturday in South Carolina. McCain won with 33 percent of the vote, which means 67 percent of the voters said we don't want McCain; only 30 percent said yes to Huckabee, which means that 70 percent said no to him. About 15 percent went for Thompson, a mere 14 percent went for Romney and 2 percent went for Giuliani.
 
So basically the voters said a resounding “No” to all of the above.
 
So who can electrify the base and get them to come out from their bunkers and ignite a groundswell? On the record, the only person capable of doing that is Newt Gingrich.
 
Covering all the issues that concern the grass roots: Romney represents the Reagan economic approach; McCain, the national security issues; Giuliani represents the hard-line-on-crime position; and Huckabee covers the religious position. Everybody has a piece.
 
Newt Gingrich covers all of those issues, and in the eyes of the grass roots, he covers them brilliantly. Just as his Contract with America dealt with many of the issues that concerned the grass roots and won Congress for the GOP, his agenda goes right to the heart of our current problems. He's offering concrete solutions to all the concrete problems and that's what the grass roots crave.
 
As a result, if the nomination gets thrown open in a brokered convention, the person who comes out of the struggle the winner will most likely be Newt Gingrich.
 
If I'm right I'll back him to the hilt. If I'm wrong I'll follow my dad's lead and support the nominee no matter who he is.

11017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 24, 2008, 08:42:59 AM
 evil HA-HA!  evil

Suicide bomber falls down stairs ...
Article from: Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Khost, Afghanistan
January 24, 2008 12:39pm

A WOULD-be suicide bomber fell down a flight of stairs and blew himself up as he headed out for an attack in Afghanistan, police say.

It was the second such incident in two days, with another man killing himself and three others on Tuesday when his bomb-filled waistcoat exploded as he was putting it on in the southern town of Lashkar Gah.

Yesterday's blast was in a busy market area of the eastern town of Khost, a deputy provincial police chief said.

The would-be attacker tripped as he was leaving a building apparently to target an opening ceremony for a mosque that was expected to be attended by Afghan and international military officials, said Sakhi Mir.

"Coming down the stairs, he fell down and exploded. Two civilian women and a man were wounded,'' Mir said.

Suicide attacks are regular feature of an insurgency led by the extremist Taliban movement that was in government between 1996 and 2001. The most deadly was in November 2007 and killed nearly 80 people, most of them school students.
11018  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Legal Issues created by the War with Islamic Fascism on: January 21, 2008, 09:34:04 AM
If the dems win the white house and end the war against the global jihad, my only hope is that the blue states bear the brunt of the CONUS attacks. I'm sure in the aftermath, it'll all be Bush's fault somehow. Maybe after they have to sweep up body parts in the bay area, they'll find a new support for the military and law enforcement. No, probably not....
11019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 21, 2008, 08:55:25 AM
http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:wIq9wSEwbeEJ:www.ronpaulforum.com/showthread.php%3Ft%3D302154+ron+paul+forum+jewish+defector&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=safari

The Ronulans don't like the scrutiny. Busted by google!
11020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 21, 2008, 08:44:42 AM
Looks like the Ronulans have the cause of the world's problems figured out, although many have been saying this for years.....  evil

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=28664_Todays_Moment_of_Paulmania#comments
11021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 11, 2008, 03:01:01 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/11/reason-ron-paul-defended-his-newsletters-for-years/

More on Dr. Crazy's newsletters of yore......
11022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 11, 2008, 02:57:26 PM
RP leads military donations?!?  Superficial data says yes , , ,

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2007/10/ron_paul_leads_military_donations_race/
===========



http://www.americanconservativedaily.com/2007/07/unspinning-the-latest-ron-paul-spin/

Unspinning the Latest Ron Paul Spin
Posted By: J.J. Jackson* on July 18, 2007
Filed Under Eyes on 2008

Apparently the Ron Paul supporters who are camping out this site just think that I am going to take their word for everything and parrot their talking points when they put a few emails in my mail box. The latest? A bold claim that Ron Paul got more donations than any other candidate from current and former members of the military.
You know, and this is just a word of advice ok, I don’t know where you get these talking points from but maybe you should keep them to your selves. You would probably do your selves a better service by just keeping me off your mailing lists. Because all you do by sending me these poorly contrived messages is compel me to double check what you say and unspin it if not true and post it for everyone to see.So I went to the Federal Trade Commission’s website and looked at 2nd quarter donations (http://query.nictusa.com/pres/2007/Q2/) and am here to bring everyone the truth. Which I am sure will bring even more condemnations from Paul supporters as my posts on him always seem to do.
The truth is that Ron Paul only outpaced all Republican candidates in donations by donors that declared themselves as either current or former members of the military. Notice I say “declared”. This is important since one is not required to “declare” their profession when giving to candidates.So, did Ron Paul out pace all other candidates in donations from members of our military? That’s impossible to say because so many of the donations for candidates did not declare a profession.
Ron Paul did certainly get a couple thousand dollars from members and former members of the military the data shows that. But let’s look at the facts. For other candidates, contributions from “undeclared” professions are in the millions. Romney and Giuliani, for example, had $2.7 million from such sources. McCain had $2.2 million from “undeclared” professions. Am I being asked to assume that none of these people ever served in the military?
So can Paul supporters say that Ron Paul got more support from military members than any other candidate? They are trying. For example, like this quote from a Paul supporter who simply calls himself “rEVOLution”:
You and your neo-con buddies are in for it in 2008. The military is squarely behind Ron Paul and he walloped all the other fake conservatives that you support in fund raising from members of the military! Report that!

or maybe this one from “Constitutionalist”:
Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul! That’s all you are going to hear in 2008! Because now that it is a FACT that more members of the military support him than any other candidate it is going to grow into a national movement that will knock you neo-cons out of power! HA! Hopefully you’ll get over your hatred of Ron Paul and report this great news!

I think you see what I mean. The spin cycle is in overdrive.  However, the only “fact” that can be concluded from this data is that Ron Paul received more donations (total dollars that is) from members of the military that actually declared their profession as such when they donated. Nothing else is able to be concluded nor even implied.  And let’s be clear, these were not the only two emails.  There were enough of them that obviously someone is spreading disinformation and I want to head it off before it becomes gospel.
Make no mistake, when the Paul spin machine turns I will work it over just like I have for all the other candidates regardless of party. I don’t know where you guys are getting these talking points from, but either you misread them or the person feeding them to you is incorrect.  And you do a diservice to your candidate by doing these things.  Because instead of focusing on the good things about Paul, when stuff like this circulates the internet people only focus on the goofiness of his supporters.
Related Posts
Some Ron Paul Supporters Still Desperate To Claim Military Support
http://www.militaryforpaul.com/ claims that the VFW has endorsed Ron Paul (see post here http://www....
Ron Paul in 4th Place
Ron Paul Would be More Popular If He Was Pro-Iraq War
*Content posted by a user may not be completely written by that user. Content from another source is cited in either block quotes or quotes with a link to the original material when necessary. Content from other sites is posted for commentary and news purposes under fair use.
11023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 09, 2008, 10:32:08 PM
http://ace.mu.nu/archives/251539.php

I think Ron Paul is regretting the media attention he is now getting....
11024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 06, 2008, 08:46:55 PM
Most in this country are living in a 9/10 mindset. Until the next time....
11025  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 06, 2008, 05:22:19 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_presidential_debates,_2008

Linked in the article.
11026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 06, 2008, 09:25:27 AM
**The only person that knows less about geopolitics and history than the average Ron Paul supporter, is.....Ron Paul.**

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2007/11/mccain-paul-dif.html

McCain, Paul Differ on Iraq

November 28, 2007 8:52 PM

ABC News' Z. Byron Wolf and Ed O'Keefe Report: Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., played with populist fire during the Republican debate Wednesday night.

Segueing from an unrelated topic, John McCain, who has staked his political career on his support for the surge in Iraq and fight against global Islamic terrorism, turned to Paul, who was standing to his left and addressed him directly.

Watch the video HERE.

"Congressman Paul, I've heard him now in many debates talk about brining our troops home and about the war in Iraq and how its failed and I want to tell you that that kind of isolationism, sir, is what caused World War II. We allowed . . ."

McCain was obscured here by jeers and boos and cheers all at once from the crowed auditorium.  Poor CNN Anchor Anderson Cooper had no chance against the audience.

But the Arizona Senator continued, "We allowed Hitler to come to power with that kind of attitude of isolationism and (Ron Paul is looking right at McCain and shaking his head 'No')

McCain: "And I want to tell you something sir, I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops and their message to you is, the message of these brave men and women serving over there is, 'Let us win. Let us win.'

Cheers mixed with jeers and boos and applause rose up all over again.

In a 30 second response, Paul, who recently raised $4 million exclusively from online contributors, calmly asked McCain, "The real question you have to ask is why do I get the most money from active duty officers, military personnel?"

"So what John is saying is just totally distorted. He doesn't understand the difference between nonintervention and isolationism. I'm not an isolationist. I want to trade with people, talk with people, travel. But I don't want to send our troops overseas using force telling them how to live. We would object to it here and they're going to object to us over there."

It was not the first time the two men tangled.

Earlier, talking about fiscal responsibility, McCain, who has been outspoken against pork barrel spending, lamented Republicans who got into politics to change Washington, but "we went to Washington and Washington changed us."

Several questions later, Paul, absolutist in his views and almost in alone in Washington in his opposition to just about every spending bill said to McCain, "Washington didn't change me."

At a later point in the debate, McCain and Paul sparred again.

Recalling Iraq once again, McCain asserted, "We never lost a battle in Vietnam, it was American public opinion that caused us to lose that conflict."

McCain then said that the difference between Iraq and Vietnam is al-Qaeda's determination to attack the United States.

"They want to follow us home, they want Iraq to be a base for al-Qaeda," McCain insisted.

Dr. Paul engaged McCain once again, saying that whether or not the U.S. "never lost a battle" in Vietnam is "irrelevant."

"(Al-Qaeda) want to come here ... because of our military base in Saudi Arabia," Paul retorted.

"They come here because we're occupying their country just as we would object if they occupied our country," he added.

Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., took McCain's side in the Paul-McCain clash.

"I wish we lived in a world that Ron is describing . . . unfortunately, Ron, I don't believe that is the case," Tancredo said.
11027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 06, 2008, 08:46:47 AM
The 9/10 Caucuses   
By FrontPage Magazine
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, January 04, 2008

Last night, Iowa caucus-goers had the opportunity to vote for a wide variety of candidates who possessed foreign policy sagacity, an aggressive plan to fight sponsors of terrorism, and the competence and breadth of experience to lead the nation during the War on Terror – and the plurality of neither party chose to do so. Instead, they selected affable and charismatic figures who appeal to portions of the party’s base but who lack credibility on national security – an unsettling reality in a post-9/11 world.

The Democrats

The Democratic Party made its selection as the result of a self-conscious process. The party, now a wholly owned subsidiary of MoveOn.org, does not wish to fight the war; it wishes to end it, as its fruitless Congressional leadership has demonstrated in its every budget measure. The party rewards those who downplay homeland security to the benefit of "social justice," especially if doing so allows them to indulge in identity politics.

Barack Obama allowed them to do both more powerfully than Hillary Clinton.

Although not as beloved by the netroots as John Edwards, he has demonstrated a thorough naivete about foreign policy. In recent months, he’s expressed a willingness to unilaterally bomb the allied nation of Pakistan and to hold direct negotiations with rogue states like Iran, North Korea, Syria, Cuba, and Venezuela.

He has boasted he was consistently against the war in Iraq, and he was; he thought the war was a conspiracy. On October 2, 2002, while still an Illinois state senator (Is anyone who was a state senator six years ago qualified to be a wartime president?), Obama told an antiwar rally he did not oppose all war:

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income – to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That's what I’m opposed to. A dumb war.

Today, he’s running to become commander-in-chief of the forces fighting that "dumb war," a description certain to erode morale. While always careful to note the troops’ courage and valor, he also talks down their grand accomplishments at defeating al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia. On his website currently, Obama writes during the present surge, "our troops have helped reduce violence in some areas of Iraq, but even those reductions do not get us below the unsustainable levels of violence of mid-2006." This is both disspiriting and false. The New York Times reported late last month that "violent attacks in the country had fallen by 60 percent since June." Rather than the surge, which has driven al-Qaeda out of Anbar Province, Obama would have removed all U.S. troops by this March. The Obama Plan offers "at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries." But thanks to the Bush surge, in October alone, 110,000 refugees returned to the newly pacified Iraq.

Nor has our present military success taught him anything. He now pledges to "have all of our combat brigades out of Iraq within 16 months." Who will take America’s place in newly destabilized Baghdad? Phantom troops and bearded mullahs. Four years after John Kerry made a similarly dishonest pledge, Obama parrots that he "will rally NATO members to contribute troops to collective security operations." But there is less European will to contribute to Iraq (or Afghanistan) now than in 2004 (and there was none then). Barack also announces "the most aggressive diplomatic effort in recent American history " – reaching out to all, "including Iran and Syria."

John Edwards’ second-place finish is more indicative of the party’s bent. Edwards, too, is a candidate dangerously underqualified, a one-term senator with "no international experience, no military experience" and who would need "on-the-job training in the White House on national security issues." At least, that’s how John Kerry described him. He is also a charter member of the Hate America Left. Outpacing Barack and Hillary, John Edwards believes we need to "reestablish ourselves after Iraq as a force for good in the world again. "His well-oiled machine nudged out the anointed candidate of the party elite.

Hillary Clinton also vied for the left-wing vote, pandering to the far-Left "Take Back America" conference and breaking her campaign promises, in the process hammering out a hopelessly contradictory and convoluted position on Iraq. Touting her "experience" in foreign affairs – a phrase that inspires titters when referring to the Clintons – she omits how she urged her husband to withdraw from Somalia in 1993, emboldening Osama bin Laden and leading America down the "Path to 9/11." However, in all her kowtowing to her party’s extremists, she has been careful to preserve wiggle-room to run back the center. She has refused to completely back down, instead crafting a policy that leaves all sides wondering which, if any, of her stated positions is the authentic one.

Under the present circumstances, though, this is a sign of strength. Hillary has been around power enough to know that, as president, she may need the authority and freedom of action her opponents vow to jettison. Ironically, this makes her moderately more responsible, and more conservative, than Obama or Edwards – and explains why she finished behind both.

The GOP

Among Republicans, too, a segment of the party faithful selected a candidate on the basis of personality and identity politics. Mike Huckabee is an amiable evangelical. Evangelicals made up 60 percent of caucus voters, and Huckabee won 46 percent of their vote while engaging in a tremendous get-out-the-vote effort. Huckabee won this position with his glib sense of humor and on account of his opponents’ social liberalism, uncertainty, or apparent apathy. But being a nice man – and demonstrating a general understanding of the threat of Islamic fascism – does not make him qualified on foreign policy. Next to Ron Paul, he is the least qualified candidate to poll any support.

This fact was not lost on his staff. A "senior aide"confessed last Friday that Huckabee had "no foreign policy credentials." Michael Dale Huckabee proved this in his witless Foreign Affairs article, in which he denounced President Bush’s "arrogant bunker mentality" and pined for other countries to like us again. Although it won’t be toppled by terrorists, the United States is:

more vulnerable to the animosity of other countries. Much like a top high school student, if it is modest about its abilities and achievements, if it is generous in helping others, it is loved. But if it attempts to dominate others, it is despised.

The war in Afghanistan-Pakistan, too, fits the high school student analogy. "Ultimately it is this popularity contest," he writes. Perhaps that explains why he offered America’s "apologies" for Benazir Bhutto’s assassination – a small misstatement perhaps, or perhaps an attempt for the big man on campus to be "modest about its abilities."

The nation is not ready for four years of locker room foreign policy when jihad is on the march.

Huckabee believes Bush has been far too demanding. "Instead of asking if someone is for us, instead of demanding that every ally be at the level of Great Britain, I will ask if we should be for them, if they can be useful in any way, however limited, however temporary."But that was exactly the plea President Bush made when he uttered that phrase. Huckabee demonstrates exactly how he is willing to go slumming for support, noting in his Iraq policy, "I support a regional summit so that Iraq's neighbors become militarily and financially committed to stabilizing Iraq." Iraq’s "neighbors" include Iran and Syria.

His feckless goodwill extends to Western Hemisphere dictators, as well. In 2002, the then-Arkansas governor signed a letter asking President Bush to lift the embargo against Castro’s Cuba. After receiving Cuban-American support in Florida, presidential candidate Huckabee reversed himself. What changed? Huckabee’s reply betrayed an impolitic sense of opportunism: "Well, what changed was I’m running for president." (See the video.) Elsewhere he added, "Rather than being seen as some huge change, I would call it rather the simple reality that I’m running for president of the United States, not for re-election as governor of Arkansas." He excused himself on the grounds, "I really wasn’t that aware of a lot of the issues that exist between Cuba and the United States." If true, that betrays a grave ignorance of both foreign policy and the American history of his childhood. (Had he never heard of the Cuban Missile Crisis? For that matter, had he never heard of Elian Gonzalez?) "Being in Arkansas," he claimed, did not place him in close "proximity to Cuba." (More video.)

Mike Huckabee is glib. He is likeable. And he would be out of his depth as leader of the free world.

His domestic record is not an exceptional improvement. Huckabee pardoned more criminals during his time in Little Rock than his previous three predecessors – including Bill Clinton – and more than all six of his neighboring states combined, although they have a population nearly 20 times larger than Arkansas. Democrats would relish a matchup that allows them to appear tougher-on-crime than Republicans for once.

He would also take the Republicans’ hottest wedge issue – immigration – off the table. (So, too, would McCain, and perhaps Giuliani.) Although he now proposes a version of Mark Krikorian’s excellent immigration plan, as Arkansas governor Huckabee fought to give illegal aliens state-funded scholarships and fibbed about allowing state troopers to enforce immigration policy. William Gheen, the president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, has described Huckabee’s strategy on immigration: "He knows he's wrong on immigration; he can't win if he’s wrong on immigration — therefore, lie." Feminists would love to run against a man who stated, "a wife is to submit graciously to the servant leadership of her husband." And leftists in general would be happy to be represented by someone who favors voting rights for Washington, D.C.; caps on greenhouse gas emissions; and has a history of increasing taxation and social spending.

Then, too, there are the darker aspects of Huckabee’s down-home, "sit-a-spell" personality, aspects that prove he and the last president born in Arkansas have more in common than a hometown. Clinton surrogate Bob Kerrey drops Barack Obama’s middle name as an alleged compliment; Huckabee "innocently" asks a New York Times reporter, "Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"– a move as thuggish as it was bigoted. Hillary’s campaign strategist Mark Penn can say, "the issue related to cocaine use is not something that the campaign was in any way raising"; Huckabee can hold a press conference to announce he will not air a negative ad – assuring it is broadcast on every major network and earning it more visibility than his meager campaign could ever afford.

Huckabee also has notoriously thin skin – no pun intended – recently on display in his "shelved" attack ad. Opening the ad, he spat, "I’m Mike Huckabee, and I approve this message, because Iowans have a right to know the truth about Mitt Romney's dishonest attacks on me and even an American hero, John McCain." (Huckabee campaign chairman, and political powerhouse, Ed Rollins’ testiness with Chris Wallace last night also failed to win friends and influence voters.)

As likely as not, the Huck-a-boom is leading to a Huck-a-bust. The Manchester Union-Leader notes a "AP/Pew poll showed that only 18 percent of the GOP-leaning voters in New Hampshire consider themselves ‘evangelical’" – less than one-third the number of evangelicals voting last night. Among non-evangelicals, Romney won more than twice as many votes. Perhaps this explains why, for the moment, Huckabee is barely running ahead of Ron Paul in the Granite State. That may change, or Huckabee may suffer the fate of Pat Robertson in 1988 and Alan Keyes in 2000: winning a bloc vote in Iowa and losing a real vote in New Hampshire.

But if Republicans vote based on the most pressing issues facing their country, Huckabee’s support will almost certainly diminsh.
11028  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 05, 2008, 06:39:39 PM
Frank Gaffney would be a great advisor for Huckleberry.....

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/12/28/huck-claims-john-bolton-as-a-foreign-policy-adviser-thats-news-to-john-bolton/
11029  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: January 05, 2008, 04:00:54 PM
http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/2008/01/019465print.html

January 5, 2008

"The termination of Stephen Coughlin on the Joint Staff is an act of intellectual cowardice"

LTC Joseph C. Myers, Army Advisor to the Air Command and Staff College, speaks out about the firing of Stephen Coughlin:

MAJ (USAR) Stephen Coughlin is to my knowledge the only Islamic Law scholar on the Joint Staff...
He is a lawyer by training and a reserve Military Intelligence Officer. His first interface with Islamic Law began in Pakistan where he was investigating and prosecuting an intellectual property rights case about 10 years ago. Reviewing Pakistani property rights law, he kept seeing footnoted references to the Quran and sharia law...

I have long argued and wondered why our military from senior leaders down to tactical level are so unread and unstudied on Islam, jihad in Islam, even the topic of terrorism. I have often contrasted this unconscionable wartime state of affairs, with the due diligence the US military showed since I was a cadet at West Point 30 years ago, where we lived, ate, slept and drank Soviet warfighting doctrine...it was the threat we oriented on and we developed our own doctrine around -- "AirLand Battle" in the early 1980's.

Can anyone show me where the equivalent of the Soviet threat doctrine series for the global war on terror is published?

It has not been done.

Yet today we are in the process of prosecuting war, that from doctrinal perspective, we fundamentally do not understand. Over two years I have had 90 of the Army's top majors come through ACSC, across all branches including MI and special operations forces, and only one had read a book with the title Understanding Terror Networks, that by Marc Sageman...

Just before Christmas I presented a lecture on Understanding Terrorist and Insurgent Support Systems to an interagency audience at the Joint Special Operations University, that included Joint Staff and Joint Command officers, DIA and other IC reps, DHS and law enforcement... there, two people had read Sageman's work...two out of the special ops community. The third individual was Sageman himself.

More importantly we have not studied Islamic Law and few have seen or heard of even the English translation of it that has been in print for years, none had at JSOU or had read a work titled Understanding Jihad, War and Peace in the Law of Islam or even The Quranic Concept of War...I can go on but let me be frank.

This failure of intellectual preparation is a leadership failure, and it is as the 9-11 Commission warned, a failure of vision.

We have spent much intellectual capitol revamping and analyzing our own doctrine as it relates to counterinsurgency...it's time we do our homework on the threat.

Coughlin has briefed senior Marine Corps leaders and staff and has presented his thesis in various military educational venues...by all accounts the veil of ignorance is lifted for all but only a few who are afraid to face what Islamic Law, doctrinal Islam, says and means with respect to jihad and how it plays out across the Islamic world from al Qaida, to the Saudi government, to Pakistan to the Muslim Brotherhood...

What Coughlin did was provide the epiphany in his over 300-page Joint Military Intelligence College thesis titled, "To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad" that is meticulously documented and powerfully argued.

In short, he argues we have in fact intellectually pre-empted our military decision making process and intelligence preparation of the battlefield process, the critical step 3-"evaluate the threat." Strategically we have failed to do that by substituting policy for military analysis, for substituting cliché for competent decision processes.

We began on September 12, 2001 with "Islam is a religion of peace," which soothed ideological sentiments of many but has failed us strategically, short-stopped the objective, sytstemic evaluation of the threat doctrine.

"Islam is a religion of peace" is fine for public policy statements, but is not and cannot be the point of departure for competent military or intelligence analysis...it is in fact a logical flaw under any professional research methodology...you have stated the conclusion before you have done the analysis.

If one has studied the implication of the Holy Land Foundation trial discovery documents as I have, as a former DIA senior military analyst, and understanding as even Bill Gertz has written in his book Enemies about the dismal record of our counter-intelligence one has to wonder and question the extent we are in fact penetrated in government and academia by foreign agents of influence, the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamists and those who truly in essence do not share our social compact.

The termination of Stephen Coughlin on the Joint Staff is an act of intellectual cowardice.

We can only hope he can be positioned in his next venue to continue to educate our military for the fight we are in -- if we don't understand the war and the enemy we are engaged against we remain vulnerable and we cannot win.

No victory in the war on terror.
11030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 05, 2008, 03:24:32 AM
You'll never see the end of the IRS, unless you dissolve the USG. Conquered peoples don't get to keep and bear arms anyway.
11031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 04, 2008, 11:45:10 PM
Crafty,

Yeah, aside from losing the war against the global jihad and causing the death of western civilization, i'm sure he'd be a great president....
11032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: January 04, 2008, 11:40:37 PM
http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon2006-02-02hm.html

Heather Mac Donald
Talking Sense on “Spying”
Requiring warrants for computerized surveillance is absurd and dangerous to national security.
2 January 2006


It’s time to get real: Computers can’t spy. They can’t violate your privacy, because they don’t know that you exist. Computers are the solution to Americans’ hyperactive privacy paranoia, not its nightmare confirmation. Next Monday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the National Security Agency’s Al Qaeda phone-tracking program should focus on the promise of computer technology in fighting terrorism, and on overcoming the impediments to using it.

The furor over the National Security Agency program has been inflamed by conflating computer scanning with human spying. Administration opponents and the media have thrown around the phrases “domestic surveillance” and “warrantless eavesdropping” to refer to what appears to be computer analysis of vast amounts of communications traffic. In only the most minute fraction of cases has a human mind attended to the results—at which point, the term “eavesdropping” may become appropriate. Most of the time, however, the communications data passed through NSA’s supercomputers without any further consequences and without any sentient being learning what the data were. Anyone who feels violated by the possibility that his international phone calls or emails joined the flood of zeros and ones that feed the NSA’s machines only to be passed by undeciphered, must believe that his wonderful individuality can spark interest even in silicon chips.

But although the NSA’s Al Qaeda communications analysis program did not in the vast majority of cases violate privacy, it probably did violate the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. And that fact should serve as a warning that national security law needs reform if we want to deploy one of our greatest defensive assets—computer technology—against Islamic terrorists.

The facts about the NSA tracking program remain unknown: administration accounts and media reports are conflicting and incomplete. Assuming some truth in what has come out to date, it seems that when American soldiers and intelligence agents abroad seize phones and computers from Al Qaeda suspects, NSA computers start tracking communications to and from the phone numbers and email addresses contained in those devices, including communications between Al Qaeda suspects abroad and people here in the U.S.

Some of that mechanized tracking, it appears, simply follows calling or emailing patterns to and from the intercepted numbers and internet addresses—looking solely at phone numbers and email addresses without analyzing content. Other aspects of the program may search for certain key phrases within phone and electronic messages. And perhaps in a small percentage of cases, an NSA agent may monitor the content of highly suspicious communications between Al Qaeda operatives and U.S. residents.

Under the law, all of those methods require a court order if any of the numbers or addresses belong to U.S. citizens or legal residents, even though only a live agent poses any privacy problems. Using a computer to track phone numbers called and email addresses contacted, or to search for key words in conversations—assuming no follow-up action by the government—is a privacy-protecting measure. A computer is no more sensitive to the meaning of the millions of conversations it may be scanning for Jihadist code words than a calculator that you use to figure out your taxes is privy to your income and debt levels.

But the legal hurdles to such automated-scanning programs become significant if there’s any possibility that data on American residents are in play. To track just the phone numbers dialed out of and received by numbers contained in Khalid Sheik Mohammad’s cell phone, without any interception of content, for example, requires a court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, if some of those numbers belong to U.S. residents or are found in the U.S. This requirement is particularly perverse, because the Supreme Court has held that there is no Fourth Amendment privacy interest in the numbers you dial from or receive into your phone. Phone companies already possess that information, which they use (among other things) to pitch new calling plans to subscribers. Dialing patterns, therefore, have no claim to constitutionally protected privacy.

The barriers to using our computer capacity grow even more daunting when the government wants to use computers to find Jihadist language in communications. Remember: a computer cannot eavesdrop on a conversation, because it does not “know” what anyone is saying, and a key-word detection program would exclude from computer analysis all conversations and all parts of conversations that don’t use suspicious language. Nevertheless, such an insensate tracking device becomes “surveillance” for FISA purposes. Thus, in order to put a computer to work sifting through thousands of phone conversations or email messages a day, the NSA must convince the FISA court that there is probable cause to believe that every U.S. resident whose conversations will be dumbly scanned is an agent of a foreign power knowingly and illegally gathering intelligence or planning terrorism. FISA’s 72-hour emergency exception rule, which allows the government to begin monitoring a conversation and seek a warrant within 72 hours, is no help. The government will still need to prove that the thousands of electronically scanned and ignored conversations emanate from American agents of foreign governments or terrorist organizations.

Obviously, such a requirement is both unworkable and unnecessary. It is wrong to consider computer analysis a constitutional “search” of data that haven’t been selected for further inspection. Only when authorities order a follow-up investigation on selected results should a probable-cause standard come into play.

That FISA employs probable-cause standards at all is a belated encroachment on national defense that contravened centuries of constitutional thinking. The Fourth Amendment’s probable-cause requirement governs criminal prosecution. It requires public authorities to prove to a judge issuing a search or arrest warrant that there is sufficient reason to believe that the wanted individual has committed a crime or that the criminal evidence sought is likely to be in the alleged location. The purpose of probable-cause rules is to ensure that the government’s police powers are correctly targeted and do not unreasonably invade privacy. But federal judges and criminal evidentiary standards should be irrelevant when the government is gathering intelligence to prevent an attack on the country. A federal judge has no expertise in evaluating the need for and significance of foreign intelligence information. And the standard for gathering intelligence on our enemies should be lower than that for bringing the government’s penal powers to bear on citizens.

FISA’s incongruous probable-cause standards, passed in a fit of civil-libertarian zeal after the Church Committee hearings in the 1970s, however, are likely here to stay. At the very least, we should not make matters worse by equating computer interception of large-scale data with “surveillance” under FISA. Requiring probable cause for computer analysis of intelligence data would knock out our technological capacity in the war on Islamic terrorists almost as effectively as a Jihadist strike against NSA’s computers.
11033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: January 04, 2008, 05:31:07 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/04/the-pentagons-muslim-tug-of-war-ends-in-defeat/

Infidel smited.
11034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 04, 2008, 04:06:02 PM


It's going to be a helluva fight. Ron Paul has FAR more than just the "crazy vote", plus $20 million in his pocket. Giuliani will doubtless do well outside of Iowa, Thompson will maintain a solid position, & Romney will come back hard. I suspect McCain is already gone (along with Hunter), and Huckabee will be dead in the water soon, so we're still looking at 4 strong candidates.

It would have been even more interesting if Gary Johnson had decided to run.

When the general public takes a hard look at Dr. Crazy's foreign policy, he'll have nothing but his base of nazis, troofers, jihadists and tin-foil hatters. The blimp will become the Hindenburg.
11035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 04, 2008, 09:47:28 AM
You know the Clinton machine is sharpening knives right now, planning bad things for Barry-O. I hope 3rd. place fires up Fred, as Huckleberry is unelectable in the general election. Ron Paul has the crazy vote locked up, but even if his loons raise a billion, he can only be a democratic asset in the general.
11036  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 02, 2008, 09:02:34 PM
CD,

Yeah, probably a half dozen other would-be assassins were killed when the IED detonated in the crowd.....
11037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 02, 2008, 04:41:10 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/02/pakistani-government-oh-hey-never-mind-what-we-said-about-bhuttos-cause-of-death/

 rolleyes
11038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 02, 2008, 03:38:08 PM
http://ohioagainstterror.blogspot.com/2007/12/anisa-abd-el-fattah-back-ron-paul-and.html

You can't say Ron Paul's base isn't.....diverse.  rolleyes
11039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 02, 2008, 02:55:22 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/02/biden-hits-hillary-on-pakistan/

Enter Biden.
11040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 02, 2008, 09:48:10 AM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/02/team-hillary-doubles-down-on-her-pakistan-mistakes/

I'm sure the MSM will be all over this story.....Any minute now.....
11041  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: January 01, 2008, 04:33:55 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/01/01/video-smartest-woman-in-the-world-doesnt-know-the-first-thing-about-pakistan/

 rolleyes
11042  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: January 01, 2008, 09:04:10 AM
http://www.breitbart.com/print.php?id=upiUPI-20071230-175007-1941&show_article=1

Analysis: Military slew Bhutto -- sources   

Dec 31 11:11 AM US/Eastern

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on orders of lower- and middle-level officers of the Pakistani army and air force, according to various intelligence sources, including members of India's counterintelligence service.

According to a source who asked to remain unnamed, members of the Pakistani armed forces involved in Thursday's killing of the former prime minister and leader of the opposition are sympathizers of the ultra-conservative Islamists with ties to the jihadis.

"It's worrying when half of your lower or mid-level Pak intelligence analysts have bin Laden screen savers on their computers," a former official of the CIA was reported to have commented.

More than one analyst is of the opinion al-Qaida and other jihadis have managed to successfully penetrate Pakistan's armed forces and security services. Given the fact Pakistan is in possession of nuclear weapons, the possibility of a pro-al-Qaida regime replacing President Pervez Musharraf would radically change the entire geopolitical alignment in southwest Asia, and it would have a spin-off effect on the Middle East, as well, primarily in regards to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

And it's not for lack of trying, either. Pro-Islamist groups have tried to assassinate Musharraf multiple times. Two attempts took place in December 2003 when rockets were fired at his vehicle during a visit to Rawalpindi, the same city where Bhutto was assassinated last Thursday.

Then there was an attempt to shoot his plane down with anti-aircraft fire in early 2007. There were also two suicide attacks on the army's general headquarters and two attacks outside the offices of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency after Pakistani security forces, acting on orders from Musharraf, assaulted the Red Mosque in Islamabad last July; Islamists had sought refuge inside the mosque with dozens of hostages. Scores of people died in the assault, and hundreds were arrested.

Following the two attacks on Musharraf, lower-ranking army and air force officers were placed under arrest. The investigation that followed discovered that the officers had ties with Jaish-e-Mohammad, an Islamist group. In the rocket attack, security forces arrested the son of an army brigadier general. According to the same source, however, only lower-ranking army officials were arrested and court-martialed. "The investigations are dead in the water," said the source.

Bhutto's main fear, according to a well-placed source in the intelligence community, was that retired Brig. Gen. Ijaz Shah of the Pakistani Intelligence Bureau would prove a grave threat to her. Bhutto was worried about her security but did not make a big issue of it, some say believing in destiny. But as recently as Dec. 26 she complained that the electronic jammers used to neutralize improvised explosive devices provided by the government were faulty.

Bhutto was well aware of the dangers she faced, having been briefed and having received death threats from her enemies. "She was warned of the dangers yet she continued to behave in a way in which the Secret Service in the U.S. would never accept," said Thomas Houlahan, director of military assessment with the Center for Security and Science in Washington.

Bhutto insisted on having her own people run her protection, said Houlahan, who added, "but nothing would protect her when she decided to stand through the sunroof of her car."

"That was extremely reckless," he said. "I don't see what could have been done."

Opposition to Bhutto was to be found not only in the country's armed forces and bin Laden sympathizers, but also from old Zia ul-Haq loyalists who did not want the daughter of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in a position of power. "They especially loathed the idea that Bhutto had pledged the United States to allow U.S. intelligence to interrogate rogue atomic scientist A.Q. Khan and allow U.S. forces to hunt for bin Laden on Pakistani soil.

"She did not have much of a chance," Houlahan said.

(Claude Salhani is Editor of the Middle East Times.)

(e-mail: Claude@metimes.com)
11043  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: December 29, 2007, 02:03:48 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2007/12/23/video-ron-paul-explains-fascism-and-little-else-on-meet-the-press/?print=1

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/12/27/video-ron-paul-reacts-to-bhuttos-death-by-playing-the-same-tired-blame-america-tune/?print=1

Aside from Ron Paul pandering to nazis, Trufers and other assorted tin-foil hats, he's utterly clueless about the global jihad and foreign policy.
11044  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Free Speech vs. Islamic Fascism (formerly Buy DANISH!!!) on: December 29, 2007, 01:29:15 PM
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/ViewPrint.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200712/INT20071220a.html


Islamic Bloc Scores 'Defamation of Religions' Resolution at UN
By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
December 20, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - Alongside a resolution adopted by the U.N. General Assembly this week calling for a moratorium on the death penalty, the world body passed a raft of other human rights-related motions. One of them, introduced by Islamic nations, focuses on combating the "defamation of religions."

Resolutions on the human rights situation in North Korea and Iran also passed, although dozens of countries -- including human rights violators Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe -- voted against the motions.

An annual resolution on "the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination" also passed by an overwhelming margin, with only the United States, Israel, and three small Pacific island nations voting "no." There were four abstentions.

The motion on defamation of religions has been a priority for the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) since 9/11. It took on new impetus following a Danish newspaper's publication in 2005 of cartoons satirizing Mohammed.

Introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the OIC, it passed on Tuesday by a 108-51 margin, with 25 abstentions. As with many of the other votes, the U.S. lined up with democracies in Europe, Asia and elsewhere against developing nations, including repressive regimes.

Although the resolution refers to defamation of "religions," Islam is the only religion named in the text, which also takes a swipe at counter-terrorism security measures.

It expresses alarm about "discrimination" and "laws that stigmatize groups of people belonging to certain religions and faiths under a variety of pretexts relating to security and illegal immigration."

Muslim minorities are subjected to "ethnic and religious profiling ... in the aftermath of the tragic events of 11 September 2001," it says.

The resolution decries "the negative projection of Islam in the media" and voices "deep concern that Islam is frequently and wrongly associated with human rights violations and terrorism."

OIC secretary-general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu earlier this month addressed an international conference on "Islamophobia," held in Turkey, and told the gathering that freedom of expression was being used as a cover in the West to promote anti-Islam sentiment.

The OIC soon will release its first-ever annual report on "Islamophobia."

'Flawed and divisive'

On a number of the General Assembly resolutions passed Tuesday, the U.S. stood in the minority, including one dealing with practices that contribute to "fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," and another on a report on preparations by the U.N.'s Human Rights Council for a major conference on racism, scheduled for 2009.

The international conference is intended to review progress achieved on a program of action adopted at an earlier racism conference, held in Durban, South Africa in 2001.

The Durban event was marred by controversy, with attempts spearheaded by Arab and Muslim states to equate Zionism with racism. The U.S. government sent a low-level delegation and then recalled it midway in protest against the attacks on Israel.

On Tuesday, only the U.S., Israel and the Marshall Islands voted against the resolution on preparations for the Durban review conference.

In an earlier explanation of vote, American envoy Grover Joseph Rees told member-states that although the U.S. supported the stated objectives of Durban gathering, "the outcomes of the conference were deeply flawed and divisive."

"The resolution now before us endorses that flawed outcome and is therefore itself seriously problematic," he said.

Rees said the Human Rights Council should be concentrating on the role for which it was created - "addressing human rights situations around the world, particularly emerging situations."

At the same time, countries should be focusing on implementing existing commitments, rather than on following-up "a flawed instrument" or creating of new ones.

Specifically, he said, states should be ratify and effectively implement the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Countries that have not ratified the 1965 treaty include Burma, North Korea, Malaysia, Angola, Singapore and a number of small Pacific island nations.
11045  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Mormons on: December 07, 2007, 03:56:08 PM
I grew up close to Utah, have spent time there and have known lots of mormons. As a group, they are hardworking, patriotic and family oriented. Still, there is a creepy cultishness to the religion and the theology is almost as strange and laughable as islam's. Rural Utah town have a "pod people" feel to them that makes my skin crawl.
11046  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: November 28, 2007, 11:14:01 PM
The Moonlight Bunny Ranch's support of Ron Paul hurts my opinon of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch.
11047  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: November 20, 2007, 10:15:22 PM
I had such hopes for Thompson. His campaign has been a comedy of errors though. I'd be surprised if he was viable anymore.
11048  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: November 19, 2007, 09:08:46 PM
November 19, 2007
Ron Paul is a Useful Man for Democrats

By Andrew Walden
The Ron Paul story never seems to end -- and yet never seems to quite make it into the mainstream media. That's because, in the political equivalent of a bank shot, Paul's fringe support helps bleach embarrassing stains from the Democrats.

First there is the revelation that Jim C Perry, the "Orthodox Jewish" head of "Jews for Paul" also calls himself a gay pagan Unitarian.

Now it turns out that Perry, Paul's point man in response to questions raised by the Jewish Telegraph Agency, is also accused of stealing money from the local New Hampshire branch of the Libertarian Party. What a great guy! It's only an accusation. And the "Libertarian" Perry was in 2006 running for New Hampshire Legislature as a Democrat.

Oh yes: Then the federal raids started.

It turns out that some folks actually buy-in to Ron Paul's blither about US dollars being "phony money". Here Paul is talking about "phony money" at a recent Ron Paul rally outside the Philadelphia Mint with a large crowd including -- surprise, surprise, -- some more white supremacists. (Who show they fully understand the New Orleans protocol.)

Some of Paul's gold bug supporters been trying to pass so-called "Liberty Dollars" off as real currency at stores nationwide. Sleepy clerks have given them change in US currency for purchases. Raids have been conducted in the last few days by the FBI and Secret Service at Liberty Dollar HQ in a strip mall office in Evansville, Indiana, (that's not where I would be keeping three pounds of gold, but I digress) as well as Asheville, NC (here the segregationist ‘Council of Conservative Citizens' is very concerned) and a private mint located in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Arrests were also made recently in Wisconsin (on their blogsite, these geniuses detail three places where the spent Liberty Dollars as if they were legal tender). In 2006 two arrests had been made in Buffalo, NY. The Evanston raid netted a huge load of "Ron Paul Dollars" apparently just delivered from Idaho and backed perhaps by the full faith and credit of... Ron Paul?

Ron Paul's Evanston supporters went to Liberty Dollar HQ to protest with Ron Paul-for-president signs. At the Evansville Ron Paul site one of their leaders explains the defense strategy:
"I sent an email to infowars.com, so with any luck we'll make it on prisonplanet.com and go viral. If nothing else should come of this, maybe the LD can get a case before the Supreme Court and settle once and for all and maybe Ron Paul's name will be on more people's minds and lips."
And, yes Ron Paul donor 9-11 "troother" Alex Jones did post it. And it did go ‘viral'. But no that doesn't mean the 9-11 "troothers" are integral to the Ron Paul campaign because ...uh...uh... (insert Paulite rationalization here).

Meanwhile over at Reason Magazine, they seem to have lost all of theirs. Writes Jeff Taylor:
"As such, accounts of the (Evansville) raid focused on the Ron Paul angle seem off-base, at least given the available facts."
Sure, just close your eyes and it will all go away. Let yourself get sucked down the toilet with the frauds, and scammers. Reason wants us to believe that Ron Paul has absolutely nothing to do with Ron Paul dollars. But Paul's "troother" supporters believe that George Bush and ‘the Jooos' personally crawled through the ductwork at the World Trade Center to wire the explosives for controlled detonation.

Apparently they didn't get the message at the Daily Paul. Their response to the raid:
"This is pretty scary stuff and reminiscent of a time in Germany...I wonder if the motivation was our wonderful $4.3M day?"
The Street writes;
"...if the raid results in the conviction of anyone involved, it is possible that the Paul campaign may have to return a cash donation made by Liberty Dollar....So far, Liberty Dollar has donated $2,300 to the Paul campaign, a fact confirmed by both Paul's office and Bernard von NotHaus, who runs Liberty Dollar."
No connection there?

No tough questions for Paul, but plenty of fluff. Rolling Stone writes: "Republican takes the lead against the war." This comes after Bill Maher physically chased "troothers" from his studio audience October 19 shouting "out, out, out" and Bill Clinton stared down troother hecklers October 24 with: "An inside job? How dare you?"

The Democrats and their media are using the Paul campaign to scrape six years of accumulated "toother" scum off the Democrat Party, deposit it into the Libertarian movement make a little mess for the GOP. With Obama, Hillary and Edwards all refusing to promise to withdraw troops from Iraq by 2013 Democrats dream of losing the "surrender monkey" tag.
Here is a Chicago Tribune fluff piece with this gem of verbal judo:
"to a growing, Internet-based pool of supporters, the silver-haired obstetrician turned politician is the sanest man at the Republican debates and perhaps in all of Congress. Paul attracts an unusual political potpourri of people of all ages and viewpoints, including a sprinkling of conspiracy theorists and other extremists whose views Paul's campaign disavows."
No anti-Semites, KKKers, or FBI raids in sight anywhere -- just ‘conspiracy theorists'--but all neatly "disavowed." Really? Was that when Jesse Benton -- Ron Paul's national communications director -- said "I cannot say that we will be rejecting Mr. Black's (Stormfront) contribution?"

Well actually Ron Paul appears to be disavowing some contributions: those given by bankers and Wall Streeters. Corporate money is too dirty for Ron Paul to accept but KKK money is not?

The Chicago Tribune also offers this nugget:
"Paul appears financially comfortable but not exceedingly wealthy, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. Most of his holdings are in about two dozen gold and silver firms, many valued at less than $15,000 and none valued at more than $250,000."
Do those firms benefit from the sale of Ron Paul Dollars? Of course they do; someone has to bring in the wrong way crowd to buy gold and silver at the top of the commodities cycle.
Meanwhile the mainstream media is mostly ignoring the cesspool of neo-Nazis, Klanners, Holocaust deniers, and gold-bugs-with-the-FBI-pounding-on-their-door, surrounding Paul. Why? The Democrats can unload some of their whack-job fringe to the GOP via Ron Paul and in their dreams, hang these nut jobs around the GOP's neck like a dead albatross. At the same time they assist Hillary or Obama in trying to move to the center for the general election.

Timing is everything. Paul has staked $1.1 million on the NH primary. His big fundraising push November 5 and now December 16 come conveniently before the Jan 1 reporting deadline. That deadline is too close to the Iowa and NH votes for evidence about Paul's supporters to make a difference.

The hard work is done. The information about Paul is on line neatly organized for even the laziest reporter in America to confirm, write up and look like a genius.

Writes WaPo:
"As if Ron Paul's supporters needed any more motivation to storm the battlements and wreak havoc on the Republican presidential primary, now comes this: the feds are trying to take away their money."
Antonio Gramsci would be very proud.

Andrew Walden is editor of Hawai`i Free Press in Hilo.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/11/ron_paul_is_a_useful_man_for_d.html at November 19, 2007 - 10:28:26 AM EST

11049  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Thanksgiving on: November 19, 2007, 09:06:34 PM
Mark Steyn: World should give thanks for America

MARK STEYN

Speaking as a misfit unassimilated foreigner, I think of Thanksgiving as the most American of holidays.
Christmas is celebrated elsewhere, even if there are significant local variations: In Continental Europe, naughty children get left rods to be flayed with and lumps of coal; in Britain, Christmas lasts from Dec. 22 to mid-January and celebrates the ancient cultural traditions of massive alcohol intake and watching the telly till you pass out in a pool of your own vomit. All part of the rich diversity of our world.
But Thanksgiving (excepting the premature and somewhat undernourished Canadian version) is unique to America. "What's it about?" an Irish visitor asked me a couple of years back. "Everyone sits around giving thanks all day? Thanks for what? George bloody Bush?"
Well, Americans have a lot to be thankful for.
Europeans think of this country as "the New World" in part because it has an eternal newness, which is noisy and distracting. Who would ever have thought you could have ready-to-eat pizza faxed directly to your iPod?
And just when you think you're on top of the general trend of novelty, it veers off in an entirely different direction: Continentals who grew up on Hollywood movies where the guy tells the waitress "Gimme a cuppa joe" and slides over a nickel return to New York a year or two later and find the coffee now costs $5.75, takes 25 minutes and requires an agonizing choice between the cinnamon-gingerbread-persimmon latte with coxcomb sprinkles and the decaf venti pepperoni-Eurasian-milfoil macchiato.
Who would have foreseen that the nation that inflicted fast food and drive-thru restaurants on the planet would then take the fastest menu item of all and turn it into a Kabuki-paced performance art? What mad genius!
But Americans aren't novelty junkies on the important things. The New World is one of the oldest settled constitutional democracies on Earth, to a degree the Old World can barely comprehend. Where it counts, Americans are traditionalists.
We know Eastern Europe was a totalitarian prison until the Nineties, but we forget that Mediterranean Europe (Greece, Spain, Portugal) has democratic roots going all the way back until, oh, the mid-Seventies; France and Germany's constitutions date back barely half a century, Italy's only to the 1940s, and Belgium's goes back about 20 minutes, and currently it's not clear whether even that latest rewrite remains operative. The U.S. Constitution is not only older than France's, Germany's, Italy's or Spain's constitution, it's older than all of them put together.
Americans think of Europe as Goethe and Mozart and 12th century castles and 6th century churches, but the Continent's governing mechanisms are no more ancient than the Partridge Family. Aside from the Anglophone democracies, most of the nation-states in the West have been conspicuous failures at sustaining peaceful political evolution from one generation to the next, which is why they're so susceptible to the siren song of Big Ideas – communism, fascism, European Union.
If you're going to be novelty-crazed, better the zebra-mussel cappuccino than the Third Reich.
Even in a supposedly 50/50 nation, you're struck by the assumed stability underpinning even fundamental disputes. If you go into a bookstore, the display shelves offer a smorgasbord of leftist anti-Bush tracts claiming that he and Cheney have trashed, mangled, gutted, raped and tortured, sliced 'n' diced the Constitution, put it in a cement overcoat and lowered it into the East River. Yet even this argument presupposes a shared veneration for tradition unknown to most Western political cultures: When Tony Blair wanted to abolish, in effect, the upper house of the national legislature, he just got on and did it.
I don't believe the U.S. Constitution includes a right to abortion or gay marriage or a zillion other things the Left claims to detect emanating from the penumbra, but I find it sweetly touching that in America even political radicalism has to be framed as an appeal to constitutional tradition from the powdered-wig era.
In Europe, by contrast, one reason why there's no politically significant pro-life movement is because, in a world where constitutions have the life expectancy of an Oldsmobile, great questions are just seen as part of the general tide, the way things are going, no sense trying to fight it. And, by the time you realize you have to, the tide's usually up to your neck.
So Americans should be thankful they have one of the last functioning nation-states. Europeans, because they've been so inept at exercising it, no longer believe in national sovereignty, whereas it would never occur to Americans not to. This profoundly different attitude to the nation-state underpins, in turn, Euro-American attitudes to transnational institutions such as the United Nations.
But on this Thanksgiving the rest of the world ought to give thanks to American national sovereignty, too. When something terrible and destructive happens – a tsunami hits Indonesia, an earthquake devastates Pakistan – the United States can project itself anywhere on the planet within hours and start saving lives, setting up hospitals and restoring the water supply.
Aside from Britain and France, the Europeans cannot project power in any meaningful way anywhere. When they sign on to an enterprise they claim to believe in – shoring up Afghanistan's fledgling post-Taliban democracy – most of them send token forces under constrained rules of engagement that prevent them doing anything more than manning the photocopier back at the base.
If America were to follow the Europeans and maintain only shriveled attenuated residual military capacity, the world would very quickly be nastier and bloodier, and far more unstable. It's not just Americans and Iraqis and Afghans who owe a debt of thanks to the U.S. soldier but all the Europeans grown plump and prosperous in a globalized economy guaranteed by the most benign hegemon in history.
That said, Thanksgiving isn't about the big geopolitical picture, but about the blessings closer to home. Last week, the state of Oklahoma celebrated its centennial, accompanied by rousing performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein's eponymous anthem:
"We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand!"
Which isn't a bad theme song for the first Thanksgiving, either.
Three hundred and 14 years ago, the Pilgrims thanked God because there was a place for them in this land, and it was indeed grand. The land is grander today, and that, too, is remarkable: France has lurched from Second Empires to Fifth Republics struggling to devise a lasting constitutional settlement for the same smallish chunk of real estate, but the principles that united a baker's dozen of East Coast colonies were resilient enough to expand across a continent and halfway around the globe to Hawaii.
Americans should, as always, be thankful this Thanksgiving, but they should also understand just how rare in human history their blessings are.
11050  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: November 16, 2007, 07:28:24 PM
I agree with him on multiple points, including the 2nd. I don't like his neo-isolationism and I sure don't like his pandering to the Trufers and nazis.
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